Two Tiaras and a Sword

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April 26, 2016

As the saying goes: Life comes at you fast. I have not posted since last Thursday.  Our church hosted a D-Now (Disciple Now) weekend for our youth group, and another local youth group.  It started on Friday and went through Sunday morning.  A friend and I hosted our junior high girls at her mother's house.  They were a fantastic group of girls, and it was really neat to hear bits and pieces of their sessions (led by college students).  The whole theme was Pause.  Pause from the crazy busyness of life and take time to read your Bible, pray, meditate on God's Word, and just listen to God's voice.

I made buffalo chicken dip and brownies to take as snacks.  My friend and I, and sometimes some of the girls, and even another friend joined us one afternoon and evening, played Dutch Blitz.

Saturday morning, the Youngest Princess had a volleyball tournament.  So I went to watch her.  She did a great job to be the smallest on the team, and for her forehead to be about the height of the bottom of the net.  She served from the free throw line and got it over most of the time.  I think we have the makings of another volleyball player.

After the tournament, I ran home for a few minutes, and then my friend picked me up and we went back to her mom's house to wait for the D-Now girls to come back.  While we waited, we made some chocolate covered strawberries and some chocolate chip cookies for them.  We may have eaten most of the chocolate covered strawberries before they got back.

By Sunday, I was completely exhausted.  After the service, we had lunch at the church.  It was for the D-Now leaders and we joined it with a new members lunch.  The kids and I ate lunch and then came home.  My Prince stayed to teach the new member's class.  As soon as I walked in the door, I went straight to bed and took a Sunday afternoon nap.  I rarely do that.

I woke up in time to get the Youngest Princess ready for Children's Choir.  Then I got ready and went to church too.  The kids sang about four songs, and they did a great job.  Then My Prince preached about our words, and how important it is to be a witness with them.  After church the youth group went out to eat.  A lot of the parents go too, so we went. We got home pretty late, the Oldest Princess and I worked on a poster for staff appreciation.  When we finished we went to bed.

Monday I woke up pretty easily.  School went well.  It is staff appreciation week, so I took the poster that the Oldest Princess and I had worked on the night before, and a treat for the staff member that my class was appreciating.  The poster was sparkly, with jewels and lights.  I think our staff member really liked it.

Monday afternoon, we came home and I wish I could say that it was a wonderful afternoon, but it was not.  It was a rough afternoon.  The Young Prince was having a hard day, and as a Momma, I want to fix it.  I want to say the magic words and everything be okay.  But that is not the way it always works.  It was a tough afternoon.  But, I removed myself, and spent some time in prayer. The Young Prince and I had another talk and things began to look up.  My Prince grilled hamburgers for dinner.  The Oldest Princess fried french fries.  We ate dinner, and then straightened up a little around the house.  Grammy and Poppy called, and we enjoyed talking to them.  We were sad to know that Grammy would not be coming home with Poppy, but would be coming later than he.  But we are excited that she has another mission opportunity.

Later, we had the hedgehog out, trying to get him used to us, and cleaning out his cage, while the Oldest Princess worked on her graduation party invitations.  She came in to tell me that she had received a text from a friend who attends the college she will be attending in the fall.  The friend (whom we met while we were at the college at a volleyball tournament) is doing a two year degree, so she will be finished before the Youngest Princess gets there.   I hate that, because the two of them really hit it off.  Anyway, the friend roomed this year with her cousin.  She told the Oldest Princess that her cousin will be a sophomore student next year.  The friend had told her cousin all about the Oldest Princess.  This sweet friend and her cousin had talked about it, and even prayed about it, and they wanted to know if the Oldest Princess would be interested in rooming with the cousin next year! That my friends, is God at work in the details of our lives.  I love it!  The Oldest Princess asked to be friends with the cousin on Facebook, so that they could get to know each other.  And told them that she would also pray about the possibility of being roommates.  From what we can tell, she is a sweet girl, and I really think we will request that they be roommates.  I am excited for her to have someone who can "show her the ropes", and introduce her to people.  I am excited that everything seems to be falling into place for her.

Today, the cousin sent her a sweet message on Facebook.  The Youngest Princess messaged her back. Also, she got a package from her Aunt T and Unka, with her college bedding in it.  So, slowly but surely, everything seems to be coming together.

Today was a good day at school.  I took my class outside (it was a beautiful day), and let them diagram their sentences with sidewalk chalk.  They seemed to really enjoy it (until it got too hot). They were even asking if they could do more.  I think I may have to try it with long division next time!

After school, I went and got my hair done.  The Youngest Princess got her hair cut too.  I came home and did some work on my Leviticus Bible study.  I had some catching up to do, because the weekend had been so busy and I had not kept up.  My Prince and the Oldest Princess went to the store, and the Youngest Prince and his friend were working for a friend who "bought" their yard work services back when we had the youth auction.  The Youngest Princess was reading a book she has to read for school.

My Prince came in with bright, cheerful spring flowers.  We all kind of ate what we wanted to for dinner.  The Young Prince came home, took a shower and got his homework done.  Then he went outside and got some awesome pictures with his camera.  He really has a creative eye.  I was very impressed.  Later the Young Prince helped the Youngest Princess study for her health test.  I told him that I always love him, but that I loved him extra tonight for helping his sister.

I looked over the penmanship pages that my students did today.  Their assignment was to make a list of some of the things that they are grateful for, and then to write a letter to someone telling them why they are thankful for them.  Two of them totally knocked my socks off and made my day.  I am blessed beyond measure to have the students that I have.  They are precious beyond words.  I know as they get older, they will move on and forget about me.  But for now, I am blessed, blessed, blessed to be a tiny part of their lives and to be able to help them prepare for their futures.

And now.  I must get some sleep, so I will be able to function.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

April 21, 2106

Today has been a good day.  Filled with fairly ordinary things.

First 5 devotions


My friend came back to school for the first time since her accident.  It was good to see her for a few minutes, but it was a little overwhelming for her.  Please continue to keep her, and her family in your prayers.

Track meets (for the Oldest Princess and the Young Prince and My Prince who went to watch them) - they saw one of our sweet friends from another school there too.  They sent me pictures.  I wish I could have been with them.

A little bit of a scare with an accident happening near our home.  One friend called to check on us.  I called another friend to check on her mom.  She could not get ahold of her mom, and we worried a few minutes until we knew that she was okay.  I still do not know who was in the accident, but we pray that they are okay.

Volleyball practice and Tumbling for the Youngest Princess - thank you to my sweet friend who took her from one to the other for me.

A chance meet-up with some friends when we stopped at a fast food restaurant for dinner.  It was nice to be able to sit and chat with them for a few minutes.  Life is much to hurried, and I do not like it that we don't get to visit with one another nearly enough.

The Youngest Princess was sitting in the backseat when she exclaimed, "Oh!  Why is it that new books just smell SO good?"  Yes.  She is mine.  I told her as much, and she passed me the book, and picked up another one in the backseat, and we were happy for a few minutes, just smelling the new books.  I know, we are weird that way.  Now, if I could just get her to love reading them as much as she loves smelling them!

