Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

This year we have had SO MANY chances to wear far we've gone to a fun trick or treating event at the Oklahoma City Zoo called Haunt the Zoo, and yesterday alone we went to TWO costume parties. Today the kids are invited to a costume birthday party, and then tomorrow, of course, is the real deal. Lots and lots of fun and candy!Getting my hubby to dress up is no small feat, let me tell you. We've been married 10 years and this is only the second time he's ever dressed up. So I wanted to make sure that he was happy with his costume. He loves golf and one of his favorite movies is Caddyshack, so he went as Carl Spackler and I was one of the preppy golfers from the country club. I loved how our costumes turned out!

And here's the little goblins all decked out in their outfits. Jonah was the best vampire I've seen in a long time, and Mr. Werewolf had furry sleeves and neck. Then there's Miss Jessie. Sophia has been OBSESSED with Jessie this year so that costume was chosen months ago. I painted an old dress shirt of Jonah's and made some quick cowprint chaps for her. Found the red cowboy hat at Walmart for $5 and we were set! She was so excited about her costume and kept saying that she was the cutest Jessie ever!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Double Digit Milestone

Turning ten is a major milestone if you're a military child. When you hit double digits you get your first military dependant I.D. card. Trust me when I tell you that this is a BIG DEAL for a military kid. And a scary one for the moms & dads.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Secret Agent Party

Over the weekend my Noah turned 10. I'm still in shock that he's reached double digits.
We had a SUPER fun birthday party for him...he picked a Secret Agent theme. I found this great printable party from Simone Made It on Etsy. So much of this party was editable so we were able to personalize it and make it just right for Noah's birthday. All of the guests were sent "Top Secret" invites where they were assigned a code name and given a secret code to decipher, along with a secret handshake. They had to tell the password and do the handshake when they arrived, and if they did both correctly they were given their mission documents. We set up the food table with a magnifying glass cake and some "Truth Serum".Goodie bags were awarded when their mission was complete.Mustaches were offered as disguises. Sophia called hers a "Mustache on a steeeek!" (We may or may not be fans of Jeff Dunham in our house ;) )The hubby brought home a fingerprinting kit from work and fingeprinted all of the 'agents' for their dossiers.We set up a weapons training course and all the "agents" shot Nerf guns at targets we hung from the cabinets.We also set up a Laser Evasion Course in the kitchen with red crepe paper. This was the hit of the party!All of the Secret Agents in their disguises. We really had a great time and it was one of the most fun parties we've had!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

I absolutely LOVE the means I get to bake with pumpkin! Pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. You name it- we love it!

I found this recipe on and knew right away I had to try it fast. I baked a batch up last night and they're all gone today!

Now, this isn't something you can just throw together real quick...this is brownies made from scratch, so be sure to give yourself about 30 minutes for prep time. And then they bake for an hour.

Here's what you need:

3 oz cream cheese, softened

1 Tbsp butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

6 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup butter (1 and a half sticks) cut up

2 and 1/4 cups sugar

4 eggs

1/4 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325*. Line a baking pan (or a regular raised-side cookie sheet) with foil, folding foil over the edges of the pan. Grease the foil and set pan aside.

In a medium mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and 1 Tbsp butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1/2 cup suger. Beat until combined. Beat in 1 egg, the pumpkin, 1 tsp vanilla, cinnamon and ginger until combined. Stir in the 1 Tbsp flour. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the 1 and 1/4 cups flour, the baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large saucepan combine the chocolate and 3/4 cup butter. Cook & stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Gradually add the 2 and 1/4 cups sugar, beating with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined. Add the 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Beat in milk and the 2 tsp vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined.

Spread chocolate mixture evenly in the prepared pan. Pour cream cheese/pumpkin mixture over the top of the chocolate batter. Using a butter knife, gently swirl the cream cheese/pumpkin mixture through the chocolate batter.

Bake 60 minutes or until center is just set when pan is gently shaken.

Cool in pan on a wire rack. Use foil to lift brownies out of pan, and then cut.

Makes 36 brownies. (Or 30 if you cut them a little bigger like I did :) ).