Thursday, January 29, 2015

A womans Life

If you take a few minutes to watch this clip, I think you'll agree it was worth it.  This timelapse speed painting shows a baby change into an old woman in the space of a few minutes.  She's very talented!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cooking Thursday

One good thing about winter is making soup!  I make soup quite frequently in this cold weather.  Today I'm sharing a recipe that I've been making for several years.  It's one of the easiest recipes ever, it's a crockpot recipe and it is so good!  That's a winning recipe!

Cheesy Potato Soup

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used a bag of the Hormel bacon pieces)
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Potato Soup
4 soup cans milk
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

1. Stir the bacon, onion, soup, milk, black pepper, potatoes, & 1/4 cup chives in a 6 quart slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 - 4 hours or until the potatoes are tender.
3. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Serve with the remaining chives.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tip for Tuesday

Bob and I have a big glass jar in our bedroom that we put our spare change in.  We don't do anything with it until it's nearly full, and then we have the fun of counting it.  We usually try to use it for something special, or often use it for a vacation fund. 

Here's our latest pile of change, poured out onto the floor.

We separate it out into pennies, nickels, dimes...  and this time we even had some silver dollars.  Then we put it into rolls and see what the grand total is.

Here it is, all rolled and ready to take to the bank.  This time we had about $330!  It took about 1 1/2 years to fill the jar back up this time, but that's ok.
So, that's my tip.  Save your change - it really adds up!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

It's all about me...

My friend Amy, over at love made my home, did a post last week about herself.  She and I are similar in that we don't post pictures of ourselves.  I know I prefer to be behind the camera!  Anyway, she took some selfies and then shared about herself.  I thought I should do the same.  I have many new blog friends who probably don't know much about me, so here goes!

This is me - just home from work, wearing my lovely green scrubs while trying to take a picture of myself.  Easier said than done.  :)
And now, a little about me:
I was born on Thanksgiving Day in 1960.  (That makes me 54)   I was the first child born to my wonderful, loving parents.  They went on to have 3 more kids, 1 son and 2 more girls.  I was brought up in a Christian home, where the Bible was read after meals, bedtime prayers were said and if church was open, we were there.  My parents lived out their faith - it wasn't just going to church.  I accepted Christ as a child and can't imagine what my life would be without that decision.
My Dad was a farmer, so there was lots of land for us to play on.  There was a creek to catch frogs, hills to sled in the winter and cows and chickens to see on a daily basis.  I remember bringing my Dad lunch when he was planting or harvesting.  Mom would pack something up and us kids would walk out and find him.  Other times he would come home for lunch and before he went back to work, he would spend time playing with us.  We really had great parents.
When I was in Junior High I started working.  One of my Dad's sayings was - "A little hard work never hurt anyone".  I started out picking blueberries, then worked on a strawberry farm, and when I was in high school I started working on a celery farm.  It was hard work!
I went to nursing school right out of high school, and when I finished I started working at a hospital.  I worked on the ortho/neuro floor, which was very interesting.  About this time, I met a guy...  and the rest is history! 
Bob and I got married when I was 21.  Our daughter Laura was born about 1 1/2 years later, Heather was born 3 years after her, and Andy came another 2 years later.  I was working part time and enjoying being a Mom!
When Andy was 2 we moved back to the town Bob grew up in, and we still live there.  The Director of Nursing at the local nursing home knew me from the hospital and asked if I would like a job there.
That was 24 years ago and I'm still working there.  I started out on call, working 3-11, then went to part time nights and finally to full time days, when the kids were older.  I really enjoy my job, the residents and the people I work with.
My hubby is a manager at our local True Value Hardware store.  We both have busy schedules and it can be hard to plan things because neither of us works a regular Monday through Friday schedule.
Our kids are now grown.  Laura is married to Aaron, and they are the parents of our 2 darling granddaughters, Alaina and Ruby.  Heather is marrying Andrew in about a month.  Our son Andy was in the army, and now that he is out, he lives in Kentucky, working on the same base he was stationed at.  He maintains the electrical systems on the Apache helicopter.
We are active in our church, and enjoy the friendships we have there.  Bob does caricature carving, woodwork and gardening in his spare time.  I like to cook, read, do digital scrapbooks and play with my granddaughters!
I think that's all for now.  If you have questions, let me know!  I'm leaving you with one more selfie.  You probably won't see another for some time.  :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Nursing Home Humor

I'm sure you've all seen the yellow, wet floor signs meant to warn people from slipping.  We have them at the nursing home, and housekeeping puts them out whenever they are mopping the floors.
Recently one of the housekeepers came down the hall laughing, carrying one of the signs.   It had been altered a little.

One of our residents thought he was being pretty funny and added a few words to give a whole new meaning to the sign.  And if you look closely, he added something to the figure on the sign as well!
He did give us all a laugh!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cooking Thursday

Today I'm sharing a yummy bar recipe. I'm often asked for this recipe when I bring these bars somewhere. It includes cream cheese and chocolate, so you know it's good!

