Suited to a Tea

Welcome to my tea. Please, have a seat; let me pour you some Lady Grey; one lump or two; cream? ....

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Anniversary F. Michael Ruiz II!!

Here are the contents of the Card my husband gave me today...

"We've seen each other grumpy,
And we've seen each other glad.

We've seen some good behavior,
(and of course we've seen some bad)!

You've even seen me floss
but still adore me more each day

I've seen you with a runny nose
and love you anyway!

You've seen me in my baggy sweats
(and think I'm kinda cute).

I've seen you dressed up to the nines
and looking mighty fine to boot.

We've seen the worst.
We've seen the best

And like we always knew:
No matter what life's ups and downs

We'll see each other through."


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

If I Could Talk With You One More Time...

Today marks the day that my mom would have been 56 years old. 

The Lord decided, on February 28th 1999, that He would much rather have her in Heaven.  It was a sudden and tragic thing and God only knows why...  I was sixteen and my sister Sarah was fifteen.  My two older brothers were out of the house serving in the military.  I remember calling my best friend Colinda when I found out my mom was know it seems like a dream now...and as the time goes by, missing her doesn't get easier, its just that the memory I have of her alive seems to fade.  I know that seems bad but it's true.  Then I take some time, some time to remember my mom and who she was.  Like today. 

There are so many times since I've started my own family that I thought how it would be nice to call mom up and ask her for some advice.  And how I wish that she could have been there for the birth of my two daughters.  There is always an emptiness when I think of my mom, especially during this time of year, not only for the reason that it's her birthday, but also because of Christmas.  My mom made things so special for us when we were little.  She made the most of what little she had.   I remember one Christmas she wrapped all of our presents with comics from newspapers to save money. 

She was the type of person who loved to give and receive hugs. Everyday she made me feel special by making it a point to ask how I was when I would come home from school.

 You know every year when I decorate my Christmas tree, as I unwrap the ornaments we had growing up, I get choked up, because sometimes it feels like she's right there; I see her handwriting on an ornament she marked so that in the future we would know what year we got it and from who...photographs she took, on the back I see her handwriting or in my baby book, it somehow still links me to her.

I look at my babies and wonder, how would she have reacted to see her hold them and kiss them...

Some pictures in remembrance of her.

Mimi gave birth to my mother in Belle Vernon Pa, in 1955.

My grandma Mimi, and her dad, my Papap.

Here she is sleeping on the couch and again with Mimi.

She was dating my dad here; and  here she is on her wedding day with Mimi and Papap, July 1978.

A newborn me with my two brothers, David and Nathan with mom; and a pretty picture of my mom holding me.

At Fort Ligonier Days 1983, mom had all of us dressed up for the reenactment at the Fort.

In these pictures from the top; my mom would make Sarah and I play our instruments for our grandparents at holidays when we would go to their house.  It must have really been hard to listen to us with a straight face...a trumpet and flute hmmm.....

I like the second photo because that's my moms' famous smile.

Lastly, here we are; four generations together; Grammie, my papap's mom, my great grandma; Mimi and of course my mom and me and my sister.

Finally, here my mom is at Grammie and Emmet's house on Easter.

A time of remembrance is good, it keeps her close to me. And I am glad I have the hope of her new life in Heaven and that her Savior is my Saviour, Jesus Christ. That is the hope that I rest in.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In the Quiet Moments

I was able to break away for a little while my sweeties take a nap. 

Today the Lord blessed in both church services.  My husband did a wonderful job in the College and Career Sunday School.  He was in 2 Thes, Chpt 3. and what I took away from the lesson is this: I am to allow God's word to have "free course" in my life.  I am to be soft and tender to what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me.  He told us not to allow our schedule to dictate our Christianity, in other words, don't be a "duty" Christian, it's kind of like in the Marines we had the same saying, don't be a "duty" Marine; we are to be Christians 24/7, not just on Sunday AM (2x's), Sunday Pm, Wednesday Pm, and Thursday Pm. It's easy for things to become routine; that's when we miss the opportunities God has for us.  It takes hard work to be a 24/7 Christian.

Pastor also was a blessing.  He preached about the first child to be excited about Christmas, about little John the Baptist in Elisabeth's womb and how he leaped for joy when Mary came to her.  Luke 1:39-45.  He said we need to get back to the basics of what it was like when we were newly saved babes in Christ and get that same excitement children have on Christmas morning when they dive into the presents under the tree.

So the theme: stay excited and don't let things become routine.

You can view the whole message here:

Where will you go when you die?  Write me, I'll show you what God's Word says and how you can know for sure your home will be heaven.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Angels Encamped Around Us (Carry an Ice Pick! oh and keep your garage door shut)

For the average Marine, (yes, once a Marine always a Marine) I'd say I'm pretty good at being aware of my surroundings, being on guard and knowing what I would do if any real harm became apparent..... until yesterday. 

I was having an average kind of morning with the girls; nothing too exciting for a Thursday. I needed to take a trip into town so I was loading the girls up in the Yukon in our garage that was open to the street.  As I was putting the stroller into the back of the truck I noticed a man, not more than 18 years old, walking down the sidewalk. He was kind of dirty, wearing a Carhart jumper.  I found this to be odd because our little subdivision doesn't have an outlet and we rarely get outside traffic, foot or motorist.  So I took a mental note and went about my business.  As I was finishing up with the stroller, I turned around and another man, not more than 18, was just standing there on my driveway no more than 4 or 5 feet Lizzie is loaded in the car seat at this startled me, he was wearing hunting overalls and had long shaggy hair.  He smiles and starts talking, "Hey I just tried ringing your doorbell (Rachel's mind: I can hear the doorbell from here, I didn't hear it..), I'm out of gas at the the 7eleven (My mind again: that's almost a mile away and there are 6 or more subdivisions between here and there) and was wondering if you had any cash?" At this point, I am inwardly panicking, knowing that this encounter can go only one of two ways, he mugs me and does whatever else to me and the day turns out bad or he just moves on....Thankfully, he just moves on when I tell him that I don't have any cash...In my mind, in that brief moment, all I could picture was the worst thing and the regret of not having my gun with me. As he was talking with me I thought, I need to run into the house to get the gun...but then I'll leave Lizzie.  It was just bad.  When he left, I watched him; he caught up to that other man who wasn't too far from where my house was.  As I watched them, they went to another house then came back to the street again...and were gone.

