Sunday, June 30, 2013

A little time off



I have a little time off this week.  I'm working Monday but then have off until Saturday.
Our bedroom is in need of some updating and I plan to get it painted during that time.  However, I have to start by taking down a wallpaper border, and then getting things out of the room.  I don't mind the painting but that prep work is no fun!
Anyway, I'm taking some time away from the blog too, so I can keep working on the room.
I'll share pictures when I'm done.  See you next week!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

How to fold a shirt...

I saw this video clip on Facebook.  It shows a most unusual way to fold a shirt that only takes about 2 seconds.  I had to try it a few times before I figured it out, but it works!  It makes folding laundry easier, plus it's just fun.  See if it works for you!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cooking Thursday

The recipe I'm sharing today is one I got from Bob's sister. It's easy to throw together, is good and it's healthy too!



Salsa and Black Bean Chicken

3 large chicken breasts (about 20 ounces)
1 can corn
1 can black beans, drained
1 jar salsa of your choice
6 slices Velveeta Queso Blanco cheese

Stir together corn, black beans and salsa in a 7x11 or 9x13 pan.
Cut chicken breasts in half and place into salsa mix, pressing chicken down so salsa surrounds the meat.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
Remove from oven and put one slice of cheese over each piece of chicken.
Place back into oven for about 5 minutes, until cheese melts.
 Serve chicken with salsa and bean mix.

6 servings, about 200 cal each.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

15 ways we're different



Last week The Pioneer Woman and Betsy, over at My Five Men  posted 15 ways that they were different than their husband.  I thought it was a fun post and decided to share my own list of ways Bob and I are different.

1)   He gets a headache if he doesn't drink coffee.  I don't like coffee.

2)   He hates reality shows like Survivor..., they are my favorite.

3)   He can envision what something he's working on will look like when it's done (a flower bed, a carving...)    I can't picture it, till I see the real thing.

4)   He doesn't like strawberries or tomatoes.  I love them.

5)   He likes to go to bed early.  I'm a night owl.

6)   He tends to be pessimistic.  I tend to be optimistic.

7)   He likes to get to places early.  I like to be there just on time.

8)   He loves fish.  I do not!

9)   He does one thing at a time.  I multi-task. 

10)  He likes to camp in a tent.  I like running water and electricity.

11)  He's got a green thumb and beautiful flowers.  I can't keep plants alive and just admire his work.

12)  When we are traveling, he wants to drive and get there.  I want to stop and take lots of pictures along the way.

13)  He chooses his words carefully and is more quiet.  I talk and he tells me I'm going to run out of words.

14)  He doesn't like board games or playing cards.  I love them.

15)  He doesn't believe I am always right.  I am!   :)

We both love Jesus, family and each other, so we are alike in the important things. This August, we'll celebrate our 32nd anniversary.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Seen in our yard...

I love this time of year! The longer days, sunshine, blue skies and the flowers just make me happy! It seems every time I walk around there yard, something new is blooming. Here's a few of the latest things I'm seeing.



Aren't these unusual? They're called sea holly.  They make a nice accent with their brilliant color.

 

This lily is a new one in our yard.  It's loaded with flowers.

 

The lavender is just starting to open.  It smells heavenly!

 

Here's a shot of our back yard.  Bob added the flower bed in the front of the picture a few years ago and it's doing really well this year.


And here is one more thing that's growing in our yard...

This baby squirrel!   Isn't he cute?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Testing Pinterest



I don't know about you, but I seem to do just a few dishes quite frequently.  I like to have my dish soap handy, but I hate seeing that ugly bottle sitting out.
I saw an idea on Pinterest that suggested putting your soap in an olive oil dispenser, and then letting it sit out.  You can find them in many shapes and sizes.  I found this clear glass one with a raised design on the outside and I think it looks pretty sitting there
The only problem I've found is the opening is smaller, so the soap comes out slowly.  However, I think I probably used to much soap when I used to just dump it in, so even that isn't all bad!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cooking Thursday

The recipe I'm sharing today is one that's perfect for this time of year, when fresh rhubarb is available. It's so easy to stir together and is moist and tasty!




