Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday, Jaxson!!

I can't believe that Jaxson is six today. Where does the time go? We feel so blessed to have him in our family. He's a compassionate, sweet boy and he makes us giggle a lot. Love you, buddy!!

Pirate Party

We started off Jaxson's special day with a pirate themed party with his friends. We had such a good time! I thought the party was a smashing success. Hopefully the kids thought so, too. First the kids decorated craft foam swords with exploding glitter glue and stickers. Next they had to walk the plank over a sea of dangerous, man-eating, gummy sharks. Then it was off to pin the eye patch on the pirate. After that we played musical islands. Similar to musical chairs, but using paper plates as islands. Up next was Tic, Toc, Find the Croc. And last, but certainly not least, was the hunt for the treasure chest. We ate a yummy (and finely decorated, if I do say so myself) treasure chest cake with ice cream and opened presents. Jaxson got so many nice things that he was all kinds of excited about. His friends were so very generous. A HUGE thank you to Keith, Mom, Patti, and Jen for all the help before, during, and after the party. Couldn't have done it without you. Love you all!

Family Party

This evening we had Jaxson's family party. All of our relatives that live close were able to come help us celebrate Jaxson's birthday. He wanted an Indiana Jones cake and I ordered this one from Wal-Mart. Thanks to everyone who helped make Jaxson's day special.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Cake Class

I have been taking a cake decorating class through Michael's. I am surprised at how much I have enjoyed it. Tonight we made these little clown cakes.

First Day of Kindergarten

Today was Jaxson's first day of kindergarten. He said that he was not excited to go, but I think that he secretly was and didn't want to let on. I could see him smiling to himself as we pulled in to the school parking lot in the rear view mirror. All went well till the bus ride home. You see, I wasn't planning on him riding the bus until next week. When I dropped him at school they told me that he could ride the bus home today. So my very nice neighbor wrote his bus number on his hand and tried to explain to him where to get off. I saw the bus drive down the street. I waited a few minutes. I saw neighbor kids come home. I waited a few more minutes. Jaxson has a slow streak in him and so I waited a few more minutes. Then I saw my neighbor round the corner. She had come to ask me if Jaxson had made it home. Then I started feeling a little panicky. A mini search party was launched. Two very sweet neighbors jumped in their cars to chase after the bus. Luckily, Jaxson was still on the bus. The bus driver had tried to ask Jaxson where he lived. Apparently, when under pressure, he can't remember his address. On a normal day he can. Anyway, the kindly bus driver drove him back by his bus stop so that tomorrow he would know where to get off. And then dear, sweet Randi (the helpful neighbor) brought him home in her van. Anywho, I thought Jaxson looked all grown up and very handsome in this picture taken in front of the school.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Murder at Deadwood Saloon

My parents hosted a Murder Mystery Dinner Party last night. The theme was Murder at Deadwood Saloon. My mother needed another someone to be a saloon girl and that is why I was invited! She spent way too much time making the costume for me to wear. Everyone at the party was a little bit older than me, but I had a great time, anyway! I have to say that I was quite impressed with the costumes that my parents' friends showed up in. I thought that my Daddy looked so handsome in his costume. I kept trying to get a picture of him alone, but I didn't have much luck. The food was delicious and the entertainment was even better. Thanks, Mom, for the invite!!

A Day on the Lake

Saturday morning we headed up to Blacktail to spend the day on the lake. It was a perfect day. Not much wind, not too many other boats. Keith's parents came with us. First we pulled the kids around on the tube, and then the adults took turns wakeboarding. Greg gave it a go and did awesome! Fun way to spend the last weekend of summer!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back-to-School Backpack Kits

I made this kit to put in Jaxson's backpack. Very inexpensive. All the items can be found in the trial and travel section at Wal-Mart. I used a soap dish for a mini first aid kit. It has an antiseptic wipe, a few bandages, hand sanitizer, and one dose of Tylenol and Pepto tablets for kids. I put it in a quart size zip bag with a package of Kleenex, a pack of crackers (a granola bar would also work great) and an index card with phone numbers for Mom and Dad as well as a few other family members that are close by. Each item could be easily replaced as used.

