Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thanksgiving comes first!

My friend Joanna, from The Fifty Factor posted something last week that I agree with. It has to do with Christmas, and the way the advertisers push it on us, earlier every year. Don't get me wrong. I love Christmas. I even like to do my shopping early, so I can enjoy the season. I also love Christmas music. However - seeing decorated trees in October along with ads pushing sales is not right. What happened to really celebrating Thanksgiving, instead of thinking of the Christmas sales?
I feel that we need to take time to be thankful, before we jump into Christmas music and decorations!
Blogger Jim Sullivan is taking a position on this annoying trend. He is standing up to premature "holiday cheer" hitting the malls and tv commercials way too early. I'm joining him and you can too!
If you want to join in, write your own post about this; title it Thanksgiving comes first. You are welcome to use the picture above if you want to.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's apple picking time!

Apple picking time is almost done here, but on the internet we can do it anytime!
Someone sent me the link to this little apple picking game. I didn't do very well. Out of 100 apples, I only got 39. See how many you can get. Click here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cooking Thursday

It's time for Cooking Thursday and Sandra is hosting again. Stop over at her blog to see what others are cooking.
I'm sharing a recipe that some of you may already have, but it's one of our favorites. If you've never made these, you have to give them a try!

Chicken Bundles

8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons margarine, melted (reserve 1 T)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons onion
4 cups cooked, cubed chicken
2 - 8 ounce cans crescent rolls
3/4 cup seasoned croutons, crushed
1 can cream of chicken soup mixed with 1/2 can milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend cream cheese with 4 tablespoons melted margarine until smooth. Add milk, salt, pepper and onion. Stir in chicken.
Separate crescent rolls into 8 rectangles and firmly press perforations to seal. Place squares on 2 ungreased cookie sheets. Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mix into center of each. Pull 4 corners of dough to top center of filling, twist firmly together and pinch side seams to seal.
Brush with remaining melted margarine. Sprinkle with crouton crumbs. Bake 20 - 30 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown.
Warm cream of chicken soup with 1/2 cup milk and spread sauce over top.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Works for me Wednesday

Wednesday means it's time for another tip. To see what others are sharing stop over at We are THAT Family.
I've recently discovered a blog that is helping me save money. It's called Saving Addiction. The 2 women that publish this blog show deals for different stores in the area. They also give free classes on how to save money at the store.
Here's an example of one of my recent deals from Walgreens:

Crest toothpaste: Normal price $2.99
Store coupon for 1/2 off
manufactures coupon for $1 off
total price: 50 cents
RightGuard Antiperspirant: Normal price $3.49 each
Sale price: buy one, get one free
2 manufactures coupon for $1 off one
total price: $1.49
I then got a coupon for $2 off next purchase for buying 2 antiperspirants.
Ibuprofen: Normal price 50 caplets for $4.79 each
Sale price: buy one, get one free
Store coupon - used the $2 coupon from the antiperspirant
total price: $2.79

Without deals, price for all would have been: $19.55
With deals, I paid: $4.78

Isn't that great? These are the kind of match-up deals they show. They recommend stocking up on great deals on these type of things and on grocery items, then planning your menu according to what you have stocked up. I've noticed my grocery bill has gone down already, while my stock pile has grown.

Here's what my stock pile looked like a few weeks ago. It's gotten bigger, and I'm going to need some more shelves built.
I'm also stocking things in my freezer and refrigerator!
If you live in the West Michigan area, I recommend you check out Saving Addiction and see what kind of deals you can get!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Derek Redmond

My friend Kari, from Sea, Sand and Shells recently posted this video clip that was shown in her church. It's a touching video that shows perseverance and a fathers love.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One Day

I always have my little camera with me, because you never know when a great photo op may come up. Last week I took several pictures in the course of a day and I thought I would share them with you.

This picture was taken early in the morning while I was at work. I noticed how pretty the sky was and I took this picture out of a window at the end of the hall.

