Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday

It's Thursday and I have another slow cooking recipe for you. This is a recipe that can be put together in the evening, pulled out of the refrigerator in the morning and started for a light supper that evening.

Chicken a La King
10 3/4 oz can cream of chicken soup
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound boneless chicken, uncooked and cut into small pieces
1 rib of celery, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
9-oz bag frozen peas, thawed

Combine soup, flour, salt and pepper in slow cooker.
Stir in chicken, celery, green pepper and onion.
Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
Stir in peas and cook for 30 minutes more.
Serve in pastry cups or over toast or biscuits.

If you want to check out more slow cooking recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Works for me Wednesday

If you are anything like me, you have a list of blogs that you like to keep up on. I was finding that I was spending more time on the computer than I should, checking on blogs. The problem was that often I would check and there wouldn't be anything new posted. Other times I would notice that I missed a post, because maybe the blogger posted a few things close together and I only looked at the top one. If you find yourself in this situation, I have a solution for you.

Last week I was reading some of my favorite blogs when Megan, from Fried Okra mentioned she was using Google Reader to check on blogs. I was intrigued by this and e-mailed her to ask her about it. She very kindly e-mailed back and gave me the instructions for using it. Google Reader is a site that will keep track of your favorite blogs and tell you if they have anything new posted. This allows me to only open blogs that have a new post and is saving me so much time. If you want to check it out you can go here. Sign in using your blogspot sign in and password. You will see a button on the left side that says "add subscription". When you click it, you will get a space to add blog addresses. You can then separate them into different folders if you want. It takes a little while to get it all set up, but once you do, you will be happy to have it. Thanks Megan - this really works for me! If you want to check out other tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

A treat for you!

Last week our office manager came to work with a treat to share. She said she had been hearing about them on the radio and had to try them. They are chocolate brownie muffins and they are delicious. Not only are they good but they are healthy! This recipe will make 12 regular size muffins or 36 mini muffins. A regular muffin is only 2 weight watchers points, so a mini muffin is less than 1. They are rich so I have been making them as mini muffins. They have pumpkin in them, but I really can't taste it. The first time I made them, Bob came home and said "are those the muffins with pumpkin in them?" I said yes, but asked how he knew that. He said he had been hearing about them on the radio too! He loves them, even though he is usually very sceptical of things that he thinks may be low fat or calorie. Here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy them!

Chocolate Brownie Muffins

1 regular chocolate cake mix
15 oz canned pumpkin (plain - not pre-spiced for pie)
1 cup chocolate chips
Mix the cake mix and pumpkin together. Stir in chocolate chips. Put into greased muffin pans and bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes until they test done.

*makes 12 regular or 36 mini muffins

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Day of Fasting and Prayer

This weekend I had the privilege of attending a time of prayer and fasting that was held by the Women's Ministries at our church. When I saw it was being held on my weekend off, I knew that I was meant to go. I knew that if I went I would be blessed, however I was worried about going without sleep and food for that length of time (6pm Friday to 3pm Saturday). I was also being selfish in not wanting to give up a good part of my weekend off. As I was praying about it before I went, I heard in my head "can't you even give up one weekend, willingly for me?" It brought me back to reading about Peter and John in the garden, being asked if they could stay awake and pray.
As I knew I would be, I was blessed by being there. We enjoyed a great time of fellowship and prayer. We were still feeling alert when we finished on Saturday, despite the small amount of sleep we got, and none of us felt very hungry or had problems with headaches or nausea. This was obviously an answer to prayer.
It was impressed on me that I have a problem with pride. We had a form to fill out with characteristics of proud people and humble people and there were things on the pride side that surprised me and really confronted me with this issue. Pride can be seen in things like being concerned about what others will think of them, wanting to cover up mistakes and dealing with generalities instead of specifics when it comes to sins, just to name a few. We decided that pride is something that is at the root of many sins, and is the cause of many issues in our marriages. God calls us in Colossions 3:12-13 to be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle patient, forgiving, loving, in unity with each other, peaceful and thankful. He also says in 1 Peter 3:4 that we should have a gentle and a quiet spirit. It is very difficult to truly be any of those things when we are harbouring pride. It's something that can sneak up on us so frequent prayer and confession is needed.
We spent time studying, praying; both individually and together and sharing. We also did a little sleeping and goofing off. We left, tired and a little hungry, but refreshed and happy.

