Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sandra's New Year Resolution

Every year I write down a few things I would like to work on or accomplish. Last year I wrote down 5 resolutions and I accomplished three out of the five. One of them, I have to ask John how I did, it was "to be a good wife and mom." The other one I didn't do so well, it was to attend Mass regurlarly...with the birth of Sofia, I was not very good at it. Hopefully this year my attendance is better than 2008's.

Ok. So, what I did accomplished this year was: Run 3 5K's, well I ran more than that! so, Check! Maintain the same job for 2008, I kinda job hopped a little bit and so I decided to stay at HNTB, it does help when you like the company that you work for so this one was easy to keep; and the last one that I accomplished was to be in good shape, this one was hard but I did it! So, below are my resolutions for the new year.

2009's Resolutions are:

1. Go to Mass Regularly and give more to the Lord.
2. Be a good Wife and Mother
3. Keep Fit (Run the Half!)
4. Finish what I Start! (this will be the hardest, but I'm tired of looking at things I never finish!)
5. Cook more (or at least learn to cook all of my Mom's recipies, this is the second hardest!!)

So here they are. I think 5 resolutions are good enough for me. I don't want to overwhelm myself with too many of them or I won't keep any.
God Bless!
-Sandra

Sunday, December 28, 2008

RIP Cowboys Sept. 2008 - Dec. 2008


One word to describe our last game of the 2008 season: Embarassment.
Final Score: 44-6.
While watching this miserable game, I was asking myself, "who's getting fired tomorrow?" Let's start with the Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who is the first loser in this team. The new owner should hired a general manager, fired the head coach Phillips, bench Romo, tape T.O's mouth and get rid of all the thugs that Jones hired this season.
Seriously. Ugh! I hate it when I hear the phrase, "well, there is always next season."
At any rate, right now I'll forget about the Cowboys and watch the Steelers take it once again all the way to the Superbowl.
This will be my last Cowboy's post until next season. Maybe the Mavericks will show up all of the sudden and take the shame and embarrassment that the Cowboys have brought to this city.
-Sandra.

Heart of the Adventurer


Here are some of the things I got for xmas. This is the newest Salvatore book; The Pirate King. I love the way he writes I feel like I'm there in the heart of the battle, with the smell of the sea and the thrill of the Hunt. Arrr!!

I also got the first 2 seasons of the Heman cartoon series. Good stuff man! I used to love He-man when I was growing up. Classic battle of good vs evil.



A Romo jersey, I'm wearing it today and hopefully I get to wear it for at least one more game before I have to keep it my closet until the next season begins. Incidentally, it happens to be my first actual Jersey that I have ever owned. Score!!! Thanks babe!



I didn't get this book, but I did want to point it out, because after looking at my bag of goodies I realized the truth of this book. That deep within the heart of every man there is a desire for adventure, danger, and something worth risking life and limb for. The book is a good read and I highly recommend it. It explains how God designed us this way. Look at the world these days, its so tamed, and it has domesticated us... so to speak. But just imagine when the earth was still wild and untamed and man ventured into the wilderness, conquered it, tamed it, and protected it. *Sigh*
The good news is that we still get to get our fix, via camping, hiking, and building. Not to mention we can live vicariously through the hearts of the Heroes we read about and characters we play in video games. We can still carve out the lives for a families via our work, but even life behind a desk can't quench the fires of a man's heart.
-John

