We sat with our friends, Lupe and Manny Barrios and their little girl, Monsi. Tonio and Monsi get along so well - it was great for both of their nerves! It was a full Mass, our second day in a row! And, once again, the Gospel and homily spoke to me...
I remember Cody and Autumn's first reconcilation...Kimmy came to both of theirs, but had me go with them to confession...perhaps she knew my soul needed more redemption than hers...Of course, she teared up at both of theirs, so proud of them and realizing it was one more milestone in their lives, they were growing up.
She would have been so proud of Tonio today. He held up well, only telling me he hoped he wouldn't have to sit face-to-face with the father. You see, there were 8 priests available, plus Monsignor Tom. Only 2 were giving the old school, behind the wall with the sliding door, style of confession. And Monsignor Tom was out in the open. I told him he was a good little boy and had nothing to worry about. Then, I leaned over to Lupe and Manny and said 'Gee, I just hope I don't get Monsignor Tom!'...it had been 3 years since my last confession, when Autumn had her first one...
Everybody did great and they served cake and lemonade afterwards - just what Tonio needed, a huge sugar boost!! And as Manny and I walked the kids over to the church hall, I got a good look at Tonio. His jeans had holes in both knees. And his polo was on inside out. I pointed it out to Manny and told him 'I am really struggling Manny - where are my motherly skill?'. Manny told me "Well Dave, you haven't lost any of them and you haven't set any of them on fire...I'd say you are doing a great job!'.
We talked on the way home - 'How'd you feel after you told the father your sins?' I asked. "I felt really good", Antonio told me. I told him how proud of him I was and that Mama was smiling down on him, too, I was sure she was there.
Before we left, I decided to take another stab at Andrea's refried beans. My first batch ended with disaster, when I took her 'put the beans in a crock pot, cover them with water and cook them' literally, leaving my beans leathery, tasteless and dry as the desert. 'Uh, fill the crock pot with more water and you can add water as needed' she gently advised me. So, I made real bacon for the kids for breakfast (I used turkey for my last bean attempt) put in some of the grease and an uncooked slice of bacon into the crock pot with the beans (16oz dried pinto beans), filled it 3/4 of the way with water and added two, minced cloves of garlic...when we got home from church, the house smelled great! I added a little more water. When the timer went off (I cooked them on low for 4 hours), I drained the beans, put them in a big bowl and added a bag of shredded jack/cheddar blend of cheese and some milk, mashing them with a masher (add milk, as if you were making mashed potatoes). Then, I put them in a large skillet (do NOT use your nice pot for this recipe, it may ruin it!), with a little olive oil, on a medium heat and cooked them until they were hot all the way through, adding salt and pepper.
The beans came out great! And Lupe dropped off some tortillas and little tortilla pocket dealy's that she told me to fill with beans and some marzipan candies and chilibonchas, a mango flavored candy with a chile center (these are GREAT!) that her and Manny brought us back from their trip to El Paso. We brought them over to Betsey and Brian's. Betsey made chicken enchiladas, rice and brownies. Oh, and Cody made a salad, using another big bowl of Kimmy's!
Yes, it's from Pier 1!
We settled in to watch the Wildcat's play UConn - it started out so promising!! But, we were saddened when, the Cats could not sink the 3 shot with time expiring - they had a nice season - we would have liked to see them move forward, though.
A carpet thief had stopped in and stolen Brian's carpet - which was conducive to sloppy eating for us and the bambini! Molly tries to escape via the back door.
I remember watching such games with Kimmy. She would get very into the game and like to root for the Cats. She was such a great high fiver!! At Betsey and Brian's, we'd share one of their oversized, leather lounge chairs for a cozy game.
Despite the loss, we had a good time, but called it an early night around 8, our energy expended on yelling and rooting for a Wildcat victory...we tried to regroup by watching the best of Adam Sandler on SNL, but just couldn't find the same energy....the enchiladas were excellent, though and the brownies were Kimmy-like - she made some outstanding brownies!!!
A warm breeze greeted us as we went outside to say goodnight to Mama...'The Big Dipper's crooked tonight' Tonio observed...Sweet dreams, Mama...
"Cheerfulness is often a cloak which hides a life a sacrifice, continual union with God, fervor, and generosity."