Showing posts from 2014

Word of the Year!!

It's that time of year again- when the year ends and a new year begins!!  And, that means it's time for our annual "Word of the Year."  I've been so busy playing that I had almost forgotten about this tradition, but during a time of prayer, the Lord brought it back to me.

Originally, I thought my word was going to be live because I want to live every moment of 2015.  Oh, speaking of that, did I mention that we're going to ...

(isn't Coralynn's handwriting getting good!)
Originally, Tony and I planned to go to Dubai for our anniversary, but after some prayer, we decided we'd do two smaller trips.  Vegas was all about romance.  Disney is all about family.  
Of course, then, live was the perfect word.  I've also been upfront about dealing with depression and anxiety, and I wanted this year to be the end of those so I wanted to focus on living.  As I prayed, though, the Lord kept bringing another word to me, healing.  
Interesting word.
As I …

Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon!!

December 18, 1999, Tony and I were married.  For the next 5 days, as we were on our honeymoon, I threw up.  Gotta love the stomach flu!  Our anniversary trip made up for our miserable first vacation!

After flying first class on Copa Airlines (our FAVORITE airline), we arrived in Las Vegas about 3:00pm.  We went straight to check into the Wynn.

Tony had booked us in the beautiful Tower Suites, and this was the private entrance so the Tower Suites guests don't have to deal with the main lobby.

After we got over the AMAZING room (You Can't Even Imagine This Room), we headed out to explore the famous Las Vegas Strip. This picture was taken just a few steps outside of the Wynn.

When we returned to the room, we found this dessert waiting for us to help us celebrate our 15th anniversary!

We were only on the 25th floor, but the view was amazing from our room when we awoke.  The mountains in the background were breathtaking.

This is Tableau, the restaurant where we had our compliment…

Re-entry Sickness!

We spent our 15th anniversary here...

(This was just our room at the Wynn's Tower Suites!  Not the lobby, but just 1800 square feet of our luxurious room!)

Then, we returned to hit Christmas Eve service, Christmas morning, and New Year's prep.  The blog has been quiet because we've been busy living it up!

Stay tuned this week for our Las Vegas review, and this year's "Word" post!

Merry Christmas- a bit belated!!

One of Those Moments

When you look down from what you're doing, and see your four-year-old.  She's happily playing a game all by herself.  Because all the other kids are gone, you've had an extra moment to do "fun hair," and she's clearly pleased with your work.  You look down, and you feel like you're going to explode from the rush of love you have for that sweet child.  Not because she's the cutest, or the smartest, or the most anything.  The overwhelming love you feel is simply because she's yours.

Just Like Grandpa

My journal is falling apart.  The pages have separated from the binding.  I've glued it.  I've used mounting tape.  I've tried just about everything to keep it together.  At Bible study last week, someone mentioned that I should put a rubber band around it.  I hadn't thought about that.
A few days later, I asked Tony if we had rubber bands.  He found one.  A big ugly red one.  I wrapped it around the journal disgusted that it was going to look bad.  Then, it hit.
A big smile of remembrance.  Grandpa (my Dad's Dad) used to wrap all his things in a rubber band.
Who knew that one sweet memory could totally change the way I saw an ugly red rubber band?


Nothing takes more of my time each day than parenting so I thought I'd give you a glimpse in to my parenting...

Camilla Rose.  My beautiful blond daughter.  My beautiful blond daughter who is forever falling on her face. 

She was playing catch with a friend, went for the ball, and landed on her teeth.  Of course, she decided to do this on a Saturday of a holiday weekend.  Excellent.  Fortunately, she was in no pain, and she got her new filled-in teeth on Tuesday morning!

The major part of my parenting is teaching my kids about Jesus.  I love our church because children matter.  Last Sunday, our pastor called the children up to the front and had grown ups pray over them.

Then, he had the children pray over the grown ups.   I love the recognition that kids have a purpose in God's kingdom while they're still kids.  They don't have to wait until they are the grown ups to have value. 

I'm nowhere near the kind of parent I once was.  (Could you…

Reviewing the Past Few Weeks...

I got back form Los Angeles, and I was immediately thrown into some busyness that I didn't expect.  The good news is that November equals many Panamanian holidays which means slower days for me!  yeah!  I thought I'd just give y'all a quick update of what's been going on with us!

I was so excited to receive an upgrade to first class on my flight to Los Angeles.  We travel a lot, but I've never before experienced first class.  It was amazing.  I'm still not sure I'd pay full price for the experience, but, wow, it definitely made my 7-hour trip to California EASY!

My bff and I arrived in Palm Springs which was probably the quietest place I've ever visited.  The desert beauty was incredible.  It is hard to believe that this place is just a few hours from the chaos (that I love) of Los Angeles.

We were able to go horseback riding which is one of my favorite things.  I haven't been in years (like decades), but it was everything I remembered and loved.  (…

Heading out.

Tomorrow, I am headed to Los Angeles for a quick trip with my BFF to celebrate her birthday!!  I can't wait for this little getaway and to spend time with people I don't see often enough.

Amazing view from the Cinta Costera

Yesterday was running class so you know my heart and mind are full of things to share, but they'll have to wait.  Preparing my luggage and the notes for the substitute teacher take priority today.

