Book report day

What a day. A Husband out of town day. A 3rd grader book report day.  A PERFECT Phoenix-area fall weather day!  Its a tease though.  I wish it would stay that way.  Next week it supposed to be in the mid 90’s again.  I’m ready for sweaters, and spice candles, and pumpkin spice lattes. 

I googled pumpkin spice latte recipes this morning and found this.  I modified it to this:

1 c. whole milk
1 T. canned pumpkin
1 T. honey
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. strong brewed coffee
a dash of ground cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon

Heat milk, pumpkin, honey, vanilla and spices in a saucepan over med. high heat until steamy.  Wisking constantly.  Pour into mug.  Add coffee to mug.  Top with whip cream if you want to.  I didn’t have any but it was still delicious!

I like book reports.  When my kids have to do them I always have to try really hard not to take over and do it for them.  Ryland’s doing a really good job considering this is not his forte.  If only he could do a math report instead.  As much as I don’t comprehend his affinity for math, even more I don’t comprehend his disdain of retelling a story.  How can you not love retelling a story?  At least this book report, he gets to make a mobile with the characters he drew from the book.  The actual “report” part is only writing a brief description of each character.  So far he’s got, “So and so was a boy.”  And ” So and so was the science teacher.”  We’ll have to work on details later.  He’s got the skeleton. 

When you have to sit down and write out or talk out a retelling of what you read or learned it really makes it come alive!  At least it does for me.

This is why I write, or blog, or email, or talk.  I live it in the second-living.  The writing.  Today, I second-lived via talking it out with a dear friend I haven’t seen in  year.  I am witness to the amazing grace and work of God in my friend and her husband!  And she was such an encouragement to me as she listened to me and could really say she knew exactly what I was talking about.  Apparently I’ve  been a hose through which water has poured.  A spout where blessings have flowed out.  A Living Water fountain.  Oh amazing grace how can it be?!  Today she was the spout and the hose and the fountain!  Thank you Lord!  Let me be a blessing. 

I got a good portion of my Rahab study done while the boy worked on his book report.   The way of God is amazing!

And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”- Matthew 9:11-13

Try to retell the One True Story.  Try to retell God’s mercy and grace.  I’m dumbfounded.

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”- John 7:38


Changed the name

I remember when I was a kid my mom used to change the arrangement of the furniture and house decor pretty regularly. You never knew when you’d come home to a whole new look.  I liked it!

I guess it really is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.

I’ve been keeping a journal since I was a kid. Sometimes I look back on the journals and am embarrassed. I keep them to remind myself of God’s grace over all my years of foolishness. But when I started blogging about 7 years ago I basically put my journals out for the world to see. Sometimes I look back at old blog posts and think, “I was a crazy lady!” I don’t delete those old blog posts though, because it reminds me that I am utterly dependent upon the mercy and grace of God. I have been immature and foolish in many of my writings and professions, but God has been faithful and gracious to me!

So I changed the name of my blog today because I’m a woman (smile. sigh. honored). I’m a woman humbled by the merciful refining of my faithful Father. And I’m more aware of the pleasant places the lines have fallen for me in this life. I make a home. I love a husband. I nurture children. I support. I stand by. I feed. I show affection by whipping up something good in the kitchen. I grow in God’s word. I think better when I write. Hence: a homemaker’s meditations.

Here are some good stuff I whipped up this weekend:

Albacore Tuna Fish Tacos

– 4 corn tortillas
– 1 can albacore tuna
– 1 small tomato diced
– 2 T. diced fresh cilantro
– 3 T. diced red onion
– 3 T. mayo
– juice from 1/2 lime

Mix 1 can of tuna with mayo, onion, tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice.  Heat corn tortillas until slightly crisped in a tablespoon of oil.  Scoop 3 T. tuna mix into corn tortilla.  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies
 (inspired by this recipe at How Sweet It Is)

This is a delicious, rustic, salty, chocolaty, not-too-sweet cookie that satisfies my chocolate craving and is just plain yummy!

– 2 c. brown rice flour
– 1/2 c. white rice flour
– 1/2 c. tapioca flour
– 1/2 c. almond meal
– pinch of xanthan gum
– 3 T. cocoa powder
– 1/2 t. baking soda
– 1/4 t. salt
– 1/2 c. softened butter
– 6 T. creamy natural almond butter
– 1/2 c. honey
– 2 ripened mashed bananas
– 1 egg yoke
– 2 tsp. vanilla extract
– handful of crushed almonds
– 1 pkg semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl. Set aside. Mix butter, almond butter, honey, bananas, egg yoke and vanilla.  Slowly mix in dry ingredients. Fold in almonds and chocolate chips. Spoon tablespoon sized scoops onto cookie sheet. Press to slightly flatten.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Rest on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes before removing to plate. 


