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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

TIp for Tuesday

My friend Terri had something on Facebook the other day asking about meal planning.  After seeing that, I thought it would be a good thing to share for a Tuesday Tip.

I've been meal planning for years - I actually have calenders going back about 15 years!  Here is my current calender and last years.  I use these calenders that I get at the dollar store.  They are small and easy to tuck away in the kitchen, or into my purse when I go to the store.
I plan 2 weeks at a time.  On one Friday, I try to buy all the groceries I need for 2 weeks, then the next week I only go back for things like milk, fresh veggies and bread.  I feel that doing 2 weeks saves me time and money.  I don't spend as much time in the store, and buying double of some things gets me a better price.  Then I prep it at the same time, which saves time and mess.
I like to look at my older menu plans, so I keep them around.  It gives me ideas oft hings to make, but it also tells me what was happening on those days a year or more ago.  I find things like birthday party, church dinner, home group, out with friends... written down,  which is fun to look at.
I try to plan my meals according to my work schedule.  For instance, I am always late on Thursday because I do rounds with our Dr.  On that day I plan something in the crock pot or a freezer meal that Bob can throw in the oven when he gets home.  I try to make a nicer meal on my days off, on Fridays we usually go out.  It really doesn't take too long to figure out, but I sure do appreciate it when I'm at work and I don't have to be thinking about what I'm doing for supper that night!
What about you - do you plan your meals?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weekend Report

I had a nice weekend, hope you did too!
It has been very busy at work.  We've had several admissions, discharges and sick people.  This means crazy days and long ones too.  I didn't get out on time once this past week, and often was there an hour or two late.  I love my job but was looking forward to my weekend, which was actually a 3 day weekend!
I got laundry done, the house cleaned, did some baking and had fun too.
On Friday I did some shopping and found this:

With Spring here, I was feeling like a new purse, but I don't like to spend too much on one because then I'd feel like I had to use it forever.  I found this one at Penney's.  It was an $80 purse, but was on sale for 40% off.  Then, card carriers got another 25% off, and then I had a coupon for $10 off.  That brought it too $26.  Gotta love a bargain!
Bob and I went out for supper Friday night, then planned to get Alaina and Ruby for the night.  However, when we got to their house, Ruby took one look at me and started crying.  We sat and talked, tried again and there was more crying.  She is now 4 months and is apparently scared of people.  We decided to just take Alaina for this time.

As usual, she enjoyed her evening with Grandpa!

Saturday morning,she was ready to go a little after 7am.  I heard a little voice by my ear telling me "Grandma, I think the sun is up!"
We had fun together - she helped with the laundry and some baking.  She loves to help!


Here she is helping me make a pie.  She even helped pinch the edges of the crust!  We did some playing and read some books, then she had lunch and a nap.


 We went to my Dad and stepmoms house so I could get his meds set up for him.  She had fun playing her version of marbles with them.  After that it was time for her to go home.

We had a quiet Saturday night.  Sunday was also uneventful, but I did enjoy church and Sunday school.  I appreciate a Sunday that is truly a "day of rest".

Back to work on Monday - and I'm going in at 5am.  Hope this week is a little calmer!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The wedding and the kids!

Here's the rest of the photos I have to share from the wedding.

Andrew walking me in.  I wasn't thinking about having my picture taken and was saying hi to a few guests!  Andrew is 6'5" compared to my 5'4", so I was feeling a somewhat short! (Laura's husband Aaron is 6'6", so this is not a new feeling for me)


Kids in a wedding are the best!  This is Andrew's niece and nephew, Ruby and Wesley.  Wesley was carrying the antique Bible that I shared in an earlier post.  Ruby had a note from Heather to give to Andrew.  It said "We finally made it to someday".   You can see it in her hand and you can also see she was on a mission to get to him.  Heather saw that idea on Pinterest and Andrew didn't know anything about it, so he did wonder what Ruby was doing when she came up to him.  :)


 Here's our second set of kids, Alaina and Andrews nephew Judah.  They were carrying a sign that said "Uncle Andrew, here comes your girl".  We were so worried about how Alaina would do, because she can be so shy, but she took this job seriously and kind of dragged Judah along.  He actually tried to dive into a pew in the back, but was sent back out and they made it to the front.


