Saturday, July 21, 2007

Icey Creamy, Icey Creamy

"Icey Creamy, Icey Creamy
Cold and Sweet;
Icey Cream, Icey Creamy
Can't be beat..."

For those of you moms with toddlers who love Barney, there's a pretty good chance I now have this song singing in your head! (You are welcome--it's stuck in my mind, so why shouldn't it be stuck in yours as well?) My two children love Barney, and even though I swore to myself during my teenage babysitting days that "my kids will NEVER watch this annoying dinosaur--EVER!", I do let them watch it. And anytime the topic of ice cream comes up, chances are, one of them will start singing the Ice Cream Song.

I get an email everyday from the Everyday Cheapskate, and one day this week, it included a recipe for "Campground Ice Cream." I've seen similar recipes before, but have never tried them. So I decided for a fun little family project, we'd give it a try this evening. Here's the recipe:

Campground Ice Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 egg,
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1-pound coffee can
1 3-pound coffee can
crushed ice
rock salt

Place cream, milk, egg, sugar & vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well. Clean the 1-pound coffee can well. Pour the liquid into this small can. Seal with the plastic lid and tape the lid to the can very well with sealing tape or duct tape. Set this can in the center of the large 3-pound coffee can. Pour 4 parts crushed ice and 1 part rock salt into the spaces between the small and large cans until full. Cover the large can and tape this cover in place as well.

Take the cans outdoors and roll it back and forth on the picnic table for 10 minutes. Or let the kids roll it back and forth in a game, out on the lawn or other open area. Uncover and stir the ice cream. Recover and tape shut as before. Return to large coffee can with the salt and ice (or replace as necessary) and roll 5 minutes more. Open, serve and enjoy!

If you are like us and are not coffee drinkers, you can buy cheap coffee at WalMart in the two sizes needed for about $6 or so. (I can hear some of you saying, "why don't you just pour it into your electric freezer, plug it in, and have ice cream--much less energy." And I say, "Much less fun!") We rolled our cans around on the driveway this evening, and it worked great. One thing we did not do was replace the ice and rock salt partway through the process, and we ended up with a milkshake instead of ice cream! But that didn't stop us from eating it (or rather drinking it!) and enjoying it. But I bet if you put new ice and rock salt in halfway through the rolling process, you'll have thicker ice cream.

Here is Campground Ice Cream in action:

Enjoying the finished product...
So, Benjamin, how did you like it?
The look says it all!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Comparison Game

Do you ever find yourself comparing you to someone else, and find you coming up short? Like someone who has a bigger house than you? Or can afford nicer vacations than you? Or looks cuter in an outfit than you could ever look? Or finds time in her days to do twice the amount of fun things that you are able to do, and she has twice as many kids as you do? Or does a better job of teaching her kids their alphabet or memorizing Bible verses? Or cooks her family meals that are ten times healthier than the ones you cook your family?

I do.

It doesn't take too much effort to find myself smack dab in the middle of the comparison game. And when I do that, I always end up on the short end of the comparison. Funny how that works, isn't it?

But it doesn't take long before I remember that I am who I am because I am who God made me to be. If I were just like so and so or whoever it is I am comparing myself to, then I wouldn't be the unique, fearfully, and wonderfully made child of God that I am meant to be.

Also, when I do find myself in the midst of that comparison game, I'm basically saying that I don't think that me, that fearfully and wonderfully made child of the God who doesn't make mistakes, is not good enough. So did God mess up when He designed me? Or you? I think not.

If you find yourself thinking you just don't measure up, remember this:

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8.3-5

Did you catch that? A little lower than the heavenly beings?? Crowned with GLORY and HONOR??

I'd say that maybe I'm okay afterall. And so are you!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy 4th!

There's not much that makes my heart swell to overflowing faster than a great picture with my kids. Probably because outside of being a wife, being a Mommy is the most joyful thing I've ever done. Being a Mommy is truly a dream come true. God saw fit to send me these two precious little ones, and thought I don't deserve them, I'm so glad He did. So my plans for the 4th of July are to just enjoy the heck out of my sweet family. Mark took off yesterday, today and tomorrow, and we just plan to have fun together while he's off. I'll do no work and little housework--only what is a must to get us by. And while we celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in this great country of ours, I'll also be celebrating the "fireworks" that light up my life everyday!!