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Flowers for Melody

This is a special post to show support for Melody of Slurping Life and Wrapped Emotions. She is going through a tough time and has some tough decisions to make. Those of us who read Bonnies blog were challenged to send her a virtual bouquet to show the care and support of her fellow bloggers. This is hosted by Jenny at Live! and in Color.
So - these are for you Melody; a few of my favorite flower pictures. I'm praying for you and your family as you go through this time.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Favorite Ingredients Friday

It's time to share another recipe. This is something I made this past Sunday when our home group (Bible study) came to our house. I was asked to post this so here it is. (Just for you, Jean!) It is easy to make and oh, so good.

Grape Salad

4 pounds red or green seedless grapes, rinsed and drained with stems removed
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
8 ounces sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, finely crushed
1/2 cup brown sugar

Cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add sour cream, then vanilla. Stir in grapes and chill. Mix together nuts and brown sugar. Sprinkle on top of salad just before serving.

If you want to check out more recipes, visit Overwhelmed with Joy.

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Living the Life of Riley

Most of you know that I work in an extended care facility. You may not know that my daughter Heather also works there. She is going to college and works part time in the dietary department. Another thing you probably don't know is that this week is National Dietary Appreciation Week. Heather was working last night and when she came home she told Bob and I that we had to stay where we were and listen to a poem she was going to read to us. I assumed this poem was something that was written for the dietary department as part of the appreciation goings on. (They do things for each department during their week, like posting signs and banners, and sometimes even poems!) She said to me "You will know who this is from, when you hear it". So I sat back and listened to this:

She always comes in so very smiley,
It's only because she has the life of Riley.
We all know she is good at vacation,
every other week she is traveling the nation.
When others push on like an upstream barge,
She's sitting home, living large.
As we task and toil to take care of the mess,
She's sitting back, relaxing like a princess.

I immediately knew this poem was for me, not Heather. There is a nurse aid that I work with who teases me every time I have a day off, and says I am on another vacation. She tells me that actually my life is a vacation. When she came to work yesterday and realized I had the day off, she decided to write a poem and pass it to Heather. They all had a good laugh and so did I. I must say that compared to her, my life is easy. She is a wife and Mom, she is working full time and going to nursing school. Her husband lost his job and hasn't been able to find anything permanent, so she is trying to help out her family and as you can see, she is maintaining a good sense of humor while doing it. I must defend myself just in case you believe that poem. We are in need of another nurse and in the meantime, the rest of us are working extra. Tomorrow I will be working my second 12 hour shift in a week. If you know any good nurses, send them my way, so I can go back to sitting with my feet up and eating bonbons!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Great Blogging Friends!

Karen, from Karens Ramblings has blessed me with another award. This is the Blog Friend Forever Award and this is the description of the award:

"Presented to awesome blog owners who keep their readers excited about their posts. Their blog posts are interesting (NOT spammy) and worth reading and keep their subscribers looking forward to each and every post."

