Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spinach Enchiladas

  •     2 onions, chopped fine
  •     1 pound mushrooms, chopped fine
  •     2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  •     2 lbs. spinach, washed and spun dry
  •     4 garlic cloves
  •     2 cups canned black beans, rinsed well and drained  
  •     2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  •     4 scallions, chopped fine
  •     3 cups coarsely grated pepper jack cheese
  •     salt to taste
  •     1 cup canned mild enchilada sauce
  •     10 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  •     sour cream

In a heavy skillet cook onion and mushrooms in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until golden. Add spinach and garlic and cook, stirring, until spinach is wilted. Stir in beans, lemon juice, scallions, half of the pepper jack cheese, and salt to taste and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted.

Spray a 9 x 19 casserole pan with non-stick spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place about 1/2 cup of spinach mixture in each a tortilla, roll up an place in pan.  Repeat for the rest of the tortillas.  When pan is full, pour enchilada sauce over enchiladas.  Place the rest of the cheese on top.  Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with sour cream.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nine Years Ago

(The photo is one of our wedding pics.  Kevin Beasley was our photographer, and he was awesome!)
Nine years ago today my life became meshed with another.  James, I wouldn't trade these nine years for anything.  I'm thankful you are my husband, and I thought I'd share some memories that we've made together.

  • Remember when we brought Daisy home for the first time?  What a trip that was.  I'd been living in Memphis all summer, then we went to Florida for a week - then back to Louisiana for a friend's wedding. . .while in LA we got Daisy from your parents. . .then finally back to Little Rock.  The car was so full that the only place for Daisy was either under my feet or in my lap.  It is a wonder that she enjoys car rides after that trip from Louisiana to Little Rock.
  • Remember going out to Brave New Restaurant to celebrate my first job offer?  I had gotten a call after class that day from Albertson's and accepted.
  • Remember our first day with Lily?  I had driven to Evening Shade to pick her up.  You didn't have any vacation to spare.  You asked for her as soon as you walked in from work.  She was so tiny that you didn't see on the sofa at first.
  • Remember our first visit to Busch?  That was about a year before we got married, and it was my first major league game.  The Cards were playing the Marlins, I think. . .or was it the Mariners?
  • Remember when we both ordered beer for the first time at a restaurant?  It was at Bosco's in Memphis.  Neither of us like it much then, and I still don't.  You developed a taste for it during our years in Baton Rouge.
  • Remember when I drove home from work while Hurricane Rita was raging?  I had no umbrella to use, and even I'd had one it would not have made much difference.  Umbrellas are not meant for hurricanes.  I got totally soaked walking from the pharmacy to the car, and I asked you to meet me in the garage with a clean set of clothes - everything, undies, socks, and all.  You got quite a laugh out of that.  Everything was so wet I left it in the garage to dry out before I brought it inside to wash it.
  • Remember sleeping in the closet on an air mattress our first right in our house in Baton Rouge?  We didn't have any furniture or curtains there yet, and there was no window in the closet, so it was dark in there.  Daisy was with us too.
  • Remember when you played that song "New York City" for me?  We were in NYC, and had just gotten back to our hotel after a fun, but exhausting day.   That made me smile. Here's a bit of the song:
Statue of Liberty, Staten Island Ferry, Co-op City, Katz's and Tiffany's 
Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, The Empire State where Dylan lived 
Coney Island and Times Square, Rockefeller Center
Wish I was there

'Cause everyone's my friend in New York City
And everything looks beautiful when you're young and pretty
The streets are paved with diamonds and there's just so much to see
But the best thing about New York City is you and me
  • Remember the day I got home from Haiti?  Yeah.  So do I.
I love you.  Here's to rest of our life.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Yard work is done!

Here are some pictures of the finished project:

This is at the base of the dogwood tree:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Reflections on our Adoption Journey

This is part three of a series of posts about our how we got started on the road to adoption and some things that we've done along the way that I didn't have time to write about at the time because I was swimming in a sea of paperwork.  You can find the other posts here.

How we decided to adopt from Ethiopia. . .
My last post ended with finding out that our next step would be to submit a preliminary application to Bethany.  There was no fee for it and it did not place us under any obligation to adopt through Bethany Christian services.  We decided rather quickly to go ahead with it.  It was not difficult to fill out.  We had to provide basic information about our age, health, income, and; marriage.  There was a place on the form to indicate what countries you were interested in adopting from.  We had been instructed at the meeting that we attended to check ALL the countries (about 15 of them, I think?), so that's what we did.  We didn't expect to hear anything for a while, but a reply came quickly.  I was a little sad with the news.  It looked like there were only two countries that we could adopt from. . .Ethiopia and the Ukraine.  And it was not possible to adopt a young girl (under 4 years old) from the Ukraine.  So we had our answer - Ethiopia.  We were unsure of what to do.  Do we proceed?  Are we ready to have an interracial family?  What will our families think?  I mean we are from the South. . .where just a generation ago, Jim Crow Laws were enforced. What will our friends think, especially our African American friends?  Will we be ostracized or lose friends over it?  We talked about our concerns together and prayed.  We looked into another agency that was licensed in a few countries that Bethany was not, but that didn't go anywhere.  The path that God had for us became clear. Ethiopia it would be.  When you commit to being a follower of Christ, you better hold on to your pants and buckle down for the ride. . .He will take you to some unexpected places.  On Jan. 12, 2010 I had no plans on going to Haiti.  That changed the very next day.  When we started this process, we had no idea that God would really lead us to Africa, but we are glad that He has.  We have learned about a rich beautiful culture - and discovered that we both like Ethiopian food.

Our next step was submitting out formal application to Bethany, which was the beginning of the paper chase.  Again, it did not take long to get a reply from the agency. . .and we would have gotten it sooner if I had been checking my email more often.  We had gone to visit James' parents for the weekend.  I don't always check my email when I'm out of town, but I decided to check it on Sunday afternoon.  James and I were alone in the living room at his parent's house, and I checked my email on my iPhone.  Our social worker sent me an email on Friday stating our application had been accepted!  We were both delighted, and but decided to wait to share the news with everyone.  We had been working on an announcement letter that we'd mail to our families.  We had seen a number of friends the day before and I got asked several times when we were going to have kids - which didn't bother me.  It's was just that the only answer that I could give was that we were "thinking about adopting."

How our families responded. . .next post.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The pros at work

The landscapers began working on our yard late last week.  They finished up today, but I don't have any pictures of the finished project yet because it was raining when I got home.  I'll try to post pics in a few days.  We are really pleased with the work.  Click here for the before photos.

This is what the yard looked like after Day 1
 This is in front of our garage.  This is where the really scraggly half green, half dead bush was.
Here's what things looked like after day 2

I was impressed with what they got done in just two days.