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, 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 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