Tag Archive | grandchildren

Adventures with the Grandkids!

One of our many reasons for relocating to Texas (beyond just being close to our kids and grandkids) was to be available to take care of the grandkids for extended periods when our son and daughter-in-law wanted / needed some vacation time.

Even though we spend a lot of time with the grandkids, it’s usually just a couple hours here or there, and ‘entertaining’ isn’t really an issue. I’m not particularly creative at coming up with interesting things to do, so keeping them busy can be quite the challenge! Fortunately they are pretty creative on their own ūüôā and then we have to clean it up!!!

We decided this morning, after a hearty French Toast breakfast, to take a little trip over to our 5th wheel so we could pick up a few forgotten items, and take a walk around. The kids enjoy feeding the ducks (wish I’d gotten pictures), and just running around the lake area!

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It was nice enjoying it with them Рthey found a few bugs that they needed to check out, and noticed some beautiful white geese near the lake.  The few turtles that were resting along the lake headed for the deepest part as soon as they heard us coming!


All in all, even though we didn’t do anything extraordinary. we all agreed we had a good time – and to seal the deal Papa took us all out to lunch!¬† Back at home, Josh and I played pirates – I was Izzy!!¬†¬†¬†And¬†Caroline drew a picture for me of our trek around the park, with a treasure at the end of the trail.¬† Notice at the top, it says, “Nana I¬†heart you” – Awwwwww!!!!¬†¬† I love them all so much!!!


Hope the rest of the week goes as well………….

Have a great weekend, and if you are spending it with your grandkids, I hope you’ll have some special adventures together as well!¬† Take care all,




Moving – AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s been a wonderful year living in this huge house!!!

New home

As you may remember, 18 months ago we moved from Oregon to Texas, lock – stock – and barrel!!! The move was so that we could live near our son, daughter-in-law and three little and growing grandchildren. We desperately wanted to be a part of their every-day lives, more than part-time grandparents, and being in Oregon made that impossible!

So, we boxed and loaded everything up, and headed on down.

We decided to live in our 5th wheel for a time until we figured out where we wanted to live. That got old after about 6 months, so we rented a beautiful nearly-new home in a very nice subdivision. We moved in, I unpacked EVERYTHING as if it was our forever home, and enjoyed the home immensely!

Unfortunately, the year is up, and instead of staying the home we are heading back into the 5th wheel. This time we’ll be on the road a lot, traveling around the states and staying in California and Oregon for extended visits, so it won’t be as difficult – I hope:)

Grand Junction

It’s 38 feet long, which sounds big, but when you’re¬†trying to put your sewing room and myriad sewing projects in it, it gets a little crowded!¬† ūüôā

This time it’s more difficult – I’m ready to settle down in my own home. I want to decorate, and paint, and do some DIY projects I’ve found on Pinterest!¬† But, the packing has to get done!¬† I’ve gotten pretty good at getting rid of a lot of ‘unnecessary’ things – but there still seems to be an awful lot of stuff! Wish me luck – in 4 weeks we’ll be moved out so I better get on it

Do you have some moves under your belt? What do you do to make them less stressful (short of hiring movers to do all the packing and moving)? (or is that just plain impossible?)

Oh, and by the way, Happy Valentines Day to all of you!!! I hope you have a wonderful day!


Jan Hagel Cookies (Bumpy Cookies) – a Dutch treat!

When I was a kid (way too many years ago) my grandma made Christmas cookies from her German and my grandpa’s Dutch family recipes.¬† Some of our favorites were fruit cake (made with gum drops instead of candied fruit) stored in a rum-soaked rag, Pfeffernusse Cookies, and Jan Hagel, which we called ‘Bumpy Cookies”.

I’ve seen recipes for other people’s Jan Hagel, and I think that my Grandma may have adjusted it somewhat –¬†I think the recipe we use is more a combination of both Pfeffernusse¬†cookies¬†and Jan Hagel together.¬† Whatever, they are yummy, and they scream “Christmas is Here” in our house!

Today I had help with the baking.¬†¬†Our youngest grandson (almost 4) is spending the day with us, and he loves to help bake.¬† So, we got started (after a quick trip to the store to get ingredients I thought I had but didn’t).

As you can see, we started with a bit of a mishap when I tried to pour the flour too quickly.¬† Don’t you just hate it when that happens????


Here’s the recipe that we use (passed down from my grandma):

  • ¬†¬† 4 cups flour
  • ¬†¬† 2-2/3 cups brown sugar
  • ¬†¬† 2 eggs
  • ¬†¬† 1/2 cup butter/margarine (softened)
  • ¬†¬† 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¬†¬† 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • ¬†¬† 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • ¬†¬† 1/2 tsp Cloves
  • ¬†¬† 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • ¬†¬† 2 tsp Almond Extract

Mix all ingredients together until you are able to form small balls with the dough.  If it is too dry add some liquid such as orange or apple juice.  If too wet, add some more flour.  Roll into balls the size of filberts (I made mine a lot larger though) and place on Pam-sprayed pan close together.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes (mine took 25 because the balls were the size of walnuts)


Although not necessary, after the cookies cooled I added a powdered sugar glaze over the top.

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 1/2¬†tsp Almond Extract

Mix the powdered sugar, milk and Vanilla together.  If too dry add milk as needed (be careful because it will only need a few drops at a time)



Serve with a glass of cold milk. They also taste great with a cup of coffee in the morning.

They taste just like I remember them – the memories came flooding back!¬† Now if I could remember how my grandma and mom managed to keep Christmas cookies safe from us – they don’t seem to last like they used to!

What special Christmas cookies do you remember?¬† I’d love to hear about them and the memories they evoke!

Merry Christmas to you and all your family!   I hope that you are blessed with happiness and health in the new year!


Kids and Pizza!!

Tonight the grandkids are staying the night, and Auntie is here helping out!¬† We decided to let the kids help make their own dinner, one that Auntie used to make when she was a kid – individual pizzas!¬† They had great fun together making their own pizzas – here’s a brief description so you can try it too!

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Step 1 Рwe used the Pillsbury Buttermilk Bisquits.  Each tube contains 10 bisquits, so use as many tubes as you need for your family.  Remember Р1 bisquit equals 1 individual pizza.

Step 2 – flatten the rolls with a rolling pin or glass; if you like it crispy make it 4-5″ round, 3″ for a fluffier crust.¬† Place on cookie sheets for baking.

Step 3 – spread pizza sauce over the ‘crusts’, and then add your favorite pizza toppings.¬† We used pepperoni and cheese for the kids, and added mushrooms and olives for ours.

Step 4 – place in the oven and bake approximately 8 minutes and here’s a picture of the final product!

The kids had a blast making their pizzas, and got to eat them in front of the t.v. watching Winnie the Pooh.