Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cue Graduation Theme...

I can't even think of what the graduation theme is. Whenever I try to think of it, I'm pretty sure it's Dark Vader's theme from Star Wars. I know, I'm weird.

Well, last night was our graduation from our cake decorating class. It has been fun and informative, but A LOT of work. I do NOT want to make another batch of icing to save my life.

So, for our last class, we learned how to write on cakes and make ribbon flowers. Both of which will require A LOT more practice than we got last night. The rest of the night was spent on decorating a cake.

We were told that we could decorate our cake however we wanted to, we just needed to bring whatever we needed. This is how I went about preparing for my cake.

1) I thought about it. What did I want the theme to be? They had a bunch of cakes you could do in the book, but I didn't like any of those so I decided to venture out on my own. Eureka! It's almost Halloween, I'll do a Halloween themed cake.

2) I thought of a cute way to make pumpkins be the border of the cake.

3) Since the dimensional piping was my favorite thing to learn, I decided to use that on the cake. So, I took out my trusty PrintShop program and found some great Halloween-y things that I wanted to put on the cake.

4) Then Brent helped me with this spooky tree I wanted to put on the cake. (It was a lot of work and he was so patient...he's great!)

5) I made my icing to exact specifications. (The gray of the cake did not turn out exactly how I wanted it to, but it was my first time using the black coloring. It's a pain. There's a stain on my rug to prove it.)

6) I decorated my cake. Drum roll please....

And the pumpkin border...
I have to say, I love the pumpkin border. It came out exactly how it was suppose to!

(Again, these were taken with my cell phone camera, which doesn't love to do close ups, but I was afraid it would get damaged on the way home.)

I'm reasonably happy with how it turned out. It's not exactly how I planned. And there are a few things that bug me when I look at it - why do all the pumpkins tilt the same way - but for my first try at designing and decorating my own cake, I think I did well.

To contrast my obsessive compulsive, control freak way of designing cakes, this is how Marcela designed her cake.

1) She knew she wanted to put flowers on it.

2) She made some icing.

3) She decorated her cake.

And here it is....

Another fine example of a beautiful cake.

I just chuckled at the differences in our personalities.

Our teacher was trying really hard to get us to take the next class in the group. It's mostly royal icing flowers, which I'm pretty sure is my mom's favorite thing in the world. There's no way I can take it until the new year, so we'll see.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Let Them Eat Cupcakes

Well, by them, I probably mean me, but anyway.

Last night in my cake decorating class we learned how to fill and frost cupcakes and make some different flowers. I admit that I am NOT good at the drop flowers, but I think I'm pretty good at these...(sorry the pictures are so bad - they're from my cell phone and apparently you can't get good close ups.)
And, instead of doing the stuff I need to do today, I'm planning the decorations for my graduation cake next week. I'm so good at budgeting my time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Walk - aka Standing in Line for Fun

I am on a roll! And I have the time, so I'm going to finish out our pumpkin exploits!

About a week ago, I was reading this email I get about fun things to do in our county. Normally they are things I already know about or things that don't sound too fun to me. But, this time, I hit the mother load! It talked about a Pumpkin Walk that you could do at Bainbridge Gardens. I didn't exactly know what a pumpkin walk was, but it sounded fun so we talked to Ryan and Marcela and decided to go on Saturday.

When we got to the nursery, we saw the line for the pumpkin walk. It was REALLY long, but we were there to have fun so we parked the car (in a super close parking space thanks to the small children we had in the car) and got in line.

While in line, Reyes posed for a couple of pictures. She also did this really great dance where she shook all over and skipped around. I guess she was excited?

Ryan and Marcela ready for some fun.

Don't forget Camila all decked out in stripes.

And then we entered the pumpkin walk. Let me try to explain. There's this trail through the trees and it's lined with hundreds of pumpkins. It was really cool. And smelled oddly like cooking pumpkin. Yummm...pumpkin pie!

This one says, "Welcome to Bainbridge Gardens" but it's kind of hard to see.

That giant pumpkin is eating the little one. Poor little pumpkin.

Hee hee...pack man. I admit, I didn't get it either at first.

And now for some of the other pumpkins we saw...

We got a kick out of this one. It says it's an "Mexican Alien Skellton" (and that is how they spelled it.) Hee hee

Who wouldn't love seen Toy Story in person?

I think Marcela wanted to hold Camila to keep warm, but that's just a theory.

Here we are with our obligatory scrunch picture...wait..who is that in the picture with us? It must be like that ride at Disneyland....

Seems like a good one to finish on.

We really did have a good time at the pumpkin walk. I think this might be a tradition as well. And, we found out that you can donate a pumpkin that you created too. What do you think, Wewa Peeps - next year a Star Wars Theme?

Although, I do have a mental note for next year: Bring 1) gloves and 2) small children so we can get a close parking space.

Pumpkin Picking - aka Slugging through the Mud

It has become a little bit of a tradition for us to go to Hunter Farms on Columbus Day to pick out our pumpkins for the year. We have yet to carve any, but we really enjoy picking them. Columbus Day was a gorgeous day this year so off we went with Brad, Court and the kids.

Here we are taking the hay ride out to the fields. You can just see the top of Brad's head but he's in the picture.

And here are the first pumpkins we saw. Hmmm...maybe that 3 inches of rain we had over the weekend was a bad thing. Luckily there were more that weren't in the water, just the mud. So off we went to find them.

Chloe and Kyle go off to the far end of the field, and promptly get stuck in the mud. The mud even sucked off Kyle's boot so he wasn't too happy. Thankfully a nice passer by helped them out of the mud since it was taking us so long to get to them.

