Saturday, October 30, 2010

Let No One Despise Your Youth...

...but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 James 4:12

October is Youth Month for Soldiers of the Cross churches internationally. Our youth leader for the northern region of the United States, Edwin Cruz Abreu (Tito), organized a special event that was held here in North Bergen last Sunday.  We had youth come from Maryland, Philadelphia, and Camden; a total of 60 people attended.  Due to the restricted space of our current location, we held the service at a nearby establishment.  We sincerely appreciate the generosity of the CuGino's Pizzeria and Ristorante owner and staff for their great service and kindness. 

After the special program and delicious meal, we went as  a group to a beautiful park off of River Rd. in Weehawken.  The park is about a mile from our house on the banks of the Hudson with a spectacular view of the New York City skyline.

Our sister Belkis Fortuna, a very talented photographer, took the following pictures of New York from the park that day.   The event was a real success.  In everything, may the Lord's name be glorified.

Moving on to another subject all together, I cannot contain my excitement!  My dear, dear friend Lisa, along with Enny and Bonnie, will be coming to visit me this Thursday! Lisa and I have been friends for over 10 years and have lived no further than a block away from each other for 7 of those 10+ years.  This separation has been so difficult for both of us, heart wrenchingly painful in fact.  I am overjoyed to finally be able to show her my new home, take her to the store where I buy my groceries, to the park where the children play, etc.  For so long, I've shared every aspect of my life with her and she has been so intimately acquainted with the details of my daily activities, that the thought of settling into my life here and not sharing any of it with her was unfathomable to me.   So, what if there is no QuickTrip here for us to go to at 2 am?  There's a QuickCheck baby!  Lol!  

The Lord has been so gracious and loving toward me, holding my hand through this whole separation process.  He allowed me to make the trip down to Texas 2 weeks ago, to enjoy the precious companionship of my loved ones.  Now, in 5 days, I will have my wonderful friend Lisa here with me.  My parents will then be coming to visit for the Thanksgiving holiday, along with my in-laws. A short two weeks after that visit, with the Lord's help, we will be traveling down to Texas with the whole family for Christmas!  You think that's amazing?  There's more!  My little brother will be traveling back with us from Texas after the holidays and will be here for a week or so.  Has not my Father been good, cushioning the difficult shock of isolation with these visits? The Lord is good. I've tried Him time and time again, and found Him faithful every time.  To Him be all honor, glory and praise for what he has done and is doing yet in my life.

**Now, I will just continue to pray for the Lord to bring my lovely sister, whom I also miss desperately, my "sister from another mister" Lisita, whom I love, my dear cousins Kaynita and Michelle, sweet Lulu,.....I could go on and on.  You think I'm pushing it? Most definitely not!  My God is a big God and if faith can move mountains, it can bring Texas to New Jersey!  Love you all!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Granny Room

Our house now has a granny room.  The kids are just amazed by all the interesting things that can be found there.  For those of you not acquainted with the particulars of a granny room, let me share them with you now.  For starters there is a toilet in the room! How's that for convenience? =)  In the corner, there's a recliner that looks normal enough until you start pushing the buttons.  Upon pushing the buttons, you will discover that this chair can lift about 2 feet off the ground to bring grandma to a standing position.  Every night, a drinking glass can be found on the night stand with floating teeth inside and that brassier on the dresser appears to have a breast attached to it! Gotta say, it seems at times that there is a very big infant living in this room.  There are big diapers, wipes, changing pads,a giant walker, huge bibs and that chair, with the wheels, looks a lot like a big stroller.  Yes, we've now got a granny room in our house and we are loving it. =)

As promised, I'd like to show you pictures of the room that we lovingly prepared for the grannies.  The pictures that I have to share were taken before they arrived, so you will notice that the above mentioned "cool granny stuff" is missing.  The room is on the first floor off the dining room. 

The first order of business was to find the furniture.  Grandma asked me to find the furniture for her.  We needed a bed (queen), a mattress, a nightstand, a chest of drawers, a recliner, and a lamp.  So, what do you think I did?   Yep,  you've got it....CRAIGSLIST!!  I found everything in a matter of days. Here is the break down of the items I found and their prices.

IKEA Bed frame in mint condition (no box spring needed)- $40
Mattress (pillow top)- $55
Lamp (retails over $100)- $25
Chest of drawers (perfect match to the nightstand) -$40
Orthopedic, electric lift recliner (retails over $500)-  $100 
Nightstand-  $Free.99  (one that I already owned)
Mirror (HomeGoods)- $30
Gallon of paint for chest of drawers and nightstand (Walmart- Country White) -$10
Gallon of paint for the walls (Walmart- ) $20
Bed in a Bag (Comforter, pillow cases, shams, sheets)- $40
Decor Knick Knacks (used things I already had) so - $free.99

Total spent - $360

Here's a picture of the Chest of Drawers before a little TLC...
 and many of you will recognize the nightstand. Here she is before her makeover.
Lastly, here's a picture of a little shelf I've owned for a while that I also painted and put up in the room.

You know what they say,  things gotta get worse before they get better.  You will see in the before pictures of the room that this is indeed true.  There was quite a mess in there as we took things out and brought others in.  It was also raining outside that day so all of our sanding and painting went on inside the room.  Thankfully the back door of the house is inside the granny room so we were able to open if for some much needed ventilation.
Alrighty, here it is...*drum roll please*...the great reveal!!  Ta-Da!





At another angle, with little shelf in the background...

(notice the the room was two different colors)


Here are a couple of side by side shots of the furniture/ shelf transformation.

Below are a few pictures of the amazing recliner.  You'll notice in two of the pictures it is actually in our living room.  We moved it there because Abuelita Angela loves looking out the bay windows during the day.  
She even sits in the recliner for church (yes, in the reclining position :o)
We are so very happy to have the grannies with us.  I now have a shopping partner (Abuelita Eloisa), the kids are speaking more Spanish every day, and if I feel lonely and need someone to chat with, Abuelita Angela ALWAYS has the time.  Please let me know what you think of the room redo.  Also, if you have any before and after pictures that you wouldn't mind sharing with us, of rooms you've redecorated or furniture you've redone, please email them to  me at and I will post them.  We all love a good ooo and aahh session, don't we? Plum tuckered out over here. Time for bed.  Love you all!