Sunday, May 26, 2013

School's Out!

So school's out for the summer.  Princess was so excited.  It probably should have been out a week ago, actually, since all they did their last week was watch 2 movies a day and have recess.  I'm not sure what is up with that.  Why even keep the kids there if you're not going to do anything?  Probably some number requirement or something silly.

Anyway, last Wednesday was their awards assembly.  Princess M was awarded the President's List award. Here's the family patiently waiting for the 1 grade's turn.

Funny Girl has been begging to take pictures lately.  (There were 110 photos on the camera of the cat, her bedroom, and the road outside the car when I didn't know she had it.  Thank goodness for digital camera, right?)

 We're so proud of our now 2nd grade princess:
 I just love her fashion sense too!
With school done, Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ballet Recital

Princess M had her ballet recital last night.  She was absolutely beautiful!!!  And I was so impressed with how well she seemed to be doing with her steps and form and all that (to my untrained eye, anyway.)  Alex was asked to help some of the older ballerinas with a dance as well, so he got to spend some time on stage too.  They both did wonderfully; and we went out to IHOP afterwards to celebrate the end of the ballet season.

Funny Girl came to watch with me in the audience and I pointed out to her the two dances she would have been in, had she not quit 2 weeks into the season, (she's still very shy and clingy to family and just couldn't handle being left alone at practice, no matter how much she loves dancing with her sister) and she's decided that maybe she's ready to try ballet again after all.  She especially wished she could have been one of the yellow chickens in the chicken dance.  So maybe she'll be performing in the Nutcracker with her sister this Christmas after all.  We'll see. She loved watching Princess M and her daddy on stage.

Congratulations Princess M and Alex!  Job well, well done!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

We found one!

 We tried one last time to adopt a cat. And although she reacted to her the first weekend; Princess M has been pretty much symptom free ever since (Which is a little over a month now.)  So welcome to our newest member of our family: Tia.  She's a sweet 7 yr old Calico, who is very very patient with children.  She still has her claws but has not used them at all on the kids.  Even with Monkey pestering her and trying to pick her up; she just patiently tolerates it, until she can run away.  She's a perfect fit in our family and all the girls just adore her.

There were several of these photos on the camera.  I guess the girls thought it was pretty funny that she was hanging out in the tub.

One of the nice perks about having Tia is that our house is cleaner now.  The girls wanted a kitty so bad that they agreed to add sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and cleaning a couch as daily chores (to keep the allergens down) as well as feeding, cleaning, and scooping litter as part of their daily responsibilities.  And they've been pretty good at it too.  Our floors have never had so much attention to them before.  It's really great.  They've also gotten really good at shutting doors (outside as well has the 2 bedrooms that are off limits to Tia.)  It's going to really cut down on the flies this summer in the house too.  Even Monkey plays door police, whenever she sees one of the forbidden doors open.

So welcome, Tia!  We are very glad to have you join our family, for many reasons!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Country Wedding

A friend of ours in the ward got married yesterday and chose to have a country/cowgirl wedding for her theme.  It was delightful.  They held the ceremony/reception in there backyard, complete with the pigpen and chicken coop nearby, BBQ refreshments, feed troughs to hold the iced drinks, and a shotgun mounted on the wooden wedding arch above the blissful couple.  It was the most kid friendly wedding reception, I've been to; especially since they had a swing set available to play on in the backyard.  Genius!  They were actually sad when we told them it was time to leave.

  The girls getting a photo with the beautiful bride.

They loved fishing for drinks in the icy waters of the trough.  They had to work up their courage to stick their hands in there though.  
 Soda was the beverage of choice.  We don't let them have it very often, so this was a real treat.

Princess M & Funny Girl with their daddy. 

 Alex got to dance with all of his girls on the dance floor.

 Alex teaching Funny Girl to do the Macarena.

Princess M also learned how to do the Funky Chicken dance.  We had a really great time.

And I got some great cake making tips from the grooms mother who made the wedding cake; which by the way had an AMAZING chocolate layer that was sooo moist.  Turns out there was no special recipe for the cake, just a regular box chocolate cake from the store.  But she shared her secret with me and I'm going to pass it on to whoever might care.  Everyone overcooks their cakes, and then they dry them out further on the counter waiting from them to cool.  

First tip:  She says a cake is "done" when it pulls away from the side of the pan.  If you wait until a toothpick comes out perfectly clean, it's way overdone.  Just like a good chewy chocolate chip cookie, you need to remove the cake before it is completely cooked.  Don't worry it will continue to cook after it comes out of the oven, so just take it out when the sides pull away.  

Second tip: Don't cool the cake in the pan or on a cooling rack openly on the counter, where it will only dry out.  She says from the time her cakes come out of the oven, it's not thirty seconds before she has leveled the cake at pan level (she always puts enough cake in to rise above the pan), turned the cake out on a large piece of heavy plastic wrap, wrapped it up in the plastic wrap, and placed it in the freezer.  This way you preserve all the moisture in the cake.  And then once it's frozen, it's so much easier to frost and decorate as well.  

I tell you what, it was fantastically moist!  I ate 2 pieces myself and then stole some of Alex's as well.  She gave me a few other tips as well, but they would probably only interest those who were really into cake decorating, so I won't bore you with them here.  But give it a try; you'll be so glad you did.  I know I'll never make another cake again using toothpicks and cooling racks.