Monday, May 31, 2010

Dear Jim & Ally, please invite me over for breakfast!

While I'm away this week taking 10,000 photographs~ I want to leave you faithful readers with some cute link love :)

I came across this coolest daddy ever on Oh Dee Doh - Jim's Pancakes!

Here are a few of my favorite!!







Sunday, May 30, 2010

And we're off!

We are headed to foster kids camp!
(Royal Family Kids Camp)
Keep us in your prayers!

There are 68 Tulsa area foster kids coming
and about 60 staff adults volunteering!

I can't wait!!
See you next weekend with some photos!

Tie Dye T-Shirts
Leathercraft
Map & Compass Trail
Choir

Zip Line


Tea Parties
Pretend British Accents
Dress Up
Imaginary Play

Woodshop
Fishing
hiking
swimming
Paint Pavilion

Group Games
Birthday Parties
Creature Catching
Crawdad Hunting
Flying Kites

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies!


*I don't have a clear pic of them on their wedding day- so the rehearsal will have to do


Several people asked for the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe I was referring to in my last post- so here it is!

(Disclaimer- not made with anything healthy (crisco), sorry)


Chocolate Chip Cookies

Susan Stephens (Matthew’s Mom)

*She made 400 of these for Matt’s groom’s “cake”

May 2008


Preheat Oven: 350 F


Put together in a bowl:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Blend: (Cream butter and two sugars first)
1 cup butter ( I never use butter, I use butter flavored Crisco)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs. (
Whip with a fork first before you pour into sugar mixture)


v Mix two together with as little mixing as possible, just until you can tell it's all blended.

v Add two cups of Choc Chips or the 12oz package.

v Bake in a preheated 350 oven.

v I turn (flip over I think?) mine after five minutes then just start watching them after 3 more minutes. I don't like to give times because your oven may be different.


Their wedding was pre blog days- I just have to post this one cause I love my hair in it! My friend, Danielle did this with her flat iron!

Me & my honey bunny at Matt & Jess'wedding - I was a bridesmaid & Jason was an usher

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Love it!!

My college roommate, Kara (KB) is getting married this summer and planning a big reception in August for everyone to come to- I think this is about the coolest party idea I've EVER seen!!

(via her recent wedding planning post)

Self serve MILK & COOKIES!!

Yes, please!!


KB, if you do this, I have THE best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever- our friend's mom made it for his "groom's cake" at their wedding!

Monday, May 24, 2010

iLove

We did it.

Tonight we bit the bullet and bought a brand new iMac computer. Jason's been limping along with his Dell trying to work with SolidWorks to be able to make cutting files for his CNC router.
(Problematic with trying to start a new business.)


She looks like this:

I've already named her Maxie. She's beautiful.

I called and left my sister a message like this (in a loud excited voice!!) "Vanessa! Guess what!! ...we got a brand new iMac tonight! That's all, bye"

So she called me back later and said she was just sure I was announcing that I was "pregnant by the tone of my voice on the message...but a Mac, that's exciting too..."

Vanessa: "So whose computer is this?"

Me: "Jason's" (Jason in the background says, "Oh it's OURS until we get Andrea a MacBook")

Vanessa: "Oh, like "ours" like Collin's new Honda Element that I never get to drive!? Haha!"

(Jason): "No!"

Me: "I'm with you Vanessa!"

The end.

(PS Jason's video chatting with Matthew, getting all sorts of tutorial tips, so Finnigan got to say hello to Jessica :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

50 million wedding cakes


Ok, it was just thirty...but felt like 50 million ;)

Somewhere back in February I said yes to my friend, Marilyn, to making 30 6x6x6 cakes- to be the centerpiece of each table at a wedding. She had another wedding that same day and couldn't do both.

What was I thinking?!

Marilyn had me over to her house - she taught me how to make her butter cream frosting and start practicing icing techniques.

2 hours in lessons

Several weeks ago Jason brought our chest freezer home from the shop and I began baking cakes- a few here and there. It took about an hour to make 2.

grease pans
make cake mixes (from a box- my one saving grace in all this)
bake for 40 minutes
ice with a "tack coat" while still hot (milk & powdered sugar)
freeze
repeat

15 hours of baking

When I first said yes to doing this project I knew I had to have a helper. I stopped in one day at our friends house and asked their mom if she would be willing to help me. I still can't believe she said yes and stayed with me the whole time! She came over 2 evenings and we worked on our frosting skills

3 hours practicing frosting

Then came the big frosting weekend.

I did the "assembly" part- putting the cakes together, basic frosting, plus I made all the batches of frosting (about one per cake)

my "finished" part

Then I passed them off the Kerry- she did the "smoothing" part since she was better than me at that step. She also sifted ALL the powdered sugar we used - close to 75 lbs!!


