Tired Nicolas!

IMG_2425_small.jpgThis morning while I busied myself with some household chores, I made an attempt to keep the children nearby so we could talk. Abigail of course very happily sat down at the kitchen table with her paints and began creating a masterpiece of sorts. But my efforts to keep Nicolas (our 14 month old) nearby failed as he desperately wanted to go upstairs by himself to play in the “loft”. I let him go for this is currently his favorite place in the house to play (maybe because it was off-limits for so long because of the stairs) and I turned my attention back to my laundry.

It occurred to me shortly thereafter that all was quiet upstairs. There was no chortling, babbling, or banging of toys in the room overhead….what had happened? I climbed the stairs in search of Nicolas and at last located the little guy. Apparently overcome by fatigue, and completely unable to get himself into his crib, he’d had the good sense to climb into his big brother Jonathan’s bed with his favorite bunny and one of his passies and was fast asleep with his curly blond head perfectly positioned on the pillow. I had to take a picture!!

Abigail on Seeing God

A few minutes before sunset, I was driving in the car with Abigail and Jonathan. The sunroof was open so the kids could enjoy the clouds, which were starting to light up. Abigail suddenly piped up:

A: I saw God peeking out! Yeah, yeah, I saw God peeking out from the sky, from heaven. He looked like Jesus. And He’s really big… He was really bigger than you, Dad! I saw Him by the strings.

(Editorial comment: it is my guess that “the strings” referred to power lines.)

J: (intervening into this little monologue by asking her one of her standard catechism questions) Abigail, can you see God?

A: No.

J: But…

A: But He always sees me… but I saw God. I’ve never seen God before. He gave me a special treat. I got to see Him. That was fun!

(Snip much more dialogue on the topic that I can’t remember… Abigail was quite excited.)

Then, returning home at night, more dialogue, with a few more choice quotes:

A: Dad, can you see God?

J: No, because God is a spirit and has not a body like man.

A: I can’t see God either, because it is dark.

J: That’s nice, honey.

Salsa, Round II

After speaking with a cook from Mexico, I made a couple changes to my recipe. Maria Teresa claimed that cumin, for all its popularity in the U.S. when preparing Mexican dishes, was rarely used in Mexico. So I dropped the cumin. She also recommended fresh tomatillos. Now, at that point, we are talking about a completely different salsa, but I decided to see what it was like.

The batch I just made with this recipe is cooling, but the initial taste was mediocre at best. I may just be a bit partial to red tomatoes, but we’ll have to wait until it cools to give it a fair judgment. I like the green salsa at Luna de Noche, but I’m not convinced its green on account of tomatillos. Anyway, here’s the recipe. The next batch will use fresh red tomatoes.

Jay’s Chop Chop Salsa

Heat index
Whole jalapeno including seeds and hot chili pepper = very hot
Half of jalapeno without the seeds and mild chili pepper = mildly warm

Ingredients
Important: use fresh ingredients!
2 lbs of small green tomatillos
1 diced large jalapeno pepper
1 diced large green chili pepper
1/3 cup diced yellow onion
1 lime
1 crushed garlic clove
2/3 cup diced cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar

Directions
Husk and wash the tomatillos. Put and put them in boiling water for 2 or 3 minutes. Put the tomatillo, garlic, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Cut the lime in half and squeeze both halves into the processor. Process thoroughly. Add the jalapeno, chili pepper, onion, and cilantro. Process until the consistency looks appetizing. Place in covered container and chill. A couple of hours of chilling will help the flavors to develop. Serve with El Milagro thin corn tortilla chips.

Things I Learned Whilst Trying to Buy a Tablecloth

One sunny afternoon this past week, the children and I headed out toward the church, to set up a dinner table for our church’s annual WIC Welcome Back Meeting and Dinner. I just had one “quick” errand to run first: return a pair of shoes I’d bought for Abigail. As I was in Marshalls returning the shoes, I had an idea: why not quickly stop by the linens section in back and pick up a pretty tablecloth to go with my china setting for the above-mentioned table? I actually have no fullsized tablecloths of my own which will work with my simple cream china though my MIL has kindly lent me the use of several of hers along with their nice oak dining table which we are “babysitting” for them. But all her cloths are solidly colored (with good reason: her lovely china is patterned with many colors in it) and I was hoping to find something with a bit more of a design to it.

