Showing posts from May, 2011

Pictoral Review- The Rest of Staycation!

The rest of our staycation- enjoy!

A Pictoral Review- Monkey Island

I wanted to share some more pics from our staycation of last week.   Enjoy!

Of course it did!

Update:  The repair person came today.  We will be without the sink and the dishwasher until Wednesday.  The fun factor on this is dropping.
The kids were putting away the clean dishes.  As Carson closed a cabinet, I heard a weird thud noise.  I turned around to see the sink resting atop the dish soap in the lower cabinet.  A mere two months ago, this would have sent me to Hissy Fit Land.  Today, I had a good laugh and asked if this meant we got to go out to eat until it was fixed.  Unfortunately, we were blessed with a separate sink in another part of the kitchen so no dinners out for me!

We're for real!

Today, we had an impromptu trip with friends to some of the local markets.  I've been wanting to visit the markets, but I'm definitely not adventurous enough to go by myself.  Tony texted a friend to ask for some pointers, and they decided to join us.  So the nine of us piled into the van (It's Panama.  There are no seatbelt laws) and headed to the markets.

We decided to hit the seafood market first.  I was very excited about this because I love seafood.  I've become a bit of a fish junkie since we moved to Panama.   The market did not disappoint.  It was well organized, by Panamanian standards, and had lots of friendly vendors.

All the fresh seafood was so amazing!

 Our friend posing with the sea bass that we took home.  He filleted it for me!

Chloe and the shrimp selection.  We ended up getting 2lbs of the big shrimp on the left.

The seafood market wasn't as cheap as I had hoped it would be.  The sea bass averaged out to about $8/lb.  I'm not sure how the compar…

Competition of the Day!

We are competitive people.  Really competitive people.  Tony and I both come from long lines of competitive people.  The kids didn't stand a chance.  After a week of busy fun during our staycation, Tony and the kids determined a day at home was in order.  (For my part, I'd always rather be doing something out than be at home.)  Everyone agreed that a friendly competition would be an enjoyable break from the Mommy-enforced busyness.  The Family Mario Kart Competition was born.  After a quick google search for help drawing the double elimination for 5 players brackets, we were ready to go.

Competition was intense as player after player was eliminated.
Notice that Carson channels his inner Tigger Uncle Tim watching the races.

The faces of determination.  The piles of laundry.

After tough rounds of play, only Chloe and Carson are left.  Watch their entire battle to see the winner!

Congratulations to.........

Carson David!

Word of the Day!

Wanna guess what word we've been working on?  Coralynn's at the really difficult stage when she knows what she wants, but she can't get her point across.  This leads to her screaming at us which leads to Carson and Camilla cracking up.  In turn, Coralynn screams happily for her easy audience.   This leads to Chloe reminding everyone that she could talk at this age.  So, we've been working on "more."  So far, she makes this cute face but doesn't make any noise.   I think we have decided to introduce some simple sign language  to help the screaming.  So, stay tuned.  Cute video with either speaking or signing will hopefully follow soon!

Praise of the Day!

In lieu of Weekly Wednesday 7, we will have the staycation praise of the day.

At 7:40 this morning, my cell phone rang. (Hard to believe any praise can start at 7:40 AM)  It was Carson's "friend's" mom.  Sunday we had chatted for a bit and decided to get the boys together sometime this week- either Wednesday or Friday.  She was going to check her calendar and get back to me.  Those words- check calendar and get back to me- instantly bring me back to junior high hoping the right person is going to call.  I feel 13 and pathetic again.  Nonetheless, I'd been checking my phone a little obsessively to see if she had called.  Nothing.

When the phone rang this morning, I was thrilled! It was her.  She called like she said she would.  She wanted to know if we would be interested in going to the pool to meet some other moms and to let the boys play.  Everyone's heart sunk.  Carson doesn't want to go to the pool because we've done it several times this week.  I…

Picture of the Day

Staycation day 2.

We had originally planned to spend 2 nights at the local hotel.  Last night, we decided to leave in the morning instead.  This morning we decided to spend the second night.  Who says we aren't exciting people?  So, today, we decided we would ride bikes and walk along the beautiful canal.  We got the kids all sunscreened, put Coralynn in her stroller, and headed off for our morning.

