Two Tiaras and a Sword

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tag! I'm it!

A couple of days ago  my new blogging friend who blogs at A Snip of Goodness  tagged me in a blogging game of sorts.  I have never done anything like this before, so I don't know if I am doing this correctly or not...but in the spirit of fun here goes!

She was tagged by a friend of hers, and answered some questions posed by her friend.  Then she in turn posed some questions, and tagged some friends.  Here are her questions, and my answers.  If you get a chance slip over to A Snip of Goodness and read some of my friend's beautiful blogs!

1. If you could be any bird, what kind would you be?

Definitely a hummingbird.  I love them.  They are absolutely beautiful.  I love hanging out our feeders and sitting on our porch to watch them zip and hum around as they come to the feeders.

2. What is the best way you have found to make new friends? 

I would say that the best way I've found to make new friends is to be genuine and kind.  I am drawn to people who are genuine and kind, and I find that others are as well.

3. If you were assured of success, what would you do?

I guess if I were assured of success I would want to write for a living.

4. What 'sayings' did the most impactful male roll model in your life say?(father, grandfather, brother, friend)

Although he was a man of few words, one thing that my Daddy was known for saying was, "It will be a pretty day if it doesn't rain."  It was his way of letting everyone know that it was time to change the conversation.  Maybe someone was complaining, or talking bad about someone else, or worrying about something unnecessary, at that point Daddy would say is famous quote meaning, "Enough is enough.  Change the subject."  We would then laugh and change the subject.  Even today, some 11 years after his death, when a conversation takes a turn we don't want it to, one of us will quote him, and say, "It will be a pretty day if it doesn't rain."

5. What is the best way you have found to make someone smile?

The best way to make someone smile is to smile first, and then say something nice to them, or pay them a compliment

6. What makes you feel pretty?

Wow.  Tough question.  "It will be a pretty day if it doesn't rain."

7. If they were to make a movie of your life, what star should play you?

Seriously.  I LOVE my life.  But it is definitely NOT movie material.  Not nearly enough drama or excitement for Hollywood fare, and I love it that way.  But if they did ever make a movie of my life, I guess I would want Sandra Bullock to play me.  Maybe because I love her in the movies While You Were Sleeping and Miss Congeniality, maybe because I think she is funny.  But mostly because she seems to be a down to earth kind of gal.

8. What do you collect?

After what started as a high school inside joke between a friend and I, I used to collect cows.  I know...weird right.  But sadly, true.  Now...I collect dust bunnies and piles of laundry.  Recipes that I rarely use.  And hugs and kisses from my husband and children.

9. Have you ever wished to change your first name, and if so what would you change it to?

When I was little, I used to think that the name Cassandra was beautiful.  I wished that my name was Cassandra, and that people called me Cassie. 

Okay.  There you have it!  Now it is my turn to tag some people and ask some questions.

1.  What is the farthest you have ever traveled away from your home, and what was your purpose in going there?
2.  What is your favorite Bible verse?
3.  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
4.  What is one spiritual truth that you have learned (or are still learning) that you wish to share?
5.  Do you prefer to vacation in the mountains, or at the beach?
6.  If you could have lunch with anyone...past or present...famous or not, who would it be?
7.  What is your most prized possession?
8.  Do you prefer books or movies?
9.  What is your favorite smell?
10.  What is your favorite sound? 

Now...Tag!  Your it!

Stacey at Thoughts

Lydia at Striving for Proverbs 31

Charlotte at The Four Shorties

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Very Thankful Thursday

*That it was labeled a "good" break by the doctor on my student's wrist

*For the celebration of the youngest princesses birthday

*That we all survived the last day if school before Spring Break

*For answered prayer, even if it was not the answer that I really, really wanted

*For safe travels

*For family we love

*For simple fun

*For small country churches, and the pastors who faithfully lead their flocks

*For an uncle who allows the young prince to do something he loves

*For beautiful pictures

*For a precious little girl who came through her surgery with flying colors

*For water balloons on a hot day

*For an aunt who plans fun activities

*For second place, and a new beach towel as the prize

*For being able to help a cousin plant his potatoes and the fun we had and the valuable lessons we learned while doing so

