Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Memorizing scripture doesn't come easy to me. 
But there's something about James. 
Considering Joy. 
Growing faith, through the vulnerable state of asking....and trusting that God will provide wisdom, without criticizing.
It's hitting home.  
James 1:2-8
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, when you experience various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 
But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete lacking nothing. 
Now, if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, 
who gives to all generously without criticizing, 
and it will be given to him.  
But let him ask in faith without doubting. 
For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 
That person should not expect anything from the Lord. 
An indecisive person is unstable in all his ways. 

Friday, March 8, 2013


Under stress I've had some crazy a$$ dreams! I won't go into every single crazy dream I've dreamed...but let me tell you about this last one.

I dreamed of my own death....I dreamed of my own death. Who does that? I mean, I dreamed of my own DEATH. I witnessed everyone at the funeral. Everyone was crying and I didn't understand why. I wanted everyone to know that I was okay and that everything was going to be just fine. But alas, I was convinced that maybe this was a time to be sad, and I cried along with them.

Needless to say, I was FREAKED out! Like seriously freaked out.

Until today. I told a friend about my dream and she said that I should look it up in dream interpretation.

You want to know what my dreams are telling me: "you are trying desperately to escape the demands of your daily life."


I laughed. I'm under a lot of stress. And against popular belief that wedding planning is like one of the most stressful times of your life, I beg to differ! It has been a complete BLAST! Although I have moments...and seriously few moments of AAAHHHH how is this going to work, I'm enjoying this process. I won't go into what's really bothering me on the world wide web.

I just thought that maybe if you found yourself in a tight spot...and you dreamed of your own death - don't fret. You're just trying to escape it. It's your mind coping with the fact that you're actually DESPERATE!

Friday, February 22, 2013

You're in Big Trouble Mister!

As we were getting ready for dismissal, I noticed two boys being secretive. There was an exchange. So, once everyone settled down, I called one of the boys up to me and asked what was up.

He said, "Nothing Ms."
I said, "What's that in your pocket."
He said, "Oh, it's just gum."
I said, "Can I please see your gum?"

He proceeded to pull it out and then quickly put it back in his pocket as if I would let it slide and never question him about it again.

I said, "No, like pull it out. I'd like to SEE it while I have it in my hands."

This is what he pulled out:

So, what does the teacher do? She reads it and follows directions like a complete MORON!!

I jumped, of course, and I looked at him with an expression on my face that I'm sure said- WHY DID YOU LET THIS HAPPEN TO ME!?

As I looked at him, he responded, "Ms. Marquez. I never told you to pull it."

I was mad. But this was so FUNNY!! I laughed. I LAUGHED.

After I got over the giggles and regained my composure, we discussed his dreams in life and how honesty can play a big part in his future and how this obviously wasn't gum.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Every Mexican has a story...

Yes. Every Mexican has a story about how their mom or grandmother made tortillas de harina. These days the culture of convenience is robbing the art of home made full of TLC goodness tortillas. Tonight, talking to my friend Toni about page 27 of the Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child, brought on conversation and reminiscing of our childhood experiences with tortillas!

Toni would wake up to her grandma in a cozy blue robe, patting at the dough and rolling it out into perfectly round masterpieces. Greg talked about having some warm tortillas with Mexican hot chocolate around the kitchen table. For me, it was my watching my gramma's super soft hands pinch the perfect amount of dough, patting it, and rolling it out...the sound of the rolling pin turning. Then the smell of the tortilla against the heated comal. Right off the comal, my gramma would put butter on it and roll it up for us. Or "helping" my mom make them. It was more of a white powder mess than anything...but that rolling pin - I want to inherit it. I can seriously imagine the view out of the kitchen window while my mom, my brother Aser and I made tortillas. Vivid memories. 

It is a love language that is losing its voice!!

