Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Time!

Today was the last day of school!!

Heaven help me...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Trix Krispies

I found this recipe on Pinterest and thought they looked so pretty I just had to make them! I don't have a picture of the batch that I made because my camera phone is messed up somehow. I guess it's fine, because my Trix Krispies didn't look as pretty. They were colorful, but I was making a lot for the Ward Memorial party so I made them thinner than the picture. Also I found that even though the taste was good, the cereal got a little soggy from the butter, not too bad, just a little chewy. But it really is my fault. I saw this picture and thought it was just a regular Rice Krispies recipe, but now that I have researched the source I see that a few things are different. So even though they were really good I will make sure I use this bloggers recipe instead of trying to improvise.

I have a friend who was at this party who told me that she used to do this all the time in college! That they would actually just use whatever left over cereal there was around. That got my wheels turning! I may get a better turn out with Fruity Peebles, or what about Chocolate Krispies with the Chocolate Peebles, that's what they are called, right?

Anyway, the possibilities are endless! This may be the beginning of a Krispies phenomenon! I may just open a Krispies Boutique like how all the cupcakes got big, this just may be the next best thing! Look for me on Food Network's new show: Kara's Krispies.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Personalized Playtime

It's already in the mid 90's here in LA (Lower Alabama) so that means time to break out the kiddie pool! Hannah had a specific request for her pool this year. It had to be purple with stars!

You would think it being the end of May they would have plenty of pools to choose from, but with the heat Wal-Mart has already been picked through. Not only do they not have the little hard plastic pools for $10, they only had these big hard plastic ones with a built on slide with steps. I was afraid that Charlotte would hurt herself on those steps, and the price tag was hurting me! $35 for this behemoth!

Thankfully Hannah had her heart set on her purple pool with stars, so she snubbed the bigger more expensive pool! Phew!

Inside we didn't have much luck finding what she wanted either. When I came across the inflatable pools I found the perfect sized one for her and Charlotte, and the price was good to! But it was green...

So my MomGyver wheels started turning and I convinced her that if we get the green one then I will also get some markers and she can decorate it however she wanted. That sealed the deal!!

Before filling up the pool we decorated it with some Sharpie's, this is definitely a parental involvement activity. As soon as the older siblings got home from school they got in on the decorating to, so I guess it is good for all ages!

I did have the idea to do it with washable markers and then they can wash it off and do it again and again, but I'm not sure how that would work on the wet sides.

Monday, May 28, 2012

My Super Hero Cake

I could literally cry right now. After making this maasterpiece I snapped at least 5 pictures all at different angles. I felt confident that my camera had saved the pictures, but when I looked on my phone today so I could show a friend my accomplishment, the pictures were not there. This picture was taken by my friend that the cake was for. At least you can get a good look at the front.

She wanted WonderWoman represented on the cake since it was for her daughter as well as her son. I decided to make the top tier WonderWoman so I could keep the blue background for the SuperMan symbol.

The bottom tier I decided to do a half and half on the fondant so I could fit in the other super heroes, Batman and Spiderman. This obviously is the Spiderman side, then on the other side is the Batman symbol. I found some really cool Sugar Sheets in black, and Theo was sweet enough to print out a logo to the exact size I needed. Then I used that as a template to cut out the sugar sheet with an exacto knife.

On the sides of the cake I made the buildings out of white fondant and glued them on with icing to hide the side seam of the two color coming together.

The cake was white cake with Chocolate buttercream in the middle. There are actually 3 layers of icing in each tier with 4 layers of cake to give it that height.

I asked my friend if she happened to take other photos at different angles, but if she didn't I guess I will just have to make another one and I will be sure to use my good camera!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Super Hero Cake

***This is not my work***

But it is what I am working on today. A friend of mine sent me this photo, and asked me to make a 2 tiered version of this cake, and to include Wonderwoman.

I can't wait to show you the finished product on Monday!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Adios to Uniforms!

When we first moved into the area we found out that the kids would be in uniform at school. At first I was so excited and loved seeing them in their uniforms ready for their first day of school.

