Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Bars - yum!

In the spirit of the Pioneer Woman, I'm giving you a delicious recipe today. A dessert perfect for this time of year. I originally got this recipe from Good Housekeeping several years ago. It's a family favorite.

Here's the line-up of ingredients: (by the way, I doubled the ingredients to bake in a pan measuring 10.5" x 14.75". If you want a 9 x 13, just 1 1/2 the recipe)
Sugar, eggs, flour, pumpkin, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, oil, salt. Easy peasy.

First, cream the sugar and eggs for two minutes. Yes, two whole minutes. Then add the pumpkin and oil. Mix well.

Isn't this a beautiful color? mmmmm....

Next, with the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients. Beat for one minute.

Pour into prepared pan and bake. Cool.

Here's the cast of characters for the frosting: Powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter (not pictured) & vanilla.
Mix for two minutes or until fluffy. Sometimes I add a little milk to thin the frosting, maybe 1 or 2 tablespoons.

Here's the finished cake. Seriously good stuff, friends.
Make it soon! Let me know if you do. Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Bars

1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9" square pan.

Prepare cake: in bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat sugar and eggs 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin and oil. At low speed, add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder & salt; beat one minute.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Frosting: 3/4 c. powdered sugar, 1/4 c. cream cheese, 2 Tablespoons butter, soft, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Beat on low for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Spread on cooled cake.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


by Starfield

I have not much to offer You
Not near what You deserve
But still I come because Your cross
Has placed in me my worth

O Christ, my King of sympathy
Whose wounds secure my peace
Your grace extends to call me friend
Your mercy sets me free

And I know I’m weak, I know I’m unworthy
To call upon Your name
But because of grace, because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed

I can’t explain this kind of love
I’m humbled and amazed
That You’d come down from heaven’s heights
And greet me face to face

And I know I’m weak, I know I’m unworthy
To call upon Your name
But because of grace, because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed

Here I am at Your feet in my brokenness complete

from the album Beauty in the Broken, track 7, listen at iTunes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #20

Isn't it cool how God continues to reveal himself through his word? I wish I knew a more profound word than "cool" because He needs a more profound word than that. But I don't, sadly. I'll work on finding one. In the meantime, this is what I've learned this week:

God put a priority on relationship with man, with us. From the very beginning, in the garden of Eden He asked questions of Adam and Eve that he clearly knew the answers to. Chapter 3 of Genesis, verse 9: The Lord God called to Adam, 'Where are you?' Do you think He couldn't see them? We are studying Abraham in Bible Study. In Genesis 18:17-33, God and Abraham are having a discussion about Sodom and Gomorrah. Why would God, creator of the universe, need to have a discussion with anyone? I'd suggest that He wanted to dialogue with man. He wanted to have a relationship with man. He put in us a need for Himself and is waiting patiently for us to discover that He is the ONLY one who can fill that need. I am overwhelmed with the thought that God wants to be in relationship with me. "What is man that you are mindful of me?" I am overwhelmed and so very, very grateful. He is so good.

So, if I carry that thought out further, I can say that relationships should be a priority for me. Not my to-do list, not my activities, not my goals, but people. This often gets lost in our world. And, frankly, relationships are hard work. It is only through the Holy Spirit that I can make this my priority too. Daily surrendering to Him and asking to be filled with his love and great affection for people in my life. This has been my prayer this week and it brings tears to my eyes when I think of how different I "feel" today compared to Monday towards my family. It is only Him. He is the only reason I am not living in a pit of sin and He gets all the glory. I wish I could tell you how many times a day He has worked in me this week alone. I've lost count. He is so amazing.

So my memory verse for this time is to remind me not only to prioritize people, but to love them or it means nothing. From 1Corinthians 13:3 (NLT): If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever. (I love to read familiar verses in a new version, gives a whole new twist, don't ya think?) I could be doing great things, but if I'm not loving people, what is the point? The gospels are full of this concept. 1John is full of this command. In fact, I think it's safe to say, cover to cover, Genesis to Revelation, love is the theme of the Bible. After all, God is love.

I pray love abounds in your life this weekend. I appreciate you and your support. Remember to leave your verse in the comments. Thanks!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I was going through my kids closets one day this week to make sure they had clothes that fit for fall/winter. I pull a button-down navy w/green & gold plaid long sleeve shirt out of my sons closet. This was the conversation & remember, he's 10:

Me: Here's a great shirt for church and Christmas.

Him: There is NO WAY in the world I will ever wear that shirt.

Me: What? This is a cool shirt.

Him: I will never wear that shirt. NEVER, Mom.

Me (without thinking this all the way through): What about a whole day of video games?

Him (without hesitation): No! I hate plaid. I will never wear that shirt!

Me: stricken speechless

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

If you were a dwarf frog...

...where would you hide???

If you remember, we got our son three fish and two frogs for his birthday in April. Read about it here. One more of the fish died this summer so we were left with one fish and two frogs. Until last week. Steve cleaned the tank, I added more water and the next morning the fish was floating belly up. My boy was bummed.

