Thursday, December 13, 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Cooking Thursday

Today I'm sharing a soup recipe that is both tasty and healthy!  It's a good one this time of year, and helps to balance out the Christmas treats and party foods!

Vegetable Soup
1 1/2 cup hot water
2 tablespoons beef soup stock base
1 quart V8
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Rosemary
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon Mrs Dash
3 bay leaves
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 can mixed vegetable, including liquid
2 cups chopped cabbage

Stir together the hot water and beef base in a 6 quart crock pot.  Stir in the V8.
Add spices and bay leaves, then stir in all the veggies.
Cook on low for 8 hours.  Remove bay leaves before serving.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Oh Christmas Tree...

Today I'm sharing a few of the special ornaments on our Christmas tree. A few years ago we downsized and got a tree that fit better in our living room. It's a skinny tree, so it doesn't overwhelm the room, but it means less room for ornaments.  I had to sort what I had and saved only the favorites and the fillers!
Our daughter Laura worked in a floral shop for a while and has given me tips for what makes a tree look good, so I'm including a little of that.

First tip from Laura is to use a lot of lights, and don't just wind them around the outside, put them all through the tree, so the lights shine from the middle.

Second - use fillers.  Buy some floral type pics and put them into empty spots in the tree.  I have three types; the frosted pine cones, burlap twirls and white pearly beads.

Third - add several of the same type of ornaments scattered over the tree.  I have several of these birds, along with white and silver balls.

 Then scatter the fun, personalized ornaments where ever you can.  This one was given to me by one of my church kids from a Wednesday night class.  It's an antique kids block.

 This ornament has been on our tree for as long as we've been married.  The day I met Bob's family they were at a cottage and his sister was working on these ornaments for a fund raising bazaar.  She had been given these to make and I helped her.  We both laughed because we thought they were ugly and no one would buy them.  Well, at least one sold, because she bought it and gave it to me the next Christmas.  We laugh every year at the memory.

These are different angels I made when the kids were little.

This is a crocheted snowflake that one of my residents made for me.

This bell was also made by one of my residents.  The detail in it is amazing!

Here are some of the old fashioned Santa's that Bob has carved over the years.

I love the memories that come with so many of these ornaments.  So many have special people attached.  I think that a lot of you probably have similar ornaments with sentimental value.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Button Trees and unicorn nails!

The girls spent the night Friday night and we had such fun together!
They love to do crafts, and I love to find easy ones that we can do together.  I saw a cute idea for a button ornament that was a fun one for us to do.

 I found a bunch of green and white buttons, and one that was a star. We arranged them from big to small with the star at the top.

 Then we took a 12 inch wire, put the star in the middle and bent it in half.

The buttons were strung onto the two pieces of wire, from small to big.  At the bottom was a brown bead to look like the tree trunk.  The wire was then twisted and cut.  One of the cut pieces was twisted into a swirl and attached at the top to make an ornament hanger.

Here are 2 proud little girls with their finished ornaments.

After making the ornaments we had one more fun thing to do.  The girls love getting their nails done, and they love unicorns, so when I saw this purple, shimmery polish I knew it would be a hit.

I did both girls nails and they were thrilled with this color.

They even sat quietly and waited for it to dry.
What a fun afternoon!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Another party

This past weekend we had another Christmas party.  This one was my Dad's family party.  He came from a family of 10.  4 have passed away and Dad is now the oldest at 84.  This family is a huge blessing.  They have passed on such a godly, christian heritage, are so loving and so fun!
The numbers are decreasing at this party as some of  the siblings have passed and some live out of state.  There were still about 65 people there.

Everyone sitting before supper.

My step mom, Dad and uncle.

 There were some crafts for the kids to do.

 Ruby with her finished snowman.

and Alaina with hers.

The kids always enjoy basketball.

Ruby was having fun playing catch with her Dad.

It was a fun night, and Alaina and Ruby came home with us and spent the night.
I'm thankful for family.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Cooking Thursday

You may remember last month when I posted a chili recipe from a cook off at work.  Today I'm posting the recipe that took second place.  It's a chicken chili and is so easy to make.  It's really good, and is sure to be a regular on our menu!

Black Bean Chicken Chili
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thigh
3 cans original Rotel tomatoes, drained
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can sweet whole kernel corn
3/4 jar chunky, medium, salsa
8 ounces cream cheese
Place Rotel, beans, corn and salsa in slow cooker and stir to mix.
Place chicken in mixture and press into it to cover.
Place block of cream cheese on top.
Cook on low for about 7 hours, until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken and shred, then put back into chili and stir all together.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Monday, December 3, 2018

It's looking like Christmas!

I have my Christmas decorations up so I'm inviting you in to see what things look like here.

Next to the house, I've hung a wreath on our gate.  It's been kind of covered up with snow, but a lot of it melted over the weekend.

 If you come in the front door, you'll see these two little trees all lit up at night.

If you come in through the garage, you'll see that I've changed out my Thanksgiving turkey sign for the Jesus is the gift sign.

Most of our decorations are in the living room, including this tree.  We got this one last year, it's not too big but it fills in the corner and works in our room which isn't real big either!

 We don't have a fireplace so we hang the stockings on a shelf.  They each have a wooden initial to identify whose it is.

 This is on a side table next to the couch.

This little area is one I change out with the seasons and holidays.  The tiny nativity on top of the scale is one I made when I was helping lead MOPS.

Some of Bob's carvings come out too.  He did the Santa and the little sheep.

 This is a nativity set that Laura made when she was in high school.  I love seeing it every year.
 There are lots of details, including little chickens!

Here's a close up of the shepherds, sheep and cows.

I have some Christmas pillows I set out too, however, as you can see one is not going to be around for long.  Ruby somehow pulled two bells off and one is missing so I can't sew it back on!  :)

 In the family room downstairs, we have another little tree.

We also have this old nativity set which was Bob's family set.  We got it when his mom moved into independent living.

We even have some decorations in the bathroom.

and a little more cheer!

In the dining room I have this cute little banner that I recently got in a giveaway from Connie of Crafty Home Cottage.  Isn't it perfect hanging there?  Thanks Connie!

This mistletoe is hanging from the light fixture in the dining room.  It was given to me be one of my residents.  It's a special piece for me.

In the dining room I've changed everything on the shelf, changed out the centerpiece on the table and I got that cute skinny tree. It fits perfectly in the corner.   We love the lights twinkling in there in the evening.
There are a few other things scattered around, but you've seen most of our decorations.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

A Day in my Life

So here we are in December!
December 1 was a busy day for me.  We always have Bob's family Christmas party on the first Saturday of  December and with it falling on the first, it seemed very early.
This year was our turn to be in charge, so we had to be at the place we were renting by 2.  That meant lots had to be done in the morning.

 I started off by making a batch of cookies,

 and some fudge.  This fudge was Bob's Grandma's recipe, so it's a tradition and needs to be at the party!

 I got a load of laundry done.

and made a huge batch of pulled pork.

I packed up some gift bags for the little kids that would be there.

 We arrived at the lodge a little before 2.  It was a dreary day, cold and drizzly, so no one spent any time out here looking over the river!

This building is a beautiful log home with views of the Grand River out 2 sides.

Bob's brother and wife arrived shortly after we did and it didn't take long to get everything set up.
At 3 the rest of the family arrived.

 Here's the whole group eating supper.

 Bob's mom and step dad

 Heather and Andrew

Laura, Aaron and girls.

 Bob with two of his brothers

and the whole gang!

We got home about 8 at night, I stuck the crock pot in the sink to soak and relaxed.
I know I always say this, but it was another good day.  I guess it's a reminder of how blessed we are.