Thursday, January 31, 2008


Did I frighten you? Due to my "missing in action" for so many days, I bet you weren't expecting to see a new post here! Things have been a bit "squirrly" around our home lately. What do I mean by "squirrly" you ask? Well, I don't know, just couldn't think of a better word to describe the series of unfortunate events occurring in our lives. Oh don't worry, nothing serious, just lots of "squirrliness"!!!! Now if that isn't vague, I don't know what is.

We've had a couple of fun "outings", we've been "sick", we've feverishly been "learning" (school work!). Hubby must work Thursday and Friday, even though they were his scheduled days off. This is due to some of that "squirrly" business that's been going on. It wouldn't be prudent to tell all here, but let's just say that hubby needs your prayers around 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

Oh and Boo Hoo! My candidate came in 4th in the Florida primary on Tuesday! I love America and the freedoms she offers! We must all do our part to protect those freedoms. I'm afraid we who are Christians are losing ground here in our great land. Let's commit to praying daily for our leaders, whether we like them or not, whether we agree or disagree. Make it a daily routine to pray and ask God to guide our leaders and gift them with wisdom. It is a biblical principle afterall. I also pray that they will come to know Christ as Lord and Savior in a personal way, if they don't already. I still pray for Bill Clinton. He needs the prayer, I need the practice! Anyways, back to our exciting Tuesday evening! Agustin, Shane, and I went out to vote, rushing into our new precinct, the new Toyota dealership, with only 40 minutes until poll closing time! One of the poll workers was a most jovial man. He was assuring us and those even later arrivals, that all who were in line by 7p.m. would most definitly get to vote. However, the dealership would be locking their doors at 7 and we wouldn't be able to get out unless we bought a new car first!

We were thrilled to see democracy working! The line of folks waiting to vote began downstairs on the sales floor, winding it's way up a huge staircase, going to the end of a hall, u-turning back around down the other side of the wide hall and finally into the room where the polling stations were set up. Of course, as I stood in line, rejoicing that so many folks were out taking care of their responsibility of voting, I wondered how many of those people were counter balancing our votes!

After checking in, Shane went with his dad to the booth to vote and I went to mine. What an honor to hit that touch screen! Shane loves voting and always begs to select the box by the candidate his dad tells him to vote for, and/or the ammendments. He wears his "I Voted" sticker proudly.

After the big vote, we got in our vehicle and drove around the corner to a family owned Mexican restaurant, and once again, I was struck with the greatness of my homeland! Here these immigrants, whom my husband has gotten to know quite well, seeing as how they are from the same country, were supplying us with a service we enjoy. Eating authentic Mexican food prepared by authentic Mexicans! I had my regular, "Carne Asada" con ensalada de Guacamole y frijoles refritos! My hubby had the "Bistek Mexicana" which is covered with a jalapeno salsa. Shane of course had his usual chicken sandwich!! Aye Aye Aye! God bless America!

Oh and if someone reading this hasn't registered to vote yet, let me urge you to do so. There is still time to get registered so that you can partake in the general election in November of this year, IF YOU ACT QUICKLY AND DON'T DELAY!!!

Now, I shall leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

".. people will forget what you said .... .. people will forget what you did . .. but people will never forget how you made them feel."

I hope I've made you feel good, my friends!

Thursday, January 24, 2008



Don't act all innocent. Wipe that shocked look off of your faces! YES, you know who you are! I had a wonderful conversation with one of you via the telephone today!!! *winks*

Today was full of wonderful moments. I had a short conversation with my sister on the phone. You know, I think I knew and kept up more with her day to day life, and chatted with her more often via instant messaging and blogs while she was still living in Venezuela! Here in the states, she is on the road most of the time!

I bounced over to Missy's blog (Crownie's Mom) and was pleasantly surprised to see she had posted twice this week!! Yes, twice! Short but twice! Way to go Missy! You're on a roll. I can't wait to see the photos you plan to post of your new kitchen and office! It will be great advertisement for my brother, son, and nephew.

