Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Cooking Thursday

Todays recipe is one I made to bring to work one day last week when we decided at the last minute we needed to have a party day after dealing with the crazy weather and the issues that go along with everyone working from home.
I was looking through recipes to find something at was quick to make (It was almost 7pm and I didn't want to spend all night in the kitchen)
I came across this recipe that I had saved and it was so easy!  And - it was very good.  I think the leftovers were even better.
So, if you are wanting to make something tasty, warm and yummy, this is it!

Creamy Chicken Taco Soup

1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans corn, drained
1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

16 ounces cream cheese
Optional toppings: Shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream, tortilla strips

Place all ingredients except cream cheese into crock pot and stir to combine. Place cream cheese on top.
Cook on low for about 6 hours, stir to mix cream cheese in and serve with desired toppings.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Venture - a review

Several weeks ago, my friend Marilyn, from Mountain Top Spice, gave away a book and I was the winner.
The name of the book is Venture; Our Family's Journey of Loss, Faith and Hope.
This is the true story of what the author and her family went through when her husband suddenly lost his management job. He was the sole provider for the family so it was a frightening time for all of them. The author shares what they went through in the days and months that came after that loss. The family banded together, prayed hard, asked for God's direction and worked hard. It's a reminder that God's plan doesn't always look like ours, but His plan is always best.
I thought this book was very encouraging, and the insight in it applies to hardships of many types. God doesn't promise that life will be easy, but He will be there walking with us. 
This book is well written, I enjoyed the story, the journal entries throughout it and the photos in it.
Thanks Marilyn for the book!  It's available on Amazon if you'd like to read this family's story yourself.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Cold weather experiment

At the end of our big snowstorm, the temperatures dropped and it was very cold for a few days, with temps dropping below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. 
I've seen the pictures of people blowing bubbles out in the cold and watching them freeze and I wanted to try it.
My experiment didn't work like the ones you see online.  I'll show you what happened.

I found it was very hard to blow the bubble and have it sit where you want it. After several attempts, I got this one on a branch covered with snow.

But look what happened.  As it started to freeze, it collapsed.

I tried again. You can see a little freezing on this one.

One more, this one froze just a little more before it collapsed.  At this point my fingers were freezing and it was time to quit.
It was fun to try, and I found it wasn't as easy as those photos of frozen bubbles would lead you to believe!

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Weekend Fun

We had fun with our girls on Saturday. Alaina and Ruby came in the morning to spend much of the day with us. Shortly after they arrived, Andrew, Heather and Cassie stopped over. The cousins are always happy to see each other and got right to playing.

Makes me happy to see them having fun together.

After Cassie left, we started on a project.  My friend Catherine from My Home and My Garden sent a few kits with miniature scenes for them to work on about a month ago, and we just got to them.

One was a potting shed scene and one was a birthday party.  Here's Ruby working on the birthday party.

Alaina did the little potting shed.  They both were very detailed and took some time to make, with little pieces to punch out, put together and glue.

Here's Ruby's birthday party scene.

And Alaina's little potting shed.  They both turned out so cute!

Two happy girls with their works of art. They were excited to take them home and show their parents.  They say "Thank you Catherine!"

After lunch we played some games and they beat Grandpa on the Wii racing.  Then we made some Valentine cookies for them to take home. We had a fun day together!

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Cooking Thursday

 Here's another good crockpot recipe!  I will warn you - this makes a large batch, so for two of us we had it for supper, for lunch, for supper again...  I'll make it again because it was good, but will try to half it!

Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried garlic
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
10 ounce can Rotel, not drained
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
1 pound spaghetti
16 ounces chicken broth - optional

Spray large crockpot with cooking spray.  
Stir together salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, minced onion, soups and Rotel.  Place chicken breast into this mix and place cream cheese on top.
Cook on low for 6 hours.  Remove chicken and shred it.
Stir in the cream cheese and shredded cheese.  Add shredded chicken.
Cook spaghetti as directed on package and stir into mix in crockpot.
If not serving immediately, stir in chicken broth.  If you leave it in the crockpot, the pasta absorbs liquid making it dry and the added broth keeps it creamy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Monday, January 22, 2024

Dog Fashion

Here's something fun to brighten your January, a little doggy fashion! They are sure to make you smile!

