Nov 8, 2010

A *Granola Day*

I was *on top of it* today. On what? you may ask. Well - IT....this mountain of life that I have had such a hard time controlling lately. Today, I was in charge of my Monday "what type of day are you going to have"destiny that has been pushing and clawing against me for weeks. I woke up to a sick baby and needy body was WRITHING with exhaustion (thank God for Zac putting on the coffee before he left for work.) I was convinced that the day was going to be horrible ...I would try my best to NOT like it. I even texted Zac these words "hard day. Tristan is miserable and Brady just threw a huge tantrum."
Then, something got a hold of my heart...two hands gripped it and then slapped it around a bit...a voice spoke in my ear and I got it....I wasn't in control of the uncomfortable circumstances but I was in charge of my attitude. I don't know how many years I'll have to live before i start to truly understand that I can decide to be happy or miserable...I can choose joy and endurance over shrugging my shoulders at the world and pulling the covers up over my head.
With that decided...i made this a *Granola Day*. A good, wholesome day for the kids and me with lots of baking...lots of quality time - I *climbed* the mountain and reached the top of the laundry pile, the top of the baking...and filled my heart with contentment. So fulfilling.

I was lucky (blessed) a couple days ago to find Annies Mac and Cheese on sale from $1.20 a box to 49 cents a box. Needless to say...I purchased 8 boxes. I've been trying to get back into our healthy eating this week but sometimes a simple meal like mac and cheese is just becoming a must - I feel better when it's not packed with chemicals.
The kids were excited about helping so I pulled each of them out a chair...handed them a box...and we literally WATCHED water boil. Okay...I forget the saying about watching water boil and how it takes forever when you're wanting it to happen...this is very true. Fascinating though how something like heat can take room temperature water that is completely still and boring...start to pep it up a bit with a little steam, a few minuscule the steam begins to build and billow, the water to bubble and bubble - fascinating.

When we were reading out the instructions about how much milk and butter to add it was funny that I had to teach the kids what "boiling" means. Thus, the reason why the three of us stood there staring at a hot pot.
While the noodles were cooking we took the empty boxes and cut them open to learn about *re purposing.* The kids learned that not only was the packaging good for holding the noodles and learning to read words on the back, but also instead of using a nice piece of paper to color on....we could open up the box and draw on the inside before tossing into the recycling. :)

Trinity with her lovely "book." Why do kids choose to color with just ONE crayon?

Brady illustrating how you can close the box up and it becomes a the intensity in his eyes.

Next we finished off making the mac. The only reason why I'm posting this picture of trin helping is to prove to my kids in 10 years that mom was *laid back* and would let them help over a hot stove. Really people...I'm giving myself a pat on the back here. Anyone that know me understands that "laid back" is probably the LAST word you would ever choosing in describing me...but a girl can try can't she?!

And the finished product was a very fun, yummy lunch of mac and cheese, black olives and orange slices. About the oranges - I totally splurged. I was at Kroger the other day and looked ACROSS the store and could see large orange mesh bags full of delicious fruit. My pregnant brain switched to *on* and I walked over and dropped the 8 pound bag into my buggy...not caring at all about the cost or the quantity...I just wanted them. My body thanks me...and so does Sweet Pea.

Remember how much fun black olives were? I'm reminded by my kids to take enjoyment in food...and play a little before devouring.

Brayden proudly displaying his olives (Aunt Robin...notice the vest? )

And to finish off the day I baked a loaf of bread (actually ground my grain but let the bread machine mix it up.) I really enjoy this recipe...I think I've posted it before. I'll go back and check, and if not I'll share it in a later post.

The one thing I'm not on "top" off would be the dishes....if that darn dish fairy would just show up when she says she is....

I'm ending my day with a delicious bowl of chowder....looking forward to yogurt and granola in the morning. I thank God that He continues to teach me and to give me really good days...days that I can remember WHY it is that I wanted so badly to be a wife and mommy. It's good to have HOURS of fulfillment where I'm content and praising the Lord that I'm so blessed to stay at home. Lately I've been wanting...well, not to be a working mom...but just to be alone. Just to be in my bed and reading...just to be by myself crafting...just to be walking around a store with a cup of coffee. None of those things are wrong...but when they simply can't be - they just can't be. There will be time for reading and shopping and making Christmas ornaments...there will also be hard days where I will WISH that I was home with screaming babies and not going through whatever crisis that life will throw at us in the future (it's inevitable...hard days WILL come.Not trying to be pessimistic...just realistic) The key is to learn to be joyful in all things, especially when it isn't exactly what I would choose. And then, God does this miraculous thing...He turns the circumstance (His desire for me) into my desire.
I'm going to go to bed tonight with the coffee already set stomach full of good soup and bread...and the knowledge that I did my best today and that I am loved and that I love. Is there anything better?
Oh...thought I would share how I made this chowder if anyone would ever like to give it a try.
Alyssa's Creamy Potato Chowder
5 cups of diced chopped potatoes
3 diced carrots
24 oz of chicken broth (or 24 oz of water with chicken bullion)
1 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 teas. of black pepper
1 cup of frozen corn
1 cup of either cream of chicken soup or make a white sauce using 1 cup milk, 2 tsp corn starch, salt and pepper (I used the white sauce just because I don't care for a lot of *canned* things )
1.5 cups of egg noodles
4oz of cream cheese
Put first 7 ingredients into slow cooker and turn on high for 4 hours. When potatoes are getting soft add the egg noodles. Let cook on high for 45 minutes. Add cream cheese and let cook another 15 minutes and stir. Turn off crock pot and let sit to make sure cream cheese is totally melted. You could also make this on low but it would take about 8 hours and you need to be around it for the last hour to add the noodles and cream if you wanted it ready right when you came home then that wouldn't work so well since you need at LEAST a hour of babysitting it. :)
Mine came out delicious and creamy...hope yours does too.


Cindy said...

I ate a lot of oranges with one of my pregnancies....I still remember
how good they tasted.

CorleyAunt said...

You are a joy, Alyssa Spring. A real joy.

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