Each member of our family is so different, like individual components of a symphony. But, like a symphony, each part is important to the overall structure and sound of the piece. We all work together to make a beautiful sound...our family. Just as the Lord knit us together in the womb, He is now knitting us together as a family, for His glory, outside the womb.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Family Pumpkin Carving

Let's Carve!

It's pumpkin carving time! Everyone had a job to do. I scooped out all the seeds and goo. It gave me such a feeling of satisfaction to see that clean pumpkin.:)
Then, Brad took over with his creative and artistic abilities to carve the face.
Cadence and Finn decorated their mini-pumpkins with markers and drew on the paper. Finn had a unique technique of using two markers at once and drawing on his face.
Aria sat by and looked cute.:) (though her picture is a bit blurry)

Fall Fun!

Brad had a little helper while raking up the leaves the other day. As you can see, Cadence was a big help. Finn and Aria were taking naps, so they didn't get to join in. Brad filled 14 black trash bags of leaves and there are still more falling. Such fun to jump into a crunchy pile of leaves!

Relaxing in the crisp Fall air and sunshine.

We started the week off by going to a Fall festival at our friend's church (my women's group church).
Cadence loved bouncing, bouncing, bouncing in the bouncy castle. By the end of the night, Finn was hooked as well. It was hard to get clear pictures of them because they were constantly moving, so sorry for the blurriness.
Finn, however, started the evening off by participating in the cake walk. He walked around in a circle for the majority of the evening without any idea what he was doing. He just liked following everyone around and stepping on the numbers. He didn't win a cake, though. Actually, he may have won, but we didn't pay attention to the numbers he was standing on.
Brad enjoyed talking to some friends and eating chili, before he had to dash off to lead the evening service at church.
The kids and I hung around for a little more bouncing and then headed home for bedtime!

Recipe Highlight:

Ginger-Spice Muffins


2 spray(s) cooking spray
1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 cup(s) packed brown sugar, dark brown-variety
1 3/4 cup(s) cooked cubed butternut squash, pureed (yields 1 cup puree)
3 Tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup(s) plain fat-free yogurt
3 Tbsp molasses
1 large egg(s)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 12 muffin holes with cooking spray or use cupcake liners.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, baking soda and salt.

  • In another bowl, combine sugar, squash puree, oil, yogurt, molasses and egg. With an electric mixer on medium speed, mix for 1 to 2 minutes (or mix by hand).

  • Make a well (a scooped out indention) in center of dry ingredients; pour in liquid mixture and gently fold to just combine (batter will be lumpy).

  • Evenly pour batter into prepared muffin pan about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Yields 1 muffin per serving.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Gospel

This week the kids made jack-o-lanterns out of these little pumpkins and read "The Pumpkin Patch Parable". It is a cute story. I love the gospel message that is illustrated through the jack-o-lantern. I had never heard this story before, so I was excited to take a non-Christian holiday and put a Christian spin on it. So, the Sunday school class started out by reading the story, then they carved their pumpkins and read the "Being a Christian is just like a pumpkin" card that was attached to each of their pumpkins, then they ate carrot cookies (they were very yummy and I made them with a carrot puree, which made them orange and semi-healthy! They are in the picture with the pumpkins), and ended with a jack-o-lantern coloring sheet and sang "This Little Light of Mine". It was a fun little lesson. I hope the kids liked it, because I enjoyed planning it.:) In the above picture, the two carved pumpkins are Cadence's and Finn's, which they carved in Sunday School, the big one is our family pumpkin that we are going to carve this week, the medium one on the right is the one Cadence got at the pumpkin patch with her preschool, and the medium one on the left is the pie pumpkin I am going to bake and puree to use in some yummy recipes and maybe even some baby food for Aria!

Here's a picture of me not looking run down, for once!

Recipe Highlight:
These were very yummy and make you feel "healthy" because they have a carrot puree in them! (they are pictured in the top picture with all the pumpkins)
Carrot Cookies
Carrot cookies are made with mashed carrots.

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cooked, mashed carrots
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Orange Icing, below


Beat shortening; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg, carrots and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Sift together dry ingredients; stir into carrot mixture and mix well. Stir in chopped nuts, if using. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks to cool.
Ice cookies with Orange Icing while still warm.

Orange Icing

  • Juice of 1/2 orange (3 to 4 tablespoons)
  • grated rind of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
Combine juice and orange rind with butter; stir in sifted confectioners' sugar until desired spreading consistency is reached. Add more juice or confectioners' sugar as needed.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


This is the Scarecrow lesson that the kids did in Sunday school last week!

