Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

She said yes - to the dress!

We've been busy, busy, busy working on wedding stuff.  One thing that's been on top of the list is finding the wedding dress.
Last week we went dress shopping!

 We chose all kinds of dresses for Heather to try on. We were told to even take dresses that we didn't think we'd like, because you never know!

 My fingers were tired from all the lacing I did...
But, we found the dress!  After Heather put it on, none of the other dresses could compete.  It's beautiful.  You'll have to wait to see it though.  :)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September Flowers

We have been blessed with the most wonderful weather this past week.  It's been in the low 70's every day, and the sun has been shining.
Many of our flowers are no longer blooming, but a few really shine this time of year.  Here's a few from our yard.

 These are called Autumn Crocus.  They put out some rather ugly leaves in the Spring, which then fade away and nothing is seen, until suddenly these beautiful flowers appear in the Fall.

 Autumn Joy Sedum is white all summer long, but gets this pretty pink color in the Fall, which darkens to a burgundy color as the season progresses.

 I love seeing the berries on the trees.  Such a pretty spot of red!

This is our hydrangea tree.  This flower also is white all summer long, but then turns to pink in the Fall.  The pink gradually changes to a dusty rose color and often hangs on into the winter.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Queen Anne's Lace

One of the wild flowers I enjoy seeing in the summer is Queen Anne's Lace.  It's nearly done, but I found a few stragglers in the ditch down the road from me and thought I would share.

Pretty from start to finish!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cooking Thursday

Here's a good meal for the cooler days we're having. It's one of my favorite type of recipe - very easy, tastes good and uses a crockpot! For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Easy Beef Stroganoff
1 can cream of mushroom soup
12.5 ounce can beef broth
1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef stewing meat, cut in 1" pieces
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cooked noodles
Combine soup and broth in 4 quart slow cooker. Stir in meat.
Cover and cook on low for 9 - 10 hours.
Stir in sour cream and cook on high for 20 minutes.
Serve over the hot noodles.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Family Pictures

A few weeks ago I told you we had family pictures done for my whole family.  Our son Andy lives in Kentucky and had to drive up for this.  Adding in the crazy work schedules of everyone else made it quite a challenge to get set up.  Everyone cooperated though and the pictures turned out really nice. 
The photographer took lots of different shots of each family, kids, spouses...   Here's a few I thought I would share.

My Dad with his four kids.  
(Left to Right - Me, Cheri, Duane and Terri)

The whole group!  Dad and stepmom Ann, 4 kids, 3 spouses, 9 grandkids with one spouse and one fiance, and one great grandchild.

We are so blessed to have these two.  My dear Dad and stepmom, ages 84 and 85.

Dad and Ann with all the grandkids.

My family

Bob and I with Alaina

My wonderful kids! 
(Aaron, Alaina, Laura, Andy, Heather, Andrew)

A maternity shot of Laura.   
When this was taken she had 6 weeks to go.  The baby is due October 27.

Our sweet Alaina

"Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.   Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."
Psalm 127:3-4

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Outhouse charm!

There's a field I pass by frequently that had a row of trees lining the back edge of it. Last year, the owners of the field cut that tree line down, revealing an old outhouse.  It may sound crazy, but I thought that little outhouse was pretty charming and I admired it every time I drove by.  When I ran into one of the owners daughters I asked if they would mind if I walked out in the field to take some pictures, and she said it wouldn't be a problem.
Even after getting permission, the time never seemed right to go out there.  However, last week Bob and I were driving home and that evening glow was in the air, plus there were hay bales out there. Perfect!  My dear hubby agreed to park the car and walk out there.  The adjacent field had just been spread with manure so it didn't smell too good.  (Love that country air!)  Bob told me he thought I was crazy to walk out there in that smell to take pictures of an outhouse.  :)

Here's the view as we walked up to the outhouse.

Love all those vines and the haybales!

I don't think it's going to stand too long, the vines are taking over.

The sun is setting, it's time to head back to the car.

You have to admit - this outhouse is charming, right?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Typewriter artist

Some of you may have seen this on Facebook, but I thought it was very inspiring and wanted to share with those of you who hadn't seen it.  This clip shows a man named Paul Smith who is severely disable with cerebral palsy.  He's lived in a nursing home for many years.  He creates amazing art using a typewriter.   Check out this clip - you'll be impressed!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cooking Thursday

Last week in one of my posts, I had a picture of a Taco Salad I had made and I promised to share the recipe.  Here it is! 
I got this recipe from my Director of Nursing. She brings it to every potluck we have.  She says that's because she can't make anything else ( and she really doesn't cook).  However, it's also because everyone asks her to bring it.  So, you can see that this recipe is easy, but also good!
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Maggie's Taco Salad
1 pound ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
14 ounce package shredded lettuce
8 ounces shredded taco cheese
1 bag Doritos
Catalina dressing 

Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning as directed on packet.  Put meat in refrigerator and allow to cool.
Shortly before serving, stir together meat and cheese, add lettuce, the crush Doritos and stir into meat mixture.  Then stir in dressing and enjoy!

