Saturday, January 31, 2009

Do Movies Annoy You Too??

*Warning: I need to complain*

So the husband and I get the mail today and we have a movie waiting for us.  YAY!  We used to love this...get a movie in the mail, put the kids to bed early, pop some popcorn and enjoy a cheap mini-date.  But it seems that lately, every single movie we watch SUCKS (I gotta keep it real here and cannot think of any other word to better describe it)!  Are we just prudes or do you agree? Either the movie (and we choose the popular ones) is perverted, extremely violent, full of cursing (and I mean every other word) or leaves you asking, "what the heck..." after devoting 2+ hours to it.  We've actually had to turn off a few movies because of how offensive they were.  Don't get me wrong, every now and then a good one comes along, but for the most part we are just left feeling so blah and drained after watching some (most) of the crap thats out there.  

Whew.  I feel a little better.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Game Recommendation!!

Okay, at the risk of sounding like a HUGE dork, I just have to say that if you have never played the game Settlers of Catan, you must!  Finding someone you know who has played it before is a plus, since it is a little complicated - but SO worth learning.  Get the Cities and Knights expansion; its such a better game with it.  

For those of you who enjoy online gaming from time to time you can play Settlers here (its called "Explorers" and that is the only difference you'll find).  To add to my already obvious dorkiness, you may find me playing online from time to time... username: AlieHowie. *wow...did i just admit that?*

Anyway, we just finished a game night with friends and thats why I had to announce the awesomeness that is Settlers of Catan.  Super fun.  Enjoy the picture (I felt it was very necessary for you to get a visual.)

p.s. I have no idea who the man is in the picture and I have no idea what his shirt means......anyone?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Tonight we watched the movie Fireproof and I just had to post my thoughts about it here:

We loved it.  

We are so proud that a nationally shown movie (rated #4 at the box office) captured a typical American marriage complete with common marital issues with such honesty, integrity and transparency.  Fireproof shone a light on the many struggles that a marriage can encounter (financial, emotional, sexual) with honesty that most movies don't show (and movie-goers don't expect), as well as providing the answer that can provide renewal, reconciliation, and healing: Jesus.  

How bold to put it all out there and proclaim the truth that is found in Him.  So many marriages are falling apart and honestly, although Mark and I have been Christians for the majority of our lives, our own marriage was once at risk.  Through the grace of Christ we made the decision to start over and place our marriage in His perfect hands and since then our marriage and love for one another hasn't been the same.  

February, 2007 - We decided to get baptized as a couple.

A renewed marriage in Christ.

If you are in a marriage that is just okay or if things are nearing divorce, I urge you to commit your life to Christ, pray for forgiveness and for God to restore your marriage.  You can start by watching Fireproof.

25 Truths

1. My favorite day of the week is Friday because I have the whole weekend to look forward to.
2. I fell in love with my husband when I was 15 years old...and told my mom that I'd marry him one day.
3. Although I know its terrible, my favorite fast food hamburger is a Double-Double "animal style" from In-N-Out.
4. I used to dye my hair black in college (with the out-of-the-box-crap....not good!).
5. I played the clarinet for over 8 years and miss it sometimes.
6. I still sleep with my baby blanket that I've had for over 27 years (if my house were burning down it would be in my 'top 10 things to grab').
7. I got braces for a year (even though I didn't need them) so that I had perfect teeth and could start my acting career off right.
8. My first job was as a grocery bagger at Big John's Food King; I was 15.
9. I smoked cigarettes for nearly 3 years (18-21) and regret it.
10. When I'm nervous I play with my hair.
11. I am obsessed with perfect eyebrows although mine are far from it.
12. I accepted Christ when I was 12 years old.
13. I love to eat out at restaurants but mostly cook at home.
14. I used to want 6 kids, then 3 and now its back up to 4 (maybe 5?).
15. I LOVE Christmastime. 
16. I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate.
17. I don't have a favorite flower but my top 3 are tulips, roses, gerber daisies.
18. My favorite band is the Dave Matthews Band.
19. I do not like heights at all.
20. I've been fired from a job once: Chili's, 2001, I was one of 5 unfairly let go in a two week span.
21. I love my name, it means 'sacred truth'...and I am pretty honest.
22. My parents both speak Portuguese fluently although my sisters and I don't.  I want to change that.
23. I know sign language (although I'm way out of practice).
24. I used to hate beer, but I love a cold Corona every now and then.
25. My favorite season is autumn. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Musings

For today...Monday, January 26, 2009

Outside my window...a crisp, sunny Souther CA day.
I am thinking...that I have a schedule to write for the week and hopefully I'll keep it.
I am thankful husband; I am married to the best man.
From the kitchen...just came hot whole-wheat pancakes and fruit.  Yum.
I am wearing...jammies.
I am family goals.
I am the Hume Lake Vision Dinner tonight and am really looking forward to it.
I am reading...Created to be His Help Meet (Ladies, pick this one up, link is on the right under 'Books I Love').
I am hoping...that Mark finds a job in the valley.
I am hearing...Emma eat an apple.
Around the house...there are a few piles that need attention.
One of my favorite organized home.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Bible study, Orphans Care Team meeting, game night w/ friends.
Here is a picture that I'm sharing: Prescott Park, NH - my favorite park.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Foster Care Update

Ironically, I was just complaining to Mark yesterday about how it feels like completing this licensing process is taking so long and how we're never going to get a placement and never have the opportunity to serve in this way.  I have been so frustrated with the fact that our background checks weren't given to us when they should have been and that there were a couple delay's in processing them.  We've been praying and praying, waiting as patiently as we can (okay, as I can).  

