Two Tiaras and a Sword

Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 28 - 30, 2016

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were a whole lot of cleaning, washing, taking breaks to watch a show with my girls from time to time.  Keeping track of the eagle and watching to see if the eggs had hatched yet or not.

My Prince and the Young Prince went to work each day.  The girls and I hung out at the house.

Wednesday night we went to church.  My Wednesday night group went well.  I love those ladies and I love studying the Bible and learning and growing and just "doing life" with them.  It has been an boost in many ways to my spiritual life.  The times in both of my groups are priceless.

Thursday night, we met with some friends for dinner at my new favorite local restaurant.  We used to go to church with these friends and get to see them all the time.  Now we rarely get to spend quality time with them.  Both of our families are very busy, and so we wanted to intentionally schedule some time during our break with them.  We enjoyed our dinner with them.  My sweet friend brought me a birthday present.  Her Mom and Dad also came to eat at the restaurant, and her mom brought me a birthday card and a little note pad as well.  So sweet!  We love their family, and we are so glad that it worked out for us to get together even if for just a  little while.

The Youngest Princess had asked if her friend could come and spend the night.  So we made plans for that.  I had the Youngest Princess take a shower

Friday night, we went to the church for the youth New Year's Eve Eve celebration.  The Youngest Princess had asked if her friend could come and spend the night.  So we made plans for that.  I had the Youngest Princess take a shower, before we left, and while she was taking her shower, I read our chapter to her, because I knew we would be in late that night, and her friend would be here.  We finished Anne of Avonlea on Thursday night, so we read the first chapter of  Anne of the Island.

I made two cherry cheesecakes to take, and as we were heading out the door, I was trying to juggle the cheesecakes and put on my jacket, and one of the cheesecakes slipped and landed top down on the floor.  GRRRR!  So we cleaned up the cheesecake mess and headed out the door with only one cheesecake, and some cookies that My Prince had baked.

At the church the teens (and a few adventurous adults) played laser tag.  I wanted to play, but I had a really bad headache, so I knew I had better not play and make it even worse.  I think the kids had a great time.  I took my Dutch Blitz cards and a friend and I helped with the food and then played some Dutch Blitz.  Several of the kids played with us as they got out of the laser tag games.  It was fun.  When it got close to 11:00, we started getting everything all cleaned up.

We came home and got everyone settled and ready to go to bed.  I was very glad to go to bed, and hopefully get rid of my headache.  I snuggled under my new down throw that My Prince bought me for my birthday and went to sleep.

Oh, and I almost forgot!  If you want to watch the eagles with us (spoiler alert, one of the eggs hatched overnight, and there is now a baby eaglet to watch), go to  It is really cool to watch.  And the little bobble headed baby eagle is adorable!

Until I blog again...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 24th - 27th, 2016

Saturday, December 24 - Christmas Eve!  It was finally Christmas Eve!

I decided to do a meal in the crockpot that Aunt T had been trying to get me to fix for a while now.  My Prince braved the store to get the things we needed, and we got it started and cooking in the crock pot.  I cooked my rice, and started a pot of peas.  I was very excited about this meal, and hoping it turned out well.

We had a special Christmas Eve service planned at church, so we did several things throughout the day to get things ready for that.

The girls did a little last minute wrapping of some gifts for me.

Then we got ready and went to the church.  The service was very nice.  I loved being together with my church family on Christmas Eve.  Especially when we live so far away from our family.  It helps to make it not quite so lonely.

After the service, we passed out the hot chocolate ornaments that we had made.  It was fun.

Then we came home.  As we pulled in the driveway, Santa was coming up the street on the firetruck.  We honked for the kids to come out.  They had driven separately from us and had already gone in the house.  They made it out just in time to wave at Santa as he went by and threw them some candy canes.

Then we went in and enjoyed our dinner.  I thought that I had cooked enough for us to have leftovers, but there was barely enough for seconds.  So, I guess it turned out all right.  I know next time that if I want to have leftovers, I will have to cook more. I had two requests to fix it again and soon.  So it was a win.

After dinner, we told the kids that they could each pick one present to open that night.  The Oldest Princess picked her new computer case.  The Youngest Princess picked a snow globe from her brother.  The Young Prince picked a random box.  I told him I was surprised that he picked that one (because there was a HUGE box for him under the tree, and I had figured that he would pick that one).  When I told him that I was surprised that he had picked that one, he changed his mind and picked the big one.  It was a fire pit.  He and My Prince put it together and scrounged up some wood to burn, and we went out and made s'mores around it.  It was just barely cool enough to do it, but we had lots of fun and made some memories.  I'm glad he asked for a fire pit.  I think we all will enjoy that gift.

After that, we came in, and got ready for bed.  The girls watched a movie, and I went to sleep.

Sunday, December 25 - We got up and put out the gifts from "Santa".  I did what I could to get our meal ready, but did not plan to cook anything until AFTER church.  Then I started getting ready for church.  We woke the kids up, and they came down to see what gifts "Santa" had brought.  I think they were all pretty happy with what they got.

Then we finished getting ready for church.  We just had one morning worship service.  It was very good, and we observed the Lord's Supper as well.  We had a good crowd too, so that was nice.

After church, we came home and put the turkey, ham and hash brown casserole in the oven.  Then we let the kids open the rest of their presents.  It was a fun, relaxed afternoon.  We ate a late lunch/early dinner when the ham and hash brown casserole got done.

I talked My Prince into watching a couple of movies with us, and we pretty much just ate and watched movies the rest of the afternoon.  That night the Christmas special of When Calls the Heart came on, so we watched it too.  Then we all piled in the car and drove by our friend's house, because My Prince had promised their son that we would drive by and look at the new Christmas blow-ups he had gotten for their yard.  We also drove around in our neighborhood and looked at the lights there too.

We got to FaceTime (wall) with Grammy and Poppy in the Dominican Republic for a few minutes, and that was fun.  I am so thankful for technology that helps us to feel closer on the holidays!

When we got home, we all got ready for bed.  The Youngest Princess and I read a chapter of Anne of Avonlea, and then some of us, went to bed, and some of us watched a movie and then went to bed.

Monday, December 26 - My Birthday!  It was a good day.  We took it easy that morning, and then did a little shopping in the afternoon.  My Prince and the Oldest Princess surprised me with a beautiful tray that I loved.

We tossed around going to see a movie but changed our mind.  We went to eat, and the restaurant where we went was shorthanded.  It turned an experience that should have been about an hour and a half into a three hour experience.

After dinner, the Oldest Princess wanted to go to the mall and get a cookie for dessert.  So we did that  and walked around a little.  A couple of the kids spent a little of their Christmas money.

Then we came home.  The Youngest Princess and I read a chapter of our book, and then we went to bed.

Tuesday, December 27 - The Young Prince and My Prince had to go to work.  The girls and I had a pajama day at home.

I took the ornaments off of the tree, and I got some laundry done.  I also did some general straightening up.  The girls cleaned out some of their drawers to get rid of some clothes that they had outgrown or no longer wear anymore.  The Oldest Princess also culled out some of her shoes.

When My Prince came home, he took the Christmas tree out.  And we did a little more to put away/clean up after Christmas.  The Young Prince cleaned out some of his clothes when he got home from work too.  So, when all three children clean out clothes, it is a good day!

We had a relaxed evening.  Watching a movie and just being together.  The Youngest Princess made cookies.  The Oldest Princess made chocolate covered pretzels.

The Youngest Princess and I read our chapter and then we went to bed.

Just us.  Just a calm, cool, collected, ordinary Christmas.  No frills, no thrills.  Just precious time being together.  And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Until I blog again...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December 6th - 23rd, 2016

Time has flown by.  We have been busy doing all the stuff that goes along with Christmas.  There were Christmas Programs, and piano recitals, and parties.

My class gave me a new charm for my Pandora bracelet.  It was so cute!  They couldn't wait for me to open it, and when I did, it was a pair of angel wings with a little pearl dangling from them.  They told me that they chose that charm because they are all little angels.  I love it!  And every time I see it, I will think of my class of 9 little angels with a heart of love.  Because they really are a group of little angels.  And I have loved teaching them so far.

Warning.  Complete total openness coming up.  I'm about to tell it like it is (or I guess was now).

It was a more relaxed Christmas this year.  I tried really hard not to get all worked up about everything, and trying to make things perfect.  Because WE are not perfect.  So there are no Pinterest worthy pictures of my home all decorated for Christmas (we did put up a tree in the living room, and the Youngest Princess put up a small tree in her room - and I let her do it ALL BY HERSELF - and I did not worry one bit about what it looked like).  That was about it, as far as decorations go.  We did stick one of those laser lights in the yard that makes red and green dots all over the house.  And yep.  That was it.  And we were happy driving around looking at everyone else's decorated houses.  No stress.  Just walk out, stick the light in the yard, plug it in, and turn on the remote.  We decorated the tree with all of our mismatched ornaments from years gone by.  No balls, no ribbon, not even a tree topper.  But it was done with love and the memories are worth more than a million matching ornaments.  And it was stress free.  I actually got to wrap some presents ahead of time this year (instead of our usual me wrapping them the afternoon of the night we were going to open them).  It was nice to have time to get them done ahead of time.

We went to join our family for our annual "Christmas in the Country" the week before Christmas.  The trip there was good.  We made it there earlier than we usually do, so that was nice.  Aunt T had a great meal fixed for us to eat when we got there.  We stayed up late and waited on everyone else that was coming in that night to arrive.  Baby H is adorable and growing like a weed.  We had fun playing with him and getting to know him a little better.  We learned that baby H has a favorite person, and everyone must acknowledge it.  It is Unka, in case there was ANY doubt.  We also got to meet Miss E.  She is J.A.'s girlfriend. We like her a lot.  She was very sweet - but of course, we expected nothing less.  She fits right in, and I still like her, even if she did beat me in a game of Pictionary.  I'm not bitter or anything.  Really.  I'm not.  We were very glad that she was able to come and that we were able to get to know her.  Hopefully we were not so crazy that we scared her off.  Hopefully she likes us too, and we will have more fun times in the future.  But next time we play Pictionary, we need to be on the same team.

We played a crazy game.  Aunt T and Lid built this huge ball of prizes, candy and money all wrapped up in saran wrap.  We could unwrap and keep any prize we were able to get to before the person next to us rolled a double with the dice.  As soon as they rolled a double, our turn was over, and we had to pass the ball of prizes to the person next to us for their turn.  It was a lot of fun, and it was pretty messy too.  I unwrapped two sticky notes which I got to turn in at the end for two gift cards.  One was to a restaurant that we don't have were we live, so I traded it with my nephew for one he had.  Now we are set for dessert the next couple of times we go out to eat.  It was fun watching how everyone is different and had different strategies for getting to the prizes.

J and M and baby H, along with J.A. and Miss E, all had to leave on Sunday afternoon.  We hated to see them all go.  Sunday evening was quiet without them all there.

