Thursday, March 31, 2011

Trial and Error of the Day - Game Time

If you have a ticket to a game, let's say for instance a Mavericks Basketball game, you check the date AND time and then you make sure you type it or write it on your calendar so that when you go and pick up said tickets you avoid an embarrassing moment.


John: "I came to pick up my tickets for tonight's game please"

Teller: "uhmmm, what game exactly are you talking about that's happening tonight"

John: "well, the Mavericks game of course" "duh"

Teller: "let me see, yeah, that game is schedule for NEXT Friday the 8th, Sir."

John: "what?"

Teller: "Yes, sir, but you are not entirely wrong, sir. The Mavericks are playing tonight. They are playing in California.

........True story, I swear!!!!

-Sandra.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happenings in the Seaman Family


Sofia has been singing lots of Disney Songs, in particular, "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. She knows it both in English and Spanish. Our Nanny made this for her!

Then there were two. The Pink felt is the "Magic Carpet"... really.


She's holding a conversation with them.


Raquel: Mom, what's Sofia doing w/out me? I have to go see!  

Oh! where did Sofia go? Look Mami, it's Aladdin! and it's MINE!!!!!


and this one too!!


Onto another day, here's John at the garden. Raquel is getting interested in this garden thing. I'm only interested when there is stuff to eat from the garden!



I'm not lying when I say, Sofia is really into "A Whole New World" song.

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ummm...John likes to play rough....don't do this at home unless you are a trained daddy with muscular arms...

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It is time for the Church to face up to the crisis of spousal abandonment

As I read the article below, it took me back to 2007 when my marriage was being dissolved. A guy knocked on my door the morning of January 6th, 2007. He handed me the divorce papers. Without opening them, that very instant, I felt abandoned, isolated, crashed and lost. Wrap all these 4 feeling together, I felt like someone punched me in the stomach and I felt that my entire world blew up on me.

The people that stood by me giving me their support and prayers without judging me are truly God send. Those who pointed their finger at me, judging me, I pray every day that they never experience the pain that I went through.

When I hear couples divorcing it takes me back to the pain. That is the reason why I do not take sides. EVER. -Sandra.

------------------------------------------------------------------------


By Hilary Towers, Ph.D. *

Imagine your brother Jim discovers that his wife of 17 years, mother to their four children, is leaving him for another man. He pleads with her to stay. He asks that they get counseling to heal their marriage. He calls every priest he knows, along with family and friends, to try to get the help he needs to keep his family together. But your brother’s efforts are in vain.

Jim learns that his wife has retained a lawyer, and is suing him for a divorce. His mind races back to the day he made his vows before God and the community of believers.

“I don’t want a divorce,” he cries out in despair. “And I will never sign a paper stating that my marriage is over.”

Over the next few weeks, Jim’s wife keeps asserting that she has left because their marriage has been “hell.” She says he is the only thing standing in the way of her happiness.

She signs a lease on an apartment where she begins to bring the children for visits. The children, who are devastated and confused, report that there is usually a strange man at the apartment during these visits. “Sometimes he kisses mommy,” they confide with tears in their eyes.

Outraged at the rate at which his world is spinning out of control, Jim hires his own lawyer. It doesn’t take long for him to learn that there is nothing to be done. His divorce is imminent, and his ability to act as the primary protector of his children is effectively over.

In fact, Jim’s right to parent his children according to Church teachings will be undermined at every turn by a “family law” system that worships at the altar of sexual freedom. As your brother will learn over the next year or two, this system serves one purpose alone: to facilitate the destruction of marriages (and by extension families) quickly and with the least resistance possible.

There is abundant research to affirm the dire consequences of divorce for children: much higher likelihoods of poverty, teen motherhood, school expulsion, conduct disorders, physical abuse, incarceration, cohabitation, divorce, and even suicide.

This is not surprising. As Catholics who believe in the sanctity and permanence of the marriage vow, we can understand why things go drastically wrong when that vow is breached. As rational human beings we recognize that when marriage – the foundation of civilized, lawful society – is undervalued on a wide scale, the long-term repercussions will be catastrophic.

What we may not know is that most divorces are situations in which one person wants to end the marriage while the other is fighting to save it.

The National Survey of Children indicates that about 80 percent of divorce cases in the U.S. are forced, or unilateral, divorces. Women initiate two-thirds of all divorces. Research also shows that the vast majority occur in marriages described by the spouses as happy only five years earlier. According to a 2002 study using data from the National Survey of Families and Households, the number is close to 75 percent. Nonetheless, under “no fault” divorce, any husband or wife, at any time and for any reason, can walk into a lawyer’s office and begin the process of divorcing his or her spouse.

