Mission Impossible: Barbie Cake Saturday, Oct 6 2007 

Beth’s husband is going to go work in AZ for the fall/winter – since he is a golf pro he can make more $ there, and it will allow Beth to quit her job so she can go to dental school.  I’m so proud of her!!!

Because of that, Beth had to put together a last minute bday party for Meah so that her daddy would be there.  Beth had a class reunion to go to tonight and Meah wanted a Barbie cake – so to relieve some stress off of Beth I offered to make a Barbie cake.  In other words, I’m quasi-insane 🙂  I think it will be fun.  I always thought cake making looked artsy, but I’ve never had a reason to actually make a fancy cake like that…

 So here we are with the mess of icing that I made – it’s Buttercream with pink food coloring… the recipe if you want it:

1/2 c. solid vegetable shortening (I used Crisco butter flavored shortening sticks)
1/2 cup butter or margarine (I used butter)
4 cups (1 lb.) sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 Tb. milk
1 tsp Wilton clear vanilla extract

Cream butter and shortening w/ electric mixer.  Add vanilla.  Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.  Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.  When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.  Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

I used the paste/decorators kind of food coloring so it wouldnt thin the icing.  It just took a little bitty bit and I added it in the butter stage.

There is a note on the recipe that says *To thin for icing cake, add a small amount of light corn syrup.

Here is my mess 🙂

cake-mess.jpg

 While waiting for the cake to come out of the oven, I decided I wanted the barbie’s scraggly hair to look like this barbie’s on the box:

boxhair.jpg

Well, this is what Barbie’s hair looks like when I twist it into a bun like that (not sure if you can see all of the scragglies)… By the way, look what a hussy she is.  She is going to regret these topless pictures someday, if she is ever famous.

messyhair.jpg

I’m not very patient, so after trying to put it up in three different ways, I finally just took scissors to it and cut off the strays.  If someone finds a hair in the cake, it’s hers – not mine.

fixed-hair.jpg

Here is the funfetti cake out of the oven cooling on my PC rack:

cooling.jpg

Then I took a serrated knife to the bottom of it so it would lay flat.

leveled.jpg

Here it is when I started frosting it – this icing is hard to work with:

frosting.jpg

I stuck her in and started trying to decorate, but wasn’t happy with how the dress wasnt very smooth. 

 started-decorating.jpg

I scraped off the decorations and smoothed the dress down w/ waxed paper.  It’s still a little bumpy but it’s my first decorated cake, ok? 🙂

And actually, possibly my last…. it’s now 10 pm, I started around 5:30…  and it’s not even that detailed but here is the finished product!

cake.jpg

Light Frap recipe Saturday, Oct 6 2007 

Teri sent me this, I’m going to try it!

1 ¼ c. DOUBLE STRENGTH FRENCH ROAST COFFEE-CHILLED

¾ c.    LIGHT MILK

2 ½ TBSP SUGAR2 ½ TBSP SLENDA2 c. ICE2 TBSPN SUGAR FREE HAZELNUT (MAY BE PURCHASED AT STARBUCKS OR WALMART) MAKE DOUBLE STRENGTH COFFEE WITH TWICE THE GROUNDS REQUIRED BY YOUR COFFEE MAKER.  BE SURE TO CHILL THIS BEFORE YOU USE IT IN THE DRINK OR THE ICE WILL MELT. (THE RECIPE ACTULLY SAYS THAT, DUH?)  TO MAKE THE DRINKS:  COMBINE ALL INGREDIENTS IN A BLENDER AND BLEND ON HIGH SPEED UNTIL THE ICE IS CRUSHED AND DRINK IS SMOOTH. ENJOY.

Finally, a Justin update! :) Thursday, Oct 4 2007 

Justin just got word from the insurance company about an hour ago that they are approving all of the dr. visits in Boston.  That is a major praise!!!  We are so greatful that God brought the people into our lives that He did through this.  The radiologist out here is the one that pulled all of the strings to get this approved.  She absolutely did NOT have to do that – it was not her job.  Yet, she still fought for us, because she is an AMAZING PERSON.  If you ever need to see a radiologist, I swear Dr. Susan Smith out of St. Lukes Kansas City is an ANGEL.

Now lets just keep praying that the drs. out in Boston can take care of Justin without opening him up again 😦 

We will be going to Boston the first part of November.  I’m going to have to work double time now (like I can fit any more appts in???) so that we can afford to go and I can afford to leave the studio for a week.  Ouch ouch ouch.  God will take care, I know.  I can’t stop myself from worrying, though.

 We are just waiting on our certification on the foster care.  It should be any time now!!!  I have already done some Christmas shopping for the kid – do you think I’m excited???  I can’t even explain how excited I am.  Justin and I have waited a long time for a little one to take care of.  This child is going to be spoiled rotten with love and attention.

