Two Tiaras and a Sword

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Life's A Trip... least with my family it is (wink wink).

So, in case you don't know, I am now a great aunt - I know, I know, I am WAY TOO YOUNG to be a great aunt - to the sweetest, most precious, most adorable little boy on the face of the earth!! And of course, we had to take a trip to The Promised Land of Texas to see him. We had a blast on our trip, and I thought I would share a few of the highlights with you :-)

We peeled - I mean - slowly pulled into the driveway of my brother and sister-in-law after a 10 hour cross country journey. Makes me VERY THANKFUL I didn't live in the pioneer days!! I drove the last 2 hours or so, so my wonderful husband could have a break. As we quickly, at speed limit, pulled into the drive way, I teased him with a line out of his favorite movie Courageous, and asked him if he wanted to try the "Sling-shot" move. He laughingly declined, so I parked, and the race to see who hugs who first ensued.

We talked and laughed and just generally "caught up" while we waited for a couple of my nephews and my brother to get home. We enjoyed a delicious taco dinner, and did more talking, laughing, and catching up. My brother gave me a "serious gift" (meaning a gift that wasn't a joke). It was a shirt, and I love it. It says, "Don't Mess with Texas Women". Seriously. That is. NO. JOKE.

After dinner, some of the cousins talented with musical abilities were playing the piano. All was going along wonderfully well, until. Until...HE ran through. Yes, that ugly little "green-eyed monster" now forever aka "the sandman" in our family. Some of us knew exactly what was happening, some of us...not so much, but now we all know. Yes. And we will recognize him the next time he runs through, no matter what name he goes by. Maybe next time Maggie will trip him...but then again, most likely not, because she IS the "green-eyed monster"...dogified.

Speaking of dogs, my niece is now the owner of THE most adorable cocker spaniel puppy in the history of EVER! Her name (the dog, not my niece - and I must specify, because she has a human name - I suggested Mocha - but I'm not bitter or anything because she chose a different name) is Abby. Abby is perfect in every way...except one. She has what I understand is a common cocker spaniel flaw. That is, that she has a hard time holding her bladder when she gets excited. Which, um, well, can be quite a problem. So we all had to practice using our "Abby" voices. Imagine a low, slow, monotone voice void of all feeling (kind of like Lurch on the Adam's Family). "Hello, Abby. We are home. Please come outside now, before you make a mess on the floor." Sometimes it worked, most times it didn't. But we still love her a lot. And every time we stepped in something wet, we wondered...

We learned how long it takes to go 80 miles when you are driving 80 mph. And no, it doesn't have anything to do with how fast you can run a mile on a good day, or how many times your tires turn in a single mile. If you haven't seen the YouTube video, and need a laugh today, go check it out.

We met someone's alter-ego, "Grandfather". He even broke out his pipe, and put his glasses on the end of his nose, and acted all "Grandfatherly". "Grandfather" scared Abby to death by blowing at her through a PVC pipe, and then we found out that Abby and I have something in common. Um...NO. Not THAT. We both get startled when someone blows at us unexpectedly through a PVC pipe.

The nephews had to leave, and we all retired for the night. We had big plans for the next day. I was going to get to meet my new great nephew, and give him enough lovin' to last until Christmas.

We got ready and made the one hour trip to their house. Did I mention that he is a wonderful, cuddly, snugly, tiny bundle of sweetness? Well, he is. All that, and much more. Oh, and he grunts and groans like a little old man. You just have to love it!! I had to let everyone else hold him, but I didn't want to. The guys went for pizza, and a special order for me. We don't have Jack-in-the-Box restaurants where we I may or may not have eaten 6 Jack-in-the-Box tacos. And my nephew and his sweet wife are wonderful first time parents. I am very proud of them, and the great job they are doing!

We reluctantly left to go back to my brother's house. It was hard to leave that sweet baby.
Once there we strained our brains playing a game called Sporacle. Why we do that to ourselves that late at night, I'll never know. We finally turned in. We had big plans for the next day.

The next day we went to a water park, where my husband, the young prince, and nephew dominated on the surf machine - least they tried to dominate it. The youngest princess was excellent at crossing the floating barrels and boxes, the oldest princess and my niece were great at catching rays, and my sister-in-law and I floated like queens in the lazy river. We also did some people watching, and let's just say that none of us will ever look at fanny packs the same again.

