Two Tiaras and a Sword

Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Christmas in the Country That Almost Wasn't Part 2

Now, back before Thanksgiving, our family in Texas asked the kids for a list of things that they wanted for Christmas.  The youngest princess wanted things like a playhouse for the back yard, and an I felt that she needed a little help with her list.  We worked on it and she came up with a few more practical gifts.  I thought we were finished, when she returned a few minutes later and said she wanted a gift that " one, I mean, NO ONE can buy."  I thought I had already explained the practical thing to her, and that we were in for lecture round two, when she finished with, "I want to go hunting with Uncaricky!"  Okay.  I have no idea where that one came from, but I told her we would ask him if that was possible.  She wanted me to write it on her list, so I did.  A few hours later the oldest princess walked by and added on the list that she wanted to go hunting too.  The oldest princess ended up backing out, and not going, but the thought was there in the beginning.

With the family Christmas party over, it was time for the big hunting trip.  UR told me he would need her ready to go at 5:30 am.  So we let her sleep in her first layer of clothes, and laid out her other  two layers, as well as her socks, shoes and jacket.  She was as excited that night as if she were going to Disney World the next morning.  She asked me, "What do I do if I wake up before it's time?  Should I get dressed?"  No.  Just go back to sleep.  "Should I sleep in all of my clothes?"   No, I will help you get dressed in the morning. "I don't think I will go to sleep AT ALL tonight!"  Yes.  Yes you will.  Now be quiet and lay still.  Are you listening to me?  Oh, she's already asleep.

The next morning,  true to his word UR arrived and woke us up.  I got her up and she was shivering from head to toe with excitement.  We layered her up in her clothes, and sent them on their way.  Luckily, it really wasn't THAT cold THAT morning.

Now let me back up to the Tuesday night before we left…The youngest princess informed us that she wanted a pink deer head, like the one that people put on the back window of their cars…only she wanted a small one with a hole in it that would fit in her pocket…Oooookaaaay….Noooo problem!  Whaaaaat?!?!?  Her friend E got one after her first hunting trip (THAT tid-bit of info explained a LOT of things), and the youngest princess wanted one too.  I told UR what she said…I'm guessing that maybe it was a Browning keychain?  Do they even make pink Browning keychains?

After we got to the country, UR took me out and showed me that he had found two pink deer heads with holes in them small enough to fit in her pocket…They do exist!  And UR found them!  Only instead of keychains, they were to hang around your rearview mirror.  As it turns out, it was exactly what the youngest princess had in mind.

So, I sent them off to "hunt", and promptly crawled back into to bed for a little more sleep.  When I did get up, and go over to the main house, on the kitchen table, I found this…
which was really no big surprise, because UR has a habit of leaving us letters on such occasions of hunting, or leaving…usually with directions as to what he wants for breakfast when he returns or instructions not to cry and miss him too much until we are together again.  Looks like writing runs in the family.

They returned, with nothing but smiles and a prized pink dear head that will fit in her pocket.  And precious, priceless memories of their time together.  She was all fired up and wanted to go again the next morning.

Breakfast and a church service followed the big hunting trip.  Then most of us had to go out and try some target practice with M's graduation gift.  I liked it.  I may have to get one myself in the future.   I only completely missed the target about three times before I finally hit it.  Should. be. perfectly. safe.  Or, maybe not.

The nephews had to head home, as much as we hated to see them leave.  We all lined up and did the wave as they pulled out and down the road.  Have to have fun and laugh, or we will cry.  Hate to see them go, and know it will be a while before we get to see them again.

Then we napped a little with Abby (one of the nice-dogs) trying her best to nap in my prince's lap.  He's not against dogs, just against them sleeping in his lap, while the kids (term kids used lightly here as the three youngest adults were also playing) played a game of sardines.  And UR did his best to NOT help them stay hidden by asking questions and speaking as loudly as possible.

We ended the evening with another rousing game of Taboo.  (And I forgot to mention that we played a game of Scatergories the night before - Avenue A is great if you ever roll the letter A and have to think of a street name.  Of course Avenue C will work too…only it is not worth as many points.  I love you M!!)  We had just as much fun playing Taboo the second night as we did the first, and again, the young prince was creative in how he got us to guess his words…cuddle was our favorite of that night (wink, wink…and another you just had to be there).  Meanwhile, the mighty hunters fell asleep on the couch.

But not before the youngest princess told us that there were three people snoring in there…UR, Maggie, and Abby (Maggie and Abby both being dogs and I'm not sure what that means for UR).  She also helped out by sitting on the floor and singing the remaining dog, Little Momma to sleep before she fell asleep herself.  Our newlyweds stayed as long as possible, and then snuck off in the wee hours of the morning to head home.  J HAD to go to work that morning.  He must have a slave driver as a boss.

She insisted she wanted to go hunting again the next morning.  It was much colder the second morning, and I think UR was secretly hoping she would change her mind, and not want to go.  Well, I know he was secretly hoping it, because he told me.  We had the drill down.  Sleep in first layer.  Wake up and throw on other two layers.  When I woke her up the second morning, I really thought she would tell me she didn't want to go.  Instead, she sat straight up in bed and waved enthusiastically at UR.  Then she jumped out of bed and started getting ready.

They weren't gone as long this time.  But they did see some tracks, and she was thrilled about that.  She told me she slept a little in the stand.  When I asked her how long she slept, she said for about two minutes.  UR said it was more like an hour, and when she woke up she told him she was ready to come home.  So they did.  It was much warmer at home anyway.

UR started breakfast and AT came in and started some bacon.  To this point, no famous AT smoke alarm alarm clocks had gone off…but, I told her I would check the bacon, and when I pulled it out of the oven, not AT, but I set off the alarm.  Yes folks, I am the guilty one this time.  And it's probably because of all the grief I've given AT over the past few years when she sets it off.  Thankfully though, everyone was already awake.  So I didn't wake anyone else up.  Later, UR had to show off that he could check the bacon without setting it off.  We all stand in awe of his amazing talent.

Some of the Aunts and Uncles and a cousin, and some we claim as cousins came to visit then, and we sat around just enjoying being together.  One of the Aunts brought the quilt she made for the newest
baby for us all to see.  I know they will treasure it.  Makes me sad that my Momma isn't here to make it for them, but I am thankful that my sweet Auntie did it.  Definitely the next best thing.

