Friday, December 31, 2010

How to Make New Year Pop!

First you start with treats.  We chose M&M's, stick treats, and rainbow lollipops.  You can add trinkets, toys and anything else that's fun.  Since this is the last candy the girls will eat this year, we went craaazy!
You'll need wrapping paper, cardboard tubes, ribbon, confetti, scissors and glue.  We just rolled the wrapping paper off their tubes and used the cardboard.  You'll want to score the tubes down the middle, but not cut them all the way.  You could also just use two tubes and hold them together with tape. 
 Tie one end with ribbon and try to look like you're having a blast even though your mom is making you do this when you'd rather be chatting online with your friends.
 Fill the tube with confetti because it really isn't New Year's Eve if you aren't making a mess.
Tie the other end of the popper with ribbon.  Make sure it's real tight so that it "pops" when you snap it in half.
 Be sure to tie them tightly so confetti doesn't fall out.  It should look like a long piece of candy, with curly ribbon at the ends.  Pretty huh?
 Yup, it's that easy!
When your mom isn't looking, stash some extra candy in your purse.  When she asks why there seems to be missing candy 1) look innocent, she'll forget all about it in a second 2) blame it on your sister, but choose wisely which one you blame. 
 This New Year's craft idea is brought to you by Sisters Who Do Cool Things. 
 When everyone's screaming "Happy New Year!" and popping fireworks and champagne, we're going to be popping open candy covered confetti awesomeness.  Or, was it confetti covered candy fabulousity? 
Sommer would like to remind everyone to please be responsible and clean up after yourself. It's a great piece of advice for making stuff and for life!    

Monday, December 27, 2010

What I Got For Christmas

 I got some really expensive gifts this year. 
I witnessed my children enjoy giving more than receiving.

I was asked to make cookies from scratch because "that's what we always do" and I realized that the traditions I worked so hard to build have been etched in our hearts as well as our home.

 I saw my children teach and share the same things I taught them. 

The people I love surrounded me for one more year.  
It's more than I could ask for and nothing I could ever deserve. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Because Everything's My Fault :)

Sommer Kalani

I'm ready to go to the party now!
Sommer, we're not going to a party.
But, you said we were going to grandma's.
We are, but to just to visit.

you made me do all this for nothing!!???

Saturday, December 11, 2010

You BETTER Warch Out!

When you live in the islands, every holiday is like being thrown into a vortex.  I mean, let's be honest, what really belongs to us? Constitution Day, Covenant Day, Commonwealth Day, Citizenship Day.  All we got's the four C's, folks.  Every one of them is about being lucky enough to crash someone else's party, but I'm not complaining.
Growing up I always liked celebrating Easter even though I didn't see a real white bunny rabbit until I was in college.  And Thanksgiving? Good Lord, thank God for textbooks, because I always thought that Plymouth Rock was somewhere near Naftan Point, just beyond the cliffline.  Turkey came in sealed plastic containers by the slice for me.  Who knew they were actually really big chickens?
Our children are much more fortunate, they don't have to endure the crazy stories our parents had to make up to explain why we were spraying snow on our windows when it isn't even cold outside.  "Cause nai, we're gonna pretend there gots snow so Santa Claus can climb down our chimney and give you plenty pressen." Oookay... if I tried telling that to Sommer today, she'd make a beeline for Google Search and expose my ignorance.  But seriously, I love Christmas in the islands and things changed after a while.  Songs were translated into Chamorro and Carolinian, some were localized like, "jingle bells, coconut shells, sticky birds all the way!"  Pretty soon we started making sandmen instead of snowmen and yesterday I even saw an office decorate their palms with ornaments.  The spirit of Christmas is not snow, boughs of holly (whatever that is) or mistletoe (that's when your fingernail on your feet are very sharp, no?).  The spirit of Christmas is giving and sharing; and if you're lucky enough to receive, appreciating everything you're blessed with.  For me and my family, it's remembering that long ago a King was born and even though we botched it all up, He came for us in the humblest of circumstances, while we were all yet sinners, and that gift can never be refunded, re-gifted or rejected. 
P.S.  I still think a Chamorro woman wrote Santa Claus is Coming to Town, because who else likes to yell, "You BETTER warch out! You BETTER not cry!"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Same and Brand New

I didn't take any pictures of our Thanksgiving dinner because I was happily and busily making it this year.  We spent the night with my parents and my sister's family laughing and enjoying the sound of children squealing in delight.  It was a marathon cooking adventure that brought out mostly winning recipes and one that flopped horribly like a big chubby man in a red suit diving off the bantalan.  The winners: Rosemary Citrus Roasted Turkey, sage and feta mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, Italian sausage and sourdough stuffing, pumpkin shortbread squares, cranberry orange relish, tequila sangria with fresh fruit and candied yams all from scratch.  Loser: butternut squash soup.  It was such a culinary mess that my dad actually said, "Don't ever make your pumpkin soup again for as long as you live, but everything else was delicious."  You can always count on my dad not to sugarcoat things.

