Sunday, September 30, 2012

Apple Mania

 We continued our fun fall festivities today by going to pick apples at MacQueen's with Papa Larry and Grandma.  Mikayla (many many times) demonstrated the correct "twist and pull" technique the kiddos learned on Noah's field trip to the orchard last year.  It was so cute to hear her every time say, very carefully "twist and pull".  We picked about a 1/2 bushel of mostly jonathans (they were almost completely out of golden delicious even though picking only started on Monday, darn) and they are already calling my name to turn into pies and other yummy goodness.

Then lunch at Wendy's, a quick stop at Big Papa's for Grant to help get the new mower running, a stop by my favorite farmer's market, Monnette's, a trip to Anderson's for some of their fabulous Fall flavored coffee and then home again to just catch the end of the Tigers game - another win!  Rumor has it that there might be smores in the future tonight, we'll see ;-)

 Mikayla in Papa's sunglasses and Papa in Mikayla's Tigers hat - perfect

 Ahh, giant pumpkins!

 Grant climbing to pick some of the best ones at the top of the trees

 Noah braved the ladder!

 As did my little dare devil


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall fabulousness

 Saturday's during the Fall rank right up there with Christmas as my favorite time of the year.  Especially now that we're in Michigan where there is an actual fall season as opposed to Florida where the calendar says October but you'd never know the difference between that and February by looking out the window.  There are just too many good things to name about Fall but oh, let me mention just a few
1)  College football
2) Leaves
3) Apples
4) Pumpkins
5)  More college football
6) Play-off baseball
7) The smell of people trying out their fireplaces
8) Not being the only one decked out in a sweatshirt constnatly
9) Did I mention college football?

And today has ranked right up there with the best of the best of a typical Fall Saturday.  While my beloved Wolverines sit this week out (probably best to just keep hidden 'til we live down that ND defeat last weekend...) I did keep my fingers crossed there for an OSU defeat which didn't quite pan out.  On the flipside, I did get to watch a great Tigers win (yay for Leyland getting his act back in gear and going back to the winning line-up with my favorite Quentin Berry!) and the White Sox went down (hard core, major ouch for the,) which means we're two games up with four left to play.

And if that wasn't enough I have spent the majority of my day wrapped up in my favorite Saturday past-time;  (other than college football ;-) ) playing in my kitchen!  I have to admit I went a little pumpkin crazy today.  I picked up two pie pumpkins earlier this week and have been waiting with bated breath to roast them up and start to use them. We're going apple picking with my parents tomorrow so I wanted to be sure to get some of my pumpkin madness out of the way before I start going crazy with the apples.  (Grant, you should be worried probably)  So with my oodles of pumpkin I got to work.  The semolina flour in the fridge has been calling my name and while everyone here has been lobbying for it to be used for perogie I ended up turning it into a batch of pumpkin ravioli.  That was followed by some honestly to die for pumpkin cookies that both Grant and the kiddos wait all year for.  They are soft and light and make my whole house smell sublime.  Baked up some of the dough, froze the rest for those emergency "I really need a cookie" moments.  I then got together the fixings for made from scratch pumpkin pancakes for tomorrow's breakfast.  I don't know that I've ever made pancakes before that call for vinegar in the batter, so those should be an experience :)

And the day just wouldn't have been complete without finding a use for the rest of those Hugs from the cookies we made the other day.  You'll have to check out the picture below to see the latest treat of choice in the Gatchel household :)

While I went crazy in the kitchen, Grant and the kiddos checked out the Pumpkin parade in South Lyon this morning.  From what I hear Noah and Mikayla made friends with all the kids sitting around them patiently waiting for the parade to arrive since they were at the end of the route.  Grant said they were the leaders of the 'crazy circle of kids'  Maybe it was a good thing I wasn't there...

After lunch we also went and checked out the Harvest Moon farmer's market downtown.  We were slightly let down by the selection today, though.  I did pick-up a couple of crafting ideas, though.  (Seriously Grant, super worried...)

Alright, off to work on another crafty project and then catch some z's so I'm well rested for the apple picking festivities tomorrow.  Until then...

Wait, did someone say there's still college football on?  ;-)

 2 pie pumpkins later

 mmmm, pumpkin cookies

 And pumpkin ravioli (and that's the mix for my pancakes in the background ;-) )

Yes, the best new use for Hugs!

Puffy Goodness

 I decided to make those amazing apple puff pancakes for breakfast again this morning and had to share the goodness since I've been talking about them.  I doubled up the batch this morning since Grant was home and lo and behold the whole thing still disappeared!

