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, October 30, 2012

Worry Wart

I am a worrier by nature.  I have been all my life.  I'm sure, while in the womb, I was worrying that I would be born at just the right time and everything would be perfect!

Over the years, God has shown me that instead of worrying, I need to be trusting.  Trusting in Him to take care of all things, both big and small.  Through Spencer's illness that has spanned 13 years, I have learned to "Let go and let God" over things that I have no control.

But I still worry.  I worry about worrying!  Shouldn't I, as a trusting Christian, KNOW that God is in control and wants nothing but the best for me?  Shouldn't I realize that worrying will not change the outcome and that it is a wasted resource?  Don't I have enough faith as a Believer to turn everything over to God and be content with whatever happens?  Yes, my mind knows all these things but my heart sometimes most of the time, does not listen.

The things I worry about today are not what I worried about when I was younger.  I use to worry about what people thought about me; now I realize that the only thing that matters is what God thinks about me.  I use to worry about making everyone happy.  Now I know that I only need to make Him happy.

There is always something to worry about...money, teenagers, money, the future, money, family, money; you get the picture.  My goal every day is to enjoy every moment and not worry.  Some days I achieve my goal while most days I fall short.  I am so blessed to be loved by a God, my family and friends that love me anyway.

To offset my worry, God blessed me with two amazing boys that make me live for the moment.
This young man, against ALL odds, amazes us daily with his love for life, his determination and his fortitude.  Spencer passed the written test and received his driver's permit yesterday!  We are so incredibly proud of him and are excited about this new chapter in his life.

And this young man is such a blessing every day and keeps me laughing and remembering why we do what we do.  I love his love for life and how he gives 110% to all that he does.  I wouldn't trade the world for the experience and the memories we are making.

In my "Jesus Calling" this morning, it began with "I am with you.  I am with you.  I am with you."  It is just what I needed to hear.

Got any good advice for a worrier?

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."
~Hebrews 11:1

Sunday, October 28, 2012

LA Cancer Challenge 5K

Cole, Vickey and I participated in the LA Cancer Challenge 5K on Sunday morning.  We were running in honor of so many of our family and friends who have cancer or are cancer survivors, especially Brad and Spencer.  When I think how cancer has touched our lives and how grateful and blessed we are to have experienced a positive outcome, it is overwhelming.

But this was not your ordinary 5K; oh no.  This was a wear-your-crazy-costume 5K and so, not to disappoint, we did just that.  
Yes, I am dressed as Tinkerbell!  Cole was a super hero with a jet pack and Vickey was a butterfly.

Vickey didn't want to run in butterfly wings so I used my puffy paint and put some on the back of her shirt.

Although the high today will be 90, it was a cool 70 degrees at race time and we all finished with a smile on our face.  I am so proud of Cole for finishing in 27 minutes!  Also, this was Vickey's very first race EVER!  She did awesome.

After the race, we ate breakfast at IHOP and we have the rest of the day to lounge around.  Seems like a good day for a nap.

"So now, children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways."
~Proverbs 8:32 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Proud Mama

Instead of a "blogger" I should be labeled as a "bragger" since I use most of the space in my blog to brag about my family, but I just can't help myself.
I love seeing this face each morning as we Skype about school and life in general.  

Spencer was asked to speak to the after-school kids at Little Rock Christian on Tuesday.  LRC was promoting Arkansas Children's Hospital and my sweet friend, Karmen, asked if Spencer could come "inspire and encourage" the seven, eight and nine-year-olds.  Karmen sent me the sweetest note afterwards, telling me how Spencer touched both kids and parents alike and what an impression he left on everyone.  Warms my heart.

Yesterday, I received the sweetest e-mail from Spencer's friend, Derek.  He is the owner for Community Connections in Conway and they established the flag football program in which Spencer participates.  Last weekend, I sent Derek a quick thank you e-mail for asking Spencer to attend UCA's football game last Saturday night and his response made me tear up (of course).  He said, "You should see Spencer on the field this year.  He comes out every week prepared and leading his team.  If someone has a bad attitude or makes a mistake Spencer is there to pick them up and make them better.  Even when Alex (Spencer's coach) gets a bad attitude when they lose it's Spencer who brightens the moment.  I know his dream is to be a football coach and I believe he'll be a great one."  Whoa, bring out the Kleenex.  I have hated missing Spencer's games this year but I'm so glad Brad has taped them for me to see.

Only five days until Brad and Spencer arrive in LA!  CAN'T WAIT!!!!!

