Cake Challenge: March

Vanilla cake, swiss meringue butter cream, whipped cream and strawberries were the building materials for this cake. I “almost” slacked on my goal this month because I was SUPER busy finishing school work before spring break while at the same time getting ready for (guess what?!) a trip to Hong Kong! YES, I am visiting Michael in Hong Kong over the vacation! I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks, and finally I’m here (arrived this afternoon). I will be posting pictures of our adventures this week as Michael gives me a glimpse of his life here at HKU.

Anyway, back to the cake. It was Megan’s Birthday yesterday and I really wanted to make something special for her. That, and the goal that I made for myself this year was persuasion enough for me to stay up until 2:30 am Thursday night baking this cake. I was exhausted Friday and although I don’t know how that affected my performance on the 3 exams I had that day, in the end I felt quite “accomplished.” You can find the recipe for both the cake and icing at sweetapolita, an amazing cake baker’s blog (I substituted the white chocolate icing for swiss meringue buttercream but you can find recipes for both on this blog).

I experimented with photoshop for a while, toying with these photos, so don’t be surprised if there are different styles of editing below!

<Cake Challenge Series: is a collection of posts which document the cakes I bake each month. More specifically, I have a goal this year to bake at least one (hopefully spectacular) layer cake each month, and photograph/post them here. I hope you enjoy this collection as much as I enjoy baking these delicious desserts!>

Check out January and February’s cakes too!

Spring Break is Finally HERE!

Over on this side of the planet Spring Break is finally here! I was planning to relax, but we’re moving, yes I said we’re moving. It was very short notice but the lease for our apartment is up and in a matter of a month we had to find a new apartment (not as easy as it sounds). This week will probably consist of more packing and less relaxing, but hey, at least the new, bigger apartment is worth it!  To add to this craziness, this Friday is my BIRTHDAY (yay!).  I love the date of my birthday because it always falls on some sort of holiday: spring break, easter weekend, teacher work days; it’s definitely nice to have a vacation on my special day.


Today Rachel leaves to visit Michael in Hong Kong, and even though I’m sad I couldn’t join her the fact that they are both coming back to TianJin on Thursday definitely makes up for it!   The best part of it all is that Michael will be here for my Birthday (Looking forward to those HK presents!)!

All that said I think this week will be a complete mess, but somehow I’ll find a way to have fun in the process :] Have an awesome weekend!


What I’ve Been Up To

Hi everyone! Sorry It’s been so long since I last updated you on what’s going on. 8th grade has been going great (a little tough, but bearable) and so far the school year has gone very smoothly. I decided I would write this blog to highlight some main things that have happened during my 8th grade year. 

The school year started out great with the Middle School Fall Camp. My Team (The Peace Warriors) won second place. We played games, competed, and had alot of fun!


During the Second quarter of school we had the Middle School Science Fair, my project was about bacteria growth (gross, yet interesting). I placed second overall in the Middle School.


My (long) winter break was awesome (having Michael home was so great)! Christmas went great and our extended break for the Chinese New Year was full of relaxation and family time. We got to take a small trip to the beach which was a very nice get away from the freezing Tianjin (burrrr). 


In the second Semester we moved into our newcampus (yay!) and the dynamics of school definitly changed. It has for sure been nice to have a bigger school building so that we can all spread out more and we finally have a really gym (huge praise)! 


Next up is my birthday which is coincidentally during Spring Break (woohoo). Before I start getting excited I have to get through the whole moving stuff. After that I will definitly be relaxed and ready to party! See you next time, bye! 

Spring Break Playlist

With Spring Break arriving soon I decided to make myself a playlist that I can listen to during my week of relaxation. I’ve found that it is so nice to have a few songs ready to listen to when you’re doing work or just to break the silence! These songs may not have much correlation – they are just a few different tunes that I have come to enjoy recently.

P.S. This Playlist will need a Flash Player to be played so if you have any problems just go here.
Spring Break Playlist by Connecting Four on Grooveshark

The Kids Personal Blog

This winter break all of us kids decided to create our own combined personal blog called Connecting Four. We wanted to share with you guys everything that has been going on in our lives. You can find us by typing in the URL: We really hope all of you are able to visit our website, and don’t forget that if you do stop by, comment! Hope to hear from you soon!



Megan’s Fish (Part 2)


I had my helper cook one of the fish that the bike man gave to Megan. I gave my helper the other 2 to take home and cook for herself. The flavoring was so nice, however the bones are another story. It was such a little fish to begin with, so it was very hard to find a piece of meat with out getting a bone. Megan wasn’t too thrilled about tasting it.

Prayer Request

With the expiration of our current apartment lease drawing close, we have been working with our housing committee to find a different apartment for us to live. After much searching, prayer, and discussion, we found a new place. It is a huge blessing to be able to move closer to our new school campus. Since January when our campus moved, we have had to endure difficult commutes in heavy traffic each day. Sean has missed his 5 minute bike ride, like the one he had to our old campus. A lease was signed last week, and we received the keys to our new place on Friday.

Please pray for us as we transition to a new neighborhood…learning all over again where to buy vegetables, fruit, meat and daily essentials. We have so many fond memories in our current Apt. 801. It will be bitter sweet to move.

Other prayer requests:

  • perseverance in cleaning and getting the new place ready — Chinese don’t clean like Headricks, and there is much to be done
  • patience with one another as we prepare to move — we only have one week to get ready, our move date is scheduled for April 2nd
  • new friendships to form quickly in our new community
  • energy for Sean in this upcoming week (our school 3rd quarter ends on Friday and he must write personal comments for each of his 25+ students)

One big praise, which we are truly grateful for, is that our organization does pay for a moving company for us, so we do not have to pack, load or transport our stuff to the new apartment. FYI, our new apartment just happens to be #902, just one digit up from #801, but I don’t think Sean will change our domain name to I will send a complete new address soon (after I get it myself 🙂

When we say dirty, we are talking dirty…these rags used to be white!  Also pictured, Rachel cleaning the girls’ bathroom and Megan with Susan holding the keys to our new place.


Trip to the Bike Garage (Megan’s Fish Part 1)

Saturday we went down to the basement bike garage to tend to our bikes. The man who guards the bikes happens to be the grandpa of one of the boys who was in Megan’s class at the Chinese kindergarten last fall. We had to share the news about our upcoming move, and pay our bike storage fee to him. He told us he would be sad to see our family move. He told Megan to wait that he wanted to give her something. He opened his storage closet and pulled out a pail of water with live fish in it. He grabbed a plastic bag and put 3 small fish in it for Megan. (They look like little perch). He expected us to cook them for dinner. I was embarrassed to tell my girls that my fish cleaning skills are not very good.

Here’s Megan with the boy from her class, and also holding her bag of fish.