Chocolate-Almond Dessert Crepes

I made these for dessert tonight and they were so yummy I just had to share!

1-1/4 cup milk
3 eggs
2 T butter, melted
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 T sugar
1/4 t salt
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 T cold water
1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
2 t vanilla extract
Chocolate fudge ice cream topping and whipped topping
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt; add to milk mixture and beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand 2 minutes. Add boiling water, stir until gelatin is dissolved and mixture is clear. Cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar and cocoa; add cream and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Pour in gelatin mixture; beat until well blended. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Heat a lightly greased 8-in. nonstick skillet. Stir batter; pour 1/4 cup batter into the center of the skillet. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to wire rack. Spoon or pipe chocolate filling down the center of each crepe; roll up. Drizzle with fudge topping and garnish with whipped topping. Sprinkle with almonds. Serve crepes immediately. Serves 12.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Freezer Meal Friday

This one's for you, Gina!

Frozen Fruit Cocktail (a most delicious recipe from my mother-in-law, Patti)

6 cups peaches
2 cups grapes
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups sugar
1-2/3 cup crushed pineapple, with juice
1-1/2 cup orange juice

Mix all of the ingredients together, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Spoon into labeled freezer containers and freeze.

To serve: Remove from freezer early in the day and let thaw partially. May add fresh banana slices or 7-up.

Boating (if you can call it that)

Keith brought the boat home Saturday. That is when the bad luck started. Half-way home one of the tires on the trailer blew. Luckily my father-in-law (and his never-ending patience) went with Keith to Provo to pick the dumb thing up. Long story short it took them a VERY long time to get the tire off, drive back the way they had just come, get the tire fixed (or whatever it is you do with broken tires), drive back to where the boat was left all by it's lonesome on the side of the road, put the tire back on, and drive home. After all this trouble, Keith was still as excited as can be to take the boat out. He spent most of Monday and Tuesday morning cleaning the boat, rewiring trailer lights, cleaning the boat, putting bindings on his new wakeboard, and cleaning the boat some more. Tuesday afternoon rolls around and we meet our poor unfortunate hopefuls at the lake. My sister even took work off to come and Keith's sister and her family drove all the way from Rexburg to come. Oh, one more important point. My mother came and she is DEATHLY afraid of water. It's funny to watch her. We load everyone into the boat and drive over to the bird-pooh covered ( and I do mean covered) dock. Keith opened the back to pull out life jackets and realizes that our boat is taking on water. Awesome. He called the guy we bought the boat from and he so kindly informed us that there is a plug and that the plug was in the glove compartment. Who the crap keeps the plug there? By now we were having to tell my mom to take deep breaths and go to her happy place. Shellie decided that she would go back and help Keith get the boat pulled out and drained. For the sake of my mom's sanity I suggested that her and I and the kids stay on the pooh dock. After about 30 minutes some nice teenagers came over to where we were and asked if we were stranded. We told them it might be a possibility and they said they would check back in a little bit. Well, after 15 more minutes we flagged them down and they took us (and our very large tube) back over to the other side. Just as we were getting there Keith and Shellie finished up with the draining of the water from the boat. Of course!! And to my extreme horror, when we took our very large tube from their boat, what did I see? BIRD POOH!! All over the boat from the bottom of the tube. We once again loaded into our boat and headed back to our dock. Couldn't get enough. All was well for a few minutes. Shellie was able to wakeboard, but that was about it. We couldn't get the boat to level out. Shellie - all 110 pounds of her- tried to sit at the front of the boat to weigh it down. Funny picture. So we stopped and ate dinner and then tried again. Same problem. Poor Keith. He finally got frustrated enough and we decided to call it a day. I realize that this is a long story and for that I apologize, but looking back now, the whole thing is rather amusing. Don't tell Keith I said that.

Anyone wanna go boating?!?

PS Isn't Shellie cute? She's single!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


The kids and I made these fun cupcakes that look like hamburgers and hot dogs.

Ingredients for hamburgers:
Nilla Wafer cookies
grasshopper cookies
red and yellow frosting
coconut tinted green for shredded lettuce

Ingredients for hot dogs:
circus peanuts sliced down the center
caramels rolled between your hands to form hot dog shape
red and yellow frosting