Monday, March 5, 2018

How to surprise a 90 year old with a birthday party

It's practically impossible

Still worth the effort

See what I mean......

OK there is no seriously

Let me give you the short
    Weeks in advance some of the family decided this 90 year thing was a big deal....a REALLY big deal.  And so we made our feeble attempts at making plans.


Two brothers (that translates to two sister in laws) discuss the where's, when's, what's and so forth's.  A building venue is chosen (we're talking country so who am I fooling) it's more like a community buiding near the water tower.  We have them put us down on their books.  And....
proceed to purchase a few decorations and supplies and bake a huge cake (2 -1/2 sheet pans) and cool and wrap and freeze the layers.  Oh, did I fail to mention that we also helped to butcher a hog and make sausage?  And baked 50 sugar free cupcakes... OOPS  No more room in the freezer for sausage AND cake.  So what do ya do?  Well you load it all in an Igloo and haul it over to the birthday girl's of four, I think.

Everyone is notified of day, place and time.  All is going well!

The week of the party, she goes in for a routine check up.  I take her.  I really don't mind. That's what family does.    When we get inside the exam room, the nurse says "I see you had a birthday...a BIG one.  So...did you have a big party?"  I sit with mouth closed.  Mother just shrugs and calmly says "No"  Nurse "oh".  Doctor comes in and says the same thing.  And asks pretty much the same questions and when Mother gave the same answer he just looked at me.  Yep....daughter in law fail.  I felt quite low...yep I did.  BUT when he examined her and said "We need to schedule a heart cath and also take a look at the arteries in you legs AND when can you come in"....I swallowed the frog.  I knew the party was in 3 days.  But a blocked artery is more important than a party...isn't it?  Now, let me cut this short.  No one hit me on the head.  She had the procedures on Thursday, she spent the night at hospital Friday.  Party?  No Party?  Party at building?  Party at house?  Reschedule altogether?  Hmm  So we did the only sane thing.  We let everyone know and moved the party to her new porch.  And you would know....she woke up Saturday morning feeling grand and wondering if her sister was still coming to get her for "lunch" (that was the plan for surprise)  But...we were committed!   Daughter came and took her in town but got wires crossed on what time to have her back.  Yep, they drove up just in time to see us close the car door to hide the cake.  And we had to wing it all the rest of the way.  Good thing she had to go to the bathroom :D  for a few minutes.

Some of the family came early to "decorate" and pretty soon she knew something was up.  Especially when she saw the "Happy Birthday" banners.  Oh well.  She thought it was just family. And then neighbors and friends came and we heard lots of laughter and chatter.  We had lots of food....went to get more food and had food left over.

Was it a surprise....maybe not like we planned.  It was for a very short time.   But she was happy and feeling very blessed.   And that's what really counts isn't it. More than 50 people came.  It was a great day.

 I had the privilege of baking and decorating the cake. The blog is entitled "Baking Journey"~  It's a 2 layer, Mexican vanilla butter half sheet cake with 4 fillings:  chocolate creme, fresh strawberry creme, Mexican vanilla buttercream and lemon tart.  The outside is cream cheese buttercream.   The flowers are a combo of fondant daisies and handmade sugar /buttercream roses.  She definitely was and is blessed beyond measure, has been known by many sweet names and is very much a Proverbs 31 woman!

 ~ Side note:  Don't forget to think about family needs.  Some may not be able to have all that sugar, so with all these new Sugar free cake mixes and frostings all you have to do to get matching flavors is add some Sugar Free Jello to SF vanilla icings like I did here for the pastry stand.  Lemon SF Jello (but you have to add a touch of color gel), Strawberry SF Jello, Chocolate SF Instant Pudding  and then good ol' vanilla just-as-it-is.  It made for tasty flavors and several made sure I knew that.  I added a touch of lavender to some of the white vanilla icing....just because.  But people who have special dietary needs deserve to have a few items offered  with them in mind.  You may have some who are lactose intolerant, or Celiac with gluten off the menu (they now make GF cake mixes---or you can try to find the perfect combination yourself....I wish you well) and of course some with other allergies.   Just make sure they have some things they can enjoy if you know they are coming and look at it as a piece of love and not a burden.




 long time friends


Just party finger food...cocktail sausages, Swedish meatballs, chips and dip, fruit, veggie trays, cheese balls, cookies and sandwiches....and fried chicken- southern people love their yard bird!   There probably was more...

All of the birthday girl's children gathered around

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing

all of the birthday girls remaining brothers and sister still laughing together.

What a special surprise!
What a blessed celebration!
To God be the glory!

Happy 90th Birthday!

