Thursday, August 30, 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Cooking Thurday

This time of year, the tomatoes are plentiful and I love them!  The recipe I'm sharing is something I like to make for myself for lunch wen I'm home for the day.  I think these are so flavorful and are a real treat - and they're healthy too!

Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes
Large tomatoes 
Minced garlic or garlic powder
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Oregano, thyme, basil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wrap a rimmed baking sheet with foil and line with parchment paper.
Cut tomatoes into 3/4 inch slices.  Remove seeds and juice. Poke holes in the bottoms of any end pieces.  Drain, cut side down on a paper towel or a few minutes.
Place tomato slices on prepared pan.  Sprinkle with garlic, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar.
Place in oven for 20-25 minutes, until tomatoes are soft, dark and caramelized.
Sprinkle with herbs, allow to sit for a few minutes and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Monday, August 27, 2018

Baby Shower!

Our church does baby showers for new moms and we  had one last week that had some cute ideas I thought I would share.

This mom is a kindergarten teacher and she loves kids books.  So, the theme of this shower was kids books.  We played some games about kids poems and books and they planned the food around books.
This Table of Contents was sitting at the beginning of the brunch line. 

These are Green Eggs and Ham mini casseroles, behind them is Ugly Duckling lemon water, off on the side is Blueberries for Sale muffins.

These are Three Little Pigs in a blanket.

Here is the Hungry Caterpillar fruit and cheese tray

You can hardly see it, but on the right of the picture is the Tale of Peter Rabbit veggie tray, and you can see they had the books setting out too.
We all enjoyed the cute names and good food!

We played another game that we all thought was fun, and could be used for many types of gatherings.
We were divided into groups of 6-8.  Each person got a stack of scrap paper and they had to write something about a baby.   I wrote "the baby took a nap".  Then we had to pass the whole stack to the person on our left.  That person had to put the top paper on the bottom and draw what we wrote.  Then we passed the paper again and the next person wrote what they thought the picture was.  As you can imagine, by the time it came around the table, most descriptions didn't match up to the original.  My came back as "the mom threw a pacifier at the baby!"   Each table shared their funniest one and we all had some good laughs.

So - if you have a shower to give, there are a few ideas for you!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Grandma and girlies day out!

The last few years I've taken Alaina out shopping before school starts to get a pair of shoes for school, and to do some fun things together.
Ruby is going to Preschool this year so she got to go too.  I had planned to take them separately so we could have some one on one time, but on our first scheduled day I ended up having to take my Dad in for a procedure on his heart.  (he's fine)  Anyway, with school starting so soon, I ended up taking them both together.

Here we are, ready for our adventure!

I laughed when I got in the car and turned around to see these two in their sunglasses, with their water cups all ready to go!

Usually I've gone around 11 and we have lunch first, but this year Laura had an early dentist appointment so we had an earlier start to the day.  We stopped at Old McDonalds (Ruby's title) for an Egg McMuffin before we went shopping.

The mall wasn't open yet, so we stopped at Target.

We found shoes there for each of them.  Some boots with pink laces for Alaina, and high topped sparkly tennis shoes for Ruby!

 After that we went to the mall.  When you go to the mall, you have to ride the escalator!

We found a cute outfit for each of them at Kohls, the pants are different colors but the tops match.

 After that we headed upstairs to the food court and rode the carousel which was probably the girls favorite part of the day.

We had Subway for lunch.

There are other kids rides there too, so they each chose one more ride.

When we went back down, we took the see through elevator and then it was time to go home.

 When I got them home, Laura had a surprise for me.  A beautiful bouquet of flowers!  She bought them because it was our 37h anniversary.

When Bob came home, he came with flowers too - these beautiful roses.
37 years passed very quickly and I'm so thankful for my wonderful husband, my kids and those fun little girls!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Cooking Thursday

Todays recipe is a favorite at our house.  It's another one of those recipes that I've made for years, and we still like it!  These also freeze and reheat well.

Chicken Bundles

8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons margarine, melted (reserve 1 T)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons onion
4 cups cooked, cubed chicken
2 - 8 ounce cans crescent rolls
3/4 cup seasoned croutons, crushed
1 can cream of chicken soup mixed with 1/2 can milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend cream cheese with 4 tablespoons melted margarine until smooth. Add milk, salt, pepper and onion. Stir in chicken.
Separate crescent rolls into 8 rectangles and firmly press perforations to seal. Place squares on 2 ungreased cookie sheets. Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mix into center of each. Pull 4 corners of dough to top center of filling, twist firmly together and pinch side seams to seal.
Brush with remaining melted margarine. Sprinkle with crouton crumbs. Bake 20 - 30 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown.
Warm cream of chicken soup with 1/2 cup milk and spread sauce over top.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

Annual Chicken BBQ

You may remember me posting about this event in the past. Every year a little community near the area I grew up hosts a Chicken BBQ.  This year was the 60th year for this event.  I remember going to it when I was a child, and it holds good memories!
My Dad invites the whole family every year and we usually have a good turn out. This year our numbers were down.  Bob was working, my sister Terri and her husband had a wedding to attend, Laura and Aaron and girls had a birthday party and 2 other granddaughters had other previous engagements.  But those that could go, enjoyed it!

 When we arrived, the community band was playing.

