If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ~Matthew 17:20

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Farewell to the Powell's

I was so excited when I woke up this morning and realized we had nothing planned for today!  Honestly, I get so excited about laundry, grading papers and grocery shopping as opposed to running all over town for an audition.  What has happened to me?

Our friends from Houston, Susan and Grace, are heading home tomorrow.  We sure are going to miss them.  In honor of their departure, we made fajitas and all the trimmings and piled in our room to eat since it was chilly outside. 

The kids hung out on one side of the room....

...and the mom's were on the other.

No matter what happens out here, we are so blessed to have made such great friends.

"The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever."
~Psalm 121:8

The "Ozcars"!

I have been trying to update my blog since Sunday night but our internet has been out.  Drives me absolutely insane.

Sunday evening, Coppelia organized our "Ozcar" party.  She definitely missed her calling in life which should have been "Event Coordinator" instead of a real estate agent.

Our event was "thrift store" attire.  Everyone donned their finest finds from the thrift store and walked the red carpet (red table cloth) to be interviewed by our handsome co-hosts Cole and Talton.

The buffet table was loaded.

An "Oscar" was given to the best dressed.  Try not to notice that "Oscar" was originally a track trophy but then Oscar's arms were sawed off to resemble the real Oscar!

Our esteemed judges, Carol and Jeff.

The beautiful actresses of Burbank...
Freya, Grace, Soren and Angelina.

The gorgeous dudes of Burbank...
Cole, Spencer, Slade and Talton.

We had so much fun sitting around the pool talking and eating.  All the girls piled in our room to watch the real Oscars while the kids stayed outside and talked.

We all agreed that had Michelle, Susan and I been in charge of the party, we would have showed up in our pjs with cheese dip.  It was a lot of fun to get dressed up for a change.

"Kind words are like honey - sweet to the soul and healthy for the body."
~Proverbs 16:24

Busy Saturday

On Saturday, it was so nice to sleep until 8:00 a.m. and not have to jump up to do school.  Ahh, just love the weekends.

Cole and I have a new friend, Yoko, who has been joining us on our morning run.  She is the mother of Angelina and they are in town from Louisiana for Angelina to try her hand at acting.  They are so sweet.  Yoko is very athletic and she and Cole usually leave me behind but that's ok.  I enjoy the company and it makes exercising so much more tolerable.

On Saturday morning, we met Daisy...
Daisy is a four year old Golden Retriever.  Her "parents" stop at the paper stand every morning to get her a paper to keep her happy while they walk.  Oh my goodness, she was a love bug.  I could have sat with her all morning.

Spencer and Darrin Shea went to the 10:30 a.m. movies.  I was laughing because they were probably the only two in the theater.  Who goes to the movie that early?!  But they had a great time and it was so nice for Spencer to be able to get out of the apartment with someone besides Cole and I.

Cole had an acting workshop Saturday afternoon from 2:00 to 5:00 so after I dropped him off, Michelle, Brooke, Brayden, Yoko, Coppelia, Freya, Susan, Grace and I all loaded up in two cars and hit the thrift stores on Sunset Blvd. and Melrose Avenue to look for our "Ozcar" dresses for Sunday night.  These ladies would win the Oscar for "Shop Till You Drop"!  Good golly, Miss Agnes, they wore me out.

 So much fun with good friends.

Funny story...

We were in American Vintage on Melrose Avenue trying on ballgowns.  Now granted, these are HUGE dresses with yards upon yards of tulle.  I am in the dressing room (alone) trying on one that is orange and sequined and voluminous.  After said dress is on, I ask Coppelia to come in and zip me up.  Then Freya comes in.  Then Grace and Brooke come in when Freya starts trying on her dresses.  After the opinion that I look like a large "pumpkin", I am trying to remove the garment when my hair gets stuck in the zipper.

"Hello?  Coppelia, my hair is stuck in the zipper."

No response.  What I DO hear is everyone telling Freya how great her dress looks and how wonderful her shoes will match.

Really?  Six girls in a dressing room, one of which is naked and hanging upside down with her hair entangled in a zipper and no one can hear her or notice that she is flailing around?

I was finally freed from the zipper, able to get dressed and run for my life out of the store.  Who knew shopping could be so dangerous.

Cole loved his workshop and I was so happy to get back to the apartment and put on my pj's.  Michelle made burgers on the grill and graciously shared with us.

I hit the bed early and had nightmares of a giant, orange zipper chasing me.

