Thursday, February 11, 2016

February 11, 2016

Last night, after My Prince made it home from the hospital, we all gathered in the girls' room, and had our family devotions.  II John.  After reading that together and praying, we all went right to bed.


This morning I had a very hard time getting going.  I made it through my First 5 devotion after dozing back off several times.  I was getting ready for school and received a precious picture and good morning text "from" my great nephew.  It made my morning!

School went well.  We had a fire drill first thing.  That usually makes the kids wild for the rest of the day, but today, not so much.  We were just glad to get back into the warm building.  School went well for the most part.  There were a couple of little hiccoughs, but nothing that we could not work through.  My students did great on their bird reports, and bird drawings.  I love it when they are able to teach me something, and I learned something about birds today.  We all have our books now, so they are busy reading their books so they can do their oral book reports as soon as possible.  I had a nice surprise at the end of lunch.  Just as we were about to go upstairs after lunch, an old friend walked into the lunchroom.  It was wonderful to see her again!  I taught her son in the 5th grade. It was the Oldest Princess's class as well.  They moved away after that year.  We have kept in touch and have seen each other a couple of time since then, but not nearly enough.  I walked upstairs with her so she could say hello to the kids from her son's class who are our Seniors this year.  They were glad to see her too.  She also had to stop in and see the 3rd grade teacher.  We share a running joke from when the kids were in 3rd grade and she opened the door and announced her arrival by saying part of our joke.  It was really funny.  She told us that they are planning to come back and visit again soon, so hopefully it won't be too long before we see her again.

On the way out the door of the school, I learned some really exciting news.  Earlier in the day, another teacher had mentioned that she was looking for someone to hire for a one day job.  Her husband needed some help today only.  Another teacher spoke up and said she knew of someone, and they exchanged numbers, and I thought that was that.  But going out the door I found out that that had not worked out.  But, as the teacher was going home, she came across a man holding a sign looking for a job.  It was our little man from a couple of weeks ago that we saw holding the same sign.  It was the man that we gave a blessing bag to, and prayed with after church two Sundays ago.  And the other teacher had read my post about him on Facebook, recognized him, and stopped and picked him up and took him home to work with her husband! So both my fellow teacher and our little friend were helped today.  From the last report I received, he was doing a good job, and working hard.  That was very exciting news for us! God is good! I know it was just a one day job, but it was an answer to our prayer, my friend's prayer and for his prayer.  I know God will continue to provide.

At home, the Youngest Princess changed clothes and got ready for her tumbling class.  My Prince volunteered to take her, so that I could go to dinner and spend some quality time with the Young Prince.  So My Prince and the Youngest Princess went to tumbling class, and the Young Prince and I went out to eat, while the Oldest Princess was at cheer practice.  I really enjoyed my time with the Young Prince.  We don't get to do that often enough.  Just the two of us.  I liked having his undivided attention, and I think he liked having mine.  I hope we will be able to do it again soon.

We came home, and the Oldest Princess was home from cheer practice busy getting ready to go out with her boyfriend.  My Prince came home from tumbling carrying the Youngest Princess.  She had hurt her knee working on her arial.  A few minutes of love and attention, and the news that she would have to miss a birthday party tomorrow night if she could not walk, and she perked right up.  She says it is still a little sore, but she can handle it.

The Oldest Princess left for her date.  My Prince went to the store and to print out a few things the Youngest Princess needed for her homework.  We managed to get through with the homework, but not before I had a slight come apart.  There are some nights when after a day at work, homework is about more than I can handle.  I know my teacher friends who are moms will understand.  Sometimes it just feels like you never get a break from work.  And I really needed a break. I did not get my break at work, because I spent it helping a student who did not finish their homework from last night get caught up so they would not be too far behind.  So needless to say, homework in our house did not go smoothly tonight. But, we got it done.  And the Youngest Princess went upstairs to get ready for tomorrow.  And we still love each other, even after the rocky homework episode.

I even managed to get my small group study on Exodus done.  On the actual day I was supposed to do it!  Yay! No playing catch up this week for me!

