Thursday, April 30, 2009

Military Appreciation Month



Did you know May is Military Appreciation Month? I've always appreciated our Military but since Andy is in the Army it's become more personal. I saw an article in a magazine that listed a few ways to let the troops know you care. Here's their suggestions for this month:


  • Fly the flag at your house or business
  • send an e-mail or letter of thanks to Amillionthanks.org
  • ship a care package to a soldier through Uso.org/donate
  • write a message at Americasupportsyou.mil
  • thank a veteran for their service
  • if you know a member of the military be sure to thank them

Don't forget to let the troops know you care!


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday


It's almost Thursday! That means Sandra is hosting her Slow Cooking meme.
Today's recipe is so simple, you won't believe it!
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Easy Beef Stroganoff
1 can cream of mushroom soup
12.5 ounce can beef broth
1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef stewing meat, cut in 1" pieces
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cooked noodles
Combine soup and broth in 4 quart slow cooker. Stir in meat.
Cover and cook on low for 9 - 10 hours.
Stir in sour cream and cook on high for 20 minutes.
Serve over the hot noodles.
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For more slow cooking recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What's your accent?

It seems that most of us think we talk normally and anyone who talks differently has an accent! I found this quiz that tells you what type of accent you have, if you live in the USA. It pegged me exactly, (right down to calling carbonated beverages pop!) so try it and tell me what it says about you. If you are one of my non American friends, you'll have to see if you stump this test!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Northeast
The Midland
Philadelphia
The South
North Central
The West
Boston
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz




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Monday, April 27, 2009

A new sound of Music

I saw this video clip recently and it made me smile. This takes place in the Central station in Belgium. Watch the people's faces as they realize what is happening. Enjoy!





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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring in West Michigan

It was a tough Winter, but Spring is here! I though I would show you a few pictures of Spring in West Michigan.
This is a double daffodil, blooming in our side yard
.This is Lady's Mantle after a Spring rain.
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These cheery little crocuses are in our front yard

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There is state property near our house where I like to walk. The river is nearby. All this water was frozen, not too long ago, and even though the trees are without leaves, it looks pretty!
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Our forsythia's give a bright splash of yellow in the back yard.

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Down the road from our house is a farm, where horses are boarded. I was out walking early in the morning and was able to see them being let out of the barn. It was fun to see them running around the pasture, with their tales and manes flying. They looked happy to be out in the nice weather too!

Some of the flowering trees are blooming and I see a few trees getting green!



"Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come."

Song of Solomon 2:12

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

centerpiece

I wanted to share my updated centerpiece. Some of you may remember that Laura and Aaron gave this to me for my birthday in November. At that time it had a green candle, pine boughs, pine cones and some glittery balls in it. This piece is so nice, because it can be changed with every season. It helps to have a daughter who is a floral designer!
Laura picked out some things for me to put in it for spring; stones, moss pieces and spring flowers. It looks springy and cheery and I love seeing it on my table.


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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday



It's Thursday and time for another slow cooker recipe. This recipe is kind of a mix between chili and tacos, and it's kid friendly!


Chalupa

3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 boneless pork roast (approx 1 and 1/2 pounds)
1 can pinto beans
1 package corn chips
shredded lettuce
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped tomatoes
salsa
sour cream

In 5 to 6 quart slow cooker; combine water, onion, chilies, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin. oregano and roast. Cook on low 10 hours or until roast is very tender.
Remove roast and cooking liquid and set aside. Shred roast with a fork and return to slow cooker. Stir in pinto beans and enough cooking liquid to keep everything moist. Cook on high for 30 minutes or until heated through.
Spoon meat mixture over corn chips and top with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes salsa and sour cream.

For more slow cooking recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.


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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Works for me Wednesday

We have cable tv and have been noticing our bill has been creeping up. We had talked about cutting something out to use that money for more important things. One of the things we had on cable was the HBO/movie tier. It had been offered to us for a minimal amount but the price had gone up and we never watched it. So - I called the cable company and instead of just asking to have that removed, I told him I was looking for ways to reduce my bill and asked what kind of deals or packages they were offering. After he went through a few things, I asked about one package and what the price would be without the HBO/movie tier. I was thrilled with the response. Our bill was cut by a third but we got more services. We now get the Family channels (DYI for me and the military channel for Bob) and they also threw in a DVR.
The lesson I learned is that it doesn't hurt to call these companies and ask for a better deal!
For more works for me Wednesday ideas, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.



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Monday, April 20, 2009

Complaint Free Week


My friend Jennifer, from Zaankali's Adventures challenged her readers to join her and others who are trying to have a complaint free week. I thought it was interesting that I read this immediately after coming home from Bible study, where our lesson was on contentment.
So - this week, instead of complaining about politicians, things at work, church, your crazy relatives; I'm inviting you to join this challenge. Instead of focusing on the negative - let's look at all we have to be thankful for and praise God instead!
For more information and to sign up for this challenge, visit Sheila, who is the mastermind of this idea! It'll be interesting to see how this week goes!

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tag!