"If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?  Even corrupt tax collectors do that much."
~Matthew 5:46

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What day is it? What time zone am I in?

My word, what a week it has been.  I would like for you all to help me give a warm welcome to the weekend!  Woohoo!!!!!

Cole has been busy with auditions (yeah!).  The roles that are fit for him are really starting to become more readily available.  He and Olivia Shea both had an audition for a Pizza Hut commercial this afternoon so Kari and Olivia rode with us to Santa Monica.
Two peas in a pod.

It took us TWO HOURS to drive home.  We were 8 miles from our apartment.  I have nothing nice to say about LA traffic.

Coppelia came up with the bright idea of having an "Ozcar" party Sunday in honor of the Oscars.  The mom's are donning proper thrift store fancy dresses and everyone is bringing dainty little appetizers (finger food if yor from the South!) and we're having an Oscar watching party.  I couldn't work yesterday because we had no internet so the girls and I decided to hit up some thrift stores.  Michelle found a dress that fits her perfectly for $7.  The rest of us....nothing.  So, another shopping trip will ensue on Saturday while Cole is at an acting workshop for three hours.  Surely, we can all find something fancy for under $20!  Stay tuned for photos.

Spencer has had a busy week with school and working out.  Bless his heart, we have been so busy with auditions that he has had to entertain himself a lot.  Thankfully, there are plenty of kids at the apartment who he hangs out with.

I hope you have all had a great week and are as excited for the weekend as we are.  Do you have anything fun planned?

"Better is one handful with some rest than two hands full of toil and chasing the wind."
~Ecclesiastes 4:6

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Random Thoughts

Warning....my brain is going in ten thousand different directions so there is no rhyme or reason to this post.

Spencer, Cole and I met Kari, Logan and Olivia Shea at the park on Saturday.  It was a gorgeous day.
Homeboy on Olivia's bike.

Olivia and Kramer on Logan's skateboard.

It has been kind of chilly here, for So Cal weather, which means it has been perfect for me.  This morning on my run I met Fox...
How could I not stop when this baby ran out to meet me and then crawled in my lap when I bent down to pet him.  Really, really, really wanted to run away with him but I really, really, really didn't want his owner (who was standing on the front porch) to call the cops.

I'm working hard on my new business venture and I'm getting ready to host a Weight Loss Challenge in our apartment complex.  We are going to meet once a week, for 12 weeks and the person who loses the most weight wins a cash prize.  I have lost seven pounds and two inches as of today.  Loving my new job.

The boys had yesterday and today off from school.  They have worked so hard (especially Cole, who stayed up late every night to get caught up) and they deserve a break.  I think we are going bowling today.  As long as the boys let me use the bumpers (to keep my ball from going in the gutter), I feel I will reign supreme!

We are going to have our first visitor to LA...my Aunt Martha is coming out to stay with us for three days in March!  I am so excited.  Hopefully, the weather will be perfect and we can show her all the crazies in this town but that will take longer than three days.

Cole has a callback for an audition he had last Sunday!  It is for theater (we haven't done that since we have been here) so we'll see what happens.  He is taking an improv class tomorrow and attending a workshop with a Casting Director for Disney on Saturday.  Keeping him busy.

Kari told me yesterday that she thinks Spencer's voice is getting stronger!  I can't tell but since she doesn't see him every day, I appreciate her observation.  He continues to work out with Anthony three times a week.

Ok, my brain is empty so I think I can stop.  Hope you all have a great day!

"I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don't be troubled or afraid."
~John 14:27

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wishing I was in Margaritaville.

I love me some Jimmy Buffett.  I cannot listen to one of his songs without going back to the time Brad and I rented a house in Key West for our anniversary and spent the entire week traversing the island and indulging in margaritas, and of course, frequenting Jimmy's restaurant.   When I am stressed, I put my ear buds in and let JB take me back to that wonderful week on the beach.

This week, I have listened to a lot of Jimmy.  You may think that being in California would not warrant any stress whatsoever and you would be right with regard to the fabulous weather and the friends we have made.  But, trying to be a mom, dad, wife, teacher, disciplinary, driver, coach, entrepreneur, friend....whew, it all caught up with me this week.  It would have been much, much easier to have stayed at home and never embarked on this adventure but then I remind myself that Brad and I want the boys to take risks and go for something they believe in.  I was never a risk taker and that is one thing I really admire in Brad...he doesn't let fear hold him back from doing something.  I love this quote by Leo F. Buscaglia..."The person who risk nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.  He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live." 

