Apple Breakfast Bars

One of the hardest meals these days is breakfast!! Getting three girls up+dressed+packed for school + fed+bathroomed and out the door ONTIME is quite the feat! I feel that some days I am amazed we got anything done😅. Breakfast is so important.  Especially since Liesel only gets lunch and zero (that’s right 0) snacks at school!!  

I wish I had it all together and was cooking them eggs or making them porridge (what the girls call steel cuts) everyday.  But, let’s be honest, some days there.just.isnt.enough.time.  So when I came across an amazing recipe for protein packed and zero refined sugar-filled bars I was ecstatic! 

I whipped them up Sunday evening once the girls were in bed and they were cooked and ready to go in the am🙌. The girls loved them (well 2/3)-Moira ate them but then said “these are not my favwite.  Tomorrow I want granola again.”   Liesel however reported “those were amazing!!”  The bars lasted the whole week and made for one happy (and less drained) momma!!

Enjoy!!

Ingredients

* 3/4c skim milk

* 1/2c peanut butter

* 1 tsp vanilla 

* 1/4c applesauce 

* 1/4c honey

* 1c grated Apple (squeeze water out)

* 1 egg

* 1.5c rolled oats

* 1/4c white whole wheat flour

* 1 tsp baking soda

* 1 tsp cinnamon 


Mix the first seven ingredients in a mixing bowl until blended.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir until just moistened.   

 

Spoon into a 9×9 pan and cook at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Or until golden brown on the top.


Allow bars to cool completely before cutting and eating. 

 
I hope they make your mornings easier too!!

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Fall Days

Now that both Moira and Liesel are in school, we are officially a family with school days.  The worst part is that school days are more common than home days😭. It has definitely been an adjustment for us all!

Just before Labor Day, Moira had her first day of preschool.  Since signing her up last February, Moira has been dreading this day.   Much different from Liesels first day two years ago.  Moira is my Momma girl/ home body.  I adore this about her.  She is also extremely cautious and a huge thinker and worrier.  The whole preschool thing had her “a little noivous” as she put it.  School was Liesels thing and I think she would have liked to keep it that way. However, we knew she would love it and she was more than ready to start.   After a few short tears on her first day she was off! And I’m happy to report she LOVED every minute!  She talks to us often about her best friends and can recount her entire days back to us without hesitation!  What a joy it has been to see her blossom into a big preschooler! 

    
 And here we are in October.  School is our new norm.  Although I miss the old days, more than I could express,  we are cruising along and getting in a new groove.  Lunches packed each night, outfits laid out on the dresser, morning walks to the bus followed by preschool drop off with only two littles in tow…life sure changes fast!  
But despite all the changes, we still have been able enjoy our favorite fall pastimes!  

Apple picking at Tuttles Orchard 

    
 

Hayrides+games +pumpkins at Stoneycreek Farms  

   
Lots of fall baking

And our annual autumn trip to Michgan 

    
 

I’m sure we will still squeeze in a few more trips to the orchard, as well as hit up Conner Prairier and the Children’s Museum before the season commences.   What are some of your fall must dos? Id love to add them to our list!!   

 

Choosing Joy

This entire summer the kindergarten cloud has been looming over all of our heads.  I know it’s happening and I know there is nothing I can do about it!  So, I’ve decided to embrace it ( I know less than two weeks away…it’s about time).  But I want to be excited about it, and that is why I’m choosing joy! 

 
Joy that we have raised a little baby who has grown into a little girl more than ready for school!  This next stage will be a huge change for our family.  We will exchange our lazy go with the flow days for a schedule that involves bus riding, teacher conferences and afternoon homework.  But we will embrace it with a smile and enjoy every minute!   

Kindergarten, we see you!  As desperately as I wish I could make you disappear, I know you won’t and I know it is our time! We are excited for a new teacher to adore. One who’s name we will all know and use daily.  We are excited for the new friends and families we will get to know and love.  And most importantly we are excited for the love of Christ we can pour out on to all those we meet this year! 

 School shopping has been done, bags are packed, and this girl is ready to go!  
Pure JOY!!! 

 

a chapter finished

Today was liesel’s last day as a preschooler.    

What a special time it has been. I will mourn you, preschool.  Everything about it from juggling three girlies through the snow covered parking lot into the building, to watching the little ducklings outside the courtyard each afternoon.   

