this is what it looks like...

when daddy has Anna for the afternoon. Baseball hat. Oddly wrapped diaper. And lots of fun!


Toddler Activities?

We are on day 5 of non-stop rain. NON-STOP. So we're all going a bit stir crazy! Normally we get out for walks to the "park" once or twice a day, but we haven't gone out at all this week. And it's caused me to start thinking that I need to provide Anna with more creative ways to play. (Even when the rain stops!). Can you suggest any fun & engaging activities for a toddler (17 months) that we can try indoors? Thanks!


My First Thanksgiving in Panama!

We decided to bring America to Panama this year, and cook a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. We had two large turkeys, and a variety of other dishes... there was lots of food! And it was a good thing... as we had more than 60 (SIXTY!) people come to the church on a rainy Thursday evening to share in this holiday with us. Pastor Bert first shared the history of Thanksgiving and it's significance to us as Americans. Then we ate. And ate. And ate. (It was just like back home! :)

I'll admit, that the 5 minute video call to my family back home in the middle of the evening was probably not the best idea. I had to take a 20 minute "break" in the other room to have a good cry before I pulled myself together and enjoyed the rest of the night. But it was a blessing to share my traditions (and food) with our new family here... even if not a single person liked the candied yams.

Soooooo I made it through my first big holiday without my family or familiar traditions. It was hard. But God is bigger, much bigger, than a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. So now I just have to make it through Christmas!


My Thankful Thanksgiving List of Thankfulness

I have much to be thankful for today and everyday! But here's my top 20:

1. My salvation in Christ.
2. My loving husband- a truly good man.
3. My beautiful daughter.
4. My supportive family who I miss very much.
5. A house that doesn't leak when it rains.
6. An abundance of food to eat and clean water to drink.
7. A ministry that is blessed of the Lord.
8. My computer- not sure I could live without it.
9. The internet- also not sure I could live without it.
10. Baby Einstein videos that always do the trick when nothing else works.
11. Worship music
12. My dog Scarlet- even if she did roll in trash yesterday
13. The highchair- cause feeding a toddler elsewhere is just a disaster
14. My work station built by hubby... my own private area and I love it.
15. Skype- which makes the world a much smaller place for me.
16. Pizza- hec I just can't help it, okay?
17. My camera which allows me to capture this bizarre life we live in photos.
18. My broom & mop- helping me keep my sanity once to three times per day.
19. Los Chinos- the little store around the corner which always seems to have what I need when I run out of something.
20. Pricemart- because every once in awhile it's nice to go see other Americans (and buy goldfish crackers).


A Makeover!

The Mommy Chronicles Blog is now right here! I combined my two blogs into this one- and gave the site a whole new look! Please note that I will be doing all my posting here from now on... although the old mommychroniclesblog.com address will still work and route you here. Please stick around for lots of photos and stories, and all my ramblings.

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!


For the past two years I have kept a family blog. A few months ago, I decided to reserve that blog for just ministry & family, and to begin the Mommy Chronicles Blog to have a place to express myself and post about my interests. But I have come to the difficult decision, that it just isn't working.

In an attempt to establish the Mommy Chronicles Blog, I have neglected the Tharaldson Family blog. And I've realized, that there really is no need for two separate blogs- as I'm just too busy to keep up both efficiently.

So I have decided to combine, and redesign both blogs, into one all-inclusive, super-duper, brand-new but old, even better and more comprehensive blog! The old address: http://www.mommychroniclesblog.com/ will automatically route you to http://www.tharaldsonfamily.com/ once I have completed the transformation!

I plan to take this Thanksgiving Holiday weekend to revamp the blog, and at some point, you will notice a whole new site. But please stick with me and follow me to the new location! You'll be able to see many more pics of my family and life here in Panama!


Cold Toes

It's 80 degrees. And my toes are freezing. So I'm now wearing fleece socks.
Adapted? Yes. I think I am.



We are in desperate need of it! Since Anna was 3 weeks old, we have been a Babywise family- all the way. Even now, at 17 months, she wakes up, eats, naps, and goes to sleep at the same times everyday. We worked very hard in the beginning to set her on a routine, and it has been a lifesaver. But, lately, we have been slacking. Random snacking, sporadic activities and unstructured playtimes have been the rule in recent months. And I can't stand it anymore! I thrive on routine, and I know that not only does Anna need more consistency, discipline, and structure... but so do I! It's fair to say my plate is very full... with ministries, kids everywhere, my design business, learning spanish, doing my quiet times, feeding my family, sweeping and mopping daily, etc. etc. etc... And I need to have set times to do these different activities... because the most important aspects of my day, like reading the Word and sitting with the Lord, have been sorely lacking.