Favorite quote of the evening:  
Me: Sommer, please change the channel.  That cartoon is inappropriate.
Sommer to Savannah:  Hey Nannah, wanna watch Food Network?

Favorite dish of the evening: My first ever shortbread squares.  Mmmm...

Favorite comment of the evening: I love you mom.  You're my hero.  (Hope)

Favorite memory of the evening: Sitting around the Scrabble table drinking sangria and knowing beyond a doubt how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family. 

We had just enough to supply a perfect breakfast the next day, then it was off to work, home and Christmas tree ornament hunting.  The girls and I decided on some sparkly red apples, crystal green grapes and shimmering plum pomegranates.  Decorating the tree is a big deal in our home.  There's the village, the Nativity, the stockings to hang, the garlands to string and the tree to decorate.  There's a routine we all depend on like having to add something new to the village and making sure no one mistakes the shepherd boy for a wise man, but this year was markedly different in a couple of significant ways.  Tonton wasn't here with us and we all felt his absence despite anyone mentioning it. The music didn't seem to make us giggle as much or sing as loudly and each of us kind of took turns sitting down for a bit looking disoriented.  "What's wrong Peyton?"  "Uh, I don't know.  I just wanna watch."  We hung up one less stocking on the wall.  We'll send one less letter to Santa.  Sigh...

It was also new and promising.  Hope and Peyton arranged the Christmas village all by themselves and it looked awesome.  It actually looked like a completely different village, which reminds me of the proverb about entering the same village from a different bridge.  It's all about perspective, I suppose.  I am happy to relinquish my village architect duties to our beautiful girls.  Ahhh...and so we're ready.  Christmas is on it's way.  Amidst the frenzy of mad dashes to on island and online stores for just the right gift, I sit calmed and comforted, content in knowing that all I need is never more than an arm's length away.  We'll spend some of it in the snow and some of it in the sand.  Every year will be the same and brand new, familiar and transformed,  just like each of us!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Facebook: I love you, I hate you

Ambivalence: having simultaneous conflicting feelings towards a person or a thing.  Facebook: an anomaly; not really a person or a thing, but sort of a person and a thing. 

Why are people so drawn to Facebook?  To connect with family and friends near and far; to satisfy deep seeded narcissism; because High School sucked for them or rocked for them and FB is page closer to unachieved popularity; or because hey, everyone could use more friends?! Why do I have a Facebook account?  The last question is the easiest to answer, so I'll start there. 

I like FB because I can connect with my friends.  We can hang despite the fact that you're in Fresno sitting in a boardroom and I'm on Saipan lounging in my pajamas. I choose everyone I friend, but on FB the word "friend" is loosely defined.

My friends are any one of the following:
1.  A person who I have a relationship with such as a sister or a colleague.  You may be someone I regularly hang out with and you hold a special place in my heart. I want you to know when I finally perfect that pie recipe or when Sommer writes a letter all by herself.  I also want you to know when I'm not feeling so hot because you always come through with just the right words.
2.  People whom I am somewhat familiar with, who I occasionally spend time with and who I am always eager to communicate and share my life with.
3.  People with whom I am acquainted, respect, appreciate and would like to get to know better. I have always thought you were witty, talented and kind.  I like your posts and I am not reluctant to comment on your page. 
4.  Those who I don't mind sharing my life with, but I only know through other friends and accept or invite into my life.  I spend time on your page sometimes because you have a really great way with words, I'm interested in your life and if we had more time, I think we could be great pals.
5.  Friends of friends I don't know too well, but don't currently have any reason to distrust.  Hey, if Ana says you're cool, you're cool with me. 

These "friends" of mine are part of my social network and have access to my life like no one else in the world.  Trust is a big part of my FB experience.  I trust that my friends are genuinely interested in my life even though I know there is a always an element of netstalking going on.  Which brings me to my next topic.