Then to one of our favorite neighborhood stores to get some things I need for next week - it's staff appreciation, but shhhh, don't tell!  I also needed to pick up some snacks for tomorrow night.  There was a small scare when I thought I might have lost my cell phone, but we found it , and all was good. I found some shiny, colored paperclips that made me happy, so that was a bonus!  Sometimes it is the little things.

We came home and finished watching a movie together.  Then we all started getting ready for bed.  Tomorrow we are out of school and off work, but it will be a long day as we have much to do.  So, I am going to say goodnight.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 20, 2016 - A Guest Blog by My Prince

I have been reminded in the last couple of weeks of the brevity of life. For many of us, we have heard a thousand times that life is short and can change in an instant.  Just the other day, I was speaking with some friends about how quickly time has gone by.  I said, “The old saying goes, ‘Time flies when you are having fun.’ Well, I believe time flies whether you are having fun or not.”

    The Bible describes life in James 4:14 as …”a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”  I was recently reminded of this truth as we visited a hospital in Birmingham with dear friends from two different families whose loved ones were fighting for life.  In these difficult moments, both families commented on the fact that they did not know what they would do if they did not have the Lord to comfort them.

     As the Lord would have it, one of those dear families lost their loved one, and my family and I attended the funeral on Saturday.  This lady was described as a lady who loved the Lord with all of her heart, was extremely loyal to her Lord, her husband, and to her family.  As we left the funeral, my wife commented on the way the Pastor described her in such a fitting manner and that it was a challenge to live up to. 

     As I have pondered the events of the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking a great deal about the dear saints of God that have gone on before us.  We are loosing a generation of faithful, soldiers of the cross, and we don’t seem to be replacing them quickly enough. 

     The challenge is to answer this question.  When people look back on our lives, what do we want them to say about us?  Let us live our lives in such a way that when people hear our legacy, they will be encouraged to live accordingly.
    A song that that has really made me think was recently released by the Christian group Newsboys entitled What I Want Them to Say. When people look back on my life, this IS what I want them to say:

He’s the one whose faith didn’t fade
When everything crashed, he didn’t cave
He never lost his awe and wonder
The one that kept me from going under
And he ran a good race

What do you want people to say about you?  Only you can make it happen.  Go forth and live it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April 19, 2016

I woke up this morning and did my First 5 devotion.  Then I got ready.  I told My Prince that I needed to be at school early today, because I knew that the Seniors had done their "prank night" last night, and figured that the kids would be a little wild when they saw it.

So, it worked out, and we were able to leave for school early.  I got there in time to take some pictures before the rooms were cleaned up.  Then I went back to my room.  The Seniors had put up  saran wrap in the hallway between the high school and the elementary, and filled it full of balloons.  They wanted it to look like from our side that their end of the hallway was filled with balloons, and from their side, that our side of the hallway was filled with balloons.  It was a wonderful idea, but overnight, the saran wrap stretched out a little, and the balloons settled.  So we could see through the top.

The balloon wall was perfect actually, because it kept all of the craziness due to the Senior pranks down on the high school end of the hallway, and our kids did not even ask to go and see, because the balloon wall was there.  Another thing I liked about it, was that kids from both ends of the hall would stand in the hall and look at the balloon barrier (it was all colorful and pretty), and then they would smile and wave at the kids on the other side.  I had more kids smile and wave at me in the hall today than I've had smile and wave at me in the past month.  Usually they do their own thing down there, and we do our own thing on our end, and we don't pay each other much mind.  But today, the balloon barrier broke that down for a while, and it was nice.

 The Seniors had been busy the night before.  They filled one room with cups of water, they turned the tables upside down and made a maze in another room.  They covered a white board with sticky notes.  They crisscrossed streamers in another room.  They wrapped one teacher's chair and podium in wrapping paper. Fun stuff, but nothing destructive.

While the underclassmen cleaned up the mess, the Seniors and Kindergarten graduates donned their caps and gowns and had their pictures made.  I went down to see the Oldest Princess and her friends in their caps and gowns. I still can not believe that we are finally here at this point.  It all just seems like a dream.  And I didn't get teary eyed today.  I am just so excited for them!  I am excited to see them all pursue their hopes and dreams, and I am excited to see where God leads each one of them and what they will do for Him. After the pictures were taken, they paraded through the halls, while the other students and teachers gave them high fives and congratulations.  It was fun.

After that, it was business as usual.  We all got busy and got things done.

After school, we came home for just a few minutes before it was time to go back and pick up the Youngest Princess from volleyball practice.  Then we picked up something for the kids to eat for dinner, because My Prince and I would not be home for dinner.  We had an appreciation dinner to attend.

We got home and started some laundry, and rested for a few minutes before we had to get ready to go to dinner.  We went to dinner and enjoyed some sweet fellowship with people that we see often, but rarely get to actually stop and enjoy time with.  It was fun, and the food was wonderful.  There was a lady that did a short comedy act, and it was nice to relax and laugh a little.  There were door prizes, and then it was time to come home.

We stopped to get gas on our way home, and our youth pastor called.  They had been to the doctor to find out if they were having a boy or a girl earlier today.  So we knew they were calling to let us know.  My Prince guessed girl, and I guessed boy.  I was right!  They are having a boy!  We are so very excited for them!

When we got home, we gathered all the kids together and called them back so the kids could find out from them.  They must have been talking to someone else, because they didn't answer.  The kids were dying!  They could not stand it that we knew and they didn't!  He called us right back, and we put him on speaker phone, so he could tell them.  They were excited to hear it was a boy.

After that, the Youngest Princess and I came upstairs and read our chapter of Mandie.  

Now we are finished and we are all ready to get some rest. So I think that is exactly what we will do.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18, 2106

Today was a pretty much normal, very ordinary day. Except that the busy weekend caught up with me, and I felt like I was in a fog all day long. I made silly mistakes all day because I was so tired and my students had to correct me several times. I do not like days like that. They frustrate me. It was not a gold medal, blue ribbon kind of a day. It was more like a participation certificate kind of day. I was there, and I participated. And that pretty much sums it all up. The sun was shining, the weather was beautiful. God is still on the throne, and I have much to be thankful for. Just not much to blog about. So, I will not bore you with the mundane details.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

April 17, 2016

So, we went and got ready yesterday evening.  A precious friend from church did the Oldest Princess's hair and makeup.  She looked absolutely beautiful.

My Prince sent me a text that made me think that the Gray Ghost was already at the house to pick up the Oldest Princess.  So we quickly headed home.  When we got there, the Gray Ghost was not there.  He had come, but then realized he left her flowers, so he had to run back and pick them up.

That gave us a few minutes to play and take some pictures.  She wanted one with her volleyball kneepad on one knee and her volleyball shoe on that foot, and her heel on the other foot.  Something she had seen on Pinterest.  We tried, but the yard was damp from all the rain we have had lately, and her heel kept sinking into the ground.  So we did not exactly get the effect that we wanted, but it is still a cute picture.  This is the unedited version:

The Gray Ghost got here and we were soon on our way.  We got there and took tons of pictures.  We were very thankful for the answered prayer of sunshine, because woke up to a dreary day.  We were very glad that it was not raining.

