Saturday, July 13, 2013

Our Favorite Granola and a Book List

Almond Granola. It's our favorite, and the recipe comes from our friend, Rebecca. 

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I've tried a couple different granolas in my mommy-past and this one is the easiest and tastiest. All my children love it. They eat it for breakfast with milk, or mixed into yogurt, and sometimes plain. They gather round the table with me when it's time to make a new batch. They like to stir the oats, chop up the nuts, measure out the brown sugar. 

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Eat it together...

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Or tie it with string to give away. (Eliza just filled a huge jar and gave it to our neighbor, Bette. It's fun to eat. But just as fun to share!)

Almond Granola (Rebecca Cooley)

12 C. oatmeal (old-fashioned)
2 C. brown sugar
2 C. coconut
1 tsp. salt
2 C. nuts chopped (we like almonds, pecans, and walnuts)
1 1/2 C. canola oil
2/3 C. water
3 tsp. almond flavoring

Mix oats and brown sugar in large bowl. In separate bowl mix coconut, salt, nuts, oil, water, and flavoring. Add coconut mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until oats no longer look dry. Spread on two rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake @ 250° for 1 1/2 hours, switching and stirring pans every 30 minutes.

And here are a few patriotic children's books I recommend.

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If you're interested in more, shoot me an email or leave a comment. Two sweet ladies in our neighborhood put together a patriotic book list for children that is four pages long! These are just a few of their suggestions.

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I mentioned in my last post that we bought this book and CD by Janeen Brady. My kids are loving the songs and dialogue. They're already singing some of it by memory. It's a good beginner discussion of our founding fathers, the constitution, and the important principles behind the establishment of America.

Anyone else feel like summer is whizzing by? I can hardly believe we're half way through July. 

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I can't find time to write anything thoughtful (sorry about that), chip away at my stack of books, or pull together the slide show for our 20 year reunion. (20 years since high school! How did that happen?)

The days seem to wash into each other. Our pace is slow, we are doing less, going fewer places, but the demands my children have (since they're all home) are greater. I am trying to help them find that balance between work and play, between nothing-time and productive-time. I feel strongly they need both. 

The kids have swimming and their regular jobs, but other than that I purposely scheduled very little. And yet, this summer I fall into bed at night wondering if I've spent our time on the right things, if I nagged too much and should have let the list go. I'm trying to feel it out, pray it out. Hear what to do each day. More on my wonderings about our summer plan later. 

But I do love having the kids home. I love that my girls just rushed past me in dress-ups (even though they haven't started their jobs yet), that my boys are out mowing the lawn with daddy, that they wear their masks and tromp around in boots with an arsenal of weapons tucked into their pants. 

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I love the band-aids taped onto knees, the cut-off jeans, the cluster of kids in the playhouse. 

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I love that we have purple iris bulbs to dig into the dirt today, and a bike ride to look forward to this evening.

It is good to step back and look at the fullness of all we have, to ask gently even if it's for the fifth time, and to love my little people purely, honestly. This was the life I wanted for so long. 


  1. "This is the life I wanted for so long." Thank you for the reminder of the beauty of the everyday. Looks like a great summer in your neck of the woods!

  2. loving the pictures! and janeen brady is married to my fourth cousin and my mom used to sell brite music as i was growing up. i know almost all the songs by heart. love them all and i have the whole "brite line-up." safety kids are also a good series.

  3. Cath, I have all the Janeen Brady books and several of the tapes (if you have a way to play tapes). You are welcome to borrow them or look at them before buying your own copy. I used many of the songs as I did music for 15 years in the elementary school. I am using some of them again as I work in the preschool.

  4. Amen about the summer days part! I feel very much the same way. Although our pace is slow, and we go few places, I still often wonder at the end of the day if we used our time wisely. It is passing so quickly! (Meaning both summer and childhood!)

    PS-I'm adopting this as my mantra for the day: "to ask gently even if it's for the fifth time"--thank you!

  5. Adri - hoping to see you in August. xoxo

    Erin - I actually do remember you telling me the connection you have with Janeen Brady. Forgot about Safety Kids! We loved those growing up!

    Leslie - I'm going to take you up on your offer! Do you have the safety kids? :)

    Tiffany - So nice to know someone understands the concern over whether we're doing it right. Yes, it's all passing too quickly. Gentle, gentle, that's my mantra too. Wishing you all the best as your summer begins to wind down. Thank you for commenting. xo

  6. Great recommendations! Love those brown boots on the wrong feet and the glint/glare in their defender/protector eyes. I admire your patience and embrace of this season. Isn't summer both slow and fast?

  7. Darling Cath, thank you again for your perspective. Thank you for soaking up the beautiful, everyday moments. Your kids are just lovely. The pace you are embracing this summer sounds just perfect. Life goes too fast. You will not regret any of these days at home. We too have slowed down (in large part because I found out I am severely anemic a few weeks ago and it will take time to rebuild my energy and iron stores), but it has been such a blessing to allow the boys hours and hours each day to play at home with each other and friends. Most days, our lunch table is full with many boys chatting and consuming large plates of food. I wouldn't want it any other way. With our open floor plan, the sounds of Legos dumping, dice rolling, and balls bouncing echo through the house. I feel so lucky to be here. Our trip to Utah got postponed for a couple months. Hoping you have a wonderful summer. You are right. Gentle. Gentle. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart here. xoxo

  8. I found your blog through Power of Moms a while back and was pleased to discover that you've lived in VA before. :) (I was in Oakton stake growing up, my cousins were in Fairfax Ward.) I just put this granola in the oven and the kids agreed that it will be delicious because it already smells so yummy in our kitchen. Thanks for your great perspective on motherhood and life and for the great recipe!

    1. Stacey!! I just realized I put the wrong temp in the recipe on my blog. Bake the granola at 250 degrees! Not 350! You'd think I could at least get a recipe right. Gracious. So sorry! I hope yours turns out okay!! And how fun to have VA in common. Who are your cousins? We were in the Fairfax ward for 8 years. Thanks for your sweet note. And my apologies again for not getting the temp right!!


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