ATTITUDE IS A LITTLE THING THAT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE. ~
Winston Churchill




Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Recipe to Try


Here's another lemon recipe I found.  This one uses frozen lemonade concentrate in the cake mix and a glaze you pour over the cake and in the cream cheese frosting.  Mmmm, this sounds delicious!  I stumbled across it here.  I'm sooo looking forward to trying this one.
Lemonade Cake with
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients
1 Lemon boxed cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp Lemonade from concentrate

Glaze
2 Tbsp Lemonade from concentrate
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp water

Frosting
8 oz block 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/2 cup room temp butter (1 stick)
3 Tbsp Lemonade from concentrate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°  Spray 2 8" round cake pans generously with cooking/baking spray.  In mixer beat all your ingredients on low for 30 seconds and then on medium for 2 minutes.  Keep the remaining frozen lemonade concentrate in the freezer...you will need it again.   Bake according to package directions (I baked for approx 30 minutes) until cake is set and toothpick comes out clean.  Let the cakes cool in pan...about an hour. Do not remove.

When the cakes are cooled level them off so they are flat on top.  Poke holes in cake that wasn't cut using a fork. Make your glaze.

In a medium bowl combine powdered sugar, lemonade and water.  Stir until smooth.  Pour equally over the top of the cakes..still in the cake pans.  Cover and let sit for at least an hour, but overnight is best in refrigerator.

Make your frosting.  Cream butter and cream cheese together until combined.  With mixer on low add your lemonade and vanilla.  Slowly add in your powdered sugar and then beat on medium for 1-2 minutes until smooth. 

When ready to frost remove your cakes from the refrigerator.  Loosen cake around the edges with a butter knife so they will release easily.  Frost as desired.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter Pics

Winston was so excited for Easter this year.  I just love his smile.  He's at such a fun age right now and I'm so enjoying his excitement and enthusiam.  He couldn't wait to color eggs so we did them on Friday night.  Of course I forgot to get pictures of him coloring the eggs.  He did a great job though and was so careful with them.  He didn't want to ruin them by breaking the shells. 
Here's a few pics from this years Easter celebration. 
Hunting for his colored eggs in our back yard.  Found one!
Found another egg in the grass.
Looking around for more. 
Brad and Bo hid the eggs and helped him find them all.
"Look Mom, I got a watch in my Easter basket."
He LOVES those little powdered donettes. 
You just gotta lick off all that powdery goodness!  Mmm.  :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our Little Ball Player

Last week was Winston's first baseball game so of course I had to snap a few pics.  I can't believe he's already big enough for T-ball.  My little boy is growing up too fast!
It was so fun and hilarious to watch these little guys go after the ball.  The whole team would run to where the ball was hit and they'd all pile on trying to come up with it so they could be the lucky one to through it back to home.
Winston was the winner this time and was thrilled to have the ball.  I love how he sticks out his tongue when he concentrates.  He does this all the time.
video
Here's a video of Winston's first hit.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hello Sunshine!

We had such a beautiful sunny morning today.  It's probably wishful thinking on my part, but I'm hopiug that by thinking about sunshine, the warm weather might stick around for a little while.  Everyone, think SUNSHINE!!!  Here's a few pictures of some beautiful sunrises to help.  :)





Here's hoping for more sunshine soon!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Goldie the Goldfish

 Winston has a pet goldfish.  He acquired this little fish at his cousin Saren's wedding reception back on March 26.  He promptly named him Goldie. 

We stopped on the way home and bought a fish bowl and some goldfish food thinking this poor fish wouldn't last a week.  Winston was so thrilled to have his own fish.  I had to keep an eye on him to make sure he didn't terrorize the poor fish too much with his love and enthusiasm.  

I'm actually quite surprised this fish has lasted a whole month.  Whenever Zack and Bo got a goldfish, it usually only lasted for a week or two before biting the dust - so to speak.  I thought this fish would only stay alive long enough for Winston's interest to disolve and then it would go belly up.  This fish seems to be thriving.  He (or maybe it's a she) is quite lively and I think has even grown some. Winston's interest has definitely faded but Goldie looks like he'll be around for a while. 

Here's a few pics of Winston with Goldie the Goldfish. 






Monday, April 25, 2011

A Recipe to Try

This cake looks soooo yummy!  I love lemon cake and this cake is not only a lemon cake but also has a lemon filling with lemon butter frosting. Mmmm!  It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  I found the recipe here.   One of the reviews recommended increasing the filling and frosting by one-half and for the cake, subtituing 1/4 cup of the milk with lemon juice to make it really lemony.  I'll post an update once I do have a chance to try it.  :)
Lemon Cake with Lemon Filling 
& Lemon Butter Frosting
 Cake Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk (can sub 1/4 c lemon juice for 1/4 c of milk for extra lemon flavor)
Filling Ingredients:
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup white sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten
Frosting Ingredients:
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons milk

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

To make filling: In medium saucepan, mix together 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Mix in 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. In small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan, beating the hot lemon mixture rapidly. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, or until thick (not to boil).

