made for His glory

living in pursuit of that

Archive for April, 2008

Especially You, Olivia

Posted by hrgarippa on 28 April, 2008

Many of the kids I spend time with don’t quite understand why I don’t have kids. I’m roughly the same age as their mamas and so in their eyes I should have five or six kids. I am rarely asked the question, “why aren’t you married?” because marriage is a foreign concept to most kids in this community. However on Saturday as I spent time with the Hill kids, it wasn’t, “why don’t you have any kids?” I was questioned about my marital status. Here is our conversation:

Sadie: Are you a kid or a mommy?

Me: I’m a grown up.

Sadie: Then why do you have a car?

Olivia: Why aren’t you married?

Me: Because God doesn’t want me to be married right now. I think right now He wants me to hang out with you and you and you.

Olivia: Especially me.

Me: Especially you, Olivia.

Olivia: Maybe God doesn’t want you to get married.

Me: Maybe.

(I’m hoping she said that because she likes me so much, and is hoping that I will always have extra time, not because she is some sort of child prophet!!!)

O, sweet Hills.

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Posted in Dear Ones | 3 Comments »

the one armed epidemic

Posted by hrgarippa on 24 April, 2008

There is an epidemic sweeping the community. Young men all over are losing an arm. They must learn how to function with only one arm. It is sad. We are grieving and wonder when will it stop. We cry out, “We want both arms, we need both arms.” But pop culture prevails…

It is hard to see but his right hand is holding up his pants. I know I know, you’re thinking that is the job of the belt. Not anymore. That is why God gave us two arms and hands. One to hold up your pants. The other to do everything else. God is so smart.
There are ordinances all over the country to ban sagging pants. My question is, if sagging pants are banned what will these kids do with the return of their right or left arm. Will they use it for good or for harm?

Posted in Another day in the hood, WD Kiddos | 2 Comments »

Blondies with highlights

Posted by hrgarippa on 22 April, 2008

One of my Christmas gifts this last year was a subscription to Martha Stewart’s Food Magazine. It is the perfect the gift for me, one because it is the gift that keeps on giving, I get a new, fresh magazine every month. And two, It is full of interesting recipes and it is fun to read.

Last month, the talent that makes Martha look good published a recipe for the Everyday Baking Mix;

Ingredients
Makes 9 cups
6 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt

Directions
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 months. Whisk before using.

They said this Everyday Baking Mix could be used for all sorts of things, they only gave four recipes but I’m holding out hope that more will follow.

One of the recipes was for Blondies. I’ve heard rave reviews on Blondies but never tried them. So I mixed up the Everyday Baking mix and made a batch of Blondies. They were good. But in my opinion why eat sugar unless you’re consuming chocolate…so I added some brunette highlights to these blondies.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients
Makes 16
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups, Everyday Baking Mix, spooned and leveled
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1 cupish mini or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8-inch square baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both sides. Butter paper, and set pan aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, and beat until combined. With mixer on low, gradually add Baking Mix; mix just until combined. Mix in 3/4 cup oats and chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Using an offset metal spatula or table knife, smooth batter evenly. Sprinkle with remaining oats, pressing gently to adhere. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan 30 minutes.

Using overhang, transfer blondie (still on paper) to a wire rack to cool completely. Place on a cutting board (peel off paper); using a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares. Store blondies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

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The kids in my community love these Blondies so I just mix up a big batch of that Everyday Baking Mix and keep it on hand and then I can whip up a batch pretty quickly.

Enjoy!

Posted in Mangia Mangia | 3 Comments »

Unexpected Beauty

Posted by hrgarippa on 20 April, 2008

The Hernandez Family lives down the street from me. Jose and Isabel have been together for a long time at least 20 years, they are from Mexico. They came to the US for a better life and although they still face tough times they trust in the Lord as they work together as a family.

Isabel loves kids, especially her five; Tony, Alex, Jose, Samantha and Isabel. During the day she is a nanny for a little boy. She told me that she can’t imagine doing anything else. When she was little she would play with her dolly’s and imagine the day she could be a mother. She has found her true calling as a mother and caretaker. And she does it with much joy and hope even in the midst of troubling times.

(Alex, a sophomore at Pinkston)

Jose works at a Chinese restaurant as a cook. Samantha tells me that he makes the best Orange Chicken and he can mix it up really fast. She also tells me that she is super lucky because her two favorite foods are Chinese food and Mexican food and she has two amazing cooks in the house that happen to focus on those two specialities. Isabel is an amazing cook too.

Samantha is my newest girl. Last year I started getting to know Sam and her sister Isabel as they would help me with the concession stand. This year Sam asked if I would be her mentor. I said yes. One of the fun things about Sam is that she attends West Dallas Community School and so her education looks completely different than most of the kids I work with. The other day I ask her what homework she had and she started reciting Ephesians 4.25-32, as she explained what righteous anger was. Did I mention that she is 9? I praise the Lord that she and her sister Isa are able to attend such a wonderful school.

