Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Kindergarten and First Grade Bound!

I have been waiting for this day since roughly June 15, the Monday after school ended... No, I'm kidding. But seriously, it was a looong summer break. About two weeks ago, the boys started getting excited about going back to school. JP received a letter from his teacher, and took the news really well when he learned he didn't have the same teacher Hunter had last year. I never got around to writing a letter to request her... I think it turned out for the best since his best friend is in her class this year. It'll be good for them to make some new friends!

For the past week, they've both been asking if it's their school day, pretty much everyday. Last Wednesday our neighbor's daughter was doing a special back-to-school camp where the bus would pick her up Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at the bus stop. Wednesday morning the boys saw her walking down the road with her backpack on and they freaked out thinking they were going to miss school. I played along, solely so they'd get dressed and their teeth brushed without fighting me to do it...It worked. 

This morning they both woke up around 6:45a and quickly got dressed, brushed their teeth, and made their beds. JP then sat in the living room for the next half an hour with his backpack on. Hunter played Legos. Of course before we left, I took a few pictures of them.
 I felt pretty proud that I was able to get *one* decent one of the both of them together. They were so antsy! And JP hates pictures. So there's that too.
 I tested my luck and said, "Okay, one more. Pretend that you guys like each other." Hunter took it a little too literally and kissed JP on the cheek for a good 10 seconds. Their next attempt was followed by Hunter demonstrating how strong he is by picking up his brother. 
I put the kabosh to that and asked if they could just put their arms around each other. I got this before JP ran off. It works...
Aunt Kim came over to watch Charlotte while I took JP to school. I told Hunter he could ride with us to school, but he really really wanted to take the bus, so we walked him down there and Aunt Kim stayed with him until the bus came. It passed them and had to slam on the breaks. #newbiedriver 

Perry lucked out and had to pick up the closing shift at work so he was able to join in the festivities this year. Yay! I asked JP and Matthew if I could take their picture together. Matthew was all about it. JP threw a fit. You would think JP hates him in this picture. Way too early for so many pictures mom... He's excited to be able to play with him at recess since they aren't in the same class. 
Once we made it into the classroom, JP found his name tag and LOCKER (Hunter only had a hook last year!) and then the kids gathered on the carpet for a story. He was really hesitant to join, but insisted he sit on a green square, so he wound up in the very front.
After the story, we went around to the tables and did various activities together. His favorite was one where you had to roll the dice and color in the squares in a shape. JP vs Mom - the person with the most squares colored at the end, won. He won (the second time)! He also created an underwater scene using re-usable stickers. 
I'd say he had a pretty good first day. Even though he was really shy. I'm so glad Perry was there to join in on some of it. (He had to leave for a bit for a conference call.)

Before I tell you about Hunter's day, or what I've gathered from it, I just want to say this: I took JP to ShopKo to get his new frames, since his other ones broke in July. (The ones he's been wearing are temporary replacements.) While at the optical center, one of the workers there, gave him a *free* Ninja Turtle lunch box. He was over the moon. And then he found the straps to hook on the back of his glasses...
I don't want to call him a nerd but... He insists the ends go all the way up to his lenses, otherwise it's too big. I was going to get him a black pair for soccer, so if he gets bumped or the like, and they fall off they won't get trampled...He wants them as an everyday thing. #failfailfail

On to Hunter's first day of school...
 While Perry and I were waiting in line with JP to go inside, I remembered I forgot to put a note in Hunter's backpack about how he was going to get home each day from school. I hurriedly wrote a note and had Perry take it to him before he went in. Some how Hunter lost it. The school called me this afternoon, and my heart sank. What did he do now?! Kind of a huge relief when they just needed to know how to get him home... When it was time to pick him up, JP and Charlotte and I walked down to the bus stop to get him. Fifteen minutes later he still wasn't there. School ended nearly 35 minutes prior, so my neighbor called the bus company to see where the bus was. Turns out it had a mechanical error so they had to get a new bus. 
 He finally made it home, twenty-five minutes late, and the first thing I noticed was the bandage above his eye. The word "karma" immediately came to my mind. One of his friends apparently threw a stick and it hit him in the face. "A good thing it didn't hit my eye because you can't tape that back together!" That's about all I got out of him from his first day at school. Other than he still likes free choice, and they only had two recesses. 
On a side note, I bought him "blunt tip" scissors just in case his nerves get to him and he feels like jabbing another classmate. At least this time it won't draw blood... #imstilltryingtolaughaboutthis

