Christmas Countdown

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mom first .... our new chore "chart"

I've gone through many ways to get the kids to do chores and all have failed.  I've had this going for a few months now, yay!!!  That's longer than any other method of getting the kids to do chores.

Here's what we're doing.  I purchased this little glass "marbles", not sure what to call them, the kind you would put in a vase or an aquarium for that little extra pretty.  (Of course, we started with pony beads, so we call these beads instead of marbles - it takes like a million pony beads to fill those little pint sized mason jars, so we upgraded to the marbles)  There's also a jar for each child (we have 5, 1 jar is off to the side), their names are taped to the jar.

Each time the child does some cleaning: taking out the trash, cleaning the rooms (this includes vacuuming the floor), putting dishes away, doing a load of laundry, or whatever else I deem worthy of a bead, they get one.  Yesterday I told the boys if they picked up the trash in the backyard they'd get a bead for each grocery bag they fill, my oldest got 3 beads in about 10 minutes (between the kids, the dog and the strong winds there was plenty to pick up).

In the bottom of the jar I put a $5 bill, it could be whatever amount you wish, I'm starting with $5.  Their beads get put in the jar and will cover the $5, but when the jar is full, we dump out the marbles and they have their $5.

I had already determined that if each child earned 5 beads each day by the end of 4 weeks the jar would be full.  Of course, behaving at church on Sunday is worth 5 beads, so it's not too hard for them to get their money.

Here's our chore "chart".  I think it might stick around for a while.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cookies, fondant and a little freehand

Every year my kids get to pick what kind of decorations they want on their birthday cake ... and every year this child gets more and more elaborate in his requests.  This year ... POKEMON CARD COOKIES

Did I think I could do it? not really .... BUT I totally impressed myself. 

First I needed a cookie cutter (I didn't want to just cut it, I planned on using fondant and wanted the cutter for that as well).  I ended up with this 4" square dish, big cookies right? I needed the cookies big, I had to draw on them.

I found this lovely dish at Bed Bath & Beyond, it was $1.99 (which was my favorite part).

Now, my child searched for the cards he wanted me to make.  I let him pick 12 (I should've let him pick 2, it took me hours to decorate 12 cookies).  Thursday night I made the dough and refrigerated it.  Friday I baked the cookies and made the fondant.  A N D finally, Saturday I ran to Wal-Mart to get some edible food markers and I rolled fondant and colored for 3 hours to make a measly 12 cookies for my child ... the slave driver.

Here's what I ended up making:

 Emboar was my personal favorite, I think he turned out awesome.  This was the card my son printed out for me to copy ... Emboar 

Here are those Pokemon legends ... you know, those Black & White Pokemon characters that seem to be popular right now.  

Here's Gyarados, he turned out pretty good too.  My son was hoping to get the entire card on his cookies .... I told him I couldn't, so he got the Pokemon's name, their HP and, of course, their picture.

I like this green on better than the bird, it turned out better.  The boys like Articuno though (that's the blue bird one).

This guy's name is "ho-oh lv. ex powerpoint" ... I don't really think it's an actual Pokemon, but this kids seem to think so.  It was one of the boy's favorites.  This "card" is the ugliest of the bunch, but it kind of looks like the card ... ho-oh

Here's the rest of them, I don't have much to say about them all, the one below (Samurott) was the first one that I drew.

last ones ... promise

Here's the cookies in groups of 6, I still can't believe that I made them.

And here's all 12 ... I still can't believe I made them.  I didn't trace it or print it out, this wasn't "professionally" done, I freehanded the photos from the pictures my son printed out for me.

He was thrilled! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!!

Here are some fun things we did for Father's Day this year ...

first up ... cookies (yes, I know it's not a cake, but it still involves frosting)

It all started with a cookie cutter I found at my local cake decorating supply store.  Can you guess what it is?  If you said it's a tie .... you're correct; the best part is it cost me $1.50, it's only about 3 inches long, I didn't measure it.