Meat Maddness


What a great xmas it was this year! We celebrated the birthday of our Savior, and got to spend some time with our famillies. We decided to pull a double dinner, one on xmas eve, and one on xmas Day. Very Hectic! But it was worth it, we are still trying to recover. I don't think I'm up for roast for a while. Geez!!! We originally wanted to do prime rib, but we had no idea what it would cost to feed 24 people. So we went for a nice roasted beef instead. It still turned out well and no one complained. I had no idea how much I had to buy for that many people, so I consulted the all knowing Internet. I found a site and it recommended about a pound a and a quarter per person... that was about 32 lbs of meat. I cleaned out Sam's whole sale club, and had people pointing at my cart in amazement. On xmas eve we began cooking for the first wave of Family, and filled the whole oven with succulent meat. About 16lbs of it, and we had more than enough drippings to make a killer mushroom gravy. My mother in-law did a fantastic job seasoning the meat, it was melt in your mouth good. Fresh out the oven and about an hour before the guests were to arrive we began to carve the meatopia. We filled 2 huge trays with this carnivores dream and it became apparent that maybe the internet was wrong on how many pounds we needed per person. By the end of the meal we barely made it through 1/2 of the first platter. Well, the bright side is that we didn't have to do much for the next wave, we just stored the meat back in its drippings and heated it up. It did taste even better the next day, but even after the second wave we still had a bunch left over, which became dinner in the evening of xmas, breakfast tacos the next day, lunch, and dinner tacos and we still....... had leftovers. My sister in law graciously took the last bit and I was more than happy to see it go......I guess in the end it is better to have an abundance rather than people fighting over a piece of meat. I'm done with beef for a while and I don't even want to think about cooking that other 16lbs of beef anytime soon.


-John

Friday, December 26, 2008

AND MORE Christmas Cards!!!!!!!

The above card is from John's Auntie Molly, George and their beautiful daugther Megan!

and this precious one is from Kathy Juderjahn. Isn't Charlie a cutie...I love this picture of him!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas at the Seaman's Continuation....

This is the second part of Christmas at the Seaman's. We hosted John's family on Thursday for lunch and everyone had a good time. Here's the pics and videos! Sofia with her cousins, Ziera and Aisha Seaman. I love this picture. This one is a keeper!

John passing out the presents.

video

video

Christmas at the Seaman's

This year we were honor to host not one but two back to back Christmas at our house. One on Christmas eve and the next one on Christmas day and we had fun doing it. Christmas eve was with my family and the next day with John's. Here's the pics!
Uncle (skinny) James Maloney. He's lost so much weight he looks amazing!

My crazy sis, Yesenia.

The Maloney's with Mima! (I love her hair)


To finish the night...I think it was about 1am, David brought 1800 Reposado and we all decided to have a shot. All I can say is that I slept good and I had no hangover! John has a different story to tell. -Sandra

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And More Christmas Cards!!!

The beautiful Olivarez family! They are so blessed!

The Standokes Family from Hazlet, Texas! They are amazingly cute!


this one is from my uncle Robert, his wife Reina and my cousin David Huezo from New Orleans.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cowgirls all over again...


Ok. What more can I say about this past Saturday's loss against the Ravens. ugh...I hate getting on and off the bandwagon like that but when your team sucks every other game and they play with no heart, they leave me with no choice but to. I think my emotions were saved due to The Cash's Christmas party we attended that same night. I think it was Holli's meatballs that saved the night...or the cheesecake? I don't know but after an up and down game and only two points behind we just couldn't crack another W.

Now, with Tampa Bay loss it seems we still have a door open for the last remainder wildcard spot that is IF we win. I'm not holding my breath on our last game against the Eagles, but maybe Romo will wake up and decide that he'll start earning his millions and make a comeback on our last game. Or just decide to be a celebrity boyfriend and call it a season.

I won't wear my Cowboys t-shirt on this last game...at the party, I was so frustrated, I took it off (yes, I had another shirt) and dropped it on the floor, twice! I had to put it on 'cause I got cold. But maybe it was the shirt that jinx the game...or maybe Romo jinx our team from day one. Feliz Navidad! -Sandra

Hazlet, Texas Visit

Yesterday, Sunday the 22nd, we went to visit John's relatives in Hazlet, TX just outside of Ft. Worth. I believe it took us about an hour and 15 minutes to get there. On our way there, we experienced the feeling of actually going out of town. First, we stopped at Sheila's and Kevin's house and their beautiful daughters Bailey and Shelby.

Then we stopped at Uncle James and Auntie Silvia's house. They live in this beautiful Ranch style house with lots of land. It reminded me of Murphy but this place was much better.

