Showing posts from March, 2017

Chloe is HOME!!

We all survived her week away, but now she is home, and my house and my heart are full!
And can I tell you what?
I really, really like her.  
I'm her mom, and I have to love her, but I am beyond thankful that I like her so much.
She is just an amazing person.  She's a mess because she's human, but she is probably the greatest 14-year-old I've ever met.
Because of a weird pick-up time from the trip, I had to take her back to work with me this afternoon. She didn't want to sit in my classroom for 2 hours (sounds like my students), so she hung out in the nurses office. 
I don't have a class the very end of the day, so I was able to spend that time with her and whomever else was in the nurse's office.  Those 30 minutes were the highlight of my week.
When I came down, she was hanging out with two seniors- one of whom she's never met.  They were going through instagram and laughing at the old pictures like they'd known each other for ever.
Fairly soon, it…

This is not ok.

We've discussed before how true calm doesn't come for me until everyone is home for the night.  This extends to other people's cars in our apartment building's garage.  I shouldn't need 2A's '07 Camry to be parked to be able to sleep at night.  It's weird.  I understand that.
Just because I know this is weird doesn't mean I can change it.  And, even if I had figured out how to change it, tonight would be a test to my new-found mental health.
Tonight, Chloe is on her school trip to somewhere in Panama.  At least, I'm pretty sure it's in Panama.  I keep telling people where she went, and people keep getting this weird look on their face because they have no idea where that is.  This is not settling for me.  Don't these people know that a Toyota not at home at 20:00 can make me anxious?  My child missing in the expanse of Panama is not helpful.  
Oh. wait.  We got an email with pictures in it.  I still don't know where she is, but she h…


Time for this week's confession.
It's only Sunday.  I know. 
Technically, this confession comes from last week, but I had a confession blog on Wednesday.  I wanted to give it a little space.
Tonight's confession:
I have no faith.  Like none.  
There are a handful of people who I trust.  Jesus is not one of those people.
(feeling better about yourself yet?)
But, late last week, He shocked me.  He did what I've been telling myself since August was impossible.
************* Last August, we learned who Coralynn's teacher would be.  And, we learned that she was 7.5 months pregnant.  I was so sad because this meant Coralynn was going to have multiple teachers. Last year, she had 2 teachers and 3 teacher's aides.  That's a lot of change for a 5-year-old.  I didn't want a repeat, but here we were again.
The sub came in October, and I fell in love with her warm disposition and her teaching excellence. She was exactly the kind of teacher who makes Coralynn thrive…

Satan Suuuuucks!

I didn't blog last night because I went to Bible study.  I haven't been to Bible study in 7 weeks , but last night it was important for me to go.  I'm not really sure why, but I really felt like I was supposed to be there.

I spent the afternoon finishing (and starting) the homework that I was supposed to be working on over the past 2 weeks.  And, do you know what?  The homework so applied to me that I thought Priscilla Shirer had been hanging out in my brain!!!  So crazy!!  So, so relevant!

This week's focus was peace.  Learning when to use peace, how to find peace, what the Bible says about peace.  And, do you know what?  I haven't had peace in so, so long.  The study moved me to those deep, ugly places that I want to hide, but then I'm so thankful when they are cleaned out!

I got to Bible study, and the power immediately went out.  At that point, I knew Satan was on the move.  (That should have been enough to convince me to get ready for battle, but I'm k…


1.  We finally got it done.  Our immigration status is updated, and we are good to go.  I HATE feeling like I'm breaking the rules (unless it's eating dessert), so I am super happy to have this taken care of. We still have to wait before we can get our driver's licenses renewed, but at least we are almost there.

2.  We're not moving. That's our moving announcement.   So, why the last post?  Why the tension?  Isn't just staying put easier?  Well, no.  Because, we might be moving in a year which means we will potentially be in this exact same place next year.  I want my kids to feel settled.  I want to feel settled.  I'd love to be in Panama until Chloe graduates, but the company can't make those kinds of commitments.  Next year, Chloe will be a sophomore.  If we move next year, is she going to move with us?  Or, is she going to finish high school- at a school she loves- in Panama?  Carson wanted to run middle school cross country and track in the US.  Al…

Three-Thing Thursday

Finding the gems in an otherwise ucky day...
1.  Talking to my educational mentor (aka- Best Friend) on the phone first thing this morning.
I miss my heart people.  I have awesome, great, lovely, fun friends here in Panama.  But, they aren't my heart people.  To make it worse, life has gotten in the way of talking to my heart people.  This morning, however, the clouds parted, and I got to have a for-real conversation with my dearest heart person.  We talked about my possible future in education.  We barely touched the educational future of my kids.  It didn't make life all better, but it made me feeling like I was winning at something.

2.   Finishing a book.

Today, I came home and locked myself in my bedroom- after some niceties with the kids.  I needed to finish a book.  I needed to have control over something.  The last too many books I've read have been not very good (the bottom 4 and the top one).  I had higher hopes for this book (#4).  Unfortunately, it was about 100…

6 Years!

Today is the 6-year anniversary of moving to Panama!  I was trying to come up with some insightful thoughts on that event.  Nothing was really coming to me, but then I decided to look back on what I wrote during those first days.  As I read them, I couldn't find any reason to rephrase them when I could just reprint them.  
Please enjoy this flashback to March 2011...
So, the goal was to have the background information all on the blog before we ever moved.  um.  That didn't happen so I'm going to share a brief version of the timeline just so everyone can basically be on the same page!!!

October 6- We return from a wonderful family vacation to Panama City Beach, Florida.  We loved the time together!!!

