cookies Fall rosary Weary
Weary Women’s Weekend ’14
October 23, 2014
6

It’s been over two years since my friend Jennifer and I met for our first “Weary-Women’s Weekend.” We’ve always been long-distance friends (who sometimes text like teenagers)! Naturally, I always cherish the times we can actually see each other face-to-face. Our first getaway was in Savannah, GA, and truly a blessed experience. It was also just days after my father’s passing and (although I didn’t know at the time) days before my son Garrett’s stroke. I will always look back at those few days as a bubble of bliss that the Lord allowed me to experience as I walked through an otherwise very dark time. Since Jennifer and I have a combined ten children, and over 13-hundred miles between us, it’s not easy to find a way to see each other. So, I was SO excited when we were able to somehow miraculously plan a WWW this year. I have to be honest though, I was really skeptical that we would find another place that would rival the beauty, elegance, history (and climate!) of Savannah. But…thanks to Vicki and wonderful friends at the Carlisle Inn in Sugarcreek, OH, it was just what the Lord ordered! It’s hard to top Amish Country in the Fall, especially with a fireplace and fresh cookies in the evening! Once again, God’s grace freely seemed to flow through this blessed rest with my friend.

We hiked:

WearyWomensWeekendHike  We enjoyed Pumpkin Lattes:

WearyWomensweekendLattePraying the Rosary at sunset:

WearyWomensWeekendSkyAnd enjoying no dishes, cleanup, or laundry. Just quiet evenings and a beautiful fireplace!

WearyWomensWeekendRoom

 

It was like one big, long exhale for my soul. It was also a nice reminder that you don’t have to travel far to experience a beautiful retreat. The other added benefit was meaningful conversation about marriage, motherhood, faith, and chore charts. ;)  My life has drastically changed as a stay-home mom, in terms of how “out of touch” I probably am now with the world around me. Gathering and reporting the news and prepping for a morning show forced me to be plugged in ALL THE TIME,  which the news junkie inside of me loved. However, it’s a tough pace to maintain. Now, my life is the complete opposite. And since Karolina requires so much physical care, in addition to Gus and the general needs of the other kiddos, I’m just totally immersed in their “current events” and needs at hand. I do miss the fellowship of the listeners and the common walk of faith we shared, as well as the inspiring stories I was blessed to hear every day. I’m so very grateful to have had that experience! Which is why I think the WWW also came at a providential  time. Connecting with such a dear friend and fellow mom was just what my heart needed. I came home refreshed, re-invigorated, and probably a few pounds heavier…but oh so happy! If it’s possible, when it’s possible, I highly recommend a little mini-getaway, even if it’s just down the road. Thanks to my friend, the good Lord’s grace, and our husbands on the homefront for turning the “weary” into wonderful.

 

Fall Food pumpkin Uncategorized
Pumpkin Bread Recipe
October 14, 2014
0

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)!

 

PumpkinBread

Double Loaf Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients
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

Directions
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!

MyPumpkinKarolina

Faith Fall Harvest Prayer Prayers Uncategorized
Autumn Prayer
October 10, 2014
0

This week was particularly beautiful with the cornucopia of Fall colors. Here in Ohio, the sunrises and sunsets have been daily masterpieces. The burst of harvest shades on the trees are at their peak and the aroma of cider, apples and pumpkins is everywhere.  It’s such a banquet for the senses! Since the trees will be bare before we know it, Gus and I took advantage of the backdrop with an impromptu photo session this week:

Autumn Prayer

Love my buddy!

And, don’t forget apple picking!

IMG_1138In her apple dress, of course.:) To celebrate this time, I wanted to share a prayer I ran across thanking the Masterpiece-Maker for such a spectacular season. I pray you are able to enjoy leaf piles, warm cider, and cozy Cosby sweaters! God bless you, friends.

Prayer for Autumn Days
Sr. Joyce Rupp, OSM
God of the seasons,
there is a time for everything;
there is a time for dying and a time for rising.
We need courage to enter into
the transformation process.

God of autumn,
the trees are saying goodbye to their green,
letting go of what has been.
We, too, have our moments of surrender,
with all their insecurity and risk.
Help us to let go when we need to do so.

God of fallen leaves
lying in colored patterns on the ground,
our lives have their own patterns.
As we see the patterns of our own growth,
may we learn from them.

God of misty days and harvest moon nights,
there is always the dimension of mystery
and wonder in our lives.
We always need to recognize your power-filled presence.
May we gain strength from this.

God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain,
many gifts of growth lie within the season of our surrender.
We must wait for harvest in faith and hope.
Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.

God of geese going south
for another season, your wisdom enables us
to know what needs to be left behind
and what needs to be carried into the future.
We yearn for insight and vision.

God of flowers
touched with frost and windows wearing white designs,
may your love keep our hearts
from growing cold in the empty seasons.

God of life,
you believe in us, you enrich us,
you entrust us with the freedom to choose life.
For all this, we are grateful.
Amen

 

Hair Haircut Pixie Pixie cut
Growing Out a Pixie Cut: 6 Months
October 8, 2014
1

It’s been a little while since I made a “Growing Out a Pixie Cut” video. The delay was mainly because there really hasn’t been much to report! It’s been a slow-go here in the land of Perpetual Pixie.

The biggest development to date was the accomplishment of a puny ponytail. It took several bobby pins and a headband, but this lady was excited!:) It felt SO GOOD to pull all of my hair back after so many months.  Just like your favorite pair of cozy sweatpants after you’ve been stuffed in shapewear all day…my comfort zone and friend.

IMG_0944

 

I think if it wasn’t for that, I probably would’ve chopped it off again by now. I’m at an in-between length which is really, blah. Long enough that I need to start styling it, but too short to curl or really do anything fun with. All the details you need (and many you don’t) are wrapped in one, long, happy vlog, below! :)  Also, if you’ve ever tried extensions, I would love to hear your thoughts. Considering adding some clip-on extensions to my Christmas list, but not sure.

Please remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel too! Just click “Vlogs” on the top of my homepage to access my channel. Thanks for stopping by!

Faith Fall family Food
Autumn Adventures
October 7, 2014
5

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.

Red Door

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!

Red Front Door

Red Front Door

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

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 

IMG_1172

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.

Movie Night

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).

FullSizeRender

Autumn Prayer

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.

Amen.

Enjoy these fleeting Fall days, friends!

xoxo

-Brooke