Tag Archives: birthday cake

May I?

I love these things in May {a list}

  • I’ve got pieces of April, I keep them in memory bouquet. I’ve got pieces of April, but it’s a morning in May.“* All the hopes that sprang in April now blossom in May. Remember what your Kindergarten teacher told you, because it is true: April showers bring May flowers!  {*Pieces of April, a song by Three Dog Night, naturally}
  • Tara Jean, Stephanie May and Gemma May: all born in springs’ most surprising and spirited month. They’ve each taken on those characteristics!

steph and her cake

Stephanie let me make her a 4-layer, wedding-white cake with buttercream icing, topped with baby’s breath and scattered caramel macchiato macarons from Happy Bakeshop in Longmont (Cake design inspired by the amazing Constellation Inspiration).

  • Fully leafed trees, that bright, light, spring-green thing that happens. And carpets of lush green grass, chlorophyl all around!
  • I love these bright, sunny days that give way to sudden, dark, thundery showers, then perk right back up to sunlight and a spring song. The sunsets are more colorful, the air is cleaner, and the grass even greener.
  • Memory: splashing in curbside puddles after a spring rain as a kid. Wish I’d done that more. I wonder what the neighbors might think if I…
  • Store-bought tomatoes (at the best markets) are beginning to have some flavor again while my heirlooms are settling in their soil, gearing up to give me brag-worthy homegrowns come July.
  •  I painted my nails with purple polish to match my pansies and freshly potted petunias, but it didn’t last, not even 2 days, because it’s May! Yes, of course I have very pretty sky-blue gardening gloves. But sometimes, you must sink your hands into the soil, to really understand the essence of living. I came from the dust of the earth. Plunging my hands deep as I plant, I am home…
  • It is the anniversary of our very first date, Dave and I. He said today, on Facebook, “The beginning of my life…” I melt.  I didn’t know it was a date (I hoped), he did. It involved a Rock Hudson movie and Barry Manilow. And it has worked out for us, I am happy to report. Dave is the one. :)

The world’s favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.
Edwin Way Teale

I love the month of May and wish we could have another 3 weeks of it, at least. And I love making lists. May all things seems possible for you today! In May… :)  xoxo

None for me, thanks

Malakai did not like his birthday cake.


Poor little guy.  Thirty or so of us suddenly plopped him into his high chair, put a 6 1/2″ high 6-layer colorful cake (purple-blue-green-yellow-orange-red) in front of him and yelled, “Eat, Malakai, eat cake!”  He could not have been more perplexed.  Cameras were flashing, people were clapping and laughing and the cake just sat there.


His mommy tried to help him by placing his hand in the icing and he became immediately suspicious of the whole thing.  She put a little icing in his mouth and he did not like it.  Not at all!  He has never had sugar like that, always eaten healthy.  So we were surprised.  We thought maybe if we cut into the cake and he saw all the pretty colors, he’d give it a try.




Then the worst: Tara put a little taste of cake in his mouth and he gagged.  He gagged.  Then he got so mad, he cried.

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He will either (1) grow up to love cake more than anyone else in the world ever has and these pictures will be a hilarious in retrospect, or (2) eschew cake his lifelong, always eat healthy and probably be all the better for it!


Nonetheless, Malakai came as a fulfillment of the sweet promises of God.  And like when you see a rainbow, you remember that God keeps His promises, so when we look at these pictures we’ll always remember that one year ago, in spite of all the tears and the prayer and the hopes and dreams that felt like they might never be realized, Kai was born to bring joy and joy he has brought and we are reminded: God keeps His promises.  God is always faithful.


Kiss-kiss, Malakai!


Malakai’s little personal cake was baked with a 6″ pan, 6 layers (purple-blue-green-yellow-orange-red) with a cooked, whipped icing that is actually slightly less sweet because I did not want to put him in a coma.   ;)

The “guest cake” was also 6 layers, same colors from the bottom up using a 10″ pan.  It was way bigger than it looks!



The Convivial Occasions of October

Last year I said October is Orange.  And it still is.  My church turned orange last fall, too.  I do love my house-of-worship-advertising sweatshirt with the bum logo (thank-you, sweet Katie!).

This October is craaaaaazy-busy-fun and occasion-filled!

Like, we have three family birthdays in October (mine, Hunter’s and still-to-come: Jovan’s!).  I turned 50 (shhh…there is no need to think about this, nor mention it aloud) with dinner at Cinzzetti’s~

outside Cinzzetti’s

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Pictured: Me and my baby, Stormie;  Patrice is telling me right at this very second that she is pregnant with their 3rd child!  Me, Pearl and Marilyn.  I screamed immediately following

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DP nearly ate Cinzzetti’s out of mussels; me and the 5 grandbebes who were well-contained in our private room.

