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Showing posts from June, 2013

Tony's Family Reunion!

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The main reason we left for the United States when we did was to attend Tony's family reunion.  We haven't been all together in 5 years, and it was great to see everyone again!  I have so many pictures I want to share, but I need to edit them first, so I'll just tease you with this photo of the (19!) cousins with Grandpa and Grandma.

Does It Ever Just Hit You?

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I'm not sure why, but it just hit me today.

Maybe it's being in my hometown.

Maybe it's all the family photos on the walls.

Maybe it's finally having the opportunity to sit and think.

Maybe it's spending all my time with her precious self.

Whatever the cause, I'm completely overwhelmed with the fact that Coralynn is growing up.

Big girls lay on the floor and color.  Big girls run around the yard playing kick ball. Big girls ask for their princess skirts so they can dance and sing to worship music on youtube. And, I'm struck tonight by how much I love this child.  Truly, I am blessed that she calls me "Momma."  Getting to live life through her eyes makes my life complete. Sometimes, it just hits you. (In case you want to put on your princess skirt and worship with Coralynn, here's her favorite song.) 

Scrabble Time!

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We had a little down time yesterday morning, so Chloe and I decided to play a game of Scrabble.  As Carson would say, we owned it!  Between the two of us, we scored 536 points and used all the pieces.  Not too shabby for a couple of novices!

St. Louis!

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Monday night, we headed to St. Louis for what was supposed to be sightseeing and baseball.  What it ended up being was flash flood warnings and rain delays, but we still had a great time!


The Gateway Arch- on a very rainy day!

Instead of wandering around in the rain, we headed to Union Station for some inside fun.  Although Union Station is a sad version of its former self, we still found some stores to visit. 
The Fudgery is one the St. Louis landmarks of my memory.  I'll never forget the crowd forming as the employees worked the molten chocolate into fudge.  They sang as the crowd cheered.   Watching Coralynn stand in awe of the scene certainly touched my heart. 
(See the chocolate "Arch" in the background?)
We headed to the ballpark and spent the next few hours avoiding the downpour.  Coralynn and Camilla both decided on a Build-A-Bear ballpark souvenir.
Coralynn got a baseball bear, and Camilla chose the Clydesdale.
About 2 hours after the original game time, the r…

We're In Illinois!!

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Last Thursday, the 13th, we left Panama for our U.S. adventure.  Despite the 14 hour trip, the kids did super well, and the trip was very smooth.  The highlight for the kids was the "shuttle" ride to Grandma's.

Instead of driving to Chicago at midnight, Grandpa and Grandma decided to hire someone to pick us up.  I'm still not completely sure why they decided to rent a limo, but it was a super comfy ride!


We're not difficult to feed!!

We leave shortly for a trip to the United States, and I've received more than one message from anxious hostesses concerned about what we can eat.  I know it seems overwhelming at first glimpse, but it's really not hard at all.  I thought I'd write one blog so I can make sure everyone gets the same, complete information.  Let's start with two opening thoughts.

First up, thank you so much for being willing to consider our whole food plant based (WFPB) diet.  It really means a lot to us that people are so concerned about making sure we have something to eat when we're visiting.

Secondly, we are totally fine preparing and bringing food to share that we can eat.  Please, don't feel like you have to do the work.  This choice is ours, and we're willing to do all the work.

With that being said, here are the basics.

What We Don't Eat:
-beef
-pork
-turkey
-chicken
-eggs
-milk
-butter
-any other animal product (such as chicken stock, red dye #40, cream soups, mayo)

Last Day.

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Here are the rest of the pictures and some more of the emotion...

Champions! I volunteered in 3rd grade this year with a program called Battle of the Books.  Kids read all the books on a list, and then compete against other schools.  Yesterday, the last day of school, we had the competition, and we won!!  It was so much fun watching these 12 kids (and the rest of their classmates) celebrate an academic victory.  I was so proud of all their hardwork!!
Best Friends! Oh my.  There just isn't enough space to describe the evolution of this friendship.  There just isn't.  I love both of these girls so much.  This is a picture of forgiveness, patience, grace, and mercy. 
I have no words for this picture.  I just love it. Yes, we are choosing to remove our kids from the school, but we have no doubt that our children were loved.  And are loved.  This is Camilla's first grade teacher, and it was her first year teaching at the school.  This class has several children not returning i…

Lots of emotion.

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Today was the last day of the school year.  It's also the last day my kids, Lord willing, are going to attend a traditional school.  I can't begin to describe the host of emotions that hit me today.  The kids also have friends who are moving from Panama so it was a super emotional day.  I really wanted to write it all out.  Get it all out on the table, but I'm just spent.  Instead, I'll share some pictures and thoughts from the last few days.  Deal?

Wednesday was Honor's Chapel, and Camilla received an award for excellence in behavior all 4 quarters. 
Carson received awards for high honor roll all 4 quarters and excellence in behavior.
Chloe also received the excellence in behavior award and honor roll for all 4 quarters.  I mentioned to the kids that I look forward to seeing their excellence in behavior when we home school next year.  Carson mentioned that everything that happens in normal schools doesn't happen in home schools. 
Also at chapel on Wednesday,…

Friends.

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Coralynn took a late nap yesterday so she wasn't ready for bed when the other kids were.  She got to stay up and hang out with us.  Cosita was beginning the process of becoming calm, sleepy puppy, and Coralynn decided to help.

You know you are loved when Coralynn allows you to snuggle with her favorite blanket
and her special Wow-Wow.