Two Tiaras and a Sword

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 26-28, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until I blog again...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Glorified not Grieved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 24 -25, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until I blog again...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

October 22-23, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until I blog again...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

October 16 - October 22, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 21, 2016

October 9 - October 15, 2016

It has been a busy week.  And I am just now making the time to sit down and catch up.

Sunday, October 9 - It was a good day.  Sunday school and church were both good.  After church, we went to eat with Grammy and Poppy, before they had to leave.  We will not see them again until at least January, so it was a little sad.  We hate to see them go, but we know that God is going to use them in many ways.

My Sunday night class and my Bible Drills class all went well.  I was not feeling great, and as the evening wore on, I was really feeling bad.  I came home from church and pretty much went to bed, because I was feeling so bad.

Monday, October 10 to Wednesday, October 12 - I got up early Monday morning, feeling a little better than the night before, and I packed and got ready to go and see the Oldest Princess.  We got on the road about the time that we had wanted to, and were able to get there when she got out of class.  We ate lunch with her and then visited with her for a few minutes before she had to go to another class.  We stayed with her until Wednesday afternoon.  Doing a whole lot of just sitting and talking with her and waiting on her while she was in class.  We were able to meet several of her friends that we had heard so much about.  It was good to be able to meet them.  We spent Monday and Tuesday evening in the sports center, where the Oldest Princess worked on homework, and the Youngest Princess worked on conquering the climbing wall.  She finally made it to the top of the two places that she tried to climb on Tuesday evening.  I loved watching her climb and see her figure out how to get to the top.  She was determined to get it done, and I was very proud of her when she did.

Wednesday afternoon, we drove home and got here just in time for church.  Due to several not being able to be there, my group postponed until next week, so I stayed home and washed up clothes and got the Youngest Princess repacked so that she could leave with her friend M and M's grandparents the next morning to go to the Ark Adventure and Creation Museum.

Thursday, October 13 - I got up and got ready and got the Youngest Princess up and got her ready and all of her last minute things packed so that she would be ready when M and her grandparents came to pick her up.  After they picked her up, I did some Bible study and just relaxed between loads of laundry.  My Prince, the Young Prince and I ran and got some dinner.  Then we came home and watched a show that we had recorded.  Then we went to bed.

Friday, October 14 - My Prince went to work.  I did some things around the house.  We were supposed to go to a football game.  But the Young Prince was in no shape to play football.  He was fighting an upset stomach.  I kept hoping that he would get better as the day went on, but it was not to be.  Finally I texted My Prince and let him know that I was worried about the Young Prince.  He brought home some medicine for him, and then he called the coach to let him know that the Young Prince was sick.  I hated it for the team.  It made me sad.  I was excited to see him play again.  But it was not to be.  My Prince went and got a movie, and we watched it at home instead.  The Oldest Princess came home from college.  She stopped and met two of her friends for dinner, and then came here.  We laughed and talked and enjoyed having her home again.  Finally, My Prince and I had to go to bed.  But the Young Prince and the Oldest Princess stayed up a little longer.  The last thing I remember was listening to them laugh and cut up with each other as I fell asleep.

Saturday, October 16 - It was a nice relaxing day here around the house.  We enjoyed our time with the Oldest Princess and the Young Prince.  We got some things done - laundry and dishes and such.  Then the oldest two got ready and left for a youth group outing.  When they left, My Prince's football game came on, so we watched it.  About halftime, the Youngest Princess made it home from her trip with her friend.  I was glad that she was home.  I have missed her!  We ate dinner, and now we are chilling out waiting on the oldest two to get home from their outing.  

It has been a nice relaxing Fall Break for us.  Aside from the Youngest Princess going to the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum, there was not much excitement.  But it was good.  It was good family time and good time off to catch up on some rest and some things we needed to do around the house.  Tomorrow is back to the routine of normal.  And I am looking forward to it. 

Until I blog again... 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

October 8, 2016

I woke up and did my First 5 devotion, and got ready for work.  We took all of the Youngest Princess's luggage out to the car, and headed off to school.  

My girls were giddy and excited.  Understandable, as it was the last day of school before we were out for Fall Break.  Many of them have exciting plans for the next week.  But I had to help them calm down, and remember that they weren't done yet, and that they still had one more day's worth of work to do before they could relax.  So, we managed to get on track, and they did great from that point on.

