Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mail Call from All Over!

I can't believe how warm it was this morning.  I think (though it was starting to sprinkle a bit) that it was about 65 on our way to the bus stop.  And then the rain started.  Downpour.  Ah well, we needed it.  So it's been a rainy Tuesday here in the Hills.  But that hasn't slowed us down!

Mikayla and I braved the raindrops this morning to hit the library, the bank, Whole Foods and then Kohl's so I could try to find some new tennis shoes.  You know I have put too many miles on my shoes when Grant is practically insisting that I go and buy new ones.  I also ended up getting some really cute slippers (Mikayla said we couldn't leave the store without buying them they were "so cute, Mama!")  We then headed over to Amber's for a crepe making lesson and hanging out for awhile.  She and I had a bet on the Michigan game (which I won because they lost by more than 21 points - how sad I was betting against my team!) for a cup of coffee so she paid up as well ;-)

The Bean and I then came home so I could prep up dinner and she could start working on her Texas project!  It is very loosely based on this idea but really let her make it her own.  I printed one on brown paper (her choice) that she then cut out and then one on white that she cut out the different pieces of the boot, we traced and then cut out on different color papers of her choosing.  She then decorated it and, voila!, a masterpiece!  This cowgirl is loving Texas week.

And why shouldn't she?  And the rest of the crew too when we have fun things like Tex Mex Quinoa Salad for dinner.  After reading some of the reviews, I made a few changes to the recipe (cooked it in broth instead of water, swapped out the garbanzos for black beans and served it warm in tortillas) and am glad I did.  My crew loved it!  I had wanted to make these Texas Egg Rolls but ended up 'cheating' a little bit and just getting cheddar jalapeno poppers when I was out shopping yesterday.  The kids weren't huge fans of those, but they were troopers about it!  Perhaps it was the knowledge that they could sip on this Mexican Hot Chocolate if they finished helped things out :)

We did baths before dinner tonight so we could give plenty of time for one HUGE mail call.  First, we got a postcard from Grant's cousin, Chelsee, from Tennessee.  She actually goes to school there and it was fun to hear from her.  She reminded the kids they need to visit soon and I think they're all over making that this summer's trip.  We'll see :)

There was also a huge package tonight to open from Rhode Island.  Side track - but did you know that I once worked at a laundry mat?  Yep - Squeaky Clean in Peoria!  While there I had a great boss in Josh assisted by his lovely wife, Danette.  I was happy for the job and enjoyed working for Josh and Danette!  (They employed Grant as a driver, as well, little known side note.)  Anyway, Josh attended school in Rhode Island and let me know he was going to be making a trip there a few weeks ago and said he'd be happy to put together a box for the Dynamic Duo.  It arrived yesterday but as we didn't have time last night between religious ed and PTA to give it the time it deserved, I decided to make one giant mail call tonight.  Josh graciously sent the kiddos newspapers from the time he was in Rhode Island, a neat book on sights to see there (we of course looked up the Big Blue Bug right away!), and even a packet of Del's lemonade for us to try to make here.  The kids loved it so many thanks to Josh for putting that together for them!

If all that wasn't enough...

We also had two pieces of mail to open from Texas!  The first I have actually been holding onto for almost a year now.  Grant's Aunt Sally does extensive traveling of the southwest for work and has helped us out with a few different states now.  Quite some time ago she was in Texas, and while there, picked up a pair of long horn statues for the kiddos!  We talked about how important cattle is to Texas and what makes a long horn different than a 'regular' cow.  Thanks Aunt Sally for coming through yet again!

The final piece of mail today arrived last week from Burleson.  Side track - did you know I was in a sorority?  Yep - I'm an Alpha Chi Omega!  Which leads us back to this week's package which arrived from one of my sorority sisters (who shares a 'mom' with me!  Hi Sopher!), Heather!  Heather has lived in Texas for about seven years and put together quite the fun package for the kiddos.  First, there were bluebonnet (the state flower!) seed packets - which we of course are planning on planting and seeing what happens.  We don't have a lot of luck with seeds, but Heather says hers grew, so we'll try it!  There was also a bag of Texas chili mix which I'm now planning on using to make my chili for Saturday's chili cook-off!  There were also two books with Texas stories, both by Tommie dePaulo (I love Stega Nona!), The Legend of the Indian Paintbook and Legend of Bluebonnet.  Of course they both wanted to read both of them right away!  In fact, Noah was so excited to see Legend of Bluebonnet - he says it is one of his favorite books after someone came into his class to read it.  Many thanks for coming through, Sis, they loved it!  Hugs to you and that adorable new addition of yours :)

Phew!  I'm exhausted just writing today's recap :-P  We're doing a salute to Dr. Pepper tomorrow and hopefully the "We've Been There State" as well.  Kiddos are off at school, I'm catching up on odds and ends and I need to get a jump on things for Noah's Halloween party at school on Friday.  Never a dull moment I tell ya!  So until then...

Texas Fun Fact of the Day:  In 1836 five sites served as temporary capitals of Texas: Washington-on-the-Brazos: Harrisburg: Galveston: Velasco: and Columbia. Sam Houston moved the capital to Houston in 1837. In 1839 the capital was moved to the new town of Austin.

Some Texas Mail

And some Tennessee Mail

More Texas mail

And Rhode Island, too!

Kayla noshing on some of the crepes Amber and I made

Getting to work on her boot

First she cut out the boot

Then the star

And some of the other pieces

The boot before she started decorating

That is one unique Mikayla boot 

And she loved it

She requested a 'funny' picture with it as well

Tex Mex Quinoa Salad

All wrapped up

Mexican Hot Chocolate

A second Texas dinner

Reading their Tennessee postcard

Digging into the Rhode Island box

Yep, we found the Big Blue Bug!

She was SO excited, Josh

She wanted to open it RIGHT NOW

Rhode Island postcard

This was them saying "thank Mr. Josh and Miss Danette!"

Starting on the longhorn box

He read all the notes

They were mooing....

Opening their package from Heather


Finding the bluebonnets


Noah started reading immediately

Thanks sis!  (And everyone else today - I put two happy kids to bed tonight!)

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