Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Yellowstone or Bust!

 I can hardly stand it!  Not only do we get to go to Yellowstone (or Jellystone as my sweet husband says) - but we get to go with my very most favorite people --- my family!  This has become somewhat of a family tradition.  My husband's family went every year after they were done harvesting beans.  I had never been until we got married.  I fell in love with the place.  The extended family has tried to go every three years for a number of years now - although the time between those trips is getting further apart it seems and the number of family that can attend is less and less.

And as a special treat this year, consider this: the temperatures in Missouri have been 99-103+ for weeks now.  The temperatures in Yellowstone are mid 70's in the day time and mid 40's over night!  I have the cozy sleeping bags packed and I'm ready to go!

Don't you just love these mountains?  My heart always leaps a little with that first glance at the Teton Range.

And these fun designs will be on our t-shirts this year thanks to Millie!

Yellowstone - Here We Come!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Millie!

Has anyone ever been loved so much as someone with an older sister?!
Happy Birthday Baby Girl!  What a blessing you've been to our family.  We are so grateful to have you be part of our lives.    Love you!   Miss you!   See you soon!  :) 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I've been studying a lot lately about trials and enduring as I've been asked on several occasions lately to make a presentation about such.  As I read this post today from Emily Freeman - it touched my heart and I wanted to share it with you.  Read her post: "Herein Is A Marvelous Thing" and reflect on this wonderful painting by Simon Dewey.

In your darkest hours - may you be blessed with the hope that will bring light to your eyes and a vision of where your path will take you.  Trust in His words:  "I will be your light in the wilderness." (1 Nephi 17:13).  Believe that He will not forsake you or leave you alone.  Continue on, in faith, seeking for the blessings that you desire. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Homemade Granola

A very good friend shared this recipe with me several years ago and I make it all the time now.  Because there are so many whole grains in this - and some natural sugars - it really does a wonderful job of stabilizing my blood sugar levels.  I have a tendency to be a little hypo-glycemic, but have found that if I have this for breakfast with some fresh blueberries, I don't have any trouble with my blood sugar dropping before lunch time.

--combine the following ingredients in a sauce pan.  Heat only till well blended - don't boil!

1 1/2 c. oil
1 1/2 c. honey
1 1/2 c. peanut butter
1 1/2 - 2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 - 2 tsp. almond flavoring
1 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
5 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 TBS poppy seeds

---mix the following together in a LARGE bowl:
6 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1 1/2 c. wheat germ
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. Bran Flakes
1 c. milled flax seed
1 c. sliced almonds

Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir together until well mixed.  Pour onto a large cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.   Turn oven off and remove granola from oven.  Pour mixture back into your large bowl.  Add:

1 box Grape Nuts cereal
1 -2 cups raisins (if desired)

Mix well and divide the mixture onto two cookie sheets.  There will be too much for just one.  Return to the oven that has been turned off and let dry for 1-2 hours.  (I usually make mine in the afternoon or evening and leave it in the oven overnight.)   Remove from the oven and store in airtight containers.  Make sure it is completely cool before storing.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is how versatile it is.  I typically leave the liquid ingredients as they are and up the amount of the dry ingredients - usually to 2 cups for the flour and the cereals.  It makes the granola a little more dry, but it still has amazing flavor.  The flax seed and almonds were not on the original recipe.  And I used all generic ingredients.  It's fabulous!

I would suggest when you make it the first time, follow the directions as given and then adjust the amounts to fit your personal likes.

All of the dry ingredients except that last box of cereal!

The liquid ingredients and spices - yum!

After mixing it all together - ready to bake for 15 minutes.
This is out of the oven, with that last box of cereal added in (and the raisins if you must at this time), and divided to go back into the oven for a couple of hours to dry out a bit.  See how it looks golden and yummy!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Celebrating the 4th

Last year on the 4th of July we were with family!  This year our family is scattered; Utah, Colorado and Missouri.  I miss them.  Lots.  This was last year - don't we look like a fun crew?!
How could you NOT have fun with this group?

This year we were on our own.  We gathered with a few friends and did the normal, talk and blow things up!  But it just wasn't the same.  I found myself feeling a little melancholy - missing our family - and missing this little bug!
I mean, seriously - who WOULDN'T miss this?  Isn't she just the cutest?!  :)

 The neighborhood we were in had a LOT of people doing their own fireworks.  The air was heavy with smoke and the smell of sulpher.  It was stinkin' hot - but we didn't have to worry about mosquitoes! 
Sorry - couldn't get this picture to flip.  Yummy rice krispie treats with peanut butter M&M's!

Oreos.  Dipped in chocolate.  White chocolate.  White chocolate with blue chocolate disks in it.  More white chocolate with red chocolate disks in it for coloring.  Oreos and chocolate.  Quite fabulous if I do say so myself!

Besides our family - we were missing our friend Sandi.  We had the party at her house.  She wasn't there.  We didn't totally hijack her home while she was away - her husband was there.  We love them.  They are our family too - we just aren't related by blood.

Hope you had a fabulous day.  And if you couldn't be with family - I hope you were with friends.