“Faith Overcomes Fear” Bible Lesson for Children

Bible Story: “Fear Meets Faith”

Scripture: Multiple scriptures on fear and faith; focus on Psalm 118:6 & 32:7

Time: 45-60 Minutes


· How many of you are human here? Well if you are human (and I do believe all of you are), you are going to struggle with being afraid. You could be afraid of the dark, being alone, clowns, bugs, or the fear of something happening to someone you love. When I was younger, I used to be afraid of ___________. Share a story in which you were fearful as a child.

· What are some other things people may be afraid of? (Invite student responses.)

· God knew that we would be people who struggle with fear. He knew that in our world darkened by sin, there would be many things to be afraid of. If you search the Bible, the word “Fear” is mentioned 326 times, that’s a lot! Over and over again, God says, “Do not be afraid.”

· “Do not be afraid?” How is that even possible? Let’s investigate today.

Learning Activity #1: Fear Meets Faith Bible Lesson

Have a dialogue with the puppet to help keep kids engaged. Ask the puppet the question and have him answer.

1. Our world is full of fear. Why shouldn’t we be afraid? God says….

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

- Isaiah 41:10

(God is with us no matter what fearful time we are going through.)

2. What if we don’t want to be afraid anymore. How can we stop?

“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” – Isaiah 41:13

(He helps us. We can’t do it on our own. He gives us His Word to hide in our hearts when we are scared, His Holy Spirit to comfort us, grown-ups who follow Jesus to help us, prayer, and friends hips. Make it clear to your students that you are always there to support them and help them get over a fear.)

3. What would happen if we don’t give our fears to God?

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15

(Fears tend to grow, sometimes out of control. The more you are afraid, the less you live the life that God has for you. Being afraid is like being in a prison, but God has set us free. As His children, we can trust Him because He is a good Dad.”

4. How can we trust Him? Will He really help us with our fears?

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18

(Jesus’ love for us is perfect. He showed us that by dying on the cross to rescue us from our sins. Perfect love is the only thing that can drive out all fear.)

5. What if we do learn to trust Him? What then?

“Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.” – Psalm 34:9

(If we trust God more than we fear the world, we show Him honor and love. This verse says that we will lack nothing. In other words, we will be given everything we need in Him. Wow! Now that’s a promise worth holding onto!)

Learning Activity #2: Trust Toss Game

Recite Psalm 118:6. Have them repeat it after you. Practice a couple of times.

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.” – Psalm 118:6

Have the students make a circle. The first student to receive the ball should say the verse and toss it to a friend. That friend will catch the ball, repeat the verse, and toss it to someone who hasn’t had it yet. Have them continuing tossing and repeating the verse until everyone has had a turn. Time them and see how quickly the Trust Toss can make its rounds. If time allows, play again and try to beat your time.

Craft: Scarecrow Toilet Paper Roll

Object Lesson: Have you ever seen a scarecrow? Farmers use them in their fields. Do you know why? To scare away crows and other kinds of birds that eat their crops. Wouldn't it be great if we could use scarecrows to scare away frightening things in our lives? What are some things that scare you? (Allow for discussion). We can't use scarecrows to scare away frightening things, but we do have someone who has promised to be with us, to protect us and to never leave us. We have Jesus, our Savior and Forever Friend. This is what the Bible says he has promised his children:"The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid." (Psalm 118:6) "You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble." (Psalm 32:7) and "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Joshua 1:5)

Let's pray and ask Jesus to help us trust him to protect us (Pray specifically about the scary things mentioned during your discussion time. Thank God that he has promised to protect us and never leave us.).

Today we will make a Scarecrow to remind us that God will protect us and never leave us and because of this, life doesn’t have to be scary!

What You Need:

• TP roll Cadence made a Rapunzel Scarecrow.
Description:• Popsicle stick
Description:• Muffin cup
• Construction paper
• Masking tape
• Glue
• Scissors
• Markers

Here's how you make it...

1. Cut 2 slits down your TP roll, opposite each other and about 2/3 down the roll (see picture).

2. Slide your popsicle stick into the slits. Wrap the top 1/3 of the roll with masking tape (to make the scarecrows face, and to keep the TP roll together). 3. Cut a strip of yellow construction paper about 5" X 11/2" big. Cut fringe at either end. Fold it to fit the top of the TP roll and glue on. 4. Once your Scarecrow's hair is on go ahead and draw on a face and glue on your muffin cup hat. Add a little more color by cutting out small square patches for your Scarecrow.

If you're doing this craft with preschoolers, make it easier by having the craft stick and masking tape in place and pre-cut the hair. They can glue on everything and make the Scarecrow's face!


