good friday

The great thing about Fridays is I can hop back in after a month-long-unintended-blog-sabbatical with Good Fridays!!!!  Three things about the last week that made my skirt fly up . . . made me smile . . . made me jump for joy . . . made me thankful to be living in this cRaZy time and place.

1.  Math is hard.  So hard it makes 2 out of 3 of my children cringe, slump their shoulders and shed tears.  I take the stance that Math is a discipline we must face, and therefor, sometimes we just have to plunder through it to get to the next subject. 
     Today math was really hard for Ellie and her sour mood carried right on over to grammar and writing . . . not acceptable.  I told her she could find any spot inside or outside of the house to complete her creative writing topic, and she replied with "There is NO PLACE I can go to feel inspired!"  (Yep, Ellie is my drama queen)  So I told her to try someplace new . . . like the bathtub or the front porch or the clothes dryer . . . just use your imagination!  (She gets the drama from me)
     Her spot of choice?  The dryer.  Oh my.  I hope today is NOT the day the homeschooling patrol shows up at my door to evaluate our progress.

(btw, before anyone feels compelled to tell me about all the safety hazards of hanging out in the dryer; I know.  The kids know.  Safety 101 was discussed after the project was complete.  And, yes . . . that is a cast on her arm.  Two fractures of the wrist due to improper scooter usage.  Thankyouverymuch)

2.  Living in Iowa is fantastic.  We have 4 full seasons with 87 mini-seasons within the major ones.  Rain, sleet, snow, hail, thunderstorms, glitterings (sparkles on a cold morning), thunder snow, wind, sun, scorching heat, unbearable humidity, and tornadoes.  Sometimes all in one year!  Our landscape changes so often you get the opportunity to see the same places in many different lights.
     So when a friend has an idea to meet up at a local lake to take a nature hike, we are always on board.  This particularly windy and brisk day brought white caps to our otherwise tranquil Saylorville lake.  The kids had a blast 'jumping' the waves and walking in the soft sand.  Maddi brought along her camera and captured some fantastic autumnal shots of the surrounding area:

My girl has some talent with the lens.  Braggy McBraggerton I am when it comes to her photos.

3.  Pumpkin season is here.  Which means pumpkin flavored foods.  Which means drooling over all the new recipes popping up with pumpkin spices and flavorings.  I have a very evil plan to make some baked pumpkin steal-cut oatmeal for next week's breakfast menu . . . . muahahahahahahahaha!
     But an old favorite pumpkin recipe made it to the oven this week and the entire family MMMMMMmmmmmd and YYYYUUuuuuummmmmd over it's return.  Just because I am nice, I decided to share this fantabulous recipe with y'all.  Enjoy.

Pumpkin Cheese Bread

2 1/2 C white sugar
1 - 8oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C butter, 1 stick, softened
4 eggs
16oz pumpkin puree
3 1/2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves

2 C powdered sugar
3 Tbsp milk

Beat sugar, cream cheese and butter in large mixing bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Blend in pumpkin.

Add combined dry ingredients, mixing until just moistened.  Pour into greases and floured 9x5-inch loaf pans (or muffin tins or baking pan).  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans.  Mix sugar and milk until smooth.  Drizzle over bread.

Major Yumminess.  What is your favorite Fall food?