Hey there, friends!
You know, in the last couple of years, as my boys have gotten bigger, I have slipped a bit off the “make it your own self” wagon.
Well…. actually, it dropped my rear end in the dirt and that wagon disappeared over the horizon faster than you can say “microwavable popcorn.”
I never meant for it to happen. In fact, I meant very specifically for it NOT to happen. I never wanted our family to be harried and hurried and rushing about from scouts, to fiddle lessons, to football to karate to book club. But children get older, and their passions sprout and try as you might, they discover that there’s a great big world full of possibilities out there, and they want to be a part of it. Their studies get more intense too, and it takes longer, more of me to help them find truth and see beauty in oh, say, algebra and latin, than it once did to inspire them with play doh and watercolors.
And so I opted for convenience until we found our groove.
It has taken me a while.
In the interest of keeping it real and speaking plainly: We bought rather than crafted. Things like nature journaling and sprouting alfalfa and making jam and handmade gifts…. few and far between. We got by and did what needed doing, and I learned to let some stuff go in the interest of peace and sanity.
I also learned to keep a sketchbook and pencils handy. All the creativity that I once poured into handmade was spent doodling away in snatched moments while I waited for piano lessons to wrap up or as I listened to memory work recitations. We all found new passions and pleasures and talents. We didn’t do a lot of handmade, but we crafted in new ways and honed new skills.
Mostly, that was fine, our season of life, but I missed the slower pace, the heart and soul that went into making something so simple as Our Daily Bread.
I think though, that we’re turning a bend of sorts. My boys are growing ever more capable of taking on some of the daily tasks. They have learned to do many jobs and do them well. We have gone from little boys “helping” (i.e. sending flour clouds into the air, emptying half a bottle of glass cleaner on one window, and sweeping everything BUT the dirt) to big boys who can really and truly HELP. They can clean, like on their own. They can cook whole meals. They can tackle half the shopping list for me. They can wash the cars and mow the lawn. They are becoming able young men.
And you know what? They can also remember “the old days” when mama made every little thing.
I often hear “remember when we….” or “remember how we used to make…”
They miss those days too.
So, here lately, when their sentences begin that way, my response has been , “I sure do. Would you like to learn how?”
And with all those many hands making light work? We had some time to learn a few new tricks too. Yesterday we took our first pass at making granola. Because what better way could there be to celebrate this new phase – this mama/boy partnership – than a His and Hers meal of yogurt + granola?
Blue Yonder Ranch Triple Fruit Granola
(this is our adaptation of an original recipe found here)
4 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 Cup apple sauce (we used Cherry Berry flavored)
2 Tablespoons Unrefined Coconut Oil (melted)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey (I replaced a 1/3 of this with cane syrup)
1 cup of chopped pecans
1 cup of dried fruit (we used equal parts cranberry, blueberry and pomegranate)
MIx all the ingredients and spread out on lined/greased cookie sheets. Bake at 300 for about 45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes. The granola will crisp up as it cools. Allow it to cool completely before storing.
For our first pass at granola, I think this was quite a success. Next time I might make it just a bit sweeter and add coconut. Come to think of it, next time I might just let a boy make it and see what comes of it.
I could get used to this new stage of life – big boys taking the wheel, lending a hand, picking up where I left off.
I think we may just be re-finding our groove, and we might even catch up with that wagon one of these days after all. Or… maybe we’ll just walk a while and enjoy the view.