Monday, April 30, 2007

More About Me

Three Meme
1. Things that scare you:
- Un-informed Americans
- Liberals
- Al Gore

2. People that make me laugh:
-My husband
-Jackie Vernoy McCobb
-Mike Leonard

3. Things I hate the most:
- Allowance of whining
- Abortion
- Failing to do what is right

4. Things I don't understand:
- How a mother can abandon her children
- Rosie O'Donnell
- Doctors who perform abortions

5. Things I'm doing right now:
- Blogging
- IMing with Rita
- Listening to Shane coughing while watching "Lord of the Rings 3"

6. Things I want to do before I die:
- Lose weight
- Finish and keep up with my scrapbooking
- See my boys marry and give me grandbabies!

7. Things I can do:
- Sing
- Handle details

8. Ways to describe my personality:
- Somewhat outgoing
- Lacking in self confidence
- Lover of laughter

9. Things I cannot do:
- Keep my home as neat and clean as I want to
- Math
- Stand for too long a time

10. Things I think you should listen to:-
- God's Holy Word
- Your Husband of Father
- Godly music

11. Things you should not listen to:
- Whining, critical Christians
- Rap music
- Complainers

12. Things I'd like to learn:
- To keep my mouth shut
- To use Power Point
- How to accomplish more each day

13. Favorite foods:
- Grilled Steak and onions w/ baked potato
- Philly Steak and Cheese sub
- Chocolate

14. Beverages I drink regularly:
- water
- coffee
- Crystal Light Peach Tea

15. Shows I watched as a kid:
- Gilligan's Island
- The Flintstones
- Daniel Boone

16. Three persons to tag:
- Josh Rios
- Shane Rios
- Ashley Leonard

A Walk Down Memory Lane

I realize not every one should home school. I also realize it is the best option for my family and goes hand in hand with my convictions about numerous things. I believe most problems in public school could be banished if we would use God's Word as our standard and authority. When will Americans learn that just throwing money into the system doesn't fix it! Also, if all parents could get on board 100% and be "hands-on" with their own children, what a difference we could see!

I have aunts, uncles, cousins who teach in public school and do phenomenal jobs! They have all my respect! I know they truly care for their students and become heartbroken over certain cases. I realize their jobs are not easy and have gotten more complicated over the years due to bureaucracies and political correctness.

I also attended public school Kindergarten through 5th grade. I remember with fondness certain teachers who were very kind and encouraging, but I also have many negative memories! I can remember crying for certain children who were labeled and picked on. I also remember feeling so lost at times. I happened to be a well behaved child (believe it or not!) and many times I seemed to have been looked over or neglected. I can remember days of craving a kind word or a moment of time, just an ounce of encouragement from my very busy teacher.

Something in my last post and in the comments left for me caused me to take a walk down memory lane. Let's see if I can name my teachers!

Kindergarten, Mrs. Hiss (I remember she had a fairy's wand that was all sparkly,which she would use to tap us after nap time, thus giving us permission to get up and put away our blankets.)

First Grade, Mrs. Groble (I remember making hand prints out or plaster of paris in her class.)

Second Grade, Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Bradfield (I started the year at Toddy Thomas Elementary school with Mrs. Moore as my teacher. I can't really remember her since I don't have a class photo. After first quarter, we moved and I was required to change schools. I started attending South Fortuna Elementary. I don't remember who my teacher was there the first few days, but that she fell ill and Mrs. Bradfield took her place and made a lasting impression on me.)

Third Grade, Mrs. Potter, (I remember her reading "Charlotte's Web" to us. Oh how I loved it!)

Fourth Grade, Mrs. Harrell, (I don't have good vibes here! I think possibly because this was the year we moved from a small town in California, to a good sized city in South Carolina. My grades went down hill this year! Everything in my life had been turned topsy turvey and I was afraid of the big city school. Unfortunately, I never felt like this teacher tried to get to know me.)

Fifth Grade, ??? (I'm clueless here! I think we still lived in Greenville, S.C. I don't have anything about this teacher or year in my scrapbook!)

Sixth Grade, Mr. Young - homeroom and Bible teacher (He was also the youth director at my church, Faith Baptist.) I began attending Boulevard Christian School in Greenville, S.C. I remember loving the small classes and we all felt like family.

Seventh -Eighth Grades, various teachers, (continued at Boulevard Christian School.)

Ninth Grade, various teachers, (my favorite this year had to be my Bible History teacher, Mr. Hughes.)

Tenth Grade, various teachers, (We had moved from S.C. to Florida. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Carter were two of my faves as I attended, for the first time in years, a public school, DeSoto County High School, Arcadia, FL. We were in a small town with no Christian school within reasonable driving distance. Home schooling was unheard of, unless you were a missionary on a foreign field!)

Eleventh & Twelfth Grades, Mrs. Beeson, Pastor Shook, Pleasant View Welcome Christian School in Travelers Rest, S. C. We had moved once again. (This is normal when your parents are in full time ministry!) I was so happy to be in a Christian environment daily and a small family style school!

