Showing posts from March, 2012

Spring Break!

My mom is in town, and the kids have next week off from school, so the blog is going on Spring Break.  I pray that you have a wonderful budget-friendly, health-encouraging, funsy kind of week.  We'll see you next week!!

Money Monday!


March has been an expensive month:

Carson's birthday party.
Coralynn's healthcare.
Running out of all those "once and a while" needs all at the same time.
Car issues.
Buying stuff to be brought from the States.
School needs.
Experimenting with dietary changes.
Accidental tax withholding shifts.

I'm almost afraid to open the budget.  It's going to be ugly.

Really ugly.

We aren't going to save our monthly housing goal.  We aren't even going to come close.  I'm hoping we'll be able to save half of it.

Really ugly.

Bring on the rice and beans.  (No.  For real.  We're having rice and beans tonight, but don't tell the kids.  Or Tony.  I'm trying to pull one over on them.)


In April, everything is going to have to tighten back up so that we stop the bleeding.  I don't want one bad month to start us down the ever-present, ever-slippery slope.

Really tight.

As we finish this mess of a month, we're going to refocus and …

Weight Update is Moving!!

Sunday mornings are too crazy, and Saturdays are my fun food days so Weight Update is moving to Saturday!

Today's weight...

147 lbs! Down 1lb for the week And down 7.5 in 7 weeks!
I was only able to workout twice this week, but my water consumption was up,  and I was making better choices.  (I did eat way too much Indian food on Tuesday, but, at least, it was real food!)  More importantly, I feel so much better without all the processed foods.  (Last night we had McDonalds, and I have a headache today.  The food choices matter.)
147 is my pre-Coralynn pregnancy weight.  145 would put me where I started 4 of the 5 pregnancies.  I was in the 130s with Camilla, but I don't expect that to be a reachable weight.  I'm hoping by going to the gym more that I can tone up my body.  (Coralynn and I have strinkingly similiar physiques!  LOL!)

Wednesday's Praises!

~My mood has improved even though my heart still aches.  Someone very dear to us passed away on Friday.  The circumstances of his death are heart wrenching and had us walking in a fog most of the weekend.  I'm thankful that, although my pain and the pain for his family is still there, the fog is mostly lifted.

~My friend, Becky.  Everyone needs a Becky in his/her life.  Becky is encouraging and empathetic and amazing.  And she storms heaven with her prayers like no one I've ever met.  I love that I can share my heart with her with no fear of judgement because her sole concern is people's relationships with the Lord.  She's priceless, and my life is better for her.

~I know this sounds like the wifey thing to say, but I am beyond thankful for my husband.  It's been amazing to watch him lead our family over the past 12 months.  Today, 17 years after we offically became "girlfriend/boyfriend," I can honestly say we are at the best place in our relationship we…

Money Monday!

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty. ~Mother Teresa


Drumroll, please...

Woohoo!! (Down 0.5 after a LOUSY week. Down 6.5 total)
This week's successful strategy was introducing the green smoothie.  I still have a ways to go to find the perfect recipe, but the bok choy, banana, kiwi, and pineapple concoction I made yesterday was definitely the best of my efforts!  I also exercised for an hour.
This week's goals: ~Choose something other than eating and shopping to deal with emotions. ~Exercise 3 times for at least an hour. ~Get back on the water train!  10 cups a day is my plan.

How about you?  How did your week go?  Any strategy that worked great for you?  Please share!

Funsy Friday- Part 2!

So, how do you think the shirt turned out? Carson, my Knight.

Ready for Battle!
My sweet Princess, Camilla.

They said "princess," so Chloe went with Kate Middleton for inspiration.
Chloe is beautiful, inside and out.
Pose like a knight and princesses.
I can't believe how big they've gotten.
Waiting to storm the castle?
The girls with their besties! Gorgeous!
With the Knight in the Mix .
In the Carriage.

Camilla (in heels) and Emily
Chloe (not in heels) and Andrea

Funsy Friday- Part 1!

From my facebook status:  Getting ready for the kids' royal ball tonight. I told myself I wasn't going to make a big deal about it. Then, I asked Marvi to borrow a dress for Chloe. Then, she gave me 3. Then, I went to Lori's and got 5 more. Then, I felt badly for Carson, so I went to the mall to get something simple. Then, I decided it needed to be personalized. Then, I went to buy spray paint. Now, I've crossed over into making a big deal about it. I'm one of those moms.

Tonight, at church, is the Royal Ball.  It's nothing more than a glorified parents' night out, but the kids get to dress up like knights and princesses.  Originally, I wasn't going to put much effort into it.  Chloe asked to be a Non-Poofy Princess.  She wanted to wear her Christmas dress- which she hated at Christmas.  I thought that was fine.

Then, at Bible Study yesterday, I asked my friend, Marvi, if her daughter had anything that might work for Chloe.  I'm not really sure why I …

365 days.

Today, we mark the 1-year anniversary of moving to Panama.  I've spent months trying to figure out what this blog post should say.  I thought about a photo collage, but I can't find the pictures, and don't really care to look.  Then, I thought I could share all the kids' favorite moments, but those would likely involve the swimming pool and food.  That's not exactly deep stuff. 

I've thought about it all day.  What is the perfect way to express what the last 12 months have meant to us?

With us.
We've made this year work because we walked together.  We've gone through some really tough, ugly times.  We've been through super happy, fun times.  But we've been through them all together.  This incredible Panamanian walk of faith has brought us closer to each other, and more importantly, closer to the Lord.  We're all walking that way together.  And that is worth every tear, pain, and fear any of us has dealt with!
Happy 1st Anniversary to Us!  Tha…


I'm going to be totally upfront here, and tell y'all that I'm having a lousy week.  Lots of stressers are piling up to make me feel beaten up.  (Our good friend, hormones, isn't helping!)

