Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Day

I hope that all of you who were celebrating Thanksgiving enjoyed your day.  We certainly did! 
We had my whole family here, which includes my Dad and stepmom, 1 brother, 2 sisters and families, Laura and Aaron and girls, and Heather and Andrew.  That makes 22 people including baby Ruby.
Here's a few pictures of our day.

Lots of good food!  No one left hungry.  :)

 After eating, some people hung around in the family room to watch the game.

Some people were more into it than others!

 My niece Arianna loved holding Ruby.

She also had fun playing with Alaina.

 One of the sweetest sights of the day was seeing my Dad sleeping in the chair, holding his sleeping great granddaughter.

I've been so blessed to have this wonderful family and it's certainly something to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!
I have this holiday off and will be having my whole family for dinner.  There will be 21 of us this year, so it'll be a full house, but lots of fun.
I have much to be thankful for this year; a God who loves me and takes care of me, a wonderful husband and family, a job I enjoy and good friends.  I'm thankful for my blogging friends too and am thankful to have met each one of you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

What a day!

Monday was my birthday.  I took a vacation day so I could go on a field trip with Alaina and her "Three school" class.  Is there a better way to spend a birthday?  Here's a few pictures of my day.

It happened to be Bob's day off, and he brought me these beautiful roses before we went on the field trip.
Alaina's field trip was to Culvers Restaurant.  She was so excited!

 She started by decorating a hat to wear in the cooking area.

Then we got a tour of the whole place.  We saw how they make hamburgers, cheese curds, brown the buns, wash the dishes and even saw the walk in refrigerator and freezer.  Alaina kept a tight grip on Bob's hand through the whole thing.  She wasn't going to let him get away.

 We got samples of the cheese curds and the frozen custard.  Yum!

Here's the whole class.  Everyone had fun and was very good.

After we had lunch, we went back to Laura and Ruby, and tried to get some pictures of Ruby.  It wasn't the best photo-op, but I got a few good ones.  I'll share them with you later.

This weekend our weather was warmer and rainy.   All that snow we had melted.  However, on Monday afternoon it got a lot colder and we had rain and snow.  Unfortunately it got really nasty in the evening.
Heather and Andrew were rear-ended and his car got pretty smashed.  They are ok, but very sore.  I also got a call that my niece (my sister Terri's daughter) was in an accident.  She had a tree fall in front of her and her car was probably totaled.  We're so thankful she is alright, except for also being quite sore.
I had a great birthday, and am reminded how quickly things can change, and how important the people in my life are!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Out with the sisters!

Every year my two sisters, Terri, Cheri and I go Christmas shopping together. It's something we all look forward to! We leave on Friday morning, shop all day and then stay in a hotel at night. We stay close to home, as it's easier if anyone has to return something. We were a little worried about the weather this year. As of Thursday, we had set a record for the most snowfall in November ever, breaking a record that was set in 1895.

However - it was a beautiful day!  Look at that blue sky!
We walked a lot, talked a lot, laughed a lot and accomplished a lot!  We got back to the hotel room around 9pm.

We always haul all of our packages into the hotel, so we can sort things and mark them down.  (There are more bags on the floor that you can't see.)  After that there was more talking and laughing...
We are all almost done with our shopping now.  It's a fun way to get done!

Friday, November 21, 2014


It's time to announce the winner of the Noah book!  There were 23 comments, but some people didn't have a child to share it with and there was one double comment.  So - I wrote the names of those who were entering and numbered them in the order that they left comments.

Then, I entered 1 and 19 into a Random Number Generator.  Here's the result:

#7 is Mildred from Cattails!
Congratulations Mildred!  Please send me an e-mail with your address and the book will be mailed to you.  I know you'll enjoy it.  Thanks to all of you who entered.  I wish I had a copy for each of you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cooking Thursday

Today's recipe is one I made for the first time last week, but it won't be the last time I make it!  It's really good, and can also be made ahead of time as a freezer meal.  It's so easy - all you have to do is layer ingredients and then bake it.

Swiss Chicken

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6-8 slices swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 package Stove top stuffing
1/2 cup melted butter
cooked rice

1. Cover the bottom of a 7x11 or 9x13 pan with uncooked chicken. You can use the breasts whole or cut your chicken into chunks.  (I did the chunks - it made it easier to eat)
2. Layer 6-8 slices of swiss cheese over chicken.
3.  Mix soup with milk and pour over cheese.
4. Sprinkle stuffing mix over soup mixture.
5. Drizzle melted butter over stuffing crumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Serve over cooked rice.
*To freeze, make to the point where you have spread the soup mix over top.  Keep stuffing aside and add prior to cooking.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

And it begins...

At the end of last week, the weather people were predicting cold and snow for us.  When I got up Thursday, I cracked open the door to check, anticipating a dusting of snow.  That is not what I saw!  There was already at least 4 inches on the ground.
I usually turn on the morning news while getting ready.  The weather man came on and what did I hear?  "Allendale (my little town) is ground zero for snow fall today".  What?  How did we get so lucky?
I packed myself up and went to work.  It was snowing like crazy, slippery and hard to see in places.
Here's how things looked at work.

This is a picture of our backyard.  Do you see all that snow on the bird feeder?
We got 10 inches of snow on Thursday and another 4 inches by Friday morning.  This was our first snowfall of the season.  What a way to start the season!
This weather has continued through the weekend.  We got another 5 inches by Sunday, and today has been awful.  We're under a winter storm warning that started on 1pm Monday and isn't done until 9pm Tuesday.  It's snowing, blowing so that there are whiteouts and we're supposed to get another 8 inches by tomorrow night.

 This was taken out of our living room window this afternoon...

