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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Busy, busy!

I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOVEMBER!

I had to say that LOUDLY because I really cannot believe it.  The weather this week makes it pretty impossible to believe also.  Here in Western PA, it has been sunny and warm.  The perfect week for me to ignore all my chores and concentrate on washing linens, curtains, and anything else I can get away with hanging out on the line to dry to get that wonderful smell.  I'm not planning on doing my bedroom linens until Thursday or maybe even Friday so I have the entire weekend to enjoy the smell.  Erik laughs at me, but more than the smell, I LOVE the way sheets taken from the line are so taught and crisp on the mattress.    Seriously, can my life get more mundane?

I have so much to share from the past few weeks, I'm not even sure where to start.  I guess I'll first start with Schwalm family photos.  They went extremely well and turned out great.  Especially since I, the photographer, had to be in the pictures.  I had several obstacles to overcome one being that I was to be in the photos, second, that the location I chose, the neighbor's pond, had no good place to set up my tripod as the entire breastwork was only three feet and then steep cliff!  I wanted to get as much scenery in as possible, but still get good close-ups.  Challenge accepted!  I managed to get the tripod set up with the telephoto lens because I had to set the tripod so far away.  But, all turned out wonderfully.  Except, as usual, Walker had one of his bouts of sullenness (as evidenced by some of the family portraits) and Will ran out of patience pretty quickly but my in-laws all seem pretty happy, so it's all good!  We all even kind of matched.  I had planned that my family would be wearing those shades of green and purple, but it just so happened the rest of my in-laws tried to match too.  You know how I love me some coordinating outfits : )








Halloween.  For some reason (let's not go into the psychosis that is driving me in this post, kay?) I am compelled to try to DIY my kids Halloween costumes. Again with the coordinating!  We went to my hometown because my mom's side of the family was having a soup cook off.  We had the kids walk in the Halloween parade on Saturday in my hometown and then we went trick or treating to a few family and friends homes.  My four are the bees and my nephew is Harry Potter and my niece is a pink pig.  I must be completely clear about her being a  pink  pig.


 As is tradition, the week before Halloween, we went trick or treating at our local Mall.   Here are my little bees at the mall.  I have to say, Walker's costume looks pretty good for doing it last minute.  I got the black sweats (I had to turn the sweatshirt inside out because NO STORES SELL ANYTHING PLAIN ANYMORE!  Everyplace has all that graphic tee  crap on it.  Don't even get me started on all the graphic print crap everywhere!)  So, I just used gold duct tape to make strips on the black inside out sweatshirt.  The headbands were from the Dollar Tree.  I had to rip other crap off them to re-invent them as antenae, but it was easy.  And believe it or not, Maggie's skirt was SUPER easy.  It is just yellow petticoat netting and black tulle.  I found a great place to buy Tulle online.  This way, she has a costume AND a "dress-up" outfit when Halloween is over.  I found Whitaker's costume at a consignment sale for $6 and Will's costume was one I had from when Walker was little.






Happy first Halloween, precious boy!

We ended the weekend in my hometown with a soup cook off among family members.  It was a blast.  We had eight entries and four independent judges.  I won't go into how it was fixed because I didn't know that two of the judges DON'T LIKE MUSHROOMS and I made MUSHROOM BISQUE!  I'm not bitter about the fact I came in DEAD LAST with a recipe that is absolutely delicious!

The judges had privacy in the formal dining room at my grandfather's house so they could judge the contest.

 My mom dishes up four servings of her soup for the judges to taste with help from my Aunt.
 My Uncle (the guy who thought up having the contest), my mom and my Uncle's wife.
 The rest of the family noshes on fresh bread and other tasty items while waiting for the judges to deliberate.

My brother in law, also a soup contestant, got his dad to be one of the judges.  His family does lots of fun stuff like this, so JD & Mr. Mik have lots of experience with food contests.  I wish I would have had my camera handy when Mr. Mik was reading the official contest rules - they were awesome!  I did have have it when they read the results.  Not good for me.  Not good at all.

video


Ironically, my sister, who made chicken noodle dumpling soup, was the winner.  Even though my Uncle (the creator of the contest) kept telling her, "Kate, no one is going to win with Chicken Noodle Soup."    

I'm not bitter though!

We're having a meatball contest winter, 2011.  All I can say is watch out family.  This loser is ready for redemption!  I'm pretty sure I have a pretty good advantage as my soup contest winning sister is pregnant and expecting her third child in February.  I'm hoping by the time we have the contest, she'll be in that stage of pregnancy where she doesn't want to do anything.  At least I'm counting on it.  



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