Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Does Your Soul Need Some Ice-Cream?

I know many have probably received the following in an email. I came across it again today, and just felt like sharing it here. Enjoy!
Last week, I took my children to a restaurant.

My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.

As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good, God is great. Thank you for
the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for
dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!"

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman
remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even
know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!"

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong?
Is God mad at me?"

As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job, and God
was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.

He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that
a great prayer."

"Really?" my son asked.

"Cross my heart," the man replied.

Then, in a theatrical whisper, he added (indicating the woman whose
remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for
cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son
stared at his for a moment, and then did something I will remember the
rest of my life.
He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in
front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for
Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already."

Sometimes, we all need some ice cream.
I hope God sends you some Ice Cream today!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Wanna Do Some "Cyber Visitation"?

If so, then please go here and read this dear sister's entry for Monday, Feb. 26th. I can't wait to hear back from you all on this one!

Better Late Than Never!

Okay, so Christmas was 2 months ago! But here are some photos I never shared with my sister and niece, who were so far away from us during this special time of memory making! So please, just indulge me for today as I play "MAKE UP"!
I asked my nephew to pose for a picture with his great Aunt Tommie before leaving. He just rushed right over to her and swooshed her up! She giggled so hard! What a great memory!

Shane with my cousin Ron Kennedy and his wife, Ellie. December 2006

My dad with his sister Tommie, Christms 2006. She collects fans, so he gave her this one that a missionary had brought him from Japan!

Shane and I, with Aunt Donna and Aunt Tommie, Dec. 06, at Aunt Donna's house.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Please Pray for the McCobb Family and A "MUST READ" for Wives

Jackie and Elena in Costa Rica last year!

Brian with his little Princess!

Elena's first time to help load the dishwasher (at Aunt Pam's) - July 2006!

First let me say a big "Thank You" to all who have been praying for my niece, Jackie and her hubby, Brian, missionaries in Paraguay. They are both down with the Dengue fever. We pray that 18 month old Elena doesn't get it. Jackie is in her fourth month of pregnancy. To read more about Dengue, click this link:

On another note---

I was so happy to receive a comment on my humble, little blog from a dear lady who has written a wonderful post concerning Christian wives and finances. I also recommend you use the link she furnishes at the bottom of her post to read a sweet essay by Washington Irving. Happy reading!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Revealing Life

Option Ultrasound Saving Lives
by Wendy Cloyd, assistant editor

Program lets pregnant women see an image of their preborn child.
Focus on the Family's Option Ultrasound Program (OUP) is encouraging thousands of pregnant women to choose life.

Since its inception in January 2004, OUP has placed 287 ultrasound services in medical pregnancy-resource centers in 46 states. Approximately 34,000 babies have potentially been saved.

Sue Parker, executive director of Life Choices in Memphis, Tenn., said OUP helped her center begin offering ultrasound just over a month ago.

"Women want to seek an answer to their problems -- and they see their pregnancy as a problem," she said. "A center that is making the ultrasound tool available gives women the opportunity to explore their options from a legitimate medical perspective."
Her county reports more than 7,000 abortions annually, so the need for a pro-life alternative is great.

"In our first month, even without the benefit of advertising, we saw about 35 ultrasounds," Parker said. "We took everything the Option Ultrasound Program had built into us and made it come alive for these girls."

Kim Conroy, director of Focus on the Family's Sanctity of Human Life outreach, said 88 percent of abortion-minded women who seek counseling and ultrasound services leave a pregnancy-resource center with the intention of carrying their babies to term.

"Women need the truth when faced with the challenging circumstances that lead them to consider abortion," she said. "Ultrasound examinations provide medical confirmation of their pregnancy and are a crucial tool to help women make positive decisions for themselves and their babies."

That's exactly what happened when a teenager and her parents visited Life Choices, Parker said. The girl agreed to an ultrasound just to see how far along she was.

"It turned out her pregnancy was 17 weeks," she said. "Literally on cue, the baby just moved -- and of course his heart was beating -- and he was just introducing himself to his mother."
Tearfully, the teen admitted that she had no idea her baby would look like a baby. She asked if her parents could join her in looking at the ultrasound images.

