Monday, April 30, 2012

I won!

Many of you know how I love old barns. So, you can imagine how happy I was when I got this wonderful package in the mail!
I won a giveaway from Barb, over at Grandma Barbs This and That. The giveaway was for note cards, but she also included the matted picture of the barn in front of the mountains.
And the notecards? They are so beautiful! Each one is a piece of art in itself and could be framed. Half were of different barns and the others were different flower pictures. Anyone who gets a note on this notecards will be thrilled.
Thanks to Barb for her generosity!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Visualizing the Bible

Pretty picture, right? But there's more to it than that.
This picture was named one of the best science images by National Geographic News.
It shows how very interconnected the whole Bible is.
This picture doesn't show the details well, but there is a bar graph running along the bottom that represents each book of the Bible. The books alternate color between white and light gray. The length of each color denotes the number of verses in the book. Each of the 63,779 cross references found in the Bible is represented by a single arc - the color corresponds to the distance between the two verses creating a rainbow like effect.
It was created by Chris Harrison, a Ph.D student at Carnegie Mellon University in collaboration with Christoph Romhild, a Lutheran Pastor.
God's word is unique among any other book! There is no other book so interconnected and I love the way this picture shows that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cooking Thursday

I made this salad last week and it was a hit! It's a pasta salad, but it also has lettuce in it.
Stop over at Diary of a SAHM for more recipes.

BLT Salad

12 ounces bow tie pasta
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
12 ounces cooked bacon
3 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
5 - 6 ounces salad mix (I used Spring Mix)

Cook pasta as directed on package and drain.
Mix milk, mayo and sour cream. Stir in thyme and garlic powder. Add tomatoes and bacon, saving 1/4 cup of bacon for garnish. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Stir in pasta and lettuce. Garnish with remaining bacon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring flowers continue...

Things just keep growing and blooming!

The front walk

Our back yard - Japanese Maple

I don't know what this bush is, but it has little delicate flowers all over it,

This is a snowball bush, with the flowers just starting to open.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Growing so fast!

I don't know if you've noticed, but I really love being a Grandma!
My sweet little Alaina is almost 6 months old and I can hardly believe how fast that time went by.
We are blessed that Laura and Aaron live nearby and we get to see and take care of her often.

This is a picture I took of her when she was about 1 week old. What a little sweetheart in that basket!

When she was over last week, I checked to see if she still fit in the basket. She does, but not for long!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The power of music

I recently saw this clip on Facebook. It shows the power of music in people with dementia.
I've witnessed similar things, in people that are no longer able to talk, but can sing along when they hear a hymn they knew years ago, or a big smile when they hear an old song played on the piano.
Check out this heartwarming video!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cooking Thursday

Sandra is hosting Cooking Thursday again. Stop over at her place to see what other recipes are being shared!
I've got a recipe for a quick lunch or supper using crescent rolls. (Sorry about the poor picture.)

String Cheese Pizza Roll-ups

8 ounce package crescent rolls
4 pieces mozzarella string cheese, cut in half
pepperoni or thinly sliced ham pieces
garlic salt
italian seasoning
pizza sauce for dipping

Unroll crescents into 8 individual pieces. Sprinkle each piece with garlic salt and italian seasoning.
Lay pepperoni or ham on each triangle.
Lay string cheese over meat and roll up crescent.
Sprinkle a little more garlic salt and italian seasoning over top.
Bake according to instructions on crescent roll, until lightly browned.
Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pajama Day!

Did you know that Wednesday is Wear your pajamas to work day?
I don't know about you, but that's not in our dress code and I would be sent right home if I tried it. Then again - I wouldn't even try it. :) I would have to go out and buy some new PJ's before I wore them out in public.
I have a feeling this is not a day that's observed by too many people! :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Life at the Nursing Home

Every once in awhile I like to share a few stories about some of my sweet little people at the nursing home. There is really never a dull moment there. A lot of people think nursing homes are depressing and boring, and they would never believe how much fun and laughter happens at our place!
Here's a few stories from the last few days.

We have a lady who used to be a nurse. They say nurses are the worst patients, and it seems to be true. This lady always questions each medication she gets and can be very sarcastic. The other day she was having quite a day, and had decided to sit at the nurses station. She was repeating things we said in quite a mocking tone. After she had been sitting there for about half an hour, her son stopped by. Upon walking in and seeing her, he asked what she was doing. Her answer? "Spying on these people". Her son was not surprised by this answer.

We had a cooking activity last week. The residents who took part in it, had to wear a paper head covering and gloves. One of the men didn't want to take off the head covering, stating it was his football helmet. He sat near us, talking much more than normal and refusing to give up that "helmet".

It was a quiet day on the weekend, so I took one of my ladies in her wheelchair, behind the nurses desk with me. I told her I needed help up there. She is quite confused but enjoys joking around. When she heard the whole line we have to say when answering the phone, she wasn't interested in that job. I asked her if she wanted to put nurses notes into the computer and she didn't think that was the job for her either. We decided she would greet visitors with a smile, and ask "May I help you?" I have to say, she was cute as can be at this job. She then told me - "I need $5 an hour for this. I'm a union worker you know!"

One of our little ladies came up past the nurses station, heading for the laundry area. Hanging over the front of her walker were some underwear. One of the aides offered to take the underwear to the laundry for her. As she carefully picked it up at the waistband, the resident said "thank you, they fell in the toilet". : )

You see? We really do have fun!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

More Spring Flowers

I just love this time of year. Everytime I go into the yard, it seems something new is blooming!

This is purple phlox. In the Spring the entire plant is covered with these purple flowers.

