Wednesday, February 16, 2022

God Spoke to Me

In March of 2021 I was asked to give my testimony for an online testimonial series my church was putting out online called “This is My Story”. Let me tell you right away that I’m not naturally gifted in speaking publically. In fact, I have drawn much comfort over the years in Moses and how the Lord used Him mightily despite having what was probably a speech impediment or something that almost kept him from saying “yes” to the plan God called him to. While this wouldn’t necessarily be considered public speaking, it is something that would be professionally recorded and sent out across the internet. 

Despite, I immediately said yes!

I learned years ago to obey God despite my fears, and that it is always worth it. It’s been a pattern in my life where God asks me to step out into something a bit uncomfortable and I do it—in HIS strength alone. 
Why? When it’s in His strength He gets all the glory!! 

Recognizing that I have a testimony of His great faithfulness as He made me, a barren woman by medical standards, very fertile in adoption after nearly a decade of infertility struggles. When we were praying for the Lord to answer our prayer by giving us a family I told Him specifically that I would give Him all the glory for it —that I wouldn’t shy away from my story in hopes to encourage others in the good plan the Lord has for their own life! His ways are higher and better and we have to release control and surrender to Him in order for that to happen in our lives. This is the message I learned through my years of infertility, miscarriage so that I could be a living testimony for His faithfulness.

It’s not the first time I’ve shared my story in a public setting, though. Unbeknownst to us at the time, one week exactly before Jayden and Kylie were placed in our home, I spoke at a ladies banquet at my aunt’s church for Mothers Day back in May of 2013. It was clear to me that I was supposed to share my testimony along with the lesson of Ruth and Naomi that I brought. I was crazy nervous about this and at the time our story was very open ended, as were were only in the process of adoption, but I wasn’t mama yet. I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me then about how obeying Him and sharing this testimony of the Lord never leaving me and how He delivered me from my fears would open up the door of blessing in our life and consequently answer our heart’s cry. It absolutely did and much faster than we ever dreamed, as I said before, just a week later we brought home the precious 2 and 3 years old girl and boy that is our Kylie Hope and Jayden Heath!

God called me to step out onto the water and do something waaaay out of my comfort zone for His glory and in obeying Him blessing came!

When I was asked last spring to again give my testimony (one that is more extensive and felt more “complete” that when I gave it 8 years before) I asked the Lord exactly what I should do. He told me to do it. He also told me something else that I will never forget: the Lord told me that we would face spiritual warfare as a result of giving my testimony.  Satan would hate it because of the power a testimony of God brings in the spiritual realm is so powerful to break down strongholds in people’s lives!! Also, because the enemy knows that us being obedient to the Lord brings blessings and Satan hates to see us obey God. 

This is the second time in my life I was forwarned about upcoming trials and it was also more immediate than I’ve experienced before, but that confirmed to me that it was definitely the Lord letting me know ahead of time. I knew that I was about to walk through a fire due to giving my testimony and that’s exactly what happened. We were hit as a family in just about every area as I mentioned a few things in the previous blog post. A little more insight into those things included an outright spirit of fear and chaos tried to come into the house, our marriage faced tests, I was fighting for joy in motherhood because of shear exhaustion, my self esteem and calling was tried as I lost my singing voice. We had an unexpected financial problems which is one reason I initially chose to homeschool another year even though I knew I didn’t have it in my constitution to do it for another year. There was just a lot of interpersonal drama with people along with the deaths and illnesses.

But because I was expecting the fire, I knew who it came from and therefore how to defeat it— by the power of my testimony and the Word of God! I read the Word for myself every morning and spoke it into my life even when I wasn’t seeing any changes taking place. Though my body grew weary, my spirit never did! God gave me hope —He became the Hope— that I clung onto as I trusted Him.

But that spring of last year, the Lord said something else to me around the time I was seeking Him and He alerted me that spiritual warfare was coming but that I was doing the right thing. It’s something I’ve never told anybody before. 

Holy Spirit told me that we would have another baby!!!

That’s right, haha!

I knew He said that and at the time I didn’t even tell Heath, because it was something I couldn’t wrap my head around the “hows” of it all, but I completely believed Him!!! I knew we would have another child. I put that on the shelf and came back to it from time to time as a word of hope over our future, and I was a little bewildered and excited!

My testimony went out and was shared so much online, and I received lots of personal messages of woman reaching out to talk to me about it. I can’t say enough how privileged I am to partner with what God is doing in other people’s lives. If He can use me, truly, He can use anybody!