(Isabel and Samantha)

I love knowing this family and learning their history. It is a tremendous blessing that God has allowed our paths to cross. Yesterday as Sam and I were making Blondies, Jose (the dad) came over and asked Sam to ask me if he could cut my grass. I said yes, but how much? No money, said the interrupter. He just wants to do it for you because you are always worrying about us and because you love us.

One my biggest disappointments in life is that I didn’t pay attention during the four years of Spanish I took in High School. So all I could say was Muchas Gracias, Muchas Gracias, Muchas Gracias. I kept thinking in my head how does Muchas Muchas Muchas Muchas Gracias translate??? I sounded like an idiot but was so overcome with gratitude.

Sometimes I expect the beauty of the body to be packaged up a certain way. Pretty people from my church, a skinny white girl from Sumac Leaf, my coworkers, even maybe a blog friend or two. Thankfully God still brings things around in unexpected ways. Reminding me that it isn’t about what I bring to this community, cuz that is a whole lot of nothing. It is about love, and that can be seen everywhere and in many.

My grass was cut with a lawn mower and with love. That makes me happy!!

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Posted in Dear Ones | 2 Comments »

One more…

Posted by hrgarippa on 17 April, 2008

I am mildly obsessed with my niece Malia. And maybe you can see why right here. She is amazing. Funny, smart and so loving. She called me this morning at 9 am to tell me they are for sure having a boy.

I am so lucky to be her aunt…and also Aunt Hannah to Rachel, Caleb, Jonah and Maddox. What a joy!!!!

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Posted in Mi Familia | 1 Comment »

Spring

Posted by hrgarippa on 17 April, 2008

When my sister and her kids visited in March we made our traditional visit to the Arboretum. I am so thankful that the land of shopping malls and freeways has a place like the arboretum. Check out my adorable nieces and nephew. And my very beautiful sister Christy.

The statue and I making friends…

The tulips in bloom.

Caleb, Malia and Rachel

Me and the beautiful Christy
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Posted in Mi Familia | 5 Comments »

And we’re open

Posted by hrgarippa on 13 April, 2008

Little league opened Friday night and all went swimmingly. Most of the players were there and suited up. They were introduced as they stood with their teams and coaches in the infield. The West Dallas Boy Scout color guard presented the flags and Whitney Houston sang the national anthem, not live of course. Then Miss Annie, Miss Jacque and myself all threw the first pitch. I am thankful to DonnaVin for showing me how to properly throw a baseball or else there is no way I would have been able to get it over the plate. Thanks D-Man!

Trey, Garrett, Luke, Joey and I served around 200 hot dogs to a crowd of mostly players and families, while the Red Sox and Tigers battled it out on the field. Red Sox won, I’m not sure what the final score was.

It was a beautiful night and I’ll post some pictures soon.

I’ll also post the schedule soon and if your ever in the neighborhood, come and join us at the Johnny Oats baseball field. I guarantee you’ll love it!

Posted in WD Sports | 2 Comments »

Crime and Punishment

Posted by hrgarippa on 7 April, 2008

Last week I entered the ranks of those living and/or working in West Dallas who have had something stolen from them. I’ve worked here for over three years and this is a first, that I know of. It was three boys and they stole minor things; my ipod and $10. But one of the boys was a child that I and others at MS have loved and poured a lot into, he is a regular after school, a regular in my home, my brother’s home and my parent’s home. So it was extremely disappointing…and worrisome…What else is missing?

After the confrontation of “How’d you get this?” and their game of denial and blame I was left feeling frustrated and angry. So I drove on over to Melissa’s house to vent and also hoping to fill a red solo cup with some $2.97 red wine. As I relayed all the details of the day and what happened between the boys and I, Melissa said, “I’m so sorry…but this is great blog material.” I love that Melissa turning lemons into lemonade.

The only problem, I’m not nearly as funny as Melissa. Melissa will you be my ghost writer?

That night I prayed for the boys, asking that the Lord would give them a broken and contrite heart. The next day one of the boys, Azie, who I don’t know very well, came up to me with tears filling his eyes desperately wanting to confess. He laid it all out, every detail of what transpired and why it was wrong. He apologized and asked for my forgiveness. It was such a precious moment. As he stood there sobbing I couldn’t help but think about the grace and forgiveness that has been bestowed on me. I hoped more than anything that Azie would grasp that freedom at an early age.

It is hard for me to punish. I want this to actually say Crime and Grace, but I know that there is love in the consequences and I pray that Azie and the rest of the boys will see that and truly come to understand…

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

Posted in WD Kiddos | 3 Comments »