"I relied completely on the Lord, and he turned toward me and heard my cry for help."
~Psalm 40:1

Monday, October 22, 2012

Inspiration From Family and a Stranger

I am not sure why but I have been so emotional lately.  The smallest things bring me to tears like Skyping with Brad or Spencer, a spontaneous hug from Cole or a kind word or gesture from a friend.  I'm a mess!

I try not to dwell on it too much but I'm not gonna lie...it is hard being away from Brad and Spencer.  I know they are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves but I miss that one-on-one time with them.  I am so thankful for Skype!  It's almost like being right there with them, especially when Spencer walks around the room with the computer so I can talk to the dogs and the cat!  Ha!

Spencer is a constant source of inspiration for me.  Whenever I need a little pick-me-up, all I have to do is call him and listen to his positive attitude.  We are so blessed by this young man.
Farrell and Spencer, RUFL team mates and fellow rebel rowsers!

My inspiration from Cole comes from the knowledge that we are making memories that will last a life time.  I know that as he gets older and moves out of the house, I can look back on this special time with him and cherish these moments we got to spend together.  And he will have the wonderful memory of his mother singing at the top of her lungs, while sitting on him, to wake him up in the mornings!
Cole and our neighbor's dog, Kena.

And Brad, well, there's just not enough words to express the inspiration that comes from him.  I know he doesn't always understand why I'm crying but at least he listens and is always encouraging.  Like my brother always says, "Thank goodness we were able to pay Brad enough money to marry you!"  I didn't realize there was enough money in the world for him to stick it out with me for 20+ years.

This morning, my inspiration came in the form of a total stranger but it touched me straight to my heart.  Cole and I went hiking (me with my 10 lb. weights) on this beautiful fall day.  Needless to say, Cole is constantly pushing me to do more, run faster, hike farther, etc.  We hike Freyman Canyon and while it is no Mount Everest, it definitely provides a workout.

Once you reach the halfway point of the hike, you have to traverse a very steep hill before you begin your decent.  This morning, Cole was convinced that I was going to run up this hill.  He started talking about it as soon as we hit the trail and he wouldn't let up and all the while, I am trying to mentally prepare myself for this challenge.  We start up the hill and as Cole is encouraging me on my right side, a lady begins running on my left and she is encouraging me right along with Cole.  "Come on, you can do it, you're doing great, you're looking good."  I have never seen this woman before but she's right there running step for step with us.  When I am about three-fourths of the way to the top, I start to slow down and I know I won't make it.  This lady (I later learned her name is Tameka) must have sensed that I was slowing down and she reaches down, grabs my hand and starts running a little ahead so she can pull me!  She pulled me to the top!  

I have never experienced anything like it before in my life.  I know some of you won't understand but for a total stranger to come along and help me achieve a goal that I thought I would never accomplish, I was blown away.  We were high-fiving and Cole was beaming from ear to ear with his smile.  I thanked her profusely, introduced Cole and I and then, started crying.  It was such a simple gesture but it meant more to me than she will ever know.

Isn't it amazing how God brings inspiration into our lives right when we need it.  I never, in a million years, would have thought that a simple hand from a stranger could make such a huge impact on me.  I am still in awe of the feeling but I know God sent my angel Tameka to teach me more this morning than just about conquering the hill in Freyman Canyon.

"Finally, all of you should be of one mind.  Sympathize with each other.  Love each other as brothers and sisters.  Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.  Don't repay evil for evil.  Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you.  Instead, pay them back with a blessing.  That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it."
~I Peter 3:8 - 9

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Welcoming Committee for Cali

I LOVE when our friends make a trip to California and call us to get together while they are in our neck of the woods (so to speak).  It warms my heart to hear another southern accent and to catch up with what is going on in the hopping town of Little Rock.

Our friends from church, the Bratton's, arrived in LA last night.  As soon as she sent me a text to tell me they were arriving at 5:00 p.m., Cole and I jumped in the car to head to Anaheim.  Even though Disneyland is only 35 miles away, at 4:30 on a weekday it might as well be 135 miles away.  Luckily, with Cole navigating with Google maps, we were able to go around the super congested areas and detour off the main freeway where there was a wreck and we made it in just over an hour.  What did we ever do before technology.

By the time Melissa and the kids arrived, Cole and I had explored the resort and decided that we needed to plan a weekend to bring Brad and Spencer there...it was so cool.

We had dinner at the Storyteller's Lodge.  The food was good but the desserts were amazing!
Will, Alex and Cole ate enough sugar to last them a week!

Melissa and I hid our desserts before the picture.  Ha!

After dinner, we went to downtown Disney that has all these amazing shops.
I L-O-V-E this dress!  As soon as I saw it, I thought of my cousin Shannan who looks like a fairy tale princess and even had a princess wedding.  This dress would be beautiful on her.

