Monday, April 19, 2010

"Sugary Amanda"

A few weeks ago I decided to dedicate our new home to the things I love doing and have slacked off in for a while. Cooking and Baking. It's not that I quit cooking or quit baking but it was not how it used to be. I used to get high on the thought of new recipes and dishes to make for Jeremy. He has always said he married me for my cooking and lately I've cheated him. My act of planning menus and taking pride in our "suppers" was GONE!  I had a friend tell me one time "When you are not baking, you seem dead inside." WOW! Is that what Betty Crocker's friends said to her when she got tired and did not bake a cake a for a month? :) But the more I think about it, the more it is true. When I am using one of my many, many, many baking tools or one of my thirty measuring cups (I have an addiction to measuring cups and love unique ones) or wearing one of my beautiful vintage aprons (i have a collection and Minnie just made me a new one!) then I am the Amanda who is diving into life with lots and lots of sugar. And everything is better with sugar! And a "sugary" Amanda is way more pleasant than a "dead inside" Amanda. Don't you think?

Lately I have had a lot on my mind. From family to Homeschool to parenting to finding out how on earth I can find a Homeschooling Mama I can be pals with, I have found lots of peace in my kitchen with the hum of the Kitchen Aid Mixer in the background. And let me start another sentence with and (my 6th grade English teacher said it was fine) and tell you that I am starving for a friend. Yes, I have friends I love dearly and Homeschooling friends in other states but I have yet to meet my match here in my local community. My friend, a Homeschooling friend in another state, Kim, explained it to me in a way that is dead-on true to my situation (and i think i blew the roof off this sentence because it looks bad grammar to me). Until I find some sort of connection to the "Homeschooling Community" I will feel like a missionary in Africa who is getting to know all the locals but CRAVES to know someone from my own culture. THAT IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL.

Now my friends who do not Homeschool are going to have to put on big girl panties right about now and not be offended by this. The truth is, I cannot relate to my friends who do not Homeschool. It does not mean that I do not want to be friends with them. But it does mean that our parenting, our beliefs and our schedules are more than likely 100% different. It DOES NOT mean their parenting, beliefs or schedules are bad. It DOES mean it is different than mine and I may be a little less than sympathetic to a Mom complaining of needing a break when they have a 6-8 hour break daily and I have none. She may be less than sympathetic when I stress my need for a break when I have chosen to Homeschool my kids and I have set myself up to be with my kids all the time.

So yeah, right about now I feel like a missionary in a foreign country. I need a friend who walks in the same shoes as me (stilettos to be exact or flip flops while at the grocery store but cute ones) or at least VERY similar. I am beyond frustrated by this right now. I am beyond lonely. I am beyond discouraged. I have put out a few "feelers" but first off I need a Mom who has a boy! My son needs a friend too! Lately I have baked a whole lot of stuff praying as I measure sugar and milk, praying as I sift flour, praying as I separate egg whites from egg yokes, praying as I pray for perfect meringue (which by the way happens when you put your metal mixing bowl and wire whisk attachment in the freezer for a while and then use it). Praying, baking, praying and baking. My prayers seem a lot like recipes. Each request is much like an ingredient. Lots of ingredients to make the cake rise just right and taste perfectly sweet and moist. The icing is kind of like my tears. Without the tears, it's not complete. Without the icing, it's not complete. My tears make it organic and real. My icing makes it my own (because I have a secret butter cream recipe that I won't tell you! ha!).

I mastered pizza dough this weekend while praying over my patience with Josiah. There are little tricks I learned the second try and now I can make a mean pizza dough! Hoping to master my patience with Josiah when he sits at the table and works on Math for three hours because he is so busy daydreaming. There are things I am learning that DO NOT work but have not learned WHAT works yet.

A "Texas Sheet Cake" seem to help me through the day as I prayed through some other things while simultaneously fighting satan's stupid little attacks coming in all forms AND waiting to hear back from my Dad who currently sits in the ER (long story). Today I have felt "picked on" so baking was the only way I knew to "sift" it out. (By the way, my Dad is FINE.)

And as I sit down, before dinner (who cares because I am pregnant and can eat dessert all day long if I want), to eat my piece of "Texas Sheet Cake" aka/ "Chocolate Cake Heaven", I pray I will feel the peace I so desperately need right now.

Lord, send me a friend. May she be "sugary", sweet and fun and much like me when it comes to "Homeschool". One I can do field trips with and talk about our sons and daughters too. And please, please, please, someone who likes to have fun and likes cute shoes and lip gloss!

