Sunday, July 26, 2009

Aunt Coleen

This is one of my favorite pictures of my Aunt Coleen that I found in an old box of pictures that my mom had stored in a closet. My Aunt Coleen and Uncle Doyle, besides my mom and dad, are the only people in the whole world who have always been there for me. My Aunt Coleen is quite a cook. Her stuffing and sweet potatoes at family dinners on Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays have come to symbolize that time of the year for me. It just would not be a holiday without them. She took my cousins and me to see Jaws in 1975 and sat through the whole movie with her hands over her eyes. She visited me in the hospital all during my growing up years (because I was in there a lot). When I woke up from any of several surgeries, if it wasn't my mom or dad I saw, it was Aunt Coleen. I know she prays for me regularly. She always calls me on my birthday and sings Happy Birthday to me. She makes me feel loved.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I journaled!

Okay. I admit it. I hate to journal. I always save a space to journal, but I never go back and fill it in. I never know what to say. It usually ends up with me saying something like "I can't believe how grown up you are!" or "where has all the time gone?" My scrap friends were making fun of me, so I decided to make sure I journaled on this layout. I designed it on the computer and printed it on yellow cardstock. Another admission- it wasn't so bad. Pretty painless actually. Maybe I'll turn over a new leaf and journal from now on. Maybe everyone will live in peace and be judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I have a dream. Anyway, aren't these cute scout pics? I can't believe how grown up he is. Where has all the time gone?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Textorizer Rocks!

Textorizer ( ), a free download, is a tool which can take an image, like the top one, and turn it into an image made up of text, like the bottom one. I found it super easy to use and am loving the results. I can wait to put this on a scrapbook layout! I did have to play around with the font size a little bit. I also created a text file which contained the words COOL, Attitude, CREDENCE, Teenager, MOHAWK. This will also come in handy next year as my class puts together the school yearbook. Let me know what you guys think.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kick This!

Soccer season has come to an end for the spring. It was a great season. We only lost 3 games and all the boys' skills have improved dramatically. Christopher was fast and furiously went after the ball (most games), usually with a smile on his face. He has decided to give football a try in the fall, so we're not going to be doing soccer until next spring. We'll see how it goes. Why does it feel like he's growing up way too fast?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Layout Contest

The Original Scrapbox Company, makers of the most innovative furniture for scrapbooking, is giving away three of these cool, see-through topped desks at their web site ( to people who upload an image of one of their creations and get the most people to vote for them. It does not have to be a scrapbook page. You can vote for my entry here: C'mon, help a guy out. It's hard enough being a man who scrapbooks. There ought to be some perks!!!

Smilebox is COOL!

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Christopher Soccer Star
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook
I have just discovered It's so easy to use (just drag and drop) and the layout galleries are cool. I will definitely scraplift some ideas!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

To all my scrapbooking friends, I've just discovered the coolest web site ever! will let you generate a graphic like the one here out of words you type in, or you can grab words from your blog postings (like I did), or your Delicious account, etc. You could then print it on cardstock and use it in a scrapbook layout. I can't wait to do this! How cool would it be to just type in names of family members, co-workers, etc. Would any of you use this site? How?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Killer Smile

The thing is, this picture was supposed to be all about your new hair style - a "faux-hawk." It took several days to coax you into letting me take your picture at all. Finally, you relented. I wanted to capture your cool style, like I did with Credence's mohawk. But, as I was putting this page together, I couldn't help but keep noticing that beautiful smile. You really do have a killer smile, Christopher.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Worst Elvis Ever!

I just ran across this picture from several years ago when I was teaching elementary school at Southside in BA. We were celebrating my friend Becky's birthday. Someone hired an "Elvis" to come entertain us. As you can see, he was the worst Elvis ever! He couldn't sing or dance, but that didn't not stop him from trying! Plus, he doesn't look a thing like Elvis. Not even the older, fatter, drugged-out Elvis. It was hysterical, though!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Twenty-three years of married bliss (mostly bliss). Okay, our anniversary is really April 5, but I wasn't blogging then and now I am. I love these photobooth pictures. We look so young.

OSU Field Trip

We took a group of 8th grade students to Stillwater today to tour the OSU campus. It was a lot of fun to be on a college campus again. I was immediately struck by the diversity in the students we observed as we criss-crossed from building to building. That got me to thinking about when I was in college at ORU. One of the best things about college was meeting people from all over the country and even the world. Growing up in Oklahoma and graduating from Catoosa High School, I hadn't encountered a lot of diversity. College opened my eyes to all kinds of people. It was a time of expanding horizons and new experiences. That's why I love teaching. Every day, if we are doing our jobs as teachers, we are expanding horizons and providing new experiences to our students. Yet, I have to admit, the best part of the day was eating at Eskimo Joe's. Man! The food was awesome!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I was organizing some pictures and ran across this blast from the past. This was taken in the summer of 1983 while I was on a missions trip to Egypt with a team from ORU. You can see one of the Great Pyramids of Giza in the background. We worked in an orphange in the middle of the country for a couple of months. It was an awesome time and I remember having a strong sense of being in God's will. I used to want to be a missionary and I ended up being a teacher (you might be surprised to know that the work is eerily similar).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hair saga continues

Okay. So, the hair saga continues at the Rios household. Little brother, not to be outdone by big brother (not an Orwell reference), decides to get a "faux-hawk", which is, I guess, a little brother version of the mohawk. The only problem is, I tried to get a "tough-looking" picture of Christopher, so he would look "cool." My instructions were, "Don't laugh, Christopher! C'mon now, look tough and don't laugh! Okay, now. Don't laugh!" Oh, well! Don't you love that beautiful smile, though.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A good thing

A good thing happened today. This afternoon, on my way to Sonic Happy Hour to get a Route 44 Diet Coke (easy ice), my cousin, Tracy, called me. She wanted to know what I was doing that evening. After quickly pulling out my iPhone and checking my calendar (it was empty), I said, "Nothing. Why?" She wanted to know if Lori and I wanted to go to the Bruce Springsteen concert at 7:30 p.m. because she had a couple extra tickets that would be free to us. I, of course, hastily called Lori and said, "Arrange the kids. We're going out!" We met Tracy and her daughter, Chelsy, at the BOK in downtown Tulsa and had a great time listening to some great music. Like I said, a good thing happened today. It wasn't the fact that my wife and I got free tickets to see a great musician. It was the kindness expressed to us through my cousin, who in so many ways, little and large, lets us know that she loves us! I love you, too, Tracy! Thanks for the great time. Again! (A few weeks back she gave me tickets to the Celine Dion concert!).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thoughts on keeping my mouth shut!

A few days ago I came home to discover that my 14 year old son was sporting a new hair style - a mohawk! My wife said she thought it looked cute (cute?). Being a teacher, I immediately thought of all the negative attention he would be drawing to himself at school and I opened my mouth to say so. Luckily, I caught a look from my wife and shut my mouth. I just looked at his hair and smiled. One of my friends told me later that night that she and her son had just had a conversation in which he told her that when she stopped objecting to his "style", it wasn't nearly as much fun. With that in mind, I was ready to embrace the mohawk into my world. Then, I came home today to find out that he had mom take him to SuperCuts after school to shave off the mohawk. Too much work to maintain, he says. Hmmm... there just might be something to this keeping my mouth shut. I'm going to try it again sometime soon.