Buddy’s 11th Birthday

Buddy's birthdayIt’s hard to believe that my “baby” is 11 years old!

We celebrated this momentous occasion with a very unique birthday cake designed by the birthday boy himself.

I asked him what kind of cake he wanted and I was asked to bake a plain vanilla cake with a Cool Whip frosting.

He would take care of all the decorating.

And of boy – did he ever!

When the cake was baked, cooled and frosted, He brought what looked to me like a pile of Lego pieces into the kitchen.

As he methodically began to place them on the cake, I realized that he had designed a Lego platform for his stuffed pica, Trent, to sit on.

Yes, you read that correctly.

We had a birthday cake with a rodent on top.

(Although Buddy insists that a pica is not a rodent – he is actually a member of the rabbit family. But seriously people – he looks rodent-like to me!)

That wasn’t all – he also designed a catapult to swing M & M’s directly into Trent’s mouth. Now that’s one lucky rodent! (Oops! I mean – pica!)

Thankfully Trent survived his moment of fame without getting any frosting on his fake fur or going up in flames.

Makes me wonder what next year’s cake will be like? I mean, honestly – how can you top a stuffed pica with a flaming M & M catapult?!

Happy birthday, Buddy! We love you!

Fruit Basket Upset

What a crazy weekend!

You could describe it a bit like fruit basket upset.

Let’s start with Friday,  Pedro’s 15th birthday.

Matt is gone to Summit for 2 weeks, Dagmar is on the couch with a 24 hour bug, and Jan & Pedro are frantically trying to get some hay baled before the rain comes.

Oh – and the heat index is about 101.

We pause in the craziness to sit around the dining room table in the air conditioned house with Nana and Poppa, eat grilled chicken and birthday cake, and watch Pedro open his presents, before heading back out to the hay field.

Crash's birthday cake

Saturday morning – Dagmar’s 17th birthday.

She’s feeling better so we prepare for her noon birthday party.

Jan is back in the hayfield. Buddy is on the couch with a migraine. Matt is still at Summit.

The heat index is 103.

We pause in the craziness to sit around the dining room table in the air conditioned house with Nana and Poppa, eat sweet and sour chicken and birthday cake, and watch Dagmar open her presents, before getting back to work.


Nana and Poppa head home.

The girls and I clean up the kitchen as fast as we can.

My friend Cinnamon drives in with some of her crew and a couple of extras. The teens disappear, the little’s disappear, and I get to relax a few minutes, play with baby Rosie and chat with Cinnamon.

Cinnamon packs up the crew –  leaving Gunnar and Daniel to spend the night with Pedro – and offers at the last minute to take Angel Girl to their house.

Okay – so I now have 3 teen boys in the basement, one 10 year old with a migraine on the couch, an exhausted husband on the tractor in the excessive heat baling hay, one daughter at a friend’s house and another daughter who is supposed to be celebrating her 17th birthday.

And Matt is still at Summit.

Sunday morning. The hay is baled. Nathan is better. The teen boys finally wake up.

The heat index is 105. We drive to church with no air conditioning (you may remember last weeks adventure!).

Daniel and Gunnar go home. We collect Angel Girl and head home in the excessive heat in a van with no air conditioning.

My sister Tee and niece Mil are waiting when we get home. We pause in the craziness to sit down at the dining room table in the air conditioned house and enjoy ham and potatoes and ice cream cake.

The kids disappear and I get to relax a few minutes and visit with my sister.

Jan and Pedro head out in the van with no air conditioning in the excessive heat to the fairgrounds to pick up all of the 4H and open class exhibits.

Tee and Mil take Dagmar home with them head for a few days in the big city.

Jan and Pedro return, hot and tired, just in time for our traditional Sunday night meal of popcorn and sandwiches.

I now have one tired but happy  husband who spent a long weekend baling and missed his Sunday nap, one happy daughter in the big city celebrating her birthday with cousins, one tired but happy daughter who had a great overnight with friends, one tired but happy son who had a lot of fun with his buddies, one tired little guy who was just glad his migraine was gone, and one tired mom who would be quite happy to singlehandedly finish off the left-over ice cream cake.

And Matt is still at Summit.

I told you it was a fruit basket upset!


50 and Fabulous

My oldest sister had a milestone birthday this year. She turned the big 5-0.

Yes – that is an entire half of a century.

And being the really good sister that I am – always so supportive <wink> – I thought she might need some guidance on how someone of her new social standing should dress. 🙂

I figured that I just might be an expert on that – after all I grew up watching Lawrence Welk every Saturday night!

