Fall hits and so do the viruses. Before I know it, I am longingly looking outside with my nose pressed against the window. Every parent faces this challenge. One year the three kids literally caught one virus after another and we couldn’t go to church for 8 weeks. Something about choosing to love on people by not exposing their kids to a string of exotic viruses. This year is not so bad. But this weekend we faced down the challenge anyone living with young children can identify with in the cold and flu season.
Ruth and Gabe are both sick with opposite viruses. Anyone been there before? Gabe has that cough that makes every parent cringe. Which means I dare not take him somewhere that will expose him to other kids. Or the wind. Ruth has a fever and “other things” that go with it, which seals the deal on me not going anywhere. Windy walks are off limits. Long car rides are off limits. Basically, for the last four days I have been here at home staring at my impossible laundry pile.
Why is it impossible? Because there are 28 kid socks that have no match. Every time I gather them up in a neat, isolated pile the kids come by and distribute them around the house. Again. I contemplated throwing them away just to remove the stressful sight but I keep thinking, maybe the next load will match a few. Besides, that’s a lot of pairs of socks to be without. Silly that something like socks should be stressful, but in truth, for an already exhausting and chaotic day it is more about the stress that comes from the compounding chaos.
Cooking is fun. Creating new recipes, balancing flavors and colors. But let’s be honest. On a sick day we are talking about cranky kids at the end of a loooong day who are in need of a little extra TLC than usual. (Note: Preparing dinner at the usual time on sick days will not happen.) I decided I would save myself a little stress and assume early on that it wouldn’t happen.
So, at 2pm when the kids were fast asleep I poured 8 minutes into dinner preparation. I busted out the Dutch oven. Put a hunk of frozen meat in there — I wasn’t even sure what it was, only that it was of the red variety. Mystery dinner! — with a few veggies and put in the the oven on low. I trust my dutch oven. It makes all things delicious, even mystery meats. Eight minutes later, boom. Dinner is taken care of with hours to spare. Because even on a good day, at the end of it, we are all in need of a reprieve. Sick days are a whole different beast.
Turns out we had pot roast! (Yes, it honestly was a surprise. I took it out and thought, Pot Roast! That sounds good. There’s nothing like a little mystery to an otherwise repetitive day.) Ironically, it was the best I had ever made. Nothing ministers to the weary soul like pot roast. What about you?
Share your stories with me! What are your go-to recipes for days at home when your little tikes are under the weather (or being protected from it)? What are your quick, easy recipes for dinner? Assuming you don’t spend the day chasing socks and applying Desitin, what activities do you do with your board kids when you’re home for sick days? And no, I am not going to judge you for movie marathons. Sick days are about survival my friends. So lets share our ideas and create a bigger idea pool to choose from.
Pray For Them
Praying doesn’t have to be intimidating. Take a few seconds to pray scripture over your loved ones by praying for their faithfulness in Christ. If they aren’t saved yet, consider it a prayer of invested faith that they will one day walk in the freedom of Christ and be faithful to him.
There is a series of books called Chicken Soup for the Soul. I read them all. This recipe is named in honor of that series. On days at home when you have sick kids who need extra TLC, throw this in the oven and at the very least you’ll have a soul-tending meal at the end of that long hard day.
- 2 lb Beef Chuck Roast (frozen)
- 2 cups Beef Broth
- 4 large Red Potatoes halved
- 4 large Carrots halved
- 1 Tbs Thyme
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbs Steak Seasoning
- 3 cups Jasmine Rice
- 2 Tbs Butter
- 2 Tbs Flour
Combine first 7 ingredients in a dutch oven and bake at 325 degrees for 4 hours. Use a rice cooker with a delay timer to preset rice to be finished 20 minutes before you are ready to serve. Before sitting down to dinner, melt butter into a sauce pan and stir in flour. Once smooth add the excess broth from the roast and stir until the consistency is what you want for gravy. Add milk or water if it is too thick.