Sunday, February 28, 2021

Time with our girls

 This weekend we were finally able to have Alaina and Ruby overnight again.  My work schedule has been crazy again, and they had some events with friends on a few Saturdays as well.  We've been missing seeing them and were looking forward to spending some time together!

Our first project of the evening was to make some ice suncatchers.  I had these silicone heart molds, and the girls put some pine, dried flowers and leaves in them.  Then they added a little food coloring (and they like food coloring, so they may have added a little too much)  It was supposed to be just a few swirls, but oh well, they had fun!

Then we put water in them and put them in the freezer overnight.

Our next project was making brownies.  They always say that I make good things for Grandpa and then they don't get it, so this time we made a pan for them to take home.

They each helped mix it.

Then we had to add sprinkles on top!

While the brownies baked, they put on their pajamas and then did some paper crafts in their room.

The finished brownies!  They could hardly wait to bring them home.

When Alaina was much younger and came over, we had cheese and crackers for a snack.  It became a tradition and they always want that when they come over.

After snack time, they snuggled up and we watched a movie. We watched 'Because of Winn Dixie',  a cute movie about a little girl and her dog from several years ago.  We all enjoyed it, and then it was bed time.

Here's Ruby on Saturday morning, snuggling with bunny and waking up.

They played while I got some cooking and laundry done.  They we headed to my Dad's house to set up his meds for a few weeks.  They always enjoy going there.  We get McDonalds for lunch and they always share a few fries with him.  My sister Cheri came along this time because he wanted us to look over some tax stuff before he brought it all in to his accountant.

Here they are having a little lunch.

They did a little coloring with Great Grandma while I worked on the meds.

Then it was time to go home.

I had taken the ice suncatchers along in a cooler and they decided to hang them on a bush out front.

This one is Ruby's.  Even though it's quite dark, it was pretty.

Here's Alaina's.

And here they are hanging.  It was a sunny day and is supposed to be in the high 30's for the next week, so they may not last long, but it was still fun, and didn't cost anything except the cord to hang them.  Maybe next time we'll do them without the food color.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Cooking Thursday

 I was looking for a recipe to use leftover ham with and came across this one.  We like breakfast for supper, so this sounded good for us.  And it was!  It was easy to put together and very tasty!  Bob said I could make this again anytime.

Crescent Breakfast Squares


Cooking spray

12 large eggs
1/4 c. milk
3 tbsp. butter, divided

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

cans crescent dough
1/2 lb. deli ham, diced
1/4 c. finely chopped green pepper
12 slices cheddar
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. minced onion
1 tsp. dried garlic

Flaky sea salt

In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. When butter is foamy, reduce heat to low and add egg mixture. Cook, stirring often with a spatula, until eggs are just set. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Unroll one can of crescents onto greased baking sheet and pinch seams together so it's a solid layer of pastry without gaps. Add a layer of ham then top with scrambled eggs, green peppers, and cheese. Unroll second crescent dough and place on top of cheese. Pinch together crescent sheets to seal.

Melt remaining butter in microwave. Brush melted butter on top of crescent dough then sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, minced onion, and dried garlic. Season with flaky sea salt.

Bake until crescent dough is golden and cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. (If the crescent dough is browning too quickly, cover with foil.)

Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing into squares.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Monday, February 22, 2021

An evening with Cassie

 This weekend was Andrew and Heather's anniversary, so we got to watch Cassie while they went out for supper.  This was her first time to come to our house so we were really looking forward to it.

She just turned 2 months old although it's only been one month since her due date.  She is growing like a weed!  Her weight is in the 66th percentile and her height is off the charts!  She is now 12 pounds and 25 inches long.  Her colic has improved too, although she is often quite fussy in the evening.

Here she's having a little chat with Grandpa.

Keeping an eye on Grandpa.  She almost gave us a smile here.  She's been smiling for Heather, but wasn't quite ready to share one with us.

She did have her fussy times and spent time walking with Grandpa, and rocking with Grandma.

We had a fun evening - and so did Heather and Andrew!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Winter River

 I had to work part of a night shift Friday night. When I got out of work Saturday morning it was just getting light and I decided to take a drive to the frozen Grand River and see how it was looking.

The sky was starting to get pink and I enjoyed this snowy scene on the way.

Here's a view from the bridge over the river.  It started snowing for just a little little while as I was driving.  You can see there is quite a bit of ice out there.

I drove to a little park on the river that is near my house. What looks like a field of snow is actually the frozen Grand River.

Here I am under the bridge. I found that I wasn't really prepared for this hike as nothing was shoveled and I was walking out there in scrubs and tennis shoes!  The snow was up over my ankles, so I was glad it was a short walk.  Once I was there, I wasn't going to skip getting some pictures!