I really don't think I measure up to this description, but I truly appreciate Karen's generosity in passing it along. It really made me think though, about how much I have enjoyed meeting people through blogging. There is a group of people from my church who have blogs and I feel I have gotten to know them better through this. Julie, Brenda, Jennifer, Melissa, Kim, Dawn, Diane, Tammy, Carl, Brandon, Jason - this means you! There are friends like Nancy who I know so well, but just love to see what she will put on her blog next. Of course I have to mention my family - I never know what they might say! So Terri, Cheri, Laura, Heather - this is for you. I have also gotten to know and become friends with people who I would never have met if I didn't have a blog. People like Megan who have given me computer advice and travel tips. There are Karen, Bonnie, and Jennifer who live so far away but feel like good neighbors. I would love to meet each of them in person! There is Dena who gave me her cell number and helped us find a tourist attraction in her area. (And we were even able to meet her). Through Dena, I met her friends Leslie and Leigh Ann, who were so welcoming. There is Renee who passes on ideas about carving magazines for Bob and sends me sweet e-mails. I also love to hear from Rebekah and enjoy her stories about her kids and job. Last but not least, there is Ginger who actually graduated from high school with me and we were able to reconnect through her blog. That is quite a list and it just shows what can happen when you blog. You are all great and I consider you all my blogging friends, so claim your award!


On the subject of blogging friends, I have to thank Megan from Fried Okra who informed me I won a $20 gift card to wherever I wanted. I seem to have won a contest just by leaving a comment! How exciting is that? So thanks Megan - I'll enjoy it!

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall Foliage

I am amazed at the changes in the outdoor scenery in the last week. The leaves have really changed color, there are acorns all over our lawn, the flowers are faded and nearly all gone. It is surprising how beautiful it can be when actually these changes are coming about because the leaves and flowers are dying.
Nature often inspires me to praise God, but when I am admiring the beauty of fall, I often feel that creation is just shouting out praises!
Here are a few pictures of the changes going on in my yard.
Another picture of the hydrangea tree. It has really changed color since this post from only 2 weeks ago.

The side of our yard
This small bush in our back yard is covered with red berries

The plumes of the fountain grass have turned purple

One of the last flowers of the season.

The changing colors in the back yard.
"If you do not praise me, then will the very rocks cry out" Luke 19:40

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thoughtful Blogger Award

Karen from Karen's Ramblings has blessed me with "The Thoughtful Blogger Award". Karen is a Mom who has a heart for prayer and shares her faith and her life on her blog. It is fun to visit her because you never know what she will post. Stop in and you will find posts that range from devotional writings to spiritual challenges to pictures of fun things she does with her family in New Zealand. Thanks Karen - you have blessed me again!
"The Thoughtful Blogger Award is for those who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. For the people who take others feelings into consideration before speaking out and who are kind and courteous. Also for all of those bloggers who spend so much of their time helping others bloggers design, improve, and fix their sites. This award is for those generous bloggers who think of others."

Award Rules:
1) If you have received an award simply choose either the dark or light background image and save it to your files, then post it proudly on your blog!

2) Pass the award on to five other people, you can choose any of the awards from the series, you do not have to pass out the exact award you received. Choose whichever of the awards below that you'd like to give out. You can give out one of each or five of the same one, whatever you prefer. ( Awards in this series are Inspirational, Courageous, Charity, Thoughtful & Creative)

3) You can change the size and color of awards to suit your blog, that's up to you, it's your blog, just leave the titles the same.

4) Please link back to this post so that people can read these rules and so that the meanings of the awards will not be lost.

5) If you feel that you or a friend are deserving of an award and no one has given one to you yet then email Christy (award originator) at http://www.sayhitochristy(at) and tell her about your website.

To read more about the awards click here Writer's Reviews. Thanks for reading!

I had a hard time picking out just 5 bloggers for this but -here are my nominees:
Saija from Thro' A Glass Darkly - Saija's husband has Arachnoiditis and lives with chronic pain. In spite of the difficult circumstances she has at times, she is able to praise God and looks to him for her strength. I nominate you Saija for the Courageous Blogger Award.

Jennifer from Where the Heart is - Jennifer lives in Japan and is currently expecting her 7th child. Due to a difficult pregnancy she is currently separated from her family to be close to medical care. She is honest about her anxiety regarding this baby's birth and the difficulty of being away from her family, but is always turning her eyes (and ours) to the Lord who is watching over her and her family. I nominate you Jennifer for the Courageous Blogger Award.
For those bloggers who are battling or have battled with physical and mental illness, those who are survivors of abuse, poverty, or who have overcome other challenges in life. Those who serve in the military or work/volunteer in dangerous situations in order to provide a service or to help others. This award is for the strong, the brave, and the courageous.