This is a flowering almond. It has such pretty, pink flowers. This plant was grown from a plant that originally came from Bob's grandma!

The ferns in our woods are coming to life!

This is a dwarf lilac, that will soon be open along our front walk.

"Earth laughs in flowers"
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tiptoe through the tulips

I've mentioned that the weather here has been unusually warm. You may also remember me talking about the annual Tulip Time Festival that takes place near us in Holland, Michigan.
This Festival is always around the second week of May and the tulips are usually all blooming at that time.
This year the tulips are way ahead of schedule, because of the warm weather. I heard newscasters saying that people should go to see the tulips now, then come back later for the Tulip Time Festival.
When Andy was home for the weekend, and we were watching Alaina, we decided to go to eat in Holland and check out the tulips. Here's a few pictures, showing how pretty it is right now!

It's amazing to see fields of tulips, in varying colors.

Isn't this a pretty variety?

Here's a few dutch folks we ran into!
Heather, Andy, Alaina

I was trying to get a picture of Alaina in front of the flowers, but she didn't like that idea, so we let her sit with Grandpa for the picture.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cooking Thursday

We had a nice ham dinner on Sunday, with lots of leftovers! I was looking for something to use that leftover ham in and I found this recipe. It was easy to throw together after work, was tasty and it's a different way to use ham. Next time I make it, I'll use about 3/4 of the bag of peas instead of the whole bag.
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Ham Noodle Dinner

2 1/2 cups uncooked egg noodles
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups cubed, fully cooked ham
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons mustard

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. Meanwhile, in large skillet, saute celery and onion in oil until tender.
Combine soup, milk and mustard; pour over vegetables in pan. Stir in noodles, peas and cheese.
Place in a greased 2 quart casserole. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
Yield: 4-6 servings, 1 1/2 cup each/ 372 cal each

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

I know this is supposed to be wordless, but I have to explain this shot!
I made rolls for Easter dinner. I left them to rise while we were at church and they went crazy!
This is what we ended up with when I baked them. Yes - there is a pan under that pile.
They still tasted good though!

Monday, April 9, 2012

A day with Alaina

*warning - lots of pictures!

We got to have Alaina at our house from Saturday to Sunday. Laura and Aaron had a really busy Saturday and we were thrilled to take her!
After I picked her up on Saturday, we stopped by my Dad's house. He's always thrilled to see his only great grand child!

Alaina and Great-Grandpa

Reading a book with Grandpa

Having fun playing

She is such a happy, easy going baby!

Alaina is never lacking for attention when she comes over!

Here she is all dressed up for church on Easter Sunday. You can see she has to work on being a little more lady like! She kept pulling her dress up and putting it in her mouth when I was trying to get a nice picture.

This is the best I could do! Doesn't she look cute?

Andy and Alaina, both looking good before leaving for church.
Laura and Aaron met us at our church, so we could all go together. Alaina was really good in church and as you may expect,I loved showing her off!

One last shot of me with Alaina after church.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


We had such a great surprise this weekend!
Thursday night, Heather got a text message from Andy saying "I'll be there around 2am".
What? He hadn't mentioned coming home. After a few more texts, we found out he had Friday off, so had decided to come home for Easter weekend. No complaints from us!

Since coming back from Afghanistan, Andy got a new dress uniform. The army is changing from the old green uniform, to navy blue. He took it along to wear to church on Sunday, so of course I took the opportunity to take some pictures.

Here's the new look. You may wonder about the pants tucked in. That's something that shows he is a member of the 101st aviation. They wear jump boots and tuck their pants.

Here's a close up of the jacket. Looking good!

It was nice to have him around for the weekend. We ate our dinner early, as he had to be back at Fort Campbell by 10 pm and he had a 9 hour drive to get there.
He made his parents happy this weekend!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cooking Thursday

Sandra is back, hosting cooking Thursday for us. Stop over at her place for more recipes.

I have the most amazing recipe to share with you. I saw this bread recipe on Pinterest and it promised a loaf of homemade bread, done in one hour from start to finish. This intrigued me and I had to try it. It only took about an hour and 10 minutes to make, and it was so good! I'm actually making it again on Thursday night. You have to try this!

Best Bread Ever

10 1/2 cups white bread flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 rounded tablespoons fast rising yeast
1/3 cup oil
4 cups hot tap water

Mix dry ingredients, add oil and water. Mix for one minute and check consistency. If dough is too dry, add a little water. Dough should be very sticky. Mix for 5 minutes. (Do not add flour to dough after mixing) Spray counter and loaf pans with Pam. Shape loafs and place into pans. Cover with dish towel and let rise for about 30 minutes. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Makes 4 loaves.

*If using a KitchenAid, half the recipe and make 2 loaves.

For whole wheat bread, use whole wheat flour, and replace 1 cup of flour with applesauce, add 1 tablespoon of oil and mix for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

Are we really that old?

My friend Shelly sent me an email with these pictures in it. It's such a reminder of how time flies! Most of these are people I either watched on tv or was pretty aware of when I was young. If they are all getting older, it appears I am too!
It reminds me that our time here on this earth is short and we need to use it wisely.

Hope you enjoy seeing these faces from the past.

Ken Osmond - Eddy Haskell now 66

Donny Most - Ralph Malph now 56

Sharon Gless and Tyne Daily - Cagney and Lacey now 66 and 33

Kelly McGillis - Witness and Top Gun now 52

Susan Dey - Laurie Partridge now 56

Catherine Bach - Daisy Duke now 55

The Captain and Tenile now 67 and 69

Mike Farrell - BJ now 70

Debra Winger - Urban Cowboy now 54

Tina Louise - Ginger now 75