After pictures, we went inside for the banquet.  We were seated at a table with the one set of Senior parents that we probably knew the least out of everyone there.  It was really nice to have time to sit and talk with them and learn more about them and their story.  They truly had a very unique testimony, and it was very interesting to hear how God had worked in their lives and brought them together.  I wish that time had allowed us to get to know them better in the past.  I think we all could have been good friends.  But we really enjoyed getting to know them better, and I hope they felt the same.

After we ate, they played the slideshow of the Seniors' pictures to the songs they had picked out.  It was very sweet to watch what pictures they picked and what songs they picked.  I got a little teary eyed when one of the Oldest Princess's good friend's pictures were up, and then another one of her good friends picked a really sad song with hers, and I shed a tear or two, and then the Oldest Princess's pictures were up, and I just full out cried.  After the pictures, one of the Junior girls read a cute little description of the Seniors as members of a circus - to go along with the circus theme.  I am not sure who all worked on writing it, but they did a great job.  I loved it, and I am sure the Seniors did too.  After that, all was good, and we went back to laughing and taking more pictures.  I asked the Gray Ghost if the Oldest Princess had warned him that this night was just one big photo op.  Seriously, I would love to know the total number of pictures taken last night.  Here is one of my favorites (again, unedited):

After many more pictures, a group of the kids were going to one of those places where they "lock" you in a room and you have to try to figure out several different puzzles in order to get yourself out.  So they changed into more comfortable clothes, and they were off.  My Prince and I came home.  When we got home, we text the Young Prince who was hanging out with a friend, and he came home too.  While we waited for the Oldest Princess to get home, I uploaded pictures from the camera to share with friends and family.  Before I knew it, the Oldest Princess was home.  It was after Midnight, and we were all exhausted, so we went to bed.

This morning, getting up was not as hard as I had thought it would be.  I got up and got ready for church.  During Sunday School, I worked with my Bible Drill kids, getting in one last practice before we went to the Regional Drill this afternoon.  

When Sunday School was over, I was glad to see a couple of friends there.  One who we had been inviting for quite a while.  It was an answer to prayer.  I talked with them for a few minutes before church started.

At the beginning of the service, My Prince had the Bible Drillers go up front and he prayed for them before we left to go to our drill.  After the prayer, we loaded on the bus and got started.  We stopped after a little while, to have lunch.  The place we went had a 50 minute wait, and we had somewhere to be, so we could not wait that long.  We changed to Plan B, and although it still took us a while, we were able to get through and to the church just in time. 

 I need to say a huge "Thank You" to Mr. D for driving our bus, and to Mrs. S, who is my right hand woman in teaching Bible Drills! You two are awesome! 

We were in the second drill, so we had to wait while the first group did their drill.  Then it was our turn.  I know the kids were nervous, but they did a fantastic job!  I was very pleased.  Out of the three that went to the regional drill, all three of them made a score of 20 or above, which means they are all three considered State Champions.  One of those three was the Youngest Princess.  I am very proud of all of the work that all of my drillers did to get  to the levels they made it to.  Some did not go all the way to regionals, and that is okay, because each and every one of them worked hard, and will end this Bible Drill season with more of God's Word hidden in their heart than when we started the season, and that is what it is all about!

After the drill, we all stopped and had ice cream to celebrate.  

On our way home, the interstate was stopped due to a wreck.  Thankfully, we were right at an exit, and we were able to exit and go the back way.  We got to the church a little later than we had wanted to.  The Oldest Princess and I were exhausted.  I had been battling allergies a good part of the afternoon, and could barely hold my eyes open.  She and I, and the Youngest Princess came on home.  I took some allergy medicine, and the Oldest Princess and I both got in our beds.  The Youngest Princess watched some tv, and then came upstairs to play on her iPad.  I was able to get a good nap, and woke up feeling a little better.

My Prince and the Young Prince came home, and we ate snacks for dinner and now we are all ready for some rest.  My Prince is already asleep.  I am not long behind him.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, April 16, 2016

April 16, 2016

I woke up earlier than everyone except My Prince, who had an early morning breakfast meeting.  I used the morning quiet time to work on my Leviticus study.  I had not been able to get anything done on this week, so I wanted to get as much done as I could.  I also took care of some laundry.  My Prince came home from his meeting, and the Young Prince came home from his camp-out with his buddies.

I went upstairs to begin getting ready for my friend's mom's funeral.  When we got there, the receiving line was way out the door and into the parking lot.  In the 15 to 20 minutes we stood there, we only advanced about two car spaces.  We ended up going around to the front to the door of the chapel.  The seats were all taken, so we were standing in the back when a friend and co-worker's husband graciously got up to give his seat to the girls and I.  We were able to fit, with the Youngest Princess sitting on one of our laps. It was a beautiful service.  I knew my friend's mom, in that I recognized her when I saw her, and we had made small talk on several occasions at the school.  I also felt as though I knew her just from the stories my friend had told me about her.  Other than that, I really did not know her.  One of the pastors who did her funeral, had known her for years.  He did a beautiful job describing her life.  I told My Prince when I got back in the car that his description of her made me want to be a better person.  To serve more.  To love deeper and wider.  To squeeze hands and to squish faces.  To be 100% there.  Wherever there was.  And to live simply.  It truly was a beautiful service.

When we got home, we ate lunch, and then My Prince took the Youngest Princess to a friend's house. She went to her friend's house, because My Prince and I, being parents of a Senior, had the Jr./Sr. Banquet to attend.  The Oldest Princess and the Young Prince went upstairs to get some rest.  I did a little more studying and a little more laundry.

Then I thought I would work on my blog a little, because I know it will be late and I will be tired when we get in tonight.  So in a few minutes, I will start getting ready.  I can not believe that we are to this point!  Oh, and speaking of being at that point.  Her college acceptance letter came in the mail today. Yes. It did. Today.  On the day of her Senior Banquet.  Sometimes life moves at warp speed. Now would be one of those times for me.  She tried on her dress and her shoes yesterday, and I'll admit I got a little emotional.  Something about tonight makes things more final.  That and the funeral this morning together have left me feeling on the weepy side today.  With that said, if you feel led to say a little prayer for this momma's heart tonight, I would greatly appreciate it.

And now, we are off to get all gussied up.  You will have to wait until tomorrow to see how tonight goes.  If you are my friend on Facebook, be sure to watch for the thousands of pictures that are sure to come.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, April 15, 2016

April 15, 2016

This morning, I woke up and did my First 5 Devotion and got ready for school.  Only the Youngest Princess and I had to go to school today.  The oldest two were able to stay home, so they slept in.

