February 27, 2012

Football Cookies

This is what you do when you have a son that is obsessed with football and you are obsessed with details.  I'm a slight over-achiever when it comes to birthday parties but I only have two kids and they only have one birthday a year!

I use a sugar cookies recipe that I tweaked from a few recipes while trying to duplicate the taste of the cookies you can purchase from the Cookie Bouquet company. I think I've come pretty close!

The process:

Decorating sugar cookies with royal icing can be time consuming but luckily these did not require much detail. It took me about 1.5 hours to decorate 42 cookies  I have a love/hate relationship with royal icing. Trying to get it to just the consistency can be hard. This is definitely something I need to play around with some more.

And then I ran out of brown icing and I decided to not make more so I improvised:

Is your mouth watering yet?

I thought so!

February 24, 2012

Overheard in My Kitchen

My 7 year old was reading my (almost!) 10 year old's journal from school.  He was being helpful and picking out the spelling errors he found. In and of itself, that is funny to me since he is just 7.  After a few more minutes he whispers to me,

"Mom, he really needs to work on his connecting words and doesn't he know you are not allowed to start a sentence with the word AND?!?!"

Love him ... absolutely LOVE him!

February 21, 2012

Weekend Recap

It was a long one. The kids were off from school on Friday and Monday and luckily I was able to take a long weekend too. By last night, however, the boys had their fill of each other and were fighting over every little thing you could imagine. Is it wrong to dream about the school bus picking them up?

On Friday I took the boys and their friend to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. We saw it in 3D. It's a really great family-friendly movie. No one had any complaints and they kept talking about the movie all weekend.

Saturday was spent at Tar-jay ... what is it about that store?!  I can get lost in there for HOURS. Hours!  Then the hubby and I managed to sneak out for dinner with friends for a late dinner that night. We had an excellent meal, good drinks and good company!

Sunday started my descent into birthday party mode. Cleaning up the house, getting some things in order and finalizing a grocery shopping list.  My baby is turning 10!  Saturday evening he is celebrating with  friends while swimming at a local community center. Sunday afternoon the family arrives to celebrate ... I should be exhausted by 7pm Sunday night!

I have already started decorating the house. I know, it's a bit early, but my kids enjoy the extra time with the decorations. I'm hoping it becomes a cherished childhood memory for them. This will be his third football-themed birthday party. He's obsessed. It's crazy. And I'm running out of ideas to spice it up!

Anyway, my very talented sister is making his cake. She "loves" me ... I send her a picture, make changes and/or give her my idea and more or less tell her to accept the challenge. And she does and it's always great!  My great contribution will be cut-out football cookies decorated with royal icing. Oh, and all of the food my family will be consuming!

Wish me luck!

February 15, 2012

Bare Walls No More

We moved into this house over three years ago. And when we first moved in, the walls were a putrid shade of goldish-yellow. Really bad. And to make matters worse, there was a rusty orange colored accent fireplace wall. I could have possibly accepted this color combination IF the house had been decorated in a Aztec theme but it was not. We lived with it for almost a year before I hired a painter to make it all go away.

It took me forever to decide what color to paint. Since my kitchen (with light-colored cabinets) and family room are one giant room, I decided I could get away with a  darker color paint because the back of the house is essentially all windows and a patio door. I don't regret the color choice for my kitchen - it works for now, until we decide to replace or reface the cabinets. But the family room ... ugh ... it's the bane of my existence.

Anyway, for three years I've struggled with what to do with this wall. I'd LOVE to get new furniture (this set is now 10 years old) but we don't have the funds at this time.

Awful, right? That's A LOT of space to cover!

After trying a few different things and furniture arrangements, I decided that a picture frame wall mural was the way to go.  I measured the middle spot of the wall and just went for it ... $130 in picture frames later.

Surprisingly, it only took me about an hour to hang all of the frames and I had SIX boys in my house wreaking havoc in the basement and a sleeping husband while I tackled this wall project.  I could add 2-3 more frames on either side of this in the future if I want - there is still plenty of room. However, I'm afraid that might be overkill. We'll see, I guess!

Two hours and countless interruptions after I finished hanging the frames is when I finished putting some beloved pictures in the frames. I had planned on putting some of the boy's artwork in a frame or two but the artwork I've saved just wasn't going to fit into the right frame and I didn't want to cut or alter the artwork.

The three big frames are being reserved for yet-to-be-taken pictures of my boys this coming spring. I have a photo shoot with a local photographer all planned out in my head!

Next up:  Powder Room redo

February 13, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I made a yummy treat in honor of Valentine's Day although as a batter, it didn't look so appetizing at first.

But obviously the baked result looks MUCH better!

They are frosted with a buttercream frosting (1/2 butter 1/2 shortening concotion) to please my children. And of course I have to give them some glitz too!

I'm happy to report I have lost 10 pounds since Christmas despite indulging in a few yummy treats here and there!

 Happy Valentine's Day!

February 8, 2012

In the News

Social Workers often get a bad reputation. Just like police officers do. There are bad social workers and bad police officers but that doesn't mean they are all bad.  A few bad apples shouldn't spoil the entire profession. I think social workers and police officers have a lot in common and often their hands are tied and under the law, they can only do so much yet they are often asked why they didn't do more.

The stunning news out of Washington state over the weekend left me dumbfounded. I have followed the Susan Powell case in the news and on TV and reading about the deaths of her children at the hands of their biological father left me stunned and angry.  I cannot phathom the grief Susan's parents and family are feeling, let alone the guilt that poor social worker must feel.  She was acting in accordance with the law, whether she agreed with it or or not. And sadly, she is now left to remember hearing the cries of those little boys in that house and she couldn't do anything to help them.  Court supervised visitation should occur at a neutral location, especially given the circumstances of this case. If this were the law, I believe these innocent boys would still be alive.

We all knew he was a monster raised by a monster but I don't think anyone anticipated this outcome. I hope he rots in hell for all eternity.

Rest in peace, Susan, Charlie and Braden. 

February 3, 2012


I think my head might explode.

If it did, I would probably feel better

I'm dizzy and lightheaded and everything feels hazy. 

I should probably be in bed.

But I'm not.

Thank God it's Friday!

February 1, 2012

27 Days

That's how many days until my oldest child turns ten years old.



How in the world did that happen? Wasn't he just a baby, born four weeks early? He was just five pounds when I brought him home from the hospital. Nothing I had fit him. My mom ran out to buy a few preemie outfits so not everything looked ridiculously big on him.

Other birthdays have come and gone and none have bothered me as much as this one. He's changed so much this the past year. I think he's officially a "tween" now, attitude and all, God help me.  He's in such a rush to grow up despite my pleading that it really isn't all it's cracked up to be - enjoy your youth, son!

We can officially share shoes, if by chance he wanted to wear heels! By next year, I expect him to be as tall as I am (I'm barely 5' 4")  All of it, is really making me sad. Despite all those times I wasn't sure we'd make it through the day - ten years went by really, really fast.

Slow down, kid ... please?