Harder Family

Harder Family

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Birthday & Broken Bones

Psalm 16:11 "You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Yesterday we celebrated Joella's 5th birthday. I cannot believe that my "baby" is now 5. 

Joella at 4

This year was Joella's year to have a special cake. For the older girls, every year I would make them a homemade cake and spend hours decorating it (Ariel, Cinderella, Minnie Mouse, etc). As we started adding more kids to the mix, I realized that it was a lot of work and we started buying ice cream cakes. When Micaela turned 3, I decided that I should probably make her a special cake, since I had never made her a cake. She wanted a Minnie Mouse cake. My friend Sarah helped me make the cake that I had sketched (a two tier cake with a Minnie Mouse hat on top). The cake took many hours, but I learned a lot about making cakes from scratch. This year was Joella's turn for a special cake. Unfortunately, my friend Sarah now lives in Iowa, so I was on my own to remember all that she taught me 4 years ago. Joella asked for a Finding Nemo/Dori cake. I sketched a design out on paper and she approved. 

For the last week, I have been preparing the cake. I learned that I could pre-bake the cake and freeze it to help save time on the actual cake decorating day. Thankfully the kids had VBS this week. Each day I worked on some part of the cake. Yesterday was the "big day". It was the day I had to put everything together. It was also my first time using fondant without help. Here is the final results. To keep things real, I am showing a picture of the back of the cake. I am still not quite sure how to get the fondant on smooth. Joella shares a birthday with our friend Lucas, so I made him a Lego cake too. He loves ice cream, so I put his favorite ice cream in a bread pan and then covered it with fondant. That is a cake I could make again for the family. It was quick and easy.

The top layer was chocolate cake with a chocolate chip cookie dough filling.

The bottom layer was a yellow cake with a custard willing and fresh fruit.

Keeping it real - here is the ugly side of the cake!

Not long after we ate cake, all the kids went back outside to run around (and burn off all the sugar they had just consumed). About 10 minutes later, Naomi came in and told me that DJ had fallen off his bike again (earlier in the day, DJ had fallen off his bike in the back yard and had scraped up his knee pretty bad - that was right before I took Micaela to the doctor for an ear infection). I ran outside to see DJ on the ground crying pretty hard. His knee was even more scraped up and all the bandaids had fallen off from the fall. I carried him into the house and started cleaning up his knee. As I was cleaning up his knee, he kept holding his hand saying "owie". When I was done cleaning up his knee, I check out his hand that he was still holding. It looked pretty swollen to me and I had Wayne check it out. We decided that we probably needed to take him in to have it examined. So, I packed him up and took him to the ER. Thankfully, we were in and out of the ER in 1.5 hours. They discovered that he had a buckle fracture in one of his wrist bones and a slight hairline fracture in the other bone. So, he is now in a temporary cast until I can make him an appointment on Monday with a bone specialist. Never a dull moment around our house these days! I guess this is welcome to the boys club?? My friend Michelle told me that broken bones and ER visits are the norm in her house...and so it begins!

Waiting for his x-rays.

Ready to go home. When he was offered the chance to walk or the wheelchair, guess which one he took? 

Please pray for DJ as we see the doctor this week and that his wrist heals quickly. He is going to be bummed about swimming. Also, pray that he understand everything clearly. Last night he was convinced they were going to do surgery and cut off part of his arm or leg!! Please also pray for Shan Chen as he is counting down the days until surgery. Pray that he is surrounded by God's peace and that he heals quickly. The doctor said he will be in the hospital for at least a week, maybe as long as two weeks. Then he will be in rehab. One of us will have to be with him at all times, so pray that everything works out smoothly. Thank you again for lifting our family up in prayer!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Updated Family Photos

Psalm 127:3-5 "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."

Before I left for China, I started contacting photographers in our area. I knew that I wanted to get an updated family photo as soon as we could to help make the boys feel part of the family. Since summer is wedding and graduation time, I wanted to make sure that we could get a photographer. Through friends on Facebook, I found Gen.One.Three Photography. They did a great job with all the kids. They kept them involved in the session and moved things quickly. When they sent us the pictures, we were more then pleased with the results. They were able to capture most of our kid's personalities and the kids had fun. Let me know what pictures are your favorite. We have to pick our favorite one to hang in our living room.

Please pray for us as Shan Chen's surgery approaches. We are just over two weeks away. We keep talking to him about it to prepare him. But, it is hard to completely prepare him when we are not 100% sure what recovery is going to look like either. Thank you for your continued prayers for our family. We are so blessed to have family and friends support us in prayer through our journey of life.