We're the Guelfis... That's pronounced Well-Fee! So, Guelcome to our blog! Get ready to laugh and smile with us as we share some fun stories from our blessed life!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Who killed the cat? I did!

Before you read this story, please understand that I am a God-fearin', devil-hatin', sin-stompin' Christian. I love ALL God's creatures, although as with humans, I do find some animals more annoying than others. I must admit that cats aren't exactly my most favorite species of the animal kingdom. Call me cruel, but I don't tear up when that ASPCA commercial with sad music comes on showing a malnourished cat with a missing eye. (If you're a cat lover, please do not be offended. I'm glad the little fellers have some friends.) I'm sure cats do have some positive traits, but I just think they are unpredictable and disobedient, they know no boundaries, and they multiply faster than you can say "Friskies." For these reasons, I choose not to have a cat in our home, and though I would never wish harm on any of them, I am not a big fan of stray cats lurking around our neighborhood.

Now, for a little backstory:

Sunday night, Halloween Eve, we got home from church. As usual, Fernando parked the car in our driveway and got Enzo out of his carseat. I got Gabriel. Fernando was almost to the side door when a white cat with a gray tail came out of nowhere! He rushed past Fernando up the garage steps, trying to get in the house! There was a slight tussle of commotion as Fernando shielded Enzo and chased the monster kitty down the steps at the same time. Enzo was yelling, "NO CAT! NO CAT!" My fearless husband ushered us safely into the house and then went back outside for the diaper bags/treat buckets/costumes that were still in the car. From inside the house, I heard another shuffle in the garage. Fernando finally made it in, looking only slightly disheveled, and announced that he had thrown cold water on the kitty because he wouldn't stay out of the garage. We both let out a sigh of relief that the creepy intruder was gone. Surely being doused with ice-cold water in 40 degree temps would keep him away.

Or so we thought...

Monday, Halloween, dawned cold and overcast. I had made plans to take the boys to my Mama's house so I could work in the office. We planned to take the boys trick-or-treating around Mama's neighborhood after I got off work, so I had to make several trips to the car to get everything loaded up. I got the boys buckled in (by then I was ready for a nap), cranked the car, pushed the button on the remote to lower the garage door, and started backing out of the driveway. I then remembered that I needed to put some mail in the mailbox to be picked up. I slung the car back in Park, put the mail in the box and raised the red flag. As I walked back to the car, the breeze picked up and I saw something flapping in the wind at the right side of the garage, caught under the door. It looked like a jacket or a shirt. I figured I'd dropped something out of the boys' diaper bag. I stepped closer to see what it was and then... I shrieked in horror! It wasn't a jacket or shirt! It was a cat! The same cat from the night before! Under my garage door! Squashed flatter than a flour tortilla!

Unable to take in the horror, I ran back to the safety of my car. My mind began racing in a hundred different directions. What do I do? Where did he come from? Who did he belong to? Is this a creepy Halloween prank? And then, as I saw the tail flap in the wind once more, I wondered, "Is he really dead?" I pressed the button to lift the garage door, and... let's just say that it was crystal-clear that the flattened feline was no longer with us. I immediately called Fernando who thought it was both unfortunate and hilarious. He told me to, and I quote, "Grab a broom and move it out from under the garage. I'll bury it when I get home."

Ha ha, very funny, babe. AIN'T HAPPENIN'! There's no way on God's green earth that I'm touching that dead cat. Not even with a 10,000 ft pole. My response? "You can either come get this cat corpse outta my garage or I'm calling animal control."

We agreed that he would take care of it later.

(By this time, Enzo had picked up on the fact that Mommy was seriously freaked out about something and he started screaming "NO CAT! NO CAT!" once more.)

Once arrangements had been made for the disposal, I was eager to get the frisk outta dodge. I then made the gut-wrenching decision (no pun intended) to put the door back down on top of kitty, and back out of there like it had never happened. I was completely grossed out all the way to my Mama's house. I mean, what are the odds that a CAT would bypass all the sensors and detectors and get SQUASHED by a garage door? MY garage door? On HALLOWEEN? I managed to count my blessings and be thankful it wasn't a black cat. Lord knows if it would've been, there would've been a "FOR SALE" sign in my yard pronto.

To make a long and gross story short, and to keep it rated PG, let's suffice it to say that we don't know who the cat belonged to (we checked with all the neighbors). Fernando "got rid of it," bleached and rinsed out the garage, and made me promise to never leave the house on Halloween again.

I don't know what Halloween 2012 might bring, but I can assure you that "NO CAT! NO CAT!" will be involved.

How was your Halloween?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup- so easy a monkey could do it!! :)

Well, I'm not normally one to post recipes on my blog, but this recipe has become such a staple at our house, I figured I just had to share! My boys LOVE this tasty soup, and it is so easy to make. Seriously, a monkey could make it! :) Also, it costs less than $10.00 to make a big ol' pot of it!

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup (in less than 30 minutes!)