In case you're wondering what page 27 said here it goes: 

White flour tortillas. Fresh stacks of them three times a day. Amá was always busy, always moving, in her typical take-charge way. She threw the flour in the bowl, mixed in the manteca quickly and then sprinkled it with scalding hot water. The dough, clean and creamy white, looked like the smooth, almost transparently clean skin of her face. 
Quickly she transformed the bowl of white ingredients into a bowl of soft tistalles, the biscuit-sized mounds of tortilla dough.
Then she began to get the comal ready. When the cast-iron griddle glowed red hot, she wet a washcloth and wiped the griddle to clean it. It made a sizzling-hot clean sound. Ready. 
She took the palote and began to roll the first tortilla. One, two, three rolls with half turns in between and it was ready. She swirled the tortilla onto the comal. As the tortilla absorbed the heat, it bubbled just slightly. By the time one side had cooked and it was ready to turn, she had rolled out another one. The aroma of the cooking tortillas on the hot comal overshadowed the smell of wet dough. 
She swirled the second one onto the second place on the comal, turned the first one, pressed out the bubbles with a slight pressure of her hand, and then started to roll out the next one. Her hands were in the wet, lardy dough and over the intense heat of the comal three times a day. This kept them soft, smooth, and pliant. 
Overwhelmed, as always, by the aroma of the fresh brown and white tortillas, I went to find the butter. I had my plate ready and the paper pulled back on the butter stick so I could use it to smear butter on the first tortilla. I asked for it and she swirled it onto my plate, not breaking her stride.
I bit into my childhood. It tasted sweet and salty and hot and clean. It tasted of my mother. Of her hands and her love for me. It tasted pure and clean and good.
By the time I finished it, she had a stack of tortillas done. I watched her in the steps of her dance. Swirl, roll, turn...then press, turn, roll. She never missed a beat. A consummate dancer. My heart swelled with contentment and love for her. Mi amacita.
Seriously. It is LOVE. There's no doubt about it. I love page 27. I love tortillas de harina. But most of all I love the ladies whose labor of love tasted so delicious and whose love was...no, it is...whose love is home.

Friday, February 1, 2013

January 2013

Verse of the Month:
You, Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. -Psalm 3:3

Book of the Month:
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
It was like reading it for the first time. So many great lessons in that book. I think my favorite quote is:
"Atticus was right. One time he said you never know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough."
Tear. A good one.

Project of the Month:
Selma's 5th Birthday Teepee!! :o) She loved it!!

Instructions on how to make your own are here!

I started with plenty of time and then rushed the end of it. Wish I had had more time for personalizing it just for Selma. But regardless...she loved it. When she saw it, she gasped and said: It's like a hotel! :o)

My favorite part of the project, other than actually gifting it, was working with Tatonka - Greg. He's the most patient & helpful man I've ever met. I love him!

Wedding Countdown as of January 31: 164 days

Highlights (In the order they occurred):
  1. Wedding planning with Greg, my mom and brothers. Yes, even the bro's have participated! LOVE it!
  2. Went from the highest of highs (the most exciting Christmas break ever) to the lowest of low (crying due to a serious reality check - my job is hard). I'm okay. I just needed to readjust - quickly!. I hate that I'm a crier!
  3. Friends from Guatemala, Toni and Stefan, are now living in Houston. It's been really fun to have them around!
  4. Spent time with one of the sweetest and dearest people I know. My friend, Susanne. I've known her for about 13 years now! How the time flies!!
  5. Yes, even though my job is hard - I experienced a Rudy moment on January 25! It was the best day of the school year to date. My kids have shown slow and steady progress. It is progress nonetheless and we sure did celebrate.
  6. Spending time with my soon to be SISTER, Janie at the Bridal Soiree at the Royal Sonesta. I saw what I thought were my wedding colors in action and hated them! Thankfully, it's an easy fix...no final decisions have been made. She's been such a great sound board. 
  7. Greg and I booked a photographer. OMG. Greatest thing since sliced bread. I'm telling you, if you need a photographer, talk to Shane and Stephanie at Impact with Images. It is a total blessing to have heard about them. July 13 needs to hurry up and get here!! :o) 
  8. We got our first gifts! One was a little, super thoughtful tin heart from my bestie, Jennifer (who might have opened her very own Etsy shop!!)! And my parents got me a set of Calphalon Unison Nonstick pans! LOVE it! :o) 
  9. Ended the month with dinner at Chili's with my beautiful friends, Ashley Severance and Lara Sewart. We talked about orphans/adoptions - and how privileged we are to at some level be involved, among other things. I have to say though, that was my favorite topic of conversation that night. There's a lot of love to go around. I'm blessed by these two! :-D

