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Showing posts from June, 2011

We're getting there!

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Slowly.  Very slowly.  But, we're getting closer.


Seven! Seven!

Time for our weekly Wednesday praises!!!

~We had a great time with my parents! (and celebrating their 40 years of marriage!)

~Chloe had a wonderful time at camp! 

~Coralynn is FINALLY signing "more" so the hollering has waned!

~We are done- because I decided so- with school!

~School uniforms have been ordered!

~Details are falling into place for the visit back to Georgia!

~A friend's "M" baby is coming into the world today.  Hopefully.  If the induction goes smoothly....

Maybe I'm Ungrateful

Or maybe I'm just picky.  Or fickle.  Or anxious. I'm not sure, but I do know that I am suddenly very uneasy about going back to Georgia for a visit.

The kids are doing great here.  They really are enjoying themselves, and they have goals for the days and weeks here.  They are looking forward to school.  They have their SS funny-dress days marked on the calendar.  This Sunday is dress-in-bright-colors-for-Pastor-Andrew's-birthday day.  They've been talking about what they want to wear.

Tony and I are settling in to life here.  Tony really enjoys his job, and I enjoy his satisfaction in his work.  I enjoy church, and the kick that it is each week.  I'm getting excited about the kids' school and finding a place to fit in there.  I love all the new food and the adventure that trying new recipes is.

In short, Panama is becoming our home.  It is home for the kids.  Tony and I are a little slower to completely adjust, but we no longer wake up and brace for the day.  …

They Know!

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Whew! No more secrets!


We went to dinner to celebrate my parent's 40th anniversary.  While the kids and the grownups were getting in the van, I stayed upstairs and got the clues in place.  The first one was on the front door.  When we got home, the kids saw the first clue, and the game was on!  

The door clue sent the kids to the Master bedroom where they found the 2nd clue and a pair of scissors.

Clue 2 sent them to the kitchen where they found another clue and the laptop.

This clue sent them to the girls' bedroom which was filled with balloon.  Two of the balloons had clues in them.  One balloon contained the paper clue.  Another balloon had a flash drive in it.  They had to use the scissors to open the balloons.

After we collected all the clues from the balloons, we set up the computer in the master bedroom so they could all see it clearly.  On the flash drive was a video I had taken a few weeks ago.  It shows Chloe's best friend, Libby, reading the final clue.  While you wa…

Tonight's the Night!

Okay.  Here we go.  Tonight the kids get to play the "game."  The game when they find out that we're going to Georgia.  The game is going to work like this.  They are going to start outside with a clue posted.  They will solve that clue.  Go to the room it says and find a helpful tool and new clue.  That will continue until they have all the clues and tools.  The final clue was taped a few weeks ago with the special help of a mystery guest.  I hope the kids are excited.  I'm thrilled.  And I'm so ready to stop keeping this secret!!  I'll keep you posted on how it goes!!

Happy 40th Anniversary!!

40 years ago, my parents got married.  Happy 40th Anniversary to them!!!  (Pciture to me posted later.)

Thirty-thousand pounds of Bananas

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In the name of Panamanian fun, we took my parents to the produce market today.  It was was raining.  It was an adventure in Spanish.  It was a good time.  And it was CHEAP!


Red peppers, tomatoes, pineapple, avocado, potatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, cilantro
Our haul:

77 pounds of mangoes- $5.00
50 pounds of oranges- $6.00
16 pounds of plantains- $3.00
43 pounds of bananas- $4.00
3 pineapples- $3.00
1 bunch of cilantro- $2.00
2 pounds of tomatoes- $1.25
1 avocado- $0.75
3 red bell peppers- $2.00
4 pounds of cucumbers- $1.50
2 pounds of zucchini- $1.50
2 pounds of potatoes- $1.25


So 204+ pounds of produce for $31.00!!!

Bananas, mangoes, oranges, plantains

Funsy Friday!

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Overpriced grocery store edition!!

$6.35!

$7.55!

Very happy Camilla because Grandpa splurged!

Sisterly Love!

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What's going on here?  Anyone want to guess?
It kinda looks like Chloe is trying to silence Camilla forever, but then you notice that Camilla is holding a Wii mote.  Here's the story- Camilla fell off the couch onto the tile floor today.  She busted her lip so I had her holding a rag with ice on it.  It was her turn on the Wii so Chloe offered to hold it for her.  I promise you that Chloe is the only one of my children who would have thought to offer her services.

