Wordless Wednesdays

Monday, November 22, 2010

17 Easy steps to making pumpkin muffins

It was a glorious afternoon; so full of promise, so full of inspiration and delight. The two younger boys were down for their afternoon naps. David was happily playing on his own (miraculously enough). I was filled with a burning, unquenchable desire to make something that bellowed in no uncertain terms "FALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!" Now hear this: I am well aware that Fall is well on its way out and Winter is crouched at the door like an evil, rabid moose, but until Thanksgiving has come and gone, I will prolong my favorite season as long as I possibly can. This desperate effort is manifested in many forms. Sometimes it's raking up whatever wet, sludgy leaves are left on the yard, and saying heartily,"Have at it, boys!" Then the boys stare at the 1-foot pile of sludge in front of them, and because it's dirty and gross, they jump right in. Sometimes I scrapbook 3 different layouts about Fall, The Pumpkin Farm, and Jumping In The Leaves simply because:
1) I own the best autumn-themed scrapbooking paper in the entire world, and no one will ever convince me otherwise.
2) I can!!

BUT...the most logical effort for me to prolong my precious Fall season is to bake.
Of course.
So let's get back to that glorious afternoon, shall we??
It was an Epiphany of Epiphanies. I was beginning to run out of ideas. I had already made pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin dip. I still had quite a bit of pumpkin puree in my fridge. As my sweet Daniel likes to say, "Oh, what to do, what to do??" AND THEN...*trumpet fanfare* I had it. PUMPKIN MUFFINS. Oh yeah. To the MacBook, Batman!! I already had a pumpkin muffin recipe I was less-than enthusiastic about. So I went to my beloved Pioneer Woman for wise counsel, and of course, she came through for me. SO...ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I bring you EASY STEPS TO MAKING PUMPKIN MUFFINS!!!

1) After being inspired to make the aforementioned muffins, ignore the laundry that desperately needs folding.

2) Add food coloring to a sink full of water and fill with plastic toys for David.

3) Happy Boy. :)

4) Mix flour with spices. Inhale. Thank the Lord, for He is Good.

5) Cut half a stick of butter into small pieces. Give in to that incredibly rebellious feeling.

6) Wield the instrument of righteousness. Best. Pastry Blender. Ever. (Crate and Barrel, my friends!)
7) Ahh. Fresh pumpkin puree.
8) Look at the time. Panic.

9) David asks if he can help. I say,"Sure, Buddy." David shrieks,"OH, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!" I need to take these kids out more.
10) Inwardly lament over the massive pile of very small plastic toys that are now taking up my entire drying rack. I try not to sweat the small stuff (emphasis on "try").
11) I like to call this one "Uncle Nate".

12) Uh-Oh. Looks like Darth Vader got the best of Uncle Nate. "You have much to learn, young Skywalker, er, Uncle Nate. MUAHAHAHAHA!!"
13) Taste.

14) Yummy!!
15) Forget to take pictures of the finished product.
16) Kick yourself for forgetting.
17) Eat the dang muffins anyway.

And there you have it. 17 easy steps to making pumpkin muffins! And, OH, my friends; they are so very good. As they were baking, they filled my house with all the delectable, spicy aroma you'd expect from any self-respecting pumpkin muffin. And I love it when my house actually smells good. Most of the time it just smells like, well, BOYS. A word of wisdom: Trust Pioneer Woman. I got a little crazy and decided to use whole milk rather than the evaporated milk that the recipe called for, and while the muffins were positively delicious, their shelf life was a bit lacking. They became a tad mushy within a day, and I think they would have held up better had I obeyed the recipe rather than giving in to my own foolish flights of fancy. "Foolish Flights of Fancy"...what great alliteration!! *ahem* ANYWAY...here's the linky-dinky-doo:
Now GO FORTH...and make the most of what very little Fall we have left before that giant, rabid Moose called Winter knocks down the door and eats us all. Can you tell I'm not a huge fan of Winter? Oh, well. Here's a pre-emptive "HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!" to all of my readers out there. I really appreciate all of the feedback I receive, and I love sharing my little moments of culinary chaos with you. Thank you. :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Reflections on 4 years of motherhood

David turned 4 years old on Tuesday. He is my firstborn; my introduction into this crazy thing we call "Parenthood". He is my favorite firstborn son. He is...
...A very small maniac. Don't let those beautiful brown eyes fool you. This child is hard-core, ultra-intense, passionate, all-out, and of course, brilliant. Hmm. Goodness, he reminds me of someone. Who could it be...oh, of course. ME. Minus the brilliant part. David not only looks like me, but he has inherited my intense and passionate personality. The only thing he didn't get from me is his flair for the dramatic, because I am not dramatic at all. Not one iota. Nope. No drama here. *falls on the floor from suppressed laughter* David also is quite sure that he is a superhero. Not any one in particular, but he definitely feels the need to "Save the Day".
He is like his father in that aspect. Steve definitely feels the need to save the day. Alot.

I love how David lines up his cars.

I love how David builds his "really, really HUGE towers".

I love that he loves to get dirty and play outside with his bulldozers and other outdoorsy toys.

I love how he always wants to help me in the kitchen.
Yes, he's wearing a Starbucks apron. I had a short stint at Starbucks in college. This is why I'm addicted to Chai Lattes. Moving on...
Yes; I love all these things about my David boy. But what I love the most is that I learned how to be a mommy with David, and I am still learning every day. For some reason, God saw fit to bless me with three beautiful boys, and for this, I am inexpressibly grateful. Here is a little ditty I wrote about motherhood when David was about 2 months old:

A Young Mother's Prayer

Oh, Lord God,
I thank Thee for the gift of motherhood.
Nothing is so sweet as the clinging of a tiny hand.
The burying of a little head upon one's shoulder.
The first smile.
The steady gaze into mommy's eyes.
These are the things that really matter.
Help me in motherhood, Lord.
Help me to put You first so that I might be worthy of the task before me.
Help me to nurture the relationship between my husband and I so that our children will be confident in our love.
Help me to encourage my husband so that he might be worthy of the task before him.
Help me to be patient with my children so they might be patient with others.
Help me to choose my words wisely so that I might illumine and not darken their minds.
Help me to be selfless so they might learn what it means to be self-sacrificing.
Help me to train them up in Your way, Lord, so that they will not depart from it when they are old.
Help me to be aware of my actions, knowing that little eyes are upon me at all times.
Help me to do all for the glory of God, and not man.
I thank Thee for this blessed privilege.
May my husband and I raise children for Your glory and honor.
In Jesus' blessed name,

Happy Birthday, Buddy. You are my gift from above.