*Be sure you don't mix this together until you're ready to serve it or it will get mushy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Last Day

On our last day in Indiana, we went to the Wellfield Botanical Gardens in Elkhart.  It was lightly raining, not enough to stop us, just enough to carry an umbrella along.
These gardens were beautiful and we enjoyed walking the trails and taking in the late summer beauty.

This is the beginning of the trail that winds through the gardens.  There were several side trail you could go on as well.

There were many areas that invited us to stop and enjoy the beauty around us.

The statues scattered throughout the grounds were fun to see.

 A few close ups of some of the flowers.

This small waterfall pretty to see and to hear.

Even these ducks were enjoying this place.

When we finished walking around, it was time to head home.  It wasn't a long getaway, but it was very enjoyable!

Monday, September 15, 2014

A day in Elkhart

Day 2 of our vacation we woke up to this:

Pouring rain, and predictions for more of the same all day.  We hung around the hotel for a little while, but decided we'd just have to deal with it and headed out. 
We went to Elkhart and started with a tour of this home.

This is the Ruthmere mansion.  It was built in 1908 by the man who co-founded Miles Pharmaceuticals, the company that produced Bayer aspirin.  It was a beautiful place, which has been restored to it's original condition.  No pictures could be taken inside, so I'll share a few of the outside that I was able to get when the rain slowed down.

The building in back is the garage, which had 3 antique cars in it, one of which was a little electric car.  The garage was equipped with a wooden turntable, that allowed the car to be driven in, then turned so it could drive straight out again.

After this we headed down the block and toured the Havilah Beardsley house.  Havilah Beardsley was a Dr who purchased land from the Indians in 1831.  He put up several mills, and brought a railway to the area, which is now Elkhart.
He built this home in 1848 and it was the first brick home built in Elkhart.

It was added onto by his son in 1898 and is now being restored to that era.  Again, no photos could be taken inside, but we enjoyed seeing the home and admiring the beautiful old woodwork inside.  The glass in the windows in the original from 1898 and are in good condition, except for one which was shot with a BB gun by one of the children that lived there in the mid 1900's.

We then took a walking architectural tour of some of the old homes in the area.

 Here are some of the homes we saw. Many were designed by the same architect that planned the Ruthmere estate.

The rain was no longer a downpour, but enough to get us wet, so we took our umbrellas along!

We also saw this statue of Havilah Beardsley, which was erected in 1913.

When we returned to our hotel room that evening, it had finally stopped raining.  The view looks a little better!
We love history and old houses, so we enjoyed the day, in spite of the rain!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I'm back...

I'm back after a week away. Bob and I had a nice week off from work and we also took a little trip to Amish country in Indiana that I'm going to share with you.  (warning - lots of pictures)

On Tuesday we went to Shipsewana and spent a good portion of the day at the flea market.  This is known as the largest flea market in the midwest.  It was crowded as usual, but the weather was nice and it was a good day for walking through the booths.

One of the more unusual things at the flea market was this booth that sold ice cream.  It was being churned by this engine.  We tried it out and it was delicious!

Here's a few of the bargains we found.  I've been looking for an old window and an old typewriter and we found both.  I was also happy to find that old fan!  On the right bottom are some telephone insulators that I thought would make a nice grouping. 

We then went to our hotel.  The Essenhaus is known all over the area for it's Amish food and people come from all over just to eat there.  The hotel is also wonderful.  Along with the restaurant, there are gift shops, miniature golfing, carriage rides and just a charming, homey atmosphere.  This is one of the seating areas in it, that was near to our room.

 One of the barns that's been renovated into a gift shop.

 This little water wheel was just outside our window.

 Here's the carriage, making it's rounds on the hotel grounds.

 We took a walk after supper and made a stop at the covered bridge.

 The stream by the covered bridge.

 Bob was patiently waiting for me to finish taking pictures.

 Another bridge on the property.

I always enjoy seeing the Amish buggies.
Tomorrow I'll share our trip to Elkhart.