I have sweet friends (almost every single one of whom is younger than me, I noticed), and a lovely family.  Thank-you, everybody for celebrating my life even if I could have gone without noticing the new decade.  I am blessed.

Hunter and the wheels-in-motion cake and fun-on-wheels party for himself and 25 of his closest friends:

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Hunter turned “The Garage” into a speedway.  There were trikes and bikes and skateboards and more.  Kids zoomed one way and then the next.  It was crazy loud and speedy.  Hunter got the chocolate fudge cake he wanted in the shape of a “5” and when, the other day, he reminded he really, really, really wanted some lightening bolts, too, in honor of his current favorite movie, Bolt, I whipped up a strawberry cake at the last second to cut out and ice some lightening bolt shapes for flanking the main cake.

But, oh my goodness, it is what I did with the cut-off-cake crumbs that needs to be mentioned.  Into a bowl:  leftover chocolate-fudge cake, the rest of the fudge filling, a block of cream cheese, a can of cherry pie filling.  Mixed well.  Cookie-scooped onto baking sheets and thrown into the freezer until they were just firm enough to coat with melted white chocolate.  Chocolate-Cherry Cake Bites, o yeah!  To. die. for.  Yum.  Seriously!

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Poor Magoo ended up very, very sick at his own party.  He conked out, but the fun held up.

There was a Worship and the Word Movement PSTeam (prayer-support team) potluck at the MadCap Theater (a great  improv place-you should totally go!)

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Last night there was a Seek and Soak with TOM EWING (a man DP called a general in worship ministry).  Here is the kick-off song featuring Tom, Sing to the King

In the video, left to right: Rocky Rhoades on guitar, Tom Ewing, Tristan on drums, Stormie on bass, DP on lead guitar (and leading the whole Seek and Soak), Lewis Brown (a.k.a. Proxy), and Lewis Brown, Sr. on sax.  It was an amazing night.  Musical worship, the Word of God, 3+ hours of encounter-worship, about 100 people entering the Presence, even Baptists! :)  Smile, Emily!  That was for you!

Let’s see…what else?

Jovan and Rocky will find out if it is a boy or a girl at their next appointment.   Goody!

There is the celebration of Amy Jo’s baby-to-be this Thursday night.

And Saturday night I get to go see the final Delirious concert in Colorado ever as they are on their farewell tour.  This band changed everything in the 90s and they are still such a class act, men of integrity who love Jesus and are soooo talented.  They changed the sound of worship and people around the world  go deeper worship via the songs of the Lord they introduced.  Got to see them at Ichthus and now here.  I love them and how they have influenced my own children to become History Makers.

Also ~ Dave will play the lead in the Platte Valley Player’s community theaters’ presentation of “Suspenders,” a musical comedy, as part of the grand opening celebration of Brighton’s newly restored/renovated armory as a community arts center/theater in Brighton’s “downtown.”  He’ll be performing in it over the next few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.  I’ll be attending the very first performance on Monday the 19th (an event for which I bought a dress!!).  I am somewhat divided in my joy about the fact that Dave is also painting the backdrop for the show and there are 6 giant 8′ x 4′ canvases in my living room at this time.

Family Time!

I will be going to spend a week with my mama et papa in Springfield, MO, where they wrongfully and stubbornly retired a year and a half ago and now wish to leave to be closer to any of us that they know (do you know of anyone house-hunting in Springfield??  Help!).  They will spoil me rotten and my brother Joe is meeting me there, too.  We will visit Branson, about a half hour from them, for the express purpose of giving my mother her dream-come-true in visiting the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans Museum before it closes its’ doors for good this December.

harvest_fest_headerI am already working on church Christmas decor.  In October!

Upon my return, I will enjoy the grandbebes playing dress-up for the church’s annual Harvest Fest and then, as they have all requested (informing me that it is a tradition, one I must have started unknowingly), all will gather at our home for broccoli-cheese soup (because I make incredible zuppa).

Life.  It can wear you out!

Dave is sick and they are checking him for H1N1 tomorrow morning, though they have already started him on antibiotics.  What in the world??  Who has time for this?

Just trying to keep up…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Loosen up some time in November and December.  Right.

Happy Birthday, Guini-muggins!

Guin-Guin is 4 today!


Happy Birthday, sweet girl!


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My first little granddaughter (3rd grandchild) is four.  She is independence and spunk, she is quiet, but firm.  She can run with crowds, but entertain herself.  She is a waif in body, but strong in spirit.  She is all the Disney princesses, one at a time, or overlapping as she sees fit (this year, she chose “Cinder-Lella”) and she was determined to have a cake in Cinderella’s honor using her own doll (which we almost couldn’t find).  And so we did.

