Friday, December 25, 2009

2 Wedding Cakes

I was asked to do a bride's a groom's cake for the 23rd. These are probably my two favorite cakes that I've done to date! I love how they both turned out. I hope they enjoyed them at the wedding!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Small town frustrations

Let me start off by saying I am extremely grateful for a husband who can fix things and figure things out around the house. Even if in this instance, I would have much rather paid someone than chance him getting hurt....anyways...

Small towns can be great, but sometimes have their downfalls. Like this.....

At the beginning of October, we had some HUGE rain storms....bigger than anything we'd seen (up until our tornadoes a few weeks later). One night about 2:30 am a huge storm was coming through. I got up and checked online to make sure there were no tornado warnings with it. When I came back into our room, it sounded as if it were raining in our room. I walked over to the window, touched the blinds to peek out, and found that the blinds were soaking wet. Flipped on the light to see water running down our blinds. I couldn't believe we had water coming in from a window. We weren't exactly sure how or where it was coming was 2:30 in the morning, so we put a bunch of towels around the window, and went to bed. Two days later, another huge storm came through during the day. So I was able to remove the blind and see what was going on....this is what I found (don't pay attention to the paint job....not our doing...haven't done a thing to our bedroom yet!)....water coming in between the window and framing of the window!

So, what do you do? Call your homeowner's insurance...right? Well, I did and they informed me that they did not have any adjusters or contractors in our area with whom they called out for jobs, so it was up to me to find a contractor, get them out to my house, determine the cause and damage done. Well, easier said than done. It took me weeks of messages (20+ with the same 5 contractors) to get the first to come out. This window is a second story window, but more like a third story with the way our foundation and yard is on that side. So he looked inside, went outside (but never up on a ladder to actually look at the top of the window), and proceeded to give me his opinion and that if we wanted to even see if any damage was done to the inside of the walls, it was going to cost at least $600 for him to remove the siding down to the window, remove our window, look inside, then cover our window hole back up with 'something' to keep the air out. Wasn't too impressed with that idea. Took a couple more weeks of messages and finally got a second contractor to come out, looked around inside, went outside (again, no ladder involved) and told me it was probably from the attic vent above our window, and if so, it was probably a 'fluke' occurrance considering the rain storms weren't normal, and there wasn't much we could do. Told me to have Nate go in the attic and look for signs of water and moisture. But he also wanted to get his extension ladder and come back and look at the top of the window (never heard from him again). His idea made more sense, until Nate examined the attic during another rain storm and found nothing.
Now, the insurance is hounding me because they want to get this closed. I finally vent my frustrations and tell them I'm doing their job and getting nowhere and in a sense, being punished for living in a small town-where if I lived in a bigger town, someone would have been out in 24 hours. I proceed to tell them they need to find an adjuster for me and send them out, because I'm sick and tired of doing it all with no results. Didn't think I'd get very far with that. But then they told me they hired out an adjuster to come look (GREAT!). So, he comes out and the first thing he does is get on my roof! And this is what he found....
Apparently, it seemed that at one point one of the two previous owners had a satellite or antannae up on the roof. WHYYYYYY, when it was removed, they DID NOT FIX IT...I have NO CLUE, but there was our culprit. Sounds really bad, to have a hole about 3 inches in your roof, but he said it was actually in the best spot possible...right above our faucits (sp?), so it wasn't really going into the wall, just down the studs into our window (the point of least resistance). Since the hole had obviously been there for at least 3 years, we would have seem mold, water stains by now if there was real damage done. So, some of you may be thinking....home inspection before purchase???? Yes, we did that. Like I said, this part of our house is like a third story, not too easy to get to. So the inspector physically got onto the lower parts of our roof, did an inspection on them, then visually (with binoculars) inspected the highest part from the ground below. This hole was right on the tip of the ridge....would have never been seen!
The estimates for the repairs didn't exceed our deductible (which is fine), so now we're left to fix it....which means try to get a contractor out again......messages and messages later (and one call back with the promise of being out Monday or Tuesday), nothing. Finally tracked down a contractor in person who did come out and look and give me an estimate. But, Nate decided he could do it on his own. (Again....not my choice at the time....would have rather kept my husband alive). But, this last weekend....

he spent the morning up on the roof removing old shingles and the hole and laying down part of a new roof! And, he's still alive! Like I said, I'm extremely grateful for a husband who knows how and can do these types of things!

School Stuff

In November, Lainey's school walked to the fire department for a visit and tour of the fire truck. Lainey was picked to come up from and demonstrate the famous "stop, drop and roll".

The week of Thanksgiving, they had a Thanksgiving Feast for the kids and parents. The kids visited with some 'pilgrims' who showed them how to grind corn and make cornbread, an 'indian' who showed them some of the tools he liked to use, they got to see a real live turkey, play in some teepees and eat lots of food.

