A Saturday Courage Quote

Tonight,  in the care of family and loved ones, I am ready to start up my habit of posting courage quotes again…
“Sometimes the biggest act of courage is a small one. “ ~Lauren Raffo

A rare Arizona rainstorm.

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Gluten Free Cinnamon Crispy Bars

Some kitchen Experiments actually succeed!

The quest at my house for a long time, has been how to add nutrition, and sometimes just plain enough calories, to a whole pack of different sensory-driven picky eaters.  Generally speaking, a success is when at least half of the family will eat it.  This one is amping up a traditional treat with Oats and Chia seeds to sneak a little nutrition into a lunchbox snack.   Disclaimer– I am not a great showman in the kitchen, or foodie-photographer.  But the recipe is great; so here we go!

SO Good!  Food tasters at my house say they taste like cinnamon rolls.  Tempted to frost them for special occasions.

They were good enough that snitching began before the bars were even cool enough to hold their shape, and they were eaten with a spoon…

So- I spotted these new flavors recently, and in my quest to move my family to gluten free, it looked like a great product to try out. (by the way- if you find another bran of gf cinnamon rice crispies, go for it)

Also, needed is rolled oats (regular or quick- I used regular) and Chia seed.  I have totally fallen in love with this little seed- the nutrition density is amazing. I am finding all sorts of places to sneak this into.

And also butter,

and about 1+1/3 bags of mini marshmallows.


Recipe

  • about 8 cups of “Cinnamon Pebbles” (full box)
  • 1 cup Cinnamon Chex, smashed to small pieces
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 13 oz  (1+1/3 of the 10 oz bags) mini marshmallows.  (approximate- a little more, up to 1-1/2 bags is no big deal.)

Prep a 9″x 13″ cake pan by lining it with baker’s parchment (if you don’t have parchment, you can butter the pan with the other half of the stick of butter, but it makes for greasier lunch bars)

Put all the cereal and Oats and Chia seeds in a big mixing bowl, mix together and set aside.

in a large saucepan, on medium heat, melt the butter and the marshmallows stirring constantly (more or less, this is the directions on the back of the bag of  Kraft Marshmallows.)

Pour over the cereal and stir carefully with a sturdy spoon until the chia seeds are lifted from the bottom and mixed in with the rest of the cereal.  Dump into the prepared pan and flatten firmly (again, to avoid more butter, I use a silicon spatula to press with)

Cut pan into 3 long-wise rows and 8 short-wise rows. When fully cooled, bag each bar in a sandwich size ziplock bag, and it will stay fresh all week (if they last that long!)

ENJOY!

(ps- I am fully aware of the sugar content- remember, I am trying to get calories into my kids.  I am also aware of the corn syrup debates (aka-marshmallows) but I am choosing my battles.)

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Counts as a good Christmas

It was the great pause; the breath between preparation and the excitement.img_3050  I sat next to my Christmas tree, listening to all my kids and hubby play a little board game before it’s time to shoo them off to bed.  I can hear that they’re getting tired; but they are still all trying to be pleasant and work together for fun.

It’s beautiful sight in the world.   And it gave me time.

Time.  It’s my most treasured gift. The gift of no place I have to be, no schedule I need to keep, no needs or demands from anyone at all.  Along with the clear head to think and ponder- both things together.. It’s very rare.

Earlier this month, I wouldn’t have believed any such spare moment would happen.  I would see the treat-gifts come to the door, and the cards and letters from the neighbors and friends, and think- “yeah, as if I could manage something like that.”

Suddenly things moved, and I had a spare moment to do my yearly ornament and letter for our close family.  Later, on Thursday I found myself totally done shopping!   The peace hit me like a thunderclap.  Like magic, I had a whole day Friday to cleanimg_3067 and work on what I whatever I wanted to.  It was a gift from Heaven— and I decided that I had time to make Christmas cookies after all.  I still tire easily, but it was so good.  On Christmas Eve, it rained almost all day. But it stopped just as Hubby took our Brand to the Mesa Temple-it was Brand’s YSA (young single adult) ward’s turn to help with the tour/crowd control there for the Christmas lights.  Meanwhile, I took the 3 teens and we went delivering the cookie trays.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking I pulled this off without any meltdowns or other Autism moments– the full gammut of triggers=  anticipation, starting to go to the wrong door (and having to run back to the car and try again), relief, seeing happy faces as we gave the cookies, getting on each other’s nerves, tears, and recovery;   TeaRose said it best- “Mom, there’s so many emotions going around in my head so fast that it gets my autism overwhelmed and I go blank and can’t feel anything at all” (yup- she really did say that, we have been working being able to express needs.)   So we reviewed our grounding steps to recover from overload, and then kept going.  I’m so img_3069glad.  The spirit of giving seeped into my car in spite of everything, so that by the time we got home it was very good.  That brings this story back to where I started, under the Christmas tree.  Then it was time to play Santa.

