Each and every morning this week, I have started my day doing this . . .
I actually really love doing this every morning. I have been blessed to turn a difficult and sometimes overwhelming situation into something beautiful and cherished. Going to bed early (anything before 11) used to be early for me and waking up before the sun (anything before 7) is truly something I never thought I would be able to do. But when there is a will, there is DEFINITELY a way!
I will forever be grateful that El Gringo has WANTED to attend early morning Seminary. With him out of town and missing Seminary for 3 weeks, it has felt more of a sacrifice to carpool 3 other kids to Seminary, instead of sleeping in and “enjoying” my vacation from homeschool too. But I have found hidden treasures in continuing my “calling” to serve as a Seminary carpool driver.
I have been able to support Paul, who has not been on vacation from work and still needs to get his rest each night. I have been able to ponder and spend “me time” before my younger kiddos wake up, expecting a “FUN DAY” ahead of them. I have also surprisingly found the energy, as well as the desire, to spend one-on-one time with them. I was even inspired to make it part of my daily priority list. Just 15 minutes alone with each child, and then 30 minutes with the two of them doing something THEY want to do. Today they chose to go on a picnic AND feed some ducks.
No sooner had we sat down to eat, but we were ambushed by ducks, begging for whatever we had to give to them.
They were not very attractive ducks. They look more like a LARGE Utah duck with the beak of a rooster. They were large and aggressive. They actually really irritated me because they were expecting to be fed.
As I looked out at the pond, I noticed that not all the ducks were on land, begging for food. I felt impressed to make this a teaching moment for my children. I asked the kids how they felt about being attacked by the ducks. Curly Cook said that it took the fun out of feeding them. Joy Boy said they were not fun to look at when they acted this way. We had brought “good food” for the ducks to eat (canned corn and lettuce – we forgot the oats), so the kids were disappointed that the ducks wolfed down their hard work without appreciating the effort they took to feed them good food.
I explained to the kids that the ducks had been taught incorrect principles, so they didn’t know to appreciate the “good food” we brought them because they were so used to being fed whatever people brought them – mostly bread, which is NOT good for them to eat. NOT AT ALL!
I pointed out to the kids the ducks who were actually swimming in the pond, diving for their food. I explained that even though we brought “good foods” for the ducks to eat, that the “BEST food” for the ducks was the food they could get for themselves, in the pond. I explained that although they couldn’t see the food the ducks were eating in the pond, that there were tiny fish and plants, perfect foods for ducks that would give them energy and help care for their bodies.
I then explained that the BEST thing that could be done for the ducks was if they had NEVER been fed in the first place, but if they had been encouraged to be who they were meant to be . . . ducks swimming for their own food. If only the energy would have been put into giving them a clean pond, with fresh water running through, plenty of sun and shade and people admiring them from afar. But that isn’t what happened, is it.
So . . . what kind of ducks do we want to be?
Both kids answered, “Ducks who learn to swim for their own BEST food!”
~ Class ended ~
On top of having these little teaching moments and one-on-one moments with the littles, and getting the necessary priorities done during the day, I have also found the energy to make it all the way to bedtime. I AM SHOCKED! I even have the desire to spend some quiet time with the kiddos before bed (since Paul is out every night “bishop-ing”) to read to them one of my treasured books . . .
I received this very book from my own precious mother, who wrote an inscription on the cover page – Mrauch (March) 18, 1984. I was 7 years old.
In Chapter 8, “Dance at Grandpa’s,” we heard of a food none of us new called Hasty Pudding. So, we looked it up and discovered that it is actually pretty similar to Cream of Wheat, a cereal we eat almost once a week. Joy Boy asked if we could give it a try today for breakfast, so we did.
You cook it up, very much like Cream of Wheat, but then you top it with a dollop of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup. I actually liked it. Joy Boy gagged it down. Curly Cook preferred it without butter or any type of sugar on top but then she asked that we not to have it again. I wonder if I should make it again in a few weeks when El Gringo and Ginger Snap return?
What to give it a try yourself? I actually liked the way it settled in my stomach, compared to Cream of Wheat. I just imagined the taste of hot corn bread, fresh from the oven and really enjoyed my experience. It is simple to make and even easier to eat, thus the name “Hasty Pudding!”
Hasty Pudding with Cornmeal
For two – three servings = boil 2 cups of water with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Slowing poor in cornmeal, stirring rapidly as to not create lumps in your cereal. Stir until it is set. Add milk to make it creamy and the thickness (or thinness) you prefer. Serve pudding with a pat of butter ( Oh! go ahead LOTS, of butter) and the sweetener of your choice, maple syrup or cream. Enjoy!
I am truly amazed how blessed one can be when they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is like trying to see how He makes our dollars stretch after we first pay our tithing. My time is precious to me, as well as my energy these days. The fact that I can do so much and not feel like I am “burning the candle from both ends” amazes me. I highly recommend making whatever changes you feel you need to make and see how they too will bless your lives.
Thanks for listening,