Thursday, July 30, 2009

Check out these links

I've come across a couple things I want to share with you. This first one you may want to try out. My friend Perri from My life in Bits and Pieces posted this and I knew I had to share it.
Go here, enter your stats and a full length picture. You can then slide the bar down the graph to see what you would look like after losing weight, or if you want to scare yourself, you can see what you would look like if you gained weight. It's pretty neat - thanks Perri!

Then, if you want a laugh, check out this 50 second clip.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday

Here's a nice side dish. I like to serve it with chicken. It's a good one!
Creamy Wild Rice Pilaf
1 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
1 cup regular brown rice
1 cup shredded carrots (2 medium)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (1 stalk)
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed golden mushroom soup
1 teaspoon thyme, crushed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sour cream
In 4 quart slow cooker, combine rices, carrot, mushroom, celery, onion, soup, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir in water.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir in sour cream
For more Slow cooker recipes, stop over at Sandra's place!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Works for me Wednesday

Do you make desserts that used crushed oreos for the crust? I seem to make more of these in the summer, making ice cream dessert.
I watch for oreos to go on sale. It takes about 1/2 of a regular package to make one crust, so I crush the oreos in my chopper, doing first one half of the package and then the other half. I then package each half in a zip-loc bag.
When I need to make a dessert, the crust is easy to do because of the already crushed oreos, the mess is only made once and the other cookies don't get eaten because they are already crushed.
For more works for me ideas, visit We are THAT family.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Here's what's happening...

I've received several e-mails asking about how Andy is doing, so thought it was time for an update.
For those of you who don't know, Andy is our son and he is in the army. He returned to the States in March after spending a year in Korea.
He is currently in Colorado and is really enjoying his surroundings. He continues to work on the Apache helicopter. His battalion is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq in February.
Andy is excited about eye surgery he will be having on August 5. After wearing glasses since he was young, he'll be able to see without them.
We are excited about a trip we are planning. We are going to visit him in Colorado! He will have a week off and we plan to rent a cabin in the mountains and visit some of the beautiful Colorado landmarks. It sounds like a win, win situation! Vacation, time with my husband and son, enjoying the beautiful world God created!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

With a little help from my friends!

What a cute video - this little squirrel needs some help!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Cousins Day!

Front row - Halle, Shaelyn, Arianna
2nd row - Heather, Aaron, Laura
back row - Nick, Andy, Katelyn, Chelsea
(Nick, Halle and Arianna belong to Cheri, Katelyn, Chelsea and Shaelyn are Terri's and of course mine are Laura, Aaron, Heather and Andy)

Today (July 24) is cousins day! The picture posted here is all the kids on my side of the family. This picture was taken a few years ago, shortly before Andy left for the Army. As you can see, they get along well and have fun together!
I've been blessed with a great family, including lots of cousins. My Dad had 10 kids in his family and my Mom had 9. If my addition is right, I have 53 cousins!
If you have cousins, today is the day to send a greeting their way!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday

So, Thursday is here and it's time for another slow cooker recipe! This is one I found not too long ago. I love Chinese food, but I think this one would be enjoyed even by those who are not fans of it!

Asian Pork Roast
2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 boneless, whole pork loin (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons sesame seeds toasted
Hot, cooked rice

Place onions in a 5 quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine garlic, salt and pepper. Cut roast in half and rub with garlic mixture. In a large nonstick skillet, brown pork in oil on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker, add bay leaves.
In a small bowl, combine hot water and honey; stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and cloves. Pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.
Remove meat and onions from slow cooker; keep warm. Discard bay leaves. In a small bowl, combine corn starch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into slow cooker.
Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Slice pork; top with onions, sauce and sesame seeds. Serve over rice.

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

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Works for me Wednesday

When I make a roast, I always buy a big one so I have leftovers. I have a few different things I do with leftover roast beef.
One thing I do is shred it and put it in a 9x9 pan. I pour some of the leftover gravy on top, and then put whatever vegetable (usually corn or beans) we had over that. I then cover the pan tightly with foil and freeze it. The next week I thaw it and put mashed potatoes on top. ( I usually use Bob Evans ready made potatoes). I bake it at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. It makes a delicious Shepherds Pie that doesn't taste like leftovers.

Another way I use leftover roast is to make BBQ beef. This is a really good recipe for it.
BBQ Beef
2 cups shredded, cooked beef

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup vinegar

4 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 teaspoons packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Heat all ingredients, except beef to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir roast into sauce and serve on buns.
For more works for me ideas, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Memory Test

Here is a Memory test for you. There are 20 questions. Average score is 12. I've posted something similar to this before but it's fun to remember these old shows and advertisements. Many of these may have happened before your time, but you’ll be surprised at how many you’ve heard anyway! Have fun, but no peeking! Let me know how you do. I got 19 right.