A little later, I was passing meds to some of our residents who were sitting in the dining room. It looked quite sunny, and I was shocked when I looked onto the patio and noticed that it was pouring out! I've never seen it rain so hard, while the sun was shining.

I ended up working late that day, and then made a stop at the grocery store. When I was was coming home, I passed this field near my house. I love the big bales of hay and the beautiful sky.

Later that evening I went to a meeting and the skies had cleared. Look at that full moon!
It was a beautiful day - even with rain and clouds!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Seven Wonders

We could learn a lot from kids!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cooking Thursday

It's time for another recipe! The recipe I'm sharing isn't even a real recipe, but it's a quick and easy supper, and something different than regular pizza.
For more recipe's, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Garlic Bread Pizza

1 loaf garlic bread - whatever size you want
1 can pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
pizza toppings of your choice

Allow bread to thaw slightly, so you can open it and spread the garlic butter that is already on it, smoothly across the bread.
Spread pizza sauce over butter.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over sauce.
Add toppings of your choice.
Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Works for me Wednesday

It's time for Works for me Wednesday again. For lots of great tips, head over to Kristen at We are THAT Family.

My tip for you today is to freeze celery. Of course, this doesn't work to eat plain, but when you need chopped celery for soup or a casserole it's great!
When our store has celery on sale for a great price, I buy several packages and chop them all up. I then freeze it flat on a cookie sheet, and once it's frozen, I put it in a freezer bag. I can then take out as much as I want and it's not in a solid chunk.
I don't know about you, but I often end up throwing out celery from my refrigerator as I never use the whole thing, so this saves waste and it makes it really easy to use when you need it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

GVSU Official Liplub

The town I live in is home to Grand Valley State University. In this clip they coordinated a huge group of people to lip sync a song that takes you all over the University. They did this to celebrate the University's 50'th anniversary. I'm told it took several days to get it done, because they wanted the whole thing shot without stopping. I thought it was a cute clip, and it shows what a pretty campus it is.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Michigan Colors

A few weeks ago, I heard a radio announcer do a top 5 list, of the best places to go for Fall color. They were:
5) Central Park in New York
4) Pennsylvania
3) Colorado
2) Michigan
1) Vermont

I was pretty happy to hear we made it in second place, and have to agree that it is beautiful here in the Fall. This year our colors are better than ever. They say the weather has been perfect for giving us the best color we've seen in over 10 years. We've had lots of sunny days and cool nights.
I've been oohing and ahhing as I drive anywhere, and my camera has been getting a workout!
I'm also praising God for the beauty He has placed around us!
Here's a few pictures to show you what I'm talking about. These were all taken within 15 minutes of my home.

I'm thinking you all need to come for a visit!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm in the money!

I thought you would like to see the huge check I got in the mail. I'm not sure how I'm going to spend it all!
Apparently I paid 2 cents extra on my Penney's bill a few months ago. They sent me a few statements tells me I had a 2 cent balance, then sent me out this check.
Anyone have any idea's on what to do with it?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cooking Thursday

It's time for Cooking Thursday again! Since it's apple season and I talked about apples yesterday, I thought I would continue and share an apple recipe. I got this one from Lorie of Lorie's Corner. It's the perfect cake to make in the Fall. For more recipes, visit Sandra of Diary of a SAHM.

Chunky Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced

Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl until blended.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in apple slices. Spread into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Spread with cream cheese frosting.

*this batter is very thick. Don't worry when spreading into pan - it will work!

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar and salt, beating until mixed. Stir in vanilla and spread over cake.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Works for me Wednesday

It's time for Work's for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen of We are THAT Family. Head over to her blog to see what other bloggers are sharing today.

It's apple season and I thought I would share some apple information from a chart I found in a magazine. It has helped me know what apple to choose, instead of standing in the produce section, guessing!

