At hour house these are lovingly and jokingly pronounced chimi-chaaangas with a long a. This is another popular meal around here. We can't make it often because those babies are fried.
I'd give you the recipe but somehow I never write it down and I think it changes each time. I think I actually wrote it down once, and gave it to a friend at co-op in Wichita. But I forgot to keep it for myself. That's just how I cook.
Complete with Alex's homemade guacamole - yummo for dipping and topping!
The only time of year he allows me a good picture. A picture without his hand in front of his face.
blueberry muffins, mashed potatoes, bacon (all made by Alex) and dark chocolate (my contribution)
Perfect birthday meal: burgers and chips
Jake's cake of choice: cheesecake
Alex made Jake a pumpkin pie.
Thank God they changed the Kansas driving laws. :)
The last couple of weeks have been difficult. There's been a lot of struggle and loneliness. One of those seasons where Satan whispers in my ear over and over that no one gives a rip about us.
Then on my way to meet some girlfriends for dinner in Emporia I drove into the sun for 45 min. It was grueling, bright and difficult to see, especially after having a headache for 6 days. But it seemed like a metaphor as the sun set and my perseverance paid off (aka I hadn't hit anyone from being blinded by the sun) and the sky turned to pure beauty. It was like the last few weeks of struggle and perseverance was about to pay off and the beauty of community was coming alive.
The sky became a magnificent array of blues, oranges, reds, purples and yellows dancing between clouds. I was taken aback at the beauty and my frustration with the blinding sun just minutes before melted into gratefulness of the beauty of God's creation. As I took in the picture perfect horizon I heard the words of the song playing on the radio. "Light, light, light up the sky to show me you are with me." It was such a moment of comfort.
On the way home from Emporia I went into deep thought. Moving so often, one of the lies I fall into is that I am all alone. I listen sometimes to Satan and not God. So on the way home from Emporia God reminded me of all the times in my life when I was not alone. He is always with me. And as an extention of Him he has given us community.
My mind went back years ago to the day after Eric gave his life to Jesus and the friends who surrounded us and loved us. We were so naive and yet, though many of them were much more mature in their walk, they loved us, showed us the way, and were our community.
Then just a year later our small group and some close friends walked with us through Jake's surgery and through the weeks we were in Denver. Some came to Denver to be with us in the hospital. Some lived there and surrounded us there. One of our small group friends drove all the way to Denver and brought 9 month old Alex to us after missing her for weeks.
There's a whole community wrapped up in my quilting friends. :)
In Iowa it took time. But eventually there were the coffee girls. Many dreams and thoughts on theology were hashed out over coffee. My heart for the lost and my heart for Africa was birthed during preschool coffee times.
Our small group filled the gap of no family in Iowa. Every Saturday night after church we'd gather and often we'd commune late into the night...kids and all. Some of our best conversations happened after midnight.
God put several girlfriends in my life and in my heart in Iowa that were from school or from church or homeschooling. My BSF girls. My Y friends. My home remodeling pals. My realtor. All blessings and people I love dearly.
In Newton/Wichita He gave us a co-op of like-minded friends. We made Druber's runs and had sleepovers. We talked about the personalities of our kids into the night. We were crazy and just had fun together. Another friend from co-op has been a mentor and praying friend.
God reminded me of when I laid in the hospital after one of the most traumatic nights of my life and how the visitors trickled in over and over throughout the days I was there. The friends we were just making...the friends we'd had much of our life...the loving Pastors that came to pray with us.
There are so many more parts of community that are dear friends that don't fit specifically into a group.
My friends I had just had dinner with in Emporia came to mind. A group of girls who've been together through much of life's struggles. We cry together and laugh together.
Now in Kansas City, we have friends we meet at the Y and friends in our new co-op. New friends.
I needed to write this all down. I think I need to be slapped with truth when I feel the darkness. We are never alone. God places different people in our life for different seasons. And within all those communities I pray we've not only had community but been community to others.
Soon, E and I will embark upon a new season of community. An intentional, like-minded community with accountability and opportunity for being discipled. It is a concept of the "church" like we've never experienced it before.
More to come on that one. But tonight I am thankful for the reminders of the breathtaking sky, a God who never leaves me and the life full of seasons of community.
Today I had one of those moments that years ago crossed my mind. It's one that you think, "When he is this age and does this."
It was a crazy feeling. Twelve years ago when Jake had craniofacial surgery we took into consideration that his head was growing oblong and not round and he may never be able to wear a football helmet if we didn't choose surgery.
After his surgery the shape of his head was no longer an issue but my "what if's" became more of a quiet motherly "caution" - don't go so high on that tree, you might fall and hit your head. Don't wrestle like that - you might...ugh.
Today it was a thought that came from years before..."if he ever plays football." Jake has never had much of an interest in competitive sports but loves to get together with friends and play basketball...and today it was football. And THIS Momma refrained from allowing the screaming cautions in my heart from coming out before he left.
Wow. It was hard.
Today came and went. Jake played football. He and his friend joked in the car on the way home about when his friend tackled him and smashed Jake's head into the ground. All the while neither one knew the flutter in my heart at those words.
But as I ran the thought through my mind from years before I realized my fear changed to gratefulness. I'm pretty sure Jake's head is harder and thicker where the bone has filled in through the years. I'm pretty sure today was a lot easier than I imagined all those years ago.
And I'm grateful he can play football. I'm just grateful. Period.
Last Saturday I spent 6 hours in 4 different stores shopping for the month's groceries. I was so tuckered out and maybe just a tad bit on edge. I am beginning to loathe the first of the month.
E took pity on my and said he'd divy out the bulk meat for me into smaller portions for the freezer. It's an annoying job at the end of a long shopping spree.
But not E. He measures. For.real. I'm not even kidding.
Is anyone else crackin' up with me?
Oh my. I do appreciate that his love language is accuracy...and spreadsheets.
I wrote this awesome, sappy, "I love my baby boy who's not a baby anymore" post today on Jake's blog. I hijacked it and then I confessed because I didn't want to ruin his birthday because he is very sensitive about these things.
And guess what? He didn't let me to post it. :(
You know what else? Many of the pictures I have of him recently have a "talk to the hand" attitude. Jake is 14 and apparently decent pictures are a thing of the past.
But I can still blog on MY blog that my baby is 14. I AM THE MOMMA OF A 14 YEAR OLD. REALLY?
The kid who says to me on almost a weekly basis, "Your silver hair is glistening in the sun my fair mother." If there wasn't a hint of mischievousness in his voice and a smirk on his face I'd probably slap him. :) He is blunt and direct sometimes to a fault. Which is actually one of the reasons I love him so very much. One rarely has to guess what he is thinking.
A few more things about Jake...
Jake - Last night when Dad and I were praying for you it turned more into praises. We are so proud of you and so grateful to be your parents. Our prayer for you is that you live out the purpose God has for you obediently. I'm pretty sure the next year will be a defining year in your life. We love you, buddy.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAKESTER!!!
An old picture for today...