Santa got really lucky this year.  Lots of tactile pleasures (fuzzy blankets and sequinned pillows were half the hit of the morning) and lots of happy smiles.  Now, they are all playing with their new gear, in that near total quiet that my spectrum kids get when they have been running on adrenaline to be happy in the chaos for a couple days- and they are still happy, just tired.  Time is still rare- it took 2 separate spaces of time just to write this post.  But for now, I have time to sit and think- What a great Christmas gift that is.p1040039p1040017

 

 

 

 

 

So- Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

ps- here’s where I found the cookie recipes;

http://www.glutenfreebaking.com/how-to-make-gluten-free-shortbread/

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/stained_glass_cookies/

http://www.shugarysweets.com/2013/06/cherry-chocolate-chip-shortbread-cookies

 

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On Becoming Superman

It’s  4:30 am, Tuesday Morning.

This has been the most amazing of hard weeks in many ways.  But this morning, I am only thinking of one of them.  Today is the hinge-point of a new adventure.  Over 2 years ago,  my 21 year old and I started the paperwork for him to express his desire to serve a mission.

And then we waited.

And waited.

And while we waited, of course, more life kept happening all around.  School.  His sister’s scoliosis surgery. And lots of learning.  Learning to handle the red tape of new paths, learning to let the pain go of watching peers younger that him go on their mission-and come home 2 years later, learning to grow thru and in spite of medical needs,  learning to keep going thru trials, and stay steady while waiting on the timing of the Lord.  I admit, sometimes it was harder for me than for him, we kind of traded back and forth on that one.  And then all at once, about a month ago, things started to move forward and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Even then, tho- there was no visibility of the path, things were still open-ended as we moved thru the steps of a not-quite-fully-defined gateway to the new Young Church Service Mission.  Then even more suddenly- like the frost on a cold window- everything came together all at once; and he had the final interviews, finished papers, calling and setting apart all in the last 2 weeks- and he starts his mission TODAY!!!  Yikes!

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So my dear son, I hunted down some courage quotes for the 2 of us to start the day with…

Remember, sometimes the Lord asks us to  “not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) This is the path of the Trailblazer, the life of the strongest of heroes. And I’m afraid much of the time, it’s our lot in life.  The path of learning to become a superhero is never easy- it is much closer to bootcamp, for the Lord is making warriors.
But He doesn’t leave us to wander lost.  “Our Heavenly Father did not put us on the Earth to fail, but to succeed gloriously.” (Richard G. Scott)
So, just like Father Lehi in the Book of Mormon, The Lord has given us access to helps along the way.  Scriptures, Personal Promptings, and even our Patriarchal blessing are like our own Liahonas- guiding us through life’s dangers.
Neither does the Lord ever ask us to be completely alone.  Jesus has been on our path before us, and has sent us family and companions here and there to stand by us. Hold tight, we will make it together.
And remember- as we move forward, “we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass.”  (President Thomas S. Monson)

I am so proud of you, my son.  Your kindness and steady strength will see you thru many things.  Keep hold of your courage.  This will grow into a great adventure.

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Sunday Morning Courage

Last week was one for the record books in hard for me.  It wasn’t any one thing- but more like a mountain of daily life poured into a funnel too small to hold it, mixed liberally with car troubles and my own anxiety attacks….in fact, much of the time, it seamed as if all the powers that be were trying to keep us from having the courage to move forward.  And yet, here we are.  Sunday Morning’s early light is peaking in the window and I find myself contemplating about daily miracles and courage.  So I looked up some of my favorite courage scriptures to start the day–

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1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. — Psalms 46
4 Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also will be with thee: be of good courage, and do it. -Ezra 10:4
16 ¶Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes.
22 For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake:
23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:
24 Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you -1 Samuel:12

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Ponderings on a Friday Night

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It’s been a very heavy week this week; seriously tired.  So praying has been minute by minute – mostly for the strength to hang on and move forward.  Then this afternoon, I had a really long talk with my oldest.  He has been so struggling too; but today we felt so connected and, well, having each other’s back- so to speak.  And it was so good.

