Friday, January 29, 2010

5 Things

Five things about me right now:

1. I just finish a cup of coffee and wish I could run to Starbucks and get me my fave Caramel Machiato. Raquel woke up at 3am!

2. Got to finish at least 5 pillows. Or at least one tonight.

3. Why did I eat mexican for lunch today!!!??? Got to run tonight instead of pillow making...neither...got to get the invitations ready tonight. darn it! Too much to do, so little time.

4. My Plantar Fasciitis pain is killing me! One of my co-workers who is also a runner has just healed from it. He advised me to go to a foot doctor to look at options, definitely not the surgical one. There are times that I look like I need a cane to walk.

5. I'm driving to Starbucks right now. Heck with the rain, I got things to do today! -Sandra.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Miracle at Planned Parenthood

I'm determined to go and pray at one of these places sometime this year. My only hope is that someone walking in to these horrible places of death will have a change of heart and keep their precious baby. -Sandra.
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Miracle at Planned Parenthood
Saving Lives, Winning Souls
By Chuck Colson

If your conscience required it, could you turn your back on the job you’d dedicated your entire adult life to?

That’s what Abby Johnson did. After nine years as director of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas, Johnson left in October to join the Coalition for Life, a group that holds prayer rallies outside that same clinic—and a group of which she had once been a vocal critic.
Johnson cites two reasons for her decision to walk away from Planned Parenthood. First, she says, it bothered her that the organization was so focused on performing more and more abortions in order to bring in more and more money.

Johnson had believed that pregnancy prevention was Planned Parenthood’s main goal. But, she says, “It seemed like maybe that’s not what a lot of people were believing any more, because that’s not where the money was. The money wasn’t in family planning, the money wasn’t in prevention, the money was in abortion.” And Johnson reports she had “a problem with that.”
But as Johnson tells it, the moment that really changed her heart occurred when she was called in to help with an actual abortion procedure, which was not part of her regular duties.

This was her first time watching the procedure on an ultrasound. She says, “I could see the whole profile of the baby...I could see the whole side profile. I could see the probe. I could see the baby try to move away from the probe....I just thought, ‘What am I doing?’...And then I thought, ‘Never again.’”

Two weeks later, looking out the clinic window and seeing members of Coalition for Life outside praying, Johnson walked out of the clinic and joined them.

She has never looked back.

As you might expect, no one at Planned Parenthood knows quite what to make of Abby Johnson. The recriminations have been flying thick and fast. They’re accusing her of lying about why she left, of stealing files from the clinic where she used to work, of any number of other things.

Apparently, they don’t know how to handle the idea that her conscience might have convicted her.

But Johnson’s story should serve as a cautionary tale for pro-lifers. For all of us as a matter of fact. Especially when we’re dealing with polarizing issues like abortion, we Christians must remember that our fellow human beings are not the enemy. Here’s one where we thought the woman was. But she saw the truth.

Remember, Paul spells it out so clearly for us in Ephesians: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

So even as we fight to save lives (and we’re reminded this week of the importance of that with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade) we must still keep our minds on our larger mission, which is to love the world. And it’s the only way we’re going to bring change.

Martin Luther King said it beautifully: He whom you would change, you must first love. This means every human being—pro-life and pro-choice—because everyone is made in God’s image. And we all, as the result of the Fall, stand in need of redemption.

So we need to do everything we can to reach out to the Abby Johnsons of the world, and pray that God will change their hearts—for their sake, and for His glory.

If it happened here with Abby Johnson; it can happen again.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

2009 - Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
I was vulnerable to complete strangers about the failure of my marriage and how God brought it back to life.


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn't do very well on my resolutions last year, so let's just say I'll keep the same ones for this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, Mrs. Cash and Mrs. MacIvor, they all gave birth to beautiful girls! Eva, Tatianna and Anjelika!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nope. Thanks be to God!

