Saturday, December 30, 2006

So Cute!

We are avid Star Wars fans, well, Shane is! Anyhoose, I think all of you who have any inkling at all of what Star Wars is about will get a thrill out of the creativity of this short film. It encourages us to purchase and shop for organic foods! Enjoy it as much as we just did!

Around Our House - Christmas 2006!

Come on in the front door and visit awhile!

Our two Cocker Spaniels are the first things you see as you enter our home. These are my kind of pets. They only move if they are plugged in!
(Thanks Aunt Carol Jane for this cute gift!)

OKAY -You may think it strange I included a shot or two of the guest bath, but hey, I want you to get a feel for the place in case you come to visit for real!

One of my favorite votive holders displayed as you walk in our front door.
Jesus is the Reason!

Agustin putting the finishing touch on the tree!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Your Hidden Talent

You are a great communicator. You have a real way with words.
You're never at a loss to explain what you mean or how you feel.
People find it easy to empathize with you, no matter what your situation.
When you're up, you make everyone happy. But when you're down, everyone suffers.

Did You Notice My New Title?

Jackie with Me(her Perky Aunt Pam)& Uncle Agustin
Right Before She Left For Paraguay

I would like to dedicate the new title of my blog to my dear niece, Jackie Jo Vernoy McCobb and to my Aunt Tommie Campbell as well! If you have any questions as to why I changed my title, feel free to ask Jackie. I'm sure she will be glad to explain!
Love You Jackie! Happy New Year!
[I told you I would repay you for posting those ugly photos of me on your blog that time!]

How to Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and pointa Hair Dryer At Passing Cars to see if they Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They WantFries with That.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "In."

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone hasGotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write "For SmugglingDiamonds"

7. Finish All Your sentences with "In Accordance With TheProphecy."

8. Don't use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Order a diet water whenever you go out to eat with a seriousf ace.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play tropicalSounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend TheirParty Because You're Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, RockBottom.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I Won!, I Won!"

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking lot,Yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!"

19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The Economy, We Are GoingTo Have To Let One Of You Go."

20. And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity....... Send This List To Someone To Make Them Smile. Its Called therapy.

At Least I Can Still Blog...

Shane and I - CHRISTMAS OF 2004!

I may not be able to clean house or be on my feet for long, but at least I can still blog! {Even if it is at a slower speed than I am accustomed to.} I've had some very painful days and have been discouraged that I can't just wake up and "be over it"! But I know HIS grace is sufficient. I am anxiously awaiting my Dr's appointment. I have been on natural supplements for about 3 months now and don't see or feel that they are helping. Could it be possible my anti-inflammatory is conflicting with them? I am to the point at which I will eagerly ask my Doc for Prednisone! Sorry Pat & Jackie, please don't pass out after reading that! (smiles)But at least I can still blog!

I do get a little relief in late afternoons. That is when I attempt to clean the kitchen and do laundry. Just today, I finally got my buffet table cleaned off from Christmas Eve and washed the table cloths! The food had been put away thanks to Kim; but the candles, crumbs, decorations, and sweets were still sitting there through out the week. I just didn't have it in me to tackle it. Agustin is so tickled he can finally fold that table back up and have more space in the kitchen. I'm sure it was a comical scene today as I pulled up a chair near the table and studied it to find an easy way to push and pull it back into place with my crippled hands, wrists, and shoulders! I would touch the right points on that table but nothing would budge. I just sat there for I don't know how long, willing it to slide and move into place. Where is David Copperfield when you need him? But at least I can still blog!

Well I have Agustin home tomorrow, so we will get some stuff done! Bless his heart, please remember him in your prayers as well, as he is helping me dress and is doing more around the house these past few weeks. As of late, he has been rubbing my neck and shoulders with Bio freeze and the like before he showers to go to work. Shane has been such a little trooper, having to entertain himself a little more than usual while I am out of commission. I am taking several short naps a day and through out the nights. I am longing for a full night's rest. But at least I can still blog!

His love has been the best medicine for my pain!

Speaking of blogging...I was so thrilled when I visited Amber's blog a little bit ago and saw photos from our fun and busy week-end! Thanks Amber! And by the by, I will take you up on that massage with hot towels as soon as you can get your gangstah self over here! And for Miriam and Rachel, I am about due for another pedicure. I would love to get my two aunts here for one apiece as well! We shall see.

Shane and I did get a math lesson and history lesson done today. He also practiced his cursive writing by writing the capital letters. We are doing little snippets of schooling here and there because we got so far behind the 2 weeks before Christmas.

