Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Special and Fun Puppet Show!

A few weeks ago Ms. G, a friend of our family, came to share her time and talents with the children in our homeschool group.  Ms. G. was a teacher for 34 years and now that she is retired she's still a very busy lady!  She used to do puppet shows for her children in her classroom and she offered to come to my home to share finger plays, puppets, and songs with our children.  Ms. G. loves teaching and our great country as she uses patriotic costumes and songs throughout her performance.  Here are some pictures of our time with Ms. G.  The kids loved every second of the show!

Ms. G. stands next to her beautiful puppet theater that one of her student's parents made for her out of PVC pipes!

The kids loved this song as our thumbs went "up the hill and down the hill, up the hill and down the hill!"

A prince and princess in their costumes as Ms. G. sang the story of how the prince rescued the princess from a deep sleep.

Yee! Haw!

The kids loved this puppet performance and laughed so much when the boy puppet told the lion "I don't care!" when the lion said he was going to eat the boy! 

My son and his friends got to go "behind the scenes" and perform a skit with the puppets!  They thought this was cool!

THANK YOU Ms. G. for a wonderful and fun afternoon!  Your love for children and teaching was so evident as you spent time to be with us to share your talents and gifts with us!

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie, and myself at No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH).  Click button for details and to read some great blog posts that have already linked up!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Art Showcase-LEGO Gardens and Update on Garden

This week my children made the following LEGO creations:

 "This is a garden with a yellow entrance and a green gate around the entrance.  There is a red path that divides the garden into 3 sections. The far left section has swamp plants, the right section has bushes and flowers and the other section has just flowers on the ground.”  made by my 11 year old cupcake

 This is a garden with a building, 2 bird feeders on the far left, a cactus sitting on a blue brick, a flower pot beside the cactus, and a security camera on top of the building to look out for invaders because there is hidden gold in the garden building. There is also a white sprinkler that is watering the garden right now.” made by my 9 year old cupcake

"This is a lady’s garden with a white arched entrance.  To the right of the entrance is a water bottle holder.  In the garden there are flowers and rainbow bricks around it.  The lady is walking on a black brick sidewalk and she has a pocketbook in her hand.”  made by my 6 year old cupcake

I'm linking up the Garden LEGO creations to...
Kimberly's Art Showcase Fridays

the happy hearts academy

My Blessings from Above: Lego Creation Thursday

I've also submitted all three Garden LEGO creations to LEGO Quest: Quest #41, which is to make a garden out of LEGO.

Speaking of gardens, it is time to do an update post on the garden my children are keeping with my in-laws that I first posted about HERE.
To join in the HSV Garden Challenge go HERE to link up and read posts of other gardens. 
Here are the vegetables growing really well and my father-in-law added an electric fence to keep out hungry deer:

My children helped pull up onions and radishes:

They pulled so many that I gave some away to friends and neighbors and used the rest in our salads.
We look forward to seeing how the garden continues to grow!

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie, and myself at No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH).  Click button for details and to read some great blog posts that have already linked up!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Great Year in Cub Scouts!

Earlier this year, my son participated in his Pack's Pinewood Derby race in Boy Scouts.  If you aren't familiar with the Pinewood Derby race, it's when each boy gets a block of wood and 4 wheels and then they cut the wood (with the help of parents, of course) to make a car and then the cars are raced against one another.   My son enjoys spending time with my hubby to design and make the car and then paint it.  It is a time consuming process and there are a  bunch of rules and regulations, but it has been a fun experience for my son. 

For the second year in a row, my son's car came in first for his Den and first overall for his entire Pack.  Here is my son's car during one of the races.  His is the red one on the far left of the track. 

My son was a very excited to get the 1st place trophy for his winning car for his Pack!

Since he won in his local Pack, he qualified for the District race which was against all the Packs' cars in our local area.
My son's car is the red one on the far left as it gets ready to race in one of many rounds.  The process to race all the cars is time consuming, and exciting at the same time.

In the District race, my son's car came in 3rd overall against all the cars in his Den in the county! He was very excited to place in the competitive derby!

Here' our family after the District race

After my daughter's 11th birthday party this past weekend, we headed to my son's Cub Scout Graduation ceremony where my son graduated from WEEBLOS I to WEEBLOS II.  At the beginning of the ceremony he wore his blue shirt that he has worn for several years:

Then during the ceremony each boy changed into his tan Boy Scout shirt and crossed over the bridge to a higher rank in Scouts.  Here is my son with his tan shirt walking across the bridge:
My son has enjoyed his many years in Cub Scouts so far and we are proud of all his accomplishments! Can you tell? :) 

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie, and myself at No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH).  Click button for details and to read some great blog posts that have already linked up!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sports Party with Soccer Cake and Cupcakes!

My oldest cupcake's 11th birthday was a few days ago and I posted about some memories of her HERE.

She enjoys playing soccer so she decided to have a sports themed party.  We had a family party the day of her actual birthday and then a party with friends the day after her birthday.

