Thursday, July 30, 2015

News in the world of Ruby!

Last week I watched Alaina and Ruby for about 5 hours.  You may remember that Ruby has been going through a long period of being quite unhappy whenever her mom was out of sight.  We weren't sure how this was going to go, but I'm happy to tell you we made it through the afternoon without a cry!  I'm hoping she finally made it through this phase.  I know Laura and Aaron are really hoping she's done with it.  :)

 There's our happy girl!

 And she crawling!  (and also pulling herself up on furniture)

This was taken when she was supposed to be napping.
I had a fun time with her and hopefully it will go just as well next time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cooking Thursday

Here is a quick and easy, light meal for you. We usually have a light meal on Sunday evenings and this is one we always enjoy.

Tuna Melts

1 12 ounce can tuna, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
 8 hamburger buns
Stir tuna, soup and cheese together. 
Split buns and spread tuna mix over each half.  Broil until lightly browned.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

More day away events

Yesterday I told you about touring the Hackley and Hume houses. After we finished there, we walked about a block to see a few more historic buildings.
We started with the Hackley Fire Barn Museum.

This fire barn was the first gift Charles Hackley gave to the city of Muskegon.  It was built in 1875.  He also sponsored 12 firemen.  This was the beginning of many gifts - by the time he died he had given half of his wealth  to the city he lived in.

 This is one of the first fire wagons, which was pulled by horses.

Here's one of the first fire trucks.

 The firemen stayed in this area on the second floor...

This was their tub - right out in the open!

After touring the old fire barn, we went through the Scolnik house, which tells the story of common families and the way they lived during the depression.

 This house was set up for the family to live on the floor level, and the second level was used by another family who rented it.

What a difference from the opulence of the Hackley house!

 This was the motto of that time.  It's something we could do a little more of today!

By this time it was nearing 2pm and we hadn't had lunch yet.  We could hear music and knew something was going on about a block away.  We heard it was a street fair so we decided to walk down and see if we could have lunch down there.

 It turned out to be a biker rally!

 The whole street was closed and was filled with bikes.

We saw some pretty  fancy ones, and we did find some food.  We didn't hang around long though - we felt a little out of our element.

After this we headed home, then went out for a nice supper.  It was a fun and relaxing day.  Thanks Laura and Aaron!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A day away

Hi all!  I've missed you while I was gone, but I did have a nice little break.  I had a few days off from work.  I used some to get some things done at home that I haven't had time to focus on.  One day Bob had off too and we spent the day having fun.
This past Christmas, Laura and Aaron gave us the nice gift of a day away.  They wanted to thank us for the times we spend with Alaina and Ruby, which was very sweet.  As you know we love that time and feel we should thank them!  Anyway, they gave us a package with a nice letter, some ideas of things to do that weren't too far from home and money for gas, meals and entrance to some of these things.  Here's a few pictures of how we spent part of the day.
One of the suggestions was to tour the Hackley and Hume Historic Site in Muskegon Michigan.  What a great idea!  Charles Hackley and Thomas Hume were lumber barons/partners during the big lumbering years in Michigan.  They must have also been good friends because they built houses next to each other, with a barn behind the two houses that they shared.   These houses were both built around 1880 - 1890 and they are amazing.
When we got there, we first spent time walking down the street, because the other houses in the area were also beautiful

Here's some of the houses we walked past.

 This is the Hume house.

 This is the Hackley house.

And this...   is the barn!  The carriages and horses were kept here, and there where two carriage drivers who also took care of the horses who lived on the second floor of the barn.  We toured that also and there living spaces were quite nice.  You can see the two drives for the carriages that come past each house.  The barn is split down the middle, with the architecture on each side reflects the house it went with.

These pictures were inside the barn to show the size of the trees that were being cut down at this time.

 This is the front entry of the Hackley house.  The woodwork was incredible throughout the house. Mr Hackley hired 13 men who worked for 2 years straight, just doing the carving on all the woodwork.  The girl who was leading the tour says she finds new things all the time.

Here are a few examples of the carvings.  There are little faces all over, lions and tails on stair rails, a bat carved over a stairway for good luck...  The 3rd photo from the left in the collage above is drawers.  You have to put your hand in the mouth of those creatures to open the drawers.

 A fancy bathroom for the time.  The pipe in back sprayed water straight out and water also came from above you.

 Beautiful stained glass windows.

 It was fun seeing some of the old things that were in rooms in both houses.

This is a neat old stove, but I can't imagine being a cook and having to use this to make large meals.

This was the attic of the Hume house.  Isn't this a fun way to use that turret?

We were told that the spindles on this stairway had to be replaced because of kids sliding down and knocking them out.  They said it was mentioned several times in letters that Mrs Hume, who was a Grandma at the time also slid down this bannister!

I took lots more pictures but don't want to overdo it.  Tomorrow I'll share what else we did on our day away.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Winner.... and a break!