Well, I am going to try to get some shut eye. I will probably sleep an hour or two then wake up in pain. I pray that is not the case, but I must be realistic. I assume the pain gets worse because I lie in one position for too long and also the medications wear off. So I have to get up and move around or take a hot soak in the tub, or a hot shower. Depends if I can get down into the tub and back out again. Once in a past flare up, I took a late night bath while on vacation at my parents in Indiana. I sat there for hours and had to keep running hot water into the tub. No one could hear me hollering for help! They had all been sleeping for some time. Josh was a small boy, and Agustin wasn't with me on the trip. I can laugh about it now, but boy, that night was long! I was so happy when my mom woke up for a nightly potty run and found me still in the tub. She was able to give me the support I needed to get out. I probably wasn't stuck in there for as long as it felt. I have always been thankful that I hadn't locked that door! But at least I can still blog!

Love and Prayers to all you bloggers! At least we can still blog!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Gratitude To God As 2006 Closes

Thank God that our nation has enjoyed another year free of terror attacks on our own soil. While much intelligence has indicated the possibility of attack, and dozens of plots have been foiled, the nation remains vigilant and grateful for God’s protection.

Give thanks to God for the excellent and faithful work of the United States military both at home and on many dangerous foreign fields, particularly Iraq and Afghanistan.

Give thanks to God that President Bush and Mrs. Bush have been blessed with continued health and strength throughout the year and that God has safeguarded them and their family members.

Give thanks for the excellent support of our military men and women by our President and First Lady as well as many Americans.

Give thanks that the elections in the U.S. were conducted fairly and safely, and that no terror incidents marred the campaigns or elections.

Thank God for the continued growth and development of The Presidential Prayer Team, including our new series of Preacher’s Packs and many other prayer related items.

Thanks to God for the great outpouring of prayer surrounding the mid-term elections, including PPT’s Pray the Vote initiative which involved tens of thousands in prayer.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Update and Photos to Please the Leonard Women!!








SHANE & JOSH WITH THE LEONARD "GIRLS" AT A MOTHER/DAUGHTER LUNCHEON (The 'cowboys' served the 'cowgirls'that day!) You must click and enlarge this one to see how much the kids have changed!

Geeze! If you read the comments of Amber and Kim, you would think that I never blog!! J/K! I have been wanting to write about my wonderful Christmas week, but---I have the same excuses as all of you. Busy, busy, busy but in a good kind of way. And, where should I begin? Well, Shane and I took Aunt Tommy to Sun City on Friday afternoon and I wrote about going to the Leonard's home Friday night. What a blast! Then Saturday, I had wrapping and a little grocery shopping to do. Agustin went with me or I wouldn't have made it! Josh surprised us and showed up with church clothes and suitcase in tow. He spent Saturday and Sunday nights with us. Preparations were made for Sunday's meal and gifts that were to be delivered to folks at church were set ready by the front door.

We had a wonderful service Sunday morning with Pastor Naill making us laugh and cry as usual. He is so cool! And I felt so proud sitting next to my "guapo" son! Everyone was in their Sunday best and of course, most ladies had on festive holiday clothing! And I wore my beautiful earrings which Shane had practically forced me to open before church. You see, they were his gift to me and he was so proud! He had spent his own money and picked them out. Everyone loved them and it was so worth opening them early just to see his sweet face beaming! We were all blessed to be able to hear Amber sing in a mixed trio, "Mary, Did You Know?". Amber had the first verse as a solo. I had goosebumps. I wish all who read this could hear her sing! Then my eyes wandered over to the Howard family. I knew Pat was feeling those proud mama feelings as much as I; for with her and her hubby sat two handsome sons and two beautiful daughters and one son's pretty girlfriend! Her sons know Josh from "back in the day" when they would go to summer youth camp together.

But I must say; the best part of the service was the invitation. I had noticed a young man sitting across the aisle from us. He was red headed and wore work boots. He reminded me so much of my brother! I remember thinking, "I wonder if he is saved. I haven't seen him here before." Well, guess what? He went forward at invitation to get the assurance of his salvation. He had made a profession before and was unsure. But people, hold on, that isn't the best part! A young lady sitting in a different section of the sanctuary had also gone forward. While our pastor's wife was dealing with her concerning her salvation, the young lady looked up and got super emotional. Dina asked her what was wrong. "That's my brother who just came forward over there!" was her reply. WOW! Pastor was really choked up as he tried to explain all this to us after the close of invitation. There also was a young boy baptized Sunday morning, and of course, everyone was in the Christmas Spirit. (Which we should be in 365 days a year!)

Sunday for lunch, the guys wanted pizza and I shouted a hearty "AMEN!" I knew we would be cooking and having a big meal in the evening, so I did not want to prepare a lunch! Then there were the usual naps and watching football.

