Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Eve: "A La Casa Rios" - part 1

We kept it simple this Christmas Eve. Rather than the Mexican Feast, we served penne pasta with meat sauce and cheesy garlic toast. On one hand, I thought it was great as I enjoyed not being exhausted from prepping and cooking all day, therefore being able to enjoy the family and gifts so much more! But on the other hand, it just didn't seem like a Rios Christmas Eve. We ALL really missed our traditional meal.

Dessert anyone?

The scarf on the table was made by my Aunt Donna! I use it each Christmas!

The most delicious, moist cake ever! Thanks to our friends at Southern Granite for the gift from Wright's Gourmet House! This banana walnut piece of heaven, covered in cream cheese frosting is the BOMB! (Actually it's called the Hawaiian Princess Cake!)

The gifts awaiting to be opened!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Best Put Down Line Ever!

For those that don't know him, Major General Peter Cosgrove is an "Australian treasure”. General Cosgrove was interviewed on the radio recently. You'll love his reply to the lady who interviewed him concerning guns and children. Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you gotta love this! This is one of the best comeback lines of all time. It is a portion of an ABC interview between a female broadcaster and General Cosgrove who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military headquarters.

So, General Cosgrove, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?

We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery and shooting.

Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?

I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the rifle range.

Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

I don't see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.

But you're equipping them to become violent killers.

Well, Ma'am, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not one, are you?

The radio went silent and the interview ended.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

My eldest arrived safely on Monday night! It felt so good to hug him tightly and squeeze!! He has grown!
I didn't know kids kept growing at 22 years of age!
My brother isn't coming home for Christmas thanks to a blizzard in the north, wreaking havoc at the job site and work didn't get done by deadline! Spoke with him on the phone today, he was working, trying to make up for lost time. I feel sad that he will be missing from our party tonight!
I'm missing my sister!
Had a blast shopping with my Shane last night until well after midnight. We forgot to eat supper, sooooo we committed an unpardonable sin in this household, we went through TACO BELL's drive through. (Remember my hubby is a chef and is MEXICAN - so perhaps you see why this whole TACO BELL thing is forbidden in our house!?) But Shane and I sure had fun breaking the rules after midnight! hehe
We are NOT having a traditional home cooked Mexican Christmas Eve meal tonight! (I think the earth just stopped spinning!) What with hubby's unemployment for two months and now in training at the new job, stress levels have been a tad elevated. Therefore, we made the decision to go "SIMPLE" tonight. One huge pot of penne pasta with meat sauce and cheesy garlic bread will be our fare tonight.
Glad we have lots of yummy desserts in the house!
Can't wait for the Banana Walnut Cake to arrive from Wright's Gourmet Deli!
I'm so happy we have a beautiful home, a loving family, a job, and even some gifts under the tree this year! God has truly been faithful in caring for and loving us!
Merry Christmas to all!
You are loved by this humble blogger!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Shane's Birthday Continued

Notice Shane's peaked look? His friend Jacob had spent the previous night with us and those fellas didn't go to sleep until about 4 a.m.!!
We had a simple cookout for Shane's birthday dinner, his choice. Agustin had to work that evening, so my nephew Josh operated the grill.
This was Jewel's first day in town, on college break.

Earlier that morning - Shane and Jacob in their own little world. I love catching this age group when they let the walls down and some of their remaining inner child escapes!

My crazy nieces and nephew serenade Shane!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Can He Really Be Twelve?

It has happened folks! My little gummy bear now becomes embarrassed when I call him that nick name in front of others! He prefers I only hug him in the privacy of our home! His voice is deep, deep, deep! Where has my little teddy bear gone?

I'm actually pleased to report that my little bear has grown up to be a wonderful young man. He is thoughtful, considerate, kind, gentle, funny, witty, compassionate, smart, a clean freak, and well on his way to becoming a wonderful, godly man and leader!

December 4th, I loaded Shane and his buddy Jacob into the SUV and off we went to celebrate the happy occasion of Shane turning another year older. We had planned an evening at Grand Prix. (PuttPutt golf, arcade games galore, and go carts) but it was a crazy, stormy night with bucket loads of rain. So off to plan B we went. Q-ZAR laser tag! Indoor fun with a good sized arcade, and best of all---PIZZA!

Jacob then spent the night with us to culminate the celebration.

Shane and Jake take aim. Poor little deer!

Poor ME!!

Jacob in the vesting room.

Click to check out Dracula!!

You can always tell if little boys are in the house!

I stood in the snipers cage while the boys played lazer tag.
Shane is wearing the stripes in the video.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Christmas Greeting

The lady who designs these electronic cards is a true genius! This is one of the prettiest that I have seen. I especially fell in love with the personality portrayed by the little angel as she flits around! You will enjoy watching this short Christmas might share with others.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Caught in the Act...

of praying.
While walking through my parent's house the other night, I came upon this heart stirring sight and just had to run get my camera to capture it for my blog. What a blessed woman I am!
What you are looking at is one senior saint, wise and loving (my daddy), praying with another saint in need of encouragement (my husband), as he is seeking God's will in his life.
Agustin had just come from a wicked, discouraging day of training for his new job.
If you click on the photo to enlarge it, peek in the mirror and look at the men's reflections closely.
Tell me what you see there that stirs the heart even more.

Do you understand how precious this moment was to me? Do you understand why I had to get my camera and rush back into my dad's study to snap this?


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Overdose of Cuteness!

My niece Jackie and her two little princesses arrived in Florida on December 2nd. They spent their first week at my parents house and have spent this week at her brother's home. We have so enjoyed spending time with these two precious little ones. What pleasant, obedient, happy children they are! Thank you Brian and Jackie for doing such a good job as parents!
Gi-Gi with Abbie

Shane spent lots of time PULLING Elena!