Monday, P.J. and his girlfriend Miss J drove over to visit for the day.  We give them a hard time because P. J. goes by his middle name, and his girlfriend has the same name.  She said her family just calls him by his last name.  It can get a little confusing at times.  We had met her briefly earlier this year when we found out that they were going to be in Gatlinburg at the same time we were there.  We liked her then, and we like her even more now.  We had a good time visiting with them for the day.  And of course, the time flew by and all too soon it was time for them to head home.

We went to eat Crawfish one night.  The Young Prince had made many not so subtle hints that that is one of the things he wanted to do.  We were joined by our friends Mr. M, Mrs. S, and S.  It was a fun night filled with great food.  The Oldest Princess ate all 4 pounds of her Crawfish all by herself.  The Youngest Princess helped me with mine, but we still had a few left over.  The Young Prince put a pretty good dent in his as well.  My Prince opted for the shrimp, and they were delicious too.  After the Crawfish, we went and got ice cream.  I honestly don't know how any of us had any room for ice cream, but somehow we managed.  S and the Youngest Princess were very excited about the ice cream part of the evening.  After ice cream, Mrs. S drove us by a really cool Christmas light display.  It was a great evening.  We stopped by Mr. M and Mrs. S's house for a few minutes, and the kids and Aunt T played a game.  Then we headed back to Aunt T and Unka's house.

The next day Aunt T and Lid had to leave to go back home.  We hated to see them go.  Unka grilled chicken for dinner that night.  I made a couple of sides to go with it, and the Youngest Princess asked if we could eat outside next to the pool.  Unka built a fire in the outdoor fireplace, and we indulged the Youngest Princess.  Then we listened to Christmas music on Pandora and sat around the outdoor fire to stay warm.  The Oldest Princess picked on me by intentionally messing up a video I was trying to take of the fire.  But now I have a great video of her being silly and a great memory.  And she behaved for the second video take, so I also have a lovely video of the fire and Christmas music playing in the background.  The Oldest Princess also tried to scare her sister, but I happened to walk by first.  So she scared me instead.  She (the Oldest Princess) has a video of that, and we have that memory as well.

We all got a little chilly, so we went back inside to snuggle under Aunt T's big blankets and watch Christmas movies.  Before long, all nice and cozy and warm, My Prince and I could not keep our eyes open.  So we called it a night and went to get some sleep.

The next morning, we got up and started getting ready to come home.  As always, it was amazing how My Prince was able to get everything packed back in the car.  We crammed in like sardines, and with Unka doing the wave by himself, we headed off for home.  We made it as far as the corner before the Youngest Princess realized that she did not have her pillow.  So we had to turn around and go back before Unka even made it back inside.  We found the pillow and set off again.

We have made it a tradition the past few years to make a slight detour by the Duck Commander warehouse.  This year we almost decided not to go.  But the Littlest Princess really wanted to go, so we decided we would.  We found out that we could take a tour of the duck call room, and make a duck call ourselves.  So, we decided to do that.  I am glad that we did, because we met Brian.  He was the man who led our "tour".  He shared with us his testimony, and what a testimony it was.  He was living a really rough life, before he met the Robertsons.  And by meeting them and going to work with them, they introduced him to Christ.  Brian then gave his life to Christ, and became a Christian.  He turned his life around and now lives for Christ.  It was really cool to meet him and hear his story.  That was even better than the tour and the duck call for me.

We took our annual picture by the Duck Commander sign on the building, and then we continued our journey home.  We got home late and pretty much unloaded the car and went straight to bed.  I am glad that we were able to go and spend time with our family.  I wish we lived closer so that we could see them all more often, but we are thankful for the time that we do get to spend together, because it is more precious than anything else I can thank of, so I will take it any time I can get it.

Until I blog again...

Monday, December 5, 2016

November 23 - December 5th, 2016

I don't know if it is blogger, or our computer, or our wi-fi, or what, but I have had a time trying to post my last blog, and I've fallen behind on keeping up with everything since then.  So, the last two weeks or so in a quick whirl-wind blog.  Definitely not day by day, because there is no way I can remember everything, and it would be way too long of a blog if I did.

We left on the 23rd to visit the Oldest Princess at college.  It was wonderful to see her and her friends the Crazy One and the Quiet One.  We stayed very busy the whole time we were there.  There were Church Services, and volleyball playoffs (we got to watch the Oldest Princess play again!), and birthday celebrations (with a very interestingly decorated cookie cake), and  Praise Services, and Soccer Championships (the team that I cheered for back in college was actually in the championship - just like old times - so it was really cool!), and Thanksgiving Day lunch, and Fine Arts (A Christmas Carol), and meeting up with precious friends, and Alumni Basketball games, and Alumni gatherings, and  family fun and silliness and selfies in-between.  It was a fun, busy time.  And it passed by all too fast.  It was time to come home, way too soon.  We left our girl yelling out how many days until she would see us again.

Church was wonderful on Sunday the 27th, and after church, we went and picked out a Christmas tree.  That night we had our very first Hanging of the Greens.  It was very interesting.  I enjoyed the service.  If you have ever heard of the book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, you will understand when I say that I deemed this year's Hanging of the Greens, The Best Hanging of the Greens Ever.  But it was absolutely precious and memorable, and I look forward to doing it again next year.

The school week went by pretty much as much as usual.  Monday afternoon we decorated our Christmas tree.  We decided to forgo the fancy tree this year and use all of the family ornaments.  It was fun hanging them on the tree and remembering Christmases past.  The Youngest Princess cheered at games on Tuesday night and Thursday night.  The Young Prince was voted in as a Volunteer Firefighter at a local Fire Station on Tuesday night.  He also worked his first full week in the afternoons after school.  We had church on Wednesday night.  Friday night we bought the Youngest Princess an early Christmas present (navy converse shoes), so she can wear them in the school Christmas play, and then we went out to eat to celebrate the Young Prince's birthday.  He wanted to go to a hibachi restaurant, so we went, and ate until we couldn't eat any more, and then we even brought home leftovers.

Saturday, the Young Prince went to work, and the rest of us hung out here at home getting various things done.  I worked on getting some of our winter clothes out of storage, and putting up some of our warmer clothes.  I also spent some time shelling pecans that one of our precious church members left as a surprise on our porch.

Sunday morning was the Children's Breakfast.  Then it was my turn to teach in extended care.  I had a fun time with the little ones teaching them about Jesus' birth.  After church, we came home and ate lunch, and then took the Youngest Princess to her Christmas Piano recital.  She did great.  I was a very proud mommy.  From the piano recital, it was straight to the church to drop My Prince and the Youngest Princess off at choir practice.  The Young Prince and I came home for about an hour and then we went back to the church also.  My small group went well.  It was our first week of doing our HEAR journals, and I loved seeing how God spoke to each of us through our Bible studies during the week.  After small group, the Children's Choir sang during the service.  It was a precious service.  I was very proud of all of the students who sang.  They all did a great job.

Today was a good day at school.  The girls are excited and giggly and their attentions spans are short, but we get as much done as possible.  After school we had our teacher's meeting, and then it was home to work on homework.  We ate dinner.  My Prince and the Young Prince left to go to prayer meeting at church, and the Youngest Princess finished up her homework and got ready for bed.

We watched Eloise at Christmastime (one of the Youngest Princess's favorite Christmas movies).  Now we are going to go read our chapter of Anne of Avonlea, and then get some rest so we will be ready for tomorrow.

And I think that catches you up on the main things that happened.

Until I blog again...

November 19 - 22, 2016

Saturday, November 19 - I woke up early and enjoyed the peace and quiet around the house. I watched the First 5 weekend wrap-up, and read my chapter in Proverbs and then did my daily Bible reading. It was good to be able to do all of those things without distractions. It is a rare morning that I get to do that.

The girls woke up, and had cereal for breakfast. They played and had a great time for several hours before one of them had to go home, and we had to start getting ready to go and volunteer for the Compassion Experience. We got ready to go, and left to meet our youth pastor and his wife, who were going to ride with us. We also met my friend, and handed her daughter back over to her.

We arrived early for our volunteer shifts. We thought it would take us longer than it did to get there. But that was good, because we had time to change into our Compassion shirts and be "trained" by the volunteers about to turn over their spots to us. The Youngest Princess and I worked together. It was our job to clean the iPods, and earphones after each group finished the experience. We were also to send them away kindly and offer them stickers. And keep a count of all the headphones that came back to us. By counting headphones, we counted heads, and knew how many people went through. It was very busy at times, and very slow at times. But we were all in close proximity, and we had fun teasing and cutting up with one another.

There were two guys who work for Compassion (not volunteers), who were working in the room at the end where people could sponsor children if they wanted to. As the sun went down, and it got pretty chilly where we were working, the Youngest Princess left me and hung out just up the stairs in the room with E and D. They taught her what to say to people as they finished, and let her do some of their job. She thought that was fantastic. And when it was slow going, they taught her how to shoot a rubber band, and various other tricks with rubber bands.

At one point I stepped up the stairs to check on her, and the Young Prince, our youth pastor and his wife decided to go through a story, leaving only my Prince and the Compassion worker at their stations. When I came back, they were discussing how My Prince was "Volunteer of the Night". The Compassion worker even gave him a "Volunteer of the Night" special name tag. But just a few minutes later, we had two groups come in, and My Prince forgot to do something, and so he lost his "Volunteer of the Night" status, and it was then bestowed upon me (the only other volunteer working at that point). It wasn't long before I forgot something and lost my status as well. The Compassion worker kept sneaking stickers to our youth pastor's wife, so that she could sneak and stick them on My Prince's back. She in turn involved our youth pastor and the Young Prince. So My Prince had quite a few stickers stuck all over his back by the time we were done. We had a great
time. We made some new friends, and we helped new children find sponsors, so we helped "change the story" as our shirts said.

We left tired, cold and hungry. We went with the Young Prince's suggestion for dinner. When we got there and ordered, they had changed their meat, and I (because I have a texture thing about biting into peppers and onions) could not eat my tacos. We ran through Chick-fil-A drive through, and I ate a Chick-fil-A sandwich on the way home.

We dropped our youth pastor and his wife off at their car, and then we came home and went to bed. The Youngest Princess and I read a chapter of Anne of Avonlea and then we went to sleep.

Sunday, November 20 - I woke up and got ready for church. It was as good a morning as a Sunday morning could be.

My Prince had some items he wanted to put on the remembrance table to use as visuals during his sermon. So we gathered those up after we were ready for church. We took them and set them up as he wanted, and then I went to Sunday school. Sunday school was good. I enjoy the friendship, and catching up with and banter that goes on every week. And I enjoy the solid teaching from God's Word that we receive.

My Prince did a great job preaching, and even though one of his visuals did not work as planned, it worked in a different way, and all was well. At the end of the service we had a "Send Off Celebration" for one of our young men who is going to be an interim youth pastor at another local church. It was a sweet time of memories and prayer.