We enjoyed our visit and hope to visit more often. John really likes the country and I just like to get out of the house. On our way back home, once we excited 75 and got on Parker, I felt crowded. I can see why people move to the country, you don't feel so suffocated and tight. I was able to see the stars in Hazlet, in Plano all you see is planes. Thanks for having us over, we really enjoyed it oh, and thanks to Uncle James for the Tequila bottle, it will keep us warm at night!


Design Electric Christmas Party

The party was held at Charmelains in Addison. I finally got to drink a margarita since last year in May when I got pregnant. It was mighty good, so I ordered in another but by the time I got it, I was yawning and it went to waste. bummer. enjoy the pics!


the above pic was from last year's Christmas party...notice i was pregnant, I'll say about 7 1/2 months and tired! ugh...i don't miss this at all. I never understood the "pregnant glow look" I always felt the "pregnant morning sickness look."

what a difference huh! It only took a baby download, some running and tata! oh and good make up of course...I kept the tired look though...

John's co-workers!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Christmas Cards!

The Maloneys! my three crazy nephews Andrew, Sammy and Anthony, my younger sister Wendy and my new skinny brother n law James.

The snowman card is from Granpa Williams and Margaret


The Noel card from John's Uncle James and Silvia Seaman


The Angel card from my Auntie Connie and Dennis from New Orleans


The Nativity card is from my Oldest sister Medith

What It Means To Be Human


'WALL-E'
By Chuck Colson
What It Means to Be Human


The fact that the hit movie WALL-E has a plot that even a child can follow doesn’t mean it’s juvenile. Released earlier this year, the Pixar film follows the story of a little robot named WALL-E. While the rest of Earth’s inhabitants have embarked on a 700-year cruise-like vacation aboard a space station, this little robot is left behind to clean up the planet.

As WALL-E sifts through the trash, he begins to learn what it’s like to be human. A Rubik’s Cube says something about the human capacity for logic and play; an old VHS tape of Hello Dolly teaches him about the human capacity for creativity. One hand-holding scene, which WALL-E plays over and over, teaches him about love.
The little robot continues, day in and day out, to do his task of cleaning up the earth, until a “female” robot, aptly named EVE, comes along. EVE, or Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator, is on a mission to see if the earth can once again sustain life. If so, humans can one day return to it.

Ironically, while WALL-E is trying to learn about what is to be human, humans adrift in the cosmic space station have grown robot-like, tethered to machines and out of touch with each other and their own creative impulses.
Many critics saw the film as an environmental movie. But while WALL-E has a lot to say about the stewardship of the creation, it is ultimately about much more. Filmmaker Andrew Stanton, an outspoken Christian, recently explained to World Magazine that what really interested him in the story line was “the idea of the most human thing in the universe being a machine, because it has more interest in finding out what the point of living is than actual people.”
“The greatest commandment Christ gives us is to love,” Stanton says, “but that's not always our priority. So I came up with this premise that . . . irrational love defeats the world's programming.” That’s why Stanton created WALL-E and EVE to work literally against their own robotic programming to demonstrate love, first for each other, and then for humanity.
In contrast to robots learning to love, Stanton wanted to show how humans had become machinelike. Our routines and habits, he argues, have programmed us “to the point that we're not really making connections to the people next to us. We're not engaging in relationships, which are the point of living—relationship with God and relationship with other people.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Another thing you’ll notice about the film is that all the humans are enormously obese. This was the result of Stanton’s imaginative logic of what would happen to humans as the result of living long term in zero-gravity conditions. But, Stanton told Christianity Today, it’s also what humans would look like when we become “big babies with no reason to grow up.” Stanton explains, “I was going with the logic of what would happen if you were in a perpetual vacation with no real purpose in life.”
Through the stark depiction of such perpetual laziness, viewers rediscover something that all of us can easily lose sight of: the value and beauty of meaningful work.
Sacrifice, love, logic, playfulness, creativity, connection, work—take some time this Christmas and let a little robot remind you what it means to be human, created in God’s image.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Journey towards the heart