"They came back with her and literally they went from being in the waiting room and being abortion-minded to walking just a few yards and becoming pro-life," Parker said. "They said, 'This is our grandchild! Honey, I don't know how this is all going to work, but we're going to work it out.' "

Parker said Life Choices was able to tell them, "We're going to be there with you through this. We'll help you make a plan for your baby."

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Learn more about Focus on the Family's Option Ultrasound Program, visit

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Duct Tape or Nails

A man dies and goes to heaven.

Of course, St. Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates.

St. Peter says, "Here's how it works.

You need 100 points to make it into heaven

You tell me all the good things you've done,
and I give you a certain number of points for each item,

depending on how good it was.

When you reach 100 point s, you get in."

"Okay," the man says,

"I was married to the same woman for 50 years

and never cheated on her, even in my heart"

"That's wonderful," says St.Peter, "that's worth three points!"

"Three points?" he says.

"Well, I attended church all my life

and supported its ministry with my tithe and service."

"Terrific!" says St.Peter, "Thats certainly worth a point."

"One point!?!!"

"I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter

for homeless veterans."

"Fantastic, that's good for two more points," he says.

"Two points!?!! "Exasperated, the man cries.

"At this rate the only way I'll get into heaven

is by the grace of God."

"Bingo, 100 points! Come on in!"

We often try to fix problems with WD-40 and duct tape.

God did it with nails
My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Lady Madame Pamela the Bloody of Great Leering
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Monday, February 19, 2007


Things have been a little busier than normal for us, but in a fun way! I haven't really "shared" with you all in awhile - so get ready, here it comes!

I'll start back with last week.

Monday: I was in such a state of pain and inflammation that I didn't accomplish much at all, mostly just schooling with Shane.

Tuesday: I was much better. I had more mobility and was able to do a few things around the house along with the schooling. We filled out valentine cards for the grandparents. Around 6:30 p.m., my son Josh drove up from Tampa and took his little brother to the florist to buy something for me for Valentine's Day! This was to be Shane's first time inside a florist's shop. It was so darling because they were trying to be secretive about it. Shane even called his dad into the hall bathroom to tell him they were going to go buy mom (ME) some flowers. I wish you all could have seen that little boys face when he walked in the front door after his shopping trip!!Priceless! He was holding my gifts behind his back and Josh had a beautiful bouquet of roses for me. They both were the most gorgeous children at that moment! Their looks and body language will forever be locked in my memory. First Josh gives me the roses and a kiss and a "Happy Valentine's Day Mom!" Then Shane moves in and whisks from behind his back one of the cutest little brown Gund bears you have ever seen and a heart shaped balloon. It was wonderful! I gave Josh his card and candy before he left.

Wednesday: I cooked my hubby's favorite "American" meal for his lunch! He had to leave for work at 2:30, so it worked out great! We had roast beef, onions, carrots, potatoes,salad. Later, Shane and I baked cookies for him to take to Patch Club at church. We drove Agustin to work so we could keep the car and do a few extra errands. Shane wanted to buy his two female teachers a rose each. So we stopped by the florist to pick up a rose for Mrs. Mills and Mrs. Jiminez. We then got home and iced the cookies and decorated them with decals. We filled treat bags with chocolates for all the kids in Patch. When we got to church, we were pleasantly surprised to see Josh had driven up from Tampa again to go to church with us! Kim was sick and at home, so Josh and I volunteered to take Alex and Ashley home. That was so enjoyable because they are both such joys to be around. I had given my hubby his card and gift early in the day. He brought me chocolates when he came in from work.

Thursday: Agustin was off, so we pulled out the stove and refrigerator to scrub them and the floors and walls as well. It felt so good! Agustin cleaned the top of the fridge for me too. We did other various things around the house. We had intended to go to a Christian concert at my parent's church Thursday night, but after a day of cleaning and tugging, I was out of commission for awhile. My body was screaming, "STOP THE MADNESS! GET A SHOWER AND CRASH INTO YOUR BED WOMAN!" So that is just what I did! I regret that I missed the Dartt family singers. I really love the fellowship I always have with them, but I needed to be able to move on Friday and I had already overdone it. So Agustin and I both felt that the most prudent thing for me to do was listen to my body and just go to bed.

