Tag Archives: birthday cake

Nom, Nom…Thank You, Mom!

We pretty much ate our way through the weekend due to birthday celebrations and Mother’s Day…hence the title…

Saturday was Brianna’s 15th birthday…we were invited to Jim’s parents’ house for a combo birthday party for Bri and Jim’s brother-in-law, Chris, whose birthday is May 12th.  Jim’s mom made a delicious ham with scalloped potatoes, vegetables, and broccoli salad (one of my favourites!).  For dessert, we had two cakes: ice cream cake for Bri and chocolate cake for Chris.

Brianna and Grammy...photo by Jim

Brianna and Uncle Chris showing off their birthday presents...photo by Jim

Bri was happy with the underwater digital camera Jim got her…Anna, Hope and I got her a pair of snazzy rubber boots for when the kids go looking for frogs at the pond, and some cash to buy more clothes (because I need more challenge when I’m folding and sorting laundry – I don’t ask “Whose is this?” quite often enough!).

Sunday was Mother’s Day, of course, but also Jim’s and my third anniversary.  It’s lucky that we’d gone out to dinner a couple of weeks ago in anticipation of our special day being overshadowed by other activities…we were so busy on Sunday, we hardly saw each other!  I’m incredibly happy that our online dating experience turned out to be a success story…Plenty of Fish…you rock!

All four kids brought me breakfast in bed (even Devin, who rarely gets up before noon on weekends…he poked his hand out from under his blanket wrapped tightly around him, and presented me with my silverware).  There were cards and presents too, including my garden stone from last year, which had gotten broken and been epoxied back together.

Mom French Toast made with 12-grain bread...

Anna and I had arranged that Jim would get Bri out of the house in the afternoon so that we could make her a birthday cake.  Hope wanted to help too, but Anna wouldn’t let her.  I told Hope she could decorate a Mother’s Day cake for Kaylee, who was coming over for supper with Scott and Elise.  Jim took Bri and Devin to see the new Thor movie…while they were gone, we made these:

Anna's cake for Brianna...Kerri (the cranky judge from Cake Challenge) would not have been happy with the fondant, but it tasted good!

Hope's cake for Kaylee...the icing was mauve, and a little odd (I don't know what Anna did to it!)...tough to work with...

Kaylee, Scott and Elise arrived just as the girls were finishing the cake decorating.  I was washing the huge pile of pots and pans that had accumulated on the counter and in the sink.  Jim, Bri and Devin returned home shortly after that.  Jim and the kids got right to work making supper: lasagna, fusilli, caesar salad, and garlic bread.  It was nice to have time to just play with my granddaughter (and hard not to interfere with what was going on in the kitchen!).

Elise fist-bumping Auntie Bri...Bri took the photo with her new camera...

Kaylee and Scott got me a HUGE pizza stone for Mother’s Day (we may have to build on another room to store it!).  I can’t wait to try it out…I hope my pizza will turn out as well as Kaylee’s does!

Supper was delicious (Thanks, hon!), although Elise decided that throwing fusilli on the floor for Jake was more fun than eating it!  After licking ten spaghetti sauce covered plates, Jake needs a bath…his beard is a lovely shade of orange now.

Elise sharing her Cheerios with Jake...it's the only time he really likes her...

When we’d finished eating, I showed Kaylee my seedlings, and then sent her out to the yard to gather some rhubarb to take home…it’s just starting now, but when she comes back in two weeks, it will be huge!  Here are some fiddleheads Jim gathered down by the river last week (fiddleheads are ferns that grow in swampy areas…delicious cooked with lots of butter):

Fiddleheads fresh from the riverbank...

After Kaylee and Scott left, we loaded the dishwasher and sat down to play our highly-addictive computer games relax for a while.  Then we watched the two-hour finale of Amazing Race…I was happy with the winners, although I liked all the remaining teams and would have been fine with any of them winning.  I’m looking forward to the premiere of my other favourite reality show, So You Think You Can Dance, in a couple weeks!

Happy Mother’s Day to all my Mom blogging buddies…hope you had a fun day!

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Of Birthdays, Bieber, Balloons, Beans, and Blueberry Pancakes…

Last Saturday was the day my youngest daughter, Hope, elected to celebrate her 12th birthday…she isn’t actually twelve until the 31st, but since that weekend is a holiday weekend in Canada, she often has trouble getting people to come to her party (Anna has the same problem with her August 3rd birthday).

On Monday, Jim took Hope to Sobeys to order her special photo cake…she is crazy about a young singer from Ontario called Justin Bieber…you may have heard of him.  He sings that song that keeps getting stuck in my head: “Baby, baby, baby, ohhhh!” Anna Photoshopped a picture of Hope and her teen idol together…this is what Hope wanted on her cake.

Anna's Photoshopped Picture of Justin and Hope...