Unlike in any other area of the law, the defendant in a divorce case is dead on arrival because the court never considers a defense of the marriage. The spouse who is being abandoned is presumed guilty. Judicial discretion is illusory because the plaintiff (usually the abandoning spouse who is seeking the divorce) always wins.

Even a child rapist has a right to a trial by a jury of peers. Our Constitution guarantees it: “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” Not so for the spouse who has been abandoned.

In our system of family law, the legal presumption is that the marriage is over the moment one spouse decides it is. It does not matter who has engaged in adultery. It does not matter how long the couple has been married, whether they have minor children, or whether they were married in the Catholic Church, which doesn’t acknowledge divorce.

Our divorce courts violate the civil rights of countless men and women every day. Most victims do not have the ability to fight the injustice. Most suffer in silence and their stories remain untold.

In the face of this crisis, which is causing untold suffering and injustice, what is our obligation as Catholics who uphold the sanctity of lifelong marriage?

We must fight our tendency to look the other way in the name of discretion or a false sense of charity. This instinct is rooted in a cultural ethos that values privacy and personal (meaning, sexual) autonomy above all other rights.

As Catholics, we have moral obligations when we know someone who has abandoned his or her family in order to seek a divorce. We have a duty to stand in solidarity with the spouse who has been left behind, and with any children who might be involved.

We should not assume that the marriage must have been deeply troubled to have reached this point. And we should not accept the assertion that the one left behind was “just too difficult to live with.” Such claims are usually made to deflect attention from the real issue —spousal abandonment and the immoral conduct that almost always accompanies it.

Sometimes, when we are friends with the couple involved, we might be tempted to conclude, “There must be something we don’t know. This must be more complicated than we think.” All too often, the complicating factor is in fact quite simple — an adulterous affair.

It might be useful when we consider “logical explanations” for abandonment for us to contemplate our own marital struggles. How would we fare should the survival of our own marriages hinge on our spouse’s view of us at a particular moment in time?

The Church teaches that marriages are comprised of two flawed individuals whose job is to love one another unconditionally: “Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (I Cor. 13: 5-7).

What does it mean to stand in solidarity with an abandoned family?

It means not being afraid to use the term “abandonment” instead of divorce when speaking about these situations.

For pastors and priests it means being willing to address the issue directly with their congregations.

For family members, clergy, and close friends of the couple, it means speaking to the abandoning spouse in charity, but with clarity.

The message to the abandoner must be this: “What you have done is contrary to God’s plan for you and your family. We are praying you will return home and seek the counseling needed to heal your marriage. Once you decide to return to your family, you will have our full support. Until then, please do not expect us to condone your action by pretending it hasn’t happened.”

These encounters serve two purposes.

First, they assure abandoned spouses that they are not alone. They tell the spouses that the Church community supports their desire to save their marriage and uphold the marriage vow.

Second, by summoning the moral courage to speak candidly about the devastation that spousal abandonment causes, we remind the world that eternal Truth remains.

Sadly, men and women who abandon their spouses will often have family and friends around who support their decision to “start over.” It may benefit one who has left home more than we will ever know to hear the truth from us, who have their eternal souls in mind.

We need a renewed effort on the part of bishops and priests to recognize that spousal abandonment is a crisis in our Church. Church leaders need to acknowledge this — and they need to encourage new, more effective responses in our parishes and chanceries.

In every case of spousal abandonment, much is at stake — not only the lives of the men, women and children involved, but also the belief of all Catholics in the integrity of marriage as a sacrament.

In a world that would have us believe that divorce is just an opportunity for a new start, the Church’s message must be loud and clear: We will hold fast to our ancient teachings on marriage – for the sake of our souls, our families, and our civilization.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Movies We Watch


This is not a movie but a Masterpiece Theather Mini-Series.


TV Mini-Series: The Pillars of the Earth

This mini-series is set in 12th century England after the murder of King Henry, King Stephen forced himself into power and spend the remainder of his life fighting the former King Henry's daughter Matilda who's quest was to place her son Henry II in his rightful place as King. This is one plot, there is also another plot involving the building of a Cathedral and everything the Monk, Prior Phillip was to go through to see this Cathedral built after the original burned to the ground.

A pretty good mini-series based on lose facts about King Stephen. There is nudity, incest and rape. We were'nt prepared for these three but everything else is good. Don't watch it with your kids.

