Faith, Family, Friends, Fellowship, Food, and Fun

Monday, September 24, 2012

My Fall Baking Bucket List

I LOVE Fall. Are you as excited as I am that it's finally here?

I love all things Fall:  the smell of the air, festivals, pumpkins, football, open windows, chili, soup, candles burning, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Advent. I love homemade Chex mix (we don't call it trash), decorating, cooking in the oven, and most especially baking.

Here in Aggieland we don't use the oven much from April through at least October, it's just too hot. But cooler weather is coming, I feel it and I'm ready with my bucket list of goodies I'm going to bake for my family.

Pumpkin White Chocolate Drops
Butterscotch Blondie Pie
My Mom's Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie Crunch
Caramel Corn
Pumpkin Bread

And my other Fall favorites:
Spicy Chex Mix- we make at least 8 of these double batches each year.
Chicken Pot Pie

Here are some apple recipes.
and here are some Halloween recipes.

What are your favorites?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Myths About Being a Stay at Home Mom

My whole life I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom (you know, like June Cleaver with a tidy home, something baking in the oven, and always a smile on my face). I was extremely disappointed when that didn't happen right after my first was born. Or second. Or third. Or even 4th. It did happen though. Three years ago when the youngest was a year old I went to half-time, teaching 7:30 am until 11:30 am, and last year I got to walk away from the most wonderful job I ever had and walk into the most wonderful thing I will ever DO.

Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't at all what I pictured. I mean, I knew I would have much more time to get my house in order, but somehow, at the end of each day I felt like I had failed miserably at keeping my home neat and clean. There were dishes that needed to be put away, toys I didn't have the energy to put away, and laundry that needed to be dealt with.  I struggled daily with trying to stick to my plan. I still do, but it has finally sunk in that spending quality time with the kids at home is much more important than making beds.

So now I am being pulled away from my post by my 2 year old who is eager for me to play with him and I will go....

This morning after feeding all the kids, getting them dressed, 2 kids to school, and while picking up and putting away over 100 items like marbles that rolled away, Barbie shoes, Legos, books, and so on, it dawned on me that this journey parallels my own spiritual journey. While I am not at the beginning of my journey, I am not at the end either. Some days I get further ahead and some days I get a little behind, but as long as I keep my eyes on the end result, pleasing God on both journeys, I am doing alright.

As my best friend of 35 years reminds me regularly when I rush around to clean the house for guests, "Are they coming to see you or your house?" I try to remind myself that my kids won't remember how toys were everywhere all the time, they will remember how much I played with them. So put that to-do list on the desk and go play with your kids!