Back to church for the evening service which Pastor had promised he would keep short. He did something he had never done before and I think it went greatly. He had all the children come sit with him on the platform as he read the Christmas story from Luke. He asked questions and interacted with the children. It was a really sweet time! My mom and dad joined us for church. After service, we hung around to take lots of photos. The sanctuary was decorated so beautifully and just set the scene as the place to have them taken. We also thought it would be neat to have someone there available to snap some pictures of all the Leonards, Riffe's and Rioses since our history goes way back! Wouldn't it have been ever so awesome if the Vernoys had been there too?!? We asked the Leonards to join us for supper back at the house. I am so happy they accepted! I thought they would never go home though! (Oh - I am so really just kidding!) They left around 1:30 am and when we were at their home Friday night, we left at 3:00 am -- so look who is talking here! This time, we had my parents and brother in the mix as well. A wild game of UNO took place in the front living room while Amber kicked it into high gear in the kitchen helping Agustin assemble the chicken enchiladas. I lit candles, set up drinks, odds and ends. I will be sure to post photos soon of all the goings ons!

I will have to post photos of Christmas gifts later as well, because SOMEONE did not get me that photo printer I wanted so badly! So that means I still have to go to CVS and have my photos put on a CD!!! In reality, I am so thankful for the many wonderful gifts I did recieve! The best being that I had Family and dear Friends around most of the week; oh and LOTS of yummy food! I also had lots of pain, but I don't want to dwell on that right now. Thanks to Pat and others for your prayers. I will write more about my gifts when I get my photos to include ok? So here are some old photos to suffice my "critics"! (giggle, giggle)


Vitamins/Minerals to Help With RA

What You Need and Why

Vitamin A (and beta-carotene) Antioxidant, which decreases cell and tissue damage
Vitamin B complex Energy production, healthy nerves and healthy tissues (muscle, bones, joints and skin)
Vitamin C Healthy collagen, the major protein in cartilage and bones
Vitamin D Bone health, works with calcium
Vitamin E Antioxidant, healthy immune system
Vitamin K Bone building
Calcium Bone health, works with vitamin D
Zinc Anti-inflammatory

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Copy and Paste to Fill in the Answers

I ____ Pam.
Pam is __________.
Pam needs to ________.
I want to ________ Pam.
I think Pam should _________.
In one word, I would describe Pam as________.
I can see Pam being (a) ________ someday.
Someday Pam will ________.
Pam reminds me of ________.
Without Pam my life would be ________.
Pam can be ________.
Worst thing about Pam is ________.
Best thing about Pam is ________ .
One thing I would change about Pam is her ________.
Pam needs ________.
I am ________with Pam.
I would give Pam a _______.
Pam will be (is!) _________ in college.
Pam is obssessed with _________.
In a hostage situation, Pam would _________.
Pam _______ on the beach with _______ in______ and cried out "___________".
Pam looks like __(person)___.
Pam acts like__________.
Pam's____ are ______.
I ____ Pam.
I wish Pam would______.

I Am Counting My blessings

Hey Friends!

I just happened on this link from a homeschool mom's blog. Please click on the link and go meet little girl Julia!

Be a Blessing

Don't cry because it's over;smile because it happened.

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

You may be only one person in the world,
but you may also be the world to one person.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Leonard Family - AN EXPERIENCE!

Josh and Shawn Smith in their Senior year of High School, after the Homecoming Banquet. (2005)

I hurt!! No, it isn't due to arthritis alone. It is because I laughed so much, an so hard, and so long last night at the Leonard's home. It started out peaceful enough with Mike sitting on the couch watching 'Dr. Who' on the Sci-Fi channel and Kim in the kitchen baking cranberry-oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip-oatmeal cookies! The girls on their best behaviour and mannerly. Josh, Shawn, Shane and I were on good behavior as well. It was Shawn's first time to "experience" the Leonard Family!!(hehehe)And believe you me, that is what hanging around the Leonard Family is -- an experience of a lifetime! Right up there with mountain climbing or jumping from an airplane!

After a bit, we started nibbling on snacks and having some drinks. (NO, not alcoholic ones! You don't need that kind when you are at the Leonard's!) Amber had made a delicious cheese ball. Shawn thought that was a funny couple of words. He said he had never heard of it before! Then Mike got the games started and all good behaviour quickly went out the window! We all let our hair down, so to speak! As we all played "Phase 10", Alex and Shane began "Battleship". Once in awhile they would come into the dining room to see what all the noise and laughter was about. The two younger ones went from game to game and DVD's etc. It came time for me to pick Agustin up from Olive Garden. Kim went with me. As I left I shouted, "Mike, we are leaving you as the adult in charge!" I then quickly re-thought that and said, "Shane, we are leaving you as the adult in charge!"

