Tami Kiser AKA “Smart Martha” with Brooke Taylor. Recording Brooke’s presentation for “Faces of Mercy.” Click here for the website.
What a January it’s been so far! With snow days, in-service days and holidays, it seems like the kids have been home a lot. I love the more relaxed schedule with everyone home and spending time with the family, BUT it can be hard to keep everyone occupied in a constructive way. So, we’ve been hitting the library every week to load up on a variety of selections that will keep the kids involved and entertained (I pray)! A few have really stood out from the Children’s Literature department. I made a video on Friday to share some of them with you, but then (for some unknown reason) it would not upload to my regular You Tube channel! I decided to post it anyway because 1. The first book is really amazing worth knowing about and 2. Gus is a must-see. He makes a cameo appearance around the 4-minute mark. I was completely clueless at the time, but when I watched the video back I was dying! Never a dull moment with him. 🙂
The second January gem is a selection just for mom. It’s “Style, Sex, & Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter” by Hallie Lord.
This is actually the second time I’ve read the book in a group setting. I recently started a book club at my home, and this was voted as our second selection. It’s been a few years since I’ve read it, and I loved it just as much the second time! The reflection questions at the end of each chapter make it perfect for a book club. It’s really a great book for any woman though…alone or in a group. The chapters are quick and easy to read, but thoughtful and inspiring. Love this one!
The last January gem (so far) is a recipe from my friend Tracey. She makes dinners for family in a slow cooker almost every night of the week. When I heard this I was jealous, motivated and inspired! ha ha. She shared a “Cilantro Lime Chicken” low-carb recipe which I made for the family last week. Usually, my meals turn into mush when I use the Crockpot for some reason, but not this one! Thank you dear Tracey, oh Queen of the Crockpot! Click here for the recipe, I hope you like it too!
Hope you are having a blessed, warm January. Have a wonderful week! 🙂
Over the weekend I bought a 3-pack of Libby’s canned pumpkin and since it was a Sam’s Club purchase, this wasn’t your average size canned pumpkin! It ended up being 3 enormous 1lb cans. I love all things pumpkin and apple this time of year but then I remembered I don’t actually have that many pumpkin recipes! Thank goodness for Pinterest. And, double loaves. I whipped up some fresh pumpkin bread X2 for the family, and after remembering how easy it was, thought I would post the recipe here. This is a GREAT go-to if you are looking for a cozy comfort food. Great as a side-dish for dinner, breakfast with coffee, and even dessert with pumpkin ice cream and caramel (yum)!
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 9×5-inch loaf pans.
Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, mix together the pumpkin, eggs and oil. Blend into the flour mixture. Mix the batter until stiff.
Place equal amount into the prepared pans.
Bake for 45 minutes- 1 hour. Testing the doneness by inserting a toothpick, starting at 45 minutes.
Whenever I make double of anything I always remind myself that I need to start doing it more often. My mind usually operates on making “just enough” because we don’t have a good track record of eating leftovers, but something like this just makes sense. I popped the other loaf in the freezer, but of course you could always give it to a friend/neighbor too!
Speaking of pumpkin, every year on the morning show I used to read “The Christian Jack-o-Lantern” It was a frequently requested segment every October. So, keep the annual tradition going, I brought it up from the archives for you.:) I love it for the little kids..and the big kids too! I hope you enjoy.:)
I am a Jack O’ Lantern
My light will shine so bright
For I am a Christian pumpkin
My symbols tell what’s right.
My nose is like the cross
on which our Savior died
To set us free from sin
We need no longer hide.
My mouth is like a fish
The whole wide world to show
That Christians live in this house
And love their Savior so!
The story starts at Christmas
My eyes are like the star
That shone on Baby Jesus
And wise men saw from far
My color it is orange
Just like the big bright sun
That rose on Easter Day
Along with Gods’ own Son.
And so on Halloween
Let’s set our pumpkins out
And tell the trick or treaters
What Gods’ love is all about!
Sending sweet greetings, from my pumpkin to yours!
Happy Fall to you! I just realized it’s the second week in October and in my newfound SAHM bubble, the days are running together! So before another week gets away from me, I thought it would be fun to share some favorite Fall finds so far.
First, a little “honey-do” we can finally cross off our list! I’ve wanted to paint our front door red for years but was nervous about it. I am not very good at visualizing things when it comes to design and decor, and every time Jim would tell me to pick a color I would second-guess and then chicken out. This time though, it happened!
What a difference a coat of paint makes! We ended up choosing “Carriage Red.” I really like how it turned out and feel relieved and grateful we finally did it!
World’s Easiest Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins
Another recent favorite has been baking my annual Pumpkin chocolate muffins (and low fat too..bonus)! It’s super quick and easy.
1 cake mix (Devil’s Food, chocolate, spice cake or whatever is your favorite)
1 can of pumpkin
1/2 c water.
Mix together and bake at 350 for 25 mins. That’s it! 150 calories of pure muffin magic! 🙂 A great Fall breakfast.
Priceless Morning Moments
These mornings the air is a bit chilly and you just want to hibernate in your warm bed covers. It’s a whole new time of joy for me as a stay-home mom to experience the routine with the weather change. I love making a warm breakfast (see above..yummy), and everything from pancakes to eggs and bacon tastes better when you are tucked in a warm home on a cold morning. Add some coffee and a robe for mom, and it’s a little slice of heaven. Lately, after we get everyone on the bus and off to school, Gus and I have been painting or drawing. This age is SO FUN and I cling to these moments. He drew these two snakes and was so happy. Just look at the pride on his face! My little Picasso.
I’ve been trying to go on “date nights” with the older boys. The dollar theater is the best! Big fans of Movies 10 here! Last week, Garrett and I watched “Earth to Echo.” Not only did we have the entire theater to ourselves, but we LOVED the movie. It was one we both enjoyed (and I may or may not have gotten something in my eye at the end that made me tear up).
God of Creation, you have blessed us with the changing of the seasons. Autumn
As we embrace these autumn months,
May the earlier setting of the sun
remind us to take time to rest.
May the crunch of the leaves beneath our feet
remind us of the brevity of this earthly life.
May the steam of our breath in the cool air
remind us that it is you who give us your breath of life.
May the scurrying of the squirrels and the migration of the birds
remind us that you call us to follow your will.
We praise you for your goodness forever and ever.
Enjoy these fleeting Fall days, friends!
Yesterday’s chilly, rainy day provided the perfect inspiration to break out this family-favorite recipe. I’ve posted this a few times over the year, but it’s def. worth an annual re-post. These cookies are SO moist and flavorful, and very easy to make!
Pumpkin Butterscotch Drop Cookies
3/4 cup butter (room temp.)
1 cup brown sugar
1 Large egg (beaten well)
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 1/2 cups of flour
1tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 bag of butterscotch chips
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
*Sometimes I add mini marshmallows to the top.
**This year I added Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses (new at Target). A unanimous thumb’s up from the fam!