Rhubarb Coffee Cake

1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 heaping cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups rhubarb, cut thinly
1/2 package strawberry jello
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together oil, sugar and egg. Add milk then stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in rhubarb. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
Sprinkle the 1/2 package of jello over top and swirl through batter with a knife.
Mix together the 1/2 cup sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter.
Bake for 40 minutes or until cake tests done.
Serve topped with whipped topping.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Flips!

I was recently given the opportunity to review some headphones, that had some special abilities. Since I'm often sitting with my laptop while Bob is reading or watching tv, I thought they would be a great thing to check out.
When they arrived I was more than pleasantly surprised.  These are not your ordinary headphones!


Here is the box that arrived at my house.  These headphones fold up and can be stored in this nice zippered container.

 

Here's what they look like all ready to go.  The earcups are soft and cushioned and there is added cushion where it sits on your head.  The sound is great, and it won't disturb anyone else in the room.  However, as I said earlier, these headphones have something special added.  Here's a description from the manufacturer.

"In headphones, sound is king.  Until now, only the user could appreciate the sound quality heard through their headphones.  Flips is dramatically changing the headphone game with innovative earcups that transform headphone use from a "solo" listening experience to a "social" listening experience.  When the luxuriously comfortable earcups are against your ears, only you hear the sounds, but drop the headset around your neck and turn the earcups 180 degrees outward and Flips become speakers for everyone to enjoy."


Here they are, with the cups turned out, so others can hear what you hear.  Once the cups are flipped, they amplify into speakers that share the sound so much better than the speakers on your computer.

For more information on them, or for online ordering visit Flips.
Here's a bonus offer!  
Get $10 Off on Flips Headphones
Plus Rush Shipping Upgrade FREE
Enter Code:  FA0010INT
 
I can tell you that I am really enjoying my Flips!  I used to just use some cheap earbuds and these are so different.  We also enjoy listening to online radio, and by flipping the earcups, we can all listen.
If you use your computer like I do, you need to check these out.
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Backyard birds

We planted a Maple tree in our back yard quite a few years ago.  It's now become big enough to be a wonderful shade tree, and it's also made our yard a happy place for birds.  We get lots of robins, finches and cardinals, but we've also been seeing some more unusual birds that I wanted to share with you.



This is an indigo bunting.  They are such a beautiful blue color!

 

Here is an indigo bunting (R) and downy woodpecker (L), sharing the feeder.

 

We have a pair of bluebirds that must have a nest near our yard as we see them quite frequently.

 

Another shot of the indigo bunting.

 

I thought this was pretty funny.  It looks like the bunting is checking out the fake bird attached to our birdbath.

"So God created the large sea animals. He created all the many living things in the sea and every kind of bird that flies in the air. And God saw that this was good."
Genesis 1:21

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to the wonderful Dads in my life; my Dad, Bob's step dad, Bob and my son-in-law Aaron.  They are each a blessing to all of us!

Here's a funny little tribute to Dads for  the way they keep us safe.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cooking Thursday

It was Bobs birthday on Sunday. I always make what the birthday person wants to eat on their birthday and I asked Bob what dessert he would like. (He's not a fan of cake) Not surprisingly, he chose this dessert that he seems to choose every year. It has a crispy crust and a wonderful fluffy filling, topped with pie filling.  He loves cherries, but you could also substitute another type of pie filling.



Cherries in the Snow

Crust: 
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
Mix together and press into ungreased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes until lightly browned.

Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream, whipped until peaks form
Beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar till well mixed.  Add vanilla, then fold in whipped cream.  Spoon over cooled crust.

Top with 32 ounces Cherry pie filling or flavor of your choice.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Balloon launch

A few weeks ago we celebrated nursing home week.  At our place that meant special activities every day and lots of fun!  One of the special things that was done was a balloon launch.  We got lots of the residents out on the patio and handed out balloons.  We had 75 balloons and there were tags attached to quite a few that said were they came from and what was happening.  It also had our phone number so people could call and tell us where they found them.



