Monthly Archives: September 2011

Pumpkin Patch Morning

We hit up the Pumpkin Patch this morning with our play group from church.  I have yet to discover an apple orchard here, so pumpkin patches are filling in this Fall.  The kiddos are just as excited about pumpkins, so it’s all good, even if Mommy feels just a twinge of sadness.
 Emma Claire loved all the little houses.  She’s a true homemaker at heart and it makes me smile. :-)
Keller is getting so big so fast.  He’s still my cuddle bug and will let me hold him endlessly.  Oh, how I wish I could hold him all day long!  No one has to tell me how fast these days go.  It’s like I blinked and Emma is now holding conversations with me.
 He has awesome hair.  SO awesome that he’s gotten the girl assumption several weeks in a row now.  We’re thinking it’s time for a trim, but not sure it’s worth the cry.  And I’m not talking him, but me.
 His blue blue eyes melt my heart…and melt it good.
That boy has me wrapped around his finger and Steven will be the first to tell you.
Shiloh, too, has a heart for the home…
…in her own way. :-)
 Their personalities, their looks, their talents, are all so different. I am often baffled and sobered when I think how I’ve been given these little ones to raise up for the glory of God.  Not given to dress up cute, say the right things, fill with knowledge, keep me from being embarrassed, make me look good, or give me a sense of identity.  They are little human beings each with an independent will, adults in the making.  And I am their example.
Every. Single. Day.
If that doesn’t make your heart drop with heaviness – a gravity of the situation – I don’t know what will.
I have been sobered lately.  The world rushes by us, Christians included, with all this information about parenting  that just makes your head burst.  Information about car seat choices, organic baby food, breast fed or bottle fed, cloth diaper or disposable, baby Gap or Gymboree, mini van or suburban, working mom or stay-at-home mom, homeschooled, or public schooled..
Purposes for their children, purposes for motherhood, even while unspoken.
But our children see.
They see what is truly important to us as the days roll on.
Real hearts…needing to be pointed towards Christ.
I Timothy 4:12 — “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

Race for the Cure

Those of you who know me know that I love runs.  The atmosphere is awesome.  Everyone coming together, no matter their physical level, and running to support a cause and get active is just the type of people I love to be around.  I ran in my first race when Emma was 4 months old.  It was a family friendly, tiny 5K in Lyman, SC, supporting fallen soldier’s families.  My friend Tammy talked me into it and I was nervous as all get-out, but Steven came with me and that was just the confidence booster I needed. I got hooked on doing runs with my kids from that moment.
I want my kids to see me doing what I teach them.  Does anyone else know how tough that is? I hope my kids learn that life is service, at least it should be, and it’s not about them.  I also want them to learn that being healthy and staying active is important.  Runs are one way I hope to show them this.  My heart melts when Emma will point out a runner we see on the side of the road and say, “She’s running!  She’s making her heart stronger.”  
UPS {Steven’s company} was a huge supporter of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure run this past weekend.  We woke the kids up bright and early and headed to downtown Tulsa for the big {over 12,000 people} event.
I’m not sure if Steven is laughing over the pink bandanna on the guy’s head or me making off-color comments about some of the t-shirts we kept seeing.
While Steven volunteered, me and the kids played on the stadium’s playground…
Now, I wasn’t planning on running this one, partly because I had heard about it only a couple days before the event, and partly because I’ve been having nursing issues, so I’ve cut out all exercising. But you know, just being there, made me want to do it so so bad. Steven’s boss offered me her race bib and said I could take her place if I wanted.  I. WAS. PUMPED. :-) I didn’t have my jogging stroller with me, but I had on my running shoes I’ve had since high school, and that’s all I figured I needed.
I think Keller got bored, so he took a nap almost the whole time we were running, if that gives you any idea what a slow poke I am. And Shiloh was such a sweet little racing buddy the whole time.  She was singing so sweet at points I just wanted to cry because we were having so much fun…and partly because I wished she acted like that all the time.
What a fun way to spend a Saturday!!!

Fall Apple Cake

I couldn’t justify making this cake, in all its sweet-tasting glory, without having someone to share it with. I decided a dessert night with friends was waaay past due.  I doubled the original recipe and it fit nicely into a 9×13-inch pan.  I also doubled it for you below in case you’re thinking a dessert night spent with friends sounds as appealing to you as it did to me.

The cake turned out super moist and the glazy top was just spectacular! So here’s to cooler weather and to friendship!

Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

For the Cake:
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil – I used vegetable
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups finely chopped apples
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional) – I didn’t use any

Brown Sugar Glaze:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
6 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons heavy cream

For the Cake:  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×13-inch pan with butter and set aside.  In a large bowl, mix the eggs with a hand mixer til light in color and foamy.  Add the oil and vanilla and beat well. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Stir with a whisk to mix everything together.  Stir in the flour mixture with a spoon and continue stirring the batter til the flour disappears.  Add the apples and nuts (if using) and stir to mix them into the batter.  Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Place the hot cake on a wire cooling rack. While it’s still hot, prepare the glaze.

For the glaze: Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes.  

Spoon the hot glaze over the still hot-from-the-oven cake. Let the glazed cake cool completely before serving straight from the pan.