Activity: Coloring Pages

Closing: Pray about fears and not being afraid because God is with us and will protect us. Repeat the bible verse that you learned. Hand out Scarecrow Lollipops!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Star Day

This past Thursday was Cadence's "Star Day" at preschool. We got to make a book all about Cadence for her to present to her class so that they could get to know her better. Here she is drawing a maze on the back of one of the pages. She decorated each page with original artwork and then I put pictures of her family and things she likes to do on the other side. They also went to a pumpkin patch this week and rode on a tractor and picked out their own pumpkin. As soon as Cadence got in the car, when I picked her up from preschool, she gave Finn her pumpkin and said, "Here Finn. I got this for you." Needless to say, he was overjoyed! Her teacher also had a baby boy this week. So it has been quite an eventful week at preschool!

Come play "Ring around the Rosie"!

Recipe Highlight:

Southwestern Tofu Scramble

Finn and Cadence did not want to even try this dinner (surprise, surprise). So, here they are enjoying some tasty chicken nuggets. Brad and I, on the other hand, greatly enjoyed this meal. You can eat it alone or wrap it in a tortilla! We served it with brown rice and black beans. I breaded the tofu before frying.

4 servings, about 3/4 cup each | Active Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 14-ounce package firm water-packed tofu, rinsed and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu, chili powder, cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the tofu begins to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add zucchini, corn, scallions and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just tender, about 3 minutes. Return the tofu to the pan and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese until just melted. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons salsa and 1 tablespoon cilantro.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pianist in the Making

Pull up a chair, you have a front row seat to Aria's piano recital!
She loved banging on those keys. Just like Schroeder. Cadence took that first picture of Aria, smiling.
Look at how cute she is in daddy's hat! Adorable! Her new favorite breakfast is Nutella on an English Muffin. Doesn't she make it look delicious?!
Another Cadence photo, capturing my lovely tired and baggy eyes.:)

Recipe Highlight:

Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Crust
I did not grow up eating pot pies, so they aren't something I think of making very often. This chicken pot pie was delicious! The crust is amazing! I had some left over dough, so I made bread sticks with the extra and they were wonderful as well. Enjoy!


For Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 to 3/4 cup more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons cold butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes (from about 3 small roasted sweet potatoes, or one 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained)

For Filling:

  • One 14 1/2-ounce can low-sodium/low-fat chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups whole or low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups mixed frozen vegetables
  • 3 1/2 cups cooked chicken, skin and bones removed, cut into 1-inch pieces (from 1 medium-size rotisserie chicken, approximately 2 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For Crust:

step 1In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and thyme. Use two forks or clean hands to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the mashed sweet potatoes and mix with your hands until the mixture comes together and forms a soft dough. Gather the dough and press it together into a ball; then flatten it to form a disk. Place the dough in a Ziploc® Brand Storage Bag with the Smart Zip™ Seal and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

For Filling:

step 2Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-9-inch glass baking dish (or any oven-safe baking dish that will hold about 1 quart) with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
step 3In a medium-size pot, combine the chicken broth and milk. Gradually whisk in the flour, making sure the mixture is completely smooth. Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Add the butter, garlic and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, whisking continually until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the frozen vegetables and cook for 20 seconds. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chicken, salt and pepper. Pour the filling into the reserved baking dish from Step 2 and set aside.
step 4On a clean countertop or pastry mat that's been lightly floured, roll out the dough until it's about 1/4-inch thick and roughly 10 inches square using more flour for dusting as needed if the dough is too sticky. Place the rolled-out dough over the baking dish (from Step 3), trim excess dough and crimp the sides by lightly pinching the dough along the edges to seal the pot pie and form a decorative edge. Cut a couple of small vent holes in the dough on the top of the pie with a knife and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. Allow the pot pie to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving so it can set.


For an even faster pot pie, substitute in Step 3 two 10 3/4-ounce cans of condensed cream of celery soup for the flour, milk, butter, garlic and chicken broth listed under Filling ingredients. Thaw the frozen vegetables according to the package directions; then combine the soup, thyme, vegetables, cooked chicken and salt and pepper in the baking dish. Continue with Step 4 as directed, cooking for 30 to 40 minutes.

chef’s notes

Cooking for company? Give your pot pie a more decorative look. After you roll out the dough in Step 4, reserve a small piece of dough and use cookie cutters to cut out decorative pieces in the shapes of leaves or pumpkins. When you cover the pot pie with the rest of the dough, use a pastry brush to apply the dough-topped pie lightly with water and place the cut-outs on the top of the pie. Be sure to still cut some small vents in the top of the pie before baking.