Friday, December 2, 2011

It Started Like This.....

Thanksgiving-2011! We adore our Thanksgiving traditions with our Olsen Family. We begin like this.......watching the Detroit Lyons football game. Come as your are---pj's, sweatshirts, pillows, blankets, slippers, etc. Touchdown's, you score chocolate delights...YUM! When the opposing team scores....someone draws a slip of paper out of a bowl and we have to do whatever it says on the paper....we ran laps, danced, etc. Always fun.

Table clothe art, after the football game.

Here are the results, before dinner was served buffet style.

My husband drew this around his table setting.

And, he drew this around mine....oh, good. You get a chance to see my dinner. It was so good.

When I cleared my plate from the table, I found this......yep, he is a good catch and all that goes with it.

We adore our traditional desserts. We have divine fudge over to the far left upper corner....can't miss the fabulous chocolate cake.....pies---need I say more? Well, a little more. L to R, coconut cream pie (with a bottom layer of nuts, butter and brown sugar), apple crumble pie, and double layer pumpkin pie (theirs a whip cream, cream cheese, sugar layer hidden beneath the pumpkin). This has to be served buffet style so that you can have a little of each. It is a must!

We then, settle ourselves down into the cozy couches and watch a fun movie to top off our Thanksgiving day.

Love the holiday season. Wonderful memories from Thanksgiving with those near and far....loved all the email, texts, phone calls and conversation from before, during and after the holiday weekend.

Happy days to you and yours! xo

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hello and Welcome SNOW!

Beautiful morning here in Michigan!

Reindeer (OK....deer) finding a few old apples on the ground underneath the snow.

Great day ahead! There will be cocoa, stoking the wood burning stove, housework, quilting, reading, baking, more scheming and dreaming about Christmas surprises and fun (sigh)......just one of those magnificent days, where things seem a little bit quieter and where the sun reflects off of the snow and makes everything extremely bright and magical.

Have a great last day of November everyone! xo

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Vampire and Music

Hello Mr. Vampire. Just a little bit more of Fall/Halloween delight!
Fall Echo's--- Marching Band final concert. This is such a fun way to end the marching band season. Love hearing the band perform their regular football field half-time show. My son is the middle snare drum player. He is percussion leader this year.
Rats...a little blurry, but you get the idea. The sound is so massive and cool in the gym.

And, a little surprise!!! Fall Echo's includes the senior band members choosing their favorite song from over the past 4 years. They chose, In The Stone...Journey. We were more than a little bit surprised when our son left the percussion section, ran up to the conductors stand, and led the band in this piece of music. Really super fun.

Wish I could have gotten all the band in this picture.

And, a final farewell to the seniors....(our son is 4th from the right) their names were called out along with their parents, who proudly stood to honor their child, and vice-a-versa. Sigh! WE swallowed hard and worked hard to keep our eyes dry. Proud of our son and these kids, but, sentimental about the conclusion of this era of time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

HALLOWEEN and such!


Zombie time!!

Yep...getting into character and all that goes with it! Party on, Zombie boy!

Lots of Halloween parties over the last week. All good! Our town hosts trick-r-treat from 4pm until 6pm...followed by cider and donuts and a costume parade for the little ones, downtown. Makes for a perfect Halloween and love that everything begins early in the late night stuff.
So, our family had a nice yummy dinner of Pumpkin Corn Chowder and crackers. It was delicious. I must admit, I was sceptical, but, WOW! This was really a tasty Fall soup recipe.

We had what we call "dinner theater" and ate our dinner and watched the Halloween episode of Psych from last week----and for those of you who follow this series, you will understand our dessert choice----we cut up a fresh pineapple and boy oh boy was that delicious.

Now, these little pumpkin cookies may look like dessert. Not so fast! Ha! I made these pumpkin cookies fairly healthy...whole wheat, oatmeal, ground flax seed,wheat germ, raisins, walnuts, very low sugar...added some dark chopped chocolate for the fun of it. These actually became our appetizer...not intentionally. Just turned out that way as everyone arrived home from work, school, and Halloween doings----nearly starving to death. So, piping hot pumpkin goodness was enjoyed right away.

Hope your Halloween was sensational and that your holiday season, (which has begun here in our household ---even heard Christmas carols on the radio over the weekend and I don't seem to mind--ha!), will be wonderful and full of joy and happiness. I have got Thanksgiving thoughts running through my head. Watch out Olsen's....we will be to your house to celebrate and eat turkey and all the fixing's before you know it. And of course, GO LYONS! XO

Pumpkin Corn Chowder

In a large soup pot (Dutch oven works well), melt 2 T butter. Add in and cook for 5 minutes, 1/2 small yellow onion and 2 cloves minced garlic.

Stir in 1 t Curry Powder and cook for 30 seconds or so.

Add in 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes and 2 cups cubed potatoes.

Next, 1 14 ounce can of chicken stock, 1/4 each salt and pepper.

Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes.

When that is all cooked nicely, add in.....1 14 ounce can pumpkin, 1 14.75 ounce can cream style corn, 1, 10.75 ounce can cream of celery soup, 1 cup milk, 1 t dried thyme, crushed. YUM!

