Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


(Four generations)

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!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Babysitting!

Bob and I had such fun babysitting Alaina the other night. It was Laura's birthday and Aaron was taking her out for supper and a little shopping.
When we arrived she was sleeping in her car seat after a trip out for groceries. She looked so cute in her little hat, which Bob's sister made for her.
As Laura took off her hat, she said she may be wearing more hats in the future...
It seems she is losing her baby hair!


Here she is peering over Bob's shoulder, and yes - she doesn't have much hair on the top of her head. The sides and back are still covered with dark hair though, and I'm wondering how much of it will stay and if the new hair will still be dark.


She got lots of snuggling and kisses that night, and you can see that she is as cute as ever, even with a little less hair!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Floods and treasures


I got a call from my Dad Sunday night telling me that they had a problem at their house. My stepmom had gone downstairs for something and found about 2 inches of water covering the floor. He's never had this problem before, but apparently a tree root had grown through the drainage system, allowing ground water to get in.
There are 2 finished bedrooms in the basement, along with a family room. All the carpet had to be taken up and padding needed to be scraped off as it was the type that was glued to the cement. Insurance didn't cover it because it classified as flood damage.
So - he needed help, and that's what family does! Monday evening, all of us kids, along with our spouses and a few grandkids came over. We pulled carpet, scraped padding, pulled down wallpaper and got rid of all the damaged things into a big dumpster.
Dad had some professionals come in to protect the rest from any mold and make sure things were dried out.
I did come home with some treasure though. The picture above shows 2 of the 3 tables I have set up in my basement that are covered with letters. They are letters that my Dad wrote to my Mom when he was in the army from 1956-1958. Mom had saved them, and they got wet in the basement. I spread them all out on tables and it looks like they are going to be ok.
We were thrilled to see this piece of family history. What a treasure!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Slow Cooking Thursday

I'm sharing one of my favorite recipes today. I make this frequently in the winter - it's so easy and so yummy on these cold days. For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.




White Chicken Chili
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 - 48 ounce jar Great Northern Beans
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
2 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 - 16 ounce jar salsa
3 cups chicken broth

Melt butter in skillet and saute celery, pepper and onion until translucent.
In crock pot, combine broth, cumin, Northern beans, salsa and chicken. Stir together and add celery mixture. Cook on low 4-6 hours. Stir in cheese about 1/2 hour before serving.
Serve with tortilla chips and extra cheese if desired.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ready or not - Winter is coming!

The winter forecast for our area isn't good. All of our local weathermen are predicting above normal snowfall with a few major storms.
Last week we had our first snowfall.
Usually the first snowfall is just some snowflakes gently falling, but not this time!



Usually the snow doesn't accumulate on the ground - but this time it did!



There wasn't a lot of snow by the next morning, but there was enough for my niece Halle to make this cute little snowman. I think she may have been the only person in the area that was happy about the snow. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Annual Christmas shopping trip


Those of you who have been around for awhile, know about our annual sisters shopping trip.
Every year in the beginning of November, my sisters Terri and Cheri, and myself spend a few days doing our Christmas shopping.
We started early Friday morning, after a stop at Laura's house to check in on Alaina.
We shopped all day and were ready for a break when we stopped for supper. We ate at Monelli's, a wonderful Italian place in town. That revived us enough for another shopping stop before checking in at the hotel.
Here you see the results of the 3 of us shopping all day. We always feel funny loading up the luggage rack with shopping bags, but it's nice to sort everything out and redo our lists.
We always have a lot of fun talking and laughing during the evening at the hotel, and this night was no different. We were up far too long, but what fun we had!
Terri had to leave on Saturday morning, because of some school activities her daughter had, but Cheri and I made a few more stops on our way home. When we got home, we both had almost all of our shopping done!
What a fun way to get that shopping out of the way!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veterans Day


What is a Veteran?
A "veteran" - whether active duty, discharged, retired or reserve - is someone who, at some point in their life, wrote a blank check, made payable to the United States of America, for an amount up to and including their life.

Veterans Day is a good time to thank all of our soldiers. A special thanks to my Dad and my son Andy for their service.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Slow Cooking Thursday

I'm sharing another new recipe with you today. We eat a lot of chicken and I like to try out new ways to make it. We all thought this was really good, but next time I'll make rice and serve the chicken over the rice, as it's got a lot of sauce.
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.


Spanish Chicken

1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into serving size pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large green pepper, cut into thin strips
1 large onion, cut into thick wedges
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup chicken broth, divided

Mix flour, slat and spices in small bowl. Sprinkle chicken with small amount of this mix.
Brown chicken in hot oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Remove from skillet and place in crock pot.
Add green pepper, onion and 1/4 cup broth; cook and stir for about 3 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, remaining broth and remaining flour mix. Stir over low heat until well mixed.
Pour over chicken in crock pot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Seasons

You may recognize this first picture as one you've see before. This aisle of trees is off a road I drive down frequently. I always admire it and have been trying to get a picture of it in each season. I've not been able to get a nice Fall shot, because these trees seem to usually just turn brown. However - this year they are beautiful! I stopped last week and got a picture, completing my series.
I think it's such a pretty spot, regardless of season.


Winter



Spring




Summer




Fall


"He changes times and seasons, He deposes kings and raises up others."
Daniel 2:21

Sunday, November 6, 2011

2 weeks old!

My sweet little granddaughter is 2 weeks old today. We are really enjoying being grand parents and find it's hard to stay away from her. :)
Here's a few pictures of Alaina from last week.


Here she is sleeping in the cradle that Bob made for our kids. It's nice to see it being used again.

~~~

I took some newborn pictures of her. We found it was really hard to get her positioned, but we did get a few good shots!










Alaina's doing well, and so are Laura and Aaron.
She's a blessing!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Autumns Smile

We've had an unusual Autumn here in Michigan. It seems to have lasted much longer than usual! It seems the weather has been just right to allow the leaves to stay on the trees longer and to make the colors change at a slower rate.
Here's a few more pictures of what it looks like around here.









I've really enjoyed all this beauty, but I'm afraid it's almost done. The temperature really dropped in the last 24 hours and they say the snow may be coming in a week or two.
I'll leave you with a quote I read this week that I thought summed it up well.

"Autumn, the years last, loveliest smile"
William Cullen Bryant

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Slow Cooking Thursday

I made a new slow cooker recipe this week, and forgot to take a picture!
So, I have a recipe with no picture this week. You'll just have to take my word that it's good!
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.


Apple and Sage Pork Chops


1 1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
4-6 boneless pork chops, 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 apples, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Mix flour, all of spices and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with a small amount of the seasoned flour.
Brown pork chops on both sides in hot oil in large skillet.
Remove pork chops from skillet, add onion; cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Add apples; cook and stir 2 minutes.
Stir juice, sugar and remaining seasoned flour together until well mixed. Pour over onion and apples in skillet.
Place pork chops into slow cooker. Pour onion and apple mix over chops.
Cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011