Favorite Banana Muffins
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup oil ( I usually use Canola in this recipe)
6 eggs, well beaten
4 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour (can use a mix of wheat and unbleached white)
This recipe makes 24 muffins plus a one inch or so banana “bread.”
Set oven at 400 degrees. Line Muffin cups. Grease a bread pan. Mash bananas in bottom of extra-large mixing bowl. Add sugar and oil and mix well. Whip eggs thoroughly in small bowl. Add to Mix. Mix thoroughly. Add 4 tsp. baking powder and three tsp. vanilla. Mix. Mix in flour, one cup at a time. Mix batter until smooth. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Add remaining batter into banana bread pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until done at 400 degrees. Optional yumminess for a special occasion: add 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips before adding flour.
We made these (without chocolate chips and using only unbleached white flour (this time) ) on Friday morning. Everyone loved them.
Note: for those who might be interested- yes- you could use applesauce to replace half the oil. No, I have not done it!
Strong 6 turned 7 one late November day.
Sweet 5 grew in confidence and courage.
Mountain drive bike riding has begun again.
Trike and big wheel have been traded for “Rocket”(child’s bike-no training wheels; flame red) and “Bikey”(purple and white little girl bike;training wheels).
Mountain rides have begun again. Begun in perfect order. No intense racing now. Polite taking of turns as bikes swish down the rocky gravel drive.
Sometimes, even making way, for Little Boy as he braves the gravel on his trike.
7 has learned to balance and maneuver. Sweet 5 feels more confident and brave.
Helmets on, handlebars gripped tight.
He, hopeful to continue on Rocket. (He has lost the privilege a few times due to reckless driving…)
She, testing out those brakes. Still- she’s fast.
She is riding again.
“Mercy’s robe, a ring of grace, such favor undeserved…”
I stand- caught in that moment. Caught; Held in a supernatural moment of Grace.
of my heart.
We have been on this path, homeschooling our children, for at least 5 years now… and each year-
it becomes more real. Real that we have left old things behind and embraced a new and different way. And I have found cupfuls, nay- oceans of His Grace- but I have to stop and listen, pray, and watch to be there to receive it. I am learning to embrace the imperfection each day brings to me and I am learning to find Him in it.
Each day brings cherished little ones to seek and bigger ones to guide…and each day with its imperfection- shows me more my need of Him. Stepping down this path, at times, feels unfamiliar and uncertain. Other times, we find ourselves in moments of pure joy.
I have found peace in an embracing of this life. And in an embracing of each very own day with its very own challenges, stresses, and strifes.
Heart stretched out, with steps of faith, held up by Grace… Embrace the Day!
After writing my blog post about my passion for books and developing a heritage library, maintaining reading lists, etc. I found myself in the Word. I have been spending slow time in 1 John.
This succinct verse stopped me short and caused me to ponder.
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21 ESV. O- the tenderness of those words… little children…
And… keep yourselves… I must take my part of the responsibilty to guard and watch my heart.
And the note:Keep yourselves from idols means keep yourselves from trusting, obeying, revering, following- that is-in effect, worshiping-anyone or anything other than God Himself, and His Son Jesus Christ. (ESV note on 1 John 5:21)
I consider myself warned. My passion for books (or anything else for that matter) must never override my passion for the Lord. In this I see my need for grace- for my heart is prone to wander…
“O to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.”
third stanza of one of my favorite hymns… Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
I scribble fast —
I hear —
I find —
The words, they rush
This past week I read several things in the blogosphere and in real life that have been twirling around my mind. This post is an effort to make sense of it and gather it together- and maybe benefit someone else too!!