Corbin was not too sure of the turkey. That is as close as he would get to it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Big Boy Haircut

Corbin officially has a big boy haircut! Nate and Lainey took Corbin to the barber shop for his first "professional" haircut. All his baby hair is gone! He looked so much "older" when he came home.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Super Yummy Rolls!

We love homemade rolls at our house! We got this recipe from Nate's sister-in-law. They are soooooo yummy! They make BIG, soft, fluffy rolls. I love finding new recipes from friends and thought I'd share this one!

Hansen Dinner Rolls (this is NOT the real name, but the name that we had passed to us)
375 degrees for 10-12 minutes (may have to take about 15 minutes)

2 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups flour
Let sit for 5 minutes.
Then beat together the following and ad to above mixture:
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
2 tsp salt (I used a slightly heaping tsp and it's perfect)
Then mix in 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups more flour until slightly sticky.
Let rise for 45 minutes. (the key to this recipe is really letting them rise!)
Roll into a long strip.
Melt butter (how ever much you'd like) and spread on top.
Fold in half.
Cut into 1/2 inch strips. (if you want smaller rolls, cut these strips in half again).
Tie in knots. Place on greased cookie sheet. (I put a bit more melted butter on top of them at this point)
Let rise until doubled (do NOT skimp on this step).
Bake until browned.

Sooooo yummy!

Louisiana Tech game

Last week Boise State played at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, LA. We decided to head down for a few days and catch the game. We actually stayed about 1/2 hour away in Monroe. When we pulled up at the hotel, it said on their sign, "Welcome Boise State Football". We somehow managed to pick the same hotel that the team was staying at. So it was fun to see them around. Lainey kept picking out the players and getting excited when we'd see them.

Before the game, we burned off some energy at the Children's museum in Monroe. It was great (especially after the school group left-but the girls kept Lainey entertained). The kids loved it and played for a few hours.

This is Corbin at the sand box. I think he spent a good hour there!

After the museum we headed to the mall for some lunch. They had a 2 story carousel. Of course, we HAD to ride that.

The game (sorry-I'm not posting the family pic this time!).
Both of the kids had a lot of fun. It was perfect weather. Louisiana Tech's stadium is set up MUCH better than Tulsa's! So the kids had plenty of room to move around. Corbin stayed awake the entire game. The game was on ESPN again, and we made it onto TV a few times! There's even a "speed game" here and you can see us in the crowd a few times. Boise won again, and should finish their season winning. So it will be fun to see where they end up in the rankings (right now they are #6 in the BCS) and what bowl game they go to. Maybe if they play somewhere in the south we'll head to a bowl game!

The kids were EXHAUSTED when we got back to the hotel. On our way to the game, there was a major hold up on the freeway, and we didn't stop for dinner. So after the game we had to find something open. I think it was close to 12:30 or 1:00 am when the kids finally got to bed! They sure slept late that morning. And this is how they looked.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy HaLlOwEeN!!!

There's not much to do around here for Halloween. Other than go downtown and then hit our neighborhood, there's not much else. Our branch is so small here that we don't do the "trunk-or treat" that we were able to do in our big wards. There's churches around that do a lot on Halloween, but then we don't really get to spend time with our friends. So this year we were excited that some of our friends we going to have a Halloween party! More on that in a minute....

Here's Corbin and Lainey getting ready to hit our street....

Not sure what Lainey is doing, just thought it made a cute pic...

Onto the party.....the people who hosted it have 3 kids. Lainey is 3 1/2 months older than their oldest, Corbin is 1 1/2 months older than their 2nd, and their 3rd is going to be about 4 months older than our 3rd! So we'll be spending lots of time together at the same functions!

Here is Corbin and their 2nd child. I just love Corbin's belly...he and I were matching (belly wise that is). Anyways, they live out in the country and no one really goes trick-or-treating out there (because unless you know this neighborhood is out there, you wouldn't have any idea to go out there). So she prearranged stops with about 15 of their "neighbors" and the kids got to go on a hayride and trick or treat to each of them. It was SOOOO much fun! Can't wait to do it again next year!

Here's Corbin ready to get some loot!

Lainey and their 1st child....
Not sure about the guilty look, but this was so cute. About 1/2 way through the stops, Lainey is sitting by her friend and she looks over at him and says, "*****, would you like to hold my hand?" And they reached out and starting holding hands! It was toooo cute! They just sat there and held hands until we got to the next stop!

If the dentist thing doesn't pan out.......

One of Corbin's favorite things to do (besides brush his teeth) is to go outside and play baseball. Nate got Lainey a T-ball set for her birthday last year. One day a few months ago Corbin got ahold of it and knew just what to do! He gets so mad if we head out to the car and the bat and ball are in sight and he can't stop and play. He also now thinks he owns this set and DOES NOT like to share it with Lainey. He's pretty good, too, if I must say! So if he decides not to be a dentist, maybe we have a future baseball player on our hands!

School Party....More Trick-or Treating?

