Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's the little things/ Crossing borders

For the past several months I have been in half marathon training mode and this past Saturday was a big milestone. 

My running partner, Anna, and I had our last big run before the race and it also happened to be our first double digit run!

That is right 10 miles T.E.N 
17,600 yards
52,800 feet
16,093.4 meters
633,600 inches

And we actually ended up doing 10.40 :).

This run was awesome, we started early and we did something we had never done before. We ran to another state. Living so close to the state line it just seemed like something fun we could do to "mix things up a bit"

We also had several eventful things happen on this run that I wish I had pictures of but taking pictures while running isn't exactly an area of expertise for me. So you will have to settle for a list

* We saw a rainbow, for a while it literally seemed like we were chasing after the end.
* We got rained on, not a downpour but definitely not a warm spring shower either.
* We saw a llama, or was it an alpaca?

Yes, it is truly the little things that make a run more interesting.

Anna snapped this picture of me while running down the hill and I joked that I was going to put an inspirational quote on the bottom of it. 

SO, obviously I HAD to :). 

This was definitely one of my favorite runs that we have done over the course of our training. So glad we decided to do something different.

Happy Hump Day!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Granola Bars {Recipe}

So last week I shared with you my favorite, super easy granola recipe. I mentioned that I make my own granola bars and I wanted to share that recipe with you to. 

My favorite thing about these granola bars is the versatility. You can take one simple base recipe and add in countless ingredients to make a variety of flavors. They do have a distinct sweet, honey flavor to them, which is one reason we like them so much. My husband quickly became a huge fan and after a coupe weeks of home made bars he told me that the store ones tasted gross to him. I call that success!

Granola Bars

Base Recipe:
4 T unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 Cups Granola
1 Cup Rice Krispy Cereal

Add ins:
1/2 Cup of ANYTHING
Craisins, raisins, coconut, nuts, chocolate or other flavored chips, seeds, marshmallows, dried fruit (go crazy)

More optional add ins:
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
A scoop of peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella

Adding in different ingredients, and spices will change the bars flavors be creative and make your own combo


1. Line 2 loaf or 1 11x7 pan with foil or parchment paper. Lightly butter or spray and set aside.

2. Combine butter, brown sugar and honey in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until butter is completely melted.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower to medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove sauce pan from the heat. 

*If I was adding in peanut butter or nutella this is the time I would add it to the butter mixture. Stir it in until it melts and is well mixed.

4. In a large bowl combine granola, cereal and 1/2 a cup of your chosen toppings. Including any spices that you would like to add.

5. Pour the butter mixture over the cereal mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated.

6. Spread into prepared pan, gently pressing down with a spatula. Allow to sit for 15/20 minutes.

7. You can now either cover and leave in pan or you can cut and individually package in baggies or foil for easy grabbing on the go.


Don't forget to enter to win a $25 starbucks card!!!

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend Recap/ Co-op Open House

Happy Monday everyone!

Well, this weekend didn't end up being nearly as exciting as I had hoped it would. Saturday ended up being a yard work day. Which means Russ worked and I played with the kiddos, did a tiny bit of sunbathing and played "gopher" for everyone. Then bad weather and talk of bad weather caused some cancellations for Sunday activities. That turned into tornado warning, sirens going and MANY tornado spottings. My heart fell to my feet when Russ said "Oh, no" as he looked to the west and sure enough, there is was. A funnel cloud. There was substantial damage to a few different nearby towns and I ask that you would join us in praying for them and their recovery efforts. 

Friday seems to have been our weekend highlight.

We are a first year homeschooling family and I am very thankful that we plugged into a co-op at the very beginning of our home school adventures. I quickly learned that ACHF (Association of Christian Home school Families) is more than just a place to go "socialize" the girls and let them participate in group classes. It is a family a very large, diverse family. The support and advice that I have received there has been so helpful.

We had our last formal class day of the year on Friday and Friday night was our annual open house/ silent auction/ Music program.

Marissa's class sang a song.

She was able to display some of her projects from the past year.

And we even bought a raffle ticket for a chance to throw a pie in Mr. Spencer's (the superintendents) face. Sadly, our number didn't get picked.

This event was our last big get-together for the year. All that is left now is a picnic day later this week. We had so much fun at ACHF, and are already anticipating all of the fun things that next years co-op will bring. 

I tried to snap a picture of the girls together before we left...check out the "gems" I got. 

Oh my, sometimes you just have to do the best you can. 

How was your weekend?

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday /Starbucks Giveaway and 2 Years Home

Happy Friday!

Ever since last weekend I have said that if I could get through today everything would be down hill from here until summer break starts. Today is our last official co-op of the year and tonight we are having a program/ silent auction. Then, Saturday is my first double digit run. We are hoping to log 10 miles before most people are awake. Sunday has some exciting plans to if the weather cooperates. Busy weekend ahead for us folks!

So let's get this party started, here are my 5 for this week!

1. Tomorrow marks the 2 year anniversary of us being home. 2 years since we were able to move back to what always felt like home even when it was just an empty lot. 

Building a house was physically and mentally exhausting but being home has been amazing. Last year I made this video going over the highlights of our first year home.