If you are not my friend on FB, it is also for specific reasons.
1.  You haven't asked me or I haven't invited you.  This may be because we haven't found one another or just don't have the nerve to request friendship.  It's cool, I feel you.  Rejection sucks. 
2. It's not you, it's me.  Either way, we can't be friends.  You've asked or I've asked, but there are doubts.  I don't friend students (and others) because it's simply unprofessional.  I love my students, but I am not their "friend".  Teachers, administrators and school personnel are role models and advocates.
3. I do not friend people who only friend me so that I can supply ammo on Mafia Wars.  I also do not friend people who supply ammo for haters.  Haters need love too, but not on my page.   If I wouldn't invite you to a dinner with my family, or make a plate of food for you to share, I probably wouldn't friend you. 
4.  I didn't recognize you! Sometimes I need to see a face, sometimes I don't remember the face.  It's cool too if you didn't friend me because the profile pic of tambourines and legs doesn't ring a bell and when you tried to look through my other photos you weren't allowed to view them.  Vice versa.  When you only post a picture of your cleavage, I have to admit my photographic memory fails me.  I'm more inclined to remember your hair.  Sometimes your request stays on my page for months until I finally realize that, OH EM GEE.... that's you? Confirm!
 5. DUH, I BLOCKED you or you BLOCKED me! We just not that tight, yo.  If I blocked you it means that you are not welcome to be part of my everyday life because I do not trust you, because you are toxic to my emotional health, because you have no business sharing even mundane moments in my life and did I mention I don't trust you.  Not to be harsh but, get over it.  Blocking you also means I don't care to be part of your social network, so don't worry.  I may have decided to block you because I don't spend any time thinking of you and feel it unnecessary to know what goes on in your life.  No hard feelings. This should save you the trouble of lurking on my page to figure out if I'm snooping on yours so that you can post some cryptic status about how I care what's going on.  I'm all for building your self-esteem, but trust me, I don't care. 
6.  You're a stalker and you give me the creeps.  Ew

With all that said, I go back and forth about Facebook.  I love it because it's great to be on top of all my friend's lives and it's also great to be able to share mine.  With FB, no birthday goes uncelebrated, no joke is ignored, no request for a ((hug)) goes unnoticed.  It's the FB drama that turns me off.  Venting is one thing, but psychoraping people with your status  only makes others look stupid and I hate watching people look stupid, friend or not.  Ouch. 

If you're wondering why I'm blogging about Facebooking, I think you'd agree.  This would make a ridiculously long status. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Who Moved My Chi?

Not sure where to start this one.  It's ironic that in the middle of one of the busiest months in my life I feel awkwardly bored and unproductive.  I'm scribbling this while taking a break from excruciatingly drab academic writing and in the middle of what I suspect will be the flu (A-a-achoo.  Bless me).  Yet, I feel ... blah.
Maybe I feel overwhelmed, not bored.  There's so much happening all the friggin' time that I don't know where things begin and where they ought to end anymore.  Looking at the fax brings heaving convulsions.  I'm dodging deadlines I didn't even know existed.  Yeah, I really enjoy it when the Hallway Neatness Compendium was due yesterday and I spent all week compiling The Campus Earthworm Demographics Chart.
Wondering how my son is and when I'll be able to see him has become a daily obsession.  It's almost like being pregnant again, except he's outside my body and getting reamed by some drill sergeant because some clowns decided to steal donuts from the mess hall.  Sucks. 
Perhaps I feel blah because I can never get my mind to quiet down long enough to focus on one thing.  My mind has been interrupting a lot and it's getting pretty annoying.  Like this morning, when I decided that I had to call in sick.  My body said, "don't even think about getting up" and my mind answered, "remember the report? who's gonna do the orders? how can you lay in bed all day long and feel good about yourself? Lazy bones!"  You can't win with my mind.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Favorite quote of the weekend
My son: "I won, I won!"
Me: "Hey! Wait a minute, we won, remember?"
My son:"Oh...yeah...thank you, mommy"

Favorite sound of the weekend
From my girls: "Mommmmyyyy!!! We missed you!"

Favorite text of the day
From dad: Love you forever, more than a circle

Favorite chat message of the night
From honey: Hey there _________ .

