Mom and three boys

letters to my Sons…. #1

Letters to my Sons…  #1

Truth is you are usually too much for me…

Your high-octane energy, simply put, exhausts me.

Everyday, at some point in the day, I find myself shaking my head and wondering how I can keep going.

There are three of you after all. And you need so much, seemingly all of the time.loveandscribbles.cradle

Sometimes I just wish I understood you all just even a little bit.

For example: Why is everything better with a sound effect? Why does noise not bother you and in fact the louder the better seems to be your motto? Are bodily functions really that funny to you?

But, when I’m not frozen by my confusion I am overwhelmingly amazed by you!boymom adventures

All ready you have shown me more strength and courage than I think I’ve been able to muster up my entire life. Your boldness to embrace the unknown adventure which to you is in fact every day life. The curious way you are discovering every little thing around you in this great big world.

The strength you find inside of yourself to notice when you just need a cuddle from me in the midst of your conquering. HINT: I’ll take those cuddles anytime you need! I need them too! letters to my sonsAlready, inside your small bodies is an enormous heart and a tenacious spirit.

God has created you with a warrior bravery and it’s incredible.

So, I guess at the end of the day, what I’m trying to say is.. Thanks!

Thanks for letting me learn right along side you! Thanks for protecting me from the bad guys and keeping me on my toes.

I promise to keep praying us through this whole journey and even when I’m frustrated and confused I’m loving every bit of you!

I’m so glad I get to be

Your Mama

home made granola bars

Home Made Chewy Granola Bars

Home Made Chewy Granola Bars

When looking for a granola bar recipe I knew I needed it to be incredibly easy since I’ll have to make it often, also I needed it to be something that the boys can still grab on their own while I’m either still in bed or getting ready for the day or whatever!

 


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These Granola Bars can be individually wrapped and stored in the fridge.

We used peanut butter instead of almond butter, mostly because I had peanut butter.  But ether works great in these.

This recipe does have honey in it. At this point, I think I’m ok with local honey for the boys, in moderation. I did add a little less than the recipe calls for, mostly because I’m trying to change the boys expectations of things being so sweet!

And for the next batch I think I’ll double the recipe and use a sheet pan instead of an 8 x 8. I don’t think the boys would mind them being thinner (the first batch came out really thick)  and my oldest wished they were shaped like the store kind  (more rectangular) ?

Anyways, after getting over the shape of them, the boys loved them!

I forgot to take a picture and the first batch is already gone!!!

But we just made the second batch so here’s some pics of the process!

 

Chewy Granola bars home made

 

home made chewy granola bars

 

This time we used sunflower seeds instead of almonds (because that’s what we had).

 

 

Now that they are thinner.. I did notice they crumbled pretty easily.. so I want to figure out a way to bind them a little better.. next batch! ?

 

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Chewy Granola Bars
An alternative to those sugar and preservative filled bars my boys live.
home made granola bars
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Keyword recipe, sugar free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Keyword recipe, sugar free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
bars
Ingredients
home made granola bars
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add more honey if needed.
  2. Line your pan with parchment paper. You can use an 8x8 pan or a sheet tray with an edge if you want thinner ones. Another option is to just roll them in balls.
  3. Place in freezer until solid, about an hour. Once frozen cut into bars. wrap each one with parchment paper to keep from sticking together. Store in the fridge or the freezer.
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  • Update: We have made these a lot! The best thing about them is you can change this recipe around in lots of ways.. just use whatever you have in the kitchen today! And as for shape, we’ve tried thicker, thinner, we even rolled them in granola balls (big hit around here) they are all great!

 

For more articles from our kitchen check out these recent posts:

 

home made granola bars

Chewy Granola Bars

I’m always on the look out for healthy easy snacks for my boys. And these Chewy Granola Bars are a favorite!!

They don’t take long to mix together. Have delicious and nutritious ingredients, So you don’t have to feel guilty feeding them to your kids when they are hungry.. which in our case.. is all. the. time. seriously!

If you like this recipe, search for more on our recipe page

homemade chewy granola bars
Print Recipe
Chewy Granola Bars
An alternative to those sugar and preservative filled bars my boys live.
home made granola bars
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Keyword recipe, sugar free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Keyword recipe, sugar free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
bars
Ingredients
home made granola bars
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add more honey if needed.
  2. Line your pan with parchment paper. You can use an 8x8 pan or a sheet tray with an edge if you want thinner ones. Another option is to just roll them in balls.
  3. Place in freezer until solid, about an hour. Once frozen cut into bars. wrap each one with parchment paper to keep from sticking together. Store in the fridge or the freezer.
Share this Recipe
Apple hill california instant pot applesauce

Instant Pot Applesauce, Easy and Delicious!

