Saturday, September 28, 2013

The First Saturday Of Autumn 2013/Recipe For Mini Baked Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts

Good Morning, Dear Sisters!
On my way home from Pittsburg this morning I noticed the beauty of God's creation all around me. Far overhead a vulture with his wings spread wide circled, glided, and rode the unseen air currents above me, the prairie grasses, their heads heavy with seed, waved in one, continuous, unending billow like waves on a large body of water, sumac blazed fiery red along the roadways, and thick, black clouds overtook the sky.
Soon after I got home it began to rain heavy and it's still raining now. The wind is gently blowing and I hear the occasional thud of a walnut as it drops from the tree outside our backdoor and hits the roof above me. All these things signal that autumn has arrived and that winter is just around the corner, and it leaves me thinking of the warm, cozy evenings to come. I'm so glad that the cooler weather has arrived! With it my senses have come alive!
I just lit a candle in the kitchen and am going over my menu for company supper tonight...nothing fancy, but very fallish...chili dogs, chips, apples, popcorn, and apple cider. I was hoping for a bonfire tonight, but with the rain now, I doubt that that happens. Oh, well! :)
As a last minute afterthought I decided to make another fall family baked pumpkin cake doughnuts. I know I've posted these before, but, it's been a while, so, with the autumn season fresh on everyone's mind, I thought I'd share again. They're so yummy and so easy to make!
Enjoy your Saturday and I will talk to you again soon!
All My Love,
Mini Baked Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts
MINI BAKED PUMPKIN CAKE DOUGHNUTS 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 15-oz. can of pumpkin
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 3/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons unbleached flour


2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini doughnut pans with pan spray. Beat together oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, spices, salt, and baking powder until smooth. Add flour, stirring just until smooth. Fill the wells of the doughnut pans about 3/4 full. Bake doughnuts for about 8 to 10 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before transferring them to a cooling rack. While doughnuts are still warm, gently shake them in a bag with cinnamon-sugar coating. Cool completely and wrap airtight; store at room temperature for several days. Makes approximately 3 1/2 dozen. 

One Thousand Gifts - #301 - the stars in the heavens, #305 - pears!, #306 fall rains - so beautiful!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake With Apple Cider Glaze

There's a recipe going around Facebook right now for Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake With Apple Cider Glaze and I've seen it posted several times. In fact, I've reposted it a couple of times myself. It looked absolutely delicious, so, I bought the ingredients and gave it a whirl for my own family last night. And guess what? It IS absolutely delicious! THIS is a recipe that is sure to become a fall family favorite! Here's the recipe for you...
Photo Credit
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 For the Cake: 

1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 15-oz can of pumpkin puree

 For the Glaze: 

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons apple cider
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Empty the contents of the boxed cake mix and pumpkin puree into a large bowl. Using a mixer beat until well incorporated. The batter will be very thick, but will come together nicely.

Spread batter into a 7 x 11 X 2 pan that has been sprayed with pan spray and bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake.

 Make the glaze while you're waiting.

Combine powdered sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice. Glaze should be thick but pourable. Pour over hot cake reserving a little, if desired, to spoon over each piece when served. Good warm or cold either one!

One Thousand Gifts - #291 - our crooked, little house, #292 - the Authorized King James Bible, #297 - books! and #298 - toilet paper

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cultivating A Grateful Heart Combined With Childhood Memories

One Thousand Gifts Devotional

For over a year now I have purposely been working on cultivating a more grateful heart. There's been plenty of roadblocks and failures along the way, but I will not allow them to stop my pursuit!

This morning I was reading Devotional 4 - Thinking Grace out of Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts Devotional and, in it, Ann was talking about watching her son, Levi, sledding straight out to the sheer edge and going down it "...more than once or twice." She talked about waiting for the tears, and realizing that it wasn't about that. It was about the wonder of it all...seeing it in Levi's eyes...the thrill of trying what doesn't seem possible, and noting that "...that's always where fear meets faith and the face of God."

As Ann talked about this wondrous winter scene, she challenged me, once again, to be grateful in all things. As I read, my mind wandered back to a day long ago, when I was just a girl myself. I was 11, I think.

We had one of those really snowy winters and it lasted long, and the snow was deep. I remember bundling up warm one day and traipsing through the nearly foot-deep snow...out the gate...across the lot...down the winding path...past the old oak tree that marked the spot where my childhood pet, Frisky, was buried...and round the hill to the open field where we gardened in summer.

I remember the open, empty space stretching out before me. It was edged with autumn's weeds along two sides, but now they were caked in icy whiteness. The highway lay beyond and below the old garden spot and fencerow. The bluebird houses that my dad had stationed along the path and on the fence posts were empty now...their summer residences flown away, and the forested hill rose high above me.

