Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I'm afraid I've been thinking....

It’s snowing again! I have to admit I’m ready for spring but what can you do? It’s hard to be grumpy about the snow when it’s so beautiful and the kids are doing such fabulous happy dances! When the girls were smaller I hated letting them do anything that would cause them to get dirty or worse, get my house dirty (like playing in the snow!) Not too long ago though I made a conscious decision to relax about stuff. Maybe it was when I realized that I was quite a messy person myself? (Shh, don’t tell anyone I said that! Lol)

No, I think it was actually when I realized that my little ones weren’t quite so little anymore. My time with Jessica and Arielle is dwindling and I know from experience that the time with the other two will fly just as fast. So, I’ve determined to enjoy them, messes and all! It used to be that I wouldn’t allow them in the kitchen without hovering over them (which meant nagging them about everything). Now I send them in there to make their breakfast or lunch, the girls cook dinner sometimes and Jessica has become our designated cookie baker. And trust me, that girl is as messy as her mother when she’s creating something!! Arielle is learning to cook and bake too but she’s not quite ready to go solo yet. Sometimes I’ll go in there and supervise but more often I let her go at it and just make sure I’m available if she has questions (I’m usually sitting at the kitchen table pretending not to notice the flour on the floor or the butter she splatted on the wall when she cranked the mixer to mach two!)

Even Josh can make his own scrambled eggs on the stove now (he is a manly seven year old you know!) Gracie seems so small to me but I brought her into the kitchen and baked cookies with her last week too. She made a mess but she was so proud and happy that she baked cookies with mommy.

I want my kids to be able to figure things out and troubleshoot when something gets tricky. If I give them the basic understanding of how baking and cooking works then they can create beyond the basic recipes (and they will because their mother can’t stick with a recipe to save her life!) If I give them the freedom to make mistakes without making them feel stupid but then lovingly help them figure out what they should have done won’t they be better off in the end?

As a mom I don’t want my kids to remain dependant on me (okay, well maybe just a little, teeny bit!) I want them to grow into adults who can manage life without me. If I don’t let them handle things themselves and learn from it they won’t ever feel confident enough to go it alone.

Taking this out of the kitchen, I want them to learn to seek the Lord for themselves too. Am I training them to search the scriptures for themselves when they have an issue? Do I direct them (and show them by my example) that prayer should be as common to them as breathing? Do I live out Proverbs 3:5-6 the way I want them to? Do I model repentance when Psycho Mommy makes an appearance? (I really don’t like her!)

As a mom I have made just as many (probably more) mistakes as my kids make. I’ve made a whole lot of messes over the course of my life too! But God is loving and patient with me. He waits for me to realize I’m in a mess and gently cleans me up. He never mocks. He never belittles or shames. He gently points out where I went wrong and shows me how it should have been done.

I want to be as gentle and loving as He is; with my husband, my kids and all those He's entrusted to my care don't you? If we look around and see someone making a mess of things are we gentle and loving with them? Or are we to busy noticing the mess they've made? Every mistake is an opportunity for learning and growth; mine, theirs or both. My prayer is that my life, all of it; public and private, would reflect His gentleness and love, especially in my family.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Valentines Day Cake...late

Well, Jon was fasting so I waited a couple of days to make my cake. When I did do it I got the frosting waaaaayyy more pink than I wanted. (I was going to do a pale pink but I only had red tint and got too much.) Being the newbie that I am I will learn a new lesson everytime I decorate a cake.

Lesson one, don't use red to get pink!

Lesson two; frost the whole cake before coloring any icing (otherwise you may barely have enough to frost the cake!)

Lesson three was kind of throw in a few days later but I will mentally file it away for when it matters.

Lesson three; when your husband builds a rip snorting fire in the woodstove and the house gets up to 80 degrees the frosting will melt and slide right off the cake! (I will keep this in mind for the summer months.)

Lesson four; melted frosting still tastes good. ;)

Okay, here is a picture of my cake. I got a little carried away with the roses but they were working this time! All I can say is, it was a very bright cake! Whatever, it tasted good (white cake with apricot filling and buttercream frosting).

Saturday, February 03, 2007

More Cake...

Well, I missed the last class so I didn't get instruction on how to make a rose. I had the cake in the freezer all week and finally had a chance to decorate it today. So, I tried the roses myself. They aren't that great (I think my frosting was a little too stiff) but they look like flowers and you only get better with practice. My kids picked the color for the flowers so don't be surpised if they aren't a traditional color. ;) Okay, here it is. Be nice...