No-Sugar Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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The kids and I decided to have a baking day. I found this recipe and tweaked it to better suit our preferences. I’m not an exact measurement baker [more of a throw it in and hope it turns out...] so the recipe below is *approximate* measurements. However, they were just lovely. More cake-like than dry cookies and I know we will be making them again.

No-Sugar Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

makes roughly 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • cup(s) flour (I used Lancelot flour from the Grain Mill) 
  • teaspoon(s) vietnamese cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup(s) your favorite nuts (we used peanut butter [make sure the only ingredient is peanuts!])
  • cup(s) oats (not instant oatmeal)
  • 1 [heaping] cup(s) raisins
  • cup(s) applesauce
  • 3/4 cup of full fat greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup(s) olive oil
  • 3 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in the largest bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in the other bowl. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Blend them well.
  3. Spoon the dough for these drop cookies onto lined parchment papered cookie sheets.
  4. Bake the dough for 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Allow the cookies to cool before eating them.

Enjoy!

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Granola Bar Balls

Granola Bars can be so expensive [not to mention packed with sugar and other unhealthy additives]. This recipe is a great alternative and my family LOVES them! It is packed with protein to quickly alleviate those afternoon/late night hunger cravings. I borrowed this recipe from a friend and changed it to better fit our preferences, feel free to do the same! Enjoy!

2 c pitted dates
1 c almonds, finely chopped in food processor
1 c walnuts, finely chopped in food processor 
1 c unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 c of sunflower seeds
3 c whole oats
1/2 c natural peanut butter
1/2 c honey
1/2 cup of coconut oil

Process dates in food processor (add a little water if too thick). Place in large bowl and combine remaining ingredients until mixed well. Make into balls and eat immediately or freeze for later use. 

*Note, without the coconut oil, the mixture is more sticky and could be made into bars when pressed flat onto a baking sheet.

[photo credit]

Audrey Jane, 2.5 years old.

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before I forget all her jane-isms. I want to post a few of my favorite at present. 

-jane has self-proclaimed her new name as janie or audrey janie. we have no idea where this came from (I was expecting her new name maybe when she went off to college?) except that she loves adding an additional ‘ie’ to most every word. 

-jane will often be found in her princess crown or princess shoes (on both feet!) whilst napping or after we have put her to bed for the evening. 

-she LOVES meat. often times I’ll order a hot dog and augustine will eat the bun, jane will eat the hot dog. same with cheeseburgers. SO convenient! she could easily eat a package of bacon and loves to just snack on luncheon meat. 

-jane is a wonderful helper with Hughie and is so ecstaticly excited whenever he awakes each morning. 

-jane loves to sing ‘old macdonald had a farm’ each night before bed. and every night, she always picks a pig for the animal of choice (relation to love of meat? I don’t know!). 

-she is obsessed with the color pink, and loves most all stereotypical feminine things. 

-i decided on a whim (actually it was after I spent way too much money on diapers and wipes at sams club today) to potty train jane. we’ll see how it goes. 

-she sleeps about 11.5 hours at night an almost an hour nap after lunch. 

-our current focus with jane (we have had a variety of focus points throughout her existence) is wearing one outfit a day, and one pajama a day. oh the drama of these instructions for her! 

-unlike her brother, jane loves to ask ‘why?’ all the time…

-jane is helps a lot around the home, she vacuums, unloads/loads the silverware/kids plates & cups,  helps hang up her clothes in the closet, clean the playroom as well as wiping down the table/doorknobs & other tasks I ask her to do. we love it when she obeys the first time ;)

-a conversation just a minute ago~
me: “Jane, can you bring me my water bottle?”
J: “I’m busy right now!”

(can’t imagine where she heard that one…)

love our only girl. I’m really thankful for the exuberance of life she brings. we are praying for her heart to come to know Christ in an intimate way at an early age. Image

A Babysitting Co-op!

Do you value some dependable time each week away from your children to devote to your marriage, house-cleaning, errands, or time with friends? Our marriages are the next most important relationship outside of Christ. Your investment in your marriage models to your children that you value your spouse. This enables them to experience security and love from a unified front of parents. Are you strapped for cash for such endeavors? I have a solution for you!