The men were hard at work grilling this yummy chicken!

 Enjoying chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, a roll and ice cream.

After eating there were things to see.  A baseball game was going on and the old tractors were on display.

 There is always a petting zoo.  The kids love it, but us older folk do too!

 Heather and my niece Katelyn were enjoying these bunnies.

I thought this guy was cute!

This huge chicken was wandering around and attracting a lot of attention.  His name was Colonel Sanders!

I think this type of event is good old fashioned Americana!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

News from my little corner

I'm going to update you on a few things going on in my world, some good, some not.
Last week we had our repeat visit from a state inspector to clear us for our annual inspection.  We were thrilled when we passed it in one day.  She said we were a good facility and told us we have a good reputation in Lansing, our state capitol where the headquarters are.  That was high praise and made us happy.  She also said we had the hardest team doing our survey so we should be proud of our results.  We are!

Another thing that happened at work last week was an evacuation drill.  This is a new state requirement.  We have to have a mock disaster and evacuate the facility.  It's something we've always practiced, but without actually evacuating.  This was more intense.
 Here's a bunch of us in the training room.  We had police, firemen and some state officials for this training.

 They had everything planned out.  We were told there was a gas leak in the facility.  We first went over what we would do in the situation, then had to go out and clear one wing of the facility.

I'm sure the neighbors wondered what was going on.  Fire trucks, ambulance and police, and then a lot of residents in wheelchairs and walkers lined up in the front of the building.
It went very well, and we got everyone out quickly.  However, one man complained of chest pain and ended up being sent to ER.  He returned later that evening without any problems.
It's a good thing to practice!

Speaking of chest pain, a good friend that I work and go to church with had a heart attack this past week.  She's only 55 and isn't someone who has had health issues.  They found that 3 arteries were significantly blocked. During stent placement something went wrong and they had to go back in the next day.  She then had internal bleeding and went into cardiac arrest.  Thankfully they were able to stabilize her and she was moved out of ICU on Saturday.  She's doing well but has a lot to recuperate from.  It's a good reminder that our plans are not set in stone.  Only God knows what each day will bring and we need to have our hearts right with him.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Cooking Thursday

Todays recipe is dangerous.  These are so good that you should never make them unless you are taking them away, it wouldn't do to have them hanging about the kitchen!
Our office manager at work recently took a new job and took these in for a farewell treat.  She said this is a family recipe but shared with me, and gave permission for me to pass it on.  I made them for our family outing and everyone loved them. You'll thank me when you taste them!

8 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 loaf soft white bread
1 stick butter
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together to consistency of frosting
Cut crusts off bread and flatten each piece of bread - totally squished!
Stir together sugars and cinnamon.  (I had a lot left over and will only mix half of this amount next time)
Spread thin layer of cream cheese mix on flattened bread.  Tightly roll bread to form a long tube.
Roll in melted butter, then in sugar mix.
Place on greased cookie sheet, seam side down.  Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes.
Cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Monday, August 13, 2018

Garden Stroll

It's been a little while since I walked with you through our yard.  It's always changing during the summer.  When one thing stops blooming, something else starts!

Along the side yard, the hosta's and ferns are happy.  There were daisies blooming here, but they are done, however some chive plants are starting to bloom.

 The lavender are making the back corner of the yard smell wonderful!

This cute little turtle hangs out under our oak leaf dogwood.

 This is Autumn Joy Sedum and it will soon be turning red.

This bunny is often found sitting back by the lavender.  He's cute, but not always our friend.  When he is seen chewing on flowers, Bob isn't very happy with him, but he has named him.  His name is Rodney Rabbit.

The flowers are done on the Vibernum, but aren't the berries pretty?

The Rose of Sharon's are full of flowers.  You can't really tell here, but there are pink, white and pale purple flowers on them.

 I love the globe thistles!

The phlox are also blooming - lots of pink and white flowers!

Summer time is wonderful!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Riverboat ride

You may remember that in June Bob had a big birthday and turned 60.  At that time we met Andy in Ohio and visited the Air Force Museum.  We planned an outing with our girls and families, but it's taken a while to find a date that worked for all of us.  Sunday we finally had our outing!
We all met after church to take a picnic ride on the Grand Lady Riverboat.

 Here she is - such a pretty boat!   We boarded at 12:30 for a 2 hour ride down the Grand River.

 Here's our group, waiting to leave.  We were on the top level of the boat.  Laura and Aaron were there with Alaina and Ruby, and Heather and Andrew were there too.

It was a beautiful day, sun shining with an occasional breeze which was very appreciated later in the afternoon.

Alaina was a great turtle spotter.  It seemed that nearly every log poking up out of the water had turtles on, enjoying the sunshine.

 Aaron took the girls to explore the boat after we ate our lunch.

The captain invited them into the wheelhouse for a few minutes, and told them to come back on the return part of the trip to have a chance to steer the boat.

 The scenes along the river were so pretty!

Grandpa was enjoying his time with the girls.

 Can you see the crane blending in with the riverside?

 These geese were enjoying a paddle too!

We shared the river with several other boats and kayaks.

This crane flew over us and landed in a tree.  He looks kind of big to be up there!

 Ruby got her chance at the wheel!

And so did Alaina.

It was a fun afternoon!