1/2 of medium onion, chopped
1 bag of egg noodles (you can use either medium or wide)
2 cans of cooked chunk chicken breast (I like the Tyson brand), strained
1 can of sliced carrots, strained
Chicken Bouillon cubes
Parsley Flakes

Easy steps to homestyle, tasty goodness:
1) In a large soup pot, saute onion in olive oil until translucent.
2) Fill pot 2/3 full with hot water and add bouillon cubes (I usually use 3 or 4)- you could also use canned chicken broth.
3) Bring to a rolling boil and add bag of egg noodles.
4) Boil until noodles are tender (approx. 12-15 minutes), and stir occasionally.
5) Add carrots and chicken and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 more minutes. (I usually do a quick taste test here and add more seasoning if it needs it.)
6) Sprinkle parsley flakes on top and serve!!! (Don't skip out on the parsley flakes- it really adds to the "homestyle" look of the soup. I am discovering that you can put parsley flakes on an old tennis shoe and it will look appetizing! haha)

You gotta admit it looks yummy!

Gabriel likes the carrots and the noodles best...

Enzo likes the chicken best!

And Mommy loves that it's quick and cheap to make!! :)

Hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"2" Infinity and Beyond!!

I couldn't believe it, but Enzo turned 2 on July 22nd. I'm so proud of my oldest son and all of his "accomplishments" over the past year: learning new words, bonding with his little brother (most of the time), and developing social skills. It's been a great year and we wanted to make Enzo's birthday very special. Since he has become a real Buzz and Woody fan lately, we decided that a Toy Story theme would be a big hit with our little boy.

The BIG present this year was.....

.... A real Buzz Lightyear!!! 

Enzo was very excited!!

Since we decided to do his birthday party a week after his actual birthday, Daddy stopped and bought a little ice cream cake on his way home from work so Enzo could at least blow out his candles.

It was a little melty, but Enzo loved it!!

And Gabe too...

We really enjoyed our little party, just the four of us on a quiet Friday night. But the real fun was planned for the next Saturday, July 29th!

First on the birthday party to-do list? The birthday cake. I was DETERMINED to make Enzo's cake this year, even if Buzz and Woody turned out completely unrecognizable. It's kinda funny, but I've learned in the past two years of mommyhood, that having kids will magically equip you to do things you found impossible or daunting before you became a mother. Some moms might experience this phenomenom while rescuing their child from a burning building or from the grips of a Great White Shark. Me? I discovered that I could actually bake and decorate a cake for my son! Motivated by my eagerness to put a smile on Enzo's face, I found myself squeezing food color into bowls of white frosting and piping green blurbs around a 9X13 devils food cake. Do I get extra brownie points since I made 2 dozen matching cupcakes as well? I was very excited that I didn't end up making an emergency call to Mickey's Pastry!

We decided to mix things up a bit and celebrate Enzo's birthday over the river and through the woods- down in Seven Springs at my Grandma's house.

Enzo loved all his presents. He got a Toy Story lunchbox filled with Toy Story fruit snacks, a puzzle, cute new PJ's, and a cool new Curious George t-shirt...

Love this pic of Juck, Amy, and Jake-Jake...

Enzo reading his card from Jake-Jake!!

Um, yeah....

Aunt Amy and Gabey the Baby...

Jake went for the puzzle when no one was looking...

Then Aunt Cara got the fruit snacks out...

Juck and Jake

Gabe practiced walking with Grandma's walker!

Finally, time to blow out the candles and cut the cake. Doesn't take long to blow out 2 candles! :)

This little smile was worth the hours slaving away in the kitchen!

You only get to do this on your birthday, son...

Not real sure what was going on here...

Nana and her grandbabies!!!

This little guy will be one soon!!!

I love this... typical Enzo face!

Great Grandma has her arms full!

We were all exhausted by the time we packed everything up and went back home over the river and through the woods. But I know that we will all remember this special day "2" Infinity and Beyond!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Six Years and Counting...

The clock reads 10:58, and it's already been a busy Saturday morning. The boys have been going strong all morning, and I finally just got them settled down with a snack. I am sitting here, taking a quick break and a few minutes to reflect on the significance of today's date: June 25th- our wedding anniversary. Today marks six years of marriage that have flown by so much faster than I ever imagined. I can't help but laugh about the obvious differences between our wedding day, June 25, 2005, and today, June 25, 2011...

June 25, 2005
The actual wedding ceremony and reception are kind of a blur. It's funny that you spend hours agonizing over the invitations and the flowers and the punch flavor, and that maybe you even allow yourself to reach "Bridezilla" status over the petty details that you won't be able to remember six years down the road. I guess what I do remember about the day are the moments that mattered the most: spending time with Fernando's family for the first time, our two families joining together in celebration, my brother and sister singing during the wedding ceremony, Granny looking so pretty in her pink suit, and taking Fernando's hand for the first time as husband and wife. As we drove away from the crowd of waving well-wishers and picked bird seed out of our hair, we both felt so loved, not only by each other but by our families and friends. What a special day!