Now, we are waiting for the Oldest Princess to get home so we can do family devotions, and go to bed.  I am going to go read to the Youngest Princess in the meantime.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February 10, 2016

Today.  It was another one of THOSE days.  That's two in a row if you are counting.  I woke up and did my First 5 as usual.  This morning, it was about how God gave very specific instructions to His people when it came to building the tabernacle.  He also gave specific instructions when it came to the priests, who would serve in the tabernacle.  They compared it to how we have pastors who serve in our churches today, and how they have a huge responsibility shepherding the flock that God has given them.  It was an encouragement to pray for and encourage those in leadership positions in our churches.  I can tell you from experience, that nothing is more encouraging to a pastor I know well, than to get a random text or phone call or note from a church member telling him that they are praying for him.  That encourages him more than just about anything else in the world.  You should try it sometime.  I promise you, it will completely make your pastor's day.

The Youngest Princes woke up crying.  She is exhausted and each morning, it gets harder and harder to get her up and ready.  I would say I am looking forward to this weekend, so she can get some rest, but she has plans all weekend, so it will probably be Monday before she is able to get any rest.  It is tough on the young ones who are drug around from game to game, and still have to keep up with homework, and getting up for school the next morning.  But now that basketball season is over, hopefully we can get back to a more normal routine and get her to bed earlier on a more consistent basis.

Most of the high school kids had a field trip this morning, so the school was very quiet for the beginning of the day.  With the high school being gone, they asked us to come to lunch early.  I was busily trying to get articles printed out for my students to use as a source for their library research reports and the wifi was being very slow, and my printer was being even slower.  At one point it stopped mid-print.  My kids were working on their practice reports, and had a ton of questions, and I was trying to hurry and get everyone an article printed out.  I was getting more and more frustrated by the second.  Then I looked at the clock and realized that we had five minutes until our early lunch time.  I had not remembered to tell My Prince that we were going to lunch early, and he was planning on bringing me lunch.  So I quickly called him and told him of the time change.  Thankfully, he was able to be flexible and come early.  After lunch, we got a lot done very quickly and then we had time to go back to language and everyone - except for one student who had to check out early - got their three bib cards done.  Hallelujah!  That made me a very happy person.  So mission accomplished!  They turned in their practice reports and their bib cards.  Take that slow internet and printer!  We were able to get done despite you!  Of course I need to take a minute to brag on my class here, because they worked hard today.  They are great at listening to and following directions, and that was very helpful in everyone getting as much accomplished as we did today.  They were troopers, and as always, they made me proud.

Mrs. S made a shirt for the Oldest Princess.  She is SO sweet!  The Oldest Princess told me that she wanted a "senior" shirt.  She told me this at the game.  Last night.  And Mrs. S heard.  And Mrs. S delivered.  Today.  The shirt is adorable!  And the Oldest Princess loved it.  She came home and put it on and wore it to church tonight.  Mrs. S made the comment that the Young Prince was the only one that we hadn't "blinged up" yet, and that we would have to think of something for him.

After school the Youngest Princess and I came home and both of us got busy studying.  I had to catch up for my small group tonight.  Thankfully, I was able to do so.  The Youngest Princess was working on schoolwork.  Everyone else got home, and we had breakfast for dinner.  Then we all headed to church.  As we were walking out the door to go to church, My Prince found out that one of our precious elderly church members who has been really sick was getting worse.  He told me that he was going to go to the hospital after church.

I as always enjoyed my small group time.  I love digging into God's Word with these ladies.  I love asking questions and making one another think.  I love studying and finding the answers to some of our questions.  And we were down one member tonight because both she and her husband are sick.  I really hate it when one of us has to miss.

After church, the kids and I came home.  I sent the Youngest Princess up to take her shower.  The Young Prince was upstairs in his room.  The Oldest Princess and I were able to have a heart to heart talk.  God opened the door for me to share some things that I had been waiting for the right time to tell her.  She talked to me about some things that are weighing heavy on her.  Senior years can be scary.  And stressful.  Lots of changes and they are necessary, but hard.  Oh, so hard sometimes.  And it takes that word she picked out...Trust.  Lots of trust.  I have been on her end, and I remember feeling some of the same things she is feeling.  I have never been on this end of it, and it is hard here too.

