Thursday, December 29, 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 the best years ever.

This year, I heard of the idea of coming up with a single word to guide the upcoming year.  Since I love words, I thought the plan sounded perfect.  I've spent most of December praying and pondering on what word the Lord has for me.  Where does He want me to grow?  What do I need to learn?  I found my word pretty early on, and the rest of the month confirmed it for me.


That's my word.  Decrease.  John 3:30  "He must increase, but I must decrease."

My prayer, as we prepare to change calendar years, is that the Lord would teach me to get over myself.  This life isn't about me.  It's about Him.  My life isn't for me.  It's for Him. 

I have no idea what the next 12 months will bring.  I have no idea what experiences I will reflect on at the end of 2012.  I don't know if I'll even still be around then.  But I know that I don't want to waste a minute, let alone a year, on my priorities and goals. 

Lord, teach me to decrease so that my life will bring glory to you.

How about you? 
What does the fast-approaching 2012 have you pondering?  
What's your word?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

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,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

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!!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

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 (whether saving, spending, or giving) would just increase as your income does.  There is too  much variance.

I'm asking for your help.  How do you determine where you lifestyle line is?  Do you go with a percentage?  Is it simply staying in step with the neighbors?  Is there a number that once you hit it in savings, you won't work another day?  Is it about a little bit more?

I can look at my life and see plenty that could be cut out.  Luxuries like cell phones, television, internet, dining, convenience foods, helpers, and vacations.  But should I cut them out?  How little should I live on?  What luxuries should I afford my family?

What are your thoughts?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Friday, December 16, 2011

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 at weddings.  Not at parties.  I don't dance.

6.  In case you missed it, you can read the backstory here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

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 to look in my life to figure out where the need to be defensive started.  I allowed myelf permission to be confident in my family's decisions.  And to not be moved by passive aggressive (or purely agressive) comments.

Regardless of how others may feel about it,

~I believe in our decision to move to Panama.
~I'm confident that Tony's in the right profession.
~I trust that 4 kids (and 1 in eternity) is the perfect number for our family.
~I have no guilt about sending the kids to the school we chose.
~I'm pleased with our church selection.
~I'm secure in our decision to (mostly) remove presents from the Christmas experience.

I know that we're trying our best to do our best to raise our children.  I know our life doesn't look exactly like anyone else's life, but I'm completely comfortable in my own skin about our life.  And that's completely ok.  It's not cocky.  It's not arrogant.  It doesn't mean I think I know it all.  It doesn't mean I've arrived.  It doesn't mean that we don't have lots of room to learn and grow.  It doesn't mean I'm claiming perfection. 

It means that the Lord has brought me to a place of confidence in Him and in whom He's making me.  I will no longer live my life in comparison to others.  I will no longer judge others about their preferences because I no longer have that place of insecurity within me.  My life is guided by Truth.  I know I don't know it all, but I know the One who does.  I will not be swayed from His Truth, but I won't allow my preferences to become equal to that Truth.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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 Carson moved over, and Camilla took her seat.)  Once we got the Bits her own seat, we didn't hear from her again.  She was enthralled.

The lighting is too dark to see her very well,
but you can see the Bits mesmerized by the show.

Earlier in the week, I had posted a facebook status that prompted a conversation about worship versus presentation in light of all the Christmas programs being done this time of year.  CBC's Cantata was a glorious presentation that I'm sure came from a heart of true worship for many (most?  all?) the participants.  

Here is the one complete song I was able to capture
before my camera battery died.
(At the 2:22 mark,you can see our senior pastor singing in the choir group on the left.  He's the tall, skinny, white guy.  I love that our pastor participates in the choir when there isn't a "need.")

Generally speaking, I don't attend cantatas with worship in mind.  (Is that terrible to admit?)  I like them because they help to foster the Christmas mood.  I don't know if it was my previous conversation or the Spirit moving in the theater, but one moment in this program (which I have no footage of) brought me to a place of worship.  The choir was signing an arragement of "We Three Kings."  The first "king" walked into the theater from behind me on the right.  It was Keith. 

