snow day, granola, benja!

I used to wake up early to check the news and see if school was cancelled. 
These days I wake up early to see if my husband has to go to work! 
I'm supposed to be unbiased - to want him to go to work so he can provide, etc. etc. 
But secretly, I was so thrilled the four inches in our front yard kept him home yesterday! 

After our new early morning routine (he works out while I watch and read - gooooood system), we declared the day a cuddle-baking-reading-Dora-watching-festival of a day. And I made this vanilla granola that I've been just itching to find time to make! It's not all that labor intensive but there's not many hours in the day that I can commit to checking on the granola while it's in the oven with three ankle munchers around, UNLESS it's a snow day and the hubs is home from work! Hallelujah! 

surveying the sights and assembling our ingredients

I adapted this recipe from several different ones, but my favorite addition was crushed freeze-dried-bananas from Trader Joes. My sweet friend, Sarah, told her mom how much I love the TJ's and how much I miss it here in Columbia and her mom works there! She sent us the sweetest bag of TJ's goodies filled to the brim. I figured I could either eat all the freeze dried bananas in one swoop or preserve them for the days to come in our granola. 
I think I made the better choice. 

crushed banana goodness

Also. Can I tell you about something else? 
It's becoming more and more rare that I get on the internets and brag on my kiddos for hours on end - but man, I love their guts. I could just write about the wonder and weirdness of them for hours and hours and hours. 
They're all my favorite. All three of them, my favorite human beings that ever walked this earth (besides their Daddy). 
Today I'd like to bless your life with a new segment we'll call......

Bits and Pieces of Big Benj 

(some things you might not know but you DEFINITELY should)
- did you know our Benja sleeps till about 10am on the daily? That is no joke. And that little man goes to bed at 7 on the dot and takes a three hour nap still. Must be nice. I seriously miss him most of the day, because I just enjoy his cranky little company. 
- Oh, I haven't told you? He's the grump of all grumps. He's a little cranky and we like him that way. He's kind of like the grandpa of our family, who's fussiness is endearing and delightful. 
- His best friend in this whole world is his "pupppeeeeee". His giant stuffed puppy that is literally six inches taller than him. He sleeps with it, takes it with him in the car, and I honestly don't know what we'll do when it comes time to wash that fool. 
- He is talking all the time now. Most of his phrase/sentences are extremely slurred and hilarious. Things like, "mommmmmeeeee wher dat pupppeeeeee?!" or "mommmeeeeee i wan dat snacckkkkkkkkk". I'll try and get some on video because they're kind of too cute. 
- Two of his most favorite things in America: cuddling and eating. Tonight, for our snow day dinner - we let the kids eat on the couch to be closer to the fire, and he was in HEAVEN. Sitting on the couch with blankkeeee and puppppeeee, while eating pizza? Benja says hollah!

ok, back to granola. 

I enjoyed the granola atop a serving of my favorite smoothie ever
Benja & the big kids got some pasta with "butter" for snow day lunchtime. 

I highly suggest. 
You know what else I highly suggest - trying out one of Mama Kat's writing prompts
I'm taking the plunge back towards big girl writing and trying one tonight. 
You should too! 

Oh, and definitely make this granola. 
And DEFINITELY have yourself a 
Benja or come cuddle mine.

benja's favorite granola
4 cups of old fashioned oats
1/2 cup of chopped cashews
1/2 cup of chopped almonds
1/2 cup of chopped dates
1/2 cup of chopped freeze dried bananas
1/4 cup of sugar 
1/3 cup of vegetable oil 
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp vanilla 
1/3 cup of honey

Directions: heat last five ingredients in a saucepan until almost boiling. Combine all dry ingredients. Mix wet and dry. Bake at 275 degrees for about an hour, mixing every fifteen minutes or so. To finish mine off, I sprinkled it with a small handful of kosher salt & flax seed each. Enjoy!