Monday, February 23, 2009

Can Ya Tell?

Can ya tell I've been busy? No post in a month?! Yikes! February has passed in a whirl. What's been happening?

1. My exciting news is that between the end of December and mid-Feb, I lost 12 pounds! Yeay! Baby weight gone! I don't have a picture to prove it, but everyone that sees me in person can tell. Woo-hoo! But, as a result, I spent a lot of time running on the treadmill, which left me with less time to blog! Of course, I am also spending a lot time eating, so you'd think they'd balance out or something... :)

2. I have had 5 cake projects in the last month. That's a lot of hours of baking and decorating!

First was this one. My first time making baby booties from fondant:

Then came 50 of these babies. Boy did they take a long time!

Next was this cake. I made almost the same cake for the same little boy last year and he loved it so much they asked me to do it again. Of course, last year I spelled "Pittsburg" correctly.

This past week I got to do something new. This Western themed cake was so fun!
This weekend I made this for a baby shower. They didn't want a "baby-ish" cake, but rather this one, similar to one I made a few years ago, but with much brighter colors:
Lastly, just for fun, we had lots of chocolate cake scraps left from the shower cake, so Philip turned them into Cake Balls...and then I dipped them in more chocolate. NOT a dieting person's best friend, but oh so yummy! We made ameretto, irish cream and raspberry.

I've also been very busy with MOPS. The biggest thing that happened was that this past Friday I was one of the two speakers for out meeting. My friend Jennisse and I did a presentation on "Cost Saving Tips". My portion was on Saving Money on Groceries. I had a GREAT time and the talk was really well received! So much so that I am now on a list of speakers available to speak to all the MOPS groups in Northern VA, so I am hoping to be asked to come to a few groups next year. As I was preparing for the talk last Friday, I heard from a friend who I had spoken to individually about this topic a few months ago and she told me that since our conversation, she has cut their monthly grocery bill by more than 25%! I am now working on expanding my talk so that it can a stand alone workshop. I am so excited though. I have felt for a long time that I was going to be moving into some kind of speaking ministry and this is the first step. Yeay!

So that's my news. The boys are all doing well. Andrew is scooting around some, but not really crawling. He has a new tooth (#5) and #6 is on it's way through. He's figured out how to shriek when he's not happy, so we're trying to put a stop to that! What a noise! Other than that, he's still a wonderfully happy, cute little guy, who I have apparently neglected to take a picture of for the last month...better remedy that!

Caleb and Joshua are learning and growing. Caleb has been learning a lot about historical figures from during the Revolutionary times...Paul Revere, George and Martha Washington, and now Betsy Ross. He loves to read and learn. Because of this, we decided to visit Mt. Vernon last Monday. In honor of President's Day, it was FREE to get in! What a deal! Philip's mom and dad came down and went with us. It was a little cold, but we still had a great visit. It was nice to visit there again, and a special treat to see Martha's wedding shoes, which are only displayed for a few weeks every 10 years because they are so fragile. Caleb was excited about seeing them, but was then disappointed to see that they we're "sparkly."

By the way, if you're looking for an easy way to help kids learn history, I HIGHLY recommend Your Story Hour adventures on CD. We carry them in the car with us everywhere we go and have all enjoyed hearing stories about figures we were familiar with, like Washington, and those were weren't, like Lucretia Mott. We have been listening to the "Great Stories" collection, but also have and love the "Bible Comes Alive" series and several others. Once your children are a little older, I also recommend the Childhood of Famous Americans biography series. These books largely focus on the childhood of the figure, so it's easy for the kids to relate to and follow. Caleb really enjoys these books a lot.

The boys at Mt. Vernon

Our somewhat successful attempt at a family pic. Andrew is sleeping in the carrier on Philip's chest.
On Valentines Day, the boys got to decorate sugar cookies. They had such a blast with this. The cookies were definitely not themeactically decorated, but they tasted good, so that's what counts, right? :)