Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

A walk along the pier

Yesterday I mentioned our evening in Grand Haven.  We are so blessed to live near Lake Michigan.  It's always fun to get out and walk the channel and the pier!  It was a cloudy evening, but still pretty.  Here's a few photos from the walk.

 This is a monument set up to honor the Coast Guard, which is stationed here.

A view of the pier and the lighthouse.  There were a lot of others enjoying it that evening.

 This memorial is set up just before you get on the pier.  It's a sobering reminder of the tragedies that have occurred here.

This is my favorite spot - seeing the catwalk and the two lights ahead of us.

 This was an interesting sight at the end of the channel.  Apparently they are dredging the channel.  I've never seen this equipment out there before.

 The end of the pier, looking back at the lighthouse.  This is a favorite spot to sit and look out at the lake.

 On the walk back, we made our way past all these poles.  It seems the fishing was good that evening!

 A view of the beach from the pier.

As we were walking back, this Coast Guard ship went by, filled with men who appeared to be enjoyed the ride back to the station.

And at the end of the channel, a stop for ice cream!  What an enjoyable evening!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The State of the Union

Friday night Bob and I went to Grand Haven.  We enjoy going out there to have supper, and then walking the pier.  I'll show you more of that tomorrow.

The photo above is of a hill overlooking the harbor in Grand Haven, Michigan.  Until a few months ago, that anchor was a cross.  Someone came into town, who didn't even live in Michigan and threatened to sue if the cross stayed up.  He apparently goes all over the country doing this sort of thing.  The ACLU got involved and although the great majority of citizens voted for the cross to stay, it was changed to an anchor.

It seems that every week, something else happens in the world, or in our country that take away more religious freedoms.  Decisions by the Supreme Court, Media that pushes an agenda and for that matter politicians that do the same, terrorism, wars...     The Bible tells us in the last days times will be hard and Christians will be hated.   I believe all these things are signs of the times.

These things are disheartening, but we are called to continue on; to speak the truth while showing God's love.  And, we can remember that we know how this story ends!

"I have told you these things so that in me you will have peace.  In this world you will have trouble but take heart.  I have overcome the world."   John 16:33

Thursday, June 25, 2015

100 Years of Fashion in 2 Minutes

My daughter Laura posted this video on her facebook. She put it up for our other daughter, Heather because Heather loves all things old and vintage. I thought it was fun, so I'm sharing it!
This is a short video that takes one woman and dressed her in clothing for each decade, from 1915 to 2015. I decided I really like the clothing from the earlier decades much better than the later ones. I think women looked a lot classier!

I liked the 20's, 30's and 40's.  Which era did you like best?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cooking Thursday

I saw this recipe online some time ago and saved it but was forgetting to try it out.  When I saw it again last week, I thought I better try it.  It's another one that goes together easily and it's good!

Crescent Pizza Bake

8 ounce crescent rolls
3/4 pound lean ground beef, cooked and drained
1 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
8 ounces mozzerella
1 teaspoon oregano
pizza toppings per your taste - pepperoni, sausage, peppers...

Heat oven to 375°F. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Place in ungreased 9-inch square pan or 10-inch pie plate; press in bottom and up sides to form crust.
Place beef into skillet, stir in pizza sauce, green pepper and oregano; simmer 5 minutes. Spoon beef mixture in crust-lined pan; sprinkle with cheese. Top with pizza toppings of your choice. (I don't care for pepperoni, so my side of the pizza looks a little empty.)
Bake 14 to 17 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

Friday Night Fun

Yesterday I mentioned that Alaina had stayed at our house from Friday to Saturday.  Friday night was beautiful and we had so much fun with her.  She knows the way to our house and was paying attention to what way we were turning.  We were planning to take her to the park in our town, but hadn't told her that.  When we turned into the drive for it, she asked where we were going, and then she saw the play equipment.  She said "It's a park!  I have an idea - we can go to the park.  Isn't that a good idea?  I have good ideas!"  We agreed that she did have good ideas and we walked to the play area.

