Two Tiaras and a Sword

Thursday, May 12, 2022

It Always Starts with the Washing Machine

 Seriously,  I think Satan uses our washing machine as his Holiday Inn.  It always starts with the washing machine.

Things will be humming along nicely, and then the washing machine breaks down.  I know that it's the first skirmish of a serious spiritual battle about to take place.

The washing machine goes on the fritz, and then Satan attacks from all angles.  People call upset about one thing or another.  Sickness hits.  Doubts and fears like fiery darts are aimed at our hearts.  Technology goes berserk.  Printers stop printing.  Sleep is lost.  Discouragement sets in.  Plans are made and foiled and remade and foiled several times over.  Text messages come at a frenzied pace.  People need us more than ever, and we have less than ever in reserve to give.  One or more of our children will be attacked as well.  I can take it to the bank, washing machine goes out, attacks follow.

Why does it always start with the washing machine?  I think it is because when Satan comes to visit, he literally resides in the washing machine.  I can tell you of several times in the past when the washing machine has been the catalyst that starts it all.

Our washing machine broke almost two weeks ago.  There have been some serious battles going on in within these walls.  And sometimes spilling out beyond them.  Ephesians 6:12 says that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood...".  

I don't think it is a coincidence that the washing machine broke and that I had planned to on that Sunday, give my kids at church posters to help them to "pray on" the armor of God each day with a prayer calendar that goes along with the spiritual armor for the month of May.  Satan plans his attacks very timely and carefully.

So why am I blogging about this?  Well, because my washing machine is still broken.  And we can use prayers over here.  All. the. prayers.  

And to ask you, where does Satan reside when he comes to visit you?  Do your major spiritual battles seem to have the same starting point like ours?  At least I know when Satan is gearing up for some major stuff, he checks in to the washing machine.  It gives me a heads up, and helps me to prepare better for the battles ahead.  And sometimes, even with the heads up, I fail miserably.  Which makes me thankful for God's grace and that it is new each and every morning.  And that there is more than enough of it to get me through each day.

So if Satan has checked into your home lately, like he has here, be encouraged.  James 4:7 tells us that if we submit ourselves to God, and resist the devil, he will flee from us.  Satan is not here to stay.  We submit to God, and resist him, and he will leave eventually.  

In the meanwhile, I pray that God helps me to learn whatever lesson it is He has for me to learn, and that I learn it quickly.  And I pray that the right part for the washing machine comes in sooner rather than later.  And I pray that when the washing, and rinsing, and spinning starts happening and the happy song is played at the end of the full cycle, that more than our clothes come out clean.  I pray that some of the things that I have let creep in and soil my soul are broken down and washed away, and that I come through the whole thing closer to God and more like Him than ever before.  I pray the same for you as well.


Friday, August 27, 2021

The Day I Sat on the Edge of One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World (among other amazing things)

Seriously, this day was so amazing that it was tough to decide what to title this blog. And usually, the titles are the easiest part for me. 

 I taught fifth grade World History for about 12 years. Each year I would wish that there was some way that I could transport my students to the places we learned about. It wasn't like in fourth grade where they learned Alabama History and could go and see and touch all of the things they were learning to make it come to life and be more interesting. We had to stick to the book and pictures and videos. 

 Never in my wildest dreams did ever think that I would actually have the opportunity I had this last week!

 I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Africa. I have always wanted to go, but again, never dreamed that I would actually GET to GO! 

 Then the phone call came from a friend of ours who has a ministry that was taking a trip to...AFRICA! Would we consider going with their team? Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! A thousand times YES!!!! 

 Then we had to do ALL THE THINGS to prepare to go. Whith Covid doing nothing to help and all things to complicate. As excited as I was to go, I was also a bit nervous about the Covid factor. But I was sure that if God opened the door and made a way, He would protect us. 

 So, we held our breath until we finally landed in Africa. and we held our breath many times in between as we traveled from place to place needing all the papers and praying for favor many times over. Sometimes things lined up just in the nick of time, but never too late. 

 We had a full week of ministry. Our team had the chance to minister to a precious group of people. Teaching them ways to disciple others. Discussing how to read the Bible on their own. We were able to serve people from Seventh grade on up through to the oldest widow, who they guestimated to be in her 80's. 

 After our week of ministry, we scheduled about two and a half days to do some sight seeing. One of the things on the agenda was to see Victoria Falls. A place I had taught about for years. I was going to get to see it in person. 