The weather was perfect here on the Causeway.  It's about 90 degrees, blue sky, puffy clouds, little breeze.  Gorgeous.  Canal and ocean on our left.  The city skyline and more ocean on our right.  Perfect.  We all had a wonderful walk- all 2 hours of it.   That was just the part when we were actually exercising.  We stopped and had a lite lunch.  All told, we were gone about 3 hours. It was a great family time.  We're headed to the pool.

I wanted to share today's staycation moment, and Tony agreed that I had to share a photo with you from the walk.  A little glimpse into P…

Quote of the Day

We have been enjoying our staycation- day 1.  We went to Gamboa Resort and took a boat tour to Monkey Island.  It was a beautiful day and amazing to see all these creatures in the wild.  As I pointed out to the children, it also smells much better when we don't visit them at the zoo.  Monkeys are amazing.  Their ability to swing between trees is way cooler than it looks on TV,

We were on a small boat.  It sat about 15 people although there were just 9 of us on it.  We were able to get within just a few feet of some of the monkeys, sloth, and crocodiles.  The howler monkeys were farther up in the tops of the trees.  We sat back in total awe watching the creatures swing effortlessly.  Then, Chloe said the quote of the day.

As she watched, she (in all her eldest child and a girl fullness) commented in total seriousness, "Mom, that monkey's taking a big risk."  Thank you, forty-year-old Chloe.  We appreciate your consistent dedication to safe behavior.

quiet here

Tony is on vacation this week so we are busy enjoying our staycation.  Hope everyone is having a great week, and stay tuned for many updates- including the plan for telling the kids about our upcoming trip!

Coralynn Mae turns 1!


Coralynn Mae 5-21-2010 5 lbs 12 oz      19 1/2 inches

Happy Birthday to You!

We started the day at the park!

Happy Birthday to You!

Then, Coralynn enjoyed the pool in her floaty.

Happy Birthday, dear Coralynn

Coralynn taking her first steps- with the help of her new toy!

Happy Birthday to You!

Enjoying her first piece of cake!

(And many more!!)
Coralynn Mae 1 year old 20 lbs 28 inches Absolutely Bestest!

Hey y'all!

It's my birthday!

Sleep well, my baby.

Tomorrow, you will be one-year old and a big girl,
but always my Bits.

Funsy Friday: Update on Scheduling!

Earlier this week I asked for help coming up with a schedule for housekeeping.  You were so sweet.  Besides the comments posted here, I received emails, inboxes, and facebook comments full of great suggestions. 

Some people thought getting it all done in one day was the way to go.  Others felt that a little everyday was the best option.  One person skyped me to let me know her vacuum theory.  Another person switched her schedule over from Excel to Word for me- a sweet (and rule-following) gesture.   All of them had seemingly workable plans.  And I so much appreciated the help.  I had great hopes that these schedules would make the difference. 

I tried.  I got some very strange virus.  I lay in bed.  (I'm no good with lie vs lay.  I think it's "lay" in this sentence as the past tense of "lie".  Feel free to correct me, but I'm only taking my Dad's word for it.)  I gave up cleaning.    Today, I hired someone.

Now before the lazy or cheap police star…

Thoughts from Thursday

~I love alliteration.

~I'm an emotional person, and I'm thankful to be. 

~If I have an opinion on something, I hold it passionately

~I have an opinion on everything.

~There is no gray in my world.  Everything is black and white.

~What I view as black and white can often change in a moment.

~I love my children desperately.

~Whether you are my child, or my friend, or someone I have never met, once you are in my heart, you will be there forever.

~I am great with change, after my 15 minute meltdown has passed.

~My Lord is bigger than my meltdowns.  His shoulders can handle my honest hurt.  I don't have to pretend to be holy because He is.  And He already knows I'm not.

Weekly 7!!

Before we start praising, I want to apologize for not posting yesterday.  I have a 2-month anniversary post in my brain, but I woke up with a fever yesterday.  I ended up spending ALL day in bed because I had to feel well enough to attend a function with Tony's work last night.  That post will be coming soon....

Now for Wednesday's Praise Report:

~We found a babysitter to watch the kids last night! 

~The house is completely unpacked!  (Those pics are coming, too!)

~Our house in Georgia sold! (The closing is in June!)

~The older two kids each have a child at church that they enjoy!  (Chloe is too loyal to her bff in LaGrange to use the term "friend" with anyone else.)

~We found a new restaurant that everyone enjoys!

~Got an awesome early birthday present!  (My birthday's in October.  More information on that later in the year!  Thanks Mom and Dad!)

