We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Monday, October 31, 2011


   I decided to double check and see if I had ever posted this recipe, the other day when I was in the midst of making up a huge batch of it. I was so surprised to find I hadn't. Ever so surprised. Because I have made it h-o-w many times?! The reason I was making up a huge batch of it, was because I was following the house rules. If I make something to take to somebody, I'm also suppose to make one of what ever it is for here at home.
   I have made and taken this particular meal to so-o-o many people over the years. Most likely, if I'm only bringing you one meal, this is what you will be getting. Why this one? Because 98% of people that eat it, like it. HONEST! Mom's will tell me they have a couple of picky eaters, and yet they ask for more of this dish. Elderly people have told me, "it's basically such a simple dish, yet it's so good!"  Therefore, according to and because of, I highly recommend that you try this recipe out on your own family, and then make it again the next time your taking a meal in to somebody ;-).

   First - start your hamburg, finely chopped onions and the *brown sugar to browning, in a highly greased pan.
   *just a good sprinkling of the brown sugar will suffice.     This time, I used 5 lbs of hamburg and 2 men's fist sized onions

   Second - start your pan of water to heating for cooking your egg noodles. BONUS TIP HERE --> Spray some of your pan coating spray onto the water before it reaches the boiling point. Doing so helps keep the noodles from sticking together ;-> Second bonus tip - putting a lid on the pan DOES help the water to reach the boiling point faster.
   While your waiting for the water to come to a boil, work at breaking the browning hamburg up into tiny little bits.
   Once your water reaches the boiling stage (really boiling), dump in your egg noodles.
   Keep working away at the hamburg mixture.
   Your noodles are ready, when you can just almost slice one (pull one out on a wooden spoon, and don't hold it over the steam of the pan while testing the noodle 8-/) with a finger nail. Remember, they will cook further when you heat the casserole all together, so you don't want them too soft yet.
    Dump the noodles into a strainer in your sink. Don't rinse them. Spray the inside of the pan they came out of with pan coating spray. Wait a couple of minutes, and then dump the noodles back into the pan.
    Mix the undiluted Cream of Chicken Soup in with the cooked noodles.

    Once the hamburg mixture has cooked to the point that all of the liquid has vaporized and the onions have turned clear in color, turn off the heat. Then, mix the can of undiluted Tomato Soup in with the meat mixture.

   Thickly spread the meat in the bottom of a well greased 9 x 13 pan (or *whatever size works best for the amount of meat and noodles you cooked up).
    *This time I used two 10 x 14 pans.

   Top the meat with slices of Velvetta cheese. Note, they do not have to completely touch one another, because the cheese will spread as it melts.

   Spread the noodle mixture out on top of the cheese.
  Assembly process completed
  If you plan on serving it for dinner in an hour - Cover it with foil and stick it straight in the oven at 350o.

  If however you plan on having it the next day or later, and/or taking it to somebody, first cover the pans with plastic wrap, then top that with foil and stick them in your fridge or a cold cooler.
   When your ready to eat it, you can warm the whole pan up in a 350o oven for 45 minutes, or heat it by the serving size in your microwave.

    Yum-A-Setta is wonderful when paired with Applesauce, Cottage Cheese and Corn!!
   And for dessert - Oatmeal Carmelitas (thus the jars of Carmel Ice Cream topping in the background o;->)

 And now for the actual recipe -
          is a Amish recipe I clipped out of some magazine y-ea-r-s ago.

   2 lbs hamburg
   salt and pepper to taste (I don't think it needs either)
   a little brown sugar
   1/4 onion, chopped (I use a whole onion)
   1 can tomato soup, undiluted
   1 8oz. pkg. Velveeta(R)
   1 - 16 oz. pkg. egg noodles
   1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted

   Brown hamburg with salt, pepper, brown sugar and onions. Add tomato soup.

   Cook egg noodles. Drain. Add cream of chicken soup.

   Layer hamburg mixture and noodle mixture in casserole dish or baking pan, with slices of Velvetta cheese in between them.
   Bake at 350o for 1/2 an hour.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:

  ~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven'  (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
  ~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)'  (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
  ~  "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes'  (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
 ~ "Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits", hosted by Susan, at 'Permanent Posies / Creative Chaos' (http://permanentposies.com/)
 ~ "Totally Tasty Tuesdays", are hosted by Mandy, at 'Mandy's Recipe Box' (http://www.mandysrecipebox.blogspot.com/).
  ~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace'  (http://www.blessedwithgrace.net/).
   ~ "Foodie Wednesday('s)", are hosted by Bibi, at 'Daily Organized Chaos' (http://www.dailyorganizedchaos.com/). 
   ~ "These Chicks Cooked Link Party",
hosted by Katie L, at 'This Chick Cooks' (http://thischickcooks.blogspot.com)

 ~ "Full Plate Thursday('s)", are hosted by Miz Helen, at 'Miz Helen's Country Cottage' (http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/).  
~ "Foodie Friday('s)" (shall we say # 1?), are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum'  (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


   Yes, it has been over a week since I posted. So much has been happening / changing in our lives!!! This then is info. about at least most of them.