A babysitting Co-op! Here are the basic details in an original blogpost I wrote here. You can include two families, three families, or even four families in this type of swap depending on how many children are included between the bunch and what you deem is appropriate for all involved!

Having been involved in several of these type of coops, I thought I might also include some extra details (READ: LOADS OF DETAILS!) that really help one of these systems to flow smoothly. These are some ‘ground rules’ that worked for us you may also want to consider:

-Three hours is a great slot of time. Not too much, not too little.
-Once a week is really ideal, but you can also swap every other week if that is better for each family.
-Generally, a day of week is easier than a weekend for swapping. But to each his own!
-4pm-7pm or 4:30pm-7:30pm is a great time frame. It enables children to be ready for bed by the time their parents pick them up, but not over-tired.
-It is ideal to swap with your neighbors, but if not, try to pick families SUPER local to you.
-Each family brings their own diapers/wipes/dinner/snacks/
juice/sleeping arrangements/clothes for their OWN kids. Ideally, it would be nice if the host could provide a paper towel or a paper plate for the children. Though, sippy cups should be brought by each family. Dishes ARE NOT required to be returned washed :)
-You host all the kids at your home once a month (if you need the help of your husband, then plan for that). The other three thursdays (or whichever day you choose!) of the month you get time to yourself or with your husband or really whatever you want to do. (clean, grocery shop, meet a friend, read a book). You can also double date with other families in the co-op! the possibilities are endless!
-For families with smaller children. Please either email the host in advance or write on a notecard instructions that are more specific so that the host is not overwhelmed trying to remember various details for different babies (i.e. Jimmy needs 5oz of milk at 5:30, he will sleep after that, etc).
-If you cannot host the event that you are assigned, please swap with another family and notify everyone else in the swap accordingly.
-if you cannot make the swap in which you are provided a date, please… get over it ;). We will not reschedule the swap for a family that cannot attend being babysat unless two or more families cannot make that particular date night in which the evening is cancelled for everyone.
-Each family is responsible to drop off and pick up their own kids at the location designated each week. It is ok if you drop your children off late to the co-op, but please ensure you are not late to pick them up so as to honor everyone’s time. Please be prepared to have your house ready to accept children five minutes prior to the start of coop, so that each family can utilize the full three hours! (i.e. if your coop swap is from 4:30pm-7:30pm, families can drop off their children at 4:25pm so they are able to leave by 4:30pm)
-Unfortunately, I’m not making the number of kids a factor in our coop swap as far as equal proportion of time per child. Some families may have one kid, other families two kids, and others three or four kids but every family gets the designated three hour slot each week. Obviously, it is best to pick families to join your coop in which all families have roughly the same number of children.
-If you need more time than the three hour slot- feel free to arrange a swap with another family in the co-op (or a babysitter) if you want them to watch your children before/after and notify the hosting family that said person will pick up/drop off your children accordingly.

-Discipline: I think it goes without saying that we are in agreement about honoring the Lord with our children and as well as helping the children we are watching pursue righteousness. I would advise setting up an avenue to talk to other families about their behavior in a non-threatening way. Thus, the questionaire resource: Please answer the following questionnaire each time you host for each child participating in the co-op in order to honestly evaluate each child’s obedience/disobedience as they learn to respect differing authority. For example, if I hosted the co-op one week, I’d send a separate email to family A, family B, and family C at the end of the session and communicate how her children did/did not obey so that their parents can further praise/train their child for the next session. (Questionnaire: _______honored Christ this co-op session through…. _______did not honor Christ this co-op session by…. Other thoughts: ….). Aside from this, I advise avoid spanking other children altogether and use time outs or natural consequences when necessary. Ask other families in the group if ahead of time if they have any concerns with this/further ideas to consider.