I also had a RLV!! I don't know if that's an actual acronym for bloggers, but hey; I figured if an RLM stands for a "Real Life Meeting", then RLV can stand for a "Real Life VISIT"!!! Pat and her lovely daughters stopped by this afternoon. What a sweet time of fellowship! Miriam mixed some tuna and served Shane his late lunch while her mom and I talked. I also got to see the jewelry she makes and sales. She uses real gemstones. She had some very beeeeuuuuutiful pieces! I just had to buy a couple! Her prices are much lower than what most beaders sale their jewelry for. Gotta love that! Pat's youngest daughter, Rachel, promised Shane a competition in "Star Wars" for the Play Station 2 system the next time they come over. He loved that! We hadn't seen Pat and the girls for many months, so we had lots of catching up to do. After they left, I realized how many topics we didn't even get to!

Now, I have a little more news concerning Miss Patti. Below is the journal update for you to read. Please remember her and the family in prayers. I appreciate it so much and know that she finds such peace in knowing so many in the family of God are remembering her and lifting her up. Each time I speak with her she mentions it.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2008 05:05 PM, CST

Well, I thought I would have some answers for you today, but not yet. Today, not last night, she had more tests, the results we wont know until tomorrow.
They moved her to a very pretty private room, with a big window, hopefully when her migraines are gone she can enjoy the view. I brought her some tulips, something to brighten her day. I did not see her because she was being tested, Todd call me to tell me she had been able to go to the bathroom several times, she had not since Saturday, praise God!
The hose in her nose is killing her, her throat is raw, poor Patti, she has not been able to catch a break, but, I know she will, she is a child of the King and He loves His children!
I'll update you as soon as I find out what is wrong with her. Keep those prayers coming, God bless all of you,

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Questions For Today...

My heart is heavy as I contemplate over a few things and am spending time in prayer. I have some questions upon my heart. I know God has a plan and is in control. Thankfully, nothing takes HIM by surprise, but is it alright to wonder why things happen?

Have any of you ever taken the test on Temperaments? I usually come out as a Sanguine/Melancholy. Sometimes, I come out as a Melancholy/Sanguine. I guess it depends on what kind of mood I'm in the particular day I take the test. Talk about Bi-Polar!!! Well, it seems today all of you are going to see my more melancholic side.


1)Why is sweet Patti continuing to have health difficulties? I've included the latest journal entry.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 20, 2008 10:35 PM, CST
Well, when we were celebrating Patti's recovery and today being her first day back with the church, something happened.
At 1:00 all of a sudden she was in a lot of pain, ended y at the emergency room in Saint Joseph Hospital and now has been admitted with what it looks like some type of obstruction, she has been vomiting as well. There were no signs , everything was working in the proper order and now this.
She needs your prayers again, I'll keep you informed.

God bless,
2) Why am I heavy in spirit? I haven't really posted much in the past few days. Have any of you ever had so much on your heart and mind, that you considered it best to just be quiet and not post? That is where I've been for the past few days, hence, the ready-made posts.
3) Will I ever realize that my grown son is his own man and must live according to his own personality, not mine? Will I soon learn how to parent an adult?
4) How much longer will I remain submissive, perhaps the best word to use here would be "patient", concerning a certain situation in our lives?
5) Am I failing in the same areas with my second son as I failed in with my first?
6) How many hand fulls of hair is it normal to lose in a day?
I know the answers to most of these, but wanted to share what I'm praying over right now. God is revealing some changes I must make. I'm enjoying some extra quiet time with Him. A well known passage of scripture I'm earnestly trying to apply to my life this year is Philippians 4:8&9.

Verse 8 - "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Verse 9 - "Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."

I love that passage and it's exactly what I need right now!

Blessings to you all!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Contemplations of Inspiration

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.
"When your friends think smile, they think of you.
There is not a day that goes by that you can't find
something good about the world and your fellow human."

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Friday, January 18, 2008

I read this quote just this morning...

