Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Life Without Cereal

Remember that old Barbara Mandrell song, "I was country when country wasn't cool"? Well, insert the words "Martha Stewart" for "country" and you are describing my mother (except the going to prison part...she didn't do that). She stayed home with my sister and me and, I say this without any sarcasm, was (and is) the most perfect mother and wife. She made everything homemade from all of our school lunches, dinners and birthday cakes to our curtains, clothes and even some of our toys. I swear (sorry, Mother), if that woman could have cobbled shoes she would have. When most of my friend's mothers were conquering the working world, my mother chose to be a living example of a Proverbs 31 woman. I would come home from school to warm homemade chocolate chip cookies, find a new dress she had made on my bed with a matching one for my Barbie along side. Everyone wanted my mom for their own. A lot of my friends never had a home cooked meal around the table with their family. We did this everyday; sometimes two or three times! This left a deep impression on me. Realizing I have a lot to live up to, I attempt, every day, to follow in her footsteps...and, maybe, exceed them if I can (did I mention that I am highly competitive?).
So, long story short (humor me) that is why I am warped....and why I don't buy cereal or packaged cookies or pretty much any prepared food. I feel like I'm cheating. My mom's favorite response to anything I might show her at the store when I was a kid was, "I can make that for half the price". That drove me crazy! But she was right! It's funny how the older you get the smarter your parents become.
I really can't blame the cereal thing on my mom. That started when my husband was diagnosed with type two diabetes. We learned that high fructose corn syrup inhibits the body's production of insulin so we try to avoid buying anything with it in it.
My husband gets frustrated because we don't have anything quick to just grab and snack on (haha! My evil plan is working!). All I buy are ingredients to make things fresh. It really wasn't as hard to make the break as I thought it would be. The kids love "Nanny McPhee breakfast" of scrambled eggs on toast or yogurt parfaits, Belgian waffles, omelets, breakfast tacos or any of the gazillion other meal ideas we've come up with. We make and freeze our own waffles and pancakes, we make our own cookies, bread, birthday cakes, pizza rolls, tamales, chicken nuggets, potato chips and taco seasoning. We make root beer, butter, ice cream, BBQ sauce, ketchup, jam, salsa, laundry soap, glass cleaner, clothes, costumes and home decor.
My daughters are much wiser than I was at that age and already have a great appreciation for all things homemade. Now they say, "Mom, don't buy that I can make it for half!" Maybe they'll learn how to cobble shoes!

Thank you, Mother!

Proverbs 31
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [c] A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

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