Saturday, July 18 - So much has happened since then. I really don't remember anything about Saturday. I guess it was just a regular day at home. If something monumental happened, please forgive me. I honestly don't remember much other than that I am sure I did laundry and that we packed so that we could leave Sunday afternoon.
Sunday, July 17 - It was a good morning, as much as I can remember. We finished getting the last minute things packed, and loaded everything into the car.
Sunday school was good. Then when I went upstairs for the service, I was surprised to see one of our former students, and the young lady that he is dating. We always love seeing J, and I was very excited to meet E. We have heard a lot about her, and she was just as lovely as we knew she would be. I enjoyed talking to them for the few minutes before the service started. The service was good. The choir sang "Beulah Land". My Grandmother's name was Beulah, and she always asked Marc to sing it for her when we were there. He sang it at her funeral. So, while they were singing it, I had to think about anything and everything but what they were singing, so that I would not get emotional. It was beautiful, it is just a very emotional song for me. The rest of the service went well. We had a new family join. We have been friends with them for years, and now we are very excited to have them as a part of our church family.
After church, we decided where to go for lunch. We invited J and E to go with us, because we really hadn't got to talk to E that much. We all really liked E. She is very sweet. We ate and visited quickly so that we could get on the road.
Grammy was awesome to volunteer to drive us halfway to meet up with Special K and her mom who had come halfway from their home to pick us up. We had a great trip down, and headed back home with them. When we got there, we got to see B and Uncle D, and had a few minutes to freshen before it was time to go to church. Their teens had just come home from camp, and so they sang a few songs and then some of them gave testimonies of what God had done in their lives during the week. The first testimony was by War-bug. He is Special K and Uncle D's middle son. We have been praying for him for a while now. His testimony was that he had gotten saved that week during camp. It was on Wednesday. I know because Special K had texted me to let me know the news. I had rejoiced with her from far away, and now, I was getting to rejoice with her in person. What a blessing, and a huge answer to prayer! His testimony brought tears to my eyes, and to many other's eyes I am sure. The rest of the testimonies were touching as well. The other young man that got saved was the son of another couple that we are friends with. It was definitely a night of praise. Then the young man who is the youth pastor now, was a young man who was in our youth group at one time. He preached and did a great job. It was fun to see old friends. After church they had a fellowship for a family that was moving away.
We got back to the house and we played cards for a little while. Special K packed while we played. She searched the house over for an elusive blue and white striped shirt. Most of us were too tired to do much good playing cards, so we all decided it was time to go to bed.
Monday, July 18 - We got up and got ready to go. Special K found her shirt. It was in the washing machine. Somehow we got everything packed into the van, including all of the kids - except for War-bug who had to stay home to work - and we started our journey to the mountains. We had a pretty uneventful trip, which is always good in my book. I learned about Pokemon Go! from T-Bone. Then the Young Prince and Z-Bone downloaded the apps and joined the madness. I know way more than I ever wanted to about it (poke stops, and gyms not gems, and battles, and weetles?), and I still do not understand it all. We made it to our cabin, and unloaded everything.
Special K, the Oldest Princess and I then went to the grocery store to buy our food for the week. We were trying to hurry to get back to the boys and our little girls, so we made a few mistakes. I bought low sodium olives - yuck! They were like eating flavorless eyeballs. It was bad. And I was sad, because I was really hungry for olives.
Anyway, while we were checking out, the man running our register asked me if I had a rewards card. I told him that I did not, because we do not have those kinds of grocery stores where we live, although I wish we did. He asked me where we were from. I told him a geographical location in our state. He said, "Oh, as in the _______ and ________ area?" And named the town we live in, and the next little town over. What?!? Crazy!!! I told him, "Yes! Exactly!", and he said that his ex-wife was from that area. Too funny. It really is a small world! We loaded the groceries and headed back to the cabin. And Special K, the Oldest Princess and I still can't for the life of us figure out why they would sell us a box of Hostess cupcakes that were opened and had exactly three cupcakes missing.
We got back to the cabin and feasted on some gourmet frozen pizza and pizza rolls. The kids wanted to get into the hot tub, so they did that while Special K and I used our big muscles (not) to move the huge, solid, heavy coffee table out of the way in order to make T-Bone's bed. My back will never be the same! And about the time we set it down, it glided smoothly across the floor. On. its. wheels. Yes, my friends. It. had. wheels. Special K hit the floor laughing so hard. The kids thought that we had locked them out because we were both laughing like maniacs. It really was funny. And not funny. All at the same time.
The kids came in and we decided to play some Dutch Blitz. The owners of the cabin had just redecorated, so the really cool hexagonal table that we just knew from the pictures would be the perfect place to play Dutch Blitz was no longer there. In it's place was a beautiful rectangle table. We were disappointed. But we decided to make the best of it and play anyway. But the lighting was terrible. So we rearranged a little, and moved the table to the middle of the kitchen. We all did pretty well. But we were all pretty tired, so silliness got the best of us. We ended up playing chipmunk versions of songs, and doing sing-a-long videos to Disney songs, and laughing at one another. Z-Bone had a great Elsa voice! We also told him that we could just see him driving down the road in his 'stang singing "This Girl is on Fire" chipmunk style.