Thursday, August 20, 2015

BAM! Superhero Cake + Cupcakes

My kitchen has been a busy place today! Other than frosting and baking the cake itself, I did all of this, including the cupcakes, today. I would tell how happy I was to hear that Perry took the day off of work since his planned trip to Bozeman was cancelled, but he literally stayed in bed all day. He was pretty useless. It made for a couple *high* stressed times when the kids weren't quite behaving...But he did manage to make Charlotte take a nap with him in the late afternoon so that rocked! She can be quite the little tornado in the kitchen... 
 I haven't really used melted chocolate much before, but I thought that since I volunteer to add cupcakes to the order, I may as well do something I haven't done before. I love how they turned out. Probably my favorite. Can cupcakes be my favorite cake?
 The cake turned out cute too though. Except the spider. I hate the spider. I cringe a little every time I even think about making Spiderman. I guess less specifically, red and black. But one or the other appears on pretty much every cake...
 But I really just love the cupcakes. They were a huge hit with all the kids. I normally don't make chocolate, but this recipe knocked my socks off. And if you haven't already, you should go to my Facebook page, Simply Delightful Cakes, and "like" it. 
The party was at the YMCA in one of their gyms. Kids were running everywhere! Hunter and JP had a lot of fun together. Charlotte ran around by herself. She really enjoyed kicking balloons and chasing them around the gym. She was adorable, until she was just done. Conveniently enough it was the same time that I found Hunter curled up in a corner crying because no one wanted to play with him. Poor guy. (It might have been because he was steamrolling everyone and everything over...) 

Get ready for another superhero cake next weekend too!

Monkey Shiner Babblings

M-Is it okay that I didn't sign you up for soccer this fall? No hurt feelings?
H- No, I never want to play soccer. Too much running. And I never want to play football either. It's so dangerous.
M- What makes it dangerous?
H-Every time you get tackled, your brain wobbles around in your head, and I really don't want a wobbly brain.

Mom opened the bathroom door so Charlotte could go potty and found Jim just getting off the pot.
M- OH! Jim! Flush the toilet! Nobody needs to see or smell that!
J- It's okay mom. It's most just green poop.
M- I see that. Do you know why your poop is green?
J- Yeah, my poop knows I like green, so it comes out green.

H- knock knock
M- who's there?
H- banana
M- banana who?
H- knock knock
M- Hunter is that you?
H- no it's a banana. Knock knock
M- who's there?
H- banana
M- banana who?
H- orange you glad I didn't say banana again?

Jimmy just came in from helping dad in the garage...
J- Mom, dad can't get the oil filter out of your car.
M- Well that's no good!
J-*getting upset* Yeah, now we can't go to the round house!
M- uh oh. What do you think we should do about that?
J- *pauses to think* I guess dad will just have to start drinking milk again.
M- how will that help?
J- he'll get strong bones to pull it out!
M- touché...

C - Deer Mommy! Deer!
M - Where? Oh, no, Charli, those are cows.
C -  Yeah, cows-NO DEERS! Deers!

J - Look mom, the sun is following us!
M - No, it's just setting. That just means it's way past bedtime.
J - So you mean to tell me that that big ball of hot gases is setting?
M - Yeah, I suppose that's what I mean...
H - Jim, you know the world is just turning in circles around it.
J - No it's not!
H - No Jim, stop talking. The world spinning around doesn't involve you right now. 

M - Eat your dinner guys. I want to go to the Farmers Market afterwards, and the Carousal is right next to it.
*A couple minutes later JP still hasn't started eating.*
C - Keep eating Jim. Kill-a-self.
C - Eat Jim. Kill-a-self.
Turns out kill-a-self is how she pronounces "carousal." I'd be pretty mad too if my sister was saying kill yourself to me too! Poor Jim!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Kindergarten Transition Night

On Tuesday JP and Mom went to Kindergarten Transition Night at the school. JP was SO excited to go! This is their first year with a night like this. Hunter didn't have one last year, but would have been really helpful! 
 Before we left, JP was sure to grab his new Batman jacket to bring along. I wanted him to leave it home because it was around 85* out, but he wanted to "scare" his friend... When we pulled into the parking lot, he stumbled/fell out of the car so he clammed up and refused to let go of my leg. Not my lower leg, but my upper leg, my waaayy upper leg. I can't tell you how many times I had to pry his hand off the inside of my leg. Super annoying. Stage 4 clinger right there. His friend invited him to play with him a few times, and he would hardly acknowledge him. Just before we went inside for supper, he loosened up...
 The school ordered in pizza to eat and used the opportunity to show the kids how to go through the lunch line. While we were waiting in line, his teacher (who is not the same one Hunter had...) asked him what kind of pizza was his favorite, and HE RESPONDED! I'm pretty sure my mouth dropped when he clear as day said, "pepperoni." My insides were jumping and screaming. That NEVER happens! He still refused to hold his tray and pick out his drink...and then we had a hard time starting to eat because there wasn't Ranch to dunk it in. We eventually bucked up... After dinner we walked over to his classroom, in the annex building. Much bigger than Hunter's room last year. For the next half an hour, we did various activities at each of the tables. He really liked playing with the blocks...though it doesn't seem that way in the picture.
 He also had the opportunity to make a bracelet. His was all green. Who would have guessed?
 I love when he draws pictures! I think it's adorable that he draws circles around his eyes because he he wears glasses. Ahhh! He drew a picture of him playing basketball. "Hunter is throwing the ball to me." Again, he teacher came up to him and asked him about his picture, and he spoke to her! So proud! 
We finished the evening with a story and then were released to go home, but I let him play for a little bit on the playground before we left since he was too shy to when we arrived. I'm surprised with how many people I knew this year! There were a couple families from our lane, and a couple from the preschool he went to last year. Hopefully he'll get at least ONE kid he knows in his class...!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hurricane Missoula 2015

