Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Two "VERY" Esteemed Visitors

Yesterday, we were honored by the presence of two VERY esteemed visitors in our home. Miss Elena and Miss Abby. These are my niece Jackie's two precious daughters. Jackie has been in the states for nearly a month, but this was only the second time I've had a chance to be with the babies. I was honored with caring for them for the entire day while their mommy and daddy spent the day with a rodent who is very popular here in Florida. You may have heard of him. His name is Mickey Mouse! Yep, they went to Disney World, Magic Kingdom with a large group of adults. They figure it best to take the girls when they are a little older and really give a hoot. LOL

Elena reminds me SO VERY much of her mommy, Jackie. She is Miss Personality! She walked into my house beaming ear to ear and bursting out with, "Hi Tia Pam!" I lifted her up to squeeze and greet her. We both began giggling and just staring into each other's eyes. She finally looked away and told her mommy, "Tia Pam is funny!" Elena is talkative, happy, bubbly and giggly until you mention "night night" or "nap" or the terrible word "Sleep"!!! She and Abby are so close, even at their young ages. Abby is a more subdued child than Elena, with her personality being polar opposite it seems, than that of her older sister. She is a cuddler and very calm baby, with the most gorgeous blue eyes you've ever seen.

It melted my heart when at the end of the day, I was trying to soothe and comfort Abby after their baths. Abby was so, so tired but didn't want to be in the portacrib. Tears and screams ensued! I picked little Abby up out of the crib, wrapped her in her blankie and began to rock with her on the side of my bed. She calmed some but when I called Elena in, you should have seen the sweet contentment come over Abby. It was a remarkable moment for me as I watched Elena lean into Abby's face and start rubbing her cheek while cooing and soothing as we mommies do. Abby in turn began playing with Elena's hair and smiling as she sucked the thumb of her unoccupied hand. I started singing "Jesus Loves Me" to Abby. Elena chimed right in with a very soft, tender voice. Tears began to flow down my face as I realized these two precious bundles will be leaving the states in less than a week! This was probably my last time alone with them for Lord knows how many years. This went on for about 10 minutes, at which time the Grandparents arrived to take the girlies home with them. I'm very thankful for the opportunity of bonding with my great-nieces.

Elena playing happily.
The girls both LOVED Shane's Fisher Price Rail & Road Trax. Elena especially enjoyed flying and landing the helicoptor on the heli pad! Baby Abby enjoyed getting in the way and playing with the little police car which lit up when you turned on the siren.
Fun in the garage!
Some time was dedicated to bonding with Tio Agustin!
Shane enjoyed showing Elena how to build a restaurant with Legos.
Abby Girl!
I didn't have a high chair, so this is how I fed Abby, on the counter!
She LOVED my spaghetti!
We had more important things to do today besides making our beds!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Best Way to Pray

A priest, a minister and a guru sat discussing the best positions for prayer, while a telephone repairman worked nearby. "Kneeling is definitely the best way to pray," the priest said. "No," said the minister. "I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to Heaven." "You're both wrong," the guru said. "The most effective prayer position is lying down on the floor. The repairman could contain himself no longer. "Hey, fellas," he interrupted. "The best prayin' I ever did was when I was hangin' upside down from a telephone pole."

I thought you would enjoy that! We know it isn't the position of our body that is important during prayer, but the "position" of our heart before God.

Now on a more serious note. Before publishing an email I received from a dear missionary friend serving in Guatemala, I asked for his permission. I didn't want to go public about his trip to Cuba if he thought it might jeapordize his ministry. Here is his response to that question.

I try to not be too specific nor negative regarding my trips to the Island. I think that if you give general information and ask for prayer there wouldn't be any problem.Thanks for giving us more prayer coverage!
Below is the original email I received from Bob.

June 20, 2008
Dear Partner in Ministry,

Two nights ago, around midnight, Manolo Padilla (my spiritual son, soul buddy and colleague in ministry of 28 years) had a severe heart attack. He is presently receiving care at the Heart Hospital of Arkansas. Next Monday afternoon, June 23, he will have open heart surgery and multiple bypasses. Mildred and Manolo are in the States for their "swearing in" as American citizens. They had just completed a ministry swing throughout the South where dozens of Hispanics came to Christ and many believers strengthened in their faith.Pray for a miraculous healing from above.

