Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Two-Timing,Tacos, Tickled,Tests, Traveling!!

My poor little ol' blog has been sitting here wondering if I would ever come back to it. Sorry blog. I do love you, really I do. It's just that I've been spending too much time on facebook lately! I've been two-timing you! Please forgive me.


Last week, while my niece Jackie and her hubby Brian were still in town, mom invited us all over for tacos and chicken -n- dumplings. I know they don't go together, but the she already had the chicken cooked when she decided to go with tacos. She thought she'd go ahead and make a pot of dumplings especially for me. They are my all time favorite comfort food! As you'll see in a video below, little Abbie likes them immensely!

Tacos at Grandma's. We all loved Abbie's shyness. Eventually, she broke out of it!

Elena modeling the sandal from mom's Valentine Build A Bear!

Shane and Abbie bonded!



Caution: Unsightly photos to follow!

At first, I wasn't going to post these photos because they certainly are not showing Jackie and I at our best. But you know what? The more I looked at them, the more joyful I felt. We had so much fun in this short photo shoot! I was trying to hold her on my lap and sing to her as I did when she was a baby, but my dress was so slippery, Jackie kept sliding off my lap. Brian kept shooting away with the camera. In this first photo, my brother is being a ...brother! We were all gathered in the bedroom away from the little ones, chit-chatting before all this madness took place.

My brother being a typical brother. It doesn't matter that he is over 40 years old!

"I'm going to eat you my dear!"

(I was really trying to kiss her on the cheek but we got tickled.)

Finally, we were serious enough to pose for this photo, but Jackie said the kiss tickled her. It just wasn't the same as when I was her nanny back in the late 80's!

My baby girl, now all grown up with two of her own!
(She isn't really MY baby girl, but having cared for her during her early years, I feel as though she is more than a niece. I love her so much and I'm so proud of her. She is such a good mommy and a great wife.)
I taught her well! Bwhaaa!

Mom will be having another ultra-sound, MRI, and bone density test today. After results are in concerning the growth on her neck, they'll remove the abnormal lymph node from her breast to test for lymphoma. That has been put on hold due to this other abnormality manifesting itself.

While mom is at Moffitt having her tests, we'll be driving down to Miami. Our nephew David is arriving from Argentina. He will spend the rest of the week with us before flying back to Illinois where he will work on a farm these next two months prior to classes starting.


Abbie loves her some "chicken -n - dumplin's!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The appointment with mom's Dr. yesterday (Tuesday)brought news that she has a swollen lymph node near the site of her 1992 breast cancer. At least it isn't cancer this time! However, they want to surgically remove that lymph node to test for lymphoma. While consulting with the surgeon, I pointed out a place on mom's collar bone that seemed swollen. I first noticed this after mom's back surgery. The Dr. wanted mom in for an MRI before the surgery to determine if a swollen gland or lymph node was causing the area to look abnormal. Today was that MRI. We love Moffitt Cancer Center! They are so caring and get things done ASAP! Each Dr. I've met there have been so "people oriented". I'm so thankful the Lord worked things out for MOM to get in to such a great place. The staff is also very hospitable. They walk around the waiting rooms with trays of snacks and drinks - free for the taking. Once when there around the lunch hour, the Dr. offered to go get mom some lunch. Now that's impressive!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Thanks for all the prayers for Suzie. I just received the following update from a mutual friend about Suzie's brain surgery today:

(From Kathy Young)

"PRAISE REPORT: Just got off the phone with Paul......the drs. thought that one of the tumors was attached to the bone which would've been very serious, but GOD IS WORKING IT IS NOT!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!"
Suzie Update (from Becky Smith's Facebook page)

