Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'm a Blessed Guest

I'm a Blessed Guest!

There's something special going on this month! Over at Joanne's blog she's interviewing different people all month. She tells me she has some pretty exciting interviews lined up, and she also has some with your average blogger, like me.
This will be going on all through the month of February, so make sure you stop by and see who she's talking to!
*My interview will be posted on Tuesday, February 2nd.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Simple Things

A few days ago, Simone over at Chocolate Covered Daydreams did a post on Simple Things. It's a good idea to be reminded of how many simple things bring us joy. However, this post did even more. She had linked to another Simple Things post at Christines blog. Christine and her family are giving a dollar for every simple things post that links to her, to Doctors without borders. This will help, not only those in Haiti, but in other places where medical care is not easily obtained. So, here's my list. Feel free to join us!

  • a breeze on a hot summer day
  • sunshine in the winter
  • snow covered pine trees
  • a baby laughing
  • the smell of fresh cut grass
  • a clean house
  • warm, comfy slippers
  • the first flowers in the spring
  • clean sheets on my bed
  • having my family all together
  • hearing a favorite song on the radio
  • the smell of baking bread
  • a smile from one of my residents
  • laughter
And that's just a few!

Cooking Thursday

This recipe is a family favorite. It's something my Mom used to make before I was married, and I've been married for almost 29 years, so it's a classic!

French Lasagne
1 pound hamburg
1/2 pound sausage
1 small can tomato paste
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
2 cans crescent rolls (I use the recipe type, with no perforations)
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
4 slices mozzarella cheese

Brown meat and drain fat. Add tomato paste, parsley, oregano, onion, salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce. Simmer 10 minutes.
Place crescent rolls on cookie sheet, long side together. Pinch edges together.
Spread 1/2 of the meat mix down the middle of the crescent rolls.
Mix cottage cheese and parmesan cheese. Spoon over meat.
Spread remaining meat mixture over cheeses. Place slices of mozzarella over top of meat.
Bring sides of crescent rolls up and cover cheese. Seal together. Finished it should look like a large roll of French bread.
Bake 325 degrees for 25 minutes until top is golden. Top may be brushed with melted butter.

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Works for me Wednesday

Do you sit down and write out checks every month to pay your utilities, mortgage and other payments? Have you considered online banking?
I resisted it for awhile, but then decided to give it a try and have been using it for several years now. Once you have entered in the addresses and accounts you wish to pay, they remain in a list. Then you can go to it every month and enter the amount and the date you want it to be paid and you're done. No envelopes, no postage, no checks! It also gives you the ability to look back and see what you've paid on these bills previously.
So, if you don't use online banking, I encourage you to give it a try. It's easy, effeciant and it'll save you money!
For more tips visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Name is...

Here's a way to check out what your name may be for various situations. Both Susan of Penless Writer and Brenda of It's All Good, had this on their blogs. I enjoyed reading theirs and thought I would join in.

YOUR REAL NAME: Maribeth Bruins

YOUR GANGSTA NAME(first 3 letters of real name plus - izzle): Marizzle

YOUR DETECTIVE NAME (favorite color and favorite animal): Greencat

YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (MIDDLE NAME, AND CURRENT STREET): (I'm using my last street as my current one is a number!) Beth Lamar

STAR WARS NAME (The first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 3 letters of Mom's maiden name): Brumazin

YOUR SUPERHERO NAME (2nd favorite color, favorite drink):Blue Water

YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME (Mother's middle name and fathers middlename): Frances Milton

YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets): Black Cleo

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

It seems there are holidays for about everything. It has come to my attention that Monday is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. I must admit that I love bubble wrap. When I get a package with some in it, I have a strange obsession to pop all those bubbles!
Anyway - for those of you, who are like me and enjoy bubble wrap, I've got a site for you to visit.
Check out this site and pop a few bubbles for me!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tales from the Nursing Home

Most of you know that I work at a Long Term Care Center, or a Nursing Home. Many people think this is a depressing place, but although there are sad days, we really have a lot of fun. We have some residents who are alert and oriented. They may be there for a short while, receiving therapy while recuperating from surgery. Others have dementia and may be very confused. We enjoy getting to know all of them and it makes each day different!

I want to share something that happened at our place last week that made all of us laugh. Some of the residents who are confused, are not safe in walking on their own. Because of this confusion, they may take off on their own, forget their walker, or do other things that put them at risk for a fall. One thing we do to prevent this is have some people wear alarms. These alarms attach to the residents clothing with a clip and the alarm hooks to the wheelchair or bed. If the person tries to get up on their own, the clip separates from the magnet on the alarm and it sounds.

One of our ladies is not happy with this. She sees no reason why she shouldn’t get up on her own and forgets she has fallen while doing this. She frequently takes removes her alarm and has thrown it across the room a few times. This past week while she was in the bathroom, she decided she had enough of it. When the aide was standing at the sink, she grabbed the alarm, and before the aide could get it, she threw it in the toilet and then flushed it! She then said “There, how do you like that?” This was funny, but it was made funnier by the fact that the alarm got trapped in the plumbing and kept sounding until the maintenance man removed the toilet and could get the alarm out.

