Friday, August 27, 2010

Luke's art work

Yesterday as I was going through Luke's folder from school, I came across a picture that he drew.



As I studied it for a second I smiled. I knew what he had drawn, but I wanted to hear what he had to say about it, so I said, "Luke, tell me about your picture." He proceeded to tell me it was a drawing of our family, and that Emma was at the top in Heaven on the streets of gold. I told him how sweet it was for him to include Emma in his picture and he said, as he looked at me as if I had two heads, "well, she is part of our family." He is so matter-of-fact! I reiterated how smart I thought he was, and we moved on.

But I didn't move very far in my mind. I guess with each new year, new start to school, new holiday, new trip, new anything, I will always think of Emma and how much I miss her here. This morning Luke and Cora and I went for a walk. The air was less humid, and there was a cool breeze blowing. It was a beautiful morning. As Luke road ahead on his bike, and I pushed Cora in the jogging stroller I began to think of what Emma would do. Would she want to ride her bike too? Would she still have training wheels, or would she prefer to ride in the double jogger with her baby sister by her side? I pray one day I will get a glimpse of what she's like in Heaven. Until then, I will wonder...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Luke goes to first grade

Pay no mind to the precious little prints on the glass.



I can. not. be. lieve. it! Luke went to first grade today! He was only two the other day! UHG! Sniff, sniff! He was pretty excited. He's really diggin' his new backpack/messenger bag. I think he looks so cute.

My little man leading the way (with his cool bag)




Luke and Mrs. Harmon



Cora went to the "little-big girl" class today. She seemed excited this morning, but once we got there she was staying pretty close to mama. My good friend, Adrien is one of her teachers, though, so I'm not worried about her at all. I think once she gets in the groove of things, she'll love it. She was all about climing in the cool tree they have in their room...





...and I think she was lovin' the big bead table too.



They are just too stinkin' cute



The first two days of cooking are going well. BIG GRINS The Crispy Baked Taquitos with Black Bean Filling we had last night were delicioso! Just in case you were thinking about cooking them, here's the recipe...

CRISPY BAKED TAQUITOS WITH BLACK BEAN FILLING

Servings & Prep Time
Prep time: 25 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Special Features
High FiberVegetarian or Veg-friendly alternativeNut-freeKosher-style or Kosher AlternativeHigh FiberPotluck/BuffetCompany/Entertaining

We like our taquitos baked until they are crispy, and then smothered with salsa. Serve them with sliced mangos.

15 oz. canned black beans, slightly drained
14 oz. vegetarian refried beans
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. minced garlic, (about 1 clove)
12 small (6-8 inch) flour or whole wheat tortillas
6 scallions, all the green and a little of the white parts, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa, for serving (optional)
1 cup low fat or nonfat sour cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the black beans, refried beans, chili powder, cumin and garlic. Simmer it for 5 minutes.

Mash the bean mixture until it is a thick puree (you can use a potato masher right in the pan.)

On a clean plate, lay a tortilla flat and place 2 big tablespoons of bean mixture in the center of the tortilla. Top it with some scallions, tomatoes, and cheese. Roll up the tortilla into a tube shape and place it in the baking pan, seam side down. Repeat until you've used all the tortillas. Reserve any leftover filling for dipping.

Bake the taquitos until they are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. (Slice the mangos while the taquitos are baking.) Serve the taquitos with salsa, sour cream, and/or any leftover black bean filling, if desired.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Use 1 Tbsp. chili powder and double the garlic. Add 1 diced chili pepper to the saucepan with the beans, if desired, and serve them with spicy salsa.

Tip:

If you purchase a large package of tortillas and don't want them to go to waste, you can seal them tightly and freeze them. Just let them thaw in the refrigerator for a day or two before using them. For best results, tortillas should not be thawed in the microwave, although they can easily be warmed in the microwave.


SERVE WITH MANGOS, PEELED AND SLICED
Serve it with 2 mangos, peeled and sliced. To slice a mango, stand it on its end and slice each of the halves off as close to the oblong pit as possible. Score the flesh into strips or squares, turn the skin inside out, and cut the flesh off of the peel.



