Since my last post in February, much has happened. The busyness of life sometimes just interferes with blog postings..the posts end up on a” back shelf” …waiting for me to get back to it! I’m back to it now!
In February we made a last minute decision to “get out of Dodge”. Sick of the cold and snow, we drove to Florida for a quick 4 day stay there. Worth all the driving. The 4 days were wonderful. We did have one day of mostly rain. But otherwise sunny and 80. Even the rainy day was 70 and we still did a lot of eating and shopping. Stayed at one of the Disney resorts and just loved sitting by the pool at the table and enjoying the sun shine.
Did I mention we indulged in Ghirardelli Sundaes…totally. We made those lovely sundaes our lunch, enjoyed it so much. The next day we came back and ordered them all again that days lunch! Totally lovely, enjoying our ice cream as we sat at the outdoor cafe, enjoying the warmth and sunshine! (The photo below is one of our “ice cream lunches”)
In Michigan Spring has finally arrived. We have had many warm days…actually earlier than normal, so trees, etc have bloomed a bit early. It’s just lovely! We have even mowed the yard already, because of hubbies early fertilizing, grass grew quickly and thick!
We are still working on replacing all our trim with the wider white trim. We love the look more and more!
Hubby and I have been taking online courses, which has slowed the trim updating. We are loving our online classes, it sure stretches one’s mind! He is updating his teaching certificate and I’m taking a course in HTML5 and CSS programming.
New for 2017 is my updated, redesigned Recipe Blog. See the link for the Recipe Blog at the top of this page. I’ve added new recipes and will be adding more through February.
Now onto my book reviews! I received two books at Christmas. Ones that I asked for and I LOVE both of them.
The first one is “Walking Butterly”. I can’t recommend it highly enough!! So well written and life changing! I follow her blog at Recovering Church Lady, her blog is wonderful…as you can tell by the title! Her writings, her thoughts, her sharing always touches my soul. Encourages me to grow in my Faith!
Our fireplace decorated and ready for a warm crackling fire!
A little fun post…have seen this going around so thought I would play along.
1.My 3 favorite books(besides the Bible)(truly impossible to narrow down to 3 books. I have read SO many that have touched me or are just plain good reading. I love biographies, fiction, non-fiction, politics, history)
Little House books ALWAYS my Favorite
I Have Lived a Thousand Years
Alicia: My Story
2:My 3 favorite TV Shows (we don’t watch many tv shows, these are the only ones usually)
Alaska The Last Frontier
Sue: Life Below Zero
3: My 3 favorite famous people. (really…there are so many more I would love to sit down and talk with.
Franklin Graham in a tie with Rabbi Lapin
4: My 3 favorite types of footwear
My new tennis shoes
My comfy fashion boots
Slippers (l live in these in the winter!!!)
4.My 3 or 15 or 20 favorite Christmas Movies *THAT is hard..we start watching our collection of Christmas movies Thanksgiving Weekend…we have a LOT and love them all!
The Christmas Box / Time Piece
***At the end of this I will post ALL the movies we watch at Christmas, just in case you need some ideas!
5: My 3 favorite pieces candy(I don’t eat much candy, NOT because I don’t like it though)
6. My 3 favorite dining out places
Logans Steakhouse – who can’t love the 2 full meals for $15.99 YUM
But seriously can YOU narrow it down to 3? 🙂
7. My 3 favorite hobbies
Painting furniture and walls LOL
Crocheting and sewing
WAIT….I have to add reading…love books!
8. My 3 favorite places to visit
Disney World!! (Our favorite vacation spot, we try to get there every 4 years. So much to do and lovely dining)
Smokey Mountains (Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg – the fires there broke my heart)
Downtown Chicago (love the views, Navy Pier, shopping, Cheesecake Factory, and sightseeing!)
*** Below is our list of Christmas Movies
(Note – all of them I listed are GOOD! But the starred ones I’m really recommending especially because they might not be as well known)
Family Man **
The Christmas Card **
The Christmas Choir **
A Time to Remember
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Santa Clause I
Santa Clause II
Santa Clause III
Home Alone I
Home Alone II
The Christmas Box / The Time Piece **
A Christmas Visitor **
A Dog Names Christmas **
You’ve Got Mail
The Christmas Miracle **
A Christmas Carol (with George C. Scot…the BEST one) **
The Grinch (with Jim Carry)
The Christmas Ornament
National Lampoon Christmas Vacation
Preacher’s Wife (with Whitney Houston)
A Very Merry Mix-Up **
…and this is NOT the complete list..since we have the “Feeln” channel this year and have new ones to add for next year! 🙂 Happy viewing!
