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Banana Squash Bread

Ok here it is…the yummiest banana bread I have ever made! And healthier too! My little people & even hubby didn’t even notice that it there was an unusual ingredient. It just makes it really moist. I don’t make mine with nuts, but if you are a nutty person-go for it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups ripe bananas (approx 6 large bananas)
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup grated yellow squash (approx 2 small or 1 large crookneck squash)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease & flour your 2 8x4x3″ loaf pans. Stir flour, salt & baking soda together. In a large bowl, mix shortening, white & brown sugars, masked bananas, eggs & squash. Add flour mixture & stir until batter is blended & no more.

hidden vegetable tool of implementation

Pour into loaf pans & bake 50-60 minutes, or until a tooth pick or butter knife comes out clean. Remove from oven & let cool for 5 minutes before turning out.

Now sit down with a large glass of milk, or coffee-pick your poison-be sure to give the kids a slice of their own, & enjoy the silence & the taste of the best veggie bread  you’ve had in ages!

Play time in Paonia

So while I was camera happy in the farm stands, the kids were having quite a spin in the park. I made it over in time to catch them in action. It was the neatest park with all kinds of equipment I have never seen before. I thought Luke was going to throw up after a few turns, but the kids didn’t want to stop! All the parks here have signs that say “caution! equipment may be hot!” and I laugh in the sign’s face every time I read it! Hot?! Please-you people don’t know hot! Burn marks on your butt from the slide now that’s hot! But worth it of course. The rope matrix was by far the favorite attraction among the Thorks as you will see.

The kids take their first spin on the merry-go-round

preparing to scale the mountain wall

Trip: "how to climb this contraption...hmmm..."

oh to be a little one just swinging again

A proud moment: her first summit

Fall Harvest Festival: Paonia, CO

A feeble attempt to get a pic with momma-not happnin'!

An indian summer indeed.

This farm was named "Small Potatoes." Clever.

Abuntant Harvest

I hope you aren't bored by vegatables...they're just so gorgeous & fun to shoot!

Now I feel right at home.

Sunflowers-a lifelong love of mine

My favorite farm stand: Zephyros Farm & Garden

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. Farmer’s Markets & Harvest Festivals are an amazing showcase of God’s glory & imagination. I just can’t get enough. The shots might bore some of you so bear with me. I was like a little girl in a candy shop; you would’ve thought the carrots were shiny orange lolly pops. The people at these gatherings are so interesting. The music set the perfect tempo for the morning & we just relished in it together. It is such a fun thing to see the kids wide eyed, talking it all in, drool dripping down their chin from a perfect little apple. Free apple-might I add. They must be special because everywhere we go people give them apples. It’s like a grown up can’t resist the sight of a little one chowing down on a whole apple-probably one they picked themselves. I walked around aimlessly, while super dad took the kids to the park to burn off some energy. I could just melt into the scenes. I want to grow my own herbs, cook fresh more often, shower less & grow my hair into dreads-just kidding! Seeing if you were really listening. I truly am inspired by it all & hopefully you will be too…

My favorite stop-the herb shack

A few Pre-camping pics

How can this be real? It is majestic beyond words here.

Getting snuggy before climbing into the tent.

This is his classic "cheeeeeezze" face. I love how it accentuates those delicious cheeks.

Fall Camping

Fall has set on Colorado and we are loving it.  Keri wanted to go camping this weekend, so of course I was up for that.  We loaded the gear and the kids and took off for the mountains.  We decided that we should camp close to Paonia, CO, because they were having a harvest days festival this weekend and a farmers market on Sunday.  We camped in the Gunnison National Forrest on the north side of the Black Canyon.  The drive in was crazy, we saw at least 30 deer.  I was getting ready to tell Keri that I never see any bucks on the side of the road and then all of the sudden we round the corner and there are 3 of them.  We stopped to take some pictures before they got out of sight, then once we were moving again we saw another huge one a few minutes later.  We got to hook up our tent to the car for the first time, and it was awesome.  Keri feels a little vulnerable sometimes when we camp in the middle of nowhere, so we got a tent that can attach to the back of an SUV.  It is really neat, and makes the tent feel enormous.  We folded the seats back in the Sequoia, set up the pack and play for Trip in the tent and we could have fit another family of four!  Kolbe slept outside the tent and kept watch.  I feel a lot more comfortable camping with Kolbe.  I used to be able to throw a sleeping pad down on the forest floor with no tent and sleep as soundly as could be while all alone.  Now, however, Keri and kids safety has me worried and I don’t sleep as easily while camping.  I mean, if I was by myself and a bear came, I could handle that, if it’s my time to go then it’s my time to go (we’d wrestle and I always bring at least one firearm for bear deterrence) but with the kids, it’s a different story.  Kolbe has keen senses and I trust that should any threat come near he’d at least give me a few second jump start so I could take protective action…

We ended up camping in a beautiful aspen grove that provided some great photo opportunities the next morning.  Joss and Trip slept like champions in the tent and despite the cold temperature in the morning they were ready for some exploring.  We were constantly asking Joss to stay within sight range.  I’m so proud of her desire to explore.  She wanted to walk through the woods all by herself.  Kolbe stayed close to her which I appreciated.

I got a fire started after we all woke up because it was so cold.  After the camping we headed to Paonia for the festival, I’m sure Keri will tell you about that tomorrow…

Here are a few of the pictures from our adventure.

These guys were a couple hundred yards away heading up the side of the mountain.

This was an older looking Buck. Picture was taken from 20 yards.

I love this shot! It is one of my favorites. Field and Stream Cover, here I come!

This was right outside of our tent. We were in a thick aspen grove!

Joss wanted to do a little modeling for us. She did not want to keep her jacket on.

Here is our SUV tent hooked up to the Sequoia.

Love the Colorado blue-bird skies! Check out the aspens changing colors.

This little guy stood up right as I was taking his picture.

The sun did not peek over the mountain until around 9 am.

The Little Moments

I think it’s the little moments that make up the sweetest parts of life. Not just the big grandiose moments that are so obvious, or even staged. The state of a child in their essence is timeless. I love these…

My evening


I have had the nicest evening. Fall weather is settling in here & it makes me so warm & fuzzy on the inside. My house is cleaner & we bake more, trying new recipes or making up our own. I am so inspired & on a role with some new craft projects. Previews to come shortly. It’s so nice to have the time & the inspiration to try some new art projects-some of which have failed miserably & some that have been great successes (at least in my personal opinion!). Maybe even a few Christmas presents, who knows . I bought Jossi a new package of brightly colored beads & fuzzy sticks as she calls her pipe cleaners. It turns out I have quite the crafter on my hands. Every 4 beads she stops & shows me, saying “mom look at these great colors mom!” I have been told “not to argue” when I encourage her to keep adding beads & she says she’s focusing on making a pile of beads. Hmmm…that sounds familiar, where have I heard that before? Oh yes, me! I’ve been hearing alot of me-isms repeated back to me lately. “That’s not appropriate momma” “Can you say ‘yes maam’?” & give me some “privacy” have been popping up in conversations lately. But she has been giving me positive feedback too-just to keep it balanced. “I’m so very proud of you momma” & “good work on dinner tonight” have been a few highlights. Miss you all-just thought I’d write a little blurb tonight.

~KJ