Showing posts from 2013

Word of the Year!

As many of you may remember, each year I choose a "word of the year."  The word is a sort of theme for the year.  I always ask the Lord for this word, and He is always faithful to give me a word.  This year, I didn't like my word. 

I was journaling a few weeks ago, and I let the Lord know that I would write whatever He told me.   I was nothing more than the pen manipulator.  I wrote as fast as the words came to my mind.  I was doing fine keeping up, but then I got my word.  (An aside:  I wasn't asking for the word.  I wasn't expecting to get the word.  It just came.)   I didn't like it, and I tried to stop and argue.  (I spend too much time arguing with the creator of the universe.)  As I kept writing, I was specifically told to blog my word.  Guess God knows I would have skipped that had I not been told otherwise. 

I let the word simmer for almost 2 weeks.  The Lord sweetly spoke to me for those two weeks, clarifying what He had for me with this word.  The…

Taking a blogging break...

We have been given some information that we need to pray over.
We have almost 2 weeks with Tony at home.
We are focusing on those things until the first of the year.
SO, the blog is taking a break.  Know that I love y'all so much.
I have much to tell you- good, bad, and ugly- but it will wait for 2014.


That is what's on my calendar for today.


We have the normal school and Spanish classes, but nothing else.

We just went through the craziest two weeks of recent memory, and I am so pleased to say that life has officially calmed down.

The programs have all be completed.  The lessons have all ended for the year.  The Christmas decorations are up, and the presents are all purchased and wrapped. 

Tony has 4 more days of work, and then he is off for the rest of the year.

We will then be ready to sit back and enjoy each other- without the pressures of life getting in the way.  Lord willing, we will start the new year refreshed and ready for what 2014 has for us.

Who knew that calm could be so exciting!?!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I pray that everyone is having an amazing day of gratitude!!

My day started out with a trip to the gym- trying to get this body back in shape!  While I was fighting against the treadmill, I pondered thankfulness.  What am I most thankful for this holiday season?  Hmm...

Yesterday, I had the privilege to share at the Christian school's chapel.  I get to do this about twice a month, and it is the highlight of the week for me.  Yesterday, we talked about giving thanks in *all* things. (I Thess 5:18) Both the good things and the bad should lead us to gratitude.  I told the kids that thankfulness can come from the realization that all things work together for our good.  (Romans 8:28)

Still on the treadmill, I pondered that truth.  All things work together for our good.  Even the bad things.  What am I thankful for?  Hmm...

12 years ago, we told our families that we were expecting our first baby.  Baby Chloe was just a few gestational weeks old, but we were already so thankful for her …

It's NOT my FAULT!!

My computer's hard drive crashed, and then, the internet went out.  I haven't been blogging, because I couldn't!  Woohoo!!  Not my fault!!  ;)

Quotation of the Morning

Coralynn, after seeing her old infant carrier carseat in my closet:  Momma, dat my seat por bee-bees?
Me:  Yes.  You are Momma's baby, and that was your seat.
Bits:  I not tur bee-bee.  I da big durl.
Me:  Okay.  Your Momma's big girl.
Bits:  I put my bee-bees in it?
Me:  Nope.  It's not a toy.

*I go back to getting ready for the day.*

Bits:  Momma, I get married, and den I put my bee-bees in it?
Me:  Sure, Baby.  You can put your babies in it.

Sweet Jesus, thank you for this precious big girl!  Keep her close to You, and grow her into a Momma that loves You!

A Month of Thankfulness?

As anyone who spends anytime on social media knows, November is the month of giving daily thanks.  I sit down to facebook and read all that people are thankful for each day.  At first glance, I love this "tradition."  We all need to spend more time in gratitude.  But as I read the lists of praises, I begin to question whether this exercise in thankfulness has become an opportunity to one-up each other.  Not unlike some people's Christmas letters feel like an attempt to prove that one's life is more blessed, more significant, more more than someone else's life, are these praises really just about making us feeling better about ourselves?  I'm confident that most people truly are simply thankful and want to share in this month of thanks, but everyone?  I don't know.  Does it matter?  I don't know that one, either.

I do know, however, that I want to be part of praising the Lord.  Not because of a trend or a tradition.  Not because of what He's given …

Welcome to November!!

It is the first Saturday in November, and I'm still trying to get caught up on life in October!  I promised myself that we were not going to be as busy this year as we were last year, but apparently that was just wishful thinking!

Between the cruise, Tony's birthday, a youth retreat and normal life, the blog has fallen by the wayside.  Again.  But, November we're going to refocus on keeping the blog updated because so much is happening!  Please join us in praying about what the Lord would have us do after we finish our time in Panama.  There have been so many twists and turns in that journey that we certainly appreciate prayers for straight paths!!

One "new" thing we started this fall was giving the kids an allowance.  I've always been opposed to allowances for a myriad of reasons, but, for a different myriad of reasons, we decided it was time for them to start managing their own money.  Allowances began in September, and I have been mostly pleased with the d…


I don't know if I mentioned it or not, but last weekend Tony and I flew to Miami and joined friends from Georgia on a cruise to the Bahamas.  We've had this in the works for a few months, and we had such an amazing time.  It was just 4 days (and not nearly long enough), but a wonderful time of getting to reconnect with each other and some of our dearest friends!  Our trips to the States are great at keeping in touch with "old friends," but being able to completely focus on friendship was a fabulous use of a weekend!

