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Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas to all of my dear blogging friends!
Wishing you all good times with friends and family, remembering that baby, who was the first and best gift ever!

I'm taking a short blogging break over the next week, and will see you next year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cooking Thursday

Are you looking for a quick and yummy treat to make for Christmas? I've got just the thing for you! This caramel corn is so easy and it's got no hulls when you eat it. I've been making it for a few years and it's always a hit!
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.


Best Ever Caramel Corn

2 bags Jays Corn Puffs
2 sticks butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pour bags of corn puffs into a turkey roaster pan.
In a deep sauce pan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla.
Bring mix to boil over medium heat. Once it begins boiling, boil for 2 minutes. (Don't over boil)
Remove from heat and stir in baking soda; the mix will become foamy.
Slowly pour half the mix over the corn puffs and stir gently. Then pour remaining mix over corn puffs and stir to coat fully.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Dump entire contents onto wax paper to cool completely. Break apart and store in airtight container.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas project

I have to show you the project I've been working on this past week. I saw the instructions for it on Pinterest, and thought it would be great for gifts for the nurses aides I work with.

What can you do with a washer, a bead, some cord and scrapbook paper?




Cut the scrapbook paper to shape, glue it to the washer, sand the edges and put a glaze over it.
Then string the cord through it, add a bead and you have a necklace!


I think they turned out pretty cute. Hope the aides like them too!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A day with Alaina

I had such a fun day on Friday!
It was my day off and Laura asked if I could watch Alaina. Of course - there was no question about that!
My sisters were also coming to spend the morning together, so Miss Alaina got lots of attention. My work Christmas gathering was at noon, so she came along and was shown off there, and we also stopped at the Hardware store to visit Grandpa.


She is such an easy going baby, she handled all that running around without a whimper.
She smiles like crazy, and is very alert - watching everything going on around her.



When Bob came home from work, they had a little nap together, before we bundled her up and brought her back home.
There's nothing like snuggling with a baby!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Swagbucks

Search & Win

I've posted before about my love for swagbucks. It's a great way to get free stuff! I had over $200 in my Amazon.com account to use for my Christmas shopping this year, that I earned since January using Swagbucks.
If you haven't tried it, now is the time!

Swagbucks is going crazy on Monday, with more ways for you to earn reward points towards free stuff. First, they're having a Swag Code Extravaganza, which means a fun day where you can earn up to 70 Swag Bucks from 8 different codes throughout the day!

Second, there's a new set of Holiday Collector's Bills which you can only earn through search - get all five and you'll receive an instant 12 Swag Bucks bonus! The set starts at noon on Monday

Finally, for any referral you bring in today through the 19th, you'll not only get up to 1000 matching Swag Bucks from Search, but 1000 Matching Swag Bucks from everything they earn (not including codes) all day Monday - they're calling it Mega Match Monday!

Three big reasons to visit Swagbucks this Monday!

Also - if you sign up now, you can get 100 swagbucks just for using this code during the registration process:
HOLIDAYSWAG

Just click on the picture at the top of this post to get started!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa's Cranky Elf

Poor Oliver! He has to endure such abuse here...
Heather found this little elf hat and we knew it would look so cute on him. However, he doesn't agree and was not too cooperative in posing:


Does this look like a happy cat?


"Fine - I'll sit here for one minute."


"Oh, the shame!"


"Now I'm getting mad!"


"I must get out of this thing"



"Grrrr"



"Success! Don't try that again!"

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas trees around the world

The Capitol Christmas tree in Washington, D.C., is decorated with 3,000 ornaments that are the handiwork of U.S. schoolchildren. Encircling evergreens in the 'Pathway of Peace' represent the 50 U.S. states.



The world's largest Christmas tree display rises up the slopes

of Monte Ingino outside of Gubbio, in Italy's Umbria region.