I have to add that, I meant to watch this mini-series by myself because John is not interested in anything that I personally want to watch because, "he thinks" that it is another chick flick. Well, he was hooked! and we stayed up until 2am finishing this mini-series. As soon as John found out it there were swords, Knights on horses, Kings and that sort of thing, he joined me.

We give it, 4 stars.



Movie: RED

RED stands for: Retired and Dangerous. Helen Mirren, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman star in this action-comedy packed movie, who have retired from the CIA and are being hunted by the CIA (go figure) because of a Guatemala job they did back in the 90's and according to the CIA, they know too much. Very funny and this movie moves pretty fast. I have to say, we enjoy watching Helen Mirren. I read there is a sequel...

We give it 4 1/2 stars.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Trial and Error of the Day - Set Up

We have been looking for the Disney Spanish Movie versions of all the classics. John found Toy Story 2 in Spanish in Wal-Mart. I even asked my mom and sister Wendy to find me the Spanish version back in my country. 

Well, today I decided to play The Little Mermaid for Raquel and Sofia only because we have been singing the Spanish songs from the movie for about two months now and when I was going through the DVD menu, I stumble across Set-Up and walla! Spanish. No need to buy the separate Spanish movie version.

Needless to say, Sofia and Raquel enjoyed signing their favorite "La Sirenita (Little Mermaid) songs" in Spanish over in over again while watching Ariel on TV and holding their Ariel dolls.

Always look in the back of the DVD case to see what languages it comes with. After sorting through all the Disney movies, we have a bunch that have the Spanish language. Hooray!! Now, I got to buy Cinderella for Sofia, she loves the book.

Five on Friday - What's it like?

1.What is your keyring like?

Just a bunch of keys, no more dangling things of the sort. I used to be big on danglings but my key ring got pretty big with a lot of danglings and almost no keys, it became too bulky for my taste so I decided to go plain and simple. My life mantra.


2.What is your purse/bag/briefcase like?

My purse is pretty old. I'm not a purse/bag person at all; I cannot bring myself to spend so much money on one unless is on sale, and it's got to be a pretty good sale. Ironic, because now, I'm loving sewing bags and the ones I'm making, I do like.

3.What is your wallet like?

I used to carry wallets but not since Sofia was born. I only carried what's important: My license, my credit card and keys in my pants pocket.

4.What is your mousepad like?

Dirty, I need to replace the one from the office. At home, our mouse sits on a calendar. We need to buy one.

5.What are the curtains in your bedroom like?
 
We don't have any curtains, but blinds. I want curtains, therefore, I shall make curtains when I find 8 hours of free time...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trial and Error of the Day

Do not bathe in Oatmeal Soothing Bath Treatments when you have Poison Ivy it will spread it all over your body and make it worse! The oils from the plant will spread in the bath water. John learned the hard way this week. Ouch!

Thankfully, this stuff is not contegious.

-Sandra.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Black Belt

Today, my brother Carlos got his first degree black belt! This has been a three year process for him.
He's got 7 more degree of black belt's to go to become a grand master!
 


There were three teenagers that moved to second degree black belt! including a 9 year old!


Carlos posing with his teachers.


Raquel trying to put her Uncle Carlos down by grabbing him from his shirt and still managing to look cute!


I'm proud of you brother!




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Friday, March 18, 2011

Five on Friday - There’s a Wriday on Your Friday

1. Dr. Seuss’s first published book was And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street!. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve witnessed on your street?

Our neighbors dog is let out not in their backyard to do her business, they let the dog out through the front door to go out and wander around and of course take care of business; I watched her and she goes far, but she does come back home. I'm afraid one of these days, someone is going to pick her up and take her. She's cute! Also, about 5 years ago, I was outside of my front yard when suddenly this van turns to my street, the driver was speeding, lost control and hit the neighbors back tree and fence!! And the baby who was riding in the back of the van, who was supposed to have been strapped to the car seat, flew to the front! Yep, I freaked out and call 911. The driver denied that the baby came out of the seat, but the police took my word for it and charged her. My neighbor two houses down from me walks his chihuahua in his PJ's, not very pretty either.



2. In The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, a boy removes his hat to pay respect to the passing king, but each hat is somehow replaced by a bigger, fancier hat. If you’re a hat person, what’s your current favorite? If not, under what circumstances did you last wear a hat?

My favorite hat is a beach hat! I don't wear them very often but I love them. The last time, I wore one was in Costa Rica. memories....


3. In If I Ran the Zoo…, a boy fantasizes about how fantastic the zoo would be under his administration. What’s your local zoo like, and how do you like it?

