Thursday, February 17, 2011

Powerless Except For Prayer

My boy is sick.  Not just a passing sniffle or a cough, but he's working on day 10 of a fever.  That weighs heavy on a mom's heart (not to mention that The Pastor is very sick, as well).  Of course, I've been praying for my son to get well, but also selfishly for myself because it's so hard to watch him be sick and miserable.  As parents we never want to have to watch our kids suffer, no matter what the reason. 

But the other night, as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling and praying that maybe tonight would be the night his fever broke, I found myself broken, but in a different way.  My heart suddenly went out to every single mother on earth who has to watch her children suffer in terrible, terrible ways, yet is powerless to do anything about it. 

If it's difficult for me to watch a fever and wait for the doctor to decide what to do, how hard is it for a mom to watch her children slowly, day by day, die of malnutrition?  How hard is it to watch your bald, pale child lie in the cancer unit of St. Judes Hospital, knowing there is no cure?  How hard must it be to watch your child suffer with infection or malaria or some other disease and know there is no available medicine.  Laying warm in my bed that night, I felt a desperation for those whose situations are far worse than mine.

These are problems which demand a resolution, but to which one is not available except by the grace of God.  I'm thankful that antibiotics will likely soon heal my son, but I'm maybe more grateful that I was given the small opportunity to look beyond myself and my own comfortable world and have a chance to ponder the severe hurts that only God can heal.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Fuzzy Math



The Pastor and I have been contemplating turning off our Dish Network Satellite TV for quite awhile.  His rationale is that it will save us money.  Mine falls more in the camp of "there's-nothing-but-trash-on".  Either way a little over a month ago, we finally decided to take the plunge and turn it off for awhile.  It was also good timing, as we are leading a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class at our church, so it was a great time to be cutting back on expenses and saving money.

For Christmas, The Pastor bought me a new, fancy internet-ready Blu-ray player, and we already had a Netflix account, so I reasoned turning off the satellite would be pretty painless.  The way I had it figured, we would just stream Netflix through the Blu-ray player and watch DVD's and other internet content.  (If you're confused by the previous statement, you might want to take a peek at my other blog--The Tech Mom).

So, off went the satellite, on went the internet TV show watching.  However, I made one slight error in my calculations.  I forgot to factor in the all important detail that I have a limit on how much I can download from my Verizon internet service before I start getting dinged with per megabyte charges.  This turned out to be a very detrimental item to leave out.

When I looked at my internet report, we had gone 1,000 megabytes (yes, that's 1GB) over our allotted usage.  I'm not going to do the math for you, but suffice to say, that is an extremely large bill...especially to save $39 bucks for a month's worth of satellite.

Stupid Verizon.  Stupid Netflix.  Stupid Dave Ramsey. 


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Yes, We Have No Bananas


I think eating chocolate covered bananas must be a sin.   It's the only reasonable explanation why God is doing everything he needs to, to keep me from eating them.

Three weeks ago, I took my son to Disneyland.  My parents went with us and we had a wonderful time.  One of the afternoons we were there, my mom and cousins had gone off to do something else, so my son, my dad, and I were left to ourselves.  We had about 30 minutes until we were going to meet back up with them for dinner.

Strange things happen at Disneyland and I temporarily forgot my own mothering skills and rules for my son about not spoiling dinner.  Realizing that my own mom had left me unsupervised with my dad, we decided to buy chocolate covered bananas.  They were heavenly!  Dad and I vowed we would come home and master making them ourselves.  I mean, it's a banana with chocolate...how hard can it be?

Attempt #1
I didn't have any sticks to "stab" my bananas with, so I decided that bite sized pieces would work just as well for my test.  I peeled the bananas and cut them into said bite sized pieces.  I put them in the freezer.  So far so good. See?  I knew this would be easy.

After the bananas were frozen, I melted chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave.  Still going well.  Once the chips were melted, I decided I'd throw the bananas in the bowl and mix them up to coat them with the chocolate.  Then I'd fish them out, sprinkle them with nuts and let them harden.

Here's where things went south.  The frozen bananas immediately cooled the chocolate, which turned to a huge bowl of sludge and didn't "coat" anything.  The more I stirred, the gloppier it got and the bananas turned to mush in the process.  I threw the whole bowl full of mush and glop into the sink.  Hmmm, apparently this is harder than it looks.

Attempt #2
I called my dad and related my banana woes to him.  He told me he had also tried, but he went the easy route and bought a bottle of Magic Shell self-hardening chocolate, froze the bananas, then poured the Magic Shell on.  Worked like a charm, he claimed.

Undaunted to try to create a real dipped banana, I forged on.  Only this time, I got smarter(er) and looked online for frozen banana recipes.  Just about unanimously, they said to melt the chips in a glass bowl suspended over a simmering pan of water.

I rounded up some shish kabob sticks I found in my pantry, skewered the bananas and froze them.  This time, I melted the chips in a bowl over boiling water, as recommended.  Oh yeah!  This was going well.  I actually got one banana dipped in the chocolate. However, I made a small mistake.  My pan of water was more like a roaring boil than a simmer and apparently if you overheat chocolate, it begins to cook and harden.  Again, I ended up with a bowl of glop.  Dang.

Attempt #3
Finally deciding that my dad really might now what he was talking about, I purchased some Magic Shell at the grocery store on my lunch hour.  One problem.  the high temperature that day was about 12 degrees and when I got home and tried to use the Magic Shell which had been in the car since lunch, it was one completely full, completely hardened, solid bottle of chocolate.  I didn't want any stinkin' frozen bananas anyway.

Final Attempt
I read the Magic Shell bottle and found that you can "thaw" it out after it hardens by running it under hot water for awhile.  (I also happened to read that one serving is 210 calories!  So much for low calorie tasty snack--but that's a post for another day).  Anyway, I thawed it out, poured it on my frozen bananas and rolled them in chopped peanuts.  The results were amazing!  They came out perfect and tasted fantastic! (They better, for 210 calories per serving--no wonder God didn't want me to have one).

Dang.  I hate it when my dad is right and I'm wrong.  I'm almost 40 and Father still knows best. 

Thanks, Dad!

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