-Location: Typically, it is helpful to stay at the host homes for the first rotational schedule. However, once you are in the groove, consider talking to your group about visiting at a nearby park, field, or forest while you are hosting. When we host, we take our double stroller, borrow a double stroller and have a couple of ergo baby carriers and head to the park! The kids are instructed to stay close to us, and parents are notified in advance to pack dinners that can be eaten outside (as well as pack coats or rainboots depending on weather). The children walk back after a fun evening and the three hour time slot FLIES by- fun had by all and your host house stays clean (added bonus!).
-Other house rules
For example, I do not allow my children in the road, and unless an adult is in the road, I’d like this to be upheld for my child. Consider asking if there are any other rules like this you need the group to follow (tv shows you don’t want your children to watch, food they cannot eat if offered, reoccuring misbehavior of your child host needs to know about). I have found it helpful to ask all the children to stay at the host home the entirety of the three hours unless they quickly need to run back to their house to get something else to play with.
-After the one month time frame, we can all either meet together to discuss what you liked/didn’t like or email about such things and decide whether to continue to stop.

The General Set-up: In the past we have separated out the three hour slot for similarly so the children know what to expect at each household. The children seemed to thrive off of order/consistency. So, do not feel pressured to do this, but it is worth considering.
4:30-5:30: Big energy time, play outside, crafts (we have found this to be extremely fun and successful in the past if you want to attempt it!), running, jumping, games (red light/green light; red rover; hide and go seek; etc) get all their energy out!
5:30-6pm: Eat Dinner
6pm-6:15(ish)pm- Clean up host’s home
6:15-7:15 watch movie
7:15-7:30 get on socks/shoes/gather bags to get ready to go back home!

Example Schedule:

Nov 7th- Family A
Nov 14th- Family B
Nov 21ts- Family C
Nov 28th- Family D

OK! whew! You stuck with me! Loads of details, I warned you!! But I do hope that this will bring about an easy way for you to plow into serving your community as well as enjoying some time away from your lovely children.

The end. :)

A Tribute to Pat Davis

This past week Shaun’s grandmother went to be with her Savior. Patsy Davis was like a mother to Shaun and she raised him as one of her own. She immensely loved my babies and I’ll never forget her for it.
We affectionately called her ‘Mema’ and I’m so thankful for the legacy she left behind. She loved Jesus and exhibited that love to so many others around her. Throughout the funeral, visitation, home visits, and phone calls to the family, I have learned what an impact someone can have on a community through ministering Christ in practical ways. She cared for the sick, fed the homeless, listened to the broken-hearted, and was a genuinely joyful person to encounter despite her own physical pain and ailments. She didn’t boast in her achievements or complain about her less than ideal circumstances of physical limitation. She was full of laughter and cheerfulness.
I have so many precious memories of her dear character. I’ll never forget the time she mailed me home-made pumpkin bread all the way to Scotland just because she knew I liked it (though we all had a good laugh when it arrived smelling like mold and vinegar!). Or the countless times she held one of my children insisting I take a shower or sleep later. Or the many phone-calls & cards she sent, the tea parties with Jane, the peek-a-boo kisses to baby Hugh, feeding the dog & riding the four wheeler with Augustine. We could always count on a massive breakfast when we stayed at her home and she went out of her way to love us well. I had no clue that the love we experienced from her was also being poured out to hundreds and hundreds of other people she encountered. She didn’t know a stranger. We even continued to receive her love after her death as we opened christmas presents she was unable to give in person. She loved Christmas. She loved to give. Her generosity was fitting to each person as she carefully selected gifts she knew they would enjoy. Christmas will not be the same without her thoughtfulness and cherished traditions.
She taught me how to love my husband well. This year would have been her 55th wedding anniversary and she spoke of Papa with utmost respect and affection. They talked to each other for hours every evening before bed and modeled a close companionship. She married him a month shy of her 15th birthday and had her first child in their first year of marriage. She modeled self-discipline and a hard work ethic in the way she learned to raise a family. Her aged hands showed it. I also loved watching her cook. She cooked with such ease as combing your hair or brushing your teeth. She knew the exact ingredients and timing to make a perfect southern meal. Yet, I don’t know if she loved watching people eat good food more than she loved eating good food herself. She could tear up a heaping bowl of neapolitan ice-cream. And I loved hearing her repeated comment on the tastiness of her meal.
I mostly enjoyed hearing her talk about Jesus. She loved going to church and fellowshipping with the body of Christ. She loved listening to the choir sing familiar hymns. She often talked about the sermon. She had comforting security about the way she described her relationship with her Father. She knew she was a sinner, and she knew the beauty of the cross. She was looking forward to seeing Him soon and longed for all of her family to know Him in the same way. I could tell a hundred more stories to communicate the loss of her presence. It’s been hard this week to say goodbye to such a sweet and kind friend, and I only knew her for a few years. (Which is why I know Papa, Shaun, and others grieve much more deeply than I). But it is an unexpected relief to know she is in heaven, without any pain, and living life at its fullest.
Patsy Ann Rouse Davis lived well, and she died well because she knew her Jesus well. March 9th, 1944 – December 29, 2013.