Applesauce in the Instant Pot!

Applesauce could not be easier using the Instant Pot and it is soooo delicious!


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First off we are blessed to live close to a lot of great Apple Orchards. The Apple Hill Growers are an annual family outing for us. And we always bring home our favorites, This year we grabbed Apple pie (to be baked later), Apple Cider, and a box of apples!

I started by peeling all of the apples.

If you don’t mind the skin you should totally skip this step!! This step was definitely the most work, but since my little guy will be eating it I decided it was necessary!

Then just a quick ruff chop and throw them in the pot! chopped apples

I had a lemon so I squeezed some juice to preserve color and brighten flavors..(this is especially helpful if you have to stop in the midst of making this, to attend to two hyper boys and a fussy babe)

Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water

and your favorite seasonings.

Applesauce is awesome because you can really add any flavors, seasonings you want to.

Want to pack in as much health benefits as possible? Here’s some easy ideas.

Butter (healthy fats)

Pink Salt ( trace minerals)

Cinnamon

cloves

nutmeg

Local Honey (great for seasonal allergies) ** Not appropriate for little guys under a year though.

instant pot seasoned applesauce

place lid on and seal.

Set on Manual for 3 minutes!   The Pot will come to pressure then cook for 3 minutes. Let it natural release completely. Turn off the pot, so it doesn’t stay on keep warm.  (depending on how many apples you do at a time, this will take about 15-20 minutes) Walk away and let it cool off.

Then my other favorite kitchen appliance comes in super handy. If you have an immersion blender you can blend the apples up right in the pot!

immersion blender in the instant pot

They aren’t very expensive so grab one on amazon before you make your first batch of applesauce.

You can store your applesauce however you want. Usually I put some in a mason jar for my bigger guys. home made applesauce

And my awesome squeeze station pouches for the baby ( I freeze most of these)

And there’s always the old standby ice-cube trays for the freezer, This is perfect for applesauce because I love to add applesauce to baby’s meal if what I have fresh for him needs a little more! 🙂

Either way, it is yummy and just wonderful! I have discovered I enjoy applesauce best when it’s still warm so don’t forget to pour yourself a nice helping while you put the rest away! 🙂

Happy Instant Pot to you all!

Deanna Grace

Print Recipe
Applesauce in the Instant Pot
My favorite fall home made snack or side! Applesauce is just a cozy delicious treat and it's easier than ever in the Instant Pot.
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Course Instant Pot
Cuisine Instant pot
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Instant Pot
Cuisine Instant pot
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Peal apples (if desired) and chop.
  2. Place apples, water, and seasoning in the Instant pot.
  3. Seal lid and set on Manual (High Pressure) 3 minutes. And that's it!
  4. Once it's done cooking, turn the IP off and let it natural realease until the pin drops and you can open the lid. ( Or whenever you get back to it. )
  5. Blend until as smooth as you like it. The immersion blender is awesome for this. But if you don't have one you can transfer the apples to a blender and blend that way. Be careful if the apples are still hot.
  6. You can add so many things to applesauce. try: Nutmeg or cloves Butter (for healthy fats) Local Honey (great for seasonal allergies) Not appropriate for babies less than a year though. a pinch of Pink Salt ( for minerals)
Recipe Notes

Applesauce in the instant pot ~ Loveandscribbles.com

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fall time at the lake

Fall Time Family Update

Well, here we are, it’s October already!?!?!

We’ve started school here at the love house. William is officially a kindergartner. We love our charter, Visions In Education! And the resources available to us are incredible!

first day of school- kindergarten

William began taking piano in August. He seems to really have a good understanding of the instrument and music and really likes it!

piano lessons



We’ve even participated in a science class with a group of other charter students and went on a field trip to a friend’s farm!

We really like all of the curriculum we’ve chosen for this year and I hope to write a blog post about all of that soon!

 

James has challenged me as we balance still giving him the attention he needs while being distracted with hours of school work and the baby!

 Oh the baby! David is 7 months of cuteness already! He’s crawling, pulling himself up on the couch, enjoys trying new foods all the time, and except for teething pain, he is always joyful!

 

Love and scribbles baby

Even though he is the easiest baby of them all, and super peaceful, Adding a third child to the mix has proven to be a huge game changer. A lot of things just became a whole lot more complicated. I love this calling and mission field, I’m also exhausted! 🙂

 

Fall time means Awana Bible club has started up again…. 

 

Awana
Farmer Night At Awana!

 We all love it!

We have had a great fall season so far and looking forward to the Holidays coming up so quickly!

As for Loveandscribbles. I am working hard to revamp a lot of the site and even have some awesome organization tools for the recipes I’ve been sharing recently! It will take a while to get it all redone, but I’m excited to share all of the changes with you soon!

