Two Tiaras and a Sword

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 27, 2016 - The Disney Cruise Begins! (And a few things I forgot to add from Thursday)

We woke up with our alarm and began to get ready.  Everything moved fairly smoothly, and we were out the door when we wanted to be.

We met the Oldest Princess and her friend whom we will deem the Adopted Princess in the hall, and started down to the lobby.  The Adopted Princess said that she wanted to go to the desk and pay for a water she took last night.  The girls had gone down to get some ice.  They, being aware of their surroundings, had noticed a guy that made them uncomfortable.  So they were in a hurry to get out of there.  The Adopted Princess picked up a bottle of water and in her nervousness walked out without paying for it.  She did not even think about it again until that morning when she wanted another water and wondered how much they cost.  Then it hit her that she had "stolen" the water from the night before.

So, we stopped by the front desk for her to get another water and to pay for the one she took last night.  That way she would no longer be a "criminal".  LOL!  I love it that she has a conscience.  So many kids today do not.  And they would not have even mentioned it, much less tried to make it right.  I was proud of her for doing the right thing.  But we still teased her about being a "criminal" off and on.

While she was taking care of that, My Prince, the Young Prince and the Oldest Princess were playing and being silly in the lobby.  I gently scolded them, and they continued.  At which time the Youngest Princess looked at me and said, "Kids!"  I told her I knew, and that I was glad I had at least one grown-up on this trip with me - LOL!

There was an older couple sitting there in the lobby, quietly observing all of our craziness.  My Prince noticed them and said, "Good morning!"  The lady replied, "You are from the South aren't you?"  My Prince then told her where we were from.  They ended up being from Pennsylvania.  Out in the country. We made a little more small talk with them, and then we left.  I wonder what made her reply that way though?  Was it his accent?  Or was it his friendliness?  I guess I will never know.

We got to the car, and loaded up and our friends came out shortly thereafter.  And we got on our way again.

Rewind for a minute - We have a silly app that lets us communicate as a family, and add memes and pictures and funny things.  What else do you do on a long car ride?  Anyway, since we were about to go on a Disney Cruise...Well, I thought I would go with the Disney theme.  I started two days out with a picture of the pool deck of our ship and the words, "I'm too excited to sleep!"

Followed by a GIF of the tick-toc croc from Peter Pan dancing and splashing the water with the words, "Two days!!!!"

The next morning, My Prince put a meme with Monster's Inc.'s Sully and Mike saying, "We've created a monster!"

The next day I put a GIF of Giselle from Enchanted acting all excited with the words, "One more day!"  The Young prince jumped in with a dog laying on the floor with a unicorn mask on its head with the words, "My dog found my unicorn mask".  That afternoon, I added a GIF of Rapunzel dancing around with the words, "I'm so excited!"  The Young Prince quickly shot back with a picture of Kevin Garnett, from a State Farm commercial, with his eyes bulging and the words, "Really now?"

Thursday morning, I added a GIF of Ana from Frozen acting excited and the words, "Yes!  It's go time!".  To which the Young Prince responded with a picture of a different basketball player from the same State Farm commercial, sitting in a high chair, with the words, "No more memes!"  I responded with a GIF from Inside Out of Sadness crying.

Then things were quiet for a while on the app until we were following our friends on Thursday, and I got a strange text from her, saying something like, (Husband's name here) said we will be in (city name here), we'll wait on you...jk.  So My Prince and I are wondering what in the world that could mean, when the truck we were following turned into an apartment complex, and we realized that we were not following our friends like we thought!  Somehow, we had started following a different truck! We were laughing at ourselves and trying to find a place to turn around and find our friends.  I found a picture of meerkats looking in different directions and added the words, "Us. Trying to find the (family name of our friends).  The Young Prince put a picture of a Sponge Bob character (I think, I'm not sure, because we don't watch that show) with the words, "Stop making memes!"  We got on the right track and quickly found our friends again.  And we made sure we followed the correct truck the rest of the way.

My Prince thought of something that he had forgotten and asked our friends if there was a convenient place to stop, could we stop and let him run in to buy what he had forgotten to pack.  They said sure, they are awesome that way.  They found a place to stop, but their GPS took us around the world to get there.  My Prince ran in to buy the said forgotten item, and the rest of us sat in the car, or got out and stretched our legs, waiting on him.  I took the opportunity to find a GIF of Alice in Wonderland with her chin in her hand drumming her fingers on the side of her face, and added the words "Waiting on dad got me like..." The kids thought that one was funny.  We were talking about it, and I told them we needed to add the Adopted Princess to our group, so she would know what was going on.  We added her to the group, and I found a GIF of Snow White happily clapping her hands and added the words, "Welcome (Adopted Princess's name)!"  They were laughing and calling me the "Queen of Memes", so I found a picture of the Queen of Hearts, from Alice in Wonderland, smiling smugly and added the words, "Queen of Memes.  That's me!"  The Young Prince responded with a weird picture of Leo DiCaprio sticking out his tongue.  Then a GIF of Bernie Sanders making a disgusted face with the words, "Reading Mom's memes."  To which my sweet Oldest Princess texted "Mom, I love your memes."  And then another text with four hearts.  The Young Prince shot back with a GIF of some actor I don't know looking over his shoulder with a angry face and the words, "Kiss up."  We let it rest for a little while after that!

It was about two hours later when we all decided on a place to eat.  I was excited because I hadn't eaten breakfast, and I was hungry.  I found a GIF of Winnie the Pooh sitting at a table with his spoon and knife in his hands, dancing in his chair.  I added the words, "When I'm on a long trip and they say it is time to stop for lunch."

That evening, as we were almost to our hotel, the Adopted Princess roused a little from her motion sickness medicine slumber and I found a GIF of Boo from Monster's Inc. sleepily blinking her eyes and added the words, "(Adopted Princess's name) be like".  Everyone thought that was funny too, because she seriously was having a hard time staying awake.  And because I rarely intentionally use improper grammar.

We saw several crazy drivers, and the Oldest Princess found a GIF from a TMNT cartoon of a woman driving crazy and added the words, "Drivers in Florida".  It was true.  Some of those people drive like they are nuts!

When we got to our hotel, My Prince found a GIF of a pixilated boy in bed with z's coming out like he was asleep, and added the words, "I need..."

I found a picture of one of the Disney castles, and added the words, "Stick to the theme people!" to remind them that we were supposed to be doing a Disney theme, because we were after all on a Disney vacation, and when you are on a Disney vacation, everything is Disney!

All was then quiet on the app front until we got in bed that night.  I took a picture of the Youngest Princess sound asleep and added the words, "Goodnight!  May visions of Disney Cruises dance in your heads."

The Oldest Princess sent a GIF of the young Rapunzel dreamily looking out the window of her tower and added the words, "Thanks Mom!!!!"  Then a text that said, "Good night, all."

My Prince added "That's sweet!"

The Adopted Princess jumped in with a picture of Sleepy the dwarf and the words, "Goodnight...sleep tight...don't let the bed bugs bite."

The Young Prince responded with a GIF of some mean looking tiger thing (maybe from Kung Fu Panda?) jumping at the camera.  Then a text of "Sleep tight."   The Oldest Princess responded to her brother with a text that said, "Wow!!"

My Prince sent a GIF of Flynn Ryder doing his smolder and the words, "Good night, my darling."

The Young Prince sent a GIF of some guy sitting up in bed and shooting out the overhead light (I think he was getting tired of our fun and games.)

My Prince added a random GIF of Doug from Up and the words, "I hate squirrels!"

The Oldest Princess was a little slow in responding to the Flynn Ryder one a little earlier, but sent a text saying, "Get another chat "room" going if you're going to do that." Followed by two laughing, crying faces.  That was it for the night.  We all went to sleep.

Now back to Thursday - When we got back on the road, I found a GIF of a raccoon (not Disney themed, I know) stealing cat food from a bowl.  I added the words, "(Adopted Princess's name) stealing water".  I told you we still picked on her about it.

She responded with a GIF of Mulan sadly wiping her face.

That was the end of our back and forth for a while.  My main focus at that point was finding a restroom.  I had drank my Plexus that morning, and I needed to find a bathroom and find one pretty quickly. Unfortunately for me, there was not one for the next 20 something miles.  We took the first exit we could that had any civilization, and I was never so glad to see a McDonalds in my whole life.

After that, we were back in the car and over the bridge and could see our ship.  It was very exciting!! Our friends said that they were surprised that we could not hear their girls squealing from their car. Maybe we didn't because I was squealing in our car.  I was a little bit excited too!

