Two Tiaras and a Sword

Saturday, July 30, 2016

July 24 - July 25, 2012

Sunday, July 24 - As best as I can remember, it was a normal Sunday.  A great day in the house of the Lord.  Our Sunday School teacher was out of town, and one of the members of the class taught our lesson.  It was good.  The morning service was good as well.

We went out to lunch after the service, and Grammy went with us.  The Oldest Princess was on her way home from the beach with our Youth Pastor and his wife and a friend, and Poppy was preaching out of town, so it was just My Prince, the Young Prince, the Youngest Princess, Grammy and I.

After lunch, we came home and I looked over my Bible study, My Prince did some studying as well, and the kids went up to their rooms to watch TV and rest until it was time to go back to church.

As we were walking out the door to go to church the Oldest Princess was walking in the door. Grammy had her car, so we let her stay home and wash a few things and repack, as we were leaving for the beach immediately after church.

For the first time in a while, all of our Sunday night group was going to be able to be there, so we met at our usual time. It was great to be back together again!  And after one more small delay this coming week, we should be back into our regular schedule.  I love our study, and I do so much better at actually getting it done when we are on a regular schedule.  So I am looking forward to being back in the routine again soon.

We had the Lord's Supper in our Sunday night service.  It was a sweet time of remembering all that Jesus did on the cross, so that we might have eternal life.  I always love the Lord's Supper services.

After church, we came home, changed clothes, picked up the Oldest Princess, and headed to the beach.

I refer to the Young Prince as having "go-go gadget arms" (a throwback to my days of being a huge Inspector Gadget fan during my late elementary years) because he is so long and lanky.  Well, we were in the car, and the Youngest Princess can not reach the cup holder when she is buckled in.  So she asked her brother to hand her her drink.  He replied with something like, "Are you completely helpless?"  To which she quickly replied, "No!  I just don't have go-go agit arms like you do."

We made a pit stop about halfway through our trip, and the Oldest Princess picked out Corn Nuts as her snack. My Prince does not like Corn Nuts, and makes no bones about it.  He fussed about the smell of them for pretty much the rest of the trip.  The Youngest Princess tried them for the first time, and decided she was on her daddy's side.

We made it to the beach about midnight.  We loaded the cart (it looked like we were staying for a month) and headed up to the condo.  After we unpacked everything, the kids were begging us to just go down to the beach and see the water for just a few minutes.  So we decided that we would.  The way this particular condo is set up, you come out the door, and have to go down the steps (or elevator), to the ground.  It is parallel to the beach, so you walk beside it, or under it down to the end near the beach.  There is a gate you have to go through to get into the picnic/restroom/pool area that is under the end nearest to the beach.  We got as far as the gate with no problems.  But as we were nearing the gate, there was a man standing there.  I could hear water hitting the concrete floor.  My first thought was that he was pouring out a water bottle or something.  But when my brain registered what was actually happening (he was using the restroom - right out there in front of the whole world), with my whole family walking up to him face to face, I was pretty much in shock.  I just grabbed the top of the Youngest Princess's head and turned her to redirect her away from the man.  The rest of the family followed suit.  We walked a few steps in the other direction while the man finished his very private business in a very public way about 5 to 10 feet away from a restroom.  Then we heard him going up the steps, so we turned to go back and go through the gate and continue on to the beach, when the man said, "Hey!  I'd watch my step if I were you!  Someone just peed all over the floor over there!"  Um, ya think?!?  We definitely watched our step, and and we talked about how when you drink alcohol, it becomes what controls you.  You are no longer in control.  The alcohol is, and when that is the case, you do things that you most likely would never do if you were not being controlled by alcohol.  Like what we had just seen.  I never want to be controlled by anything, but the Holy Spirit.  We also talked about what my parents used to say, "Nothing good ever happens after ten o'clock."  We have heard it said different ways..."after dark", "after midnight", whatever, but the principle still applies.  At night, it is best to be inside, in your home, with your family.  After that, the Oldest Princess made sure we were inside by ten o'clock each night, except for the last night, and she stayed in while we went out crab hunting.  She did not want a repeat happening of the first night. And I don't blame her.

Anyway, we did walk on down to the beach, and we saw tons of crabs.  As we were walking back up to the condo, the Oldest Princess saw a really big crab.  She yelled for us to look at it  and went running to keep her light on it so that we could see it.  At one point, it changed directions and headed back toward her.  She yelped and did the best dance I've ever seen her do trying to get away from it. Oh, how I wish I had been videoing at that point in time.  I would have given anything to have it on video!  After that, we went back up to the condo and climbed wearily in bed.

Monday, July 25 -

I love to get up and get out on the beach early.  In the past, I have done it alone, and My Prince and the kids sleep in and come later.  This time, the two oldest children asked me to wake them up so that they could go with me.  I told them I would.  I set my alarm so that I could be on the beach to watch the sunrise, and when it went off I got up and got ready.  I woke both of the older kids up, but only one was still up to going with me.  The Oldest Princess opted for a little more sleep.

So the Young Prince and I went out and walked and watched the sunrise.  We saw one of those big crane type birds watching some people fish.  I think he was hoping for some breakfast.  The Young Prince took his camera and got some pretty good pictures.  I took my phone, and got some okay pictures.

Here is a picture of the sunrise.  I just love how there are very few people on the beach at this time, and it is so quiet and peaceful.  I love going down and walking, and then just sitting and thinking about how big God is, and praising Him for making such a beautiful place.  It breathes life and peace back into my soul to be on the beach in the morning.  It is definitely my happy place.  And it was neat to have the Young Prince join me for the first time.

We stayed for about an hour, and then we went back in to put away his camera, and to get chairs and my book.

Aaahhh.  Just looking at the pictures again makes me feel relaxed!  I could definitely live at the beach!

The Young Prince enjoying some early morning waves.

Eventually, everyone else came out and joined us.  The Youngest Princess and I played in the waves for a few minutes, and when I was done, she talked her big sister into going out there with her.

It showered on us off and on pretty much the whole time we were out there.  It's not too bad, because the rain cools you off.  But My Prince did not enjoy it nearly as much as I did.  He had grabbed a towel and was holding it over his head, and the Oldest Princess got my attention and wanted me to take a picture of him.  So, of course, I did...

All was peaceful for a while.  Until they came out.  You know.  That family.  The one that thinks they are the only ones on the beach.  They had a son named Adam.  I know this, because they parked themselves in front of us, and screamed at him for every move he made.  He might have been 2 or 3. His sister was trying to build a sandcastle.  She would build, he would knock it down.  She would wail, "MOOOOOOOMMMM!!!"  Mom would scream at the top of her lungs, "NO!  ADAM!  THAT IS NOT NICE!  THAT'S A BAD BOY, ADAM!!!" Then she would turn and talk to grandma, while the sister would build again.  Adam would go over and knock it down again.  Sister would wail again.  And mom would scream again. And then the whole thing continued over and over. You get the picture.  I wanted to step up and give her a couple of friendly parenting tips.  Things that would make her day (as well as everyone around her) go a little bit better. But I refrained.  It took just about all that I had in me. Then grandma got out a cigarette.  And the wind was blowing right at us.  I figured that we would inhale more of it than she would.  But thankfully (and probably with some help from prayers said by the oldest princess and me) her lighter would not work and she had to go back to the tent that they had set up behind us to smoke. 

It was getting to be close to noon, and we decided that we would go in, get cleaned up and go to lunch, and then come back out later in the evening.  That way we would miss the heat of the day - and the rest of the Adam's family show.  