~ Do you remember how our camera had come up missing while we were at Byron and Cyndi's, the weekend after our grandson Elliot was born? Well.... I found it. Could not believe my eyes when I did, but they were showing me the truth.
    While we were there that weekend, we had taken Analyse out for breakfast and then stopped at an Estate Sale. Fun!!! I should tell you about those memories sometime! But for now, I had bought this large coat type sweater and a couple of other things at the sale. Last week, I remembered it and wondered if I could wear it for Brian's mom's funeral (she would have really liked the sweater!). When I pulled the sweater out of the bag, there, at the bottom of the bag, was our camera. "OHMYWORD. !!!
    I just kept repeating it, while walking towards the bathroom to show Brian. Later, he said he remembered hiding it in there, not wanting it to show through the van windows when we'd stopped at the grocery store....   So did I. Remember it that is. ... How we've missed you wonderful camera!
    Thankfully, we HAD gotten a couple of cute pictures of Elliot before we'd hid the camera from ourselves ( 8-p)
     Here's our adorable grandson Elliot - age - three days old -
    and another -
      and one with Analyse, his thrilled to be a big sister -

~ Byron, Analyse and Elliot had been here for just over a week. Byron had then taken Analyse back. Cyndi came back with him for grandma "honey's" funeral. She then went back and Byron and Elliot are still here. That boy has both grown and developed so-o much!!! His eyes lock in and track wonderfully now! He does seem to prefer looking at things further away rather than closer up though. He talks. A lot. And if he doesn't get the response he wants. He talks louder. By a lot!!! Yup, he's one of the family! :-p
    Speaking of that, looking at the profile of our nephew James at the funeral, we saw so-o much resemblance to Elliot. It was amazing!!! Definite family genes there!
    And then there was the discovery about Analyse. The mortuary had taken five different shots of Mom over the span of her life and made this life line collage thingie (it was cool!).  But, the picture they had used of mom as a child, was like looking at a picture of Analyse!!! The moment we saw it, we were stunned! ! ! In-fact, everybody that came who has seen Analyse recently, commented on the resemblance, without us saying a word about it to them!!!
   A couple of days after Cyndi got home, she was taking the funeral program out of her pocket and Analyse of course wanted to see it. Cyndi asked her if she knew who that was. Clear as anything, Analyse had answered "Great Grandma Honey". Brian got all teary eyed when Cyndi told him that over the phone. Mom would have been so-o happy to hear that!!!

~ Byron got a job here at the movie theater he used to work at. They were thrilled to have him back! To the point he worked a double shift his first day back.
   Here is a picture I took of Elliot on his three month birthday. Such an adorable little guy!!!
   Yes, he is a bit chunckie. All of my guys would get that way, then suddenly (like over night) shoot up taller. Highly likely he'll do the same!

~ Benson is still working at the retail store in the mall. And meeting his sales quota (actually OVER) every single day! He actually put to use all of the sales tips we taught him. :-D

~ Brandon went out and got himself a new job. Yes, he is still working part time at Taco Bell. But he is now also working full time at a car dealership doing oil changes. And yes, he can get pay raises there, by doing things he is totally capable of doing! ;-)

~ Kayla too has a new job. She pulls orders to be shipped to customers, at a company that's only about four miles from Brent's work, and they work very similar hours. :->

~ All in all, my Vertigo symptoms are decreasing :-D!! More prof that grandchildren are very therapeutical!

~ Today would have been my in-law's 55th wedding anniversary. They had had their picture taken recently to put the announcement in the paper. Mom had already been diagnosed when the picture was taken. You can see the sadness in Dad's eyes. But when you look in her's, you see calmness. She told everybody that she had peace about the whole thing. And she did. She is now in heaven with our Lord. We know that. We are thrilled knowing that we WILL see her again there. But she is missed here. Greatly so!
If you aren't as positive about where you will go, PLEASE scroll down our sidebar and read the "What we believe" section!!!
    (I don't have a copy of the picture yet, so I can't post it. Just wanted to tell you about it.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Whits and Wisdoms from Brian -

copied and pasted here from his Facebook page -
(posted last evening)

"Learned in a counseling class that GOD created marriage 1st to show himself then 2nd to erase loneliness (Gen 2:18) I guess I "knew" that but I didn't understand it. Till my mother passed and I spent the next 3 days with my dad. His profound sense of loss and isolation is and was almost overwhelming. Married for 55 years their commitment to GOD and each other at times pitted them against family and friends but they were always committed to each other. I've learned in counseling that is not always the case. I pray that I've learned to be like my parents placing GOD and then my wife 1st and foremost before all."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Grandma tales :->

     Byron and his kids were here last week. I got in lots of wonderful grandma time!! Some of it a bit crazy, after all, a two year old and a three month old were involved, but so many precious as well as comical memories were made during the time. Here are a couple about Analyse (pronounced Auna-lease).

