Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Eagle Has Landed!

It's late so just a quick blurb here to let all know that Jungle Mom and crew arrived as scheduled into Miami Friday night and then on into Tampa this morning. Everyone looked well and healthy just a little frazzled, but that is to be expected after what they have just gone through.

I was blessed to be able to spend the day with them and my son, Josh. We picked them up at the airport a little after 10 a.m. Saturday and drove them to the house they had rented. Their son had gotten the key the day before and was able to get set up in his room Friday night. He also had the air conditioning running and food which our mom had prepared in the fridge. Of course, mom had also sent a huge bowl of fruit and had instructed Rita's son to set it in the middle of the table. It was so welcoming to walk in and see it there!
It was nice not having to prepare lunch because mom had sent over a huge pan of fried rice, a large salad and dressing, a home-made chocolate cake. Oh, and our brother John came over for a few hours too!

After a little bit of down time and just laying around visiting, we headed to Super Wal-Mart. It was almost too much for Jungle Mom and Yekwana Man to handle! I wish you could have been there. JM was running around the produce and not picking up anything! Finally she decided on a bag of peeled and washed baby carrots. Then a bag of salad. Then she started getting in the groove! Since they had just arrived into town and Clint is flying out early Monday morning to pick up a van they purchased up in Tennessee from a friend, JM wanted enough food for the 2 days her hubby would be away. Well by the end of the first aisle, her buggy was half full! We teased her to slow down on her choices as she still had lots of aisles to look at. She would just stand in awe at all the meat on the shelves! We did find some packages of turkey wings which made her laugh as she picked them up and said, "I have seen these lately." It was so much fun shopping.Can you imagine all of us in there like a caravan on a Saturday!? It was so crowded and we were so rowdy and just a-laughing at every little thing. Let's see, there was Clint, Rita, Jewel, Jayde, John, Josh R, and myself all grocery shopping! What a hoot we had! I would have given anything to have had my digital camera with me!

Well to close, I dropped my Josh off at his house in Tampa around 9:45 Saturday night, then I headed north to my home. It was so lonesome walking in and finding nobody here! I miss Agustin and Shane so much but know they are having the time of their lives with loads of relatives! Tonight was the big shin-dig for the graduating law students. The meal was to begin at 8 p.m. and culminate at 4 a.m. with Mariachis!! Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Beautiful City

It's Fun Friday once again, when we can make our rounds and see what kind of surprises our fellow bloggers are sharing with us today! Be sure to sign the list on MR. LINKY over at
Kelli's House.

Queretaro, Mexico

A colonial city well preserved!
This week, I'd like to give you a little glimpse of the city where my husband and I met and were married. I guess it has been on my mind tonight because that is where my hubby is right now. He and Shane flew out Thursday morning and arrived there safely around 2:30p.m. His brother and parents met them at the airport in Mexico City. They had a 2 1/2hour drive to Queretaro. I spoke with Agustin and Shane on the phone around 8 p.m. Thursday evening. Their trip went very smoothly and they were blessed with a "green light" in customs, which means they didn't have to open their suitcases for inspection! YIPPEE! Not that they wouldn't have passed inspection, mind you, but it's such an annoyance when all you want to do is see your family members who are waiting for you on the other side of that wall!

The State of Queretaro is located in the heart of Mexico, just two hours away from Mexico City and its a treasure chest awaiting to be discovered.
Querétaro was founded in 1531 by Franciscan monks.
Driving through the outskirts of Queretaro, one notices all the trappings of a middle-class, industrial Mexican city. Familiar names such as Price Club, Holiday Inn and Kentucky Fried Chicken beckon from the side of the modern highway.

Tourists en route from Mexico City to the popular colonial towns of San Miguel de Allende and Guadalajara might be tempted to bypass this hive of commerce. But the wise ones will plunge in, knowing that the center of Queretaro itself is a colonial gem.

Colonial Queretaro retained the twisting alleys of its old Indian quarter side by side with the 16th century geometric street plan of its Spanish conquerors. The Otomi, Tarasco and Chichimeca lived peacefully with the Spaniards in the old town through the 17th and 18th centuries, when many outstanding civil and religious structures were built. During the 19th century, quiet Queretaro found itself in the midst of Mexico’s struggle for independence.
For these reasons, the Historic Monuments Zone of Queretaro was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Queretaro State is one of the smallest in extension in Mexico with a population of approximately 1'404,306 inhabitants, since its greatness rests so much in architecture, as its wealth in historical facts, its beautiful spots, its thermal waters and curative, large heights to escalate and also caverns to descend and explore.

Queretaro limits to three rivers: the Santa María de Acapulco, the Moctezuma and the Lerma.

The Queretaro name originates of the "Tarasco" and originally of QUERETAPARAZICUYO or YCHAHTZICUYO, that to be abridged remain in Queretaro that it means "Game of Ball". There are other versions that assure that the name originates of Querenda "Stone large or rock"; or of Querendaro "Place or large stones people or cliffs".

With agricultural and livestock farming industries, the state of Queretaro has a largely growing rate of industrial development, and a gateway to the northern, central and southern regions of Mexico.

Its fast industrial development contrasts with the great beauty of its capital city, the historic downtown areas of which were declared Heritage of Mankind by the UNESCO.

Its excellent geographic location helped Queretaro to be the scene of most important chapters of Mexican history.

The Queretaro climate is a gift for the lovers of the nature. Within territory is changing for the variety of heights on the level of the sea.

Symbolic of Queretaro is its Aqueduct, considered one of the great civil engineering feats in North America. Begun in 1726 and finished in 1738, it has 74 massive stone arches that stretch for six miles along the Avenida de los Arcos to the eastern edge of the colonial center. When it was built, the Aqueduct made it possible for the residents of Queretaro to enjoy many public and private fountains, and it still carries water into the city.

One of the many churches in the downtown area. I LOVE the colors!

Cathedral of Santiago

A typical scene in one of the MANY parks downtown.

On a guided tour of "Convento de la Santa Cruz", visitors can see a clay pipe system developed to receive water from the Aqueduct and distribute it throughout the monastery.