~Chloe is an absolute blessing in my life!  She has always been a great helper, and she has taken over feeding Coral…


I need to ask for help.   I truly need help.  But it requires me moving far outside my comfort zone.  I'm gonna have to use the "s" word.  That word isn't who I am.  It isn't who I want to become, but it appears I have come to that time in my life where it becomes necessary.  I need help on developing (deep breath, swallow hard, and say it) a schedule.    Blech.  I hate the way that word sounds coming out of my mouth.

I am not a scheduler, but I am never late.  Never.  I don't forget to go places or do things.  I am reliable, but free-spirited.  I enjoy my planner, but a schedule?  That's a whole 'nother thing.  Schedules are for people who use Excel spreadsheets and like it.  The ones who know the fun shortcuts so they never have to go to the toolbar.  They are disciplined and organized.  Inflexible and non spontaneous.  Ruled by consistency and order.  Their closets are color coordinated by Roy G. Biv and their can labels all face forward.  You know…

Happy Saturday!!

A baby is born with a need to be loved -- and never outgrows it.

Frank A. Clark

Agua, por favor

(Can I just say I love this picture!!)

In honor of Funsy Friday, I wanted to share a funny that also teaches a lot about perspective.  We moved here to Panama on March 15th.  We moved into our apartment on March 19th.  Tony left for Illinois on business on March 27th.  He took with him several of his new employees for training.  Only 1 of these new people had been to the United States before this trip.  I asked Tony to really pay attention to their reactions of central Illinois- which, for the record, looks quite a bit different from Panama.

He came back with the expected answers.  "It's (the traffic) really slow here."  "There's so much space."  "It's so quiet."  I was really disappointed.  I thought maybe they would say something about the corporate headquarters or the corn fields.  Maybe comment on everyone speaking English.  But he didn't have anything too fun to report.

Then, they all went out for dinner.  Their choice?  Mexican.  I do…

Wednesday's Weekly 7!

Feeling much praisier today!!

Here we go...

~Feeling much praisier today!

~Had a skype double date this weekend!

~Got up the gumption and called someone to make a play date!

~The kids don't seem to have serious damage from their severe sunburns!  (still pray for Camilla on that one)

~Looks like schooling options are improving!  (that's a to-be-continued prayer request)

~Skipped language training yesterday!

~Tony took some vacation days so we will have a week of fun this month!

As always thanks to all of you who read and comment and share and pray.  I appreciate you so much!!!  Please feel free to share your praises with me!!!

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

Seriously, you would think by now I would get it.  By in large, my kids are all Tony or all me.  There is very little combining of personalities.  Except one area.  I am a notorious deep thinker.  I think beyond what people say to what they must really mean.  I ponder the silliest of comments looking for the deeper meaning.  I have to know the heart of everyone especially those in positions of leadership.  My husband lovingly tells me that I should win the Beat-The-Dead-Horse Award because I refuse to accpet anything at face value.  Tony, for his part, is the question man.  Nothing is obvious- even the obvious.  I tell him that he proves the adage about no such thing as a dumb question to be wrong.  I lovingly tell him that he should win the Beat-The-Dead-Horse Award because he needs total understanding before he can take the smallest step forward.  So, in short, I need to know everything from top to bottom.  He needs to know everything from left to right.  Comprehende?

These traits h…

The Real Weekend in Review

Saturday, we went to the beach with some people we met here in Panama.  It was a beautiful day.  We left at 8 am.  Drove for 2 hours on one seriously winding road.  Got to the shoreline.  Took a 5-minute boat ride and arrived at the beautiful beach.  Isla Grande - I think is the name.  We had a wonderful day.  All 4 of the kids thoroughly enjoyed a day outside with dad and other kids!

Coralynn (who is not so bitty) playing in the waves and sand.

Here in Panama the rainy season has begun.  I thought y'all might enjoy a bit of a tropical storm.  (Not like a pre-hurricane tropical storm, but a storm in the tropics.)  The view is from our main room balcony.  The row of buildings you see at the beginning is the club house, restuarant, and adminstrative offices for our neighborhood.  On a clear day, you can see the buildings of downtown Panama City over the clubhouse.