The kids found the Lego store.  I was amazed.  Each of these designs is made in Denmark and takes a minimum of one year.  I think Cole would consider that one of his dream jobs.

Hulk only took 6 months to make.

We had so much fun but by 9:00, we knew it was time for us to head home and for the Bratton's to get some rest.  It only took us 40 minutes to get home.  The last thing I saw before I fell asleep was Cole working on his new Lego superhero he bought.  Oh to have that much energy.

"A friend loves at all times."
~Proverbs 17:17

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Death by Boxing

Sometimes, I like to let myself think that for a person my age, I am in mediocre shape.  I can run 3 to 4 miles, I can hike a small-sized mountain without passing out and for the most part, I am a healthy eater.  

Well, all that changed today.

Our room mates, Vickey and Slade, joined LA Fitness and Vickey wanted me to join her in a boxing circuit class.  It has been years since I visited a gym (I prefer to exercise outside) but knowing how intimidating it can be to attend a class by yourself, I agreed to accompany her.  Mistake number uno.

As our class began filling up, I looked around at the other participants and noticed that they were all very fit.  Not necessarily bulky with muscles but definitely toned and on the smaller-size of normal.  Uh oh.

Then, our beautiful instructor arrived who was gorgeous, very fit and had a lovely English accent.  Oh, and did I mention that she was 8 months pregnant!  Yep, and she kept up with every step of the class and most likely weighed 100 pounds less than me.  Oh boy, this could be trouble.

Ten minutes into the class (which had me wishing that I had brought Spencer's portable oxygen tank) and my arms started feeling like jello because I was doing moves like jabbing, cross hit and upper cut, the instructor announced that the warm up was over and now we were ready to start.  Whoa, what?!  That was just the warm up?  I am definitely out of shape.

Fifty minutes later when I was sure that I was going to die, our perky instructor who had nary a sweat bead on her entire body, said the words I had been dreaming of...the cool down portion of the class.  Hallelujah!

Tomorrow, if I am able to lift my arms above my waist, I am going to wrap my hands around Vickey's neck and if I have the strength, I will squeeze them.  Most likely she will live to talk me into another class next week.

"Give 100% in all you do; unless you are giving blood."

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Auditions, Rain and Hiking

Mr. Cole has been a busy bee this past week with six auditions and already two scheduled for next week!  We love being busy because we feel like we are just one step closer to booking "the" role that was meant for Cole.

On Thursday, as we were heading home from an audition, we were so excited to see RAIN!!!!  Real, honest-to-goodness full blown rain.  It has not rained (only sprinkled) since we arrived back in LA June  3rd.
What a welcome sight except that these LA drivers, who are already crazy, go completely insane when water falls from the sky!

Vickey and I have been mixing up our work outs by hiking.  Today, we hiked the Hollywood trail and it was so nice.
The city is performing a 10-week renovation on the Hollywood sign by stripping the paint off, priming and repainting.  I'm not sure I would want to be that painter.

So beautiful.

Brayden is staying with us tonight while Brooke is on set tomorrow so I'm sure I will have some funny stories to report, although they may not be as funny as Vickey trying to put eye drops in my eye for my hope-it-is-not-pinkeye red eye.  I don't do eyes!

Have you had an eventful week?

"Let the heavens rejoice, and the earth be happy!  Let the nations say, 'The Lord reigns!'"
~1 Chronicles 16:31

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Adventures in Dog Sitting and Dream Car Window Shopping

We have had so much fun dog sitting Sarah.  She is such a sweet baby and so well behaved and so smart that she is even helping me with this post!

Sarah and I took off at 6:30 last night for a little stroll around our block and I talked with my mom while we were walking.  As we got back to the condo, I remembered that we have a dog run behind our complex so I headed back there to let Sarah roam a little more until Mom and I finished our conversation.  As we entered the dog run and I hung up with mom, I realized the door locks automatically and I didn't have my keys!  Trapped!  I tried calling Cole but couldn't reach him so I called Vickey and explained the situation.  All I can hear after I ask her to come and get me is hysterical laughing and the phone going dead.  Uh, hello!  Someone come and save me!!!  Thankfully after a few minutes, Cole shows up laughing, of course, and rescues Sarah and me.  See why we call it "The Ewing Adventures"?

