Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Cupcakes

I have been baking homemade sweets for about 10 years, but I've never really been one for decorating what I bake other than cookies. However, lately I have had an interest in making things look as good as they taste. I thought today I would play with my cake decorating tips and piping bags.

I baked some chocolate cupcakes from Barefoot Contessa and just made a simple cream cheese frosting to play with. They turned out pretty cute and quite tasty.

This is just the beginning of the holiday baking.....good times!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fire Safety Gone Awry

Wednesday was "Boot Out Drugs" Tyson wore boots to do his part for Red Ribbon Week. However, this day will be forever etched in his memory and not because of the boots.

It was an ordinary evening in the Lucas house. Tyson was taking a shower (because he does this by himself now, praise God) Em was sitting on the couch waiting her turn to take her bath and Paul and I were talking in the kitchen. When all of a sudden we hear this horrible, extremely high pitched beeping followed by screaming. Paul takes off for the kids bathroom where the sound was coming from. It was the smoke alarm in the hallway next to the kids bathroom, where Tyson is showering. Do you know where this is going? Before Paul can get there, here comes Tyson......soaking wet, shampoo in his hair and wearing nothing but the suds on his little body. HE is screaming NOOOOOOO!!! I should point out that he's been learning about fire prevention and safety in school. So he is quite versed in what the smoke alarm does and what it means if it goes off. We assume he was heading for the mailbox (never mind that he's naked) because that's our meeting place in our emergency exit plan. So I grabbed him and began trying to calm him down, get him back to the shower and explain that it just needs a new battery, while Paul scrambled with the smoke alarm to get the old battery out and replace it. At this point I was just so glad Tyson didn't fall getting out of the tub or running out into the living room......seeing as how he didn't have time to towel dry off before he made his big escape.

I should mention that while all of this commotion was going on Em never really got up from the couch. She made her way in to the bathroom after it was all over and asked me to carry her.

After a few more minutes of crying we managed to calm him down, and the excitement wore off so we could return to our normal relaxing evening. normal and relaxing as our evenings ever are.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Blue-Eyed Babes

I don't get too many shots of just Paul and Em together, Tyson almost never lets that happen.

I love this picture of Em! If I was that mom I'd say she could be modeling......but I'm not that mom. So I won't say it. Too bad she's got a firm grip on some rocks in those hot little hands.

Almost got the hand on hip pose thing down, still a work in progress.

"Let's get physical"

Doesn't this picture remind you of Olivia Newton John circa 1980 something??? All she needs now is a tacky leotard and some leg warmers and she would be rocking that 80's workout look.

She insists on putting on my headbands but wearing them across her

The verdict is in.......

My kids have definitely become fans of the "cake pop."

"Emmy need more cake pop Mommy!" She seems to think that "need" and "want" can be used interchangeably.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jack Pops

A few months ago, Mendi and I decided to tackle Bakerella's cake pops. They were more involved than we anticipated. Don't get me wrong, they came out super cute.....just time consuming and a little frustrating. We picked up some tips by trial and error. So I thought I would give them another shot. I thought Jack Pops would be cute for Halloween teacher gifts.

Now for detailed instructions you can go to This is just my interpretation with some hints and tips that worked for me.

First you start with one baked cake(use any box mix you like). After it is has cooled, crumble it into a large bowl and mix with your favorite tub of frosting. Here I used Betty Crocker's Chocolate Fudge and Cream Cheese frosting.

Next shape into balls a little smaller than a walnut ( big is too hard to dip, the smaller the better).

Now take your lollipop sticks and dip them into the candy melts then insert into balls. I did this last night and let freeze over night.

After they have firmed up (I'm telling you at least 12 hours in the freezer) now you can melt you candy melts over a double boiler. The package says you can microwave them also.....but you have more control over the consistency if you use a double boiler. Another helpful tip is to spoon a little shortening into the bowl. This helps to thin it out a bit.