After the park, we had some delicious Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt. I won't say who...but someone piled on the toppings like there was no tomorrow, and then ate everyone else's left overs. After Aunt T collected everyone's cool spoons, we headed to the car. On the trip home, I may or may not have had three more Jack-in-the-Box tacos.

We got home and scrambled for showers and then rushed to our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant, El Tejano, in our old stomping grounds, Channelview. Where we all, with the exception of two, had the Jerry's special - rice with Fajita chicken on top smothered with queso. And enjoyed the best chips and salsa in the world.

We then drove through the old neighborhood. As i wast strolling down memory lane, the kids were ducking flying bullets and crying for their daddy to, "Just run that red light already!" Okay, not really, but it is sad how much it has all gone down. It really was a great place to grow up, and I have tons of great memories there. We drove through areas that I haven't been back to in at least ten years.

Then we went to visit Mrs. B. We sat out back, and the magnetic pull of the pool was just too much for the youngest princess. We finally gave in, and let her swim. We love Mrs. B and totally enjoyed visiting with her and her hilarious neighbor. We enjoyed talking about totally normal topics like driving teens, tires, an eyeball popping out and rolling across the floor, peanut butter pies and weddings. Yes. Totally normal visit. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

On the way home, we enjoyed a friendly discussion about movies and their agendas. We pretty much came to the conclusion that every movie has some sort of agenda. I warned my children and niece and nephew to be aware of the agenda factor, because movie makers have several agendas, and one of their main agendas is banking on the fact that we are watching without being aware that there even IS an agenda, so that they can saturate our brains with their said agendas. I am pretty sure they got the point. Or maybe they just kept count of the fact that I used the word agenda eight times in one conversation. Oh yeah, they are sharp like that. They will pick up on things like how many times you use a word, but sit and watch a two hour movie without thinking at all, and totally miss the movie's agenda. (That's nine, for those of you now counting.)

We played some more Sporacle, a totally innocent game without an agenda (10), and strained our brains some more. I asked my brother if he had done a bumper inspection before he left for work that morning. He's been known to sport questionable bumper stickers/car magnets. I could tell by the worried look in his eyes, that he had not. I bet he snuck out and checked as soon as he got the chance though (whaaa, ha, ha, ha!). Meanwhile, there was also some duct tape purse construction going on. I totally get the reason for all those basic instruction writing assignments we used to have to do in school. Some people should never do tutorial blogs. Never. But we finally figured it out, and had enough left over to make a bonus purse for the youngest princess. Progress came to an abrupt end, when we realized we didn't have all the supplies we needed. At which point Uncle R stated that Louie Vuitton didn't have anything on us...he knew how much had already been invested in said duct tape purses.

We called it a night and went to bed. We had big plans for the next day. We got up, and Aunt T had fixed bacon, the youngest prince's favorite. I asked J to go upstairs and wake up the young prince, and he said he would just as soon as he'd had HIS fill of bacon. So J ate his bacon, and THEN woke up the young prince. There was nothing to fear however, because Aunt T had cooked enough bacon for everyone to have their fill and even some to spare, and didn't even set off one smoke detector in the process.

Armed with YouTube knowledge and new struts, J and the prince went out to work on our car. Minutes later they were back in the house asking for the number to the Toyota repair shop. Thankfully, they were just picking on me. They had actually been really simple to fix, and they alraeady had the job finished.

We headed back across town to visit with my nephew, niece and new great nephew...Did I tell ya'll how great he really is? He is GREAT! It was the last day of loving on him, and cuddling with him until Christmas. He will probably be driving by then! I can't believe it will be that long before we get to see him again. I may or may not have had my feelings hurt by being accused of being a baby hog. And, I may or may not have eaten four more Jack-in-the-Box tacos on the way there. So, taco hog, possibly...but baby hog. No.

We enjoyed our visit with them thoroughly. It thrilled my heart to know that my nephew has co-workers asking him about his Christian walk, simply because of his testimony. Exciting news! Our visit ended way too fast, but we had somewhere else to be.

We left there to go to my sister's to have dinner with her and two of my nephews. Her apartment is beautiful. She has every decorating gene that I never received. She is very talented and creative. We went out to the pool, so the kids could swim, and grilled hotdogs for dinner. We had a nice little picnic by the pool while fighting off mosquitos that were large enough to saddle and ride off into the sunset. Everything really is bigger in Texas. After we finished we went back to her apartment for a while, and of course before we knew it, our time was up and we headed back to my brother's house. Feels like we never have enough time.