Hope had invited about seven or eight friends to her party…I asked her to confirm how many were coming Saturday morning before I bought the food.  She was disappointed to find that only three girls were able to make it…”Having my birthday in the summer sucks!” she declared miserably.  I had to agree with her…mine is July 17th…I almost never had kids I knew from school at my parties…

We went to town to pick up the snacks and the cake.  Hope decided to have takeout pizza from Greco instead of the tacos she’d asked for originally…I was fine with that…it was deadly hot on Saturday, and I really wasn’t excited about cooking.  Anna helpfully reminded me of Hope’s allergic reaction to Greco pizza a few years before, after we’d already decided to get it…I decided we could risk it…the allergy had happened after repeated consumption over a period of weeks.

We got the chips, pop, ice cream, and Smore makings.  The cake was gorgeous (and not really expensive)!

The cake...

After we got back, I picked some blueberries.  Then I went on an expedition in the yard to find some good marshmallow-roasting sticks…wading through the thistles in our front field, I came to a likely-looking bush.  Whoops…don’t think so!  They were wild roses…a little prickly.  I went to the side yard, where there was some dead wood on an old apple tree…perfect!  I cut several sticks, and cautioned the kids not to wreck them…good sticks are hard to find!

While I was outside, Hope busied herself blowing up balloons…her oldest sister, Kaylee, hates them: “I’m going to chase Kaylee around with them when she gets here,” Hope said.  Such a loving sister…

The party was set to start at four…Jim and I went to pick up the pizza…the guests arrived while we were gone.

We arrived back to find out that one of Hope’s friends had issues with eating cheese…I felt bad because I didn’t know…she said she’d just pick it off the pizza.  We all ate pizza and garlic fingers (the adults took theirs out on the deck where it was quieter).

After supper, Hope opened her presents…quite a haul considering the small guest list…she’s in town spending her birthday money as we speak!  She pretended to be surprised when she opened her cellphone (we’d picked it up on Thursday – she’d been using it constantly since then).  The girls had a great time batting the balloons around the living room at each other.

Then it was time for cake…Hope requested “Justin’s head.”  I cut carefully around his haircut…Hope winced as I sliced under his chin.  She stuffed the whole piece in her mouth at once!  Her friends, most of whom were not Bieber fans, took turns poking his chest with a sparkler…mean girls!

Hope and Justin's head...

Justin's head disappears...

Kaylee had requested some veggies from our garden…I took her and Scott outside and harvested some salad greens, some chives, some peas, and gave them a bag of green/yellow/purple beans I’d picked the night before.

I played with Elise a little bit before they went home…her hair and teeth are coming in nicely…can’t believe she’ll be a year old in September!

Elise...ten-and-a-half months old...

Hope and her friends played on the trampoline, and then Jim lit a bonfire in the firepit for them to do the Smores.  They weren’t outside very long before deciding to come in.  Up to Hope’s room they went to giggle and do what tween girls do…paint each other’s nails, and listen to bad music too loud!

I stayed up way too late writing my blog, and went upstairs to bed about 12:30.  I told the girls they would need to settle down, since I was going to bed.  About 1 a.m., there was a knock on my door…Hope reported that the girl with cheese problems didn’t feel well and her dad was coming to get her.  I heard the dad arrive (Jake barked) but fell asleep after that…I have no idea what time the girls finally conked out… 

Hope called me on the intercom at 9 a.m. Saturday morning: “What are you making us for breakfast?”  I felt like a truck had been driving over me…rolling back and forth, repeatedly, the entire night…

After consultation with the remaining two party guests, Hope elected pancakes and hash browns for breakfast.  I dragged my butt downstairs in my jammies to prepare their feast.  Opening the fridge to get the milk, I saw the blueberries I’d picked the day before…I’d surprise the girls and put them in the pancakes!

Pancake Batter...

That went over like a lead balloon: “They’re kinda sour, Mom,” said Hope.  I thought they were amazing!

Blueberry Pancakes...yummy!

During breakfast, Hope informed me that one of the girls needed a drive home…luckily, the other girl lived close by.  I decided to ask her mom if she’d mind dropping her off.

When 11:00 came, the mom arrived, and she said she’d drive the extra kid…good thing, because Jim wasn’t up yet…

After the kids were gone, our Sunday went back to normal…got the dishwasher and the laundry started…Anna and Hope went back to their usual arguing…

Anna’s 16th birthday is the next one…don’t know if she’s having a party or not…can’t wait…

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Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!…

I have to preface this post by saying that I’ve never been a very observant person…

I used to watch “Gomer Pyle, USMC” every day after school…I loved it when Gomer said: “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!”  I’ve had a few surprises this week:

"Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!"

