Another God-related one. While I’m on the subject.
So, I want my kids not to take for granted that we are very, very blessed. We have a decent house, and 2 cars, and 2 parents, and 1 parent has a job, and there is food and clothing and love and even treats! We are way luckier than a lot of people out there. But beyond that, I want them to appreciate beauty- beauty like the sunset, and a gathering storm, and a perfectly cool day- and to thank God for those blessings too.
It started last week, when I drove them to Ky for Nanny’s funeral, and on the way, after coming in and out of a series of summer storms, they spotted a rainbow. And then another. And then another. It was amazing, and I realized none but Thatcher had ever seen a rainbow in real life. James proposed that maybe God was sending us a sign….a sign that we would be safe through the storms. A sign that Nanny would be okay (I started to interject here, but he came up with another right away.) A sign that He loved us.
Caden began to vigorously thank God for the rainbows, and during the rest of the trip, he found both a crocodile and a tornado-shaped cloud formation to thank God for as well.
But yesterday, coming home from the Y in the afternoon, James saw a “shooting star”. It was not a shooting star, it was a jetstream, but Caden overpowered my observation with “Thank you God!” A few minutes later the sky started to darken quickly with thunderheads, except for a small patch of daylight to our right. A bit of sunshine still clung to the tip of one fluffy cumulus clump, and Caden exclaimed, “Look! I bet there’s GOLD behind there!” And he thanked God for this present too.
It’s cool to let all the fake ones slide, right? Because that’s what I do. I wouldn’t really know how to take all those presents away from him.
There are so many times when the kids say or do something that I’m not equipped to handle correctly. I thought, since everyone knows I spend all my time writing the other blog right now, that this would be a fun and easy outlet for me. I’m getting tired of coming up with coupon scenarios.
Yesterday, as I plopped into my seat after running around the van buckling seatbelts and fending off slaps (from Addie, who did not want his seatbelt) Caden asked me,”Is Jesus in my juicebox?” I paused, keys en route to the ignition, to look at him.
“Why do you ask that? Umm, no, I don’t think Jesus is in your juicebox.”
James chimed in, “But, I told him Jesus is EVERYWHERE!”
“Well, yeah, I mean, God is everywhere…in our hearts….and He’s all around us….and- but he’s not in the juicebox.”
Was that wrong? I don’t even know. Maybe Jesus is in his juicebox.
I will apologize for not posting eventually- but for now, straight to the point.
My last day in Lousiville, I picked Papaw up at his house and took him to breakfast. We had biscuits and gravy, and in the short time it took to excuse myself to the ladies room and return to our table, he had become confused and was standing up with his jacket on, searching the room with nervous eyes. I took him by the arm and led him outside to the minivan.
We made our hospital entrance with him in a wheelchair and me pushing it quickly through the corridors. Upon reaching Nanny’s floor, we passed the nurses station and rounded the corner of her hallway. It was there we came face to face with a momentarily bewildered Ruth-Ann. For just a second she stood stock still, her arm raised slightly and holding a cell phone, as if preparing to put it to her ear. And that was all the time it took, my friends. All the time Papaw needed to gather his wits, tilt his head quizzicaly, and demand:
“What are you? Posing for animal crackers?”
And out of all the shit that I won’t recall from this trip…. as I grow old and try to remember my grandparents and how they were- who they were- this is something I will remember forever. And I will laugh every time.
This is embarassing.
Yesterday I tried – and failed – to make an ice cream cake for Thatcher’s 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Moss. It was edible, if you can classify tilting a plate to slide an ice-cream-cookie-butter-blob toward your face “edibling”. And maybe you shouldn’t. But because I like us both to learn from my mistakes, I am going to post this tutorial anyway.
Homemade Ice-Cream Cake
- First, you need all this stuff: butter/margarine, 2 packs of cookies/candy bars, frosting or cool whip, 2 gallons of ice cream*
As you can tell, I like to go with the cheapest ingredients available- generic all the way- because it really makes no difference in the outcome. I only used fancy ice cream here because it was fifty cents.
