Friday, July 31, 2009

Bringing back old memories!

I forgot to post these pictures recently -- can't believe I did that. Nelson and I went up to Lancaster on the weekend of the 18th for our anniversary. We went driving out into the countryside, stopped at the Railroad Museum, and saw THIS out front:

Anybody else old enough to remember a time when the ice cream man looked like that??


Monday, July 27, 2009

Praying for Stellan again

Prayers for Stellan

Do you all remember this little fellow? I posted about him quite a while back, when he was going through serious heart problems. After treatment in Boston, tweaking of his meds, and other procedures, he went home to Minnesota and had been doing much better until recently. Now, he's back in the hospital in Minnesota and is in "bad shape", according to his doctor there. Please be praying for this little fellow and his family. This has been a very long, hard road that they've been travelling.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wedding Cakes -- Part 3

These are NOT my cakes!! These are royal wedding cakes from Kuwait! I just WISH I had the talent to make them -- plus an oven large enough to do these!! But following along the theme of cakes, I wanted to share these, because they are SPECTACULAR!! Enjoy!!

If my link above doesn't work, trying going here:


Anatomy of a wedding cake -- Part 2

I wanted to follow up the previous post with pictures of a different cake. Here's a very elaborate cake I did last year for some dear friends of ours -- Ron and Cathy Sams (who just celebrated their first anniversary -- congratulations!!!) We were able to take a lot of pictures during the baking and decorating process, so this really shows the work that goes into one of these wedding cakes. No wonder the ones from the store are so blasted expensive!!!

~~Some of the layers, glazed to keep in the moistness, and cooling on the kitchen table. The largest circle is also a marble cake, which explains the funny coloring you can see on the side of the cake!

~~Getting a cake nice and level is tricky and is a skill I've never been able to master -- so I CHEAT!! I overfill the pans, let them rise nice and high, cut off the tops, and turn the whole thing upside down, making the flat bottom the nice level top!! Voila!! Pretty cake and lots of leftovers for my family to munch on!

~~This cake was unusual. The bride pretty much turned me loose to create whatever would fit their wedding, so I was free to experiment. This is the first time I'd ever made a cake with small multiple cakes as the base. It was a bit time-consuming, as I had to bake so many small layers -- but I really was pleased with the end result! Here are the layers being arranged for me to double-check size, arrangement, placement, etc., before beginning the icing process.

~~Getting started with the icing, surrounded by all my paraphenalia.

~~A small arrangement of silk flowers my daughter Morgan created to go in between some of the layers of cake. Very pretty!!

~~Doing the flat icing can be a long, tedious, boring process -- and I do look tired here, don't I? Unfortunately, I was nowhere CLOSE to being done at this point!!

~~The bottom layers are now done with the flat icing -- and they still don't look like much, do they??

~~Amazing what some decorating and the addition of color do to a cake!

~~Building upwards!! You can see the arrangement Morgan made is added here.

~~The center section, with another, smaller arrangement that Morgan made.

~~And the final product!! What do you think??

~~Close-up pictures of some of the details!

~~The decorating team!!


Anatomy of a wedding cake -- part 1

One thing that many people do not know about me is that I used to make a LOT of wedding cakes in the past. I don't make too many nowadays -- life is too busy, my kitchen's rather small, and the whole process is rather time-consuming and messy. However, once in a while, I'm talked out of "retirement" to make a cake for a friend of the family or a relative. Here's the cake -- in progress -- that I baked and decorated yesterday. This is for a very small wedding and the couple didn't want anything too elaborate. What do you think of it?

~~They don't look like much when you are getting started......

.....but a little bit of decorating starts to turn them into something prettier!

~~Then adding the flowers starts to make it really look like a wedding cake!

~~A close-up of some of the detail.....

~~My daughter holding the cake topper to show the effect. The topper and some minor decorations will be added once the church is at the church; the whole thing travels much more safely that way!

I'll have to post a picture of the truly finished product sometime soon!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Is this really a geography lesson?

My husband and I stopped at a diner tonight on our way home from Lancaster, PA. At a table nearby, there was a mother with two children, a girl who was probably 8 or 9, and a boy who was probably about 4. An older woman (maybe grandma??) was with them. While they were waiting for their food to be delivered, the two women and the daughter were having a discussion about canals and where they were located. The little girl would say, "Panama Canal", and one of the women would ask, "Where is it located?" Then she came up with Erie Canal, C&O Canal, the Suez Canal and other canals, as well as their locations.

This went on for a few minutes, and then the little boy very loudly asked, "So where is the BIRTH CANAL?" (The stifled giggles around the diner were pretty funny too!!!)


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Babies, babies, babies!!!

It's funny how often my partners and I seem to have "clumps" of births. You'd think the births should spread out randomly over the calendar, but it rarely seems to happen that way. This week has probably been the busiest week we have ever experienced in our partnership.

Baby #1 -- (and the longest of the births) -- Monday at midnight until baby boy was born at 4:17 AM on WEDNESDAY!!! (and I was the birth assistant who got to attend this marathon!!)

Baby #2 -- client came into the birth center around 4 AM Tuesday, and baby was born around 4:45 AM!!! WOW!!! My partner, Lori, got to attend a birth that was speedy!

Baby #3 -- client called for midwife and Lori to come on Tuesday evening. Lori and midwife were there about 40 minutes before baby was born -- another quick one!!

Baby #4 -- client called for midwife and my partner Audrey to come on Tuesday evening. I don't have exact times, but I know the client called around 6 pm and the baby was born by 9 PM -- so yet another speedster!

Baby #5 -- While I was sleeping off my exhaustion on Wednesday afternoon, another client called!! Audrey went to the birth center and baby was born about 1 1/2 hours after arrival.

So.......... FIVE babies in less than 40 hours -- I think that ought to be some kind of record! And I just got off the phone with Lori, who is on her way to yet ANOTHER home birth right now. If this baby is born before midnight, it will be six babies born in less than 3 days.

Did somebody forget to pass out the memo that the full moon was two weeks ago??

Monday, July 13, 2009

Is this your life, too?

This has been on the internet for a while now, but when I need a good laugh or a reminder that I'm not in this "mom thing" alone, I pull this up and sing along!! Enjoy!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

"In God We Still Trust"

In honor of Independence Day and the founding of our wonderful country, I wanted to share this video.

"In God We Still Trust" -- by Diamond Rio

Hope you enjoy it!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My other "baby" is growing up!

Here's the view under my desk at this moment:

This little girl is just SO sweet!! What a good, calm (usually!!) puppy!!

Everyone needs a friend!

From the photo postings on the River Valley Ranch website, it appears that Mackenzie has found one! And it looks like her new friend may also share her love of all things orange -- BONUS POINTS!!

And of course, the mandatory "girl loves her camp horse" pictures!!