Friday, November 21, 2014

What To Do With Day Old Bread or How We Make a Great Team

My husband & I make a good team. Just a day or two ago, I prepped our breakfast of French Toast the night before using our day old French bread. He cooked it in the morning.

This works for us because I am the night owl and he is the morning guy. He sets the alarm and makes sure that I get up to eat breakfast with him about once/week. Usually he wakes and leaves for work while the rest of us are still snoozing. But one day a week, we make an effort to eat breakfast together. This started a little over a year ago.

He preps a nice breakfast, such as the French Toast I mentioned or perhaps an omelet with fresh fruit as pictured here. We have coffee and breakfast under our twinkle lights that light up our dining room year round. Much of the time I just sit there without much to say. I am amazed at how much staring at him with my morning hair makes him happy.

Can you see the lights behind him and his big smile?
We do make a great team. However, like all great teams we have to keep working at the fundamentals to keep being a winning team. This idea of once/week morning breakfast came after a long season of unusual circumstances in our lives. Hubby & I were struggling to stay connected beyond the communication it took to handle the logistics of caring for others (which included emergency foster care and his dad in the hospital for five months in addition to caring for and homeschooling our four children).

This effort to connect in a new way for this new season has reaped much more than the effort it takes to get myself out of bed. We only get about 10-20 minutes before he dashes off to work at 6:30 a.m. but we both look forward to this time.

Something fresh. Something that has a cost. An effort at connecting. These elements contribute to our winning marital team strategy. We both win.

Another bonus has been using up day old French bread; it makes fantastic French Toast. I don't think that I can ever go back.

How about you? 
How could you connect in fresh, meaningful way with someone in your life this week? 
Or perhaps you have a great way to use old bread?

And for those so inclined, the recipe, straight from Betty Crocker, follows:

Custardy Overnight French Toast,
per Betty Crocker's 40th Anniversary Edition

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
18 slices French bread, each about 1" thick

Beat flour, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and eggs with hand beater until smooth. Arrange bread slices just to fit in single layer in glass baking dishes. Pour egg mixture over bread slices. Turn to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat or to 375 degrees. Cook about 6-8 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

10 Lessons of October 2014

10 Things I Learned in October 2014

1) I miss my family more than I realize. While hanging out with my mom, my sister, & my niece during their October visit, I realized afresh how much I miss all of my family. Just because I've adapted to the gap, does not mean the gap isn't there.

2) Huge beach balls, bubbles, and confetti all contribute to the art of celebration. Thanks to the Rend Collective concert and the reminder that we need to be intentional about celebration in our lives.

3) Trick or treating for teenagers is much more fun with friends.

4) I am inspired by high school debaters. They give me great hope for the next generation.

5) Sometimes when I am compelled to lead a Bible study, it isn't about some great work that God will do through me. Instead it is about a message that God has for me,  the Bible study leader. Right here.  Right now. The study is Stronger: Finding Hope in Fragile Places by Angela Thomas.

6) I have thoroughly underlined the book Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. One among many insights gleaned and embraced is the fact that it is okay if I need to grieve differently than other people. I don't need to wait until everyone feels the same as me. I can do what I need to grieve even if it means this extrovert needs to do some of it alone.

7) As my sister shared some of her struggles as a single mom due to the death of her husband four years ago, I realized afresh we never know someone else's story and how they got where they are. I know her story; I have great admiration for how she lives out her path. However, when she shared some of her story, I realized that I needed to have more compassion on people when I don't know their story. It is a reminder that it is easy to judge by appearances.

8) I am learning afresh how much that I like to write. My Wednesday evenings have changed and I am taking the opportunity to write. I love it.

9) After one year on Facebook, I realize that more of my on-line time has gone to Facebook instead of reading and writing blog posts. Is this good or bad? Or the way that I want it to be? Not sure. But it is the reason why I have posted even less over the past year.

10) I am learning right now that I would really like lists to have 10 items even when I can't think of things that I have learned.

Linking with friends at Chatting at the Sky.
The End.
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