We headed for school.  Today was a day unlike any other school day.  It was Field Day.  Normally we have it outside, but it has been so rainy here lately, that it was really wet and muddy outside, so we had Field in the gym instead.  A couple of our parents organized the whole thing, and with a small army of awesome parents and high school students, they arranged a great day.  The kids hopped, tossed, cleaned, crawled, rolled and hula hooped away all of their energy.  At the end, we had a ribbon ceremony, and then the kids went home.  It was only a half day, so I got to have a few extra hours at home.  The Youngest Princess went home with a friend, and I came home by myself.

The Oldest Princess was getting ready to go meet a friend for lunch and get their nails done for their Jr./Sr. Banquet.  I took the time to start some laundry and to clean out the hedgehog's cage.  My Prince was at a meeting.   Via text, we decided when he was done, that we would go out for lunch.  The Young Prince decided to go with us.

We had a nice lunch out, and then we stopped at a small clothing store to let me browse.  I did not find anything.  The Young Prince wanted to go to a different store to get some snacks that he wanted. So we did that and then came home.  I was not feeling well, so I took a nap.  I woke up feeling much better.

The Young Prince left to spend the night with some of his buddies.  I did some more laundry and some general straightening up.  By then we were ready to cook and eat dinner.  We did that, and then we all cleaned a little more.

The Oldest Princess was feeling "crafty", so she started work on a project, and the Youngest Princess joined in with her.  I started working on my blog.

A friend who is working on the Senior slide show for the Jr./Sr. Banquet called and let me know that some of the pictures we had scanned for her to use, had scanned as documents instead of pictures.  She wanted to know if we still had those pictures.  I knew we did, I was just not positive where I had put them.  Thankfully, we were able to locate them quickly, and the Oldest Princess was able to run them over to her.  Crises averted.

My Prince is studying, and I am going to get the Youngest Princess ready for bed.  We have a very busy weekend ahead of us, and it is already later than I wanted to get to bed tonight.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April 14, 2016

I'm going to make this short and sweet, because I promised the Youngest Princess that we would read two chapters of Mandie tonight, because we skipped reading last night.  AND I promised her that we would spend some time with the hedgehog and help him get to know us and be a little more comfortable with us.  She can't wait to hold him, but we are not to that point yet.

We finished with our testing yesterday, so today was a normal school day.  My students did well, despite not really wanting to get back to a normal school day.  One of my students painted an acrostic for me of my name in my favorite color - green.  It was very sweet!  We finished in time for them to get their homework done.  So now all that is left is to enjoy Field Day tomorrow.

My Prince picked us up and we went by our church member's house and picked up our car.  He says that it is okay for us to drive it for now.  But I think he still has a couple more things he wants to do to it eventually.

My Prince dropped the Youngest Princess off at tumbling, and went to Wal-Mart.  I stayed home and rested in the quiet.

The oldest two came home.  They had been to a Beta Club competition today.

My Prince came home with the Youngest Princess and dinner.

We ate, and then the Oldest Princess helped her daddy find a picture that she needs printed for her Jr./Sr. Banquet.

Then she and I worked on her graduation party invitations.  She asked me if I could believe that it was actually time for us to do them, and I told her I didn't want to think about it.  I was working on some other graduation things today and I got a little teary eyed, but for the most part, I have not been emotional like I thought I would be this year.  I am afraid it is going to hit all at once, and I'm going to be an emotional mess.

Now the Youngest Princess is waiting on me to get finished so I can fulfill my promises to her.  So I will go.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April 13, 2016

* I woke up several times during the night.  Very unusual for me since I have been doing the Plexus thing.  Usually I sleep very well.  But each time I woke up, I had my friend and her mother on my heart, so I would pray.

*When it was time to get up, I did my First 5 devotion, and then started to get ready.  All the while with my friend and her mom heavy on my heart.

*I wanted to text and check on her, but I didn't want to wake her up if she was sleeping.  Then I didn't want her to think I didn't care.  So while I was wondering what to do and praying, I received a text from her.  She told me that they were waiting on the doctor to come through, and that they were going to take her mom off of the respirator.  She was not breathing on her own, and her pulse was very weak.  The news made me feel sick to my stomach.  It was so the opposite of what I wanted to hear.  I let her know that we would continue to pray, and I passed along her update to some of the other teachers so that they could also be praying.

*I called my friend's son's teacher to let her know that he would not be in for the rest of the week, and we talked for a few minutes about how sad the whole situation was.

*I finished getting ready amid a few more texts and phone calls, and My Prince drove us to school.

*At school, I helped to get my friend's class ready for their tests, and then I went back to my class.  We prayed for my friend and her mother, and then we finished up our tests.  In the middle of the morning, my friend text me to let me know that her mother had passed away.  I was heartbroken for her.  One of the things I hate about death, is that life goes on.  I remember when my daddy passed away, I just wanted time to freeze.  He was gone, so everyone else (in my grieving mind) should just stop.  Stop and acknowledge the huge hole that he left.  Not forever, of course, but at least for a little while.  But that didn't happen.  And I remember feeling the same way when my mother died.  I felt that way again for my friend today.  It was so weird for me, to continue going through the motions.  Everyday motions.  Getting ready.  Testing.  Reading.  Watching a powderpuff football game.   When the world should stop, at least for a few minutes and acknowledge the passing of a precious mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, wife.  It is hard.  And it is sad.  But life doesn't stop.  Not even for a little while.  Not even when the hole they leave is huge.

*We finished our tests pretty early, so we read some of the last Josiah book.  It is at a pretty intense part, so the kids wanted me to keep reading.  I read until it was time for them to go to PE.  After PE we went to lunch, and then outside to watch the high school girls play a powderpuff football game.  The Oldest Princess's team lost.

*We went back in and did a few MadLibs and then read another chapter of Josiah before it was time to go home.

*At home, I relaxed for a few minutes, and worked on my Bible study before My Prince came home with dinner.

*We ate, and then the Young Prince went with My Prince to take the car to a friend of ours to see if he can fix it so I can have my car back.  I'm tired of bumming rides.  And I am thankful for friends who know about cars and are willing to help us out.

*I called my friend, because up until this point, we had done nothing but text, and I wanted to hear her voice and know that she was okay.  Or as okay as she could be at this point.

*My Prince and the Young Prince came home.

*My Prince, the Youngest Princess and I ran by the store and bought some toilet paper and Kleenex to take to my friend.  My Prince thought I was crazy when I told him I wanted to take them toilet paper, but I remember from when my daddy passed away, that someone brought us a whole box full of paper goods: plates, cups, napkins, and yes toilet paper.  When you have a house full of people after a death in the family, one of the last things you think about is if you have enough toilet paper.  I just remember that box being a blessing to us at that time, so when I talked to her, I questioned her if they had paper plates, cups, etc.  She said yes to everything until I asked about toilet paper.  Then she said that she was not sure about that.  So, toilet paper it was.

*We dropped it off, gave her a hug and told them we were praying for them.

*Then we went to the church.

*Our group went well.  I love those ladies and I love meeting with them, and sharing what we have learned through the week each Wednesday night.