OH!  One more piece of good news!  When Beth and I were at Starbucks this afternoon (between appts – I had to take a break, right?) the manager said she would look into getting some displays set up for me to HANG MY PHOTOGRAPHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I may get to display my work in my home away from home!!!!!  And the manager is setting up an appt for her son.  LOL   (Momma – dont be telling people this until it’s for sure… I know you will be excited when you read this!)

Thank you for your continued love and support – we send it right back at ya.  I know a lot of you are dealing with some hard times, too – please know you are in our thoughts and prayers!!

Cold Veggie Pizza Wednesday, Oct 3 2007 

I’m making this for a food day at Justin’s work tomorrow, and just needed a place to park the recipe:

Cool Veggie Pizza

1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1-1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dill Mix or dill weed

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups of a variety of fresh vegetables: zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, green or red peppers, green onions, seeded tomatoes, seeded cucumbers, etc.

1 oz. (1/4 cup) shredded cheddar cheese, if desired

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Spread crescent roll dough onto 13-inch baking stone and pinch seams together (you can probably use a cookie sheet as well). Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Blend cream cheese, mayonnaise, dill weed, salt and pepper. Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of cooled crust. Coarsely chop or crinkle cut chosen vegetables.

Sprinkle layer of each vegetable over pizza. Top with grated cheese, if desired. Refrigerate before serving.

Yield: 8-10 appetizer servings

Edit:  My cousin had an easy alternative – instead of mixing the cream cheese, mayo and seasonings – just mix the package of cream cheese with a package of Hidden Valley Ranch dry dressing and voila!

Chicken Pot Pie! Wednesday, Sep 26 2007 

Here you go, have a piece of my childhood!  This is my mom’s recipe – it’s sooooo good!  And quick.  Some nights (like tonight) I subsitute the chicken with canned chicken breast because I dont feel like making chicken.  Dont judge me, the canned stuff is just as good. 🙂  Can also be doubled and made in a 9×13 pan.

 1/3 c. butter or margarine
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. dried thyme leaves (optional)
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
2/3 c. milk
1 3/4 c. cut up cooked chicken or turkey
1/2 c. Bisquick
1/3 c. chopped onion
1 (10 oz) pkg mixed veggies (corn, carrots, peas, etc)

Crust:
1 1/2 c. Bisquick
2 tsp. poppy seeds
3 Tb. hot water
3 Tb. margarine

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Heat 1/3 c. margarine in 2 qt saucepan over low heat until melted.  Stir in chopped onions and simmer for 1 minute.  Whisk in 1/2 c. Bisquick, pepper and optional thyme;  cook over low heat stirring constantly until bubbly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in chicken broth and milk, heat to boiling while stirring constantly.  Boil and stir for 1 minute.  Stir in chicken and frozen vegetables; heat through.  Keep warm over low heat.  Stir occasionally.

Mix crust ingredients until dough forms.  Gently smooth dough into ball on cloth or wax paper covered surface dusted w/ Bisquick;  knead 5 times.  Roll or pat dough into a 9″ square.  Pour chicken mixture into ungreased square pan and place dough over chicken mixture.  Cut slits in center and bake until crust is deep golden brown, usually 20-25 minutes!

Enigma. Use it in a sentence. Tuesday, Sep 25 2007 

 Enigma.  No, it’s not a band.  That’s Enya, silly.

Last night Kim and I were talking about her son, and she referred to him as an enigma.  After I pointed at her and laughed for using such a big word, I started thinking about the word enigma.  You know what is REALLY an enigma? The soap scum in my bathroom shower.

How does a place that you use to get clean get so disgustingly, cringingly nasty over such a short period of time?  All you use in there is soap and shampoo, maybe shaving gel – all clean products.  Shouldn’t they just wash down the drain, leaving that the cleanest, sparkly-est thing in your house???  Not so much.

In Missouri we have hard water.  And my shower in my bedroom is one of those fiberglass stalls with glass doors – you have never seen soap scum and hard water stains until you see my shower after 2 months of not being cleaned.  I’m not going to lie to you, people, I only clean it like once every two months.  I hate cleaning, and I only do the things you can SEE on a regular basis.  Since my bedroom is usually laundry land, you are not allowed in there – so that bathroom is only cleaned once you can no longer go in there and tolerate it. 

So last night I bought a bottle of Easy Off Bam! at CVS for no reason other than I like the commercial.  I like a product that I can walk around using while exclaiming “BAM!” like Emeril on crack.  It has the power to remove limescale, folks.  (What is limescale?  Do I have it?)

