Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I repost this every September because it is one sign that fall is here!  This is a crowd pleaser and SO easy.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins–From Jen

2 Spice Cake Mixesimages9QY7BN1S
1 30-oz can pumpkin
1 12-oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pre-Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
All you do is add all 3 ingredients to a bowl and mix. (that’s it, you don’t need to add anything else)
Scoop mixture into lined muffin tins.
Yields 36.
They do not rise very much so fill the liners up. I have a medium scoop and I LOVE it. It worked great for this project. How they look going in is how they will look going out. Try a scoop. It’s makes them even more delicious looking.  Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Leftovers (well not at my house) but if you have them freeze them. A great idea to add to a lunch or a snack on the run.  My kids devoured these! I liked them too but I added salt to mine. That’s strange, but I enjoyed them more?!

ALSO, thank you for sharing GraceFULLhome to so many!  Please continue to pass on this blog if you think others might enjoy it.

Blessings to you today!

5 Bad Mom Habits I have

There is nothing like being a parent that exposes your weaknesses.  I actually (always in hindsight) am thankful that I have little people who say things daily to help me be a better me, like:

“Mom, your roots are showing.”

“Mom, why are you talking to me like you’re mad?” (uh, because you just dumped all the clean clothes from the dryer on the floor looking for your missing cheer gear and then walked away….but you’re right, I should try to have a more calm tone when I call you back in to the laundry room, yes.)

“Mom, you just went through a red light.” (barely)

“Mom, you have flabby arms.”

“Seriously, you can’t help me with my Trigonometry homework mom?”

“Mom, how come I can’t have a soda but you have one every day.” (um, good point)

“Mom, you are having BSS again” (They have coined this term BIBLE STUDY STRESS  as I get dinner finished and the house ready to host bible study each Monday)

Yep, I love it.  Not in the moment of course, but later as I process, it really makes me think about how I’m speaking, thinking, acting, modeling my life for my children (and reminds me to schedule an appointment with the hairdresser).  Our kids are also very sweet and loving, but bantering and respectful honesty is something we have permitted in our home–keeps us in check and helps us all learn how to take some constructive criticism, laugh a little at ourselves, and hopefully be less defensive in life.

Through this process of “child imposed awareness” I have discovered that I have developed some mom habits that are not so appealing:

1. I EAT MY CHILDREN’S FOOD

This is not food off their plate, but mainly candy they have stashed in their dresser or closet that I seek out when I realize after lunch that there is absolutely no dessert in the kitchen.  I try to only eat enough that I satisfy my craving, always promising myself that I will replenish their supply.  Which I forget to do 100% of the time.  And I get caught.

2. I HIDE MY FOOD

In the converse, I hide the sweets that I buy for myself because with three teen/pre-teen’s living here, anything really good to eat disappears faster than a water droplet on a hot rock.  Often my stash is found, but I get to stretch the York Peppermint Patties out a little longer when they are in the VERY back of the fridge behind the tall milk and OJ containers.

3. MY PHONE

I haven’t really developed enough guilt  regarding the first two bad habits to make any changes, but this one I am actively working on. My phone has become a rectangular not so soft attachment of me.  I find myself annoyed at how much my kids are on their phones, yet as soon as I pull into the garage I have to check my messages and email.  And while I’m cooking and doing laundry. And sometimes at a stoplight (see, I do stop at red lights).  You get the picture.  So, I am trying to not touch my phone unless I have to when my kids are around.  It stays in my purse or my pocket so it is visually out of sight.  This is harder than it seems when we all seem to have the habit of “checking” our phone as much as we….well I can’t think of anything else we check as much.

4. REMINDING

This is definitely part of my controlling nature, but I remind my kids about an awful lot.  This shouldn’t be the case as my husband and I are well versed in the Love and Logic parenting style, which frowns on any reminding.  But, it is in our nature to prevent our kids from forgetting something, or not doing chores, because it makes more work for us to enact consequences.  Yet, I know that it is when I choose not to remind, even when that means stepping over a sock, wrapper and backpack for two days as I go up the stairs, my kids learn faster (because then they earn an extra chore or pay me money).  So, I am trying to REMIND LESS.

