Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

(signs of Spring!)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tip for Tuesday

I saw this tip in an article on organization ideas for your home.  They recommended getting some handled bins to keep things together in your refrigerator.
I found some at the local dollar store and I keep butter, yogurt and cottage cheese in it.  It makes it easy to pull out and lets you keep several things in a fairly small area.  I've also got one in the freezer where I keep my pre-browned ground beef and cooked shredded chicken.  It works really well!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Family is a blessing!

I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend!  It was my weekend off and it was a good one.
I'm going to start with Thursday evening though.  I was at work on Thursday, which is always a late day for me.  I got a message from my sister Cheri asking me to stop at her house on the way home,  She lives just around the corner from me, so it's easy to stop over.  I got there around 6:30 and found that my sister Terri had also stopped, because she was dropping off a little gift for Cheri and I.
She works at a place that screen prints and had gotten some cute towels for both of us.

Look at all these towel!  Aren't they cute?  What a nice surprise!

And here's why Cheri wanted me to stop - she had made several pans of cinnamon rolls and had a pan to share.  Another nice surprise!  I have a wonderful family!

I was supposed to have Friday off, but ended up going in for about 6 hours because we were getting several admissions and they needed some help with them.
After work, Bob and I picked up Alaina and Ruby and took them out for supper, then they came to our house for the night.

The girls love to take blankets and snuggle up in them.

They made a bed on the floor and got Bob to join them.

Bob showed them how he used to dance with their Mom when she was their age.  They thought this was so fun!

See that naughty smile?  She asked me to get her more water, then scrambled into the chair and said "I got your chair Grandma!"  She loves to tease and thought it was so funny!

These girls are so busy, they don't seem to stop moving or talking!  But once in bed, they fell asleep quickly and look how sweet and innocent they look.

Saturday I was woken early, by a little voice saying "Grandma, it's snowing!"  They were both excited to see it blowing and snowing, more so than I was!
We had a nice Saturday, and we stopped to see my Dad and step-mom on our way back to bring the girls home.
Yes - a nice weekend with family!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Friday Funny

Lesser know music history

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cooking Thursday

You guys!  I made the best soup this past week!  It's a little time consuming, but it makes a big pot and is oh, so, good.  Bob said - "you have to put this one on the menu on a regular basis".  I knew I had to share it here - hope you try it!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

approx. 2# whole chicken
4 cups chicken broth
8 cups water
one onion quartered
3 teaspoons chicken stock
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 bay leaves
Add all ingredients to a large soup or stock pot.  Cook until chicken is cooked through - about 45 minutes.
Remove chicken from pot and allow to cool. Pour broth through strainer to remove onions, bay leaves and any sediment. Return stock to pot.
Remove chicken from bones - discard bones and skin, and set chicken aside.

2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery
2 cups uncooked frozen egg noodles*
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped, fresh rosemary
1/3 cup cooking sherry
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
Bring stock back to a boil. Add carrots and cook for about 3 minutes, then add celery and cook for another 10 minutes.
Add egg noodles and cook as directed on package.
When noodles are done, stir in chicken, parsley, rosemary and sherry.  Then stir in parmesan and cream.
Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add salt and pepper as desired.
*The frozen egg noodles make a big difference in the end result.  I used Reames, I'm told Granny's are also good.  If these are not available, regular noodles will also work.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

Family history

I've always found family history very interesting.  I've been blessed to have had some relatives who have had enough interest to have books printed of the information they have on the family tree.  Late last summer I got a phone call from one of my Dad's cousins, who was working on 2 genealogy books about my Grandma's family, one on each of her parents history.  She was going to have them printed and wondered if I would like a copy of them.  Of course I said yes; she said she had to finish them and would let me know when they were done.
I didn't think about it much, until January when I got a call from one of her daughters.  She had passed away on Christmas day, but the books she had worked on had come in a few days later.
These books are quite amazing - not just family trees, but a lot of photos along with newspaper clippings, letters and interesting information about the people and the time they lived in.
 Most of my family is from the Netherlands and she had made a trip there and found a picture of an ancestor hanging in a museum in Amsterdam.

This is Jan Lepeltak and he was a timber merchant and also the regent of the Aalmoezeniersweeshuis Orphanage.  This portrait was painted in 1728.  My Dads cousin wasn't able to get much other information about him.  Bob had been looking through the books and decided to see what he could find just by googling his name.  To his surprise, he also found this photo and discovered that it is still available to buy, but as a poster.  Honestly, I'm not sure why anyone would want this as a poster, but if you are interested in a portrait of one of my ancestors, it is an option!

This portrait is also available, which includes all the regents from the orphanage.  I must admit, that I like this one better.