We worked on finishing the duct tape purses, because Aunt T had picked up what we needed to complete them. I am sure with all the banging and barking going on at ten and eleven at night, the neighbors were ready to call the police on us for disturbing the peace. Maybe we should make them a duct tape purse as a peace offering? Only we'll make theirs during the day. With the purses finished, we finally crawled into bed. Cuddos to Aunt T for sewing the straps by hand.

We got up the next morning, and loaded up to head home. Talking at breakfast, I asked, "Were we even here?" It was a whirlwind trip to say the least, and it felt as though we spent most of the time in the car. Houston really is a big place. But you know that, 'cause everything really is biggger in Texas.

And that my friends, is why I say life is a trip. Oh, I almost
forgot. Do any of you know what Trucker Chick is...Anyone? Anyone?...I didn't think so. Okay about Trucker Chic? Still no one? Seriously never thought I'd ask THAT queston in my lifetime. Still no takers huh? Well in that case, did you know that every seven minutes there is a lull in the conversation...

Oh, and before I go...I must apologize to T for messing with her by putting the trash under the globe on the kitchen island. What can I say...I'm kin to my brother. And, I must thank J for the awesome bluetooth keyboard (which I am using right now) and for teaching me how to make apps.

It was definitely a trip! And I didn't even touch on the trip home. I'm sure I will in the future. Or maybe, we will just try to forget that part. It won't be hard, because afterall, I AM old enough to be a grandmother, right L? And, I don't know if you were counting, but I may or may not have consumed 13 Jack-in-the-Box tacos in a three day span.

And yes, I did a bumper check at the end of the driveway to make sure WE were NOT sporting any questionable bumper stickers/car magnets for our trip home.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

For the following blessings, I give the Lord thanks:

*A clean house

*A washing machine that continued to work - even if it was moody

*Extra children for the weekend

*A great service Friday night

*Breakfast delivered on Saturday morning

*Fun and games

*No rain during the car wash

*An appointment that worked out

*A great Saturday evening service

*Fun Sunday School times and memories

*A great Sunday morning message that started with the baptism of three young men

*That lunch worked out

*A good crowd Sunday night

*Testimonies of lives changed

*Three salvations

*A sweet gift for the youngest princess that she absolutely loves

*A new job for a friend, and peace of mind for their family - even if it makes me sad that I will see her less

*A safe trip

*A fun night with family

*Finally getting to hold my great nephew - he is SO sweet!!

*Jack in the Box tacos

*Free tickets to a fun water park

*Yummy yogurt

*Dinner at an old favorite restaurant

*A drive down memory lane

*A visit with someone dear to my heart - Mrs. B.

*Fun and games and straining our brains

*A great nights rest

God is so good to us! Count your blessings today, and give Him thanks!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday

This week's Thankful list:

*Finally feeling a little better, and being able to eat something solid

*Great kids that I love to spend time with

*An answer to prayer in the middle of frustrating circumstances

*A wonderful husband

*Alone time

*God blessing the efforts of our youth group and parents abundantly more than we could ask or imagine

*A new precious soul bound for Heaven

*A wonderful day in the house of the Lord

*A totally clean and organized playroom, and the time to be able to get that accomplished

*A visitor bearing the gift of banana pudding for the prince

*A different task that took only a fraction of the time I thought it would take

*A clean and organized dining room and the time to be able to get that accomplished

*Help with the laundry

*The privilege to share the Gospel with someone very near to making a decision (please pray with me that they will accept Christ)

*A few minutes to enjoy an old hobby

*A quiet morning

*A circumstance that has had me praying without ceasing, and continually seeking the Lord's face (as it should always be)

*Chats with my kiddos about what is important to them

*The growing excitement over the upcoming D-Now weekend

*A bag of clothes left ny a friend for the youngest princess

*An answer to prayer in a big way

For these things and MANY MORE, I am thankful to God.

Monday, July 16, 2012

And The Youngest Princess Says...

The young prince came in and announced that our cat had her kittens. The youngest princess begged to go out and see them. I told her she could with very strict instructions not to touch them, just to look at them. She went out to see them, and then came in and announced that they were ALL girls. Her Daddy asked her how she knew they were girls...without. touching. them. She said,"Because they are all malico." She was a just little off...she meant calico :-).

