Showing posts from December, 2011

2012- Have a Word!

I love New Year's Resolutions!  Love them!  I know plenty of people talk about why you shouldn't wait and anytime is a good time to make changes.  I don't care.  I love the reflection the end of the year brings and the anticipation of what a new year will hold.  Y'all know I love any opportunity to ponder, and there is no greater reason than a new year!!

I don't set goals like weight loss or books read or people visited.  For me, New Year's Resolutions aren't about to-do lists.  They are about reflecting on where the Lord has taken you and where He has you heading.  It's about changing your life.

One year, I resolved to say "yes" to everything I could feasibly do.  I babysat a three day old baby.  I went to the Oprah show.  I spent time with people outside my normal circle.  I had a really fun year.  Also, I was inconvenienced throughout the year as my plans took a back seat, but I loved being able to be a blessing to others.  It was one of th…

I only have a second,

but wanted to let you know that I haven't stopped blogging.  We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with family! 

Tony is off work until January 3rd, and I'm monopolizing every minute of it!  We don't get near enough family or couple time so I'm taking full advantage.

I pray that you are thoughtfully preparing for the new year (you know I'm pondering!), and things will start back here normally on the 2nd- though there will likely be a post or two before that!

Much love,

Christmas Review!

This free photo slideshow generated with Smilebox

Weekly 7!- Almost Christmas Edition!

~ We were able to help friends who are fostering twin babies!  I was thankful to have all this baby stuff around the house still!

~School is over for the year!  I get my kids until January 16th!!

~My parents' first flight left on time today.  Prayers that the connection leaves on time, as well!!

~My brother and sister-in-law's flight left ontime, too!  Yay for direct flights!!

~Coralynn, who was sickly, is feeling much better!  This makes her harder to contain, but healthy is a blessing!!

~My bedroom is finally completely painted!  We're not sure if someting was wrong with the paint or the walls, but 5 coats later, Tony is done!!

~It's almost CHRISTMAS!!!

(and a bonus because it's Christmas, the Lord led us to help two individuals this holiday season.  I tell you this, not to boast in our doing, but to praise the Lord for His provision to give to others!!)

It's Money Monday, and You Can Help!

(I love that commercial!)

So, I've been reading Radical by David Platt.  It's one of those books with a cult following that I wait until the hype has died to read because cult followings annoy me.  It's about how Christianity and the American Dream are so combined that you can't separate one from the other.  The author is presenting his opinion on what needs to happen to get Christianity Christ focused again.  It's an interesting read.  I'm not going to write a review, but I'm also not going to say I support it 100%.

The question it brings up for me, or brings up again-I've been struggling with this question for a long time, is where should our standard of living be?  How much of our income should we use for our purposes, and how much should we give away?  And this isn't something that Dave Ramsey or Crown really have the answer for.  They can give you percentiles and guidelines, but those don't really answer the question because those numbers (…

Funsy Friday!- Let's Dance!

So, I convinced Tony that we should share the footage.  My bff suggested we do it as a pay-per-view and raise some money for charity.  I like that plan, but the logistics are nightmare.  Instead, if you decide to watch, you can just give a little extra in the Salvation Amry red buckets, ok?

This video comes with a few warning labels.

1.  I'm not a big fan of not having total control of a situation.  You'll see I talk the entire time.  It's my lame attempt to regain control.

2.  I don't like looking foolish.  I'm clearly not giving it my all because I can't get over myself.  (That needs to be a New Year's Resolution.  Maybe 2013.)

3.  I have a broken toe, and I'm wearing heels.  And my dress wasn't made for dancing.  And there was milk in the fridge.  (One excuse it as good as another, right!?!)

4.  The first 10-15 seconds are the highlights (using that word loosely) of the whole thing.  After that, we just give up.

5.  I don't dance.  Ever.  Not…

Quotation of the Year!