DressEverybody knows that the well-dressed 50 year old wears polyester!

So I found her three lovely house dresses for spring in a rainbow of pastel colors designed to compliment the gray in her hair.

And since I never do anything halfheartedly – I also added 2 lovely brooches to accessorize.

Dress 2And my oldest sister – always a good sport – modeled one for us.

Now doesn’t she look smashing in the blue floral with the black handbag?

I do think we need to be looking for a sturdy shoe with arch supports – or maybe some canvas Keds like my grandma always wore. 🙂

Seriously – although we like to kid each other – she has always been a model to me – and not just how to rock a polyester house dress!

Being the oldest, she was the first to graduate, the first to go off to college, the first to get married, have children, home school.

She’s modeled how to be a wife and a mother. I’ve watched her launch her sons – one at a time – and stand back to let them fly.

She’s shown me how to make my faith real and how to breathe hospitality as  she ministers to the steady flow of young people through her home.

She truly is 50 and fabulous and I’m blessed to have her.

I only hope that in a few very short years when I reach this milestone for myself – that I can be as gracious and lovely as she is (and that she has forgotten this little polyester incident!)

Happy birthday Bee – I love you!

Birthday Blessings

I celebrated a birthday yesterday. 🙂

(But I won’t tell you which one! My husband keeps track of that for me – it involves numbers and you know I don’t like numbers – especially when you have to borrow in subtraction!)

The numbers don’t matter anyway – you know the saying, “Count your life by smiles not tears, count your age by friends, not years.”

If that’s true – then after the last few daysI must be very old – and blessed!

The surprises started on Sunday when a sweet friend walked into church carrying a chocolate almond cheesecake for me!

chocolate almond cheesecake

Dorothy – the amazing cheesecake fairy – left me speechless. Trust me – that doesn’t happen very often! It tasted just as wonderful as it looks! (And yes – I shared!)

That just got the ball rolling!

The birthday fun started at breakfast with hot, fresh chocolate strawberry scones. <contented sigh>

And continued with the e-cards and Facebook messages that kept flowing in all day- so many of them chocolate-covered! Including the one from my friend Cinnamon who informed me that all chocolate eaten on my birthday has NO calories.  Now that’s a true friend!

All though there were a few I questioned – like the one from my niece Mel who said,” Happy birthday Auntie M!!! Hope you have an exciting…wait, when you are – however old you are now – I suppose you prefer relaxing…second try! I hope you have relaxing, fun and chocolate filled birthday.”

So you think I’m old – huh, Mel?

Good thing she doesn’t know that I spent part of my birthday afternoon sitting on the couch reading.

Yes. Reading.

In the middle of the afternoon.

On a Tuesday.

It was wonderful!

Meanwhile in the kitchen, Dagmar was preparing a scrumptious Mexican feast for my party – including chimichangas with enough heat to burn out my sinus’s and enough fat to close up every artery. Fabulous!

And of course, Mommy’s traditional Chocolate Cheesecake Pie for dessert.

Mom's Birthday

(By the way – for those of you still trying to figure out my age – the candles are not a clue! The girls used up the only pink candles we had left because they knew it was my favorite color!)

After the birthday pie there were presents – all of which were surprises!

And you want to know the best gift of all? I went an entire day without doing any dishes at all! 🙂

My sister Becky wrote in her card to me, “Hope your love tank gets filled to overflowing!”

Oh – it did!

Pressed down, shaken together, and running over!

I feel so blessed.

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Pedro turned 12 this week and the next day Dagmar turned 14. It makes for a busy week!

When they were younger it always meant 2 back-to-back birthday cakes in the heat of the summer.

A few years ago we discovered this wonderful recipe for an ice cream cake that uses ice cream sandwiches.

We made it for Pedro’s birthday and it has become his cake of choose every year since. It is super easy and you don’t even need to turn the oven on!

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Line a 9 x 13 pan with one box of ice cream sandwiches (I think it was about 12). You can cut them to fit.

Then cover them all with a nice layer of whipped cream.

Lay another layer of ice cream sandwiches on top and cover that with more whipped cream.

Put in the freezer.

I told you it was easy!

You can add other layers of course. Maybe some chopped up candy bars, or chocolate syrup, or crushed oreos, whatever you have on hand!

We used regular ice cream sandwiches for the first layer and then a special s’mores ice cream sandwich for the top layer. We also sprinkled M & M’s on the top since it was a birthday cake! Yummy!