How to Make an Ice-Cream Cone Cake

June 4th, 2018

ice-cream-cone-cake

My daughter wanted an ice-cream cone cake for her picnic-themed birthday party. To make an ice-cream cone cake is quite simple. First you bake two cakes. The first one will be divided into two circle tins. These will be the ice-cream scoops. The other cake will be baked in a rectangular tin. You will cut that second cake into a triangle the shape of an ice-cream cone.

Make sure that after you bake the cakes, you cover them with plastic wrap and put them in your refrigerator. It’s much easier to cut and shape cold cake. Grab a piece of cardboard and cover it in foil. You may need to tape together (with packing tape or duct tape) two pieces of cardboard to make it long enough for the ice-cream cone.

After placing the cakes on the foil, make sure that the scoops look like the picture above. You will have to carve an arc in the top circle before placing it on the foil, and cut a straight section off the bottom scoop.

Frost the “cone” part of the cake with chocolate frosting. Divide a bucket of vanilla frosting into two bowls. Tint one of them pink for the top ice-cream scoop. The bottom one will be vanilla, so leave it white. Shake sprinkles over top of the ice-cream scoops.

ice-cream-cone-pinata

If you have an ice-cream themed birthday, you can buy a piñata in the shape of an ice-cream cone. My daughter was overjoyed to find this at a party supply store. Hobby Lobby and Walmart also have piñatas, if you don’t have a party store in your town.

picnic-themed-tea-party

My daughter wanted a craft for her picnic-themed birthday party, so we decorated straw hats by hot gluing silk flowers to them. We set out a tea party in the backyard, and the girls enjoyed their scones and other treats after their craft and piñata.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial on how to make an ice cream cone cake for a picnic-themed birthday party!

How to Decorate a Hat

May 14th, 2018

how-to-decorate-a-hat

My daughter Rachel decorated some hats with her friends. An assortment of craft supplies were at the center of the table, including various silk flowers and greenery to choose from.

To host a hat-decorating party, you will first want to find some plain straw hats at yard sales and resale shops. The ones I found were one or two dollars each. Next you will need to collect silk flowers of various colors. These don’t have to be expensive either, as people often have a free box at their yard sales, and I’ve seen silk flowers thrown in there because the owner saw no craft value in them.

decorate-straw-hat-with-flowers

You will want to use some wire cutters or kitchen shears (scissors) to cut off all the flowers and little greenery from each bunch of silk flowers. Color-coordinate the flowers in bowls: red roses in one bowl, light pink in another, white in another, etc. This will make it easier to construct your hat masterpiece, and it will help you see how much of one color flower is left. It also looks visually appealing as the center of the table has bowls with different colors in each bowl.

decorate-hat-with-feather

Different shades or sizes of flowers can also be separated out, as well as greenery. You can also have feathers, buttons, glass beads, or any other fun crafting materials that you think would look good on a straw hat.

decorate-a-straw-hat

Now you are ready to decorate a hat with these items. Arrange the flowers on the hat, and then hot glue them into place. If the child is young, an adult will need to do the hot gluing.

Now your unique decorated straw hat is ready to wear for the beach, a picnic, or a tea party!

A Great Day to be Alive

April 16th, 2018

great-day-to-be-alive

When you’re living a life of suffering with no end in sight, it’s hard to feel alive. The suffering sucks the life out of you so that you have to rely on God to get through your daily tasks. Strangely, during the past three years of non-stop suffering, I have accomplished more for God’s kingdom than all the rest of my life combined. Maybe it’s because God’s power is perfected in weakness, and the only way to be filled with His power is to surrender when we have nothing left.

This is one reason why suffering is something to rejoice in the midst of, not for the pain itself, but for the results it brings. Endurance and the power of God are only doled out to those who tenaciously cling to God to the death. Or to the living death, which is worse than death because in heaven at least Christ would wipe away every tear from our eyes and there would be no more suffering.

Job felt that way. He sat in the ashes, wailing in horror and sadness, wondering why God had seemingly abandoned him. Why was he born just to suffer?

“It is one thing to bear a sudden tragedy. It is quite another to suffer its pain for weeks and months and even years afterward.” – John Piper

God is full of endless delights, either as we worship Him through song in the midst of suffering to feel His tangible presence, or in His turning events around suddenly in a single day. With Job, God showed up and not only healed him but gave him back twice as much as he had before. He lived the rest of his life in peace and joy, having experienced God in a way few have.

And God was vindicated. Satan lost. God showed Satan that there are some of us—including me—that love God not for what He can give to us but for who He is. He will make all things right in the end and not a single tear goes unnoticed by God. All of our days are written in a book (Psalm 139:16), and if we suffer well, the book that has our name on it in the library of heaven will forever be a slap in Satan’s face that God was worthy to serve even when circumstances appeared to be dark with no way out.

cupcake-stand

So when my daughter walked across a parking lot the other day, she exclaimed with arms extended in the sunshine, “Look, Mom! It’s a great day to be alive!” I stopped and looked at her.

“I guess it is!” I laughed. I remembered a cupcake stand I saw at the mall that my daughter had never seen. I knew she would love the cupcake display, so I asked her, “Do you want to get a cupcake?”

“Sure, Mom!” she said as she rolled down the windows in the car, her hair flying in all directions. I rolled down my own window and shouted, “It’s great to be alive. Woohoo! We’re really living it up today!”

car-wash

After choosing a cupcake and eating it, we drove to the car wash. My daughter wanted to snap selfies during the car wash and told me what a great day she had when we got home.

I guess my point is that you can still feel alive even in a seemingly hopeless situation. With God all things are possible. Even though we might suffer longer than we would prefer, God is bringing about something beautiful out of our tragedy that will be read by generations to come. Don’t lose hope.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV

Robot Birthday Party

April 2nd, 2018

robot-birthday

My son Bryan has always been fascinated by robots, so we decided to give him a robot birthday party. We created various robots, baked a robot cake, and played outdoor games with a robot theme.

How to Make a Robot Cake

robot-cake

I baked two chocolate rectangle cakes: one of them was the main part of the body, and the other one was cut into a head, arms, legs, and feet. We frosted the cake with chocolate frosting. We used candy to decorate the robot: sweet tarts for the buttons and red licorice for the stripes. The eyes and mouth can be made with any candy that you have lying around, as long as they are oval-shaped or circular.

robot-birthday-party

You will need to find some cardboard and line it with foil. Put the robot cake on top of it, since no regular plate will be large enough for this cake.

Robot Centerpiece

robot-centerpiece

For the robot centerpiece we used colorful confetti underneath some Transformer robot toys. You could use any robot made out of any building set.

Robot Invitation

robot-invitation

We bought several LEGO robotics kits and built different robots. For an invitation to a robot birthday party, all you need is a photo of a robot for the front of the invitation.

Recycled Robot

recycled-robot

You can put together a recycled robot with trash around the house, silver spray paint, and hot glue. You need various sizes of cardboard boxes for the body, the legs, and the arms, which you will need to spray paint silver. You can have a large can for the head. (We used a large peaches can from Costco.) Google eyes and plastic lids of various shapes and sizes can be added to your robot.

Robot Birthday Party Games

robot-games

Assembling robots is probably the most fun activity for the party, but you can also set up outdoor games that are made of silver cardboard. Throw ping pong balls through a hole or into a robot head.

We had a simple robotic arm that we used for picking up various objects. We made a light-sensitive robot. Shining a flashlight on it caused it to move towards the light!

light-robot

My son Bryan thoroughly enjoyed his robot birthday party, and it led to my sons joining a robotics league where they competed against other schools and states!

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