Jan 31, 2008

Day 2 of Panama Trip

The second day in Panama was very educational. We went on a guided bus tour of Panama City and then visited the Panama Canal and watched a ship go through the famous locking system our family has been watching on the Discovery Channel. It was great to learn so much, but Skip and I wished we would have had the children along for a quick history lesson. Seeing things in real life is so much more fun!

Before I get to the Day 2 video, here is my emaculate bathroom. I loved it, but I missed taking a hot bath each day. Showers aren't nearly as relaxing to me.
Here is a pic of me with Skip overlooking a lookout point over the Panama Canal. We enjoyed watching the process of a big heavy loaded ship going through the lock system. We also watched a video of the history of the Panama Canal. I think you can watch the same video on Youtube somewhere, but it was very amazing.


Enjoy a quick highlight video of our Day 2. I must say the best part of Day 2 was laughing my head off at the Casino in Panama City that night. I have never been to Vegas or a Casino before and this was so much fun. I played and quickly lost 4 dollars on a nickel slot machine. That was enough for me. My group decided to throw away a lot of their money at the 5 dollar blackjack table. I must say there was so much fun going on that it seemed like everyone agreed it was worth losing a little money. More to come tomorrow.



video

Panama Day 3


This day was my most favorite day in Panama. My sister, my brother-in-law and myself went on a tour to the Embera Indian Village. We drove about an hour and a half from our resort to the place were we were met by the Indians. We started by taking a motor powered dugout wooden canoe ride through the rain forest. The ride was so much fun, and I actually started crying just looking at the beauty of the lake and the natural untouched forest. Luckily there was water splashing on my face so no one could tell. We came to a waterfall but had to rock climb a short distance to get into the water near the falls. It was really beautiful, but COLD. My brother in-law and I jumped in and my sister took pictures. Sorry, but I am not showing myself in a bathing suit in the falls. Maybe in a few months if I get back in shape. No, I still won't do that. Anyway, after 30 minutes at the waterfall, our Indian friends took us on another 10 minute ride to their village. This was so cool. We were greeted to the sounds of their music and colorful culture from the moment our feet hit the dirt. The women were beautiful and the children ran around us laughing and playing. Some of the women wore beaded tops, but some did not wear anything but a bright colored skirt. They treated us to fish and chips(fried tilapia and fried plantains). It was delicious, but we had lots of bones to watch for. We ate out of handmade plates made of leafs from their trees. It was like a cone shaped bowl. We could watch the women cooking the food as they held their babies on their hips. Reminded me of how I cooked when my kids were little. Even the young girls were helping with the cooking and painting tribal tattoos on us if we wanted to pay a dollar. They said the tattoo would last for 8 days, so I opted out, but my brother in law went for it. A translator shared all kinds of info with us about their history and culture, and then we watched them dance and play music. We were invited to join in and dance, which all of us did. Lastly, we were able to purchase some of their wares, which ranged from beautiful beaded work, to hand carved pieces, and basket weaved treasures. I got a bracelet for Annie(we missed her b-day while we were gone), and a pretty woven plate for display in my entertainment center. My brother -in-law passed out dollars to every village child and their were a lot of them. They were so happy and carefree, but this was also a tourist village. There are other Embera villages that do not open themselves up to the rest of civilization futher away in the rain forest. It was an experience I will never forget. I wish Skip could have been there with me, but he stayed at the resort that day. It would have been very difficult for him to do the climbing and movement required for this trip. He loved hearing all about it and seeing the pics and videos I took.


Me at the waterfall


The typical hut a family lives in at this village



Now for a recap of my day. This video only shows a small part of my day, but you can see some of the beauty I encountered.

video

She Speaks Conference

Okay, so I have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to adding video on Blogger. I tried my best to download the first day of Panama and post a few pics, but I just can't seem to get it right.


Anyway, I do know of an amazing conference coming up in the near future for women who love women's ministry, love to speak, love to write and so much more. I am praying that this opportunity will work out for me. I am also excited because of some of the speakers and friends who will be attending. Proverbs 31 Ministries is giving away a scholarship so go and get the link here and post it on your blog. Who knows, maybe you will win! Maybe I'll win!

Jan 30, 2008

Day One Fun in Video

We are back!!! We had SO MUCH FUN! I want to share every single fun moment with you, but I have to take it easy on the computer and spend time with my sweet children who I missed terribly (well, I did once I got on the plane to come home, but not so much while I was vacationing in paradise). Here is Skip and I making a stroll around the resort when we got there and changed out of our winter clothes. Please ignore the whiteness, it does change to beet red (not tan) over the next three days of my trip. My sis is not in the first day video because her flight from LA did not come in until later that evening. She did get to have dinner with us and visit for a while before we turned in for the night.


video


Here is some edited footage Skip did for me. He did this each day for the kids and then sent it to my in-laws email so that the kids could get a feel of what we did each day. I will try to share day 2 with you tomorrow, and if I can the rest of the trip. Please ignore our "goofyness". That's just how we roll around here.

