Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back on Track

I am very pleased to report that after a whole week of doing, well, nothing, I am back to doing something! I'm still a bit sick (what on earth is this bug??) but it's no longer hindering my ability to stand, move, clean, etc. Which is a good thing, because starting Monday morning at 8:00 it was right back to business for me!
First thing on my 'To Do' list that morning was cleaning! Hooo boy... there was a lot to clean. One could argue that since I was sick and wasn't really doing anything that I couldn't have made much of a mess, which is true, but that truth unfortunately does not extend to sick toddlers. Every single room of the house was in need of a good cleaning. Well, moreso a good tidying... my house was actually quite 'clean' - meaning that the walls had been washed recently, the floors cleaned, the window sills wiped, the bathroom scrubbed and everything dusted - but what was wrong was the quantity of things out of place. There were toys all over, books scattered around, dirty dishes and lots of dirty laundry. I started with the most obvious issues (the toys!!!) and worked my way to the other messes. By 4:00, my house looked like a home again, rather than a pig sty! I even had time to bake that night! I've been on a granola bar making kick the last few weeks and have been using a great 5-minute recipe. Actually, I think I'll give it here now!

S'more Granola Bars:
2 tbsp butter
2 heaping tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 tbsp honey
Combine above ingredients in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 2 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
2 tbsp graham wafer crumbs
1 c. oats
3/4 c. Rice Krispies
3/4 c. mini marshmallows
Microwave for 30 more seconds (or until marshmallows are soft), and stir well. Add 1/2 c. chocolate chips and gently mix in (the chocolate will melt a bit - if you don't want it to melt, wait for the oat mixture to cool before adding the chocolate).
Press into the bottom of a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Cut into 12 pieces.

Yesterday was a busy day in ways other than cleaning. I had a morning meeting for the charity I do event planning for. The other women in the committee have been gracious enough to allow us to meet at my house so that I don't have to drag the kids out to an office and hope they sit pretty for 2 hours. The meeting was a productive one; we decided to scrap a fundraiser that was not panning out and replace it with another one. Since these fundraisers are intended to target the 18 - 35 age range, and I'm the only person under 50 on the committee, they're considered to be 'my' projects. Just a tiny bit of pressure there ;) I hope they'll work out well! We have 4 different fundraisers planned for this year: a garage sale, a small business competition, a gala and a Christmas shopping day. While we were making plans for the garage sale the ladies started talking about making it a Carribbean themed sale, where all of the volunteers would dress up in a Carribbean style and would barter with shoppers rather than just having set prices. For the sake of clarity we were going around the room and saying what came to our minds when we thought of the Carribbean and all I could think of was 'rum'. (It's not a crazy thought process to get there - really I was thinking about pirates first and then thought about the rum. Totally natural!) Well, since it's a Christian counselling charity, which often provides counselling for recovering alcoholics, the rum is a little faux pas. But I redeemed myself shortly afterward when we were discussing food for the event. Someone mentioned renting out a hot dog cart and even hiring people to run it when I recalled the Canada Day celebrations here in town. Every Canada Day the city puts on a cultural celebration down at a local pond and different cultural groups come and set up food carts featuring their local cuisine. Every year the line up to get the Filipino satay is the longest! And since they normally only set up their food cart on Canada Day, we're hoping the appeal of having them at out event will actually be a draw for people to come out to the garage sale! I know I only really go to the Canada Day celebration because of the food, so it makes sense for people to come to our event for the same reason! (They did forgive me for the rum comment in light of that idea, btw).

After the planning meeting I got the kids settled in for their naps and went to work on taxes. I do bookkeeping for a friend's business, more or less as a favor, and this is his first year in operation so they've never done the small-business tax process. It's going to be a fair bit of work for me to get this all done up, but at least it will get me warmed up for doing my own taxes next week.

I'm still working through the days of Creation with my Sunday School kids. Last week was Day 3: Land and Vegetation. We talked about how God loves variety and how created a bunch of different plants and rocks. I brought in some shiny rocks for the kids to look at and then I showed them a geod. A geod is a rock that looks plain on the outside but has a crystal core. The kids loved when I cracked it open for them! Then we talked about plant varieties as we passed around a fuzzy kiwi, a hard coconut, a succulent with soft, flexible 'spikes', some herbs to taste and some spices to smell. Then we planted beans in little glass jars for the kids to take home and grow! This coming Sunday is Day 4: Sun, Moon and Stars. I'm going to make a Starry Cave by poking Christmas lights through the top of a cardboard box. The kids can lay in the box and look up at the 'stars'. Another thing I might do is make Constellation Jars by splattering glow stick liquid inside of mason jars. Thank you Pinterest, again and again! Honestly, I don't think I can function without it now!!

Well, this has been a charming little break from my giant list of 'To Dos', but it's really time for me to get back to life. I've still got lots of taxes and cleaning to go!

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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