Two Tiaras and a Sword

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thankful Thursday 5

Because we so often take things for granted, here are a few things I am thankful for this week, that I might normally take for granted.

*For laughing and being silly with the youngest princess

*For a chance for the young prince to go hunting

*For a drop in visit from a friend

*For time with the oldest and youngest princesses

*For the youngest princess having a blast doing something as simple as painting

*For my girls enjoying time together despite their age differences

*For celebrating a new life

*For technology

*For a husband who is as awesome a Daddy as he is a husband

*For friends who make me laugh

*For laid back Saturdays

*For unexpected time with the oldest princess

*For a wonderful husband who went above and beyond to surprise me and help me out

*For doctors who help my sick children feel better

*For safety from the storms

*For a friend who loves me enough to call me in the early morning to offer a safe place to ride out the storm

*For the assurance that a very special lady who I loved dearly is now in the presence of our Savior

*For shelter from the cold

*For the youngest princess crawling up in my lap, and just being quiet together

*For fun memories with my nieces and nephews

*For laughing and joking with friends

*For a peaceful home

*For a great youth pastor and youth pastor's wife

For all of these things, and I am sure, many more, that I have missed, I am thankful to the Lord.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thankful Thursday 4

*For snow

*For the sound of the youngest princess playing the piano and singing at the same time

*For inside jokes with the oldest princess

So often, it is way too easy to focus on the negative, and miss the wonderful blessings that God sends us each and every day.  Don't get caught in the negative trap today, count your blessings with me!

*For hugs from the young prince

*Waking up to sunshine

*A chance to sleep in a little

*For awesome people who volunteered to chaperone our teens on their trip

*For safe travels there and back

*For the report that all went well

*For a great weekend with the youngest princess and my prince

*For another year of life for my wonderful brother

*For God's wonderful grace

*That His strength is perfect when mine is nowhere near enough

*For encouragement

*For a friend to encourage

*For a semi-lazy day of much needed rest

*For all of my little chickens being back in the nest

*For a short work week

*For another graduate of the Earn While You Learn program

*For a new song that proclaims a truth from the Word of God, and makes me smile

*For being stopped in the hallway once again by someone different bragging on the behavior of the young prince, and the sportsmanship he exhibits on the court, and in life

*For the privilege of meeting together with other believers to pray, learn, and grow

*For laughter

*For being needed

*For sweet times with the youngest princess

*For spiritual growth I see in the young prince and in the oldest princess

*For silly times with my family

*For people who are excited about studying God's Word

*For social media that helps us feel closer to family that is far away

For all of these blessings, and SO many more, I am  thankful to the Lord!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday 3

So many blessings this week!  God is gracious and loving.  He deserves the glory for every good thing that ever happens.  I am thankful to Him for the following, and much, much, more...

*Lessons learned from God's Word

*Friends who share what they have learned, and things that have helped them in their walk with the Lord

*Finding Tex, and bringing him home again

*The youngest princess' tears turned to smiles

*The young prince standing up for his sister

*A JV win

*The smiles on the boys' faces

*Fun times fellowshiping with people I love

*A fun time watching the youngest princess play

*A fun day for our family with friends

*A quiet evening at home so the prince could study

*Grace in the tough times

*Timely answers to prayers

*An awesome Sunday morning

*Crock pot dinners that are ready when you walk in the door

*Fun with some sweet children who make me laugh

*Laughing with my prince

*Clearing up a misunderstanding

*A warm, dry home on a cold, wet night

*God's strength, when mine is gone

*Watching the Youngest Princess use her imagination

*Seeing others get excited about learning God's Word

*Young couples making wise choices

*Another win for the JV team

*Snuggle time with the youngest princess

*A successful surgery for a wonderful little boy

*A chance to minister to someone I've been praying for

God is good!  His blessings flow abundantly, we only need to look around us and actually notice them.  Praying that God will help you see some of His wonderful blessings today.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday 2