Here's Alaina during the wedding, watching what's going on.  However, it had been a long day for a little girl and she ended up falling asleep.  
She had to be woken up though, because she had another march to make, back down the aisle.


The sign was turned around and this time it said, "The Scott Family, Est February, 2015".
If you look closely, you will notice Alaina has bare feet.  She took her shoes off before she fell asleep, and I didn't think it was a good time to make her put shoes on in a hurry.
Laura, matron of honor, and Ed, best man are following the kids.



Here are Andrew and Heather with all the kids.  I think this is such a cute picture!

That's it!  It's been fun sharing this whole experience with you.  Hope you aren't all wedding'd out!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cooking Thursday

Once it gets a little warmer, I change the way I cook.  It's still been pretty chilly here though, so here's one last soup recipe for the season.  It's another good one!


Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and chopped
1 (32 oz) carton chicken broth
1 tsp of each chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 1/3 cups milk
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream

Heat canola oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and jalapeƱo and saute 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken breasts and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover pot with lid and gently boil until chicken has cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Remove chicken and allow to rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add diced tomatoes with green chilies to pot. Pour milk into pot and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture boils.Dice chicken and add to pot, then add black beans, pinto beans and corn. Then stir in cream and sour cream and cook until heated through.
Serve topped with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wedding pictures

We got the photos of the wedding from the photographer, so it's time to share a few.  We got so many pictures, that it's hard to even choose some to share. I'm going to share a few today, and then some of the others later this week, so you don't get too sick of them!

 The tables at the reception had burlap runners to go with the vintage, shabby chic theme. There was babies breath in ball jars and candles.  Each guest went home with a little jar of homemade jelly.


Classic ring photo


 Heather chose some shoes with a bit of bling!  The necklace and bracelet were made by our niece Alecia.  Aren't they pretty?


Here I am, actually having make-up put on for me.  That was a new experience, but fun!


The guys with their suspenders, bowties and hats.





 They braved the cold to get some snow shots!  


Our beautiful bride!






 Here's our family shot.


 I'll end with this sweet shot.  Bob was playing with Alaina while we were waiting downstairs for the guests to be seated.  Alaina gave Bob a kiss and the photographer managed to catch it.
I'll share some pictures from the wedding later this week.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A moms life!

Life with little ones is never boring. I recently got this e-mail from my daughter Laura telling me how her morning was going. I thought it was pretty funny and thought you would enjoy it too. She titled the e-mail - My Crazy Kid

I thought you might get a laugh out of the morning I'm having.  I think Alaina is trying to kill me today, I've had at least three heart attacks.

#1 - I was working downstairs while Ruby was sleeping upstairs.  Alaina was in the office with me playing.  She always likes to swing around on the treadmill.  Suddenly I heard a "thwack" and she started screaming.  I whipped around in my chair and she was holding her face with blood pouring from between her fingers.  So naturally I assumed she had knocked all her teeth out.  Once I got her calmed down and could check things out better, she had just cut her lip and face a little so I think she'll survive.

#2 - She decided the office was too dangerous to play in, so she moved to the laundry/storage room.  A little later Ruby was starting to wake up, so I came out to go upstairs, and discovered she'd been emptying the cupboards and shelves and had canned foods and potatoes up the stairs and all over.  I told her to start putting them back while I gathered some from the stairs.  Suddenly she's screaming about her foot and I look over and she's laying on the floor clutching her foot with a can next to her.  So I assumed she either had a broken or severed toe from a can falling on it.  Turns out that's ok too, thank goodness.


 #3 - I finally make it upstairs and start some milk warming for Ruby.  Lain went past and I figured she went in her room.  I leave the kitchen to get Ruby and here comes Alaina from the hall - carrying Ruby!!!! 

"AUUGGHHH"  I scream.  "I got Ruby for you Mumma."  she calmly says.  I think I was in shock because I was actually trying not to laugh while telling her she may never, ever carry Ruby again.

To top things off, as I was feeding Ruby she was doing her trademark tooting, and suddenly I felt quite warm and wet.  I held her up to see her jammies turning orange with poo leaking everywhere, including me.

