Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lost Front Tooth

Jarem lost his first front tooth! He looks so cute missing his front tooth! It makes me happy and sad at the same time. Sad that it is a sign he is growing up, but I love his new toothless smile!

Tessa helping him with the blood
New Smile

The tooth!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Birthday and Bishop

Eric got made bishop of our ward just a few days before his birthday. To celebrate his birthday, the young men and young women of the ward heart-attacked our house. On each of the hearts they wrote a personal note to him. It was very thoughtful and he really appreciated it. As far as the bishop part,(I am dating this on his birthday, but am posting it about a month later), it has been about a month now, and he still feels a little overwhelmed and sometimes too busy. But, he is willing to do whatever the Lord wants him to do, and do it to his best ability. I appreciate him so much for his dedication and sacrifice to the Lord and the gospel. For us, it will mean less time with him at home, but we have already seen blessings for his service.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Jesikah's Hunger Games Party

I am going to be honest and say that this party caused a lot of contention between Jesikah and I, and in the end, I almost felt like cancelling the whole thing.  First of all, I didn't really like the theme.  While I liked the Hunger Game books and movie, it just seemed wrong to have it as a teenage girl's party theme.  I couldn't help but think that in the book, kids this age were sent out to kill each other.  It just seemed wrong to me somehow, especially when she wanted to divide them up into districts.  I guess I was probably overthinking it, but I was afraid other parents might too. But this was just a small part of the contention.  I told her just to make it fun and not too much like the book.

The rest of the contention had to do with the cake mostly.  She wanted a fondant cake of a certain size, type, style, layers, etc, etc, etc.  I didn't know how to make that type of cake and given my very sick condition, barely felt like making a cake at all.  So she said she would do it herself as long as I bought everything. 

Everything was tough because Jesikah wanted to plan everything herself, but then she was mad at me because she felt like I wasn't doing MY part and that I didn't care about her.  It was just tough because she knew what she wanted and whatever I did, I was going to do wrong.  Jesikah is a child who wants things done EXACTLY how she wants them done and at the EXACT time.  It didn't help that I was having bad morning sickness during this time either.  For example, on the day she wanted to deliver the invitations, she came up to my room (which I was laying in bed cause I had morning sickness so bad) and said, "Come on, let's go.  We have to deliver the invitations today or it will be too late."  At that time it was 2 weeks before her party.  I told her I didn't feel well and that 10 days would be sufficient time.  She was SO upset and thought no one would be coming to her party now because it would be TOO late.  I think we got in something like 3 more arguments that day because I wouldn't deliver the invitations that day.  Anyway, the whole contentious climate of any conversation about the party made me not want any part of it.

I told her she could make the cake exactly how she wanted it, I would help where I could, but she would be mainly on her own.  We went to the store and got everything she needed.  Then, the night before the party I helped her make the fondant according to the recipe she had gotten from a previous young women leader who taught her how to make cakes.  It amazingly turned out very well.  She had also borrowed cake pans (a small and a large) from the same lady.  She wanted two layers of the large size with two layers of the small size on top. 

I was tired so I went to bed, and I let her make the cakes.  They were just from a mix, but she wanted it marbled, so she was mixing part of a chocolate cake mix into the white and stirring it to make it marbled.  Anyway, she was up late and Eric was still up watching a show on TV when she tried to take her large cake out of the pan and it broke into fist size pieces. (See picture below)  I was asleep, but I asked Eric if she broke down and started crying.  He said, "Amazingly no"
She just said, "Well, I have enough batter to make two more cakes in the 9 inch size, so that will have to do."  I was really proud of her for coming up with a solution to her problem instead of losing it or giving up hope.

Bad part was, when she was done, the kitchen was a disaster area!!  Eric took pictures to document.  Eric said it was worse than he has ever seen it.  Anyway, I have to mention my sweet husband here for cleaning up all the kitchen and dishes before he came to bed.  I think it took him a couple of hours and he didn't come to bed until very late.  There is no way we would have been able to pull everything together for the party that next morning by 10am if it wasn't for him!!  I love that man!  He always comes through for me when I need him.

Large cake in pieces

Rose mints she made and letters of her name she made out of fondant

There was a problem the morning of the party when she realized that she hadn't put the food coloring in the fondant and she wanted it pink.  I told her to just do it white, it would still look good, but she is a determined little girl, so she starting kneading the food coloring into the dough herself and it is STIFF.  When she started getting very frustrated because she could see she couldn't do it and wouldn't have enough time, Eric came to her rescue.  He kneaded the rest of the color into the rest of the fondant!  Thank heavens for him or the cake would have been a disaster!  He was the only one strong enough to knead the fondant.

He helped her roll it out and put it over the cakes

Eric is very artistic and precise when it comes to things like this.  He did a great job!

Look how perfect that cake looks.

The top layer I helped her with because Eric had to take Alex to a soccer game.  As you can see, it isn't as perfect.  We had a few wrinkles, but not bad for our first try with fondant.

Jesikah had made makeup out of fondant because she wanted her cake decorated with makeup and pearls.  She also made those balls ahead of time and painted them with some kind of pearl stuff.

We added the roses to go with the Hunger Games theme

All in all, it turned out pretty nice, and she was very happy.

