Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cooking Thursday

Time for another recipe!  This is one I just tried for the first time last week.  It was a hit with all of us.
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Crescent Pies

1 can crescent rolls
1 can pie filling
cinnamon sugar

Open crescent rolls, put a scoop of pie filling (I used apple) into each one.
Roll up crescent and place on baking sheet.
Sprinkle each crescent with cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned.
Serve with cool whip or ice cream.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bath time

Alaina enjoys playing in the tub. Here's a few pictures from last weeks visit to our house.

Concentrating on getting the little fish into the net.


 Looking cute, with her hair lathered up.

Having fun!


I love this picture!  There is nothing like snuggling a clean baby, fresh out of the tub. Alaina looks like she's enjoying herself too!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Winter is here!

We've had a most unusual winter in West Michigan this year. Until this past week, we've had only small amounts of snow. However, last week winter came with a vengeance.  We had very low temps - 1 degree one morning and 5 degrees the next.  Along with that came lots of snow.  Living near Lake Michigan, we are often hit with lake effect snow.  When the cold air goes over the warmer water, it picks up moisture which is then released in the form of snow when it hits land.  This week, it meant we got 16 inches of snow, from last Sunday through Saturday.  Lots of shoveling and slippery roads resulted!  Another result was lots of beauty!

This is my road.  My house is in the trees, just past that pine tree on the left.


The snow transforms the clothesline into something that looks like it came from Dr Seuss.

The lanterns that line our front path can hardly be seen.


This picture was taken out of a window at work.  The world looks black and white - and beautiful!

Friday, January 25, 2013


I used a random number integer online to chose a winner for the movie, Abel's Field.  It chose comment number 5.
The winner is Kat, of Just A Beachkat. Kat - please message me your address and the movie will be on it's way to you.
Thanks to all of you who signed up and congratulations to Kat!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

National Shag Dance

These two are the winners of the 2012 Junior Division National Shag dance competition.  He's 17, she's only 15.  They are both very talented, but the 17 year old is incredible.  The original description said his legs were like liquid magic, and it's true.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cooking Thursday

I tried a new recipe last week.  It's called Kentucky Hot Brown Bake.  It's a type of sandwich - turkey, bacon and cheese.  It was fairly quick to put together, but takes some time to cook, and then set before eating.  We all enjoyed it!  For more good food, stop over and see Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Kentucky Hot Brown Bake 

8 oz package refrigerated crescent rolls
1 lb. package smoked turkey lunch meat 
8 slices cooked bacon
8 slices Swiss cheese
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
4 eggs, beaten

Unroll the crescent dough and separate into 2 squares.Place one square in bottom of 8" pan that is greased or lined with parchment paper and press dough to fit pan.
Layer with half the turkey, bacon, cheese and tomatoes and pour half the eggs over the top.
Repeat the layers. Top with remaining dough square.
Pour remaining eggs over top.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, covered with foil. Remove foil and bake another 20-25 minutes.
Let sit at room temp for 15-20 minutes before serving.

You will need about an hour total to bake and let it set after baking.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

(beautiful sunset on Saturday)

Monday, January 21, 2013


I was given an opportunity to review this movie and then give a copy away to one of my readers.  I have to admit that I wasn't to sure if I would like this movie, but I was wrong.  We all really liked it!
The movie is Abel's Field starring Kevin Sorbo and Samuel Davis.  

About Abel's Field
Left motherless by tragedy and abandoned by his father, high school senior Seth McArdle (Samuel Davis) faces enormous pressure as he strives to support his little sisters. At school, he endures the daily bullying of the football team. But fighting back only finds him singled out for punishment and assigned to an after-school work detail under the supervision of the reserved groundskeeper, Abel (SOUL SURFER’S Kevin Sorbo). Much to his surprise, Seth discovers that Abel may be the only one who truly understands his struggles. As dark times lure Seth toward desperate measures, the reluctant Abel may be the one person who can point him back toward the light.
This movie caught our attention from the start, had us both cheering and sitting on the edge of our seat.  The story was excellent, as was the acting.  It's a rare movie, with a good moral and clean language.  If you have the opportunity, I strongly encourage you to rent or buy this one.  You can check out the trailer here.  It's available on digital or DVD on January 22.
You have a chance to win this movie.  Just leave a comment and I'll draw a winner on Friday.
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blogging friends are the best!