The Youngest Princess got finished with her shower, and the Oldest Princess went up to study.  I helped the Youngest Princess work on language a little, and then I started my blog for the day.  The Young Prince joined me at the table and worked on some of his homework.  My Prince texted me from the hospital and said that he was on his way home.  I am going to read to the Youngest Princess if she is still awake, and then get us all in bed so we can get some rest.

Until tomorrow...which I hope will not be another one of THOSE days...

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February 9, 2016

It was one of those days.  You know.  The kind where nothing goes right.  At least it felt that way to me.  It wasn't really that way.  There were lots of things that did go right, and I have way more to be thankful for than to complain about.  But you understand.  You have been there too.

I got up this morning.  It was hard to hold my eyes open long enough to read my First 5 devotion.  It was more like First 15 this morning, because I kept falling asleep and having to go back and re-read it.  This morning, it was talking about the pressing of olives in order to get the oil for the Temple Menorah. The point was that in the "crushing" times in our lives, if we honor God, our light will shine in the darkness.  Pretty good to remember.  Especially on those "crushing" days when it feels like nothing goes right.

I began to get ready.  I do a lot of praying in the morning when I get ready probably because it is the longest time frame of my day in which I am alone, and it is quiet.  Therefore, the most conductive time for me to talk to the Lord. So I was getting ready, and thinking and praying, and I came across this quote. "I want to have talked to God more than I talk to anyone else." - Jennie Allen  I like that.  I like that a lot.  I am not a big talker as it is.  I like to listen and process things more than talk.  But I definitely think it is a good goal to aim to talk to God more than we talk to anyone else.  I am going to work on that.

The Oldest Princess woke up not feeling well this morning.  She talked to her Daddy, and he thought we should let her stay home and rest for a couple of hours.  But, she missed a test on Friday, the day we left for cheer competition, and I did not want her to get any further behind than she should.  I expressed that to him.  He then told her that she needed to go in for her first few classes, and then she could come home and rest.  But, our varsity guys were playing a game, and if she only went the first few hours, that would mean that she would not be able to cheer. I am trying to back off a little and let her start making some decisions on her own, because she is about to start having to make all of her decisions on her own.  I want to allow her to make a few while she is here still under our supervision and see how she does.  I did not feel that she should miss the game, but I wanted to let her make that decision and face the music of her consequences.  We gave her some medicine, and she headed off to school with me.  She was not a happy camper.  And I was frustrated as well.  I do not like starting my morning off that way.  I checked on her later, and she seemed to be doing better.  She ended up staying, and I was very glad that she did.  She did not get behind by missing any of her other classes, and was able to cheer for the game.

God has been working on a certain area of my life, in a deeply personal way.  I have been searching and seeking His heart, and praying for Him to work on my heart like never before in this particular area.  It is so funny to me how God works.  I find that when He is teaching me something, I seem to see that thing, or idea, or be tested in that area multiple times each day.  This one thing has been constantly before me.  It feels like everything I pick up something to read, or get in a conversation with someone, this topic comes up.  Usually it frustrates me.  This time, I have allowed it to serve as a reminder for me to take it to the Lord in prayer again.  I so want to learn what He has for me to learn.  I so want to grow, and be more like Him in this area of my life than ever before, but for now, it feels like I have hit a brick wall and that I am going nowhere.  So, I will continue to listen.  I will continue to pray.

School went well overall.  There were a few little really frustrating parts sprinkled in.  My students are writing a practice report before they start their big library research report, and trying to help them and guide them without telling them exactly what to write is frustrating to me.  I want their papers to be their papers.  But teaching them to write their first big paper, and make it their own, is tough.  And at times, a little on the frustrating side. They want me to answer.  I want them to think of a way to write it on their own.  There were a couple more little instances where kids will be kids, and teachers have had enough.  It wears on you some days more than others.  Today was one of those days.  I knew it and I tried to be patient, but there were a couple of times.  Maybe we should just be glad we all made it out alive.  Just kidding.  It was not that bad, but close.

