Monday, August 3, 2015

Sweets, and a clean house, and (a little bit about broccoli.)

There is a sacrilegious little thought it me that goes something like this, “So, sweets aren’t good for the body, but they bless the soul—and it’s the soul that’s eternal after all, right?” So, it goes a little overboard, perhaps, but it’s something I wrestle with. When I was a kid we had a cookie jar that said, “Happy the children, wherever they are, who live in a house with a full cookie jar.” And our cookie jar was filled once a week or near abouts there. My youngest brother is made of 95% cookies and milk, last time I checked.  My mom taught me that you never over beat cookies once the eggs are in and butter is always best. Always. Dru’s family ran a bakery for ten years. In fact, I learned some of my baking skills from Dru.  So in my house, I like to have something baked and sweet around. I’ve guilted around about this some. I’m not always quite sure what to do when I hear other moms meticulously rationing cookies and candy, and I am not ever sure what to do with statements like, “My kids don’t get sweets much.” My initial reaction is not, “My, what a good mom!” It is more like, “Those poor kids!” And then I ponder these things in my head for a couple days.

I’m no health nut, and I’m the first to admit it. However, I don’t think we’re bad eaters either. Frankly, eating 100% healthy 100% of the time is more expensive than I feel l could pay for with a good conscience. Plexus blows my mind on some levels, although I’m not about to say it isn’t helpful for some people. I think that people eat too many carbs as a general rule—me included. I’m always a little aghast when I go to a Mennonite pot luck and the hot dishes are loaded with pasta and all other manner of carbs—just because they’re cheap. Actually that really bothers me.Which is silly I suppose because even I like me a pasta hot dish from time to time. So there is a balance, somewhere.

I also kind of think that when God told the children of Israel that He would take them to a land flowing with milk and honey, it was indicating that milk and honey would be a good thing. So I buy the idea that honey is a healthier sweet than cane sugar. I will not buy it if you try to tell me that all sweet is bad. Period.

Some people probably just don’t have sweet teeth, but at this house we do.  Havilah and I both have a chocolate dependency. As a three year old she came to me and said, “Mom, I need chocolate,” out of the blue more than once. This being the case, it won’t be uncommon to have something sweet in the house. Obviously, I do ration the cookies…a little. We do go through them pretty fast if I bake the whole batch up at once. Usually, I bake up part of the dough and then the other goes to the fridge. Moderation means that you should have a few sweets. If you have none than that’s just abstinence or asceticism--not moderation. (Insert self-righteous sniff and stamp of right foot here.)

(And if you happen to be one of those moms who is more careful about sweets, or if your family simply has a different culture when it comes to sugar and chocolate—that is totally fine. I mean no offense. I’m just battling this through in my mind. I also reserve the right to change my mind. My mother also taught me that “Every woman has the right to change her mind.”  Winking smile )

That being said, try this recipe.  But rather than using the suggested buttercream frosting recipe, heat a cup of cream then melt 9 oz. of chocolate chips into it. Add about half a cup of peanut butter to that. Let it cool just a tad then pour it over the still warm cake. Eat with moderation. I like this cake recipe cause it is easy and tastes pretty good for only using cocoa powder. One of  these days I’m going to find a recipe that calls for the melted chocolate to be dumped right into the batter. However, this will be a little more expensive to make and seeing that I don’t spend extravagant amounts to be healthy, neither will spend lots on chocolate—usually.  Okay, enough with that rant. Perhaps I shall be a wiser woman one day when all my children end up with rotten teeth.

When ever I go to bake though, I make sure my house is tidy and laundry all caught up. I’m especially careful about the bathrooms. HA! HA! Tricked you! Lately play has come before work. A lot. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are especially bad for this. On Tuesdays and Thursdays Dru is around for the afternoon. Dru wakes up around 4:30 am to lesson plan. By the time he gets home from teaching 8 – 12 year olds at one o’clock his brain is fried and he’s most likely battling a head ache. He might nap. I have a Bible Study on Tuesdays and he has the children that afternoon. So they play, and I come home to join them. On Saturdays we usually have a lot of family time. So while Dru is busy, too busy, we still get our family time because he gets sick of his computer and needs a diversion. So we chat and laugh hang out. With me trying to be better about school happening, some of the house work slides a little anyway. I find it very easy to sit across the table from Dru while he drums away on his computer, and chat with him. It is very hard to work when he’s in the house. He’s just a nice person to have around. So we catch our family time, in spite of a house that needs tidied and laundry that could be folded. But I decided that THAT is not something I will go on a guilt trip for. Twenty years from now, I can clean the house. But I might not get to hang out with my family like we can now. (I’ll pick up now then until then, but now you aren’t without warning before  you come.)

