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, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

"Today your Savior is born in the city of David.  He is Christ the Lord."  ~Luke 2:11

This time of year has been made even more special with Cole and I being home.  Honestly, even if I had not received a single present, I would have been perfectly happy.  Everything I want crawled into bed with Brad and I at 7:00 a.m. this morning.  No matter how old the boys are, I will never tire of hearing them jump out of bed, run to get their stockings and come and jump in bed with us to open them.  Absolutely love it.

Last Saturday, the boys and I drove to Memphis to celebrate with all of my Aunts, Uncles and cousins on my Dad's side of the family.  We had so much fun.
Just a few of my second cousins.  If they had all been able to be there, there would have been 35 of them!

Last night, we followed our usual Christmas Eve tradition...  candlelight service at church then home to put on pj's and watch "Elf".
Nice to see both boys sitting together ;)

I layed on the floor because, obviously, there was no room on the couch.

Rusty was in the spirit, too!

Everyone is still in their pj's while Brad is making pizza for breakfast (using all his pizza supplies he got for Christmas), the boys are playing and I am enjoying my third cup of coffee.

I just had to share a picture of my gift from Spencer.
Love it!  Guess he wants to make sure we are safe in Cali!

Merry Christmas to you all.
We love you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Getting Acclimated

I have such empathy for our military personnel who are deployed for long periods of time and then return home and try to get acclimated into a regular routine.  I am sure they are dealing with much more than just trying to fit in with what all their family has going on and my heart goes out to them.

Cole and I are just trying to get accustomed to the two hour time difference, the ability to relax and the need for coats and sweaters instead of shorts and t-shirts.

When I asked Cole to take out the trash, he must have thought we were in Antarctica.

I showed up for my run yesterday with Lisa in a scarf, hat and gloves.  She just laughed.  I think I have become thin skinned!

These two have been up to no good.  I came home from the grocery store yesterday to find Cole literally stuffed under one of my chairs and Spencer encouraging the cat to bite him!

 Love these two.

Love sitting on my porch and seeing this beautiful sunset.

Thank you all for your prayers for Spencer's swallow study.  During the test, they detected some improvement in his swallowing and he didn't aspirate on everything.  In January, he will begin a new therapy that will hopefully help build up his muscles to aid in swallowing.  We are thankful for positive news and we will keep praying until he is able to eat by mouth.

"Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all we ask or think."
~Ephesians 3:20

Sunday, December 16, 2012

We're Home!

Thursday afternoon, I knew that it was time for Cole and I to go home.  The stress of the past week, from Cole's hectic schedule to Spencer's swallow study, had reduced me to a blubbering sack of nerves and the only way to remedy that was to be in my own home. 

Cole and I packed Thursday night and hit the road at 5:00 a.m. on Friday.  Thank goodness we looked at the weather before we left on our trip because our usual route that takes us through Flagstaff and Albuquerque, NM was NOT the way to go since Flagstaff was expected to experience their first major snowstorm of the season.  Being from Arkansas automatically prevents me from knowing how to drive in snow!

So, south it was as we followed I-10 through Phoenix, down to Las Cruces, NM and up through Ft. Worth to home.  Although this route added an additional 200 miles to our trip, it was an easy drive with no traffic.  We drove 11 hours on Friday and spent the night in Las Cruces and then another 12 1/2 on Saturday and arrived in Little Rock at 9:15 p.m., just in time to pick up Spencer from the basketball game. ;)

I am happy to report that it was a perfect trip with no hiccups.  I did think of turning Cole over to the Border Patrol when they stopped us in Texas to ask if we were American citizens but I thought they would probably give him back.  Ha!  We sang lots of Christmas songs, played lots of games and, as always, saw interesting sights.

Beautiful rainbow someplace in Arizona.

Beautiful sunset someplace in New Mexico.

Creepy sign in a Texas gas station while walking down the hall to the restrooms.
"Tokyo Massage".  Yuck!!!! 

We are so, so excited to be home.  The dogs keep sniffing our stuff (like they don't know who we are) and the cat is running through the house trying to climb the Christmas Tree.  Nice to know things are already back to normal.

"And this is the confidence that we have before him; that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."
1 John 5:14

Friday, December 14, 2012

Calling All Prayer Warriors for Spencer

I have something to confess.  For the past three weeks I have been extremely angry with God.  Not a little upset or mad because something didn't go my way but full on, nerve-wracking, sobbing uncontrollably, sick-to-my-stomach anger that boils up from my insides and spills over in every conversation that I am having with Him.

It has been four years since Spencer was able to eat by mouth.  That's one thousand, four hundred and sixty+ days of having to use his feeding tube to survive.

On Friday, December 14th, Spencer will have a Swallow Study to see if there is any change in his ability to swallow any type of food at all....solid, liquid and textures in between.  He doesn't think the outcome will be any different from the ones over the past four years.  But I have to try and believe that God can and will perform a miracle.

And so I have prayed.  And I have pleaded.  And I have begged and then begged some more.   And now I am asking my Prayer Warriors to join with me in praying for a positive outcome to this test.

As my friend Tracy reminds me, we have to believe that no matter the outcome, that God receives the glory for every situation.  And so  I have to believe that God can move mountains and that He will, in His time, make it possible for Spencer to eat again by mouth.  In the meantime, I pray that I am as faithful as Spencer.

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On Set for the Commerce Bank Commercial

The more experience Cole gets in the acting business, the more I have learned that acting is not an easy job!  Not for the actors themselves, nor the Director but, especially, for the crew.