With all that said, I am looking forward to a quiet and relaxing weekend and a better perspective next week.

Michelle and I decided that it was time to cover up our gray hair that seems to grow twice as fast when we are out here!  So, it was "salon day" in our kitchen (sorry Sarah, I know you will need to do some tweaking when I come to see you in April.)

Michelle, the master mixer!

Guinea pig #1.

Guinea Pig #2.

It covered up the gray and brought out my red highlights!

Last night, Michelle, Susan, Coppelia and I NEEDED Indian cuisine.  There is nothing better than curry, garlic and spice to perk you up (well, except maybe a new pair of shoes.)  We ordered enough food to feed an army and then ate our frustrations into oblivion in the buttered chicken curry, garlic naan and lamb rogan josh.  Needless to say, I finally had a great night's sleep.

It is another beautiful day in So Cal and I think we are going to meet the Shea's at the park and then watch the Razorback game this afternoon.

Have your frustrations been abundant this week?  I am abundantly grateful for a God that listens and cares about every complaint I have.

"God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts.  Use them well to serve one another.  Do you have the gift of speaking?  Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you.  Do you have the gift of helping others?  Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies.  Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ.  All glory and power to him forever and ever!  Amen."
~1 Peter 4:10-11

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rainy Days

I can count on one hand how many times it has rained since last August when we first arrived in Burbank....five.  Today, it is really raining, as in I had to use my windshield wipers when I took Spencer to work out.  And it's chilly.  A mere 54 degrees which will probably be our high today.  These poor Californians are just beside themselves due to the lack of sun and the strange water falling from the sky.  Makes me almost feel sorry for them.

We have so busy lately with school.  The boys just finished their 9 weeks exams...I am so tired of learning about chemistry, dangling participles and the proper names for all my digestive parts.  Do you remember when school used to be fun?  No, me either but I definitely do not remember it being this hard.

Guess I will get back to work.  I hope to post fun pictures soon.

"We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish."
~Hebrews 12:2

Monday, February 13, 2012

Friends & Filming

It was such a fun weekend.  Saturday, we found out that Cole booked a commercial but it was ultra low-budget (a/k/a NO budget) and we had to bring our own costumes, so, Susan, Grace, Freya, Cole, Spencer and I headed to the local thrift store to find garb for a 1950's English messenger boy.  We found pants, shoes, gloves, socks and new wheels for Cole's scooter, all for $12.  Not bad.

We had a brouhaha Saturday night and everyone made a dish to share.  We had so much fun and so much great food.  I do love that God has provided us with wonderful friends while we are on this adventure.

Cole and I left Sunday at noon to head to Venice for the filming.  It is a Microsoft commercial that will only be shown on the Web.
Waiting, waiting, waiting.  We have determined that almost all shoots require very little time for actual filming but a lot of time for waiting to film.  I'll let you know when the commercial is on You Tube.

It was a beautiful day in Venice so it made our eight block walk to our car that much nicer.  Look who we met on the way back to our car...
smoochie poo!  He was so sweet.  I really wanted to bring him back to the apartment with us but I really did not want the owner, who was standing at the front door, to give chase!

Today is a day for catching up on paperwork, grading papers and trying to get a handle on our schedule this week.  When I talked with Brad this morning, it was snowing in Little Rock.  I can honestly say that I am happy to miss it.  I love me some cold weather but I HATE trying to drive in the snow/sleet.
Brad sent this picture and said they are expecting more snow this afternoon.  Glad he has plenty of firewood and propane.

Looks like we might get some rain in LA today.  Wherever you are and whatever your weather, stay safe.

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done."
~Philippians 4:6

Saturday, February 11, 2012

BOOKED! and Bacon

We found out yesterday that Cole booked a commercial he auditioned for last week!  We don't have the details yet but he is excited.  All we know is that it is for a Fortune 500 company and he plays a 1950's British messenger boy.  Fun!

Our friends next door, Michelle and her daughter Brooke were on set all day yesterday filming her Direct TV commercial so Michelle's son Brayden stayed with us.  While Spencer was working out, Brayden, Cole and I went for a walk and came across a little pig named Bacon....
It is hard to see him through the gate but he was a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e.  He is a year and a half and will come when you call him.  I must admit that I am surprised the City of Burbank would allow a pig for a pet but I have seen stranger things in this city.

Cole had two auditions yesterday afternoon so Brayden and Spencer hung out at the apartment.
So cute.  Spencer did a wonderful job of "big boy" sitting.

