Saturday, December 27, 2008


Our Christmas dinner with Mike's family last Sat. We love our snowman dishes!

Upstairs tree, it's a hodgepodge of homemade, Hallmark and fun things!

Our downstairs tree where we hang out, peppermint stripes!

Upstairs mantle, my favorite place to sit at dusk! Especially if someone will play the piano for me! haha
Hard to imagine in a week it will all come down! boo hoo Although I do leave up the mantle until the end of January. We like to sit by the lights at night, especially if it snows and we leave our snowmen up too! HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Merry Christmas!

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which IS Christ the Lord!
May you hold the true meaning of Christmas in your hearts as you celebrate Christ's birth!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More snow!!

Now we REALLY have some snow!! I would guess we have a foot of snow and had a little more today and we are expecting more!! We love it, a WHITE CHRISTMAS!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let it snow!!!

We finally got a really good snow! It was so pretty! The girls and I sat and watched it snow last night and thought it looked like glitter in the light of the porch light! Here's our backyard basking in white blankets of sparkling goodness!!

This little guy was busy either burying or un-burying an acorn! not sure but he let me get pretty close!

Here's the bridge with a blanket of snow underneath, always a beautiful sight any season! We are blessed to have such beautiful blue water! Soon there will be icy chunks floating along under the bridge! We are going to get even more snow tomorrow night so I hear.....YAY! If you are a snow lover you know what I mean! haha

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Homemade gifts!

I am reposting this recipe, because I've made it three times now in the last two weeks and still haven't ended up with enough for our own house! ha ha it's a great last minute gift if you need an idea! I plan to make some more this week for home. We all love it! I've given it away many times this season already! Merry Christmas!
We love this orange spiced tea (lots call it Friendship tea) and we give it often for Christmas gifts. Here's a batch I made up to give away last week. I've enjoyed a cup of it myself several times this week! Enjoy!
Spiced tea:
2 C. Tang (or dry orange juice mix)
2/3 C. Dry Lemonade mix (Country time is good)
3/4 C. Dry instant tea crystals
3/4 C. sugar
1 t. Cinnamon
1/2 ts. Ground cloves
Mix and place in an airtight container or ziploc bag. I added Candy Red Hots to mine to look festive and they added a bit of Cinnamon flavor and looked pretty!
Mix it in and then when you place it in jars to give away, sprinkle a few red hots, or even Christmas sprinkles on top of the dry mix. As long as it's sugar it will melt anyhow! This recipe would make 2-3 small jars I would guess. Have fun!
Add one HEAPING TBS. to a mug of HOT water and stir!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Reindeer treats!

A fun treat to make and give away or eat yourself! Fill a tray with small twisty pretzels, set a Hershey Kiss on each pretzel, put in a 250* oven for 2-3 mins. Test with your finger and if you can easily push the tip of the Kiss down they are ready. Remove tray and immediately press a red M & M in the center. Let them set up in the fridge or for a few hrs. We do red M & M's to look like Rudolph, but you can use red and green to look festive. We've done them for ALL holidays since M & M's come in so many colors! These are delicious with Almond M & M's too and caramel. I have a friend that uses Rolo's too! White Kisses don't work well, they melt fast, but if you watch them you could use them, they are good! Especially Peppermint ones! REMEMBER each time you eat one you are eating a whole Hershey Kiss! haha

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Point of Grace!

We went to a Point of Grace concert last night at a local church, Ronnie Freeman was there as well. We've been a fan of both of these groups for years! What an absolutely great concert! I have to say it's one of the best shows we've been too! The scenery they brought was amazing, and they changed their gowns many times (well not Ronnie ha) so of course the girls and I enjoyed that! They had some of their band dress up like Frosty/Rudolph and Santa while they sang songs about them! So cute! We had a great time, and it was just the thing to kick off that Christmas spirit......they really focused in on the "true" meaning of Christmas and it was so moving! They sang an absolutely gorgeous song called the 3 gifts! I turned to see tears in my hubby's eyes several times! It was just a great time! (click on the photos to see a better view if you want to!)

