Sunday, March 18, 2018

More birthday celebrations!

Last week I told you about celebrating my Dad's 87th birthday.  This weekend, we celebrated my MIL's 87th birthday.  She is 5 days older than my Dad, so we always have a few birthday parties close together.
We went out with two of Bobs brothers and their wives, and took Mom and our stepdad out to their favorite restaurant.  It's also my Dad's favorite, so we were at the same place, 2 weeks in a row.  :)
After supper we went back to Mom and Rog's place for some cake.

Here's mom with 3 of her boys.  There are 6 kids in all, and there was one sister who died as a child.
Larry is on the left, he is the oldest, Bob is in the middle and is a middle child, Tom on the right, is the second to the youngest.
We had a good supper and a nice celebration!  It's always nice to celebrate together, and she enjoyed it too.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Cooking Thursday

I've got another Instantpot recipe to share with you.  I got this one from a friend at church and I think this may be my favorite recipe so far; easy to put together, quick and good!  What more could you want?

Instantpot Burrito Bowls

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic minced or put through a garlic press
1 teaspoon chili powder 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed  
1 cup long grain white rice uncooked
1 cup salsa
2 cups OR 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth 
1/4 cup chopped cilantro for serving, optional
1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese for serving, optional

Set Instantpot to saute. Heat olive oil until it shimmers but doesn't smoke. Add the onion and cook until soft, about two minutes.
Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
Add chili powder and salt. Stir to combine.
Add the chicken, black beans, rice, and salsa. Stir.
Pour chicken broth over the mixture.Lock the lid in place. Set a 10-minute cook time on high pressure.
Once the cook time completes, quickly release the pressure.
Open the lid away from your face. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

Serve with chopped cilantro and grated cheddar.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

Home and Cottage Show

Last weekend Bob and I went to the Home and Cottage show in Grand Rapids.  Bob's workplace always has a booth there, showing grills, patio materials and other outside living things.

Here's Bob's workplace booth, with his co-worker Rachel at work in it.

These shows are so fun to walk around in, especially in the Spring.  It's good to see greenery and flowers!

There was even this fun playhouse, that was built over a waterfall.  What kid wouldn't enjoy this?

Our favorite spot was a landscaper who had the center of the show.  His spot was set up with reminders of the Old Testament.

 There were paintings depicting some scenes, like this one showing the Red Sea opening for the Israelites to cross over.

The paving bricks, had bricks inset for each of the 10 commandments.

This landscaper is from our area, and gets a lot of supplies from the store where Bob works.  He asked Bob to make a sign for this display.

Here's the sign.  It was at the end of the display, after you walked through.   He Is Risen!
It was a beautiful display, with a message that isn't displayed publicly very often.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Happy Birthday Dad!

Sunday was my Dad's 87th birthday.  He's doing well, still lives in the house he and my mom built when I was 12, drives and goes bowling 3 times a week.  Here's something my sister Cheri wrote on Facebook which is exactly how I feel. 
" I am so blessed to have a father that lived his faith every single day. He taught us what hard work looked like but also what being mischievous and having fun looked like too! What an example he is to all of us!"
Most of the family was able to join us for a birthday outing on Saturday.

There were 21 of us at the restaurant - a pretty big crowd!

Here's my family at the end of the table.

 The girls had made cards for great grandpa, and brought him some gifts.

 They helped him open them up.

Ruby gave him some Smarties, because that's something he gives them whenever they stop over.

We had a nice evening together, celebrating someone who means so much to all of us!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Cooking Thursday

Here's a recipe for a quick pizza supper.  It's easy because it uses frozen garlic bread instead of pizza crust, and the garlic adds some good flavor!

Garlic Bread Pizza

Individual frozen Texas style garlic bread, as few or as many as you want. (You can use plain, or the type with cheese)
Pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese
Toppings of your choice

Place garlic bread slices on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and spread pizza sauce over each slice, then sprinkle cheese over sauce.
Add toppings of your choice to each slice, then sprinkle a little more cheese over toppings.
Bake for 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Monday, March 5, 2018

Once Upon A Pancake

This past Saturday, the high school music boosters sponsored a breakfast fundraiser.  It was at a local restaurant and featured lots of Disney and other movie characters.  Laura and I went with Alaina and Ruby, and we had such fun!

Here we had just been seated and the girls were quite excited about some of the characters they had seen.  They were dressed up in their princess dresses, and all around us were other kids that were also dressed up.  We were greeted at the entry by a King and a princess.  When I went to pick up the tickets I had ordered, the lady told the girls they looked so nice, and asked who did their hair.  Ruby piped up "My mumma did, she's the best!"  I told Laura she needs to remember that praise!

We had a good breakfast; pancakes, eggs, sausage and hash browns.  The girls probably didn't even eat half of it, they were too busy looking around.

Elsa and Arielle stopped at our table.  Miss Ruby, who had been so excited, was suddenly very quiet!

After we ate we got to go downstairs where they have reception rooms.  They had more characters down there, along with games for the kids to play.

 They stopped for a minutes so I could get a picture of them.

They were greeted by Woody, from Toy Story.  They each got to pick out a new toothbrush!

 Here's some of the games they played - throwing a ball through Olaf, playing Plinko, ball toss and pin an eye on Mike.

There was a fishing game too.