    Part of their nightly routine with her, is that right before bedtime, she gets to watch one episode of Elmo(R). The thing is, that when she's here, ever single night she wants to watch the "Robot" one. Yes, I sing the songs along with her. Heck, the songs pop themselves up and start playing in our heads  all  the  time! We've encouraged "watch a different one", but she is ever so "persistent!" (a word that is talked about in the DVD).
    Near the end of the DVD Friday night, Analyse was wandering around near me, drinking her requested glass of milk. The part came on where Elmo(R) and the robot are talking about being each others friends. Suddenly Analyse switches her glass of milk to just one hand, while walking up beside me, puts the now free hand around my back (I was sitting in the rocking chair), leans her head against my arm and says "friend". After taking another swig of milk she said "Love you ga_ma".
    As I was sitting there, totally blown away and thrilled to pieces, she step by step repeated the whole thing - TWO MORE TIMES!!! 
   Then the credits started rolling and she acknowledged that it was bed time.
    Oh the things that little sweetheart does to this grandma's heart!!!

    Due to both her and her brother waking up several times during the night, and her daddy have gone to spend some time with a couple of his brothers at "Uncle Brent's house", this grandma was extremely tired! So at 7 a.m. when I heard her talking while still trying to get Elliot back to sleep, I figured the night was over. :-[. But then all went quiet and I hoped she had gone back to sleep, what with having woken up and being up for a bit of time during the night.
    I was just starting to drift off again, when I heard her calling me. Sigh. I'll go back to bed when the guys get home at noon.
    As I opened the door to the room she was in, I couldn't help but chuckle. She was excitedly holding out the band-aid off of her heel for me to take. The thing is, I had put her to bed with a full body zip up sleeper on over the top of her shirt and pants pajamas, with her socks still on as well. The nights have dropped down into the 50's around here and we have not yet fired up the expensive monster in our basement. I was trying to insure she stayed warm. (Her getting up during the night, had had to do with a wet diaper and sudden appearance of female diaper rash).
    She had stayed warm, but then upon waking, she had taken the full body sleeper off of herself, also removed both socks, taken off the band-aids, and managed to get one sock back on. I was chuckling, because my mind was suddenly remembering that 'silence is usually NOT a good sign coming from young children'. Aw yes, grandma remembers now... all to well.... ;-p

Friday, October 14, 2011

Another twist in our life -

      Less than a month ago, my Mother-in-law (Brian's mom) was diagnosed with progressive cancer. They found it around the outside of her lungs. She was told that with treatment, she had 4 to 6 years. Without treatment, she had 3 to 6 months. She has had two weeks of intense treatment. When my Father-in-law went to give her her medicine early this morning, she was in-coherent and babbling. He called both an ambulance and Brian's brother (who only lives a couple of miles from them). They took her to the hospital. They called here. "It all happened so quick". They called back to say that she had died. She is now in heaven. We went down and got to say goodbye to her earthly body. Brian is staying with his dad. Tomorrow the two of them and the brother have an appointment to plan the funeral. Brian's parents have always been highly involved in our and our kids lives. 
    I really don't know what else to say right now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

my week this week -

     I am having a very busy week this week being grandma. :->  Let me expound on that "very busy" part.
     First off, her adorable impishness called Analyse (pronounced Auna-lease), is two.

   And 'the little guy', (Elliott) is three months old today.

   Example #1 - he was fully asleep in the living room when I went in six minutes ago to take that picture (IGNORE the date on the picture!). That is, until I started to focus the camera. Then those gorgeous blue eyes popped open and his expression asked, "What ya doin grandma?"  He then let me know it was time for another bottle. So I am attempting to both blog and feed him at the same time.

