Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Friday, August 31, 2012

{this moment } :: helping make dinner

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. ~ Soulemama

Have a happy weekend...and remember to SMILE from ear to shining ear!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

showers of blessing

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Last evening I could be found at a Bridal Shower.

My sister (who is in the wedding of this mutal friend of ours) asked me if I couldn't possibly make a Clothes Pin Bag - Bevy Style - for the new bride-to-be.  It was part of a game and also then to be given as a gift.

Here is what I came up.

 theLovely Lady - laundery bag.

Do you think these should be a part of my etsy??  Input.

Today you will find me at my cousin's baby shower.

These were made up for her late last night.
She knows she's having a boy.

Homespun Baby! Shoes.


Off and running for the day ahead.

Love ya'll.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This year of change is made for memories...

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Well.  Thank you, dear friends, for your kind words and comments left yesterday on my post.
I must admit, this morning it was still pretty tough/interesting...as I prepared to send my little guy off to school for his FIRST official day of Kindergarten.

I wanted to have a photo of him with the bus.  I took one photo and then my camera battery died.
It seems like I've got this said issue in not-so-perfect timing.  It always happens to me.

Here is the one that I got of him as we're waiting for the bus.  He was acting goofy and not really helping me to get a decent photo.  We'll blame it on the nervous jitters...

Here is why I say that.

This morning, while upstairs getting ready and brushing teeth, Caleb says to me, looking at me in the bathroom mirror... "Mom, I'm just really nervous".  I pulled him into a hug and gave him a big kiss on his forehead.  When I probed him as to why? - blinking back my own tears while reminding him that Jesus is always with him no matter where he goes and what he does, he said..."I just don't know the directions to my school".  So, we talked some more and off we went.  Out the front door to wait for the big yellow bus.

The girls were out with us too.  It was a family affair to have big brother do something so brave as this and be off and on his own (in a sense) to "face the world".
The yellow lights turned to red, the stop sign came out and then the bar.  That was when he knew it was okay to leave my side and walk for the VERY FIRST TIME out onto our street.  He waved to the bus driver as he crossed.  She is introducing herself to me through the window - a very friendly face and exchange of pleasantries.  I felt (MUCH) better.  I see his little head bob down the isle past the seats of other children...almost to the back of the bus.  It's where he wanted to sit. :)  He waved out the window.  The bus pulled off and Caleb was no longer looking out the window at us.  He was turned and it looked like he was engaged in a moment of "taking this dream come true" all in.

I turned...with the girls in tow... tears streaming down my face.  Again.  The questions looming large.  My spirit is not quiet.  I have peace but yet I don't.  This is too soon.  I've been ready.  But are we/have we done the right thing?  Sending him to this school.

The morning passed by quickly and soon it was time for me to go and pick him back up.  Busing isn't available for the middle of the day anymore.  And so, here begins a new chapter of our lives.  In the photo above, I'm sitting in a line of cars waiting to pick up our children. I'll be doing this every day there is school.
 My Caleb is last little guy on the bottom far right hand corner of the photo.  My he looks like a little guy.

You know what? 
He made it. 
I made it.
We managed to survive the unknown of the day.

Switching gears here.

Let's talk birthdays.

Jayne's first birthday was last Friday.  I had been contemplating for awhile what I wanted to do.  I found some cute little bunny napkins, probably meant for Easter but they worked.  They were cute and pink.
I also saw this idea for a birthday cake in a magazine of mine and thought I would whip this up (oh sometime in between company coming overnight and a yard sale that I did on Saturday)...as we were planning her "birthday party" for Saturday evening.

Basically it is two 9" round cakes.  You take the one and cut it like this.  Kinda like the seams of a baseball.

The outer curved pieces form the ears and the inside piece is the bow.

It didn't take too long.  Nothing major to worry about.  I just used a heavy dose of sprinkles and all were happy.

Even Jayne.  Of course!  It was her birthday and one must have a piece of her own birthday cake.

I can't believe I didn't get any specific photos of that... mess!  But, that's okay.  I remember it well enough. Thank you.