Established in the 16th century, Convento de la Santa Cruz stands on a former battleground atop a hill overlooking the old town, where the apparition of St. James on horseback convinced Otomi Indians to surrender to the conquistadors. Other miracles associated with the site include trees with cross-shaped thorns grown from a cane stuck in the ground by pious friar Antonio Margil de Jesus in 1697.
By the end of the 17th century, Convento de la Santa Cruz operated the first Catholic missionary school in the Americas, and it continues to serve as a religious school today.
The monastery also functioned as a fortress when forces loyal to Emperor Maximilian occupied it near the end of the Mexican War of Independence. Maximilian used it as his headquarters from February to May 1867. After his surrender and subsequent death sentence, he was confined at Convento de la Santa Cruz while he awaited the firing squad. While on the tour, you can enter the room where he was held prisoner. It was quite an experience for me to see the very bed, chair, and table he used!

Entrance to one of our favorite restaurants

Interior of the restaurant at Hotel REAL D MINES

Independence Square

At the top of these stairs is a darling little chapel. This is on property of the large University in Queretaro, On the right is a typical colonial style building. I believe our post office was in the downstairs of this particular building.

I hope you enjoyed this abbreviated tour of a beautiful, old city!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Off to Mexico!

My husband and youngest son are leaving me!! Boo-hoo! J/K

I'm actually very excited for them as they will be on their way to Mexico by 7 a.m. Thursday morning, if all goes as scheduled. We have to rise at 2 a.m. to leave the house by 3 a.m. to be at the airport by 4 a.m.!! You know the rule: be at the airport 3 hours before your scheduled flight time when travelling internationally! I will only be able to go to a certain point with them and then I will have to give all the kisses and hugs I can give before leaving them and heading for home, (where I will most likely get back in the bed and sleep!) while they wait for their flight!

My husband's baby sister is graduating from Law School, which means "toda la raza" van estar alli! (Lots of relatives will be there!)
Photo of my sweet mother-in-law, and then hubby's cousin, Beto, next is Berenice (the graduate) wearing pink and last, one of hubby's other sisters, Imelda. Oh if you enlarge the photo or look closely, you can see my hubby's father in the background with sunglasses on speaking with an American missionary, Jimmy Lee.

I would love to be going, but we purchased the tickets a couple of months ago when I was practically bedfast with poor health. Agustin and I prayed for several weeks, asking the Lord to give us peace if I should go or not. We never felt that peace for me to go. I would love to be there for this milestone in Berenice's life, but she completely understands our reasoning. I really didn't want Agustin to be worrying about me or having to push me through busy airports in a wheelchair. I also didn't want to slow the family down as they will all want to be out and about, doing things each day. Of course, I am feeling well now and think I could have made the flight with minimal swelling and aches! To be quite frank, I am looking forward to having a week to do just what I want to do when I want to! Can you imagine? I'm pretty excited about that!!! I have SO many plans!

On Saturday morning I will need to be back at Tampa International Airport to meet my sister and her crew! Yippee! They will fly from Venezuela to Miami on Friday, then on into Tampa Saturday early after a night's rest. Because of what they have been watching for the past year and a half, and know how volatile the situation is there now, I am more anxious to see them than ever!

Josh drove up to visit with Agustin and Shane tonight. We went to church together then came home and ate pizza while watching Mexico beat Brazil in the "American Cup" which incidentally is being played in Venezuela this week! The Venezuelan Government (Chavez) didn't want to permit the American Flag to fly during the Cup, but FIFA (Federation International Football Association) they were told they couldn't host the games at all if he wouldn't agree to displaying ALL flags of ALL nations playing! USA is playing in the stadium which is right in the city Rita lives in. The American Embassy issued emails warning Americans to stay away from the game. The security team from the US which went in ahead of the soccer team was given all kinds of flack and accused of being spies! The stadium in which several of these big games are to be played is only 70% completed. It hasn't any water, so they are hauling water in for the week! Also, to purchase tickets to any of the games, you have to be a card carrying Socialist. Oh and here's another great nugget of info. Since there isn't enough food in Venezuela, the government imported food from Argentina so the stores and restaurants will be well stocked for the tourists!

God bless America!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Should Have Taken Photos!

Sunday night, my mom came over to spend the night with us so she could get up early and help me tear Shane's room apart! Wait, let me back up! First she washed all my kitchen cupboards and doors with Murphy's oil soap, then moved into the bathrooms and did the same to all the wood. Next, she went back over the cupboards and doors with Pledge! Smelled so nice! Then, she attacked my huge sliding glass doors off our family room. She got on her knees and scrubbed all the gunk out of the metal tray the doors slide in, then cleaned my doors inside and out! I was ironing for hubby. His new chef's coat was fresh out of the package and had all those stiff wrinkles from being folded so long! I had several phone calls to make as well. By the time she finished the glass doors, I had cooked us a yummy brunch. After eating, we started hauling everything out of Shane's room. Once the room was empty of everything, except the furniture, I left her to it! You all haven't seen anything until you see my mom clean. I'm telling ya', it's worth a vacation down here to Florida just to see that woman in action! While I did things in other parts of the house, she washed all the furniture and then used Old English lemon oil on it. Then she vacuumed the baseboards, windows, and blinds before washing all of them with --- yes, you guessed it! Murphy's Oil Soap, which from here on out will be referred to as MOS!!! She shined the windows with Windex and then vacuumed the entire floor. Shane and I were in the family room sorting through all the toys that we had drug out of his room earlier. What fun it was to watch him make decisions of what to toss in the trash and what to put in the give away pile! Today, we finished the sorting and putting away part of it. He kept a little more than I liked, but he did good. We were able to get rid of several small bins and fit most things into his room with only one additional under the bed storage unit to help out with the toys. I also washed all the bedding, from mattress cover to comforter! It feels good to have one room completely done!

Update on Patti

Good news! Patti came through surgery fine and is FINALLY in a room!

BAD NEWS! The poor family had to wait until a room was cleaned and set up for her before they could see her. They weren't allowed to see her in recovery and then a room wasn't ready! Bless their hearts! They started their day at the hospital by 8 a.m. this morning and just now at 9 p.m. are leaving! That's the bad news. Could be worse, huh?

GREAT NEWS! The initial reports seem to be that the cancer HAD NOT spread to any lymph nodes! Praise the Lord! Of course, a more definite report will come from the pathologist in a couple of days.

We were told that as soon as she came out from under the anesthesia, she started crying and saying, "It's over, it's over!" Whew, I don't know why, but that made me tear up.

Thank you all so very much for your prayers and concern. Todd, Patti's husband, asked me to give you all a special 'thank you' just from him!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Special Prayer Request


As many of you know, my dear, long-time friend, Patti will be having cancer surgery Tuesday, June 26.(double mastectomy) She is such a doll and in great spirits this evening! I just spoke with her on the phone to make sure nothing had changed schedule wise for tomorrow. It's all a go; so would you all please be in prayer for her and her family tomorrow? I asked what she was doing this evening. She giggled her infectious giggle and told me she couldn't' decide which clothes to take to the hospital!! She also said that she was just blown away by all the sweet comments from you all after my previous post about her. The promises of prayer from so many are a true comfort for her at this time.