Megan from Fried Okra - This girl is funny! Her blog is unique, with the stories, diaries, poems and other fun things she comes up with. I think the description of this award sums up Megan. So - I nominate you Megan for the Creative Blogger Award

For those who bring unique and creative elements to their blogs. For those who incorporate art, music, creative writing, photo's, and other beautiful visual effects into their website. For those who put a unique spin on things and come up with new ideas. This award is for the artsy, the funky, the inventor, and even the rebel. This award is for those creative individuals who stand out from the crowd.

Ginger from Just a Thought - Ginger's blog is a joy to visit. When you are there you can sense her warm, caring nature. She frequently has such thoughtful and yes - "inspirational" posts. I nominate you Ginger for the Inspirational Blogger Award.

Jennifer from Gathering Grace - Jennifer's blog is cheery, comfortable place to stop. I am amazed by the things she writes. She often educates me especially in matters of church history and is able to see God's hand in everything around her. I nominate you Jennifer for the Inspirational Blogger Award.
For those bloggers who inspire others through their words and actions. With a positive attitude, and an uplifting spirit these bloggers make the blogosphere a better place, and encourage others to do the same. This award is for bloggers who rise up to set an example but continue to reach out and support others.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Favorite Ingredient Friday

I am doing something new this week and participating in Overwhelmed with Joy's Favorite Ingredient Friday Recipe exchange. This weeks theme is soups. The recipe I am sharing is a real favorite in my family. I first received it when someone made it for our family after my Mom passed away. I have made it quite a few times for others after a hospitalization or a death and am frequently asked for the recipe. It is quick and easy to make and reheats very well. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Wild Rice Chicken Soup

6 1/4 c. liquid (I use broth and enough water to get 6 1/4 cups)
1 (6 oz) box Uncle Ben's Original Recipe long grain and wild rice mix
1 envelope Lipton chicken noodle soup mix
1 celery rib, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1-2 cups cubed cooked chicken

In large saucepan, combine liquid, rice with contents of seasoning packet and Lipton soup mix. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in celery, carrot and onion. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in cream of chicken soup and chicken. Cook about 8 minutes longer and or until rice and vegetables are tender.

For more soup recipes, visit Overwhelmed with Joy.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fall decorating

Today I went out and got a few pumpkins and mums to make my entry look a little more like Fall. I tend to procrastinate with this, because it seems the pumpkins start going bad too quickly. Since it has been so warm this year I have been even slower than usual. Here are the pumpkins and mums I got for the front door.

I also got gourds and mini pumpkins to fill this basket for my table. This is a Longaberger basket that was my Mom's. Earlier this week I posted about going to the apple orchard. When my Mom was living, she came on that annual outing and she always took this basket along. We would stop at a local floral place and they would fill and decorate it while we visited the orchard. After she passed away I got the basket and I always put it out in the Fall and at Christmas. It is nice to see it and remember her.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Works for me Wednesday

Today's Works for me Wednesday post is about how I handle owners manuals. You know, all those booklets that end up being tucked in several places, and then when you have a question about your mixer, vacuum cleaner, washing machine... you don't know where you put the book! I got sick of this and a few years ago went out and bought this folder. It is roomy, with quite a few accordion type slots in it. It also has a large separate section in the front, that I use to put the spare pieces that sometimes come with these items, such as a new belt for the vacuum cleaner or extra screws... I keep this in a closet in my office/scrapbooking room and now when I need to find something out about one of my appliances, I know where to look. If you want to see more ideas, visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tuesday Tribute

