Monday, October 19, 2015

Recipe Alert!

Nut bars AKA modified 5-ingredient-granola-bars

This is for Jennifer, and anyone else. I usually double this because my kids eat them so fast and I want to minimize my effort. They keep well in the fridge and if you want them to keep longer wrap them up and freeze them!

1 Cup packed, pitted dates
1/4 C honey
1/4 C nut butter (I use peanut butter, use what you love)
1 C roasted unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
1 1/2 C rolled oats

Optional add-ins
1/2 - 1 C unsweetened coconut
2Tbsp - 1/4 C chia seeds
1/4 C hemp hearts

 I use coconut flakes but shredded is good too!
 Since these aren't cooked, I like to use organic, and RAW good for you, yummmmm!
Toast your oats, almonds and coconut for 10-20 minutes on 300 depending on your oven and desired flavor. I like mine well browned because it makes a more intense flavor.

 Honey, nut butter and chia seeds are the beginning of your binding agent.... add to it the date dough.

Put your dates in the food processor and whirl them to oblivion, the more you process them the better they bind your bars together. Check for the occasional missed pit, they are rock hard and no fun to bite into.
 This is what the dates look like when properly processed, you can go even farther than this if you are an over achiever.
 Add the date goop to the mixer and mix until it is evenly distributed.
 whir whir whirrrrrrrr!
 Throw those toasty almonds into your food processor and give them a rough chop.
 Add in that toasty coconut, along with the toasty nuts and the oats.
 Blend it on med-low speed until the ingredients are evenly distributed paying special attention to the dates... they're sticky buggers.
 Dump it all out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, put some coconut oil on your hands and push it into an even layer.
Use a rolling pin to mash it all down into a flat sheet and then refrigerate it until firm. Once firm you can cut it into bars and enjoy!

I put them into a tin with layers of parchment between and/or put into individual fold top sandwich baggies so they don't stick together into a big glob of nutty, datey mess.

Don't forget to modify with some of your favorite things!! Just remember if you add in more dry ingredients you will want to slightly increase your honey and nut butter otherwise it will be too "dry" and it will be too crumbly to make a nice bar.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


It has been many months since I visited this space but, what happened Sunday deserves more than a Facebook post.

After church, they were doing baptisms in Phoenix First Assembly's outdoor baptismal and encouraged people to go and watch and cheer on the people making their public declaration to follow Jesus. As we stood and cheered, Maddox had a conversation with his dad asking if he could also be baptized because he wants more people to know about Jesus.
He was one of the last few people to be submerged and after I hugged him and cheered him on I had to run Audrey to the bathroom. While wrapping up in there,  I got a phone call to hurry back out because Jetty was going in too, Pastor Luke Barnett climbed back in with Bing to baptize my sweet Jetty-boo. I am not sure the exact conversations they had with their dad but I do know these boys are fully ready to make the decision.
My Jetty wakes up singing songs to God and goes about his joyful, bouncy days singing all the while.  Jetty loves to pray healing over people and does so at every opportunity including meal time prayers to bless our food. He prays for healing almost as much as he sings praise.

My Maddox prays for all of the homeless people and beggars we see, asking if we can build them houses and/or bring them home with us. He has a heart for the lost and says he wants people to know God more.

To celebrate their decision we went and worked on a service project preparing a home to receive two single mothers and their children, it desperately needed painting to prepare for the flooring that will go in this week. These homes are being used to reunite families, getting children out of foster care and back with their parents providing them a safe and clean home along with a support system and people to walk with them on this journey. Restored Hope Family Ministry is the name of the game.

Then, on Monday, Bing and I celebrated our seventh anniversary, on 7/27... I love the number seven and it's biblical significance. I feel that a new chapter is about to open in our family, our life, our marriage, our businesses and I am so excited to see God's best for us in the next seven years! I am counting the baptism as a special anniversary present and have been joyfully emotional about the whole ordeal. 



Friday, November 7, 2014

Changing it up!

I realize I am no professional at blogging. My style, my page, and my consistency are lazy at best. The good news is, I started this for my family, to keep them up to date on the babies and our exciting life, and they rarely judge me for lacking perfection. The other good news is that other people read it too. I say this is good news because that means that they have found some nugget, or style, or phrasing (or maybe they have found our life), to be intriguing enough to dive into. Family can be brutal, but anonymous, internet strangers can be even more so... I sometimes struggle with that, feeling vulnerable or weird that people "google" us, and when they do they come across this sight and Lord knows what else... I haven't googled myself in a few years.  Granted, I have left the blog public, not having anything in particular that I feel I need to protect or hide but not ever assuming that anyone who doesn't personally know us would care to look. That said, I am trying to polish it up a bit, make it less haphazard. And maybe....just maybe, I'll actually start updating again!

In this effort, I have created a makeshift desk where my computer and printer are set up 24/7, which allows me easier access and it is constantly in my sight. Before, the laptop wandered around the house infrequently opened and often tucked away.

My goal these last few weeks has been to create scenarios for change. Rather than just wishing I were better at things, I am taking steps to help myself be better at them. Funny how helpful that is...

Friday, October 24, 2014

I haven't completely given up on this thing yet, I have just found life to be very full and haven't allowed myself time to devote here. In the past, due to some perfectionist tendencies it might take me three hours to write a post that takes you five minutes to read...and then you want me to do it again less than a year later. That is so much pressure! Here are some highlights from the last four months and a bit on my reality today. There is SO much to update, it feels like everything has changed and I am not sure how to put that to words. I'll try my best going forward to condense it and make it interesting, there may not be photos to it all.

Since the last post, we have moved 1100 miles, down to beautiful, sunny, Anthem, Arizona. When we moved out of our home in Idaho it was mid sixtes and when we moved into our home here it was 110 degrees. So much sweat. Good news is we have a pool that is quite refreshing in that sort of weather.

We watered the grass a whole lot. I mean, so much...

The wildlife here is a new adventure. Our back yard butts up to wilderness so on any given evening we might see Javelina(wild pigs), bobcat, coyotes, rabbit, hawks, snakes, bats, scorpion, toads, pack rats...the list keeps growing. Not many threatening critters but plenty that make your skin crawl.

Your friendly(until it rips your arm off) neighborhood Javelina.

They all love to swim, but Jetty loves it the very best.

Patio dance party. This also happens a lot. My kids love to dance, if only I had some of their moves.

At the Butterfly Museum. Little boogers didn't take one good picture for me.

Audrey graduated to a big-girl bed and is 98% potty trained. Most of my days are spent trying to accomplish ANYTHING in between trips to bathrooms. Everytime we go to the grocery store they claim to be fine when we walk by the bathroom, until we get to the opposite corner of the store and then we have an urgent situation and not just once, they take turns. Sometimes Audrey needs to go three times in our 45 minutes trying to buy grapes and milk. Doesn't it take you 45 minutes to buy grapes and milk too?