   Example #2 - Byron and both kids were still sound asleep yesterday when I got up. I smiled at the calmness. After using the bathroom, I went to get my hairbrush out of my purse. Mr Elliott woke up. I decided to let Byron sleep for awhile and picked Elliott up. Two things showed me he really had slept all night. One was the way the bottle was laying next to him in his seat/bed. The formula left in it was caked. The second was how soaked he was.
    I was in the midst of changing him when I heard Ms. Analyse wake up.  We (Elliott and I) got her up. I then took both of them into the kitchen, layed Analyse's blanket out on the counter, laid Elliott on top of it, then while talking to Analyse, I started scrubbing out his bottle. A couple of minutes later, I could not discipher what she was saying, so I turned my head to look at her.  She had removed all of the burner knobs off of the stove, but could not get the oven knob off. 8-/.
    After laying all of the knobs up out of reach, I went back to working on the bottle while still talking to her. Suddenly I realized that Elliott was moving, towards the edge of the counter. By standing on tip toe, she had been able to get a hold of the edge of the blanket and was pulling on it.  Goodness!
    I finally got the bottle both cleaned and filled, grabbed a banana for her and we went into the living room. It took a bit to convince her to let daddy stay asleep. She ate half of her banana, then decided the rest was yucky. While I couldn't find anything 'yuckkie' about it, she was insistent. (Something she is very good at being!)  She then got out the Sesame Street Character and number memory cards grandpa had given her the night before.  
    Those lasted for about ten minutes. By then Elliott was done with his bottle, and this grandma knew she had better get something in herself. In the time that it took me to toast a bagel and fill a glass with juice, she discovered that she could fit her little hand in through the handle of a box, which was sitting on a bench in the kitchen waiting to be put away in the basement, and pull out hand fulls of tissue paper. The thing is, the tissue paper is suppose to be wrapped around the glass candle holder thingies we used at the wedding receptions.
    Through the back window I spotted that Amy's van was home. I threw diapers and extra out fits for both kids, as well as the bagel in the diaper bag, fixed Analyse a cup of juice, and a visiting we went!
    Byron was still asleep two hours later when we returned home. ;-) Benson however was up and held Elliott while I used the bathroom and fixed Elliott another bottle. The kids and I then spent another two hours outside. Analyse playing first in the self propelled car Amy loaned to us (propelled by Analyse's feet), then she climbed into the back seat of their double stroller and after strapping herself in, played ever so contently there with her dolly which Benson had brought out.  
    I talked to Analyse while feeding Elliot his bottle and then holding and playing with him.
Two things about that. First, Ms. Analyse likes to talk!!! Oh my goodness does she. Her father and I aren't sure where she gets that trait from. (o;-p!!)  If she thinks it, it's highly likely that she also voices it. Repeatedly. Till you either repeat it back or acknowledge it in some way that meets her satisfaction.
    Secondly, Mr. Elliot seldom stops moving. All of him. I am slowly catching on to which movement and noise combinations means he needs to burp again, and which means he's tired of sitting and wants to stand, and which means it's time to feed him again.
    But the combination of suddenly keeping up with both a two year old and a three month old is sitting Ms. Vertigo here to being tired as well as quivering on the inside!
     Yes, Byron does a lot with his kids too! Don't take me wrong about that. It's just that my momness wants him to get to relax some, and I LOVE being a grandma!!! So, naps are back big time in my daily schedule. For me, as well as his kids!!! ;-p   
    Well, it is now thirty five minutes after I stated that "six minutes ago" part. ;-b! He is asleep on the floor on the blanket I use over my legs when they are cold, and Analyse is playing in the basement with her daddy. Best stop typing and actually post this before the next change happens. ;-p     

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The 'reception' we hosted for B4 + K - Part 2

    Like I mentioned in "Part 1", we hosted a "light Open House Style Reception" a few weekends after their actual wedding, and invited family and friends. I also mentioned in the earlier posting, how we still managed to include all of the food groups. o;-p. Especially the basic of all food groups - CHOCOLATE!!!!!
    Originally, I had this idea to use my brownie recipe and try to make brownie bites out of them. To do so, I made up the brownie 'dough' (seeings how I'm not sure what the correct technical term for the mixture is).
   Using a well sprayed small scoop, I 3/4ths of the way filled sprayed* mini muffin/cupcake papers
   [About the * - yet again I have no idea where (or I would gladly give them credit), but somewhere along the line of my blog jumping, I read something about how somebody had sprayed the insides of their cupcake papers before filling them and about how much doing so had eased the process of actually eating the cupcake out of the papers. The idea amazingly came to the surface of my brain when I started making these, and I decided I wanted to give it a try. The difference doing so made, was both awesome and amazing !!!! I SHALL be doing this again! ;->  (<-- BONUS TIP THERE)  ]

    I then baked them. Seeings how I was guesstimating on the length of cooking time, I opened the door after about 10 minutes to check on them. They definitely were not done, but they looked amazing! Imagine my shock then when I went back to check on them, and they looked like this.

    "Did they think they were being baked in an old time wood stove and seeings how I had opened the door they had to fall?!" "Bother!!"
    When I told my neighbor/friend Amy about them, she reminded me about how a regular pan of brownies sort of do the same thing. O-Kay.... So I got brave and tried one - delicious!!! Her daughters thought so too. They also dubbed them "Cute!"

    Brent on the other hand, inquired if I actually planned on still serving them when I showed them to them. :-/. Here I was making them for him! Kayla loves my chocolate cake, so the mini cupcakes were for her.