You know we need 7!

It's Wednesday- here's 7!


~My parents are on an airplane headed to Panama! (OK- they're actually on a plane headed to Atlanta, but Panama is the final destination.)

~Enjoyed a Father's Day lunch with friends!

~As previously reported, Carson had a great time at camp!

~Camilla enjoyed a playdate with a new friend!

~Everything is mostly in place for the Surprise- definitely stay tuned for that!

~Cleaning helper was able to come yesterday and today so I have a clean apartment for my parents!

~The new grocery shopping strategies are finally making a dent in our huge grocery budget!  Yay for saving money!

Question. Question. Who has a question??

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I was reading through the blog's comments today (I really should be better about that), and I came across one that I could answer.  With a picture!!  The question- how big is my freezer.  It's the same size as the refrigerator.  The fridge and freezer remind me of the kitchens on MTV's Cribs.  The rest of el (or is it "un")apartmento doesn't live up to the comparison.

So, what question do you have about Panama?

Baking (and so much more) Day!

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We started the day when I was able to drag my lazy self out of bed.  The kids were all up and ready.  We had to gather our things to have a successful day.  The essentials were in place.

The agenda!
The assistants!
The must-haves: laptop, water, music!
The ingredients!

We started the day with Casting Crowns and the crock pot yogurt.  The first time I made this I was less than thrilled, but I decided it would be a healthy base to smoothies, especially with all the cheap fresh fruit available.  We moved on to Chris Rice and the  crescent rolls.  The recipe was great last time, and now that Carson is an expert roller, the task was even faster.  We had those proofing in the oven when the baby got up at 9:30.  Got the Bits nursed and going on her oatmeal, changed out the ipod selection to Keith Green (sorry Amelia!), and got going on our first of the two new recipes: goldfish crackers!

The dough going to chill in the fridge!
The rolled dough!
I decided a heart cutter was appropriate for us!
The hea…

Getting ready for the Bake-a-thon!!

We have company (my Mom and Dad) coming in this Wednesday so I want to get the freezer stocked before they get here.  Tomorrow, Tony has to work late so it will be the perfect day for a Bake-a-thon!!

The goal is to make:
~1 almond pound cake
~4 dozen chocolate chip cookies
~32 crescent rolls
~12 hamburger rolls
~2 dozen breakfast burritos
~100 goldfish crackers
~a batch of yogurt

Let me remind you that I am NOT a homemaking-is-my-heart kind of person.  I will not be wearing a denim jumper whilst we are baking.   I will not be using words like "whilst." I will not be saying "Cleanliness is next to godliness, young children the Lord has entrusted to me."  This is about cranking out some food to save some money and have some fun with the kids at the same time!  It will be loud.  It will be messy.  It will be exhausting.  It will be a great time for the the three older kids to learn what they can do when they try and when they work together!

Join us in our baking fun! …

Of course he did!

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This morning, we picked Carson up from his overnight camp at the church.  He was outside playing basketball and was a sweaty mess!  He clearly was having a wonderful time- a big relief to his worried parents.  (And his father was worse than his mother.)  Tony went over to the courts to pick him up.  After stopping to talk to a few people, these two are always running for political office, they got back in the van. 

Carson immediately pulled something out of his back pack.  He proudly handed me a blue piece of paper.  I turned it over.  Best Camper Award- Carson.  Then, he handed me the gum and push pop he received as part of his prize.  Completely assuming this was more of a certificate of attendance, I asked him how many people earned the award.  "Two, Mom.  One boy and one girl."  I was stunned (and pleased).  He was clearly pleased that he had earned the award.


Carson with Pastor Andrew and his award.

Funsy Friday- Guest Blogger!!

(Carson will be bringing you today's blog post.  All the words are his with some typing assistance from his mom.)

I like the driving in Panama.  It is fun here.  I am going to camp today.  It is at the church.  I am sure it will be really fun.  (Note from Mom- Carson apparently has his Grandfather's dislike of contractions.)  And I am also going to watch Cars 2 on June 24.  I like it in the apartment.  I have a room with my sister, Coralynn.

