I learned how to make the yummiest granola and have made it 5 times since then.  That doesn’t sound like much, except that I only learned how to make it a month ago!

        granola-33_1

        I got the recipe from my amazing friend, Kari.  She and I had been trying to find a day to get together but with family vacations and other obligations the pickings were slim!  We landed on a Tuesday, which happens to be her ‘Baking Day’.  “No worries!” I told her.  “Bake away!”

        And she did.  We visited in her kitchen while she made loaves of bread, granola, Oregon Trail Bars and pizza dough.  I loved it … it felt like I was on a Food Network set, but better.  There is something so incredibly comforting watching someone bake and the smells were heavenly.  Plus, I got to taste test the granola and Oregon Trail Bars and my family is now officially hooked on both.  And on the bread, which I’ve also made several times.  😉

        So… this granola!  Full of nuts and seeds and just the right hint of spice and sweetness.  Here’s how it goes:

        • Put 5 (or 6) cups of rolled oats in a big bowl.

        • Chop up a cup of almonds and 1/2 cup of walnuts.  Or swap the measurements, or omit one … whatever you’d like.

        • Add those to the bowl with the oats and then measure in 1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut.
        • Measure in seeds… you can use whichever you’d like, really, but we go with about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of each of these: pumpkin, chia, hemp and flax.  I also added in 1/3 cup of milled flax seeds in order to get more of the omega 3 fatty acids out of it than you can get out of just the whole seeds.

        • Sprinkle on your spices and seasoning: 1 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cloves and 1/2 tsp salt.
        • And mix it all together.
        • Now for the sweetness … in a small sauce pan add the butter, coconut oil, honey and brown sugar.  
        • Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add the vanilla.  Careful, it will pop and splatter.  😉
        • Pour half over the oat mixture and stir.  Then add the rest and mix that in to coat all the dry ingredients.  
        • use your coconut oil to grease two sheet pans, spread the mixture out evenly on both and bake.  I set my timer for half of the desired time so I know to come in and stir it.  
        • Then, let it cool.  Your granola will NOT be crispy crunchy when you first bring it out of the oven.  I overcooked my first batch trying to get it to that point… it will crisp and clump as it cools.  
        • Once it is cooled, break it up a bit and put into an airtight container.  Here you could also add in some craisens or raisens if that suits your fancy.  
        • I do not know how long this will stay fresh, simply because ours is eaten all gone within about 4 days!  It is just that good.
        • About 2/3 of a cup + almond milk is a super filling, high in nutrients and totally satisfying.  It’s also super yummy over yogurt, warm apple sauce or ice cream!

        HOMEMADE GRANOLA

        Ingredients:

        5-6 cups rolled oats

        1 cup chopped (or slivered) almonds

        1 cup chopped walnuts

        1/2-3/4 cup shredded coconut

        1/3 – 1/2 cup each, your choice of seeds: hemp, chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower

        1/4 cup milled flax seed

        1 tsp cinnamon

        1/2 tsp cloves (nutmeg would be good too!)

        1/2 tsp salt

        3 TBS butter

        1/4 cup coconut oil (refined or un)

        1/4 cup honey

        1/2 cup brown sugar

        1 tsp vanilla extract

        Directions:

        Preheat oven to 325°.

        Combine all dry ingredients and seasonings in a large mixing bowl.  Melt together butter, coconut oil, honey and brown sugar; bring to a boil and remove from heat.  Add vanilla (being careful because it will splatter!).  Mix sauce and then pour half over oat mixture.  Stir to coat and then add remaining sauce, stirring until all is coated well.

        Grease 2 sheet pans/jelly roll pans with coconut oil (I just put a little bit on a paper towel and rub it around the pan), then spread the granola onto each pan.  Bake for a total of 25-30 minutes:  I set the timer for 13, mix/stir/flip the granola then go for another 13 minutes.

        Cool the granola completely on the sheet pans, then break it up and put into an airtight container.  Add in a cup of raisins or craisins here if you’d like.  My container is 4.2L, so that’s about how much this recipe makes because it fits perfectly!

        This stuff is filling, so don’t go overboard with your first bowl … it is tempting, but you’ll understand!  😉  As I always tell my boys, you can get more  but you can’t put it back… and it would be a shame to waste this goodness.  😉

        Enjoy!  And with that, I’m off to make another batch!

        Thank you for reading, and I’d love to hear from you if you try out this recipe!  And also thank you to Kari for generously sharing this recipe!  <3

         

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        Kaden has taken such a liking to these goats and often ventures out to play with them each day.  I love to watch out the window as he races around the pasture, 2 goats excitedly trotting behind him.  He tries to lead them on little obstacle courses going up and over and around their rocks and I’m shocked at what a little goat-whisperer he is because they usually do just what he’s wanting them to do.  Though sometimes a bit hesitantly…

        I’m pretty excited to see how this works when they reach their full 200 pounds.  😉  Maybe he’ll be riding them!

