Catching up here...
As a lovely surprise, Mike and I woke up to pancakes being prepared for everyone by Maddie and Jake on July 4th! Over breakfast Maddie wondered how many people actually celebrated July 4th. Only half listening (I was eating pancakes!) I responded, "Isn't that what fireworks are?"
She and Mike looked at me and replied, "No." They were right, of course.
Mike showed me this clip from KARE11 that he had watched with the kids. It's about a memorial that was being shown in Lakeville through the following weekend. We decided we'd honor the day by going to see that.
The exhibit is called "Eyes of Freedom" and there are seven images that the artist, Anita Miller, worked on for a company from Ohio that lost, I think, 23 soldiers in the span of three days. The artist was there and it was interesting to hear her story. She just felt compelled to paint these and couldn't walk away from the project. She mostly worked from head shots the families provided, but said she had a vision of how each soldier would be posing in her mind before she started. When family members saw the final art, they commented on details she had added but didn't have any reason other than it was in her vision. Some of the details of how they stood, or what they were holding held special meaning for the families that knew the soldier so well.
In front of each painting there were a pair of boots from each soldier represented in the painting. If you look closely, you'll see the laces have red stains.
All four of us were happy we had gone and felt it was a good way to start off our day of celebrating.
On a lighter side, Maddie and I went home to make what is turning into our annual July 4th tradition: a fun dessert.
We had decided on cupcakes that looked like snow cones. Appropriate since it was literally about 100 degrees outside.
We baked the cupcakes and put them in these little cups we found at Michael's. (Note: If you attempt this, plan ahead and order these cups online somewhere where you can get them without wax coating inside. By doing this, you can actually bake the cupcakes in the cup. This would be SO much easier!)
I was in charge of frosting. The extra globs were delicious.
Maddie was in charge of sprinkles. At first we had a tiny bowl and sprinkles were EVERYWHERE; the dog was in hog-heaven until we banished her downstairs with Jake. We finally wised up and found our largest bowl and things were far less messy.
We got the original idea from Bakerella and I have no idea how that woman made these alone. This process took us 2 1/2 hours! We had a great time, but it's a good thing we weren't in any rush or it would have been way too stressful!
When we were done with the sprinkles they looked like this.
Those were cute, and we were SUPER excited. Giddy, high-fiving each other, jumping up and down excited. However, we knew the piece to finish it off would be the small spoons. We had gone to three different stores to find them and couldn't. We ended up at Sam's Club and Maddie had the brilliant idea to talk to the sample people. The lady told us Sam's didn't sell the spoons, but when we answered what we needed them for, she grabbed a handful, put them in a plastic bag and gave them to us! What a super nice woman! We were dancing out of that store!
Unfortunately I didn't take pics of the inside. The cupcakes were red, white, and blue striped for the cake part! That was a mess all on it's own! If you go to make these cupcakes, do not cut a large hole in the batter bags. We did and it was uncontrollable for the next minute! Some cupcakes ended up more "red, white, blue swirl" than stripes.
All still edible though...especially if you are in need of a sugar high!
And if you go to make these and need the spoons for details...Party City sells them. Just found that out today! Aaaugh!!
To end our celebration of how happy we were these turned out, we decided to take a self-portrait...
Clearly we will stick to baking...