Friday, January 1, 2016

Word of the Year!

Happy New Year!!

We survived December, and I'm happy to be in 2016!

With the turn of the calendar, it's time for me to have a new Word of the Year!

I'm super excited about this year's word!!

Are you ready????

My word is... RUN.

Don't you love it??

I know.  It's a weird word.  Do I ever have normal words?  I wish I could choose "truth" or "joy" or "love" or another one of those normal words.

But, I love "run."  When the Lord gave it to me, I knew He gave it to me.

It really started rather basically.  Tony and I are planning to run a marathon in January 2017.  That necessitates a lot of running this year.

But, as I pressed into the Lord, He gave me far more.

Isaiah 40:31

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Have I mentioned how much time I spend tired?  And overwhelmed?  I try my hardest to act calm and in control, but I'm totally spinning on the inside.  My bestie and I refer to the duck analogy a lot- I'm paddling underwater just as fast as I can.  

I want to thrive in 2016.  I want my strength to come from the Lord, and I want to run and not be weary.  With that, I want to run my life.  I don't want to be run over by it.

Hebrews 2:1-2

"...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..."

Here's some ugly truth for the new year:  I'm a quitter.  I start well, but I'm not a good finisher.  I want to run with endurance this year.  I want to finish what I start, and I want it to look like it does on Day One.

I want to run hard after life.  This year, I'm going after life.  I'm not waiting around anymore.  I've spent many years making sure the people I love reach their goals.  This year, I'm running after mine.  (First, I need to figure out what they are.)  Spending the last few months working for Heart's Cry has reminded me that I have something to offer the world beyond parenting. 


I have loved being a stay-at-home mom for almost 14 years.  I wouldn't change a minute of it, but it has been renewing and refreshing to work for a worthy cause.  In the same vein, I've taken a long-term substitute teaching position.  I get to spend this semester teaching high school English, and I am so excited.  I love teaching.  I love youth.  I love To Kill A Mockingbird.  It's going to be an amazing semester!


One of "those things" about growing older is the constant awareness of your body.  I feel it on me. When I was 20, I didn't wake up and feel sore or achy. Now, I'm aware if I've done too much or too little.  This past November, I took a rather scary fall off a 10-foot high wall.  A week later, I was fairly certain my internal organs were permanently damaged.  I stayed in bed and rested and felt worse.  I made the decision that Carson and I were going for a run.  If I was going to hurt, I was going to hurt because I had done something.  Not because I was laying in bed.


That's my picture for 2016.  I'm running.  Running after Jesus, after my goals, after my life.  I'm confident that I'll be sore and achy.  But, Lord willing, come January 2017, I'll be able to look back with the sweet satisfaction of a well-run race. 


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Giving Tuesday!

We've survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday to arrive safely at Giving Tuesday!!

Some have been asking where I've been since October 8th when I last posted.  Well, we had a birthday, fiestas patrias, strep throat, and sitting in traffic.  But, the main thing I've been doing is working for a NGO.  Heart's Cry Children's Ministry serves the orphans of Panama in three crucial ways.  First, they provide Orphan Cares which goes into several of Panama's 55 orphanages and offers additional support to the caregivers.  Heart's Cry Family services is a foster care and adoption service that gives orphans the opportunity to be placed in forever families.  The final arm is Casa Providencia which, when complete, will be a special-needs orphanage that gives disabled children the opportunity to receive treatment to improve their quality of life.  I cannot begin to tell you the blessing it has been to me to work with HCCM!

If you notice on the right-hand side of the blog, there is a link where you can give (on this Giving Tuesday) to Heart's Cry.  We're currently trying to raise $399,800 to be able to finish the remodeling of Casa Providencia so it can accept children by the fall of 2016!

Let me know if you have any questions about this incredible (501(c)(3)) organization!!

You can email me at lisa@hccministry.org

(Isn't that fun!  They even gave me my very own email address!)




Thursday, October 8, 2015

October 8. So Proud.

(photo courtesy of firstmomentsbirthphotography.com)

I make no apologies for how much I love this kid.  He's my only boy, but my love for him has nothing to do with that.  (I, in fact, grow beyond tired of people talking about how Carson is special because he's our only boy.  Um, no.  Each of my girls is special, too.  Ok?  Everyone on board with that?  Moving on)

I make no apologies for how much I love Carson.  His personality is unlike any child I've seen before.  He's all in with life, and I love that about him.  He's competitive and encouraging.  He's stubborn and sensitive.  He's an enigma but unrelentingly consistent.  He engages my mind and my heart.  He's also my running partner.  He's capable, confident, and caring. He's athletic, academic, and friendly.   I've always been proud of him.

Today, though, I'm feeling a new level of pride.  Today, he made me, as a grown up, proud.  Moms are proud people.  Comes with the territory, and the labor and delivery process.  We're proud of these people because they are a piece of us.  But, today, the man he's becoming made me proud.  

You see, he's got this little female admirer in his sixth grade class.  She's been politely forthcoming expressing her feelings. Though I wouldn't want my daughters behaving the same way, I was kind of impressed by her.  You know I like a strong woman.  I also know that sixth grade is pretty young for boyfriends and girlfriends.  It is, however, old enough to take people and their feelings seriously.

I called a friend to get some wisdom on the topic.  I love this friend.  She's walked this parenting thing out, and she's now enjoying life from the other side of the fence.  She had great advice.  Some of it I actually listened to.  

