Friday, February 26, 2010

A New Challenge: Will All the Moms-to-Be Please Stand...or Sit!

Today, I'm linking up with Amanda from i am mommy for a fun challenge!

When I was eight months pregnant with Cloe, my friend Jessica gave me a call one afternoon and said, "You're going to have a baby soon, and you're busy teaching all day, so I'm bringing over supper.  What do you like?"

In my typical, indecisive manner,  I him-hawed around and asked her to surprise us.

Wow!  What a surprise: we got the biggest bag of the best Italian food!  It was so good.  I can still remember how much we enjoyed that hot, delicious meal!

She also brought us the cutest, softest baby blanket.  Jessica and her boyfriend Andrew had made us the beautiful knotted fleece blanket.  Isn't that the cutest?  Our kids still cuddle up with it today! 

So, yesterday when I read Amanda's challenge for National Help a Pregnant Woman Day on March 3, I was reminded of Jessica's kindness.  I immediately jumped on board.  I thought through my list of "mommies to be" (that I know of--announcements are welcome!) and started getting ideas rolling of how to show these moms that they are loved and appreciated!

How about you?  Do you know of Mom-to-be that could use a little help or an act of kindness?

Here are some of Amanda's ideas for helping or acts of kindness:

Stop by and fold some laundry.

Drop off baked goods.

Send flowers.

Hand write her a note of love and appreciation

Babysit her other kids for an hour.

Send her a gift card to Starbucks. (for after the baby of course!)

If you are pregnant... just send a link of this post to everyone you know! 
Maybe someone will read it and snap up the opportunity to do something for you!

So what do you think?  Can we make March 3rd National Help a Pregnant Lady Day?
Who are you going to help?

*Grab a button from i am mommy to keep this ball rolling!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thrifty Thursday!

Thrifty Tip #14:  Take the Eat From the Pantry Challenge!

A few months ago, I was reading the Money Saving Mom blog, and she challenged her readers to clean out their pantries and freezers and just grocery shop for the basic necessities of dairy, produce, and few other items for an entire month.  The two main goals were to reduce grocery expenses and to donate the money to a charity.  While I was too late to participate in the charity, I was able to help our family with some unexpected medical expenses by using what would have been our grocery money.

One on the contributing bloggers gave some suggestions of what you might learn from doing this challenge.  The titles in bold and quotes are her ideas and below are written glimpses of my experience.

Re-discover Creativity

Why, oh why must I have four bags of brown rice in the cupboard and no spaghetti noodles?   I am so thankful for the internet when it comes to finding recipes for the random things I found in my cupboard!  I tried not to use up my handy staple items right away, so many days I was googling two random ingredients to come up with a new menu item!  It was fun to try out new dishes and experience new flavors!

Discover Thankfulness

"Look at all the opportunities we have to buy food and utilize discounts, coupons, and rewards. It's easy to take that for granted. When was the last time your family gave thanks for having a local grocery store, fresh produce, and the funds to pick up a treat or two?"

We are so blessed!  As I pulled meat out of my freezer and food out of my pantry, I was constantly reminded that we often eat even nicer than we would expect.  I remember when we were first married and finishing our senior year of college, we manged to live on $20 a month for groceries.  Meat was such a luxury!  We would often split one small frozen chicken breast and savor every bite!  It was good to be reminded of the blessings God has provided even through having a freezer full of clearanced Target meat and cupboards full of items that had amazing coupon deals attached!  God has and is taking care of our family in big and small ways!  What a great reminder to give Him the glory for all we have!

Discover Usefulness

One of my downfalls is being suckered into buying something just because it's on a greally great clearance.  I've taken a few risks and figured out ways to use those obscure spices I thought I really needed... Again, google can make any ingredient in the kitchen seem useful!