        Thank you for visiting, and I hope your week has been great!  ♥

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        • Mom - Sweet Tado. Wow, Jack & Sven have really grown in the last month! I was thinking about J&S as I watched some 4-H kids showing their goats at the Washington State Fair this past weekend. So loving, yet so serious when it came to judging time.
          XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Oh, fun! I didn’t know you were going to the fair. 🙂 It is hard for us to see that they’ve grown … we should have measured them when we got them. Maybe when they surpass Charlie I’ll realize they’ve gotten bigger. 🙂ReplyCancel

        • Marilyn - Lacey – I took Mastering Manual Exposure with you, and I loved it. Through that class, I found your blog, and I love it too! I find myself drawn to your blog on a very regular basis, and it inspires me so much! It speaks to me as a mother and wife, as a photographer, and as a flawed human being who is trying to make all of this work together the best that I can. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy dropping in on your corner of the world and following your family adventures. My absolute favorites are of your boys just being boys in their every day environment. Thank you for sharing your life with us!ReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Marilyn, HI! Thank you, THANK YOU for your comment. It is so uplifting and I feel so honored that you spend time with me on my blog and I love to know that you can relate to what I share here. 🙂 I can’t even tell you how much this means to me! <3ReplyCancel

        The boys have started up again with soccer and you wouldn’t know it by their expressions in these first few images, but they are all pretty excited about it!  😉  Kaden is because this is his first year, and G & C are because they are reunited with many friends they made through playing last year and through baseball this past spring.  And, of course, simply because they really like playing soccer!

        We headed out to the hay field to get in a little practice midweek.  Things started out on the straight and narrow, working on kicking, dropkicks and dribbling …

        (Gage and I had a competition to see who could drop-kick further.  😉 )

        … but then one boy booted his brother’s ball into the lower field and within 10 minutes of hitting the field it turned into an all out wrestle-fest.  I should not be shocked by this at all.   It was all in good fun.  For the most part.  I think.

        No one cried; I do know that!

        Not the best ‘soccer’ practice, but it was sure a good workout for them, which is pretty important I suppose!

        Happy Monday, friends.  Thank you for visiting and I hope your week is off to a great start!

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        • Mom - Look at that Tado go! – good at kicking and balancing. Charlie looks so happy to be playing with his boys 🙂 I’m excited to come down to watch the boys in action with their soccer teams!
          XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

        The boys chose to be baptized this summer … they heard the announcement at church and all told me individually that they love Jesus and wanted to be baptized.  Because doubt and fear sometimes push their way into my mind before trust and faith do, I wondered if this was a good idea.  If they were actually ready.  With more discussion, they told me that they know Jesus is God and the only Savior and they wanted to be baptized … who am I to question that?

        So we went down to the river with about 30 others and a bunch of their (and our) friends and family for the boys to publicly proclaim their faith.  It was a good, good day and I’m so thankful for the love and support our church, family and best friends have given to the boys in their walk with Jesus.  It is a day, and a community and an experience, they won’t soon forget.  

        Like everything else, they chose to be baptized at the same time. 

        Contrary to what Carrie Underwood sings, there really isn’t something in the water that transforms a person upon being baptized.  😉  Each day we pray for their faith to grow and to hear the Holy Spirit and to live in God’s Grace.  I also pray that God keep me humbled to not think that anything I can do as their mother will make that happen.  I can pray for them, I can guide them, and I can model my faith and walk as honestly and openly as possible, but ultimately my boys’… our children’s … walk with the Lord is in His hands.  The sinful controller in me flinches at that a bit, but the faithful believer in me overpowers, and I find great comfort knowing that they are His and He loves them beyond what they or I can even fathom.

        Thank you for reading and visiting my blog.  ♥

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        • Mom - Praise the Lord@ It was a wonderful day!!
          XOXOXO to GCK from Grammie & PapaReplyCancel

        • Kasey White - I love this and I love your photos! My oldest was baptized last Sunday after choosing to follow Jesus and accept him as his Lord and Savior a few weeks ago. It was such a special time for our family! I just wish that our church did outdoor baptisms like yours! Your photos are beautiful of such a special day!ReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Hi Kasey! I have tears for your son! I want to say ‘congratulations’ but know that ‘hallelujah!!’ is much more fitting! 😉 And yes, I have to admit that the photographer in me was pretty excited about the river baptism! During the winter they do use a bastismal font, and they even used to use our town’s pool! 🙂 I really enjoyed this option, too and they loved knowing Jesus was also baptised in a river. 🙂ReplyCancel

        I stood on the patio watching, or rather feeling, the sun coming up over the hill and through the trees.  Just before these photos were taken, I’d had my eyes closed as I felt the intensity of the light and warmth gradually wash over me and it was impossible to not utter prayers of thanksgiving for another day, for His provisions and His grace.  I found myself praying to be a light for my boys that day, that the Lord’s love would shine through me onto them.  It was a glorious way to start the morning.