1. What builds strong bodies 12 ways?
A.Flintstones vitamins
B. The Buttmaster
C. Spaghetti
D. Wonder Bread
E. Orange Juice
F. Milk
G. Cod Liver Oil

2. Before he was Muhammed Ali, he was...
A. Sugar Ray Robinson
B. Roy Orbison
C. Gene Autry
D. Rudolph Valentino
E. Fabian
F. Mickey Mantle
G. Cassius Clay

3. Pogo, the comic strip character said, 'We have met the enemy and...
A. It's you
B. He is us
C. It's the Grinch
D. He wasn't home
E. He's really me
F. We quit
G. He surrendered

4. Good night David.
A. Good night Chet
B. Sleep well
C. Good night Irene
D. Good night Gracie
E. See you later alligator
F. Until tomorrow
G. Good night Steve

5. You'll wonder where the yellow went...
A. When you use Tide
B. When you lose your crayons
C. When you clean your tub
D. If you paint the room blue
E. If you buy a soft water tank
F. When you use Lady Clairol
G. When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent

6. Before he was the Skipper's Little Buddy, Bob Denver was Dobie's friend...
A. Stuart Whitman
B. Randolph Scott
C. Steve Reeves
D. Maynard G. Krebbs
E. Corky B. Dork
F. Dave the Whale
G. Zippy Zoo

7. Liar, liar...
A. You're a liar
B. Your nose is growing
C. Pants on fire
D. Join the choir
E. Jump up higher
F. On the wire
G. I'm telling Mom

8. Meanwhile, back in Metropolis, Superman fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and...
A. Wheaties
B. Lois Lane
C. TV ratings
D. World peace
E. Red tights
F. The American way
G. News headlines

9. Hey kids! What time is it?
A. It's time for Yogi Bear
B It's time to do your homework
C. It's Howdy Doody Time
D. It's Time for Romper Room
E. It's bedtime
F. The Mighty Mouse Hour
G. Scoopy Doo Time

10. Lions and tigers and bears...
A. Yikes
B. Oh no
C. Gee whiz
D. I'm scared
E. Oh my
F. Help! Help!
G. Let's run

11. Bob Dylan advised us never to trust anyone...
A. Over 40
B. Wearing a uniform
C. Carrying a briefcase
D. Over 30
E. You don't know
F. Who says, 'Trust me'
G. Who eats tofu

12. NFL quarterback who appeared in a television commercial wearing women's stockings...
A. Troy Aikman
B. Kenny Stabler
C. Joe Namath
D. Roger Staubach
E. Joe Montana
F. Steve Young
G. John Elway

13. Brylcream...
A. Smear it on
B. You'll smell great
C. Tame that cowlick
D. Grease ball heaven
E. It's a dream
F. We're your team
G. A little dab'll do ya

14. I found my thrill...
A. In Blueberry muffins
B. With my man, Bill
C. Down at the mill
D. Over the windowsill
E. With thyme and dill
F. Too late to enjoy
G. On Blueberry Hill

15. Before Robin Williams, Peter Pan was played by.
A. Clark Gable
B. Mary Martin
C. Doris Day
D. Errol Flynn
E. Sally Fields
F. Jim Carey
G. Jay Leno

16. Name the Beatles...
A. John, Steve, George, Ringo
B. John, Paul, George, Roscoe
C. John, Paul, Stacey, Ringo
D. Jay, Paul, George, Ringo
E. Lewis, Peter, George, Ringo
F. Jason, Betty, Skipper, Hazel
G. John, Paul, George, Ringo

17. I wonder, wonder, who.
A. Who ate the leftovers?
B. Who did the laundry?
C. Was it you?
D. Who wrote the book of love?
E. Who I am?
F. Passed the test?
G. Knocked on the do or?

18. I'm strong to the finish...
A. Cause I eats my broccoli
B. Cause I eats me spinach
C. Cause I lift weights
D. Cause I'm the hero
E. And don't you for get it
F. Cause Olive Oyl loves me
G. To outlast Bruto

19. When it's least expected, you're elected, you're the star today
A. Smile, you're on Candid Camera
B. Smile, you're on Star Search
C. Smile, you won the lottery
D. Smile, we're watching you
E. Smile, the world sees you
F. Smile, you're a hit
G. Smile, you're on TV

20. What do M & M's do?
A. Make your tummy happy
B. Melt in your mouth, not in your pocket
C. Make you fat
D. Melt your heart
E. Make you popular
F. Melt in your mouth, not in your hand
G. Come in colors

Below are the right answers:
1. D - Wonder Bread
2.. G - Cassius Clay
3. B - He Is Us
4. A - Good night, Chet
5. G - When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent
6. D -20Maynard G. Krebbs
7. C - Pants On Fire
8. F - The American Way
9. C - It's Howdy Doody Tim e
10. E - Oh My
11. D - Over 30
12. C - Joe Namath
13. G - A little dab'll do ya
14. G - On Blueberry Hill
15. B - Mary Martin
16. G - John, Paul, George, Ringo
17. D - Who wrote the book of Love
18. B - Cause I eats me spinach
19. A - Smile, you're on Candid Camera
20.. F - Melt In Your Mouth Not In Your Hand

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Flying a kite - Army style

I saw this short clip over at
Mike and Airman Mom's blog. Take a minute to watch it and be amazed! I can't imagine how much practice it takes to accomplish something like this!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I love you!