Three days later he comes downstairs and says one of the frogs died. It's upside down on the bottom of the tank. What is happening with these animals in this tank?!? So I asked him to get the net and scoop up the frog and I'd dispose of it. We were running a bit behind schedule to get out the door that morning. He scooped up the frog, put it in a cup and left it in the bathroom. I disposed of it. (blech. Can I just say here that I do not like this part of being an adult?)

Three hours later I was telling Brittney, my niece, and she went in my boy's room to see the tank. She asks me, "how big are the frogs?" Oh, about 1 1/2 inches, I respond. "I don't see the other frog," she says to me.

Wait, what????

I go look in the tank. The ten year old left the top of the tank open and the net sticking out of the water. There was NO frog in the tank. NO. FROG. IN. THE. TANK.

Are you kidding me? Where in the world is the frog? We start looking all over the floor for this creature. Of course, being my son's room, there are legos, clothes, and books all around. We searched that room for 45 minutes looking for a small, slimy, greenish-brown, four-legged, no sound making frog. Nothing. We had to leave for awhile but when we got back, we searched again. Nada. How far could this thing have hopped? And without water? What am I going to tell my son?? How will he take this news? He loves these animals and has been so faithful to care for them. Ugh. How do I tell him this?

When he gets home from school, I broke the news as gently as I could. He was surprised, a little bummed, but not like I thought he'd be. I sent him to look for the frog. But he really wants to watch TV first. (why was I worried??) He looked for 10 minutes but didn't find it. Watched TV and then I went and looked with him. Of course he reminds me, "you know, Mom, that frogs have sticky pads on their feet so they can climb things."

*shudder* Actually, no, I didn't remember that.

Final outcome: I still have NO idea where that frog is and it's been SIX days. Heaven help us.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #19

I never meant to go so long without writing. I've written about 15 posts in my head but they never actually made it to the keyboard.

Here's the randomness of our lives the last two weeks:

1. Volleyball is over as of Monday. They were 5-5. My girl misses it already. She's thinking of playing basketball which starts in one week. Last night we went to watch the high school voleyball team play and that was fun. Sad to say, the home team could not jump for some reason. They could block okay, but hitting was such a feeble attempt in regards to jumping. The visitors had one girl who was 6 feet tall. She could jump and it was fun to watch her. My girl only has two inches until she matches that height. Do I wish it on her? I always wanted to be one inch taller than I am. 5'10" is such a nice round number, don't ya think? I know, I'm weird.

2. Football is still going on for my son. They are 1-1-1. Last week's game was exciting as they won. They had an interception and a safety (tackling in the end zone). I've learned quite a bit with my son playing. For instance, did you know that blocking and tackling are two different functions? Blocking is what the offensive line does and tackling is for defense. It is illegal to use your hands in blocking, you can use your arms, but not your hands. I learned this because my boy plays offense and I told him to tackle hard at practice. Duh, mom. I've learned what blitz and quarterback sneak and reverse play means. My son rolls his eyes at me but I figure that's standard for a tween, right?

3. BSU Football has begun and we have season tickets. For all of our Oregon family, sorry for your loss. :) Weekends are crazy with football at our house.

4. Bible study started this week and I'm so excited! I am taking Beth Moore's The Patriarchs and it promises to be a great study, as usual. Are you involved with Bible study? What are you studying?

5. I've been baking this week because fall is here on the calendar. Not outside our doors yet. But I tried a new dinner roll recipe this week and received thumbs up all around the dinner table. I tried Pioneer Woman's flat apple pie and it was yummy. I tweaked it a bit, though. I left out the lemon juice (what's that doing in apple pie?) and added cinnamon (why wasn't it there to begin with?). I wanted to share with you a secret I learned when making pie crust. My recipe is this:
For a two-crust pie: 2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 2/3 cup butter flavor Crisco shortening & 1/4 cup cold water. Stir together the flour and salt and then cut in the Crisco with a pastry blender or fork. Keep blending until all the white of the flour is gone (this is one secret for flaky crust). Sprinkle water over the mixture and mix. Sometimes I have to add a tiny bit more water as it's too dry. Form a ball of dough with your hands. Here's the secret: place half of the dough on clear plastic wrap, flatten with your hands and put another piece of clear plastic wrap on top. Roll the dough out in between the plastic wrap. You will need to take the wrap off occasionally and reposition it as the dough can stick to it. Don't add any flour! Take off the top plastic wrap and pick up the pie dough by sliding your hand under the bottom plastic wrap. You can then flip the dough into your pie pan and if you need to reposition it you can flip it back over and do so. Here's what rolling out looks like:

This makes clean up a breeze! Plus, no dried out crust from too much flour. Practically perfect every time.

Today, I'm making this: Because, hello? Cinnamon rolls - what is better in life than that? I'll take pictures.

6. Memory verse: I'm still working on the one from last time from 1Chronicles 29:11-13. They were longer verses and I'm working on the second half. But, please leave your verse in the comments. Can you believe we are 3/4 of the way through our goal? You, my friends, are doing awesome! Keep going!

7. Many other things have been going on around here, but I'll save that for another day. I've made this as random as is humanly possible, I think. Sports, baking, bible. Thank you so much for following. I appreciate you.

Have a great weekend!