Keith is a South African gentleman who has been serving the Lord in Panama since the 1970s (I think.).  He's the elder statesman and wise grandfather of the church.  Tony considers the man in the same light with Elijah.  He's spent years translating the Old Testament into the local Kuna language.  I've watched him wrestle with that responisbility and begging prayer that he would "get it right."  He's given his life to the Lord.  And his health is beginning to betray him.  He walks slowly, carefully, and with a cane.

He walked into the theater in full "wise man" regalia.  Following him was a procession of "wise man servants" carrying gifts for the baby King.  I had learned the night before that one of these teenagers was serving as Keith's de facto cane.  They whole group progressed so regally.  And then they came to the stairs.  And I stopped breathing. 

First, there were 4 steps to the stage.  Totally doable.  No problem.  They made it up without issue.  I breathed.  Then I realized they weren't done.  As you can see in the second video, there was a staircase going up to a platform.  I couldn't believe he was going to try it.  But he did.  He and his teenage cane made it up the staircase.  Tony and I got lightheaded holding our breath during it.

The choir kept singing and the rest of the "wise men" paraded in.  It struck me.  Here was a gentleman who had no reason to be part of the cantata.  He doesn't have a god-given singing or dancing talent.  This isn't his once-a-year act of service.  His life is service.  Why be part of it?

I don't know his answer.

The song continued.  The "wise men" stood next to "Mary," "Joseph," and "Jesus."  And then tears started streaming down my face.  I almost yelled out.

The "wise men" presented their gifts.  And Keith, in pure worship, kneeled before the baby.

He didn't make it as low as the other kings did, but that man kneeled.  By human standards, he's already given his whole life to the King.  And he still walked, shakily and with assistance, up all those stairs and kneeled.  Why did he choose to be part of it?  My guess?

Because he couldn't not.  He had to be there. 

He had to take another opportunity to kneel before the Lord. 

He had to give everything without consideration to ease, or ability, or comfort. 

He gave it all.

And that is the heart of worship.

Monday, December 12, 2011

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 that I wonder how "rich" is defined.  I consider it needs met, wants met, giving goals met, investments met, and money left to burn.  How do you define rich?**

First up, the obvious results.  15% of respondents believe that income of a $1 million or more is rich.  This is kind of the expected answer.  For many "rich" is a pipedream concept, and $1 million is the pipedream number.  It's why game shows are called "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?".

More surprisingly, 18% of those interviewed said a number under $60,000 would be considered rich.  That number strikes me as low.  I know living comfortably on less than the $60K is achievable, but rich?  That tells me that there are lots of Americans who are having trouble making ends meet. 

Some of those people live beyond their means because they make bad choices or lack the knowledge to do better.  Some of them have suffered unavoidable debts that they are trying to from.  Some of them simply can't find work, and any income seems like great wealth after months of job hunting.  It also tells me that there is some sense of reality. 

In our country in the 21st century, there is not going to be a game show called "Who Wants to Be $60K richer?".  No one would turn down that amount, but the show wouldn't have the same impact because the number isn't out there enough.  Maybe $60,000 is the attainable rich?

Even more surprising to me is where the majority of poll recipients fell. 41% of those interviewed put the "rich" income between $100,000-$300,000.  And according to Tax Center research quoted in the article, people making that amount of money would make more than about 85% of Americans.  ($250K is in the 96th percentile.)  I was so pleased to see that amount listed as the wealth amount.  Why?  Because those are actually incomes.

It says that the stereotypical lawyer and doctor salaries still are considered "big money."  When I was a little kid, I thought doctors were very rich.  In the mid-90s when my friends and I were choosing careers and colleges, we commented that those who were going to be lawyers and doctors were going to have so much money.  (especially compared to those of us majoring in education!)  We don't have to have the careers of Oprah, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, or Kobe Bryant to be rich. 