I grew up under this hill and I loved it! Every season it offered up new and wondrous gifts to anyone who would take the time to enjoy them, and it offered quiet solitude and solace to all who chose to partake of it. But I had never seen the hill like this!

The whole wintery scene lay open, yet covered, before me! The garden area was one solid blanket of deep, undisturbed, whiteness. The forest trees, each outlined in thick, icy hoariness stood tall above me and beyond that and overhead was the brilliant blueness of a cloudless sky. Below the trees the forest floor lay hidden except for an occasional twig or bush that stubbornly protruded through here or there. Grape vines looped and wound through the trees, hanging low in places, as did bittersweet and other vining plants, but they, too, were outlined in thick, icy hoariness.

And oh! How it sparkled! Everything sparkled! Everything sparkled because the sun was shining and God's creation hadn't been disturbed! I remember stopping right then and there...thanking God for allowing me to witness the beauty of His creation in such a new and wondrous way!

Everything was so still! So un-messed up! So clean! So fresh! And I'm thinking now...just like the start of each new day. Just like a clean heart before God (Psalm 51).

And, yes, I was grateful! I have carried the memory (and the quiet, and the solitude) of that one beautiful day that was, and it has been, literally, etched in my heart, for over 40 years now and, still, I am grateful to God for it! I will continue to be grateful for it, and will visit as often as the Lord allows it to enter my mind, for as long as I live!

Have a blessed day!

~Rebecca <3

One Thousand Gifts - #283 - lost ground (reclaiming it), #284 - Christ's work on the cross, #288 - mosquitoes in the back yard (Are they really a gift? Oh, yes! Bat food!) :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday's 'Home Blessing' Routine

Good Morning, Sweet Sisters!

I've got a few extra minutes this morning so I thought I'd drop in and say, "Hello!" How are you this morning?

Yesterday was the first full day of fall here in the Midwest. After taking my son to work I came home and got started on my Monday morning 'home blessing'. Due to visitors my 'home blessing' went on well into the afternoon, but that was more than okay. I enjoyed the unexpected company!

"What is a 'home blessing'?" you might ask. Well, the idea originated with Flylady, and, while my house will never be CLEAN clean, I am working on it and have developed my own routine. The 'home blessing' comes on Monday, and, before doing anything, I light scented candles in the living room and kitchen, and turn on Pandora Radio on my computer, which I have tuned to a Celtic music shuffle. It's the Celtic music station shuffled and mixed with the Celtic Woman station. (So beautiful!) For me, the Monday 'home blessing' looks like this:

     - Go through the whole house and, using a feather duster, dust all vertical and horizontal surfaces in each room. This includes pictures and things hanging on the wall, lamps, knick-knacks on the piano, etc. I don't fuss over this. I just do a quick run through of each room and be done with it.

     - Spritz and clean all mirrors and the front door glass using the homemade glass cleaner that I have used for years and love!

    - Gather all laundry and start beginning with the rug out of the bathroom, towels, and washrags.

    - Spritz down the bathroom sink, toilet, and floor surrounding the toilet with all-purpose cleaner (here again...homemade, used for years, and love!) and wipe with paper towels or cleaning rags. While I'm in the bathroom I go ahead and clean the toilet bowl and Comet the tub. When I'm done everything is clean and sparkling and ready for the fresh rug and towels to be replaced as soon as they come out of the dryer or off the line.

    - Dust all wooden surfaces using a rag and a mixture of equal parts olive oil and lemon juice.

    - Vacuum whole house.

    - Do any dishes that might have accumulated.

    - Hang, fold, and put away laundry.

That's pretty much it. It doesn't take long and when I'm done the entire atmosphere of our home is brighter and more cheerful!

In addition to yesterday's 'home blessing' my husband brought in my 'autumn box' and I pulled out all my fall decorations and used them to accentuate the season. I also changed the curtains in the kitchen from my summer blue and white ginghams to my winter northwoods bears. The whole place feels cozy and ready for winter!

It's time to go! Have a blessed day and I will talk with you again soon!

All My Love,

'One Thousand Gifts' - #222 - sun-drenched mornings dipped in dew, #224 - apples!, #251 - Living Water from the Word, #254 - socks, #266 - our home without television, #276 - healing...physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Recipe: Skinny Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

Skinny Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars
UPDATE: The secret to this recipe is to let the bars set overnight in the fridge! It makes all the difference in the world! YES!!! I WILL be making them again! Will just do it the day BEFORE I need them instead of the day of! Please ignore my comments below! :)
I posted in a previous post that I first saw this recipe on Facebook and have been waiting to make it. I got the ingredients to do so, but, to be honest, after making it, I'm not sure that I even like the recipe. It's not at all what I expected. My husband likes it, but, to me, there's just not a whole lot of flavor. I am posting the recipe anyway for those who might like to try it.
1 box angel food cake mix - the one-step kind
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
a few tablespoons water to be mixed with cream cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Let the cream cheese soften on the counter for a while. Then, use a mixer and beat it with a couple of tablespoons of water until smooth.
In a separate bowl, mix the cake mix, pumpkin, 3/4 cup water, and cinnamon together until it is smooth and well mixed.
Spray a 9" x 13" glass pan with cooking spray. Add half of the cake and pumpkin mixture and smooth out evenly with a spatula. Drizzle half of the cream cheese over the top of it and smooth. Add remaining cake and pumpkin mixture and then the remaining cream cheese in layers. Finally, take a butter knife and stick it into the mix and move it back and forth in figure eights to blend it in a bit.
Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean.



