Friday, August 31, 2007

Conversation In The Van

Zoe and I were coming home from taking Ian and Emma to school this morning when we passed the graveyard that is on the way. Zoe noticed and said, "People are buried there."

"Yes they are," I replied.

"I hope they're okay."

"Me, too."

"We don't want to be buried there. We want to go back to our nice warm home."

Yes. Yes we do.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

School Is Back In Session

August is coming to an end and school is back in full swing. I'm getting up at about 6:15 everyday, making sure the kids are up (they have been up all three days so far, but once the newness wears off, I expect to occasionally have to rouse a kid at 6:40 or so.) I am now packing two lunches everyday, since my kids' school doesn't have hot lunches, and Emma is now in full day kindergarten!

Ian and Emma's first day was Tuesday and despite all of Ian's grumbling about the new school year starting, he was up and ready to go just like his little sister. Emma was up and dancing and singing about how it was her first day of kindergarten. She was ready quickly and couldn't wait to get dressed in her uniform. And while I remember thinking how grown up Ian looked in his navy blue uniform shorts and white shirt on his first day of kindergarten, there's nothing like a little girl's plaid uniform to really make it hit home that your child is growing up. Emma looked absolutely darling in her jumper and could barely contain her excitement.

After some obligatory first day of school photos in front of the garage, we loaded up into the van to head to Good Counsel. Brendan was with us, which made everything a little more special for Ian and Emma. We said our morning prayers on the way to picking up Hunter and Erin (our carpool kids) and had some excited chatter in the back of the van. Then, as our fifteen minute trip was nearing its end, Emma got quieter and quieter. She was definitely nervous, but putting up a stiff upper lip.

We dropped off Ian, Erin and Hunter and went to park on the street because the parking lot was completely full. On our short walk over to the kindergarten line we ran into Emma's pre-school friends and their parents. We snapped some photos and complimented each little girl on how nice they looked in their uniform. Then before we knew it, the kids were going into their classroom and kindergarten (and third grade) had begun.

Emma went in without incident and proclaimed on her arrival home that she loved kindergarten.

Yesterday was her first full day with lunch in the cafeteria, which went well despite a classmate's bloody nose. She bought chocolate milk without incident and loves her new Barbie purse shaped lunchbox.

Emma's off and growing up. Not sure when that happened.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Today we celebrated Brendan's grandparents 65th anniversary! It is absolutely amazing and inspiring to me to see these two wonderful people celebrating a milestone like this. Who can say they've been married 65 years? It's a small group, I'm sure.

The party was held in a lovely room right at Grandma and Grandpa McKillip's senior living center. There were delicious hors d'oeuvres, good drinks, and lots of wonderful people wishing Dick and Bernice all the happiness in the world. All but one of the ten grandkids were there, and all three of the great grandchildren (Ian, Emma, and Zoe!) were in attendance as well. We got to see all of Brendan's aunts and uncles and several other relatives, too.

I was asked to make the anniversary cake for the party and cheerfully obliged. I spent several hours looking at ideas and directions for making decorations on cakes and finally came up with a final plan for a three tiered cake, each featuring a different decoration, and topped with a bow. The entire cake was edible, including the bow on top. Inside was the trusty Snickerdoodle cake with cinnamon buttercream frosting, and it was all topped with homemade marshmallow fondant.

The cake received lots of compliments, but I'm glad I could do something nice for Grandma and Grandpa. They've always made me feel so special and welcome in the McKillip family, and it truly was my pleasure to create a one of a kind cake for their celebration.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Emma's Birthday Cake

Emma's fifth birthday party was August 4, a full week before her actual birthday, but the only weekend we could do it as we were in Wisconsin for her actual birthday. So, we invited a gaggle of five and six year old girls over to celebrate with Emma in the backyard.

Her theme was Little Mermaid/ Under the sea. Initially we had plans for a mermaid cake, not necessarily Ariel. However, Emma bought an Ariel Barbie doll at a garage sale early in the summer and decided she wanted a cake with Ariel on top. So, I came up with this little cake which she was thrilled with. I wasn't entirely happy with the outcome, I had visions of water breaking over the rock and maybe a few other neat details, but they did not materialize.

The girls played in two little pools we set up and on a slip and slide. Only one week from Ian's Pirate Party, Emma wanted to play many of the same games, so preparations for her party were pretty easy. We played treasure search in the sandbox where each of the girls took turns trying to see how many gold coins they could find in 30 seconds. We made an under the sea door hanger that each girl could take home at the end of the party. We had a water balloon toss which was incredibly cute. I don't think any of the girls stepped more than three to four feet away from one another! Probably the all time favorite game was the Mermaid Walk, renamed from the Walk the Plank game at Ian's party and repeated over and over by the party attendees. The girls each walked on a wooden plank that was stretched across a kiddie pool.

We then opened presents, ate cake, which many of the girls admired, and hit the butterfly pinata. We ended with a treasure hunt for the goodie bags. It was a fun little party.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ian's Birthday Cake

Ian had a Pirates of the Caribbean birthday party with several of his neighborhood and school buddies for his 8th birthday last Saturday. We had all kinds of pirate themed games, a pirate chest pinata, and a treasure hunt for the goodie bags at the end of the party.

When I asked Ian what kind of cake he would like, he answered, "A treasure chest."

So, here is a picture of the cake:

I was really pleased with the results. The kids LOVED the chocolate coins and Ian loved his cake.

It is a big cake; I made it with two 13x9 inch cakes cut to make the chest. So we had a lot leftover, which normally would be great in this house, except I have another cake downstairs for this weekend. We are celebrating Emma's birthday and I had to make a Little Mermaid cake. Come back and look for pictures of it being posted soon!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Glass Is Half Full-Kinda Girl

On Tuesday Emma went in for her kindergarten shots. No tears, no complaining. She did great.

Yesterday Emma woke up in a good mood. She sat down at the kitchen table and rubbed her right shoulder. She announced that the shots were working great! They had made the bones in her right arm stronger.

I was a bit puzzled and asked her what she was talking about. She lifted up her arm, displaying a very swollen right shoulder, "See, my bones are stronger."

Glad to see she looks on the bright side of things.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Umm, I'm not sure how to explain this to my husband. See, my kids were playing their usual games, namely, dump the books from the cabinet in the family room, climb inside, and shut the door. However, something went terribly wrong this time.

The cabinet is supposed to look something like this:

But now, it looks like this:

And this:

Maybe if he sees it here, before he gets home, my husband won't blow a gasket. Probably not.

By the way, the books are usually put in more neatly, but my only response to this whole fiasco was to have the girls put the books back in the cabinet by themselves. No help from me. Now that's tough love!

Conversation In The Van Today

At Christmastime it is cold and it snows.

Yeah, and Santa comes.

Mom, you know what? I heard the bells ring on Santa's slave last year.

Sleigh, Emma. Santa's sleigh.