Then before we were ready, it was time to pack up all our tons of stuff, pack it (cram it) in the car and start our journey homeward.  After some lessons learned (You have NO IDEA how I dreaded to tell UR about the issue in the motor home.  But Praise the Lord, it was a quick fix, and everything was okay).  There was a little  laughter and some tears.  We said a prayer (with Maggie somehow managing to be in the center of things), and piled in the car for our journey homeward.  Of course, we had to make our second annual stop in West Monroe, to hopefully see some of our favorite TV stars.  They were not there, but we did come home with proof that we had been there.  We had a safe trip home, and were glad to be out of the car when we finally did get here.

We then began to prepare for our Christmas with my wonderful in-laws.  Thankfully they came to us.  We had a wonderful time with them as well, and they being the awesome grandparents that they are offered to take the kids home with them so that my Prince and I could have a few days alone.  Then my sweet father-in-law brought them back to us.  It was a wonderful Christmas, and somewhere in the middle of all that, I also had a really great birthday.  I am one blessed lady.  Maybe not with an abundance of material things, but definitely with things that are of much, much more value.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Our Christmas in the Country That Almost Wasn't Part 1 (because it's just too much for one post)

At work, I anxiously awaited the text from my husband.  My head knew the truth, but my heart did not want to believe it.  My husband was at the doctor's office with the young prince, awaiting the results of the flu test.  It was the day. before. we. were. supposed. to. leave. for our Christmas in the country.

Sure enough, the test came back positive.  We were all brokenhearted.  How could we not go?  But it looked like that would be the case. We monitored him through the night.  No fever.  He got up the next morning, feeling okay.  Still no fever.  We corresponded back and forth with our family.  They went to the drug store and stocked up on all types of anti-flu meds, and told us if he felt like it, for us to go ahead and come.  So we threw the last minute stuff together and headed that way.

The young prince did fine, and I am so glad that we went, because we had a blast, and God protected the rest of us from getting sick.
 On the way, we managed to stretch an eight hour trip into about nine hours and thirty minutes.  We were told everyone else was there, and that they were playing Puctionary (not sure exactly what that game will have to ask my niece, and all the other family members who were not there yet but were playing it with her).  

Being late also made us miss out on the wrapping of the toilet paper tube parting gifts.  Okay, not entirely, I did get to wrap a very few the next day before the party.  They are awesome!  They are filled with candy (the good kind), and a little bit of money, and everyone gets one as a parting gift, wether you win one of the super fantastic door prizes or not.  No one leaves empty handed.

We finally arrived, and excitedly ran and hugged everyone (I was secretly dissapointed, because my brother did not greet us with his usual goofy hat or wig).  And very shortly after we arrived, my other two nephews arrived, and we did the hugging greeting thing all over again.  We all laughed and talked all at once, congratulating our two recent graduates, congratulating the two who were new uncles, and mercilessly picking on each other as much as possible to make up for the time we had been apart.  The youngest JS's unbelievable hunting abilities were a hot topic of conversation.

We talked about the family text announcing the birth of our newest family member, and how it beat most of our alarm clocks to the punch by waking us up.  But my brother informed us that we could turn off our ringers, and set our phones to not vibrate (Gasp!  Who knew?)  Then he told us that because my sister-in-law has supersonic hearing, "can hear a gnat sneeze in a cotton ball" as he so eloquently put it, that he simply lays his phone on a washcloth on the nightstand, and the vibration is sufficiently muffled.  While my mind started making commercials for a ground breaking new product - the amazing Cell Phone Snuggie - my nephews, all college graduates, had a deep conversation about how to spell the word gnat.  "I never knew it had an N in it!"  And we wonder what is wrong with America's educational system!  So as the conversation bounced around from topic to topic like a ping pong ball, we laughed, some even snorted, and got back into the rhythm of family, like hearing a long ago favorite tune, and the words instantly come back to you.

The next day everyone pitched in getting things ready for the party.  And as people began arriving, more hugging and greeting went on.  We made our usual big circle of chairs in the garage, and I believe we had a record attendance this year.  It is exciting and fun catching up with everyone.  We were all thrilled to be there.  

Okay, maybe some of us were a little tired as well.

We played a few games, and realized that some of us are directionally challenged.  

We played with (or scared), the babies and toddlers around us. 

We dripped (or poured) cold water from ice cold drinks on each other. 

We stole, or hid, presents from each other (I still harbor feelings of bitterness toward D for taking that really cute, ultra soft blanket from my husband.  I seriously wanted to bring that home!)  

We passed the ball of wrapping paper...will it EVER make it ALL THE WAY AROUND?  I think we are fighting a loosing battle.  Just pass the paper people! Just. pass. the. paper!  

We watched how people interacted with each other.  Some very comfortable, some not so much.  But all of us held together by roots that go deep into the very soil we were standing on.  So while the weather raged around us, there was welcome, and warmth in our hearts.  As one person who was new to our group observed, we all got along and had fun.  No fussing or fighting.  The way it should be.  Peace on earth...or at least in the country...for a little while.

We made our annual cousin photos in front of the tree.  Then the cousin photo with Aunt Tricia thrown in the mix.  We were missing a few this year, but they have been informed that all excuses for missing next year are unacceptable.  This is a mandatory meeting.  No more having babies the week of the party.  Plan these things better in the future!  You are dearly missed when you are not there, and things are just not right without you!

Then, and I have no idea how this happened, but my son and his very mature older cousins circled up to show how much they love one another by popping each other as hard as possible with plastic spoons.  Seriously.  Who thought of this?  And how did you convince the others it was a good idea?  I could use your powers of persuasion to get fifth graders to love Language.  I guess all I have to do is make it physically painfully so they can show how tough they are, and they will think it is a great idea?  Makes complete sense to me.

After the party, and the clean up, and a little elbow licking (you just had to be there).  We gathered in the living room (the serious room) to open presents.  We had to do this because if not, the youngest princess would have exploded.  She could wait not one second longer.  The college wars began this year.  Next year we need to let the oldest JS in on it before, instead of after, the fact.  And for that matter, Aunt T and I need to be careful not to put the cart before the horse (or in this case, the accessories before the doll).  But, I think everyone had a great time, and thoroughly enjoyed their gifts.  Although Unca was not as thrilled as I had hoped he would  be with his top of the line Pet Petter.  Yet, he did seem happy with his Mustang pajama bottoms, and all their fancy features (a little bit of TMI going on there).  I even have a video to prove it.  But if you are not family, don't expect to ever see it.  Some things just aren't meant to be shared.  When we finished, it looked like Christmas had thrown up.  
But it cleaned up quickly, and we all stepped outside to hear the coyotes (I finally got to hear them even if it was only briefly!).  And there was a little more elbow licking (really, you just had to be there).