Merry Christmas from the Prices

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Dearest Friends and Family,

We are so thankful for each of you and blessed with another full year of activities and experiences to report. Our God is faithful and we praise Him for continued provision and guidance throughout a transitional season of moving back to America from our home of 3.5 years in Aberdeen, Scotland UK.
Hugh William Price was born on April 22nd, and he is such a gift. He is full of smiles, giggles, and utter joy. We frequently comment on how unreal it is to have such a laid back child who can so easily accommodate to various surroundings and circumstances. He sleeps and eats well, and we could not be more satisfied with his presence.
Audrey Jane is full of life. She turned two in june and adores all things feminine. From tea parties, to babies, to painted toenails, to the color pink, Jane delights our hearts with her squeals and brings much vibrancy to our home. She has taken to ballet and we love watching her twirl around our living room.
Augustine turned four in July and is quickly becoming a young gentleman. He is a great helper around the home and completed his first term of homeschooling. We are proud of him for easily making new friends and for his continued prayers for fond friends he left abroad. He enjoys racing play cars outside and helping mom bake goodies in the kitchen.
Joy is in her second year of working part time on a PhD in Philosophy which focuses on Thomas Aquinas’ use of the goodness of God. She has faced a challenging year leaving behind lifestyle and a community of friends in Aberdeen, but has tried to make new roots
in Wake Forest by participating in various bible study groups in the area. She took a bread making class this year and has started making bread from freshly ground grains.
We praise the Lord for Shaun’s completion of a PhD in Practical Theology from the University of Aberdeen! He has also agreed to publish his thesis with Paternoster Press. He is working very hard teaching adjunctively at Louisburg College, Johnston Community College, and Southeastern College. We are praying for a full time position for him in the year of 2014. He has become proficient tickle monster and a most requested bedtime story reader.

We feel very humbled to have the Saviour of the world come to earth for this human race, and pray that as you reflect on his gift to us you will be find peace and comfort for your homes. Please let us know how you are doing by writing or emailing joymichelleprice@gmail.com.

Warmly yours,
The Prices

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The greatest gift we can give our kids…

We live in a busy, pragmatic society driven by performance and activity. In the realm of parenting, this is a particular influence as we moms feel the pressure to provide the best education, the best lessons, and the best meals. We want our kids to have character, we want them to clean their rooms, and we want them never to be lonely and to have all the music lessons and activities that they want. But the thing your child needs most in the world is a heart that knows the love of his or her Creator. The greatest gift you can give your kids, a gift they will carry with them into each relationship and situation of their lives, is a heart deeply centered on loving God and a life formed by the habits of faith.

~Sally Clarkson ’10 Gifts of Wisdom’

Funny Phrases

Jane likes calling her headband her husband. Thus we get comments like, “My husband’s downstairs.” “Like my husband!”
Augustine just finished calling the kitchen the chicken. So we get things like, “lets have dinner in the chicken.” And logical ones like, “eggs are in the chicken”.
Jane also says we are super cool. And Augustine regularly says he “got for” something in place for forgot.
Moments I don’t want to forget.

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