Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring is coming!

I took this picture Sunday morning after I looked out the kitchen window and realized that our oak tree had buds on it. I was so happy to see that although we still have some snow in our yard, there are some definite signs of spring! Then we sang "Indescribable" by Chris Tomlin when we went to church and although I have sung it many times before, I really took note of the words. This song mentions spring and storehouses of snow and the fact that it is our God who controls it. Here are the words to this song: From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation’s revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untamable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untamable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
You are amazing God

If you want to hear the song, click here. Our God truly is amazing!

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Belated birthday

Saturday night we celebrated a very belated birthday for Heather. Her birthday was on Valentines Day and although we had the large family party, we hadn't done an evening with just our family. Heather has been house sitting for the past week, so it was nice to have her home for the evening.
Cleo was happy to see her too!

Here she is opening those late birthday cards.

Although I am teased for always wanting to play games on my Nintendo, here you see Aaron and Laura appearing to enjoy playing it too!
I'm always happy to have the kids home for an evening!

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Cold Tangerines

About a month ago Sarah, from Short Stop, posted about this book. She had just finished reading it and was asking her readers if they were interested in reading it and posting a review. The publisher agreed to send out 30 copies of this book and each of us that received a book is reviewing it today. I enjoyed reading this book. It is made up of 40 short stories, which makes it easy to read in small spurts of time. This book is about celebrating life. The author - Shauna Niequist, is able to see things in everyday life and points these things out to the reader in a way that makes you want to slow down and enjoy the life God has given you. The stories are each different - some are sad, some are joyful, they are all honest and are about things in life that allow the reader to relate to the author. She challenges us to live our day to day life in a celebratory way. She points out God at work, both in small things and in large things. She allows us to see that things that were very painful in her life and the lives of friends actually worked out to be a huge positive in their lives. Here are a few sentences from the book that will give you an idea what she is sharing in this book. "I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. I don't want to get to the end and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and dirty dishes....I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that He gave life to someone who loves the gift, who will use it up and wring it out and drag it around like a favorite sweater".
If you get a chance to read this book - I recommend it. If you want to see what some of the other reviewers had to say, visit Short Stop.

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Welcome Shelly!

For all you Lighthouse bloggers, I wanted to tell you that we have a new blogger in our midst. Shelly from Dance Like Nobody's Watching joined our church this morning. I've known Shelly for about 10 years. I had the privilege of working with her in the past and taking care of her first husband who died of ALS. She will soon be working with me again and we can't wait to have her back. She has remarried and joined with her husband Tom and their 4 kids. She is loads of fun and our church is blessed to have her as a member. So - check out her blog and welcome her to Lighthouse!

I also have a link for you to check out. Visit Cheryl's blog to see the cutest rendition of the Lords Prayer ever!

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

New dictionary

Here's a few new descriptions for some old words. Hope you enjoy them!

A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.

A place where women curl up and dye.

Someone who is fed up with people.

The only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead.

A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

Mud with the juice squeezed out.

Someone me-deep in conversation

A person who will never tell a lie if the truth will do more damage.

Cold Storage.

Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.

An insect that makes you like flies better.

Grape with a sunburn.

Something you tell to one person at a time.

The pain that drives you to extraction.

One of the greatest labor saving devices of today.

An honest opinion openly expressed.

Something other people have. You have character lines.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Slow Cooking Thursday

Here's a classic chicken recipe for you. My Mom used to make this in the oven quite a bit when I was younger. A few years ago I found this crock pot recipe that tastes a lot like my Mom's oven recipe. The rice has a great flavor. Hope you like it too!
Baked Chicken and Rice
2 cups instant dry rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup better or margarine, melted
1 soup can water
10-12 assorted pieces of chicken
1 pkg dry onion soup

Place rice in large slow cooker. Combine soups, better and water. Pour half over rice. lay chicken over rice and pour remaining soup mix over chicken. Sprinkle dry onion soup over everything. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, until chicken is done and rice is tender.

For more recipes, go and visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What kind of flower are you?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

I found this fun little quiz on Perri's blog. Click above to see what it says about you. I have to say that there is some truth in my answer!

You Are a Snapdragon

"Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh."

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Works for Me Wednesday

When I make a roast beef dinner, I try to get a roast that is big enough to have leftovers. When we are done eating, I shred the leftover roast and put it in the bottom of an 8x8 pan. I then pour some leftover gravy over it and leftover corn or beans over that. I cover than pan with foil, seal it tightly and freeze it. A few weeks later I put it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. The next day I spread mashed potatoes over top. I use the ready made Bob Evans mashed potatoes. I then pop it into the oven for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. This makes a really flavorful Shepherds pie. It's quick and easy and uses leftovers without complaints. It probably wouldn't make enough for Jennifer or Jennifer, but it works for us!
For more ideas visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

How fast can you type?

