Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Few Pictures from the last couple of weeks!

We have had a crazy Fall...I am sure everyone has had equally crazy lives. Why do we ever think that it will be any different just because a season changes?

(The season doesn't actually change here, but we do like to put out a little orange, ok we have orange year round bc it is to me what red is to some of you, I like punches of it around my house! So we already have the orange going, but we have some fall smelling candles and were able to get our hands on a pumpkin too! So the weather may not be changing cooler (rainy to rainier and hot to hotter) but none the less it is Fall to us!)

We are working on our newsletter, soon to be ready to print and mail. It will give lots more info that we have failed to share with you and hopefully you will see how are roles here change back and forth lots leaving us little time in between!

Here are a few pictures from the last couple of weeks around here!

The 3 Amigos, as we call them, ready for Sunday afternoon community basketball pick up games with Daddy!

Some of the JV girls playing a little defense!

Silly picture with JV and Varsity girls!

More of my favorite people...Field saying "cheeeeeeese!"

These little guys frequent our backyard, "gato solos" (lone cat) they too have discovered the garbage cans and are taking advantage of the lack of garbage pick-up around here. They come in a family pack of about 12, some babies to. I am happy to watch them from the indoors!

Basketball Banquet getting started. It was the first annual BBall Banquet. Nathan and I were a great team putting it on with the help of lots of others making it happen. It was a great night!

The BBall Girls and Coaches all dressed up!

Sub 16 Boys Team. They have been busy playing in the National Tournament this week! Nathan is a game day coach for these guys!

Circled up at Nathan's request for Family Blessing before we devoured some amazing food!

The table Decorations!

Nathan does not thing this I should document that I made him wear a 25 year old sailor suit that was entirely to short for him. I thought he looked adorable, a little short, but adorable.
He wore it to church and got plenty of comments about him looking like a wrestler!

Field again being a mess. He loves a steering wheel. Makes us super nervous considering our van is a stick and he could kick the emergency brake easily!

One more to document a day in the life of Field Richardson.

We are grateful for all of you as you are each a blessing in our lives. Praying for all of us to see the blessings we each have even in the midst of our craziness!!!

Much Love,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Home Again, Home Again.....

I wish I was better and more prompt with this blog, with our newsletter, with thank you notes, with emails! There are so many differnt ways to communicate it is mind blowing!

We are back to Panama! Feels like home here. We were sad to say goodbye to friends and family but so grateful it was a rich summer full of seeing and catching up with so many people we love and love us!

We came home to quite the chaos. Our hot water heater busted and flooded our storage/laundry room, living and dining room 2 days before got home.

Thankfully nothing was ruined and it was soaked up before we walked in.

The blessing is we now have a gas heater which is installed outside and gives me more storage space! The frustrating part is we went almost a week wo hot water and we are still figuring out how it works and I am going to have get the floor fixed...the hole dates back to atleast 4 floors ago!

Our internet was blown out while we were in the states and we have been here 2 weeks without internet. We CANNOT get them to come out here, we have exhausted all options except stalking and dangleing money in front of the Cable and Wireless men, oh wait...I have done that all week and still CANNOT get them here! I am actually updating the blog from a phone! So excuse any of my grammer and spelling mistakes!

Our van was rented out this summer to a few missions groups and let's just say it was returned to us in less than steller shape which was super discouraging. The van belongs to the Lord, but we still want to be a good stewads of what we have and want others to do so as well! It continues to bless us and others as we have been loading in teachers since we made it home! I admit I enjoy driving a stick shift and a tanker van!

The new teachers and director for CCA are awesome! We have had a great start to the school year!

Friday nite we had a building dinner. Our building, full of teachers, came and grilled out at our place and stayed up late ringing in the "school" year!

Ro started school this week too. She is in K4! She was more than adorable on her first day. She had a sheepish grin on her face, half nervous but mostly eager! I asked her how was her first day of school...ever....and she replied, "fine!" I thoguht that started in middle school, not K4, I should have a few more details than this! I finally got some out of her and heard some from the teachers (the elementary PE coach said she was the leader in her class...yeah!)

Basketball season is upon us! Nathan is busy coordinating coaches, reserving gyms around the area and recruiting kiddos to play! We are really excited about the athletic program this year especially knowing a little more what to expect from kids, parents and the community!