5. What countries did you visit? The Country of Morning Sickness!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Besides more money... I believe is to be humble towards everyone even if they don't like me at all.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?Celebrating Sofia's 1st b/day! It was a blast! Taking Sofia to the pool every weekend; giving birth to Raquel and seeing her beauty; Buying a RECALLED SUV! Going to Jury Duty and being dismissed, all of us applauded and cheered!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Giving birth to another child. I never thought I would ever be a mom let alone of two.

9. What was your biggest failure? Misunderstood.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Plantar Fasciitis and a C-Section

11. What was the best thing you bought? Jane Austen Books, Pride and Prejudice DVD, Felt, Sofia's clothes, the nose cleaner for Sofia, tons of 80's groups greatest hits. This does not include our recalled Toyota.


12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

James Maloney for being vulnerable and open, for admitting his own mistakes and apologizing for his past behaviour.

Hollis Cash for admitting that words can hurt someone.


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? When two people in my life decided to join forces and instead of talking about the issue decided to turn their backs on me and not to talk to me, their behavior depressed me.

14. Where did most of your money go? The hospital where I gave birth to Raquel, even though this time around we paid even less due to my health insurance being better than John's.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? I got excited when I found out I was pregnant with Raquel, I wasn't quiet sure if I was going to be able to get pregnant again.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009? Closer to Love, Mat Kearney - LOVE THIS SONG! I heard this song in the Christian Station.


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder?b) thinner or fatter?c) richer or poorer?

I am happier but also overwhelmed; and yes, about 20lbs fatter, we are now poorer because we have an extra mouth to feed.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Running.


19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Crying.


20. How did you spend Christmas? Spend time with my family! John and my girls!


21. Did you fall in love in 2009? Yes, her name is Raquel.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Project Runway and Top Chef.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No, just my fat belly.

24. What was the best book you read? Pride and Prejudice!


25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Ugh! Laurie Berkner Band, The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round, Old Mcdonald had a Farm, There was a Farmer had A Dog and BINGO was his name, The ABC's, Ensy Winsey Spider, London Bridge, Row Row Your Boat, etc, etc, etc...I know all the words to all these songs and more!

26. What did you want and get?

I got a healthy, hungry and loud screaming baby girl!

27. What did you want and not get? I wanted a Pathfinder and got a RECALLED TOYOTA!


28. What was your favorite film of this year? Hands Down: STAR TREK!


29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

As I recalled, I was heavily pregnant then and only wanted to put my feet up. I turned..too old!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

By having reconciled with two members of my family.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Disastrous! I hate maternity clothes!

32. What kept you sane? My husband, who comforts me when I'm down; who tells me that he loves me just the way I am, who knows i'm not perfect.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

The two men who have played Mr. Darcy! Colin Firth and Matthew Mcfayden!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The stupid OBAMACARE!

35. Who did you miss?

My two sisters.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

My beautiful Raquel!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Forgive those who dislike you even when they talk nasty stuff about you!

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

it's your light, it's your way, Pull me out of the dark, Just to shoulder the weight, Cryin' out now, From so far away, You pull me closer to love.

-Sandra.

2.3 Million

2.3 Million vehicles are being recalled INCLUDING MINE! by Toyota this week.

This past November, John and I made a parenting decision that our AWESOME Accord Honda was no longer capable of sustaining our growing family. We felt like packed sardines with our two daughters car seats in the back and we realized that in the very near future, like this summer, we needed extra space to load up two running strollers and in the not so distant future load up 4 bikes! So, we decided to trade our car for an SUV.

I wasn't thrilled at all; I'm not a fan of the mid size or any size of SUV's. The first negative was that none of the SUV's come in standard, in other words, stick shift. So, there goes my 15 years of driving a stick has come to an end.

Second, I don't' want to drive a big a%% car! We test drove, Honda's, Nissan's and finally Toyota.

I fell in love with the Pathfinder, but unfortunately my 6 foot plus husband wasn't feeling very comfortable while riding it. So, after everything was set and done, we bought the Highlander which now is on the recall list.