Sunday, November 30, 2008


A good time was had by all! We had a great Thanksgiving hosting 16 for dinner! It's always tradition as we gather and hold hands to say dinner prayer that everyone breaks into "Yahooo Doree" from The Grinch t.v. special where they all gather and hold hands and sing! haha We think we are pretty funny!! We had lots of good food, many things to go around the table and be thankful for......many gave thanks to the Lord for how good he has been to them! We had a ball having our cousins spend 4 days with us, minus a bathroom flood and an emergency call for the plumber to come! haha We are truly blessed to have such a close family to spend the holidays with! Notice all the yummy food......nothing like that first bite on Thanksgiving day!! My dad made mention after dinner he wished he had worn his "big stretchy pants!" ha I hope you all had as wonderful of a time as we did!
I couldn't WAIT to start officially playing Christmas music today (as if I haven't been for a month now, but at least no one can say I'm crazy anymore!) I hope you all enjoy these next few weeks decorating and gathering close!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Operation Christmas Child

Thought I would update our Operation Christmas child shoe boxes numbers. Sunday we delivered just over 300 shoe boxes to the drop off place to be taken to the sorting center. We are so excited we had such a great turn out. Knowing here are 300 kids who will have their own little "treasure" box from our community is so great!
God really laid it on people's hearts to give. We had some families this yr. give up to 6 boxes and many paid shipping for all of those and even more! Thanks go everyone who helped load, and to all those who took time to make such a small gift so important!! Please pray for all these children that will receive these boxes that they would see Jesus' love for them!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Easy Chicken Parmesan
3 large chicken breast, (place in a freezer Ziploc bag and pound thin with a mallet or a soup can)
Mix 1 C. Bread crumbs with 1/4 cup Olive Oil and stir together with a fork, it will get very moist, add 1/2 ts. garlic or 1 clove fresh diced garlic, 1/2 ts. salt, dash pepper, 1 ts. oregano or Italian seasoning and stir together with fork (double if you use more chicken pcs.)
Place 2 T. of olive oil in non stick skillet and heat to med., I use an electric skillet usually.
Dredge chicken in bread crumb mixture, coating generously and place in hot skillet. Cook until golden on one side and flip. Cook until golden brown about 10 mins. total or 160*.
Top chicken in skillet with a few Tbs. of Spaghetti sauce and sprinkle that with mozzarella cheese, cover skillet for about 2-3 min. until cheese is melted. Serve with Linguine, sauce and fresh veggies! This serves our family of 5 with some leftovers believe it or not!
You can also do all these steps and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 mins.(maybe a bit longer, the thinner you pound the chicken the faster it cooks, but if you do more than 3 pcs. it may take 1/2 hr. or more) and then turn it to broil to melt cheese but keep an eye on it so you don't burn it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mashed potatoes!

I came across a recipe for make ahead mashed potatoes that you make one day and bake the next and they "should" turn out to taste like fabulous creamy fresh made mashed potatoes! Well they did, even better I thought! ha An easy idea for the day BEFORE Thanksgiving!

5 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled (or any potato you like, but these are really yummy and pretty!)
Boil your potatoes in salted water as usual for mashed potatoes.
Mash your potatoes with 1/2 stick butter, 1/4 C. milk (or cream) and 1/2 an 8 oz. bar of cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese, hee) and salt and pepper. Pour into a sprayed casserole dish (around a 9 x 13 size) top with 2 T. butter cut up into thin slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate.
Let the dish sit out on the counter for about 15 mins. and then bake about 45 mins. (I did an hr. because I ran errands) Remove foil and give it a stir, delish I think!! I was thinking how 1/4 C. of ranch dressing could be a substitute for the milk for a different taste as well as adding shredded cheddar to the mix before you put it in the dish with sliced green onions for a twice baked mashed potato. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Just ducky!

About 1/2 mile down from our house at the boat docks sit these cute little duckies and some Canadian geese! We were surprised the ducks haven't begun to fly South. The geese stay year round! It's always a fun treat to ride down and see who's hanging out. In Spring we see all the little baby ducks waddlin after their mama's!! So cute!!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Our family helps collect and deliver Operation Christmas child shoe boxes for our church! I encourage you and your family to do one or two boxes. They will go off to another country where a child will be "delighted" by what we would call simple but they would call their treasure! Our kids are doing their own box this year and they are really into it! Ours are due and delivered on Nov. 23rd. so get them in and if you aren't sure if your church does it you can go on Samaritan's Purse website to find a place close to you collecting them!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mmm warm cookies and tea!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. butter or margarine, softened(2 sticks)
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 T. milk
2 ts. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour
1 ts. baking soda
1/2 ts. salt, opt'l
2 1/2 C. uncooked quick oats or old fashioned rolled oats
1 pkg. chocolate chips
3/4 C. raisins
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. coconut (Opt'l) I don't use it
Heat oven to 375*. In large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, butter and granulated sugar. Beat at Med. speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. Beat at Med. until well blended. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Beat at low speed until soft dough forms. Stir in by hand, choc. chips, raisins and nuts.
(M & M's are good in this as well).
Drop by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet or parchment paper. Bake 9-10 mins. for a chewy cookie or 12-13 mins. for a crisp one.
Cool before storing.
I make this up and freeze half the dough in a freezer container and then pop it out, let it sit about an hr. in the fridge and voila you can bake fresh cookies for "next time!"
Makes about 5 doz. small or 3 1/2 larger cookies!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I'm amazed often at God's handiwork! You can tell that He really likes color and knew that we would to! I was playing around taking some pictures in my yard! Our Holly bushes didn't get berries last yr. so this year we were delighted to see some, and the red leaves are our favorites!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



Friday, October 31, 2008

Crock pot!