We brought Agustin back and a game of "Crazy Eights" broke out. More rowdy behavior broke out as well, but lots of great memories were made! I think we left there around 3 A.M.! I will post photos soon. You know me!

I am sure Amber will blog about this when she recovers from having us over. I can't wait for you all to be able to hear her perspective on the night! Which all through out she would proclaim, "Oh, I can't wait to blog about this!" I know you will enjoy reading Amber's blog. She is such a talented young lady and a terrific writer. A link is on my side bar. Please give her a visit!

Oh by the way, Josh had forewarned Shawn by saying, "Everyone in this family (Leonard's) is crazy. You will have a blast!" And he did!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Another Quiz!

Your Blog Should Be Blue
Your blog is a peaceful, calming force in the blogosphere.You tend to avoid conflict - you're more likely to share than rant.From your social causes to cute pet photos, your life is a (mostly) open book. Color Should Your Blog or Journal Be?

Some Shane-isms!

Hey everyone. What a great day! I have had a most wonderful day with loved ones all around me. I woke up with the worst nauseating headache ever, but by afternoon, was able to visit better and be more coherent!

My parents spent most of the day with us, as Aunt Tommie is here, so my dad wanted to be near and visit his sister. She is 7 years his senior. And oh such stories were told today. I will forever cherish them in my heart and memory. (Well- if I write them down somewhere!) Mom brought her famous chicken and dressing casserole which has the gravy mixed right in it already, her delicious green beans, rolls and 2 apple pies. I had corn on the cob and home made fudge. It was like a mini-Christmas dinner! Shane said while seated at the dinner table, "This is our Christmas rehearsal dinner." We also opened our gifts from Aunt Tommie since we won't be with her on Christmas day. She opened hers from us as well.

Here are a few other cute things Shane has said lately.

While in the Brandon Mall with his dad 2 weekends ago, his father suggested a certain item Shane could buy me. Now mind you, Shane had $23.00 left from his birthday money and wanted to use HIS money to buy my gift. The item my husband suggested cost $80.00. He was thinking he could help Shane pay the difference. When Shane heard the price, he threw up his chubby hands and said, "Hey wait a minute! I'm sort of on a budget here!"

A couple of weeks ago when Josh was leaving to work in Miami, he told Shane he wanted to give him his birthday gift when he got back. Shane of course asked why. Josh explained it was something that required him to help Shane with. He didn't want to just give it to him and then leave town. It would be better to give it to him when he got back. So the next night, Shane tells his grandparents and I, "I think the reason Josh didn't give me my gift before he left is because he bought me something very sophisticated."

The first night Aunt Tommie was here, Agustin had gone on to bed leaving us "night owls" chatting on the couch. Shane later comes in and squeezes in between us on the couch and smiles while putting both arms on the back of the couch and then cupping our shoulder, (mini-hug) he then looks up into my face and says, "I know how to treat the ladies - I've been doing my research!"

Last night, his dad and I told him he could sleep in our bed with his dad because Aunt Tommie and I sit up late talking and I would simply sleep in his bed when we finally shut up. So Shane goes into my room with Agustin a short while, then comes popping out saying, "I don't really feel sleepy yet and besides - I want to run with the big dogs; or should I say ladies?"

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bountiful Blessings!

Aunt Tommy with me, April 2005

Hey Hey the gang's all here! (That's Root Beer bottles by the way!)

Josh with Aunt Tommy on his 18th birthday, April 2005

I can tell its a busy time of the year! Not a lot of new posting going on. Pat is doing better than all of us! Go Pat!

I have received an abundance of blessings the past couple of days. My husband and Shane drove me to Sun City. We took my two aunts out for dinner to 'King Buffet' in Sun City. What a sinful amount of food on the buffets! But oh so yummy!

Back at my Aunt Donna's well decorated house, we received a most precious gift! My Uncle Ray who was a Pastor for so many years, had a collection of animal portraits and portfolios of information about those animals. They are housed in three large binders with gold engraved titles. Aunt Donna gave them to Shane and I for our homeschooling! I was very touched and honored by this gesture. It means so much to me and Shane fell in love with the beautiful portraits. I will post photos of some of them. It is something we can enjoy for years to come and hand down to Shane's children.