Our first view of the Disney Dream

Our picture in front of the Disney Dream from the parking garage

We got there and parked relatively quickly.  We got our luggage and got in line.  The porters came around and picked up our luggage, and we did not have to worry about it any more.

We got through several more lines and then had to wait until it was time to get on the ship.  Our friends who made it through the line a little faster than we did, came over and told us that they had been chosen as the Disney family of the day!  How cool is that!?!  They had a special table for them to sit at, and they stood them at the entrance of the walkway to the ship and announced them as the Disney family of the day.  By this time the two other families who were traveling with us had caught up to us.  They took us all back to have one big group family picture taken, and then individual family pictures made. Then they put us in a side waiting area while they announced our friends as the family of the day. Our friends were the first family allowed on the boat, and then they allowed the rest of our group to board, before anyone else.  It was really cool!

The kids waiting to get on the ship.  They are a little excited.

They announce each family as they embark.  This is one of the families in our group.

We divided and conquered from that point.  Some of us went to get deck chairs and tables and the rest of us went to get tickets for the princess meet and greet, and the Elsa and Ana meet and greet.  It worked!  We were able to get deck chairs and tickets and everyone was happy.

We had all either worn our suits, or changed into them as soon as we got on the ship, and several of us got in line for the Aqua-Duck as fast as we could.  We were some of the very first people in line. The little girls were very excited.  My friend and I were a little excited too.  It was fun!  The little guy working at the beginning of the line had an accent as he was from a different country.  I asked him where the ride would end.  He was showing me where all it would go and I was nodding and saying yes, and trying to understand him, when I heard him say, "...and will come out on this side in the ocean."  I am still nodding and saying yes when my brain registered what he said, and I said, "Wait! No!  No, ocean!"  He belly laughed at me and said, "I trick you my friend!  No ocean.  No ocean."

We rode it.  It was fun.  But the water was very cold!  There were several dips that I had not expected, I got several good splashes, but my friend who sat in the back got drenched.  We got off laughing.  I am glad I did it at very first, because I never did get a chance to do it again.  We were just so busy from that point on.

Someone found some shrimp cocktail in the buffet line, and I had to get some of that.  It was delicious.

We found a throne, and My Prince had to take a picture of him sitting in it.  There is actually a funny story about this throne, but we will save it for the day it happened.

The older girls relaxed on the deck.  The boys went exploring, and the little girls played in the water. When everyone was finally onboard, they had the Sailing Away party.  The ships horn played, "A dream is a wish your heart makes", and "Do you want to build a snowman?" and several other Disney tunes, and then we were off!

Sailing Away party.

We went to our rooms where our luggage was waiting for us, to get ready for dinner.

Our first night, we ate in the Enchanted Garden dining room.  It is patterned after the gardens of Versailles, France.  I tried the Lobster Ravioli for my appetizer, and Sea Bass for my main dish.  I had some kind of chocolate/apricot torte for dessert.  It was all good.  May not ever order them again, but they were all edible.  I did not go hungry.  I told them I had been adventurous the first night, but that I would probably not be quite so adventurous the rest of the trip.

The Youngest Princess asked me if she could order the salmon.  I told her yes, but that I was afraid she would not like it, so she should probably go ahead and order the pizza in the event that she didn't like it. She was at a different table from me - we put the little girls at one table, and the big kids at another table, and the adults at the last table - so I told her that she could order anything she wanted on that menu.  And, if she didn't like what she ordered, that they would get her something else.  So, she ordered the Grilled Salmon Steak, and the pizza just in case.  After a while, she got my attention across our table and hers and said with an unhappy look on her face while pointing to her plate, "Mom, there is NOTHING STEAK about this!  It is completely salmon!"  I thought I would die!  The baby ordered "Grilled Salmon Steak" thinking she was going to get STEAK!!!  I told her to go ahead and eat her pizza, and to order the steak the next night.  It was too funny!

The big kids had a fantastic time at their table.  I had mentioned to one of the other mothers as we sat down at our table how nice it was to be able to put all of kids at a different table and not have to worry about them misbehaving, because they were a great group of kids.  They knew how to behave and did a great job.  Their waiter played a few games with them and they relaxed and had a great time.  Our waiter did a great job as well.  I love that they learn what you like, and that they move from one restaurant to another with you.  My Prince said, "We came as strangers, but we are leaving as family."

The Youngest Princess enjoying her Micky shaped Ice Cream

Some of the older girls at dinner

Somewhere along the way, while I was doing something else, My Prince and the Youngest Princess got to see Minnie Mouse.

After dinner we went to the main show called "The Golden Mickey's".  It was cute.  I think the Little Mermaid part was my favorite.  And in that part, the starfish was my favorite.   It made me think that we REALLY need a starfish character for VBS!

Captain Thor came out and told us that there was a tropical disturbance that was causing a little bit of rough waters, but he anticipated that by mid-night, that all would calm down.  It was a little rough, but not too terribly bad.  I just encouraged everyone to keep taking motion sickness medicine.  Not the one that made the Adopted Princess so sleepy, but a different brand that did not cause drowsiness. And that was the worst part as far as roughness went. The rest was pretty much smooth sailing.

The Oldest Princess and the Adopted Princess.  I love their shirts!

The Adopted Princess has never been to Disney World before, so we went to the Rapunzel and Belle meet and greet, to have their pictures made with them.  We loved Rapunzel.  She was fabulous and very much in character the entire time.  Belle, not so much.  She lacked personality, and almost seemed "put out" to be there. Maybe it was just that Rapunzel was so good. Anyway, it was fun getting to meet them.

The Youngest Princess with Rapunzel

The Older Princesses with Rapunzel

The Youngest Princess with Belle

The Older Princesses with Belle

By that time, we were all pretty much done for.  We decided to go back to our rooms and get some rest.  We were greeted by really fun towel art and chocolates when we returned to our rooms.

The door to the Older Princesses's room - Thank you Mrs. N for the graduate Micky for the door!  It was perfect!

Our cool crab and chocolates

The girls got a cute little duck and some chocolates as well.

We had some dolphins to meet the next day, and we were very excited about it, so we all were asleep pretty quickly.

Until I blog again...(which will be soon, before I forget all the good stuff!)

May 23 - May 26, 2016 (Playing Catch Up Again)

Monday May 23 - That was actually the last day I blogged, but I blogged that morning about everything that had gone on during graduation and the graduation celebration.  I had fully planned on getting back on and blogging that night, but it did not happen.  From what I can remember, most of that day was spent resting and getting ready for our trip.  The Oldest Princess was babysitting some of our friend's children and they came over and played for a couple of hours.  Other than that, I can't remember much that is newsworthy.

Tuesday May 24 - The Oldest Princess got up to go babysit again. She came over a little later, and the Youngest Princess stayed home with her.  My Prince, the Young Prince and I all went shopping to pick up some last minute things for our trip.  We found everything we needed, stopped and ate lunch, and then came home.  That about covers it for that day.

Wednesday May 25 - I spent the day washing up the last minute things everyone in the family wanted to take with them on the trip, and getting everything packed and ready to go.

Thursday May 26 - We woke up early, and got ready and packed everything in the car.  At which point My Prince realized that his choice of my giant suitcase was not going to work.   We had an extra person going with us (the Oldest Princess's friend), and there was no way he was going to get all that luggage in the car, and still have room for everyone to sit.  So, he ran back upstairs to change from my giant suitcase to his duffle bag.  He is awesome, and he made it work.  What a man!  We all loaded in, and we were off!  

We made it to a fast food restaurant where we were going to meet some friends of ours who were going on the trip with us.  All of us girls ran in for a last minute restroom break, and My Prince went through the drive through to get us all something for breakfast.  Our friends were already there eating their breakfast.  We talked to them for a few minutes while they finished up, and then we did a kid swap - our Youngest Princess for their oldest son.  And we were off!  

I made sure that everyone had motion sickness medicine in their systems.  Maybe this was not the best idea for the Oldest Princess's friend.  She had not been sleeping well the last couple of nights, and she was exhausted, and even though it was the "less drowsy formula" motion sickness medicine, it knocked her out cold.  She slept a good 90% of the 11 hour drive.  Bless her heart!  But I was glad that she was getting rest, so that she would have energy for our trip.

We finally made it to our hotel and got settled in as quickly as possible.  We lost an hour in travel, so it was time for us to get to dinner and get the kids in bed, because the really exciting part of our trip started the next day, and we wanted the kids rested up.

We talked to the people at the front desk and decided on a place to eat dinner.  We walked to where we were going to eat.  We ate and fellowshipped and had a good time.  Then we walked back to the hotel.  There was one scary moment when we thought that we would all die, but God protected us, and we survived.