The Weekend in Review...turned out to be a commentary on friends

Saturday, we went to the beach with some new "friends".  I've discovered I'm quite stingy with that word.  Friends.  I'm sure it comes from being a disgruntled lonely person, but I've decided that people call other people friends entirely too much.  It struck me on facebook the other day.  I have 222 facebook "friends."  I don't really have 222 friends- and I've deleted lots of people since I joined.  I don't even want 222 friends.  Then you read people's statuses and comments.  They're full of friend this and friend that.  Seriously, are you really friends with these people?  And don't get me wrong, I enjoy facebook.  I like getting to see what is going on in everyone's lives.  I enjoy the community I get to enjoy with communities that I have left. 

I guess I'm just hyper protective of that word. Friends are in a higher category for me than family.  My family didn't get to choose me.  They were stuck with me thr…

It's Funsy Friday- and you can help!


Okay, here's the gig.  The kids and I are going to Georgia in July to visit friends and do some VBS.  Also, we will be celebrating Chloe's birthday a little bit early.  Tony and I are so excited for the kids, BUT we haven't told them yet.  We wanted to make sure their little focuses were on getting used to life here not going back home.  I'm been trying to come up with a fun way to tell them.  Like a really fun way.  I've got a few ideas, but I know y'all have some great ideas!

So, I need your help!!  Leave a comment letting me know the best way to surprise the kids.  As involved or simple as you want.  (You know I love involved!)  Maybe I can come up with a prize for the winner- who wants a Panama Canal souvenier t-shirt!?!


1.  After some sweet additions, the yogurt tastes much better than it did unsweetened.  Don't be afraid to try making your own yogurt!

2.  I'm feeling much better after my melancholy day from yesterday.  Thank you for the prayers.

It's Thursday.

That's basically all I have this morning.  Feeling melancholy at best.  I no longer feel the draw to go "home."  I guess that is good.  This melancholy comes from life moving on.  I know it and I need to accept it, but I'm gonna sit on the couch instead.  It's one of those days when the hurt from things left behind is greater than the joy of what's in store.  Tomorrow will bring a better day.  For all I know 11:30 might bring better things, but for now, I'm sitting on the couch with my cake watching the Cs play Mario Kart.

Weekly Wednesday 7

Our weekly opportunity to praise is here!!!

~The kids had a wonderful time in Sunday School.  They all met other kids and look forward to going back next week!  There transitioning is going well.

~We have plans for the weekend with other people!

~My washing machine is fixed!

~Some dear friends stood in the gap for us when we weren't in a place to pray ourselves!

~According to Rosetta Stone, I can now correctly say sandwich!

~I continue to lose the rest of my pregnancy weight in a healthy manner.  Only 5 pounds to go!

~Tony was able to skype one of his friends.  It was encouraging to see him encouraged!

Suzie no en casa.

Review from Day 1:  Homemade Yogurt

Milk after 2 1/2 hours on low and 3 hours sitting.

Crockpot wrapped in love for 8 hours.

Filling containers with the yogurt.

It made a good quantity.

Preparing the pineapple to add to the yogurt for breakfast.

The Verdict:

I think that says it all!!
Okay, so it tastes like plain yogurt which is terrible.  We added pineapple to try to help it.  After trying it, we felt badly that the pineapple gave its life for that.  Uck!!  The process itself was super easy and definitely cost effective here in Panama.  I will probably strain the rest of the yogurt through coffee filters and use for a sour cream substitute because it can run about $1.50 for 8 ounces.
Review of Day 1: Bonus Round- Wringing Laundry

Fun surprise, the washing machine stopped working leaving a drum full of water!

Wringing out clothes so they weren't in the dryer all afternoon.
 Little did I know when I started this Suzie adventure that God would send me an extra credit homemaker project!!  I …

I wonder how you say

Suzie Homemake in Spanish??? 

Yesterday was Labor Day here in Panama so we spent the day swimming and shopping with Tony.  It was a great day, and I must say this place is sort of beginning to feel like home.  We continue to meet new people.  I now have about 5 people's contact information.  I don't plan on contacting anyone soon, but I could if I wanted.

Anyway, in honor of the short week, we're going to celebrate Suzie Homemaker week.  4 days of fun homemaking things that I don't normally do.  Sounds good, don't you think?  Ya, I'm not sure, either.  Today, I'm making homemade yogurt.  13 hours of crock pot fun.  This woman enjoys her crock pot more than I do so I thought we would use her recipe.  I'll let you know!!

Now, I need your help.  Send me your ideas for fun Suzie Homemaker suggestions!!