We got home and had a lot of laughs with Aunt Tommy. Its so good to have her here. She keeps you laughing and talking and sharing stories. I introduced her to the world of blogging. She enjoyed seeing Jackie's and Rita's as well as mine and Shane's. She would dictate comments for me to leave on every one's blog. She is so much fun for her age! We went to bed around 1:30 a.m. So today we took a nap from 4p.m. to 6p.m. Agustin said if we would go to bed of the nights, we wouldn't need naps! heehaw Later he passed through the room and called us "owls"! This made Aunt Tommy cackle loudly, or should I say hoot!??

Agustin and I took Shane to Patch Club. Church was great. Pastor had an awesome message from Daniel chapter 6. One point he hit on that stepped on my toes was when he pointed out how we let Bible reading and private prayer time slip away because we get too busy and caught up in our daily lives. Well Daniel was involved with ruling a Kingdom and he never neglected his prayer time. I mean, if anyone had a busy schedule and loads of responsibility, it would have been Daniel!

At the end of the service, I received yet another blessing when Bro. Mills was able to present our Pastor with a Christmas bonus! I believed him to say it was $2,000.00 but Agustin thinks he said $1,000.00. In any case, it was all raised on one day, Sunday while Pastor and Dina were in Australia recently, a special love offering was taken up for them and it was quite substantial for our small church. Praise the Lord!

After church, it was supper and time with Aunt Tommy. We bought the ingredients to make sugar coated walnuts and fudge tomorrow. I had a very painful day today with the pain subsiding late afternoon. It was a special treat this morning when my Aunt Tommy rubbed my Arthritis Rub Creme into my wrists and hands. She used to hold me on her lap when I was a little girl. I used to love to spend the nights with her and my Uncle Dale back in the sixties when we all lived out in California. I felt like a little child again for a short time this morning as she cared for me. It was heavenly!
Love to you all! Keep singing those Christmas Carols and saying "Merry Christmas" to all you come across.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Why I Can't Sleep!

I have actually seen people in my Rheumatologist's office with hands that looked just like the above rendering!
The two top photos of my hands were taken on a day when I wasn't very swollen.

Well its 3:07 in the morning and I haven't been able to sleep yet. I am typing this in a most awkward manner because only a few of my fingers are functioning. I really am shocked, because I felt pretty good for a few hours today and had quite a fruitful day! Shane and I wrapped some presents, did school, some laundry and some bill paying. I thought this would be the night for some sweet slumber. I was wrong! Oh well! The photos above of my hands were taken about 2 weeks ago. The fingers were swollen to what felt like twice their true size. Tonight, my worst pain and swelling is the middle finger of the left hand. I swear, it looks 3 times it true size! My right shoulder, both wrists, right foot and right jaw are causing misery also. Other fingers are swollen as well, but that middle one is the star of the show tonight!

I trust you all don't percieve this as a "poor me" story. I just find it helps me to share the realities of my life. I know many people don't really "get me" and must wonder why I hardly do anything. You know, its hard for me to make daily plans because I never know if I'll be able to physically meet my obligation. I make many plans with this thought and prayer in mind: "Lord, you know I want to do this. (whatever the occassion might be.) Please help me get there. It will be a great experience for Shane. Help me not to worry about the 'what ifs' of tomorrow. I know you love me and want me to reflect that love. Please help my attitude. Help me tactfully cancel if I must." and so on and so forth; you get the idea! For example, I have plans to drive to Sun City tomorrow (today!) and get my aunt who is visiting from Indiana. She is going to stay with us a few days before Christmas. She is one of the easiest house guests one could ever hope for. Thank God! My house needs vacuuming and dusting. Both bathrooms need to be cleaned. I have ironing piled in my breakfast room. Shane wanted to bake cookies so badly tonight but I just couldn't. Once again, I told him "Maybe tomorrow." I also had to say no to my friend Bianca for today. She needed someone to care for her two precious boys and based on my condition at the time of her phone call, I truthfully knew I could not do it. That's hard for me to accept sometimes - the fact that I can't do something I LOVE!!!Oh how I would have loved to been able to hear my Kaden's giggle and hold baby boy Aaron in my arms!

Shane with Kaden and Aaron

Baby Aaron in my arms a few weeks ago!

Okay, enough now! I am going to try to sleep. Goodnight!

Monday, December 18, 2006

This is Weird!! How in the World Does it Work?

This is creepy!

Think of a letter betweenA and W.
Repeat it out loud
as you
scroll down.
Keep going . . .
Don't stop .. ..Think of ananimal
that beginswith
that letter.

Repeat it
out loud
as you
scroll down.

Think of either a man's/woman's
namethat begins
with the last
letter in the animals name
Almost there........
Now count out the
letters in that name
on the fingers of the hand
you are not using
to scroll down.

Take the hand you
FIRST counted with
and hold it out
in front of you
at face level
Look at yourpalm
very closely
and notice the lines
in your hand.