Fast forward past all the next several months. 

I was sick again after having Covid the previous month and it was September. I also just had an implant put in and I experienced some bad nerve pain for about 3 weeks on top of not feeling well. I needed a word from the Lord for encouragement so I asked Him. God told me to write this down…

On the chalkboard on our kitchen wall I wrote God is doing a new thing.

I didn’t know what that meant exactly or what that new thing was, but I believed Him.

Guys, we don’t have to understand and know but we do have to believe Him! Following Jesus is a lot of obeying Him and believing Him and He will literally lead and guide our heart and our footsteps.

I believed Him so much I wrote it down as a reminder on the chalkboard and it is still on the chalkboard! I kept it up until it made sense to me. Again, this came as a word of hope that we would get through these trials and to the other side! All I wanted was to feel like we had made it to the Promised Land that for me looked like peace and out of the wilderness that felt like out of control chaos. That word told me in September that God was moving in our life ....little did we know!!!

It was just about a week into December and we were eating supper around the table after church on a Sunday evening. I felt something shift that particular month already that felt like a renewed joy in our household but things were about to really come together as we were about to get a glimpse of our “Promised Land” from the wilderness place! We received a text that came initially from a local pastor of a woman looking for a family to place her baby for adoption. She knew that we had a heart for adoption so we were asked. In that very moment my heart skipped a beat as I remembered what the Lord has told me earlier that year about us having  another baby!!! I looked at Heath when he asked if I was interested in finding out more, and automatically said “Yes!” He of course said yes, because I married a man who loves adoption deeply. It was confirmed after a beautiful conversation with this expectant mama just three days later that we were chosen to be the adoptive parents!!! We didn’t go looking for a baby, but this time it was like the baby came to us.

That’s when the home study renewal process quickly began, but not before the devastating F4-5 tornado ravaged our community and state as it barely passed our house two night later. Sobering and rocked out world, its a night we won’t forget. But I was spared a second time this year. First, I survived Covid and second, I survived a monster of a tornado that tragically took lives around us. Because of the gravity of that the Lord brought me to a place of surrender this year. After saying good bye to several people we knew and loved in our life who we feel like left this earth too soon, I began to get real with God about my purpose. I felt this way even more after surviving Covid.  I knew that I was here on earth for a purpose and a plan and I narrowed my sights to focus solely on what that is. I told God sometime in September that I was ready to live my life in surrender to Him fully. That means giving up my own rights, plans and dreams that I had and asking Him to plant the seeds of His dreams in my life. A little scary, I also know in my heart of hearts that His will is the safest place to be. When He spoke to me His plan for us to have another baby at that time I had no idea how I could manage another one, honestly. I felt overwhelmed and tired and was looking forward to the “next season” hoping it would bring me more personal freedom, creativity, socializing, and health and wellness to nurture my mind and body after several years of pouring into little kids above myself. I thought I was ready to move on and do “bigger things” that would be productive in helping the community, the ladies ministry, the worship team—all of these hopes that I saw for 2022-2023 as the kids all went back to school.

When I went to God and told Him I was trusting Him with my life that if he wanted to give me another baby, I trust He would make a way. That it would be by His strength to mother and nurture more kiddos and that I would also have the desire and the love and passion to even the physical energy that I would need to set dreams aside and fully be invested in my number one dream that is being a mama!! I’m sure you’ve also found out that sometimes He calls first and then quips after we say yes. So at the dinner table when faced with the question whether we wanted to adopt another sweet one, my answer reflected the deepened trust that I had found in the Lord. I want to be a vessel for His honor and glory and my number one call and job that He sees of upmost importance is my raising children!  I cannot find the words to say through tears just how happy I am that He has called us to that again. I can’t get that babe in my arms fast enough to love on!!!! I’ve been on cloud nine these last several weeks as I’m buying newborn outfits, baby booties, bottles, blankets, a changing table….all the precious things. There’s nothing like it in the world like looking into the eyes of a brand new tiny human who automatically loves you and whom you love deep. It’s the hardest and yet best most glorious thing I can imagine.

That’s my story of how the Lord planted a seed, softened my heart and my will to His.

