Good Morning to You! Good Morning to You! Good Morning Dear Friend! Good Morning to You 🙂 I used to sing this to my children when I was getting them up from their cribs. Must have heard it sang to me as a little girl at school, or on a morning television show. Instead of Dear Friend, I placed their precious name.
When I opened our curtains, our calico cat opened one eye to me. I know she would welcome the attention, but she had the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign out. Living up on the woods, she has plenty of stalking to do at night. She loves to walk with me. Taking a morning and afternoon walk, she has to be on the path. I do believe she was hoping I did not want to walk this early.
School Supplies and Autumn’s Glance Our Way
It is August and the grandkids went back to school on the first. Feeling the weather shift just a bit. Sweaters and jeans are calling out from storage. But, I don’t want them! I’m a shorts and tank top girl. So, I’m really missing the hustle and bustle (I still say hustle and bustle!) of buying their school clothes and supplies. Seeing what backpack they picked out, and the cart filling up quickly. With 4 children, it filled, so that we always had a 2nd cart.
Memories are fun! ‘Jennifer The Glue’
Today I will continue to work on my novel. My characters searching for memories of family still with them and those that have gone on. Digging through my own ancestors-births, marriages, deaths, and stories. Strange and complicated, I will still push my way through. Persistent. Glueing them all together!
Sassafras The Cat
The morning and afternoon walk will be with Sassy, the sweet calico. And, I will talk on the phone to my best friend, as he takes his afternoon walk in the cemetery. Lunch and an episode of Sneaky Pete, then I am off working on poetry or a short story.
Christmas time shopping takes me back to memories of a magical toy store in New York City where adults and kids could escape into their imaginations. FAO Schwarz unfortunately closed back in July 2015, but we offer this photo essay to honor a once great toy store. Thank you for all the great years and for enhancing our imaginations!
The brand is still the property of the descendants of the founder, but is operated by Toy’s “R” Us. The original location in the General Motors Building at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street in Manhattan. FAO Schwarz was founded in 1862 and was once the oldest toy store in the United States. The first toy store opened in Baltimore, with the flagship Fifth Avenue location opening their doors back in 1931.
A mainstay feature of the entrance to the store were the employees dressed as toy soldiers.
Toys were displayed high and far with multiple levels to find adventure.
Stuffed animals as far as the eye could see, with all kinds and sizes.
Variety was a key to FAO Schwarz as you would always find unique gift ideas.
There was everything from collector’s items to everyday toys.
The displays were as ornate and beautiful as some of the toys.
Both large and small items were available in all the sections of the store.
Featured in the 1988 hit movie “Big” with Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia, the Big Piano was always a fun time.
There were many more movies that featured parts of the store including Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Mighty Aphrodite, Baby Boom, Big Business, and more recently in The Smurfs.
The flagship store has definitely closed, but it is not forgotten in my heart, nor in those who had the chance to enjoy what FAO Schwarz created so many years ago.
Check us out at JenGaryNewAdventures.com and follow us on Pinterest.
Looking for a quick and easy Christmas treat for the family, look no further than a jazzed up rice krispies treat! Following a fairly warm late fall day which allowed us to play at the park, we decided that some type of treat was in order. After hearing about and watching Christmas holiday shows for a few days now, you just know the treat had to share the holiday season. With a little creativity, we had two very happy kids, and a delicious dessert.
There are countless recipes available for making delicious rice krispies treats. We did not try to make too many adjustments.
In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter slowly over medium heat. Add in the package of marshmallows and stir constantly to prevent sticking. When the marshmallows are close to loosing any shape in the mix, stir in the peanut butter. Be careful not to let burn or stick, stir well until mix is consistent. Remove pan from heat.
Grease a large bowl and put in about 2/3 of the rice krispies. Pour the warm mix over the rice krispies and add the remaining cereal on the top. Combine the mixture well. When you do not see any loose cereal in the bowl, add half of the bag of morsels. Combine and mix well.
In a greased 9″ x 13″ pan, pour the combined mixture in and smooth with a spoon or spatula. Pour the remaining morsels on the top of the flattened treat. Allow to cool. When the treats are not sticky, they are ready to cut and eat. Mind you the warm gooey ones are good also if you cannot wait.
Now we added the Christmas holiday portion of this treat. Place a treat on a plate and allow your kids to place white icing over their treat to match their tastes. One of ours liked a little, the other a lot!
Utilize red and green sprinkles and allow the kids to pick with one or both they would like and sprinkle away!! This treat is easy to make, and the kids love making them special for themselves.
Be careful with the sprinkles, those openings are typically made for adults to sprinkle and come out pretty fast!
There you have it, a twist on an old classic. Not too much time in the kitchen, and the kids are very happy! Have a great Christmas holiday season and have lots of fun times in the kitchen with your kids and grandkids.
What are your families favorite way to make rice krispies treats?
Check us out at JenGaryNewAdventures.com and follow us on Pinterest.