We then had an epic game of Taboo in the kitchen (the not serious room). 

I think the most Taboo words I have guessed or called with a team is 7.  Well, not to brag or anything (okay, maybe to brag a little) but my awesome team and I got 10.  Yes, that is 1...2...3…(JM: "45678910!!!!!!!") in ONE turn!  Now, we have a new record to beat.  Yes, and the next night in our second playing of Taboo, I was dubbed the Taboo Guru.  I like it.  It makes me smile.  And if they had allowed L and I to play on the same team, we could have beat 10.  We probably could have done at least 15.  Isn't that right, L?  And I picked on them, but I loved how our newly weds clicked when it was their turn.  They were in the zone, and all others in the room faded into the blurry edges.  It was awesome.  I also love it when people get creative to get other people to say the word.  The young prince is the King of Creativity in this area.  I bet there is not another human being on the face of the planet that can get their team to say Limerick the way he got us to guess it.  That's my boy!

Then of course it was time to call in Unca and explain why we had all been laughing behind his back.  Literally.  And there was more elbow licking going on, we have video of that as well (and seriously you just HAD to BE there), and laughing until we cried.  Unca then developed an interesting jerking twitch that sent me into peals of laughter each time he did it and continued intermittently until we left.  And two of my children are now $5.00 richer.  Best. ten. dollars. ever. spent.  Ever.  I'm serious.

And now because I have a thousand things to do.  I must stop and get busy.  But never fear.  The next time I have a few minutes.  I will sit and share the rest of the story with you.  I am sure you can not wait.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Praying He has a Warm Place to Sleep Tonight

As I hurried to climb into bed and snuggle between my soft, warm sheets, I thanked God for my house, and bed, on this very cold night.  I even thought  about how terrible it must be, to not have a warm place to sleep on a cold night like this particular night.  I said a quick prayer for those who had no shelter.

Meanwhile, he slept between the garbage cans and the playground fence, beside his bicycle and two small wagons full of all of his earthly belongings.   I had gone to bed before my husband, and did not know that the town police had called to ask if it was okay for the man to sleep there. Had I known, I hope I would have been able to come up with a plan to give him a comfortable night's rest.  I would have done anything in my power to get him off the street.  Common sense says keep people like him at arm's length.  They might be dangerous.  We have a family to think about.  But, I didn't even know about him until the next morning when we pulled up to the church.

There he was.  Sitting between the garbage cans and the playground fence.  One of our young men was sitting on the ground talking with him.  Another of our members had already made a run to a local fast food restaurant to buy him some breakfast.  We looked in our church clothes closet for the one thing he asked for...a rain jacket.  He was invited to join us for worship.  After fretting about his  appearance, he agreed that he could use the fellowship, and  came on inside.  He sat, not alone in the back, but toward the middle, flanked by two of our unmarried young men who had befriended him.  He had a strong handshake and looked me straight in the eye when I introduced myself to him and welcomed him to the service.

After the service, he stood and talked for a few minutes, even sharing a couple of jokes with us.  He denied our pleas to let us provide lunch for him saying that one meal a day was all he usually ate, and that he had a bottle and a half of water, two Powerades and a Pepsi, so he was good to go.

He went out one door, and we quickly scrambled to gather up what  little cash we had.   My husband went out the side door and caught him in time to persuade him to take the cash.  I snapped a picture, and we drove away.

There is a lot I do not know about this man.  I don't know what circumstances brought him to this place in his life.  I don't know about his family, or his upbringing.  I don't know if he ever had it all and lost it, or if he never had anything to lose.

But I know his name.  I know a teeny tiny snapshot of his story.  And I know that he stole my heart this morning.  I know that I have nothing to complain about, and everything to be thankful for.  I know that some of my church family members are capable of  showing true, unconditional love.   I know that some people out there are grateful for the very little that they have, and not so greedy as to take everything from those who are willing to give.  I know that I have never rubbed elbows with an honest to goodness homeless person before,  but I know that I am a better person for my brief encounter with Mr. R. G.

God, please bless Mr. R. G. and give him safety as he travels.  Please help him get to his destination quickly, and please put precious loving people in his path to make his trip  easier.  Lord, please give him a warm safe place to sleep each night.  And Lord, help me to see his face each time I am tempted to turn away and not help those who are in need of Your love.

Monday, November 11, 2013

30 Days of Thankful (11)

Today I am thankful for freedom.

I am thankful that I was born in a country built on the principle of freedom.  I am thankful that there are men and women who are brave enough to train, and sacrifice even to the extent of their own life, in order for the rest of us to continue to enjoy that freedom.

I am thankful that I can worship as I choose.  I can read, watch and listen to what I want to read, watch or listen to.  I can come and go as I please.  I can write, or say what I want to write or say.  I can own property.  I can educate my children as I see fit.  I can choose my occupation.  All these things, that I often take for granted are things that I am thankful for today.  I know that these are freedoms that some people in other countries are not allowed.  I know that I take them for granted because I do not know life without them.  But I see the danger of losing some, maybe even all of them, and that frightens me.

Which brings me back around to being thankful for the people, both in the military, and in the government who continue to fight for freedom today.

30 Days of Thankful (10)

Today I am thankful for people who do the very important, behind the scenes stuff in life that usually goes unthanked and unrecognized.

I am thankful for nursery workers,

For children's choir teachers,

For children's church workers,

For Sunday School teachers,

For youth workers,

For sound people,

For pianists, and organists,

For choir members,

For music directors,

For secretaries,

For finance people,

For greeters,

For custodians,

For those who take care of the lights and the heat and air,

For those who decorate,

For those who cook,

For coaches,

For piano teachers,

For lunchroom workers,

For volunteers,

For those who simply think of others and show it by small gestures like a smile, a question, or a hug

Who can you think of today, that is faithful in doing something that they rarely get thanked for?  Take a moment, to share a smile with them, and genuinely thank them for the job they do.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

30 Days of Thankful (9)

I am thankful for a day with nowhere to go.