Tonight, in a moment of divine motivation, I rejected the desire to plop in front of the computer and watch "Mythbusters" and instead grabbed Toddlerwise off the bookshelf to refresh my memory. Just like the first time reading Babywise, the sound and logical words jumped off the page! I started writing down the discipline strategies, activity structure, and other tips given and ran to get Eric. We sat together and discussed the changes we want to make in order to regain structure and routine in our household. So tomorrow is a new day, and we begin a new routine. We need this, and I can't wait.


Some Updates...

1. Anna Grace seems to be on the mend. After nearly a week of smashed bananas, rice cereal, yogurt, and water she seems to be coming around. We are going to give her regular food today, and hope she keeps it down! So thank you for your prayers, we are so blessed.

2. Eric and I have still not been able to apply for our missionary visas. It's complicated, and I don't want to get into all of it here, but please, if you think about it, please just pray that the Lord would open the doors and speed this horrendously long process up!

3. We are having our first church baptism on Sunday, and we are all very excited! Pastor Bert taught on baptism last Sunday, and those being baptized are truly joyful... so neat!

4. We decided to share our Thanksgiving traditions with the church this year. They do have a "Day of Thanks" here in Panama, but not with cranberries and mashed potatoes! So next week Eric will take me into the city to the big American grocery store (normally we can't afford the nice, imported food... like $4 for a box of rice-a-roni!!!!) But I'm going to splurge and get some traditional American food to share. Vero and I will each bake a Turkey (I haven't told anyone that I don't know how... MOM I WILL BE CALLING YOU VERY SOON.)

5. We continue to love this country (and this town especially) more and more. I find it so amazing that God has done such a work in my heart in particular. This truly feels like home, and I have no desire to be in the U.S. (Although I'd kill for a Starbucks Frappaccino!) Eric and I are eager to have our visas so we can truly feel settled here... maybe even find a house of our own and really dig in for the long haul. How exciting!

6. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. You are each an important part of what we do here, and we are incredibly blessed by your love and friendship. We miss our CCSFS family, but have you guys very close to our hearts!

Teeth brushing routine?

Okay people, I need honest answers here! If you have a kid under the age of 2 (or remember when you did) please share with me how often and how faithfully you brushed your child's teeth. Months ago someone in a baby forum I used to participate in, asked this question and EVERYONE replied that they do it religiously twice a day since the baby was sprouting tooth #1. Now, call me a skeptic, but I think at least SOME of them were fibbing. We brush Anna's teeth at night, about 90% of the time (occassionally we just flat out forget). But she basically won't really open up for the toothbrush, and so I fear that her teeth are not really getting clean and that I am a terrible mother! So tell me, what is your teethbrushing situation with your little one?



On an amazing new blog!

STL Mommy

Please head over to STL Mommy and check out Kim and her awesome, money-saving finds and freebies. She was recently featured as a cover story on the St.Louis news, and is quickly becoming a popular place to save money on the web!



As I type this, I am in a complete state of bewilderment. My almost 17 month old is having an insane tantrum that I cannot seem to manage or pacify. She is screaming- blood curdling screams- and flailing herself in all directions, banging her head on the floor, flipping her body around and clawing at my legs. I've tried picking her up, soothing her, singing, reading a book, changing scenery... EVERYTHING! The only thing I can think to do now is just flat out ignore her. And do you know what started this? She bit me, and I told her "No" sternly and tried to "explain" that biting was not going to be allowed. And then it started. AND.IT.WON'T.STOP.

I gotta go get some tylenol for my headache.


i'm gonna miss this...

I'm sitting at my work area with a cup of coffee. The sky is dark and it's pouring rain. Anna is asleep, and I'm trying to get some work done. But I'm feeling a great sense of sadness, because the wet season here is coming to an end. The dry season here is from December to March, and it's a hot, hot, hot three month stretch. It's the kind of weather that leaves you dripping with sweat only minutes after getting out of the cold shower. I am in love with the tropical rains, dark skys, and relative coolness of the rainy season. And I'm gonna miss it. April come again soon.


I can't find it anywhere!