Then today our licensing worker called and we FINALLY received some good news.

She received the results of our background check from CT today and is waiting to receive the results from NH (which NH mailed to me and I forwarded to her on Wednesday; she should get them by Monday or Tuesday).  Then she will send our file to her supervisor who will send us our license upon approval.  The completion of this process should take an additional 2 weeks.

We are now expecting to receive a placement within a month or so, but who knows how long it will take.  It seems that everything has taken such a long time...probably because I am impatient.  I'm so nervous/excited about how our family dynamics will change and how God will work in this situation.  Please continue to pray for the little girl that joins our family, even if it is short-term.

My Goal: To Lose That Gut!

Okay, I really need to lose around 10 pounds.

I'm only sharing this as a way to keep myself accountable.  I used to be thin and trim and never thought twice about diet and exercise.  Then I had a couple babies and boy does that change things!  I know that I need to be exercising daily and eating more fruits and vegetables than I currently  do.  If I'm honest, this has been difficult because I'd rather eat Sun Chips with my turkey sandwich (complete with extra mayo) than say, an apple.  I'd rather have one of my yummy homemade banana nut muffins for a snack than say, yogurt and a handful or almonds....which would be fine if I actually scheduled exercise into my day the way I schedule in everything else thats a priority. 

Time to muscle up some discipline (no pun intended).  If I was able to endure the labor and birth of an 8.6 lb. child completely drug free, then surely I can get my sexy abs back, right?

So here is my goal (wish me luck):

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Musings

For today...Monday, January 19, 2009

Outside my Disneyland!!
I am thinking...that I don't know how much more my feet can take!
I am thankful for...Megan and Michael; this trip would have been less fun without them here.
From the kitchen...we brought groceries to make our stay more affordable.
I am wearing...comfy clothes.
I am creating...memories.
I am be leaving to Disneyland in a few minutes!
I am reading...Kelly's blog and praying for baby Harper.
I am hoping...that the crowds have thinned out since yesterday.
I am kiddos laugh.  I love it.
Around the house...not in our house but the hotel is nice enough.
One of my favorite ;)
A few plans for the rest of the week: here until Tuesday, women's group on Wednesday, probably hang out with friends during the weekend, church on Sunday.
Here is a picture that I'm sharing:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Happiest Place On Earth

We're on our way to Disneyland and I am fully utilizing my BlackBerry to make the time go by! Needless to say, Emma is STOKED!!! But in all honesty, I felt like an 8 year old on Christmas Eve last night. I slept maybe 3 hours total. I've been to DL several times, but haven't been there in nearly 9 years. I went so much during jr high and high school that I swore I wouldn't return until I had kids of my own.

And here we are...

So this trip is gonna rock! My youngest sis, Megan and her bf are meeting us there to help with the kids, which means hubby and I actually get some time to play too!

So excited! :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

How Did I Not Know? I have been reading blogs lately and I have NO idea how I didn't know how awesome some of these people are.  I thought blogs were kind of dorky until I decided to start my own (naturally), but now I actively follow the captivating and informational stories of others and it is such a blessing to know that there are so many wonderful, Christ-loving families out there.  I am so inspired by the amazing stories I've read.  

If you are new to this and just browsing around you MUST check out Angie Smith's blog and read from the beginning of the story...AMAZING.  I love that family.  Also check out Melanie's blog which is completely entertaining and honestly, she's from Texas so she rocks.  

I am off to make some soup for my sick Emma, who is passed out on the couch at the moment. Poor baby never gets sick, so this is hard on her.  Have a great Friday and 3-day weekend! :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Musings

For Today...Monday, January 12, 2008

Outside my window... I hear the sound of a lawn mower on a sunny Southern CA day.
I am thinking... that I need to get in the shower and clean the house a little.
I am thankful for... my life.  I am truly happy.
From the kitchen... plans to make chili for dinner.
I am wearing... workout clothes from my morning workout.
I am creating... my first afghan and I am very proud of it.
I am going... to my women's small group on Wednesday and I am really looking forward to it.
I am reading... the book of Acts right now.
I am hoping... that I model patience today.
I am hearing... Emma doing schoolwork and Brody waking up from nap.
Around the house... there are small piles of mess.  *sigh*
One of my favorite things... today will be naptime.  I need some time alone.
A few plans for the rest of the week: get Molly groomed, serve at and attend church, members meeting at church, laundry, workout, and maybe go to the beach if the weather stays this warm.
Here is a picture that I'm sharing: my Dad; because I'm thinking about him.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another Delay

I spoke with our licensing worker (LW) yesterday and there is yet another delay in processing our license.  Our background check for NH need to be re-sent because apparently the papers need to be notarized.  Our LW wasn't aware of that and so we have to do the paper work again, get it notarized and resend.  

Have I mentioned that I am NOT a patient person?

So now we're at this place where we aren't sure that we even want to move forward.  Not because we don't want to do foster care, but because there is a good possibility that we will be moving come September/ it even worth it to commit to a child if there is a possibility that we may have to leave?  We've always known that we might move, but in November, when we thought we'd get a placement, we felt like we had more time to work with. Now that its two months later we're just not so sure.  We were definitely expecting a placement by now.  The room/house has been ready for her arrival since October.  

What's most frustrating is that the social workers express what a need there is for foster parents but seem to do very little to expedite the process.  Please pray that God's will be done. I know that I am only seeing a piece of the whole picture.  There is something bigger in store...whether it works with my timeline or not.