Composed of about 500 lights connected by 40,000 feet of wire,

the 'tree' is a modern marvel for an ancient city




A Christmas tree befitting Tokyo's nighttime neon display is

projected onto the exterior of the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.




Illuminating the Gothic facades of Prague's Old Town Square,

and casting its glow over the manger display of the famous

Christmas market, is a grand tree cut in the Sumava mountains

in the southern Czech Republic.




Venice 's Murano Island renowned throughout the world

for its quality glasswork is home to the tallest glass tree

in the world. Sculpted by master glass blower Simone

Cenedese, the artistic Christmas tree is a modern

reflection of the holiday season.



Moscow celebrates Christmas according to the Russian Orthodox

calendar on Jan. 7. For weeks beforehand, the city is alive with

festivities in anticipation of Father Frost's arrival on his magical

troika with the Snow Maiden.

He and his helper deliver gifts under

the New Year tree, or yolka, which is traditionally a fir.




The largest Christmas tree in Europe (more than 230 feet tall)

can be found Lisbon, Portugal.

Thousands of lights adorn the tree, adding to the special

enchantment of the city during the holiday season.


Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree': Even in its humblest attire,

aglow beside a tiny chapel in Germany's Karwendel mountains,

a Christmas tree is a wondrous sight.




Ooh la la Galeries Lafayette!

In Paris, even the Christmas trees are chic.

With its monumental, baroque dome, plus 10 stories of lights and

high fashion, it's no surprise this show-stopping department store draws

more visitors than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower




In addition to the Vatican's heavenly evergreen, St. Peter's Square

in Rome hosts a larger-than-life nativity scene in front of the obelisk.




The Christmas tree that greets revelers at the Puerta del Sol

is dressed for a party. Madrid's two-week celebration makes

millionaires along with merrymakers. On Dec. 22, a citizen

will win El Gordo (the fat one), the world's biggest lottery.



A token of gratitude for Britain's aid during World War II,

the Christmas tree in London's Trafalgar Square has been

the annual gift of the people of Norway since 1947.



Drink a glass of gluhwein from the holiday market at the Romer;

Frankfurt's city hall since 1405 and enjoy a taste of Christmas past.




Against a backdrop of tall, shadowy firs, a rainbow trio of

Christmas trees lights up the night (location unknown).




Arlington Cemetery
These wreaths -- some 5,000 -- are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine. The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He's done this since 1992. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Grand Rapids Favorite son

I have some pictures I took this Fall that I meant to share with you and forgot. So - here they are a few months late!

Grand Rapids is the birthplace of our 36th president, Gerald Ford. He lived here and served as a Representative from this district until he was appointed Vice-president in 1973.
He and Betty were well loved here, and when both of them died, the streets were lined with citizens as the motorcade made its way through the city. His family came out and talked to many of the people who stood in line to pay respects.
I thought I would share a few pictures of their final resting place.


This is the Ford Presidential Museum.


As you walk along the side of the museum, you will come to the spot where the Ford's are buried. It's open to the public.





There is nothing fancy in this spot, just a quiet place to pay your respects.



A little closer shot of the words.




This is what it looks like, looking back.

Gerald R Ford
July 14, 1913-December 26, 2006

Elizabeth Bloomer Ford
April 18, 1918-July 8, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Sun is still shining





Last week was a tough week for our family. Our Heather lost her job very unexpectedly and this brings up many worries, not the least of which is the issue of insurance because she is diabetic.
We went through a few days of questioning and some anger, and although we still wonder why and are frustrated about the whole thing, we also know we can still trust God with the big picture. He has always taken care of us before, and I know He will again, even when things don't make sense to us.
The other day I saw this dreary scene, overlooking the sports fields near Bob's Moms house. It looked dismal and dark, but then the clouds parted and the sun appeared! The same clouds that looked so dark, began to glow and the sky looked beautiful.
Have you noticed that the sky is so much prettier when there are some clouds in it, and sunsets need clouds to make them beautiful? I think the same holds true in our lives. None of us like trouble, but it is in those times that we really see God's hand.
Also - even when the clouds cover the sun, it's still shining!
I'd appreciate your prayers for Heather that she find a job where she is blessed and can be a blessing to others.

