Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The bread

Grandma's Pumpkin Bread

2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
3 eggs
2 c. pumpkin
3 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cloves
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 3 loaf pans. Beat sugar and oil with mixer until blended. Add eggs. Beat until light and fluffy. Then beat in pumpkin.

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, soda, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Then with mixer at low speed beat flour mixture into pumpkin mixture.

Pour into pans. Bake 60 min. Cool in pans for 10 min. before removing to wire rack.

*The original recipe calls for the pan size to be 7 1/2 x 3 1/2. I used two pans that were 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 and then I made 6 muffins. The bake time on the muffins was about 26 minutes.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The sweet things they say...

Lately, the kids have said or done some things that have made me smile or even laugh out loud.

  • The other night I took Hosanna and Judah to see some fireworks that were near our house. We had plenty of time, so I popped some popcorn to take with us. Hosanna would ask me before she took some out of the bowl that I was holding, "May I?" And then she would get some. Well Judah looks at me and says, "I may?" It took me a minute to understand what he was trying to say - may I backwards - but it was so cute because he said it like 15 more times. "I may?" All for a handful of popcorn.
  • We were eating supper one night and Judah grabs a napkin and roughly wipes his face (like such a boy) and then he turns to Hosanna and asks her, "Do you need a napkin, Hosanna?" She said, "No thank you, Judah." That just really made me smile :)
  • This morning when Hosanna got up at 6:45 am, she came and climbed into bed with me. She snuggled up against me and said, "I actually really love you." And giggled. That made me laugh out loud, it was so sweet.
  • Little Zoe isn't saying much these days yet, but she is taking 5 or 6 steps at a time all around the house. She'll be walking soon!
We are enjoying these ages and stages. And look forward to the season of fall and the fun it brings!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

As an avid cream cheese LOVER...

I find it extremely important to share this recipe with you.

PUMPKIN Cream Cheese - that's right, perfect for my favorite time of year, this is easy and delicious.

Here's what you need:

1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
1/8 t. ground cloves
1 t. vanilla
4 T. brown sugar

Beat together until smooth. Refrigerate.

We enjoyed this on a bagel and it was also wonderful spread on a graham cracker.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I have a recipe that I must share. I have been on a quest to find a chocolate chip cookie that will satisfy everyone in our house (read: Jeremy). I have been unsuccessful, they get too thin or flat or whatever. Mind you a chocolate chip cookie is a chocolate chip cookie to me, but not too everyone.

We were recently camping and a friend had brought the perfect cookies. So I found a recipe that contained the important ingredient (a box of pudding mix!) and have since scored in the cookie making department.

The basic recipe is this:

2 1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
1/4 c. sugar
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) vanilla pudding mix
1 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. almond extract
2 eggs
1 pkg. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour and baking soda, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat sugars, butter, shortening, pudding and extracts. Add eggs, mix well. Beat in flour mixture.

Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

SUPER SIMPLE and so versatile! You can combine different pudding flavors with different chips and have a completely different cookie. At this moment, I am making some with pumpkin spice pudding mix and chocolate chips. This cookie turns out soft and definitely not thin OR flat. You will LOVE it!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Z - O - E

Even though she's been one for over a week, it hit me today as I sat in the doctor's office. And I was in shock, it has been 12 months since she was born and I'm not sure where that time went to.

One day last August, she was born 7 lbs. 12 oz, 21 1/4 inches long.

Today a happy, clapping 23.4 lbs. and already 30 1/2 inches tall. She's big enough to take a car from Judah and crawl away super fast 'cause she knows she shouldn't have taken it!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I knew you would say...

it's about time!

I would like to end my extended break from the blogging world. We will see how that turns out. My absence started out from the 1st trimester feelings of our 4th pregnancy, but I'm way over that now and I can't say I have another excuse these days.

The lazy days of summer are nearing a close and we will soon begin the lovely days of HARVEST TIME. That's right folks, my favorite time of year is right around the corner. I can't wait! Thankfully the summer hasn't been unbearably hot. And we've enjoyed a lot of time outdoors. The park and the wading pool have been our best friends this summer. And the kids LOVE it when Jeremy has time to take them on a bike ride in his bike trailer. Sometimes he takes them to this little creek where they get to throw rocks and come home filthy dirty.

