Pumpkin Muffins

A friend of mine posted this recipe last year. I tried it out on my family and we have a new fall favorite. The recipe says it makes 15 regular size muffins and I can get about 36 mini muffins out of this batch.


Per Teresa.

Recipe from a calendar of B&Bs; this is from The Melville House, Newport, RI. Everyone LOVES these muffins; they are delicious! I can’t count how many times I’ve made these. Also, I’ve clarified a couple of the directions here, but these are super-easy!

1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 t. baking soda
1/4 baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 c. canned pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line fourteen or fifteen muffin-pan cups with paper liners, or grease the cups.

Combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, bakiing soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients: pumpkin, eggs, and butter until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour over flour mixture and stir just until ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into paper liners, filling about 3/4 full. Bake 20-25* minutes or until puffed and springy to the touch. Remove muffins from pan. Serve warm. Makes 14 or 15 muffins.

My Head in the Clouds

Now that I have admitted that my head and my body are not in the same time zone, I thought I’d share with you where my head has been all week.

It’s been in New Mexico. Jeff and I went to the Dynamic Communicator’s Workshop held in Glorietta NM. We had a wonderful time and I will probably post more thoughts on that later. Suffice to say I learned a ton, I still have a lot to learn, and I’m not giving up. I left encouraged rather than defeated. — There was a ton of talent there and I had to remind myself that they too started somewhere. THIS is my somewhere.

This isn’t a fancy video by any stretch, but if you look closely enough, maybe you can smell the pine trees and aspen that I miss so much. Walking down those paths, took Jeff and I to a place I’d forgotten. New Mexico is far to barren and brown for my tastes. But the mountains? Oh, the mountains, call to us in a way that I still cannot put in writing.

Out and About with the O’Hara’s

depp-mad-hatterI’m Late, I’m Late! — I feel like the Mad Hatter today, this week, this month. Okay, I feel like the Mad Hatter most of the time. One minute we are here, the next we are there. I do not think our family has been in the same place for more than a few hours lately. I’m sure I’m exagerating, it just feels that way at the moment. I spend a lot of time running from this place to that place, and very little time being in the place I’m physically present. I have a head / butt issue –  meaning both are rarely in the same location at the same time.

Does that make sense to anyone or am I alone in that feeling?

Stay Calm and Pray

“I’m tired of hearing how our mission start isn’t growing because of space. Space isn’t the problem, it’s the people running it. If we had people who knew what they were doing running our mission start this wouldn’t be an issue.”

I hate voter’s meetings. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are important. I just don’ t like participating in them. My least favorite part is the people who feel the need to verbally disapprove of everything they are not running themselves. They are the arm chair quarterbacks on ministry: quick to call the plays and criticize the outcome but slow to get out of their chair and get their hands dirty. 

It took everything I had to not jump up and shout “That’s a lie! Our church plant IS growing. We have more kids than we have room for. We’ve outgrown our space and need something more permanent, so how can you say something like that?”

Oh, I had all kinds of words in reaction to theirs, but I’m afraid very few of them are appropriate.

The fact that no one else believes them and most everyone supports our little mission start did not matter to me. All that mattered at that precise moment was this person’s words. And I got angry.

I am not a very loving person in the face of comments like the one posted above. I am one of the people they don’t approve of and I have to fight the impulse to not fight fire with fire. At times like that I have to remember to stay calm and pray. I’m a hot tempered redhead who feels the unrelenting need to defend myself at all times. I’m getting better and staying quiet, but my heart hasn’t matched God’s yet and I have to will myself to keep my mouth closed.

Which brings me to the second part of my new memory verse.

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This isn’t my battle to fight, it’s God’s. By remembering that it’s His fight, we can be gentle with others. We can keep Jesus present in our mind, thoughts, heart, and prayers. We don’t have to be anxious. We do need to pray and HIS peace will be ours.

This particular couple speaks out against everyone in church, not just us. They’ve chased away more ministry leaders/volunteers than I can count. They hate change and they won’t leave. I’ve heard it said that the hurt leave, but the mad stay. That is very true.

It’s warfare, in more ways than one. They are Christian, and they are hurting. Remembering that helps me to not take them personally.

So.. we have two steps now in this dance I’m learning.

1. Praise God in all things.

2. Stay calm and PRAY.

What battles are you fighting today that would be better turned over to God? Can you praise him in it? Can you stay calm and pray? Can you feel His peace when you let go?

Whatever is true…think on these things.