 Missionary David Livingstone is said to have "discovered" the falls. Of course the people who lived there had always known of its existence. They called it the Smoke that Thunders. Because the falls made so much mist, that it looked like smoke to them, and the water crashing over the edge was so loud that it sounded like thunder to them. After seeing it in person, I would say it was a great descriptive name for the falls. David Livingstone named it Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria.

 In person, it is absolutely breathtaking. I was jumping up and down by the time we got there. I was SO EXCITED! We were oohing and aahing over the majesty and beauty of the falls when a little guy over to the side got our attention and urged us on to the next viewing spot so that we could see the rainbow. The view he proclaimed did not disappoint. He obviously knew his stuff. 

 Then, he urged us on to the next spot. Each spot just as beautiful and breathtaking as the one before.
He let us take it all in, as we made our way around the right of the falls to the banks of the Zambezi River. It was beautiful and peaceful just mere yards from the crashing falls.
Again, he gave us time to bask in the beauty. Then, when he knew he had lured us in, he gave us his sales pitch. "If you walk this way, you can cross the river on that cement over there (from where we stood, it looked like a large cement slab that spanned the river with the water flowing over its edge and then turning and dropping over the falls). It is only about this deep (as he motioned with his hand about halfway up his shin). To that island over there. You can see the falls from a different direction. Get great pictures. Come! Come!" 

 Two of us were automatically in. I wanted to go, but I had on tennis shoes, and did not want to walk in wet tennis shoes the rest of the time. One of us who did not want to go offered to switch shoes with me. When it turned out that she wore the same size as me, the deal was sealed. I was in! We quickly switched shoes, and I was off with the other two who chose to walk across the river in mid-shin deep water to the island to get "great pictures". 

 I'm glad that I didn't know then what I know now, because I might have missed out on the adventure of a lifetime.

 We followed our new friend around on a dirt path, and about halfway there, we were joined by one of his friends. He stepped into the water first and took the hand of one of our team members, then instructed her to take the hand of our other team member. Then his friend took her hand and I completed the line.

 The cement we were to walk across, was NOT a cement slab as it had so innocently appeared from across the way. It was actually about the width of a balance beam. We faced the current and side stepped across it with our toes hanging off one side and our heels hanging off the other. He was more correct about the depth. It was not too deep, only reaching about our knees in the middle of the crossing.
I kept glancing up thinking we must be almost there, but we had not even made it halfway across. I was gripping our unknown friend's hand like my life depended on it. A little past halfway, we had to let go of each other's hands and shimmy around a large rock. Then at the other side we had to turn a corner, and dodge some tree branches before finally making it to said island.  I wondered what my Prince must be thinking.

 I wondered what in the world was I thinking?!? 

 I was equally scared and excited.  

Then the "guides" turned and started back across the river that was flowing over the falls. We made our little train of people again and worked our way across. They led us to one of the dry rocks that jutted out over the water flowing over the falls, and directed us to stand and took our pictures one at a time. I did not go to the edge while standing, because I was too scared. Then they led us to another group of dry rocks and encouraged us to go out on the rock for more pictures. I did sit down and make my way to the edge of that rock and let my foot hang over the edge. I also asked the little guy to hand me my phone, and THERE my friends is where I got my "great picture".
After standing up, and making my way back from the edge, I looked at my phone, and saw that I had a message from one of our team members on the other side. This is what it said:
I asked one of the ladies with me if she had seen the message. She said, "No, what did it say?"  I told her that she did NOT want to know. 

 By this time it was time to go back across. My adrenaline was through the roof! They told us it would be faster going on our way back. I was glad I went, but I was really ready to be back and safe on the other side. We made our way back to the island, and then started our trek back across the cement balance beam. We asked questions about their families and them about ours. And before we knew it, we were back to safety. 

I could not wait to get back to my Prince to see what he was thinking. I was on top of the world!!! It was so exhilarating! I am usually not a daredevil in any way shape or form, but that experience was amazing! 

 Later one of the ladies said that on our trip back, she did see a baby snake swim by in the water about 6 to 8 inches from her leg. We joked that not only did we sit on the edge of one of the seven wonders of the world, but that we also "swam with Black Mambas". 

 They say just a month before or a month after and we would not have been able to do what we did. It was perfect timing. Official guides or not, our little guys took great care of us, and of course expected to be tipped for their services. We of course, tipped them well. At least I think we did. We paid them in Zambian kwacha. I trust that the ladies who know more about it than I do made sure we did the guys right. 