Friday: We all slept in late. When we finally arose, Shane did his devotions, math, reading, and penmanship while I cleaned the kitchen and got ready. We left around noon for the Florida State Fair! It was chilly when we left the house, around 60 degrees I guess. By the time we left the fair at 7 p.m., it has dropped to 45 degrees! We had our jackets on, but were freezing! We enjoyed touring "Cracker Country" and meeting a real Florida Cracker! She had written a family cookbook and was sitting in a rocker on a back porch of one of the homes, knitting, talking to folks about her family heritage. We watched a real blacksmith working at his anvil. We watched a family make homemade soap. I especially loved the little one room school house! Everyone was dressed in period clothing of the late 1800's. Of course, Shane loved the rides! We also sat in on a Kitchen Craft Cookware demonstration that was very educational and interesting! Shane loved it! I had forgotten how good my cookware was! You see, I had bought the Basic Set about 25 years ago before I ever married! I'm sure the Lord had us stop by that tent to remind me how easy it is to cook healthy meals in my expensive, waterless cookware! Now Agustin wants to invest in the Professional Set! Praise the Lord for His leading!

Right after that, I popped into the Amazing Grace Missions tent and was so pleased to find out they had over 180 salvations since the fair had started!

We loved the petting zoo! My little niece Jayde would have thought she was in heaven there! Shane brushed a big Aye Shire dairy cow, fed the goats who were such beggars! We watched the newborn piglets nursing from their big mama. We even saw two of the cutest baby burros! And of course through out the day, we ATE!! Pizza, Sandwiches of Italian Sausages with onions and peppers, I had my annual foot long corndog. We had ice cream and on the way out we shared fries and a funnel cake!

Agustin enjoys looking at all the new cars on display! The corvette always gets his heart a thumpin'! But he also enjoys trying on the cars from the Dodge dealership! I had to pry his hands from the steering wheel of the 2008 RED Dodge Challenger!

After leaving the fair, we dropped Shane off at my parents home in Tampa, then came home, showered, and crashed!

Saturday: Agustin had to leave for work at 7 a.m. I piddled around the house trying to loosen up some so I could jump in and get my chores done. I knew Josh was bringing Shane home in the afternoon. I was almost finished cleaning the house and doing laundry when my boys arrived. I was able to vacuum the entire house. Do two loads of laundry. Scrub my bathroom. I cleaned my kitchen really well. I tore apart my toaster and shined it up nice. I dug into my garbage disposal with paper towels and bleach. YUCK was it ever nasty up under that rubber flap thingy! I did lots of minor things that needed done and was so thankful at the end of the day that I had felt well enough to have been able to do what *normal* housewives and mommys do.

Josh just hung out all evening and when he wasn't on the computer chatting with Ashley, he played some video games with Shane. He ordered pizza and sprite for all of us. Then around 10 p.m. he headed back to Tampa.

Sunday: Church and what a blessing to see Kim there! She is alive after a terrible battle with this flu that has been going around. Pastor had a great sermon from Revelation. When he read the verse about no more pain, I almost jumped up and shouted 'Hallelujah"! I missed Pat and her family, but I know they are enjoying their family vacation in PA to see her son.

Monday: I sit here at my computer early this a.m. wondering what wonderful things the Lord has in store for me today! Hope your day is wonderful as well.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Love is Spelled T*I*M*E

Please take two minutes and watch this video. The ending will certainly put tears in your eyes and hopefully cause you to contemplate on your priorities.

Have a wonderful Lord's Day!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Who Remembers Randolph Mantooth from "Emergency"?

I found this list on another blog, and for the life of me, I can't remember whose. I tweaked it a little to fit me better. Also, I knew my sister would get a kick out of it especially, so please forgive me for being frivolous today! She is going through a very stressful time and I thought conjuring up some childhood memories would do her good.

You were a girl in the seventies if .......

You had that Fisher Price Doctor's Kit with a stethoscope that actually worked.

You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it.

You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels.

You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!)

You had nightmares after watching Fantasy Island.

You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days.

You owned a "Slip-n-Slide" , on which you injured yourself on a sprinkler head more than once.

You owned "Klick-Klacks" and smacked yourself in the face more than once (or constantly had bruises on your arms!)

You had either a "bowl cut" or "pixie", not to mention the "Dorothy Hamill".

People sometimes thought you were a boy.

Your Holly Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession.

You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers.

You begged Santa for the electronic game, Simon.

You had the Donnie and Marie dolls with those pink and purple satiny shredded outfits, or the sunshine family.