Another shot of the main bridge.

The area near us has a bayou that runs next to the river.  It freezes solid and the ice fishermen love it.  I was able to walk out on it to get this picture of a few fishermen.  Unlike them, I didn't stay long!  It was 11 degrees at the time.

As I was leaving, this was the scene facing the other direction, of the bridge over the bayou.  Such a pretty sunrise!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Cooking Thursday

 The recipe I have for you today came from my friend Jenny of I'm Having a Thought Here. She told me I had to try these pork chops.  In her words "these are heaven on a plate!"  She's never steered me wrong before, so I knew I had to try them.  And - it's a crock pot recipe, so that was an added bonus!

Oh my - she was right!  The flavor was so good and the gravy is amazing.  So here's the recipe for you.

Crock Pot Pork Chops and Gravy

4 bone-in pork chops
1 (1 oz) packet onion soup mix
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth, low sodium
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup, low sodium
1 (1 oz) packet dry pork gravy mix
1 tsp garlic powder

To thicken gravy
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp cold water

In a 5-6 quart oval slow cooker, combine onion soup mix, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup and pork gravy mix. Whisk together until combined.
Season both sides of the chops with a little bit of garlic powder. Place pork chops into the slow cooker. Do your best to spread them out and cover with the gravy mixture.
Cover and cook on low about 6-7 hours.
Just before the pork chops are done - whisk together the corn starch and cold water in a small bowl. Once it is smooth, pour it in with your pork chops in the slow cooker and stir gently.
Cover and switch the slow cooker to high and cook for another 30 minutes (until gravy has thickened.)
Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, a salad, steamed broccoli or mixed vegetables.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Monday, February 15, 2021

Winter on Lake Michigan

 Last week I had a hair appointment in Grand Haven, about 20 minutes from our home.  Grand Haven is right on Lake Michigan and is a popular tourist spot in the summer.  We love to go there and walk the pier in the summer.  So, when I was done with my haircut, I decided to check out the pier and lighthouse.  It's been soooo cold here so I thought the ice would be pretty.  Sorry - some of you may have seen these photos on facebook already.

The railings were covered with ice.

The ice was thick and coated everything.

Large sheets of ice were floating in the channel.

The pier and lighthouse were so pretty in the snow and ice!

The lake looks pretty even when you see snow and not sand!

Look at all the ice on the lighthouse!

The sun was setting - time to go home and get warm, but it was a beautiful stop!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Valentines Day!

 Hope you all had a nice Valentines Day.   February 14 also happens to be our daughter Heather's birthday, so for many years, we celebrated her birthday on the day.  Since she's been out of the house, we usually just exchange cards and go out for supper.  

Here's what we did this year.

First, I have to show you something fun from work.   A local florist collected donations and then called us to offer a flower arrangement for each of our residents!  They said our people had been through so much this year and they wanted to bring some joy to them.  A local news station also came and did a story on it.

Isn't this a beautiful arrangement?  They sent some for staff too so I got to bring this home.

On Friday night we went to a Sweetheart Supper at church.  They did this last year too and it was so fun!
The Youth group sets everything up, work as hosts, waitresses and waiters and were all dressed up for the event.  We got a menu card ahead of time to choose what we wanted.
When we were given punch and brought to our table. We had RSVP's with friends from church so we were at a table with them.

Here's what things were looking like when we arrived. They put 2 couples at each table, with a few tables with 3 couples.  

The screen up front had this fireplace video playing for a little ambiance.

Our meal was wonderful!
The menu was:
Soup or salad
Cheesy garlic bread
Prime Rib or chicken
Garlic mashed potatoes or rice
Green beans with bacon or corn
Assorted desserts.

I had the prime rib and it was as good as anything I've had at a restaurant.  We had such fun, and the profits go to our youth group.  Plus, there was no wait to get in, and the fun of having kids from church waiting on us.  It's a win-win situation!

Sunday was a quiet day, we did our card exchange, enjoyed going to church and a relaxing day!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Cooking Thursday

 The recipe I have for you today is one from The Pioneer Woman. It's called Crash Hot Potatoes and I had read several times that these were so good, but never got around to making them.  Last week I brought a meal to someone so needed something that would transport ok and thought of these.
They are quite easy to make, and were very good!

Crash Hot Potatoes

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.             
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until fork-tender, about 12 minutes.
Place the potatoes on a baking sheet. Using a potato masher, gently press down to mash each one. The tops of the potatoes should be really textured. Drizzle the tops of the potatoes with the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. 
Variations: Place 1/4 pat of butter on top of each smashed potato before baking. Top each smashed potato with grated Cheddar before baking.