Some specifics I have been asking the Lord for are:

*That the surgeon be well rested and alert
*The same for all who assist in the surgery
*For clean instruments and sterile environment
*For the family members as they wait
*For quick healing for Patti, no complications

Some things I love about Patti:

*Her love for the Lord

*That she is a beautifully, accomplished pianist

*Her tremendous talent as choir director for her church

* That she is such a trooper! She never turned her back on God, even when going through hardships such as I have never experienced!

*Her inner strength

*Her laugh

*Her love of Southern Gospel concerts

*How she always has the right words for me when I need them

*How she and I can talk on the phone for ... well I think our record was 5 hours! And we only lived one house apart from each other! I know what you're thinking, but no, it didn't happen often! And that 5 hour conversation was after a time we hadn't spoken in awhile due to life being so busy for both of us. But I must be honest here and say that on several occasions, we have spoken over the phone for 2-3 hours! When I was pregnant with Shane and on bed rest, I just loved it when Patti would call! I knew she would keep my mind occupied for some time! *giggles and smiles*

Below is an email she just sent out tonight. Please read it and most importantly, please pray tomorrow, (Tuesday) at noon as they begin the surgery.

Dear Friends and Family,

I am writing with a special request. Tomorrow I will be having cancer surgery and I would appreciate your prayers. I know that the Lord is going to be with me each step of the way. I can already feel prayers being answered, in that I have such a deep peace that passes all understanding, and I know that only comes from Him.

Thank you so much for praying with me for the Lord’s will to be done.

Keeping a song in my heart,


Let me encourage you with a favorite song of mine from the group Lordsong:

Such A Time As This

Why did I walk through the valley; why was I forced to my knees?
Why did the sun parch and dry me,
As I walked through the desert of defeat.
Then came the clouds and the rain fell,
I thought I'd never make it through the night.
But God gave me the answer when I prayed with you,
He let me see the dark to hold the light.

I can kneel with a brother who is bearing a burden
And say I know just what you're going through.
I can pray with a sister in the midst of her sorrow
And say I know because I've been there too.
I can put my arms around someone who is down
And tell them to have faith and confidence.
What in pain I could not see I now fully believe,
God prepared me for such a time as this.

You may be praying for rescue.
You are facing temptations and trials.
Struggles are endlessly present,
But the purpose is somewhere in God's time.
Just keep on walkin' the good road.
Night leads to a stronger, wiser day,
And when you're asked the reason for the path you have trod,
You'll know without a doubt and you can say....

I can kneel with a brother who is bearing a burden
And say I know just what you're going through.
I can pray with a sister in the midst of her sorrow
And say I know because I've been there too.
I can put my arms around someone who is down
And tell them to have faith and confidence.
What in pain I could not see I now truly believe,
God prepared me for such a time as this.
God prepared me for such a time........

Isn't she focused on the right oneONE? I just love her so much. Please note I chose to use pink for BREAST CANCER AWARENESS!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Best Nutrients for Healthy Skin

At my age, I have new concerns about my skin. I found the following information about maintaining healthy skin from Alert to be quite helpful!

Healthy, glowing skin has always been a hallmark of attractiveness in both men and women, and it is a powerful indicator of overall health. Likewise, skin that is dry, oily, or inflamed is an indicator of something amiss inside the body. “Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to aging, are the manifestations of your body’s internal needs, including it’s nutritional needs,” said Dr. Georgiana Donadio, founder of the National Institute of Whole Health.

Many people resort to commercial soaps, creams, lotions, and scrubs to treat skin problems, but none address the source of the problem: a combination of poor diet and toxins in both diet and personal care products.

Many recent studies show that the skin is nourished by certain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which make it appear healthy and years younger. The following are the top five nutrients for healthier skin:

Omega-3 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) found in omega-3 oils help repair and maintain moisture and flexibility in the skin. Since the body can’t manufacture its own EFAs, they must come from the diet, including oily fish, shellfish, sunflower oil, walnuts and flax seeds. In addition to making the skin soft and supple, EFAs also treat many ailments, including heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.

Zinc. An adequate amount of zinc is a requirement, and a lack of zinc may manifest itself as acne. Zinc controls the production of oil in the skin and may control some of the hormones responsible for acne. Zinc is also essential for the immune system as well as for keeping taste, smell, and vision in tip-top shape. An adequate amount of zinc is also thought important in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Zinc is found in oysters, pecans, oats, and eggs.

Silica. Silica is a trace mineral that keeps the body’s connective tissues (muscles, tendons, hair, nails, cartilage, and bone) strong. A deficiency can result in less efficient healing of wounds and a reduction in skin elasticity. Silica is found in green beans, leaks, strawberries, celery, asparagus, garbanzo beans, and in the herb horsetail.

Selenium. The antioxidant selenium is a mineral that prevents cell damage by free radicals, and also makes the skin elastic. Studies have associated it with a reduction in the risk of breast cancer. Selenium is found in brown rice, wheat germ, tuna, salmon, eggs, and Brazil nuts.

Vitamins C, E, and A. This triumvirate of vitamins is vital to healthy skin. Vitamin C reduces free-radical damage, and when combined with E, protects against sun damage. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus juices, peppers, berries, parsley, and kale. The antioxidant vitamin E reduces the appearance of wrinkles and soothes dry, rough skin. It’s found in wheat germ, almonds, safflower and sunflower oils, and is even more powerful at protecting the skin against sun damage and preventing skin cancers when combined with vitamin A. Adequate vitamin A helps repair and maintain the skin and is often used to treat skin conditions, including acne. Dry, flaky skin is often a tip-off to a deficiency. Carrots, liver, sweet potatoes, kale, apricots, collard greens, spinach, and cantaloupe are all high in vitamin A. Since vitamin A supplements can be dangerous in excess, beta carotene, which helps the body make its own vitamin A, is safer.

In addition to nourishing the skin from the inside, care must be taken to avoid skin-care products that will damage your skin from the outside. Many products, including those expensive brands sold in department stores, are chocked full of toxins that soak straight into the skin and enter the blood stream. Petroleum derivatives, for example, can damage the liver and cause cancer, and can damage your body’s DNA, affecting your entire body. Buy skin-care products that are free of petroleum products and parabens. A good rule of thumb is to buy only those that have pronounceable ingredients. Check out Pangea Organics and Lluvia products from the Amazon Herb Company.