Hope that all gives you a laugh today - and hoping for an uneventful afternoon!!
Love ya,
Laura


To balance out that craziness, here's a little video of the two of them. They love each other, and we love them both!




Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring is here!

Friday is the official first day of Spring!  The snow in our back yard has been melting away, but our front yard has a lot of trees, and the shade means there is not much melting going on there.  The weather report for this weekend says more snow is coming. Hopefully it melts quickly.
I know some of you decorate your house for every holiday.  I love seeing your ideas, but I'm not that creative.  I do have a few things that I change out for the different season.  I was ready to get rid of my snowy, winter things!

 This old milk can is from my Dad's farm.  It sits in our garage by the back door.  It had a snowman in it with a sign that said "Let it snow".  Time for him to go!


I've shown this piece before.  It's on our table, and it had fake snow and stones in it.  Now it has mossy stones and spring blooms in it. Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cooking Thursday

Here's a recipe that's new to us.  I made it last week after I worked.  It went together easily and quickly, plus - it tasted good!

 (I don't like pepperoni so my corner is left empty...)



Easy Crescent Pizza Bake

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls                     
1 lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained              
1 cup pizza sauce             
1/2  cup chopped green bell pepper               
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)                       
25 slices pepperoni
Heat oven to 375°F. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Place in ungreased 9-inch square pan or 10-inch pie plate; press in bottom and up sides to form crust.
Stir pizza sauce into cooked ground beef and add bell pepper; simmer 5 minutes. Spoon beef mixture in crust-lined pan; sprinkle with cheese. Top with pepperoni.
Bake 14 to 17 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Saturday with Alaina

We had Alaina overnight this weekend.  Ruby had several vaccinations on Friday, so she stayed home.
Bob had Saturday off too, and Alaina had such fun playing with him.  I think he needed a nap to recuperate when she went home!

 As usual, she helped me "cook".  Then she asked to do dishes.  She really gets into her work!


 She wanted Bob to go outside with her.  No worries about snow - it was in the 40's and she thought that was good enough for playing.  Bob shovels a path to his workshop, so they took a walk out to it.


 Since she had him outside, she thought a wagon ride would be a good idea.


 Then it was time for a little trike ride...


and a testing of the 2 wheeler, which she did very well with.  That was enough time outside though. Alaina was getting cold and hungry.  She's ready to go when it gets warm!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Changing Seasons

If you've read this blog for any period of time, you know that winter is not my favorite season. I hate driving on bad roads, and I seem to spend months being cold! However, I have to tell you that I'm really glad I live in a place that experiences all 4 seasons. There's not time to get too sick of a type of weather, because it won't be long and it will change. There is a unique beauty to each season and I so enjoy seeing it. I so often marvel at our creators work in the changing seasons. As it gets a little warmer here, my view out the windows at work change daily. Here are some pictures to give you an example from last week.

This day had been foggy.  The fog left when the sun rose, but all the low lying plants were left encased in this frozen fog.  It was gorgeous in the sunlight.


The next day was even foggier, and it took all morning to burn off.


It has it's own beauty, don't you think?

"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."
Genesis 8:22

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Happy, Happy, Happy!


I think Spring is really coming!  The sun is shining and there has been NO snow this week.
Temperatures are going up - it's been in the 40's which is positively balmy.  Everyone is enjoying the weather as evidenced by the smiles I see all over.
Hope you have a great weekend.  I have the weekend off and am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cooking Thursday

I make quesidillas occasionally for supper, but I usually don't follow a recipe.  Last week I saw a recipe that looked really good, so I tried it out.  These quesidillas were so quick and easy to make and were so good!  If this is something you like you need to try these out.