Monday, January 28, 2013

Going back...To Christmas

This is the first tree Greg and I decorated together! It is a smaller tree so it's up on my desk. I didn't have a tree skirt so I used some of the Thanksgiving decorations for Christmas! Love multipurpose items!!
I did add some presents under the tree and I've gotta say this wrapping is my favorite. I had an oddly shaped present to give away and no box that was adequate for it, so I didn't have any other choice to up-cycle the bag that came with it. I used a puncher and used some pretty ribbon I already had. Like I said - multipurpose!! LOVE IT!! :o)

Before school was out, I got a small little something ready for my kiddos. I read an excerpt from the Best Christmas Pageant Ever and gifted them the book and the CD.

My mom and I went to some shops in Tomball. She fell in love with one of the Christmas signs. Rather than spending an arm and a leg, I told her that I'd make one for her. I'd have Greg's help to do the assembly part...and then I'd paint it. And so it goes...we created some Christmas signs for my mom and extras to give as gifts.

This was one of my FAVORITES!! OMG!! So, I found this on Pintrest and had to try it out. It was funny to work in the kitchen, with spices, apple sauce and GLUE!! I can't remember who it was that was so shocked to know that I was putting GLUE in the food. HAHAHA!! These are cinnamon ornaments and they smell DIVINE!!! WOW! Super easy. Doesn't take long. Pop 'em in the oven...and your house will smell like Christmas forevermore!! :o)

 Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without treats!! Greg and I made two batches of these. Some of our friends had gotten engaged and there was an engagement party close to Christmas...so TWO ROUNDS of these babies! DELICIOUSNESS!! So thankful people like them enough to take them home when there's leftovers!! :O)

And last but not least! I started working on this maybe 3 years ago. No, it didn't take that long to make (although it's a serious time commitment...just not 3 years worth). I had cut all the pieces including the batting and had not made a plan for it. Well, when there is no vision the people parish...and my desire to complete this sucker had gone with the wind. I put it away and it wondered if it would ever finish itself! Since it never did, and it was taking up space I decided during Thanksgiving time, "IT'S NOW OR NEVER!!!!" I unstitched the crappy stitches I had started. Counted each square with tender loving care and made a plan. Once the plan was in place, it didn't take long! I got to enjoy it over Christmas!!! It's cozy!! :O)

Merry Christmas in January!! :O)

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's not over...Until the fat lady sings!!

I will be honest and say that teaching can be quite burdensome for me with all this data stuff (I don't think I'm the only one). After returning this January from such an exciting break (I AM ENGAGED!!), I have cried once a week in relation to how I feel about my job. I love teaching, and interacting with my kids. We have amazing rapport and the improvement in behaviour is astounding! Really. I mean it. But at the same time, it takes everything in me to keep it together sometimes. It's a heavy LOAD.

I have a very difficult assignment...and it's hard to focus on the positives sometimes.

But today, a beautiful, bright springlike day...Hope has sprung! My kids and I did a side by side comparison of tests they took in October to one they took recently. What did we see?

Progress, my friends. Progress. It's like water when you're parched. A cool breeze when you're hot. Fresh air after a stink. PROGRESS!!

I stood in front of my class and gave a speech:
I want you to look at what you have accomplished. I want you to see that you are MORE than capable of reaching the goals we have set together. I want you to know that I. AM. SOOOO. PROUD! Like, I can't even tell you HOW PROUD I am of EVERY SINGLE PERSON in my class! (Insert a pause, run for a Kleenex, Laugh some happy tears out of my eyes. Come back and finish with...) The growth I have seen in you so far is incredible! We have learned so much! Let's keep pushing!! YOU will improve. YOU have improved and I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!! (insert happy dance)
My kids cheered! They CHEERED! And some of them were tearing up with me!! It was a RUDY moment. I love having RUDY moments. I know they aren't every day, but I have to remember...RUDY moments EXIST. They do happen!!

 And I have to remember that it's not over yet...And I need to remember this promise:

"I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world." - Jesus
Happy Weekend.
The End.