Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Year in Review

This is something I did last year and thought it was a good thing to do again.
"With the New Year right around the corner, this is the perfect time for a peek through the past year of blogging. I would love for you to join in with me! Post the first sentence of your first blog post of each month. Then add a favorite picture from each month. "

"For quite a few years we have gotten together with Bob's brother Tom and family to bring in the new year."

This is a picture I took one morning in January while I was at work.


"It's been a crazy day for me."
We had record setting snow fall last winter. This is just another snowy picture of our road!

"I love music."
This is a picture from my Dad's 77th birthday. From left to right are: Dad, Terri, Duane, Cheri, Mari

"Look what I found in my mailbox!"
We flew to Virginia to see Andy graduate from his advanced training. After graduation he was allowed to take us into the hanger and show us his beloved Apaches. This is Bob and Andy checking them out.

"We flew home on Saturday."
We had a surprise 50th birthday party for Bob. We really did surprise him too!

"I have always loved lilacs."
This is a picture of my front yard in the middle of a rainstorm. We got a lot of rain in June.

"Today is a special Works for me Wednesday."This is from a post I did about our cat Cleo and how upset she was about being forced to wear this ridiculous outfit!

"We are back and a good time was had!" We went camping with Terri and Cheri. This is a picture of Heather, Bob, Laura and Aaron looking out over Lake Michigan.

September: "Last week Heather and I made a visit to WJQ, the radio station we listen to."Finally I was able to post a picture of our completed kitchen!

"It's time to visit Sandra and see what great slow cooker recipes she has for us today."
This is a picture I took at Sleeping Bear Dunes when Bob and I went for a little getaway.

"The big election is Tuesday."

This is a picture out of my living room window. Many trees were empty of leaves, but others were still hanging on.



"It's time for Tips on Tuesday"

This is a picture from Christmas of my kids at home in front of Andy on the webcam.

When a year comes to an end we often think about what we need to work on in the year ahead. Here is a verse I think is appropriate for the last day of the year:

"No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. " Philippians 3:13-14

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cleo's big adventure

Our cat, Cleo is pretty much a spoiled thing. She lives inside and never steps foot outside. Occasionally she tries to get out the door when we have it open.
With all the snow we got last week, Bob was having to plow a path out to his workshop. We thought that since the snow was so deep, it wouldn't hurt to let Cleo in the walkway, since there really wasn't anyplace for her to go to.
Here are a few pictures of her outside in the snow:

She didn't really know what to make of it. I thought she would come right back in, but she just sat there, looked around and sniffed at the snow. After a few minutes, we took her back in. That's enough adventuring for one day!

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Celebration

Laura and Aaron came over on Christmas Eve for our family Christmas celebration. Every year I make them sit in front of the tree for a picture and they seem to be getting more resistant all the time! After a little begging I got one picture!
Aaron, Laura, Heather
Here is our table ready for a light supper and too many goodies!
Since Andy couldn't be with us this year we tried something new. When we were ready to ready the Christmas story and open gifts, we connected to the webcam. This allowed us to see and hear Andy at the same time. It was a little different but we all gathered around the computer!
Here you see Andy on the screen. The little inset picture shows us what he is seeing. We moved our camera around so he could see everyone when they opened their gifts.

The kids like to get something little for the pets. Cleo got the same toy from us and from Laura and Aaron!

Laura and Aaron gave Bob a Mario Kart game for his Wii. If you look closely you may notice the packaging is damaged. Laura said that Sophie (their dog) tried to help open it!
When we were about to sign off, Andy, trying to harass me said we needed a picture of the kids for this year. I'm not going to let that opportunity slide so here they are:

Aaron, Laura, Andy and Heather! Not your normal picture, but you take what you can get.
I had to work on Christmas day. It was a quiet day and I got out on time. We went to Bob's Moms house to celebrate with his family. Mom and Bob's step dad will be leaving to spend a few months in Florida so it was nice to see them before they leave.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to each of you! I hope you all have a wonderful day with family or friends. Regardless of the gifts under the tree, we are most blessed by that gift in the manger!