FANTASTIC! I call the dealership who tells me Mr. Toyota will be sending us letters on what steps to take next which means that John or I will be spending quality time at the dealership waiting for our car to be fixed. I knew we had better buy that Pathfinder...or that Honda Pilot...but the Pilot felt big for me...At any rate, this just sucks! -Sandra.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Healthy Marriages, Healthy Society

Divorce is the easiest way to resolve problems in one's marriage. But divorce also brings the feeling of failure. Even if the person feels good about divorcing the feeling of failure is there in their heart. You can't escape it. To save one's marriage it requires lots of work, which many couples decide not to do because it is too much time consuming and is easier to give up than fight for it. I quit my marriage but then decided that it was worth fighting for it, praying for it. In return, God has blessed me beyond my imagination. My prayers is that all couples going through separation and divorce see beyond their pride and differences and come together as one to become better partners for each other. -Sandra.
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National Marriage Week
By Chuck Colson

“Vast human experience confirms that...where marriage is honored, and where there is a flourishing marriage culture, everyone benefits—the spouses themselves, their children, the communities and societies in which they live. Where the marriage culture begins to erode, social pathologies of every sort quickly manifest themselves.”

Well, I couldn’t agree more, simply because of what I’ve witnessed in 34 years ministering inside the prisons with Prison Fellowship. Every time I set foot inside a prison, I see the results of splintered families. So many of the prisoners I talk to tell me about growing up without dad.
Indeed, the Department of Justice reports that more than 60 percent of prisoners grew up in households without a father. Some 70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes.

I firmly believe that if we strengthen marriages and make traditional marriage a priority, we will keep untold thousands of children from ever going to prison.
But by strengthening marriages, we will also keep many children from living in poverty—that’s because divorce impoverishes children and women. Of the children under age 6 who live below the poverty line, 59 percent live with single mothers, while a mere 6 percent live in households with married couples.

On the other hand, a report by the Institute for American Values shows that marriage is a “wealth-generating institution,” which provides married couples with the economies of scale, responsibilities, and support necessary to thrive financially.
Finally, divorce and out-of-wedlock births are extraordinarily costly to American taxpayers. The Institute for Marriage and Family puts the price tag at over $100 billion every year.

So the question is this: If strong marriages benefit society and are key to curing a whole host of social ills, where do we begin?
We have to start with ourselves—with the Church. Which is why I’m so excited that Christians from all over the country will be participating in National Marriage Week next month, from February 7th through 14th.

The organizers of National Marriage Week are urging every church in America to place marriage and family ministry on a par with worship, stewardship, outreach, and education.
That means marriage preparation classes, including teaching on dating and courtship. We also need marriage enrichment programs to strengthen existing marriages.

If we cannot strengthen and heal marriages in our own congregations, we have nothing to offer our society, which so desperately needs a renewed and vital understanding of the benefits and blessings of healthy marriages.

NFL


Did anyone see Poor Favre last night? Such a pity that his last play of this season had to be an interception. The only reason we were rallying for him was because we sure hate them Saints. But Favre, today I only have one thing to say to you: Feel our pain!

So, will he be back next season? I sure don't care. If he returns it sure makes great football talk and if he doesn't, I'm sure he'll be hire as a commentator somewhere.

Now, John and I are rooting for Manning-Colts! Down with the Saints. -Sandra.

Work

Going back to work sucks. Leaving my babies behind sucks even more. Being a stay home mom is a privilege. Staying home with my babies for 3 months was a blast! I loved it! I could quit my job and stay home with my babies and I know I will be extremely happy but our debt will not go away as fast as we want it to go. My babies will not be able to attend the schools that I want them to go. We will not take vacations where we want to go, like Hawaii next year! I want to go there again! That place is amazing and I certainly want Sam (John's sister) to meet her nieces.