Letting go...


Going...


going...





and nearly gone!

It was fun to watch them float off.  In the next few days we got a few phone calls from people who found them.  We are between Holland and Grand Rapids in Michigan. The  balloons went to Michigan, Ohio and Indiana - quite a long way for a floating balloon!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Helicoptors in abundance

A few weeks ago I shared pictures of our front yard covered in Oak tassels. It's pretty clear now, but the back yard is another story. Our maple tree is loaded with helicopters. Do you call them that?


Here are some hanging in the tree, but lots of them are floating down to the grass.  A lot of them in the grass makes for some happy squirrels in our yard!

 

We've seen several black squirrels enjoying the feast.

 

Here you see the black squirrel on the grass eating, and if you look at the bird bath to the left of the tree you will see a brown squirrel grabbing a little drink.
They sure are fun to watch!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cooking Thursday

Usually I join in with Sandra at Diary of  a SAHM for Cooking Thursday.  However, Sandra is taking a break from Cooking Thursday as she prepares to move.   So I'm just posting this recipe on my own.
I'm a big fan of freezer recipes.  It conserves time by making a few meals at once, there is less waste and you get some things ready to go in the freezer!
We really liked these potatoes.

 

 Freezer Twice baked Potatoes

5# potatoes
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 to 1 cup milk
3 ounces cream cheese
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash and dry potatoes and prick with a fork. Rub outside of potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap in foil and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until tender.

While potatoes are baking, mix together butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper.
When potatoes are done, unwrap and slice them in half, lengthwise. Scoop out potatoes, leaving a layer of potato attached to the skin.
Stir together scooped potato with butter and cream cheese mix.  Stir in most of  the bacon pieces and most of cheese, leaving some to sprinkle on top.
Scoop mixture back into potato skins.  Place on cookie sheet and sprinkle bacon pieces and cheese over top.  Press cheese into potatoes with fork.
Loosely lay plastic wrap over entire cookie sheet and place in freezer.  When completely frozen, wrap with plastic wrap and place in ziploc bag.
When ready to bake, take out desired number of potatoes and place on cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fun with Grandpa

Being a grandparent is such a joy! I love spending time with Alaina, and I also love seeing Bob enjoying her. She has him wrapped pretty tightly around her little finger. It's a good thing she's not with us all the time or he would have her really spoiled.   :)
Here's a few pictures of them playing the other night.  (Take note of the one ponytail, sticking straight up in the air.  That's what happens when you fall asleep in the car seat)



It's so fun to watch Grandpa build towers and then get to know them down!


Alaina loves books and is always bringing them to us to be read to.



When Grandpa reads and adds motion to the story, it's even more fun!


Every once in a while, you need to take a little break...



and check what's happening outside.


And if you're really lucky, Grandpa will share his ice cream with you!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Barn Charm

I love barns! I think it's partly because I grew up on a farm and the nostalgia they bring. In my area there are lots and lots of them and I'm always pulling to the side of the road to get a picture. I participate in a weekly meme on my photo blog called Barn Charm where people from all over the world post pictures they've taken of barns. The barn I'm sharing today is one I was able to get into so I thought I'd share pictures here from inside and outside. This barn is on property our church bought. We will be putting up a building here at some time so unfortunately the barn will be coming down. It's in pretty rough condition, so that would probably happen anyway. The man who used to own this farm was a resident at the nursing home I work at. He was a real sweetheart and I enjoyed looking around the property and remembering him.


Here's the barn from the front.
 

Here's the side view.  There are missing boards and the vines are taking over.

 

The back is really covered by the vines.

 

A few of the doors on it.

 

I love the old windows.

 

When we went inside we found a spot where the chickens lived.

 

And we found lots of junk!  This barn hasn't been used for farming for a long time, and it looked like anytime he didn't know what to do with something, it ended up in the barn.

 

More stuff stacked up in nooks and crannies.

 

Crawling up into the loft area, you can see how many boards are missing.

 

This is looking outside from one of the upper windows which no longer has any glass.  I thought it was neat to look out and see the field where the church will be built.