And we plan to share holiday deals with you as they come up! Black Friday weekend is less than 6 weeks away! I’m hoping for a killer Instant Pot deal again but we shall see!! So make sure you like us on facebook to see all the deals we share!

I hope you are enjoying Fall too!

Deanna Grace

Once A Month Meals
Instant Pot Yogurt!
Walmart Grocery Pickup- review

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family beach time

How our family vacations for less than $300.00

Family vacations for less and how our family of 5 ( two adults and three littles) vacationed at South Lake Tahoe for under $300.00 this summer.family vacations for less

 

We haven’t been on very many vacations as a family since we started having kids. In fact up until this trip the only ones we’ve gone on all together included extended family! So, for the first time just the 5 of us packed up and headed out of town! Living on a budget means we needed to figure out how to have a family vacation for less, so here’s what we did!

Sidenote: after this first experience as the mom on vacation I really think we should come up with a new word for it. Because the role of “vacationing mom” is a lot of work and certainly doesn’t have the same calm, relaxing feelings as vacation without the family!

Anyways, it is totally worth all the work and we made wonderful memories! And actually I can’t wait to go again!

 

family vacation pic

 

For this trip we went to Lake Tahoe! It was a nice break from the valley heat and I just love that beautiful lake surrounded by trees and mountains!

Forest hike with our boys

We started by searching for hotels. There are lots of travel sites that help you find a good deal. A few of our favorite to search through are…

 

 Airbnb is fun because you can rent a whole house (or even just a room if that’s all you need) watch out for added fees though.

Booking.com      Great Prices and NO booking fees!

Vacations Made Easy  is nice because you can build a whole vacation package while booking your rooms!

There are soooo many sites to help plan a budget friendly trip. Travel zoo, Groupon, Living social, home away, and so many more, are all great!

* When looking through these sites be sure to look for any added taxes or fees. Also, to get more of a value for your money look for deals that include meal coupons, drink coupons and other extras!!

For this trip we chose Lakeside Inn and casino ( I liked that the rooms and the casino part were completely separate so our kids never even went through the gaming area!) It wasn’t fancy or anything but it was clean and we were able to get a room with two full size beds! family hotel vacation

 

 

 

This trip we were trying to not leave to big of a mark on our budget, and this is how we managed to keep the cost really low:

 

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pineapple ice cream

Sugar Free Snacks-Pineapple Whip

Sugar Free Snacks – Pineapple Whip

 


         This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing through them may result in compensation at no cost to you.

One thing I’m pretty serious about along this nutrition journey is that I don’t want my kids to feel like they “miss out” because they can’t have the sugar and junk. So I am determined to find fun, exciting snacks and treats that are still healthy! This Pineapple Whip is super easy to make and absolutely refreshing and delicious

Note: technically these shouldn’t be considered “sugar-free” snacks since they have honey in them.. maybe more like refined sugar free? ?

 

Pinterest is an amazing tool! So many creative people to follow!

This recipe was quick and easy to make and the whole family LOVED it! Oh and we didn’t have coconut milk so I just used Almond Milk and it was still wonderful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have started keeping pineapple in the freezer as often as possible so whenever we want to make this, it’s ready to go!

Print Recipe
Frozen Pineapple Whip
Refreshing, naturally sweet, creamy like pineapple ice cream
pineapple ice cream
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 10-24 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Fresh Pineapple peeled, cored, cut into chunks and frozen (6.5-7 cups)
  • 1/2 cup Nut milk Almond, coconut, cashew.. really whatever you have (more may be needed to reach desired consistancy)
  • 1-3 TBsp Honey (optional)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 10-24 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Fresh Pineapple peeled, cored, cut into chunks and frozen (6.5-7 cups)
  • 1/2 cup Nut milk Almond, coconut, cashew.. really whatever you have (more may be needed to reach desired consistancy)
  • 1-3 TBsp Honey (optional)
pineapple ice cream
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. peel, core, and cut pineapple. lay pieces out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Place in freezer until frozen completely. (any where from 10-24 hours)
  2. Place frozen pineapple chunks in the food processor and blend with the milk. scrape down the sides and add more milk if it isn't creamy enough. Taste and add honey if the Pineapple isn't sweet enough on it's own! Enjoy!
  3. Serve and enjoy right away!
Recipe Notes

Frozen Pineapple Whip -- my kids call it Pineapple ice cream! 🙂 

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Need a Ninja to whip this up?

 

We love the Ninja!

 

Next up, I wanted to replace the granola bars that my guys eat everyday! They have 8 grams of sugar in a tiny little bar and I’m not quite sure how the nutrition value really stacks up…..

You can see my recipe here.

 

A Journey Through Nutrition-Talking Kids & Nutrition

Let’s talk Nutrtion!

