Fall Food pumpkin Uncategorized
Pumpkin Bread Recipe
October 14, 2014

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)!



Double Loaf Pumpkin Bread

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!


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

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.


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

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.



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

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


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.

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).


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.


Enjoy these fleeting Fall days, friends!



Birthday Faith family Uncategorized
Passport to Purity: Raising a Godly Teen
October 5, 2014
Godly Teen

Raising a Godly Teen

“Be without fear in the face of your enemies.
Be brave and upright that God may love thee.
Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death.
Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong – that is your oath.”
-The Knight’s Oath (Kingdom of Heaven)

My oldest son, Gabriel recently turned 13. My baby boy,  who was just a cherub-cheeked newborn yesterday, somehow just became a teenager. This has caused a bit of an internal conflict for me. The mom in me still sees him as my little baby. Yet, I’m also trying to force myself to recognize that he is now a young man and needs to be treated as such. So, with that in mind, several months ago we ordered the “Passport to Purity” weekend kit from Family Life Today. It’s a set of materials that aims to lay the foundation for approaching relationships and sexuality in a healthy, holy way. As I was writing a letter to my son (part of the program), it dawned on me that this time of adolecence is like a gradual birth into adulthood. Newborns discover their surroundings with curiosity, as their cognitive awareness awakens to the world around them. It goes without saying that it is a time of intense engagement for the parents as they care for, teach and guide their baby. I realize that in the teen years, it is also true that brand new experiences, physical and emotional changes will also require heightened diligence on the part of Jim and me. That was probably a totally obvious observation to everyone but me (ha ha), but I just never thought about it that way before. Of course, Gabe SEEMS totally self-self-sufficiant and I’m proud of the young man he has become. I don’t want to compare him to a baby by any means, but I think (for me) it’s important so that I don’t take his maturity as meaning that Jim and I can go on auto pilot as we enter this incredibly important chapter.

Our goal is to raise virtuous children who embody the words of the Knight’s Oath (above). To be strong, yet gentle. To seek justice and love mercy. To be bold, yet humble. We hope that Passport to Purity will be on the of stones in building the foundation of manhood.

Here’s how it works.

I ordered the kit in the mail several months ago. It looks like this:


The first thing we did was to read the manual. I was slightly surprised by the amount of materials and preparation required, but of course…this is designed to an “experience” not just a fly-by obligatory conversation.


We gathered the materials, selected a date, and continued to have private conversations about some of the potential questions and answers that could be discussed.


It’s designed to be a getaway over a weekend timetable. Since that wasn’t possible with our schedule right now, we modified it to make it work for us.

Jim took Gabriel hiking, rock climbing, then dinner, and spaced out the topics accordingly.





“How should you respect a woman? Be her friend, treasure her, respect her, protect her, love her like a sister. The human heart is a battlefield between love and lust. Virtue comes from spiritual strength. Chastity is the spiritual power which frees love from selfishness and aggression. Chastity cannot exist without capacity renounce self, to make sacrifices and to wait. The man who chooses virginity chooses God. If I am to be complete just to God the Creator, I must offer him all that is in me, my whole being, for he has first claim on all of it.”

“Freedom of the will is possible only if it rests on truth in cognition. This is where the concept of duty comes in. For it is a man’s duty to choose the true good. It is, indeed, duty that most fully displays the freedom of the human will. The will ‘ought to’ follow the true good. (p. 119)”

Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II) -Love and Responsibility

Jim reported back that they had a great evening. I think we both expected it would be more awkward than what it ended up being. He said they had great conversations, good laughs and an overall memorable time. He did say that they didn’t get through all of the material, so a weekend retreat seems to be the best bet.

I know I am not qualified to give tips on raising a Godly teenager since I haven’t actually accomplished that objective yet. :) However, I always believe charting the course and following a proven “map” (aka the Bible and our faith) is the best place to start. And, it’s such a blessing to have wonderful tools along the way, like P2P. And of course, prayer. First, last, always..prayer! Love you, my teenage son. SONY DSC