Feeling "Sugary" but not "Dead Inside",

(P.S. It's been an emotional day and so if this does not make sense, sorry. It did to me.)


Jules said...

I love the way you write! And, I can so relate to you right now! It's to bad that I live in Oklahoma or I would happily be your "Homeschooling friend"! :)

And, to top it all off, I start my sentences with "and" and, I LOVE to bake and my absolute favorite chocolate cake is Texas Sheet Cake! I have two secrets: I put a dash of cinnamon in the batter and I use mexican vanilla in all my baking. :)

Hope you have a great week and I will be praying that you meet your homeschooling "soul mate" soon!


Amanda said...

Jules, my Dad and I were just talking about how SHOCKED we were that this recipe did not call for any cinnamon because a lot do. But it was AMAZING! And if you knew me long you would know that whenever I hear of someone going to Mexico, I beg them to bring back vanilla because it is the ONLY kind I use. But since we live so close to the border, lots has founds it's way into the area and I can now get it without crossing the border!

I DO wish you lived here! :)

Wendy said...

I can so relate to this! I pray for the same thing. Wish we lived by each other. I have the boy and the girls you asked for, and I KNOW we'd have fun!

Hope everything is ok w/your Dad.

Stacey said...

Wow. How I can relate to this post!!!
I can't even tell you how many homeschool functions around here I have stopped going to because we just don't fit in! I don't wear a jean jumper & braided hair. I usually have heels or flipflops and I flatiron my hair and wear make up and BIG earrings!!!

I have had the same longings and still do. I am super encouraged by your post. I like the analogy of baking as your prayer. I am going to do that with our unpacking. We moved yesterday, and I had a total meltdown because even though we moved in across the street from a dear friend, she isn't the type to bring a 6pack over and have a cold one with me. Which is what I really needed yesterday. So I went and bought beer and came back home to skype with my best friend back home.

Anyways, I hear ya. Not complaining about what we do have - because I feel blessed for sure. But at the same time, there is a legitimate void in our lives that we can pray God fills. :)

Thank you. Love you.

Jules said...

Great minds do think alike! I have tried Pioneer Woman's sheet cake which doesn't have cinnamon and it is awesome but the recipe I always fall back on is my Granny's and it has cinnamon. I probably love it so much because it takes me back to my childhood.

The mexican vanilla is the bomb! Some people just can't understand the obsession. lol It's so great that you can get it so easily! I am jealous. :)

Amanda said...

This is my Mammaw's recipe and PW got nothin' on my Mammaw's!

Jules said...

I have a Mamaw, too,(my mother's mom) I think that is so cool that you call your Grandmother that!

LOL, PW don't have nothin' on my Granny or my Mamaw, either! Those mamaw's sure know how to put on a spread! :)

Christy said...

You bless my heart girl. I wish you lived next door! :)

Anonymous said...

Sweet! Yes, pun intended! Hang in there girl! I know God's got a friend out there for you! In the meantime, keep baking! It brings joy to you and joy to your home! And don't forget, if you ever need a taste tester, I'm 3 doors down! Ha!


Paula said...

HUGS!! I can't move and be that person.....but I am a phone call away. I KNOW it isn't what you need or want, but I am here!! Love you!

Christina said...

all I gots to say is I love you girl and a lot of the homeschooling mamas around the US and Canada are praying for the same thing. That one homeschooling buddy that fits. I'll pray for yours...please pray for mine. :-) <3 uuuuu!

Kelly said...

Beautifully written, and I am so glad to hear you talk about baking again. It is one of those things I identify with you, from my early days of reading your first blog, and seems such a part of your identity:-)

I absolutely LOVE the visual of you baking and praying, and it inspires me to remember to pray my way through the day. Yesterday was one of those "full attack" days, and I struggled with feeling defeated through much of it. How I wish I had followed your approach and prayed as I went about my day. Once again, you sharing your heart has blessed and encouraged me in my own struggles, so thank you.
I am praying for you to find the perfect friend, and Josiah, too. I am so amazed at the way you are able to stand by your choices and convictions, even when it is lonely and hard, and not second guess what you are doing for your family. I know Go will honor and bless you for your faithfulness, and I can't wait to see who he sends into your life.

Praying expectantly for you. Love you sweet friend, and hope today is full of blessings.

Karen Hammons said...

Man I wish I lived in TX or you lived in SC!! :)