Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Disney on Ice

Our housekeeper Renee called and asked if she and her daughter could take Jasmine to Disney on Ice. Since Renee used to take care of me when I was younger, I felt I could trust her and agreed to let her take my precious daughter. Jasmine was super excited and wanted to dress like a princess for the event so she chose a dress and I got her all gussied up! She looked so cute I couldn't help but take a few pics!She came home from the event very tired but completely excited to tell me all about it. I had given her some money to spend and they spent it all! She came home with a bucket of popcorn, a princess mug with a lid on it and a light up wand globe that was pretty fancy. They also told me that they had planned on leaving early because Renee's daughter Ibet had a test the next day in school but when they tried to leave, Jasmine exclaimed, "No! We can't leave yet because it isn't over!" So they stayed until the end for her! What a precocious child!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Caught Caring

At Jasmine's preschool they have a program called Caught Caring where if a child is caught caring, they are awarded a star and when they have 3 stars, they are given a caring ceremony. This ceremony takes place during circle time and the child receives a certificate, a sticker and a pencil. They also get a star on the caring tree with their name on it.It took Jasmine a couple of weeks to get the hang of it but she brought home 3 stars and was the first one in her class to do it. I knew she would be good at it because she really is a naturally caring little girl and when she thinks before she acts, great things happen. I have highly praised her for her stars and put them on the fridge. She has since earned 2 more stars, bringing her current count to 5 stars!

New Stuff

Lorne and I have been trying to spruce up our home and so in the past month we have made some big purchases. We started off with an impulse buy at Home Depot. A new refrigerator. We saw one for a great price on clearance and decided it would fit in our kitchen. Can I tell you how much I love the new fridge? It is so much better than our 30+ year old previous fridge. Our food stays fresher longer, and it is sturdier and has a lot more room. Lorne and I are both happy with our spur of the moment choice!The next thing we got was a new sectional for the basement. The old leather furniture was having some hard time as the frame in the large sofa was broken and it wasn't as comfortable as it used to be. We also wanted to increase seating so when we invite people over we would have more options for people to sit on! It was tough to get it in the basement but thankfully it was possible and now we are loving the new sectional.The most recent new thing we got was a new stove. Our old stove was a trial and was always in need of repair. I can't remember a time where all the burners were working and the oven had their ow issues. The top oven ran very hot and the door wouldn't stay closed so I had to shove a piece of cardboard in the door to keep it shut. The bottom oven didn't heat evenly so to combat that problem I always had a pizza stone in the bottom that helped. After trying to cook a large dinner on the last burner working, the small one - Lorne decided he was tired of trying to fix the stove and we should get a new one. What a difference that has made! It is amazing how having tools that work and are more efficient make life easier. We made do with what we had but I never realized how much better life could be with a good fridge, a comfy couch and a stove that works! Yay for new stuff!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fall Festival at Belvedere Plantation

I found a fun fall festival at a farm called Belvedere Plantation this past Saturday and decided it would be a great way to spend some time together. This farm boasted all kinds of fun activities and did not disappoint. After driving about an hour we got there and the weather was beautiful, if a bit on the hot side.It was also nice because it wasn't full of people. Since it had heavily rained the day before and the weatherman was calling for rain on Saturday it kept the crowds away and therefore we didn't have to wait in any lines to do any of the fun things we did.There was a moon bounce, which as you know is one of Jasmine's favorite things and there were also pig races, an animal petting and feeding area, zip lines, a scarecrow making workshop, slides, and swinging on ropes in the barn. Jasmine had a blast at each of the activities.At the pig races she was a what they called a "pig pal" and she got a flag and rooted for the pig that corresponded with the flag she was holding. The baby pigs were very cute and even I got to be a pig pal for one of the heats. Neither Jasmine's or my pig won but it was still fun!
We then decided to get a treat and tried some apple cider slushies. Boy were those good. I had never had one before but it was worth all the years of waiting. It was nice to have a cool drink to try and beat the heat.The last thing we did was go on a hayride out to the pumpkin patch where we selected our pumpkins for the yearly Halloween carving and then bought some other fun things in the little general store they had. We went home with pumpkins, apple cider, kettle corn, a pumpkin tambourine, and fancy sodas. We had such a fun time and wished we could have shared the time with friends as well!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Devil went down to Georgia