If you’re wondering what I mean by Holy Spirit speaking to me, let me explain. First for me it’s not audible. I know His voice which sounds like a thought that doesn’t come from myself. It’s something that is usually clear to me with an assurance that I know it’s His voice. I just know after walking with Him for almost my whole life. When you become a Christian you have the Holy Spirit literally living in you and so that’s one way God speaks to us and the other is through His Word. His Word will always confirm the Spirit! He wants to speak to you, too!

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Big News!!!! (I’m Getting Personal)

We’ve been keeping a little secret…. We’re welcoming a new little princess into our family!!! 

Heath and I are adopting a baby girl!!!!

She is due to be born on March 27th!!!! 

I am officially paper pregnant, and I couldn’t be more surprised or thrilled myself that we’re given the gift of becoming new parents again to a precious one. The miracle that I am a mom will never get old to me.

So….as you can see from our announcement picture, we decided to take a last minute trip or baby moon with our kids to Disney World a couple weeks ago to celebrate our growing family and to pour ourselves into our children before I go back into survival mode which is the first few months of bringing a baby home. I can’t begin to say just how special it was to be at Disney World riding the rides, building memories at our favorite restaurants and character meets while I held the joyful secret that my heart is carrying a baby girl. I am so glad we parted the waters of our cold January life for sun, fun, and celebration at the most magical place on earth. It just seemed fitting!!

While still processing this news myself, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Those of you who are on social media have seen our announcement already, but I wanted to share a bit more of the story in this personal space.

If you happen to be new here, adoption is the way the Lord grows our family. We have adopted all of our children! I love the way adoption reflects the way God brings His children into His family! (Ephesians 1:5) It’s a process that starts with pain and grief and ends with hope and redemption! Beauty from ashes.

Hahahaha. So, this surprise was on us actually! Before I begin there, let me back up just a little more and give you some back story. When I came back to blogging last year I said that I would go deeper with you online this space so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m taking the long way around to tell you how the Lord birthed this journey in us. 

We didn’t know the Lord had this plan for us to have 4 children, but when we were asked about being interested in adopting this new little one, we automatically said “YES!”. Hahaha, more children weren’t even on our radar! (This is such a God thing.) We were perfectly content and happy with our three precious children, and I thought Rosemary would be our last child for a number of reasons…. First, she acts like a final child. ;) Heath and I both grew up in a home of three children. We are in our late thirties already and I’m beginning to feel it. We have a very full life, and I personally didn’t think more children would be on the table. Let’s just leave it there for now. Ultimately we were so very grateful for our family of five.

But God!

Backing up again. 

Last year was….a lot.

It was a hard year for our family and for me personally—much harder for me than 2020. Most of it is personal stuff I won’t share, but I will say that I felt like I was brought to the brink. I stayed home by myself with the children most of the time. Homeschooling for the first time just doing the best I can and not having much support there. My husband is a pediatrician and was much, much, much busier than he has ever been working late nights and getting called into work more. The load of stress as he navigates an ever changing pandemic is something every healthcare worker has found a learning curve that no training could prepare one enough for. While he was present when he was around, we felt more like two tired ships passing in the night than a married couple most weeks —which left me pretty lonely and managing a lot by myself. Most of you may know that I’m introverted so it takes a lot for me to feel lonely, but I was very lonely in a house full of kids who are extroverts who were not getting the time with friends they truly needed. I wasn’t getting that either.

In June we lost two grandparents to Heaven suddenly, exactly to the very hour, one week apart. Two funerals saying goodbye to two of our favorite people in a week. That was very hard and brand new territory for us to deal with that kind of grief and watch our parents grieve was hard.. that’s when Heath’s work started to pick up. Delta cases in July were on the rise very suddenly.

Just a month later I was one of the breakthrough cases of the Delta variant of Covid, and I was very sick at home at the end of July going into August. The kids had to manage at home by themselves while I quarantined in our bedroom for 10 days. Heath was so busy at work he couldn’t be home to take care of us, although he did well to train the big kids to take care of the house. (Oh, also he potty trained Rosemary that week too! There’s always a silver lining!) The Lord absolutely protected my lungs from the virus, but I suffered from some long Covid symptoms. I actually became sick (not with Covid) again 3 more times before the year’s end which left me fatigued mentally and physically. Needless to say, by the time December was approaching I was ready for the New Year to roll around for a fresh start. Also for our kids to start back to the new private, Christian school we enrolled them in. (They’re loving being back at school, by the way, and I am too!)