But my all time favorite teacher was Mrs. Bradfield-2nd grade. I had started the year at Toddy Thomas Elementary, but we moved and as I said, I was required to change schools. I don't recall who my teacher was the first week or so at my new school, as she became ill right after my arrival. (HMM, now that is food for thought! LOL) Her replacement was Mrs. Bradfield. I seem to remember more about her than I do any of my other elementary teachers. I remember Mrs. Bradfield's kindness in helping me assimilate to a new school. She seemed to spend extra time with me and even now after all these years, I remember her kind words to me and the many smiles and pats on my shoulder. I remember looking forward to seeing her each day! Perhaps she was so in tune with me due to her own mis-givings of being thrust into a new classroom full of tiny strangers! I do remember hearing the news that my original teacher couldn't return to teach due to illness, and I HATED it. My security at the new school seemed to be slipping away, but Mrs. Bradfield helped me get over that feeling in short order!

Looking back on all of our moves, I realize that home schooling would have been so much better for me! I wouldn't have had to adjust to new teachers and their styles or a new curricula at every turn. My "teachers and curriculum" would have moved right along with us. I know my parents did the best they could. The years we were able to be enrolled in Christian schools were only possible because my dear Mom would work in those schools! Most years, she drove one of the school buses and worked in the library between morning and afternoon routes. She was willing to fill in wherever needed, the school office or day care. Sometimes, I would get a warm surprise when I would go through the cafeteria line and there would be my mom, filling my plate while substituting for a sick employee!

Many thanks for taking this walk with me down memory lane!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Who Do You Believe In?

I trust you are having a wonderful Sunday!

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12)

When someone attains a measure of success in the public spotlight, what words do you normally hear them say when they are interviewed? That person usually says, “Because my ______________(fill in the blank – grandmother, mother, father, sister, friend, whoever) believed in me, I was able to accomplish what I’ve done.” Amazingly, one person’s faith in another person’s ability inspires great achievement.

Christ demonstrated this fact when He chose Peter as a disciple. Recognizing his potential (Matthew 16:16-20), Jesus challenged Peter to follow Him. After Christ’s death and resurrection, the Lord’s words about Peter were fulfilled when the Holy Spirit transformed his life at the day of Pentecost. Even though Peter was uneducated and untrained, his confidence and willingness to die for the sake of the Gospel amazed the elders, rulers, and scribes. (Acts 4:13-14) Because Christ patiently loved and encouraged Peter, he was able to perform miracles and change the world with the message of Jesus’ love and forgiveness.

Does this same underlying principal lie at the root of every homeschooler’s success? What else could account for the incredible results in academic success in homeschooled children when most homeschooling parents only have a high school education or less? Apparently, learning is only part of the equation in a child’s ability to achieve great things; the other part lies within a loving parent’s heart. When you see God’s potential within your child and then encourage him while he reaches out to obtain it, you’ll be amazed at what your child achieves too.


Forgive me for limiting my child because of my unbelief in his abilities. Help me inspire him to greatness by believing in who and what You’ve created him to be.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Funny


An old Italian man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig his tomato garden, but it was very hard work as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament.

Dear Vincent,

I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me.

Love, Dad

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Dad,

Don't dig up that garden. That's where I buried the bodies.

Love, Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Dad,

Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.

Love you, Vinnie

LOSERS-By Oliver North


If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is right, nearly 60 percent of Americans agree with him that the war in Iraq is already lost. And if he is correct in saying that losing the war will increase Democrat majorities in future elections, then it may be fair to conclude that Americans now love losers. I'm not buying any of it -- and neither are the troops who are fighting this war. In the days since Reid announced "this war is lost," I have heard from dozens of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines.

To read the entire article, click here.

Two Great Men!

"I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God’s help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can’t expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living."

--Ronald Reagan, November 16, 1982



Coach Tony Dungy fields questions from participants in
“Ask the White House” on April 23. Dungy, an active Christian, gave testimony to his faith during the session. Photo courtesy of the White House.

Coach Expresses Appreciation for Christian Campus Group

The NFL Champion Indianapolis Colts were honored at the White House this week during a ceremony on the South Lawn. As a part of their visit, Coach Tony Dungy, known for his dynamic Christian faith, took questions as a part of “Ask the White House,” a regular feature on the White House website. “Christopher” of Grafton, ND asked Dungy’s opinion of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The following is Coach Dungy’s answer: What do I think of FCA? It means a great deal to me because the Fellowship of Christian Athletes really brings together two things that are close to me: athletics and my Christian faith. I think that’s a great organization to volunteer with as well as they help out in junior highs, high schools, colleges, and help student-athletes become more aware of their surroundings and their eternal life and that has been a great, great benefit to me as I’ve grown up.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

God Says: "Pam, Don't Worry!"

Philippians 4:6-7

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Would I Survive In The Jungle?

I saw this quiz over at my sister's blog (Jungle Mom) and just had to do it!
Your result
You scored 14 out of 30
To others you seem to be a confident, fearless person who could easily cope with all the hazards and discomfort that time spent in the jungle might throw at them. The trouble is that while you put on a bold front, on occasion you are quaking inside. This could have you find yourself in dangerous situations that you are unable to handle. Don't be afraid to admit to being frightened at times, as other people will respect you for it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

HELP, I've Fallen Behind and I Can't Catch Up!