Do the line s
take the
form of the
first letter in the
persons name?

!Of course not.......Now TAKE THAT HAND AND smack yourself in the head,
get a life, and quit playing stupid games!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Where Did the Week-End Go?

I sit here at my computer, good and tired but very content. This weekend seems like it came and went so fast! There were lots of wonderful things to enjoy though. I wasn't feeling very good Saturday, so lazed around with no guilty feelings. That is until my doorbell rang!!!Then I panicked! Thankfully it was my nephew Josh Daniel who understands me and seems to love me anyway! He has seen me in a gown and robe with no makeup many times. And there with him at the door was my precious Shane. But then I panicked again when I saw Naomy was with them!!! I looked afright and so did my house! But then I put that all in check and realized they were here to relax too! And they had brought Lemon Pepper rotisserie chicken from Publix Deli! and soda and chips and---M*A*R*S*H*M*E*L*L*O*W*S!!! Come to find out, the marhmellows weren't really for dessert, but were for a competition. Who can fit the most in their mouth at once and still be able to say "Merry Christmas"!? I think little ole Naomy won with 9 in her mouth. It was so funny. Rita called around that time on her Vonage phone. We got to talk and laugh with her and Jayde. It was great! Then, we came in here to my computer and watched lots of videos of Elena. I could tell Josh D.was so proud of her - his little niece. I asked Naomy if we were boring her. She insisted she was enjoying it. Then the time came for them to take their leave. After they left, I ironed and prepared a few things for Sunday. Then I made Peppermint Brickle and was amazed at how easy it was. Thanks to Pat for posting that on her blog. Everyone should give it a try. Then I was off to bed.

Our Sunday started early. We had an awesome day. Last night before bed, I asked the Lord to help me be able to move this morning so I could be flexible enough to drive Agustin to work and have a vehicle for the day. I slept about 3 hrs. and woke up with less pain than I have experienced in months (for the early hours of the day anyhow). Praise be to God! Shane and I took Agustin to work by 7:30. We came back home, ate breakfast, showered and dressed for church. My friend Patti had invited us to her church to see the Christmas Cantata entitled "Emmanuel" which she directed. It was most beautiful! Her choir of about 35 people sounded wonderful! I was so proud of Patti! I sat there and gloated as if I were her mommy. I am so proud of her! I wish you all could have seen her up there! She was definitely in her element! So professional. I will post photos as soon as she emails some to me. She and all the ladies in the choir had on very dressy black sparkly tops and black skirts. The men wore white shirts with black tux bow ties. It was all very classy looking. The cantata was multi sensory. Beautiful images of the Christmas story was projected on the big screen while the choir sang. At certain intervals, men would slowly walk up the aisles of the sanctuary with beautiful banners that went with whatever theme the choir was singing about. At the end, for the grand finale, the newest banner was unveiled. In the flame of the candle was a cross! I will try to post a picture of it soon. Shane was mesmerized by the whole thing!

We then drove over to the church where my son and nephew attend, thinking we could hook up for lunch with them. It was only 12:30. Josh D. would be on his bus route until 2:30 or so. I didn't see my Josh's car in the parking lot anywhere, so called his cell phone. He was home sick! He had a late supper last night of seafood which didn't seem to settle well with him. So to plan B - off to Walmart for tissue wrapping paper and then to Olive Garden for lunch with Daddy! (Agustin)

While at Olive Garden we met one of the nicest guys from Croatia. He LOVES America! Let me repeat that. He LOVES America! It was so refreshing really! His name is Boris and he was our server. He said part of the problem with the US is that we are too nice! He went through war in Yugoslavia, saw Croatia created, had to move to America and started an entire life over again. (He is a musician with 2 degrees and is currently working on his masters at USF. He is studying digital productions, etc.) His appreciation for the United States got us on the subject of Venezuela. I was so pleased when he already knew about Citgo oil being owned by Venezuela. Rita you will love this quote from him. "I watch Fox News, O'Reilly,Bill O'Reilly. When I heard him say not to buy Citgo, I told my wife we would never buy Citgo." I asked: "You watch Bill O'reilly?" He affirmed. I raise up my hand and said "Give me a High Five!" and he did. The other guests looked at us funny! He came by my table at a point when Agustin was away and said in such a sweet spirit, "Don't tell Agustin this, don't let him know, but he is the most respected and loved manager here. He is always fair to all of us." (I'm crying now!)Please pray for Boris as we continue to witness Christ's love to Him. Agustin said he is one of his hardest working employees.

