Chef Boyardee By Candle Light

My dad sent me a text yesterday morning. It read…

“They are saying 3-5 inches later today.  :-(”

My dad lives in Virginia and they have seen their fair share of snow.

But when you live in Knoxville, where school closes for the chance of snow…not even the snow itself… A city when the word “snow” is breathed on the weather channel, we all rush to Wal-Mart for bread, milk and Red Box rentals.  We buy out every sled at Mayo’s and close the mall at six… you DO NOT put a frowny-face at the end of that text.

In Knoxville, the SAME text would read…


I wrote my dad back with an EMPHATIC smiley face and said, “:) FUN!”

That same storm system made its way across the East and guess what?! We got a taste of it, too!


It came fast and heavy. The boys barely had their gloves on before Luke coined our backyard a “marshmallow world.”

And “Over-The-Top-Mommy-Me” here had it all planned out:

  • Boys play in backyard.
  • I make their favorite meal…Corn Flake Oven Baked Chicken, Mamaw’s Macaroni, Peas, Garlic Bread.
  • Bake snowman shaped sugar cookies
  • Drink hot cocoa in footy pajamas
  • Tuck boys in and retell snowball fight stories
  • Pray. Lights out. Brent and I watch American Idol.

(Idol has nothing to do with snow…but anyway)

And check off a successful first snow of the year!  Bam.



The bam turned on me.

Bam. No lights.  Flicker flicker.


All of that heavy, fast snow meant fat, heavy power lines.

A big, red “outage dot” right on top of our area.

In one second, everything changed.

No oven for chicken. Or cookies. My kids were wet and cold outside playing. With dropping temperatures, we had an hour of light before we would be completely in the dark.

All of my snow day utopia out the frosty window.

We traded it all in for crying kids that didn’t want to come inside, who had looked forward to their favorite meal and decorating cookies.  I was cranky, too.  Battling my flesh my the second.  I wanted to lay in the floor with Luke and throw a fit.  NO SNOWBALL STORIES OVER COCOA!!

We traded it all in. For a different memory.

I don’t know if you know it, but I am married to Survivor Man.  Bear Grylls himself. Yes, the husband who pulls out all of his camping gear in the middle of the living room floor, on any given night, just to tinker with his “man stuff”.  The husband who knows exactly what to do in the case of any natural emergency.  Especially if we are in the middle of no where, lost in the Smokey Mountains.  We could survive for years, I am sure of it.  Catching squirrel with whittled spears and eating locust and honey.

Wait. That is John the Baptist.

So, Brent instantly goes into survivor mode…pulling out propane camping stoves and cans of Spaghetti O’s.  He layered the boys three deep with socks and long johns.  We played Guesstures with LED lanterns and ate Chef Boyardee by candle light.

A little boy dream dad.  Total parenting stud.  (Have to brag.)

I was cold.  Geez, I am cold when the heat is on and it is sunny outside.  I wear fuzzy socks year ’round.  So I was struggling.  I texted my prayer friends and asked them to pray for me.  I mean us.

And even though it sounds fun, we had to threaten the boys a few thirty times to have a good attitude or we would put them in their room in the dark.

OK. Brent didn’t say that.  I did.  Don’t judge.

Seven o’clock seemed a reasonable bedtime (it was pitch black and the boys had no idea it was that early).  But as we were tucking all the boys in their minus 20 degree sleeping bags, Glory to God, LIGHT.  Sweet, redemptive power.

I seriously think I had a taste of the thrill of seeing it first hand at Creation.  I bet the Trinitarian Three were just as excited to see it all come to life.

LIGHT. For the first time. LIGHT.

We still got them in bed complete with old quilts, but instead of snowball stories we recounted our crazy, fun night.  Genuinely thankful for heat and electricity.

As I lay in bed last night, drifting off to the sound of Idol in the backdrop, I thanked Him. For all I take for granted. Warm food. A warm home. A warm bed. Light. An oven. Healthy children.

And as much as I’d like to think I could’ve been Laura Ingall’s mother on Little House on the Prairie, I am glad I didn’t have to be.

I like 2013 just fine.

So happy snow day to you!  (if you have one)  Go snuggle your little pups and fix some snowman cookies.

And thank God for every little jot and tittle in your life.  They are all gifts from Him.

Everything. From the top of our heads to our footy pajamas toes.

Be blessed today.

(And if you have a snow day story, share away!)

6 thoughts on “Chef Boyardee By Candle Light

  1. Oh my goodness Becky, thank you for sharing this! What a great way to start my Friday – with a good laugh! :-). You sound so much like me and Brent sounds like my husband. Super dad to the rescue! Glad your power was restored so you could all sleep in comfort. Enjoy your snow!

    • Jodi! Thanks girl! Aren’t we thankful for our well-equipped husbands!? He saved the day…or night! If it was left to me, we would have eaten cold PB&Js and water from the faucet so not to open the fridge! LOL!

  2. I love this post! We used to live in Morristown. Now, we live in Indianapolis. This brought back so many sweet memories of times with my girls and the excitement of every day blessings. It reminds that my plans and not always God’s plans. His plans are always better than mine. Your blog is a blessing to me. Thank you!

  3. Love this. Was feeling a little grumpy this morning when my kids started fighting, thinking about what a long day this might be. I read your blog, said a little prayer, and changed my attitude! Love you, Becky!

I means so much to hear from you!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s