After church, I was moving our things off the remembrance table, and putting the original decorations back, when one of the candle holders (with birdseed all around the candle) tipped over just as I put it on the table and birdseed went everywhere. We had to move the table and get the vacuum cleaner out. It was a mess! But on the positive side, by the time we got it all cleaned up and got to the restaurant for lunch, there was no wait. Everyone else had already had their lunch and made it home for their Sunday afternoon naps.

We ate and went home too. I studied for my Sunday evening class and for my Bible Drills class. I needed glow in the dark stars for my Bible Drills class, so we left early so that we could run by the store on our way to church. Of course, the store did not have what I needed, so I had to improvise. I bought this really cool flashing wand instead. I'll tell ya how we used it in a minute.

First, my Sunday evening group. One of us had a daughter that was sick, and another one of us was headed out of town, so that left just two of us. But we had a great discussion about our chapter and our week. We also had a discussion about something that has kind of been on both of our hearts. And we both committed to pray about the situation, and what, if anything we should do about it. It was a very sweet time.

Then in Bible Drills class. I had all of my kiddos except one. They were wound up after play practice, but they did fairly well learning our verse. My helper was out of town, so I asked another friend to help me out. She was gracious and did help me. Our verse was Matthew 5:16. After we had gone over it several times, and the kids were pretty familiar with it, I turned out the lights and brought out my cool flashing, glowing wand. They all got to hold the wand and say the verse. They all did a great job!

We came home, ate dinner, read our chapter of Anne, and went to bed.

Monday, November 21 - We slept in a little. The kids slept in a lot. Then we got ready and went to church to meet up with some of the other volunteers to go and help at our local Operation Christmas Child collection center. We helped check some of the boxes that came in and made sure that the labels were taped on correctly and that they had rubber bands on them so that the lids would not come off. The guys helped to load boxes of shoeboxes onto trailers that would take them to Atlanta to then be sent around the world. After helping there, we came home, and then went for a late lunch early dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. Then we came home and relaxed and enjoyed our evening at home.

Tuesday, November 22 - The Young Prince went to work for a local home and farm center. I got up early enough to make sure that he had some Plexus and some breakfast before he left for his day at work. My Prince went to work. The Youngest Princess woke up and came downstairs just about
the time I started my daily Bible reading. I asked her if she wanted to join me. She did, so I read it out loud to her. She stopped me from time to time to ask questions. It was a sweet time together.

My Prince came home and ate lunch with us.

We washed clothes and go ready to go on our trip to see the Oldest Princess.

The Young Prince came home from work. He had a pretty good day, but he was pretty tired. My Prince, the Youngest Princess and I delivered extra Thanksgiving food to a couple of families. Then we came back home and met up with the Young Prince.

We went to church for our mid-week service on Tuesday night this week. It was a very sweet time of sharing what all we were thankful for. It was encouraging to hear people talk about the spiritual blessings that they were thankful for instead of just the material blessings that we are all thankful for. I really enjoyed it.

We came home, did a little packing, and washed some more clothes. We read our chapter of Anne, and went to sleep.

Friday, November 18, 2016

November 18, 2016

I woke up this morning and did my First 5 devotion.  It was really good.  It talked about trying to wrap our minds around the whole "Jesus was fully man, and yet fully God" concept.  It made me think of some things that I had never thought of before.  Definitely gave me some "food for thought" for my day.

At school, we had a "pep rally" first thing this morning.  It was really to surprise one of our senior girls.  Her dad is in the military, and had come home earlier than expected.  It was very, very sweet.

The rest of the day was spent playing "catch up", and finishing everything off before we left for Thanksgiving break.  We did manage to get everything done.  The test grades were not as good as I had hoped, maybe because we had a test or quiz in 5 out of 8 subjects.  I hate it when that happens, but on some days, especially on those days where you are trying to wrap it all up before a semester end or before a holiday break, it does happen.

Our high school let out at 12:00, because our basketball team had a game about two hours away.  Two of my girls have siblings on one of the basketball teams.  I asked their moms if they could stay the whole day at school, instead of checking out early, and then just come home and spend the night with us.  The Youngest Princess and two of her friends would get a sleepover out if it, and I would have all of my students for the whole day, and we would have time to get everything done without any makeup work when we come back after Thanksgiving break.  It was a win/win for everyone!  So, after school, I came home with two extra blessings.

They played outside with the puppy.  They played in the playroom.  They played chase through my living room, dining room and kitchen.  They ate hotdogs for dinner.  They went upstairs to play.  They had their own glow party, and now they are eating ice cream and watching Finding Dory.

Who knows what the rest of the night holds, but I have no doubt it will be fun.  My Prince and the Young Prince have rented a couple of movies to watch in the Young Prince's room, far away from all the "girly-ness".  I figure I will spend the rest of the evening entertaining and feeding all the "girly-ness".

So, until I blog again...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

November 16 - 17, 2016

Wednesday, November 16 - It was a good day.  Same morning routine.

School went pretty well.  I had to finish early for the cheerleaders to go have their pictures made.  Out of nine girls, six of them cheer.  So that left me with three students.  I let two of them work on homework, while I worked with the third on getting some makeup work done.

I left as soon as school was out and went to get my hair cut.  My Prince picked up the Youngest Princess and took her home.

The Young Prince made a hash brown casserole for the youth group Thanksgiving dinner/cook off.  He did a great job, and even won second place in the side dish category.  I was very proud of him.

My Prince and the Youngest Princess worked on homework.  I was very thankful for his help with her.

After church, the boys stayed downstairs to watch a show, and the Youngest Princess and I went upstairs to get ready for bed and read.

We talked to the Oldest Princess for just a few minutes, and then we read a chapter of Anne of Avonlea.  When our chapter was done, we both decided that we were hungry, so we went back downstairs and heated up some leftovers from dinner, and ate and visited with the boys for a while.

Then we went back upstairs, and read one more chapter before we went to sleep.

Thursday, November 17 - I woke up this morning, and did my First 5 devotion.  It was good this morning.  It was about Mary and how she pondered things in her heart.  It is funny, because I am doing a 90 days through the New Testament reading plan, and just yesterday, I read that passage of scripture from Luke, and it was on my heart.  I had been thinking all day yesterday about how Mary pondered things in her heart, and how I too, should ponder things in my heart.  I think all too often we are quick to speak, and do not ponder things in our hearts much anymore.  I want to be like Mary and ponder things in my heart.  I want to think things and matters through before I run my mouth, and decide if anything needs to be said at all.  Sometimes, things are just better left unsaid.  So, anyway, it was cool that I had been "pondering" on that off and on yesterday, and then that was the topic of the First 5 devotions this morning.  I love it when God confirms what He lays on my heart.  Don't you love those times in your own life?

School went well overall.  The girls are ready for Thanksgiving break, and they are hard to keep headed in the same direction.  Their attention spans are shrinking by the hour.  Which does not bode well for tomorrow, and all the tests we have to take.  But we will get through.  We always do.  And then we will have a wonderful Thanksgiving break with our families, and come back to school ready to learn for a few weeks before the Christmas bug hits us, and we will struggle again.  Same cycle, different year.  Great group of girls though, and I am loving every minute of this school year.  I am sad that it is going by so fast.

After school, I had my yearly eye exam.  I have been noticing lately that especially when teaching math, I have a hard time reading the answers in my book.  The pages are shrunk down, so the teacher notes can fit around the edges.  And the answers are in a turquoise blue color.  On top of that, we are doing fractions, so the answers are even smaller.  So yep.  I'm getting old.  I told my optometrist (that is one of our spelling words this week) about my troubles.  After my eye exam, he told me that I could go buy some readers, and that they would help me be able to see and that they would also help my eyes to be able to relax a little more when I am reading and such.

So, we stopped by the drug store on the way home, and (sad sigh) bought me some reading glasses.  It is amazing the difference they make (another sad sigh).  So if you see me sporting my new spectacles, please be kind, and don't tease me too much about getting old.  I am trying to grow old gracefully, but some days it is harder than others.

We came home and ate dinner.  The Youngest Princess had finished her written homework, and she and the Young Prince were watching a Chronicles of Narnia movie.  We all watched it together for a little while.  Then we straightened up a little.

Now the Youngest Princess is getting ready for bed.  My Prince and the Young Prince are doing a minor home repair, and I am about to go upstairs and read to the Youngest Princess when she is ready.  Tomorrow is Friday, and that makes me happy!

Until I blog again...

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 15, 2016

I am typing this on my phone. So please excuse any mistakes my fumbling thumbs may make.

Today started out as usual.  I woke up early and did my First 5 devotion. Then I got ready for school.

At school, the girls were very talkative and energetic.  I had to get out Bob (the Book Of  Blurt) to get them to settle down.  Math was a little bit of a challenge today.  Fractions.  The struggle is real.  There are just so many steps that they have to remember, and they get confused.

Running long in math pretty much put us behind for the whole day.  And then we worked on prepositional phrases in Language, and that was pretty much all she wrote folks.  It should be illegal to have to teach fractions AND prepositional phrases in the same day.  Plus we had library which put us even further behind.

I had a student who was absent and missed a penmanship test.  So she had to make that up.  I had another student who left early yesterday, and missed a different penmanship test and had to make that up.  My student who was in Taiwan is back now, so we tried to spend every spare second catching her as back up to speed as possible.  Especially before we leave for Thanksgiving break and put a whole 'nother week between her and being caught up.  We had band (two different times of band), and today was the first home game for the junior varsity boys.  All but thee of my girls cheer, so they were super excited about that.  Throw in a super moon, and you have a recipe for craziness.  It is a wonder that we accomplished anything at all.  But some days, you just take what you can get.  Today was one of those days.

After school, the cheerleaders stayed and ate the pre-game meal, so I went home by myself.  The Young Prince was already home, and My Prince got home shortly thereafter.  We went to a local restaurant and grabbed a quick dinner before going back to the school to watch the Youngest Princess  cheer for the game.

It was a good game.  Our boys played hard and won.  Our girls did  great job cheering them on.

After the game, we came home and the Youngest Princess finished up her homework.  The Young Prince went to the fire station for his first volunteer fire fighter meeting.

The Oldest Princess called and we talked to her while the Youngest Princess got ready for bed.  Then the Youngest Princess and I read the first chapter of our new book.  When we were done, the Youngest Princess promptly fell asleep.

The Young Prince got home from his meeting.  He told us a little about it, and then took a quick shower.  Now he is watching a basketball game on tv, eating sunflower seeds, and doing homework.

My Prince is sleeping, and I am about to be doing the same.  Going to bed counting down the days until we see the Oldest Princess for Thanksgiving.

Until I blog again...