Discover Giving

One of my biggest hesitations in participating in the Pantry Challenge was the need to have meals ready to go for people at church.  I was afraid that I wouldn't have the things on hand that I needed in order to be able to deliver a nice hot meal.  Right off the bat, I set aside ingredients for two meals so I would be ready when a meal was needed.  This worked out well because one of the meals was something that is not particularly a favorite of Cody's.  Since I love him so much, I refrain from serving the mushiness that I call comfort food.  When that meal was needed, I found it fun to make an old favorite recipe but be able to share it with friends.
*I never want to participate in any challenge or program if it takes away my desire to be generous!  Nothing we have is our own...I think it's a slap in the face of God to hoard our things when others are in need...this is a lesson I'm learning and applying!

Discover Purpose

When I jumped on board with the Pantry Challenge, I honestly had a selfish twinge that I would just hoard the grocery money and treat myself to a pedicure or something relaxing.  Sounds nice, doesn't it?  Two weeks into this, our family came down with strep throat.  It's stinkin' expensive to be sick!  The money that I had saved from not buying groceries was exactly the right amount for a round of medicine and an office co-pay.  Sometimes the purpose I would want to give money is not the practical purpose!  I painted my own toes...all is well!
I know of other families that have taken this challenge and saved the money for family vacation or a home improvement project.  Determining a purpose for the money saved is a great motivator!

What I discovered

"When I found myself thinking of eating out or running to the store for 'just one little thing' I would immediately challenge myself to recreate the meal at home. And on the days when I was busy and pressed for time, a bowl of soup and peanut butter with jelly sandwich worked just fine."

I discovered that I became a little more creative and a little more simple with the meals during this challenge.  When I wanted to really use up some crazy things in my cupboard, I would search and search for a new recipe.  Other days, we enjoyed the simpleness of breakfast for supper!
I also discovered that I enjoyed not always feeling pressed to find the sales, read the ads, organize the coupons, make the list, get to the least for awhile!  February was a great month to be able to stay home and not have to take the boys out in the cold to the grocery store.  I also enjoyed not carrying grocery bags and feeling like my hands were going to freeze off!
Lastly, I really did discover a new attitude of gratefulness for all that God has given us!  I realize it is a huge blessing to have so much that we can eat from our pantry for a month!  We still have plenty of brown rice on hand...better start googling...nine days until payday!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Sister!
I am so thankful for you!
You are the most loving and kind sister!
I don't know what I would do without all your help -- especially with the boys!
Hope you have a fabulous birthday!

Praying for Malachi

Our relationship with our friends  John and Marissa Sharbaugh began several years ago when John was our "adopted" college student.  He played with Cloe and was so fun to have around!  Things got even better when he started bringing a cute girl with him to our house!  She would always bring us the most delicious friendship bread!  I so thought it was my mission to get this adopted college student married off, that one Wednesday afternoon, I offered John a whole $1 to give Marissa a kiss!  

A very silly grinning boy walked up to me later at church, and said, "Hey Mom, where's my dollar?"  I don't even remember if I gave him the dollar or just started shrieking with excitement for this cute little budding couple!

Thanksgiving 2005

Fast forward...this sweet couple got married, moved to Indiana, had a beautiful little girl Emerson (SO hoping for an arranged marriage here!), mourned the miscarriage of Jordan and now needs our prayers for their baby boy, Malachi.  Malachi was born on October 27, 2009 and was diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome.  Let me tell you, he is one darling little baby boy!  Many of you have already been praying for Malachi during the last several critical months.  He is making great strides and coming home is now on the horizon for this little Champ!

Please visit Marissa's blog for Malachi's entire story and for Marissa and John's amazing testimony.

The passage that God brought to their mind after Malachi's birth was from John 9:2-3:

His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."

 Isn't that an amazing perspective for these parents to have with their little boy!