So we went in and all got cleaned up and decided to go to a place that we had been in the past.  It was monumental to make a decision.  To get a family of five to totally agree on anything is quite a feat. Well, we finally decided on a place and walked in.  There was an elderly lady who was getting our menus and going to seat us.  I saw another employee walk over and lean in and say, "Did they ask for them?  Then, no!  Don't give them one unless they ASK for one!"  I figured she was talking about a kid's menu, because the Youngest Princess is right on the edge of not being able to order from the kid's menu any more.  Still.  The whole situation did not sit well with me.  I felt like they were trying to take advantage of us before we were even seated.

But then, the elderly lady sat us, and told us that she would bring us a kid's menu.  So that was not it. As I looked at my menu, I realized that it was a dinner menu, not a lunch menu.  So that had to be it. We came at lunch, and they gave us dinner menus, so I told My Prince what I had heard them say, and he asked for lunch menus.  They brought them to us.  We ordered and ate, but it will be the last time that we go there.  If you want to know where it was, just ask me, and I'll be glad to tell you.  I do not agree with people who try to take advantage of others.  It shows a lack of character, and I don't/won't support it.

After lunch, we went to a couple of little stores.  My Prince bought a little football for them to throw around on the beach.   We bought a bucket so we could take the youngest Princess crab hunting that night.  We have a family tradition that when we go to the beach, the girls and I get anklets.  We could not find ones we liked, so we gave up on that for the day, and went back to the condo.  

When we got there, I was very sleepy.  I had only had about 4 hours worth of sleep the night before thanks to getting in late, and then getting up early.  Maybe that is why Adam's family got on my nerves so much?  So, we all took about an hour's nap.

Then we got up and went back out to the beach for a few hours.  It was much less crowded.  A lot of people had gone in to get ready to go out to dinner by this point.

The family tossing a football, while I sat in my chair and relaxed and read.

It continued to rain on us off and on.  And God sent a beautiful rainbow for us to enjoy.

The kids played in the water, and dug in the sand.  The Youngest Princess did not like to go to the water and get her feet wet, and then come up to the soft sand and have it stick to her wet feet.  So she filled the bucket with water and came up to wash her feet.  Her sweet daddy got a towel and helped her dry her feet, so the sand would not stick to them.  He's such a good man!

The Youngest Princess and I took a beach selfie.

I took a cute picture of the Oldest Princess.

We all got hungry and decided to go in.  We sent My Prince out for pizza, and ate pizza in the condo for dinner.  We watched American Ninja Warrior (my first time to see it), and waited for it to get dark so that we could go out crab hunting.  The Oldest Princess opted to stay in instead of going crab hunting with us.  So the rest of us went out in search of the giant crab that the Oldest Princess had found the night before.  When we got to the beach, there were a ton of people crab hunting.  I figured there would not be any crabs left for us to find with all of those people already hunting.  But, we did pretty good any way.  We did not however find the giant crab that we were looking for.  But here is a picture of our night's catch.  Don't worry, we released them all.  None of them came home with us.

After releasing the crabs, we went in and went to bed.  Sunrise comes early the next morning.  This time, the Youngest Princess said that she wanted to go with me.  I was doubtful that she would get up, but I told her I would wake her up and see if she still wanted to go with me.

Until I blog again...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

July 20 - July 23, 2016

Wednesday, July 20 - We got up and hung out around the cabin for a while.  I saw on facebook that one of my nephews from Texas was going to be in Gatlinburg with his girlfriend and her family.  I text him, and we decided on a time that would be best to meet up, if it worked out.

Then we went out and did a little shopping.  The Oldest Princess bought a couple of shirts for college.  The Young Prince, Z-Bone and T-Bone all bought caps.  Special K bought a new outfit.

We left the shopping center and went to drive through Cades Cove.  Several locals had told us that the best time to see bears was at sunset.  We got there a little early.  We drove through and saw some turkey and several deer.  There was one bear, but only the Young Prince and Z-Bone got to see it.  We stopped and let the kids play in a little creek.  We decided that we wanted to drive through one more time since it was a little later, so hopefully the girls and T-Bone could see a bear too.  There was quite a bit more traffic the second time through, and when people would see bears, they would just stop in the middle of the road, and cause traffic to back up.  So it was slow going the second time, but we were able to see some bears.  And by the time we finished the second loop, we had kids sitting on the top of the van, kids hanging out the windows and kids hanging out the sunroof.  I think we may have been in the car a little too long!  At one point, Special K and I got out to take a selfie with the mountains in the background, and the little rotten children that we have locked the car and made us dance to be able to get back in.  The Oldest Princess wanted to stop and point at nothing and see how many people we could trick into trying to see what we were looking at.  Z-Bone got several good pictures.  Special K and Z-Bone were able to play with them on one of their photo editing programs when we got back to the cabin, and several of them turned out really nice.

When we left Cades Cove, we took the very twisty route back to Gatlinburg.  I text my nephew, and he and his girlfriend came and met us.  We were meeting her for the first time.  We had heard good things about her, and we were glad to finally be able to meet her.  And of course we were very glad to see J.  We visited with them for about 20 to 30 minutes.  Not nearly long enough, but it was good to be able to see them, even for a short time.

We got back to our cabin and the kids spent some time in the hot tub before we went to bed.

Thursday, July 21 - We slept in a little and took our time getting ready.  When we all got ready, we left and did a little shopping.  I got the Youngest Princess several tops and a pair of shorts.  Miss B and the Youngest Princess stood in the window and acted like mannequins.  Then the three boys did the same.  The boys were really good at it.  I told them they were the best looking mannequins I had seen in a long time.

We found a park and the little girls played on the playground while the rest of us played Dutch Blitz on the picnic table.  We had to move it into the shade.  The search for the perfect Dutch Blitz table is still on.  Oh, and the benches were h-o-t!  We had to stand for the first few rounds while the benches cooled off in the shade.  The girls didn't play long before they came over to play cards with us, because it was too hot on the playground as well.  We played for a while, and then we drove to a local drive up restaurant and ordered something to eat.  It was a comedy of errors, and by this point, we were all very tired of being in the car like sardines.  They brought us the wrong hamburger, and they forgot one of our drinks.  They brought the right hamburger, but forgot the drink.  They finally brought the drink.  We asked for ketchup.  We were pretty much finished with our food when they finally brought the ketchup.  The toy in the kid's meal was a shark.  You pushed a button, and the shark's head flew off.  Just what we needed in a car full of kids packed in like sardines who have been in the car way too much the past few days.  I confiscated said shark toys.  To save the lives of all the children.  Special K bought slushies for all who wanted one.  Only the little girls were takers.

After their slushies were delivered, we got on the road.  Special K was driving us to meet up with My Prince who was coming to pick us up and take us home.  We made better time than My Prince and we got to the rendezvous point before he did.  So of course, we did a little shopping.  We all found something except for the Youngest Princess.  Well, she found this little yappy battery powered dog, but I told her no.  My Prince finally got there, and we were very glad to see him again.  We switched our luggage over to our car, and said our goodbyes to our very special friends.  It was wonderful to be able to spend some time with them.  We love them dearly and cherish the time that we get to spend together.

We drove on down the road, and stopped for dinner.  After we ate, we got back in the car, and headed for home.  We went through several pretty heavy rainstorms.  I know My Prince was glad to be home when we finally drove into the driveway.  It was barely raining, but there was a lot of lightening, so we emptied the car as fast as we could.  We pretty much went straight to bed.  Well, except for the Oldest Princess who had to repack, because she was leaving again the next morning.