There are so many fun things to do at the park!

Some things are better when done with Grandpa.

There is a huge sandbox to play in.  I think all kids like sand!

While we were out, Bob had a message from his brother to stop over.  Alaina loved his old tractor and even got a ride in his ATV cart.  She enjoyed that and even got Grandma to drive it around.


Our last stop was at the ice cream place.  Alaina got purple ice cream, and had to share a little with Grandpa.
Don't you think we know how to have a good time on a Friday night?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Weekend Celebrations!

We had some celebrations this weekend.  It was Bob's birthday on the 9th, so Saturday night we celebrated Bob's birthday and Fathers Day.

 Alaina stayed overnight on Friday night and was my helper on Saturday.  She was quite proud of the cake after she put  the sprinkles on.  She walked around the room showing everyone how pretty her cake was.

 She also helped get apples ready for apple pie.  She was very excited to use the apple peeler/corer/slicer, and kept telling me "I can do that for you Grandma!"  She turned the handle, and I did the cutting.  We make a good team.  :)

We had my Dad and stepmom over for dinner on Fathers Day.  He had been sick for a few weeks prior, but is now feeling well.  We had a nice time together and that pie was delicious!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Spotted in our back yard...

We get some wildlife in our backyard.  We get lots of rabbits (to Bob's dismay - they eat his flowers), woodchucks, quail, turkey...We've even had a few deer.
Lately we've had something quite special though - the elusive tree fox!

These may look like your standard squirrels, and that is what we always called them, but according to Alaina, they are actually tree foxes.
They've been very happy in the back yard lately, because the maple tree has dropped thousands of seeds.  They scamper up and down the tree, run through the flowers and into the woods.  Those tree foxes are quite entertaining.
I have a feeling that the squirrels in these parts may never be called squirrels again...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cooking Thursday

We usually have a light supper on Sunday evening; often a hot sandwich or bun of some sort.  A recipe we like is this pizza burger recipe.  I usually have my ground beef browned and ready to go, which makes this a very quick and easy meal.  It's something my kids enjoyed when they were home too.

Pizza Burger Buns

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
12 ounces pizza sauce
2 cups mozzerella cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
8 hamburger buns

Stir together ground beef, pizza sauce, cheese and Italian seasoning.
Spread mixture onto hamburger bun halves.
Broil until lightly browned.
That's it!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

What I've been doing

Yesterday I showed you what Bob has been working on.  I thought I should show you that I wasn't just sitting around while he worked!  :)
Our freezer isn't frost free, so every year I have to defrost it, before I start filling it back up.  It's not a fun job, but it feels great to have it done, and have everything all cleaned out!
I also spent a day making freezer meals.  You can see some of them on the top shelf.  On days that I know I'm going to work late, it's so nice to have something that's ready to pop in the oven if Bob makes it home before me.
I made Chicken Enchiladas, meatballs, Rigatoni, BBQ Chicken, Chicken Enchiladas and Chicken with veggies and brown rice.  I made 2 meals of each recipe, so I'm stocked for a while!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Here's what Bob's been doing!

Bob loves working on our yard and he seems to always have some project going.  When he's not working on something, he has some plans going in his head!
I really like his latest additions.

We had a trellis in the corner of our back yard, but it was black and didn't show up well against the trees.  Also, the clematis on it was getting quite big, so he built this arbor around it.  It shows up so much more, and gives more room for the clematis to grow.

Here's a closer shot.  The light green is the clematis growing, and it will soon have white flowers on it.

 His next project was this fountain.

 It's not turned on in this photo, but it's a bubbler fountain, the water just bubbles over the top, and goes back to the basin.

 Here's a close up of it working.

It's called a 4 seasons fountain.  There are 4 different faces on it, representing the 4 seasons.

Here's a view from the bench, looking out over the backyard.

