Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day, and Easy Muffins

  "A Mommy who cares for us, a Mommy who lets us do a lot, This is the Best Mommy.
  I Love you Mommy you who care you are great to S and me.
  You are the Best Mommy for us, We love you much, so we give you these to thank you for the things given to us." -written by C

The writing above? A gift given to me a few months ago, just because, from my oldest, C, and youngest, S.

Below, another just because gift of a little necklace of beautiful beads on string, a spin paint art design and another note with a heart with a gold circle and glitter: "A Golden Wish ... Just for you, you are the Best Mommy"

The occasions? Just because. My heart swells. I am blessed.

I have two precious daughters. The oldest turned 8 a few months back and the youngest will be 5 in a couple of months. They are both fiercely independent, intelligent, strong-willed, defiant, ornery, opinionated, adventurous, curious, bright, inquisitive, beautiful, talkative girls. I call them "spirited."

My friends and family speak the truth when they say we have our "hands full." Boy, do we ever. They are not laid-back children, nor are they compliant in any way, shape or form. Neither was I, so I suppose I'm getting payback several times over.

They can out-argue any adult. It's impossible to "win" an argument, especially with C. We have to be pretty firm in our boundaries and try to follow through every time. I'm worn down by the end of the day.

But I'm not complaining. I wouldn't change a thing about my daughters. It makes things very difficult at times, yes. It is a challenge. But all of these traits will serve them well to help them go as far as they want in life.

They are so alike in so many ways, and yet so different. One is in love with all things in nature and chases children with slime pulled out of a pond, all in good fun. The other is all princess and dress up, but still likes to play and dig in the dirt. They both love music. And reading. And cooking. And art. And their family.

They have by far the biggest hearts I've ever seen in children. They are sharing, kind, loving. Compassionate and caring. They may have awful cat fights with each other, and an hour later be cuddling on the couch with a book. I often find artwork or love notes, flowers, flower petals and pretty stones from both of them hidden under my pillow, on my nightstand, in my recipe "thinking" notepad, on my desk. A potholder for spring, with each color representing a part of spring, presented with new buds and a baby pine cone ...

I love these daughters of mine.

As Mother's Day nears tomorrow, I reflect back on my first Mother's Day. I didn't have a baby to hold. My first child had gone to heaven early in my second trimester five months before. I was still bitter and longing and broken. I wanted people to remember that I was a mom, too, but then that was another reminder that I wasn't a mother to a baby on earth.

When we called my mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day that day, she said, "Happy Mother's Day to you, too, Caneel."

My mom knew I needed that. I have a great mother. I was a challenge for her, just as my girls are for me. But she stuck with it and loved me through the hard times and the good times equally. And I'm so thankful that God gave me the mother I have.

I know I make mistakes in parenting, and I know my daughters will remember some of those mistakes. But ultimately I pray that they will know how loved they are through it all. I want to be a mother deserving of the children given to me.

Tomorrow I want to cuddle with my children and let the world pass by. I'm going to try for a day to forget about all the cares and concerns of the world at large and my own world, and just enjoy my family. I probably won't turn the computer on, until it's time to Skype my mom. I don't know how or why I was so blessed with these incredible daughters and amazing husband, but I'm thankful I was.

I wish a very Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there. And a Happy Mother's Day to my own mother, and my mother-in-law. And for those of you who have mothers who have passed from this earthly life, I hope you are filled with good memories of them tomorrow.

In honor of tomorrow's special day, I've decided to share with you an incredibly easy muffin recipe. I didn't really intend to ever share this recipe, because it's just adapted from the back of the Pamela's baking and pancake mix.

However, I made these muffins one day, with blueberries, and the girls love them so much that, while I was on the phone, they set up "props" for a photo shoot with one of the muffins. When I hung up, they excitedly dragged me to the table and told me they had everything ready for taking pictures for my blog. They had pulled out things I had forgotten I even had to use as props. It wasn't what I would have chosen, but I couldn't possibly refuse them.

So I took photos of the blueberry muffin, exactly the way they had set it up with the muffin broken open and all, and knew that one day I needed to post the photo, with the recipe.

Blueberry, exactly the way my daughters set it up
It's an easy one. It's one that you can scoop the mix from the bag and throw together in a matter of minutes. It's one that adults, or kids, not used to baking or new to gluten-free baking, can pull off without being intimidated.

Banana chocolate chip
So if you're one of those people, or one day you need a super-quick but yummy breakfast/brunch, this is for you. They are good. My favorite three ways to make them are blueberry muffins, banana muffins and banana chocolate chip muffins. Make what works for you. It's versatile and you can do whatever flavor you want. As stated above, it's adapted from the recipe on the back of the Pamela's mix.

Projected prep time: 5 minutes; Bake time: 18-25 minutes
Makes 6-8 muffins (I always double it)
1 1/4 cups Pamela's baking & pancake mix
1/3-1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup organic cane sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
1/2 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
(Optional: Sometimes I throw in a spoonful or two of milled flax seed or Salba/chia seed)

Banana/Banana Chocolate Chip
Makes 6-8 muffins (I always double it)
1 /14 cups Pamela's baking & pancake mix
1/3-1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup organic cane sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

(Optional: Sometimes I throw in a spoonful or two of milled flax seed or Salba/chia seed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin (this is for regular size muffin tin) with baking cups or grease the tin.

Mix all ingredients together (use your judgment on how much milk, you may need to use up to 1/2 cup), except the fruit. If you are using just bananas, then mix them in last, mixing very well. If you are using chocolate chips or blueberries, fold them in last.

Spoon batter into prepared tin, about 2/3 full in each. Sprinkle a little organic cane sugar over the tops of each. Bake for 18-25 minutes (regular size muffins), until they bounce back a little when the tops are touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Happy Mother's Day.


  1. Such a precious post, Caneel! I love it. Beautiful, precious children. What blessed mommies we are!

  2. Thanks, Ginny! Yes, we are! :)

  3. I just realized you were the person I was on the phone with when the girls set up that "photo shoot!" I think even mentioned it while we were talking!


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