A Cinderella Doll Cake

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I learned from my first doll cake experience to wrap the shapely doll in a paper towel and Saran Wrap so as not to cause a stir when the cake is cut away (revealing a naked bum).  The birthday girl’s mommy chose my signature lemon-poppyseed with fresh lemon curd for filling.  It is o-so-refreshing.  I used a 9 inch layer, 2 8-inch layers and a bowl for the top of the skirt.  We ate the other 8-inch layer the extra batter provided as a “taste-test.”  The dress was a very simple buttercream in light and the palest-ever blues.  I sprinkled it with sugar glitter (which looks like crumbs on the serving tray) and there she is: Guini’s Cinderella cake.

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It was a lovely day to celebrate, a few days ago.  We ate and plied Guini with gifts, but true to Aunt Tara’s prediction to save her gift for last because Guini would love it best of all, once Guinivere received the little box of make-up and lip “sauce,” she was never seen without it again.  Each time I see her now, her eyes, her cheeks and her lips are all-a-glitter in the palest shades of pinks and lilacs.

Here is Guini opening the mountain of gifts, and her baby sister, Gemma, rolling about on Guini’s Happy-Birthday-ball.

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Here is Guini with her jewelry/treasure box from Aunt Jovan and Uncle Rocky and Grandpa and Gavin in their geek goggles under the water in the pool.

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I love you, Guinivere!

Nonna loves you, little girl.  I love your smile and the twinkle in your eye and I love how you can stay focused and totally ignore what you’d rather not notice.  I love that you sing your head off or don’t whisper even a sound all afternoon should the mood strike.  I love that you are a good little sister and a wonderful big sister.  I love that sometimes I can tell you are looking at me, right into my very soul, and you are really getting me.   I love that and I love you!


Butterfly Cakes

70_27030  see more pics of Alyssa’s cake and party here AND here…

Baby Ally’s Personal 1-year-old Birthday Cake

A chocolate butterfly cut-out, approximately 11″ x 13″  (hand cut from a 12″ x 16″ pan) decorated to compliment her butterfly balloon set (the color and inspiration for the whole party).  There are butterfly-shaped pans out there.  Why did I not use one?  I thought I’d be clever, I guess, and create my own.

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Alyssa’s grandma (Pearl) says the birthday girl liked her cake.

The guest cake

Two-tier, 3-layer cakes (approx. 6″ height each tier).  The bottom square: my rather infamous lemon-poppyseed filled with lemon curd cream.  The top tier, chocolate-fudge pudding cake with milk chocolate filling.  Buttercream over all.

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All together

About 3 dozen eggs, 4 pounds of butter, 7+ pounds of cake flour, some canola oil, less than 5 pounds of sugar, 6+ pounds confectioner’s sugar, the juice and zest of a dozen large lemons (smells soooo good), chocolate moistening syrup.

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Alyssa will be one this week!  Just a little over a year ago we were having a baby shower for her mommy (and daddy), Audrey and Ben.  A quick look back at the shower and then a glance at this cake and you’ll know Audrey-the-artist-and-mommy is not afraid of color!  Nothing pastel about her!  Aaaah… Time flies and life is a celebration!

Until next time…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF: cookie decorating with the grand-bebes to use up the rest of the icing.

pictured:  the cake, of course….the final pic is Ally’s cake after she’d had a chance to dig in.  I am still having photo-posting problems here at the blog and my silly camera flash was not usable (boooooo).  What you can’t see is that the butterflies were also glittery.  It was a happy cake!

Pink Owl Cake and a Petting Zoo

The cake.

Three tiers.  The 12″ bottom tier was a dark-chocolate butter cake with cherry pie filling.  The 9″ tier was strawberry with fresh strawberry filling.  Those were the two flavors Jovan and Rocky requested for Averi’s first birthday cake.  They left the top 6″ tier to my discretion.  So I baked my pumpkin spice specialty and filled it with a cream cheese icing.  It was all butter-creamed (or chocolate-fudge butter-creamed, as appropriate) and covered in 10 pounds or so of pink marshmallow fondant.

The decorating inspiration was from Averi’s gray and pink owl invitations (created by her Aunt Stormie).  I really hated the the big gray branch I made and placed on the middle tier, but once on, it was too late.  However, I enjoyed the owls.  I had only planned for one (chocolate chips for eyes), ended up doing two and could have done whole rows of them.  If I had it all to do again…


Averi had a “personal” cake, a 6″ funfetti with whipped cream spooned over.   She had never had cake or icing before, so we wanted to make sure she didn’t go in to sugar shock.  She could not understand why so  many people were asking her to dig in to her cake!  Averi was seated for the cake photos in the high chair her mommy celebrated her first birthday in!

It was pink.  And it was owls.