It really has been fun looking through all this history though. It's powerful to see God's hand in your history.  There was a newspaper article included from the early 1900's that said "this family has been known for their devotion to biblical and spiritual matters".    I am so thankful for that heritage and the way I see it continuing even today.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Random Updates

I have a few different things to share with you today.  First I want to show you a picture from my Valentines Day.  I had the day off and had MOPS in the morning (Moms of pre-schoolers where I am a mentor mom).  It's always a joy to meet with these ladies, and as usual we had a good time.  From there I went to Laura's house and picked up Ruby.  Alaina had a Valentine party at school and Laura was invited to help.  I had such fun with Ruby in the afternoon.

Here she is wearing my slippers.  She got them from our room and was pretty pleased with herself.  She "helped" me do a lot of things and we enjoyed the afternoon.  Her help usually means it takes twice as long, but it's also twice as fun.

This past weekend our daughter Heather and her husband Andrew went away for the weekend to celebrate their anniversary.  We got to take care of our "grandcat" Oliver while they were gone.

Oliver settles in like he never left.  We always enjoy having him around.  He especially likes to sit on Bob's lap in the evening, and follows me around the house when I'm home.

I also want to update you on my workplace.  It's been wonderful working in the new addition.  The residents are loving it and it's been very busy.  I'm still working lots of hours - too many double shifts or 12 hours.  When I work a normal day, I feel like I'm getting out early!  However, we have hired a full time 3-11 nurse who will start in a week, so there is improvement in sight.  We need one more full time nurse.  I know I have people praying for me, and I so appreciate it.  I do feel those prayers and have been amazed at how good I feel after working 16 hours.  I know it's strength that God is giving me, because on my own, I'd be exhausted.  Please keep praying for that right person to apply!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cooking Thursday

Our local store recently had pork roast on sale for 99 cents a pound.  It's not something I buy often and when I do, it's to make pulled pork.  But for that price, I bought a few!  Then I searched for a different way to fix it.  I found this recipe that sounded good, and used the crock pot - score!
I made it and it was delicious, nice and tender and juicy.  I served it with carrots and mashed red skin potatoes and it made a wonderful meal.

Seasoned Pork Roast

3 pounds pork roast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large onion, chopped in large pieces
3 celery stalks, cut (about 2" long)
1/2 cup red wine (or water)
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water

In a small bowl, mix olive oil, rosemary, thyme, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic, then rub onto dry roast making sure to get it well coated.
Place a little oil in a heated pan, then sear the seasoned roast over med-high heat about 4 min each side, until well seared.
Transfer meat into the slow cooker and add onion and celery.
Add red wine to the skillet used for searing meat to deglaze. Scrape with a wooden spatula to make sure all the flavor is removed, then pour into the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours.
Remove roast and vegetables and let rest for 15 minutes.
While meat is resting, pour juices into a skillet and heat. When it comes to a slow boil, whisk in dissolved cornstarch and continue to stir until thickened.
Serve roast cut with gravy poured on top.
*The recipe says you can also use a beef roast.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

(Hydrangea blooms still hanging on in February)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentines Day!

I have to show you the fun Valentines activity I did with Alaina and Ruby when they spent the night, but first I have to give a shout out to my daughter Heather, who is the best Valentine I ever got.  Happy Birthday Heather!
Now for the fun I had with the girls!  I saw this cute idea of making little heart shaped pies, used pre-made pie crust and jam and thought it was perfect for us.

 Here they are - exited and all ready to start!

 Alaina loved rolling out the dough.

Ruby checking out the hearts.

 Getting a close look at them before they go into the oven.  We made some with clear sprinkles on top, others with red sprinkles.

Here's our finished product - a plate of little heart shaped pies!

We packed some up for the girls to take home and brought a few to a friend who had surgery.

 We also brought some to my Dad and step-mom.

And we made a stop at Bob's mom and step-dad to deliver a few. 

We had fun!  Hope you all have a fun day too!

"We love because He first loved us."
1 John 4:19

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A weekend off!

This past weekend was a weekend off from work for me.  I needed it, because it has been so very busy there!  We are short several nurses and when you are a small facility, it means lots of working for the rest.  I've been working quite a few 12 hour days, and have also had several 16 hour days.  On top of that, we moved into our new addition on Friday.  That was supposed to be my day off, but because of the move I was at work.  It's very exciting to be in the new section, and they are starting renovation of the existing part on Monday.
Because of sickness and busyness our granddaughters haven't been able to spend the night for about a month, so we were excited to have them on Friday night.

Here they are, ready to work on something with me in the kitchen.  I'll share more about that tomorrow.  They love "helping" in the kitchen.  The stools get pulled right up and Ruby is usually trying to turn on the water and play in the sink.

 After we finished our project, they wanted to help Grandpa get a snack.

 We had cheese and crackers once when Alaina was younger, and you know how kids are; you do it once and it's a tradition! They expect us to have it in the house for a snack now.

There was time to play a little more...

 Grandpa read a bedtime story.  Ruby was pretty tired here!

On Saturday they wanted to play downstairs in our family room. They took some pillows and an afghan downstairs to play with.

Ruby loves playing with this matryoshka that my sister Cheri brought back from Russia.  Whenever they are playing downstairs, she finds it and looks for the baby in the middle of the doll.