At Holy Experience I read this- and felt myself nodding in agreement and sighing too-
I also decided to make her list in The Library under Family my reading list for this year. So many great titles that I have looked at and pondered over before… Seeing that list made me feel like she could be a friend… 😉
On the subject of reading lists… I love to read. I love to study. I love to think deep and meaningful thoughts that then inspire me to live a more excellent life. However, with the addition of all of our children, homeschooling, multi-tasking- I find it hard to find the time I want to read and I had been starting to feel guilty about my desire in this area. I also love books. I love books. We already have a somewhat extensive home library. I was beginning to feel guilty about this, too. I can’t keep my oldest son in books. He is a vacuum. 🙂 It can get very expensive! My second son- is not the same advanced reader as my first- and it is a challenge to find the literature that will engage him and not overwhelm him. He is also extremely visual. So- what has met the needs of my first born- doesn’t meet his needs. He needs a different “diet” of nourishing reading. Anyway- I was beginning to feel worried about this passion of mine… but then this week I happened upon some things that have encouraged me in this direction- that I just seem to take “naturally”…
I followed a link from Coffee, Tea, Books, and Me and found myself here. Copperswife writes an excellent article about developing a Heritage Library! O how encouraged I was! This is a long article that I will return to several times if not again and again. Copperswife also wrote this– an article on why it is important for the Christian woman to commit to and keep up with a varied reading diet. Well- that seemed to answer some of my concerns. The sweet blogger at Passionate Homemaking keeps a committed list of reading too and crosses them off as she completes each one. I found her list quite inspiring as well. I had been doing some reading at CharlotteMasonHelp.com last week and in her articles on organization she has the Ten Habits of A Happy Homeschool. One of her habits was to keep four books going at all times…
Finally- I just received Sarah Clarkson’s book Read for the Heart in the mail. Joy of Joys! What a delight of a book. This book (which I have just begun) has only reaffirmed desires deep within my heart for our family. It has also given me a vision of what intentional reading and parenting can produce in a child. The long-term vision of what my choices and efforts can impart… that has been a motivating vision indeed.
So- there are some of the thoughts swishing through my mind.
How I wanted to throw a dark green or red tablecloth over the table and add to the special festiveness of our Sunday dinner. Most Sundays find us gathered round our table in the evening…with an audio book playing (some I have trouble paying attention to: such as A Child’s History of England by Charles Dickens 🙂 ). Tonight’s choice(made by Dad) was to begin the Focus on the Family Radio Drama of C.S. Lewis The Lion, The Witch, and the Wadrobe. Our family did not enter Narnia lightly. We have taken it seriously and cautiously- dealing with the themes of magic, fantasy, and witches. The boys and I worked through a Christian guide to Narnia with the books we have read thus far and we have approached it as a family- all together. Our Narnia adventure has led to some wonderful discussions! My little ones have been exposed to more than I would have wished, though. That part grieves me- although they do not seem any worse for wear- thus far- but I must be very intentional in shepherding their precious hearts.
I have been finding entering the world of Tolkein and Lewis to be extremely enlightening. It is amazing how many references are made to C.S. Lewis- whether in a sermon we hear or in a book we are reading. I am finding it helpful for cultural literacy that we are approaching these books and this author (and also Tolkein with my oldest- but that is another post).
Back to our Sweet Sunday…
no tablecloth to be found (yet)… but we gathered round the table all together to enjoy our Sunday dinner. As I mentioned- most Sundays we can be found… feasting… on a more elaborate than usual dinner- and then I have the ease of serving leftovers on Mondays- which is usually one of my hardest days of the week.
Sweet Sunday’s Feast
Country Style Pork Ribs with home-made Barbecue Sauce and Pineapple Rings
Green Salad with vegetables; home-made Honey Mustard dressing(my very favorite and such a treat now that we have eggs!!!), French, or Balsamic Vinagrette
Organic (It really does make such a difference) home-made Mashed Potatoes
Pineapple Upside- Down Biscuits
Ketchup (of course!) those of you who know us are nodding heads and snickering because ketchup is its own food group in our house!
I am inspired to keep the specialness in our Sunday dinner and make our feasts enjoyable.