Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cake Class #3

We had lots of fun tonight learning many different flowers and leaves.  Tonight we decorated cupcakes.  I was really pleased with how my flower "baskets" turned out.

This little guy was just for fun:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Rockstar!

In May of 2005, we were excited to find out that we were expecting our second child.  Baby #2 was due January 26th, 2006.  We elected not to find out the gender of Baby #2 just as we had with our firstborn.  I was nearly certain that Baby#2 must be a boy since he/she was so much different than Haley.  January 26th came and went and no baby yet.  Saturday morning, January 28th, I woke up early around 5:30 unable to sleep well.  I was having some contractions, not yet severe.  We had made a "false-alarm" trip to the hospital two weeks earlier and I certainly didn't want to do that again.  After a while of sitting in the living room, Cale got up to check on me.  I showered.  Cale got Haley up and going and called our friends for the expected need for childcare.  We left home sometime between 8 and 8:30, dropped Haley off to our friends and headed to the hospital 45 minutes away.  We arrived in the OB department sometime around 9:15 a.m.  It seemed the nurses wanted to make certain I was actually in labor, so I was placed in this tiny room where they placed me on a monitor and bp cuff and the first nurse attempted multiple times to check my progress - unsuccessfully I might add.  She went for another more experienced nurse who returned to my tiny little room and she quickly assessed that I was indeed well into labor at a "good" 6 cm dilated.  They made arrangements to move me to a labor and delivery room across the hall.  As the nurse was prepping my IV's and pushing the antibiotics that I needed prior to delivery, I informed her that my water had broken.  Once again, she checked my progress and discovered I was at 9 cm quickly nearing 10 cm and almost ready to deliver. At this point the room got a little busy with the hustle and bustle of several nurses.  The younger nurse I started with yelled from my room door down the hall to the desk to call the Doctor STAT.  While the other nurse calmly explained to my husband that it is very possible the doctor will not make it in time to deliver the baby.  She tried to comfort us by letting us know that this is not a first time for such occurrence and that they are capable of seeing us through the delivery until the doctor arrived.  At approximately 10 a.m. I was given a dose of 30 minute pain medication to ease the pain of my contractions.  My doctor did arrive in plenty of time to deliver our precious baby girl at 10:45 a.m.  Aspen Mackenzie weighed in equal to her big sister at 8 pounds 14 ounces.  We then called our parents, who did not know we were at the hospital, to announce the arrival of their newest grand-daughter.  

Since her arrival in our lives, Aspen has provided much energy, excitement and joy to our family.  She loves to sing and dance.  She frequently makes up new songs of great content and sound to sing to us.  As we were driving to school one day, she asked me if she could be a rockstar when she grew up.  I told her that I thought she could be a rockstar, as long as she sang about Jesus.  Content with my response, she determines at this young age to aspire to become a rockstar when she grows up.  Thus the nickname, Rockstar.   Regardless of her chosen occupation in the years to come, she will always be a rockstar in the eyes of her parents.

My sweet Rockstar, may you continue to nurture your sweet spirit and kind heart.  I pray you continue to grow in wisdom and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  May you be filled with love for the Lord and serve Him with your whole heart, soul and mind that you might be a Rockstar for Jesus all the days of your life.  I pray that I will be willing to commit you to God's loving care and control and release you to serve Him wherever He may lead you across this great globe.

Happy Birthday, Rockstar!  I love you!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Little More Practice

Tonight was my second cake decorating class at Butler Community College in El Dorado.  Tonight we worked on leveling our cakes and smoothing our icing.  We also practiced a few decorating techniques.  Once our icing was smooth (or somewhat close to smooth), we were free to decorate our cakes however we wanted.  Everyone in class did a stellar job.  Below is my second cake creation.  On a January day when the outside temperature reached nearly 60 degrees, this is in no way reflective of the weather outside.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A New Hobby for the New Year

I have always found the art of cake decorating interesting.  Growing up, I watched as my mom decorated many birthday and wedding cakes for friends and family.  This past Christmas I asked my husband for a new hobby kit, a cake decorating caddy.  A good friend of mine thought it would be fun to take a class together.  She located the class details and we enrolled.  Last Tuesday, I attended my first cake decorating class offered at Butler Community College in El Dorado.  The main problem I see with this new hobby is that hubby and I have started 2012 with great momentum in eating better and exercising more. I've yet to see how my new hobby fits into that wonderful plan.  Tonight I baked and decorated my first practice cake.  My inspiration comes from the cake that Rockstar wants for her birthday next Saturday, much similar to the one below only covered in stars. Since we are just weeks away from Valentine's day I found the heart shaped design fitting for my practice run.  Tomorrow is our monthly carry-in lunch at church. I plan to take this to church so that it may be eaten and enjoyed (hopefully) without sabatoging our current goals. While I am certainly looking forward to tasting my creation of white cake with strawberry preserve filling and buttercream frosting, I'm also looking forward to practicing again!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Review: Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann

Indelible is a romantic suspense novel written by award-winning author, Kristin Heitzmann.  Indelible features new characters such as Trevor MacDaniel and Natalie Reeve among others and also weaves in many residents of the Redford community first introduced in Heitzmann's book, Indivisible.  While the story-line stands alone apart from Indivisible, I believe readers will find Indelible much more enjoyable and somewhat easier to understand if they choose to first read Indivisible.

I found this book to be written in familiar Heitzmann form.  I did find the antagonist's introductory parts of the book somewhat confusing. I considered the disjointing of thoughts part of the author's style and saw it through to the end.  As the book carried through I was able to easily tie it all together and realize the author had been referencing John Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost.  This is a light romance of a budding relationship that develops despite Trevor's perceived past inadequacies and Natalie's almost super-natural and at times disabling ability to see into people with her eidetic memory.  The suspense keeps the story-line moving and the reader anticipating the next twist or turn. Indellible, like other Heitzmann novels, captured my attention and made for a quick, suspenseful and enjoyable read.  

The product description from the back cover of the trade paperback reads:

In a clash of light and darkness, can courage prevail? 
Rescuing a toddler from the jaws of a mountain lion, Trevor MacDaniel, a high-country outfi tter, sets in motion events he can’t foresee. His act of bravery entwines his life with gifted sculptor Natalie Reeve—and attracts a grim admirer.
Trevor’s need to guard and protect is born of tragedy, prompting his decision to become a search and rescue volunteer. Natalie’s gift of sculpting comes from an unusual disability that seeks release through her creative hands. In each other they see strength and courage as they face an incomprehensible foe.
When a troubled soul views Trevor as archangel and adversary, Redford’s peaceful mountain community is threatened. Together with Police Chief Jonah Westfall, Trevor presses his limits to combat the menace who targets the most helpless and innocent.

If this sounds like a book you might enjoy, you can check out the first chapter for free at Scribd by clicking here.  This book is available in both print and ebook form from most retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Christianbook.com.  

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

My particular digital review format of this book had some quirky formatting as some other reviewers have noted. I downloaded the free Kindle sample and found it to be without quirks.  I believe the odd formatting and hanging letters is a reflection of the compatibility of my review copy and my Kindle device, not the author's grammatical error or inadequacy.