A warm family favorite! Roast dinner in the crock pot!

1 Chuck Roast

8-10 Yukon gold baby potatoes, skins on (or whatever you like)

2-lb. bag carrots, peeled (you can use baby ones if you like)

1 large onion, cut in 1/2 rings


1-15oz can tomato sauce

1 ts. Worcestershire sauce

1 t. salt 1/4 ts. pepper

1 Tb. brown sugar

Lightly spray your crock pot with Pam, salt and pepper your roast and place it in the crock pot. Place peeled carrots over the top, onions, and washed whole potatoes. Pour about 2" of the tomato sauce down into the crock pot, trying not to cover the potatoes if possible. This allows you to mix the other ingredients in the can of sauce, saving clean up! In the remaining tomato sauce put Wors. sauce, salt, pepper and brown sugar and stir. Pour down into the crock pot. Cook on High for 5 hrs. -8hrs. Remove vegetables and meat, if you wish the "gravy/sauce" to be thicker add 1 T. flour or Corn Starch to 1/4 C. warm water or warm sauce in a small bowl. (I use a small jar that I kept the lid for to shake it in). Pour into sauce and stir in, and put the lid on the crock pot and leave on High for about 15 mins. to thicken it! Add some warm Italian or Wheat bread and you have a good dinner waiting for you!

For good Stew later in the week cut up all the remaining leftovers (if there are any, you only need a small amount of meat left for this), add remaining gravy, add 1 can sweet peas, 1 can corn, add 1 can of diced potatoes in the can if you are short on potatoes, 1 can tomato soup, 1/2 soup can water, 1/2 t. Rosemary, 1 clove of garlic or 1/4 ts. dry garlic, 1/2 ts. salt, 1/4 ts. pepper, and simmer in the crock pot for 3-4 hrs. or on the stove top for an hr. Bake some canned biscuits and you have Stew and Biscuits!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Tuesday night It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (Oct. 28th) airs at 8:00 on ABC, WXYZ (here). Didn't want any of you that wanted to know when it was on to miss it! Looks like a 2nd. special is on after it too! For those of you that don't care for this holiday special I apologize! haha

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Warm favorites!

A favorite warm dish, for most of us! NOT our middle daughter, she has cheese on a bun when we have this! ha She does scarf down the fries though! Sloppy Joes and homemade baked fries, quick and easy!
Sloppy Joe: 2 lbs. ground chuck
1 med. onion, diced
Fry ground chuck and onion together, drain off excess drippings
Add 1-15 oz can Tomato sauce
1/4 cup Ketchup
2 Tb. brown sugar
1 ts. Worcestershire sauce
1 ts. salt
1/4 ts. pepper
1 Tb. mustard
Stir into meat and let simmer an hr. A great idea is to make it ahead, and then put into the crock pot on another day, or you can freeze it, thaw it and then put it in the crock pot for a few hrs. I do this for Thanksgiving company. I make a double batch and then pop it out and reheat! Easy!
Baked fries: You'll need one washed Idaho potato per person that you are serving(unless you want leftovers, add more!)
Cut potatoes into long thin strips, leaving skins on
Spray 2 cookie sheets generously with Pam
Place sliced potatoes on sheets, laying them in even layers not stacked
Spray tops of potato slices on tray Bake on 400* for 45 mins. If desired salt them when they are hot and just out of the oven, it will hold the salt better! I tell you, I can eat 1/2 of a tray myself, I would take these over McDonald's fries and that is saying ALOT for me! I'm a die hard fry lover!! We serve raw veggies and French onion dip with this meal, just seems to go with it for us!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Time to start planning!