Since it was the end of the 9 week grading period, we pretty much just tested all day in order to wrap everything up.  The girls did great!  I was very proud of almost all of their grades.  They have worked hard, and it shows.  I love the excitement of the girls when they have worked hard and then get a grade that they are pleased with.

It was a good day overall.  I had to leave a few minutes early at the end of the day in order to get the Youngest Princess to the church in time to head off to missions camp.  So I got the girls all packed up, and then they went to music.  My sweet friend and co-worker told me that she would dismiss them for me when they came back from music.  So the Youngest Princess and I packed up and My Prince came and picked us up.

We headed straight to the church, and met with all the others who were going to Missions Camp.  I was excited to see that we had such a large group going.  As we were loading them up and getting them ready to go, I got a call from my sister.

She just started a new job this week.  And that is a big answer to many prayers, so we were very excited for her.  But she was calling to tell me that she was having some health problems, and had had to go the the urgent care, and miss.  I hated to hear that, but we know that God is at work, and that He will be able to work through this, and we pray that she will be well and able to work again as soon as possible.  We are praying that that is Monday, so if you would like to pray with me that she will be well enough to go back to work on Monday, I would really appreciate it.

The kids and wonderful chaperones left for camp, and My Prince and I came home.  The Young Prince was here, but he was walking out the door to go and help our youth pastor with some pre-football game activities at our local public school.  So it was just My Prince and I.  

The Young Prince came back sooner than we had expected him to, because they did not have as much to do as they had originally thought.  But he turned around and left pretty much immediately, because he  had plans to camp out with some of his buddies, so he went ahead and got on with those plans.  

We sat down to watch a show that I missed earlier in the week due to a bad headache.  I was going to watch it and catch up.  So we watched about 15 minutes of that, and then I got a text message that I needed to respond to, and then Grammy and Poppy let us know what time they wanted to meet for dinner, and that meant that I needed to get ready to go, so we did not get to finish watching our show.  

We got ready and went to meet Grammy and Poppy.  We had a good dinner with great discussions - mainly about the church and how God is working.  It is so exciting to see how God is moving in the lives of certain individuals, and how they are growing in their walk with Him, and then not only growing, but obeying Him in the things he wants them to do.  Very exciting stuff!  

After dinner, we ran by Walmart, because I wanted to get some mums and pumpkins/gourds to put on the porch.  I also picked up the ingredients to make buffalo chicken dip for the Youngest Princess.  She asked me to make her some this week, and I thought I would surprise her with some when she gets home from camp.  I also found a decorative tray that I absolutely LOVE!  Yay!  So I got it and I think I will use it on the coffee table.  I love decorating for fall, and my favorite holiday - Thanksgiving!

When we got home, My Prince helped Poppy move a piece of furniture that they are storing with us while they are on their next Dominican trip.  I put out my mums and pumpkins while they moved the furniture.  When they got done with that, Poppy went home, and My Prince and I sat down and finished our show.  

We talked to and texted back and forth with the Oldest Princess off and on through the evening.  We are excited that we will get to see her soon.

Then we decided to call it a day. It was a good, blessed day, all the way around.  We were able to rest with our hearts full of God's blessings.  I hope that you were able to as well.

Until I blog again...

Thursday, October 6, 2016

October 6, 2016

"Unstable! Unstable!" Those two words seem to be my theme lately.  It feels like I am happy and fine one minute, and ready to break into tears the next.  All these changes that my kids are going through.  Changes that my parents should be here to see.  Changes that I would give anything to at least talk to them about.  I know that they would be so proud of the Oldest Princess, and want to know all of the time how she is doing in college.  I know that they would be crazy proud of the Young Prince and how awesome he is on the football field.  I know that they would be very proud of the Youngest Princess and her academic achievements and her piano and flute playing and her tumbling abilities.  I know that they would enjoy being a part of it all as much as they could.  I know that they would be full of advice.  And I miss them like crazy!  I don't know why, but the last few months, more than usual.  Daddy passed away 16 years ago, and Momma almost 8, but for some reason, during this season of my life I just really wish I had their wisdom, guidance, and unconditional love.  Okay.  Pity party over.

I woke up this morning and did my First 5 devotion.  I got ready and My Prince dropped me off at school early, because we had staff devotions this morning.  They were good.  We were reminded that while we are busy ministering and giving of ourselves to others, that we needed to be sure that we are staying in God's Word, and close to the Father.

