Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Playing Catch-Up and Flying High

So I know I *said* I would be back to regular posting.  I also *said* I wasn't going to make any more plans.  Well, apparently saying that I would be back to regular posting was too much of a plan for "the powers that be" and we Gatchel's were thrown yet another curve ball at the end of last week.  Whatever was keeping the Bean down, really took her down.  And we ended up spending Friday and Saturday in the hospital with her.  I can report that she is doing MUCH better, that she'll even be back to school tomorrow.  But it did knock things off track yet again.  So a quick pick-up...

First, thanks to all that came to our "rescue" last week.  We couldn't have done it without a hand from lots, but particular thanks and love goes out to Tess, Colleen, my parents and sister, Shell.  They all helped in lots of ways, mostly coordinating NJ, too.  (And tons of love out to all my MOPS girls who sent texts, love, endless prayers and even a few goodies to make everyone feel better.)  On Sunday my parents brought Noah home, I got to do a it of shopping with my Mom and Shell for "the dress" (more on this in the next few weeks) for the auction, the kiddos solved their last clue for the week (it was on volcanoes) and determined Nita was in Hawaii.

Monday morning they received confirmation from MOMG Intelligence that Nita had been in Hawaii but had escaped:

Dear Detectives,
I hear it’s been quite the week at the Gatchel’s house.  It seems you all just can’t catch a break.  I was delighted to hear that you had such a great trip to Rockford and so sad to learn of Detective Bean’s trip to the hospital!  I really hope that everyone is now on the mend and things can go back to normal.  Including the continued hunt for Nita!
I received your email saying that you felt that Miss Direction was in Hawaii.  I know you received quite a few clues this week that led you to believe she originally might have been in another place (Noah, I know you felt very strongly about Washington) but I am glad you finally settled on Hawaii!
Per your request, I sent the SWAT team off to Hawaii.  While there they feasted on pineapple at a luau, interviewed quite a few locals “hanging ten” on their surfboards and learned about volcano eruptions.  While many of the friendly locals greeted them with an ‘aloha’ and claimed to have spotted Nita on five of the eight islands, it appears she took off before we were able to catch her.  We did spot a puzzle piece in a Kona coffee field and are sending it for your safe keeping.  Even though we missed her, we were able to alert Hawaii authorities and the islands are safe!
I am passing along some further information from MOMG Intelligence.  They first ask that you remove Hawaii from our “States at Risk” wall.  You should move it to our “Suspect” wall next to the “Last Seen” header.   Secondly, they have asked me to enclose the next 20 states they feel are most at risk based on the information they have been gathering.  Thirdly, I am enclosing a ball of yarn.  We would like to use the giant map on the “Tracking Nita” wall to show Nita’s track from state to state, just as we have been doing.  We have a feeling that Nita will be laying low for a day or two and will need some time to regroup, but you should expect her or my Intelligence team to contact you again soon.
It seems that your hard work was much appreciated by a recent visitor to Hawaii.  They sent something they picked up while they were in the state for you to try out.  I have safely stored it for you to find in the place you build a fire.  Enjoy, Detectives and keep up the good work!

The Chief

Special thanks again to our "concerned citizen" Corinne who sent a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts straight from the Islands.  Sorry no pics, I'm behind again.

Monday the Bean stayed home from school, Noah rushed straight off to class after dinner, and there was just enough time when he got home for them to notice the flag was up again.  They found the following:

