Happy Homemaker Monday 08/24

HHMToday is our first day back at school.  After home schooling 4 kids at once 2 should be a walk in the park.  It is still a challenge, when you are doing two grades, I have a 5th grader and a Freshman this year.  As I do every first day of school, I will be making our favorite dessert, Oreo Surprise, find the recipe below.  My sons had fun at the Sidewalk Chalk drawing contest, no winners this time, but they had fun.  Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!!

Linking-up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.


Looks like a great week.  Today is much cooler, and we have nice strong breeze coming in through the windows.

I am just finishing the 3rd book in the Aegis Security Series by Elisabeth Naughton.  These are really good Romantic Suspense books, based around the Security Company run by Jake Ryder.  The male characters are all former military guys, black ops, and other special secret military groups, and one book has a former female CIA agent.  The missions are action packed, and the romance…ahem…equally action packed. 😉 (not a PG-13 read) The three books are:

Extreme Measures
Lethal Consequences
Fatal Pursuit

I will be trying Carrie’s recipe for BBQ Bacon Cheesy Chicken which looks delicious!!   Here is the our favorite dessert, and the one I make every first day of school.

Oreo Surprise

Most people probably know this as “Dirt” but we have added a little twist to it, and make it Oreo Surprise, (sounds a little more appetizing too) 🙂

1 pkg Double Stuff Oreo Cookies
1 pkg Regular Oreo Cookies
12 oz. tub of Cool Whip
5.1 oz. Jell-O Instant Vanilla Pudding
2 cups milk
Maraschino Cherries

Put Oreos in the freezer for about 45 minutes before you crush them, makes it a little easier.  Use a blender or a food processor to crush them until they are fine crumbs (that resemble dirt).  I usually use one whole package of Double Stuff and about 1 ½ rows of regular Oreos.

Mix Cool Whip, Vanilla Pudding and Milk with electric mixer

In an 9 x 13 cake pan, start off with a thin layer of the Cool Whip mixture, then layer the Oreo cookies on top.  Next layer a thicker layer of Cool Whip mixture and Oreos two more times, and finish with a layer of Oreos.

Put in fridge uncovered, it is ready to eat in about 30 minutes.

When serving add maraschino cherries, sliced bananas and pecans, or any combination of the three.  Store uncovered in the fridge if you have any left.  This usually serves about 10 – 12.

When we have described this to people with the cherries, bananas and pecans, most people are a little skeptical about the combination.  But when they try it, they are like, you know you’re right this is really good.  I personally don’t eat it with the pecans, but the people that do say the pecans just add a little something to it.

With getting ready for school, I haven’t read many posts, or watched any videos lately.

This is the view we see if we walk about 350 yards from our backyard to the beach. (That’s the Chicago Skyline).


© 2015 Liv’s Photography


Three-Day Quote Challenge: Day 2

Day 2

Another classy lady.  Just the other day, I spent time with one of my friends, and we swapped stories of the changes we are experiencing as we grow older.  We laughed and rolled our eyes and accepted what is inevitable for women.   But I agree with the last part of the quote, that “The Beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”  The beauty lies within our confidence, our wisdom, and our caring of our families.  As her and I shared stories of the decisions our young adult children are trying to make, I just said, “oh to have the knowledge we have now, with a 20 year old body.” lol 🙂   Age should not stop us, I find I am more physically active than I was when I was younger.  We can also still accomplish our dreams or embark on a new adventure.  A week after my friend turns 46, she will board a plane for the first time, for a missions trip in Uganda.  Passion…is beautiful.

Happy Homemaker Monday 08/17

HHMIt was a very hot weekend, so I stayed in and enjoyed the AC.  I did sit out in the yard for a while as my youngest son ran through the sprinkler, which was watering our somewhat burnt grass  😦  With the Chicago Air Show this weekend going on, we had several fly-overs of some really cool planes, as they use our airspace over the lake to turn around and head back to the Gary Airport.  Actually on Friday morning, we saw two Blue Angels fly over very low, and we got a good look at them as they went by.    We also felt the roaring of the jets since they were so low.  The Air Show is probably pretty awesome, but heat and crowds for me don’t mix, I catch the recap on TV 🙂  Have a great week everyone!!

Linking-up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.