 

Liesel has loved every minute of school.  Always eagerly anticipating the night before.  Excited to see her friends and teachers and wondering what job she will have.  

  

 

What a precious precious time these last two years have been.  I know I still have many preschool years left with Moira and Emaline.  But never again will I have three littles under my wing as we head in and out of those front doors.   

  

Holy Week Activities

Our Lenten season is almost over.  Hosanna has been ringing from our lips, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  HOSANNA in the highest!” Matthew 21:96

This year I was challenged by a dear friend to give up sleep for lent.  *chuckle* can a mom of three-under 5 have sleep to give up?😉. Yes, yes she does.  It has truly been one of the most challenging, strengthening and rewarding Lenten seasons for me.  My morning alarm goes off at 6am and I slither out of bed trying desperately to make it downstairs without the pitter patter of little feet behind me.  Once down I have about an hour to myself.  To complete my bible study, pray and spend alone with my Lord.  There are days the girls wake before I am finished, but they have gotten in the routine of either snuggling close to me as I finish or begin looking at books alone.  It has been a great way to begin our days.  One I hope to continue after our Lenten season. 

The girls and I have been busy with activities and crafts focusing on Easter and Holy Week. We have enjoyed some new ones, like these tissue paper stained glass crosses 

   

 

But the majority of our crafts and activities have been repeats of last year.  Starting with Palm Sunday,  

     

Each year the girls understanding of Holy Week and Easter deepens. I pray our Lord reveals himself more with each passing year to my girls and myself.  

Here is my post from last year with all the activities we have been enjoying.  I hope they will be enjoyed in your home!

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Give Me Jesus 

The Easter holiday is tricky, especially when you have kids. Everywhere you look there are bunnies and eggs and spring fluff! Don’t get me wrong I love a good Reese’s peanut butter egg and egg hunt, I just want more Jesus. It’s so important to Eric and I that our girls have a firm grasp on what this holiday is all about. Last year we talked some with Liesel but this year I wanted to go deeper. For the past two weeks the girls and I have focused on the true story. We have spent everyday reading through the Easter story in their Beginner’ s Bible beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with the resurrection. They have been loving our devotional time each day, asking such great questions, that I’ve decided to start setting aside this time every day. We have always read a story from the bible to the girls each night before bed. But why do I have my devotional time while they are asleep? Don’t I want my girls to learn how important bible reading is? Don’t I want them to learn from my example? I’m excited to implement this time each morning. A time where they can get out their bibles with me and spend time alone with our Lord! 

Here are a few of our activities from the past two weeks. 

Palm Branches after reading about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey in their Beginners Bible (pgs 427-432), we made our own handprint branches. We then had fun role playing, taking turns being Jesus on the donkey while the other two yelled, hosanna hosanna in the highest!


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20140416-204919.jpg  The Washing of Feet after reading pgs 437-439 in the Beginners Bible the girls took turns washing each others ( and my feet). We talked about serving each other, loving each other and how dirty the disciples feet must have been 😉

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20140416-220803.jpg  Tomb Rolls death, sin, persecution, resurrection. These are all extremely hard terms for a 3 year old and 2 year old to grasp. Last year a friend of mine wrote about these rolls she made with her boys to explain the death and resurrection. I loved the idea and immediately tucked it away for this year! After reading pgs 446-458 in Beginners bible we made these to help the girls understand. ingredients 1 pkg jumbo crescent rolls 1 bag lg marshmallows 1/4 c melted butter 1/2 c sugar 1 TB cinnamon Cover Jesus ( marshmallow) in blankets ( butter and sugar/cinnamon). 

20140416-224334.jpg Next, place the crucified Jesus in the tomb ( crescent roll). Cover marshmallow completely with crescent pinching all sides. Then place tombs 

20140416-224705.jpg in a 375 degree oven for 13 minutes. Once rolls are cool, enjoy an empty tomb roll. Jesus is ALIVE

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20140416-224851.jpg  Tissue Paper Crosses 

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20140416-230057.jpg  Watercolor Crosses have kids paint over masking tape crosses. Once dry, carefully take the tape off. I loved how they turned out. 

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20140417-142751.jpg  Pretzel Crosses Ingredients Pretzel rods White chocolate melted Sprinkles Break pretzel rod so that you have one part shorted then the other. Dip long end it chocolate then dip shorter end. Place on top of one another and add sprinkles. Let sit until chocolate is hardened and enjoy!

