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A Brony Birthday Party

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My little sister (that’s her with the black ponytail) threw a My Little Pony birthday party for her boyfriend last week.  That’s right, he’s a Brony.  A brother who likes My Little Pony.  I love that he’s secure enough in his masculinity not to have any shame about it!  He was so excited about the party and while she was taking millions of pictures of him posing with ponies, he declared it to be the best birthday party of his life.

Although I’ve sworn off decorated cakes (multiple times), she talked me into making the cake for his party.  (What convinced me was her offering a really strange amount of money – not like $20 or $30, but $32.73.  It was so weird and funny I had to say yes! lol)  It was a super-simple cake and I thought I’d share how to make one if you ever have need of a rainbow or MLP cake.

You only need a round single layer of cake.  If you make it in a 10″ pan, a cake mix will fit in it and the finished cake will serve up to 16 people, although it will be pretty difficult to serve.  I made mine in an 8″ pan and baked the rest of the batter into cupcakes, so this cake only served 8 but with the cupcakes it would have served 20.  You will also need red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and sky blue frosting for the rainbow.  Pack the frosting into disposable pastry bags, preferably fitted with couplers, though you can just slice the tip off the bag to pipe the frosting directly onto the cake out of the bag if you don’t own a lot of couplers or don’t want to buy them. If you are going to make this into a My Little Pony cake, you will also need extra green for the grass (I used a lighter green than in the rainbow). You’ll need some flower sprinkles (I used these) and a grass tip (Wilton #233, and ignore all the other tips – I didn’t end up using them).  If you want to make a pond, you’ll need some clear piping gel and sky blue gel coloring (available at Walmart by the cake decorating supplies in the arts & crafts section).

Slice your cake in half and squeeze/spread frosting onto one side. I made too much red so that’s the color I chose to use.

Sandwich the halves together.

Place the cake cut-side down to your platter or cake board.

Squeeze frosting onto the cake, starting at the middle with the red (I had to build it up a little to make it higher since it dipped down), making stripes in this order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  I just squeezed it out from my coupler without a tip and I thought this made the perfect width of frosting for each stripe.

Repeat down the other side and fill in the bottom of both sides with sky blue frosting to make it look like you’re looking through to the sky underneath the rainbow.

If you’re going to make a MLP cake, figure out where you’re going to put the ponies, then pipe a blue border to outline where your pond(s) will be.  Using your (clean) finger, spread a thin layer of blue frosting over the platter or cake board so that the silver (or other color of the board) doesn’t show through the piping gel.  Tint enough piping gel to fill the pond(s) with sky blue gel color and spread into the pond, creating some ripple effects with your spoon.

Pipe grass onto the rest of the platter and when you run out of light green, use up the rest of your darker green, then panic and use up your yellow.  Then realize there is no other color left that is suitable for grass so be really strange and spread some orange over the rest of the platter, hoping it won’t look too weird if you write a birthday message across it.  Sprinkle your flower sprinkles all over the grass.

Realize the orange is just wrong, and scrape it all off, rejoicing that you found some extra blue you had set aside in a bowl.  Use it to pipe a border for another lake and repeat the steps to create a second lake.  Rejoice that you saved a little bit of white frosting and tint it green to go around the lake, then steal some of the flower sprinkles to put on the new grass.  Much better.

To serve, cut it in half down the middle, then cut each half in half, angling toward the center.  Essentially, you are cutting it the way you would if it was right-side up, but from the side instead of the top.  Cut each thick slice in half and use a spatula or cake server to draw out one of the bottom pieces (most likely two pieces will come out and you’ll have to pull the top piece off onto another plate.  Once the first piece is out, serving the others is pretty easy as they just start falling onto your spatula.


Whoa. It’s like a rainbow…IN MAH MOUTH.


Joshua’s First Week

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I wanted to post this Monday to replace my weekly pregnancy updates, but…yeah.  First time Mom who got four hours sleep the first week after her son was born…I think you understand.  And thank you to those whose blogs I’ve neglected and who continue to visit mine – I will return as soon as I get a routine established that allows a bit of time for blog reading.

Joshua’s first week was such an emotional roller coaster.  My water broke two weeks , two days early and after the initial shock wore off, it’s been huge highs and huge lows.

As I was falling deeper and deeper in love with this new little man in my life, he was getting sicker and sicker without me realizing it.  Joshua was not doing well with breast feeding and was losing weight so I went into the lactation clinic across from Wesley, which was free for me since I delivered there.  The  nurses were alarmed at his glow worm coloring (we knew he had jaundice but couldn’t tell how bad until we were outside our home with different lighting).  When they weighed him he had lost a pound and an ounce in the four days since his birth, which was another red flag that our little boy was not doing well at all.

We went immediately to our doctor to get his bilirubin tested and it came back at 33, which is critically high.  We had to return to the hospital and admit our precious newborn to the NICU, and they told us he may have to have his blood replaced several times if they couldn’t lower his level quickly.  I was devastated and assumed responsibility since he might not have gotten to this point if I had been willing to supplement with formula.  I thought I had been doing what was best for him, and almost killed him instead.