I have to share a few things I've found in my mailbox lately, courtesy of some sweet blogging friends.
This first one I should have shared earlier as it arrived in the end of December.  It came from my dear friend Jenny, of I'm Having A Thought Here.

This is a key fob, made and personalized for me by Jenny.   It's nice to pull out my keys and see this nice reminder of her!

She also sent this cute beaded bookmark.   She was kind enough to send these items for Laura and Heather as well.  Isn't she sweet?  Thanks Jenny!

On Saturday, this  knit dishcloth arrived arrived with a cute Cath Kidston note.  It's from Sandra of Diary of a SAHM.  She loves Cath Kidston things, so I recognized the note before I even looked at the back.  I don't know if you've ever used a knit dishcloth, but they are so much better than the ones you buy.
I think it may be too pretty to use though.  :)   Thanks Sandra!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winter Driving

Winter snow is beautiful to see, but not so fun to drive in!
We've had amazingly little snow this winter, but still a few days that felt a little bit like this.
Our weather predictions say we may be seeing some of this next week.
Hope you enjoy the clip!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cooking Thursday

I made a yummy and easy cake this weekend.  It's a recipe I've seen around for some time but never had a chance to try.  You've probably seen this recipe too, but just in case I'm sharing it.
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Better than Anything Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix (and any ingredients it requires)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk 
1 (16 oz) jar caramel topping 
1 (8 oz) container cool whip thawed to room temp
1 bag Heath toffee bits

Bake cake as directed on package in a 9x13 pan.
Let cool for 5 minutes, then poke holes in cake with the end of a wooden spoon.
While cake is still warm, drizzle condensed milk over cake, being sure to get some in all the holes.  Next drizzle the caramel topping over cake, making sure it gets in the holes too.
Let cool, then spread Cool Whip over top of cake.  Sprinkle toffee bits over top.
Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

It works!

I don't know about you, but shredding chicken isn't one of my favorite things to do.  It takes too long and I usually have other things to do with that time.
I read a tip somewhere that said you could easily shred chicken breast with your Kitchen Aid mixer, using the paddle blade.
I put 2 cooked breast in the bowl and turned it on low.  I watched it carefully because I didn't want ground chicken!  It took less than a minute and I had all this shredded meat.  I'll definitely be doing this again!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I just love this child!

People used to tell me how much I was going to love grandkids when they came around.I believed them, but it's one of those things you don't understand until it happens to you.  Now I get it!  I so enjoy spending time with Alaina and we all say we go into withdrawal if too much time goes by without seeing her.
We had her overnight again and that means you have to put up with more pictures from Grandma.  :-)

She's discovered climbing and our rocking chair.  She loves to rock and is pretty proud of herself as you can see by that grin.

She has an ongoing love affair with Oliver and he still tolerates her quite well.  She loves to pet and kiss him.   When she spots him, we hear "hi kiii".

Bob took this picture when we were all napping.  Alaina was settling down, when Oliver jumped up.  She had to put her hand out of the blanket so she could be touching him, then she fell asleep.  Bob put this on his facebook page with the title "Happiness is a warm, cuddly Grandma....   and a fuzzy kitty!"

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Testing Pinterest

I saw an idea on Pinterest about cleaning your stove grates.  Mine really needed some work.  I've put them through the dishwasher and tried to scrub them, but they never cleaned up too well.
This idea said to put them in a zip-loc bag with some ammonia.  You don't need much, the fumes work on the grime.

I used 2 gallon zip-loc bags and put 2 grates per bag with about 1/4 cup ammonia.  Then you seal it up tight and place it somewhere overnight.  Here mine are, sitting in the tub for the night.  (I wish I had thought to take a picture of them before I started.  You'll have to take my word that they looked pretty bad.

After sitting like this overnight, you were supposed to be able to just rinse them off and they would be clean.
Mine needed some scrubbing after being rinsed.  However, when I've scrubbed before, I never really got anywhere.  This time, the crud came off fairly easily.