Back at the hotel, we got the little kids and the men settled, and then my friend and I went to the Youngest Princess's and her friend's room and played Dutch Blitz.  My friend had never played before, but she did a great job at picking it up and fit right in with us  - cards flying everywhere, stabbing people with fingernails, etc.  It is always great fun!  We, being women, of course stopped and talked a lot in between games.

We had decided to play to a certain time, and then get some rest ourselves.  All too soon the time came for us to quit.  And we all went our separate ways to get some sleep.  So we could let the real fun begin the next day.

The Young Prince and My Prince were watching a basketball game when I got to our room, and the Youngest Princess was sound asleep.  I quickly joined her.

Until I finish the next blog...

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 18 - May 22, 2016

5/18 - Wednesday - It's been a while, and as My Prince says, "I have slept since then", but I will write it as I remember it and try to be as accurate as possible.

The normal morning routine, and on to our last day of school (for elementary anyway).  I gave my students the last of their tests, and we went and watched the kindergarten do the dress rehearsal for their graduation play.  As always, I loved it!  Our kindergarten teacher is the BEST at coming up with her own kindergarten plays.  They are great!  If you live in the area, you definitely need to try to go and see one.  You will be impressed, I promise!  Then we went to snack.  I sat with my kids, because the teacher's table was full.  Fun times, my last snack with my class.  I will miss these kids.  I love them and I know that they all have great times ahead of them.  They really were a great bunch to teach.  After snack, we went back to the class and finished up with a math test.  Then they packed up everything, and it was time to go home.

I went back to my room and finished up grading, concluding grades, filling out certificates, and getting everything ready for the awards ceremony on Friday.

I finished up and came home.  I think we had chicken fingers for dinner, and then we went to church.

It was Senior night in our youth group, and they always invite the families of the Seniors to come and be a part, so we went over to the youth group for their service.  It was fun.  We celebrated the Oldest Princess and her friend C.  They were given study Bibles, and discipleship making materials, and an alumni flag and t-shirt.  They signed their alumni flag that will hang in the youth room.  They were charged/commended by their youth pastor, pastor, and Sunday School teacher.  They both got to speak to/charge those who will come after them.  There was cake and ice cream.  And lots of pictures. It was a good time.  I am proud the Oldest Princess and her friend C.  They are both super girls who love the Lord.  I know God has exciting plans for their futures.

5/19 - Thursday - The regular morning routine, then we spent the morning working at the house trying to get ready for Friday and Saturday.  Some friends dropped by to give the Oldest Princess her graduation gifts.  We were talking to them, when our first round of company came in.  We had a few minutes to visit before we had to head off to get the Youngest Princess to her tumbling class.

We all went, and enjoyed hanging out together while the Youngest Princess tumbled.  We also worked on a list of things we needed to get from the store.  After tumbling, we went to one of our favorite restaurants and ate "white gravy", as our family loves to call it.

After dinner, Niece #1 said she had an idea.  That we could all take a portion of the list, and go separate ways (divide and conquer), and whoever got back to the front first would win prize money. We all were in agreement, so we divided up the list and were off.  Thirty minutes and three buggies full later, we were at the register checking out.  My Prince and I were the first ones to the front with our completed list, but the Oldest Princess and the Young Prince were right behind us.  My Prince and I won the prize money.  But then Unka came up with another competition (we might be a little bit of a competitive bunch).  He wanted us all to text him with what we thought the total cost would be, and whoever came closest would get a prize.  Believe it or not, the Youngest Princess won that competition (actually Aunt T did, but she forfeited and gave the prize to the Youngest Princess).  We took everything to the church and unloaded and then we came back to the house to visit for a little while before they went back to their hotel.

5/20 - Friday - Morning routine, then off to school for the Awards Ceremony.  I had several last minute things I needed to get done.  I had remembered early that morning that I had forgotten to fill out my Honor Roll certificates, and my Perfect Attendance certificates.  So I wanted to get there early and get that done.  One of my students brought me a sweet card and a cute water bottle with three lemons (for my lemon water) - so thoughtful, and sweet!  I was able to get everything done and in order, and went to sit down in the auditorium (just a few minutes before it was time to start) and realized that I had forgotten to get my two top student medals.  AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!  I found the secretary with seconds to spare, and she was able to get them to me right on time.  So, once again, all was well.  The awards ceremony went very well.  The band played and several of our choirs sang, and then we did the awards.

After the awards, we were in full "get the Oldest's Princess's graduation table decorated" mode.  But that meant that I had to go in that room.  The room with the 13 tables.  I got teary several times, but we got the table decorated.  I would not have been able to do it without Aunt T,  Niece #1, and my sweet friend Special K.  Also props go out to My Prince, the Young Prince, Z-Bone, and Unka for running errands and cutting boxes and other various things.

We got the table mostly decorated, and then we went to lunch.  After lunch, we sent the Youngest Princess and the men home, and we went back to the store to pick up a few last minute things we needed, and to have some pictures printed out.

Then we went to the church, where it was all hands on deck for food prep for the party.  We were washing/chopping machines.  Again, there is no way I could have done it without all of my sweet family and friends helping.  We finished up what we could do for the day,  and went home to get ready for the graduation.

We got ready and headed to the school a little early so we could add some of the pictures that we printed to the Oldest Princess's table.  Then it was upstairs for the actual graduation.  It was a very nice ceremony. And the Oldest Princess is now a high school graduate.  

After the ceremony, we went to the fellowship hall for the reception.  It was a fun time.  After it was over, we helped clean up and then we came home.  We visited for a little while.  The Oldest Princess opened her presents.  We watched a few clips of the kids' play, and then everyone went their separate ways to get some rest.

5/21 - Saturday- We slept in a little, and then got up and got ready.  We had a lot to get done in a little amount of time.  Special K and Z-Bone met us here at the house and then we went to the church and met up with everyone else.  We put trays together, and decorated tables.  Poppy and My Prince went and picked up lunch.  We ate and got back to work.  Aunt T did a great job on the table.  Again, it was a group effort.  Everyone working together to get it all done.  Many hands make light work, as the saying goes.  Or as Aunt T likes to say, "Team work makes the dream work!"

We finished up and headed back to the house to get ready for the party.  When we were all ready, we went back to the church and started putting everything out on the tables.  Poppy went to pick up the chicken nugget trays.  Grammy went grocery shopping for Sunday's lunch.  Then everyone started showing up.

We had a wonderful time visiting with our friends and celebrating the Oldest Princess.  I hope the Oldest Princess had a wonderful time as well.  All too soon it was over and time to clean up.  And again, with all hands on deck, we got it done.

We headed back to the house.  Unka, Aunt T and Niece #1 went on back to their hotel.  Special K and Z-Bone came in and played some Dutch Blitz with us.  It got pretty crazy.  Cards were flying, earrings were flying, insults were flying (I may, or may not have been, called a cow), Z-Bone did his bull pawing thing, the Young Prince did a little of his commonhating,  much laughter was shared, and in the end, we all remained friends.  They left to go back to their hotel, and we went to bed.

5/22 - Sunday - Regular Sunday morning routine.  Special K and Z-Bone came over and we left for Sunday school and church.  Sunday school was packed and that was exciting.

Unka, Aunt T and Niece #1 met us for the church service.  My Prince preached on marriage.  It was very good.  We also had several visitors - including Sal and Water Buffalo.  Those two guys are crazy.  They reminded us that Vacation Bible School is right around the corner, and that if we haven't signed up (either to come or to work) that we needed to get that done.  It was a good Sunday Morning.

After church we all came home and had roast, hash brown casserole, green beans, and rolls.  It was delicious.  Then we visited and enjoyed just being able to sit and talk for a few minutes.  My Prince left to go to the Baccalaureate Service at our church. Way before we were ready, Special K and Z-Bone had to leave to get back home in time for their evening church service.  We prayed together, and then sent them off with a wave.  It's a family tradition.

Unka, Aunt T and Niece #1 stayed for about an hour longer before they had to leave to get to the airport.  The Oldest Princess and the Young Prince had to get to church for drama practice. My Prince got home from the Baccalaureate Service.  We prayed with/for Aunt T, Unka, and Niece #1, and then sent them off with the traditional wave. Grammy and Poppy went their way, as Poppy is filling in the pulpit at another local church while they are home for the summer.

The Youngest Princess and I left to get to church.  I had my small group meeting, and the Youngest Princess had youth choir practice.  I really enjoyed our small group meeting.  It was really just our first week in to our study.  And I am so excited about how God is already moving.  I can't wait to see what He does next!

