It’s always about cake around here

Last weekend my sister and her family came to visit because it was her 10 year high school reunion. Obviously we went out to sushi while she was here, because that’s what we do. Have a mentioned how much I love maxi-dresses these days? Dressed up but comfortable as pajamas! Best of both worlds!


It also happened that while they were here it was my niece’s birthday. Her GOLDEN birthday! Little miss Amelia turned 4 years old on August 4th. As you know (and is well documented here) I’m sort of obsessed with making cake. So as soon as Kari knew they’d be here for Amelia’s birthday, she asked me to make her a cake. Her only specification was that it be something to represent that it was her golden birthday. Here’s how the final product turned out:



4 tiers for 4 years old and gold accents! It was a giant pain to make but it was pretty! Plus there’s a gold colored “4” candle on top. It was funfetti because hey, she’s 4.

And here’s a cute shot of some of the kids before church that day. Notice Amelia’s lovely gold dress.



Happy birthday to miss Amelia!

Will’s birthday celebration

Because my parents are out of town most of this month, we did Will’s 1/2 birthday celebration a little early. His obsession with dinosaurs and crocodiles continues, so we started things off by seeing the “Super Croc” exhibit at the dinosaur museum. (Will was SO EXCITED to find out that the museum was getting this. He’s watched the Discovery channel documentaries “Super Croc” and “Ultimate Crocodile” at least 20 times each.)

Our invitation to the event preview. Because we have a membership at the museum. We went. OBVIOUSLY.




Will wouldn’t let me take a picture of him with the super croc (I’m sure I’ll get one at some other time) but I snapped this one when he wasn’t expecting it.



A crocodile cake: his only request for the birthday celebration. Turned out pretty well I think!


He got a couple awesome Imaginext dinosaurs as gifts. (He was very excited to discover that his gift was actually a toy since we wrapped it in a diaper box. He thought it might actually be diapers.)


Pleased with his presents.



Happy half birthday to Will! (Actually on the 22nd! Whatever!)

Kalena’s birthday

Kalena turned 5 on Saturday. FIVE! I find it hard to believe that I’ve been doing this parenting thing for five years. It’s like I’m a real mom or something. Anyway, we didn’t do a party (again. I have yet to throw a birthday party for any of my children) but I think this is the last year we’re going to get away with that, because she definitely asked us about a party ON her birthday. Fortunately she wasn’t heartbroken to hear that it was just lunch, cake, and gifts with the family.

A while back she saw that we have a winnie the pooh cake pan, so she asked me to make her that cake. I confirmed a couple times that she didn’t want something else, but no, she was set on winnie the pooh. So I did all the tedious star work (and holy hell was it tedious. I switched to a bigger star tip after the first HOUR OR SO of decorating.) I thought it turned out nicely.


I did NOT put actual honey on the cake anywhere (directions want you to put it in the honey pot and on the hand by his mouth) because NO. Cake needs ice cream, not honey.

I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go when I first started thinking about her gift, but then Brian mentioned that she’d liked some of the art kits at Hobby Lobby. She LOVES doing “crafts” aka anything involving paint, glue, scissors, construction paper and the like, so that sounded like a great idea to me. However, every art kit that’s pre-packaged is either a single craft kit, or a set of watercolors/colored pencils/markers/crayons. We already own watercolors, colored pencils, markers, and crayons so I didn’t want one of those and I wanted something more creative than just a single craft. I was a little disappointed at first that I couldn’t find what I was looking for until I realized that, DUH, I could just buy the pieces and put together my own craft kit for her. So that’s what I did! I also bought a large-ish container to keep it all in and some small containers to keep various pieces. Here’s the finished product:


And here’s everything that went in:


For those of you taking notes at home that’s:

pompoms (one container of regular, one of sparkly)

glitter glue (6 colors)




poster paints

pipe cleaners

a container of scraps of pretty paper (from my scrapbook stash)

and a WHOLE BUNCH of paint brushes (they all came together in a package.)

Of all that Kalena has probably been the most excited about the paint brushes. I sort of expected that, which is why I put them in there to being with.

This gift, you guys. It has been AWESOME. Her birthday was Saturday and she’s already spent hours crafting. I printed out paper doll templates for her to decorate (she’s done a ton of those) and we made butterflies with construction paper wings and toilet paper roll bodies, and she’s always asking what she can make next. Plus I figure now that we have the whole set up it’ll be easy to replenish things as they run out or add new things to the mix. And, extra awesome for me, this isn’t another toy cluttering up the house! Not that crafts aren’t messy, but it’s more contained, and we’ve been pretty strict about making her put everything away as soon as she’s done.

All in all an excellent birthday.