I think I'm pretty lucky, and he's pretty talented!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Carrie, of Northwoods Scrapbook.  This is usually an award free blog, but since this one is more of a fun meme, I decided to do this, although I will be breaking a few of the rules by not passing it on!  I was supposed to pass it to 7-10 other bloggers, but I hate that part of it.  I always feel I'm going to leave someone out.  :(
Before I go on, I need to thank Carrie for thinking of me!  Carrie is a fairly new blogger, and I enjoy her posts sharing the beautiful area she lives in - which is on the other side of Lake Michigan from me.  She's a sweetheart, and often shares things she is doing with and for her MIL whom she helps care for.  She also shares some of her wonderful scrapbook layouts.
One rule I am following is to answer 10 questions that Carrie listed for me, so here goes!

1. What are some of your favorite hobbies?
I love photography.  Wandering around with a camera is so much fun.  I've also been enjoying Digital Scrapbooking.
2. Why did you begin blogging? How long do you think you'll continue?
I've been blogging for 8 years!  It's hard to believe.  Sometimes I think about quitting, but I keep it up because I've met so many wonderful people through doing this.  I have also found it's a good things to look back at and see what was happening at a certain time.

3. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live and why?
I would live right where I do.  Most of our family members are nearby which is very important to me.  It's also beautiful!  I do get sick of the snow in the winter, but it really makes me appreciate the other 3 seasons so much more. 
4.Do you have pets? How many?
We have had several pets - fish, dwarf hamsters, a dog and several cats.  Our last cat, Oliver left with Heather when she got married.  I really do miss him, but then I think about the cat hair and the occasional cat barf, I decide that time is done for us.
5. What are your favorite foods? Do you do the cooking?
I do almost all of the cooking over here.  Bob does the grilling and he makes some mean pancakes and omelets.  Some of my favorite foods to make are desserts and other goodies - and that's not good!
6. What is the best lesson you've ever learned?
Don't wish your life away.  Enjoy each day, because time passes quickly and our kids, grandkids... grow up so fast!  Time spent with our loved ones needs to be cherished.
7. If you could do any profession what would it be?
I'm a nurse.  Growing up, I always wanted to be a nurse and a mom, and I was blessed to be both.  I wouldn't change a thing.  Although there are hard days, I love my job!
8. Would you rather travel to the past or go forward to the future and why?
Going forward doesn't appeal to me.  I don't need to know the future.  I would love to go back a few decades and spend time holding and playing with my kids.
9. Do you prefer snail mail or email to send letters to friends or family?
Getting a letter through snail mail is such a treat!  If I'm sending something, it's usually a card with a note.  I use e-mail for short questions or passing information.
10. You're shipwrecked on an island what one thing would you have to have with you?
In thinking about what one thing I could use over and over, I would have to say my Bible.  Unlike other books, I can get new insight from a verse every time I read it.  It can give comfort, calm, bring joy, and praise! 
If any of you are interested, feel free to grab this award and answer the questions.  Thanks Carrie!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cooking Thursday

I told you all that I would share my recipe for burritos.  I also told you they were so easy to make that I feel like I'm cheating.  You'll understand when you see the recipe!
This is a recipe that Bob actually got at work quite a few years ago.  There was another guy he worked with who brought these in and made the other workers hungry.  His wife passed on the recipe and I've been making them ever since!
 The cheating part of the recipe is because the main burrito is already made, you just mix up the sauce and add cheese.  That makes this a nice quick meal to throw together when you get home late!

Easiest Burritos Ever!

1 family package frozen El Monterey Burritos (8)
1 jar beef gravy
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 envelope burrito seasoning
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place frozen burritos in 9x13 pan. 
Stir together the gravy, tomato sauce and burrito seasoning.  Pour over burritos, making sure you cover each one.
Cover pan with foil and place in oven for 40 minutes,
Remove from oven, remove foil and sprinkle cheese over burritos.  Return to oven, uncovered and bake another 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
Serve with sour cream, chopped onions, guacamole or topping of your choice.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Monday, June 8, 2015

Tip for Tuesday

 Today I'm sharing a few ideas for brides.  I don't know if this is a benefit to any of you, but I thought they were cute ideas, so I'm sharing them!  :)

This first one is something I received from a bride I helped to give a shower for.  She brought along these cute gifts for the ladies that gave the shower.
 The tag says: Thank you for being a part of this beautiful day.

