Monday, December 9, 2019

Making ornaments

Alaina, Ruby and I made some cute ornaments this weekend, a reindeer and a tree.  My friend Peggy has been sending me some cute ideas for things to do with the girls and this was one of them,  It was so easy, and they had great fun!

To make these you need:
cinnamon sticks
small buttons
a star sticker or button
small red jingle bell
wiggle eyes
decorative string for hanging
glue gun

For the reindeer ornament, lay out 3 cinnamon sticks in an upside down A shape, place the stick accross the center further from the point of the A, to make the reindeer face.
Glue the center stick to the outside sticks.

Then put glue on each side stick, and press a wiggly eye on each spot.  Put a dot of glue at the point and press a red jingle bell into the glue.
Last, cut a short piece of string and glue it to the back of the cross stick for hanging.

For the tree, cut cinnamon sticks into various lengths and glue across another cinnamon stick:

so it looks like this.

Glue small buttons to the end of each branch.  (The girls decided that there should be a button on the center of each branch too).
Then glue a star to the top of the tree, and glue a string for hanging to the back of the tree.

 Here they are; 2 trees and 2 reindeers!  They smell good too.

2 happy girls with their ornaments.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Lights, cookies and other fun things

We were finally able to have our girlies overnight this weekend.  It's been too long, because of sickness at their house, my on call schedule and other conflicts on the schedule.

When we got to their house, Ruby was excited to show us this:
She lost her first tooth!

When they got their coats on, Ruby wanted a picture with her princess headband and the family, so here's an impromptu family photo!

 On our way home, we stopped at a home near us that has a very cool light display.  It's set up to go with music that you can stream through an FM radio station.  The girls thought it was amazing, and Bob and I enjoyed it too.

When we got home, we made reindeer cookies!  I had picked up these Pillsbury cookies that just needed to be baked.

They said they were good!

On Saturday we did a cute craft which I will show you tomorrow.  We played a bit, and then went to my Dad's to get his meds set up and had lunch with him and my step mom.

I heard all kinds of laughing from the family room and went to check.  Alaina and Ruby had sat in Great Grandpa's chair and then called him in, so he pretended to sit on them.  They were having a blast.  It's so sweet to see them enjoying each other.

When we left my Dad's, I brought them to my daughter Heather and her husband Andrews house.  They were going to spend the afternoon decorating Christmas cookies.

I told Laura that she probably didn't want them home!  They would be tired, cranky and sugared up!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Cooking Thursday

Today's recipe is from my sister Cheri.  She made this recently and thought you all would enjoy it.  This is a side dish that looks classy and tastes great!

Maple Bacon Carrots
12 medium carrots, peeled
12 strips bacon
1/4 maple syrup
Freshly ground black pepper

Parboil carrots for 9 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°. Wrap each carrot in one strip of bacon, and place bacon ends down on a large baking sheet. Brush all over with maple syrup and season with black pepper.
Bake 20 minutes, remove from oven, and brush with remaining maple syrup. Bake 30 minutes more, or until carrots are tender and bacon is crisp. Serve.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Monday, December 2, 2019

A Day in my Life - December

December came in with a bang!  When I went to bed it was raining.  The prediction was for more rain during the night with a low of 34.  Imagine my surprise when I woke up and saw this:

Icy, slushy snow!  I soon found that our cable and internet was out, but we were getting ready to leave for church so that wasn't a problem.  We were thankful we had power!

On the way to church.  The snow was beautiful, the world looked like a black and white photo.  The roads weren't great though!

 We have Sunday School before church, which starts at 9am.  Bob is teaching a class on the Heidelberg Catechism, and I am going to a ladies study on this book.  It's a very good class. Our Sunday School gets done at 10 and church starts at 10:15.

This Sunday was the first Sunday in Advent, and we started by singing some Christmas songs.  We also had communion and a very good message.

Church was done shortly before noon.  Driving home, we found the roads hadn't improved much and the sky was still pretty dark.

After we had lunch, Bob went out to shovel the drive.  He had just blown the leaves, but more came down on top of the snow making kind of a mess.

I got a roast prepared for a men's dinner Bob was going to on Monday.  This way I could pop it in the crockpot when I left for work the next morning.

