Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rise to the Occasion...

I don't know about you, but the week before I head out of town always seems like a tornado.  The week before our fall break trip was no exception.  I was trying to do too much in too little time...and my bread making experience was clear evidence.

A sweet friend from church gave me her bread machine a few years ago.  It sat on my counter, largely unused (like most bread machines, I fear)...until I found a good honey whole wheat bread recipe.  So now I make bread once or twice a week.  Because I make it so often, I have memorized the recipe.  (Besides that, it's an easy recipe.)

So in my flurry of pre-travel activity, I threw the ingredients together and hit the start button.  Usually, I only let the bread machine make the dough, then I take it out, break it into two smaller loaves for the second rise and finish it off in the oven.  (Thanks for this tip, Amy...makes all the difference in the world!)  Well, I was not surprised to come in from my errands to the smell of freshly baked bread.  I had forgotten to take it out after the dough cycle, so it just baked in the bread machine.  No big deal.  This has happened before.  I don't like the taste or consistency as well, but it's still edible.

But not this bread.  When I opened up the machine, this is what I saw.
This picture does not do it justice...because that really doesn't look too bad.  But just for comparison, this is what it's supposed to look like.
Need you ask what I had forgotten?  The yeast.  Blah!  It was a great object lesson for Sandra, though.  We tasted it and her response was "It tastes like plain pizza dough...gross!"

And it was a great heart lesson for me.  At the time.  Now, as I write this, I can't remember what it is I was supposed to learn.  Seriously.  I could make something up, but it's probably better to just be honest.  :)

(As a side, maybe this is why I feel like I have to keep learning the same things over and over...)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Break

Several people have asked me lately how our little experiment is going.  If you ask Sandra, she'll tell you that she loves it!  And if you ask me, I have to say: I've been a bit surprised at the fact that overall, I love it, too!  Don't get me wrong.  We have our struggles.  We have our battles, even.  But when taken as a whole, things are going very well.  I'll have to write more about what God's doing in the "kardia" department another time.

Last week we traveled to Kentucky.  My parents have property out there and my dad has built a hunting camp that is actually very accommodating and quite nice.  He's practically begged me to come for at least four years, so I decided that our fall break could align with my nephews' fall break and we could meet them and my parents out there for a little relaxation and fun.  My mom felt guilty that I would be making the 400 mile trek (which translates to 9-10 hours with small children) by myself, so she drove up to Charlotte to ride with us.  Thanks, Mom!
To say we had a wonderful time would be a vast understatement.  The kids played outside most of the day and there was a campfire burning most of the time.  I even had some time to work on scrapbooking.  The highlight, however, was a horse-and-buggy ride from the Amish neighbor.  (In case you're wondering, I did ask first before taking pictures.)
Here's Reuben (middle) with cousin Denver.
And Sandra (right) with cousin Gabe.
And here's Lucy pointing at the horse.  When we got close to the buggy and asked if she wanted to ride, she started screaming, climbing up my shoulder, and shaking her head.  We took that as a "no."  Her favorite part was seeing the cows in the pasture and going up and down the porch steps.

We're back in the saddle this week (no pun intended) and I'll try to write again soon.  You probably need to know about my failed bread making attempt.