Summer Fun at Cake Camp

Grandma Kc wrote this on July 22nd, 2014 10 Replies

Last week Amara attended ABC Cake Camp and had a great time honing her skills. We love ABC Cakes. They made our wedding cake and many of Amara’s birthday cakes.

A collage of the cakes we have gotten from ABC Cakes

Cake Camp was from 10AM to noon Monday through Friday. There were probably 10 other students in the class and Amara was thrilled when one of them was a friend of hers from school! The two girls sat next to each other for the entire week. Cake Camp would have been fun anyway but sharing it with a friend made it even better.

I was lucky and got to go with her Mommy on four of those days to drop Amara off and pick her up. While Amara did Cake Camp, we spent the time together shopping (mostly produce, Michael’s and Joann’s) and having fun just spending time together. It also meant I got to listen to Amara read to us from the curriculum what they would be creating each day. They had three different teachers over the 5 days, “each teaching their own specialty” as Amara explained it.

Amara, her friend and her Mommy at ABC Cake Camp

It also meant I was there to see and photograph (poorly) with my phone all of their wonderful creations. The one day I didn’t go with them Jenna sent me a picture of her amazing cake. Amara brought that cake with her Saturday night and we all had a big piece of it. It was an Under the Sea themed cake. She was especially proud of her turtle and sea horse she made with marbled fondant using a candy mold!

Amara and her friend grinning at ABC Cake Camp

Jenna and I both love to bake and decorate but neither of us have ever been very successful with fondant so since Amara has officially had a class on how to make animals out of fondant she is officially the Fondant Queen and will have to share her knowledge with Mommy and me. I’ve already found some really cute Garden Cupcakes that are topped with little fondant vegetables that I am hoping she can teach me how to make!

This week Amara is off to college! A weeklong class in video gaming and programming! For weeks now, I have been talking about Amara starting college! I just love the way it sounds even if it is just a one-week summer school course!

Amara making a friend at her first day at college.

She is so well rounded! We are so very proud!

My Concept of Time

Grandma Kc wrote this on July 18th, 2014 15 Replies

This is a special memory from my own childhood.

Growing up in Michigan in the early fifties meant very poor TV reception. We were 90 miles from Detroit, which at the time was the closest TV stations. We only got three channels — and never all on the same day! We didn’t get to watch a lot of TV but that was mostly because we couldn’t get any reception. I used to hate it when you could hear the show and the screen was nothing but snow or a rolling picture. I used to love it when we could get Saturday morning cartoons to come in!

Winky Dink and You was one of my favorite shows! It ran from 1953-1957. I was probably five when I convinced my mother to mail away and get me the Winky Dink kit. Now if you’re not as old as I am let me explain Winky Dink to you. It was cartoon clips that featured Winky and his dog and at some point, they would need you to connect the dots on the screen to build them a bridge or something to get them out of a dilemma. You needed the special green Winky Dink screen to put on your TV so that you could use the special Winky Dink marker to connect the dots! I wanted so bad to connect those dots and I must have begged forever to get her to order it. You couldn’t buy the kit at the store or at least you couldn’t buy it at any of the stores in our itsy bitsy town.

The minute she mailed the order, I got a dining room chair and sat down in the kitchen in front of the clock. At five years old, I don’t even know if I knew how to tell time but I can see that big clock on the wall over the green kitchen sink. It had a second hand and I was watching it go around when my mother asked me what I was doing. Don’t know why it wasn’t obvious. I was waiting for the 6 weeks to go by and my Winky Dink kit to arrive!

Winky Dink Kit

The absolute worst part of this story is that it never came.
Looking back, I wonder if she even ordered it!

The New Citizens

Grandma Kc wrote this on July 16th, 2014 14 Replies

April 29th, 2014 our friends Fred and his Mom became United States citizens in a special ceremony in Oklahoma. They were very excited, as it had been a lot of hard work to pass the citizenship test. We couldn’t be there for the big day so I had promised them we would celebrate the next time they came to southern California. On June 22, 2014, we had that celebration!