During the stretch of several months that felt like one wave after the next was trying to knock us down, and in the midst I pursued Jesus a lot. I always like to think that I do, but 2021 brought me to the feet of Jesus in prayer literally throughout the day. Every single day. I needed wisdom. Healing. Comfort. Guidance. Strength in long suffering. Patience. Joy. Peace and Hope….. each morning He gave me what I needed and I came back for more of Him.

Okay. So. What happened in the midst of this is that He spoke to me through His Spirit… so some of these things were not a surprise… 

More of that next blog….I have to go pick up my sweet girl from school now. Just wait until you hear the rest. God is good!!!

(We’re going to have a baby, friends!!!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Sizzling Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

What is it about winter that makes me just want to eat a soup or stew with bread all the live long day? I think that it comforts our body from the harsh cold weather outside and when our body is comforted and warmed that also soothes our soul a bit, too, don’t you think?

I live in Kentucky, and in our part of the state we consider ourselves Southern. That said, I come from a long line of fantastic Southern cooks, so I have eaten a lot of amazing cornbread in my days! My mom makes some of the best I’ve ever put in my mouth!  She usually makes it with white cornmeal and it is buttery, very light and tender, and melts in my mouth. Mom has her own secret ingredient (maybe I can ask get her recipe to share with you) that her mom’s mom used. 

Recently my wonderful husband and I traveled to Boston to celebrate being married 17 years, and there we visited Union Oyster House . A national historic landmark, Union Oyster House was established in 1826 and is known as America’s oldest restaurant! This place was a gem!! Nestled in a very cozy nook of a street in the heart of downtown Boston near the bay, we enjoyed buttery lobster rolls, fish and chips, and a cup of delicious clam chowder! They served it with a large piece of their famed cornbread! This wasn’t Southern cornbread, because it was sweet, but it was really delicious!! On the frigid but beautiful day that it was, that quintessential New England cuisine was just what we needed to continue our walking The Freedom Trail. 

Highly recommend trying this place if it’s you’re first visit to Boston! It may be a bit touristy for locals but the atmosphere was tight and warm and welcoming with nostalgic pictures and memorabilia.

If you’re wondering how my husband and I liked Boston and the New England, we LOVED it. Absolutely will be back to visit. It was cold, yet stunningly gorgeous in the fall! Boston was more beautiful than I could’ve imagined with all the historic neighborhoods, old churches, original cobblestone streets, the maple trees and the lovely Boston Harbor. The city was a food-lovers dream, and the people were so friendly and welcoming! We drove up to Rockport and then up Maine’s coast and I can’t say enough to how scenic everything was!!! I felt like Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote—my favorite mystery novelist character! ;)

So as I was saying before, I love cornbread. Haha! The recipe I’ve used mostly in the last few years I sometimes change up a bit, but it’s basic Southern cornbread recipe from the bag of Martha White buttermilk cornbread mix. I sometimes elevate it by subbing out the oil for melted butter and adding a drizzle of honey.

But the way I prepare it makes it special. I always, always use my cast iron skillet. Sometimes I use my 9 inch and sometimes my 12 inch if I want it a bit thinner and a tad “crispier” in texture. If you like Cracker Barrel’s cornbread muffins, you’ll probably like the way this is prepared.

I’ll say that you can absolutely use shortening or lard in this application, but I prefer butter. So as my oven is preheating, I stick my skillet in the oven to heat with it. I bake the cornbread at 440-450 degrees F. I am wanting the pan to be blazing hot. I mix up the cornbread quickly as the pan is heating in the oven. 

Once the cornbread batter is ready and has sat for a moment, I take the pan out and plop about 2-3 Tbsp. of salted butter in the pan and give it a swirl and place th pan back in the oven for a minute to melt. It will happen fast. Take it back out (carefullly—please don’t burn yourself) and immediately pour the batter into the hot and buttered pan. It should sizzle and the batter will begin to set! Place back into the oven to bake the cornbread.

This method will yield you a moist (I said it) cornbread that’s crispy and buttery on the bottom, like it’s been fried! It’s just so good! Once finished baking I melt another pat of butter on the top of the pan before cutting it to serve.

I hope the next time you make some chili you’ll think about making a pan of cornbread and try this method! Also, if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, they’re so easy to find! Lodge brand sells them already seasoned or if you want to go vintage, but one from an antique or thrift store second hand. For under $40 you should be able to get a wonderfully homemade seasoned pan that will last forever if you take care of it.