 And this is what the back yard looks like. 
I don't remember having snow like this before Thanksgiving Day.  I'm a bit worried about what this winter is going to bring!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I'm back...

I had a wonderful blog break and time with family.  Thanks for all your congratulations on our little Ruby.  She is doing well, as is Laura.  Alaina loves her little sister and so far doesn't seem to be jealous.
We had lots of fun having Alaina here for a few days until Laura got home and settled. 

 Some things never change.  Here is Alaina, just out of the tub and needing to hold Oliver, while Oliver tries to get away.

 She had to show off her big sis shirt...

This was an activity we did one day.  It appears so easy, but it was hard to keep those snowmen standing.  She had fun though, and that's what counts!
It's been quiet around here since she went home, but she's enjoying being with her parents and new sister!
I had some days off during this time, and after she went home I accomplished some cleaning of cupboards and closets, which feels pretty good.
I'm so sorry, but I don't have any new pictures of Ruby!  When I've been there, I've been busy holding and snuggling, but I'll try to do better next time.  :)
One more thing - Monday the 17th is Laura's birthday.  Happy Birthday Laura!  You are a blessing to so many people, including us.  Hope you have a wonderful day.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Noah; a review and giveaway

I was given the opportunity to review a children's book called Noah.  Alaina loves books so I was interested in it.  When I read it was a wordless picture book, that was careful to be true to the Bible,  I wanted to see it.
When the book came, it surpassed my expectations.  It's hardcover, and is 64 pages of beautiful pictures. I'll show you a few...

You can see how beautiful these pictures are.  Alaina enjoyed looking at this with me.  I could tell her the story and point things out in the pictures as we went through it.  I've also shown it to several other people who thought it was an amazing book.  There is another fun thing in this book.  Every page has a mouse named Squeakers hidden somewhere.  Bob joined me in hunting for him and I have to admit we didn't find every one, but we had fun looking.
I recommend this book!  I think it's great for any age and would be a good addition to your library.  The nice people at Propeller Consulting, are letting me give a copy of this book away.  If you have a kid of any age in your life, you need to sign up for the giveaway.  All you have to do is leave a comment here telling me who you would share this with.  If you don't have a blog, be sure you leave a way for me to contact you.
The winner will be posted on Thursday evening, and the book will be mailed to you!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 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.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

She's finally here!

I got a phone call in the middle of the night last night.  Laura was ready to head to the hospital.  I picked Alaina up at 2am, they made it to the hospital at 2:30 and the baby was born at 3:30am.  That's cutting it a little close for me!
We brought Alaina up to meet her Wednesday morning.  Here are some pictures.

We're thanking God for the precious gift of Ruby June Ras
21 inches

She has lots of hair, and dimples when she wiggles her face.

 Alaina meeting her sister for the first time.

 Grandpa is already a goner!

Alaina wanted to take her home with us.

A sister is a special gift!

I'm taking some vacation days and Alaina is staying with us, so I'm taking a little blogging break.
I'll see you next week sometime.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

(I took this picture last Thursday.  The trees are much more bare now!)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Change is here...

It's been windy and rainy here this weekend, we even had snow on Friday!  That means a lot of the leaves have blown off the trees, and the beautiful Fall colors we've been enjoying are nearly done.
Some trees still have their leaves and there's still some beauty to be found in the yard.  Here's a few photos of what I found while walking in the yard.

 Our pile of pumpkins still looks good and give a nice splash of color.

I love the feathery fronds of the grasses this time of year.

The flowers on the hydrangea tree have changed from the pure white of summer, to an antique rose color.

A different type of ornamental grass shines in the setting Autumn sun.

 The globe thistles start to spread their seeds.

 This chair looks pretty sitting in the falling leaves.

Even the fungus on this tree trunk sports a pretty design under the last few leaves that fall.

I'm enjoying the last bits of Fall.  It won't be long till everything looks white.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A day in my life..

Today, I'm continuing my tradition of sharing what I've been doing on the first day of the month.
This past weekend was my weekend to work, so that's how I spent a lot of my day on Saturday.

 I start work at 7am.  This time of year it's dark when I get to work. 
These are our two med carts, ready for us to get started.  We start by getting report from the 11-7 nurse, then we have to count the narcotics to make sure they are all accounted for.  They are in a double locked drawer in the med cart.  There are two nurses during the day, and we each have one med cart.

This little bit of candy was left at the nurses station, from the kids who came trick or treating the night before.

We have 2 halls, each hall has 30 residents.  This is the hall I worked this weekend.  It takes until about 10 am to finish the morning med pass.
This was taken when everyone was eating breakfast, so the hall was clear of any people.

 Our medications come on cards like this, 30 per card.  Some people have a bunch of these cards, some have only a few.  When I got done with my med pass, I thought it would be a good idea to clean out the cart.  These are all extra meds I sent back to the pharmacy.

We all enjoyed the sun, after a cold and snowy day on Friday.  This is taken from the dining room at work.
It was a relatively calm day, with no major issues.  I got out of work on time which is kind of rare.

 On my way home from work, I stopped to get gas.  Do you see that price?  I had a coupon to get it at $1.99.  It was selling at $2.90, so that was a great deal!

 Coming home!  The oak trees are about the only ones that haven't dropped their leaves.

I made a pie for Bob.  Don't be too impressed - it was a frozen pie.  :) 
I also got something ready in the crock pot, so he has lunch after church as I'll be at work again on Sunday.

After supper it was time to work on my continuing education courses.  One was quite boring, telling how to give and read a TB test several times over. 

After getting that done, I spent some time working on a photo book I'm putting together for my Dad.  Very enjoyable!

It was an nice evening.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been a call from Laura saying she was heading to the hospital.  No call though!   :)