Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cooking Thursday

Today's recipe is a good one for a hot day.  It's frozen so it can be made in advance, and it's smooth and refreshing.  You'll like it!

Peanut Butter Dessert

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick melted margarine
Mix together and press into a 9x13 pan.

8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
16 ounces Cool Whip
Hot Fudge Sauce for topping

Beat cream cheese, then add powdered sugar. Add peanut better and mix well.
Stir milk in slowly, than fold in Cool Whip.
Pour over crust and freeze.
Top with hot fudge sauce just before serving.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Annual Chicken BBQ

From the time I was a kid (and that was some time ago!) my family has been going to the Annual Drenthe Chicken BBQ.  Drenthe is a very small town about 30 minutes from my home.  I think the only thing in this town is a little ice cream and sandwich shop, a gas station and the park where this is held, but I like small towns!  Anyway, this chicken BBQ is a big deal and lots of people show up.  My Dad always invites all of us to come and we usually have quite a few of the family show up.

This event always seems very "Americana" to me.  They have a community band playing, there are ball games going on, there are old tractors to see, a wagon ride and a petting zoo!

Alaina thought the food was ok, but was much more excited to get done and see the animals.

Ruby was sitting across from me, being her usual goofy self.  She was enjoying a hot dog instead of the grilled chicken, but she did have a little chicken too.

My sister snapped this picture of Bob and I - you see how well he behaves?

There was a whole section of the park devoted to a petting zoo.  The kids were loving it!

There were chickens...

sheep, pigs and goats!

Alaina was surprised when this goat tried to greet her!

There were ducks.

They got to touch the ducks feet and learn about the coating on them that helps them float.

Holding chicks is so much fun!

They both loved this bunny.  It was so soft, and was very calm, and didn't seem to mind lots of little kids petting it!

We missed the wagon rides this year - they were always full, but maybe next year.
What a good night - family, food and fun!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Meeting The Pirate!

I've been blogging for about 10 1/2 years now.  During that time I've met so many wonderful people online.  I've also had the opportunity to meet quite a few in person.
Last week I got to meet another long term blogging friend in person!
I've been following Jenny from 'I'm Having a Thought Here' for about 8 years.  Although most of our communication has been through our blogs, an occasional e-mail and a few phone calls over the years, we have a connection that I know many of you would understand, as it happens sometimes in the blogging world.
Jenny is a pirate fan, and my whole family knows her as Jenny the Pirate.  She lives in South Carolina, and that distance has made meeting in person difficult.  We always planned to go in that direction at some time so we could meet, but last week Jenny and her husband Greg were coming to Ohio.  She sent a message a few months ago, asking if we would be able to meet her halfway from there and of course we were thrilled with this plan.
And so it happened that on a somewhat cool and dreary Friday, Bob and I made the drive to Lansing, Mich.

We met at Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, a place I'd never eaten at before, but Jenny had been to one and liked it.  Not only was it a beautiful place, the food was very good too.
Better even than the food was the company!
I think we stayed for over two hours, talking, laughing and enjoying our time together.  Jenny is a "hoot" and had us laughing several times, but she's also the real deal and we talked about faith, family and our concerns for our country.  I felt I knew Greg already from the blog, and I found that he is exactly the gentleman that Jenny has talked about.  Bob and I really enjoyed our time together.

Here's Greg and Jenny after our meal.

Jenny was so sweet and had brought along a little package of goodies for us.

It included this winged pig, which was perfect for Jenny, because if you follow her blog sooner, rather than later you will read "when pigs fly"...  It's one of her favorite sayings and it makes me smile when I see it on our side table.

She also sent a gift for Alaina and Ruby - this string of popsicle lights for their room.  You can see that they were pretty thrilled with them.

Thanks Greg and Jenny for the gifts, but even more for the time together- it was a joy!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Cooking Thursday

Today's recipe is a freezer meal I made recently.  It's quite fast and easy to put together.  It makes a 9x9 pan, but I double the recipe and put 2 in the freezer, figuring that as long as I'm doing the work, and will have a mess to clean, I might as well have 2 pans at the end!  It's so nice to have in the freezer, all ready for those busy days!

Cheesy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into one inch cubes
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4 ounce) can green chilies
1/3 cup salsa, mild, medium or hot per your preference
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 cup red enchilada sauce
5-6  8" flour tortills
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.

Heat oil in skillet and saute onion.  Add chicken and saute until golden brown and cooked through. Add taco seasoning and garlic powder.