 

 

We are beginning a somewhat new journey in the nutrition we provide for our kids.
Before I start listing some of the things we are changing let me tell you the why.

Recently it has become very clear that we need to make some major changes in our kids diets.

 

Here’s a little intro video (Don’t be scared, it’s the real me, no makeup or filters at all) ?

Basically: For a while now we have known that especially our oldest son is very sensitive to sugar and the artificial dyes that are in a lot of foods. But this past couple of weeks has totally proven that these ingredients among other fake stuff really messes with our kid’s brains, bodies and the ability to focus, listen, and even just control themselves.

 

So we began by throwing out all the candy!! And I started searching Pinterest and all over the internet for recipes and blogs on the subject.

Our plan is to really focus on sugar and dyes.

Follow my board here for yummy sugar free recipes to try! I’ll try to update each pin as we try them, with what we think of them!  https://www.pinterest.com/loveandscrib

 

My Mom found this great blog with some ideas to help us detox from all the junk.. not just in the food we were eating but also in just the atmosphere around us.

Foodrenegade — How to detox kids daily in 5 easy steps!

Little by little we hope to make a difference with all of this! Summer is a great time to focus on nutrition since we have soooo many great ways to include fresh fruit and veggies in our meals and snacks every day! I have to admit that I get into a rut when it comes to what vegetable sides I serve with dinners… but THIS summer I plan on making sure we mix it up.. a lot! Already I’ve added roasted brussels sprouts, fresh green beans, and Grilled eggplant.

It’s tough to convince the boys at first look or bite but I am not giving up!! We do our best to have them take at least one bite of everything..  and given enough tries, in many cases they eventually decide that they enjoy the foods they were so sure they hated!

 

So here we go!

If you want to tag along for the ride you are always welcome or if you’ve already made steps to replace many of the foods your family enjoys please share what has worked for you!

 

Just a girl, mommying the best she can (and praying through it all)

Deanna Grace

 

 

shared on: create with joy link up  and The life of faith link up and Sunday’s Best linkup and Modest Monday’s

 

Built For This!

Built BoyMom Tough!

 

We have now welcomed our third baby boy into our home. He’s perfect!  We are working on the usual.. finding a schedule, balancing the new normal routines with everyone, housework, school work, this blog, church, etc.

There has definitely been a switch in my thinking and perspective this time around.

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toys toys toys and how we organize the chaos

Toys toys toys
boys and toysIf you have young kids then you know that toys can very easily take over your life!
Especially when birthdays and Christmas come around!! We love that our boys get fun new things and that they have family and friends that love on them! 🙂 But this lady quickly became overwhelmed by the mess!!

Since I know that we can’t be the only ones, I thought I’d share the method that has worked for us. It may not be what works for everyone but if you need to try something new, give it a shot!!


This Post May Contain Affiliate links. Purchasing through them may result in compensation with no added cost to you.

 

So, with so many toys we started with trying the fabric cubes in a bookcase idea… something similar to this.

I even made labels with pictures of the different kinds of toys. I like the idea that it would look cute, organized and still be accessible to the boys. This simply did not work for us. at all!

First of all , not all our toys fit in these cute little bins. labels were ripped off and toys still seemed to all be dumped, every. single. day. So, the chaos continued. (we now use this bookcase and bins for the boys clothes in their closet and it works really well for that!)

I will say that this method works for some people. especially if you have one child, who is still young and just now getting into toys.

So, we moved everything to big plastic tubs. This way our whole collections of trains, blocks, cars whatever will fit in the same tub and has a lid!!

Still, having them in the play room meant that there were days that every bin was emptied… even if we tried the idea ” you have to put away one before you get the other one out. ” thing.
bonus points to you if you monitor your kids play time that well! 🙂

Eventually what I decided to do seemed drastic, but it works so well for us!!

ALL of the tubs of toys found a place in the garage. Every one of them!!
The boys know that they get 1 or 2 tubs into the house at a time. When they are ready for something else, we pack them away and get another one from the garage! Usually it’s trains and cars that stay in the house but everyone once in a while William will remember a certain toy and will ask where it is, so we switch them out!

This has brought a ton of peace to our play room! It’s so much easier to clean up when everything goes into the same tub! And I realized the boys weren’t even able to really play when they had so many toys surrounding them!
Also, right before Christmas I will put EVERYTHING in the garage so they can really enjoy the new things they get! And both our boys birthdays are soon after Christmas so we’ll probably spend a few months just exploring our presents! 🙂

I hope this helps if you haven’t found what works for your house!

 

I would love something like this for in the garage (as of now they are just stacked up on the side) but maybe some day 😉  (for now it will stay on the forever growing honey do-list)