Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick-or-Treat 2011

Wow! I'm so far behind on this blog, I don't even remember what I've told you. Until my busy life with two kids slows down, I think this blog is going to always be behind. :( Before it's Christmas, I better get our Halloween pics posted. We've had a fun week of Halloween festivities. It started on Wednesday when Em got to wear her costume to ballet. All the little kids got to dress up at dance. Here's all the girls in Emme's class. Love my ballerina cheerleader!
The girls doing their ballet moves in their costumes. Cute!
Then on Thursday we went to T-or-T downtown E. Lansing. It's been a tradition for years to take the kids downtown for the Great Pumpkin Walk. They always have a blast trick-or-treating and then heading down M.A.C (the street with a lot of the Greek houses) and enjoying all the festivities the Greek students put on. My little MSU cheerleader and MSU football players were HUGE hits with the MSU students! Everyone was asking Evan if he was playing in the football game Saturday, which I think he should have and maybe MSU would have actually gotten a touchdown with my little guy playing. Ugh, what a depressing game that was. Get your act together on the road Spartans! Anyhow, here's a couple pics from our night.

My Spartan trick-or-treaters this year... cheerleader and football player obviously.
T-or-T at one of the businesses downtown E.L.
I love this pic of the kids in their costumes with Sparty.
Evan had his school Halloween party on Friday and Emmaline had hers on Monday. I will post about that next time so this doesn't get too long. I want to post trick-or-treat night pics in this post. It was a perfect night tonight for the kids to be out trick-or-treating. The weather ended up cooperating, and it wasn't too bad out. We did some group shots with other kids in the neighborhood before we started t-or-t. Then the kids were off and filling their bags quite quickly. I went to a few houses with them and then came back home and passed out candy while Greg walked them around. Here's a few pics from Halloween night.

I told her to show me her cheerleader pose... I guess she has it down and doesn't need told how to do it!
I love my little football player!
I was glad I got such a great picture of the kids with Grace & Matt.
Chloe & Drew stopped by to t-or-t!
The kids got back to Jim & Kate's house just in time to wipe Jim out of the last of his candy!
We had a lot of fun with trick-or-treat this year, and now we've got LOTS of candy!!!! I think we'll be giving lots of it away. Another year of t-or-t in the bag. Wonder what the kids will want to be next year????

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cider Mill & Pumpkin Patch Fun

I mentioned in my last post that we went to the cider mill with my sister and Kaite when they were here last weekend. Every year we head to St. Johns to Uncle John's Cider Mill. We've been going since Evan was little. Since then, Uncle John's has grown over the years. There seems to be more and more things to do out there. We didn't have much time this year to do a whole lot because we had to get back for Evan's game. We made sure to get our annual pics of the kids done, get some donuts, and visit the pumpkin patch. Here's some of the pics I promised from our visit.

We take this picture every year. This year Emme got to "drive" the bus, and Kaite brought along her friend Libby.
Let's see how tall Evan is this year at the cider mill...
Now it's Emme's turn to measure up...
The annual cousin pic at Uncle John's Cider Mill
Uh oh... pumpkin thieves!
On the hunt for the perfect pumpkins!
Looks like they had success!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What A Great Weekend!

We had a fabulous weekend! It started off with a quick trip to IKEA for Emme and I on Friday, with my friend Brenda. I've been working on weeding through the kids toys, clothes, etc. and trying to get some kind of organization around here. I've reached my limit with the toys overtaking this house. Especially the living room. I had seen a couple storage unit shelves at IKEA that I've been wanting so decided Friday was the best day to get back there and get them. After Brenda, Emme, and I made our way through the store and got the shelves, we decided to peek in the clearance section. I saw a sofa table that I've really been wanting and after debating for a few minutes Brenda talked me into getting it instead of one of the shelves. It has a few marks on it that's why it was on clearance, but nothing major that I decided I could live with. So I swapped out one of the shelves for it. I'm very happy with my purchase. It looks nice in the living room. Ann, it's the same Hemnes Sofa Table that you got! I love it. Now I've just got to find the right bins/baskets to put in it so I can store some of the kids items!

Friday night we took the kids to Midnight Madness at the Breslin Center. If you're not familiar with Midnight Madness, it's sort of like "Meet the Spartans" with the football players. It's a night at the Breslin to meet the men's and women's basketball teams along with various other festivities. There's always a build up of excitement to see what Coach Izzo and his family dresses up as. It usually has something to do with what's coming up in the season. One year it was an astronaut costume (the Final Four was in Houston), one year it was an Indy race car driver (the Final Four was in Indianapolis), another year it was a hippie (to celebrate the 30 years since Magic Johnson & the MSU b-ball team won the NCAA title) to name a few. This year was no different and Izzo didn't disappoint. The theme was "Top Gun" and he was dressed as Maverick and came in on a mock fighter jet. This was to represent MSU's upcoming Veteran's Day match-up against North Carolina. The game on 11-11-11 to be played on an aircraft carrier in San Diego will have President Obama in attendance! So very cool! MSU thinking outside of the box again and taking sports to a different level. Here's a few pics from Midnight Madness. The rest I posted on FB already.

The kids got to stand by all the basketball trophies for a photo opportunity!
Maverick, a.k.a Coach Izzo thanking the Spartan crowd for coming out for Midnight Madness!

