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

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas was as close to perfect as I can get while I wait on my one true wish to come true.

The boys slept in but Brad and I were both up early, had coffee and waited expectantly on them to get up and for the fun to begin.  Boy, times sure have changed from when they would crawl in bed with us with their stockings, before the sun was even up.

A couple of years ago, we made the decision to purchase only three gifts for the boys....it puts the focus back on what this season is all about and it makes it easier for Brad and me.  I am a boring gift giver but the boys are so creative; their sense of humor cracks me up.
Spencer asked for "Beats" headphones and this is what Cole got him....a can of beets with a pair of headphones from 1999.  Love it.

Rusty and Max got new bones but Max buried four of them and even buried his new tennis ball.

We got Kobe a new toy but he prefers to play with the tree skirt and the wrapping paper.

My brother, nephew and niece joined us Wednesday afternoon at the movies to see "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and then back to our house for dinner and family time.

I hope your Christmas was great.

"And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
~Matthew 28:20

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I.V. Free for Spencer!

When Spencer gets sick, it's great that Brad and I are trained to do the IV's at home so that Spencer doesn't have to stay in the hospital for the duration of the illness.  This past stint was 10 days of three different antibiotics for a total of nine different times the IV's had to be administered in a 24 hour period.  I know.  It made my eyes cross, too, which is why my brilliant husband made a spread sheet so we could stay on task. 
The 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. IV's were the hardest because, well, because it is the middle of the night!  No wonder they don't recommend people in their 40's having babies because getting up at all hours of the night is for young people.

I have said it before but it definitely bears repeating...I am married to the very BEST husband in the world!  He took care of the IV's for five days, by himself, before I arrived to help out, and not once did he complain.  He is truly amazing.

On Monday, Spencer had a great checkup and had his PICC line pulled so no more IV's!  Woohoo!  We celebrated by me falling asleep at 10:00 p.m. and sleeping until 8:00 a.m. this morning.

Our house has been full of boys, our packages are wrapped and under the tree and our fireplace has been burning non-stop!  Yep, it's almost perfect.

Today, we are going to the Salvation Army/Red Cross coat and blood drive that is being held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 1111 W. Markham.  Both organizations are amazing and both are in desperate need of supplies so if you get a chance, hop on over and spread a little Christmas cheer by donating.

As we approach Baby Jesus' birthday, let's remember the true reason for the season.

"That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep.  Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them.  They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them.  "Don't be afraid!'  he said.  "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!  The Savior - yes, the Messiah, the Lord - has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!""

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Top 10 Ways to Know You're In the South

I am happy to report that after 25 1/2 hours, 1681 miles, six gas/potty/food stops and one night in a hotel in Albuquerque, NM, Cole and I are safely back home in Arkansas!  This drive seemed to go the smoothest to date (out of the many trips over the past two years) and I think it was because I rented James Patterson's books on tape.  He is such a fabulous writer and I was so engrossed in the story that I really paid no attention to the arduous drive or the sleeping teenager with the stinky feet in the back seat.

We arrived home at 9:30 p.m. tonight and now Cole is taping an audition to send to his agent and getting ready to take an Algebra final (it's online and has to be submitted by 12:00 a.m. today!).  Didn't I tell you that there is never a dull moment?!

While I sit here and bask in the warmth of being back home with my family (both two legged and four legged), I thought I would share some insight and friendly advice for my non-Southern friends should they ever find themselves in the South.

#10.  Southerns are super friendly.  They will strike up a conversation anywhere including the gas station, a restaurant or in the stall adjacent to you in the restroom (yep, happened to me yesterday).

#9.  Gas is way cheaper in the south than out West so fill up all you can.  I mean $2.71/gallon is a STEAL!

#8.  State Troopers out West drive Chevy Impala's and Camaro's.  In the South, look for a jacked up 4x4 truck with a gun rack in the back window and a heavy duty grill guard with a hydraulic wench.  If you see "Bubba" in your rear view mirror with his blue lights flashing, you best pull over and start thinking of how you can sweet talk this country boy out of the ticket he's intending to write you.

#7.  People in the South drive much slower than in any other part of the country.  It may make you crazy but that's just how they are so there's no need to lay on your horn and show them how "loved" they are when you finally are able to pass them.

#6.  Manners...everyone from a small child learning his first words to a person that has one foot in the grave, knows their manners.  If they say "yes ma'am" don't get huffy and take it as an insult.  It's a compliment.  You can smile and say "thank you" or "thank you very much".  That's all.

