Sunday, February 28, 2010

A New Blog

I have started a new blog devoted to healthy living. I am ready to get back in shape and get my head in the game. If you want to join me, let me know. I'll add you to our list of authors. It will be a private blog in order to post more personally and feel comfortable about it.

Here we go...

Black Forest Cheese Cupcakes

Sous Chef, Heather, and I made Black Forest Cheese Cupcakes today. The batter was super wet, and the recipe called for sour cream which is not my favorite. Not just a little sour cream, but one cup for the batter, and one cup for the topping. I was mature and waited to taste them.

As they came out of the oven I realized that they were a cheesecake type of cupcake. I made the sour cream chocolate topping and popped them in the fridge.

Just before delivery, I peeled off the foil and added the cherry pie filling. I did eat one and it was d e l i c i o u s. It was hard not to eat more. Definitely a re-do.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wisdom for Myself

"It is more easy to be wise for others than for ourselves."

~Francois Duc de La Rochefoucauld

The truth of this statement is starting to sink in. Time to take the advice I would give to another and focus it in my own direction.

Weight loss
Time management

I can use a little introspection and self-discipline. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Black Bottom Mini Cupcakes

Jenna was acting Sous Chef for the cupcake project this week. We made these mini cupcakes that consist of a chocolate cake on the bottom, a cream cheese dollop on top of that, and a few chocolate chips pushed into the cheese topping. After baking and cooling, a squirt of buttercream-rapberry frosting finished off these delightful morsels. I need to get them delivered before I devour them all! Very scrumptious if you are a cheesecake lover.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stuck at Home

It's been a strange weekend. Jenna came home from school on Friday and went right to bed. She woke up a couple of hours later with a slight temperature. She's had a weird flu-like weekend. The Momma has had a horrid headache most of the weekend with periods of relief off and on, and Heather woke up this morning complaining of stomach ache. She and Kelly went to church while I stayed home with Jenna. We've all been resting today and are hoping that we find ourselves healthier as the new week starts.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Meeting Shannon Hale

I am still in shock. Shannon Hale came to Huntington Beach!!! My friend, Sheryl, found out about this author signing at our local Barnes and Nobel from our very own elementary school librarian to whom she had gifted a copy of The Goose Girl for Christmas. Sheryl promptly let me know about it, and we stewed and squeeed for over a week until the event day arrived. After checking with the book store we found out that arriving early was fine, no wrist bands were needed, Shannon would sign any books we had, and we were allowed to take photos. Yay!

These were the Shannon Hale books already in my library. I had read Princess Academy for our book club a couple of years ago, and then picked up the others because I really like the story and main character in Princess Academy.

I have recommended Shannon to all my friends, and she has even become a favorite author on TwilightMoms. Here are Sheryl and I at the event. We were the very first ones to arrive. Talk about giddy fan girls. We skipped dinner and parked ourselves in the very first row. I don't think B&N knew what to do with us.

Shannon arrived with her husband, Dean. They were here to promote their latest graphic novel, Calamity Jack. They co-wrote their first graphic novel, Rapunzle's Revenge, and wrote Calamity Jack as the sequel. They were both so funny and down-to-earth. You can tell they get along well and really respect each other.

There were just about two dozen fans at the signing which is probably quite a small crowd. Shannon said she didn't expect too many on a Friday night, and they were both really appreciative of those who turned out. We weren't complaining! We got extra chat time with the authors, every book personalized and a great photo too!

I came away with a copy of each of the graphic novels as well as a copy of Austenland. I can't believe I told Shannon that I was a little bugged about the married women who were repeat customers in the story. Did that little negative just slip out of my mouth??? Yes it did! What a goof! She personalized my copy of Austenland with, "To Melissa who has standards." She has a good sense of humor. All of my personalized copies are so awesome. And I did remember to tell her why I LOVE her stories. Hopefully she'll remember that part and not the other. *blush*

Playing with Grandpa

After school on Friday, Heather was a little bored. She wanted to go out and play handball, but I was trying to finish up a couple of things and take care of Jenna who had just come home from school sick. I told her I'd meet her outside in about 5 minutes, and of course that took a lot longer. She never came back to get me, so I eventually went out to play with her and found this...

She had asked Grandpa to bounce the ball with her. It was so cute that I snapped a picture. They were talking about rain and El Nino and how the moon dictates the tide. Heather was listening and asking questions. It was just so fun to watch.

Heather switched to baseball and she and I threw some catches to each other for awhile. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of my mad softball skills. For her first time playing catch with a mitt, she did pretty well. When it was time for me to go in to prep dinner, Grandpa took over again...
I was so happy that Heather got some time to play with her Grandpa!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Secret Valentine

Does anyone know who my secret Valentine is?

