Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sister King!

Last Tuesday was Cherie King's birthday, and I wanted to do something special. I generally do cupcakes for the Young Women, and I try to go with a theme that works with their personality or interests. So here's what I came up with:

For the theme, I went with "She may be a King, but she's our Queen Bee." I made cupcakes for the girls to eat in class, and a cake, topped with a Queen Bee sitting on her throne, for Cherie to take home and enjoy with her family. I also bought a picture frame with a lot of matte space, stamped my "theme" on it, and had all the girls sign it with a birthday message. Happy Birthday, Cherie!

P.S. You should be able to see a close-up of the pictures by clicking (maybe double-clicking) on them. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Earth Day

The K-1 Classes at Jason's school put on an Earth Day Program this year where they told us in word and song all about the ecological problems that face our world today. In fact, here we are two weeks later, and Jason is still telling us (almost on a daily basis) that over a billion trees a year are used to make disposable diapers. They're turning my boy into a tree-hugger! Not that I'm not for going green, but there is such a thing as overkill. I'm still gonna use those disposable diapers. But, Jason still did a fabulous job in the program. He sang his little heart out, and even had a few speaking parts that he nailed. Hayden was pretty entertaining, too. She liked to walk up and down the aisles making friends with the other kids that were there. She even stole some kid's box of raisins. (I returned them.) She tried to lead everyone in a prayer, but it didn't quite work out, so she settled for loudly applauding after every song.


When I was called into Young Women's, every time one of the girls had a birthday, I'd volunteer to bake for the occasion. It's now just assumed that when there's a birthday, I'll create something from the oven. I wouldn't have it any other way. Once Cherie said that it should be someone else's burden every once in awhile, but I vehemently shook my head and told her it just wasn't going to happen. I love doing it. It gives me an excuse to try new recipes and different techniques. And I've started trying to fit each new recipe to the girl. So this week, it's Kristianne's birthday. I asked her what kind of cupcakes she'd like. "Vanilla." Vanilla? What on earth could I do with vanilla? So I thought about it. And thought. And then I had an epiphany. For these particular cupcakes, the flavor would be vanilla, but I would decorate it to cater to her interests. She's very into sports, my sweet Kristianne, and she's been involved in swimming lately. So I did swimming cupcakes. I tinted the frosting a very pale blue, spiked the edges to look like waves, then I used food-color spray to paint the tips of the waves a darker blue. Next, I put a gummy ring in the center, inserted a Teddy Graham into his own little intertube, then finished it all with a cocktail umbrella. They turned out super cute. I hope Kristi will like them! (And just so they know I didn't forget them, we're also celebrating Hannah and Julia's birthdays as well, though they were a few weeks ago! I just haven't had the opportunity to talk about cupcakes with them.)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Ever Have That Dream...

