Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

I've been trying to brainstorm to find ideas for quick but healthy breakfasts in the morning.  I never have time to cook for the kids but I want to make sure that they have something to eat.  I decided something like a cookie or a bar would totally appeal to them so I went on an internet hunt.  I saw a few recipes and then decided to kind of create my own.  Pardon the photography but I decided to quickly snap a picture with my phone before the bars were all gone :)


  • 4 c. dry oats (old-fashioned)
  • 1 1/2 c. flour (I used whole wheat flour)
  • 1 c. brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1/2 c. sugar (I used raw sugar)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (in all honesty, I don't measure...I just shake some in until it seems good)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 c. coconut oil
  • 4 eggs (I used 2 whole eggs and the equivalent of 2 eggs from egg whites)
  • 2 heaping scoops of vanilla whey protein powder
  • Optional: 1.5 cups of raisins, craisins, or any other dried fruit. My kids are far too picky for that so we left them plain.
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I forgot this the first time, sorry!)


Pour all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and then mix well.

Press mixture into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

You are probably supposed to let them cool before cutting them but that's not how we roll around these parts.  The kids give this recipe a thumb's up, which is great since this is what they'll be eating for breakfast :)

You can try all different things to change it up a bit.  I have a batch in the oven now that has some coconut in it and you could also easily add peanut butter, too.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Delicious, Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie recipe

My poor, neglected blog...oh well, it is what it is.  At any rate, some friends asked for a recipe I just made and figured it would be easiest to post it here.  I found this recipe on a Weight Watchers app so I can't take any credit for it.  I am pretty pleased with it because all six of my littlest kids ate them and asked for more, including Max, my Aspie :)

Okay, here goes:


1/2 cup canned chickpeas, not drained * (however, I misread this and used a full cup and they turned out delicious so I will continue using the full cup)

1 cup peanut butter

1/4 cut regular butter, softened

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp table salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (yes, used this, too, and my kids had no idea.  I think it gave it a great flavor!)


 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.  (You can use cooking spray but I used parchment paper)

*Pour chickpeas into a 1 cup measuring cup and pour in enough chickpea liquid just to cover the beans; puree chickpeas and their liquid in a blender or food processor....or, my fave, the Vita Mix.  (Now, this is where I got confused and poured in a full cup of chickpeas and then poured in enough of the liquid to cover...worked great and, imo, more of the healthy ingredient is better).

In your mixer cream peanut butter, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg; mix well again.  Add pureed chickpeas; blend thoroughly with mixer.  Add flour, salt, baking soda, and cayenne pepper; mix again.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between cookies.  When cookie sheet is filled, press each spoonful down and make cross-hatch marks with a fork.

Bake until cookies turn slightly golden, about 12-15 minutes (for me it was 15-17), depending on desired crispness.  Let cool on cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes and then serve them up.  I had to hold my kids back while they were cooling because they definitely smell super yum while they are cooking.


ps.  I didn't calculate the nutritional info because it's going to depend on what kind of peanut butter you use and the amount of chickpeas you use.  Sorry!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fun with Perler Beads

Holy cow, it's been almost a year since I've blogged.  I didn't mean to forget the blog but I'm going to work extra hard to start blogging a couple of times a week. I want to make sure I document the kids more since they are growing up way too fast!!

This week is Spring Break for us so yesterday we headed to the craft store to pick up some supplies.  Today we decided to try making some creations with perler beads.

I think the kids enjoyed it but it did end up being frustrating for some of them.  Minnie made a super awesome monkey but when I went to iron it I messed the whole thing up.  What a bummer!  Riley fixed it for her, though, so we ended up with a few pieces that worked.  I made a bunny for Truman and a butterfly for Daisy.

After beading we decided to walk about a mile and a half up the road to the campground.  They have the only park within walking distance and the kids really needed to get out and get some running and rough housing done.  We had a great time until Truman fell and busted his lip.  The walk home wasn't much fun.  I love the picture of my boys swinging.  I don't have any brothers so it's a lot of fun to watch  my boys together :)


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring in New York?

Yesterday was actually a warm day!  That is amazing, my friends.  It snowed the day before Easter and I was appalled.  Where am I living?  I don't think I'll ever get used to this cold climate.  I definitely miss the beach.

But, since the day was warm and lovely, I decided to take a nature walk with Daisy and Truman.  Truthfully, I was just trying to waste time and burn off their energy after Daisy's dentist appointment but it sounds better if I say that I wanted to take them out just so they could do some exploring ;)  I have a good Mama friend that inspires me with all of her nature frolicking so I totally pretended that I was her yesterday and that we were living in sunny California (Miss L, you know I'm talking about you!)