Hebrews 13:15  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

*Getting back into our normal routine

*A cancelled game, freeing up time on our schedule

*Movie night with the kids

*Fun times watching the youngest princess and her friend play basketball

*The oldest princess getting to love on a very special baby

*Another cute movie with the kids

*Going back to church after what felt like forever (being gone for the Holidays)

*An unexpected sweet compliment

*Fellowship with friends

*Being reminded of the fact that the oldest princess is a good example to those younger than her, and that other mothers encourage their daughters to look up to her (major blessing in that she works very hard to please the Lord, and not follow the crowd)

*God's grace that is never ending

*Treasures I'm learning through personal Bible study

*Seeing a friend I have missed

*The chance to minister to a special group of ladies

*Peace that comes from knowing all is right between the Lord and I

*A teacher stopping me in the hall to tell me what a joy it is to have the young prince, and the oldest princess in his class (nothing spreads a balm of healing over a Mother's heart like someone complimenting her children out of the blue like that)

*The privilege to hold a precious new baby

*Bits of wisdom gleaned from those who have traveled this way before, and know more than I do

*The gift of prayer, and an open line of communication to the Creator of the Universe any time, day or night

*Examples of true, unconditional love

*Friendships that stand the test of time, and circumstances

*Encouragement from unexpected places

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

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Psalms 104:33-34  I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live:  I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.  My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.

*For family, fellowship, and fun

*For learning a new game

*For beautiful pictures that I will treasure forever

*For learning a little more about something that scares me...making it a little less scary

*For warm fires

*For forgivness

*For kids that have fun playing together

*For it working out for my prince to be able to meet our niece to be

*For my prince, who is absolutely, hands down the greatest husband God could ever give me

*For awesome family memories

*For a safe trip home

*For something the young prince said that touched my heart to the core, and made me smile from head to toe

*For great news and an answer to prayer for a friend - Still praying for the same for another friend

*For a family that worked together and got the house back in order

*For sweet friends who brought us a delicious pork loin

*For a precious baby and his new family who will take wonderful care of him

*For my husband and son who put together my awesome present from my in-laws

*For a day to relax before going back to work

*For going to back to church and seeing people I've missed very much over the last couple of weeks

*For a roof over my head, food on our table, and soft warm blankets 

Thank You, Lord for all of these blessings, and the many more that are too numerous to count here in this place.  Your goodness, love, and mercy are way more than I ever deserve.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Our Christmas in the Country - Year 2

The trees are down.  The nativity sets are wrapped with care and packed away.  The nutcrackers are nestled in their boxes to sleep through another year.  Leaving us with Christmas 2012 in memory form only.  So, that means that it is time for the Second Annual Christmas in the Country to hit the web.

The kids and I along with Grammy headed out to the country a little earlier than Poppy and my Prince.  We left on the Friday before Christmas in order be in the country for the family Christmas party on Saturday.  Grammy and I make a great team, because she loves to drive, and I don't.  So she drove most of the way.  I did drive a little while in order to let her catch a quick nap.  And speaking of naps, have you ever snored so loudly that you woke yourself up?  I'm not saying that anyone in our car did that or anything.  I'm just asking.

We arrived to a house full of  nieces and nephews, and the sweetest great nephew EVER.  Oh, and three dogs to boot!  It was exciting (like three ring circus exciting).  Then some cousins dropped in and brought their precious new baby to show off.  There was a whole lot of snuggling and oohing and aahing going on.  It was very exciting  (like five ring circus exciting).  My nephew and his fiance were the last ones to arrive, so we all waited up to welcome them midnight.  Oh, except for the baby.  He went to sleep of course, and we all watched him sleep on the video monitor.  It's a little creepy, with that night vision and all.  It kind of felt like we were preparing to sneak in and ambush him or something.  Anyway, once the last nephew and his fiance made it safely, we welcomed them in, and then everyone crashed.

The next morning, the nieces and nephews were busily making breakfast, while my brother was "supervising" the whole operation.  I still had a few things to wrap and get ready, so I told him I needed his help.  We went to the closet of course.  Where else?  It just wouldn't be a family get together without closet memories.  So he left the young'uns to their own devices to get breakfast made, and "helped" me wrap a few last minute things.  Miraculously, breakfast was wonderful, even without his supervision, and some of the nieces and nephews privately thanked me later.