When we made our way back to My Prince, and I asked what he was thinking he said he was thinking about the Ray Stevens song The Camping Trip and the lyrics where he is talking about watching their Land Rover floating off "last I saw was the tail lights going over the falls - State Farm ain't ever gonna believe this!" I was hoping for more of "I thought you were going to die! I'm so glad you are safe! I love you so much! You are the craziest, bravest person I know! Hey everyone! This is MY wife!" Followed by big relieved kiss. Nope. Nothing like that. Not what I got at all. I got Ray Stevens lyrics. Girls, be sure to marry someone romantic like I did. 

In his defense, he was temporarily distracted by a passing baboon. 

After our crazy experience, we continued on around to see the falls from the front side. We also went down to the bottom to see the Boiling Pot as they call it, where the water at the bottom of the falls creates whirl pools that make it look as though the water was boiling. We were a little disapointed that we could not see the falls from the bottom, but the trip down was beautiful; almost like going through a tropical rain forest.
On the way back up, I slammed my toe into a boulder that did not give way one tiny iota. I truly believe that I broke my poor toe. But, in keeping with the spirit of the adventurous day, I mean we had already sat on the edge of one of the seven wonders of the world, and swam with Black Mambas, I could not claim breaking my toe by kicking a rock. So the story is that an elephant stepped on my toe and broke it, and I'm sticking to it! 

 Before we reached the top, we did find ourselves in the middle of a troop of baboons. From older ones grooming younger ones, to males fighting, to a momma with a baby on her back. They were all around us on both sides of the trail. They were very interesting to watch, although I do not have a problem admitting that I was a little nervous standing there in the middle of their territory. They paid us no mind though, and went on with their regular business. 

That night we went on a sunset dinner cruise down the Zambezi river. It was a relaxing, calm evening to a very exciting day. We saw many hippos and watched elephants play in the mud. The sunset was beautiful. I hated for the day to end.
I said earlier that if I had known then what I know now, I might have missed the opportunity of a lifetime, but that is not true. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. 

Our God is an amazing creator and has made an unbelievably magnificent world for us to enjoy. I am beyond grateful for the chance to go to Africa and have this and many other amazing experiences.

Seriously, if you ever get a chance to go, GO! And be sure to go in August. And take the opportunity to sit on the edge of Victoria Falls. And swim with Black Mambas. I promise you will NOT regret it! But watch out for the elephants, they will step on your toes!

Monday, June 21, 2021

Shhh! Do y’all hear that?

 So for a while now, the Youngest Princess has been saying, “Shhh!  Do y’all hear that?”  We would stop and listen, and hear…nothing.  Usually she would say, “Well, it has stopped now!”  

I would ask her to explain what she was hearing.  She said it was coming from the wall by the window.  That it sounded like a buzzing bug in the window.  We would move the curtains and look for a bug.  There would be no bug in sight.

There is an outlet under the window.  I would feel it.  It would not be hot.  I would unplug the cords plugged into the outlet.  They would not hot either.

There is a vent on the floor directly under the window and the outlet.  I would turn on my flashlight and look down the vent to see if something had fallen down in the vent and was rattling.  Nope.  That was not the problem either.

We have done this same song and dance several times over the last couple of months.  Every time ending with the Youngest Princess saying that she could not believe we could not hear what she was hearing.  

So about a week ago, I finally heard it!  Same song and dance trying to diagnose the problem.  Same results.

Tonight, the Youngest Princess, my Prince and I were sitting in the living room watching TV when the Youngest Princess said, “Do y’all hear it?  It’s getting louder!”  

I looked at the wall and fire is coming out of the outlet.  The lamp plugged into the outlet went out.  The television went off.  Things were popping and cracking.  I’m trying to think how to get the cords unplugged and put the fire out while panicking that the curtains are going to catch fire.  It was obviously an electrical fire, and I knew water was not the answer.  All the while, I was visualizing our 100+ year old home going up in flames.  I don’t remember doing it but the Youngest Princess says I yelled, “Fire!”  Yes.  Thank you, Captain Obvious.  

 It is amazing how fast something can happen yet it seems to be moving in slow motion while your brain thinks a million thoughts.  And apparently in a crises my brain and my mouth have a disconnect.

Meanwhile, my Prince has jumped up and is standing there staring at the flames leaping from the outlet.  Probably like me trying to process it all and figure out how to put the fire out.  

The Youngest Princess has jumped up from her chair and let out a blood curdling scream, and run toward the kitchen.  