Taste: sweet and tart
Use for: snacking, salads, baking, sauces

Taste: tart Use for: snacking, salads, baking, sauces
ideal for crisps and pies because of the firm texture and tartness

Granny Smith
Taste: tart
Use for: snacking, salads, baking, sauces
ideal for crisps and pies because of the firm texture and tartness

Golden Delicious
Taste: mildly sweet
Use for: snacking, salads, baking, sauces

Taste: sweet
Use for: snacking, salads

Red Delicious
Taste: sweet
Use for: snacking, salads

Taste: tart and tangy
Use for: Snacking, salads, sauces

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why I love Fall

My friend Kat over at Heart 2 Heart did a post on the top 10 reasons she likes Fall and challenged us to come up with our own list.
I do like Fall, but often get caught up in my dread of the snow and cold that is coming and don't appreciate the season while it is here. So, this is a good one for me to do as it makes me appreciate the moment!

1. Fall in Grand Rapids means Artprize. This contest just got done, but our whole area gets into it and enjoys seeing all that wonderful art!

2. I love the smells of Fall - the smell of burning leaves, the scents of the Fall candles, the smell of the pine needles that collect around the trees.

3. Grand Haven is beautiful in the summer, but it has another type of beauty in the Fall. The pier which was filled with people during the hot summer is now empty and so much easier to wander around on.

4. I love wearing jeans and sweaters.

5. I love seeing the changes in the fields. Seeing them full of pumpkins and seeing the corn and hay get harvested is great!

6. I love Fall decor - pumpkins, corn stalks, mums, along with the golds oranges and browns of Fall are so homey and comfortable.

7. Fall mornings are so pretty. There is often some fog in the air, which adds such a soft glow to the sunshine.

8. Apples! It's great to have fresh apples again.

9. Cooler temperatures are wonderful. I know I will soon be complaining about being cold, but after the hot, humid summer, it's great to have some cool days.

10. And of course - the best thing about Fall is the color. I love seeing the leaves change colors, and enjoy driving and seeing some of the beautiful trees along the way.
God ordained that season will follow season, and isn't it wonderful that He gives each season it's own special joys and beauty?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Our week with Andy

We had a wonderful week of vacation while Andy was home. We didn't do anything special, just enjoyed our time together. I have a few pictures to give you an idea of how we spent our time.

Our cat Oliver, wasn't real sure about this guy who was invading his territory but after a day he found that Andy was fun to play with. Andy pulled out a flashlight with this green light on it every evening and Oliver went crazy chasing it. Here he was flattening himself out, trying to sneak up on the light.

We spent a lot of time with family. Here is Andy with Bob's mom...

and with my Dad. The grandparents were glad to see him again!

We were able to see almost every family member on both sides which was a lot to see! This is Arianna, who rode her bike over to our house on Friday so she could say goodbye to Andy.

Andy was able to meet his cousins fiance for the first time. Ovidiu is from Romania, and will be marrying Bob's niece Alecia in November. Since Andy won't be here for the wedding, it was nice that they were able to meet now.

We spent a day in Grand Haven, visiting Lake Michigan, walking the pier and since it was a beautiful day - we stopped for ice cream! Here Andy was demonstrating how to climb a wall.

He's not really into me taking his picture, but I managed to get a few.

We went to a wedding Saturday afternoon before Andy left, so I got a picture of my two guys together, while they were dressed up.

This picture is a good representation of our week; fun, a little goofy and lots of laughter!
Andy is now in Kentucky, doing paper work that is required when you change bases. It will be about a week doing that before he gets into a regular routine.
We're hoping we get to see him again at Christmas!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Welcome Home Andy!

Andy is home! Why is this picture so blurred? I took it when he came in the back door and was already harassing me by bouncing around so I couldn't get a good picture.
I will be taking a blogging break this week, as we all have the week off from work so we can have fun together. Andy plans to leave on Saturday to drive to Kentucky, where he will join the 101st aviation division.
See you next week!