My friend's mom's surgery went better than we had expected which was a big answer to prayer.  We were excited to get the good update.

Class went well today.  We are wrapping things up and finishing out for the first 9 weeks.  So we are mainly reviewing and testing.  The girls are working hard and they never cease to amaze me with how smart they all are.  We had a few minutes at the end of the day while they worked on penmanship for me to be able to read Josiah to them.  We are on the second book and getting close to one of my most favorite parts. I know the girls will love it too.  I am excited to share that part of the book with them, and see their reactions.

The last few minutes of the day while the girls finished penmanship and packed up, we did music.  Most of the songs are patriotic or silly folk songs.  The girls love them.  And they sound great when they all sing together.  It is funny how they all have their own favorites.  I like to hear them tell me stories of  them telling their parents about a certain song, and how their parents remember that song, or something in connection with the song.  It makes me happy to know that the silly songs we sing in music at the end of the day are giving the girls something fun to talk to their parents about.

After school, we ran to Taco Bell for a very delicious and nutritious (okay, neither of those really) meal.  I forgot to order my tacos with no lettuce.  And we had very little time, so I was a big girl, and I ate them as they were.  The Youngest Princess did not want anything to eat, until she ate a bite of her Daddy's dinner, and then she decided that she wanted to order something after all.  So we ordered her what she wanted, and then we had to wait for her to eat.  We went to one of my favorite places to get some roasted peanuts to take with us to eat at the game, and of course, they did not have any salted ones, so we had to leave empty handed.

We headed back to the school for the football game.  It was the last home football game.  It was also senior night.  The Young Prince is the only senior on the team, so before the game started, they announced his name and had us go out on the field.  It was a bittersweet moment.  I can not believe that the little guy that was once diagnosed with "failure to thrive", and who had the most sensitive heart of any little boy I know, and who used to give me velcro hugs (arms, legs and all), and who had so much energy that we often said we could use him as a power source for the whole house, was standing next to me, in full uniform, about to play his last home football game as a senior.  The recognition lasted all of about 2 minutes, but a lifetime flashed through my mind in those two minutes.  I just did this last year with a volleyball/basketball player.  I am not ready to do this again so soon!  "Unstable! Unstable!"  His older sister is away at college.  She said if she had known it was Senior night, that she would have tried to come home.  But we did not even think about it, or know about it until last night.  Sometimes boys don't find it important enough to share information with their parents until the very last minute.  Or is is just mine?  So, the Oldest Princess was not there.  The Youngest Princess plays in the band, and she was upstairs with the band, and had not come out yet, so she missed it too.  Poppy was there though.  And our youth pastor and his wife and baby Super C got there just in time I think.  At least they were there as we were coming off of the field.  And Aunt D took pictures for me.  Then B took pictures for us after the game.  Our team lost, but the Young Prince and several others played their hearts out.  I hate it for them when they lose, but I love to watch them play.  I wish you could see the Young Prince run!

After the game we came home.  The Young Prince got busy doing homework.  I talked to the Oldst Princess for a few minutes.  We caught each other up on how our day went.  The Youngest Princess studied for her two big tests tomorrow. Now she is snuggling with her Daddy upstairs, and I think I will go and join them.

Until I blog again...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

September 28 - October 5, 2016

Once again, a week has come and gone, and I have failed to keep up.  So once again, I will spare you all the mundane details and try to hit just the highlights.

Wednesday, September 28 - It must have been a pretty normal day.  I don't remember much about it except that my sweet friend and co-worker had the yearbook dedicated to her.  It was very sweet.  I am happy for her.

My small group at church that night was really good as well.  I love my group and I love digging deeper in God's Word with them.

Thursday, September 29 - Again, it must have been a pretty normal day.  I do not remember anything out of the ordinary happening that day.

Friday, September 30 - It came out in a discussion about how to properly dress for the upcoming field trip, that pretty much all of the girls in the 7th grade class just might have a pretty large crush on The Young Prince.  One of the high school teachers shared this juicy bit of news with me when I was in the hall putting our latest art projects on the wall.  We have had lots of fun with the news since then.  And we might have teased the Young Prince a little.  But in all seriousness, he is a great kid, so why shouldn't they all be fawning over him?  Lol!  I'm am also unashamedly biased.  I think they have great taste in guys.