Hosanna has turned four years old, which is beyond all belief, I know. She acts so grown up and girly. Judah is 2 1/2 and his little personality is developing more everyday. Schedule and repetition are the name of the game for him. Zoe turned one last week and is into absolutely everything. If the pantry door is open even a crack, that child has noodles everywhere!

We are definitely enjoying the 'ages and stages' of right now and are looking forward to the fall months. That's all for this morning...I'm off to get ready for church. I promise you will be hearing from me later this week!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's end of the month

and what do I have to show for it?
A few pictures of the kids.

(Cousins takin' a bath)

It's obvious that Zoe was the one that was sitting still enough to get a good shot. We are still waiting for her to take off crawling...any day now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The escape

I was at the hospital on Monday morning with my sister. That meant that Dad was on duty...does anyone know what that really means? Here's a prime example:

Jeremy had put Zoe down for a nap and taken Hosanna and Judah outside to play for a while. After they came inside, he turned on the TV for them and went upstairs for a minute. He came downstairs and they weren't anywhere to be found...the front door was open.

He ran outside and down to the corner. No sign of them. He went the other way toward my sister's house, the sidewalk was empty. He ran back to the house to look again. Then it hit him - the park! So he took off for the park (only about a block and a half from our house). Mind you, it is 55 degrees outside and windy, he is only wearing basketball shorts, no shirt and no shoes.

At the park, he finds them trying to climb the trees that they never have permission to climb. There were a couple of ladies there, as well as a cop. After answering a few questions from the cop, he walked them back home.

In all honesty, we are thankful for their safety, at that time of day there isn't much traffic on our street. And hopefully, they understood that they are NEVER to go out the door alone again! I know it seems questionable whether the two children pictured above could cause such a panic...but they did.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jackson Robert Olson

Late Sunday night, I went to the hospital to be with my sister while she was in labor with her first baby. After a long night and a little bit of a change in plans, Jackson Robert Olson was born Monday, April 20th at 10:35 am 8 lbs. 7 oz. 20 1/2 inches long.

Another sweet little addition to our family... his cousins were excited to meet him. He is pictured above with my dad.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Third Day

For his birthday, Jeremy got tickets to go see Third Day in concert. Appearing with them was a new group called Revive and Brandon Heath. The day of the concert Brandon Heath was at a local bookstore, Jeremy took Judah and went to meet him. That's them pictured above.

Here are some other pictures that we took during the concert. We had a great time. Jeremy was so thrilled that he got the chance to go. Third Day is his absolute favorite!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Think About It Thursday


Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. Psalms 37:3-5 NKJV

There is ABSOLUTELY nothing that God can't do.

He is faithful to accomplish His Word and care for His children. We are to put our trust in Him, although it isn't that easy sometimes.

We need to constantly remind ourselves that He has our best interest at heart and that as we go through the seasons of life He is FAITHFUL and will complete the good work which He started in us.

The definition of the word faithful - true to one's word, vows, promises, etc.; loyal; constant; reliable, trusted or believed. After reading that, you could pretty much sum it up in one word - GOD.

He is always there for us, never lets us down and always takes care of us. The best part is that is true ALL OF THE TIME, regardless of how we act toward Him. His love for us is amazing and is not based on anything we do or don't do.

I'm thankful that He is reliable and constant, FAITHFUL in every way, all of the time.

Think About It...

Monday, April 13, 2009

The weekend

On Saturday, the kids had a chance to color some eggs. My recommendation: DO NOT try this at home (especially if you are a renter!). There were 5 different color cups...by the end there were only three. Thankfully, their Grandma was patient and knew how to clean up egg dye! They enjoyed the project. I am afraid, however, that Paula's shoes will never be the same again.

Here is Hosanna showing her pink egg - pink was the first color to go :(

On Sunday, we woke up to an Easter basket bonanza. Everyone was excited about all they had received. After breakfast, Hosanna and Judah went outside to hunt easter eggs. It was a little cool and breezy, but they didn't mind. They had a blast.


Before we went to church, I did pile them up for a picture. I was excited about this one...they are all looking in the same direction.

Baby's First Easter
Click here to see a picture of Hosanna wearing this same dress on her first Easter.
(I have more pictures of this sweet girl, but I'll save those for another post.)