Chicken Quesidillas

2 1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
2/3 cup salsa
1 red pepper, diced
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
6 flour tortillas (8 inch)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups shredded montery jack cheese
sour cream

Combine first six ingredients in skillet and cook over medium heat until pepper is soft and ingredients are heated through - about 10 minutes.
Brush one side of tortillas with butter; place buttered side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Spoon 1/3 cup chicken mixture over half of each tortilla; sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese.
Fold plain side of tortilla over cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Cut into wedges, serve with sour cream if desired.  Yield - 6 servings.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

Tip for Tuesday


This is a tip I shared some time ago, but it's one of my favorites so I'm sharing again! When I buy ground beef, I always buy more than I need.  If it's on sale I'll buy 4 pounds and then brown it all together.  After it's browned, I drain any grease and rinse it in hot water.  I then separate it into one pound packages and freeze it.  Then, when I need it, it's easy to pull out a pound and make supper in a hurry.  So - the mess is made only once, it's better for us with the fat rinsed off and it's quick and easy to use! 
Another tip - the utensil you see in the photo is from Pampered Chef.  It's called a Mix and Chop.  It works really well to stir and chop the beef at the same time.  (No - I don't work for them - I just really like this product!)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The rest of the story...

I'm going to tell you the "rest of the story" about what happened to Andrew and Heather on their honeymoon.
The plan was to leave the day after the wedding, drive all day and then spend 5 days in a cabin in  the Smoky Mountains.  That way they would be back home by Friday night and would have the weekend to get settled before going back to work on Sunday.  That was the plan....

They left early in the morning and made good time until they were in Kentucky.  Suddenly there was a problem.  One of the tires blew.  They pulled off the road as far as they could, and Andrew went to change the tire.  When he got started he found another problem.  The Blazer he bought shortly before the wedding had special rims and the wrench that came with the spare tire didn't fit.  So, they called for roadside assistance.  It took over two hours for them to arrive.  They got the spare time on, but then... the battery was dead.  They had the hazard lights on and were running a phone and it must have drained the battery.  They got jumped and were on the way again.  They had to make another pit stop along the way to buy a new tire, as they didn't want to drive on that little spare for too long.

As they got closer to their destination, they were using GPS.  If you've used it, you know it isn't always foolproof.  This time it was sending them on some pretty questionable back roads, through the mountains.  On top of that, it had gotten very foggy.  The roads were steep with hairpin turns. They both said it was quite frightening, and they were pretty stressed when they finally arrived at the cottage.

They had taken a few groceries along, and decided they had enough to stay there the first day and just relax.  The plan was to go get groceries on Tuesday.  However, on Tuesday they found a storm had come during the night and blanketed them with snow.  Then they got a call from the rental agent saying that travel was prohibited and they had to stay in.  That was a problem because Heather is diabetic and they needed to get some food in the house.  The rental agent called back and told them there was a local man who lived near them who would take them down the mountain and bring them to a hotel, but they had to pack their things and prepare to be gone a few days.

They packed up, got picked up by this nice man and went to the hotel.  It was in an area that had a few restaurants, but not much else to do.

The rental agent stayed in touch with them, as it continued to storm - ice and snow!  That meant there was no way to return to the cabin. I told you earlier, they were planning to come home on Friday.  That didn't work as their vehicle was still up the mountain and they couldn't get to it.

The weather finally cleared on Friday evening, and Andrew was taken back up the mountain to get his Blazer.  They left early Saturday and got home without any more trouble.

It wasn't what they planned, and it was pretty disappointing that they couldn't enjoy that log cabin, but they still enjoyed their time together.  And - they'll always remember it!  They did say that maybe their next trip should be by train!

*The cabin in the photo is just a stock photo, not their actual cabin.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Brrrr!


It's been so cold around here! One day when I was going to work, the thermometer in my car read negative 13. We set several records for coldest days in February and it ended up being the coldest month on record for the West Michigan area.  There were only 2 days when the temperature went above freezing, and the average temperature was 12.  I have to say that I'm really ready for Spring!  And, although winter can be really pretty, everything outdoors almost looks like a black and white photo.  There's not much color to be seen in the winter.
Here's a few pictures I took to show you what I mean.

A field near my house...




I do like the beauty of a lone tree in a field.


This is under a bridge that spans the Grand River near my house.  I had to walk in snow up to my knees to get out there, and did wonder about my sanity at that point!  :)


This is our road, with more snow coming down.


This is a photo my niece Trisha took.  This is Lake Michigan, with lots of ice!  I like the sun and the color in this photo.  Beautiful!
Spring is on it's way though.  I'll be waiting.