20140417-143442.jpg  I hope you all have a blessed Easter! He is Risen, Indeed!! 

In the morning when I rise Give me Jesus You can have all this world But give me Jesus! – Fernando Ortega

Rainbow Beans

This past week L and MJ school was all about rainbows.  One of my favorite themes.  High on my list to try this year was diy colored beans.  Sensory play is still big over here and rice/sand/water gets old after a while… This week was definitely the week to try out a new recipe!  It fit in perfectly with our theme😊.  

I pinned a few recipes for all different kinds of colored beans. But ultimately I went to the store in search of the cheapest white dry beans they had!  On sale were navy beans.  I grabbed a few bags and we were good to go.  Having a large quantity of food dye at home, I decided to try that first instead of paying money for watercolor dye ( recommended in a few recipes).  I had also read warnings against vinegar, and decided to follow them. 

The rest is easy.  Pour one cup of beans into a bag.  Drop about 15 drops of the color you desire.  Seal the baggie and begin mixing the beans around.  This was a favorite step for the girls.

  

Once your beans are the color you desire, lay them out on paper towels and make sure none are clumped together.  The allow beans to dry for 3-4 hours.  I let ours dry over night just to be safe. 



Side note, we had a slight problem with our purple beans😂. They turned out, well, black.  I think the girls were a little over zealous with the drops.  But it didn’t phase them.  Liesel even said,” I think they wanted to be more indigo than purple.”  


Once dry, have fun!  The girls had a blast just playing and exploring with them.

(I was even able to squeeze in a 45minute workout while they played happily and content-win!)

 There are so many different ways you can use them as learning tools.  Here are a few we did:

Using cupcake tins and a rainbow sheet, the girls sorted them by color. This again, kept them busy and engaged for quite some time.



We used the beans to outline sight words and letters.  



Making the beans into patterns was a huge hit!



Liesel and I also made pictures out of the beans.  I love seeing her creativity at work!

I am so glad I finally made these.  Easy, cheap, and a fabulous learning tool, what more could you want?!  I’d love to hear any other ways you use your beans!

Love Day

I love valentines day! Maybe it’s because it eases my Christmas blues with lots of pink and new decor, maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for all things romantic, or maybe it’s because it gives me an excuse to indulge in Reese’s chocolate hearts…

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This year I celebrated the holiday with even more excitement. I had recently found out that valentines day was becoming obsolete in the public schools around here. Now referred to as friendship parties, kids are no longer allowed to pass out valentines or partake in fun parties filled with heart shaped everything. Waahh. Because of this I decided I really need to live up our preschool holidays!

Liesel and Moira school was filled with Heart crafts, valentine books and everything pink you could imagine!

Liesel and I had a blast making, creating and putting together her valentines. “Owl Be Your Valentine”

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I also was in charge of the snacks for Liesel’s preschool party and had a blast creating a few! The first was heart shaped rice crispy treats, dipped in white chocolate, covered in sprinkles (artistically places by L &MJ) and placed on Popsicle stick. Easy, delish and fun to create!

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IMG_0587. I found some cute heart bags in the dollar section at target and placed the treats inside

IMG_0589. In an attempt to get something healthy in the kiddos amidst all the candy, I put together fruit kabobs. Heart-shaped strawberries and purple grapes. Easy and at $2.50 a carton for strawberries, it was budget friendly too.

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For teacher gifts I put together a little gift bag full of tea. Wanting to show our appreciation for all they do! So thankful for Liesel’s teachers this year!

IMG_0597. They surely are “TEArrific”!

On the actual holiday itself, Eric and I had big plans of a family date day. Filled with exploring our children’s museum, and getting dressed up for dinner out! But illness struck and both Eric and Moira were not 100%. Instead we opted for a relaxing day at home. It was perfect! The day started with a yummy breakfast- equipped with heart shaped bacon

IMG_0609 and ended with a trip down memory lane. Talking to the girls about our favorite love story-our own! We decided to show our wedding video and the girls couldn’t have been more excited!

IMG_0625. A few of my favorite quotes included : daddy can you dance with us like that?
Isn’t this great, Moira?
and can we watch that again, tomorrow? I really love that movie.

Heart exploded! Valentines Day 2015-you really were full of love!