In Oklahoma (at least in the Southeast portion) we aren't lucky enough to just get snow storms. Nope. Apparently God thinks we need a challenge, so he gives us ice before the snow. I took a few pictures yesterday and today of the progression of our latest winter weather.
I love making things beautiful. The reason I prefer baking over cooking. I have been playing with cake decorating for a long time. Just on my own. I bought some icing bags and tips and whipped up a couple of creations. Well, now I'm finally enrolled in a cake decorating class! It is a four-week Wilton class taught at Hobby Lobby. I found a 40% off coupon on Hobby Lobby's website, so I bought the big cake decorating caddy with 50 tools. It's fantastic. This Saturday we will be decorating our first cake. I'll post pictures of my latest works of art. Here are two that I did in the last few years.
My awesome new cake decorating tools. I've always loved a good tool box. I might be an organizational freak.
This one was for Mother's Day last year. My mom's favorite flower is the Hydrangea, so it's supposed to look like that. My cake cracked down the middle, so this one was a challenge.
This was the girls' 1st birthday cake. Homemade banana cake with cream cheese icing. This was my first attempt at a specific design on a cake.
The girls have been growing up like crazy lately. They went to a birthday party Sunday night and Julia gave Amelia a hug TWICE! We'll pretend that she didn't hit her sister directly after the first hug. Amelia has recently learned how to say, "Thank you." She does it unpromted almost everytime I hand her something she's asking for. It's precious. Both girls recently learned to say, "I you" (their version of "I love you") and "Happy to you" (their version of Happy Birthday to you). They are pretty stingy with the "I love yous", but it's pretty darn cute when they say either.
Last night shortly after the water finished draining from the tub, I noticed that Amelia had an awfully serious look on her face and was being quite still. Considering that we had a "pooping incident" a couple nights ago, I didn't want to take any chances so I swooped her up and sat her on the toilet. Jonathan took Julia into the living room so Amelia wasn't so distracted and we read her potty book for awhile. Then she actually peed in the potty! We cheered and she was happy to get to wipe, flush, and wash her hands. I braved a pair of Elmo panties on her in lieu of her diaper thinking she could make it an hour or so until we put the overnight diaper on her. Wrong! She soaked through the panties. She soaked through the fleece footed pajamas and there was a puddle on the floor. How can such a little person have so much pee?!?! So we probably aren't anywhere close to potty-trained, but we are making progress.
Today was the big day. My interview with OU's Physician Assistant program. It was surprisingly informal, which was nice because my stomach was all tied up in knots with nerves. I managed to smile at my fellow interviewees, but I couldn't manage small talk. We were told how to apply for financial aid, given a brief tour, and allowed to ask all the questions we could think of. After all this they called us out of the room individually for our interviews. I went into a small room where I was interviewed by three people - two younger women and an older man. The older man was awesome. He led off the questions by asking me what went through my head when I was told I was having twins. Haha. It was a great question that helped me open up and be myself. The next question was how I've prepared for becoming a PA besides my prerequisites. I talked about my shadowing, told them I already had the girls on a waiting list for a daycare, and then talked a lot about my work with the underserved. OU's program is based out of their school of community medicine. They strive to help equalize the disparity in healthcare in our community. I figure anyone can come in with a great GPA and lots of medical experience, but this could be the thing that sets me apart. I talked about how I began by helping in a food pantry in elementary school and, then did my first inner-city mission trip to Houston, and finally told them a little about my time in Philadelphia. Apparently there were 210 qualified applicants, 103 interviewees, and they can take 24 students. I should find out if I am one of those 24 before the end of February. The most awesome thing about the day was that I remembered how badly I want this. When I'm away from the program, it's easy to lose focus. Everytime I go to campus, I am reminded of why I am doing this though. I really do want a career in which I can make this world a little better. In which I can show people the dignity and respect that society as a whole so often denies them - helping them to heal in more ways than one.
I am in week two of my first ever online class. I thought I would have a hard time with this, but I think it may actually be easier for me than going to class. My fear was that without going to the classroom, I would neglect my schoolwork. This class (Medical Terminology) has two assignments or more due each week and that keeps me on top of everything. So the new semester has begun well.
Friday is the big day for me though. My interview for the Physician Assistant program. I have been told to show up at 2:30 for registration. They will begin with opening remarks, financial aid information, a tour and then I will interview at 4:15pm. There were over 200 applicants for 24 openings. I don't know how many of us they are interviewing. If you think of it, please lift up a prayer for me that I interview well.
For those of you that have kids that still think the world should be taste-tested, I've perused many edible playdough recipes and tried out a couple that I love. Both of these recipes are taken from http://www.familycorner.com/
Kool-Aid Play Dough
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
3 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 package Kool-Aid Mix (any flavor of unsweetened)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Mix dry ingredients together in a large saucepan. Slowly add water mixed with oil and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens to dough. Turn out onto a heatproof bread board or counter top and knead until cool enough for children to handle. Dough will be the color of the Kool-Aid mix and will smell like the Kool-Aid mix. (Can be stored in a tightly covered container for up to six months)
This one is so colorful and the texture is just like the store-bought stuff.
