Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pinterest should have an "I made it" button!

Posted by:  Courtney

I love Pinterest.  In fact, everyone I know who is "on" Pinterest loves Pinterest.  But I have so many friends who say, "I have all these boards but have never made anything!"  I am proud to say that I have attempted quite a few of my 'pins'.  Most recently, I made the six-layer rainbow cake that is all over Pinterest.  It was my son Alex's 6th birthday and he said he would love it if I made that cake for his party.  So... I got to work.  I had to bake six layers of cake.  Fortunately, we have double ovens, so that helped with the baking time.  And because we had 21 family members coming to his party, I had to bake TWO cakes.  Unfortunately, I wasn't smart enough to double the recipe and then cut each cake in half to make two layers... I made 12 individual layers of cake.  Hindsight is 20/20.

On the first one, I iced the sides, but I ran out of icing before icing the sides on the second cake.  However, I really liked the way it looked without it, so you could see all of the colors.  I wish I hadn't iced the sides of the first one!

 The birthday boy... checking out his cake.

 I love the vibrant colors!  The trick is to use gel food coloring rather than liquid.

I am really pleased with the way it turned out!  But when my mother-in-law asked Sam (my younger son) what kind of birthday cake he wants for his birthday (in April), I was really hoping I wouldn't hear, "Rainbow!"  Fortunately, he asked for a robot cake.

On top of the cake, I blew up 144 balloons for his party as well!  He LOVED it!  (Note:  I used an air compressor, and my MIL helped me thread them all into this strip for the party!)

I really need to remember that what I do for one child's birthday will most likely be requested again in two months by the second child for his birthday!  Hopefully all of the balloons that are still floating around our house will be deflated by the time I have to do that all again.

What have you made off of Pinterest?  I'd love to hear all about it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crayons and Cookies

Posted by: Courtney

Today was a fun Wednesday at the Minton house.  The boys and I put on our creative hats and made that fun crayon art that is all over Pinterest.  Alex wasn't too excited about it to begin with, but once I showed him a picture of what we were going to make, he was in!  I grabbed the crayon box (a small plastic bin that all of the crayons have been dumped into at some point or another) and let them pick whatever colors they wanted to use.  They organized them on their boards and I got to work with the glue gun.  I only burned myself 4-5 times, so I think that's a win.  When the crayons were all glued to their boards, this is what they looked like.   

Next, we got busy with the hair dryer.  This part was a little scary for an indoor project.  Once the crayons started melting, they had a tendency to blow splatters sideways if the boys weren't pointing the dryers down.  I had a drop cloth down, as well as some packing paper we had left over from our move last year.  Between the two, I managed to not get any melted crayon in unintended places!

And, the finished project!  They love their artwork and are proud that it's something they could do themselves!

In addition to the crayon project, we made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Posted by: Matt

Do you recall those times in your life where a cold would actually keep you away from school or work? Yeah, me neither...who has time to be sick? You just sort of deal with it and move on to work, the bus is just a little speedbump. On occasion you get one of the monster colds...the ones where you can hear yourself chew, you know....even if it is chicken soup it sounds like you are at a Nine Inch Nails concert (which I have attended by the way...don't was college and damn fun!) or maybe chewing on nine nails. Anyway, the point is you are sick so how do you handle? I think there is a stereotype that men handle colds worse than women...and I am writing today to dispell that myth. Men don't handle colds worse that way...they handle most everything worse than women. Stress, traffic, IU basketball losses, grocery lines (and on that note...who writes checks anymore..really a check? At the grocery? Really...come is not you take your bags back to your car and pop in a cassette tape? Let's start the checks at the grocery store...violators are subject to reverse double coupons....and while we are here...10-12 items max at self checkout if if you don't know green onions are produce for you...head to the regular check out lane my friend). So, colds...who needs them? Not me...but I have one...but on the plus side I have not complained and now is not the time to start.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Sailor

Posted by: Courtney

My (step) Dad, Gary, has embarked on a six-month journey from Mazatlan, Mexico to the Chesapeake Bay on his 46-foot Morgan sailboat.  He and his friends Tom and Jeanne purchased the boat together last year and have managed to get the boat from Vallejo, California down to Mazatlan over the past year or so. They left Mazatlan today for the BIG adventure!  You can check out their blog here.  

Tonight, while putting my five year old to bed, I asked him if there is anything going on in his life that he wanted to talk about, or that he was worried about.  He said that he's worried about Grandpa getting eaten by a shark.  So, hopefully that won't happen!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Iron Chef Fishers

Posted by:  Matt

Hi...I am not sure everyone knows but Courtney and I are the world's worst planners (we get busy, what family with children doesn't) and when it comes to food (dinner especially) we may be in the running for the worst planners in the known universe. Seriously, we never have a clue what we will have for dinner during the week...ever have this conversation with your spouse?  "What do you want for dinner?"  The answer is always inevitably, "I don't care... what do you want for dinner?" And this conversation repeats for 10-15 minutes... it is like the movie Groundhog day...and sometimes you get so frustrated that you want to just start a fast... I mean sometimes you would just rather starve than deal with it... but then you remember that you have two children (plus you know... you worked through lunch and you could probaly eat a lightly salted radial right now... and dammit it's 6:15 and bedtime is creeping up on you!... and you really need that hour of downtime before you fall into that sleep coma and do it all again tomorrow) and those kids should probably be fed... you know... it seems like the right thing to do. So, you open the fridge... since we don't plan there is nothing defrosted... and you begin the search for some sustenance. When you find yourself in these food shotclock situations repeatedly you develop the ability to create something decent from a potpourri of random ingredients and leftovers that litter the shelves of your fridge. We call it icebox review and after awhile it has just become part of the Minton Condition. Tonight's iron chef recipe... 1 loaf of frozen garlic bread (that a guest brought for a party a few weeks ago)... split bread open... spread one side with pizza or tomato sauce (we had pizza sauce from make your own pizza night on Friday), 14 pepperonis (again leftover from that party), 1 crumbled hamburger (from burger night Saturday), and a handful of mozzarella cheese (I like a lot.)  Put the loaf back together... it looks like a sandwich now because that is what you made... a pizza sandwich... wrap it in foil... bake for 35 minute at 375... enjoy.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Posted by: Courtney

Today we went to the World's Greatest Hobby Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  When Alex was younger, he LOVED trains.  Although Sam has never quite had the same level of appreciation for trains, and Alex has almost reached the point of being "too cool" for trains, I took the boys today because what boy doesn't love watching model trains.  We met my Dad and Step-Mom there because my Dad has never outgrown his love of trains.  In fact, he's building a room in his garage for an extremely elaborate model train.  I'll have to take pictures of it next time we are out at his house and post them.  The show was extremely crowded, but there were some amazing trains to entertain boys of all ages.  One display had a moving parade, another had a carousel, and the Lego displays were simply amazing.  One particular display had $80,000 worth of Legos.  Wow.  That's a lot of time and Legos!  The title of my post comes from the fact that I let each of the boys pick one souvenir from today.  Did either of them pick a train?  No... Alex chose a Blue Angel jet, and Sam chose a monster-truck style school bus.  My camera battery is currently dead, and I've misplaced the charger, so unfortunately I don't have any pictures from today.  However, I'll make a trip soon to the camera store and pick up another charger.

While the boys and I were at the show, Matt enjoyed some precious time to himself!  What a concept!