Shane and I left Olive Garden walking around the plaza nearby, as it was almost time for Agustin to get off work. We didn't want to go home and back again. There was a gift shop in the plaza called "Morning Glory" in which Shane bought a gift for Jayde, Jewell, and his brother Josh. Then we went to the car and waited for about 10 minutes. Agustin got in, we went to buy gas, NOT CITGO! Once home, I took something for pain and fell into bed. At 6p.m., I forced myself up. Shane and I went to our church and enjoyed the Christmas program performed by the children in the little Christian school there. The parking lot was packed. We circled around twice and finally had to park by the stop sign on the edge of our church property. Once inside, there was standing room only and that is what we did. We stood with numbers of others along the back of the church. Teen boys went to the educational building to bring in folding chairs! AWESOME! These are the problems that churches love to have! The plan of salvation and the real meaning of Christmas were presented in a clear way. Our friend Kim, who comments on these blogs once in awhile, has a precious little girl named Alex. Alex was in a trio tonight and boy is she a natural! She's so poised and has a beautiful voice. Alex just turned 10. We also got to see Amber, Kim's eldest daughter who just came in Friday from Pensacola Christian College. She looked great and we got to visit with her a bit after church. Kim's middle daughter, Ashley also sang in the choir tonight and has a lovely voice as well. A very strong voice. And while I'm at it, Miriam, Pat's daughter, played piano for the program. I think Rachel had a part as well, but I can't recall seeing her in the choir. She may have played a few of the songs. I'll ask. It was also great seeing our Pastor and his precious wife back form Australia. They were with the Koons families, both old and young. Souls were saved while they were there. Shane got excited when he saw a real kangaroo skin thrown over the back of Pastor Naill's leather sofa in his office!

Then home once again. We had supper, watched a Christmas movie, blogged, and now we are off to bed! Hope to see some activity around here tomorrow! God bless!

My Christmas Tree

We chose this Frazier Fir at the tree lot!
Loading our tree to go home!
Shane helps dad trim it off a little.
Our "almost" finished tree!

I wanted to share a photo of my Christmas tree with you all. I still have ornaments in the garage, but due to poor health, I can't seem to get things done this year. I like my tree even though I feel it isn't finished and Shane thinks it is beautiful. He has had fun decorating it. Of course we had to go pick it out first, which we did the week after Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy the photos!

I look forward to Jacquie Lawson's beautiful cards each Christmas. Go to the link and check out this years. You will enjoy!!!
Get your kids around your computer. They will enjoy it as well!

Also for those of you with younger children, I found this website that has free coloring pictures of Jesus' birth.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Hey Everyone,

Just a quick prayer request for a dear friend of mine and her family. Yesterday, Wednesday, a precious little baby boy went to be with Jesus. The young parents need your prayers as well as the many family member and friends. I know my dear friend Teresa will by flying up to North Carolina Saturday morning in time for the service. Even though I never met Baby Zeke or his parents, I have prayed for all of them so often as his Aunt Teresa would share her heart with me. Please go visit the below website that is dedicated to Zeke. Click on the story section, photos as well. Read about the miracle that God performed to bring him here for this one short year. You will be touched. Have the kleenex box near by. I am deeply touched by the scriptures they use on all their blogs! But what a blessing. They know from "whence cometh their help" Psalm 121

There is a guest book you can sign or link to the daddy's blogspot under the links button. If you feel like letting them know they have your prayers during this difficult time, you can leave a comment.

Also, a friend of Josh's had surgery on her ear today Please pray for a good recovery. She is 15 years old and her name is Katelin Turner.

Love You All! I am so happy I have praying friends and family.

Pampered Pam

Do I Look Relaxed?

File those babies down!

Miriam working hard.

See the chocolate sea salt? It smelled so delish! But the water in the foot bath afterwards sure looked gross!

My new fresh TOE -BUDS! Aren't they Christmasy?

And NO, I don't mean the diapers! I was pampered beyond measure this past weekend. Pat brought her two daughters over Saturday evening. She has mentioned that her eldest, Miriam, has a little business giving pedicures. I was so excited that they had time to come to my home and give me my FIRST pedicure. Before the appointment, Miriam mixes, at her home, which ever fragrance you request. For the holidays, she has a Chocolate-Peppermint salt scrub. That was my choice! What aroma therapy! Oh and such a luxury having my legs and feet massaged with the fragrant sea-salt.

What a little servant Miriam is! And her younger sister, Rachel was her right hand man (or girl)! As Miriam worked on sloughing my dead skin off, Rachel was warming towels, etc. I was triple blessed, because Pat and I talked the entire time - I do believe! The girls did have a chance to interject a few words here and there!
When the delicious massage was over, I chose a Christmas Red polish for my freshly pedicured toe nails, layered with a top coat of Northern Lights sparkly stuff! I felt so beautiful! And my legs were so so so soft! This will be a MUST DO on my list from now on! And to think, it was done right here in the comfort of my own home.

