Saturday, February 27, 2010

Barbie ("Corinne") Birthday Cake

I made a Barbie "Corinne" cake (from Barbie & the 3 Musketeers) for Lorien's birthday party today. It turned out SO MUCH BETTER than I thought it would because the main part of the cake literally exploded in my German oven last night. I was piecing it back together with frosting & strawberry jam just praying it would crumble to pieces before the party. Luckily it stayed up & strong the entire time. I was very relieved. But it was a fun cake to do. I loved the colors & I loved the design. I love making cakes for my kiddos. It makes me so happy to see their eyes light up when they see their cake all decorated. It's priceless.

Lorien's Barbie & the 3 Musketeers Party

Today was Lorien's 5 birthday party with her friends. This year she wanted to have a Barbie & the 3 Musketeers party which was a BLAST to plan & carry out! She got the movie for Christmas & has been dreaming about this party ever since. It was a blast!

In the story there is Barbie (who wears pink) & 3 of her friends (blue, green, & purple). Lorien wanted to dress up like the purple one so she wore a purple dress. Cadence wore a pink dress to be the pink barbie & Taya wore blue. (They are SO dramatic & REALLY get into it!)

I dressed up the doorways with streamers to make a "secret passageway" to get to the secret training headquarters for the musketeers. The Living Room is where we did our training. The musketeers fight with 4 weapons (4 girls, each has a specialty weapon): the sword, ribbons (used to pull things over & whip around), fans (used as boomerangs & shields), & necklaces (used as a slingshot). We made all 4 at our party.

First we made the necklaces by stringing beads on string. Then we colored paper fans with markers & crayons. The girls loved fanning themselves with their fans. It was darling.

After coloring fans, I gave them each ribbon streamers as their grabbing weapons & swords. The swords were a huge success. They fought with them, but were very gentle. It was adorable to watch.

After the musketeers were armed with all their weapons, they all went to the prince's masquerade ball. So we made masks so the prince wouldn't recognize us.

"All for one, & one for all!"

After playing around in our masks, we sat down & sang happy birthday to the birthday girl. Lorien refused to take off her mask, so it literally took her FOREVER to blow out her 5 candles because her mask was covering part of her mouth. None of the air were hitting the candles. It was SO funny. We ate Barbie Corinne birthday cake & chocolate ice cream. The kids loved it.

After cake & ice cream, we opened presents. Lorien got all sorts of fun things: 3 new barbies, Connect 4, Belle polly pockets, a teddy bear, a puzzle, a pony, & a playdoh set. She was SO excited about everything she got.

Then for the rest of the party we watched the ending of the Barbie & the 3 Musketeers movie where the girls acted out EVERYTHING. They were dancing, they were fighting, they were speaking the dialog. It was beyond funny! I love little girls. Happy Birthday my little Lorien. I had a blast today!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sewing Experiments

So, since the kids have been sick a lot this month, I've gotten my sewing machine out, dusted the years' worth of dust off of it, & put it back to work.

I altered 5 pairs of pants (4 of the girls' & 1 of Trek's) so that they wouldn't be too long anymore. It was done with trial & error, but I think I've figured it out now for the future.

Then I patched up the giant hole in my jeans (because I'm too cheap to buy another EXPENSIVE pair out here). I don't want to buy a new pair until I'm back in the states again & I can get what I want which is only 2 months away. So I found some fabric in my stash of odds & ends & patched it up. Of course all I have is kid's fabric, so it's a little childish. . . but it will do for 2 months.

And finally, I've started quilting. Before Cadence was born, my mom bought me a book on quilting (to find me a hobby as a bored newlywed who was home all day with nothing to do). I went to Walmart & bought the ugliest & cheapest fabric I could find, & my neighbor helped me cut it into all the strips I needed. Well, then Cadence was born & that was the end of that. I opened a box the other day & at the bottom was a bag FULL of these fabric strips from 7 1/2 years ago. I had to laugh. So I found the book & started the quilt. I sewed all those tiny strips together to make one massive strip (which took a few weeks) & then I cut that massive strip into 90 strips to make blocks. Now I'm sewing the blocks. There are 9 blocks & I've completed 4 so far. They take about an hour to do each block. Once I have all the blocks, I'll sew them together with their border fabric in between & I'll have the top of the quilt done. When we get back to the states, I'll do the backing, the batting, the actual quilting, & then the finishing. It's been a fun & exhausting project. I'm just proud I'm DOING it.

