lovey dovey

I love my family!

I am a wife, mother of three beautiful boys, and a middle school administrator. At times, I have mistakenly tried to achieve perfection in each role. These attempts always fail miserably because there is no such thing as a perfect wife, a perfect mom or a perfect worker! I decided to relinquished my pursuit of perfection…I can say without guilt that my shortcomings are vast and my mistakes many. Embracing my imperfections and turning my life over to God has been freeing and led to a sweeter life. I found that when I quit trying so hard, that SOMETIMES things magically fall into place and for brief moments I am “Supermom.”

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Football Players and a Grizzly Bear

What to be for Halloween was quite the debate this year.  Ryan wanted to be a vampire.  He told me the costume would be "simple" with a tuxedo, cape with a red lining, and vampire teeth.  After looking at WalMart, he was most disappointed to see the one piece stretchy vampire costumes and decided they looked too dorky.  Yea! 

So, Ryan decided to be a football player.  Cannon got jealous of Ryan's football player eyeblack and changed out of his Buzz Lightyear costume and put on his football jersey and pants as well.  They were really cute with their outfits matching their Daddy's football team. 

Manna picked out and bought Parker his first Halloween outfit.  He was a Grizzly Bear...a friendly one.  :)  He didn't have eyeblack, but I did use eyeliner to make bear spots on his cheeks. 

We went trick or treating with our coaching friends the night before Halloween in the small town they moved to and had a blast.  We so enjoyed seeing them and spending time with them again!  Halloween night the boys went trick or treating in the neighborhood close by.  A special treat, Dad got done w/his coaches meeting and was able to do several houses with the boys. 

They made a haul on candy.  Bad news is we ate almost all of it!  Terrible parenting, I know.  At least the children didn't eat all of it, the adults had their fair share.

Parker is One!

Parker turned one!  I can't believe how fast the year went.  He is such a good baby.  One thing is for sure, he is loved by his family.  His brothers love to play with him, hold him, feed him...sometimes too much.  He has been walking for about a month and a half and saying dada, mama and ryry.  He gives kisses and waves bye.  He loves STANDING in the little old red chair (the chair that was my mom's and has been passed down to all my brothers and sisters and now all of my boys).  Parker loves when Daddy comes home from work and yells DADADADA and smiles.  His favorite toys are footballs and soccerballs.  His favorite foods are bananas and tortillas.  He still loves his bottle, even though we know he should be drinking from a sippie cup!

We are blessed that this little boy is in our lives.  We almost completed our family with two boys, but decided to try one more time for a little girl.  Well, there was no girl, but we can't imagine life w/o our third little boy. 

Lillian, Timothy's fiance, took some really awesome pictures of Parker to commemorate his turning one.  She did a great job!  Parker was so good for the photo shoot.  Here are a few of the photos.

E-I-E-I-O Birthday Party

For our little guy's first birthday, we had an E-I-E-I-O Birthday Party.  Uncle Jason, Timothy, Jimmy and Johnny attended, as well as Poppy, Jackson, Gage, Lillian, Lacey, Ryan, Cannon, Mommy and Daddy.  What a special treat that Parker's uncle Jimmy and Johnny came from 2 hours away to celebrate his first birthday!  Manna and Paul-Paul were sad to have missed the event, but sent a special farm set for Parker to enjoy. 

Party guests: Uncle Johnny, Karla & Uncle Jimmy.  So glad they were able to come celebrate with Parker!

Party guests:  Lacey, Timothy, and Poppy.  Where's Jason?  I think he must be eating cake pops...

My boss had her husband Ed bring a few farm animals to join in the celebration as well.  The animals were such a fun addition to the party!  I think the adults enjoyed them more than the kids!  Baby chicks, big chickens, and bunnies rounded out the special day. 

Cannon loved the animals!  He is holding a Lionshead rabbit here. 

 Parker was really scared of the chickens at first because they were really loud!  Who else would put chickens, rabbits and chicks in the dining room?  Crazy, I know!

The pig and baby chick cake pops were a big hit as well.  Check out my last post her to learn how to make these yummy treats.  Parker had his very own smash cake with a cow print design.  He enjoyed taking bites of it and getting it all over his face. 

Parker enjoyed the icing.  Little Piggy!

I saw a cute farm themed birthday hat on Etsy and had to make one for Parker.  It was really easy to make, I will post a tutorial later. 

Felt, interfacing, rickrack, gingham ties, and embroidery thread were used to make this personalized birthday hat.
Parker getting his birthday hat on. 

If you are looking for cool birthday hats and don't want spend the time making one, check out Cosa Bello on  Way cute!