More to come...

Jan 26, 2008

Jan 23, 2008

A Quick Catch Up Chat

Hi there! I went to Kohl's this morning to pick up a couple of things for my trip to Panama. I tried on a few of my last years shorts last night and let's just say, I'm still not fitting into the summer attire AT ALL. I mean I can zip and button it all up, but it just isn't pretty. I have no idea why I'm telling you all this. Maybe it will make you feel better about yourself in some strange way. Anyway- Kohl's has The Best Sales EVER!!! I bought a sundress, a light khaki pair of shorts, a dark khaki skirt, a darling white zip up hoodie(in case in gets cool at night), a salmon colored tank and a hot pink cami. The grand total with tax was $34.00. Have I become a bargain shopper or what? A couple of the items were even 80% off. And just look at this beautiful bracelet my friend Tiff gave me last weekend. She got one for herself too, and it is our "Believing God" bracelets. At the moment, it sure beats the yarn one I made for myself. Thanks Tiff, I love it!
Oh, and this trench coat I bought for my celebration of renting my house was not on sale, but it is too cute! Way better looking on than in this picture. And now it is on sale at Kohls! I should have waited a week. It is so funny how much I appreciate things I once took for granted like a little shopping trip. I feel so blessed to have my home rented, and I am going to be very careful to keep living like it's not (financially that is).

I have to go finish home schooling now. Hopefully the next post will include some Panama pictures. Please pray for my children while I'm away, and for their grandparents who will be caring for them. Annie has a cold and a sore throat right now, and Ashley started feeling bad this morning too. I would love your prayers for a safe trip and a romantic time for me and Skip. Ooh La La, I can't wait!!!

Jan 18, 2008

5 Things I'm Smiling About

1. I just started reading The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. What an insightful and motivating book. I'm almost halfway in after beginning it earlier today. Great book about following your dreams.

2. My Believing God bible study. I have the sweetest ladies joining me for this exciting and challenging journey.

3. Our former church is celebrating their 10th Anniversary this weekend. Bay Area Fellowship has grown to over 5000 people in the last 10 years. It is reaching the next generation for Christ in the most amazing and creative ways. Skip and I were a part of this church from their early days, and we can't wait to go and celebrate with them.

4. Our family has finally started making connections in the homeschool community of Victoria. The kids had a blast going to a Co-op the last two Thursdays, and they all started art classes with the Art League. Because the art lessons are an hour and a half long each, and Ashley and goes at a different time than the younger kids, we get to have some special girl time together every week.

5. My trip to Panama is only a week away!!! My sis and her hubby blessed us with the trip. I can't wait!!! Our great friends Bart and Michelle will be joining us too, which we haven't been able to hang out with for months.

So, tell me what's causing that smile of your's right now.............

Jan 15, 2008

Do Not!!!

*Do NOT go try on a bathing suit in January. Ever!!! Even if it is the cutest little brown tankini with a flirty skirt. Even if you are leaving for a trip somewhere tropical in less than two weeks. Don't do it!!! You will see every Christmas cookie, and extra helping of dressing you carelessly consumed on parts of your body that have not seen sunlight in about 5 months.

DO go find a precious blouse like this or a cute little top like this and wait another 4 months till the New Year's Diet begins to take effect. In case you get side tracked at Target while looking at this harmless little number that just came in, heed my warning. It won't be pretty.

Randomness for the Day

I am suppossed to be getting reading for my first "Believing God" bible study, but instead I just had to post some random stuff floating around in my head. I still have a few minutes before I have to leave, so I'll make it quick.

*Is there a greater female bible study teacher out there than Beth? I mean there are some good ones, but last night reviewing the first session, I was so pumped I was ready to go help save the world after two minutes into the dvd. I LOVE BELIEVING GOD!!! To say it is good is an understatement. It's been several years, so I can't wait to dive in again.

*Having my house rented finally lifted such a heavy burden from us, and I am ready for some Dave Ramsey changes to take root. I've been reading the Total Money Makeover and lovin' it too!

*I'm reading Redemption by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley. I don't want to put it down, but I have to home school, do bible study, clean, cater to my hubby's every whim(hee hee), and still find time to check out all my favorite blogs. There's just not enough time in a day.

*I have got to get a haircut, and I'm scared to death to try someone new here in Victoria. I love my girl in Corpus, but I need to find someone closer. It is going on almost 5 months, and there is only so much a straightner, hot rollers and a pony tail can do.

That's it for now. Oh by the way, can you tell I'm a little joyful and hyper today? I am! I see God moving, and I can't wait to be a part of it!

Jan 12, 2008

Can You Hear the Praises?