We enjoyed Easter ham and the works at Great-Grandma Shirley's (Tim's mom) house. After playing outside awhile, we loaded up the van and headed home. There the kids found more Easter goodies, enjoyed their fifth (or maybe sixth?!?) pack of fruit snacks for the day and called it a night.

We had a wonderful Easter weekend.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Weekend

I am trying to get in my third post of the week. It's Saturday morning 10 am.

We made the trip to northern Iowa yesterday afternoon and will spend the weekend with Jeremy's mom and stepdad. Jeremy's brother (Shane) and his girlfriend are also here. Right at the moment, the house is silent. How did I manage that you ask? Well, Zoe is napping, the guys went to town to have a tire on my van looked at and the kids are outside with their Grandma (Grammy, as Hosanna has been calling her all morning). Ahh, a moment of silence...can you feel it? Isn't it wonderful?

Anyhow, we don't have a huge day planned - just some relaxed, hanging out time. Somehow Hosanna remembers that last fall we used the firepit to have a fire and roast marshmallows, she asked her Grandpa if they could do that again tonight. And then there's the Wii that Shane brought with him. We'll probably get to bowling some time later tonight.

I don't have much else to share at the moment. Maybe I'll be able to take some pictures of our crowd today and post them for you later.

Have a wonderful Easter, as we celebrate the One who died to give us abundant LIFE in Him!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


As I sit here on this quiet Wednesday afternoon, I am thankful for ...

3 children napping so soundly

the beautiful sun beaming down despite the wind

a Heavenly Father who loves and guides me

the true health and wealth of our family

the laughter and racket that my children are bound to provide countless times each day

the ability to love and to forgive

What a wonderful day


Monday, April 6, 2009

Three things from today

First of all, what is sweeter than a chunky, smiling, brown-eyed, dimple-faced girl with wristless arms? Not much if you ask me! We met Jeremy at the mall for lunch today, Zoe was getting antsy in her seat. When Jeremy lifted her out of the seat, she smiled SUPER big and pretty much clapped her hands.

Judah has just recently learned how to say 'Love you.' Yesterday and today, pretty much out of nowhere, he told Jeremy a couple of times, "Love you daddy." Well, today he and Hosanna sat at the table to do some water color paints. He looked over at her and said, "Love you, Sanna." It was very sweet!

Okay, so I had one thing in mind to write for Hosanna and then I thought of another...so this is kind of a two-fer. 1) While we were at the mall, she was practically skipping around singing, "Ding dong, the witch is dead." That was pretty funny since I could understand what she was saying after the ding dong part. As for the other mall patrons, I'm not sure what they thought she was singing about. (She's been watching the Wizard of Oz.) 2) Tonight I fed her and Judah before Jeremy got home from work. I put their food in front of them and walked away from the table to do something else. She turns to him and says, "Okay Judah, let's pray." She bowed her head and said a prayer over their dinner.

These are three things I want to remember from today. For the most part, we are enjoying today's ages and stages...

Friday, April 3, 2009

I know you're probably wondering...

where I've been and why I haven't been blogging quite so much.

Well, here's the scoop:

We've had a couple of sick weeks over the past couple of months.

We took a short trip to visit some friends in Tulsa.

I've been doing some 'childcare' for my sister and that has kept me busy a few mornings a week.

But that's no excuse! I really want to blog a lot more than I did in the month of March.

Here's some fun news: my sister, Meg, brother-in-law, Ben, and nephew, Jonah - just arrived today from New Jersey. They have moved back to the area and we are excited to have them closer. They will be staying at our house for a while. Jonah and Zoe were born just 9 days apart, it will be like having twins! Except one is crawling and one isn't.

I hope to have some pictures to post over the next couple of days and to blog at least 3 times next week. We will see!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Think About It Thursday

Isaiah 55 (amp)

Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while he may be found [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; call upon Him while He is near. (vs. 6)

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. (vs. 8)

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. (vs. 9)

So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (vs. 11)

For you shall go out [from spiritual exile caused by sin and evil into the homeland] with joy and be led forth [by your Leader, the Lord Himself, and His word] with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (vs. 12)

As children of God, we can seek Him by right (vs. 6). The same way that a child asks their parents for help, we can go to God and ask Him for what we need. Although His thoughts are so far above ours, He still takes time to listen to our hearts and He knows what we need when we need it.