Weekly 7

Praising.  We're praising.

~We have chosen a school for our children.  We finally got clear direction! 

~We were able to get driver's licenses before our 90 days expired!

~The cook came yesterday, and the food was super yummy!

~I didn't cry or yell during yesterday's language training!

~Chloe and her bff continue to enjoy skyping each other and having Mario Kart battles.  It encourages me seeing kids keep relationships strong!

~My bff finally returned home after being non-Internet for 8 days.  I was going through withdrawal.  Tony was about ready to ship me to Alabama!

~Carson got a haircut!  Although he rocks the soccer-boy look, I prefer him not to need clippies in his hair to be able to see!

Getting There!!

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  Coralynn is now standing without assistance.  This is favorite of mine.  I think it's so cute how they just pop up in the middle of the floor.  The other kids think so, too.  They are so excited that she's almost walking.  The Bits took three tiny steps this evening.  I'm not sure what is more fun- watching her grow up or watching the others fall in love with her.

I think I'll move to Australia.

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I'm having a no-good day.  In spite of not feeling well, I had to go to the church this morning to sign the big kids up for camp.  (I still can't believe I'm sending Chloe to an away-from-home-for-two-nights camp.  One minute I'm homeschooling.  The next, we're sending these kids anywhere.)  And I needed to run to the grocery store.

We bought a grill Saturday, and I have a hankering for grilled chicken.  (My kids call it Mrs. Angie's chicken.  I call it Pete-sent-me-into-labor chicken.)  I needed to go to the store to get some chicken, hopefully cheap Italian marinade, a box of Jiffy mix, herbs, garlic, and a pineapple.  All went super well at the church, and we were in the grocery store parking lot in time to get a parking spot!

Everything went downhill from there.  Jiffy mix was kind of a pipe dream, but I thought we would check anyway.  Carson has been wanting some corn casserole, and his behavior is better when he picks the food, so I'm making corn cass…

Such a big girl? Such a big helper? Such a frat Bits?

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Tony and I were chatting about schools Saturday afternoon.  Chloe came in and said we had to go see the baby.  This is what we found.  She's big now, you know.  Just ask her.  She puts the phone to her ear and makes a helloish noise.  She plays DS.  And apparently she gets herself dressed and wears big girl panties.  Way to go, Coralynn Mae.



She may not walk or talk,

but Coralynn Mae can play the DS!

Wednesday's Weekly 7!

Let's Praise Him because He is- and because He has the plan!


~We heard back from school #1- all three kids were accepted!!

~We heard back from school #2- all three kids were accepted!!

~God's provided me with the opportunity to completely rely on His direction!!

~The kids continue to do a great job adjusting to life in Panama!!  This includes their continued effort to make friends and to get along with each other.  The bickering I dealt with in Georgia is gone!

~Coralynn took a nasty fall from her changing table (not the praise), but had no injuries other than a bruise and bump on her forehead (that's the praise)!!

~Chloe has made huge strides academically.  I'm so pleased with her progress!! 

~Camilla is getting so grown up.  She's been shy for a very long time, but she is beginning to come into her own!!  I love watching her blossom!

Cooking with Kids!

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After I completed yesterday morning's post about pet peeves, it occurred to me that people who have to get sitters before they can do anything is another pet peeve of mine.  I've been blessed with many people willing to help me with keeping the kids so I could go to a prenatal appointment (kids don't really need to see that) or to the dentist (there is no worse place to try to control a toddler), but overall, the kids are with me all the time.  I like it that way. 

I had intended to spend yesterday afternoon baking so I decided that we ALL were going to bake ALL day long.  It was a smashing success.  The kids were so willing.  Keeping only the kitchen a/c on helped their willingness considerably!
You know how what they say about necessity being the mother of invention??  Pam makes a great rolling pin.
Carson was my butterhorn roll assistant.  He took great pride in punching down the risen dough.  The giggle was slightly evil.  Not sure about that, but he was a house-a-fire w…

Pet Peeve Pause

Please take a break from your regularly scheduled Monday morning to allow me to share my pet peeves.  This isn't complaining, but laughing at myself for the stuff that bothers me. 

~Chick-Fil-A employees who say "My pleasure" when their body language make it very clear they aren't pleased.

~Bug bites.

