Monthly Archives: April 2012

Teachable Moments

Before I had kids, I was an elementary school teacher for a few years.  One of the most important things about teaching is knowing how to identify “teachable moments”. Lesson plans are important, but you have to be able to recognize when a child is ready and willing to learn.  Sometimes you can create these moments, but often they just happen.  The most rewarding days were usually the ones that we strayed from the lesson plans because the kids were passionate about a project or some tangent we found ourselves on.  That’s when the real learning takes place.  If the kids are bored, tired, or grumpy they aren’t going to be very open to new lessons.

Chapter 9 of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World is about Martha’s heart and her willingness to learn.  She could have become defensive when Jesus corrected her, but Weaver shows evidence that Martha learned from this experience.  I believe that Jesus can identify teachable moments with us, but I also believe that we have a responsibility, as adults, to be prepared for his teachings regardless of our moods.  I am definitely a very stubborn person and do not enjoy being corrected.  I probably would have been somewhat annoyed with Jesus had I been in Martha’s position.  The trick is to move beyond the initial bruised ego.  Martha was able to humble herself and grow in her relationship with him.  She had a teachable heart.

Weaver challenges us to do three things in this chapter: listen, act on what you hear, and respond to discipline.  As a mother I can relate!  This is what I want from my children.  It is also what God wants from us.

There is so much to this chapter about how to listen to God’s voice and how to receive his corrections.  I love the words that Weaver uses because she relates God as a father.  Any parent can relate to how frustrated he must be with his children sometimes.  This chapter reminds me of the saying, “I hope you have a child just like you.”  I wonder if this is part of God’s design… or maybe his sense of humor.  Raising my own children is definitely a good lesson on how God must feel about me – the good and the bad!

To infinity… and beyond!

Since the majority of my cake decorating has revolved around my two daughters I haven’t done many boy themes.  This was my first superhero cake and it was a lot of fun!  I was asked to make a Buzz Lightyear cake for a little boy’s third birthday party.  His mom sent me a picture of a cake very similar to this one and I copied the design.  It’s a simple two-tier cake with marshmallow fondant covering and decorations.  The wings are made of gum paste and covered with fondant.

Showing off his wings!

One of the big requirements for the cake was my marshmallow fondant.  I have talked to a lot of people about how much they hate the taste of fondant.  I don’t know why people bother with the store bought stuff.  It’s expensive, hard to work with and nobody will eat it.  I make marshmallow fondant, which is cheap, easy to work with and tasty!

Here’s how you do it:

Dump a bag of marshmallows into a microwave safe bowl with about 2 tbs of water

Heat for 30 second intervals- stirring in between- until the marshmallows are melted

Start pouring powder sugar into the bowl and stir until the mixture pulls together like bread dough

Dump the whole mess onto a greased surface, coat your hands with Crisco and start kneading

Add sugar as needed- you may use up to 2 lbs for the batch

Once the fondant is mixed and no longer sticky you can color it or use it as is.  It will be warm and pliable.  It does not tear easily because the marshmallow give it an elastic quality.  You can also make it a day or two in an advance and store it in a resealable bag.

If you cover your cake with fondant and want to add fondant decorations like the stars on this cake all you do is brush some water on the decoration and gently press it to the cake.  Don’t use too much water or it will run!  I use a damp pastry brush and the fondant gets very sticky.

I would love to hear from others who have tips and suggestions about working with fondant.

Front view