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My Holiday Letter 2016


The year 2016 brought forth many challenges, and the lessons learned were pretty difficult, but we came through it, a stronger and a more united family. I want to share a few highlights of our year.

Sad News20160521_074037

Our nephew, David died at age 34 in his sleep, a person with diabetes and was not on any medication. He was a kind soul, left behind three children and worked hard to get his life back on the right track just before he died. It is never easy losing someone so young.

The Pulse Tragedy

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I watched the news in horror seeing victims carried out of the Pulse Night Club. An armed gunman entered the club opened fire with an assault weapon. My mind began to recall that our son JP frequented that club. Chills came over me thinking that JP was in that club, so I quickly started to text him, “ JP I need to hear from you as soon as you get my text.” Thank God, he responded, and that is when he told me about the death of his friends. He said that earlier that evening his friends spent time with him on a visit before going to the Pulse Night Club; they invited him along, but JP had a commitment with another friend going out for a birthday celebration. He later told me that he almost canceled with his friend to go with Drew and Juan. I was emotionally distraught thinking about all the lives lost in the name of hate and the realization of how close I came to losing my son. It was difficult for us and for many attending the funerals and the vigils; it was heart wrenching.

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Baby News

fb_img_1480284147011I became a Grand Aunt of two beautiful baby boys; Asa Caden of my niece Kisha, dad Glen and Michael Frangel of my niece Amanda, dad Frangel Anthony born within days

of each other. Wishing you all many blessings in the years to come.

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Growing Pains

Jayda, my beautiful granddaughter, turned 14. Where did the time go? It was just the other day I witnessed you being born. She is becoming quite a young lady, and we are so proud of her.

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The Election

The Presidential Election cycle was down and dirty. John’s fellow opponents used every dirty, disgusting trick in the book to discredit and malign him to no avail. As his wife, I was determined to stand firm against the evil doers, and if they are reading this? Beware!  God does not like ugly! He won the election, sworn in and is to begin his second term as a Florida State House of Representative for District 43 in Osceola County!

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Thanksgiving Eve Crisis

The day before Thanksgiving as I was about to cross the street I stepped down on the curb, OH MY GOD! Suddenly I hear a popping noise behind my right knee with tears welling up in my eyes as the pain was unbearable. My co-worker had to help me to my car; I thank God she was with me. I kept thinking, how am I going to drive home in this condition? By the grace of God, I was able to drive home by using my driving foot alternate with my non-driving foot. I was definitely in survival mode. My doctor informed me the injury might be a torn meniscus, an MRI scan completed and the results are pending. Wishing for a positive outcome.

Marriage News

Josh and Mary tie the knot. Wishing them many blessings as they embark on their marital journey. Always remember to love, laugh and talk it through no matter how difficult the situation.

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Life Lessons

My takeaways of the season are not to take those around you for granted, honor family, stay connected and show love, compassion, and caring whenever possible.

From our family to yours Happy Holidays!

holiday-wreath


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Our Family Christmas Letter 2012


December 11, 2012- The New Year is around the corner, and the holiday preparations are in full swing. Some of us are thinking about writing ‘Ye Ole Christmas Letter ‘ for our family and friends. Many of you have considered holiday letters to be boring or perhaps an opportunity for a family to do the bragging dance?  I feel that it is a place to put the year-end highlights of a family, good or bad. Lay it all on a slate for the New Year to wipe it clean and an opportunity to begin a new.

January

My aunt Ramona & my cousin EvelynJanuary 11, 2012- My aunt Ramona dies at age 84. She was the oldest sister out of nine siblings, and we will miss her.  I have lots of memories of my aunt, but what I remember most about her is that she was a no-nonsense type of lady and an awesome cook, very well-loved.                                                  

February

Family visit February 3, 2012

Family visits 2012

February 3, 2012-When family pays you a visit that you have not seen in a while? You will want to cherish every moment, spend time catching up and comment on how the years have passed. That is just what we did. Our cousins, Lillian, Adam, their kids and my sister-in-law, Doreen spend time with us. Time remembered, and we look forward to another visit in the future. Time spent was precious!

Chinese New Year Parade 2012

Chinese New Year 2012-Geisha

February 6, 2012-The Chinese New Year parade was underway, and we had the opportunity to be part of it. John was a candidate running for Florida State House Representative, District 43. He was doing his thing interacting with the crowd of spectators as we witnessed a spectacular event. That was incredible!                              