After school, I asked the Youngest Princess how she did on her language quiz.  I had promised her an ice cream if she made an "A".  We very rarely ever bribe our children.  But the Youngest Princess has been struggling in language, and I thought she might just need a little incentive to "get her over the hump" so to speak.  When I asked how she did, she immediately burst into tears.  Parenting fail.  She missed two, and they were ten points each.  So she made an 80.  Which meant no ice cream.  She said she did not understand something on the quiz.  She had her paper.  Sitting there in the car, I explained something about it to her.  She said, "But I didn't KNOW that!"  I told her that now she did, so she could understand it better.  She wanted to know if she could still have an ice cream because if she had known that, she would have gotten it right.  Um.  No.  No A, no ice cream.  More tears.  All the way home.  At home I sat down to try to study for my small group for tomorrow night.   Because I did not do any last week, I am trying to play catch up this week and do two weeks in one.  So I am feeling pressed to get it all done.  The Youngest Princess needed to study her spelling words, so I got her all set up on Quizlet, so she could study and I could study.  She was missing one right after another.  She tired.  She was crying.  She was stressed out.  I was tired. I was pressed for time. I was stressed out.  It was not a pretty picture.  I made her stop and actually spend some time going over her spelling words in her book and then she did much better on her quizlet test.  We also spent a little time studying language, because she has a test tomorrow.  I did not get as far in my studying as I wanted to, but I was able to get a little done.

My Prince came home, and we got ready and left to go to the ballgame.  On our way, I went ahead and read our chapter of Mandie to the Youngest Princess, so we would not have to do it when we got home, and it was late.  We stopped and ate at Chick-fil-a for dinner.  After dinner, we had time to do just a little shopping and then it was off to the game.  The Young Prince and his team played a great game, but they came up just short.  So, thus ends their season.  I have enjoyed watching them play.

On the way home we went ahead and had our family devotions in the car, since we were all there together, and it would save us some time when we got home.  We read, I John 5:14-21.  We had a couple of questions and My Prince answered them for us.  Then we talked about a few things that could be idols in our lives.  My Prince gave us a sneak peek into his sermon for Sunday - hint, hint - it talks about loving God more than anything else (not having idols).  It will be good.  If you attend our church, you don't want to miss it!  We spent some time in prayer - for friends who have a child who had an allergic reaction to some medicine, and who have a grandmother who is preparing to enjoy her first moments in heaven just any day now, for a friend who has hives and doesn't know what is causing them, for another set of friends who one of them is sick with a respiratory infection, and one of them is sick with the flu, and for safe travels home.  We praised the Lord for keeping our children safe during the sports year.

After that it was quiet for a while.  My Prince told me Pigs in the Blanket sounded good to him for dinner tomorrow night.  Good deal.  I can do that.  The Youngest Princess said something about Blankets and Pigs.  She was so tired that she got it backward.  It was cute.

We got home and everyone got to bed as quickly as they could.  We are all worn out.  I grabbed the computer and sat in bed to write my blog, just so after I type the final words, I can lay the computer down, and close my eyes.  I won't even have to climb the stairs.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, February 8, 2016

February 8, 2016

It was hard to get up and get moving this morning.  The last two weekends, and being sick, have about done me in.  But I did get moving.  The First 5 was about the veil that hung in the tabernacle and separated the Holy Place, from the Most Holy Place.  It was the barrier between man, and God's presence.  Only the High Priest could go past the veil, and he only after meticulous cleansing and sacrifice.  Even then, they had to tie a rope around his waist in case he had sin in his life that had not been properly taken care of, because if that was the case, he would die instantly.  They would use the rope to drag his body back to their side of the veil.  BUT!  When Jesus died on the cross, He was the ultimate sacrifice.  At His death, there was an earthquake, and the temple veil was torn in two.  Here's my favorite part! The Bible specifically points out that it was torn from TOP to BOTTOM (emphasis mine).  Why from top to bottom?  Why is that important?  Because it shows that God is the one who split the veil.  Not man.  Man would have torn it from bottom to top.  But it was God's way of showing us that His Son had paid the price and had been the ultimate sacrifice.  Because of Jesus's death on the cross, we now have total and complete access to the throne of God.  We can dwell in His presence!  There is no longer a veil to separate us, or to keep us back! We don't have to depend on a High Priest to go to God for us!  Hebrews 4:14-16 says that we can go "boldly unto the throne of grace".  How awesome is that!  It makes me want to bask in His presence all day long!  The more I thought about it this morning, the more excited I got. What a precious gift!