You just have to love feisty little ladies!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cooking Thursday

It's time for another recipe. This is an easy bar recipe that is another favorite at our house. I've been asked for this recipe frequently, so I think you'll like it too!

Chocolate Streusel Bars

1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup cold margerine
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 margerine 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.

For more recipes, see Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Works for me Wednesday

It's time for Works for Me Wednesday!
My tip for today is about paying bills. I always round up when paying things like gas, electric, telephone or any of those things you pay monthly. I usually go up to the nearest $5, so if the bill is 37.56, I pay $40. The extra is credited to my account and it's easier to balance out my checkbook. It's an easy thing that works for me!
For more tips visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

Monday, January 18, 2010

National Hobby Month

Did you know that January was National Hobby Month? I've had several hobbies, but my latest is knitting. My niece, Katelyn taught a few of us how to knit on Christmas day and I've been enjoying it ever since. I made myself a scarf to wear with my coat and have been enjoying it in the cold. Now I'm working on this one, to wear with another coat. The yarn is so soft and fuzzy, I know it'll be great to use! I even got this cute basket to keep my stuff in!
I'm going to have to try something new though, because both Laura and Heather learned to knit too and I can't keep making scarves!
What about you? Do you have a hobby?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Believe

I imagine all of you have been feeling a lot like I have this week, after the events in Haiti. It’s so terrible that I feel I can’t even begin to comprehend it. Our church has had many people go on short term mission trips there and many people have a relationship with a Haitian church that is near us. One of the Haitian pastors came and spoke at our service this morning. He has not heard from his family yet, so is very concerned about them. Yet, he could say “I love my God and He is in control”. What a testimony!

It reminds me of a quote, written by a Jew on the wall of a cellar in the Cologne concentration camp.

“I believe in the sun, even when it’s not shining.

I believe in love, even when there’s no one there.

And I believe in God, even when He appears to be silent”

God is still in control! Please keep praying for the people of Haiti!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

De-lurking week

Did you know this is de-lurking week?
That means this is your opportunity to make yourself known! After today, you can go back to lurking, but for today would you leave a comment with your name and where you are from?
I would appreciate it so much!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cooking Thursday

It's time for Cooking Thursday again. I love a good bowl of soup in the winter, so I'm sharing another soup recipe with you.

Bean Soup with Ham
1/2 cup dry black beans
1/2 cup dry great Northern beans
1/2 cup dry red kidney beans
1/2 cup dry pinto beans
1/2 cup dry split green peas
1 ham bone or ham hocks with meat attached
1 small onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
6 cups ham broth (I made mine using ham soup base)
16 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 hours before serving, rinse beans with cold running water. Remove stones or shriveled beans. In a dutch oven or stock pot, mix beans and 9 cups water. Bring to boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Place beans, broth, onion, celery, ham bone and spices into pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove ham bone and add tomatoes to soup. Heat to boiling, reduce to low and simmer for 15 more minutes. While this is simmering, remove any ham from bone and add to soup. Discard bay leaf and serve.

You'll like this one - as a matter of fact, I need to make it again!
For more recipes, stop over at Sandra's place!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Works for me Wednesday

My tip for today is about spam. I've recently started having problems with spam on my blog. It's so frustrating to look at your comments and find ads, rambling things that make no sense, or worse - filthy comments.
I have always hated word verification, because it adds a lot of time to me giving comments and sometimes prevents it. So - I really didn't want to add it to my blog.
Instead, I started comment verification. This means that before any comments are published to my posts, I have to agree to them. Anything that is spam, I can just delete. This lets my readers not have to deal with the annoying word verification and lets me avoid spam.
It works for me!
For more tips visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Trying for a little more organization!

Are you a list maker? I like to make lists of things I need to do, both to keep track of things, but also for the mental reward that comes when I can cross something off the list.
Last year Lynn from Rohal Call posted about a printable chore list she uses. It breaks down household chores into small tasks, so by doing a few things every day, you are able to keep your house clean.
Last week I was remembering what Lynn said about this last year and thought I should check into it. But - before I could do that, she had a giveaway on her blog. Deann from Motivated Moms, the creator of this list had agreed to give someone the chore list of their choice. She offers lists of various sizes and styles that she sends to you in a download and you print it.
Surprise - I won! I printed it off tonight and put it in a notebook. I'm really excited about using this. If you want to see this product or are considering ordering it, here is a link to the different products.
Thanks to Lynn and Deann for doing this. Here's to a clean house!
*Someone asked about what the list looks like. You can see it if you go to the link above.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Invisible Man

Have you seen this man? His name is Liu Bolin and what he does is astounding. This is not trick photography or photoshop. He paints himself to match his surroundings, then positions himself in just the right spot so he blends in. Quite the camouflage job!
He is in every one of these pictures, but is more difficult to see in the last one. Can you find him?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

An Appointment with God

Some of you may have already read this. I got it in an e-mail from Joanne, of Blessed. She was so touched by this after reading it in her TD Jakes devotional Bible, that she sent it out to some of us. It's such a great message about the purpose God has for us, I wanted to share it too. I hope you are as blessed by it as I was.

Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, "God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him." Genesis 4:25

You have an appointment with God that has been set from the foundations of the earth, and that appointment isn't over until God says it's over. You may think that all of your good days are gone, but the very fact that you are alive says God wants you to be alive. He is not through with you yet. You have an appointment.
Even after all she had been through with Cain and Abel, Eve still had an appointment with God. In spite of everything she had experienced, all the heartache and hard times she had known, she had an appointed task. Eve said, "God has appointed another seed for me" (Gen. 4:25). her appointment involved having another baby, another son.
When you make an appointment, you set a date and a time in the present for something that is going to happen in the future. And that's exactly what God has done in setting His appointment with you. God's destiny for you is preset. He has known all along that you would go through what you've been through to get to the place where you are right now. Even so, He still has an appointment with you. He has not cancelled out. There's still something on His calendar that has your name on it.
The devil knows God has a plan for you. That's why he has worked so hard to wipe you out. He didn't want you to live long enough to receive all that God had in store for you. He knew there was more ahead. He knew it was good. He knew it had to do with life. That's why he tried so hard to deal you a deathblow early on. He sent trials, troubles and tribulations to destroy you-and if you refused to be destroyed on the outside, he tried even harder to destroy you on the inside.
Start looking ahead. There's something coming up on God's calendar and it's got YOUR name on it. There's something good just over the horizon of tomorrow-something good for your life, your marriage, your family, your work, your ministry. For everything you have loved and lost, God has another seed. For everything you can no longer hold, God has another seed.
Every time the devil tells you that you are going down, that you are going to die, that you are going to cave in, that there's nothing else for you, tell him, "You are a liar. There's got to be something else. I have an appointment with God. He has another seed for me to birth. He has another miracle for me to hold."
Where you are right now is not where you are going. If you are not on your deathbed, God still has an appointed task for you to finish. He has called you with an eternal purpose. -T.D. Jakes

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cooking Thursday

For quite a while I have been participating in Sandra's Slow Cooking Thursday meme. She has decided to change it as people were running out of slow cooker recipes, and it will now be for any recipe. I'm excited to be able to share some new recipes with all of you!

Today I am sharing one of my favorite soup recipes with you. This is a copycat recipe from Olive Garden and I think it tastes just like theirs! I've made this quite a few times and it always turns out great.

Pasta E Fagioli

3 teaspoons oil
2 lbs ground beef
14 ounces carrots, slivered
12 ounces onions, chopped
14 ounces celery, diced
48 ounces diced canned tomatoes
2 cups red kidney beans
2 cups white kidney beans
88 ounces beef stock
3 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons pepper
5 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
48 ounces spaghetti sauce
8 ounces dry pasta shell macaroni, cooked as directed

Sauté beef in oil in large 10 quart pot until beef starts to brown.
Add onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Drain and rinse beans and add to pot. Also add beef stock, oregano, rosemary, garlic, pepper, Tabasco and spaghetti sauce.
Simmer until celery and carrots are tender, about 45 minutes.
Add pasta about 10 minutes before serving.
Grate fresh Romano or Parmesan cheese onto soup before serving.

This recipe makes 9 quarts! You could half the ingredients and still have enough for a family, but it freezes very well, so I always freeze half of it.

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

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Works for me Wednesday

Today's works for me Wednesday is a backwards edition. That means that instead of me sharing a tip, I get to ask for one from you!
My question involves cleaning my bathroom floor. I have a Shark steam mop which I love. It works great everywhere but in our main bathroom. I think it's the hairspray (I blame Heather!) which ends up on the floor and leaves a residue. Does anyone have any tips or great products for keeping vinyl flooring clean, especially from things like hairspray? Thanks for your help!
For other people who are looking for answers, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Bible and a haircut

A young boy had just gotten his driver's permit and inquired of his father
if they could discuss his use of the car. His father said he'd make a deal
with his son.

"You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible a
little, get your hair cut and we'll talk about the car."

The boy thought about that for a moment decided he'd settle for the offer
and they agreed on it.

After about six weeks his father said, "Son, I'm real proud of you. You
brought your grades up and I've observed that you have been studying your
Bible, but I'm disappointed you haven't gotten your hair cut."

The young man paused a moment then said, "You know, Dad, I've been thinking
about that, and I've noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long
hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair and there's even a
strong argument that Jesus had long hair."

And his father replied, "Did you notice they all walked everywhere they

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My crazy kids!

Tomorrow (Monday) won't be a nice day. We have to take Andy to the airport this morning so he can go back to Colorado. We've had such a good time having him home for Christmas.

I thought I would show you a few pictures of my kids in front of the tree. Every year I take a picture of all of them, and every year they harass me about it. I'm going to share a few to show you what I go through to get one good picture. Take note that Laura and Andy appear to be the biggest troublemakers of the bunch. It's true in more than just pictures!

Heather, Andy, Laura, Aaron

And finally - a decent shot! Did you notice the matching colors? We laughed when Laura and Aaron arrived, because Heather and Laura had matching sweaters on. Heather changed, but still was wearing the same color, and Andy and Aaron both were wearing gray.