Friday, July 22 - My Prince got up and went to work out.  Then he came back and got the Oldest Princess and took her to get several shots she needed to have her record up to date, so that we could send it to the college and have everything done as far as her enrollment goes.

The Oldest Princess came home, and My Prince went to a coaching network meeting.  The Oldest Princess and I watched a couple of shows together, and then I started getting ready.  She finished packing for the Senior trip with our Youth Pastor and his wife to the beach.  When I got ready, My Prince came home.  He brought the mail in with him, and in the mail was a scholarship for the Oldest Princess.  Praise the Lord!  We were very thankful to get that.

We took her to the church to meet up with the others going on the trip.  Then the Young Prince, the Youngest Princess, My Prince and I all went to a local restaurant for lunch.  They had a television on, and we watched the news about the shooting in Munich, Germany.  It is heartbreaking to me.  I do not understand the mindset of someone who would take weapons and kill totally innocent people.  What exactly do they think that they are accomplishing?  It makes absolutely no sense in the world to me.  My heart breaks for the families of the victims.  They are in my prayers.  So senseless and so sad.

My Prince brought us home.  The Young Prince and the Youngest Princess went upstairs to hang out, and I took a nap on the couch.

My Prince came home and we ate dinner.  I saw on Facebook that a local railroad museum was having a wild west day the next day.  You could buy tickets and take a train ride, and bandits would stop the train and try to rob you.  The Youngest Princess has been wanting to take a train ride for a long time, because that is how Mandie (in our books we read) traveled.  I told My Prince, and he agreed that it would be a fun thing for us to do.  We called Grammy and Poppy to see if they wanted to go with us.  They said that they would.  So we got online and bought our tickets.

The Young Prince wanted to watch a super hero movie with My Prince, so the Youngest Princess and I went upstairs to read Mandie.  It has been way too long since we have read Mandie together.  We finished the book we were on.  Mandie graduated from high school at the end of the book.  I think there may be a few more special books, (there is still a Christmas one on the Kindle edition I bought) but otherwise, I think we have finished the Mandie series.  I guess we will have to find a new series to read together.

The Youngest Princess fell asleep with me while the boys finished their movie.

Saturday, July 23 - We woke up early, so that we could get ready and go for our Wild West train ride.  Grammy and Poppy met us here and we rode to the Railroad Museum together.  We let the Youngest Princess pick the train car that we would ride in.  There was a completely open air car (not much like a real train ride), there was an air conditioned passenger car (but the windows were up, and you would not hear the bandits very well, and then there was the un-air conditioned passenger car (hot, but with windows up, so you could feel the breeze and hear the bandits).  The Youngest Princess picked the un-air conditioned car.  We had a good time, and despite the heat, enjoyed the little show. It was fun, and the Youngest Princess got to pretend that she was Mandie and that she was taking a trip with her grandmother on a train.  So she was happy.

After the train ride was over, we went to eat lunch.  Then the Young Prince asked if we could go to Walmart to pick up some more plants to put in the large pot by our door.  We have two little ones, and he thought that they needed company.  He, Grammy and I picked out a few plants, and he found a cactus for his room.  My Prince and the Youngest Princess went to get a cucumber and some other things we needed.  The Youngest Princess wanted a cucumber, because we had seen a video of cats that were afraid of cucumbers and she wanted to see if it would scare our cats.

We got home, and she put the cucumber down by the cats.  They just sniffed it and walked away.  It was too funny.  The Young Prince replanted his plants in the planter by the door, and took his cactus to his room.  Grammy and Poppy headed off to do whatever they had planned for the rest of the day. My Prince went to take a nap, and I worked on some laundry and started catching up on my blog.

The Oldest Princess text to say that they were having a good time.  The Youngest Princess wanted to go outside for a while, so we did.  The Young Prince went for a run - working on getting ready for all the running he is going to have to do in football practice.

We are going to grill hamburgers in a little while, and I am going to try to work on my Bible study and get some more things done around here before it is time to go to bed.

Until I blog again...

July 16 - July 19, 2016

Saturday, July 18 - So much has happened since then.  I really don't remember anything about Saturday.  I guess it was just a regular day at home.  If something monumental happened, please forgive me.  I honestly don't remember much other than that I am sure I did laundry and that we packed so that we could leave Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, July 17 - It was a good morning, as much as I can remember.  We finished getting the last minute things packed, and loaded everything into the car.

Sunday school was good. Then when I went upstairs for the service, I was surprised to see one of our former students, and the young lady that he is dating.  We always love seeing J, and I was very excited to meet E.  We have heard a lot about her, and she was just as lovely as we knew she would be.  I enjoyed talking to them for the few minutes before the service started.  The service was good. The choir sang "Beulah Land".  My Grandmother's name was Beulah, and she always asked Marc to sing it for her when we were there. He sang it at her funeral.  So, while they were singing it, I had to think about anything and everything but what they were singing, so that I would not get emotional.  It was beautiful, it is just a very emotional song for me.  The rest of the service went well.  We had a new family join.  We have been friends with them for years, and now we are very excited to have them as a part of our church family.

After church, we decided where to go for lunch.  We invited J and E to go with us, because we really hadn't got to talk to E that much. We all really liked E.  She is very sweet.  We ate and visited quickly so that we could get on the road.

Grammy was awesome to volunteer to drive us halfway to meet up with Special K and her mom who had come halfway from their home to pick us up.  We had a great trip down, and headed back home with them.  When we got there, we got to see B and Uncle D, and had a few minutes to freshen before it was time to go to church.  Their teens had just come home from camp, and so they sang a few songs and then some of them gave testimonies of what God had done in their lives during the week.  The first testimony was by War-bug.  He is Special K and Uncle D's middle son.  We have been praying for him for a while now.  His testimony was that he had gotten saved that week during camp.  It was on Wednesday.  I know because Special K had texted me to let me know the news.  I had rejoiced with her from far away, and now, I was getting to rejoice with her in person.  What a blessing, and a huge answer to prayer!  His testimony brought tears to my eyes, and to many other's eyes I am sure.  The rest of the testimonies were touching as well.  The other young man that got saved was the son of another couple that we are friends with.  It was definitely a night of praise. Then the young man who is the youth pastor now, was a young man who was in our youth group at one time.  He preached and did a great job.  It was fun to see old friends.  After church they had a fellowship for a family that was moving away.

We got back to the house and we played cards for a little while.  Special K packed while we played. She searched the house over for an elusive blue and white striped shirt. Most of us were too tired to do much good playing cards, so we all decided it was time to go to bed.

Monday, July 18 - We got up and got ready to go.  Special K found her shirt.  It was in the washing machine.  Somehow we got everything packed into the van, including all of the kids - except for War-bug who had to stay home to work - and we started our journey to the mountains.  We had a pretty uneventful trip, which is always good in my book.  I learned about Pokemon Go! from T-Bone. Then the Young Prince and Z-Bone downloaded the apps and joined the madness.  I know way more than I ever wanted to about it (poke stops, and gyms not gems, and battles, and weetles?), and I still do not understand it all.  We made it to our cabin, and unloaded everything.

Special K, the Oldest Princess and I then went to the grocery store to buy our food for the week.  We were trying to hurry to get back to the boys and our little girls, so we made a few mistakes.  I bought low sodium olives - yuck!  They were like eating flavorless eyeballs.  It was bad.  And I was sad, because I was really hungry for olives.