I just want to say that I Love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love this time of year with all the Holiday Music, the gift giving, the smell of the Christmas Tree, Holiday cooking, and gathering with loved ones. Most of all I love knowing that God exists, I love knowing that he died so that I'm not a slave to sin, I love knowing that he accepts me as I am and has taken me from where I was and is still changing me into an instrument for him. I am reminded about the type of woman that Mary was, that the Lord chose her to be an instrument. I love her humanity at how she was fearful of the angel, but humbly did as the lord choose for her body as a vessel for our savior. I am inspired by her trust that led her to obedience. I am reminded of all the characteristics that I love about God, his Grace, his patience, his compassion, his tenderness, his righteousness, and his Love.

I title this blog the Journey towards the heart, because that is what life is, a journey towards the heart. Having lived life, I have found that it is tough, its wrought with disappointment, heartache, as well as wonderful and fantastic times. I have become calloused to the world and isolated myself from the people in it, fearful that they would try to use me, or take advantage of me in some sort of way. I became selfish and self serving and do what I saw fit for my life. But I have found that through this year that the Lord has been working on my heart to be thoughtful and compassionate vs. crittical and defensive, but its not unexpected, I asked for it, and he does what he does and answered that prayer. I am amazed at how much I love hearing the truth of the word. He's exposed my character defects and begun a work in me. I never thought I would be talking like this in my whole life, but here I am.

I just wanted to share my heart and my thoughts in that I'm thankful for all the God has done in my Life and continues to do so. I am also still a work in progress, and I'm grateful to know that God has given me the gift of grace as he continues to do his work. I'm also thankful for my beautiful Wife and baby Sofia, and Thankful for my family, friends, and people that God has placed in my life.

Love you guys,
John

Monday, December 15, 2008

..continued

This is continued from last post
video

Here Comes Santa Claus here comes Santa Claus riding on his Sleigh???

Santa!! Hey Santa!! Be right there my man! Dont give away all the good stuff!! Uh huh!! I got the seat now! Ok Santa this is what I want...

.....a doll house, a tea set, and a babies 1st baby doll!! What? That was only 15 things...come on Santa work your magic man!! Huh...economy??? Thats not our problem its Obama's! Go ahead Mom! Tell him what you want, I'm done now!


*sigh* what a night, I'm done... give me my bath my bottle and put me to sleep!
-john

Its Beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!

Yay! The most wonderful time of the year is here! We went Sunday to the Richardson Santa Village to check out the lights and the festivities and also to get a free photo-op with Santa!! Yay, did you know North park was charging like $35.00 smackers just to sit with Santa....SIKE!!! Free is always better! I know I'm cheap, but I work hard for my money! Besides who wants to pay 35.oo bucks if you are in a hurried assembly line...


Here's Santa's Crib!!!



Hey!!! Santa! Its me Sofia...save your breath with the other kids, I've been the best behaved...huh?? What one time???? Oh... you remember that huh? ........Why you bringing up Old stuff Santa? Dang!!!



Santa's security guard...


Ok! This is Santa's House

I love this tree, they have a mega power station beneath it. It takes some juice to power up this baby. It puts my little random lights (what ever was in storage) at the house to shame. I will save the awesomeness for another post. - John

No Mob Veto

http://www.nomobveto.org/nytad.php

The Cowboys


We played the Giants last night and we won. But like the previous week, I did not let my emotions get involved in this game, I took precaution, I just watched and wrapped presents. Yes, I am excited that we won but we still have two more games left in the season that matter. This Saturday we play the Ravens (9-5) and our last game against our division foe, the Eagles (7-5).

But back to the Giants game, it was not as exciting as when we played the Steelers. We have a lot of offensive problems, at one time Romo was getting sacked left and right and for a moment it looked like we were getting Johnson as quarterback again.

So, a win is a win no matter how it was played. So, I’m going to check out my emotions on the upcoming last games so that I can enjoy my Christmas and New Year celebrations. Besides, we are pretty much out on the first round of playoffs, so getting excited about any chances of us getting into the Superbowl are pretty slim. I will miss T.O’s big mouth, though…

See ya! S.S.

