Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Family, yard pictures and a fall soup


We enjoyed another weekend of company when my sister-in-law and her family came to visit us.
The boys have grown quite a bit since the last time we saw them. I think Jerry was feeling a little short in this picture ;-)





The girls had a blast spending time with their cousins they don't get to see very often. We enjoyed spending time around the house as Jerry and I have been battling a bad cold virus.


It was a gorgeous fall day and it was nice to sit outside and enjoy the breeze.




The boys enjoyed picking a bunch of raspberries and we froze them and sent them home with bagfuls. We also had a lot of fresh pears we sent home with them as well.



We even have some juicy plums growing in our yard.....so delicious right off the tree!


Still some lovely flowers blooming around the yard as we walk around.




Even spiders are still enjoying the weather.... as long as they are outside....I'm good! LOL!!


Flowers on my porch are still blooming nicely.


After all the beauty on Saturday, we had some clouds roll in with wind and rain on Sunday.....




Today was a bit chilly and called for a warm jacket at the bus stop for Miss Kathleen :-)


She left me this awesome note on the table when she left for school. I just love these moments as a mom....truly make my day! Kit Kat was the nickname her friends at her old school gave her.


As I walked back to the house after she got on the bus, I just took in the stillness and beauty of the day and the slight fall changes as the trees begin to lose leaves and change colors.....




Jerry finally got the flag pole put up he has always wanted, and it turned out really nice. Was a beautiful day to see the flag blowing in the wind this morning.


Was also the perfect fall day to make cheeseburger soup in the slow cooker. This is one of my girl's favorite meals.


Ingredients:

Cooking spray
1 garlic clove minced
1 medium onion chopped
1 rib celery chopped
1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
2 Tbsp flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup evaporated milk
8 oz low fat cheddar cheese cubed
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 salt
pepper to taste
tortilla chips

Using cooking spray, cook onions, garlic and celery until tender.

Spray cooking spray into bottom of crock pot. Spoon in the vegetables.

Then cook the meat, drain and add to crock pot.

In small cup combine flour and 1/2 cup broth, stir until lump free. Pour flour mixture into skillet with 2 1/2 cups broth and simmer. Pour in slow cooker stir in evaporated milk, cheese, paprika, salt, pepper and cook 2 hours.

Add crushed or whole tortillas to soup to flavor and enjoy!!!

Of course I forgot to take an after picture.....and there were no leftovers..... lol.....next time! :-)

Have a great evening!

                                                           Blessings,
                                                                Jill

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Discovering

What beautiful fall days we are having here lately... although the mornings can be a bit chilly, like the other day 44 degrees! Brrrrrr! I am waiting for the leaves to change behind our home as I anticipate it will be beautiful!

We have been blessed at our new property with an abundance of raspberries! Been freezing them as much as I can to see us through the winter and also sharing with our neighbors and other visitors we have had.



We've found a few peppers and tomatoes growing in the garden as well. Always a treat to see what is pooping up out there! :-)


Pretty sure these are heirloom tomatoes as we've seen a few yellow and red ones on the ground. And I've asked around... ;-)



Banana pepper?! We think so!

Kathleen has really enjoyed having a big yard to move around her fairy houses. Love seeing her imagination at work. She thinks everything out and plans where she wants to put everything.... ahhh the magical moments of fairies....


Our pear tree is also in abundance and the other day we decided to make pear sauce!



I love doing these things as a family and teaching the girls new things. Nothing fresher than straight from your backyard!


We got this great press at Lehman's and we love it so far, great for all kinds of sauces, etc.


We put it in the fridge to firm up a bit but it was so delicious...just added some sugar and cinnamon a few ingredients for taste  and success!

                                                 In other news.........

Kathleen made a sweet card for her bus driver the other day. She said her bus driver kept thanking her, that it really made her day.


Our animals are still quite spoiled..... when Kathleen comes home Elvis spreads himself out over her papers, lol.


Then we had to put a pillow in the corner of the landing upstairs so he can watch everything and nap when he wants to. :-)


In the background at the bottom you can see his chair is still by the window (sidelights) so he has a comfortable spot to see what's going on outside.

Then there is our old Cooper, who is just happy being by our side... follows us everywhere we go...including the bathroom!


And then we have Hayley, our comedian.....always goofing off and making us laugh...a nice way to wrap up pictures for this post....with a big smile! We do have something to smile about... my friend's daughter who had the brain surgery is doing well and was released today! Thank you all for your prayers. She has a long recovery, but is making great progress!


"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence"

    ---Helen Keller

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty"     ----Winston Churchhill


"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world"  ----Harriet Tubman

                                                                          Blessings,
                                                                               Jill                            

Monday, September 8, 2014

A visit to the Hower House, Chiari Malformation information and more!

What a beautiful day it is here in Ohio! :-) Perfect time to catch up on more of what we have been doing. Determined to keep my posts more regular since the girls have started back to school. Getting caught up so I can add more about cooking, crafts, places we visit and more. Welcome back!