My trip to Cuba was filled with significant activity for His Kingdom. Thank you for praying. Entrance was more interesting than usual. Three officials questioned me for over an hour and finally allowed me to enter their country. Our heavenly Father stills holds the king's heart in His hand (Prov. 21:2)

Tammy's condition has stabilized. After recieving a pacemaker for her heart (there's already one in her stomach) the tumor, which is located close to her brain stem and a main artery, will be treated with radiation. Tammy says that her Heavenly Father is more precious to her every day.We count on your intercession before His Throne!
In His Grip,

Then in a later email, he had this to say:

Cuba... What a beautiful, yet dark, dark place. It constantly amazes me what the Cuban church can accomplish with so little resources and so many obstacles. Pray for Yaima, Yuyo, Yanelis and Gildita. Young people who have been waiting over 16 months for a visa from Guatemala in order to prepare themselves for ministry in their homeland.
Your fellow warrior for Christ,

Please add Ann and Bob to your prayer list. They are both professors in a large Bible college in Guatemala. As you can see from his email, their ministry extends well beyond the borders of Guatemala. Many lives are being touched and won for Christ!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shane Posted!

Hi All! Happy Friday. Shane is a little dismayed that he has only one comment on his recent post! I told him that because he rarely posts, folks don't check his blog as often. So here is a head's up everyone! Shane has posted and is soliciting comments! Thanks for your cooperation-as usual! Simply CLICK HERE!


Things have been "different" or "a little off" around here lately. I can't really put my finger on why, but I seem to be in a slump. Since the humidity and rainy season has hit us full powered here in Florida, I seem to be having some flare up with old Arthur! (Arthritis) I am experiencing fatigue which is making me angry!

I've been feeling so good these past few months and can't imagine going back through a flare as bad as the one last year. I've noticed I'm letting a lot more go undone around my house, which bothers me. I know it isn't the end of the world if my home isn't spotless, but I spend so many hours here yet seem to get nothing accomplished. I do a little and rest, I do a little more, and rest again. I find quoting some of my favorite scriptures and reading some favorite Bible passages help keep my attitude adjusted.

And what could the Lord send to cheer me but my sweet boy, Shaney Pooh! He is such a source of encouragement and love. He was so grown up the other night as I realized right before retiring to bed that I had forgotten to get his favorite sheets out of the dryer. I had painfully gotten myself up from the couch and had said goodnight, when bang-I remembered I had washed his sheets that day. I groaned, "Oh no, I forgot to get your fresh sheets out and make your bed!" I then headed toward the laundry room. Shane grabbed hold of my arm and said, "Mom, that's ok. Just go to bed. I'll take care of it." And he did! I felt so loved by his sweet pat and helping attitude. Now mind you-he had other sheets, clean and folded in the linen closet, but he prefers his crispy white ones, which of course, were the ones I had taken from his bed that day and washed.

A great highlight of the week was finally getting to see Jackie, Brian, and the babies! Let me tell you - they are the most precious babies you could ever know! I hadn't seen Elena since she was 10 months old. She is now going on 3 years. We fell in love with her gigantic smile and her petite hands constantly combing her long curls out of her face. Shane has been going around the house imitating the gesture. Its so cute! (Patti, if you're reading this, Elena reminds me of Natalie at the age of 3 with her small body, but big smile and big hair!)

This was my first time to meet Abby. What a cutie pie and so good! She is so calm and full of fat baby rolls! She has "cankles"!! Do y'all know what those are?

Here's my sister Rita, with her grandbaby, Abby!

The entire McCobb Family!

(Dear Jackie, Could I please get an updated family photo of you guys?)


My nephew was married a couple of weeks ago. The happy couple has now returned home from their honeymoon, settling in to Married Life. From what I've been told, all is going well. To see photos of the intimate, outdoor ceremony, visit my sister's blog by CLICKING HERE! and HERE!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Below is an email I received from Patti this evening. For those new to my blog, Patti is a dear friend of mine who just went through a couple of years of various surgeries and breast cancer, resulting in a double mastectomy. She is the sweetest thing you could ever meet. A good, ol' Kentucky girl, transplanted here in Florida.