Lani's Warriors! We ran the ROCK!


Yesterday, Sunday the 14th, my Relay team, called Lani's Warrious ran the Relay at the Rock. I ran the 1st leg of the relay which was 6miles. Bernice ran the second leg 4miles, Ann did the third leg 5 miles, Kathy the 4th, 5 miles and to bring it home Chauncey ran the last leg 6.2 miles and out of all the relay teams we were in 655th place out of 757 relay teams that competed.
It was unseasonably hot for a December day. At 8am it was 66 degrees, and it got to 76. Too hot to run but we made it! Oh and on my way home I got pulled over by a cop. He stopped me for going 80 on a 60 (I was on the Dallas Tollway) but he only gave me a warning. Now, isn't that nice!!!! I was lucky it was a male cop, I was able to give him my "please forgive me, I didn't do it on purpose" face look and all was forgiven. Now, a female cop would have fined me big time.
-Sandra

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Cards!

I just love receving these! I feel loved and accepted! This is about the only time that is so much fun going to our mail box. Here's our first two that we have received so far!

Complications

By Chuck Colson
The Dalai Lama, Christianity, and Sex

A prominent religious leader recently said that sex, however pleasurable it might be in the short run, leads to long-term trouble. He argued that celibacy is the way that leads to “more freedom.” If you’re thinking that the leader was ridiculed for his comments, think again. The Associated Press described him as “waxing eloquent.”

It probably helps that the “him” in question was the Dalai Lama. Speaking in Lagos, Nigeria, the Tibetan leader said that giving in to “sexual pressure [and] desire” produces “short period satisfaction [that often] leads to more complication.” While sexual desire is “natural,” the Dalai Lama said, our “human intelligence” should help us to understand the “ups and downs” that couples experience. In extreme cases, these “ups and downs” can take the form of “murder” and “suicide.” He even went on to say that attachment to our “partner” and even our children can become “an obstacle or hindrance [to our] peace of mind.”Well, there are some things in these comments Christians can agree with.

There’s also an awful lot that underscores the differences between Buddhism and Christianity. For example, Christianity also commends celibacy. The apostle Paul wrote that whereas a married man is anxious about “how to please his wife,” the “unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord.” The avoidance of what Paul called “division of interest” is why Catholic priests are celibate. But while both religions have a place for celibacy, their reasons are very different. For starters, in Christianity, celibacy isn’t chosen for the sake of the individual’s peace of mind. Nor to be detached from the world. Instead, it is something a person chooses to do for the sake of the Kingdom of God as a way to better serve God and his neighbor.

In addition, while Christianity acknowledges that marriage and family are full of “complications” and “ups and downs” that can cause suffering, it proclaims their goodness and sanctity. Whereas in Buddhism, salvation consists of “becoming indifferent to the world, which is the source of evil,” in Christianity, “the world is God’s good creation, redeemed by Christ.”

For Christians, human institutions and their attachments are to be embraced, not renounced. This is especially true of the family. As author Christopher West writes in his book Theology of the Body Explained, Christianity sees the union of husband and wife as “the fountainhead of civilization [and] the wellspring of culture.” Rather than being an obstacle to spiritual well-being, the conjugal relationship of spouses, when “open to God’s inspiration and ordered toward love and life . . . builds families and, in turn, a culture of love and life.”Of course, as our hedonist culture has rejected the Christian view of sex, the result, as West observes, is the “disintegration of marriage” and “a culture of utility and death.”

Given the mess we have made of sex and marriage, the Dalai Lama’s detachment might look like a good alternative. But it pales in comparison to the joy experienced by husbands and wives who embrace God’s plan for creating a culture of love and life.Yes, worldviews matter—a lot.

Bella Babies


By Mark Earley
Lives Saved

When Christian actor Eduardo Verastegui devoted his career to serving God, he had no idea what might come out of his decision. He certainly couldn’t have imagined that his widely acclaimed movie Bella would literally save lives and souls. But that’s the story that author Tim Drake tells so well in his book Behind Bella.

