Showing posts from September, 2011

Funsy Friday!!

In honor of my upcoming birthday (and birthday shopping!), I decided to purge my closets of all the extra stuff.  I just did this 6 months ago, but now I know what I want to wear.  Being in summer clothes for the next 3 years changes my perspective.  I am not a big fan of summer clothes, so I got rid of everything I didn't love. 


(I know it doesn't look like much, but it was.)



My Lovely Assistant:

All the Excess:

I had some more time so I decided to go through jewelry boxes.  This is what the maid took home with her that I didn't want anymore:

 Apparently my purse needed purged, too:

And the Lovely Assistant was up to the Challenge!

Do You See What I See?

I am very excited.  I have had high hopes before, but they have never come to fruition.  Could this be the time?  Could it really be happening? 

Could Coralynn Mae be LEFT handed??

Wednesday 7!

Time for praising!!

~My kitchen is officially completely painted!  And Tony wants to keep painting!  The bedroom is the last room on the docket!

~I had a wonderful coffee date with a new friend in Panama!  Y'all know I'm don't use that term (friend) lightly, and I am beyond blessed to add her name!

~Yesterday, I said way too much to someone.  (That is not the praise.)  I immediately felt terrible and contacted her to clarify/apologize/backtrack.  I'm so thankful that she had heard my heart and not my words!

~Chloe had a good weekend.  It started out very difficultly, but it improved.  She took some very brave steps Sunday morning.  She's just an awesome kid!

~Tony was able to find a babysitter for the kids this weekend so he and I can go out alone for my pre-birthday celebration.  Yay for dinner and shopping without the kids!  And double yay for him calling to find someone!!  (Now start praying that no one gets sick before Saturday night!)

~I got a text message Mon…

A Day in the Life

The sweet Coralynn Mae.  The baby of the family.  The Bestest.  The Bits.  This sweet child is a nightmare, albeit a cute and pleasant nightmare.  I thought I had seen what was out there as far as raising toddlers.  This is my 4th go-around.  I was wrong.  As Tony commented last night, we finally got one of those into-everything children.  And because she's the baby, we take pictures of it instead of getting ourselves all worked up.

Camilla and I were working on homework yesterday before returning to school to get the big kids.  I turned around to see this white, floury mess.  She had gone through the trash can and discovered the treasure of a little more flour left in the bag.  She was quite pleased with herself.

Later on last night, I heard Camilla calling for me while she was in the shower.  I assumed she needed help with the shampoo.  No.  Coralynn had managed to crawl up into the girls' sink and was happily sitting in there playing in the water with their toothbrushes.  Of …

Money Monday

A Bit of  Business~

Grocery Budget Update:  I am pleased to report that this month is over, as far as grocery shopping goes.  I shop on Fridays.  Next Friday is September 30, or the last business day of the month.  My budget will start over that day.  Our total for September.....$577.37.  That, my friends, is total victory.  Definitely over the $550 goal, but so doable.  We have made the decision to up the budget to $600 for October.  Why?  Because Tony wants yogurt.  And if the guy who makes the money wants yogurt, we add yogurt money to the budget!

House Fund:  The September numbers are not completely finalized because the family CFO hasn't ok'd them, but it appears that we were able to put 137% of our housing goal aside this month.  God is too good to us, and we continue to look for ways to use His money the ways He would have.

 New Money Stuff~

Three months from today, Christmas will be over.  Pretty crazy.  Normally by now, I have the bulk of my shopping done, and I am wai…

Funsy Friday!!

People have been asking for too long to see pictures of the apartment.  Today, I have the first installment for you.  This is the front door, main living space, and dining room.  Enjoy!!

Not-funsy today!

What do you notice in these pictures?

Or maybe, what don't you see?

Fun times in Panama.  We have no water.
We could definitely have bigger issues, but this one is defintiely a pain!

Thoughts from Thursday

(I am a big follower of caringbrige pages and similiar blogs.  My heart is touched deeply by the words from the moms and other caregivers of sick children who fight valiantly against overwhelming odds.  Starting last week, I'll be sharing some of their words that have reached within me.  Take a minute, and read their stories.  I know they would appreciate your time and prayers.)

So, with a beautiful fall day ahead, I am grateful this morning for all the paths God has placed us upon.  Had I been able to see too far ahead of any which one, I surely may have run the other direction.  Yet, I'm thankful for just enough light to see barely to put one step in front of the other on this winding path --- we would have never wanted to miss all the wonder that came with crossing each of yours...
Angel Jack's Mom

Weekly 7!

Let's start praising!!

~Coralynn seems to be taking greater strides toward verbal communication.  She consistently says: night-night, bow-wow-wow (for her stuffed puppy), mamma, dada, more, that, book, ball. 

~One of our household helpers is going to start coming on Wednesday mornings.  She works for another family in the afternoons, but I'm super thankful to have another 1/2 day of help!

~We were invited to a sweet family's house for dinner Friday night.  It was a really good time, and whenever 7 kids can play nicely together, it's a blessing from above!

~My kitchen is mostly painted.  It needs another coat to be complete, but I appreciate Tony getting the first two coats done.  The orange really brightens up the room!