Stay warm and cozy and enjoy this soup and bread season while it’s here!

Simple Southern Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

2 c. Martha White Buttermilk Self-rising Yellow Cornbread Mix
1 Egg
1 1/3 c. Milk
1/4 c. Melted Salted Butter of Canola Oil
Drizzle of local honey, or whatever kind you have

3 Tbsp. Salted Butter 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. I usually put mine at 440 and it’s just right. Place your cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up.

In a large bowl mix a lightly beaten egg with the milk and butter or oil together. Add the cornmeal mix and drizzle of honey and mix well.

Take the hot skillet out of the oven carefully and place the 3 tablespoons of butter. Place skillet back into the oven for one minute to allow the butter to melt.

Take the skillet out and carefully (not to burn yourself) pour the cornbread batter in the sizzling hot skillet. 

Bake for 20-23 minutes. Rub a pat of butter on the top and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Slice and serve promptly!


Thursday, January 20, 2022

Resting and Fulfillment

By the incandescent glow of candlelight wafting a sweet plum fragrance and the small light atop my book, I am thoroughly enjoying my new book, Help, I’m Drowning—Weathering the Storms of Life with Grace and Hope by one of my favorite author’s and podcasters, Sally Clarkson. 

What a treat this is for me! Sitting on a soft, cushy sofa across from my husband at the end of another long day. It feels like I’ve crossed a finish line when I get to this point! The coffee topped with a blanket of foam from the new milk frother/steamer along with the book is icing on the cake. Just to put up my feet feels like Heaven touching earth, if for just an hour! What you don’t see are all the strewn toys around because I was too tired to rally the troops for clean up before bedtime tonight.

This book was a really sweet Christmas gift from my sister, Faith. One that I’ve really wanted since it came out in September.  I won’t dwell on it here but last year was one of the most challenging years I’ve faced. As I trusted and knew that He would, the Lord in His faithfulness, picked me out from the miry pit of the last couple of years and set me on a rock!! Praise to Him! (Psalm 40:1-2)

It’s so interesting because though these days haven’t been instantly easy, I feel as though when He picked me out from the pit He sat me right on His lap! I’ve experienced real intimacy with Him the last 6 weeks or so that has been wonderful and refreshing. He has been so very precious and loving as a Father to remind me how much He loves me! That He remembers our family and has shown us in unique ways that I will get into more as the year unfolds. 

My time spent with Him hasn’t changed. I’ve always woken up early and given Him first fruits. I am not perfect at this and I never ever want to paint myself like that at all, but I love spending time with Jesus every morning in prayer and His Word. I need Him truly, and my need for Him became a desire for Him that became a fire for Him!

I’ve learned in life that sometimes the seemingly insurmountable change or breakthrough that you’re praying for, takes place not after something remarkable except for the faithfulness of walking with Jesus day in and day out no matter how good or bad the days get.  

Faithfulness. That’s a quality way underrated these days and yet worth more than gold!

Remaining faithful and trusting His perfect timing. Sometimes doubt and fear creeps trying to convince me that whatever I’m struggling through will last forever, but that’s where time in His Presence renews my mind and He gives me joy that becomes my strength!! So over time I have always seen the faithfulness of God to fulfill His promises in my life! Always.

After a long but good day, it’s so fulfilling to know you are tired from whatever you are called to do— for me it’s mothering and homemaking. What a blessed calling to raise my kids, help with the projects, pick up groceries, sing songs, cook homemade meals and organize and clean the house day in and out. It’s exhausting and wonderful beyond words for my soul. My husband must feel the same with after a long day at work when we come back together an relax in the evenings before bed.

I hope you find yourself in a place to kick your feet up, knowing that Jesus remembers you and He loves you, therefore we can deeply enjoy the life we have!

Sweet dream, my Friends! 

Monday, January 17, 2022

A Little Note…

Hello again, Friends!

I see that I received some sweet comments not only on the blog I just wrote but from some I wrote over the fall! I am really sorry that I’m trying to respond but can’t at this point. Working on it. 

It would be such a blessing to move my blog one day from Blogger and own a tiny bit of the internet (what fun!) honestly because of all the technical problems it’s given me. That clearly hasn’t happened yet, however, just know that I have tried to reply to you! My smart hubby will help me figure out whatever is going on. In the meantime, thanks for all the grace!! 

I really do have the sweetest friends in here from years and years of writing, and I’m so happy when I see that I also have some new ones, too.