With a husband who is a pastor, two teenagers who are very busy, and a little princess who has activities to participate in, our lives are very busy.  So days with nothing on the schedule are about as rare as snow storms in the southern states.

Usually we work (go to school) every day, and between church activities, football (JV and Varsity practices plus games), volleyball, cheerleading, (during volleyball/football season) volunteer activies, basketball (girls, JV and Varsity practices and games), cheerleading (during basketball season), homework, projects, extra school activies, Girl Scouts, fundraisers, birthday parties, committee meetings, weddings and funerals, we rarely have breaks in our calendar.  There are days when we put in 13 to 15 hours.  So when we have a totally free day, I am extremely thankful for it.  I love having time to do more than one load of laundry.  I love down time with my husband and kids.  I love just relaxing as a family.  In a world where we are constantly busy, I treasure a day with nowhere to go.

30 Days of Thankful (8)

Today I am thankful for my class.

I love how each year each new class has a personality all it's own.  I love working with the kids in my class.  I love learning what they love.  I love finding out their strengths and weaknesses.  I love challenging their strengths and strengthening their weaknesses.  I love finding ways to make learning fun for them.  I love to see them achieve more than they ever thought that they could.  I love watching them learn without them even realize that they are learning.

I love making the Bible come to life for them.  I love making them think about what is going on in the world around them and see daily matters through a Biblical point of view.

Sometimes they frustrate me.  Sometimes I want to throw up my hands and throw in the towel.  But then one of them will say something sweet, or funny, and I know that tomorrow is a new day, and we can start all over again.

I love that we have classroom running jokes.  I love that we are small enough to be a family.  I love that I have watched most of them grow up, and will continue to get to watch them grow for years to come.

30 Days of Thankful (7)

Today I am thankful for my husband.

He is my best friend.  He is an awesome man who loves me even when I am unlovely.  He  works hard to provide for our family.  He is a man of integrity.  He loves the Lord, and lives to bring Him glory and to serve Him.  He is selfless, and is constantly doing things for others.

He loves life and has a great sense of humor.  He is a great father.  He is supportive, and would do anything for his children.  He loves to laugh and have fun.

He is kind and gentle.  He is strong.  He is everything I always wanted and prayed for.  He is perfect for me, and I am very thankful that he is my husband.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

30 Days of Thankful (6)

I am thankful for the youngest princess.

She is full of life and energy.  She is precociousness personified.  She sees the world through eyes wide with wonder.  She is innocent, and then at times, wise beyond her years.  She is extremely smart and quick to pick up on new concepts.  She is a little OCD.  She hates socks, and sneaks by without wearing them as often as possible.  She has her own unique sense of fashion.  She loves her family, her friends, her cats, and her teddy bears.  She is an awesome snuggle buddy.  She drinks chocolate milk and loves to eat anything chocolate as well.  Cereal ranks up there as one of her favorites too.  She loves to play the piano, and perform for anyone who will take the time to watch her.  (She is looking over my shoulder as I type this, and she just read that last sentence and said, "That's me.")
She loves to sing and learn Bible verses.  She loves to dance, do handstands, and cartwheels.  She has a love/hate relationship with her older brother and sister.  She loves to do backbends, and climb trees.
She is tenderhearted, and shows empathy freely.  She usually knows just what to say.  She is funny and can always make me laugh.  She is a problem solver.  She is a drama queen.

I had no idea how much energy she would bring to our family.  Nor, how that much personality could be packed into such a small person, but I wouldn't have her any other way!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness (5)

I am thankful for the young prince.

He has a love for life, and a great sense of humor.  He has a tender heart and an adventuresome spirit. He is great at inventing things.  He is an awesome athlete.  He is half-boy-half-man.  He can act like a little boy one minute, all impulsive, and act like a man the next, making mature decisions.  Buth sides of him make my heart smile with joy.

He grows daily in the Lord, and I know that the Lord has great plans for him.  He is my baby that God protected from being born three months early.  He is my baby that God helped survive "failure to thrive".  If only that doctor could see him now...taller than me!

He is my only son.  The one to carry on the Hodges name.  I have no doubt that he will carry on the Godly heritage that has been passed down to him, and do it well.  I love him dearly, and am very thankful for my "Fred".

Monday, November 4, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness (4)

I am thankful for my beautiful oldest princess.  She is the sweetest, kindest, young lady I could have ever asked for.  She works very hard to please those around her.  She would never intentionally hurt anyone's feelings.  She loves to play sports: volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, and even some powder puff football from time to time.  She works hard at things that don't come easy to her.  She is great with kids.  She is creative and organized.  She has a great fashion sense (that she definitely did not get from her momma).  She loves The Lord, and lives her life to please Him.  She respects her father and I, and is helpful whenever we need her.

She is not perfect, but I think she comes about as close as a teenage  girl can come to perfection.  Our lives have been blessed and enriched by her.  There are days when I don't know what I would do without her.  I am very thankful that God in His wisdom gave her to us to love and raise.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Youngest Princess Says

"Mommy, back then, did people believe in Jesus?"
"Back when, sweetheart?"
"You know, back in the 60's.  Or like in Joseph's time..."
"Yes, honey, people believed in Jesus 'back then'."

Asking her Daddy if he was going to be able to be at her Brownie induction ceremony:
"Daddy are you going to be there for my enter-duction?"

"Mommy, today when I fell off the scooter, my whole body was on the concreek."

We were driving facing the sun.  My husband was talking about how beautiful the sunset was.  Then he said that it was nothing compared to my beauty.  To which the youngest princess quipped, "Hello! Kids in the back seat!  We don't want to hear your love talk!"

One morning she made me laugh and I said, "Wow!  You really are something else!"  To which she replied, "Well, I try."

Walking out one morning after it had rained all night, and everything was all wet and humid, she said, "I hate it when it rains and everything is all sweaty!"

One Saturday around noon, the oldest princess asked her, "Why are you STILL in your pajamas?"
She answered, "'Cause I'm a pajamaholic.  But, I know.  It's really supposed to be chocoholic."  ;-).  That's right baby!  I love the innocence of childhood!

Thirty Days of Thankfulness (3)

I  am thankful for my church family.  Almost two years ago, our lives were changed when my wonderful husband was called to be a pastor.  We never dreamed it would happen in the way that it did.  But we saw God's hand in every step of the process.  The last two years have been wonderful as we have come to know/love the wonderful people of our congregation.  We have been through births, deaths, and many things in between.  We have laughed together, worked together, studied together, served together, worshipped together, and cried together.