We love this holiday. The decorations and the kids all dressed up, ready to Trick-or-Treat. Food to eat. Pumpkins to carve and light and a Halloween movie to watch later that night.
Planning a Special Spoooooky Meal does take time and we would like to share the food we made several years back. Here are some ideas for a simple and inexpensive menu. Like Dirt Pie with Worms….Mummy Dogs and/or Spiders, Hamburger Jack-O-Lanterns, Pumpkin with Vomit Dip and Veggie Skeleton, Witches Broomsticks.
Apple Big Mouths, Ghostbusters Green-Slimed Popcorn (to watch with all our favorite Ghostbusters!) will be shown before the movie!
Dirt Pie with Worms:(So easy and tasty)
*One Package Oreos,blend to a fine dirt look in your blender,Ninja,or Shark*
* One Large Box Instant or Cook Chocolate Pudding*
*One 8 ounce Cream Cheese Softened*
*Two Tablespoons Butter*
*One 16 ounce Cool Whip Slightly Softened*
*Worms (ok Gummy Worms:)*
*You will take your Cream Cheese and two tablespoons of butter and using your mixer, cream together the two*
*Add in your pudding,mixing well*
*Then using a wooden spoon, blend in your Cool Whip*
*Now you can take a pretty glass bowl or dish and begin to layer, using first the dirt,then the creamy mixture of pudding, cream cheese, butter, and cool whip*
*Continue layering until you reach the top and lay worms around and stick some part of the way in to the dirt to look they are crawling out!*
*Mummy Dogs and Spiders*
*Two Packages of your favorite Hot Dogs, Sausages, and/or Brats*
*Two Rolls of Grands Biscuits*
*Turn your Oven to the setting for the Biscuits*
*Spray your Pan to Place the Dogs and Spiders on*
*Taking a Sharp Knife, decide where the Mummy’s Arms and Legs should be and Slice and if making Spiders, leave a nice size middle section and slice three to four legs on each end of the dog*
* Slice your biscuits or pull pieces apart to begin wrapping your dogs to make them resemble a Mummy*
*Bake according to the time allotted for the biscuits or to a Golden Brown*
*Serve hot and with Mustard, Ketchup, Relish*
*We use three pounds of Ground Chuck (Sorry Chuck:)*
*Form our Patties, Placing them in a Hot Skillet*
*Brown on One side, then flip over*
*Add a Dash of Liquid Smoke and Season Salt*
*Cook to Medium or Medium Well*
*Take Cheese Singles and with a Sharp Knife Cut out a Jack-o-Lantern Design*
* Lay on a Draining Tray and Place Your Cheese Single Cut-Out on top to Melt*
*Pumpkin with Vomit Dip and Veggie Skeleton*
*Use a Small, Medium, Or Large Pumpkin and Carve a Spooky Face,Eyes Squinty with a Wide Oval Mouth*
*16 Ounce Sour Cream* *Vegetable Dip Mix because this has Chunks of Veggies to make it look, well, Sick* *Blend Together and Refrigerate till needed*
*Cut up Broccoli, Celery, Cucumbers* (Or Really any Veggies you want) And have fun Constructing a Skull Face* *Have Fun, you can not go wrong*
*Present your Pumpkin on your Halloween Table with Vomit Oozing from or in front of the Open Mouth and the Skull Veggie Face close by*
*All you need are Reese’s Mini-Cups from your Grocery Aisle*
*One Bag of Pretzel Sticks*
*Turn over the Mini-Cups and Push a Pretzel Stick in the bottom of the cup*
*The Sweet and Salty are great little Treats*
Also, follow us as we are saving several pins on our Pinterest about awesome party ideas!
Here is a list of some of our favorite Halloween movies that we started watching early in October and right up to the night of October 31st:
The Addams Family, & Addams Family Values
The Wizard of OZ
The Nightmare Before Christmas
All of The Harry Potter Movies that were out
It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
Ghostbusters, & Ghostbusters II
And this years 2016 Ghostbusters starring Melissa Mccarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones to add to our list!
Beetlejuice (Only say it one time) heehee
The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad
We feel an eerie evening approaching so put on your witches hats and lock up your cat tonight is Halloween.
Beware:Vintage Pics 🙂 We were probably about 35 years young!
We are “frightfully” excited! We have been going through at least a thousand family photos. Looking at all the “spooky” parties we threw, the costumes we made up, decorating we did, and family and friends we had.
We love that our grown kids still are excited to carry on the tradition of dressing up also.
Such great times and heart warming memories.
Here we are, a crazy bunch in the early 2000’s ripping the guts out of our pumpkins. We went as a family to the pumpkin patch, picked our own pumpkin, drew what we wanted carved on them, took out the seeds, and seasoned them for baking.
To Bake Pumpkin Seeds:
.Clean the gooey guts off as best as you can.
.Wash in cold water in a strainer and shake to dry.
