Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our 22nd Wedding Anniversary...

CAME AND WENT on December 13th!! That's right but never fear - Agustin and I finally escaped alone for a few hours Saturday evening to celebrate. We enjoyed some mall shopping. I bought a new black and silver purse. Agustin bought a new camera for me and at a great "after Christmas" sale price! We also stole some time to enjoy a delicious and leisurely meal at Longhorn Steakhouse. It was so nice to be alone in each other's company without the stress of deadlines hanging over us. (Those of you who know me know I don't do well with deadlines and time frames!)

It seems our marriage grows better and stronger with each passing year! There have been times in the past when I wondered if we would make it to 10 years of marriage. Thanks to God's sustaining grace, we made it to 10 and then some! Have any of you ever thought that you wish you knew then what you know now: in terms of a marital relationship? I certainly have! I'm so thankful for God's faithfulness helping us maneuver through some tough times in our marriage. I know without HIM, Agustin and I wouldn't be where we are today!

Te quiero, mi tamal caliente!

Create Fake Magazine Covers with your own picture at

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Especially for Jungle Mom and Jackie

Caution: You're about to enter

PAM's PHOTO ZONE!First off, we allowed no terrorists and we took no prisoners at our Christmas Eve party!

(Of course this is my son and nephew playing with Shane's new Nerf Vulcan machine gun! My nephew had come running into the room making a shrill hollering sound, *Imagine a native war cry* Then my son popped in with the big gun!)

It was quite entertaining!

Shane gives thanks to Georgiann for the DQ gift card!

Thanks Bro. for my new Nerf gun!

It's the little things in life - right? Can you believe I wrapped up a bottle of dish washing liquid detergent for my mom and placed it under the tree? She had recently told me about using this Palmolive Lavender detergent at a friend's house and LOVED IT. When I happened to run across it the other day and saw it was BUY ONE _ GET ONE FREE, I bought one for each of us. I thought I'd wrap it for fun! It was kind of cute when she passed it around and all of us in the room took turns smelling it. You would have thought I had bought her an expensive bottle of perfume, she was so pleased!!! I did get her a few other things mind you, but the detergent was probably the strangest gift under our tree this year!

Naomy shows off the celestial votive holder I gave her.

Georgiann seemed to like her gifts of bath gloves and "whipped cocoa" body wash!

Shane playing Santa. Here he is digging for a gift way at the back of the tree.

Agustin and I gave the kids a popcorn bucket full of treats for one of their

cozy nights in with a movie.

I have no idea why I'm posting this awful picture!!! LOL

Julia helping Josh show off his gift. It looks like a gift card to me.

Shane LOVED this shirt. He wore it to church last night.

Josh seems to be happy with his iron gym. Judging by Julia's laughter, she likes it too???

(Enlarge to see her scrunched up eyes and nose!)

Agustin strikes a pretty pose with MY Godiva chocolates!! It seems we all made sure to make a few silly poses during the evening.

Dad's new shirt.

Gift card to Applebee's from the grandparents.

LENOX crystal glasses for the newlyweds, from Grandma.

Julia and I having our own partayyy!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Heavenly Father,

We pray today that Americans will be energized and infused with power as they see Your provision for our country’s needs. We are a wealthy country; we provide much of the world’s bounty and our resources bless the entire planet. God, as we prepare for the President Elect Obama’s administration to be ushered in, may we pray in unity for our nation to be blessed so we may better meet the needs of our people and remain a beacon of light and prosperity to the world. We ask this according to Your will, in the mighty name of Christ, amen.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Full Hearts and Full Tummies!

What a wonderful couple of days we've enjoyed in our home! Having loved ones near and so much delicious food made with lots of love were two of the major highlights. We've laughed and loved and of course, we've EATEN!!! As we observed the birth of Christ, we turned our thoughts and prayers to our Lord and the impact HIS birth has had on our lives. What a beautiful season of celebration! My favorite!

Our Christmas Eve started off with Shane, Naomy, and I delivering some goodies to our friends. Here I am with this mother/daughter duo. Two beautiful Christian women who have brightened my life in the few short months I've known them.


Below is Shane with his new friend, J.T.

Naomy and Joshua
My Parents

Me and my guys!

Later in the evening, Georgiann and Julia joined us.
My boys had time to fit in the annual wrestling match before opening gifts.

Please leave me a caption for this photo of my hubby and nephew!!!

A few tamales, a tostada or two, refried beans, Mexican rice, guacamole, and don't EVEN get me started on the desserts!

Maybe you can join us next Christmas Eve for our annual Mexican dinner!

Please remember to submit a caption for the photo of hubby and nephew
drinking from fine china!

More photos to come soon. I can't wait to get around to your blogs and read about your Christmas celebrations!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I'm not sure if I'll have time to get around and wish all a very Merry Christmas so I wanted to do it now, here on my blog. So---

Concerning some of your comments about my previous post---
YES many do seem to be saying Merry Christmas this year to me also. I should have mentioned that in my post! I was dwelling too much on the negative I guess.

