Thursday, April 20, 2017


These are a few of my favorite granola recipes!

Chocolate Granola

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
*mix these all together in a large bowl

2/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
*melt the oil and whisk in syrup and vanilla
*pour over the dry and mix well to coat
*line a large baking sheet with parchment
*spread mixture evenly over it
*oven at about 250  for 40 minutes, give a little stir halfway through
*leave it to cool on counter without mixing-it should harden as it cools
*you may sprinkle chocolate chips over the top when it comes out of the oven!

(this is very sweet and good for a dessert sprinkle over plain yogurt)

Maple Walnut Granola

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
*mix together in a large bowl

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
*melt the oil and stir in the rest
*pour over the dry ingredients and mix well
*spread over parchment lined sheet pan
*oven at 300 for 25 minutes.  give a little stir halfway through
*will crisp when cool.

Peanut Butter Granola

5 cups old fashioned oats
*place in a large bowl

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
*melt and mix together
*pour over the oats and mix well
*spread on parchment lined sheet pan
*oven at 275 for 40 minutes stir halfway through
*crisps as it cools

****these recipes have been gathered from different places.  some have been adjusted to my liking or experience.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Dear Little Sister

dear little sister,

you are gone.
there is no time left to fix what was broken.

even when you were still here
pride kept ears shut and hearts hardened.

i'm sorry.
i'm sorry i didn't try harder.

once i was strong enough, secure enough, confident enough....
it was too late.

it became a God thing.
i love God more than anything or anyone.....
including family.

this is the power that drove me away.
i was being called to something different.
something great.
something that is the opposite of the world.
something the world hates.

i thought i spoke the truth in love.
i made mistakes.
i always do and i always will.
but forgiveness was not to be.

forgiveness is impossible
in a pride filled world.

i wish our lives could have been different.

i wish that i could have been an influence for good in your life.

but i went a way that you didn't want to go.
i'm so sorry for that.

i prayed for you every single day.

it feels weird to not pray for you anymore.

it's been hard to write this in so many ways.
one way is me having to speak guardedly

because my words will be turned into weapons.

which is not my intention.

you were my little sister for so long.
we shared a history
that you chose to re-write.

a history that i set out to make a distant memory
to change the results of
to change the direction of
to move on from.

this is hard.....

because this letter is not for the dead.......

................................but for the living.

with love,

your sister,


 karen, liz, judy
karen, bob, judy 
 judy, karen
bill, judy, karen

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Too much

This world is full of too much.
Too much of the wrong things and not enough of the right things.

Too much noise, and not enough quiet.

Too much chaos and confusion, and not enough calm.

Too much feast, and not enough famine.

Too much bad, and not enough good.

Too much lying, and not enough truth.

Too much running about, and not enough standing still.

Too much "virtual" , and not enough real

Too much news, and not enough solutions.

Too much indoors, and not enough outdoors

Too many opinions, and not enough understanding.

Too many vain strivings, and not enough selfless serving.

Too much apathy, and not enough empathy.

Too much mouth, and not enough hands.

Too much hate, and not enough love.

It is all too much

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Immigration as I see it

We read in James 2 that we should not favor some people over others.

That by discriminating we are judging based on evil motives.

We are told to love our neighbor.

Everyone is our neighbor.

We are told to be merciful unto others.

We read in Matthew 5:43-48 that we are to love our enemies.

We are to pray for those who persecute us.


The immigration dilemma is an immense issue.

Today I will only share my opinion on the immigration of refugees from the seven countries listed as terrorist hotbeds.

By the way, these seven countries just happen to be muslim majority countries.

These seven countries have not only openly expressed hostility towards the United States, but they have acted out on these hostile feelings.

I support President Trump's suspension of entry into the United States of people from these countries.
I believe that his plan gives our country a bit more time to figure out how to get the most needy (families) here, and to have a plan in place for assimilation into our country.

As Christians we have a duty to help.

But as Christians we also have a responsibility to ensure that we make the wisest decisions possible.

God cares about nationalism.  He scattered the people at Babel by confusing their language.  He knew that it wasn't a good thing to have one big global nation state.

God created borders.  God created the nation of Israel.

Acts 17:26

God is in control.

We are told that in order for us to have a secure, protected, and economically sound nation we must

We are told to welcome strangers, but we are also instructed not to be influenced by them, not to serve their gods, not to sin against OUR God.

If they are to come here we must be very careful.  Therefore the extreme vetting and assimilation are very necessary.

fact:  muslims worship allah--a false god

         Christians worship the one true God.  The God of the Bible.  The creator of Heaven and Earth.

America has always been that shining city on a hill that people have come to from all over the world.

They came here to be AMERICAN.

What it means to "be American" seems to be changing over the past few years.

Moving forward and improving, learning & correcting our path has taken a rather frightening turn for the worse.

But the basic American values and pride are still here.  We can't let it slip away and be watered down and changed by unfettered immigration.

If you want to come to America, then come legally and EMBRACE being an American.

Number one rule:     Obey our laws--come here legally

Number two rule:     Respect our religious freedom

Number three rule:   Learn to speak English

Monday, February 13, 2017

Stop the World! I Want to get OFF!!!

Ok. I may say some things that you won't agree with.  Don't worry.

You will get over it.  I promise!