~We have finally gotten in the routine of school.  Homework is getting done.  Grades are improving.  Chores are accomplished.  And I'm not having to run back and forth to the school with/for forgotten items!

~My birthday is 2 weeks from today.  I&#…


Here are 2 out of 4 reasons I'm one very blessed mommy!

Camilla Rose
I turned the corner yesterday to see "The PE Statue of Liberty."  I mean really.  How can you resist that?

Coralynn Mae
When I got home from the school today, I heard "Mamma.  Mamma." as I walked in the door.  In the picture, she's saying "Night night."  Talking Bits = Happy Mommy.

Money Monday!

Today we are 63% of the way through the month.  (Am I the only person who thinks September is going much faster than August?)  I've used 61% of my grocery budget so we seem to be on track for a much more successful month than August was. 
We did hit a budgetary speed bump this weekend.  Tony's beast of a vehicle has been having some issues so he took it to the dealership.  The first estimate was right around $5000.  Yikes!  After a further explanation that we didn't need everything dealt with, the total dropped to $880.  A much happier number!  When picking up the car (with our language trainer for assistance), Tony discovered the work we'd had done months ago was never actually done- though the check was actually cashed.  Now, we get to try to get our money back.  Stay tuned to see if we ever receive our $660...
From 4th grade budget land,, Chloe told me that her whole class has to pay rent for each of their desks.  Rent is $1.10 a week.  (And that's without an oce…

Funsy Friday!

Apparently, Tony has swiped the kids' candy one too many times...

180 days.

Today's our anniversary.  6 months.  March 15th, we moved to Panama.  It seems like a lifetime ago.  It feels like yesterday.  So much has happened in those 6 months that I couldn't possibly mention all the highlights.  (or the lows)

Since I've moved to Panama, I've learned...

From Camilla:
~there were such things as limes and peppers.
~that I didn't know very much Spanish.

From Carson:
~that I didn't know very much Spanish.
~that I like more foods than I thought I did.

From Chloe:
~to be thankful for what you have.
~to stand up for what's right.

From Lisa:
~that "the experts" don't know my family so their advice only carries so far.
~that finding the positive makes the negative bearable.

From Tony:
~that learning Spanish is harder than I thought it would be.
~it only takes a few months to get in a routine and feel at home.

Weekly 7!

~Parent-teacher conferences went really well.  I was pleased by how insightful they were.  The kids are all doing well! 

~Camilla's face is recovering nicely from her fall!

~Bible study last week was awesome!

~Chloe continues to make huge strides socailly and academically.  She seems to have her feet under her!

~I think, just maybe, that I've broken through my Spanish mental block.  Training Tuesday was the best one ever.  I still can't say anything overly useful, but at least I'm trying!

~NFL is available in Panama.  In English.  We're happy people!

~Although Tony's car is in the shop, we are blessed that one of our friend's is willing to give Tony a ride to and from work!

A Truth from Tuesday...

If I've learned anything over the course of her life its this...nothing is guaranteed and the moments we have can never be recovered once they are spent. Live... as if there will never be another. Pause...allow the beauty of those who surround you to soak into your soul. Breathe...a prayer of gratitude for all you are given. Pray...for those who are lost and hurting and missing what gifts they have yet to open blinded by circumstance.
~Ashley's Mom

Money Monday! Mid-month edition!

Operation September Grocery Budget is 40% complete, and it appears to be going much better.  We set this month's budget at $550.  (In the name of full disclosure, we decided to take out some extra money to get some staples back in the pantry because we had NOTHING in July when we went to the States for 2 weeks.)  Currently, I have spent $372.67 or 32%.  That is so much better than we were last month.

I decided that the one large grocery trip was not going to work for us because the large initial expenditure makes it virtually impossible to compensate for monthly ebb and flow.  (Remember: budgets are alive.  They need to be changed, updated, and worked.)  The weekly trips allow me to know how life is going before I invest in the groceries.  The issue with this is the recurrent opportunity to impulse buy.  I've discovered a new weakness- the rotisserie chicken.

It seems innocent enough, the rotisserie chicken, sitting on the warming shelf.  But that smell.  That yummy smoky juicy …

We remember...

Prayers on this 10th Anniversary of September 11th.

Freedom is priceless, but we are so grateful for the price so many have paid to allow us the freedoms we enjoy.

Funsy Friday!

First of all let me say "Hi" to the MSM followers who are visiting here.  It was great to have an opportunity to guest blog on that awesome site!  (For those of my regulars who missed it:  PanaMOM's guest post

Down to our Funsy Friday business.  We had some very exciting news on the weekend that I've been waiting to have the opportunity to share.  After 7.5 difficult years of persistence and patience, Carson finally lost his first tooth!!!

(Not the best picture I know, but it kind of grosses me out.)
What makes this whole experience more exciting is that Chloe played an integral role in the experience.  Chloe, AKA The Extractor, pulled the tooth for him.  He really wanted to do it by himself, but his total lack of patience got to be too much.  At 7:30, last Saturday morning, I was awoken by two very happy kids announcing the Chloe pulled Carson's first loose tooth.  (If you are keeping count, this is the 4th person that has lost a tooth via The Extractor, Chloe.  I…

A Day Late,

and $95.00 short.  Here are our weekly praises!