On August 26th, I turned the big 40.... yikes a big day and it was hard because we moved out here with no family and close friends nearby. Jerry asked me what I wanted to do and I said to visit a Victorian Mansion. We found this home in Akron called The Hower House, located right on the campus of Akron university.


For a minimum fee we were able to take the tour which was quite enjoyable. Our guides were very knowledgeable in the history surrounding the home. So much to see and take in! Unfortunately we could not take photos inside, but when we toured the carriage house we were able to take a few.


A truly beautiful home and very well kept inside.



This is the carriage house and some items on display inside.


This carriage one was completely restored and although lovely.... I like seeing the originals and how they were found.


Like this particular carriage. Raises the curiosity of who rode in it and the journeys they made.


Hayley loved this antique trunk and wants to find someone to recreate it for her. Both girls were very interested in the history of that time period.



My how times have changed and the way we travel in luxury now!




This was the original weather vane that sat on top of the house.



Some amazing stories about this family. Leaving a legacy behind for future generations!

We visited their gift shop in the basement of the main house. All proceeds go back into the house, which we were happy to support. I had received some money for my birthday and Jerry and the girls encouraged me to get a few things I enjoyed. So I actually did this time and very pleased with what I found.



These lovely ladies are porcelain bells.




I found this statue for my garden. :-)


Kathleen found a few items for her fairy houses and was tickled pink!


Hayley saw this beautiful set for her vanity, so we got that for her. She already has it filled! LOL


To find out more about the Hower House and all it's rich history and see more photos visit
www.howerhouse.org. I was not compensated in any way for sharing this information, just my own enjoyment and to encourage others to support these historical homes when given an opportunity. :-) I hope to see these homes get the support they need to be around for many more generations to enjoy!

We had a wonderful day riding through Amish Country. At a local yard sale we found an Amish crafted picnic table for $25.00 and brought it home. Hopefully we will get a patio area in soon. We bought pavers at a yard sale for $45.00 for over 140 pavers; a great deal! :-) A project we hope to complete before the weather gets bad.


Loved riding through different areas of Ohio..... we saw this sign in our journey....


We really had to be careful driving here! So many horse and buggies as well as bikes, scooters etc. We were the minority here and it was such a neat thing to see!


Riding her scooter down the rd.!


This was at the local Walmart, but also seen at grocery stores, etc. in the area.

We found a little ice cream place called The Depot....so neat, just like stepping back in time with real milkshakes and delicious ice cream treats!



Jerry had a sample cone and we have no idea who the guy was behind him in the picture....photo bombed! LOL


The girls loved it here. They are only open seasonally though so we have to wait till next year!


Jerry bought me beautiful flowers for my birthday, which really cheered me up as it was also the first day of school for the girls.


Hard to believe Hayley is starting 8th grade! Could not be more proud of her and all she has accomplished, in math she is taking high school credits!! Hoping this will be an amazing year in her new school.


Jerry stayed long enough to see both girls off to school and Kathleen was so happy he was able to!


Kathleen starts 3rd grade this year and so far she loves it! The teacher has already told me what a great asset she is to the classroom. Hard worker and always willing to help out and is kind to others. I'm one proud momma!


Long walk down the driveway this year.... lol. We take Cooper with us down and back every day.


We also celebrated Labor day with one of my best childhood friends and her family. Their daughter Caitlin was just diagnosed with Chiari Malformation after experiencing horrible headaches daily. Many doctors and tests later they had an answer. She is having very serious surgery on September 15th. Please keep her in your prayers. To learn more visit www.ASAP.org I remember when this sweet little girl was born Jerry and I drove all the way from North Carolina to Maryland to see her in the hospital. To say we are worried is putting it mildly, we love her so much and want to see everything go well for her.


Hayley and Caitlin have grown up together and it's so cool because Teresa and I have been friends since we were 3! Caitlin is older by 2 years, but Hayley towers over her! LOL


All four of them get together so well. Close in age and that really helps! :-)



To get their mind off things for awhile we took them to Cedar Point for a day of fun!





They were having a special a dollar to play certain games....well Jerry had the luck on the first try for Kathleen he won her the unicorn from Despicable Me 2! She was so happy and excited!


Then Caitlin's dad had tried 9 times to win her a gorilla she was really wanting and no luck, he had one try left and Jerry did it for him and won! Caitlin's reaction and smile are priceless! Emotional to say the least and she was so happy she didn't stop smiling!



And amazingly......he fits in the van! Good thing we took two separate vehicles! LOL


Caitlin's family has set up a page with more information about Caitlin's condition and to help with medical expenses. If you are able to contribute any amount at all even $5.00 please visit this link
Even if you can not help financially please pray....THANK YOU!

After they headed home we took the girls to a nearby fair and enjoyed the day!





We have been busy but loving every minute! A blessing to have visitors so soon after we moved here! Have a fabulous Monday and thanks for stopping by!!!

                                                                      Blessings,
                                                                            Jill