Sunday, March 25, 2012

Number 2's Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Number 2 is known for his cooking skills and recipe creation, so I was not surprised when I got a phone call from him while I was at the grocery store today, requesting ingredients for a new creation. 


These Double Chocolate Chip Cookies will not last long around here. Of course, that sweet boy put aside a couple for each of his teachers with handwritten copy of his recipe attached. 


Enjoy,
Em





linked here: Kelli, 
Rachel, Jen, 
 Kristen

Friday, March 16, 2012

Freestyle Day



The Boys honor Freestyle Day as often as possible. The last day of Spring Break 2012 at home on a rainy Friday, seems like a good a day as any to celebrate. Plaid, purple, athletic and dressy make a great combo. Don't you think?


Another day, another story,
Em

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mothering cliff's notes

You know those little yellow and black striped books you can buy to summarize just about any classic?  What if you'd gotten the cliff notes on classic loving mothering? A way to keep necessary lessons close as you began your journey on the sea of mamma-hood.

I've been irascible lately.  I want to blame it on the end of a long winter.  But we didn't have one.  I could blame it on my husband's six day business trip.  Though I'm positive it started before he left on a jet plane.  

The most obvious example is my instruction giving routine.  It goes from kind and encouraging to shrill and demanding in less than 60 seconds.  These are my harshest, graceless and un-evolved mothering moments.  There's no way to convey the remorseful regret that follows each time the drill sergeant in me emerges.  Like I studied and reviewed my dogeared mothering guide, but all the pertinent information evaporated at the crucial moment.

So I've been thinking about cliff's notes.  What if I could make a useful summary to remind me that my most important job is to Love and recall Who I'm working for.   

A paraphrase of some original instructions sprang to mind:

When they were hungry.........you made another quesadilla and cut it up into the shape not specified the first time and you didn't grit your teeth or tell them to eat the original misshapen one anyway. 

When they were thirsty.........you provided four different drinks in four specific cups to each one with a smile.

When they acted liked strangers, monkeys, cowboys, aliens and anything other than a resident of earth....... you encouraged their imagination and you welcomed them home with open arms.  

When they were naked and couldn't find their favorite jeans or had a melt down because their socks felt funny........you remembered  little details to you are big deals to them and that your own closet is strewn with clothes you didn't like at the last minute either.

When they were sick........ you rose at 2 am without any selfish frustration, ran a warm bath for the ailing one, grabbed a vomit bucket or helped them gag meds down.

When they were in the prison of mean, hurtful and selfish behavior.......you exhaled and reminded them nothing they did could ever make you stop loving them. 

I'm not claiming to be magically back into the land of even-keeled mothering, but the cliff's notes are helping.  My self-made study guide is helping when the inevitable moments of forgetfulness arise. 

Back to the Original classic mothering instructions: 

Whatever you do for the least of these...

Lib
Linked here:
Rachel,  Kristen 

and the lovely new Grace party here



 


Monday, March 12, 2012

Zucchini Pancakes {for breakfast}

Paper plates at the breakfast table? They look mighty appetizing with zucchini pancakes gracing them.

Pawing through the freezer for some inspiration the other day I found a ziploc bag of Summer,  I mean shredded zucchini. If you have a garden, (or know someone with one) and grow this shockingly prolific cucumber cousin, chances are you've got access to some shredded summer goodness as well.

Of course I've made lots of variations of zucchini bread and muffins (chocolate, with pineapple, carrots, etc) but this particular bag was destined for something new, something improvised and improved.


::Zucchini Pancakes::
makes about 22 large fluffy pancakes

1 c flour, I used brown rice
2 T cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 (heaping) t baking powder
3 fresh eggs
1- 1/2  cups shredded zucchini, squeezed dry
1/2 c coconut sugar, Rapadura or xylitol
1 T vanilla
4 T c melted butter or coconut oil
about 1 c milk, enough to thin to desired consistency

Preheat your griddle. Squeeze excess water out of the zucchini in a paper towel. If you found yours in the freezer the amount of water you're able to squeeze out will shock you. Add wet ingredients to your blender, layering with dry ingredients on top. Throw that zucchini in and let her rip. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes until you can barely see the green flecks.
 I like a thinner batter, so I might have added even 1/4 to 1/2 cup more water. You'll have to see what yours is like because of the density of the zucchini.  Pour by 1/4 cup-fulls onto lightly greased hot griddle, flipping once. Serve with warm syrup, ideally, or cold sorghum - which is what most of the baintrain prefers.

Only after several bites did limabain ask what the green flecks were in the pancakes.  No one balked when I told them zucchini.

My 4 taste-testers rated these as close to creme brulee as you can get for a pancake. Their words, not mine. Limabain ate 8!  Mexicanjumpingbain - vegetable hater extraordinaire- was on sugar restriction and even enjoyed them with no topping.  All that to say, they are and excellent way to get at least one serving of veggies into your at the beginning of the day. 

Worth making even if you don't have zucchini in your freezer. You can just go buy some and shred it, which would add an extra step for you, but still worth it, IMHO.

Oh, and the paper plate? We'd forgotten to start the dishwasher the night before. So, as it was running we enjoyed a relaxed no-dishes, no repeated reminders to clear-off-your-plate-please kind of morning. The pancakes dressed up that plain old grocery store paper plate in about 15 minutes.

Hope you like them as much as we do; I found 4 more bags of zucchini last night...they'll be a staple on our breakfast menu for a while.

Lib 
*updated re-post*linked to
Kelli,
Rachel, Jen,
 Kristen
Photobucket

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

When the curve ball lands in your lap

I haven't blogged about the curve ball that landed in my lap because it's a hard one to explain.  Difficult enough to explain in person, when you can look into your listener's eyes and cock your head to one side and mutter, "you know...?" hoping for an affirmative head shake. 

Just like a curve ball, I'm going in a direction I never could have guessed. I was presented with an opportunity my heart thudded yes to.  I Believe I'd be shooting myself in the foot spiritually if I don't go...so,  in April that direction will take me thousands of miles from the green, rolling Tennessee hills I inhabit, to the center of another continent, country, culture. 




Africa. Rwanda.  Where less than 20 years ago neighbors killed neighbors and more than a million people died.  And there I'll be, {most unqualified me} helping teach Vacation Bible School for a thousand kids, facilitating free dental clinics and sharing God's love and grace on the other side of the world.

Yeah, that's the curve ball I never expected.

Lib 
linked to Kristen and Ann and Richella's grace party

 



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

the time train curves

There's not a word for how quickly the train of my life is careening around bends and over hills these days.  Busy? Engaged? Buried? Insane?  I don't believe for one minute that my life is busier than yours - but when I realized my last blog post was over three weeks ago I got a whole new perspective. I thought I'd posted that just last week.  It's the total disappearance of time that I am not okay with. 

In the last three weeks I've been so sick the baintrain had to make their own breakfasts. I've {thankfully} recovered. Forgot to celebrate a blessed milestone for Mainbain and our entire family. I've driven over 600 miles in a week - mostly for meetings. I've taken the boys on a much needed field trip and attended the funeral of dear friends' 2 year old.  I've wondered why my 14-year old stringbain gets to grow his first beard hairs while somebody else has to put their precious cherub-faced baby into the ground.   

In a moment of grace and insight I texted my partner this:

I felt so much better after I acknowledged this. It doesn't change what the hard part is or how I feel about it.  I don't have to understand how fast time is passing or figure out my entirely overloaded to-do list

I just need to try my hardest to remember I always have two choices.

Lib
linked to ann



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