I can't seem to stay on top of things lately. Would you all mind if I post some photos from our Easter Sunday? I know, I'm only about a month behind, but I really would like to share the photos with my family. Hope you don't find these too old and boring! Remember, Dad had his heart attack a few days before Easter and was in the hospital waiting for open-heart surgery during this time. I think that is when I got so far behind on everything!

We didn't color eggs this year, but instead found this neat cookie kit at Wal-Mart. It included the already made cookies, with frosting of different colors and candies. Shane really enjoyed it!

After the morning service, we went to Olive Garden to eat with the Leonard family. Above are Alex and Shane!

Mike and Kim Leonard, dear friends of ours! If you ever need a laugh, hang out with this couple!

My hubby was working, but took time out to pop over to our table and give us the royal treatment! Isn't he so handsome? I was in so much pain this day, but forced myself out for the sake of the boys. Josh had to help me dress before church. Normally, Agustin will do this on a Sunday if I'm too stiff, but he had to go in early that day. I told Josh he was receiving more training for when he becomes a husband.

Excuse the squints! They were staring right into the glorious sun!

Josh and Shane Rios with Ashley and Alex Leonard - outside of Olive Garden!

I was being silly and thought it would be funny to snap a photo of the Leonard's in their van every time we passed them! Josh was driving and would keep maneuvering so we would have to pass them or they would pass us. I remember giggling so hard! I'm sure everyone else thought the lady in the Caddy was nuts!

(It doesn't take much to amuse me, just ask Yekwana man!)

Later, after going home and changing clothes and waiting for Agustin to get home from work, we all headed for Tampa General Hospital to visit Dad. He was feeling great, having been resting in the hospital for 4 days and awaiting surgery for a triple by-pass. We took plastic Easter eggs with us and hid them in his hospital room. He thought it was a hoot! We also took boiled eggs to eat and a few other goodies. We actually had quite the unique Easter this year! Most importantly, we rejoiced in the fact that we serve a RISEN Savior!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wanna Help Me Welcome A New Blogger to the Block?

I only have time for a real quick post here. My cousin has finally started her own blog! YAY Teresa! Anyway, if you would like to visit her new corner of the blogosphere, simply click here. The actual name of her blog is "Think, think, think.. and is listed on my sidebar. She is a real sweetie and I just know you all will be happy to get to know her.

Have a God filled day!

A Media Bias Highlight!

A Sampling of Media Bias HighlightsFrom the Media Research Center

First-100-Days Flop

In January it was ABC’s Charles Gibson leading the biased coverage about how great the Dems’ “First 100 Days” running Congress were going to be.But to his credit, late last week when the first hundred were up, he admitted their failure to get much of anything done. In contrast to Gibson’s honesty, the other nets just ignored it. Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly News deflected the issue, leading with what he called a “growing political problem for the White House” -- missing emails. --

MRC’s CyberAlert, April 16

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Are You An Encourager?

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene. One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind ' s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days, weeks and months passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

"Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present ."

A Great Find!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Beto and Brenda's Wedding!

My husband's Uncle Manuel Vargas performed our wedding ceremony in Queretaro, Qro., Mexico back in 1986. Now his son, Beto, has married Brenda. Her parents were some of the first folks I met when I first moved to Mexico. We attended the same church! Well, now Beto and Brenda are all grown up and Uncle Manuel also performed their ceremony at the beautiful hacienda of Hermana Irma in Queretaro. I love the simple elegance of this reception! I know my sister and her hubby (Jungle Mom and Yekwana Man) would love seeing the following photos, as they are still in contact with Brenda's parents.

The Bride and Groom, Brenda and Beto!

Uncle Manuel and Aunt Edna with their son and new daughter-in-law!

My mother-in-law with her nephew, the groom. Also pictured are two of my sisters-in-law, Berenice and Imelda.

The bride and groom with their parents! (Cheuy, Mina, Brenda, Beto, Edna, Manuel) Rita, if you enlarge the above photo, you will see Agustin's dad in the back speaking with a Gringo. Is that who I think it is???

Los Novios! The Newlyweds! Don't the grounds of the hacienda look lovely?

Belated, but Great Florida Homeschool News!

March 30, 2007Florida:

Governor Issues Homeschool Proclamation!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Good news! Governor Charlie Crist has issued a proclamation to celebrate the contribution of homeschooling in Florida. To our knowledge, there has never been a proclamation by a governor in Florida celebrating homeschooling. Regina Hicks of FPEA worked with HSLDA to draft the proclamation for the governor. Regina then contacted the governor's office to secure this proclamation. We urge all homeschoolers in Florida to widely distribute this proclamation and celebrate homeschooling during the designated week, April 1-7, 2007. To review or print the proclamation go to,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel


To read Governor Crist's biography, go here:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Little Something My Friend Ashley Will Enjoy!