"Don't waste your life in doubts and fears: spend
yourself on the work before you, well assured that
the right performance of this hour's duties will
be the best preparation for the hours or ages
that follow it."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sounds good to me!


Oh.My.Word!! I was getting so worried about my blogging friend, Pen of Jen. But now I've found her and she is alive and well. Yippee! Her new blog is called Double Nickel Farm! Click here to give her a shout out!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

So Hilariously NOT ME!!! Good Gravy-Who Knew I was An EMO?!!!

What Your Pizza Reveals

People may tell you that you have a small appetite... but you aren't under eating. You just aren't a pig.

You aren't particularly picky about pizza. It's so good... how could you be? You fit in best in the Western part of the US.

You like food that's traditional and well crafted. You aren't impressed with "gourmet" foods.

You are dominant, edgy, and risk taking with your choices.

You are deep and thoughtful. You should consider traveling to Paris.

The stereotype that best fits you is emo. You think you're special... and you kind of are.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Confessions of a Home-Schooling Mom

“But a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” (Proverbs 10:1b)

We experienced a problem in our homeschooling today (Tuesday) as it seemed I was the only one who showed up for classes! Oh, Shane was with me in body, but not in mind or attitude. He is usually a great little student, but I've seen some bad habits sneaking into our days. Things one could label as "foolishness". Things that caused this mother's heart to weigh heavy. I was so determined that after Christmas and all the hubub, our school year was going to be better during 2008. Today, however, as my cute and lovable child seemed to be so very UNmotivated and intent on making foolish choices, I must admit it folks, I lost my temper. I was angry at him for acting foolish; but when all was said and done, I was the foolish one. Losing my temper and raising my voice wasn't really what he needed. I'm sure that looking at my distorted face, as I let him have it verbally, wasn't all too healthy for him either. I was the adult here and supposedly the mature one, but in actuality, I was the biggest fool of the day. I had to ask my son for forgiveness but first I went to my Heavenly Father and asked for HIS sweet forgiveness; then the day got better! And yeah, I know all the "rules" for moms, etc. I know I slipped and acted ugly. Let me say it right out, I was foolish and I SINNED!!! Thank God for 1 John 1:9!!!! I like to refer to that Scripture as the Christian's bar of soap! *smiles*

I don't recall any reference in God’s Word that sheds a positive light on fools or foolishness. Proverbs verifies the claim that one should strive to put away foolishness. My moments of foolishness today brought to mind the story in Acts. A devotional I read recently spoke about how apparently, the new believers in Christ had been fellowshipping and sharing their belongings (Acts 4:32). Barnabas (one of the believers) decided to sell a portion of his land to help the group and gave the money to the apostles. Two other believers, Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, did the same thing; but for whatever reason, they decided to keep a portion of the money for themselves (Acts 5:1-10). Ananias and Sapphira attempted to fool the apostles by declaring that they had given the total amount. God’s response to this deception was quick and severe – within three hours, both Ananias and Sapphira fell over dead for trying to fool the Holy Spirit. They acted foolishly and were struck dead within hours! Boy, am I glad I found MERCY GRACE in the eyes of the Lord today!

What about your homeschooling family? Have you noticed any foolishness creeping into your children’s actions? Here is yet a better question: Have you noticed any foolishness creeping into your own life? Be careful; foolishness left unchecked has the potential to destroy your child’s life. Although the world may celebrate a day when people deceive and pull embarrassing practical jokes, God’s Word says something entirely different about foolishness – “The thought of foolishness is sin.” (Proverbs 24:9a)

As we beseech the Lord for guidance, let's not forget to ask Him to show us how to discipline our precious children when they start to act foolishly. Ask for the wisdom to train their immaturity into responsible ations that will glorify the Lord. I always try to remember and ask the Lord to convict me of any foolishness in my life as well.


The following is an ad that appeared four days in a row in a real-life
newspaper -- the last three hopelessly trying to correct the first day's

MONDAY: For sale: R.D. Jones has one sewing machine
for sale. Phone
948-0707 after 7 PM and ask for Mrs. Kelly who lives
with him cheap.