Welcome, Autumn!

Autumn has officially arrived and, here in Southwest Missouri, we couldn't have asked a lovelier day! The sun was shining, the humidity was low, temps were in the mid- to upper-70's, and there is a chill in the air this evening as we head for an overnight low of around 50. Absolutely perfect!

We had a good church service this morning. Through the study of the scriptures we were encouraged to readily forgive others and love more. I was greatly encouraged in my own faith in ways that I have not been in ages and, in the process, personally challenged to new heights concerning ministry opportunities within the home. I am anxious to see what the Lord brings my way!

After lunch I enjoyed an old Charlie Chan mystery on Netflix while I did a little handiwork. (When I was a kid I used to love those old movies and, I must confess, as corny as they are, I still do!) I had lost a button on one leg of a pair of capris. Since I didn't know what happened to the missing button, I removed its mate and replaced the two of them with cute little matching bear buttons that I found in a box of buttons given to me by a friend recently. Here is the result...

Old Button

New Button
 I think the bears are really cute! :)

Later in the afternoon today our youngest son came over and we welcomed in the tastes of autumn with a big bowl of popcorn and cold apple cider from the Louisburg Cider Mill. It's always so good! We ate the popcorn and sipped cider while we played a rousing game of Skip Bo!

Other than that it's been a fairly quiet day. A friend dropped in and visited for an hour or so, I worked on the computer a little while John visited with our son, and I had a nice visit with our youngest daughter on the telephone.

(9/23/13 - UPDATE ON THE PUMPKIN BARS!!! The secret is let them set overnight in the fridge! It makes all the difference in the world! YES!!! I WILL be making them again! Will just do it the day BEFORE I need them instead of the day of! Please ignore my comments below!)

After supper this evening I tried a new recipe for Skinny Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars. I first saw the recipe on Facebook and have been waiting to make it. I finally got the ingredients, but, to be honest, after making it, I'm not sure that I even like the recipe. It's not at all what I expected. My husband likes it, but, to me, there's just not a whole lot of flavor. I will post the recipe anyway for those who might like to try it.

Well, I need to be going for now. You all have a great evening and a wonderful week ahead! God bless one and all!
All My Love,
~Rebecca <3


Book Review: Mother's Faith by Mrs. Sharon White

Mother's Faith by Mrs. Sharon White
Essays, Lamentations, and Encouragement
From a Christian Mother of Waywards
I ordered Mrs. Sharon White's book, Mother's Faith, quite some time ago, read a few entries, then laid it aside in my 'books to read' pile.

The past year and a half has been extremely difficult for our family in many ways, but dealing with a wayward child has been the most difficult and painful of all experiences thus far for me as a mother to deal with. We didn't go through 98% of the stuff with our older children that we have gone through with our youngest. I now know, in part, what I must have put my own mother through and I am sorry. I wish I could tell her so.

In many ways I blame myself for many of the things that have happened. I have fallen so terribly short of all that God has created me to do and be, and have fallen into all sorts of attitudes and actions that are 100% diametrically opposed to all that I want, and am created, to be. There have been bad days, terrible days, unbearable days, and days that I honestly thought that it would be better to for me to leave than subject my family to the woman that has surfaced in the face of adversity.

BUT...the other evening I was going through some things and there was Mother's Faith. I picked it up and thought, "How timely!" I flipped through the pages and, even though I remembered reading a couple of the first entries before, I began that very moment at the beginning and ended up reading half the book that evening and the other half last night. There was more help packed into that little book than in all the things that I've read in the last year put together!

First of all, I realized that, as a mother, I am not alone in what I've been going through with my child. Mrs. White touched on the very things that I struggle with on a daily basis...a heart that is constantly breaking, weeping more and more, being paralyzed by sorrow, carrying a burden that is too heavy for a mother to bear alone, and encouraged me to take it to, and leave it, with God.

Mrs. White reminded me of what I, way too often forget and that matter what our troubles matter what Goliaths we face...or trials that our children face..."...the battle is the Lord's..." (1 Samuel 17:47).