The scream has summoned the dog from his nap on the rug in the dining room and he comes padding into the living room.  I grab him to keep him from getting closer to the fire.  My Prince has grabbed the curtain to keep it from the flames.

Meanwhile, the cords plugged into the outlet have fallen out of the outlet, and the fire has gone out (with no help from the shocked, dumbfounded, pitiful lot of us).  

There is a nasty burnt rubber smell permeating the air.  

I come to my senses and tell my Prince to feel the wall around the outlet to see if it is hot.  The Youngest Princess goes outside to feel the other side of the wall to see if it is hot.   All is well on the inside and outside.  

We  all sit in the dark and stare at the outlet.  I have the Youngest Princess turn her phone flashlight on so that I can take pictures to send to the Oldest Princess and the Young Prince.

I wanted to be sure that everything was okay, so I asked my Prince to call a friend of ours who is a fire chief.  Bless his heart, after a long day, he came over and checked it out for us.  He told us he felt that all was well, and we were good to stay in the house.  He is a saint.

After things settled down, and we knew we were okay, we talked about how we all reacted differently.  I asked the Youngest Princess why she ran into the kitchen.  She said, “I don’t know…for water I guess.  To put the…Oh no!!  It was an electrical fire!  I know better than that!  What was I thinking?!?”  Apparently, she gets crises brain disconnect from me.  She knew better, but panicked in the middle of everything.  I told her I would have stopped her before she could put water on it.  That is, if she was cognizant enough to hear me through her panic.  But thankfully things did not get that far.

So, we prayed and thanked the Lord for His hand of protection on us.  It could have been so much worse.  It could have happened when we were not home.  The wall could have caught on fire.  The cords could have caught on fire.  The curtains a mere 4 to 5 inches above the plug could have caught on fire.  The 100 year old pine floors could have caught on fire.  The Youngest Princess could have fanned the flames by throwing water on them in her panic. 

But God.

He was watching out for us.  

It certainly wasn’t anything any of us did.

 I have no doubt it was His hand of protection on our home and our family.  So tonight, as we lay snug in our comfortable beds, we are grateful, and we give God all the praise.  He is good!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

On the Road…AGAIN

And, because I have not had enough time on the road lately, I packed my bags Sunday night and Monday morning and hit the road again with my Prince this time.  He had been waffling back and forth about wether or not to attend the SBC conference in Nashville, and had finally decided that there were things of great importance happening, and that he needed to be there.  So, I tagged along, with the plus of getting to see the Young Prince.  Woo hoo!

We left mid-morning on Monday after dropping C off with Grammy.  He gets so excited when he goes to Grammy’s house. I love that he loves being there.  We left him standing at the glass door, wagging his tail.

We had an uneventful trip, with a stop at Jack in the Box - more tacos - for lunch on the way.  

We got to our hotel a little earlier than we had thought, so we took some time to stroll through a few antique stores in the antique district.  Neither of us found anything that we could not live without. Then we made a quick Target run, because we still had time before we needed to meet everyone for dinner.

Then we made our way to Cracker Barrel where we met the Young Prince and his Fair Maiden, as well as her parents and her sister.  It was nice to see her again and to meet her parents.  They have been so good to our Young Prince.  We enjoyed our quick time with them and hope to be able to get to know them better in the future.

After dinner, the Fair Maiden’s family was off to play in a volleyball game.  The Young Prince and the Fair Maiden wanted to go to a used bookstore.  We went with them.  I was able to find a reader for one of the students that I tutor, and a children’s book that I have been looking for. Everyone else found a few things as well.  It was a fun time.

We said goodnight to the Young Prince and his Fair Maiden, and then went to our hotel.  It took me about 15 seconds to fall asleep.  I was exhausted.

The next morning we took our time getting up and getting ready.  My Prince and I went to lunch, and stopped by a couple of stores.  Then my Prince took me back to the hotel.  I relaxed, did my Bible study, read, and just enjoyed the quiet.  My Prince went to the conference for the afternoon.

When my Prince got back, we left to go to the mid-week young adult service with the Young Prince.  It was wonderful to be there and worship with him and the young adults that he works with and serves.  It was really cool that several of them told us what an inspiration the Young Prince was to them, or how much he was an encouragement to them.  One told us how he had been in a small group with the YP, and how evident it was that the YP loves the Lord and loves us.  It may have made my eyes water a little bit.