TUESDAY Notice: We regret having erred in R.D.
Jones' ad yesterday. It
should have read "One sewing machine for sale cheap.
Phone 948-0707 and
ask for Mrs. Kelly, who lives with him after 7 PM."

WEDNESDAY Notice: R.D. Jones has informed us that he
has received
several annoying telephone calls because of the error we made in the
classified ad yesterday. The ad stands correct as
follows: "For sale:
R.D. Jones has one sewing machine for sale. Cheap.
Phone 948-0707 after
7 PM and ask for Mrs. Kelly who loves with him."

THURSDAY Notice: I, R.D. Jones, have no sewing
machine for sale. I
smashed it. Don't call 948-0707 as I have had the
phone disconnected. I
have not been carrying on with Mrs. Kelly. Until
yesterday she was my
housekeeper but she quit!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Life is good!

A wonderful day of accomplishments. Thank the Lord for sweet slumber last night.

Today was spent organizing paperwork, paying bills, setting up some new accounts, visiting with my first born via telephone, visiting the park after hubby came home from work, walking while hubby and son played tennis, coming home to some Papa John's pizza and wings and Diet Coke! It was such a treat! I never drink Coke unless we have pizza, then it's a must! Visiting many blogs, making coffee for hubby, watching some football with the guys. Looking forward to being in the Lord's house tomorrow. Life is good!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Have You Hugged A Missionary Today?

Don't you think the title of this post would make a terrific bumper sticker? I found the following post in my draft file and realized I still want to post it. It was originally writen on Nov. 12.


We concluded our annual Mission's Conference Sunday morning. It was a humbling time as I sat in the pew this week, listening to several missionaries share their passion for lost souls. A passion so strong, that they are willing to leave the comforts of what they know best and serve Christ in a strange, foreign land. I'm always reduced to tears and loud snubbing in mission's conferences. Missionaries are dear to my heart. Many of you know why, don't you? Yes,
my sister and her hubby have served many years in Venezuela and now are headed to Paraguay to serve the peoples there. Already in Paraguay, is my beautiful niece, Jackie. Most of my readers know those family members through my/their blog. But did you all know that when I was 13 or so years of age, my parents surrendered to the mission field? Yes, we were headed to Australia! I was so excited to go and live in the Land Down Under! Our VISAS were denied however, so my dad became involved in church planting here in the states. I have been working on a post with a little more information about that part of mine and Rita's lives.

I have another missionary family I want to introduce you to in this post. My husband's sister and her family have been unsung heroes on my blog. I realized recently that I have neglected them here. Larry and Ruth Owens, with their 3 boys are pictured here. They serve in San Miguel de Tucuman,in the northern part of Argentina.

David, Ruth, Larry,

Caleb and Joshua (yes the 3rd Joshua in our immediate family)

My two boys with their cousins. My Josh is in yellow and Shane is in cami.

Shane in blue, with his cousin Joshua Owens. Yes, My sis, Rita, has a Josh, I have a Josh, and Agustin's sister has a Josh! Thankfully we all live in different countries. Less confusion that way!
This picture always makes me cry. I was crying when I took it. This was after one of their furlough visits. Agustin is hugging his sister, Ruth, good bye before she heads to the airport for Argentina.
Shane, in white T-Shirt, just hangin' out with his younger cousins, Caleb (left) and Joshua (right back).

The Lord has allowed the Owens to start and organize several churches in different cities in Argentina, which have now been turned over to national pastors. Their latest endeavor has been the huge task of establishing a Bible college, which is an arm of the ministry of their latest local church. The college supplies room and board for those who need it. There is a tremendous amount of poverty in Argentina, which doesn't make charging tuition an option. Larry and Ruth have seen God supply over and over again in remarkable ways! They are humble servants of the Almighty, willing tools to be used of Him. Please remember them in prayer as they continue ministering in Argentina. They are making plans to send their first born here to the states for college in the fall of '08.

So perhaps you see why I think a great bumper sticker would be:


Now just for fun!

