Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Project

Yesterday was an interesting day in our household. 

To start with, Mark is harvesting.  That means I'm on my own at home.  He leaves early in the morning, and returns so late that I'm often in bed asleep when he gets home. 

Add in that I had a major project to help Nolan with, and had been counting on Mark's help with Luke, and you've got a perfect storm.

For a few months, Nolan's class had been preparing for Market Place.  They partner with another student, and plan to make and sell a product.  They learn all kinds of things about profit margins, marketing, etc.  Nolan and his partner chose Monkey Bread as their project.  We had gotten together with the other family a few weeks ago to do a "test run", to make sure we were good to go for Market Place.  We had determined that we each needed to make 5 batches.  Each batch takes about an hour and a half....so that is a lot of baking.  I doubled the batches, which cuts down on some of the time, taking about 2 hours for 2 batches. 

Once I realized Mark wasn't going to be home to help entertain Luke, I made the decision to do what I swore I wouldn't do: Start baking while Nolan was at school.  I know, I know, not the best thing for teaching responsibility.  However, this was about survival.  Luke is a gigantic Mama's boy, and wants to be at my side at all times.  If he is not, he screams.  And no, leaving him to scream at the gate does not teach him to stop doing that.  It just makes for a day filled with lots of screaming :)

I thought if I could get a double batch done while Luke napped, then I'd have a head start.  Then, when Nolan got home, I could have him babysit Luke while I did another double batch.  He would be contributing to the project by babysitting.  Once Luke went to bed, we could bake the final batch together. 

It went mostly like that.  The only problem happened during batches 3 & 4.  I had the bright idea to change up the process.  I found a different recipe that seemed less labor intensive.  It seemed like the end result should be the same.  Well, not so much!  Once they cooled off and we tried it (at 8:30pm after Luke was in bed), we both knew there was no way we could send that to school.  I didn't have enough ingredients to redo those batches.  Mark wasn't home, so to go to the store would involve waking Luke up, and dragging us all on a 40 minute round trip to the store.  Then, we'd still have 3 batches to make.

I made the executive decision to dump the 2 bad batches.  There were some tears, and some panic on Nolan's part, but after assuring him he'd have 3 really good batches to sell, plus his partner's 5, he was okay.  They still had 144 servings to sell, which is plenty. 

At 10pm we finished up.  We had fun.  Some good conversation and mom/son bonding.  I was up super early this morning so I could cut/package the bread from last night (it had to cool overnight) and grab a shower before Mark headed out to harvest.  I got Nolan to school with his Monkey bread, and visited a sweet friend and her kids.  Luke had a blast playing, and is now sleeping soundly.  I am relaxing in my chair and happy that we can have some quiet time this afternoon. 

It was hectic, but we pulled it off.  I can't wait to hear how much money they made!  Their class will choose a charity to donate all the money to.  It's a really neat way to teach important concepts to students.  Love his school <3

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