This next photo is just one of many of her "opening up" birthday gifts. I love this picture because it shows just how much the girls do really look alike.  People say it to be true... but I don't always see it.  Well, this photo lets me see they are definitely sisters.  Not that I need proof or anything.

It was a wonderful weekend... for sure.  As mentioned we were at my sister's, on Sunday, for her husband's birthday (which was meant to be a surprise) which was on Saturday.  My other sister's birthday was on Sunday.  So, needless to say...I'm birthday'd out.

Aubrey's is next (coming up in September) and she wants a Cinderella Birthday.

Which reminds me.  I need ideas.  I think I'm going to try and use my batter bowl from Pampered Chef and use that for the skirt of a little girl and yet we are not a barbie household.  What will I do for a true "Cinderella" doll?  I'll have to come up with something.

I also wanted to say this.  Now with Caleb off to school every morning.  It's going to give Aubrey the chance to be the "Big Sister" and I've already been noticing how the girls really do play so well together.  I'm truly excited to see what the Lord does over this year... of Change.

I would be remiss to tell you that I've NEVER showed you Caleb's birthday photo -  from way back in May.  Sorry about that.

I found this photo.  While editing the others here and thought I really needed to add this one in to this post.  This photo always makes me break out into a smile... almost as big as his.  From ear to shining ear.

I did not make or decorate this cake. 

But let me tell you.  I know we made this boy's day... when this was the cake for his birthday. He had begged and begged for a Cars cake with Lightning McQueen on it.
In fact.  Caleb said to us...that THIS WAS THE BEST BIRTHDAY - EVER!!

Made for memories.  Made for memories.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Change is in the air!

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Good Morning to you this muggy Monday morning. 
Well perhaps it will be later this afternoon till I actually hit publish on this post.
It's been a strange morning.  I awoke to a beautiful rain just starting up...and it should have calmed my soul...like it normally does.  Instead, the harder the rain fell the heavier I felt.  I could feel the angst and stress and dread and well, the anxious thoughts and notions were coursing through my veins like there was no tomorrow.

I took the time to read the words of Psalm 139.  All of it ministered to my soul but in particular verse 23.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Oh, I am anxious right now.  For sure!
Is this really the way I am to feel on my son's first day of School?
I was not expecting this.  Then again, maybe I was.

Change is in the air. 

The questions loom large.

With a busy weekend behind us which included company overnight, a birthday party - no make that two, one of them for my baby daughter who turned one and a multi-family yard sale of me putting out all baby items/clothing (getting rid of quite a few things), to my oldest now on his way to Kindergarten, orientation today but getting on a big yellow school bus, by himself,  first thing tomorrow morning.

Can we say a sea of emotion?  Like wave upon wave?

I'm going back to read and reread this Psalm (139).  Again and again.
Praying...for comfort here. 
And where, oh where is that dern box of Kleenex?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday - Baby Jayne

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Here we are already.  My how time flies.
My precious baby is one year of age today.

When I said this... I didn't realize how true this would be.
I'm sorta sad - she's turning into a crawling, walking, talking toddler already.
But, here we go.
From walking through a pregnancy that I wasn't so sure I wanted to a heart that now overflows with gratitude to the Good Lord giving this gift to us.

:: Jayne Abigail ::

You truly are a gracious gift of God and a continual source of joy to our family.

For all of this I graciously give thanks!

Happy Birthday, beautiful!!

Blessings to you on a wonderful weekend ahead!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

sending it on ahead

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I don't mean when someone gives you a sucker-punch that you need to "return the favor" to someone else.  Not like that.  Not at all.  Sometimes we do that though, don't we?  Our tendency can be when someone isn't nice to us, or we've had a bad day, that we're quick to take it out on someone different.  Totally undeserved.

In another way we can become stingy... not sharing...due to "our feelings".  We let our feelings dictate our day.  Or, our day dictate our feelings.  I humbly acknowledge - I struggle here.

But, paying it forward - usually means extending an act of kindness.

I've been thinking about this phrase pay it forward (sending it on ahead) for awhile now.  And, I know I've talked about this before... I just needed to bring on a fresh reminder to my own soul today.

There are so many things that can be done to bless on ahead.