I find it amazing, almost a little unbelievable, that a society drowning in reality television about the other half still chooses attainable professional incomes to be "rich."   We don't have to be born a Hilton or a Kardashian to be rich.  I am comforted and relieved to know that.

The most surprising moment in the article actually appeared in the comments.  (The fact that there was wisdom in any comment from a yahoo! article is surprising in itself!)  One commenter said something akin to "unless you manage your money well, you'll be poor regardless of your income."  Wise stewardship makes a lot less than "rich" go a lot farther!

The one question, that the poll didn't ask, is whether or not people want to be rich.  Whether or not that is to be desired.  I have a feeling, and maybe I'm just being skeptical, that the answer to that poll would not bring me comfort or relief.  The Bible says in Proverbs not to (over) work to be rich.  And I Timothy says the "love of money is the root of all sorts of evil" (NASB)   Rich isn't want I'm looking for.

As we come into Christmas, I can't help but think about that Baby born 20 centuries ago.  I have no idea what the per capita income was at that time.  I don't know how the other half lived, or what the discrepancy between rich and poor was.  What I know is this: the Creator of the Universe, who blesses us out of His great riches, chose to take a position of meekness (material and elsewise) to regain relationship with humanity.  Regardless where you fall on the rich scale, that gift is free.  And eternally priceless.

Friday, December 9, 2011

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.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

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!)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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 sermon.  I think it's so cute how into an idea he can get.

~Fortunately, we were alerted quickly when our credit card company realized that our card had been hacked this week, and shut down the card before serious damage had been done.  (Please don't feel the need to comment on how we shouldn't be using credit cards unless you have a good solution to the tax implications and foreign transaction fees from large cash withdrawals.)  <-  In all humility, this comment has an attitude.  I shouldn't have shared my attitude problem.  Forgiveness appreciated.

~I was able to skype with my bff three times in three days this past weekend.  That makes me happy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

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 plans on how to pull Tony away from the podium.
9:30pm:  Tony finishes his presentation.  He did a fine job, but the amount of technical information to be shared made it hard for people to follow.
9:50pm:  Pre-dinner agenda is finished.  Time to eat.
9:51pm:  My American self wants to know why individual tables aren't dismissed to the buffet line.  I'm assured this is the way it is done in Panama.  Decide to mingle instead of standing in line.
10:00pm:  Go through the buffet line.  Ask several times, "Is there cheese is this?"
10:01pm:  Come to the ceviche.  Feel conflicted.  I really want to try it, but I still have nightmares of my sushi attempt gone very wrong.
10:02pm:  Add ceviche to my plate and have a seat at the table with Tony's coworkers.

Z, E, S, and H!

Katina, Galo, J, L,  and M!

me, Tony, and Andrea

10:04pm:  I am convinced to try the ceviche.  LOVE it!
10:08pm:  Go get more ceviche.
10:45pm:  Dinner is complete and the talent show begins.  A band made up of company employees sings 2 songs.  They did a really good job.
11:00pm:  Goofy MC starts goofy portion of the evening with goofy skits.  He's pulling people out of the audience and has them act out a few scenarios.  I'm thankful I'm not selected because the Spanish is too mumbly on the microphone for me to follow.
11:15pm:  MC announces the next fun activity: dance contest.
11:16pm:  Tony's coworker, Galo, tries to avoid being randomly selected.  He and his wife are chosen.  We all laugh and clap.
11:18pm:  Andrea starts all but jumping up and down to volunteer Tony and me to be the other couple in the dance off.
11:19pm:  Tony and I are selected to participate.  It's a good thing Andrea's an intern.
11:20pm:  We walk up to Galo and Katina.  Galo asks me why the guy would pick accountants to participate in a dance contest. 
11:21pm:  I'm so relieved that Mr. Goofy MC picked the only Panamanian couple that can't dance.  At least Tony and I aren't the only people in the room who can't.
11:22pm:  Galo and Katina dance first.  Katina is all in, but Galo is less committed.  It would be hysterical if I weren't absolutely terrified to take our turn.
11:25pm:  Our turn.  I point blank tell the guy I won't do it.  He tells me to pick someone else from the audience.  Tony's team starts chanting his name.  Tony takes the microphone and announces that we're dancing.  Too bad Tony isn't an intern.
**Quick aside.  For those who don't know, Tony is the son of a fundamental Baptist preacher, is an accountant, and is not of Latin descent.  I am horribly afraid of looking silly in front of people and have limited rhythm.  That is the mental picture for the upcoming dance sequence.**
11:26pm:  The most embarrassing moments of my adult life begin.  While we were watching the other couple dance, I had some dance thoughts, but once we got out there, I forgot everything I might have done.  And, thanks to Andrea, we have this captured on film.  (Praise God, I left the video camera at home!)

