Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fun yard

We had a cookout with friends last week. It was a beautiful night to sit outside and enjoy some good talk and good food!

Here's part of that good food - a delicious cake!

These friends have lots of fun things in their yard that I wanted to show you.

Isn't this cute?

This is my favorite part of their yard. This isn't the real deal, her sons made it for her, but it still adds a great touch to the yard.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Alaina at 9 months

My sweet grand baby is 9 months old already! It's hard to believe that much time has gone by.
She is such a blessing to us and we love spending time with her. We try to have her overnight a few times a month. This weekend was one of those time.
She has really changed in the last few weeks. She's showing so much personality lately and is so much fun to be around.

She's small enough that the sink works well for a bath.

She loves playing with all kinds of different things.

Grandpa loves playing with her!

All that play time tires a person out.

Sometimes it tires out both Alaina and Aunt Heather.

She's starting to walk around furniture. I think she'll soon be into even more trouble!

Poor Oliver gets no peace when Alaina is around. She just loves him, and he tolerates her - and runs and hides when he sees her coming.

Here's an example of that personality I was talking about. I was trying to feed her, and I kept getting faces made at me. She's hilarious and I sure do love her!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Concert at the park

Last week a friend from work invited some of us to join her at a concert.
Apparently, every week there is an outdoor jazz concert at the band stand at the zoo in Grand Rapids. She and her husband go every week, sit out on the lawn with a picnic supper and enjoy the music.
None of us at work had heard about it, and thought it sounded like fun. We made a plan to join them, but then it turned out to be one of those record setting hot days we've been having.
Did we want to sit outside when it was about 100 degrees?
We decided to go for it!

Here is the jazz band and featured singer in the dome.
We had a nice spot near the front.

Look at all the people who braved the heat to come and listen.

And here's our happy little group. We enjoyed the concert and the good time we had together - even in the heat!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cooking Thursday

There have been commercials for one of the pizza places, talking about a new type of pizza they are offering. Every time the ads came on, Bob remarked that it sounded good. It also sounded easy, so I tried my own version. We really liked it - hope you will too!
For more recipes, stop over at Sandra's place.

Garlic Toast Pizza

Garlic Toast - ready made in the freezer section
pizza sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese
pizza toppings of your choice

Prepare garlic toast as directed on package, cooking it on one side. Take it out to turn each slice over, then put on pizza sauce, cheese and pizza toppings. Return to oven, following instructions for the toast on the box.
Easy, quick and good!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

A little too much excitement

What a crazy morning we had Monday.
Monday is the day I work with the Dr, so I go in a little later than usual. Bob left before I did, and about 10 minutes later he called and said I might want to leave earlier than usual because there was a fire in town and the main road was backed up with fire trucks, etc.
As I was gathering my things, I got a call from my friend Nancy at work. The fire was just down the road from the nursing home, the road was blocked and I would have to park and walk in.
So - I took off, and parked at the Burger King about 5 minutes from the nursing home. I walked to the road the nursing home is on and this is what I saw:

Lots of fire trucks, police, ambulances and the tv stations, all lined up down the road.

Here is the house that was on fire, it doesn't look bad here, but the people that went through a little earlier had pictures with smoke coming out all the windows.

Several different fire departments came to assist.

Once I made it to work, I answered several phone calls from people who were concerned that the nursing home was on fire. It was crazy seeing our parking lot so empty and watching assorted staff come walking up the road.

We found out that the fire started in the attic. The family that lives there has small children, but everyone got out all right.

This is what it looked like when I left work. Lots of things were piked outside, and it looks like the roof sustained a lot of damage.
However, things can be replaced, glad the people are ok!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


(Our road, seen through my windshield on Thursday)

I've mentioned in several posts lately about the drought we have had. It hadn't rained here in over a month and there have been many prayers for rain.
Thursday we got rain! It rained for much of the day, one of those nice gentle rains that is so refreshing. We still need more, but are so thankful for the rain that fell.

"He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightening with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses."
Psalm 135:7

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back Yard Critters

Our backyard seems to be a popular place lately! Here's a few of the critters we've been seeing.

We've had lots more squirrels than usual.

Such a pretty pheasant.

This is a brave woodchuck. Usually they stay back by the trees, but this one was roaming around in the open.
We've also had a few chipmunks which irritates Bob, because they tunnel through the grass and flowers, but they sure are entertaining to watch.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cooking Thursday

Has it been as hot where you live as it has been here? If so - I have the perfect dessert for you. It's sooo good, and is really easy to make. I'm afraid you can't eat too much though - it's not exactly low cal!
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Decadent Toffee Ice Cream Dessert

28 oreo cookies, crushed
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 to 3/4 gallon Heath bar ice cream, softened
1 bag Heath Bits O'Brickle

Mix together melted butter and crushed oreos. Press into a 9x13 pan and place into freezer.
While crust is freezing take out ice cream to soften.
In the meantime, prepare topping.

8 squares semi sweet chocolate
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/3 cup evaporated milk

Combine ingredients in sauce pan, cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until thickened. Allow topping to cool.

Spread 1/2 of softened ice cream over crust. Return to freezer until topping is cooled.
Drizzle 1/4 to 1/3 of topping over ice cream. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of Heath bits over topping and place back in freezer.
After ice cream is somewhat hardened, spread rest of ice cream over top. Again return to freezer. When this layer of ice cream is hard, spread rest of chocolate topping over it. Sprinkle remaining Heath bits over topping and freeze until serving.