And, painful as it may be, Mrs. White made me fully aware of something that, as a mother, I'm sure none of us want to acknowledge, but must, especially if we are going to get to a place of true intercession on their behalf. My child is a sinner. Every person born is born with a sin nature and my child, like myself, will battle against that sin nature each and every day for the rest of his life. It will cause him a great deal of pain and suffering and, as his mother, it will hurt me, too.

Yet, in the midst of it all, through the pages of her bookMrs. White offered me good, sound, and practical ways to deal with all of it in a godly manner. Not only as to how to deal with the wayward child, but how to deal with myself as his mother.

If you are the mother of an older child or children, I would highly recommend reading this wonderful little book by Mrs. Sharon White.

The back cover of the book says...

"A little book of hope for the difficult years of Mothering older children.

A collection of essays from a homeschooling mother of five, who has suffered through heartbreak and worry over her teenagers and young adults.

Here you will find encouragement, hope, and support in your efforts at raising a godly generation in this difficult world.

From "Sitting Alone at the Kitchen Table," to "How a Godly Mother May Guide an Imperfect Family" in 13 steps, you will read about real life and the source of real happiness while waiting for your children to grow in the Lord.

This small book will inspire courage for the weary mother.

Forget about harsh ideas when dealing with teenagers. We need mothers who will guide their children with holy love and patience."

For more information about this book and more from Mrs. White, visit her blog, The Legacy of Home, by clicking...HERE.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday Afternoon Ramblings

Sunflowers Blooming Along The Roadway
Good Afternoon, Sweet Sisters!

It's been awhile since I've checked in, so, I thought that while I had some free time I'd do just that! I pray that this post finds each of you, and yours, healthy, happy, and serving the Lord with gladness!

Things are going along okay here. It's been really busy lately and things, as usual, are ever changing, BUT! It is with great joy I report that I have been more productive in the past few days than I have been in ages! And, oh! It feels so good!

For the most part the house is clean (clean to me anyway), but I'm still working on decluttering. I'm sure that this is a job that will continue on for many, many months to come, but it is nice to see progress made in the areas that I've been working on though! :)

The cold, wet, and late gardening season left us pretty much without a garden this year. We're just now starting to get some nice tomatoes ourselves, but a friend gave us a beautiful bucketful a few days ago. Yesterday I put up 5 1/2 quarts of tomatoes and I am thankful for every one of them! They will be nice in chili and spaghetti sauce this winter! I am hoping to get a few more put up out of our own garden before the season is over.

As I look out the window, I can see that there is a definite change in the weather taking place. I see that a few trees are already shedding their yellowing leaves. The sun was shining earlier, but now its getting very cloudy. I've heard that the storms to our southwest are heading our way and that heavy rains are expected overnight. The temperatures over the next few days look delightful with highs in the mid-70's and low's in the 50's are expected. It won't hurt my feelings one little bit!

Well, Ladies, I didn't really want anything...just to say, "Hello!" I pray that all is well with you and yours and I hope to be with you again soon. Have a blessed evening!

All My Love,


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Recipe: Apple-Cinnamon Toast

Apple-Cinnamon Toast
We made these with the homeschool group yesterday and it's what John and I are having for breakfast this morning. This super easy recipe is absolutely bursting with fall flavor! Coupled with a glass of cold milk you've got a breakfast or snack that is, not only nutritious, but absolutely delicious!

Preheat broiler on high.

To make butter one slice of bread with butter or Smart Balance. Wash and dry an apple and cut in half (our favorite variety is Gala; one-half apple per slice of bread). Thinly slice apple and distribute slices evenly over buttered bread. Sprinkle with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon raw sugar and a dash or two of cinnamon. Broil in hot oven 2 to 4 minutes till corners of bread is toasted and the apple slices are bubbling. Yum-YUM! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Leaf In Table Rock Lake
There are lots of things that I'd like to do this fall! Here's the beginning of my Fall 2013 Bucket List...and I say "beginning" because I'm sure as time goes on I'll think of lots more! I know I won't be able to do all of them, but if I can do just a few I'll be happy! :) What's your fall bucket list look like?

 1. Do an "apple day" with the grandlittles.
 2. Visit a pumpkin patch and find the largest pumpkin possible.
 3. Go on a hayride.
 4. Visit the Louisburg Cider Mill.
 5. Bake a homemade apple pie.
 6. Do a leaf rubbing.
 7. Make caramel apples.
 8. Make a pumpkin pie.
 9. Visit Missouri Town 1855 during their fall craft festival.
10. Visit a corn maze.
11. Go on a fall nature hike.
12. Decorate for fall inside and out.
13. Visit Watkins Woolen Mill during 'Fall On The Farm'.
14. Build a bonfire.
15. Make a scarecrow.
16. Do a "pumpkin day" with the grandlittles.
17. Play in Shoal Creek below Grand Falls.
18. Do a cattail study.
19. Spend a few days away visiting friends at Boonville, Missouri.
20. Add a few fall entries to my nature journal.