Your French Name is:
Jenay Millet


I've been contemplating on a few things since the terrible massacre at Virginia Tech. I have had so many things I've wanted to say and express, but the right words just weren't coming to me. I was so thankful to find a link to an excellent article about this over at my sister's blog today! It articulates exactly what I have been wanting to say.

For example, Geraldo, on Fox News, claimed we need to protect our children. Hold on! Young adults the same age as these college students are fighting for our freedom, you know, IN WAR! We don't really consider them children now do we? How many of those who want to now start calling college students children in need of protection, are all for murdering other children right in their mommy's womb!? What a double standard!

Dennis Miller made an excellent point while on the O'Reilly Factor last night. I can't remember his exact words to quote him, but the main thought he was putting forth was that we have become a nation of coddled wimps! We now have a generation of "men", if I may use that word loosely, who don't realize real danger when they are confronted with it. So many violent games, songs, and movies have numbed so many young people, that now they just sit back and watch as a real case scenario of violence plays out in front of them! Mr. Miller said we have neutered our kids to a point where they are no longer capable of judging good from bad, even when it is staring them in the face! He also pointed out that since we have created such a "non-judgemental" and "politically correct" state of mind for everyone, many can't judge situations for what they truly are.

My sister, Jungle Mom and I, had a great conversation about all this. We threw our sons into the mix, discussing how this shooter had free reign in classroom after classroom that day. We just can't imagine our boys sitting there or cowering behind a desk. One young man I saw interviewed on T.V. by Katie Couric, spoke to the fact that the gunman reloaded his gun and then continued shooting. What did the ADULT students do during that time? Evidently they continued cowering behind the desk they had tipped over!! GIVE ME A BREAK! Rita and I think our two Joshes would have rushed the guy or thrown a book at him to distract him, knowing they were taking a risk, but yet doing the RIGHT thing and thinking FOR themselves. Case in point, I asked my Josh what he would have done had he been in one of those classrooms that day. He said, " I would have done my best to stop the jerk! If a couple of students had thrown things at the guy or rushed him, a few of those lives could have been saved!" I agree Josh! He was actually taken aback when I told him the guy witnessed the gunman reloading!
"What? They let the jerk have time to reload?"

Rita asked her daughter Jewel the same question, and got pretty much the same response from her.

I could go on and on, but I won't. Please read the article from the link below. Thank you for listening!

SO ME! I'm kind of scarey huh?

You Are Not Messy

You're so clean, people have accused you of being a clean freak!
You like things tidy, organized, and smelling fresh.
Messes drive you crazy, especially when you didn't make them.
It's hard for you to live with a slob - or someone who leaves their dishes in the sink.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I am heroic couplets; most precise
And fond of order. Planned and structured. Nice.
I know, of course, just what I want; I know,
As well, what I will do to make it so.
This doesn't mean that I attempt to shun
Excitement, entertainment, pleasure, fun;
But they must keep their place, like all the rest;
They might be good, but ordered life is best.
What Poetry Form Are You?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

For Lovvom, she loves critters!

Did any of my Texan friends hear about this?

This picture was taken by a KTBS helicopter flying over Lake Conroe ! (For those of you who are not local, Lake Conroe is about 50 miles north of Houston )

That has to be a HUGE gator to have a whole deer in its mouth! Are you ready to go skiing on Lake Conroe ?! If you ski at the west end of the lake -- try not to fall. Picture below:This alligator was found between Athens and Palestine , Texas near a house. Game wardens were forced to shoot the alligator- guess he wouldn't cooperate... Anita and Charlie Rogers could hear the bellowing in the night. Their neighbors had been telling them that they had seen a mammoth alligator in the waterway that runs behind their house, but they dismissed the stories as exaggerations. "I didn't believe it," Charles Rogers said. Friday they realized the stories were, if anything, understated.

Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens had to shoot the beast. Joe Goff, 6'5" tall, a game warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, walks past a 23-foot, 1-inch alligator that he shot and killed in their back yard.

I think that the Texas Game and Wildlife wardens made a huge mistake when they shot this
beast.With a little planning they easily could have transplanted it to the Rio Grande River. Now that should have cut down on the illegal migration just a tad!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Tragedy

Monday, April 16, 2007Today, tragedy struck as a gunman opened fire on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. The violence left 33 dead and an atmosphere of chaos on the campus. This is the worst shooting in the history of our nation. We do not know what compelled this tragedy, but we do know that we can pray.

President Bush addressed the nation, saying he and Mrs. Bush are praying for the victims’ families and acknowledging the deep wound this cuts into the life of our nation. “Our nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones. We hold them up in our prayers.”

Heavenly Father, come with Your peace to the students, faculty and staff at Virginia Tech, and to the greater community of Blacksburg. Calm their fears and bring Your comforting presence. Give wisdom and strength to the administration of the University as they deal with this crisis. Grant healing and comfort to the injured and wisdom to those treating them.

Bring Your powerful strength and presence to those families who will soon hear the sad news that their loved one has been killed. Send Your ministering spirits to heal and restore the entire community as they seek to recover from this horrendous act of violence.

Call our nation to repentance and righteousness, that You may heal our land from all that troubles us. In Jesus Name,Amen.