#5.  Some Southerners may not dress well, be clean shaven or even have all their teeth but they are the kindest people and will give you the shirt off their back...literally.  Don't judge.  Just give them a chance.

#4. You never see road kill in California but the wide open spaces in the South definitely provide lots of opportunities for car vs. animals.

#3.  There is a Sonic and a Hobby Lobby in every town in the South.  There are one of each in the entire state of California.  

#2.  You pass a church on every corner.

#1.  The absolute BEST way to know that you're in the South is when you see a billboard that says, "Come in and buy a diamond and get a free shotgun."  You have arrived!

"And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
~Matthew 28:20

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Is Today A "Peak" or A "Valley"?

On Wednesday, when I was having a complete meltdown, my always-wise husband reminded me of two things that the Ewing's experience every day of our lives...peaks and valleys.  If our lives could be registered on the Richter scale, on any given day we would range between a 0 event to a 9.7.  Highs and lows.  Good news and bad news.  But isn't that typical for every family?  To us, it's just normal.

When we have more than one day in a row that nothing extreme happens, I get worried that we are doing something wrong!  Ha!  Maybe I really am an adrenaline junkie.

Cole and I are still in California as we wait to hear news of him booking a national commercial.  We are verbally bound to be available until December 20th so we will hang out in LA until we hear a yeah or nay.  Last night, we joined The Ferrell's at The Grove to walk around and look at the Christmas light and then to see the movie "Frozen".
Riding on the trolley, which was fun until we passed the Gingerbread house and Cole started screaming at Santa like a nut (picture Will Ferrell in Elf when he sees Santa in the store!). 

Spencer is being discharged from ACH today and will go home on 10 days of IV antibiotics.  He had so many visitors yesterday (after my plea on Facebook) and I was thankful that he had fun and didn't have any downtime.
Sweet Esther brought a Gingerbread kit...I would have loved to have been in the room while they were making this because they always have the BEST conversations.  We love her!

Even though Liz is one of the busiest people I know, she always makes time for Spencer which is one more reason I love her.

Since Spencer will have to be connected to his IV pole every 6 hours, he won't be able to wander far from home so if you would like to go and visit, feel free!  Just give him a call beforehand at 501-772-8411.

Today, I am making cheeseballs and Christmas fudge to share with our friends and going to my Sunday School Christmas party tonight.  I guess my "valley" today is not being able to leave for home but my "peak" is Spencer being discharged.  See, not one day. ;)

"We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps."
~Proverbs 16:9


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hello Arkansas Children's Hospital

I was so happy yesterday when Spencer called to tell me that he would not be admitted to ACH.  Surprised, but very happy.  To think that after only 14 years of his body enduring two brain surgeries, two years of chemotherapy, seven weeks of radiation and hundreds of hospitalizations, he was finally going to be able to deal with the common cold at home.
 
 
Not so fast.
 
Spencer called me at 6:00 a.m. pacific time to tell me he was being admitted to ACH.  I had been awake since 4:45a.m.  I was so restless last night that I was showering and listening to Christmas music at 12:30 a.m.  I wasn't sure why I was so restless but I think deep down I must have been uneasy about Spencer.  When Brad took Spencer in this morning for a recheck and to get lab results, Dr. Warren informed them that Spencer had tested positive for Pseudomonas, a very nasty bug, and that he would need to be hospitalized so that he could get a PICC line (a central line in his arm) to start IV antibiotics.
 
Deep breath.  Did I freak?  No.  Did I want to?  Oh yeah.  But Spencer was in total control and was so matter of fact and I knew I needed to be like him and act like a grownup (being an adult is so overrated).
 
The next time I talked with Spencer, he had been to radiology (without a parent) and had his PICC line inserted and was resting comfortably in his hospital room visiting with Grandma, IV antibiotics were already running and he had informed the floor staff that he knew Dr. Warren did not want the respiratory team to wake him in the middle of the night to do breathing treatments and that he definitely did not want to be woken up in the middle of the night for vitals.  Ha!  I have trained that boy well!!!  When you're sick, rest is one of the most important keys to getting you well but you just can't rest in the hospital.
 
Holy smokes, I love this face.
 
We are praying it is a short visit and that Spencer will go home with IV antibiotics as we have done so many times in the past.  After all, Dr. Warren says the hospital is no place for Spencer since it is full of sick people!
 