I am going to be coaching the sub 18 and sub 15 girls. They have all been asking and making sure I was still gonna coach!

God has been good to us! We are full of blessings and full of gratitude! Essie and I are learning some verses since she has been paling around with me this week! She was repeating Psalm 103 w me and she could not have been more filled with the Spirit! She was raising her arms and raising her voice and uplifting my heart!

"Bless the LORD!!!"
Oooohhh My Soooouuulll!"
And let ALLLL that is within MEEE, BLESS His Holy NAAAMMME!"

(She kept going about 15 times through the verse!)

What a great verse for all of us who are in the throws of life, that we would bless the Lord with ALL that is within us. Psalm 103 is a precious Psalm reminding me of the satifaction that comes from being a child of the most High King, the Healer, the Reedemer, the Forgiver...the Renewer of my youth!

I hope you all find the time this week to Bless the Lord! It is so satisfying!

Abounded and Abounding in His Mercy,
Clare (for the crew)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lady Eagles...#2!

Watching the CCA Boys play!

Cutting practice short to watch the boys play again!

A little half time speech....the refs really only gave me half my time to speak...but that is Panama for you. "Do whatever feels rt!"

The CCA Lady Eagles got 2nd place! The National Stadium was amazing. I have never played on a nicer field or a larger field. My girls played amazing. We dominated the game but could not set-up for goals where as the other team made every goal they set up. There is always next year. The 5-1 final score does not measure how well we played, its not that they played better, they just scored better!!!

I have had to ask for forgiveness to Nathan this year as I have coached Basketball and Soccer this year as I had no idea how important it is to de brief after a game. I never had to do this as a player, but as a do! All those years Nathan was coaching we would get in the car after a game and I could only handle about 5-10 mins tops of football talk. I wanted him to "Focus on me, Focus on me, Focus on me!!!" (famous quote from a Nancy Holcomb) I was the one sitting in the stands observing...the fans!

It has been a dream come true to coach and play with these girls. There are 17 if them. I am grateful that the Lord has given me a love for soccer and a love for high school girls. I wore my sunglasses after the game was over bc I didn't want them to know that I was just as sad as they were and I wanted to cry that we lost and because some of them would not be around next year. It was an honor to be a part of their lives. Pray that I continue to have opportunities to love, challenge and encourage them! They glorified the Lord through soccer this year and I have been blessed!

Nathan announced to me that despite having 2 girls he does not think he would ever be able to handle coaching the girls! It is not just about the game. It is the color of the jersey, the size of the jersey, the jersey fabric, the matching hair bows, the tapped ankles, the time of day, the potty breaks, what time they get out of class... What sounds like whining to a man is just commenting to a woman! He has been incredibly patient with all the CCA teams and his tolerance level for all of the above may be pushed down enough to start coaching girls when Ro and Essie are in college!!

Sorry for the small pics...
On our way to the National Stadium in the Busito!!
A pre game mini speech while half the team was searching for the bathroom!

Holding the trophy high!

Some of my biggest fans!

Some of my "leprechauns" as they like to call themselves being silly...all the tears had dried!

Missing a few girls!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Futbol and Field

Had the sweetest time rocking my baby tonight. He is such a wild man. He is a bit confused about what language he speaks. We have a precious friend who helps me out during the week. Our life here would be close to impossible without her. She speaks only Spanish. I love seeing my kiddos understand what she is saying. Field just grunts back at us and at her. He completely understands us all...just not sure what he is suppose to say in return.

Anyways, I rocked him tonight and he rubbed my arm and played with my hair and looked me right in the eyes for a few minutes, he gave me kisses. It was so sweet bc he sleeps with his sisters so if you rock one then all 3 wanna rock. They were already asleep!

Nathan's team lost their game today in the semi finals. The other team scored in the last 4 mins of the game. They have had an amazing season. We are super proud of them.

My girls play tomorrow in the big stadium here in Panama. I would be lying if I told you I wasn't nervous! It has been hovering over me all day. The team we play won the major tournament that is made up of all the top Central American teams. Our girls wanted so badly to play in the tournament, but it just wasn't in the budget. So if we win it will be a sweet victory!

Nathan has rented buses for anyone to come and watch the game, K-12! What a brave man...we should have 2 school buses coming!