Phil 4: 4-9

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

I asked a very trusted friend how she deals with bullies and this is what she gave me. A memory verse. I’ll be honest, I was a little perplexed. I was looking for something that would put my “problem” in it’s proper place.

In other words, I wanted to convince my problem that I was right and she was wrong, and make her go away and well… I learned that I am my problem and other people’s actions and opinions are God’s problem.

I cannot control others, but I can control my response. My assignment for today is to praise God and rejoice in Him.

Alrighty then..

His Beloved

I’m taking a break on my thoughts of bullies for an important message. I hope you watch this video.  Pastor Pete Wilson from Crosspoint church interviews sex therapist Betty Tyndall and author Randy Elrod about Sex, Lies, and Religion. I’ll admit, I am blown away.

I’m still gathering my thoughts on bullies and will write more about it soon, I promise. For now, I leave you with this. Please let me know your thoughts – whether positive or seemingly negative. I want to know. Thanks.


Edited:  The video isn’t embedding correctly. To see it please click on this link:  Sex, Lies, and Religion Interview



Bullies Don’t Scare Me Like They Used to.

But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. —

Know any bullies in your life? I once believed that bullies were something that only existed on the play ground at school or on the walk home. I can remember being chased home by a boy up the street with threats of annihilation. Mom said he had a crush on me. I don’t believe her. I really think he just liked the fear that he was able to get out of me. It was a control thing.  I wasn’t the only kid he did that to. Sad part is someone had enough and ran him down with a car when he was older.

It was no different with the A-List girls. You’ve seen the movie “Mean Girls” haven’t you? — Them. Those ultra popular, pretty girls, who live to make the awkward, late bloomer as my mother would call it, girls like me miserable. I would inevitably allow those girls to define who I was — a sniveling mess of mascara hiding in the girls room – as an ugly, stupid, never get it right kid. The more they taunted, the more invisible I wanted to become.

I spent most of Jr High and a lot of high school hiding from girls like that. I was also a majorette and in student council. You’d think I’d know better. But I didn’t.

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I got brave one year. As fate would have it, one of these mean girls was alone in the locker room. Her goonie body guards were nowhere to be found and I came up behind her, grabbed her hair and body slammed her face into the locker. What felt good for about five seconds didn’t feel so good afterwards. Her goonie friends weren’t as missing as I had thought and faster than you can say “detention” they threw my half dressed body onto the co-ed gymnasium floor, landing me at the feet of our middle school principal.

Getting even with cheap shots like that is never worth it.

Bullies exist well into adulthood and I’ll write about that tomorrow. For right now, I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever been bullied? What did you do?

Find Your Strongest Life, Marcus Buckingham – Book Review



In Find Your Strongest Life, Marcus Buckingham reveals the powerful key to bring fulfillment, peace, and control into a woman’s life.

In today’s world, can a woman truly “have it all”? A fulfilling career full of passion and performance? A belief that she is truly becoming the best, authentic version of herself? A happy, healthy life outside of work?

Countless women would roll their eyes at the possibility. Work is overwhelming. And for many of them, add the necessities of family and home. It all feels disconnected, out of control, and relentless.

In Find Your Strongest Life, Marcus Buckingham reveals the powerful key to help women draw enough strength from life to feel fulfilled, loved, successful, and in control. Even more, he helps women reconnect with their purpose and gives a starting point for change. A research-based message that applies to work and life, Find Your Strongest Life shows women how they really can have it all . . . the right kind of all.


Marcus Buckingham is a world renowned speaker and corporate consultant. He is a member of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Leadership and Management and graduated from Cambridge University with a Master’s Degree in Social and Political Science. He definately has credentials.

Finding Your Strongest Life was born from a workshop he led for Oprah Winfrey. The workshop was such a hit that 1.7 millon people down loaded the three hour video. When the workshop was featured on Oprah’s show, more than 100,000 unique contributors came online to post messages. There definately seems to be a need for this book and Marcus’ message.

Even though the book is very well written and full of ideas and actionable items, I personally did not read anything new in this book. To me there is a lot of common sense ideas and application. That could very well be because I am 44 years old, I’ve had a corporate career, my children are almost grown and I already live what I consider to be a very strong and fullfilled life. I’m already doing the very things Marcus talks about. If that isn’t  you, and you want to know more about how to live a strong and fulfilled life, check it out.

For more information about this book see the following resource pages.

Marcus Buckingham Bio

Sample Book Content

Purchase Information