With all the drama of Spencer, I have neglected to share all the good news about Cole.  On Monday, he spent the morning at Nickelodeon's Animation Studios working on a project that we are hopeful will become a regular series on the Nick channel.
 
Tomorrow, he will find out if he booked a national commercial and will be auditioning for another animated series.  The fun never ends.
 
Strangely, today I have remained calm (except when I cried on the phone to my mom) and felt at peace.  I sure do love it when I let go and let God.  I should do that more often. ;)
 
Stay tuned...you never know WHAT could happen with the Ewing's tomorrow!!!
 
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
~Romans 8:28
 


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Thankful Heart of a WaCKy Mother

"Hello my name is Marilyn Ewing, and I am a Wacky Mom."  And then all you wacky mom's out there respond, "Hello Marilyn."

I imagine an organization akin to AA for Wacky Mom's like me that need to go and get help for the wackiness that pervades every day of my life.  I don't do things half way.  If I am happy, I'm ecstatic.  If I'm sad, I'm inconsolable.  When I'm mad, I'm sure I make the FBI's "Watch List" for terrorists.  And when I worry, I let all common sense and God's word fly out of my head while worry takes over.

I woke up early thinking of Spencer and all the ins and outs he would need to endure before he was admitted to ACH.  The blood tests, chest x-rays, pages and pages of questions by nurses, doctors and someone from "Admitting", the long wait for a room and finally, the scariness of yet another visit to the hospital where the outcome is always questionable.

In 2008, Spencer was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and bronchitis.  His seemingly "normal" hospital stay for a child with chronic lung issues turned deadly when he contracted the flu from an adjoining patient room and had to be rushed to the PICU where he was in a medical-induced coma for 26 days and in the hospital for a total of 81 days.  Since then, every time Spencer gets sick, I always worry wonder if the foreseeing hospital visit will bring the same results as that fateful trip.

Imagine my surprise this morning when Spencer called me to tell me he was on his way home!  Home?!?!  His voice was clear, I could tell he was feeling good and he sounded like he was on top of the world.  I'm sorry, is this the same young man that I talked with last night that I was sure should be taken to the ER instead of waiting till today to see the doctor?

Despite my obvious crying, Spencer went on to explain that his chest x-ray looked great, his blood tests were all good, his oxygen levels were excellent and his lung functions were all perfect.  He said Dr. Warren told him that....wait for it......he had a COLD!  What?  No pneumonia?  No Hungarian Bodyrot or Typhoid Fever?  Nope, just a common cold.  The most exciting part is that for the first time in 14 years, Spencer's body can deal with the common cold without being hospitalized!  Praise Jesus!

My sweet Mom is hanging out with Spencer at the house while Brad goes to work.  Who knows what kind of trouble those two will get in to. ;)

As I look back on these last couple of days, I can see God's hand in all that occurred and my heart sings with thankfulness.  God knows my weaknesses, my fears, my insecurities and yet, He loves me unconditionally and always.

Today, I will discard the beach towel I was using as a giant Kleenex and focus on being thankful for our blessings and pray for those that are enduring pain and uncertainty.  Another lesson and another blessing.

"Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever."
~Psalm 125:1


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Is Prayer Not Enough?

Prayer.  My all-time, go-to, fix-everything-that-needs-to-be-fixed answer to anything I am experiencing.  I come from a family of powerful praying women who won't hesitate to stop, drop to their knees and beseech God on someone's behalf.  We have seen first-hand what the power of prayer can do for a dying child.  So, why then do I think that sometimes prayer is not enough?  Not enough?  How can that be?  Why do I feel today that even though I have been in constant prayer, that I still need to DO something besides pace the floor and rub a hole in the carpet.

Spencer is sick and stuck at our house due to the ice and snow.  Brad will take him to ACH tomorrow to see the Pulmonologist and I am sure he will be admitted.

 I am in California.  Waiting at our condo until Friday when we will find out if Cole booked a commercial and if we will need to stay for a few more days, or if we can head home Saturday morning.

My level of anxiety, frustration and fear is THROUGH THE ROOF.  Even though I have been talking to God all day, I have no peace.  Is it being offered but I am blind to the answers?  Have I worked myself up into such a state that even if the peace that God is offering was standing right in front of me, I would not see it?  Is God's word not enough for me when He says, "Be anxious for nothing; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done." (Philippians 4:6).

