By: Jennifer Murray

Easy Homemade Granola Bars

Easy Homemade Granola Bars


I was looking for something quick and easy to take to church for our Sunday school class over the weekend, and decided to try homemade granola bars, after seeing some easy recipes floating around Pinterest.  I adapted this one for our tastes and to give it more of a protein punch.  The boys were happy that I had a few leftovers to bring home for them to devour! I’m looking forward to making another batch for quick breakfast snacks and to send in lunches!

I didn’t expect them to be so simple and delicious to make homemade! 

homemade-granola-bars-ingredients

What You’ll Need for Homemade Granola Bars:

  • 3 cups of Quick Oats
  • A 14oz Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 T of Melted Butter
  • 1/3 cup of Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup of Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/2 cup of Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup of Peanut Butter Chips

(The last four ingredients you can switch up/omit/add what you’d like!)

How to Make Homemade Granola Bars:

1. Preheat the Oven to 350 Degrees.

2. Grease Baking Sheet with Butter or Cooking Spray.

3. Mix Together Oats, Milk, Butter, Flax, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chips.

4. Spread Evenly in the Baking Sheet with Wet Hands.

5. Bake 15-20 Minutes.

6. Remove from Oven and Cut Into Granola Bars With a Plastic Knife While Still Warm.

7. Eat Immediately or Store to Enjoy for Breakfast or Snacks!

What’s your favorite on-the-go breakfast recipe? 

 

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By: Jennifer Murray

Scenes from A Landlocked Spring Break

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Last week my people were on Spring Break, and as much the ocean calls our names and we’d love some time away, it just wasn’t the right timing for us. At the beginning of the week, I almost blocked all your deep blue water beach pictures, sun-kissed skin, and tank tops from my feed, but we found vacation right here in landlocked Indiana.

Really this is the first Spring Break we’ve had as a family. While we homeschooled, I used SB as a catch-up or an easier week, but we didn’t take then entire week off.  It was a rare opportunity to just be together without a lot of plans or running. We made the most of it with a couple trips to Eagle Creek, lots of brother basketball scrimmages and learning how to play “Knockout”, good times with church family for Easter, watching March Madness, going for treats after dinner, seeing grandparents and out of town family, and celebrating some warmer temps.

I feel like we’ve hit a bit of a stride in parenting right now. It’s a valley that’s temporary I’m sure, but we’re just so grateful for harmony, health, and home.  Sometimes I still am in awe that I’m their mama and this life is really happening.

I love watching them as brothers and the team they can be when they get along and encourage one another. I love that they need us less – even though it’s a bittersweet dance. I love seeing them back in their element of the outdoors. I love the adventures we have with these boys, small and large.

We couldn’t have asked for a better week…

Well maybe more flip-flops, but that’s just around the corner. 

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By: Jennifer Murray

Parenting In the Sweet Spot

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I think I’ve been pretty forward in this space about the struggles and heaviness of parenting. I like to be real and authentic, and I’m thankful for an outlet where I think many of us find solidarity in the hard days. However, it seems at times that we are over-bombarded with this message. Yes, motherhood is the hardest job on the planet – it’s an under-appreciated and a sacrificial role. Absolutely, it is trying and tasking to a degree than one can simply not understand until you are ALL IN.

It’s a battle field of messes, conflicts, missing sneakers, dirty toilets, sleepless nights, and scars to show for it.

But Friends, are we sometimes so focused on the hard that we’re missing the small joys of what we longed for in the first place?  I know I’ve missed it at times. I’ve been caught up in the hurry of homework, cleaning up the messes, trying to FEED THEM ALL (oh gracious!), and everything that comes with full-on motherhood survival mode.

It seems like mom Conferences, blogs, books, etc focus so much on the struggle and the battle that it’s beginning to wear on me. I’m not saying there’s not a place for this and us to come along side each other on this beaten path, but THERE ARE GOOD DAYS TOO, RIGHT?

RIGHT?

The puke buckets get put away, the knees stop bleeding, the chores wait, the emergencies get averted, and we have something so precious right in front of our noses: OFFSPRING.

Most of us wanted children before we could barely speak. As a mama who has struggled on the road of infertility and faced the unknown days of the NICU, my perspective could be a little tainted with  a greater appreciation I suppose.

I just see so many mamas discouraged, battling, wounded, defeated and worn…perhaps we’re kicking ourselves when we are already down?

There are good days ahead if you’re in this valley, Friends. There are probably some traces of good even in the hard right now.

Sometimes it takes me stepping back and seeing these faces from a distance that I see the blessing they truly are…maybe you need to do that too. Maybe you need a 1/2 of a day to do something outside of laundry or carpooling. Maybe you need to get lost in a book or find a way to put some fun back in your life. Maybe you need to date your husband again. Maybe you need to open your Bible that’s been neglected with your busy schedule.

Don’t give into the doom of motherhood. 

Find those sweet spots in parenting too and celebrate those…they keep you going on the ugliest of days.

There will be fruit in your labor. Your blood, sweat, and tears will bring JOY.

——————

Can I just share a couple of grace moments with you from this week? Not to brag or pat my back, because it’s all God’s grace shining through…

> We received one of the most encouraging emails from the boys’ teacher this week. It was such a joy to my heart and confirmation that they are in the right place.

> Henry got to pray for the Easter dinner at their school that I was able to join them for. In his prayer he prayed for others to “repent and come to Christ”. That’s grace, Friends.

> Brooks started soccer practice last night. The other 3 are playing baseball. He would have never chosen a sport to play independently this time last year, and he’s so excited. Love seeing his enthusiasm and individual spirit.

> When our beloved Honda Odyssey broke down this week, we had concerns about the financial sting and the practical challenge of not having a vehicle to transport our family of 6. Isaac quickly reminded us that God would take care of us.

> Last night when I was battling a headache, Clark was so tender to check on me and love on me.

———————

I’m so thankful for this calling of motherhood. It certainly is a battle of my strength and selfishness, but it sharpens me too.

And even when I can’t wait to get through a stage or a challenging phase, I have to remember that these are the days that matter. These are the days I will probably long for in my 50′s and beyond. These are the days I can’t get back.

Something tells me we’ll remember the sweet spots over the tantrums and tears, but we don’t have to wait until they are out of the house to enjoy them.

Love them while they are little. Love them as they grow. Love them when their arm pits start to stink. And love them when they don’t always show you love back.

And sneak some joy in there along the journey.

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