Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A children's alternative to YouTube

Here is a helpful app if you ever let your young children  watch videos from YouTube on your iPhone or iPad.  If you're like me you cringe at all the "related videos" that are on the side or bottom of the screen.  Try this app.  It is called KidsTube.  

Step 1. Search for the videos you want for you child and click the add button - these will be added to your child's library
Step 2. Lock the library - passcode so no videos can be added or deleted with out you
Step. 3 let your child watch the videos you selected without additional content bombarding them. 

There is also a feature to save the videos to your device for future playing when not connected to the internet. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Our Little Remodel Part 1

We are beginning a little (they always seem to grow) remodel.  We started with replacing the flooring in the entryway, dining room, and kitchen.  They all had different types of flooring - laminate, carpet, and linoleum.

Here are some before pictures...


Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Christian Perspective on Children

"Do you remember when you were growing up, back in the day when there were these things called children? And they ran around in what used to be called yards and streets. And they engaged in an activity called play

...[As a culture] We have become the kinds of people who do not like children. Why do I say we do not like children? We have few. If you really do like children, you have them. And if you can, you have quite a few of them. You like them. You like their company. You like their ways. You find them somehow to brighten your life. You enjoy them.

...Children remind us of our weakness and destroy our illusion of choice.

...If you seek out “joy” and you think that you can engineer it [through your choices] then you will be deeply disappointed.  And you don’t even know what joy is....To the extent that you “plan” your child, you are not planning a child at all. You’re planning an egotistical extension of yourself.

...People are afraid of children because they think that children will destroy their lives.They are absolutely right! Children will destroy their lives. That's why God gave us them. Because otherwise our lives are like little hard kernels of selfishness. Kernels of egotism. And it's really hard to break through that shell. But God sends children, as invaders, precisely to do that. To break open that hardest substance in the universe, the human heart. The child comes to break open our dead lives, and to show us what life is, and life in abundance. And that’s what the Christ child came to do."  

These are excerpts from a lecture given by Anthony Esolen. You can watch it here onYouTube.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

Homemade granola bars are a staple at our house.  I could easily eat half a tray by myself throughout the day.  I have been using this recipe.  I think they are delicious.  Granola bars are fun because you can just through whatever nuts or dried fruits that you have on hand into the mix. Chocolate chips are great for a little sweeter snack.  You could also add peanut butter if you like.

The original recipe using a bar pan - I don't have one so I just use a 9x13 Glass dish,  I tried my cookie sheet but didn't like way the bars cooked.  I may just end up buying a bar pan.

Here is my variation:


  • 1 2/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup raw honey 
  • 1/4 cup organic brown sugar  
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I grind my own wheat) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Mix everything together in a bowl.  Press your mixture down firmly in a greased and parchment lined 9x13 glass baking dish.  Lay a piece of parchment paper on top.  Now press down - this is what makes your bars hold together - so get creative and press HARD!  I set my 7x11 glass baking dish on the top parchment paper and set a case of water bottles on top for 5 minutes, then move the 7x11 around and repeat until all the surface is pressed really well.  Then use your hand and push in any loose edges.  Bake at 350 degrees in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

If you like them softer under cook them, crispier cook them longer.

Let the bars cool for at least 2 hours, then lift out of the pan, and cut into squares or rectangles.

If you have other flavors or ingredients you have tried please leave a comment.  I'm always looking for new variations.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

One Snowy Evening

While a good portion of the country has much more snow then they would like, we rarely see snow.

We got a snow flurry that lasted all of 4 hours!  That was it for our entire winter.

Here are a couple photos from the evening.  These were all taken on my Canon T3i.

I played around with different shutter speeds
I setup my LED video light under the tree and set my shutter to a 30 second photo

A little to cold and dark for her to go out, but looking was just as fun!

My "Lady" (my Celebrate Motherhood) bumper sticker's first snow.