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Monday, August 31, 2020

Something to make you smile!

 Here's a few Alpaca pics that are sure to make you smile.  Alpaca's always make me smile, but these alpaca's have some unusual hair cuts!




























Isn't this better than all the negative news?   :)

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Change is coming...

 I can't believe we are almost into September.  It always makes me a little sad.  I love the change of seasons we have here, I think it makes me appreciate each one a little more.  But, I like warm weather and flowers the best!  And when Fall starts peaking in, I know the cold isn't far behind.

I'm seeing some changes happening in our yard too.  Here's what things are looking like.





This is what is left of most of our cone flowers, still kind of cool looking!




The black eyed Susan's are fading...



The Sedum are just starting to turn pink.



The bees are loving them!



The thistles are also fading.



And in the front yard - look at this!  Acorns are starting to fall and there are even a few leaves.




But this is the most exciting change going on.  For several years we've tried to have some work done here, but it's so hard to find contractors.  Finally this week, we are seeing some progress. Earlier in the summer, Bob tore out all the landscaping up from to make room for a porch to be added to our house.  It's something we've wanted for some time and are thrilled to see some steps happen to get it done.  The old little porch has been torn off, dirt has been delivered and concrete is coming.  After it sets up, the other work begins. Hopefully, it will be done in time for us to be able to sit out there before the snow falls!


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Cooking Thursday

 Today's recipe is an easy side dish.  I've made this one for several years and my family always likes it!


Parmesan Red Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes halved

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons garlic minced

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and coat the foil with cooking spray.

Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. Toss to coat.

Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and fork tender. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Monday, August 24, 2020

How has this happened?

 Last week Bob and I celebrated our 39th anniversary!  It seems such a short time ago that we stood on that hot summer day and got married.  We were young (I was almost 20, Bob had just turned 23).  We thought we knew everything!  Looking back, we see how na├»ve we were and we're thankful that God had a plan!

It was a beautiful day, it was a beautiful wedding!

And here we are - 39 years later.  3 kids, 2 son-in-laws, 1 daughter-in-law, 2 grandkids and one on the way.    Has every day been wonderful? No.  Have we had arguments?  Yes.  Have there been hard times?  There sure have!  But - God has blessed us so much in these years and even through the hard times, maybe especially through the hard time, we've found we can count on Him!  I'm so thankful God brought us together and has taken care of us through everything.


We went out for a nice supper to celebrate on Friday.  Here's Bob showing you the huge spoon they gave him for his pasta.  It was a serving spoon, not something you could put in your mouth.

We laughed, as we have done so many times, we thanked God for each other, for the years He has given us and for the way He has blessed us!


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Shopping with Alaina and Ruby

 We have a tradition this time of year, before school starts.  I take the girls out for a little shopping.  We try to get a pair of shoes and an outfit.  We go out for lunch and ride the Merry go round at the mall.      This year, things are a little different.  None of the rides are working at the mall, the stores at the mall make you wait to go inside, and we can't even eat inside at McDonalds which is the kids usual choice.  So, it was a simpler day, but still fun!


Here we are, ready to leave their house.


We went to a restaurant that is known for their grilled cheese sandwiches.  The girls were checking out the menu here.


And they both decided to get the grilled cheese!


Yum!



We went to Target where they always like to sit on the balls outside.  Here's Alaina...



And Ruby!



Shopping was interesting.  Alaina is such a oldest child...   Ruby kept finding things and asking if we could get them.  Alaina kept telling her, "no Ruby, we don't need that", or Ruby, we have enough"!
Even when I told Ruby she could get a little squishy ball, Alaina didn't want anything for herself.  She ended up getting a book for Uncle Andrew and Aunt Heather's baby.
We were successful in our other shopping and got some shoes and clothes.

Here they are with the bags.



As I told you, Alaina didn't want to get anything for herself, but she wanted to get this book for Uncle Andrew and Aunt Heathers baby.  So we did - and Ruby was happy to hold it for the picture.  :)



Here's the boots we got for Ruby - easy to put on and perfect with leggings or jeans.



Alaina liked them too - so she got the same boots in a bigger size.



An outfit and a dress...


Then, since we couldn't do fun things at the mall, we went to a sunflower field.
We got to walk in and pick our own flowers and cut them.






They had lots of varieties, different colors and sizes.



The girls picked out a few different types to bring home to their mom.


Then we went for ice cream.
This is Ruby's "small" size cone.



Alaina also got a small but got it in a bowl.



We couldn't eat inside, so were out in the heat.  Melting ice cream and Ruby left us with this face!



Alaina stayed pretty clean and enjoyed hers too!



Here's the girls giving Laura the sunflowers.  Ruby wanted her squishy ball in the picture too.



They made me some thank you's for taking them out.  The bird on the left is from Ruby, the one on the right with the thank you is from Alaina.
It was a fun day.  I always enjoy spending time with them!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Cooking Thursday

I was looking for a recipe for chicken that I could put in the crockpot and have ready for dinner when we came home from church.  I found this one with a sweet and spicy sauce and we really liked it.  I got it ready Saturday afternoon and put it in the frig, then Sunday morning I turned it on, and it was perfect when we came home.  I had some fresh beans from the garden with this and it made a very nice meal!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs

  • 6-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs trimmed of extra fat
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • sesame seeds

  • Season chicken thighs with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high in a 12" skillet. Cook 3-5 minutes until browned on each side.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl add ketchup, soy sauce, honey, dark brown sugar, ginger, sriracha and garlic. Whisk to combine.
  • Add chicken thighs to a 6 quart slow cooker. Pour sauce over the chicken thighs.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or low for 4 hours or until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce has slightly thickened.
  • When fully cooked sprinkle the top of the chicken with green onions and sesame seeds.
  • Tuesday, August 18, 2020

    Monday, August 17, 2020

    Sisters getaway part 2

     Here's the rest of the fun Cheri and I had this weekend!

    We went to the Botanical Gardens in Traverse City.  You may remember Bob and I were here last year as well.  This property was the farm that was used to feed the patients at the Asylum in the early 1900's.  Now it has been made into gardens and is beautiful!
    This is one of the barns that has been renovated and is now an event space.


    They built this labyrinth since the last time we were there.



    This is our favorite part of the gardens.  This was the horse barn, it was too far gone to be saved, but they saved the foundation and planted inside.



    I don't know what these are, but they are so pretty!



    There is a Japanese Garden here , and there are 2 Foo dogs at the entrance.  They were donated by China to someone in the military.  When he passed away, the family donated them to the Gardens.





    Cheri in the Japanese Gardens.


    As we left the gardens, the sky was looking pretty dark!  We stopped at a Craft show and then had supper.  When we were driving back to our rental, we were poured on, but it didn't last long.

    The next day it was time to head back home.


    On the way home, we stopped at a Sunflower farm.  There were 18 acres of sunflowers.  They were almost done and most of the heads were hanging down, but it was still fun to see.






    Look at the intricate arrangement of the sunflower seeds on the head.  God's work is so visible in nature!


    Look at this cute sunflower Cheri found!


    We continued driving and found the cute town on Montegue.

    Isn't this beautiful?   The wharf and the church spire in the background - such a pretty spot!




    We stopped here for lunch!  I haven't seen a drive in for years.







    It was busy, and there were lots of fun cars here.  It was kind of like stepping back in time - and the burgers were good!



    Here's another pretty scene from the area.


    Our last stop was the White River Lighthouse.


    The lake was a busy place on this beautiful day!



    It was a nice ending to a great weekend - good company, good weather and lots of fun!