Before the service the Young Prince took me in a quick tour through the church’s children’s area.  I can dream…My Prince told me not to covet.  I didn’t covet, but I can dream…

After the service, we went to dinner with the Young Prince and his Fair Maiden.  The place they wanted to go turned out to be closed.  They were bummed, but we went with plan “B”.  Our waitress turned out to be a lady who attends the church where the Young Prince goes.  It was a God thing, and she was glad to meet the Young Prince and very encouraging to him.  He told her he would be back.  I think we were an encouragement to her last night, and I hope he really will go back and be an encouragement to her in the future.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel.  I think it took me about 10 seconds to fall asleep.  

This morning, we got up and got ready to go back to the convention.  We had hoped to see the Young Prince again, but his plans changed and that did not work out.  We did however get to see our brother-in-law’s sister, and a young man who was in our very first ever youth group.

It was great to see them and catch up with everything that is going on with them.

After that we decided to walk around and explore a little of downtown Nashville and find something to eat before heading home.  We got in line for a chicken place.  The couple in line in front of us shared their menu with us.  Our husbands started talking, and about two and a half hours later, we said goodbye to our new best friends.  No, seriously, we shared a table with them because the place was packed, and we talked ministry and teaching and kids and you name it.  It really was a divine appointment, and hopefully we will be able to keep up with them and keep in touch through the future.  

But as all good things must, it had to come to an end.  The lunch, and the trip.  And now we are on our way home to rescue the Youngest Princess from Grammy’s House of Manual Labor.  Although if I know Grammy, she pays well for said manual labor.

And tomorrow, aside from being our 26th wedding anniversary, everything goes back to normal.  No more road trips for me for a little while.  If you need me, I’ll be at home.  

But first, a few random pictures.

Monday, June 14, 2021

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Wedding Crashers - Part 2

 Both the Youngest Princess and the Oldest Princess dreamed.  I did not sleep long enough to dream, as I woke every time the air conditioner came on or cut off. 

Getting ready in a hotel always proves to be somewhat of  a challenge as we have three ladies all vying for outlets and mirrors. 

I got up first and got mostly ready - just dried my hair and got dressed - put on sandals from the day before because they were more comfortable than my matching shoes.  No makeup.  I was out of town, so I did not care.  

I grabbed a few dollars and went in search of a Coca-Cola (we got in really late and slept right on through that free continental breakfast), and began the walk of shame to the front desk to ask for a complementary toothbrush.  I packed the small tube of toothpaste that I had received in my little goody bag from the dentist at my last cleaning, but left the big tube at home for my Prince to use.  Yet somehow in that thought process, instead of putting my toothbrush in my bag, I put it back in its proper place. So I was at the mercy of the front desk for a toothbrush.  I stopped by the ice and vending room hoping to find a vending machine, but instead found only an ice machine and a worker restocking a linen closet.  I said a quick ”Good morning” to him and turned around to make a hasty retreat lest he have time to register my Sunday dress, casual sandals that did not match, undone hair and no makeup face presentation.

 I got to the elevator and pushed the button.  And waited.  And waited. And waited.  Finally, giving up on the elevator, I found the stairs - at the opposite end of the hallway from out other end of the hallway room, and made my way to the lobby.  I waited my turn and asked the lady at the desk for a toothbrush.  She said, “Just one?”  I don’t make a habit of collecting hotel quality toothbrushes, nor do I make a habit of using more than one toothbrush at a time, and since I was the only one standing there, I found her question a little baffling, but answered her kindly nonetheless, “Yes ma’am, just one please.”  Then I asked her where I could get a water, seeing only Pepsi products in the cooler.  She reached under the counter and gave me a bottled water.  No charge. Yay!  Happy day!

Back upstairs, in our room at the end of the hall, I tried to find the best place to do my hair and makeup as the girls were taking turns in the bathroom.  Did I mention that the little entry hall light did not work?  When we turned it on, the bulbs barely glowed.  The only other light in the room was a small lamp at the desk, and a small bedside light.  Y’all.  It was like trying to get ready in a cave!  I even used my phone flashlight to get a little more light.  All to pretty much no avail.