I'll be back in Panama on Monday, and I'll look forward to blogging Tuesday or Wednesday- which happens to be Tony's birthday!  Y'all know that I love birthdays!

Have an amazing weekend!

More ponderings.

My 9 days away from the blog have been spent pondering.  Well, they've been spent driving the kids places, home schooling, cooking, chatting, and all kinds of other things.  But, my mind has been pondering.

The hour I spend downtown with Carson each Tuesday has become a time of great renewal for me.  He runs, and I think.  In the noisy quiet of city buzz, I'm able to steal away into myself.  It's perhaps the highlight of my every week.  I'm an extrovert in the truest, most textbook ways, but this one hour-long conversation with myself allows me the interaction that keeps me moving.

I walked and pondered your words about this blog and its purpose.  That led me to pondering me and my purpose.  Which, ultimately, led me to a place of deep gratitude for this place I'm in.  Not just Panama City, Panama, but also the place I'm in with my journey through life.
I'm sure part of it is being okay with being an adult,   I'm even more sure that an even bigger part …

Day 30.

We made it!!

September is over, and we made it with 27 blog posts.  I'm pretty impressed with myself- even if Dad just sent me a message to remind me to blog.  (Technically, he just asked if I needed encouragement.)  And thank you to those who've read with me each day. (or day or 2)

So, what have I learned through this process?

Mostly, I've learned that I love writing, but that the lack of clear scope of the blog and the uncertain audience makes blogging incredibly difficult for me.

There were times during the month that I wanted to pour my soul out all over the laptop.  I wanted to go to those deep, sometimes ugly, places where my mind spends much time, but I despise drama.  Yes, my former bestie, drama, now makes me physically ill.  I can handle real and emotional, but I can't stand all the syrup-y nonsense that is taking over blogs and social media.

So, how do I pour out my soul without dripping in drama on a blog that doesn't have clear parameters with an unk…

Day 29. No more ideas.

I'm not sure what to blog on.  I have nothing that would take an entire post.  How about a series of random thoughts?

1.  My birthday is in 6 days!!!  (and I'll be in the US in 3 weeks if you want to mail me something.)

2.  Coralynn has made great progress in her speech class.  Today, there was talk of her graduating out of the program fairly soon!

3.  At the Bible Superhero Party last weekend, Carson had his bass-guitar playing debut.  I hear he did well!

4.   I think it's super fun having a 7th grader for a daughter.  She's 12, and I love the age.  I love being able to have real conversations with one of my children.  It feels like a reward for all those newborn baby days that aren't my favorite.

5.  Tony and his coworkers went on a hike today- at an old US Air Force base.  Then, they had shaved ices.  This mental picture has made me laugh all day.

6.  We're trying to come up with good vacation locations for our 15th anniversary trip.  Dubai had a HUGE lead, …

Day 27.

Tonight, the three older kids got to go to Bible Superhero Night at church.  Chloe was a leader, Carson was in the band, and Camilla was an attender.  The dress code for the evening was becoming a Bible hero with a modern twist.  Well, we aren't so great with costumes, but I love a twist!

Camilla decided to become Miriam.   So, she went, of course, as the big sister with a baby in her basket!

Carson decided to dress as a basketball player to become the modern David.  Why a basketball player?  Because David was the only one willing to take the shot at Goliath.

Chloe dressed in an apron with cooking and cleaning supplies.  Of course, she was a modern-day Martha!

Day 25.

Y'all the most exciting this is happening.  And will continue for the next 36 ish hours.

At 3pm, I returned home.  I don't have to leave the house until 9:00 Saturday morning!  In all seriousness, I can't tell you the last time I went that long without driving.


If you need me, I'll be at home!!!

Day 24.

It's a gorgeous, sunny, warm day today in Panama City, Panama.  Normally, we would be in the middle of the rainy season, but we've gotten a reprieve from the rain for a few days.  Unfortunately, instead of being able to play outside, Coralynn had an hour-long speech class.  To reward her for her great attitude and hard work, I decided she needed a treat.  A treat in the form of a strawberry smoothie.  (Momma may have rewarded herself with some iced chai.)

Which, of course, required a smoothie selfie!

Day 23.

I've talked plenty about my love for my friends.  They are amazing, and I'm so thankful for them.

But, I had to laugh at myself the other day.
I was on Facebook to share a link with my brother.  When I went to send it, Facebook asked me, "Share on your friend's timeline?"
I actually said to myself That's not my friend.  That's my brother!
Yes, my friends are amazing members of my extended family, but nothing quite compares to my family.

Day 21. A Review From Yesterday

Just another Sunday in Panama...

We started our morning at our church, Gamboa Union, where we know that "God Loves Tourists."  There really isn't a quick way to describe Gamboa Union.  We never really know what each Sunday is going to look like, but we know we want to see what happens.

This Sunday, we had "hello" and "goodbyes" to say.  The amazing couple on the left are leaving Panama and moving to South Korea.  They have been an awesome example of living every day completely and sacrificially.

Then, we said "hello" to a dance team from YWAM.  It was so much fun to be sitting at a church in Panama, watching a street dance team from the US and Central America teach kids about Jesus.   This is why my church is more fun than yours.  ;)

Sunday night, we headed to the church we attended when we first moved to Panama, Crossroads Bible Church.  It was the celebration of the completion of the entire bible in the San Blais Kuna Language.  Keith and …