Life Changes, Cereal Squares, and Miracles From Heaven

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You’ve no doubt noticed that things have been just a little bit quieter around here on the blog and on all my social media channels lately. I once heard it said that when your online life was quiet it meant your offline life was anything but, and, at least lately, I’ve found that to be the truth!

While those of you who are my long-time devoted readers know that life is seldom routine for us, lately it’s been kicked into even crazier gear with some of the biggest life changes out there. Namely, Bob starting his new career after graduating with his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering, us house hunting for our first ever home purchase, preparing to move to the area where he’s now working, and a huge school year all-too-rapidly approaching with Tyler starting Kindergarten!

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While all of these are big, wonderful, awesome things–huge life changes like new careers, moving, purchasing a home, transferring schools, and starting school are also notoriously full of hassles and stress. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the latter part and to forget how to embrace and experience life’s big moments. I know I’ve been struggling a lot with this lately, and although your big moments right now might be different than mine, there’s no doubt that you might be experiencing some and having this same struggle, too. So today I wanted to share with you a big ol’ dose of inspiration and encouragement I received lately–and a family favorite recipe (because desserts with chocolate in them instantly help!!! amIright?! 😉 )

While I was in Walmart the other day I noticed that Miracles From Heaven had just been released. I’ve wanted to see it since the preview came out, and I’ve heard amazing things about it so I picked us up a copy. The timing of me watching it was almost uncanny. It was an amazing, moving film about the Beam Family that is full of love, faith, and spirit. It filled my heart, my eyes (like I told Amber, happy tears!), and gave me a renewed perspective. My favorite quote from the movie was this one:

As you can see, we now live like every day is a miracle… because for us, it is. – Christy Beam

Here are the ways I’m deciding to live like every day is a miracle, and I hope they’ll inspire you to live like it is as well! If you haven’t already purchased the movie there isn’t a better time to than right now because when you buy the Miracles From Heaven DVD here, $1 of your purchase will be donated to the Children’s Miracle Network!

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Perspective Through Thankfulness Nothing shifts my focus from the not-so-great to the wonderful like a good dose of perspective does. Watching Miracles From Heaven was the perfect reminder of this. How thankful I am for the huge things like my family, our health, our freedom, our faith, our jobs, down to the seemingly little things we take for granted like hot showers, air conditioning, being able to enjoy a slice of pizza ….I literally could go on for hours. Whenever we stop and embrace thankfulness it shifts our perspective and helps us embrace life’s big moments for the blessings they are!

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Embracing Big Changes Through Bonding Another favorite part of Miracles From Heaven was when the Dr. in Boston told Christy that Family was what would do her daughter the best right then. This is such a beautiful truth. No matter what any one is going through, having time together as a family is so critical. Through all of this craziness in our lives, I’ve been making sure to be intentional to spend lots of time bonding with the kids this summer. As I mentioned Tyler is getting ready to start school, which is such an important time in life! I’ve also made sure to focus just as much, if not more, on bonding with Amber. Going into 3rd grade she’s in that critical point in life when transitions are hard and even just starting a new grade is scary, let alone a whole new school in a new town. Making sure we have lots of special, fun times together gives me the ability to teach and check in on her and also gives Amber the opportunity to ask questions and learn from me. Although, much like in the movie and the dynamic between Christy and Anna Beam, I have to admit that Amber’s faith and attitudes through everything often end up in me being the one learning what true, pure, childlike faith and trust really are!

Some of our favorite ways to bond are playing board & card games together, our bedtime routine which includes reading and playing together each day, swimming in the pool, and snuggling up together to watch movies. My favorite way to bond, though, is baking together! Every summer my mom would make Cereal Squares for us, and I would help. As I got older I took over making them for our family each summer, and now that I have kids of my own making Cereal Squares together has continued on to now be one of our favorite summer traditions. It comes together in just a short while and the fact it’s no bake makes it the ideal summer dessert.

As you know, I can never keep a delicious family recipe to myself, so I’m sharing it with you all today! It’s the perfect summer treat for BBQs, Camping, Pizza Night, or just because!

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Cereal Squares Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Light Karo Syrup
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 8 Cups Crisp Rice Cereal
  • 1 Bag Butterscotch Chips
  • 1 Bag Dark Chocolate Chips

Butter or spray a 13×9 inch pan. In a large bowl measure out the cups of crisp rice cereal and set aside.

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In a sauce pan bring Light Karo Syrup & Sugar to a boil.

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While heating up the syrup & sugar in a double broiler begin to melt Dark Chocolate & Butterscotch Chips together. (Tip: a double broiler works best, but in a pinch you can make your own using a sauce pan fill a few inches full of water, and a metal pan placed over it.) Melting the chocolate with a barrier of water keeps it from burning.

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When the syrup and sugar are boiling remove the pan from the heat and add in the peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until blended and then pour into the large bowl of rice cereal and mix until well blended. Press firmly into the 13×9 inch pan using a spatula or turning spatula.

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When the dark chocolate & butterscotch chips are melted stir together and then pour and spread on top of the cereal mixture, creating a frosting like effect. Allow to sit until hardened, then serve. For quicker set time you may place them in the fridge.

Here’s a handy printable recipe so you can keep your laptop out of the kitchen:

Cereal Squares
Recipe Type: No Bake Dessert
Prep time:
Total time:
This delicious no-bake recipe will be sure to become a summer family tradition!
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Light Karo Syrup
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 8 Cups Crisp Rice Cereal
  • 1 Bag Butterscotch Chips
  • 1 Bag Dark Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Butter or spray a 13×9 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl measure out the cups of crisp rice cereal and set aside.
  3. In a sauce pan bring Light Karo Syrup & Sugar to a boil.
  4. In a double broiler begin to melt Dark Chocolate & Butterscotch Chips together over low heat.
  5. When the syrup and sugar are boiling remove the pan from the heat and add in the peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until blended and then pour into the large bowl of rice cereal and mix until well blended. Press firmly into the 13×9 inch pan using a spatula or turning spatula.
  6. When the dark chocolate & butterscotch chips are melted stir together and then pour and spread on top of the cereal mixture, creating a frosting like effect. Allow to sit until hardened, then serve.

I hope that you are able to treasure the important things this summer, that you’ll enjoy this delicious new recipe, and that you’ll be sure to pick up a copy of Miracles From Heaven if you haven’t already! I promise you won’t regret doing any of those things!

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3 thoughts on “Life Changes, Cereal Squares, and Miracles From Heaven”

  • Nicole, your life sounds so FULL right now, but I love your perspective! As a military family, we go through changes like this every few years and it is only getting more difficult as the kids get older but I hope I can teach them to look at these big moments with faith and thankfulness like you mentioned and I know we are bonding through it. I loved reading about your life and I can’t see what God has in store for your family as these next chapters unfold! I’m so glad you enjoyed the movie and I can’t wait to try those cereal bars! #client

    • Yes! We actually are a former military family (hubby went to college using the GI Bill), so we’ve always gone through changes like this as well, but I’ve come to appreciate renting and military movers now that we’re doing it on our own! Thank you for your families service to our country and for your best wishes to us along the way! <3

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