Ryan stayed up late w/me the night before the party to help with the cake pops and decorations.  He helped a lot with the "Parker" banner made from coffee filters, jute twine, crepe paper, gingham fabric scraps, painted clothespins and scrapbook paper. 

Pretty terrible picture of the banner (picture by Karla, not Lillian), but it was cute.

Maybe this gives a better idea of what it looked like. 

This Old MacDonald book was a vintage find at a thrift store for fifty cents.  We had it clipped back w/some Ryan's red painted clothespins. 

The mini haybale made a great centerpiece and base for the cakepops.  I tied some cute farm animal ribbon around it from Michael's. 

My great boss also let me borrow the Boyd's Bears farm animals.  They looked so sweet propped against the old soda crate. 

I found some sheets of cardboard cardstock that I used to run through the letter cutting machine at my school to make letters for the banner and the E-I-E-I-O.  I used the small e-i-e-i-o letters to make a small banner to hang from the chandelier above the cake and table decorations.

This vintage farm animal linen is from my good friend Staci's grandmother.  Staci moved into her grandmother's house and had tons and tons of old linens.  She let me dig through them and I got sooo many neat ones.  I love them and use them so often.  Thanks, Staci!

The balloon farm animals were a Martha Stewart kit I found for $2 at Big Lots.  I also bought a farm scene kit to make with pipe cleaners that was a Martha Stewart was terrible and the directions were impossible!  We threw it away.  Boo.

Thanks for Timothy and Lillian for making the balloons.  I ran out of time because I over planned things to do/make with not enough time life story!

We had farm fixins with baked beans, potato salad, deviled eggs, veggies, pigs and blankets, and homemade chicken nuggets (thanks to dad). 

Of course, we had to dress the part for the party.  Well, the boys and I did at least.  I couldn't get anybody else to wear overalls.  Counselor Katie at my school let me borrow the overalls, western shirt and boots for my outfit.  I got the boys overalls at a thrift store for about $2 a pair.
Parker was decked out in his overalls, boots and bottle.

Cannon put on a shark's tooth necklace because he said it went with his overalls.  So something Cannon would say...

Ryan was a good sport humoring me by wearing overalls.

Parker enjoyed present time.  He got some blocks, a farm set, some stuffed animals, a train, and some money. 
A farm set from Manna for Farmer Parker!

Opening presents with Daddy.

One of Parker's favorite presents was a box! 

The E-I-E-I-O party was a success.  Thanks to Lillian for taking such great pictures!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My First Swing at Cake Pops

I just learned about cake pops and fell in love with them!  The nurse at my school brought some to school and they not only taste so good, they are super cute.  So, I knew that is what I had to make for Parker's first birthday...his E-I-E-I-O party.  I went with chicks and pigs because I already had yellow and pink candy melts. 

I almost gave up, after going with a bad recipe on the Internet.  Now by trial and error, I have figured out that they are pretty simple.  The crowd favorite cake pop was a chocolate cake w/chocolate frosting.  Here is the version of a recipe that worked best for me:
Cake Mix, Frosting, Candy Melts, Sprinkles, Candies, and any other decorations.
1.  Bake a cake mix per directions on box.
2.  Let cake cool.
3.  Break cake into fine pieces either with hand or food processor.
4.  Mix 1/2 tub of frosting with crumbs.  (1/2 only...not more!  I learned this the hard way. The pops will not stay together with more frosting). 
5.  Shape into small balls about an inch tall.
6.  Place shaped balls into freezer for about 15 minutes.
7.  Melt candy melts in microwave per package directions.  I think a small coffee cup works best for melting and dipping.  
8.  Take lollipop stick and dip into candy melt about a half an inch.  Immediately stick in the chilled cake ball.
9.  Continue placing sticks in all cake balls.
10.  Let the candy melt mixture harden in the cake ball before dipping the entire ball.  
11.  Do not spin the ball around in the coffee cup!  Gently dip it in, using a spoon to pour candy melt over cake ball.  
12.  Use sprinkles, candy and other necessary items to decorate while candy melt hasn't dried.  You can wait and decorate all the cake pops at once after the melts have hardened, but I think it looks better to decorate as you don't have globs of candy melt on the cake ball to glue the decorations on if you decorate as you go.
12.  Stick lollipop stick in Styrofoam and let cool. 
13.  Refrigerate if not serving immediately. 
14.  Keep your coffee cup and extra sprinkles handy to do repairs to cake pop accidents if necessary. 

The display of the cake pops is key to adding to the cuteness factor.  I went with a mini hay bale for our barnyard animals. 

Parker's Smash Cake w/a few friends sticking out. 

Happy Birthday, Parker!

Parker loved regular cake and cake pops!