On Monday, I went out to read on the deck…the sun was out, and it was very hot, so I took a lawn chair down under the trees in the back yard.  I looked up and was startled to see loads of beautiful ripe cherries hanging from a tree that I had been saying all this spring I was going to Google to find out what kind it was!  I was like a kid in a candy store.  I ran in the house and got all three girls and brought them outside to show them!  Then I got a bowl and started picking all I could reach (Hope helped for a while, but the other two went back to their laptops).  I got a good-sized bowlful, but could see lots more higher up.  Off I went to the garage in search of a ladder.  There was a big wooden stepladder, but it was behind a bunch of stuff.  Being the lazy sort, I grabbed the small 2-step ladder off the wall.  Setting it up in a level place in the grass under the tree, I mounted the first step. It was at that point that I made my second discovery…my balance at age 49 is shot!  I looked like one of those blowup punching Charlies we used to have when we were kids.  I didn’t fall off the ladder, but that’s because I didn’t venture any higher than the first step (I blamed it on the wind)!  Totally defeated, I put the ladder away and took my bowl of cherries into the house.  “What are you going to do with them?” Jim asked.  “I guess we’ll just eat them,” I said dejectedly.  There weren’t enough to make a pie or anything (and that’s assuming I could make piecrust, which I can’t).  The discovery prompted me to check on the progress of the wild red raspberries beside the back deck…they were ready too…I ate them all!

Cherries...

Last night, Jim and I watched a British sitcom he downloads called “The IT Crowd.”  One of the major characters is getting a massage when something totally unexpected happens…I knew something was going to happen, but never would have suspected that in a million years…the title of the episode is “Something Happened” if you want to find it yourself…be prepared to laugh yourself silly!

The IT Crowd...

Tomorrow is Jim’s 48th birthday.  Anna and Brianna had hatched a plan last night – they wanted me to get Jim out of the house so they could make him a birthday cake with fondant icing – they’d seen a video on how to do it, and wanted to try it.  Today was the day.  I offered to take Jim to see a movie – it was “Reel Deal” day – only $5.99 per ticket.  We decided on “Inception.”  The folks at rottentomatoes.com gave it an 85%, and I’m always in the mood to watch Leonardo DiCaprio (Joseph Gordon Leavitt was in it too – the funny kid from Third Rock From the Sun).  Jim also wanted to show me some of the new furniture he’d been looking at for the living room.

Joseph Gordon Leavitt in a scene from one of my favourite movies...500 Days of Summer...

We were getting ready to go, when Jim looked out the window and noticed that some of the leaves on the flowering crab were kind of yellow.  It has been really dry, so I suggested that perhaps the weather had something to do with it.  I said I’d check them out while I was waiting for him.  “Hmmm…don’t know whether that’s dryness, or some sort of crabapple tree disease…I’ll have to Google this,” I thought.  At that precise moment, I glanced over at the eight bushes lined up beside the crabapple tree…they were covered with berries that looked strangely familiar…one of them was blue!  I yelled at Jim, “No way…these are blueberries!  And not wild ones, either!”  I called him over to see the berries, which were huge.  I’ve never seen high-bush blueberries before, and these would not present a problem to pick without a ladder!  Did I mention I’ve never met a berry I didn’t like?

We got in the van as I babbled excitedly about all the blueberries I would be able to put in the freezer.  I made plans to go and pick blackberries at my favourite secret spot on our next holidays in August (we’ll have some blackberries in our patch beside the rhubarb, but not enough to satisfy my appetite for them).

Blackberries...

We were halfway down the road when I realized I’d forgotten my cell phone.  We were at the theatre when Jim remembered he hadn’t brought his insulin – no chocolate for him!  We got a popcorn to share, and Jim bought a big diet Coke (I never get a drink at the movies – it just makes me have to pee!).  I munched on some Junior Mints too.

Junior Mints..."They're Delicious!"

The movie was okay, although it was very confusing, and there was a lot of violence!  There was no expense spared in production costs for sure!  Jim liked the “science fictiony” aspect of it.  It had good-looking guys, and a couple of laughs, so I was good too.

After the movie, we stopped at a couple of furniture stores.  One saleswoman confided that she’s lost 40 lbs. when she first started working there…maybe I should look into a job selling furniture…

I wasn’t impressed with most of what we saw…it all looked the same to me…I think that’s why I like old stuff, because it’s unique.  I did like a couple of accent chairs.  We didn’t buy anything today.

The couches we saw were boring, like this one...

On the way home, Anna called (on Jim’s phone).  She wanted to know where we were – she said the fondant project had been a “huge fail.”  I mentioned that I had predicted that…

When we got home, Anna put frozen pizza in the oven, and I went out to the garden to gather greens for a salad.  Jim made his famous garlic bread.  When everyone had their fill, the girls brought out the cake…I wish I’d thought to take a picture.  The fondant was green, and covered a two-layer white cake, with buttercream frosting under the fondant.  They had spelled Jim’s name in bubble fondant letters on the top.  Anna told me the fondant had stuck to everything…Brianna’s hands were stained green!  We ate the cake anyway…it was good!

As I was getting ready to hit “publish” for this post, a big earwig crawled up onto my mouse hand.

These guys are all over our house...

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

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