You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze.

The swing set tipped over at least once.

You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color. (Oh yeah!)

You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole & the buckle).

You also had a pair of salt-water sandals and clogs.

You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at least one school picture; and you despised Nellie Olson!

You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink!

Your hairstyle was described as having "wings" or "feathers" and you kept it "pretty" with the comb you kept in your back pocket.

When you walked, the "wings" flapped up and down, looked like you were gonna "take off".

You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie.

You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not plastic.

With the thermos inside some were glass inside and broke the first time you dropped them.

You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of Hazzard was your boyfriend.

YOU had Star Wars action figures, too!

It was a big event in your household each year when the "Wizard of Oz" would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags!

You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: "Who will I marry. Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or David Cassidy?"

You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame soundtrack.

You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and Popsicle-stick God's eyes, decoupage, or those weird potholders made on a plastic loom.

You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts!

You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker.

You had subscriptions to Dynamite and Tiger Beat.

You learned everything you needed to know about girl issues from Judy Blume books. (Are you there God, It's me, Margaret.)

You thought Olivia Newton John's song "Physical" was about aerobics. (?? its not??)

You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes, or shoelaces with heart or rainbow designs.

You wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer.

You drowned yourself in Love's Baby Soft - which was the first "real" perfume you ever owned.

You glopped your lips in Strawberry Roll-on lip-gloss till it almost dripped off.~~~~~~~

Here's some of mine:

I glopped on Bonne Bell Seven Up Lip Smackers and was delighted when I got a big plastic candy cane full of the flavors, including strawberry and Dr. Pepper.

I put in stick pins in my cowl neck sweaters.

I owned a curling iron and used it regularly.

One word-clogs.

Never had them but my girlfriend did and her feet hurt all the time.

Platform shoes (what were we thinking?) I fell off the platform in my school cafeteria while wearing platforms. How embarrassing!

Forget Leif Garret--Randolph Mantooth from Emergency.

I wanted a Camero or a black Trans Am--all the cute boys had black Trans Ams.

5-7-9 stores. Never shopped there. Ever.
I sat out in a friend's car and we talked for hours on her CB radio! My call name was : "Butterface"! yeah baby! Remember, I grew up in the south!

Porkchops--when it meant something on your face. that's what we called those horrible sideburns.


Get the picture of Randolph Mantooth from a great website called Stuck in the 70's. Pass the Bugles and the cheese roll. Who's next?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Swinging Lifestyle of a Meerkat"

My 9 year old, Shane, wrote this short report Monday after reading about Meerkats. His innocence in it all is what makes it so precious. I just had to share it. I will type it here exactly the way it appears on his paper, misspelled words and all. Here goes:


Meerkats are predators. They can make babies when their one year old. They can do it all year.

They can use their sharp long claws to kill, to dig, to fight. They travel in packs. One will guard while the rest hunt. They are related to other species to. They are also on diets.

{Then he drew a cute picture of them!)

Now here is the adult translation pertaining to what we read yestereday:

Meerkats are predators They have no particular mating season as do some mammals.

They use their claws for defense. They travel in packs and hunt in groups. Their diet consists of insects and larva, some meat.


“I long to worship Jesus with the heart of a child, in a state of pure and true adoration. Yet so many things of the world cloud my thoughts and pull on my heart until it’s no longer just a girl in the arms of the Father”~ Darlene Schacht ~

Monday, February 12, 2007

"...but I have called you friends."

John 15:15 - ""Henceforth I call you not servants for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."

How would you feel if you got a lettter from the President of the United States, saying, "I want you to be a close friend of mine. You can come to my house any time and talk to me." That would be an exciting day for you!

Did you know that God Himself has said the same thing in His letter to you, the Bible? Read John 15:15 again. God wants you to be His close friend, not just His servant. Do you talk to God as to a friend?

I sometimes dwell so much on the fact that I should serve God, that I forget He is also my greatest friend. WOW! What a friend we have in Jesus! Who better to be friends with? There is none!

Thank God that He wants you to be His friend. Thank Him that you can talk to Him any time.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sweet comment left by Teresa P.

Teresa P. said...
I ran to your blog Sunday a.m.- Kaden and I are together ( after bacon for us and poached eggs for paw)My tears ran down my face . I will have to write later. I must see you. We miss you terribly.