Meanwhile…the Youngest Princess comes out of the bathroom proclaiming that the shower about blew all the skin off of her body.  See, at home, we don’t have the greatest water pressure.  In fact, if someone is showering and anyone anywhere else in the house uses any water, chances are high that the shower will cut off due to lack of water pressure.  The Youngest Princess has taken to proclaiming when she is about to take a shower and reminding all of us not to use the water while she does.  Not even a drop.  I’m serious.  She’s serious. We call her the water police.  No lie.  So for her to come out complaining about the water pressure was not surprising, but the fact that she was complaining about it being too strong definitely was a surprise.  But in her defense, I too, had found it quite strong.  I had even attempted to change the setting on the shower head but could not get it to budge.  So I just resigned myself to the fact that it was more of a pressure wash than a shower and carried on.

The Youngest Princess also used the in-room hair dryer.  Her comment after that experience was that it blew with about as much power as a butterfly flapping its wings.  

Meanwhile the Oldest Princess made no comments.  She is not a morning person.

We had to check out of the hotel a couple of hours before the wedding, so we had some time to make another Target run.  I know.  I know.  You all are shocked.  I was able to find a dress that I had been keeping an eye on, and it was on sale.  Woo hoo!!

We stopped at another little store that we don’t have where we live, and found a few little things.  We had to buy some toys for C, because according to my Prince, he was really missing us.  He loves his beaver by the way, and I think the stingray is growing on him.

Then it was time to go to the wedding.  It was a beautiful wedding.  Complete with a violinist (I always wanted one of my children to learn to play the violin).  The Groom was handsome.  The Bride was gorgeous.  They both love the Lord and are seeking to honor and serve Him with their lives.  A beautiful beginning for a sweet, young, godly couple.  Congratulations to CJ and MB!  The new Mr. and Mrs. MB!

We went to the gym for the reception.  We knew no one, except the bride and a couple of the bridesmaids, and they were all still taking pictures.  The oldest Princess found some college friends and chatted and the Youngest Princess and I aka “the Wedding Crashers” awkwardly waited this part out.  The introvert in me had to fight the urge to go wait in the car.  But I really did want to congratulate the Bride and Groom and see one of the bridesmaids that we had gotten to know well as she was one of the Oldest Princess’s college buddies.

The wedding party arrived, and we had a good time catching up with the bridesmaid that we knew.  She gave us the inside scoop on some of the things that went awry…bridesmaids forgetting their sashes, some getting there with mismatched shoes etc.  Things the average wedding attendee would have known nothing about without the inside scoop.  Honestly.  We never would have known.  Except that I did notice that the Groom’s ring slid on his finger very easily. But that is not my story to tell.  And no matter what little things did not go exactly as planned, they are just as married as if everything had gone off without a hitch.

The Bride greeted the Oldest Princess with a hearty, “Freshman!” A tribute to the humorous way they met.  The Bride has a thing for nicknames.  In fact the bridesmaid’s  gifts were bracelets with the Bride’s special nickname for each one on theirs.

We visited for a few more minutes, and let the Oldest Princess catch up with the girls, and then we decided it was time to head back home.  As much as we all hated getting back in the car.

We did some “between the acts” quick changing, from wedding attire to travel attire.  We made an uneventful Chick-fil-a drive thorough stop and then got on our way.  Did you notice how we managed to get Target and Chick-fil-a in both days during our adventure?  Didn’t want you to miss that.

On our way home we were able to get a better picture of our sister water tower.  We would have stopped and taken pictures at the water tower, but it was raining.

The girls were able to get a Starbucks as well.  The Youngest Princess had been asking for one since we left the day before.

Praise and Worship music was the soundtrack for the trip home.  I finished the book I was reading and started a new one.  At one point the Oldest Princess made reference to a Boa Constrictor, and we laughed as we remembered Shel Silverstein’s poem about being eaten by a Boa Constrictor.  If my Prince had been there he would have made up his own lines…”Oh hankle, It’s up to my ankle!  Oh flip, it’s up to my hip!”  But for the most part, the ride home was calm and uneventful.  

We got to the Oldest Princess’s apartment, where my Peince was meeting us to switch cars, and when the Oldest Princess parked she parked next to a tree.  The Youngest Princess was attacked (whopped in the forehead) by said tree as she was in a mad dash to get out of the car.  

We helped the Oldest Princess get her stuff in and had a potty break before going the last hour home.  I was ready to go home and get in bed, knowing Sunday was going to be a busy day.  But my sweet Prince was watching Tennessee baseball, and they were about to win the game.  So we had to wait until the last pitch, swing, strike!  And then we could go home.  

It was a long, short trip, but I enjoyed my time with my girls. May this not be the first and last trip of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Wedding Crashers.  And congratulations again to the new Mr. and Mrs. MB!  Thank you for letting us crash your wedding!

Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Wedding Crashers - Part 1

 The Oldest Princess’s college friend was getting married, and she obviously wanted to go to the wedding.  Only there was a small problem.  The wedding was 460ish miles away.  I volunteered to go with her, so she did not have to go that far alone.  The OP was okay with that, and when she told her friend that she could come to the wedding and that her mom was coming too, her friend graciously told her to bring her little sister as well.  Upon hearing that, there was no stopping the Youngest Princess, and the show was on.

We got online and booked a hotel, and on Friday after the Youngest Princess finished her riding lessons, we hit the road.  Our first stop was Target.  I know that is a total surprise to those of you who know us well (said in my sarcastic voice).  Our second stop was Chick-fil-a.  Again, I know you all are in shock.  

While we were following the awesome Chick-fil-a employee’s instructions on which car to follow through the drive through to the window, a lady in the car behind us got tad bit impatient.  My guess is that she was one of the kids who cut in line at the water fountain after long hot recesses in elementary school.  She honked her horn at us, and zipped around us and cut in line a couple of cars before us.  The Youngest Princess was all in a dither worried that Ms. Haszeropatience was going to mess up the intricate workings of the Chick-fil-a drive through.  None of us had eaten, and we were hungry too. In true Chick-fil-a style, our orders were filled correctly, despite the line bull.  We ate going down the road so as not to lose more time.

The OP may have been so excited to eat her chicken nuggets that she dropped one on the floorboard.  That my friends is a sad day when you drop a chicken nugget on the floorboard.  It may rank right up there with breaking your arm the first week of summer.

We didn’t get too far down the road before we hit traffic.  It was the opportunity the YP was looking for.  She took advantage of the practically stand still traffic to…do her nails for the wedding of course!  

We got a picture of the guy in front of us who had an interesting way of seeing what the holdup was.

Nails done and traffic passed, we made our way down the road.  Eventually we needed a pit stop and figured we would get something to eat and top off the glass tank as well and hopefully not have to stop again until we heard, “You have arrived at your destination” in the Youngest Princess’s sweet little voice as recorded on my Waze app several years ago.

We decided on a McDonalds that was right next to a gas station.  We were sitting in the drive through and the Youngest Princess and I were watching a robin out our windows when I noticed a dead rodent laying about 3 feet from the car.  It was a small rat/large mouse?  Not really sure.  But suddenly, I was no longer hungry.  Nothing like a dead rodent to ruin your appetite.  And nothing says eat here like a dead rodent on the premises.  We ate as much as our ruined appetites would allow.  We topped  off the gas, and then hit the road again.

We listened to some random Disney playlists, and the girls traveled down memory lane.  It amazes me how much they remember about certain episodes of old Disney shows.  The OP said if her college courses had been put to music, she would have remembered so much more.  So, if any of you want to make some money and help some college students out, look into putting college courses to music.

Thinking that we had made our last stop, and were in it for the long haul, we settled in to make the last leg of the trip.  I had not been watching the little food signs on the exit signs, but I happened to look at one and cue the “Hallelujah Chorus” music, lo and behold, there was a Jack in the Box sign.  If you know me, you know that means a stop.  And tacos.  Glorious Jack in the Box deep fried tacos.  The third time was the charm, and thankfully we had no crazy experiences with impatient people or dead rodents in the drive through. And one more reason to be happy about this drive through experience, theYP thought the drive through worker was good looking.

There were other things that happened, but I am not at liberty to share ALL of the funny/silly things that we experienced in order to preserve some sense of our dignity.  But I will say that I will never think of Clemson, or Scrooge the same, and I won’t have to use google to find out how to open my gas tank.

We finished the trip listening to old 80’s songs - “I twirled to that” - to stay awake.

We made it safely to the hotel and got our room key.  Our room was all the way at the end of the hall.  If you know my Prince and I, this fact does not surprise you.  It did not take us long at all to get in and get settled.  After we found a light switch that worked that is.  We. Were. Tired.

And, that my friends is Part 1 of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Wedding Crashers.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Quick! Someone Go Paint Your Garage Door Black!

I did a great job yesterday of staying out of the pollen.  A great job I tell ya.  The girls went outside, and I really wanted to go out with them, but I refrained,  I really wanted to go out, but I exhibited self control.  Plus, I did not want a repeat performance of my headache from the night before.

My Prince saw that someone had posted a scavenger hunt list online, and he thought it would be fun if we took the challenge and did the scavenger hunt as a family after the Young Prince got home from work.