If you happen to be a part of The Creek, Marissa has graciously sent us a package of Malachi bracelets. Let me know if you'd like one!  If you're not at The Creek (Say what?  Get on over here already!) and you'd still like one, visit Marissa's bracelet link on her blog.  You can also pick up Marissa's new button for Malachi here in her sidebar.  I love seeing these bracelets and buttons--what great reminders to keep this little guy and his entire family in our prayers!

Thanks for the Malachi Bracelet, Marissa!
We love you, and we're praying for Malachi!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our McHappy Day!

Awhile back, I shared with you that I had been chosen as the Queen Party Mom Classroom Coordinator for Cloe's first grade class.
Coordinating the parties has been a lot of work, but I have really enjoyed getting a chance to be back in the classroom.  I am, of course, also very thankful to leave the classroom after the party and return to being a mom!
My final party to organize for this school year was the Valentine's Party. 
For the craft, I wanted to do something different than the normal cheesy glue and glitter craft.  I wanted to find a way for these students to participate in some sort of community service or outreach.  I wanted to help teach these children the joy of giving.

We asked all of the students to bring in a new or gently loved book for the Ronald McDonald House.  The students would decorate bookplates for the books, and we would contribute those books to a great charity.

Cloe's teacher and I assumed we would get around 25 books.  However, the kids (and parents) totally got behind the idea and ended up bringing in almost 80 books for the Ronald McDonald House Library!

Today, we went to the Ronald McDonald House with Cloe's teacher some of her classmates to drop off the books and take a tour.

I was so impressed with the Ronald McDonald House.  They provide such an amazing service to families with children in the hospital.  Not only do they provide a place for families to stay, they really take care of these families and meet their needs.
Every single night, a nice hot meal is provided for the families staying at the RMDH.  They are all donated by volunteers.  Isn't that a cool idea?  Watch out, Willow Creek MOPS, we may be participating in this soon!
The cupboards are also filled like a well-stocked pantry so the families can eat all their meals here.

Besides living quarters, the house has many different activity rooms.  This is the library where our books will be placed.  The tour guide said that children love to come into this room and enjoy reading all the books...or at least taking them all of the shelves!
The toy room was the favorite for all of the kids!  It was pretty amazing!  All of the toys have been donated by some very caring people.  They even rely on volunteers to come in and sanitize the toys!

Donating to the Ronald McDonald House was a very fun project!
I'm sure we'll be back!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Muffin Mash

Enjoy our remake of this 1962 novelty song by Bobby "Boris" Pickett

The zombies were having fun
The party had just begun
The guests included Cloe
Carson and McClain

The scene was rockin', all were digging the mixin' 
Spoons and bowls, backed by more batter fixin' 

The kitchen-bangers had come to arrive 

With their vocal group, "The Crigger-Kicker Five"

They played the mash
They played the muffin mash 
The muffin mash
It was a oven smash 
They played the mash
It caught on in a flash
They played the mash
They played the muffin mash

We were waiting in the kitchen long before night
When our eyes beheld an eerie sight
For our muffins from the oven began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise
 They did the mash 
They did the muffin mash
The muffin mash
It was a oven smash 
They did the mash
It caught on in a flash
They did the mash
They did the muffin mash

Out from his coffee, Dad's voice did ring
Seems he was troubled by just one thing
He opened his mouth and shook his fist
And said, "Whatever happened to the muffin breakfast?" 

It's now the mash
It's now the muffin mash
The muffin mash
And it's a oven smash
It's now the mash
It's caught on in a flash
It's now the mash
It's now the muffin mash

Now everything's cool, Dad's got a muffin in hand
And my muffin mash is the hit of the land
For you, my friends, this muffin was meant too
When you get to my door, tell them the kids sent you

Then you can mash
Then you can muffin mash
The muffin mash
And do my oven smash
Then you can mash
You'll catch on in a flash
Then you can mash
Then you can muffin mash 

What a mess!  A yummy, gooey mess!  I tried to get a little too sneaky healthy; just follow the original recipe.  You will love these muffins!

Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins

1 c. firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 c. natural peanut butter
1/2 c. cauliflower puree (or carrot puree)  (*You won't even taste it: PROMISE!)
1/2 c. banana puree
1 large egg white
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini-muffin pan (24) or muffin tin (12).
In large mixing bowl, mix brown sugar, peanut butter, vegetable and banana purees, and the egg white using a wooden spoon.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir to mix. Add to other mixture. Stir just to combine. Batter will be a little lumpy--don't over mix.
Fill muffin tins and bake until muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. (15-20 minutes) Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to one month.

*Recipe from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A BIG thank you to my family for the birthday money...
and many kudos to Jackie at Memories by Design...

The Sneaky Mommy has a new look!


Grab my button!

Leave comments!


Happy Engagement Day!
Thank you for picking me twelve years ago to be your one and only!
I love you!

Friday, February 19, 2010

 In case you hadn't noticed yet...
It's snowing.
Again. {sigh}

Charlie Hall's song Scenes came at the perfect time today! 
I needed a reminder...

Chill and cold and flakes of snow
Ice and sleet, frost and cold
Each storm cloud and thunder bolt
Lifts my mind to You

Every work and every power
Every second of every hour
Fall of dew and sweet rain showers
Lifts my mind to You

Summer wind, fire and heat
Autumn leaves and blooms of spring
Ocean waves and mountain streams
Lifts my mind to You

I see You in every scene
I bet You are thinking about me
I have such a short memory
So You'll keep reminding me of You

I see You in every scene
I bet You are thinking about me
I have such a short memory
So You'll keep reminding me of You

As I lay me down to sleep
As I walk on city streets
As I laugh with friends and feast
It lifts my mind to You

As my children play and run
In the news with wars and guns
In the church where songs are sung
It lifts my mind to You

Deep inside the beggar's eyes
As for sweet love I fight
On the radio at night
It lifts my mind to You

I see You in every scene
I bet You are thinking about me
I have such a short memory
So You'll keep reminding me of You

Painting pictures of your love
You lift my mind up
Reminding me of You
My heart comes alive

I see You in every scene
I bet You are thinking about me
I have such a short memory
So You'll keep reminding me of You

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of You today...even if it was through more snow--more beautiful intricately made snowflakes.  Only You could mastermind Your Creation to be so amazing.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thrifty Thursday!

Thrifty Tip #13:  Skip the expensive (often toxic) household cleaners and go with simple homemade cleaners.

After Carson developed some asthmatic tendencies, we decided to clear our house of all harsh toxic cleaning products.  If the bleach and ammonia in cleaning products made our lungs burns, we could only imagine what it was doing to poor Carson!
 (Wasn't he the cutest baby?  As a mom, you'll do anything you can to avoid these treatments!)

At first, I bought 99 cent spray bottles and just used vinegar, water and baking soda.  These things are so incredibly cheap and provide very basic cleaning solutions.  The vinegar works awesome on windows and the baking soda works well on things that need scrubbed like sinks and tubs.

Now I've branched out a little and like to experiment with other natural cleaners.  Lemons can be amazingly helpful!  Who knew?

If you google "all-natural cleaners" you will literally come up with hundreds of sites and ideas.  Sometimes I will get pretty specific in my search and it's amazing what solutions people have for every cleaning need! 

Here is my favorite site and a couple of links for all-natural cleaners:

Here are brilliant ideas for 66 all-natural cleaners.
Want to find out a few other uses for bread, ketchup or rice? Try these unexpected natural cleaners.

What's your favorite all-natural cleaner?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our Mardi Gras Celebration!

We took a little trip to the world of New Orleans today for some Mardi Gras fun!

First up:   Jambalaya!

I love him!  
He's so kind to humor me and my blogging obsession!