My friend Shari set up this great Valentine exchange with some friends. We all gathered some fun Valentine's Day themed gifts and were given a name to deliver our bundle to secretly. I still don't know who delivered mine, but thank you! I had to round up all the goods as my girls got to them first! They found their names and went for it while I was at rehearsal. After gathering everything back together, I was able to see how really cute this collection was. She even remembered my girls. Thank you Secret Valentine!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Heather's Valentine's Day Party

Sweet Heather asked me a couple of weeks ago if she could have a sleep over for Valentine's Day. She had no idea what our family's schedule was like the first weeks of February, but it was so hard to say no. She wanted to invite her friends that she hangs out with plus some other girls so she could "get to know them better." It was so cute. Long story short, we compromised and invited the friends over for a Valentine's Day party on Monday, February 15. They were all off from school, so we held the party from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Each of the girls seemed to have a great time, and they all said said an emphatic, "Thank you!" when they left.

We had some snacks, dessert and had a party bucket for the attendees.

The girls played Whiz Kid while they waited for everyone to arrive.

There was a round of Apples To Apples, Jr.

An indoor game of "Hot Heart" (Hot Potato w/ a heart shaped pillow) was followed by an outdoor game of musical chairs.

The girls also played "Who's Got The Button" and some games of ball tag outside. They moved seamlessly from game to game, and all the girls were great sports. It was a successful party, and we were so glad to be able to make this happen for Heather and her friends.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Life As I Know It

The Peterson clan has been very busy! I'll be catching up on posts very soon. In the meantime, please enjoy this little announcement...

I read this book in December (ARC) and have been waiting for it to be released. It is now officially on the shelves. If you haven't read it, it is a must read! It is fabulous! The main character is struck by lightning and wakes up in another woman's body. She was single, and is now married with 4 kids. The story is so clever and very well written. I will say no more! Just read it! Be sure and let me know what you think.

Blender Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Valentine's Day was also cupcake day. Gavin and Aunt Michelle were still here with us, so Gavin helped with the cupcakes. We made Blender Chocolate Chip Cupcakes.

Gavin and Heather were my helpers.

Heather measured the vanilla carefully...

and Gavin did the flour measuring.

We put the ingredients in the blender according to the recipe.

It seemed like a good idea, but my blender couldn't get to the ingredients at the top without a little help.

The pouring part was very nice.

These were not the prettiest cupcakes ever. The tops came off really easily, and the rest of the cupcake stuck to the paper. We scraped off the lower portion with a fork and it came off just fine.

We made a chocolate buttercream frosting. The cupcakes were fine without the frosting, but the frosting was very yummy. These cupcakes tasted just like a chocolate chip cookie and were very scrumptious! Since the batter only made 12 cupcakes, we were unable to share with friends.
Thanks Michelle for the great pictures! We said good-bye to them shortly after the cupcakes came out of the oven. We missed them moments after they left. We had so much fun while they were here!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Percy Jackson!!!

In the evening, after Jenna's baptism, all but Grandpa piled in the car to go and see The Lightning Thief. This is the new movie based on book 1 of the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series. I read the books over the summer, Heather read them right after I did, we gave the set to Gavin for his birthday last fall, and he and Michelle finished the series as well. Kelly and Jenna were the only two in our group who didn't read the books. Both camps agreed that it was a great movie, although Heather and Gavin were very disappointed that some of the story was completely missing, while other parts were altered. It was a little odd, but still a great movie, and it was such a blast to see it together!

Jenna's Baptism Day

Jenna was baptized today! It was such a beautiful day, and we could tell that Jenna was feeling the special nature of the day.

We arrived at the building early. Gavin was a great support to Jenna. He even helped Heather practice for her special music.

Heather played "I Am A Child of God" for the special music in the program. It was a more complicated arrangement and although she struggled all through her practices, she didn't make one mistake. It was really beautiful.

Jenna's Daddy baptized and confirmed her. They were both digging the stylish jumpsuits.

We had many guests at the baptism...

Aunt Michelle and Gavin

Mrs. Mosher

Rachel Reynolds

The Holbrook Family

Brother and Sister Snow

The Cloward Family

Sabrina, Emihlie and Sophie Wells, and Sister Busby

Sister Stewart, Jenna's Primary teacher

The Haynie Family

Brother and Sister Neubert, Kim Harvey, Olga Schaap and Bishop and Paige Waldron attended also, but we didn't get a snapshot of them.

And finally, Grandpa Ron (pictured later in the day)

The Haynies, Clowards and Holbrooks joined us afterward for some treats at our house.

Later in the evening I went looking for Jenna and found her in her bedroom with her new scriptures and her new journal. I think she was really excited to receive these special gifts and to start reading her scriptures. Very cute.