Anyway, while we were checking out, the man running our register asked me if I had a rewards card. I told him that I did not, because we do not have those kinds of grocery stores where we live, although I wish we did.  He asked me where we were from.  I told him a geographical location in our state.  He said, "Oh, as in the  _______ and ________ area?"  And named the town we live in, and the next little town over.  What?!?  Crazy!!!  I told him, "Yes! Exactly!", and he said that his ex-wife was from that area.  Too funny.  It really is a small world!  We loaded the groceries and headed back to the cabin.  And Special K, the Oldest Princess and I still can't for the life of us figure out why they would sell us a box of Hostess cupcakes that were opened and had exactly three cupcakes missing.

We got back to the cabin and feasted on some gourmet frozen pizza and pizza rolls.  The kids wanted to get into the hot tub, so they did that while Special K and I used our big muscles (not) to move the huge, solid, heavy coffee table out of the way in order to make T-Bone's bed.  My back will never be the same!  And about the time we set it down, it glided smoothly across the floor.  On. its. wheels. Yes, my friends.  It. had. wheels.  Special K hit the floor laughing so hard.  The kids thought that we had locked them out because we were both laughing like maniacs.  It really was funny.  And not funny.  All at the same time.

The kids came in and we decided to play some Dutch Blitz.  The owners of the cabin had just redecorated, so the really cool hexagonal table that we just knew from the pictures would be the perfect place to play Dutch Blitz was no longer there.  In it's place was a beautiful rectangle table. We were disappointed.  But we decided to make the best of it and play anyway.  But the lighting was terrible.  So we rearranged a little, and moved the table to the middle of the kitchen.  We all did pretty well.  But we were all pretty tired, so silliness got the best of us.  We ended up playing chipmunk versions of songs, and doing sing-a-long videos to Disney songs, and laughing at one another.  Z-Bone had a great Elsa voice!  We also told him that we could just see him driving down the road in his 'stang singing "This Girl is on Fire" chipmunk style.

At one point earlier in the evening, the kids were trying to figure out the purpose of a knob on the wall in the girls room.  Special K had them convinced for a minute that it worked a two way mirror that hung in the hallway.

Finally we all decided it was time to quit and get some rest.

Tuesday, July 19 - We got up and got ready and Special K called to make sure that the water level was high enough for us to go tubing.  It was, so we packed snacks and lunches and loaded up in the car.  On the way the Young Prince taught the girls about the "Cotton-tailed Rattle-moskin."  He told them that they only eat little girls that can't keep their mouths shut.  Reminds me of something my brother would do and say.

When we got there, we rented our tubes and a floating ice chest.  Then we went to the car and put everything in the ice chest, and waited while Z-Bone got his fishing stuff ready.  He was going to fly fish while we floated, and I would tell you what he was doing, but I have no idea what all that stuff is called, and if I tried, I would get it all wrong.  Anyway, finally with mine, and Special K's help, he accomplished what he was trying to accomplish (putting a worm on the hook seems to be a whole lot easier), and we were ready to tube.

A quick speech on what we could and could not do, and a group photo, and we were in the water. The Youngest Princess immediately got separated from our group, and because she had never been tubing before, she really did not know what to expect.  So she panicked.  Another large group got in behind us, and they were probably in their late teen, early twenties.  Their vocabulary consisted mainly of four letter words.  My sweet baby got caught up in the middle of them all, and heard more filth in that 5 minute time span than she has probably heard in her 10 years of life.  They finally realized that she was with us, and passed her up through them to where T-Bone could grab ahold of her.  We all managed to link up, and Z-Bone got out of his float and held us in one place long enough for that group to pass us by and get on down the river before we started floating again.  I tied the Youngest Princesses float to mine so that she would not get separated from me again.

We floated and relaxed while taking pictures and talking.  The Young Prince and Z-Bone did some fishing.  They caught several little ones, mostly small mouth bass.  We found a spot on the side and got out and ate our lunch.  Then we floated on.  I saw a turtle on a log.  Z-Bone tried to catch it, but it got away.  Further down, I almost flipped over on a small rapid, because I was tied to the Youngest Princess and the Oldest Princess was holding on to me, and we weren't going over together.  The Oldest Princess let go, and we all managed to get over it without flipping over, but for a minute there, I thought I was a goner.  Another time Miss B and the Youngest Princess were out of their floats, and we came up on a small rapid.  They got back in those floats as fast as they could.  Special K and I got stuck once, and had to separate to get past a big rock.  Z-Bone saw a snake on the bank.  He stopped to watch it.  He looked back to tell us it was there, and then when he turned back around, it was gone. I was completely on top of my float.  None of me was in the water at all at that point.  T-Bone had on flip flops and kept losing them.  At one point, I was telling my children that I loved them.  T-Bone was there, and I included him too, "T-Bone, I love you too!"  He said it was good to hear that, because his mother never told him that she loved him.  He said that of course for her benefit, but she was busy talking to the boys and missed the whole conversation.  I told him that as long as I was there, he would know he was loved.  It was our running joke from that time on for me to tell him that I loved him.

We got to the point where it was time for us to get out.  The little vans were there to pick us up.  We loaded in, and they slammed the back doors and almost scared Special K out of her skin.  As we got on our way, Special K tapped the Young Prince on the shoulder to tell him something.  But she thought that she was tapping Z-Bone on the shoulder.  She is his momma, and she still mixes them up (they really do resemble a lot - especially from the back) (so don't feel bad about graduation K, even their mommas mix them up sometimes).  Anyway, the Young Prince turned, and Special K said, "Oh, wrong Z-Bone!"

We went back to our cabin and got our showers, and made some sandwiches.  Then we drove to Gatlinburg to look around.  When we drove into the parking lot, Special K got out to pay, but a lady stopped her and gave us her ticket, because she was leaving and it was still good until 4:30 the next morning.  We parked and decided to eat first.  So we broke out our sandwiches and had a picnic in the car.  Then we got out and walked around a little.  The Oldest Princess bought a shirt.  I bought the Youngest Princess a bracelet.  But other than that, we just walked.  There were people singing, or doing arts and crafts on the sidewalk as we walked by.  One lady was making church-house dolls. We stopped and she taught Miss B and the Youngest Princess how to make one, and they got to keep the ones they made.

We went back to the cabin, moved the table back into the kitchen snacked and played some more Dutch Blitz.  I think Z-Bone was on his 6th or 7th cup of dry cereal by this point.  Special K had taken to calling him Cereal Boy.  It was a good thing that we bought the family sized box of frosted flakes!  We didn't play long before we all decided it was time to call it a day and get some rest.

And because this is getting long, I too, will call it a day, and stop for now.

Until I blog again...

Saturday, July 16, 2016

July 11 - July 15, 2016

Monday, July 11 - The plans were for the girls to go shopping.  But because of the washing machine debacle, we decided that My Prince and I needed to go shopping for a washing machine instead. Which was fine with me.  I was excited to be able to get a washing machine that I did not have to baby along.

The Youngest Princess was still at her friend's house.  The Oldest Princess went to work and then later in the day met up with Grammy, and they went shopping as planned.  My Prince went to work. I worked on my Bible study and did some things around the house.  The Young Prince slept in.

At noon, My Prince and I left to go looking for washing machines.  The Young Prince and Poppy went shopping, and then fishing.

My Prince and I ate lunch and then went to a home improvement store.  There were rows and rows of washers and dryers.  I told the salesman that I wanted a dependable TOP LOAD washer for a family of 5.  I didn't want one that cooked dinner too.  I just needed something that would wash the clothes of a very active 5 person family.  He guided us a little, and we settled on a very normal washing machine.  He told us they could deliver it on Wednesday, but we were going to be out of town on Wednesday, so we settled on Friday instead.  We even lined up for them to remove the old one - hallelujah!

