Thursday, May 29, 2008

How's your vocabulary?

I found this fun little quiz a few weeks ago on Alane's blog and thought you would all have fun with it too. Let me know how you do! This was one of my better subjects in school. I'm afraid if it was a math quiz, you would see different results!

Your Vocabulary Score: A

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!

You must be quite an erudite person.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thursday Top Ten - Sandwiches!

The lovely Megan, of Fried Okra fame, continues her saga of top ten recipes. Today the focus is on sandwiches. I've got a few favorites to share with you!
I love this recipe - I've posted it before on Slow Cooking Thursday but if you didn't get it then, you'll want to check it out!
French Dip Sandwiches
1 3-lb beef chuck roast
2 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
3-4 whole peppercorns
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
slices of swiss or colby jack cheese
bakery style hot dog buns
Place roast in slow cooker. Stir together water, soy sauce and seasoning. Pour over roast. Cook on low for 10-12 hours till meat is very tender. Shred meat with 2 forks. Place on hot dog bun with a slice of cheese. Pour broth into individual small cups and serve with sandwich for dipping.
This one has always been a favorite of my kids, especially Andy. It's a quick and easy one.
Open Face Buns
1 pound hamburg, browned and drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
4 teaspoons mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced onion
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
8 hamburger buns
Mix hamburg with soup, stir in mustard, salt and onion, then stir in cheese. Spread onto bun halves. Place under broiler until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
Egg Salad Sandwiches
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
12 hard boiled eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise
Mix well and chill before using.
Here's another one I've posted before, but it's a favorite so it's here again!
Sloppy Joe
2 pound hamburger, browned and drained
1/2 cup chopped onion, optional
4 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup catsup
2 tablespoons mustard
Put browned hamburg and onions in bowl and microwave on high until hot. Add cornstarch, salt and sugar and stir together. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together. Microwave on high for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. This recipe reheats well, so may be refrigerated for later use or just place on low in slow cooker to keep warm.
This recipe takes a little time to cook, but is so easy and the flavor is incredible. I got the recipe from my sister Cheri, and I know we have both passed it on quite a few times. You really have to try it!
Roast Beef Sandwiches
4-6 pound roast
1 pkg dry onion soup
1 family size can cream of mushroom soup
Cut roast into chunks and put into roasting pan or 9X13 pan. Sprinkle dry soup over meat and pour mushroom soup over all. Seal pan with foil. Bake for 3 hours at 350 degrees, stirring every hour. Fork apart and serve on buns.
I have made this to serve a group and it works well to prepare before and keep warm in your slow cooker.
That's all for me, but you can find more great recipes over at Megan's.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Anniversary to me!

Today is my blogging anniversary! It's been one year since I started this blog. It's been a great year. I would never have guessed when I started how much joy I would get out of this venture. I so appreciate your advice, humor, devotionals, pictures, prayers, recipes and your friendship. I wanted to do something to thank you so I am having a giveaway! I don't know how many of you have heard of Dr Randy Pausch, but he is a man who is dying of pancreatic cancer. He gave a very inspiring lecture on things he wanted his kids to know. It has now come out in a book. I really enjoyed the video I saw of him and I think the book will be good too, so I bought one for me and one to give away. There will also be a gift card to Starbucks.

Anyone who leaves a comment on this post will be eligible. I will pick a winner using the random number generator to choose the winner. You don't have to be a blogger to win - just leave a comment and some way I can get in touch with you. This includes all lurkers, like Jim H, or Patti's Mom!
The winner will be chosen on June 4, so sign up!
Below is a video of Dr Pausch, so if you haven't heard of him you can get an idea of what he says.

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Coming soon to a blog near you!

This week my friend Megan from Fried Okra is inviting us to share our sandwich recipes. Don't you all just love a good sandwich? So - get out your recipes and be ready to share them on Thursday! Then head over to Megan's blog and add your post to her Mr Linky list.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Kitchen Update

We are still working on our kitchen. It's been a slow process, with taking a trip to Virginia, having Andy home for a short while and Bob working a lot due to this being the busiest time of the year for him. You may remember that Bob was in the process of hanging a cabinet when it fell on his head. Well - he doesn't let a little thing like that stop him when he gets going. He did get that cabinet hung, then took out the old kitchen light, did some rewiring and put in new recessed lighting. It's looking good, but what a mess!
When you are cutting holes into your ceiling, it seems the insulation comes down. It was over everything and the air was cloudy. After sweeping the floor and wiping down everything else, I was disturbed to find a layer of dust had reappeared a couple of hours later, after it settled out of the air. I cleaned up again and soon we will be ready to paint the ceiling and then the walls. Progress is being made!

