Friday, October 28, 2011

Anticipation Month of October- Blog 5: Letters from Mom and Mimi

Happy Almost Halloween Ellie!!!

We have had the best week ever… because I was home with you on my fall break!  And we have gotten into the Halloween mood.  We have been dressing up, going to the park, running errands, and playing with friends. 


And we even had a day of playing in the snow… yup, that’s right… we had our first snowfall of the year (and although you experienced the white flurries last year, this time around was way more fun!). 

And yes, in this last picture, you thought you lost your hand!

You are talking like crazy- even making short sentences that melt my heart… “Thank you Mama!” “Hi Daddy!”  “Bye Drake (a random friend you made at the park)”  “Miss you Mimi (and you switch this one with Poppy).” “I got you.” “Kiss Mommy (my favorite although this is often a set-up as you tease me… when I pucker my lips, you turn your head!).” "Burp Baby (while you practice being a mom and patting on your doll's back)." "Hat Joe (as you share your Halloween Elmo headpiece with the cat, although he doesn't appreciate your new found sharing skills!)." 

You also have learned how to use the phone… on your pretend one, you call Weaver (Daddy’s best friend here in Colorado who you are in love with!) and have a conversation with him (which I assume you are telling him to come back and visit)!   
And just this week, you for real talk to Mimi on my cell phone now too and are getting the hang of answering her questions instead of just listening.  But you get super-frustrated when the screen goes black and Mimi’s picture disappears… I hope live picture phone chats (like sype) become the norm for you in the future of cell phones Ellie!  We are also working on you saying Happy Halloween and Trick-or-Treat for Monday night!    

But to help us anticipate Halloween even more, here is a great snack to serve for a fall/Halloween party (or even for a tailgate)… your Mimi gave this to me a few years ago and it’s been a staple autumn appetizer (and you, Ellie, being the apple lover these days should adore this)!

Caramel Apple Dip
1 package of 8 ounce regular cream cheese
½ cup brown sugar
Mix those with mixer for a couple of minutes until smooth
Put in a pie pan and refrigerate for 2 hours or more
Then take 1 container of caramel dip… heat in microwave for 30-40 seconds
Pour over the cream cheese mixture
Put back in the refrigerator until guests arrive.
Cut up granny smith apples ahead of time.  Put in gallon plastic bag with a quarter cup of lemon juice and ½ cup of water (this keeps them fresh and not turn brown).
Then eat up when the guests arrive!!!

And for a little reading entertainment, how appropriate is this poem?

Song of the Witches (from MacBeth Scene IV) by William Shakespeare:
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

I can’t wait to take you trick-or-treating on Monday Ellie!   

Love you Monkey (and I love this Monkey Jacket that your Mimi sent- so perfect!),
Love, Mom

And now from your Mimi…

Hi Ellie!

It is such a wonderful day today!  I love when the air is crisp and cool, the kind when your nostrils are the first sense to feel that cool tingling feeling of fresh air!  It is also the perfect day to have a cup of gingerbread tea!  The flavorful aroma that waifs freely from it is not only soothing but places me in a "fall harvest" kind of mood Ellie!  My nostrils are already signaling my other sense (mouth) to start watering for a big red juicy delicious MacIntosh apple!  And it is only 6:00 am in the morning!  Yikes.... I have to eat my oatmeal first!  

I do need to tell you that I did not get a chance to take any fall foliage pictures of State College this year.  My original plan was to try and spend one of these October days with my camera and explore the beautiful areas around town to capture this beautiful season.  Seeing nature at its peek on the color wheel of vibrant shades is definitely a heightened anticipation of mine as we have Mount Nittany not too far from our backyard, Springcreek Park with its covered bridge only a mile down the road and two Apple Orchards on the other side of town… all ideal places for picture perfect photographs Ellie!  Your mommy asked me last month to take some pictures of the foliage here and send them to her.  (Did you know that up until a couple of years ago I used to say “foilage"?) Hee, hee!  Anyway, I think I missed my window of opportunity, as it seems to have fallen over the time period when we were in Florida for your aunt and uncle's wedding.  I shall try again next year El to capture its beauty here as it differs greatly from what you are used to seeing in Denver.  Someday I hope you have the chance to visit us in the Fall and see for yourself the “Monet” that we are nestled inside of.  Better yet, I hope you have the chance to be my camera’s favorite Fall subject!

Well since I am in a "Fall Harvest" mood, I think the perfect recipe to share with you this month is my girlfriend Susan Drenning's famous Pumpkin Bread.  It is truly one of the best comfort foods I have ever eaten.  And when you are old enough to make it yourself.... don't be shy with the drizzle.  It completes this amazing tea accompaniment!  Here it is.

Pumpkin Bread
3 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 - 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2/3-cup water
2 cups pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1-cup oil
4 eggs

Mix all ingredients in large bowl until smooth.  Grease and flour 2 large or 3 small loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

6 tbsp of brown sugar
3 tbsp of milk
6 tbsp butter

Mix in small pan - stirring - let come to a boil - stir until it starts to thicken (usually takes about 8-10 minutes.)  Drizzle over warm pumpkin bread.

Now for my poem choice, I chose something for the very young at heart.  In fact, maybe your mommy can recite it to you this coming weekend, as it is a perfect fit for the Fall Harvest Season.  I loved your mommy's pick by Shakespeare... it too is a perfect fit because of Halloween!   I chose "Five Little Pumpkins" because I work with first graders and I so very much love the little ones!  I hope it gives you a giggle Ellie!  Here it is.

Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate
Author: Unknown

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said,
"Oh my, it's getting late."
The second one said,
"But we don't care."
The third one said,
"I see witches in the air."
The fourth one said,
"Let's run, and run, and run."
The fifth one said,
"Get ready for some fun."
Then whoosh went the wind,
And out went the lights,
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

Ahhhhhhh.... now I am at the end of this weeks blog.  I can't wait to hear how your trick-or-treating weekend goes Ellie.  I hope next week your mommy shares pictures of you in all your costumes!  I am anticipating hearing some wonderful and humorous stories of you!  Ohhhh.  I almost forgot.  Don't forget to say "thank you" to all who are kind to you.  Those two short words go a long way Ellie.... a very long way!

Till next week little munchkin!

Love Mimi


  1. What a fun light blog this week.Love the poems and the receipes. Hope I can always get into these to make these receipes. You both are so creative with these stories.

  2. I take this as a huge compliment as you are one of the best cooks around! I miss you and can't wait to see you in Disney!!!