Homemade Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies


I love to cook.

I love to bake.

I love to eat.

Granted, I also love to exercise and play with my kids. So all that cooking, baking, and eating has to be done in moderation! In addition, due to continuing health problems, I have had to once again completely cut sugar out of diet. Oh how much better I do without it! But oh how yummy it tastes!

I made these cookies sometime in June. They were so good! I’ve been experimenting with no sugar/low-glycemic cooking the past few weeks, so I will have to try these again and see if I can recreate them. But for now, here are the cookies in all their sugary glory.

©janetphillips_june24_2015_web-3I used the recipe HERE

©janetphillips_june24_2015_web-10©janetphillips_june24_2015_web-8©janetphillips_june24_2015_web-13©janetphillips_june24_2015_web-9 copy©janetphillips_june24_2015_web-10


Why Yes, I Did Change My Header After Four Years…


It was time. It might change again. If you on a blog reader, just click here for a peek.

It matches the header on my photography site.


I plan to have more of a presence on both sites. After the craziest roller coaster of a ride this past year, we might just be coming upon some semblance of normal. We still have to move (it got pushed back a month), but I’ve been feeling better, I’ve been cooking a lot more, and I’ve been much more me lately.

Like most days, my Bible time today offered me fresh grace and hope and a reminder that He is always with me.

“He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.”

“Here my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed.”

“Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice. For You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me; all Your billows and Your waves passed over me.”

We went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment.”



Family Night: CAMPOUT


I don’t talk about it much here, but back in 2009 I started a website called The Daily Digi. It is a site dedicated to digital scrapbookers and photographers. I ran it for a year, and then after starting homeschooling I realized it was just too much for me. My partner, Steph, took over for me and did an amazing job with running the site for five years. Due to some personal changes in her life, she asked me last summer if I would be interested in taking the site back. Knowing it would make our time more flexible for doing partnership development for our Wycliffe ministry, we decided to go for it.


In short, the site works to promote digital designers and also to share with the scrapbooking community the latest news, techniques, and products. In addition to daily posts on scrapbooking and photography, each month we also publish something called The Digi Files. For the low price of $7.50, scrappers get seven full scrapbooking kits to download. With more than $50 worth of product for just $7.50, it’s very popular!


This month I wanted to include a little something different. I am a firm believer in being intentional with creating memories. Obviously, many of our memories can’t and shouldn’t be planned. On the other hand, if we aren’t intentional and creating moments, the days start to slip by and “tomorrow” never comes. So, I created a fun, printable party pack that families could use at home. You know how much I love camping! So, if you can’t (or don’t want to) head to the campground, a fun campout at home is the next best thing!


Granted, I am one of “those moms” who really enjoys this type of activity. Creating with paper and food is fun for me. This may not be your thing and don’t for one minute feel guilty about it. If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t do it.


However, I also know many moms who want to do fun and creative things but don’t really know where to start. That’s where this party pack comes in. Everything is done for you. I researched and created so you wouldn’t have to. You can just print, cut, and enjoy! It’s only available until the end of the month, so if you are interested, grab it now. Otherwise, just sit back and enjoy my pictures. We had a fun afternoon! The kids loved having food I would never normally buy (isn’t that what camping is for?) and I loved watching my little people be together. Win Win.

©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-42 ©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-21©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-35©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-32 copy©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-30©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-29©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-28©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-32 copy3©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-26©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-32 copy2©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-24©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-38©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-41©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-49©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-51©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-46©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-45©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-58©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-56©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-32 copy5©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-32 copy4

After eating, we had a scavenger hunt. I paired the big kids with a little kid and it was the sweetest thing to watch!


Here were the teams:©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-59©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-61©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-62©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-63©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-64©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-66©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-67©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-70©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-75©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-65©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-68©janetphillips_april27_2015_web-73

It’s Been Four Years


It was 2011. I had been praying about my word for the year. Just as the calendar turned to January 1, God gave me my word: ROOTED.

A usual, I didn’t know what God would choose to teach me through it over the year, but I knew the context. Immediately, this verse came to mind:

“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” — Colossians 2:6,7

At the time, I so wanted to be built up in Christ. I had deep longings for service, for opportunities, for His direction. Although I didn’t understand it then, He was telling me, “You must be rooted first.”

It’s helpful to think deeply for a moment on the purpose and function of roots. An agricultural society would understand the significance more readily than our culture that scarcely knows how to grow anything other than mold in the fridge (myself included!)

Roots serve multiple functions:

1) Roots anchor the tree. Without the roots, without the deep penetration into the soil, the tree could not survive. What we see when we look at a beautiful tree is only half the reality. The other half lies beneath, doing the work that allows the beauty to be exposed.

