Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Thanks, daddio"

If you know the movie where the title of this entry is from, then you are awesome. That is all.

No just kidding, there is SO much more! ;)

Obviously, as you all are aware of, today was Father's Day. I hope you were able to celebrate with you dad today. Or at least call him. I'm sure you all say this about your dad's, and that's fine. That's how it should be. But my dad is seriously THE hardest worker I know.

He works all day as a home health-care nurse taking care of an Indian boy who drowned when he was younger. The boy is, well, no longer a boy, and in fact he is my age I think. So my dad has to lift him, carry him, stretch his arms and legs out, feed him, change his diaper, ect, ect.

On top of all that, the family gives him only 10 minutes to eat, which, if you know my dad, is only mere seconds for him. I'm not joking, my dad takes at least 45 minutes to eat a bowl of oatmeal... a small bowl. And besides only giving him 5 seconds to chow down his lunch, he is forced to eat in the garage of all places. The family is of the Sihk religion, (pronounced 'Seek' and I am totally unsure about the spelling.) so because of their religion, no meat is allow to be eaten in the house... and besides being forced to scarf down his food in solitude, they sometimes make him do chores around the house. Not in the job description I might add.Yell at him for no reason sometimes, get really mad at him and aren't afraid to show it, and just seem to take advantage of him.

Now I've known that this job has been very difficult for my dad, but not until recently was I aware of how this job affected him. He recently had to take care of his patient during his sister's graduation party, where there would be many, many Indian people, much Indian music, a lot of Indian food, and just basically he probably felt like he was in India for a day. He probably feels that way every day. He mentioned before he left how lonely his day would be, and it's true. A white guy who loves Jesus, surrounded by a completely different culture all day.

So for Father's day I wanted to do something really special for him because he is really special to me. He's my dad, duh! A few days ago when I got in a cleaning kick and I was cleaning out one of my mom's kitchen cabinets you could no longer open, I found a recipe book from my Grandma's church (my dad's mom) in the '70s. I never really got the chance to know my Grandma that well, and I skimmed through the cookbook to see if she had submitted any recipes. As I was looking through all the names of who submitted the recipe, Betsy, Merna, Doris... I made sure to dog tag all the ones by Joan Cleveland. I then decided to attempt to make something that my Grandma had made in the past. Hopefully my dad ate it! And remember it!

I selected a recipe that had my dad's name written all over it: Honey Oatmeal Cake. And let me tell you, it. was. a. success.

It tastes like carrot cake, without the carrots. Or as my mom thought, like a gingerbread cake. Regardless, it was tasty. Sweet, but not too sweet. Perfect for my dad. Involved lots of rolled oats, hello? oatmeal! A ton of honey. I mean duh! And whole wheat flour. That just spells out R-O-N right there! Top it with come Cool Whip, or my brother's homemade whipped cream, you pick!and enjoy!

Here's the recipe!

Honey Oatmeal Cake

1 C rolled oats
1 stick butter
1 & 1/4 C boiling water
1 & 1/2 C honey <--- oh yeah, lots of honey! I used up a whole jar!
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 & 3/4 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Put oats, butter, and boiling water in large bowl. Let stand for 20 min. Add honey, vanilla and eggs. Add remaining ingredients and pour into greased and floured (which I made sure to do!) 9x12" pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. (30 minutes was perfect!)

Super easy, right? Yes. It was so moist, perfect sweetness, and put a smile on my dad's face.

See??? See that smile??! And it could do that for your dad, or anyone else you care about too!

I'd call that a winner right there. I ate it all too fast to even get a picture of the before!

Of course we ate dinner before dessert, and my brother made a great Tilapia with cilantro/chipotle sauce, and my mom made some homemade Mexican rice and fresh green beans. It was quite the complete meal.

Very tasty, very yummy, and I'm still full.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

9 days!

Wow. Where did the last 150 some-odd days go?? For serious! It's crunch time people!

Literally, right when I got into San Antonio last Friday it was cake day. I met my mom and brother at our first out of 4 cake shops. Let me tell ya, I prayed over these cake places: that one of them would have the right taste at the right price! Well, lo and behold, the last one of the day, when all hope feels lost, we walk into Lucy's Bake Shop. A complete Mexicano bake shop, and completely an answer to prayer! :)

Yesterday I spend about an hour and 1/2 in FedEx/Kinkos printing out things and cutting things. Thankfully, I had the giant cutter all to myself. But man, they need to play some music in that place! Don't they realize that people work better when they have music on? And who wants to print, and pack, and cut, and copy in silence? Not that silence is bad or anything... just needed some pep! My dad took me out to Freebirds and he got his first Freebird burrito. Yum!