I know you can't really tell by this picture but Court is, umm...let me count, I don't know - really pregnant. She's due in January. Getting around is not the funnest thing for her these days so she brought her chair and supervised the fun. I think that might have been a good idea - have I mentioned the mud?

Brad, Sarah and Aaron finding the perfect pumpkins.

Brent found my pumpkin. He knows the kind I like!

"Look, it's shaped like a heart."

Those are some good looking pumpkins.

Have I mentioned that Sarah is 5'1". Yeah, and I'm just under 5'4". Do you know what it does to your psyche when you look a 11 year old in the eye? ***I have been informed that Sarah is now 5'2". Great! That's much better.***

Someone sent out a memo - it was blue sweater day. I had on a blue sweater too. Funny...

Then we had a somewhat windy and cold picnic lunch. After our lunch, we explored a little more of the farm.

Aaron can always be found driving something or wanting to drive something. He's such a boy.

I didn't get a picture of it, but Kyle got in this old truck. When I walked passed he said, "Umm, Ashley, could you open the door?" He had closed the door of the truck but he couldn't get it open. So I tried...and tried...and tried to get the door open to no avail. I went and got Brad and he promptly got him out. Jeez, engineers, always making us regular folks look silly.

Chloe is an animal lover like me. She'd coming running back to where ever I was and say, "I found a baby goat!" or "I found a reindeer!" (I have to say, I wasn't sure it really was a reindeer, but it was. She's good.) The farm also had ponies, donkeys, LOTS of chickens, pigs (that chased everything else), llamas and alpacas. And a reindeer. Where do you get a reindeer? Not that I want one. Really, Brent, Daisy is good enough for me. For now...

This pony was so sweet. It would just sidle up to the fence and let you pet it. I think it liked a good scratch.

And to prove that I was really there...

I think this tradition will continue as long as Brent gets Columbus Day off!

Utah...Some More

Here are more pictures from Utah. I'll just explain as I go. They are in no particular order. (As I'm loading these pictures, I'm realizing that there are A LOT of pictures. Sorry if it makes it slow to load.)

Oh, and just in case you hadn't noticed - Brent blogged again.

We went to the community pool by Jess' house. The kids loved it. I hid from the sun. It was HOT - like 90 degrees - and SUNNY and I live in Washington. Enough said. This is Cayden and Rylee.

Rylee and Jayson playing with the toy that was the hit of the party. It's funny how the favorite toys kind of go in cycles.
Brent and his mom. Now remember - Brent had just had ALL four of his wisdom teeth out. (I'm happy to say, he's still just as smart as he's always been.) A woman Brent works with wanted me to take a picture to show how funny he looked when he was all swollen. He really didn't swell that badly. You could only tell when he smiled. I can tell he's swollen, but I don't know if anyone else would be able to.
Cute Cayden. We just don't get to see enough of him. He is the cutest little guy! And LOVES to help his dad. Jared is so nice to always let him help. I'm sure sometimes it would be easier to do on his own.
The fairy wings were also a huge hit. There goes Cayden.
He was flexing to show his cousins how big his muscles were.
Here are all the cousins that were there. We sure missed Steve, Jenny and their kids. I will tell you - trying to take a picture of all these kids is like trying to take a picture of a sack of squirrels. Somewhat impossible!
Katie was nice enough to have a birthday coming up, so we had a little birthday party for her. She and my dad share a birthday so it's easy for me to remember.
Jackson - I love your little smile!
This is Jacob. I hadn't ever gotten the chance to meet Jacob, which was really hard for me. But I instantly fell in love with him! He is a STURDY, SMILEY, FUN little guy! He sees a camera and he cheeses. I love that!
Jake again.
Jacob and Jackson are only about a month apart, but Jackson still looks a little worried.
Really Jared. Really.
Jared donned the fairy wings as well to teach them how it was done.

Jayson is not a fan of getting his picture taken. Reminds me of Brent.
I put this picture in for two reasons. 1) Julie looks really pretty. And 2) Jackson is sucking on his toes. I am both grossed out by this and mildly impressed. must be a twin thing.
Look at that family all decked out and looking good for Tay's baptism.
I may have to go back to...Really, Jared. Really?
These little guys were born within six weeks of each other. That's Jacob, Camila and Jackson. I think it's so funny to see the difference in sizes when they are so close together in age. Won't that be fun for them - to have cousins that close in age? We're already planning the combined baptism.
Hee hee hee
Reyes used to not let me take pictures of her. Now she LOVES it. And after I take the picture, she wants to see it. What did we do before digital cameras?
Reyes is a fairy too!
Reyes' wet hair makes her look different, don't you think?
Quick - what do they have in common?
Love the pig tails Rylee!
Tayler is a little fish. She loves the water. I understand that! It's the sun I don't love!
If Tay is anything, it's a performer. She loves to put together a routine and perform for everyone.

Jared and Tay kept trying this trick. I don't think they ever got it completely, but they had fun trying.
Again with the favorite toy.
Doesn't she look pretty in her baptism dress? Thanks, Tay, for getting baptized so that we could all get together and have some fun!
Wow, she's strong!
Super cute D* family!
This was Brent and Ryan's "going to the pool". Brent still wasn't feeling too good after the wisdom teeth removal and Ryan had a stomach bug. I stayed with them because, well, I'm not a fan of the sun.

So, that pretty much ends our trip to Utah. As I said, I'm sure it's going to be another 5 years before we drive again. I'm pretty sure I'll have amnesia by then and think it's a good idea.