I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe and made a ton of these little babies.  The kids helped decorate.  I frosted and they dipped it in sprinkles ... they got a little fancy with the sprinkles.

Notice the different patterns in the sprinkles and multiple types of sprinkles on different ties.

These poor ties broke in the decorating process ... may the rest in pieces (and in my tummy)

more ties ... just because I can

Here's the surprise for daddy ...
we covered a can of soda for him

featured below is an origami t-shirt with a paper print out of a tie, fancy right :)

it was taped on a can, that was wrapped in blue paper and decorated with more ties

BUT ... the thing that made that pop top can special was the contents

we emptied a can of pineapple and filled it with some of daddy's favorite candies.

Happy Fathers Day

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Beginnings

so back in February the Young Women had their New Beginnings.
I know, I know ... it's now MAY.  Well, I have a new computer now and it's not taking 2 hours to download a picture, I'm happy and will have more posts ... if I don't forget.

The Leaders planned a "game night" theme and the girls prepared games to go with each of their 8 values.  It was very fun, we played versions of Yahtzee, Twister and another game that I just can't remember (no offense to the lovely ladies that planned the unknown game, it's just been a few months)

Each value has a color and the cake was a Monopoly board (as if you couldn't guess).
I do have to say ... it was yummy

here's a different view ... but I like the diamond shot better

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cupcake Bouquet

I've seen cupcake bouquets around, but have never tried them myself ... 
well, now I have, and I like it

Since these were for my little girl and she likes butterflies ...
she gets butterflies - white chocolate butterflies

and because I really like the way these turned out, one more picture. 

If I thought about it I could've done a step by step picture process,
but I rarely think and when I do it's usually too late, like now.
Oh well, maybe next time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Soccer Party!!!!

So, my older boys are still playing soccer.  Their team's in the area playoffs right now and depending on how they do they could go to regionals; my little boys soccer season ended in November ... we're in January and still playing soccer, and in a few months we will be signing up for 2011s soccer season.

Despite the fact that we're still playing soccer the team is having the "end of season" party.  Can you guess what I'm bringing???  If you guessed cake - you're right.

My boys have grown accustom to my drawing on cakes.  This cake will be no different, but first I need a picture.  What better to use than the team banner.

After I crop the picture I print it to the size I want.  This, of course, has been zoomed out to fit an entire sheet of paper, I wanted the picture bigger but I can't print bigger than a sheet of paper.  

Since there are 10 players on the team we have to make the cake big enough for family too.
I've baked a square 14" cake for my canvas.
This cake is a marble cake with cookies and cream filling frosted with cream cheese frosting.  YUM!  

See the blue stripes on my canvas?  I was so happy I found a blue can of color mist in my decorating supplies.  Since I can't have a food safe airbrush machine I will have to settle for the 
Wilton food color spray.  Hey - it works.    

The Cake.

 I'm actually quite please with how this turned out.  I usually "trace" the pictures onto my cakes but circumstances didn't allow me to do that and I had to freehand the picture on to the cake.  Not too shabby.

Go Black Hawks

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cake Decorating made easy

I have not been a good blogger ... so I promise to do better.  Today I'm featuring a cake that I made before any cake decorating classes were even taken.

If you can bake and frost a cake, you can draw on it too ... with cookie cutters.

Here is a baby shower cake I made for my sister.  After you frost your cake simply make an impression in the frosting with any cookie cutter of your choice, as you can see I used a heart shaped cutter.  When your frosting has the cutter impression take your piping bag (or tube of frosting, if you purchased it from a store) and trace the heart, or whatever you are putting on your cake.  This will work with ANY cookie cutter, then you can decorate the inside of your picture any way you wish.

**this blog post is called cake decorating made easy, but the truth of the matter is, if you can't use a bag of frosting or frosting in any way, this will not work for you and I take no responsibility for any failures that may come from this blog post ... BUT if by chance your cake turned out fabulous and you wish to give me a lovely pat on the back I will gladly take it :)**