2. Half Marathon... I still can't believe I am going to do it and I can't believe how close it is...

3. Sewing! I AM going to learn to sew this summer. I consider myself to be an extremely domestic kind of gal but sewing has always been the soft spot. My MIL was sweet enough to let me borrow a machine and once school is out bring it on!

4. As someone who does their fair share of worrying, I found this to be especially helpful. I giggled at the thought of actually physically walking around with an umbrella and how dumb that is. Why do we carry mental umbrellas around. Sometimes we are dragging several around for no reason.

5. Blog Sponsorship! I am super excited that I am sponsoring my first blog, A + Life. I couldn't be more excited about teaming up with Courtney. Added bonus is getting to see our picture on her side bar and for the next month. She is great so make sure you check her out and say hello while you are there!

Not only am I sponsoring A + Life, I have also teamed up with her and her other sponsors to be a part of a giveaway! You could be the winner of a $25 Starbucks gift card do prizes really get much better than that?!

The giveaway starts TODAY and goes through April 30th so go, enter now!

Do you have any exciting weekend plans?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Yard Work, Oh The Joy

I spent yesterday doing yard work, lots and lots of yard work. From replanting bushes, weeding flower beds, mulching and everything in between.

A few random thoughts from my time outside yesterday...

1. You can not expect young children to help pick up rocks without them deciding to start a rock collection. Resulting in them wanting to keep half of the rocks. (We settled on 5).

2. Bugs always and forever will be gross.

3. Birds always want to build their nests in the most inconvenient places.

4. Even if you work out a lot, and consider yourself to be pretty strong "for a girl". Flinging 40 lb bags of dirt on your shoulder and carrying them across a large yard gets exhausting.

5. It really is the little things that make the girls giggle the hardest.

But, I got everything we needed to get done, done. 

And I even had some extra time to squeeze in some sunbathing time.

I don't know if it is spring or summer here in Missouri. But, I am loving it!

Have you been doing any yard work?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's the little things / Better together, Happy Birthday

"Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another:
 "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself..."  ~C.S. Lewis

Today is a special day, a birthday! And not just any birthday, it is my dearest friend Sarah's birthday. 

I met Sarah when we started attending our church about 5 years ago. We really didn't become fast friends but were acquaintances for about a year or so. Then I asked her to teach me to knit, we started hanging out and now I don't even remember what things were like before that.

We have learned together from knitting, gardening and canning to dissecting and praying over scriptures. 

Together we organized the coolest yarn bomb that Joplin has ever seen and nearly froze our feet getting parts of it displayed.

We have laughed together over ridiculous typos, TV shows and sitting around a bonfire on a Friday night. 

We have experienced loss together. Our homes were destroyed by a tornado within seconds of each other on May 22, 2011. We tore down remainders, cried with, vented, prayed, dreamed and rebuilt new houses....


Life has been better these past few years with a such a good friend walking beside me, encouraging me and pointing me to Jesus when I start to go off course. 

I am so blessed to call you my best friend.

I love you friend!

Happy Birthday!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easy Homemade Granola {Recipe}

I have became convinced that I have found the most delicious, something is cooking, food smell ever. The smell that has topped them all when it comes to walking in a house and saying "Mmmmm, that smells amazing". I never would have guessed what it would be! And lucky you I am not only going to tell you, I am going to share the recipe with you today
Homemade Granola, 

Who would have thought?! I never would have guessed something so quick and easy could make my house smell so wonderful.

I started making granola about a year ago when I decided to make my own granola bars. I quickly discovered that I could make 4 times the amount of granola I was buying for the same cost. So, that became a no brain decision. Plus you have to factor in other great benefits of making your own such as better ingredients and flavor. This granola can be done quickly, has simple ingredients and keeps for weeks... unless you discover how delicious it is as cereal and then it won't last nearly as long.

Easy Homemade Granola

1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C oil
1/2 C honey
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
7 C old fashioned oats

Optional add ins - Almonds, walnuts, pecans, coconut, pumpkin or sunflower seeds

1. Mix sugar, oil and honey in microwave safe bowl or measuring cup.

2. Heat on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Watch it close so it does not boil over.

3. Stir in cinnamon and vanilla.

4. Pour over oats in large bowl.

5. Stir until well coated..

6. Spread oats on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

7. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes, remove from oven stir and cook for another 10 minutes

8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool the oats will crisp up and become crunchy as they cool off. 

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Original recipe found at Mom on a mission

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend!

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend. We definitely did!

Let's do a little weekend recap.

Saturday we woke up EARLY. I got up at my normal 5:00'ish time. But, the girls and Russ had to get up much earlier than normal. I remember Russ laying in bed mumbling, "this was a terrible idea". We needed to leave early for Wyandotte, Ok (about 30 minutes away) for a 5K/ 1 mile fun run we had signed up for months ago. 

This was my second official chip timed 5K and I was VERY excited. I ran faster and harder than I ever thought I could and I set a new personal record of 25:09! That was good enough to earn me 3rd place in the 21-30 year old females and I came in 7th out of 115 women. I couldn't be more pleased.

Me and my awesome running partner, all smiles after our race.

Yesterday morning, was Easter.

 I love Easter. 

We had a great church service and came home to enjoy the end of our long weekend relaxing at home. 

How was your Easter weekend?

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