Chocolate Streusel Bars

1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup cold butter
1- 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 -14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, sugar and cocoa. Cut in butter until crumbly (mixture will be very dry). Reserve 2 cups crumb mixture and press remainder on bottom of 9x13 pan. Bake 15 minutes. Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well. Pour over prepared crust. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over cheese mixture. Bake 25 minutes or until bubbly. Cool and chill. Cut into small squares and store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tip for Tuesday

I don't know about you, but when I'm baking I never seem to plan enough in advance to soften my butter.  If you have the same problem, here's a solution for you.  I've been using this tip for awhile and it works great!
Put your stick of butter in the microwave and microwave it for 5 seconds, then turn it over one quarter turn, microwave for another 5 seconds, and continue until you've done all 4 sides.  The butter doesn't melt but is nicely softened and ready to be used!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ruby's first sleepover!

You probably know that we usually have Alaina over to spend the night every other week, on my weekend off. We've been doing it since she was a baby and we so enjoy it! Ruby is now 2 months old, and this weekend, she came along with Alaina.

Here she is in the car seat, bright eyed and ready for the night.

Bob has been looking forward to some quality time with Ruby. She is so fun now, she loves it when we talk to her, she smiles, laughs and coos at us.  She especially loves it when Alaina talks to her.

Lately, Alaina has been taking all the blankets she can find and putting them on the floor along with the couch pillows.  She loves to have us all snuggle with her.  This time, she said Ruby had to snuggle too.

Ruby still has hair issues - it still stands up straight.  :)

Grandpa and Alaina had a little snack of cheese and crackers.

It wasn't all smiles - there were a few tears too.

The tears stopped when Alaina came and talked to her.

Snuggling with a sleeping baby is the best!

Tucked in for the night.

Here they are on Saturday morning.  I love the way Alaina looks out for Ruby.  She always tries to comfort her.  Do you see her holding Ruby's hand here?
We had fun and I'm sure it'll be happening again soon!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Playing a carrot

I've seen people make their own musical instruments before, but this is incredible!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cooking Thursday

I had to come up with something for supper one night last week because of the weather.  We were supposed to go out, but the snow stopped us.  I had some Newmans Own pasta sauce in a flavor I never tried before and I decided to make a pasta dish with it.  This sauce was named Sockarooni Pasta Sauce, and here is the description from the bottle: "Sockarooni/Sock-it-to'em Spaghetti Sauce all alone, by itself, just sitting there naked, will blow your socks off! Take yourself back to 1833 when Neapolitan adventurers in St. Louis concocted this specific sauce, ingesting same, gathering strength, courage, endurance and wit to wrassle 1000 pound bears."  After reading that, I had to try it!  Anyway - here's the pasta dish I came up with.  We really liked it and that sauce was wonderful!

Sockarooni/Sock-it-to'em Spaghetti Sauce all alone, by itself, just sitting there naked, will blow your socks off! Take yourself back to 1833 when Neapolitan adventurers in St. Louis concocted this specific sauce, ingesting same, gathering strength, courage, endurance and wit to wrassle 1000 pound bears.
Sockarooni Rigatoni

16 ounces Rigatoni Pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 pound Italian sausage, browned and drained
1 jar Newmans Own Sockarooni Pasta Sauce (or a flavor of your choice)
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
Parmesan Cheese to taste

Combine hot pasta with sausage and pasta sauce.  Stir in mozzarella cheese and place in a 2 quart casserole.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top and cover.  Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until heated through.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

It's invitation time

We're deep into wedding prep here! A few weeks ago, we spent the evening putting together wedding invitations.  Bob and Andrew joined us and did a good job!

We had already printed and trimmed the RSVP's and part of the invitations.

We had to glue layers together, add twine ties, lace and a tag.

Here's a stack that is almost done.

And here is the finished product. Last week, we spent an evening addressing the envelopes and they were sent out on Friday.  It's great to have something else checked off the list!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

It's winter in West Michigan...

I'm sure you've all been hearing lots about the crazy weather of last week, or perhaps you've been living in it, like I have. I hope you're not too sick of it, because I thought I would share what it looks like here! It's been a strange winter to say the least. We set records for the most snow ever in the month of November.  We almost set a record in December for the least snowfall, but we got 1/2 inch on December 31.  January has been very cold and snowy, and this past week has been extremely cold, with windchills of -10 to -15, and lots of snow.

Here is a screenshot from our local tv station showing the snowfall from this past Thursday and Friday.  Do you see the little pink/purple spot to the left of Grand Rapids?  That's where I live, and we got 14 inches of snow.  The roads didn't improve much until Saturday afternoon.
Although the driving has been terrible, it has been beautiful!  Here's a few pictures from my yard.

Our side yard - the bird feeder is getting buried!  You can also see how hard the wind was blowing, leaving snow on one side of all the trees.

Our back yard.

Look at the snow piling up on that bench!