*After church, one of the Oldest Princess's friends came by and picked up a dress and some shoes she wanted to borrow from the Oldest Princess.

*Then the kids all went upstairs, and I worked on my blog, while My Prince stayed at church for a deacon's meeting.  Now he is home, and we are ready to do our nightly routine to get ready for tomorrow.  So I will go.

*Please continue to keep my friend and her family in your prayers.

*Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April 12, 2016

*I woke up and did my First 5 devotion.

*I went to school and again, we had testing this morning.  After testing, I taught the students how to play math war.  Then they went to PE and lunch, and then we joined in with the sixth grade and watched a movie.  After the movie, we had just enough time to fit in two MadLibs before it was time to go home.

*The Young Prince came and picked me up from school.

*I went with him to get his hair cut.

*We stopped back by the school to pick up the Youngest Princess from volleyball practice.

*We also picked up a new addition to our family - a pet hedgehog.  I am a happy camper.  So is the Youngest Princess.

*We ate dinner.

*The Young Prince went to play golf with a friend.

*I was doing laundry when I got a text from a friend who happens to be a co-worker.  She told me that they were in an accident.  Her ankle was hurt, and her mom had been taken by helicopter to a local hospital.  She asked me to contact our principal or our administrator for her.

*I did that, and then My Prince and I headed to the hospital.  I text my friend to ask her about her husband and her son.  She said that her husband had jumped out of the way.  That is when I realized that they were walking when they were hit by a car.  I thought they were in their car when they were hit.  But no.  They were walking.

*When we got to the hospital, we slowly found out a little more information.  The family members were in a consult with the doctor, so we had to wait on them to come out before we learned much.

*When they came out, they were very concerned about my friend's mother, of course.  We all moved out of the waiting room and into a nearby lobby, where we made a circle and prayed.  They are precious people of faith, and I think there were about 4 pastors in the mix.

*We went back to the waiting room, and we were able to speak with my friend's husband for a minute.  He told me that my friend's ankle was broken.  I assured him that I would help to take care of her class and for him to tell her not to worry about it at all.  But I know her.  She will worry anyway.

*When we left that waiting room, we went upstairs to a different waiting room to see if another set of friends were there.  This is a family we know from college.  The husband had a stroke, and there is some damage to his aorta, I believe.  My Prince had been there that morning, and visited with them, but we thought since we were there, we would check in on them.  None of them were in the waiting room, so we came on home.

*We got home and kissed all of our little ones (the youngest of which was already asleep).

*And now, I am going to rest as well.

*Please say a prayer for my friend's mom.  My heart is broken for my friend and her family.  I would greatly appreciate it, and I know my friend would, too.

*Until tomorrow...

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

*Woke up this morning and did my First 5 devotion.  It was a good one, but I had a hard time focusing, because I kept drifting back to sleep and having to reread things.  Ha!  I guess yesterday really did me in.  I slept like a rock, but it was very hard to get up this morning.

*My Prince took us to school.

*Today was different in that this week we are doing our standardized testing.  So our day was anything but routine.  We did the practice test part of the test today.  It only took us about half of the day.  The rest of the day, I gave them time to read their own books, we practiced our Bible verse, I read a couple of chapters of our last Josiah book, I introduced my students to MadLibs (great way to practice parts of speech - and have fun doing it), and we went outside for a little while.  Then it was time to go home.

*At home, I did laundry, and some general straightening up.  My Prince grilled pork chops, and I made the sides for dinner.

*I studied Leviticus for a little while (I had to do today's study and yesterday's study, because I skipped yesterday's lesson to get some other things done.)

*Now we are going to do family devotions, and then I am going to get the Youngest Princess ready for bed and read our chapter of Mandie.

*Until tomorrow...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

April 10, 2016

Whew!  It has been a busy day!  But a good day!

We got up and got ready for church without too much trouble, which is great for a Sunday morning.

For Sunday School, I met with my Bible Drillers, and we reviewed and practiced a little, because the association drill was this afternoon, and I wanted one more chance to work with them and help them to be just a little more ready.

Then, after Sunday School I had Children's Church.  We learned about the plagues and how God used Moses to lead his children out of Egypt.  The Oldest Princess and her friend C were my helpers.  And I really appreciate their help.

After church, we ran home for the Youngest Princess to change and put on her Bible Drills shirt.  Then we ran back to the church to get the Bibles, because I had forgotten to get them.  Then we ran to a local fast food restaurant to get something to eat.

Then it was off to the church that would be holding our associational Bible drill.  It turns out that it was just our church and one other church in the drill.  So where there are usually at least two rounds of drills, today there was just one.  All of the kids who participated did a wonderful job.  I am SO proud of them all.  Out of the four that went on to the association drill, we will have three that will go on to the regional drill.  That is very exciting to me, because we have a young team this year.

After the Bible drill, we came home and registered my kids for the regional drill, and then we relaxed for a few minutes before time to go back to church.

At church, we had our 5:00 class.  It was good as usual.  Tonight one of the other men in the class led it, and My Prince did not have to.

Then we had our Bible Drill class.  It was slim pickings tonight, but it made for good review time for those who were there.

After church, the Oldest Princess and the Gray Ghost went over to a friends house to watch a movie.  The rest of us came home and found leftovers to eat for supper.  We watched the end of the Spurs vs Golden State Wariors game.  Then I was overruled by the other three members of the family, and we watched the season finale of When Calls the Heart.  I had promised the Oldest Princess that we would wait on her and watch it together.

We watched it, and now we are getting ready for bed.  It has been a long day, and I am exhausted.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, April 9, 2016

April 9, 2016

*I woke up before everyone else and watched the First 5 weekend wrap-up.  It was very good (and convicting).  God takes sin seriously, therefore, so should we.  Being holy is hard.  But with God's help we can do it.

*I worked on my Leviticus study.  It was very good also.  It was pretty much a study on leprosy, and some of the things that made people unclean.  All I know is that I am very thankful that I was born after Christ, and that I live under grace, and not under the law.

*Everyone else got up, and My Prince cooked pancakes for everyone.  Mine were heart shaped.  There was a football and a basketball in the mix also.  My Prince is totally into pancake art, and I love it.

*I studied for Children's Church tomorrow.  My sweet friend who is the regular teacher is going to be out of town, so she asked me to do it.

*My Prince went to the church and printed off everything I needed.

*I took a short nap, and then got ready to go with the Oldest Princess to look for shoes and jewelry for her to wear to her Jr./Sr. Banquet next week.  We were not able to find what she really wanted for her shoes, but we were able to find some that would work.

*We also did some shopping for her Senior table.  We were able to find several things that we were both excited about.  One was an answer to prayer.  Something pretty unique that she wanted, and and we found it.  Exactly what she wanted.  Pretty cool!  I love it when God works things out like that!

*Meanwhile at the house, the Youngest Princess was working hard.  She was a big girl today and helped her daddy with the dishes and some laundry.  She was actually excited about it, and I was thrilled too!

