Monday, April 30, 2007

Interview me too!

Christine was interviewed by Amy. I thought, "Oh, how fun! I want to be interviewed too!" So here are five questions Christine asked me...

1. What is your favorite time to spend with your family?

Hmmmm.... I have to say that I'm quite spoiled about my time with my family. That's because we homeschool. So up until last year, when our oldest two started community college, I was with my children 24/7, well... just about 24/7. It's hard to name just one favorite thing to do with my family. We enjoy camping, rock climbing, skiing, hanging out by our pool or just hanging out at home. I guess you one could say just spending time with my family is great enough.

2. Of all the places you've visited in Europe, what was your favorite? And Why?

Every place we went to in Europe was absolutely beautiful. If I had to pick one place that I liked best, it would have to be Italy. The people were very friendly. We had no trouble communicating. Spanish and Italian are similar. Everyone was very helpful. Yet when we visited Spain, they gave us a very hard time. They looked down on us because our Spanish was not the Castillian dialect. We still had a good time there, but the people weren't as nice. They were to the other Americans that we went with. Maybe we should of just not spoken Spanish. Hind sight is 20/20. :o)

3. What is your life verse?

It would have to be... "And now abide faith, hope love, these three, but the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:13 I truly believe that love can conquer all things.

4. If you happened to be stranded on an island, what 5 things could you not live without?

Well, since people aren't things, I guess I can't name my loved ones.
* Two way hand crank operated, shortwave radio.
* Endless supply of my favorite fruit, mangoes.
* Endless supply of matches or lighter, to keep the fire going.
* My bible, so I have something to read while someone comes to rescue me.
* An endless supply of drinking water.

5. What is one of your earliest childhood memories?

When I was about six, my sister and I were riding our bike in the parking lot of our apartment building. We shared a bike. We went inside to have lunch and when we went back out, our bike was gone. We ran inside to tell our mom. We were crying. We knew that our parents couldn't afford to get us another one. We had been careless. My mom told us to calm down, wash up and take a nap. When we got up, there was our bike. She told us she had walked around the neighborhood and had seen a boy riding our bike. She told him, she knew it wasn't his, that it belonged to her daughters. In my eyes, my mom was an incredible woman. For years that story meant a lot to me. Until a few years ago, I found out the truth. My mom had hidden the bike to teach us a lesson.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

G.I.Joe's 13th Birthday Outing

My G.I. Joe's birthday is on March 9th. Right when baseball season is in full swing. Which means that just about every day of the week we are busy with a baseball game or practice. I can't even remember the last time he had a birthday party.

For his 13th birthday we decided to take him and three baseball buddies to Disney. Since my Knight doesn't have to teach the High School Boy's Sunday School Class the last Sunday of the month, that's when we planned we'd have his special event. My Knight took G.I. Joe, #99, #5 & #00 to Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom.

They all had a wonderful time. First stop was Animal Kingdom. They quickly went to get a fast pass for the Expedition Everest ride. From there they went on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride. I was told that #00 (who goes hunting with his dad ALL the time) spotted all the animals. Even the ones that everyone else was having trouble spotting. Next was the Kali River Rapids. Where the only one that didn't get wet was my Knight. Then they were off the the Expedition Everest ride. Except when the got there, it was temporarily down. :o( So they didn't get to ride it.

I had ordered three ham and cheese meal wheels for their lunch. We had packed a cooler with ice and drinks. Oh, and plenty of water. I also had also bought some chips. #00's mom had gotten some donuts for them too. They had lunch at the Animal Kingdom's parking lot, before the hopped over to the Magic Kingdom.

Then it was off to the Magic Kingdom. They got to do all the "fun" rides. Which included all the "mountain" rides. They even had a great fun waiting in line. They would "hi five" anyone that was willing to "hi five" them. At first #99 had a hard time. He was wearing his Yankee cap. One he turned it around, he got plenty of " hi five's". I gave him a hard time about that. I told him he had "denied" his team. LOL!