Our front walk shows how deep the snow is.
This week is supposed to be a little warmer, closer to 30, and hopefully with only snow flurries.

 I'll leave you with this view of our street, after the plow went through, and this cute poem.  I've seen it with other variations and places, but it fit us last week.  :)

It's winter in West Michigan
and the gentle breezes blow.
Seventy miles an hour,
At thirty-five below.

Oh, how I love West Michigan,
when the snow's up to your butt.
You take a breath of winter air,
and your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather here is wonderful,
so I guess I'll hang around.
I could never leave West Michigan,
cause I'm frozen to the ground!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Shower time

Heather had her first bridal shower Tuesday night. It was for my side of the family and was given by my sisters.

We started with a yummy supper; chicken salad croissants, pasta salad, fruit salad, veggies with dip and chips.

Then we had these yummy cupcakes!

 My sister Cheri made them and I think they are so cute!  They were red velvet with cream cheese frosting.

We played a few bridal shower games.  One was easy and cute.  My sister passed out balloons to everyone, then read a story about Andrew and Heather with a lot of rights and lefts in it.  Every time she read right or left, we passed all our balloons.  When the story was done, everyone had to pop the balloon they were holding.  Inside each was a name.  Most people got Heather, but one person got Andrew and that person won.

 Here is the cute gift table.

And here are my two daughters, ready to open gifts.  It was a fun night!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cooking Thursday

I seem to share a lot of old recipes with you. I guess if I've been making something for over 30 years, it has stood the test of time! This is one of those recipes. I got it from an aunt and have been making it since before I was married. It's one that goes together quickly and it makes a big panful, so it's a winner!
Butterfinger Bars

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup melted butter
4 cups oatmeal
 6 ounces chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter

 Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir sugars, melted butter and oatmeal together and press into greased 10"x15" pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together and spread on baked bars.
Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

Our funny girl

We had such fun this weekend with Alaina. She is such a funny one to have around. We spend a lot of time laughing!

Here she is, greeting Oliver when she first got here.  She is always so happy to see him.

She was playing with Bob and she got a serious case of the giggles.  Anything he did made her laugh all the more, which made us laugh too.

Lately she's been saying such funny things to us.  Like this in the car this weekend:
"We need to get gas.  We are going to run out of gas and be lost forever!"
"Let's go to the car wash.  We need to get the car washed."  When I say it's too cold and the doors will freeze, she says "But we have too.  It's so dirty!  And the car wash has pretty colors." (She likes the colored foam)
Bob got me soft, fuzzy slipper socks for Christmas.  They have colored dots on them.  When Alaina saw me putting them on, she rubbed them and said "These are just fabulous, Grandma!"
Or when Ruby has a dirty diaper - "This is bad, this is very bad."
The one we really laughed about on Friday night happened in the car.  We were driving home when we heard loud sniffing in the back seat, followed by:
"Grandma, do you smell something"?
"No, do you?"
"Grandpa, hurry up!  There is a stunk behind our car!  Hurry Grandpa, drive fast!"
Then, with her nose pinched shut we hear - "That stunk is peeuweee!"

It was a fun night.   :)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Alaina and Ruby

I tried to get a few pictures of Alaina and Ruby with lights for Christmas. Alaina had been playing so her hair was messed up, plus she's at an age where it's hard to get a smile that doesn't look fake, but it was still fun.

Alaina just loves Ruby - too bad her hand is covering Ruby's face!

Ruby has kissable cheeks and her hair is so funny!  No matter what Laura does, the hair sticks straight up.

I love that smile!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A day in my life

Today was the first day of the month, so it's time to share my day with you again.  Because I worked Christmas day, I had today off.  Bob also had the day off so that was nice.  We stayed up to watch the ball drop last night, so we slept in this morning.  We decided to have bacon and eggs for breakfast, which is something that happens rarely here.  After I cooked the bacon I was reminded of why I don't like to cook bacon.  It smells great, but then the whole house smells like that!

I started up this homemade potpourri on the stove - oranges, cranberries, cinnamon sticks and cloves.  It didn't take long and the house was smelling better.

Then I started some laundry.  I had 3 loads to do today!

I drove to my Dads house to get his pills set up. He takes quite a few at different times and it can be confusing, so I set them up for 2 weeks at a time.  He lives about 20 minutes from me and it's always good to see him.  Today he and my stepmom were at her kids house for New Years so it was a quiet stop.

I stopped to get groceries on my way home.  As you can see, it's snowing here.  It's also very cold!

I sorted out my boxes and Christmas bags to put away.

And I packed away the last of the Christmas decorations.

Along with packing up Christmas decorations, it was also time to clean out the fridge and get rid of the last of the Christmas goodies.  I also cleaned out my pantry.

Finally, I changed out this piece I always have on my table.  Now it has a winter look instead of Christmas.
After that we had supper and relaxed.
It was a good day - lots accomplished and a quiet evening.  Tomorrow I'm back to work.