A Yummy Experiment and Dress-Up Fun

Weekly Happenings: This past week, we were coming down from the high of Halloween and gearing up for the official holiday season (the stores were really helpful, since they have Christmas stuff up already). We didn’t really do too much out of the ordinary, to be honest. It’s going to get progressively busier the closer we get to the end of November and into December, so it’s nice to have down time.

The Weekly Weather: It’s been typical fall weather: cold mornings and warm afternoons, followed by mild evenings. We haven’t had any rain lately, but could really use some!

What Paul’s Been Up To: He was the only one in the office at work (everyone else was at a training). He’s also been asked to help with the camera for the recorded parts of church services that we broadcast to the church members who are more comfortable staying at home due to COVID.

What Sarah’s Been Up To: I tried a new roll recipe! This was the “yummy experiment” I referred to in the title. It’s the first time I’ve ever actually kneaded dough by hand (well, I watched my mom plenty of times when I was little, but I don’t remember actually helping her do anything other than making my own little roll every once in a while). They turned out pretty good, but they were quite a bit denser than I expected. The recipe said to let the dough rise for an hour, then to form it into rolls and then let them rise again for 20-30 minutes…which I don’t think was long enough. I think I probably should have let them rise for forty-five minutes, or even an hour. Every other bread recipe I have says that both rising times need to be an hour. So, I think that the next time I make them, I’ll try letting then rise for longer for the second proofing and see what happens.

What Joseph’s Been Up To: He had a great week at school and is excited for the upcoming holidays (especially since he gets a full week off for Thanksgiving and two full weeks for Christmas). He was also excited that we found him a costume for next Halloween already. Target was trying to get rid of their surplus costumes, so they had them for half off, which was great!

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She was also excited to get a couple of costumes from Target’s half-off sale. I got her a couple since she likes to play dress-up (I got them big enough that she can wear them right now for dress-up, but they’ll still fit her next Halloween).

This Week in Pictures:

After getting the dough all together…that silicone pastry mat in the background was a life-saver. My counter tops are slightly textured, so dough has a tendency to stick quite a bit. Having that nice, smooth surface to work on made it way easier. Plus, I was able to just kind of scrunch it up and bring it right to the trash to dispose of my extra flour, so that was nice, too.
Doubled in size after the first rising.
Portioned into rolls…
After the second rising (and brushed with honey butter). I can tell they’re bigger than they were in the first picture, but I don’t think they’re quite doubled in size. Next time, I’ll definitely let them rise for longer during the second proofing.
The finished product! The honey butter made them nice and golden on top…though, it looks like one side of my oven might be hotter than the other side, haha. Maybe next time, I need to flip the pan around halfway through the baking time. It’s all an experiment, really.
Costume number one (not the leggings…she just didn’t want to take them off)! She loves witches and bats and anything shimmery, so this one was a given.
She made a “magic potion” that she made me taste…then told me that it turned me into a frog. A little while later, she told me that since she was a nice witch, she would make another potion that would turn me back. 😀
Sporting my dad’s old hat. <3
She was about to point out that she could still see the moon when I snapped this picture. I just wanted to make sure I documented just how much she loves unicorns right now.
Costume number two! She likes that she has brown eyes and brown hair just like Belle.
I love multi-use kitchen items. These bowls are meant for batter, but I use them for so many other things: tonight, the little one is the perfect vessel for some fresh guacamole.
So…after I tucked away my spiderweb fabric with all the other Halloween stuff, I felt I needed something to break up the two different browns (the table and the charger). A trip to Target yielded the perfect solution: a fabric napkin! I really like how it breaks up the brown without drawing attention away from the focal pieces (my Harp Design Co. candlesticks).
All ready for church! She said she was pretending to be a giraffe and that Paul needed to take her picture, so he did. 😂

What We Were All Waiting For

Weekly Happenings: This past week, the main attraction was definitely Halloween. Earlier in the day, we painted pumpkins which the kids really enjoyed. Paul stayed home and handed out candy (he sat 6 feet away from a table that he had set up with candy spread out so that the kids could go and pick out some candy). He also had our projector out, playing “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” using our garage door as a backdrop. I took the kids around to trick-or-treat. A lot of people did similar things as us (candy spread out, pre-packed treat bags, etc.). A few came up with some more involved plans. One house had a candy chute using a long PVC pipe. They stuck the candy in the chute and it shot out the bottom into the kids’ buckets. Another place used a remote control car to “deliver” bags of candy. We only went to four streets before the kids’ buckets were full. It was a super fun night!

The Weekly Weather: We had one day this past week that was really cold (it didn’t even get up to 50). The mornings have been rather cold, but then it’s warmed up into the 70s by the afternoon.

What Paul’s Been Up To: Working, getting stuff done for election day, getting HOA stuff done, etc. He’s been elected to the HOA board and it looks like the turnover from the builder to the homeowners is going to happen relatively soon.

What Sarah’s Been Up To: All my normal stuff! I did also host a virtual Pampered Chef party which was a lot of fun.

What Joseph’s Been Up To: He loved getting to wear a costume to school on Friday. He also has decided he wants me to teach him piano. It’ll be a fun adventure!

