Friday, May 30, 2014

The Game of Life

I've spent today being thankful.  Thankful for the beautiful sunshine.  Thankful for friends who mean the world to me and make me a better person just by having them in my life.  Thankful for my two adorable kiddos - one who is all wrapped up in school and having a blast and one who has become my partner in crime that I don't think life would be half as entertaining without.  Thankful for a husband who loves me and does the little extras like flowers to make me smile on a Friday afternoon.  Thankful for people who have reached out and helped us with our little project - both those we know and those we don't.  Thankful to be alive.

I've had so many reasons to smile and enjoy today and of course have to share a few of my favorites.  This morning after both kiddos helped me get some housework tackled (Noah zipped through getting ready for school just so he could dry mop the floors.  Are they my kids or what??), we got Noah on the bus, the Bean helped me finish up and then we trooped down to the Janoch's to pick up Tess and A for a surprise that Tess had been planning.  Since both both boys will be out of school soon, Tess wanted to make sure the girls had on last fabulous "Girls Only" playdate this morning and went and snagged a copy of "The Pirate Fairy" just for two little girls who have asked to see it quite a few times.  It was so much fun to watch how excited the girls were watching the movie and afterward (they went around 'argging' for at least fifteen minutes) and it gave Tess and I a chance to catch up for awhile as well.  You know those friends I'm thankful for - she ranks right up there at the top for sure.

Bean and I made a quick trip to Walgreens to snag the pictures for the scrapbook page which she helped me put together after lunch today.  She also jabbered ENDLESSLY about Tinkerbell and how she now wants to be a pirate.  I think it's safe to say my Bean has inherited her Mama's gift for gab.

We took a walk in the sunshine to grab Noah and then came home to open some special delivery Massachusetts mail.  Straight from Andover, Massachusetts came a sweet note and some pictures from a friend of my friend, Kristina (who you may remember from Maryland week last week!).  She told the kiddos about what she enjoys in Massachusetts (the Fall!) and sent the pictures of Boston Harbor and some of the ships there.  Again that thankful thing - for friends with connections and the time and generosity of perfect strangers.

When my wonderful husband got home (with flowers!) the troops headed out to play in the sunshine while I put together our dinner of Chocolate Fluffernutter sandwiches, Boston Baked Beans and watermelon (thanks Tess!).  If you've never had a fluffernutter sandwich, you truly haven't lived.  According to my awesome Taste of Home "Recipes Across America" cookbook "The first shelf-stable marshmallow cream product, Snowflake Marshmallow Creme, was introduced in 1913 by the brother and sister team of Avery and Emma Curtis.  From heir factors in Melrose, Massachusetts, Emma devised all types of uses for the new product, including the classic Fluffernutter sandwich - peanut butter and marshmallow creme on white bread, which is still very popular in New England."  This seemed like the perfect Friday night treat and of course they disappeared in the blink of an eye around here.  The Boston Baked Beans I had in the crock pot all day yesterday turned out scrumptious - though I can't get everyone here 100% on board with them as I think my crew would pass on any baked beans (like the ones we did from Maine) that have such a strong molasses flavor.   All in all, the crew gave dinner an 8 of 10 ;-)

After some much needed baths (late night last night so no baths and running around outside tonight = 2 very dirty Gatchel kiddos) we sat down for a family game night.  American game pioneer, Milton Bradley who is credited by some as launching the board game industry, was actually born in Maine but spent the majority of his life in Massachusetts, including the time he spent establishing his Milton Bradley Company.  His first successful game was called The Checkered Game of Life, which because the basis for the now popular Game Of Life.  The Milton Bradley Company (based in Springfield, Massachusetts) is also responsible for such games as Candyland, Connect 4, Operation,  and Battleship.  It seems only fitting this week that we spend some time putting to good use some Massachusetts products!

I have a feeling the majority of tomorrow is going to be spent outside as it is supposed to be absolutely beautiful again and there is still plenty of yardwork around here that needs to be tackled.  I've also got a seafood dish planned to appease my youngest munchkin and a bread from Boston that is brown and corn baked in ketchup??  Rumor has it there may be a movie at some point tomorrow too and a trip to the library is definitely on the agenda.  So until then...

Massachusetts Fun Fact of the Day: Robert Goddard, inventor of the first liquid fueled rocket, was born and lived much of his life in Worcester and launched the first rocket fueled with liquid fuel from the neighboring town of Auburn.

The Bean got her own mail today - tattoos and a thank you from Mrs. Porto!

Massachusetts mail call!

Helping me with the scrapbook page

Massachusetts scrapbook page is done

She was proud of her efforts

Checking out their mail

He read it himself - so proud of him!

Thanks Helen!

This has "mom of the year" written all over it, right?

Fluffernutter perfection

Boston Baked Beans!

A dinner of champions

Game night for the Gatchel's!

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