22 February 2008

Snow Day!

Perhaps I'll get the camera out and post photos later. In the meantime, here's a shot from a few years ago, when we got 17 inches. Today's storm isn't this impressive, but we will have to get the shovels out for the first time this winter. We're getting only a couple of inches, but unfortunately it's not all snow. It's going from snow to sleet to snow to rain. Oh well. I'm not complaining. Hope you're getting all the frozen precipitation you wish for!

19 February 2008

The Unmerited Ice Cream Favor

Tonight I was blessed with the opportunity of seeing my child's tender heart humbled in a small but profound way. I don't want to make too much of it (after all, he is only six), but my heart was touched by it. Here's what happened.

We had made big plans to go to play dodge ball after dinner at the local recreation center. (Let me tell you, this is no small feat, considering Daddy was working late and it supposedly started when Rosalind would normally be going to bed, and Mommy is usually beat by that time of night, etc.) Because today is a day with a "T," it also meant that we would be having dessert, after we got home from dodge ball. Unfortunately, my eldest child didn't eat what I would consider an acceptable portion of his chicken to have been deemed deserving of dessert, and he was made aware of this fact before we left for dodge ball.

Well, long story short: we got there, and there was no dodge ball, not for a couple more weeks. But, thankfully, there was no crying, whining, or complaining. And the kids were good natured about it as well! ; )

We got home, and watched a video together instead, and afterward, went upstairs to get ready for bed. This is when my younger son reminded me that we still had not had dessert. I was hoping that for some reason he would forget, but he's outgrown that. So my eldest reminded us that he wasn't supposed to have dessert, and my youngest reminded him that he was still eligible for dessert, and with a sigh, I pulled out some ice cream cups from the freezer.

The elder son looked at me with big eyes. I could see the emotion begin to swell up in his face as he said, "So, well..." and he looked at me as if he was ready to fall apart because we were about to eat ice cream in front of him, and he knew he was not deserving of it. (Mind you, he has, on more than one occasion, had to go to bed while his younger brother enjoyed dessert, because of various and sundry reasons.)

Thankfully, before the emotion turned to anger (which it so easily does with this one), I looked at him with a twinkle in my eye and said, "Would you like to have some ice cream anyway?" And he stammered and couldn't quite tell if I was teasing him or truly offering him ice cream, and he didn't know what to say. So I held it out to him with a reassuring smile and said, "Here you can have it. Now go get us all some spoons."

Then, his face twisted, and the emotions that were rushing forward couldn't be stopped, and he flung himself at me and wrapped his arms around me and was crying. He was hugging me while I still held the ice cream in my hand, and he was sobbing. He couldn't understand why I was giving him ice cream, when he knew good and well that he had not earned it and did not deserve it. I was laughing a little and crying myself a little, and my younger son was rather oblivious to the the whole significance of the transaction.

But the one who had received the unmerited favor was humbled and speechless, and I dare say experienced a new found appreciation for the one who had lovingly extended the ice cream. I couldn't help but make the connections in my own heart to this example of how God in His great mercy has extended His forgiveness for sin and offers a sweet communion with Him instead, even though we do not deserve such love. And I have reason to hope that this little experience impacts my child's heart in an way that helps him understand and appreciate who God is. I pray that even more for the one who seemed oblivious to what took place! And I thank God for using my own children to remind me of who He is.

Modern-Day Idolatry

I only have a minute to post, but I wanted to direct you to Biblical Womanhood's discussion today on idolizing marriage. It's an interesting subject. Idolatry, that is. It is an issue that has been on my heart a lot this past year, and I hope to explore God's word on the subject more in the near future. So I guess this is just a warning, or something. A lot's been going on in my heart lately, and I'll probably have a few of those long musings on deep subjects in the near future. For now, I'm off to pick up Julien from school.

11 February 2008

Laundry Experiment, part 1

Even though I'm very sick and probably would be better off in bed today, I was compelled to post the first of a couple of posts in what I'm calling "The Laundry Experiment." Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood is on that subject today, so I thought I'd join the discussion, as it were.

When we lived in an apartment and had to do laundry at a laundromat, I got very used to the routine of doing laundry only once a week (actually, every 7-10 days). Whereas before, I would constantly have laundry to do every day and it never seemed to get done, doing it one day a week (and making sure I brought it home sorted and folded) actually simplified things. The only time I let myself think about laundry was on laundry day. Unfortunately, laundromats are very expensive, and fortunately, we now have facilities of our own.

