Friday, April 11, 2014

Butterflies, Sunshine and Popcorn - does it get any better?

Oh it's Friday!  Yes it's Friday!  And it's sunny!  And supposed to stay sunny!  We're even going to get over 70 this weekend!!!! (Can you tell I'm excited?)  This week has flown by and I will honestly be a little sad to see it go.  We've mixed up the routine, had Noah around, spent lots of time with family and friends and had quite a few adventures.  So we continued to take advantage of it today with butterflies with friends, the world's best mac & cheese, more sunshine and game night with even more friends.

This morning the kiddos and I got moving and headed to the Oakland Mall to catch up with my friend Jen and Noah's bestie Jonathan who he hasn't seen in forever to check out the beautiful butterfly exhibit they currently have running there.  Grant and I were going to take the kiddos last Sunday but opted for going to see my Dad bowl instead so this was the perfect chance to meet up with the gang AND get to see and experience some gorgeous butterflies.  Everyone got the chance to hold a butterfly and we learned that butterflies actually taste with their feet!  After we had our fill of butterflies we took the kiddos to the play area to burn off some steam while Jen and I had the chance to chit-chat for awhile.

On the way home I surprised the kiddos with a stop at Noodles & Company.  I had taken the Bean there for the first time for her birthday and she kept saying that it was the best mac & cheese in the whole world.  So last week a coupon arrived in my inbox for a free bowl for my birthday and I knew we'd have to make a trip there soon, hopefully with Noah, too.  This morning it worked out perfectly as it was on our way home from the mall anyway.  We brought it home with us and had a wonderfully scrumptious lunch :)  The sunshine was totally calling my name after lunch so I issued a reprieve on naps and we headed out for a walk and some playtime to truly tucker them out.

This afternoon while I was working (yeah, computer issues resolved!) I couldn't keep them cooped up inside so I put the picnic table on the back deck, propped the back door open, got them a snack and set them working on the "We've Been There" state.  It was fabulous all around solution.  Check out what they came up with!

Grant made it home and after some baths we sat down to a dinner of Indiana Spaghetti.   Who knew Indiana had its own version of spaghetti of all things!  Like quite a few of the other recipes this week, we added some bacon and got a whole new dish.  (I can't tell you the last time we went through 1 lb of bacon in 2 weeks.  By the time this weekend is over I think we'll have gone through nearly 2 lbs just this week...)  I'm not a bacon or ham fan, so bring back the traditional meatballs for me, but otherwise there were no complaints from my crew.  Which was a good thing as it meant they hurried through dinner and are currently ready for game night with the Janoch's!  While we play we're all going to be munching on another Indiana treat Orville Reddenbacher popcorn.  An Indiana native, Orville spent his life devoted to popcorn, even creating his own unique hybrid to create the lightest and fluffiest popcorn.  I opted for the easy route tonight (though this doesn't diminish my own popcorn making prowess) and tried out some of their microwave brand.  I figure we have enough going on, let's make life easy for once.

Looking forward to more sunshine tomorrow as in the morning we're headed on the Jaycees Easter Egg Hunt at Shiawasee Park in the morning.  Think we're going to try to fit in a library trip, lots more time outside and tomorrow night with a huge thank you to Aunt Sarah we're going to have a screening of "Turbo".  Woo hoo, sounds like fun!  So until then...

Indiana Fun Fact of the Day:  More than 100 species of trees are native to Indiana. Before the pioneer's arrive more than 80% of Indiana was covered with forest. Now only 17% of the state is considered forested.

On our way in

She's not quite sure about it at first...

Butterflies having a snack

Jonathan caught one!

I did too

And Kayla!


The Bean and I with our butterflies

Noodles & Company Mac & Cheese

Mikayla got more mail - some ND hair ties from Aunt Sarah :)

Working away

Tonight's treat

Indiana Spaghetti

Daddy fixing our little snafu...  I let them glue the letters on backwards.  This is what happens when this Mama attempts to multi-task

All four Gatchel's have been in Indiana!

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