I'm not a fan of Zoo's at all, I go there because John loves the Zoo, but when he makes me go, I choose to go to the Ft. Worth Zoo, is pretty neat. Dallas Zoo stinks.


4. In Green Eggs and Ham, the main character refuses to taste a certain dish until, just to get Sam to leave him alone, he gives in and discovers that he likes it. When did something like this happen to you?

I read this book to Sofia in Spanish, "Huevos Verdes con Jamon." She loves it! At any rate, John loves to try any type of "international" food there is, I do not. I remember the last time he begged me to try a certain food was "Hummus." I still recall that day, John took me to a Mediterranean restaurant and he begged me to try it just once. Until, I did and...I LOVED IT! I told him how foolish I was not to even try it, basically I was Sam.

 
5. The Foot Book contains a lesson about judging others based on their feet. Feet seem to be something people have widely polar opinions about! How do you feel about feet, and can you think of someone in your life who has especially nice feet?
 
In my opinion, nice feet equals trim toe nails and smooth heels. If your heel is cracking, yuck! That's just my thing. "Put some lotion in your body!" (Silence of the Lambs - Memorable Quote)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

5 Things About Me Today

1. I CAN RUN!!! I have been running a mile with about 5% Plantar Fasciitis pain! I'm so, so happy! It has taken me exactly two years to feel the joy of running again! I'm not pushing myself because I don't want to re-injured myself all over again, therefore, I am running about twice a week. My first week I ran the mile at 16.20, this week, I'm running the mile at 15.15!! I was at 9.24. It will be a long tough road but I will get close to 9.24, not sure if I can make it there again, but all I want right now is to run a 5K. I'm taking John and the girls with me!

2. I have been sewing even though I have not blog about it. I think this is why I have been posting less and less. My free time is being consumed in sewing bags. Yep, bags. I am currently making two bags, same design, two different fabrics. I will post when I'm done and hopefully, I will able to take great pictures of them to post on my Etzy shop. And I will also make appointments at Boutiques to sell them off. I guess this is a personal quest of mine. God willing, I will be successful at it. I'm in my zone when I'm sewing, creating, bleeding blood sewing. Just like when I run, I feel free, when I sew I feel creative.

John and I were watching Top Chef, All Stars, last night and one of the finalist said, "I hate everything I do! even though people love what I cook, I hate it, it is never good enough" I'm like, I do too, that's how I feel. No matter how great my sewing project has turn out, or how many wows I get, it is never good enough, all that goes through my mind is "I could have done better." Is like, I turn into a perfectionist and I can tell you right now, I'm far from a perfectionist!

3. It hasn't rain in Dallas in over a month. Everyone has allergies and my Asthma has gotten worse. I had to upgrade my medication just to be able to breath. I'm praying for rain. Not Tornadoes, not floods, just rain.

4. Lent is here and I have committed myself to self sacrifice once again. Not saying what I'm sacrificing but this time I'm not giving up anything tangible, just sort of  a spiritual sacrifice.

5. Anyone reading this, please continue on praying for the people of Japan.

God Bless!

Sandra.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Another Seaman Girls Post

Went out to the mall last weekend with my sister and Sofia got this funky sunglasses from Gymboree! There are so cool, she went to sleep with them.

Even Raquel digged hers!



Gadi with Raquel and Sofia.

Get kids to touch dirt, you'll get them to water the new plants!



Not Raquel, she hang out far, far away...

The Seaman Girls

At the first sign of Spring, we venture out outside to...well, climb trees.


Raquel: It looks cool up here!

Sofia: look mom, no hands!

Dad: Let's see if you can handle a little bit higher...Sofia was scared, but daddy is trying to toughen her out...

Then Sofia was OK.

Raquel not really. She wanted out.

Princess Day!

Tea Time!



no theme day. Just a day inside the house because it was too cold outside.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Discipline

I bought a book called "Discipline that lasts a lifetime" by Dr. Ray Guarendi. He's a psychologist and the father of TEN children, he also offers parents practical help through a syndicated advice column and his national radio program, The Doctor Is In, through the Catholic radio station.

I believe as parents we all want to do our best to raise our children who are well behaved. There are endless ways on how to discipline but there is also the secular discipline way and God's way.

Today, I went to the mall with my sister Wendy and my daughter Sofia, as I told Sofia not to touch a certain item on the store, Sofia said, "are you happy Mami? are you upset?" I replied, "I'm not upset and I'm very happy because I love you very much but at this time, I need you to do exactly what I'm asking."