After telling me something, and feeling like I did not believe her: "No, I'm for realin' you, Mommy!"

We tease the youngest princess about her sweaty hands, and how we won't have to worry about boys ever wanting to hold her hand when she gets older. So, one evening the prince and I were holding hands, and he made a comment about remembering the first time we held hands. The youngest princess then asked a few questions about it. Her Daddy told her that she didn't need to hold hands with a boy until she was in college. I told her that even then she might need to think twice about it. (We were teasing her of course). She said, "I sure am glad God gave me sweaty hands!" So are we, sweetheart, so are we.

We have a new addition to our extended family. He is almost a month old, and we all are chomping at the bit to take the 10 hour trip to where they live and actually get our hands on the handsome little guy. Meanwhile, the youngest princess has taken swim lessons this summer and has become very confident in her swimming abilities. So, we were eating lunch, and out of the blue she announces to the whole family, "I am going to teach baby R how to swim!" As I work hard not to choke on the bite of lunch I am swallowing, my mind is frantically trying to come up with a response that lets her know I am sure she is capable of teaching him how to swim, but help her understand that he is way too young at this point to learn how to swim...while the rest of the family are all audibly gasping in surprise at her bold little statement. She watches everyone's reactions and then adds with a shrug, "Well, when he gets older and stuff." Yes! That's a great idea! When he gets much older! And just in case, when we do make our trip to see them, we will be keeping the youngest princess well away from all sources of water!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Keeping It Real

I strive really hard to keep my blog a positive, encouraging place. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't.

I just feel that there is enough ugly in the world, and we as Christians should look for God's grace, mercy, and beauty in every circumstance in our lives. Because it is there. His Word says it is. Romans 8:28

But sometimes I struggle. Not with finding those things I just mentioned. But I struggle with wondering if my readers (you wonderful folks who are so kind to stop in and read my ramblings), see me/our family as real.

You see, I'm working on a lesson, about being authentic. And although I feel like I'm authentic here, I am afraid that from the outside looking in, it may not appear to be so.

So, let me explain:

1. There is enough ugly in the world - I often just don't blog about the "ugly" parts of life, because there is enough of that elsewhere, and my goal is to be encouraging. Just because I choose not to blog about the "ugly", does not mean that our family never walks through it from time to time. We do. Sometimes as a whole, sometimes a few of us, sometimes individually. Satan attacks, and we deal with it, learn through it, and grow from it. Sometimes well, sometimes not so well.

2. Good choices bring good consequences, bad choices bring bad consequences - God has blessed both of our families with a strong Biblically based spiritual heritage. We both have generations of godly examples in our lives. And we both chose to follow God's Word, and seek His will for our own lives (separately, before we were married, and now as a couple united in marriage). We both made mainly wise choices growing up. We were obedient to our parents. We stayed away from drugs and alcohol. We kept ourselves pure for our future spouses. All these choices that we made daily, have culminated into the good consequences we now enjoy. We have great relationships with our family. We have no drug or alcohol related regrets or health issues. We trust one another, to remain pure and true to one another. Living life by God's plan, even when it is hard, really is the best plan.

3. We teach and train our children from God's Word - Again, this is not always easy, but our goal is to raise godly children who love God, and others, and who have servant's hearts. And so far, God has blessed our efforts, and we truly have great kids. Perfect? No. But great? Yes.

Those three things, are why we live, what may seem to someone just stumbling across my blog, a "charmed" life. And I will admit, our lives ARE richly blessed. But please know, that it didn't just happen this way. We carefully followed God's plans, and He has blessed us because of it.

I am learning, though, that if I share my struggles, it can be a blessing to others who are going through the same thing, or something similar. So, I will try in the future, to include more Keeping It Real blogs, where I let you know what I am struggling with, and how God is working to make us as a family, and as individuals, more like Him.

Until then, please know that we, too, are sinful individuals, living in a sinful world, doing our best with God's help to let our lights shine.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Sorry this is a little late...Late, but just as thankful nonetheless.