You Are a Gingerbread House

A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.

A MUCH Better Day For Me!

Can you believe this photo was taken just a few miles from my home here in central Florida? The first week of January brought a real cold snap through our parts, where today's temperature is hovering around 80 degrees? Amber took the photo of the ice. To see more wonderful, wintry photos, please visit her blog at Amber's Album

Thanks for the sweet comments of concern left for me after yesterday's post. I'm happy to report that today went much better. I think the problem yesterday was due to only eating a half of a banana with my coffee that morning and being over tired from lack of sleep sure didn't help either. This morning, I ate a boiled egg and apple for breakfast and took time to really hydrate myself more than I did yesterday. When I got back from doing my 3 miles, my blood sugar level had dropped only 36 points rather than the 76 in the same amount of time yesterday. Also, I had a so/so night of sleep. I think that helped some!

Shane has gone with his dad to the Barber Shop and then they'll make a quick stop for some steaks to bring home and grill. YUMMY!

I'm so pleased that my cousin in WVa is posting again! You can click Think,think,think... to go check out her blog. I wish y'all could meet her in person. She is one of the sweetest gals I know on the face of this earth! You would just love her!

I miss my sissy. She is up around Washington DC this week. It seems I just can't keep her in my neck of the woods!

Did any of you all hear about our 70 vehicle pile up on I-4 near Lakeland, FL yesterday? It was horrible! Due to super heavy fog and smoke from brush fires, over 20 tractor trailers and many other vehicles were involved. Several fatalities resulted from it. I-4 has been closed for over 24 hours now.
Speaking of Lakeland, let me put in a plug for some friends! LOL. The pile up happened not many miles from their granite business.(Southern Granite).

Well my guys are back so I'm off to help prepare the veggies.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Today was not a great day for me. I'm trying to wean myself from a sleeping aid which was prescribed last May. I had not had a sleep pattern for so many years. This was contributing to my fatigue with the RA. (rheumatoid arthritis) It was wonderful for a few months, partaking in 6-8 hours of deep, rejuvenating sleep each night. The last couple of months, I've been waking up often and no longer feel that the prescription is helping me all that much. Hence, I decided to cut my use of it gradually and see what happens. Due to not taking it last night, I was awake most of the night. I finally drifted off to sleep around 5 a.m. this morning. I slept until 9:30. I got up and set right into doing my daily routine, feeling a little "blah". My blood sugar was a little elevated but I knew walking would bring it down. We went back to our routine of driving to the nearby district park. I walked my first lap (One and a half miles), then begrudgingly headed into my 2nd lap. By the time I returned to Agustin and Shane on the tennis courts, I was barely able to take another step. I thought hubby was going to have to scrape this big girl up from the ground. I felt so weak! I did make it up into our SUV and felt so sleepy, nauseous and weak. we drove the 5 minutes home where I managed to get out of the vehicle and was shaking all over. I immediately tested my blood sugar. I had dropped down 76 points within that hour. Does anyone know if that is normal? I didn't FEEL normal! (Jackie-I can hear your comment already!) I grabbed a peanut butter ball from the fridge and a shot of Orange juice. In a few minutes, I was able to mix up some tuna for our lunch. After a shower and a Bible lesson with Shane, I put on my gown and went to bed. I was totally wiped out. I feel as though I've lost an entire day, which is bumming me out. I have really been on a productive roll lately!

I'm up now, obviously, and have checked Shane's math and spelling and handwriting. We missed church because of my yucky day. I feel very tired and sleepy but need to sleep tonight so I'm fighting to stay awake.

I'm off to check my blood again, then cook up some supper. Sorry if this is a boring post! I just felt the need to share it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


....when we think about new beginnings and the many things we want to accomplish. I know some of my goals include making our lives healthier, happier, and more rewarding. We have lots of living to do in 2008 and I'm going to try and remember that anything is achievable when you start with small, baby steps! Apart from my regular goals of reading my Bible more and spending more time in prayer, below are a few things I want to focus on in 2008:

1)Control portions at the family table, while consuming more high-nutrient foods. For instance, a standard 3 oz. size portion of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. We're so accustomed to "SUPER SIZING" at our house.