I have had a blast coaching these girls. I wish I could blog about each one. It has been more than a privedge to develop relationships with them! I will admit that I love getting some playing time myself. You don't know how bad I want to get out on the field myself and play!!

Game is at we will let you know!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wise Words

Like most siblings, our girls are deep into arguing with each other. It is close to driving us crazy, why don't they just love each other? Could it be that they have our same sinful flesh?

Nathan sweetly cooked breakfast for us this morning and we decided it was time for a family pow-wow...especially after yesterday when they sprayed Lysol in each other's hair like hair spray. And in case you were wondering, I do not even own hairspray so they did not come up with this bc they were monkey seeing monkey doing! Women just know these things!

The apartment still smells like disinfectant!

Nathan led the pow-wow and I had to run get a paper and pen listening to them talk with their daddy. It was too funny.

He was teaching them some verses in Proverbs.

Quarreling. "A harsh word stirs up anger. You need to depart from evil and do good because God says it is foolish to quarrel."

Essie's interpretation: "A hard word stirs up wranger. You need to heart from d Bull and do God bc God says it is coolish to curl."

Peace Making. "A gentle answer turns away wrath. It is to your honor to avoid strife and to live at peace with everyone."

Essie's interpretation. "A gentle manser turns giraffe. It is your honor to enjoy Sprite and to live in peas with everyone."

Sweet girl has a little lisp!

I am happy to say they have been "doing art" sweetly at the table for almost 2 hours now!! They are enjoying some Sprite and living in Peas with each other!!

Spinning Fast

It is so very true that we are horrible bloggers. I have never been one for writing thank you notes and I wish we could send out a newsletter every month. But like everyone else in this world we are strained by time and live mostly by the generosity of others, for which I could never communicate the depth of my grateful heart for such support.

The school year is winding down quickly and we are spinning with it. I have spent most of my life saying that I function well under stress, that I am more productive with more on my plate. I think that was true until three of the things on that plate were 4, 3, 20 months!

Here is a glimpse at what else has been on our plate recently:

I have been coaching the varsity girls soccer. We have made it to the finals. We play next week. I am so proud of the hard work these girls have given me. This is a first for their team. I have developed some amazing relationships with the girls!

Nathan is one of the coaches for the varsity boys. They have to win one more game next week to make it to the finals. We are hoping they do so! It will be such a HUGE thing for the school to have 2 teams in championship games! Either way I love watching the guys interact with Nathan. No doubt they love, respect and appreciate him!

Nathan is preparing for the senior graduation. He was chosen by the seniors from all the staff to be the main speaker. What an honor!!!

Nathan has helped keep the soccer league grounded. Things are typically done off the cuff and he has been helping them to stay planned ahead. I think my organizational skills have rubbed off!

Nathan has been driving our van all over town, full of kiddos. He is has been to the zoo with the K4 class on a field trip. To the planitarium with K4 and K5. He has taken classes for ice cream for different rewards throughout the school. Driving elementary kids to the local pool for swimming lessons. One of the first graders thought it fun to pull the fire extinguisher in the van...not so fun to clean up...dry powder everywhere!

Nathan was the boss man the day of the school fund raiser. Planning and pulling off a walk-a-thon for the whole school! There was a sea of blue t-shirts all over our local park!! He kept the school chapel laughing as he did some speed walking skits to keep them motivated to get sponsors!!!

We have a swinging door of people coming and going from our apartment. Something I love. I grew up with people coming and going and we love that our home is inviting and makes you want to stay!!!

I have been the project manager for Apartment A. It has been getting an entire face-lift! New tile floors, new tubs, new light fixtures, new window blinds, new paint, fans, kitchen cabinets re-painted. It was LONG overdue. I have been "trying" to keep the whip cracked on the painters and the tile guys, plumbers and electricans...all in Spanish mind you!!! I love doing this...wishing one day I could be an interior decorator. Missionaries need colorful inviting decorated homes too!!

You can imagine we change clothes 3 times a day and not un-necessarily. The laundry is my constant companion, Nathan, I am sure wishes it was more so!!

We have helped our friends who have been building a mission base for mission groups coming and for Christian Surfers. They are moving this weekend and we have helped at night as much as we could painting and cleaning getting ready for the big move. We are so grateful for the Cotton Family!

