Sunday, December 29, 2013
As the New Year approaches, I rejoice in all that we have learned and gained in 2013. Was it all pleasant? No, of course not; but it was all for a higher purpose! I believe each member of the Rios Family has become a better human being because of the various experiences we have encountered along the way this past year.
Some of the good: My son Josh was promoted to a management position at Bern’s Steak House and with that promotion came a substantial raise! Shane celebrated his 16th birthday this year! He has scored well on all tests and has gained much work experience and job skills in the construction/carpentry field ~ thanks to various jobs with his Uncle Johnny. Oh, and he won the UGLY SWEATER contest at his youth group party! I'm so proud! LOL In June, Agustin completed his first year with Cantina Laredo and has established strong relationships with many of the regular customers and with many leaders of our community. He has enjoyed having only a 10 minute commute to and from work this past year! I have overcome malignant cancer and many other health issues. I (We) praise God for HIS goodness to us all!
Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve. We, the Rios family, plan to Par---tay!!!
What are some of your plans?
Here are a few photos of our December, 2013.
Shane’s 16th Birthday party!
Agustin and I enjoying a night at Sea World, Orlando.
My parents at our house on Christmas Day.
Mom continues to recuperate from her knee replacement surgery.
Our family on Christmas Day.
Some yummies made by Shane and I.
To see a short slideshow I made with "Smilebox", just click the link below.
As we head into 2014, let me encourage you to consider this wise counsel from God’s Word, Proverbs 3:5&6 which says: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge HIM, and HE shall direct thy paths.”
Monday, September 30, 2013
Saturday, September 07, 2013
Okay, first the neighborly part:
If you ask me, I have one of the best neighbors ever! She is great about checking on me and keeping me up to date with things going on in the neighborhood. She even ventured out in one of our terrible storms this summer to drive me to a doctor’s appointment on the spur of the moment. (My other ride was late getting into town and I wasn’t allowed to drive due to recent surgery.)
She teaches 5th grade and has recently started this year's school term. I saw a cute little something in Cracker Barrel yesterday and she came to mind.
What about you? Have you done something nice for your neighbors recently?
Sunday, September 01, 2013
I’m playing along by posting a daily photograph describing the word or category prompt for that day at #theidearoom on Instagram or at www.theidearoom.net. If you would like to join in the fun, you can access the list and the guidelines by clicking on the link above to see what is next. It’s interesting to see what others have chosen to photograph for their daily entry.
For today's prompt, the word INSPIRE caused me to write about my Dad and Mom. My parents are an inspiration to me! Both of them are in their seventies and have many health issues; but nothing seems to stop them! My husband and I say they remind us of tenacious bulldogs, but in a good way! By God’s grace, mom and dad both carry on serving Christ daily and remain flexible to serve others in a magnificent way. There is no way I could keep up with their schedules! Whew!
My dad is Senior Pastor at our church in Tampa. He counsels families and hurting folks almost on a daily basis. Not only is my Mom a full time Pastor’s wife, she continues to work an outside, full time job and several part time jobs. (She doesn’t consider the part time jobs work-just a way to help out friends.)
I love you mom and dad and appreciate your love for the Lord and your example of doing for others. I know it is HE who gives you both the strength to do all that you do.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
My hubby’s mom and one of his brothers are coming for a week long visit! Their plane lands at 4 p.m. Monday evening!!! This year, they’re coming to help us celebrate his BIG 50!!! We, umm I mean, he (my hubby) is hoping his mama feels well enough to make some of her tamales while here!!! They are the best I've ever eaten. Honestly!
Here are a few photos of my husband with his mom and brother Elias when they flew up for his birthday in 2009. We had just feasted on tamales, beans, and rice which were accompanied with some of my mother in law's home made salsas! YUM! I can't wait!
Now on to some house keeping! (literally, I still have two bathrooms to clean and a kitchen floor to scrub!) But I really need to get some housekeeping about my blog out of the way.
So ... two months ago, I bragged about how my blog would be seeing more action from me now that I'm experiencing better health these days. WELL.....OOPS! Sorry little blog! I suppose I've been feeling SO much better that I've been SO much busier than I had anticipated. It's great being able to get out of the house more for special events and socializing. Even running errands is a blessing to me! I'm so grateful for my praying friends who have interceded on my behalf!
Today was a wonderful day at church. My kiddos in Children's Church were in wonderful moods. After church, a bunch of us from church went to one of our favorite Chinese restaurants where we surprised a dear sister in Christ. Vera has lymphoma and is fighting her fourth round right now. She maintains her testimony for Christ and maintains a good attitude and a hope that God will use her through this illness to be a witness for HIM. She and her husband bless my heart beyond measure. They bought a huge van specifically to drive all or at least as many of their grandchildren as possible to church each week. Most are in my class. Even on days Vera is in horrific pain or very weak, she pushes on. Please remember she and her husband David in prayer. May they experience God's grace and power during these difficult days. Oh and our surprise party for her was a home run! We made her cry, so that's always good, right?? :)
Since I don’t think those bathrooms and that kitchen floor are going to scrub themselves, I best sign out now. Y'all take care, ya' hear!