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is observed in the United States on the last Monday of May every year. It was first observed in 1873. Recently there have been concerns that it has just turned into another 3 day weekend. I must admit that if I have the day off, I often think it's a great time to plant flowers. Americans are being asked to stop what they are doing at 3:00pm on Monday, and pause and reflect for one minute on the sacrifices of our veterans and those currently serving to protect our freedom.
We owe such a debt to those who died, served in years past and to those currently serving. I so appreciate those who are serving now, whether they are stateside or overseas. Of course I especially want to thank my son. I'm proud of you, Andy. Thanks for what you do!

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Saturday, May 24, 2008


This weekend I was doing some shopping with my daughters when Heathers cell phone rang. She says - "it's Dad. He was hanging a cabinet and it fell on his head. He says it's bleeding like crazy and he can't see it and doesn't know if he needs stitches or what." Well - that's a great feeling. I am too far away to run over there and don't know how bad he's hurt himself. He called his brother to come check it out. They decided he didn't need stitches. Tom said his pupils were okay and Bob was acting normal. Tom put a big bandage on and I came home. I ended up putting some steri-strips on to hold the edges of the gash together and re-bandaging it. When Tom called to check on him a little later he said Bob had blood running down his forehead, into his eyebrows and looked quite a mess. There was blood on the floor and in the bathroom. Head wounds are notorious for bleeding badly. It had pretty much stopped bleeding by the time I got home and Bob is doing fine - he's just walking around with a large bandage on his head! He may wear a cap to church tomorrow!
Here's a picture of it, once it was cleaned up:

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Amazing Grace

I saw this clip featured at Just a BeachKat. Take a few minutes to watch it. I am sure you will enjoy it and be moved by it. It also taught me a few things I never knew about Negro Spirituals. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008


My friend Megan is hosting a chocolate fest over at her blog today and she wants us all to join in! She's asking us to share our favorite chocolate recipes and is giving bonus points for chocolate with caramel. I'm afraid this one is a little too easy for me! Here you go - a few of my favorites:
Death by Chocolate
1 packaged brownie mix - to make 9x13 pan
1/3 cup kahlua
2 pkg chocolate mousse

16 ounces Cool Whip

6 Heath Bars
Prepare brownies as directed on package. Immediately upon taking from oven, drizzle with kahlua and let cool completely. Prepare chocolate mousse as directed on package. Crush Heath bars. Layer in 2 bows: 1/2 of brownies, 1/2 chocolate mousse, 1/2 of Cool Whip, 1/2 crushed Heath bars. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy!

This recipe is a favorite in our house, especially when it is warm outside. You can change it a lot depending on the ice cream you use. Our normal is Mackinaw Island fudge, but if I want to dress it up, I use coffee flavor. Mint is also good - choose whatever you like!
Oreo Dessert
24 oreo cookies
1/3 cup melted butter

1/2 gallon softened ice cream, flavor is up to you

6 squares semi sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons melted butter

1 and 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 cup evaporated milk
Crush oreo cookies with filling. Mix with melted butter. Press into 9x13 pan and freeze. Spread softened ice cream on top of crust. Freeze until hard. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for topping and cook until thick. Let cool completely. Spread on top of ice cream and freeze.


Chocolate Streusel Bars
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup cold margarine
1- 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 -14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, sugar and cocoa. Cut in margarine until crumbly (mixture will be very dry). Reserve 2 cups crumb mixture and press remainder on bottom of 9x13 pan. Bake 15 minutes. Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well. Pour over prepared crust. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over cheese mixture. Bake 25 minutes or until bubbly. Cool and chill. Cut into small squares and store in refrigerator.

And now - for the bonus points:

Caramel Layer Choco-Squares
14 ounce pkg caramels
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 pkg german chocolate cake mix

1 tablespoon water

3/4 cup softened butter
6 ounces chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine caramels and milk and melt in microwave. Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients except chocolate chips. Stir until dough is crumbly but holds together. Press 1/2 of dough into greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Spread melted caramels over all. Sprinkle reserved dough over all. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely.
I think I gained a few pounds just typing these! If you want to check out more fabulous chocolate recipes visit Megan at Fried Okra.

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You are all great!

I just wanted to thank so many of you for taking the time to stop at Andy's blog and wish him happy birthday! I think it had to have been fun for him to receive all those greetings and I really do appreciate it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Happy 20th Birthday, Andy!

