Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Corny yet Egg-Cellent Thursday!

Today has been wonderful - the sun was bright and shiny, I got to hang out with my MOPS girls and we got egged! In a good way :)  I have been reminded countless times the past few weeks of how blessed I am with the friends we have made in Michigan and today was another affirmation many times over.  I am so incredibly thankful for the people that God has brought into our lives.

My MOPS meeting was awesome this morning - these women have become so important to me this past year. They are such a supportive and accepting group - I honestly don't know what I'd do without them.  Whether it's been rescuing my birthday by forking my yard, listening and offering advice over many a "mom-struggle" or just being there to hang out I count on them for so much.  I was moved to tears this morning over a supportive gesture made by Tess - thanks for having my back and believing in me!  I left feeling loved, supported and thankful for each of them.  Love to any of them perusing my little blog:)

Got Kayla home and was working on prepping up dinner when I looked out the window to discover our front yard covered in plastic eggs!  I have NO IDEA where they came from. They were not there when we got home and only about 20-30 mins had passed since then.  Crazy!  Kayla and I went outside to discover a basket and a sign saying we'd been 'egged' She was so incredibly excited and danced around yelling "He came, he came, the Easter Bunny came!"  I convinced her we should leave them be until Noah got home so they could hunt them down together, which we did when he got home from school.  Whoever is behind this - you are amazing and wonderful.  You made my kids so very happy! (and made me cry again - seriously it's been a good emotional cry day!)  Mad love!!!!

So after they gathered all their eggs, I told them they needed to do a good job on their Iowa coloring maps before they could go through their loot.  (I'm such a mean mom, lol)  Like every week we've done this, they made me smile (especially Noah) with what they came up with.  I'm proud of them that they both put in a lot of work and THEN opened their eggs.  The contents of which delighted them - I especially enjoyed the monkeys in a barrel key chain :-p

We had more Iowa fare with Iowa Corn Chowder for dinner tonight.  Of all the different chowder recipes I have tried, this was one of my favorites as it was a little bit thicker due to pureeing half the corn with chicken broth before cooking.  That and the addition of heavy cream always helps!  This was a tasty treat here tonight.  We followed it up with some Red Delicious Applesauce with Ice Cream for dessert.  This was not my usual go-to applesauce recipe (yes, I actually have one of those.  If you saw the apple picking that goes on with Kosakowski crew in September you'd understand why.  I still have the makings for 3 pies in my freezer!) but I REALLY liked it.  You could easily use whatever apple variety you liked (I know it's an Iowa thing but red delicious really aren't my favorite.  I tend to find them mushy.  Sorry Iowa!).  And the texture was fun on this (and as the recipe says would be great on pancakes) as I didn't mash it quite as much as normal.  I'm going to keep one handy.

After dinner we set out to work on our project for the week - building our own corn on the cob!  I will admit I struggled to come up with a stellar Iowa project and this just seemed iconic and fun.  The kids had fun cutting out the pieces and adding the popcorn.  (Noah tried for a pattern but quickly gave up on it)  More fun artwork for my kitchen!

We are supposed to go to the marshmallow drop at Catalpa Park in the morning (Noah is off of school) but I have a feeling it's going to get rained out.  So like the planning Mom I am, we have a contingency.  The Janoch's (and hopefully the Kennedy's) will be joining us for a fun craft project (remember those cool yarn eggs I made at MOPS a few weeks ago - going to let the kids try them.  Yes, this may be insane on my part) and to make resurrection rolls.  Then an state fair treat the kids have been looking forward to all week, a fun popcorn recipe and dyeing Easter eggs tomorrow night!  Sounds like one fun day at the Gatchel's! So until then...

Iowa Fun Fact of the Day:  Known for educational excellence, Iowa compares well nationally in writing, science, math, and reading at all grade levels on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Iowans rank at the top on SAT scores, second in ACT scores, even with average spending per student and approximately 25 students per classroom. Though statewide curriculum standards are being phased in, local control of districts is a long-standing philosophy in K-12 education.

I've started prep on Hawaii week :)

I looked out my window to see....

Kayla and I went and checked it out and then I told her we'd have to wait 'til Noah got home

Red delicious apples become....

Tasty applesauce!

I let her snag a ring pop as a treat after lunch.  This was the result

Ready to race for eggs

Working on Iowa

Mikayla says "This is the "Blue Bunny" making ice cream.  And corn.  There's a lot of corn."

Noah says "This is a man picking a red delicious apple.  That's a pig trying to eat it."  (Pig is in bottom right.  This is is 'shout out' to there being 4 pigs to every one person.  He cracks me up)

They wanted their picture taken together with them

Going through their eggs

Iowa Chicken Corn Chowder

I warmed up the applesauce and topped it off with ice cream - yum!

The Bean working on her scissor skills with some help from Daddy


I made one too :)

I said "OK, we need a picture" and this is what he did.  Oh how I love my kids

Monkey see, monkey do...

Our Iowa corn is growing in my kitchen

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