The truth is, Dru’s schedule is very sustainable as far as family life is concerned. But ministry outside of this is limited. We’re working on the solution to this. Somehow we need to cut back on his work hours, still get a visa and work permit, and make a little money. Not sure how this is going to work out at this point. Lots of unanswered questions. I swing from being used to not having answers to being really sick of limbo. Right now I’m not thinking about it, so when Dru comes to bounce an idea off of me I feel totally spaced and disconnected. This isn’t very helpful, I’m afraid.

It’s time to sign off for the night. I’m going to bed with a tidy house and it feels amazing for a change. However, I didn’t have to make supper—although I should have. Dru came home hangry, only rather than angry when he’s hungry, he gets depressed. He said he’d pick supper up but in then end we went and bought food at the market. So I got the house cleaning done for the next 20 years. Yay! Humph. If only.

One more quick rant? Why is it that I go from inspired and fired up about good house keeping one month to not caring an ounce the next? Same with cooking.(Speaking of cooking, I am finally mature enough to admit that I don’t like broccoli and have decided I’m going to stop pretending about it. I buy it because it’s healthy, but I don’t serve it because it’s yucky. So it sits in my fridge and rots. But I have to stop now because the blog post is unhealthy enough as it is.) And how come I can’t figure out how to keep a clean house and be a good mom at the same time? I struggle with incorporating them into the house cleaning chores as part the the work force with out jeopardizing my relationship with them. So they get left out and then I don’t focus on their needs and alas, I realize that somewhere along the line I tuned out and I have discipline issues on my hands. What’s with that? Jube did get inspired to clean the living room up fairly well though today, so maybe we’re getting somewhere. No, wait, he was inspired to watch Magic School Bus after the living room was tidy. Does that count?

Good night, or Good day, which ever applies.


  1. Lisl, I loved that rant! I laughed and felt those frustrations all over again. You Go Girl! Sounds like you're doing a great job all around. :)

  2. You mean I was a good mom? Yeah, that bit about church pasta. We learned that from Grandma Ruth. She said it was fattening and a shortcut. My mother was ahead of her time. Sounds like you might be as well. No doubt the "experts" will get around to telling us that broccoli is over rated, soon.

  3. Enjoyed you being 'real'! Oh n should come to our potlucks...we might have some Mac n cheese...but there is usually plenty of meats veggies n salads to balance them out! :-)

  4. Oops...that was to be btw!! Not bow!

  5. Loved your rant about living life as you want and not how the books tell you to.

  6. I just love your writing. I love it so much! I'm glad you didn't take down this didn't really need to clarify it but it's surely nice that we got blessed by you writing another post afterwards!

    I think there are many aspects in today's society where what we eat has become a sort of another time it might have been 'cleanliness is next to Godliness' which as mothers I'm sure we still beat ourselves up to from time to time! But at the moment it being holy and right and set apart is seen by the 'works' you do by how you eat and feed your children.

    While it true that God wants us to look after our bodies because He made them and He wants us to use them for His glory, I'm pretty sure He doesn't want us to use them as an obsession or our 'god'.

    I can't wait til we come over (Lord willing it is happening this November). We won't be living near Chiang Mai (we will be nearer to BKK for the time being) but we will need to visit from time to time. I hope that we can come visit you and your family...and that you won't be too careful about cleaning before we come so we can chat and have a cuppa (and maybe a cookie or two) while we fold some laundry and the children play around our feet.

    I really miss you guys.

    Love MC

    BTW my favouite is dark chocolate with mint...

    1. Please excuse my grammar... I think the keyboard had some sticking points!