At one point earlier in the evening, the kids were trying to figure out the purpose of a knob on the wall in the girls room. Special K had them convinced for a minute that it worked a two way mirror that hung in the hallway.
Finally we all decided it was time to quit and get some rest.
Tuesday, July 19 - We got up and got ready and Special K called to make sure that the water level was high enough for us to go tubing. It was, so we packed snacks and lunches and loaded up in the car. On the way the Young Prince taught the girls about the "Cotton-tailed Rattle-moskin." He told them that they only eat little girls that can't keep their mouths shut. Reminds me of something my brother would do and say.
When we got there, we rented our tubes and a floating ice chest. Then we went to the car and put everything in the ice chest, and waited while Z-Bone got his fishing stuff ready. He was going to fly fish while we floated, and I would tell you what he was doing, but I have no idea what all that stuff is called, and if I tried, I would get it all wrong. Anyway, finally with mine, and Special K's help, he accomplished what he was trying to accomplish (putting a worm on the hook seems to be a whole lot easier), and we were ready to tube.
A quick speech on what we could and could not do, and a group photo, and we were in the water. The Youngest Princess immediately got separated from our group, and because she had never been tubing before, she really did not know what to expect. So she panicked. Another large group got in behind us, and they were probably in their late teen, early twenties. Their vocabulary consisted mainly of four letter words. My sweet baby got caught up in the middle of them all, and heard more filth in that 5 minute time span than she has probably heard in her 10 years of life. They finally realized that she was with us, and passed her up through them to where T-Bone could grab ahold of her. We all managed to link up, and Z-Bone got out of his float and held us in one place long enough for that group to pass us by and get on down the river before we started floating again. I tied the Youngest Princesses float to mine so that she would not get separated from me again.
We floated and relaxed while taking pictures and talking. The Young Prince and Z-Bone did some fishing. They caught several little ones, mostly small mouth bass. We found a spot on the side and got out and ate our lunch. Then we floated on. I saw a turtle on a log. Z-Bone tried to catch it, but it got away. Further down, I almost flipped over on a small rapid, because I was tied to the Youngest Princess and the Oldest Princess was holding on to me, and we weren't going over together. The Oldest Princess let go, and we all managed to get over it without flipping over, but for a minute there, I thought I was a goner. Another time Miss B and the Youngest Princess were out of their floats, and we came up on a small rapid. They got back in those floats as fast as they could. Special K and I got stuck once, and had to separate to get past a big rock. Z-Bone saw a snake on the bank. He stopped to watch it. He looked back to tell us it was there, and then when he turned back around, it was gone. I was completely on top of my float. None of me was in the water at all at that point. T-Bone had on flip flops and kept losing them. At one point, I was telling my children that I loved them. T-Bone was there, and I included him too, "T-Bone, I love you too!" He said it was good to hear that, because his mother never told him that she loved him. He said that of course for her benefit, but she was busy talking to the boys and missed the whole conversation. I told him that as long as I was there, he would know he was loved. It was our running joke from that time on for me to tell him that I loved him.
We got to the point where it was time for us to get out. The little vans were there to pick us up. We loaded in, and they slammed the back doors and almost scared Special K out of her skin. As we got on our way, Special K tapped the Young Prince on the shoulder to tell him something. But she thought that she was tapping Z-Bone on the shoulder. She is his momma, and she still mixes them up (they really do resemble a lot - especially from the back) (so don't feel bad about graduation K, even their mommas mix them up sometimes). Anyway, the Young Prince turned, and Special K said, "Oh, wrong Z-Bone!"
We went back to our cabin and got our showers, and made some sandwiches. Then we drove to Gatlinburg to look around. When we drove into the parking lot, Special K got out to pay, but a lady stopped her and gave us her ticket, because she was leaving and it was still good until 4:30 the next morning. We parked and decided to eat first. So we broke out our sandwiches and had a picnic in the car. Then we got out and walked around a little. The Oldest Princess bought a shirt. I bought the Youngest Princess a bracelet. But other than that, we just walked. There were people singing, or doing arts and crafts on the sidewalk as we walked by. One lady was making church-house dolls. We stopped and she taught Miss B and the Youngest Princess how to make one, and they got to keep the ones they made.
We went back to the cabin, moved the table back into the kitchen snacked and played some more Dutch Blitz. I think Z-Bone was on his 6th or 7th cup of dry cereal by this point. Special K had taken to calling him Cereal Boy. It was a good thing that we bought the family sized box of frosted flakes! We didn't play long before we all decided it was time to call it a day and get some rest.
And because this is getting long, I too, will call it a day, and stop for now.
Until I blog again...