Pam here. I just wanted you all to see what a sweetie she is! Blessings!


Friday, February 09, 2007

TERESA P. - my friend, my mentor!

Teresa, (in blue) picking up baby Kaden at one of Josh's baseball games!

I read the article below on Kelleigh's blog today and thought I would borrow it. (She lives in Australia by the way!) Anyhow, it got me to thinking about my dear friend, Teresa P. She is one of the best cooks that I have had the privilege to know. But what I really want you to know about Teresa is this: she realizes cooking isn't just about feeding the family. She pours her heart and soul into her cooking. It is a ritual for her. It has a sacramental aspect to it. You see, for me, cooking was just a mundane task. I have learned from Teresa though, that cooking food for others not only nourishes their bodies, but nourishes their souls as well. Teresa is a very busy wife, mother, grandmother, and career woman. However, she has never sacrificed cooking home made meals for her loved ones. She is always interested in trying new recipes and not getting into a rut. And to hear her describe food - how it looked, how it tasted, how she prepared it -- that is a pleasure in and of itself! LOL

Until about a year ago, I babysat Teresa's grandson, Kaden, almost on a daily basis. When Kaden's mommy quit work during her last pregnancy and chose to stay home with Kaden and new baby, I was so happy for her decision! On the other hand, it was hard to "give up" my little buddy Kaden. I knew I would miss him so much. However, it didn't take long for me to discover he wasn't all that I missed! I miss(ed) the wonderful leftovers his Grandma Teresa would bring to my house each morning when she would bring Kaden to me!

In closing, I'd like to say, Teresa is ALL ABOUT HER FAMILY and cooking good, homemade meals for them is her hobby. Even though her life is very "time-driven", she hasn't let the "craziness" of a fast paced life rob that joy from her. One meaningful aspect of home life she is not willing to sacrifice is her lovingly prepared home made meals. Teresa is constantly in the process of being made "broken bread and poured out wine" so that she may nourish others souls. I love you Teresa for keeping your priorities straight and for being such a wonderful example to me! I post the following article in honor of you!
Proverbs 31:10 - "Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies."

Proverbs 31:11 - "For the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her..."

Proverbs 31:12 - "She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."

Proverbs 31:16 - "She considereth a field and buyeth it."

Proverbs31:20 - "She stretcheth out her hand to the poor: yea, she reacheth forth her hand to the needy."

Proverbs 31:27 - "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness."

Proverbs 31:28 - "Her children arise up and call her blessed."

Proverbs 31:30 - "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

Teresa & I making silly memories while painting her son's house! (She is going to kill me for posting this photo!)

A very pregnant Bianca tapes the floors!

Kaden and Shane know the right places to hang out! (This is the delicious lunch that Bianca catered to us on the day we painted.)

P.S. - Shane just walked in and asked me, "What are you posting about mom?" I told him I wrote about Teresa being such a good cook. "Oh, she IS a good cook!" he replied in a very enthusiastic voice. (I think he misses Aunt Teresa's left overs too! *smiles*)

Food and Homemaking

The preparation of food is never just a mundane task, it has a sacramental aspect, it is part of what makes a home. What is life for? If it’s merely about fulfilling our material needs, then you could eat a bowl of cheerios….in front of the TV every night…Food not only nourishes the body, but it, and the rituals surrounding it, nourishes something in the human soul. -Rod Dreher

Our lives have become increasingly time-driven, one place where this is painfully evident is our kitchens! We have microwave ovens and all kinds of expensive kitchen gadgetry yet despite the plethora of kitchen doodads, canned and pre-packaged foods are more popular than ever! Consider the space dedicated to basic ingredients in most supermarkets. Maybe one or two isles? Yet the paradox is popular magazines and books featuring home-cooked meals are prolific. People like the concept home-cooked meals yet the reality is we are so pressed for time and often end up resorting to a pre-made sauce in the bottle. Food advertisers are very aware of this fact too. Has your eye ever lighted on a fetching photo of homemade pie with accompanying recipe? Then have you noticed a nearby advertisement for ready-made frozen pie? Oh yes, so very clever! Unhappily commercial pie does not approximate home-baked pie no matter how much advertisers try to convince us otherwise!
So just how far are we willing to go? What meaningful aspects of home life are we willing to sacrifice in order to pursue 'fulfilling careers' and increased possessions? Food preparation is at the heart of home life and mealtimes are among the most enduring memories of family life. If we continue make home-cooking a low priority in life we deprive ourselves and possibly future generations of the rich experiences of home that money cannot buy.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Seeking Out Objects Of Our Gracious Intentions

I mentioned yesterday in my post that I was able to share a kind deed with someone at the park. I'd like to share a little more about that.