*For gathering around in the kitchen and cooking, and learning together

*For jobs that little hands can do

*For memories that time and death can't steal

*For the youngest princess' delight in seeing wild rabbits

*For driving lessons for the older children

*For turkey gobbles and mad hens

*For strings, bacon, and crawfish holes, and the entertainment they provide

*For the one or two that held on long enough for us to see them

*For Bible verses and good prizes (mine was Psalm 119:11, and a hand held cheese grater :-) Woo Hoo!)

*For the little one that woke up in the middle of the night, and the little arms that slipped around my neck, and the little voice that said, "I really enjoyed crawfish hunting with you, Mommy." Oh, yes, it makes each and every one of those one hundred and seventy-two mosquito bites worth it.

*For a picture frame that made my aunt happy, and a the sweet made who made it for her

*For my uncle who made me a beautiful shelf that I absolutely love

*For one more funny memory made in a closet where I have many fun memories, before the house is torn down...Sister-in-law, what is it with us and closets? LOL!

*For the children learning things that sitting behind a desk will never teach them

*For strong muscles, and strong shovels

*For beautiful blossoms that will be a living reminder of a beautiful lady

*For not being too old to still chase my brother with a water hose

*For a husband who loves me enough to allow me to go away for several days to visit family, even when he can't go with us

*And finally...for being able to share a story that has been on my heart for over a month now, and how it has changed my life, and the exciting anticipation of just how God will use it in the lives of others - If you haven't read it yet, please take a minute to read my last blog titled A Father's Final Instructions

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessings mentioned above, and many, many more!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Father's Final Instructions

The Dad must have known that his time was near. So he found a small piece of paper, and surely with his big heart breaking, he wrote what he knew would be the final instructions. The final instructions that would help his son grow from a boy to a man. The final instructions that would help his oldest son guide the family in his absence - to be a help to his mother, and a leader to his six siblings. The final instructions that would show the boy that the Dad had faith in him, and believed that he was up to the task. I would think that he would have known that his instructions would have meant a lot to the boy, but I'm not sure that he would have ever dreamed just exactly how much.

The boy was 14 when the instructions were written by his Daddy. That boy is today a man of 54. He still has that little note that his Daddy wrote to him. He keeps it in his wallet and carries it with him everywhere he goes. It is tattered and worn, from the boy's reading it over and over again. Some of the edges are frayed, and the words are worn away. But the boy (now man) has those words tucked deep inside his heart, where use and time won't wear them away, it only makes them stronger - both the words, and the man.

I have the privilege of knowing the man. And was honored when he shared his precious story with me. He pulled the note out of his wallet, and handed it to me. It is now laminated, to prevent further wear and tear. But I didn't have to read it, because he quoted it to me, and explained what pretty much each phrase meant to him.

I never knew his Daddy, my uncle. He passed away before I was born, but yesterday, when my cousin told me the story, and showed me the note, I felt as if I met my uncle for the first time. I had a glimpse of his heart, and I saw the fruits of his labor, sitting across the table from me. My uncle would be proud, if he could see his son today - Proud of the man he has become. He has followed his Daddy's final instructions, and much, much more. Not to say that it wasn't extremely tough for him, I know it has been, but he has done a fine job, at being the man of the family in his Daddy's stead.

With permission from my cousin, I share with you his Daddy's words...

