Guess Who???

loves to play games? My kids do! Especially Brianna, she is my game playing fanatic! One of her favorite games right now is “Guess Who”. Do you remember that game?
It’s a great game to teach/practice questioning skills, especially teaching children the difference between a closed response (yes/no answer) and an open response question. She started playing it last summer when we would go over to Steven’s Uncle Tim and Aunt Pam’s house. It was her favorite game to play, I think because she could get so many of her cousins to play it with her. So this year for Christmas we bought Bri her own “Guess Who” game from her GaGa Gammie and Papa. 

I think it was probably one of her favorite gifts and she asks to play it all the time (aside from one of my Christmas gifts this year- Disney Scene It. She always wants to play that one too!) Yesterday while Jonah was taking his nap she and I sat down at the kitchen table and played a few rounds. I love to watch her face as she thinks about which question she is going to ask next. She thinks about it so hard! 

I enjoy spending this quiet time playing with my girl. And I know that she really enjoys it too! 

When Jonah woke up he took my spot and started playing with her. Even though the box says it good for ages 6+ I have found that Brianna at 4 was great this game, and Jonah at 3 1/2 does very well with it too, although he needs some more guidance as to what he can ask and what he can’t! 

  Just one more great game in our ever growing collection of family games! This is one we highly recommend!

My First Wedding Cake

A few weeks ago my Aunt Christina got remarried. And I got the chance to make my very first wedding cake! It turned out beautiful but let me tell you what a pain it was for a while. I usually like to work with butter cream icing (and I make a MEAN butter cream if I do say so myself!) but my butter cream was being very temperamental! It was too dry, and I continued to add milk, but it just wouldn’t straighten up. It didn’t help that it was hot in my house and I couldn’t cool it off, so the icing was pulling the cake away and just looked awful! So at the last hour I ran to the store, bought some fondant, scrapped off all of the butter cream except for a crumb coat, and covered the whole cake with fondant. I used a mold to get a diamond pattern on the fondant, and then attached blue sugar pearls at the intersections of the diamonds. I then ran a ribbon around the base of the cake and wallah!
Except that I still had to make 140 cupcakes, but that was easy! Until my icing got too dry, again! And we had to run out and buy canned icing at the last minute! Grrr! I’ve got to figure out what’s going on with my butter cream! 
But it turned out beautiful in the end, and the bride and groom were really pleased! I defintely see imperfections, especially in the fondant when I look at the pictures, but this is only the second time I’ve worked with fondant so I was OK with it. And like I said my Aunt loved it and that is what’s important after all! The cake was fudge marble and the cupcakes were french vanilla, white cake, funfetti (for the kids- they combined 2 from her and 3 from him!!!) and some chocolate and had either cream cheese or white icing. Then they were decorated with hand made chocolate filigree hearts, sugar pearls or sprinkles. 
I’m liking this decorating cake thing and I think I’m gonna take the Wilton cake decorating classes with my mom. Then who knows…maybe a little side business could be in the works!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY, May 25, 2010
Outside my window it is gorgeous and sunny and HOT! The one thing about the Ohio River Valley..the seasons are so unpredictable! It goes from one extreme to another. For example, we started out the month with 20 days of rain and now it’s hot and muggy! Oh well! At least it’s not raining anymore!
I am thinking about the new routine that I wrote up today for the family. We desperately need a routine and Steven and I just aren’t routine people so this was a challenge for me. But I think I’ve got one that isn’t too restrictive (which is what I fight against!) and still adds structure (which our children really need!)
I am thankful for blue skies after so many days of rain! I was starting to feel depressed so I’m thankful also for a better mood!

From the kitchen a chicken is roasting away in the oven, I’ll add cut up potatoes for the last 20+ minutes of cooking and then maybe add some green beans and peaches to complete the meal.
I am wearing black exercise pants and my Chicago the Musical Tshirt
I am creating a yummy dinner and this blog post!
I am going to ask our neighbors if we can borrow their carpet shampooer. We really need to shampoo the carpets and they’re usually nice enough to let us use it!
I am reading The Magic Treehouse Dinosaurs Before Dark with the kids. We’ll finish chapter 10 tonight and start on Knights at Dawn tomorrow! These books are really fun and I’m enjoying reading them with them! I am also reading “All Over But the Shoutin’ ” which is also a very good read. I’ve enjoyed it a lot, especially after living in Alabama. I feel like I really understand a lot of the references he makes.
I am hoping that we can have a family night this week about rules and create some house rules and consequences together. I think the kids will be more apt to obey if they have a hand in making the rules and what will happen to them if they don’t follow them!