Today at 1:28pm
Talked with Suzie today. She did not want to consent to anything until the Dr's sat down and explained everything in detail. I think it was 3 Dr's that all said she needed to have the stint put in. So she has consented to that. This cancer is when some of the cancer cells from the breast cancer travelled upward to hide in her brain. The PRAISE is that none of these have attached to the bone. She will need immediate radiation (numerous treatments) and chemo again. She is in very good spirits still and God has given her a great peace about all of this. She has turned off her phones for the time being because she is having a hard time being strong for others when they call and break down. Not that there is anything wrong with crying but she feels that she needs to stay strong through this. She has had her moments of what she calls weakness when she has just cried and cried. Suzie is one of the strongest women I know. After they release her from the hospital she will stay at Ray and Peggy's house to recover and Peggy will be able to take her to all of her treatments. Please continue to pray for all that will be accomplished today and the days to come. Still not sure what time the surgery will be. Our God is an awesome God and He reigns from heaven above. Suzie love Bro. John Bishop and he has the "God Is So Good" ministry. I was reading through one of his small booklets and thought I would add this from the book for those who are struggling with "Why".God isn't the One causing the bad things and hurtful things in your life. Yes, He allows them, but He does so because He has the power to "make all things work together for good to them that love God..."It may be heaven before we can see all the good that either came or could have come from those things, but it will work that way in the end. Allowing bad things to happen is not the same as causing them to happen! Blaming the God who wants to show His love and help will not make your problems go away. It will only make them worse! Getting mad at God will not make anything better. Trusting Him will make things better. Job says it best in Job 13:15, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him..."

I'll keep you posted. Also, please remember mom and I as we consult with her Dr. tomorrow (Tuesday) at 12:30 concerning her abnormal biopsy.

Following are photos from our day at the beach with Jewel, Jackie, Brian, Elena, Abbie, Josh V. and Naomy! It was great seeing all of them but especially the crew recently arrived from Paraguay!.

Elena with Shane

He was so excited to see the babies again! All week he would tell me how he just couldn't wait to see them again. It had been a year since they were here last.

The guys buried Brian in the sand. Poor Abbie just didn't know what to make of it! She walked around whining, and looking so worried. Poor baby!

Playing in the sand at the beach for the first time!

Ya' just gotta love baby feet!

Shane with Abbie.

Me and my niece Jewel!

Getting my arms around pure angelic sweetness! This was taken after I finished with all my squealing of delight upon seeing them!

"Tio" Agustin greets Elena!

Abbie greets the Mexican Buddha inside the restaurant we ate at.

We were tickled to introduce our fellow Mexican Food Lovers to a great MOM and POP place.

Get a load of Abbie's eyes!

Discussing Coca-Cola's bottled in Mexico! They're the best!

The angelic beings with their surprise shirts on! I had brought these little summer shirts for the girls. I was oh so thrilled that Elena begged to put it on before loading up to go home. She also told her daddy she wanted to go home with "Tia Pam"! Be still my soul!
We're going over to my parent's home tonight to see the babies and their parents again tonight! Yippee! but then they fly out of here Friday to live in New England until March! Boo Hoo.
OH but in March, when they return to our area, we get two long months with them. Yippee!
Such is the life of missionary families during their year of furlough! Please remember this little family in your prayers as they will be covering alot of miles this year, presenting their work in many, many churches and at mission's conferences.
I also ask for your prayers for my niece Jewel who will be staying in our area working as she prepares to go to college in the fall. She is still in the process of finding a summer job at this moment.
Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Mom (Loretta) received the results from her recent biopsy and the news isn't good. Since her last biopsy only six months ago, a mass has formed and it has a little "head" protruding from it. We'll be going in to see mom's Dr. on Tuesday and to consult with the surgeon. Mom is taking it in stride. She is a breast cancer survivor. We've had a few scares over the past several years (since her partial mastectomy), but all of those scares came out as benign. This time around though, the report said "abnormal" and the Dr. called the same day the report arrived. We would all appreciate your prayers. Mom knows the Lord.
The following news has me burdened down at the moment. A long time friend has been diagnosed with brain cancer. This gal had a double mastectomy about about eighteen months ago. Her name is Suzie. I know she, her husband and children would really appreciate your prayer support during this time. Suzie and her family know the Lord.
My husband's regional director has been fighting cancer for the past three years. There are no more meds to help him. He has flown all over, trying alternative treatments. The cancer has spread to the liver and several other organs. We feel his time is near. We're not sure of his relationship with Christ.
Thanks Friends!
Now on a lighter note!
We had so much fun being with my nieces and the "mini-Divas" on Friday. We all met up at the beach. I hadn't seen Jackie, her husband Brian, or their two daughters, nor Jewel for over a year. They were a sight for sore eyes!
After fun in the sun, we ate at one of our favorite "mom and pop" Mexican restaurants.
When we arrived back in Tampa, we stopped by my parents house a bit. There we saw our son Josh. He and Shane got their wrestling time in, then Josh gave Shane a haircut! I was a little nervous, but I must say, it turned out just as good as when I take Shane to the professionals. Photos are forthcoming.
The entire day was---delish!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