I found this free printable. Prints out beautifully, I have it framed and on one of my shelves above our TV, framed it in a white frame! Go to this blog for her lovely printable at full size: Deliciouslyyum.com/merry-christmas/
May your Christmas shopping list be almost complete, and your Christmas baking be filling your home with delicious smells (and eating!)
Dec. 13…11 days ..count them!!!….until Christmas Eve! Where we live we are pretty much guaranteed a white Christmas since this week a snow storm came our way, with more coming this weekend! YES it’s cold out, but there is just something magical at Christmas time to have the white fluffy stuff on the ground! At night all the outdoor white Christmas lights just look beautiful against the snow!! Now ask me in January how I feel about the snow! LOL!
During all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, the shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, parties, cleaning…..sometimes…well a lot…the true meaning of Christmas gets pushed aside. Try to take time to reflect on what this season is about…the birth of the Christ child, the complete and total love God had for us, to send His Son to us. He cares about us…ALL of us….you… and all that our lives are about. The joys, the struggles AND the pain. Take time to de-stress,..yes it’s okay to just sit, to ponder, to relax, maybe read a book, sip on coffee or hot cocoa. Wishing you and yours a season of love, and care and may you enjoy this season of Love.
A photo of our lovely town decorated for Christmas
Our house is all decorated inside and out! Both trees up and decorated, one is in our living room, but it can be seen from the kitchen and dining room which I love and the other is in our lower level where the fireplace is!
Started my Christmas baking, some cookies and candy, but will save the cut-out frosted Christmas cookies to do with the 2 grand-daughters that live close. So miss having the CO grandkids here! Christmas time makes it’s especially hard, we miss them all so much!
Posting a few recipes!
First is Cake Balls….super easy!They have become a family favorite.
1 box of cake mix, any flavor will work. I have used cherry, strawberry and this year trying spice. Make the cake by the instructions on the box.
1 – 16 oz container of frosting (again any flavor that goes well with your cake flavor) use ONLY 3/4 of the container, more than that makes the balls too moist.
1 package of candiquik melting chocolate I use only the milk chocolate flavor.May also be called chocolate bark.Bake cake mix (follow the instructions on the box). Cool
With your hands, crumble the cooled cake into large bowl.
Mix in the frosting, again not the whole container, usually just 1/2 to 3/4 will do it.
Refrigerate the batter to stiffen for a little while
Roll into one inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet or carefully put in bowl.
Place in your freezer, you want them very cold. If they are frozen they keep the ball shape better as you dip them into the melted chocolate.
Melt chocolate according to directions.
You can then dip cake balls into the melted chocolate with a toothpick or hold the ball and with a spoon cover the ball with the chocolate.
They can be dipped in sprinkles (I used different colors and shapes of sprinkles), nuts, crushed candy canes etc. and also you can drizzle them with a lighter color of chocolate or white chocolate. Have Fun!
The other recipe is Chicken Pot Pie (also VERY easy and oh so delicious)
*side note…as I’m writing this blog our Chicken Pot Pie is baking away in the oven!!
1 to 2 cups shredded or chopped rotisserie chicken
2 prepared Pie Crusts (Pillsbury)
1 bag Frozen mixed veggies for soup (the frozen veggies for soup contain potatoes, THAT you want!)
1/2 block of room temp cream cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
Dried or fresh chopped onion
Garlic powder to taste
Pepper to taste
Set out pie crusts until room temp (1/2 hour). Line pie plate with one of the crusts, making sure crust goes up the sides.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Chop or shred the rotisserie chicken, set aside
In bowl, mix cream cheese and soup, Add the mixed veggies, cheese, onion, garlic powder and pepper. Mix
Add chicken to the bowl of mixture, mix until thoroughly mixed together.
Put one of the pie crusts in the bottom of the pie plate.
At this point, if you would like, you can bake just the bottom crust for about 5 minutes ( bottom crust will be fully cooked when whole pie is done cooking)
Take out of oven, fill bottom crust with Chicken mixture.