I enjoy so much watching Pat interact with her girls. They have a very special relationship that you don't see alot in today's world. I hated to see them leave. My heart had been warmed and touched on so many levels that evening. We laughed an awful lot as well! May God's tender mercies follow them daily as they seek to be Proverbs 31 women. Kudos to Pat who has done a tremendous job training them!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Living on Earth is expensive,
but it does include a free trip
around the sun every year.

How long a minute is
depends on what side of the
bathroom door you're on.


Ever notice that the people who are late
are often much jollier
than the people who have to wait for them?


Christmas Preparations!

Hey Friends! I have been out and about all day and just couldn't go to bed without doing some "blogging". I was so happy to have new stuff to read on so many of your blogs! ! Like a kid in a candy shop, let me tell you! (giggle, giggle)

Our morning started off with Agustin reading the Christmas story from Luke 2 to Shane out of the Spanish Bible. Then he conducted a Bible Drill for Shane. He is getting really good at finding the verses in good time. Still room for improvement though. But oh how heart warming to walk out of my bedroom and find father and son reading the Bible together at the breakfast counter. I never cease to thank the Lord for blessing us with a Christian home. When I see a sight like that, I usually think of the poor little children who do not have the opportunity to share God's Word or His love with their parents or family members. I pray I never take it for granted. Then it was breakfast, showers, and off to the races.

Agustin has been off for 4 days in a row! Yes, 4!!! So my routine has been off some, but that is ok. We have taken care of some business and have done some shopping together. Agustin took Shane to Busch Gardens yesterday while I had a quiet day around the house doing little things that simply needed attention. I blared the Christmas music and went with it. I have a Carpenter's Christmas CD that has loads of wonderful songs on it. I also have some beautiful Christmas instrumentals. My tree is almost finished. I keep feeling it needs tweaking. My house is pretty much decorated inside. Outside needs some sparkle. We finally bought a wreath tonight. I wanted to put a live balsam wreath on my door, but when Pat went to get ours, they seemed too dried out. I do have a beautiful Poinsettia plant by my front door and a wooden reindeer stake with a bow around his neck and our family name on him near my entry walk way. I also have a snowman stake out in the yard near our mailbox. I want to put poinsettias in the newspaper box attached to my mailbox and still I want to add lights or bows on the two columns at our entry way.

My shopping is well underway. I started late this year. I am finished with Agustin and Shane, the McCobb's, Rita, Clint, Jewel, Jayde, our Pastor's family,and my parents. I still need to shop for my son, Josh, my nephew, and my brother, and a few special friends. I also have to get something for my husband's 3 co-managers. I usually send a platter of homemade goodies for all his employees. Boy do they love our peanut butter balls! Then there's Shane's Sunday School teacher, Jr. Church workers, and his Patch Club teachers. I'm sure a few others will be added to my list before Christmas! I do plan on baking for most of the teachers gifts. A few lead teachers will recieve Olive Garden gift cards!

Now to fine tune our Christmas Eve dinner! Friends and family come over. There may be 20 people over. We usually do a traditional Mexican Meal. This year we are serving chicken enchiladas with green sauce, refried beans and rice. Of course, my hubby will make his guacamole. Ask Jackie and Rita about that! There will be Mariachi Music playing. Then we'll end the evening with a Pinata for the grand finale! We try to incorporate as many Mexican traditions for our boys as is possible through out the year. So we open gifts after midnight and after our friends go home on Christmas Eve, (well I guess that is technically Christmas Morning!) We go to bed. We adults sleep late, but the boys get up and find their stockings stuffed with goodies. We usually go to my parent's in the evening for a traditional American Christmas Dinner. This year however, due to my mother's health issues, it will be at our home; so we have a little extra planning to do! I am looking so forward to Christmas! Remember, its my favorite time of the year!

I'm off to bed now. I have been enjoying a CD entitled "Dartt Family Christmss". They write all their own songs and accompaniments.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What Type of Homeschooler are You?

I'm not sure how accurate this is of me and my style. I do tend to make things too complicated at times. I do like things to be pretty around the house. I do enjoy details. Hmm, - maybe this is pretty accurate after all!

What Type of Homeschooler Are You?

Martha Stewart No project is simple for you, everything is very involved; lace, ruffles, and flowers make it a good thing. Your curriculum is heavy on fine arts: art appreciation/recognition, historical architecture, music, creative writing, and literary classics. If your students absorb a little math and science along the way, so much the better. Visit my blog:
Take this quiz!

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