Sometimes miracles are the quietest of things, and yet they still have the power to be a hinge that life turns on.  Like the hugs from your adult sons.

So I’m going to bed with this scripture tonight.

Daniel 6:27sig10-004_inline
He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
Ready to take on the weekend.

Tender mercies for sure.

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Sunday Night before School, Courage Quotes

I ran across an old post full of courage quotes.  The lift they gave me reminded me that I need to get back into the habit of lifting my spirits with scriptures and courage quotes.  So I went hunting this evening, and I found that I couldn’t pick just one…  I guess you’ll have to enjoy me doing a bit of a collage of courage quotes.
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First- this one seemed to talk to me personally and profoundly—
“Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections.”- Saint Francis de Sales
And when considering my faults….
“You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.'”- Maya Angelou

Because, so long and steep feels the mountain of life, that I find myself totally feeling like this one….

“Don’t wish me happiness – I don’t expect to be happy it’s gotten beyond that, somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor – I will need them all. “-Anne Morrow Lindbergh
But then I found these quotes- they will probably end up on the bathroom mirror for this month…..
“We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity. “-Barbara de Angelis
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”- Winston Churchill
“Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”- Orison Swett Marden
So- as you and I get ourselves ready to try to get enough sleep to take on a Monday morning of extremely normal proportions, here is  some final thoughts to take with us in our prayers and dreams…
“The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. “-John F. Kennedy
“The principles of living greatly include the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and trial with humility. “-Thomas S. Monson
  “Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded… for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach… any more.”- Isaiah 54 :4IMG_2151
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Mighty Wins Often Come in little packages- Watching for the Good

After a long, hot week here in Arizona (115 plus) along with all the normal stress of a weekend, I had a lovely string of success moments that made me really feel grateful. And since my lesson in primary today was on sharing, I had to share my awesome tiny victories of this evening.

  • Oldest smiles and tries hard to laugh with sibs even tho a migraine is raging.  Then he catches his dad in private and whispers “Thanks Dad, I really like talking with you.”
  • DK says “Can I watch a movie please?” (note full sentences and manners- especially after a hard weekend and church)
  • Hubby says “Did you like me talking it thru calmly till we figured out where our miscommunication was?  I am really trying to learn good communication, I’m not perfect but I’m trying”
  • TeaRose and I have been newly called as primary teachers together.. she was really panicking, but afterwards today- she admitted being around the 6 yr olds was very fun today.
  • Brand made it all the way thru the full 3 meeting block of YSA (young single adults)meetings, and stayed for their after church mingle to get some of his home teaching with his partner done.
  • And the house is quiet and at peace.  What a great way to end the day.

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Categories: "only with Autism" Adventures, LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | Leave a comment

Jello-Chia food bars

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Well- I promised the recipe for the bars I used for my sweetie to take with her to her Pioneer Trek.  As a success note- she tried her best, and ended up only needing to rely on these bars once.  (whoo hoo!!!!)

So, I found the original recipe here; and she does a really great job with cooking photos (which I don’t) so I am going to let you hop over to her site for that kind of details if you need them…

So, here’s the original recipe ingredients…

Ingredients:
2 cups oats (regular or quick)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons honey
1 3 oz package jello (orange or lemon–these bars already have a high sugar content, and a sweeter jello just makes them more sweet)
3 Tablespoons water

  1. Mix oats, powdered milk, sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix water, jello, honey in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil.
  3. Add jello mixture to oats mixture and blend well with a mixer. If the dough is too dry to stick together, add water one tablespoon at a time- here in dry Arizona, I needed 4 tablespoons to get a mix that clumped, but was not too wet.
  4. After it’s thoroughly mixed, press into a lined (with parchment paper) 9″x13″ pan. (*if you put another parchment paper on top, you can use your rolling pin, then discard the top paper) Make sure to press it down firmly.
  5. Cut dough into bars before you bake, and ensure they’re completely cut through. (I cut it into 24 bars, in a four pieces by six arrangement.)
  6. Bake bars at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove from pan and allow to cool. (Alternatively, you can dehydrate them at 145 degrees for 4-6 hours.) (the goal is totally dry)
  7. After dry and cooled, separate bars and package in a foodsaver bag or mylar bag.

Notes:

We used quick oats, for an easier to chew bar, and orange flavored jello; and I also added 1/4 Cup chia seeds, for the added protein and nutrition I have been trying to get into her.  The resulting bar is really sweet tasting (which she loved) and tasted a lot like a lemon drop in crunchy form.   For myself, I might try reducing the sugar a bit next try,  but it doesn’t bother me much as this is not a diet bar- it’s a trying to get food IN my kids bar.  🙂  Even so, it is still way under 200 calories per bar, when cut into 24 bars like I did, which easily compares with commercial brands.  I found another blog that tried this recipe too- and he did some basic math for calories- for those who are interested, here.

