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Friday, September 19, 2014

Amish Pumpkin Crunch

In the spirit of the Autumn season and all things pumpkin, I thought I'dd share with you one of my favorite pumpkin desserts!  I found the recipe in an Amish cookbook many years ago while visiting the Amish country in my home state of Ohio. It's like what some call a "dump cake" and pumpkin pie rolled into one yummy dessert.  I tweaked it ever so slightly.  It is delicious and easy.  Oh- and the house smells AMAZING when this is baking in the oven!  Enjoy!

Amish Pumpkin Crunch

1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
3 eggs
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup butter (melted)

Beat first 6 ingredients until well blended.

Pour into ungreased 9x13 baking dish.  I used a slightly smaller dish so mine came out thicker and I added about 15 minutes to the baking time.  I recommend a 9x13 though.

Then liberally sprinkle the cake mix on top of the pumpkin mixture.

Drizzle the melted butter over the cake mix as evenly as you can.  It doesn't have to be perfect, though.  It all balances out in the oven.

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minute, let cool and then enjoy!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why I Don't Want My Boys to See Me Naked...

I don't know if you've seen the viral blog post going around of a similar title.  I actually get where the author is coming from.  A mom of boys who wants her sons to get a true understanding of what a real woman looks like, flaws and all.  I appreciate the intention and point to give her sons encouragement to appreciate all body types, but I don't think my sons seeing me naked will accomplish that. And here is why...

My boys will not need to see me naked to see what my body looks like and to see my flaws.  They will see me in a night gown or a swim suit and will know mommy's body isn't perfect.  In fact, all I need to do is take them to a water park, and they will know that the vast majority of the female race looks nothing like the photoshopped images in the magazines.

No, if I want to teach my boys to appreciate a woman beyond her imperfect figure, well, I'm not really the person to do that.  Their dad is.

The best thing anyone can do for their sons to teach them how to love and appreciate a woman beyond her body type is to let them see an example of a loving father passionately loving their mother at all times, in all states of physique and disarray.

The problem with boys who turn into men, I believe, is that they have seen examples of fathers and husbands who eventually grow "out of love" with their wives when time takes its toll physically. Wives are guilty of this too, by the way...

I'm so thankful for a husband that, even at my absolute worst, I'll catch just gazing at me.  Even in my times when I feel my fattest, stinkiest, or frumpiest, he wants to hug me and hold me and tell me I'm beautiful.

That is what will teach my boys how to appreciate their woman.  They don't need to see mommy naked to have realistic expectations of the female form and to appreciate their wives' bodies one day no matter what toll nature takes on them.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What Makes a "Good Mom"?

So I know I might be getting myself into something I may not want to get into but this has been heavy on my thoughts so I felt like I needed to put it out there...

What makes you a "good mom"? 

Well, let me tell you what I think doesn't make you a good mom.

It's not whether or not you breastfed or bottle fed, co-sleep or did sleep training in a crib. It's not whether you used cloth diapers or disposable. Whether you spank or not.  Whether you make your own baby food or buy the jar stuff, or if you choose to vaccinate or not.  

Whatever your opinion is on any of these subjects, that's great!  But as professing Christian moms we must be careful how we voice our opinions (myself included) about our choices in raising our kids. Because all these issues are important, but also very personal.  Each situation is unique and may have many layers of circumstances that you may not have any clue about. The guilt that some moms unknowingly put on other moms for not sharing their same passion on certain issues is very vast. 

So here's what I'm getting at, the heart of the matter...

ULTIMATELY I believe what makes you a good mom is this: 

Raising up little ones to be Jesus loving adults.

At the end of the day when we get to heaven, we won't be questioned on if we let our kids sleep in bed with us or not or if we let them suck on a pacifier or if we nursed them until they were three. But we will be questioned on if we loved our kids enough to live the life to the best of our ability as a godly example to our kids.  We will be questioned and judged by God on what we taught our kids about Jesus, faith, and His Holy Word.  Moms, let's remember that ultimately, THIS is what it's all about.  

Let's remember that as moms we're sisters in Christ.  We're in this together.  Let's love our kids and make the choices that work for each of us, individually, but support and encourage each other. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Coping with Postpartum Depression

It's been a while since I've posted on this blog.  Let's just say, it's been quite the year.  About two months ago our world was blessed with the arrival of our second son, Judah Richard.  He came into this world in a hurry and our lives have been in a whirlwind ever since!

So with our new bundle of joy I found myself feeling completely overwhelmed.  My two year old wasn't thrilled with the idea of sharing mommy and made it very clear through his show of emotion (tantrums...).

As many of you moms out there know, adjusting to a newborn is hard!  Nursing is hard!  Having a two year old is hard!  And add to that the normal stresses of life and work and also being a step mom part of the time make for one very worn out mommy.  

This second time around, though I have struggled with postpartum depression in a much severe way than I did with my first.  After almost two months I'm feeling the dark cloud lifting, but I still have my down moments.  Here are some things that have helped me push through it.

1.  Take advantage of every opportunity to get away.  Even if it's just to the grocery store to pick up milk- go.  You need to have some moments of quiet to feel a little bit human.  

2.  Talk about it.  Find a friend or family member and be open about what you are feeling and going through.  
3.  Remind your self of why you are feeling the way you do.  Your hormones are going berserk after having a baby and nursing perpetuates it.  So severe estrogen drops on top of sleep deprivation on top of EVERYTHING else-  yeah, you may feel down, but call it like it is.  Hormones.  

4. Also, remind yourself over and over again, "This is a season.  It will pass."  You will get through this. 

5.  Praise and pray through it.  I'm not trying to sound super spiritual here.  I'm being very honest.  In the midst of my tears I would just stop and start thanking God for my babies, my body that birthed my babies and all the many other things I had to be grateful for.  I would pray for grace to get through it and also for joy in every happy moment.  Interestingly enough, my Judah's name means "praise".  Praising God got my focus off of myself and on to Him!  It helps!  Try it!

If you are a new mom suffering the baby blues I feel ya!  Hopefully this post helps you.  You'll get through this in time, I promise!