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 9 -14, 2016

I was thinking, "I need to blog, because it has been a few days."  Um, yes.  Almost more like a week. We have just been busy, and time flies.  Especially from now to the end of the year.  It will all be like one big blur of crazy activity.  So before any more time passes, let me catch up to where we are now...

Wednesday, November 9 - As far as I can remember, it was a pretty good day.  Wake up, First 5, get ready, school, home, church, d-group, home, read, bed.  Nothing major stands out other than the usual day to day stuff. Oh, except we had a special Veteran's Day chapel.  It was really good.  Very touching to see some of the invited Veterans stand up front with the children who invited them.  I really enjoyed it, and I think the kids did too.

Thursday, November 10 - It was "Friday" at school, because due to Veteran's Day falling on Friday, we had a short week.  So, we had to work a little harder to get everything done, and squeeze 5 days into 4, but we managed.  And we were able to leave school with no homework over the long weekend.  Yay!

After school, we thought that we might take the kids and go see a movie, but there was really nothing out at the theater that we really wanted to see.  So we opted for trying out a new (to us) pizza place in a town near us.  They make gigantic pizzas.  Or you can opt to buy gigantic pizza slices instead.  We went for the gigantic pizza slices, since there were only four of us, and we knew we could not eat one of those whole pizzas.  As it was, just buying the huge slices, we ended up bringing home leftovers.  It was great pizza, and a fun experience.  And as a bonus a couple came in with an adorable little girl that was all little miss personality, and we smiled and waved and played with her while we ate.  It was fun.

Then we went to the Bible bookstore, because My Prince had some things he needed to pick up.  I was browsing by myself when the Young Prince found me and asked me to come with him.  When I did, he took me to My Prince, who was talking with one of our favorite workers, Mr. R.  We fell in love with Mr. R about 8 years ago, and we built a relationship with him.  We would always try to go when he was working, so we could see our friend.  Then, for a long time, we did not see him any more.  He had shared with us that he had been having some health problems, and we feared that maybe because of his health problems, he had retired.  We had pretty much given up on seeing him again.  So we were very pleasantly surprised that he was there, healthy and working.  We talked to him and caught up with him for a while, and then we finished our shopping.  When we finished and went to the front to check out, he opened a register and checked us out.  Then before we left, he came out from behind the counter and had prayer with us.  Such a sweet, sweet man! It totally made our night to see him!

Then we went to a dollar type store and browsed and bought a few little things.  Then we ran through a drive through and got My Prince something to drink, and the kids an ice cream.  And then we came home.  On the way home, the Oldest Princess called, so we put her on speaker phone, and talked to her for a while.

At home, we ordered a movie from our cable provider and watched it before we all went to bed.

Friday, November 11 - It felt very much like a Saturday.  We were lazy that morning (it was the first morning in forever that none of us had to set an alarm).  I got up first, and came downstairs, and fell back asleep on the couch.  We just chilled out and did things around the house all day.  It was a nice, relaxing day.  I spent some time reading, underlining, and soaking in my new book that I got Thursday night at the Bible bookstore, Uninvited, by Lysa TerKeurst.  I'm moving slow.  I don't want to fly through it, because it is good.  Girls, I highly recommend it.

Saturday, November 12 - We got up and did our normal Saturday morning things.  My Prince met with his d-group.  I worked on my Bible Studies and read some more of my new book, while the house was quiet.

My Prince got home, and I did some more things around the house.  My Prince and the Young Prince watched their ball games.  Then we went to do a little shopping - the Youngest Princess needed shoes, and I wanted to pick up a few Christmas presents while we were out.  Also, the Young Prince has been asking for us to go to a certain restaurant for the last few days, so we thought we would take him, and make him happy.  It made me happy too, because I love that restaurant as well.  It is a little more pricey than places that we normally go, so it was a treat for all of us.

While we were shopping, the Young Prince got a mini drone.  He could not wait to get home and try it out.  When we got home, the Youngest Princess and I read, and the Young Prince practiced flying his drone.  He had a blast.

Sunday, November 13 - It was a very good Sunday morning.  Our Sunday School teacher and his family were out of town, so we had a substitute Sunday School teacher.  He did a great job, talking about being in God's Will.  Then during the service, My Prince preached from Mark 1:14-15.  I think he did a great job, of course, I admit to being a little biased.

After the morning service, we had our annual church wide Thanksgiving lunch.  It was wonderful.  They also included staff appreciation in, and the church collected money, and gave each of the staff members a card and a check.  It was so very sweet of them, and we appreciate it very much.  On top of that, a lot of people gave us cards, and gifts individually.  Our people are so giving and loving.  We are blessed beyond measure to be a part of such a wonderful church family.  Each and every one of them hold a special place in our hearts!

After lunch, the Youngest Princess had a friend come over.  They played out in the backyard for a long time.  About the time they came in to play, it was time for them to get ready and go back to church.  They had to be there early for the Christmas program practice.

We talked to the Oldest Princess on the phone for a few minutes.  It was wonderful to talk to her.  She had sent me a sweet text while we were eating lunch, and it really made me miss her.

I left a few minutes after them for my small group.  We were all there!  I was very excited!  We had a good time, and as always, the time flies.  It never seems like we have enough time to fit it all in.  So, I always look forward to the next week.

Then I had my Bible Drills class.  The kids were wired from the Christmas program practice, but they settled down a little, and we practiced our verse and key passage for the night.  I think this verse will take a little more practice, but overall, they did well.

After church, My Prince and I and the Young Prince met with a man in our church whom we greatly respect.  He had heard that the Young Prince was thinking of becoming a volunteer fireman, and he just wanted to make us aware of a few things, and talk to the Young Prince about some things before he started.  He is a career fireman himself, so we very much appreciated his concerns, advice, and input.  He spoke openly and frankly.  He helped us to think about some things that we had not thought about before.  He was also very encouraging, and offered to be of any help he could to the Young Prince.

We came home, talked to the Oldest Princess again (I think she may miss us a little - I know we miss her!) and got ready for bed.  The Youngest Princess and I read our chapter of Anne of Green Gables, and spoiler alert for anyone who has never read it before (is there such a person?).  We read the chapter where Matthew dies.  We both cried.  It was very sad.  The Youngest Princess kept asking, "Is he really dead?"  And as soon as we finished reading our chapter, she had to go tell her daddy that Matthew died and that we both cried through the whole chapter.  After that, we played a game on her iPad to cheer us up a little and then we went to sleep.

Monday, November 14 - I woke up and did my First 5 devotion.  Then I got ready for school.  The kids both got up in good moods.

The Youngest Princess was excited because my student that has been in Taiwan for two weeks was going to be back at school today.  All of the girls were very excited to see her.  And she brought everyone goodies from her trip, so they were excited about those.  I was excited to hear their stories from their trip.  I am fascinated by how God worked it all out, and how God worked in the trip and brought special surprises for my friend and her family as well.  God is amazing.

Despite the Super Moon, and the Petting Zoo, and the face paint, we managed to get everything done today, and even had a few minutes for them to start their homework before time to go home.

I had a brief teacher's meeting after school.  The Youngest Princess had tumbling practice.

I came home and My Prince and the Young Prince and I went to eat before going to pick the Youngest Princess up from tumbling.

The rest of the evening was spent grading papers, doing homework and Bible studies, and watching tv.  Now My Prince has already retired, and the Youngest Princess is waiting on me to go and read our last chapter of Anne.  So I will go and get that done so we can go to bed.

Until I blog again...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 3 - November 8, 2016

Thursday, November 3 - It was a good day.  Pretty much a regular day as far as school went.  I left a few minutes early, in order to go on my yearly girl's night out.  

There is a craft show that comes to town this time every year, and for the last 10 years or so, several of us ladies get together and go shopping, and then out to eat.  The people in the group change from year to year, but we always have a really good time, no matter who goes.  One particular friend and I have remained a constant.  We always walk around and shop together.  One year (4 years ago) we decided to buy a charm bracelet from a man who makes different charms in the shapes of bells.  We are both from Texas, so we bought the Texas bell, and a bracelet.  Then we decided that we would buy a bell to add to our bracelet every year.  This year we bought our fourth bell.  We have a Texas bell, the Christ bell, the family bell, and this year we added the friend bell.  

We have another friend who comes with us sometimes, and this year we added a new friend to our group.  We had a good time walking around and looking at the wide variety of things that were for sale.  We bought very little, but we had fun looking, and of course sampling all of the dips, soups, and seasonings.  

After we finished our shopping in record time, we went to get something to eat.  We knew another group of ladies that were there, and asked them if they wanted to eat with us.  They did, and they actually ended up getting to the restaurant a few minutes before we did.  We had a good time, eating and cutting up with each other.

I had a headache by the time we finished shopping, and it continued to worsen through dinner.  I was feeling pretty yucky by the time we got home.  My friend took me home, and we sat in the driveway and talked for a while longer before I went in.  I pretty much went straight to bed, due to my headache, and wanting to get rid of it.

Friday, November 4 - I got up, did my First 5 devotions, got ready and went to work.  I worked until lunch, and then I had a sub come in for me, because I had company coming that night, and had a few things I still needed to get done to be ready for them.

The Oldest Princess was coming home, and she was bringing two of her new college friends with her.  The Quiet One, and The Crazy (in a fun way) One.  We had met these two friends before when we visited the Oldest Princess several weeks ago, and we liked them both, so we were excited for them all to come.

I got home and finished up the things I needed to do.  I also cooked some chili for dinner.  The girls finally got here.  We ate dinner and visited.  It was fun to have them.  My Prince and The Crazy One went back and forth at each other most of the weekend.  We laughed and picked on each other, but we also had some serious conversations, and prayer time together. 

The Young Prince had already gone to bed a little earlier and the Youngest Princess had fallen asleep in her daddy's chair.  It was after mid-night when we all ended up going upstairs to bed.

Saturday, November 5 - My Prince got up bright and early to go to his D-group meeting.  I got up shortly after him, and got my shower and started my day.  The Young Prince was up a couple of hours later, getting ready for a youth group outing that he was going on.  The Youngest Princess, and the Oldest Princess were the next ones up.  The Youngest Princess was chomping at the bit for the other girls to get up.  

The Oldest Princess had arranged for us to keep Super C while the youth group went on their outing.  So our youth pastor and his wife brought him to us, and took the Young Prince with them.  They were doing a Compassion Walk, and then buying items for Christmas shoeboxes, and then to see the movie  I Am Not Ashamed.  

While they were gone, we all had a blast taking care of Super C.  He is such a sweetheart!!  He already had my heart, but I think he won over a few more while he was here.

Also, I had decided to do a Thanksgiving dinner for the girls while they were here, because other than the meal at the college, they would not get a Thanksgiving meal.  It was nothing elaborate, but hopefully it was better than what they will have at college.  

The Youngest Princess went to spend the night with a friend, and the Young Prince made it back home.  Our youth pastor and his wife dropped the Young Prince off and picked up Super C.  We were glad that the Young Prince was home, but we hated to see Super C have to leave.  Have I mentioned how sweet he is?