Thanks to all of you who signed up for the Pizza Ranch CD giveaway. The winner is...

Bonnie, from White Lace and Promises!
Bonnie - I think you'll really enjoy this CD, with songs that all talk about hope.   E-mail me your address and the CD will soon be on it's way.

I plan to take a short blog break after today.  I have a few days vacation.  Bob and I have a day trip planned, and I have a few projects that need attention, and I've been too busy to do that lately.
I'll be back in about a week, and I'll share what we did.
See you soon!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cooking Thursday

Here's a recipe I make frequently for potlucks. It's one my mom got from a friend she used to work with, so I've probably had it for over 15 years. It's perfect for potlucks because it needs to be made ahead of time, it makes a big bowl full, it's easy and it's so good! I've shared this recipe with people many times!

Japanese Chicken Salad
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
3 ounces Ramen noodles, chicken flavor (keep flavor packet for sauce)
2 chopped green onion
1 bag coleslaw mix
Put almonds in single layer on cookie sheet. Toast at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside and cool.
Put chicken in large bowl. Stir in coleslaw mix, crumbled noodles and onions.

1 pkg noodle seasoning
1/2 cup oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Accent
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Combine all ingredients and pour over chicken and cabbage mix. Stir together to mix. Place in refrigerator overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle with almonds.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

Review... and a giveaway!

From time to time I get offers to review things on my blog.  It's not something I do a lot, but if it's something I think I would enjoy, I think you might too.
This request was one of the most unusual I've had!  There is a pizza chain called 'Pizza Ranch' and they were releasing a christian music CD.  It sounded crazy to me, but then I thought that if we all did a better job of sharing our faith in our daily life, things would be better!
So - first I'll tell you about the Pizza Ranch.  Adrie Groeneweg had a dream that started in Hull, IA, in 1981, when he was just 19 years old.  It was simple.  Why does everyone have to drive out of town to get a pizza?  With just six specialty and single topping pizza recipes developed by Adrie's mother, Lorraine, Pizza Ranch was born.  Pizza Ranch's vision and mission is to glorify God by positively impacting the world and to give every guest a legendary experience.  They have 190+ locations across 13 states including Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado.
There are 3 locations in Michigan.  We'd never been to one, so we decided it was time to check it out.
 The yummy pizza buffet...

 This is seriously the best dessert pizza ever!

 If you don't want pizza, you can have a chicken dinner.  There was also a nice salad bar.

The decor is simple, with a western look.
We thought the pizza was very good, the cheesy bread sticks and dessert pizza could win awards!  We'll be going back!

Now, about the CD:
From Adrie Groeneweg, President & CEO of Pizza Ranch, Inc.:  "This album has a very special meaning for Pizza Ranch.  Although Pizza Ranch is not in the music business, many things have been happening, conversations have been taking place and doors have been opening for this album.  Through these events, I believe it was obvious that God has been behind this for His specific purpose and putting it on our hearts to collectively create this project.  As such, we call this our miracle album, Living Hope."

On June 2, 2015, Pizza Ranch released the CD which contained twelve songs from many of their favorite Christian artists.  Most of the songs are brand-new and written exclusively for this CD around the theme of Hope.  Artists include Colton Dixon, Francesca Batistelli, Ellie Holcomb, Sidewalk Prophets, Kevin Max, Bart Millard, Passion Band featuring Kristian Stanfill, Michael W. Smith, and Mark Schultz.  

The CD will be available to purchase for $5 plus tax exclusively in Pizza Ranch restaurants or for download at through August 31.

I've been listening to the CD for about a week now and have been really enjoying it.  A lot of the artists are people I listen to on my local christian music station, but since most of these songs were written for this album they are new to me.  One of my favorite singers is Bart Millard, and I really like the song he did.

Here's the Bart Millard song to give you a taste of the album.

They are offering a CD to one of my readers!  If you are interested, leave me a comment.  Make sure I have a way to get in touch with you if your name is drawn.  I'll post the winner on Friday.

"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 a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Scenes in my neighborhood

Here's a few photos I took on Saturday.  Some I took on my way to work.  It was one of my favorite kinds of mornings, cool, with a little mist floating around!  The others I took on my way home.  These are all taken within 5 minutes of my house.

This is on the corner of our street.

 This field looked so interesting, with mist floating on the ground, and a heavy cloud of fog above it.

 A little further down the road is this barn, looking even better than usual in the misty sunrise.

 I love seeing the hay cut and laying in rows to dry.

I turned the corner toward the rising sun and came upon this golden scene.

And here's a few on my way home:
 Gravel roads leading into a thicket of trees look so pretty!

Almost home now.  I think this old truck has a certain type of charm out in the field!

I have to add a photo from Sunday morning too.

 I saw these two near the road as I drove in to work.  They barely moved when I pulled over, rolled the window down and took their picture.  What a nice start to the day!

Hope you enjoyed this drive around my neighborhood!