Nutritional Information per serving (% based upon daily values)
Calories: 410; Total Fat: 11g, 16%; Saturated Fat: 5g, 24%; Cholesterol: 25mg, 8%; Sodium: 1,166mg, 48%; Total Carbohydrate: 62g, 20%; Dietary Fiber: 14g, 66%; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 23g
Nutritional Information per serving with sidedish (% based upon daily values) (1/2 mango)
Calories: 477; Total Fat: 12g, 16%; Saturated Fat: 6g, 25%; Cholesterol: 25mg, 8%; Sodium: 1,168mg, 48%; Total Carbohydrate: 80g, 26%; Dietary Fiber: 16g, 73%; Sugar: 22g; Protein: 24g
Copyright 2010 The Six O'Clock Scramble · thescramble.com

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of Third Grade




She was wide awake before 6:15! Carleigh said all summer she wasn't ready for school to start, but I think she really was. This is the first year she has to take the Texas standardized test, whatever it's called now, and she is quite nervous about it. Every time someone would ask her if she was excited about third grade she would say no because of the test. Standardized tests are ridiculous, and it's even more ridiculous that our children are stressing out about the test even one or two years before they have to take them. That's another topic for another day though. Today she was excited about going. She even started making her own lunch this morning!

I am glad we are starting a new school year, but it's hard for me to say good-bye to summer. I love not having to wake up early, lounging around the house, no real schedules to follow. I love that the kids can play all day in their swimsuits or pjs and it really doesn't matter. I love going swimming, boating, to the lake and river, seeing friends and playing at the beach. But, it will be nice to have somewhat of a routine now. I'm hoping to get in gear and lose the 15ish pounds that have found their way to my rear end. Kelvin and I are signing up for quite a few races coming up this fall and winter. We also have big plans for Emma's Hugs to be involved as well. Stay tuned to another post for all of that, or visit Emma's Hugs on Facebook. I'll be working at least part-time with Emma's Hugs as well, so things are ramping up to be buzzing around this little house in the hot, humid rice fields. (I wish we were on a cool prairie somewhere, but we're not. The temp should reach 100 degrees today, with a heat index of 110 degrees! Holy Toledo, Batman!)

With a new school year comes a new and, I might add, welcomed routine. So, I plan on getting back into the groove of cooking. I use a recipe subscription thingy called the Six O' Clock Scramble, have friends like Jackie and Lesley and others on Facebook who are very creative, and also love tons of the recipes in my Southern Living and Coastal Living magazines, so I shouldn't have any trouble coming up with at least 5 days worth of meals each week, right? We'll see, but a girl can have a goal! So here's what's on the menu at our place this week...

Monday - Grilled chicken with zucchini marinated with my friend Susan's yummy recipe
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup corn oil (or canola or olive)
1/4 cup sugar (or about 1/2 of that will work fine)
4 teaspoons lemon/lime juice
1 teaspoon meat tenderizer
2 cloves garlic, minced

Tuesday- Crispy Baked Taquitos
Wednesday - Oven Chicken Risotto
Thursday - Steak with Soy-Lime Marinade
Friday- Tex-Mex Beef and Bean Chopped Salad

Well, are you ready for school and the routine that comes along with it? What's on the menu at your house this week? Hope it's good!