I've told you before that I'm big on words.  Really big on words.  I think in words and phrases instead of complete sentences.  Words matter to me.

Three months ago, I was wasting time on one of my favorite online sites.  People were discussing a certain cartoon, and whether it was "crap" or not.  Someone got her feelings hurt by the comments, and Dawn responded with such simple wisdom that is so hard to believe.

Every parent has her preferences & does what is right for her particular family. Please don't allow someone's preferences for their family make you feel offended about your preferences for your family

Isn't that the truth?  How often have we heard about someone who does something differently than we do, and we choose to get all upset?  Or how often do we believe something is "right" when it's only our preference?  How often do our choices become our gospel and our standard for judging others?

I took her comment to heart.  I began…

Presentation vs Worship

Sunday afternoon, we attended our church's Christmas Cantata.  When we lived in Georgia, Tony was always part of these types of things so I was very thankful that he got to watch it with us.  (I'm big on those "whole family" kinds of things.)  We arrived at the theater about 3 minutes early.  The plan was to arrive about 35 minutes early, but a parade cutting across the city made it difficult to get to the theater.  Much thanks to Mr. G who became our personal GPS!

I was quite concerned that Coralynn wouldn't be properly behaved during the two-hour long performance.  And the evening started out rocky.  When we found our seats, we organized the kids and sat down.  Coralynn started screaming.  It took me about 30 seconds (which felt like a lifetime) to figure out the problem.  Miss Big Girl wanted her own seat.  I hadn't purchased a ticket for her, so Camilla sat in my lap and Coralynn got a seat.  Oh to be the Princesa!  (eventually, the lady sitting next to C…

Money Monday!

There is no better way to stay on budget than to lose the ability to spend money.  Our credit card was hacked, and the banks were closed one day last week, so we had no real ability to spend money which was awesome for the budget.  While I was home not spending money, I came across the most interesting article on yahoo!.

For those of you who have a yahoo! account know, there are lots of little news stories on the page where you sign into your email account.  Normally, they focus on Kardashians and money tips that aren't helpful, but one got my attention.  The headline was something like how much money do you need to be rich.  Of course, that was click worthy.

The premise of the article was a gallup poll asking people how much income the minimum for rich is.  (We're going to ignore the obvious point that the VAST majority of Americans are far richer than the VAST majority of the rest of the world.  We all agree on that, right?)  Their poll blew my mind.

**I will say in preface t…

Trying to Decide on a Christmas Card!

Initial Wreath Christmas Card Shutterfly has elegant Christmas party invitations for your holiday party. View the entire collection of cards. This is one of the sponsored Christmas trees in Albrook Mall.  Tony and I think it's gorgeous.  If you haven't ordered your Christmas cards yet, get going!  I've been working on mine all morning.  I love using Shutterfly because they, for an extra fee, will ship each card to the recipient.  We had to do this last year because we waitied too long to order, but this year, it's the only way we could easily get cards mailed.

Enjoy Silly.

(I told Tony to make a crazy face.  Yes, my friends, that's accountant crazy!)

(If you can't get them to smile nicely, join them!)

Weekly 7!

I'm in a bad mood.  I don't wanna talk about it, and I don't feel like being grateful.

I will post the blessings of the last week because I know I am blessed even though I'm pouting and whining right now.  K?

~Kids continue to do well at school.  Chloe, in particular, seems to be really doing well.  She's mastered how to do school so she can do better with the educational portions.

~I went to a new friend's house yesterday to just chat.  I was blessed beyond measure by her hospitality and graciousness.

~Tony and I have begun a Bible study at home.  It is the one that I did with my Bible study group, but they were about 10 weeks in when I started.  Tony and I are doing it together from the beginning, and I'm excited to learn!

~Tomorrow is Mother's Day here in Panama so Chloe's class had a celebratory breakfast this morning.  It was a sweet time, and the other moms were nice to me.  yay!  (How old am I?)