Since it was such a lovely day here in Florida, Agustin and I thought it would be good to get Shane out of the house for a bit. He has been sequestered for the last few days due to being ill. We drove a few blocks to the park in our community. The parking lot was full of moms and dads, in their cars, waiting for the elementary school across the street to dismiss. I had planned on walking the perimiters of the grassy areas for my exercise. As I began to walk, I noticed that the park seemed to have more litter than usual. I also noticed the groundskeeper patiently picking up trash. It was then I decided to show this man an act of kindness and shorten his tedious chore! In the words of Charles H. Spurgeon, I sought him out as an object of my gracious intentions! I bent down to pick up a potato chip bag, then walked a few steps, I bent down again to pick up a water bottle. It struck me that this was better for me than just walking! I could get in my bending and stretching while performing my act of kindness, then walk home from the park to do my real walking. The man was jovial and smiling as we met midway in the field. I deposited my handful of trash into the half filled trashbag he extended to me. He then exclaimed: "That's so nice of you. Thanks for making my job easier today." I shared with him how when my boys were small, I would always have them pick up any trash they found on any playground we went to before they would be allowed to play. I would make a game out of it. "Josh, let's see how much trash we can pick up before I count to sixty! Then you can play." We would rush around laughing and racing. He would be giggling by the time that minute was up. I did similar things with Shane. The groundskeeper said it would be nice if all parents who use the park would see that their kids helped clean it up. I then remarked that if the principles of personal responsibility were more prevalent in our society today, we would have far fewer problems. He was working on the clock, so I was careful not to take up too much of his time, but I will relish the smile on his face as I offered a simple act of kindness today!

If you're a momma of young ones, I'd like to encourage you. Why not use the opportunity for training your children in community service when visiting parks, museums, public areas? If you see trash or some other need while you are in a public place, have your children pitch in and be a community helper. Stress how they are being a good neighbor by doing this small amount of work. It is showing kindness! God smiles on this. Make it a game with your kids. Praise them for helping. More importantly, be alert when you arrive at your church. While you are walking in the halls, the sanctuary, the fellowship hall, or restrooms, you can be on the look out for ways to make your church more presentable. I enjoy straightening all the hymnals I can reach. Many times I will have my nine year old go around and collect candy/gum wrappers from the pews, floor, and hymnal shelves. Is there something you and your children can do to make your church's appearance better than when you arrived? Teach your children that they are blessing the Lord and others when they care for the house of God.

I must say that I'm disappointed when I observe parents coming and going, never to give a thought about the work that goes into maintaining the very places they enjoy using. They are bypassing a beautiful learning experience for their children! It is especially disheartening to me when I see children CREATE messes and the parents simply walk away at the end of play time to load the kiddies in the car and drive away. Wouldn't you agree that we as Christians should always consider our testimonies and never leave a place worse than it was when we first arrived? My friend Kim practices this rule faithfully. After a meal at my house, her daughters will start loading my dishwasher and Kim will grab the broom and start going at it with zest! No matter how much I beg her to stop and just sit, she insists she wants the place to look as if she hasn't even been there when she leaves!

We read in Acts 10:38 that Jesus went about doing good. We may even believe the text implies that Jesus went out of His way to do good. He sought out the objects of His gracious intentions. So must we! Think of the fun we can have as we train our children to do the same.

"He hath left us an example that we should follow
in HIS steps."

Above: Agustin & Shane enjoying our community's basketball court!

Shane & Kaden ejnoying the slide in our neighborhood park!

The playground my family enjoys!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


The joy of the Lord is my strength!

Here is a list of things that brought joy to my heart and life today!