No rain yet today, but we need it.  I have been reading the articles predicting lots of snow for this winter, hope they are right!!  Yeah I said it…the S word!!

Haven’t started anything new, but you can read my full review of First and Goal by Jake Byrne here.


OK, so this is a first, I am sharing this recipe with you all, it’s a brand new recipe from a possibly up and coming chef, (or maybe just a guy who will never go hungry, lol).  My youngest son concocted this all on his own the other night when he wanted a snack.  I give to you The…

Cinnamon Chocolate Pack

1 loaf white bread, crusts removed
Chocolate Chips (4 for each slice of bread)
¾ Cup Melted butter
1 Cup Sugar
1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix cinnamon and Sugar together in a bowl.  Flatten bread with a rolling-pin.  In the middle of the bread, line the 4 chocolate chips in a line, trying not to get too close to the edge.  Roll slice of bread up, jelly roll style.  Dip in melted butter, then in cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

While baking make the Glaze.


1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix all together until smooth.  Take rolls from oven let cool slightly, then drizzle over each roll.

They are actually pretty good, I like the chocolate and cinnamon flavors together.  They do resemble another recipe I made with different ingredients, but hey, I applaud his ingenuity. 🙂

Hopefully the Sidewalk Chalk drawing contest won’t get rained out on Saturday.  I was mistaken on one of my other posts about the Murder Mystery at the library; that will be in September.  This is my final week of summer, we will be starting school on next Monday.

My daughter showed me this trailer some time ago, this movie looks so cute.



Just in time for Football Season

I was so excited to get this book in the mail from my dear friend Holly Michael.  This is the book her and her son, Jake Byrne, worked together on.  I have been following her on her blog and social media and their progress as they both fulfill the dreams they set out to pursue; she as an author and he as an NFL player.  It’s been an amazing journey for both of them.  Here is my review of the book…I give it 5 stars…2 thumbs up…and my very own Touch Down Dance!! (yeah…nobody wants to see that).  Anniehow…on with the review:

 First and Goal
What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up
by Jake Byrne

At age 14 Jake was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he did not let that slow him down, or stop him from pursuing his dreams to play football, all through high school, college and ultimately in the NFL.  He shares his triumphs and his struggles in such a heartfelt, real way, that you cannot help but find a nugget in this book to apply to your life as well.

The one thing I noticed is that this book is categorized under Youth Nonfiction, being a mom to 3 boys myself I was thinking how much they would enjoy reading it.  But I have to say this book is for anyone facing any type of struggles in their life.  It really encouraged me personally.  As a football fan, I enjoyed how the book was set up with the different football terms being defined, and then using those examples with life experiences.  If you’re not a football fan, you will not get lost in the jargon.  What I think I enjoyed most were Jake’s life stories, the fun antics he describes with his siblings and friends.  This tells me that he has a full life filled with love from family and friends, but it does not overshadow the love he has for God; that shines through as he encourages his reader to look to God for strength to help them through whatever they struggle with.

I found it so fitting that his mom, Holly Michael’s, contribution is under the Extra Point category.  This brief jog down memory lane completes the book in such a way that I now understand why whenever the camera zooms in on any football player on the sidelines, the first thing they say is “Hi Mom.”  Because it is the prayers and pure love of a mom that strengthened and encouraged him as he worked diligently to get to where he is today.

This is a great read for anyone, especially our young people who face so many obstacles on a daily basis.  If you click on the picture above, it will take you to Amazon where you can order the book yourself, you won’t be disappointed…you might even be encouraged!! 🙂

If you know of anyone who is living with type 1 diabetes, you can direct them to Jake’s Type Won Facebook page.

Master Penman…Who Knew?

I came across this fascinating video.  I never knew there was such a thing as a Master Penman, I can imagine the years of study and practice it must take to become one.  Since I love to write, how awesome would it be to have that title, it sounds so prestigious and regal.  Well since there are only 12 Master Penmen in…the…world…I’ll just be happy to get back into lettering, I did take some calligraphy classes when I was younger, so I need a refresher course and lots of practice. I’m looking into finding some nice pens, and watching videos on You Tube, there is something also called Round Lettering I’d like to give a go at.  I’ve been inspired!!

This guy obviously does more than lettering though, simply Beautiful!!

These are only a few of the pictures that can be purchased on his website at jakeweidmann.com