Sunday, September 25, 2011

Louisa's birthday cupcakes

Yesterday was Louisa's friend birthday party. We had 5 teenage girls spending the night. Whew! The giggling and high pitched screaming was.... interesting ;) But really, it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing how blessed your children are with nice, happy friends who enjoy each other's company. (I know, I know, "enjoy each other's company"?! Lame! ;)

I had a hard time coming up with cupcakes for her. I needed something that really wowed her and her friends. We didn't have a theme, since, well, 14-year-old's parties don't generally have themes as far as I know. I could be wrong. Her favorite color is green, but I chose a variety of colors for her decorations. She likes the combination of green, black, pink, and purple.

In the end, I decided on the banana cupcakes she asked for, decorated with large roses in multiple colors. She loved them, I'm pleased to report!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sugarland~ Little Miss

Louisa and I went to her first concert on September 3 at the NY State Fair. I took her to see Sugarland. We LOVE them and it was so fitting that this was our first concert together. We have every song of every CD memorized.

As we know, the Sugarland band and crew dealt with a big loss this summer. Having your stage collapse, killing and injuring your fans, is a performers worst nightmare. Even if... they had nothing to do with it. Even if... it could have been prevented. Even if... the fans hold some liability for taking the risk (?). It's something the band and crew will always have to live with knowing they were a part of.

However, they need to move on and continue their tour. Many more shows, many thousands of fans to perform to.

I have to admit that I was very nervous about the show. Not about a stage collapsing on me, but about the level of performance we'd receive. So close to the tragedy, would Sugarland still perform at top notch levels? I mean, I did pay $60 a ticket to take my daughter to her first show, row 14, center stage. I deserved just as good a show as the people before the incident got.

My fears were silly! Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush haven't risen this high because they are bad businessmen. Right?! They not only put on an amazing show, but they gave me my money's worth, and I rarely say that.

I was also introduced to another young lady who I now can't get enough of. Sara Bareilles is on tour with them, and she's amazing!

At the show we got to be a part of two special events~

Surprise one was that Amnesty International is recording a Bob Dylan tribute CD and Sugarland recorded one of my favorites, Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You, live in Syracuse, for inclusion on the CD. You may hear me screaming ;) I did try to purposely scream during a quiet part. Don't you hate those people?!

Surprise number two: I came across this video tonight. I was hoping someone had taped this, because it was amazing and brought tears to my eyes when it happened. Sugarland has a song called "Little Miss". It's a song about how we know that no matter how tough life gets, we'll "be okay again". Always. This song, like SO many of theirs that have come before, is an inspiration to everything I do in my life right now. The song has also created a whole movement across the country, called the Little Miss Project.

Two local school teachers contacted the Syracuse country radio station for help with this. They handed out 6,000 signs right before the show. Our instructions were to hold them up during Little Miss. The signs had words, lines, from the song. Things like, "You Are Loved", and "Brand New Start". Many signs also said, "Remember Indy".
The band knew nothing about this little surprise, so it was amazing to watch their faces as we held up our signs and sang along. I fought tears the whole time. Enlarge the screen when you watch this so you can see Jennifer's face. It's so awesome to watch her shock as she is trying to sing, perform, yet also read all the signs!

I pray that you all know that
A) You ARE loved.
B) It'll Be Alright Again.

I promise.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chaos Cupcakes

Do you like cupcakes?!

Do you like blogs?!

Do you like alligators with really big teeth that wear pink shimmery tutus?!

I can help you with the first two. The third one, well... you're on your own and you need help.

I'm starting a small business out of my house called Chaos Cupcakes. I have had a few orders, ordered some business cards, and really began experimenting with my baked goods.

Also, I thought a blog would be fun. Blogginess of the cupcake kind. Yum.

~Chaos Cupcakes~
Come take a peek and click that cute little "follow" button. :)

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

New School Year

The Chaos Kids constantly amaze me. Day in and day out, they find ways to get over obstacles, and they keep right on moving. I get a complaint here and there, but for the most part they deal with issues well.