    But Brent prefers brownies. So I had decided to surprise him and make them.... Then Kayla came up with an oh so brilliant (!!) suggestion. We tagged them 'Brownie Cups', squirted whip cream in the fallen part of the top and garnished it with a single semi-sweet chocolate chip.
    People thought they were great!
    The left overs made wonderful rewards to myself for balancing the check books
    And for figuring out and paying the bills
   I would highly recommend you trying them! They would even look cute garnished with a piece of candy corn instead of the chocolate chip.  Just a suggestions mind you... but your welcome to blame me for your trying them yourself. o;-p

[Again, I have no idea how or why her camera came up with the dates on the pictures that it did 8-/]

;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~   
You might also enjoy these postings -
~ "Party Foods" -
   - #1 - Bean Salsa (also known as "Rugby dip")
   - #2 - 'Polish roses' and Pickle Wraps
   - #3 - Garden Fresh Bruschette
   - #4 - Deviled Eggs
   - #5 - Chocolate Covered Strawberries
   - #6 - Improvised Chili Based Dip Recipe 
   - #7 - Bacon Cheese Ball
   - #8 - My version of Fruit Pizzas

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:
 ~ "Full Plate Thursday('s)", are hosted by Miz Helen, at 'Miz Helen's Country Cottage' (http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/).  
~ "Foodie Friday('s)" (shall we say # 1?), are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum'  (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)
~ "Bake With Bizzy", hosted at 'Bizzy B Bakes(http://bizzybakesb.blogspot.com/).
 ~ "Sweets For A Saturday", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Sweet As Sugar Cookies' (http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/).
and then next week -
  ~  "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes'  (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
 ~ "Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits", hosted by Susan, at 'Permanent Posies / Creative Chaos' (http://permanentposies.com/)
 ~ "Totally Tasty Tuesdays", are hosted by Mandy, at 'Mandy's Recipe Box' (http://www.mandysrecipebox.blogspot.com/).
  ~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace'  (http://www.blessedwithgrace.net/).
   ~ "Foodie Wednesday('s)", are hosted by Bibi, at 'Daily Organized Chaos' (http://www.dailyorganizedchaos.com/). 
   ~ "These Chicks Cooked Link Party",
hosted by Katie L, at 'This Chick Cooks' (http://thischickcooks.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wedding Weekend - Saturday - Part 5 - the dress

     Yes "my Kate", Brandon went to visit Brent and Kayla last night and brought her camera home with him, so I could down load the 'before' pictures off of it and thus do this posting. :-D
    To all of you - Kayla had picked up a wedding dress that she totally LOVED, months before their original wedding date. But she wasn't into it yet by their moved ahead wedding date. And besides, while she really did LOVE most of the dress, she had always wanted one which laced up the back.... and the one she'd nabbed didn't... 
    We called a few people. Some didn't do that particular type of altering on wedding dresses. Others were not cost friendly. I agreed to take it on as long as (and that was ever so highly emphasized!!!) they would not get all mad at me if it didn't turn out quite like they had in mind, or if I out and out ruined the dress. They were convinced I would do fine. I wasn't so sure. But I was determined. And that my friends is often what makes all of the difference! (insert head nod here)

    Here is a picture of the upper front of the dress before I got started. Then again, I didn't do any alterations to this part...
     (reminder, you can click on the pictures to see them larger...)
     Here is a picture of the full back of the dress shortly before I got started.
    Another "before" picture of the back -
    (don't know what's up with the lighting / coloring)
  And another -
(I'm wondering about the dates on those pictures.... it was August when I was working on this dress!!!)

    Kayla had loaned me her little camera (since ours still has not shown up) so I could take process pictures. I was very unfamiliar with her type of camera. And nobody was ever home as I was making progress on the dress.... So I took some shots, then heck if I know what button I accidentally  pushed which made the flash ALWAYS work - and ruined some good shots. And then in my process of trying to figure out how to deactivate that, I activated something else.... and in trying to figure that out, the batteries died.... BOTHER!!!
    But I had a dress to make both wearable and bride thrill-able, and a very short time in which to do so, I could NOT slow down and wait for a camera!!!
     So therefore, I can't show you how I took off a whole bunch of "do dad's" (similar to this)
    [which by the way, were sewn on with both white thread AND fishing line. Yup, Ms. Vertigo here, was trying to remove these sparklie little do-dads, which had been applied to the dress via invisible fishing line. Oh   My   Goodness!!!! ],
    so that I could remove one of the two flowing looking satin ribbon pieces (like you can see here)
[there were two different satin' ribbons' down the length of the dress. I did NOT remove one from one side of the dress! ;-p]
    Then repair and resew on most of the removed do-dad's, so that I could cut the satin strip into sections, attach the sections together in rows, and sew it on to the back of the dress in the area left exposed when the dress is not zipped up. I was able to do so and totally conceal one side of the zipper (no, removing it was not an option. Have you ever looked inside the back of a wedding dress. YOWSAH!!!). And I thought I had figured out a way to conceal the other side as well. I had even called Amy and had her pick up little white hook and eyes for me. Got some of them sewn on, only to figure out that this plan was simply NOT going to work. Bother!!! Which not only meant that I had to remove the little hooks and eyes, but also, for reasons I still don't totally 'get', I also had to remove all of the tiny little pearls and shiny beads (two rows worth) which I had already sewn on to the top of the new back piece, so that it looked like it had been there the whole time.     Took a deep breath. And another. Walked away and had a Pepsi (was not about to spill on that dress!!!!!!!). 'Nother big breath. And went to work again.
    (Actually, this whole thing was a multi-day process, during which there were lots of deep breaths and glasses of Pepsi... o;->)
    I had also used some of that fabric to make fourteen little loops (with pearls and beads sewn along the top of each), which I attached seven to each side of the opening in the back (as I was also connecting the fabric) to use to lace the dress up with.
     Man, I hope all of this is making sense to you guys!
    I then cut a couple of inches off of the bottom of the front of the dress. Kayla did not want to have to be concerned about not tripping on her dress! And besides, she had bought shiny new shoes for the occasion ;-> I used that length to make the ribbon for lacing the dress. And yes, I sewed some pearls and shiny things to the very tips of that as well.
   Sewing the pearls and shiny things on, is a process! Take a miniscule stitch, thread two beads onto the thread. Take another miniscule stitch. Repeat process. Repeat process. Repeat process. Till your eyes can't see the little holes and your going totally by feel of the needle.
   Then I had to rehem the front of the dress. Thankfully that was machine stitchable. As was hemming up the four inner layers of the dress.

