Category Archives: Holidays

Snow globe Cake

IMG_1191Tonight was difficult!  It’s going to be that way for the rest of the month.  It’s just something new that we have to adjust ourselves to. Jared has tithing settlement all this month and so we don’t get to see him at all on Sundays. Tonight was the First Presidency Christmas Devotional which the kids and I got to watch, in full!  It was quite the accomplishment especially since I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks with the kids and their behavior.

The devotional had great stories and thoughts about how to make our Christmas experience better.  They talked about being a good receiver which I thought was really important for the kids to hear.

As the devotional was finishing up and I was getting leftover cake prepared for after dinner, Jacob asked if it was for daddy.  I said it was for them, the kids.  Emma must have over heard because she came in and agreed with what I guess Jacob was trying to say.  She said we should bring it to daddy since he was working hard and wouldn’t be home ’til late.  I asked the boys if that was okay and everyone was on board.  We gussied it up a bit and within 10 minutes we had a beautiful snow globe cake with the baby Jesus at the center.  It would be the perfect dessert to give the bishopric after hearing the devotional and to kick off our Christmas holiday.



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Filed under Cakes, Christmas, Church Stuff, Jared, Kids

Special Delivery from the North Pole

It has been a wonderful start to the Christmas holiday!  Last week we got a package from The North Pole delivered to our doorstep.  It was torture for the kids to come home from school, see it on the doorstep, see who it was from and not rip it open right then and there.  The package was so amazing and everything that you’d want from a mysterious package this time of year 🙂 .  It had stamps from all over the world but the best one said “Special Delivery from the North Pole”.  I mean, come on!  How great is that!?!

Well, we hadn’t even come to Thanksgiving yet and I’m a big believer in letting each holiday have it’s time so Jared and I made the kids wait until tonight, after Thanksgiving dinner, to open it.  When it came time to actually open it Jared and I were a little giddy.  We opened the box to find an even prettier box with a gold “Made in Santa’s Workshop” seal.  With each layer the kids were squealing and Jared and I were inching closer to get a better look.  We finally got the whole thing opened and saw that Santa sent us an ELF!!!

He is one of the cutest little things you’ve ever seen.  The kids names him FRED!!!  There was a book about him and explained all the rules, well the one rule – DON’T TOUCH!!!  If you touch him his magic will disappear and he can’t fly back to Santa and tell him how good or bad you’ve been.

At one point while we were reading the book it said, “Tell me your thoughts and wishes and I’ll keep a list”.  Right after that Emma looked at Fred and said, “Fred, I really want a baby sister!”  Uh oh!!!  Jared and didn’t really know how to respond to that one especially since it broke my heart just listening to her fervently asking.  We explained, again, how I can’t have any more babies but that we could enjoy our friends’ babies and get ready for babysitting.  Oh so sad 😦

Well this whole elf thing should be quite the experience.  I’m hoping it will become one of those treasured traditions that the kids can’t wait to have with their own kids one day.

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Filed under Christmas, Family, Holidays, Kids

20th Birthday Cake

I spent the bulk of last night finishing this cake!  I think it turned out spectacular especially since there are so many personal aspects to it for the young lady who it was for.

She is an avid mountain biker and had a great trip with her mom right before her birthday.  I had heard the story in great detail and portrayed it through the fondant and frosting work.

My kids were so thrilled to look at all the details that I had pipped on there and asked about them.  I was really pleased with the way it turned out! 🙂

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Filed under Brithdays, Cakes, Friends



Tonight was the last night of our Halloween extravaganza.  Jared got home from work a little early so we could all go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.  We got Kami all set up with the projector on the garage door before we all left as a Star Wars family.  Jared had a hard time seeing through the mask so as the sun set he mask came off.