I was tagged by Luann of Daily Grace and Mercy for this 8 meme. Here's a few things about me, in groups of 8:


8 things I am looking forward to this summer:
1. warm weather
2. flowers blooming
3. Heather finishing college
4. having fresh fruits and veggies
5. getting more healthy
6. spending time with family
7. taking pictures
8. a trip to Colorado to see Andy if we can work it out

8 things I did yesterday (Saturday):

1. went to work
2. took a walk
3. did laundry
4. made brownies
5. worked on my Bible study lesson
6. watched a movie (Australia)
7. read blogs
8. made supper


8 things I wish I could do:

1. speak another language
2. play the piano better
3. travel
4. volunteer
5. public speaking
6. draw
7. knit
8.have a talent for decorating



8 shows I watch:
1. Biggest Loser
2. Lost
3. Survivor
4. The Office
5. Extreme Home Makeover sometimes
That's about it - sorry, but I don't have 8.
I'm supposed to tag 8 people to do this, but I've seen this on several blogs, so if you are interested, feel free!


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Friday, April 17, 2009

Awards

It's time to take care of a little business. I was given a few awards this past week that I need to show and share!

The first two awards were given to me by Mike, of Rambling Stuff. The first one speaks for itself.

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This one is probably the most unusual award I've ever gotten! Here's what was said about it:
"These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words."
Hmmm - I don't know about that, but it is a funny award! Thanks Mike for passing these along!

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This sisterhood award comes from Cindy of MonkeyBoy Adventures and Jennifer of Zaankali's Adventures. It is for blogs with great attitude or gratitude. Thanks Cindy and Jennifer, for thinking of me!


You know how these awards work - I'm supposed to pass them on. I have a terrible time with that, because I read so many great blogs and I hate to just pick a few. So - If you are reading this, you get them!


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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Male or Female?




You might not have known this, but a lot of non-living objects are actually either male or female. Here are some examples:

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FREEZER BAGS: They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

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PHOTOCOPIERS: These are female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again.
They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong Buttons.
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HAMMERS: Male, because in the last 5000 years, they've hardly changed at all, and are handy to have around.
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EGG TIMERS: Egg timers are female because, over time, all the weight shifts to the bottom.
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SPONGES: These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.. (ain't that the truth)

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*I got this in an e-mail and thought it was funny and true, so I'm passing it along!


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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday


Sandra is hosting Slow Cooking Thursday again so it's time for another recipe. Today's recipe is a good sandwich, meaty enough to keep Bob happy!
Beef Barbecue
1 boneless chuck roast (approx 3#)
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup apricot or peach preserves
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Cut roast into quarters; place in a greased 5 quart slow cooker. In a bowl, combine the barbecue sauce, preserves, green pepper, onion, mustard and brown sugar. pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 7 - 8 hours until meat is tender.
Remove roast and thinly slice; return meat to slow cooker and stir gently. Cover and cook 30 minutes longer. Serve beef and sauce on rolls.
Yield: 12 servings
For more slow cooking recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Works for me Wednesday

It's Wednesday and time for another thing that works for me. I first heard about this product from my sister Cheri. Her Mother-in-law was working at a decorating place and she found out about it there. It's Tuff Stuff!

This is something that can be purchased at your local hardware or automotive store. It's often used for car interiors but the tip I got was to use it for spot cleaning carpets. I have found it works much better than any other spot cleaner I have tried. It's easy to use and really works well, even on the light carpet in my living room!
For more tips, head over to Kristen from We Are THAT Family.


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Monday, April 13, 2009

A day at work

Most of you have read posts in which I mention my job. I am a nurse at a long term care facility. We do have crazy days at times and there are frustrations in dealing with state inspectors and corporate workers, but for the most part, I really love what I do.
Recently Bonnie did a post where she took us through her day. I thought I would do a small version of that, so when I talk about my job, you can get an idea of what it looks like.
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I get up at 5 am on my work days, spend some time on the treadmill, hop in the shower, have some devotion time, eat breakfast and drive to work. I'm lucky to live close to work and only have a 10 minute drive in. This was the beautiful sunrise I was greeted with, shortly after arriving this morning.

When we are full we have 60 patients. We have 2 nurses on and 6 aides. We also have a bath aide and 2 rehab aides. The nurse aides start earlier than we do and are already working. We nurses start our day by doing a narcotic count. This ensures that anything that has been given is correctly signed out. It also guards against any nurses taking the medication themselves. We have been blessed by not having that kind of problem, but it does go on, so these measures need to be taken. We then listen to a taped report that tells us how all of our residents have done during the evening and night, and brings up any concerns we need to talk to our Dr about.

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After report we start our morning med pass. This is the biggest job of the day. The majority of medications are given at this time. There are also blood sugars to be checked and insulin to be given. We go down the hall with our med carts and give the meds to people as they get up. Most of the medication is ordered for 8:30 am. We have a window of 1 hour before and 1 hour after in which to give these meds. On the top of the med cart you can see the book we use which has all the residents med orders in. To the right of it is something with a blue handle. It is used to crush medications for people who are unable to swallow pills. We use applesauce to give the crushed pills in.

After med pass, we help pass out the breakfast trays.