2)Make a family commitment to reduce waste. We're not "tree-huggers" but as Christians, we are aware that the scriptures teach us to be good stewards with all God has provided for us. That includes our time and money, the earth, and the environment. I've been inspired lately by ('Pen of Jen') to think creatively about ways to reduce trash and cost, and ways to recycle.

3)Freshen up my home! I've re-arranged some furniture and have added more color to my home. In sunny Florida, we don't have many dreary, wintry days. However, for those of you living in climates that may include dark, winter days, try revitalizing your 'nest' with accessories. Try cheery colored afghans and tablecloths in energizing reds, yellows, or golds. I've placed a few rugs with patterns in jewel tones over our neutral colored carpet.

Due to my poor health over the past couple of years, I've kept my new home in a somewhat sterile condition. Less, stuff means less maintenance! I'm continuing to keep clutter out, however, I'm now enjoying much improvement in health and my creative side is crying to be released! I'm having fun finally putting into action some of the ideas that have been rolling around in this brain of mine for the two years we have lived in this home! It's amazing how simply re-arranging some furniture pieces and bringing in some soft, comfortable fabrics such as cushions, and scarves on tables have warmed up our living spaces and helped create a more welcoming gathering place!

4)Take in more cultural events which are aplenty in the Tampa Bay area. (i.e. The Florida Orchestra, The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, etc.)

5)Enjoy more educational excursions with Shane. (i.e. Museum of Science and Insdustry, The Florida Aquarium, Great Explorations-Hands On Museum, Lowry Park Zoo, Busch Gardens - yes, the park includes many educational values, and many other places.

6)Travel more. I'd like to visit relatives in West Virginia, Indiana, and California.

So there you have it, a look at some of my goals for 2008. I think they are all do-able as long as my health continues to improve! I'm anxious to see what exciting gifts the Lord has in store for my family and I over the next 12 months! Right now I'm off now to attain my goal of setting up my new printer!

A Productive Day

What a productive day we had at the Rios home! We picked school back up like a charm! Our Bible time consisted of reading about two very different Kings of Judah, Wicked Ahaz and his good son Hezekiah. New spelling words were introduced, which Shane seems to have already mastered, so Friday's test will be a breeze. We'll go ahead and do the vocabulary and punctuation exercises for the week and review some past spelling words. Math was mostly review today of multiplication facts and story problems, and so on and so on. Even though we didn't quite get a full day's agenda in, I felt as though our return to our routine was quite flawless.

The entire house got vacuumed.

Master bath received good cleaning!

Three loads of laundry washed, dried, folded, put away.

Spent around 45 minutes on the phone with my health counselor. This is a new service our insurance company is offering as a benefit. Today was my 2nd phone session. The nurse assigned to me is so sweet and easy to talk with. I'm so thankful for this! When I agreed to sign up for the sessions, I was a little concerned about what type of person I would get! We discussed my medications, dosage, weight, uhhum! and many other things. She will call me again in 6 wks. to see if I've succeeded in reaching my goal which is to have lost 5 more lbs. by then. Oh, did I tell y'all that as of Nov. I had lost 25 lbs.!! Yea Me! OF COURSE, THAT WAS BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS!

A little organizing went on in our garage!

A delicious supper cooked by MOI!

Dishes washed and put away. I don't mind doing our dishes by hand since it's just the three of us living here. I seem to only use my dishwasher if we have company or a party, or if a cold bug is going around.

Hubby helped me arrange some antique pitchers and crocks on our plant shelf. I didn't want to return them to top my kitchen cabinets where they had been before Christmas decorations replaced them. I have a different plan for my cabinet tops.

Bills got paid!

Caught up with my emails, ALMOST!

Thanked God several times for my new laptop!

Stopped and praised my Father many times today as I remembered how much pain I was experiencing this same time last year. I'm so happy to have been able to do what I did today!