They left the park around 7p. My Knight decided to call it a night, he was nursing quite a headache. I had pizza and cake waiting for them. We had a great time sitting around the table and talking about their day. Sounds like the had a wonderful time.

My Knight later shared with me that G.I Joe's friends were a great group of kids. They had clean fun. Since they had had a good attitude while waiting in line, their smiles were contagious. It help brighten other people's day. G.I. Joe sure knows how to pick his friends. I'm so proud of him.

Here's #99, #00, #5 and G.I.Joe. This was taken right before they left for the parks. They don't look it, but they were all sleepy eyed right before I took this. They saw the camera and perked up. I told them to get closer together and they all said, that's as close as they were going to get. Boys, they are so different! Praise the Lord for that!

Behind them is the Tree of Life. This was taken at the Animal Kingdom.

Giving people "hi fives" at they were waiting in line. Notice #99... his cap is on backwards.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In Honor Of My Knight...

Forty four years ago today, my Knight in shining armor was born. I'm blessed to be his Lady. In his honor, I wrote a special entry at A Knight's Lady.

Like every day, we spent the day doing school work and at the baseball fields. We had a late lunch. It's a tradition around our castle that the birthday person gets to choose what they want to eat for lunch and dinner. So we had Chinese take out for lunch. Then it was off to the fields. G.I. Joe had a game. My Babe had to ump the game. Well not only that, but he had to ump the home plate. At least I had a good view. ;o) Oh, we had burgers for dinner.

His mom, Abuela Hilda had come up for our great nephew's christening. So she decided to stay with us for a couple of days. I take her back to my Babe's sister's home this Friday. Then she'll be going back to her home next week.

Daughter of the King baked his birthday cake. Still Waters decorated it. All this was done while we were at the game. We ended up eating birthday cake at 11p. It was a late night. He opened presents while we all ate cake.

The girls got together and bought their dad an RCI Certificate. He gets to pick a place to vacation for one week. The room and board is paid for. All he has to do is decide where to go and how to get there. There is no need for me say this, but I'm going to any way. No, he won't be vacationing alone. :o) He's not sure if he wants the whole family to go or just the two of us. Just wanted to clarify that.

The boys got him the video games: NCAA 07 Football and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Lockdown. Guess who got which game? Yep, G.I. Joe got him the football game and The Warrior got him Rainbow Six. They are true to their character. They can't wait to play with him.

My Babe and his mom, Hilda. I was THRILLED to have been able to get this shot, she doesn't like to smile for the camera. Throughout the year, I thank her for having such a wonderful son. But on his birthday, I specially make it a point thank her.

My Knight and his Lady. I love to see him in his ump uniform. He makes the uniform look good.
I've heard some of the other baseball moms make comments about him. They know he doesn't have wondering eyes. I'm blessed. Oh, can't really share what I got him for his birthday, but enough to say he was very pleased.

My Knight and his Fair Maidens. One of my prayers for them is, that God bless them with a husband who has character like their dad.

My Knight and his Squires. They are Knights in training. He is setting such a good example. One of my prayer is that they grow up to be like their dad.

My Knight and his five blessings. My prayer is that they live the fairy tale life that their dad and mom have been blessed to live.

Dreams do come true...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Wise Man Told Me...

Yesterday's news is still weighing heavy on my mind. I can't seem to shake this melancholy mood. I don't want to question God, but I wrestle with thoughts. Questioning thoughts that I don't even want to put into words. I know that this is satan's playground. But I also know that God is in control. That nothing happens that He doesn't know about. He allows things to happen, for a reason. I know that it all comes down to free will... choice. Knowing that doesn't make it easier. It doesn't take the pain away. The hurt is still there.

I'm so heavy hearted, that I can't even bring myself to go to church. No I haven't lost faith. I just can't smile and greet people as if nothing has happened. My girls went on to church. My Knight and my boys are at baseball practice. I stayed home. Praying... Lord help to pray for those who are hurting. Help me to understand.

He gently told me, it's not up to me to understand. It's up to me to trust and have faith. It's up to me to hold others up in prayer. I felt led to read Psalm 95 . I will not let my heart be harden. How can I, He dwells there.