$50.00 For the Homeless

Taken from Patriot Humor:

I recently asked my friend's little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be president some day.

Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, "If you were president what would be the first thing you would do?"

She replied, "I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people."
Her parents beamed.

"Wow... what a worthy goal." I told her, "But you don't have to wait until you're president to do that. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I'll pay you $50. Then I'll take you over to the grocery store where homeless guys hang out, and you can give them the $50, you earned, to use toward food and a new house."

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, "Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?"

I said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

Her parents still aren't speaking to me.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Beach Bums Who Love Mexican Food!

Looking ahead to another great day at beautiful Clearwater Beach later this week!
And the best part - we are going to be met by our nephew Josh Daniel and his little wife, Naomy, our niece Jewel, our niece Jackie, her husband Brian, and their two princesses there! Yes, Jackie and her crew are here all the way from Paraguay for a two week visit before heading north.
(I tried to upload photos of them to put here but Blogger wasn't cooperating.)

After the beach, we plan on stopping by one of our favorite "hole in the wall" authentic Mexican restaurants. Hubby thinks it tastes just like his mom's home cooking. We all love the food here at El Chicanito's! We really want to introduce my nieces and nephew to this great place in Clearwater!

This little guy greets you at the front door. Isn't he a hoot?

The last time we went to the beach, we had our nephew David with us. This is the "platillo" he ordered. Pollo en mole verde.

Here are my steak tacos topped with onions and cilantro, great beans and rice! The tortillas were hot off the press too. Muy "delicioso"!

Agustin ordered pollo ranchero. He was quite pleased with the red salsa.

There were two of these intricately hand carved wooden Aztec calendars on display. Each piece was placed in like a puzzle. Amazing!

This little guy sat on the windowsill by our table. I just had to get a shot of him mooning us.

Here's his best side!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Crazy Around Here!

Just a quick post to let y'all know I'm still alive! It's been more hectic than normal for me lately. A few highlights would be:
Thursday - Made another batch of homemade laundry soap. I'm finding that I really am pleased with it and hubby even commented that he thinks his t-shirts are whiter!

You can find the recipe and more info about the detergent HERE!

Friday Night - Mom hosted Mary Kay class at my house.

QUESTION:*What do you do when you're all ready for guests, but no one as arrived yet?*


Saturday - noticed our air handler was making a strange, bumping noise!

Sunday - church

Monday - My dad turned 73-we celebrated by having him decide the menu for supper, then off to purchase the items to cook for him! I won't list what we ate here because his cardiologist would strangle us all! I'll just say dad decided he wanted all the country comfort foods his mama would always cook when he lived at home in the mountains of West Virginia. Dare I say-the menu included FRIED 'TATERS, pork chops biscuits, and more!? Oh we did add one healthy item: spinach! But it was bought at Boston Market-dad's favorite CREAMED spinach is found there! Oops-I sure hope his cardiologist doesn't read my blog!LOL Shane with my parents on dad's 73rd birthday.