I have no answers.  My prayer is that since God already knew this was going to happen, then His timing is always right and Cole and I are where we are supposed to be as are Spencer and Brad.  I am, however, looking forward to the day when I will sit at the feet of Jesus and all will be revealed.

"God keeps His promises, and He will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the same time you are put to the test, He will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out."
~1 Corinthians 10:13


Friday, December 6, 2013

Traveling is ____________(fill in the blank)

Since moving (temporarily) to LA two years ago, we have tried every mode of transportation between Little Rock and LA with the exception of a helicopter or blimp, which I think would be really cool.   From front door (Little Rock) to front door (Los Angeles) is 1700 miles and approximately 24 hours (give or take depending on traffic, weather and pit stops).

Flying is my favorite;  someone else is driving and I can travel from Southern state to Crazy state in about six hours.   With the exception of Wednesday...

Cole and I were scheduled to fly out of LR at 11:30 a.m. but we knew our flight was delayed before we ever arrived at the airport (love updates via text message from Southwest).  So, I got coffee and a paper and settled down to wait.  I should say that I used to be HORRIBLE at being a patient person and sometimes even now I find myself irritated for stupid reasons.  But all in all, given caffeine and reading material means everyone around me is safe.

Due to weather conditions in Little Rock on Tuesday and mechanical issues with our plane on Wednesday, our flight was two hours late departing and then it really got interesting.  We became the equivalent of a modern day hitchhiker as we hopped from Little Rock to Dallas to Houston to San Antonio to Las Vegas to LA.  Whew!  Thank goodness for caffeine and chocolate.
Hello LA!

Nothing like walking in to the condo, literally dropping my bags and crawling in to bed to sleep for a solid 10 hours until being woken up by honking horns and someone screaming out the window at a truck blocking a parking garage.  Hmmm, we're not on the mountain anymore.

We're hitting the ground running and I'm sure it will be fast and furious until we get in the car to return home for Christmas.  Remember, if you have a really big smile on your face it really makes people wonder what you're up to and I plan on making a lot of people wonder!

"Answer my prayers, O Lord, for your unfailing love is wonderful."
~Psalm 69:16




Monday, December 2, 2013

Pioneer Girl Revisited

I have stated here previously (many times) that although I carry a strong work ethic, I definitely enjoy the comforts of the 21st century such as electricity, chain saws and hot tubs (maybe not in that order!).

Our mountain top is made up of 5 acres, 4.8 of those which are completely covered by huge boulders and dense trees.  There is always an on-going "honey do" list which usually includes clearing, dead tree removal, mulching, etc.  Since Cole and I are gone 10 months out of the year, the HDL (honey-do list) gets put on hold until all the Ewing's are present and able to work together.

Saturday found all of us working in the front yard mowing, weed eating, cleaning out flower beds, pruning and general debris clearing.  There were fits of moaning, screaming and running but that was just because I imagined a bug crawling on me every time a leaf touched my skin.  Honestly, I HATE bugs!

As fast as Spencer could blow the sticks and leaves over the edge, Max was bringing them right back into the yard.

Sunday, we brought out the chain saw and tackled the back yard where the dead and cracked trees outnumbered the healthy ones; last year's ice storm was not kind to the saplings and older trees.

Brad cut and we made a pile of trees that will be put through the wood chipper and used for mulch (another job for another day).  Hard work but very satisfying.
Making progress.

I should know NOT to let the Labrador out of the house during yard work.  He does more hindering than helping!

The pile of sticks, leaves and dirt on my laundry room floor can only mean that everyone was filthy but a lot was accomplished.

My favorite part of the weekend?  The beautiful sunsets, of course.

And the downtime with the fam.
These two are serious about their ping pong game!

Cole and I head back to LA on Wednesday and will return to Little Rock mid December.  I'm so ready to be home for more than a week at a time.

"Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm."
~Colossians 3:23


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Back in the Land of Southern Hospitality

Friday, Cole and I traded our view of the Hollywood mountains and the insane rush of traffic with Prius' and Porche's for the laid back, no-rush-to-get-anywhere hassle free commute filled with trucks and camo.  Yep, we're back in Arkansas.