Pour mixture into medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming as it cools. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 3 hours.

To make frosting: In large bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth. Beat in milk, and increase speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.  (Recommended to increase by one-half and to do a "crumb layer" - frost the cake very lightly and pay no attention to all the crumbs that will fall of fthe cake and mingle in the frosting.  Refrigerate for 30 min and finish frosting.)

To assemble: With long serrated knife, split each cake layer in half horizontally, making 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread with half of the lemon filling. Top with another layer, and spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Add third layer, and spread with remaining half of the lemon filling. Press on final cake layer, and frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate cake until serving time.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

"The Greatest man in history, named Jesus, had no servants, yet they called him Master. Had no degree, yet they called him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him..... He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today."
♥ I believe this with all my heart! Happy Easter!

“He is our King, our Lord, our Master, the living Christ, who stands on the right hand of His Father. He lives! He lives, resplendent and wonderful, the living Son of the living God. Of this we bear solemn testimony this day of rejoicing, this Easter morning, when we commemorate the miracle of the empty tomb, in the name of Him who rose from the dead, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen. “ President Gordon B. Hinckley

Here are a few Easter videos I really enjoyed and wanted to share.  Happy Easter to all my dear friends and family!!

The real reason we celebrate Easter.

A collection of photos called "Reflections of Christ."

This beautiful song called "His Hands."

This touching performance by Carrie Underwood singing "How Great Thou Art."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Snowman

When we woke up to snow this past Saturday, I decided to make the most of it and asked Winston if he wanted to make a snowman.  Winston jumped at the chance so we got our snow clothes on and headed out.
He started out bombarding me with snowballs and laughing hysterically about it.  Then we got to work.  He packed snow into his wagon while I rolled the snowball parts for our snowman. 
Look at the big smile in this picture - isn't he adorable?
Here's Winston and Snowy, the snowman.  He was so proud of our accomplishment and we had lots of fun playing in the late spring snow. 
Watch out for the snowball!  :)
The snow was really wet - on the verge of melting - and our snowman started to lean shortly after we'd finished making him.  Winston and I tried to straighten him a little and we ended up losing the top half. 
Winston wasn't happy about that so we decided to rebuild.  He wanted to give Snowy II a funny face so he put the eye pieces in crooked.
I couldn't get Winston to give me one last smile before heading in - he was starting to get cold and lose interest (and so was I.)  I think this will be the last big snow storm and our last time making snowmen this season (hopefully!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Another Place to Visit

Here's another place I'd like to visit.  I've always wanted to see the Redwood forest and Sequoia National Park.  I'm sure pictures don't do justice to these marvelous trees, how could they?  These trees must be magnificent in person.  I love the cinnamon color of their bark.
Here's a little trivia: Many of the redwoods are 300+ feet tall. The redwoods are the tallest trees in the world. They're also several thousand years old.  
Check out how huge this tree is.  More Trivia:  The General Sherman Sequoia Tree, while neither the tallest nor the widest tree, is considered the largest living tree in the world because of its volume.  It weights approximately 2.7 million pounds and is believed to be around 2,100 years old.  Its height is 274.9 feet and its circumference at ground level is 102.6 feet.  Isn't that amazing?   Here's a few more pictures of these massive and elegant trees.





Look how beautiful these trees are in the snow?  Here's my last bit of trivia:  Measuring 267.4 feet tall and 107.6 feet around, The General Grant is the earth's third-largest tree.  It's called "The Nation's Christmas Tree," and special Yuletide celebrations are held under its snow-laden branches every year.  

I'd love to attend a Christmas party among these magnificent trees.  It'd give new meaning to the carol "O Christmas Tree."  One of these days we'll go for a visit...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Phineas and Ferb

Winston LOVES Phineas and Ferb on the Disney channel.  I have to admit, I do too!  It's such a cute show.  I love that the two main characters Phineas and Ferb - brothers - are always positive, polite, happy, honest, willing to help, kind to others, smart and inventive. 

The premise of the show is the two boys coming up with ideas to do each day of their summer vacation.  They also have a pet platypus named Perry who, unknown to them, is a secret agent fighting the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz.  Good entertainment and a great example for my little man at the same time.  Gotta love that!  :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wishing for Warm Weather

Having had only a handful of warm , sunny days during the last three weeks has left me wishing for warmer weather.  My wall calender's picture for April is a beautiful sunny field - I can practically feel the warmth of the sun when I look at it.  *Sigh!* 

I decided to try and find this picture online to set as the wallpaper on my computer.  I wasn't able to track it down but I did find these other beautiful, warmth inducing photos of sunny fields.







Aren't these beautiful?  Don't you feel warmer and brighter after looking at them?  I sure do.  Ahhh!