Tuesday - Came home late after sleeping over at mom's and dad's.

Wednesday - Agustin was off-I didn't get anything on my agenda accomplished, but enjoyed some time at the park with him and Shane and a nice dinner.

Thursday - visit from a friend of mine who also brought her grandson over to visit Shane. Noticed the air handler was not only louder and shaking the entire house, but now a metal shrieking noise was accompanying the thumping! Agustin thinks it best to turn off the air conditioning. I scream and shout and run about! I call mom "We're headed your way for another sleep over!" (Remember, we live in Florida and it's not only in the 80's at midnight, but oh so MUGGY and HUMID! I don't like to participate in "Turn Air Off" scenarios!) Decided the humidity wasn't that bad outside, we could make it through the night with light P.J.s on and ceiling fans above us running. Slept rather comfortably.

Friday - Called the AC repair guy first thing this morning! He'll be here at 1:00 today! Yippee!

I'm sitting here in a puddle of sweat (sorry for the grossness) and can't wait to get away from this computer. I'm realizing how much heat it puts off.

**********Now for a little political humor!*********

In honor of the 44th President of the United States , Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream has introduced a new flavor: " Barocky Road ."

Barocky Road is a blend of half vanilla, half chocolate, and surrounded by nuts and flakes. The vanilla portion of the mix is not openly advertised and usually denied as an ingredient. The nuts and flakes are all very bitter and hard to swallow.

The cost is $100.00 per scoop.

When purchased it will be presented to you in a large beautiful cone, but then the ice cream is taken away and given to the person in line behind you.
You are left with an empty wallet and no change, holding an empty cone with no hope of getting any ice cream.

Are you stimulated?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Can you help me out?

I accidentally deleted my entire BLOG LIST on my side bar. I'm glad I follow lots of your blogs, but some of you don't offer that feature. So...would you mind leaving me a comment here so I can have visit your blog and have your address for my new list? Thanks.
JACKIE and JAYDE~~~I especially need you two to do this!
Also, while you're at it, would you consider taking another moment to add yourself to "My Followers" section on the right side bar? I'd love to "collect" a few more of you!
Have a great Monday!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Once Again...Prayers for My Mother

ETA: GASP!! I just accidently removed my entire list of blogs! Do you know how long it took me to concoct that list? AyAyAy! For those blogs I "FOLLOW" it's no problem but many blog owners don't offer that feature. I have some work to do! I also need to apologize to many family members who visit my blog first and then use my links to visit other family members. I'll be working on getting my favorite ones up and running as soon as I have some spare time. Does anyone have a suggestion on a quicker way to get them all back?
I'm asking prayers for my mother. She recently had extreme back surgery (four things done in one surgery). She recently had lasik surgery on each eye. She now is facing yet another biopsy on a lump found in her breast this week. God has brought mom through so many surgeries so we have complete faith that this biopsy will show the lump to be benign. Mom has a history of breast cancer which had infiltrated many lymph nodes. Seventeen lymph nodes were removed. Her history includes uterine cancer, ear surgeries, I could go on and on. We have the understanding that Satan wants her down but God has great plans for her still. She is a pastor's wife and a very involved mom, a caring grandma, and a great-grandmother. Please remember her in your prayers. She kiddingly said to me the other day that she might as well set up a mailing address at the hospital, as it seems she is there more than she is at home!

It's been a dreary, rainy, stormy day here in Florida, so I'm in the mood to share some of last weeks beach photos with you!

We think these "turtle" showers are so cute!

My nephew David in Latin soccer form!

Having been born and bred in Argentina, David had never been to the beach. Here he is on his first trip to the Beach! He was quite impressed!
(The two bobbing black heads to the right are Agustin and Shane!)

"Tia" Pam con David!
(Such a sweet young man!)