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Just Encountered

A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.  ~Andre Maurois

I have a great marriage.  I'm so amazed how even saying that makes me smile.  I remember not being able to even think that; how saying it out loud left me empty, like an imposter with a thousand lie detector wires springing from my body.  So, when Wayne said he wanted to go to ME I thought two things.  One: "Where in the world did this man come from?" And, two: "Should we do this?"  The first time I went to ME I was trying desperately to glue something back together that was never fastened properly to begin with. I foolishly wondered if doing this again would jinx an already beautiful relationship, but as I looked into my husband's eyes I knew I wanted the same thing.
We set our plans out carefully.  I asked again and again, "Do we have a plan B?" , and he reassured me again and again that we'd thought of everything.  Still, I had a gnawing feeling that something bad was coming our way.  As the days passed, my worry diminished and I was beginning to look forward to a weekend alone with my lover, my friend, my husband.  On Friday, hours before we were to leave, the plans started to crumble.  We'd been sabotaged, predictably, I thought.  As I prepared to concede, Wayne reminded me how eagerly we waited for this weekend together and the importance of it all.  We made our way excitedly, but each visibly worried about children and their broken hearts.  It was hard to listen to the disappointment, but we were parents and not opposed to gathering 8 or 7 children.  We knew deep inside that this request could not be expected from anyone else without leaving us preoccupied with worry. 
At the site, my heart beat loudly in my chest, like the raindrops on a tin roof.  I could feel the hard lump of suspense well in my throat and hear the sound of voices getting louder, like the roar of waves on a windy beach.  Up until this very moment I had been focusing on everything that didn't matter.  I returned the grip of my husband's hand on mine, looked into his eyes, watched his smile creep all over him, and miraculously felt everything disappear as we walked hand in hand. There were angels everywhere and it was overwhelming.
I recall looking at Wayne every now and then, watching for signs of fatigue because of the intensity of what we were experiencing.  Our muscles ached, our eyes became weary, but we pressed on, driven from within.  At the end of it all were discoveries about one another, ourselves and our spirituality. 
Two days later, the marriage I thought could not get any better did and the man I knew I loved for so many reasons also became my hero. The God who promised never to leave me was not only there all along, but found His way into the most intimate parts of our relationship.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pink Stilettos Come To Mind

Singing in the car "."..and he said someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dy-y-ying. Got me thinking, what would I do if I found out I had years, months, weeks, days? 
  • I'd do stand up comedy and laugh at my own jokes
  • I'd walk the catwalk in stilettos 
  • I'd learn how to scuba dive and capture images of all the animals no one ever looks at
  • I'd paint pictures on the streets of Paris for free and give them out to total strangers
  • I'd home school all my kids while we traveled the world in search of folktales
  • I'd be a teacher again, and teach for free
  • I'd write and write and write and never stop until everyone I love has a book of their own
  • I'd make all of you video cards so I'd never have to miss a birthday, graduation, wedding, birth, flat tire or heartbreak.
  • I'd stop every morning to give thanks for another day, no matter how short 
  • I'd forgive.  And forget.  Forever.
I'd never make my bed, worry about those last ten pounds, complain about standing in line or care about singing off key ever again.  Most of all, I'd never forget to say I love you.  

Mom:  What would you do, Hope? 
Hope: I don't know, yours sound so much better.  Why can't you do those now that you're not dying?
Mom: Sometimes, I guess things have to happen to make you throw caution to the wind.  

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I'm reminded not that I've been blessed to have been spared, but that I can't take anything for granted.  I remember the battles of those I loved who have lost their battle against cancer and those still fighting.  I pray that those of us who have survived or continue to get "good news" each time we seek a new exam will be given the opportunity to share our lives in meaningful ways.  

Breast Cancer Prevention: online at Feel Your Boobies and on island at Pinktober!

Friday, September 24, 2010

You got me all Googly eyed

I never thought the day would come when someone would Google "Saipan Budweiser consume statistics" and get my blog, but here it is!  I'm at your service, and I know who drinks Bud, where you can get it and even how to make a fancy mosquito repellent stand out of an empty Budweiser can.  Not.

Other popular Google searches that made their way here this week: pugua, how to revive a rosebush that was improperly cut, pteromechanophobia, hot sexy babes with hot sexy jobs, Chamorro miss you and my fave, stupidest things to think about. I was just kidding about the hot sexy jobs. I wanna give a special holla to my peeps reading from Hungary, Morocco, and Nigeria.  The three of you keep me writing all this crazy stuff, so here's to you!   I have one crazy stalker who keeps reading the same thing each week, maybe three times a week.  You need help my friend, or a cold Bud.