Fred’s Grandma was here from Vietnam and it would be our first time meeting her. It was nice to have another Grandmother in the house! I really wanted to make this special for all of them and since they were coming less than 2 weeks before the 4th of July finding decorations was easy! I had the driveway lined with small flags and red white and blue decorations everywhere.

Jenna’s Mom had even found red, white and blue glitter and stars and I had them scattered all over the counter and the tables. Amara had an absolute blast gathering it up and throwing it in Fred’s Mom’s hair! Of course, Fred had to help, too. Then somewhere along the way, they found a ball of yarn and decided they needed to run around the house with yarn, trying to confine us to our chairs. Crazy kids!

I had decided we needed to have a very American meal to celebrate them being Americans! We could have had barbequed hamburgers but that just seemed too ordinary and I knew they had them at home. I decided on meatloaf, fried chicken, homemade potato salad and corn on the cob. I made red, white and blue fudge for dessert. I thought about making apple pie but I knew that Fred’s Dad would be disappointed if he didn’t get brownies so I made those instead!

Citizenship Collage with Fred, his Mom and Grandma and Amara

When dinner was over the kids were bored so playing in the water seemed like a good solution. They had a blast and Fred’s Mom had almost as much fun chasing them as they had chasing her. Since the sun was starting to set, it got cool quickly and they were back in the house for a game of Ponopoly!

Amara and Fred playing My Little Pony Monopoly

It was a great day and we really want to congratulate our friends!

The S Word

Grandma Kc wrote this on July 11th, 2014 25 Replies

This is a special memory from my own childhood.

Kc age 6 kindergarten photoI don’t remember a time when I wasn’t afraid of them. Nowadays my family love me and will warn me when to close my eyes if there is one in a show or movie and they will tell me when it is safe to open them again. They understand that I don’t touch the page in a magazine or book if there is a picture of one of them. They know that I don’t even like the word so we refer to them as “S words”.

This is the story of when they truly became my worst fear.

I was probably about six years old and I remember that I used to love to go out in the garden and pick strawberries or corn on the cob but instead of going bare foot I would always put on my rain boots to go out in the garden. There was also a section of sidewalk on our street where the grass was high on both sides. I had seen them on the sidewalk there before. I never walked down that section of sidewalk, I ran just as fast as I could.

That fall we went to the Hillsdale County Fair! I loved going to the fair and riding all the rides and eating cotton candy. I remember being dragged through the 4H building by my mother to see the animals, the exhibits and all the contest entries. Boring! I wanted to go on the Ferris wheel or the Tilt-o-Whirl. I was a kid then.

That evening we had gone through the House of Mirrors, another one of my fair favorites, and we were waiting for the fireworks display to begin. I don’t know how I let my Dad talk me into going in the Reptile House. I think he thought he could lessen my fears. I can see those boas in my mind’s eye wrapped around what looked like branches. I asked Daddy why they stayed up there and he explained that the bright heat lights they had focused on them made them very content to stay right where they were.

I was OK with that answer until sometime in the middle of that night. I awoke to the sound of loud thunder. The county was hit by a terrible lightning storm and the power went out. Since Daddy worked for the power company, it meant he had to go out, too. That did not alleviate my fears. While my sister slept, I sat cross-legged in the middle of our bed for the rest of the night. Even though our bedroom was on the second floor – and 7 miles from the fairgrounds –, I was convinced that those snakes were all on their way to get me. I would not get out of bed. I knew they were coming.

I have never gotten over this fear and I am OK with that! Daddy tried!
Who knew we would have a storm!

A Letter from the Tooth Fairy

Grandma Kc wrote this on July 8th, 2014 27 Replies

Five days after Amara got out of school for summer vacation she had oral surgery and had 11 teeth extracted. Eleven! Extracted sounds so much better than pulled! Her dentist was very concerned that her baby teeth just weren’t coming out fast enough and her permanent teeth were trying to come through and were looking for a place to go!