*For family time

*For time to study, and get my thoughts together

*For working together to get a job done

*For friends, and fun while we work

*For a tenderhearted child

*For forgivness

*For bold friends

*For rain that cooled things down

*For yard sale customers, even in the rain

*For a great amount to give to missions

*For enough left over to do it again

*For a stranger who understood

*For the same stranger who kept her word

*For restoration

*For rest for the weary

*For wonderful Sunday morning services - Both Sunday School and Morning Worship

*For another wonderful group of ladies - even some new ladies - in the Resolutions for Women Bible Study

*For a great Sunday Evening service

*For a fun day with a friend and our kids

*For a friend who saw me at my worst, and still loves me (at least I think she does :-))

*For safe travels through some pretty rough weather

*For a day with nothing planned

*For news that drives me to my knees, and closer to my Savior

*For a fun night for the oldest princess with the youth group girls

*For a blessing in disguise

*For a good meeting for the prince

*For an open door for the prince to minister

*For encouragement

*For friends who pray

*For loyalty

*For a small glimmer of hope for a friend

*For a chat with my niece

*For feeling under the weather and having lots of extra time to pray

*For the oldest princess holding down the fort when I was unable

*For the assurance that God is in control, when we feel life is out of control

*For feeling A little better

*For fun times for the young prince, and the youngest princess

*For a godly husband who strives to do what is right in every situation and circumstance

Thank You, Lord, for these many blessings, as well as many, many more.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Love That Looks Back

I saw his truck as we drove up. But I didn't know who it belonged to. Then I could see him in the far back corner as we walked to the gate. But I didn't recognize him. I felt as though we were intruding, and that we should leave, but it was a public place, and we were not going to be anywhere near where he was.

When he noticed us, he got up to leave. I watched him from the corner of my eye. My heart grieving with him before I even knew his story. Someone with me recognized him, and whispered to me that she knew who he was. He continued about halfway across the Cemetary grounds, and then he stopped.

He stopped, and turned around.

It still breaks my heart to think of him stopping and turning around to gaze one last time at her grave.

I fought tears for him that day. His love for her was SO obvious to me, a complete stranger. The fact that he missed her almost more than he could bear was also very evident.

We waited for him to leave, and then walked back to her grave. She passed away over a year before, if my memory serves me right...and still...he stopped, and looked back.

I think that says a lot about his love for her, but it also says volumes about the kind of lady she must have been.

The person that was with me recognized him; they attended the same church as he did. We even spoke briefly with him at the evening service that same night.

Then we talked to his daughter, who told us that when her mother was alive, her mother and father did everything together, and that he visited her grave almost daily. Wow. That is love and devotion. And I can just see him each and every day stopping at about the same spot...and looking back.

I have heard that love is the irresistible influence. And in today's society, where so many confuse love with lust, and relationships are thrown away at the drop of a hat, a story of true, long lasting, love and devotion is like a drink of water to a thirsty soul.

I want to have deep, meaningful relationships with those God has placed in my life. I want to love, and be loved with a love that looks back.

I Corinthians 13

Through Facebook, I received a friend request from a lady I did not know.  I could tell by our mutual friends that it would be okay to accept her request.  I did, and then went to her page to see her picture a little better.  I realized that she was the daughter to the gentleman in this blog.  I immediately messaged her to tell her that I had written a blog about her father.  I asked her to read it, and to let me know if there was anything that she was not okay with.  If she was not pleased in any way, I would take the blog down.  She quickly messaged me back to let me know that she had already read the blog, and that is why she asked me to be her friend, so she could tell me thank you for writing it.  Unknown to me, my sister-in-law had printed it out, and taken it to her father at church.  He read it, and gave it to his daughter.  She made more copies to share with other family members.  She told me in her message, that her father had a copy of it framed beside a picture of her mother.  How precious is that!  I am extremely honored that they were honored by it. Especially when I never even dreamed that they would ever read it.  Sometimes I wonder why I write, if it even matters, and this helped me see that it does matter.  Maybe not to the masses, but at least to a few.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Broken Strings and Broken Hearts

Our church youth group was having a yard sale. That is cause for celebration at my house. It's time to get rid of some of our "stuff"...okay, time to get rid of lots of our "stuff". As we were deciding what would go, and what would stay, my husband said something about the youngest prince's guitar. His first guitar...he has another better one. So we put it in the yard sale pile.

Enter young prince. He tells me that he doesn't want to get rid of the guitar. I, who sometimes have problems letting go of things myself, begin to reason with him...Do you ever actually play it? Don't you have a better one? You could sell this one, and make more money for us to donate to missions...

He responded with...No, but it has a broken string. Yes, I have a better one, but (cousin's name here) gave it to me. Well,...okay,...I guess so.

