Monday, September 30, 2013

Cake Boss -- Wanna Bees...

 What happens when you watch too much Cake Boss?

You wanna BAKE, BAKE, BAKE!!!! And eat lots of CAKE, CAKE, CAKE!
 This happened to us this weekend... my kids and I love CAKE BOSS... 
 So we came up with a baking plan...
 We made a 7 minute frosting because I can't do dairy right now -- on behalf of my sensitive breast-feeding daughter! So this is a tasty frosting made out of egg whites, sugar and vanilla...
My kiddos aren't afraid to tackle big projects and I love that!
 We wanted something fall... so we made these little pumpkins... they kinda look like orange apples, but even so they are stinking cute!
And it curbed the cake craving we all were having...

Random Art Projects

It's a fact -- I've created little craft monsters.  The most common thing I hear is, "Momma, can we do an art project?"  A couple days ago I had some roses that were dying... Ethan has been learning all about plants in his homeschool Co-op class... and so I let him tear a part the roses to see the insides.
 He decided the petals looked like butterfly wings and he needed to create a nature collage. 
 I was/am so impressed with him.
 He got the glue out and the paper and roped his sister into joining him.
 Here are their finished pictures... I love them and wish I could frame them forever!
I love my little scientist-artist... so creative!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

4th of July

{I'm trying to catch up...} the 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays... it is just a great family day! Micah had to work in the afternoon... 
so we went up to the lake early in the morning...
The lake was pretty quiet ... we found a picnic spot...
Got our raft out... 
and played... Bethany came with us.  It was so nice and warm... and the water felt good! The lake is really high this year so we could wade out a long ways... in fact the this is the same place we visited last summer and the place we ate lunch was under water...
 Micah got home - just in time for dinner!
 He and Ethan BBQ hamburgers...
 It was quite the feast!

Yum... I should share my warm pasta salad recipe... sometime... so delish!
 "toast"
 Bethany and I made a flag fruit pizza... so DELICIOUS!
Then when the sun was getting ready to set we headed out to get a perfect place to watch fireworks... we went back to the place we went when we first came to Bozeman, but we somehow forgot that Micah and I are allergic to that mountain... we sneezed, blew our nose... and left early because our eyes were swelling shut... it may be the 'perfect' spot, but we can't be on that mountain on the 4th... something in the air kills us both!  So next year we'll be looking for a new place...
 This was Micah the next morning... no good!


(aside from the allergic reaction... it was a pretty darn good day!)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Reliving Summer...

"A life without love is like a year without summer." (Chinese Proverb)

Our summer was beautiful... packed with sun, play, and laughter... it was good.  I could share a lot of stories from our sun-filled days, but I just touch on some highlights!
In May we took a mini vacation to Billings... 
 We stayed at the REEF -- an indoor water park and visited the zoo... 
It was short, but a great time!
 Through out the summer we got outside as much as possible.  We played at Bozeman Beach at least a dozen times if not more... we went to the Belgrade splash park several times... we hiked, trudged through creeks and lakes... and stored up enough sunshine to last our long winter!
In the middle of July we got baby lady bugs and butterflies... we got to see their cycles of lives.  It was fascinating! When they were grown up we let them go... For another fun project we got a venus fly trap!  We caught flies and laughed at it gobbled them up... delightful!

There were so many more adventures and projects ...
but this just gives you a taste of our summer days! 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Welcome, Tansy Grace

On August 6th, at 11:41pm we welcomed a little 7lb 11 oz of delight into the world. There isn't a grand birth story... I asked to be induced.  I know that is controversial, but I knew Micah had days before he had to go back to work and I wanted him around for at least a few days (and I am SO GLAD I did -- he has been so busy this past month with teaching several new classes).  My doctor was wonderful and he scheduled my induction the day he was on call.  Micah and I went in early in the morning and had a delightful day together.  It was calm and rather peaceful.
 Tansy slipped quickly and quietly into the world.  I guess I pushed her out too quickly because she had spitty issues for the first couple days -- if a baby is in the birth canal longer that stuff gets out of the lungs.  
 At first I was really worried about her.  I tore a bit so they were stitching me up ... and I was watching Micah's face... he looked so concerned.  They were putting tubes down her throat... she didn't cry for the longest time and when she did -- her voice was quiet.

 She is just the sweetest thing... calm, gentle, peaceful...