*Shane felt better and was able to do a little more school work than he has done in days and his throat allowed for some oral reading

*My niece in Paraguay sent me video clips of the house she just moved into

*The house my niece moved into is a tropical paradise for little money - so nice

* I had the opportunity to share some simple kindness with one of the groundskeepers of our community

*I thought my mouse (think computer)was broken. I was ready to rush out the door and buy a new one. I ran to use the restroom first. Shane runs to my bathroom door yelling: "Mom, we don't need to go. Dad fixed it!" I had changed the batteries to our wireless mouse, shaken it, rattled it, many other things. I guess Agustin just had that special touch it needed

*We had a delicious dinner with hubby at home

*Found out my dear friend over at is about to leave on vacation with her family to see one of her sons (he lives in PA, where it was only 8 degrees when he went to class this morning!) I am so happy she gets to go and so happy I won't be in that cold weather!

*I received a newsy email from a dear cousin I hadn't heard from in awhile

*I was able to blog after all this evening (Believe me, when my mouse went haywire, I went into panic mode - I AM ADDICTED TO BLOGGING!)

*Many reminders of my Heavenly Father's love for me through out the day

Monday, February 05, 2007

What an Honor!

Shane, Agustin & I
I didn't have a photo of us cooking, so I put this one up!

I was blessed to have a day in the kitchen with my hubby! He didn't have to leave for the restaurant until three p.m. and I felt well enough to be on my feet for awhile as we chopped veggies and prepared two delicious meals!

First, let me back up here and mention that our church hosted a pastor's fellowship today and with dinner being served around five. My husband got up early and went to the restaurant where he picked up lots of produce that had been donated by Red's Market for the salads tonight. Then he stopped off at the grocery store and purchased two beautiful roasts, a Perdue chicken, (my favorite for making soup or roasting), and a variety of vegetables. When he got home, we got to cooking! I seared the roasts while he started chopping veggies. By one o'clock, we had a huge pot of homemade chicken soup and two roasts with onions, carrots, and potatoes done! The soup was for us and the roasts were for the Pastor's fellowship dinner at five. Agustin left the house around 2:45 and delivered the roasts to the church as he went to work. I counted it a joy to be able to prepare food for some men of God and their wives. What an honor! My little part really didn't amount to much, but nonetheless, it was a blessing to me to be able to participate in this small way.

Shane and I enjoyed that chicken soup not only for lunch, but once again for supper. It was so yummy with the cilantro and all the fresh carrots, potatoes, cabbage. After I dish it into the bowls, I like to add a few squirts of lime juice and eat it with Tostitoes! AYE-CHIHUAHUA!

Please pray for my little man, Shane. He is still very congested but finally downed some cough syrup. That was about an hour ago and his coughing has subsided. He is in bed waiting for a story, so I must run!


(a.k.a. "Jungle Mom")
Rita holding her grand-daughter at the beach house on Hunting Island just this past August!

Our last family supper at Olive Garden before she returned to Venezuela.

Oh - almost 20 years ago. Rita is busy talking while Clint inspects my new son - Joshua Rios!

Holding her new nephew - Josh Rios, while she is pregnant with her baby boy!
Rita is the red-head in the back of this Bible Study in her yard in Ciudad Bolivar!
Our mother and my Josh were there on a visit. Notice the two Joshes are hanging out in the hammock! You can barely see Jackie's head in the middle of the photo and little Jewel is sitting on the lap of the man in the forefront. Jayde is the baby in the walker. Such cutie pies!
Rita, I wish I had more photos of you on my computer so I could do a worthy tribute to you and your life's accomplishments. I have some lovely ones of you which I plan to scan one day! haha But you know me!
It may never happen.

I'm So Happy For Coach Dungy!

COACH LOVIE SMITH (Chicago Bears)&
COACH TONY DUNGY (Indianapolis Colts)

YAY! My team won the SuperBowl last night! Maybe I should say, my coach won! Being that I live in Tampa, I'm a long time fan of Coach Tony Dungy. He had such a consistent testimony for Christ all around town! He still does for that matter. I have a few friends who attended the same church as the Dungy family here in Tampa. It was such a blessing for me to hear of them going to his house for Bible studies with Mrs. Dungy and that the Dungy's volunteered for nursery duty just like all the other parents who had babies using the facilities.

I received a real treat at 2:30 this Monday AM when I visited the blog listed below. I would love for all of you to visit this blog and hear the wonderful testimonies of the two coaches from last night's big game. It brought tears to my eyes as I listened to Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith talk about Jesus, the Son of God! Please go watch them. They are short and well worth the visit!

