I am so blessed. There, I said it. I feel blessed, and I *am* blessed.
I think today is as good a day as any to reflect on my past year, and look forward to the coming year. I've recently had a hard time at both school and work. Nothing big, but big enough to rattle and unnerve me. I have to pause and pray that God will settle my soul after my shake ups. And not only do I pray, but my friends pray for me. I can feel a prayer from half a country away, and that in itself amazes me. As I'm in class, having a hard day, I can text a friend and she will pray with and for me. I almost instantly feel a relief. The girls in my baking class are sweet and supportive to me, always. That is like having my friend here with me, and not states away. So yes, I am blessed.
Today I felt God's love strongly as I went to Drew's 4th grade class to (finally) read my published story to the kids. His teacher and I have been trying to coordinate this since December! I'm glad she's patient with me (and my son!)
I entered Drew's room to a class full of eager faces all sitting on "the carpet" in front of "the chair". Everyone was excited to hear what I had to say. I felt calm for the most part. I had one shot to get my message across to this class and I wanted to take full advantage of it. As shy as I am, I *can* speak publicly... quite well... when I need to. Since my story is about saying good-bye to a deploying daddy, I took the time to acknowledge everyone whose parents might be gone right now. Some children's dads just came home, some are gone, and some are leaving next month. I hope this story touched those children especially, as it's for them.
They all enjoyed hearing my story, and learning how and why I wrote it. I brought some items that had inspired me to write the story, and I think they liked that also. To me, as a writer, it's interesting to see how and why authors write what they write. I know there are budding writers in this class, because the teacher has told me so.
The coup de grâce of the day was the treat I had prepared especially for the students. Drew has been asking me to bring a homemade treat in to class, so I figured today was as good a day as any. I am hesitant to bring anything in to class because there is a child with egg and peanut/tree nut allergies. I know her, and I know what she can and can't have, but I hate leaving her out of things. Drew asked me to make muffins, so I chose to make blueberry muffins. However, I tinkered with my recipe and ended up making blueberry banana muffins with blueberry cream cheese drizzle on top. Let's just say... *everyone* loved them! Well, except for my food allergy friend, she loved the rice crispie treat I brought for her. It happened to be her birthday, so she enjoyed sharing an eggless cupcake with me. I *am* currently researching eggless baked goods, as well as some other food allergen free goodies, so I'm glad she shared her treat with me. I told her as much, and she was proud of herself.
As I left the class, I felt such a swelling in my heart. I'm proud of my middle man and how far he has come in his schooling. We've had such a long road with him, and he's finally comfortable and secure in a classroom of kids who like him, and a teacher who adores him. A teacher, who, by the way, told the principal of the school that Drew is hands down light years smarter than any other child she's ever met. Yep.
I will share my muffin recipe... just because I love you all so much. But please, don't tell anyone because it's my own family secret. Deal?
Blueberry Banana Muffin with Blueberry Cream Cheese Drizzle
Ingredients for muffin:
2 cups Heart Healthy Bisquick (no, it's not cheating!)
3/4 cup sugar (but please feel free to use less, or experiment because they are sweet!)
1 cup Light N Fit Vanilla Yogurt (you don't have to use name brands, I'm just showing the name brands I used)
1 very ripe banana, smashed
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
The "Muffin Method" of mixing is to mix dry ingredients together and wet ingredients together, then combine. So if you want to make up your own muffin, this is key to remember. In this recipe you combine the Bisquick and sugar together in one bowl, and the eggs and yogurt in another. Once you have each mixture combined separately, you mix them together. You do not want to over beat muffins. That is a common mistake. You can mix by hand to avoid over mixing, or just watch your mixer so that you mix only until moist. Mix in the smashed bananas until just combined, then fold in the blueberries.
This makes 12 muffins, so prepare a muffin pan with 12 liners that are sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon muffin batter in to the pan, and bake at 375 (F) for 20 minutes. Let cool before drizzling with topping.
Ingredients for topping:
1/2 Package Philadelphia Neufchatel Cheese (or cream cheese)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (play with amount to get consistency you want)
1/2 cup pureed blueberries
To puree the blueberries, I thawed them, then stuck them in the blender until smooth.
I mixed all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy, and then piped the topping on to the cooled muffins. You can use the topping any way you want, spread it on, make cute little stars or decorations... whatever. When you make these, they'll be your muffins!
Please, enjoy :)