Now though, not so much. With 3 being in uniforms it's hard keeping up with everyone's things, and if an item gets lost you have to spend all morning looking for that one item. I can't tell you how many mornings we have been nearly late because I can't find a white shoe! If there were no uniforms I could just put them in an available pair, problem solved! But with uniform requirements we can't do that.

I also hate that not only do I have to buy them uniforms, but I have to buy them play clothes as well. Not too friendly on the pocketbook. Also I have a beef with the stores here. They usually have this big going back to school sale where all the uniforms are available at good prices. But then during the year when those clothes get torn or stained you can't find uniform clothing anywhere! What's up with that?

I know there are benefits to wearing them, but I am looking forward to the school system in NJ were our kids are free to wear whatever they want! Or whatever happens to be clean, whichever comes first...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Last night the local Baseball team had a special night for my kids' school. As a treat for those who reached their AR goal (Accelerated Reading program) they could come out to the field and be in a 'parade' that walks around the field. It really was a little thing, they just walked along the dug outs and it was over within 3 minutes. But my kids do so well with reading, that I thought this would be just an added bonus for them, that is until they couldn't keep their hands off one another in the line waiting to go out. All 3 of my older ones kept pushing into one another, and "accidentally" hitting the other one. All the other kids were lined up nicely patiently waiting to go, and then there was my kids looking like they were in the middle of a mosh pit!

The picture was taken after the parade, and the look on Emma's face (the one on the end) pretty much sums up the attitude that night. This is before the game even started, and we had already had 5 meltdowns, at least one was from me, a goose egg on Charlotte's head and an overflowing soda bottle because Miriam was shaking it.

We had to pass the jumpy houses to get to the start of the parade line, so when we got our food and sat down, immediately the kids started begging to go back there. Theo and I had plans to watch at least HALF of the game, but before the 3rd inning started the kids had won out and we went down to the jumpy houses. Once we got down there, they went straight for the water slide and did that the rest of the time. I tried to get Hannah to go, but I think she chickened out so I followed her around to the jumpy houses and the dry slide. She thought she might want to try again, but after standing in line her nerves got the best of her and she started to run out of line. I tried to coax her back in line, because I know her and she is going to regret not going down later. But as I was giving her a pep talk this chubby boy went down the slide and did a massive splash that covered me head to toe! Hannah never did go down, and sure enough when it was time to go she sobbed all the way home because she didn't get to go down the slide, just like I knew she would. And then the older kids who stayed on the water slide cried because they didn't get to do the jumpy houses, or the dry slide. I just can't seem to win...

Theo and I were done by the time we got them all in the car. For some reason my window was down and as we were driving off you could hear all the kids screaming in the back, this one man who was walking by just looked at me and started shaking his head. It didn't look like a shake of disapproval, but a shake of sympathy. At least I hope that's what it was, please don't tell me that it's just my kids that act this way. Maybe we will try to take them out about 10 years!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Saying Goodbye to My Dream Home

It's not really good-bye, just Until we Meet Again kind of a parting. We had our house on the market since February, but because of the insane amount of foreclosures right now it has really screwed up our plans. We decided to take it off the market and rent it out. The new plan is to hold on to it for a few more years and hope the market goes up and we can try to sell again further down the road.

Lucky for us, we have actually been home owners of a rental property for 10 years now. So we know the ropes, the good, the bad and the ugly of renting out. Our first property was Theo and my first house we bought together. It was the house we brought Tobie home to when he was an infant. But when Tobie turned 2 months, Theo who was fresh out of Coast Guard boot camp decided to go Active Duty instead of Reserve as was the initial plan.

It was heartbreaking to have to leave that house, purely for sentimental reasons. We panicked that we couldn't get anyone to buy, since it was a manufactured house on his Dad's land that someone would have to move themselves. But finding our first renters in a family member we thought that our mortgage bill was secure. That was the beginning of a long line of really terrible renters. The house turned into a thorn in our side, having to evict several tenants for non-payment, making repairs, and covering the smell and stains from smoking inside the house (even though it was clearly stated in the contract NO SMOKING PERMITTED!). But it has also been a blessing in disguise by providing us extra income allowing me to stay at home with our 5 kids and not have to worry about working outside the home.