Oh my goodness friends and family! I have waited so long and cried so many tears leading up to writing this particular post. It's here and now I'm completely at a loss for words. I first shared with you here as we were just beginning the journey, then again here, then here, one more here, oh yeah here again, and here and one more time here. Oops there is more here, here, and here. Please don't feel the need to go back and read all these crazy emotional posts, but I do want you to see what has absorbed way too much of my time over the last 14 months.

And now, drum roll please........... OUR HOME IS RENTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AMEN!!! PRAISE GOD IN THE HIGHEST!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!! I AM SO HAPPY!!!

We have deposits in the bank, lease signed, check for this month's rent, and I just took a much needed deep breath and sigh of relief. Thank you so much Jim, Karissa, Aaron, and Joseph with O'Neill Realty for all you've done for us. We appreciate your prayers, your devotion and your stamina throughout this last year. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Now, stop for a minute all of you who have prayed with me, and for me in regards to our home. Shout a word of thanks to God. Let me know too, if you have been praying so I can thank God for your precious gift of prayer. Love you guys!

Jan 8, 2008

Confused But Not Defeated

I HATE making decisions, and would love to have a personal assistant that would make them for me. I know that the Lord is my personal guide for every decision of my life, but it is still hard to figure out the direction he is leading when things aren't always crystal clear. I have a lot going on, but I trust God will lead the way. I am searching scripture, praying, looking at circumstances, talking to close godly friends and my hubby(of course), and most of all sensing the Holy Spirit.


One thing is for sure, I am not alone in my feelings. It seems like everyone I talk to lately has some big decisions or obstacles they are dealing with. My prayer for all those struggling today, as well as myself, is that we will seek God and not our own understanding for what lies ahead.

Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Phillipians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I spent some time searching over 100 verses that mention the word understanding today. Now I know why the two above scriptures are so commonly used for teaching and directing in our Christian walk. They are so perfect in giving comfort and guidance to those desiring a word from our Lord. Thank you God for making scriptures come alive in a personal way!

Jan 7, 2008

Monday Morning Blessings

*It is warm outside.

*I'm babysitting my sweet twin niece and nephew this morning.

*Homeschooling is beginning later this morning after a very long holiday.

*Coffee is brewing.

*There is joy in my heart from our Heavenly Father.

Jan 4, 2008

Burrrhhh!



This is me the last few days. Is anyone else ready for some warm temperatures? I know I'm a baby when it comes to being cold, but us South Texas girls aren't used to temps in the 30's and 40's. How am I going to shed those extra pounds when all I want to do is hang out under a warm blanket and drink some delicious coffee?

Jan 3, 2008

Just Some Rambling


Home schooling is not for wimps! I always thought before I started this crazy adventure that it would be hard, but I never dreamed I would actually dread it at times. I feel constantly inadequate, unmotivated, and mostly just plain sick of it. Yet, I expect my kids to be excelling, motivated, and happy at all times.


Since it is the beginning of a new year and a new semester, I really have been asking God to help me out here. I think the problem is rooted in my attitude. I've got to start looking at this differently, and somehow find joy in the process. We have signed up for a local Co-op that meets once a week and I will be teaching kinder, while my kids go to classes such as Chemistry, world missions geography, contenders of the faith(no idea what that is, but it sounds good) and a few others. My kids have been very secluded since we moved here in October, but I'm hoping that making some new friends will be a blessing from the new group. I never realized how much of a transition it would be for them to move, leave their school and friends, and have their mom for a teacher. We all need some change ever once in a while, but we had so many changes all at once. I really want to succeed at this endeavor, and I know with the Lord's help, I can. The alternative is putting them in public, and there is no way I'm throwing Ashley into middle school halfway through her 8th grade year. Not to mention, Seth will be starting 6th next year. Just keep us in your prayers if you will.
*Some super exciting news is that I am starting Beth Moore's Believing God in a couple of weeks. I know God is going to use this study in amazing ways. It's been several years since I've done the study, and I never actually finished all the homework, so I look forward to teaching it.

Jan 2, 2008

Christmas Miracles





I checked out these three books from the library last week, and even though Christmas is over, these books have really awakened my heart. They are just precious. I cried as each story came to a close, and the message of each made my heart yearn to do something for someone. It has reminded me that I have my own Christmas story this year. Ways that God provided when I saw no human way for that it to be possible, things happened. My sister and her husband have truly done so much for us this holiday season that there is absolutely no way to repay them. Our friends Molly and Bard provided some much needed help a couple of months ago, and my mother just surprised me one day with a gift without even a mention that I needed it. In addition our new church body blessed Skip and I with a little bonus to help buy Christmas. By the way, all your shopping can be done in three days. I found that out this year.
My goals/hopes/dreams for this year are to not only trust God with my house sell, with my finances, with my family, with our ministry, but also to trust him to help me bless others as I have been blessed.