Showing posts from March, 2013

Happy Easter!!

From our home to yours!

Thursday and Friday

I have not been very good at keeping up with the daily blog post!  Sorry!  I also am working on the Forks Over Knives post that Karen and I were discussing in the comments section.  (Please, feel free to let me know your thoughts, too!)

Yesterday, we enjoyed a super fun time of bowling.  I love bowling.  I love watching the kids bowl.  Unfortunately, the lighting in the bowling alley is completely incompatible with photography.  I was able to snap this one classic for y'all:

Today, Good Friday, is a vacation day for Tony so we were able to hit the pool early.  We are very fortunate to have a gorgeous pool in our complex that definitely gives the vacation feel to visitors.  The kids also love having Grandma swim with them. We decided to let Coralynn give a try with the water wings.  She was a success! A very tired success!! 


Sorry, I have been absent for a few days.  My mom has been here, and the kids and I have been enjoying some Grandma time.  Apparently, Grandma just brings great peace to our home.

While the rest of the kids watched Forks Over Knives with us, Camilla sacked out on Grandma.
And, Cosita is pretty much obsessed with Grandma.  We're trying to convince Grandma to take the dog home with her, but she hasn't agreed, yet.  Someone should probably call my Dad and warn him!

Grandma is coming!!


And, the kids are so excited that I can't get them to focus on getting anything done!

Instead of blogging, I'm going to follow them around making sure they do something other than check the clock!

Night all!

Random Photos

I got the blog in before the end of the day!  Whew!

It has been such an odd day- did your day start with an email about a toxic cloud over the city where you live?- that I'm not up to blogging.  Here are a few random pictures from recent life.

We've been working hard on our vegan diet, and this was a great success.  It was a gnocchi recipe from Happy Herbivore Abroad.  Vegan is very yummy!
When I was taking pictures of Camilla's new one-tooth-less smile, Coralynn insisted in getting in on the action.  This is officially an out take.
This picture isn't very good, but do you see the spoiled puppy with her head propped up on the pillow?  This is the same puppy that isn't allowed on the furniture.  Life's tough for Cosita.

A For-Real Announcement

Two years ago when we moved to Panama, we thought we knew what some of the big markers of life would be.  We knew which house we'd chosen.  We had a pretty good idea what church to attend.  And, we were beyond confident about which school we wanted- Balboa Academy.

Within just a few months of living in Panama, we made the decision to apply at the school attached to our church.  We applied to Crossroads, and we were immediately told there was no way Carson would be able to attend because his class was "closed."  We went ahead with the process, and we were told that Camilla's class was also "closed."  Chloe, if she passed the entrance exams, would have a spot. 

At 5:00 the night before we were to be at the school at 8:00am, I got a call from the secretary letting us know that spots had opened up in Camilla and Carson's classes.  If they passed the exams, they would be able to attend.  We received word a few days later that all 3 children had spots waitin…


We've been waiting for months. 

Several weeks ago, we got a real sign of hope.

And, today, we had success!

Well, the school nurse had success.

Camilla lost her first tooth!!

Annoucement Number One:

Drumroll, please...

*Can you hear it?*

We found out the next step in Tony's career journey!  We are...

Oh, hi, dear.

What?  What do you mean I can't share yet?    Why isn't everything determined?  You're still in discussions about it?   But, I wanted to tell everyone today.  Seriously?  There's nothing I can tell?

Sorry all.

I thought by now we'd have some news to announce, but we don't.

Please pray for all these discussions and decisions.  We've gotten a clear peace about our options.  Now, we just need to see what the company decides.  Thanks.

(And I promise there will be a for-real, non-pregnancy announcement this week.)

At 11:30 tonight,

we will have lived in Panama for 2 years.

I remember March 15, 2011, like it was yesterday.

The tears.  The nerves.  The trip to the pharmacy because I had an UTI.

I remember sitting on the circle benches in the international wing of the airport and sending one final text message to everyone.  I just wanted to say goodbye.  And, to be perfectly honest, I wanted everyone to tell me goodbye one last time.