I found this fun test over at Rohal Call. You can try it your self and see how good you are at typing. I'm not great - guess that's why I'm a nurse, not a secretary! Let me know how you do!

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

For Bonnie

My friend Bonnie is asking for some help. She just got a new Slow Cooker and she's looking for recipes. She wants us to post some of our favorites and is even having a giveaway for the one she picks. I've gone over my Slow Cooking Thursday posts and picked out some favorites. Here they are, in no particular order.

Meatball Stew
Vegetable Soup
Mexican Chicken Soup
Zesty Swiss Steak
Pepper Steak
White Chicken Chili
French Dip Sandwiches

These are some of my family's favorites. Bonnie - I hope your family likes them too. Enjoy your crock pot.
When I came home from work on Friday, there was a big box waiting for me. It was my new Slow Cooker. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet but I'll let you know how those extra features work when I do.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

Easter is very early this year. It's always the first Sunday after the Spring Equinox, which fell on March 20 this year. The dating of Easter is based on the lunar calender that the Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calender. Based on this, it can actually fall one day earlier than it is this year. This year is the earliest any of us will see Easter for the rest of our lives. The last time it came this early was 95 years ago. The next time it will be this early will be in 2160, which is 152 years from now if Christ doesn't come before then. It really doesn't matter where it falls on the calender - what matters is that it happened! Have a blessed Easter.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Welcome Spring!

Thursday was the first day of Spring! Many of you have read my whining posts about snow and more snow, but it really is coming to an end! We have had above freezing temperatures for the last few weeks and the snow is really melting. Here is a picture of our front yard. Do you see the grass that's starting to show?

I thought I would include a few West Michigan winter statistics for this year.
We had the snowiest winter on record. The last record was set in 1951-1952 and that year there was 85.1". This year we had 94.9", with 41.6" falling in February. (Another record) We also had less sunshine than usual. The last year that there was more sunshine than this year was 1929-1930. It's no wonder we are all ready for warmer weather and the sun! So - welcome Spring! You will find many smiling faces greeting you in West Michigan!
PS - the snow may not be quite done yet. They are predicting some tonight!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Slow Cooking Thursday

It's time for another slow cooker recipe! Since we will celebrate Easter this weekend, I thought I would share a recipe that is often made for holiday dinners. It's a twist on the classic green bean casserole, done in a crock pot. Green Bean Casserole
2 - 14.5 oz cans green beans, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 - 6 ounce can french fried onions
Stir together milk, soup and black pepper. Stir in beans, cheese and 1/2 can of onions. Cook in slow cooker for for about 6 hours on low. Sprinkle reserved onion rings on top about 20 minutes before serving.
For more slow cooker recipes, head over to Sandra's blog. You can find her at Diary of a SAHM.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Works for me Wednesday

Have you ever noticed how a clean oven seems to attract spills? I have a self cleaning oven, but I don't like to be running it all the time. I was introduced to these oven liners by a friend of mine. She raved about how much she loved hers, so I bought one. It cost me $9.99 at a kitchen store. You cut it to fit in your oven and lay it on the oven floor. If something burns over or spills, you can take this liner out and most things fall right off from it. You can also rinse it off. I've been using mine since November and it's saved me from some messes and that nasty burning smell several times!

If you want to see what works for other people, visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Absolutely Incredible Kids!

Did you know that Tuesday is Absolutely Incredible Kids day? Since we all have incredible kids, I thought we should show them off!Here's all of my kids. As you can tell, this was taken at Christmas. It's the most recent picture I have of them.
(L - R) Heather, Andy, Laura, Aaron
Heather is going to college and finishing her accounting degree. She also works part time in the same nursing home I do. She works in the kitchen. Andy is finishing the first section of his aviation training with the Army in Virginia. He will be going to Korea in May. Laura is our oldest. She works at a florist shop. Her husband is Aaron and he is a mechanic. Our kids are such a blessing and I thank God for all four of them.
Now it's your turn to show us your kids. Post a picture and share them with us. Add your name to Mr Linky so we can all see them!

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Party Time!

Saturday night was another family night. We started the evening by having my Dad and his wife, Ann come for supper. We had our traditional mid winter (we were a little late this year) supper of pea soup and home made rolls. For the story on that tradition and the recipe for the soup, visit my recipe blog.
After supper the rest of the family arrived. We were celebrating several birthdays.
This is my Dad with Shaelyn, who is Terri's daughter. She had to give him a birthday hug and a card.
Here's the whole group - enjoying cake, ice cream and family fun!

