Monday, September 29, 2014

Summer Fun

Summer of 2014 was filled with some fun little trips. We were able to take our kids on a trip to the Virginia Creeper trail. It is a couple hour bike ride down a mountain. We were not sure how our kids would handle this challenge. Brooklyn rode on her own and the other two were either in a wagon or tag a long bike. About an hour into the ride the heavens opened. The rain poured down on us as we attempted to keep moving. Camden and Dallin were covered in mud from head to toe. They were splattered with mud from the bigger bikes in front of them. After we cleaned ourselves up Brooklyn stated that was the hardest thing she has ever done. She did it with a strength I have never seen in her. We were able to talk about how when we trust in the Lord we can do all things even those that are really difficult.

Our next little trip was out to the North Carolina coast. We stayed at Atlantic Beach. It was beautiful and a lot of fun. We have had many stressful times at the beach due to a lot of over stimulation from the sounds and textures of the beach. However this year was different. Each kid was jumping in the water and taking in every aspect of the beach. It was exciting and scary at the same time. We kept floaties on Dallin and made sure there was always an adult nearby the other two when they were in the water. 

The rest of the summer was spent playing at our house and hanging out with friends.

I love North Carolina. I love that I get to raise my family in an incredible place. We have been blessed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gooey Caramel and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

These bars are so yummy and addicting. The good news you only need a little to satisfy that sweet tooth. The bad news is they are difficult to stop at just one.

Not my photo. I don't know the source.

Gooey Caramel and Chocolate Oat bars

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1 (14-oz) bag caramels (48) or a bag and a half of the little caramel balls
1/2 cup whipping cream (I have used milk when I don't want to buy the cream)
1 (12-oz) package chocolate chips, your choice
In a large bowl combine first 6 ingredients to form a crumbly mixture.  Sprinkle half of crumbly mixture into a greased 9x13-inch pan.  Bake at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes.  Unwrap caramels.  Melt caramels and whipping cream in a saucepan over low heat.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over baked mixture and top with melted caramel mixture.  Sprinkle remaining crumbly mixture on top.  Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.  Make a day ahead or several hours ahead to allow time for caramel to set.

Monday, March 31, 2014

I Don't Care!

The last few years have felt like a long journey of ups and downs. I think I focused more on the downs than the ups. We all have our struggles that are personal to us. I really do not like feeling that despair while in the downs. I know others struggle with much more than I will ever come close to. I think I narrowed down some of the reasons why those downs were so hard to get out of. I cared too much what others thought of me. I cared too much about the things I felt like my family or me were missing out on. I felt annoyed by others that seemed to be successful in all parts of life. 

Here is the great thing I have learned from these downs and climbing back to the ups just to fall back down. It gave me the opportunity to really focus on what is most important. My kids, Brandon, my faith, and me. It allowed me really to not have the time to care about my shallow thoughts.  I feel I am at a point where I don't care. I am not being insensitive when I say that. But really I don't care. I don't care that a friend is taking her third trip to Disneyland in the same year with her kids that seem perfectly behaved. I don't care that a friend has her kids perfectly dressed and sitting perfectly at church. I don't care that my kids are throwing a huge tantrum in the middle of a store. Well maybe I do still care a little about that. But I don't care what others are thinking. I care more about how it is making my child feel. I don't care that a friend takes her daughter for a mommy daughter mani/pedi. I don't care that a friend's hubby surprised her with an amazing gift. 

I really truly do not care. The best part about not caring is that I truly am happy for what my friends are experiencing. I no longer feel bothered annoyed and less than. I am happy that they are excited to share their kids and families happy experiences. I feel sad when they feel sad. I feel frustration when they feel frustrated. I have more time to care about the things that really matter in my life and my friends life and less time to care about the shallow things. This may not make any sense to anyone reading this but it does to me. I feel stronger than I have in a long time. I guess I am probably gearing up for something else to hit us and I hope this not caring can help push me through the downs.