Monthly Archives: November 2012

Thankful

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As I unbury myself from the loads of laundry piled up in front of the washer,
I am thankful that my kids have nice clothes to wear.

 

As I wash dishes thinking of how I will have to do it again twice more before the day is over,
I am thankful that we eat three meals every day.

 

As I wipe bottoms, runny noses, and tears,
I am thankful we have good health.

 

As I spend hours each night putting our house back in order,
I am thankful we have a comfortable house filled with so many nice things.

 

As I spend time, sometimes frustrated, helping my child learn a concept,
I am thankful they have sharp minds.

 

As I lay in bed, with guilt in my heart and worry in my mind,
I am thankful for the grace of a Savior.

 

As I hold my children, as I hug and kiss them, as I witness them grow,
I am thankful.

 

For my labor is not in vain.

 

So as I wash, wipe, launder, and clean,
I will choose each day to be thankful.

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Unemployed

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I was recently at the doctor’s office, answering questions on those lengthy health forms, when the lady taking my information asked where I was employed. When I told her I stay at home, she wrote in large print: unemployed.

I felt so deflated! I wanted to say – hey wait! I have a bachelor’s degree! I could “work” if I wanted to! I plan to work again someday! I wanted to validate myself. And then I thought…but I do work! I work very hard, all day. I don’t sit around eating ice cream and watching soap operas! In fact, I hardly sit at all, and I only watch one hour of TV a week.

Now, I don’t fault the lady at the desk. By all technical accounts, I am unemployed. I don’t have a work phone or my own insurance or anything else that would matter for their collection of fees.

But I decided to have a little fun with this concept and looked up the definition of unemployed on Merriam-Webster’s site. In the explanation it says:

“Condition of a person who is able to work, is actively seeking work, but is unable to find any.”

I agree with two-thirds of that statement as I work at home. I am able to work, and I actively seek it. (Although I sometimes I actively run from it — I run away from the windows that need washing so I do not have to see the dirt on them!)

The last part of the sentence is the fun part! “Unable to find any work..”

As a mom I find work as a…
Nurse to kiss and bandage the wounds
Teacher as I teach a child to multiply, another to read, another his colors, another her animals
Chauffeur as I them drive to and from their sports and social events
Chef as I make two to three meals a day
Fashion consultant as I nix the idea of wearing polka dot pants with a striped shirt
Judge as I mediate the latest conflict
Counselor as we problem solve how to not get into conflict in the first place
Personal shopper as I go to the store to pick up whatever is needed
Professional organizer as I stack and label the kids’ items into tubs
Seamstress as I repair buttons on pants
Dental hygienist as I help them brush and floss their teeth
Entomologist as I help identify (via the internet) the latest bug caught
Exterminator as I kill those crazy bugs
Hairdresser as I wash and comb hair
Detective as I try to figure out who really had the toy first
Maid as I pick up, clean up, and wash up many, many messes

So, no. I am not really unable to “find work” as I work at home as a full-time mom. But neither am I unable to find payment. I would take smiles, hugs, and kisses from my kids over any salary, any day.

Three Days of Yummy Food: Granola Bars

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I have tried many different granola bar recipes in an effort to have some nutritious, healthy snacks for my little guy who has hypoglycemia. Most snacks on the shelves are full of preservatives and things I can’t pronounce–plus, snacks are expensive.

After much tweaking, I think I have a granola bar recipe that pleases everyone in our family! They are super filling and keep really well. And they are seriously addicting!

What you need for 15-20 bars:

  • 1 cup peanuts (raw is best)
  • 3/4 cup flax seed (divided)
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 2/3 cup sunflower seeds (raw is best)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup almonds (raw is best)
  • 4 Tbs butter (not margarine)
  • 1/2 cup (or less) brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2-1 cup chocolate chips

Here is what to do:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine the peanuts and 1/4 cup of the flax seed. Process in a food processor with the metal blade for about 30 seconds or so until the mixture is the consistency of brown sugar. (You could also do this in a zip top bag with a mallet or pan. That’s a great way to relieve stress!) Pour into a medium size bowl, and add oats, sunflower seeds, and the rest of the flax seed. Toss quickly to combine and spread into a jelly roll pan or other shallow pan with sides.

3. Toss the almonds into a shallow baking dish. (Make sure you throw plenty in there for snacking as you make these!)

4. Bake both for 10-15 minutes, stirring gently every 5 minutes. Let both cool for about half an hour or so. Pour the contents of both pans back into bowl, and give a little stir.

5. Next, place butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan. Heat on medium heat until bubbly.

6. Pour liquid mixture (the glue) into nuts and grains. Stir to combine.

7. Place in a jelly roll pan (I often use the same one I use for the roasting process). You may want to spray the pan lightly with cooking spray to ensure they come out easily, but I have found that isn’t necessary. Press the mixture into the pan. Then, place a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper on top and press down hard all over to ensure they stay together when you cut them.

8. If you want to add chocolate chips, you may want to wait about 2-3 minutes or so for the mixture to cool down. (I didn’t do this for the picture, so it looks a little extra messy!) You will want to sprinkle the chips on top and use the waxed paper again to press everything down and together.

9. Wait another 15-30 minutes and cut into bars. We always store them together in a container, but you could individually wrap them for easy grab-on-the-go portability.

***As a side note, these are more of the chewy granola bar consistency. If you want them slightly more crunchy, reverse the amounts of the brown sugar and the honey, and don’t process the peanuts for quite as long.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!