The children's choirs performed in the evening service.  It is always a blessing to me to hear those little ones sing the praises of our Lord and King!  They did a great job, and I am very thankful to those who work with them each week to help them learn their songs.

After the song service, the Gray Ghost preached.  It was my first time to hear him preach.  He did a great job.  I was very proud of him.  I look forward to hearing him again in the future.

After church, we came home, and ate leftovers from the grad. party.  The Oldest Princess and the Young Prince went to a friend's bon fire party for a little while.  I called my sister back, and talked to her for a few minutes.  I talked to my brother long enough to know that their flight made it in.  The the kids came home, and we all went to bed.

And that was our whirlwind graduation weekend!  Still cleaning up glitter.

Until tonight...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

Wow!  Just typing that date makes my heart beat a little faster.  It is almost here!  The day that the Oldest Princess will graduate from high school.  I can hardly even believe that I am typing those words! graduate. from. high. school.  in the same sentence with the. Oldest. Princess.  It just does not seem right.  But, I am getting ahead of myself.  When right now, I guess I need to go backward to yesterday, because I did not get to post.  So, let me first catch you up to speed.

5/16 - Monday - It was anything but an ordinary day.  Other than my usual morning routine.  Wake up.  First 5 devotion. Get ready for school.

At school we hit the ground running, because we had a ton to cover and very little time to do it in. We had to get finished with our school work by the time snack rolled around, because we were going to go to snack and then we were off to the park for our end of the year picnic.  Fourth grade went also, so we were able to be with the Youngest Princess, too.

We managed to get it all done, and then ate snack, and then we were on our way.  My Prince came along to be my driver.  On the way, the Youngest Princess and her friends sang Jesus Loves Me. But they did not sing it the regular way.  Oh, no.  They had to sing it the Unka way.  I text him and told him what they were doing and also told him very sarcastically that he should be proud.

We made it to the park, and played a few rounds of Four Corners.  One of my students was fascinated by looking for bugs.  After Four Corners, we played a friendly little game of kickball.  Okay, soooo, it wasn't really a friendly game.  It was a very competitive game, full of very competitive people.  And so there might have been a little bickering back and forth.  And after a while, My Prince had had enough.  He was in the infield sternly telling some of the kids not to take it so seriously and not to get upset with one another, when I heard him yell out.  I turned to look at him and he was on the ground, and I could see one of his legs from just below his knee up.  I thought that he had broken his leg, and that the other part of his leg was behind him.  I went running to him, and realized that he had stepped in a hole.  A good sized hole at that.  It scared me to death!  My Prince turned out to be fine, his ankle was a little sore last night and today, but he is going to be okay.  I got a good scare.  And I am very thankful that My Prince is okay.

After the kickball game, we ate lunch.  While we were finishing up lunch, My Prince found a teeny tiny praying mantis.  It was so cute!  I caught it and showed it to my student that was all about bugs.  We found a water bottle to put it in and let her take it home.

After lunch, we walked around to a couple of the historical sites.  In the church, some of the kids sat where the choir would sit.  We told them that they needed to sing a special for us, so they sang Amazing Grace.  They were being a little bit silly, but it was still beautiful to me.  I managed to get the last little bit of it on video.

After that, we loaded up and headed back to the school.  We got back to the school about an hour early, and half of my class had gone home with their parents after the picnic, so we just hung out until it was time to go home.

I had mentioned to My Prince that I had wanted to see a movie called The Abolitionists.  It was about a man who used to work for the government, who now works as a private citizen who works with the government to help save children who have been trafficked as sex slaves.  He goes in to other countries and works to help free these children.  I know it is happening.  I have done the research.  I have a heart to help.  I am praying about how God would have me to be involved in the war against trafficking.  I have ideas, and dreams.  I help when I can in small ways, but I am also praying for open doors, and bigger opportunities.  So, after the Oldest Princess and the Young Prince got home, My Prince and I went to grab a bite to eat and see the movie.  We were able to do a little shopping in between dinner and the movie.  I was glad, because I needed to get a gift for my secret pal for our reveal party on Thursday.

Then we went to the movie.  It was very sobering.  It was nice to know that there are people who care for others enough to put their lives on the line to save them.  These men get no glory.  They do what they do, for the love of children who are ignored, and forgotten by the best of us, and used and abused by the worst of us.  It was heartbreaking to think about.  Precious children with so much potential.  With hopes and dreams of their own.  Broken and abused in the worst of ways.  What in the world have we come to?  It makes my heart cry, "Even so, come Lord Jesus!"

After the movie, we came home.  The Youngest Princess was already asleep, but we spent some time with the older two before we all called it a day.

This morning, I woke up and did my First 5 devotion.  Then I began to get ready for my day.  The Oldest Princess had a babysitting job, and she had to leave earlier than I did, so I told her goodbye, and continued to get ready.

School went fast today.  We were only in for half a day.  We are finishing up and mainly taking tests and quizzes.  All teaching is done.  When we finished our testing, it was time for the kids to go to band.  And when they finished with band, it was time to go home.

After the kids left, I caught up grading everything, and putting my grades online.  I was able to conclude several subjects and fill out my certificates for those subjects.  My Prince and the Youngest Princess brought me lunch.  I finished up all I could, and then I came home.

As I came through the fellowship hall, I noticed that someone had set up the tables for high school graduation.  Thirteen round tables lined the walls.  Thirteen round tables that represent thirteen lives. Thirteen lives that we have had under our care for several years.  Some longer than others.  Thirteen lives that will be moving on after Friday night.  They will scatter to the wind, and they will never be together, the same again.  Did we do all we could to strengthen, encourage, and teach them what they need to know?  Will they make their way okay?  It is scary to think of them venturing out from the safety of these walls and halls and hearts and minds that have sheltered and nurtured them.  I am excited for them.  I am sad for us.  They are a special group, and the holes they leave will be huge. They will be greatly missed. Seven of them were my babies for a year of their lives.  One of them IS my very own. I love them all. Many of them have been to my house to spend the night.  Some of them have gone on vacations with us.  Many of them have sat at our table and have ridden in our cars. I hope and pray that they are better for it, this time that they have spent with us.  That in some small way, we have left our mark on them, taught them lessons that they will remember forever. Encouraged them to live closer to the Lord Who loves them more than they can EVER imagine. And I hate that this time has come to a close so very, very fast.  For some crazy reason, that empty room with thirteen empty tables made me more emotional than anything else so far.  I snapped a quick picture, to tuck the moment in my heart and memory.  Then I headed home.

Home with lots and lots to do before Friday night.

I started a load of laundry, and folded about 4 loads.  We did some general straightening up.  I opened the box of decorations that Aunt T had sent.  I text back and forth with Aunt T and with My Prince. Trying to finalize ideas and get things in order for graduation and the graduation party.  There are times that between the end of the year school stuff, and the stuff to get done for end of the Senior year stuff, and trying to get the house in order, and get ready for her Senior table, and her Graduation Party, that I feel as though I am drowning.  I feel like no matter how hard I try I am five steps behind where I am supposed to be.  It is overwhelming.  But, I just have to breathe deep and remind myself that it will be okay.  It will be okay even if everything is not perfect. And it won't be.  Not with me in charge.  I told My Prince earlier that I needed a personal assistant for the next couple of weeks to help me get things done.  But it will be okay.  What is done, will be done with love.  Much love, and to me that trumps a Pinterest perfect party.

My Prince brought home pizza because he knew I was stressing.  We ate and chatted for a few minutes.  A friend called, and we talked for a while I got teary, she cried some.  It was beautiful.  No, seriously, I don't know what I would do without my sweet friend that I can laugh with and cry with. We are going through different situations, but we both love and listen and understand.  It means the world to me.  I hope it means the world to her, too.

After I got off the phone, I helped the Oldest Princess work on a project for her Senior table.  Then I finished up on my blog.  Now, I am ready to go and read to the Youngest Princess and get some rest. I will try to blog again tomorrow, but if not, just know that I am crazy busy, and doing what I can to enjoy time with my family in between, and I will be back as soon as possible.

Until tomorrow, or until all the graduation dust (in our case glitter) settles...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

May 15, 2016

I woke up this morning, and began getting ready for church.  It was a fairly smooth morning as far as Sunday mornings go around here.

We got to church, and while I was walking by the nursery, I spotted some friends of ours, who normally go to a different church, dropping their daughter off in the nursery.  I chatted with them for a while, and then they went to Sunday School with me.

