Last night was Christopher’s last middle school homecoming dance. We were happy that he asked Kara Grace to go with him. They have been good friends since their cribs were side by side in the church nursery and they have grown up together. I mean, seriously. Look at this:
A little later:
And two years ago:
Her mom has a ton of pictures just like this of them. They’ve gone to church and school together, so they’ve always been together. There is no romance at all between the two of them and that’s just the way we and her parents like it. They’ve been buddies for a long time. They just wanted to go and have a good time.
Christopher invited her by going to her house and giving her a painted football that said, “Wanna tackle HC?” She said yes and her mom and I started planning.
I went after school to shoot a family portrait session and then hurried home to help him get dressed. I was informed that he no longer needs me to help, but I was still asked to put BandAids on his heels in that spot where the back of dress shoes always rubs. The girls were all getting dressed together at one house and the boys were meeting them there for pictures. It was cute to see the boys dressed up and looking so grown up.
Christopher gave Kara Grace her corsage – which he ordered all by himself this year, choosing all the colors and flowers.
Here’s part of the group:
And then, suddenly, it was time to go:
Michael drove them to the dance and Elizabeth and I came home. I didn’t say much during the ride. My mind was swirling around one thought: Where have the years gone?
Elizabeth roused me from my thoughts with a jarring question. “Hey, Mama. It’s cool that next year, I’ll be going to homecoming!”
I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and cry.
They grow up so fast.
Oh, wait. There was a recipe in there somewhere!
This was a sleeping-in kind of morning and we slept! Well, I was up before six, but whatever. I knew that we didn’t have much to do besides returning Christopher’s tuxedo, so I wanted to make something homey and warm on this pretty fall day. This certainly fit the bill!
The Best Chili EVER!
- 4 pounds of ground turkey (or beef or venison)
- 2 cups of chopped onion
- 2 4-ounce cans of chopped green chiles
- 4 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
- 4 15.25-ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 15.5-ounce cans of dark red kidney beans,rinsed and drained
- 1 2.5-ounce container of chili powder
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 2 teaspoons of salt
Brown ground turkey with onions until turkey is cooked through and onions are translucent. Drain completely. Add the seasonings and mix thoroughly. Add all other ingredients and stir to combine. Heat over high temperature until bubbling and then reduce heat to simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
Well Duh #1: I make this in the slow cooker a lot, too. Just brown the meat and onions and then add it and everything else to the crock pot. Cook on low all day long.
Well Duh #2: We like our chili thick and hearty. If you like yours a little more liquid-y, just add a big can of tomato sauce before cooking.
Well Duh #3: I make this in my HUGE stockpot or my big, 8-quart slow cooker. You can absolutely cut the recipe in half, if you want to. I already know we will eat this until we can’t eat anymore and then I will freeze the rest.
Well Duh #4: Top with the usual suspects: sour cream, shredded cheddar, jalapenos, finely-chopped onion, hot sauce, corn chips…whatever floats your boat! You can also serve it over rice or use it for Frito Pie. Yum!
They really do grow up so fast.
It’s not just a cliche. It’s truth. One day, you’re taking pictures of them with spaghetti in their hair and the next, you’re watching them figure out the intricacies of cuff links.
Before you know it, they’ll go from this:
and you’ll wonder where the years have gone.
Make the most of every day!