Friday, July 30, 2010

The Obvious

Have you ever noticed how gifted children are at stating the obvious?  Mandy seems to be particularly talented at it.

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We were riding in the car and she was eating some candy.  She opened up a caramel Hershey Kiss.  She bit into and told me, “Mom, this chocolate has something in the middle.  It tastes just like candy.”  Really?  What  a surprise?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Feeling the Lego Love

There is so much to love about Legos.  They teach fine motor skills, creativity, spatial dynamics, and can entertain for hours at a time.
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However, when they are strewn from one end of your house to the other and you can’t walk without stepping on one, I begin to loose my love of Legos!  Help!  Someone save me from crippling my feet!!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Charades

Take a peak at Dallin.  What word(s) would you guess that he is trying to get us to say while we were playing charades?  Sleeping?  Laying down?  Tired? Dead?
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You’ll never guess.  But he was being a Teddy Bear.  Want to know what is really crazy?  I actually guessed right after only a couple of tries.  I guess I just know how he thinks :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Very Sweet

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While for the most part it is true that Layton is a holy terror and the grouchiest of grouches, occasionally he does surprise us with little fits of sweetness.  Like yesterday when Mandy bumped her eye (she wasn’t really hurt) and Layton cocked his little head to the side and said, “Mandy, I sorry.”  It was so sweet.  Or last night when he went around to each of us and said, “I love you Dallin.  I love you Daddy.  I love you Mommy.  I love you Mandy.”  He can melt your heart.  Best of all is that he never, and I mean NEVER, goes to bed, whether for nap or at night, without saying, “Goodnight Mommy, I love you.”  I love you too my little Layton Sugars.

P.S.  Check out more photos of the Plemmons Family here or here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cheesecake Cupcakes Revisited

Cheesecake cupcakes are most definitely on my top 10 list of favorite desserts.  So because I love them so much, I decided to try a couple different recipes using the same general idea.

Vanilla cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Icing
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1 box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients listed on the box)
1 pkg cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
10 oz. high quality dark chocolate

Mix up the the cake mix as directed on the box.  In a separate bowl, cream together the cream cheese sugar and egg.  Fill cupcake tins 1/3 full of yellow cake batter.  Place one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture in each cupcake.  Top with one tablespoon of cake batter.  Bake at 350 for 16 to 18 minutes.  You want to the cupcakes to be ever so slightly under done.  Allow to cool completely before icing.

To make the chocolate ganache icing, place the heavy cream in a small pot and heat over medium heat to point where it just begins to simmer.  Break chocolate into chucks and place in a bowl.  Pour hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes.  Using a whisk, stir until the chocolate is complete melted and combined with the cream.  Place in the refrigerator until it is completely cool.  Once it is cooled, use a mixer to beat the chocolate cream until it begins to thicken.  Don’t beat it too much or it will become hard like butter.  You just want it to be thick.  Refrigerate for a little longer and then use it to decorate the cooled cupcakes.  This icing is amazing and can be used on all kinds of things!

After trying these, I seriously can’t decided if I like the chocolate cake ones or these better.  So very very yummy!
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Another variation is a lemon filled cupcake.  This one actually doesn’t have cheese cake in the middle.  Instead it is filled with lemon pie filling.

1 box white cake mix (plus ingredients listed on the box)
1 pkg. cooked Jello lemon pie filling (plus ingredients listed on the box)
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 pkg. cream cheese (softened)
1 tub Cool Whip
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest

Mix the white cake mix as directed on the box.  Add in 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp lemon zest.  Make the Jello lemon pie filling as directed on the box.  Fill cupcake tins 1/3 full of white cake batter.  Place one heaping tbsp of lemon pie filling in each cupcake tin.  Top with one tbsp of white cake batter. Bake at 350 for 16 to 18 minutes.  You want to the cupcakes to be ever so slightly under done.  Allow to cool completely before icing.

To make the icing, cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Mix in 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp lemon zest.  Slowly fold in 1 tub of cool whip.  Decorate cupcakes as desired.
These were fantastic too.  To me, not quite as good as the cheesecake filled kind (but that may be because I love chocolate), but still very very good and a nice little change of pace. 

I think the next variation I’m going to try is pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes.  I can already taste them!!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pioneer Day

With Pioneer Day coming up, our ward had a little party last Saturday to celebrate it.  And everyone knows that you can’t have any kind of outside party in July in Florida without water involved:

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Wow it was hot out there, but at least the kids got to cool down a little bit.  This water slide was pretty awesome!

 

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While I do love what Pioneer Day stands for, as I’ve said before WHY do we have to celebrate it in July!  It is just too hot!  I think everyone that lives in Florida should get to celebrate it in October.  Let’s start a petition.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cookie Dough

I told Mandy and Layton that they could have ONE spoonful of chocolate chip cookie dough.  They definitely made the most of that ONE spoonful!
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See photos of a soldier’s return home to his family here and here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Being Sneaky

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Layton has this odd little habit.  Anyone who has been around us for any length of time will have noticed it.  He loves to hold onto and feel my undershirt while he drinks his juice or milk.  It is comfort thing.  It is rather annoying, so I finally decided to try to break him of the habit.  Last Saturday morning, all the kids piled into bed with us as usual, and Layton was drinking his ritual cup of milk.  He was doing pretty good without holding onto my undershirt and then about halfway through his drink he turns my head away from him and closes my eyes.  Next think I know, I feel a little hand at my shoulder making a grab for my undershirt.  I turn to him and ask, “What are you doing?”  He then gets this stern look on his face and orders back, “Go to sleep.”  He thought he could feed his habit if I was sleeping.  Sneaky bossy little booger.  Nathan and I laughed until we cried.  It was awesome.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

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Somehow the topic of having another brother or sister came up (which is not something that we are planning on anytime in the near future) and Dallin told us that he wants to have a sister.  He is a little on the Monkish side and likes to have everything very even, and a sister would even out the male vs. female totals in our family.  Mandy on the other hand told us, “I want to have a NICE brother.”  When questioned about what she meant, we learned that apparently her current two brothers don’t fit into the “nice” category, so she wants a new one :)  Love my crazy girl!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The most looked at books…

in my whole house are scrapbooks!  I think my kids are a little egotistical.  They adore looking at pictures of themselves.  But who can blame them.  My kids are so cute, I like to look at pictures of them too.

