Maria is SIX

Six years ago – I introduced my baby girl on my blog.  Six. Whole. Years!

We celebrated last week with our family.  It was a fun party – We also had a girl scout event, so her friend celebration is post poned a few weeks.  We had a tired 6 year old after all the celebrating.

At age 6,  She is just 2 weeks from being done with Kindergarten.  She is starting to read chapter books all by HERSELF! Ivy & Bean are her favorites right now.  She loves princesses. (The theme of her party was princess with emphasis on Sofia the First).  She wants to dress like a teenager (?!)  and loves having her nails painted.  (which we do every week to celebrate her NOT sucking her thumb)  Maria is really close to learning to ride bike on 2 wheels.  She loves to play with Charlie (even if she may not admit it).  They play “babies” a lot. He loves to have her nearby. Even if he isn’t playing nicely, he gets upset if she leaves him at the sand table by himself.

We get the occasional eye rolls and sassy-ness.  Typical things like negotiating for dessert and trips to the Mall of America.  And also times when she forgets things and loses focus on the task at hand.  I’d say pretty typical for her age.    And really, it could be a lot worse.

She is loving school, loving having friends, writing notes to the 6th graders who are going to junior high next year. A real social butterfly.

We are just blessed to have such a special girl!

Birthday Presents!

Birthday Party w/ Cousins

Birthday Girl & Cake

More Birthday Pictures

September Weekend #2

Trying to catch up on what we’ve been doing!

We have had some fun weekends this month! The 2nd weekend, we were on the go. We went to the Annual Firemuster Parade on Saturday.

Sunday Maria started Sunday School again. And then we went to cousin Jana’s 9th birthday! I made the cake and I also made a fun little gift for my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday.
Maria & Daddy
At the Parade

Too Loud!
Fire Trucks are LOUD!

Jana and her horse cake
Jana and her Pony Cake

40 Sucks
40 Sucks!

Labor Day Weekend

We spent Labor Day weekend at my brother’s cabin.  It has become a bit of a Labor Day tradition, as we usually celebrate my niece’s birthday too.

Highlights of the weekend include:

  • Boat rides
  • Fishing
  • Maria riding the tube behind the speed boat
  • A Camping themed birthday party
  • Lots of cousin and family time!

Look who caught a fish with the Barbie pole!?
Look who caught a fish with the Barbie pole!?

Camping Cake
Camping Cake

Birthday Girl
Elizabeth – The Birthday Girl

Nature Hike
All the cousins on a Nature Hike

Elizabeth & Maria Tubing

Boat Ride
Charlie loved the speed boat “Uncle Mike, Go More Faster!”

More Pictures

Andrew is 12

My oldest nephew turned 12 this last week.  Where has the time gone? He is a fun kid.  Loves sports and the outdoors; books and movies; computers and puzzles. Loves bugging his sisters.  But is so patient with Charlie and Maria.

We celebrated today with a party. I made the cake after seeing all of these on pinterest. It was a good day, but it pretty much always is when we get some cousin time!

Elizabeth & Maria

Reading with Uncle Mike

Off Track

oh my, I have ignored my blog.  But busy is the general theme around here!  And I don’t expect it to slow down any with birthday celebrations, Thanksgiving and holiday preparations!

That being said. Here is the last couple weeks in review.

– My niece Katelyn celebrated her 9th birthday!

– I made her this really cool purse cake.

The Birthday Girl

– We celebrated Halloween. Maria was a butterfly fairy & Charlie was a puppy. (Scrapbook pages posted here)

– We celebrated our 8 year anniversary.  Since we both work downtown, we went out for a nice lunch without worrying about getting a babysitter.

– I hosted a Pampered Chef & Shutterfly HouseParty.  Way fun!

– Maria got another ear infection.

– Charlie going through some weird crabby growth spurt, combined with a cold.

– Charlie started saying “Noooo” a LOT and very clearly.

– Got the yard and porch all ready for winter. (not that we’re really ready for that!)

– Busy busy at work.

Up To

Maria was sick much of the last week.  So sick of my kids being sick. She had double ear infection, swollen tonsils and a sinus infection. She was feverish for about 3 days too.  Ugh… So far so good for Charlie.  We are sick of being sick!

Last weekend we celebrated Lilah’s 3rd birthday on Saturday, and on Sunday we celebrated both of Chad’s parents birthdays.  Lots and lots of cake!  This weekend we spent much of the day at home. But we all got outside to play in the snow this morning (and Chad re-attached the flag to the mailbox!)

A few pictures…

Grandpa & Grandma M's Birthdays

Grandpa & Grandma M's Birthdays
(black eye was from a friend at daycare who retaliated when Maria threw a toy at her.  Only Maria missed, and Lily connected with a Weeble Wobble!)

Snow Time

Quick Buttercream Frosting

I came across Mel’s Kitchen Cafe blog last week and decided to try this Buttercream frosting recipe for Luke’s birthday cake this weekend.

I doubled the recipe and then added a bit more cream cheese just to use the block and it was great. A double batch frosted one 2-layer round cake and 24 cupcakes with about 1/2 cup to spare.

Star Wars cake – easy! Buy a lego snowtrooper kit. Frost cake. no need to make it smooth, because it’s snow. Silver sugar sprinkled on top. Little laminated sign with a Star Wars font.

Luke's 4th Birthday

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

adapted from

½ cup (1 stick, 8 tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
about 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the softened butter and cream cheese together until it is light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar gradually and mix in fully after each addition. Cream at low speed until well blended and creamy. Pour in the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Andrew’s Turning 10

My oldest nephew Andrew is turning 10 on Friday.  These past 10 years have just flown by.  And over the last 10 birthdays I have made 8 of his birthday cakes, including the cake for the Twins themed party this past weekend.

Andrew's Birthday
The birthday boy and his Twins cake!

Andrew's Birthday - Cousins
Most of the cousins (missing Elizabeth & Charlie)
Maria, Allison, Katelyn, Drew & William

The Twins Cake
Go Twins!

Grandma & Charlie
Love this picture of my mom & Charlie

the pure joy of playing with the older girls!

more pictures here

Maria’s 3rd Birthday

So can’t believe my little girl is 3 already!  She is so not a toddler anymore, but all girl!

Things she loves right now:  helping(!), being outside, games (especially Candyland and Chutes & Ladders), imagining she is Katelyn (Charlie is Simba, I am Alice and Daddy is “Grumpy Old Troll”), Minnie Mouse, Dora, butterflies, writing and spelling, the park, the mall, swimming lessons, playing with friends and spending time with Mommy, Daddy & Charlie.

We had a big party for Maria last weekend with all her cousins and friend Lilah (plus a bunch of adults – family and friends)  Good time! We had a purple Minnie Mouse cake and played pin the nose on Minnie Mouse.  Plus just a lot of running and playing with cousins.

On Maria’s actual birthday, the whole family went to the Mall of America and Maria got to go on a lot of rides!  We also planted flowers and played outside a little.  The day after Maria’s birthday we celebrated at a park with her friends Gracey & Annabel (Annabel turned 2 on Thursday) so we had cupcakes with them (and some other kids who came over when the cake came out!)

It was a good week!

Maria's 3rd Birthday Party
party with all the cousins!

Singing Happy Birthday
purple Minnie Mouse cake!

Maria's 3rd Birthday Party
Grandma and Charlie

Her Birthday Morning
a Singing Dora card!

Nickelodeon Universe
rides at Nickelodeon Universe!

More pictures!