Thursday, April 19, 2012

Things I Love: Pumpkin in Spring

I found this recipe at The Frugally Rich Life a year and a half ago.

I tried it once and fell in love.

Then I decided to tweak it--a bit.

Okay, all I did was substitute natural, unsweetened applesauce for the oil.  Wa La!  Sugar free (well, except for the chocolate chips), oil free, healthy pumpki chocolate chip muffins.

Source: The Frugally Rich Life

Here's the slightly altered muffin recipe.

1 egg
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. pureed pumpkin (fresh or canned)
1/2 c. milk (any percent but skim is best)
1/4 c. natural, unsweetened applesauce (or oil)
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour (use white if you must)
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t cinnamon
1 c. dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet)

Stir together first five, wet ingredients. Add in next five dry ingredients. Stir until just mixed. Put in greased muffin tins. Bake 375 for 18 minutes.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins OR 36 mini-muffins.

FYI--You can fill the tins pretty full since these do not rise much.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What I Think About: Walking the Walk

Have you heard this verse before?

"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40:31).

I once learned that in Hebrew poetry, the last statement was generally the most important, the most relevant, the most consistent, the most powerful.   

Isn't that true here?

I mean some days I feel like I am soaring.
Some days I feel like I can run without tiring.
But most days I feel like a success if I just persevere through the day.

Do you ever feel like this?

It makes me feel kind of guilty--like where is my joy in the Lord?

You have to watch the following clip because I think it obliterates the lies of this world about success and pride all the while sharing in a tremendously relevant way, why The Walking is the most important part of our lives.

Did you get a bit teary-eyed?

I love sports films--Rudy, Sea Biscuit, Hoosiers, Invincible--because they are so inspirational.  And this clip is no exception.

I watched it and thought--this is what a relationship with God is like.  This is it!

The runner wasn't guaranteed worldly success (a gold medal) because he had a father--and neither are we.

The runner didn't avoid pain because he had a father--and neither will we.

Even in his father's presence, there was pain, agony, shame, despair, disappointment, brokenness, and humility--and so there will be for us as well.

On the bright side, the runner's father was there.  He was watching.  They couldn't keep him away in his son's time of need.  Just like God.

The father would have loved his son if he quit.  And God will love us if we quit, too.

The father walked with the son when the son wouldn't quit.  And God will walk with us, too.

The runner didn't get traditional worldly glory.
There was no gold waiting at the finish line.
There would be no Nike commercials featuring his face.
Though he finished to a standing ovation, the only thing that really waited for him was a stretcher, a time of painful healing, and a lifetime of "what ifs."

Now, however, who can remember the name of the gold medalist?  Was God not given more glory by persistently finishing the race in pain than winning a medal?

Sometimes we are under the perception that a relationship with God makes life easy.  That with Him there is wealth, health, and happiness. 

But look at this truth. Sometimes we will soar. Sometimes we will run without tiring.  Most of the time we will walk.

We will walk through pain.
We will walk through brokeness.
We will walk through lonliness.
We will walk through shame.
We will walk through guilt.
We will walk through blame.
We will walk through feelings of inadequacies.
We will walk through anger.
We will walk through doubt.

In the end it isn't about whether the race was short or long, easy or difficult.  It's about whether we finish.  And it doesn't matter if we finish soaring, running, walking, or carried in the arms of Our Father.  It matters that we finish.

And that's what I think about Walking the Walk.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Days of Play--Spaghetti Monsters {Repost}

Tactile play is an amazing way to help your children explore and learn.  In this day of play, take 1/4 box of spaghetti noodles and cook them according to directions.  Drain and **cool** them.

Put the cooled noodles in a big bowl and let your kids squish around in them.

For Younger Children:
This is perfectly acceptable for little ones but you will need to watch for noodle pieces heading toward the mouth.

For Older Kids:
Give each child their own bowl.  Have them wash their hands.  Add pasta sauce and an art smock.  Presto! Lunch you can play with!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Music Monday: FML

If you came here this morning expecting yet another post introducing you to some awesome band you've never heard of, I'm sorry. I'll return to my regular scheduled posts next week.

Right now I'm having an FML time of life. You know what that means, I presume. That means last week: I put my cat of 17 years to sleep and found out my dad's cancer is back. Not exactly the best time of life right now. 

So anyhow, enjoy some old music posts.

 Avett Brothers So first up, I and Love and You. A classic. I love it. Makes me happy.

Band of Horses


 The Epilogues Hunting Season

Barring any deals, hideous diseases, car accidents, or natural disasters, I'll be back next week.