Cole's call time yesterday morning was 5:00 a.m.  That means call time for the crew was 3:45 a.m. which also means that Craft Services (the ones that provide the food for the talent and crew) had to be there much earlier to have food ready to serve at 3:45 a.m.  Thank goodness for COFFEE!

The entire production team were so incredibly nice and professional.  They filmed at an old vintage theater in Los Feliz.  True to the style of the 50's was the small seating section (seating for 100 instead of 1,000), the elaborate crown moulding and architectural details and the coziness.  Linda, the mom of the girl who played Cole's girlfriend, and I got to sit in the theater itself and watch on the big screen as they filmed the commercial.  It was by far the coolest way I have ever watched a commercial being shot.

This was a HUGE production and I'm always taking pictures to show Brad to try to explain about the set.
It is so hard to see from this picture but this is the "King Kong" truck.  The front part of the truck backs up to connect to the back part which, as you can imagine, makes a HUGE 18 wheeler.  When the sections are apart (like in this picture), the front section was the "lounge" and school room for the talent, and the last section housed a separate room for Makeup, Wardrobe and Production.  It was funny to walk into what I thought was going to be a travel trailer but instead found an extremely nice office with mahogany cabinets, flat screen tvs and wifi.  Wow!

This is Cole and Lauryn with their Secret Agent, Dave.  This is how it looked on the big screen of the theater while they were filming.  I laughed so much (as usual) and I think it will be a very catchy commercial.  Unfortunately, unless you are in Missouri or Illinois, you won't see it on tv but thank goodness for You Tube.  It should start airing in January.

Cole and I were both sound asleep at 8:00 p.m. and and slept for 12 hours.  Today is going to be interesting as Cole has a callback for a show on Showtime called "House of Lies" that films on Friday (we were supposed to be leaving Friday morning to head home).  I just keep repeating to myself, "Remember to be flexible, remember to be flexible!".

"And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father."
~Colossians 3:17

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Finally, rest!

All I can say is "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."
Can you tell I'm finally rested?  After our very intense week last week it was so nice to have a weekend with absolutely nothing planned.

Saturday, I woke up early (even when I want to sleep late I can't) and for some reason, I had this strange urge to go shopping.  Shopping?  I hate to shop.  I'm one of those people that goes to the store and gets exactly what I need and then leaves.  No dilly dallying.  No browsing, window shopping or strolling with all those crazed people who are, well, crazy.  That's definitely not me.

But, Saturday, well that is exactly what I wanted to do.  Cole refused to get out of his pajamas so I left him at home and went to THE MALL!  This being LA, I knew there would be a million people there but it's an open air mall so you don't feel closed in.  The air was crisp, the sun was shining and I had a blast just walking around by myself and taking it all in.
I even got to smooch on a bunch of cutie patootie puppy dogs that were shopping for Christmas presents. ;)

The only thing we had planned for today was church and make up school work for Cole.  So while he was working on school, I was rocking out to Michael Buble's new Christmas CD while making cheeseballs and wrapping a few presents.
These make a perfect gift when you put them on a cute silver platter from the 99 cent store.  Just add crackers and a bow!

I love the look of plain brown paper with jazzy ribbon, both easily purchased at my favorite store, the 99 cent store.
Back in the day, I used to paint pictures on each individual present before adding ribbon.  Yep, that was back in the good ol' days!

I am so thankful for a weekend of rest.  It was just what we needed.

"Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope."
~Romans 5:3-4

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Crazy Week

I cannot believe it has been one whole week since I have blogged!  I am constantly writing blog posts in my head but this week, they never actually made it to my computer.  Can you guess what kind of week we have had?  Here's our week at a glance:

5 Auditions - from Tarzana to Culver City, we put over 500+ miles on my car this past week.

2 Callbacks - He BOOKED the last one, a Commerce Bank commercial that shoots next Tuesday!

1 Day of Filming - Even though he got a callback for a Pizza Hut commercial he did not book the Principle role but they did ask him if he would like to be an "extra" in the commercial.  Of course, getting paid and eating free pizza sealed the deal!

3 Skype sessions - Spencer and I usually Skype every day but since this week has been crazy, I haven't seen him as much.  On one day, Max was so frustrated because he could hear my voice but couldn't see me!

1 Photography Session - Cole's theatrical agent wanted new headshots so we spent Tuesday morning standing on Sunset Blvd. and posing.  Well, I stayed out of the way but Cole looked great!

20+ - number of amazing cars we saw this week and by amazing, I mean A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  As an example, when we were on the lot of Hollywood Studios for an audition for A.N.T. Farm, we saw Rob Dyrdek's Ferrari.  Why?  Because we were in the same building where Rob films his show "Ridiculousness".  For those of you that have never seen it, it is hysterical.  It is film clips of ridiculous things people do (or attempt to do).  Anyway, Cole was swooning over his car.

1 Movie - After Cole's audition last night in Santa Monica, we decided to NOT fight the traffic and stay downtown so we went to see "Wreck It Ralph".  Cute movie but even better was being able to walk around The Grove outdoor mall and enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights and Christmas music.

3 - number of times I almost ran out of gas but last night I really cut it close.  I pulled into the gas station with "0" miles left on my gas tank.  Holy smokes, I am really pushing my luck.

6 - number of days until Cole and I leave to head home for our Christmas break!  I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!

61,000 - number of times I got yelled at on the freeways.

Every second of every day - the number of times that I am so thankful for the love of my family and friends and for God's love, protection and guidance during our adventure.

"For David says about him, "I saw the Lord always in front of me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken.  Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; my body also will live in hope."
~Acts 2:25-26