I got the following message in an e-mail. You may have seen it before too, but it's a great message!

Eight year old, Kyle, decided one Saturday morning to fix his father pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it on the floor.

He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor which by now had a few tracks left by his puppy.

Kyle was covered with flour and getting frustrated. He wanted this to be something very good for Dad, but it was getting very bad

He didn't know what to do next, whether to put it all into the oven or on the stove and he didn't know how the stove worked. Suddenly he saw his puppy licking from the bowl of mix and reached to push her away, knocking the egg carton to the floor. Frantically he tried to clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the eggs, getting his pajamas white and sticky.

And just then he saw Dad standing at the door. Big crocodile tears welled up in Kyle's eyes. All he'd wanted to do was something good, but he'd made a terrible mess. He was sure a scolding was coming, maybe even a spanking. But his father just watched him.

Then, walking through the mess, he picked up his crying son, hugged him and loved him, getting his own pajamas white and sticky in the process.

That's how God deals with us. We try to do something good in life, but it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky or we insult a friend, or we can't stand our job, or our health goes sour.

Sometimes we just stand there in tears because we can't think of anything else to do. That's when God picks us up and loves us and forgives us, even though some of our mess gets all over Him.

But just because we might mess up, we can't stop trying to 'make pancakes' for God or for others. Sooner or later we'll get it right, and then they'll be glad we tried...

I was thinking and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that need rekindling or three words needing to be said. Sometimes 'I love you' can heal & bless. Remind every one of your friends that you love them. Even if you think they don't love back, you would be amazed at what those three little words, a smile, and a reminder like this can do.

Just in case I haven't told you lately... I LOVE YA!!!
suppose one morning you were called to God; do all your friends know you love them?

... never stop 'making pancakes.'

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday

If you are like us, you sometimes have breakfast for supper. Here's a recipe that makes a great supper!

Loaded Hash Browns
1 pound bulk sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
5 cups frozen, diced hash brown potatoes
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
1 small red sweet pepper, chopped
1 4 ounce can sliced mushroom, drained
1 can (10.75 oz) fiesta nacho cheese soup
1/4 cup water
shredded Monterey Jack cheese(optional)
thinly sliced jalapeno pepper (optional)
In a large skillet, cook sausage and onion until sausage in brown. Drain fat.
Spray 4 quart slow cooker with non stick cooking spray. In slow cooker, combine sausage mix, hash browns, 1 cup cheese, pepper and mushrooms. In small bowl combine soup and water. Pour over hash brown mix in slow cooker and stir to combine.
Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours. Before serving stir to combine. If desired, top with more cheese and the jalapenos.

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

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Works for me Wednesday

A few weeks ago I did a Slow Cooking Thursday Post where the recipe had instructions to use a Slow Cooker Liner. Several people asked about them, so I thought I would share them here.
These Slow Cooker liners are made by Reynolds and can be found in the grocery store with the paper products. You just put them in the Slow Cooker, then do your recipe as usual. When you are done, the liner can be thrown away and there is no clean up.
I don't use them often, but for things that make a mess or stick to the crock they are great. They also work well when camping, when doing dishes is more difficult.

These liners are made to fit a 3 to 6.5 quart Slow Cooker. They cost about $2.50 for a package of four.

For more tips and hints, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Heritage Park and Garden

We were at our township park the other night and had a chance to wander around and enjoy some of the unique things there.

We have a memorial section, where there are statues commemorating the sacrifice made by the servicemen in each war. They stand in a circle around the flag. Here is one of them.

On one corner of the park is a house that was built by one of the early settlers of our town. The historical society maintains a heritage garden on the grounds.
Here is a collage of many of the flowers we saw.

Here are a few more pictures of the grounds. This last flower is called a moon lily. It opens up at night.
Sometimes we take for granted the things that are in our area and don't pay too much attention to them. It was nice to look around and appreciate the work that has been done here.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Where do you live?

I live in Southwest Michigan. If you look on the map above, you can see the County I live in. It's the little green county next to Lake Michigan - Ottawa county to be exact!
Last week, Joanne from Blessed did a post where she asked where her readers lived. I thought this was a fun idea and decided to do this too. So - I know where a lot of you live, but if you are reading this, take a minute and share it anyway. You don't need to give a specific city if that makes you uncomfortable, just a country or state. Where do you live?