I am hearing Wow Wow Wubbzy. I’m trying to cut back on TV time with the kids so they are now enjoying their afternoon TV time before Nina and Daddy come home.
Around the house things are relatively in order, until you get to the second floor where the chaos begins. But mom and I are going to set aside a weekend to tackle the office which is my biggest stresser right now and I can’t walk in there without getting overwhelmed! So since organizing is something she is very good at, I bit the bullet and asked for help! 
One of my favorite things having my play time with Micah while Bri and Jonah are having quiet time. He is on a different nap schedule than they are right now, so he tends to be waking up as they are going down. So that means I have a few hours of uninterrupted time with him and it’s so much fun! 
A few plans for the rest of the week:
1. Schedule an appointment with an exterminator. We have such an ant problem right now and our home remedies aren’t working so it’s time to call in the big guns!
2. Schedule a dentist appointment for me. I scheduled appointments for Bri and Jonah the other day but it’s been 5 years since I went to the dentist. I am WAY overdue! (Do you think I might have a phobia?? Just a little one?!?!?)
3. Begin our new routine and iron out issues along the way until it works! (Don’t give up! Don’t give up! Don’t give up!)
4. Plan and hold a family night about house rules. 
Here is picture for thought I am sharing… Last Thursday night Michael and Blair came over for dinner and then stayed to watch a movie with us. We put the kids to bed and then settled down in front of mom’s 60 inch TV (OK, so it’s a 54 inch, but it feels like a 60!!!) and watched “Valentine’s Day” (cute, but kind of pointless if you ask me! Very predictable..I felt like I’d seen it before!) When we came up to go to bed, this is what we found!

So sweet! This is when they are at their best! He he he!
Sorry that I was on a bloggin’ hiatus for so long! Some of you might remember my story about falling on my butt at my friends’ wedding reception. If not it’s a story you won’t want to miss! Well, a week later I fell on it again and ended up with a severe sprain. I was in a brace for a week and it’s really hard to type with one of those! But I’m going to post pictures tomorrow of the cake I made for my Aunt’s wedding so stayed tuned! Have a great week and check out more Daybooks at The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

Ready or Not!

Today my baby, my 10 month old, climbed up the first flight of steps in our house! He made it up to the landing (with me following close behind in case he slipped!) and started to clap for himself! I am NOT ready for this! This changes EVERYTHING! He’s not only mobile, but he can make it up the steps by himself! Time to break out the gate and the camera! I’ll try to get pics to post later (but only when I can make sure I can take them and still make sure he’s safe!) Oh boy!

Happy Mother’s Day Monday!

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all my mommy readers! I hope you had a great and blessed day with your children, grandchildren and families. Our weekend was nice, but busy!

Saturday afternoon we went to my friend Connie’s wedding. It was a lovely wedding and I am so honored that we got to be a witness of her union with Michael. They are a great couple and I can’t wait to see how they will grow together throughout the years! The reception was really fun! I got into the dancing (gee..imagine that!!) and didn’t let my 3-inch wedge heels slow me down. That is, until we were dancing to “Cotton-Eye Joe”. I did a turn and was coming around, and my foot missed the floor and I fell right on my butt, in the middle of the dance floor! It was really funny, I’m sure it was even funnier to witness. But I was quickly helped up and just kept right on dancing. (However, the shoes came off very quickly after that!) I felt fine, until I got into bed that night and I said to Steven “I think that fall hurt worse than I originally thought it did!” He said, “I bet it did, you went down hard!” But Connie looked sooo beautiful! Her dress was PERFECT for her, it was a creamy lace dress, which was perfect for her red-headed skin tone! It was a great afternoon/evening and I’m glad we could be a part of it! I’m sure they are having a great time in Hawaii right now (they are island hopping, I’m so jealous!) and I can’t wait to see her when she gets back. Here are some pics from the reception. Every picture I tried to take at the wedding were too dark!

The Newlyweds
The first dance
 The wedding party- they kept it simple: her brother and his wife and his sister and cousin. 
 The beautiful (and delicious!) cake and cake topper. I LOVE that topper!
 Preparing to cut the cake-isn’t the apron a cute idea? Although she didn’t need it-Michael was very nice! (To Connie at least-he ran over and smeared cake into his sister’s face instead! It was pretty funny!)