Well it might sound strange to be talking about Thanksgiving but I was looking through the grocery store ad today to make my grocery list and saw several "holiday" food items. For instance, canned pumpkin, spices, canned fruit, baking supplies etc. We host Thanksgiving at our house, including overnight company and we like to do it up GOOD! We love and adore Thanksgiving together! My brother got married this summer so we have several more cousins to add at the table this year!
So......I'm starting to think "holidays" when I shop now! Which makes it fun to buy things slowly rather than one huge shopping trip the week of Thanksgiving. Too many people, out of stuff you need, overflowing grocery carts, and no place to store it all because it's too much to store! haha Some of you might not to do alot of planning other than make and take a dish, but it's still a good idea to be prepared and hey everyone wants to save some money!!
There's a website called Flylady that I like during the holidays, it can be overwhelming so with anything I pick and choose what I want to take from it! You can go on her site and go to her Site map to find Holiday ideas, including Christmas!
We've already eaten a few pumpkin dishes, bread, dip and pie so I need to take a break so we can really enjoy it when it rolls around! haha
Be thinking holidays somewhere in the back of your mind. You can even be thinking Christmas shopping....some stores have a 90 day return policy (a good thing to check when shopping early!) and we have LESS than 90 days to go! 39 to Thanksgiving when I counted!
So keep this all in mind when you are out and about and perusing the ads! I get some neat after Halloween sales that double for Thanksgiving, orange and brown M & M's, pumpkin plates etc. which is fun too!
If you are rolling your eyes, then just enjoy the music and think about Fall instead! haha I like to be ready and organized so to me this is FUN! ha We will have 22 possible this Thanksgiving so my ideas need to grow with that many people in seating alone! ha We all cherish this time together, I have to say it's one of my top favorite times of the year! My sister in law and I were just discussing the other day how much her family enjoys traveling here for Thanksgiving and I said the same, our kids and all of us love to celebrate all God's Blessings to us together!!
Ok......go out and plan!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pumpkin bread

Pumpkin bread is a family favorite! I make two loaves and cut those in half and freeze them in halves for breakfast, snacks or to have a quick give away for someone in need. Enjoy! I doubled the recipe!

Pumpkin bread:

1 C. flour,

1 C packed brown sugar

1 T. baking powder

1 ts. ground cinnamon

1/4 ts. salt

1/4 ts. baking soda

1/4 ts. ground nutmeg

1/8 ts. ground ginger OR ground cloves(I use cloves)

1 C. canned pumpkin

1/2 C. milk

2 eggs

1/3 C. shortening (I substituted Veg. oil)

1 C. flour

1/2 C. chopped walnuts

1/2 C. raisins

1. Grease pan

2. In large mixing bowl (or kitchen aide mixer) combine 1 Cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and ginger or cloves. Add pumpkin, milk, eggs, and shortening (or Oil). Beat on low until blended. Then beat on med. to high speed for

2 mins. Add the next 1 C. flour, beat until blended. Fold in walnuts (or pecans) and raisins.

3. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake in 350* oven 45-50 mins. (check with finger for firmness in center) . Cool on wire rack 10 mins. and then remove from loaf pan to let cool.

I double this recipe, and then I use one full can of pumpkin, the small size. It's a bit over 2 cups but that's ok! Freeze in 1/2's! enjoy! The pans I have are these cool pans that hold a one loaf recipe, but they are long and narrow. Makes a nice sliced size. I got them at IKEA pretty inexpensively! but they might have them other places too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

God speaking!

After listening to this song, "God Speaking" I started to try to see where I hear "Him" speaking to me! You can find it all over the place if you take the time.....I can hear him often in my children, in the seasons, at my bible study that I love, through my husband, through even the bad often I get too busy or clog my mind up with clutter and then I can't hear Him so well! There's a line in the song that says "Who knows how he'll get a hold of us, get our attention to prove he is ENOUGH, He'll do and He'll use whatever he wants to, to tell us I LOVE YOU ..... he is enough! I hope he doesn't have to work hard to get my attention! Look for him speaking to you today!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's raining acorns!

It's raining acorns here these last few weeks.....we can hear them hitting the roof in the night and we are now used to it. If someone is over, they can't believe the sound! If you take an acorn to the top of your head it's NOT fun! ha Here's Mike and Jordan cleaning up 4 days worth, the barrel on it's side is FULL of them! we try to clean them up every few days! You can click on the photo to see it larger! Luckily they are almost done falling because it's like walking on marbles sometimes!! I know my friends and family who don't live in Michigan will laugh at this! Jordan gets paid to shovel snow so I guess now we'll consider it for shoveling acorns! They have never been as plentiful as this year! We stay out from under the trees in October! haha Next it will be the leaves we will be cleaning up! Enjoy this beautiful Fall day all!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Fall wedding!

