Showing posts from November, 2011

Weekly 7!

We're back to our weekly report of God's blessings from the week.  I hope you did find some charities that could use your help this Christmas season.  (Charity Navigator is a great resource to check the fiscal responsibility of the charity you are interested in giving to.)

~Tony had 6 days off last week, and the kids had off 5.  I love it when we all get to spend so much time together!

~We had a wonderful time on Thanksgiving.  We are so thankful to have been invited!

~Chloe spent the night at a friend's house on Thursday, spent an hour on skype with a different friend, had a friend come over Saturday, and went to a 4th friend's birthday party Saturday afternoon.  I'm so thankful that she is feeling more connected to other kids!

~The Fighting Illini beat Maryland last night.  This is of no value to me personally, but it is fun to watch Tony act like he's 16 years old without a care in the world!

~Camilla is no longer creating ailments during Spanish class.  I&#…

Consignment Shopping!

Yes, there is a consignment store in Panama!  Since going with a friend three weeks ago, I've been back 2 times.  It is so much fun.  I went today with a friend who was looking for a dress for our husbands' company Christmas gala.  She found 4!  And today, the owner was marking tons of stuff half off!  Here are my finds from today:

Ann Taylor LOFT white denim jacket- $4.00 (Around $70 new)
Necklace- $8.00 (I have no idea the brand, but I love it!)

Ruby Rox dress- $15.00 (Around $40 new.)

Ann Taylor NWT neckalce- $6.00 (Around $80 new.)

Big Buddha Silver Handbag- $25.00 (Around $100 new.)

It was a great morning with lots of great finds.  And I had a wonderful time with a new friend!  I am blessed!

Money Monday!

I have no Cyber Monday deals to tell you about.  I have no amazing Black Friday purchases to share with you.

Thanksgiving Thursday allowed me the humbling opportunity to be used by the Lord.  A friend discovered the baby she was carrying had already been welcomed into eternity.  Her baby was the same age mine was when he left this life.  Tony and I were able to share with she and her husband our experiences with that pain.  I was reminded of three years (and a month) ago when people were ministering to us.

People we barely knew were there to love on us.  To share their stories with us.  To let us know that we weren't alone.  Their love filled the empty so present during those days.  I can't begin to tell you how their kindness affected us.  We still tell the stories of the love we were shown.

I'm so thankful how the Lord is clearly bringing peace into our friends' lives.  He's allowing them the opportunity to hurt and feel, but to know that He is there in it all.  …

Getting ready for Cyber Monday!


It's not just about gratitude today.

Happy Thanksgiving, folks.  This is the day of thanks and gratitude, and I hope you are aware of how blessed you are.  I was thinking about listing my many blessings from the last year, but I was overcome with how good the Lord has been to my family this past year. 

Blessings are kind of an interesting thing.  The Lord tells us to rejoice in the day He has made.  We're told to give thanks in all things.  Our lives- not a single day in November- need to have a spirit of gratitude.  I know I am blessed, and I know I'm not even aware of how blessed I am.  I take so much for granted that I lack total awareness.   But, sometimes, blessings can be hurtful. 

Sometimes in our humanity, lists of blessings remind us what we're missing this holiday season.  The Bible also tells us to mourn with those who mourn, and to comfort those who need to be comforted.  Holidays are hard for some people.  This Thanksgiving, people are reminded of not only their blessings, but their losses, too…

The Multi-Faceted Gift.

If you were to ask me what I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday, it would be my wonderful, healthy family.  I am so grateful for my 4 beautiful children.  So thankful for their lives and their health.  With a friend's son being diagnosed with cancer just a few months ago, I'm more aware of what a gift health is.  It is with that in mind that I recommend the next charity of the month: CaringBridge

If you aren't familiar with CaringBridge, it is a website that allows families of those suffering from illnesses to post about how their loved ones are doing.  This gives families the opportunity to only tell the information once, but for many to follow the situation.  It is a lifeline to the "outside" for those in the depth of medical treatments.  You can give a tribute donation in the name of an individual member, or you can give to the site as a whole.

The blessing of CaringBridge is that you can give more than money.  I am not unaware that some of my r…

Happy 18 months, Coralynn Mae!

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday,

Dear Coralynn!

Happy Birthday to You!

And Many More!!

Money Monday!!