2) Roots take up minerals and water from the soil, transforming into life-giving sustenance for the tree.

3) Roots store food for use in later growth — in the trunk, branches, and leaves.

Over the course of the year, God showed me what it meant to be rooted. He taught me that the reason I so often felt beaten down was that my roots were shallow. I would let them grow for a while and then pull them up when waiting caused me to lose interest. He taught me that without being rooted, I could not be nourished. Yes, of course, I would survive temporarily, but wilting and dying was inevitable. He taught me that the more I rooted, the more I could store for when the heat and drought came.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream. and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield.” — Jeremiah 17:7-9

About halfway through 2011, my roots began to take hold. Beginning when I was twelve years old, God’s word fascinated me. I remember my spirit being quickened the first time and in the thousands of instances that followed, I had no trouble believing that God’s Word was truly living and active. However, wanting to read God’s Word and actually doing it are two very different things.

I’ve shared my story before, the most important resolution you can make,  and what my Bible time looks like on a regular basis.

But today, I am reflecting on what regular and systematic reading of God’s Word over the course of four years has done. Never has the benefit been more clear to me than over the last six months.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t expect the wave. And after feeling better for a few weeks, I certainly didn’t expect another wave to come crashing down. And yet, it did. Already weary from before, I scarcely had breath to keep going.

“If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction.” — Psalm 119:92

I read that verse a few days ago and it was all very clear to me: had I not found my delight in God’s Word and intentionally rooted myself in it, I would have perished. Whether that death would have been physical, spiritual, or emotional…I don’t know. I don’t want to know. What I do know is that God’s Word has sustained me. Is sustaining me. It is my life. My strength. My song. My deliverance.

That is because Jesus sustains me. He is my Life. My Strength. My Song. My Deliverance.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God…In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” John 1:1-5

As the wave recedes, I am thankful once again that I have rooted myself in the Word. I am standing strong with joy in my heart, even as I tend to my emotional and mental injuries. This is only possible because I have been well-nourished and well-supplied for the future.

Is it any wonder we have given ourselves to the cause of the Bibleless people? If I know the One Thing that can truly save and satisfy, how could I be loving to do anything but work to ensure everyone has it? And how could I be loving to not encourage those of you who already have it to saturate yourself in it? There is no alternative to growth, to survival. The 180,000 million people who wait for their very first word of Scripture in a language they can clearly understand need it just as much as you who have to blow the dust off your cover every Sunday.

Why not start today? Why not open those pages and let the living word of Christ penetrate your heart and spirit. Become rooted. There is nothing more beneficial you could do with your time, both for now and for eternity.

The Mom of Littles


I’ve been parenting little ones for more than twelve years. That is a long time with have babies and toddlers and little people who need you to do most everything for them.

©janetphillips_june15_2015_web-1 ©janetphillips_june15_2015_web-4 ©janetphillips_june15_2015_web-30

I have loved it. Truly. It’s been more work than I ever could have imagined it and I am not immune from the desire (and secret plans) to run away and go on a cruise all by my lonesome self, but all in all, I have loved it. When life gets hard, I know I have little people who will make me laugh on a regular basis.

©janetphillips_june15_2015_web-9 ©janetphillips_june15_2015_web-22

That said, I am also really enjoying the new stage of having some older kids. Imagine…kids who can get their own water, wipe their own bottoms, and have a real I-can-follow-it conversation! Older kids are so much fun and it is so miraculous to watch their personalities start to shine.
©janetphillips_june15_2015_web-18 ©janetphillips_june15_2015_web-21

But alas, I am the mother to littles and bigs. And that can be tough! Sometimes I feel that the older kids get the short end of the stick because the little ones just need me so much. Sometimes I feel the little ones are getting neglected because the big kids need me more for school and because they can actually play a game that doesn’t involve Candy or Lands or Shoots or Ladders.

©janetphillips_june15_2015_web-5 ©janetphillips_june15_2015_web-23

So, as if the guilt of motherhood isn’t enough on its own, I get a double whammy! If I am being intentional with my older ones, I fear the little ones are missing out. If I cater to the little ones, I fear losing the heart of my older ones. It’s true, we do a lot as a whole family and the bigs and littles integrate their activities all the time. And yet, I always feel the need to clone myself so I can be all things to my kids (some for good motives, some for prideful ones).

©janetphillips_june15_2015_web-25 copy ©janetphillips_june15_2015_web-28

Every once in a while, our family takes the divide and conquer approach the the half dozen toe heads running around. This past week, Jason took the older three to Camp and I stayed home with the littles. It was a tough decision, and one we didn’t come to lightly, but in the end we felt it was best for all involved.


