Thursday, October 30, 2014

Still Waiting...

This is probably how my daughter Laura is feeling now.  Our new granddaughter was due on Monday, the 27th.  She's taking her sweet time in arriving, and Laura is ready to be done.
She is starting with the nonstress tests tomorrow, and if that goes well, we'll continue to wait, like it or not!  Hopefully I'll have some news to share very soon.
PS - She's not spending 50% of her time fielding phone calls from me.  I'm trying to be good!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cooking Thursday

Cooler weather means more soup on the menu.  I made this Chicken rice soup and it has to be one of the easiest soup recipes ever.  It was really good and will definitely be on the menu again!

Chicken Rice Soup

4 cans chicken broth (12-130z size)
2 C. chopped cooked chicken
1 bag sliced frozen carrots
1 C. chopped celery
salt, pepper to taste
1 box chicken Ricearoni. 
Stir all ingredients together and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Looking out of my windows

My friend Jennifer, from Thistle Bear, wrote a great post last week about what she was thinking while looking out her window.  I enjoyed it and decided to share my own take on it.  I went around my house this weekend and took pictures out of several windows to share with you.

 This is the view from my dining room/kitchen area. It's a scene I see often as I work in the kitchen.  It changes depending on what's blooming.  Right now I'm enjoying the bright red of the burning bush.

Looking to the right side of the yard, the yellow maple tree that has been so bright is quickly losing it's leaves.

Going to the other side of the house, I stop at the window by Bob's painting desk.  I'm glad he has a nice view to enjoy while he works, and I enjoy seeing the progress he's making on his latest job.

This photo was taken from my living room window.  It's a view I enjoy, except when the driveway is filled with snow.  I love the huge beech tree across the street.

As I look at it, I wonder how our new neighbors are feeling.  They moved in a few months ago, and I have to wonder if they had any idea how many leaves would soon be falling?

They've already raked their yard twice, the last time was 5 days ago.  I think they have a lot of work ahead of them!

That's it - the view from each side of my home.  I'm blessed to live where I do and I've been enjoying the "golden view" from all the yellow and orange trees around me!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Walk

Every year a local church in our area hosts something called the Pumpkin Walk.  It's held on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday near the end of October. This began in 2007 to provide a safe and fun way to celebrate this time of year.  They started with 700 visitors the first year, and have grown each year.  This year they had 1200 people on Thursday, 2300 on Friday and I'm sure just as many on Saturday.
They have a trail through the woods behind their church that is 1/10 of a mile.  On that trail, there were 700 pumpkins displayed. (I wouldn't want to be the person to light all those candles!)
We took Alaina on Saturday night and we all enjoyed it.

We started with a pumpkin welcome.

At the entrance to the walk, we saw these pumpkin snowmen, along with Bert and Ernie.

This is the beginning of the trail.  You can see that it was well attended.

These pumpkins also had some recognizable carvings.  I see the hat from the Cat in the hat, Curious George and the boy from the Incredibles.

It was dark when I took these pictures, but using the night option lights up the photo.  It also makes them a little blurry, but you can see how the trail is lined with carved and lit pumpkins.

There were some pretty amazing carving jobs.

 Alaina had fun checking them out!

This was my favorite grouping: Kermit, Animal and Miss Piggy.  Someone has a much steadier hand than I do.

At the end of the trail, they had hot and cold cider, along with cookies and cupcakes. The whole event is free, done as a service to the community.  What fun!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Acorns Galore!

Look at these acorns.  They look pretty innocent, don't they?  They're not!  The acorns on our oak trees have been ganging up on us!
We have 11 oak trees in our front yard, so we often have quite a few acorns in the yard.  This year is unlike any other though.  They've been falling off the trees with such force that we hear them hitting the roof and rolling down when we're inside. Sometimes it sounds like someone is throwing rocks up there.
Not only are they noisy, they are plentiful. Last week Bob raked half the yard and got 3 wheelbarrows full of acorns.  Sadly, the area he raked is full of acorns again.

This is what our yard looks like.  You can't take a step without stepping on several acorns.
Have you ever seen this many acorns in one yard?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cooking Thursday

It seems that pumpkin is everywhere this time of year.  In keeping with that trend, I have a pumpkin recipe to share.  If you like pumpkin, you'll like this!

The Best Pumpkin Cake Ever

1 yellow cake mix
1 can pumpkin (Plain pumpkin, not pie filling)
1 generous teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 can sweetened condensed milk
12 ounces Cool Whip
1 bag Heath bits

Stir together cake mix and pumpkin pie spice, then stir in pumpkin.
Pour into greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Allow cake to cool completely.
Poke holes into cake with handle of wooden spoon.
Pour sweetened condensed milk over cake, making sure to fill the holes.
Place in refrigerator for 1 hour or more.
Spread Cool Whip over top of cake and sprinkle Heath bits over all.
Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Autumn in West Michigan

It's so pretty here!  The colors are at peak right now and everywhere I go, I admire the beauty around me.  Here's a few photos of Gods work!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Alaina is Three (almost)

My Alaina is turning three on Friday!  Laura had her party early, because the baby is due next Monday, and she wanted to have it done, just in case.
Alaina had so much fun, and we had fun watching her.

There was a polka dot theme.  Laura made the polka dot cake, but she also had cupcakes for those who wanted them.  Everyone left with oreo pops - Oreo's covered in white chocolate and sprinkles on a stick.

Trying on a party hat.

Blowing out the candles

This cake is so good!

Opening presents is so much fun!

Balloons with my cousins is fun too!

After all that playing, she still had energy to do some running with Grandpa before we left.

Alaina Jo - what joy you bring to us!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Autumn Showcase of homes

My friend Anni, over at Hootin' Anni's Chronicles has invited her readers to join her in showing our homes Autumn or Halloween Decorations.

I'm not a real fan of Halloween, and usually just add a little Fall or Thanksgiving look.  I don't do a lot, so I'll just show you what I do, which is mostly pumpkins!

 Starting at the front door, I have this pot of mums.

 I also have a selection of pumpkins and gourds.  I love the ones that are bumpy or odd shaped.

 I have pumpkins scattered around my house too, including these ones on the tv stand.

 My dining room wall gets a little ceramic pumpkin on one of the shelves.

This is on my table much of the year, but I change out the candle and the inside decorations.  Now there are leaves, sunflowers, acorns and a few small feathers.

Last is this little thankful turkey who sits in an old milk can, next to the door from the garage into the house.  
As I said, it's not a lot, but these few decorations do make me smile!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cooking Thursday

I made such a yummy crockpot meal this week.  I got it ready at night, and it cooked while I was at work.  It's so nice to have supper nearly ready when you get home!  Bob and I both really liked this one.  I plan to add some sliced green pepper to it next time, for a little more color and just because I think it would go well with the rest.
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Easy Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

4 chicken breasts
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
6 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
4 1/2 teaspoons water
cooked rice

Place chicken in slow cooker. Mix in a bowl sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, pepper. Once mixed together well pour over chicken. Cook on medium for 6-7 hours.
Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl.  Stir into sauce in crockpot and cook for another hour until sauce is thickened.
Put chicken over steamed rice and drizzle sauce over the top.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Engagement pictures

Last week, Heather and Andrew went out with me so I could take some engagement pictures.  I've picked out a few to share with you.


 We had fun doing this, and I think we got some good ones!