Dear Bugsy (My uncle had a special nickname for each of his 7 children),
I'm sitting here looking out of my hospital window. I can almost see you in your short pants picking up eggs, or maybe checking the feed, or catching the hens that got out on the backside, or picking up the dead ones. You can haul them off on the pipeline.(All of these things were tasks that were done, because they had a chicken house. It is how the family made a living after my uncle's death. The pipeline ran parallel to the back part of my grandparent's land.)
Be careful on the highway. (My cousin had been driving since he was 12, out of pure necessity.)
You had better get in some pine for tonight. It will be cool. (Showing the fatherly concern for the wellbeing of his family.) Help Wob (another son's nickname) with his lessons. Yeah, you can have some ice cream if there is any left. (This line breaks my heart every time...It was my uncle's way of telling my cousin to make sure that everyone else was taken care of before taking care of himself...his way of telling him to be a man. And out of seven kids, I bet there were very few times when there was any ice cream left over. My cousin's wife says that he took this to heart, and is still that way today. He always sees to the needs of others before meeting his own.)

The letter doesn't end there. There is at least one more sentence. But it is so worn, that neither my cousin nor my aunt could remember what it said. Maybe it is best that way. Maybe they were personal words that the rest of us were never meant to share. The letter was written about four weeks before my uncle's death. Precious last words from a father to his oldest son.

I, too, have a letter written to me from my Father. And when I heard the story above, I was cut to my core. I had to ask myself if my Father's words meant as much to me, as my uncle's words meant to my cousin. Are my Father's words worn away from my reading of them? Do I have them memorized? Do I know the instructions that each sentence, each phrase holds for me? Do I really understand the depths of love behind the words? Do I truly take them to heart, and live them out, so that I may be a better person? Do people who have never met my Father catch a glimpse of Him simply by knowing me?

I know that my Father's words have become more dear to me after learning of this precious story, and my hope and prayer is that it has the same effect on you.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Aaaaahhhhh...Thankful Thursday. A chance to give God the glory for all He has done!

*lol...not just a bite of chocolate pie...not just one chocolate pie, but TWO chocolate pies!

*A parent willing to help a teacher out

*A precious ladies Sunday Scool class, and the blessing that they are to me

*For the oldest princess who went above and beyond to help me clean the house

*For the young prince who helped his dad in the yard

*For the young prince, and the youngest princess who worked together and came up with a sweet surprise

*For children who play well together...most of the time

*A lazy Saturday morning

*For games we can play as a family

*For a great youth group for our young prince and oldest princess to hang out with

*For sidewalk chalk, bubbles, birds, butterflies, and beautiful days

*For enjoying all of the above with the youngest princess

*An answered prayer (of two years)

*Permission for a friend to go on a trip with us - woo hoo!

*A chance to be a blessing to strangers

*The blessing of loving on my 5yr. old princess on her last night to be 5 (sniff, sniff)

*Faith for another prayer (not yet) answered

Again, just a sampling of the many blessings that God has bestowed on us this week.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday

We are truly blessed beyond measure. A few things that I am thankful for this week include:

*The privilege of playing mermaid with the youngest princess

*Playing basketball, then just hanging out with my kiddos

*A godly husband who leads by example

*An answer to prayer

*Going to bed early

*The best news I've had in a long time

*Finding out that the "bad news" was not nearly as bad as we first thought

*That the youngest princess calmed down and was able to breathe after waking up in the middle
of the night with croup

*That we were all able to get some sleep afterward

*For safe travels for someone I love

*For a thoughtful gift for the youngest princess

*For the privilege of being able to vote

*For three children, one dentist, and zero cavities

*For a great book loaned to me by a friend

*For the helping hands of friends

*For one bite of chocolate pie

*For encouragement for a loved one from several different sources

*For those who pray for us regularly

*For answered prayer for a friend

Thank You, Lord, for all of these blessings and so many more!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thankful Thursdays

I love to watch God work, in both the big, and small areas of my life! Here are a few things that I am thankful for this week...

*Cooking dinner with my girls

*A half day of school

*Extra time to do laundry

*A movie night with the family - Courageous - Great movie!

*Safety from the storms

*A Saturday to sleep in

*A thoughtful deed done by the youngest princess

*A beautiful day after a very stormy night

*A child who never ceases to entertain us

*A simple question from a friend that really meant, "I care."