And let me tell you….it was great and amazingly difficult all at the same time. I sat there most of the week thinking, “I don’t know how you mamas if all little ones do it!” And then I remembered that I was in fact one of those mamas not too long ago and I somehow survived, with great kids to boot. I just forgot how much work it is and how little reward. It’s not that the bigger kids do the work for me when they are home, but rather, the dynamic is just so different. They want to play with their younger siblings. They want to listen to ALL. THE. WORDS. They want to help little ones get dressed on Sunday and buckle seat belts in the car.


Hard as it was and as much as I was missing conversations with people over the age of seven, it was also wonderful. It was so nice to not have a divided heart. I was able to just simply be with the little ones and be greeted with princess kisses in the morning and pleas for water spraying on the trampoline in the afternoons.


They are just so sweet and little and fun to be around. This season will be over before I know it and I want to soak it in as long as I can.

Camping With Friends


It was the second annual Phillips-Ransom camping trip. It was great.

We met them back in 2008, six kids between us. With a half dozen each now, we are a site to behold. Dear friends, knitted in heart by common ideals, dreams, and life plans. What a joy it is to spend a week just doing life together.

Our photos from last year can be found here.©janetphillips_june6_2015_web-27

Lots of sitting by the fire, cooking, eating, walking, talking and playing. With a newborn in tow, our time was more laid back than last year, but it was just what we needed. Good friends, good fellowship.

©janetphillips_june2_2015_web-2 ©janetphillips_june2_2015_web-12PTS | campingwithfriends1©janetphillips_june2_2015_web-33©janetphillips_june2_2015_web-34©janetphillips_june2_2015_web-36PTS | campingwithfriends2©janetphillips_june2_2015_web-40©janetphillips_june2_2015_web-61©janetphillips_june2_2015_web-54©janetphillips_june2_2015_web-49©janetphillips_june3_2015_web-11PTS | campingwithfriends4PTS | campingwithfriends5©janetphillips_june3_2015_web-13©janetphillips_june3_2015_web-15©janetphillips_june3_2015_web-18©janetphillips_june3_2015_web-21©janetphillips_june3_2015_web-24©janetphillips_june3_2015_web-27©janetphillips_june3_2015_web-28PTS | campingwithfriends9PTS | campingwithfriends8©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-20©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-19©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-28©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-34PTS | campingwithfriends10©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-40PTS | campingwithfriends11©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-44©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-56©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-57©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-60PTS | campingwithfriends12PTS | campingwithfriends13©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-13©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-82©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-65©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-17PTS | campingwithfriends22©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-67©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-117©janetphillips_june4_2015_web-68©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-15©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-11PTS | campingwithfriends15©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-28©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-32PTS | campingwithfriends14©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-37©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-43©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-42©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-47©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-48PTS | campingwithfriends19©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-39©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-46©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-52PTS | campingwithfriends20©janetphillips_june5_2015_web-54©janetphillips_june6_2015_web-7©janetphillips_june6_2015_web-5©janetphillips_june6_2015_web-3PTS | campingwithfriends16PTS | campingwithfriends17©janetphillips_june6_2015_web-10©janetphillips_june6_2015_web-15PTS | campingwithfriends18©janetphillips_june6_2015_web-16©janetphillips_june6_2015_web-17©janetphillips_june6_2015_web-19PTS | campingwithfriends21©janetphillips_june6_2015_web-29©janetphillips_june3_2015_web-29

Off the Face of the Earth

©Janet Phillips_may18_2015_web-35

No, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. Though at times, I wonder…

Jason and I had a week away together — our first whole WEEK away since we had our first child in 2003. It was wonderful. We kept it simple; we went camping.

We talked. We worked. We prayed. We planned. We rested. We walked. We took pictures. We remembered why we chose each other so long ago and why we still choose each other today.

©Janet Phillips_may18_2015_web-56


Being married is a good thing. It’s a hard thing. But it’s a good thing.

We’re now catching up on life and getting ready to spend some time with our dearest friends. It might be next week before I am around these parts again.

©Janet Phillips_may19_2015_web-14



All I Wanted

PTS | All I Wanted


All I wanted for Mother’s Day was to go camping.

This was my twelfth Mother’s Day. And after all these years, I know myself and my family very well. I have no need of breakfast in bed (seems silly when I wake hours before everyone else!) I don’t need to be showered with gifts (we have far too much stuff as it is). I don’t need a fancy Sunday lunch (we had our favorite New York Style pizza because it’s what we all love).


All I wanted for Mother’s Day was to be with my family, doing what we love best: camping.