If you woke up this morning
with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the
million who won't survive the week.

If you have never experienced
the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or
the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 20 million people
around the world.

If you attend a church meeting
without fear of harassment,
arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost
three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator,
clothes on your back, a roof over
your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank,
in your wallet, and spare change
in a dish someplace, you are among
the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still married and alive,
you are very rare,
especially in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile
on your face and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can,
but most do not.

If you can hold someone's hand, hug them
or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can
offer God's healing touch.

If you can read this message,
you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world
that cannot read anything at all.

You are so blessed in ways
you may never even know.


I really enjoyed doing this because it was educational!! I learned a few things!

November 8

1. Go to Wikipedia and type in your birth date only -without the year.

2. List 3 events that occurred that day:

a)1519 -Hernán Cortés enters Tenochtitlán and Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomes him with great pomp as would befit a returning god
b)1889 - Montana is admitted as the 41st U.S. state.
c)1997 - US president Bill Clinton speaks at a dinner sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, the USA's largest gay rights organisation. (Yes, remember that guy?)

3. List 2 important birthdays:

a)1836 - Milton Bradley, American game manufacturer (d. 1911)
b)2003 - Lady Louise Windsor, British royal

4. List 1 death:
a)1978 - Norman Rockwell, American illustrator (b. 1894)

5.List a holiday or observance:

a)annually - Saint Michael's Day in Greece and Cyprus and to those of Greek Orthodox faith worldwide

Now, wasn't that interesting?

Now I get to tag 5 people!
4)Just Theresa

Oh My!

I first came out as Padme, but she was dressed too immodest for me to post her photo! YIKES!

Your results:
You are C-3PO

Jabba the Hutt
An Ewok
Luke Skywalker
Princess Leia
Jar Jar Binks
Qui-Gon Jinn
You don't have a lot going for you,
and you let everyone know it.
You may have one or two
close companions left,
but if you keep complaining
they may wander off.

(This list displays the top 10 results out of a possible 21 characters)

Click here to take the "Which Star Wars character am I?" quiz...

Great Quote for the New Week!

My brethren, let me say, be like Christ at all times. Imitate him in "public." Most of us live in some sort of public capacity—many of us are called to work before our fellow-men every day. We are watched; our words are caught; our lives are examined—taken to pieces. The eagle-eyed, argus-eyed world observes everything we do, and sharp critics are upon us. Let us live the life of Christ in public. Let us take care that we exhibit our Master, and not ourselves—so that we can say, "It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me."

—Charles Spurgeon

Saturday, April 14, 2007
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

He's Home!

Can you all believe it? Only 4 days after open heart surgery, my dad is home, safe and sound. Late yesterday afternoon, I was surprised when I answered my telephone and heard my father's voice full of vim and vigor announcing that he was blowing that joint and going over the walls! "Really dad?" I asked doubtfully. "Really! I am getting discharged tomorrow morning at 10:30!"

I just spoke with mom around 1:30 today (Sat.), and he was all settled in at home. The Dr.'s, nurses, and friends have all been amazed at dad's wonderful and quick recovery. We aren't surprised, just more convinced than ever that God is in the prayer answering business. You know, after his last surgery almost 9 years ago, he wasn't in near as good as health as he is in now. He also had a massive heart attack before the emergency 5 bypasses were performed. This time around, Dad has walked religiously for those years, takes all kinds of herbs and vitamins, is very strict with his diet, his heart attack was less severe this time, he recently lost 47 pounds, and remember-he had 5 days of rest between this heart attack and this surgery. I'm sure all of those things play into his quick healing; but God definitely gets all the glory! Dad hasn't had any pain medication since the day after his surgery!

We have spoken of how many people all over the world are praying for him and mom. Many we know, but many we may never meet in person. Let me tell you something now that will give you goose bumps! A letter from the Gideons International was in the stack of un-opened mail. It stated that Dad, Pastor Jack Riffe, had been named "Pastor of the Week". It went on to explain that dad would be lifted up daily in prayer by name by each Gideon in this regional chapter! The letter was dated for April 7, last Saturday. Dad's surgery was Tuesday and his recovery began that evening! Now, to make this even better, let's go back to dad's last surgery in September of 1999. Dad was chosen that week also as "Pastor of the Week"! It had never happened before and it hasn't happened since, until this week! Now people, you can't make this stuff up! I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus!

Have a wonderful rest of the week-end! Thanks once again for your loving prayers and support! Those cyber hugs felt so good last week!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dad's Day So Far!

Some photos taken of Mom and Dad on Christmas Eve, 2006, Faith Baptist Church, Wesley Chapel.