Elena & Gi-Gi have a tea party!

Yummy tea cookies!


The girl's discover surprises from Gi-Gi!

and surprise from Tia Pam!

Abbie and Me!

I have to set up this video for you! Jackie had just told me how tickled Elena got in the airport when Abbie was looking for her crayons. She actually peeked down the back of Elena's jeans for her crayons! So Elena retells it for us here!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Something Shane and I Found Interesting Today!

CLICK ON...Why Numbers Look The Way They Do

A Peek at Our Thanksgiving

My lemon, rosemary turkey was delicious!

Vickie, a new friend from church stopped by!

My nephew Josh, his wife Naomy, and my son Shane
looking at the sales in prep for "Black Friday"!!!

Our dining table before the meal.

I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as mine!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Party Continues...(from Dad's celebration in Sept.)

Diana P. and crazy caterer, Pat!!
( Do you think she'll kill me for posting this photo?)

Miriam (caterer) shows off her cute apron.

The first part of the celebration was held in the church auditorium. Many came to the platform to share words of praise, honor, and love on my daddy's behalf.

Dad with Pastor Max Kaster. Pastor Kaster ordained dad into the ministry back in the seventies.

My dad LOVES lighthouses, thus, THE CAKE!
My friend Shannon baked this delicious piece of art!

Dad and Mom

Dad and I
I'm so happy Pastor Kaster snapped this photo. I'll treasure it forever!

Dad and Kimmie, one of his former students! She is such a joy to have around.

Mom and Steve!
What do you suppose Steve just said to her?
Please leave me a caption for this photo!

Adam Taub with Steve and Becky Smith

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Look Who We're Retrieving from the Airport in a Couple of Hours!

YES! Elena and Abbie are arriving today for a two week visit. Oh and their mommy is coming too!! We are really excited around here!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Agustin Being Interviewed This Minute!

Asking for prayers as my husband continues looking for a new job. He is in a promising interview right now. It began at 3pm our time.
I miss you all so much. I hope to get back into a routine soon.
EDT: Agustin just returned from his interview. It lasted only 40 minutes. He feels like it was just getting a "foot in the door" type meeting. However, he found that two of his former employees from Olive Garden are now employed at that same restaurant he interviewed for!
Here are a few more photos from dad's surprise event on September 26th. It was such a sweet time of hugs, surprises, fellowship, kind-heart felt words! A great time of remembering how God intertwined so many precious lives! Dad was truly amazed and oh so blessed.

Ron and Pat McQuain surprised all of us - (Yes, even me!) by flying down from Ohio. What sweet testimonies these two had to share with us. Pat was her usual, funny self. FYI: Ron used to be Secret Service back up for Richard Nixon! He installed all the radio and communications in the presidential limo for Nixon, which is now in a museum! He said seeing his work in a museum sure made him feel old! :)

Aw, Bob and Fern West! They only had to drive over from Ocala area. What a sweet Christian couple these two make. Bob's testimony dealt with how my dad spent time with him, praying and sharing scriptures, as he struggled with the security of his salvation. Dad finally said, "Bob you just aren't believing God's Word." Bob then realized that was his hang up. Since that day, he has decided to take God at his word and now lives a victorious, Christian life.
Fern is by far one of the most godly women I know! Fern had a book with her which my dad gave her all those years ago in Ohio. He saw in her a natural, God given ability to teach women. The book was titled, "Competent to Counsel". Her testimony brought tears!

Joe and Cindy West! Two of the sweetest people you could meet! He was called into ministry while dad was their pastor.

Bob and Becky! Great couple with a thriving youth ministry in Jacksonville! He too was called while attending our church in Ohio. He had us both crying and laughing during his testimony.

The huge surprise of the day!
I had mom and dad turn to face the baptistery while Pastor Kaster and his wife Linda approached the platform. Pastor Kaster ordained my father into the ministry back in the seventies. Dad served on the deacon board which called Pastor Kaster to our church there in Greenville, S.C. My parents and the Kasters hadn't seen each other since the early 1980's! It was quite an emotional outburst when mom and dad turned around and saw dear friends on the platform there with them!
Max and Linda drove down from South Carolina.

Hopefully, I can share more about dad's big day soon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Our Lives Have Been Turned Upside Down, But We're Alive and Well!

Just wanted to let you know I'm still around and kicking! And howdy Rancher! I can't believe I had a comment from you after all this time! I hope to get back to regular blogging soon. In the meantime, my days are full of resumes, job interviews, phone calls, agents, etc.

Agustin resigned from his job two days before dad's big party!!! Can anyone say-STRESS!?? But God has been with us through it all and I'm closer to my hubby than I've ever been before. One day I may be able to divulge more info but let's just say he had to remove himself from an ugly situation. It's amazing how two or three bad people can affect and impact the lives of so many other's-both in a negative or positive manner!

I do have to take the time right nowto say that dad's party was awesome! I mean-how can anything go wrong when it involves surprises, old friends from all over the country, great food, hugs, cameras, music, special words to honor a great man!!!??? I'll enclose a few photos to tide you over! I promise to download some of my parents from the camera as soon as I can!

My brother John with former high school classmates -Kim and Robin!

Me and my baby brother! He deserved the slap, believe you me!

Myrna surprised us by flying in from Michigan!! She was the school secretary in the same school mom and dad taught at in Arcadia, FL back in the eighties!

John and I visit with more old friends!

I was so thrilled to see Cindy and Joe West, along with Bob and Becky Lynn, friends from my Ohio days!

Hopefully I'll be able to visit you all soon!