Now I'm off to kiss my "gummy bear" Shane one last time before crawling into my big, comfy bed!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Have A Blessed Lord's Day

I wanted to grab a minute to wish y'all a sweet day in the Lord tomorrow. I'm looking forward to being in His house with friends and family! My friend Amber will be singing a solo, therefore I'm especially excited. That girl has such a God given talent and the sweetest thing about it is, she desires to use it for His glory!! She's home from Pensacola Christian College on her Christmas break. I think she flies back in a couple of weeks.

We did get our family Christmas tree and outside lights down and put away today. I've been on my feet all day doing so many random things. It takes me forever to "undress" my tree due to my particular way of catregorizing the ornaments! I always feel a little melancholy as I take down our family tree, as I know it is the last of our decoratons to come down until next Christmas season. Shane's bedroom tree was taken down last week as we rearranged his room and deep cleaned it.

I LOVE Christmas!!

Today however, is a huge celebration in the Hispanic regions. It's "King's Day"! The children set their shoes out on the night of Jan. 5th each year. Then awaken on the 6th to find gifts in thier shoes! It's a re-enactment of sorts of the Kings (Wisemen's) visit to the Christ Child, to whom they gave gifts! Most latino children are more excited for Jan. 6th than they are for Dec. 25th! It's a big cultural thing.

Speaking of cultural things! Ginger ( A fellow blogger listed on my side bar as 'Just A Thought') told me she tried making tamales for Christmas! She is a blond, blue eyed, Dutch gal living in Michigan! Her daughter is married to a Mexican gentleman, and Ginger found herself out in Texas visiting them for the holidays. Well, my first thought was, "I wonder if you knew what you were getting into girl! Making Tamales is "mucho trabajo"!!! (much work) Ginger did decide to stick to her more traditional style of cooking after her tamale experience.She said she just kept trying to picture me cooking theMexican dishes I have conquered so far! Ginger, I'm so happy I inspired you girlfriend!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Normal, Whatever That Is!

My Special New Year's Visitors!
Josh, Josh, Jewel, Jayde
Well folks, I think things are just about to get back to normal around "La Casa de Rios"!! Whatever normal is. Actually, I've heard it is highly over rated! LOL

I (we), had a fun visit with our two nieces over New Year's. They came over New Year's Eve and spent two night with us. I was so blessed to have them here, even if it was for a short while. Jewel was a wonderful nurse to me after the house cleared out around 3 a.m. on New Year's morning. I had overdone it and had a terrible flare up with my RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis). Jewel rubbed my wrists, knees, ankles with an arthritis rub, brought me meds and water, helped me change into my gown, and spoke soothing words the entire time; saying things such as, "Everything looked so pretty!" or " You did a good job Aunt Pam. The food was really good. Everyone had a good time". She was a real encouragement to me. What a sweetie! She tries to act tough and tomboyish at times, but deep down - she is a comforter. (Sorry to let your little known secret out Jewel!) She plans on becoming a nurse. After my experience with her on that early Tuesday morning, I can see she will be a swell one!

My younger niece, Jayde, kept Shane entertained all the next day as I rested in bed most of it. Those two get along so well! I love seeing them together! Even though Shane is younger and a boy, Jayde is so very patient with him. She is always teaching him new things.

I was also happy to see my nephew Josh and his new fiance, Naomy, for a couple of hours. It was the first time I had been able to see them since he had popped the big question right before Christmas!

Then my favorite visitor of all was my Groovy son, Josh!

I've gotten almost all of my Christmas decorations down and boxed up. Today that should get finished. I love Christmas! I feel I wasn't able to share much of our festivities with you this year due to my computer giving up the ghost and dying right around the first week of Dec. But I must have been on Santa's good list this year, for he brought me a new laptop and an all in one printer. I still need to set that one up! I can't wait to play around with it! In all seriousness though, I'm so thankful for God's bountiful blessings upon us this past year. I know all good things come from HIM!