The rest of the day was quiet and relaxing.  I read the paper, did a bit of my Bible study and did some meal planning.  Mid afternoon our internet came back on so I caught up on some blog reading.
After supper we watched our normal Sunday night show - Midsommer Murder.  We are both fans of this show, and tend to like a lot of British tv.

It was a nice, quiet and cozy evening.  A nice break before the busyness starts again in the morning.  Hope you all had a good start to the month too!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Sometimes things don't go as planned!

 Hi!  Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving.  I had to work 11-7 the night before, but was able to come home and sleep for a bit and have a nice day.  I also had a nice blog break and got some things accomplished.
The day after Thanksgiving, I had the day off and planned to put up our tree.  I had already put up the other decorations, but was waiting on the tree.  Our main tree is not very big - about 5 1/2 feet tall and last year we got a tree bag for it.  So the decorations stay on it, you bag it and store it.  Bob brought it upstairs on Thanksgiving night, and the plan was for me to get the bag off and move it into place on Friday.
Friday morning I was doing something in the kitchen when I heard a big noise in the living room.  You're right - the tree had fallen and was laying down on the floor.  My first mistake was to stand it back up.  I went back to finish what I was doing in the kitchen.  Shortly after, I heard a now familiar sound.  You guessed it - tree was back on the floor!  I left it there and finished some other tasks.

When I opened the tree bag, I found something similar to this - bent branches and lots of broken ornaments. There were many of them off their hooks and the tree as well.
I moved furniture, vacuumed and put the tree where it belonged.  I picked up broken ornaments and managed to cut a finger, then had to redo the tree, which seemed to have developed a bend.  (Bob says it's now a Charlie Brown Tree).  I then discovered that the extension cord and timer were missing...   I decided I'd had enough of that tree and went to set up the two little trees we put on our front porch.  They have no decorations, just lights. Unfortunately, only half of the lights were working and the timer and cord for them was also missing!  (Who put this stuff away last year?)  I don't know what I did with it - I always put it right in the box with the Christmas stuff.
On Saturday I had some errands to run, and was now going to pick up a few extension cords and lights too.  I made some cookies in the morning, and noticed the oven was not smelling good.  Something must have spilled and was burning.  I made plans to clean the oven, but headed out to do my errands first.
When I came home, I emptied the oven, started the self cleaner and went into the living room to get the lights going on the main tree, and put new ones on our porch trees.
It wasn't long, and a smoke detector went off.  I walked into the kitchen to see something like this:

Image result for smokie pouring out of oven vent"
Smoke was coming out of the oven vent and the kitchen was enveloped in a haze!  I turned off the smoke detector, opened some windows and turned on the microwave vent.  It didn't last long, but the lingering smoke lasted too long!  It was 34 degrees outside, so not a good time for open windows.  I lit candles to try to make things smell better.  The crazy thing is that I have no idea what spilled in that oven!
So, now you know what I was up to on Friday and Sat.  I did get the trees fixed, the oven is clean and has been used again with no smoke and everything is looking good.  Sometimes you just have to laugh, right?  But I think I need to go back to work.  I do less damage there!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Birthday and a break!

It was my birthday on Sunday and I got kind of spoiled.

 It started on Friday when I found this box sitting at my spot during our morning meeting at work.  It was full of delicious muffins to treat everyone.

 At lunch that day we ordered out and someone treated me to a wonderful salad, and someone else brought in these cheesecake bites.  Yum!

Bob took me out for supper at our favorite restaurant that night.  (lots of eating that day...)

On Sunday, I was on call and we were short nurses.  I was scheduled to work and 2 of my co-workers agreed to work 12 hour days to split that shift so I didn't have to go in! I was able to go to church and got lots of greetings and hugs there.  I also got a few cards, and had gotten some in the mail too, including the card on top, which was from one of m blog friends - Arlene.  Thanks Arlene!
We had a quiet and peaceful day with greetings from each of the kids.  Perfect day!

I'm taking a little break!  I have too much to do and not enough time to do it.
I hope all my United States friends have a nice Thanksgiving and I will see you soon!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Cooking Thursday

I have the best bread recipe to share with you.  It's one I found several years ago, and it promised a loaf of yeast bread in an hour.  I had to try it, and it's not quite an hour, but mine takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes from start to finish!  And it's good - try it and see!