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Bomb cyclone snowstorm

Hi there!  We are digging out of the snow here.  Last week I told you about the storm we had over the weekend and that it was still snowing.  Well, it continued.  I heard on the news that our area had measurable snow fall for 12 days straight. 
I was actually at home for a whole week, other than one day when I attempted to take a drive to take some pictures.  I was barely down the road when I realized this was a bad idea and I came back home.  Schools were closed for 3 days, churches were closed along with other activities.
Not only was there a lot of snow but it was soooo cold. Last Tuesday when Bob went to work it was 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Our office had several days of everyone working from home, which I was very thankful for after working for years where I needed to get there.

This week temps are supposed to be above freezing and it's supposed to rain!  So we may have some mud around here.

I've never seen so much snow hang on the buildings and trees for so long as it did this time.  Here's some photos of the view around here.

A friends house

This car had been parked in a parking lot and not moved for the week.

Our back yard. You can see how high the snow is on Bob's legs. He was worried about that power line that comes from the main line to our house.  The pine trees branches were so weighted down with snow they were pulling on the line.  He ended up hauling a ladder out there and using his pole saw to clip a few of them off.  I was watching from the house, worrying he would hurt himself!  Ice, snow ladders and electricity are not a good mix!

These woods by our house looked so pretty!

Our Japanese maple was so weighted down that it's branches were on the ground.

Our road, in front of our house

Our house, all cozy in the snow.

It's beautiful, but I'm glad it's done, the roads are clear and it's going to be a little warmer!

"He spreads the snow like wool, and the frost like ashes"
Psalm 147:16

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Friday Funny


(But here I am, living in Michigan!)

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Cooking Thursday

My Friend Jenny, from I'm Having a Thought Here, posted a recipe for ham buns that she said were wonderful.  We usually have some sort of hot sandwich or bun on Sunday nights, and I had ham from Christmas in the freezer, so when I saw this one, I knew I had to try it.
They were really good!  They have a brown sugar and mustard sauce, which goes well with the ham. I think the brown sugar on a sandwich is why they are named what they are.  They're a bit messy to eat, but worth the mess.  Bob gave these a big thumbs up and says thanks, Jenny!

Naughty Hammie Sammies

12 Sister Schuberts Rolls, thawed
3/4 pound shaved ham, or leftover ham chopped in small pieces
1 stick butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Slice rolls through the middle. Place bottom half in 9x13 pan, set tops aside in a manner that will allow you to put them with their other half.
In a small pot, melt the stick of butter, brown sugar, mustard and minced onion. Bring to boil and removed from heat.
Drizzle half of this sauce over the bottom half of the rolls.
Lay the ham on top of the sauce, in an even layer.
Drizzle the remaining brown sugar mix over the ham.
Place the top of the rolls back on.
Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and stir in the poppy seeds. and brush over the tops of the rolls.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Monday, January 15, 2024

Stepping back in time

I grew up on a farm in West Michigan.  My Grandpa was a farmer who had 9 kids; 5 boys and 4 girls. 2 of those boys, my Dad and my uncle took over the farm.  However, in 1970 the state decided to run a highway through it and took a lot of the land.  Because of the highway, what was once country farmland, is now quite developed.
Now there is a restaurant sitting where the barn was. I remember going to that barn to see the cows and find my Dad.
The restaurant has a wall with old pictures from the community, including several that are meaningful to me. The last time I was there, I took pictures of these old photos to share with you.

Here's the photo wall.

My Dad was a dairy farmer, but the area is also known for "muck" fields, which is a dirt that works really well for growing celery and onions.  I worked on a celery farm all through high school and while I was going to nursing school. This old picture shows people harvesting celery. By the time I was working doing this, it was all harvested with machinery and taken to the celery barn to be washed, trimmed and packed by us.

This was where I went to school for kindergarten and 1st grade, then we got to move up to the newer building. I remember going to the basement for gym class and art.
This building has now been renovated and is used as a day care.

Here's the barn that used to stand where the restaurant stands now.  Peter DeWeerd was my Grandpa.

This is a photo of many of the area farmers at a meeting, probably taken in the early 1960's.  I remember my Dad going to these Farmers Co-op meetings.

Here's a little section of the picture above. It shows my Grandpa on the right, my Dad next to him, and my Uncle next to my Dad.  I think it's so fun to see these old pictures.  Thanks for letting me share them with you!