Score!!! Back to the yard sale piles with the guitar. We load everything in the car and head out to organize and price everything that has been donated.

We work like crazy. Piling. Sorting. Folding. Hanging. Pricing. Somewhere in the midst of all the craziness, a lady comes in and bargains for some of our better bigger items. I pay her little mind, I am a busy woman.

Almost four hours later, we are home. Tired and hungry. It is after 10:00 p.m., and we haven't had dinner (I know, I am a horrible mother.) We all begin to scrounge around to get something to eat, get our baths (because we are WAY past dirty), and get in bed...we are supposed to be at the yard sale at 7 a.m. the next morning. Once again, I am a woman on a mission.


Until I notice that the young prince is fighting back tears. I go into full Momma Bear mode...wondering who on earth hurt my precious only son (never dreaming I, myself was the culprit). After a little cajoling, I finally get him to tell me what was wrong.

It was the first thing to go. He watched her buy it. Standing there willing her to change her mind and put it back. It did have a broken string, after all.

He says it's no big deal, but his broken heart tells me otherwise. Obviously he has precious memories attached to the guitar, that I did not know about.

I ask if he wants another one like it.

He tells me that it wouldn't be the same.

My heart breaks for my tenderhearted prince. I was the one who convinced him to give it away in the first place. I try to console him with the fact that even though the guitar is gone, he still has the memories connected to it. They were not taken away from him.

He wasn't accusing or disrespectful, just completely brokenhearted.

Dinner eaten, baths taken, we all fall exhausted into bed, but my precious son is still morning the loss of one of his favorite possessions. My heart breaks along with his.

Middle of the night...youngest princess joins her daddy and I...awakened by leg cramps...Tylenol...rubbing of the legs...finally, everyone asleep again.

Morning. The prince and I decide that he will take the oldest two to help work the yard sale. I will stay and let the youngest princess sleep in. Then in a couple of hours, I will go to work the yard sale, and he would stay home with the youngest princess, and get some studying done.

His yard sale shift over, the prince comes home, and I go to take my turn. My friend who helped the lady (that bought the guitar last night) mentioned in passing, that the lady (who bought the guitar) would just go to her place down the street, and re-sale what she had just bought from us.

What!! You know her!! The lady that bought the stuff last night!! She's just down the road you say!!

And to make a long story short...we are now the proud "new" owners of a guitar (not just ANY old guitar, mind you, but THE guitar). You know, the one with the broken string. The one that has sentimental value to it. The one my son never wanted to get rid of in the first place.

And the broken heart has turned back into a crooked grin. And that grin, it heals my broken heart in ways words can't express.

If you read my blogs often, or know me, and my children personally, you know that I am not a purponent of giving children everything they want. I usually use circumstances such as these as teachable moments, because I want my children to know that life does not always go the way they will want it to. And they need to know how to handle their disappointments in godly ways.

I gave in this time, and did what was necessary to help my son out. And I know that he learned several important lessons. The main one being that his mother made a mistake, and did what she could to make things right (because she loves him dearly), and because that is what one should do, when they make mistakes; do what is possible to make things right.

He also knows that what matters to him, matters to me. Maybe it's been too long since I've demonstrated that to him. With God's help, I will show him more often.

Jude 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday

An incomplete list of the things I am thankful to God for, from the past week. It is incomplete, because I could never name ALL of His many blessings.

*The youngest princess finishing swim practice with a new confidence, and a great instructor

*Friends who are not afraid to take a stand

*Swim time with a great group of young ladies

*Enjoyable entertainment for the whole family with lots of people we love



*Air conditioning

*A full Sunday school class

*A great group of ladies in DT

*A nice visit with a friend I miss

*Situations that prove Satan is at work to hinder what God is doing (that just shows we're on the right track!)

*A friend who is not afraid to stand up and speak the truth in love, when it needs to be spoken

*A fun day with a friend for the youngest princess

*A good Bible study with a special group of young ladies

*A storm that almost happened - but didn't

*The storm that didn't happen, but did cool things down considerably

*A town that still believes that we are, "One Nation Under God..." and openly celebrates it

*Our country, and our freedom to worship

*A youth group who performed in front of their community, showing their faith in God and the fact that they are not afraid to take a stand for Him

*More people to join our Resolution Bible study

*An awesome day spent with many people we love, celebrating our country, a couple of birthdays, and our freedom

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