Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Getting a Clue

Before getting into today's post, I have to copy part of Vicky's comment from yesterday here... because I found it HILARIOUS and I want to make sure none of you missed it. I swear it made me laugh  multiple times yesterday when it would pop into my head:

Out of the blue the other day in the car Nolan says "Mom, do you think Sara knew Riley had issues like getting riled up when visitors come and that's why she named him Riley? Like you named me Nolan and you have to say NO to me all the time!" HA!

Now if that didn't crack you up, there's something seriously wrong with your funny bone.

Ok, now onto today's post...

On the Monday before Christmas my brother Steve and his family were coming to visit on their way home for the holiday, and the funny thing about my pup is that he senses when change is coming. I kid you not, he sat like this in front of the window for a good part of the day just waiting for them to arrive. I kept trying to tell him they left a little late, but he didn't seem to mind keeping a lookout.


I was so excited to see them and also thrilled because that was the morning I discovered my fantabulous new camera waiting for me outside my door. I spent a great part of the day playing with the controls and settings and getting ready for the cute little people to arrive so I could bombard them with kisses and opportunities to pose.

It was shortly before they arrived that I heard the news my Aunt Judy had passed away... and in the confusion of that news, them arriving and phone calls from my sisters, I had set down the camera and forgot all about the fact that I had messed with the settings.

And switched it to manual focus.


So, I spent a great part of the evening snapping photos of the kids opening presents and hanging out (thinking I'd have a ton of good material for a blog post), and Steve played with the camera and did the same. And because the auto focus wasn't set they were some of the worst pictures I've ever taken in my life. Blurry doesn't even begin to cover it. So my conclusion is that new camera + grief + cute kids = blurry shots.

There were a few lucky ones that randomly worked, so here's the story of our night in three photos or less...


This, people, is a volcano cake. And if you've never had it... you are so missing out. It cooks in the microwave for 8 minutes in a Pampered Chef rice cooker, and is the most delicious, moist and decadent cake I've ever had.


And the kids like it just a little bit. Partly because they like to help mix it and crack the eggs, and partly because we don't worry about manners at Aunt Sara's house. Cake just tastes better when you put it in the center of the table and dig in. I have to admit I took this at the beginning of the feast and only about 1/3 of the cake was left when we were through with it.

And because Cooper was falling asleep on the couch by the time they left, I think he now understands the meaning of a sugar crash.

Coops made me this fantastic ornament:IMG_0799

And Avery made me this lovely pencil holder/vase:pencils
[both taken later with auto focus on so it doesn't
count in my three photos or less declaration :)]


And last but not least, we played a rousing game of Clue... which I hadn't played since I was little. A very expressive Miss Avery very thoroughly explained the rules, which may have taken longer than the game itself, but was just as entertaining. I just can't tell you how much I love that little family and how glad I am that my house is directly on their way back home... because those faces are ones that I really can't get enough of. Getting to see them is a holiday in and of itself.

Oh, and as for how the game went? I'm not saying who won or anything, but I'll give you a Clue ... it might have been me. :)


  1. You go girl! I used to rock that game...clue!!

    I know all about blurry pictures.....it happens....

    It looks like a great time was had by all. The cake....looks wonderful.....chocolate goodness.

  2. thank you so much for your sweet comment. it so blessed my day! (on a day, i might add, when i needed it) thanks, girl.

  3. I'm trying not to eat sweet yumalicious goodness and the cake has about put me over the edge, I'm thinkin, a s'more is good choice for breakfast right?!
    I love it that Riley waited at the door...Mike's pup, Bella knows when it's about time for him to come home and parks herself in front of the front window. It's really sweet.
    Your neice and nephew are so adorabel...
    Hope today is great...we're drowning here in the Atl!

  4. I've been waiting for the right time to share that with you: ) Nolan will be so excited to see you liked his clever thinking! And I was a little floored that my blog friends have become part of our everyday conversation...

    Do you know Dakota will do the same thing when Rick is out of town? Always on the day I expect him home within a couple of hours she plants herself in front of the door... they are instinctually amazing creatures :) Do you ever watch the Dog Whisperer? I wonder what Cesar would say?

    Gosh you have cute nieces and nephews and love those two names! And you may as well share that recipe for the cake since we'll all be drooling for some of our own!!!!

  5. Okay - we want the recipe!
    I'll have to go a take a look on the Pampered Chef site so that I can order a rice cooker...my husband will be thrilled that I want to order more stuff;)

  6. holy cow that new camera of yours is just too amazing! BTW....that pic. of the choc. cake you took to show us was just wrong I tell ya. Wrong. ;)

  7. you know i'm always looking for ideas... how did cooper make that ornament? it's so pretty!

    that volcano cake looks fantastic!!

  8. You guys are so funny... I'm not sure it qualifies as a "recipe" exactly. All you have to do is make a cake mix from a box and pour the batter into the rice cooker. Then you dump a tub of frosting in the middle (don't stir it in or anything, just dump it in), seal the lid on the cooker and microwave on high for 8 minutes.

    When you take the lid off you have to put a plate on the top and flip it over... when the cake comes out the frosting oozes out of the top of the cake like a volcano. It is so decadent to just dig in with forks. You do want to make sure the platter you use to flip it on has a lip, or the frosting will flow right over the edge of the plate.

    @brandi: I'll ask my sister-in-law for the details on the ornament and get back to you...

  9. Gitz, Your comments are always so witty and wise! "You ain't raisin me right" MUST win the prize at mycharmingkids.net. I note that I was not the only one chanting "I think I can, I think I can."

    BTW, a now departed friend had a birthday gift made for me last December. Knowing I would procrastinate on my great intention to have the entire cover of "The Little Engine That Could" framed, she made it happen. (The original artwork style cover was all that was left when my grandkids wore the book out.) I've always needed that message so much. (My first grade teacher drilled it into me.) The framed cover is BEAUTIFUL and brings a smile to many faces!

    I wish I had your blogging and photography skills so I could show you! I LOVE your style and wisdom as I have mentioned before.

    (no blog...As cartoonist Gary Larson says "She was an old dog and it was a new trick.") FYI immichal@yahoo.com

    Always striving to look in the hay, Michal

  10. @michal: that photo of Small Fry was so cute... I thought the toe jam comments were pretty funny too :) And you're never too old to learn a new trick... I IM'd with my Grandma a few months ago and thought that was pretty impressive!

    Hope the blessings are on top of the hay so you don't have to look too hard...

  11. It is amazing that Riley could sense that someone was coming. Even more amazing that he would sit still for so long.

    The cake did look very decadent, I love the look of pure joy on the kids faces as they dig into the cake.

    Homemade gifts are always the best. Cooper is very creative.

  12. love the ornament and the vase. beautiful