Monday, April 30, 2018

Pinterest Fail

I saw something on Pinterest that I thought would be fun to do with Alaina and Ruby.  We did have fun doing it, but the end result wasn't what it was supposed to be!   The plan was to make a multi-colored, battery operated night light.  To do this you needed a glass jar with a sealing top, a battery operated LED light and water beads.
We started with the water beads.

 Alaina is looking at the tiny little beads in the bowl.

Ruby is checking them out after we covered them with water.  The instructions said it would take 6-18 hours so we did this before they went to bed at night.

 However, they started getting bigger immediately!  After reading bedtime stories they had already grown this much!
After this the girls went to bed, and I was woken up early the next morning with urgent requests - "Grandma, we need to check the water beads!"

Look how big they got!  The girls were thrilled and had fun touching and planning with them.

 We have everything gathered to put our light together.  The night light was light sensitive and tuned off shortly after we started because it was light outside.

 The girls had fun putting handfuls of the little beads into the jar.  I got to pick up the ones that fell.   :)

Here is the finished product.  Unfortunately the lid wouldn't close because the light was too big.  Also the light didn't shine through the water beads like  they said it would.
However, it wasn't a total loss!  The girls had such fun playing with the beads and putting it together.  They didn't really care that the light wasn't working like it was supposed to.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Art Show

Last week we were invited to go to an art show for the Hudsonville schools where our Alaina is in Kindergarten.  There was art chosen from Kindergarten to 12th grade, and it was being displayed in the community room at City Hall.  I may be biased, but I think Alaina is quite talented in art.  She is good at drawing - better than I am and she's just 6!  However, the piece that was chosen was more of a modern art piece, which I am unable to judge!  :)   She was quite proud to have a piece entered and we were proud of her too!

 Here's City Hall

Here we are entering the community room.  It was a busy place!

There was a lot of art being displayed.  All ages were displayed together, as well as types of art.

Here are a few pieces I thought were quite good.

Alaina with her piece of art.

Ruby and Alaina after the show.  They were glad to be out and be able to run around on a nice Spring evening!  We were glad we got to go!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Cooking Thursday

I had to have a nurses meeting last week and I brought a treat in as a little thank you for all of them.  These bars have chocolate and caramel in them, so how could you go wrong?  Everyone liked them, and that was good because I don't need them all coming back home!

Chocolate Caramel Squares

11 ounce package caramels bits
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 german chocolate cake mix
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup softened butter
6 ounces chocolate chips

Combine caramels and milk; microwave, stirring occasionally until melted and set aside.
Combine remaining ingredients except chocolate chips. Stir together until dough is crumbly, but holds together. Press half of dough into greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Spread melted caramel over all. Sprinkle reserved dough over all. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Ruby

This Ruby is such a character.  We laughed so hard the other night when Laura sent us this message:

"The granddaughter formerly known as "Ruby" has changed her name to "Jameriffic."  She informed us she no longer likes Ruby and would prefer we called her Jameriffic.  She's pretty serious about this and anytime we call her Ruby she corrects us and says, "No, I'm not Wuby, I'm Jam-uh-wiffic."  What on earth am I going to do with this kid..."

She even had Alaina write a note for a friend on this piece of paper towel.  It is signed - Jamurific!
No one knows where she got this name from, it's not anything they've heard in their house before.

She also has a scratch on her back.  She says a wolf scratched her.
Life is never boring at their house!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Spring has sprung!!!

I think, I hope we have seen the end of snow.  We had a beautiful weekend and I got out in the yard with my camera.
There are some remnants of last year still hanging around in the garden, as well as signs of new life!

There are still two blooms hanging on our hydrangea tree.  I'm quite surprised that they made it through all the snow and wind of that long winter!

These are seed pods on our magnolia trees.

Our Japanese maple is still holding on to it's leaves.

Hooray!  The maple tree is budding!

Buds on the red twig dogwood...

and buds on the snowball bush!

These little blue flowers are like crocus, because they pop up through the snow.

And the crocuses are bright and cheery, with no snow around them!

Spring is my favorite season.  I'm so glad that even when it seems winter may never end, we can trust that God will bring Spring!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cooking Thursday

Last week I had a "girls night out",  supper at a friends home with some of the women in our Tuesday night Bible study.  We had a good time eating and talking!  She had made some brownies for dessert that we all thought were really good.  I asked for the recipe to share with all of you, and she told me they were the  easiest brownies ever!  So here you go - so easy and so good!

Symphony Brownies

1 brownie mix for a 9x13 pan
2 large Symphony candy bars

Prepare brownie mix as directed on box.  Pour half into greased 9x13 pan.
Lay Symphony bars over brownie batter, then pour remaining batter over candy bars.
Bake as directed on box.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekend fun!

I told you yesterday that I would tell you about some weekend fun.  First I have to thank you for the encouraging comments and prayers for our Heather.  She was released from the ICU on Sunday, and then got to go home this evening.  She had 4 CT scans and they show the bleed is resolving on it's own.  She is feeling much better and was happy to go home and have a shower!  However, she is restricted from driving for 6 months, so that will be a little difficult.  Thankfully her work is close by and for right now she can't work anyway, until the doctor ok's it.
PS - I think a lot of you thought Heather was Alaina and Ruby's mom, but that's Laura.  Heather doesn't have kids yet.

