Monday, April 29, 2013

A Letter From the Mission Field

UKPOYBWO Church Building taken 19/06/11

Today was a long, hard day. There is much work to be done here among the natives. Each day brings a little progress, but then some days, it feels like we’re getting nowhere.

I’m tired. And I’m trying not to grow weary in doing good. But the long, laborious days remind me that I can do none of this in my own strength. Things are messy here, and messes require cleaning up. And the cleaning up seems never-ending.

Read the rest of the letter over at The Marathon Mom.

Photo Credit

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Homemade Candy Bars (Sugar and Gluten Free)

Our family does not eat sugar or gluten free, but when I saw this recipe in a GMA recipe email, I was intrigued.  Ever since completing 42 Days to Fit, I have been trying to make a conscientious effort to watch my sugar intake, and use more natural sweeteners for my family.  I thought these looked absolutely delicious, and I saw that I had everything on hand except the coconut flour.  (By the way, coconut flour is pricey.  I paid like 6 bucks for one pound, but these are worth it.  You can buy it cheaper online here, or in bulk here.)

These are SO GOOD!  And anything that tastes this good and is full of healthy ingredients....
Sign. Me. Up!!!

You can find this recipe and other sugar, dairy, and gluten free recipes in this book.

Homemade Candy Bars


1 1/2 cups raw cashews (I had salted/roasted on hand)
1 1/2 cups dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (60% or higher cocoa content)
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil


Grind the cashews to a very fine meal in a food processor. Add the dates, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, shredded coconut, and almond extract and pulse until you have a sticky ball of dough.

Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper (I used foil) and press the cashew mixture into the pan. It helps if you put a drop of oil or water on your hands before doing this. *Refrigerate the mixture for 6 to 8 hours, until it's firm.

Meanwhile, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a stainless steel or glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water (make sure the water doesn't touch the bowl). Stir the mixture until it's just melted, remove the bowl from the heat, and pour the chocolate mixture over the cold cashew mixture.

Return the bar to the fridge and let it cool until the chocolate coating is set, at least 1 hour. Using the parchment, lift the bar out of the pan and cut it into rectangles (or you can use cookie cutters to make fun shapes for kids!).

Serve at once, or store in an airtight container.  Makes 18 bars.

*I did not wait 6-8 hours before adding chocolate.  As soon as the melted chocolate was ready, I added it, then refrigerated for 6-8 (or 4) hours before cutting.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Fun, Easy, and Frugal Play Idea: Masking Tape Roads

My kids thought I was pretty great when I pulled out the masking tape and began creating roads that led to all their Little Peoples play sets.  We rummaged up all the cars we could find, made road lines on the tape, and created a little town.
I'm telling you, they played for HOURS!  Even better, their creative juices were flowing full force.  My basic infrastructure was not sophisticated enough, so they made more roads, added a CVS and Walgreens store out of paper, and drew up a "Welcome to" town sign (of course, after I put the camera away)!  Even some of the older kids thought it was fun enough to join in.
So go grab that old roll of masking tape that you threw out in the garage after your last move, or pick one up the next time you go to the store, and let the kids have at it! 

And for you moms who struggle to get dinner going while you've got a toddler strapped to your leg, this should do the trick! ; )
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