Monday, June 10, 2013
Monday, April 08, 2013
Saturday, April 06, 2013
A very handsome man stopped by our house today
and “swept me off my feet” AGAIN!!!
Our first born, Josh, turned twenty six today. My mind cannot comprehend that! It seems like just yesterday, God sent us that tiny miracle at 2:22 a.m. April 6, 1987. I was “swept off my feet” the moment I laid eyes on his perfect, but tiny form. My dad often says that Josh reminded him of a little old man with sagging skin wrinkled up.
Below is the amazing story of how God performed a miracle on that April 6, 1987 morning. It’s a tad long, but if you feel so inclined, I’d love for you to read it.
Finally, packing up to go home!
He came early, but ready to fight!!! I had flown in from Mexico the week before his birth, which may be what brought on the premature labor.(and the fact I was further along than believed) It was the most painful moment of my life, waving goodbye to Agustin. He stood at the bottom of the escalator in Mexico City’s huge International airport. He had not be awarded his VISA yet, hence preventing him from being able to accompany me to the states. I looked back at him the entire ride up the tall escalator, never taking my eyes off of him. What if something happened and I never saw him again? My heart was in my throat!
I cried and sobbed quietly during the entire flight from Mexico City to Miami. I caught looks of pity and concern from other passengers and the flight attendants. After a short layover in Miami, I was on a smaller plane headed to Tampa. I felt exhausted. I tried sipping a beverage during the 30 minute or so flight. I believe I ordered orange juice. I was so relieved and happy to walk off the airplane and see my friend Jan and my mom waiting for me in that concourse of Tampa International Airport. First came the smiles and hugs, then the expected “pregnant tummy inspection”. “Why are you even wearing a maternity dress? You have no belly. You don’t even look pregnant!” I explained that Agustin had bought the dress for me a couple of weeks prior and I felt that since I didn’t appear pregnant, the dress might garner me some help with the luggage, and it had! I didn’t have to carry my ginormous heavy bag off the luggage belt. A lady looked kindly at me and asked if I was pregnant. I said yes and she proceeded to find out which bag was mine, then lifted it off for me. Amazing isn’t it how one small moment of kindness lingers forever in our hearts and minds! Well, Mom and Jan whisked me off to meet up with Mom’s friend Mona who was staying in her parents condo in Clearwater. Mom had flown down from West Virginia to help Mona pack up her parent’s things to move them to Missouri. We had several days together before I had to leave for West Virginia with my dad and brother in law, Clint. I remember eating at a Golden Corral and having to excuse myself to the restroom several times due to small amounts of leaking. Then the next night while out to eat at The Spaghetti Warehouse in Ybor City, I was so sick, I ordered only an ice water. I started having contractions while there but didn’t say a word to anyone as I just thought I wasn’t feeling well. I didn’t want to ruin their dinner.
That night I slept at Mona’s house. I lay there in her guest room wondering if this pain would stop. I wondered if the slow leaking meant anything. Boy, was I dumb! My baby wasn’t due for several more weeks! I was scared! I cried! I prayed!
The next morning, we all went to Jan’s house for breakfast. Dad and Clint had made it into Tampa to make a delivery and were headed back up to W.V. right after we ate. The plan was that I’d ride back with them, get settled in my parent’s home in Logan, then find an OB/GYN to care for me and baby during my last weeks of the pregnancy. It did NOT happen that way!
Dad, Clint, and I loaded into that tiny Ford Ranger truck. We were all much smaller back then so it really wasn’t that crowded. About half way to W.V. I realized I needed help. Each time we would pass a H for Hospital sign on the interstate, I wondered if I should ask them to find that hospital. I held on for as long as I could. We finally arrived in Princeton, W.V. and dad wanted to stop at the Shoney’s to eat since it would be his last opportunity to do so for awhile since there wasn’t one near Logan. It was cold, snowy, and icy! I remember praying not to fall as I stepped out of the truck. Once again, I only ordered water. Dad and Clint were at the salad bar, happily piling their plates high. I went to the ladies room. I came out white as a ghost. I had started bleeding! I sat quietly in the booth, sipping on my water. Clint finally noticed that something was wrong with me. He asked if I was ok. I quietly told him about the back pain and the bleeding. He then, in only the way Clint can do, gently said that we could get a hotel for the night. I needed to put my feet up and rest. That is what the doctor had counseled Rita to do when she was spotting during her pregnancy. When I said no, I’d rather try to continue on the last couple of hours to get home. He then called the State Highway Patrol for weather conditions. This was in 1987, so no laptop, no smart phone, no internet! They said all roads were clear, it was safe to travel. After the men finished their meals, we set off again. An hour into the trip I was groaning. Dad then became very concerned. Clint told him what I had experienced back at Shoney’s. Dad then suggested we stop at my Aunt Catty’s house. She was a nurse and knew good doctors. She could get me in first thing in the morning with an OB/GYN. We showed up that night around 9:30, surprising her and Uncle Ted. She took me right in. I ate a bowl of corn flakes then took a warm bath. (All things I shouldn’t’ have done since I was in LABOR! – But I was too dumb to know it and it was way too early to even think that!)