I remember.  All of it.

I think the part I remember the most clearly is being dropped off at the hotel. Our flight had left hours late, and then, upon arrival, we had to get through customs and baggage claim.  We'd barely gotten the first breath-stealing shock of tropical air in the lungs when we'd found our driver and piled in his minivan.  We drove in the blackness to the activity of the heart of the city.  The driver dropped us off at the hotel. The gorgeous .Hotel Riu. Tony, me, the kids, 12 checked bags, 6 carry-on bags, 6 personal items, and 2 carseats sitting collapsing …

Not much.

Not tonight.  No thoughts or ponderings.  Nothing.  I've got a cold.   I don't feel good.  I should have been in bed hours ago.  Fortunately, my sweet kids agreed to make dinner for me.  Chloe was in charge of cooking, Carson read the recipes, and Camilla tried to get them to let her help.  I'm blessed.

March 13, 2013

It's Carson's birthday!!  He requested scrambled eggs for his breakfast, so we decided to sing and blow out a candle, too!  (I had no idea that hot eggs would melt the candle!)
I think this candle and egg thing might be a new (though, non vegan) tradition!
Hope he made a wish!
In honor of the birthday extravaganza, the kids were allowed to have juice with breakfast!  Such the splurge!
After school, Carson began the series of skype calls from his birthday well wishers.  Little did he know that Uncle Tim was part of the "birthday surprise" that we've been talking about!
Uncle Tim let Carson know that he will be coming from California in a few weeks to watch the Star Wars series with Carson. 

Clearly, Carson was thrilled, and I loved watching Uncle Tim get a kick out of Carson's reaction.  It was another reminder that I'm blessed with a great son and a great big bro!
Finally, it was time for a celebratory meal at .T.G.I.Friday's.  (Will never go back, b…

When the going gets tough,

the tough take a nap.

Not everyone is going to understand.

This post that is.  Really, the only people who are going to understand are our Georgia friends.

But, I wanted to share anyway, because I learned something this weekend.

I've been parenting Chloe for almost 11 years now.  I have to constantly re-count because that doesn't seem possible.  She was born in 2002.  This is 2013.  Yes, that is 11 years.  I've mentioned before that she and I had a few tough years (decade), but things are so much better.  Mostly because I've shut up and started listening.

Really, really listening.  She isn't one to just pour out her soul, but when she asks a question or shares a sentence, it is something she's really thought through.  She's a ponderer.  And, she carefully selects whom she is going to say what to.  It's because she's deemed that person worthy.

She loves people, but she doesn't want them around all the time.  She needs to have the knowledge that she has good friends, but she doesn't need for them to …


(sorry about missing yesterday- we had a busy day, and I forgot about the blog.)

Sunday afternoon is chill time at our house.

Chloe paints.

Carson reads.

Camilla watches TV.

I play on the computer.

Tony works.

Coralynn naps.

Except when she doesn't.

I was reading on my kindle, and I heard a soft clinking noise.

The girls went to check on the dog because we assumed she'd gotten into something.

Nope, she was fine.


Figuring it was something on TV, I went back to my book.

More clinking.

I didn't see anything.

Tony was in the playroom right next to Coralynn's room, so I assumed he had that side of the house under control.

The clinking was getting louder.

I got up to find the sound.

I turned the corner, and the clinking was definitely coming from Coralynn's room.

Tony was listening to his ipod.  That explains it.

I opened Coralynn's door.

And found this...

Coralynn was in the dark, in the closet, and in trouble.  She was playing with the tea set instead of nappi…

Royal Ball!

Once a year, the church hosts the "Royal Ball" when the kids get all dressed up and have a fun night as knights and princesses.  I LOVE getting dressed up, and getting my kids dressed up is equally fun for me!!

(In theory, I would edit these pictures so there aren't so many, but I want them all.  And, it's my blog.  So there.)

Camilla Rose- 1st grader:

Carson David- 3rd grade: 

Princess Bits (not attending)- almost 3: 

Chloe Marie- 5th grade: 

My Girls:
My School Kids: All My Babies:

So easy a 10-year-old could do it!