We ran to Walmart and did a little shopping there, and then we came home.  The Oldest Princess and Grammy came in shortly after we did.  The Oldest Princess wanted to have fried chicken strips, fried okra, peas, and rolls for dinner.  So we got busy getting that started.

Grammy ran to Walmart to return something, My Prince left to go pick up the Youngest Princess, and The Oldest Princess and I made memories in the kitchen.

My friend stopped by to return a bowl that I had let her borrow.  We talked for a little while until the Oldest Princess cried SOS from the kitchen.  My friend left, and I got back to helping with dinner. My Prince and the Youngest Princess returned.  The Youngest Princess had backed into a rosebush while at her friend's house, and her little legs were covered in scrapes and scratches.  Grammy got home from her Walmart trip and Poppy and the Young Prince returned from their fishing trip.

We finally got dinner ready and on the table.  It was delicious if I must say so myself.  We all enjoyed it, and I am glad because it will probably be a long time before we do it again.

Tuesday, July 12 - The Oldest Princess was going to babysit for a friend who has a pool, so the Youngest Princess, the Young Prince and I went over to meet her there and swim for a little while.

We swam for about an hour, and then I came home.  The Young Prince and the Youngest Princess stayed to come home when the Oldest Princess came home.  I got my shower and was resting for a few minutes when the kids got home.

The Oldest Princess found out that it was Chick-fil-a's cow appreciation day or something like that, and she begged for us to go.  If you dress up like a cow, then you get your entree free.  We tossed around going, or not going for quite a while.  The Youngest Princess was already in her pajamas (after her shower) and she made it clear that she did not want to go anywhere.  She was still tired from Sunday night's sleepover.  But we finally decided to go.  The Oldest Princess even talked the Youngest Princess into dressing up like a cow with her.  Only the girls dressed up though.  The rest of us paid full price for our meal.

When we got there, it was crazy crowded.  But thankfully, it was Chick-fil-a, so we did not have a long wait.  Probably the longest we have ever had to wait there, but still it was a short wait compared to other places.  I love Chick-fil-a's service!  We ate and tried not to be too distracted by the other customers dressed like cows.

We went to Walmart to pick up a few things after we ate.  We divided and conquered in Walmart. Then the Young Prince wanted to go to Books a Million and see if they had the second book in the series that he had started.  They did.  He got it, and I got a Karen Kingsbury book that I haven't read yet.  The Youngest Pirncess got a yogurt, and we were all ready to go home.

Wednesday, July 13 - My Prince and I were leaving to go on an overnight trip to meet with a church planter in another city.  The Young Prince was riding along because we had some friends that we had met while doing different mission work last summer who lived in the area and wanted to see him. The girls stayed home.  The Oldest Princess went to pick up the little girl that she babysits, and then came back to see us off.  We got ready and headed out.

We met with the others who were going, and hit the road.  We enjoyed the fellowship during the trip. We stopped and ate lunch and then continued on our trip.  It was a nice, uneventful trip.  We finally got to the exit where we were to meet our friends.  They were waiting for us.  We talked to them for a few minutes, had a time of prayer together, then sent the Young Prince off with them, and continued on our way.

We got to the place where we were staying, unpacked, and freshened up a little, and then met back at the bus to take in some sights and sounds of the city and get some dinner.  We drove downtown.  The closer we got to downtown, the more it looked like we were in a third world country.  I commented about how much it reminded me of the Dominican Republic.  If the traffic had been crazy, and the signs in Spanish, I could have convinced myself that I was back in the DR.

We walked around and looked in a few shops.  One of us got an unexpected shoe shine.  The spiritual oppression was palpable.  It was very sad to me.  The masses of people who live in hopelessness. Many of them in extreme poverty.  And salvation is free.  They just have to be ready to accept it.  Yet so many of them chose instead to turn it down, and try other things to make them happy, and the things they try just enslave them even more.  Very, very sad.

We ate dinner, and it was delicious.  Then we walked around some more to walk off a little of our dinner and make room for some dessert.  The dessert was delicious as well.  After that, we were all ready to head back to the bus and to where we were staying.  I got a text from our friends saying that they were going to have dessert and then they would bring the Young Prince back to us.  They had the same dessert that we did, only from a different place.  I was glad that the Young Prince was able to try one.

We got back to the place where we were staying, and relaxed for a little while until our friends got back with the Young Prince.  We sat in the lobby and visited with them for about an hour and a half, until we were all so tired we could hardly hold our eyes open.  Our friends still had a little bit of a drive to get home.  So we prayed together again, and then they had to leave.  We really enjoyed our time with them, and we hope that things work out so that we are able to get together with them again in the near future.  It was very sweet of them to drive out of their way not once, but twice for the Young Prince.  We haven't known them that long, but there is a special bond in Christ there that makes it feel like we have known them forever.

Thursday, July 14 - We got up and got ready to meet the rest of our group.  We stopped at McDonald's and had a quick breakfast, and then went on to meet with the church planter and his family.  We sat in their living room and they shared their hearts and their ministry goals with us.  It was exciting to hear how God has worked so far and the ways that He has opened doors for them, and the lives that they have seen changed for the Lord.  It was also interesting to hear what their needs are, and how we might be able to partner with them and help to see those needs met.

They took us to show us where they have been meeting, and some of the areas where they had been ministering.  One of the areas was an open area/playground in an apartment complex where they have held Backyard Bible clubs with the children who live there.  There was a streetlight on the edge of that area.  On the streetlight was a pole that extended higher than the streetlight.  The church planter explained that on that pole was a sensor - a light of some kind - that was a signal to the complex that there was an active shooter event.  If the light was on, they were to get to safety as soon as possible. And then we turned the corner, and there were groups of kids walking down the sidewalk.  All looked to be elementary school aged, with no adult in sight.  The church planter told us that we could not stop, because if we did, the kids would see the church bus and swarm out to see what kind of event we had come to hold for them.  I wanted to stop, load the bus and bring them all home with us.

 We drove on, and went to lunch.  Hearing more about the city and the church planter's heart for the people there.  Lunch was very interesting.  They had things on the menu that I had never heard of in my life.  And certainly did not know what they were.  I stuck with something familiar.  Catfish.  With Turtle cheesecake for dessert.  It was delicious.

Then it was time to say our goodbyes and head home.  The trip home was a little longer than we had expected because of traffic from several wrecks.  But we made it home safely, and had a great time.

We got home and were very glad to see the girls.  I had texted the Oldest Princess earlier and asked her to straighten up the laundry room area because they were supposed to bring the new washing machine the next day, and I had no idea what time they would get there.  She said she would, and boy did she ever.  It looked fantastic when we got home, and not only that, but she had straightened up and cleaned most of the downstairs.  I was very proud of her.  It looked great!

We visited with the girls and told them some of our stories.  They told us some of theirs, and then we all called it a night.

Friday, July 15 - I got up and got dressed pretty quickly, still not knowing when the washing machine would come.  They called and said they would be here between 10:30 and 12:30.  Then they pulled up about 9:45!  Who ever heard of a delivery service coming earlier than scheduled?!?  But early they were.  My Prince helped them get the old one out and the new one in.  They started it to let the water run through it, and then we were in business!  I was a clothes washing machine.  I got all of the clothes (that had been brought downstairs - there were still clothes upstairs, but they would have to wait for tomorrow) washed and dried and mostly put away.

The young lady that I have been discipling came over for our third session.  She is doing great.  She knew the memory verses better than I did.