This past three months, I have cooked, I have nursed, I have bonded even more with Sofia and I have organized my house in places where it hadn't been organized in ages. I picked up new cook books, even though I hate cooking, I make sure the word "easy" is everywhere on that cookbook. Being a stay home rocks, and if God calls me to stay home, I will do it in a heart beat. But, if he wants me working to help support my husband, I'll do it as well. But I sure do miss staying home with my daughters. The women that have that type of blessing to call themselves a full time stay home mom should count their blessings. But right now, I also count my blessings for having a job in this tough economy.

John doesn't make me return to work. It is all the stupid debt we incurred two years ago that's got me here. Once that is done, we plan on working on our girls college fund and stepping up our savings.

I do get terrified just thinking about quitting my job but looking at my precious daughters is well worth it. -Sandra.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cowboys


Well, there is always next season for the Cowboys. As for the rest of the playoffs, I'm going Colts to win the Superbowl. John is rooting for the Vikings. We'll see.

Next: February 12th, Winter Olympics. GO USA!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Seaman Girls

John bought Raquel this cute outfit so I decided that she should wear it for her 2 month Doctor check up visit. I love the hoodie!

Mom why are you getting so close!
This table was a present for Sofia from her grandma Libby. Sofia loves it and I do too! In the near future, we will be playing with her tea sets having tea and long conversations.

I grow cuter by the minute!
Sofia's All Saints, Little Saints school T-shirt. Next week is Rodeo Western week. They are to dress up like cowboys and cowgirls, I must find something cute for her to wear next week! video

video

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Movies We Watch

This time it will be, Movies I watched because John did not want to sit with me and watch these two movies, so here's my poor review of the following two movies:

Bridget Jones Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason - These two movies are hysterical aside from the thousands of F-Bombs all over these two movies that can pretty much blow the State of Texas away but if you put those aside these two are hilarious! John decided to play his computer game and kept asking me what was so funny. At any rate, the first movie B.J. Diary is about a 30 something woman who is desperate in finding Mr. Right and desperate to loose the extra pounds who is played by Renee Zellweger who is just hysterical. Her two love interest Hugh Grant as Daniel Cleaver and Colin Firth as Mark Darcy. Yes, Mr. Darcy, if you are a Pride and Prejudice fan, he plays Mr. Darcy again! He's just adorable and fantastic once again playing Mr. Darcy and of course by the end of the movie Cleaver and Darcy fight for Jones love in a pretty hysterical fight. I have never laugh so hard! So, who wins? Mr. Darcy of course!

The Edge Of Reason picks up Mr. Darcy and Jones five weeks after their love affair started. I think this movie is as hilarious or even more than the first. All the characters are back but this time, Jones plays the over zealous girlfriend who ends up splitting with Mr. Darcy over trust issues who later ends up in jail in Thailand over a big mistake. Who ends up saving her? Mr. Darcy. Is there a marriage proposal at the end of the movie? I'm not saying!

Overall, I give these two movies five out of five stars and I told John that I'm buying them for my collection. So, there's my very poor review for ya! -Sandra.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

How about them Cowboys!


We beat the Eagles not once, not twice, THREE TIMES this season! and the monkey is off our backs and the playoff curse is done! Our first playoff win since 1996. Our defense was outstanding! Michael Vick, thanks Dog for flipping out! oops! sorry for saying Dog, we know how that hurts you...

Romo is getting better, i'm still on the fence with him but I'm pleased to finally see him play for real.

At any rate, the job is not done. We face Mighty Favre next Sunday and the question is, how do we beat the Vikings? I love Favre, I think he's an outstanding player, I truly wanted to see him in the superbowl but unfortunately he's standing in our way and all I have to say is get out dude; we're coming! -Sandra.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Raquel's Corner

Raquel is two months old today! She doesn't feel so tiny anymore and she's still sleeping all night, in fact, she's sleeping between 8 to 10 hours every night, such a blessing!
Here's my nephew Andrew. The new Trekkie!


video
video

Cooking with Sofia

Every time I'm cooking, Sofia climbs on a chair and wants to see what she can do with her two little hands. So, I let her experience the joys of cooking.

