What is Filling My Jar? – Thoughts on Priorities

Be all the things.  Do all the things.  Monitor all the things.  Say all the right things.  Don’t say the wrong things.

It feels like I get very busy trying to do “the things.”  It is rare for me to stop and take anything slowly.  Why? Because somehow I or society or someone has convinced me that I can’t.  ALL of the things must.be.done.

I am working really hard on trying to do the BEST things.  There are so many things that I can fill my time doing that really are useless.  I can put energy into all sorts of things that drain me and really have no purpose.  Sometimes Henry and I will laugh after we know that we’ve spent time on something that really didn’t turn out to be worth it.  We will say “well, that was an hour of our life that we will never get back.”  Isn’t that true?

There is a story that has been around for a while.  I think I might have heard it first in college in one of my education classes.  It is so true about how we fill our day, our lives.  It is a calling to look at our priorities.  Here is one version of it if you’d like to read it in full.

Basically, we have the things that we should see as the most important uses of our time.  Those are our big rocks.  Those have to go into our “jar” of life first.  Then we can pour in the other smaller things that are important (pebbles) and they still fit in the cracks.  If we start with the smallest unimportant things, the sand, and fill up our days and lives with those things….we will not be able to fit anything else in.  However, if we prioritize and put everything in its place…it fits!

My words say that my big rocks are God and my family.  My question for myself today is “Is my jar filled up accordingly?”



I am in love!  My sister in law has been making this home made granola for about a year now.  I asked for it for Christmas this year!! That is how good it is!

Last week, she sent a bag by my husband.  Let’s just say that he made sure it was okay for me to eat while he was on the way home. 🙂  He declared it safe but there wasn’t much left to enjoy.

I decided that if I wanted to eat it in the quantity that I would like (ahem…) and share it with my family that I needed to make my own.

When I make the time, I love to cook.  I get especially excited about making something that is healthy for my family.  I bought most of my ingredients through my azure standard group or Tropical Traditions.  I am really excited about having a breakfast or snack that is filling, yummy, and healthy.

I changed the recipe up just a little because I had a few things that I wanted to add and didn’t have a few things that I needed.  Thus goes life in my kitchen.

Here’s the ingredient list for my version:

3 cups rolled oats

1/2  cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup chipped coconut (coated in butter/wheat germ or flaxseed)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used coconut this time)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins

First, I had to add in a little butter.  I melted two tablespoons and tossed the coconut in it.  I added in 2 tbs of flaxseed (often use wheatgerm) and stirred until it was nice and coated.  (See there was a reason I needed the butter.)IMG_5244

 I browned the coconut in a pan on the stovetop for just a few minutes.

Now, I could have stopped there and eaten it up.  But I persevered.  I added the coconut, slivered almonds, and brown sugar into the oats.  I also decided to throw in 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds.


The next step was mixing the maple syrup, the oil (I used coconut oil rather than vegetable), and the salt.  I dumped both mixtures together and stirred. (and tasted just to be safe)

Once mixed well, the granola needs to be put onto two baking sheets (with rims) and flattened.  If you can refrain from eating it raw, you should put both pans into a preheated 250 degree oven.  The hardest part of the entire process is remembering to stir it every 15 minutes for the 1 1/4 hours to keep it from burning.  When it is all baked and cooled, add in your raisins or other dried fruit!

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Your efforts will be worth it!  I promise!


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Dollar Tree – 5 Things I Always Buy

I am a fan of Dollar Tree.  I love a great deal and I am all about keeping my money in my pocket.  While everything is not a great deal (think dolls that lose their heads while the package is being opened), there are many great finds there!


These are five things that I always buy at Dollar Tree:

  1. IMG_5214Bread   – Yes, I buy my bread at Dollar Tree!  No, there is nothing wrong with it and it has not expired.  Yes, I am able to get whole wheat bread and I have several brands to choose from.   I don’t know about you but my PB&J tastes a little better on $1 bread that $2.89 bread. 😉

2. Gift bags – In the past (before my Dollar Tree days) I could spend about as much on the gift bag as I did the gift.  Dollar Tree has bags of all sizes and for all occasions for you guessed it – a dollar!

3. Greeting cards – ALL of my cards come from Dollar Tree.  There are a lot of cute choices and once again, I haven’t spent more on the card than the gift.

4. Seasonal “happies” – This includes things that I am going to likely use once like Easter eggs, Valentine cards, Christmas items (think jingle bell necklaces, santa hats), and other novelties.

5.  Classroom decor – My Dollar Tree has bulletin board borders, letter die cuts, multiple cut outs, posters (even some scientific ones), stickers, and numerous other items that I can easily incorporate into my classroom supplies without breaking the bank.  White poster board is also 2/$1.00.  This can save your sanity during those last minute “I forgot I have a project due tomorrow” moments.

And just for a bonus, this week I bought pepperoncini peppers to use in one of my favorite recipes for Mississippi Roast in the crockpot!IMG_5224