Now for the fun part of the weekend!
We had Alaina and Ruby overnight this weekend.  Laura dropped them off at work to me.  The residents there love little kids. Alaina is quieter and prefers to just stay by me, but Ruby goes out and has conversations with them. We have a lady that carries a doll around and Ruby told her that she has one just like that, and her doll doesn't like getting her eyes wet.  Another lady told Ruby that she was so cute and could be her daughter.  Ruby told her "no, because I have a little nose, and your nose is kind of big"...   Oh boy!  This lady was quite confused and didn't really understand what she was saying, and just enjoyed talking with her, thankfully!
We went to Grandpa's work to pick him up and had to check out the lawnmowers.

It was fun sitting on those big machines!

Then we went out for supper, and after that to the mall.  Bob needed new hiking shoes, so he had a few he was trying on.  I asked Ruby which ones she liked better and she said none.

These are the ones she picked out because they were shiny and "looked like a rainbow".  They also happened to be women's shoes!  She asked the assistant if Grandpa could try them on, but we decided they weren't Grandpa's style.
After this the real fun started.  Our mall has animals you can rent for 5 minutes to ride around on.  They happened to be right outside the shoe store, so you know the girls were checking them out the whole time we were in there.

Alaina figured out how to use hers without problem and was quickly zooming around.

Ruby got on hers and decided she needed to go to the bathroom.  That worked out well for Alaina because they didn't start the timer until both girls were using the animals.  Ruby and I found the bathroom and came back.  However, when she tried it she almost ran someone down.  The girl turned down the speed, but Ruby wasn't understanding how to stop or turn.  It was full speed ahead!
So, the girl suggested that Grandpa ride with her.  Ruby thought that would be fine.

 And they're off!

They had such fun - even Grandpa!

We had to go up and down the escalator a few times before we left, but they enjoyed it all!
Then we headed home and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Weekend report

We had quite a weekend, filled with fun things and some not fun at all things.  I'm going to save the fun things for tomorrows post, and will share the not so good things now.

Isn't it such a blessing and a sense of peace to know that God is in control and He is taking care of us? We had Alaina and Ruby overnight and were at the restaurant, enjoying supper with them when Bob's cell phone rang. It was our son-in-law Andrew.  He was calling to let us know that Heather had passed out at work, hit her head and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.  At that time they hadn't determined why she passed out, and were keeping her to monitor her for head injury.
Later in the evening, we were updated that she was in the ICU.  When she passed out, she apparently hit her head hard enough to fracture her skull.  She also had some bleeding on the brain.
When I went to the hospital the next day, they said things were looking good.  She is a type 1 diabetic and they think she passed out because of a low blood sugar.  The bleeding appeared to have stopped and if a second CT scan looked ok, she would be moving to a regular floor.
She has a terrible headache, nausea and vomiting, but is thinking much more clearly, and passed the cognition tests they gave her.
We are so thankful that this happened in a place where she was immediately observed and care given.  She's in a good hospital and Andrew is at her side, watching over her too.
I so appreciate those of you who heard about this and have been praying.  Please continue to pray that the bleeding resolves, and that her headache and nausea improve.

In other weekend news, our crazy weather continues.  In the light of head injuries, it really isn't important!  However, we have been having lots of wind, rain and lots of freezing rain is expected.  They are predicting power outages, so I'm getting this post ready on Saturday evening, in case I can't post tomorrow night.

I'll keep you updated on Heather, and will tell you about fun weekend things tomorrow!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cooking Thursday

It's really past the time of year that I would normally share a soup recipe, but since it's been so cold here, I decided to make some this weekend.  This recipe is one that uses canned soup as a base so it is very quick to throw together.  It's very tasty though - you would think it was completely homemade!

 Cheesy Potato Soup
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Potato Soup
4 soup cans milk
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

1. Stir the bacon, onion, soup, milk, black pepper, potatoes, & 1/4 cup chives in a 6 quart slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or until the potatoes are tender.
3. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Serve with the remaining chives.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Monday, April 9, 2018

Tip for Tuesday/product review

Have you been to Pampered Chef parties?  If you haven't heard of them, they have home parties and sell all sorts of wonderful kitchen items.  I am not affiliated with them, but I really do like some of their products.  Someone I work with has one of these parties at least once a year, and I think she has almost every product in her kitchen! She gives me honest reviews of things when she has a party, and at her last one, she told me about the following product and said she was sure I would like it.

This is a salad chopper. It's a heavy duty chopper that works like a scissors.  It has a curved piece on the bottom that allows you to chop things right in the bowl.

Here's one of their shots showing it being used to chop lettuce.
It's very handy for that, you can use it to chop up other salad fixings as well, but I probably wouldn't have purchased it just for that.
My friend told me about it because you can also use it to chop chicken.

Here's my chicken, all chopped and ready to use in a recipe.  You can put your cooked chicken breasts right in the bowl and chop them up in no time flat.  The chopper can go right into the dishwasher to be washed.

It's a very handy gadget, easy to use and a real time saver for me.  You can chop most anything with it!  So, if there is a Pampered Chef party in your future, this is my recommendation!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring Break?

This past week was Spring break but you wouldn't know it by the weather we've had.  There's been lots of jokes by the local people on facebook about things like Michigan being stuck in some time warp, or maybe the Groundhog Day movie, and that Winter is never going to end!
So, last week the weather report said something about a "blob of cold air is stuck over West Michigan and it has no plans to leave soon".  Here's a few pictures of what it looked like.

Our back yard

While I was outside taking this pictures, there were a bunch of birds singing.  It was a bit confusing!

I have this little frame in the kitchen that we write notes or reminders on.  I had written Happy Spring! on it, and drawn the flowers.  I came home from work to see that Bob changed the ! to a question mark and added falling snow flakes.  :)  It made me laugh, and it pretty much sums up our weather!

Thursday, April 5, 2018