Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Conor's latest obsession

Is with money. How he can earn it, how much he will get, and can he please count all the money in my purse? (never really a whole lot there. :( lol) As I've said before, Conor loves to borrow my camera and take pictures. Here are just a few of the many he took of this $20 bill.

Everything we ask him to do he says, "How much will you pay me?" Which... may not sound good, but sometimes he gets money and sometimes he doesn't. He doesn't really ask for a whole lot, though. He will work for shiny pennies!

What it has done, though, is make him really good at math. Addition, subtraction, some multiplication. And he hasn't even started school yet! If you give him a problem... say if you have to pay $87 for groceries, and you give the lady $90, how much will she give you back? He will tell you $3.

This morning before I was leaving for work he was doing a crazy little dance while chanting "Hundred dollar bill" over and over - moving his arms in crazy directions. It was quite funny. I wonder if it could be like a rain dance or something and it could bring some hundred dollar bills raining down on us... *sigh* wishful thinking!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fun in the sun

A few pictures from swimming at my dad's house

Ceara, Caitlyn, and Conor spent the majority of the time in the pool - playing games and having fun.

While Allie spent the majority of the time laying in the sun trying to get a tan.

Everyone had a lot of fun though. The water was just right for cooling off after baking in the sun for a while.

I'm hoping to get the time to go today, although it's doubtful. I have too much to do around the house today. One more week of work and I'm on VACATION for a whole week. I guess I'll have plenty of time to swim then. If I don't take on any home projects that is.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The great cake debacle

I've made many, many cakes over the past 10 or so years, and never have I had what happened last weekend happen. I've had other problems, so I guess they should be expected every once in a while, but what happened last weekend just stumped me.

Mary had originally asked months before to make a cake for Matt's graduation party only to discover that her mom planned to buy the cake from a local bakery. Since Matt doesn't really care for cake anyway, she changed to order to a decorated cookie.

A few days before the graduation party, she discovered that her mom wasn't getting the cake so she asked if I could do the cake instead. Shouldn't be a problem, I told her. I just needed to go to the supply store to get cake decorations and a box. Then I discovered that the supply store I have used for years closed down. Since these stores are only open during my work hours I had to go during my lunch break and I didn't have time to go to the one I used to use. So, I had to do it on Friday - which is no big deal.

Well, Friday turned into one thing after another. On my way to work it was a nice day so I had all my windows down. Something flew into my eye (even though I had sun glasses on) and so of course my eye closed. I could not open it back up. So I ran off the road just a little - nothing major don't freak out mom - and recovered. I got to work by holding my left eye shut. I went to the bathroom and rinsed it out. It was a bit red and swollen, and watering, but it was open.

During the morning severe thundershowers moved into the area, so it was storming outside when I went to lunch. The supply store I had to go to was in Beavercreek (about 25 miles north) so I got on the highway and the rain started pouring down. People were pulling to the side of the road to wait it out because it was so hard to see the car in front of you. I went slowly along at 15 miles per hour and finally made it there. Their graduation stuff was picked over so I got what I could and got back to work. It had quit raining by the time I started back.

After work I had to go Father's day shopping and get some cake ingredients. By the time I got home, we ate dinner and I just figured I'd relax for a little bit before starting on the cake. It would be easy enough to decorate, the most time consuming thing would be baking them and making the icing. So I asked Allie if she wanted to bake them for me and she did. She made one chocolate and one white. When they were done, I went out to make the icing to discover that the cakes were flat. They had not risen at all. Maybe 1/2 inch thick. I thought it was something Allie did, so I questioned her on it, but she swore she did it right. So I made another one myself. It did the same thing. By that time I was out of cakes to make and it was 2am. I thought about going to the grocery, but I was so tired I couldn't. I figured I could go to GFS the next day and get one of their sheet cakes (without icing) and put my icing on it and decorate it. That was about the only option I had as baking two more cakes was not an option, I would not have time.

I got to GFS and found their cakes. But none of them were sheet cakes without icing. They only had Sara Lee chocolate cakes with chocolate icing. I was desperate. I bought it. I got home and called Mary - gave her the two options that were available. 1. I put white icing over the chocolate icing on the cake I bought and decorate that or 2. I put the yellow and white cakes I made on top of each other to make one cake and decorate that, and bring the chocolate one as is. She choose option #2.

