Monday, November 7, 2011

We Haven't Fallen Off the Map

Just a quick note to let you know that this blog has not been forgotten. We're just in the middle of making some big changes. Stay tuned for a better blog coming soon.

Christi and Family

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Backyard "Camping"

We spent our Memorial Day evening "camping" in the backyard. We didn't actually spend the night outside, hence "camping" versus camping. Frankly, Mark and I didn't think the kids would make it all night and he had to go to work today. The only one disappointed in not sleeping outside was Garrett so I think he and Mark will be trying that next weekend. However, we had fun at our pseudo-campsite, the kids:

Played in the tent...

Chilled in the camp chair...

Ran around with their own flashlights...

Cooked (turkey) hot dogs over the fire...

And ate outside.

We also toasted marshmallows to make s'mores. I think we all had a blast. What can be better than junk food, getting dirty and spending time together?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Meatloaf Cupcakes and Spaghetti Cake

My kids are strange....they love meatloaf. Okay, they are not that strange because they love my meatloaf and my meatloaf is awesome. Knowing how much they love meatloaf, I decided to shake things up a bit and try my hand at meatloaf cupcakes. The cupcakes are super easy to make, if not a little time consuming. Simply mix your favorite meatloaf recipe and fill a muffin pan with it ( TIP: either use liners or spray the pan first). Bake until done, about 45 minutes for regular muffins, 30 minutes for minis at 350 degrees F. After you take them out of the oven, let them cool. Then frost with mashed potatoes.

Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes

Meatloaf Cupcake

And what would be the fun of having meatloaf cupcakes without a funky dessert? In keeping with the spirit of incognito food, I decided to make another spaghetti cake. Also, since I have been asked for directions on how to make one I decided to do it step-by-step here.

Spaghetti Cake

1. Bake your cake. I like to use chocolate, but just about any will work. I also use a box mix--my talent lies in the decorating.
2. Get your frosting. I do make my own using 16 oz cream cheese, 1 stick butter (both at room temp) and confectioner's sugar to taste. I add a little ivory and yellow food coloring to get the "cooked spaghetti" color.
3. Assemble what else you will need: strawberry jam, almond bark, cheese grater, big round chocolates, pastry bag, #5 Wilton tip, and the attachment thingy-ma-jig whose name I can't remember.
If using a chocolate cake, spread a little icing on first so the dark color doesn't show through.
Attach the #5 tip to the pastry bag, fill it with the icing and go to town.
Take care to fill in all the gaps. Purposefully get some on the sides to make it look more authentic.
Pour the jam into a bowl and stir to get it smooth.
If you want, add a little yellow food coloring to get a deeper color.
Plop some jam on top of the cake.
Gently spread the jam around. Be careful not to squish too much "spaghetti" in the process.
Add the chocolate balls/truffles/whatever to the top and grate some almond bark for Parmesan cheese.
Then you'll have a finished Spaghetti Cake!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Charleston Pics

Last week, we had to go to Charleston for an appointment (more about that at a later date). We went down early enough to spend a little bit of time at the beach. I do not have photos from there. Last time I took a camera to the beach, it stopped working. I decided not to risk my very cool camera this time around. However, I took some good shots of what we could see from the van:

I also attempted, once again, to get a good photo of all the kids together. I must truly be the the eternal optimist as this was the best I got:

Sorry this post is so short on words. Maybe next time there will be more.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter 2011 (mostly photos)

I learned on Sunday that each kid has their own individual style of hunting eggs:

Drop and Run

Squat and Grab

Bend and Pick

Stop everything and pose for the camera

Since the kids were dressed so nicely, I took the opportunity to try, once again, to take a good group shot. Once again, I came so close to getting the perfect photo. Ah well, at least this time there were no tears or sullen attitudes or distractions. Best of all, the kids were mostly cooperative. That, my friends, is happy progress. And I just have to say: I have some great looking kids!

My favorite of the boys.

My favorite of the girls.

You may have noticed I have a new photo at the top of the blog. You may have also noticed that photo is missing from this lineup. The simple explanation is that I combined two photos into one. I finally started playing around with the editing program on my laptop (which I've had for a year). Ideally, I would have liked to take the best shot of each kid and put them all in the same photo, but I'm just not that good yet. The best I could do is splice two together.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Anna's First Haircut

Anna has been needing a haircut for a few months now, but how to get that accomplished? Anna does not like strangers very much so going to a salon was out of the question. I've given the other kids haircuts, but never the first one. That one always seems more daunting. The first haircut is special, or at least it is in my book. Plus, I didn't want to royally screw it up. In the end though, I decided to do it. I figured even if I did a bad job, I would save Anna the trauma of having a stranger do it. Those that know me, know I do things a little unconventionally. I didn't spread newspaper all over the kitchen floor and have Anna sit alone in a chair. Nope. I cut her hair while she was eating a snack at the table and I had Mark sit opposite Anna to get her to look up when needed. I'll admit that I took off a little more than I intended in the back, but I did save the curls that grow right in the middle. The end result is a cute little bob with bangs.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Austin's 4th Birthday and a Trip to Grandpa's House

Austin turned 4 years old on Saturday! He is almost always sweet and loving. He's the kind of kid that likes to be held and cuddled. Austin is also usually on the quiet side. He's content to play on his own and mind his own business. When he does play with his brother or sisters, he's happy with whatever. Austin is just a very easy going kid.

On Sunday, we went to North Carolina to see my father-in-law and have Austin's birthday party. This is the first time we had to mobilize the party, but I think it went well.

Austin with his cake.

What kind of face is this?

Austin with his birthday toys (little Toy Story figurines). He hasn't put them down yet.

Anna running with her yellow balloon.


Emily wanted to send a balloon to her Grandma in heaven. She chose a pink balloon and let it go.

Emily posing on the tractor.

Garrett got a real treat when he was allowed to drive Grandpa's tractor:
Getting it started.

Backing up.

Driving down the road. Notice that Garrett is the only one with his hands on the wheel!

My only attempt at a group photo.

Some of Grandpa's flowers.

And finally a photo of the whole cake. I made it using the directions from here.