My cousin is having an outdoor wedding tomorrow, luckily our weather is going to be lovely! I was lucky enough to be asked to make the cake so I thought I'd share! Of course I never like how any cake I make turns out, we are hardest on ourselves I suppose! The fun part was she asked for "Fallish" decorations and colors on the cake. I found these miniature pumpkins, nuts and acorns that were fun to work with! The topper will be put on at the wedding! I'm glad I don't get asked to do this very often! It was fun, and my first wedding cake and I think my last! It's too much pressure! haha Hope you are all enjoying this gorgeous Fall weather!! The wedding is at a campground and the cider mill is on the way so we plan to make a stop for some cider, apples and DONUTS of course!! Can't enjoy Fall without a crunchy, warm, cinnamon donut from the Cider mill!! ENJOY!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cookie Monday!

On Monday's we usually bake cookies to enjoy through the week.....but we haven't made them all summer so today's the day! Grace and I have a date to make them this afternoon after school! Of course I'll have to email my friend Leanne and tell her I ate too much dough and have a belly ache....(she is a fellow cookie lover!) It's a perfect weather day for baking cookies! I hope you all have a tradition like this to pass on to your kids! I think we'll add Fall sprinkles this time too! yumm This song is one of Grace's fav's!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Family shows!

We love this show.....and we always love the music. We have been playing and putting some of the background songs from some episodes on the blog for fun! We've enjoyed walking around the house singing "CANDY" and what a voice that gal has(2nd. song)!! See if you recognize which show the first song is from! Hard to find good quality shows to watch as a family....glad they play these! My father in law used to say "every channel you turn on the Cosby show is on!"

Sunday, September 28, 2008


We went to a lovely outdoor, Fall wedding last night for friends. Instead of a unity candle they had a beautiful engraved glass jar with hearts and their wedding date engraved on it, and two jars on either side of it. One with red sand, and one with black sand.(Their wedding colors) As they poured the sand into one jar the Pastor gave a lovely talk about how only this couple can make this one design and how God designs marriage to be this way. Two people coming together to make one beautiful design! It was really touching and a neat idea!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I was lucky enough to be asked to make a Pool Party Birthday cake for two friends this past weekend, so I made the exact same cake for both! It was at our new YMCA and it was so much fun! I had fun making the cake. I got the idea online for the Teddy bear cookies wearing bathing suits! that was fun and the lifesaver life preservers! A gum stick diving board, a candy necklace pool rope and I tucked a few of the Teddy bear cookies into gummy lifesavers so they looked like they were floating. I had blue glitter to top it off and it was SO much fun!! If you click on the photo you can look up close at the little Teddy bear swimmers! haha

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

See you at the Pole!

See you at the Pole! Wednesday morning, the 24th.If your school takes part in See you at the Pole I encourage you to get up early and go with your kids to pray for their school! Praying for our schools is so important, and stepping out in public is such a great thing to teach our kids!! So set your alarm early grab a coffee to go and we'll CYA AT THE POLE!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Soar on Wings!

I was reading in my devotions this week out of a book called Power of a Positive Mom and this verse was in there:
Isa. 40:28-31
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and the young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
This excited me because I feel like I grow weary so often, not always just physically but emotionally too and when I read "his understanding no one can fathom" touched my heart because sometimes I don't understand things that happen but HE does! I'm learning lately God has BIG things for us but sometimes we don't ask, we don't have time to expect great things or we don't believe He has great things for us! So GET EXCITED and pray something crazy......there might be things for you that you couldn't have imagined He had in store for you!!! (This is my front porch, the mums this yr. at our local farmer's market are beautiful! it's just down the street from us so we are enjoying goodies from there daily! Mike and the girls got me a beautiful white mum yesterday there!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


It's happening.....I'm falling for Fall! I'm thinking Fall decorations, Charlie Brown holiday specials, acorns raining on our roof, crisp air, tasty apples dipped in caramel, turkey dinner cravings abound, quiet nights curled up with a book, hot bubble baths, hot cookies out of the oven, crunchy walks in the leaves with cool breezes, and there's nothing like Fall sunshine on your face .......ahhh can you feel it??

Saturday, September 13, 2008


IF I HAD A HAMMER....our Sun porch project is done! Mike did a great job, and he built the lockers for me from a picture off a website! He's very handy and I love them! the color is a brownish taupe, we liked it so much we plan to use it to paint our house this Fall!( the next project that needs doing!)ha I hope to find some really cool things to put on top of the lockers and a picture to hang out over the counter, but for now it will just look clean! I'll put some Fall decorations up but I HAVE to wait until it's the first day of Fall at least, can't do it before then! Hope you all have a great week!!!