Monday, May 29, 2017

Weekend getaway...

Bob and I have both been very busy lately and feel like we are often ships passing in the night!  Somehow we both ended up having Memorial Day off, so we decided to get away for one night and spend a little time together.  We left right after church on Sunday and drove to Ludington, Michigan - about 1 1/ hours north of us.
The weather report was not good.  Saturday had been beautiful, but in was supposed to storm starting Sunday afternoon, and then rain through Monday.

This was the view in the car as we were driving.  We both took some books thinking this may be a time to read, and not much time outside!

However, when we arrived it quit raining.  After about an hour the sun came out, so we headed out to explore Ludington.

We were driving along Lake Michigan and visit the beach.  Our beaches are famous for the white sand, fresh water, no sharks!

We decided to visit the Au Sable Lighthouse in Ludington.  You have to park at the Ludington State Park and then walk to the Lighthouse - 2 miles to see it and 2 miles back!

Along the way we saw sand dunes,

and more sand dunes.

It was a nice walking path though.

 There were a few small ponds as we walked too.

 After walking for some time we saw it in the distance!

And then finally arrived.

You can climb the spiral staircase to the top - 130 steps in all.   We had to do that!

 Here's the view from a window close to the top.

 And here are some views from the walkway around the top.  It's 92 feet up and you can see for miles!

This is facing Wisconsin - it's 56 miles across the lake.

After we climbed back down, we explored outside for a while.

Here's the lighthouse from another direction.  You might see Bob on that bench in front of the lighthouse looking out at the lake.

Then it was time for the 2 mile hike back to our car.
When we got back to Ludington, we got some supper and took it out to the beach to eat.

 It was just beautiful!

 While we were there the SS Badger came in.  It's a huge ferry that makes a trip to Wisconsin daily.

It was fun seeing this huge ship make its way into the ferry.

We went back to the hotel for a short time, and then came back to the beach to watch the sunset.

The end of a beautiful day!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cooking Thursday

I made this pretty dessert this weekend.  It's quick and easy to put together, looks impressive and is yummy.  What more could you want?

Cherry White Chocolate Triffle

2 cans fruit pie filling; cherry, strawberry, blueberry... your choice
20 -25 sugar cookies, broken
1 batch white chocolate mousse (below)

White chocolate mouse:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces cream cheese - softened
6 ounces white chocolate, melted

To make mousse:
Beat cream n bowl until it thickens, add sugar, beat until stiff peaks form.
In another bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add in the white chocolate and beat until smooth.  Stir in the whipped cream mixture.
To assemble the trifle;
Place one can of pie filling in the bottom of a trifle bowl.  Sprinkle half of cookies over top,  then half of cream cheese mix.  Repeat layers.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

It's time to buy the flowers!

Every year around this time, I make a visit to a local greenhouse to buy some flowers.  Actually, Bob and I visit it quite often just to wander the aisles and look at perennials, but the first visit of the year is to buy hanging baskets and a pot of flowers for the front porch.
The name of the place is Countryside Greenhouse, and it is huge!  There is 8 acres of shopping area there, so you have a good chance of finding what you are looking for.  They have flats of flowers, hanging baskets, perennials, shrubs, trees, decorative items, tools, fertilizer...  It's fun to just look around.

 Whenever I go in, I'm always struck by how huge it is.  Racks of flowers for as far as you can see!

The hanging baskets are on a track that moves so the light doesn't always hit them in the same spot.

 There are 6 cats that live there, so you never know where you might see one.  I saw this one hiding under the rows of flowers.

The checkout area is shaded by all the Boston ferns hanging overhead.

Here's my finds; a fuschia, a mixed basket and a pot of various plants that is now on my porch.
I'll be back for more!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Petting Zoo!

The girls spent the night with us Friday night.  Our township library was having a petting zoo on Saturday, so we went and checked out the animals.

We started by petting this huge rabbit.

He was very patient and just laid there while all the kids were touching him.

Then we got to hold the baby bunnies.  They were a little squirmy, but Alaina just loved them.  We went back several times to hold different bunnies.

 Ruby preferred to pet the bunny that Alaina was holding.

There were little goats too.  They were awfully cute!

 Ruby liked holding the little chicks.

 Alaina loved them too.

There was even a duck!

In the middle of holding animals, this little boy started crying.  Ruby immediately knelt down and started patting his head and cheeks.  I think she likes babies more than animals!

 There was even a little calf and a baby horse.  They stayed in their cage, but the kids had fun petting them through the rails.

We ended our time by sitting on the statue in front of the library.  What a fun morning!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cooking Thursday

When bananas start to get brown around here, I throw them in the freezer.  When I get a few, I usually make banana bread, but sometimes I make these wonderful banana bars.  They have cream cheese frosting and you can't go wrong with that!

Frosted Banana Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Add salt, baking soda and flour to creamed mixture, then stir in bananas.
Spread into greased 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool.

For frosting - in large bowl beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually beat in enough powdered sugar to reach the right consistency and frost cooled bars.
Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Alaina and Ruby's new room

Laura and Aaron had been working to finish a room in the basement for Alaina and Ruby.  It's all done and I thought it was so cute, that I should share it with you.  This room had been your standard basement storage room.  They put in an egress window and dry-walled it, then did some cute things to decorate it.

Here's a view from the door.  They are sharing a bed, which doesn't always go so well.  Ruby tends to be a bed hog, and she likes to stay awake and pester Alaina.  I think it's getting better though!

Here you can see the egress window.  Laura made the curtains, and painted all the dots on them.  They found the cute dresser on Craigslist and repainted it.

Laura also made the sign to hang over the dresser.  I love that verse, and I also pray that for both girls.

We always say that Laura and Aaron are Craigslist Guru's.  They find the best things, and get great deals.  They found these display cabinets and made them into a cute closet.

Laura found a computer program that let her personalize figures and print them out.  One says Alaina and the other is Ruby.

Laura had been looking all over to find a cute pink rug to put under the bed.  She couldn't find one so she made one!   She made ruffles out of soft material, and sewed each one onto a tablecloth.  It turned out so cute! 

The girls are pretty happy with their new room.  I think it turned out very nice!