Showing posts from February, 2012

Praises- A Pictoral Review!

Last Thursday, we took Coralynn to the ENT because of her speech delays.  The ENT discovered that Coralynn had chronic fluid in her middle ear.  She was given two medicines, got x-rays and an appointment to see an audiologist.  Proving God isn't too big to care about our concerns, Tony found out that the audiologist went to the University of Illinois and worked in our hometown.  (It's a town of 20K people in the middle of an Illinois cornfield.)  I was touched beyond measure that the Lord cared enough about my little worries to send us to someone from "home."
Yesterday, we saw the audiologist.  She ran 4 hearing tests on Coralynn and concluded that she has no hearing issues beyond the fluid, and even those losses are mild.  Praise God!!  We're now praying and believing that the medicine will clear up the fluid so surgery won't be necessary.  But, if surgery is necessary, the audiologist assured me that the ENT we are seeing is highly competent.
Yesterday, we…

Money Monday!

I haven't updated in quite a while about how the housing fund is going. In this case, no news is good news.  We've been able to save our goal amount every month.  That's a testament to God's goodness in our lives.  Assuming we are here for the next 2-3 years, we should be able to buy a house that meets our needs with no mortgage!

Weird thing has happened, though.  The house the meets our needs may be getting smaller.  We have 4 kids and a three-bedroom apartment.  Also, currently, we have four children sleeping in one room.  Why?  Because they want to, and why not?  They sleep well together so I like letting them.  Chloe and Camilla sleep together.  Coralynn sleeps in her crib even though her sisters are campaigning to have her moved into their bed.  Carson sleeps on the floor.  And they sleep this way by choice.

Something about this seems off to lots of people, especially in my generation.  There seems to be an idea that people above a certain income group shouldn'…

Weight Update!

It's Saturday night (Happy 60th Birthday, Mom!), and we just returned from Family Fun Night.  I had purchased a coupon for Yogen Fruz so we headed to the mall for an early dinner and frozen yogurt.  And I was nervous.  It's been a tough dietary week with late dinners and too much emotion.  We got to the mall, and I made a decision.  I'm not going to be one of those people who can't partake in her family's fun because she's "on a diet."  

We ordered two meals to split between the 6 of us.  And got two yogurts and two icees.  Family Fun Night, including ride on the Carousel, was under $30.  I have no idea, however, if it was under my 1200 calories.  I do know it was yummy and fun!

Trying to Share
Eating it Alone
Sharing Nicely
Carousel Ride (And she is not chunky at all- not sure what's up with this photo)
Good to the Last Drop!
Because I did decide to splurge at the mall, I also decided I needed to work out this evening.  Again, I didn't want …

Sort Report!

Monday night, Tony and I had the need to clean and organize so we decided to attack the bookshelves.  It took longer than 30 minutes.  It took longer than the 90 minutes I set aside for the week's sorting.  About 2 hours in, I stopped counting.  But, at 9:45, we were done, and I'm thrilled with the results.  (Of course, I didn't take any before shots!)

Camilla's books
Baby's books
Running out of steam
Coralynn's bookshelf is done!
Big Kids' bookshelf is done!

Totals: Trash: 23.5 lbs Donations: 18 lbs Cumulative Total:  185 pounds

Funsy Friday!

Headed to the pool.  Have a great weekend!

Getting Over Myself.

So, I feel like a fool.

I came onto the blog to post my blessings for the week, and the blog's host location was having issues.  I pressed the wrong button, and everything went crazy.

Including me.

I started crying, calling Tony, and acting like a fool.  Get a grip, Lisa.  It's only a blog.

The new get-a-grip blessings list:

~My biggest issue today is the blog isn't working!

~My 9 year-old is currently reading her Bible and doing devotions.  And she asked me if it was okay for her to do them!

~I was $6 under budget at Price Smart today!

~Tony had yesterday off from work because it was a Panamanian holiday.  Y'all know that I love Tonytime!

~The kids have no school this week so I'm getting lots of C-time, too!

~We did a serious decluttering of the playroom Monday night.  I cannot wait to show you the results on Saturday!

~I've made some sweet friendships here in Panama.  They look nothing like the ones I had in Georgia, but I'm so thankful for these new re…


This is a test.

Breakfast Cookies.

Okay.  I was unclear about the breakfast cookies' recipes so I'm going to devote a post to them.  There are two recipes with different ingredients and different caloric values.  These are BOTH different from the original allrecipe recipe.  Both versions are yummy and would freeze well.  Recipe 1 is slightly sweeter and denser than Recipe 2.  Hope this clears up any confusion!!

Lisa's Breakfast Cookie (Recipe 1)
Each cookie has 199 calories.
Breakfast cookies (Yield 25  1/4 cup cookies.)

