Thursday, March 31, 2016

Friday Funny

This is funny, but almost too close to the truth!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cooking Thursday

I tried a new recipe this weekend that I'm sharing with you.  It's a French Toast Bake that I put together on Saturday afternoon, then threw in the oven on Sunday morning.  It was very easy to make and we both enjoyed it.  The leftovers warm up nicely in the microwave too.


Creamy Blueberry Baked French Toast

1 loaf of French bread cubed
8 oz cream cheese
½ cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup fresh blueberries
8 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp salt

Butter a 9x13 dish and arrange half of the bread cubes in the bottom.
Make the cream cheese mixture by beating the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice and 1 tsp lemon peel. Spoon it on to the bread cubes and spread it out to cover the bread. (It doesn't really cover the bread cubes - just do the best you can).  Top with blueberries and then add the rest of the bread cubes.
Mix together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, salt, vanilla, another dash of lemon juice and a tsp of lemon peel. Whisk it well! Pour the mixture over the bread cubes and press it all down to make sure that everything gets soaked.
Cover and stick in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours. When you are ready to bake, pull it out and let it warm up while the oven preheats to 350. Bake for 45 minutes or until the bread is all puffy, golden and crispy.  Check to make sure the center is cooked well.
You may eat it as is, or serve with syrup.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter!

I hope you all had a good Easter.  It was a beautiful day here, fairly warm and pretty sunny.  I had the day off and very much enjoyed going to the Easter service at our church.  We had a quiet afternoon, then Aaron and Laura, with Alaina and Ruby, and Andrew and Heather came by later in the evening.


Here's Ruby and Alaina in the matching dresses Laura made for them.  Ruby is looking sad because she wanted to run off and play, so we had Alaina hold on to her.

We made some pizza for supper, and Ruby was enjoying it, but also peaking around her chair.


Alaina loves to build towers!


Here they are checking out what's in the Easter basket we had for them.


They thought this little pig was fun. You put a ball in his snout, and when you squeeze him it pops out.


 And they always enjoy time with Grandpa - and he enjoys time with them even more!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Life at the Nursing Center

I've often mentioned my job; it's a big part of my life since I work full time. I work as a nurse in a skilled nursing facility.  We are a small place - only 60 beds.  I really like that size.  It means that I know every resident quite well, I know the family members and all the staff.  We have a lot of long term residents, but also have quite a few people who come for rehabilitation and then go home.  Today I'm going to share a few stories, that show why I like my job!

I work with lots of wonderful people!  We have a great team, and I appreciate the way we work together and don't feel like we are all separate departments.

This little note and pill were left at the nurses station for my nursing partner Larisa. 
Our activity director found this little pill in a doorway and thought she would return it in a fun way.  We have a lot of laughter and teasing going on, and we include many of the residents in it.  Most of them love it.    :)

Just like the general public, we have residents who maintain a good attitude and also those who tend to be a bit cranky and when we get a laugh out of them, it's a big accomplishment.  A few weeks ago, one of our ladies was sitting near the nurses station looking rather angry.  I asked if she was ok and said something about her not looking very happy.  Her response?  "I'm always happy, I just don't often choose to show it!"  She did crack a little smile when she said that, and it's true - she rarely shows it.

We have another lady who seems to have decided that she would rather go without clothes.  We have to keep a close watch on her, because it would be a bit shocking for a visitor to walk in and see her sitting in the front lounge with nothing on her top half!

This past week we had a 3-11 nurse who needed a few days off for a family members surgery, so I went back to work in the evening and did half of her shift, from 7-11.  One of our men who has dementia was restless and didn't want to go to bed, so I had him sit at the nurses station with me while I did some charting.  He is 97 years old and is a WWII vet.  On this night he was reliving those years.  He told me about getting the letter telling him to report.  He then trained at Fort Custer and then went out west.  While there he bought an old Model A for $89.50, fixed it up and drove it around.  When he shipped out, he sold it for $100.  He spent time in London, camped near the Eiffel tower, was in Germany and while in Italy, he heard that Hitler was dead.   I love hearing these memories!