*If you aren't a fan of Heath, you can substitute Oreo ice cream and crushed oreos for the Heath.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wordless Wenesday

(My neighbors mailbox)

Monday, July 16, 2012

I got a Kindle (for free!)

After hearing lots of people talk about their Kindles, I got a Kindle Fire for myself!

I've been enjoying reading, playing games and listening to music on it.
To make it even better - I got the Kindle and case for free! (It would have cost me $240 to purchase)
I got it using Amazon gift certificates I earned on Swagbucks.
You may have seen previous posts I've done on this. Swagbucks is a website where you do searches, surveys, polls... to earn Swagbucks, that can be turned in for different things, including online gift certificates. I usually put mine towards Christmas gifts, but decided that I had enough to get something for myself. If you need more information, check out this post I did with instructions on how to earn Swagbucks yourself!
It's certainly worth checking into! Click on the box below to sign up and earn a few Swagbucks yourself!

Search & Win

Sunday, July 15, 2012

How dry I am...

It's been so dry here - no rain for a month. Every time rain is predicted, it goes over or around us. It's really hard on the farmers around here.
Our troubles are nothing compared to the farmers, but it's pretty hard on our flowers too. Bob is having a hard time keeping them all watered.

The Oak leaf hydrangea is already changing to pink and is looking wilted.

Excuse the blurry picture. We had a sprinkler going and this hummingbird was flying into the water every time the water came back over.

These garden phlox are doing ok in the shade.

The purple coneflowers are looking a bit bedraggled too.

We just got the birdbath and the birds have really been enjoying a place to splash around and drink.

You can really see that the flowers are the only part that gets watered. The grass is pretty dry and brown.
Praying that some rain falls this week!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tree Frog

Often when Bob is working outside, he'll come to the door or window and yell for me to come out with my camera. I never know what he's found but it's usually something good!
The other day he knocked on the window and when I went outside, this is what I saw.

It's a little tree frog! He was sitting in our hose holder and didn't seem to be at all worried about the person who kept pointing a camera in his face.

Don't you think he's kind of cute?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cooking Thursday

I've got another new recipe for you. It was a hit with all of us, especially Bob. (And - it's a healthy supper too!)
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Tamale Pie

1/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning, divided
1/4 teaspoon red pepper (optional)
1 can (14 3/4 oz) can cream style corn
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
4 ounce can chopped green chilies, drained
10 ounce red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup 2% shredded Co-jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine milk, egg, 1/2 tablespoon of the taco seasoning, red pepper, cream style corn, jiffy corm muffin mix and the green chilies in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour into round pie plate that has been coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes. While this is in the oven, toss the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning.
When corn bread is done - barely set and golden brown, pierce entire surface liberally with a fork (corn bread may stick a bit to the fork). Pour enchilada sauce over top, then spread chicken over that.
Sprinkle with cheese, bake 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let set for 15 minutes.

*8 pieces at 287 calories each

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Giveaway Results!

It's time to reveal the winner of the Bagger Dave's gift certificate. There were 35 entries, but some of them were from people who didn't have a Bagger Dave's in their area, so were just commenting. I decided that the easiest way to do it was to use all 35 entries, and if one of those numbers came up, I would start again.
As luck would have it, the first number to come up was number 6, which was Betsy of My Five Men. However, Betsy lives in Ohio and there are no Bagger Dave's there. Isn't that a bummer? Sounds like something I would do - win when I couldn't use the prize. :)
So - I started again. This time the random number generator came up with number 2.

Number 2 is Jennifer from Zaankali's Adventures. Jen is a friend of mine from church and I know her husband is going to love those burgers! Congratulations Jen!
Thanks to the rest of you for entering. I wish I could have given one to each of you. :)

Sticky Post

I have a giveaway going on right now for a gift certificate to Bagger Daves.
Go here to sign up. This giveaway ends on Monday evening, the 9th.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Heat Wave!

Like many of you, we have been under heat advisory's for much of the past week. I really can't remember a time that has been so hot and so dry.
The grass is so dry that is doesn't take much for a fire to start.
On Thursday and again on Friday, we had electrical transformers blow about a mile away from us, and grass fires started as a result.

We had driven by this area about 15 minutes earlier and then were quite shocked when we drove past later to see that there had been a fire! It shows how quickly a fire can happen in these dry conditions. A little further down the road is where the other transformer blew, and the fire was larger there.

This is hard to see, but it's a thermometer that shows the temp in our back yard. It's in direct sun and it always shows the temp hotter that it really is in the afternoon. This was taken Friday and it shows 122 degrees! I did see actual temps of 109 in town that afternoon. As I said earlier, I don't remember ever seeing temps that high.
It finally cooled on Sunday, with temps in the high 80's -feels so much better! It's supposed to be in the 80's this week, but then get hot again. In the meantime, we'll enjoy the temps a bit cooler and keep praying for rain.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fourth of July

I hope you all had a great holiday. It was extremely hot here and we had a relaxing morning.
Laura, Aaron and Alaina came over and had supper with us.
As usual, Alaina got lots of attention.

I was trying to get a picture of her in her red, white and blue outfit, but as I've said before, she doesn't stand still! She's also teething and her hand was always in her mouth. :)

After supper we decided to do an impromptu photo shoot to get a new family photo of them. We got some good pictures. Aren't they a cute family?

Then back into the house to cool off and have a little play time.

Laura had offered to bring dessert - check out the cake she made!

When she cut it, we found a flag inside. It tasted good too!