They have been wonderful to our family.  They have been patient, loving, and accepting to all of us as we have "learned the ropes" of being a pastor, a pastor's wife, and pastor's children.  They have accepted us with open arms, and loved us despite our deficiencies.  They have never put undo pressures on myself or my children.  They go above and beyond to be a blessing to us all, and we love and appreciate them for it.  I am very thankful for each and every member of our church family.  Knowing them, and serving alongside of them has greatly enriched our lives.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness (2)

     Today I am thankful for my salvation.
     I have no idea how people live, especially in today's scary, sad world, without the hope of God living in them, and the promise of eternal life.  He is the sustaining source of strength that gets me through each and every day.  He is always enough.  He is powerful, holy, and majestic.  I am thankful beyond words that He provided a way for an unrighteous, proud, sinner like me to come to Him, and find salvation.

30 Days of Thankfulness (1)

     I am thankful for my family.
     My heart nearly bursts as I sit and think about each of the wonderful people that God has placed in my life, to walk through this crazy adventure with me.  
     I love taking note of the little things, like how the young prince likes to give his sister advice when it comes to boys.  Or how he goes to his sister for advice when it comes to girls.  I love his zeal and passion for God's Word.  I love that the oldest princess has just gotten her license, and is willing to drive to the ends of the earth, if we need her to, but is always very responsible and careful.  I also love that she is working to become her own independent person, but does it in a mostly respectful way...and on the rare occasion that she doesn't, she usually come back with a repentant heart and apologizes.  I love that the youngest princess is full of energy and life, and sometimes silliness that makes us all smile.
     I love how my wonderful husband cares deeply for our congregation, yet still has the time and energy to care deeply for us.
     I love it that as my kids get older, they need me less, but they still do need me.
     As we prayed for our dinner yesterday, the little princess tightly gripped my hand, and as I peeked at her little strong, healthy hand holding mine, my heart swelled with thankfulness for my precious family.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday 41

*For great news for a friend

*For an awesome husband that brought me lunch in the middle of his very busy day

*For another day done

*For a yummy home cooked meal

*For a great win for the volleyball team

*For sweet times with the youngest princess

*For the reminder that eye contact is a rare, but valuable commodity in this day and time. Something as simple as eye contact can make someone feel valuable and loved.

*For a very timely answer to prayer

*For help from a friend

*For safety for the young prince

*For something I was concerned about that turned out just fine

*For a situation that caused us to search our hearts, and seek God's wisdom

*For a little rest

*For the time of something being changed that really helped us out with scheduling

*For someone who understood our predicament

*For something I dreaded turning out to be not so bad

*For a beautiful day

*For a great evening with a super group of young people having fun learning God's Word

*For friends

*For rain

*For a wonderful, special lady who helped me out in a huge way

*For a nice dinner with my prince and the youngest princess

*For a night with nowhere to go

*For a relaxing, fun, evening just laughing and cutting up as a family

*For an unexpected blessing from sweet friends

*For another awesome win for the oldest princess' volleyball game

*For a delicious dinner grilled by my wonderful husband

*For doctors\hospitals who help those who are sick

*For my husband's safety

*For a special, surprise treat

*For a great husband who is willing to help me, even when he is exhausted

*For encouragement from an unexpected source

*For an impromptu quick date with my prince

*For people who helped us out by buying from the oldest princess' fundraiser

*For a chance to play with some sweet babies in the nursery

*For rest for my husband 

*For midnight talks with the oldest princess

*For laughter

*For friends who work together to make things happen

*For encouragement, and a sign of God's hand at work

*For God's Word, full of truth for each and every circumstance, each and every day

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

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thankful Thursday 40

*For a win for the varsity girl's volleyball team

*For a blessing in disguise

*For a relaxing evening watching the young prince play football

*For a good evening out with the family for dinner

*For a great church family who has a heart for serving our community

*For laughter with friends

*For a beautiful day

*For a sweet text from a friend

*For the freedom to worship

*For a good Bible study

*For the reminder that the young prince is not yet a man, but still a boy, and will still make immature decisions from time to time

*For God's grace that allows me to extend a little grace as well

*For fellowship with friends even if it was short and sweet

*For running into someone I couldn't wait to meet (our newest church baby, and she is precious!!)

*For the young prince's last JV game of the year.  He played his heart out, and I loved watching him play.

*For a chance for the little boys to play.  They were so much fun to watch as well.

*For wisdom when needed

*For answered prayer

*For a chance to straight up share the Gospel with a sweet couple

*For the privilege to pray for others

*For the youngest princess being my side-kick for the afternoon

*For a good check-up at the dentist

*For God's hand of protection on one of our students

*For a good marriage, and a great husband

*For a friend who brought the young prince home

*For love

*For peace

*For rest

*For mercy

*For routines 

*For surprises 

*For great students

*For encouraging parents

*For simple things like beautiful fall flowers, caterpillars, butterflies, sunsets, and crisp cool mornings

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

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Youngest Princess Says

It's been a while since I've shared some youngest princess fun.  Thought I'd share some this morning, and hopefully make you smile.  She sure does add life and laughter to our family.  Keep in mind this is just a small sampling of her antics.  We've had people tell us that we need to follow her around with a video camera 24/7, because she is pretty much that entertaining.  These are just the things I've taken the time to write down.  She is constantly doing something funny or crazy.  But we definitely love her for it!

We were invited to a Duck Dynasty themed Birthday party for a family friend.  The birthday girl had wanted to order beards for all of her friends.  As a  surprise, they made her think that the beards did not come in in time for the party.  When  we arrived, they secretly asked my husband to put on face paint and one of the beards and come walking out to the Duck Dynasty theme song. He is a great sport, so he agreed to do it.  Then all the guests at the party received beards as well.  They had a great time putting on their beards and taking pictures.  When we got home, the youngest princess told her Daddy: "You were a GREAT Willy!"

After she put on some little play press on nails, I walked into the room to find her standing in front of the full length mirror playing with an old cell phone that no longer had service.  I asked her what she was doing, and she said, "Texting all my friends to tell them that this has been the O-R-S-T, worst day of my life!"

