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Halloween is Almost Here!

26 October 2009
The Papen household is bustling with activity this week!  We’re having our first Deer Park Farms Halloween Bash on Friday night, and everyone is in high gear preparing for the big night!  The doorway is decorated, the mantle adorned, and little touches can be found everywhere…but, most importantly, the smells of the holidays are wafting from the kitchen!
The weekend flew by in a flash.  Saturday it was just me and Ellie Graye until late afternoon when Jeffrey arrived from his long drive from California with the Mercedes.  We spent lots of time checking on Frankie, playing and even headed to buy some boots for EG (she picked out an adorable pair)!
My brothers came over in the evening and tasted my Tomato Sage Soup and grilled cheese after taking a nice walk around the property in the crisp fall air.  I LOVE that they come visit so frequently – it really always makes my day brighter.
Uncle Jake and Ellie – same style of eating! 🙂

Uncle Colin helping out

Boots is REALLY keeping his eye on that food!
Sunday was a slow day…Jeffrey helped out so much both with Ellie and in the kitchen!!!  Being a family really is an incredible experience…at times I’m a total pain in the ass when Jeffrey comes home, and he still is patient and loving.  I’m used to things being done my way, in my time, and to my liking, and adjusting to having him back can be a bit tricky.  In all honesty, he tries so damn hard not to disturb our routine, but I’m not always so great at communicating what our routine IS!  I’m working on that part!  He is incredibly helpful – I just have to tell him what I need, and not assume that he can read my mind – he can’t!!!! Sigh.  The joys of relationships!  I’m learning – slowly, but surely!

my babies hanging with Daddy!

Daddy helping EG with her toy Wok

Jeffrey making spider toothpicks…

Yep, I told you he’d do almost anything I asked!
I spent Sunday afternoon in the kitchen baking and baking and baking and baking…I, of course, made my famous Sugar Cookies (no event would be complete without them), but I cheated this time…instead of making my own royal icing, I decided to use Wilton’s.  It’s much easier and faster – though I have to admit, I feel like I cheated!  I’m so glad that Mari over at Once Upon A Plate introduced me to the joy of cookie painting through her blog!

Jeffrey and I put our heads together to figure out a creative way to serve my Pulled Chicken…he brilliantly thought of Han

nibal Lecter heads…these are going to be such a hit!

We used edible marker pens to draw the faces!

The absolute highlight of the weekend, however, was Sunday evening.  Grandma Lene has been excitedly waiting for an opportunity to have Ellie Graye overnight…and Jeffrey and I have been chomping at the bit to have a night sans little one to celebrate our 3 years of marriage. So, late afternoon found us packing bags, and heading to Grandma and Grandpa Ed’s.  Mom needed to do a fitting for Jeffrey’s costume, so after a quick try-on, Jeffrey and I said our good-byes to our beautiful little girl (who couldn’t care less that her parents were leaving her – she’s obsessed with her Grandpa Ed and Cassie, their dog!).
After I had had a quick shower and even managed to put on some make-up, husband and wife headed over to Newberg for an amazing dinner at the Painted Lady.  It wasn’t exactly what we had expected, but it did not disappoint in the least bit.  Even with a fixed menu, both Jeffrey and I were able to order different items and had a true taste of all the restaurant had to offer.  If ever you find yourself in wine country, a visit to this restaurant is an absolute must!  Unfortunately, Jeffrey had to leave this morning at 5:30, so we kept it an early night.
Mondays are always a bit challenging – especially when I have to say good bye to Jeffrey.  It was nice, however, to wake up at my own speed, lounging a bit before slowly putting on my comfy-cozy sweatshirt, making some coffee, then feeding the dogs.  No screaming baby.  No need to pull out the pans and start cooking.  No chasing anyone around.  Aaaah, the good ol’ days…nice to revisit, but I DID miss that little blond, blue-eyed cutie-patootie.
Heading out to feed the horses, it was cold and rainy.  I don’t really mind the rain, but man, oh man, the horses love it.  They obviously had been standing outside in their runs for quite some time, because both of them were completely soaked.  Frank’s swelling hasn’t gone down at all, and in fact, now his two front legs have pretty good size edema.  His belly had gone down a bit yesterday, but the spot where all the fluids had collected had grown, and his sheath was massive.  He did eat over night, which is good, but I still am worried sick about him.  He just isn’t right.  The shape of his manure has changed in the last few days, and is smelling terribly (I know, I know, not something you necessarily want to know).  Dr. Fisher isn’t sure what to do at this point…the good news is that he started urinating normally.  Maybe this whole thing will just fix itself.  Not sure what else to do for the damn horse.
Picked up EG at Grandma Lene’s house, and then we all headed out to swim class.  Mom was amazed to see that Ellie can dive to the bottom of the pool, pick up rings, and bring them back to the surface.  As much as I am an advocate of infant swim, I think I sometimes lose perspective on what “normal” is.  I’d venture to bet that 99% of my readers have never seen a 15 month old child dive to the bottom of the pool, swim back up, and ask to do it again!  It’s funny how the awe goes away…it takes more and more to impress me, I guess! 🙂  I can’t imagine what it must take to impress Kelley at SwimBabes!
 For those of you who haven’t seen this yet, it’s Ellie Graye at 13+ months:

The rest of the day I spent…….well….take a wild guess……yep, BAKING!  I made cupcakes, coffin brownies, roasted pumpkins and then made pumpkin pie bread (from our pumpkins), as well as painted more of those cookies that I have pictured above.  Tomorrow will be more of the same…swimming, decorating and baking! 🙂

starting to cut the coffin brownies

using a frosting dispenser to put batter in the mini cupcake pan…sooooo much easier!

Mini loaf of pumpkin pie bread (recipe to come)
So here’s to a new week — and to hoping I have a moment to rest!!!!

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2 Comments to “Halloween is Almost Here!”

  1. yum yum yum…PUMPKIM BREAD…EVERYTHING SOUNDS INCREDIBLE…please keep me filled on on Frankie! I have noticed with horses that swelling in any aread stays around for a while.. Takes time to go down. It could have been one small thing that incorperate another and now its back to healing but take is OWN time to repair…call me anytime and I will explain …been there …done that…doncha just love horses… :/

  2. it's Dana

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