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!)...