Now you are ready to take the firm and chilled cake pops and dip them gently into the melted candy coating. Rotating them quickly and tapping them to get the excess off. Then stick them in some Styrofoam blocks to cool, once the coating has hardened you can decorate them. I used food writing markers to make the faces. I also used green tic tacs for the stems.

Now you're ready to bag them and tie some cute ribbon on.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Carving Pumpkins with my Punkins

Tyson has been asking for days to carve a pumpkin. We can't do them too early here since the deer will make a quick midnight snack out of them.

Em was actually not too fond of the pumpkin "guts."

"Pumpkin hat for Tyson!"

Paul had plenty of help

My punkins with "Jack"

Maybe they could use a bat girl?

Trying to keep Emmy from heading to the field during Tyson's game is proving to be quite a challenge. "Can I go see Daddy" Can I go see Tyson? Can I go in the dug out? Can Emmy go play tee ball?" This is all I hear during the 50 minute game. As much as I try to persuade(bribe...whatever) her with candy, fruit snacks, snow cone to sit with Mommy, nothing works. I was looking in the diaper bag for yet another healthy snack to captivate her with when I look up and see Paul through the fence, "Where's Emmy?" he asks. She's right here......or maybe not. I look over and sure enough there goes a 26 pound flash of stripes heading onto the field.

Em's latest trick is that she can take off her shoe put them on and sometimes they even manage to land on the right feet.

I know I seem to harp on this but it's ridiculous. She was walking into Panera Bread for some lunch and BAM just like that, she goes down and comes up with a bloody knee. Now I should mention last week on on Tuesday while we were in Little Rock, I was inside the Verizon store getting a new phone Paul was keeping the kids entertained outside when Em comes in and says "Mommy, I got an owie. She lifts up her dress to show me her bloody skinned up knee. Paul quickly says, "I don't know......she was just walking and just like that she fell."

I have got to invest in some couture band-aids; polka dots or pink animal prints would be eye catching.

Friday, October 23, 2009

1 Mystery Reader and 2 haircuts later....

Today was my turn to be the "Mystery Reader" at Tyson's school. I think this is such a cute concept. The parents give the teacher five clues to be read to the class each day, the clues should start off vague and get more specific as you get closer to Friday. It is designed so the student can begin to piece it together and hopefully by Friday guess that's it's their mom or dad that coming to read to the class. Tyson came home after Thursday and just knew it was me. "Mommy are you the Mystery Reader?" No Buddy, why would you ask? "Because.....this person likes to bake, used to work at a bank and LOVES Kenny Chesney." WOW, I should meet her, she sounds cool and we have lots in common. Needless to say, he wasn't surprised when I walked in his room and removed the mask that was covering my face. "It's Tyson's Mommy," the kids shouted. It was so cute. I can't wait to read again in December. Guess I will need some better clues.

After reading I got to take Tyson home a little early. I think that was his favorite part. I brought Jackson home too. His mom was watching Em for me. Aren't they cute in their school shirts? Nothing like school spirit in Kindergarten.

After school I took the kids for some much needed haircuts. Miss Susan begged me to let her put Em's hair in pig tails after her trim.

Is it too much to ask to remove the lolly pop stick for a picture with your sister? I suppose so.

"Are we at Little Rock yet?"

Late Friday afternoon Paul called me and asked if I wanted to go to Little Rock, Arkansas. He had some meetings he needed to attend there (reasons I will go into later.......if it pans out). "Sure," I said....."do we need to make flight reservations?" His response, "I thought we could rent a car and drive." Oh, wow! Let me just say this is a nine hour drive......without stops. Throw two kids under the age of six into the mix and it becomes a ten and a half hour drive. We spent most of Saturday getting prepared for the journey of a lifetime. The furthest we had ever driven with the kids was back in July when we went to South Padre. So this was a journey in my mind.