School went pretty normal.  It was a little difficult getting back into the swing first thing.  I had things to go through from last Friday, and things to keep up with, so it felt like two mornings in one.  But I got caught up, and the day went smoothly.  I managed to grade almost all my papers, and get two students caught up on make-up tests and quizzes.  Hopefully after my break time tomorrow, I will be completely caught up.  My sub from Friday did a great job at getting everything done, and keeping the students right on track, and that is always a blessing.

Today was my big sister's birthday.  I hate that we live so far apart.  I wished her a happy birthday. She told me she wished we lived closer together.  She also told me that I could let the Oldest Princess come and live with her and help her with some projects that she is working on.  I told her she would have to stand in line for that, because it seems like the Oldest Princess is in high demand these days.

After school, I came home and started getting dinner ready.  We have a family in our church that just had a baby, and I had signed up to cook for them.  The Oldest Princess helped me out by making the brownies.  My Prince helped by doing anything I needed him to do.  And the Youngest Princess even helped a little by crunching the chips in the bottom of the casserole.

The Oldest Princess and I took the meal over to them, and of course visited with the family and held the baby and loved on her a little.  She was absolutely precious!

We came home and ate dinner ourselves.  The Young Prince was already in bed.  I am worried that he is getting sick.  He does not normally go to bed that early in the evening.  But maybe he is just really tired, and crashed.  We have been going like crazy people, and maybe he just really needed some sleep.

I talked to my older brother for a few minutes.  We haven't talked in a while, so that was nice.  Again, I wish we lived closer to one another.  Sometimes it is really hard living so far away from all of your family.  Hopefully we will get to see each other before too long.

We watched a little TV, and then we had family devotions - 1John 5:1-13.  My Prince remembered his dad preaching a sermon from that passage, and he told us a little about it.  We prayed, and then everyone went their separate ways to prepare for tomorrow.

It has been a long day, and tomorrow the Young Prince has a basketball playoff game, so it will be another long day.  I guess I will go now, and try to get some rest myself.  After the Youngest Princess and I read our chapter of Mandie of course.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, February 7, 2016

February 7, 2016

*After I blogged last night, My Prince true to his promise to the Youngest Princess, saw a Dairy Queen sign, and we were all awake, so he pulled off and bought us all Blizzards.

*Later when he had to stop for gas, we were talking to the attendant, and told her that we had been at a cheer competition.  He pulled off his jacket and showed her his shirt (Mrs. S, I think he likes it.) The man behind us said, "Now, that's being a good dad, right there!" I must agree sir, I must agree.

*We made it home safely at about 1:30 a.m.  I was thankful it was that early, because I figured that it would take us longer to get home.

*We all went immediately to bed, and slept wonderful back in our own beds.

*This morning we all got up and got ready for church.  The Young Prince stopped by, and I was very glad he did, because I have really missed him.

*I am doing a personal Bible study on David, and read this this morning, and it was really good, so I thought I would share it. It was talking about how David was not afraid to fight Goliath, because he knew the battle was God's and he knew God would be with him.  It went on to say, "Our fear of God has to expand to be greater than our fear of anything else.  Fearing God simply means that, above any other thing, we love and want to please Him.  The first of the Ten Commandments is, "You shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3).  When God is in His right place, He will  be the only thing we fear, the only thing we worship." - Jennie Allen  It made me do a little soul searching about what I fear, and why I fear those things.  It was deep. And convicting.

*We all went to church.  Sunday School was a continuation of our study on Ruth.  I love how God's hand is in the details of the story.  It is neat to see how He moves and works, and to know that He moves and works in our lives in the same way.

*The sermon by My Prince was that we need to have evidences of exceeding righteousness in our: attitudes, actions, affections, and associations. When we are saved, we are changed.  We should love Jesus more than the things of the world. It was good.

*We ate lunch at the church. It was ham and mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese.  It was all delicious!  We have some of the best cooks in the world!  Those ladies always do a wonderful job. The kids and I came home, and My Prince stayed for a meeting with the deacons and their wives.

*I immediately got busy studying for my Bible Drills class and for the two group studies that I am in.  I had to play catch up, because it has been such a crazy week that it has been very hard to stay on schedule.  But, things are slowing down, at least for a little while, and I should be able to get back in the swing of things.