Sunday School was good.  It was about Jesus being the 'living stone" in 1 Peter.

During the main service, we recognized our high school and college Seniors.  The Oldest Princess and one of her sweet friends, C, dressed in their graduation caps and gowns and went down front to be recognized.  Our youth pastor told a little about each girl, and then gave a short speech, and almost made me cry.  Then they presented them with a devotional, and had all of the family members of each girl come forward to join the girls for a prayer.  It was very sweet.  Then I looked out in the congregation, and one of my sweet friends was crying!  I told her after the service that there was to be no more of that!  She, as my friend was supposed to be strong, and help me not to cry.  She was not supposed to cry and make me cry!  And about that time another sweet friend who was in the choir, and behind me, came up and said that she was crying too!  I told them they can not do that anymore.  They have to be strong and help me to be strong.

My Prince preached a great second message in his Family Matters series.  Parents, we are responsible for the spiritual training of our children.  Yes, the church helps, but we are the primary source.  If God is not moving in our hearts, and not a priority in our lives, then how can we expect Him to move or be a priority in our children's hearts and lives?  It was very good, and he almost made me cry at the end.  But I held it together.

The Youngest Princess went home with a friend for the afternoon.

We went to the fellowship hall to have lunch and a VBS meeting.  It was a fun time of fellowship, organization, and fun (there were door prizes).

After the meeting, we came home.  The kids pretty much had time to change clothes and head back to the church.  I had time to sit down and organize my thoughts for the small group study that started tonight.  Our friends who were there this morning, text to see what kind of classes we had available.  I invited her to join our group that was just starting, and told her we could there was a group her husband could join.  She told me she would see me there.

We got ready and went back to church.  We had the first meeting of our small group, and I really enjoyed it.  It was kind of a preview, as we will do our first lesson this week.  I have been looking forward to doing this study, and so I am very excited about it.

Then, during the service, the teen praise and worship team led worship.  I know two of them are mine, but I think they all did a great job.  It takes a lot for those kids to get up there in front of everyone and lead worship.  I am so thankful for their willing hearts, and their courage to use their talents for the Lord.

My Father-in-Law preached.  He preached from John 1, on John the Baptist, and how his identity was in Christ and his purpose was to make Christ known.  Just as our identity should be in Christ, and our purpose should be to make Him known.

After church, we went out to eat with Poppy.  I enjoyed the family time as always, and the food was not too bad either.

We ran by the store to pick up a few things, including one very expensive bottle of fingernail polish.  The Oldest Princess must learn to use the little scanner things when something does not have a clearly marked price.  And then we came home.

We did our nightly routine, and now the Youngest Princess is waiting impatiently on me to read to her, so I will go and do just that.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, May 14, 2016

May 14, 2016

I woke up early this morning as My Prince was leaving to have breakfast and meet with some men from our church.  I could not go back to sleep, so I got up and  did a little work on my Bible studies while the house was quiet.  I also worked in the kitchen a little and started a load of laundry.

My Prince came home.  The Young Prince got up and went to the school to help take down the set from the play.

I worked on folding and putting away about 4 loads of laundry that had been waiting on me to be free long enough to get them done.  The Youngest Princess woke up and was a big help to me in getting the laundry folded.

The Oldest Princess got up and helped a little as well.

I went through my closet and put away all of my fall/winter clothes.  Then did the same with the Youngest Princess's closet.

I bagged up some of the clothes we have been putting in our designated "give away" spot.  And My Prince and the Youngest Princess went to take them to a friend of ours who sells secondhand clothing and toys and such and then uses the money to buy Christmas presents for children who would otherwise not receive much for Christmas.

We also bagged up two bags full of clothes to pass on to a friend of ours who has a daughter that is younger than the Youngest Princess and can wear some of our gently used clothes.

When they got home, the Youngest Princess was all excited.  She said that our friend had offered her a job.  She told her that she could come and help her, and play with her granddaughter who is the Youngest Princess's age, when they were not busy.  The Youngest Princess was very excited that she has a "summer job" like her big brother and sister.

I was able to get something done for the church that I have been thinking about for the last few days, since a friend gave me the idea.  I am excited about getting it started, and I hope it will be a blessing to our church members.

I ate lunch, and then we got ready to go and visit Poppy.  Another friend of ours who has a little apartment next to their house, has graciously offered to allow Grammy and Poppy to stay there, while Grammy and Poppy are in the states.  They live out in the country, and it is very quiet and peaceful. Today is Poppy's birthday, and he wanted us to come out there and grill out and visit with him.  They also have a pool, and our friend told us that anytime we wanted to come and visit with Grammy and Poppy, we were welcomed to, and that we were to feel free to use the pool as well.  So the kids, mainly the Youngest Princess, did a little swimming, while we visited and grilled.  We ate hamburgers and mini cupcakes to celebrate Poppy.  It was a nice, relaxing evening.  That is until the little bugs started biting.  They especially liked the Young Prince.  

We decided it was time for us to head home, so My Prince could do his studying and final preparations for tomorrow.

The kids are getting ready for bed and relaxing, and I am ready to do the same myself.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016

I'll make this short and sweet and spare you most of the details, because it is late and I am exhausted.
5/12 - Thursday
            - First 5
            - School (teacher appreciation continues, I received a beautiful bag, with matching make-up
               bag, and a cup with my initial on it- awesome and just in time for an upcoming trip!)
            - Home from school - brought an extra munchkin with us
            - Tumbling -took an extra munchkin with us
            - Fast food dinner - extra munchkin still hanging out with us
            - Back to school for high school play - extra munchkin with us, until we met up with her mom
            - Home to bed

5/13 - Friday
            - First 5
            - School
            - Home
            - Modge-podge for dinner
            - Back to school for high school play - Met Poppy there (tonight was my favorite    
            - My prince left to go to the hospital to be with some of our church members whose newborn
               baby is having problems and has been put on a ventilator (all prayers greatly appreciated)
            - Photo shoot/autograph session with the cast members
            - McDonald's because the kids were starving
            - Home to eat, blog, wait on My Prince to get home, and get some rest
            - My prince came home and said the baby is doing well.  Babies do better on ventilators than
               most folks do.  So that was good news.  Please continue to pray for this family and
               their sweet baby!
            - Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May 11, 2016

I took half of a Benadryl last night, so it was harder than normal for me to get up this morning.  But I did get up, and do my First 5 devotion. Then I got ready for my day.

Today at school was a little different than normal.  I got there and hit the ground running.  I had quite a bit to accomplish and a very little time to get it done.  First we had the Bible test.  We were able to get it and the verse test done before we went to chapel.

In chapel, they announced the winners of the Daughters of the Republic essay contest that the 6th graders entered.  And each participant received a certificate.

After chapel, we went back to class and the kids took their math test.  By the time they all finished their math test, it was time for us to go to snack.

After snack, we got back to the room, and the kids took their reading vocabulary quiz.  Then we had time to do a couple Mad Libs before they left for their Music field trip.  The Music and Band teacher took them to a local nursing home, where they played their band instruments and sang for the residents.

I used that time to organize an upcoming field trip, take down some maps that one of the high school teachers told me I could use, and paint a star for the student who earned the "$75" for her star today.

As soon as the students returned, we went to lunch.  We ate quickly, and then went to the gym to watch a dress rehearsal of the High School play.  It was very hot in the gym.  The play was cute.  I look forward to seeing it tomorrow night and Friday night, after they have worked out all the bugs, and when the lighting and costumes are in full swing.  After the play, I had a bad headache, and we still had an hour of school left.

We went back to the class and did Spelling, and Penmanship.  I was also able to get one of my students caught up on math and some penmanship.

Then it was time to come home.  When we got home, the Youngest Princess went upstairs to watch a movie, and I put away some dishes and washed strawberries to dip in chocolate when My Prince and Poppy got home.  Then I took some medicine for my head and laid down on the couch and took a quick cat nap before everyone else got home.

When My Prince and Poppy got home, I went to work on the strawberries, and My Prince started frying bacon, and sausage and put some biscuits in the oven.  The Oldest Princess got home and she fried a couple of eggs for Poppy.  Then we scrambled some eggs and sat down to eat.  The Oldest Princess and the Young Prince had to go to church for Praise Team practice.  My Prince and Poppy followed them shortly thereafter, and the Youngest Princess followed them all a few minutes later.

Tonight we wrapped up our Leviticus study.  And tomorrow we will start on Acts.  I am still going to meet with this group, and I will be doing what I can of this study, but I will be mainly focusing on a Sunday night group that starts this Sunday night.  We are going to go through the book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss entitled Lies Women Believe.  I read the book a few months ago, and it was really good.  I learned a lot, and I look forward to sharing, and learning and growing with this group of ladies.