Monday, August 16, 2010

And the beat goes on

It's been six months and seventeen days since my little girl left this world for a better place, free from pain, free from confusion, a place full of light, which her beautiful brown eyes can see again. A place her little legs have regained strength and she's able to run, jump and climb like she used to here. A place the corners of her mouth are curling up once again into smiles and laughter, free from cries of pain or discomfort, the wrinkled brow carefree once again. All of these thoughts are comforting, yes, but they do not replace the burning desire to hold her once again, to see her run and jump and play, to watch her march through the doors of preschool next week complete with backpack, hand-in-hand with her little sister and big brother. I can't help but wonder if Emma would love swimming like Carleigh and Luke, if she would think her baby sister was hilarious or if Cora would get on her nerves. I wonder if she would like purple or if another color would be her favorite. I wonder if she would have been a jokester like her big brother, if she would have been loud like the rest of the kids, if she would have been tall for her age, or kind of short like her Aunt Lori and Neena or Aunt Cindy and Grammy. I wonder if she would have continued to eat everything she could get her hands on or if she would have begun to be a little bit pickier. I wonder who her friends would be...Addison, Kirstin, Arabella, Reece, Peyton, Sara? I wonder if she and Cora would be good roomies. I wonder what their room would look like. I wonder what her voice would sound like...scruffy like Luke's or more high pitched like Carleigh's. I wonder if she would take gymnastics or ballet. I wonder if she would sing like the other kids. I wonder all of these things and more. Would she love watching TV with Luke, make crafts like Carleigh, color like Cora, or would she rather be outside all of the time? Would she have grown out her hair and prefer bows and be more of a girly girl, or want a shorter "do" and prefer to be bow-free? Would she continue to love the beach? Would she love a scooter or bike more? What would her favorite sandwich be? Would she tell her baby sister bedtime stories and sing her to sleep, letting Cora rub her thumb, or would she kick her off the bed and make her sleep on the floor? I wonder all of these things too, and more.




But the beat goes on. No matter how much my heart aches or how much I miss her or how much I strain to remember the good, sweet things about her rather than the sad, she is still gone. Babies are born every day, vacations are taken, kids go back to school, birthday parties are had, grocery shopping is done, meals are cooked, work is done, we go to gymnastics or dance, soccer or piano lessons, we talk about the future, we laugh and play and cry, we read stories, and the beat goes on...

I wish our beat still included a blonde-haired, brown-eyed little girl named Emma.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Family Night

It was family night at the Yepez Vineyard tonight. We enjoyed a kid-free evening with some very good friends this time, but maybe we'll take the kiddos next time. If you live in our neck of the woods you should check it out. The music was great, and the wine was tasty too. Of course, the company was the best. I love laughing and having a good time with good friends. I actually went to school with the owner, and his mother was my Spanish teacher! Funny how time flies. The other day a group of friends from my high school class got together to plan our 20 year reunion! How in the heck did THAT happen?!

One of our very good friends had their second baby girl yesterday! Happy birthday Olivia Elizabeth! What a little doll!

Today I turned in all the paperwork for Luke and Cora's school. He is attending reading camp this week, and we were a little bit early today. Don't be so shocked...it happens! Anyway, Cora found her way over to the Aquadoodle wall and started drawing away. I hope she's not disappointed with the age appropriate toys in her class next year. Sister might be bored! She totally cracks us all up with her "trick," "downward dog with one leg up pose," "cartwheel," or whatever fits the bill. She will drop to the floor at the first mention of any of those things and show her stuff...so sweet! You might have caught a glimpse in the Garner post. Here it is again, just in case you missed it, and because I love it so much!



She's growing up too fast! They all are. Sometimes, when they are being sweet (not like today), I wish I could stop time. Other times (like today) I am thinking about helping them purchase furniture for their own place! I pray I learn to cherish these times and not wish them away. I know I will look back one day and wish they were still home fussing with one another.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Garner Family Fun


We had such a good time the past several days at Garner. We were there with some of our very good friends. Actually, the guys are friends of Kelvin's from junior high! We've known these guys for a loooong time. If you've seen the movie Grown Ups, these guys fit the bill. It's always hilarious hearing stories of all the good times they had growing up. I hope this little trip becomes a tradition. The kids were all so cute! They had a ball floatin' the Frio. The food was scrumptious and the company even better. Can't wait to go back!

There were a whole lot of these...

The Boys...Randy, Kelvin, Clint and Jimmy


Grayson and Carleigh



Cousins





Some of this...







More of these...
Good Times



Grayson and Cora








Some of this...





and a lotta this...
Jimmy & Angie with Baby Emma







SEE YA NEXT YEAR!

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