My mom picked us up at the airport so we could use her car while we are in town (and so she could be the first to see us!).  She lives 30 minutes south of Little Rock in the hopping town of Redfield, population 1,400.  They don't have a stop light but they are famous for the Big Orange restaurant.  After we left her house, it was so funny listening to Cole compare Little Rock to LA.  Things such as, "Man, they sure do drive slow here."  "I haven't seen a Porche since we landed."  "I can't believe there is no traffic."  "Why is this person driving so slow?"  Haha, welcome back to the South where the pace is slow, the tea is sweet and they don't look at you weird if you ask for cheese dip (we have yet to find a Mexican restaurant in LA that serves cheese dip.)

It is so nice to be home in my own house, in my own bed, with my own animals and snuggled in front of the fire.  Yowzers, I forgot how cold 24 degrees is....IT'S COLD!  But, I promised Spencer I would not complain and I wasn't; that was merely an observation.

My morning started early when I woke to the sound of gun fire.  I know what you're thinking and no, I honestly have never heard actual gun fire while living in LA.  But when I hear it at 7:30 a.m. and it is very close to my bedroom window, I am reminded that it is hunting season in Arkansas and my neighbor is probably standing on his back deck in his boxers shooting into the woods.  Argh, won't the objects being shot at be there around 10:00 a.m.?!?!

My entire family braved the cold weather and joined us on the mountain for lunch and much needed family time.  Oh my, how I have missed all of them.  We had tons of food and so much fun.

The kids kept themselves entertained after they finished eating.

After lunch, the kids wrote notes and packed shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I love that I can involve lunch, a craft and a worthy project all into one afternoon!


It's only 6:30 and I am already in my pj's and ready to head to bed.  Guess I will try to stay up a little longer. :)

"The Lord will fight for you, and you can be still."
~Exodus 14:14

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Looking for Answers

I have so many friends that are experiencing the same thing I am feeling, although some of their situations are more critical and dire than mine.  We are all looking for answers.  Answers to questions that elude us every day, that are beyond our comprehension or just an answer to simply a question of "Why?". 

My quest for answers has kept me so unsettled for the past two months.  Why do I do that to myself?  Faith and prayer, prayer and faith...with those two options in my corner, there should be nothing that keeps me awake at night.  "Should be" is the key word.

My need of constantly wanting to know what is going to happen and what God has planned for us at every second of every day is driving me crazy.  I really did think that I had relinquished that "habit" when we received Spencer's diagnosis 14 years ago.  I mean, you can't control ANYTHING about a brain stem tumor and all that comes along with it and there are never any guarantees.  

I realized this morning that God has been using my situation over these past two months to gently change my way of thinking.  To trust completely.  To be in His word.  To have faith that He has only great things planned.  To know that He is constantly working in the back ground, even when I don't see it.  To realize that everything happens for a reason, even when I don't understand it.

I love this passage from my devotional "Worship the King":
"One of the greatest ways to honor God - to demonstrate your trust in who He is and how He works - is to relinquish your dreams to Him.  Instead of asking Him to fulfill you according to your hopes and dreams, ask Him to fulfill you according to His hopes and dreams.  It's a pretty sure bet that His plan for your life exceeds yours, and in the end it will be more satisfying than you ever dreamed.  Trust Him with your heart.  He knows exactly what it needs."

Are you struggling today?  I am praying for our hearts to trust in the one and only true God that knows our hearts better than we do.

"Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul."
~Psalm 86:4

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fun in Different States

Even though the Ewing family is split between different states, we all find fun things to do to keep us busy and this past weekend was no exception.

My brother (Uncle Dwayne) and Spencer attended the Hogs game on Saturday and had so much fun.  I love that even though Dwayne has such a busy life with work and his own kiddos, he still finds time to hang out with his nephews.
What cuties.

On Friday, Cole and I went downtown LA to the Pedersen Automobile Museum.  Both of us love cars and we were not disappointed with their incredible exhibits.
Out of all the cars we saw, this 2013 BMW prototype was Cole's favorite.

I couldn't decide on just one favorite but I LOVED this 1956 Cosmic Concept car.
Oh yeah, I need this.

Friday night, even though Spencer wasn't here, I attended Village Christian's last football game.  Before the game, I got to hang out with Kym Blazer and her amazing family and all her adorable animals.  Kym has all the animals I can only dream about; 3 cats, 2 chinchillas, 2 rabbits, 2 dogs, some goats and some sheep.  I was in HEAVEN!
Meet Samurai the chinchilla and Oliver the 13-year-old cat who lets the Samurai climb all over him without batting an eye.

Brad, I definitely NEED this sweetie!!!!