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This is my friend and co-worker Nancy, at our nurses station. There are 2 computers here, where we do all of our charting. We can usually be found here, doing paper work after breakfast trays are passed. We have a book that has all of our treatments in it, that needs to be signed for each resident. These are things like wound care, oxygen, measuring ankles (for people with congestive heart failure) and other things like that.

After breakfast, we try to do treatments that are needed that day and check in on our residents again. It's usually about 11:30 by this time, which is when we take our 30 minute break. I didn't think to take a picture of our break room, but you're not missing anything exciting!

After lunch, it's time for another med pass and a few blood sugar checks. There are not nearly as many as the earlier one and it only takes 30 to 40 minutes. We then are back at the computers, trying to chart. Charting isn't an exciting thing to do but it's important!

During this time we also get a call from our doctor. He calls every day to see if there are any problems or issues he needs to deal with. Any orders he gives, need to be entered into the computer. We also use this time to finish our other miscellaneous tasks and do another check on our residents.
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This is the view we have from our nurses station. In the afternoon, the residents like to gather here and it can be quite a busy place!

The next shift arrives a few minutes before 3 pm and before we leave, we do another narcotic count and pass on any information they will need. If it's been a good day we are able to leave a few minutes after 3. It's usually about 3:15 but can be quite a bit later depending on what's happening.

I'm usually home by 3:30, in time to do something about supper and often start a load of laundry. Then I log onto my computer and check in with all of you!

I hope this wasn't too long or boring, and gave you a little glimpse into my day!




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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ben Stein's last column

Someone who works with me gave me this article to read. I thought it was so good that I wanted to share it with you. I did check to make sure it was something that was actually written by Ben Stein and found that it was. He wrote this last column in 2004 and although it is 5 years old, it's still true. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column called 'Monday Night At Morton's .' (Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known to be frequented by movie stars and famous people from around the globe.) Now, Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life. Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time.

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How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?As I begin to write this, I 'slug' it, as we writers say, which means I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is 'eonline FINAL,' and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started. I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end. It worked well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person and the world's change have overtaken it. On a small scale, Morton's, while better than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as it used to. It still brings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars. I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit, and right before that, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, in which we agreed that Splendor in the Grass was a super movie. But Morton's is not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again. Beyond that, a bigger change has happened. I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to. How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a 'star' we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails. They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world. A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad. He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him.A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad. The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish weddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists. We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines. The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die. I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament..the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards. Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters. This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin or Martin Mull or Fred Willard--or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them. But, I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms. This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.


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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter

It's the week of Easter and I saw this video clip reminding me that although we think of the cross and the death of Christ this week, Easter is a celebration of life! Christ's death and resurrection is what gives us the sure hope of eternal life.
May you have an Eater blessed with the promise of Life!




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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday

I can't believe Thursday is here again. The week has flown by! Anyway, you know what Thursday means. The lovely Sandra is hosting Slow Cooking Thursday again. Today's recipe is not only easy, it's a whole meal. I like those kinds of recipes!

One Pot Easy Chicken

6-8 potatoes, washed and quartered
1-2 large onions, sliced
6 carrots, sliced thinly
4 pounds chicken with skin removed (may use legs, thighs, breasts...)
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 cup chicken broth

Layer potatoes, onions and carrots in bottom of 6 quart slow cooker.
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place in slow cooker over vegetables.
In bowl, mix chopped onions, pepper and garlic salt. Sprinkle evenly over chicken pieces, and rub in.
Pour broth slowly over chicken. Stir together oregano and rosemary, then sprinkle over top of chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.


For more slow cooking recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.



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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Works for me Wednesday


It's time for another Works for me Wednesday post! My tip for today is really an easy one, but since it took me so long to try this, I thought some of you might need to hear it too.
Have you ever used parchment paper? I never did until about 5 years ago, but now I am hooked! It prevents things from sticking and has saved me from cleaning some messy pans. I use it frequently when baking rolls or biscuits. I've also used it when cooking fish or chicken - just lay it on the pan, put your food on it and cook as usual. You can also line pans when baking brownies or cakes. If you've never tried it, see how it works for you!

For more tips, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Oh Baby, part 2

Last week I took the challenge offered by Rachel of in His Hands and posted baby pictures of Bob and I. At the time I was having trouble getting pictures of my kids to scan. I got them to work so now, although it's a little late I'm showing you pictures of my kids when they were young.
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Here is Laura, our oldest who is now 26 years old. She is the one that has a big heart. She always was concerned about others and was not afraid to stick up for her beliefs. She is also the most strong willed of all three and had a temper from the time she was born. Look at that red hair!
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Heather is our second child. She is now 23. She has always been our most easygoing kid. It takes a lot to get her upset. She is also very willing to help and often does things without being asked. She still has those dimples!

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Here is Andy, who is now 20. He was also an easygoing kid and even now I rarely see him get upset or angry. He is the comedian of the bunch and if you've read his blog you can see hints of that.

God has truly blessed us with 3 wonderful kids, each with their own unique personalities and I had fun sharing their baby pictures with you.



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