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She insisted on wearing a costume to school drop-off on the day when Joseph got to wear his costume. 😀 Also, she cracked me up when she was playing school some time this week. She got her lunch box and backpack and then came up to me and asked me to beep her forehead. At first, I had no idea what she was referring to, but then I remembered that every morning, Joseph gets his temperature taken by a staff member before entering the school. I guess it’s another sign of 2020. 😉

This Week in Pictures:

She wanted to be “Winter Batman”.
I used a dish towel as a cape and she has some fuzzy gloves that Alice sent us (they are Olympics swag from when the Olympics were in Canada a while back).
“Winter Batman to the rescue!”
She stole my shoes…
…but it’s okay, since she’s such a friendly witch.
Some of my 70-some-odd tomatoes were ready to be picked. The rest need a bit more time.
Getting ready to paint pumpkins.
Abigail wanted “all the rainbow colors”.
Joseph went for a happy monster.
All our pumpkins. You can see Joseph’s finished monster.
He painted a stick-man on the side…
…and a green monster on the other side.
I went for artsy.
Paul went for a Mandalorian helmet.
Close-up of Abigail’s pumpkin.
Masks for trick-or-treating…
…but smiling faces underneath!
Every year we have to find the Charlie Brown house.
Last night’s full moon. I know it doesn’t happen often that we get a full moon on Halloween, so I made sure to snap a picture.
This morning, she told me that she wanted a “REAL necklace” to wear to church. Luckily I have a couple pieces that I don’t really wear anymore.
My board for November. I liked last year’s quote so much that I just put it back up.

Bonus Video: Joseph loves making up challenges for himself. This time, it was an underhand toss followed by an overhand catch.


These Are the Days

Weekly Happenings: This past week, I was in a bit of a funk…I suppose it was a result of getting back into real life after having partied it up with Tracie fora few days there. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Texas, but man, there are times where I still get struck with waves of homesickness for my family and friends that knock me back a few paces. When that happens, I’ve found that I need to look around and recount my many, many blessings (my immediate family, the new friends I have made here, our beautiful home, the fact that I can stay home to raise our children, and many, many more). When I’m able to do that, I can put that grumpy gal back in her corner and feel more like myself. This was a pretty average week as far as activities go, so that has helped me get back into the groove of things, too.

The Weekly Weather: It’s kind of been all over the place. We’ve had warm days, hot days, cool days, dry days, soupy humid days…pretty typical for this time of year when we’re kind of in-between summer and winter, haha.

What Paul’s Been Up To: He worked from home this week, which was nice for when I needed to run a few errands that were easier done sans bringing the toddler with me. I’m so grateful for such a supportive spouse!

What Sarah’s Been Up To: I had a couple nights where I got together with small groups of people for some fun activities: a girls’ night where we each brought some fun items and exchanged them amongst ourselves and then a movie night with my book club friends where we watched a movie adaptation of one of the books we just read.

What Joseph’s Been Up To: He’s battled an allergy attack this past week that he seems to be getting better from finally…and he still is enjoying going to school in-person.

What Abigail’s Been Up To: Her imaginative play has just exploded this week and she’s getting a bit better at entertaining herself (without destroying the house, haha) rather than wanting me to entertain her all of the time.

This Week in Pictures:

She told me she was all ready for Halloween. 🙂 She is also getting better at looking at the camera and smiling at me when I ask her to (this is her “Cheese!” face). When I look at pictures like this, I’m so grateful I can bottle these moments: when she loved to dress up…when she loved wearing her Christmas shirt in October…she can be challenging at times, but she really is a blessing and delight.
I’m experimenting to see if I can keep a centerpiece on the table again. There was a while that Abigail would climb up and take everything down (if you notice, the salt and pepper aren’t there because I’m still burned from the time that she made it “snow” in the dining room with salt…and the napkins aren’t there because she would scatter them on a regular basis). Obviously the spiderweb fabric will only be there for Halloween, but I pulled down the wooden place mat again. I already had the plant (it had just been living on the breakfast bar before), but the candle sticks are new. When I went to Waco a couple weeks ago, we went to Clint Harp’s store (Clint was the guy who would do all of the custom woodwork on the show Fixer Upper) and I bought a couple candle sticks. So far, Abigail has done really well with them all. I told her they were special to me and they needed to stay on the table. I also let her play with the green bucket that had been up there before, so that definitely sweetened the deal, haha.
She’s ready for her close-up!
In order to get the nice picture…
…I had to promise to do a crazy one.
The aftermath of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. I gave it to her to eat and then walked off. A few minutes later, I hear, “Mom…Momma…Mom! I LOVE peanut butter cups.”
She had dressed up like a princess (complete with magical flying horse, a magical sword, a princess crown and dress, and her favorite sparkly Anna and Elsa shoes) right before it was time to get Joseph from school. Since I’m a firm believer in picking my battles, we drove to go get him. That way, we could just wait in the car for him, haha.
It was a bit chilly this morning, so she decided she needed to snuggle with her Minnie Mouse blanket and all the clubhouse pals.
Paul picked up some mini pumpkins so that Abigail could decorate one. He put the others on the table to give the centerpiece a bit more of a fall look. I love it! When November hits, I’ll tuck away the spiderweb fabric, but I think I’ll leave the pumpkins as far into November as I can (before they mold).
The blank spot above the dinosaur poster had been niggling at me, but I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted up there. A couple of days ago, I went to Hobby Lobby for something completely unrelated and I found the perfect thing.
These two canvas prints are perfect with what I’ve already got going on. Paul hung them up today and they look great!