Saturday night, I was invited to a swanky dinner as a guest of Darin and Kari Shea, and even though I stayed out past my 9:00 p.m. bedtime, I had so much fun.  "Night of Magic" is a fundraiser for Burbank High show choirs and they are amazing.  I loved listening to great music, eating good food and visiting with fabulous friends.

After a late night Saturday night, Sunday morning found Cole and I at church at 8:00 a.m. so he could practice for praise band before church.   I love to watch my boys serve the Lord with their many gifts.

Today is a big day for Mr. Cole and even though I cannot divulge any details, we would definitely appreciate your prayers.  It is always nerve wracking/exciting to see what God has in store for us each day.

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love.  Death can't and life can't.  Our fears for today, and worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away."
~Romans 8:38  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Remembering a Great Man


We all have someone in our life who has made a tremendous difference to us.  I have been blessed to have more than one; what can I say except my family is full of overachievers!

I don't know enough adjectives to describe the awesomeness of Grandaddy.  He and Grandma were married for 60+ years before he passed away in 2005 but not a day goes by that I don't think about both of them and the legacy they created in our family through their unconditional love and sacrifice.

When I couldn't talk with my mom about something, I went straight to my grandparents for a listening ear, for wisdom, for advice, for understanding; they were always there.  They taught us that in order to make a difference in someones life, you don't have to be a celebrity or a face known to millions worldwide.  All you need to do is show God's love through prayer and our service to others as we share our God-given gifts.  When I was young, it always sounded so simple; in fact, too simple to make a difference.  I thought you needed to buy something in order to make an impression.  But the older I get the more I realize that Grandaddy was right.  Most people want and need a listening ear, a warm hand to shake, a shoulder to cry on, a person to laugh with and a person to call friend.  You don't need money to give those things away.

As we head into the holidays, share your gifts with someone and make a difference.  You never know the impact and the lives that will be changed.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!  His faithful love endures forever."
~Psalm 118:1

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I Hate Goodbyes

Our life is crazy.  Not only do I know that but Brad and I are the ones responsible for making it that way!  But, for us, it works and we are loving every second.

For someone that grew up always wanting everything to stay the same, I am now living a life where each day brings something different.  A one-hundred-eighty-degree change from what I am comfortable with and, yet, I am so happy.  That being said, I am NOT happy when it comes time for half of my family to head back to Little Rock.

Brad arrived in LA Wednesday night and every second he was in town was spent having fun.

Thursday night was Spencer's last football game as co-coach with Village Christian.  This team has shown God's love through their eagerness of making Spencer a part of their team.  They will never know the incredible impact they have made on him.
Spencer and all the coaches.  

If you know me, you know that I don't have any problem talking to strangers. ;)  But going to a high school football game where I know no one can be a little intimidating.  However, I need not have worried because as soon as I met Kym Blazer and Karrie Trabilcy, wives to husband's who help with the team, they made me feel so welcome and loved and part of the team.  I feel as though we have been friends forever.

Of course, Brad can't come to town that we don't have to have a rousing game of miniature golf.  Haha, guess who won?  (I'll give you a hint; it wasn't a boy!!!!)


On Saturday, Cole and Talton decided to hang out at the condo while Brad, me and Coppelia went out to eat and to a movie and Spencer and Brennan and Brennan's family went to a Christian music concert.  Busy, busy, busy and oh so much fun.
This young man has been a fabulous friend and great influence on Spencer and I am forever grateful.

We left for the airport at 6:00 a.m. this morning and Spencer rolled his eyes when I got out of the car at the airport and I had on my sleepshirt with a pair of running shorts and my fleece jacket and flip flops.  I looked like one of "those" people you would see at Walmart!!!

Spencer called and they have already made it home in Little Rock with no problems.  Only three weeks until Cole and I fly home for Thanksgiving!  Woot, let the holidays begin!!!

"Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I say, rejoice!"
~Philippians 4:4

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Life

Whether we are in Little Rock or Los Angeles, the time of year between September and December seems to be chocked full of things that need to be done.  Football practice, acting classes, Friday night football, coaching sessions for auditions, workout sessions and auditions all compete with the plans for upcoming holidays and traveling home.  So glad I take really good vitamins.

Brad will arrive in LA this evening for another fun-filled four days of all the Ewing's being together.  My only problem with this visit is that Spencer will be accompanying Brad home on Sunday, so that he can continue his fast-track appointments with his orthodontist for his braces.  I am so glad he will have pretty, straight teeth by April 2014 but I am NOT happy that he has to go back to Little Rock so soon.  My only consolation is that in one month Cole and I will be flying home for Thanksgiving.

