It's been a very busy October at our house. First, we had a visit from D's sister and family up from New York. Andrea and David left the kids with D's parents on Saturday night so that we could have an adults night out. I was planning to cook a great dinner for them, but it was a crazy week at work and I just didn't have time. Instead we went to our new favorite restaurant, Belle's Bistro. Belle's is a tiny little place that has really fabulous food and is a gem in a town where the other dining options are pretty much limited to Chili's, The 99, Applebees, and some pizza places. I had the pan seared duck breast with pumpkin sage ravioli and roasted brussels spouts and cranberries. It was unbelieveably good!
Unfortunately, because we closed the restaurant down, we didn't have time for a Trivial Pursuit rematch. When we were in New York for Easter we played girls against guys and Andrea and I were victorious (of course). I get a little too in to Trivial Pursuit because it's a game I'm actually good at (as opposed to Monopoly which I don't play anymore since I used to throw a hissy fit everytime I lost to my sister and cousins when i was a kid--of course, they were all at least 3 years older, so it really wasn't a fair match up).
Sunday we hosted a family brunch before Andrea and David and the kids headed home. My in-laws brought the boys up to the house and we ate our first family meal on the new dining room table. I served home fries (from Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook), a monterey jack and french bread strata, bacon, maple glazed sausages, banana bread, and Mary's sticky buns.
After brunch we headed outside and the kids rode their bikes aound the cul de sac and then Avery and I went on an "apple hunt." Our neighbors have 2 apple trees that abut our property and each has tons of apples, but they haven't been treated with any pesticides and so the apples are riddled with bug and worm holes (next spring D and I are going to approach out neighbors about spraying with some sort of organic orchard pesticide). I gave Avery a bucket and had him pick up the dropped apples--we made a game out of lobbing them into the bucket.
With the apple hunting finished, Avery wanted to go on a kitty hunt. We called Mercury, but she didn't want to come out of the woods (she's terrified of unfamiliar people, especially kids). Aparently she came out of the woods eventually because Avery spied her under the deck. He was so happy to have seen her, but unfortunately Ethan didn't get a peek at her before she scooted back into the woods. I went into the swamp to try to lure her out, but to no avail. Instead, I came back with cat-a-nine tails for the kids. While they were no substitute for a real cat, the boys did enjoy using them as light sabers!
Eventually Mercury did come out of the woods and she and I had a nice time cuddling on the sofa for an afternoon nap! She also played with the new catnip mouse that the boys had brought for her...I'll post a picture of that...