The youngest princess went after school to spend the night with a friend.

The Young Prince, My Prince and I went to a local Chinese buffet for dinner.  One of the Young Prince's favorites.  He was sitting across the table from me eating crab legs, when he cracked one, and the juice from it went all over me.  All in my hair.  All in my face.  All over my shoulder and arm.  All. over. me.  It was lovely.  The Young Prince apologized profusely.  It was a little bit funny, and a whole lot nasty.  Oh the joys!

Saturday, October 1 - We woke up early and got ready for a family reunion.  It was held about two hours from us, so we had to leave early to get there on time.  Grammy and Poppy came and rode with  us.  We had a good time of fellowshipping with them on the way up there.  It was fun to get to see family that we don't get to see very often.  Some only at funerals, so it was nice to see them when everyone wasn't sad.  We finally got to meet one of My Prince's cousin's little girls.  They were absolutely precious.  The Youngest Princess had a good time playing with them.

On our way home, I could not hold my eyes open, so I got in a nap.  Grammy and Poppy left as soon as we got home. My Prince turned on the tv just in time to see the end of his game.  He was not happy because he thought his team had lost, and then with absolutely no time left, his team ended up winning.  So all was well.  And everyone in our household (that cares about football) was happy.

Sunday, October 2 - We had a good day serving the Lord.  My Prince preached a great sermon, and we recognized the kids in our local FFA who will be going to nationals later this month.  We ate dinner with the FFA students and their families, and as always, our ladies did a wonderful job feeding everyone.

Our Sunday night group was just myself and one other lady.  The other two were unable to be there.  It made me sad, but the two of us that were there had a sweet time of prayer and sharing with one another.  I might have shed a tear or two.  I've been very weepy the past few days.  Lots of things weighing heavy on my heart, and sometimes those weights make my eyes leak a little.  I feel again like I need to go around proclaiming, "Unstable!  Unstable!"

I didn't get to have my Bible Drills class during the service Sunday night, because we had a special ordination service for our new deacon.  I am very proud of him and his family, and I am thankful to have him serving alongside My Prince.

After church, we went out to eat with the youth.  We had a great time as we always do, just being able to sit and fellowship with people we love.

Monday, October 3 - Again, a normal day.  Work, and then home.  My Prince went to pick up the Youngest Princess from her tumbling class, and made it home just in time before the washing machine repairman came.  I was very glad to see him and even more glad that he was able to fix my machine and get me back in business.  He was very nice and told us that this particular model has a certain quirk about it.  He told us if we had any more trouble to give him a call and he could talk My Prince though fixing it. I started washing clothes and pretty much have not stopped since.

This day marked the 16th anniversary of my Daddy's death.  It is hard to imagine that he has been gone that long.  I still miss him very much.  Some days like it just happened yesterday.  And although I don't purposefully mark the day, it always hits me hard.  May be part of the reason my heart has been feeling "Unstable!" this week.

Tuesday, October 4 - A good day at school/work.  After school I went and had my hair done.  Then it was back to the school to see the last home volleyball game of the season.  It was Senior night, and I needed to be there for my girls.  It was sweet to watch them play again.  It was also sad not to see my girl out there on the floor.  We had to leave before they were done.  It was getting late, and we had not had dinner.  We stopped for a bite to eat on our way home.  The Young Prince joined us after the volleyball game was over.  I had a terrible headache, so I pretty much went to bed as soon as we got home.

Wednesday, October 5  - A good day overall.  Full of the usual mundane, average stuff that life is made of.  I am perfectly happy with usual mundane average stuff.  It means that things are trucking along normally.   And that is much better than abnormally.  We are winding down our last week of the grading period, so we are busy grading and filing and studying and taking tests.  I stayed home from church tonight to try to get rid of the terrible headache that still plagues me. I eventually gave in and took some medicine for it, even though I was trying not to take anything.

Something happened that was sad, but at the same time an answer to prayer of sorts.  I never cease to be amazed at how God answers prayers in His own time and in His own way.  He answered a prayer today, but not at all in any way that I could have imagined it answered before it call came to be.  So, although it is not the way I would have orchestrated it, I am thankful to God for answered prayers.

And now, I am ready to get some rest.  Like the rest of my family.

So, until I blog again...