After Cole's audition yesterday in Santa Monica, we were heading home through town when all of sudden Cole yells for me to pull over.  As I screech to a halt I am thinking that I have hit an animal or a person or there's a bomb!  Nope, just a Rolls Royce dealership with a Bugatti in the window, Cole's absolute FAVORITE car!
The price tag STARTS at $2.26 million.  Insane!  I was reading the stats on it and telling Cole that it gets horrible gas mileage and he could never drive it to Target for fear of someone hitting it or keying it.  Evidently, he doesn't care about either of those things!  Ha!

Our agenda today is school and an audition at 4:15.

By the way, Cole's Yahtzee commercial is now showing on tv so if you see it, let us know!  We have yet to see it but have had so many people tell us they have laid eyes on it and that it turned out good.  As soon as I get a link to it, I will post it.

"But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it."
~I Corinthians 12:18

Monday, October 8, 2012

Birthday Celebration & Puppy Sleepover

After our restful day on Saturday, I was raring to go when my alarm went off Sunday morning.  Cole, well, not so much. ;)

After church, we headed to Katrina's house (our Manager).  One of her clients is putting together a commercial to promote Quirkfest, a festival that will be held next spring for funny shorts, videos, commercials, trailers and You Tube videos and he used Cole and some other clients in the commercial.  

Cole worked on school the rest of the afternoon and I got a cooking "bug" so I made pecan encrusted Tilapia, green beans and salad.  Yum.  I also tried a new recipe for crunchy chick peas, where you coat them with a mixture of cumin, crushed red pepper, garlic and salt (my FAVORITE spice combination!) and then bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes.  Oh my goodness, I am addicted!  At least it's healthy.

Sunday was Slade's 17th birthday so we headed to his favorite restaurant, Maria's, for some fabulous Italian food. 

  His friend, Sammi, and her mom Ellen joined us and we had such a good time.  Sammi is gorgeous and oh, so sweet.  A perfect combination.

At dinner, Sammi said she wished she knew of someone who could keep her dog because she was going to be on set for at least 12 hours on Monday.  Cue the lights and music!  HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH!!!!!  I may have scared Ellen and Sammi with how quickly (and maybe aggressively) I expressed my desire to keep said dog, but they agreed anyway.

Meet Sarah!

She must know that I'm the human in charge of her because she has not left my side.  She is smart, house trained and has been a welcome substitute for my animals that I am missing so much.  Don't worry Coppelia, she is only staying until tomorrow!

It's overcast and a mere 65 degrees this morning and a welcome reprieve from the 100+ we had last week.  They are even predicting RAIN on Thursday, which is so unusual for this time of year.  It's not the same as fall in Arkansas but I'll take it.

It is stacking up to be a busy week already with two auditions on the books and hopefully, more to come.  I'm so excited we only have three weeks until we get to see Brad and Spencer and six weeks until we make our trek home.  I'm definitely looking forward to the break!
Thank goodness for Skype because I love chatting with this young man every day and watching his facial expressions as he talks about football.

Do you have exciting plans for this week?

"Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand it's way.  It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged."
~I Corinthians 13:4 - 5

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Laziness or Rejuvination

My mother, whom I love dearly, does not know the meaning of words like unmotivated, sitting still, laziness, letting the grass grow under your feet, etc.  She is always busy.  Even if she is standing still for a second, I think her mind is busy thinking of things she needs/wants to do.  Must be why she is so cutsie and little.

I used to think of a day with no plans as a wasted day.  My thinking is that you are supposed to cram every possible thing, plus one, into each day so you feel accomplished (and exhausted) when you lay down to sleep.

Yesterday, I realized we needed a day of rest when I found Cole sound asleep across two chairs when he was supposed to be working on school.
I'm glad he didn't roll off.

  I realize now that every once in a while, we need a "free" day to rejuvenate ourselves.  No cleaning, no washing clothes, no running errands...nothing.  Just resting and relaxing.

Today was the day!  With no plans in sight I stayed in my pj's all day and watched three movies and caught up on all my shows on HGTv, and Cole loved spending the day with his friends on XBox.

My sweet friend, Karen Huber, sent me a new book to read and I was so excited to get started.
I'm only on page 23 but I'm already loving it.

Tomorrow is a busy day with church, a trip to our Manager's house and a birthday celebration tomorrow night for our room mate, Slade.  So glad we took today off.

"Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning."
~Ecclesiastes 11:7

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Crazy Life of an Actor

This past week has reaffirmed my belief that the life of an actor is indeed crazy.  They have crazy schedules, they keep crazy hours and basically every actor must be a little crazy to cope with this life.  No shocking news there.