So my sweet baby girl, who is almost four, is playing in the girls’ lightly “updated” and organized playroom! It’s way more fun when they can actually see what is there and when there’s plenty of floor space in their play nook. :) Seeing her busy at work delights my heart.

Again, I apologize, but please know I loove reading your comments and the community that has grown between my blog to Instagram or Facebook and back over the last 12 years I’ve been doing this. Thank you all for taking a moment to read and I always hope you leave feeling blessed.

Stay warm, safe, and cozy out there and remember above all else, Jesus loves you!


Sunday, January 16, 2022

Snow Days & A Beautiful Beginning to 2022

 The first week of the 2022 gave us in Kentucky the best gift this year—winter came!

And as you can see, we were ready for it!!!

Hallelujah for the Lord giving us a whole day of watching beautiful, fluffy, snow fall!!!

After a December that felt way more like a terrible case of the worst of spring with an F-5 tornado, flash flooding, and warm gray days, we deserved a cold, seasonal white winter to enjoy.

Right at about 5-6 inches, our area received a perfect blanket of snow that came in the form of big fluffy flakes that began in the early morning with the sunrise (somewhere behind the snow clouds) and ended mid afternoon. It fell gracefully throughout the day, the perfect way to watch it fall from swollen snow clouds to the frozen ground. It stuck right away! 

Truly, I don't know if me or the kids were more excited! 

We gathered all the snow gear we could find and all the warm hats and gloves and scarves for it was honestly bitter cold, but our excitement kept us outside over 15 minutes! 

Tiny tongues caught snowflakes, snowballs were thrown, snow angels made.

It’s a lot of dedication for moms to get everyone all layered up and ready from head to toe, including ourselves, and bundled like Ralphie and Randy from the Christmas Story! When it’s 11 degrees outside, every inch is covered in at least four layers here! Why, in just a matter of moments we are back inside and dropping clothes on the rugs in the mud room and setting them in front of the electric fireplace we have in there to dry before our next outing.  

It’s a lot, yes, but once I’m out in the brisk air and feel the snowflakes on my own cheeks I come alive!! I understand why kids love snow so much, because I still love playing in the snow!


This snowfall came with brutal temps so the outside play may have been few, but that means we come in for mugs of hot cocoa, which I enjoy making from the Hershey’s recipe on the cocoa container. I also add a handful of marshmallows to melt in the cocoa on the stove and then top with even more fluffy marshmallows in the mug! Perfect to sip while watching a movie. Later I had a deliciously fresh cup of my favorite Starbuck Christmas blend coffee in one of my favorite mugs, my brother Taylor brought home for me from Washington D.C. There’s nothing like warm sippers in hand and cozy blankets to snuggle under on snow days!

In these cozy pictures you’ll still see our Christmas trees still up from Christmas, but now we have everything put away at this point except a few twinkle lights to liven up the long winter nights. I’ve learned that gives me joy!

I’m so glad the Christmas trees were still up so we could enjoy the snowfall and the twinkling lights together! We rarely ever get December snowfalls like this, although I remember vividly a few Christmas snows growing up.. the last was the year we married in 2004. It felt like a perfect Christmas miracle! 

I gathered the kids and read to them a new precious book my sister gifted them for Chrismas about Jesus. They played while I read. I don’t read to them all as much as I used to or as much as I would like to, but when I do it warms my heart so much! 

The following day I awoke to a glistening white outside, and I knew I absolutely had to bundle up and get back in the frosty snow globe of a world. 

The sun made the snow crunch under our feet!

Rosemary and I played in our yard while the big kids snow boarded down the neighborhood hill nearby. We had such a good time!! 

My big two probably walked up that hill a dozen times or more so they came back in cold, tired and wanted to zone out on the couch with a movie.

Being this is only the second or third measurable snowfall since we lived in this house, I’m still in awe of how pretty everything looks. The edges of the reflective pond were frozen while the rest were smooth as glass, as you can see.
In the surrounding woods, every single branch and limb, highlighted. 

Our home looks dreamy dressed in winter white, so I had to snap some pictures to remember just how pretty she looks!

To cap off an already exciting week, we took the kids to the movies to see Sing 2 the following day once the roads were fine to travel on, and we had a sweet “date night” with our kids, which we haven’t done in months! Cheesy Pagliai’s Pizza was devoured in our favorite corner booth after the movie and then a visit to my my grandparents’ home in town topped off the night with extra joy!