My homepage is Crosswalk. So when I logged on to journal, Today's Devotional, "Virginia Tech: Living with what we don't understand" caught my eye. Hmmm, some would call that a coincidence, I call it God-incidence. Isn't it just like Him to reach out and comfort and love us. He knows just what I need, what we need. All I (we) have to do He reach out to Him... ask Him.

A wise man told me that we should live each day to it's fullest, cause it's a gift from God. My response was, "this is true, how right you are. But why do 'I' get one more day, when others..." He cut in and said, "it's a gift for you to accept, not to question." My Knight is right. I'm so blessed...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

At A Loss For Words

This morning like every morning, my boys were watching Sponge Bob. Once I get up, the channel gets switched to Fox News. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. A student at Virginia Tech gunned down other students and professors.

My heart grieves for all who attend Virginia Tech and their families. I don't know anyone who attends that school. We don't even live close to that state. Yet, I feel numb. I'm in disbelief. My heart aches for all those left behind. They won't get to hear their loved ones voice. They won't get to feel their hugs. Young lives cut short. How could something like this happen? What makes a person do such a thing? How could or what could bring a person to inflict pain or kill someone?

My mind is spinning. My heart aches. There is so much pain in this world. So many are hurting. Yet we are all so busy, with our every day things. We go on with our day. I wanted to stay and continue to watch the news, but I couldn't. Had to take my children to bible study. Had to take care of wee ones, while their mom's were at their bible study. From there off to take Daughter of the King to the sign language class she teaches. Then off to run some errands. Time to get dinner going. Time for baseball game. During all this, the thought is still there, " how can I keep going on as if nothing has happened?"

What keeps me going is God's Word. His promises. I find peace, love and comfort there. What scriptures do you find comfort in? Which ones give you hope?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Love Letter

Last night we had our monthly bible study group meeting. Only four of the six couples were able to attend. Earlier last week, I had gotten a call from the couple that was hosting our study. We had homework to do. Each spouse had to write a love letter to each other. Then everyone had to write a love letter to God.

I thought, a love letter to my Knight won't be hard. But a love letter to God?! Yikes!!! To begin with, I dislike homework! What would I write to my Savior? I'm not good with words. I have a hard time expressing my love in words. I can do it in actions, but with words... I struggle.

I feel that the word "love" is over used. I mean I hear (& I say), "I love pizza, I love this song, I love this dress and so on." Then we say (& I say), "I love you." How can that be?

To me love is an action. It's a verb. To me it's not a "feeling". If it was, it would be fleeting. Feelings come and go, they change.

So I started to think of what to write to my Knight. I realized that it was harder than I thought to write him a love letter. I send him cards, emails and little notes all the time. Love messages, "Can't wait till you get home. I miss you. I love you. You make me whole." Then I started to think, why do I love him? Then it hit me... it was for selfish reasons. I love how he makes me feel, I love the way he looks after me, how he takes care of me, how he comforts me, how his touch makes me feel protected and wanted. It almost felt like I loved him conditionally. I love you because... I felt selfish.

Something was wrong. Then it hit me... it's not "I love you because of what you can do for me." it's, "because I love you I want to do for you." I've always known that, but have had trouble explaining it. So, I show it in actions. Sometimes words are just words. That's why I was having trouble putting my love letter into words.

I gave my Knight his love letter... I shared my journal with him. My journal that's just about him and I. I know he knows how much I love him... action speaks louder than words. Funny thing is... we both thought the same way. His love letter to me did not say "I love you because you....". It said, "because I love you I will...". His actions speak louder than words. But I sure do love listening to his voice and hearing his words. :o)

My love letter to God was difficult to write too. How do I go about writing a letter to God, The King of Kings, my Savior? What do I say to someone who's love I don't deserve? That keeps giving it unconditionally? My only thoughts were, "Lord, I fall so short of showing you how much I love you. All I can do is live my life in a way that I hope glorifies you." To me, even that is not enough to show how much I love Him. I could never do enough. I often wonder, if what little I do glorifies Him.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yes, Life Is Good...