But this week has also reminded me that I am so thankful that Cole began his formidable years under "normal" circumstances (if you can count me as his mother as normal!).  He is blessed to be raised in the South where he is taught manners, was fortunate to go to a school that glorified God and is unconditionally loved and accepted by wonderful family and friends.  These attributes alone, in my opinion, give him a head start.  Add to that his awesome personality, his quirky sense of humor and the cuteness factor and I think you have a complete package.  Evidently, I'm not the only one with this thought because he leaves a lasting impression on everyone he meets.

Our week has been filled with auditions, coaching with a new acting coach, more auditions and then, last night, a Table Read for a Feature Film which Cole was invited to read.  A Table Read is where the Director gets all of the actors together that he thinks he wants to use to see how the chemistry is between everyone.  It was very interesting.
I sent this picture to Brad and all he commented about was how many wine bottles were on the table!  Ha!

We had time to spare between Cole's audition and the Table Read so we headed down to Sunset Boulevard to grab a bite at Mel's Diner (the one made famous by American Graffiti) and then to the Beverly Glen mall.  I found some extremely interesting shoes...
Loved these!

Or how about these?

Do you think I could wear either of these to an Arkansas Baptist High School football game?!

I did find my dream dress for that moment when I have reached my "target" size.
Absolutely loved this.  Honey, get ready to take me some place fancy!

Cole is experiencing a growth spurt and that reality was confirmed again last night when he informed me his tennis shoes were too small.  Although I was very excited about the prospect of throwing away the most awful shoes on the planet, I was not overjoyed about buying a new pair.  We bought a pair of high tops in May that were size 9 and then last night, the clerk at the shoe store said he needed a size 10.  Does that mean by Christmas he will need a size 11?  Yikes!
They are new, on sale and have no holes in them so I'm excited.

I can't wait for Brad and Spencer to come and see us which will be October 31st.  A little trick-or-treating and some much-needed family time are on the menu.  Unfortunately, I was not able to talk Spencer into staying with Cole and I for the month of November.  In his words, "I have a good gig going on and I don't want to mess it up."  Really?  Sigh.  Guess I will be happy with just six days.

Our temps are finally starting to cool off.  Today's high was 84 and by next week, highs in the 70's.  Can't. Hardly. Wait.

Have you had a good week?

"She is clothed with strength and honor, and she can laugh at the time to come."
~Proverbs 31:25

Monday, October 1, 2012

Weekends that Fly

I can't believe it is Monday and I ESPECIALLY can not believe that it is October 1st!  What?  Christmas will arrive in 13 weeks and a new year will be on it's heels.  I think I am safe in saying that if time continues to move at this speed, I will be 80 before I know it!

Our weekend was quick but really, uneventful.  No special plans...just hanging at the pool since the temps have been 100+, which will continue for the next couple of days.  I am really looking forward to the cool down that the Weather Channel is predicting to happen on Sunday.  80 degree temps.  Purt near perfect (southern talk).

On Saturday, Cole and Connor (our Manager's son) had an acting class and I met them at Katrina's afterwards to pick up Cole.  I look for any excuse to go over there because she has FIVE, count them FIVE, cats!  Let's just say that I am in kitty heaven when I am at her house.  I usually walk in, throw my purse down and start loving on the babies.  The greetings to the humans definitely take a back seat to the attention I give the kitties.  I always have a hard time remembering their names and I ask Katrina and Conner to remind me but I prefaced it by saying, "I know George but tell me the rest of their names."  Insert cricket sound here and quizzical looks.  Nope, no George here.  We all cracked up and I'm sure it just confirmed my "blondness" to Katrina and Conner.

My baby, Gracie.  She allows me to hold her, snuggle and kiss on her while she purrs.  Yep, pretty much the perfect cat.

Sassy lets me pet her but she is not a fan of all my smooches.

Harry, Rascal and ________ (I know it's not George but cannot for the life of me remember what it is!) are beautiful and I'm glad they tolerate me.

A really cool thing that happened for Cole is that he received his first fan mail!  A boy from Pokipsi, NY sent a fan letter to Katrina telling Cole how much he admired him and could he please have an autographed picture.
Your wish is our command!  So cool.

Sunday night, Cole, Scher, Donna and I attended a showing of Director Martin Donovan's movie "Apartment Zero".  I liked the director but was not a fan of the movie.  On the bright side, the lady that manages the Playhouse where the movie was shown, is a foster mom for dogs and she had PUPPIES!!!
Brad, you almost got a call at 10:00 p.m. asking if Cole could have a puppy!

Snap-a-doodle-day who can resist this face?  Argh!

Needless to say, we made it home at midnight WITHOUT a puppy.  

We are hoping for a productive and busy week this week.  Do you have big plans?

"You are the light of the world--like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden."
~Matthew 5:14