~People who ask for opinions and then get upset when your opinion is different than theirs.

~Jobs not done completely or correctly.

~Sticky stuff.  I hate sticky stuff.  Jelly, honey, taffy- oh my!

~Passive aggressiveness.  If you have something to say, just say it.

~Not using lose and loose correctly.  (The first one is when you didn't win or can't find something.  The second is how your pants feel when you've lost weight.)

~People living beyond their financial means.  Who are you trying to impress?  And will they care when you are in financial ruin- will they stand next to you while you file bankruptcy?

~People who know more about Panama than we do becaue…

Funsy Friday- Our Soundtrack

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No, we won't be singing.  (Cue big sigh of relief from cyperville).   It's more the theme songs of my family.  So, here is an opportunity to get to know us through song.  (With much appreciation youtube.)


Tony and Lisa: The Dating Years (my apologies for the picture- though the irony...)
Meet Lisa (Those who know me know that transparency is my end all.  Too much fake in this world. Someone posted on my facebook page the other day that they appreciated my transparency. No compliment do I value more highly.)

Meet Tony
(Tony chose this song himself.  I'll let you determine your own commentary.  Maybe he is the underdog who overcomes?)


Meet Lisa- the Parent
(I'm an unashamed Daddy's girl.  I love the way I was raised.  I was always allowed to have a voice- though often too loud for Dad.  I want my kids to know they were loved and respected and heard.  My parenting is a legacy to my parents.)


Meet Tony- the Parent (At some point I will post a video of Tony and the oldest 3 si…

Day One of Household Helpers

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The yummys boiling away on the stove!
Today was the first day of my household helpers (HH for further reference) helping.  I was very nervous, and part of me was hoping they wouldn't come.  They did.  And I'm thankful. 
The morning started a little rough because I didn't have everything I needed for Panamanian food.  HH#2 was trying to tell me what to get at the store, but she spoke no English and my Spanish doesn't include the entire grocery store.  So HH#1 stayed here with the kids, and HH#2 and I went to the grocery store to buy what she needed.  (Got some milk and tortillas while we were there.  I am completely incapable of walking into a grocery store and sticking to the list.)  We got home in about an hour, and the day picked up.

White Rice
HH#1 cleaned bathrooms while HH#2 cooked.  My house was immediately filled with the wonderful spells of cilantro, lentils, and grilled chicken.  Chloe, my ever-ready eater, kept going back into the kitchen just to have the oppor…

Lest You Think We Only Play Mario Kart

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Chloe and I played a game this afternoon.  I'm usually hesitant to play with the kids because I hate losing.   When I do play with the kids, I end up trash talking them, and then they cry, and then I feel badly.  I just hate losing.  (Remember previous post about competitiveness?)  And I really hate losing games of chance so Candyland and the like drive me crazy.  The game I always refuse to play?  Trouble.  With four players, the game never ends.  Yesterday, I agreed to play it with the kids.  (A weak moment.)  The kids asked if we could put it up because they didn't like my attitude.  Oops.
But today, Chloe asked to play Scrabble.  I love Scrabble.  It's intellectual.  It requires focus.  It doesn't have a die stuck in a plastic bubble.  It's my favorite. But, it's really hard for kids.  It's even harder for a kid who struggles a bit with reading and spelling.  I was hesitant to say yes to this request.  I cannot control my competitive nature.  (At one po…

Weekly 7! The Praising and Praying Edition!

Time to take a minute out of the middle of the week, and thank God for who He is and the blessings He sends!  But I've got to tell you the truth.  I'm struggling with it a little bit today.  Not because I don't have anything to praise for, but because I have so much and so many to pray for.  We are told to both pray without ceasing and to give thanks in all things (Lisa's Handy Translation, LHT- 1 Thess 5:17-18). So today, we will do both.

~My baby girl continues to put on weight and grow.  She is cruising around furniture!
 (Please join me in prayer for a friend's unborn baby who wants to join the world a little earlier than recommended.)

~I have 4 beautifully happy and healthy children!
(Please join me in praying for a friend of an acquaintance's daughter who is having brain surgery today.)

~We had a wonderful staycation.  Any extra time we spend with Tony is always special!
(Praying for a lady whose cancer prognosis looks bleak.  May whatever time she has left …