I love the verses in Proverbs 3:27-28.  They read...

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.  Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it to you tomorrow" when you now have it with you.

These verses have helped me so much to think about ways to daily encourage, bless and or befriend.  Do I do it well?  No (as I've already said), not as well as I would like.

This takes practice.  This is kindness.

When an opportunity presents itself to extend a smile, share some encouragement, give a hug, make a meal, send a card, offer to babysit, wash someone else's dishes or offering to do their laundry on top of your own...pitching in to pick up their toys - again! - all without grumbling.  It's taking on another form of hospitality.

We all have the power to act.  It's not just being on the constant receiving end.  But it is taking what someone gives you and sending it on to someone else who (also) deserves it...and needs a blessing.

How are you fairing on this payment plan of sending it on ahead?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How you bean?

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Yesterday. We've bean busy. 

Let me tell you...
I got everyone involved - as much as possible.  Too bad I didn't get any photos of the "snap party" prior to all the kitchen duty side of it.

We sat around the table out on our front porch and "beheaded" all these beans and then snapped away.  Telling stories and making up songs.  Talking about where we've bean and where we're going...

My Grammy always told me to "leave the tails on... that's where all the vitamins are"...so I passed that bit of knowledge down to my kids yesterday.

Note all the helping hands.
From washing (more like playing with) the beans...

To filling the jars...

To adding the salt preserve...

To the quality assurance in taste testing...

To this...

There is nothing quite like at the end of the canning day... and the satisfaction that comes in seeing the reward, the next morning.  When you've just spent that day spent caring for your family's needs for the upcoming year.  I put away 14 quarts canned and 4 blanched and in the freezer.  That doesn't sound like much... but it will certainly help.

And we're certainly quite grateful...

Monday, August 20, 2012


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Around you such beauty

Your majesty could fill an endless sky.

Holy are you Lord.

Transcended.  Exalted.

The heavens cannot contain your presence.

How I love you, Lord.

And as I behold this beauty,


I'm undone.


As we were singing the lyrics to this song, on Sunday morning, an overheard conversation between my three year old daughter and "her window friend?" (while driving in our vehicle) came flooding back to mind.  I don't know who she was talking to, but I just listened and smiled.

She quietly declared, in her small, petite voice.
God made the trees, the sky, the flowers, the cars, the houses,(smile!) the animals and mommy and daddy and Caleb and baby Jayne and our church and ...
and on and on. 
Everything she saw with eyes, she named and declared that God made it.
She was noticing and proclaiming the 'beauty' as she saw it and giving the Lord praise for it. 

I thought of this and just sat there in service - praying specifically for her, my daughter.  That one day the riveting truths of this song would still hold fast in her heart when she is old enough to truly grasp just how high and how wide God's grace and glory is.

May she continue to be undone.

She doesn't know what that means. I'm continuing to learn this.

How to be so taken by the Beauty of our God.

It's all around us.


::All these photos were taken the same one evening while outdoors playing with the kids.

Friday, August 17, 2012

favorite things friday - remembering the everyday normal and being grateful

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I am grateful for the various friends who blessed our home every single day this week. 

Putting the title of this book into practice.

It just sort of happened.  Like it's supposed to be normal.

Here is how it went down.
A true test of my heart and wide open door.  Trust me!  I've loved every bit of it.

Starting with Sunday.  We had guests in our home for late Sunday afternoon/dinner that we didn't know all that well. (I say that with tongue in cheek.)  I used to work with Kelli years ago at our local Christian Bookstore.  We've lost touch over the years and then recently reconnected (at MOPS) and now she is one of my favorite blogging buddies, as well.  She, her husband Andy, and one of their two boys came over for dinner and that was REALLY fun - to "reconnect" on a deeper level by involving our spouses, allowing them to interract (and our kids) and to hopefully build a deeper relationship with them.  It was really a wonderful time.
My "preteen girl", Jessica, was here Monday through Wednesday of this week.  She is usually here every day.
My friend Hayley and her three children came for the morning & lunch on Monday.
My friend Kristy, her husband Mike and three out of their four children here for the morning, lunch and most of the afternoon - on Tuesday.
My dear friend Deb, who is expecting a baby any day, asked to drop her three children off for the morning and over lunch on Thursday - while I was preparing a blessing meal to go to someone else - I just doubled everything and sent home a meal for Deb and her family for later that evening.

