Thursday, January 30, 2014

100 years old!

In my line of work, I spend time with lots of older people. Sometimes they are absolutely delightful, as is the case with this lady. She came on the Tonight show when she was 100 years old. I saw that she celebrated her 102nd birthday last June by base jumping off a bridge in Idaho. Check out this clip - I know you'll enjoy her!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cooking Thursday

Today's recipe is perfect for all this snowy weather. I made it last week when I wanted soup but didn't have much time before I had to have supper ready.  It's a recipe I got from a friend who made it for a group of us and we all enjoyed it.  It basically involves opening cans and heating it up, which doesn't sound very appetizing, but I can assure you that it's really good.
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Chicken Taco Soup
1 - 13 ounce can chicken
1 - 11 ounce can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 - 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 - 4 ounce can green chilies
1 - 15 ounce can kidney beans
1 - 15 ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 - 11 ounce can corn
1 package taco seasoning
1 package ranch dressing mix
Put contents of all cans, including liquids in crock pot. The only exception is the black beans(Drain them and then stir in with the rest).  Stir in taco seasoning and ranch dressing mix.  Heat on low for about 4 hours.
If you want this ready in a hurry, just put ingredients in pan and heat.
Serve with cheese and taco chips.  Yum!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Unstoppable; Movie review and giveaway
Did you ever watch the show Growing Pains?  One of the characters was Mike Seaver, played by Kirk Cameron.  He is now 42 years old and is an evangelical Christian.  He's worked on several Christian films, including the movie Fireproof and Monumental.
The movie Unstoppable, was inspired by the death of Kirk's friend Matthew Sandgren, who was only 15 years old when he died of cancer.  It brought up the question we've all heard before - Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?
He goes to The source - the Bible and starts at the beginning in this documentary, talking about the first sin and where God is in the middle of tragedy.

This movie was released for a one night showing in September and after a record setting attendance, it was shown another night.  In just two nights this independent project sent a loud message – audiences want thought-provoking and meaningful entertainment. We really wanted to go but were unable to go either night.  I was really happy to get this offer to review the DVD, which is being released on January 28. We strongly recommend that you watch it!
I'm also able to give one DVD away to one of my readers. If you'd like to be entered for a chance to win, just leave a comment here and a way for me to contact you if you are chosen.  I'll post the winner on Saturday.

* Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

 "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 26, 2014

Enough, already!

You are probably sick of reading about winter, but it seems to be never ending here and I, for one am pretty sick of it!    I've never been a fan of winter.  I seem to be cold all the time, I hate driving in the snow and I hate worrying about my kids driving in it too. Usually though, we have a storm and then some decent weather so the roads can clear.  This year, it seems to be one storm after another with lots of really cold weather, and I have to admit it's getting to me. I've been quite a sight in the evening; a blanket on my legs, fingerless gloves on my hands and a scarf around my neck. I can't seem to stay warm, but it does provide entertainment for my family.
 I know that a lot of you are dealing with the same or worse though, and I'm reassuring myself that January is nearly done!

Anyway - we have had more bad weather this weekend.  When I got groceries on Friday, it was apparent that people were preparing to be stuck at home.

The milk was being bought up.

And so was the bread!
The winds were gusting and the temperature with wind chill factor was -20.  My brother-in-law Mark took this picture showing the white out conditions making driving difficult.
Of course I was scheduled to work this weekend and in my job, you can't just call in. We got about a foot of snow Friday night, and there were drifts about 3 feet high in the road. I took Bob's vehicle because it's 4 wheel drive and made it in, but it was a harrowing drive. 
This is what some of the drifting looks like. A friend took this picture in a neighboring town - yes, there is a house back there!
There was more blowing and icy roads on Sunday and as I type this, it's snowing again!
It's good for me to remind myself that God is in control, even when I don't care for the outcome.
"He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour'."
Job 37:6

Thursday, January 23, 2014

100 years of syle

I found this cute little video that goes through 100 years of style in 100 seconds.  It was made to celebrate the grand opening of a shop in London.  It's fun to see the change of fashion through the years.  I think that although clothes are easier to care for and probably more comfortable, the styles were classier 100 years ago.   What do you think?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cooking Thursday

We had some friends over this past week for a light supper.  There are 3 other couples and we take turns hosting, and usually serve some type of bun or sandwich.  I decided to make these roast beef  buns.  They are easy to make, can be done ahead and kept warm in a crockpot and have a wonderful flavor!
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Roast Beef Buns

4-6 pound roast
1 pkg dry onion soup
1 family size can cream of mushroom soup
Cut roast into chunks and put into roasting pan or 9X13 pan. Sprinkle dry soup over meat and pour mushroom soup over all. Seal pan with foil. Bake for 3 hours at 350 degrees, stirring every hour. Fork apart and serve on buns.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Simply Homemade

About a month ago I saw something on sale at our local grocery story that I thought would be a good thing to try out.   It was a bread mix that requires no kneading and promises to be done in less than an hour.  It cost $2.38.  