You know the one. The one where you show up at school naked? Well, that didn't exactly happen to me today, but I sure felt like it had. But first, let me rewind to the beginning... My dear, sweet Hayden decided sleep wasn't on the agenda last night. From 10:00 t0 about 12:40, I rocked, I snuggled, I sang, I fed, I did everything I could think of to get this child to sleep. No luck. Jason woke me up around 6:00 or so this morning, just to let me know he'd woken up early. So I had him get dressed for school, made him breakfast, and let him play the Wii until it was time to go to school. Hayden and I got back home after taking Jason to school around 8:45. I sat her up with her breakfast, turned on Baby Einstein, and crashed on the couch. Five minutes later, I had a raspberry-face in mine, with a pudgy little hand tapping my shoulder, "Mommy? Mommy?" She'll do this until you respond, so I got up, got her cleaned up and ready for the day, and puttered around for another hour, telling myself I needed to get in the shower. I finally did sometime around 10:00, and was ready for the day around 11:00. I wasn't feeling too great, so I decided to try and wear something cute to lift my spirits, so I put on a swishy brown skirt, purple top, and a white sweater with sparkly brown espadrilles. It still didn't do the trick. I just felt in a funk. Most likely from the lack of sleep. So I called Jared and asked if we could meet him for lunch. He said he was busy with their month-end close, but if I didn't mind a quick lunch in the cafeteria, he could do it. So, we headed for Milpitas, and a quick lunch it was indeed. On the way home, I decided to stop at Walgreen's as I had a prescription to pick up, among some other things we needed. Hayden refused to get in the shopping cart, and I reasoned that since we were only going in for 2 things, it wouldn't be too big a deal, right? WRONG! If I headed down one aisle, she'd laugh and start running in the opposite direction. And remember, I was wearing espadrilles, not Nike Trainers, so I was having a hard time catching up to her. I finally slung her over my shoulder, and carried her back to the wall of vitamins, where I needed to pick up a bottle of Melatonin. Here, I set her down next to me, and tried to hold her hand. She quickly yanked it back, grabbed two bottles of whatever supplements were right in front of her, and took off running down the nearest aisle. People just watched and laughed. This happened at least 3 times before I finally found the stupid Melatonin, and was able to get in line to pick up my prescription. For this, I slung her over my shoulders again, like a sack of potatoes. A very wiggly sack. When it was my turn, I had to maneuver my hand under this sack to get my wallet out of my purse, which was underneath her, and pay, one-handed, while the pharmacist tried to tell me how to use this particular medication. Glad when it was over, I carried my toddler outside, where I set her down, grabbed her hand, and set out for the car. We did okay for awhile, until she decided she'd had enough, ripped her hand from mine, and streaked for the open parking lot. Luckily, I was close enough and caught her after a few steps. I carried her the rest of the way to the car, but had to put her down to find my keys in my purse. We were parked on one side of an island in the parking lot. On the other side was the driveway, and beyond that was Panera Bread, which had lots of tables full of people on their lunch breaks enjoying their lunches. Hayden darted for the island. I followed, and caught up with her on the cement. I reached down to pick her up, but as I did, she grabbed the hem of my fabulous swishy brown skirt, and yanked it up to my shoulders, exposing my scantily clad lower half to the numerous patrons of Panera bread. I fought to get my skirt back down around my knees where it belonged, but the damage was done. I could hear the laughter, and see the faces of those trying not to. I hauled Hayden off to the now open car, buckled her in, and drove home. Ah, the joys of motherhood. Pppffffttt!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Toga Party!

I wonder what the Hale's do for Family Home Evening these days? We throw a TOGA PARTY, of course! We figured it was time to make up for all those missed frat parties back in our college days. But sorry everyone, the Jell-O shots here contain nothing but Jell-O. ;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


The Easter Bunny came early to our house this year because of our crazy travel plans. I was heading off to my parents' house to escape being home alone with the kids while Jared spent a week in Belgium. I know. He went to Belgium. Without me. And he didn't even bring me anything but chocolate, which I specifically asked him not to do. I've only begun to think about forgiving him. But anyway, back to Easter. The Easter Bunny was good to the kids this year, bringing them both a Sesame Street gardening kit so they could both help Mommy & Daddy out in the garden. This may be a good or a bad thing, since both kids love helping, especially when it involves digging in the dirt, and pulling weeds (or if you're Hayden, pulling the carefully transplanted seedlings M & D worked so hard to grow). Hayden's basket also included a Hello Kitty candy lipstick. I don't know if you recall, but she has a certain fascination with lipstick, so this was a big hit. I love how she puckers to put it on, but discreetly sticks her tongue between her teeth and applies it there instead of on her lips.
The Easter Bunny also hid Easter Eggs throughout the house while we were out buying bookshelves at IKEA. That clever bunny. I was surprised that both my kids got so into this. I mean with Jason, it's a given. But I wasn't sure how Hayden would respond. She wasn't very good at the finding, so Daddy helped, but everything else about it excited her: finding the egg, putting it in her basket, throwing them on the floor to disperse their contents... Exhilarating!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Joys of Boys

Just another reason we love little boys: the art of the armpit fart. I've become convinced that both the ability and inclination to do this is a standard particle in the make-up of the y chromosome. Jason's so proud that he can now add this time-honored talent to his musical repertoire. Little boys.