Best Bread Ever

5 1/4 cups white bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 rounded tablespoons fast rising yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons oil
2 cups hot tap water

Mix dry ingredients, add oil and water. Mix for one minute and check consistency. If dough is too dry, add a little water. Dough should be very sticky. Mix for 5 minutes. (Do not add flour to dough after mixing) Spray counter and loaf pans (9x5) with Pam. Shape loafs and place into pans. Cover with dish towel and let rise for about 30 minutes. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Makes 2 large loaves.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Monday, November 18, 2019

I Am

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and text

I saw this last week and was blessed by this reminder that God is in control, no matter what things look like in the world, or in our lives.  Isn't this a huge comfort?

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Fireplace Makeover

You probably remember that our daughter Heather and her husband Andrew bought a house this past Spring.  It's such a cute house but it needed some love.  There was a lot of painting and cleaning to be done, and then there are some bigger projects to be done.
Last week Laura and I went over to help Heather figure out where to hang some things.

 A big S on one wall...

A little Farmhouse d├ęcor in the dining room.

Laura trying to hang a sign in the hallway.  Those things aren't always easy to hang!  We moved things around in their bedroom, hung a few things in the kitchen and planned things for the living room.

But here is the big project!

This is their living room when they moved in.  Lots of charm, but that fireplace!  Someone had the bright idea to put stucco over everything and then press in glass beads.  It was pretty gawdy.
We all helped tear that part down, and then Bob starting building a new fireplace.
Here's how it looks now:

 Shiplap on top, new bricks, new mantle and the fireplace doors were repainted.

Heather, Laura and I figured out some Fall decorations for a mantle.  I think it turned out just beautiful!  We had lots of fun!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cooking Thursday

It's getting cold here - perfect soup weather!  How does a bowl of creamy, comforting potato soup sound?  I have a recipe for it that is so easy and it cooks in the crock pot.  It's a favorite!

Cheesy Potato Soup

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Potato Soup
4 soup cans milk
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

1. Stir the bacon, onion, soup, milk, black pepper, potatoes, & 1/4 cup chives in a 6 quart slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or until the potatoes are tender.
3. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Serve with the remaining chives.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

We had the most amazing sunset last week.  It looked like the sky was on fire!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Suddenly it's Winter!

Winter hit us early this year.  As I was enjoying the beautiful Fall colors, it got cold and the snow came!

Our Japanese Maple was just gorgeous this year, the leaves were bright red and they even looked pretty on the ground.
This is how things were looking Wednesday, during a brief moment of sunshine.  You can see we had just a little snow that day.

 Thursday morning, the back yard looked like this.

 There wasn't a lot of snow, but it was a slippery drive in to work, as the roads were icy.

This looks like a mix of Fall and Winter!

 The pumpkins on the front steps were also covered with snow.

Remember our living room view?  It looks a little different with the snow!

I hope this doesn't mean we  are in for lots of snow this winter!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sisters Shopping Trip!

Every year for probably the last 25 years, my two sisters and I have done a Christmas shopping trip.  We don't actually go away, but shop in our area, then stay in a hotel at night and do a little finishing up on Saturday.  This past Friday and Saturday were the days for this year.  We always have so much fun together, lots of laughter and lots of shopping!

 Here's Terri and Cheri, checking out at one of the stores.  We started at 9 and shopped til 5, when we stopped for supper.

We ate at a favorite restaurant - I forgot to take a picture of my meal, but got one of my takeout box. They are large portions - this is 1/2 of my Penne Con Pollo - Chicken Pasta with sun dried tomatoes and pin nuts.  It was yummy!

We stopped at a few more places after supper, and made it to the hotel at 8pm.

 It's always a chore hauling all those packages to the room.  We then sort through everything and mark down what we've purchased.

 We had gotten dessert to go, and enjoyed that treat once everything was sorted and packed into bags, ready to go back to the car in the morning.

We usually stay up fairly late talking, but we were in bed by 11 this time.  All that shopping is tiring!
The next morning we were up bright and early.  We had breakfast at the hotel, then made a few more stops to finish up before heading home.

Here's my bags, ready for an afternoon of wrapping.  I put on a Hallmark movie and spent the afternoon wrapping gifts.
It was a really productive weekend!