Sunday, September 25, 2011

A sad day in pumpkin land

This morning I did a major screw-up.  Ugh, I hate when that happens.  I woke up early to bake bread for church.  We were having a basement breakfast service and I needed to bring something.  Since it's fall and the perfect time for pumpkin bread, I decided to make some up.  And not just any kind of pumpkin bread.....pumpkin spice latte bread.  Or to be more honest just regular pumpkin bread with coffee in it, but that fancy name just makes it sound so much better.  Are you getting excited?  I sure was!

So I'm doing my thing and baking and it's looking good and smelling great in the oven.  The cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top was glistening as I took the bread out of the oven.  Perfectness.....except the bread was kind of flat.  It was a first time recipe, so I didn't think too much of it.  Then as I cut into it, the bread was all rubbery and weird looking.  Duh duh duh.....I forgot to add the baking soda and baking powder.  It was awful.  All that yummy pumpkin wasted.

Now usually I will eat anything.  Weird stuff doesn't bug me too much.  And I never, ever (unless my husband makes me) throw food away.  But this bread was so sick I did the deed.  A couple bites and right in the trash it went.  Sad day.

Oh well, it happens.  In other news it was a pretty great weekend.  We slept in.  A lot.  Jason made me breakfast in bed.  How sweet is he?  

  I went to a honey tasting party.  It was sweet!  I even won a prize basket because I got the most right in a honey myth/fact quiz.  I'm just a great guesser.

I graded lots of papers this weekend.  Kole just chilled with me while I graded.   Actually Jason watched him a lot too.  He just informed me of that.  But it's true.

  Then on Saturday night Jason and I had a nice dinner at home.  I just wish the weekends could be longer.  Back to the grind tomorrow.

Okay so these are the muffins I made and brought to church.  Don't worry they were a bag mix where you just add water.  I'm not above it.  I will not give up on my pumpkin kick........more to come soon!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall + leaves + coffee + cinnamon bread = love

Fall is here.  It's getting colder.  We're wearing jackets outside at recess.  We're starting to talk about leaves, write poems about leaves, and even do art that involves drawing leaves and tracing them with white glue, which is kind of crazy.  Who in their right mind would give 24 seven-year-olds bottles of white glue and instruct them to carefully trace around their squiggly leaf lines which are almost invisible because they are drawn on black construction paper; who would do that?  That's just downright absurd.

So leaves.  They are all about fall.  So is apple pie.  And cinnamon bread.  And coffee in the morning, the afternoon, and at night.  Fall is an excuse to increase the coffee intake.  There are pumpkin spice lattes.  Last week Jason took me on a little date to Starbucks.  My mom had Kole, so we snuck away for an hour.  We went to Starbucks, it was cold, I wore a scarf.  I felt pretty awesome; like I was 16 and on a date with a really cute boy.  We held hands.   I got a pumpkin spice latte and we even got a fee sample of the new salted caramel latte.  I'm not gonna lie, I think it's even better than the pumpkin spice.  Am I allowed to say that?  You will have to try it and let me know.  It could just be my weak spot for all things sweet and salty.

This is the scarf I wore to Starbucks...I love having scarves back in my life!

So basically Jason took me out to inform me that he will be working like a crazy mad person until the end of September.  More traveling, working every night, and every weekend until September is over.  Got to keep those bobtail drivers safe.  Got to keep them from tipping over, cause you know once that happens there is nuttin' you can do!  Nuttin'!  (I've been loving hearing all this footage from the most recent safety video.  Especially the drivers with southern accents and awesome hand motions.  At least it's somewhat entertaining).  So yeah.  Lots of work.

I think I'll be working like a crazy mad person until the end of the school year.  Part of this is my fault.  I need to let go of some things.  I need to realize my classroom is and cannot be perfect.  Deep breath.  It's okay, really.

