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What we’ve been up to

We recently spent a week up in Ohio and Michigan visiting family and then Megan and Drew returned home with us. We have been having a great time and I hope to share some of our adventures with you in future posts.

While we were in Michigan we spent a day in Toledo, Ohio, and went to the zoo, ate supper at Tony Packo's and went to a Toledo Mud Hen game. Here are some pictures from our adventures that day:

The zoo has several polar bears, including this adorable 5 month old:

picture of Polar Bears

When we walked up to the gorilla enclosure this fellow ran up to the glass and banged on it giving us all quite a scare.

picture of Gorilla

Drew really enjoyed petting and brushing the goats.

picture of Drew and Goats

We ate supper at Tony Packos. We had heard about this restaurant for many years, but this was our first visit. We enjoyed it very much.

picture of Tony Packos

The restaurant was right across the street from the Toledo Mud Hen ball field:

picture of Mud Hen Game

Here are Meg, Jim, and Drew at the game:

picture of Hawkins at Game

Here we are at the game:

picture of Us at Game

And, finally, here is Drew meeting the Mud Hen Mascot, Mudonna:

picture of Drew and Hen


Walmart Fabric Department update

I asked at my closest Walmart if any of the local Walmart fabric departments were going to remain open and was told that the Traveler's Rest store is going to keep its fabric department until February. A friend told me that the one in Berea is slated to be open for about another year.

I was also told that it might help if people in the Greenville area would call 1-800-Walmart and express their wishes to have the fabric department remain open.

So I hope those of you in the Greenville area who might be interested in keeping one of the fabric departments open will give them a call and express your desire.


Something new for supper

Today I'm posting a new recipe that I tried recently--we liked it so well that I've actually made it twice in the last few weeks. It's sort of an Americanized version of Lo Mein. I made it with some cooked chicken I had in the freezer--I've been trying to use up some of my freezer stash. The original recipe called for raw chicken breasts that you cut up and stir fry and then proceed with the recipe.

picture of Oriental Casserole

Stir Fried Chicken and Noodles

3 Tbsps. honey
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger (or 1/4 tsp. dried)
dash white pepper
2 tsps. cornstarch
1-1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken or a couple of raw chicken breasts cubed and stir fried
2 tsps. cooking oil
3-4 cups frozen oriental vegetable blend (I used a stir fry blend from Aldi)
1-1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 heaping cup fine noodles (begin boiling these about the time you start the stir frying)

Whisk together the honey, water, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch. Heat the oil in a large skillet and stir fry the oriental vegetables for 5-6 mins. Add the cabbage and stir fry for 3-5 mins. more. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Cook about two minutes or until thickened. Add the chicken and the cooked drained noodles. Heat through and enjoy!

I had never used fresh ginger until just a few years ago. It can be stored in the freezer and then grated frozen when you need it. I just wrap mine in plastic wrap and store it on my freezer door so I can find it easily.

picture of Frozen Ginger

You don't even need to peel it. Just grate the amount you need and use it to season whatever dish you are preparing. It adds a lot of flavor to many oriental dishes.

picture of Grating Ginger


Sadness for those who sew

I was saddened a couple of weeks ago when I strolled through our local Walmart and saw that they were taking out the fabric department. We have lots of stores here in the area where you can buy drapery and home decorating fabric and several small quilting shops but now the only stores with patterns, notions, and fabric are Hobby Lobby and Hancock Fabrics.

We are fortunate to have an absolutely wonderful fabric store — Mary Jo's — about an hour and a half drive from here. Here's a picture taken just inside the door:

picture of Mary Jo's

Mary Jo's has a wide variety of fabrics including drapery, upholstery, bridal, quilting, etc. In fact, I remember being very overwhelmed the first time I went there by the vast selection. I have since learned that it's good to have some specific ideas of items that I am looking for before I go.

Here's a picture of some fabric I got the last time we were there to make a quilt for a baby girl:

picture of baby quilt fabric

Mary Jo's is located in Gastonia, NC (near Charlotte) and there are several stores nearby that husbands would find more interesting, such as Home Depot and Office Depot. So, for those who enjoy actually handling the fabric rather than ordering from a website if you are ever in the area I would definitely recommend that you plan to stop and check it out.


We’ve had a busy week

It's been a while since I have posted, but hopefully I will get my act together and be more faithful now that the school year has ended.

We have been keeping busy around here the last week or so. Last Saturday we participated in our subdivision's yard sale. Rob and I are not very good merchandisers - we never make much money from our yard sales, but we do clear out a lot of stuff that we no longer need or want. I took the leftovers out to Miracle Hill thrift store after the sale.

We also participated in some end of the school year activities and have been cleaning up and preparing the house for an upcoming visit by our DD and our grandson. Can you tell I am excited?

I had a wonderful mother's day yesterday with our local family members and I'm thankful that we could spend part of the day together. We had a nice dinner together and I received some very thoughtful gifts.

This week I made a dress for a little friend at church who will be celebrating her second birthday soon. The pattern is from a site called The Handmade Dress. You can either download the pattern or have it mailed to you. The designer has several cute patterns available and she is selling the patterns to help finance a foreign adoption. Here is a picture of the version I made:

picture of Miss Mary

I hope all of you who are mothers had a wonderful Mother's Day!