Today my mom and I went to Travis Wholesale Flowersnear downtown SA. It has SO many things for decorating, not just flowers. Tons of ribbon, vases, decorating fabric, etc. Saw some really pretty flowers, but was a little overwhelmed. My mom doesn't know anything about flowers, so she was no help. I was on my own. So I started to make conversation with some customers who really looked like they knew what they were doing. Actually, by the look on my face, I think they realized that I was clueless in my flower search! I asked the first lady if the flowers I had in mind were good together and she said 'yes'. Score! We talked for a little bit. The second lady actually approached me. I was just standing there... looking at the flowers... thinking, and thinking. She showed me all kinds of flowers, which ones do best in heat, what looks good together. The flowers she had in her hands were gorgeous. She used to own her own flower shop and was actually making a flower arrangement for her brother's funeral. When she was about to leave, she said "Well, I don't normally do this, but if you get desperate, here's my card." Score!

Then we went to Taco Palenque- the restaurant that is catering the wedding. Apparently, they were remodeling outside, so we had the luxury of sitting on the patio with a fan blowing right in our face. Aahh, the high life. I got to practice some Spanish with a waiter, which was fun. The manager brought out a sample of all the food for me to try. And it was pretty delicioso!

Then off to Party City to get some extra desert plates and forks and napkins and such. I've only been in Party City once before, but it actually has some pretty good stuff. Who knew deciding what color plates and all that was such a chore?

Tomorrow we have more things on our to-do list, but it just feels so crazy that it's this week, and then BOOM! Next week it's happening! :D 9 days!!!!!!!! When we went to the florist and all the cake places, I had to preface everything with, "Yeah hi, I'm getting married the 23rd of June. -Yeah, in 11/9 days. -Yeah, can you make all that happen? Let's just say it's pretty amazing what places like that can do in 9 days!

And other than planning for one of the biggest days of my life, God has been blessing me with interviews for a job! Last week I had an interview in north Texas area, so I am awaiting there call back for a second interview, and last night I had a phone interview for right here in SA! To my dismay, I thought the interview didn't really go that well and I was a little upset about it all, thinking I had blown my chances here. But God is bigger than me sounding a little inept in an interview! I mean, really people! He made Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt and he pretty much was the worst speaker ever.

So after thinking that they would never call me back, wow. This morning, I was literally woken up to a phone call from Bryan for an interview on Thursday, and then when I got home from all the run-arounds, I have a message waiting for me saying they would like for me to come in for an interview tomorrow! San Antonio called me back!!!! Wow, thanks God! And what's even cooler? When Mike had just woken up yesterday he prayed that I would get an interview that day, and literally 20 minutes later, I was interviewing. That is one good, amazing God.

Between getting last minute wedding details complete and trying to find a job, it's been one exciting ride that's for sure. And I get to be on an amazing adventure with my best friend for the rest of my life!!!

Staying busy and counting down,

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Eva & Ethan

So right after I graduated I got to spend 3 weeks with my adorable niece and nephew. What a blessing to be able to spend so much time with them; playing blocks, singing songs, changing diapers, cheering and encouraging Eva when she went "pee pee" or "poo poo" on the potty, acting like "big girl panties" are the greatest thing in the world... you get the drift.

Eva is 2 1/2 years old and full of life! She makes me laugh so hard that I cry and has the best smile and laugh.

GAH! Such a cutie!!!

Ethan is 6 months and just gets cuter and cuter! His precious little smile melts my heart! He was just beginning to crawl when I left.

Eva loves reading the Bible. I mean LOVES it. She will literally be flipping the pages in her Bible, stop at a picture, and tell me who is in the picture. For example, she was skimming through the pages, and no joke, she stopped and pointed out EXACTLY who Sarah, Lot, and Abraham were. Yeah, I know, right? Amazing!

^ in the words of Eva: "dats Peeder der" that's Peter there And what do you know, it is!

Ethan listens as Eva reads the Bible. He is a great listener.

Oh hi! Is this Cinderella? Hi it's Eva, how are you?

Oh hold, I have someone coming in on the other line.

Belle, I can't believe what Cinderella just said!

Eva loves getting into her mama's things. What can I say, she's pretty stylish. I mean really. Can I just brag about my sister's fashion sense for a minute? Whatever she touches turns to gold. We were in Ross one time and I passed by this shirt or something, and I thought to myself: Eh, it's not that cute. No joke, like 5 minutes later my sister walks by and picks it up and was like, "Oh this is so cute!" And you know what? For some reason, it definitely became a whole lot cuter... anyway, I like my sister's fashion and can say a huge THANK YOU because she gave 3 or 4 bags of her old clothes!!!

Ethan with his older cousin Kathryn.

Ethan fell asleep with a huge cracker crumb on his face. aaww.

Eva was looking for Jonah. And yes, she found him all by herself. :)

I love you Eva and Ethan!
Big kisses from your Tia Lisa!