The NICU isn’t set up for parents to stay there, unless you want to sit in a chair all night, and it was so awful to leave our son after only having him for four days.  He received the best of care, but that didn’t help the longing in my heart to have him home.

After two days under UV lights, we finally got to hold him again when his bilirubin was low enough and the lights were removed.  Saturday night we got to move into a family room with him and it was pure bliss having our baby with us again, even if it wasn’t at home.  And Sunday we got to take home a much fatter and healthier baby!  I took this video at the hospital while Dennis was gone to take Jessie for a walk.

I wasn’t the typical weepy pregnant woman, but I’ve made up for it in spades this week.  Even though my tears have been mostly justified, I cry at anything that makes me happy or upset in any way.  Now I know how my Dad feels – after his stroke, everything makes him cry.

But now that we have our little one home, what makes me cry the most is how wonderful my husband has been.  He has changed so much since Joshua was born.  I didn’t think he could improve, because he was as close to perfect in my book than anyone has a right to be, but he’s become even more perfect than I could have imagined.  He has been my rock, always leading us to prayer during the hard times last week, holding and comforting me when I had to cry sob, and loving our son so much it hurts me in a good way.  I didn’t know how he would be after having a kid he took 45 years to feel ready for, and I have to say he’s surprised me in the best way.

He was beside me during the delivery, pushing one of my legs back (knee towards my head) while a nurse did the other with every contraction, giving me leverage to push against.  He said it was amazing to watch another human come out of me and it just makes me weep to think about how he talks about our son with pride, describing how cute he is when he did something, etc.  Dennis never thought any other kid was cute, so this is a huge deal.  He actually loves to hold him!  I know that seems like it would be a given, but this seems very profound for a guy who has only held babies a couple times in his life (his nephews, and probably because Joan made him – lol).  He even thanked me for Joshua, because if it weren’t for me, he never would have had children, and now he’s so glad I changed his mind over the years.  I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.

Yesterday was a big day for me, because it was my first day alone with Joshua.  Dennis, the baby-whisperer who I have totally relied on as a partner in figuring out parenthood, had to return to work because he’s already a week behind for his supervisor training.  I was so nervous.  I have been feeling really inadequate and inept as a mother, and this also left me in tears, but I prayed to God through them Sunday night as I fed Joshua, asking for help as I faced motherhood alone.

Well, I only had to be alone at home, because God sent me Mom to go to Joshua’s doctor appointment with me and to mail a package, and Dennis took part of his lunch to meet me at the lactation clinic (and no, I didn’t ask him to.  He has been so supportive of me trying to breast feed, and supportive of our family in general, I just have to cry!).  Everything went so smoothly, it helped boost my confidence immensely, especially how well it went at home without my rock.  (Although of course I was leaning on God, an even bigger rock than my husband.)  Joshua ate and slept well, and I managed to get the dishes and several loads of laundry done.  I’m gaining ground! :)

Maybe I won’t be so terrible at this motherhood thing after all.

Thankful Thursday #121: happy Thanksgiving!

Happy thanksgiving! I hope you’re enjoying your holiday with family and/or friends and that there’s lots of delicious food in your future.

Since time is scarce these days, I have a short and sweet Thankful Thursday today.  Something special happened on Tuesday – all my Moms showed up at our house at the same time without even planning it!  Phyllis came to spend a couple days with us and help around the house, bless her, Momma Donna stopped in on her way to work to meet her newest “grand-baby”, and my own mother, who just arrived in Wichita on Saturday and just in time to meet baby Joshua, came over to spend some more time with him (she also came to the hospital.  And for the record, the excitement finally kicked in – she is so in love with him! So happy for that. :) )And the craziest thing is, even my foodie Mama joined us from California without knowing it, calling me to congratulate me on Joshua’s birth.  I’ve said it before, but God has such great timing.  How wonderful for him to orchestrate this special day. :)

I know you’d have rather seen Joshua than the nursing cover over my chest, but I wasn’t about to break his latch when we’ve been working on it so hard.  And you’re welcome for me not flashing my boob! lol

Happy thanksgiving! May you find many things to be thankful for this year.

A photo session with a reluctant dog

Yesterday I featured a picture of me with Joshua’s big sister, Jessie.  You probably assumed she just plopped down on her butt and smiled at the camera like a pro.  Um, no.  Maybe some dogs love to pose for the camera, but it’s Jessie’s number 3 thing that she hates, after thunder and the power going out.  She is always reluctant to face the camera.

I thought I’d share how hard it is to get a decent photo with this girl, and why I feature her on my blog so rarely.  She came into the nursery while we were doing our weekly pregnancy photos and I decided to try to get her to pose with me.  But first she demanded butt scratching, and once I obliged, she never wanted me to stop.  You can see on her tail where there is missing fur – even on medication, her allergies are so bad in the summer that she’s still itchy.