Are You Allowing Satan To Make A Slave Out Of You?

I received this in an email today. It blessed my heart and think it will yours as well. Have a blessed Lord's Day!

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods; but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he sawGrandma's pet duck.Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved! In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes" But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen." Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes.Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper. "Sally just smiled and said, "Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help" She whispered again, "Remember the duck?"So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's; he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.

"Thought for the day and every day thereafter--- Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done... and the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.)...whatever it is...You need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing. He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven. He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you. The great thing about God is that when you ask forgiveness; He not only forgives you, but He forgets. It is by God's grace and mercy that we are saved.

Go ahead and make the difference in someone's life today. Share this with a friend and always remember: God is at the window! He doesn't miss anything!!! When Jesus died on the cross; he was thinking of you!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Pick Me, Pick Me Mrs. U!!!

Mrs. U is celebrating her 1 year blog-i-versary with a contest. If you would like to enter, simply go over to her blog and leave a comment on her contest post!

Look at all the neat stuff you have a chance to win!

- a set of Martha Stewart Everyday Towels...

- a pair of earrings of YOUR choosing from the Etsy shop of new jewelry designer and real life friend, Melissa....

- an autographed copy of "Queen of the Castle- 52 weeks of encouragement for the uninspired, domestically challenged or just plain tired homemaker" by Lynn Bowen Walker (and mailed to you FROM THE AUTHOR HERSELF!!!)...AND...

- a 2 year subscription to Victoria Magazine graciously sent to you courtesy of Hoffman Media.

Now isn't that quite a list of goodies! If you want a chance to win, remember to go over to her contest post and leave a comment there.

Friday, June 22, 2007

My Aunt Donna and One of Her Handmade Quilts!

It's Friday and that means "Show and Tell" time! If you would like to post something special on your blog and join us, simply click over to Kelli's and sign up on Mr. Linky!

This week, I would like to show you one of the cutest quilts I've ever seen! My dad's eldest sibling, Aunt Donna, made this for my youngest son Shane, three years ago. He loves dogs and talked about his dog, Chance, all the time. When Aunt Donna made my son and nephew quilts for their college dorm rooms, she didn't forget Shane. She made him this small quilt of puppies and if you enlarge the photo, I think you will be able to see that each puppy has a button sewn on for an eye! Shane is nine and still cuddles with this quilt when he feels chilly or is sick. It will always remain in our family somehow. I'm hoping Shane's little boy will be able to use it some day!

Oh, by the way, Aunt Donna will be 81 in November, which means that she was 78 or so when she made this! All the more reason it is so special to us. She has been an avid quilter for years and has sold many! She says she has made some GOOD money from her quilts. I know when Uncle Ray was alive, they would drive to just the right spot here in central Florida and set up shop on the side of the road, where she could sale her quilts readily! Five years or so ago, a local paper interviewed her and posted the article along with a photo of her and one of her creations! I wish I had the newspaper article to scan! I would just love putting it here for all to see.

Shane's puppy dog quilt!

Aunt Donna loves to cook and have company. She is so very hospitable! I wish I were more like her in that aspect! I'm drooling as I eyeball her corn casserole!

Aunt Donna showing Shane a family album. She was pointing out all who are serving presently in the military.

Feasting at Aunt Donna's table!

( I look horrid! This was one of those days I was in such horrible pain, but forced myself to go visit.)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Whew! Busy, Busy, Busy!

I have been so busy! I'm not complaining mind you! I'm happy that I have the strength and stamina to be doing things again. God has blessed me in so many ways these past two months and in so many areas of my life! After living such a languid lifestyle for several months, I have enjoyed the recent blessings of good health the most I think!

It's so wonderful to feel like I'm carrying my share of the load in running a household, etc. Agustin has had a few hard months: running all the errands, grocery shopping, taking Shane to recreational activities, etc. I'm happy the Lord is allowing me to be mobile and more energetic with these new medications so that I can be the help meet I want to be. I'm so happy!

VBS was last week, Sunday through Thursday. Thursday, a friend came over to spend the night so that she could learn some family recipes and how to cook some of the favorite foods of a certain someone, (my son Josh!). For a fun read with photos, pop on over to Simplicity for some giggles! If you have time to leave her a comment, I'm sure it would make her day!

Friday, we cooked ALL day at Ashley's home. Then surprised her dad with a few more guests and the big supper and great desserts! Kim, Ashley's mom, had made her hubby's favorite dessert, "Banana Split Cake". We played table games after supper and visited until midnight or so.

Sunday was Father's Day of course, so gifts and food had been prepared.

Monday, Shane went over to Kim's to stay and SWIM while I went to my class on Diabetes. Some of you may not know that I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I really must control it as it is my second chronic disease! I did learn a few things and the Dr. was a wonderful, caring man who also met privately with each of us after the discussion time. I received my first test meter for my blood sugars. I still haven't taken the time to program it, so therefore I haven't started recording my levels in my little log book, which I am required to take to my next visit in 2 months! I may receive a failing grade on my assignment! Oh, but the meter is such a neat little gizmo! I can connect it to my computer and upload all my readings to create charts and neat stuff. LOL Like I'm going to take the time to do that!

Tuesday was a nice day at home to do some laundry and catch up on a few things. Shane and I did some schooling. We are trying to finish with Math and History before vacation! Agustin was off and had physical therapy in the afternoon.

Wednesday, Agustin was off again. He had a follow up with our family Dr. concerning elevated blood sugars. Thankfully, his second blood test was much better than the first due to his eating more healthily and taking up running again. Other than his left shoulder, things look great for him health wise!

After hubby's morning appointment, we drove into Tampa for another session of therapy on his shoulder. The Lord presented me with an opportunity to witness and encourage a sweet lady in the waiting room there. It also helped the 45 minutes of waiting pass by so much more quickly. Shane had gone back with Agustin to observe the therapy, so he was entertained as well and hopefully learned a thing or two.

We had an early supper at Chili's then went to the mall near by to shop for gifts for Agustin's family in Mexico. He and Shane will be flying down on June 28th for an important graduation and a big fiesta in honor of Agustin's baby sister who is graduating from Law School! After purchasing gifts for 6 people, we rushed home just in time to make it to prayer meeting.