Andy - we miss you all the time but even more at Christmas. I hope you have a good day with your friends and I hope the army feeds you well today! Love you lots!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Spirit

I was tagged for this Meme by Ginger at Just a Thought and Sandra at Diary of a SAHM. The requirement for this one is to list 5 things I love about Christmas. So here goes:

1. I love the joy and the excitement. People are thinking of others, trying to give gifts that will make someone happy and many are giving gifts and helping out strangers who are in need.

2. I love the smells of Christmas. I love to have my house smell good and often burn candles, but this time of year I do it more often. The smell of pine, bayberry... is a wonderful thing. Of course there are those baking smells too - cookies, fudge. It's all good!

3. Speaking of baking, I love Christmas treats! Those cookies, Christmas mixes and fudge that are only around this time of year are wonderful.
4. I love music and during this season I have Christmas music playing all the time. I enjoy the religious songs, the classic songs and some of those goofy ones too!

5. I love being together with family. We had a party with my Dad's brothers and sisters a week ago and it was nice to see those who I don't see often. It's always fun to gather with my crazy family which we did this past weekend. On Christmas day we will gather with Bob's family and there will be laughter again. This is the first year that our immediate family won't be together as Andy is stationed in South Korea. It just doesn't feel right when one of the family members is missing.

Now I know I was supposed to list 5 things, but there is one thing that is more important than all the rest. Of course that is the birth of Jesus. I'm afraid all those other things often overtake our thoughts and focus but without that babies birth, nothing else would matter!
Now I am supposed to pass this on to 5 others, but since it is so close to Christmas I'll let you choose if this is something you have time to do.
Thanks Ginger and Sandra - this was both fun and thought provoking.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Family Christmas party

On Saturday night we had the Christmas party for my side of the family. We all met at Terri's house. To keep things easy, we had pizza for supper.

Here are Laura, Heather and Bob waiting for the fun to begin.

Bob and Arianna are busy laughing at something, or someone!

This is my Dad and step mom Ann, showing a few of their gifts.

If you have read my blog in the past, you know that Santa sends letters to certain family members. Those who are on the "naughty" list receive a letter from him. These letters are given out after the gifts are opened and are read aloud to a laughing audience. Although Santa may be disappointed in someones behavior, he really has a good sense of humor and writes a pretty funny letter. He usually gives a small gift along with the letter to get his point across. This years letter recipients are:

My brother, Duane

My sister, Cheri

and Heather!
Don't you agree that they look like a naughty bunch? The amazing thing is that Terri didn't get a letter this year. Santa must not really know everything, after all!

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow, snow and more snow!

What a day of weather we have had! We got about 11 inches of snow between 4 am and noon. Driving to work this morning was no fun. There was already a lot of snow on the road and minimal plowing had been done. Once I was at work we just looked outside and the snow coming down and marveled at how little we could see due to the heavy downfall combined with the wind.
We were expecting an admission today. She was coming from the hospital but her husband was driving her. About the time she was expected, we got a call from On Star. The operator said the man was stuck at the end of our road. They ended up calling the police. The police said our road was impassable so they couldn't transfer her in their car. A tow truck had to be called along with the road commission to come and plow. Our parking lot had been plowed earlier but was filled in again so our maintenance man went out and made a path out to the road with the snow blower so this patient could be wheeled in. It took a little over an hour before they finally made it into the building! This lady has a good sense of humor because she got a laugh out of that ordeal!
At this point the staff was thinking we would have to stay because we thought the afternoon staff wouldn't be able to make it in. They all made it though, and we were ready to start home.
One of the employees sons came in his four wheel drive and shoveled around our vehicles because by this time there was snow drifts up to the hoods of our cars. If he hadn't done that, we would still be stuck! I took my time and made it home safe and sound - and happy! I have the weekend off and will go back to work on Monday. Guess what - there is another storm predicted for Sunday!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

How much do you know about Christmas?

You Know a Lot About Christmas

You got 10/10 correct

You know tons about the history and traditions surrounding Christmas.