*The Oldest Princess and I came home from shopping to dinner made by My Prince.  Ham and hash brown casserole - Yum!  A family favorite!  And what a wonderful man!

*We ate dinner, and then I looked over my Children's Church lesson one more time just to be sure I had everything in order.

*I also prepared for Sunday School in the morning.  I am going to take my Bible Drillers and go over our last verse, and do some last minute review before the Association Drill tomorrow afternoon.  Eeek!  I can't believe it is already here!  Please pray for the kids, that they will do well tomorrow.  They have worked so hard!  And I am very proud of them all.

*Now it is time to say goodnight, and get some rest, because tomorrow is going to be a very busy day!

*Until tomorrow...

Friday, April 8, 2016

April 8, 2016

*I woke up this morning and did my First 5 devotion.

*We got ready and left for school.

*We had a pretty normal day.  There was one thing that was different.  All of the students and teachers went out and lined the road today as a procession went by on the way to a memorial service for an EMT who was recently killed in a helicopter crash.  I have never been a part of something like that, and it was very moving to be able to do so today.

*I received a fun surprise from a sweet friend.  It made my day.

*After school, I came home.  I did some things around the house while waiting on the kids to all get home.  The Oldest Princess and the Young Prince had practice for something they are doing with the Beta Club, and the Youngest Princess had volleyball practice.  They all came home at the same time.

*When they got home, My Prince and I left to go out to eat and do a little shopping.

*We had a nice dinner, and enjoyed some one on one time that is rare these days.

*We were able to find a few things for the Oldest Princess's graduation.

*We ran by a bookstore and picked up something that I want to use in my class next week.

*We stopped and got one of our favorite desserts before heading home.

*It was a very nice evening out.

*We made it home and chilled out with the kids for a little while.

*Now we are going to do family devotions, and then get some rest.

*Until tomorrow...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 7, 2016

*Woke up and did my First 5 Devotions.  The main quote on today's devotion was, "God is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness."  Wow.  Great point.  And the best part is that when we are holy (or as holy as humanly possible) then we are are truly happy.

*Got ready and My Prince drove us to school.

*We had a good day at school, even though it seemed to take way too long for us to finish math.

*Today was folder day, so I got to put my surprises for my students in their folders.  I hope that they love them as much as I love writing them.

*After school, the Young Prince had an appointment - and My Prince went with him,  the Oldest Princess had practice, and the Youngest Princess had a volleyball clinic.  I was home alone for a few minutes.  I actually sat on the couch and put my feet up and played on my phone for about 15 uninterrupted minutes.

*The Oldest Princess came home and we watched a few more minutes of a movie we started the other night, but did not get to finish.  We watched only a little of it, before I had to go and meet the Youngest Princess at tumbling.  My sweet friend took her from volleyball practice to tumbling.

*I left the Oldest Princess at home, because she had to leave in a few minutes to go and babysit.

*I passed the Young Prince and My Prince on their way home.  My Prince called and said they would turn around and come to tumbling, and then we could go get something to eat.

*I watched the Youngest Princess at tumbling and visited with a couple of friends.

*My Prince and the Young Prince came in at the very end.  We went to a very fancy (not) fast food seafood restaurant.  It was delicious (not) and nutritious (not).

*We came home and I tackled some laundry that I've been ignoring for a couple of days.

*Then I did my Leviticus study for my Wednesday night class.

*The Young Prince asked if he could go and play basketball at a friend's house.

*The Oldest Princess came home from babysitting.

*My Prince and the Youngest Princess did the daily run to our little neighborhood store to pick up things like 3x5 cards and lightbulbs.  And to pick up the Youngest Princess's pet fish from the church.

*The Young Prince came home.

* My Prince and the Youngest Princess came home.  Now that we are all home from our various wanderings, we are going to do family devotions and then send the kids off to study and get ready for tomorrow.

*Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

April 6, 2016

*Woke up

*Did my First Five Devotion

*Got ready, and My Prince drove me to work

*It was a pretty good, normal day at school

*After school the Youngest Princess and I caught a ride home with a good looking man (My Prince)

*I studied for my Wed. night class

*My Prince made tacos for dinner - He's awesome!

*We went to church early for a VBS meeting

*My Wednesday night group went well - We talked about sacrifices and priests, and how that applies to our lives today.

*We came home, and I finished up my surprise for my students

*Now I am ready to call it a night

* Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April 5, 2016

Well, you know, some days are just really normal.  And really nothing out of the ordinary happens at all. Today was one of those days.  It was a perfectly normal day.  The kind of day that makes you happy to be alive, and thankful for every single ounce of "normalness". Because we did not have to go to the doctor, or to the hospital.  Although the Young Prince did go to the dentist to get a cavity filled.  We did not have to talk to a policeman or make a report of any kind.  We went about our daily routine, living life with no major interruptions.  Days like today are my favorites.  It is the stuff life is made of.  Most days are like today.  Simple.  Quiet.  Unassuming. Normal.  Nothing better than that right there. Thanking the Lord today for normal days.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016

Whew!  I think I have about caught up on all the days that I didn't blog.  So today, I will just tell you about, well, today.

*Woke up and did my First Five devotion

*Got ready for work

*Got the Youngest Princess ready for school

*My prince took me to work - we are having car troubles

*Had a surprise from my secret pal - a cool homemade soap, and a scented candle

*One of my students went on a cruise over spring break and brought me some vanilla, and a beautiful bracelet

*Our first day back went fairly smoothly - not too much "spring break brain" going on

*After school we had our faculty meeting

*The Oldest Princess came and picked up the Young Prince, the Youngest Princess and I

*We got home and I realized I had left my cup and my keys at school

*The Oldest Princess went back and got them for me

*All three kids and I went to a local plant nursery to see their wisteria - my sweet friend that works there had texted me earlier and told me I should drop by and see it if I could because it was in full bloom and beautiful.

*The Young Prince took some pictures of it for me - it truly was beautiful

*We came home and I worked on something special that I try to do for my students about this time every year.

*The Young Prince went to do a job for a lady at our church - she had "purchased" him to do yard work for her at our church auction

*My Prince and The Oldest Princess made spaghetti for dinner

*The Young Prince came home

*We ate dinner and watched the newest episode of When Calls the Heart

*My Prince went to a special prayer meeting at the church

*I continued working on my surprise for my students

* My Prince got home

*We are going to do our family devotions now that we are all home and then I think I will corral the Youngest Princess and head to bed.

*Until tomorrow...

Sunday, April 3, 2016

April 3, 2016 (With a Little Throwback to March 31 and April 1)

This is the Young Prince dressed up in the Gilly suit, ready to go out and pull a prank on the Youngest Princess.

Thursday morning, we got up and started packing to get ready to go home.  Unka told the Youngest Princess that he needed to go and check his game cameras.  She of course jumped at the chance to go with him.  He told her that they would have to wait until they got back to the house to check it (because he wanted us to be able to see her reaction).  They got back to the house, and she immediately started clicking through the pictures.  There were a couple of raccoons, and one of a doe.   Then there were...