I finally got her to chillax on the butt scratchin’ and sit, but then she wanted to face me with her head down, which is how she asks for a neck massage.  Spoiled pup much? lol  At first I tried to coax her into posing without a massage…

And this was the best I got.

Why must you torture me, Mama?

Then we had some progress because she finally looked up at me and was smiling.  This would have been a great photo if I was smiling back in a normal way, and not with such an open-wide mouth that I looked like I was ready to eat her.

This one cracks me up because I look like a dog trainer and she’s listening really hard to me.  I wish!

But then the magic finally happened, and voila!  It was all worth it.

Jessie was rewarded with her neck massage. :)

I don’t think I ever shared this “Meet Jessie” video on my blog, so you can watch it now if you didn’t get enough of her in this post. :)  Also, it shows what our living room & kitchen used to look like before we had to empty the office and change it dramatically so that we had a place to put some of the stuff.  I will have to take pics of what it looks like now to share with you.  Soon!

Grandpa’s Hot Pink Stolen Sun Hat

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I’ve used this picture of my Grandpa in his stolen pink hat several times on my blog, because it just cracks me up:

I bought this hat in 1996, along with a matching beach bag, and had planned to be totally cool wearing it on the “beach” (aka at the swimming area at El Dorado Lake) that summer.  Then Grandma and Grandpa came to visit, and he immediately confiscated it on sight.  I found him wearing it one day and just didn’t even know what to say.  He told me he was taking it back to Joplin with him because it made a great sun hat.

I was so mad at him, but what are you supposed to say to an elderly mad man that wants to wear your pink hat?  I was half amused, half furious because he didn’t even ask if he could have it, but in the end I found it more hilarious than anything.  I’m so glad I caught this evidence of his thievery on camera for you guys. LOL!

I never saw this hat again until we visited their place for the funeral in March.  As you may have noticed from how he packed Becky with food, he had a hoarding problem, and the house was almost impossible to navigate.  The back bedroom was stuffed with boxes of vitamins (Grandpa was a health nut) and my littlest sister, Lacey, went back there with Danielle to go through the boxes and take what she wanted (she’s the only health nut left in the family, and Uncle David had given her permission for this).

See the hat to the right of Lacey and Danielle?  It’s hard to tell but that’s actually a stack of several hats, and I noticed some pink in the stack (it was already gone by the time I took this photo).  I asked Lacey to see if that was my sun hat and sure enough, we had somehow managed to find it!

Reunited at last!!

I no longer cared about the hat for the sake of wearing it to the beach (I’m way too uncool for that now), but the hat had taken on a sentimental meaning to me, knowing it had been worn and loved by my Grandpa.  Not sure if I’d ever have a reason to wear it, I took it back home to Wichita.

Then my Aunt Ruby invited me to her second annual garden party and told me the theme was “hats” and there would be prizes for best, most original, and etc.  I knew immediately I had to wear Grandpa’s hat!!

Aunt Ruby (middle) giving a tour of her garden to some of the guests. These two both ended up winning 1st and 2nd place for “most original” hats, and I think they deserved it! :D

With my cousin Racine. I added some flowers to my hat to spiff it up, as did many other guests there! Great minds.

With cousin Michael (he’s so cool, he has dreads down to his butt and often ties them up on top of his head in summer) and Aunt Nadene wearing Grandma Davis’ bonnet–that’s one old bonnet!

I didn’t photograph all the hats, unfortunately, but I think Owen was the only guest who didn’t wear one-so fun!

I ended up winning first place for “most beautiful” hat!  I can just imagine Grandpa’s big amused smile seeing me win for the hat we both stole from each other. :)

With my reusable shopping bag and brooch I won for most beautiful hat.


Thankful Thursday #107: I’m pregnant :)

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I know, I can’t believe it either!  Praise the Lord, who remembers our prayers even after many years.  We are so thankful and it has been so hard not to share this on every Thankful Thursday since we found out!  I’m now 13 weeks along and baby is due December 9, 2013 (that’s Dennis’ birthday-lol).  We just celebrated our 13th anniversary on June 4th and I’m starting to think 13 isn’t such an unlucky number after all. :)

Happy Mother’s Day to YOU!

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You guys, I love Mother’s Day. I always have.  Shout out to my Mama and all the other wonderful mothers out there!

But I also want to acknowledge that this can be a bittersweet and even downright sad day for many women and men. Those that have lost their mothers. Those that have lost children. Those that have wanted children for a long time and are scared they will never be able to have them.

I just want you to know, that my heart beats with yours today.  Remember God’s love for you, that He is with us through every tear, and I hope that His huge love will help fill the empty spots in your heart today.

Happy Mother’s Day to EVERY WOMAN (and man, as the case may be)! Because aren’t we really all mothers in one way or another?

Jessie thinks she has the best mama in the whole world! :D

And I have the best fur baby.

Happy Jessie in the shade



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