Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fun with the Family

I was really excited to have my husband's family visit us for Easter.  I know most people wouldn't be thrilled to have 12 of their in-laws spend the week at their house, but I was!  It made it easier knowing that they all were staying at a hotel ... and not in my house.  Hats off to my brother-in-law, Todd, who is the GM at the Homewood Suites in Tallahassee and got everyone a great rate on hotel rooms.

Here's the run-down of who's who and where they came from.
Chris' dad (Kevin), stepmom (Carrie), and brother (Kaleb) came from Erie, PA.
Chris' sister (Joette), brother-in-law (Don), nephew (Reilly) and niece (Olivia) came from Tampa, FL.
Chris' sister (Danielle), brother-in-law (Todd), nephews (Connor & Jack) and niece (Emily) came from Tallahasse, FL

I don't get to see our nieces & nephews very often, so I wanted to make each one a cake.  I took a lot of time planning these cakes to represent each kid and their likes.  Isn't it funny how something so thoughtful and simple can turn into a nightmare?

Don't get me wrong, I was so happy to make these for the kids, but I forgot how much time it takes to a) ready your house for company; b) plan meals for 16 people for a week; c) cater to your own children's every need (can I have jjuuuuuiiiiiiicccccceeeee?); and d) make 6 cakes.  I was also going to make one for each of my own kids, but quickly dropped that idea.  THAT was just insane.

Did I also mention that these needed to be finished just a few days after Will's fire truck cake and Beth's 30th birthday cake.  Now, let's make a rule for this post that there won't be any negative comments about the sloppiness of my work.  I'll be the first to admit that not all the cakes are perfect, but they were all made with lots of love ... and in a VERY short amount of time.  With that said, let's see these time-suckers cakes.

I decided to work in the order they would arrive:

Kaleb - Kevin, Carrie & Kaleb spent Tuesday - Monday in Charlotte.  Kaleb actually started this crazy cake idea by saying he wished I could make his birthday cake and that he wanted a basketball cake.  Ask Crazy Brianna, and you shall receive, Kaleb ... here's his basketball cake:

Oh ... we're also not commenting on the cleanliness of my house, either ... umkay?  So there it is ... Kaleb's yummy, yummy basketball cake.  It was Chocolate Chocolate Chip cake with Peanut Butter frosting.  (MY FAVORITE!!!)  This was gone before everyone else arrived at my house ... sorry guys, we all inhaled as much as we could tried to save some for you.

Reilly & Olivia - Joette, Don, Reilly & Olivia were at our house Thursday - Monday.  Reilly plays on a baseball team called the Renegades.  For his cake, Joette emailed me a copy of the Renegades' logo, and I drew the it onto the fondant with edible markers.

Awww ... look at that good boy wearing a Penn State shirt.  (haha ... you can see Jack in the background checking out his cake!)  Reilly's cake was Chocolate Chocolate Chip cake with Vanilla Buttercream.

For Olivia's cake, I had planned this great cheerleader cake - complete with a megaphone and everything.  Then Joette said she doesn't cheer anymore, and suggested I make a sock monkey cake.  So, I abandoned my cheerleader cake (yes, it was probably more for me to relive my cheering days) and planned a sock monkey cake.  (OK my 8 readers ... remember, no comments on my sloppiness.)

Olivia's cake was Vanilla Bean with Chocolate Fudge Buttercream.  This cake had a BIG mishap before they got to our house.  The Chocolate Fudge Buttercream seeped under the fondant during the night.  That is the last time I use Aldi's chocolate fudge sauce in that recipe.

Connor, Emily & Jack - Danielle, Todd, Connor, Emily & Jack were at our house from Thursday - Sunday.  Connor likes karate, so I made his a karate cake.  Poor Connor ... I got all the other cakes finished before they arrived except his.  I had to make his Thursday night and give it to him on Friday.  I'm pretty sure he still liked it.

Connor's cake was Chocolate cake with Oreo Cookie Filling and Cream Cheese frosting.

Emily's cake was really cool because the whole thing was tye-dyed ... from the inside to the fondant outside.  Danielle told me she likes the peace sign and the color green, so I went with that.

Her cake was Almond Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream ... another one of my favorites.

Jack plays T-Ball, and one of the funniest things I've seen recently is a picture of Jack wearing a batters' helmet that's WAY too big for him.  I tried to create Jack & his helmet, but it didn't turn out so well.  In fact, Jack's entire cake was kind of a calamity of errors.  He was really excited about it, though.

Jack's cake was a Boston Creme Pie - Yellow Cake with Vanilla Pudding filling and Chocolate Ganache.

Yep ... so after this, we never wanted to see cake again.  I do, however, want to see the family again ... soon!

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