Ginny’s Pumpkin-Banana-Raisin Bread

Ginny's Pumpkin-Banana-Raisin Bread

The other day I had three bananas that had turned too ripe for the eating.  There weren’t enough to make a batch of our favorite banana bread, Ginny’s Banana Bread, and I really had a hankering for something different.  I searched the web and still could not find something that fit my craving, so I just set out to experimenting.  The results were a raving success with my family and a new favorite was born:  Ginny’s Pumpkin-Banana-Raisin Bread.  While I can’t pinpoint what flavor exactly stands out the most, the pumpkin, the banana, or the raisins, I can say that the family ate it up in less than 24 hours.

Ginny’s Pumpkin-Banana-Raisin Bread

¼ cup canola oil
2 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup flour (all-purpose white)
1 ½ cup wheat flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup oatmeal
1 cup raisins

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. With electric mixer, mash bananas.
  3. Add canned pumpkin. Mix well.
  4. Add oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix well.
  5. In another bowl, mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, sugars and oatmeal together.
  6. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and blend to combine.
  7. Stir in raisins.
  8. Coat 2 loaf pans with cooking spray. Split evenly into two loaf pans.
  9. Bake 30-45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

(Cooking times vary based on size and type of baking dish. I used glass loaf pans that was kind of shallow and wide and bread was done in 30 minutes. When I used metal pans, more narrow and deep, it took about 40 minutes.)

Servings: 16
Yield: 2 loaves


You may download the PDF of this recipe here.

Posted in Bread & Breakfast, Monthly Munchies | 1 Comment

Welcoming our Granddaughter to the World

On August 12, 2013, we welcomed our first granddaughter into the world.  Even though she was born some 1100 miles away, because of the blessings of technology, I was able to share the first few moments of her birth with my son, the new Daddy, via Skype.


A week later we were able to make the trek north to meet this precious little one in person.


Nannie and Alona

Pappy and Alona

Pappy and Alona

Alona and Family

Alona and Family

She is simply a treasure and a gift from God.  My son will be sending us regular pictures so we can watch her grow up across the miles.  But so glad we were able to hold her in our arms and love on her while she was still a wee-one.


Posted in Life | 3 Comments

Typecrush Game Review

MosaicReviewDisclosure2013-Received product for review

I am an avid word game lover so I jumped at the chance to check out this new game called Typecrush™.   Made in the U.S.A from 100% recycled materials, this versatile game can be simple enough for young readers but challenging enough for older folks, like me.


The whole Typecrush™ game comes in sturdy cardboard can with a twist-top lid that is reminiscent of the old Tinker-Toy or Lincoln Log cans, making it portable enough to bring along wherever your travels take you.  Inside the can are 98 discs with letters printed on them and divided into 5 color-coded groups based on how often a letter appears in the English language.  There are also a couple of cards that show you the letters in each of the color categories to aid you in game play, but don’t worry if these get lost or messed up.  Everything you need is also printed on the can.

Playing the game is deceivingly simple.  You decide on a word (but don’t let the other players know that word), select the tiles, place them face down on your playing surface, and the other players use the frequency chart to figure out your word.  Sounds easy enough, but, depending on the word, it could take some time to solve.  And the best part of all, there is only one rule – whoever solves the word first chooses the next word.  This allows for the flexibility of the game to add your own rules such as if the players get stuck you can give clues or hints. Or you could assign point values to the different frequencies or you can confine word choice to your spelling lists or specific categories.  Typecrush™ encourages you to use your imagination in your game play.


After playing the intended way, we made up our own variations to play.  Instead of only one person selecting a word, we each chose a word of the same number of letters.  Then we took turns guessing letters.  The first one to guess the other’s word, won.

We brainstormed some other ways to play, and came up with some simple ideas especially for children beginning to learn to read, that might help with letter recognition skills. A game of concentration is always fun.  You could sort out the letters and choose the ones your child is working on, or use all of them (but take out 1 disc of the least frequently used letters because there are only 3 of each of them and 4 of the all the others).  Lay them all out on the table or floor for a giant concentration board.

Also for the younger set, I bet you could play a kind of “Go Fish” (again evening up the number of discs) or how about a game similar to Uno or Dominoes using letters before and after or matching colors.

For older students, I bet it would be super challenging to try to play a free form game of Scrabble or how about a game like Boggle where you lay out the discs randomly in rows and then remove touching discs that spell words.


I definitely think that Typecrush™  would also be a useful manipulative addition to a homeschool classroom as the letter discs can be used to help students learn their letters and spelling words beyond the fun of playing games.  Although the $25 price tag might be out of my budget to invest in a game, that price does include shipping.   Also, because the product is made in the U.S.A. and from 100% recycled materials, purchases would not only support American industry but leave a smaller impact on the environment, if those are goals for your family.

Visit the Typecrush™ website to learn more and purchase your own game.  Or follow Typecrush™ on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Posted in Opinion and Reviews | 1 Comment

Luna Moth

Found this beautiful specimen of a Luna Moth on our window a while back.  Isn’t it lovely?

LunaMoth2 LunaMoth1

Posted in Nature Adventures, Show and Tell | 3 Comments

How Do We Know God is Really There? Book Review

MosaicReviewDisclosure2013-Received product for review

As our kids were growing up, they were always filled with mind-stretching questions especially in regards to God.  Sometimes the answers were easy to explain, but other times it took some creative examples to give them a better understanding of things.  In the book How Do We Know God is Really There?,  the first in a new series published by Apologia Press, Melissa Cain Travis attempts to use a creative, scientific way to answer this question.


The story begins with a father and his son, Thomas, enjoying their nightly one-on-one time in their backyard tree house.  On this particular night they dig out the star chart and telescope to view the rings of Saturn.   Then Thomas poses the question, “Dad, how do we know God is out there?  I mean, I know the Bible says He’s there.  But how do we really know that’s true?”


The story continues with his father’s explanation using the example of Hubble’s discovery that galaxies are moving apart from each other and making an analogy of watching a video in reverse to see the galaxies coming back together into nothingness.  He continues to get his son’s mind wheels turning by pointing out that ‘. . . something outside of the universe must have made it” and “. . . something must have had the ability to choose to create the universe.”  His son eventually comes to the conclusion “the only person who fits that description is God!”

This hard covered book appears to be targeted at elementary aged children, though I feel that the reading level would be better suited to upper elementary students.  It probably would best as a read-aloud, especially where I foresee further questions will be asked from children.  The illustrations by Christopher Voss are interesting and colorful, though the artistic style is not my particular taste.  Overall, I have lukewarm feelings about this book as I think that the story may cause more confusion than clarity for younger children. But you can decide for yourself by downloading a sample of  How Do We Know God is Really There? here.  Then for $16 you can purchase your own copy at the Apologia website.

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Posted in Opinion and Reviews | 1 Comment