I bought a book call: Healthy Meals for Babies and Toddlers and when I run out of ideas on what to make for Sofia, I pull out this book and make something happen.

Here, we decide to make mini burgers. That's what they are called in the book.

So, we go with Turkey meat because it has less fat.


The recipe calls for honey. Sofia started talking to the honey bottle in the form of a bear. She even gave the bottle a kiss.


Sofia pours the Wheat Bread Crumbs


Here she adds the seasoning

 
Ketchup!

 
Now Sofia forms the pattie


Now, we watch it cook!


Another Success! She loved it! This recepie is a keeper! She ate it with Couscous!

 
 

Movies We Watch


Movie: Star Trek

This movie is AWESOME! I give this movie an Oscar! Yes, John and I are Trekkie's! We like Star Wars, but Star Trek beats Star Wars hands down! We are fans of the Star Trek: The Next Generation, we couldn't get into the first Star Trek; we love Capt. Picard, Riker, Data, Worf. I remember like it was yesterday when I first fell in love with Star Trek. My friend Fernando made me sit through three hours of Star Trek and he sat there with me explaining everything and after three hours, I was hooked on this show and have been ever since.

At any rate, we give this movie 5 out of 5 and for us this is the movie of the year. We loved it so much we watched it twice! All the actors in this movie truly bring out the characters to life! The guy who plays Spock is awesome! My nephew Andrew came over and watch it with us; he also loved it. So, afterwards, as Trekkie's that we are, we put on the Next Generation series and my nephew was hooked and he announced with the Trekkie sign that he was now a new born Trekkie. John and I were touched! Now, all we have to do is to transform Sofia and Raquel to Trekkies so that we, as a family, may watch Star Trek together.

To conclude my thoughts about this movie, I can't not end without the following:

"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations — to boldly go where no man has gone before."

Live Long and Prosper!!! (you may now "energize" if you are a trekkie you know what this means)


Movie: G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Action packed: Check
Great Humor: Check
Plot: Check
Leading Actor: Ok

Both of us give this move a C+ or 3.5 out of 5 stars. We watch the cartoon series when we were younger and I will dare to say it beats the movie. Marlon Wayans was pretty good and funny. We loved him in "White Chicks." But, overall, I wouldn't even bother buying this movie.

So, Live long and prosper.

Cowboys: NFC East Champions!


We shout out the Eagles today and hopefully next weekend we win our first playoff game and move on to our next rival. I'm still not a Romo fan, but I do admit that he has been playing alot better than what he started playing.
John tells me it is very hard to beat a team three times in a single season. I say we can do it!

I'm not sure whether we have a superbowl team but it is comforting that we are looking pretty good!


Next: Playoff game against the Eagles in Dallas! They have not posted whether we will play Saturday or Sunday. I just hope is not when I have to go to a friend's b/day party. At any rate, if we had lost today, we would have gone to Philly.


GO COWBOYS! I LOVE JASON WITTEN!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 and Beyond

As John and I sat and watch the ball drop from New York on our TV set while holding each other's hands and toasting with champagne, I had not realized that we just ended a decade and a new one started. So much happens in 10 years! John and I were engaged in 2000, bought a house in 2003, got two dogs, almost lost each other in 2006, had two babies back to back and most importantly got closer to God than ever before.

The excitement of a new year the first couple of days or weeks is filled with resolutions and a new view in life but as those feelings and views start to fade, one needs to refocus and realize that our resolutions need to have a solid foundation based in God so that they may have a real chance of achievement if those involve God in every way, shape and form.

The smell of a new year is always refreshing and we all look forward to the excitement, challenges, wins and looses that it brings upon us. May God bless each and everyone this coming year and beyond. -Sandra.