My silly little Detectives,
I know you’re not where near nabbing me, and for that very reason, it’s possible I may never leave this state.  Ever.  I have discovered a food that is beyond compare.  I take that back, a restaurant that is one of my new favorites.  I’ve also learned it’s a national chain, so even if you are on to me and I have to up and leave (ha, doubt it!) I can get a slice of deliciousness anywhere I want.
And what is the name of this amazing place, you ask?  I’m not telling!  But I will give you a few clues.  And even the well-known logo.  But to keep you tied up for a little bit longer, I’m sending you the logo in pieces, just like they serve the food here.  In the meantime, here are some facts about this place.
1.   The first location was opened in Wichita in 1958.
2.   Two brothers opened the first restaurant.
3.   The restaurant features dine-in, carry-out and even delivery options.
4.  In  2012, the company had more than 6,000 restaurants in the United States, and had more than 5,139 store locations in 94 other countries and territories around the world
Well that should keep you guessing for a little while.  I’m going back for seconds while you’re tied up trying to figure out this little puzzle.  Hmm, and perhaps a breadstick or two.  I hear this is one of Noah’s favorites from the state project, so I’ll be thinking especially of him while I’m munching later.

Again, sorry no pictures, but what they found was a sliced up Pizza Hut logo.  Noah was stoked - he's really hoping for some pizza this week.  If you were around for the state project you know that his favorite recipe was the copy cat Pizza Hut pizza I made during the week for this state.  (Nope, not going to give it away if you're still guessing)  I was feeling pretty crummy myself last night and it was an early night for all around here, hence no post yesterday.  But we were back at 'em again today...

This morning, bright and early...

My high flying silly little Detectives,
Have you ever been in an airplane?  Did you ever want to learn to fly an airplane? I have my own and fly it expertly by the way – keeps me one step ahead of you both always!  And it was my own love of flying that led me to take a little side trip today (you’re way behind like usual, might as well enjoy my time here in the Sunflower State) to the city of Atchison, the birthplace of the great Amelia Earhart.
In case you didn’t know it, Amelia was an American aviation (that means flying, you two) pioneer.  She was the first female aviator (a fancy word for pilot) to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.  In 1937, she attempted to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe, which is a way of saying that she wanted to fly all the way around the world.  (I’m sending you a map of the plan for her trip, isn’t that nice of me?  I stole a copy of it just for you both!)  During the trip, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, Amelia and her plane disappeared.  No one knows exactly what happened and the wreckage of her plane has never been found.
I had a great day learning all about Amelia at the Amelia Earhart Birthplace in Atchison.  Amelia was a well celebrated female icon during her lifetime and remains best known for her shyly charismatic appeal, independence, persistence, coolness under pressure, courage and goal-oriented career.  I think she’s a great female role model – do you hear that Detective Bean?
Speaking of goals, I’m supposed to be off stealing a state, better get back to it.  And to keep the two of you tied up for a little bit longer, along with the map I’m sending you a coloring page of Amelia that I picked up.  And, I found this nifty new way to make a plane – out of straws.  I’ve sent you an email with the instructions.  Figure it’ll keep you busy while I’m off working on my master plan.  Fly high, detectives!

This is a map of Amelia's circumnavigational flight path

And the Bean's colored Amelia

The Bean and I spent the morning visiting at the Aben's and then came home so I could go into work this afternoon because we had other plans for later this afternoon.  Since Grant is on pick-up duty from the bus stop (some days) he is home by 4:30.  We decided to take advantage of that this afternoon and head straight out and do some Easter outfit shopping with the kiddos.  So with dinner in the crock pot (tortellini that the Bean made all by herself, no lie) we headed out to shop.  Successfully!  Both kiddos now have outfits for Sunday.

Dinner was waiting when we got home and they sped through it, giving us enough time to check that email Nita had mentioned in her clue.  We logged into their email and found:

Have fun my silly little Detectives....



I've got to say, this worked WAY better than I would have thought.  Noah chose squares and Kayla wanted triangles.  I think the triangles worked better but they were both fun.

Hard to get good action shots, but they had fun.  Noah picked up on "Sunflower State" in the clue and says he thinks Kansas.  We'll see!

I'd tell you what we were up to tomorrow but I'm seriously afraid it might bring on the apocolypse or something.  I'm REALLY hoping that this last day of March marks the last day of the general upheaval around here.  It has NOT been a good 6 weeks or so at the Gatchel's.  So check back tomorrow, if the world doesn't end, I'll be here ;-) So until then...

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