Hopefully this time around we will have enough knowledge and judgement under our belts to get some good reliable tenants and this experience will also be a blessing in disguise.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Notorious Noshing

A while back I posted about these Maple Buttercream and Bacon cupcakes, and ever since then they have been the talk of the town in my social circle. Everyone wants to try them, and some think it sounds gross, but their curiosity takes over and they too want to taste them.

Yesterday was the last potluck at our Ward that we will be going to since we are getting transferred to NJ this summer and I figured I would go out with a bang!

I spent all Saturday cooking bacon and baking the cupcakes. It was well worth it! They were so good, and a big hit! Not one single cupcake was left. It was a sad Sunday, but the cupcakes definitely helped soften the impending separation. It's true what they say, cupcakes really do equal happiness. =)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Just Keep Them Busy

A few months ago I came across this article in the February Ensign "The Power of Early Preparation", by Ronald Errol Bartholomew. In this article he talks about the importance of feeding our children spiritually now. There was one quote that really stuck with me and I have quoted it several times,

"As a friend of mine once mused, “If I were the devil, I don’t think I could get to Latter-day Saints with any of the big sins. I think I would just keep them busy.”"

This really stood out to me because I find that happens too frequently in my house. And I'm not talking about the time outs that I take for my well being and sanity, like Bunco or my time at the gym. I'm talking about the time that is filled with mindless activities around the house that is eating up my time to be with my kids and teach them the importance of the gospel.

There's Facebook, Pinterest, Netflix, computers, XBox, Wii, Kindle, even games on my phone that my kids will beg me to play if there isn't anything else for them to do. We even turned off the satellite thinking that it would cut down on our tv watching, but I think the opposite has happened. We got Netflix which saved us a lot of money, but with on demand viewing there is an endless supply of shows we love to watch!

This ties into my last post as well, it's ironic that I spend a lot of my day pinning things on Pinterest that I imagine doing with my family, but at the end of the day I run out of time because of my mindless cyber surfing. And then, because I run out of time to do those things I think I am an inadequate mother, just like in the article that I linked to Wednesday.

It's a vicious cycle!

I realized a while back that Hannah, my 4th child, will most likely be going to Pre-School this fall, and I am missing out on her toddler years. That's mainly the reason I didn't get to post yesterday. I spent the day playing board games and hide and seek and snuggling on the couch watching whatever her little heart desired. I know these moments go by fast, but I don't want to look back on my life and have regret. I want my memories to be filled with simple fun, not how many cool things I found on the internet. Through this I know I will find those sweet moments to teach which will allow His Spirit to be in our home, and through that they will know the fullness of the gospel.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Power of Moms

I have been meaning to post THIS ARTICLE for some time, I can totally relate to this. I love Pinterest and I've been a blogger for years. But I guess the constant stream of other peoples accomplishments has started to take its toll.

Many nights I have had that same conversation as this lady with Theo. I have felt inadequate as a Mother and Wife. Was I doing enough? That was the constant question on my mind. Several times Theo has tried to convince me that I am enough, and that is all they need. But I didn't really believe him, I didn't think he really felt the pressure of being a good mother. Not until I read it from another mother's perspective did I realize that I am not alone, and I need to stop trying to do MORE, I just need to be me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Iceland Roots

Tonight is our Quarterly Enrichment night at church. My sister who is the Enrichment Leader started to tell me months ago that the theme was going to be International night. I have to admit, I was less than thrilled about this theme. We have done it so many times before, and I just couldn't really relate to it. They ask the ladies to randomly pick a country that they have to put together a table presentation, make a native dish and speak briefly about that country.

But I always felt disconnected to this activity, because unless I am going there, there is no amount of Schnitzel that is going to give me the true German experience, for example.

Then Rochelle (my sister) continued to tell me that this theme has a twist. We are going to incorporate genealogy to the theme! You actually have to do some genealogy and find out where you ancestors come from and that is the country you are going to present. BRILLIANT! What a great way to make this more personable!

