Chocolate Mousse and MRE’s

I really need to get better about taking pictures.  I am really bummed I didn’t think to take this shot.  It would have been awesome to display the apocalyptic effect my children’s lunch had on the kitchen table last week.  I mean it would have been really good to share the hostile takeover of my table space during the middle of the school day.

We have been on the quest to get rid of it, whatever “it” is, and one of the things we have been attempting to tackle is the process of using up the stuff we have saved for years on end.  I think you know what I am talking about… those items you save for a special occasion that never happens, so you just end up with … stuff.

For the special occasion of nuclear disaster, volcanic eruption or complete and total economic collapse, (I wonder which one is most likely to occur?) my husband has saved an “emergency bucket” for the special occasion of a major catastrophe, complete with MRE’s.  For those of you who are unschooled in military lingo, MRE’s are the freeze-dried packets of food that can be stored indefinitely.  I bet you can guess what Rob decided to feed the kids for lunch the other day!

Just to keep the record straight, I was home and perfectly able to prepare a lunch of real food.  I was busy for sure… it was in the middle of the school day and it was the day of the fundraiser with The Shy Boys, so I was getting things in order and making chocolate mousse to serve at the party, but I was here nonetheless.

OH.MY.GOODNESS.

The mess that followed paralleled the disasters these MRE’s were intended to thwart.  Holy cow… I have never seen so many wrappers, crumbs, goop, brown stuff and itty bitty bottles of Tabasco, ketchup and who-knows-what.  Come to find out, my kids were mixing and drinking coffee, not to mention the part about a life-time supply of preservatives.  Awesome.  All this fun was happening in the middle of school, chocolate mousse and party planning.  The cleanup required an entire tall kitchen trash bag, a broom, mop and a SERIOUS wipe-down of the kitchen table and all of its chairs.  I hosed the kids off outside.

It took Rob about 30 seconds to realize this was a bad idea.

I admit, it was fun.  The kids had a ball tearing into all the packets to see what surprise was inside and played a hefty game of “triple-double-dog-dare-ya-to-try-it-without-smelling-it-first.”  I even found it amusing enough to get over the part about me being the one stuck with the cleanup.

I was thinking about how ordinary it is.  Just plain everyday stuff to be cleaning up after your kids while juggling 27 other things that are way more important…. and how very unimportant those important things become in light of your kids’ pure joy in random things.  I was also thinking about how ordinary my life is for someone who is going to be moving to Africa; that although this big, exciting event is in the not too distant future, the fact is that I am here right now, doing ordinary stuff.  How ordinary is that?

I recognize that in this silly little (giant) catastrophe that I am right here, right now.  I am not in Africa yet.  I guess you could say that right now I am being called into a ministry of present-mindedness … living and blooming exactly where I have been planted.  I hope you will stay with me right here right now.  I hope you’ll be present with me and not get short-timers disease for friends.  I am still here and I want you to be here with me.

I don’t want you to say goodbye to me yet.

Love, Jennifer

PS… The fundraiser with The Shy Boys was a success!  Thank you Shy Boys!  And thanks to all of you who have committed funds to this work.  We are very excited to be inching closer to our destination.  Please consider how you might help us spread the word!  Thank you!

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