Tony has been working late this week, so Chloe decided she was taking over the cooking.  (That sounds like Tony cooks.  Um.  No.  We're more flexible in what we eat when Tony doesn't come home for dinner so that was a good opportunity to try her hand at making dinner.)

Tonight, she pulled out Chloe's Kitchen, her favorite vegan cookbook.  She settled on a baked mac n cheese recipe.  I wasn't sure she would pull it off, but she surprised all of us!

Slaving away over the hot stove!
Hot out of the oven!

Truth and Solitaire

I need downtime.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that before now.

And, often times, my downtime comes in the form of a few mindless games of solitaire.

Sunday night, Coralynn asked if she could curl up with my while I played.

Sure.  Why not?

As we sat there cuddling in the chair with the laptop on my lap, I played solitaire.  And, she helped.

Here's the thing, though.

She doesn't know how to play.  At all.  She's 2.  She's the Bits.  She is not the solitaire genius she believes herself to be.

After about 10 minutes of her assistance, I was getting frustrated.  This was supposed to be an exercise is cuddling and mindlessness.  It was not supposed to be her barking instructions at me every 3 seconds.

I asked her to stop. 


I started to put her down, and she started to cry.

I can't handle hearing her cry so I picked her back up.  (And, spare me the lecture on letting her cry.  It isn't going to happen.  Thank you.)

As I sat there, I put the laptop aw…


We've been doing some extra math facts to keep our strong math students strong and to help our stuggling math students improve.

Carson's intensity- in everything- makes me smile.  He's just an intense kid.  And, math-fact practice is no different.

(I especially love the tiny pencil behind his ear.  And, yes, Cosita did eat the couch.)

First Grade is Tough!

My phone started buzzing a little before 8:00 this morning.  That usually means that either Carson forgot his lunch or we are moving.  Today, it wasn't either of those things.  There had been a little accident at school.  My most-prone-to-fall child had fallen.  On her face.  Again.

(Please excuse the "branding" across her face.  I don't normally do that, but she looks so bad that I didn't want someone to decide to steal this picture for a domestic violence campaign.)

Camilla has broken her nose once, almost broken her nose once, and gotten a 3rd degree sunburn on her face.  I'm not sure what it is about her face, but it has had more bumps and bruises than it deserved.  Today, she was running to get her backpack to line up for school, and she stepped wrong where the gravel changed to cement.  The poor thing lost her balance and fell forward.  The good news is that the bump on her head isn't bothering her at all.  Also, the nurse had her put ice on it for a…

Quotation from the Weekend

Coralynn and I went to her little playgroup on Friday.  She's the youngest no-nbaby there.

On the way home, we had this conversation:

Bits:  Momma, I'm not a BeBe.  I da Bid Gurl.  (I'm the big girl)
Me:  Yes, you are a big girl.
Bits.  Dyes.  I da Bid Gurl.  I eat guac-mole-A.

Yes, ma'am, that's the sign of grown-up-ness- eating guacamole!

Since my parents are fielding questions,

I thought we should go and clear up that I'm not pregnant.

I make any mention of an announcement, and people start coming up with names.  :)

Unfortunately, no baby announcement, but I'm still looking forward to an amazing March!

Welcome to March!

I am so glad to be out of January and February!  For reasons dating back to the growing up in Illinois years, I dislike January and February.  They are the dreary-weathered, post-holiday-fun, blech months.  I have some dear people with birthdays during those months, but I have not lived near enough to celebrate with them on their birthdays since ... um... hmm... I have no idea.  See?  January and February are uck months!

March, in Illinois, gives the hint of warmer weather and means basketball madness.  Definitely 2 of my favorite things!  March holds a special anniversary and a very important birthday- Carson's!

In celebration of this special month, we're going to have an extra fun time here on the blog.  They'll be a couple of celebrations, hopefully a few announcements, and, in honor of Carson's love of talking, a DAILY blog post!

I look forward to spending this beginning-of-Spring month with you!  Have a great Friday!  I'll see you tomorrow!