On May 21, 1988 we were blessed with the birth of our third child. Andrew Scott was born and we were surprised to hear we had a boy - I actually asked the Dr if he was sure! Andy was a really easy baby and has remained laid back as an adult.

Here he is at 7 months. We saw that smile often!
In this picture he was 3 1/2. Can you see the mischief in his eyes? Take note of his hair - it always wanted to stick up and out! God certainly blessed us by giving us such a great kid. We are so proud of him and although we miss having him around, we know he is doing what he enjoys.
Happy Birthday Andy - we love you!

Will you do me a favor? Because Andy just got sent to Korea, we only got his address yesterday. Therefore we haven't been able to send a gift or even cards. Would you mind stopping over at his blog and wishing him happy birthday? His Mom would certainly appreciate it!
Here's his site:
Agile, Mobile, Hostile
Thanks so much!

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Nursing Home Week

This past week was Nursing Home Week, so many fun things were planned. The excitement started out on Monday with a limousine ride for some of the residents. What a thrill is was for them, some who had never been close to a car like that. A bowling tournament was also started, using a Wii. Our administrators children are home schooled so were able to come in and assist with using the Wii. The residents really enjoyed this new technology. Our kitchen also prepared many special meals and snacks this week.
Wednesday was pet day. Many animals came in to visit. This is always a fun thing. We have residents who may not respond to much, but will perk up when they get to pet an animal.
Here you see Brady and Sophie. Sophie is my daughter Laura's dog. Heather went and picked her up so she could come for the visit. Brady belongs to one of our dietary aides and he has stayed with Laura and Aaron before so they know each other.
It's hard to see in this picture, but the animal in the foreground is a miniature horse. She stands about 3 feet tall and is so cute and well behaved. She was actually abandoned and left to die. The women on the left nursed her back to health and now she is somewhat of a therapy animal. Her name is Joy and that is what she brings. Our residents where all so happy to be able to pet her. We also had rabbits, miniature goats, kittens and more dogs.
Thursday there was a picnic that all the residents families were invited to. This is always a big hit.

On Friday we had an antique car show. The residents really enjoyed this too. I heard many saying they remembered working on them or starting them.

This beautiful car belongs to our own Dr. He visits every week and calls daily to check on our residents. He completely restored this car and it is in mint condition.
What a fun week - lots of work for the department heads and staff but thoroughly enjoyed by the residents!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Mom

May 19 marks the 5th anniversary of my Mom's death. She was only 69 when she died, unexpectedly of a heart attack. She was a great Mom and Grandma. She was always so proud of us kids. She loved to introduce us to her friends at church or her work. And - if she thought we were good, she thought her grand kids were even more remarkable! She just loved those kids. I hope her friends didn't get sick of seeing the pictures or hearing about them!
God blessed me with a Mom who was not only a mother, but she was my friend. She wasn't afraid of disciplining me, but we also had fun together. I remember many evenings, when I was a teenager that she and I were up late, just talking. She had a good sense of humor and was good natured about the teasing she endured from my Dad and us kids.
She had a lot of different roles, as I grew up. My Dad was a dairy farmer, and his crazy hours meant lots of juggling with meal times and preparing lunches to go out to the fields he was working in. She did a lot of work gardening, canning and freezing produce. When I was in Junior High she started working part time as a nurses aide in the local nursing home. She later worked full time as a secretary until she retired. I wish I had been able to have more time with her, and I wish she could see her grandkids now. She would still be so proud of all nine of them! I know she was a Christian so I'll see her again - in perfect health!
This day also marks the death of a friend from church. Tyler also passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack one year ago. I know this day will be a hard one for his wife and 2 young daughters, so please remember Debi and their daughters in your prayers today.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Here's what's blooming

I love Spring! I love warmer weather, no snow, green trees and flowers blooming! Here is what is blooming in our yard this week.
The last of the daffodils
Some pretty little grape hyacinths

This is called money plant. It grows wild in the trees behind our house.
This is a closeup of the money plant. The reason for the name is that in the fall, the seeds form in quarter size, silvery circles that hang from the plant. It's pretty then too.
This is a bleeding heart that is growing near our front door
These little wild violets are growing along the tree line on our side yard.
Don't you just have to smile when you see flowers growing? And - don't you think it makes God smile when He sees us enjoying his handiwork?

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Andy update and blog

We got an e-mail from Andy today. He is going to be stationed at Camp Eagle, which is where he hoped he would be. It's a smaller base and looks like it is near the center of South Korea when I found it on a map. He says things are going well and he has had a little internet time. He even started a blog! He tells me he won't be on it as much as me :), but will post some pictures and updates when he has time.
Here is the address, if you would like to welcome him to blogworld!
Agile, Mobile, Hostile

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More recipes!

