Aug 31, 2010

Which Austen Character Are You?

I love quizzes like these.  Don't know why--I mean, it's not like they're all that accurate.  :)  But they're fun, so I answered all the questions and was told that I am...

"...Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see."

Do you like quizzes like these? If so, take the test and tell me who you are!

Aug 24, 2010

How Can You Say 'No' To That???

So, I'm a little worried about Youngest.  This kid is only five and he's already such a charmer, but doesn't even know it.  Half the girls in his class at school are already ga-ga over him, and he's clueless.  By the time he reaches high school, I'm afraid of having a zillion girls calling the house and mooning over him.

Here's an example of what I mean.

The other day, I made an early supper for the kids.  I usually sit at the table with them and we talk about various things, but I had a huge mound of dishes to wash that day.  So, I headed over to the sink and began scrubbing.  Youngest wasn't very happy about that, though. 

Youngest: "Mommy, will you sit next to me?"
Me:  "Yes, sweetie.  Just as soon as I'm done with the dishes."

five minutes later

Youngest:  "Mommy, I really love you!  Will you please come sit next to me?"

And what did I do?  I dropped whatever dish was in my hands, dried off, and sat down next to him.  I mean, how can you say no to that???  I certainly can't.  And I fear for the teenage girls who fall victim to these charms...

Aug 17, 2010

2010 Chicago Air and Water Show

The Air and Water Show is back!  The Blue Angels flew over our house again, screaming away and rattling the windows.  At least they scared the psycho pigeons into their little hide-y-holes...

DH was out once again with his camera, and got some great pics.  Again.  :)  So, enjoy.

Youngest was again unflappable by the sights and the noise.  I put cotton in his ears, but it fell out and he didn't even notice.  Oldest still can't stand the noise so we put some noise-dampening headphones on him.  After that, he was fine and very excited about the show.  First time ever.
The show is pretty much the same each year, but the planes are so cool that I don't get tired of it.  I suppose I would if they were flying over my house all the time, but I really enjoy seeing them practice for two days, and then see the actual show.  One day, we might actually venture to the beach where we can see the full performance, but so far it's been fun to hang out at home.  And escape into the air conditioning when it's brutally hot (like it was for this show).

Until next year...

Aug 10, 2010

Alligator Cake

Every year I make a birthday cake for the son of one of my best friends.  So far, I've made him a Fender guitar and a drum.  The guitar turned out a lot better than the drum, but oh well.  :)  This year, he requested a cake with alligators on it.  

After the birthday cake disaster with my own kids, I was worried that I was going to bomb on this cake, too.  Fortunately everything went well.  I shied away from carving a cake--though I have done it before, and I will need to get back on that horse eventually.  :)  Instead, I did a simple layer cake, and then put a pond in the middle for an alligator to lounge around in.  Here's pictures:

The alligator was a little tough to make.  I was going to do two, but the pond wasn't quite big enough (and I was worried that the second wouldn't come out right...stupid cake disaster phantoms).  I didn't quite get the eyes right--live and learn.  :)  The 'rocks' came out well (I made them from fondant, too), and I used sugar in the raw around the pond to make it look something like a shore.  I'm very pleased with the results.  :)

Aug 3, 2010

Cake Disaster

My kids just had birthdays, and I really wanted to make their birthday cake.  And, since they're huge Star Wars fans right now, I figured I'd do a scene from the original Star Wars: A New Hope movie.  The boys like R2D2 and C3PO best, so I chose the scene where they crash land on Tatooine in the escape pod, right at the beginning of the movie.

So, I baked and assembled chocolate sheet cakes, then carved them to look like rolling hills.  Then I slathered frosting over the top, and spread raw sugar (small, brown granules) over that to make it look like sand.  I was almost finished, and was preparing to cover the sides in fondant, when the top layer of cake cracked down the center and started to ooze off.  This has happened to me before, so I already knew that I couldn't fix it even if I'd tried--the more you try to fix it, the worse it gets, and you end up with a big ball of sticky crumbs.  So, here was my kids' birthday cake, at 4:30pm the day before the party, and their cake was a lost cause.

I really wanted to scream obscenities, but my kids were home and they don't need to hear that.  :)  Instead, I grabbed the phone and called my local bakery--which is also a very good and very popular bakery, who normally needs at least several days notice for cake orders.  But I needed a cake NOW.  So, after the polite woman at the bakery answered the phone, the hysterics that I'd been holding in came tumbling out: "I have a birthday cake emergency!  My kids' cake just fell apart, and their party is tomorrow morning.  I know this is extremely short notice, but please tell me you can have a cake ready by then!"

The woman was very helpful, and she placed an order for me, ready to be picked up at 9 the next morning.  It wasn't rolling hills of sand, but they did put brown sugar-type stuff on the top to make it look like sand, and the kids loved it.  I love this bakery.  They are made of awesome!

Unfortunately, the cake committed suicide before I could take any pictures, which I'm really bummed about because it looked pretty darned cool.  But I'm thinking I may try something like this again...maybe not with Star Wars, though.  Maybe a beach theme.  Hmm....