We ate our Thanksgiving dinner.  After dinner, we pulled out the Dutch Blitz cards and played a few hands.  The Young Prince did not play, but terrorized us with the nerf bow, and the blow up princess wand.  After a while, he left to go and spend the night with a friend, and things calmed down a little.

Again, we sat and visited, and watched football.  I kept dozing off, and the Crazy One kept waking me up yelling at the television.  Finally, I could stay awake no longer and decided that I had to go to bed and get some sleep.  

My Prince took a quick nap, and then got up and studied for a while, before coming to bed for the night.

Sunday, November 6 - It was a good morning.  Everything went smoothly with us all getting ready for church.  I barely knew the girls were there until it was about time to leave for church.  The Youngest Princess and I both had on the same dress - different colors - and did not even know it until it was almost time to go.

Sunday school and church went very well.  

After church, we went to eat at one of our local Mexican food restaurants.  Time went by way too fast, and when we were done, the girls had to head back to college.  We enjoyed having them, and were so glad that they were able to come.  It was sad to see them go.

We returned home.  I did some studying for my Sunday night group and for my Bible Drill class.  And I took a quick nap on the couch.  Then it was time to go back to church.  

My group went well.  Two of us could not be there, and that left only two of us.  But it was good time of sharing and encouragement.

My Bible Drill class went well also.  The kids picked up on the night's verse quickly and most of them remember the verses we have already worked on, so we had a good night.

After church we came home and had leftovers from Saturday for dinner.

Then we got things in order for the next morning, and I read to the Youngest Princess and we went to bed.

Monday, November 7 - I woke up and did my First 5 devotion and got ready for school.  It was a nice, normal day.  We got in there, got busy and got things done.  After school, the Youngest Princess had tumbling, so I came home by myself.  My Prince and the Young Prince were already at home.  I relaxed for a while, and My Prince left to go and pick up dinner and the Youngest Princess.

When he got back home, the kids did homework, and ate dinner, and then we got ready to go to the church for our special monthly prayer meeting.  We wanted to pray for our country and upcoming elections.  We had a very sweet time of prayer with our church family.  We were not praying for God to preserve "the American dream", but for God to move in ways that stir up His people, and turn us back to Him.

After the prayer meeting, we came home, and got ready for today.  I talked to my niece for a few minutes.  She had been to the viewing for my uncle who had passed away on Thursday.  She was telling me about some of the family members we haven't seen in a while, and how they were doing.  She told me about meeting a man that used to work with my Dad, and how he told stories of my Daddy.  I would have loved to have been there.  When we finished talking, the Youngest Princess and I read together and then went to sleep.

Tuesday, November 8 - I got up this morning and read my First 5 devotion.  Then I got ready for work.  Of course the elections were on everyone's mind.  The Youngest Princess, who for the first time is old enough to realize what is going on, and actually care about it, was very excited.  "It is election day!!"  She exclaimed as she came into my room.

At school, the election was the major topic of conversation.  The girls wanted to know what time we would know who had won.  I told them it would probably be after they went to bed tonight.  One of them said, "So, when you wake up, if your parents are happy, you will know that Trump won.  If they are sad, you will know that Hillary won."

They wanted to have a class vote.  I made up little ballots, with the names just as they appeared on the actual ballots.  That included the two independent candidates and their running mates.  The class voted unanimously for Trump.  So, if it were up to my 5th grade class, Trump would be president.

My Prince came to eat lunch with me, and the Youngest Princess ran over and wanted to know if he had any updates on the Presidential race.  He told her no, that we would not know anything until much later tonight.

After school, we went straight to the town hall to vote.  There was a ton of people there, and there was barely room to move around, but I am very thankful to be able to exercise my right to vote.

After voting, we stopped by the house to pick up the Young Prince.  Then we were going to celebrate voting by eating at one of our favorite local restaurants, but when we got there, there was a sign that they were now closing on Tuesdays.  We were all bummed.  But we changed plans and went to a different restaurant instead.  

Then we came home.  The Young Prince, and the Youngest Princess worked on homework.  My Prince and I began watching the election coverage.  

We took a break from the coverage for My Prince to quiz the Youngest Prince to see if she was ready for her History test tomorrow.  As he was quizzing her, I started trying to beat her to the answer, which woke up her little competitive spirit, and the competition was on.  We played twice.  I beat her both times, but she did come closer to beating me the second time, than she did the first time, so she was improving, which was my goal.

The Youngest Princess got ready for bed.  I read tonight's chapter of Anne of Green Gables to her.  Now she is watching a movie, the Young Prince is playing video games, and My Prince and I are continuing to watch the election results.  I don't know if I will be able to stay awake for the whole thing, but I plan to try.  And so I will leave you with that.

Until I blog again...

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October 29 - November 2, 2016

Saturday, October 29 - It was a stay at home, hang out and get some things done around the house kind of day.

That night, we had a leadership dinner at our church, with one of our state board missionaries as our speaker.  My Prince and I went and left the Young Prince and the Youngest Princess at home.  Our youth pastor and his wife came to the dinner as well.   When they got there, they were taking Super C out of his car seat, and fixing a bottle.  I told them that I would be glad to hold him and feed him his bottle while they ate.  It was my first time to hold him since the day he was born.  I loved every second of it.  I was pretty much unashamedly a baby hog.  He is so sweet!!

I was talking to my friend, who is our music minister's wife, and we were talking about how we miss our own being so small, and how they don't stay that small very long, and I admitted to her that I had always thought that I was a pretty good momma.  That is until lately.  Lately, I feel like I fail at everything I do, motherhood included.  I even cried a little.  It breaks my heart to even talk about it.

I fed Super C his bottle, and then I just held him for as long as I could.  Trying to listen to the speaker, and admire the baby all at the same time.  Finally, he started squirming like he was no longer comfortable with me, so I took him back to his momma.  But it did my heart good just to hold him and love on him for a little while.

Sunday, October 30 - There are some days that you just don't want to blog about.  Especially when you are trying to blog about every day for a whole year.  Some days just aren't "blog worthy".  Some days are just full of sad, and ugly, and hurt, and battles, and it's just about all you can do to get through.    But, those days are part of our life too, and so, I share.  Maybe because someone needs to know they are not alone, or so someone can learn from my mistakes.  So far this year, those days have been thankfully, very few and far between.  

There are times in the ministry when you must have "thick skin" as they say.  And I usually do a pretty good job of letting things roll off, but for some reason, almost everything said, cut straight to my heart.  It was me.  On a normal day, nothing that happened would have bothered me, I guess it was just seemed to be everything all at once.  I sent an emergency, "please pray, Satan is attacking hard this morning" text to one of my groups, and I made it through the morning service fighting tears the whole time.

Our state board missionary brought the sermon.  It was about how we as a church can leave a lasting legacy.  He encouraged us to get involved with church planting, and helping those who are planting churches.  It was a good message.  Despite my crazy emotions, I was able to pay attention some.

The Youngest Princess had worked hard Saturday and had cleaned her room, and wanted to know if her friend could come and play for the afternoon.  I said yes, because I wanted to reward her for working hard in her room, and because I knew she was dying to show her friend her new puppy.  I also did it for selfish reasons.  I knew that a friend would distract her, and I might have a little bit of quiet time, which I desperately needed in order to pray and pull myself together.

We were having a praise and worship service that night, and so I decided to cancel Bible Drills class. I wanted to hear the Young Prince, and My Prince sing.  So I text my friend who is so sweet to help me with Bible Drills, and told her that I was canceling class for the night.

We went to lunch at a fast food restaurant, hoping to get a fast meal and get home pretty quickly.  Ordering was a nightmare.  The lady that was taking our order kept trying to run things behind the counter and take our order at the same time.  Then she corrected or questioned everything My Prince said/ordered.  I think it took us longer to order than it did for them to make our food and us eat it combined.  It was pretty much more than my already frazzled nerves could take.

We finally made our order, and sat down to eat.  We were making small talk, and I asked the Young Prince something about that night, and what he was going to do, and he answered me a little harshly.  And the tears that I had been holding back, could be held back no longer.  I asked for the keys, excused myself and went to the car to wait for everyone else.  They were all pretty much done, so they followed me fairly quickly.

We came home, and the Young Prince apologized, explaining that he wasn't really sure what he was doing that night, and that he did not mean to answer me so harshly.  I told him that it was okay, and that it wasn't him.  It was me.

The girls played, and I worked on my Bible study for that night.  My Prince did not have to preach, because of the Praise and Worship service, so he sat with me probably wondering what in the world was wrong with me.  I would pull it together, and then I would cry.  Then I would pull it together, and then I would cry.

The Young Prince told me again that he was sorry, and that he loved me, and that he didn't tell me enough that he loved me, and he was sorry for that too, and I cried.  I did not want to go to church a crying, bumbling, jumble of nerves.  When I cry, and someone shows me compassion, "Oh, what's wrong?  Are you okay?"  It just makes me cry more. I was a mess.  Probably more of a mess than I have been in a really long time.

I don't always write about everything.  There are burdens, and cares that I carry, that maybe aren't my story to tell.  I try to respect others when I write.  I try not to share things that would hurt or embarrass others.  There have been several things over the past couple of weeks that seem to be coming to boiling point.  Things that I can't control, and can't necessarily share, but that weigh extremely heavy on my heart.  And everything all added together, equalled one mess of a me.

I decided to text my group and tell them that I would not be there for our group time.  I would not have been any good to anyone anyway.  And I did not go to the service either.  I couldn't stop crying long enough to go anywhere.  It was not pretty.  It was truly an "Unstable!" day on steroids.

So, everyone left for church, and I was sitting here all alone, praying.  Praying for people I love, praying for God to move in miraculous ways.  Asking God to make His presence known in several situations.  Asking God to help me to get myself together and quit crying.  Asking God for the strength to let go of things I could not change.  Asking for wisdom in several situations where I really need wisdom.  Praying for the faith to surrender it all to Him.  When my friend text me and asked if I was coming up to the service.  I told her no, that I was at home.  She asked me if I was okay.  I answered "No, not really."  She asked if there was anything she could do.  I told her she could pray.  And I continued to do the same myself.

Probably about 20 minutes later, there was a knock on the door.  I answered it, and there stood my friend.  She came bearing gifts of a cold Coke, a bag of sunflower seeds, and chocolate.  She told me that I could talk, or we could just be quiet, but that she was just "there" for me.  I tear up now just thinking about it.  We did talk about a few things that I could talk about with her.  Again, some things are not mine to share.  But just talking it out, made me feel somewhat better.  Our time was up too quickly.  Church was over and she had somewhere she had to go.  But her just being "there" meant the world to me.  Her listening to me spill my heart, and laughing and saying that she completely understood, and even making me laugh a little was just what my aching heart needed.  She didn't run from me because I was hurting.  She pulled me close, and ministered to me, by just being "there."