Back in February, after returning from a camping trip to the Everglades, I wrote this:

LOVE camping…what I love about camping is that it strips all the extra stuff away. I don’t worry about doing laundry. I don’t worry about cleaning up. I don’t worry about checking email. I don’t put on makeup and I often don’t even bother changing clothes. When all of those little tasks are taken away, you are just left with time. Time to read, time to play, time to sleep, and time to talk. We did all of those things.

Yep, it’s all I wanted.


Camping takes all the things I love best and throws them together:

family time
being offline
taking pictures
watching my kids play
lazy schedules
simple but yummy meals
playing outside
being in God’s creation
time to snuggle and read
warm fires in the cool breeze
seeing kids explore and imagine


We left after church on Sunday and stayed two nights. Staying fairly local (a state recreation area just 45 minutes from home) meant more time to play and less time to drive. It was perfect. The kids played and explored. They founds bugs and lizards and a turtle. We swam in the lake and hiked for miles. We watched a blue heron who visited a number of times. The kids got dirty, sandy, and sweaty. I couldn’t have asked for a better Mother’s Day Gift (though the dozens of post-it notes with all the reasons they love me covering our dining table on Sunday morning comes pretty close!)


I’m thankful for these twelve years of being a mama and all the joy these kids bring to my life.

©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-39 ©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-37 ©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-15 ©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-40©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-41©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-30©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-27©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-23©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-21©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-18©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-16©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-13©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-3©janetphillips_may12_2015_web-1©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-91©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-85©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-84©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-82©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-78©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-74©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-73©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-70©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-64©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-56©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-53©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-47©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-43©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-39©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-38©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-28©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-27©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-24©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-14 copy8©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-14 copy7©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-13©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-9©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-14 copy5©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-14 copy6©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-14 copy4©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-14 copy3©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-14 copy2©janetphillips_may11_2015_web-14 copy©janetphillips_may10_2015_web-75

We Have the Time

PTS | We Have The Time

I remember the stress and frustration clearly.

Baby number five was a few months old and the stress scales began to tip. My mental to-do list and want-to-do list far surpassed the hours on the clock.

I climbed into the shower, wishing fervently that no child would notice I had escaped for a much needed respite from the dirt — physical and metaphorical — of motherhood.

I prayed in earnest,

“Oh Lord! I just need more time. If only I had time, I could do so much!”

PTS | We Have The Time_4

That might have been my first heart-wrenching plea for more minutes in my hour, but it was far from the last.

“If only I had more time!” 

My dreamer idealist heart screams at the universe for its ritualistic passage of the minutes, hours, days, months, and years.

“Oh that box of photos? I have been meaning to deal with those. I just haven’t had the time.”

Sitting down and reading with the little ones is so important; I just wish there was time for it.”

“I really wanted to take that family a meal, but I ran out of time.”

“Those books that have been brewing in my heart for so long would be written if only I had more time.”

And then the self-sympathy tries to help.

“There will be more time later.”

“When the kids are older, you will write.”

“If you get more rest, you’ll have the time to do that tomorrow.”

“If you could just structure your time better, think of all you could accomplish!”

PTS | We Have The Time_3

I then pick myself up, feeling encouraged and hopeful that the time that always seems to be missing will be found somewhere with the missing socks and pens.

But the frustration quickly finds it’s way to its usual place, and back on the carousel I go.

But then…

My eyes fall to wise words, words from a woman who all too well knows the pressures of motherhood, suffering, servanthood,  and ministry.

Frustration is not the will of God. Of that we can be quite certain. There is time to do anything and everything that God wants us to do. Obedience fits smoothly into His given framework. 

Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline | The Glad Surrender

PTS | We Have The Time_2

Time. To. Do. Anything. And everything.

Impossible, I think. Save for the caveat:

“…that God wants us to do.”

And there it is: the key to unleashing the frustration and endless chasing after minutes.

We have the time; we must pray for the discernment.

Oh, the Excitement!

Kandawo New Testament DedicationLast week, I shared a post about The Third Jar. Other than when I released my e-book, it was the most viewed post ever. That tells me something. I am guessing what it says is that people are stunned with the reality of Bible translation needs. According to new research released by The American Bible Society and powered by Barna, 7 out of 10 American believe the Bible is available in all languages. The Third Jar tells me otherwise.

As of October 1, 2014, 4018 languages of the world have no known Scripture.

But what happens when the long awaited truth becomes available? Excitement that can barely be contained. Watch this one and a half minute video to see and hear the joy of a mother who is “going to get me one of those things.” Wycliffe and its partner organizations are working hard, all over the world, to make access to God’s word available to all people. The Kandawo New Testament was dedicated in April, both in written format and audio versions for those who are illiterate. Oh the excitement!

Tell me, do you share this woman’s joy when you anticipate hearing God’s word? 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...