So, this past weekend I took little Miss Jasmine with me on a little road trip. One of the beloved toys of the 1980's, the Cabbage Patch Kid, was having a 25th anniversary party in Cleveland Georgia and my friend Liz (high school friend) wanted to go. I agreed to pick her up in Christiansburg, Virginia which is near Virginia Tech in southern Virginia and about 4 and a half hours from our house.
Jasmine and I left Friday morning around 9:30 AM and arrived in Christiansburg around 2:oo PM. We had a bathroom break, installed the car seats for Liz's 2 boys, loaded them and their stuff into the car and took off.
It was another 5 and a half hours from Liz's house to Cleveland, GA and we pretty much only stopped once for dinner. The kids did great in the backseat, they watched movies and played and eventually all fell asleep. I regret that I didn't take a picture of all of them back there - it was pretty cute.
We arrived at our motel at 10:30 PM, checked in and all went to bed.
The next morning we were all up, showered, dressed and at the Babyland General Hospital (for those of you who are curious, Google it!) for the party at 9:30 AM. This turned out to be a very smart move because there weren't many people there yet and we were able to do all of the fun activities that we wanted to without waiting in line.It was quite a production. On the ground they had food vendors, a table where kids could get a free goodie bag, Carvel had a stand where they gave away free cupcakes, punch and ice cream, a moonbounce, a giant inflatable slide, kid face painting and a carnival ride. All free. They also had a large area where they sold merchandise and a DJ was playing music that was family appropriate.The kids had a great time and did all the activities they wanted to do. After we exhausted the outside, we went into Babyland to experiance the free tour. This company has taken a turn of the century hospital and turned it into a doll hospital and it is pretty neat to walk through and see everything they have done. I took a lot of pictures because I thought it was really neat. In the center of the building they had a large tree that has crystals hanging off of it and a cabbage patch they have created. They also simulate a cabbage patch birth - legend is these babies are born out of cabbages and then kids adopt them.I did buy Jasmine a 25th Anniversary Cabbage Patch kid and the box was even hand signed by Xavior Roberts, the creator of the brand. The doll comes complete with a birth certificate and the name on it is Emmie Wilhemina and her birthday is July 9. Jasmine was so excited to get her and we waited until we were home to open the box and carefully take the doll out.Around noon, we left and it was a good thing as the crowd has gotten HUGE and the lines for everything we had already done were super long. We had lunch at a small southern cafeteria and then headed back to the hotel to put the kids down for a nap. I napped with them and I let Liz walk back to the party as she wanted to do some more exploring.
Around 4 PM, the kiddies woke up and we hung around the hotel for a bit but then decided these kids needed some fresh air time. I decided that we should pack them all up in the car and drive around until we found a playgroun for them to play on. It only took about 10 minutes before my mommy senses found a playground and we let the kids play for like 2 hours.When we were all good and hungry we took a little drive (about 20 miles) to go have dinner in an intersting little town whose name I can't remember. The Italian restaurant we ate at was very good and the kids had a good time. Again, on the way back, they were all asleep and we all crashed into bed to rest up for the return trip the next day.
I drove another 10 hours on Sunday, taking the Vallejos back home and then returning to our home where Lorne was anxiously awaiting our return. It was nice to see him again and snuggle up to him in bed that night. I think I was alseep as soon as I hit the pillow. What a weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Duff at the Corcoran

My good friend Mary sent me an e-mail a few weeks ago telling me that Duff Goldman (master caker and owner of Charm City Cakes) was going to be giving a lecture at The Corcoran (School of Art in Downtown DC). Since he is amazing and I admire his work I decided this would be a good event to attend with Marcia and the business promptly bought tickets.
We showed up early, knowing the event was sold out and we wanted to make sure we got a good seat. It worked and we were the first in the room and got our choice of seats. I chose front row center.
When he came out onto the lecture hall stage it was awesome to have the man standing there in person. He gave a great lecture where he essentially told his story of how he got from graffiti artist getting in trouble with the police to the owner of one of the most successful cake shops in the nation and TV personality on Ace of Cakes.It gave us a lot of hope as he was doing cakes out of his apartment for a while before he was able to buy the place he operates now. He answered lots of questions at the end and I was able to ask one! The only sad thing was that we didn't actually get to meet him and have our picture taken with him. After the lecture, he left the stage and wasn't there for the reception they held afterwards. It was definitely worth the money and time to be there and to fuel my desire to proceed with this business and keep making it work until it is a huge success!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Maiden Play on the new Playground

The playground was finally finished about a week ago and Jasmine had the pleasure of having her friends Marin and Kirsten over for the maiden play on the set. The girls seemed to have a great time playing together and Jasmine was super happy and loved the slide and the swings.
The girls all climbed into the clubhouse for a secret meeting and climbed the rock wall and ran around getting all their energies out! It was fun to watch them and it is nice to have the set in our backyard.
The only thing missing is a bench for the moms to sit on while they watch the kiddies play and also we need to have the frame filled with playground grade mulch. We are also excited that the new grass we had put there has taken root and it growing and green. The whole area is looking great and looks a million times better than it did before!
Let's hope Jasmine stays happy to play on the set and that it lasts a long time!