This year was so much fun because the kids knew what to do.  We assigned them partners who they had to stay with the whole night.  Our neighborhood has a nice little circuit that took us about an hour to finish but loaded us with plenty of candy!  The kids were excited to get back home and dig into their treasures while watching Monsters vs. Aliens.  Such a great movie and even better to watch with neighbors and other trick-or-treaters.  I had made a huge thing of brownies for one of the class parties that I didn’t end up using and I most certainly didn’t want to eat them all by myself so we brought those out for the adults.  It was a truly wonderful time!

Shortly after this picture was taken I had spent $20 and bought back all four bags of the kids’ candy.  This is the third time they have collected candy (Fall Festival, trunk-or-treating, and tonight) and each time I allowed them to pick out 5 pieces that they could eat that night.  Tonight was the same thing but then after they ate their five pieces I gave them the option of continuing to eat as much of the candy as they could tonight but at the end of the evening we would be throwing it all away OR they could sell it to me for $5, each! The three younger kids jumped on the $5 while Benjamin sat there and weighed the offer very heavily.  His response was, “How about I eat as much as I can AND THEN sell you the rest for $5!”  I had to laugh at his way of thinking but I told him it was all or nothing.  He took the $5 and handed over his candy which we proceeded to pass out to trick-or-treaters.

An amazing Halloween without the added chaos that the leftover candy brings!!!

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Filed under Family, Friends, Holidays


I had very little time to get the kids dressed today for the trunk-or-treat but I did a better job of it than I did the other day for the Fall Festival.  I had time to do the make-up better on all the kids and I just felt more prepared.  So, with the kids getting home at 4:00 and needing to be to the church at 5:3o I was surprised when we had extra time.  I used that time to take some pictures in the front yard because who knows when they’ll all look this good again!!!





I really love this theme that we have this year!  We hardly spent any money on the costumes.  With Yoda we spend $1 for the green face paint, $1 for the green hair spray, and then used my sweater and his clothes.  I spent a little extra time cutting out some green felt and gluing them to one of Emma’s old headbands that she never uses.  For Luke I had luckily raided Jared’s closet and gotten rid of some of his old shirts.  I cut it apart to make the tunic and then used a dollar store light saber.  Leia was a little more in-depth.  I used some yarn similar to Emma’s hair color and another old headband to make the double buns.  I’m sure if I had made it more of a priority I could have made a white dress out of a sheet or something but I ran out of time so I bought an angel costume that happened to be on sale at Party City so that was a whopping $7 and a little makeup to finish it off.  Darth Maul was all about the makeup.  $1 for the red and $1 for the black.  I had a bunch of leftover black material from years ago when I did a production of The Woman at the Well that I shredded and draped to get the effect I wanted.  With all that done I found a pair of black gloves in clearance at Target for $2 and just used some black electrical tape to tape two $1 light sabers together.  I love when you can be creative and use the things you have lying around to create something special and unique!

The kids were great!  Everything was so enjoyable and fun!  We’ve been entering a different stage over the past few months of independence and self-sufficiency that makes me able to enjoy my children even more.  I loved when I was so inherently needed when they were little ones but I can now immerse myself in their personalities and really get to know and enjoy my children.  I’ll always miss some of those little baby and toddler times but I enjoyed them fully and so have no regrets in that department which really helps when moving onto the next stage.

We saw so many friends tonight since our ward and the newly established Windmill ward met together.  There was a bunch of great food and funny enough all my kids camped out right next to the food tables.  It was funny to watch little Miss Leia (Emma) keep up with her brothers and go back for thirds.  It’s things like that to help me to know that they’re starting a growth spurt and I need to watch what they’re eating and to be patient with them because for the next couple weeks they’ll be asking for food non-stop.

After eating it was time for some trunk-or-treating.  Such fun trunks and such amazing people here tonight.  I got a good laugh when I watched Luke (Joseph) fight Batman for a piece of candy.  That Batman is such a character I’m pretty sure he was asking for it 😉 .

Benjamin met up with two of his best friends at the church and I couldn’t help but snap a picture of the three of them.  Chaz was the Hulk, Willie was Cap’n Jack, and Benjamin was Darth Maul.  It was fun to watch these three very different boys, not just in their choice of costume, talk and laugh together.  It’s friendships like this that span ward splits and the years to come.