Top with the second pie crust. Crimp crust, then cut a couple of slits etc. on the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Pie should be bubbly and top browned, but not too much!
Serve with a crispy salad, and/or fruit and you have a wonderful meal!
Well it seems it was just a few days ago and I was planting my summer flowers, working on our summer projects and I turned around and the leaves are turning into beautiful colors and now dropping from the trees and flannel sheets are on the bed. How in the world did this time go so fast! I have my fall decorations through out the house. And GASP I have started Christmas shopping, though I still am denying I see Christmas decorations in the store!
I have mentioned before that Wayne and I started a tradition in retirement. It’s lovely and even more so as the weather gets cooler here. We go to the “office”! LOL. The “office” is Panera Bread. Our Panera has a lovely warm atmosphere in the sitting area. The fireplace is now on and the warmth it gives out in atmosphere and looks is wonderful. Wayne and I are part of the regulars. There is a regular set of people that show up every morning. We chat with the other people at times and other times, we sit in our booth sip our coffee and we bring our tablets and catchup on email, blogs, and read our many books on Kindle. We also spend time chatting with each other, planning our day and week. A lovely tradition to look forward to each morning. When I say morning we are there by 6:45 am…YES we are morning people, always have been, though I know some people are aghast we are up so early when we are retired. We love the early mornings.
DIY crafts I have found that I love! I’m only going to make one of them. I love the Boo one! But the Fall one with the leaf actually will last through Thanksgiving. I may be leaning toward that one. I’ll post when the one I pick is completed! They were both found on Pinterest.
This is one for Christmas that I would love to make also. Setting this outside next to the front door would be lovely! This too was found on Pinterest.
I will leave you with a wonderful fall recipe.
Chicken Corn Chowder (please see note below)
3 cans of cream style corn
2 can regular canned corn drained
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of cream of potato soup
1 can of evaporated milk
1 cup of milk
2 pre-cooked boneless chicken breasts cubed OR rotisserie chicken which I use because it makes the soup so flavorful.
Smoky links sliced (put in as many as you like) I use a whole package. (this makes this soup wonderfully tasty!)
Mushrooms (canned or fresh) drained – optional
Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Stir and bring to a slight boil then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Serve with Garlic Texas Toast and/or a nice salad. YUMMY!
Books. Reading. Trying to be more determined in my day/week to read and finish books on my “reading list”.
Three I HIGHLY recommend!
First, I’m just finishing “Tom’s Lists: 50 Commandments to Transform Your Life”…wow is it a great read. Seriously READ this book, it’s life changing..it’s funny, it’s serious, it’s soul searching..a great author!
Third, “More Tears to Cry” – A True Story of the lives of females in Saudi Arabia. If you have read the Princess Trilogy (all 3 are great reads), this is sort of a continuing story. Chilling. Jean Sasson is an awesome author!
When we were in Colorado my daughter-in-law, Sherry, served a dish during dinner that we loved! I’m sharing her recipe.
Texas Caviar! (or Black Eyed Pea Salad)
3 or 4 cans of black eyed peas
onion (sweet or green onion)
jalepeno pepper (remove seeds and skin with a spoon)
Rinse and drain black eye peas. Dice all vegetables and combine with the black eyed peas. Add approx 1 cups of dressing or less if you prefer.
Note: others have replaced 1 of the cans of black eye peas with white corn and/or pinto beans. The recipe above is wonderful as is! Others have also deemed this recipe as “addicting”…we agree. It’s YUMMY!!!
Oh if you check out my links at the top of my blog…my daughter Sarah now has a blog, as does Wayne :).
Our love story that began in 1974, a love story that still continues! It grew to include 3 children, a son-in-law and 6 grand children. We are thankful each and every day for the blessings we have experienced. A life we relish, we have grown through it’s hardships, and times of pain, and seek the sweetness of life. We love our children, our grandchildren, laughter, long walks, chatting over coffee, breakfast out, early mornings, sunrises and sunsets, roaring camp fires, traveling, board games and cards over much laughter and snackies, watching movies, remodeling, working in the yard, sitting on the deck sipping fresh brewed ice tea, with slices of lemon. We love laughter, sarcasm, jokes, politics, learning, reading. Always pursuing and seeking, spiritual truth, knowledge, and growth through Christ.