Greetings! I spoke with mom on the phone today and heard another great report on dad! Mom needs your prayers more than ever now, as she will become his primary caregiver when he gets home. She has been right by his side through all of this. I know she is worn out, but she is strong and determined. She tried going home to sleep the first night after dad was hospitalized but couldn't relax. The next day, dad was put in a room on the floor with a large couch and a recliner. Mom packed her suitcase and moved in! She showered and slept there. It made her feel more at ease to do so. Anyone who knows my mom knows she couldn't be talked out of staying. She had made up her mind to stay! I'm sure if it were my hubby, I would do the same!
They had dad up walking the halls again this morning and then he sat up for 2 hours in a recliner. A dear Christian brother came by to visit and pray with him. Bro. Steve could hardly pray for crying! He has always told me how much he loves and respects my dad. Dad then showered and spent 2 more hours sitting in the recliner. After lunch, he was exhausted! Then 2 more special visitors arrived. Pastor Bruce Turner and his Associate Pastor, Tommy Thompson came by to check on their dear Bro. Jack, and to have prayer. They were amazed at how quickly dad is healing! Dad's bandage was taken off his chest incision today. Pastor Turner, a couple doctors, and nurses have commented on how good the incision is healing. It doesn't look as though it is only 48 hours old. It appears to have had more time to heal than that, it looks so good! After his visitors left, Dad went fast to sleep! Mom said he was so ready for it!

He is reaching that irritable, grumpy stage that all heart surgery patients seem to go through. The doctors reassured us today that is common. My dad is usually laid back and so easy going. Now he is interrupting the nurses, telling them he doesn't need them, trying to do things on his own. I guess you could say his stubbornness is showing! Mom found herself apologizing to a nurse this morning for my dad's shortness with her. She smiled and said she understood what mom was saying but not to worry. Even at his worst, dad is still much kinder and a much better patient than most on that floor! LOL
We realize that part of dad's irritability is due to being through so much for the past 9 days! Also, rather than administering his diabetic medicine, they have him on insulin. They know it won't interfere with the other meds they are giving him. Dad is a regimented person as well. He has been out of his routine for over a week now. Plus I think he is just dog-bone tired! His body has been through so much and his emotions as well. We did discuss funeral plans with Pastor Turner you know, JUST IN CASE! I didn't mean for that to sound cold, just real. God had another plan for dad though. Thankfully he is still with us! Ok, I'm too emotional to go on now. Thanks for all the love, cyper-hugs and prayers!

Latest Update

Praise the Lord! My dad was up walking the hospital hallway tonight! He hadn't had any pain medication since 4 a.m. but tonight he did ask for something due to his arm aching so much. It had swelled during the day and was causing him discomfort, so he was given a Percocet. He was moved out of recovery and into intensive care this afternoon, a day earlier than most patients! Is God a powerful God or what?

My entire family knows its prayer from believers that are helping dad and all of us through this process. Mom and Dad were so blessed reading the encouraging comments I had printed out and taken into the hospital.

We had some fun times while hanging out in the waiting rooms. Here are a few photos to prove it! Click photos to enlarge for better viewing. Enjoy!

Shane with his Grandpa Jack, last Wednesday after the heart attack, the first night in hospital. Oh and notice the guard dog, Chance!

Shane with Grandma Loretta in the waiting room. Mom was actually sleeping in this position. Notice how God supplied a chair that let out into a bed? *Smiles*

Naomy and Josh waiting for their turn to go in and visit Grandpa.

My brother Johnny, THE THINKER!

The boys got a little bored. Wait until you see what they were up to!

Are those Josh Vernoy's feet?

Jungle Mom's son, Josh Daniel with his Uncle John, whom he looks up to very much indeed!

A glove miraculously became a bed buddy for Grandpa! Thanks Josh Daniel!

My hubby and I trying to rest a bit.

Agustin looks so innocent, doesn't he?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Now On A Lighter Note...

I'm a Porsche Boxster!

You're stylish, nimble, and good-looking. When it comes to having fun, there are few who can surpass you. And yet, you suffer from a lingering inferiority complex. Maybe it's because you have an older relative who is always in thelimelight?

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Up and At 'Em!!

Praise the Lord, Dad is Up and At 'Em!! Thanks for your prayers and concern! Our God is so gracious! Dad came out of surgery at 2p.m. Tuesday and today, Wednesday at 2p.m. (exactly 24 hours later) I was in his recovery room. You can see in the photo below that he got out of bed and is sitting in a recliner and COMBING HIS HAIR! (Both of 'em! *giggle, giggle*)

He had 3 by passes and the Surgeon said since dad is in good shape and young (71 in June!) he thinks he will be just fine! Dad has denied pain medications since 4 a.m.! He says he just feels a little sore! DUH!?!

Yesterday when I first saw him in recovery, I broke down and bawled. He was just coming from under the anesthesia and jerking as though he were having convulsions. One eye was mostly open, but no movement from the eyeball. The other eye was shut. He was so swollen! His head, hands, neck, arms, and feet looked twice their regular size! The breathing tube and chest tube were only 2 of the many wires and devices attached to him. So today I just had to get in there to see him again and boy I'm glad I did. I recieved so much comfort when I saw him in the improved condition!

I will write more after church tonight. God bless you all. You have been such encouragers to my family and I. Well all of you except for one crazy loon out there who left hurtful comments on my previous post and a terrible comment on Jungle Mom's as well! May their loved one never be in such a situation.