*We left for church.  The oldest kids for their small groups, the Youngest Princess for choir practice, and My Prince and I for our Sunday night class.  It was very good tonight, as we talked about Bible reading and prayer.

*Then it was Bible Drill time!  Yay!  One of my favorite times of the week!  My sweet friend who is my faithful sidekick and assistant in Bible Drills, came to church even though she was covered in hives.  Poor thing!  Please pray that they will go away and she will feel better.  We learned our new verse I Corinthians 3:16, and talked about how our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost, and how we should act as such.  Then we worked on cementing some of the Key Passage passages to our memories and on finding them in less than ten seconds.  The kids did great tonight.  We also played a little gotcha at the end to help them practice their books of the Bible.  There were no shower curtains and fly swatters happening tonight, but we still had fun learning God's Word and preparing for competition.

*After church, we came home and had our family devotions. And after several nights of being spread to the wind, we were all back together again.  Tonight we read I John 4:12-21.  My Prince loves I John 4:14.  That verse always makes me think of AWANA.  I memorized it just by listening to so many students say it.  It is also in a passage that my school students learn as their memory verse later in the year.  My Prince prayed, and everyone left to do what they needed to get done before tomorrow.

*And now, the boys are watching some football game on TV, and the Oldest Princess is studying, and the Youngest Princess is getting ready for bed, so we can read Mandie.  It has been several nights since we have read, because we have been in different places and have gotten to bed so late.

*So, I will go and find out if Mandie ever solves the mystery of the quilt.

*Until tomorrow...

Saturday, February 6, 2016

February 6, 2016

*Got up - did not watch the First 5 Weekend Wrap up - because we were in a hotel room and I did not want to wake anyone else up.

*Got ready, then woke up My Prince and the Youngest Princess so they could get ready too.

*Took the Youngest Princess to the cheer coach's room to have her hair and makeup done.

*One of my precious former students did her makeup, and another awesome mon did her hair.

*We went back to our room to get My Prince and our luggage, and then down to the lobby to meet up with everyone.

*We followed the van to the school where the competition was, so the extra girls could ride with us - there were too many to ride on the van.  The conversation on the van included this quote, "Have you ever eaten crawfish?  They come in their WHOLE BODIES!!"  Out of the mouths of children.  I love the way they think.

*I ran in and checked on the Okdest Princess who was still not feeling well, and give her some medicine.

*Then we went with some of our friends to the mall to pass some time before the competition began.

*We went back to the competition and spent the rest of the day watching, and or waiting for our girls to perform.

*Toward the end of the competition, the daughter of our friends, that we met for dinner last night, surprised us by stopping by.  I was so excited to see her!  It has been almost 18 years!  She had her two precious little ones with her.  What a joy to see this young lady that I loved as a college student all grown up - a wife and mother - with precious little ones of her own!  It was a sweet time, and a wonderful surprise.  She stayed and watched the rest of the competition with us.  When the competition was over, we said your goodbyes.  I definitely hope it is not another 18 years before we get to see each other again!

*Our girls placed in some way in every category they entered, so it was a good day of cheer competition.  We are very proud of them all.

*As soon as the competition was over and pictures were made, we (My Prince, th Oldest Princess, the Youngest Princess and I all headed home.  

*Hopefully we can make the trip home a little faster than we made the trip there, so we can get a little sleep before church tomorrow.

*We will do our fanily devos in the car tonight.

*Speaking of...we are going to do those now :-).

*Until tomorrow...

Friday, February 5, 2016

February 5, 2016

*Got up - got ready - told the Young Prince goodbye - left

*Got to the school, waited for everyone to get there


*Rode in the car for a long time - pretty much all day

*Arrived - Very thankful for a safe trip

*Met our dear friends that we have known for 18 years, but haven't seen for the last three, and caught up with them over dinner - it was a sweet time of fellowship - wish we had more time to visit

*Arranged to have the Youngest Princess's hair done in the morning

*Got the Youngst Princess ready for bed

*Talked to the Young Prince and heard all about how he and his friends caught their own crawfish and had a crawfish boil and how good they were - I was impressed!

*Talked to the Oldest Princess and told her goodnight

*Did family devotions with the Youngest Princess and My Prince - 1 John 3:16-24

*Had prayer time

*Until tomorrow...