Monday morning I woke up and scrolled through Facebook, while I waited for the kids to get up. I read an update from our local new station the fire danger was going to increase significantly that evening. There was going to be high wind and lightening. I really didn't think much of it as the day had perfect weather.
I started getting dinner ready around 5. I took Charlotte out to the garden around 5:30 to check on our zucchini. Just as we were coming inside around 5:45, it started getting a little breezy. The kids and I ate dinner as usual. Perry arrived home around 6:00, and his first words to the kids were, "Okay guys, you've got to be quiet. I'm on hold with 911." Uhh....what? Since the wind started and continued to pick up, there was tree down at the end of our road that kept arching over the power line and would spark. 

At that point I started watching out our front window. Charlotte watched her bucket blow down the street a ways, and then a while later it was blowing the other direction. Eeek! "Come back bucket!" I however was watching our neighbor's house across the street. They had a few shingles loose and were being pulled off in the wind. 

After the wind died down around 7:00, Perry and I took a walk down the lane to see if there was any damage. I could see a big tree limb down in a backyard a few houses down from our backyard. As we walked closer to the end of the block, we saw a huge limb down on top of someone's garage. Their whole front yard was cover in limbs, as was their next door neighbor's. The end of the block, you could see and old tree uprooted next the corn field. And then the lightening started, so I speed-walked home. 
Since our neighbor wasn't home, Perry climbed up on his roof later that night to put tarp down, just in case it rained between then and when he got home. (Good thing because it rained this morning!)
While he was doing that, Kimberli called and told me what happened out at the golf course. They had to gather up all the golfers from their tournament and bring them into their itty-bitty club house. After the storm passed they had a family come in who had been out floating when the storm hit. The two little girls only had their swimming suit on and life jackets - the four of them took shelter under their raft during the storm. Eek! She said there were a couple billboards blown down and some tin laying around town as she drove though. The university area had a tree down in just about every street. 

I called Robin a little bit later, since I knew she was out of power. She watched a family gather up their trampoline that started blowing away. Took her back about 20 years when ours blew through our front window! She's been staying at my parent's house for a couple months and that area of town was hit pretty hard. Or at least the powerlines were. So far she's been without power for close to 48 hours. They don't expect to get power back on until close to tomorrow evening. There was close to 10 power lines down, some tangled in trees that had to be cleared first. Yuck!

We lost power around 10pm, and without power, we also lose our water. Thank you electric pump! I can go without one or the other, but no having both is a real drag. Especially when I'm not prepared for it. We were without power for about 16 hours, but without water for closer to 18 hours. 

To pass the time in the morning, and to keep the kids from opening and closing the fridge, I took them to go swimming at the hotel. They weren't excited at all...
 This girl LOVES the water!
 These kids are still pretty leery.
 Even without the slides on, they had plenty of fun.
A dare-devil she is! I let the kids swim for close to an hour before Perry showed up with lunch. Never has he ever had time to take a lunch break. Except for the day I'm not around to join him, so he came to us. Much better than the pb&j's I had packed for us! Before leaving, I filled up a jug of water to take home, just in case the power didn't come on soon. I'm glad I did!

I still have some yard clean up to do to. We have a few small branch scattered across the yard, and lots of leaves in the backyard that I need to mow up. With wind gusts up to 74mph, I'd expect a lot of leaves! That's stage 1 hurricane wind! I'm so glad there wasn't hurricane rain with it! Storms like that aren't very common here! Phew! So glad we all survived Hurricane Missoula!