Several months earlier,  my niece had brought a picture that she had seen on Pintrest to my attention. We thought it would be a great idea for the annual cousin picture.  So I gathered everyone around and told them that I needed them picture ready by a certain time so that we could take our picture before the party and while the sun was still out.  They were all troopers and humored me by playing along.  The results were great, don't you think?

No, this was just one of the silly ones...we really did get some good ones.  Until #7 pinched #8 and made her cry...and that was the end of the picture taking session.

People were arriving for the party by the time we finished taking pictures.  There was food, fun, and great door prizes.  Last year, if you remember, the youngest princess won a set of three retractable box cutters.  This year, the young prince won a decorative snowman.  That  really worked out to his advantage though, because I got a lovely set of wrenches. which my new favorite cousin Jason graciously took from me, allowing me to pick a new present.  It turned out to be a really cool slingshot.  And since I have SO many occasions in which to use a sling shot, I bit the bullet and made a deal with the young prince.  My sling shot for his snowman.  Okay...that's probably about as safe as the youngest princess with box cutters, I guess time will tell.

We, in the Prince's honor, played pass the ball of wrapping paper.  He made us promise we would.  We started to the left, and got about 7 people down the line before someone (who will remain nameless for his own protection) threw it away.  So, we started the next wrapping paper wad in the other direction and made it...almost...all. the. way. around got back to the same young man who threw it away the first time, and yes, he threw it away again!  Brandy, if you are reading this, you did MUCH better this year.  Maybe you should now explain how the game works to Tyson, and maybe next year, we will FINALLY make it all the way around the circle.  Hopefully the Prince will be there to see it when it does.

The next day, we had a church service at home due to the vast number of us, and the impossibility of us all being ready in time for church unless we started getting ready in shifts at around oh, midnight or so the night before.  The speaker and the song director did a great job.  The highlight of the service for me, was listening to R (who is in his 50's and has Downs Syndrome) sing Amazing Grace.  I bet even the angels paused to listen.  It was precious.  Someone learned that if you are tardy to family church, you get to sit up front and center.  Which is probably a good thing, since she couldn't go to sleep and wake herself up by snoring.

We had deep discussions about things like whether or not the baby had, or had not had, his regular bowel movements.  We were all relieved to know that he had a small one on the way home, and a good one after arriving at home.  We learned that there are many life lessons that come from the book of I or II Opinions.  One of us got scared out of our skin.  In his defense, it is pretty scary  (and very dark) way out there in the the country at night.  Several of us tried to scare others, especially the night that we went out to listen for the coyotes.  We found out that my nephew is a super dad, and his wife is a great little mommy too. My middle nephew is a hard worker and a super dog dad.  Their youngest brother is working hard to finish college, and they all make me proud.  My niece is as fabulous as ever, and has the sweetest most beautiful dog in the world.  Said niece is wonderful with my children, and I love and appreciate her for that. She was boss at Sardines, until the youngest princess hid in the bathtub and stumped them all.  My nephew and his fiance (who is really sweet, but don't let that fool you, she can hold her own)  went to great lengths to come back the next weekend so she could meet my Prince, who will officiate their wedding.  We are thankful that they did.  The Prince was grateful for their efforts. They were able to have a mini marriage counseling session at the kitchen table while the rest of us sat in living room trying to make noise and act like we weren't listening, while at the same time trying to listen.  Then we forgot about them and got carried away playing airplane...even my brother and I went for a ride, and the kids have videos to prove it.  Isn't technology wonderful?

We all had a great Christmas and are blessed beyond measure.  I worried, as always, about how in the world we were going to get all that loot home. It is like cramming into a clown car when we get ready to leave every year.

 I got a very sweet birthday present from my brother.  I was told he went and got it all by himself.  I was worried at that point.  But he did great, and I can't wait for the next sunny day to show off my very nice pair of new sunglasses.  Not to mention that he also wrote a very long letter in my honor.  I'm definitely not the only writer in our family.  And he has inspired the young prince to write as well.  One day I will have to share some of their writings with you all.