The girls came with me for a little while, and we stopped at Great Grandpa and Grandmas house so they could see the princess dresses.
It was a fun morning!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Day in my life

Here we are, in March already!  I had quite a hectic day on March 1 and didn't get many pictures taken, but I'll share a few and tell you about my day.
I was up at 6, and at work at 8.  It was a Thursday which is always my busiest day at work because it's the day our Dr makes rounds.
I start by reviewing all the orders and progress notes on all the residents in the last 24 hours, so nothing happens that gets missed.  I usually have some notes left on my desk regarding questions, things that need to be checked and that kind of thing so I take care of those too.
At 9am we have a meeting for all the managers.  We discuss admissions, discharges, any issues that may be happening and review all the residents who are having any health concerns.  That usually takes about an hour.
(By the way, we are finally completely done with the flu epidemic at work, and I hope we don'thave another one anytime soon!)
Then I start getting ready for the Doctor.
I pull all the charts of the people he is going to see, get vitals and a current weight, also recent blood sugars on our diabetic residents and lab results.

Here's his desk, with a bunch of the charts I was working on.
He is at another facility in the morning, and came to us around 11:30.  He eats lunch at his desk, signs paperwork and makes calls to his other facilities to check if they need anything while he is eating.  I eat my lunch at my desk at the same time and work on inputting any orders he's given while doing that paperwork.
After that he reviews the charts and we are off to see residents.  We come back to the office and he writes a progress note in the chart, I put one in the computer until we are done.  He left shortly after 4, and then I had to meet with a family whose mother is not doing well. The social worker, another nurse and myself updated them and talked about their wishes, should she continue to decline.  That meeting finished around 5.
I then called the families of anyone who had anything new ordered.  We try to keep our family members updated with everything that is going on with their loved one.  I had to print med sheets with the new orders and put everything away.
I left the facility around 6:30.

The sun was just setting and the sky looked pretty.  We were supposed to get hit with a big snowstorm that evening, but it went south of us, and all we got were clouds.

I had to stop at the store and pick up a few things to do some baking when I got home.

I got home a little after 7.  I had to make something for the staff on Friday, as it was staff appreciation day.  I also was making some bars for Friday evening, as Bob had his brothers and nephews coming over to make plans for Fall hunting.

Here's what I made!  On the left are Scotcheroos, which I brought to work.  On the right are Chocolate Streusal Bars which were for Bob and his brothers.

I was done with those a little after 8.  Bob works evenings on Thursdays, so he came home shortly after that and we had subs for supper and relaxed.
It was another good, productive day to start the month!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Cooking Thursday

This is the best chicken noodle soup ever!  I've shared it here before, but I made it last week and was reminded how very good it i, and thought I should share it again.  It makes a big pot, enough for a few meals and some to share!
Give it a try, and see if you don't agree with me.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

approx. 2# whole chicken
4 cups chicken broth
8 cups water
one onion quartered
3 teaspoons chicken stock
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 bay leaves
Add all ingredients to a large soup or stock pot.  Cook until chicken is cooked through - about 45 minutes.
Remove chicken from pot and allow to cool. Pour broth through strainer to remove onions, bay leaves and any sediment. Return stock to pot.
Remove chicken from bones - discard bones and skin, and set chicken aside.

2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery
2 cups uncooked frozen egg noodles*
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped, fresh rosemary
1/3 cup cooking sherry
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream

Bring stock back to a boil. Add carrots and cook for about 3 minutes, then add celery and cook for another 10 minutes.
Add egg noodles and cook as directed on package.
When noodles are done, stir in chicken, parsley, rosemary and sherry.  Then stir in parmesan and cream.
Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add salt and pepper as desired.
*The frozen egg noodles make a big difference in the end result.  I used Reames, I'm told Granny's are also good.  If these are not available, regular noodles will also work

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

(Collecting sap for maple syrup.  Spring is coming!)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Girlie weekend

We had the girls overnight Friday night.  We didn't have anything special planned, but they are happy to just be over and play.

They love sitting with Grandpa.  Here they were watching a video about elephants.

They loved stacking these cups and knocking them down.

I got them new toothbrushes that light up.  It made brushing their teeth so fun!

 Saturday morning, Bob had to go to work, but the girls and I had fun painting and decorating rocks.  Ruby insisted she could do it by herself!  Good thing the paint washed off skin and the table.  :)

Alaina is very careful and wants to get it just right.

Here are the finished creations.

They were pretty happy with what they made.

After this we went to McDonalds for lunch, we made a few other stops and then I took them home.  They had fun and so did we!

We had one other visitor staying with us this weekend.

Heather and Andrew went away to celebrate their anniversary, so Oliver hung out with us.  He sleeps in this crazy position - all curled up with his head twisted to face up. He enjoys Bob and I, but is not a fan of Alaina and Ruby, which is very sad for them.  They just want to pet him!  When they are sleeping, he comes out to play.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Under water!

We've had a week of much warmer than usual temps, and lots of rain. This has resulted in the snow melting suddenly and the waters levels rising quickly.  In 2013 our area was hit by water levels higher than they had been in 100 years.  They are predicting levels near that height this year.
Here's a few photos taken around my area to show you some of the water.

 Here's the Grand River near our house.  The water is usually far beyond the big tree on the left.

Roads are flooded and closed.

The next 4 photos are not mine, but were posted by the city of Grand Rapids of the Grand River downtown.
The water is very high near the bridges.

 Some bridges have been closed.

 The building in the center of this picture is the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum.  The water usually only goes to the midway point of what you see now.

The river runs through the center of the city and is now right against some of the buildings. There is a stairway and a path that goes along the river, next to the building on the right that is now completely under water.

Here are a few photos my SIL Aaron took that really show the amount of water in the area.

 This is a golf course!

No one is driving down this road anytime soon.

I took the girls to a park near us on Saturday.  It's incredible to see how far the river has flooded beyond it's banks.

This covered bridge is a favorite spot for photos, but no one is getting out there right now!

Here's a photo I took of Heather and Andrew at the bridge this Fall...

and here it is now!

Hopefully the river will crest without too much damage.  Our home is about a mile from the river, but is far enough away and high enough that we have never been damaged by flooding.  I feel for those who are dealing with it now.