Making birthdays special

It all started in the WalMart bakery. Bear fell in love with a birthday cake with a monster truck on it. I couldn’t bring myself to spend $20 on a cake. A cake! And really only for a cheap plastic toy made in China that would fall apart the first time he tried to use it.

Thus began my foray into cake decorating.

Oops!

Or perhaps I should say our foray. For the whole family helped, even the birthday child.

Making dirt for the truck

And the finished product may not be anything you’ll ever find in anyone’s bakery department, but it wasn’t bad for someone who couldn’t even get the cake to release from the pan.

Vroom!

L. E. Fant immediately put in her request for a farm cake.

The hay bales were a hit!

And of course Bug had to have a princess cake.

The princess is petting a squirrel and a rabbit.

That last one inspired just a touch of cake envy as my twitter followers began sharing their princess cake pictures. Everyone with girls, it seems, has done a princess cake at some point. And everyone, it seems, can get the cake out of the pan in one piece. And add layers, even. Just look at Renae’s cake, from Life Nurturing Education.

But it isn’t about my (lack of) cake decorating skills. It’s about taking the simple request of a child and figuring out as a family how to fulfill that request. It’s about coming together as a family to celebrate the life of a valued family member.

And now, though we have a ways until the next birthday, the children still talk to each other about their cakes and what they want on next year’s cake. Not a bad little tradition.

About Dana

Dana homeschools her children on five acres in the country with her husband John.
This entry was posted in family. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Making birthdays special

  1. Sherry says:

    What a neat tradition! My daughter has a bday coming up, too. Might have to do this with her. :D
    .-= Sherry´s last blog ..Oh, my! Chocolate and Peanut Butter! =-.

  2. Jaime says:

    We also have the tradition of having a special cake. My boys love that it makes them feel so special. They pick it out of my cake books and I make it. What better way to make Mom do what you want her to do right?! :)

    Great cakes by the way, very creative.
    .-= Jaime´s last blog ..Another Commandment =-.

  3. Dana says:

    One of the highlights for them seems to be getting to pick the box cake to make it from. Normally when I bake a cake, I do it from scratch, but without an egg beater, my choices are limited. If I ever get it replaced, we’ll probably go back to that, but for the moment, they definitely love standing in the baking aisle picking a box!
    .-= Dana´s last blog ..Making birthdays special =-.

  4. Michele says:

    No princess cake here; was never requested. I did do a pretty nice cat once … the ones where you have to cut it up are great becz then if a bit breaks it’s not as bad, since you have to assemble it anyway!

    Nice cakes!
    .-= Michele´s last blog ..TPN Lifefactory Bottle Giveaway =-.

  5. Renae says:

    Yes! It’s about taking the simple request of a child and figuring out as a family how to fulfill that request. It’s about coming together as a family to celebrate the life of a valued family member.

    You are giving your children a memory, and that is what is most important. My cakes always stuck in the pan until I found some cooking spray with flour in it. I don’t like to use it, but it’s not much and only a few times a year.
    .-= Renae´s last blog ..Homeschool Supplies Giveaway Winner =-.

  6. Renae says:

    P.S. I like the mud on the car cake! :D
    .-= Renae´s last blog ..Homeschool Supplies Giveaway Winner =-.

  7. JJ says:

    Renae quotes the same part of the post I zeroed inon:
    It’s about taking the simple request of a child and figuring out as a family how to fulfill that request. It’s about coming together as a family to celebrate the life of a valued family member.

    Ahem. Unschooling in a nutshell! ;-)
    .-= JJ´s last blog ..Is Capitalism Consuming Humanism? =-.

    • Dana says:

      See, we aren’t so very different. :)

      And nice to “see” you again! Not feeling so controversial of late, nor even all that interested in homeschool news. I have too much to do with all our projects, and the kids are loving all the time to pursue their projects.

      Mostly, that’s riding their bikes down the hill over and over. Or digging holes in the barn. Or staking out the barn swallow nests to see if anything happens.
      .-= Dana´s last blog ..Making birthdays special =-.

  8. LivingOurWay says:

    It’s good to see this post. I’m just learning some baking skills and my children will never be able to have store bought cakes again due to food allergies (in 15-20 years, I guess I’ll need to master a wedding cake LOL). I only hope mine look as good as yours.
    .-= LivingOurWay´s last blog ..Our TV Free Month Begins =-.

  9. Mandy Mom says:

    Those are adorable! I did a princess cake for my oldest and it did not turn out like I wanted.. but she loved it! :)

    Btw, key to getting the cake out of a pan- first of all, a pyrex/glass dish isn’t the best for baking cakes- rectangular metal pans (or two square pans) are generally the best. (Use two square pans or circle pans if you want to make layers). And don’t skimp- by good quality.

    But, if you MUST use your pyrex (hehehehe)….. then line it with heavy duty foil, and spray the foil with baking spray. Then you can lift out the foil when its cooled.
    .-= Mandy Mom´s last blog ..How we juggle our home school (+ intro to Busy Bee Binders!) =-.

  10. Brandy says:

    Hey now … I know I shared my princess cake with you, but it didn’t come out in one piece LOL. I just trimmed it up as best I could and kinda sorta worked with it. It’s why it leaned though LOL

    I’m kind of scared to see what sort of cake Gabriella will want for her 7th birthday in November now. Cuz I’m determined NOT to buy any more cakes from bakeries. Should be …. interesting.

    One bonus, though? Hannah’s still a bit young to request specific cakes. Think I’ll be able to skate with a “normal” cake for her 2nd in October LOL

    More on topic, though … I really like your farm one! Very cute! :-D
    .-= Brandy´s last blog ..Why Do We Use Cloth Diapers =-.

    • Dana says:

      If you get the right toys, the cake will be a hit. :)

      And I remember your cake, I think. I couldn’t find it while I was searching, but wasn’t it two stories, broken or no? I’ve never done a two story cake.

      Tried a layered strawberry shortcake thing once that looked like, well, it mushed. So I turned it into trifle.
      .-= Dana´s last blog ..Making birthdays special =-.

  11. Pingback: Birthday Cake Round-Up — Life As Mom

  12. Jen says:

    Happy Birthday! Cake’s smelling delicious!

    2nd grade math

Leave a Reply