Cinderella Cake

On Wednesday, I delivered a Marvel Superhero Cake and then a few days later, I had a Cinderella cake to deliver. I can't even start to tell you much I love girl cakes compared to boy cakes! But good grief did this cake give me a run for my money!
The same lady that had me do her son's monster truck cake, asked me to make her daughter's cake. Repeat business! Woohoo! She had sent me a few pictures of what she and her daughter wanted the cake to look like and I did my best to combine them all into one cake. I didn't start making a plan for it until after the superhero one was done, delivered, and cleaned-up after. 

It literally took me all day to just bake the cake. I don't know what it is about my 6 inch cake pan but I was ready to throw it across my kitchen a few times. I was thankful I had extra batter. Baking it wasn't my only struggle though. the first time I attempted to frost it, the frosting started dripping off the cake. I was glad Perry took the kids to the cabin for the night. There is no way I could have managed to get it done with them running around. I put everything in the fridge and sat on the couch and cried for while before going at it again. 

The top tier of the cake was a disaster for me too. I haven't covered a cake with one piece of fondant for a while and apparently I was pretty rusty. I had lumps and bumps to cover up and then it started cracking. I was on damage control for quite a while fixing one mistake after another. I was SO glad when I was finally done. I even debated throwing it at my wall and starting over at 9pm the night before. That would have been a mess...

Saturday morning turned out to be a little busier than I had anticipated. I went golfing with my dad and sister Robin. Somewhat relaxing after I started getting decent hits. After that I went downtown to pick up my sewing machine. The thread cutter wasn't cutting anymore and the top thread kept shredding, so I had them take a look at it. Turns out there was really anything wrong with it, so the owner wanted to show me a "few" things. An hour later I was about to start panicking because I had to deliver a cake and was still at the sewing shop...

By the time I got back home, I had about 45 minutes to make the ribbons for the bow, pack up the cake and get it to where it needed to be. Turns out my cake box that I thought I had was gone. No where to be found. Thank goodness I only live a couple minutes from Michaels! But I had to wait in line for a while to the time I got it all box up and to the soccer arena, I was feeling a little overwhelmed. Then I couldn't get it out of the car... Pearls were falling off left and right and I was getting frazzled and frustrated. 

Here is it finished. I was so glad to just be able to walk away from it. 
A little crooked, but whatever. Do you know how long it took to "tweezer-place" all those pearls? FOREVER!

An hour later my blood pressure dropped significantly and I fainted. Well, not quite, but I was on the edge of it for quite a while. Gah.

Marvel Superhero Cake

I've had a busy week to say the least. July flew by and August came in with guns loaded and knocked me on my butt. I'm so glad this week is over! Going to work has never been so....relaxing?

At work we've had a few people leave us at the front desk (so I'm done with working in the maintenance department!) and we've been busy training a couple new people. One of them was a new hire. As we were talking, getting to know each other, I told her I was a stay-at-home mom on the week days, but also make/decorate cakes in my free time when needed. That lead to me showing her my cake blog. (I like to show them off, what can I say? When you're proud...)

My most recent cakes on the blog were the superhero ones I did this last winter/spring so she saw those first. (I had exactly 8 hours to make and decorate Charlotte's cake. It was kind of a flop...I haven't posted it yet...) Turns our her son is REALLY into superheros too. His birthday is/was this summer, and since he was getting back from vacation near or on it, she wanted to surprise him with a superhero cake for his birthday too. Neither JP nor his friend cared which superheros were on their cakes, so I chose. We made this one super special for him, as he was turning 15. Because he loves his comic book heros, his mom, my co-worker, asked him which ones were his favorite: Iron Man, Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, and Dead Pool. Uhhh....I know two of them?

Lately I've found that drawing a picture of what I'm going to make, and coloring it, really helps me get a visual of the cake when it's done. I kept putting off drawing a picture of it because August felt so far away. Before I knew it, it was Tuesday and I needed to deliver the cake Wednesday night. I finally hunkered down and figured out what to do.

I dropped it off at the hotel and then let the kids swim in the pool for while. You know, since I was cooped up in the kitchen for a day and a half... they needed to get out and run around, swim around I suppose.
 Here's what I came up with. This red side with the white face is Ant-Man. I really like how the black Dead Pool section turned out. I was most nervous about that one, but it turned out perfect!
I did Captain America first, since it was his 3rd time appearing on my cakes. I'm a little bummed with how Iron Man turned out. But it works. I saved Scarlet Witch for last so I wouldn't have to work around her cape too much. I left it uneven and hanging off the cake so it looked more like a cape. You can't really see it in the pictures, but it also has her "M" looking thing that she wears around her face. 

His mom said he LOVED it and was impressed with the choice of characters. Little did he know, he actually picked them! Instead of cutting into it immediately, they put it in the freezer so his older brother could see it when he gets home later this week.