The Youngest Princess and I sat out on the porch for a while.  We both read a little.  The Young Prince came home after lunch and fishing with some of his buddies.  The Oldest Princess came home from babysitting, My Prince got home from work.  We all sat on the porch and visited for a few minutes. The Youngest Princess bathed the dog.  The Young Prince gave the dog a hair cut.  It looks like a different dog now!

Grammy and Poppy came over and we grilled hamburgers for dinner.   After dinner, the girls ran to a local store to pick up a few things.  The guys started watching a ballgame.  We got home and finished cleaning up after dinner and decided to play some Dutch Blitz.  The Young Prince dressed up like a "thug" and entertained us (distracted us) while we played.  He even got in on the action, and played a hand or two with us, and that almost never happens.  He even blitzed once!  Grammy blitzed too!  It was a good night all the way around.

Grammy and Poppy headed home, and we all went to bed.  It did not take me long at all to fall asleep. I was very tired.  We have exciting things coming up, and a full schedule for the next few weeks, so who knows when I will have another chance, but -

Until I blog again...  

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 10, 2016

We woke up and started getting ready for church.  My Prince had told the kids the night before to get together their outfits that they wanted to wear to church, because he did not want the shoe thing from a couple of Sunday's ago to happen again.

So, the morning should have gone pretty smoothly, and it did, except the Oldest Princess came in to ask if she could wear my beige heels.  Please understand, it takes an act of congress for me to find a pair of shoes that I like.  So when I find a pair that I do like, I wear them out.  I can not stand shopping for new shoes.  And my beige heels, well, they are one of my favorite pairs of shoes.  And the Oldest Princess, well, she tends to be a little tough on shoes.  And, her belt was navy, so we settled on her borrowing my navy wedges instead.

My Prince had to go earlier than the rest of us, because he had to get there early to open the youth building.  After he left it seemed like it took four times as long to get anything done.  But we finally all got ready.

Sunday school was good.  We were full and had to bring out a few more chairs.  That is a good problem to have.  We discussed worship a little, which is what My Prince had preached on the week before.  then we covered a few more verses in I Peter 3.  We discussed the fact that God tells us to do something, and then promises blessing if we do it.  And yet, we still don't do it.  Why not?  Why don't we just do what God says to do and reap the blessings He promises?  There were several different answers, but I think it boils down to the fact that we, as a society, are just a strong willed people who want to do what we want to do, no matter the circumstances.  We don't want anyone to tell us what to do.  We want to be in control.  And as we as a people keep teaching kids that there are no consequences for their actions, or keep bailing them out when they need to learn to face the consequences of their actions, then we contribute to the problem.

In church, I enjoyed our worship service as always.  My Prince preached on the importance of small groups, where discipleship can happen.  He had one of our members who has been active in one of our small groups come forward and answer some questions about how being in a small group has helped him to grow spiritually, and has held him accountable to be more faithful in his Bible reading and scripture memory.  It was a good service.

After church, the Youngest Princess asked if she could go to her friends house.  We let her, and then we went to eat lunch with Grammy and Poppy.  Then we came home.  My Prince studied for his sermon, and I studied for my Bible study.  I was not feeling well, so I took a little nap hoping to wake up feeling better.  I got up and packed the Youngest Princess's bag, so she could spend the night with her friend.

The Oldest Princess washed a load of clothes.  They came out with grease all over them.  We decided that it is time to go looking for a new washing machine.  There are multiple things wrong with the washer (the door won't open all the way, it stops in the middle of loads, sometimes it doesn't pull in the laundry detergent, the door doesn't lock the first time so it has to be firmly shut at least twice sometimes three times before it will start...yes...) so, the grease was the straw that broke the camel's back.  It is time to stop the three ring circus that I call doing laundry and get a new washing machine. Enough is enough!

My Prince got ready to go and realized that he had misplaced his keys, and we all looked the whole house over for his keys.  They were no where to be found.  We never did find them.  The kids left for church, and My Prince and I continued to look for the keys.  We never did find his keys.  He had to leave.  I stayed home, because I was still not feeling well at all.  The later it got the worse I felt.  I was never sick, but it was one of those times that I wished I could be sick so I could feel better.  No fun.

After church My Prince, the Oldest Princess, and the Young Prince came home.  We watched a little television.  The Young Prince went upstairs and played his Ukulele and sang.  We enjoyed the concert from downstairs.

After a while, we all went to bed.  The kids took turns hanging out in our bedroom just talking for a little while.  And then we called it a day.

The keys are yet to be found.  Please pray with us that we find them soon.

Until I blog again...

Saturday, July 9, 2016

June 29, 2016 - July 9, 2016

Whew!  It has been a week, and that means a LOT of water under the bridge my friends!  I will try my best to just hit the high points in order to keep this short.  But sometimes I get a little carried away.  Anyway, here goes...

Wed. June 29 - Most of the day was spent getting ready for our trip to the country.  I did spend a little time with a young lady that I have started a Bible study with.  We had our first get together.  It went well.  We are praying for some of her friends to be able to join in also.  Please be in prayer with us about that.  That evening I went to the church and met with my Sunday night small group, because we were not going to be able to meet on Sunday night.  We had a good time as usual going through our study and sharing with one another what we have learned and what our struggles are and how we can pray for one another.

Thursday, June 30 - We spent most of the day driving to the country.  The Oldest Princess drove the whole first half of the way.  That's 4 hours non stop.  Then when we stopped to get gas, I drove for a little while.  Then the Young Prince drove for a little while.  He wanted me to read to him like I sometimes do for My Prince when he is driving.  So I read about three chapters to him.  Then I drove again, and finally we made it to the country.

Unka was there to welcome us.  We ate, and then we went down to visit with my Aunt P.  We went to the garden to pick some corn for her, but the corn that was left was not any good, so that did not last long.

Then we went and checked out where we would stay.  Then we went down to my Aunt V's, to pick some beans from her garden for my Aunt P.  We had a good time talking and laughing with them while we picked beans.  Oh, and I must add that we were all very broken hearted to find out that Unka had already bush hogged the peas to the ground, and that we would not be able to pick any peas while we were there.  Broken hearted, I say.  Broken hearted.  Do you feel me?  It just wasn't the same.

After that, we went back and unloaded our stuff.  The kids swam a little, and we visited with Unka until well after dark.  Then we went to our home away from home and got some rest.

Friday, July 1, 2016 - The Oldest Princess and I got up early and went down to help Unka clean out the garage.  We worked hard and finished pretty fast.  The Young Prince and the Youngest Princess came down when they woke up.  We all eventually ended up in the swimming pool.

Aunt T and L came while we were swimming.  We were excited to see them.  We all helped to unload their cars and worked on putting things away.  All the while talking and catching up with each other.   When they walked in, they praised Unka for the great job he had done in cleaning out the garage.  He had already told the Oldest Princess he would pay her for helping him, and would throw in a little extra if she did not volunteer the information to Aunt T that she helped him.  So while they were praising Unka for the great job he had done, we were biting our tongues.  I think they picked up on the fact that something was not quite right pretty quickly though, and the truth came out, so we didn't have to hold out tongues for too long.

Unka taught the Youngest Princess how to drive the four wheeler.  You would have thought he hung the moon after that, and that was all she wanted to do from that point on.

They broke out the human sling shot, and we all gave it a whirl.  Some of us whirled all the way out and onto our bottoms on the ground, and others videoed and laughed at those who whirled all the way out.  I told My Prince later on the phone, that I thought my niece L loved me, but I have proof on video that she laughed at me.

