Thursday, August 29, 2013

Car vs cows!

A friend posted this clip on Facebook and  I thought it was pretty funny.  It's only a little over 2 minutes long and  I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cooking Thursday

The recipe I'm sharing with you today is one I got from someone I used to work with. You know those potlucks are the best place to get recipes!  This is easy to throw together and is colorful, fresh and tasty!

Italian Vegetable Pasta Salad

8 ounces uncooked tri-color pasta
1 1/2 cup broccoli florets
3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup cubed Monterey Jack Cheese
1 1/4 cup Wishbone Robusto Italian Dressing *

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water until cooled.   In large bowl combine all ingredients except dressing and mix well.  Add 1 cup dressing and stir together.
Refrigerate overnight.  Before serving, stir in additional 1/4 cup of dressing.
* Using this specific flavor makes a big difference in how the salad tastes.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

(Keeping the walk mowed)

Monday, August 26, 2013


You may read the title of this post and wonder - What is a Zutphen?
Zutphen is a place!  It's a small rural community in West Michigan a few minutes from the farm I grew up on.  It may seem like a strange name, but the name comes from the Netherlands.  This area was home to many immigrants from the Netherlands (including my great, great grandpa who came to this area in 1867.  These immigrants named their communities after the areas they came from in the Netherlands. Therefore we have places named - Holland, Zeeland, Vriesland, Drenthe, Overisel and Zutphen which are all in close proximity.
Imagine my surprise when I started reading a blog that was written by someone in the Netherlands and she did a post about her city - which was Zutphen!    Susanna Redeker of Susi-Art is a talented artist who shares some wonderful drawings on her blog.  She asked some time back that I share pictures of my Zutphen and I'm finally getting around to doing that.   Her Zutphen is a bustling city, mine is more of a crossroads in the country!

Here we are approaching that crossroad.  As you see, it's a country road without much around.

There are lots of open fields.

And plenty of corn!

Even the cemetery is not very large.  My Mom is buried here, along with many other relatives.
When I was young, this house was next to our church and was used as the parsonage (where the minister lived).  When a new church building and parsonage was built, this house was moved and restored inside and out, to it's former glory.  It was opened to the public under the name 'The Dominie House'.  (Dominie means minister).  They accepted reservations for small groups, gave tours of the home and served a wonderful meal to the guests.  I was able to go through it and enjoy the visit several times.  It's now a private home.

This little building was a small store when I was young.  I remember stopping here with my parents to buy a few things from a lady named Fanny, and thinking that was a crazy name.  (Isn't it funny the things you remember?)  This store closed when I was very young and I don't know how the building is used now, but it's nicely kept up.

This is the only business in Zutphen.  It sells farm equipment, which is fitting since the area surrounding it is farmland.

The only other public building in Zutphen is this church.  This is the church I grew up in.  It was built when I was in Junior High, so I spent many hours here!  I was married in this church and it holds good memories for me.

This is the house I lived in until I was 12.  It's the house my dad and his siblings were born in.  It's been moved from the spot it was in for all those years, and I'm sad to see the condition it is now in.

This is the house my parents built when I was 12.  My Dad and stepmom still live here.  It's not truly in the little community of Zutphen but is very close and I thought I would include it as I shared about the other areas from my childhood.  I now live about 20 minutes from here.
Hope you enjoyed seeing this small community that means a lot to me!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

32 years and counting!

Last week Bob and I celebrated our 32nd anniversary! It's hard to believe it's been that long, when it feels like only a few years.

We went out with the family to celebrate both the anniversary  and our son-in-law Aaron's birthday.  Because it was a busy Friday night, we decided to check out the new 5 Guys restaurant in town, and take the food to a local park to eat.  There was quite a line, but they moved us through quickly.

Here we are at the park, enjoying those burgers and fries.


We had never been to this park, and we enjoyed the flowers and a pretty little creek that wound through it.

Alaina was happier with the play equipment than the flowers.   :)


Some mother/daughter fun!


Checking out the swings...


And even the big slide.


God has truly blessed us with these years together and a wonderful family.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fun website

I found this fun website where you can upload a picture, and then add the words you want to use to make the picture up.  You can change colors, fonts, styles... to make it how you want it to look.
I used a picture I took of Alaina and words that described her.
To try it for yourself, go here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cooking Thursday

The recipe I'm sharing today is one of our families all time favorites. Everyone likes it and it's an easy one to make.  Enjoy!

