Pumpkin Muffin Tops (a.k.a. soft pumpkin cookies)

pumpkin cookies
My friend Becky brought us a yummy meal right after Beckham was born.  It was ALL yummy…but these pumpkin cookies…I hoarded them.  I love anything pumpkin, but while I was pregnant with Beckham, it just didn’t agree with my tummy.  I was craving these cookies lately, and finally had an excuse to make them since we were having company for dinner.  These look and taste exactly like the pumpkin muffin tops from Panera.  They are large, super soft and fluffy. They make the perfect dessert, but also make the perfect breakfast…I should know I just ate two.

Pumpkin Muffin Tops (soft pumpkin cookies)
recipe from Joy the Baker

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping cup of chocolate chips
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 325.  Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Stir the flour, baking powder, salt and spices together in a bowl and set aside.  In your mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth…about a minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the oil, pumpkin and vanilla and mix on low until blended.  Add the flour mixture and mix on low until incorporated.  Stir in the chips.

Use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop out the dough 2 inches apart on your baking sheet.  shape, smooth, and slightly flatten the little mounds of dough with your hands.

Bake the cookies for about 16 minutes (one sheet at a time) until the tops are firm, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust with powdered sugar.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.





image via Pinterest

Last thursday morning at 3:30 I woke up in extreme pain, and had a fever and the shakes.  I got in the shower to help relieve the pain, and ended up calling Landon’s name twenty times to wake him up to help me…I felt like I was going to pass out.  Sounds like the flu, but I knew it was Mastitis. I’ve had it before, just not as extreme.  Needless to say, it was a rough day.  I’m so thankful for family that could help me out with the kids, because I could barely hold the baby and stand up at the same time.  I also forgot to mention that I was scheduled for a double root canal that afternoon.  I BEGGED Landon to let me cancel…but he wouldn’t let me. That’s how I got into my dental mess in the first place.  They analyzed the two teeth, and decided that only one tooth needed the root canal.  I left that place teeth chattering, ibuprofen in hand, racing home to get to my breast pump for relief.  I’m still struggling with the mastitis and milk production, but I do feel like I can at least function.

All that to say….I woke up yesterday morning with a negative attitude. I was stressed, tired, irritable.  I didn’t have time to take a shower before all the kids woke up, and I didn’t make time to spend with God.  All I wanted to do was crawl back in bed…but there were hungry mouths to feed, thousands of questions to be answered, a little bottom to change, bills to be paid, dishes in the sink, laundry screaming my name, dinner to be made….and the list goes on.  My negative attitude only got worse throughout the day.  I kept asking myself why the kids were acting up so much yesterday, later realizing they were just feeding off my attitude and emotions.  I sat on the living room floor after they went to bed, and realized how much I need Jesus.  That no matter how sick, or how exhausted I am….I need to start my day with Him.  Everything else will fall into line.  So this morning after Beckham’s 4 a.m. feeding I stayed awake.  I looked up verses about God’s love and strength.  The stress…the exhaustion…the loneliness I have been feeling…all seemed to just melt away.  I know I’ll be tired (for the next 20 years), but I know that God can also be my strength.  Being a mother can be frustrating at times, but I need to be showing God’s love to my children instead of anger and frustration.  It’s such a heavy thought that my children will learn and mimic my example. It’s such a simple fix to make the choice wake up and start your day thinking on truth and spending time with God…then trusting Him to take care of the rest.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” -Isaiah 26:3

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord who has compassion on you.” – Isaiah 54:10

“Come to me, all who labor and are heave laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” – Matthew 11:28-30

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27


so this is love…

Valentine's Day 2014
I have the sweetest little bunch of kids.  We had a FUN Valentine’s Day together!  We made monkey bread in the morning, had lunch with friends, and Landon and I got to go on an unexpected date night to dinner!  We were both so exhausted, we could barely talk…but we enjoyed a nice, quiet dinner at P.F. Changs, then raced home to share our chocolate cake with the girls.  We are all in love with our sweet Beckham.  I thought the initial excitement of baby brother would start to taper off a little bit, but it has only gotten stronger.  Those girls truly love him, and it melts my heart.  He’s the first thing they ask about when they wake up!  We all love his sweet little personality so much!