Peanut Butter Play Dough
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
2 cups powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, using your hands. Dough should feel soft and pliable. Storage: When not using, MUST be stored in an airtight container.
This one is a bit oilier than the store-bought stuff and it's not as pretty as the kool-aid kind, but it is really tasty!
One of my go-to activities for my girls on days when they are restless and I don't have the energy to get on the floor and play with them is edible fingerpainting. This is an easy project.
1. Whip up a batch of vanilla instant pudding and divide into a few smaller bowls
2. Add a couple drops of food coloring to each bowl and mix until evenly distributed
3. Let the fingerpainting begin!
I just strap my kids into their booster seats and put a dollop of each color on their trays and let them have fun smearing it all over their tray. If you use paper, the pudding will dry like fingerpaint. This is a great activity for teaching colors and what happens when you mix them.
These cute thank you notes were a big hit and so easy that my not-quite 2 year olds were able to participate. I just had the girls finger paint with red and white on green paper. I cut several Christmas trees out of each finger painting and let the girls help me glue the trees on blank cards. We got the prefold cards with envelopes in a pack of 50 from Hobby Lobby for $5. So cheap, so easy, so cute.
Second birthdays are right around the corner. Two months is right around the corner, right? My husband thinks I'm crazy because I've already started planning and shopping. This particular post will be edited regularly as a landing place for all my birthday ideas. And the theme this year is....drumroll, please?...
Kermit the Frog! The first character that my kids became obsessed with. Our Muppet movie collection started with Muppets Take Manhattan, The Great Muppet Caper, and Muppets in Space. We have since added The Best of the Muppet Show, Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppets Christmas Letters, and Kermit's Swamp Years. There was a period of a few months when they wanted to watch Muppets Take Manhattan or The Great Muppet Caper ALL DAY LONG. Thankfully they've since discovered Cars, Elmo in Grouchland and the ever-popular Mickey Mouse. So when we find ourselves singing of Miss Piggy's love for Kermit when the movie isn't on we can take a break for a bit.
Now for the good stuff - Birthday Brainstorming! Bullet-pointed for ease of reference.
First the overall scene. The party will most-likely be family at our house for cake and presents. The colors will be lime green and hot pink.
Bought lime green plates trimmed in white with lime green and hot pink polka dots from Hobby Lobby. Will use hot pink beverage napkins left over from our wedding
Will buy lime green and hot pink latex balloons and hot pink curling ribbon
Can use hot pink squares of fabric from wedding
Wrap gifts in lime green paper with hot pink ribbon
6" round cakes for each of the girls embellished with their first initial. Chocolate cake with mint icing for Julia. Strawberry cake with vanilla icing for Amelia. Cupcakes in the same flavors for the guests all with home-made kermit cupcake picks.
First post in a new blog seems a bit daunting. A little about myself. I went to college straight out of high school and like most kids had not a clue what I wanted to do. After changing majors several times (8?) I ended up with a Bachelors of Business in Meetings and Destination Management with an emphasis in Meetings Management. That's a fancy way of saying event planning. Had a great internship with Dr Pepper/Seven Up during a hiring freeze. Came home and looked for a job for three months right when a major company laid off most of their experienced meeting planners. I wound up as the sales girl for a high-end flower shop. Unfortunately this pays next to nothing, so a couple years later I took a job as an administrative assistant for my church, which paid slightly more than next to nothing. Next thing you know I'm married and we decide to send me back to school so I can have a career in which I feel like I am better using all my gifts and can get paid a decent amount. So I start prerequisites for a Physicians Assistant program. Meanwhile the alarm on my biological clock is going crazy knowing that I am going to be in school so long and not wanting to wait to start having kids after I'm 30, so we decide to have one before I start my PA program and another after I'm done. God had other plans. In October of 2007 we went to my routine 20 week ultrasound and the tech says, "There's Baby A's head..." Excuse me?!?! He spent the rest of the time trying to convince us we really were having twins. I'll most likely give more details of my pregnancy and childbirth experience in a later post. Suffice it to say for now that I had two perfect baby girls in the Spring of 2008. Although now I was faced with a new delimma. When the plan was one baby, I was going to find a daycare and go back to work. Now I had two babies and still very little income from my job and it just didn't make sense to go back to work. Identity crises. I suddenly felt like a daycare worker that never got to clock out. Two years later, I have regained my sense of who I am, finished the prerequisites for my PA program and have regained a shred of my sanity.
I have had a Xanga blog for almost 7 years, but reading back on it, it's embarrassingly immature and serves more as a silly rant on the minutia of life with a few sparkling musings sprinkled in. I would like to be a bit more focused in this one and a bit less autobiographical. This is where I plan to share the antics of my children, my journey in higher education (...again), and my crafty creations. I know, I know. Still not all that focused. This coupled with my poor writing skills (just ask all my high school English teachers) is why I will never be a professional writer. Although I suppose I should have learned by now to never say never...