After church, the kids and I came home.  My Prince had a deacon's meeting.  I took some more medicine, because I am still not feeling well, and the Youngest Princess and I are headed to bed to get some rest.  It was a good day.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 10, 2016

This morning about 3:40, I realized that someone was going down the stairs.  It turned out to be the Young Prince.  He could not sleep, because he could not breathe.  Anytime my men cut the grass or work in the yard, they have terrible allergies, and his allergies/sinuses had him stopped completely up.  Poor thing.  My Prince went downstairs and got him some medicine.  I prayed for the medicine to act quickly, so the Young Prince could breathe comfortably, and get some sleep.

Before I knew it, it was time to get up.  I read my First 5 devotion.  It was about how Peter had a breakthrough and realized that the Gospel was for both the Jew and the Gentile.  We need to be careful that we do not have prejudices in our own lives that limit the work of the Holy Spirit.

School went well.  One of my sweet students brought me a beautiful rose.  We had plenty of time to get everything done today, as we are winding down the year, and have completely finished with two of our subjects.  I worked hard to get some grades done, and pulled certificates for the awards ceremony at the end of the year.  So I feel like I was able to get several things accomplished today, to help make the end of the year go smoothly.  I will have more to do this year with the Oldest Princess graduating, so I am trying to get as much done ahead of time as possible.  And I still feel like I am drowning in my "things to get done" list.  And I still feel like I'm ten steps behind where I need to be. It is a little overwhelming at times.  But we will get through.  Everything may not be perfect, but it will be done with love and that is what matters.

I was able to get one thing that I have been working on for several weeks finished today.  And that is one less thing to think about.  But now, I have to wait to present it, and I am not sure that I can do that.

After school, the Youngest Princess and I came home.  The two oldest kiddos had to stay at school for a while for play practice.  The Youngest Princess played school while I worked on my blog for a few minutes. My sister-in-law called and we talked about the Graduation party and made some plans.  Then My Prince got home, and he brought strawberries.  Yay!  I washed a handful and quickly dipped some in chocolate and ate them before we left to go and meet the kids at the school.

We picked up the oldest two from school and headed out to the airport to pick up Poppy.  I made a side trip to the restroom, and then joined the kids.  The Young Prince caught me up on what I had missed.  The University of something or other's track and field team had just passed by, or some of them anyway, and there was a reunion going on on the other side of a big sign, and someone was crying.  I told him I was thankful to him for catching me up on what I had missed.  I love that kid!

We were standing there waiting on Poppy to come down the escalator, when a lady came down and said, "Oh, I wish you were my people!  You all are so cute!"  Her sweet comment made my day!  I want to remember how much a sweet comment can mean to someone, and I want to remember to spread the love!

Poppy arrived and  was greeted by hugs all around.  We went down and waited on his luggage.  The Youngest Princess surprised us all by getting one of the bags even though Poppy thought it was too heavy for her.  She insisted on pulling it all the way to the car.

We stopped for a wonderful dinner, that Poppy bought us.  Thank You, Poppy!  And then we did a little shopping, while Poppy added minutes to his phone.  A friend text us and asked if we could do a few more decorations for VBS.  She also asked me if I would do a special VBS blog.  How fun!  I told her I would.  So now, I need to figure out the best way to get that done.  I am excited about it!

We all headed home.  Poppy got his luggage and his truck and headed to his new home away from home.  Some friends of ours have graciously offered their pool house for Grammy and Poppy to stay in while they are home this time.  Have I mentioned that we are blessed?  

I brought the Youngest Princess in the house to get her ready for bed.  My Prince drove the oldest two back to the school to get their cars, because we had forgotten that we picked them up from play practice and that their cars were still at the school.

Now we are all home and everyone is ready for some rest.  So, rest we will.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016

5/8 - Sunday - Mother's Day.  It always makes me emotional. This year was better than most. But I still miss my Momma like crazy.  I still wish I could call her, or be with her and give her a great big hug, and then just sit on the porch and enjoy a nice long talk.  I wish she could see the kids.  I wish she could be here with me to walk with me through the Oldest Princess's last few weeks of high school.  I wish she could help me plan the graduation party. I really miss her!  Okay. It makes me emotional just thinking about it, so I will move on.

Last Friday the Oldest Princess got a card in the mail.  It was from a relative.  We were super busy Friday, so it was Saturday morning before she opened it.  The gift was sacrificial.  And totally unexpected.  It made me cry.  And maybe my being emotional Saturday morning, helped me not to be so emotional on Sunday.

Sunday morning went as well as good Sunday mornings at our house go.  We got ready and my awesome kids were great sports and took pictures with me outside before we left.

When we got to church, we had our picture made again.  One of our sweet church members decorated a corner of the fellowship hall, and took pictures of everyone who wanted to have their pictures made with their mothers.  I am very thankful to her for doing that.  She did it several years ago, and we still have the great pictures as memories.

Sunday school was good.  A great reminder to not just follow what someone says because they are a well known, well loved, accepted pastor or preacher, but to prove them and what they say with the Bible and what it says.  If what they say does not line up with the Bible, then do not listen to them. And if I do not study my Bible and know what it says for myself, then I am liable to believe things that are not the truth.  And so are you.  So let's read our Bibles and know what is and isn't the truth.

In the church service, My Prince started a new sermon series entitled Family Matters.  He preached from Deuteronomy 6:4-6.  Sunday's sermon was about how we must have a right relationship with God, before any of our other relationships will fall into place.  If we have a right relationship with God, we can have a right relationship with others.  If we do not have a right relationship with God, we can not have a right relationship with others.  It was a strong, convicting sermon.  My Prince did a good job!

After church, we came home and changed into more comfortable clothes, and then we went out to eat lunch.  It was delicious.

After lunch, the kids wanted to do a little shopping.  The Oldest Princess found a couple of skirts for college.  The Young Prince found a few shirts, and I found a couple of things I had been looking for for an upcoming trip.

Then we went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things we needed, and drove through and got ice cream for dessert for on the way home.  My weakness is a chocolate covered strawberry blizzard.

We came home, and My Prince set us up on PureFlix, so I could see a movie that I had been wanting to watch.  While he was getting that all together, I did some of my Leviticus Bible study.

The movie turned out to be sad.  I might have shed a few tears.

After the movie, I read to the Youngest Princess, and then we went to sleep.

5/9 - Monday.  This morning, I woke up and read my First 5 devotion.  Then we got ready and headed to school.  Today was the first day of our last full week of school.  I cannot believe it is time for the school year to end.  The time has flown by!

We had a good day, and accomplished much.  My friend was back at work today.  It was nice to have her back!

After school, I came home and worked on my Leviticus Bible study.  My Prince grilled pork chops and I did the sides for dinner.  The oldest two kids got home from play practice and we enjoyed dinner together.

After dinner the guys went out to mow some of the yard.  The Youngest Princess went outside to play on the trampoline. The Oldest Princess watched some television.  I did a little laundry, and cleaned up after dinner.

Now I am ready to go and read to the Youngest Princess, and call it a day.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, May 7, 2016

May 7, 2016

5/3 - Tuesday - It was the funeral of my sweet friend.  My Prince did a good job.  But some subjects are very easy to work with, and my friend lived a life that made it easy for the preacher to preach her funeral.  After the funeral, I did not go to work, as I would have been there for less than two hours.  The Oldest Princess was still not feeling well, so I came home and spent some time with her.  I do not  really remember what we did that evening.  I am old, and I have slept since then.

5/4 - Wednesday - Wednesday morning was pretty regular.  The Oldest Princess was feeling better again, so she went back to school.  It was teacher appreciation week, so I received several really sweet gifts from my students and their parents. More than normal, because some of them were meant for Tuesday.  I got bright, happy cleaning rags, chocolates, cokes, journals, notepads, pens, sunflower seeds, dry erase markers,  a cute little pail with a  flower and a hummingbird on it, and a beautiful new Bible to use in my classroom (because my classroom Bible was falling apart).  The Bible really made my day, because one of my students noticed that I needed a new one, and took it upon herself to  get me a new one, without even mentioning it.  It was a total surprise.  And very thoughtful on my student's part.  It makes my heart smile every time I use it (and that is a lot).  She also included a very sweet card that brought me to tears.  I know I say it often, but I say it because it is so true, I am blessed beyond measure!  I get to teach children about the Lord, as well as other things throughout the day.  Bible, Math, Language, Science, History and life lessons sprinkled all the way through our day.  And I have supportive parents and awesome co-workers.  We are like a little family, and I absolutely love it!