What a blessed service we had, as it was the ordination service for our Associate Pastor, Brother Rossiter. Our church is planting a new church in the next county above us and Brother Rossiter has felt the call to pastor it. Many visitors and area pastors attended last night's ordination and many tears were shed. Sunday will be the Rossiter's last service with us. It's a bittersweet time in the life of our church. We will be losing a couple who work and serve faithfully in the church with their 5 children. That's a lot of folks to lose at once, but we must realize it is for such a wonderful reason they are leaving us! Sunday night after service, we will be having a time of food and fellowship and more tears I'm certain!

Thursday, today, has been more schooling and housework. I was blessed this morning by a phone call from my dear, sweet friend, Patti. She will be having a double mastectomy on Tuesday, June 26th at noon. So if you all would please pray for her, we would so appreciate it. As a matter of fact, she didn't' break down and start crying today, until I mentioned that I would let all my bloggity friends know to pray for her, especially on Tuesday at noon. That is when she got so emotional my friends! Of course, those of you who know me, know that I got emotional right along with her! *smiles* I will be reminding you all next week to lift her up in prayers. She is in great spirits and knows her well being lies in the hands of a very loving Father. She sounded just like normal, happy and joyful other than that one time of emotions I mentioned. I broke down again later in our conversation, and she was consoling me. What a testimony of strength in the Lord Jesus Christ! What a blessing she was to me! Shouldn't it have been the other way around?

Well, thanks for listening, or reading I guess would be more accurate. I hadn't done this type of post in awhile and I know my family members far off in distant lands seem to enjoy them.

Have a super evening!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Litter Bugs

“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)

When I lived up north, I remember every spring after the snow thawed in the ditches, the ugliness of winter’s past sins would be revealed. An endless disarray of empty glass liquor bottles and aluminum beer cans lined both sides of our country road for more than a mile. Looking at the mess, I would think, in disgust. "Why do they have to throw their garbage in our ditch?” I still don’t know the answer to that question, but can you imagine the mess their lives are in if what they’ve left behind looks like this!

The Bible doesn’t pull any punches when it reveals God’s attitude towards sin’s ugliness. The Scriptures say sin is an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 6:16) (Psalms 5:5). No matter if the sin is great or small in our mind, we suffer when we choose to disobey God. Our sinful actions and choices trash not only our lives, but also the lives of everyone they touch. As a Christian parent or a homeschooling parent, do you take your sinful failings seriously? Proverbs 14:9 says “Fools make a mock at sin.” Each time you choose to lose your patience, make unloving remarks, or fail to discipline your children, you leave a mess in your own family as well as the world. Left unchecked, sin’s filthy effect will split your family apart and give the world cause to look on homeschoolers and Christians with disgust. Will you start picking up the mess by coming before the Lord today and seeking His cleansing from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)?

Forgive me for not hating sin like You do. Help me to deal with those seemingly “little” sins that make my life ugly and ruin Your best in my life.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Monday, June 18, 2007


1. Perfectionism.
Symptom: Student thinks all writing is supposed to be flawless on the first try.
Suggestion: Assure the student that a first draft is just that, a FIRST draft, a first attempt to get something down on paper. The first draft is the unrefined ore from the mine. It has to come out, and nobody expects it to be much good until it is improved. Fresh notebook pages can be intimidating; try scratch paper

2. Assignments too broad or too vague.
Symptom: Student freezes up, stares at the paper or computer screen and doesn’t know where to start.
Suggestion: Narrow down the assignment to make it as specific as possible. “Write about our trip to the Grand Canyon” floods the student’s mind with so many impressions that there’s no definite place to start. “Tell how the rock colors changed as the sun went down” is an assignment with a sharper focus.

3. Embarrassment.
Symptom: Student is ashamed of being a bad writer and doesn’t want to display it.
Suggestion: Try for one small improvement at a time, maybe a few more definite words, or one or two more lively actions in one scene of a story, or varying the sentence lengths in one paragraph. Count every improvement as a success!

4. Resignation.
Symptom: Student thinks “I can’t write” and that it’s no use to try.
Suggestion: Search for a different focus for writing besides “learning to write.” What is the student’s own best reason to write? To explain himself, to teach a skill, to enlist others in an unusual hobby, to save a memory, to right a wrong? Start there. Or use the flying-start approach with existing published writing. Take a familiar story and ask “How could it end differently? Start differently?”

5. Mechanical difficulties.
Symptom: Student has trouble managing the pen or pencil or keyboard.
Suggestion: Experiment with what works best at this stage of the student’s physical development. Typing is not sacred if the student does better with a pencil, and vice versa. Work in spurts; take frequent breaks. Maybe take time to just practice handwriting or keyboarding, then tackle writing when the student is six months older.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Father's Day

I find it hard to express how grateful I am to my husband for all of his love and care for our little family. I can't seem to find the words. My husband makes sacrifices to encourage, guide, love and support us. I'm so happy I found the following poem which says it all so much better than I can!

Only A Dad
By: Edgar Guest

Only a dad with a tired face,

Coming home from the daily race,

Bringing little of gold or fame

To show how well he has played the game;

But glad in his heart that his own rejoice

To see him come and hear his voice.

Only a dad with a brood of four,

One of ten million men or more

Plodding along in the daily strife,

Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,

With never a whimper of pain or hate,

For the sake of those who at home await.

Only dad, neither rich nor proud,

Merely one of the surging crowd,

Toiling, striving from day to day,

Facing whatever may come his way,

Silent whenever the harsh condemn,

And bearing all for the love of them.

Only a dad, but he gives his all,

To smooth the way for his children small.

Doing with courage stern and grim

The deeds that his father did for him.

This is the line that for him I pen:

Only a dad, but the best of men.

Agustin's first time to see his first born. I had come to the states to give birth while Agustin was left in Mexico waiting for his VISA. His first born child, Joshua was nearly 3 months old the first time Agustin was able to see him or hold him! My Aunt Ruby Carol, Uncle Ray, two of their children, my parents and I with the baby, drove from West Virginia, where I was living at the time, to meet Agustin in Highpoint, N.C. Some dear missionary friends were leaving Mexico to come back home to Highpoint and lovingly allowed Agustin to ride with them. The Lord arranged it so Agustin received his VISA just in time!

As usual, click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing!

Agustin holding Joshua by my side. This was the first time seeing my hubby after a 3 month time apart.

Comforting his sick baby. Josh had chicken pox at 11 months. We had spent an entire night in the emergency room due to the baby's fever being 106. See the bandage on his arm and the orange ID tag on his little ankle?