Friday, January 20, 2017

My 90 Year Old Girl! My Mom

Time is really a relative thing, isn't it?  When you are young it creeps along like ....forever.  Then life, then family, then retirement and you realize that time is such a very precious gift.  I have really not posted on here in a LONG while...maybe a year ago.
Here we are with my Mom still alive and precious.  And ready for her 90th birthday. (Hope you don't mind me sharing)  So just come along with me and celebrate...Life

 Mom is Princess for the day and every princess needs a crown and a septor.  She keeps asking, "So who is having a birthday?"

Mom, do you know what today is?  No, she says.  I tell her it's your BIRTHDAY!   It is? She smiles. Yes, and do you know how old you are today?  The forehead wrinkles and she is exhausted from the exercise.  I tell her, Mom...Today you are NINETY years old!  To which she responds, "I am?  Boy that's really old!"  And then she laughs.

Mom's only request this year when  we asked was to have a big cake with LOTS of candles.  It didn't matter what flavor or color or style, she just wanted the lights.

Lights she got.  All NINETY and all Lit.  That was no small feat.  Really glad our former son in law got the longer ones, cause we needed a lot of TIME to light them.  For my cake friends...if any of you are even still coming here (I wouldn't blame you if you haven't been, know I haven't posted anything new); the cake is a mexican vanilla cake with cream cheese filling and is covered with buttercream and a variety of flowers:  gumpaste, royal icing, buttercream; and one lone butterfly.  This picture was made when I was ALMOST finished.  Where oh where are those pictures when ya need 'em?  But you get the idea!  

Image may contain: flower and food

 As everyone sang "Happy Birthday"  I thought about all the cakes that my Mom had for me growing up.  Most were homemade...nothing fancy but OH so good.  And then all the cakes I've been blessed to bake for her in the past few years.

Yep, Mom is crying and celebrating and I love her.  Do you still have your Mom?  So many of my friends do not.  Never did I realize how special it would be.  And never did I realize how much I am thankful that we got to do a few neat things together before her strokes.  You see, I thought I'd work and retire and then just go and do and visit and.....sometimes life does not turn out that way.  Enjoy your family, your friends...I mean REALLY enjoy them.  Your time spent will be more than precious one day.

Okay...enough with the serious.  Have you ever seen someone with the ability to laugh and cry at the same time?  Well meet my Mom.  She's always had this ability.  And I have the same skill.  We're sappy that way.  Are you?  Come on be honest.  Okay maybe we are the only two people on earth that tear up
 and laugh at the same time


Now ya can't expect a 90 year young princess to blow out ALL NINETY of her candles; but I bet she can blow out at least ONE!

And she did!  Believe me when I say it took every bit of energy and breath she could muster.

 See...the part about celebration cakes is really not all about the cake.  It's about family and stories and laughter...even when you can't remember why you're in the room.  Because those around you are giving you the most precious of gifts...the gift of time.

You may be thinking...that's a long way off for me or my Mom or Granny.  And it may be.  That should just give you more time to remember them in little and big ways.  To make a moment in their lives special because we love them...even when they don't always remember our names or they don't have a memory to share.  We can.  You can.

While I didn't want to post all my pictures.....Well maybe I did WANT to, but I did spare you some.  I want to post a few of some of the family.  And remind you one last time that family is more beautiful than any cake you can create.

The candles have long since been put out, cake has been eaten and some shared, the memory of having Happy Birthday sung by a room full of family and residents is gone.  And we have celebrated NINETY years of life this day!  So I leave you with my memories and encourage you to go and make your own.  You know, my Mom loves every cake I bake and thinks they are the most gorgeous things, cause, you know, that's what Mom's do.  They look past the present and into the hearts of their children and they love them just like our Heavenly Father does with the things we offer Him.  That's pretty cool I think.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Three Generations of Celebration!

Hi!  I have no idea if anyone out there ever reads these things.  So the pressure is off.  I think I'll just type and if you are there you can roll your eyes.  It's okay.  Another 12 calendar pages have been turned and here I am looking back one page to our January month of birthdays and celebrations!

First Happy birthday to my MOM, 88 years young!

Vanilla butter cakes with homemade lemon curd filling in the top tier and coconut cream filling in the bottom tier.  Covered in Mexican vanilla buttercream.  Embellished with fondant petals painted with orange/gold luster dust.  Topped with painted fondant numbers and surrounded by gumpaste flowers. The satin ribbon and bow completed Mom's cake this year.  Her response?  "What are we celebrating?"  Gotta love her!  Full celebration with her favorite foods (catfish, french fries, coleslaw and hushpuppies/cheese)  for lunch before the important stuff....cake, icecream and coffee for sure!  

