Thursday, August 30, 2012

Friday fun

Here's a cute video for you to enjoy today. It's less than 30 seconds and will put a smile on your face!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cooking Thursday

I don't know about you, but we don't normally have a big breakfast. Bob eats frozen waffles or cereal and I usually have a couple of boiled eggs. However, every other week, when I have Sunday off I try to make something a little nicer. Sunday mornings can be a little busy, so finding a recipe like the one I'm sharing today is a plus. This French Toast Bake is made the night before and just needs to be popped in the oven. It's yummy and is just as good when it's reheated the next day!
For more recipes visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

French Toast Bake

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 loaf Texas Toast
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling

Melt butter and add brown sugar, stir until mixed.
Pour butter sugar mix into bottom on 7x11 mix and spread.
Beat eggs, milk and vanilla together.
Lay a single layer of Texas toast in pan.
Spoon half of egg mixture over bread.
Add 2nd layer of Texas Toast and spoon rest of egg mixture over it.
Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over top.
Refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

When serving, place upside down on the plate, so none of the delicious caramel goodness on the bottom is lost! The recipe says to serve it with warm syrup, but we thought it was sweet enough on it's own. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Green Again

After an extremely hot and dry summer, we've had some rain in the last few weeks.
Our flowers are so much happier!

The back of our yard with some cheerful Black Eyed Susans.

The hydrangea bush in the side yard is loaded with flowers!

These flowers start out white, and as Fall approaches they get more and more pink. Most of them are still white but a few are starting to turn.

The back yard is green again!

"He covers the sky with clouds, he supplies the earth with rain and the grass grows again."
Psalm 147:8

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Walking the Pier

One of our favorite places is the pier in Grand Haven. We haven't been there as often as we like this year, but last week the weather was beautiful and the pier was calling!

It's a beautiful walk, with the channel on one side...

and sand on the other!

Looking ahead, we see the lighthouse and a gorgeous sailboat.

Blue skies and sunshine, along with a little breeze - what a perfect day!

Here's the back of the lighthouse.

And here it is from the front.

Looking through the catwalk, on our way back.

I've said it before, but we are so blessed to live near Lake Michigan!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pink alert!

A friend of mine is going to be a grandma for the first time soon. I was invited to a baby shower and had to share some of the cuteness with you.

It's a girl! See all the pink in these gifts? We all thought the one bag was packaged so cute, using a pink boa instead of tissue paper in the bag.

We had pink and purple cupcakes - yum!

Is this not the cutest fruit salad?

Here is the mom to be, playing one of the games. It was the "sniff the diaper game". This version involved putting baby food into a diaper and trying to guess what kind of food it was. As you can imagine, there was lots of laughter during this!

I think the experience I've had with baby food lately was helpful, because I won the game!

My prize was this beautiful piece of pottery. Doesn't it look nice in my dining room?

We had such fun playing games, eating and showering that baby with love!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cooking Thursday

I'm sharing another Freezer meal today. I just love these - make one to eat and one to freeze, and it's so good to have a meal in the freezer. This is another one that's easy to throw together, and then it goes into the crock pot the day you want to eat it.
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Mexican Beef Tips

Spice mix:
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/w teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Meat mix:
3 pounds beef stew meat
2 onions, chopped coarsely
2 green peppers, cut into strips
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes

Blend spices together in a small bowl.
Coat stew meat lightly with flour, and divide between 2 gallon freezer bags. Divide seasoning mix between each bag, then onions, peppers and tomatoes.
Shake ingredients to mix them and freeze.

To prepare:
Thaw completely. Place in crock pot and cook on low for 8-9 hours, until meat is tender.
Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

The 21st is our anniversary and we've been married for 31 years!
It's hard to believe, because I remember that day so well, and it doesn't seem nearly that long ago, but at the same time it seems like forever. (In a good way)
We were young when we got married. I was 20 and Bob was 23. We thought we knew everything, and had our future planned out.
Now here we are so many years later. Bob has less hair and I've gotten more fluffy. :)
We've learned that while marriage isn't always easy, it's sure worth working for. God has taken care of us through each day, leading us through some trials, but also blessing us so much!
I'm thanking Him today for the wonderful husband He gave me.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Take me out to the ball game

Last week Bobs work invited us to go to a Whitecaps game. The Whitecaps are our local minor league baseball team. His workplace has taken us there for the last few years. They get a special covered area reserved, and we get supper along with the game.