~The total cost for the doctor's appointment and x-rays was only $95.00.  All things being equal that's a pretty good price.

~Camilla is fine.  She could have a whole list of fractures and hematomas that are far worse than her black eye.

~We live somewhere with good medical care.  Our American selves might have trouble with it not being American, but it is definitely good care.

~Even though the traffic here is insane, we are some place that has good roads.  Getting to the nearest hospital could have been far worse than dealing with traffic.

~Yes, Coralynn was a nightmare for the 4 hours we were gone, but that's because she's a healthy 15 month old.  She needs to want to move around and explore.  I'm thankful I have a sweet nightmare of a Bits to "deal" with.

~Although I struggled with the language barrier, I did understand some of it, and I had the courage to try.  5 months ago, I would never have had the gu…

Not exactly our weekly 7...

My apologies that this is very late today.  We've had a different kind of day, but the praises are there to be had.

7:00am- Tony and the big kids head to school and work.
7:01am- I head back to bed with my laptop.
7:40am- School is starting.
7:41am- School nurse calls.  Camilla has fallen on her face.  The nurse is letting me know.  I tell her to let Camilla calm down and send her to her class.
7:42am- I decide to get in the shower.
7:42:25am- The nurse calls.  She thinks a bone is broken.  (This is the same face that has the nose on it that Camilla broke in July.)
7:43am- Abandon plans to take a shower.  Get the Bits out of bed.  Grab a sippy cup of milk and a package of goldfish crackers. 
8:00am- In the car heading to the school.
8:25am- Teach Coralynn new words as my frustration grows with the traffic in the neighborhood.
8:35am- Regain my composure after enduring what is normally a 15 minute drive to the school.
8:36am- Walking into the nurses office.   Camilla bursts into t…

Money Monday!

When we lived in the States, Tony always had Labor Day off of work.  Our tradition- using that term loosely- was to go shopping together.  We would load up everyone and hit Auburn or Columbus and enjoy the day together.  Here in Panama, there is no Labor Day today so the kids are at school, and Tony is at work.

In honor of our fallen holiday, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite purchases ever.

Extra Silverware!!
Now this might seem really silly to you, but we were always running out of spoons.  I have no idea where they all went- I speculated they had run off with the missing sock from the dryer- but there were often fights in the morning about spoons.  When we moved to Panama, I went to the warehouse store and purchased restaurants packs of spoons and forks.  I can happily report that no one is ever in need of a spoon or fork.  And, if the kids accidentally throw one away with their lunch, it isn't a big deal!  
The Ninja!
If you didn't know this about me alread…

For the record...

I just wanted to update y'all on some of the recent happenings from recent blog posts.

From Organized and Rewarded, I wanted to let you know that all three kids have earned their stars 2 week in a row.  Tony determined that each child should receive a Mulligan, and they have each used one.  I'm afraid it is unlikely that they will all earn this week's, but we will see.

From Life Verse, I am happy to report that things have improved for Chloe and school.  A new outlook has allowed her to regain some control in the situation. We decided on a three-tier plan.  1.)  Chloe needs to be friendly.  2.)  We are praying that the mean girls' hurt would be healed.  3.)  Chloe would trust in Jesus for friendship because people will disappoint.   She now claims to have two 4th grade friends- one of whom invited her over for a play date.  The power of prayer never ceases to amaze me.  A Happy Update!!

From Sitting Around on a Tuesday Afternoon, Carson had an enjoyable, non-remarkable ba…

Intentional Acts of Appreciation

6+ years ago, I was a young mom of 2 small children.  One of those kids was chronically ill and miserable.  Tony was working fulltime for the same company he does today, and he was going to school to earn his MBA.  I was stressed and lonely.  It was a really hard time.  One of those times that you realize at the time that it's hard.
My sweet sick child cried constantly.  We were waiting for the ENT to have an opening so we could get this poor child ear tubes.  The child had been sick since February of 2005.  I remember the doctor's office let me pick which antibiotic to use because we all knew none of them were going to help.  And the child cried.  And cried.  And clung to me.  With Tony seemingly always gone, the child wasn't used to him.  So, I held the child.  All the time.
I remember feeling like I was hitting my breaking point.  I remember calling what felt like everyone I knew looking for someone to do something with.  The walls were closing in on me.  I will never for…

Funsy Friday- email edition!!

Actual email I received from the school:

Hi. Carson and Camilla have both been in to see me today. They are both fine.
Carson came this morning after he fell on the playgound and had a mild abrasion on his right hip area. He just came back again during recess after he fell and scraped up both knees.

Camilla came after lunch complaining of a headache. She said she felt that there were too many spanish words getting in her head and giving her a headache! I guess she was feeling a little overwhelmed with it. I let her rest and have a break for a few minutes and she went back to class.
Hope the rest of their day is better.
 [school nrse]

What can I say?  Spanish is bad for your health.