 Chicken Enchiladas

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 ounce can of diced green chilies, with juice
3/4 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
2 cups shredded, cheddar cheese, divided
10 large flour tortillas
1/3 cup milk

Melt butter; add onion and garlic and saute. Stir in green chilies, sour cream and soup. Remove 3/4 cup of sauce and set aside. Add chicken and 1/2 cup of cheese. Fill tortillas with chicken mix and roll up. Place in greased 9X13 pan, seam side down.
Add milk and 1/2 cup cheese to remaining sauce. Pour over enchiladas. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese over top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Serve with green onions, sour cream and salsa if desired.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Good Morning!

The other morning I was driving to work, when I saw a flash of something so bright red that I thought there was something on fire behind the trees. After driving a few more feet, I realized it was the sun coming up.
Since I was by myself on a gravel road, I grabbed my camera and took a few pictures.





Good Morning - it's a beautiful day!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Country Fun!

We have a family tradition that's been going on since I was a kid.  Every year, a small community near the area I grew up in has a chicken BBQ.  I remember going to it as a kid.  My Dad has continued this, inviting any family members who are available and getting supper for all of us.
The chicken is always good, but I love going and seeing people I know and having a good time with family.  This event always makes me think of small town America.  I've got a bunch of pictures to share and you can let me know if you agree!

They have a community band that's always playing while we wait in line.  They play lots of old songs and many patriotic ones too.


Here's a whole bunch of the family.  My brother, 2 sisters and most of their families were all able to come.  The only ones missing were Laura and Aaron at another reunion, Andy in Tennessee and my niece Katelyn who had to work.

After we got done eating, we visited the animals in the petting zoo.   




This was a talented pot bellied pig.  He did all sorts of tricks.


This goat was only 2 weeks old


How do you like the curls on this sheep?


"What you looking at?"


After the animals, was a car show...


I thought this was a pretty nice truck!


And in the country - you look at tractors too!



Thanks Grandpa and Grandma for a fun night!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The old fashioned way

Last week I was driving home when I came across something that isn't seen often around here.  I live in an area where there are lots of farmers, and I grew up on a farm myself.  I see lots of tractors and big equipment being used to take care of hay.  Often it's put into huge rolls that can be left in the fields.
What I saw this day was an older man out in this field with a rake.  The hay had been cut and left to dry, and he was raking it into these mounds.  
It reminded me of how much physical labor people used to do in their day to day life.  I can't imagine how long it would take to do a whole field like this.  Since this man looked elderly, I'm glad this field wasn't too big!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cooking Thursday

We had a group of friends over this past weekend. I served pulled pork and this salad, and everyone liked it. I always get asked for this recipe when I bring it somewhere, so I decided it needed to be shared here.

 Corn Bread Salad
1 pkg (8.5 oz) corn bread/muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground oregano
Mix all of above and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool.

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 envelope ranch salad dressing
Mix to make dressing.

1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a 9x13 glass pan or a large glass bowl, crumble half of the corn bread. Spread half of the dressing over bread. Layer with half the beans, corn, tomatoes, pepper, onion, cilantro and cheese. Repeat layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Blueberries are in season here.  When I stopped to get some, this cool old truck was in the parking lot.  Isn't it a beauty?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blogging friends

Have you had the chance to meet some of your blog friends in person?  I've had the chance to do that quite a few times, and this past week I got to meet another friend!
This is my friend Kim and her husband Ivan.  Her blog is Just a Southern Girl, and if you visit her there, you'll hear about her life in Argentina.  Ivan and Kim are missionaries there, but are here in the United States on furlough until October.  I was really happy to get a note from her that they would be in my area and would be able to meet for coffee.
Kim and Ivan were both as nice in person as I expected from reading the blog.  We caught up on life here and in Argentina, kids, grandkids (they are expecting their first in a few months), home projects and even quilting - which she has a real talent for!
We had such fun talking that time got away from me, and it was time to go. I know that when they come to the States, their schedule is really full and I really appreciate them taking time out to meet me. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A day at the beach

My sister Terri has been camping in Grand Haven and invited me out for the day. This is a campground we've camped at too and I always enjoy spending time there.  Here's a few pictures from my day.

This gazebo overlooks the lake and the flowers around it are so pretty!


Beautiful Lake Michigan!


Looking up at the gazebo from the beach area.


It was a cloudy day, but the sun came out in the afternoon and it warmed right up.  My sister Cheri came also and we had a good time together.  We also found a few cousins camping there and had a great time catching up with them!  
We are blessed to live about 20 minutes from Lake Michigan and it was nice to spend the day enjoying it.