Take notice when the product tells you to wear gloves while using it. They’re not pulling your leg – that stuff is strong! It’s possible my lungs have little holes in them now, after breathing that stuff in.  But I’m telling you, after I was done using it in my shower, I heard a hallelujah chorus in my head!  It got rid of all that buildup faster than two brand new Magic Erasers and half a bottle of Comet ever could!

Next time you’re in the market for a shower cleaner, let this commercial persuade you to do the right thing:

This ‘n’ That Wednesday, Sep 19 2007 

There’s so much going on I dont know where to start!

It looks like we will be going to Boston the first week of November now for Justin to see all of the doctors.  I’ll update on that if I get anymore info – we are currently waiting to hear if insurance is going to to through for that.

We are seriously, seriously blessed with the people God has brought into the picture with this.  The woman/nurse in Boston who’s job it is to schedule all of this stuff has just been great working with Justin.  She’s jumped through hoops to make the dr. appts as close together as possible so we can spend as little time as possible paying for hotel rooms and off work.  The radiologist that we saw here in KC is also amazing.  She referred us to somewhere else, and in her own time is STILL working with our insurance company to get this pushed through.  She is not even getting paid for her time – she is doing this out of the goodness of her heart.  I just am so happy to see that there really ARE good people out there.  

On another note, if you could add my friend Stacie to your prayers this week, it would be greatly appreciated.  She and her husband and kids are good friends of mine from Utah, and she is going through some potentially serious health issues right now.  I just pray that she has peace and faith as she goes through this, and knows that no matter what, everything is going to be ok.  If you all could meet her, you’d love her just as much as I do.  She is that rare kind of friend that you just know you can count on for anything.

 Um… what else?  The nursery is coming along!!!  This past weekend my mom and dad were awesome enough to come over and help us clear it out (IT WAS PACKED with Shutterbug stuff!!).  Justin and I painted it, and we went and got bunk beds, a crib, all of the mattresses and bedding!  Now Justin just needs to get it put together.  Poor guy.   That’s one way to rehabilitate his knee.  Make him carry heavy furniture up and down our two flights of stairs :X  Tuesday is the final homestudy.  I am GIDDY!!!  We met a couple at church last weekend that fosters, and they had a 4 month old baby they were caring for.  I wanted to eat him up – or steal him and take him home with me 🙂  He was PRECIOUS, and I can’t wait for our turn!!!

That’s about all I’m up to – I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this beautiful weather!!  I LOVE FALL! 🙂

Legacy of an Adopted Child Saturday, Sep 15 2007 

I love this and wanted to post it before I lose it!

Once there were two women who never knew each other…
One, you do not remember,
    the other you call mom.
Two different lives, shaped to make your one…
One became your guiding star,
   the other became your sun.
The first gave you life,
   and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love,
   and the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality,
   the other gave you a name.
One gave you a seed of talent,
   the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions,
   the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first breath,
   the other dried your tears.
One gave you up… that’s all she could do.
The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me, through your fears,
   the age old question unanswered throughout the years…
Heredity or environment…
   Which are you the product of?
Neither, my darling.  Neither.
   Just two different kinds of love.

-Author Unknown

Protected: Ok, seriously. Friday, Sep 14 2007 

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Justin News Friday, Sep 14 2007 

Alrighty, time for another update…

Justin’s radiologist and endocrinologist want him to go elsewhere for this treatment because it’s incredibly important it’s done correct being so close to his brain and optic nerves, arteries – only the vital stuff you need to live lol

Our choices looked like Mass General (in Boston), Mayo Clinic or going to Pittsburgh.  Mass General has a unit that has Neurologists, Endocrinologists, Radioligists and every other kind of ologist Justin could possibly need to see all in one wing, and they specialize in the condition Justin has. That looks like where we’re headed.

Tentative dates are the end of October.  We’ll fly up and have him checked out.  We’re expecting to have to make a second trip  so they can then do the actual radiology.  If he has the fractionated treatment (the every day for 5 week stuff) he will just have that here.  However if he has the stereotactic, the gamma knife or whatever else they are really preferring to do, it will be there.  I guess that the fractionated treatment (the one that takes 5 weeks to complete) kind of sucks because it takes 5-10 years to make a difference on a tumor like Justin’s.  That’s a problem because it needs to take effect now, so his pitiuitary stops producing the growth hormone.  All of that growth hormone is bad on his organs and down the line if untreated would cause major problems.

Fun, fun, fun!!! 🙂  Hey, it could be worse.  It could be cancer.  He’s going to be fine, it’s just stressful to get to that point! 

Now to balance this out with HAPPY news, our final  homestudy is going to be on Sept. 25th – the date is set!  Woo hoo!! 

Thank you for your continued prayers 🙂

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