**UPDATE- We are now aware that there is cellphone footage of the dance contest.  I'll let you know just as soon as Tony gives me permission to post it.**

11:29pm:  We've completed the Dance-Off.
11:30pm:  Mr. Goofy MC guy has both couples come to the center of the floor.  The audience claps to determine the winner (or truly the biggest loser) of the evening.
11:31pm:  We won!  (or lost!)  We did receive a store gift certifcate and a certficate for lunch at one of the nice hotels.

11:32pm:  We sit down.  I'm shaking, but laughing.  Yes, we can't dance.  Yes, the entire company now knows it, but I can tell my kids that we did it.  And that there is life after embarrassment.  Sometimes the greatest skill in life is the ability to laugh at yourself.

12:05am:  We leave the party as the real dancing begins.  We both would like to stay longer, but we have a babysitter to return home and church in just a few hours.
1:15am:  Tony returns from taking the sitter.  The shock of making a fool out of himself in front of work people is beginning to hit.  He doesn't want to talk about it.
1:30am:  We collapse into bed.  It's been a much different gala than we anticipated, but we are so thankful we went and had such a great time.

Monday, December 5, 2011

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 those little food court trips add up.  Both monetarily and calorically.  This change will slightly up the grocery budget, but, as always, a dining budget never saves the grocery budget.

The other "issue" to consider was gifts for the kids' teachers.  In total, my kids have 10 teachers and teachers aides (plus librarians, secretaries, team and club sponsors, etc).  Even spending just $10 a gift, that's a $100 on teachers' gifts.  I've decided that the teachers are really just an extension of our family.  So they are getting nothing for Christmas this year!  Bwhahaha!  Not exactly.  This afternoon the kids are going to choose items from the Samaritan's Purse gift catalog to give in the name of their teachers.  I'm excited to know what the kids choose!

Hopefully, your Christmas budget is well established and under control.  If not, don't get discouraged.  It's not too late.  Ask yourself why you are spend that money on those items.  Do you love the person?  Will the person love the item?  Are you trying to maintain an image?  What will be lost if you don't buy that?  What are your financial goals?  How can they best be achieved?  What is worth sacrificing your goals (and sometimes sacrifices are necessary, but lots of times, they aren't)?

I leave you with my family's favorite Christmastime song.

(A little silly is beyond valuable during the stress of the holidays!)

If one is good, two is better!! We all love this song, too. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

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!

Friday, December 2, 2011

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 name (our combination of Caroline and Linford) on the way to a shopping trip in Columbus, Georgia.

This was going to requires further investigation. (Although I love it was directly above "corazon"- heart.  She is near my heart!)


and Lynn:

So, "Coralynn" is a combination of giving and fresh as spring water.  Coralynn definitely gives us plenty of joy and happiness.  And we love looking at the world through her fresh perspective.  I think the prophetic book got it again.

In Proverbs 22, the Bible says that "a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold."   I probably should have put more thought into what my kids' names literally meant before I chose them.  I'm blessed to have the opportunity, as a stay-at-home mom, to focus my life on being their mom.  I'm even more grateful to my husband who has made that possible.  Beyond all else, I am humbled and awed by the grace and mercy the Lord has chosen, in His goodness- not my worthiness, to shine on my life.

What does the book have to say about me?

I hope so!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

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.