Today (friday) - an "oldie but goodie" friend, named Barb - stopped by for a quick afternoon visit over some coffee and Rhubarb (Zucchini) Nut Bread.

I am grateful I found a *new* recipe to use up some fresh rhubarb, and ah, why not throw some grated zucchini into the mix, while I'm at it? It's bound to work.  I'm sure, I'll be sharing the recipe sometime soon.

Not too bad.

 All this week - I've been thinking just how
I'm grateful for places to hang pretty teacups that every time I pull

dishes out of the cupboard (when unexpected company stops by for "lunch") - I see them and think fondly of the friend who gave them to me.  Sweet soul - Amanda!

I'm grateful to have discovered the one good thing about going barefoot all of the time, is that you can feel when it's time to sweep up a well-loved, dirty kitchen floor.

Yes Indeed!
For a soon-to-be one year old who is now crawling -ish, wanting to walk more so then to crawl and for her continual happy heart...despite the independent streak and her top two molars wanting to come on through.  I threaten to wrap her up in tape so she can "clean" my floor while she's down there.  ;)
No.  I'm just kidding.

The struggle it's been to walk with my son in practicing his *school work*.  Practicing writing his name, numbers and alphabet... honing in those fine motor skills of working a scissors and holding his pencil properly.
His first day of Kindergarten is coming up on the 27th of August...and trying to get back into the school mode has been proving a challenge.  We don't always see eye-to-eye and watching how prayer change things.  Grateful his heart-attitude is changing towards learning, again, over the course of this week.
I'm thankful for fellow pinners and winners!
I'm thankful for clean and folded laundry today... though it sits still waiting to be put away.

But.  Oh! the clean sheets... they're on the bed.  And there is nothing better then clean sheets now, is there?

Have yourself a wonderful weekend.

Oh.  Oops.  I just found out I'm having more company tomorrow.
My sister called.   She needs a babysitter for her two children - all day.

I said sure.
The "cousins" always look forward to spending a day together and that hasn't happened enough this summer.
Along with Aunt Flo coming by after dinner this evening driving up in her smashing red convertible,  somewhat unexpectedly,
I should think that come Sunday - I will truly welcome it.

The Day of REST!


Joining up with Rachel today over here at:

friday favorite things </P>
<P>finding joy

Thursday, August 16, 2012


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And the lovely winner for the Clothes Pin Apron  is...

Here is her comment.
I to love the closepin apron. I have never seen one before. If I do not win, I am hoping you are taking orders, because I love it and want one immediately!!!! I also fold my wash as I take it off the line. My thinking is that it will be easier to put away. Wrong, I still don't get it put away the same day. When it rains, I have a way of taking the wash of the line and putting it over my shoulder neatly, one by one. Then the whole pile goes on the back of my couch until some day when I get the chance to fold it and put it away! I REALLY LOVE HANGING THE WASH OUT ON THE LINE! LOVE THE FRESH SMELL! Happy hanging to all you busy moms!

Congratulations, Brenda!

Thank you for contributing your thoughts and joining in for the Mugs & Muffins giveaway.

I'll be getting this out to you - ASAP!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mugs & Muffins :: a Giveaway! :: A Pintrest of Mine (guest post by Tracy C.)

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 It's Morning!! 
(said in a sing-songy voice)
Time to wake up, you sleepy heads.  We've got a lot to do today.

And, how are you this fine and fabulous Monday morning?

Hopefully you're ready to hang out with your friends today, because that's what were talking about today Hanging out (the laundry)...with our friends.
Right here on Mugs & Muffins.

To start, lets put our coffee mugs aside and grab a tall glass of refreshing Garden Tea.
And if you don't mind... we've got a plate full of yummy Zucchini Oatmeal (Chocolate Chip) Muffins over there on the proverbial buffet.  Go grab yourself one and sit down to listen in on a plethora of Laundry Love and don't be afraid to share your own thoughts and stories later on, in the comments!