Some of the cakes after being smoothed- we did the decorating the next day

All the cakes we did on Friday- 18

Last Friday Kerry came over and we started frosting frosting and more frosting- she was at my house for 10 hours on Friday, 8 hours on Saturday and then helped me deliver and set them up another 2 hours on Sunday.

Getting close to having 30 done- Saturday afternoon

18 hours frosting
Go, Kerry, go!!

Some had dots, some not

2 hours delivering

= 50 hours on this crazy project

Again, what was I thinking!?

My friend, Florene, cutting the cake at her table

My friend, Sharon, cutting the cake at her table

Miss Manners being goofy for me!

I was pretty much a nervous wreck all last weekend until I got to the wedding (yes, I also had to attend it and look at those cake some more! ahh!) and then I got lots of positive feedback on the cakes. I knew they tasted fine, but as to how they all looked - I saw every mistake and crinkle in the icing. Did I mention they were the centerpieces, and that everyone sat at tables during the ceremony, and that the cakes were on a 12 inch pedestal- right at eye level??

One of the guests posted this on Facebook- so many people were disappointed to find out the "M" was not chocolate!

One of the most meaningful comments I got was from my friend Marilyn's husband, Ed. He put his arm around me and said, "Andrea, I'm probably the only one in this room who knows how hard a square cake is. I know how hard it is to "square up" corners- and you had to do 120 of them! You did a fantastic job for your first time." (Marilyn's been making cakes for over 35 years)

All said and done- would I do it again. Oh probably. I've got a lot more "cake skills" under my belt now, and I have a hard time turning down a challenge!

Oh, but I'm so glad this event is behind me now!

Mallory came over and gave me a big thumbs up! She thought the cake tasted delicious! (I used to babysit Mallory and her brothers when I was in college.)


My friend Nancy & I matched!

The venue was super cute - The Silo in West Tulsa

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Margin Day



last week i scheduled a day on my calendar to have the whole day off

no appointments
no chores
no thinking about work, let alone doing work

but rather, margin
(actually, the whole margin series is fantastic: week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4)

that day is today!!

i slept till 9am. eeek!
that was g.l.o.r.i.o.u.s!

i have no major goals for today
i think i'd like to spend part of it getting my blog caught up
and then maybe part of my day working on our family mission statement

it's supposed to thunder storm (yes, some MORE) today
good day to stay inside and let my body and soul recoup

blog posts in the upcoming few days will explain why I needed a day off!

(enjoying the quite the snow brings- January 2010)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Brenda!

Popping in for a quick hello and to post HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our pal, Brenda Horan!


If you live near Tulsa- look her up to do your next baby or family portrait session- she's fabulous!

We have had the privilege of working with her these past few weeks in launching our new business- and let me tell you- she is a little pistol! If you think Jason and I are crazy fast paced, then you'd never see her...go go go! We love DOERS, and many hats she wears- wife, mom, photographer, chef, creative guru, decorator, and adventurous antique hunter!

Thanks for your friendship, Brenda! We hope your birthday is full of spunk, just like YOU!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life as it is

Life hasn't really slowed down around here and won't until I have the cakes set on the tables for this wedding this weekend....so until I have more time to blog about everything going on, I want you to go to this blog and read this post!

I emailed my friend Laurie (who got me hooked on reading Emily's letters)- and told her I thought this post was phenomenal. If you are married or ever plan to be married you MUST read this.

I printed it and stuck it in my folder of things (that I'm ever so s.l.o.w.l.y working through) for our family mission statement.

Happy week to you- I'll see you all Sunday night with some fresh posts!

P.S. You'll also get to see our website unveiling for our new business next week! Are you excited!? I am!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

this crazy week

Lots of irons in the fire this week

2nd night this week up past 1am
if you know me, you know I don't generally function past 10pm

There are currently 50 lbs of powedered sugar from Sam's on my kitchen table
18lbs of Crisco too
totally gross to even look at
butter cream frosting here i come

cakes in my freezer
I'm making the centerpieces for a wedding next weekend-
about 30 small (6x6) cakes

my great-uncle bud passed away last night
every spring seems to hold an average of 3 deaths/funerals for me
this is #4 this year
however the service will probably be in arizona
not really a doable trip right now

paint all over my craft table
I'm becoming a faux finish machine
sudden desire to meet the lady of The Magic Brush
working late nights at the shop with Jason while's cutting frames
huge and fast learning curve for the CNC router
Brenda is shooting photos of the frames on Friday
we're getting ready to launch into something new!

vending machine papers to be done before Friday morning
we're selling a portion of our vending route
all info must be in place

tomorrow morning I'd already committed to helping re-stock craft centers
for kid's camp
can't let my mom down!

goodnight