I'm Christian......I'm conservative.......I'm pro-home school.......I'm pro-life..........I support traditional marriage only........I am not a feminist.

Have I ticked you off yet?   I'm not done.

I'm white.......some say that makes me "privileged"

I grew up in a lower middle class family.  We weren't poor because my parents worked hard to provide.

I married and we raised our family in a lower middle class environment. I was a stay at home mom and my husband had the "privilege" of busting his butt as a UPS driver to provide for his family.

Now we are grandparents and our main concern in life is how to shelter, protect, and teach this next generation how to survive in a world where UP is DOWN.

I've got to tell you....the 'world' scares the @&$# out of me.  I'm finding it hard to focus on the important stuff because of all the voices and opinions I am bombarded with on a daily basis.

I want to go through my days with no outside interference. Cleaned up my facebook. Unfollowed everything. There is nothing in my feed. Facebook thinks I've gone mad. I can be 'friends' but not have to read everything unless I want to.  I wear earplugs A LOT! That darned news can be on, but I don't have to let it invade my peace.

Do I want to bury my head in the sand?

Why yes, yes I do!

I only want to focus on the good stuff and pray about the rest

Yep....putting the blinders on and the world can carry on without me!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Word Keeping

I think I've written before about my notebook addiction.
However, it's more than an addiction.

It is a randomly efficient and simple way for me to keep track of all of those words out there floating in and out of my life.

These words are important to many different areas and aspects of my life.

I corral and organize them (somewhat) into notebooks!

I use simple, cheap composition notebooks found at Walmart for 99c (or less) 

These notebooks hold my thoughts, ideas, scripture, wisdom, RANTS, recipes, just about everything.  obviously I have very little usable space in my head.

I take those plain notebooks and make them fancy (fancy by my standards)
I cut card stock to fit on the front cover, glue it down, edge with clear package tape or fancy duct tape if I have it, and slap on a label.  

These are my current notebooks:

journal:  weather, random daily notes, rants, complaints, praises, happy, notes to my grand babies.

bible study & prayer journal:  I write out scripture-it helps me to focus on what I'm reading.

food diary:  what I eat and what I might want to eat!

gardening:  journaling, planning, assessing

homesteading:  chicken notes and other outdoor plans

projects & ideas:  planning notes for birthdays, events, indoor projects, crafting, sewing.  I keep this one nearby when I'm on pinterest.

blog:  ideas, outlines, rough drafts

things to do locally idea book--I also write down things we've done or gone and notes about them.

gifts:  as in 1,000.  When I can remember to write stuff down, this is where it goes.  I started it a couple years ago when I read the book.  I'm up to 223!

trips:  I used this journal when we went on a cruise a few years ago.  If I ever go on another real vacation (I live in vacationland)  then I will take it along!

these two on top are covered in calendar pages I saved!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pantry master list part 3

.....or.......what I generally keep in my pantry.

It took me quite a long time to come up with a plan for what food items I wanted to keep in my pantry.  Every family and every situation is different.  My master list has changed over the years to reflect changes in our diet and the likes of just the two of us now that we are alone.

Remember:  these items are for emergency situations and for when our situation dictates the need to be flexible in our shopping.  The majority of items are the parts and pieces to make a complete meal.

Beans--I keep canned beans.  I found that I didn't like to cook with the dry beans.  Dry beans are a good option if your family eats a lot of bean based meals, we don't.  So canned it is!
I keep pinto, black, kidney, white, refried, porknbeans, and chick peas.

Vegetables--creamed corn, corn, peas, green beans.  On a daily basis we eat fresh, raw veggies, but the canned ones are a secondary option.

Soups--stocks & broths for soup making, cream soups such as mushroom, celery, chicken & cheese are used in casseroles and skillet meals.
chicken noodle, tomato, and a few other condensed soups are kept on hand also.

Sweet potatoes
Pasta sauce
diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce
canned pasta meals
Pasta--spaghetti, rotini, elbows, egg noodles
mac & cheese
stuffing mix
rice-long grain white, brown (small amount), yellow, prepared rice sides
instant mash potato
corn muffin mix
cornmeal (small amount)
powder creamer, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, powdered milk
canned fruit
sugar, white, brown, powdered
flour, yeast
oats, barley, popcorn, dry peas
condiments: mayo, ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, relish, salad dressing
peanut butter
cake mixes and frostings

Remember:  these are not the things we eat on a regular basis.  These are the parts and pieces for emergency/flexible eating.
We incorporate these items into our eating plan so that we may replenish and nothing goes to waste.

Food storage odds and ends

I collect those big plastic containers that chips, pretzels, animal cookies come in and that is what I keep my sugar, flour, oats, elbows, noodles in.  I am not hung up on glass containers so I am reusing  what I can get my hands on.
I have a chest freezer.  I keep water jugs in the bottom to take up space and in case of a power outage to provide solid chunks of ice in there.
I also use reusable shopping bags to organize all of the food.
I grow my own herbs and dry them.  I store them in zip lock bags in a closed closet.  They are supposed to be kept in the dark.

When I was planning my pantry years ago it seemed that all the information I found was either for doomsday preppers or tree hugging granolas.  I am neither.  It was frustrating.  I fall somewhere in the middle.  I just want to feel a certain level of food security.  I don't want to feel like we are one disaster away from the cupboard being bare.