Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day to my American friends.
I hope the rest of you aren't laboring too hard today!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Haying season

 This field is down the road from my house.  It's on it's second round of haying.  I love seeing the hay cut and left in rows to dry before it's baled.  It smells wonderful (although it's not good for my allergies!)  That smell brings back memories of time on the farm, when I was just a girl.

 The wagon waits at the edge of the field, and will soon be filled with bales of hay.

The beauty of this field extends to the edges of it, where wild flowers grow in abundance.  Such a pretty place to walk!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cooking Thursday

I tried a new lasagne recipe last week. It's one that's made in the crockpot, so it doesn't cut into the nice squares like a regular recipe, but it was very easy to make and tasted wonderful!
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

 Crockpot Lasagne

2 lbs cooked ground hamburger meat
1/2  onion chopped
2 jars marinara sauce (I used Classico - tomato basil)
 1/2 box lasagna noodles (uncooked)
1 (2 lb) tub ricotta cheese
3 cups mozzarella cheese
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add a little olive oil to a skillet and cook onions until caramelized
Add hamburger meat to onions (season with your favorite seasonings – I use seasoned salt, garlic and oregano) until browned, then add marinara sauce. Simmer while making cheese mixture below.
Combine ricotta cheese, salt, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and egg.
Spray crock pot with cooking spray,
Start layering in the crock pot. Add a layer of meat (doesn’t need to be thick)
Then add a layer of uncooked noodles
Then a layer of the cheese mixture
You will then repeat those layers one more time
Finish with the rest of the meat sauce and 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese.
Cook on low for 3 hours (low so the noodles don’t over cook)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

August Garden

This is one of my favorite times to enjoy the flowers in our yard. Although some of the blooms are looking a little tired and worn, there are so many flowers and so much color. I also think I appreciate it more, knowing that Fall is right around the corner, and soon the flowers will be done. Here's what happening in our back yard.

Lots of purple and pinks from the phlox.

This is a mystery lily.  Bob didn't plant it - it just showed up!

Most of our lavender is done, but a few stalks are still blooming.

This is Monarda, also known as bee balm.

I love globe thistle!  It's pretty as it starts to open...

And so unusual when it's opened up!

Black eyed Susans are so cheery.

This flower bed is full of blooms, and the birds are happy to stop by.

This is Rose of Sharon.  We have quite a few bushes in various colors.

The purple coneflower...

And the white coneflower are more of my favorites.

Here we are almost at the back of our property.  Bob's got the back yard filled with color!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Annual Chicken BBQ

From the time I was a kid, my family has gone to the Drenthe Chicken BBQ. Drenthe is a small farming community near to where I grew up. It's a great family event, and my Dad has continued to take anyone in the family who's able to attend. This year the whole family made it except Bob who was working, and my niece who was away with a friend.

When we arrived, we were treated to some patriotic music being played by the community band.

Here's where they grill lots and lots of chicken, for lots of hungry people!

 After eating that yummy chicken, there were old cars and tractors to check out.

And lots of cute critters!


Alaina was happy to see all those animals.

It was a fun evening with family and good food!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Share a coke

Coke has been getting a lot of publicity about their bottles with names on them. Lots of people have been looking for their own name or that of a family member.  This couple used them in a different way.  Check it out and see what you think.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cooking Thursday

Here's a recipe I tried last week for red skin potatoes. They're an easy side dish and were very good! For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Rosemay-Garlic Oven Roasted Redskin Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds baby redskin potatoes, washed and halved
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Stir together the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary.  Add potatoes and toss to coat.
Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning halfway through.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

She said yes!

Our daughter Heather has been dating a really nice, Christian young man for a while now.  A few weeks ago, he talked with Bob, and asked for our approval for their marriage.  So - we knew a proposal was coming, but didn't know when.
Last week, Heather and Andrew both had vacation, and they scheduled a day trip to Chicago.  They took the train down, early in the morning and came back late at night.  That evening, after supper we had a phone call from Chicago, saying he asked - and of course she said yes!
Heather is a history lover, so one of the places they went was the historical museum. In the last exhibit room, he got down on one knee and proposed.  That was the perfect place for her!

Doesn't that ring look pretty on her hand?

I think the ring is gorgeous!  It has a somewhat vintage look, which again, is perfect for Heather.

I dragged them out into the backyard to take a few pictures.

And I snapped this one when they were goofing around.  They're a great couple, and we are all so happy for them!
Now, let the planning begin!

I have to share a few coincidences about our family and Andrews family.
His name is Andrew, last name is Scott...
Our son is Andrew, middle name is Scott...
He's marrying our Heather, and has a sister named Heather...
My Bob is really a Robert, he has a brother named Robert.
Pretty funny, right?

