Saturday, 23 June 2012

Where do I find the time?

hmmmph! That's me being slightly perturbed that there's never enough time in a day, or a week, or any other span of time I suppose. I've a had a hell of a time finding a moment to write little bits about what's been happening around our household. There is just so much going on!!!! Aside from working on Jan's business taxes for weeks on end, and then working at my actual job, there has been a weekend visit from my sister, meeting my new niece, birthday parties, soccer games, school field trips, Father's Day. And now I've got Gavin's 4th birthday quickly approaching, we've been gathering supplies and ideas and getting together what should be an amazing Batman-themed party! And... he got to take cupcakes to preschool this week to celebrate with his classmates. Here's a little trip down memory lane over the past month(ish).

Gavin and Mikayla have been playing soccer one day a week this spring. It's the first year for both of them, and they've had lots of fun. Gavin has really taken to it, he just simply shines on the field. I think Gavin's going to be one of those kids who's just good at sports, he's a natural at whatever we (literally) throw at him.

Kids birthday parties seem to be frequent events on our social calendar. We had two parties to go to at the same time on the same day a few weeks back. We were really sad to have to miss one of them, but the kids (of course) had a great time at the 7th birthday of our friend's son.

Even the littlest ones had a great time..

And there's Gavin, having a ball again ;)

In the past few weeks Mikayla has had her first ever school field trips. I went along as a volunteer, which Mikayla just loves, as she asks me to volunteer in her class almost every day. The first field trip was to Butterfield Acres Farm, a very interactive farm really close to us. She loved petting the animals, and even helped milk a goat! The second trip was to Safety City, it was far too rainy that day to take any photos, but again much fun was had.

We finally had a chance to meet my little namesake (Anastasia) back in May, this coincided with my sister's trip here from Chicago. So we actually had myself and my three siblings in one house for this occasion - where we were also celebrating my nephew's 9th birthday (see the cake here). I did get a photo of the 4 of us siblings together, but I thought my brother might murder me if I put it on the blog.
The kids LOVED holding the baby. I knew Mikayla would be all over her, but I was really surprised by my boys! Both Gavin and Levi wanted to hug and kiss her endlessly. So Cute.

And then there was Father's Day... I unfortunately had to work on Father's Day. I was so sad I couldn't be at home to pamper my hubby, so I set the breakfast table complete with a flower bouquet, fresh fruit salad and put muffins in the oven as a left for work in the morning. Then Jan brought the kids to work and we had lunch together at the hospital. So not a total write-off. 

Gavin took these delicious cupcakes with him to preschool last week. Vanilla (at his request) with blue icing, he's predictable that way. He'll always choose vanilla ice cream or cake over chocolate or any other flavour, and ask him to choose a colour for anything (icing, clothes, plate) and blue will be the answer.

Up next is getting Gavin's 4th birthday party all planned. Can't wait to make him a cake for it...

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Super Mario Birthday Cake

Another cake post!
This time around the cake was not for one of my kids, it was for my nephew's 9th birthday. Jackson requested a Super Mario cake months ago, which gave me plenty of time for the creative juices to flow. Unfortunately I am not proficient in (i.e have no clue about) sculpting my own sugar figures, so I cheated and used a pack of plastic Mario figurines. But who cares, it looks way better than whatever I may have come up with. My original idea was to have Mario look like he was disappearing down the green tube, but that would have required a little a lot more time and talent than is at my disposal. However what I did have was the ability to make bricks, I have a really neat brick pattern thingy that you roll on top of the fondant to get bricks, and I figured it would look really great on this cake. Luckily the cake didn't taste like bricks, mmmm yummy rich chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing.

Gavin was my baker's assistant for the cake baking. He took on the important batter-tester position, and did a great job of it!

My brother said to me "great cake, but why is there grass growing out of the sky?". The top layer, in green, is supposed to be the tube that Mario goes down in the game. Perhaps the proportions were not entirely right.

The bricks are my favourite part, and the clouds are pretty cute too.

I think Jackson liked the cake!

And I'm pretty proud of how it turned out too. The cake decorator and the birthday boy.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


Our family loves camping! The kids were begging months ago to go camping, of course that's not entirely sane given the climate we live in. Even with a trailer that has a furnace (and heated mattresses) we usually wait to kick off camping season until May long weekend. So this May-long we packed up the trailer and headed out to Sandy McNabb Campground. Of course as we were driving out there it was snowing, and the forecast didn't look great, but who cares - we were going camping!!!
If you were to ask my monkeys what the best part about camping is they would say bike riding. Mikayla and Gavin get on those bikes, we give them their boundaries, and off they go. This camping weekend was extra special for both of them, the training wheels came off. Mikayla had a brief stint last summer with her training wheels off, but a big fall had her refusing to ride without them for the rest of the summer/fall. We've been telling her they HAD to go this year, and so they went. She had absolutely no problem, she was off like a bolt and didn't look back. One of the first things she said to us was "those training wheels were slowing me down". Well of course Gavin saw how much faster Mikayla was without her training wheels and he just had to have his off too. It wasn't the smooth ride I think he was expecting as he had watched Mikayla. He had a harder time, a lot of falls and getting back up, but that kid sure stuck with it! He's still only 3 years old after all, and by the end of the weekend he was going 30 feet on his own and stopping without falling.

There's also nothing my little guys like better than getting dirty. I mean seriously, rolling on the ground, get it in every nook and cranny, downright filthy! Especially this weekend with the weather we had, our kids were pretty much walking mud balls.

The campground we went to had been renovated last year, and the facilities were really quite nice. The outhouses didn't even make you want to vomit, there were really nice flush toilets and hot showers, and a great playground for the kids.

Thank goodness the weather decided to turn around, somewhat, so the kids could do all the outdoor things that make them so happy. I love seeing that pure joy that comes with a lot of fresh air and a favourite activity (like soccer for Gavin).

We usually like to take in a hike (aka easy walk in the wilderness when you have three young ones). Unfortunately this time around the boys were so exhausted that when we went for our "hike" they were passed out in the truck and we just couldn't let them miss that much needed sleep. So Mikayla and I went for a really quick walk while Jan and the boys had a nap in the truck.

Can't wait for the next camping weekend, the kids are already asking when it will happen. Hopefully soon!