Saturday, September 26, 2009

Renn Fest

I have been so busy working at the bakery that I haven't had much time to do the fun things I so enjoy doing with my family. I fought hard and took a Saturday to go up to MD for the Renn Fest. I have been one other time and it is always a lot of fun. It is a really neat place that has great Renaissance looking buildings that are permanent and great food and activities for everyone.
We arrived and although the day looked gray, we forged on ahead.Upon entering, Jasmine found herself with the Pirate Queen who gave her some treasure (a gold ring) and Jasmine was ecstatic. Then we walked around and found out they were doing a knighting ceremony. Jasmine decided she wanted to be knighted so we stood in line and the king knighted Lady Jasmine "Dame Jasmine of the Realm".They had pony rides, which for Jasmine are always a must and we took in a little jousting as well. Jasmine got to meet one of the knights and Ava took a little nap.Even though by this point it was raining pretty well, we watched an amazing show of a knife swallower. Also, before we left, we caught a bit of a play where the king was acting. It was a very good time and we hope that next time we venture out, the weather cooperates with us!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Roly Poly

Ava is quite the little roller and she is very adept at getting herself across the room by rolling. The only problem is that she doens't always mean to end up where she does. Occasionally, we will leave her in the living room to play on her little floor play gym and then about 10 minutes later, she will start crying and when we walk in there, she has managed to roll herself under the coffee table. We chuckle, call her a silly girl and then rescue her - only to find her there again later.Once, when Lorne was in the basement watching TV, he put Ava on the floor to let her play and he proceeded to pay attention to his program. Fifteen minutes later, he looked down to interact with Ava and he was surprised to find her gone. He started calling her name but of course she doesn't know how to answer so he got up off of the couch and found her on the other side od the ottoman close to the base of the TV.
It is fun to watch her grow and develop and we are certain it won't be long before she learns to crawl and then we are in trouble!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jasmine's Marvelous Me

To help the kids learn about each other and I suspect to get the accustomed to talking in front of a group, the teacher had one student per day in September and October do a Marvelous Me. The involved doing a poster that represented who you are and then telling the class what everything meant. The kids are also allowed to bring a special snack that they can share with the class during snack time.
Jasmine and I spent a lot of time together at the computer discussing what she would like to put on the poster and I printed a lot of pictures per her direction. It was so fun to spend time with her and have her tell me the things she loves. The great thing is that I knew all the things she was telling me but it made it fun to hear her tell me about it.
Once we had all the pictures printed and cut out, we set out to glue the pictures onto the poster-board in a collage fashion. Lorne and Ava participated with us as well. Jasmine is a very vocal child and she had no problems directing the project so it would look how she wanted. We had so many pictures chosen that we put some on the back of the poster as well.
I decided that this would be a great keepsake for her as a snapshot of who Jasmine is at age 4 and so I set out to have the poster laminated. It was a bit late and so when I got to Staples I was upset to find it closed.
I decided to make my way into Old Town Alexandria to go to a Fed Ex Kinkos (they are open 24/7) and have it done there. Once I got there, they informed me they were out of laminating plastic and that I would have to try somewhere else. I then drove to Springfield where there is another such store and finally, I had success and got the poster laminated. The things we do for our kids!
Jasmine was the first child to go after the teachers and Lorne and I wanted to watch her present. We asked the teacher if that would be OK and she said sure. We stood in the back corner so we wouldn't distract her.She was amazing. She had no problems speaking in front of the class and I was smiling so big as I watched her and when she said things that were cute or funny I tried not to laugh too loud so she wouldn't be distracted. Ava sat quietly watching her sister and Lorne stood with me and we were very proud parents.
She didn't miss a beat, and pointed to each picture and explained what it meant and why she chose it. She talked about her love for her family and for her sister and her grandparents. We made sure to have both sets of grandparents on the poster and she had fun showing off her pictures. The teacher would periodically ask her questions and she answered brilliantly. I wish I would have brought my video camera because it was the most amazing moment. She was even excited to spell her entire name for the class.
Later, she shared her mini cupcakes with the class and they had bees on them for her middle name ( she chose chocolate and fairy floss - her favorites). She loved her Miss Marvelous Me day and she reminded us after we picked her up from school later that day that this was her special day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Another year of Ballet & Tap

When the school year started, so did dance class again. Jasmine was so excited to go back to dance - she missed it over the summer and she couldn't wait to see her teacher, Mrs. Melissa. It is nice that they have the same teacher for 2 years so the kids can have some consistent teaching. I will be sad when she is no longer in her class but for now, we are happy to be there!She is now in Pre-Primary II and will have her first performance of the year in December so be on the lookout for video! It is hard for me this year as I have to work on Saturdays most often and can't take her to dance myself. That is something I really enjoyed doing and so I feel very out of the loop with what is going on there and rely heavily on Lorne to be my eyes and ears.
So, here is to another year of dancing for Jasmine!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Taste of Mount Vernon