I could have gone with my royal heritage and done my Creek background, but we actually have a couple of ladies in the ward that have Native American ancestry and signed up before we did. So instead we went with Iceland! My brother, Ruffin, was doing some genealogy of his own and was able to take our line all the way back to the Vikings in Iceland! Pretty cool if you ask me. We are actually related to a Thor, who had a son named Odin.

I'm making this, just don't ask me to pronounce it! I love doing genealogy! It is so fascinating to me to find out where you came from. And now a days it is so easy to find out with all our technology. There are so many websites you could try, and it really is fun. I encourage you to check it out and see where you come from.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Miriam's Perception

Miriam completed this at school and gave it to me on Mother's Day. Her answers are italicized. I especially love what she says is my favorite thing to do!

My Mom is very special! Here's Why!

My Mom looks

My mom's favorite thing to do is
Go on Facebook

My mom loves me because
I give her kisses

I love my mom because
She gives me kisses and hugges gives me a sqezze loves me very much makes me my favorite breakfast!

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Mother's Day Gift

I'm not much of a "guess what I want!" kind of girl. When there is something that I want I tell Theo, and sometimes I even buy it myself, not that Theo wouldn't just I'm impatient and if he gives me the ok, then it's a go!

I got the Deseret Books catalog in the mail with the wonderful news that this gorgeous statue, (that I have wanted for YEARS I might add) is 70% off! And on top of that it had a $10 coupon off a $50 or more purchase. This 19 inch Christus statue is normally $300! I had no plans of getting it anytime soon, but when I saw this marble marvel on sale I knew what I wanted for Mother's Day!


Thursday, May 10, 2012


Springtime in Alabama is my favorite time of year! Just like the Baby Bear's porridge, it's not too hot, it's not too's juuuuust right!

But don't blink or else you'll miss it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Meager Garden

Growing up, my Dad headed the Prophet's advice to grow your own food and work to being more self sufficient. We had an Olympic sized swimming pool of a garden out back that the whole family worked on. I hated that thing...

But in my older years I have come to appreciate the self sufficiency that you can obtain from having your own garden. Unfortunately my green thumb is only equipped with growing weeds. I'm a pro at that!

I don't let that hinder my resolve to have a flourishing garden some day. I say 'flourishing' because this is my meager garden now. I have one, but so far all I can grow is flowering buds and insects. I'm hoping that through trial and error one day it will click and I will get the garden I have always worked so hard for.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Pinterest is a funny thing. You spend all your time finding crafts, recipes and organizing ideas that you think to yourself, I could totally do that! So you pin it with the intentions of doing them. But ask yourself, how many of those things have you done?

I found a video on how to fix your hair if you have short hair like I do. The girl in the video had these cute bangs and I figured "I could totally do that.". Just like all the pins I have on my boards, I saw this as something I could actually do. And this time I took immediate action.

I parted my hair, carefully piecing off the part that would look good as bangs. I measured and remeasured, and then measured again just for good measure. I stood looking in the bathroom mirror with scissors in place to make the first cut. For 5 minutes I was a statue, staring at myself arm poised with raised scissors. The devil on my shoulder told me, just don't think about it, just do it! And the angel was no help, it reminded me of how long I have wondered if I could pull off bangs, so what the hey, just do it.

I shut my brain off and SNIP!

I thought I did a pretty good job, Theo loves it and that's what matters most! It's cute and fun, although I have to get used to the constant feeling of something on my face. I like them, but I think this might be a one time thing.

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Lefty

Benefits of being a Lefty:

Being left handed gives you an advantage in many sports.
Lefties have a greater chance of being a genius, or having a high IQ.
Left handed men make more money.
Lefties adjust more easily to seeing under water.
Lefties are better at multitasking.
Some lefties have better memories.
Left handed people are better at playing video games.
Left handed people recover faster from strokes than right handed people.
Left-handed people are more likely to be more visual-based than language-based.
Lefties are better at learning to drive than righties.

Looks like she has a bright future!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Coach

Theo has such an easy going, but reserved personality that when he first volunteered to coach Tobie at Tee ball several years ago I was shock and apprehensive. I couldn't see this mild mannered man commanding the attention of these little leaguers. But he has really surprised and impressed me over the years in his ability to coach, and also his initiative to put himself out there.