His Word - the Bible - will NOT return to Him void (vs. 11). Everything that we SAY that is from the Word of God will go out and accomplish what God intended. As we pray and believe what God says about our family, friends and those we love - we can have peace and joy regarding the circumstances (vs. 12).

I am so thankful that 'if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.' (1 John 1:7) God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8).

His thoughts and His ways are enormously greater than ours and we can come to Him with the needs that we have and trust that He will use His Word to make a way, His way, for us.

Think About It...

Monday, March 23, 2009

To You I give my future

No Sacrifice - Jason Upton

To you I give my life
Not just the parts I want to

To you I sacrifice

These dreams that I hold on to

Your thoughts are higher than mine

Your words are deeper than mine
Your love is stronger than mine

This is no sacrifice, here's my life

To you I give the gifts

Your love has given me

How can I hoard the treasures
That you designed for free

To you I give my future

As long as it may last

To you I give my present

To you I give my past

The lyrics to the song above struck a chord with me last Sunday morning. The wonderful design of God's plan, what He sacrificed for us and what He has given us, free and clear. All He asks in return is that we commit our lives, our everyday to Him.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34

To worship Him each day and seek His character and what He would do in all things is what we are to be doing. After we go LOOKING for the kingdom everyday, God then looks to add to what we have. And we DON'T have to worry about what comes next!!!!! That is profound and simple, but we still spend a lot of time worrying.

I am so thankful for what God has given me...the gifts that were free that I am called to use for His glory. I need to be seeking the kingdom daily and letting go of any worries I may have.

Think About It...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Monkey Bites

Well, at least that's what I call them. A couple of weeks ago, my sister, Em, made these Monkey Bread muffins.

In my attempt to make them as well, I purchased the wrong size of muffins and well, ended up with monkey bites.

The original recipe is here. What I did different was this: I used 2 tubes of 10 ct. biscuits and I put them in my mini-muffin pan. When they came out, they didn't stick together too well and ended up being a pile of pieces, hence the name - monkey bites. These are delicious and extremely addicting!


You know your child feels better when:
a) they are playing again
b) they finally get off of your lap
c) they are eating again
d) all of the above

If you answered D, you are correct! Last week we were all sick again...yuck! Anyhow, here's a story from last Tuesday that still has me laughing today.

It was late afternoon, the sun was going down. I was sitting in the chair, holding Zoe, talking on the phone, not wanting to get up and check on my second born. He was just right around the corner. I had heard something rattling, I had no clue what he was up to. I called his name - there was no answer. I tried again, still no answer.

Finally, I put Zoe down and go around the corner to check on him. The hallway was pretty dark, the door to the hall pantry closet was open slightly. I opened it.

There stands my son...in the dark...eating graham crackers...alone.

I laughed out loud and asked him why didn't he just bring me the box and ask for one. What a silly boy! He was obviously feeling more like himself again.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Think About It Thursday

"For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]." Ephesians 2:10 amp

This verse was brought to my attention last night during a church bible study/discussion group. In our Wednesday night sessions, we are studying the book Chasing Daylight by Erwin McManus. It is about seizing the power of EVERY moment.

It brought me to my thought for today, which has been on my mind a lot lately
. We all have a PURPOSE and usually 'daily LIFE' doesn't create moments that we 'think' helps us to fulfill OUR purpose. But it has become very obvious to me that I haven't had the right perspective on God's purpose for me.

This verse reminds me that we were created by HIM and were born again to fulfill the works that He already PLANNED IN ADVANCE.

All of the time we come across moments, days, sometimes months and we think "Why is this happening?" And we don't know what the Lord has for us in the future and so it's hard to have the understanding as to the why of what's going on.

It's been important for me lately to relax and TRUST in HIM. Thankfully, He's got it all figured out - all I've got to do is focus on Him, giving Him the glory in all things and surrender to His leading to stay on the path that He's already arranged.

Think About It...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hard to believe...

A couple of weeks ago, at the Chris Tomlin concert, there was a guest singer on stage with him.

Her name is Christy Nockels. She is from the group Watermark and was making guest appearances with Chris Tomlin during his tour. They sang together on the Passion cd. She has a solo album coming out in June.