Holiday recipes: Sweet mashed yams and homeade rolls recipe

Sweet Mashed Yams


4-6 yams or sweet potatoes peeled and diced into large chunks (about 1 inch
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick butter
a couple dashes of cinnamon
salt to taste

Boil diced yams in large pot of salted water until tender when pierced with
fork (about 20 minutes). While yams are boiling melt together the brown
sugar, cream and cinnamon over medium heat. Drain yams when their
done. Add butter and 1/4c. melted sugar/cream/cinnamon mixture to
yams. Mash to desired consitency. Serve remaining cream/sugar sauce
on the side so your guests can to turn your yams into desert by pouring more of
the sweet mixture on top of their yams! 🙂

Homemade Dinner Rolls

(from Donna West at All


1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. warm milk
1 egg
1/3 c. butter, softened
1/3 c. white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup butter softened

Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour, and yeast in
the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer (I
mixed the yeast in the warm water, milk, and sugar first. Then added the
butter and dry ingredients which I mixed together in a seperate bowl. I
then mixed and needed the dough until it was soft and springy. Then I went
on with the rest of the recipe.)

Turn dough out onto slightly floured surface. Divide dough in
half. Roll each half into a 12 inch circle, spread 1/4 cup softened butter
over entire round. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll wedges
starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly. Place point side down on
ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with clean kitched towel and put in a warm
place (here’s a secret I learned about the “warm place” that I can never seem to
find when I want to rise dough. Boil a pot of water. Put it in the
bottom of your oven. Put the dough you want to rise in a dish on the rack
in the oven.) Let rise for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400
degrees. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until

Redeeming the time,

Recipe share

I don’t know about you but I start running dry on how many ways to cook chicken legs/thighs about every two weeks.

I use google to search for recipes all the time.

Lately I’ve been on a soup kick. I thought I’d share the links to a few of the recipes I’ve made lately. They’ve been deee lish!

  • Banana Banana Bread (I know, that’s not soup! But I had some really ripe bananas that needed usin’) Really, really yummy! The loaf was gone by the end of the day!
  • The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies (Okay, I know, we’re still not talkin soup!) My kids always ask for sugar cookies when we go into Walmart so I promised I’d make ’em some. And they were a hit! I’m still a Chocolate Chip cookie gal, but these are really scrumptious too!
  • Lentil Soup– I didn’t make this exactly according to the recipe. I used regular canola oil instead of olive oil. I used regular table salt instead of kosher salt. I used a can of chopped tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes. And I didn’t use any of the grains of paradise (I have no idea where to find that!). But the soup still turned out really well! I loved it. My kids wouldn’t touch it, but my husband thought it was tasty too! I give it 4 stars out of 5!
  • Ultimate Great Northern Beans– I also did some substituting with this one. I used canned chopped tomatoes instead of ro-tel. I used have a package of chopped up bacon instead of the pork jowl. I thought it turned out very, very yummy and so did my husband. I thought it tasted like a MUCH better, homemade version of Campbell’s bean and bacon soup. The kids, again, not much for soups I don’t think unless it’s Ramen. I’m gonna have to work on broadening their taste-scape.
  • Split Pea Soup– I just made this last night. Here are my substitutes: I didn’t use a leak. I couldn’t see paying $4 for a vegetable! I just can’t do it! Instead of the herb bouquet I used 4 cloves of garlic crushed, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of ground thyme, and 2 teaspoons of dry parsley flakes. I just took out the bay leaves at the end of cooking. I also used two smoked ham neck bones rather than the two ham hocks. It gave a nice smoky flavor to the soup. But I had to really be sure to strain the soup well at the end to get any floating bones out. My husband hasn’t tried this one yet, he’s not much for split pea, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it! I did get my oldest to try it and, drumroll please… HE LIKES IT!!!

What about you? Got any recipes or recipe links you want to share?

My chocolate chip cookies

3/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour (2 1/2 if you like a bit thicker and chewier- I do 🙂
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 of an 11.5 oz bag of semi sweet
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla in bowl- beat until creamy. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a seperate bowl. Mix dry ingredients into the creamy mixture until just blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes on middle rack in oven. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet until set up, about 5 minutes. If you like you’re cookies crispy, bake for 9-10 minutes. I like mine chewy, gooey and warm…with cold milk- YUM!!!