I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jesus And Sciencey Stuff.

You're about to see what a glorious nerd I am.

Our kids are involved in a homeschool Co-Op with several other like-minded and awesome families in our town, and we, as the parents, get the awesome chance to teach sometimes.  And apparently, when I get to teach, I opt to go as stereotypical and nerdy as I possibly can take it.

But it's a little bit fun.  And a teeny tiny bit educational.

I just finished up a class where I taught characteristics of God through science.  Stop rolling your eyes.  It was awesome.

We went through six different attributes of God's character: Omnipresence, holiness, omnipotence, omniscience, merciful protector, and never-changing.  Every week, I did an experiment to try to drive the point home.  I had an age range of 3 to 3rd grade, so it was a great way to get on each child's level as much as possible.

Now first, I want to say how amazingly impressed I was with these kids.  I had small kids walking around knowing how God is omnipresent...so He's everywhere. I didn't dumb it down for them, and for the most part, they totally got it.

I just wanted to give a brief overview of what we did every week, and I will attach my crudely written notes that have the verses I used. (just click the week)

Week 1: Omnipresent- God is everywhere, even if we can't see him.  I used yeast and sugar and warm water to inflate a balloon.  Just like we couldn't see the carbon dioxide, it was there!

Week 2: Holy- God is holy and perfect, but we are not.  I used acetone to dissolve styrofoam balls to show that no matter how many good works we attempt, we will never reach heaven through them because of our sin. (the kids really loved watching this one!)

Week 3: Omnipotent- God is all powerful.  Without Him, we have no power at all.  We used D batteries (God, the power) and strips of foil (connected to God through Jesus) to light a light bulb (we are the light of the world, after all).

Week 4: Omniscient- God sees everything, even what we try to hide.  We used a coffee filter, a black marker, and a spray bottle of water to see that the black ink was really made up of all different colors of ink.  We may see black, but God sees the reds, blues, and yellows.

Week 5: Merciful protector- In His mercy and grace, God protects us.  I blew up several balloons and used them to show our connection to God.  I then used a candle to represent sin.  I popped the balloons with the candle to show what happens to our relationship with God because of sin.  I then held a balloon with water in it up to the candle to show how the Living Water (Jesus) changes the situation.  He protects us and keeps our relationship with God in tact.  (Seriously, the balloon didn't burst.  It was awesome.)

Week 6: Never changing- God doesn't change- He changes us.  This was, by far, the favorite experiment of the entire semester.  I gave the kids a bowl and had them pour a bottle of elmer's glue and water into it.  (This is us.)  Next, I gave them another bowl had borax that I'd dissolved into water in it.  (This is God.)  They poured the borax water into the glue and stirred it up.  (The point was that God changes us.)  The kids went ga-ga over making slime...and maybe I liked it a little bit, too...

In all, this class was so much fun.  I'm sure the kids didn't really grasp all the theological points I made, but I hope I was able to plant some ideas that will eventually make lots of sense.

Go ahead.  Go nerd it up with your kids.  I won't tell anyone.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bread For My Monkeys.

I've been a little bit obsessed with making bread lately.  I've made it 4 times in the last 6 days.  I've been trying to perfect the most amazing garlic cheese bread (that I will eventually share...the recipe....you have to make your own loaf).

My sister had mentioned a few times lately about how much her and her husband have loved the monkey bread she makes.

Now, let's pause here.  Let me see a show of hands for how many people know what "monkey bread" is.

I had no idea.  Kinda.  I knew it was sweet bread, but that was about it.  I googled it, and it sounded amazing, so I decided I wanted to make it. ..But alas, I had no biscuits.

But I did have a bread recipe.

Oh.  My.  Word.

It's like...like a cake made of the inside of cinnamon rolls and covered in a delicious sticky candy syrup coating.  At least that's what my three year old called it...

What you'll need:
1 and 1/3 cup warm water (hottest from the tap)
2 tsp yeast (or one packet)
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar

I apologize...I didn't snap pictures this time because I had a baby on my hip...

First, mix your water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl.  Let it bloom for about ten minutes.  Next, add the oil and mix it up.  Add a cup of flour and blend it.  Add in the salt and mix it for about 2 minutes.

I use a stand mixer to do all my dirty work.

Add in 2 1/2 cups of flour and mix.  If you're kneading it in a mixer, leave it on for about 3 minutes.  If it's sticking to the sides, add the rest of the flour and knead it for another 3 minutes.  If you're kneading it by hand, you'll go for about 10 minutes.  Don't be scared of this.  It's therapeutic.

Once it's been kneaded, put the dough in a greased bowl and let it rise for at least 2 hours or until it's doubled in size.

Meanwhile, mix up your cinnamon sugar mixture.  When the dough has risen, punch it down.  Also therapeutic.  Break off tablespoon sized balls of dough, roll them into a ball, and roll them in the cinnamon and sugar mixture.  This doesn't take nearly as long as I expected.  Drop the dough pieces into the bottom of a greased bundt pan.

Let your bundt pan full of goodness rise for a bit while you melt your butter and brown sugar together.  Once it's melted, pour it...the whole thing...over the top of your dough.

Bake at 350 for half an hour.  Let it cool for a few minutes and plop that sucker out on a serving dish.

Watch the monkeys go nuts.