There is something about me that I'm sure most of you don't know.  I'm not good with authority.  Actually, I'm really really bad with authority.  That might be hard for some of you to believe because I'm a goody goody who doesn't break rules, but I do not like being told what to do, especially before I get a chance to do the right thing in the first place.

This dislike of authority isn't new, but we're beginning to recognize the depth of the problem.  When the kids returned to school, I needed to get up at a certain time.  I don't do alarm clocks.  Alarm clocks are authority so I resist them.   And Tony is afraid to wake me up in the morning.  Once I'm fully awake, I'm sweet as can be tolerable, but I take no responsiblity for what I say in that half awake/half asleep state.  We finally came up with the perfect solution.  We sleep with the room-darkening shades open.  Apparently, I don't see the Sun as an authority figure, and it pleasan…

Funsy Friday!

About a month ago, the kids had a day off from school.  My helper came that day, and the big kids and I decided to have a fun day.  To be perfectly honest, I'm not one of those fun parents who creates activities to entertain their children.  My theory is I gave the kids siblings.  What more do they need?  But, Chloe had a coupon, and I had someone to stay with Terror Bits so we headed to the pottery studio.

The kids and I each selected what we wanted to paint and the colors we wanted to use.  We painted for almost 90 minutes.  I was so impressed with how diligently and patiently they worked on their creations.  I was also quite thankful that I brought snacks with us!

Carson, who is quickly becoming the sentimental one, painted a jet ski "like Uncle Tim took [him] on."

Chloe, the gift giver, painted this statue of a fairy sitting on the moon with the idea of giving it to her teacher for her birthday.  She ended up keeping this because she created something else for Miss S.…

The Video. The Song.

Meghan's (and watch for updates of the big impact Meghan and her family are going to have through medical missions!) comment on my Samaritan's Purse post reminded me of the video that we watched a few Christmasas ago.  The church projected it while we took turns taking our Operation Christmas Child boxes to the altar.  The message is a powerful one that has clearly affected me.  I wish I would have remembered it sooner because it is our theme song this year: Give This Christmas Away.

Samaritan's Purse.

If I could only recommend one charity this Christmas season, it would have to be Samaritan's Purse.  Many people are familiar with Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child program which I love dearly, but it's not my favorite.

My absolute favorite is their gift catalog.   Within it's pages are dozen of ways to help adults and children around the world.  It shows you how a small gift, just $5, will provide a child with a week's worth of milk.  Or, how a large gift, $15,000, will build a school in an impoverished country.  I love the reminder that every little bit helps, and that with large gifts (or lots of small gifts), big goals can be achieved.  And isn't that the message of Christmas- that a newborn, the smallest of humanity, with the eternal love of God, could save a dying world.

If you have a minute, look at the catalog.  I'm sure as you go through the pages, you'll find the perfect gift to represent your child or loved one .  Carson would…

Money Monday!!

Grocery Budget: Well, folks, I hope the stockpile is deep because we're out of grocery budget.  I decided we were going organic, and spent the rest of the budget.  I just menu planned for this week, and I have everything on hand for this week and next week.  After that, life is going to get sketchy.  I'm going to stick to a $10 shopping trip once a week for the rest of the month.  That amount will cover milk, bananas, and bread.  Fun times in Frugalville.


By this point, if you're a regular follower of the blog, you know that we're skipping Christmas presents this year.  I promised you last week that I would share with you some of my choices for places to give financially, and I'll share another one Wednesday.  Some of you have chosen to give, and I'm thrilled about that; however, I realize that some of you just think this whole plan is just nuts.

You say, "but Lisa, my kids have always gotten presents.  What's Christmas without the presents?&quo…

You might be competitive if...

(Please ignore that I look pregnant- I assure you I am not.)

You might be competitive if you volunteer to be part of an illustration at church about taste-testing Pepsi and Coke.  And during the taste test, you only got half of the answers correct.  You might be competitive if you start coming up with excuses for why you got 2 of the four right.  Because, if you had a glass of water to cleanse the pallet between tastes, you would have gotten them all right. And you might be competitive if you ponder going to the second service to try to redeem yourself.  You might also be competitive if you think that a blind Pepsi-Coke taste test might be the perfect Christmas morning activity.  Just sayin'...

Funsy Friday- Part 2!

Yesterday, the kids and Tony had the day off because of a Panamanian holiday.  We took the opportunity to put up the Christmas decorations.  Before Thanksgiving?  Yes.  Do I normally do that?  No.  I'm not a big fan of the clutter and loudness of Christmas decorations so I generally wait until the beginning of December; however, I decided to do it early this year. 