All the kids ended up at our apartment for dinner last night and then went to hang out in Coppelia's apartment while Coppelia, Michelle and I watched "Say Yes to the Dress:  Atlanta".  Woot woot, I was loving it!

We have a free day today with the exception of a big Brouhaha cookout tonight with all our neighbors.  It will be a huge smorgasbord for dinner because everyone is bringing a dish to share.  I think we will head to the movies this afternoon since it is raining and kind of cool outside.  It is supposed to be beautiful later on and 60 degrees; much warmer than Little Rock where they are predicting SNOW!  I didn't want to tell Brad that it was 80 here yesterday.

I hope you all have a fabulous day today; you should do something fun.

"If your gift is serving others, serve them well."
~Romans 12:7

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I can't believe it's already Thursday!

Wow, Thursday already.  Where has this week gone?  Here's a little of what we have been up to...

1.  Auditions, auditions, auditions.  Today is the only day that Cole has not had an audition.  He has been on everything from short films, print ads and commercials.  We're keeping our fingers crossed for good news from one (or more) of the auditions.

2.  Lots of outdoor activity.  The weather has been absolutely GORGEOUS and we have not wasted a minute of it.  Yesterday, Spencer, Cole, Grace, Brayden and I walked over the the park...
So cute.

During our walk home, we encountered a flock of parrots flying around!  Honest, wild parrots!  They are gorgeous but I only want to observe them from a distance.  And, boy are they noisy.  I stopped and talked with a lady on the sidewalk who was watching them and she said she had lived in Burbank all her life and this was the first year she had seen them around.  Spencer got on google and found the California Parrot Project website http://www.californiaparrotproject.org.  I couldn't get a picture of them so I downloaded this picture from the previous mentioned website...

The parrot on the left is indicative of the ones that we have seen.  Beautiful.

Today several of us decided to go play putt putt and, of course, we had so much fun...
Grace, Brooke, Cole, Freya, Angelina and Spencer.  I couldn't believe it but I came in first place!  Woot woot!

Tomorrow is a busy day with more auditions so we'll see what happens.

Hope you have all had a good week.

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you!"
~Isaiah 41:10

Monday, February 6, 2012


How do we know the choices we make today are the best ones for our tomorrow?

Some decisions are inconsequential.  What are we having for dinner?  Should I wash clothes, finish the dishes or grade papers?

And some decisions, although we do not realize it at the time, will prove to have lasting consequences. 

Today, Spencer, Cole and I each came to a realization about the effects of the decisions we make.

I won't go into detail but let's just say that bad choices and poor planning on Cole's part will have him spending the rest of this week and all of next week catching up on quizzes and tests in every subject of school.  I think he has made a choice to become diligent and to use his time more wisely.

Spencer made a choice twelve years ago that he would fight the fight, with all he had and never waiver in his determination to accomplish whatever was set before him.  He is studying chemistry in science and although it makes him want to bang his head against the wall (doesn't it do that to everyone?), he is still choosing to give it 100% to get through the chapter.

I made a choice to start using and selling Herbalife products so that I could make a healthy choice for myself and supplement our income.  I have been overwhelmed at all that I need to learn and all that I need to do to get my business up and running.  I was questioning my choice of businesses when I saw this quote today and knew that God meant it for me...
"Faith can move mountains, but don't be surprised if God hands you a shovel."

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
~Albert Einstein

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Quiet on the Set!

We left the apartment this morning before the sun even peeked it's head over the mountains, for our trek to Orange, CA which is about 45 miles from Burbank.  With it being that early in the morning and on a Sunday, it only took us 45 minutes to arrive at the elementary school where Cole's film was shooting.  I did manage to wake Cole up completely with a drive through McJunkies before we hit the road.  The way to get him to do anything is by feeding him first!

As Cole gets more experience on set, so do I when I interact with parents and the crew.  For instance, this crew was very organized and professional and I believe it is because the Director has worked on several big name movies in the past.  What a nice surprise to show up at 8:00 a.m. and have the crew already in place, the makeup and costume stations ready to go and the snack table & coffee ready!  It was even Starbucks!  My life was complete!

The film is set during the 1950's and Cole was looking the part....
...what a cutie.  We were on set from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and for most of the afternoon, he was filming on the playground in the sun.  Needless to say, he was wiped out.  After his shower, I would almost bet money that as soon as he sits on the couch, he will be asleep.  I will not be far behind him.