    I got all but the beads sewn onto the tip of the lace up before Brent and Kayla came for the final "let's see how it looks / try it on" time.
    I had it hanging in the upper stairwell when they got there. They started up the steps while I was greeting their dogs. ;-p.  Brent got as far up as the landing and looked back to say "Thanks Mom!"  I asked, "does she like it"  He answered, "She's beaming ear to ear"  "Thank-you Lord!!!"
    My mom use to tell me that I had an over abundance of imagination. I think I used every ounce of it in re-doing that dress!!!  I thanked (Thank!) the Lord for so blessing me!!!

     If somebody were to look extremely closely, they would find one side of the zipper in amongst the loops on the back. But they would have to really be looking to spot it, and nobody did! :->

   They took the dress to the cleaners to have it cleaned after I was finished, which in turn removed all of the little holes from where the satin 'ribbon' use to be, etc.. Turned out, due to the type of 'do-dads' on the dress, the cleaners had to hand wash it, and thus it cost $90.00 to have it cleaned! Considerably more than they had paid for the dress originally.

    Here is a picture Kayla took with her cell phone, of the top of the altered back off the dress.
          (the lacing is pulled tight in this picture)

    And here are a couple Kayla's sister Hanna had taken at the wedding.
(I can not figure out how to get our new photo program to zoom in on a picture :-{  Byron, next time your here..... )
and during the ceremony-

and afterwords -
    This concludes my tale of altering Kayla's wedding dress for her. It took awhile for my eyes to recover from all of that. But a thrilled daughter-in-love and proud son made it worth it!!! ;->

;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~   
You might also enjoy these postings -
- - Part 1 - the cake('s)

- - Part 2 - the tux's

- - Part 3 - the flowers    

- - Part 4 -  the decorated church

as well as - 'The Reception We Hosted, Part 1'

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:
 ~ "the simple things", are hosted by Rebecca, at 'simple as that' (http://rebeccacooper.blogspot.com/). 
  ~ "Amaze Me Monday('s)", are hosted by Carrie, at 'Dittle Dattle' (http://dittledattle.blogspot.com/).
  ~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)'  (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Soli Deo Gloria" (Latin = "For the Glory of God Alone"), is hosted by Jen, at 'Finding Heaven One Step At A Time' (http://findingheaventoday.blogspot.com/).
   ~ "walk with Him Wednesdays", are hosted by Ann, at 'A Holy Experience' (http://www.aholyexperience.com/).
~  "Coffee Talk Friday('s)", hosted by Vic, at 'For The Love Of Blogs' (http://forblogs.blogspot.com).
  ~ "Inspiration Friday('s)", are hosted by Vanessa and Heather, 'At The Picket Fence' (http://www.atthepicketfence.com/).

and then nest spring -
 ~ "To Have and To Hold, Wedding Blog Party", hosted every June by Stephanie, at 'Angelic Accents' (http://angelicaccents.blogspot.com). 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The 'reception' we hosted for B4 and K - part 1

    I think that right off the bat I should make it clear, that NO, I have not forgotten that I promised to do more segments of the postings about their wedding. Namely, the two about her dress and about the beautiful bride. I'm still waiting for certain pictures and a certain camera so that I can do those....
    In the mean time, I had promised to try and be more consistent about doing postings, so I decided to just jump ahead and at least start the ones about the 'reception' we hosted for them.
    I 'think' I've mentioned, that for a variety of reasons, their wedding plans were changed and the guest list was shrunk way down. We then decided that we would host a reception for them and invite our family and friends to it. Kayla's parents then chose to do the same. Theirs was two weekends after the actual wedding. Ours was then two weekends after that.
   Seeings how a couple of you have strongly hinted about really wanting to know how I made a couple of the food items we served, I guess I shall do the postings about the food first. ;->.
    In part, the invitation we mailed out read,