Easy Jambalaya

1 medium-size onion, chopped
3-4 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound light kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more for a spicier flavor)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt

Hot cooked brown rice

In a large pot, stir onion, celery, tomatoes, broth, chicken, kielbasa salt, and cayenne together. Cover and simmer for one hour.
Stir in the green pepper, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and Cajun seasoning and cook for 1 hour.
Serve over rice.

*I served the kids and then added another teaspoon of cayenne pepper to kick up the heat.

Next up, the King's Cake!  Traditionally, this cake has a charm or trinket hidden in it.  The finder gets a crown and the honor of being royalty for the day!  Thanks to Burger King for a little help with some pretty awesome crowns!  The kids get so excited about digging into the cake!  It's a very fun tradition!

This cake is more of a bready braid than a cake.  And I tend to have a little stigma against working with bread I can't do it!
However, this dough was soooo easy to work with!  The finished product was beautiful!  This recipe will definitely be a keeper!  I think it would make awesome  cinnamon rolls!

King's Cake
Makes two cakes

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for bowl and baking sheet
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (1/4-ounce) package active-dry yeast
1/3 cup warm (110 degrees) water
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature

2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
Sanding sugar, for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine evaporated milk, butter, and 1/3 cup granulated sugar over medium heat until incorporated; remove from heat. Let cool slightly, and stir in vanilla; set aside.
Stir 1 tablespoon granulated sugar into warm water. Add yeast, and set aside until mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, butter a large bowl; set aside.
Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together eggs and milk mixture on medium speed; add yeast mixture. Mix until combined. Gradually add flour, beating until fully incorporated.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead until smooth. Place in prepared bowl, turning several times to coat. Let rise, covered with wax paper and a clean damp towel, in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Once dough has doubled, punch down with your fist, and knead a few times in the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface; and divide evenly into six pieces. Roll each piece into a log, about 24 inches long. Braid 3 logs together; shape each braid into an oval, pressing the ends together to seal.

Transfer to two buttered baking sheets; cover with wax paper, and let sit in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once dough has doubled in size, discard wax paper, and bake until just golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool slightly.

*Here's the sneaky part!  
Tuck a charm or picture of a king and queen into the cake for one lucky person to find!

In a medium bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar with remaining 1/4 cup milk to form a smooth, thick glaze. Add more sugar or milk, if necessary, for desired consistency. Working quickly, coat cakes with glaze, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 This was the cake for our family.

We had two happy kings and smiley queen!

This was the cake for our fun college Bible study girls!

I love them!
Congrats Queen Ashley!

It's Fat Tuesday!

Time to celebrate!
Last year, we started our own little Fat Tuesday tradition.
(You can check out my thoughts on the festivities.)

The King's Cake is in the works!
Check back to see who our King or Queen for the day will be!

Happy Mardi Gras!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

To My Valentine

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it has to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together
I can't see me lovin' nobody but you
For all my life
When you're with me, baby the skies'll be blue
For all my life
So happy together
How is the weather
So happy together
We're happy together
So happy togetherI found him whom my soul loves.
Song of Solomon 3:4

Friday, February 12, 2010

Music Review

Sovereign Grace Music is running some amazing deals throughout the month of February.
Cody downloaded To Be Like Jesus for our kids, and they LOVE it! I love it, too! The lyrics are so incredibly deep and focused on the truths of God's Word. The tunes are catchy and easy to sing. I think I've listened through it at least six times just today! I even kept it going during naptime! Seriously, I don't know who will benefit from learning and applying the truths in these songs more...the kids or the mom!

I was trying to come up with a good summary of what the theme of the CD is all about, but they've already done it! Here's what Sovereign Grace has to say:

To Be Like Jesus contains twelve worship songs that teach the fruit of the Spirit in a creative and memorable way.Through these songs kids will learn that Jesus is our perfect example of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,and self-control. More than that, they’ll discover that we can’t be like Jesus unless we trust in the power of his cross to forgive us and the power of his Spirit to change us.