During the concert that we went to, she sang a song - which I really liked and it definetly ministered to me. After we got home, I search iTunes and the web for this song, which I really didn't know the exact name of. I found nothing.

So, you can imagine my surprise last night when I was randomly reading this blog when I came across this list - things that she likes. I was reading down this list and whose name appeared on it, but that of Christy Nockels. I did a double take and kept on reading.

It linked to Christy's website, where you can download her new song for FREE by joining her email list. Her new song??? You guessed it...the song I've been searching for! Life Light Up

I couldn't believe how incredibly amazing God is...I stumbled upon a site, which led me to come across the mention of her and her song and then it was THE song I had been searching for. A song that really spoke to my heart and I am now delighted to be able to listen to it whenever I please.

You can download it for yourself by going to her website. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

i heart faces - black & white

Today I am entering a contest on iheartfaces - a photography blog. This week's theme is black and white.

I chose this photo of Zoe simply because I love it - the wild hair, the sweet cheeks, the big, brown eyes - what's not to love?

I wanted to do it because it was easy and it encourages me to take more pictures...you can never have too many of those.

Be sure to check out the other contest entries at www.iheartfaces.com.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Judah's 2nd Birthday Party

This is a video that my brother-in-law Jason made at Judah's birthday party.

Photo journal - Week of Feb. 15th

On Friday, Feb. 13th I said that I would be working on a photo journal of our week. I managed to get Monday thru Friday. And so, here it is:






(Yes, Zoe is about to stick her thumb in her mouth, she currently is a thumb sucker.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Through the eyes of a child...

Last night, as I tucked Hosanna in bed, our conversation went like this:

Me: Stay in the bed, don't get up.

Her: Okay, I won't get up.

Me: I love you. Stay in bed. (I give her a kiss.)

Her: Thank you, Mama. (Hugging my neck.)

Me: Thank you for what?

Her: For you!

This sweet little conversation touched my heart and really made me think. At her age, there isn't much that I have to do to make her thankful for me. Just being her mama is a good enough!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You just never know...

This morning Judah did three things that surprised me (all before 10 am!)

I've never heard that before! - I was walking out of the room and he said, "Wait." It was very clear and it touched my little heart. Speaking of, when we got downstairs, he saw a picture of a heart and that's what he called it (he has cared nothing for shapes before this).

Fill in the blank - I was counting. Pretty fast I said, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5." And he looked at me and said, "Six."

I'm a big kid too - Hosanna was using the bathroom and had hollered for help with the toilet paper. Judah went up to help her reach it. After a few moments, it got a little quiet. I went to check things out...I opened the door and there's Judah sitting on the toilet, with no clothes or diaper on. He said, "Potty!" He didn't actually go, but there's nothing wrong with a little interest from the child! After that he proceeded to wear training pants - he calls them 'un-ies' - over his diaper for the rest of the day.

These are just a couple of things that I wanted to share with you about my alwyas growin' and ever-changing son. We are loving the ages and stages right now!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I *Heart* These!

On Valentine's Day morning, we had these adorable little heart cinnamon rolls.

They were pretty easy, quite delicious and could be made any time of the year.

I found them on this site - gourmet mom on-the-go. Click here for the recipe.

Hopefully I will be making these again soon!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Judah's 2nd Birthday PAR-TAY!

As you know, our sweet little Judah, turned two years old last week. We had a party for him on Saturday, Valentine's Day. Just a small family get-together, where we could kick back and relax.

We had walking tacos and guacamole. I made a cake with the theme of one of Judah's favorite books - Big Red Barn. It turned out pretty cute. He really liked it when he saw it and Hosanna says that's the kind of cake that she wants for her birthday.

The pig playing in the mud. The hay (frosted mini-wheats) in the barn for the horses.

Judah all spiffed up at the beginning of the party.

Hosanna, Makylah and Judah checking out the cake.

Judah got cowboy boots from Grandma and Grandpa Hemann.

He had plenty of help opening his presents from his sister and cousin.

A tee ball set. I'm sure that he can't wait to go outside and play with that!

Time for cake! I lit the candles. He looked at them and put his hand really close to his side and said "hot!" He was pretty cautious about it.

But he wasn't cautious about diving into the cake. Eventually, he handed over his fork and just picked up the cake with his hands. Watch the video clip below...

We had a wonderful time and Judah is enjoying all of his presents!