Last week I had two girls from my high school group come and spend 4 days with me. Sarah and Meg have been such a blessing to me. I am so honored that wanted to come and spend time with us. They loved on me lots. We did most of the city and markets and even got in some surfing lessons. A first for all of us! IT IS ALOT HARDER THAT IT LOOKS!!

One major task I have completed this semester has been a New Teacher Orientation Packet. CCA has new teachers each year and they are full of questions...I know bc I had so many. So I made a questionnaire for current teachers and families here and came up with a 37 page document about budgets, groceries, food, dress, school, etc.! I am quite proud of it and hope that it helps out the newbies and relieves some of our staff from the questions about moving to Panama!

I know we have more going on, I feel like we have sitters 4 nights a week and trying to keep the kids entertained and keep them from drawing on the walls or trying to make their own chocolate milk! This is all my feeble mind can think to remember! I am already overwhelmed remembering all that I need to wrap up before we leave to go back to the States for the summer.

13 days! Look out Chic-fil-A, PF Changs, BBQ joints, Target, Walmart(to name just a few) HERE COME THE RICHARDSONS!!!

Hope we get to see you...and hear about your crazy worlds. I know we are far from the only ones!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Our Friend Phillip

I wanted to let all of you know about our friend Phillip Brummett who had a stoke this week. He is a teacher, neighbor and friend of ours. He and his wife Alisha have three kiddos around our kids age and we have been involved in what has gone on the last couple of days. Nathan actually helped carry him to the van and took him and Alisha to the hospital.

I have been helping update all those here in Panama and wanted to let all of our friends back home know what is going on here.

Here is the link to his blog:


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Home Stretch

Here at CCA we are starting our last 9 weeks of the school year. It is going to be a crazy sprint to the finish of the year and I know many of you are in the same phase. We have been working with the soccer teams here with Clare coaching the older girls and I am working with the older guys. We have both enjoyed it a lot. I got a chance to take the boys team to a tournament where they played schools from all over Latin America. It was an experience to be sure! I was standing there at the ceremony with teams screaming and cheering from Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras! It was a great 3 days of hanging out with the guys on the team and getting to know them better! I loved observing the Seniors all the way down to 8th graders getting to know one another and really enjoying one another. One great thing about being at such a small school! We played all the games well and we were even able to get the first victory ever for a Sub 18 Boys team from CCA!
I have had a senior guy "interning" with me in the afternoons this semester. He is going off to play soccer next year for college, and he has been asking a lot of questions about college and just things in general! I have really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him and speak a little into his life. I pray for more and more opportunities to do this with other students! I have also had a desire to be able to communicate more with the parents of the students. There are a few that I visit with when I see, but many pass by with just a greeting! I know a lot of that is the cultural difference as well as my lacking ability in Spanish, but I want the parents to know who I am and how I want the best for their kids!
I have been asked to be the speaker at graduation this year. I am very honored to be able to do it. I am taking it as encouragement form the Lord for working with the kids and feeling I have made some headway with relationships. I know I have enjoyed getting to know them and talk, but with teenagers you don't always get a lot of feedback on where they stand. I look forward to getting a chance to share with them some thoughts on a big day in their life.
Pray for us as we wrap up the school year here. Help us to finish strong relationally, especially with those that will not be with us here in Panama next year! We now have even more friends that will be going to places all over the globe. We are looking forward to our opportunity to return to the States this summer and see many loved ones. We do not want to have short timers disease and waste away these weeks here. It will be full of soccer games. Right now in our conference Clare's team is 1-1 and my team is 2-0! The school is getting excited about their teams! There are lots of end of the year parties for going away teachers and for seniors. Right now we need strength and energy to make it through. Clare and I are seeing each other in passing and for the next month we have something every weekend. Many of you can relate to this kind of schedule and just the stress that it adds as there is not enough time to communicate.
I have been specifically praying for wisdom in listening to the Spirit as I have had the opportunity to befriend a few nonbelievers or marginal Christians. I have had the opportunity to have some great conversations, but my window of opportunity is shrinking. I want to listen to the Spirit on what I am supposed to say and what questions to ask. I want to have the strength to "pull the trigger" on a tough question when it hits me. Please pray for me in this, as I have loved developing different friendships, and I want to be a light to all those around me.
Thank you again for our prayers. We wish to be better at communicating, but we have found it hard to be in life here and keep in communication with those we love in the States. Thank you for your patience and showing us grace! (We need it)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Too Much

I know we are way behind in updates. We feel the tug daily to tell you of our world. The things we are experiencing. The people we are meeting. The relationships we are building. The family that has visited. The teachers in our home daily. The students we are teaching. The athletes we are coaching. The children we are parenting. The marriage we are nurturing. The lives that are changing.

