Saturday, October 20, 2012

Number Eight Racetrack Cake

  What kind of cake does an eight-year-old boy need?  Why, a racetrack cake, naturally.

Poor Owen didn't have a choice this year.  His mother had this one in her head for a long time.  I remembered a picture of a racetrack cake in one of my mom's cake decorating books that I used to page through as a young dreamer.  It was a little simpler than this one, and the car bodies were oval-shaped, fake-fruit-flavored, hard candies with Smarties for wheels.  The good old Minute Stop on 31 had Werther's hard caramels, Skittles and a friendly cashier.

The concept cars needed to be explained to the kids, but after they understood, they were all picking out which one was theirs.

I used a tube pan to bake two cakes, then joined them together to make a figure eight.  I had to curve off an edge of one of the cakes so they wouldn't look like two awkward round cakes attempting to mingle.  I frosted the sides and most of the top with a chocolate butter frosting, then piped on a road of gray-tinted decorator icing.  I smoothed the bumps in the road with a metal spatula dipped in hot water, then added Cocoa Puffs and granola for rocks. The most fun was free-handing the white road paint and lettering.  What a treacherous roadway.
two angel food cake pans = racetrack
Owen loves his cake.  Here he is, complete with campout dirt.

And he liked the cupcakes I brought to his class, because they looked like they came from the store.  (The deli trays helped a lot.)

Stripe your icing tint right inside your decorating bag, add white frosting and pipe away!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Fall, Y'all

Fall is here!  The weather and sunshine are so beautiful in lower Alabama, I wish I could hit the pause button.  Temperatures are in the upper 70s/low 80s during the day, the humidity has tapered off, and the angle of the sun just makes my heart ache with gorgeousness.  My house just had to reflect my heart during this season, so I did some fall decorating.

 Here's my felt leaf garland.  I love its cozy, crafty feel.  It was fun and extremely easy to make.  You can even cut while you watch recorded sessions of The Voice.  I might know something about that. 

And my new fall-inspired dish display, featuring cake plates and gravy boats, because aren't cake and gravy two foods worth celebrating?
I tacked some fabric from my stash to the back of my cupboard, an idea I've had for a long time.  It was a pain to do, but worth the irritation of ironing, folding, and sweating it out with thumbtacks.  However, remind me to kick myself; I love it so much, I think I've set a new standard.

Hope you're enjoying your fall season, no matter where your corner of the world!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More Words from the Kids

We are in the middle of harvest season here, and if I had a swivel joint on my neck, my head would be swirling in dizzying rounds trying to keep up with all my responsibilities and distractions.  I've got MOPS lists, house cleaning lists, activity lists, packing lists, shopping lists, checkbook balancing, exercise plans, and menu ideas all spinning in my mind.  Nag, nag, nag.  My internal merry-go-round of nagging reminders.  Sometimes it's motivating, and other times it moves me to sit in the recliner with a remote. 

So to give me a break from the never-ending whirl of activity, I'm posting some things the kids have said recently.  The current collection is heavy with Jack's words, but the kid is four, and he talks a lot.  Enjoy. 

while shopping at Walmart:  "When I get big, my wife can go shopping by herself."

about an extreme sour-flavored freezer pop:  "It tastes like the hospital smell."

on Quinn's second birthday, after Helen remembered she had eaten Cheetos in the hospital room:  "Yes.  And if Henry dies, and we have to go back a have another one, I'm gonna eat Lay's!  BBQ!" (Guess who got BBQ potato chips the next week?)

chatting with Ms. B, the nurse: 
O:  Why do you have that?  (bandage on her inner elbow)
B:  Because Ms. Nettie took my blood.  I have to get checked for my cholesterol and for diabetes.
O:  immediately Do you have diabetes?
B:  Yes.  I do have diabetes.
O:  Do you have type I or type II?
B:  I have type II.
O:  Well, you know, you can just exercise and move around a lot, and it will get better. swinging arms to demonstrate his point  (Guess who wanted to dig a hole and crawl in it?)

after hearing a segment about life in Uganda at church, prayed:  "and please be with the people in Africa.  Help them get through this (dry) season.  Help it to rain, and help them to get hoses and sprinklers and pipes and stuff."

"hummingbird theeder"

while watching men's Olympic water polo:  "Is that called a fasto?"

praying:  "And please help me to never, ever think about fire...lit on our house."

"Mommy, will you be a gentle-girl and get the door for me and Owen?"

when hearing classical music:  "Is this a sad song?"  20 minutes later:  "Did someone die in this song?"

about his imaginary fields in the guest room:  "Mom, mine and Owen's crops are dying....because the weeds are taking their power."

about the car we were following:  "Are they strangers unto us?"

about the fighting in Syria:  "Mom, maybe we should send our policemen over there."

about my baking:  "What is that nice and fresh smell?"

praying:  "Thank you that I could find a toy that I couldn't found."

during his tractor ride turn:  "I'm glad Helen got to go last.  Owen told me I had to go last...and...I saw you in the tractor and I thought, 'Hey!  That could be me going second.'"

about praying:  "I told God what to do and He didn't do it."

excited about the bowling alley:  ".....and all the people who love God AND who love Satan can go bowling there!" 

"I just wanted to sing to Henry so he knows about God."

bragging to siblings after another tractor ride:  "I ask-ted Daddy LOTS of questions, and I even got a bunch of drinks...FROM...THE....WATER JUG!!!"

praying:  "God, I think you are awesome for making the dirt that I love."