We are already planning our next flavors- starting with strawberry.  And I have also started playing with an idea in my head for bone-broth crackers.  I’ll let you know if they work.

Happy Trails!

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A Family History kind of week

P1030761It’s been a Family History kind of week, this week; dominated mostly, by the once-every-four-years handcart reenactment that our church organizes for the youth.  Called “Trek”, it’s an off the grid space during the summer where they work as groups to pull their stuff in real handcarts;  bringing them closer to the pioneers, their own ancestors, and each other.  Last Sunday saw me still finishing the sewing the pioneer clothes for my youngest (yup, it’s been that kind of year) but it turned out super cute!  Then she was packed, and I could focus on packing for her brother.P1030763

Well- that was my hopes anyway.  In the end he was overcome with bad scout camp memories and fears stuck in rigid thinking mode- and I just couldn’t find it in my heart to force him to go.  So I let him stay home, tho I still have yet to feel up to unpacking his gear; while bright and early Wednesday morning, off went my youngest.  I was more than a little jealous.

(oh- I should include a side note here; one of the few invisible struggles that Kydee inherited is a real sensitivity to a lot of foods.  So we also experimented with a pintrest recipe for high protein survival bars.  They turned out great- I’ll put them on a post sometime soon.)

Moving thru the week was quiet- all the other kids missed their joyous sister.  but some of it was good.  Everyone was on such a zoned-out even keel, that for much of Friday, I enjoyed participating in the “World Indexing Event” with my church.  This had me reading all sorts of marriage records for people in Kentucky- a place I have never been, but now I feel lovingly connected to.

Then Saturday came and it was time to go get Kydee, and hear all the stories from their adventure.   Quite the adventure of fun it was.  We were regaled with the story of her being caught wrong against the bushes and knocked over–right into the path of the cart-wheel.  And we were all amazed and our faith strengthened to find out that all she got was a couple of small bruises.  And her Great Grandpa would be suitably proud to hear that she did exceptionally awesome at the rifle range. 🙂

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The part called the “Women’s Pull” where all the guys hike up the hill early to allow the kids to feel the struggle of the time when the men of that pioneer group had been called to be in the “Mormon Battalion”. Yup- that’s really what the handcarts looked like.

 

DK was a little sad about his choice to stay home when he heard that; but then not, as he listened to the talk from the other boys about how they all enjoyed talking together. His peers are growing old enough to not tease or actively hurt, but they still never talk to him as a friend.  sigh.  I ache for him, well for all of my angels really in my most private heart; but if I frown or let the tears escape, it makes them sad and panic– so I smile.

anyway-speaking of angels;  Angels sure watched over my Kydee on her trek.  The spirit has whispered a lot to me this week too, prompting me in pondering some of my own ancestors that traveled those long paths of immigration.  Crossing vast landscapes for what they believed in.  I actually have a lot of pioneers in my heritage- but one in particular has been on my mind all week.  Her name was Marianne Gardiol; a lovely little (under 5′ tall) Italian girl from the distPyranees Mountains.  At 19, she left her home and family and all she knew, and traveled by foot, boat, and train from Italy to frontier Utah.  I wonder in awe at the courage and determination in such an adventure.  And when she landed in Salt Lake City, meeting Brigham Young, she still did not speak any English.  But When President Young called to John Dalton Jr. and said “I want you to look after her”- Her faith was great enough to trust the Prophet of her new faith and marry the blonde man who was nearly 18″ taller than she was.  🙂 And she never did waver in her commitment, tho family stories say that she never really got good at English.  Still, I feel a strong connection.  Her dark hair changed my family line for all the following generations till my and my sister’s girls.  And I think likewise, it might be thru her that my family has always felt so strongly about  Sticking true to your faith no matter what… and also of the power of close family ties to make it thru all that life throws at you.  She was truly a mighty woman of valor.

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2012

You know, perhaps this is why we are encouraged to seek out our family stories.  tonight’s ponderings have really helped me.  Knowing someone who loves you, has gone thru it all before, and out the other side– it helps.  Tonight has brought comfort and courage to the trenches of daily life.  It helps me remember that we can make it too.  (And I sure have some cute pioneer girls of my own 🙂 )

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2016

 

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | 2 Comments

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