I found something in my laundry!

I found a crazy animal in my laundry today. He was destroying & eating everything in the basket.

Oh wait!! It's just my adorable sweet boy! He is so stinkin' cute!!

Bladen's CRAWL (?)

So. . . we finally caught Bladen's weird "crawl" on video. It's the funniest thing you've ever seen. He goes from one side of his body to the other & back again & somehow it pushes him forward. Doesn't he know that if he'd just push his head up it would make it so much easier?

Wii Fun!

We had fun last night playing Wii together as a family. Bladen was sitting in Daddy's lap & he all of a sudden started his "lunging game." He lunged for the control & started pushing buttons as fast as he could. He is such a stinker. I had to catch it on video because it was so funny. He literally kept making Trek "die" on the game because he kept knocking the controller out of Trek's hands. What a cutie pie!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Okay, so Cadence's hair has been driving me nuts lately. I decided to let all the girls grow their bangs out to see how much "easier" it would be to do their hair in the morning. On Taya & Lorien it's worked out great & it looks great. But it has never really sat well with me on Cadence. She was still beautiful as always, but it always felt like something was missing. Last night, Trek & I were looking over pictures from last year & I noticed Cadence's bangs in each picture. She needs bangs. Something about them just makes her face "POP!" So I got brave this morning & played "hair-dresser" & cut them off! Granted, I'm NOT a hair-dresser. . . did I cut them too short? Of course!! Did I cut them back too far? Probably. Are they uneven? Yup!! But am I happy? YES! YES! YES! And Cadence LOVES them. "Mom! They're not in my face anymore!" She was literally dancing for joy! THIS made me happier than anything. I was happy she was happy.

Present Time!

FINALLY, after church was over, we came home & opened presents. Lorien could hardly wait to get her hands in those packages. She was SO excited. She loved EVERYTHING she got! She got all sorts of neat things: a toy hamster like Cadence's, a Leapster with some games, clothes, a tea set, a barbie, a wii game, BOLT (her favorite movie), & a color set.

Overall, it was a great family celebration. Thank you to all the family & friends who sent her gifts & well wishes on her special day. You made her day wonderful!

Sunday Best

Lorien's birthday was on a Sunday this year, so she had to be a good sport & go to church before we opened presents & celebrated as a family. She was a VERY good sport. Everyone got all spiffy for her special day. I had to take pictures. . . the kids are growing up so fast. I have to make sure I take pictures to document how adorable they were as they grew.

Lorien's Birthday Breakfast

Happy Birthday to my precious little Lorien!! I can't believe you're already 5 years old!! Time goes by so fast.

For Lorien's birthday breakfast, she slyly took me aside & whispered "Mom, just so you know, I want chocolate chip pancakes in the shape of a Mickey Mouse, orange juice, & a ding dong!" Is that all??? Trek & I got up bright & early on Sunday morning to make her favorite things & serve it to her in bed. She was SO excited when we woke her up singing "Happy Birthday!" She told me as her mouth was stuffed with ding dongs, "This is the bestest birthday I ever had!!" And THIS was only the beginning of her special day!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lorien's Schule Geburtstag!

Lorien celebrated her 5th birthday at her German Kindergarten on Friday. She was SO excited to be "Queen" for the day! The Germans really make birthdays special for the kids. I love coming & experiencing different traditions at her school.

The celebrating starts at 10:30 & lasts a full hour. For almost a half hour, the kids & the teachers sing different songs to celebrate her birthday. All of it is in German which makes it extra fun to listen to.

They also play "song games" where the birthday girl gets to choose in what order everyone participates. Lorien's favorite is the "choo choo" song where she's the leader of a train. Each time the chorus is sung, she gets to choose two other people to add to her train. Taya enjoyed doing this one with her.