*A smile on the face of someone I love, and am concerned about

*The chance to make a visit that has been heavy on my heart

*Fun times with friends

*An especially inspiring book about missions

*Loving on my children

*Knowing that opposition on every hand means God's about to move in big ways

*A quick dinner date with my wonderful husband

*Time with a friend I miss

*Good questions and discussions with someone seeking the truth

*A sweet lady who went out of her way to make a special treat for my class - they were delicious!

*Beautiful weather

*Precious children

*Knowing that in a small way, I am making a difference in the lives of others

*Playing games with my children

*For a chance to do what I love to do

For these things, and many more, I am thankful to the Lord.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

And The Youngest Princess Says...

While trying to convince me that it wasn't too cold for her to play outside: "Mommy, if I put on a long sleeved shirt AND long sleeved pants, can I go outside and play?"

While brushing her hair, I was telling her that I really love the way that she is friends with everyone, and how that makes me so proud. When she held up her little hand and said with emotion, "Stop, Mommy, you are going to make me cry!"

A few minutes later in the same conversation, I reminded her to speak when spoken to. This has never really been a problem for her until just recently when we started going to our new church. Everyone is so kind, and speaks to her, and she has not been as good at speaking back to them as I want her to be. So, I was encouraging her to remember that it is rude not to speak back, and we want her to be polite. I also told her to remember to speak loud enough for them to hear her. That's when her little hand went flying back up again, and she said, "Well, THAT'S only if they're OLD."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

And the youngest princess says....

After visiting with family who had bunk beds, in which the youngest princess was not allowed to sleep (because I was afraid that she would fall off of the top bunk), she proclaimed to her sister:
"When I get married, I'm going to have bunk beds. I'm going to sleep on the top bunk, and my husband can sleep on the bottom bunk!"

After discussing the fact that I won't let her have a pet snake:
"Well, when I get older, I'm going to let my kid have a pet snake."

Ummm...I guess if the whole bunk bed thing comes true, we don't have to worry about the snake.

On the way to school this morning, the young prince wanted to know if public schools were free (private school is all he's ever known). This led to a discussion about taxes. The youngest princess exclaimed, "Oh! I know a bank robber who was a disciple!" I asked her, "Who?" She said, "I don't remember his name, but he would tell the people that they owed three, and he would keep two for himself and give the one that they really owed." Sooo, I guess she was a little confused between the whole bank robber - tax collector thing. But then again, maybe they are not so different after all...

Last night I wrote a message to the youngest princess on her magna doodle. I punctuated it with an exclamation mark. She asked me what it was. I explained, and then drew a "fat" one so that she could see that sometimes they look that way as well. Then she said, "And sometimes they look like this..." And she drew a question mark. So, I explained that an exclamation mark and a question mark are not the same, and what a question mark does. I wrote a question to show her an example. She wanted to write a question for me. The question she wrote: Do you have love in your heart for me? Whoo Hoo!! Not so bad for her very first written question! That's my girl! Oh, and my answer to her question...Yes! Of course I have love in my heart for my youngest princess!!

Okay, "L", hopefully this gives you a reason to SMILE.

And no...this is not THE post that I CAN'T WAIT to share...but I promise it is coming as soon as it all comes together.

Thankful Thursday

This week, I am thankful to God for...

*a precious surprise gift from the heart of friends

*safe travels

*a win for a very special basketball team

*a great sale

*more safe travels

*learning experiences that help us grow

*FIVE very different people doing very different ministries, who were all great blessings to me in ONE day

*strength from the Lord when we have none of our own

*permission to write a story that I CAN'T WAIT to share

*the delivery of a HUGE blessing

*laughter with friends

*a long conversation with someone I love, who inspires me with her strength and spiritual maturity

*one on one time with the young prince

*the oldest princess' excitement about reading, and a Karen Kingsbury book she just can't put down

*someone willing to go out on a limb for me

*an exciting opportunity

*a ministry opportunity

*answered prayer

*the deep sigh of a sleeping princess

Wow, it's been a great week, full of blessings! Thank You, Lord, for all of these, and SO MUCH more!