Yes, in case you were wondering, I did get them to play Dutch Blitz with me. The princesses, and my prince that is. The youngest prince kept score for us. We played one round to 75. The oldest princess won with a score of 76. It was late, we were all tired, and some of us may have been a little grumpy, which contributed to some bickering, someone getting upset, and me deciding that we were through.
We put up the cards and my prince read Proverbs chapter 1. At the end of which the youngest princess said, "I don't understand it." Sometimes it is hard to listen and soak it all in as someone reads it. So my prince broke it down and explained it to her, in terms that she could understand.
We each shared a prayer request, and my prince led us in prayer. It calmed some of the bickering spirits, and all was well with the world again. We talked about having a one (or two) word theme for ourselves for the year. The youngest princess quickly determined that her word is BELIEVE. I'm not sure why she chose that word, but we will discuss it in the next few days. I look forward to knowing what she is thinking, and why she chose BELIEVE. The oldest two chose to think their words for a while.
I headed up to bed, and the youngest princess decided it was time for her to show me what she has learned to do on her flute (we have been out of school for two weeks and you HAVE to show me now!?!). Yes. At bedtime. Sometimes kids don't always have the best sense of timing, or at least ours sure don't. But I humored her, and let her show me (music stand, music, flute and all) the four notes that she has learned to play. Then she had to put up the music stand, music, flute and all, and go downstairs to clean up the sleeping bag and blankets that she pulled out for our movie night. All the while I was trying to stay awake so that I could read to her.
We TRY to read a chapter of a book each night. We don't do it every night, and we have gone for as long as a month at a time of not reading, but more often than not, we cuddle up and read a chapter a night. It is "our thing" that we have been doing for as long as I can remember. I know that we have been working on the Mandie series since she was in the 1st grade. We have taken some breaks and read some other books from time to time, but my girl loves the Mandie books. We are very close to being done with them ALL (and there is a ton of them...we are on book #30somethingI'velostcount), and I think we will both be a little disappointed when we are completely finished.
Right as we finished our chapter my prince came upstairs ready for bed, but before he could settle in, and the youngest princess was sent off to her own bed, the young prince jumped in with his favorite picture book from his childhood, Ferdinand, (I guess he was feeling sentimental) and I took a few minutes to read it to him like I did when he was little.
Then we all tucked in and headed off to dreamland.
This morning, I woke up closer to our usual schedule. I guess I know it is time to get back to our school schedule, as much as I hate to. I started a load of clothes, and made a glass of chocolate milk, and sat down to learn more about hospitality. It was still convicting to me, but it was nice to hear that there is a difference between hospitality and entertaining. In today's world, we worry way too much about entertaining, and hospitality often gets lost in the midst of showing off what we have and our flawless abilities. Hospitality is more about opening our hearts and lives (no extra effort, or fancy productions, just love and acceptance) and being real with those around us. Our reality is a messy house full of three busy, growing children and two disorganized adults. Our reality looks nothing like the food, decorations, organizational ideas or parties that I like to "pin" on my Pinterest boards. Our reality is that it is January 2, and I still have not put away all of the Christmas decorations. We have a real tree this year, and it looks good and still smells SO good that we hate to take it down. Reality. GROWTH.
The young prince was up not too long after me. Soon my prince followed and headed out the door to go and work out with his buddies. The girls slept in a little later than the rest of us. Not quite ready to give up their Christmas vacation. And looking at our calendar for the next few months, I don't blame them.
I had the morning free, so I listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and sent a text to a sweet friend and asked her if she could meet me for lunch. She was able to, and we had a really good time of fellowship. So much so, that neither of us got around to eating our lunch, we just talked. God is awesome!
I left from our lunch and got home in time to leave with my prince, our children and Grammy and Poppy to do a little shopping and to celebrate the young prince's birthday. His birthday was back in November but Grammy and Poppy were out of the country and did not get to celebrate with him. They wanted to take him out to eat.
He opened his presents from them, and then decided that he wanted to go to Applebee's for his birthday dinner. The "birthday" boy had spoken. Applebee's it was. While we were eating, the young prince, and Poppy told us a little about their trip they had taken a few days earlier. While on their trip, they had visited one of Poppy's favorite used book stores. The young prince described it like this..."It was me, Poppy, and the world's population of mother's basement dwellers." Poppy said he just focuses on where he needs to go, and gets what he needs to get. To which the young prince replied, "Yeah, Poppy was focused and I was like... in culture shock! I'm talking about like, grown men...with kitty cat shirts on!"
After dinner, some of us went to a clothing store, some of us went to a sporting goods store. Then we all went to our used bookstore. I think my prince found more to buy than any of the rest of us combined. The oldest princess wanted to stop at Target - yay! We did, and then we ran through Dairy Queen drive through for Blizzard minis for everyone. Except Poppy who ordered an ice cream cone. I told him there was one in every crowd.
We made it home, and Poppy and Grammy headed out to the lake house where they are staying. My Prince is putting the finishing touches on his sermon for tomorrow. The girls are watching television, and the young prince went to the gym to play basketball with a friend and his friend's dad.
When the young prince gets home, we will all read Proverbs chapter 2 together, and have our prayer time, and then I will be ready for bed.
It was a good day, this last day of Christmas vacation, before real life starts back again tomorrow. I have enjoyed it, and I hate to see it come to an end. But then, I am sort of ready to get back into the swing of things too...So, until tomorrow...Have a great night!