In my psyche, Christmas is triggered by the cooling of the earth as late fall turns into early winter.  Umm.  It's 90 here. Always.  So, I have the evergreen candles burning, the Christmas music playing... wait, I don't have the music going.  I HATE Christmas music.  Nails on a chalkboard...., and the decorations are up.

Our Christmas tree always has a color theme.  (I am just beginning to realize how much I organize my life!  You would have thought the C-names that were consecutively longer would have given it away!)  This is our first year with blue and silver- not my favorite color combination.  I was please…

With Gratitude...

We pause from the Funsy of Friday to thank the men and women of the United States Armed Forces for their service to the nation.

In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Funsy Friday- Part 1!

Coralynn Mae will be 18 months old in just 10 days.  How did she get to be so big?  I keep recounting because it's too hard to believe she isn't the itty bitty Bestest baby anymore.  She is "The Bits."  Our sweet baby girl who thinks she's one of the Big Kids!

She now refuses to use a sippy cup.  And you like my gold bracelet she "had" to wear?

All the Big Kids suck their finger when they finish their Coca-Cola light!

The Persecuted Church.

We're doing something a little different during the rest of November's Wednesday.  I asked my family to skip Christmas presents for my family this year and instead give to a charity or family in need.  For the rest of the Wednesdays in November, I'm going to highlight some potential places to give this holiday season.  Hopefully, you feel led to give to one of them.  Or you'll be moved to give to your favorite charity.  Or you'll pray for these people and their needs.

Last Sunday at church, we had a special "Persecuted Church" service.  It struck me deeply.  Our pastor shared a few videos that I wanted you to see, too.

We also watched one about a woman named, Helen, who was imprisioned in Eritrea.  This video particularly touched me because I had friends who were missionaries in that country before having to leave for security reasons.    Also, please be in prayer for M!@ family who is headed to another of the persecuted nations.
Finally, we talked about th…

Money Monday!

Grocery Budget:  As November is here, we have a new month of budgets.  Yay!  Last week, I hit PriceSmart with total abandon.  I decided I was buying everything and anything I wanted.  This a two-fold bad idea.  First, I spent $355.35 in an hour- a whopping 56% of our new increased yogurt-friendly budget.  Secondly, I decided to take this trip on the first of the month.  It took me over 35 minutes in the checkout line.   After a trip to Riba Smith (the American-style grocery store), we have used 60% of our grocery budget for the month.  Hold on to your chairs, people.  This could get interesting.

House Savings:  Last month was a good one for our house savings.  We were able to set aside just below 140% of our goal.  Tony's vehicle needed work, or we would have been able to do more.  I think that's going to be the official commentary of the house-savings plan:  did well except for Tony's car work.  Oh well.  I'm thankful to not have to take him to work, and we have been a…

Funsy Friday!

And people think I make this stuff up...

This is Tony.  He's sound asleep in the chair.  At 9:00pm.  In the middle of a sentence.  He was telling me about one of his coworkers.  He paused for a moment.  And fell sound asleep. 

90 minutes later, he is still sound asleep in the chair.  I can't imagine sleeping in this position.  Do other people do this?  

The Catch-Up Weekly 7+!

The kids and I thoroughly enjoyed our whirlwind trip to the States.  The reason we came home wasn't happy, but we definitely had a wonderful time catching up with family that we haven't seen in too long!  We have so much to praise about this past week:

~I'm so thankful for all the prayers that went up on our behalf last Thursday.  It is a great feeling to know that you're covered in prayer!

~The flights went quite smoothly on Thursday.  We had a minor speed bump in security in Panama, but other than that, all went super well. 

~The Lord sent an angel to help us in Atlanta's customs area.  A translator without a client took a liking to Coralynn and kept her entertained while we waited in line.  It was so nice to not have to keep her contained!

~Our flight arrived at STL with no issues, and we easily found my waiting brother.  He had already gotten the car so all we had to do was grab baggage- which took longer than I wanted- and be on our way!

~Sonic!  I love Sonic…

It's Tuesday.

We're home.

We arrived about 10:30 last night.

The kids had school today, and I ran to the grocery store.

I'll update about my trip tomorrow.

I'm going to enjoy some down time with my husband.

See you tomorrow.