So, I put the yellow cake on top of the white one, and decorated it. I put both cakes in my car and drove them over to her house. When I parked in her driveway, I opened my door and locked the doors (habit) and then didn't know what to do with the keys, so I figured I would just leave them in the car and I put them back in the ignition and got out with the decorated cake. I put it on the hood of my car and went to get the chocolate cake out of the back to find that I had locked myself out of the car. I had, thank goodness, cracked all my windows and we were able to force it down enough for Mary to reach in and unlock the back door.

We opened the chocolate one (which was frozen when I bought it so I left it out to thaw) to find that you were supposed to open it immediately and take the parchment paper off before letting it thaw. We got it off anyway and smoothed the icing down and put some extra decorating stuff on it.

Good thing she choose option 2 because had I opened the chocolate one I would have found that it was impossible to remove it from the cardboard box it was in to decorate it with white icing.

So I left the cakes and went to get ready for the party. I forgot to take any pictures of the cake before leaving it though. It was a simply decorated cake - mostly the things put on it were the decorations. I took a picture when I went back to the party, though. It had already been cut and the diploma and other things had been taken off.

So, here it is. The final cake. Not even close to the best I've done, but it was edible and it tasted good anyway. The chocolate one is in the background. I didn't bother taking a picture of it by itself.

I think I should just retire from making cakes. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Zoo

We got a family pass to the Cincinnati Zoo this year and have already used it quite a few times. I've only gotten to go once, though. Jeff and Conor have been the ones getting the most use out of it since the girls were in school and I had to work. We all finally got to go the week after school let out. The very first thing we did came up to was the merry-go-round. Conor begged to ride it, he didn't want to wait until later, so he talked the girls into riding it with him. Allie, Ceara, and Caitlyn all got on and chose their animal to ride. Conor got on one, and then chickened out and got off. He said he might ride it later, but that he didn't want to rid it anymore. So the girls rode it around by themselves.
Doesn't Allie look thrilled?

We got tickets to see the Spongebob 4D movie that was starting not long after we got there. There was a bird show right around the corner, so we went to watch it while we waited. It was a hot day - can you tell by Conor's red face? We had only been there about 30ish minutes when this was taken.

After the movie, we rode the train to the elephant area and got off and walked around. The elephants were outside the building so we stopped to look at them for a few minutes before moving on. Conor left his water bottle where the elephants were and insisted that he had to go back to get it. Jeff took him while the girls and I waited.

Allie refused to get her picture taken with the baby elephant. Apparently she doesn't like elephants very much.

The reptile house offered a bit of a break from the sun and I, personally, love to go in and look at the snakes. I've always had a fascination for snakes. My mom wouldn't let me have one when I was a teenager, though. :(

Posing with the gorilla statue wasn't a problem with Allie, apparently she likes them and mentioned staying there to live with the monkeys. They wouldn't let her though.
After a few hours of walking around in the hot sun, we decided to call it a day and leave.

But not before Conor made his transformation...

Into a Mime.

Errrr.. wait. That's not a Mime.

A Mime with a black eye!

Oooops - a puppy!

A thirsty puppy by the looks of it.

Sly dog. He took the role to heart and even barked and growled for us while he had a puppy face.

And apparently dogs aren't afraid of the merry-go-round. Go figure.
**Note: I have many, many pictures of the animals at the Zoo. I've even posted some before. So I chose not to take any animal pictures this time and just get the kids. :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I Believe

I was sent this in an email, and since I agree with every part of it, I thought I would post it here.

A Birth Certificate shows that we were born
A Death Certificate shows that we died
Pictures show that we lived!

I Believe...

That just because two people argue,
it doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue,
it doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe...

That we don't have to change friends,
if we understand that friends change.

I Believe...

That no matter how good a friend is,
they're going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe...

That true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I Believe...

That you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe...

That it's taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.

I Believe...

That you should always leave loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe...

That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe...

That we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I Believe...

That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I Believe...

That heroes are the people who do what has to be done
when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe...

That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I Believe...

That my best friend and I, can do anything,
or nothing, and have the best time.

I Believe...

That sometimes the people you expect to kick you
when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...

That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe...

That maturity has more to do with what types
of experiences you've had and what you've
learned from them and less to do with how
many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe...

That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others,
sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself..

I Believe...

That no matter how bad your heart is broken,
the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe...

That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...

That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret.
It could change your life Forever.

I Believe...

Two people can look at the exact same thing
and see something totally different..

I Believe...

That your life can be changed in a matter of
hours by people who don't even know you.

I Believe...

That even when you think you have no more to give,
when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...

That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe...

That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

'The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
they just make the most of everything.'