Now that I had everything I needed, we had our fried chicken dinner, along with green beans, shells and cheese and rolls. It was very good, even if a day later than we had planned.

Just as we finished dinner, My Prince received a phone call.  The kids and I washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, while My Prince was on the phone talking about the churchy things.  We finished, and hovered around while he was finishing up his call so we could head out on our great quarantine scavenger hunt adventure.  We were on the front porch, and I couldn't help but pull a few more weeds from the flower bed.  What was I thinking?!?  Evidently I was NOT thinking.

My favorite niece called the Oldest Princess while My Prince was still talking churchy things, and we talked and then face timed with her for a while.  Meanwhile My Prince finished his call and was waiting on us.  When we finished the call, we all (including Pup) loaded up into the car.  We rolled the windows down and headed off...Here's how the first 30 seconds or so went...

OP: I've already found a house with three cars in the driveway.  It is Mrs. A's house.  (across the street from us).

YP:  I found a dog!  Pup! 

MP:  No it can't be our own dog.

Me:  There's a dog!  No wait, that is a cat!  Is that a cat or a dog?

MP:  It's a dog.  Or we can just pretend it's a dog.  Look there's a house with a small Christmas tree in the window.  That could pass as a plant right?  Sure it can!

Me:  (Wondering why there was a small Christmas tree in the window of that house) You can't just change all the rules like that or we will be done before we make the block!

Oh the fun!  Anyway, we slowed down and took it a little more seriously after that.  We stopped and talked out the window to several folks we knew and waved at those we didn't.  The Young Prince taught us how to play a new game called, "Hey Cow!"  And we surprised a church member who was on her porch talking on her phone at about dark.  After our last conversation, the Young Prince asked if we could go home because his allergies were going crazy.  We were done and ready to head home anyway.  

About the time we got  home, whatever was getting to the Young Prince attacked me with a vengeance.  We were trying to watch and movie, and I could not even watch it for sneezing my head off.  So I gave in and took a Zyrtec and a shower and headed for bed.  Still sneezing.  The Youngest Princess brought me a Benadryl, and that along with the Zyrtec I had already taken, finally seemed to help some.  The Young Prince was in the same boat I was in.  It is misery folks.  Pure misery.  Teach us to ride around in the spring with our windows down!  

Which brings me back to our scavenger hunt...There were three things we did not find.  Christmas lights, a recycle bin, and a house with a black garage door.  And I really hate to leave things unfinished.  So if you hang up your Christmas lights, buy or put out a recycle bin and paint your garage door black anytime soon, would you let me know?  We would love to drive by your house with our windows tightly shut and be able to check those things off of our list.

Seriously, we had fun, we got out of the house, and we made some great memories.  I definitely recommend doing it as long as you are not on total lock down that is.

This morning, after a good night's sleep away from any and all pollen, I woke up feeling better.  The Youngest Princess started school, and I worked on my Children's Ministry lesson.  My Prince, the Oldest Princess and I went to the church to record the children's skit and message.  While we were recording the skit, my phone rang.  It was one of our friends/church members.  She said that she wanted to drop something off at our house.  I told her that the Youngest Princess was at home.  So she said she would drop it off with her.  Before we got home the Youngest Princess was calling to see if we knew what it was.  We told her that we had no idea what it was, but that we were on our way home soon.  The surprise from our precious friend was a steak for each of us, as well as baked potatoes and bread.  Our friend had said that since My Prince is always bragging about how he can make a cheap steak taste good, that she thought she would treat us to good steaks.  How absolutely precious and thoughtful was that!!  We are blessed beyond measure many times over.  I love our people and I love how they love us and each other.  There is nothing like the family of God!  We called and thanked her, and we will be grilling steaks tonight!  Woo Hoo!

The Oldest Princess is now working on some of her class work.  Home colleging is going well for her.  She has made 100's on her first two home college quizzes.  The Youngest Princess had to miss her riding lesson on Monday due to the weather, so she is doing a makeup lesson now.  I did not go with her even though I really wanted to, because I did not want another allergy attack.  My Prince went to the local grocery store to pick up a few things we needed, and he said while he was there, he felt led to pray with the owners.  They were very thankful for him doing that, and I am thankful that he is a man who follows the leading of the Lord.  As we are blessed by others, I pray that we continue to be a blessing to others as well.

Praying that you all are blessing and being blessed as well!  Until the next adventure...