These two pictures

I wish you all could have seen the look on her face.  She was absolutely amazed!  She really believed it for a little while.  Until her brother put the Gilly suit back on and walked by the window, and then she realized, that maybe she had had the wool pulled over her eyes.  I think after we left Unka got one of our cousins with the pictures.  It was a pretty good April Fool's joke.

On the way home, we decided to stop by Willie's Diner (of Duck Dynasty Fame).  The fried pickle appetizer was absolutely wonderful (and yes, I do happen to be a fine connoisseur of fried pickles).  As for the rest of the food, well, I probably would not go back for anything but the fried pickles.

After lunch, we swung by the Duck Commander warehouse for our annual picture in front of the sign, (and of course a hopeful sighting of a Duck Dynasty cast member).  We got one of the things we hoped for...

After that, from that point on (about 6 hours of driving), this was our view.  And we are not talking light rain either.  We were on the front edge of a mass of rain that  stayed with us the entire way.  At one point we stopped at a Sonic just to get out of the rain for a few minutes and let some of it pass over us.  As we got back on the road, we prayed for the rain to stop and for safe travels (about an hour) the rest of the way home.  From that point on, it pretty much just barely sprinkled on us, although there was lightning all around us.

We had many sweet friends and family members praying for us as well.   Thankfully God answered all the prayers, and we made it safely home about midnight.  Friday, we slept in and recouped from our trip home.  The Youngest Princess left to go on a weekend trip with a friend and her grandparents.    The Oldest Princess went on a date with the Gray Ghost.  The Young Prince and a friend and My Prince went to see a movie.  I stayed home and watched a couple of movies by myself.

When My Prince and the Young Prince got home, the Young Prince turned around and left to go and spend the night with his friend.  The Oldest Princess wanted to go see God's Not Dead 2, and it was already late.  We figured we could just make it to the 10:00 p.m. showing, if we left immediately.  So we did.  We loved the movie.  After that we stopped at the only restaurant around that was still open that late and got a midnight snack.  Then we came home and went to bed.  And speaking of bed, I think I will head there now.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, April 2, 2016


Okay, so I was sitting here blogging, minding my own business, when I received this text that started it all...

It was a screen shot of a beautiful old bridge draped in wisteria vine in full bloom.  The picture identified the bridge as being in a town very near us.  Under the picture was a message from the Oldest Princess that said, "Look at this!"

I, of course, text her  right back, "Aaaaaahhhhhh!!!!! We need to go take pictures!!!"

To which she replied, "Yes we do."

She grabbed her brother and her camera and sweet talked her daddy into going too.  Then she did a presto chango from a couch potato on a Saturday evening to a beautiful young lady in a few minutes like only a teen can do.

I ran upstairs and tried to wipe the chocolate off of my shirt where I dripped it while eating chocolate covered strawberries.  (A HUGE thank you to our friends who gave us the strawberries yesterday! They are delicious!)

We loaded in the car to find a bridge covered in wisteria, in a town near us that spanned a certain creak.  That was really all we knew.  I figured it would take us several back roads to find it.  But My Prince is awesome, and after turning down only one wrong road, we found it!  I was so excited.  But then, I was disappointed.  Because there was no way to gain access to the bridge, other than private property.  The Oldest Princess was ready to give up and go home.

We pulled into a long driveway, and debated asking for permission to go down to the bridge and take pictures.  When I noticed the next door neighbor getting out of his truck.  My Prince got out of the car and walked over to talk to him and see if he would mind if we crossed his land to get our pictures.  He was very kind and told us that we could.  We backed up and pulled into his driveway instead.  He even got out some little hand clippers and clipped away some briars for us.  This should have been our first clue.  He cleared the way, told us to be careful, and that it had been several years since anyone had asked to get to the bridge to take pictures.  I told him someone had posted a picture on Facebook, and that is how we knew about it.  In small talk, we learned that we have a mutual friend. We told him thank you for his help, and he left us to take our pictures.

By this time, I am really feeling like I am not going to get any pictures.  Except by the Young Prince, who was already on the bridge, with his phone.  I was holding the good camera and seriously doubting the wisdom of this outing.  The Oldest Princess is standing behind me saying, "There is NO WAY I can get up there in THESE shoes!"

I know when that nice little man got back inside his house, he grabbed his binoculars, and his wife saying, "Come here, honey!  You have got to watch these crazy people in our back yard!", and settled in for a show.

I handed My Prince the good camera, because at this point I'm still not sure that I am going to attempt it, and I had tennis shoes on! Here is a picture of the Young Prince (in the light blue shirt toward the top center of the picture) already on the bridge (which according to the nice little man was condemned years ago - we had been aptly warned).  My Prince had started the treacherous climb up as well.

I could not be this close and not go up.  So I followed suit.

Leaving the Oldest Princess by herself of the bank with the suggestion, "You could ditch your shoes and come up too."  My girl, who is no tenderfoot, did just that and followed me.  When I found semi "solid footing", I turned around to check on her.  This is what I saw.  I think her face sums up what at least My Prince and I were also feeling.  I laughed out loud, almost to the point of tears several times when we made it back to the safety of the car and I found this priceless picture.

We decided if this were a meme it would say, "When your Unka tells you he needs your help to clean out the gutters."

We all made it safely up on to the bridge, and we managed to get some pretty good pictures.  But this one will have to do for now, because the pictures are loading very slowly tonight, and My Prince needs his computer back.

We all carefully made our way down, but My Prince was still trying to get one more shot from underneath the bridge, because he knows I love wisteria, and would love it, and because he loves me. One minute he is carefully making his way down the bank, and the next he was sliding, and grabbing for something to hold.  The kids and I were on the bank and there was nothing we could do but watch.  I instinctively called out to Jesus to help him.  He finally stopped sliding.  And did not even get wet!  His finger and his shin did not fare as well though.  But we think he will live.  Isn't he an awesome husband?  To risk life and limb to get a picture that he knew I would love, of a flower I love?

When he got back up the bank to us, we walked about ten feet around some of the brush and had a beautiful view.  I took this shot with my phone, but we got several with the good camera also.

We had quite the adventure finding and photographing this little bridge.  I would love to hear the other stories that it could tell, and I hope the nice little man and his wife did not think we had completely lost our minds.

We all got back in the car and had a good laugh (especially after finding that prize of a picture of the Oldest Princess on my phone), and then went to eat Mexican food, at the Young Princes's request...despite being covered with dirt and leaves (and probably chiggers) from our little adventure. 

I bet the Oldest Princess thinks twice before she sends me another picture of a wisteria draped bridge in the future.


Until tomorrow...

April 2, 2016 (Throwback to March 29-30)

 I forgot to post this picture on yesterday's blog.  When we got there, Aunt T had these huge treats waiting on the kids.  Thank you Aunt T! They have thoroughly enjoyed them. for. days. on. end.