As I was looking through my pictures on my phone last night, I realized that no matter what activity we are doing, I always gravitate to any animals in the vicinity.  Last Sunday, Katrina invited us over to watch Sunday afternoon football (Spencer) and spend time with her five kitties (me).  It was so nice to be surrounded by animals for three hours!
Harry is adorable.  He lets me pet him and hold him for approximately 2.3 seconds before he is scrambling to make his getaway!

Love him!

I even have the kids on the lookout for any animals I can steal permanently borrow or whom might be looking for a furever home.
video
Ha!  Turns out cutie pie does have a home.

Do you find yourself running, running, running this time of year or is it only me?

"Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else."
~Galatians 6:4

  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Surprise Party, Dodgers, Aquarium, Oh My!

Wow, we have been busy!  It seems October is always a busy month for us and this year has been no exception.  This past week, here's what we have been up to.....

Slade's Surprise 18th Birthday Party
Our roomie, Slade, turned 18 on Monday so we surprised him Saturday night with a Super Hero themed party.  Everyone had to come dressed as a Super Hero and we were entertained by Batman, Ironman, the Avengers, Super Barney.....what?  Oh yeah, there's always one in the crowd that aspires to be different!
Love that surprised look!

Crazy Cat Lady and Super Cook are Super Heroes, aren't they?!

Love these boys.

On Sunday, Spencer was invited to go to the Dodgers vs. Braves playoff game.  Ryan Herlong (Katrina's oldest son) and his dad, Lloyd, picked up Spencer at 3:15 and as they were leaving, I was laughing because Spencer was outfitted in his Dodgers gear while Ryan donned his Braves shirt.  Ha!

It was a perfect day for a game.

Love.  This. Picture.

Dodgers won and Spencer had a great time (I think Ryan did, too).  So thankful for awesome friends in this town.

Yesterday, the boys and I headed to Long Beach to The Aquarium for a "field trip".  Oh, who am I kidding, we really just went because I am tired of school!

Katrina introduced us to a friend of hers, Karen, who is a volunteer diver at The Aquarium and she was kind enough to meet us before her shift began and give us a tour "behind the scenes".  It was
a-m-a-z-i-n-g!
Spencer has no problem sticking his hand in the tank to "pet" the juvenile Zebra Sharks.  No thanks.

Our visit coincided with the release of the newest members of the Aquarium being introduced into the main tank for the public to see.  Two penguin chicks hatched earlier this year and they looked very happy to be joining their feathered friends.  The worker's call this one "Heidi" until a permanent name is chosen from submissions by the public.  Somehow, I think my suggestion of "Shoogie Boogie" will not be chosen.

Spencer, Karen and Cole.

Karen dives in the 300,000 gallon tank for demonstrations and talks about the various marine life in the tank that are being fed.  There are Giant Black Bass that are swimming by her that weigh more than she does and she is not concerned one bit! 
LOVE this picture of Karen in her "uniform"!  The boys are chomping at the bit to become certified divers so when Spencer returns to Cali in April or May, we will definitely make that happen.

All we have planned today is football practice (for Coach Ewing) and laundry.

Have you had a good week?

"And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 4:7 


Monday, September 30, 2013

Spencer's Gift

As we have split our time between Arkansas and California for the past two years, one thing that I am constantly reminded about is the fact that The Ewing's are very driven and determined people.  Although I knew this before, those characteristics really shine when your family is living between two different houses in two separate states.

Spencer has been very determined since the day he was born and has become more so in these last 14 years of trials and tribulations.  I love the young man he is becoming that is constantly optimistic, caring and confident despite his medical challenges.

I witnessed one of God's gifts this past week as Spencer was asked to join Coach Schroeder and the Valley Christian football team for their practices and games.  As you may recall, Coach Schroeder attends our church and we met him through Bryan Blazer, whom I contacted (although I didn't know him) and he so graciously replied to an e-mail from a crazy southern lady who was bound and determined to have her son meet a former NFL player!  Ha, never underestimate the pushiness determination of a Mom!

The warmth and acceptance that this football team has shown Spencer is nothing short of awe-inspiring and the players have enveloped him as one of their own.   The highlight of the entire week was watching Spencer on the sidelines at Friday night's game as he interacted with coaches and players.  I vacillated between crying and cheering throughout the entire game.

