A wife of noble character who can find?...She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:10, 26 & 28

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Review of the last term

Well it's the end of the term and I should probably take a look at what we've done over the last term. Academic wise the kids have only really done Maths and reading regularly. They've all found books that they're getting right into, which is a big step. I haven't had to bug anyone to do their reading. We're just starting to get into Reading Strands for our English, next term it'll be done 3 days a week. Kahlia has finally gotten her Math u See work book, she's been doing Mammoth Math for the last year and a half, which has helped her with her multiplication, but I really wanted her to do Math u See like the boys. I wasn't able to get her workbook second hand so I had to buy it brand new. We have just gotten the Artistic Pursuits curriculum and will be starting that next term. I think I'm more excited about it than the kids, except for possibly Kahlia, who loves everything arty. 

Elijah's cricket team made it to the grand final, but lost that by one run. We were really proud of him, though, he has learned heaps this season. Elijah, Kahlia and Daniel are doing swimming lessons and will continue them next term. Elijah and Kahlia have moved up to the older class and I can see so much improvement in Dan's swimming, he doesn't even use the back bubble before and after class anymore. Kahlia and Daniel still play tennis, although sometimes I think that Kahlia's not into it too much, she seems distracted during the lessons and doesn't seem to be trying too hard.

I received an email with all the homeschool activities in the South Eastern Victorian area but they all seem so far away so I don't know that we'll be doing much more with the homeschoolers, which is a pity because they could use some more activities with homeschoolers. I could use some time spent with other homeschooling mums.

But all in all I'm very pleased with our progress.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

First Baby Shower Cake

I had a really bad week, last week. I had some tummy bug that kept me in bed for 3 days straight and I didn't eat for 5 days, pretty much, just the occassional piece of toast and enough water to swallow some panadol. But thankfully I was well enough in time to make my sister in laws baby shower cake on Sunday. I already had the cake in the freezer from Tim's dad's birthday, that I didn't end up using then, so I didn't have to scrounge the energy up to bake it. I would have liked to have had the cake finished the night before but I was still dizzy and didn't have any energy so I decorated it completely on the day. I already had about a third of the flowers made so I only had to make the yellow and blue ones and the leaves.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My first attempt at a baby (modelling)

It doesn't look as cute as I would like but I'm quite proud of my first attempt.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Photos of Tim's Dad's cake

After posting the photos in my last blog I realised that the quality was too high, it took forever to upload those four photos and I could only put those  four photos on the blog, so this time I scaled them down. This is Tim's Dad's cake and Christian and Rose.

This last week...

We finally got our new camera this week. It takes fantastic photos and we've already taken over 500 just from Elijah's finals cricket game, which they won and so are now in the Grand final, and Tim's dad's birthday party. As I'm typing this blog I'm importing the photos off the memory card onto the computer and the computer is not keeping up with my typing.

I made Tim's dad's birthday cake and it turned out really well. I hadn't made enough chocolate panels to go around a three tiered cake so I had to use the you'll love coles brand of cooking chocolate to make some more but it didn't harden properly again after I melted it, so I won't be using that again, even though it does taste nice. Everyone loved it. I think that perhaps I should have made it out of mud cake or added some cream in it .... or something. It was just ordinary chocolate cake, but I'd love to do a 'death by white chocolate' one with white chocolate mud cake and white chocolate panels and curls of white chocolate on top, or even one with flowers made from white modelling chocolate.

I took some more photos of those teddy bears that I made and some flowers just to test out the camera so I'll post them on here too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More Teddy Bears

I've been very busy the last couple of days. I made some patty cakes and iced them with some buttercream and then made little swirls with royals icing (I think my royal icing was too thick as my hand started hurting, trying to push it out. ), they didn't turn out too bad, but I'd like to get a nozzle with a smaller hole and see how that goes. 

I also made a couple of teddy bears yesterday. I don't know what I'll use them for but I only had brown and pink icing so I made the dark brown one first, then I had an idea to mix the pink into the brown for a lighter brown and this turned out well so I also mixed green into the pink for the stem of the flowers. 

I also used a little butter on my hands as I'd been having trouble with the icing being sticky yet dry at the same time. I know I should have used shortening but I didn't have any until today. I made my own sugarpaste (rollout) icing today and my own modelling paste and flower paste. It'll be interesting to see the difference between that and the ready made stuff. Hopefully I will get a new camera in the next month or so, my camera now doesn't like taking photos of my cakes and modelling.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Latest Creation

I made this cake yesterday. The photos didn't turn out the best because some parts of the cake were a bit wet from trying to get rid of  the icing sugar patches. My pastry brush holds too much water, even when I dry it on a tea towel. I'm also not liking the premade roll out icing, I'm finding it too sticky, yet dry at the same time. I'm going to try making my own this week and see if I like that consistency better.

Christian attacked this cake while I was letting it cool and the bench and had ducked up to the shop for something, that's why there's that big bit cut out of the front. I'm thinking of getting some kind of pantry like cupboard to store my cakes in because our kitchen is one of those modern minuscule ones and nowhere is safe from my son. Maybe a top shelf will be safe.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Other great news for the day

Someone has asked me to make a cake to celebrate the birth of her great granddaughter. She's my first paying customer. It's so exciting. Making cakes will only be a hobby, but there are only so many people in our family who need them and with Tim's sister cake decorating as well it's shared between us, so this is a good way for me to practice something I'm coming to love doing. She wants a two tiered cake and will be taking it on the plane over the Western Australia. The baby's not due until July so I've got plenty of time to plan it and put it together.

Tip for fantastic lasagne

I normally use the recipe on the back of the San Remo pasta sheets box, which I find is really tasty. I don't even use Mozarella Cheese, just tasty, but that ingredient that I find that pushes it over the edge of tasty into heaven is I add a carton of sour cream into the cheese sauce at the end and stir it over a low heat until it is totally incorporated. You'll want to eat lasagne all the time if you make it this way.

Monday, March 2, 2009

So much for the seeds and more sugar flowers

I was so frustrated today as Christian tipped out 7 of my 10 seedling punnets. I'm thinking that I may have to just buy seedlings, which goes against my reason for growing them in the first place. It's a lot cheaper growing them from seed and you get a real sense of accomplishment seeing the little things growing, but then you want to just thrash the child who comes along and tips them all over the grass. No I didn't thrash him but he certainly knew that I wasn't happy with him.

On a positive note, I have learnt a new flower to make out of fondant. I was searching through my still packed boxes for my Digger's Club gardening book and found a cake decorating book I borrowed from Tim's Aunty. At the time I borrowed it I wasn't ready to use it but now it makes sense to me when I read it. It's quite old, for a book, 1972, with a few colour, but mostly black and white pictures but the cakes in it are gorgeous and some of the flowers that they have instructions for don't use cutters and are really simple so I tried some last night. They've turned out really well. I'm going to end up with heaps of flowers and nothing to use them on at the moment. I'll just have to keep them in a safe place and see who else I can make a cake with flowers for.