As always, click photo to enlarge!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Postponed Surgery

Due to lack of beds in the Operating Rooms today, dad's surgery was rescheduled for Tuesday morning at 6:30 a.m. Please continue to pray that the surgeon's hands will be annointed and all will go smoothly. We know God has a reason for the surgery to be delayed. I am somewhat relieved really, thinking that first thing in the morning is better that late in the afternoon! All will be fresh starting a new day!
Love You All!

Proverbs 3:5&6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understandings. In all they ways acknowledge HIM and HE shall direct thy paths."

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Surgery at High Noon!

Dad holding Elena Grace, his first and only GREAT-grandbaby!
(She lives in Paraguay now)

What a weekend! Saturday, Shane, Agustin and I went to eat at a little Mexican restaurant in a small town nearby. The food was good, but not what we had expected after reading great reviews and hearing so many brag to us about it. It was fun though learning about a surrounding town up the road from us.

We then made the obligated journey to mecca! (Wal-Mart). Agustin was debating whether to go with me or not. Shane piped in: "I wanna go. You know, when I hear the word Wal-Mart, I get all warm and fuzzy inside!" What a funny little boy!

I was glad Agustin went. I was pooped, feeling weak, and hurting really bad. I don't think I could have loaded and unloaded that stuff so many times by myself! Have you all ever counted how many times you must handle an item you purchase before you ever get it to it's proper place? Too many!

We got it all put away. Since so much time this week has been spent in the hospital and on the phone, I didn't get the ironing done. So Agustin ironed his pretty Lilac dress shirt for today. He had to work, but I told him it would be nice to wear a Spring color. I finished putting things away and had to wash a new shirt we had bought for Shane. After doing a few more things around the house, I ironed Shane's new shirt and touched up his dress pants. We decorated cookies this year instead of eggs. I'll show pictures later. After getting Shane to bed and reading a couple chapters from his bedtime book, I fell into my bed! I really didn't sleep well due to extreme pain in my shoulders. I was up at 6:30 a.m. to see Agustin off to work and to start getting ready for our long day.

Josh drove up and went to church with Shane and I. It was nice being together for such a special Sunday. We then went to Olive Garden for lunch with the Leonard family. Then home to pack overnight bags, as I wanted to stay in Tampa tonight so getting to the hospital plenty early Monday morning wouldn't be an issue. After Agustin got off work, around 4:30, he came and picked us up for a visit to the hospital to see dad. We brought supper for mom from Olive Garden and dad had asked for garlic bread sticks! Said he was actually craving them!

Dad was in great spirits. He looked so good sitting up in the recliner reading his Bible. Mom was laying on the couch reading something as well. We had a nice visit and hid plastic Easter eggs around dad's room for Shane to find! Quite an unusual Easter for us, but fun none the less.

It bothers me that dad looked so good today and actually felt well; but tomorrow will be another story. I remember how swollen and thirsty and weak and drugged he was after his first open heart surgery. I remember thinking, when I walked into the recovery room eight years ago, how that man lying there didn't even look like my daddy! I can hardly bear thinking that, tomorrow, after being sliced open, my dad will have a "chest spreader" used on him to break his chest open. He will also have his right leg opened as the surgeon needs to retrieve an artery from there. Then the long recuperation process that follows. Not fun! Then of course, there is the concern we have for mom as she will be the major caregiver to dad for these crucial next six weeks.

We know dad is in the hands of His Almighty Father and he isn't concerned at all. He knows that his personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ has reserved him a home in Heaven. Your prayers today are greatly appreciated! I'll post an update as soon as I can.

In Honor of a Real Hero

My blogger friend, Jen, wrote a poignant article about her father. I'd like to encourage you all to take the few minutes to click on the link and go read what this patriotic American has to share with you!

A Most Comforting Psalm

Back in the summer while my friend Amber was home from college, she sang "Psalm 23" with two of our church staff members. This was their first time to sing together. Considering the week we have just ended and waiting for for my father's by pass surgery on Monday, I felt myself being drawn to this lovely song tonight. Please take the time to listen. I'm sure your heart will be blessed. I hope you all have a wonderfully blessed Easter.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


I am so thankful for that empty tomb!

Uh-Oh! What Do I Do Now?

I feel honored that my sister, Jungle Mom, bestowed upon me this award. I don't feel that my blog is much more than fluff most of the time. I didn't even know about this wonderful world of blogging until six months ago! I must confess, I LOVE blogging. Did you hear me? Let me reiterate: I LOVE blogging, I really do!

One of the reasons I started blogging was to simply stay in touch with my family which is scattered all over the globe. Family is so very important to me and I want to be involved the best I can with each family member. If I can stay abreast on what is going on in my niece's and nephew's lives, then I figure it won't be so hard reconnecting when they come to the states again.

I felt a wonderful reason for blogging was to use it to help spread the good news of Christ's love for us. So many in our world are lost and hurting. I feel it to be such an honor when I can share a word fitly spoken or a verse of scripture with someone to help or encourage them. I also pray that I would be a positive testimony for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I also use my blog as therapy! That's right, therapy. I have a chronic illness that causes me so much pain. Many days are lost on trying to catch up on sleep or rest due to being up all night writhing and groaning. Many times when I can't lift or scrub a thing, I can sit here and type. I can spill my thoughts and heart. It really seems to help!

