Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Great Gummy Bear Massacre

What started out to be a fun cooking time with the kids, ending in tears and heartache when bits and pieces of their hard-earned gummy bears were picked apart. This is why you should always read instructions twice. In my case, I should read them start to finish even one time.
Two of the three kids, love their supplement shots in the morning. Ten guesses which one has a differing opinion. I had pinned a recipe long ago when I was still lying to myself about being a Pinterest mom. I thought this would be such a great opportunity to share how great I am, as well as how versatile our Young Living stash can be.


I cleaned the kitchen, I didn't use the rusted over measuring spoons, and I even bathed should I happen to get the perfect Instagram snapshot.

I burned myself nearly immediately. Honey is a hot s.o.b. when melted over an open flame.

We melted our ingredients, and I carefully took the saucepan over to pour our liquid into the mold. There is now a line of solidified NingXia/honey/agar agar (fancy gelatin) on my floor because the heat in the sucky thing just made the stuff fly all over. Where's the wine?

I made the damn things, put the mold into the refrigerator, and waited one hour.
You can get your gummy bear mold HERE.

Nothing. Still liquid-ish.

Hour two. Sort of firm, but like he could use some gummy bear Cialis.

Hour three. Good enough.

Call the kids down, and we start to peel.
Well, that was a head. 

Shit, there goes a leg.

That one split right down the middle.

I'm killing it. Literally.

The kids are now angry and teary. I have murdered their bears.

I run to the computer to look at the recipe. Oh. I used 1 tsp of agar agar. I should have used 4 tsp.
I am over it. Suck the bears out of the mold for all I care. We'll try again tomorrow.

Read my instructions twice. Don't be an asshat like me.

1c NingXia Red
4tsp agar agar powder (gelatin)
2 tsp honey
optional: 2-3 drops Grapefruit and Lime EO

Bring to a boil, add your EOs, drop into your molds.

Refrigerate 1 hour. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Meal Prep Monday FAQ

First of all, you should know that I am eating pizza while I type this.

Without fail, I post my accountability salad-making for the week, and the intelligent questions roll in.
What are those round, red things in there?

I don't see any protein. Don't you know that you need protein with veggies?

What kind of lettuce is it?

Why would you eat chickpeas?

Is your lettuce flaccid?  << second favorite word in the English language

Guys, it's vegetables, chopped up in containers. I want to say that it's deeper and more complex than me turning on some dancing music, and chopping veggies for the week.

Sometimes it's organic, sometimes it's not. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for eating non-organic. Eat the salad, not the pizza.

Ready to be blown away?
The basics stay the same: romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and almond slivers. Clean it (if it's not organic), and chop it.

Grill up some thin cut steak and chicken.
These boxes are our jam and you can grab them HERE.

Yes, my husband eats them.

Sometimes the kids do.

Yes, I add the protein when I'm ready to eat the salad.

Sometimes, if I'm feeling crazy, I chop up hard-boiled eggs and throw those in. 

Go forth and meal prep.
Sunday, July 30, 2017

So, I Went Back to Church

...and I didn't get burned at the stake, or hit over the head with a Bible. I wasn't even asked to join a cult.

I just went.
Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, child and outdoor
Driving back to a place I didn't think I'd ever go again, we pulled our car into the parking lot and I took a deep breath. The pit stains were well-formed, and not going away even after angling my arms just so in front of the vents as I drove.

"I'm doing it for them. I'm doing it for them. They need to know Jesus at an early age, and know what I know, but don't understand. 

Also, there is beer in the fridge."

The church doesn't even look like the church I went to many years ago. And truthfully, this one isn't really the problem.

The Baptist church. That's my problem.

Bible-thumping, fear-mongering, shaming, judging. Those are the emotions and feelings that envelope that building. The kids not knowing or understanding God, and being told, "God will give up on you one day because you will screw up too many times for Him to forgive you." Apology letters being written by teens, who made a bad choice and got pregnant, and being forced to read them aloud during assembly. "Why is she apologizing to me? She didn't have sex with me. Is this normal? Do all Christians shame other Christians? Shit. I'm screwed."

There were good things too. The football games, the parties, the underground dances, the friendships, a select group of teachers. But chapel? Chapel was when I suddenly had cramps. Forget P.E. Chapel scared me more than an old fart with a stopwatch.

And here I was: opening myself up to all the shame, the guilt, the inferiority, the fear, the anxiety. Oh, the anxiety. The kind that a Xanax can't touch. Church was the C word. I wouldn't darken those doors until I had to - maybe a funeral. Maybe I could stand outside while they sang Ave Maria.

I could drop my kids in service and head to Starbucks. It wasn't my worst idea. I know other people who do it all the time. They'd get Jesus, and I'd get? Well, I wouldn't get the shame or the guilt. I was showing up to church after an 8-month hiatus. Surely, God was going to pillar-of-salt me for that kind of shit. My Bible teacher told me: He'd give up on me one day. Walking away from church was probably one of the best reasons to give up on me.

I texted the pastor's wife because she's normal.

"I don't want to do this, but I have to. For them."

"Come a few minutes after service starts. It's dark in there - like a night club. You don't have to talk to anyone, and you can sit in the back. Easy escape."

My kids betrayed me that night. They ran (read: bolted) for their classrooms. I carried them in my body for 9 months, and they left me in the dust to sit with a bunch of Judgy McJudgersons. Alone.


I texted aforementioned pastor's wife the entire time.

"Something is weird about the music."

"What's wrong?"

"No one was rolling around on the ground, and I didn't see one flag being waved." 

"If you've never been hit by a flag during worship, then, you've never been to a charismatic church."

Ok, so, the worship wasn't terrifying, but we have yet to get into a sermon momentarily where, surely, I will be told I am a scum bag who is going to burn. Wait for it...

I waited.

The shame never came.

Maybe next week.

Week two, Maddie asked Jesus into her heart, and proudly told me that she had "bathtized" herself in our tub not too long ago.

Eight weeks later, and I feel no shame. I have never once been made to feel less than. Quite the opposite. Daughter-of-The-King-level opposite. In fact, I ditch the kids faster to be sure I don't miss something. That feels weird.

I even asked about serving in some capacity.

"I know oils, I take good photos, and I'm sarcastic. What's the position for those gifts?"

Jesus & I? He & I are tight. God? If we had a Facebook, our relationship status would read, "it's complicated."
(And yes, I know about the trinity. Keep up.)

So, maybe God & I need some couples counseling for a while. Maybe I can see that He's not going to backhand me when I screw up. He wouldn't do that to my babies, so why would He do that to me? I guess...I guess He wouldn't.

Stay tuned as Andrea + MJJ Go To Church continues. Maybe I'll get hit by a flag next week.

* * *

Also, Josh works for a church in another town on the weekends, so we don't go with him because of distance. Don't ask.

Also also, I am grateful for my education and the private school I went to, so please don't mistake this for being ungrateful. Just have some junk to work out that was put there by some buttholes who worked there.