Last week I made soup for supper and thought some "homemade" bread would taste good with it.
It comes with a flour mix, a small envelope of yeast and a small envelope of sugar.  You start by stirring the yeast with some warm water and adding the sugar.  After waiting a few minutes for it to start foaming, you stir in the flour mix, then turn it out onto a cookie sheet, cover and let it rise for 25 minutes.  It doesn't double in size but does rise a little, then it's baked for 25 minutes.

Here's the finished product!  It really was done in less than an hour - about 55 minutes.  It had a crispy crust and a soft center.  We thought it was really good and I'll be getting it again.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Fun weekend

We had a nice weekend - hope you all did too! I have to work every other weekend, but because the weekend I work just changed, I've worked the last two weekends. We usually have Alaina overnight for a night on my weekend off, but it's been several weeks due to this weekend change and the fact that she was sick the last time she was supposed to come. We said we were suffering from Alaina withdrawal! So, we were so happy to spend some time with our little sweetheart.

As usual, her first order of business when she walks into the house is to find "Owiver" (Oliver).  As you can see by these pictures, she's pretty happy to be holding him but his face isn't quite as joyful.

Alaina is so fun at this age.  She's showing so much more personality; she likes to tease us by holding something out to us and then pulling it back while laughing, "roaring" in the back seat of the car to scare us and calling "Grandma, Grandpa or "Heder" (Heather) in a funny voice.
She's also learned how to use the apps on my Kindle.  I put a few games on it that Laura said she enjoyed.  I was amazed at the ability of a 2 year old to choose which app she wants and play these games.  
We also stopped to see great grandma - Bob's mom, and great grandpa - my Dad.  We had lunch at Wendy's and she was thrilled to have fries and a burger.  It was a fun time for all of us!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The People vs. Winter

With all the snow and ice we've had around here lately, Facebook has been filled with pictures and videos of winter.  Here is one that caught my aye and made me laugh.  A few of these scenarios look a little too familiar.  In spite of what could be dangerous, I'm happy to say I've heard of no car accidents or falls with injuries. 
Hope you enjoy this little clip!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cooking Thursday

We had our small group from church over last week.  I served these apple dumplings and everyone loved them.  I got the recipe a few years ago from the Pioneer Woman - everything she makes is good!  Anyway, this is a simple way to make apple dumplings and I know you'll like them too.
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Apple Dumplings
2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 small can Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

Scrub review plus a sale!

I've been a nurse for over 30 years now (and that makes me feel pretty old!). Our attire has really changed in that time. When I first started working, it was in a hospital on the ortho/neuro unit. We wore white uniforms and always had to wear our nursing caps. While this is a nice, professional look, it wasn't very realistic in real life. I was always bumping that cap into the trapeze bar or the parts of some traction set up.  The white uniforms would get dingy from washing in hard water, or stained from any number of things we would get into in this line of work.  It wasn't long before they went to scrub uniforms in the maternity and nursery section of the hospital, a benefit I that enjoyed when I would get pulled to those areas.
By the time I started working in the nursing home, which has now been over 20 years, everyone was wearing Nurse scrubs.  They are comfortable, wash well, don't stain and are reasonably priced.  Scrubs have continued to be improved as time has passed.  They are now available in many colors, patterns and styles.
One of my favorite brands of scrubs are Cherokee Scrubs.  They contacted me recently to review a new type of scrub, the Cherokee Flexible Scrub.

This is the scrub top I received, except it's navy blue. This top features side panels that are made of a stretchy material, which gives a nice freedom of movement.  I've found Cherokee uniforms to run true to size and this one is no exception.  The color stayed bright after washing and there has been no shrinkage.  It's a top I really like.  The only thing that I don't like about it are the pockets.  There are little tabs that come over the pockets and fasten with buttons.  I use my pockets for a pen, keys for the med cart, a highlighter... , all things I use frequently, so buttoning the pockets isn't very convenient.  That wouldn't stop me from ordering this scrub though.
If you wear scrubs, I recommend these!  Go here to check them out, and then get 15% off from now through April by using the code "trueblue" at checkout.
If you want more information on these scrubs, you can find it here:
Twitter: @uniformedscrubs

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What a difference a few months makes!

Those of you who've read my blog for any amount of time, know that we love to go to Grand Haven and walk the pier. Lake Michigan is always so pretty in the summer!
Here's a picture I took last summer on a quiet day.
 After the crazy weather we had last week, someone posted these pictures of how the pier and the lighthouse in Grand Haven look now.

