Thursday, April 28, 2016

Crazy storm!

Earlier this week, I posted about the joy and beauty of Spring.  The same evening that was posted, we were hit by a Spring storm!  I had gone back to work to do some end of the month paperwork.  I was in a little office that has no windows, so I was kind of oblivious to what was going on outside.  Then, I got a message from Bob that said "Please tell me the car is ok".   I went to look out the windows, and it was raining like crazy and the wind was blowing.  One of the residents told me it had been hailing too and I could see a some hail on the walkway.  I called Bob to reassure him all was well.  He said it was a good thing the car hadn't been outside at our house and that he would show me what he was talking about when I got home.
Here's some pictures he took right after the hail storm.  This came down in 10 minutes time.

 The yard...

The driveway.

He put a few pieces of hail in the freezer so I could see them.  They were big!


The next day our little town was mentioned on Good Morning America because of the size of the hail we had.

In the daylight, we could see the aftermath of the storm.

 Our street was full of twigs and bark.

 Our solar lanterns had pieces broken off of them.

You can see what our yard looked like by the condition of the bricks under this light.

A lot of the flowering trees lost blooms, so they don't look as nice as they did, but we have quite a few that weren't damaged because the buds are still small.  I guess we better buy some new solar lanterns though!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cooking Thursday

The recipe I'm sharing today is for something I'm sure you all have a recipe for already!  It's chocolate chip cookies.  I got this from a friend at church.  Joanie has shared these for several different events at church and they have become well known there.  I made them to take along on our trip last week and the rest of the family enjoyed them too.  This makes a light, crispy type of cookie, and it makes quite a few.  I always freeze half of them.  Hope you like them too!

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks margarine or butter
1 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups flour
2 - 12 ounce pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine sugars and butter and cream well. Add oil, egg, vanilla and milk. Mix together. Add salt, soda, and flour and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoons on cookie sheet or warm baking stone. Bake at 350 degrees for 17 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Not-so-Wordless Wednesday

This old log church was built in 1791.  It was restored in 2004 and still stand in St Charles, MO.  Isn't it charming?  You can't really see it, but there is a small wooden cross on top and a little bell hanging in the front.

Monday, April 25, 2016

What a difference a week makes!

I love Spring!   It's my favorite season.  It's wonderful to live in an area that really experiences all 4 seasons and the beauty of each.  Winter can be beautiful, but it's also cold and sometimes seems so long.  But then comes Spring, with all the joy of warmer temperatures, longer days, blue skies, green trees and flowers!
Last week when we went to Missouri, we took note of the trees getting greener and the flowers blooming as we drove south.  In the space of a week, things have really changed here in Michigan.  Leaves are opening up and flowers are blooming!  This time of year, Bob and I often walk around the yard every evening to see what's blooming and growing. Here's a few pictures to show you what we're seeing.

 In the back yard, the Forsythia and a Dogwood are blooming.

 These little grape hyacinth add a nice splash of color.

 We have an Oak Leaf Hydrangea in one of our front beds.  It's just starting to open up.

The hosta along the front walk seem to grow a few inches every day.

 These buds are on our redbud tree.  We're excited to see this in bloom.  We planted it a few years ago and Bobs been tending to it, to keep it alive, as we lost 2 previous trees during the winter.  This one has now survived long enough to flower, and we think it will be beautiful!

 These are Grecian Wind Flowers, a type of anemone.  They are very small, about 1 inch across and grow low to the ground.  They add such a nice bit of color wherever they grow.

This is a dwarf lilac.  The buds have just appeared in the last 2 days.

 The Forsythia is loaded with blooms.

This is our Dogwood.  It doesn't bloom for long, but is so pretty while it does!

This is a variegated Weigela.  It's a bush that's about 3 feet high.  It will soon be covered with pink blossoms.

Isn't this a wonderful time of year?  I think it shows God at work in such an amazing way!  I don't know how people can look at this and think it just happened.  It speaks to me of an amazing creator!

"Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You."
Jeremiah 32:17

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Farm Days

I live in an area that still has a lot of farms.  About 10 minutes from my house there is a Farm Museum.  It has all sorts of old things that relate to farm life.  Every Spring they have some Saturdays that they set aside for kids.  They plan kid friendly activities and have a little petting zoo.  It fell on Saturday when the girls were going to be here, and I knew they would enjoy it.  Bob had to work so it was just me and the girls.

The museum is across the street from the Hardware and Feed store.  It's been around a while, as you can see.

 Here's the entrance to the Museum.

 This old windmill is in the front of the building.

 When we walked in, we had to check out the top of the silo.  Isn't it cool?

 There was a stuffed animal petting zoo to start with.

 They got to sit on a big tractor...

and try out a little one too.

 But they were most excited about seeing the real animals.

 It's so fun to hold a bunny!

 Pure joy!

 Alaina had a hard time putting this bunny down.

 But she finally checked out the chickens.

 Ruby did too...

But she wasn't too sure about this goat!

 Alaina got her face painted and became a kitty!

 And she did a little crafts and painting too.

 Alaina got to try out a machine that took the kernals off an ear of corn,

and then tried another one that ground the corn cob down into something that could be used as animal bedding.

She even got to use a machine to twist her own piece of rope!

Here they are at the end of our visit.  They got stickers and bracelets, they got to make felt butterflies, twist rope and paint a wooden flower.  What a fun time!  Grandma was a little tired from chasing after Ruby while Alaina did some of the activities, but it was worth it!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Historic St Charles

Continuing our Missouri trip...
The wedding was held on Saturday morning to allow some travelers to go back home.  We didn't want a late night drive so we spent the night.  That meant we had some time late Saturday afternoon and evening for some fun.
We visited the historic section of St Charles.  If you ever are near it I recommend it!  When Missouri was first a state, St Charles was the Capitol.  Here's a few pictures to show you what it looks like.

There are lots of signs designating historic sites.

Beautiful old houses,

and old buildings like this.

The building above had these doors in the sidewalk to get into the basement.

and these openings through which you could see the Missouri River.

This house was a Mother-in-law house.  It was connected to a bigger house.  I could live there without a problem!

I love these old houses.  Many of them are little shops now.

 There were still cobblestone streets!

It felt like we were stepping back in time.

After walking around, we went here for supper.  This is the Lewis and Clark Restaurant.  There were several things about the Lewis and Clark expedition in town as past of their trail went through where the city is now.

Here's our group at supper to give you an idea of what it looked like inside.

 After supper we walked down to the riverside.  This is the Missouri River.

 This is the old train depot near the river.  After some walking it was back to the hotel, to get ready for an early morning.

 We left at 6 am.  It was another perfect day and we were greeted by this sunrise about 40 minutes after we left.
Our drive home was smooth and we were home by mid afternoon.
We had such a nice time and it was fun to spend time with family this way!