Agustin and Josh installing hard wood floors in a home we were remodeling.

Kissing his sleeping son the first night home with us. We had just gotten back from N.C.

One of my favorite photos of Agustin and Joshua. I love the location of the bottle! It just cracks me up every time I see it! Doesn't it appear as though Agustin just finished with it, rather than the baby? LOL

Father and Son on the MONTU roller coaster at Busch Gardens, Tampa, FL. Josh is 2nd row waving. Agustin is beside him in white tennis shoes.

At the Air Show, MacDill Air force Base, Tampa, Florida
Agustin holding Baby Shane with Josh at his side. I know you can see Josh, as he is wearing ORANGE!!!

Agustin with Shane posing in front of a Cracker Home at Florida State Fair.

Trimming the trunk of the Christmas tree with Shaney Pooh. Dec. 2006

My two mad scientists celebrate their erupting volcano!

Agustin and Shane working hard in our front yard.

Honey, we love you and are very thankful you belong to us! Happy Father's Day!

A wonderful husband as well as a wonderful DAD! Agustin helping me with my spring cleaning this year.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hip, Hip Hooray! It Finally Arrived!

It's here! Shane's new passport! The Lord is so good to us. My post for today was going to be asking all you prayer warriors to pray that his passport would arrive before the trip. My Father God had other plans!

We applied 12 weeks ago for an updated passport so he could travel to Mexico with his daddy on June 28th. Because of the new law which passed back in January, we knew Shane had to have a current passport. His had expired a few years ago. We were also told it would take longer than normal, anywhere from 8-10 weeks, to receive it, due to so many folks applying now for trips to Canada, Mexico, the Islands, etc. In the past, one didn't need a passport to visit those countries, only birth certificates or proof of American citizenship. We applied 3 months ago thinking surely that was enough time for us and saving us the extra bucks in not having it expedited. We were beginning to think we had made the wrong decision!

In the meantime, we heard on the news that a 3 month extension has been given to travelers to the above mentioned regions, due to such a huge back log of requests for passports. We heaved a big sigh of relief at that news last week. However, because our little guy looks so "Mexican", we always feel better having him travel with a passport when we go to Mexico. We did the same for Josh. Even though it wasn't mandatory in the past, we didn't want to chance the authorities thinking we were trying to sneak a child out of the country illegally! Goodness, can you believe my sister had trouble one time trying to leave Mexico with Jackie! The airport authorities in Mexico City detained my sister and her hubby, demanding proof that Jackie was an American. They were even taken "upstairs" to the commissioner's office to speak directly to him! How many of you have seen photos of Jackie on our blogs? She is blond with blue eyes and fair skin! Of course, about the time Clint convinced the authorities that Jackie was indeed not a Mexican baby, Jackie started spurting out Spanish words very fluently! She was about 18 months old at the time. We can laugh now, but for a few minutes, my family was a wee bit frightened! So we have continued praying for Shane's passport to arrive before the trip just so we can rest a little more easily.

Today, we heard the doorbell and were oh so pleasantly surprised to hear the FedEx man exclaim that he had a package for one Shane Alexander Rios! He went on to ask if we were expecting a passport, as that is what he believed it to be! Whoo-Hoo! Shane got so excited! After opening it and admiring it, he went right away to call his dad at work, then he called his Grandpa!

I have never seen such a beautiful passport! The outside looks the same as the old ones, but once you open it up, many wonderful, patriotic scenes unfold! The inside pages now aren't so boring with little round stamps and names of states. Instead, you will see emblems which so represent our wonderful country. Right inside the front cover is a picture of Francis Scott Key looking over to Fort McHenry. Some of the words of our national anthem are scribbled at the top. "O say does that star spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave." Then on the page right after your photo, you see a colored picture of our flag, wheat, an eagle's head and these words: "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Then as you turn the pages, you see scenes from the southwest, i.e. cactus and deserts,then from the northern regions, snow-capped mountains, then the Liberty Bell, Mt. Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, and many other scenes to remind us of our great nation.
I just love it! I love my country!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Ode to a Summer Cold"

Here is a cute poem I read on a fellow bloggers site and I failed to record the blog name or address. I'm happy I did get her name included here though!

June 7th, 2007
by Barbara H.

To the tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low?”

Oh, my nose, it runs

At most inconvenient times
Leaving overflowing trash cans
Filled with tissues full of slime.
It’s become a drip-o-matic.
My condition still is static!
Oh, my nose, it runs.

Oh, my head is filled
With such pressures in my sinus
And such fogginess of brain.
And my energy is minus.
Who’d have thought a simple head cold
Could cause scheduling to implode?
I’m ready for a nap.

An original composition.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oh If It Were So Simple!!


1. Open a new file in your computer.
2. Name it "Hillary Rodham Clinton"
3. Send it to the trash.
4. Empty the trash.
5. Your PC will ask you, "Do you really want to get rid of "Hillary Rodham Clinton?"
6. Firmly click "Yes!"
7. Feel better ?? .. : )

(PS: Next week we'll do Nancy Pelosi.)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Loving Encouragement for Mishel

Mishel has had her surgery and is in the process of recuperating. If you are interested, how about linking over to her blog to leave her an encouraging comment. She is a dear, sweet sister in the Lord who has been such a blessing in my life. Love you Mishel!

What' s In Your Wallet? ( or purse)?

About a month or so ago, a meme was going around asking ladies to show what was in their purses. My sister named me to do it, so now without further adieu... Here you see everything that was in my purse. My black leather purse is in the background, hard to notice. You see here in the foreground my keys with heart chain, digital camera in a black leather case, a used pink Kleenex, Crest finger toothbrush, orbit gum , medication in yellow tupperware mini, store receipts, Olive Garden calculator, black wallet, brown credit card wallet, and some *personals* to name a few items.
A "To Go" menu from Olive Garden and my business card dispenser with hubby's business cards always at the ready!
Chocolate Bubble Yum from Christmas! This was Alex Leonard's pack of gum she left at our house on Christmas Eve. I guess I stuck it in my purse at some point, planning on returning it to her at church. Also the white slip of paper is a "fortune" taken out of a fortune cookie which I was saving to share with my niece Jayde. It says: "You have a deep interest in all that is artistic." Since this perfectly describes Jayde, I just couldn't help but think of her!
A few item up close! My Cell phone, two tubes of lipstick, a chap stick, eyeglass cleaner scarf, a huge office clip, my eyeglass holder, the white plastic wheel is a clock gear I carry around, trying to find a perfect match for my large living room wall clock, also a $5.oo off coupon to Vallarta's-our favorite authentic Mexican Restaurant in our town. Last but not least, in the upper right hand corner is part of one of my many smiley face tracts! I love to leave these in grocery stores and even in Walmart! Try placing them in cartons of beer! Yes! You can hide a tract in the cardboard case and no one is none the wiser until they get home and break into it. There they will find the gospel message! Also try slipping tracts into pant pockets in the stores or coat pockets! Its a hoot! Can you think of some more unique places to leave gospel tracts? Leave me your thoughts in my comment section.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

"How to be a Hopeful Mom"

I recently read a wonderful article, teaching us how to be a hopeful mom. I know many mommies read my blog, so I felt lead to alert you gals to "Mommy Thoughts" where you can find the article I mentioned and others on motherhood. This is a dear Pastor's Wife's blog. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

What I've Been Up To!