October 7- Tony calls me in the morning- early.  His boss has come in to let him know that he is being considered for a position overseas.  The person who is asking about him has heard that we have had another baby and wants to know if we are still interested in an ISE (CAT-s…

Journal or a Blog?

Y'all, I'm not sure if this is a journal entry or a blog post.  It's definitely a stream of consciousness.  I don't have the mental energy to complete thoughts.

Yesterday, Carson turned 13 years old. I can't begin to describe how proud I am of my son.  He is uniquely gifted, and he lives out those gifts.  But, everyone has struggles, and he has had more this year than I would wish on anyone.  I'm proud that he appears to be walking out of them with himself- his thoughts, personality, softness- intact.

Today, we found out that the immigration process has progressed one step.  This is a total answer to prayer.  Continue praying with us that everything will be completed by the middle of next week.  I'm weary.

Also, today, we got word on what happens to us next year.  This is where my thoughts get all mushy. We've been waiting for this news since August.  And now we have it.  I thought I was going to feel a weight lift as we finally got answers.  I thought …

3-Thing Thursday

Today's theme: These are a few of my favorite things!

1.  Favorite Picture.

I love teenagers.  By FAR, teenagers are more fun for me to parent than babies and toddlers.  (I am not a fan of babies.  I do my best to act like I like babies, but that's not my gig.  Tony, on the other hand, is the baby whisperer.  He loves, loves babies.)  One of my favorite things about teenagers is their need to photograph every moment.  This picture, that Chloe took, makes me smile. I love the relationship she and I have formed after YEARS of tension, and I think this picture captures that fondness.

2.  Favorite Purchase.

Shopping is my favorite thing.  If that makes me shallow, than I'm about this big of a human being, and I can live with that.  I love the packaging of items.  I love the bags that the stores use to wrap the purchases.  I love seeing all the colors and styles and trends.  I just love it.  This trip's favorite purchase is of my favorite thing: eye liner.  I promise I am …

Cruising- a photo review

Night one, we went to the Hasbro Game Show!  I was selected to be a contestant on the show.  My team won- but I didn't win the big prize!

Leaving Long Beach!

For Tony and Carson, a day at sea equaled a game of mini golf!  (For Camilla and me, a day at sea meant getting sea sick!)

The amazing view of the ship from Catalina Island, off the California coast.

We took a dolphin-watching excursion.  I was thrilled to get to see dolphins, whales, sea lions, and a seal.  We were also the only ones who had signed up for the trip, so we had the boat to ourselves!

If you look carefully, you can see the dolphins in the water. 

So many dolphins!! I'm that mean hippie dippy vegan-ish mom who doesn't let her kids go to zoos or animal parks, so this was an amazing opportunity to see actual dolphins in the actual wild doing actual stuff dolphins do.  I never wanted it to end.

But, the tour had to end, so we had some ice cream and headed back to the boat.

The next morning, we had arrived in…

Vacation Review! Day 2!

If you can't tell, I love Los Angeles.  I am city girl who spent entirely too many years living in the middle of a cornfield.  I love the energy of a city, the noise and chaos, the opportunities.  I particularly love Los Angeles because of it's spread-out feel.  I never feel suffocated in LA like I do in Chicago.

This trip I discovered something else I love about LA- the races start at 9 am instead of 7 am.  Now, it's totally possible that every race doesn't start so late, but not having to get up incredibly early on race day is a blessed reprieve for us.

I should probably back up.  Maybe everyone's family doesn't run a 5k on vacation?  That's a shame! I was telling Susan, my SIL, that I wanted to do something different.  I don't love tourist-attraction vacation.  Every so often I enjoy a sight (see below), but I much prefer to do life in the cities we visit. When Susan mentioned the Screenland 5k, my family was all in.  Well, Tony, Chloe, and Carson w…

A Few Little Promises

If I haven't mentioned it before, you haven't been paying attention.  J/k.  If I haven't mentioned it before, I am a ponderer.  I can't help but think through everything every which way.  It's just how I'm wired.  But, being a ponderer requires more time than I've had recently.  I wasn't surprised that being on vacation allowed me the opportunity to dig into my life.  In doing so, I've realized that I had a lot to ponder!  And, I needed to make a few promises to myself.  (Maybe this is three-thing Tuesday?)
1.  I will journal at least 5 minutes a day.
Writing is my lifeline.  It allows me an outlet for the never-ending thought parade that runs through my mind.  It centers me enough to make it through an entire thought- from beginning to end.  It slows me down so that I can hear from the Lord.  He and I will work through my thoughts together.  It's easier for me to go deeper with Jesus if I'm writing.  It releases frustrations and tensions th…

I TRIED!!! (Vacay Day 1 Review)

We arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday, and I tried to blog.  But, google's security is smarter than I am, so I wasn't able to post!  My apologies!!

But, to happier news...

We made it out of Panama with limited issues!  Tony did have to use the force on one security gentleman.  The man wasn't understanding when our immigration stuff got messed up, so he wasn't understanding the amount the exit fine should be.  After we moved on to the next person up the chain, everything improved quickly.  It made for a very nerve-wracking half hour, but then we were through security and ready for vacation!!

Our flight to LA was perfect, and we made it in and out of the airport (customs, baggage claim, and rental car) in less than an hour.  Anyone who travels ever knows that is a miracle of Jesus!  And, really. this trip was very much about Jesus showing me just how much He has it under control.  He really, really does.  For instance, we got a Toyota Sienna at the rental car place.  Thi…