Super Sib Cape – Birthday Gift

Santanna’s best friend has an older sister, who is battling a brain tumor with all the energy she can muster. I know I have briefly written about this before, and I ran my last marathon for team Ana.

Elsa and Santanna have an extremely special bond. We are a place that E can come and escape some of the burden of chemo and pills and sadness that is detected even when I am sure it is trying not to show itself. She is a “super sib” and has been praised as that in many aspects and events. Not enough in the shadow of cancer, but she knows she is loved and valued.

Santanna and Elsa have know each other since they were 3 and now that they are both just turning 6, that is like forever!

All Elsa wanted for her birthday according to her mom was Santanna.

What do you give as a gift to a girl who adamantly prays for a cure for her sister’s cancer? For normalcy?

I can’t tell you….

But we did make her a super E cape, a reminder that she is amazing and wonderful, and as many other little girls would love…one for her American Girl Doll.

It was really an easy project, and E loved it!!

Here is Tanna modeling it with our own AG doll  Lucy:

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If you have it in you, whatever your persuasion or belief, even though you do not know their family, will you please take a moment and use your heart to give a beat for Ana.  They really are an amazing family.  I know they will feel and appreciate it.

This Cake is on Fi-yah!!

Raiven just celebrated her 9th birthday.

We chose to have it at our house and she was allowed to invite up to 9 girls, including her self to spend the night.

All but one was able to spend the night, they all came and played, made a craft and had cake and ice cream.

We are big campers at our house so we set the tent up, since there was still 6 inches of snow outside, in the base ment, for the girls to sleep in.  In nice weather we would have set it up outside.

After seeing this cake:

Credit: Amam Cara…Cakedecorating website

Hubby and I decided to do our own take on a bonfire cake:

Here are the ingredients:

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Cake mix of your choice, along with ingredients needed to make cake, which may vary.

Pam or non stick spray.

Pirouette cookies.

Hard butterscotch and cinnamon candies, at least 25 of each

Here is how we did it, as always feel free to do what you like and works best for you.

Bake cake according to directions on the package.  We used a yellow cake it is a favorite, also I thought it would be neat to take some scoops of the cake mix before baking it and add red or yellow coloring and plop them in so when you cut the cake the inside had more of a fire look,…maybe next time.

We baked the cake in a 9 X 13, cut it in half and sacked it, you could do 2 round pants as well.

Let it cool, frost as you normally would, we used chocolate.

Then take the butterscotch and cinnamon hard candies, put them in a baggies and pound them until crushed, almost like a sugar.

Then put them on a sheet of tinfoil that has been sprayed with non stick spray and put in the oven at 350, here are the candies we melted:

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This does not take long 5 minutes or so, it will look a little liquidy and bubbly, also when you melt the candies you can choose how thick to make them which will change the time depending on the thickness.

Once cooled, break into pieces and put on your cake however you like, add pirouette cookies as the “loge for your fire.

We added fire to the edges, the candy stuck very well to the frosting.

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Ta-Da bonfire cake!

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Sing with me This cake is on Fi-yah!

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Happy 9th Birthday!!  This girl knows how to party 🙂

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Brandy Pecan Pie

Ahh February 14th….the day of love, chocolate, roses, jewelery….is it an important holiday?  One that should have men doting on women, reminding the woman in their life just how much they love them, or is it really a marketing ploy to sell those million rose buds and pounds of chocolate??

Well, regardless of your persuasion on the holiday, all of us over here are fans of sweet treats, and days that inspire small kindnesses, so we have a no expectations February 14th just cute little cards written to teachers and friends and yummy food.

This recipe is for a pecan pie that is Jon’s favorite, it is what he has for a birthday “cake” every year, it is my adaptation of a recipe I found in a cookbook and is from Bravo, Chef!

You will need:


Brandy Pecan Pie

 1- 9 inch pie crust                                    

  1/2 dark corn syrup       

  3 eggs                                                           

  1 Cup white sugar     

1 tsp vanilla                                               

 1/4 C. Brandy (you will have some left in the bottle; another reason Jon loves this pie)                                                                                              

1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream (more if you want to whip some up to go on top of the pie)

   2 TBS melted butter                                 

  1 1/4 C chopped pecans           

Preheat oven to 375.

Place your pie crust in your pan (or find a willing helper):

064I gave her a fork and let her make a fancy edge!


