Liam’s 9th birthday

I try to have some sort of theme for each of the kids’ birthday parties, but I am usually scrambling to pull it together at the last minute. This year we decided to do an evening outdoor party since our kids are usually in bed before the lightning bugs come out. So it was from 7:45-9:45pm: cake, presents, painting their names with glow-in-the-dark paint on their t-shirts, then outside with glow sticks to hunt lightning bugs and play ghosts in the graveyard.

When I was making the cake the night before, it all started to crumble as I was frosting it (thought I’d try the Aldi cake mix since their brownies are so good—won’t do that again!). While I was trying to come up with a clever way to cover the crumbles (volcano? waterfall?), I realized none of it was going to stay together. It came to me that some people make those cake balls…. wonder if that would work? So I dumped the whole cake and frosting into the mixer and tried my hand at cake balls. I decided to make large balls and cover them with yogurt bark mixed with yellow food coloring, and small balls covered with melted chocolate. I froze them for a while and then stuck them together with toothpicks to make fireflies—did you recognize what they were?? As I was rolling up the messy chocolate balls and putting them on a cookie sheet, I laughed to myself that they looked like poop balls! Michael REALLY wanted me to leave them that way—he said it would be the for the 9 year old boys if they were served poop balls! Maybe next year…. 🙂

So this is a classic example of making lemonade when you are served lemons! (or firefly butts when your cake falls apart!) Oh, and the salt shakers were the containers to put the fireflies in. They all had a great time!

Suzanne Completes her Master’s Degree

After a long journey, Suzanne wrote her master’s thesis this past year and graduated from the Seminary at Lincoln Christian University a few weeks ago. Two local news outlets, Lincoln Daily News and The Courier, published stories about it. Her degree is in biblical studies and her thesis was entitled “God’s Heart for the Fatherless,” a study of biblical texts on God’s perspective on caring for the orphans and widows. It’s quite good–you should read it. You can email either me or Suz and we’ll send you a PDF copy.

Congratulations to Suz–she’s worked hard to earn this and has done a terrific job.