- Line your pan of choice with plastic wrap or tin foil. Leave enough on the sides to fold over the finished cake for freezer storage.
- Next, chop up the oreos (or in my case, Hydroxes) into coarse crumbs with a knife. You can’t do this in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin, like normal, because with the cream and all you’d just end up with a bag of chocolatey paste. I have done this.
- Now melt 3 TBSP butter in a bowl, pour all your cookie crumbs in, and stir. Once it’s mixed will, press the butter-crumb dough into the bottom of your pan evenly. It will look and feel gross, but never fear- when frozen, it will all be okay.
- Get your ice cream out and chop the whole box in half- then slice into 1″ pieces and lay over the cookie crust until completely covered. Smooth over the top with a spreader(I warmed mine in hot water first) and stick straight into the freezer.
- While that layer is hardening up again, chop up the other package of cookies- or use chopped candy bars this time. Pour the crumbs over the ice cream layer (sans butter this time!) and press gently until all is even.
- Repeat the ice-cream slicing and placing with the second box, spread smooth, and fold the plastic wrap up to cover everything. Place in the freezer for 4 hours or overnight.
This is where my story gets sad guys. Since Mr. Moss’ birthday party was at 2:00, and I didn’t start this project until 11:00, my ice cream cake had only an hour and a half to set up. Keeping this in mind, let’s continue.
- Pull your cake out of the freezer, fold back the plastic, and finish by spreading Cool Whip over the top and piping a decorative border around the edges. If you bought a can of frosting, thinking you could simply melt it a bit in the microwave and then pour it over the top of the cake, giving you a quick and easy smooth, frosted surface- then you were seriously mistaken and/or drunk. When you try to do this, you will find that the frosting freezes on contact with the ice cream and sits there in ugly, unspreadable puddle-globs. You might then choose to spread these frozen globs clumsily around and cover all in a blanket of sprinkles. This will have to do, you will tell yourself.
- Put the cake back in the freezer for another 15-30 minutes to set the icing. When you take it out again, you should be able to lift the cake carefully from the pan by pulling the plastic wrap up on both sides. Set on a platter so the yummy layers will be visible to all- enjoy!
If your cake did not freeze for many hours, you may decide to leave it in the pan for party time. You will plunk candles into the frosting-sprinkle soup forming atop your cake. You will light them and sing as fast as you can while eyeing the wax puddles sink into the topping. You will raise your knife to cut the first square, and it will plonk to the bottom of the pan the moment you press it to the ice cream. All the layers start to combine into a slimy, green pile which you plunk with a spoon onto each child’s plate. They like it anyway. Mr. Moss declines seconds.
*This is what you need to make enough for a 3rd-grade class, you can make a smaller one with about half.
While I was standing in line at Bi-Lo today with Thatcher and James, I told them that Yes. I would LOVE to play Monopoly with them tonight. And while usually I would be lying through my teeth, due to the difficulty of playing anything that involves pieces, paper money, a board, or a time commitment within Addie’s destructive grasp, the little boys are gone this week. And deep down I love Monopoly. And I am kind of awesome at it, in that I buy ever property I hit, including Matt’s favorites, while he grinds his teeth at me. And then he lands on all of them until he is broke. And broken. So fun!
Anyway, I told them that we could sit at the table and eat snacks while we play, but the boys wanted to play on the rug. I told them that me and dad are old people, and we old people don’t like to sit on rugs and bend over while we play Monopoly.
“You’re not old mom, cause you’re still kick and if you’re still kick then you’re not old.”
“Where’d you hear that?”
“Nowhere. But you’re still kick, and dad’s still kick, and grandma and grandpa are still kick, and mamaw and papaw are still kick and…..”
The rest of this is just white noise really.
This is what James made me for Mother’s Day this year. I think he was trying to tell me how I am puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma…… of awesomeness. Maybe one day you too will have your likeness glorified in jigsaw form.