Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mmmmmm…I think I may have posted this recipe last year, but it’s so good I’m posting it again! :) The recipe calls for cookies, but I make them in a 9×13 pan for bars. Yesterday the kids helped me make these and the house smelled so good with pumpkin and chocolate baking!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 cups flour
2 cups oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 – 16oz can pumpkin
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl cream butter, gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by 1/4 cup dough amounts onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes. (You can make them half the size – regular cookie drop amount- but check the around 12-15 minutes as they may need to come out sooner than the large size.)

I do a variation though. We use 4 cups whole wheat flour and use and extra amount of pumpkin (1/8 to 1/4 cup) to make it more moist. I make smaller cookies and bake them for a shorter amount of time on baking stones. I also bake them at a lower temp (325*) and they come out like the top off of a muffin.

Another variation – bake in a 9×13 pan for chocolate chip pumpkin BARS, easier than rolling out the cookies.

Our First Family Camping Trip

We are home from a wonderful weekend! We had a weekend full of playing in the creek, good food, walks in the woods, playing with friends, fellowship with friends and of course sleeping in our brand new sleeping bags and tent! :) I took *just* a few pictures! :) You’ll probably feel like you were right there with us!

The kids LOVED playing in the creek and did this most of any time that we weren’t eating!

We also did a lot of playing in the dirt and road with our dumptruck.

Lots of sitting by the fire…especially in the early cold morning!

Thankfully (for us) we camped with some camping experts! DJ and Rebecca cooked us some fabulous meals! YUM!

Just take a look at our breakfast this morning…

All that plus pancakes!

Can you see what we saw in the creek?

Yep, that is a rather large snapping turtle! DJ decides he is going to go in and catch this big guy…

And he does!

We saw lots of other neat creatures too, like this Katy-did.

Our happy home for the weekend!

View of the lake – beautiful!

A hike in the woods…

We had a great weekend! I think we are ready to go again even! :) I will say, I did wimp out on the showers. Panther Creek bathrooms are pretty clean…from what I hear from seasoned campers. But, I don’t know, it just seems like it’s still dirty. So, I do need to get past the bathroom issue, because I don’t like going through the day without a shower either! LOL!

All in all, a great first camping trip and great family time!

Pumpkin Unit

This year we are going to the pumpkin patch a bit early! I called 2 weeks ago and the farm we go to was already booked for the entire month of October! I was a little bummed, but the more I think on it the more I am excited…we will do some pumpkin and fall crafts and be able to leave them up a bit longer! And you know that fall is my favorite season of the year!

Take a peek back at all my autumn posts from the last 2 years…I think I will even take a peek and use some of those same ideas again this year!

Monday is our field trip to the pumpkin patch so we are going to spend a week with pumpkins, of course! I have found several new autumn/fall/leaves school-ish things, so I’m thinking I might even do a separate week of just autumn learning fun!

Favorite Pumpkin books

The Pumpkin Patch Parable: Special Edition

The Pumpkin Book

Patty's Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Pumpkin

My plan is to use bits and pieces from about the web and make an entire pumpkin lapbook!! Here are some of the places I found things to use for our lapbook:

*There is a unit for When the Frost is on the Punkin – our library did not have this book, but I am still going to use some of the pumpkin components for our lapbook

*Pumpkin math – get several pumpkins and put them in size order, weigh the pumpkins, measure circumference,

*get some pumpkin candy to do math with as well!

*Another great place to get a few pumpkin lapbook components is here on Albright News blog, I think we will use the pumpkin vocabulary, the pumpkin lifecyle little circles, how a pumpkin grows…

*Here are a few links that someone already put together for a pumpkin lapbook

*Of course it wouldn’t be a complete pumpkin unit without cutting open a pumpkin and digging out the seeds and then Baking pumpkin seeds for a snack afterwards.

*Baking….Hannah LOVES all things pumpkin – maybe we’ll make pumpkin muffins and a pie! We’ll see if we get that ambitious or not. We will have to bake at least one pumpkin treat next week!

I love this pumpkin prayer that you use as you cut open a pumpkin – I’d like to figure out a way to illustrate this, each line…let me know if you have an idea!

Cut off the top:

Lord, open my mind and fill me with Your wisdom and guidance.

Scoop out the yuckies:

Lord, take out all my fussies and frownies and fill me with Your love.

Carve out the eyes:

Lord, open my eyes to see all of the beautiful things You have made.

Carve out the nose:

Lord, help me to be a sweet fragrance for You.

Carve out the mouth:

Lord, help me to always speak Your words of love and kindness.

Place in a candle:

Lord, let me be a light to others
for You have filled me with Your light.

8 years…God is good!

When I was growing up all I wanted out of life was a husband and children. It would seem that God has seen fit to grant me the desires of my heart! Along the way, though, He changed my definition of love. He changed what I thought would bring me happiness and fulfillment. He taught me what true love is. He is still teaching me what love is.

One year on Mother’s Day I blogged about how much harder parenting was than I ever thought it would be. Marriage has been the same. For some odd reason I never imagined (in my fairy tale dreams) that marriage or parenting would be difficult. I know, how naive of me. :)

Marriage has been hard, but good. Parenting has been hard, but good. Most of the reason both of those roles have been so hard is because God has had soooooo much work to do in me. It hasn’t been because any one person in our marriage or family has been abnormally difficult (other than myself!) But God has been faithful to show me that love isn’t about this selfish feel-good emotion. God has shown me that to love is to give. God has shown me that to love is to sacrifice. God has shown me that to love is to die to self.

These lessons aren’t easy. But they are so worth it. I have definitely not arrived there to the place of being all my husband and children need me to be. But, everyday we all get a little closer. (Some days a little farther back…) We are a family; we are together. We have been blessed beyond what we deserve.

Happy anniversary, dear husband of mine! :) You have been patient, kind, and loving to the emotional roller coaster of a wife God gave you. Thank you for these last 8 years. I pray there are many more to come…

Our Apple Lapbook

Friday as we finished up our week with How to Bake an Apple Pie and See the World, we put our lapbook together as well. We had a fun week with apples! Here are a few pictures of our lapbook.

The front of our lapbooks (the cover came from the FIAR digital store Fold-N-Learn)

The first inside page (most of these printables came from HSS)

I found some cute apple stickers at the Apple Barn, so we did a little math with our stickers!

I told the girls problems and they wrote them down and then figured them out. I wanted to see if they could work on writing the math problem the correct way. They did a good job and really enjoyed the apple stickers!

On the back I put the apple paintings we did.

One other thing we added to our lapbook were the story cards that I found here. We reviewed the story by putting the cards in order and then I put a pocket in their lapbook to store the cards in.