After school, we came home for a few minutes, before it was time to go to church.  I went early to help pack purses.  We had our ladies bring some of their gently used old purses and we filled them with items that any woman might need or love - travel sized shampoos, conditioners, hand creams, manicure sets, deodorants, costume jewelry, combs, brushes, chapstick, makeup, candy, gum, a Bible, a Bible verse, etc.  We had a contact pick them up and take them to a battered women's shelter.  That way, when a woman comes in with absolutely nothing, they have something that was packed with love and prayers to give her, to help her in a very difficult time of her life.  I never got a total, but we packed around 50 purses.

After that, I joined the other two members of my small group for our study on Leviticus.  Two of us were missing (and they were very missed).  We had a good time and pretty much decided that we know very little about the feasts, and what they all meant.  It is an interesting study. This will be our last week in Leviticus, and I have learned a lot.

As I was leaving church, our friend text me and told me that the Oldest Princess's pictures were done.  So the Young Prince and I ran by their house and picked them up.  We were able to stay and talk with them for a few minutes.  I really enjoy being able to talk to/fellowship with our friends and church members outside of church, because at church, it seems like there is so very little time to get to anything below just the regular surface stuff.  I treasure times we are able to talk and really get to know one another.

We came home and looked at the pictures.  We loved them all!  Our sweet friend did a great job.

5/5 - Thursday - It was the National Day of Prayer.  The Youngest Princess went with My Prince to our town's National Day of Prayer.  She "led" the pledges and the singing of My Country Tis of Thee for her daddy.  And no doubt added a certain amount of cuteness to the event - she's mine.  I'm a little bit biased.

When she got to school, and changed into her school dress code, she realized that she had forgotten her shoes and socks.  So she went barefoot for most of the day (until My Prince came at lunch and brought her her shoes).  Yep.  My kid went to school without shoes.  And she survived.  And life went on.  Some days it is all we can do to hold on and just survive.  And I am sure we are not alone.

Oh, I got a jar filled with Hershey's Hugs from my class, and a card with some cash in it signed by each of my students.  Did I mention that I am blessed?  And that they are thoughtful?

After school, one of the Youngest Princess's friends came home with us for the hour before tumbling. They looked at the hedgehog, and played and before we knew it, it was time to head to tumbling.  My Prince and the Oldest Princess joined us.  We ran by the friend's house so she could change for tumbling, and then on to tumbling.  The Youngest Princess almost has her back handspring.  It won't be long!

After tumbling, we took the friend home, and then ran to grab something to eat.  After a quick dinner, we came home, and refreshed and allowed the Youngest Princess to change clothes, and then went to the church for a special National Day of Prayer prayer meeting.  It was a sweet time of gathering with  some of our church members, and members of another church to pray for our nation, our community, and our churches.  Again, precious moments, that are too fleeting, with people we love.

We then came home, and did homework, and called it a day.

5/6 - Friday -  My class again outdid themselves and brought me such sweet thoughtful gifts.  There was a bouquet of roses, a flower to plant at home, a solar powered flower (I can't wait to see what it looks like at night), and some homemade bath salts.  There was a scrapbook, with pictures from our year, and a letter from each of my students - a gift I will treasure for years to come.  And there was a new charm for my Pandora bracelet.  Now my heart charm doesn't have to be all alone!  And, even more exciting, it is in the shape of a hedgehog!  Who knew that Pandora actually makes a hedgehog charm?!?  It is adorable!  She has a little bow in her hair, and her little nose is all pointy.  She is holding a purse, and has on a polkadot dress.  She is adorable!  They could not have picked a better charm for me to remember them by.  It is awesome!  And yes, I smile when I see it, or think about it.

After school, we ran home for the Youngest Princess to change clothes, and to meet up with the Oldest Princess.  The Youngest Princess had a birthday party to attend.  Siblings were invited, and it just so happens that the friend having the birthday party has an older sister that is the same age as the Oldest Princess.  So, it is really unique, that we have girls that are so far apart in age, and the same ages, and that both sets of girls have been life long friends.  So the Oldest Princess went with us to the party.  First we met at a local park and had pizza, and Oreo cheesecake (yummy!), and opened presents.  Then we went to the skating rink so the girls could skate.  I didn't skate, but I had fun watching everyone else.  We left a few minutes early, because the Young Prince and My Prince wanted to got to a movie.  The Oldest Princess wanted to go to.  She asked her friend (who's sister was having the party) to go with her.

So we got home and met up with the boys and headed to the movies.  The Young Princess and I decided to join them and watch a different movie that was more our speed - The Jungle Book.  I enjoyed watching the movie with the Youngest Princess.  I don't know that we have ever gone to a movie just the two of us.  Our movie finished first, so we had to wait a few minutes before My Prince and the kids were done with theirs.  We did a little people watching, and saw a few friends, while we waited on them.  When their movie was over, we headed home.  It had been a long day, and we were exhausted.

5/7 - Saturday - I woke up and got some things done around the house.  I made some chicken dip for the Oldest Princess who needed it for a girls thing she was going to.  She attempted to make chocolate bowls (with balloons) for their ice cream, but it just wasn't meant to be today.  When the balloons popped, they stuck to the chocolate (I think we forgot that the last time we wrapped the balloons in saran wrap before we dipped them in the chocolate), and then we could not peel the chocolate off of the balloons without it breaking into pieces.  It was a definite Pinterest fail.  But, we live and learn, and next time we will remember the saran wrap!

I worked on a couple of my Bible studies, and tried to do a little catching up on my blog.  My Prince took the Youngest Princess to a birthday party. Since I took her to the birthday party yesterday, he offered to take her to the one today.  He's a good man!

While they were gone, I had about an hour to myself.  I cranked up my iTunes, and finished my Bible study and got some thank you cards written.

The Oldest Princess and the Young Prince came home about the same time.  We watched a show together.

My Prince and the Youngest Princess came home.  They all wanted to give me their Mother's Day presents.  Some of them have been asking for a week if they can give them to me.  I've been telling them to wait, but I told them it was okay to give them to me this evening, because Sunday mornings at our house are so hectic.  So they gave me their gifts.  The Youngest Princess painted a heart for me, and bought me a beautiful candle holder.  She also wrote me the sweetest note!  The Young Prince, on his own told his daddy a couple of weeks ago that he wanted to get me a charm for my bracelet.  He chose the Tinkerbell signature green spacer - two of my favorites wrapped up in one.  Green and Tinkerbell! And to make it even more special, there is a story behind it.  But I'm not telling.  Choosing instead to keep it close to my heart.  The Oldest Princess chose the Micky Mouse dangle charm, maybe because we are going to see old Micky before too long, and My Prince choose the two interlocking hearts charm.  It is beautiful!  Have I mentioned lately that I am blessed?  Beyond measure?

My Prince grilled chicken, and we had chicken and baked potatoes for dinner.  Since it's Mother's Day weekend, I got to choose what we watched tonight, and I chose a Hallmark movie.  Payback for having to watch sports on Father's day weekend.  The girls loved it.  My men, not so much.

My Prince and the Youngest Princess both complained with bad headaches.  I gave the Youngest Princess some medicine, and hers seemed to get better.  My Prince had to go to bed for a while to help get rid of his, and rest up before he got back up to put the finishing touches on his sermon for tomorrow.

Now the kids are watching television, and I am finishing up here.  I think I will wash up the few dishes that are still in the sink, and call it a night.

Until tomorrow...(or the next time I have time to sit down and catch you up)...

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016

Hello!  It has been a while.  How quickly one day turns into two days, and two days turn into four days!  We have been busy, and when it comes evening, I have not been in the mood to blog, so I have skipped a few days.  Not that there are not blog worthy things happening.  There have been many, but I've just been too tired to get on here and get it  done.  So, I will hit a few highlights that have happened over the past few days and try to keep it short and sweet.

Wednesday 4/27 -  A normal day as far as I can remember.  And my memory is not that great anymore!  Work/school for all of us.  After school, a few minutes to get some things done around the house and then church.  My small group study was good.  I love my ladies, and I love growing and learning and just doing life together through good times and bad.

Thursday 4/28 - My AWESOME niece's birthday.  It was a good day.  We had work/school as usual.  We also had our last staff lunch.  And as usual I forgot.  As usual I sent my monthly SOS text to My Prince to let him know I had forgotten, yet again.  WHY DO I HAVE A MENTAL BLOCK AGAINST REMEMBERING THESE THINGS!?!?  My Prince who is also My Hero from time to time ran to the store and got all the stuff and made. my. chicken. dip. for. me!  Then he delivered it piping hot to the school, right at our snack time.  What a man!!!  He is awesome!