Carlina Clelia Pazmino

On Saturday, April 7th at 10:15pm, My Abuela Caky (grandma) went on to be with our Heavenly Father. She died of congestive heart failure. She had been in pain for quite some time and it hurt to see her suffering. She was 88 years old.

Abuela Caky was born in Ecuador on the 4th of November in 1918. At some point her family moved to Panama in Central America. She never really talked much about her life before she came to the United States. I think it was because it was too painful. She was the type of person that wouldn't dwell on the past. She always pressed on.

When she arrived here to the United States, she settled in Miami, Florida. She worked as a housekeeper/nanny/cook for a very wealthy family. She quickly learned English. As soon as she could, she brought my mom over. My mom was 17 at the time. They both worked hard. Not just for the K family, but in educating themselves.

Eventually Abuela learned enough to apply at a hospital. She got hired as a unit clerk. Which today they are called unit secretaries. She continued to work for the K family, even while she worked at the hospital. She was a hard worker. She had great work ethics. She was well loved by all who came in contact with her.

She was an incredible woman. She was a very private person. She didn't share much about her past. There was so much I wanted to know but she didn't open up that part of her heart. I do know that she worked hard. She put all her brother's through school. They all became professionals. She also managed to have her children attend private school.

Abuela had an unwavering faith in our Lord. First thing she did EVERY morning was pray. She prayed during the day, throughout her day and at night. She was so wise and loving. Always willing to lend a helping hand.

In 1987, Soaring Amongst The Clouds was born. That's my oldest daughter. Instead of calling my mom for advice, I always called Abuela. She always knew what to tell me... and guess what her advice ALWAYS worked. Ten months after our first one was born, Still Waters arrived. Yep, I had two under the age on 1! Eighteen months later Daughter of the King arrived. Yep, I had three under the age of 3! Abuela came to the rescue! She would come and stay with us months at a time. She was a godsend.

We loved having her with us. She was fun. She laughed a lot. She was a big lady with a big heart. Nobody could cook like her. To this day, my Knight says that no one can iron like she does, not even the cleaners.

Abuela was a simple lady. She didn't care about looks. It was all about comfort, neatness and being clean. She would wear her favorite cotton dresses even if they were a little faded, but they were always pressed and clean. Her whites always looked white, not gray or yellow.

Through the years she's given me great advice. But one stands out, it was when my girls we wee ones. It was in Spanish. "La casa, el carro, todo lo material, siempre estara aqui. El tiempo con tus hijos no. Disfrutalos, que el tiempo pasara. Todo lo que quedara es las memorias que tendran tus hijos con sus padres. Eso es lo importante. Eso no tiene precio. Los hijos son un regalo de Dios." It can't be translated word for word, but the thought is the same. "The house, the car, all material things will always be here. Time with your children is fleeting. Enjoy them, for time will pass by too quickly. All your children will have left are the memories you make with them. That's what important. The time together is priceless. Children are a precious gift from God."

That's the type of advice she would give me. She always had a saying for everything. I treasure my memories of her. Because of the way she influenced my life, I continue to strive to be the woman God wants me to be.

Thank you all who have encouraged me and are praying for us. We so appreciate your kind words, thoughts and prayers. My our Heavenly Father bless you tenfold.

For those of you who happen to come across my journal, please say a prayer for my family. We have hope and faith, but our heart aches.

Can my life be good, even when my heart is heavy? Yes it can. You see I have faith and hope that one day we will reunite again. She will be the same Abuela she had always been. Along with Jesus and my brother, she will welcome me into God's Kingdom with open arms. What a reunion that will be... Yes, Life Is Good.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Praise You In The Storm

The past couple of days I've heard this song play on the radio countless of times. I find these words very comforting. I can't help but cry when I hear these words. I know that some think that crying doesn't help. I feel that crying does help me. It's cleansing.

If you click on the groups name you can hear part of the song. Hope you are blessed by it too.