Agustin with Shane and David. Clearwater Beach, 2009
I really enjoyed watching the guys play some soccer in the sand. Watch their awesome moves! In the second video, make sure to note that my hubby still has his moves! He's wearing the dark shorts.
Watch the feet!
Oh and one more thing- please pardon my humming in the background!!!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Congrats Amber & See Ya' Soon David!

Before my post, I wanted to share this link with you all. I think it's important to be informed!


I want to share with you some news that is pretty exciting to me! My friend, Amber, has recently designed the cover and written the "teaser" on the back of a novel which was written by her room-mate at Pensacola Christian College. The book was published in January of this year! You can see the work done by Amber on Amazon by CLICKING HERE. You may want to scroll down a bit once you're at Amazon and read the teaser and the review.

I'm so blessed to know Amber. Even though she is a young lady, still in college, we get along so well. I count her as a true friend. After all, she is the first one to introduce me to "sushi"! She is an "over-achiever" in a good way! So talented, that girl! I wish you all could meet her and hear her sing. What a gorgeous voice that girl has and she loves using it to glorify the Lord!

During service at church last Wednesday night, I heard some folks slide in the pew behind me. Then a tap on my shoulder. I turned and there she was - Amber with her boyfriend Nathan! I tried to not "holler" out loud (the congregation was singing at the time) but I'm sure those around me heard me squeal as I hugged Amber and got a quick introduction to Nathan. I had only seen photos of him on line. I hadn't known they were in town for the week, so it was all such a great surprise for me. I love surprises, well good ones like that anyway!


We've had the pleasure of hosting my husband's sister's son in our home this past week. He flew in from Chicago, where he just finished his first year of college nearby, to visit with us before flying back home to Argentina. Hubby and I drove our nephew down to Miami on Saturday while Shane remained behind in Tampa with my parents. Agustin and I had all intentions of spending the entire weekend near the beaches. We wanted to head to South Beach Saturday evening, but the weather turned so ugly, we just decided to head north and drive back home. Once we got to Ft. Myers, we stopped and had a nice steak dinner. We had the entire weekend to ourselves with plans to pick Shane up on Monday. Agustin had taken the entire week off to spend with our nephew so it was nice he didn't have to go to work the day after our "road trip".

On the drive down to Miami, we had time to stop off in the North Port/Port Charlotte area (my old stomping grounds, my first apartment was on Charlotte Harbor) to see the church that my brother, my son, and our friend Justin were framing out. The guys had been living there all week which meant that Josh hadn't seen his cousin yet. Fortunately the church is just about 2 minutes off of I-75 south, allowing us the luxury of "popping in" for a quick visit. The visit was sweet as I hadn't seen my brother since his return from West Virginia and David and Josh hadn't seen each other for over four years! There's a photo further down to show what I was up against with all those men! LOL


We'll be seeing David again the first week of July as he passed through on his way back up to Indiana to work on a farm before his sophomore year begins. We're hoping to have time to squeeze in a trip to Disn*yWorld then!

David hugs Shane goodbye!

David sees Josh for the first time when we stopped by the church Josh is helping to build.

David, Josh, Justin, John, Agustin

See what I was up against! All of them (with the exception of my baby-God Love His Heart) were ready to shoot me with nail guns!

Hey, was all my picture taking that annoying guys???

Driving across 'Alligator Alley'! It was nice to see that everything was so green now. Just weeks ago, south Florida was plagued by many brush fires and drought.

More of the everglades. Look closely, you may spot a gator's head in that water!

There were several patches which showed the damage caused by previous brush fires.

Entering lush Miami!

Can you tell we're in close proximity of Miami International Airport?

We did some shopping to kill some time while in the airport. We had to arrive three hours prior to David's flight. Poor kid, had a ten hour flight to Buenos Aires, then a sixteen hour bus ride to his family's home in Tucuman!

Enjoying a massage before the long flight!

Here I am getting my final hug at the last check point.

The manly good-byes!

Agustin and I were blessed with this gorgeous sunset on our drive home, after the torrential rains!