Another reason I think blogging appeals to me is that it helps me have conversations and communicate with others without leaving my home. I don't drive often due to stiffness or simply plain not feeling like it! So the internet, and especially blogging, helps me reach out of my four walls somewhat.

I will spend the weekend mulling over which 5 blogs I want to present this award to. Please check back on Monday.

Once again, thanks sis for the award! I will try to live up to it.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Update on my Dad

Due to a difficult and long day at the hospital yesterday, I chose not to go to Busch Gardens today with the guys. It all worked out for the best! It's Spring Break here and evidently lots of others places as well. The lines to simply buy passes were SO long, and the people were crawling around like ants. Josh's friend Shawn pulled a muscle at work Thursday, so he didn't go to the park. Why spend all that money to get in if you can't ride? The other two guys who were supposed to go were exhausted from all day in the hospital Thursday with us. So my guys, upon seeing how crowded the park was going to be, simply turned around and went to Olive Garden for a nice lunch al fresco. Uncle John did join them there. After lunch, Agustin, Josh, and Shane came home with some rented movies and just hung out all afternoon. Tonight Josh is with friends having an X BOX competition. All day Josh recieved phone calles and text messages wishing him a great birthday. He was quite pleased. Oh and Wednesday night, he recieved a home made peanut butter pie from a dear friend. He was on cloud nine after that. I don't think he needed anything else to make his 20th birthday happy! *smiles and winks*

Now moving onto Dad! He is stable and therefore was moved onto the regular floor this afternoon, so he is no longer in Cardiac Intensive Care. He is off the nitro drip and blood thinner IV as well. The room he is in will afford him to get much needed rest as he gears up for his surgery. The room is large with a full couch and recliner in it. As a matter of fact, they brought my mom pillows and blankets and she is staying there tonight. Dad got up for awhile and sat in the recliner. The best thing that happened to him to day is that my mom brought in his glasses and Bible!

The surgeon came in this afternoon and told him the by pass surgery will take place at 12:00 noon Monday. The two arteries which need to be replaced are from the original five which were replaced in 1999. The veins they used have just worn out. We had hoped that first by pass would have lasted longer than 8 years. At least this by pass surgery is being entered upon in a calm, informed manner. The one in '99 was an emergency surgery in the middle of the night!

Your kind comments are so warming to me and to my dad as well. I have been printing them out and taking them to the hospital to read to him. He and my mom were struck at how strangers from all over the world are lifting him up in prayer. Thank you all once again.

Happy Birthday Josh!

Edited at 2:37 ! Ok- I now know why it isn't wise for one to write and post blog entries at 3 in the morning after spending one stressful day at the hospital with a sick loved one! I posted the wrong year for my son's birthdate! LOL I laughed so hard when I signed on today to read the comments that were left here, and my own son had to tell me in his comment that he was NOT born in 1997, but 1987!! How can he be 20 if he was born in 1997? That is the year of my 2nd son's birth, so please cut me some slack!
Josh Rios and Josh Vernoy in hammocks in Venezuela!
Fourth of July Sunday!
Josh,3rd from left, with Vernoy cousins!

2005- High School Graduation. Josh in gold with friend Hyondoe.Josh in his cap and gown!
I get a hug after his first sermon!
Taking baby Josh home!
Modeling hats in a shop in Queretaro, Mexico!
Josh and Shane with our beloved dog, Chance!
The first time Agustin saw and held his son (3 months old)!
Easter photo for 1989!
Josh and his dad take off on Sheikra at Busch Gardens!
My first born is 20 years old today! How did that happen?

A precious blessing came into our lives at 2:22 a.m. Monday morning on April 6, 1997,(see? this is what the edit above was about, it was really 1987!) in Welch, West Virginia! He surprised us by being born a little early and in much distress, but God performed a miracle for us and we are eternally thankful for this! Our son, Joshua Lee Rios, brings us great joy and many smiles. I have especially enjoyed watching him become a confident young man and a gentleman! He has a heart for God and approaches most things with passion and fervor. My prayer for him is that he will be a faithful servant of Christ, putting HIM first in all he does.

Today, Friday, we will follow a tradition that Josh himself started - a birthday trip to Busch Gardens! At 20, I thought he would want something a little different, but boy was I wrong! He came to me and said, "Mom, can we all just go to B.G. on my birthday? Uncle Johnny said I can have the day off and he and Shawn will even come join us."So it was decided that's what we would do and have our traditional meal of barbecue ribs from the Smokehouse restaurant! My nephew, Joshua Vernoy, will get to join us after classes too! I was a little worried we would have to postpone this birthday trip, thinking my dad would be in surgery Friday. It looks as though surgery wont' be until Monday, so I think we should go ahead and enjoy this 20th birthday which will only roll around once for a special young man!

To Josh - I love you son and am so very proud of you. Your dad says he couldn't ask for a better son. God has blessed you with certain gifts that are unique to only you. Have a great and fun day.

Love Forever,
Mom and Dad