This past week has really flown by! Now that I'm on new medications and feeling much better, I am able to do so many things I haven't felt like doing in a long time, such as going out for breakfast! YES! At the Cracker Barrel to beat all places!

Well, let me back up to Sunday. Since Mom was out of town, I cooked a delicious roast with potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic for Dad. In addition, I prepared a humongous salad with all things fresh and beautiful in it. After attending services at our church, Shane and I headed to Dad's house in Tampa with the prepared meal. Oh boy, did he enjoy it! Mom had left the pantry and fridge well stocked with easy to fix foods and snacks, but you tire of that after awhile and a fresh, hot home cooked meal is all that will fit the bill!

I left Shane with Dad and Josh, then headed over to my new friend, Mary's for a Mary Kay Facial Class. She allowed me to host it in her home which worked out best for both of us. I had a successful class and earned lots of free product.! Yay!

Then I rushed off to the evening service at my Dad's church. I saw an old friend who had gotten out of church, but thankfully has started back now. It was great seeing him. What a blessing!

After church, Shane went home with Dad again and I rode out to Hope Children's Home with my friend Connie. Her daughter works for the home but has no car, so we took Sarah back home. It was my first time out there since Sarah came on staff, so I was joyed to get to see the little cottage that is supplied for her, rent free! Her mom and I stayed until 10:15. I had to get back to dad's to pick up my vehicle and Shane and head to Olive Garden to get my husband from work. We got there just as he was turning out the last lights and setting the alarm. Then home to bed. I was exhausted but rejoicing in the fact that just a month ago, I absolutely could not have done all that in one day. Thank you Lord for giving my life back!

Monday, we hung around the house, re-grouping after being gone all day Sunday. We did a history lesson. Due to dad's heart surgery and a few other incidents this school year, we are trailing a little behind in school work, but we do see light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday night, about 11:15, mom arrived at our house. She was returning from her conference in N.C. and her time with family in W. Va.

Tuesday, Mom spent the night with us and took us to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. It was a wonderful feeling to WANT to get ready and leave the house. These past months previous, I had sunk to such a low point physically, that I was basically home bound. I didn't even have the energy or DESIRE to get ready and leave my house for anything. My hubby had been doing almost all the shopping and errands. Once in a while I would go to the store if he drove me. I wasn't able to drive very often. It was also a blessing to spend some time with my mom after she had just visited all my relatives and brought me up to speed on their lives. I was also able to buy some small gifts for our neighbor's birthday party later that afternoon.

More school lessons for Shane and cleaning. I did some ironing. Off to the party next door. After returning from the party, I freshened up and headed off to our church for a going away party for our Assistant/Youth Pastor's Wife. On the way I stopped at Publix and bought some sliced apples, cubed cheese, bite size brownies, paper plates, foil, and toothpicks. I hadn't had time to prepare anything at home so had to get something convenient on the way!

Wednesday, a Kirby Vacuum salesman showed up around 1:00 in the afternoon. I told him I had a 12 year old Kirby which I love and it still works wonderfully. He still got in! You know the spill, "Oh there is no obligation to buy. I just need to do one more demo today to meet my goal. I'll shampoo which ever room you choose and you get to keep this bottle of carpet stain remover!" *Big smile* I did need the traffic pattern in my family room cleaned and they use a dry foam cleaner, so I let him in! My Kirby transforms into a shampooer too but I haven't used it in this new house yet, so I thought:" hey free labor!" I also received a call from my friend Pat, letting me know that her new grand baby had arrived without complications for the mommy who has seizures and was going to have to be off the meds. Praise the Lord for that answered prayer!

Thursday, my hubby was off so I didn't get much accomplished. I did iron 1 chef's coat, 3 pairs of dress slacks, 5 dress shirts, 2 pairs of dress shorts. Agustin did get the lawn mowed and some weeds under control. Shane helped him outside then they moved into the garage and sanded a little chest of drawers for me which I plan to paint. We had delicious chicken and brown rice for dinner.

Friday, cleaned a little. Made loads of phone calls and received loads of phone calls, mostly from Kim and/or Ashley!! j/k girls! I prepared a shopping list for Agustin and Shane. They went shopping while I readied the house for my parents, my brother, and my Josh to come for a cookout. It was dad's 71st birthday, so we had a little family get together. Members of his congregation had already bombarded him with cards and gifts. Agustin bought a sugar free apple pie, which dad loves! After the meal, we watched the movie, "One Night With the King". I had already seen it 4 times but my parents hadn't. I really knew they would love it as it tells the story of Queen Esther. I highly recommend this movie! I sat and read the entire book of Esther today. It's a small book with only 10 chapters. After seeing the movie for the fifth time, I so enjoyed reading about Esther in my Bible today. Being a visual person, I could now try to imagine what she must have seen and gone through. Can you imagine just how beautiful and magnificent that palace of Shushan was? What a strong, courageous young lady of gigantic faith!

Saturday, Today! I have blogged way too much! Shane went home with my parents last night and Agustin went to work this morning after having two days off. I have made my bed, done some dishes, two loads of laundry, talked on the phone to Kim - *yes, again!* and my brother called me twice today, go figure! Now I must get off of here to vacuum my carpet with my OLD Kirby!

