Thursday, August 30, 2012

Three-thing Thursday!

What's today's thing?  The three living people I'd most like to meet.

1.  Michael Card.

I've mentioned before that Michael Card's lyrics have been life changers for me.  I LOVE his music.  I LOVE his books.  I'm a full-blown groupie.  I first came into knowledge of Michael Card in the summer of 1998 while doing a summer missionary internship.  Almost everything has changed in my spiritual life since 1998, but Michael Card still refocuses my heart like none other.

2.  Sam Waterston.

Okay, so he's 38 years my senior and he's not really Jack McCoy, but I have a thing for Sam Waterston.  I can't explain it.  I just do.

3.  Marcus Samuelsson.

I had to include a chef.  I love cooking.  LOVE it.  Cooking gets all my creative energy out without creating a useless mess or a scrapbook.  There had to be a chef.  Beyond being a chef, Marcus Samuelsson fulfills another love (or desire) of mine- adoption.  He was born in Ethiopia, but was adopted and raised in Sweden.  Enjoying a Marcus Sameulsson meal while chatting with him about his story, I can't imagine a better time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's Not Monday,

but we're talking about money today!

Normally, Money Monday is about how to save or to get a great deal.

Since it's Wednesday, we're going to try something new and different for me.

We're going to talk about a splurge.

Tony and I are minor splurgers. 

We enjoy a dinner out.  We like having a babysitter come over.  Sometimes, I buy food at the grocery store I don't really need.

Yes, indeed, we really live large.

I'm not sure what overcame us. 

Maybe it is because we aren't homeschooling.  Or maybe because Tony works a lot of hours.  Could be that life in Panama is just changing us.  Or my general obsession with living every minute.

Who knows, but we both decided it was time for a splurge.

And not a chocolate-ice-cream-on-a-diet kind of splurge, but a life-is-too-short-to-not-be-crazy-once-in-a-while splurge.

So, come Christmas, my family of 6 will be heading on our first cruise!!!  Yes, indeed, we'll be cruising the Caribbean for 7 nights!

Tony and I have come to the agreement that travel is important to us.  We want to be able to show the kids as much of the globe as we can.  We had originally planned a trip to Greece over Christmas, but the economic and political climate there became too unsettling for us.  We decided that a cruise would be a nice way to introduce the kids to travel while still having the ease of naptimes and easy meals.  It's a trainer trip.

The kids were super excited to find out.  Ok, not exactly.  Chloe and Coralynn were excited.  (Coralynn is always whatever Chloe is.)  Carson and Camilla are too into the Titanic to think this is a good idea.  I'm hoping they warm up to the idea soon!

Because I'm me, I feel the need to say:
1.  We have the money set aside in savings to pay for this trip.
2.  We have no debt of any kind.


Remember, splurges are only fun if you can afford them, but don't let saving for tomorrow get in the way of living in today!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Three-Thing Thursday!

Today is three things that make me happy:



1.  Birthday girl with beautiful flowers


2.  Jeans that touch the floor even when my 6ft self is wearing 3 inches heels.


3.  Bits's amazingly beautiful hair- right out of bed.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Misnomer.

Cosita.

Little Thing.

2lbs at 6 weeks.



We were told that Cosita would be a "medium-size dog."

Umm.  Okay.

Cosita

22 lbs at 4 months.



And, bonus points to anyone who can tell me what kind of dog she is!

(We don't know.  It's a question, not a quiz.)










Sunday, August 19, 2012

A New Leaf.

After a week of illness, the kids have all recovered.  My nerves are shot, but I've managed to remain fever free.  Since I spent all week in the house, I had plenty of time to ponder and google- a dangerous combination!

I decided that we were going to try a new plan.   It is not a schedule.  Schedules are for people who can tell you all their friends' names in alphabetical order.  Schedules tell you where your every minute needs to be for you to function within your day.  This is simply a plan.  Plans are for people who need to be allowed to fly to LA in the middle of October just for the fun of it.  (Blogpost to follow!)