Lainey had her first "school party" for Halloween this year. It sure was nice to be on the other end of the party rather than stressing about it the entire week before the party! Lainey wanted to be, surprise suprise, another princess this year! Her first idea was to be a cat and have Corbin be a mouse, which we thought was cute......but didn't happen. So the chosen princess was Ariel. Maybe next year we'll move away from the princess theme!

They had the obligatory parade with all the classes, then they had them all do a few cute Halloween songs.

Here's Corbin feasting on some of the goodies back in the classroom!

Okay, I just had to post this. Do we even need to go Trick-or-Treating now? In ALL my years (like 5 is a huge amount, but still) of teaching, never did I see this much stuff head home with the kids! Lainey had a HUGE bag filled with treats. It seemed like every parent (but myself and one other that I know of) brought a goody bag for each kid! I was amazed!

Dr. Bag

Once again, my neighbor asked me to make a cake for her. I had previously made a DR bag for her and she wanted a second one. This one is a little different than my's all fondant. I like doing the same cakes a second time, because I get to redeem myself and fix what I didn't like the first time!

Future Dentist or Just Obsessed?

Corbin LOVES to brush his teeth. He'll brush them 10 times a day if we let him. I have to watch when the bathroom door is left open, or this is what I'll find......

He and I were upstairs one day and it got quiet. So I went to check on him, and he was up on the stool reaching for his toothbrush and toothpaste! What a cutie! I guess we won't have to worry about cavities with him! Although, if he heads to Dental school, he's on his own financially!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Soccer time.

It's soccer time. Lainey has always enjoyed playing soccer in the yard at home. This year she was finally old enough to sign up to play, so we thought we'd see how she liked it. Her first practice went well. Then came the first game. I didn't get to see it all pan out, because I had to run to the pharmacy and pick up meds before they closed. Anyways......I guess her coach put her in to start the game, which she was excited about, for a brief moment. As soon as all the kids started running around her and past her she started to cry and said that the other kids 'were just too fast for her'. So that was the end of game one. At half time, her coach tried to get her to go in again, and said, 'you'll have to run Lainey' and that was all it took for her to decide to sit out. So we thought, oh this what it's going to be like all season? She did tell her coach at the end of the game that she wanted to be the goalie next time. So the next day, for game 2, Nate told her that her new shin guards were to help her run faster. She liked that idea. She got to play goalie in the first half, and did a good job and had fun. Then in the second half she decided to play on the field. She did just fine and ended up having fun. We'll have to see how game 3 goes next week after a long break. We've had so much rain lately, that all our games this week were cancelled.

Mommy's helper

I had to post this because it was too cute. A bit of background. We never had a problem at any age really with Lainey drawing on things she shouldn't have. For this reason, you'll find markers-even permanent ones, crayons, pens, pencils, etc....all within her reach at our house so she can use them freely. Well, her reach is now within Corbin's reach, and he's a different story (not that my walls are covered in drawings, but we've caught him a few times doodling where he shouldn't). So Lainey has an easel with a chalkboard and white board on it. They were in the playroom playing while I was doing something in the kitchen. I went in to check on them and saw a nice black line across my carpet. I figured if it was going to come out, right after the fact would be my only chance. So I pulled out my carpet cleaner to attack the spot. I pulled out the water tank and was filling it up. When I was done, I came back to this. Maybe it was his way of saying sorry and that he was trying to help me? Either that or he thought it was a new ride on/push toy! And...the marker came out!

BOISE vs. Tulsa

We took off for a road trip to see the Boise vs Tulsa game in Oklahoma on the 14th of October. We decided to stay a few days and do some things. Tulsa is actually a pretty nice town. There were parks everywhere (something about Denver that we miss tremendously), too bad it was a bit too cold and drizzly to play while we were there. The trip was worth it (Boise pulled it off 28-21, although they should have won by more) and we actually made it through the entire football game (I'm not sure how, but Corbin slept for over half of it). Note to anyone who may work for University of Tulsa---seriously....could you not have given the visitors section a bit more leg room?
Before the game, we headed over to the MALLLLLL (I get excited when we get to go to an actual mall) to burn some energy, and oh, to shop a bit. The kids loved their play area (once again, made me miss the Colorado Mills kids play area)....
The fire truck had this tunnel in it, and Corbin LOVED it. He would go through and right back around and do it again. He had to have repeated it over and over for 10 or more minutes.
Family pic at the game.
Lainey had fun, except I'm not sure whose kid she was. For some reason, she kept cheering for Tulsa (and knew she was....I think she knew it would be 'funny').
One of the times Corbin was actually awake during the game. There was a lot for him to sit and watch. Kept him content.
We visited the Oklahoma Aquarium one day. It made me miss (for a brief moment) my kindergarteners and our ocean unit and trip to the Denver Aquarium. They both had a lot of fun looking at all the sea animals. Lainey was excited because she got to feed the turtles.