December 25, 2011

For Unto Us...

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.

You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.

For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.

For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
~ Isaiah 9:2-7

Photo done by the fabulous Joann Renee Photography

Have a very merry Christmas!

December 24, 2011

A Week of Christmas Fun - Day 1

For the past three years, my and Tim's families have been celebrating Christmas a week apart. So, our Christmas celebration usually lasts a week long. This year, we our celebration starts on the 23rd and lasts until January 1st. Now, I won't promise to blog about every day's celebration, but I will try my heartiest to include you all in our Christmas festivities.

Yesterday, we drove down to my parents house in Southern Oregon. It took us 4 and a half hours to get there because of all of the stops we had to make, but it was such a fun ride. Both boys were either happily playing or sleeping for most of the trip which made this Mama and Daddy so happy since we were actually able to talk for most of the trip.

The excitement began when we were at Grandpa and Grandma's house and cousins came to play, dinner was eaten, and a birthday cake for Jesus was brought out. This last part kind of confused Beniah because as he put it, "Jesus not here. Where Jesus?" He was very happy to blow out the candle and eat the cake.

Afterwards, we all drove to a local park, climbed into the back of my Dad's truck, and drove through the Festival of Lights. The boys immensely enjoyed this experience.

Elijah kept pointing and quietly saying, "Ights!" Beniah kept pointing out various light displays and was very excited to see a horse drawn wagon full of passengers. While I admit that some of the displays were pretty cool (who wouldn't want to drive under a lava archway?), there were some that were ... interesting.

What light show isn't complete without misspelled hotdog stands, nine year old commemorative display, alligators attacking some monkeys, a nativity scene that includes a menorah, a representation of the doom of the dinosaurs, and a very creepy snowman?

My all time favorites were the Santa Claus lights, especially the one were Santa is abducted by some aliens.

Happy Birthday

I may be five days late in posting this, but Happy birthday to my wonderful husband and best friend.

I love your goofiness.

I love watching you playing with our boys.

I love your imagination even if it means that I must make you a Pumpkin Spiced Latte Pie for your birthday.

Happy birthday, Tim Dear!

Photo credit due to the fabulous Joann Renee Photography
Pumpkin Spiced Latte Pie - adapted from Diana Rattray, Guide

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup strong brewed pumpkin pie flavored coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 baked pastry shell, 9-inch
  • 1 recipe meringue (below)


To make Pumpkin Pie flavored coffee: Mix 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice for every cup of water with coffee grounds. Brew coffee in your favorite method.

To make pie: In a medium saucepan, combine flour, salt, and sugar; add coffee and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir mixture into beaten egg yolks then return to the saucepan. Cook 2 minutes longer. Add butter; cool. Pour into pastry shell and top with meringue. Bake as directed for meringue (below).
Meringue Topping
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Beat egg whites until frothy; gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla or other flavoring. Spoon onto pie, spreading to crust edge to seal filling in. Bake at 325° for 15 to 18 minutes, until nicely browned.

The pie was delicious, but didn't set up quite right. Any suggestions?

December 1, 2011


But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You. ~Psalm 5:11

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the word joy. Maybe it's because I grew up hearing my parents say to me, "We named you Heather Joy because Heather means Joyful Spirit and we wanted you to have a double blessing of Joy." Maybe it's because the word conjures up images, sounds, smells, memories that I delight in. Whatever the reason, I love the word Joy. Christmas time always seems a bit brighter when I see Joy decorations and hear people sing Joy to the World. In spite of my love for this word, I do find it hard to be joyful when the trials of life, the dirty dishes, the diapers, the boys squabbling over toys (Yes, 10 month-olds do squabble!), the lay offs. I just need to remember to have joy, to take delight in what I have been given. My boys are so helpful in their little ways to be joyful.

Last Christmas, I received framed letters that spelled out Joy. This was the first Christmas decoration that Beniah wanted to be hung out. As I was working on hanging the frames, Beniah was working on coloring his own joy drawing. It might take some imagination, but you can kind of see his attempt at copying the swirls and curly-cues of the letters.

Every time I go for flour, I am always finding some toy put in the drawer by Elijah. I love opening the flour drawer. This was today's toy.

What brings you joy?
Family Wii night.

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my dear family and friends (who are probably the only ones who read this blog). This year was the Whittaker year for Thanksgiving, so we bundled our boys up in the car and drove north. Beniah went napless today and did amazingly well. There were a couple of times that tears were about to erupt, but were quickly subdued after we told him to "control his crankies". Now before you give us rounds of applause for our magnificent parenting, you should know that his cousins distracted him by calling for him to play with them. Playing with a big 5 year old boy is so much better then crying over a car that was being played with by his younger, girl cousin.

Beniah loves to play pianos. I think music lessons are in store for us.

The Ipad was the hit of the night.

I was so proud of how well Beniah climbed the ladder to get onto the loft, but was also a little bit sad on how quickly he is growing up.

Elijah was his sweet self and was doted on and cooed over well enough to make this Mama's heart swell a little. I can't help but be happy when people tell me that my children are beautiful.

As with every Thanksgiving, there is a lot of food! This year, I was designated to bring the sweet potatoes for thirty people. After scouring my favorite food website, I found a recipe that was divine! Unfortunately, when I had the website switch the number of servings from 12 to 30, it failed to mention that one serving was for a lumberjack who had just worked a 14 hour shift and had only eaten top ramen for the past 3 days. I ended up with two 9x13 pans and four 8x8 pans worth of sweet potatoes. Thankfully, everybody enjoyed it and is (at least I am ) excited for the leftovers.

Cinnamon Apple Sweet Potato


  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 3 yams
  • 6 large apples - peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 bag cranberries (around 1 to 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup white sugar *Note: I am going to try cutting down the sugar by a 1/4 cup next time to see if it comes out a little less sweet.
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Peel and cut sweet potatoes, yams, and apples into chunks. Mix the sweet potatoes, yams, cranberries, and apples into a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  3. Meanwhile, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a saucepan. Stir in the water and butter and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook and stir until thickened and no longer cloudy, 5 to 10 minutes. It will turn into what I imagine a gelatinous blob looks like before it attacks you, but don't worry it won't. Pour over the sweet potatoes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the apples are very tender and the sweet potatoes are golden on top, about 1 hour.

My next holidayish baking will be individual pecan pies. I had a piece of pecan pie for dessert and am now all about pecan pie.

November 19, 2011

640,800 Minutes!

Six hundred forty thousand
eight hundred minutes
Six hundred forty thousand
moments so dear
Six hundred forty thousand
eight hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year and two months since my last post?

In welcoming Elijah John
Elijah John 9lbs 2 oz. 19" long 15" head

and watching him grow way to fast.
Elijah at 10 months. 30.5" long 26 lbs

Six hundred forty thousand
eight hundred minutes
Six hundred forty thousand
meals to plan
Six hundred forty thousand
eight hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year and two months since my last post?

In watching Beniah grow from toddler
Beniah - almost 2
to little boy who wants to do it himself.
Beniah (almost 3) as Sully from Monsters Inc.

Six hundred forty thousand
eight hundred minutes
Six hundred forty thousand
owies to kiss
Six hundred forty thousand
eight hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year and two months since my last post?

In celebrating five years of marriage
to my very best friend
Family photo shoot - April 2011

Six hundred forty thousand
eight hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year and two months since my last post?

How about Love
how about love
how about love
measure in love
seasons of love
seasons of love

Dedicated to my Aunt Nancy who told me that I need to get back into blogging and to my friend Charissa, who promised to follow my blog if I started it up again.
Adapted from Rent - Seasons of Love