She asked how long it would take my niece to get here by airplane.  I told her about an hour and a half.  She knows that it takes us about ten hours by car.  She quietly repeated while thinking about it, "An hour and a...WE NEED TO START TAKING PLANES!!"

She came to our room at about 3:20am.  Said she couldn't sleep because of a spider they had seen and killed in their room earlier that night.  So she climbs in bed with us.  She tosses and turns and finally says that her legs are KILLING her. So her daddy goes downstairs to get her some pain medicine.  When he comes back, he remembers to tell me that one of our church members is moving to Oregon.  While I am lamenting over losing this sweet lady from our congregation, the Youngest Princess says, "Why is she moving ALL THE WAY to Oregon?"  So her daddy asks her if she even knows where Oregon is.  She says, "Oh, yes, it is up here.  Using her left hand to point to Oregon's location on the map in her mind.  "And (our state) is over here."  Pointing again to the general location on the map her mind has laid out before her.  "And California is the long one over here (pointing again) then another one is on top of California, and then Oregon."  Not exactly right, but not too shabby considering the time, and the fact that she is picturing the map in her mind.  I was impressed.  I asked her how she knew all of that. She answered in a matter of fact manner, "Well, I've seen a map!"  Oooookay.  Sure wish I had that kind of memory!

She crawled in bed with us in the middle of the night.  We snuggled for a few minutes, and then we were shifting around trying to get comfortable and she sat up and looked at me nose to nose with her bed head hair all wild and said, "I just had the craziest thought!"  I asked her what it was.  She said, "That a fly just landed on my nose (touching her nose for emphasis), and sat straight up (holding her fingers straight out beside her nose), like a praying mantis!"  Yep.  That pretty much falls under the "craziest thought" category.  Yep, indeed.

"Momma, tank tops are for sleeping in, or for wearing under another shirt.  It's not a slap on a tank top, slap on some short shorts and go to school kind of thing. Ya know?"  Yes.  I know.  And I am glad she knows it as well.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thankful Thursday 39

*For a fun afternoon watching the oldest princess play powder-puff football

*For time to fellowship with several teachers, parents, and kids that I don't always get to talk to

*For a fun evening for our high school students

*For getting to work with a new friend

*For protection for my son who had to step up unexpectedly

*For the end of a very crazy week

*For a fun time of fellowship with friends

*For an unexpected blessing for the young prince

*For rain that was a blessing in disguise for our family

*For rest

*For another blessing in disguise

*For help from the oldest princess at the spurr of the moment

*For a sweet new family joining our church

*For a reminder that God is so big, it is mind blowing, but yet, He still cares greatly about my life

*For another evening of fun fellowship

*For a good day for the oldest princess on her birthday

*For safety for the oldest princess

*For peace for my prince and I

*For a new driver on deck to help take some of the pressure off

*For safe travels for Grammy and Poppy

*For Grammy getting to spend time with the oldest princess

*For friends who left a sweet surprise for the oldest princess

*For God's protection on the young prince who played a great game

*For answers to prayer

*For the reminder that I may want to pray a little more specifically next time

*For the chance to go to dinner with my prince, and then meet a friend for a movie

*For a movie that will take the gospel to people who may never see it otherwise

*For the testimony of a father with unwavering faith and trust that God is good

*For a blessing for a friend

*For a good crowd on Wednesday night

*For people who share the blessings of their garden with others

*For life

*For health

*For peace

*For love

*For contentment

*For the reminder that I am not sufficient, but that God's sufficiency more than makes up where I fail and fall short

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

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thankful Thursday 38

*For family who will come from far away to help celebrate the birthday of the oldest princess

*For an aunt and a grandmother who worked hard and made a beautiful cake

*For a grandfather who carried the cake in his lap for a three hour trip

*For my two Beta Club inductees

*For a fun time at the ball game

*For safety for our players

*For a great dinner with family

*For memories with the oldest princess

*For everything falling into place

*For friends who were coming to our rescue

*For the lights coming back on

*For sweet friends who came to celebrate with us

*For a night we will all remember

*For a great group that blessed us tremendously

*For a nice surprise

*For a godly group of men joining us in service at our church

*For another fun night at the football game

*For a precious newborn baby

*For the chance to make a difference

*For honesty

*For fun dress up days

*For love

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

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thankful Thursday 37

*For getting to watch my girl play volleyball

*For a fun evening of football and friends

*For a relaxing Sat. Morning

*For a fun trip out for the girls

*For a delicious dinner for my prince's birthday

*For a deep conversation with the youngest princess

*For a great morning at church

*For servants who are living examples of true commitment

*For a cool afternoon

*For a great day at school

*For the young prince who played his heart out on the field

*For a good night teaching about God and His attributes

*For a win for our volleyball girls

*For friends who brought the oldest princess home

*For a good night's rest

*For a good chapel service

*For laughter, and tears

*For safety for family members

*For ladders, to get keys off the roof - Don't ask, it might embarrass the oldest princess

For all these things, and many, many more, I am thankful to The Lord

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thankful Thursday 36

*For a rare evening with nothing to do

*For a fun afternoon with the Grammy and the girls

*For time to get a much needed haircut

*For a wonderful dinner

*For laughter with a friend

*For an aunt who stepped in and saved the day

*For Grammy who offered to carry the cake in her lap all. The. Way. Here.

*For an uncle who offered to step in and save the day

*For  everything working out and going well for a friend

*For safety

*For a lesson in humility

*For a scheduling mistake that cleared up a Saturday

*For safety for Grammy and Poppy as they traveled

*For a great church service

*For a day of rest and fun with friends

*For a sweet friend who did a huge favor for me

*For a sweet class of kids that I think are the greatest

*For safety as we all traveled

*For safety from the lightening

*For the rainbow, and a reminder of God's promise

*For technology that allows us to easily communicate when we are not together

*For the storm blowing over

*For safety home

*For discussions about "whodunit" with the youngest princess over the book we are reading together.  I love to see her "wheels" turning as she comes up with different scenarios about who could have done what and where and how, as she tries to guess it all before it is revealed in the book.

*For the steady rhythm of my family sleeping, all tucked snugly in our beds, while the crickets chirp
outside.  A quiet peaceful ending to a busy, hectic day.

