Rainy Days

Yesterday and today have been cold, rainy days around here. What a nice change for us! We’re all glad the weather is finally cooling off! The kids and I have been soaking in the quiet togetherness that rainy days create.

Yesterday the kidlets played with Play-Doh after breakfast while I put dinner in the crock pot. Then we went for a walk in the drizzle. Our neighbor’s dog came with us and Hula Girl spent the entire walk throwing the dog’s ball. Gelato spent the entire walk alternating between crying because his hood was on and crying because his hood was off. 🙂 Afterward, we came home and the kiddos had some hot chocolate. In the afternoon we cleaned the house and baked biscuits, and then the kids played with shaving cream paint in the tub. They had an early dinner of chili and biscuits and then we welcomed our small group. The kids played quietly during the first few minutes of small group, and then it was time for Jonathan to put them to bed. Hula Girl, of course, did not fall asleep right away; she stood looking out her window to watch our guests leave, as she always does when we have company.

This morning, Hula Girl didn’t wake up until 8:00, so Gelato and I made breakfast together before we got her up. They had banana bread and milk for breakfast. While they ate, I read them the story of Noah’s Ark from Genesis. Hula Girl was surprised and said, “Mommy, I’m amazed that the story in the Bible is just like the story in our Jesus Storybook Bible! God is sure awesome! And he made rainbows to make a promise!”

Then we cleaned up and the kids stayed in their jammies while they played with the Lite Brite and Cootie. After we got that craziness cleaned up, we decided it was time to start making Christmas gifts and decorations. (Nay-Nay and Auntie Joanna, something’s coming your way soon!) Gelato surprised me with his dexterity! We were stringing Christmas beads (not pony beads- the star-shaped things that have small holes in the middle) on pipe cleaners to make “icicles” to hang in the tree. He could do it! I was amazed. Hula Girl has discovered a passion for stringing beads, and she will be making many many many more of these for friends and family alike. 🙂

Around 10:00, I got the kids bundled up in sweat pants, rain coats, and boots, and I sent them out in the backyard so I could read my Bible while watching them play. They got SOAKED. And they loved it. At 10:45, I called them back in and welcomed them with a hair dryer, big towels, and fleece footie jammies. Hula Girl thought it was great fun to have me blow dry her entire body; both of them loved it when I pulled their jammies out from their bodies and blew warm air down their backs. Ah, to be a preschooler again! Then we snuggled up on the couch and read several books under a cozy blanket.

After lunch, Gelato started his nap and Hula Girl and I finished Peter Pan. This is the fourth movie she’s ever seen. I am not a super big fan of it for her- there are lots of names called, Indians are portrayed in a terrible light, and there is just a lot of violence in general. I had to keep reminding her that it’s all a big game the Lost Boys play with the other inhabitants of Neverland, and that since it’s all pretend, none of these things actually happen. She is much more partial to Frozen. I have to agree with her! She has also seen Cinderella and The Aristocats. I like Frozen and Cinderella best.

When the kids wake up from naps, I plan to take them to Walmart, just to get out of the house for a while. We need to get a few pull-ups for Gelato (he sleeps in a pull-up but is potty-trained otherwise), and I believe they carry a non-GMO cornmeal there, which would be great for cornbread. (You’ll notice I said we baked biscuits to eat with our chili yesterday… yup, we are out of cornmeal.) I’m hoping Jonathan will light our fireplace after dinner so we can bring the kids down and read them a bedtime story in front of the fire tonight.

 

I can’t cook.

For real. My parents made me cook a few times here and there growing up (I think it was once a week while I was in high school). I “cooked” tacos or spaghetti every.single.time.

For the majority of our married life, Jonathan and I have lived on tacos, spaghetti, casseroles, and whatever Jonathan cooks.

But since Hula Girl’s initiation to table foods at the ripe old age of 6 months (that’s 2 Decembers ago), I have tried to up it in the cooking department. Especially since I’m a stay-at-home-mom and I really have no reason not to have a nice warm delicious dinner on the table when Jonathan comes home from work. Except one- I can’t cook.

Don’t get me wrong. I can follow a recipe okay. But even when I do that, things generally don’t go well. We usually have to “doctor” our food quite a bit before we can get a reasonably edible dish. For example, I once cooked an “Asian BBQ Shredded Beef” dish in the crock pot, and we actually had to wash the meat before we could eat it. That, my friends, is how bad it tasted after I followed the recipe and everything.

I’d like to take a moment, after sharing that horribly embarrassing anecdote to bolster my kitchen rep just slightly. I challenge ANY of you to come over to my house and beat me in a banana bread or zucchini bread or just plain ol’ whole wheat bread competition. It can’t be done. I am a bread-baking champion who can’t be beat. I don’t know what it is, but every time I bake bread, it turns out really, really well. Reputation restored… or bumped up a notch, at least.

Anyhow, cooking is not my thing. I really do try. But something always goes wrong. Today’s example: I quick-soaked some pinto beans. That went well. Then I rinsed them and put them back in the pot, with plenty of water, to cook for tonight’s burritos*. But apparently you can’t cook them for as long as I wanted on medium heat. They boil over. And then they start to burn. I know this now. Fortunately I got to them and added more water and turned down the heat before the smoke detector went off in the middle of Hula Girl’s nap.

*Burritos are the fancier version of tacos in our house. I even warm the tortillas before filling them! And sometimes I melt the cheese to the tortillas before adding the beans, meat, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa! Now that’s expert cooking right there!

Jonathan has mentioned once or twice that once Hula Girl and Gelato get old enough to leave them for the evening (like, when they’re 42 and 40, respectively), he’d like to take cooking classes together. I’m still trying to decide whether he really has an interest or if he just doesn’t want to be eating spaghetti…again… on our 30th wedding anniversary.

It’s been said that practice makes perfect. But in this circumstance, practice only seems to make caked-on messes that taste nasty. Any ideas on how to improve my performance in the kitchen? I do feel like a terrible wife and mother. At least what I lack in cooking skills I make up for in fun! Jonathan has never once said he’s bored after hanging out with me for a while.

Maybe someday we’ll have enough money to hire a cook. Applications accepted starting now.

 

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