Most of the family came and even though it makes me sad to not be able to have her at the house, or take her to her favorite restaurant,  my very, very loving family made the day special.  And in the end? Mom enjoyed each moment as the celebration rolled on,  only to forget that we were even there just moments after rolling her back to her room.  Sigh!  no, big SIGH!!!  Our Lord tells us over and over to go look forward and not to look back so much.  And to "number our days..." for the important things:  God and family, are the only things we can hold on to when life gets a little bit messy.  Maybe you've been here...maybe you are here now...maybe you understand.

OK....more generation celebrations! Before I start that looking back thing...(of course I'm posting for a month past)  just pray for me, ok?
Celebration #2
A certain someone, I won't mention who, turned a whole 39 last month and had a yummy, delish, succulant, fresh, home-made, bad-to-the-bone strawberry cake for her birthday.  

No, not from my kitchen, but none-the-less a dessert plate of awesomeness! And from her sister!  Happy Birthday to our Jenn!

Celebration #3
If you have looked through very many of my posts, you may remember a certain John-Deere  lovin' grandson.  If not, well, you will see the request this year has finally a truck.  "MiMi, can you make me a pick up truck?  And one that went mud riding?  And maybe got bogged down?"  Ummmmmm...... "I'll certainly try!"

What can I say?  (A MiMi's gotta do what a MiMi's gotta do :)
One chocolate butter cake with loads of chocolate buttercreamy-ness and good ol' R.C. bars covered in fondant for the truck body.  Oreo tires and gumdrop lights.  Add a little edible silver "paint" for the chrome and of course we have to be hauling Oreo "dirt".  There are so many places you would be fully justified in criticism, but as I've said before...It's just cake.  And the birthday boy thought it was waaaay cool.  So happy 12th birthday to our Jack!   The toy years are quickly coming to an end.  I'll be sad to see them go.   I love the fact that real keys are not even in the picture...yet....

Celebrating 3 out of 4 Generations in one month... yep, I'd say that's pretty special.  Capture those precious moments.  They are always changing!  
Partial family photo taken almost 10 years ago today.  Mom (not pictured) 78,   Birthday  Daughter 29 and her son only 2. how we need to enjoy the gifts that our Father has so generously given to us.!

NOW on to another baking holiday!  Coming soon!  

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ice Skate Birthday Cake

This will be short and sweet.  The Holiday Season....Thanksgiving through New Year's Day just seems to whirl past doesn't it?  We have lots to celebrate this time of year- and a granddaughter's 10 year birthday is just one of those celebrations.  To celebrate this year in granddaughter style, we were prepared to have an ice skate cake.  After taking great care to ask her wishes, I had baked the chocolate layers.  "I want two layers, MiMi."  Okay I said, just what do two layers look like?  "Oh, you know MiMi.  Where you have the big round cake at the bottom and a smaller round cake on top."  Glad I asked!

So anyway, there are still a few creative cells upstairs, even if they sometimes get dusty.  And I invisioned two iceskates on top of her chocolate, 2 tier cake with white icing an sparkly blue snow flakes...because that was her wish.  Of course, the party was to be an hour and a half away down at the collisium...on Saturday. I had plenty of time!!!   Just imagine the heart beat when I got a call on the way home from work (and we got off early)  on Friday.

 "Hi, MiMi!  This is J_______.  I was just wondering if you have room for me to ride with you..."  (grandson and brother to BD girl)
Me:  Room?  Where are we going?
 J:  Well, the party.  
Me:  Party?  You mean tomorrow? or today?
 J:  You know it's today!  HEART STOPS.
Me:  Let me talk to your mom.

Yep, party about 5 hours, but take away the time for me to get home, not to mention putting cake together and the trip to the collisium and I will have approx. 3 hours to make icing---chocolate, vanilla and royal, finsh snowflakes, ice cake, paint fondant pieces, travel  and make our only granddaughter happy.  (Fondant pieces were rolled out and cut Thursday, but not finished.  Layers are frozen and NOTHING else is done.

What to do?  I called my visiting baby girl and asked if she could measure out a few things for me in the stand mixer so I could hit the floor running.  And run we did.  Much prayer (seriously) and some help and an encouraging word or two, "painting in the car while traveling"

 and an extremely patient husband.. not to mention traveling .IN THE RAIN...we made it!


Happy 10th Birthday!!!

