york swirls

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy birthday, dear Grandma, happy birthday to you...

 We celebrated my mom's birthday on Saturday night.  My sister, Aimee, and her family were able to be there too.  
We pretended we were eating at Olive Garden with chicken parmigiana, spaghetti, and salad.  Erin made soft, delicious breadsticks that we dipped in red sauce or cheese sauce.  I had never made the chicken dish before, but it was very good.  The recipe follows:

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup egg substitute (If you prefer, use 1 lightly beaten egg for the egg substitute.)
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1 jar (26 ounces) meatless spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1.  In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt.  In another bowl, beat egg substitute.  Dip chicken in egg substitute, then roll in crumbs.
2.  Place in a 13-in. x 9in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  Turn chicken; bake for 10 minutes.
3.  Pour spaghetti sauce over chicken; bake for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheeses; bake 10 minutes longer or until chicken juices run clear.

Carousel Ride


We went to Shipshewana Friday.  We had a delicious dinner at Essenhaus in Middlebury.  We bought groceries at E & S in Shipshwana and then went to one of the girls' favorite places, Davis' Mercantile.  It is a huge 3-story building with a tree going right up through the middle of it.  There is a beautiful carousel on the top floor.  A kind, elderly Amish gentleman runs it.  He told Gary he rides his bike 6 miles to town to run the carousel.  He loves to be around the children, he told Gary.

What a little dude!!

Ryan's all dressed up and ready for church with Gammy & Pop.  Krissy works every Saturday night 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and again Sunday night 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., so Ryan spends Saturday night with us and goes to church with us on Sunday morning.  He's such a joy to have around!!  Isn't he a handsome little fella?  His Gammy & Pop are so proud of him!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Cup of Tea

 Mistress Crider
 Mistress Hooker
 Mistress Taylorson
 Mistress Trippett
 Amanda, the servant
 Miss Farquar
In our unit studies that I was telling you about earlier, we have finished the Columbus unit and are working on the Jamestown unit now.  The two books we are reading aloud are Surviving Jamestown and A Lion to Guard Us.  In A Lion to Guard Us, we are reading about some children who live in London while their father is in Jamestown.  As part of the study, we have been learning about the sites of London, such as London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Thames River, and others.  We are also learning about traditions in Great Britain such as afternoon tea, so we had a tea party this afternoon.  Everyone went by a make-believe name.  We learned that it is proper to hold the cup in one hand and the saucer in the other, and it is not proper to hit the sides of the cup with your spoon when you are stirring.  We made mini cinnamon rolls as our crumpets.  We used pink lemonade and orange juice as our "tea".  School can be fun!!

Happy birthday to Meagan

Meagan turned 22 on Wednesday.  She asked for her "usual" - fried cube steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn.  Her cake was her "usual" - yellow cake with homemade chocolate frosting.  Around here, we refer to it as a yellow bottom with a black top because when Laura was a tiny, little thing that's how she described the cake she wanted for her birthday.  Funny how when your kids say something funny or pronounce something wrong that becomes the way your family refers to it from then on.
On the day after her birthday, Krissy took Meagan out shopping and for a meal out.  They wore Ryan out!

Monday, January 14, 2013

We really need to get out more...

We got a new washer and dryer today.  Our old washer was 7 years old, and the dryer was 11 years old.  When you consider the fact that we wash at least twice as many clothes as the "average" family, that's pretty good.  We've been having a lot of trouble with the dryer, so we went to look at dryers on Saturday.  We were tentatively planning to buy a stackable dryer now and add another one in the future because we're always waiting on the dryer.  The washer can wash 2 loads to one load in the dryer.  Once the salesman explained to us how the new technology works, we opted for a new washer to go with the dryer with no plans for the second dryer in the future.  

They delivered and installed the new set this afternoon.  We made the right decision!  Wow!!!  Talk about technology!  With all the electronics and sensors, the washer and dryer take about the same amount of time.  We spent the afternoon and evening running back and forth to the laundry room every time someone would shout, "Come look at this!" or "Look what it's doing now!"  Since they both have glass doors, you can see what's going on inside.  It really is amazing! I decided we need to get out more though if we could derive so much entertainment from a new washer & dryer.

Erin is 14!

Erin turned 14 on January 9th.  She made her own ice cream cake for dessert.  I know the ingredients from my grocery list, but I don't know how it's put together.  I DO know it's a great combination of ice cream sandwiches, oreos, cool whip, and hot fudge sauce!!  Delicious!!!

Erin is a very good cook.  She loves to read and crochet.  She crocheted hats for all the girls for Christmas and the cutest slippers for her nephews.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Girls' Day Out

 A picture of Meagan, our chauffeur, that she told me not to take, but I never listen to her.
 A van full of girls.  We decided to make a rule that the boys could come if they were under 3 years old, so Ryan and Grady came along for the day.
We had lunch at Subway.  Ryan didn't care much for the mayonnaise on the sandwich Aunt Erin shared with him, but he sure did love the cookie Aunt Meagan bought him!!

We went bargain shopping on Thursday in Lafayette.  I think Meagan found the deal of the day with 2 nice shirts for Ryan at Kohl's for just over a dollar.  We found a lot of other great deals too and had a great day!!

Seeing the new year in...

...with our family.
 We had another game of Twister going...

 ...and Monopoly....
...and Quiddler.

We enjoyed having Gary's parents and Gary's cousin and her family for the evening.  Gary's cousin, Debbie, her husband, Jim, and their boys moved to Brook from New Jersey this past year.  This was the first time we've ever got to celebrate New Year's with their family.  It was a great new tradition to start! We look forward to many more years of memories.

Christmas in Spencer

 Carli & Heather playing a game of darts
 Bridgette, Kara, Nanna, & Jenna eating icicles
 Gathered in the shed around the wood stove
 Nanna sledding down the smaller hill
 Meagan getting ready to go down the steep hill....with the big rock at the bottom!
 Laura contemplating her move
 Even my mom, who will be 66 at the end of this month, took one ride down the hill.  You're never too old to go sledding.
Kara and Leah

My mom and dad bought a house in Spencer, Indiana, this summer in the midst of a few acres of woods and hills.  While the weather was still nice, they scoped out the hills for the best spot to sled and cut a few saplings and cleared the area.  That was good planning on their part because a couple of days before we were all scheduled to go down there for Christmas, they got over a foot of snow.  Then the night that we got there, we got 4 or 5 more inches during the night.  It was perfect sledding weather...not too cold, not too windy, and LOTS of snow!!!  The kids played outside until after dark the first night.  Then they went sledding on Saturday afternoon and again Sunday afternoon.  There is a wood stove in the shed that was perfect to dry out wet gloves, coats, and boots.

We spent the weekend playing in the snow, sitting around the fire in the shed or the fireplace in the house, feeding the birds, and playing games.  All three of my sisters and their families were there.  Everyone had a wonderful time!  We sure hope there's snow again next year!!!

Christmas Morning

 Kara & Leah
 Erin & Nanna
 Heather & Laura
 Jim, Ryan, & Krissy
 Gary's mom & dad
Ryan in his Scooby Doo jammies from his Gammy

Christmas Day was a nice, quiet day with visitors on and off during the day...playing with new toys...eating...watching movies....just a nice, quiet family day.