Monday, October 4, 2010

Butteflies everywhere....

Today is a certain princess' birthday. Thankfully, we've already been through the whole "princess" party theme, but as I am the queen of my home, she is still and will always be known as the princess.

We're keeping it pretty low-key this year with her party. Just the party-o-five, and her grandparents will be celebrating. Oh yeah, and a few hundred butterflies. Somehow she's gotten into a butterfly mode. I don't know how since it's fall, it's chilly, and butterflies won't be seen for months around here. Whatever the reason, we've got butterflies this year on presents, packaging, cake, and even the treats I made for her to take into her class to share today.

Teachers frown on the cupcake thing - they're too messy. We did brownies last year for kindergarten, so being the non-crafty, uninspired mom that I am, we went with rice krispie treats. Then I got this completely remarkable idea to use a butterfly cookie cutter to cut them out, add some pink sprinkles....beautiful! Right?

I forgot to mention that I have made rice krispie treats only one other time, and that was maybe 15 years ago. My mother didn't make them all that often either. Now I know and remember why. Whoever came up with the idea of melting marshmallows and mixing 6 cups of little cereal pieces with that gooey mess was nuts!

My recipe stated to coat my cookie cutter with cooking spray for easy cutting out of the butterflies. Yeah, whoever that genius was is completely nuts too. Let me state emphatically right here for all 3 of my followers to read...

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THE COOKING SPRAY. Turn on your hot water, and run it over the cookie cutter periodically as you're cutting out your treats. It actually works! My mom says to just have a cup of hot water sitting by that you can dunk your knife or cutter into. I wasn't taking any chances, and just left the hot water run. Yes, my utility companies are loving me right now.

So...I have successfully melted butter and marshmallows together, mixed with cereal, spread in pan, chilled, and cut into 50 butterflies with pink sprinkles. (I'm a generous mom...2 per kid!!) Right about this time, I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for going that extra mile to be super-mom, the cool mom...Jordan's mom, the mom everyone wants to know because SHE's the one who made the butterfly rice-krispie treats with pink sprinkles!

I hear her sweet little voice, "Mom....we only need 25."

I know honey, we're going to let all of your friends have TWO :)

"But mom..." (Right about now is when tears start to well up in the princess' eyes) "...we're only supposed to bring in 25 treats."

{sigh} I know that it's not a big deal that these kids get two instead of one, or even that 25 treats may get returned to my house after school today. But to a 6 year old over-achieving perfectionist who has to follow the rules EXACTLY in her own mind...this was a very big deal.

Would anyone like a butterfly rice-krispie treat with pink sprinkles? I've got 25 extra to share....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

40 Days - #1

Safe to say, we're all surviving!

Day 1 (Friday) meant we were fasting sweets & desserts. In the mind of a 4, 5, and 10 year old this is a very big deal. Bagels for breakfast instead of Fruit Loops, and fruit was packed in the lunches for school instead of cookies or pudding. Amazingly enough, my kids - AGAIN - accepted, if not enjoyed, this new habit without complaint.

I was handling my day without sweets fairly well...mostly due to major sinus issues that were kicking my butt for the 4th day in a row. I didn't want anything sweet, I only wanted soup, tylenol, and my bed. I hadn't been able to breathe for 4 days, my eyes felt like they were exploding out of my head, and my head seemed to be on the verge of exploding itself.

On the eve of day #1 I found myself at home with the kids fast asleep in their beds, and I was ready to mentally break down over the horrible way I was still feeling, and had been feeling most of the week. That night I watched via live stream, worshipped, and prayed along with my girlfriends during our women's conference that was taking place at church. By the time the live feed had ended, I was able to breathe, and my head completely stopped hurting for the first time in days.

God is good like that...

40 Days - the beginning.

I was going to journal about this in my actual journal, but when I opened it and realized that I hadn't journaled in almost a year and a half, I decided to stay all modern and tech-savvy, and blog my experience instead. These 40 days, although very personal, I believe are meant to be shared so others can see what God is doing and how He's moving.

Let me go back a few weeks...

A woman I know...a woman who has been in my home in her wheelchair...this woman got up out of her wheelchair and walked for the first time in 23 years. (You can watch this miracle here.) We are rejoicing with her and her Alabama church family. Since then, another church family has also been experiencing God in incredible ways with people being healed right before their eyes.

It's time.

Last week, we got word that our church was going to begin a time of prayer and fasting for 40 days. I had many thoughts initially - the first being more of an inward groan. Make no mistake, I enjoy what I eat and I take great pleasure in it. The idea of losing a meal every day is torture to me. I know, not the right way to look at the idea of a fast, but that's the human side of me. When I went to pick up my children from Kids' Church, and realized that our children's pastor had put together a fasting & prayer journal for the kids of our church - this was really going to be a church-wide event! That's when the lightbulbs started going off all over the place.

As a parent, I need to encourage and lead my children. This was a perfect opportunity! Their journals included a calendar for the next 40 days of different things..."stuff" they could give up for a day. "Stuff" that was getting in their way of spending more time with God. Yes! This is what I needed! Not a meal, but "stuff". And by giving up the same things that my kids were being asked to give up, it was going to be a family affair.

I have to admit, I didn't think they would take it well. Giving up sweets one day, TV and movies the next, Wii & computer games, juice & soda (water only)....I had visions of mutiny as we explained it to them. Here was the very first miracle of our 40 day journey....not a complaint. At all! After explaining what was happening, why we felt it was important to do this, and that I would be doing this right along with them (dad's doing a meal fast), they were like, "Ok - what's first?"

So we've started, and we're believing for God to move - not just as a Church, but right here in our family. I'm believing for so many miracles in my family, I very well may be asking for more than my share. But my God is a VERY BIG GOD! Whether or not He chooses to move is not what this is about. It's about getting closer to Him than what we've all been in a long time.

James 4:8a - "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."