Archive for April, 2013

Had a great two weeks with the Healthy Living Challenge – got all my points and have broken the 20 pound mark.  I have officially lost 20.5 pounds!   Woot!  Woot!  But more importantly, I feel like I look healthier and better than even the 20 pounds reflects.  This picture was taken yesterday.  Our family didn’t mean to color-coordinate but here we are!  I love this picture because along with a perfect Jason and Coleman, I think I am looking dang good.  It’s things like this that motivate me to keep going.  Today I’m celebrating a great family snapshot!

family graduation - small

One of the things that was the most difficult for me the first month of the challenge was that I didn’t have very many recipes that fit into the “legal” category completely.  As a family, we eat OK, but too much was included on the “bad food list” in my recipes.  I’ve been working on changing that, eating more clean, and shifting our family meals to more healthy ones.  I don’t expect Coleman and Jason to only eat off of the “good food list” but I want to get closer to that. (click here for info about the Healthy Living Challenge)

Here is a recipe that I have been making over and over again.  I love oatmeal so when my vegan-ish neighbor, Chelsie, told me about this Baked Oatmeal then I had to try it.  Now I’m hooked.  I warm it up in the microwave and add a little almond milk and breakfast tastes like dessert.  Healthy and totally legal in our Healthy Living Challenge.


Blueberry & Banana Baked Oatmeal

(Makes enough for 8×8 baking dish – double for 9×13 pan)

1 1/4 c. old fashioned rolled oats

1/3 c. chopped walnuts (divided) opt.

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/3 c. maple syrup

1 c. almond milk

1 flax egg (mix 1 T. flax seed + 3 T water – let set for 5 minutes) opt.

2 T Earth Balance soy butter or unsalted butter – melted

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3-4 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

1 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen (divided)

(you can use other fruits such as fresh peaches and raspberries if you choose)


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish.

2.  In a medium bowl, mix the oats, half the walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir to combine.

3.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine the syrup, almond milk, flax egg, Earth Balance butter, and vanilla.

4.  Spread the sliced bananas in layers over the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with half of the berries.  Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer.

5.  Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the oats.  Sprinkle the remaining nuts and berries over the top.

6.  Bake 40-50 minutes until the top is browned and oats have set.  Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

7.  Favorite way to eat this: put it in a bowl with some almond milk and eat with a spoon.  Yum.


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Just a reminder – if you are participating in our neighborhood Healthy Living Challenge we are starting tomorrow, Friday, April 12.  Click here to see the entire program and to access the downloads.

Time to strap on those running shoes, fill the shopping cart with fresh food and get your mind focused on a fabulous 6 weeks!



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The LDS Church recently announced that young women are welcome to serve a full-time mission for the Church at age 19 instead of 21.  The excitement over this prospect is high and the world is being flooded with strong, happy young women who want to serve others and teach what they believe about Jesus Christ.  Our family has 4 missionaries serving in full-time missions all over the world right now with one more niece headed out in June.  We are kind of in missionary mode right now!

Here is Kylee on her first day of her mission in Brazil.  She’s the one with the long hair in the light blue sweater – a darling girl ready to serve.


Here’s a quote about girls and their desire to serve in this way.  For those of you working with LDS young women, enjoy this free printable that I designed for our area.  Some people don’t believe that the youth of today have much to offer but I say they do – no matter your faith or beliefs or way of life, we have strong youth in the world today and they will affect this world for good.

Here’s an example of kids making a difference in their daily life.  I cried like a baby while watching it.  My desire is strong to help mold Coleman to be the kind of young man that will SEE the needs of those around him, RECOGNIZE that he can do something to help, then ACT on those feelings even when that action is different than what might be normal in that situation.  Seeing the need – to me that is the key.  So often we pass by opportunities to help simply because we do not see the need.   We don’t observe it because we are focused on other things.  I want to teach Coleman to see the need then have the courage to act on what he observes.

What amazing young people he has to learn from!  Strong, capable, happy young men and women who are accomplishing good things – whatever faith or beliefs they might have.

I love watching it happen.

Sister Missionary Quote

Sister Missionary Quote

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