This weekend I made a list of three things I needed to do for myself.
1. Take a long, hot shower, longer than 5 minutes
2. Paint my toenails
3. Read part of my new Real Simple magazine

Gold sparkly nail polish...totally fallish

I'm proud to say I did all these things.  Maybe kind of relaxing, maybe kind of sad.  I don't know small steps.  We even went for a nice walk this weekend.  There was a big Heritage Fest.  Lots of people, loud music, fireworks, a craft fair, lots of booths, lots of food stands.  Right here in our town; a celebration of heritage.  Who's heritage?  No clue.  But we walked around with Kole in his stroller.  We sampled some yummy treats, including wine slushies, yeah I can handle that.   We bought a jar of honey from a sweet lady who gushed over Kole and then told us that we'd be tired for the next 24 years.  Thanks honey lady.

Bought the honey for this honey tasting party!

So back to fall.  The weather is perfect, the weekends are slower, and I'm learning to squeeze every second out of them.  Every single second.

There are lots of fall recipes I want to share.  Fall begins the crazy good baking season.  We have months ahead of us filled with  apples, and cinnamon, and pumpkin, and breads, and cozy warm things.

So enjoy.  I will for sure.

Cinnamon Bread 
(This bread tastes just like Amish Friendship Bread, but you don't have to hassle with the starter and stirring it and feeding it and having it sit on your counter looking like a sad jar of growing mush.  You're welcome!)


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 (5.1 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease and coat with cinnamon sugar two 5x9 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until smooth. Sprinkle the bottoms of the loaf pans with cinnamon sugar, and divide the batter between the 2 pans.
  3. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering today and all that I'm thankful for

Right now I'm just sitting here with this blinking cursor.  I've started to write a couple times, but just can't really figure out what to say.  When I was in college, I had a professor who said when you're in a writing slump you should just vomit on the page.  Not real vomit, that would be gross.  Word vomit.  So that's what I'm doing and now I've used that word way too many times.  Sorry for that word and all its negative connotations.  

Anyways, lots of time has passed since my last post.  These past weeks have been crazy, busy ones.  They have been so filled and stuffed with work and planning and teaching and making copies and correcting and grading and more planning and meetings and more meetings and they've gotten so filled and stuffed and busy with so many details and little jobs that never seem to end; so many things that matter and at the same time so many things that don't.  Or at least things that don't matter as much as my family and my little baby who stays at home without me there.  That is hard.  But it's getting easier and we've had so much help along the way.  So much help and support and we are so grateful.  

Things I have been so thankful for over the past weeks.........

23 amazing, funny, creative, young, and growing minds that have been entrusted to my care!

Kole rolling over for the first time....he's a little mover!

Huddling around a campfire with family 

The beginning of football season.......Go Pack!!

Coffee every morning....prepared the night before by my husband who always anticipates my needs

 Simon and Garfunkel sing-alongs that put Kole right to sleep

Watching a grown woman learn how to ride a bike.  I was sitting in the kitchen and I looked out the window and she was going up and down our street, all wobbly and crooked.  Her boyfriend was holding onto the back and running with her to steady the bike.  I thought she was great.  What a humbling thing to do.  She didn't give up and she looked pretty much like hot stuff in her chunky white helmet.  Safety first!  

Wearing a sweatshirt for the first time in a long time....loving the cooler weather!

Pancakes with strawberries and apple butter

Going grocery shopping with Jason and Kole...I know that's just a little thing, but I love it

Being a part of my sister's engagement.....hello, that was one special day!

Dinners that I didn't have to make!........thanks mom :)

Sweet notes from my students.....looks like we need to work on spelling!

A new jar of Nutella....Nutella must really be straight from heaven

Not beating myself up over the fact that Kole started more all natural....but it's okay

Shish Kabobs!

Remembering the lives lost ten years ago today and really, totally getting it that this life is so precious and should not for one second be taken for granted.  


Today, Jason and I walked to a local park where there was a 9/11 memorial.  There were flags all over the park; one flag for every two people who lost their lives that day.  Tied to each flag pole was a card with the people's names and a little bit about them.  It was hard to read those cards.  They gave me goosebumps and they made me cry, but at the same time, it made me so proud to read those cards because by reading them, those people were being remembered and acknowledged.  It was just a little thing, reading those cards, but it filled me with big feelings, and I was glad I could remember.  I can remember that day, and remember to live life to the fullest, the way God wants it to be lived.