After all the songs & games, it's time to sing the actual happy birthday song (which they do in both English & German) & she blows out the candles. They always make a delicious lemon heart shaped cake from scratch. I LOVE THIS CAKE. It doesn't even need frosting. It's just perfect straight from the oven.

After cake, the magic puppet comes in to wish the birthday girl a very happy birthday. The kids always get excited when they see the puppet because it means a present is coming. Sure enough, the puppet had a wonderful little gift to give to Lorien.

After singing, games, cake, & present time. . . Lorien got to pick out a movie from the movie closet & she & her friends got to spend the last 20 minutes watching it in the tv room. They all love that!

I'm so glad we've gotten the opportunity to live here & experience these wonderful traditions here. Frohe Geburtsag, meine Madchen!

My Cutie Pies

I know I'm biased, but don't I have the cutest kids in the entire world?

The Many Faces of Our Little Man!

Bladen was hamming it up today. He loves the camera & he loves to pull the funniest faces when I pull it out!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Les Miserables

For Valentine's, our church put on a super fun Broadway Night for all the adults in the ward. There were 5 tables, each depicting a different Broadway show. There were table leaders who were in charge of decorating their table to fit the theme of their show. The table leaders were also in charge of putting on a performance from that play for everyone else. Trek & I were asked to be in charge of the Les Miserables table. (Trek's very favorite musical!) Trek was like a little boy on Christmas morning. He couldn't wait to get the performance all put together. I did the table (thank heavens. . . Trek isn't much of a decorator. . . ha ha ha) Les Miserables is a very triumphant & sad play about the poor people of France who are treated unfairly by the French Government. They plot an uprising, & most of them die. . . but as Trek puts it "They are willing to stand up for what they believe in & try to make their lives worth living!"

So for the table, I used the theme of "RED" & "BLACK" (a title of one of the songs in Les Miserables). I put loaves of bread in the center of the table (representing the loaf of bread that Jean Valjean stole that cost him 19 years in prison), candlesticks (representing the candlesticks the priest gave him to start a new life), & guns & hats (to represent the students & poor who tried to stand up for a better life). It turned out really nice, I thought.

Trek as Jean Valjean & me as Eponine

Well, for the performance, they told us we could do anything. Most people planned a cute 2 to 3 minute song from each of the plays. I LOVED that idea, but no! Trek wanted everyone to really truly experience Les Miserables. So, he took a 3 1/2 hour play & condensed it to 20 minutes. He took 11 of the songs & cut them so there were 30 seconds here & a minute there, & then added a dialog to explain the storyline. (Like a said, a kid at Christmas) So we put on a full 20 minute musical play! We had the funnest people at our table. They were all willing to dress up & participate in it & we ended up having an absolute BLAST! We were laughing at ourselves most of the time, but it was so much fun! The audience had a lot of fun with it as well. I think it was one of the funnest nights we've had in a VERY LONG TIME!!!!

Ezechial as Marius, Marlies as Cosette, me as Eponine, Trek as Jean Valjean, Joanna as Fantine, Julie as the "lovely" Mme. Thenardier, & Tony (in back) as the infamous Inspector Javert, Paul (not pictured) was our Gavroche

"And so Javert you see it's true, this man bears no more guilt than you. Who am I? 24601!"

"And none will ever harm Cosette as long as I am living."

"This woman leaves a suffering child, & only I can intercede. . . 3 days are all I need!"

Cadence played young Cosette for us. . . "There is a castle on a cloud. I like to go there in my sleep. There are no floors for me to sweep. Not on my castle on a cloud!"

"He was never mine to lose. . . "

"Read it well, at last when I am sleeping. It's a story of those who always loved you. Your mother gave her life for you & gave you to my keeping."

"Take my hand, & lead me to salvation. Take my love, for love is everlasting. And remember the truth that once was spoken to love another person is to see the face of God!"

"Do you hear the people sing lost in the valley of the night? It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light. For the wretched of the earth there is a flame that never dies. Even the darkest night will end & the sun will rise!"

Thanks to everyone who put this night together. Like I mentioned before. We had an absolute blast both watching everyone else's performances & also performing ourselves.