It really has been a very full and busy month, but this new year, so far, has been abundant in the Lord’s favor and blessings on our family

The busy hasn’t been stressful like it can be sometimes, but instead it’s been refreshing~all good things. Have we had changes to adjust to? Yes, definitely! But also I’ve carved out time with some of my favorite people, that’s been long over-due because of different factors over the course of the last 12-18 months. 

Many of you know I have taken a break from social media. It’s not only helped me focus to get everything done but enjoy it all to the full and be completely present!! I needed to simplify some things for a bit and for me that starts with the clutter I carry in my mind. 

I really want to remember this peaceful season and listen to all the Lord is speaking to me. He is speaking, and moving, and in our family He is redeeming what the locusts had eaten in the previous year!! 

His great faithfulness is like the morning sun!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Favorite Recipe Repost! Chocolate Chippy Pumpkin Bread

My favorite time of the year has arrived! Autumn is full-blown here in the Kentucky countryside, and with the cusp of my birthday, along with the beloved Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons—there is just something extra-special in the air even amidst the strange year we’ve all had. Some things never change, and it’s good to be able to focus on the simplicity of these things now more than ever! Like the rising sun, the changing seasons actually bring comfort as the Lord has established them, and I’m reminded again that He is in control. 

Speaking of comfort, there’s nothing quite like the homey fragrance of bread baking in the oven! Every autumn, this pumpkin chip loaf is my favorite quick bread to make, as I’ve made it dozens of times over the last decade, and we never tire of it! It’s the Goose Berry Patch Autumn In the Country recipe that has become a tried and true for our family. When my kids ask for chocolate chip pumpkin bread, this is the one I make! Spiced with cinnamon, laced with chocolate and full of pumpkin, this treat really hits the spot—especially with a cup of steaming coffee!

If you’re a long-time follower of my blog, you may remember me actually blogging this very recipe under Chocolate Chippy Pumpkin Bread 10 years ago when we lived in the “little house on the prairie” in Madisonville, KY! I had tweaked that recipe a bit, but today I’m sharing with you the original recipe from the cookbook, which is now how I made is pretty much every time. 

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s not only consistently good, but it makes two loaves. I usually keep the chocolate chips out of one loaf (though not always) and give that loaf to a neighbor, friend, parents— whomever we want to bless that day. Of course, sometimes keeping both loaves is the best idea, and you can easily freeze one for later!

I have thrown in delicious additions such as butterscotch chips, walnuts, pecans, dried cranberries over the years, for a twist on plain pumpkin bread, but my kids’ always want the chocolate chips…I don’t blame them there! Chopped pecans are just as yummy, in my opinion!

If you want an easy treat to throw together for a cozy after-school snack or breakfast, or even dessert,  I hope you will try this delicious pumpkin bread!  

As the mornings become frostier outside, the breakfasts get warmer inside, and the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin is a great way to wake the rest of my family up!

Chocolate Chippy Pumpkin Bread

3 c. All-purpose flour
1 t. Baking soda
1 t. Salt
2 t. Cinnamon
4 Eggs
2 c. Sugar
15-oz. can pumpkin
1- 1/4 c. Canola oil
1- 1/2 c. Semi-sweet chocolate chips (sometimes I use mini chips)

Combine flour, baking, salt, cinnamon in a large bowl; set aside. 
Beat together eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and oil in a large bowl; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. 
Fold in chocolate chips; pour into two, greased loaf pans. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean. 
Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to finish cooling. 
Makes 2 loaves.

With the leaves changing colors outside and the temperature just perfect with extra crisp mornings, I’ve been sipping my second cup of coffee outside on the porch or on the swing most mornings this week!

This photo of Kylie at the pond was taken last week, and the leaves on the trees have really turned since then! As you can tell, we are trying to enjoy the outside weather on the pretty days. Today is actually a gloomy and misty day here, but the blue skied days have been extra clear as the humidity has moved out!

In Kentucky the crisp air that means it’s the perfect time for a bonfire and hayride. It’s time to get out the sweatshirts, sweaters, cardigans, scarves and boots! Cider, s’mores, chili and cornbread and all the coziness fall offers!

Our leaves will be at peak color in just a couple days now, and we have a full, fun weekend planned with out family to look forward to!!! 

I hope everyone has a beautiful weekend on the last couple days of October and stays safe. 

See you in November!!!