Monday, August 17, 2015

Grizzly River Run Cake and Birthday Party!

Happy Birthday to my oldest!
She is now 8-years-old!

As tradition, I let her pick out her birthday theme/cake design and she came up with one I hadn't expected: She wanted a Grizzly River Run Cake from California Adventures! (It was her favorite ride.) 

Well, my mind immediately went back to all the motor-cross cakes my mom made for my younger brother, and I knew that it would turn out pretty fun (not pretty, but fun for sure!). 

Like I said, not pretty, but way fun!

The day we bought the supplies for the Grizzly River Run cake was for sure my kids' happiest shopping trip ever. We scoured the bulk bins for anything that would look remotely like rocks or trees, shrubs or flowers. And we bought lots of it. :) Too fun. 

The day before the party, I cooked a sheet cake for the bottom and 3 different sizes of circular cakes to make the "mountain." Then we assembled it. I frosted the whole thing in green, except for the "river." 
Then the birthday girl directed the decorating--she instructed her younger sisters where every rock and log should go and they obliged, just happy to be allowed to help. :) 

The trees are my favorite part--I used the "leaf" frosting tip and added green to ice cream cones. The only problem was that all the kids wanted a tree slice! 

Anyway, fun cake. 

Fun party too!
Remember the drainage pond

Well, we had a wild, wet waterslide party into the pond. Her birthday just so happened to be the last day of our family reunion, so we had loads of family there to help celebrate. 

Too fun! 
We'll do that again for sure!
She did proclaim it to be the "best birthday party ever!"

The very next day was a more serious, special day for her as well. 

We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and for members of our religion, turning 8 is significant because it is the age at which we believe people are old enough and mature enough to understand right from wrong and make commitments to God. They show their willingness to follow Him by being baptized, if they choose. She felt ready, and so we decided to have her baptism the very next day while family was still around.

Special day.
I am so proud of the person she is. She is completely delightful. She had more than one person tell her that she "was glowing" on her baptism day, and it was true--she had such a big, beautiful smile on her face that refused to be wiped off. She is kind and eager to do good in the world. She is an old soul, and I love her.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer Crowns

 This has been a busy summer for me. New house, new yard, jobs, etc. etc. 
For whatever reason, it has been difficult for me to relax and breath and enjoy it all. 
I have found time to do that, but it has been much less often then I would like.

Today was a day that I was determine to do so.
I was determined to relax and make memories and play with my girls. 

Can one be determined to be relaxed and serene? 
Seems like an oxymoron, but I suppose that when at times it doesn't come naturally, then we must be determined to let go, to use all that energy and motivation to get things done in a different way. We must channel it and be determined to NOT get things done. We must be determined to pay attention to not the tasks at hand but the relationships at hand. And I knew clearly what I wanted to do with my girls. I wanted to make beautiful, natural, summer crowns. I wanted to make daisy chains and willow weavings. 
So we did. 

For our summer crowns, we used 2-foot long pieces of grass (being determined of course to not think of the trimming task that hasn't been completed or the buying-and-installing-a-new-spark-plug for the trimmer task that hasn't been completed either). I pulled up that un-trimmed 2-foot long grass and sat down with my girls under the shade of a willow tree, and we braided. We fortified our grass braids with a few un-weeded  morning glory weed vines, and they looked strong and lovely. Then we went to the tansy weed and picked tansy blossom clusters to weave into our crowns.  

And yes, we were interrupted with bathroom breaks and impatience and all the typical things children tend to do, but overall it was a lovely little hour we spent together. 
I hope they remember.
I will.

Rest is not idleness, 
and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees, 
on a summer's day, 
listening to the murmur of water 
or watching the clouds float across the sky
 is by no means a waste of time.
-John Lubbock 


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Rhubarb-Filled Cookies

Yay! Another delicious rhubarb recipe!

Rhubarb-filled cookies.

If you are a regular over here at Everyday Art, then you are probably starting to notice that I really like rhubarb! I really like it, and I have a plethora of it, so I am always having fun trying out new recipes with it. 

These cookies were SO soft...maybe a bit too soft honestly--you'd want to make sure and cook them completely and then not store them in a sealed container or they'd just go mushy. 

BUT if you did fully cook, even slightly over cook them, then they were fabulous. So soft and delicate--really rich, eggy, buttery dough, with a nice tangy rhubarb kick! 

Too fun. We made a BIG batch and shared it with neighbors in our new neighborhood. Gotta share the love, right?

I got the recipe from Taste of Home. 

Here is the recipe link.

Hope you enjoy some rhubarb-filled cookies!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer Mouth!

This is what I call "summer mouth!"

Guess what we did today!?

Don't you love how once summer hits tons of "Icee Shacks" pop up all over the place? I love it because it is such a symbol of summer. I can't imagine a summer without one--the one by the pool, the cute one with the tiki torches--they are all great. My favorite one though is the one around the corner from my mom's place. It's been there for ages--ever since I was a kid. I remember going to it when I was young, and now it is still my favorite one to take my girls to.
It's dusty and dirty, the picnic tables (a recent addition) are typically splattered with sticky bright-colored splotches and its loud with all the kids running around, the ice shaver running full tilt. But despite all these seeming imperfections, it is perfect--perfectly summer. 

This particular trip my 5-year-old wanted to be pulled down in a wagon full of bubble water. ;) So that's what we did. Why not?

What's your favorite Icee flavor???

Mine has been and probably always will be Pink Lemon Sour!


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