Saturday was just an absolute beautiful day in Spartan country. Not so much the chilly, windy weather, but rather the sweet victory over Michigan by the MSU football team! Such an awesome win for the fourth year in a row. I'm so so happy for the seniors especially, but for Coach D as well in marking a "W" in the books again against the Wolverines. This is when I especially love living in Spartan country! We'll enjoy this win all week and for the next year, but the Spartans have a lot of prep to do for Saturday's homecoming game against Wisconsin! Saturday evening my sister and Kaite came to visit. They came so they could go to Evan's football game on Sunday. They watched the kids for a little bit while Greg and I went next door to Jim and Kate's. They had some people over after the football game and had invited us over. We had some great laughs over there once again. Thanks to Jen and Kaite for watching the kids.

Sunday morning we made a trip out to the cider mill. It was sort of a quick trip because we had to get back for Evan's football game, but we wanted to get the annual cousin pic at the cider mill. The kids each picked out pumpkins after we got some donuts. They had fun walking through the pumpkin patch trying to find the perfect pumpkins. I'll post pictures in my next post. We got back, had some lunch and my mom came so she could go to Evan's game too. Last weekend we were sitting in the hot sun frying while watching the game, and this weekend we were all bundled up trying to keep warm from the crazy wind. It was another great game for Evan's team. Although they really don't keep score, they're now 3-0. It was a special game because my little guy scored his first touchdown ever! So awesome! He was so proud as were we!

That wraps up our weekend! A busy weekend it was, but very fun! Now another week is upon us and it's Homecoming week at MSU! Sparty on!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Apple Recipes

Remember a couple weeks ago the kids went to the cider mill when I had gone to pick up my mom from the airport? Well we've still got a never-ending supply of apples and I've been trying recipes galore to use up these apples. First Greg made an apple pie, then I made Apple Slab Pie which the recipe was in a Pillsbury email I got. This weekend I decided to try another recipe. This time I made Apple Pie Muffins which I found on Pinterest. I also saw a recipe for Pumpkin Apple Bread on Pinterest. My friend Brenda said she would make that. Then we swapped bread and muffins. I gave her some of our apples to use for the bread. Both recipes turned out great. I ended up making a second batch of the muffins today since they were so easy to make. Here's the recipes for all the apple yummies!

Apple Slab Pie
Photo courtesy of Pillsbury

1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
9 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (9 medium)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

1. Heat oven to 450°F. Remove pie crusts from pouches. Unroll and stack crusts one on top of the other on lightly floured surface. Roll to 17x12-inch rectangle. Fit crust into 15x10x1-inch pan, pressing into corners. Fold extra pastry crust under, even with edges of pan. Crimp edges.
2. Mix granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon juice. Stir in apples to coat. Spoon apple mixture into crust-lined pan.
3. Bake 33 to 38 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Cool on rack 45 minutes.
4. Mix powdered sugar and milk until well blended. Drizzle over pie. Allow glaze to set before serving, about 30 minutes.

Apple Pie Muffins
Photo & recipe courtesy of

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 egg
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 cups diced apples

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
4 T melted butter

- preheat oven to 375
- mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl, mix wet ingredients (w/ apples) in small bowl - add wet mixture to dry mixture, mix well
- mix topping ingredients in small bowl
- grease muffin pan, scoop batter into muffin pan, sprinkle topping mixture over batter - bake 25 minutes
- eat and enjoy!

Pumpkin Apple Bread
Photo & recipe courtesy of
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Three eggs
1-1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup chopped tart apples
1/2 applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Note: Brenda didn't use raisins, which we both thought would be better without.


Heat oven to 350° F degrees. Butter two loaf pans.

Mix first nine ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, pumpkin, apples, applesauce, and oil. Add in dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Stir in raisins and walnuts.

Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pans for about fifteen minutes; remove from pans and cool on rack.

If you're in need of some fall recipes with apples, these were all very tasty. Enjoy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gifts From Grandma's Trip

Last week I showed you our wonderful Spartan helmet my mom brought us back from Greece. The kids also got some gifts. However, I was waiting to post pics because when my mom was getting stuff out of her suitcase last Sunday when we got back to my house she couldn't find everything. Her lock was busted off one of her suitcases and she thought some stuff got stolen out of it. Needless to say, it was dark outside when she was digging through the suitcase and she was a little jet lagged. Thankfully when she got home later and started unpacking she found the things she thought were missing. What a relief! One was Emme's and one was Ev's. So Saturday she came back to visit so the kids could get the rest of their stuff. They loved it all!

The kids love their t-shirts from Greece. The tag is in the way in Ev's, but I'm sure you can tell it says Spartans!
Grandma knows Emmaline loves her Hello Kitty. All the way from across the water, she brought Em back a Hello Kitty purse. She takes this purse with her every morning on the way to school when we drop Ev off.
Em really likes her Greek doll Grandma brought back.
The drum was well worth the wait (this is what my mom thought was missing from the suitcase). Evan loves it! He can add it to his collection. If you remember, Grandma got him a drum in Africa a couple years ago.
One more t-shirt for Emme. She got a Spartan one like Evan's.
Here's all the goods!
Thanks so much Grandma for everything. We love it all. You're a great shopper!