Here is a current photo of Patti, taken on Father's Day, '08.
!Hi Pam!

How are you, dear friend? I saw your wonderful post on Father's Day for your Daddy and Augustin. It was so sweet.

Also I got a chance to see the video clip of the cardboard testimonies.....all I can say is wow....I was so touched. That was beautiful.

Thought I'd send you a picture that Raisa took of me on Father's Day at church. It is how I look now, with my strawberry glaze hair! I went for my blood work at the oncologist's and all the counts and cancer markers were just great. Praise the Lord! I know that it is such an answer to prayer that He has healed me, and keeps His hand on me.

I saw Suzie at Lifeway on Saturday night. She said her last treatment is this week. She has quite a few burns from the radiation and looked worn down, but what a smile and a sweet spirit. It just inspires me to see her. She said that day she had stopped again to "thank the Lord for giving me cancer; because I know I have a closeness with Him that I never would have had if I hadn't gotten cancer."

What a testimony!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Are you ready to shed some tears? Just watch this 8 minute message all the way through. You will be blessed and humbled!

I saw the following video at THIS BLOG last night. It was my first time to visit Hadias. It was such a blessing to read some of her older posts. I knew, after watching this video, that I had to post it for my readers. I cried throughout, and praised my Heavenly Father for His forgiveness!

Would any of you like to leave the testimony you would write on your piece of cardboard? If so, simply leave it in your comment.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day to Two Very Important Men

My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. - Clarence Kelland

First to my Dad, who turned 72 years young just last Sunday.

Dad with mom

When I think of my dad, I think of easy, slow going character. He may not verbally spout off his thoughts at the drop of a hat, but when it comes to push or shove, he stands for what he believes in. He doesn't require attention. He is comfortable in his own skin. He loves cuddling and bear hugs! He's a man of God who preaches the Word in an old-fashioned way and is proud of it! Before becoming a pastor, dad held various jobs. As a young adult, he was known as the most steady coal truck driver of all in the coal mining community of West Virginia. Other drivers his age would brag about how fast they drove and how many loads they would move any given day, however, my daddy would often pass those blow-hards as they were stranded on the side of the roads waiting for mechanical help or working on their trucks themselves. Dad would just drive on by in his slow and steady pace, getting the most loads of the day. After I was born, Dad moved us out to California where he worked in a plywood factory. That place was so noisy! No wonder my poor daddy has nerve damage in both ears and has now lost 60% of his hearing. After Dad accepted Christ and was called to preach, we moved to Greenville, S.C. where he attended Bob Jones University. While there, dad worked in a J.P. Stevens textile mill, making carpets, towels, bedding, etc. This was yet again another noisy job. Through out the years, dad has at times been self employed as a painter and at some points worked construction when pastoring small churches, which couldn't afford to pay him a salary. Some years when dad was not pastoring a church, you could find him teaching Bible in a local Christian school or serving as Principal. Dad's first love is teaching the Word of God to others. Happy Father's Day Daddy and thanks for standing true throughout the years.

Next, Happy Father's Day Agustin!

Shane, Josh, & Agustin

You are a wonderful husband and fine example of a great provider. Thanks for being the best dad you know how to be. I know it is rough at times to adjust to the different stages our boys are going through, but you never give up. You work so hard to provide for not only our needs, but our desires as well. Your patience with me goes way beyond sainthood! I thank God for your loyalty and faithfulness. May you be fully blessed.

Sorting through the gifts he brought back from Mexico, June '07.

Showing us he's still "got it" on the soccer field!

All he wanted for Father's Day was a new pair of PUMA soccer cleats, AND...

a new pair of shoes for his baby!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Buddies Through the Years!

WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE??? Saturday, a wondrous event happened on the shores of Lake Tahoe. My nephew, Joshua Vernoy, married his true love! My son, Joshua Rios, stood as BEST MAN for the ceremony. It was an intimate, small, outdoor wedding just as the bride wished. From all reports, it was perfect!

I felt compelled to share a photo journal of these two Joshua's growing up together. They are polar opposites, not only in looks, but in personalities as well. They have a bond many cousins are not blessed with. I hope you enjoy the photos!