I got a picture of Truman doing what Truman does (that is never stopping for a single second)...and whomever thought putting little stampers in the treasure box a the dentist office was a good idea should have their head examined.  I will be cleaning purple stamps off of Daisy and Truman for a while...or at least until I find the hidden stamper and throw it in the trash ;)

Daisy enjoyed playing on the trampoline for a bit and had a big smile to prove it

After the trampoline she moved to her favorite swing on the swing set.  This child has more expressions and is more animated than any other child I have ever seen.  Let's face it, I've seen a lot ;)  She is a royal crackup and brightens my day everyday.  However, I will say that I can tell that a little bit of Truman is rubbing off on her.  She's starting to act like a wild animal sometimes.  In the dentist office today there was the CUTEST little red headed girl in a beautiful smocked bishop dress with a big white hairbow that was climbing up on all the furniture, acting wild, yelling, etc.  I don't know who she belonged to but her mom surely should be able to control her better than that.  Ha!  ;) 

In other news....I'm heading to New Jersey near the beginning of May to do a photo session.  I'm pretty excited about this session as I adore the mom and her family is beautiful.  I can't wait to capture them with my lens.  I'm hoping to meet up with another friend and her family while I'm there.  I can't wait!

We'll also be making a family home to Indiana in July.  I'm booking sessions for that trip, too, and will have final dates once Sam has his leave approved.  The sessions I have tentatively scheduled will be a blast, too.  I am lucky to love what I do!  


Monday, April 25, 2011


Oh my, my kids are just always busy.  They don't relax which means I don't, either.  It's a bit after 10:00 am here and Daisy and Truman have already had me fix them oatmeal for breakfast, chicken tenders for their second breakfast, and popcorn for snack.  10 am...people...10 am.  If I didn't have kids I wouldn't even be out of bed yet! Ha!

We've also managed to take baths and wash hair and then get ready for this afternoon's dentist appointments.  I'm really looking forward to this appointment because it's for Max and Lincoln and I get to bring Truman and Daisy with me.  Doesn't this sound like a party??!!  Not to mention Max just looooooves going to the dentist and is very cooperative .  In case some of you don't know, kids with sensory issues aren't really fond of people poking around in their mouths with weird looking tools.  It makes for a super fun visit, trust me ;)

Truman did want to play with the webcam on my laptop so we took a couple of silly pictures.  Yeah, the quality is horrible but here we are in all our silliness.

In all the hustle and bustle of my daily life with seven kids, I've realized I must take time out to enjoy the silly moments...because they are what we will remember :)

I did some soul searching on Easter and  found the best quote yesterday and it rings really true for me:

Judging a person does not define who they are.
It defines who YOU are.

I also found some great words to live by that I think everyone can benefit from.  I'm working on putting this into practice.  Will you?


Imagine how much more loving and peaceful the world would be and could be :)  


Thursday, April 21, 2011


There are some possibilities on the horizon for our family that I am SO excited about.  Sam and I have done a lot of talking about this and this may be a great thing for us.   I'm very interested to see how this plays out and hope to have some idea soon :)

Daisy turned two in March and I never blogged about her birthday because I am a serious slacker in the blog department.  I was quite fortunate that a good friend of mine saw a doll set that reminded her of me and of Daisy.  Both are redheads and they are the perfect combination for us.  Here are the 'Mama Lea and Baby Daisy' Tumbleberry dolls.  I love these two dolls and these will be so fun to play with as Daisy grows up.  Right now Mama Lea doll spends a lot of time nursing Baby Daisy doll....and I am working on weaning Daisy but she's not very happy about it ;)

I really don't think we could have found a more perfect doll set for Daisy's birthday and the fact that a good friend thought of me when she saw this pair really makes my day :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


So...I have ignored my blog for a while now and think it's kind of time to start blogging again.  I have tons to say, as always.

For now, my biggest wish is for the weather here in upstate New York to turn warm.  I'll admit it, I am not a fan of cold weather.  I can't stand freezing.  I also don't love sweating myself to death but right now I need the temperatures to meet in the middle and give me some warmth.  My kids do SO much better when they can get outside and play in the glorious son.  Now, they can't have too much sun as 6 out of the 7 have my casper-like skin...but a little vitamin D is good for all of us.

The kids have been exceptionally unhealthy this winter.  This is really not the norm for us and I'm ready for the sickies to leave us.  Max and Daisy had ear rechecks the day before yesterday and now Max's other ear is infected and both of Daisy's ears are infected plus her lungs area crackling now.  Oye.  More medicine for those two.

Three of the boys are playing ball this year.  So far I've only gotten the schedules from two of the teams and I can already see that I am going to have to clone myself as a lot of the games are at the same time but on different fields.  This should be interesting, to say the least.

Minnie went to the dentist yesterday and had two baby teeth pulled.  She asked me if the Tooth Fairy would be bringing her two surprises since she had two teeth :)  She was pleasantly surprised when she woke up today to find a Webkinz carrier for her old, raggedy Webkinz (the one she drags with her everywhere) and also a cute little stuffed Hedgehog.  Minnie is such a good kid that the Tooth Fairy thought it was okay for a little indulgence this time ;)

This past month has been full of stress for me...from a near tragedy with one of my children,  3 flat tires, and various kid illnesses (fun times, ha!).  I knew that I had been stress eating but I had NO IDEA  exactly how much damage I had done.  Well, I figured it out yesterday and am now resolving to be much more mindful about what I put in my mouth.  It's time...I MUST be in better shape for my birthday in October.  It's a big one and I'm determined!!

Okay, need to switch laundry, make lunch, and put a special two year old girl to bed.

Here is a picture of Minnie wearing her new glasses the first day she got them.  They are pink, of course.