So lately I've been going back to that habit of only doing laundry on one day a week, Monday. And I've given myself permission to wash on other days, as needed, of course. But I start early in the day, and wash and dry load after load. But my problem is folding and putting it away, as Crystal so clearly described. Does anyone have any good suggestions for getting that part of the chore completed? I'll be pleased with myself today if I can get the dirty stuff sorted, considering how I'm feeling.

Woe Is Me

Yuck. If it weren't for the fact that I am responsible for the health, safety and well-being of a toddler and a pre-schooler, I'd be in bed right now. Enoch shared his cold with me, and I was feeling a bit better yesterday (day 2 of being sick), but today hit me like a garbage truck. Add to that the fact that it's laundry day, and that the weather is only supposed to get up to the mid-twenties (so the basement is very cold), it's not looking too hot. One bright spot was a rather funny link I found through my friend's blog, that I thought I'd share. It was like a spoonful of sugar to hear Tristan laugh at the pictures. Here's the link.

Here's hoping you are having a healthy, productive, God-honoring day!

07 February 2008

Cranberry Candy for your Sweetheart

The recipe at the end was given to me by Enoch's Mom. I was very reluctant to try it, assuming what a mess it would make, and then having the burden of eating all that candy (it's such a burden, you know!)...I really wanted to be sure it was worth it--worth the mess and worth the calories.

Mom's description of the outcome was actually less encouraging, as she explained how difficult it was to cut the candy out and remove it from the pan while trying to maintain its square shape and then roll the sticky blobs in sugar. But I finally thought of a solution (parchment paper lining!) that gave me the green light I was looking for, and I tried it.

It was very tasty, and would make a nice Valentine's Day treat for sweetheart with a sweet tooth, so I'm going to share it. Next time I make this, I'll probably try a 9x11 pan because the distribution of nuts wasn't to my liking (they stayed on the top 1/3 of the candy). I would have preferred them to be more in the center; plus the pieces were so sweet that if they were half their thickness, you'd still enjoy them. I think I would also try rolling them in powdered sugar instead of what I used (granulated), because of the grittiness in the teeth. But they are tasty little candies (like Aplets and Cotlets), and with all those nuts you might convince yourself it's a healthy treat! (What is the nutritional value of Jell-O anyway?)

RECIPE - Cranberry Candy

1 can of jellied cranberry sauce (do not use whole berries)
1 cup of sugar
3 small pkgs. of Rasberry jello
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
fine granulated sugar to coat finished candy.

Melt cranberry sauce in sauce pan,

add sugar and mix well,

add jello and stir over medium heat until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

Remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes.
Add the nuts and pour into a lightly greased 9x9 pan.

Do not use spray coating to grease the pan. Let stand for 24 hrs. DO NOT REFRIGERATE! After candy sets and congeals, cut in small squares and roll in fine granulated sugar, or shake in small plastic bag.

Store in tightly covered container. Do not refrigerate.


05 February 2008

One More Time!

It's just a picture of a picture, but you get the picture:

That's right! Baby #4 is expected to make his or her arrival in August! When we finally told the boys, the conversation went something like this:

Enoch: "Boys, you know how Mommy has been going to see the doctors and having doctor's appointments? Well, the reason is because she has something growing inside of her."

Julien: "You do?"

Tristan: "What?"

Julien: "Do the doctors know what it is?"

Me: "We won't know what it is until August. I've got a picture, though. Why don't I show you in this picture?" (Gets ultrasound pictures and lets them look at them.) (Boys look at it, trying to understand, but obviously still in the dark.)

Enoch: "Do you see what it is? Can you tell what it is boys?"

Julien: "A PIZZA?!"

Enoch: (laughing) "No, it's not a pizza! Can't you tell what it is?"

Me: (also laughing) "Here is a nose. This is an ear. And those are fingers..."

Tristan: "What? Fingers?"

Julien: "It's a baby!"

Tristan: "A baby? You have a baby growing inside you?"

Julien: "You have a BABY growing in your womb? A baby? A baby!"

Me: "Yes! We are going to have another baby!"

Julien and Tristan: "Yay! We are going to have another baby! Hurray! Rosalind, we are going to have another baby!" (They are laughing and cheering and yelling, bringing tears of joy to my eyes)

Rosalind: Yaaaaay! (claps her hands and naturally repeats their enthusiasm)

We are all very excited.