March

Joey singing a tune 2

Cousin Joey does Karaoke at the Rising Star

March 18, 2012-Did you ever go out with family members and discover that there was more to them than meets the eye? Yep, our cousin Joey showed us.  He had no fear of getting up on stage and doing a love song for his love, Donna. Lovely romantic to say the least. We had a blast with them that night.                                                                                                                     

April

Cary's b-day pose 2012

Our daughter Cary celebrates her 30th birthday with a Masquerade party.

April 16, 2012-Our daughter turned 30 this year, and her party was a great success. Preparing for the event was a memorable experience, definitely challenging. Her theme was to be a masquerade; it was a new adventure for me. She asked for my assistance with the decorations and in making some of the masks for the event. I designed the mask my daughter is wearing. Can you believe it?  Have I never designed masquerade masks? Truthfully, I have never ventured into making them. My life lesson from the experience? Never doubt your creativity, explore it and you will be pleasantly surprised. Food for thought.

May

Jaime Soto Sr.

Cousin Jim Thanksgiving 2009

May 31, 2012-When news reaches your ears of loved ones that passed.  Ask yourself, why? The unfairness of it!  Jim left behind his devoted wife, Sylvia of thirty-eight years. They had three sons and three grandchildren that will miss him immensely. He lost his battle with lung disease while waiting for a double lung transplant. We love you, Jim!                                                                                                                                                                                      

June

June 2, 2012-The day of Jim’s funeral. It was a somber day for all of us. The family that we had not seen in years attended. Co-workers honored Jim by having a bus outside the funeral home with his name and employee number. He drove a bus for a living. Cousins that had not seen each other since childhood got to spend time together unfortunately in a sad time.

June

Cousins

  July

4th of July parade in Celebration Florida

4th of July Parade in Celebration, Florida

July 4, 2012-Candidate John Cortes participates in the 4th of July parade in Celebration, Florida. He was well received and time well spent.

July 16, 2012-John Cortes withdrew his candidacy for Florida State House Representative, District 43 due to a technical glitch.

August

John Cortes

John Cortes

August 14, 2012-During the primaries, reliable sources reported that John received the majority vote accredited to his opponent.

September

President Obama at the Kissimmee Civic Center

President Obama at the Kissimmee Civic Center

September 8, 2012-Obama visits the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida. We had the opportunity to see the President. I can not describe the experience, but remembered as a memorable one.

October

Thanksgiving 2012 4

John Cortes’s father, Anibal.

October 28, 2012-Johns father, Anibal is admitted to the hospital due to possible mini stroke, diagnosed with blockage of his carotid and Cancer in one of his lungs.

November

Cary & Jayda

November 4, the 2012-My mother moves in with us. My father-in-law discharged on November 20th in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. When you think back on things, you realize family is most important! Not the things that you found annoying at the time.  If, how you imagined it in your head, was not the reality? Remind yourself to count your blessings! You were surrounded by those you love. Most important!

December

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Don celebrates his 60th birthday. A milestone!

December 14, 2012-Our friend Don reached a  milestone this year, the big 60. We celebrated with him and his wife, Robin at Manny’s Chop-House Restaurant.

My phantom girl 2

Phantom age 16 when she passed away two years ago.

Random

Random age six months our new addition.

December 20, 2012-I celebrated my 54th birthday. My husband suggested that we visit the pound today. A few weeks ago I said I  would adopt another cat only if I happen to find a cat with the same markings as my Phantom. She passed away two years ago. Can you believe that I found a cat that resembled Phantom? She is six months old, and her name is Random. I decided to keep her name as is due to its uniqueness. Later in the evening, our friends came over for a bit. My husband had a cake for me, and they sang Happy Birthday. It is funny how things strike you when they occur, like a flashback to your childhood. The birthday song was sung to us by our parents on every birthday growing up. One of my best memories.

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Caridad, Esther(mom) and my brother, Carlos

December 21, 2012-My oldest brother, Carlos is in Florida visiting with his wife, Rosita. I visited him today along with our mother. It was a beautiful day!

There you have it, the highlights of our year. From my family to yours have a very Happy Holiday and may lots of blessings come your way in the New Year. God Bless!