When you celebrate the holidays, you never forget their true meaning - or all the little fun details.

Random Christmas fact: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was originally a promotional gimmick for Montgomery Ward.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Slow Cooking Thursday

I have such a good recipe for you this week. My friend Diane had it on her blog last week and I tried it on Friday. My sisters and I have a Christmas lunch every year and I thought it sounded perfect for our lunch. It was so easy and just delicious! All three of us gave it the thumbs up! Thanks, Diane for sharing!

Bacon Potato Chowder
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used a bad of the Hormel bacon pieces)
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 3 - 4 hours or until the potatoes are tender.
3. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Serve with the remaining chives.

For more slow cooker recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Card scoring

This is a picture of my Christmas card holder. There are cards from some of you on it! I don't know about you but one of my favorite things about this season is getting cards. Isn't it fun to walk out to the mailbox and find a card or two? Our church has mailboxes set up also, so we also have the joy of finding cards there. A magazine I read had this card score sheet in it and I thought it was fun, so I'd share it with you.
When your cards start rolling in, tally up the points for each card you receive and check out your score card.

Add points for this:
dentist, insurance agent, hairdresser... +0.5 each

your mother +0.5

another relative +1
your boss +1

friends you see at least once a week +1

above with reference to an inside joke +3
long distance friend with no personal reference +2
above with personal reference +4
anyone who includes a handwritten personal note of 5 sentences or more +5
long lost friend who hasn't been heard from in more than 10 years +10
Lose points for this:
the card is a postcard, not in an envelope -1

signature is imprinted, not handwritten -1
photo is of a helpless pet in some sort of a costume -3

the card is handed to you rather than mailed -3
your name is spelled incorrectly -4
card is the same as you received last year -5

card is an e-card rather than the real thing -6
family newsletter contains words such as gall bladder, spleen, gout... -8
long lost friend who you haven't heard from in 10 years asks for money -10

Bonus points: gilded envelope +0.5
handwritten return address +1

card in which all family members signed their own name +2

photo in or with card +2
card with moving parts +3
clever handmade card +4

oversize card requiring extra postage +5

card sent from another country +6
card with check, cash or gift certificate +20

That's all the points. Now add your total. How did you do?

Negative points
: Whoops - what did you do? Are you even sending out cards to your friends? 0 - 20 points: Not too shabby. And you still have time. Cards will be trickling in for a little while yet. Over 20 points: Well done! You must be doing something right!

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Monday, December 15, 2008

What's on your heart?

Recently my friend Shelly sent me this you tube video that is based on Colossians 1:27, " Christ in you, the hope of glory." Here it is - see what you think.

Don't you love that? If everyone around you could hear your spiritual heart, what would they hear?

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Tour of Homes

It's finally here! Today is the day for the Christmas tour of homes, sponsored by BooMama!
Welcome to my home and I hope you enjoy the decorations.
As you come up the front walk you will see these two small trees, lit up on either side of the door.

Step into the back entry. My sister Cheri gave me this cute snowman sign last year. If you look closely you will see it's personalized with our families names.

Why don't you stop in the kitchen and have a little treat? These are Sweet Treats. They are so good and easy to make. Don't they look cute? If you want the recipe, stop here at my recipe blog.

I like snowmen! This one has a votive candle in it to make him glow.

This is the dining room wall with a few Christmas accents. The little picture is actually a framed card.

Before we go into the living room you can see my card rack. It's so fun to receive cards!

No tour would be complete without one of Bob's carvings. He carved this little Santa a few years ago and my daughter, Laura had the reindeer attached to my birthday gift this year.

Here are more snowmen! My sister Terri, painted these for me several years ago.

This is my collection of stained glass angels.

Here are the stockings. They do have things in them, just aren't overflowing!

This is one of our prized decorations. It's a Nativity set that Laura made from clay when she was about 15. Do you see the sheep and even chickens?

Last, but not least is the tree.
I hope you enjoyed your visit here. There are lots more decorations to see. Stop over at Boomama and have a fun time!

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