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Really though, absolutely the most viewed, poured over, cherished books in our house are scrapbooks.  Dallin and Mandy especially love to pull them down and go over them page by page and look at themselves.

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I have to admit that I totally love that.  It absolutely makes all the work that I put into those books worth every second!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I sometimes wonder

about my little Layton.

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He brought this to me and asked me to help him put it on.  There was no coaxing by me or Dallin or Mandy.  He picked it out and he wanted it on.  Not long after he brought me one of Mandy’s barrettes and had me put it in his hair.  Then he gave me a smile and said “I pretty”.  I’m little worried about him.

Not overly worried though.  Every day we have a little verbal exchange of me asking him “Are you Mommy’s baby?” and he always answers with “I Mommy’s baby.”  Yesterday, I began our dialog, but instead of the usual answer, he said, “No, I Spiderman.”

So maybe I really shouldn’t be worried.  Maybe he is just a well rounded individual who appreciates ballet, pretty things, and is also a follower of heroic male character.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy

If you were here we sure would be doing this to you:

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Muffins

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I showed Layton a blueberry muffin from the kitchen and he came running in to get it yelling “CUPCAKE! CUPCAKE!”.  He took it from me, looked at it, then looked back at me and said, “I want icing.”  This is one smart child.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Visiting the Grave

While at home, I visited my dad’s grave.  I really do love the walk down the path to get there. 

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It is so quiet and beautiful that it sets the mood perfectly for a visit to a grave.

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I sat on the little stone bench,

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and reflected about all those that my dad is now with.  His father.

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A brother and two sisters.

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A favorite nephew.

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And most importantly his son.  How sweet that reunion must have been! 

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Then I cleaned  some of the old dead flowers off the grave and was surprised by this guy.

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Then I laughed at myself for jumping when I saw it and then laughed again because I know my dad would have laughed at me too.  At that moment I learned another one of life’s lessons:  It is almost impossible to be melancholy when staring a toad in the face!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lake Mystic

Our 3rd of the July celebration was definitely a full one!  We spent most of the day out at the lake swimming, surrounded by family and friends.

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We were very proud of Mandy and Dallin for getting over some of their fear of deep water.  Up until this day, they completely refused to go out in water over their heads even with a swim ring or life jacket.  But, this time, they saw their cousins having so much fun out there that they strapped on a life jacket and went out to enjoy the fun too!

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They played so hard and had so much fun that after a while, Layton crawled up into my lap and passed out.

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While he was out, the other kids went out for a paddle boat ride.

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It was an awesome day!  I couldn’t believe how nice the weather was.  I mean it was July.  In Florida.  And I didn’t even sweat.  Can you believe that?  It was nothing short of a miracle!  Thank you Copelands for letting us come over that day!  We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly!

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Parachute Fireworks

As part of our 3rd of July celebrations, Melanie picked up a few ‘interactive’ fireworks.  They were so cool!  You fired the rocket into the sky and then when it exploded a little parachute came out.  The kids (my oldest child Nathan included) had so much fun chasing them down!
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Nathan fought for the first and won by being taller than Melanie.  With the second one though, Melanie tried to pull the same trick with the other kids and still Dallin came up with it!
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He was so proud.
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Even little Layton was able to get one.
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They were so much fun, we may have to make the run of the fireworks an annual tradition!

See some photos of a couple of 22 year marriage veterans that are complete love birds :)  Check them out here and here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

We Love You Mama Doris

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Just wanted to send out a little love to Mama Doris this morning.  We sure enjoyed our visit home and seeing you Mama Doris was one of the highlights! 

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I’m sure you all know this hymn:

Each life that touches ours for good

Reflects thine own great mercy Lord

Thou sendest blessings from above

Thru words and deeds of those who love

I always think of that hymn when I think of Mama Doris.  She has most certainly touched my life for good.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 5th of July!

Since the 4th was on a Sunday, we celebrated the 4th on Saturday and will be doing it again today.    I can’t wait to dig into this in just a little while.

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Hope your 3rd, 4th or 5th is/was a happy one!  And a yummy one too!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Crafty

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I really do love summer time.  No set schedules.  Leisurely days.    Doing whatever we like.  Spending all our time together.  Doing crafts.  Making treats.  It is the best!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Frog Saga

Deanna is scared of frogs.  No, no, that is an understatement.  Deanna HATES frogs and TERRIFIED of them.  So what does Dallin do?  He enlists the help of Mandy and decorates her room in frogs.

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In case you can’t read that sign, it says “Are you afraid of frogs?  Answer here_____________”  He started out the reign of terror by placing a little frog on her door handle.

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And let me just say it really did scare her.   She was totally afraid to go into her room!

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He put every toy and stuffed frog he could find in her room.

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And when he ran out of those, he strategically placed Frog and Toad books all over her room.

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It was pretty awesome.  I was very proud of him.  I thought the Frog and Toad books were just the perfect touch to the perfect little prank planned out by a 7 year old mastermind.