October Smiles

AUTHOR: | POSTED: October 1, 2012 | COMMENTS: 3 Comments

Carolyn Savage

Yesterday I had pumpkin bread in the oven before sunrise.  It wasn’t that I was entirely enthusiastic about baking that morning.  It was more along the lines of our middle child “early bird” who demanded a “craft” as soon as she woke.  I tried doing what my own parents did and pulling her in bed with me, but MK’d have nothing of it.  It was time to take on the day, in her four year old mind, and true to her tenacious nature, she wasn’t going it alone.  Instead of plugging in the glue gun (which would have probably resulted in a pre-dawn injury of some sort), I rifled through my pantry in search of a can of pumpkin…that wasn’t expired. 


Thank goodness I found one. 




And in the end it was a great thing.  The rest of our clan woke to the smells of pumpkin and spices wafting through the house.  No matter that I could have used the extra hour of sleep.  Getting some alone “girl time” with MK was worth the plethera of yawns that plagued me for the rest of the day. 


The incident, albeit small, illustrates so clearly how my attitude has changed over the past couple of years.  I used to get caught up in the challenges of being a mother.  Sleep deprivation combined with  the never-ending, always growing to-do list used to frustrate me.  Now I surrender to my perpetual state of activity, thanking God during every single second of it that I have been blessed with these kids.  The laundry still stinks, the clutter’s still messy, and I’m somewhat narcoleptic by the end of the day, but all I have to do is think of the alternative–what my life would be like without my five miracles–and I’m instantly focused on gratitude.  I know that I’m lucky.  I’ll never forget it.


Smiles from Last Week


First Smile

We took another trip to the Gust Brothers Pumpkin Farm.  This time we took Daddy.

Everybody giggles in the pumpkin patch!


And she wonders why the bunnies run from her…look closely!


Second Smile

 A walk in the woods with friends.    



Shadow girls.


We meet our friends at the park to play at least once a week.  My favorite days happen in early fall.  These visits are so bright and sunny but comfortably cool.  I remind myself constantly to take advantage of our dwindling weather.  A few short months from now we’ll be banished to our indoor routines.  So “outside…outside…everybody get outside” is our current mantra! 


Third Smile…





Reagan and Isabella are beginning to play together.  It’s such a joy to watch.  My sister-in-law Jenny, the mother of twin boys,  always tells me that the first year of twins  is hell, but after that I’ll begin to see glimpses of the benefits.  That’s starting to happen! It’s such a blessing to know they’ll always have one another. 


Fourth Smile…


Drew, two miles into his race.


Ryan (547) with a teammate appoaching the finish.


Look at the clock…Ryan PR’d! Finally!


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my concerns with Ryan’s racing woes.  He’s ramped up his training over the past two weeks, and had a stellar race  weekend.  True to Ryan’s form, he still wasn’t satisfied with his time (17:03…he wanted to be 16:50 for this 5k) but he’s moving in the right direction.  Of course, I don’t care how fast he runs.  I’m more concerned with his overall happiness, but running a PR made him smile…and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Drew continues to drop time as he recovers from his bought with a parasite.  He’s averaging a drop of 15 seconds per week.  Hopefully, by his league championships in two weeks, he’ll be back to fightin’ form.  He’s got college coaches watching.  The pressure is really on!


Fifth Smile…

I got a new iPhone the other day.  I needed a new phone…one with a better camera.  The night that I brought it home, I tested out the video camera and captured this priceless clip.  It’s a 1:37, but worth watching!  Why?  You’ll see at the end..




Now I hope that her recognition of the pecking order in our house made you smile. 


It sure did for me! 



Happy October! 


Edited to add…Pumpkin Bread Recipe


This recipe is my autumn staple!  Enjoy!


2 2/3 c. sugar

2/3 c. shortenint or butter  (I use butter)

1 16 oz can pumpkin puree

2/3 cup water

4 eggs

3 1/3 c. all-purpose flour

2 t. baking soda

1 1/2 t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. ground cloves

1/2 t. baking powder

2/3 c. coarsely chopped nuts (you can omit this.  I actually chop them in a food processor so I can sneak them in.  Adds some nice protein.)

2/3 c. raisins (I never use raisins. Raisins make me sad.)


Heat oven to 350.  Grease bottom only of two loaf pans.  (9x5x3″ or three smaller pans at 8.5x 4.5×2.5).  Mix sugar and butter (or shortening).  Stir in pumpkin, water, eggs.  Mix flour salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves in seperate bowl.  (Or don’t…sometimes I don’t use a seperate bowl.  This is a baking confession.)  Mix two bowls of stuff together in the bigger bowl…duh.  Pour into pans.  Bake at 350 for 60 minutes or until toothpick, inserted in center, comes out clean.  (Use a wooden toothpick.  Double duh.)  Loosen sides of loaves and remove from pan.  Cool completely before cutting if you want the slices to look pretty.  If you don’t care (we rarely can wait) just cut them right away and chase with milk or apple cider.  Yum! 


You can make these into muffins.  Just adjust baking time to around 28 minutes.


And, as always, you can turn pumpkin muffins into pumpkin cupcakes by topping them with cream cheese frosting.  Recipe here





3 Comments on “ October Smiles ”

  • lynda crossman | October 1st, 2012 1:29 pm

    Dear Queen MOMMY! you did well!! love the videos.. andthe picture of Sean inthe punkin patch trying to win the battle of 2 princesses going seperate ways… although he is still smiling…. keep up the good work!

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  • Jen Daechsel | October 1st, 2012 2:19 pm

    I always look forward to your post and this one with the videos is priceless. The twins playing peek a boo was adorable ( not sure my curtain rods could withstand the tugging of a toddler) and when MK spoke the truth as only babes can…You’re right..The last second of MK’s video is all worth it..for you and for everyone who watches it.

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  • Kristen | October 4th, 2012 10:07 am

    Great pictures and videos the girls are so cute

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