Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Dollywood style!
Have a wonderful, family-filled Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Another Throwback Thursday!

The year is 2009.
Washington DC - Department of Treasury.
One of my absolute favorite photos
of Kate and Kim.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

An overnight with Myah and Kylee

We had a sleepover with Myah and Kylee a couple of weekends ago.  I try to pack their time while they are here so they don't get bored.  So... we played games until Kim got off work.
 After Kimmy got home from work,
we went to Red Robin to eat dinner.
 On the way home, they told me they really wanted
to decorate a Christmas tree, so we thought "why not?"
 We decided to take them up on their offer and get a head start 
on setting up for Christmas.
I mean, I had plans to do it in a couple of weeks anyway,
so why not now?
 Kylee had fun taking the ornaments out of the box
and talking about how old they are, and who gave them to me,
or where did I buy them.
 She also found an elf hat
and a Santa apron, which she promptly put on.
 Jackie always likes to snuggle up with Myah.
 When we had enough of decorating the tree,
we went out and made s'mores over the fire pit.
 They are good but sticky!
 After a breakfast of pancakes, we made Christmas ornaments.
Lunch... and then home.
The next day was a school day for them
and a work day for me.
Great fun while they were here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

I wanted to try a new dessert recipe so I found a recipe for Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake.  It was really good, but took longer to make than I anticipated.

 First, I chopped the apples.
 I didn't take any pictures of making the batter, 
but it was actually made on the stove, cooked in a saucepan.
 Then the batter is added to finely chopped apples.
 Placed in a larger pan to bake.
Create a brown sugar glaze and add
1/4 c. salted caramel glaze.
Here it is.  It really was so very yummy!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Feed My Starving Children

My daughters introduced me to a non-profit agency that packs and provides food for third world countries.  The agency is called Feed My Starving Children and one of their permanent locations is in Mesa, Arizona - right down the street from me.  Kylee needs to do some volunteer work in her community and so Nicole signed them up and asked me to go along.  I asked my friend, MaryAnna, who also went along.
Myah and Kylee told me they were embarrassed for having to wear hairnets so they wouldn't agree to let me put a picture of their faces on my blog.  But then....
I talked them into going for it - make a fashion statement (I said)!  We had a really good time.  They make it an entertaining evening by playing fun, "makes me want to dance" music.  On the left is Nicole, Kylee, and Myah, with MaryAnna on the right.  Me?  I took the picture.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Another Blue Apron Meal - Empanadas

We are still getting Blue Apron meals and tonight we made Spicy Butternut Squash Empanadas, which was one of their vegetarian meals. 
 They always give you a picture of how it is supposed
to look when you get done.
And the directions are very detailed and easy to understand.
 So the ones that Kim and I made are below...
They look just like the picture - YEAH!
 And here's the inside...
Kim and I like getting the meals from Blue Apron because it 
forces us to try new things and even learn new techniques.
It can be a lot of chopping, but so far
(knock on wood)
we have liked everything - some things better than 
others, but we have eaten many new things.
And we do like that.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Flashback Friday

Kimmy and Tiffany sitting in my sister, Gail's, kitchen
on a trip to Florida.
The year?  2005!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween at the Office

We are in cubes at my office.  A few of us decided to decorate the fronts of our cubes.  It helps make our office a little more like home.  This is the outside of my office.
 You have to look close to see the "eyes"
 The one below is Dawn's cube.
 She obviously loves skeletons.
 Mary is a quilter and the small square is a quilted pattern.
She is extremely talented.
She told me she made the candy corn and skeleton garland.  It is so very cute.
 You can't have Halloween without candy corn.

Monday, October 24, 2016

S'mores on the Patio

I recently finished my backyard and when Kimmy and I looked out it, we looked at each other and said "fire pit."  Yep, we felt a fire pit would truly finish the patio.
 Kimmy's long-time friend, Natasha, came over and ...
 we roasted marshmallows and made s'mores on the back patio.
It was beautiful weather for sitting by the fire pit.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunset from the Airplane

I know this is a dark picture, but I took it from the plane
when flying home

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Yes, we went to Dollywood and it was a very fun day.  October is Southern Gospel month at Dollywood and all of us agreed that it felt like "going home."  It reminded us of our family, both of our parents and our extended family, as well.  We went to four musical performances.  Spending a day at Dollywood was really relaxing - I didn't witness any pushing or shoving or negativity at all.  Lines were definitely doable. It was just a nice atmosphere.

 Below is my sister, Susan, with my 
"little brother" Jeff pushing her.
Susan's husband, Jim, is behind Jeff.
You can catch just a glimpse of Gail,
my sister, in the back (taking a picture).
 It's not a great picture because we were in a hurry
to get to the roller coaster Mystery Mine.
I rode that with Jeff, Susan, and Jim.
Let me tell you - I screamed during the whole ride!
I had to close my eyes a lot.
 The Bake Shop had the most delectable looking pastries
and look at the size of that apple pie!
 The park is all decked out for fall and Thanksgiving.
They really do a beautiful job of decorating.
I was told that Christmas is really a nice time to go
because there are lights everywhere.
 On the way out, I just had to get a shot of the trees
starting to turn their leaves.
Besides visiting with my siblings, that was my purpose
for going to Tennessee - to see a
change in seasons.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

One week in the Smokies!

I just got back from spending a week with four of my siblings in the Great Smoky Mountains!  My sister, Susan and her husband, Jim, left for Tennessee and met my sister, Gail and her husband, Rudy, who came up from Florida.  My youngest brother, Jeff and his wife Joyce, live in Tennessee which is why I selected that place.  I was longing to see the change in leaves.  We actually stayed at a resort in Sevierville. So, on to some of the pictures I took...
 This was taken from our balcony taken on the day of our arrival.
 One of the first things we did was drive Cade's Cove, which is a 
scenic drive through the Smoky National Park.
We saw historical buildings - the one above
is a Methodist church.
 I love this picture of simply a path in the woods.

 I was taking a picture of the creek when I heard my sister say
"Let's see what Jean's taking a picture of - Oh, it's just water."
I cracked up.
My brother said the exact same thing.
But both of them live in states where water is plentiful.
It's not often I get to see a natural creek bed.

I was taken by all of the coins in the aquaduct.
You can't really see it, but they really sparkled.

The weather was absolutely beautiful 
and the scenery was breathtaking.