Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween from The Hills

Spooktacular greetings from the Hills tonight.  We have had one very busy Halloween Day full of the Bean's costume parade this morning, errands, cleaning and prep for the Chili Cook-Off, packing for the crew to head out in the morning, Noah's class Halloween party, Trick or Treating in some very frigid weather (I can't believe they went out again!)  and of course, our annual 'spooky' dinner!  Pictures are always better than my ramblings and while we're feasting on mummies and new eyes, we're watching Tim Burton's Corpse Bride as a special Halloween themed dinner and a movie.  (Side note, I totally had them in bed last night and then went in and got them up for a treat and a viewing of "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" - it's not truly Halloween without seeing this movie!)  Not sure who's taking the camera and what posts will look like the next couple of days, but I'll update as I can.  I'm debating posting Utah 'as scheduled' on Monday or waiting 'til the crew get back on Monday, so check back in occassionally until Tuesday, when we'll all be back here yet again to start on the Beehive State!  I know the gang is looking forward to Illinois and I'm looking forward to the party tomorrow and then working on all kinds of things that tend to slip through the cracks around here.  So until next time...

Texas Fun Fact of the Day:  In Texas, it's illegal to put graffiti on someone else's cow.  (But on your own, totally legal :-p)

Happy Halloween morning!

Miss Stella was Anna - Kayla went nuts

Fashion show!

The Bean's class

Her friend, T is the Elsa on the bottom right and Mario is the biggest 5 year old baseball fan I know!

Parade time

The two most adorable Elsa's

Better smiles, blurry film, grr

She came home and diligently did her homework since she won't have the chance otherwise- so proud of her

Oh, and ate the cookie she frosted (I mean, covered in sprinkles) at her party this morning

Texas scrapbook page is done!

At Batman's party

I helped the kiddos make Frankenstein puddings!

These were two of my favorite Franks

Story time!

Eye of Newt (Just a note, I didn't use the recipe to make my egg filling but was inspired by the pic)

And a spider!

This is why he braved the sleet and 30 mile per hour winds tonight

A Halloween feast at the Gatchel's!

She loved the eyes of newt!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Terrific Texas Thursday

The past two weeks I tell ya, geesh!  I don't know if I've really had a spare minute to breathe let alone take in what's going on around me.  I'm really looking forward to about 8pm Saturday night and a quiet house and a few days of getting things back in gear.  My crew is actually heading off to Illinois on Saturday, but as I had long ago scheduled our awesome MOPS 2nd annual chili cook off to be here at the house, I won't be joining them.  So between Halloween, parties for both kiddos, regular activities and playdates, work which I've been logging quite a few extra hours at this week, cleaning the house, packing and getting everything in order for Saturday, it's been crazy!  Good crazy - happy to be busy crazy, but crazy none the less.  

Today was another busy one!  The Bean and I (after getting NJ off to school) ran to drop off Pizza Kit announcements at Beechview (anyone want to buy Little Caesar's pizza kits from a really cute 6 year old?  You can even have them delivered directly to your house!) we headed over to one of my MOPS friends, Sara's house for a morning of play and making some fun treats for one of her daughters to take to school tomorrow.  (Witches broom string cheese and pretzels and apple mouths - too cute!)  We had a blast (Kayla can't stop talking about how much fun she had with the girls) and then we headed over to the Gymnastics academy for some 'spooky gym' time.  A great morning all around!  We then rushed back here for lunch, packing and a snooze (for the Bean) while I headed into work for awhile.

We got Noah home and the kiddos worked on their coloring pages for Texas.  Like usual, I won't spill the beans, you'll have to see what they came up with in the pictures below.

Noah has a den meeting tonight for Cub Scouts, which meant an early dinner was necessary for him and Grant to get off in time.  (Good thing I prepped ahead last night!)  I made this yummy Texas Shepherd's Pie to go along with the fun treats Sara had sent us home with and made cornbread (very loosely) based on this Little Texas Cornbread recipe.  It drives me nuts when someone comments on a recipe (how good/bad) it is and then lists all the things they did to change it and then rate it based on their changes.  You're not rating that recipe, you're rating your fixes then silly people!  So I can't tell you how this one would actually turn out, as I nixed the cheddar cheese, cream corn and chiles and instead swapped in pepper jack cheese and canned corn and chiles.  Everyone here liked my version ;-)  I had planned on making Texas Delight for dessert tonight but apparently pecans didn't make it on my shopping list for the week.  Oops.  So instead I went to a recipe I had pinned on pinterest a while back for these Frozen Peanut Butter Pudding Squares.  Figured they were easy, portable and we'd have extras for whenever then.  Grant ate the left over filling in a few of the left over crepes from the other day last night and loved it.

Alright, I'm off for the evening because the Bean and I are having some girl time (yep, nail painting we are!) and then I've got to get prepping tomorrow night's Halloween spooky dinner.  And cleaning.  And packing.  And putting together the stuff for Noah's class party.  And working. And...  have I mentioned yet that it's crazy around here this week?  More from a Halloween-tastic Gatchel house tomorrow.  So until then...

Texas Fun Fact of the Day:  Texas was an independent nation from 1836 to 1845. Texas is the only state to enter the United States by treaty instead of territorial annexation.

Balancing it all

Spooky Gym time with new friends

Jumping in the foam pit

Mikayla's Texas - including the Alamo, a high school football stadium and the state bird (Mockingbird)

Noah's Texas - that's the Alamo in brown, dell computer below, a sheep saying 'baa' and 100% cotton!

I love what he comes up with every week

Kristi's take on the cornbread

Texas Shepherd's Pie

The inside goodness - liked that this stayed together nicelyl

Fun dinner tonight

Frozen, chocolate, peanut butter - my family is in 7th heaven

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Just What the Dr Ordered

It's been another busy day here at Casa de Gatchel, and there's no end in sight, so I'm going to let the pictures do the talking on our day of saluting Dr (yep, no period is correct!) Pepper.  Hopefully I'll be back with plenty more to share tomorrow!  So until then...

Texas Fun Fact of the Day: Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. The Dublin Dr Pepper, 85 miles west of Waco, still uses pure imperial cane sugar in its product. There is no period after the Dr in Dr Pepper.

 I made this Dr. Pepper Cake last night and today he Bean helped me make the frosting to finish it off

The best part of helping in the kitchen

I'm telling you, the girl has skills!

Ready for later

That is one big state!

I can't believe how close we are to having a finished map!  (Oh, and by the way, Grant and I earned stickers on the "We've Been There State")

A package arrived from Uncle Keith

Thanks for the Halloween goodies, Uncle Keith!

Pan de Campo - the Official State Bread of Texas

I ended up shredding the roast and serving it over the mashed potatoes

Can't not have Dr Pepper on Dr Pepper day, right?

Alright, who can name all 23 flavors in tonight's dinner?

We cut into the three layers of goodness