But what is really funny is to see this mild tempered man resort to kicking, throwing his hat on the ground and muttering mild language (to himself of course, there are kids around!) when his kids don't quite make the play.

He blames me for his graying hair, but personally I think it's the coaching. But just like the hair, coaching suits him, and I love seeing him out there coaching his heart out!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Catcher

Baseball season...two words that send shivers down my spine. Theo usually has to drag me kicking and screaming to these games. Not because I don't LOVE watching my son in action, but because I have 4 little whiny banshees that wait until we get to the field to start their orchestra of commands, "I'm hungry!" "I have to go to the bathroom!" (times 3 because they all have to go at separate times)"I have dirt in my eyes!" (from digging in the various dirt pits around the park and they are now covered in the dusty stuff) "I'm thirsty!", "I want cotton candy, gum, cheese fries...Etc." and so forth.

But I endure it just so I can see Tobie play. This kid is a force to be reckoned with! It makes a Mama proud to see her boy throw that mask off to catch a ball and chase down the other player trying to make his way to home plate! And you should see how intimidating he looks when he catches the ball to hold off a play! I think he takes after me in the "Don't you even dare!" face that I'm constantly giving him. Ha!

He's done pitching and covered third, and he's at the top of the line up in batting. But when I see him put on that catchers gear I know it's going to be a good inning.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spring Break Beard

It seems that whenever Theo has an extended amount of time off from work, that translates into "Let's see how long I can grow my beard!". He has tried this tactic several times and I have come to the conclusion that I HATE facial hair.

First the whiskers poke my face whenever I want to make out with him. Then they turn in to sand paper that he just loves to torture me with, attacking me and rubbing his face all over mine and my neck! He may think it's funny, up until I punch!

Of course I don't punch hard, for one I'm usually in hysterics laughing too hard to get any real muscle behind it, and two I don't want to mess up that face! LOVE IT!

Then when the beard gets soft enough that it doesn't exfoliate my face, I have to deal with the feeling of hair around my mouth when he goes in for a kiss. YUCK!

So this time I devised a plan, obviously a little late in the game as you can tell by this picture, but one that I will be using from now on. I told him, if he doesn't shave, than neither do I! This picture was taken a few days before his vacation was up and was right before he shaved.

Game point - Me.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bacon Avocado Pizza

Every Monday night in the Ikner home is pizza night. A friend of mine gave me a super simple pizza dough recipe about 4 years ago and I have been making it weekly ever since. I always do the typical Turkey pepperoni pizza for the kids, but for Theo and I, I like to get a little creative!

One of our favorites has been s Shrimp and Basil, and our Supreme puts all other store bought kinds to SHAME! I noticed an Avocado pizza on another blog the other day and since I have an unnatural obsession with Avocados I just had to give it a try. And to add to the awesomeness I found a recipe for a Bacon and Avocado pizza! I promise I was in pizza heaven!

Here is the recipe in case you have a love of avocados and bacon and pizza as I do:

Pizza dough:

2 tbsp yeast
2 cups hot water
2 tsp salt
4 tsp honey
4 tbsp olive oil
5 cups flour (I like to make mine half white and half wheat)

Mix yeast and water and let sit about 5 minutes to activate the yeast. When bubbly mix other ingredients in. Transfer dough to a greased glass bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise for one hour. Divide into 2 pizzas.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll dough onto pan and bake for 5 minutes. Take out and top with sauce and whatever toppings you would like. Bake another 12 minutes.

My sauce for 2 pizzas is just 2 cans of diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings and 1 small can of tomato paste, warmed in a pot just so the paste can mix in well.

With the avocado pizza you top with cooked bacon and onion. Cover in mozzarella cheese and then bake for 12 minutes, then when it is done cooking cut up the avocado and put on top. Then sprinkle with cilantro.

DISCLAIMER: Eating this pizza may result in intense or paroxysmal excitement. I do not take responsibility for the sounds you will be making while eating this!