There are sad times too.  I've been present at many deaths.  Deaths in our facility are often a time of mixed emotions.  It's always hard to lose a loved one, but when they are Christians who are elderly and have health issues, it's a blessing to know they are no longer struggling and are with the Lord.  Recently I was with a man and his daughter as he passed.  She was holding his hand and telling him "It's ok Dad.  We'll take care of mom.  You can go home".  I was holding his other hand and we both had tears running down our faces.  It was sad, but such a blessing to know he had accepted Christ in his youth and now he would no longer struggle with Alzheimer's and other health issues.  It's a sacred time, and a privilege to be allowed to be present.

Yes - there are tears, stress and frustration - but there is also laughter, fun and joy!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

That tomb is still empty!

Easter is a day that we should truly celebrate!  Christ died for us, but it didn't end there - he conquered death and is alive!
This is a short clip of two kids telling the story in a much cuter way than I could!  Take a couple of minutes and enjoy it!



I hope all of you have a wonderful Easter, and that you can celebrate the real reason for Easter!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Cooking Thursday

I tried a new recipe this week.  A friend posted it on Facebook and I knew it would be one that Bob would like, because he loves smoked sausage!  I was right - he gave it two thumbs up.


Oven Roasted Smoked Sausage and Potatoes

1 package of smoked sausage, sliced into rounds
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 green pepper, chopped
olive oil
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
sweet paprika
dried thyme (don't need much)
1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking tray (with sides) with several sheets of foil, and drizzle with a bit of oil. Spread the oil out over the pan. Set aside.
Put the sausage rounds, onions, peppers and potatoes into a large bowl. Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper, paprika and dried thyme. Toss together with your hands until everything is evenly distributed. Pour this out onto the baking tray, and spread it out as much as you can.
Place into the heated oven and roast for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until the potatoes are golden brown and tender. Turn off the oven. Scatter the cheese over top of the cooked meat and potatoes, Pop back into the oven a few minutes to melt the cheese. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

Standing Firm

May of you know that Bob does quite a bit of carving.  He always has a project of some sort going.  He does caricature carvings, and he usually has several orders waiting to be done.  He had a little extra time between carvings this winter and decided to do one for himself.  He said he always wanted to carve a Hoplite warrior.  Hoplite warriors were from ancient Greece, were armed with a shield and spear, and had an unusual helmet.
He did his carving, but with a twist.  This warrior is a Christian warrior.  He's a reminder that there are many things going on in our world right now that require us to hold on to our faith and stand firm.
Here's what he looks like.





The plaque says "Standing Firm - Ephesians 6:10-13"


The Hoplite shield usually had an emblem that looked like an upside down V;  this one has the Christian Fish symbol.



I always appreciate all the little details Bob puts in his carvings.



The helmet is pretty cool!



This warrior has a wound on his arm.  We may also have some wounds as we go through this life, but we are called to keep standing firm!

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm."
Ephesians  6:10-13

Sunday, March 20, 2016

It's Official!

Sunday was the first official day of Spring!  I am thankful that I live in a place that has all four seasons. Each one has it's own beauty along with good and bad points.  I must admit that I'm not too fond of winter, although it can be so pretty.  Bad roads and being cold all the time makes me really appreciate Spring!
So, the snow has melted, and there are a few signs of the season in our yard.  Here's what it's looking like.
 In the front yard are piles of sticks and acorns that came down after the snow fell.  Bob was busy raking and had 4 more piles like this to take care of.



In the side yard, the daffodils popped up.  Soon they'll be blooming!



Speaking of blooms - the crocus are almost ready to open!



 In the back yard, there are lots of things that hung on through the winter.  These red berries provide a nice splash of color.



 The sedum, which were quite a deep red, have faded, but are still pretty.



 Bob will soon be cutting down the grasses to get them ready for now growth, but until then I enjoy their golden beauty.



 These were purple coneflower.  They've gone to seed, and hopefully will start some new plants.