FOR TROPICAL MEXICAN: About those snow globes! When I mentioned to a friend I had been at International Mall, she asked me excitedly, "Oh did you see the huge snow globes?!?" I had to answer NO and that is actually what got me to thinking about my last post. Now I must admit I didn't walk the entire length of the mall, so perhaps the globes are in one of the areas, however, no swags or lights, or Christmas music in the main mall the day I was there. Now I'm curious to return, simply to look for those wonderful globes!!! I hope they are there, that would make me smile!
FOR MIGHTY MOM: The feel good story I mentioned on your comment section follows.

A dear couple in our church have opened their home up to a single mom and her nine year old daughter. Now the single mom can breathe a sigh of relief for the time being, as she adjusts to her new job and continues looking for a better one. I'm so thrilled there are such giving people in this world such as this loving, godly couple who welcomed her and her sweet little girl into their home!

As MIGHTY MOM asked a couple of weeks ago on her blog; if you have a "warm, feel-good" story to share about this Christmas season, please tell us!

Love You All!
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:11

Sunday, December 21, 2008

From Around the House

Each year, I purchase a new "Mexican" flavored tree ornament. This was last years. For some reason, I've neglected to get one yet this year. I'll try Hallmark on Monday to see if any are to be found!

The mother of one former Kindergarten student of mine made this Christmas Angel tree topper for me years ago. I rarely use her atop the tree, but find a special place of prominence in the house somewhere for her to watch over us.

I added these resin teddy bear letters to a real wreath and hung over my master bath mirror.

Good news from mom's biopsies. Both came back "NON-MALIGNANT!" We're all so relieved for that Christmas gift! However, she isn't quite out of the woods yet, as yet another mass was discovered from her sonograms taken at Moffitt. She goes in for another sonogram on Tuesday, Dec. 23.
While shopping tonight, I was very disheartened to realize that International Plaza had no Christmas decorations! There was nice Christmas music playing as I walked through the parking garage, but once inside, no major Christmas displays throughout the mall. Some individuals stores had Christmas trees, etc. but a the atmosphere in this upper end mall was a real disappointment to me.
On the other hand, West Shore Plaza was decorated to the nines, and the music played inside the mall! It felt wonderful! My spirits soared.
And then this! After leaving the mall, I stopped by an old favorite Greek place I used to frequent when I lived in Tampa. There were no decorations and no tree, but they were playing all Christmas music. Before leaving, I asked to speak to the manager. I thanked her and expressed my appreciation that the restaurant was at least playing Christmas music. She seemed pleased I had a positive comment for her rather than a complaint.
Please be sure to wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS and speak up! If you're in a restaurant or place of business that seems to remotely be acknowledging Christmas, please let the store owners and employees know just how much you appreciate it. It's time we stopped the reign of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shane's 11th Birthday Celebration on Dec. 5, 2008

HEEELLLLOOOO? Is anyone left out there in Bloggyland? I've been so busy, and/or sick that I haven't been on line AT ALL for 11 days! I know, I can't believe it either! I'm so glad to have a chance to say hi and hopefully get around to a few blogs tonight. I know we're all as busy as little elves this time of year! I've missed you and so much has been going on which I would love to find time to post about.

I thought I'd start out tonight with a post about my little man's birthday party back on Dec. 5th. He is truly a gift from God and such a blessing to our hearts each and every day. He is happy, joyful, helpful, kind, affectionate. I imagine him being a veterinarian or pediatrician some day. Maybe a missionary! Wouldn't that be great! Enjoy the photos! I first posted some of his baby photos because I want all of you to see just how darn cute he was/is!!! And Mr. Personality since day one!

Don't you just love those little toes sticking up?

L'il Sailor!

First trip to Chuck E. Cheese's!

Look at that sweet face! Where does the time go?

Last year, striking a G.Q. pose!

The birthday boy started his day out with some of his dad's chocolate chip pancakes,
per his request!

And boy were they delish!

A close up of those sinful pancakes!

The birthday boy was allowed to spend his time any way he saw fit for most of the day.
Here he is relaxing in bed after breakfast with a good book!
We later picked up friend J.T. from school to help us celebrate the big day!

After picking up J.T. - we made a mad dash to this store to spend Shane's gift card!

Two buddies using their imaginations!

Grandpa and Grandma Riffe joined in the festivities at Olive Garden!

It seems that Agustin and John had a good visit at their end of the dining table!

Enjoying our time together!

Entertaining themselves between appetizers and dinner.

The celebration cake finally arrives!
Thanks Adam for the great personal attention!

The wait staff singing the Italian Birthday song to Shane!

#1 game on his wish list!

Thanks Bro. It's just what he wanted!

Ready to start ripping that pretty package apart!