Monday, November 30, 2009

I like you when you give me cookies...

I saw this video on you tube the other day and it struck me while I was watching it, that we are so much like that little boy.
We love God when He is blessing us, when things are going according to our plan.  When He withholds our "cookies" we sometimes get a little frustrated with Him.  We think maybe life isn't fair, because someone else seems to have all the "cookies" they want.  However - all cookies, all the time isn't good for little boys, and it's not good for us either! Isn't it wonderful that our God wants the best for us, even when we don't know what it is?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday

The Friday after Thanksgiving I woke up to our first snow of the season. It was just a light dusting, but it did look pretty.

The roads were clear, which was good because I was on them bright and early to take advantage of the sales.
I've never gone out that early for the Black Friday sale, and usually don't go at all, but Target had an external hard drive for a great deal and I knew it would be gone fast.
My sister Cheri agreed to go with me and we planned to be at Target shortly after it opened.  I didn't want to be in the group of people waiting to get in the door.  We arrived a little after 5, and found that the whole parking lot was filled along with the parking lot of the grocery store next to it.  And, although the doors were open, there was a line of people going around the store, to the store next door and going across the parking lot.
We decided to go elsewhere for a little while and then try again.  When we returned, we were able to walk in but the store was so crowded we could hardly get around.
We made our way to the back and found one external hard drive left.  Cheri also got a good deal on an electric blanket.   Then we got in line:

Yes - this is the line to check out!  This is the back corner of the store and this is one of three lines that wound through the store.  It took 1 1/4 hours to check out. 
Everyone was very nice, except one woman who was quite argumentative.  I was impressed by the employees.  It has to be an awful day to work, but they were very friendly and smiling.
I'm happy I got my hard drive, but next year I think I'll stay in bed!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all of you a wonderful day!  I hope you are able to spend time with friends or family, and have time to stop and think about all the things we are able to thank God for.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


It took the Pilgrims 101 days to travel from Southampton, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.
We are now able to travel from London to Boston on a plane in 7.25 hours!  Many things have changed over those years, but I'm glad we still set aside a day to give thanks.
I found this Thanksgiving meme on Jamie's Rose Cottage and thought it was a fun one to share today.
1. Turkey or Ham? Turkey, for sure!  I'm kind of traditional that way - Turkey is for Thanksgiving and Ham is for Christmas!
2. Favorite side dish.  It's a toss up between two carb filled dishes - stuffing or mashed potatoes.
3. Favorite dessert. Hmmm - I'm not sure.  I heard a rumor that there was going to be mint cheesecake at our gathering this year and that sounds good to me!
4. Black Friday: Are you going or not? Not unless there is a deal I can't live without.  I often have to work on this day, so it's not part of my routine.
5. If so, what's on the top of your list? No list!
6. Going out of town or staying close to home? I'm blessed to have our family all nearby, with the exception of Andy.  I have to work every other Thanksgiving anyway, and this is my year to work.
7. Hosting or helping? I'll be at work all day, but will have food ready to send with Bob to his Mom's house, and will join them when I get done.
8. Name one family tradition at Thanksgiving. This is a typical tradition, but talking about what we are thankful for is one of them.
9. What do you do after dinner? When we have thanksgiving with my side, my sisters and I do our Christmas cards together. Both sides enjoy playing games.
10. What are you most thankful for this year?  I have so much to be thankful for, but tops on the list right now is the fact that Andy gets to come home for Christmas!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Look what I found in my mailbox

Guess what came in the mail?  This is my invitation to join the American Association of Retired People.  Tuesday is my birthday and I'm turning 49, so, Lord willing, I have a few more years to work before I can think about retiring!
I found a neat site; the dMarie Time Capsule, which lets you put in a date and it will tell you about what was happening then.  Here are a few statistics for November 24, 1960.