We played several games, mostly relay games.
We started the party with the traditional balloon toss game. I didn't take pictures of this game because I was too busy guarding the cooler of balloons to make sure no one took all of them at once :)

Then we played a soccer ball relay game I made up, but it was a little too difficult for the kids to hold the soccer ball and hop at the same time, but it was fun anyway.  Here's my daughter doing this relay:

Then I had the kids hold a racket with a wiffle ball and walk/run down the cone and turn around, run back to their line and then hand the racket and ball to the next person in line:

The next relay game we played was called "Mystery Word Relay":  Unfortunately, I didn't take too many pictures of this game either, but the idea of the game was to run down to a cup that had circular chocolate that was wrapped in ball patterns (football, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis). Each chocolate had one letter taped to the back of it.  Each player ran back to their team, placed the chocolate on a small table, then the next person in line ran to pick up another chocolate. When all the pieces were picked up each team had to try to unscramble the letters to spell the answer to the question I gave them at the start of the game. Here's my daughter with a chocolate piece in her hand running back to her team.  We played this relay twice and each game had a different question.

In the first game the 2 teams had to answer this question:  How many players are there on the soccer field during a game (World Cup soccer game).  The answer was E-L-E-V-E-N so the players on each team worked together to get the answer when all the letters were picked up.  The next question I had was:  In 1996 (before most of the kids were born), the Summer Olympics was held in what U.S. city?  So each team had to run and get a piece of chocolate, run back to their team and unscramble the letters taped to the back of the chocolate.  Each team had to spell A-T-L-A-N-T-A.

The next relay game we played was Ball Boy/Girl Relay.  Each team member had to put baseballs, a wiffle ball and softball at the bottom of their shirt and run to cone, turn around, run back to their team and then transfer balls to their next team member.  Here is my daughter being the ball girl as she balances and runs with a shirt full!

The next game is where I volunteered my hubby to be a soccer goal and the kids would use their soccer balls (water balloons) to throw the balloons at the goal :)  Oh, this was fun and the kids loved throwing balloons at him! Thanks honey for being such a good sport! You are one good hubby and Daddy! (and you make a cute soccer goal too!)

We had Tug-of-War next. The girls...
vs. the boys...

My hubby and the boys tried really hard to beat the girls...

But, the girls won this one!

The final game we played was hitting the soccer ball pinata filled with lots of goodies...

And after the pinata was broke open, the kids decided it made for a really cool hat!

After all the fun games, it was time to each hot dogs, chips, and fruit, open presents, and then have yummy soccer cake and cupcakes!  This was the first year that I made my cake from SCRATCH ( I have always made the box mix cakes) and it was the first year I made my own icing!  The cake and icing were so good and it really wasn't too hard to make.  It's going to be difficult to make a box cake again after I tried the homemade cake recipe!
This cake was made with two 8 in. or 9 in. round pans (I don't know what size pans I had). I used green food coloring to dye the cream cheese icing to make it look like the ball was in the grass.  I then took green cake icing in a can and squirted "grass" sprouts over the green icing.  I then put green icing between the two layers of cake.  Then I iced the top layer with the cream cheese icing and used Wilton sparkling black gel to make the pentagon shapes on the ball. The cupcakes were made from a chocolate box mix, homemade cream cheese icing dyed green and then I topped each cupcake with clipart attached to toothpicks that I blogged about HERE.   Here's a close-up:

A good friend of mine gave me THIS yellow cake recipe that I followed.  However, some of the reviews used 4 whole eggs vs. the 8 egg yolks and I used the 4 whole eggs and it turned out great!

My friend also sent me this information about how to make the icing:

The icing is just 2 sticks butter (or 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup shortening) and one pound (box) of powdered sugar.  I mix about a tsp. of vanilla into this and a little milk if it seems to thick.  If you use all butter, it can get pretty soft, so if I am doing decorating with stars I usually use the half shortening half butter kind). This amout is usually plenty enough for a   9x13 pan and a good amount for a round layer cake.  If you are going to need a lot of extra icing for decorating, you might want to do 1.5 times the recipe.

If anybody loves cream cheese icing, you can also do the same recipe but with 1 stick butter and an 8 oz. block of cream cheese.  Same amount of sugar and vanilla.  really good.

For the soccer cake and cupcakes, I made the cream cheese icing with the 1 stick of butter and 8 oz. cream block of cream cheese with sugar and vanilla and it was so good!   I think I have found another great cake and icing recipe!  I did notice that the homemade cake was not only delicious, but was so much easier to ice because it did not crumble like box mixes do sometimes.  

As the party guests left the party they each received a cup of party favors: 
Inside each cup was a bookmark my daughter and I made  for each friend and my daughter signed her name (which is covered up in photo).  Each bookmark says "Kick off the summer with a good book!  Thank you for celebrating my 11th birthday with me!  From your friend, _____  
May 2011

The cups also had stickers inside, silly band rings in the shape of different sports items, and some of the circular chocolates that were wrapped in ball patterns (the same chocolates I used for the Mysery Word Relay game)

It was alot of fun planning this party for my big 11 year old!  Everyone had a great time, including the adults, and making the cake and icing from scratch this year was a treat for everyone, including myself :)  

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie, and myself at No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH).  Click button below for details and to read some great blog posts that have already linked up!


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I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

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