5. IGNORING THEIR BATHROOM

So this is one I just choose to do because I’m in denial.  With three mixed-gender hormone laden kids sharing a bathroom, you would think nothing would surprise me.  Well, think again.  A month ago I walked into the bathroom (my fault, I should know better) to this:

2014-01-26 21.30.44

 

 

Yep, that is a PLANT growing out of the sink!  I stood there befuddled for about 10 minutes.  How the heck? ? ? Then, my motherly detective brain kicked in and I remembered that my son has birds which we feed bird seed, and for some reason he thought that it would be okay to send the bird seed remains down the sink instead of the trash.  The most scary part for me was that it took long enough for a plant to germinate for me to look into their sink.

So this goes on my “bad mom-habit” list.  I need to pay more attention to the goings-on of my children’s bathroom.

While I’m sure there are many more not-so-desirable habits I entertain, these ones currently stand out.  Hopefully this gave you a laugh or at least an encouragement that motherhood is a work in progress!  I try to remind myself daily to have grace for myself and my parenting journey, while trying to seek excellence as much as possible.  With God’s help, both these things are possible!

On another note, I would greatly appreciate you sharing this link, or asking your friends to “like” this on FB if you are a fan of this blog.  I am trying to grow it this year!

Have a great day,

Amy

 

Frisky Fall Workout Challenge

Hello Ladies!

I wanted to share this great fitness challenge that my friend Jen just posted.  She heard about it from a friend of hers so…word of mouth is great!

This is a daily fitness challenge that started TODAY and goes through HALLOWEEN.  It has printed workouts and videos to show you the moves–they are all workouts you can do from home.  I’m excited to try this as I have been looking for a new routine to get me moving.  I signed up for a daily newsletter in my email.  Check out the links below!

What’s coming for the Frisky Fall Challenge!?

  • Frisky Fall is FREE! Sign up for our newsletter above to receive your challenges!
  • Daily motivation 
  • Weekly Workout Schedules – Find them HERE under FITNESS
  • Lifestyle Challenges
  • Prizes for checking in with the hashtag #FriskyFall
  • New workouts 
  • Accountability 
  • #100byHalloween Challenge!!! See tomorrow’s post :)
  • TONS OF SURPRISES!  Especially for our Tone It Up Nutrition Plan Members :) Join here if you’re not a member yet! 

This is today’s workout (not for sissies)

Spread the word!

Eating For Comfort

peopleeating-jpg

 

As women we tend to have this unhealthy attachment to food, don’t we?  This tangible necessary substance we need for our bodies to thrive tends to put us on a difficult emotional roller coaster depending on how much self-control we have…or not.   Years ago, when I was in college, I struggled mightily with an eating disorder where food consumed my every thought–planning what I would eat, succeeding, failing, hiding, depriving.  So, I know…

Food gives us comfort, fullness, happiness, and even…peace?  Hmmn, yes, I think I feel true peace after downing a milkshake from my favorite shake place.  Well, at least for a few minutes.

Here are some great thoughts on this topic by Joyce Meyer:

                Spiritual Food For Spiritual Hunger

by Joyce Meyer – posted August 28, 2014

Make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts) —Romans 13:14
Food addiction is easy, because food doesn’t come with the same stigmas as cigarettes or drugs. Unlike these vices, food has a legitimate—even essential—role in health. Only when it slips into overuse does it become a problem. But it’s so easy to get to that point! Food is reliable. Unlike spouses, friends, or great weather, it is always there. But that’s the problem. Any time we feel spiritually empty, whether through sadness, depression, or boredom, it’s easy to reach for food to fill that void. Soon, we mistake spiritual hunger for physical hunger, and food becomes the immediate answer to any drop in well-being.
You know where this leads. The more you try to treat your spiritual longing with food or other feel-good stimuli, the greater your soul’s cry for spiritual nourishment will be. The greater your disease will become. Fortunately, there is another source of comfort that is always there when you need it. Unlike bad food or drugs, it doesn’t leave you overweight, sick, or lethargic. It’s even free. That something is God. He is called the Father of sympathy and the God of every comfort, who consoles us in every trouble (2 Corinthians 1:3,4).
When I hurt, I have learned to run to God first, instead of another person or substance. I’m not saying this is automatic. It took me years to get this straight, and I still sometimes have to remind myself that what I truly need is spiritual nourishment. But learning this habit will do more to keep your mind and body sound and your life on an even keel than anything I know. Your spirit needs nourishment just like your body does. Don’t wait until you have a crisis in your life to start feeding it.


From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

 

How To Eat A Pie

This might surprise you, but there is more than one way to eat a pie.  I know, because this is what the current pie I am eating looks like:

pie

Why? Because it was my birthday yesterday and my dear friend Christine brings me a freshly baked (by her own hands) pie each year on this one day.  The pie comes with strict instructions: “DO NOT SHARE.” Which gives me great freedom to dig that fork in any which way I want.  I can just have a bite (ha!) or I can have a third of the creation all at once.

In my pursuit of slowing down and being grateful, this is finding extra meaning for me this year.  I am savoring the bites, and even flaunting them a bit in front of my children, who don’t really like apple pie (fortunately).  I am grateful, and I am living in the moment of the sugar and crust and delicious filling.

It’s nice having freedom for once to not conform to the “rules of the pie”–eight symmetrical slices to be shared and eaten politely on a plate.

It’s interesting that the rule my friend gave me actually gave me freedom.

Have you ever thought about that with the Christian life?

Too often we don’t see rules as leading to freedom, instead we see them as necessary evils that we either fight against or embrace legalistically:

“We shouldn’t wear this, we need to say that, we certainly don’t do those things, did you see what that person did?”  We tend to make it sound all judgy, with shouldn’ts and should haves. We heap expectations on others, while often ignoring our own misfires.

But God’s real plan for us is freedom.  How do we reconcile both?

Here are some thoughts:

God knew in his wisdom that some ways of doing life are better than others.  That is the key to understanding Jesus, and his tangible effort to connect us with his Father, followed by his death on the cross paying for our sin.  We have no laws anymore, no sacrifices to redeem us enough to be in God’s presence once again.  It is done.  We are connected through repentance and faith and belief.  We have freedom.

We also have choices to make every day, some good, some bad.  Our freedom to choose can sometimes be the very thing that imprisons us.  Adultery, murder (literally imprisons), dishonesty, gluttony, envy, idolatry,  just to name a few.

Back to the pie… what if I always ate a pie set before me this crazy, one-forked big-holed way?  What if I dug in to a delicious warm apple round at a party with my prongs, carving out the middle, going back in several times to get the best bites in front of a group of wide eyes.  Um, yuck.  My party days would be over.

God knows that some ways to live our life (eat our pie) are better than others, which is why in His Word he gives us instructions, guidelines, even commandments.  He knows that some “free” decisions in life lead to heartbreak, pain, suffering.

“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind.” 1 Peter 2:1.

Throughout the bible, God speaks of obedience and righteousness, and He also speaks of hope and grace and a future.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you , who through faith are shielded by God’s power…” 1 Peter 1: 3-5

God has an inheritance for us, a living hope and a new birth.  He is not all about rules, there is so much more!

Yet he knows that if we tank our life in sin, we get buried in the heap of mess, guilt, regret, and shame.  There is no freedom in that.

Which is why there is freedom in the word of God, with all its wisdom and guidelines.

We are to live a life of passion and love because of the great love God has for us, his children.   At the same time, let’s pursue righteousness–let’s serve and obey God because we want to out of our love for Him, and because we trust him with our best life.

This is the balancing act of the Christian life.

Blessings,

Amy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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