We left our house a little before 4am to be able to catch the flight and the boat in Miami.  We left the Port of Miami around 4:00pm and spent a few hours enjoying the boat.  Then, it was time to get cleaned up for dinner.  After dinner we enjoyed a few "game shows" and then we watched the main production, "Divas."  It was an excellent first night that lasted well into the morning!
By 10am, the boat had ported in the beautiful Bahamas! …

My Birthday!!

(was Saturday!)  Here's the pictorial review of my birthday evening!

After a lovely dinner out, we came home, and I was sequestered to my room while they set everything up.  I came into the living room, and they kids and Tony jumped up from behind the couch, yelled, "Happy Birthday!", and threw balloons in the air!  Fun!!  For the first time ever, Tony took the kids to choose presents for me.  Normally, I'm not one who "needs" presents, but this special treat did make my birthday extra special!
Coralynn selected silver metallic nail polish.
Camilla got me a travel mug and a new grater.
We somehow managed to not get pictures of the older kids with their presents, but here is the whole lot of gifts!  Adidas running shirt from Tony, chocolate bar and makeup bag from Chloe, Pyrex measuring cup and gold earrings from Carson, plus the gifts from the little girls!  I loved it all!
I requested something chocolate, peanut butter, and vegan as my birthday dessert.  C…

Wednesday's Praises!

~It's a beautiful day!  I do love the rainy season, but I needed today to be sunny, and it is!  The blue skies have given me an extra lift of spirit!

~My house is quiet even though everyone is here!  It's calm, productive, and peaceful.  Deep sigh of contentment.

~It's October- my favorite month.  Although Panama doesn't experience autumn, my soul still goes through the experience.  The need to nest, to prepare for the upcoming winter.  We won't feel the biting weather, but my soul still prepares for it.

~My birthday is on Saturday!!!  I love birthdays, including mine!!!  Woohoo!!!  35 in 3 days.  Here I come!

~Coralynn and I had a chance to "snuggles" this morning!  I can't put into words how thankful I am to be home schooling, but I do miss all the one-on-one time Coralynn and I used to have.  I was so pleased that we found the time to curl up on the couch and snuggles.

For Grandpa Bob

Because he loves her freckles.

Wednesday's Praises

It has been a long time since we've done a weekly praise day, so I thought today would be the day to get back at it!

~The kids are all doing an amazing job in school!  I'm so proud at how well they've adjusted to the switch to home schooling!

~Tony and I have been getting in a weekly date night!  I love getting to spend time with him!

~We just passed our 2.5 year anniversary of moving to Panama!  It feels like we've lived here forever, but I am thankful for all that we've lived in those 2.5 years!

~Coralynn Mae is making progress at speech class!  It still hurts my heart to see her struggling so much, but I'm in awe of how smoothly finding a therapist and getting her in therapy worked!

~Two weeks from today, Grandma will be here!  We all love Ebby!

~Bible reading with Camilla.  I am amazed of this kid's thoughtful questions and insights as she reads through the Bible.  For those who think they can't get anything out of the Scripture, let Camilla be an e…

11 Years. 2 Months.

Today Chloe turns 11 years and 2 months old.  That seemed like a great reason to share a picture of my beautiful oldest daughter.

Chopped- Our Family's Edition!

I've mentioned before that I love Food Network's Chopped.  We decided that we were going to have our own Chopped Challenge.  The boys (Tony and Carson) took on the girls (Chloe and Camilla).   Coralynn and I served as judges.  We decided that we would have two rounds: side dish and dessert. Everyone would advance to the dessert round, but someone would have an "advantage."

The Teams:

The Men (and Judge Bits)
The Ladies Round One:  Side Dish
Before the Reveal
The Secret Ingredients: Edamama, Ginger Ale, Onion, Hot Peppers, Rice Krispies
Tony, from Team Men, working on the edamame (and sporting the Illini hat after an exciting victory for the Illinois football team over the Cincinnati Bearcats)
Carson, also from Team Men, smashing the rice krispies with a pan.
Completely unrelated, but really cute picture of Cosita's tail.  I love Cosita's tail!
Roving reporter, Cosita, checking in from the kitchen.
Chloe, from Team Ladies, working on a pretty presentation.

I wish there were words.

I wish there was space to type them.

But the words don't do justice.  And a plethora of words won't better describe Him.

God is too great and too good to fit in a blog post.  Or in a thousand blog posts.

He doesn't just love you.  He IS love.  When He sees you, He sees His love.

It's too much to describe.  I can't do it.

I've been trying to find the perfect picture to use as a metaphor.  The perfect 1000-word picture that clearly demonstrates this kind of love. 


Tony and I had an amazing weekend of worship.  Of revelation.  Of peace.  Of  Word.  Of love.


The Lord has been spiritually prepping us for it.  Just as the Midwestern skies grow dark, and the smell of ozone takes over, and the rain lightly begins to fall, and the winds pick up, and the thunderstorm finds it full strength, our relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit has been building.

This weekend was not the culmination.  The storm didn't rage only to leave us the same. 

Watermelon Time!

Everyone has a favorite food.  For me, it's avocado.  No, it is cauliflower. Or maybe asparagus.   Ok, some people have lots of favorite foods, but Coralynn Mae has one.  Watermelon.