*For beautiful pictures of the oldest princess taken by a very sweet friend

*For a delicious dinner at church

*For something I dreaded being over

*For the youngest princess who still reaches out to hold my hand from time to time

*For being needed

*For answered prayer

*For encouragement from an unexpected source

*For peace in my heart and in my home as we end each day

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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

If You Ever Wish To Date My Daughter

As our oldest daughter nears her 16th birthday, more and more of her friends are beginning to date.  Although we do not believe in a magic dating age, we know that she is closer to the dating scene than she has ever been before.  I have watched some of the boys that girls her age have decided to date.  And several things have jumped out at me.  Things I want her to be aware of before she spends too much and time and energy on any one certain boy.  I want her to pick guys that are worth the picking.  It will save us all much time and energy in the long run.  So, in that spirit, I thought I'd do a little tongue in cheek blog about it.  The following are in no particular order.

If you ever wish to date my daughter (I wrote the blog, so I am using pronouns like I, me, and my, but her father has pre-read and agrees with every word)...

*Do not take "selfie" pictures of yourself in the bathroom mirror, with your hat on backward, your shirt off, and your underwear showing.  This screams that you are full of...well...yourself.  The young man that gets the privilege of dating my daughter, will be a young man who is not full of himself, but concerned with others.  A young man who has a concept of the world outside of...himself.  And while we are on this topic...know that I WILL do my research, and if any other distasteful pictures of you  (pictures of your PRIVATE parts, pictures of you doing ANYTHING illegal, pictures of you making lewd gestures, pictures of you laying on an old girlfriend's bed, or lounging in her bedroom, just to name a few) show up, you are automatically disqualified.  No need to even apply.  We are looking for a young man of integrity.  A young man who respects himself, and others.

*Do not intentionally misspell words in your social media messages.   This is very disrespectful to every teacher who ever poured her life into yours to teach you how to spell things correctly.  It insults the intelligence of your readers.  And, it screams that you would rather "fit in with the "cool" crowd, than follow the rules of society."  Thank you.  There's the door.
 We are looking for a young man who has the guts to do what is right (in both big and very tiny things), even when it is not the cool thing to do.  So you do not qualify.

*Do not view sex is a recreational sport, rather than a God given gift to married people.  Just keeping it real.  If you have been sexually active.  I will know.  This one may be a little tougher to prove, but believe me, I have mad P.I. skills.  And if you are, or have been, your reputation will proceeded you. End Game.
We are looking for someone who is man enough to have self control.  A young man who respects God enough to trust that His way is not only the best way, but the only way.

*Do not spend hours on end playing video games, as if they are the most important thing in life, and you scream and yell, or fly into a rage when something happens to keep you from getting to the next level.  If you do, you are out of touch with reality, have your priorities screwd up, lack social skills, and have anger issues.  What even makes you think you have a chance?
 We are looking for a young man who knows there is life outside of a video game.  We are looking for a young man who wants to experience real life, not just live a fantasy life.  We are looking for a young man who has time management skills.  We are looking for a young man who gets mad about real life things that matter, and looks for more constructive ways to handle his anger, and fix his problems than throwing things and screaming and yelling.

*You must have a personal, active, authentic, growing relationship with the Lord.  You must attend a Bible believing church on a regular basis.  You must be actively involved in your church's youth group.  If not, what makes you think you have a prayer?  
We are looking for a young man who will lead his home well.  A young man who will love and live God's Word.  A young man who will keep his family in church and bring up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  We know that if you love the Lord as you should, you will love our daughter as you should.

*Do not ever make comments about her body, or ask her to send you pictures of herself (prior to your wedding night, after the ceremony)...we will change her number immediately, defriend and block you from ever finding her on FB again, and keep you from having her new number.  Yes.  We have done it once.  No big deal to do it again.
We are looking for someone who respects her inside and out.  Not some hormone driven adolescent who is looking to satisfy his animalistic urges.  No perverts allowed.

*Do not live off of your mom and dad.  Do not carelessly break the things they work hard to provide for you, and then expect them to run out and buy you another one.  Do not expect the world to be
handed to you on a silver platter while you sit on your duff all day.  If you do...goodbye.
 We are looking for a young man who knows how to work, and appreciates what it takes to make money .  A young man who will work hard and provide for his future family some day.  How will we know him?  He's the one that has a job now.  No job?  No date with my daughter.

*Do not go on a rant on any social media outlet about any of your peers or authority figures.  If you have, I am sorry.  This is the end of the line for you.  
We are looking for a young man who knows how to respect his peers and authority figures, even when they make decisions he does not agree with.  We are looking for a young man who can take care of disagreements in a respectful and private manner, without engaging the gang mentality, and airing all his dirty laundry for the world to see, and dragging innocent bystanders into his fight.

*Do not get lazy with your grades.  If you do, you get an F-. 
 We are looking for a young man who will do his best in the classroom, as well as the athletic field, or court.  Again, we are looking for a young man who has the ability and drive to provide for his future family.  If you don't show signs of this now, we are not going to pretend with you that it will just magically appear overnight.  Show us some initiative, or go home.

*Do not lie to her, or me, ever.  She may not pick up on it, but I have an uncanny ability to spot a lie a mile away.  And while I may not let you know I know you are lying immediately...remember, this 
is life, not baseball.  The three strikes-you're out rule does not apply.
We are looking for a young man who will take responsibility for his actions.  A young man who can admit when he is wrong, and face the consequences.  A young man of truth and honor.

*Do not be a girly-man.  There are way too many guys out there that do not know how to be manly men.  Too many guys have gotten too much in touch with their feminine sides.
We want a young man who will be strong enough to protect our daughter should the need arise.  We want a young man who likes to fix things, build things, hunt or fish.  And speaking of fishing, be able to bait your own hook.  If that's not how you roll, than there are plenty of other fish in the sea.  My daughter is not the one for you.

So, there you have it.  If you wish to date her, you know what we expect.  And we hold the right to add to this list at any given time.  And yes, I asked her to read this blog before I shared it with all of you.  She gave me her blessing to hit the send button.  So now, if you wish to date her, you know what she expects from you as well.  If you do not fit the requirements, save your time and energy.