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Growing old

"Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!"

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday

The lovely Sandra is back from her vacation and is hosting Slow Cooking Thursday again. I've got a good chicken recipe for you today.

Saucy Sweet and Sour Chicken
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks), skinned
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
hot, cooked rice

Place chicken in 4 quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt. In a medium bowl, combine lemonade concentrate, brown sugar, ketchup and vinegar. Pour over chicken in slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Transfer to serving platter, cover and keep warm.
For sauce, pour cooking liquid into a medium saucepan. Skim off fat. Combine cornstarch and water; stir into liquid in saucepan. Cook and stir over medium until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serve with hot cooked rice. Serves 4- 6.

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

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A day at the beach

I live in West Michigan, about 25 minutes from Lake Michigan. My sister Terri is camping this week at a campground on the lake and invited me to come and spend a day with her.
Here are a few pictures from my day.

This camp is beautifully landscaped. This gazebo is overlooking the lake. There are often wedding performed here.

Here is a little evidence of all the kids that are camping. I thought this was pretty nice work!
More beautiful flowers, along with a pretty butterfly.

My niece Shaelyn playing with some friends on the beach. They were taking turns pouring sand over each other - including their heads! Some Mom's are going to be busy with getting sand out of the hair tonight!
A view from the stairs leading to the beach.

The lighthouse and a beautiful sailboat further down the beach.

I had a really nice day today. Fun with family, nice weather and time to relax and take in the beauty around us. Thanks Terri, for letting me spend the day!

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Take a walk with me

I thought I would show you some pictures from the area I frequently walk in.

These ditches along my road may not look pretty at first glance, but there are different wildflowers blooming all the time.

Here is an example of one of those wildflowers. It's a bloom on a milkweed plant, and this monarch butterfly is enjoying it!

Look at this beautiful field! There are so many different things blooming here!

This is the path into the State property near our home. You can only get into it by walking. No vehicles allowed. As I walked in, I scared a deer who was hidden in the thick growth.


The whole area is beautiful; wooded and green. It's very quiet, with only the sound of the leaves rustling in the wind and the birds singing.


Here is another pretty little spot. It's all natural with nothing planted or landscaped. I think God does a pretty nice job of landscaping it on his own!
This is why I always take my camera on my walks. There is so much beauty to be seen and it changed daily!

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Listen to the rain!

This you tube video was sent to me in a e-mail. Watch the first few minutes for the best sound effects ever. You will be amazed at the sounds you hear from this choir!

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth!

Saturday, we in the States will celebrate Independence Day. There will be picnics, family gatherings, trips to the beach and of course Fireworks!
While you are celebrating, remember to thank God for our country and while you are at it, pray for our leaders and the future of the Country, too.

In the words of the old song by Irving Berlin:
God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

"If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

This and That

I have a friend who has just started a blog after reading them for some time. Can you all stop over at Everyday Blessings and say Hi to Connie? I think you will like what she has to say! For my church friends, she is also known as Patty's Mom!

I also need to thank a few people for some awards. The one above is the "Best Follower" Award. It was given to me by Mike of Rambling Stuff.

I was also given the "Charming Blog" Award. This one came from Lara of Prossigo para o alvo. It doesn't come with a button but I'm supposed to list 7 random facts about myself for this one.
1) I'm the oldest child in my family
2) I was the youngest in my class, from Kindergarten all the way through Nursing School.
3) I never flew in an airplane until last year.
4) My parents both came from large families. I had 21 aunts and uncles, and that's not counting their spouses!
5) I love candles - the scented kind.
6) When I first started working as a nurse I frequently worked on the postpartum floor or the nursery. Now I work in a Nursing home. I've covered the whole spectrum!
7) I love the beauty that God has given us to enjoy in nature.
Thanks to Mike and Lara!
Don't forget to stop and visit Connie!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday - or not!

Today is supposed to be Slow Cooking Thursday. However - Sandra is on her way home from vacation and is unable to host. So instead of doing a slow cooking recipe, I decided to share a regular recipe.
This is a recipe for an unusual salad. I got it from a friend at work and made it when we had our Bible study group over. It is really good! I actually have it posted now on my recipe blog, but I know a lot of you wouldn't see it there, so I'm sharing it here. Give it a try - you'll like it!

Chili Corn Bread Salad
1 pkg (8.5 oz) corn bread/muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground oregano
Mix all of above and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool.

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 envelope ranch salad dressing
Mix to make dressing.

1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a 9x13 glass pan or a large glass bowl, crumble half of the corn bread. Spread half of the dressing over bread. Layer with half the beans, corn, tomatoes, pepper, onion, cilantro and cheese. Repeat layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

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