We picked up the Tahoe from Enterprise and then began buying lots of car snacks. We also had to find accommodations for our 62 pound baby, there was no way we were taking Jules. Our sweet next door neighbor offered to dog sit and keep her at her house. We told Tyson we were planning a road trip to Little Rock. "Oh awesome......what's Little Rock?" My son loves a good hotel breakfast and a road trip. I don't think he knew just how long of a road trip this was going to be. We were on the road by 7:30 am and arrived in 10 short hours. The kids watched movies and the portable DVD players....and by movies I mean they each watched their own. God forbid they agree on the same one to watch, that would be too easy. They snacked-----A LOT. Tyson counted to 100 at least twenty times and read EVERY road sign we passed and Emmy sang songs that only Emmy could understand. All in all the trip was pretty good, the kids did suprisingly well. I'm pretty sure the highlight of the trip for the kids was the fish pond in the lobby of the hotel. You got to love Embassy Suites. Every morning the kids would go down and "see the fishies" before they ate breakfast.

We spent most of out time there driving around and checking out the local scene and eating out. Little Rock is a beautiful place. It was actually fall. They have seasons there. We explained to Tyson that these trees had different color leaves due to the cooler temperatures (ie. fall) not because there had been a drought and the trees had died, like at home. As we drove through the neighborhoods the leaves blew in the wind. It was quite scenic.

The drive home was a little longer, it took us close to eleven hours due to some rain and the fact that we happen to hit Austin at 5:00. Anyone who has driven the I35 stretch knows you NEVER go through Austin at 5. Well, we did and I was ready to throw myself out the window. But figured that would just prolong the drive even more. So I remained in the truck an played with my new phone(mine died while we were there). Anyway, we got home around eight Wednesday night, threw the kids in the tub and they were in bed by nine. Ahhh!!!! Home sweet home.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


It finally feels like FALL!!!! The temperature has finally cooled off and that warranted a trip to the nearest pumpkin patch. Em couldn't wait to go the "punkin pach!" And Tyson always loves picking out pumpkins to carve and little ones to paint.

They just have the prettiest eyes....thanks Paul!

checking out the all the shapes and sizes

"whatcha got there, Em?"

My handsome little boy doesn't look so little anymore!

try not to be blinded by all of that blondness

I sure wish Em would have looked at the camera, oh well.......take what you can get, right?!?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Picture Day at School

Em had her first school picture day on Tuesday. I am curious to see the proofs in a few weeks. I have to work pretty hard to get a smile on this child's face. I am just wondering if the photographer worked as hard.

I have to admit, I often think of Em as my own personal doll to dress up.

We may not have the same hair and eye color but those noses are the same

.....still trying to master the "pose"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2 Down.....18 more to go

"Mommy, now I look like a jack-o-lantern."

Tyson has spent the last day and a half wiggling his bottom tooth, the one next to the one he lost last week. Tonight Paul gave it a good tug and out it came. Tyson is so excited to loose another one. He is ready to get to bed, just so the Tooth Fairy can pay him a visit. This time the the tooth fairy has appropriate funds to pay out.

Strike a Pose

Last night when the guys were at baseball practice, Em and I decided to play with the camera. Em may be cute and photogenic; however model material she's not. We use the term "pretty pose." It should be a hand on the hip look, but often it looks like this:

she is trying to master this hand on the hip, head tilt pose

she's not sure where to put her arm and which leg to bend

here she is trying the head resting on the hand position

I don't know what look she's going for here

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Lunch with the Fam.....

I played hostess today and cooked lunch for the family. Mom and Dad came in town for the day and Jenn and Chris even came over too. Grandma Grace can't come over without goodies for the kids. She brought them the Snow White movie and Pokemon cards for Buddy and an endless amount of candy corn and other Halloween treats.

watching Snow White with her "gandma"

two peas in a pod

Now that Em is bigger she's not giving up Grandpa that easily, she wants her equal time too

there is a lot of JOY in this picture

Sweet, Sweet Emmy with her Grandpa