Fast forward a few years down the road to today, June 25, 2011:
The boys woke up shortly after Fernando left for work, and they have been going non-stop. I don't even think I've brushed my teeth yet today, but so far, I've changed two poopy diapers, wiped runny noses, given two baths, dressed the boys, swept up a box of Cheerios off the kitchen floor, washed a sink-load of bottles and cups, fixed breakfast and a snack, listened to a CD of kids' songs until I just can't take "Poor Old Michael Finnigan" one more time, taped the pages back into a book that Enzo ripped apart, made some phone calls and sent some emails for work, kissed a boo-boo, washed a load of laundry, and wished my honey was here...

Now I sit in front of the computer, trying to type over two little boys trying to crawl up in my lap (the snack trick only gave me about 2 minutes), and I just have to laugh at how life changes. The wrinkled t-shirt and stained shorts I'm wearing are a far cry from the spotless white wedding dress I wore six years ago. I wouldn't have been caught dead on my wedding day with the messy ponytail and makeup-less face that I'm sporting today. But that hot summer day back in 2005, with all of its fancy preparations and memorable ceremony, set the stage for the days, months, and years that would follow.

It's easy to say "I do" when life is wonderful and you're surrounded by candlelight and flowers and loving friends and family, when both husband and wife look their very best and can't contain the smiles stretched across their faces. But bring the couple home from the honeymoon, back to the "real world", and throw them some bills, a few kids, a stressful job, a batch of burnt biscuits, and a home and car to maintain. "I do" loses its luster real fast once you figure out that you can't spend the rest of your life honeymooning. Though you continue to nurture your relationship as husband and wife, you eventually have to learn how to live productive lives as individuals. And that's when those vows that you nervously whispered on your wedding day will be tested the most.

So as I reflect on our time as husband and wife, once we arrived home from the honeymoon and got down to the nitty-gritty of marriage, I realize that the moments that stand out the most in my mind are the good times we've shared. And just like I can't remember the food we had at our reception or what my bouquet looked like, I know I won't ever forget what matters most about our marriage. The not-so-good times and the tears take a backseat -actually, let's go ahead and stash them in the trunk- when I consider all the ways we've grown closer to each other and to the Lord. The inconveniences and misunderstandings just pale in comparison to the overwhelming blessings that God has showered down on us.

I'm happy to report that today, after six years, three states, several jobs, two PRECIOUS boys, I am more in love with my husband than ever before. Did we quickly discover that marriage isn't always a cakewalk? Yes. Are there times that I could wring his tan little neck? You better believe it. Have I ever let him down? Guilty. Do I love him with all my heart forever and always? Yes, I do........

Happy Anniversary to the man who makes it happy!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Look what God did! ¡Mira lo que hizo Dios!

Matthew 18:20 says: "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." We witnessed this dear promise of Christ first-hand at our annual Hispanic revival, and were truly amazed at the way God spoke to our hearts through guest speaker Roy Velez. Above all, we felt God's presence in our midst in each service.

To read more about Pastor Velez's church and ministry in Mission, TX: http://www.iglesiabautistacolonial.org/

God laid the ground-work for a life-changing revival on Thursday night (June 2nd). A few ladies prepared a delicious meal for all of the couples, and it was a real treat to sit down to a candle-lit dinner and relax.

As you look through these pictures, keep in mind that these couples are the foundation of our Spanish church. Most are new converts with a sincere desire to learn more about God. Each couple represents a family, and each family represents another opportunity to reach Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Honduras, the WORLD for Christ.

After the meal and some interesting games, Pastor Velez spoke to us about the importance of effective communication in the marriage relationship. We left that night with our physical bellies full, but our hearts were hungry for more of God's Word. We were eager to see what else God had in store...

Friday night's service turned out to be another blessing. Pastor Velez preached a message in both Spanish and English about opening our eyes to what God is doing and what God wants to do in our lives.

 Our choir provided special music each night. I am so proud of each member's willingness to participate and be used of God in the choir.

Our ushers in their famous burgundy coats... The second one from the left is kinda cute! :)

The ushers with Pastor Velez (left) and our Hispanic pastor Alfredo Ledezma.

 With several folks visiting from other churches, we had our biggest crowd on Saturday night. The service was another memorable one, and we enjoyed a special time of fellowship afterwards.

In spite of the large crowd, we had TONS of sandwiches left over. :)

OK, I don't have any more pictures, but I do want to share a little more about the Sunday morning and evening services. During Sunday school, Pastor Velez shared the plan of salvation and how to lead a soul to Christ. It was a VERY helpful session and very practical for our new converts. Sunday morning's service followed, and although God spoke to my heart in a different way in each service, I was most impacted by the message Pastor Velez brought then. He spoke about the different ways God uses to get our attention, and how sometimes, He has to resort to drastic measures, maybe even chastise us, in order for us to look to Him when He is calling. The closing question that still burns in my heart even today was: How far will God have to go to get your attention? Even though I had to play the piano for the invitation, I prayed that God would soften my heart and help me to be attentive to His call.

I feel so blessed to be a part of the Spanish ministry at Faith FWB Church. Even as I went through these pictures, I was reminded once again that God is at work in our church and in our community, and it challenges me to do even more to impact the world for Christ!