This little black headed baby boy stood as BEST MAN for this little white headed boy's wedding! This photo chronicles the first time the boys met. The Vernoys had just flown up from Venezuela for a furlough. 1987

The boys play acting and running this wheelchair up and down the halls of their Grandpa's church! Taken about 3 yrs. ago! Playing Monopoly this past winter.

The boys are preaching their first sermons here. Grandpa allowed the boys to preach on the same evening. It was during their first year of Bible college. Each Josh was given a 15 minute time slot.

Oh, that's me getting some good lovin' after the service!

The 4 Vernoy children with the 2 Rios boys!
Caesar and Jonah costumes for our Vacation Bible School one summer. We all dressed as Bible Characters during the entire week.
The Joshes played on an indoor soccer team at the age of 5 or so.
All decked out to watch my cousin play for the West Virginia Mountaineers! We (the 2 families)rented a 15 passenger van and traveled to Miami together for this game against the Hurricanes.
A sleep over at Grandma's house! She had bought them each the bear pillows.

A trip to a farm to choose our new dog!
In an airport, yet again, seeing the Vernoys off to Venezuela. That's Uncle Johnny holding my Josh. He was a groomsman in the wedding on Saturday.
A 4th of July Sunday!
Leading the songs at Vacation Bible School.

They both loved all things military! Still do I believe!

Josh Rios, Uncle John, Josh Vernoy, Shane Rios behind.
At 8 years of age, my Josh took a trip down to Venezuela with Grandma. He loved getting to sleep in the hammocks each night!Here the two boys are preparing to collect the offering during a service at their Grandpa's church.

A good life for boys could be found in Venezuela! I'd like to see either of them do this now! Wouldn't that be a hoot?!?

Eating burgers during their lunch break. This was taken just a few months ago at work. You can probably tell they had demolished the old bath and were installing a new tub here.


For the Grand Finale, the Bride and Groom. May they experience many wonderful years of happiness! Don't you just love Naomy's vintage, 40's hairstyle?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


One of my blogging buddies has awarded me with a SWEETNESS award! This is what THERESA said about me---

"PAM Of Midnight Musings not only is a friend that has stuck with me, but a very funny blogger, I get a really good laugh (almost) every time I read her blog."

Thanks Theresa, I'm so touched! I'm happy I make you laugh. Perhaps one day, if I try really hard, some dear soul may be able to say they've been ENLIGHTENED OR CHALLENGED by my blog! Oh well, in the mean time, I suppose I'll continue trying to make people laugh!


FYI #1: Pam over at GOOD NEWS FROM A FAR COUNTRY is having a Givaway! Look at what you can win if your name is drawn! Some very neat and educational souvenirs!


FYI #2: My son posted this week.! I KNOW! It has been a while. Here is the link to his short post. I thought it was so cute!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Naomy's Bridal Shower...


Here are a few of the highlights, but my sister's blog has better ones. CLICK HERE TO SEE! You may have to scroll past the post about her blog making it on CNN! Yeah that's right! My little sis has made the BIG TIME!

Jungle Mom and I trying to make some earth shattering decisions, such as: Is it too early to put certain food items on the table? I know! The world may end if we make the wrong decision, right? LOL

Here I am with the bride to be. We made her wear the veil all evening.

Two separate teams were competing to see who could make the best wedding gown out of toilet paper! This team won. See the gal in the yellow blouse? She made the real wedding gown so this team had professional help on the project!

Design team #2 getting serious!

The groom stayed long enough to EAT...

...and to make me laugh!!

Okay - a serious one now.

Don't you just love what is written on the cake? It was a delicious chocolate cake with butter cream frosting! Need I say more?

Lots of good eatin' went on!

The Kiddos all seemed to have as good a time as the adults!

My niece, Jewel, with her future sister in law! Jewel did an outstanding job leading the games and keeping things moving.

Jungle Mom and Georgiann doing the IMPORTANT STUFF! (Talking and Eating!)


Later that night...Shane, Jayde, and Julia anticipating a story being read by Aunt Pam.

We were up and at it the next day, shopping and heading out to Julia's birthday party!

Please visit JUNGLE MOM'S BLOG for a better post about this!