The Grand Haven Front Lighthouse, covered in ice.

The pier is frozen over, battered by spray from Lake Michigan and heavy snow.

Ice has collected on everything, including the catwalk.

The wind has sculpted the ice into beautiful structures.

Frozen water clings to the catwalk.

The pier and rear lighthouse blend in with the frozen lake.

I hope there is no emergency!

Good luck using this life preserver!

The lake itself is covered with thick ice for some distance from the shore.
We had a little warmer weather this weekend and even some rain, but the cold and snow is predicted to be returning this week.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Magical Piano

Grand Rapids is home to a young man named Rob Bliss, who is very creative.  While in college he started setting up some amazing things that generated a lot of publicity.  He is now the owner of a marketing firm and is still doing fun things - like a giant water slide, a huge downtown pillow fight,a lib dub video about Grand Rapids that I shared here and more.
His latest project is a fun one that he set up in Chicago's Union Station just prior to Christmas.  I think it made a lot of travelers smile, and I know you'll smile too!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cooking Thursday

I made an appetizer for Christmas Eve this year, that was such a hit, I made it again on New Years Eve. It came from the Pioneer Woman who always makes good food, and then was posted by my friend Melissa, so I knew it would be good! On top of that, it's mainly bacon so Bob was sure to like it.  :)
This seems like a crazy combination, but I promise you, they are yummy.   For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Bacon Appetizers

1 package Club crackers
1 pound thin sliced bacon, cut in half
*grated Parmesan cheese or brown sugar

1.  Lay crackers face up on a baking sheet with a cooking rack on it.

2.  Top each cracker with either a teaspoon of Parmesan cheese or a teaspoon of brown sugar.

3.  Carefully wrap the half slice of bacon around each cracker, making sure the topping doesn't fall off.  The bacon should completely cover the cracker.

4.  Place the bacon wrapped crackers back on the cooking rack.

5.  Place in a 250 degree oven for 2 hours, until the bacon is crispy.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

*I only used brown sugar, as Melissa said they liked that best.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

Baby, it's cold outside!

Like many of you, we've been dealing with some pretty crummy weather for the last few days. We've had record setting cold temperatures, and along with that blizzard conditions on Monday.
This is pretty accurate today.  I don't think there was a school around that was open, the universities in the area were also closed.  As the day went on, businesses were closing.  I was at work and the pharmacy that serves us closed early and the lab was unable to come for our blood draws.  At this time, all the schools and colleges are closed again tomorrow.
Here's how things look around here.
This is the main street in our town.

Snow, wind and cold!

Whiteout conditions! 
 I was happy to make it to work today, and then happy to make it back home.
We got about 12 inches of snow since Sunday.  The temperature right now is -3 degrees and tomorrow the high is supposed to be 5.  I have to go to work again tomorrow so it'll probably be another nail biting drive. I'm thankful that I don't have to drive too far.

Here's a little winter humor to go with the cold temperatures.  :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Grand Rapids is the home of the Whitecaps, a minor league ball team that's affiliated with the Detroit Tigers. They have a beautiful ball park and we usually go to a game with Bob's work every summer.
I was driving to the grocery store on Friday when I heard that the Whitecaps ball park was on fire!

Looking across Grand Rapids, you can see the fire for miles.


The exit off the highway.


The part that burned was where souveniers and food was sold.  There were also private boxes for watching the game and offices.  Apparently the fire was started by a space heater.  There were 30 people working who all got out without injury.

As the smoke lifts, you can see the damage.


The extreme cold made the job of putting out the fire much more difficult.


The work of rebuilding will begin soon - they play to start playing in April.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

White Christmas

Earlier this week, I told you about the ice storm we had.  We've also had record setting snow lately.  We just had the 7th snowiest December on record.  I'm hoping January is better!
Here's a short video taken on Christmas about 20 minutes from my house.  You may recognize the pier and lighthouse that I often share in the summer.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Cooking Thursday

I got this yummy recipe from my daughter Laura and made it for Christmas afternoon. I haven't been a big fan of Bruschetta, but this version is soooo good! Try it - I know you'll like it! For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.


Cream Cheese Bruschetta
24-48 slices of French Bread, cut 1/4 inch thick
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
Brush slices of bread lightly with oil an bake at 350 degrees until lightly toasted.
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cream cheese (softened)
¾ tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 garlic clove, minced
Mix all ingredients together until combined
3 – 4 Roma or plumb tomatoes, chopped
½ c. Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, snipped
Mix all ingredients together in bowl.

To serve, spread cream cheese mix on French Bread slice, then top with tomato mix.   So good!