Carson and I sat down, and we discussed how he felt about this child's feelings.  We discussed how he should respond.  We discussed that 11 is far too young to have a girlfriend, but it's old enough to act honorably.  We discussed that her future husband needed Carson to act fairly.  Yes, this is all WAY above the situation, but you practice life when it gives you the opportunity.

All of this happened about a month ago.  At that time, Carson really wanted to write her a note and tell her that his mom said no.  (I'm willing to be a scapegoat.)  I encouraged him to have a conversation because 1) I have no idea how the school feels about note passing and 2) I felt like he needed to practice leading in an uncomfortable conversation.

Today, Carson came home from school and ran into my room.  He talked to the girl today.  He explained what he needed to explain.  He looked her in the eye.  They laughed that both of their moms wondered if the conversation were ever going to happen.  Then, he scored a goal in recess.  That's life in sixth grade.  Honor is ageless.  

And, I'm incredibly proud of Carson.


(I had him read this and give me permission to publish it.  He made a correction.  It was 4 goals he made at recess.)

Monday, October 5, 2015

It's My Birthday, and I'll Blog If I Want To...

This weekend was the best.  I got to get dressed up and go out to a fancy dinner with friends.  Twice. I ate INCREDIBLE Indian food.  I got to enjoy a 3-hour dance practice with some amazing ladies. I got to spend alone time with the hubby at Costco.  I got to give out Mucinex.  Pretty much a rockstar weekend!!!

Because of Tony's work schedule this week, we decided it was best to celebrate with the 6 of us yesterday.  My kids gave me sweet presents, and I felt very loved.  The picture of the day, though, represents the love affair that Tony and Chloe were having with the top of the birthday cake they bought me.


Instead of putting the candles in the cake, Chloe held them.  I got to enjoy a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" with Chloe yelping in the background as the wax dripped on her arm.  That, my friends, is dedication.  To the top of a store-bought cake.


Um.  Ok??
(But I did feel incredibly loved which is the best place to be.)



Friday, October 2, 2015

Bonus Post...

Y'all.  Coralynn walked in the room just as I was publishing the last blog.  This was too fabulous to ignore, so I just published it 4 hours later.

Bits: (excited, happy voice) Mom.  You are totally going to freak out when you hear this.
Me:  Ooooohh, tell me!
Bits: I'm in love with someone.
Me:  You are!  (trying not to get preachy on the innocent 5-year-old)  What makes you be in love with him?
Bits: (oozing with ooze) He's so cute!
Me:  (dying laughing on the inside- cool and calm on the outside)  Is he in love with you?
Bits:  (suddenly very serious)  No.  He pretty much hates me.
Me: (dying laughing on the outside but acting very concerned)  Oh no!  Why do you say that?
Bits:  Because when I sit by him he does this...


I'm pretty sure I haven't laughed that hard in YEARS.


2 for 1

Yesterday's picture which you can file under "Issues of the Brilliant":


When Carson thinks, Carson rubs a pen on his back.  When Carson thinks while holding a 2-ended Sharpie, Carson accidentally takes off the lid and rubs the Sharpie on his back leaving a huge pen stain on his back.  This is day 4.  He may have tattooed himself.


Today's picture is brought to you by Camilla, AKA The Child Made to Love Well,

\\

I subbed today, but I got up later than I should have.  I was running late, so I asked Camilla to throw a frozen burrito in a lunch box for me.  The napkin was a fun surprise I didn't expect but was pleased to receive.








(quick edit: another blog will be posted at 7 tonight.  You'll want to see it.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

9/30. Chloe's Turn(Around)

Monday, I told you Chloe had 103.9 fever.
Tuesday, I told you Chloe had a 99.3 body temperature.
Today, Wednesday, Chloe was at 98.3 and received an IB Attribute Award at school.

I shared about the school's Recognition Ceremony a few weeks ago when Coralynn and Camilla were each recognized.  This past weekend, I got an email saying that Chloe, too, was going to be recognized.  I was so excited for her because, well, because she rocks, and it's about time she realized that other people know it. (Cuz, you know, Moms don't know anything, and we're forced to consider our children rockstars.  Thank you very much.)

Now it's game time for y'all!!  Don't knock your coffee over because you can't contain your excitement!

(We here at PanaMOM are not responsible for any damages to laptops or other electronic devices due to beverage spillage.  Yada. Yada. Yada.)

We're going to play "Guess Which Attribute Chloe Was Awarded For Showing."

Here are the 10 choices:

Principled
Risk Taker
Caring
Inquirer
Communicator
Thinker
Knowledgeable
Open-Mindedness
Balanced
Reflective (This is what Google thinks number 10 is)

I'm not convinced on that 10th one which means your chances of guessing correctly just improved!!!  Woohoo!!

So????  Which one do you think????
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Going into the morning I had 2 guesses.
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Caring and Principled.
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I was wrong with
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BOTH guesses!
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She was recognized for
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..
Well, to tell you the truth, I'm not entirely sure.
Huh?
Huh?
Huh?
Huh?
(okay- enough of that)

Apparently, she was nominated for 2 categories- at least that's what the principal said during the ceremony!  Her certificate says... KNOWLEDGEABLE, but her profile that was read concerned being... an INQUIRER!

Either way, I'm thrilled to pieces for her.  Not only because she was recognized, but also because she was well enough to be there!

Definition of Inquirer

"She seeks to clarify, to be informed, and to examine in depth.
This inquirer is new to the group, but she unashamedly pushes the envelope and thinks outside the box."





(Her daddy was there and super proud, too, but he had to head on to work before the photo time started!)