Other than that, it was pretty much a normal day. Oh, we did finish the last of the Josiah books.  It was bittersweet.  Josiah has journeyed all the way through 5th grade with us, and we hated to be done.  I guess it also symbolizes another year about to be finished, and another group of students that have made it through and I have to say goodbye to them and send them on their way.  It makes me sad to think about sending them on.  Well, at least most days anyway.

After school, we went home and got ready to go to our school's Sports Banquet.  This year, all three of our children were involved in the sports program, so all three were recognized with their teams for the various sports they played.  It was a great night, full of friends, great food, pictures, memories and awards.  They framed the jerseys of the Seniors and gave them to the Seniors as parting gifts.  I had no prior knowledge of that, and it brought tears to my eyes.  The Oldest Princess also received a trophy for the most steals, and was named to the All-State Basketball Second Team.

Then it was time for the Patriot Award.  This award is given for outstanding Christian character and testimony in their athletics, school, church, and community.  They called up five students who received the most votes from their coaches, teachers, and peers.  Out of the five, two of them were the Oldest Princess, and the Young Prince.  My heart was thrilled to see my oldest two children standing up there.  What a blessing!  All five of the students standing there, were very worthy of the award.  I love them all, and I was very proud of each of them.  And for all the awards given that night, I must say, that the fact that my kids were nominated for this particular one definitely meant the most to me. "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." I John 1:4

On the way home from the banquet, we called my niece to wish her a Happy Birthday.  She told us that after lunch, she had gotten sick and had had to go home from work.  That made me bummed for her.  You are not supposed to be sick on your birthday!

Friday 4/29 - Again, a fairly normal day.  Work.  School.  Home.  We had tumbling, because it had been moved to Friday, from our usual Thursday, because of the sports banquet.  We hurried home from school so the Youngest Princess could pack her bags to take with her to tumbling, because she was going with a friend straight from tumbling to a surprise slumber party for one of her friends.  One of my friends, whose daughter was also going was awesome enough to let the Youngest Princess ride with her, because My Prince and I were invited to a FFA banquet, and could not get her to the party and be at the banquet on time.  The Oldest Princess was going with her D-group out to eat and to see The Jungle Book.  The Young Prince was going over to a friend's house to camp out.

We went to the banquet and enjoyed good food and fellowship.  We were also able to see several of our church kids presented with awards for their accomplishments over the past few years in the local FFA chapter.  It was a fun night.

After we got home, and the Oldest Princess made it safely home, we all went to bed.

Saturday 4/30 - It was a good day of getting things done around the house.  And I was able to get quite a bit of study time in as well.  I even made time to dip some more chocolate covered strawberries.  I am sure I ate too many, but they are just SO GOOD!

The Oldest Princess had scheduled time with a friend to take a few more Senior pictures.  Aunt T had taken a ton last summer, but she also wanted a few taken here at home, so we met our friend and took some here around town.  I enjoyed talking with our friend.  We see her almost weekly, but rarely have time to actually talk, so it was a special time for me.  She is a great photographer, and I am looking forward to seeing the finished pictures.

A huge praise!  Our car is fixed! I was able to pick it up after we finished with the pictures.  And a huge Thank You, to the friend who fixed it for us!  What a blessing!  It is wonderful to have it back again, and not to have to worry about getting from place to place in someone else's car.  Even though right now, with two teen drivers and Grammy's car and Poppy's truck, our driveway looks like a used car lot!

Sunday 5/1 - How. In. The. World. Is. It. Already. May. 1st?!?  I can not believe it is already the month that the Oldest Princess graduates!  I just can not believe that it is here!  She has already started receiving graduation presents.  We are gathering things up to use to decorate her table at graduation, and getting things in order for her party the night after.  We have been busy, and I still feel like there is so much to do.  But busy is good, because it keeps me from having too much time to think about it.

This morning, I was busy getting ready for church, and missed two calls. In a couple of minutes, I received a voicemail from a friend who lives close to one of our church members.  She was letting me know that there were ambulances and first responders at our church member's home.  Other than that, she did not know any details.  I told My Prince, and we both began immediately to pray for her. Our church member was a widow (her husband passed away about 10 months ago), and she lived alone.  Just a few minutes later, my friend called me back to tell me that she had passed away.  It was heartbreaking news.  She was a precious lady.  So very,very sweet.  She and her husband were big supporters of my Bible Drill kids.  They both loved Bible Drills and believed in what we were doing. They supported us in prayer, and they would always give the kids a card with a little money in it on the day of the big drill.  They also followed us, and went to see the kids drill when they were physically able.  She sat by me at a funeral a while back, and we were talking about how many people were there, and she made a remark in jest about how there probably would not be many people at her funeral.  I promised her that I would be there.  When her husband passed away, I was unable to attend his funeral.  She reminded My Prince that I said that I would be at hers.  So, now I have to keep my word.  Although, this is one time I hate that I sure do wish that there was no reason to keep my word.  She will be greatly missed by many, and I am one of those many.

In our morning worship service, we gave certificates to our Bible Drill students, and recognized them for their achievements, and hard work.

After church we went to eat at a local Mexican restaurant.  Not my favorite, but we were having a hard time on everyone deciding on one place, and so I gave in for the sake of peace.  After lunch we came home and I started working on my blog.  And the Youngest Princess practiced playing the piano.

Then we went to her piano recital.  She played a duet that she had played with one of her friends for our fine arts competition, and she played Fur Elise.  All of the students did a great job.  I love watching their talents progress over the years, and I love that they are learning something that they can use for the rest of their lives.

We came home after the recital.  The Youngest Princess was very tired and very whiny.  I had a headache all afternoon. I decided to keep her home and let her rest before school tomorrow.  We have been running like crazy folks.  So she and I stayed home.  I fixed dinner, and then we read and got some rest, and recharged our weary selves.

Monday 5/2 - Today was a good day.  I got up and did my First 5 as usual.  I got ready, and we went to school.  There was a bouquet of green (my favorite color) and white flowers, along with a sweet note, and two candy bars, for teacher appreciation from my class.  One of my students also brought me a cute little hedgehog candle.  It was so sweet, because for the last week he has been dying to give  it to me.  If he asked once, he asked 20 times, "Can tomorrow just be teacher appreciation day so I can give it to you?  I can't wait!"  Blessed.  I tell you all, I am blessed.

The Young Prince knocked on my door and told me that he had talked to one of the other teachers and asked her to do something for me that we had talked about the night before.  He said he would do it, and he stopped by to let me know that he had gotten it done.  He is really growing and maturing, and I am so very proud of the young man he is becoming.

I spent my break time at school getting ready for my sub tomorrow.  I am very glad that I was able to find a sub, because my friend is still out, and several people have been moved around to fill in her spot, and the spot of the lady who has taken her place. I was worried that I would have a hard time finding someone who could sub for me.  But thankfully, God worked it out easily.  And now, I will keep my word, and attend a funeral that I am sad that I have to attend.  I really loved this sweet lady.  She was a godly, precious example to many.  She was faithful through the years, and I told My Prince tonight that when I am old, I want to be sweet like she was.  She always had a pleasant smile on her face and a kind encouraging word to those around her.  I know she is in the presence of the Lord, and her loved ones, but she will be greatly missed here on earth.

After school, I came home and got a few things done around the house.  Then when My Prince got home, he, the Youngest Princess, the Young Prince and I all went to grab a bite to eat.  The Oldest Princess stayed home, because she was going to go to dinner later with our youth pastor's wife.  I enjoyed talking with the Young Prince over dinner.  He told us about some things he has been interested in, and is looking to the future, and that excites me for him. We went to eat, and then ran by the store, and came home.  We almost came home with a new dog, but my head won out over my heart, and I hope that his owners found him, or someone else found it in their hearts to take him in until his owners were found. We weren't home long before the Oldest Princess left for her dinner.

I spent some time doing my Leviticus study.  Then the Youngest Princess asked me to watch some television with her.  We watched a little television, and then the Oldest Princess came home.  She came in the door feeling very sick.  We did what we could to make her comfortable and help nurse her a little.  She was actually sick a few times, but now she is sitting up in bed pleading for me to let her tell me what she got me for Mother's Day, so she seems to be feeling a little better.

It is about time for me to read to the Youngest Princess, and get her to bed, because she was a bear this morning, and I do not want tomorrow morning to be a repeat performance.

So, until tomorrow...