Jovan cut out gazillions of paper owls which hung everywhere and adorned all the little party hats she handmade for all the kiddies from patterned scrapbook paper.  Pink and silver balloons.  Pink satin.  Pink ribbon.  Pink flowers.  Oh and, cookies-on-sticks as favors, delish!


The petting zoo.

Farmer Wrex (do not mistake him for Old McDonald – for Wrex is hip and cool) and his amazingly gorgeous wife, Stefane (stunning in her red hoodie), so kindly made Averi’s party the block extravaganza of the subdivision’s winter by bringing over a few animals for the use of her (60+) guests and all the neighbors.  We had 2 bunnies, 2 rather opinionated and slightly irritated ducks, 1 classic chicken, a black calf that nearly inhaled everyone’s fingers (and Pastor Scott was giving it Pepsi…tsk), a mama goat and her 2 four-day-old baby goats, and one Welsh pony for rides.



One day Averi will look back and think she had an amazing party when she turned one.  But she really was not in the mood to ride a pony!  Not at all.  She cried and held all animals after that in suspect.  But everyone else enjoyed the petting zoo and pony rides up and down the street very much!  Stefane and Wrex are the BEST!

Averi’s 1st birthday celebration  (planned meticulously by mommy-Jovan) was a hoo, hoo-t!,  Get it?…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Don’t let cake sit in the sun before the party-near disaster!!

pictured: click on thumbnails for a closer look

Happy Birthday, Desiree!

Desiree is the mom and wife behind one of the cutest and sweetest families we know: Alfonso + Desiree + their two cutie-pie kids (Saray and Elijah, who is sort of promised to Averi!)=The wonderful Lopez family.

She is interested in learning to do cakes and cake decorating.  I am a novice, but I have a little experience, so we set out to do a pink and brown polka-dotted cake for her birthday.  I baked a 10″ x 5″ chocolate cake with strawberry filling for the bottom tier and an 8″ x 4 3/4″ pumpkin spice with cream cheese filling for the top tier and then Desiree and I made several batches of fondant a couple of days ahead of assembling and decorating the cakes.


It was my first time to do chocolate fondant and we are so-much-the-wiser on that now, but it is actually pretty doggone delicious!  Looks like a giant tootsie roll, kinda. :)  Tastes like one, too.  I won’t tell you how 5 pounds of the chocolate candy-icing was nearly thrown across the room by my usually-sweet-and-level husband, whose muscles we needed to roll out the huge stuff.  No, I mustn’t reveal.  But Desiree was such an adventurer!  I gave her the tools (bags, tips, etc) and she went to it!  She did a great job!


Suffice it to say: Happy Birthday, Desiree.  Happy day and days of the whole year!  I pray this will be a year of favor for you – in your marriage, your ministry, your daily walk wth Jesus and in all your friendships and relationships.  May you blessed in all things, and blessed to be a blessing!

I have you in my heart…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Less powdered sugar, 1 full cup cocoa!  Yum.

pictured: Desree and 3 batches of the fondant; Desiree decorating; Saray using up the scraps and bits to make her own pretty ymmies; Desiree and the final outcome

Choo! Choo! Train Cake for Hunter


Whereas last year’s firetruck cake (see here) was about 80 pounds and I toiled in fear over it, I have now realized I am not really “into” novelty cakes and was very relaxed.  It was simple and straightforward (with Dave explaining to me what a train must have) and instead of doing lots of piping and icing stuff, we “glued” Tropical Twizzlers and M & Ms and Dots, along with a couple of varieties of cookies onto this train cake for Hunter’s 4th birthday.  Dave piped windows for me and I came up with mini-Kit Kats as the idea for the railroad ties.

The board it was on was 13 inches wide by 3 feet long.  The engine was 3 2-inch layers of cake at it’s highest part and was 4″ wide by 14″ long. The other cars were 8 inches and 12 inches long, respectively.  The “coal” was a box of Junior Mints.  It was just plain white cake wih the almond-infused buttercream, which, it turns out, Hunter is not a fan of.  He wants his icing (which he prefers to cake) to be plain, old vanilla-flavored.  Next time, Magoo, next time. 

The smokestack was my favorite part: icing glued cookies, and a “Dot” base holding a cocktail pick threaded through popcorn for the smoke.  Pretty cute!


I had looked at a bunch of train cakes online and cracked up at them and wondered why people would even post them.  Then mine turned out like theirs.  Ha!  But there wasn’t any sweat and the grandkids loved it. It was quick, simple, easy, fun and in the end the candy was the huge hit!

There are still vats of buttercream here…takers?…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  A Candyland cake!  YES!  Using MMF and lots and lots and lots of candy!

pictured: the cake, the chalkboard in the kitchen;  and Hunter at his house about to blow out his candles!