Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lessons Learned

I was reminded yesterday of the immense responsibility involved with raising a child. As a parent, I have the express job of teaching my daughter the difference between right and wrong, and why it is best to do what is right. I also have the great opportunity to teach her about Jesus. In my opinion, these absolutely go hand in hand. Now to my story...

Casey and I went shopping last evening and after we had checked out and left a store, I was putting her into her carseat when she piped up, out of the blue: "I don't have anything in my pocket!" My translation: "There is something in my pocket that shouldn't be there and I don't want you to know about it." My first response was to ask, "What do you have in your pocket?" And after a quick search, I came up with a very small tin of altoids. "Casey! It is very wrong to steal! We never ever take anything out of a store without paying for it! That is very wrong and people get into a lot of trouble for doing that!" I took her back out of her seat and told her that we needed to go back into the store and give the candy to the clerk and apologize. So, we headed back in. When we reached the clerk, I told Casey to give her the candy and tell her "I'm sorry". It took a bit of coaxing and a couple of attempts to get it right, but we finally did. The clerk was very nice about it and thanked Casey for being honest. She then told me that she has had many small children learn this lesson in her store - whether that was to make me feel better, I don't know, but she was very nice and I have to appreciate that!

When we got back out to the car, I got down on Casey's level, looked her in the eyes and once again tried to get the point across that what she had done was very wrong. I told her that it made mommy and Jesus very sad, and that this is the kind of thing that policemen take people to jail for. She started to cry, and told me she was very sorry. Of course, I hugged her and told her that it should never happen again. Then I asked her, "What do we do when we want something in a store?" Her reply, "We pay for it." I think she got it.

To top it off, when we pulled out of the parking lot, a police car - with lights flashing - pulled a car over right across the street. Without even thinking about it, I said, "Look, Casey! There's a policeman!" Casey, "What's he doing, mama?" My reply, "Somebody did something bad." (Once again, I didn't even think about what I'd said...) Casey, a bit fearfully, "Was it me?"

I think the lesson was well-learned.

I did reassure her - the mom in me was a bit sad that I had scared my child so much without even thinking about it. I thank God for helping me teach Casey this little lesson, and for also teaching me this mommy lesson. I'm sure there will be many more...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Enchiladas - yum!

I love Mexican cuisine - it's no secret and I'm not ashamed to admit it - it's absolutely my favorite kind of food! Seriously. Who could possibly turn down chips and fresh salsa & guacamole - delicious grilled fish - refried beans - chile relleno - fresh homemade tortillas - all so very yummy! It just so happens that I'm married to a wonderful man who would prefer to not partake of this delish cuisine.... Isn't that how it works? I mean, if I get hungry for Mexican, I have to either cook it for myself or go out to eat with my daughter (she loves it!). All that brings me to a fun and yummo recipe I came up with. I like to call it Baked Enchilada, for lack of a better name... (And no, my hubby doesn't really like it...)

Faith's Baked Enchilada

1 pkg small corn tortillas
1 can refried beans
1 can diced tomatoes, mexican style (with green chilies)
1 large can enchilada sauce
2 lbs ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup sour cream

Brown hamburger, drain and add onion and taco seasoning.
Add refried beans and tomatoes and cook for about 5 more minutes.
Pour a small amount of enchilada sauce into bottom of 9x13 pan.
Layer as follows:
corn tortillas, beef mixture, cheese, enchilada sauce - add sour cream to the second layer only. Finish with cheese over the final layer of enchilada sauce.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until cheese is nice and bubbly.

I like to serve this with chips & fresh salsa and guacamole - yummo!

A couple variations:
Add a Spanish rice layer
Add salsa or green chilies to the beef mixture

I don't have a picture, but I've discovered how to make a fabulous fresh guacamole! It's much cheaper than buying it ready-made - and I think it tastes better, too! This is how they made it for us in Mexico.

Fresh Guacamole

2-3 ripe avocados
1/2 small onion, diced
1 small jalapeno, diced
1 roma tomato, diced
1/2 tsp lime juice (also helps to prevent darkening)
dash of salt
splash of olive oil

Slice the avocados, remove the pits and scoop out the flesh. Mash well with a fork, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Where Is Spring?

I really do love living in Iowa. But seriously. It's spring. Go away snow!! I have serious spring fever and would love to be outside working in the yard and getting my garden ready to plant, but I guess God is trying to teach me patience? It's ok. I'll try to learn the lesson without much more complaining...

There are some advantages to being stuck inside all day - spring cleaning. I've been going through boxes and drawers and closets, tossing and cleaning and sorting, selling some stuff on Ebay, taking stuff to Goodwill, etc. It feels good. But I still want to be outside!

Last week I went to see my new family doctor. It was really difficult for me to truly say goodbye to Dr Hempy. She's been such a great doctor and I do miss her. But I guess when you move you have to do what you have to do... and Dr Huwe is very nice - and Casey likes her. Now, I have to do the same with the dentist. It stinks, because we had just started going to Dr Gilbaugh, the best dentist I'd ever been to, and then we moved... I guess while I'm on this line of thought - - we also had to find a new church. The whole search process stunk! We visited a LOT of churches, and a lot of different kinds of churches. We finally have ended up at Heartland Vineyard, and love it! God definitely led us there, because we weren't even going to visit - it was all kind of a fluke. But I guess it was a devine fluke. For which I'm grateful!