~Carson was really moved by last Sunday's s…

The Christmas Gala- the full story!

(December 18, 1999:  Married my date for the Gala.)
November 10, 2011:  Receive offical word that the theme for the Gala is "Casino Night" and the dress code is "cocktail."  We are encouraged to wear red, black, or white.
November 14:  Go dress shopping and find the dress!

December 3- 5:45pm;  Start getting ready for the Gala. 6:45pm:  Babysitter arrives. 6:46pm:  Quick picture at home- without my shoes on.

7:20pm:  Pick up a coworker, Z, who's in Panama for the next week.
7:30pm:  Arrive at party too early by Panamanian standards, but we're still Americans. (This will become the unofficial theme of the party.)
8:00pm:  Party is supposed to start.
8:05pm:  Still sitting at table with just Tony and Z.
8:45pm:  Find my friend who I took dress shopping.  She looks fabulous.

9:00pm:  Gala offically begins with a safety briefing.  (Yes, that's the reaction I had, too.) 9:15pm:  Tony begins his presentation of company highlights from 2011. 9:17pm:  Z and I make pl…

Money Monday!

November Totals!

UGLY is the key word in how the November budget looks.  I had to borrow funds from other catagories to make November's budget happen without destroying our house-savings goals, though it took a hit, too.  We (mostly me) had all kinds of car work, extra groceries, and too much consignment shopping in November.  I've spent most of this morning trying to rework December to get the finances under control. 

First change is with the house-savings number.  We were able to save 125% of our housing goal in November.  Clearly, we need to raise our bottom number on that.  If we have a bad month, like we did last month, and can still save 25% more than we planned, the plan is too weak.  I upped that minimum 25%, and this month's goal is 10% more than the new minimum.  I'll let you know in 4.5 weeks how that went!

Next change.  I eliminated all dining out until the 21st of the month when my family arrives.  We had already cut out the major dining trips, but all th…

The Christmas Gala!

Tonight, Tony and I went to the company's Christmas party.  This is a very Panamanian phenomenon, and, although I was thrilled about picking out a dress, I was less excited about actually attending.  I get nervous in crowds. 

I'm exhausted right now, but wanted to let y'all know we had a wonderful time.  And, we won a dance contest!  Of course, more story to follow.  Night y'all!

What's in a Name?

I told you months ago that I choose a Bible verse for my kids instead of worrying too much about the actual meaning of their names.   Last weekend, I had Carson cleaning the bookshelves, and he stumbled upon our old baby name book.  He was flipping through looking for everyone's names.  He found his own name and brought the book to show me.

What does Carson mean?  (at least according to this book that I didn't own when I named him)

Confident.  Could there be a better name for this child? 
Once we discovered the accuracy of "Carson", we decided to check the other kids' names. 

Flowering.  Yes, I think that would be accurate.  She's growing into an awesome young lady.  So the book is now 2 for 2 on names.  Up next, Camilla.

Wonderful.  Her response, "sounds right."  Yes, dear.  You are wonderful.  The book is now the creepy-prophetic-baby-name book.  We decided to look up Coralynn confident it wouldn't be in the book.  Tony and I made up the…

Bienvenidos a diciembre!

During the long Thanksgiving break, we headed to the mall because Tony and I like malls.  I know that's kind of strange for frugal people to like malls, but we do.  I really like malls that are all decorated for the holidays!  Even though we aren't doing presents this year, I still love all the fun of Christmas so I was thrilled to see that Santa (who spoke really good English) had already arrived in Panama!  And, because it was early in the day, there was no crowd.  I decided that Coralynn needed to meet him!

Okay, so she didn't look thrilled with him, but at least she didn't cry.  I was kind of surprised that she went blank.  She's usually so devoted to being a big kid that I thought she would interact with him more.  And since she's afraid of nothing, I thought Santa would get more of a reaction.  I was wrong, but she was still stinkin' cute, and I still love all the fun of the holidays.