It’s been a challenging couple of weeks for my kid Shelby. My tender-hearted 22 year old had her heart strings plucked like a banjo. No phone conversation could soothe her, it was time for a little Mom love. I told her to jump in the shower, get ready, I was heading her way.
I got in the car and turned on the radio. I must say I’m one of those people that LOVES to listen to the radio during the Christmas season. Christmas carols never get old for me this time of year. I’m so easily filled with joy and the urge to sing at the top of my lungs. Today, the radio is exactly where I got the idea for the Sundays with Shelby adventure that was about to ensue. As I drove I became more and more excited about the plan that was coming together. Something I had wanted to do for quite some time but hadn’t made the time to just do it!
I called ahead and told Shelby we had a time sensitive date. Put your make-up on in the car….we’ve gotta go. She sensed my excitement as we drove, all the while Siri (my navigation) was calling out our next turns. Shelby began to guess what we might be doing. Is it a movie? We haven’t been to a movie in a very long time. Reservations for Brunch? Ooo that would be nice. I simply said you’ll have to wait and see.
Siri announced “your destination is on the right” as I turned into Wal-Mart’s parking lot. We’re going to Wal-Mart? Yep, and we’ve got to hurry. She grabbed my arm as we hurried through the packed parking lot sneaking in through the lawn and garden entrance. I was on a mission, in a strange Wal-Mart, nearly running through the isles like a mom on Black Friday searching for Elmo. I knew it would be big, there would be a crowd, lots of smiling faces. I had no idea though how big.
We turned the corner and there he was. There he was with about 100 of his closest comrades. Clark Howard.
You see in Atlanta there is an annual tradition this time of year called Clark’s Christmas Kids. Now in it’s 23rd year, Clark Howard (a popular consumer expert) and his army of helpers (correctly “Georgia State Defense Force” members….all in uniform I might add), orchestrate Christmas morning magic for every child in foster care in the state of Georgia. Volunteers man tables with pages and pages of the wish lists for children currently living in foster care. Today was the last day of this year’s annual campaign and there was less than an hour left to shop. Shelby and I waited our turn to step up to the table of wish lists. It was a bit overwhelming, but we selected 2 children and headed towards Electronics. We liked that their wishes were music and reading inspired. There had been such an outpouring of support that the most popular items were already sold out. We worked hard to find just the right gifts and chose an iPod docking station for 16 year old Jayden and a tablet for 9 year old Lashandra. After we bought and turned in these gifts, feeling quite full….we made one more stop at the wish list table. Grammy would love that we picked out jewelry for Morgan (11) and Carmen (16). We felt good. Yes for being able to help children who, by no fault of their own, are now in foster care. But also for putting aside personal struggles and replacing them with the joy that comes from giving to others.
We left Wal-Mart and drove straight to a local cantina where we shared a bowl of Caldo de Pollo. There is such comfort that comes from this simple bowl of Mexican Chicken & Rice Soup. In fact, before we headed home for the night we swung by the grocery store and picked up these ingredients: 2 rotisserie chickens, 2 tubs of fresh tomato salsa, 2 avocados, 2 boxes of chicken broth, 2 pouches of quick cook rice, and 1 bunch of cilantro. The makings for Caldo de Pollo for two households. I’m confident Shelby is finding comfort as she read’s tonight’s Sundays with Shelby post, just as I am.
Caldo de Pollo
- 1 qt. chicken broth fat free reduced sodium
- 1 cup fresh tomato salsa
- 1 cup cooked white rice
- 2 cups cooked chicken shredded
- seasonings cumin, chili powder, salt & pepper
- sliced avocado & cilantro leaves
- tortilla chips & lime wedges optional
- In medium sauce pan, combine chicken broth with salsa, season to taste.
- Bring to gentle simmer over med-low heat.
- Gently stir in cooked rice and shredded chicken.
- Serve in bowls with sliced avocado and cilantro leaves. Tortilla chips and lime wedges, optional.
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