Here's the after shot - all nice and clean!  I will definitely use this pin again.  Next time I think I will just put one grate for bag though.  I think they'll clean better.
I would recommend trying this one out!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cooking Thursday

I'm a big fan of freezer meals.  Because I work full time, it's a real blessing to have a few meals waiting in the freezer for those busy days.
I don't often do full days of cooking to make them.  I usually just make a double batch of something and put one in the freezer.  If you're doing one, it's so easy to double it!
This is one of the easiest recipes ever.  You just throw it together in a freezer bag, and put it in the crock pot to cook.  The ribs were very tasty and tender.
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Freezer Friendly Slow Cooker Spare Ribs 

1-2 lbs of country-style pork ribs
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 1/2 Tablespoons seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar

Place pork in resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl and pour over pork. Mix together in bag and zip closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on low for 7-8 hours

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013


When Andy came home for Christmas, he took a box along with him.  It was a box of MRE's or meals, ready to eat from his last training mission.  They were left over and he was allowed to take them.
He had a few varieties that he opened so we could check them out.

Here's the way they are packaged.  It says on the package that they are warfighter approved. but according to Andy, they aren't well liked.

This top piece is supposed to be a BBQ rib, under that is some sort of bread.  Andy made me taste the bread and I thought it was awful!  I wouldn't be too thrilled to eat these, but I guess if it's all you have you'll eat it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Making Quarantine fun

This past weekend was my weekend to work.  We continue with the flu at our facility, although most of our residents are getting better.  We did lose one of our sweet ladies, who had really been declining lately and just couldn't handle another sickness.  One of our men is in the hospital and he's also not doing well.
In the meantime, we continue to be quarantined, and although many of our residents are confused and don't necessarily  realize they haven't had visitors, some are really missing their loved ones.  
We've all had to wear these lovely masks with any care. Today the aides decided to decorate a few masks and give the residents some laughs.  They're pretty creative, don't you think?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Get well soon...

It's been quite a week!
First I have to thank all of you who've been praying for my Dad.  I told you about the issues he was having with his heart.  They did the ablation on Monday which ended up taking about 3 hours because they had to do a few areas.  His heart rate and rhythm immediately improved and they were planning to send him home on Wednesday.  However, on Tuesday night the fibrillation came back and meds weren't helping.
They planned to do another procedure on Thursday, but while they were prepping him, his heart converted to a regular rhythm.  After watching him for the day, he was sent home.
He's on several new meds which are supposed to help.  He's very weak from spending a week in bed and is somewhat anxious about having the problem come back so I would really appreciate your continued prayers.
In other news, it's been crazy at work too.  We have several cases of confirmed type A influenza there.  This is the type of flu that is supposed to be prevented by the flu shot.  The residents that got the flu have all had the shot.  We now have the health department involved and apparently the state will now be reviewing each of our positive results along with the lot number of the flu shot we used.
As you can imagine, flu in a nursing home isn't a good situation.  Our little, old people get quite sick.  We are under quarantine and are trying to keep our residents in their rooms so it doesn't spread any further.  We're wearing masks and going through lots of hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies.
So far the staff has remained healthy, hopefully we stay that way!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cooking Thursday

I tried a new recipe this week.  This is one I got from Pinterest and it was as good as promised!  The picture below doesn't do it justice, you'll just have to trust me.  :)  It makes a 9x13 pan, and I think the leftovers taste even better than the first time around.
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Two Timin' Pasta Bake

1 box penne pasta
15 ounce jar alfredo sauce
24 ounce jar marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on box and drain.
Stir together 2 jars of sauce.  Add mozzarella and stir to combine, then stir in the pasta and toss to coat.
Pour into 9x13 baking pan and place in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until bubbly.   Sprinkle Parmesan over all and return to oven for another 5 minutes.
That's all there is to it - enjoy!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas review

Hope you all enjoyed time with family and friends over Christmas.  We had a great time with Andy home from Monday till Thursday.  Here's a few pictures from our family party.  Of course, Alaina was the center of attention.

 She had fun ripping paper

She enjoyed her new doll

Uncle Andy spoiled her with Butterscotch the pony.  This thing almost seems alive, it moves, whinnies and senses movement near it.  It turns it's head to look at you.  She liked it until it whinnied which scared her, but now she's getting used to it again and has been kissing it.

I had this cute owl hat made for her.

I always want some pictures in front of the tree.  Usually the kids give me a hard time but this year they cooperated.

But, Bob and I did a little goofing off!

Here's my kids: Aaron, Laura, Alaina, Heather and Andy.  What a great bunch!