How to Make a Cake

1. First you bake the cake. I made a yellow cake- plain old recipe I always use. Then I baked it in a small pyrex bowl, an oval shaped cake pan and 6 cupcakes.

2. Then you arrange the cakes in a fashion that suits your needs. And here is what you get... Looks sort of bear- like....


3. But it is not a bear. So next you add 2 cookies....(ears) it is looking a little more like it is supposed to.


4. Next you spend an awful long time kneading. A very long time. With crisco all over your hands and counter. Then you mix in the color of choice and knead some more. ANd what you are left with is fondant. If you don't know what that is you can look it up.

5. THEN very carefully roll out the fondant, making sure it does not stick to the counter, itself or the rolling pin. Then roll it all up on the rolling pin and hold it over the prepared cakes. Gently unroll the rolling pin, letting the fondant fall into place. It was about now that I was hearing..."Mommy, what IS that??" So it looks a little like a weird little alien boy....


***Now before I go on I would like to introduce you to Mousie....and the inspiration for this cake


So on to step 6: Roll out a couple fondant circles and wrap up the cookies and place them back on the body. Now the little alien boy looks a little more mouse like. ( I also pushed on the nose a bit to make it higher)


7. Add color. Mix more color into the fondant and knead again. Place on any features or decorations and you're done!

**********And since I know you are dying to see it here is the final product!!!**************

This is the first time I ever used fondant. So when I found a recipe for Marshmallow fondant I thought I would try it. It is pretty good. The commercial fondant is almost inedible. And there is buttercream underneath. It was fun to make though. And I hope he likes it tomorrow at his party. I can't believe my baby is 1....well not until Sunday....he's a baby for a few more days anyway....


A walk in the woods

Yesterday we went for a mini-hike in the Maryville College Woods. It's been awhile since I have been there, but the boys enjoyed it a lot the last time we were there....and they did this time too. It is the perfect, and close, place to take a walk in the woods. Not too strenuous for my 2 yr old to walk, although he did complain a little near the end. My 4 year old walked along dodging poison ivy to pick wild flowers:


Down at the bottom of one of the trails there is a little log bridge, picnic tables and a creek. We stopped there to eat a snack and the boys were off into the creek bed to look for things. They both collect things: rocks and they collected a ton of mussel shells....and snail shells. Then they were off looking for Tennessee Pearls which they have never seen (until today when I showed them mine), but they were certain they could find one in the mussels.


They soon forgot to stay out of the water and my 4 year old was covered in mud on his hands and pants wet up to his knees. They started jumping to little islands. Paul went down with them to carry the 2 yr old across and found a bunch of salamanders and a crayfish. He caught one....the baby was mesmerized by it.


The walk back was filled with questions and observations. Pointing out different plants and trees, watching for what made the rustling sounds under the leaves, and listening to woodpeckers and other birds.


Words! Lapbook

We finally finished this one!! It took a lot more work than I expected, and I am glad I went into the whole thing with a rough sketch of what I wanted to accomplish and where it would all go. I am also very glad I have kids who love to cut and glue! My goal was to have a sort of word book for the kids to use with their reading. As we were putting it together, my oldest was reading words to his 4 yr old brother while the 4 yr old read the words he could back, so I think it will accomplish my goal. I also plan to use it later if any particular group of words is causing trouble. Anyway, so here it is....

Here is what is inside (using 3 file folders)

  • The first small flap contains 5 pockets. 1 for each vowel. Each pocket has word cards for short CVC words.

  • the 2nd small flap has 6 minibooks made from word cards for the -ng and -nk words

  • The first large section is for the long A sounds: ea, ay, ei, ey, eigh, a_e and ai

  • The 3rd small flap has flaps for ar and or, along with a mini-poster for oy and oi

  • The 4th small flap has 3 pockets for the 3 pronunciations for -ed and words for "ea" with the short e sound

  • The 2nd large section has the long e sounds: e_e, e, ee, ei, ea, ie and ey/y. It also has the 3 "ch" sound and all of the "er" sounds

  • The 5th small flap has some of the silents: ph, wr, b, kn,gn and t

  • The 6th small flap has -ck and the voiced and unvoiced "th"

  • The 3rd large section has Long o sounds: oa, o, ow,oe, and o_e. And the "sh" sounds of sh, ti, si, ci

  • The 7th small flap has word card books fro au/aw and ow/ou

  • The 8th small flap has the 6 different pronunciations of -ough

  • The 4th large section has the long u sounds (and variations of it): u, ue, u_e, ui, ew, oo (and it's second pronunciation) aswell as contractions.

  • And the 5th large section, on the back, has the long I sounds: i, i_e, ie, y and igh. And -tch, -dge, wh and qu

Here are a few links to the online resources....the rest was all just me and Word.

oi/oy, au/aw ou/ow, long I, r-controlled and other vowel combinations were found here, and I used this site to print some of the word cards. The blank templates were from Homeschool Helper then cut and pasted into Word so I could edit them.

And here are some of the views of inside:

Miscellaneous Ramblings From My Home to Yours

  • This past Tuesday my oldest was awarded his Tiger Badge. He also got a few beads, 3 elective beads, and his weather belt loop and pin. They played a game at the meeting...blowing ping pong balls across the floor in a relay. Mine did not play. I don't blame him at all, and when his dad started trying to talk him into playing I told him to stop. I would never, in a million years play that game. It made me anxious just watching. And when I was six being forced to partake would have sent me into hysterics.

  • On the topic of scouts....I am very thankful for the wonderful cubmaster we have who talks to my son and completely ignores the fact that he is glaring, staring at the floor or itching to run and hide.

  • We worked on our phonogram lapbook this son has gotten a lot better at the dough, enough, through....words. But had trouble deciding if certain words ending in -ed sounded like -t or -d. And when it comes down to it, apparently so do I....there were supposed to be 4 of each (ed, d, or t) and when we sorted them all there were 4, 2 and when choosing the words I must not have pronouced correctly. Oops.

  • The highlight of the afternoon was cutting open the apple for lunch and finding all the seeds had sprouted tails. We planted all of them and they are in the window sill with the numerous seedling wating to be planted.

  • Today was a very rainy day, and I had 3 muddy boys who forgo taking a bath tonight.

  • And finally, I am done on the computer because my eye hurts....I am a very graceful person. You know the type who can't walk through a doorway without hitting it first, or the type to bruise her finger for 4 months by dropping a can of fruit on it. Back to my eye....during the dinner mayhem of everyone screaming at me, including the baby at my feet...I went to pick him up and hit my eye on one of our dining room chairs. It is swollen and bruised.....