As the book shows, God’s hand was on Eduardo and on the making of the movie from the very beginning. To prepare for his role in Bella, Eduardo wanted to find a real-life Nina—the co-lead in the film struggling with her unwanted pregnancy. So Eduardo paid a visit to a local abortion clinic.
Outside the clinic, a Mexican couple who had come to have an abortion recognized Eduardo from his acting days in Mexico. They approached him, and soon Eduardo found himself counseling them against having an abortion and telling them about the story of Bella. They talked for over an hour and on the phone in the days ahead.

A few months later, Eduardo received a phone call from the young man. He explained that his girlfriend had just given birth to the baby—a boy—and he asked for permission to name him Eduardo.

But baby Eduardo would not be the only child whose life would be saved through Bella. An old friend of Eduardo’s attended one of the film’s pre-screenings in Miami. He came in late to the film, and during the entire screening he was taking phone calls on his cell. His presence was so distracting that one of the film’s financiers almost asked him to leave.
Three weeks later, however, the man called Eduardo late at night to tell him about a mutual friend whose family was pressuring her to abort her child. She was scheduled to have the abortion the next day. But Eduardo decided to call the woman and counseled her to keep the baby. He even told her he would be willing to adopt the child if she would just carry through with her pregnancy.

The woman postponed the appointment and accepted Eduardo’s invitation to come to a pre-screening of the film. After seeing the movie, she decided to keep the child. Months later she told Eduardo that she had given birth to a baby girl named Bella.
To date, the producers of the film are aware of some 40 babies whose mothers were contemplating abortion, but who decided to keep their children as a result of seeing the film. Even the film’s lead actress, Tammy Blanchard, who played Nina, found life imitating art. Before the film’s release, she found herself pregnant. Prior to the making of Bella, she says that she never wanted to have children. She thought it was “pointless.” But making the film changed her mind.

And in December 2007, Tammy gave birth to a baby girl, Ava Jean.
Many have donated the film, along with the book, Behind Bella, to crisis pregnancy centers across the nation. By donating both to your own local crisis pregnancy center or buying copies to give as Christmas gifts, you could help the film continue to bear such fruit.

Though the film never received an Oscar, producer Leo Severino is happy with the awards it has received. “The living Oscars,” he says, “have been the babies saved and the babies adopted because of it.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

La Familia


From the left: Wendy, my younger sister, my mami, me (no, i'm not pregnant, just fat!, and Yesenia, the third child (you know what they say about the third child syndrome? Ask John, he suffers from it!)

My brother couldn’t make the photo, he was busy with the girlfriend.

Feliz Navidad!

Dr. Laura

After reading the article “Babies Need Love, Not Day Care” on Dr. Laura’s blog, I agree wholeheartedly that babies don’t belong in day care. Now, not everyone is blessed to be a stay home mom. Some are single mom’s who have no choice but to keep their kids in day care while they work full time to bring home the bread and keep a roof over their heads. After I delivered Sofia, I did not want to return to work. I didn’t want to leave her behind. But I am blessed to have my mother who lives with us who couldn’t wait to take care of our little angel. My mother told me that she would take care of Sofia just like she did when she had me. I come back to work with a sense of piece. Now, my mother has not promised to do this up until she goes to school. And when that happens, I do intend to quit my job, I just cannot picture anyone else taking care of Sofia. I rather sacrifice everything but not my daughter.

Now, John is not a big fan of Dr. Laura after she said this “grown man shouldn’t be playing computer games or any of the sort, that’s an immature thing to do” I agree!
I love John but I think that playing all these stupid games, yes, I said stupid is a waste of time and most importantly Family Time. I didn’t mind it when we didn’t have Sofia, but now, I think it is a waste of valuable time away from things that do matter. John has tried to get me to play these games but it is just not me. I think I quit after I successfully beat Pac Man, we are talking back in the 80’s, now; I play Solitaire once in a long while when the computer is slow. I’d rather play board games, it gets everyone involved and it is much more fun. See ya! S.S.