(The recipe for the muffins will be shared at the end of the post!)

So, if you're anything like me...you've had a mother who would wash more then several loads of laundry each week and hang it all out, on the line - all year round.  No matter the kind of weather.  I try to, too.

If read last Monday's post, you read my story of how a "new-ish" friend, Tracy, stopped by for a quick chat and brought with her, this gift, for me. 

A Clothes Pin Apron.

Well this friend is a kindred spirit for sure.  She does the same thing, as my mother does, and myself whenever possible!  Come rain or shine, snow and or bitter cold... it's a hanging, on the line!

I was thrilled beyond words that she took the time to lovingly hand sew this Clothes Pin Apron for me.  I know it wasn't her first nor will it be her last.  During our quick visit, the day she stopped by, we had so much to talk about in such a short time and with it, it hit home some common threads that knit our friendship even more.  The funny thing is she thought I lived far, far away and it's not true.  We're practically neighbors.  We have mutual friends.  Lots of them.  And she is just (I don't want to just say just... but, you know what I mean.) another stay-at-home mom who loves the Lord with all she is and it shows by how she lives out her day-to-day.  Even in her hanging out the laundry.

So I ask, is it just another chore for you?  Or is it a love of yours to hang laundry on the line... day in and day out?

I asked Tracy to share her heart with us today.  Here she is!  These are Tracy's words...                              

Hello, I'm Tracy.  I'm a momma and homemaker, fiercely in love with my husband, moderately agoraphobic, and a grateful believer in Jesus Christ
Bevy, thanks for giving me an opportunity to be "behind the scenes here, on your blog."

~ A Pinterest Of Mine ~

One of the many hats we wear as wives and mommas is that of 'Chief Laundress'. In our home, this duty sits at the top of the list, second only to that of meal preparation. It seems that at almost every turn, there is another basket filled with soiled clothing and cloth to be cleaned. Just two generations back, laundering required a full day's work. My mother-in-law recalls clearly the wash house her mother spent most Mondays in. It was a small building that sat behind their home, void of the luxuries found in modern laundry rooms, and in contrast, required significant physical labor to accomplish what we now do by simply dumping our Dirties in a hole and pressing a button.

Contemporary appliances are blessings that must not be passed over. I think of them as my personal servants, robots of sorts, doing my work while I move on to others things. Efficiency at its best! Last Fall my generous husband treated me to a shiny new washer/dryer set. They load in the front and are stacked neatly in the back of our home's mudroom. When the washing machine beeps the 'it's finished!' alarm, I can simply throw the wet things into the dryer sitting op top. Easy peasy. Though thoroughly grateful for the option of an electric dryer, with the exception of wild rain and the reality of illness, I rarely do this.

One step to the left of my laundry 'team' is a door leading to the start of my 'Amish washline'. For as long as I can remember, trips towards Lancaster county had me staring longingly at the beauty that is wash pinned neatly on lines stretched high over the land. I envied what seemed the ease of standing in one spot while pinning, sending the clean clothes up the line as the baskets emptied. Four Septembers back, after years of using a traditional wash line, I gained my own such drying system.

One wheel is attached directly to the house right outside the mudroom door, and the other is hooked to a telephone pole cemented into the ground 100 feet out the back. It is a glorious thing to stand in one spot while stringing up my clean laundry! Standing on patio pavers keeps my feet from the wet or muddy grass. And as a result, I've not been able to clearly define when laundry-line season starts and when it ends because of the 'protection from the elements' the new system has given me. As the temperatures drop in the Fall and Winter, I keep thinking, 'just one more day!', and before I know it, it's April once again. Wash swinging on the line over a snow-covered landscape is a treat for the eyes, for sure!

Hanging laundry out to dry on any type of wash line yields a satisfaction that I have yet to properly define in words. Maybe it's standing out on this beautiful green Earth under the morning skies? Maybe it's knowing you're saving your family an hour's worth of electricity passing by the drying machine? Maybe it's the divine smell of the sun and the breeze that gets infused in your clothing? Or is it the connection to a simpler way of life that pinning gives? Whatever would be your reason, give it a try.