Sofia, asked me several times after that if I was upset and/or happy. My sister turns to me and says, does she fear you? what have you done to her that she keeps asking you these questions? I said, I have only disciplined her in a way that she understand that when Mami is serious she needs to listen and do but I always reassure her that I love her very much.

People can misinterpret that  my daughter fears me when in fact, she doesn't. She can be very defiant but that defiance doesn't last too long in our household. Sofia knows that if she doesn't do what we ask of her, she gets action out of mom and dad.

As I open the book that I just purchased it opened to this:

A Healthy Fear

Dear Dr. Ray,

I've heard experts say that children should never fear you or your discipline. Sometimes my son (age six) looks pretty scared when he's done something wrong and I've found out. Now, I'm starting to feel guilty.  - Fearsome

As we've noted, in some trendy child rearing theories, the word "discipline" has lately developed a bad reputation.  The same has happened--just as undeservedly--with a few other once-respected words.  Among the other terms most popularly disliked are "punishment" and "fear." The message is: If you are psychologically savvy enough, you'll seldom have to discipline, much less punish, and you'll never invoke fear.

On a recent television show I was debating the pros and cons of spanking with a child rearing specialist. (There's something odd about having so many specialists these days telling parents how to do something correctly that they've been doing without us for a millennia.) Violently anti-spanking, this expert asked me if I'd ever spanked my children. "Yes," I replied, "for certain misbehavior's."

She practically smacked me with her response: "Then your children must fear you." Temporarily off balance, I replied, "How can you say something like that? You don't know me or my children. Besides, I want my kids to have a healthy fear of particular consequences.  And since my wife and I are the one enforce those consequences, at times their fear might temporarily be attached to us. With maturity they'll come to understand the love behind our actions."

My reasoning didn't budge her. In her eyes, anyone who at any time for any reason swatted a bottom was a fear-monger. Period.

My wife and five-year-old son were watching the show at home. Turning to him, she asked, "Andrew, are you ever afraid of Daddy?" "Nah."

I think his answer bothered me more than the expert's rebuke. How often have you or another adult, after watching a child bullying his parents or being otherwise obnoxious, said something like, "If I'd have tried that with my parents, it would have been all over. I just knew better." Most parents with such recollections--often warmly recalled, by the say--grew up in loving homes.

Was fear a part of their discipline? Sometimes. It wasn't a fear that made them tremble when a parent walked by. It was a fear based on respect, not to mention wariness of the unknown: What would Mom or Dad really do if I was foolish enough to push them that far?

I have no fear of judges. I like them.  Society needs them. Yet I'm very afraid of what they could to to me if I ever earned a visit to their courtroom as a criminal. The fact that your son occasionally looks upset in the face of discipline is on sign he's developing a conscience. And as far as I'm aware, not too many are calling conscience bad--not yet, anyways.  A measure of fear and guilt, whether we like it or not, is inextricably tied to a healthy sense of right and wrong.

Because your son does worry about your reaction, say, if he leaves the yard without permission, he's less likely to wander away. Not only does he stay safe, but you and he spend a lot less time wrangling over the issue. Your boundaries are clear; he knows that; and he's assured you'll back your words with action. Maybe his fear is better called a mature regard for reality.

Movies We Watch

Movie: SALT

This is a great espionage movie with all the drills and thrills you hope for in a fast action movie about a Russian sleeper Spy (Angelina Jolie) who is accused of being a spy out to assassinate the POTUS.

All along, she proves them right, but is she the only Russian Sleeper Spy around us who is out to kill the POTUS? We loved this movie! We were hooked until the very end...and then the end there is a cliffhanger!!! Is there part two!? We hope so!

5 stars for all that action and butt kicking!










Movie: Inception

To implement a thought in a persons mind or in other words to infiltrate the dreams of other people, in this case to infiltrate the dreams of powerful executives to rob them out of important information.

When Dom (Dicaprio) infiltrates it is usually only done in a two dream levels. When Inception is done they go for 3 or plus dream level. To go back to the previous level they must die at that level and or be awaken if the fail they will remain in limbo state therefor die.

While watching this movie, John (my hubby) tells me he's experienced the two level dream trips...I'm like "get out of here, really? I didn't know there was such a thing in real life; he reassures me it has happened to him twice." My mom has experienced this dream level trip as well...I told him, I knew there was something weird about them because they both believe in aliens. I have only done the one dream level and I like to keep them that way. Now, the hot dreams, I would love those to go in all levels!

At any rate, great movie, the ending we didn't know if it was a dream or Dom actually was able to make it. Another continuation may be coming!

5 stars.