Did you know that God says your life is supposed to be like a fruit tree?

He’s talking about something much more important than apples, oranges, or bananas. The fruit God wants in our lives is the kind the Holy Spirit produces in us when we know and follow Jesus. It’s the fruit that comes when we turn from our sins and trust that Christ died in our place so we could be forgiven and become like him.

These songs will help you remember what that fruit looks like and how growing in Jesus is the only way to see more of it in your life!

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

This week, God has really challenged me to keep my mind filled with Him! I want to live my life with a God-awareness that changes my actions and reactions. I want my children to have a mom who's driven and controlled by Jesus Christ! This song on the fruit of the Spirit is a great place to fix my thoughts:

Love, joy, peace, and patience too
Grow in those who trust in You
All who put their hope in Christ
Kindness, goodness, faithfulness
Self-control and gentleness
Live in those who have new life

I want to be like Jesus
To walk and talk like Jesus
I want to live like one who follows Him
I want to love like Jesus
To give my all like Jesus
I want to live like one who follows Him

I don’t always do what’s right
Jesus lived a perfect life
And for sins like mine He died
Teach me to obey Your Word
Help me to put others first
Holy Spirit, change my life

I want to be like Jesus
To walk and talk like Jesus
I want to live like one who follows Him
I want to love like Jesus
To give my all like Jesus
I want to live like one who follows Him

So what are you waiting for? Go buy this CD...for the kids!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thrifty Thursday!

Thrifty Tip #12: Beat the winter blues and take a little family vacation with one of these great deals!

Wasserbahn Water Resort--several great family packages including outlet gift cards or a gas gift card. Our family enjoyed a little getaway here last February. The hot tub overlooks the shallow kiddy pool--perfect set-up for families with small children!
Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
-- in addition regular size hotel rooms, cottages are available for larger family get-togethers (up to 18 people). This resort is full of fun indoor and outdoor activities. It's been awhile since we've been here...but not for long!

Honey Creek Resort -- Spring Break at the Lake specials

King's Pointe Water Park Resort -- Special promotions available

Great Wolf Lodge--Wiley's Winterfest packages available

Where do you like to take your family on a winter getaway?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Curry up and read this!

Sometimes I get a little curried away...literally!

Spices are so intriguing to me.
I get obsessed with one and then just cook it to death.

Right now, I'm stewing over curry.

Oh my, turning 33 must have turned me corny!

Here's a new favorite recipe--it's delicious!

Curried Lentil Stew with Ginger Yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
2 cups lentils, rinsed
3 cups diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (I just had ground ginger)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add 4 cups broth and lentils; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender and almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; thin with more broth if mixture is too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine yogurt and ginger in small bowl. Serve lentil stew, passing ginger yogurt separately.

Recipe from Bon Appétit
November 2002

Monday, February 8, 2010


Today is my birthday!

Doesn't facebook sort of make you feel like some important person on your birthday...messages of birthday cheer popping in left and right!

This will come as no surprise...I love my birthday and all birthdays in general because they seem to always involved C.A.K.E.
When I was a little girl, my Grandma N. would let me pick the birthday cake I wanted out of her special cake decorating book. I thought it was the coolest thing ever--until she told me it all ended when I turned 11. What?
I cherished every special birthday cake.
When she passed away, I got a little book where she had collected pictures of all of my birthday cakes.
Here are some of my favorites:
Rocking Horse
(We used this high chair for our children, too!)
Mildly creepy clown!

Eskimo girl!
(This cake seems appropriate for the winter we're having now!)Strawberry Shortcake
This one was my favorite, but I didn't make it into the picture!

Enjoying my special birthday cake as a little girl was so fun!
Now being a mom and understanding all of the time and work that went into each cake,
the cakes mean even so much more to me.
I wish my grandma were still here so I could call her up and thank her for the special memories these cakes have made as I remember them and the special times with my family celebrating!

Do you have a special birthday memory?