In addition the hustle and bustle surrounding the anniversary party and the holidays, we added some especially sweet activities into the mix. After days of baking, constructing and decorating, the Greenview Place annual gingerbread house has been completed! The house is a beauty, modeled after our own building.
It features a rounded window front and candy roof with peanut butter cup forest. Residents decorated cut-out cookies to place around the house and used coconut around for snow while listening to Christmas carol classics.
The house will be displayed in the lobby at our Winter Wonderland party this week.
Later in the week, the residents boarded the van for a trip about town to see the holiday lights. We passed the Lincoln Park Zoo, filled with colorful ZooLights. Then, we headed down State Street to catch a glimpse of the Macy’s windows. After that, we circled around the city’s tree, Lucy, in Daley Plaza and saw the glow of the Christkindlmarket.
Finally, we capped off the week by decorating Christmas cookies with the seventh and eighth graders of Saint Luke Academy. Residents and kids worked together to create editable works of art in red, white and green frosting! The results were delicious.
So much to be thankful for at Thanksgiving.
This means many different things to different people. Some set aside time to think about gratitude, and what we can be thankful for in our lives. Some take the whole month to think about all the things we take for granted every day. For others, it is about giving back, volunteering to help those in need. Many families celebrate the day by getting together and indulging in a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Finally, for a growing number of people, the day marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
We started the festivities early. We celebrated in the weeks before with sing-a-longs about thankfulness, decorating, and getting everything ready for the big Thursday feast. Then the preschool students of Saint Luke Academy visited to make some colorful Native American corn. The residents worked with the kids as part of our intergenerational program. I think the seniors and children were thankful for the good time together!
On the big day, the dining room served up quite a bountiful spread. Our chefs made some wonderful dishes for residents. In addition to the traditional turkey, our guests had the option of a beautifully glazed ham. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without stuffing and potatoes – either sweet potatoes or good old-fashioned mashed white with gravy. Rounding it out were cranberry sauce and green bean almandine.
With all those goodies residents had to work to save room for dessert. Our Dining Services Director, Vince C, honored us by sharing his mother’s pumpkin pie recipe. Yum!!
We have a lot to be thankful for this year. We’re part of a wonderful system that allows us to support those who need a bit of extra assistance, while still maintaining their independence. Our building is beautiful and our stellar maintenance team keeps it all in good repair. Our administrative group stays on top of everything on the business end and keeps things running smoothly. The dining room team is exceptional! We have many great nurses and CFPs in the wellness department who work with residents daily to provide care.
We are part of a larger team, The Renaissance Companies and Saint Luke Housing Ministries, who bring the support we need to accomplish our goal of opening the door to a new way of living.
We continue to enjoy all our blessings this Thanksgiving, and keeping the spirit of gratitude all year round.
As the temps began to hit 90, our crack Dining Services team planned some special frozen treats for the week. On Sunday, our residents enjoyed a blast from the past – orange creamsicle bars!
Today, we’re cooling off with an extra special drink. Maybe you call it a spider, a snowball, a coke float, an ice cream soda or ice cream float. Don’t worry, no matter what you call it, it’s still a cool and refreshing treat on a warm afternoon.
We’re having so much fun with our ice cream soda social. Last time we celebrated with ice cream, we served sodas, rootbeer floats and vanilla cream soda floats. This time, we’re adding even more variety with a black cherry soda.
I think it will become a staple of our soda float social!
So, remember, as the weather heats up, stay cool and enjoy a refreshing treat that’s always within reach.
When thinking about how to best show our appreciation for mothers, two things came to mind. First, we knew we needed to include some sweet indulgences. We also realized that moms work so hard, they could all use a little pampering. Even if their kids are grown!
With those necessities confirmed, we decided on an afternoon tea, and a spa day. Wowza!
We started the afternoon off with a special tea party, open to all residents. Guests were treated to a specially brewed raspberry hibiscus tea served with pirouette cookies and raspberry French twist pastry puffs. Yum! Each lady received a beautiful hand-made silk flower corsage to wear, and the rooms was filled with smiling mums and families.
After tea, residents and friends were treated to manicures. Some moms even chose to match their nails to their corsages! Finally, as a special gift, everyone was given a mini terracotta flowerpot magnet to keep as a Mother’s Day gift.
It was a beautiful day, and we were so glad to spend it with so many of our residents, celebrating mother’s love.
Not only are there brown rice, bell peppers, garlic and spinach, but black beans as well. According to this Cleveland Clinic article, these foods contain the richest amount of nutrients with the most health benefits and least calories. And, including power foods in your diet can decrease your risk of heart disease. So what’s not to like about that?
Thanks to Chef Ruth and her rock-solid team, this meal exemplifies the work we are doing to make our meals the healthiest and most tasty possible for residents. Ruth has taken on the task of getting meals with the most nutritional “bang for your buck.” She notes that, “I have added brown rice, whole grain hot dog and burger buns and whole wheat pasta to our menu. Whole grains help keep blood sugar more stable and add fiber to our meals.” Plus they taste darned good!
Resident feedback has also led to our use of sugar-free gelatin, pudding and lemonade in the dining room. Plus, residents always have healthy choices available such as a fruit plate or salad, with skinless chicken breast for an entrée alternative. Ruth also makes it a point to include colorful food in every meal. “Color is so important. Including things like sweet potatoes and red cabbage are excellent ways to enhance the nutritional content of a meal.” It’s my own opinion that visual appeal adds that something extra to our food. Ruth continues, “The more colorful the vegetable, the more nutritious it is. Replacing or mixing iceberg with romaine adds more nutrition to your salad.”
We take a lot of things into consideration when planning the menu, and the proof is in the pudding. So to speak.