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Filed under Church Stuff, Craft Projects, Family, Friends, Holidays, Missionaries

Nana’s Birthday

Several days ago my dad had approached me about my mom’s birthday.  He wanted to see if we could do a family dinner.  I thought it would be a great idea.  He then asked if I could make the dinner and a birthday cake for her!  With dad at work and mom at home it would make it impossible to have dinner be a surprise unless I made it.  I agreed, as long as we could do it at my place.

I planned the meal around her favorite Olive Garden special.  She always orders the Pasta Fagioli with salad and bread sticks  so that’s what I made.  Dad picked up some bread sticks on his way home from work and a bottle of their famous salad dressing.  While I was cooking and setting the table the kids were writing menus and signs for the front door.  I had made her cake the night before so that I wouldn’t be swamped with trying to make that at the same time.  My mom LOVES German chocolate cake!  The only problem is that she’s the only one that likes that kind of cake!  I remember making her a German chocolate bunt cake for her 50th birthday and thinking that it looked like a big mound of something not very delicious 😉 .  This year I made my version of German chocolate with homemade Coconut-Pecan Cajeta frosting.  It was delicious!!!  I’m lucky we got any of that stuff on the cake.

After dinner and we cleaned off the table we pulled out the cake and sang happy birthday.  Nana wouldn’t let anyone touch the cake for about 10 minutes while she dug into it.  The kids kept trying to get a piece or a bite and she, jokingly, kept shooing them away.  It wasn’t until the kids started to get really upset and some even cry that she finally relented and allowed them to have a piece.  I think she ate about half the cake all by herself 🙂 .  That’s when you know you did something right!


When we were all sufficiently stuffed, we all made our way over to the couches and enjoyed Star Wars Episode IV.  I was really impressed because my mom is NOT into the whole sci-fi thing but she watched the movie with the kids and I think she really enjoyed herself.  It was such a wonderful evening.  The food was wonderful, the cake was a hit with everyone, and we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves.  I love that my house was able to accommodate everyone and that it create a wonderful inviting spirit where everyone can enjoy themselves.  It was a very fulfilling moment to look at everyone in the family room and see them truly relaxed.  The kids were lounging on the floor or the ottoman, Nana and Papa sat on the couch with some of the kids going back and forth from the floor to snuggling, Michael fell asleep on the couch for a bit, Jared and I got to sit together and watch all of this… it was just perfect!  I’m so grateful that my husband has been able to create this wonderful life for us where I can stay at home with the children and that we are able to have the gospel in our lives and have that reflect in our home!

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Filed under Brithdays, Cakes, Family, Nana and Papa

Fall Festival

Tonight was the school’s Fall Festival.  This year I entered our car to be used for the trunk-or-treating.  One of the fun things about using your car is decorating it.  This year we went really simple.  One of my young women needed some service hours for NHS and so I said she could come and man our car.  My kids love Michaela and so it was really special to have her there with us at a family event.  I had her dress in some of Jared’s clothes which were too big, and sit propped up in a lawn chair with the candy in her lap.  The material was thin enough that she could see through and grab a kids’ hand or offer candy when needed.  It made for a very basic decoration but it got right to the point of handing out candy and I don’t have a lot of Halloween decorations anyway.

I was completely surprised and baffled at the kids’, and even parents’ in some cases, response to our trunk.  The kids were very apprehensive about approaching our car.  Some parents wouldn’t even let their kids come up to it.  Meanwhile, we had a trunk on one side of us with decapitated wolves (+gore), shrunken heads, and a huge bloody scythe in the trunk.  On the other side there were zombies and tombstones and creepy pictures in frames.  I couldn’t believe it when one mother actually yelled at ME because her daughter got scarred!  I’d rather have a little scare from a harmless scarecrow than have nightmares because of the crazy stuff I saw next to me.  Plus… it’s HALLOWEEN!!!  Some people?!?!

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Filed under Family, Friends, Holidays, Kids, School