 The candy bar. All the kids loved this! (I won’t lie-I loved it too!!)
 This was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. This is their family tree: his in the purple and hers in the blue. As a genealogy freak I loved this!
 Myself and the lovely bride

Sunday morning I woke up a little sore, but I felt ok. Until I was changing Micah’s diaper. I was leaning over the bed and was changing him and then went to put the diaper in the pail and went back to put Micah back on our bed. And then I couldn’t stand up straight. Some of you know that I have a form of Spina Bifida in my lower back and I must have joustled something real good, because I was in real pain. Luckily my mom was home (Steven was already at church for PSR) and she came up and took over! She ran me a hot bubble bath (using the bubbles that my hubby and kids had gotten me for Mother’s Day!) and then took the kids to eat breakfast and helped me get them ready for church. I’m so lucky she could be here because I wouldn’t have made it to church if it wasn’t for her!

So I spent most of the day in pain, but it was still a good day. My kiddos got me bubble bath (milk and honey-yummy!), jewelry (a cream and shades of gray pearl necklace, bracelet and earrings) and a really cute tunic top (which I thought was a dress and I thought that my husband had gone crazy because it was SOOOOO short! LOL!) and a bag of Swedish fish (one of my favorite candies). My mom got me some Daliahs to plant in the flower bed outside and I can’t wait til it warms up so that I can get them in the ground! We spent the evening at Steven’s aunt and uncle’s house with that side of the family, while my mom enjoyed a quiet evening at home with Michael watching movies and eating pasta! (Afterall, she’s with my kids all the time! The best gift we could give her is a quiet evening to herself right?!?!?!)

All in all it was a great weekend! I am such a lucky mommy to have these three amazing and beautiful children! They make my heart happy and have shown me what it really means to love someone with all your heart and soul. (Even on their worst day!) I am so greatful that God saw fit to give them to me, even on the days when I don’t feel I am doing my best. He knows how much I needed them and I’m thankful that he chose me to be their mother! Again, happy belated Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! I hope it was great!

Sunday Bible School Graduation

This past Sunday at St. Joe’s  was the closing for their Sunday Bible School. Brianna started in it when she was 3 and this year she graduated from the program! Next year she will start in the Parish School of Religion (PSR) program which her daddy is in charge of. Jonah started in the program this year. The girls who run the program are awesome and they have let our children start earlier because it really helps us out since they meet at the same time that the PSR program does. So for one hour we don’t have to try to juggle them and the PSR, and they get to go learn about the Bible. So even though Jonah didn’t turn 3 until December they let him join the 3 year old program as a favor to us. He has loved it! The decision we have to make now is whether to keep him in the same class that he was in this year again next year, or go ahead and let him move up with his class. If we let him move up then we would have a one year lag between when he’ll be able to start PSR and when he’ll graduate from the Bible program. (Mainly because I don’t think he’ll be ready to start Kindergarten as early as Brianna was!) So we have a decision to make over the summer!

For the closing the children perform some songs for the parents and family members who can come. They are sooo cute! Of course I had to take some video, but blogger has lost my upload videos button (I can’t find it ANYWHERE on my toolbar!!!) so I’m just going to have to post some pics instead.

Jonah was in the front row, and Bri was in the back so I didn’t get any pics of her until it was over and she was coming down the stairs with her goodie bag but here you go!

 Jonah can’t decide how he feels about this!
He was blowing his momma kisses! I love that boy!
My little girl is growing up! Where has the time gone? Who told her she could grow up!?!?!?!
And because he is my baby, and it’s my blog, and I can…here is a pic of my baby! He’s getting big too (and yes, he is chewing on Turner from Handy Manny!)

I’m gearing up for a crazy busy weekend (shopping for wedding gift supplies and Mother’s Day gifts tonight, coming home to make wedding gift, which I’ll post pics of later! NKU graduation tomorrow and I have lots of friends graduating so I’m planning on going to that, a wedding tomorrow afternoon, Mother’s Day on Sunday) and then another crazy week (mainly consisting on making a wedding cake and 100 cupcakes!!! My first ever bytheway!), leading up to another crazy weekend (friend’s birthday party on Friday, Aunt’s wedding in Indy on Saturday, PSR closing back in KY on Sunday, followed by Bri’s dance recital pictures Sunday afternoon, whew!!!) So I may be kind of sparse for the next few weeks! But I’ll be in when I can posting pics of the gift I’m making for my frien, and pics from their wedding. Pics of my first ever wedding cake and cupcakes. And pics from their wedding. Here’s a sneak peak from my practice run with the cupcakes:

The most fun part was eating them! But I always thought these things looked so hard to do and they were soooo easy! Oh and they were soooo good!

Anyways, have a great weekend! And as Brianna put so eloquently last night “Just go out and enjoy all that this day has to offer!” (Where does she come up with these things?!?!?!)