One more because I love her eyes!

Ok back to pie:


Mix eggs, sugar, melted butter, corn syrup, and heavy cream in a bowl.


Should look like this.


Stir in pecans, brandy and vanilla, then pour into your pie crust.


Bake for 40-50 minutes or until set, it should not wiggle much.


Viola!!  now you can eat this all by itself, ala mode, or with some freshly whipped cream.

Happy Valentines day!!!!!

Why is turning 5 so bittersweet?

There are just some birthdays that seem like such milestones in our child’s life.   First you count the days, then the weeks, months and the BIG ONE!  Your baby turns one, they smash the cake, they are on the verge or are walking, and soon words are going to start falling out of that cute mouth that is constantly growing new teeth.

A few years pass, the twos, the threes, the fourth, all arguable divine and frustrating simultaneously, but how sweet to watch your child grow and learn.

Then they turn 5, this is such a milestone to me, included on my list are 10, 13, 16, 18 and 21 but thankfully I am not to those yet…stay tuned.  Five years old, kindergarten, watching the excitement and apprehension as they get on that yellow bus you are certain they will look back and wave..blow a kiss, or maybe they just march right on and wave from their seat to you on the other side of the window with a big grin on their face.

And there we are mommas & poppas, moms and dads, teary eyed, proud, our hearts in our throats and then it clears, they are ok, we are ok, oh my gosh we did it!

Then one morning they wake up:













Their smile has changed, our baby is changing and growing and getting on a big bus, baby teeth know it is time to leave, big teeth are moving in, changing that little kid grin, into a beautiful/handsome smile.

We have a new smile at our house tonight….it is bittersweet, they all grow up so fast.  It is exciting for them, and us, but also for me a little heartbreaking, the world is so easy and fun for them now, I want it to stay that way, that dollar under her pillow tomorrow is going to pure joy that will not be whisked away by bills, or deadlines, that means little things mean more and touch her heart in a way that I hope molds her beauty on the inside as much as it is growing on the outside.

Golden 3

Here it is the big 3, Avalon turned 3 today marking her Golden birthday.  I really have no idea what the history is for Golden Birthdays, making me think I should do a little research for my knowledge bank.

Back to the birthday girl, she is the youngest, I can’t say last it hurts to much, I would love another, our own or maybe even an adopted,  and I can’t coin her “the baby” because I have expectations for her that are the same as all the other 3.

We went for her 3 year check up today, since she has had some minor growth delays and health issues, I like to keep a record of her growth should it stall/stop again.  Great new for Avalon she is now in the 5% percentile for height and 13%!!! for weight,  considering she was totally of the charts for most of her 2nd year this is awesome!!

It was another day packed full of normal day activities , but I snuck in a city bus ride to downtown with the kids, Avalon really wanted to ride a bus, such an easy wish to grant on a birthday.

After dinner and cupcakes Solomon, Raiven and Santanna gave Avalon their gifts, it juts warms my heart how much our kids love to give to each other and the time and thought they put into their gifts.  The girls each made cards, Raiven’s was a pop out card that I know she spent a lot of time on.

So thankful to celebrate another candle on the cake for our little sprite!  You grow girl!!!

Happy Brithday Girl!

Raiven turns 8 today, she is so excited, and told us she is not so worried about what her presents are but how happy she is to be a year older. I am glad that she is taking what we are attempting to teach her to heart, and I know she is aware of how important it is to be thankful, but come on, after soccer practice tomorrow, I hope she feels giddy about opening her presents, and that she enjoys the thought that her brother, sisters and Jon and I put into picking out gifts for her.

It seems like a year can change so much in a child’s life, her big teeth have changed her smile into a beautiful pre teen smile. She is a sensitive girl ( she gets that from me) but has a spit fire need to play hard and is not afraid to get dirty, She plays with the boys at school but also has lots of girl friends. She has a tender heart and takes kids under her wing. A boy joined her second grade class this year sometime in late September and really felt out of the loop, Raiven friended  him and his mom was telling me the other day how Raiven has really been a great friend to her son. She just has this caring personality and an innate sense to be a helper. Raiven loves to read and enjoys her math homework. She laughs and giggles easily (she gets this from Jon).

Happy Birthday Raiven So! I hope 8 is another wonderful year for you!!