Tuesday night was the Red Oak FFA Chapter's Degree Raising Ceremony. For those of you not familiar with FFA the freshmen go through a series of items they need to complete (like memorizing the FFA creed, giving a 5 minute speech in public, etc) to become Greenhand Members and earn their Greenhand Degree. The older students also have items to complete - mainly dealing with their Supervised Agricultural Experience (basically their work related or science research project they have throughout high school) to earn their Chapter Degree. Usually it is just sophomore's and newer upperclassmen that are raised to the Chapter Degree. In this case, almost the entire Chapter had to be raised to the Chapter Degree.
I was asked by my husband to make the refreshments. Had to call mom for her awesome Hot Apple Cider recipe - so glad I bought a couple coffee makers at an auction a while back because the cider was a big hit. I put together an FFA Jacket cake - cake recipe blogged here (Classic Vanilla Cake from BHG). No the emblem is not icing and it's not edible paper - although edible paper would have been cool but I could never justify the expense of an edible printer. Since it was just regular paper for food safety I put a large slab of yellow frosting underneath and a layer of wax paper and scraped that all off before cutting.
I also whipped up some "Greenhand" cookies. It didn't work to frost the whole cookie (couldn't tell what it was) so decided to go with just the outline. Then piped the names of the Greenhand Degree recipients in the middle. It was fun to see how protective students were of their special cookies. I decided if I do this again next year I'm going to try dying the cookie dough green. Cookie recipe blog found here.
At the ceremony a mother came up to me and told me her son came home after the first meeting back in September and told her Mrs. Spencer is an awesome baker (Chocolate Zucchini Cake). She also told me that he now won't miss an FFA meeting for fear of missing the refreshments - no pressure there! Whatever I can do to help my husband get kids to meetings :) - he he. Yesterday after school my husband told me that there is one student who wants to buy a cake from me, another who is in LOVE with the cookies, and a request for a birthday and graduation cake from another. Hmm - I hadn't considered a cake hobby business on the side - but the students in FFA are sooo sweet here.
In other news - last weekend I organized the toy/preschool room. Sorry - it was such a horrible mess I did not take before pictures. Basically you could not see the floor due to toys pulled out and boxes everywhere. I wanted to surprise the boys so the room was off limits while I cleaned and sorted. Sunday night we did the big "reveal!"
The boys were so excited! They love their new room! All we need is a small loveseat so we have a place to snuggle and read books. Right now the floor is working OK. Or instead of furniture a couple of big floor pillows might do the trick too. Right now I love the Jelly Roll Floor Pillows tutorial on the Moda Bakeshop blog.
The pretend food play area is still their favorite! On Monday they spread out a baby blanket and "invited" all their stuffed toy friends to a picnic. It was very cute!