Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

I made this earlier today and posted a picture of it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter, and I’ve already had a request for the recipe.   So I thought that I had better post it before the kids have eaten this batch.

I found this recipe at (which can also be found on The Pioneer Woman’s website).  This particular recipe was submitted by Lindsay on that site (giving credit where it is due, so no one will sue………there, I rhymed).  I was looking for different ways to prepare oatmeal that my kids would enjoy.  Since my son (who is extremely particular about food), likes pumpkin pie (and he usually doesn’t like ANY pie), I tried this recipe and he actually likes it, as does my daughter (she likes nearly everything I make anyway).

Ok, seriously, here’s the recipe:


1-1/2 cup Quick Cooking Oats

1/4 cup of Brown sugar

1/2 cup of milk or Almond milk

1 Tablespoon of butter

1 whole egg

1teaspoon of Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 dash of Pumpkin Pie spice

1/2 Cup  100% Pumpkin, Canned

1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Optional Garnish: Sprinkling of Cinnamon (I think this option should be a must)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the oats and the next 10 ingredients (everything through and including the pumpkin).  Stir until evenly mixed.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour into the greased dish, top with 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the center is fully cooked.


I generally make this recipe with the purpose of storing in the freezer for future breakfasts.   Today, I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9×13 dish and then cut the oatmeal into 8 squares, packing it into containers of two.   It freezes and defrosts without any problem.



The Drawer

This was my project today.  The file drawer where I keep the kids’ school records, tests to take, and tests already taken.  Master copies of various styles of chore charts also live here.

For at least 5 months of this school year, we’ve been sort of flying by the seat of our pants as far as school goes.   When the school year started, we had a schedule, a plan, a routine.  Kevin had a regular work schedule.  The schedule was somewhat secure.

Then, the campaign started, so the schedule was harder to adhere to.   School work was done, but I wasn’t always there to help, or a school day was interrupted.   Some might argue that with homeschooling, you can have a flexible schedule (and that is what I’ll call our experience this year), however, I have a student, who functions better with a schedule (so part of our “curriculum” this year involved a lot of opportunities to be flexible).

For now that season is over, and it’s time to regroup, and reorganize and plan once again.

Today, I cleared out tests, assignments, and artwork from the first 10 years of our homeschooling, categorized them and packed them away in manila envelopes.

One more thing to cross off of the “to-do” list.    Only 1,000,000,000,000 left to do!  At least it seems that way  🙂

I’m sure that I’m exaggerating………….a little.


Settling Back Into A “Normal” Routine

I use quotation marks in my title because “normal” changes every so often.

This past week has been busy (I say that a lot, don’t I?).

Last weekend, was the beginning of “Birthday week” in our family.  My sister had a birthday on Friday (no party) and my youngest nephew (in the red shirt) had his birthday on Saturday (complete with a “Spiderman” party).   Heather spent most of the time at the party, taking her little cousins to the game room, and riding with them on the Merry-go-round.   She loves them and they think she’s their buddy, meant to keep them entertained.  She doesn’t mind.

After the party, we went straight to church, where she was scheduled to work with the 2 & 3 year olds during the service.  She slept very well that night!




Last Sunday was Mother’s day.  That day started with coffee and the newspaper







Breakfast served in bed







Gifts (this was from my husband, and my kids gave me things from Bath & Body Works, and chocolate covered Espresso beans……….and that last gift is gone……….very delicious!)






& flowers






After lunch, we went to wish Kevin’s mother a happy Mother’s Day.  Kevin’s sister lives in Texas and because she wasn’t able to fly up for a visit, she sent us a card to take to her.  Kevin’s mother has Alzheimer’s Disease and is now in a memory care facility.  For this recent visit, the caregivers dressed her up a bit and put a flower in her hair.  As soon as she saw Kevin, she was “dancing” in her wheelchair.  She doesn’t remember his name, but she knows that she knows him and she’s happy to see him.   The day was sunny and rather warm , so the caregivers put a hat on her while we were outside.

After Mother’s Day, came Election Day.  Since Kevin was running for mayor, this election had extra meaning for us.  A campaign involving many nights of campaign meetings, stuffing envelopes with letters asking for campaign contributions,  introducing ones self at neighborhood meetings and clubs, forums and debates, and in the last week or two, standing on street corners during rush-hour holding campaign signs (which meant a lot of nights of the kids not having me cook their dinner and making veggie burgers, nachos or quesadillas for dinner………..seriously, that is what they wanted to eat).    After all of that, the incumbent won.  Kevin did garnish nearly 29% of the vote, which is really good for someone running for the first time.   We had our election party at a local pizza parlour and watched the election results there.

Since the election, our evenings have been free, to relax, and start thinking of new goals to work toward.

The next event was our son’s 14th birthday.  The day started with gifts at breakfast (and breakfast consisted of donuts).  Then, since the boy had not shaved since New Year’s Eve, he wanted to be clean-shaven for his birthday.    I think that this time we sort of humored him as the peach fuzz that was shaved off on New Year’s Eve, really hadn’t grown back, at least not much.






Later in the day, we met my dad, grandma, sister and nephews for the boy’s Birthday party.  The theme was “CARS 2”.

Part of me wonders at times,  when he’s 20…..or 40, if he’ll still want PIXAR or cartoon character themed parties.

I don’t mind 🙂