  There were Christmas secrets that were almost exposed.  And we found out Maggie (the dog) is good for at least one thing.  Speaking of, air freshener is great thing to have nearby when she is around.

We went to the Silver Dollar Pawn shop where some of us got up close and personal with the stars of the show Cajun Pawn Stars.  We stopped by the Duck Dynasty Warehouse/Store on our way home, and took pictures of the sign, and the truck, and the world's largest duck call.  We really were just one Billy the Exterminator away from a full fledged reality TV show trip.

All in all, it was fun.  We took a ton of pictures and got some really good family pictures. I was thankful that we were able to get some good ones with my mother and father-in-law as well.

We also got one picture of my children that I totally love, and I think says it all.  Thanks L, for the idea.  I truly will treasure this one forever!  And yes, the young prince really is enjoying it a little too much!

Several of us received shooting instructions.  We only shot at a plastic bottle as our target, I promise.

We played many games, and we all enjoyed them all.  Okay, maybe that is stretching the truth a little.  Or, maybe that is stretching the truth a whole...who am I kidding?  That was an outright lie.  We did play many games, but some of us played them kicking and screaming.  Yet, looking at the memories we have now, I am sure that they are glad that they played, at least in retrospect.  I mean they could have been sleeping on the couch by the fire and then they would have missed out on ALL the fun.

There was one thing I missed this year.  There were no smoke alarm wake-up calls.   This may or may not be the reason why.  And, secretly, I'm glad it wasn't there, because I probably would have set it off myself when I cooked breakfast Christmas morning.

  Oh, and if you have never heard the song, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas", you should look it up.  It was learned and performed by the youngest princess with some help from L, and we all had it stuck in our heads the entire time.  My sweet sister-in-law even gave me an ornament that plays the song, because we introduced her to it several years ago.  I didn't even know there was an ornament that played it.  She has been looking for the ornament since she first heard it, and finally found them again this year.  I will forever remember the Christmas of 2012 when I hear that song.  And every day all year, as it is stuck in my head, and I don't think I will ever get it out!  "IIIIIIIIII Wannna Hippopotamus for Chriiiismasssss..."

I think we might have gotten away this time with all of our belongings.    There was a little poetic justice in the fact that someone who complains about us always leaving something, actually left something of his in OUR car.  We even remembered something we thought we left before we got to the corner.  So, we backed up to get it.  But we ended up finding it in the car...Which led to a great performance, and one of the biggest laughs of the whole trip.  Let's just say my brother can act as well as he writes.

We had a wonderful time as always.  I am thankful for our family, and the happy, silly, fun times we enjoy together.  It's the stuff life is made of.  It's who we are, and where we came from.  It's what we will remember long after the gifts have worn out.  Doing life and love together.   It's what really matters.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top Ten Blog Posts of 2012

Happy New Year!  I pray that this year brings many wonderful things for you!  I pray that you grow and learn.  I pray that you laugh and love.  I pray that you achieve things you never thought were possible.  I hope you are happy and grateful for all God has blessed you with.  I pray you are surrounded by those you love.

In the spirit of all of the end of the year countdowns, I thought I would post my top ten most viewed blog posts from  2012...just in case you might have missed one the first time around (wink, wink).  Just click the link, and it will take you right to the blog post.

1. - A precious story about my family

2. - Where I share an  "Unglued" moment

3. - About the dangers of the medication that caused my father's death

4. - A heart to heart talk with teens, and some adults about what the pictures they post on social media outlets says to others

5. - My most popular Thankful Thursday of the year

6. - The most popular Youngest Princess Says of the year

7. - A fun look at our Christmas last year...stay tuned in for this year's sometime soon...

8. - Is God there even when we can't see or feel Him?

9. - A crazy happening that reminded me of a life lesson

10. - Possibly one of my favorites for the year...with an update

Hopefully you have read some or even all of these.  But even more than that, hopefully they have blessed you in some way!  Thank you for reading my feeble attempts at sharing what is on my heart!