I let this soup sit for about an hour and 1/2 before serving...just like spaghetti sauce...this soup tastes better with a little aging. Can't wait to taste what little soup was leftover for my lunch today. Bet the flavor will be bold and divine.

Can serve with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, sour cream or crackers.

Pumpkin Cookies

My mom makes excellent cookies. I do remember her making pumpkin cookies and applesauce cookies. These two cookies were always so moist and delicious.

Oven...375 degrees.

Mix 1 regular can of pumpkin, with 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup shortening. ( Can decrease sugar to about 1/4 and add in 1/4 cup applesauce and reduce shortening to 1/4 cup).

Add in....2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 t baking powder, 1 t baking soda, 1 t ground cinnamon, and 1/4 t salt. And, if your care to, here is where I add in a little ground flax seed, and wheat germ. I also use ground oatmeal with the whole wheat flour to equal the 2 cups.

Then, my favorites...add in raisins and chopped much as you want. So good. Can add in chocolate at this point, as well. Mix and drop by teaspoon full onto greased cookie sheet.

Dough is very soft and fluffy. That is ok. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

SUPER delicious if you can manage to eat these cookies right out of the oven.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Across The Miles.......

We had such fun on our families Women's Day this past July that we women decided to do a little something once a month, together. We are spread across the United States, but, with skype and cell phones, it has been possible to successfully join up and have fun together across the miles.

In August, we took our Women's Day photo from July and did a little something special with it.

We worked on our projects as we talked and chatted....across the miles.

Each of us had picked a favorite piece of fabric from The Ice House Quilt shop while we were up north on vacation.

Then the creating and cutting began.

Working and working, and talking and visiting...enjoying each others company near and far.

Got to love a glue gun.

And, what fun ...two--


Done and fun! Great memories for each of us to have and enjoy for the months and year ahead...until we can all meet up in person again.

Its possible to close down those road miles between us all, and come together.


And, hopefully, we can catch a picture of Jenna's framed picture. She used gorgeous fabric and pages from a book to frame her picture. J...tell your computer to hurry and get fixed. Been a super long repair job.

Oh---September our Women's Day group read a most inspiring article on womanhood, by Julie B. Beck entitled...."And Upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit"... that Jenna suggested. Great discussion and contribution of thoughts from everyone. Was another great evening.

This month for our Women's Day group... fall apples. We will be putting on our aprons and making something yummy with apples.....and i do believe we will be able to smell the deliciousness across the miles, as we gather in 4 different bake, to visit, to laugh, to enjoy each others company, as we carry on our this new and wonderful tradition. xo

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yummy FALL! you love these fall pillowcases as much as I do?

How about this spooky-licious fabric? Can't see it very well, but their are silver sparkles all over this fabric.......which means my children literally woke-up with silver sparkles on their faces. Ha! Yes, I did pre-wash the fabric.

Back of pillowcases!! Got to love orange with dots!

My neighbors soy field.

Colorful changes---on my way home from town!

A farmer taking down his soy field.

Back road drives are so gorgeous these days!

Such a classic picture...of how to take a picture....ha!

Friends and family at our churches weekend General Conference meeting! We had such a good time together.

Our sweet friends, the Schulte's, and us!

Yes, their was loads of laughter and fun...especially when these two boys get together.

More of the same....ha!

My daughter, hubby and myself----under a shade tree...lots of spotty light filtering through the tree leaves.

Look at these faces...two with regular poses and two with silly poses. Love these kids to pieces!

Then, the weekend was over. Memories made. Time to drive one of my daughter's back up to school. We found this little treasure along the way.

Oh, the beauty of a strong tree...standing in the middle of a soy field.

Hope you all are enjoying the spectacular beauty of this fall season and all the activities that accompany this time of year. We have already been making pumpkin pies....just for ourselves to enjoy. I mean pumpkin is a squash. It is good for you, right? Just keep the sugar low or completely out of your recipe. The ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon make up for the deleted sugar. Last night we had pork chops, green salad with loads of veggies, home applesauce, with a slice of pie...not on the side, right on our dinner plates. Worked out well. Today...making pumpkin muffins. Can you smell them baking? Divine. xo

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weekend Review!

There was a storm.....and our favorite shade tree out our back door took a dive! Really!

Shucks! It took down a few pine trees and bush's along the side of our garage, as well. Thankfully, it did not hit the garage. That's a lot of wood for chopping!

The falling of our tree threw a chunk of my hostas and large rocks right out of the flower bed border.

And, we enjoyed Friday football. GO BULLDOGS!

It was Homecoming weekend. Blurry picture, but, that is my son, second couple from the right. He escorted our bands baton twirler, who was nominated for Homecoming Queen.

I do love a good half-time program. Great band....good music!

And, their was Saturday tennis...a nice tournament played down south.

And, this is what you look like at 3:00 in the afternoon, after successfully cleaning up the court----yep, every last opponent! Can you tell it was a chilly day? It was. I wore my winter coat for the first time. Ha!

Funny.....behind the courts, as you can see, is a football field. This particular school was hosting a Band Festival. So, we were entertained by great band performances from many different schools, while we watched tennis. Very cool!

I guess this is how you pose when you win GOLD!

Ha! Funny guy!

And, then their was the homecoming dance. It was quite a weekend.

Oh to be young and have all that energy! Good times...great memories!

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