An autumn stroll

The girls and I went out for an afternoon stroll this past weekend, while Dave was out...I love this time of year!


Applesauce Cake

This is a great and super easy cake recipe for the fall! My sister suggested it to me not too long ago, when I was short on time and needed to make a cake.

Applesauce Cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 cup raisins
2/3 cups chopped nuts
Maple-Nut buttercream frosting (see below)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13 x 9 pan or 2 round 8 or 9 inch pans.

2. Beat all ingredients except raisins and nuts in large bow on low speed for about 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in raisins and nuts. Pour into pans.

3. Bake rectangle pan 45-50 minutes, rounds 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool.

4. Frost!

Maple-Nut Frosting (frosts one 13 x 9 pan or fills and frosts one 8 or 9 inch 2-layer cake).

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts

1. Mix powdered sugar and butter until softened. Add maple syrup and beat until combined.

2. Stir in nuts


Pumpkin patch

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we went with the Sheffers to a great pumpkin patch a few weeks ago. Here it is...

Poor Jotham was not too fond of all the vines! Here he is, calling for help.

Mckenna chowing on an apple


Laundry day

There is something about laundry day that I really enjoy. Around our house it's usually Monday when most of it gets done. There is often another day when I need to run an extra load to wash a needed "blankie" or something of the sort. But for some reason, I don't mind it...even all the sorting, folding, etc. I love the fresh smell of clothes and having all my favorite items clean to's almost like a fresh start to our week.

This week I thinking that, spiritually speaking, laundry day for me is how each new day is...fresh, with new mercies in it. Yesterday could have become soiled with anger or impatience or fear. For me, it always is. But because of the Cross, I can awake to a new day or moment or hour, washed clean by the blood of Jesus, and through repentance can have a clean, fresh start to honor and please my Savior. How grateful I am for new mercies that come with each day!! They provide hope for my soul when I am discouraged and aware of all my shortcomings. So, with each load of laundry I need to do, I want to use that opportunity to stop and remember what the Savior has done for me in providing a way for my heart to be washed clean and experience fresh mercies with each new day.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lam. 3:22-23


The past few weeks, part 3

Dave took a few days off in the beginning of this month. We stayed around the area and just did day trips. One day to Adventure Park, another to the zoo (forgot my camera), and a few times we went over to the Rio to eat and play.

At the Rio...

Adventure Park...

I love this one..."Papa, go long!"


Please pray...

We have some family on the Castro side who live out in San Diego, a number of friends who are a part of the Sovereign Grace church, as well as Dave's company friends who are about an hour north. Some of needing to evacuate their homes due to the fires. Please keep them in your prayers.


God's steadfast love is better than life

I was reading a meditation by John Piper on Psalm 63 this morning. I started reading his book, Pierced by the Word. It is very good. As I have been battling fears lately, this definitely ministered to my soul and helped to further guide my prayers. In writing Ps. 63, David was fearing for his life and this Psalm is a response to that. Piper comments,

"Learn from David what to do in this brokenhearted, terrifying moment. He prays. The whole psalm is addressed to God. he asks for one thing - not protection, not victory, but God Himself, satisfying his soul, like water satisfies thirst in a dry and weary land. 'O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my flesh faints for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water' (vers 1). There are seasons of pain and loss and grief and darkness when nothing is worth asking for but God. Everything else seems trivial, even life.

That's why David said in verse 3, 'Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.' David may well be killed during the night by some plotting traitor sold out to Absalom. How do you sleep? You remind yourself that the love of God in the presence oGod is better than not being stabbed to death in the night. But this rest in God's steadfast love is not easily felt. We say the words. But do we feel the reality? David did not feel it as he wanted to feel it. That is why he cried out, 'Earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you.' David desperately needed God to answer his cry to come and help him taste- not just know, but feel- that God's steadfast love is better than life.

Oh, to know God like this! Would this not be everything to us? Would this not be more than all the riches and fame and success and health, indeed all the world can offer? God Himself coming near and making our souls drink from His love until all else fades from view, and fear is swallowed up in the unshakable security of everlasting enjoyment at the right hand of God. Oh that we would come to this place in our walk with God!"


The past few weeks, part 2

Now that fall is here, we are saying good-bye to all our summer flowers that we had on our deck and in our garden. We enjoyed them, probably Mckenna and I most of all. She loved to help me water and take care of them. A few weeks ago, the girls and I ventured out to get some fall mums and flowers to replace some of our summer ones.

Here were some of the last of our summer flowers...

A friendly spider made his home above some of the flowers and it looked really cool when we watered.


Crock-pot recipe

I love the ease of crock-pot recipes, but Dave isn't always so keen on the "mushiness" of them. This one, however, was a winner! Very easy and so yummy. If anyone else has a favorite crock-pot recipe, I'd love to know it. If you can, share it with us in the comments section.

Split Pea Soup
  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 1 meaty hambone, 2 ham hocks, or 2 cups diced ham
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 ribs of celery plus leaves, chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tbsp. seasoned salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
  • 1 1/2 qts. hot water
Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order given; pour in water. Do not stir ingredients. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off bone.

Remove bones and bay leaf. Mash peas to thicken more, if desired. Serve garnished with croutons. Freezes well.
Serves 8


The past few weeks, part 1

I am going to attempt to catch up a bit on the past weeks. I got all my pictures uploaded and over the past few days have gone through them (all 500+). It was fun!

One of the big events was a wedding in FL that Dave and I attended. My cousin, Mike got married and we decided to make a short trip down for it. Last minute we decided to take Selah (because she could fly for free), which turned out to be fun. It was a great time of seeing family, some of which I have not seen since I was very little.

Mike & Jess...just married!

Amazingly, Selah made it through the service...with the help of this pencil.

First dance

Dave's neice, Nina. She and Selah won were too cute!


We haven't disappeared

It's been so long since I have posted and much has been going on in our family. As for my computer...well, as soon as we got it back last, it had to go right back. It still wasn't right. But now, I have it and it works great (apparently, but I'm still convinced that I got a lemon ;o). Anyway, this is where I am glad Dave got a warranty. After a few visits to the Mac Dr., my computer took over $800 in repairs. Hard to believe, but am grateful we didn't have to pay for it.

Then last week, Dave took 4 days off for an at-home vacation. We took some day trips to the zoo and Adventure park and just enjoyed being together. It was a busy week and we had lots of fun. I took loads of pictures, but I can't seem to upload them to my computer. I think Dave needs to reinstall my camera software...BUT, he's away all this week in Lake Tahoe on a trip with some co-workers...playing golf, hiking around the crystal blue lake, having fun, and oh yes, a few business meetings! We miss him, but I am glad he gets to get away and see new places, and have some fun. So, I can't share any pictures yet, but hopefully soon.

With Dave gone, we went out to see my mom and grammy on Monday and stayed the night. Then on Wednesday we went to this great pumpkin patch in Damascus with the Sheffers. For some reason, I have found it hard to come by REAL pumpkin patches these days, the kind where the pumpkins are still on the vine. But this place had a real patch and was filled with a variety of pumpkins...with stripes and brights colors. We also got a big bag of "seconds" apples and Mckenna and I made lots of applesauce when we got home.

After all this fun for a few weeks, we desperately needed a "home" day. So, that's what we did back on our schedule, went for a walk in this wonderful cool, crisp weather, and got some things done at home.

Enjoy this cool fall weather!


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