Archive | December, 2011

Serenity’s Birthday

29 Dec

A few weeks ago Aunt Elizabeth Wallace had asked me to make a “golf themed” cake for Serenity’s birthday party that they were going to have after Christmas when all of the cousins were in town. Thanks to Jordan, Bethany and Lilliana (and anyone else who helped me), this is what ended up being.

This is the backside of the cake

The first hill

The water

A better look at the Waterfall and water

Now…you may have noticed that there are little holes in the side of the cake. There are straws running through the cake which allow a BB pellet to run down the golf course. (The BB’s were clean, naturally.) It took several hours to get the slant right, as well as the fondant and cake in the right position), but it was well worth it to see everyone delightedly watching the BB run down the hills.

BB going down the Big Hill.


BB going down the smaller hill and under the water.


It was an intense cake to make, but it was fun.

Lilliana was huge in helping color the fondant, and making all of the little rocks that surround the water. I couldn’t have done it without her! Thank you Lilliana!

Lydia’s first Christmas

26 Dec

We started off Christmas with Lydia opening her first gifts from Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Sarah Burley.

She’d never opened a package before, so this was fun. Lydia got a very beautiful handmade dress and a very clever (and also handmade) wooden baby toy that rattles. Jordan and I were very impressed with the quality of the workmanship on both.

Then we traveled up to Tucson to spend Christmas with Jordan’s parents, Grandma and Grandpa Phillips, and the Sangers (all his Mom’s side of the family). We arrived right in the middle of all of the festivities of putting together Christmas Dinner. Here is the table where the married couples sat.

Grace decorated the table, and I thought she did a very nice job.

Here we have the younger girls doing a photo session.

Lydia is now tall enough to reach the keys on the piano. πŸ™‚

The men doing the dishes…(okay…Dad P. was doing the dishes while Uncle John and Austin looked on. πŸ˜€ )

Chloe and Grandpa Phillips deboning the Turkey while the men stand around and talk in the background. Note the size of the crockpot…18 quart! Fits a whole turkey.

Lydia opening a gift from the Sangers (with a little help from Mommy. πŸ™‚ )

A Fuzzy sheep! A blanket rolled up inside a sheep pillow. Very cute! We loved it!

Uncle John and Aunt Rebekah enjoying watching everyone open the gifts.

We were overwhelmed with everything everyone gave us. We were given Honey, a honey pot & dipper, kitchen utensils, homemade caramel corn, old recipes that had been laminated, clothes, a very special red wagon for Lydia and many more things. We just can’t say thank you enough to everyone for all that was given to us.

Jordan took to task that afternoon of putting together the red wagon with Enoch and Lincoln, while Lydia eagerly watched for any bits of plastic that might end up her way.

Someone ended up giving her some bubble wrap so that the boys could work without her taking any little screws or anything.

Christmas was very nice, not necessarily for the gifts, but for the love and warmth that was there. A family, together, loving each other. What better way is there to spend Christmas?

Baby Shower

23 Dec

One of the girls who lives here in Sierra Vista had just had her baby, and as they waited to find out what the baby was, thus the shower didn’t happen until after the baby was born. The games were very creative, and the cake was beautiful. πŸ™‚

Can you picture full grown women feeding one another baby food, and sucking apple juice out of bottles? I hadn’t been able to either, but now I have video of it. :p

The games were all very creative. The first game was very funny to watch. You had a partner that sat across from you. Both of you were blindfolded, and one of you got to feed the other person baby food out of a jar. As both of you are blindfolded, you are both swaddled with towels because of the mess. That was fun to watch. (note: WATCH. I didn’t say participate. πŸ˜› )


Then next game was to see who could suck apple juice out of their baby bottle the fastest. This one was also fun to WATCH. πŸ˜€

They had 4 rounds of the apple juice drinking (with about 5-6 ladies in each round), and the winners from each round were pulled aside. They were then paired in teams of two, in which case they were blindfolded again, and only using 1 hand apiece, they had to dress a doll baby, from the diaper to the hat. Talk about a challenge!

Needless to say, I think everyone had fun.

Lydia enjoyed the company. She had a blast with all of the people around, and with the twins (Titus and Silas) who are just a day younger than her.



Here was the cake, done by Sis Mary Garcia (one of the Grandmothers of the baby that had just been born.)

Lydia and Chocolate

21 Dec

Lydia is playing with a bear that I had growing up as a kid. She kinda likes the big fella (he’s almost as big as she is!)

Yes…I named the bear Chocolate. :p What else is a girl supposed to name a brown colored bear? πŸ˜€

Lydia and the Jolly Jumper

10 Dec

Lydia in the Jolly Jumper. Any Scraping noises are Jordan tending to the fire in the woodburning stove. πŸ™‚


8 Dec

Here we have a Hereford Sunrise, a beautiful sight that I get to see most mornings that I’m up in time. πŸ˜€

And here is Lydia…I had been sitting next to her.Β She was tired and fell asleep. πŸ™‚ So Cute!



The Doucettes and going home!

4 Dec

After going to Fort Desoto, we headed up to the Doucettes to spend the night there.

One of my favorite sights…the Baby Grand sitting in the front room.

The dining room…

…and the kitchen. (I LOVE their house…always have!)

Ben playing with Lydia.

Sister Suzanne and Leah working in the kitchen.

The Living room.

L-R Sis Suzanne, Becki, Ben, Leah, Hope, Lydia and Hannah. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for your hospitality! It felt like old times! πŸ™‚

Aunt Ruth had bought Lydia an “Original” Piglet from Winnie the Pooh series, and she was enjoying playing with her new toy on the way back up to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

And…finally…waiting for Seth to pick us up at the airport! We skipped the flight from Phoenix to Tucson as we did not want to step foot on another flight for a long while! Home sweet home! πŸ™‚

Helicopters and Cannons

1 Dec

We headed up to Tampa from Clearwater to go stay with some friends, and ended up detouring along the way. We headed to Fort Desoto, only to be sidetracked by a vision of a helicopter hovering over the water. We pulled into a resort parking lot to where we proceeded to watch the helicopter hover over a boat in the water for probably 10 minutes. We don’t know how long it had been there, or how long it remained there, as it was still hovering after we left.

The resort seemed to be very pretty, with a Cabana…

…a Marina…

…and the beautiful water line.

We stopped by Fort Desoto, a little outpost near St Petersburg. As I have been to the St Augustine Fort, I was not expecting such a modern fort. It was used during the Civil War up until WWI if I remember correctly. They have some artillery there that is the only known remaining pieces of that kind.

Jordan goes into one of their ammunition rooms.

They had HUGE chains sticking out of the wall. The chains had rusted into place (or were saudered to keep people like myself from seeing if they moved). The chains were probably 1.5″-2″ thick.

They had a total of 8 large cannons, 4 in each section. At this point, they only have 4 remaining on site…2 in each section. They rotated a full 360 degrees, used 83 pounds of powder for EACH shot, and the projectiles were 1,000 pounds!

Look at the spring system on the cannon!

The inside of the muzzle.

After admiring the Fort (build into a mound), we walked a path to the Gulf, just a few hundred feet away.

A very romantic sand drawing by Jordan!

Jordan with Lydia waving hello.

Admiring the Ocean.

Getting a second look at the water.

Me walking barefoot along the water.

Seashells washed ashore.

Oh yes…and the Direct TV blimp. πŸ˜€