Two Great Video Clips To Watch On This Site:

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Proverbs 3:5 & 6

These have been a couple of my favorite verses for several years now. Yet, I still find myself "leaning to my OWN understanding"!

"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 they paths."

Have a spendid Lord's Day!

Friday, February 02, 2007


Yes, its that wonderful time of the year, Ground hog's Day! Did anybody remember?

Shane woke me up at 5 a.m. this morning with a sore throat and full blown cold settling in upon him. He has had a quiet, down type of day. There is so much of this virus around our parts. My oldest son Josh missed 2 days of work this week due to the miserableness of it!

I had a blast last night ambushing my brother in laws blog!! He willingly gave me his password so that I might go in and fix a "little problem" he was having. (Long, funny story about that "little problem" that I can't go into here!) So while there in his safe, little haven, I decided to have a little fun. I added some links to his side bar, I also did a little posting and added a photo of ME! Such fun! He was away at Bible Institute teaching a Greek class. His wife and I were on the phone when we realized Clint had a "little problem" with his blog. So she called his cell phone, which he answered during one of his classes. She explained to him the "little problem" we had become aware of and asked for his password so I could use my computer to go in and fix it! She couldn't go online because he had the lap top with him. Well, you all know the old adage: "While the cats away the mice will play!" So play we did! I wanted to go further than I did and add florals, and teacups, and Victorian ladies, but my sis said no. He had enough problems in his life right now. We giggled and laughed and had the most wonderful time over the phone. Thank the Lord for Vonage! OH P.S. - You can see my handiwork at

I couldn't wait for Clint to come home from Institute and check his blog. I really thought he may call me. But no, he decided to respond on his blog! And to beat all, he posted a horrid photo of me during our summer vacation at the beach house. I had just gotten out of bed when that particular photo had been taken. So I must admit, by posting that photo, he got his revenge!!!

I'm so glad that as Christians we can have so much fun! It doesn't have to be dirty or off colored. It can be just straight out glorious fun!

Here is my brother-in-law, Clint, with his dad and step mom at the beach house on Hunting Island. See how nice I am? I posted a pleasant photo of him!

Peaceful Sleep

"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

Have you ever wondered about the human body's need for sleep? It has always amazed me when I think how God has designed us to literally “turn off” like a machine for eight hours each night. Sleep is something our bodies need to do; it is not an option. Many of the body's major organs and regulatory systems continue to work during sleep. Some parts of the brain actually increase their activity dramatically, and the body produces more of certain hormones.

Unfortunately, this precious, needed sleep is robbed many times by the uncertainties of homeschooling, illness, life in general. Anxious thoughts like “Will my children turn out OK if I homeschool?”, “How can I teach a subject I don’t even know?”, or “How will we pay the bills if I homeschool?” can torment us and keep us awake. Add household chores and responsibilities to this list of worries, and it’s no wonder we stay up late at night trying to do it all. I used to scrub floors at at all hours of the night! Those of you who know me now, understand that I am up at many strange hours of the night due to pain and restlessness, not trying to "do it all"! *smile*

Homeschooling mom, if you are struggling with these worries and working until you are exhausted, allow me to introduce to you a special verse - a wonderful promise of God.
Psalms 127:2 – “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” Isn't that precious to you? We don't need to worry and eat the bread of sorrows! God only has so much for you to do each day, and what is left undone is not important! To accomplish His perfect will for each day, we need to pray for wisdom. This is all that He asks of me and you! His provision to meet our unfinished tasks may come by sending extra help, inspiring us to organize a different way, or miraculously providing to meet whatever need we have. This verse and realization of it can change your life! Won't it be nice to lay your head on the pillow each night and not worry about the basket of laundry waiting to be folded or the lesson plans for tomorrow’s schoolwork?

When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep? (This question doesn't apply to me right now or anyone else reading this who experiences chronic pain! *giggle,giggle*) I remember as a young homeschooling mom, struggling with trying to do more than God intended. I would also lend myself to worry. God desires us to rest in Him and find the peaceful sleep of trusting Him. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” (Matthew 6:34a)

Dear Heavenly Father,

Forgive me for not getting the rest I need. Help me to trust You with my priorities. Also, as I homeschool my child(ren), let me trust in You, that I may accomplish what You intend for me to do each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.