It didn't fix anything.  It didn't solve any problems. But it did make me feel loved, and a little less alone.  When My Prince and the kids got home, I was doing a little better, and we did our normal night time routine of getting ready for bed and reading.  I was very glad to lay my head on the pillow, and give my heart a rest.

Monday, October 31 - I got up, did my First 5 devotions, and got ready for school.  The alarm did not go off.  My Prince usually sets two.  The clock and his phone, but for some reason that did not happen, and so we were running a little late.  My Prince drove me to school.  It was a good morning.  The girls were a little on the giddy, chatty side, but they calmed down eventually, and we got things accomplished.  The Youngest Princess had tumbling after school, so she stayed for that, and I came home.  My Prince and the Young Prince were both already here.  We had to wait for the Youngest Princess to get done with tumbling, and then we were going out to eat.  We had a little trouble deciding where to go, but finally decided on a place that made us all happy.  We went and ate, and then we stopped and let the kids get some yogurt for dessert.  Then we headed home.  I called my sister and talked to her for a few minutes on our way home.  When we got home, the kids finished up their homework, and then I read to the Youngest Princess, and we went to bed.

Tuesday, November 1 - Yay!!!!  It is November!  I can hardly believe that it is already November!  I love November, because it means my FAVORITE holiday.  I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving.  This year, though, our Thanksgiving will look different.  With the Oldest Princess in college, and not being out of classes except for Thanksgiving day, we will have to go to her to be with her on Thanksgiving. But never fear.  I have a plan, and we will still have Thanksgiving.

Anyway, I got up and did my First 5 devotion, and got ready for school.  School went well.  We were able to face time again with my student who is out of the country, and that was fun.  The girls worked hard and we had time to get everything done, as well as listen to some of our silly songs at the end of the day.

We came home and fixed tacos for dinner.  The Young Prince was supposed to go to a meeting at one of our local fire departments, because he is interested in being a volunteer fire fighter, but we found out that the meeting had been cancelled and moved to next week, so that has been put on hold for a week.  He called a friend and they moved their dinner plans up, so he went on early and met with his friend for dinner.

One of my friends called and we have not talked in a long time, so we spent quite a while on the phone.  My Prince and the Youngest Princess did homework.  When I got off of the phone with my friend, the Youngest Princess and I read and went to bed.

Wednesday, November 2 - Another good day.  Just a normal day.  Doing the normal daily stuff.  I don't know about you, but I love normal days.  They make me happy.  I will take a normal day, any day.

Wake up, First 5 devotion, get ready, school, home, cheer practice (Youngest Princess),breakfast for dinner, talk about our day, practice piano (Youngest Princess), play with puppy (also Youngest Princess), practice guitar (Young Prince), practice flute (Youngest Princess), try to take a nap (My Prince), and then everyone off to church, home to finish homework, and straighten up the house a little. Now, to get ready for bed, snuggle, and read our chapter of Anne of Green Gables.

Until I blog again...

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 26-28, 2016

Wednesday, October 26 - It was a good day.  There was a missionary who spoke at our elementary chapel, and he did a really good job of sharing what he did in his ministry with the kids.  I always love hearing about how God works in and through the lives of others, and so it was very interesting to hear how God was using both he and his wife, and to hear how God was working through others to make their ministry possible.

After we returned to the classroom, we got a Facebook call from one of my students who is on a trip out of the country.  The girls were thrilled to get to see and talk to their classmate, and to learn all about the experiences she was having.  It was exciting, heartwarming, and of course educational.

So chapel and the call both helped to make for a really good day.  The rest of the day was pretty normal.  The girls worked hard, and we squeezed everything in, even with the extra stuff that had happened.

After school, we came home and the Youngest Princess did her homework, and was able to play with Bella for a few minutes, before she had to come in and get ready for church.

Church went well.  I enjoyed my Wednesday night group as always, although one of us was not able to be there.  It was neat that the things we studied this week about Paul and Timothy went right along with what we are studying as a church about discipleship.

After church, My Prince had a meeting, but the Young Prince, the Youngest Princess and I came on home.  The kids got ready for bed and finished homework/relaxed, while I worked on a blog that had been on my heart for a while. The Youngest Princess got her outfit ready for our dress up day at school the next day.

My Prince came home from his meeting, and the Youngest Princess and I read our chapter and went to bed.

Thursday, October 27 - It was a dress up day at school.  The theme was superheroes, but they told the kids they could dress up as anything.  I had several superheroes and some villains in my class.  I wore a Superman shirt that belongs to the Young Prince, and a cape with a red sparkly S on it  - for super teacher.  The third grade teacher found capes at the dollar store, and one of the second grade teachers put the S's on them for us, so we were all super teachers for superhero day.  My cape didn't last long though, because it choked me.

As with any dress up day, it was wild, plus throw in the fact that that night we were having our school's fall festival, and the book fair was happening, and our PE teacher was tied up with all of that, and I needed my PE time to get my folders done, so we had PE in our room, and the girls were all excited and distracted and could barely focus...made the day looooong and frustrating.  Kind of like that run on sentence I just wrote.

We did have a few minutes at the end of the day to look at pictures and videos sent from my student who is out of the country.  It was really neat to see and learn about some of the things she is getting to experience and learn about.  The girls loved it!

My Prince, and the Young Prince came at the end of the day to help me get my games set up.  They did a great job and were finished in about 15 minutes.  I was very thankful for them and their help.  What they did in those few minutes would have taken me at least twice as long after school.  And because they came and did that for me, I was able to go home right after school and let the Youngest Princess do her homework.  My Prince and my Young Prince are great!

We ran by a local restaurant and got dinner before we went to the fall festival.

The festival was fun.  The Youngest Princess ran around with her friends and played games and did the hay ride (3x).  Then they cashed in their tickets for prizes at the end.  I got to talk to and visit with people that I usually see in passing and only share quick greetings with.  It was good to have time to actually have full conversations.

We came home exhausted and ready for bed.  We read our chapter, and went to sleep.

Friday, October 28 - We prayed "All the way to school" as the Youngest Princess said.  I knew we would need it.  It was another dress up day.  Only this day was a sports theme, and everyone was really tired, so it was not quite as crazy as the day before.  I wore the Oldest Princess's basketball warm-up sweatshirt.  I had some gymnasts, and some cheerleaders in my class.  The girls were tired, and it was a little hard to get them to focus, but we did manage to get everything done that we needed to get done.  The history test grades were great!  The spelling tests were not as good as I had hoped they would be, but for the most part, the majority of them did well.

After school, the Youngest Princess had tumbling, so I came home.  My Prince and the Young Prince were getting ready to take Bella to the vet.  They left to do that, and I soaked in some quiet time on the couch for about 35 minutes, before I had to go and pick the Youngest Princess up from tumbling.

I picked her up, and we came home.  The guys were already back from the vet when we got home.  We needed to go and get food for the hedgehog, so we went to get something to eat, and do that.  We did a little bookstore shopping as well.  We made a quick stop by Walmart, and then we came home.

I read to the Youngest Princess, and then we came back downstairs and hung out with the guys for a little while.  I talked to the Oldest Princess on the phone for a few minutes.  Then My Prince and I left the kids watching television and went to bed.

I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.  A little while later, my phone buzzed, waking me up.  It was the Oldest Princess letting me know that they had just had a fire drill.  I told her that was nice, and (she was taking the stairs to her room on the 9th floor when we had talked earlier) that I knew she definitely had gotten in her quota on flights of stairs for that day then.  I also asked her next time she has a fire drill to tell me all about it - the next morning...At least I think that is what I texted back to her, I was only barely awake.

Until I blog again...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Glorified not Grieved

My First 5 devotion this morning started with the words "God is holy AND HE REQUIRES His people to be holy."  Then the title was Decency Matters.  The reading was Deuteronomy 23, and the featured verse was verse 14.  The New International Version reads "For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you.  Your camp must be holy so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you."

Upon reading those words, I was immediately transported back in time.  Back to one of the first youth conferences that My Prince and I ever attended with our youth group as youth pastor and wife.  It may have been the very first youth conference we ever attended.  At this youth conference, the evangelist who spoke was a huge black man, and I don't mean "overweight" huge, I mean he was "built" huge.  He was great!

His text was from Joshua chapter 7.  The Israelites had, with God's help, just won a major victory at Jericho.  So in the beginning of chapter 7, we are given information that Joshua the leader did not know yet, and that was that one of the Israelite men had taken spoils for himself from the battle at Jericho.  Joshua sent out scouts to check out the city of Ai, as their next conquest.  They come back and tell Joshua that they didn't even all need to go, because it was a small city.  So about 3,000 Israelite men go to do the job.  And in this "nothing" of a battle, compared the battle they had just won at Jericho, the Israelite men fled from the men of Ai, and 36 Israelite men lost their lives.  Joshua was beside himself.  He tore his clothes, threw dust on his head, fell on his face before the ark of the covenant, and bemoans to God that everyone will hear that they have fled from the battle, and what that will do to God's name.

God told Joshua to get up, and then He tells him what we as Bible readers already know.  That there is sin in the camp, and that is why they did not have the victory.  They go on to divide everyone up by tribes, and God points out a specific tribe.  Then families, and God points out a specific family.  Then households, and God points out the household of Achan.

Achan.  Achan thought that he was being very smooth.  He thought he had gotten away with his sin, and that no one knew about what he had done.  And he was right.  No one knew.  No one that is, except God.  God knew.  And God was the only one that mattered.  And just like God had told them in Deuteronomy, He was not with them, because there was sin in their camp.  One man.  One man's sin.  That is all it took for God to withhold his blessings on the whole nation of Israel.  And when it was pointed out that Achan was the one that had brought sin into the camp, then he and his family were stoned and then burned.  They took sin seriously, because God takes sin seriously.

The evangelist then turned the story to ask those of us listening if we were the Achan who had sin in our lives that was keeping God's blessings from our "camp".  Our "camp" being, our homes, our families, our youth groups, our churches, our jobs.  He used props to make it more memorable (and obviously it worked, because that was probably 20 years ago, and I still remember it vividly).  He had a tent set up on the stage (because Achan hid the things he was not supposed to have in his tent).  He would go into the tent and come out with each prop.  He used an empty can of soda, with a paper wrapped around it labeled alcohol, and he talked about drinking.  He used a magazine with a fake cover on it labeled XXX and he talked about pornography. He (this big, hulking black man) put on a large clip-on earring and pranced around, and talked about guys who want to be "girly".  He used a telephone, and talked about gossip.  He had a large console television set, and he pulled a sledge hammer out from behind it, and he smashed the screen right there on the stage, and talked about the trash that we allow into our lives through the television.  I don't remember if he had a radio or not, but he could have.  If he were preaching the same sermon today, he could use a computer, a smartphone, a tablet.