Rose mints

While they worked on the cake, I set the table, cleaned, and decorated

She wanted a fancy dinner style party like they had in the Hunger Games book while they were at the Capitol.

But first, they had to do their hair and makeup like the crazy capitol people.

They had fun making themselves up

Makayla is putting fake lashes on Andrea.  Nearly all the girls put on fake lashes.

The party group after they were fixed up.


A few at a time

Being crazy capitol people

Makayla didn't want to paint her face or do crazy hair since she was going to a dance later, so they painted her leg.

The capitol feast

Everybody loved the food!  It was Subway sandwiches with some sides, but I tried to make it look fancy.

Everyone eating.  They had fancy drinks with Sprite and lime and cherries with cherry juice.

Jarem and Tessa felt pretty lucky that two girls didn't show up, so they still got to share in the spoils (in the kitchen)

Jesikah opening her presents

She got lots of Hunger Games stuff

And lots of creative Hunger Games wrapping too.

This is a little phone case/wallet

Wrapped in a Hunger Games bag

Hunger Games journal

Fixing her fake lash

Bath and Body Works shower gel.  I think she is laughing cause it is called Dark Kiss.

This is Jesikah's friend, Yuklin, holding her gift.  Look how fancy the bag and the wrapping with the mockingjay and all.

Inside Yuklin's gift: A tracker jacker and a bunch of bit-o-honey's.  What a clever idea!

Here are some more fondant things that we couldn't use on the cake either.  She wanted the cake to reflect her interests so she made this paint palette, brush, and paint splotches.

We weren't able to use these letters on the cake because we didn't have enough space once the cake was downsized.
After the presents were opened, they all had cake and ice cream. Then they washed off their makeup and headed downstairs to watch the Hunger Games movie (which had just come out on video that day and I had to go to Wal-Mart early to pick up). Only a few girls were left by the end of the movie because several had to leave early.

All in all, the party was a success and I am glad we did it. But even more, I was happy to have it finished too.

After the party, I took Jesikah and some of her friends up to a stake dance in Hopkinsville (which was her first dance since she just turned 14).  I stayed around for a little while to watch.  Jesikah had been nervous that no one would ask her to dance and one of her friends said that maybe Alex would.  Jesikah said, "Alex would NEVER ask me to dance."  But, to everyone's complete surprise, Alex came and asked her to dance on the FIRST dance.  I was so surprised and happy that, of course, I started to cry!  In fact, I had to walk outside for a little bit to get composed since I didn't want to embarrass them.  It was the sweetest thing.  Eric and I ended up staying for most of the dance.  Later on when there was a girl's choice dance, Jesikah went and asked Eric to dance.  It was very sweet.  It was an awesome night and made me realize that my teenagers really do have a sweet and tender side, even when they don't always show it.  It was great to spend a night there with them.  In the end, Jesikah said that her favorite dance of the night was her dance with Alex.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Jesikah's 14th Birthday

 Jesikah opened presents from us on her birthday, August 13.  Then, a week later, she had her birthday party because that was the day the new Hunger Games movie was coming out and she wanted to wait until then!  Below, Jesikah is standing next to her presents.

Present from Alex, with the usual fancy wrapping!  I didn't even have to remind him to get her a present this year.  When she was ready to open her presents, he had a present for her with the rest of them.

Alex has been lucky enough so far that when it is time for someone's birthday, he can pick one of his sets of books to give away.  This is the Lightning Thief series.  Unfortunately, (unknown to Alex) Jesikah already owns this series (which is the reason for her face).  But to save his feelings, she didn't tell him and told me later that she never wants him to know since it was the thought that counted (and she does love those books)!

Together with Alex

Best pic that I could get of the two of them

Reading the card from Grandma and Grandpa Ricks

Card from Tessa--she felt bad that she didn't have a gift for Jesikah, so she included $10 of her money.  I thought it was sweet.

Jesikah was touched, but unfortunately I got this one out of focus

Card from Eric and I (it fit her perfectly).  She even mentioned that she couldn't believe how well the card fit her.  Enclosed was a DQ giftcard.  Jesikah loves ice cream more than anything.

Gift from Jarem.  I had picked a few of Jesikah's favorite treats to put in a gift and told Jarem he could give that to Jesikah.  When he saw that Tessa was giving her money, he wanted to add money to his gift too.  Then, there was a very tender moment when Jesikah opened Tessa's gift and he realized that money was all that Tessa had to give her.  He secretly snuck the money out of his gift before Jesikah opened it because he didn't want it to seem like his gift was better than hers.  He has always been very sensitive and aware of others feelings.  I thought this was a very sweet gesture.  He and Tessa have a very close relationship.

Jesikah is smelling the scatch n' sniff sticker that he put on his card.  I love Jarem's face in this picture.  He is so anxious to her to like it. :)

Jesikah could see his anxiousness and pulled him in to help her open the gift.

Make-up from us.  I told her when she was 14 she could wear eyeliner, so she wanted some for her birthday.

Some jewelry from us

A lovely Pandora-style bracelet

Art supplies (In the gift were paints, paint pallette, easel, and different sizes of canvases).  She has wanted to start painting more.  She is quite talented artistically.

And a random picture of Tessa