Spring and Summer Recipes!

My friend Megan, over at Fried Okra has asked us to post some spring and summer recipes. You know, we do cook differently when it's warm outside. I find I don't make big meals as often in the summer. Here are a few recipes that our family likes in warm weather.
Taco Ring
3/4 pound browned hamburg
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons water
2 pkg crescent rolls
Stir seasoning, water and cheese into browned hamburg. Unroll crescents and arrange on baking stone or cookie sheet, in a circle with the pointed ends facing out. Scoop meat onto wide end of triangle. Bring outside points in and tuck under dough at center. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees until brown. Serve with lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion and sour cream.

Tuna Macaroni Salad
1 cup shell macaroni
2 hard boiled eggs
7 ounce can tuna fish
1 can cooked peas
1 tablespoon chopped pickles
1/2 cup salad dressing
shredded, cheddar cheese
In 2 cups boiling water, boil macaroni until tender. Place in colander and drill with cold water. Toss together tuna, peas and pickles. Cut eggs fine and add macaroni and salad dressing. Toss with fork and add cheese to taste. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
We have this with a sandwich for a light supper on those really hot summer days.

Teriyaki Chicken
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry cooking sherry
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Combine oil, soy sauce, dry sherry, ginger and garlic in large zip lock bag. Place chicken in bag, removing air from bag and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, drain marinade from meat and grill.

f you want to see other warm weather recipes, visit Megan at Fried Okra.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Slow Cooking Thursday

It's time for another slow cooking recipe. Our hostess for Slow Cooking Thursday is Sandra from Diary of a SAHM. She will be leaving for a long awaited trip with her family, visiting her family in South Africa for about a month so there will be a slow cooking break during that time.
The recipe I have today is an easy one from Taste of Home Magazine.
Hot Ham Sandwiches
3 pounds thinly sliced deli ham (about 40 slices)
2 cups apple juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
12 kaiser rolls, split

Separate ham slices and place in slow cooker. In a bowl, combine the juice, brown sugar, relish, mustard and paprika. Pour over ham. Cover and cook on low for 4 - 5 hours or until heated through. Place 3 - 4 slices of ham on each roll. Serve with additional relish if desired.
For more slow cooking recipes, stop at Sandra's blog.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Holland, Michigan

Every Spring, there is a Tulip Time Festival in Holland Michigan. This has been a big event here for years. As a matter of fact, one of our residents who is in her late 70's has a picture of herself when she was a teenager, dressed up as a Dutch dancer. There are a lot of young people who dress in authentic old style dutch garb, including wooden shoes and do dutch dancing throughout the week. People come from all over to see the different events and the tulips which are beautiful. I try to avoid going to Holland during the actual week of the Festival because of the crowds, but Cheri and I did some shopping there this week. (the Festival was last week) Here are a few pictures from Dutch Village.

The Village is set up like the old towns in the Netherlands, with canals running through it.

There are lots of tulip beds!

Here is a bridge across a pond that leads to an outlet shopping center, which is also built to look like the old Dutch buildings.

I kidnapped this picture from Cheri, so you could see what these fields of tulips look like. Aren't they beautiful?

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Look what I got today.

When I came home from work today there was a box waiting for me. I hadn't ordered anything recently so wondered what it could be, until I saw who it was from. It was from Short Stop Sarah! She recently had a giveaway to celebrate her 300th post. She gave away this package that included a Barefoot Contessa cookbook and a brownie mix and I won it. I know I'll enjoy looking through the cookbook and Sarah says these are the best brownies ever.
Thanks Sarah, for a great giveaway and congratulations on 300 posts.
If you've never visited Sarah, you need to stop by. Check out her adorable boys and read some of her words of both wisdom and comedy!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Bob and Andy's Camping Adventure

You will have to excuse this late post - I'm still catching up! This is from Bob and Andy's camping trip that they went on last weekend.
Ever since Andy was about 10, he and Bob have taken a few days and gone camping in the Manistee National Forest. They rough it, going in a tent and have no electricity or running water. They target practice, take lots of walks and just enjoy spending time with each other. This past weekend they were able to spend a few nights doing this before Andy left. They've never done it this early so it was a little colder and not very green, but they had a good time, regardless.
Here is their tent sitting in the middle of the woods.

The scenery was beautiful, even though there weren't many leaves on the trees yet.

This is a panoramic shot Andy took of the lake

You always need a campfire, right?

Even when there's a lot of beauty around you, but don't forget to look up!

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