Cousin B came by and visited with us for a while.   My nephew J. A. also arrived.  When it got dark, we went in and played a game we wanted to try that uses the mouth guard things that orthodontists use when they need to keep your lips away from your teeth.  You put the guard in your mouth and then say a phrase, and your team tries to guess what you are saying.  We had a blast.  I think I laughed harder playing that game than I have laughed in a long time.  Eventually the fun had to end and we had to go to bed.

Saturday, July 2, 2016 - We started the day early again getting everything ready for the 4th of July party on the 2nd.  We all pitched in and worked together and were able to get it done.  My nephew J.R. and his wife M and their little one finally arrived, and of course we all had fun loving on the baby.  I loved his kissable cheeks.  He is a sweetie!  And he is at the age where he is beginning to want to GO!  I told M to look out, because when he does start going, I don't think he will ever stop.

Everyone started coming for the party.  It was very, very hot.  A lot of the kids stayed in the pool most of the day.  I could hardly get the Youngest Princess out to eat.  She ate some chips and dip and got right back into the pool.  We added ice to the pool water, because it was so hot.

There were door prizes.  I think we all won something.  I won a very cool sign.  The Young Prince won a throw blanket with an American flag on it.  The Youngest Princess won a game, and the Oldest Princess won a camo decorated dart board.  We told her we think it would great hanging in her dorm room!

We tried out the human slingshot again.  There were sack races.  Some played washers and some played corn hole.  But mostly we just sat around and visited because it was SO HOT.

Several people left, and J and J came rolling in.  They had been at the ball field all day.  We got to meet baby J, and he was precious.  He was just a smiley in real life as he is in all the pictures we have seen of him on Facebook.  His smile melted my heart.  I kept telling momma J that I was going to take him home with me.

We all went in and had some of Unka's delicious brisket that had been slow cooking on his big green egg all day. As well as many other fixings that go with it, including some community potato salad.  I say community because it truly did take a village to make it.  Everyone jumped in and sliced and diced and peeled and added in their two cents worth of what should or shouldn't be added and how much of it should or shouldn't be added.  It was pretty comical.  All the way around.  And it was done in record time.  I can't tell you how it tasted though, because I don't eat it.

After dinner, we cleaned up, and then headed outside to watch fireworks.  Unka's friend M has a friend that owns a fireworks stand and they were able to get some good deals on some really cool fireworks.  So we took out some lawn chairs and M and L set off the fireworks for us.  They were cool, but we were a little too close for my comfort.  So I was a little nervous, but I still enjoyed them.

After the fireworks, those that were still there from the party went home and the rest of us called it a night.

Sunday, July 3, 2016 - We got up and got ready and joined up with L to go to church.  Unka and Aunt T had to leave before us, because they were on the greeting team for that morning.  We enjoyed our time talking with L and J.A. on our way to church.  The Youngest Princess stayed home with with J.R. and M and baby H, because I had somehow managed to get away without packing her a dress.

Church was packed, but the service was very good.  The pastor preached about Christians standing up and doing what we have been called to do.  About us being salt, and what that means, and how that could change our country, if we all just do what God has called us to do.  At the end, the choir sang a patriotic special, and these little cannon type things shot out red, white and blue streamers and confetti, and confetti fell from the ceiling.  It was fun.  A great ending to a very well done, patriotic service.

Unka and Aunt T stopped and got chicken fingers for us to have for lunch.

After lunch, we spent some time in and around the pool.  I made friends with a lizard on the hammock.  Then I took a little nap, and woke up to red wasps flying around, and one right by my foot.  So I decided it was time for me to get off of the hammock.  We eventually were able to kill some of the wasps, but I still did not get back on the hammock.

We went in and played a little Dutch Blitz that night.  I was totally off my game.  I don't think I won even one round.  It was very, very sad!

My days run together, if I don't take good notes, and in this case I didn't.  So at some point, we played the mouthpiece, lipless game with J.R. and M, because they were not there the first time we played.  We all wrote phrases this time, so we could all guess, unless it was a phrase that we wrote.  J.R. picked several really tough phrases, and ironically he picked and had to say his own phrases.  I loved it!  Funny times.  Funny times.

We also played several games of Catch Phrase.  And again.  It was not my night.  "If you want to win, you need to be on my team." is usually my tongue in cheek battle cry on game night.  But the Dutch Blitz thing threw me for a loop, and my Catch Phrase team did not win either.  It was a sad day, folks.  A very sad day.

Also on Sunday, we got news that one of My Princes's cousins had lost her battle with cancer.  We hated to hear that.  I had only met her a few times, but really loved her.  She was very sweet and a Facebook friend, so we kept up with one another that way.  We were very sad to hear that she had passed away, but we are very thankful to know that we will see her again in heaven one day.

Monday, July 4, 2016 - After breakfast, the young prince was out at the pool.  He stuck his head in the door and asked M to go get J.R.  She asked him if everything was okay, and he said, "Yes, just please go get J.R."  so she did.  Then someone said that they had found a bat in the pool.  Of course we all need to go and check that out.  When we got out there, they had already fished the bat out of the pool with the net, and had laid it over on the steps.  You could see the water marks where it had moved about a foot.  I had figured that it would be dead.  But it was still alive.  Aunt T immediately picked up the largest rock she could find from the decorative rocks around the flower bed.  She was going to kill it with the rock.  J.R. told her to wait that she was going to get blood all over the sidewalk.  I was campaigning for them to just take the bat to the woods and let it go.  I told Aunt T that she did not need a rock THAT big.  It was HUGE compared to the little bat fighting for its little life.  They were all saying how nasty bats are, and how they carry rabies, etc.  L had already told the Youngest Princess to go inside and everything would be okay, because they did not want her to see the bat be killed.  So then she repeated the same thing to me, "Auntie, just go inside and everything will be okay."  Aunt T told me that she wanted to read all about me fighting for the bat's life on my blog.  Meanwhile, the Young Prince and J.R. had scooped up the bat in the pool net, and were halfway across the yard headed to the woods to release the bat.  It may or may not have survived, but at that time, nature was able to take it course.

J.A. left us after all of the bat excitement.  We hated to see him go, but he had things that he wanted to do that day, so he had to get back home.

We had a water balloon fight after that.  I volunteered to be the official photographer.  Unka volunteered to watch baby H.  Everyone else had a blast throwing water balloons and buckets of water and squirting one another with water squirters.

We took pictures of baby H in his "My First 4th of July" outfit, with the red, white and blue yard ornaments and flags.  They weren't perfect, but I think we still got some cute ones.

We all got in the pool except for M and J.R. and baby H, because they were getting ready to go home.  We all got out of the pool to tell them goodbye when they were ready to leave.  Then we got back in the pool for a little while.  We weren't in for long before we started hearing thunder.  I got out, and convinced everyone else to do the same.  Unka was the lone holdout, until I got on my weather app and proved to him that lightning had struck less than a mile away.  He had been floating around with a 4th of July headband on his hat saying, "Nannu, Nannu!" up until that point.  Then he was quickly paddling his float to the shallow end still saying, "Nannu, Nannu!"  and got out.

Aunt T suggested that we go shopping and out to eat.  By the time we were all ready, it was raining.  So I guess we made a good choice. Going out to eat turned out to be a little more of a challenge than we had thought, since it was the 4th, most places were closed.  We settled on a place that was open, and ate a late lunch.  Then we did some shopping, and headed back home.

Unka and the Youngest Princess did some more four wheeler riding.  Aunt T got online and ordered some shoes that the Youngest Princess wanted.  We took care of some of the Oldest Princess's college stuff online.