Her grandfather said, "Guys want a good girl, but all too often they don't want to to be the good (to the core of their character) guy that it takes to get a good girl."  I have faith that there are still some guys out there that are willing to do what it takes.  Guys that will be the answer to many a Mother's prayer for her daughter.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thankful Thursday 35

*For circumstances that drive me to my knees, and deepen my relationship with The Lord

*For courage and strength when my courage and strength are gone

*For people willing to stand up for right, even when it is very, very hard

*For a nice dinner with my prince

*For answered prayer

*For my kiddos making it home from the game safely-even if it was at 2:30am

*For someone who paid attention to details, and cared enough to switch the schedule a little, so the young princess could get some much needed rest

*For a beautiful day

*For the chance to be a part of a very sweet couple's special day

*For friends

*For fun fellowship

*For two baptisms

*For a rededication

*For safety for my Mother and Father-in-Love as they traveled

*For a very exciting football game

*For not one, not two, not three, but FOUR touchdowns for the young prince - Whoo Hoo!!

*For Grammy and Poppy being here to see the young prince play football

*For the chance to see my girl play volleyball

*For a disappointment that turned out to be a delicious dinner

*For a much needed good night's rest

*For a good day at work

*For a chance to "get away" for a quick, romantic dinner for two, with my prince (okay, so it was a rushed dinner at Burger King, but we used our imaginations and enjoyed being kid free for a few minutes)

*For finally getting some things accomplished that I needed to get accomplished

*For a teacher who honored a frazzled mom's request

*For Grammy and Poppy being willing to run some very important errands that I did not have time to run

*For the peace of knowing true love from my family

*For verses that encourage me "right where I am" no matter what I am going through at that particular time

For all these things and MANY, MANY more I am thankful to the Lord!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thankful Thursday 34

*For a good group of girls at our next-to-the-last Bible Study

*For a great student and a friend who set up my classroom computer

*For another good friend who also helped me with my computer

*For the first half-week of school being behind us

*For a fun night at the Football Jamboree

*For good fellowship with a friend I have missed spending time with

*For tackles, forced fumbles, and fumble recoveries for the young prince

*For a win for our boys

*For a weekend conference for the oldest princess and young prince to attend

*For a youth pastor and his wife who prayed and planned for an awesome weekend for our teens

*For a little one on one time with the youngest princess

*For the Kindle app, so we can read the next book in the Mandie series, without having to wait until we can get to the book store

*For a morning to sleep in, and a day to catch up on laundry.

*For a chance to finally meet a precious new baby

*For a great day in the house of the Lord

*For a sweet couple joining our church

*For testimonies from our teens about their weekend

*For having my children home again

*For a time of prayer for our community schools

*For a job for a friend

*For more new folks in our Earn While You Learn class, who will hear the Gospel

*For a great day at school

*For laughter with friends

*For the privilege of prayer

*For seeing God move when His people pray

*For a good talk with my big brother

*For a husband and children who pitch in and help out

*For life examples that enable us to teach our children important lessons

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

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thankful Thursday 33

*For a great Bible Study

*For the young prince getting his braces off

*For a successful shopping trip

*Safe travels for the volleyball team and their parents

*For fun fellowship with friends

*For a teeny, tiny inchworm friend that points to the wonders of God's creation

*For safe travels home

*For fun times with our Sunday School class

*For great food

*For the opportunity to help a friend who always helps me

*For great kids

*For a clean front porch (thanks to the young prince)

*For sorted socks (thanks to the oldest princess)

*For a fun dinner out with friends

*For an unexpected blessing

*For a full day's work, and getting a lot accomplished

*For friends

*For those who hang boards, paint walls, and remove staples as well as many other acts of service

*For answers to prayers

*For a fun night with friends for both of my girls

*For one on one time with my prince

*For one on one time with the young prince

*For proof that there are still good people in the world

*For a new watch battery

*For a wonderful new group of parents and students

*For a good first day back to school for my kids

*For a sweet gift from my  awesome husband

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

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thankful Thursday 32

*For a friend who invites the youngest princess over every Thursday, which is a huge help to me for study time

*For a great Bible Study night with both of my groups of girls

*For each and every person who prays for our Bible Study

*For the young prince having a great time at a friend's house

*For a spontaneous ice cream/slushie run

*For the trust of a friend

*For a friend I can call when in need of advice

*For precious times with my kids.  I do not take those moments for granted.

*For friends who ask me to pray for them, and return the favor when I need prayer

*For a fun day for the oldest princess

*For the ending of an emotionally tough day

*For a wonderful church service

*For a quiet day and time to catch up on some things I was behind on getting done

*For fun just chatting with a couple of friends

*For a chance to finally get the young prince's hair cut

*For a wonderful dinner

*For fun times working and laughing (mostly laughing) together in the kitchen

*For garden bounty shared by friends

*For a sweet bible study

*For people who have taken my name to the throne room of God in earnest prayer (I was overwhelmed with thankfulness one day just even thinking about how many people must have prayed for me during my lifetime, and I am truly thankful for every prayer said on my behalf!)

*For a friend brave enough to share her struggles and be gut wrenchingly honest even though it was really hard for her

*For time to get something important done before school starts back

*For an awesome award for my big brother - I'm a proud little sister

*For a change in an appointment that allowed me to be there for the young prince

*For laughing together, crying  together, and loving one another

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

Monday, August 5, 2013

And the Winners Are...

Woo Hoo!  Thank you all for entering my giveaway!  It was my first ever giveaway, and I had a blast doing it!  I am very thankful to Mindy at The Child Training Bible for making it possible :-)!

I had a very scientific way of picking my winners.  I found a great little app about a week ago called Decide Now! (Shout out to my wonderful niece who totally enriched my life by bringing it to my attention!) It is like a Wheel of Fortune wheel, and you can fill in what goes in each space (SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!).  So I put the name of each of the people who commented, in a space on my wheel, and gave it a spin.  I actually pushed the button five times to get it going really fast.  I know, I know...but it was better than having my kids pick a number right?

And now...the moment we have all been waiting for (cue drumroll)...the winners are...

From the blog comments:  Joyful Mom!!!  Congratulations!


From the Facebook comments: Kristin Gallatin!!! Congratulations!

I really wish you ALL could have won!  It is a great resource that I hope you all will all be able to purchase and use, or maybe through one of the other blog giveaways, even win.  My prayer is that God will bless you all, as you strive to be godly parents raising godly children.

Joyful Mom, I will set my comments on this blog so that I have to moderate the comments, and you can send me your mailing address.  I will pass it on to Mindy, and she will send you your free set of VTB cards :-)!

Kristin, you have to make a trip and come pick your set up.  No special delivery for you :-)!  Just kidding!  I know where to find you, and I will be sending our extra set to you.  Love ya!

And again, thank you all for participating!