Monday, May 24, 2010

Take a Breath, Maybe Not Yet

I finally feel like I am at the "breathing" part of the year. All regularly scheduled activities are over. This next month or so will still be a little hectic because I am:

-hosting my sister and her family for the Memorial Day weekend. Yay!
-running the "Bolder Boulder" on the 31st. Praying my foot will quit hurting and more than a little nervous to try my first 10K. Yikes!
-having a yard sale. Woo-hoo for getting rid of useless, space consuming junk!
-working in two Vacation Bible Schools back to back. Our church: June 7th-11th, on post:the 14th-18th
-waiting to see if Joel will have surgery on his first ankle towards the end of June. I am anxious because I know recovery will be hard, but I know he really is hoping this will bring an end to all the pain he is in.

Okay, so maybe no time to breathe yet. Maybe in July...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Can I Have S'more?

After Joel came back from Iraq last year he experienced a craving for s'mores. We enjoyed roasting marshmallows on the grill several times last year before the weather got too cold. Jocelyn, because elephants (and four year-olds) never forget, had been begging to do that again since, oh, about December. Joel decided on Sunday to indulge her, so we grilled hotdogs and ate outside.
I have to say, it was one of the best days. So perfect in its simplicity. We just enjoyed leisurely grilling, everyone in the backyard together, gorgeous mountains setting the scene. There was no pressure to impress anyone, no hurry to go anywhere. The kids set up their little camp chairs and the menu: hotdogs, chips, s'mores and not a veggie in sight. The weather was perfect-it is hard to find a day in May in Colorado with no wind. We enjoyed our 'dogs and then proceeded to the real main course: S'mores! Joel is always the grill master, expertly perfecting each marshmallow to a golden brown. He did let each of the kids handle a roasting fork, which they thought was great. The s'mores were delightful, each one a perfect square of overwhelming sugar. Because the roasting was conveniently taking place in our backyard we even had access to ice-cold milk. I personally believe all sweets are improved by the presence of that particular dairy product!
Anyway, it was just one of those "moments". Everyone having fun, just truly enjoying the togetherness. Then it started to rain. You would think that would have immediately ended everything. Instead, we just enjoyed the light drizzle, laughing that Josie had predicted it would rain. It didn't change a thing, if anything it just made it a little more special. And then I realized that is how life is. The more appreciative I am of each thing that I have, of each moment that is taking place, the less likely I am to let it be spoiled by a little rain. When you are focused on the joy, on the positives, then even something that could have potential to be frustrating, (or at the least disconcerting) doesn't even merit notice. Or it may even heighten the experience! There are things that can ruin even the best of moments, those unavoidable torrential downpours. However, usually it only takes a little sprinkle to ruin my parade. I need to be more satisfied with my Savior, more joyful in my salvation, and then I will be able to dance in the rain-or least make my s'mores...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hamantashen (or Really Ugly Cookies)

I finished Beth Moore's study, Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman, this week. I love Beth Moore, adored the study and am happy to report that, out of four Beth Moore studies that I have done, it is the first Beth Moore study in which I have completed every lesson. I highly recommend it! At the end of the guide she supplies a recipe for "Hamantashen". These are traditional Purim (the Jewish celebration of their salvation from disaster at the hands of Haman) cookies and the name means "Haman's Ears".

Beth suggests that you makes these to share on the final day of study. Being the accomplished cook that I am, I decided to give it a try. They are basically a filled sugar cookie and since Josie also loves to bake I thought they would make a great "unschooling" lesson. She helped me roll, fill and fold the cookies (they are supposed to be a triangle shape) and then we read the story of Esther while they were baking. It was a fun tie-in, especially for a four year-old. Josie immediately caught the connection that Haman was an ugly man and that was why the cookies were so ugly! In actuality, the cookies are kind of gnarled and warty looking so I can see how, in Jewish tradition, they represent Haman's ugly ears. Ugly physically, and also ugly spiritually because he refused to listen to God.

My cookies were definitely ugly, I am not sure exactly what happened. I don't think the altitude agreed with them. I only took photos of the "nicest" ones, but that isn't saying much! However, we had a great time making them, they were actually pretty tasty, and I hope that Josie remembers the story of Esther and Haman's "ugly ears" for a long time.


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