Thanks to Bonnie for starting this - Tuesday Tribute
Bonnie put a challenge out last week - think of someone you would like to pay tribute to. After thinking about it, I came up with two. I have been so blessed by the family God placed me in. Today I want to pay tribute to my two sisters. (I have a great brother too, but today it's girl time) I am the oldest in my family, my brother is next. My sister Terri is 5 years younger than me and Cheri is 9 years younger. Of course we played together when we were young, although Cheri was only 10 when I got married and moved out. Now that we are all "older" we are best friends. I know if I need to talk to someone, I can call either of them - or both! If any of us needs help - we call each other. In troubled times, we depend on each other. I can share anything with them and know that I will receive honest, caring replies. They are both Christians and we are able to share our faith and ask for prayers from each other. They are both great moms and wives. We love spending time together and usually spend a good deal of that time laughing. We are often amazed by how alike we are. We have had occasions where we have all shown up dressed in very similar clothes and have been teased about being triplets. I have noticed when commenting on blogs, that if one of them is there before me, they probably said what I was about to say.
They probably won't be too happy with me for sharing these, but here are a few pictures from our childhood.
Terri is 7 and Cheri is 3
Here is one of those lovely church directory pictures. Cheri is front right and is 9. Terri is on the left and is 14 and I am in the back and am 18.

This is a family picture that was taken about 10 years ago. Cheri is 2nd from the right, Terri is 4th from the right and I am 4th from the left with our parents in the middle.
We have changed as we have gotten older, in some ways for the better and in some ways not, but we have always been a family that sticks together, in tough times and fun times. I love you both - thanks for being such wonderful sisters!

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

It's apple pickin time!

My sisters and I visited a local apple orchard on Friday. This is something we have been doing every fall for quite a few years. This orchard has more than just apples. It has a nice gift shop and a small restaurant. They serve simple lunches of soups and sandwiches which are each served with an apple!Here are my sisters and 2 nieces, enjoying their lunch.

Look at all those apples! I bought a bag of Honeycrisp apples, which are arguably the best apples in the world, right Megan? I also got a gallon of wonderful apple cider.

They have pumpkins of all sizes here.

Here are my nieces, standing in front of the big apple! They had to be patient through the gift house, lunch and the produce area so they could play on the slide and see the big apple. It's the best part of the trip for them.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Crazy Day!

What a day! My friend, Nancy who is my work partner, did this post on Friday about how crazy her day was. I'm sorry to say that things weren't any better today. It was one of those days that starts off busy, and things just keep adding on. One of my patients was dying, and therefore he and his family needed frequent attention. In the middle of the morning I had to send someone else to the hospital, someone else got sick and there were a few other residents who were having behavior problems. Of course, since it was a Saturday, none of the office staff or management was there, so the nurses have to answer the phone and take care of anything else that comes up. I did end up working a little late, but was able to get home and do what needed doing here! My patient passed away this afternoon and I am really glad that I was able to be there for him and his family. We really become close to our residents and there are usually tears shed by the staff as well as the family when they pass. It is a privilege to help make the patient comfortable and do what we can to keep the family comfortable too, while they wait. I have tomorrow off and am looking forward to some praise and worship time at church!

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Welcome to my world

Recently my sister Terri, did a post that showed the area where she lives. I thought that was a good idea and decided to do the same. I live in a fairly small town, but it is growing rapidly. My husband grew up here, we moved to another city when we got married and we moved back here about 17 years ago. The population has more than doubled since we moved, but it still retains its small town feel. So - come for a drive with me and let me show you around. I live on the outside of town, where there are fields and farms, fairly close to me.
There is a large river that flows around our township.

This is one of the two main traffic lights in town.

As I said, the area is really growing. We have many new developments and businesses being built. Here is the Walgreens that will soon open.

Our park has a veterans memorial where there is a statue for every war from the Revolutionary was to Desert Storm.

We are home to a State University, so during the school year there are a lot of college kids. This is the clock tower on the campus.

This is a firehouse museum. This fire station was actually in a larger city nearby and was going to be demolished. A business owner in town bought it (I think for $1) and took it down brick by brick and reassembled it here. His business is fire equipment, so he made it into a museum, filled with old firetrucks and equipment.

We are almost back home. My street is coming up, just down the road. I hope you enjoyed your tour!

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