It was a fun idea, but back in the linens section I came up empty. The patterns I liked were all the wrong sizes and the right sizes came in patterns I could do without. No big deal. While I was out, why not just check the other Marshalls just 10 minutes away? The advantages (or disadvantages depending on how you look at it!) of living in a large metroplex!!

Three hours and 7 discount stores later, including that second Marshalls, a Tuesday Morning, Steinmart, Nordstrom’s Rack, and others, I had no more reached my goal of a tablecloth than when I started. The kids, who each nap everyday and by this point were well beyond when those naps should’ve started, were wondering why I was torturing them by dragging them all over North Dallas and through countless stores. Meanwhile, my WIC table was still not begun. But by this time I was determined (read “obsessed”). There had to be a perfect tablecloth somewhere for a good price that I would absolutely love and which would beautify my table for the Ladies’ Dinner.

Wish Lists

Upon the requests of several family members, I have updated our (Tricia and the little Hornes) Amazon wish list.

Here is the link.

FYI: A good amount of these items may be found at Target, Walmart or Sams for better prices. Thanks, and happy shopping!

Jay’s Chop Chop Salsa

After nearly 10 years of being in Texas post-college (I’m not factoring in the college years since I mainly ate at Blimpie and Taco Bell), I still hadn’t found a store bought salsa that I liked. Numerous restaurants serve up a tasty offering (I particularly like Luna de Noche’s… anyone have their recipe?), but the countless brands sold in grocery stores just haven’t worked for me.

So… I’ve been working on my own recipe. The third generation version is tasty, so I thought I would go ahead and post it. The “chop chop” in the recipe name refers to the manual dicing with a knife and processing in a food processor. Those are the two main activities involved in the preparation, which was one of my main concerns in creating the recipe. That’s also why I’m not using fresh tomatoes… you’d have to boil them or something and remove the skins. Too much work!

Jay’s Chop Chop Salsa

24 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1 diced fresh jalapeno (remove the seeds for more mild taste)
1 diced fresh green chili pepper (hot or mild to taste)
1/3 cup diced fresh onion
1 lime
2 crushed fresh garlic cloves
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. sugar

Put the tomato, garlic, salt, cumin, and sugar in a food processor. Cut the lime in half and squeeze both halves into the processor. Process thoroughly. Add the jalapeno, chili pepper, onion, and cilantro. Process until the consistency looks appetizing. Place in covered container and chill. A couple of hours of chilling will help the flavors to develop. Serve with your favorite thin corn tortilla chips… or, if you want to use the best chip in the world, go with El Milagro.

The Prayers of a Righteous Lassie…

I’ve been hesitant to introduce this topic into blogdom, due to the potential for some challenging questions from our faithful readers. However, we have found it funny enough that we’ve decided to share.

There has been a recurring theme in Abigail’s conversations with us as well as her prayers over the last several days. I think her offering before this morning’s breakfast should give you a general idea of the types of requests being brought before both her mother and father and our good Lord.

(and I quote):
“Dear God, thank you for this day and for making the whole earth. And please, please, please bring me a baby sister, because we have two boys and only one girl. And I really want a sister. So please bring me a sister. But if not, please give us twins. So, please either bring us a sister or twins. Amen.”

First Day of School

Here is a picture taken early this morning of our Jonathan, dressed and ready for his adventure at preschool. Despite having missed the official first day of school last week due to a tummy ailment, he jumped right into his activities today with no apparent distress about being away from Mommy for the morning. And, from what we can tell, he had a marvelous time. His teacher, a very sweet, nurturing lady known to the two year old scholars as “Miss Mary” praised him for his cooperative behavior and his enthusiasm at participating in the classroom activities on this his first day. Between you and me, his parents are hoping that such continues to be the case!! We are very excited for him and hope this is the start of a wonderful school experience.
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