The Whitecaps games are always fun. There is so much activity along with the game. This night was Super Hero night, so the announcer was dressed as a Super Hero and you can see him in this picture, standing at the top of the stadium.
They do something fun each inning, which usually includes little kids out on the field having a great time.

Of course - there is a ball game to watch as well!

On this night, there was also a Nascar racing car to see.

This happens to be the car of Bobs favorite driver - Matt Kenseth.

It was nice to see the car and its trailer.
We had a good supper and a fun time!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Testing Pinterest...

I love Pinterest! There are so many good recipes, tips and ideas there. I don't know about you, but I have a lot of boards filled with things I've never tried. I decided it was time to test a few things out.
For my first test, I tried this tip for cleaning the top of your oven. It was actually meant for the smooth oven top. I have a gas stove, so it's not smooth, but I figured I could make it work, by removing the grates and flame units.
The tip said to liberally sprinkle baking soda over the entire cooktop. Take a bowl of hot, soapy water and submerge a few rags in it. Squeeze about half the water out, so the rags are good and wet, but not dripping. Lay the rags over the baking soda and let sit for about 15 minutes.

(If I had been thinking I would have taken pictures before this point, but you'll have to take what I have)
After 15 minutes, take the towel and swirl it around in the baking soda, making a paste. Scrub the cook top, rinse it and dry it.

Here's the finished product. It looks good!
My review? It cleaned well, although there are still a few spots that I just can't get off. It was messy, and hard to get all the baking soda off. Next time I won't be quite as liberal in my sprinkling. The other thing to know, is that it dries your hands out. Have lotion ready when you are done. However - it's a cheap and natural way to clean your cook top and it really did work well.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cooking Thursday

Time for another recipe and it's a good one!
This is one of the easiest Chicken and rice dishes I've made, and it's one the freezes too! It has wild rice and almonds which makes it a little fancier than the chicken and rice I usually make.
I doubled the recipe to make two pans; I froze one and cooked the other. We all really liked it and I can see that it's going to be a regular on my menu.
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Chicken and Wild Rice

1 box Uncle Bens wild rice with seasoning packet
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can water
6 pieces boneless skinless, raw chicken - I used 3 large breasts, cut in half
1 cup slivered almonds

Mix together rice with seasoning packet, soups and water.
Place into 7x11 pan and top with chicken pieces.
Sprinkle almonds over top.
Wrap, sealing tightly with heavy duty foil and freeze.
Thaw and bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour, until juices run clear and rice is tender.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Going hunting!

Alaina was over again this weekend, and I'll spare you from the scads of pictures I took. I just had to share these few from the big game hunt that took place quite regularly while she was here.
At the sound of Olivers bell, Alaina would stop what she was doing and look for him, then take off trying to catch him.
Grandpa was often willing to help in this hunt.

Here they had followed Oliver from the dining room, into the living room.

Sometimes you have to squeeze into small places to chase your prey.

Thankfully, Grandpa is a pretty good big game catcher!
The hunt usually ended with Oliver getting a kiss and a little rub.
We've decided Oliver is getting used to her, he doesn't run from her like he used to, and often flopped down right near her, although I do think he probably enjoys the peace he gets when she goes home.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A walk in the park

The Grand River is about 1 1/2 miles from my house. Our County purchased property there and put in a park about a year ago. I was there last year, but since then they have completed their work, which included putting in some walking trails. I went to walk there with my sister last week, and took my camera to share some pictures.

The park sits between the river and the Bayou. This is the Bayou side.

And here is the river.

The trails start with a paved path under the overpass, to get to the wooded area.

Starting the trail with wildflowers and an arching vine.

We came around a curve and came upon all this bamboo. It's not something we see often around here and I've heard it can be quite invasive. I guess this shows that it is, but we enjoyed seeing it.

Every so often, we would get a glimpse of the river - so near to us but usually blocked by trees.

Wildflowers and berries dotted the trails.

This is what much of our walk looked like - a winding path through the woods.

And the trails finish, back where we started at the river.
What a beautiful walk!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


There is a house not far from me that planted a bunch of sunflowers. I pass them nearly every day and they make me smile.

Isn't this a cheerful flower?

Here's the whole patch of them. I think sunflowers are like country folk - not pretentious, but mellow, homey and upright!