Thursday, January 27, 2011

Field Trip to the TV Station

Today I went with J on a field trip to the WRAL-TV Station.   Our guide was James, one of the news producers ( I think ) and he did a great job, showing us the Master Control room and engineering room, the production studio where they shoot local programming, the Lottery room, the news center and the weather center.   We got to chat with meteorologists Mike Maze and Greg Fishel, who were very friendly and very much "science geeks"!  It was a very interesting "behind-the-scenes" tour and I learned a few things, like if WRAL suddenly starts broadcasting "The Andy Griffith Show", something went very wrong and that is their "filler", meant to hold the audience until they can get things back up and running. Now you know.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cupcakes On a Mission

Amanda has been wanting to go on an international missions trip for quite a while.  Sarah, Eric, and I went to Bris Bris, Costa Rica with a group from our church for 10 days in 2005 (?), and and Alex and Eric went back the following summer.  Sarah spent a month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in the summer of 2009,  volunteering in a school for orphaned and destitute  5-7 yr olds.  These experiences expose us to cultures and living conditions very unfamiliar to us as Americans, and help to develop in us a heart of compassion for God's children all over the world, not just in our little piece of it.  This August, Amanda has an opportunity to go to Uganda for 10 days with a group being led by a friend of ours, who has a ministry called Ten Eighteen.  

They will be conducting a sports camp for street kids from the slums of Kampala, as well as distributing clothing and shoes and also going on a one day safari to see the African wildlife around Lake Mburo.

In order to go on this trip, she will need to raise about $2700 ( depending on the final cost of the airline tickets )  This number seems insurmountable, but we KNOW, because we have seen with our own eyes, that God is in the miracle business and provides for us in ways far beyond what we can ask or imagine.  So we are trusting and making plans in faith that the funds will come.

She and I have come up with a fundraiser that is already getting some interest from our friends. We are both devotees of the Food Channel, and lately I have had an obsession with "Cupcake Wars" and baking gourmet cupcakes!  So we came up with "Cupcakes On a Mission"!  We are offering a different flavor cupcake each week. which friends can order in exchange for a donation of $12 for a dozen or $6 for a half dozen.
These are the flavors:

Mexican Hot Chocolate -  chocolate cake with a kick of spice topped with a mound of cinnamon buttercream and a dusting of cocoa
Carrot Cake -  dense moist carrot cake studded with walnuts and pineapple, topped with a decadent  cream cheese frosting
Chocolate Mint-   rich devils food cake filled with chocolate mint cream and frosted with a mound of smooth pink peppermint buttercream
Chocolate Peanut Butter  -  moist chocolate cake filled with peanut butter cream, dipped in silky chocolate ganache and topped with a swirl of peanut butter frosting
Feb.28 –Mar.5                                                                                                     Pumpkin -   moist pumpkin spice cupcake topped with out-of-this-world maple cream cheese frosting
Mar. 7- 12                                                                                                            Boston Cream -  golden sponge cake filled with smooth vanilla cream and double-dipped in dark chocolate ganache

Mar.21 -26                                                                                                          Chocolate Chip Cannoli -  vanilla cupcake  filled with chocolate chip-ricotta cannoli filling and topped with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate curls 
Mar. 28 – Apr.2                                                                                              
Mocha Cappuccino  - mocha chocolate chip cake  topped with a coffee meringue buttercream
Apr. 4 -9                                                                                                   
 Sweet Coconut -  moist coconut cake topped with a mound of vanilla buttercream sprinkled with more coconut
Apr. 11 -16                                                                                                            Strawberry Lemonade -  tart lemon cake with chunks of fresh strawberries topped with a swirl of sweet strawberry buttercream

 Boston Cream

Pumpkin - Maple
Chocolate Peanut Butter

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lots of Pictures

Well, to follow that rambling bit of blog insanity, here are some pictures of the past month.

Lighthouse Gingerbread House Contest

J's Lighthouse - #7

Christmas morning at Grandma's

Christmas Eve
family Christmas Eve party at Victoria Station Cafe

 cousins reunited

New Year's Eve  - sparkling grape juice


This was one of the longest blog breaks I've taken in quite a while.  Christmas is such a busy season, and even more so when oldest son is flying in from halfway across the country and then you all drive 700 miles to Grandma's house just for a couple of days but get hit with a major blizzard on the day you are supposed to drive back home and oldest son's flight back to TX is cancelled and he's told it will take several days to get him back there so you all drive 700 miles back home a day later than planned but it takes 4 extra hours because of all the traffic and oldest son  flies back to TX from here instead and then a week later you drive 4 hours out and 4 hours back to move children #2 & #3 back to college ( where college grad #2 has just gotten a job ) and it snows twice in NC where an inch of snow shuts everything down for days and we have to start back to school but I am seriously not ready in so many ways and I finally go see the doctor for my laundry list of "getting old" complaints and find out I have a vitamin deficiency, tennis elbow, and torn cartilage in my knee and yes, I'm getting old...  and my house is a wreck because of all the whirlwind of holiday/basketball/kids moving but I can't seem to gather the energy to really attack it and get things organized again  and we decide to look for a new church home and my emotions are just raw over that because a church is a family to me and it is so hard to break fellowship and start again but we really feel it is necessary and there are sooooooo many things that need to be done in my role as homeschool group leader ... and did I mention that I'm getting old and feel like I'm wading through knee-deep mud or having a dream where you try to run but can only move in slow-motion.... yah.  So... that is why I haven't posted anything lately.