Amara came through it all like a champ and her dentist certainly seems to have been right as you could see new teeth in her gums that very same day. Now they are coming up like crazy!

But the best part of this story is the amazing personal letter that Amara got from the Tooth Fairy. In the past the Tooth Fairy has always brought Amara $5 for a tooth but she had no idea what he might bring her for all of these. The next morning she awoke to find the teeth, $30 and the following letter under her pillow.

Dearest Amara,
I regret to inform you that your tooth donation has exceeded the Tooth Fairy Labor Accord, which limits the number of teeth collected from exceeding six. While your offer of eleven teeth is humbling, I simply cannot take that many without violating the accord. In lieu of the additional compensation, I have left your teeth for you to keep as a souvenir. I did however take a picture for the archives. Eleven teeth at once. Wow. I am very impressed.
Best luck and good tooth health,

Amara and her letter from the Tooth Fairy

Best letter ever from the Tooth Fairy!

A Night Under the Stars

Grandma Kc wrote this on June 30th, 2014 26 Replies

May 30th was the 3rd Annual Father and Daughter Dance and it was amazing! I told you that Mo and Jenna started texting each other to plan this on their way home from the 2nd Annual Dance! I knew they would make this one even better than the first two and they certainly did!

Amara and her Daddy at the Father and Daughter Dance 2014

This year the committee covered the lunch tables with black table clothes tied with silver ribbon! There were stars having from the awning and one of the mom’s had done all of the center pieces out of little black plastic top hats, tiaras and pink tulle. I love that we do the setup just as school is getting out. There were many girls passing by who definitely will be asking Dad to take them next year!

Daddy and Amara at the Father and Daughter Dance

The first year the theme had been a country western one. The second year it was a 50s sock hop theme. This year the theme was A Night Under the Stars and the girls were encouraged to wear their fanciest dresses and they did! The volunteers wore either all black or all white (with a bit of pink tulle) so it was very elegant. The PTA even offered wrist corsages for sale at the door this year. Many of the girls already had a corsage or flowers but many of the Dads were thrilled to get a chance to buy one on the spot!

Grandma Judy had made Amara a beautiful white satin dress complete with the requested ruffle down the front! She looked so pretty next to her Daddy in his suit and tie! I love that the whole family is somehow involved in these events!

As we did the last 2 years, Jenna and I ran the photo station. Each girl would receive a photo of her with Dad or whoever had escorted her as part of their admission. We were the first place they went after check in and we had a long line for a long time! It really is the best vantage point for seeing how cute all of the girls look and to see how much fun they are having.

Mo and her Family at the Father Daughter Dance

Now last year I somehow failed to get a picture of Mo and her family together so I had to try and Photoshop her into the picture. So this year when they got in line I made them wait while we sent someone to get Mo for the picture. It came out so cute.

Amara and her Daddy with Mommy added!

THIS year I somehow managed to forget to get picture of Jenna with Justin and Amara! Not sure how we forgot as Jenna was running the line and told them where to stand and we just never even thought about it. Until afterwards! Fortunately Jenna had posed for me in front of the green screen while we were doing set up so this year I had to Photoshop her into the picture! Maybe next year I will get them both right!

Amara and her Mommy sharing a last dance together.

The dinner that night had to be something special and elegant, too! They had dinner catered by Roma d’ Italia and with three different kinds of pasta and all of the trimmings it was a delicious meal!

Amara and her Daddy dancing together

They had a live DJ playing the entire evening and he did a great job of mixing up the music so that everyone was hearing things they liked! There was lots of dancing and giggling! Mo even had a bubble machine going and the younger girls had so much fun running through the bubbles in their fancy dresses!

Kc and Jenna together after the dance

It was a wonderful evening and as in the past 2 years, it ended with drawing the winners of the raffle prizes! All of the prizes were geared to Dad and his daughter having another date! Amara won passes to the San Juan Capistrano mission!

Amara hugging Grandma Kc

I can’t wait to see what year number 4 will bring us!