The second morning we were there (Tuesday), the Young Prince and Unka once again got up early and went tramping through the woods in search of a turkey.  Either of them could have just looked in the mirror and found one, but I digress.  The rest of us slept in a little longer and got up and visited for a while.  The hunters came home empty handed.  We fixed breakfast.  Some of us learned how to fry eggs.  Some of us ate a fried egg for the first time.  Some of us did both.  Some of us did neither.

A couple of my Aunts came to visit.  We always enjoy our time with them.  Aunt T, the Young Prince and I helped one of them pick a few greens.  After picking greens, Unka and the Youngest Princess joined us for a ride through the woods.  Unka and the Youngest Princess were on the four wheeler, and Unka kept on hitting the breaks to make the Youngest Princess's head bump his back and her feet fly in the air.  He took great glee in doing that.  Just like a kid!  We found a very unusual tree that even my Aunt did not know.  We took pictures of it in hopes that some of our friends might know the name of it.  My Aunt pointed out a sweet gum tree and told us how they used to chop into the bark of them and then chew the sap that ran from the tree like gum.  So, we got an axe, and chopped into it a little.  Not realizing that it takes several days before the sap runs out.  So, we did not get to see that one through to completion.

It was just sort of a misty rainy day, so for the most part, we stayed in and visited.  Some of us took naps.  The whole time we were there, The Youngest Princess really enjoyed going with Unka to check his game camera.  She loved looking at it to see what new animals it had captured.  There were raccoons, a red fox and a doe, usually.

There was great confusion over what trash went in what can.  Some was to be burned, some to be taken out to the big trash cans.  No food in the burn pile, because we didn't want the dogs to be attracted to the fire by the smell of food.  I almost broke into hives each time I threw something away, hoping that I was throwing it away in the right place and not doing something wrong!  In the end, there was an extra big can, that we did not realize we still had, and a cousin offered us the use of her extra can, so all the stress was for naught!  I was greatly relieved to know all would be okay.

Tuesday night, the men grilled steaks for us.  They were wonderful!  Steaks, salad, stewed potatoes, peas, and bread.  It was all delicious.  We were finishing up the dinner dishes, when my cousin L and her husband dropped by to visit. It was good to have time to visit with them.  They were asking the Oldest Princess about her friend the Gray Ghost.  Somehow, they decided to face time him.  He was wrapping up a Bible study, so we had to wait a few minutes and let him finish, and then we tried him again.  He was a good sport about being "interrogated" a little.  Unka was able to "meet" him for the first time.

Unka meeting the Gray Ghost via face time.

L and her husband left, with L promising to come back the next evening if possible to play some Dutch Blitz with us.  

Unka wrote a letter to the Youngest Princess while we were straightening up a little and getting ready for bed.  She wrote him back.

The next morning, the hunters took off again.  This time leaving us a note.  I guess Unka was finally in the mood to write.  Usually we get a note every morning.  But so far, we had none this trip, so it was nice to finally wake up to one.

But, again, they returned home minus a "thunder chicken".  I was sad for the Young Prince, because this was his last chance to get one this year.  They were disappointed, but a little warmth, a shower, some dry clothes and some food in their bellies seemed to cheer them up a little.

My sister had brought a container of old pictures from when she and my brother were little, I was not even thought of yet, and they lived on the family land.  I enjoyed walking down memory lane while looking at them.  There was one of my tall, lanky, daddy playing a ukulele, and if we put the Young Prince's face over my daddy's, it could have been him.  There was another of daddy on a porch and one of daddy in a swing, and again, they look just like the Young Prince sitting there, only with my daddy's face.  It amazes me how he really doesn't remember daddy at all, but he still has some of daddy's mannerisms and personality traits.  There were some of my momma "all dolled up" to go to a Mardi Gras ball (to the best of my sister's memory).  And some of her cleaning house (which should surprise no one who knew her).  I miss them so much!  And I always miss them even more when we are there.  There were pictures of my Fat Momo, and the Youngest Princess was excited to see those. She is always amazed when we talk about her, that we affectionally called her Fat Momo.  To me it was a term of endearment and the only name I ever called her.  To my brother and sister, who had two "Momos" when they were younger, it was a term of distinction.  They would get confused over which Momo was being referred to, so my daddy's mother said, "Just call me Fat Momo," as she WAS considerably more "fluffy" than my momma's mother.

Aunt T took the kids out back and got a few pictures of them while the rain had stopped.  My Aunt Y and Uncle H came by to visit for a little while.  Of course they looked at some of my sister's pictures and laughed about old times.  I love to hear my uncle tell stories of when they were young.  He used to give my momma fits.  He loved to get her riled up.  Eventually, they had to leave, and my sister decided it was time for her to leave, too.  She was going to stop and visit with one of my aunts, and she didn't know if she would go on home, or spend the night there.

Aunt T fried some chicken for lunch, and the Oldest Princess helped her by frying the french fries. They fixed enough so that we could heat it up again for dinner if we wanted to.  We ate, and then cleaned up the dishes, and played a game out on the porch.  The Youngest Princess was getting pretty cranky, so Aunt T talked her into laying down for a 30 minute power nap with her.  While they napped, I made some buffalo chicken dip.  B came to clean the pool, and of course we invited her in to visit with us.  She finished cleaning the pool and came in right about the time the chicken dip came out of the oven, and Aunt T and the Youngest Princess got up from their nap.  We ate some dip, and my cousin L and Uncle H came in.  That meant it was time to play some Dutch Blitz!  Aunt T's table is just the perfect height to stand up and play, so that is what we did.  Uncle H didn't play, but he watched, and laughed at us, and gave me a hard time.  I think by the time we were done playing, that we had all been able to yell "Blitz" at least once.  It was fun.

Us playing Dutch Blitz, with Uncle H taking it all in.

After L and Uncle H left, My Prince and the Oldest Princess started trying to get some pictures from Aunt T's computer to our computer.  My Prince went to a local store to buy a thumb drive to put them on, but her computer would not recognize the thumb drive.  So, thus began about a two hour struggle to outsmart the computers and move the pictures.  B was a big help.  They googled what to do every time they ran into a new problem, and worked around problem after problem to get the job done.  

Meanwhile, Unka and the Young Prince decided that they would pull a trick on the Youngest Princess.  The Young Prince and the Youngest Princess have been on a kick of watching the television show Finding Bigfoot.  There had been talk off and on of a Sasquatch or Sasquooch as the Young Prince and some of his friends call it, since we had been in the country, and the Youngest Princess listened intently to every word said.  So, when she went to take her shower and get ready for bed, even though it was pouring down rain, Unka and the Young Prince snuck off.  Remember the game camera that the Youngest Princess loved to check with Unka each day?  Well, with the help of a Gilly suit and and ornery Unka and big brother, that game camera caught  pictures of a Sasquatch that night.  And the Youngest Princess went to sleep in peace, never the wiser.

Meanwhile, the pictures finally got successfully transferred from one computer to the other about midnight.  B said her goodbyes, and headed home, and the rest of us went to bed.

And that is a good place for me to stop.  I've got a wisteria covered bridge to hunt down and some pictures to take. 

Until tomorrow...