.Place them in a glass bowl. Why glass? Because the kids like to see the seasoning coating the seeds as they stir them.
.Add in enough Olive Oil to evenly coat them.
.Then mix enough garlic powder and season salt to cover your seeds. Be creative with the spices, making the seeds sweet, salty, or spicy.
.Spread them evenly on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven on 3oo degrees, stirring them occasionally so they do not stick.
.Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Our kids chose their costumes from the Halloween Store, or they had fun helping each other design their own costume. Pictured here is our four kids and two of their very best friends.
One year I dressed as a French Maid and my best friend was a Genie!
The year before we created my costume and sprayed my hair. I was Morticia Addams. I was even carrying a rose stem, rose cut off of course.
We always played Creepy music, Michael Jackson-Thriller was a popular one. We also had a Halloween music CD and we would all dance around, laughing and singing.
What are your Halloween traditions? What are you looking forward to this year!!!
Check us out at JenGaryNewAdventures.com and follow us on Pinterest.
What an incredible surprise we found this evening at the Mt. Juliet Branch of the Wilson County Public Library. Just off to the side in the meeting room area we were greeted with the sounds of whistles, wheels chugging along the tracks and, even if it was in my mind, choo-choo. The Music City Chapter of the Train Collector’s Association had setup a wonderful exhibit which will be in place till Saturday evening. Ron Hurst, a Train Show Official, very kindlly and thoroughly spoke with us about their wonderful organization, the basics of model railroading and stories of how these examples of a time gone by are still winning the hearts of the young and old.
The current models of trains and tracks in place would allow for up to four trains to run simultaneously. Ron provided us with a Model Trains’ magazine and shared with us the different sizes of models ranging from the Large Scale at a ratio of 1 to 25, down to the smallest model Z with a ratio of 1 to 220. Hard to imagine being able to work with anything as small as this with the cars being only 2-3/4″ long in the engine car. The standard sizes I recall with from my youth was a model HO at a ratio of 1 to 87. The models on display at the library are model O at a ratio of 1 to 48, equaling a length of 12-1/2″ for the engine car length. As we stood by listening to the stories and watching the two trains currently operating rolling along the tracks, I could not help but recall fond memories of times with my Dad playing with my Lionel set.
Toys like this are something that our generation can recall and probably most of us has played with a set at one time or another. As the technologies change and we see more and more train tracks being abandoned I can’t help but wonder if the next generations will carry the same feelings or fondness. If you are in the area, take the time to stop in and feel the excitement, and I guarantee you will see the joy in others around you (especially if there are kids), and smiles of a time long ago. – G
77 days and all is well. There is a blanket of contentment covering me. I am breathing in and the air is coming out without a thought. Our Easter weekend was true family time. Saturday was Outback and a couple of foster’s with Gary. Then the rest of the day was spent hanging out with the kids and yard work and grocery shopping for our cookout the next day. We stayed up late,till the next day, with Alex and our daughter, Kelsey. Easter day was just beautiful. Our home was loud with laughter and picture taking. I stood in the kitchen and watched my son sit on the couch, making jokes and ripping into a bag of reese’s pieces. Then that night we had on the Disney movie Frozen. It was just Gary,our granddaughter, and myself. Then wonderfully,Kelsey came in and then Alexander was there and we hung out again. Talking,laughing. This is where the contentment started and the easy breathing began. Each day until Alexander leaves for the Marines in Parris Island is rapidly going by, and we are spending them all happily together.
Hello! How are you this afternoon? I hope all is well with you and your family. We have been battling allergies and I had a migraine on all days-Valentine’s! We are looking forward to more pleasant weather next week and not having to be all bundled up just to take a walk together. We celebrated my 46th birthday Saturday and three out of our four children were there and all but one of my grandchildren. Our one daughter lives in Florida with her husband and her son and a little one on the way. I enjoyed hearing all the laughter and little feet running around. I loved the noise! My husband planned the whole party. He is really my very best of friends. I watched him bring out my cupcakes as everyone sang to me and I got all excited and yelled out hooray and clapped my hands! He laughed and as he bent down for me to blow out my candles,one of our granddaughters leaned in and blew them out and cheered! Of course seeing her so happy and flashing her beautiful big smile at me, I burst into laughter and threw my arms around her and all my little precious one’s that were near. My husband let me choose the meal and dessert. I completely threw him for a loop when I said I wanted stir-fry or burritos and nachos. I am still,after a couple of weeks,smiling so big from everyone being so close to me and loving me so much and making me so happy every single day of my life. I am so very blessed! Thank you Dear Lord!!!
For me,I can’t help but smile when I hear one of my kids laugh. I am smiling right now just thinking of that amazing, unbelievable gift of my children’s laughter. Each different,but rich and happy sounding! To my children that are all grown,I say a thank you for my smile lines! That Smile I Could Not Help But Smile is forever there, all crinkly around my eyes!