Friday, January 30, 2015

The Trials of Motherhood

Well, it’s been one of those weeks. Not even a Not Quite Ordinary Observations post! But, I have to take a few minutes to share this one.

Yesterday we were in the car, and Doug opened the between-seat storage compartment to reveal our stash of M&Ms. You know – the necessary stash for those moments when you just need a little touch of sweet. Okay, so not sweet. Chocolate. Let’s just be honest here.

Anyway…

The options on this occasion were peanut butter (Doug’s preference) or dark chocolate (my preference, although I love the peanut butter too).

I thought I’d be a nice mama (and wife) and give the kids an option instead of just handing out the peanut butter M&Ms that I expected at least two of them to choose.

I was in for a big surprise.

There was no hesitation.

Not even the briefest pause.

“Dark chocolate!” came the immediate response.

My jaw dropped and Doug laughed and laughed. And laughed some more.

Even Steven, my peanut butter-aholic, didn’t hesitate. Not for a second.

Why, oh why, do I encourage my children to try the good stuff? Why do I set myself up to have to share? Why?

I’m now off to hide the rest of my dark chocolate!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Multi-Tasking Rice Cooker

So, last week we received a rice cooker for review.

I love rice cookers. I feel lazy when I say that, because rice is not hard to make. But, the rice cooker really is a handy appliance.

But, this new one is just plain fun. No, I’m not reviewing it here. I’m just going to show you one of the things we did with it last weekend.

This particular model has multiple settings to show some of the other things you can do with the appliance. And, as Alton Brown so wisely points out, there is no room for unitaskers in a kitchen. Any appliance or tool needs to have multiple uses. Why not the rice cooker?

Why not indeed?

Anyway, this particular one claimed to be able to cook a cake. Now, the directions said that a box cake would take 50 minutes, so it doesn’t save time. What, then, might be the advantage? We just HAD to give it a try to find out!

Angie and I mixed up an apple cake. Yeah, a little more dense than the regular cake mix. So, I figured it would take extra time.

2015-01-17 14.01.28

But, we mixed it up, glopped it into the rice cooker, and turned it on for 50 minutes.

2015-01-17 14.05.15

Then I came back and turned it back on, setting my timer for another 25 minutes.

Wait, what happened to the finished product?

Well…I neglected to get a picture before it was consumed. Take my word for it, though. It was not only picture-perfect, it was absolutely delicious. The texture was amazing, complete with a crispy top and bottom. Oh my!

So, what’s the advantage? Well, in the hot summer, this will let off little extra heat. The even heating made for an awesome texture. And, if you use a regular cake recipe rather than one that’s more like a quick bread, you can turn it on and then just let it switch over to warm when it’s done.

Okay, so maybe this does sound a bit like a review. But, it was more just fun. Oh, and yummy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

We Got To!

How many times do we get excited because we get to serve?

Our plan for yesterday was for the whole family to spend much of the afternoon finishing up some work around the church, little tidying tasks leftover from a work day on Monday. Then we’d finish the evening by prepping the dinner for our association’s executive board meeting, held at our church this time around.

But I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a bus, lacking the energy to do much of anything that required me being up off the couch.

So, Doug and the kids went up to the church without me.

As the evening meal was ending and the meeting was getting started, I drove up to the church to pick up the kids and bring them home. They started sharing about the afternoon and evening, and they excitedly said, “We got to serve the meal tonight!”

We got to…

They were so excited because they were given the privilege of standing behind the food table and placing food on people’s plates. It was such an honor for them.

This is not a first, but every time it happens, it humbles me. Am I ever even half so happy to serve?

May they always have this heart. May it bleed over into all aspects of life. And may I learn from it, becoming more like Christ because of the Christ-like example I see in my children.