The maple tree is starting to bud!



Here's one last dried flower.
The weather report says there may be more snow falling this week.  I hope they're wrong but  before you know it, new flowers will be popping up and I can't wait!


"As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, 
cold and heat; winter and summer, day and night."
Genesis 8:22 


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cooking Thursday

I'm sure you've all had Rice Krispy squares.  They are good, but I found a recipe for a special Rice Krispy square with caramel.  I think caramel makes everything better, so I had to try it.  They are very good, but are rich so next time I'm cutting them in smaller squares!


Caramel Stuffed Krispy Treats

Ingredients:
Caramel Filling
14 oz caramel kraft bits
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
8 Tablespoons butter 
 
Rice Krispy Layer
12 Tablespoons butter, halved
10 cups Rice Krispies, halved
8 cups mini marshmallows, split in half
Additional 2 cups mini marshmallows for sprinkling 
 
 Line 9 x 13 pan with nonstick foil.
 
 Caramel
 Microwave the caramel bits, butter and condensed milk until melted and smooth when stirred.
 
Rice Krispy Treats
Microwave 6 T. butter and 4 cups marshmallows just a minute and stir until melted. Stir in cereal and press into pan.
Pour on the caramel.
Sprinkle on the additional 2 cups marshmallows and pop in freezer for 15 minutes.
Use the remaining krispy ingredients and repeat directions.
Press this layer on top of the marshmallows and caramel layer and return to the freezer for 15 minutes.
Switch to the fridge and let set up for a few hours.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

(berries still hanging on the bushes from last summer)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Stepping back in time

I have to share the neat package I got recently.  My cousins daughter lives in Iowa.  Her husbands workplace was doing some deep cleaning and was going to throw this away, but she knows I like old things along with medical things, so this was right up my alley!  She knew someone that was headed for Michigan so she sent it along with them.
Here's what was in my package.

Here's the first part.  A very old box of band-aids, wrap and first air spray and ointment.



And this very old first aid kit.  The date on it shows it to be over 50 years old!


It's even stocked.  Do any of you remember Mercurochrome?  I remember having it put on scraped knees.  There was a bottle of it in here.  I've emptied out the bottles now, and will keep it stocked with the empty bottles.  I'd like to display it on a shelf in our bathroom.  I
I found it so interesting to look at and thought it was very nice of Christiana to send it my way.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Another Birthday!

This weekend we celebrated another birthday.  It was my Dad's 85th birthday!
God truly gifted me with an amazing Dad.  He taught us the value of hard work, the importance of family, the joy of fun and laughter and most importantly, the love of our heavenly Father.  The older I get, the more I realize that I have been, and still am so blessed to have him in my life!  He is loved by so many people - he even got a birthday card and a gift certificate from 3 little girls he see regularly in his local McDonalds.
We were able to gather with almost the whole family at a local restaurant. (One grandson-to-be had to work, and Andy and Nikki are in Kentucky.)

Here's my Dad and stepmom.  They make a great pair!



My niece Shaelyn did this painting for Dad.



 While waiting for our food to arrive Alaina was busy coloring, and Ruby was thinking about what kind of trouble she could get into.  :)



Here's Dad with his 4 kids - my brother Duane and my sisters Cheri, Terri and I.


We also tried to get a picture of Dad and Ann with the 2 great-grandkids.  This was the best we got, because Ruby kept trying to take off.

We had such a nice evening, with the usual laughter and teasing that happens when we all are together.  I know Dad enjoyed it.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Friday Fun!


Spring is just around the corner!

It feels like that here - it's been in the 50's -60's this week and I am loving it! I'm sure we'll get a little winter yet, but it won't be long till the nice weather is here to stay.
We are having some internet issues at our house.  Our provider is updating things.  We had no issues before this "improvement", but are having big issues now! I'm getting this post ready while on my break at work, but have not been able to visit any of you.  If you don't see me here, or visiting your blogs, you know why!  
 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cooking Thursday

The recipe I'm sharing today is for a breakfast casserole.  One of the moms in my MOPS group shared it when it was our turn to bring brunch and everyone loved it.  We served it at the shower we had for our niece.  It's easy to put together and can be made the night before.