 The kiddos came to visit her while we were in the hospital... 
 And they loved her at first sight... well until she cried!  For the first few weeks when she cried they got super annoyed and wondered what was wrong with her... I assured them that she was just talking and that is how she talked... they are use to her by now and super helpful in putting her pacifier in her mouth or talking/playing with her to get her to quiet down!
We are truly blessed by her little presence... slowly and sloppily we are learning how to be a family of 5!

We named her Tansy Grace.  Tansy is a wild flower that grows abundantly (and blooms in late July, early August) and by some is called an obnoxious weed.  The reason we chose this name is because we did not chose or plan to have a third child at this time, but God did.  She was a surprise to us, but not to Him.  He planned her before the beginning of the world and He secretly wove her in my womb... His love and grace is abundant and overwhelming... Tansy is a picture of His abundant grace to us... we want to remember that. So thankful for her!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ethan's 6th Birthday...

Ethan had a really hard summer.  I felt like I was losing touch with him and I didn't like it.  He was really, really difficult... I started to pray a lot for him - pleading with God for wisdom to know how to discipline him, guide him, teach him -- even be around him. I'm thankful for this summer, because it really convicted me of my need to specifically pray for my kiddos. I have really seen God answering my pleas and I LOVE it!  

With Ethan's sixth birthday I really wanted to make it extra special -- I wanted him to know he was precious and important to us!  So even though I was sleep deprived out of my mind I started to plan and work on party stuff little by little... in between long feedings, short naps... Ethan had told me he really wanted a surprise party -- he didn't want to know what the cake was or anything else about his party -- so working on the party stuff was challenging as I had to quickly hide everything when I heard him coming -- it was actually exciting and fun!
 I decided upon a secret science celebration... ALL THINGS SCIENCE (totally Ethan)! The day before I started working on the cake... I had researched and found out a way to make a cake that would actually erupt... isn't that awesome?! I searched images of volcano cakes and finally found this one (click here)... I love giving credit where credit is due... and I love that cake so I copied it... It came together really easily. At one point I was decorating and I heard Ethan coming up the stairs -- I quickly moved the cake and put a box over the top of it... I turned around and he was standing there looking at me... it scared me so bad so I screamed sooooooooooo loud.  He just giggled and giggled!
 The day of the party, Micah took Ethan to IHOP for a special birthday breakfast... and I finished getting the party ready -- his friends showed up and so when he got back we all yelled "SURPRISE"... it scared him and embarrassed him -- he didn't like it at all -- which was super funny because he WANTED a surprise party!  Too funny...

I handed him his first present... which was a "real" lab coat!  He put it on and we started the experiments... the first one -- mentos and diet coke... the best, easiest explosion ever!
 Our second experiment was elephant toothpaste!
This time I used 20-volume hydrogen peroxide (found at a beauty supply store - a large bottle was only 3.99) instead of regular hydrogen peroxide and it made the toothpaste huge... so fun!
 We made blue, yellow and pink toothpaste...
 The last project we did was bubble art... Ethan was the only one that got into it... so it was short lived... I wanna do this again with the kiddos -- we did it a long time ago when Ethan was itty-bitty.
 Then we had lunch... especially crafted for a hungry scientist!
 My favorite thing was the petri jello dishes... soooooooooo cool! (have I mentioned I LOVE planning and executing birthday parties!!!!)
 Ethan was all full of excitement and smiles... exactly what I had prayed for!
 We filled beakers up with colored water and added bits of dry ice to make them steam.... (Just a little hint... you can't buy dry ice a couple days before the party -- it will "melt" in your freezer... I pulled out the bag before the party to get the beakers ready and the bag was empty!!! Thankfully my friend ran to the store and bought more... so much for my perfect planning -- that gave me a heart attack and then later a good laugh!)
 To make the volcano erupt - we put dry ice, a little hot water into the hollow-foil lined volcano... then we added one egg white, orange food coloring + a little bit of sugar...
 It ERUPTED!!!!
 SO AWESOME!
 My goofy 6 year old!
I didn't know what raw egg white would do on the cake - so I made cupcakes to decorate.  The kiddos loved that!  Especially the candy... 
 I think everyone left the party on a super, sugar high!
We ended with presents...

It was such a crazy, wild party -- I was totally exhausted, but it was worth every moment because Ethan loved it! 

Ethan Cade, I hope you know that you are loved beyond belief.  You are such a special part of our life... couldn't imagine our days without your wild, crazy personality.  Keep your zest for learning... I pray God continues to capture your heart! May this 6th year be the best YET!
... for party favors I filled little test tubes with candy (and the kiddos could take home their petri dish from lunch)... I thought they were pretty cute! Long live little SCIENTISTS!!!!