To promote our business, we decided to be the only cake shop at the Taste of Mount Vernon. This event was done by the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce (which I am a proud member of) and it was held at Collingwood Library and museum (the same place Charles and Lesley were married). It was an event where local food vendors (caterers and such) could come and show off what they do. I was happy I was the only cake vendor there. There were many caterers and some restaurants.I didn't know what to expect or really what to bring (except delicious cupcakes), so I brought some things to make my table look pretty. I was happy with how it turned out and I got a lot of rave reviews on how pretty and delicious my table looked.I did 8 different cupcake flavors for people to try. At the beginning, it was slow and not many people were coming to my table, which surprised me because I thought my mini cupcakes looked delicious and would attract people. What was happening was that people were eating all the savory stuff first before ending with dessert. As the evening progressed, I got more popular and people were popping those little cupcakes like their life depended on it and I was pleased. People were taking the brochures and business cards I put out and even taking a few home for their families.
As is customary at a chamber event, they did some drawings for door prizes. My two little ones were the only children there and our buddy Jeff Todd was really good at getting Jasmin involved and giving her a job so she wouldn't get into trouble. She walked around to all the vendors to make sure their business cards were put in the pot and then she stood by Jeff as he called out the names of the winners. It was so funny, she stood there with her little nose in the air - her head so far back I thought she would fall backwards. I don't know why she did that but she was very proud to be helping and proudly told me that she "had a job".The event was a great success and I look forward to doing it again next year.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Simply Organic's Grand Opening

A new caterer that is not far from my shop called Simply Organic, had a grand opening and approached us to donate mini cupcakes for dessert for their party. We agreed as it seemed a good alignment for us to have a caterer on our side.
The event was held at River Farm, which I had never been to before. It is a gorgeous place by the water with lush gardens and it was a gorgeous night. They had a tent set up and the atmosphere was very nice.Jasmine ran around and Lorne took some pictures of her in the gardens and I couldn't resist getting a picture with my girls as they were dressed up and looking so beautiful.The center table was beautiful and I had to get a picture. This company uses organic ingredients provided by local farmers and the food we had that night was very good. We do not use all organic ingredients at the bakery but we do use real ingredients and that was a good fit for them.Our mini cupcakes were a hit and I got a lot of compliments. A few days later, the photographer, Ron Jones had a little blurb about us on his blog - check it out - - The favorite of the night seemed to be the Chocolate Dulce. I got a great picture of Lorne holding one of the toasted coconut minis.Our friend Jeff Todd was there representing the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce and since this caterer is not yet a member, he wanted to be there for support of the community.
They had a business card raffle and I couldn't stop laughing when I won a bottle of wine. Since I don't drink and I have plenty of wine at home that I use for cooking, I gave the bottle to Jeff to enjoy.The turnout was OK - not as big as they had hoped and I think had they been a member of the Chamber, they would have had a lot more people show up. Still, it was a very nice event and I think they will do well.

Ava Rosemary is 5 Months Old!

Time flies when little ones grow and now Ava is 5 months old. She is growing well and quietly strong. Here are some of the things that Ava is doing now...
*She can roll over both ways and is quite content to be on her stomach now.
* She loves to grab our faces and grip them tight - I think she is trying to study us and tell us how much she loves us.
* She loves to look out the window at the bakery at all the cars whizzing past and she can sit there quietly for a good amount of time.
* She is still nursing and really seems to enjoy it - unlike Jasmine who didn't like to work for it.
* She doesn't like to be left alone in a room and she is vocal about it.
* She blows lots and lots of raspberries
* She has started babbling more now and puts her fingers in her mouth all the time.
* She is happy to be put down for her naps in her own crib and sleeps from midnight to 8 AM.
* She loves to interact with her parents and her sister and she lights up when someone she loves enters a room, often kicking her feet and smiling widely.
* She is such a happy baby - she smiles a lot and she isn't overly fussy - so long as she is being held.
* She is still wearing a size 1/2 diaper and even though she has chubbier thighs than Jasmine did, she is light for her age and she doesn't quite fill out the clothes, but she is long enough for them.
She is such a blessing in our home and we can't imagine our lives without her. Even Jasmine seems to want to take possession of her little sister often calling her "my baby". We took her to the school to be photographed for her 5 month mark and I haven't gotten the prints back yet so I will post the photo when I get it - stay tuned!