Friday, June 08, 2007


Hop on over to Kelli's House to sign up on Mr. Linky for today's Show and Tell!
I know! I know! The last two times that I've participated in Show and Tell, I have used a person rather than an interesting thing or object! But today is my daddy's 71st birthday, so please oblige me to show off one more person this Friday! Thanks, you all are so kind!
I have so much that I would love to tell you about my dear dad, but it would be too long! I know you have other Show and Tells to visit today! So let me just say a few things to try and help you all get to know him a little bit.
First and foremost, I need you all to know that my dad is a very godly man. He is a quiet natured guy who goes with the flow as long as it isn't something displeasing to His Lord. He isn't one that insists on having his own way. He has been described as a most humble man. Fellow pastors talk about dad's wisdom and how they wish they could be more like him. He would best be described as a Mr. Steady-ALL THE WAY!! (Read Debi Pearl's book, "Created To Be His Helpmeet" if you don't know what I mean by Mr. Steady!)
71 years ago, today, my dad was born in the mountains of West Virginia to a farming family. Dad's dad also worked as a blacksmith and my father has many wonderful childhood memories of hanging around the smithy. My grandfather also was an Old Regular Baptist Preacher, 2nd generation. My dad grew up in the country, mountains to be exact, near the Hatfield's and McCoy's; two families who have gone down in history for their ferocious feuding! One night his dad let a Hatfield spend the night with them as he was hiding from a McCoy! How cool is that?!?
Dad had worked hard helping work on the family farm. As an adult, dad learned to drive a coal truck. Those were the days when coal mines were booming up in the head of the hollers of W.Va. Later, when the mining was slowing down, dad and mom decided to do what my uncle and some of their friends had done --move to California to work in the saw mills. Dad knows the Lord was in that move, because California is where a loving Pastor visited him on visitation one rainy Tuesday evening and lead him to Christ. Sadly, even though my dad was raised in a preacher's home, he had never accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.
It wasn't long after his salvation and growing quickly in the knowledge and grace of his Savior, that dad felt called to preach. It was prayed about and decided he would attend Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C. While in Bible School, dad felt the call of God upon his life to be a missionary. After much prayer, we were hitting the road and churches of like faith and doctrine presenting our slides for the field of Australia. As the time came for VISAS, the door to Australia was closed for missionaries. Only teachers and tourists could get in. The Lord never leaves his child hanging though. He is faithful. Dad remembered a small town in Florida we spent a little time in during deputation travels. The town had no solid independent Baptist church in it. God laid that small cow town on dad's heart as a needy place to plant a church. So off to Arcadia, Fl we moved. After starting what is now Heritage Baptist Church in Arcadia, the Lord moved me to Mexico and my parents to Logan, W. V. where dad planted another new church. It is still going strong today, the last I heard. There is so much more to my dad's life, but this is already getting too long.
Today, we are so thrilled Dad is still with us! He had his 3rd heart attack back in the first part of April and underwent triple bypass surgery a few days later. Only 8 years prior, dad had 5 bypasses done in an emergency open heart surgery. This last surgery was some easier on us, as we had time to prepare and call family. Dad also had a heart attack back in the 70'2 while pastoring a little church in Arcadia, Florida. Dad also suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, along with his heart issues. I'm proud to say that my dad keeps marching on, serving God, shepherding his flock. My mother has had many major health issues. We see how Satan tried to deter and distract from the ministry through all the hardships, but thankfully, my parents remained faithful, and still to this day they serve in the pastorate of Smyrna Baptist Church, Tampa, FL. I think my dad's forte in ministry is helping folks heal from the loss of a loved one or some huge hurt. He is great at officiating funerals and comforting whomever needs it.
I was Instant Messaging with dad tonight and when I wished him a happy birthday, he started sharing with me some facts concerning his birth. He was born at 1 p.m. His Grandma Riffe and Aunt Mary England were the midwives for his birth. He was born at home. (My niece Jackie will be glad to know that. Of course, back then, I think most babies were born at home)
Now I know most of you have seen many of these photos before, but I do have some newer readers of my humble, little blog. I'd like them to get to know my dad better. I have also included some photos here which may only interest my sister in Venezuela and my niece in Paraguay. I considered emailing certain photos to them privately but then decided it was fine to just post them here. I regret I don't have any photos of my father when he was younger. I need to get to his home and dig some up to scan! I leave you now so that you may get to know my dad a little more.Dad and Mom
Christmas Eve, 2006

Dad in the blue shirt at a family dinner at ...GUESS WHERE? Leave your guess as to which restaurant this is in my comment section! August, 2006

Dad with my son Josh after Josh preached in the church dad pastors. June, 2006

Dad poses with Shane and Grandma!

Dad at head of table in red shirt, family dinner, December 2006

Dad receives a lighthouse ornament from his sister Tommie, visiting from Indiana.

December, 2006

Shane LOVES giving Grandpa his shot for diabetes! He always asks his Grandpa,"Hey, is it time for me to make you cry like a baby?" It's so cute to watch Shane go to dad's desk, get out the kit, prick dad's finger, record his blood sugar levels on the little chart, then give him this injection! I think he could be a doctor when he grows up.

Dad and Mom in the 2 Josh's college dorm room. Josh V. took the top bunk. My Josh took the bottom one. September, 2005

Dad, Mom, Josh R. Christmas 2004

The very next day after dad's open heart surgery. April, 2007

After about two weeks home, recuperating, these lovely flowers arrived from his sister Donna and her son Ron.! They were even more lovely in person. I 'm so happy I happened to be there when they arrived so I could snap this picture for the senders to see the beauty of the arrangement.

Another shot of the pretty flowers.

Me with Dad about two weeks after his surgery. I just realized he had his hands behind his back for his typical pose! His mother, my Granny Susie, used to do the same pose! LOL

He actually seemed proud to show off his scar! The surgeon used the old scar from dad's previous bypass surgery. This was taken 2 weeks after the surgery. Poor thing!

Dad with Shane, two weeks after the open heart surgery.

Rita, this is one of the two small incisions made on his right leg. Much better than his surgery 8 years ago huh? Remember they sliced his leg from top to bottom! Of course, it was an emergency then as ALL arteries were blocked! They had to get that extra vein out quick.

Dad and Mom in the midst of the Rios and Leonard families. Christmas Eve, 2006

Dad with his only two surviving siblings, Aunt Tommie and Aunt Donna! December, 2006

(His rosacia was really bad this day. Sorry dad, but I had to post this with your sissies.)

My dad is an avid ROOK player. Here he is with his back toward us playing with Agustin, Shawn, and Cory. Just a week or so before his heart attack!

As I said earlier, there is so much more I could write about and I really wish I had some photos of dad as a child and younger adult. I'll get right on that!

I'd like to invite anyone who feels they have time today to send my dad a Happy Birthday via his email. His addy is:

Have a blessed weekend my friends!