The question he posed to us back then,  is something that has been, in different ways, on my heart lately.  I just taught a quick overview of Leviticus to my 5th graders, and they learned that the theme of Leviticus is holiness.  I also recently did an in-depth study of Leviticus with my Wednesday night group, and what stood out over and over again is that God is holy, and he expects holiness from His people.

And what has also been on my heart lately, is that we as a society, and even as Christians, do not take sin seriously.  Just turn on your television and flip through a few channels.  Imagine God is sitting beside you on the couch while you do (because he is).  Scroll through your newsfeed and take note of the things that are making the news these days.  Look at what people are posting on social media.  We have lost our fear of a holy God.  A holy God who tells us, "Be ye holy; for I am holy." (1Peter 1:15-16)

I think it would do us all well to revisit the story of Achan.  And to do some soul searching about the sin that we have been letting slide in our lives.  To realize that God takes sin very seriously.  And because He takes sin seriously, we should take sin seriously, also.  Not in a "holier than thou" kind of way, but in a "I know that sin grieves my God, and I don't want to grieve Him" kind of way.  Not only that, but because we want His blessings on our "camp".  We should try to avoid anything that would make him "turn away" from us.  I pray that God opens my eyes to any sin in my own life, and that I would be willing to repent and turn from anything that He brings to light as unpleasing to Him.  I pray this for my children, that they would, in a world that takes sin lightly, learn to take sin very seriously.  I pray the same for you.  I pray that we are able to rid our "camps" of sin, so that He will pour out His blessings on us, and His name will be glorified.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 24 -25, 2016

Monday, October 24 - It was a good day.  School went well.

The Young Prince rode to school with me because he did not have football practice, and I knew that I would need him to help me bring home the puppy we were getting.  He gets out of school at 2:00, and he took my car to go get a haircut between 2:00 and 3:00, but he came right back.  Both of us had forgotten that the salon was closed on Mondays.  

When school was out, and the Youngest Princess was at tumbling, we met my friend who was brining us the puppy.  The Young Prince held the puppy as we drove home.  When we got home, we carefully introduced our dog Houston to the new puppy.  It took all three of us, the Young Prince, My Prince and I to get that task accomplished.  We have a small pen that we are keeping the puppy in until we know for sure that she and Houston are going to get along.

We went and picked up the Youngest Princess from tumbling.  She knew we had a surprise waiting for her, and she was very excited.  When she realized that there was a puppy in the backyard, she went squealing and screaming out to it.  She almost cried with joy.  She was so excited!  We let her take the puppy out to the front yard on a leash, and walk her around.  By the time it got dark, I think the puppy was worn out.  The Youngest Princess took one of her old t-shirts out to the puppy, so it would have something with her scent on it.  She said the puppy went over to it, sniffed it, then picked it up and took it into the dog house and curled up with it.

The Youngest Princess got ready for bed.  We read our chapter of Anne of Green Gables and then went to bed. 

The puppy did good most of the night.  I heard her whining a little off and on, but overall she seemed to do well.  The Youngest Princess finally decided on Bella Skye for the puppy's name.

Tuesday, October 25 - I got up this morning to the tune of Bella whining and crying.  She would cry for a little while and then be quiet.  Then she would cry again for a few minutes and then be quiet.  I could hear her off and on while I was getting ready.  

As soon as the Youngest Princess got up, she wanted to go and check on Bella.  She said that Bella would cry and Houston would go and sit by the fence to her little pen, and she would stop crying.  After a minute or two, Houston would move away, and Bella would start crying again, and Houston would go back and sit by her pen.  I laughed and said that Bella is already bossing Houston around and telling him what to do!

School was pretty good.  It was a fairly normal day.  

The Young Prince left at 2:00 and was able to get his hair cut.  Then he came home.  I text him and asked him to take some peas out of the freezer and put them in water so they could start thawing out.  He did it for me.  He is an awesome kid.  When I got home, I started dinner.  I fried chicken, and okra, fixed peas, and shells and cheese, and rolls.  It was a yummy homemade dinner.  I don't get to cook all that often, due to our crazy schedules, so it was nice.  I missed the Oldest Princess, because she is the only one who eats fried okra with me, and tonight I had to eat it all by myself.  It made me sad.

After dinner, My Prince took the Youngest Princess to the store to get some toys for Bella.  When they got back, we let the Youngest Princess put Bella on a leash and play with her in the front yard for a while, while we sat on the porch and watched.  The cat kept trying to get in My Prince's lap.  He does not care for cats.  We were laughing, because she would not leave him alone.  She was using his legs as a scratching post.  My Prince's facial expressions were making me laugh.  I am glad that I married a nut.  He makes life fun.

We came in at dark, and I talked to the Oldest Princess for a while on the phone.  I miss my girl!

Now, I am ready to get the Youngest Princess ready for bed, and read our chapter and get some rest myself.

Until I blog again...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

October 22-23, 2016

Saturday, October 22 - It was a good day just hanging out and doing things around the house.  I got up and worked on catching up on my blog.  That was quite the task (if you read yesterday's blog you will understand).

We watched a little bit of television, and a lot of football.  The Youngest Princess came home about 2:00 from her friend's house, and her friend stayed with us, because they did not get in enough play time over night.

My Prince fixed chili, because he and the Young Prince had been hungry for some, and the weather was finally cool enough to justify fixing something warm.

I saw a picture of a puppy on Facebook that someone had dumped off near a friend of mine's house.  She was looking for a home for it.  It is not a full blooded golden retriever, but it definitely has some golden retriever in it.  We decided to tell her that we would take her.  She reminded us so much of our Tex.  But, we also decided to keep it a secret from the Youngest Princess.  We decided that we would surprise her with it.  We will not get it until tomorrow afternoon, so shhhh, don't tell the Youngest Princess please.

I talked to the Oldest Princess for a while.  It has been a couple of days since I had actually talked to her, so it was good to hear her voice and catch up with what has been going on.

There was a game night at the school.  They were supposed to have a bonfire, but because it is so dry, we have a no burn ordinance in place, so that ruled out the bonfire.  The kids (all three of the ones at our house) went to the game night.

I did some laundry and talked to my sister for a while.

When the kids got home, we got the Youngest Princess ready for bed, we picked out our clothes to help Sunday morning go more smoothly, and then we read and went to sleep.

Sunday, October 23 - We got up and got ready for church.  Sunday School went well.  The lesson was from Isaiah 40.  What is really cool is that we usually go around the room and read verses that pertain to the lesson.  The passage that I read had the verse that I was going to be teaching in my Bible Drills class that night in it.

My Prince preached on the last chair in the four chair series.  The chair was "Multiply".  At the end of the service, he had us fill out papers stating where we thought we were.  What chair we were in.  It was a really good service.

After church, we went to eat lunch, and then back home.  My Prince and I studied, and the kids napped.  Then the kids and My Prince left to go to the church to practice for the Christmas play.  I stayed home for a few more minutes to get everything ready for my group and my Bible Drills class.

My group was good tonight.  Everyone of us said our Bible verse.  I love meeting with these ladies and sharing our victories and struggles of the week and to be able to encourage and pray for one another.

My Bible Drills class went well.  The kids have started working on their Christmas program, during the hour before my class, and they were wound up when they got to Bible Drills.  They calmed down fairly quickly, and we got to work.  They learned a new verse, and a new key passage (which happened to be the same passage that we had gone over in Sunday School - I love it when God works things out like that!)

After church we came home, ate some frozen pizzas for dinner, and now it is time for the Youngest Princess and I to snuggle and read our chapter of Anne of Green Gables.

Until I blog again...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

October 16 - October 22, 2016

What I can remember from the last week.  I've got to get back into the habit of blogging daily.  This one is going to be a long one.  I apologize in advance.

Sunday, October 16 - Sunday morning was good.  We struggled to find something for the Youngest Princess to wear.  I really need to switch us back over to our fall clothes, and see what all she has that she can wear from last year.  She has grown, so I am afraid it will not be much at all.  We finally settled on something that would work for that day at least.  We made it to church.  It was good to have the Oldest Princess with us.

Sunday school was good.  It was a very encouraging lesson.  In the main service, My Prince preached on Growing, and how getting connected to a group, other than just our main worship group, like a Sunday school group, or a discipleship group will help us to grow in our spiritual walk with the Lord.

After church, we went to a local Mexican food restaurant and ate lunch.  Back at home, the Oldest Princess tried to get some studying done.  She also secretly wrote little messages to us on sticky notes which she stealthily left all around the house for us to find.

That night we had our Fall Festival.  It was low key, simple and fun.  The kids had a blast running around playing with their friends, eating, playing on the rented blow up slides and bouncy houses, riding on the hay ride and picking out pumpkins.  They planted mustard seeds and they made bracelets and paper airplanes.  The adults fellowshipped and watched the kids play.   The weather was absolutely beautiful.  It was a fun night.

The Oldest Princess came by the church to tell everyone goodbye, and then she had to go back to college.  We wanted her to leave in plenty of time to be back before it got dark.  The ladies at church that were working in the kitchen would not hear of letting her leave without some food, so she went in to get a sandwich for the road.  Then she had to come back home because some of her clothes had not finished drying completely before we had to leave for church.  Then she got on the road.  She was gone for almost two hours, and we were rounding up the Fall Festival, when we got a text from her saying that she was stuck in traffic that was not moving.  By the time we got home, she still had not moved.  I got on my Waze app (Have I mentioned that I LOVE that app?)  And followed the route until I saw all of the traffic notices.  Then I read the comments that people were putting on for others to know what was happening.  From what I could best piece together, it was a multiple car wreck, with at least one (maybe two?) fatalities.  At which point we were thankful she was sitting in traffic, and not just a few miles further and involved in the accident.  We told her to use her time sitting there to study, and My Prince told her he would call the college and explain the situation, so she would not be in trouble for getting in late if that happened to be the case.  We had no idea how long she would have to sit there.  At this point, it had been about an hour already.

My Prince called the college and explained what he called for to the young lady who answered the phone.  She said, "I know the Oldest Princess!" (Only of course she used her real name)  Her brother and the Oldest Princess are friends.  And My Prince and I actually went to college with their parents. She told us that she had already had about 11 other calls from others stuck in the wreck, and that she would notify security that the Oldest Princess may be  late getting back on campus.  We in turn let the Oldest Princess know that all was fine if she did get back on campus late.  It wasn't too much longer before the road was cleared and she was able to get moving again.  She was later than we wanted her to be, but all was well, and she was safe, and we were thankful.  Very thankful.

Monday, October 17 - It was a good day.  A little rocky after being out for a week.  It usually takes me a couple of days to get back into to my stride. But overall, I think we did well.  It was a HUGE full moon, and the girls were giggly and silly, and had shorter attention spans than usual, but we got though.