1 small container of plain yogurt
1 cup peanut butter (I'm looking for healthier options that I can also afford!)
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/8 cup of honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk (I used whole milk, but others would likely work.)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/3 cup oats
1/2 cup of wheat germ
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup chocolate chips (or raisins or craisins or white choc chips)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Beat first 5 ingredients togeth…

Money Monday!

I failed.  I'd determined at the beginning of the year to not buy anything we didn't need- with the full knowledge that 'needs' is a relative term.  This week I bought school shoes for the Middles and a new backpack for Chloe.  I consider those needs.  But, I bought a definite not need.  And I knew I was doing it when I bought it.

Isn't he cute!  We went to the grocery store Friday after Valentine's Day, and, for the first time ever, Coralynn didn't scream in the cart the whole time.  So, she got a clearance-priced reward. $2.00 for the bear down from $7.  A bargain.  And it was so worth the $2 to see the happy Bits.

(I know the picture is fuzzy, but the face is still priceless!)
Lovin' her bear!
How did your week go?  Are you on track?  Did you decide on a splurge (unnecessary purchase)?

My Weekly Weight Update.

This week has been a fairly good one for my diet (the food I eat- not "diet" in the sense of being on a diet) and exercise.  I am pleased by the improvements I'm feeling in my health.  The headaches and dizziness are virtually gone.  As are the overall feelings of yuckiness.  I like the food I am eating and have settled into a routine for breakfast and lunch.  Not having to think about what I'm going to eat makes all the difference!  The kids also seem to be coming around to the idea of being healthier.  Carson, my personal trainer, even took a turn on the treadmill!  I made it to the gym 2 times for a total of 2 hours of exercise time.  Tony and I are working on a plan to allow me more time in the gym.

I did want to update concerning the breakfast cookies.  I made a few mistakes when I originally posted the recipe, so please make sure you have the correct version.  Also, I decided to try a few of the suggestions that my friend, Meghan, offered to lower the sugar con…

Sort Report!

Today, I gave the kids the task of going through all the playroom toys.



Pretty good work- don't you think??

Today's Total: 10 lbs Cumulative Total:  143.5 lbs

Funsy Friday!

The blog has been a little Coralynn heavy recently so I thought I'd share some Camilla pictures.  These were taken at the wedding we went to a few weeks ago.  Tony, obviously didn't take them, and I have no recollection of taking them.  My best guess is this was Carson's work.


This is clearly a test.


~We had water all day yesterday!  That was the first time in 4 days.  It was out this morning, but it appears to be back on today!

~The weather is beautiful.  Nice breezes, blue skies, temperatures in the 80s.   Quite livable!

~I found someone to carpool with on Monday and Tuesday afternoons.  It's nice to not have to run to the school the extra time, but my favorite part is listening to Chloe and her Panama bff talk about school.  Love them!

~I had an appointment with a type of Christian counselor yesterday.  It was a wonderful time, and I feel so blessed to be here in this place where I could have the opportunity to meet with him!  (And let me be super clear- I have no BIG issues.  This is about resetting your brain to heal the wounds of life.  And everyone has wounds.  Everyone.)

~Tony and I are feeling better from our colds.  We feel like we should feel better than we do, but at least we aren't going through near the tissues we were.

~Fortunately, the kids haven't gott…

Read One, Get One Free!

So, I had another money-related thought, and it couldn't wait until next Monday.

I'm going to be super bottom-shelf honest.  I don't struggle very much with money issues.  I have my ups and downs, but my variances are minor (the girls' dresses being the major exception).  I was raised in a home without major money struggles, and my own home has never seen serious financial hardships.  Ultimately, I couldn't possibly understand- deeply understand- what it is like to overcome huge financial situations.  I simply haven't lived it.  And I apologize if I've ever come across as condescending in the things I've said.  Truly.  I am sorry.

I had a bit of an epiphany about 3 minutes ago, and I want to share it with y'all.  In its context, it has nothing to do with money, but the application is there.

I'm in the middle of a no-good, very bad day.  I don't feel good.  The water has been out most of the day.  The kids are moody.  And Tony is on my nerves…

Money Monday!

So far, this month, we have been doing pretty well with the grocery budget.  Instead of looking at the budget for the whole month, I've been focusing at each week.  Knowing the exact amount I have to spend each week makes it easier for me to stay on budget.  I'm able to plan over the month all the "big things" that I'll need to buy and spread them out.  I'm hoping to figure out a number each week to spend on once-a-month kinds of purchases like diapers, flour, and cleaners.  Then, I'll have the exact number I can spend on food.  I've determined how much most of the meals I prepare cost to help to stay on track financially.