People born on November 24
Scott Joplin
Dale Carnegie

Prices for 1960
Bread:  $0.20/loaf
Milk:  $1.04/gal
Eggs:  $0.90/doz
Car:  $2,275
Gas:  $0.31/gal
House:  $18,500
 Stamp:  $0.04/ea
Avg Income:  $6,227/yr
Min Wage:  $1.00/hr

On TV in 1960 

Perry Mason   
The Twilight Zone   
The Flinstones   
Leave it to Beaver
I Love Lucy   
The Andy Griffith Show   
The Ed Sullivan Show   
Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Interesting, isn't it?    The cost and wages are what I find most interesting.  Everything looks so much cheaper, but the average income has really changed too.
Hope you've enjoyed this little look back in time!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Turkey Talk

Here's a few bits of turkey trivia for you to think about during Thanksgiving week.
  • A mature turkey has 3,500 feathers
  • Wild turkeys like to spend the night in trees
  • the flap of skin that hangs over the beak is called a snood
  • The first female turkey ever pardoned was pardoned by President Bush in 2002. Her name was Katie.
  • A 15 pound turkey is 70% white meat and 30% dark meat.
  • There are 6,900 pounds of turkey gobbled up during the American Thanksgiving Day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Simple Things

Today I'm joining my friend Heidi, over at 2 Thinks to Share.  She did a post this week talking about the simple things we enjoy and appreciate.  There are lots of things we take for granted, so I'm going to share a few of my favorite simple things.
  • a sunny day
  • a beautiful sunrise on my way to work
  • a baby laughing
  • hearing the garage door open, telling me my husband is home
  • an evening spent at home
  • a clean house!
  • hot chocolate on as cold night
  • hearing a favorite song on the radio
  • the smell of burning leaves
  • warm, cozy sweaters
  • a good book
  • Springtime
  • taking pictures
  • freshly washed sheets
  • the smell of bread baking

That's a few of mine.  There's a lot more, when I stop and think.  What are some of your favorite simple things?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday

Here's some yummy sandwiches, made easy in the slow cooker!

Italian Beef Sandwiches
3 pounds beef roast
3 cups beef broth
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 large onion, julienned
1 large green pepper, julienned
4 teaspoons olive oil
12 hamberger buns
12 slices provolone cheese

Cut roast in half, place in a 4 quart slow cooker.  Combine the broth, dressing mix and seasonings; pour over meat.  Cover and cook on low for 10 hours or until meat is falling apart.
Remove roast and cool slightly.  Skim fat from cooking juices.  Reserve 1 cup cooking juices.  Shred beef and return to slow cooker.  Stir in reserved juices and heat through.
Meanwhile in large skillet, saute onion and green pepper in oil until tender.
Using slotted spoon, place beef on buns, then layer with vegetables and cheese.  Enjoy!

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Works for me Wednesday

My tip for today is about the comments people leave at your blog.  Many of you probably already do this, but for those who didn't know I'm passing this on.
Did you know you can set up your blog so any comments you get will be sent to your e-mail?  It saves having to go back to your blog to see if anyone left a comment, but when it's really helpful is when someone leaves a comment on an older post you would never check.  The other benefit to this is that if you ask someone a question in their comments, they are able to respond directly to that comment with an e-mail back to you instead of leaving it on your blog.
To set your blog up this way, go to settings, then comments.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and put your e-mail address in the box at the bottom, that says "Comment notification e-mail".  Then click on save settings.
That's it!  Your comments will now come to your e-mail.
For more tips, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Laura!

 Tuesday is my daughter Laura's birthday.  She's my oldest child and she's turning 27 today.
This picture was taken at her wedding, a little over 3 years ago.  I'm having a hard time believing that she is this old; it seems just a few years ago she was that little baby with red hair sticking straight up!
God truly blessed us when he gave us this fun, caring, strong willed girl and we are so thankful for her.
Happy Birthday, Laura!  We love you lots!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Are you playing it safe?

This is a short video that will really make you think.  I believe it's a part of a longer message this man gave, but you will get the idea from the clip.  I have to admit to pleading guilty when I heard this.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday

It's soup time!  Here's a good one for those cold nights!

Beef Barley Soup
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound lean boneless beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3/4 cup barley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
64 ounces beef broth
1 can tomato soup
Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat.  Add beef and garlic and saute 5 minutes or until beef is browned.
Transfer to a 5 quart slow cooker.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

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

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veterans Day

Wednesday is Veterans Day in the United States.  It's a day when we honor our Veterans for their service to our country.  If you know a veteran, make sure you thank them!
Our son Andy, who is currently stationed in Colorado told us they will all be eating supper at Applebee's.  I don't know if the whole chain is doing this, but the one near them is feeding both veterans and active military for free on Veterans Day.   So, I'm appreciating Applebee's too!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Underwater Astonishments

Here's a video that shows some of the amazing creatures that live in the sea. You won't believe what they can do. It points to an incredible Creator!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sisters shopping day!

