Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkin bread!!

I talk so much about Pumpkins and fall and baking, that I figured I should back that up with sharing a delicious recipe. This is kid proved, tested, and loved. I got this recipe here!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin purée*
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped walnuts
* To make pumpkin purée, cut a pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a foil or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use. Or, if you are working with pumpkin pieces, roast or boil them until tender, then remove and discard the skin.


1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts.
3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.
Can easily double the recipe.

I used canned pumpkin and it tasted just as delicious. I wasn't feeling motivated enough to actually use a real pumpkin. I did that last year with pumpkin pie, however, and its AMAZING. Totally worth the hard work. I did this recipe without nuts as well, because Jake is allergic to them. And, I like to mix spices and add others. I didn't have nutmeg, so opted out of that - and I added pumpkin pie spice and it was wonderful. 

Looks so pretty!!!
So so good!!!


Friday, September 23, 2011

nature walks and creation pages.

One of the most simple and fun activities to do with kids are nature walks and creation art pages. I never get tired of them. Ever. Especially in this weather. So, here is a simple post dedicated to that.

Me and my boy. Love the mess out of this kid!!

His "treasure bag" - he is attached to his Buzz backpack and "T-Rex!" stuffed animal. Love this!

The end result: our nature page. So much fun!!!
You (O LORD) have put more joy in my heart than they have when their wine and grain abound.
Psalm 4:7
You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kids Bibles and homemade place mats. Necessities :)


My favorite kids Bible ever is the Jesus storybook Bible. Every single story (based on Scripture) points back to Jesus and this whole life being about Jesus - not us. It's full of Biblical truth that kids understand. I love love love it! You can read all about it and buy the Bible here, at Barnes and Noble, or at a Christian bookstores.

That being said, Caiti (4 years old) is obsessed with anything princess, pink, sparkly, girly, etc. I had a hard time getting her to connect as I read this Bible, so I looked at Barnes and Noble to see what I could find. I found The Sweetest Story Bible. I like the foundational truths in the Jesus Storybook Bible more, but she can't read yet, so she doesn't know when I add stuff :) But I love this Bible also! Each chapter is based on a story in Scripture, along with the reference where that story is found. At the end of each chapter is gives "Sweet Thoughts" with a short thought summing up the chapter and "Sweet Words", a Bible verse for that chapter. Caiti loves this one, and with me adding a bit more truth and some of my own words, it's a winner! You can get that here, at Barnes and Noble, or at a Christian bookstore.


If you know me, you know I love anything sentimental. I use A LOT of pictures for crafts. I love that it's a moment frozen in time, used to enhance a child's creativity. Kids love it too - anything where they can always see themselves. :) One of the best ways to do that is by making homemade place mats. It's super super easy!

What you need:
  • The big square pieces of card stock paper (you can get these for 50¢ or $1 at Michael's or Hobby Lobby) 
  • Decorations (it depends on what you want the theme of your place mat to be: i.e., fall, Christmas, princess, cars, Birthday, etc etc) - I've found flat decorations work better once you laminate, but we've done both and we make it work. :)
  • Pictures printed out.
  • Glue (glue stick or hot glue gun will work)
  • Markers if you want to write on it (crayons don't show up well)
  • Decorate your place mat however you want to. Leave a little room on the edges to cut the paper smaller if you have to. Depending on where you take it to get laminated, the machines aren't always fit to the size of the paper. That's kind of annoying.
  • Laminate it: I've done self laminating, but it just doesn't turn out as well. Taking it somewhere (we always do Office Depot), like a story, or if you have access to a school. A small at home laminator is not big enough; it has to be one of the big laminators. 
  • And that's it!! Super easy. I wash mine in the sink and they're fine. Here are examples:
These are our fall ones we did last year. We decided to keep it simple and matching. :) We're using these right now!

Maddie's Christmas one from last year!

Caiti and Jake. They picked out their own themes and decorated it themselves. Love these!