Phew!  Just in time!  Thank you Lord for being concerned about a little girl's birthday enough to give me the speed to complete everything, and to be able to show her that I was listening to her cake "wish"!  How a loving Heavenly  Father can take time to be concerned over a 911 cake request when there are far more pressing issues all over the world only shows me that he truly loves his children.  And, my friend, whoever you are, the same God loves you.  Isn't that wonderful!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Cake for an Old Miss Fan

Cake for an Ole Miss Fan

It is the day after Thanksgiving as I type this.  Amongst many things to be thankful for, I am thankful for friends who ask me to bake for their friends.  How cool is that!

Birthdays come around every year, don't they?  I have a friend who has a friend who had a birthday...and is a football fan...of....well that is completely obvious...The University of  Mississippi (or as we down here say down here "Ole Miss")  Hotty Totty, goooo Rebels, and something about a colonel?  Can you tell I am not a big fan?  But I am a fan of cake.  So for a friend of a friend I baked chocolate cake layers, made homemade chocolate filling, made butter cream and cut out fondant accents.  The footballs were chocolate candies I found at the Party Store.  I just added the icing "laces".  

There is one major problem with a tier cake.  Transporting it.  This cake traveled well, but I put in a large cardboard box with clear plastic wrap over the opening and met the birthday guy 1/2 way. These were only 9" and 6" tiers so the cake was not huge; but just how can you box a cake that you have to have already put together?  And still expect it to travel well and stay moist for a few days?    

Check out the original inspiration link @
 My Mostly butter cream version

Well, the fella celebrated his birthday and is going to the bowl game this weekend.

I trust that the cake brought some smiles
that Old Miss hits a home run
makes the basket
ohhh yeah
gets the most touchdowns!

~All done the week of Thanksgiving...~
The week where our focus should be on giving the Lord thanks in all things...the week of turkeys and dressing and sweet potatoes and all things good to eat.
I close this post with an annonymous quote that I read today:
My Cup
The optimist says, "My cup is half full."
The pessimist says, "My cup is half empty."
The child of God says, "MY CUP runneth over!

Friday, September 19, 2014

65 CAKES ?

Thought you'd see a whole bunch of cakes, did you now?

Sorry to disappoint.  Wouldn't it have been great to have all those cake pictures?  In one place?  That would have been pretty awesome.

You know, when you live in the United States, a birthday comes and most of the time someone bakes a special cake. Candles are lit...songs are sung-in tune and out.  My husband celebrated, sometimes with and sometimes without a lot of fanfare, 65 of those kinds of celebrations to be exact.  That's a lot of cake!

But this year was sort of a quiet one with no big parties or gatherings.  Sometimes that is just the way the cookie crumbles.  But 65 is a lot of calendar pages!  And sure is a blessing to have my husband still with me.  And it is a sort of milestone.  Wonder why that it is...65 that is.  Why not 66 or 63?  Oh well, doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things does it?  I am asking entirely too many questions.  Probably because I haven't posted anything on here in...well...a while.  Life!


I saw this cake in several places, and when I said something to my Skip, he said he wanted one for his birthday...a made from scratch banana pudding cake.  Here was my inspiration:  Banana Pudding Cake recipe

And here is mine made with all sorts of banana pudding goodness:  

No candles, no writing...just yumminess and a birthday song from me and our oldest daughter.

There are just sometimes when the memory that you are making becomes more important than the digital capture...but they sure don't keep the same, do they.  But are precious never-the-less.

Life with its ups and downs and in's and out's are just  And our Heavenly Father knows that better than we ourselves. Life is fragile...much like this cake...Not a cake for setting out in the heat or anywhere for a long time.  Cream or Cool Whip and heat do not dwell together in harmony...But the cake, like our lives is best when kept in the best conditions and the Lord is the only one who can do that with us.  The refrigerator does a fine job for the cake and should not be substituted by the freezer.   

So I believe what I am trying to say is that it is really all right if every once in a while we don't have the party horns....just so we don't make a habit of it.

OH...want more ability to form those swirls?  Used stabelized whipping cream instead of the Cool Whip as listed in the recipe.

Take a look at directions/recipe for stabelized whipped cream that keeps its shape at
this link.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

John Deere Birthday Cake for a Special Boy

If any little boy loves John Deere anything more, I just do NOT know who that could be.  He lives and breathes John Deere.  He is one of my grandsons and his request for his birthday?  "MiMi, if it's not too much trouble could you make me a tractor like the firetruck?  You know one you can eat?  And maybe you could use some cookies for the wheels ....  and oh could you make some pigs to put by the tractor?  and...."  Mom interrupts, "I think that's going to be plenty, don't you?" " Yes, ma'm.  That would be cool!"

So here is my journey to make a wish come true...

I'm not sure just who had the first idea to package these treats, but I'm so glad they did.  So easy to make figures that can be shaped and covered with fondant and look at me I am speaking from at least THREE different experiences