        Then, I moved onto my box-jumps. 

        When I first planned on sharing these images I figured I’d talk to you just about box jumps and how at first I didn’t think I could do this 30″ one, but then I believed I could, I tried and I did.  That whole shpeel.  Matt built these for our training and the rush of finally getting onto this taller one literally sent adrenaline chills shooting through my body.  It was pretty cool.

        But then being able to make the jump led me to thinking about how I’d just passed the 2-year-mark of my training with Moms Into Fitness and so I also thought of talking about that.  About the variety of programs, about how much they (and the instructor) jive with my personality, and about how much I still look forward to working out with them every morning.  I figured I’d go into how this workout routine has been equally transforming of my body as it has my overall health and moods.  And then of course I’d talk about how much I’d encourage you to find something physical like this that works for you.

        The day after we took these, though, I came across this verse when I opened up my Bible:

        ” … train yourself for godliness, for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.  – 1 Timothy 4: 7-8 ESV

        At the time, our pastor had been preaching on hearing God’s voice through scripture and this stood out to me as definitely a time when that was happening!  I penned the verse into my Bible journal so I could be sure to sketch it into my mind and not let the message leave me.  Yes, this training and fitness has some value but it pales in comparison to working on my relationship with God and striving to be Christ-like.  So, okay … I felt committed to embracing that and remembering to put connecting with God as a priority in my life again.

        The next day, my foot ached like you wouldn’t believe and I could hardly walk, let alone work out.  The pain that shot from my foot up my leg had me fearing that my arch was falling or plantar fasciitis was settling in (I can jump to pretty dramatic conclusions sometimes) but felt even more certain that either God or Satan was testing out how strong my commitment to godliness training over bodily training was.  The next day, I was stung by a bee and my arm ballooned up to the point that it was useless and remained so for several days.  That same day, our kitty disappeared and then emotionally I was useless, too.   Bum foot, bum arm, and my favorite kitty gone.

        I was crashing.  Physically for sure, and emotionally absolutely.  I felt this heavy test on my heart asking “what am I more reliant on … my body, my circumstances, my abilities to function at 100%, or Jesus?”  I shared this test with my boys during our bedtime prayers and about how I wasn’t sure if the test was from God or Satan.  They, wiser than their years, reminded me that my response needs to be the same regardless of who the test comes from.  God was allowing it into my life and it was just a chance to lean on Him.  And He’d get me through.

        In response to this small time of trial, I am spending more time in God’s word and praying more throughout the day.  I’ve also began re-reading Give Them Grace, an absolute favorite book of mine that guides us toward Christian parenting by teaching our children the fundamentals of the Gospel and staying away from moralism, etc.  I’ve read it before but in this season we’re in, I felt it was time to read it again.  Both for my boys’ sake and mine, because this book is so incredible at humbling me with the message of God’s amazing grace.   I picked it back up while being down and out thanks to a cold this past week … God putting a time of rest from bodily-training into my life while opening a door for some much needed godly-training.

        My foot pain went away, my arm is back to its normal, un-inflamed, un-itchy self and while our kitty never came home God’s working on healing that pain, too.  He healed me of my cold.  He’s walked me through a few really emotional conversations with one of my boys, in which I was able to read him scripture and pour out messages of God’s love.

        All examples of His grace.

        I know, that’s all pretty far from just chatting about box jumps.  But my morning had started out with thoughts of His grace and now I’m back there again. Which is only fitting, I suppose, because it all starts and ends with God’s grace anyway.

         

        Happy Monday, and thank you for reading.  ♥

        And photography friends, the images above were taken by my oldest.  I considered a tripod, but he’s much better!  I simply got my settings and placed my focus point where I wanted it to be for my composition, then took a test shot before handing it over to him. 

        Yes, the test shot shows that he’s got this box-jump thing down.  😉

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        • Mom - Between my intense work projects, I always come to your blog to be refreshed and invigorated to carry-on. This is my 3rd time looking at and reading this post! Thank you.
          XO to you
          XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

        • Brittany - I started reading your blog when taking a photography class, but I love the Godly, positive side. To be able to read such an uplifting message in times of trials, it does my heart good. We all struggle with something but I love hearing what you learn and take away from it. “The Lord will fight for you, you have only to be still” Exodus 14:14. You have such an incredible ministry, I just want to encourage you to keep sharing the love for the Lord!ReplyCancel