I created the plan in the hopes of making each day run more smoothly allowing joy to be the guiding force in our home.  Again, the opposite of chaos, in my brain, is joy.  Not order.  I want a plan that allows the joy in our hearts to rule the day.  I want a plan that allows the eternally unimportant to be unimportant.   For instance, I'm not having another conversation at 6:00 in the morning about the location of lime green socks.  I'm just not.  Those conversations steal time from the important things like really solid hugs between calm souls walking out of the house in the morning.  I'm also not pointing to a piece of paper to declare that we are running 5 minutes behind schedule with the implication that all is lost.

This is just a plan.

So, wanna hear it? 

It's really simple. 

I made a sack-lunch menu and a 30-minute activity list.

Are you excited??

The kids have 5 things to complete in 30 minutes twice a day.  And they are not tough things: make bed, shower, brush teeth, backpacks by door, read, make lunch, etc.

The first set of 5 has to be completed before school.  The second list is required to be done by 7:25.  That's it, folks.  Pretty simple, huh?

As for the lunch menu, I sat down with the kids and determined their favorite lunches and snacks.  I then prepackaged all their snacks.  That's it.  Now they know what they are having and how much to take.  And, they know if they don't want what's on the list, they can a pb&j sandwich.  How easy peasy lemon squeezy is that?

And you know the best part? 

After I explained it all to them, I got a hug.  That's the important part!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday to CAMILLA!!

Happy 6th Birthday to my Beautiful Camilla Rose!!


She's fighting a sore throat, but she's still as cute as ever!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

All Alone.

Coralynn wasn't sure how to handle being all alone yesterday.  Even though Cosita, the maid, and I were all here, she clearly felt all alone without her siblings.  After she wandered around for about an hour, I turned on the television to watch some Olympics.  Apparently, that's what Coralynn needed.


Because she sat and watched rhythmic gymnastics for the next 90 minutes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Start of A New School Year.

It is 7:15am, and my house is quiet.  Tony is at work.  The big kids have headed off to school.  Coralynn is still asleep, and Cosita has finally settled in for a nap.  It's a reflective kind of morning, but, instead of thinking, I am watching the Olympics.  Well, I am wondering why rhythmic gymnastics is a sport.  I'm not pondering my kids getting so much older.  1st, 3rd, and 5th this year.  I remember when they were 1, 3, and 5.  Sigh.  I sure love these kids.




Monday, August 6, 2012

My computer is on its last leg.

UPDATE:  8-9-12  The computer is still in trouble, but I've found that "magic position" the cord needs to work.  I'm hoping (and praying) that we can keep it alive until November when my parents come for a visit.  As long as I leave the computer on the back of the couch with the cord draped across the floor, it works fine so feel free to email and skype!!

It is dying.  I can't believe we got it back on.

I won't be skyping or replying to emails or doing anything else until I can find something new.

If something insane happens, I can have Tony update the blog.

Much love!

Lisa

A Special Moment.

Camilla told me a few months before we left for vacation that she wanted to get earrings.  I told her we'd wait until we were in the States.  She seemed pleased with that plan, and I believed she wouldn't mention it again.  I was wrong, and I should have known better.  Once this child gets something in her mind, it isn't leaving!  So sweet and so strong willed!

I did manage to forget about it until we were heading to Atlanta for our "girls trip."  Chloe mentioned that Camilla could get them pierced.  We all decided that sounded like a good idea.  Except for Camilla.  She wanted to wait until Grandma could be there.  I thought she'd change her mind.  Again, I was wrong.

I found a place in the mall to do them, but Camilla completely refused.  She wanted to wait for Grandma to be there.  Fine.  I told her we would go in Illinois, but I assumed she was balking.  Wrong.   Clearly, I'm a slow learner.

On Tuesday while we were in Illinois, all the girls went for haircuts.  Well, Coralynn went down for a nap.  I expected the haircuts to take about 90 minutes, but we got done much more quickly than that.  I asked Camilla if she'd like to go get her ears pierced.  She said, "yes."  We headed to the mall.  And, I expected her to back out. 

I know.  I'm the only person not getting that she's actually going to get these ears of hers pierced.  After picking the most expensive starter set- she is my child- she climbed up into the chair for the employees to pierce her ears.