It cracked me up that the actor dad's had their "station" set up to watch the game...
All the mom's were sitting outside, visiting and enjoying the sunshine while the dad's were yelling at the tv.  Just like home.

We had a beautiful sunset on the way home...

So, while we were gone today, Spencer was gearing up for the big game.  I knew he was ready for it when he got up at 5:50 a.m. and he was humming!  Who hums that early in the morning?  That boy loves sports.

I got this picture in a text while we were on set.  It took me a minute to realize this was Spencer's hand!  Seems he wanted to go all out for the game so he let our neighbor Grace paint his nails.  Hmmm, I hope I have nail polish remover.

The Shea's graciously came and picked up Spencer and he watched the Super Bowl with them.  I know he had a great time because he loves watching any game with Darrin.  So thankful we are close to them.

This week is already shaping up to be a busy one.  I hope you have a great week.  Make sure you find a little quiet time for yourself in this craziness we call life. 

"O Lord, I come before you in prayer."
~Psalms 25:1

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Busy Busy Busy!

Yowsa, what a busy three days we have had!  Cole has been on three auditions in three days (he had two today) and we just received a call that he has been cast in a student film which will be filming tomorrow!  This is a senior film student at Chapman University in Orange, California and this film is his senior thesis.  He will submit the film to local, national and international film festivals in the hopes it will get picked up and produced into a major motion picture!  Crazy.

Spencer has been busy with school, working out and hanging out with all his friends at the apartment complex.  Since there are so many kids this season, the peace and quiet is non-existent.  In fact, all the residents received an e-mail yesterday reminding us that the rules state that there is to be no loud music or yelling after 7:30 p.m.  7:30?!?  Really?  We're just getting started by then.  So all the kids piled into our apartment last night and played Apples to Apples and since our door was shut, no one complained about the yelling.

And me, well, I have been trying to keep up with these kiddos.  I squeeze in a run every morning and the rest of the time I am working on my new venture or driving someone somewhere.  I'm so thankful that we are able to give the boys this unique opportunity.

Cole and I drove over 100 miles today to go to his auditions and I think I figured out how the State of California can get out from under it's mountain of debt.  All they need to do is remove every speed limit sign and sell the metal for scrap to put toward their trillion dollar deficit.  After all, you are either going 12 1/2 mph or 90 mph on the freeway so why do you need those ridiculous signs posting a speed limit of 65.  Yep, a total waste of taxpayer's money.  Just trying to solve the world's problems while I am behind the wheel.

Is everyone excited about the Super Bowl?  Spencer will be hanging with Kari and Darrin Shea to watch the big game while Cole and I are on set.  I'm so sad I will miss it!!! ;)

Enjoy your weekend.

"Look up at the sky!  Who created all these heavenly lights?  He is the one who leads out their ranks; He calls them all by name.  Because of His absolute power and awesome strength, not one of them is missing."
~Isaiah 40:26

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fun Day

It was a gorgeous day in Burbank today with a lovely 44 degrees for my run this morning, and then warming up to 62 degrees this afternoon.  If I could live somewhere with these temps year round, I would do it!!!

As I was heading out for my run, one of my friends that I met last year was waiting for me....
Of course, I had to sit and catch up with him before continuing on my run.  Honestly, I think the Humane Society or the ASPCA should sponsor this blog, don't you?!?

Today was Spencer's first day back with his personal trainer Anthony.  When I picked him up after his hour-long workout he was a little out of breath but he had a big smile on his face.  I love that boys' determination.

The apartment complex is full of kid actors for pilot season.  We have 12 kids, ranging in age from 5 to 18, so it can get a little loud and crazy.  Our friends Susan and Grace showed up from Texas today and we were so excited to see them.  I'm not sure who double-dog-dared whom but somehow, Grace and Cole ended up jumping in the frigid pool...
they are smiling but only because they have gone into hypothermia and can't feel anything!  It's just a guess but I know the water is not any warmer than 60 degrees.  Since the heated pool is being renovated, I would bet that all swimming will be put on hold until the renovations are complete!

All the moms sat outside and chatted while all the kids played hide and seek.  I do love that we feel like we are at a home away from home.

Cole might be getting a call tonight for a zoo commercial that is being filmed in the morning.  That would be great with the exception that the shoot is scheduled for 6:00 a.m.  Ah, the exciting life of an actor.

Hope you all had a great day.

"But I trust in your faithfulness.  May I rejoice because of your deliverance!"
~Psalm 13:5