Every year my 2 sisters and I go Christmas shopping together.  We try to go early in November, before there is snow.  We always go on a Friday and spend the day shopping.  We stay in a local hotel that night and finish up on Saturday morning.
We look forward to this every year, because not only because we get a lot done, but we have such fun!

We had supper at the Olive Garden last night. This picture is an example of how we spend our time. Cheri was wiping her eyes because she was laughing so hard.

Here is the back of Cheri's van.  When you have 3 woman, Christmas shopping for more than a day, you end up with a lot of bags!
The shopping is done, but for a few odds and ends - now to get it wrapped!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A day in the kitchen

I had a busy, but productive day in the kitchen this week.  Our local grocery store had a coupon, that gave you $10 off a $50 purchase.  I had already gotten my regular groceries, so I decided it would be a good time to make some freezer meals.  I ended up spending $45 for my purchases.

The stove was busy boiling pasta and simmering sauces.

Here's the result of a day of work.  I made 2 batches of sloppy joes, 2 pans of Spaghetti Casserole, 2pans of Crowd Pleaser Casserole and 2 pans of  Freezer Swiss Pepper Steak.  It's great to have these meals stocked up in the freezer and I think that's a lot of food for the money I spent.

Then I made these Pizza rolls from my friend Betty for supper.  Mmmm!

Finally I made two pans of these bars; one to give aaway and the other one has also made it's way to my freezer.
I was tired when I was done, but I felt good about what I got done!
*PS - I'm off for a few days with my sisters for our annual shopping expedition, so  I won't be visiting your blogs, but will be back next week.  See you then!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday

I made this chicken recipe recently and it is good!  Hope you enjoy it too!

Herbed Chicken and Wild Rice
1 pkg (6 oz) long grain and wild rice mix
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup water
3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

Place rice in 5 quart slow cooker; set aside seasoning packet.  In large skillet, brown chicken in oil and butter. Add to slow cooker.
In small bowl, combine the soup, water, bacon, spices and the contents of the seasoning packet. Pour over top of chicken and rice.
Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until chicken juices run clear.

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Works for me Wednesday

Today is a themed Works for me Wednesday.  Kristen is asking us to share ideas that help us through the holiday season.  My best tip is this:

I use this notebook to keep lists in.   I have a list of all the people I need to get gifts for.  I have lists of gift ideas for those people.  When I purchase something, I write the gift next to the name.  When the gift is wrapped and ready to be given, I cross the name off.
This notebook is divided into sections.  The dividers have pockets in them and I put coupons and flyers into the folders.  I use another one of the pockets to tuck reciepts into.
I also use the other sections to write down parties and things I have to make for them.
My brain is too busy during this season, so it really helps to have things written down in a place I can easily check into.
Another holiday tip is to shop early and make it fun.  Many of you know that my sisters and I plan a shopping trip every year.  We shop for the day and spend the night in a hotel.  We get most of our shopping done and have fun doing it.  We'll be on our shopping trip for this year on Friday! So, find someone to shop with and get a head start on it!
For more holiday tips, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall in West Michigan; Part 2

Last week I showed you how beautiful Fall in West Michigan is. Today I thought I would show you the rest of the story!

This is our driveway. See that little bit of concrete showing beneath those leaves?

This is a section of our yard. This represents the rest of the yard quite well. This picture and the one above were taken about 24 hours after Bob had cleaned up the whole yard, and there was barely a leaf to be seen anywhere on the ground.

And this shows the future. There are a lot of leaves waiting to come down! I really can't complain about this. Bob takes care of the leaves, but I do feel bad for him when it seems he can't keep up with the process!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Doing the Happy Dance!

We are pretty happy at our house. Our son Andy, who is in the army was on a training mission in the desert in California for the month of October. There was no Internet or phone available so we had no calls or messages from him all month.
It was so nice to hear his voice at the end of last week. He's back in Colorado and will be there until his unit is deployed to Iraq early next year.
However, along with being happy to hear from him, he shared some news that really made our day. He is getting leave over Christmas and will be able to come home! We were geared up for another Christmas season without him, so this is a wonderful surprise. I don't need any other gifts this year - I'll have my son home!