"you are hereby warmly invited
to join us on
Sunday, the 25th of September, 2011
between 3 to 5:30 p.m.
for a light Open House Style Reception"

   We wanted people to be aware that we would not be serving a full meal. But we did include all of the basic food groups, chuckle, chuckle... more on this in a minute. o;-p

     Here is a picture of our food table.
 (do you recognize the table covering from THIS posting? ;->)

    The menu we came up with was:
    ~ Bacon Cheese ball
       accompanied by Club Crackers(R), Wheat Thins(R), and Gardetto's(R)
    ~ Veggie Pizza
    ~ Fruit Pizza
    ~ "Rugby Dip"
        accompanied by Nacho Scoop Chips (R)
    ~ Mini Sized Chocolate Cupcakes (this time I tinted the frosting black to match the wedding colors)
    ~ Brownie Cups
    ~ Coffee
    ~ Tang
    ~ Lemonade, with strawberries and their juice in it

    Now, about including all of the food groups. On September 21st (the Wed. before our 'reception') I had posted this on Facebook - "HUGE bacon cheese ball - done. Brownie bites - done. Sugar Cookies to use as base for individual fruit pizza's - baked. Time to go bake the choc. cupcakes. Sunday's reception is going to be yummy. o;-p" Brian's "sister" Terri has commented, "I'm seeing a common theme here.... junk food and sugar! yeah!" I commented back, "Terri - "JUNK food"? Your not looking at it right dear sis! The 'bacon cheese ball' contains both MEAT and DAIRY. There will be WHEAT thin crackers to eat the cheese ball with, thus covering another food group. The 'sugar cookies' are but the base for FRUIT pizza. There will also be VEGGIE pizza. And of course the chocolate cupcakes and fudge brownies cover the most basic of food groups - CHOCOLATE! o;-p"  she then replied, "I knew you would find a way to justify the junk food!! LOLOL Good job with that!"  Just gotta have the right perspective o;-p

    I found it rather comical how many people, during the reception, questioned me about how I made my this or that. I would always chuckle and state, "I put my own twist on things" before explaining what ever it was to them. Why are none of you surprised by that statement? o;-p

    I have no idea where (or I would gladly give them credit), but somewhere along the line of my blog jumping, I read something about somebody using sugar cookies as a base for their fruit pizza. I haven't done an internet search for the blog, figuring there is probably more than one which has, and I'm not sure I'd recognize the right one if I saw it. SORRY! The idea amazingly came to the surface of my brain when we started working on a menu for this, and I decided I wanted to try making up my own version of them.

   ~ Sugar Cookie Base - I again used THIS recipe. Only instead of sticking the bowl of the dough in the fridge to refrigerate for several hours after mixing it together, I sprayed a piece of parchment paper with pan coating spray, and dumped the dough onto it. Then, after thickly coating my hands with the spray, I formed the dough into a long log.
    Then rolled the log in the parchment paper.
   Turned out it was longer than my pan,
  so cut it in half

  Refrigerated it all evening and overnight.  Next morning,

  sliced it, panned it,
     and baked them

   I had made 3 times the recipe. I remembered to measure it (the log) for reference sake (:-D) It measured 2 1/2 inches side to side, and 2 inches top to bottom. After cutting the log into individual cookies, my count was exactly six dozen.

    ~ Cookie topping. I used my favorite recipe for Fruit Dip as the topping.
         (I had found this recipe in Redbook Magazine (TM) back in June of '81, didn't subscribe... who knows how I found it...)
     1 - 8 oz. pkg. Philadelphia brand cream cheese(TM) (I used GFS brand)
     1 - 7oz. jar Kraft Marshmallow Creme(TM) (I again used GFS brand)
     (alternative - add a couple of Tablespoons Cherry Juice for different taste - pinkish color)
    Mix together and serve with fresh fruit.

    My tip, it helps greatly to microwave the cream cheese just a bit to get it soft enough to blend smoothly.

    I had tripled the sugar cookie dough recipe, so we did the same with the fruit dip recipe. Have a lot left over. But I have an idea what to use it on... o;-p

    I had made the cookies up days ahead of time, let them completely cool for several hours (still on their pans), then stacked them all on one pan, put it in a huge bag (the ones you put two loafs of bread in at Sam's Club(R) ), sealed it closed, and set it aside. Before the party, Benson was assigned the task of spreading the dip on the cookies, while others cut up the fresh fruit. We all then helped put the fruit on the cookies.