Best Breakfast Casserole

24 oz frozen shredded potatoes
salt and pepper
12 eggs
2 C half and half
1 t season salt
1½ C cheddar cheese, grated
1½ C pepper jack cheese, grated
2 C chopped ham, sausage or bacon (cooked)

Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Add the frozen, shredded potatoes to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together. Then add half and half, season salt, cheddar cheese, pepper jack, and chopped ham.
Pour egg mix over the top of the frozen potatoes. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Bake covered in foil at 350 degrees for 90 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Monday, March 7, 2016

Frosty morning

I had Friday off, but had an appointment fairly early in the morning.    When I drove out of the garage I was amazed at the beauty around me.  I took the back roads for a little bit, and had to fight the urge to stop and start hiking into some fields to take pictures.  I did stop on a dirt road, and get some photos near the edge of the road.
It was very cold that morning - only 7 degrees.  There had been a heavy frost, and then a light coating of snow that transformed the world overnight.  Then in the morning, the sky was blue and the sun was shining!
Here's what I'm talking about.


 Look at that bright, beautiful sky!



 The grasses are transformed.



Even the roadside is pretty,



 And those fields are incredible!







Days like this are such a reminder of God's power and majesty!  Who else could transform every branch and every blade of grass?

"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"
Psalm 8:3-9

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday was Bob's Mom's birthday.  She is 85 years young! 
We went out for supper with her, stepdad Rog and Bob's brother and sister in law, Tom and Bonnie, to celebrate her.

Here's the group at the restaurant.

After supper we went back to Mom and Rog's place.

Mom had a few gifts to open and we had a nice time together.  I don't think she looks 85, do you?
Happy Birthday Mom!  We love you!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A day in my life - March!

March is here and it came in like a lion in West Michigan!  I had March 1 off and had my day all planned.  I was supposed to have my MOPS group, then go out for lunch with a friend and then have my yearly mammogram.  My weekly Bible study was scheduled for the evening.  However, things don't always go as planned!  Here's how my day really went though:

I got up and hopped in the shower, planning to leave the house about 8:30 for MOPS.  When I got out, I heard my phone beep for a text message.  When I checked it, I found out that all the schools were closed due to weather, so MOPS was cancelled.

Here's what it looked like out our front window.  Looked like a good day to stay in!
It was a nice surprise to be able to enjoy a slow paced morning.  It's not often I get a day to stay home, but after listening to the weather report, I decided to just stay home and do the lunch and mammogram later too.


I started up some laundry...


and made some banana bread with some bananas I had thrown in the freezer.



In the meantime, here's what it looked like outside:





I also decided this was a good day to work on cleaning out the closet in our spare/kids room.  We store all kinds of things there - toys, wrapping paper, decorative things, serving items...  and it's been needing some sorting for a while.





It was also a good time to do our taxes.  I've used a few different types of tax software, but I like TurboTax the best.  It's nice to have that done!


Bob got home from work about 4:30.
He got right to work on the driveway.


And I started working on supper.
We had chicken fajitas and they were so good!  I like the McCormick seasoning packet, it's easy to make yummy filling.  Our daughter Laura told me about these tortillas.  If you can find them in a store near you, I highly recommend them!  They are fresh and uncooked and taste so much better than the already made version.


You just throw the tortilla on an ungreased griddle or pan,  as you brown one side it will bubble up,  Then flip it and brown the other side.


It will look like this.


Then fill it with your chicken and veggie filling, and cheese if you like.  It's so good!



In the meantime, we heard that my bible study and a training session Bob was supposed to go to for work was cancelled, so we had the evening free!

After supper I worked on an online training course.  We have to do a few continuing education courses each month for work.  This one was on blood borne pathogens.  It's good to have it done!

We just relaxed the rest of the night.  I enjoyed my snow day!