I could go on and on.

But what is overwhelming to me today is that as I scan Facebook, as I glance over as I hear from many of you, is that we are all burdened. Here are just a few of the needs that I know of personally:

A friend looses her sister
A man looses his job
A man leaves his job
A wife needs to go back to work
A car needs to be replaced
A new round of Invitro begins
A family moves to a new city
A family hears their adoption is soon
Another family hears their adoption is soon
Someone is struggling with depression
Someone is pregnant without insurance
Someone cannot make ends meet under current circumstances
Someone is struggling with addiction
Someone is hurting from a spouse's addiction
A family is living with their parents
Somebody had a second miscarriage
A mother doesn't know her place in her world
A friend looses her best friend
A deadline needs to be met
Someone needs to loose weight
Multiple families with car trouble
Somebody needs to find a new home they can afford
Many are pregnant
Babies are sick
Babies are in the hospital
A friend looses her job
A friends is paying for her own wedding....

These are all people I know and these are all current and these are only off the top of my feeble brain. There is so much pain, so much struggle, so much need.

I want to remember who God is. His Power. His Glory. His Residing Presence. We are just in process. He is refining us. He is giving us distinctiveness, our identity in Him. I want to be distinguishable from the rest of the world despite what my challenges may be. Beth Moore states it well from her Esther study, "One of God's purposes in this journey is to help us recapture both our identity and identification as His children - not so we can be obnoxious but so we can be influential."

So if you are or if you fit into one of the above burdens, or if like me you feel the weight of the everyday burdens like making another meal when you haven't even cleaned up from the last one or begging your children to take a nap so that you may have a moment to do or to be still for all of us, this is my prayer and my song today:

Habakkuk 3:17-19 A Hymn of Faith
"Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls---
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my Salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make me walk on my high hills."


It may be a mystery as to why God has given you your burden. Even so, I pray we steward them well.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Wheels

Well it has been a great past month, filled with time of family and fellowship. We were blessed with support to be able to buy a 15 passenger Toyota van. It has already been put to a ton of use and has aged beyond its time. It started with backing into a truck and putting a nice dent in the back door. A very humbling mark of learning to drive a stick in Panama traffic. We were able to fill up the van with Grancy, Grampton, Uncle Drew, Aunt Ellie, and Uncle Sammy and show them the city of Panama, a beach, and the mountains of Panama. It was great being all together as we traveled. The kiddos were spoiled with attention, but it was a great time. We then had Bam-ma and Papa come down for a visit where we got to show off our new home as well. The kiddos were spoiled again and we had a great time. On our trip to the beach with Bam-ma and Papa we had the adventure of someone taking a rock to the passenger side of our new van to steal some cash and an ipod. Thankfully, no IDs or passports were stolen. In the next 24 hours we went to 7 different police stations trying to get a police report for insurance. The van even got dusted for fingerprints. Very quickly the van looked much older than the 3 weeks that it was. It was great as teachers that had gone home over the Christmas break started arriving back. The van has been put into full use with school starting back. There was a cheer from the faculty when it was announced that it was for the schools use for after school activities and field trips. It has already been transporting teachers in the morning (7 is the current record), running 8 students up to a field to do "CCA Fitness Club" (hopefully more in the near future.) It is going to be great for the school. Thank you everyone for your support and prayers. We could not be here in this "sphere of influence" without you. We pray for you to realize you have your own "sphere of influence" that God is calling you to minister to. It might be your kids, your neighbors, your clients at work, or the waitress where you grab lunch. Let us all show us how we love our Lord by loving those around us.

Here is a verse that the girls have been memorizing:
"Call to me and I will answer, I will tell you great and mighty things that you never knew." Jeremiah 33:3

How often am I searching for answers and I don't even ask the One that can tell me?