    When choosing which types of fruit to use, I was looking for a variety of colors; which fruits can be cut up ahead of time and not get discolored (BONUS TIP --> You can cut fresh fruit up a day ahead, put it in a plastic(!) colander with a bowl underneath, wrap the entire thing in plastic wrap, and store it in your fridge. The fruit will NOT get mushy using this method :-D); which fruits my family likes, and which fruits would go the farthest when cut into small pieces.
    The fruits I ended up using were - Muskmelon, Red Grapes (cut in half), Kiwi, and fresh pineapple (which none of my guys like, but all of my girls do, so we did some with and some with out. ;->).
    I had thought about using blue berries, but the current price took them off the list. And I had planned on picking up strawberries Sunday morning (not wise to buy them ahead of time!), but then spent the money on cans of whipped cream instead for the brownie cups.

     Somebody (whom shall remain nameless, so that her kids won't catch on ;-p) told me later, that she can hardly get her kids to eat fresh fruit, yet they were scarfing down my version of fruit pizzas. :-D
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:
  ~  "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes'  (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
 ~ "Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits", hosted by Susan, at 'Permanent Posies / Creative Chaos' (http://permanentposies.com/)
 ~ "Totally Tasty Tuesdays", are hosted by Mandy, at 'Mandy's Recipe Box' (http://www.mandysrecipebox.blogspot.com/).
  ~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace'  (http://www.blessedwithgrace.net/).
   ~ "Foodie Wednesday('s)", are hosted by Bibi, at 'Daily Organized Chaos' (http://www.dailyorganizedchaos.com/).  
 ~ "Full Plate Thursday('s)", are hosted by Miz Helen, at 'Miz Helen's Country Cottage' (http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/).  
~ "Foodie Friday('s)" (shall we say # 1?), are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum'  (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)
~ "Bake With Bizzy", hosted at 'Bizzy B Bakes(http://bizzybakesb.blogspot.com/).
 ~ "Sweets For A Saturday", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Sweet As Sugar Cookies' (http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/).

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hello again, hello ;->

     Well, I did get rested up enough on Monday, to go help clean up the lodge from having hosted the open house style reception for Brent and Kayla there the day before. There were multiple steps to that process. Go through all of the totes and box's borrowed from my sister-in-law Karen and get the stuff which was actually ours out, and put all of her stuff in the tote labeled for it to be in. Go through the box Julie had given us and make sure none of Karen's stuff was in it. Look over everything else and make sure none of it was Karen's. Then Brian took that load to their house. v/ that 'detail' off the list.
      Then it was on to organizing and packing up all of our stuff. When we do an event, we try and take everything we might need to use with us. Yes, there are bowls, and cooking utensils etc. at the lodge. As well as in the church's kitchen. As well as other places we've done things at. But it never fails that you get there and the things which were there last time, have some how vaporized. One time there wasn't a single can opener to be found. A very frustrating discovery! So, if we know we're gonna want to use something, we take it with us. This time, we had all of the 'stuff' both from the men's breakfast on Sat. morning and from Brent and Kayla's reception on Sunday. A mess. And a lot of stuff to haul. But the process is so-o worth it in the long run!
     We got everything packed up, the lodge cleaned, everything unloaded once we got home, and the refrigerated stuff put away, then I again crashed. Big time!
     On Wed. I got my act together long enough, to catch up the check books, balance them, and take care of all of the various receipts. A process that my 'vertigo' eyes still get mighty tired doing! I rewarded myself with two of the small brownie cups left over from the reception and a large glass of milk. ;->
     Thursday, Amy M. drove me to the used uniform sale. They again did not have aprons. :-[. I have a craft project that I am hoping to make out of them...  But I was able to get Benson a large long lab coat, towards his Halloween costume this year. $2.00! ;-> We also stopped at a couple of mission/thrift shops and I got a couple of winter clothing pieces for both of my grand children.
    Yesterday, I tackled the bills, and the pile on this desk. Made an amazing discovery. The top of the desk is wood like the rest of the desk is. Would have sworn it was paper! ;-p  Got everything sorted through, recorded if necessary, filed away or discarded, depending on what it was, etc..  I rewarded my feelings of great accomplishment, with more brownie cups and milk. o;->
     Today, I shall tackle all of the stuff we had hauled home Monday night. Yes, it is still piled in both the front entry and the kitchen. Yes, we have been maneuvering around it all week. Why then haven't I just taken care of it? Because that involves a whole ton of twisting and turning and movements that I just wasn't that up to doing. But I'm up to it now. Though it shall be interesting, seeings how I'm watching Boo and Daisy today, while Brent and Kayla help her parents move. The craziness of our lives continues.

     Today is the first day of October. October 2011. The month which this year, has both five Saturdays and five Sunday's. A rarity! I hope that you find ways to enjoy each and every single one!
      The temps here in Michigan are currently down in the 50's. Fall is indeed here. A season which hosts beautiful colors here in MI!! I changed the "Seasonal Smile" pictures on our blog, to fall pictures which our son Benson took a couple of years ago. Go check them out.   The Bz House That Love Built