My engagement ring, that is! You know the one with the diamonds in it!!!!!!???
I often slip off both my rings at night... I just don't like having them on my hands when I sleep. On this particular night about two weeks ago, I slipped them off and put them on the dresser... I thought. The next day, I couldn't find either! I gave up the search temporarily, but eventually found my wedding band completely embedded in the candle wax drippings in the dish from the candles on my dresser. But still no engagement ring. Arg. I've lost it once before. A few years ago. It turned up under the seat of the car. Weird.

Please Pray For Our Baby...

We have a very sick kid down here. My poor, sweet baby continues to throw up, have diarrhea, and just in general not feel well. Last night I went in to her room to check on her around 11pm, and found her laying in a crib FULL of vomit. We had to get her up and give a cold shower (we don't have a water heater) after she'd already been asleep for hours. And wouldn't you know that sweet kid just went right back to sleep!

It's been over two weeks since this started and I'm just so sad for her. Our pediatrician said that since her fecal test came back negative for parasites or bacteria, she simply had a virus, gastroenteritis, and although it's probably gone, her little digestive system is just all out of wack. We are going to really be careful about only giving her mushy foods like rice cereal and ripe bananas, and keeping her hydrated, and just wait this thing out.

I feel so frustrated and helpless. There is NOTHING worse than seeing your child in pain. I know, in the scope of things, we have so much to be thankful for, and I know that God is in control of my baby's tummy. We'd appreciate your prayers.


Introducing Lindsey Joy Design

I decided I needed to get organized!  I have been working on blog designs and vector graphics through email, but now have a special shop all set up... I hope you'll go check it out!~  And if you love me, really love me, and want to help me get customers, you can take the button for my shop and put it on your sidebar!  :)  

Lindsey Joy Design

Visit Lindsey Joy Design!

I'm Still Here!

But it's been a rough week!  We have a very sick baby who continues to throw up with no explanation!  So we have been dealing with all that!  Plus I'm working very hard on our new church website and on a new design shop website!!!  So I may not be around as much this week, but I'll be back and with lots of exciting stuff to show you!


Dancing and Pigtails!

Just another day...

mi casa es su casa

One of the biggest lessons I'm learning right now, is to hold all this "stuff" we have, with an open hand.  On the weekends, and during the week for that matter, we have a constant stream of kids flowing in and out of our house.  As a result I have grimy toys, two huge scratches in my kitchen table, and VERY dirty floors. 

I think it's great that we have "the fun house".  I love that the church kids feel comfortable coming over and spending hours and hours at a time playing Game Cube, "House", and eating my food.  I love the fact that Anna has playmates (albeit playmates much older than her)... and that I sort of get a break when they're around... because they LOVE her and entertain her to no end.

And I love that it blesses their parents!  Who wouldn't like a few hours of quiet while your kids play at someone else's house!  It gives these ladies a chance to fellowship at the church (2 doors down) and not have kids screaming and running around.

So although I hate sweeping and mopping this house on a constant basis, I absolutely love having a houseful of kiddos.  The older ones have even taken to spending the night or nights whenever they don't have school.  And you know what?  I love it!


a real confidence booster...

Today I went with Vero, Myra, & Linda to the mall for a day of shopping and fun.  It was great, and I was so thrilled to be out of the house all day and not home obsessing over this frightening election.  On the way home, we needed to take a taxi from the bus stop to our house.  So we flagged down a taxi and proceeded to file into the car.  But before we had all gotten in, the taxi driver stopped us and said he couldn't take us because we were too heavy!  Nice.


guess what today is?

Happy Birthday Sweetie.  I love you.


just a cute pic...

technical difficulties & eeewwww gross!

Well, I had to delete the previous post with the video of Costa Rica... it was messing up my sidebar content even when I adjusted the width of the video area.  Oh well. 

But in more recent news, can I just share with you what my husband brought home today?  Every Saturday they drive out to the village of Los Mortales to do a Bible Study.  Well today my husband bursts in the door after arriving home- with blood all over his hands.   And he's smiling.  A really, really big smile.

He says, "Come see what I brought home."  So I go out to the front lawn, and there is a mass of cow face/skin and ear.  Apparently on the way home they saw a family butchering a cow and they pulled over.  Pastor Bert bought the head to take home and make tacos, and Eric asked if he could have all the loose skin, fat and the ears.  Great.

So our dalmation, as you can see, is thoroughly enjoying his "treat".  It just gets better and better here... seriously.