In other news: eBlogger just upgraded their image upload tool, which rocks, because the old one really unrocked. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Book About Home

If you read Angelo's blogJane's blog or like Wild Bill's on Facebook, you'll know that a group of writers on Saipan are putting a book together.  If you're interested in submitting some stories, go here. I have a hard time thinking about what I'd like to share about my home in the middle of the ocean, near the deepest trench in the world, with the most vibrant and orange blooms in the spring, with the most succulent barbecue that ever touched a grill, where the sun always shines except when it rains for about 5 minutes on one side of the road and is dry on the other.
If I were to write a story would I tell everyone how the bowling alley was the coolest place to hang out as a teenager?  Or, how Reiko's Soba House had a monkey in the back yard of the restaurant when I was little?  Or, how the blueberry slushy at Matsumoto's theater was the bomb even though it came in a tiny styrofoam cup?  Maybe I would tell the world how my sweetest memory would be sitting on my grandma's patio eating salt and iba because we were both not supposed to.  And, how I cannot visit her grave without breaking down because I miss her so much.
I don't know if I want anyone to know that in parts of our islands, life is so bad that the most exciting things kids do on the weekend is sit in the emergency room of the government run hospital watching TV and enjoying the air-conditioning.  Or, how I witnessed a woman buying school supplies for her family with a PO. And how everyday someone cuts down a tree it turns our island paradise into more of a "rock".  And how I hate when people here say they live on a rock, but as soon as I lay my mat on the beach and watch my children play in the water I am soothed by the awesome realization that this is my home.

Leave a message...i'm at the beach

This is what happens when you whine about not having been at the beach for weeks.  Your husband tells you to go to work and concentrate on what you need to get done and then organizes an afternoon fiesta. Family, food and unlimited bliss. I love this man.

This is my kind of afternoon meeting.  Me, Jess and my sister Yvette.

Count the black dots.  
On second thought, don't waste your time looking for things that aren't there.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

This is where I totally embarrass myself

What would life be without dumb moments like tripping and looking around to see who saw? I'm no stranger to clumsiness or brain flatulence.  This week has been a doozie, I do have to admit, but hey!  I blame it on the unavoidable and cyclical horror of Mad Cow Disease.
  • Yes, I did it again.  My secretary will not even blink when she hears this but, I still wonder how I manage to always lock my keys in my office, therefore locking myself out of my office all the time!  I hang my keys on my desk, where I've stuck a little thumb tack to the wall so that I will always see my keys before leaving work.  Well, last Friday I shut down my computer, grabbed my purse and walked out of my office leaving my dangling keys to scoff at my absentmindedness.  One text to the secretary, a search for keys to open one office led to a search in that office to find the extra keys to mine. least this time I didn't lock my entire family in the school administration building.  Yes, it has happened before.
  • Okay, so I told my contractor I loved him.  Yup, we both froze for about a second.  Before you begin to wonder, let me explain. We were talking business and saying our goodbyes, you know "okay thanks, okay that sounds great, ok bye" and he started out the door when I turned around and looked at my computer screen.  Right as he walked away waving and saying his last, "ok, bye", a message from my husband popped up on my gmail (I love you) and I said OUT LOUD while Mr. Contractor said goodbye, "I love you too!" He looked at me, I looked at him.  Luckily, we've known one another for years, I was even his daughter's 3rd grade teacher and I quickly showed him my chat box. "I don't love you, I love my husband, but I like you very much" We both laughed, but I'm sure he walked away just a little perplexed.
  • Don't lie.  I know you've all done this one.  Given your Smiles card to the gas attendant at Shell?  No? Okay (raising my hand), I did. How about introducing a member of the Board of Education by a wrong title at the monthly Principal's and Program Manager's meeting? Guilty again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

He will not depart from it

Let's talk about indicators.  The number one indicator of student academic success is teacher quality.  It isn't teacher credential, but how well a teacher can demonstrate that they genuinely care about individual student growth and how well they can deliver content so that it is comprehensible. 

The greatest factor in a child's overall success is not socio-economic status. It's not immigration status or ethnicity; it isn't even the level of a parent's education.  It's the degree of high expectation demonstrated by parents and the involvement, no engagement in that child's day to day life.  It's the old self fulfilling prophecy, and it's right on.
So what? Well, it's a big so what.  It's so big that I have to remind myself of it every time I start to feel like second guessing myself as a parent.  Now that my son is on life's training wheels, I can sit back (hindsight is 20/20 right?) and think about all the times I felt like my "I love you no matter what" talks were bouncing off the ceiling and getting absorbed into the atmosphere.  The surprising thing is, he'd heard every word I said and no matter what he did to refute it, my love sank in.  Thank God!  No really, thank God He taught us to Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).   It was my secret mantra through all the nights I prayed that I wouldn't get an emergency medical call or worry that Tony was going to get hurt emotionally, physically, whatever. They were only two and half years, but they were the scariest two and a half years of my life.  Wayne helped both Tony and I through it.  He saved us from one another more times than I care to admit.  And now, our son is on almost on his own.  Wow, and I have so many nights of thinking where I could have done better, but still.