We did have fun learning about "Mystery Numbers" in Math.  A dollar store microphone + a cell phone on video mode + a teacher who will make a fool out of herself for her kids to learn = An impromptu game show math lesson (and now they "LOVE mystery numbers!!" - which is basically making equivalent fractions, but sounds so much less intimidating when you call them "mystery numbers")

That night our church was hosting an appreciation dinner for those in our area who are on the Disaster Relief teams, as well as a few who may be interested in joining the Disaster Relief teams.  It was a fun time of great food and fellowship.  We actually had time to talk to a few couples that we don't always get to have a lot of interaction with, and it was fun.

We came home and I got the Youngest Princess in bed.  We read (we are reading Anne of Green Gables now - I can't remember if I told you all that or not), and then she fell asleep, and I was not far behind her.

Tuesday, October 18 - I'll be transparent.  It was a struggle.  It was one of those days that I felt like I might be speaking in a foreign language, and they were not understanding a word I had said.  Ugh.  I really dislike days that feel that way.  But thankfully, this year, this was the first time I really felt like the whole class was not with me.  It is very frustrating when you feel like you have done everything you can think of to make the lesson exciting and entertaining, and then you ask questions and get glassy eyed stares back.  We learned about adjectives in language.  I drew a stick man on the board.  I told each of the girls to give me a word to describe a man that they knew, whom I had never met before.  And as they gave me the words, I changed my stick man to fit their description of him.  By the time we were finished, we had a tall, fat, hairy, old, fancy man.  They laughed and had a great time.  Then we transitioned into how adjectives are describing words.  That they modify a noun or a pronoun.  We went over the questions that adjectives answer.  Several times.  In a silly, sing-song way to help them remember.  I put the questions on the board for them to see.  And then we tried to put it into practice, with them picking out adjectives in the exercises in their workbooks, and it. was. over.  Adjectives what?  And they are introduced to these in third grade, and they learn them again in fourth grade.  So this is not a brand new concept to them.  It is days like this that make me really lean heavily on the Lord and trust that I really am making a difference, even though it does not always actually feel like it.

We got home and My Prince asked the Youngest Princess what she learned that day.  She first said that we really only reviewed stuff they already knew.  Then she thought about it for a while and still could not come up with one thing she had learned that day.  I thought for sure she would remember the man on the board, and how silly we were describing him.  Nope.  Nada.  Nothing.  Although I said nothing, she could tell I was disappointed that she could not remember, and then she proceeds to have a meltdown, and tell us how tired she was.  The Young Prince came in about that time, and we began to get ready to go and do a little clothes shopping for the Youngest Princess (see Sunday).  She caught me to the side later and said, "Mommy, what did we learn today?"  I said, "Adjectives"  hoping she would say, "Oh, yes!  The man on the board!  That was so fun!"  Or some variation of that.  But. No.

So, we stop by Chick-Fil-A to eat something before we begin our shopping.  I got up from the table to get something, and my phone rang.  It was my brother.  The Youngest Princess answered my phone.  When I get back to the table, he asks her what she learned in school that day.  To which she confidently answers, "Adjectives" (because I had already reminded her of that earlier).  The next question from Unka is, "Oh, what do adjectives do?"  And the Young Prince who is sitting across the table and knows nothing of my day-long teaching angst, or of the conversation between My Prince and they Youngest Princess earlier about what she had (or obviously had not) learned that day, quick as lightning says, "They modify verbs!" in a whisper-feed to his sister.  Who again confidently answers to Unka, "They modify verbs!"  AAAAAaaaaGGGgggHHHHhhheeerrrrr!!!!  Will it never end?  The Young Prince knew that he was wrong. He was just messing with his little sister.  She should have known he was wrong, but she was just blindly repeating what he said without thinking about it.  Meanwhile, as each second passes, I am feeling more and more like I am in the wrong profession.  Satan is whispering in my ear, "Give up!  It's not worth it!  You tried your best, and you didn't teach them anything!  Give up!"  It was very discouraging.  If I had not been in public, I probably would have cried.

We finished eating, and went shopping and avoided the topic of adjectives at. all. costs. for the rest of the evening.  We were able to find the Youngest Princess two dress, and two skirts, but no shoes.  So she has a couple of Sunday dresses but may be barefoot.

We came home, read and I was very glad to put that day to bed.

Wednesday, October 19 - It was a better day.  We had honors chapel, and we recognized the A Honor Roll students, the A-B Honor Roll students, and the top students from each class.  It went well.  It was a little hard to reign the girls back in when we got back to class, but they did pretty good after they calmed down a little.  For the most part I felt like they were hearing, thinking about and trying to apply what I was doing my best to teach them.  Adjectives were still a struggle (I'm open to suggestions if you have any great lesson plans on adjectives).  Although, when I told them to get out their language books and we got started, one of the girls said, "Oh, we are not going to do the stick man thing again?  That was one of the best things we have done in language this year!"  I was glad that it stuck with at least one of them, and a little convicted that I need to vamp up my language lessons, if she considered that "one of the best things" we had done all year.  Seriously, it is easy to play math games, and make math exciting, but in language (even though it is my favorite subject), I struggle to make it exciting for them (again, the suggestion box is open).

A sweet friend text me and asked me to be a guest at her Bible study on Thursday night.  She had gone through the same Bible study with me, and then branched out and is leading it for another group of ladies.  One of the ladies could not be there, so she asked me to come in the other lady's place.  I was excited that she asked.  And of course, this week's lesson was on the lies that Satan tells us about ourselves, and God's truths that help us to overcome those lies.  The very first lie was, "I'm not worth anything."  God's timing is perfect y'all.  I had been feeling pretty worthless for over a week.  Then there was the whole adjective thing which just seemed to hammer that lie home in my heart.  It just felt like lately all signs had been pointing to the fact that I was a failure at EVERYTHING.  Therefore, I  must be worthless.  God knew that I needed the reminder of His promises to combat the foothold that Satan had gained in this particular area of my life.  Psalm 139:1-18, Ephesians 1:3-8, 1Peter 2:4, Romans 8:15-17, and 1Peter 2:9 ministered to me, and spoke love and life back into my dry thirsty soul.  It was EXACTLY what I needed to be reminded of, at EXACTLY the time I needed to be reminded of it.

At the end of the day, the Tupperware from our school fundraiser came in.  While the Youngest Princess was in cheer practice, I helped my friend to sort out the orders and get them bagged up and ready to go home the next day.  After cheer practice, the Youngest Princess came out so excited she could barely contain herself.  She had been asked by the cheer coach (who had asked us earlier if it was okay) to move up and be on the JV squad as well.  The Youngest Princess was thrilled, and I was excited for her.

Our Wednesday night group was good.  We talked about fasting and praying.  I was convicted that I do not do enough of either of those personally.  We know that there is great power in both fasting and praying, so why do we neglect these spiritual disciplines so often?  If we would commit to doing them more, what a difference we would see in God's movement in our lives, in our homes, in our country.

After church, several of us stood out in the parking lot and laughed and carried on like crazy women. Laughter is good medicine - Proverbs 17:22.  It was good to let loose and laugh with my friends.  I am so thankful to God for the women he has placed in my life.  Women that I can laugh, cry and pray with.  Women who have their own struggles, but still take the time and energy to listen to, and share in mine (which happen to have been multiple lately).

We came home, got the Youngest Princess ready for bed, snuggled and read, and went to sleep.

Thursday, October 20 - It was another decent day at school.  Maybe the girls just needed a few day to get back into the swing of things like I do.  The afternoon was a little crazy due to a few things being different, and that was not the best.  But we made it through, and headed home.

We got home and ran to get something quick and cheap for dinner.  We stopped to get some roasted peanuts, but they did not have any roasted at the time.  We bought a bag of green peanuts instead.  When we got home, I roasted them myself.

Then I studied for the Bible study that night, while the Youngest Princess did homework.  There was a lot going on, with everyone at home, so it was a little hard to focus.  Before I knew it, it was time to go.

I really enjoyed the study.  There were only three of us, so we could all share our hearts, and how God has been working in our lives.  I think it was a profitable time for all of us. One of the girls I know well already, the other, I was able to get to know better, and I now know better how to pray for her.  I love it when I have specific things to pray for people, because it makes it so much easier for me to actually pray for them.

I came home, read to the Youngest Princess, and went to bed.

Friday, October 21 - It was a good day.  We did a second run of our game show "Mystery Number".  And we learn how to do it better each time we do it.  One of the girls suggested that we put it on YouTube (insert horrified emoji here, followed by the laughing so hard I'm crying emoji).  I quickly told them that I was willing to make a fool out of myself for them, but not for the whole world.  So there will be NO YouTube videos.

In history, we compared the some of the differences between Communist countries and free countries.   One of the differences we talked about is how they vote.  And well, being that it is an election year.  I could not pass this one by.  I made ballots with only my name on them.  I told them that we were going to vote for the "Greatest Teacher in the World".  I put the ballots face down on their desk and told them not to turn it over until I told them to.  I grabbed my giant pencil pointer to help me be a little more intimidating.  I hovered over the students one by one and watched them vote.  Only two gave up much of a fight, and they were promptly removed by the guards to be thrown in jail, or executed for not voting how I wanted them to vote.  Then we talked about how people in those countries, that are "allowed to vote" like that, really are not voting at all.  And how they would most likely love to be able to have a choice of ANY kind, when it came time for them to vote.  We have a choice.  And some of us still choose not to vote.  Please, please, please.  Vote.  Please.

After school, we came home and let the Youngest Princess do her homework.  Then we left to stop by and get something to eat before we headed to the Youngest Prince's last football game.  Many of our older boys were not able to play for one reason or another, and I was a little nervous for the Youngest Prince's safety.

We ate, and then headed in that direction.  I had my bag of roasted peanuts to share with my peanut eating friend in tow.  It was finally a little cool and actually feeling a little like football weather.  My Prince told me we had a little time, and suggested that we run by one of my most favorite stores in the world to pass a little time.  We did.  I only bought a couple of little things that I thought would be cute in care packages to the Oldest Princess.  Then we went to the game.

It was not good.  We lost in a big way.  But we were out sized and out numbered.  They had three teams to our one.  Seriously.  We really played three different teams.  And, the team that we were most well matched with, they played the last 2 minutes of the game with the clock running.  If they had played that team the whole game, we might have had a fighting chance.  The Young Prince was very discouraged.  But he played a great game considering the odds.  I am proud of all the boys for hanging in there and fighting hard.

The Youngest Princess went home with a friend to spend the night.  My Prince dropped me off at the house, so that I could pack her bags.  Then he drove the Young Prince to the school to pick up his truck.

By the time we got home, the Young Prince was in a little better mood.  He wanted us to stay up with him and watch some television.  We watched for a while, and when My Prince jerked as he was dozing off, he woke me up, and I decided that it was time to give up and go to bed.  So we did.

Whew!  And that catches us up to today.  So, until I blog again (and hopefully it will be in less than a week - because blogging a whole week is quite a chore!)...