Starting school up again in the fall is never an easy process. You worry about who will be in your class(es), who to sit with at lunch, what to wear, what clubs to join, what teachers you'll have... Sometimes it all works out well and we glide through the year smoothly. Sometimes. Not.

I've had years in my youth that were peppered with bullies and harassment. A few years in particular really stick out in mind. 6th grade, 8th & 9th grades, and believe it or not... kindergarten. 6th grade had to of, by far, been the worst for me, though. The harassment and bullying was so severe that I had to go for weekly counseling sessions with the school counselor, and the principal had the whole lot of us in his office several times trying to sort it all out. My mom was likely at her wit's end trying to understand the situation as kids who had just recently spent much time at our house as friends began to harass me on a pretty severe level.

Well, like my Chaos Kids, I overcame. I made new friends, found ways to avoid the bullies, and moved on with my life.

I pray the Chaos Kids never have to worry about bullies.
Louisa is a spitfire. I'd like to see a bully try to mess with her. Well, I wouldn't... but if one did they'd get quite an earful. She's witty, sarcastic, passive aggressive, and highly intelligent. She'll twist you up in words you don't understand, and spit you out with sarcasm so dripping that you'll think you just took a shower.

Drew has had a few teensy run-ins on his 2nd day of school. He is a bit worried about "being surrounded by a pack of bullies". Hey, who isn't?! We talk a lot about rational and irrational fears, so he knows the difference. I'm not really sure which one that is, though.

So as we truck through yet another school year, and we try to maintain a non-bully zone around our children, all we can really do is the best for our kids that we can. We can work to prepare them for let downs and disappointments. We can cheer on their every single accomplishment.
Mostly, though, we can pray that everything we're doing is on the one right path that God is leading us, and our kids, on.

Monday, September 05, 2011


When I was a little girl, I didn't always get what I wanted, right when I wanted it. The result, I learned to get creative. My Cabbage Patch Dolls had homemade clothes, made by me. My Barbie swam in a homemade pool, made by me. When I wanted $25 Keds with neon splatter paint, my mom got me $5 knock-offs and we used puffy paint we had around the house. I used ingenuity, and learned that if I wanted something, I could have it, with some brain juice and leftover supplies lying around the house.

Louisa has always been creative. She's always been interested in making things with whatever medium we have available. Her textiles skills, sewing and crocheting, are really taking off. I'm proud, but best of all she's proud.

I didn't think she needed a new bag for school this year. As anyone who is buying school supplies for multiple children knows, not everyone gets everything they want. Hunter needed a new backpack more than the other CK's this year, and even he got only a $15 bag from Walmart. I don't feel bad when the kids can't have something. Children don't always need everything they want. We've never bought them new school bags every year, and we won't start now.

So, all this mommy-meanness led to Louisa feeling the need to get creative. She asked if we could go to Joann's so that she could buy some fabric with her allowance. Hey... why not? I'm a reasonable mommy.

She picked a really cute green with white polka-dots. It's a tad retro, yet very hip.

Sunday morning we cut and pinned the bag form. The inside liner is a pillow case, inspired by my cousin Sue who made a bag similar to it for my mom. Louisa spent Sunday sewing the basic bag and strap.

Monday she added embellishments. She's been wanting to try out making a ruffle, so she added ruffle to the mid-section and strap. She has learned how to make fabric flowers this summer, so she added two flowers to the area in the middle where the ruffle comes together. I think her favorite accomplishment is the pocket on the inside. That gave her a lot of trouble, but she was glad she did it.
{Inside of the bag viewing troublesome pocket.
She did great and learned some good lessons.}

Yes she's taking orders... $35 each ;)

For people who don't know her, she's just a few weeks shy of her 14th birthday...
What were you doing when you were 13? :)

Tip Junkie handmade projects