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

I'm so excited!

Do you see that beautiful slow cooker in the picture? There is one coming to me! Most of you know that I participate in Slow Cooking Thursday almost every week, hosted by Sandra from Diary of a SAHM. This past week the people at Crock-Pot offered her a Slow Cooker to give to one of the participants and I was the winner. I can't wait to get it and try it out! Thanks Sandra and Crock-Pot!

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ice Wave

This is from an e-mail I received. I thought this was really interesting and wanted to share it.

Michigan has had the coldest winter in decades. Water expands to freeze, and at Mackinaw City the water in Lake Huron below the surface ice was supercooled. It expanded to break through the surface ice and froze into this incredible wave.

I've seen pictures of this wave phenomena in Antarctica, but in Michigan? Yes, it's been quite a winter! However, the sun has been shining this week, and the snow has been melting! Spring is on its way.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Slow Cooking Thursday

It's slow cooking Thursday again. I often make roast in my crock pot, sometimes plain and sometimes I make this pot roast. It has a really good sauce and the veggies taste yummy!
Pot Roast with Tomato Sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 roast - 3 - 4 pounds
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced (I often use a bag of the baby carrots)
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 can (10 oz) condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
In large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add roast and brown on all sides. Place in a 5 qt or larger slow cooker.
Reduce heat to medium and add onions, celery and carrots. Cook and stir until just softened. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, cook and stir for about 1 minute. Sprinkle flour over mix and stir. Add soup, broth and mustard. Cook and stir until thickened. Stir in Worcestershire sauce.
Pour mix over roast and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours until meat is very tender. Pour sauce over roast and serve with mashed potatoes. Enjoy!
For more slow cooking recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Tuesday was my Dad's 77th birthday. We'll be having a party this weekend, but thought it would be nice to go out for supper with the family tonight to celebrate. There are 4 kids in my family and we were all able to be there. We had plenty to eat and lots of good talk and fun. We got put in a back room and wondered if they thought we were going to be a wild group! (We behaved quite well, although there was a lot of laughing going on!)
Here is my Dad with us 4 kids: (Left to right) Dad, Terri, Duane, Cheri, Me.
I am the oldest, Duane is next, then Terri, then Cheri
Here is the waitress bring my Dad his birthday cake while a group of waitresses were singing.

When we left the restaurant, the sun was setting. This picture really doesn't do it justice. It was a nice way to end the evening.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Great minds think alike!

I had an uncle pass away on Friday, so my sister Cheri and I decided to ride together out to the funeral home together to go to the visitation. I had just bought these shoes, so when we got out of the car I showed them to her and asked how she liked my new shoes. She responded by putting her foot out, showing me that she was wearing the exact same pair! This is not unusual for us. There have been several occasions when we have gone somewhere together and have been dressed almost the same. Last year we had to go to a bridal shower. Terri, Cheri and I all showed up wearing khaki pants and black sweaters. We were called the triplets that night and have been teased about it ever since.

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Women's Expo

This is where I was on Saturday. Every year there is a womens expo in our city. The convention center is filled with booths that are of interest to women. I've never gone before, but I had the day off and my daughters Laura and Heather thought it would be a fun thing for the three of us to do. As you can see from the picture, it was really crowded. We did enjoy making our way through all the aisles, picking up a few freebies and making a few purchases. My best deal of the day was spending $20 on a set of egyptian cotton, 400 count, queen size sheets. We made a few other stops on the way home and even ran into Alicia, who is Ginger's daughter in Target. I recognized her from her Mom's blog and was happy to meet her in person. It was a good day - we had fun, got a few deals and enjoyed each other's company.

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Award time

This is the "You make my day award" and here's what it's about:

"The rules for the “You Make My Day” award are to re-present it to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blog land. Let them know through email or by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times, and if you do, consider yourself really, really loved. So to pass it on and keep the love going."

This award was given to me by Karen, Heather, Tammy, Diane, Julie, Melissa, and Brenda. Thanks to each of you. I hope you all know that you make my day too. I love all of your blogs and enjoy each post!

I am going to pass this on to:

Renee from 2 Peas in a Pod

Rebekah from Diagonally parked in a Parallel Universe

Sandra from Diary of a SAHM

Megan from Fried Okra

Jennifer from Gathering Grace

Sarah from Short Stop

Jennifer from Meditations and Musings

Sarah from The Best Days of my Life

Sharon from Quiet Reflections

Melody from Pennies in my Pocket

Thanks ladies - you each have such different blogs, but I so enjoy each one. It's such a joy to get to know you all - you make my day!

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