Finally, we get to the hospital where my aunt worked. She was able to get me quick attention. It was so chaotic due to me having no doctor or connections at all there. They called in the OB/GYN, Dr. Sultan. They also called in the pediatrician, and the helicopter life flight from the larger hospital in Huntington. The consensus was that the night was not going to bring forth good news. I was told to change. The technician then began an ultrasound on me. I was complaining of back pain. She could find no baby! She called in the obstetrician. After he and she spoke quietly, he had me rolled in to the delivery room. He explained that I would need to deliver naturally without drugs. He also explained to me that he wasn’t sure what he would be delivering, a live or dead baby and I should prepare myself. He then informed me that the helicopter was on standby in case the baby needed to be rushed to Huntington. I remember pushing and pushing and being put on oxygen at some point. I remember being told they had no heartbeat on the baby. I remember being so scared and feeling sad. My Aunt Catty was right there with me, holding my hand and feeding me ice chips. I did not know until years later that Dr. Sultan had told her out in the hall that he was afraid he would be delivering a blob. Another thing I wasn’t aware of at the time, my Aunt Virgie was out in the hallway calling her church prayer chain, asking prayer for me and the baby. She also called Clint and Dad who had driven on to Logan after leaving me in good hands earlier that evening. They were shocked when Aunt Virgie announced that she was at the hospital with me and we were about to have a baby but things looked grim. Poor Clint! He knew Agustin from our days together in Mexico. He said he paced the floor trying to form a speech to give Agustin on the phone once the baby was born. His Spanish wasn’t as proficient as it is today, so he wanted to have the right words if he were to tell Agustin we had lost the baby. We were all able to laugh later when he told us how he was dreading making that call to Agustin in Mexico when the phone rang again. It was Aunt Virgie again. She rejoiced: “We’ve got us a baby boy!” Clint said he was so relieved. He then called my husband, and at first Agustin did not believe Clint. He thought it was just another prank from the master prankster! He was finally convinced that he had a son; a tiny son, but a living son! Then my mom was called in Florida. She and Mona too thought Clint was playing a mean joke, calling at 2:30 in the morning! Finally, they were convinced I had given birth. Imagine, they had just seen me that morning in Tampa and they were still proclaiming that I didn’t even look pregnant!
There is so much more I could tell you. The prayers of concerned Christians who had never met me and the love of family was overwhelming.The main point is that God performed a miracle that night. He actually did have me in the right place at the right time, even though it didn't seem like it at first. The doctor who delivered Josh was wonderful. The pediatrician, Dr. Haas was amazing! I had no insurance or history with any of the doctors mentioned. The hospital had grants from the state and I never saw a bill. There were a few ups and downs during the next few weeks, but all in all, Joshua had very little difficulty compared to other babies born as early as he was.
He isn’t so tiny today! He is a miracle from God and so strong and strapping. He has a beautiful heart and is a loyal friend to others. He has an awesome work ethic and is amazingly blessed with athletic skills. He still has heart issues but hasn’t let that hold him back. If anything, it has caused him to work harder and try harder. It’s been a wonderful ride watching this miracle of ours grow and learn, try and fail, try and succeed, watching him become a man.
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Oh and as for going to sing for our sick friend, yeah we did that as soon as we finished at the Martinez home! ;) I may post that part of the story soon.
What a great Sunday afternoon it was!
Monday, January 21, 2013
We have two ladies in our church who are recuperating from falls and subsequent surgeries. So after our lesson on Sunday, I asked the children if they would like to make some Get Well cards for these ladies. They jumped at the idea with smiles. So we scurried to get all of our supplies together and they got busy.
One of my goals for these children is to help them realize they are the hands and feet of Christ. I want them to learn from their own experiences the joys one receives from doing for others.
I hope you take the time to enlarge each photo and read the precious notes these kids wrote. I’m so blessed to have these children in my life and I’m positive these two ladies will receive a sweet blessing from these simple cards. What about you? What would your reaction be if you received a sweet, handmade card made by precious children?
Friday, January 11, 2013
Oh and I have a MUST MENTION! Can you imagine my pure delight when I happened upon a new show on HGTV today? It's called __________________??? I'm not telling!! Click on this link to see why this show is right up my alley!! ;)
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
I'm delighted to tell you that I'm also on day five of the Cabbage Soup Seven Day Diet and I'm feeling positive results! As of day three, I had lost two pounds! hip hip hooray!! I can't wait to weigh again on Sunday! See the diced fresh veggies in the picture below? That is the beginning of the base for my cabbage soup. I love seeing the pretty colors come together in the pot! After sauteing, seasoning, adding the cabbage and tomatoes further on in the process, I must say, it came out delicious!
Well now that the "housekeeping" issues are out of the way here, (my explaining why I'm behind on the Photo A Day meme) I shall commence on "Catching Up" with some photos!