Coach Schroeder, Spencer and Bryan Blazer.

You want to know the most awesome part of the night?  It was when Coach Schroeder asked Spencer, "If you were the Coach, what play would you run?"  Spencer told him and that's what play they ran for the last play of the game! 

Bryan was so sweet and introduced me to his awesome wife, Kym, prior to the game.  She immediately made me feel like "one of the gang" and we talked throughout the game (just like ABHS games!) and I felt like I had met my sister from another mister!  God is so good.

As we wait for God's direction on this amazing adventure, it is so awesome to see His gifts he bestows upon us in every way.

"Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you."
~James 4:8




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Holy Smokes


This is what I have felt like for the past week!

I am fighting a head cold and I feel like I am having an outer body experience, between the cold meds, the cough drops and the tons of things that need to get done!

So far between last week and this week, Cole has had a callback for a commercial, two auditions for current shows on tv and three new commercial auditions.  Add to that Spencer's schedule for working out with his personal trainer and attending football practice with Coach Schroeder, and you have a Mom who is not sure whether I am coming or going.  But you know what?  I wouldn't have it any other way!  I love having my boys together and spending time with them...now, if we could just get Brad with us it would be perfect.

"and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern."
~Matthew 7:33

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Good News/Bad News

Who knew that throwing one more boy into the mix would keep me hopping even more than I already do.  I mean, I haven't had time to watch even one "House Hunter's International" this week! Ha!

Having Spencer out here has been awesome.  He has already carved out a routine and is busy doing all the things he loves.  He met Jay Schroeder at church, a former NFL quarterback, and has been attending afternoon football practice with Coach Schroeder at Valley Christian Academy.  I know nothing about football or this school except that these guys have opened their field and their arms to Spencer and embrace him just like ABHS.  Thank you, God!

The good news is that other than the busyness, these boys have been acting like boys...
Maybe Cole is just a tad dramatic, you think?

Can't take these boys anywhere.

Oh boy, no words for this one.

And then there's Mr. Ewing who participates in more than 10 Fantasy Football Leagues!

If his players don't set their line up each week (what does that even mean?), he sends them this video:
Haha, LOVE IT!!  I don't know Justin Tuck but I think I could use him to motivate Cole to clean his room!

And, now for the bad news; we found out today that A&E opted not to pick up Cole's pilot.  We are, of course, upset but know that God must have something better in mind.  So we keep on keeping on.

"What is faith?  It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen.  It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see."
~Hebrews 11:1





Saturday, September 14, 2013

Catalina Island

I LOVE surprises...if they involve presents, trips or baby kitties but I'm also pretty good at figuring out what a surprise might be before it is officially revealed.  When Brad told me a month ago to keep September 10th & 11th open on my calendar, I was excited but also nervous that I would ruin the surprise.  I needn't have feared because Mr. Ewing is a PERFECT secret keeper; he did not reveal our destination to the boys until the morning we left (he knew I would try and make them talk!)!  That made the surprise even better.

When we arrived at the docks in San Pedro Tuesday morning, I was still clueless as to what he had up his sleeve until I realized that the boat we were boarding said "Catalina Express".  I was escorted to a seat, handed a Bloody Mary and required to relax.  Ha, no problem!

See those smiles?  They were planted on our faces for the duration of our trip.

Catalina Island measures 22 miles long and 8 miles wide but there are only two inhabited cities on the Island; Avalon and Two Harbours.  We stayed in the more populated Avalon where, at the height of the year, they have a population of 4,000.  Because of the insane cost of gasoline ($7.60/gallon), there are no cars to rent.  Most locals use golf carts, mopeds or bicycles for everyday life so when in Rome....
...our chariot for the trip.

We tootled all around Avalon and had the best time but, honestly, who could have a bad time with this view?

If Brad had suggested we move to the Island permanently, I would have had a seaplane booked and loaded with all our belongings within an hour!

Our hotel was on the beach and was so peaceful.

One of my favorite spots?  The lounge chairs in the courtyard.

We had a nice dinner on the beach but, of course, a bird just had to sit and stare at us during dinner.  Brad is convinced I have some sort of magnet that attracts the birds.  Why couldn't I have a kitty magnet instead?
Brad named this one Bob.

We spent all day Wednesday on the beach.

Paradise.

The trip was just what we needed.

"Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies."
~Psalm 36:5