The good Lord only knows what those men's intentions were and I do believe Angels are about us watching and protecting us when bad things are about to happen.  It is God who allows for the good and bad.  And I also believe that those men had nothing but wicked intentions...I think they were in my neighborhood casing it...and when they got to my house they saw that one of my vehicles was gone and the garage door was open, I believe they were going to burglarize me and they didn't because at the last minute they got scared because my front door was unlocked and they heard me.  I called the OKC police non-emergency line and reported their suspicious behavior. And you know when I left my subdivision I saw those two men across the street in the other neighborhood...doing the same thing. It really scared me...and regardless of what happened thankfully, the outcome was good, I still took a lot away from this experience.   

It's an eerie feeling and I don't believe that in this world we can be too cautious especially, even though I joke about the Marine thing and being tough, because according to police, I am still considered to be in the most vulnerable demographic of people to be attacked by thugs: young mothers with children. So when I told my boss, who was a former Green Barret, what happened, he simply told me to keep a fanny pack on me at all times so I'll have the use of an ice pick whenever needed.

I know you can always be thinking of what to do if this or that happens, but the real lesson here is that if you aren't prepared to do something when the time comes then you've lost all chances of getting out of the situation on top. So I think I'm going to take my boss's advise and just carry an ice pick. Do they still sell them at Wal-Mart?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Music History

First, I want to set the record straight:  I do not listen to modern day Pop music but I happen to hear it in stores when I'm out and about occasionally;  I try to keep my standard of music pretty high. However, I'd like to delve into this purely and simply as a study in music history.

Music historians say that Hip/hop, Pop and Techno are nothing more than the logical conclusions to Big Band Jazz.  Is this true? Are there differences between modern day Pop andCount Basie's Big Band Jazz...Are there similarities?

       "The origins of jazz, an urban music, can be traced in the late 19 th century to the plantations of  the  Southern USA, the streets of America's cities, and from two distinct musical traditions, those of West Africa and Europe. West Africa provided the incessant rhythmic drive, but the European influence had more to do with classical qualities of harmony and melody."

I agree with the above quote as it can also be applied to what we hear today but I think the West African musical tradition dominates modern music more so than in early Jazz music, even though Jazz is mainly where random and syncopated rhythms came from.  

What function did big band music have?  Like today's music, it made you want to grab your partner and get out on the floor and cut some rugs up!! (Isn't that the saying?) Could we consider this just merely an "innocent" diversion? Well I believe that our grandparents were young once too... and I'm sure their desires were the same as any young person of today wanting to go out on the dance floor to do the worm. (Do they still do that?)  I just think our grandparent's generation didn't delve so deep into the sensual aspect as today's music has done.  It was however the precursor to the development of 50's Rock and Roll, the 60's Beatniks, the 70's Disco techs, the 80's Big Hair bands, the 90's Grunge Rock and of course to what we have now: a hodgepodge of all six decades glob together to make up the ear vomit you hear in public places.

I think music historians are right, Big Band Jazz is the Grandmother of Pop music.  They are the same because they still, in whatever degree, feed the physical rather than the spiritual.   Godly music follows after this: words, harmony then rhythm.  Big Band and Pop music are opposite; following rhythm, harmony then words.  Aren't the words of each type of music nonsensical or rather "innocent" diversions?  But how innocent are they really? 

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isa. 26:3

Let's leave on a good note. (pun intended) I really think that we do have a glimpse into how God intended our voices to be used for him...I choose to share with you Handel's Messiah No. 7, "And He Shall Purify", because I can only imagine the heavenly hosts sounding a little like this when we see Jesus as He is. And isn't this befitting for the season in which we are in?  I like what one person said in response the below music, so much that I'm putting here...

"When the world is made new, the regenerated followers of Christ will sing. No sin, no defects. If we like anything in this world that's good, it's because it's a shadow of something in the real world of Eternity. CS Lewis said it better than me."

Just a thought....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thanksgiving Day....the Ruiz Way

Okay here it is, a combination of traditions. I enjoyed this day because we had so much fun cooking, as you can see with the spread of food.  Each lady present introduced one of their specialties. Mom-rice stuffing, Bonnie-green bean casserole, and I made ham loaf, a Buchko/Breakwell tradition.

I bought a turkey roaster this year so the oven was free.  At one point we had 5 things baking at once.

Let's not forget the pies.....oh pies how I love thee...with coffee...Mom showed me the proper way to make a pie crust from scratch....very wonderful knowledge to know; flaky, light and buttery are the way crusts should be.  Above there are two mince meat, two pumpkins, apple and a cherry cheesecake.

The Kiddy table....taken from the house through the screen, was very nice weather that day.

My gluttonous portion...that's not wine btw....Cranberry Sparkling juice, very yummy. We used my mother's bone china and Wedgwood crystal. The table linens are my great-great-grandma Elizabeth Bates'.

It was a family affair, even Dad made the gravy and Michael contributed by making his very own recipe of sauteed corn with green peppers and bacon.