Getting ready.

Not looking so confident.

Being brave.

"Ouch!"

"Serious Ouch!"

All done, but not loving them, yet!

Pretty!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chloe Turns 10!!

Chloe was so excited to not only turn "double digits," but also to be in Illinois for her birthday.  My Mom had the great idea of renting out the public pool for her birthday.  Chloe was THRILLED with the idea and with being able to have cousins at her party!


Chloe loves all things lime green, teal blue, and peace signs so these were the perfect cupcakes!

The shallow end of the gorgeous pool.

The deep end of the pool.

Chloe and cousin, Brooke.

Water slide!

Tony with Bitty Fish, Coralynn Mae.  She LOVES the water and LOVED that she could play on her own in so much of the pool.

Boy cousins playing on the little slide.

Cupcake time!

Chloe hasn't had a party with cousins since she turned 5, and we hadn't seen them since the Summer of 2008!

Tony's sister, Tricia, and her husband, Mike.
Tony's brother, Torrey and his wife, Shelley.
Tony and me.

The whole group:
Tricia and Mike and their 4 kids.
Torrey and Shelley and their 3 kids.
Tony's parents.
My Mom and Dad.
My Mom's brother, Uncle Steve.
My Mom's parents, Papa and Dorothy.

Thank you so much to my parents for hosting this wonderful party.  Chloe kept saying how thankful she was for "the best party ever!"  And we loved getting to spend time with family we hadn't seen in too long.



Happy 10th Birthday, Chloe Marie!
We love you!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Foodie Friday!

One of the best parts of being back in Panama is having total control of our diets and no access to Chick-Fil-A!  Everyone we stayed with was beyond thoughtful and worked with our dietary changes.  With one mishap of cheese and bacon, the whole trip could have lived up to all our changes; however, we splurged once.  Or twice.  And next thing I knew our bodies were craving food we never liked before we left.  (Since when do I need a blizzard at 9pm??)

I'm glad to be back on the wagon, and we are enjoying some healthy, whole food!

Black bean mushroom nachos.
Quite possibly my favorite food.
(And that is vegan, non-migraine-causing cheese!)


Nothing makes this momma happier

than watching the Bits choosing

healthy real foods!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Vacation. Bible. School.

I pretend that we go on vacation each summer to visit friends and family.  That's not the truth.  I go back for Vacation Bible School.  I love VBS!  LOVE it!  And not just because they give me a microphone!  I love watching the kids have such a good time, and I love getting to spend the week as a church family working together on a project.  It's just good clean fun, and I enjoy every minute of it.  Maybe I'm a kid at heart, but VBS is one of the highlights of my year every year!

First day of VBS!!
I love a good back shot (and look at that hand on that hip!)

Chloe and Me with my dilly boppers!

Thursday at VBS is Water Day!  I love watching them have a great time on the huge waterslide!

This picture doesn't have any of my children in it.  You all know that's Libby singing a solo, but what you may not know is that is Libby's mom trying to direct the other kids while her child is singing.  The level of composure that would take is beyond me!

Chloe singing with her ensemble- aka, the only group that Chloe will ever be the shortest member of.

The little girls getting an opportunity to show their choreography skils!

Chloe and Caitlyn.  Love these girls, and their super cool homemade earrings.

Carson and Jadon- the ultimate Star Wars friendship.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

4 weeks ago.

(And the serious of review posts begins!)

We got to be in Georgia for the 4th of July so we were all super excited!!

Although I like the busyness of Panama City, there is something about small-town charm.  The kids and I got to be part of LaGrange's Independence Day parade.  Chloe was super excited to be reunited with Libby, and she was pleased she got to hold the sign!

Part of the fun of a small town is running into people you aren't expecting to see.  We were thrilled that we got to see Mrs. Claire on Wednesday instead of waiting until Sunday!

And Carson got to see his most favorite person, John Reed!

Coralynn sat back and took it all in, but I know she how much she likes being with other kids!  And she felt very important that a "big kid"- Izzy- pushed her stroller.