I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."
Psalm 91:2

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Putting up the tree


Do you have your tree up yet? Ours is up but we sure had issues this year!
We have an artificial tree, so setting it up was no problem. It's pre-lit, but we always string extra lights through the tree so it doesn't have lights just on the tips. And that's where we had trouble.
We started putting lights on and kept having trouble with them not working. We got to the top of the tree, and couldn't get lights to work. We had to stop for the night and I went out and picked up more lights the next day. When we went to put them on, we found that they were white - not the lights, but the cord. Now that would have looked a little funny on a Christmas tree don't you think?
So - I went back to the store the next day, making sure I got the right lights this time.
We finally got them all on and finished the tree. It looks great and I'm so glad to have it up!
Are you wondering about the picture? That's Oliver, trying to help with the decorations. Any bag or box we got out, he jumped into and checked for us. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday work

I work in a business that never closes. People are needed at the Nursing home, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means I work every other weekend and every other holiday. This was my year to work Thanksgiving.
Although spending the day with family is preferable, it's really not so bad to work either.
It's always a little more laid back, many of the residents are looking forward to either going out or having family visit and we get to see a lot of families and catch up with them.
I work with some really great people, who really want to make the day special for our residents. One of our aides went out and got make-up and hair styling products, and a few of them spent extra time in fixing up many of the ladies. There was a lot of laughing and joking around between staff and residents. When I greeted one of my men in the morning with a "Happy Thanksgiving", he responded by saying "I hadn't seen any sign of it, until this turkey (meaning me) walked into the room". He thought he was pretty funny!
It also happened to be my birthday, so I was serenaded with the birthday song at breakfast and was spoiled with a few gifts and lots of birthday greetings.
There is also the sad part of holidays for those residents whose families don't visit often and don't show up on the holidays. One of our ladies was pretty sad to see others going out and no one coming to see her. We try to provide some cheer, but it doesn't match up to what family could do.
After work, I joined my family at Bob's Mom's house, where I had some leftover turkey on a roll and a yummy piece of cheesecake! I also got to spend some time with family.


Here's Bob's Mom snuggling with her newest great grandbaby. I think Alaina looks pretty content, don't you?



Some of the family helped set up Mom's Christmas tree. It was a nice way to end the evening. Hope you all had a good day too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Day


Hope you all have a blessed day, spending time with family and friends and taking time to thank God for all the ways he has blessed us again this year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Being Thankful

Different times of the year bring different things to mind. In February we think about love, May brings the changing seasons and thoughts of outdoor fun, August reminds us the school is going to start soon, but November is special. In November we are reminded to be thankful. It's not about our plans or what we want, but a time to be reminded of how much we already have.
I remember seeing the old movie 'Pollyanna' in school. If you haven't seen it, the story is about a little girl who chooses to see the good in everything. That movie made a big impression on me, and I've always tried (but don't always succeed) to look for the positive.
I think being thankful is very similar. It seems that no matter what the situation, there is always something you can find to be thankful about.
Do you know who is best at this? It seems to be those who by outward appearances have the least to be thankful for. I've been able to care for several young people who were dying. They consistently thanked God for the way He worked in their life, thanking Him for each new day and the different ways He cared for them as they went through this process. What a reminder to those of us who take so much for granted!
As this month comes to an end, and we start concentrating on the busyness that the Christmas season brings, remind yourself of the many ways God has blessed you and keep a thankful spirit through the year, not just for one season!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Men at Work - Yikes!

A friend sent me this e-mail with pictures of men working. I'm not a fan of heights so these pictures get to me. See what you think of them!




























I'm thinking that if these guys Mom's could see them, they'd be pretty upset!