I’ve been struggling with love and patience.  It’s hard to be a stay at home mom sometimes (ok a lot of times).  I’ve been thinking a lot about how being a mom it is completely dying to yourself and giving up everything for your kids.  It’s eating animal crackers, cheez-its, and peanut butter and jelly crusts for lunch when you are trying to eat “clean”.  It’s starting your day at 3:30 with a sweet baby.  It’s doing four loads of laundry…thinking you are done for the day, then someone has a blowout all over your bed.  It’s sacrificing my “wants” for their needs.  There are days where I think I might lose my mind.  There are days that I lose my temper, and have to apologize to the kids.  There are days were I am counting down to bedtime, because I am so physically and mentally exhausted.

I’m thankful for forgiveness.  And grace.  I remember how important my role is as a mother.  How my children are watching my every move, my reactions, my example…and I cringe…because I haven’t been the best example of love to my children at times.  I can either beat myself up over it, or I can change.  There are going to be rough days…but I want my children to see from my example that I respond in love, and that I am patient with them.  Because I know they are only going to follow my example. I’m so thankful that God chose me to be their mother, but I also pray that I would make the right choices and be the best example to them of His love.

1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


life lately…


Where have the last couple months gone?!?  I can’t believe my little baby boy will be 3 months old next week.  I’ve always wanted a mama’s boy, and I FINALLY got my mama’s boy.  Everyone told me that my relationship with Beckham would be different, and I can see why now!  He has totally stolen my heart!  He watches my every move, wants me to hold him every minute of the day, holds my hand, and smiles at me a hundred times a day.  I just know his first word will be “MaMa”.  I’m truly soaking in these precious baby moments.  I remember with Brooke, I just looked forward to the next stage….everything was so new for us and I read every baby book there was to make sure she was reaching each milestone.  With the twins, we were much more relaxed and just went with the flow.  They were a little behind on their milestones, but I enjoyed them being little babies since I thought they were my last.  And then there is sweet Beckham.  I just keep wishing the days wouldn’t fly by so quickly.  I know each stage is so fun, but I just want this little baby stage to crawl by.  Here are a few things I’ve learned in the last few weeks…

Don’t be lazy.  I decided to nurse with my bed pillow instead of getting up and grabbing my nursing pillow.  Beckham decided that was the perfect time to have the BIGGEST blowout ever….all over my pillow, and on our duvet cover.  I couldn’t help but laugh…it’s was too funny and gross all at the same time.

Don’t go to Wal-Mart at 5 a.m. – They will have 4 aisles closed (?!?), one of them being the baking aisle when you have a cupcake order due that day.  Awesome. You will drive to the other grocery store, slip on the ice then drop all your groceries on the ground.  Then look around to make sure no one saw, like anyone else is out at 5 a.m.?!?

Don’t try jeans on. ever. – Just wear leggings and long shirts.  Every day….until it’s summer and then you have no choice but to try shorts on.  What did we do before leggings were in?!?

Enjoy every minute. – Let’s be honest, being a mom is hard work.  It’s frustrating at times, exhausting…but it’s so rewarding.  I’ve been trying to spend less time on the computer, less time cleaning, and more time playing with all the kids during the day.  Nap time (if I’m lucky) is when I get to catch up with emails, facebook, reading and eating.  I’m just so amazed at how quickly the days go by with my sweet kids.   I know I’ll blink, and then be wishing I had more sleepless nights, more tiny clothes to wash, more crumbs to clean off the floor, more questions to answer a thousand times a day….so for now, I’m trying to enjoy it more, and start stressing less.

Loaded Baked Potato Skins

Loaded Baked Potato Skins
We got some unexpected snow while we were in church on Sunday morning.  It was beautiful, but it really made grocery shopping impossible for me on Sunday!  We NEEDED football food…so I started looking in the pantry for something to come up with.  I made this cheesy bean dip (YUM…thanks Kellie!), and these loaded baked potato skins.  We ate sour cream on our skins, but I didn’t get a chance to take a photo.  They were gone THAT FAST.  I cheated and “baked” the potatoes in the microwave AND used pre-cooked bacon crumbles.  We are bracing for some more snow, and I still have a couple pounds of potatoes left.  I know what we are having for dinner tonight…

Loaded Baked Potato Skins
recipe from Six Sisters Stuff

4 large baking potatoes, baked (i used some smaller potatoes on hand)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (or real bacon crumbles)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
green onions (optional)

Preheat oven to 475.

Cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/4 inch shell.  Place the skins on a baking sheet.  Combine the olive oil, parmesan, salt, garlic powder, paprika and pepper.  Brush this oil mixture on both sides of the skins.  Bake for 7 minutes.  Turn skins over and bake another 7 minutes until crispy.  Sprinkle bacon and cheese inside the skins, and bake for another 2 minutes until the cheese is melted.  Top with sour cream and onions.