 In the skillet pre-flip

 Flipped out

 Covered in the required powdered sugar

Devoured by two happy kiddos

Friday, September 28, 2012

Noah Art

The above picture was so funny to me in so many ways that I just couldn't help sharing.  Yesterday afternoon after naps Noah and Kayla decided to get out Noah's art box (thanks again Grammy Caren and Papa Tom!) and color some pictures.  After selecting a piece of paper from the many hues and determining marker to be his medium of choice, Noah told me he was going to color a picture for me.  The above is the end result.  It came with the following explanation:

Noah:  Mom, I made this picture for you
Me: Aw, thanks Noah!  What is it?
Noah:  Well that (points to blue blob like figure figure) is you.
Me:  Wow, looks exactly like me!
Noah.  Yeah.  And you're wearing lipstick.
Me: Ok....  (I think the last time I actually work lipstick might have been Shell's wedding)  And what's this? (pointing at green and yellow figure)
Noah:  Oh, that's the ghost you're scared of and running away from
Me:  Why am I scared?
Noah:  Because it's a ghost, Mom!

It took every ounce of parenting skill I had in me to keep a straight face through this entire exchange.  I love how creative he is getting to be!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday's Rock!

 Tuesday is starting to become one of my favorite days of the week.  It is so laid back around here and the kiddos and I have a blast doing a project, cooking, etc.  This morning, after our disaster of the skittle cookies last week, we tried out some black and white hug blossoms.  HUGE hit at the Gatchel household in both the making of and eating.  Noah kept telling me how much fun he was having - his favorite part was rolling the cookie dough into balls.  Kayla still needs a little work on her rolling skills, but she definitely enjoyed putting the hugs on after we baked the cookies.  We just got back from a story time full of stories and songs about feelings and I just tucked them both in for a nap.  As I was shutting the door Noah said to me "Mom, I think you should take a nap this afternoon too, 'cause you work really hard."  Nice to see that he notices :)

 Step 1) Noah and Kayla had to try out the hugs to make sure they were acceptable to use in our baking

 That was quickly confirmed


 Mikayla was a pro at unwrapping the candy (imagine that...)

 The finished product

 Mikayla's taste test

 Noah trying to decide which one he wants to try


Monday, September 24, 2012

That's my Kayla!

Mikayla's wardrobe of her own choosing today = pink sparkly santa hat, purple star shirt (she loves it Grandma!) pink, purple and blue striped leggings and rain striped fuzzy frog socks.  She has quite obviously inherited her Mama's fashion sense (the complete lack thereof!)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A gaggle of Gatchel's!

 Grandpa Gary and Uncle Keith visited this weekend and we all had a blast!  They arrived Friday night to two very excited kiddos delight.  On Saturday morning everyone headed over to Home Depot for the kids build, then to the park for some play time and back to the house for some lunch.  Then Grandpa Gary, Mikayla and I headed out to do some special shopping.  Mikayla came home with new sheets, the prettiest princess blanket, a Cinderella pillow (Aunt Sarah you would be so jealous!) and a princess movie.  After we got back, Noah got his special time with Grandpa - a trip to his first Tigers game!  The boys (decked out in gear to support their teams - Grant and Noah in Tigers, Gary in Brewers and Keith in Cubs) had a great time watching the Tigers shut out the Twins 8-0.  Noah even got to ride on his first ferris wheel at the park.  They came back and we all watched my beloved Wolverines get beat by the Irish.  Let's be honest, ND didn't beat us - we beat ourselves.  6 turnovers boys, really?  Anyway...  This morning we got up and Grandpa Gary showed off his mad skills making Mickey Mouse pancakes!  Then everyone set up the tent Grandpa Gary brought us in the playroom.  I may never get Noah and Kayla out of it again.  Phew - what a weekend!  We were glad that they came for a visit and look forward to seeing them again soon :)

 Noah and Uncle Keith

 Kayla and her new princess blanket

 The bean and Cinderella who is almost as big as she is :)

 Sportin' my 'under the lights' jersey and Mikayla's Tigers hat

 All ready for the game!

 Look at all those good looking Gatchel's!

 They made it!

 View from their seats

 The boys of the ferris wheel

 Checking out some Blue Man Group videos with Uncle Keith

 Mickey Mouse pancakes!

 Mikayla eating Mickey Mouse's ears :)

 Our very cool new tent!

 The very patient Uncle Keith reading numerous books in the new tent

Everyone in their team hats :)