Praise You In The Storm
by Casting Crowns

I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will life my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Monday, April 09, 2007

Beauty From Pain

My heart is heavy. My spirit is light. I just can't bring myself to share right now. My Abuela Caky has gone to be with our Lord and Savior. My soul rejoices, but my heart weeps.

My Savior is comforting me. I know she is no longer in pain or suffering. She is in the presence of the Creator. Knowing that makes my pain tolerable. I hold on to the hope that one day we will be together again. I love you Abuela. You are missed, but you will live on in my memories.

Beauty From Pain
by Superchick

The lights go out all around me
One last candle to keep out the night
And then the darkness surrounds me
I know I'm alive
But I feel like I've died

And all that's left is to accept that it's over
My dreams ran like sand through the fists that I made
I try to keep warm but I just grow colder
I feel like I'm slipping away

After all this has passed
I still will remain
After I've cried my last
There'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today
Someday I'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

My whole world is the pain inside me
The best I can do is just get through the day
When life before is only a memory
I wonder why God let me walk through this place

And though I can't understand why this happened
I know that I will when I look back someday
And see how You've brought beauty from ashes
And made me as gold purified through these flames

Here and I am at the end of me (at the end of me)
Trying to hold to what I can't see
I forgot how to hope
This night's been so long
I cling to your promise there will be a dawn

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Airfest 2007

Today we spent the day at the MacDill Air Force Base Airfest 2007. Our main goal was to see the Blue Angels. We got to see way more than the Blue Angels. We took over 400 pictures! AND we got to video tape too. I was a happy camper. :o)

Ooops! I forgot to mention that the Airfest was FREE!!

For those of you that know me, you aren't going to believe this... I got up at 5am! Yep, that's not a typo. LOL! We were on the road before 6am. Traffic really wasn't as bad as we thought. We were able to set up our chairs close to the front.

There was a list of items that weren't allowed to be taken in. One of them being a cooler. Packed lunches were allowed. So we took sandwiches, bottled water & chips. Beach chairs, umbrellas & blankets were allowed too. We even saw parents pulling their children's wagons loaded with their items. Every one was there ready to have a good time.

We took turns walking around and staying with our seats. My Knight walked around with Soaring Amongst The Clouds, Still Waters, Daughter of the King, G.I. Joe and The Warrior. He was showed them all the different planes and told them all about it. He's so wise and knowledgeable.

I walked around later on with Soaring Amongst The Clouds. She was quick to point out how handsome all them men looked in their uniform. Later on she said, "Wish we lived close to a base." I had to laugh about that. Seems like she is more like me than I thought. I sure did love seeing my Knight in his uniform. Even now, I love to see him in his umpire uniform... be still my heart...

There were many different kinds of airplanes, helicopters and machinery. Not only were they there for us to see, but we could go "in" them. We got to talk to different soldiers (or are they called airmen?) regarding the different things we saw.

It was an eventful day. We all had a "beyond" wonderful time. The maneuvers we saw the pilots do with their airplanes will forever be embedded in our minds. We even got to see paratroopers. They all put on a spectacular show. We can't wait for another Military Air Show comes our way again.

This picture was taken early in the morning. By noon, there was no vacant spots around. It was elbow to elbow people or should I say, chair to chair? It was a very sunny day. Good thing my Knight thought to bring our umbrella. He didn't want me to have a lupus flare up. We all lathered up with good ol' Banana Boat sunscreen.

The crowd anxiously awaiting...

Dad giving the tour...

Four of my blessings...

The Boys and The Ammunition...

Candid pictures of the my blessings...

Soaring Amongst the Clouds...
She's a dreamer, a thrill seeker.

Still Waters...
she is always quiet, I always wonder what she's thinking.

Daughter of the King...
she's a friend to the friendless.

G.I. Joe...
he's friendly and easy going.

The Warrior...
protector of the defenseless.

Some of the Airmen had the perfect spot to watch the show...


The Galaxy...

Different planes...

Last but not least... The Blue Angels!