It's good for the soul!

Ahh! Thank YOU Tracy!  Can't you smell it now?  Clean laundry...hanging out in the sun-drying breezes.  It is good for the soul, is it not?  This is not meant to compare one Laundress over another.  We as women- all of us - have our own niche in this.  Nor is it meant to make anyone feel bad if they can't enjoy this sort of opportunity. I know there are some places in this good ole U.S. of A. that you honestly can not hang out your laundry due to zoning issues or say, if you live in certain parts of town or in the city.  Can anyone attest?  I personally cannot imagine that that fact is even fathomable, but it is.  So - I count it as a true blessing that I can hang out our laundry.  Although some days (as much as I do enjoy it!) I find it to be a true challenge.

Maybe if I had me a wheel. from just off my porch to the highest pitch of the barn roof...?  One of these days.  Ha! Ha!
As part of today's comments/conversation... I would love to hear your stories.  Be as long-winded as you'd like.  Seriously.  We all love hanging out with our friends...and I think it would fun to hear any particular laundry tips you might have to share.  If you have a preference as to what kinds of detergents/softeners you like... and why?...maybe you make your own.  If you make your own laundry soap - I would love to see your recipe shared in the comments!  DEAL?
Maybe it is the way you hang it out... which load you always find yourself doing first. What are your quirks?
I recently read for every toy, coin or rock found her in sons pants pockets the mother kept for herself.  She collected those over the years and put them into a clear lamp base/ jar type thingy.  She presented that lamp to her son on his wedding day, as a gift of collected childhood memorabilia.

 I don't know...

Let's use this as an opportunity to encourage each other in our home keeping.  Wherever there is a source of encouragement we love hanging out.  At least I do.  If it's not with each other... it's knowing I'm among women who at least love to hang out their laundry.

Giveaway Time ::

Clothes Pin Apron  - made especially for you, our one winner, by the hands of Tracy herself.  Sporting four deep pockets across the front... perfect for all your pins.  A long tie belt and the apron is adjustable to fit any size.  It couldn't be more perfect.

This giveaway will end this Wednesday evening, at 10:00 pm EST.  Your comment will count as an single entry - share as many thoughts or comments as you would like. I'm trying to encourage chatter. ;)  If you have something you would like to say, but you don't want to be listed in the drawing... just indicate that in your comment.

Tracy does NOT have her own blog or etsy shop... this is something totally new for her.  If you are interested in purchasing one from her (should you not be the chosen winner) or if you have any particular questions, I can get those to her via email.  Just email me and I'll connect you with her.

It will come to you folded up like this.

If you notice, there are even extra clothes pins in there for you to add to your own collection.

Recipe ::

With everyone having a vast amount of Zucchini growing in their gardens... this recipe is sure to please your families.  They're absolutely delicious.  Trust me!  Especially warm, with a spread of butter melting all warm and deep into the muffin.   Total and complete YUMMNESS!!

Zucchini Oatmeal (Chocolate Chip) Muffins

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 - 1 cup finely chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
1 medium zucchini, finely shredded (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup. vegetable oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips (purely optional)

Grease 12 large muffin pan cups.  Or use cupcake papers.  Preheat oven to 400*.  Mix first 7 ingredients.  In another bowl beat eggs slightly with fork.  Stir in zucchini and oil.  Stir second mixture into first until flour is moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips. (Batter will be lumpy.)  Spoon batter into muffin cups.  Bake 20 minutes or until they test done and are golden.  Yields 12 large or 18 regular size muffins.

Thanks for reading today.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas - here in the comments.  If you pay attention you might even hear a few more of my own thoughts sprinkled throughout the comments.  Like I said - I want the proverbial chit-chatter over the picket fences as we're out hanging up our laundry together...neighbor to neighbor.  Friend to friend.

JUST one thing.

Please don't air your dirty laundry.  Keep it clean. :)

The winner for the Lilla Rose Giveaway is :  Deb S.

(Deb, please email me your correct mailing address.  Thank you.)

And, a HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in the lilla rose giveaway.

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