The Youngest Princess wanted to play one game before we went to bed.   Unka put in a big prize.  The Young Prince turned out to be the big winner.  After that we were all tired, and we knew we would be headed home the next day and needed our rest for the trip.  So we called it a day and headed back to go to bed.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 - We got up and got ready and packed the car and spent a little time visiting before we hit the road.   We said our goodbyes, and headed down the road.  We weren't far when Aunt T called and said we had left the Youngest Princess's flip flops.  I asked her to throw them in the mail for us.  Then the Youngest Princess said she didn't have any shoes except her slippers, if we didn't go back and get her shoes.  I told the Oldest Princess to call back and tell them we were going to get gas and then I would run back and get them.  She said that Unka would meet us at the gas station with them.  So we went on to the gas station and filled up, and waited for a few minutes until Unka came and brought the Youngest Princess her shoes.  Then we were on our way.  We had a nice trip.  Uneventful, just the way we like it.  We made it home at about 5:30 that evening.  No one wanted to help me drive this time.  They were tired, so I ended up driving the whole way myself.  I was very glad to be home with My Prince and out of the car.  My Prince had ham and hash brown casserole ready and waiting on us.  He is awesome, and it was delicious.  My Prince left to go to a prayer meeting.  The kids all went to visit our friends who had been out of town for a while before we left to go the country.  I called and talked with my sister for a while.

When everyone got home we went to bed, knowing the next day was going to be a long day also.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - We got up early and got ready to make the 2 1/2 hour trip to My Prince's cousin's funeral.  Grammy and Poppy came and rode with us.  The Oldest Princess went with us as well.  The Young Prince and the Youngest Princess stayed home.

The trip was good.  The funeral was very moving.  A beautiful tribute to a lady who lived her life for Christ and wanted others to know Him too.  After the funeral, we went to the graveside, and then on to the church to eat with the family.  And aside from the sad circumstances, it was good to see family and friends that we do not get to see very often.  And even meet some family and friends that I had never met before.  We made it back home just in time for church.

After church, we called it a day and went to bed.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 - The Youngest Princess went with some friends to a children's art museum.  I went and had my hair done.  An appointment that was long overdue.  My Prince, the Oldest Princess, the little girl she babysits, and I all went to lunch.  We brought lunch home to the Young Prince.  The Young Prince and I hung out at home for the afternoon.  The Young Prince finished the book that he had been reading for his summer reading assignment.  I think he really enjoyed it.  It was nice to see him wanting to read for a change.  The Youngest Princess was very excited to find out that her shoes that Aunt T had ordered came in.  She put them on immediately.

When everyone got home, the Young Prince went to spend the night with a friend, and the rest of us went to the school.  The Oldest Princess was helping out with volleyball practice, and the Youngest Princess wanted to play with her friend who would be at practice with her sister.  My Prince and I went to get in some exercise by walking the track.  I found out that our books had come in, so my sweet friend and her boys, and My Prince all helped me take my books to my room, and put the tests in my car so that I could tear them out and get them organized and filed.

We came home and started watching television.  That is when we heard about the shooting of the police officers in Dallas.  I tore out tests (the Oldest Princess helped) and watched the news.  Heartbroken for our country and what is happening.  Heartbroken that it happened to happen in my home state.  Heartbroken for the families that were changed forever by one person and his terrible lack of judgment.

We went to bed with heavy hearts.

Friday, July 8, 2016 - I got up and watched the news coming from Dallas while I tore out more tests.  My Prince worked from home.  I mostly worked on school stuff all morning.  Grammy and Poppy wanted to go to dinner and then to a ball game.  So we got ready and went with them to eat.

We were early, so we got there before the restaurant opened.  We were the first ones in the parking lot.  Poppy wanted to be "in line", so he got out of the car to sit on the bench by the door.   Then he got up to go around to a different door, and an elderly lady walked up and sat on the bench in the seat Poppy had just left.  Pretty soon, there were several people sitting around the door.  We opted to stay  in the car where it was cool.  A few minutes before the time for the restaurant to open, the little lady that had taken Poppy's seat actually got up and stood by the door.  She meant that she was going to be the first one in.  We laughed.  Watching people amuses me sometimes.  We all got in, and we all got fed.  Including the impatient lady who had to be first.

After a wonderful dinner, we headed to the baseball stadium.  When we got there, there was no ball game.  Poppy had looked at the schedule wrong.  He thought it was a home game, when it was actually an away game.  I felt very bad for him, because I know he really wanted to enjoy a game that night.  I also felt bad for the Young Princes's friend who had come with us, because he was really excited to be going to a ball game too.  Since there was no ball game, we walked down to the riverwalk to look around.  It was a beautiful evening, so we took the opportunity to take a few pictures.

We decided to go to a movie instead.  So we headed to the nearest movie theater.  We saw a movie that came out that day that we had all been wanting to see.  It was cute, and the theater was packed.  When we walked out, and were standing in the lobby I heard someone call our name.  It was our friends who have daughters the same age as the Oldest Princess and the Youngest Princess.  They had been in the same movie as us.

My Prince wanted to go to a sporting goods store and look around.  I found a shirt, and the Youngest Princess found an outfit.  Then we headed home.

Saturday, July 9, 2016 - I woke up and finished pulling out tests.  We mostly spent the day hanging out around the house getting a few things done.  It stormed in the afternoon, and I took a little nap on the couch.

A friend text and asked if I had a bowl she could use.   My Prince and I ran it over to her.  Then we ran by a local store to get the Oldest Princess some tubs to use for college.

We came home and got the kids and went to a little local place to get some dinner.  Now I've been working on my blog, while the Young Prince is watching a movie.  The girls are upstairs watching a different movie, and My Prince is putting the finishing touches on his sermon for tomorrow.  And now...I have caught up, and it took me way longer than I had planned to do so.

So, until I blog again...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June 28, 2016

Yesterday was a great day.  I woke up and did my First 5 devotions.  I got some laundry started and did a few things around the house.  The Oldest Princess was at work, My Prince went to work, and it was just the Young Prince and I at home for most of the morning.

The Oldest Princess had plans to meet the Adopted Princess for lunch, and they were sweet enough to invite me to come along as well.  My Prince asked if he could come also, and we told him he could but only if he paid for lunch.  The Youngest Princess was still at her friend's house, and I didn't want the Young Prince to be left out, so we invited him to come, too.

Before we left, I got a text from my sweet friend who kept the hedgehog for us while we went to World Changers.  She was going to bring him home on her way to run some errands.  So we now have the hedgehog back at home, and the Youngest Princess is happy.

We all went to a little local restaurant and had lunch together.  It was good to see the Adopted Princess as we had not seen her since we got home from our cruise.

The Oldest Princess was bing a driver for a friend of ours, and had to go do that when we finished lunch.  The Adopted Princess had an errand to run, and the rest of us came home.  I got some more done around the house and some things done that I am working on for school.

The Youngest Princess came home from her friend's house.  The Oldest Princess left to take home the little girl that she babysits and then pretty much came right back home.  We started getting ready for our family night out.

My Prince had bought tickets for us to go as a family and see my favorite musical that was coming to town.  I was so excited that I could hardly wait!  The Young Prince and the Youngest Princess had not seen it before, and I could not wait for them to see it.

We went to dinner first and then to the musical.  It was wonderful as always.  The Young Prince endured it (probably for my sake), and everyone else really enjoyed it.  The Youngest Princess was pretty tired, after spending the night with a friend the night before, but she still did good.  The Young Prince admitted that he liked it, but that it was "just. WAY. TOO. LONG."  He probably would have enjoyed it more if it had been about 1/4 of the length.

We stopped for dessert in the form of hot, fresh donuts on the way home.  It was a great day all the way around.  Fun times and great memories!

Until I blog again...