Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rigatoni Hotdish

Last night I made an easy rigatoni hot dish - and it was so good, that I decided to share the recipe.

1/2 - 1 lb. Italian sausage (depending on how much meat you want in the hot dish)
1/2 box rigatoni noodles
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jar Ragu Spaghetti Sauce (I used Chunky Ragu with tomato, garlic & onion)
2 cups shredded cheese - I used a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella

Cook rigatoni noodles according the the directions on the box. Meanwhile, brown Italian sausage, onions, green pepper and garlic. Add jar of spaghetti sauce and simmer until the noodles are done.
Rinse noodles and add to meat mixture.

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly grease 9x13 pan.
Pour meat, noodles and sauce mixture into pan. Spread shredded cheese on top. Bake for 50 minutes or until cheese is lightly golden brown.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Finally - A Craft Closet

It's been a while since I've blogged...we've been pretty busy. Our daughter, son-in-law and grandson lived with us for two months after they moved back to the States and I soaked up the time with them, knowing that they'd be starting a life apart from us soon. Mardo got a job, they found an apartment, and they got a car. So we helped them move about 140 miles away. And while I am happy for them, and I know that they need to continue on the life God's planned for them, I am also a bit sad.  It's pretty quiet here without them. I miss my grandson meeting me after work, saying "Nana!" I miss the talks and shared chores with Carrie. I miss the steadiness and gentleness of my son-in-law as well as his music and creativeness. I miss shared meals and card games on the weekends.
However, the past couple of weeks have also been happy ones - as Craig and I readjust to having the house to ourselves. I enjoy time spent with my husband. We have some projects planned. We have been sharing dreams and hopes. We've watched football and hockey games together, worked on our Bible study lessons and just spent time together in the family room with a fire in the wood stove.
Some of our talks have centered around the holidays, and how much we are looking forward to spending time with all our children and grandchildren. We talk about how thankful we are for our boys - now men - and how proud we are of who they've become... their good hearts, their generosity, their good work ethics, etc. We love our daughter-in-law and one who will become our daughter-in-law next fall. We love and cherish our other grandchildren, marvel at how quickly they're growing up, and wish we could see them more.
You're probably wondering - what does this blog have to do with the title, "Finally - A Craft Closet"?
Well, I'll get to the point. For a long time (years, in fact) I've wanted to finish the closet in the guest bedroom and make it my craft closet. I've wanted a real craft closet, a place to store all my craft supplies (and I have a lot, I admit) where I can easily get to them and find what I need. There just always seemed to be other projects with a higher priority. When Carrie, Mardo and Micah moved into their own place I decided it was time for a craft closet makeover. I talked with Craig, and he agreed to help me.
I wish I had a "before"picture. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it that it was pretty bad. I think I'll let pictures do the rest of the "talking." I still want to organize my supplies a bit better, and I need to arrange the room... but I love my new craft closet! I have to say thanks to my husband, Craig, for all his help. He even put a light in the closet with a light switch outside the door!

Finally, here's a peek at my newest furniture piece - my craft island. I plan to paint it to coordinate with the room. It's on wheels, so it moves easily, and has a towel bar a paper towel bar. I'm thinking I could use those to hang other things using S hooks... like a glue gun or embossing gun maybe?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

An Apple Orchard Today...

An Apple Orchard today was good medicine.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here's our day in pictures.

Sweet Tango Trail

Don't you just love this little fox? (Our grandson, Micah)

Thanks, Carrie and Mardo, for letting me use some of your pictures in this post, and for coming with us to the orchard.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014



Listening … our grandson say "Nana" and "oh-oh"

Watching ... our grandson walk around and around the kitchen island, the dining room table, the st
airway in between the dining room and living room, around the couch.... basically around anything he can get around

Eating … hummus with roasted peppers, and pretzel thins

Drinking... Diet Coke 

Wanting … to be content in every circumstance

Needing … to get more sleep

Thinking … I am so blessed to be married to my best friend

Wishing ... summer wasn't over; wishing I had the money to help my kids more; wishing I could be home more

Your turn - What are you currently doing?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DIY Paperweights

Last year we remodeled our kitchen. In the process I ended up with several samples of granite and solid surfaces. So tonight I decided to make paperweights out of them. I used my Silhouette machine to cut some words out of vinyl. After sticking the words on the squares, I glued felt on the back using E6000 glue.
So easy - and so cute!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Survival Kits

Last week the teachers all came back to school for workshop week. We had 15 new employees, so I decided to make something to give them as a fun welcome gift. After searching for ideas on Pinterest, I decided to make survival kits.
Of course, I didn't get a picture of the final product - but here is the card I put with each gift.

I found plastic pencil boxes at Wal-Mart, and put all the items from the list in the boxes.

I made special boxes for the new secretaries.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Where did the month of August go?

Today is August 31. The last day of August. Tomorrow is Labor Day. Wow!
Where did August go?

I turned on the computer so that I could write a new post, and I realized that I haven't posted since the end of July. So it's time to reflect on what's happened in the last month. Here are the highlights:

  • My brother and his family visited us at the beginning of August. They live in Japan, and we hadn't seen them since 2010 - so we had a lot of catching up to do. 
  • The same weekend that Mark and his family came to Minnesota there was a 75th anniversary party for our aunt Velyma and uncle Laurry. It was so nice to see my family and extended family! 

  • Craig and I went camping the second weekend of the month. We went to Scenic State Park near Bigfork, MN. It's a beautiful state park.

We forgot our coffeemaker, and our old fashioned coffeepot, so we had to improvise.
The coffee was good!

We did a lot of biking. Our favorite part of the park was seeing all the huge trees - some of which are over 200 years old (according to the park ranger.)

  • Craig started working on the office in his shop with the help of a friend from church.

  • Most of the month, for me, was taken up with work. Every week was busier than the week before.  All the teachers came back last week, so there were lots of extra meetings, etc. So pretty much all I did last week was work.

  • Our grandson, Andrew, turned 8 years old in August. 

  • The very most exciting that happened in August was that our son-in-law, Mardo, got his visa so that he, our daughter Carrie, and their son Micah can move to Minnesota from Guatemala! They arrive this coming Friday. So we have been getting ready for them to be here. We moved furniture around downstairs. Craig worked on framing in the windows in the living room so he wouldn't have to do it after they come. And today we bought a crib. 

  • God taught me several lessons in August - about keeping my eyes on Him; about being a new person in Christ - all the time, every moment of every day living for Him; about paying more; and the list goes on. I am so thankful that He never gives up on me - I fail so often but He lifts me up, sets me on my feet, and encourages me to try again. 

I am looking forward to September, to see the blessings God has in store for us in the coming month. I hope you are too.

What are the highlights of your August?