Stir in black beans, chilies and salsa.  Simmer 5 minutes until sauce thickens slightly.

Place half of enchilada sauce in pan. Place tortillas on flat surface.  Top each tortilla with equal amount of chicken/bean mix.  Roll and place side by side in pan. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over top.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.

*These freeze well.  Wrap tightly.  Thaw for 24 hours, then bake for 30-35 minutes.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

Grandma and Alaina's Day out

Last year I started something with Alaina after hearing this idea from my sister.  We did it again last week and I think now that we've done it for two years it's a tradition!
I took Alaina out for lunch and to buy a pair of shoes for school.  She will be in kindergarten this year.

 Here we are, ready to go out!

Ruby giving Alaina a hug before we left. Laura said Alaina had reminded Ruby several times that it was just going to be her and Grandma.  When I got there, Ruby did ask if she could come too, but she was ok when we left.  I told her I would take her by herself another day.

I told Alaina we could go wherever she wanted to go for lunch, and I was sure she would ask for McDonalds, but she surprised me and said she wanted to eat at the food court at the mall.

 She decided that Taco Bell was the place of choice, and we found a table right by the carousel.

She enjoyed her taco and chips!

Then, of course it was time to ride the carousel.  I was surprised that she didn't want to be on a horse, but she was happy to sit on the bench and wave and smile every time she came around.

Then it was time to look for shoes!
 We had a hard time.  She's at an in between stage and a lot of the shoes were Barbie, or something like that, but then we found these black shoes, with the pink laces which she loved.  We also found some short brown boots which will be nice when it starts getting colder.

 She thought the glass sided elevator was fun,

 And she always loves the escalator.

 We goofed around a little bit, trying on sunglasses, and she had fun acting "cool" in them.

We also found a fun pigeon activity book for her to work on later.

 She said she was tired and hungry after this, so we stopped at Kilwins in the mall for a little mint chocolate chip ice cream.

The end of a successful shopping trip!  We both had fun!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

36 years!

I've posted these pictures before, but I'm making you look at them again!
Monday is our 36th anniversary.  It's hard to believe it's been that long, but here we are!
In that time we've lived in 3 houses and had 3 kids.  Those kids are grown and on their own and we're back to the two of us.  However, we've gained 2 son-in-laws, and one daughter-in-law to be, along with our precious granddaughters.
Through the good times and the hard times we've had each other, and more importantly, we have had the Lord.  We are blessed.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cooking Thursday

Today I'm sharing a recipe I made for the first time last week.  It was one that popped up on Facebook, and when I saw cherries and cream cheese I knew Bob would like it.  It's very easy to make and I think you'll like it too!  If you want to change it up, you can use any flavor of fruit pie filling.

Crescent Cherry Cobbler

2 cans crescent rolls dough sheets
2 cans cherry pie filling
2 blocks (8 ounces each) cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar

Press one can of crescent roll dough into a 9x13 pan.
Mix together cream cheese and 2/3 cup sugar until smooth.  Spread over crescent dough.
Spread pie filling over cream cheese mixture.
Place remaining crescent dough between 2 sheets of wax paper, and use rolling pin to press to size to fit pan.  Place over pie filling.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over crescent dough.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until lightly browned.
Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

August Blooms

We love perennial flowers!  They don't bloom all summer like the annuals do, but that means things are always changing in the yard.  Here's what's blooming in our yard right now.

The lilies are almost done.  This is the last one blooming.

The daisies initial blooms are almost done too, but there are lots of new blooms getting ready to open.  This bloom has seen better days, but still looks cheerful!

 The Black-eyed Susan's are blooming like crazy!  We have them in 3 different areas in the yard.

The phlox is also very happy.  We have lots of it in both purple and white.

 This is Autumn Joy Sedum.  It the fall it turns a deep red, but I like it now too.

 This is globe thistle.  It's such a fun little plant - little blue orbs popping up in the landscape that look like something Dr Seuss would appreciate!

The purple coneflowers are another of my favorites.  I love it's shape.

This back corner of the yard is loaded with flowers right now.  On the left are the coneflowers, out of the picture are lots pf phlox, and the flowering bushes are Rose of Sharon.  We have them in pink, purple and white.

Here is a close up of some of the Rose of Sharons.

We are really enjoying these purple chives.  We planted them last year not knowing what they would look like in bloom, but they are so fun, both before opening and after.

"His mercies are new every morning, Great is His faithfulness"
Lamentations 3:23