I've also set a weekly dining amount instead of looking at it as a monthly amount to subtract from.  Knowing that we have $56.25 a week helps because it gives us a real number to meet instead of trying to stay under $225 for the month.  By making that simple change, we are well under this month for dining!

We made one questiona…

Big Changes at Our House!

(I'm not pregnant, and we are not moving.)

Tony and I have made the decision that our family needs to be moving toward healthier lifestyles.  It started with my continual off-feeling.  Then I started getting heart palpitations, headaches, dizziness, and exhaustion. (Tony would like me to add moodiness, but that's just who I am.  ha!) I made the commitment to my friend, Becky, that I would try harder to eat better.  Only a couple of days of half-hearted trying, I saw an improvement.  And 7 days of proper eating, I feel fabulous, and we are all on the healthy-living train.  We're also hoping that a shift to more natural foods will help some behavior issues that have recently emerged.

The first thing we did, a few weeks ago, was get rid of all packaged sweets.  This is mostly cookies and cereal.  I now make all desserts from scratch so I can control the ingredients.  I also make most of the breakfast options with the exception of whole wheat bread (which I could do, but don&#…

Sort Report- so excited!

This week I decided that I wanted to go through the kitchen cabinets and deal with the excess in those.  I slotted 45 minutes for the first attack, planning on at least one more.  I made it through all 36 cabinet doors in 15 minutes!!!

Here's everything I got rid of:

Yep, that is everything!  Before we moved to Panama, my bff and I did a hardcore purge of the kitchen.  And, now, 11 months later, I've added no new excess.  The only things I needed to sort out where things that Coralynn had outgrown.  That is sweet sorting victory!!

Funsy Friday!

4 days a week, Coralynn and I trek on out to the school to get the kids.  This means we get to sit in car-rider line.  Car-rider line is one of the circles of hell.  No different than it is in the United States.  In order to keep the Bits occupied, we play games, sing songs, take pictures, and make videos!

Our car-rider line photo shoot from the other day:

Looking for birds.
Found a bird.
Tired of birds.
Looking for Chloe.
Missing her shoes.
Losing patience with waiting.
"Give me Chloe, now!"
After the stellar photo shoot, I decided I was going to get her to talk and record it.  She's clearly less willing to be on video than some of the other people in the family.  Finally, at 1:15, I get her to say her first word for the camera...

Belly button.  Belly button?  Yes, she loves to say belly button.

Going through her 80's phase

She needs another bracelet!


~After a few lonely weeks, the Lord sweetly allowed me to have some fun times with other ladies.  I was able to have a family over for dinner on Monday, lunch with another lady on Tuesday, a mom came over to chat on Tuesday, and we've got a playdate planned for next Wednesday!! 

~I get to hold twin baby girls tonight!!  (and my amazing friend delivered- naturally- twin baby girls who each weighed more than Coralynn did at birth.  Clare is a rock star!)

~All the kids continue to do well at school.  I can't begin to describe how thankful I am that they each have friends!!

~In Bible study, we're reading through the books of the New Testament.  This week's assignment was Mark.  Perhaps my favorite passage in the Bible is in Mark.  (And yes, I know that every week I have a  new favorite passage.  There's some good stuff in there!)  A father is coming to Jesus for healing for his child.  He asks Jesus "if" you can do something, please do it.  And Jesus tells h…

Money Money Money!

Random Thoughts for Monday Money:

~If you haven't already filed your taxes, you will be soon.  Many of you will be receiving tax returns.  Before you buy that item you've been "needing," I challenge you to stop and think.  Do you have debt that money could go against?  Do you have an emergency fund set up for those surprises life throws you?  Is the item you "need" really a need? 

~I was looking online at homes the other day, and I was astounded by the size difference in the closets in the various homes depending on what year the houses were built.  We have the same number of hours in a day and days in a year as there have always been, but closets in new construction homes continue to be bigger.  Why?  Because we "need" the space?

~One of the most quoted verses of Scripture is Philippians 4:13  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  It is also, quite possibly, the most misapplied verse in the entire Bible.  That verse…

Super Bowl Sunday!!

Pick your team!!

Tony, Lisa, and Carson are Giants' fans for the day!

Chloe, Camilla, and Coralynn are cheering for the Patriots!

Football Food:

Brats and Hot Dogs!

French Fries!

Mommy's famous Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn!
Recipe: 1/3 cup popcorn kernels, popped 3 T butter 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter 1 cup chocolate chips
Over low heat, melt butter, peanut butter, and chocolate chips.  When combined, turn off heat and add popcorn- be careful not to add unpopped kernels.  Spread coated popcorn onto a wax-paper lined cookie sheet.  Put in freezer to cool.  (We store ours in the freezer.)