I'm focusing on one blessing today.  Just one.

God is in control.

And, really, what other blessing do I need?

Present Time!

Carson is a big fan of Barcelona's soccer team so he got a jersey and a Barcelona ball for his birthday!

Happy Birthday, Carson David!!

Baby Carson David at 3 days old.  He was as handsome then as he is now!
Love that sweet gap in his front teeth!  He has always had the warmest smile!  Here at almost 20 months, it was clear, and had been for some time, that he had the "It" factor.  I love that anywhere we go I can count on Carson to be friends with everyone there within just a few minutes!  He used to say, "Hi.  I'm Yarsen.  And this is my sister, Row-E," because she was too shy to meet new people!
Carson has always been my "little man," and I can't believe that he's 8 today.  I love the Carson he has become: confident, kind, athletic, academic, friendly.  He has made our life so much fuller than I ever thought it could be! 

Happy 8th Birthday, Carson D!! We love you!!

Money Monday!

Tony and I could be Mr. and Mrs. Goody Goody.  We are, and have always been, rule followers.   I'm the bigger offender.  Tony laughs at me because I ask permission to do things that I know are allowed.  (Like make retuns with the tags still on and receipt in hand 2 days after purchase.  I'm always afraid I'm going to hurt their feelings.)

But, when it comes to money and budgetting, we break three major rules.

Rule 1- Don't use credit cards.  Don't have credit cards.
We use credit cards, almost exclusively.  Why?
1.  We pay them off in full, and we can stick to our budget.
2.  Getting cash in Panama is a bit of a nightmare.  Setting up a bank account can take weeks to accomplish, and then we have to pay for wire transfers.  Also, we can only transfer so much money before more tax implications hit.  Using an ATM card would carry a 3% transaction fee each time, and it would require multiple trips to get the cash we needed for a week.  (Panama maybe a "developing&q…

And the Scale Says...

148.5!! That's a 1.5lb loss since last week, and a 6lb loss in 5 weeks! Woohoo!

Birthday Party Update

For Carson's party, we rented the gazebo by the apartment pool.  I bought snack foods and fruit.  The  cafe provided the appetizers and drinks. 

Coralynn was a big fan of the cheese balls.

Unfortunately, Friday night, Carson fell and needed 4 stitches.
The doctor said that it could get wet, but I was concerned about what would happen to the bandages in the water.

So, I went MacGyver on it.  Duct tape + plastic bag = Swim Ready!

One of his sweet friends brought a "Get Well" card and a "Happy Birthday" card!
The kids all had a wonderful time at the Club's BEAUTIFUL pool.  Camilla was loving jumping into the water.
I was tickled with myself because I got up enough courage to order, in Spanish, a customized birthday cake. I was thrilled to see so many of Carson's friends come.  (14 from a class of 22!) I think the highlight, for Carson, was having his teacher and teacher's aide come out for some birthday fun!  Tony and I were quite pleased with the whole morn…

One More Day...

Tomorrow is Carson's birthday party.  I'm busy preparing for that so we'll move Funsy Friday to Saturday!  Sound like a plan?  Perfecto!  See you tomorrow!

Praisin' on a Wednesday Afternoon!

~I am incredibly busy!  I'm busy participating in my kids' lives, and I love it!

~We have free time!  I love being able to spend a Saturday afternoon swimming with my kids and chatting with friends!

~We had a small earthquake last night!  We were beginning to feel "comfortable" again, and I love the comfort zone shake up!  Lord, may we never be too comfortable to trust you!

~I had a anxiety attack this morning!  I read some of my trigger words from a family member, and my health fears kicked into overdrive!  Thank you, Lord, that I have people that I love and care about!

~After about an hour of sheer panic, the Lord began to calm my soul!  His perfect peace is available when I keep my eyes on Him!

~Everyone is enjoying the healthy food changes!  (Although Chloe's teacher did send an email yesterday expressing Chloe's love of mayo!)

~I am trying a little harder with the Spanish!  I'm not sure if I'm getting anywhere, but the Lord is teaching me so much…

Money Monday!

the Big Changes at Our House have had quite a positive impact on our finances.  I was afraid that our grocery budget was going to have to increase because "healthy food" seems more expensive.  I was so wrong, and so thrilled by the extra positives that have gone with the changes.  Here are the Big Three!

1.  My grocery trips are so much faster!  When you only need fresh produce, dairy, and meat, you avoid 80% of the store.  Less time in the story means less time to be tempted to buy things we don't truly need.  And less time for the grocery store to wear you down!
2.  Popcorn!

I'm having a love affair with popcorn.  I decided to eliminate chips.  They were expensive (about $0.35 each for the individual bags) and full of nasty pretend foods.  They also caused conflict because someone always took the last bag of the kids of chips someone else wanted.  I didn't need the drama, and the kids didn't need the junk.  The kids panicked when I told them.  They wanted s…

Weight Update!

I'm running out the door to church so I'll get right to today's weight:

150 lbs for a loss this week of  1 lb and a 4 week loss of 4.5 lbs!
I can't weight (aren't a clever-ha!) to be back in the 140s!

Sort Report!

This is a bad news/good news thing.

Bad News:  We didn't sort anything because I'm tired of trying to figure out what to do with all of it.

Good News:  I just got an email from a friend about an organization accepting donations until March 16th.  We are going to get our sorting groove on to see how much we can be rid of by then!  (Thanks, Laci!)

Funsy Friday!

One of the best parts of having company is that we get to "see" Panama for the first time again.  When Bill was here, he kept commenting on the mall.  I forgot that I felt the same way when we moved here.  I didn't picture Panama having a huge mall, but they do.

This is from the second story of the mall looking over the main food court.