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Last week we had a joyful event in the family. Bob's nephew, Chris got married! We were master and mistress of ceremonies, so it was a busy day and I didn't get very many pictures, but here's what I did get.

Bob's mom and stepdad before the ceremony.

A view from the back of the church.  It was a beautiful ceremony.

These twins were the ring bearers.  By the time the ceremony was done, the one on the left had his tie off, shirt unbuttoned and sleeves rolled up.  :)

 This car is an Austin Heeley that Bob's brother built from a kit.  It was a great get-away car!

These were the favors at the reception.

This is Bob's sister, who decided to make her s'more at the reception.  You can see we had fun at the reception too.
Congratulations to Chris and Trisha!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

80 odd years of happy!

Sixty residents and staff at the Diana Isaac Retirement Village in Christchurch combined all their considerable talents to come up with 80-odd years of happy. The residents wanted to show their children and grandchildren just what they're made of!  I think they succeeded!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cooking Thursday

The Meijer in my area often has pork tenderloin on sale, buy one, get one free. So, I buy when it's on sale and have one left in the freezer. I was looking for something new to do with it and I found this recipe. It's a crockpot recipe which is always nice and the meat turned out so good! For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

2 pounds Pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon Ground sage
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Pepper
1 clove Garlic; crushed
½ cup Water
½ cup Brown sugar
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
½ cup Water
2 tablespoons Soy sauce

Mix together the seasonings: sage, salt, pepper and garlic.
Rub over tenderloin. Place ½ cup water in slow cooker; place tenderloin in slow cooker.
Cook on low for 8 hours
Mix together the ingredients for the glaze in a small sauce pan: brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water, soy sauce.
Heat over medium and stir until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.
Remove roast from crockpot, place on foil lined sheet pan and brush with glaze.
Set under broiler for about 2 minutes until bubbly and carmelized.
Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

How I got my camera for free!

Yesterday I shared my new DSLR camera with you and told you how excited I was to get it.  What I didn't tell you was how I paid for it.  It cost a little over $500 and I put out no cash for it.  Instead, I paid with Amazon credits I got through Swagbucks.
So far this year I've gotten the camera, a scanner, a toddler bed, a bookcase, bedding and curtains, along with several smaller items like books, CD's and household goods.  I also use it for buying gifts at Christmas.
If you're interested in checking out Swagbucks, this is a good time to do it. There are many ways to earn swagbucks and one of them is by shopping online.  There are many stores that participate including Target, Walmart, Amazon, Staples and more.
Now, between August 6 and September 6 you will get a 500 SB bonus(equal to $5) if you purchase $25 or more through Swagbucks Shop and Earn.  You'll also earn more SB from your purchase.  This is only available to new SB users who sign on through my link.
Your bonus will be credited when your shop and earn bucks are credited which is usually in about a month.
If this is something you're interested in, here's a link to tell you what I do every day to earn my SB's.  It does take a little time every day, but I do a lot in the evening when Bob is reading or watching tv.  It's been wonderful for me!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Look what I got!

I'm pretty excited about something that was delivered to me last week.  It's this new camera!  I've been wanting a DSLR camera for some time and I'm looking forward to playing with it.  I got a package deal, which included the camera, 2 lenses, a tripod, 2 rechargable batteries, a camera card and a USB drive and a video on using a DSLR.
My little camera did pretty well, but one thing it failed at was macro shots.  Here's one of the first macro pictures from my new camera.

It does a great job!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

We had such fun!

We had Alaina overnight last weekend. She's growing up so quickly and seems to change every time she comes over.  She was full of energy this time and she talks non-stop!  She was a Grandpa's girl on Friday night and wandered all over the yard with him.
Here they are checking out the flowers.

And heading to the "park" which is what she calls the area where the swing set is.

Looking at more flowers...

Playing ball...

Riding the trike...

Taking the balls for a ride...

And just enjoying each other!

When she came inside I showed her this picture from Mildred of Blackberry Lane.  Mildred remembered that Alaina likes these "silly boys" as she calls them and sent me this picture of one in her neighborhood.  Alaina laughed at it and said she wanted to go see it.  I told her it lived far away and she said she wanted it to come here. Thanks Mildred!

On Saturday, she helped me in the kitchen.  I heard many refrains of "I'll help you Grandma" and "can I have some?"  Here you see her licking off a spoon, and getting it all over herself, even in her hair.  We got her cleaned up, played with toys and read some books before bringing her home.  The house is always a little too quiet when she leaves!  We're so blessed that her parents are willing to share her with us for a while!