 And in the bag, was a Beautiful Day lotion, from Bath and Bodyworks.  Isn't that cute?  I thought it was a very thoughtful thing to do.

This next thing is something Heather did for her bridesmaids.

She ordered these cute tote bags, put in a necklace she had made to go with the dresses they were wearing, some soft comfy socks, a pretty candle, and then added this cute poem and the things mentioned in it.

This survival kit was 
made just to say

I'm thrilled you're beside me 
on my special day.

There's chocolate to give you
that sugar high,

and a package of tissues
in case you should cry.

Lip gloss to help you
take care of your smile,

If a nail should break,
I've included a file.

There is Shout if you
happen to spill on your dress,

and Lifesavers to keep
your breath minty fresh.

There's Aleve and Tums
if you start to feel ill,

 and band-aids to help
you tackle high heels.

I've put everything into
this handy pack,

just so you know that
this bride has your back!

This kit was created so
that you can see,

just how much you mean
to this bride -to-be!

Here's the tote bag all filled up.  The bridesmaids liked them!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Oh, that Ruby!

Most of you know that we have Alaina overnight every other week, when it's my weekend off.  You may also remember that we've tried to have Ruby come too, but she's been going through a scared stage and doesn't like that idea.
She's been seeming better lately, so this past weekend we thought it was time to try again.
Laura and Aaron brought the girls over and we did a little playing.

 After some initial hesitation she seemed to be doing ok.

Alaina was having a great time, and insisted on giving Grandpa a wagon ride.

But when it was time for her Dad and Mom to leave, Ruby wasn't having anything to do with it!
She has quite a scream (Laura says it's a banshee wail!) and she wasn't going to stop.
So in the end, she went back home, and Alaina stayed.  We had a good time, but we sure hope Miss Ruby gets over this soon!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A walk around the yard

When Spring comes, Bob and I walk around the yard almost every night after supper.  It's amazing how things can change in a day or two, and we love seeing every new flower that blooms.  Come along for a short walk!

The front walk to the house - the dwarf lilac is blooming near the driveway and the hostas along the walk are filling in nicely.

Walking around to the back yard, the flower bed behind the garage is also blooming.  The purple flowers are Siberian Iris and are just starting to open.  The pink is a Variegated Wiegela.

In the back corner this little flower bed is coming to life.  We call this little statue 'Malcolm' because he stands in the middle of the flowers.  (From the tv show Malcolm in the Middle).  The Siberian Iris are opening here also; in front of Malcolm the lavender is just starting up and it smells wonderful.  The white is a new Clematis that Bob planted last fall.  It's growing on the bottom of a trellis, but soon will grow taller and will bloom above the iris.

 These clematis are such a brilliant white!

I really enjoy these Siberian Iris.  They are such a pretty color.

 To the left of that bed are these Vibernum which are almost done flowering but are still pretty.  The arbor here also has a new clematis growing, that was planted the same time as the white one.  We hope it soon fills the arbor.

Here's a close up of the other clematis.

 This building is Bob's wood shop.    He has some nice views of the yard when he's out there working.

Here's another look from the middle of our back yard toward the back.  There will soon be new flowers opening in this bed too. 
Isn't it amazing to think of the many varieties  of flowers, trees, bushes, grasses, and isn't it awesome that God gives us such beauty to enjoy?

"Who is it that covers the heavens with the glorious clouds?  Who prepares the rains for their departure from heaven for their timely deployment?  Who makes the grass grow upon the majestic mountains?  Surely it is the Lord of Glory, the Creator Himself who endows this earth with all of its marvelous splendor. Give God His due glory because the creation already declares the glory of God."
Psalm 147:8, Psalm 19:1