They love to give each other rides on this chair that can spin.

 Alaina and Ruby both made a card for a friend of mine who had surgery.  Alaina spent a lot of time on hers and was pretty proud of it.

Then we went to my Dad's house so I could set up his meds for him.  They were happy to see Pete the bird was there, while his owner is on a trip!

After this it was time for them to go home, and for me to get some things done.  We sure had fun together though!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Cooking Thursday

Last week I made soup from a recipe I got several years ago from a friend at work.  It's vegetable soup and is very healthy, but it's also so good!  Serve it with a crusty roll for the perfect winter meal.

Vegetable Soup

1 1/2 cup hot water
2 tablespoons beef soup stock base
1 quart V8
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Rosemary
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon Mrs Dash
3 bay leaves
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 can mixed vegetable, including liquid
2 cups chopped cabbage

Stir together the hot water and beef base in a 6 quart crock pot.  Stir in the V8.
Add spices and bay leaves, then stir in all the veggies.
Cook on low for 8 hours.  Remove bay leaves before serving.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017

Little bits of joy at my kitchen sink

I think that I'm not unusual when I say that I spend a lot of time near my kitchen sink.  Obviously I stand there to do the dishes, but I am also next to it most any time I'm in the kitchen.  So, it's nice to have things there that bring me joy.   Here's a few things that make me smile when I go into my kitchen lately.
1) the yellow Scrub Daddy sponge.  It works great and it's smiling!  Don't you want to smile back?
2) the green glass soap dispenser.  I got it as part of a Christmas gift from Andy and Nikki.  It has an old fashioned look, is easy to use to dispense my dish soap and looks nicer than having a soap bottle sitting out.
3) Speaking of old fashioned - I love the farmhouse look, which often uses ball canning jars as accent pieces.  I recently saw the idea of using an old jar like that to put some dishwasher soap pacs in.  My friend Betsy from My Five Men has an Etsy shop where she sells lots of great old things, and she had a few old Ball jars for sale. Perfect!  I think my little jar looks pretty cute sitting there and my dishwasher soap is convenient too!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Day in my Life

It's February!  We're getting closer to Spring and seeing a little more daylight too.  As I usually do, I'm sharing how I spent the first day of the month with you.

 February 1 was a work day for me so I was up at 5am.  I start the day with 30 minutes on the treadmill.

 After a shower and getting ready for work, I had some oatmeal for breakfast.

 6:35am - on the road.  It snowed the night before so the roads were covered and it was a bit slippery but I made it to work without trouble. 
I start at 7, get report from the night nurse, get my med cart stocked with fresh water, applesauce to give meds with for those who have trouble swallowing, a nutritional supplement for some people, along with items needed for checking peoples vital signs.  By 7:30 I am usually ready to start my morning med pass.  This is one of the longest tasks of the day.  Most of our residents take quite a few meds and their am meds are ordered for 8:30.  The state regulations say the meds have to be given within one hour before and one hour after that time.  It usually takes the full two hours to do the med pass.  We have a shorter med pass at noon.

 I took a break from passing meds to take this picture through our patio door.  We saw something that hadn't been seen much in our area - the sun!  As a matter of fact, our area was declared the most cloudy place on earth last week, because prior to the 1st, there had been zero sunshine for a week!

I can't show pictures of residents, but here is something else that I spent time with.  This is a feeding tube for someone who is unable to swallow.  Behind it is equipment for suctioning and a humidity system for a tracheostomy.   Some of our residents have sad stories.
Others things I do in the day are treatments, dressing changes, updating families and lots of charting!  Our Physician Assistant was also in to admit and see some residents which means orders to put in the computer and print.  That's a bit about my day.

We have been dealing with a real shortage of nurses lately and I was scheduled to work 12 hours on this day.  I was all set for this and had soup in the crockpot for Bob when he got home.  However, I had a nice surprise.  A nurse that just works occasionally showed up!  She had agreed to work, but hadn't got put on the schedule.  I had some things to finish, but got to leave at 4:30 instead of 7, which was very nice!

 I took this pic when I got home to show you what the sky has usually been looking like around here.  It was back to being cloudy and gray.  It was nice to see the sun in the morning, if only for a short while).

 Bob came home from work and we had the veggie soup I had ready in the crock pot. (I'll share the recipe on Thursday)

 After supper, Bob went to a meeting at church and I worked on the Bible study our ladies from church are doing.  It's a study on Gideon by Priscilla Shirer.  I really enjoy her studies.

Then I worked on a menu plan for the next few weeks, and made a grocery list so I could get groceries after work on Thursday.  I've been menu planning like this for years and it really makes my life easier, in knowing what I have to get ready before going to work or knowing what I am going to make when I come home.

 After I got that done, I relaxed with a little tv and computer time.  I lit this candle in the living room - it always seems cozier on a cold night when a candle is lit!

It's 11:15 - time for bed!  It's another work day tomorrow!
Thanks for spending the day with me.