As I was putting Jake in his car seat this morning, the first thing he said to me was: "Sing songs. Jesus! Jesus songs. Sing." He LOVES our WeSing Bible songs and Veggie Tales worship album. I can hear him in the backseat singing along to them. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with where the Lord has placed me with this family and my calling to share Christ with them. I am oftentimes reminded, however, that it is not I who will give an account for these children before the Lord. I am merely being used as a vessel to share Jesus and His love.
To nannies: You are NOT accountable before Christ for these kids you care for. I'm with them so much sometimes I feel that I am, but I'm not. Take a deep breath and remember that. Trust Christ with their salvation, and if the parents of your kiddos aren't saved, daily pray for that. Boldly share the gospel. You ARE accountable for that. Seeds are being planted you cannot even see. Trust Him.
To parents: You ARE accountable before Christ for your kids. Not for their salvation, but for raising them under the fear and truth of God. As a single woman, that's an intimidating (yet I want it SO bad) thought. As a believer, you MUST see your kids as souls in need of a Savior, not just a baby who won't stop crying or a toddler who won't mind you or a young kid who sasses you. They are sinners in need of a Savior. Daily share truth, hope, and love with them.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6
In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
1 Peter 3:15
Preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
2 Timothy 4:2

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall is here!

I've been a nanny for the past 4 1/2 years. In those years I've learned more about living and loving through the gospel than any other time in my life. I nanny for a precious family of 3 children (Jake-2, Caiti-4, and Maddie-6). I not only get the joy of helping raise them, but of being used by Christ to pour truth into their lives where they aren't hearing it elsewhere. I love Jesus with all that is in me and every day I pray He chooses these kiddos to be His own. I love them, almost as if they were my own. And... I really really love crafts and baking. :)

So, here is a blog dedicated to those things! I'll post craft ideas, baking with kids secrets, and stories of Christ working in these kids. If you have stories as well, please share! And give me craft and baking ideas please!! Enjoy! :)

My kiddos love music- singing to it, dancing to it, talking about it, etc... So, I've found a great way of instigating questions or conversations about Christ is being intentional about music we listen to in the car. This morning we had The Village Church kids album on. It's full of truth with catchy music. The kids love it and it started a conversation reiterating sin and why Jesus had to die on the cross, and what that means for us. Jake is only 2, so he's not quite grasping it. But he will say "Jesus die. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus loves me. Thank You Jesus." It entirely melts my heart. You can find that album here!

Fall and winter crafts are my favorite. I could easily do a blog dedicated to just that!! The following craft is probably my favorite I've ever done. It's called the Thanksgiving Tree. I saw a fancy version of one is a decorating magazine, and made it my own child one.

What you'll need:

  • Decorated plastic sticks (or you could go all natural - we decided plastic would be better so it lasted longer). We got ours at Michael's for like 78 cents! Ours have cute little pumpkins and leaves on them.
  • 1 sheet of colored felt. Brown looks the best, but my girls wanted to mix up the fall colors. Any color will work really!
  • Raffia
  • Floral foam
  • Colored paper to cut into squares
  • Crayons/markers
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue/hot glue gun


Stick the tree in the center of the floral foam (hot glue it in if you want to guarantee it doesn't come out). Pull the felt around it and tie it in place by the raffia. One the kids have written on squares what they're thankful for, punch a hole in the squares and tie extra raffia or string around it, then hang them on the tree. It's so simple and an easy craft for kids to be involved in. 

These are the kids trees. We made them last year,
so this year we've decided to add more things that we're thankful for.
It is currently the centerpiece of our table. Everyone loves it!

I let the kids decide what they wanted to write. This is Caiti's. 
She loves princesses and anything to do with them, so naturally, she's thankful 
that she gets to make wishes like Cinderella. :)

Here's a close up. If they can write, definitely have them write their own.
 It adds to much character to the trees.

Oftentimes childcare (whether you're a nanny or a mom or a grandma who watches the kids) can go unnoticed. I daily remind myself that 1) this isn't about me, 2) it's about Him, and 3) I have a hope and joy in me that I cannot can I keep that to myself?

So, a word of encouragement:
Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 
Galatians 6:9
Whatever you do, work heartily as to the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance of your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Colossians 3:23-24