You see, Tony's been my bud since he was born.  He was momma's boy, always at my side, always yanking on my shirt.  He was like that until he hit the great adolescent trauma stage, or as I like to think of it, the dain bramage years.  All my training as a teacher, counselor and everything I knew as a parent was suddenly questioned. That was the exact time that I needed to hold on to promises.  He will not depart from it...

 There's more to write, but my heart won't let me share it right now.  I will share this beautiful dialogue that happened on a sunny day in the water with Peyton a few months ago.

Peyton: Mommy, Tony's becoming much more responsible nowadays.
Me: He is!  And, he'll get even better you just wait and see.  You're going to love him even more.
Peyton: Yeah, he's really nice to us, and when he babysits us, he doesn't let us stay up past bedtime or anything.  He even plays with us.
Me: When he gets a little older he'll be ten times better, I promise. And, he'll be your big brother hero.
Peyton: He already is my hero.

I love you son.  When you were born it changed my entire life.  Your presence made me want to be a better person and gave me so much purpose.  I know you thanked me for being there for you, but I want to thank you for being here too.  Happy birthday, son.  Remember, no matter what you do or where you go, I'll always have your back.  ~mom

Saturday, July 10, 2010


The newest instructors in Non Violent Crisis Intervention
Seattle, Washington July 2010
I'm a pretty fortunate person. Sure, I've had my share of misfortune in life, but all in all, I've got it great.  I've had an awesome career doing things I love.  I've spent 16 years at GES, been through different administrations and met so many people who have become part of my extended family.  Sometimes I think about what it would be like to do other things.  Sometimes it's exciting to think about starting fresh and other times I fear not being able to catch the same magic that came my way.  I know there are changes on the horizon and I also know that it's counterproductive to worry about what will happen, especially when I should be taking time to enjoy what's right in front of me.  Right now I'm just eager to start a new school year and ready to take on the task put before us. 

What is it with my sister and giving birth when I'm off island?  When her first child, my goddaughter Savannah was born I had just gotten in from a trip and missed the whole thing. So, this time she gave me ample warning and I made sure not to accept any training opportunities during her due date, the second week in July.  It turned out that the very night I came in from my trip to Seattle she was in the delivery room, a whole week and a half earlier than expected! Luckily for me, Wayne drove me straight from the airport to the hospital so I could be there.  Welcome to the world little Aiden, I'm glad you waited for me :)

I remember the day I planted the rose bushes these came from.  There was an improperly planted rose bush in our garden with exposed roots that we needed to uproot.  I cut two stalks from the bushes we pruned because I couldn't bare to see my rose bush thrown away, placed them firmly in the soil and whispered, "I believe in you.  You'll grow and be beautiful."  Wayne smiled at me, but secretly doubted that you could just stick things in the ground like that and expect them to grow.  Don't you think that the most beautiful things sometimes come from the broken and discarded?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Who wants cobbler?

We drove around for what seemed like hours.  Okay it was more like 20 minutes, but still.  There were no mangoes anywhere and I wasn't about to climb a tree.  I just about gave up the mango hunt when Hope said, "No mom, look some more, I wanna taste what you want to cook."  That was the beginning of the Mango-Pear Cobbler.
Ingredients: 2/3 sugar, 1tbspn cornstarch, 1 cup water, 3 cups sliced mango and pears, 1 1/2 tspn butter, 1tbspn granulated sugar mixed with cinnamon, 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tspn baking powder, 1/2 tspn salt, 3 tbspn shortening, 1/2 cup milk.  

 Dice pears up into cubes.  Thanks Hope!

Cut mangoes up into bite size pieces.

Bring to a boil on stove with cornstarch, sugar, water and butter for 20 minutes.

Make topping by mixing sugar, baking powder, shortening, milk and flour.  Put spoonfuls onto the fruit in a deep dish, preferably a one quart dish.

You'll need a fancy smchancy helper to clean up your spills if you're messy like me.  Thanks Sommer!

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is nice and brown.

Cobbler is best served warm with ice cream, cool whip or whipped cream.

But, it's best eaten with little people who warm your heart, eat all their dinner and help clean up.  Thanks Peyton!

And that's how our Mango-Pear Cobbler was born!