Spring Break in Mississippi

You realize just how big Texas is, when it takes longer to go from Dallas to Shreveport than it does to drive across the top of Louisiana. We left Dallas on Highway 20 towards Louisiana and it took about 3 hours to get out of Texas. We drove from the East of Louisiana to the West of Louisiana in about 2 hours, which finally put us in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

While we were in Louisiana we had to stop off at Willies place. It gave us a moment to stretch our legs and walk around. You may have heard of the place… Duck Dynasty, Duck Commander Shop.

We arranged to stay at a beautiful Victorian home in Vicksburg through Airbnb, and it lived up to our expectations. (if you are interested in using Airbnb on your next vacation $20.00 off Airbnb stay)  We arrived around sunset so we used that to our advantage and took some gorgeous pictures of the Mighty Mississippi River. March 2016 Spring Break 163 Just being there made you want to kick back and relax to hear the water washing by. That night we watched a movie in the backyard of the place we stayed, we made s’mores in their fire pit and ate grilled hot dogs. My kids thought they were in heaven!

backyard with the boys in MS

Tuesday morning we drove through the Vicksburg National Military Park where we were engulfed in thoughts and memories about the Civil War. It was breathtaking to stand where someone fought for what they believed and most likely died because of it. The one thing I hope my girls take from this experience is that it is important to stand up for what you believe in. There is no telling where this country would be today if the Confederate army had won. I was so moved by the thought of all those people that sacrificed so much for their beliefs. Words cannot pay my respects enough to do them justice.

After the Military Park we drove about an hour south to Natchez, Mississippi. I had wanted to visit some plantation homes so that I could imagine living way back then and imagine being rich. (what?!….I am a teacher….so I’m usually broke!)  We stopped at a local burger joint first (Bellemont Shake Shop…my girls rated it 8 out of 10) to get some grub and then we went on to pretend we were fancy mansion owners. We went to three historic homes and they were all uniquely different and had their own personality as well as their original owners. It will never stop amazing me about the stories that go along with these homes. You have to visit to get the stories but they are amazing and well worth the time and money. Stanton hall was a beautiful black and white column home in downtown Natchez.

Our next stop, the Longwood home,  was out in the wooded area of Natchez with a gorgeous tree covered drive into the home. I stopped and took a picture of the home on our way up. It is an octagon shape with windows and on each face to allow the breeze to move through the home. This one was my favorite because it could have been a gorgeous home on the inside had they finished it! Such a sad story about the Civil War stopping construction on the home and it never got completed.

When we got home from Natchez, my girls wanted to play BeanBoozled with our Airbnb hosts boys. So she welcomed us to her kitchen table where our kiddos played the game and we watched and laughed. You know you are with the right family when you can sit back and watch the kids laugh together. We really enjoyed our host home! March 2016 Spring Break 437

The last home we visited was in Vicksburg, actually about 3 blocks west of our home we stayed in. Cedar Grove Mansion is a famous home that received hundreds of cannon ball attacks and bullet holes during the Civil War. One of the cannon balls is still lodged in the men’s parlor room wall. This is a gorgeous home that is actually a bed and breakfast. So if you are feeling fancy go stay at this place!

Our last stop before heading out of Vicksburg for our long drive home was the Coca-Cola museum. This was the place that first started bottling Coca-Cola. It was a little place but we sure enjoyed it!

So if you are looking for a place that is relaxing, historical and interesting go visit Vicksburg, Mississippi! We sure enjoyed it! The mighty Mississippi river was amazing to watch and reminded us of how it grew a small town into a booming city. Goodbye for now Mississippi!

Thanks for reading about our trip. We sure had a nice Spring Break 2016.

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Coaching Girls Volleyball 101 – Practices and Drills

All you volleyball coaches out there.

Fitness Over Forty

Over the weekend I spent 10 hours in a volleyball clinic –  a 3 hour session for coaches, and two 3.5 hour sessions for players (I went to the two sessions for 7th grade through High School players).  I decided I would do a brain dump of all the things I remember – both for myself and for any other coaches who might benefit.  This information is free – take it for what it’s worth.

This post is about designing Practices and Drills.

  • Every Practice should have an over all purpose.  There are a couple of ways a coach can choose what to practice that day.  The first is to rotate practices.  For our 7th graders, I am going to break out each practice by the major skills (forearm passing, overhead passing, hitting, serving, and defense).  The other way to choose a focus for the practice is by observing the team…

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There’d Be Days Like This

“Momma said there’d be days like this, there’d be days like this my momma said.” Dang! Momma was right about that, wasn’t she?! You can go into my world for a moment and get in my shoes. I am a First Grade teacher, and some days are just rough! 21 kids in disarray is a LOT of disarray. You either have to laugh or cry and I think I may have done a little of both this week. At one point they just weren’t getting what I was putting down and I did everything but stand on my head to try to help them understand, to no avail. Ahhh!!! I had to leave the classroom, close the door behind me, and just lean on the door. My teammate walked by at that same time and said, “Me too girl, me too!” Sometimes it is just nice to know that you are not alone. Even as a teacher, having a rough day, we are not alone. Thank goodness for that. 🙂 When I went back into the classroom, it was like a miracle had occurred, they were all sitting quietly waiting for my return. (Believe me this is a miracle that someone was not spinning on the green carpet, or up talking to their friend at another table.) Straight. Up. Miracle. “Momma said there’d be days like this……”

Miracles happen. They do. I promise. I have witnessed them and been a part of them. However, there is TIME that comes with miracles. Sometimes our miracles don’t come over night, in one week or even in one year. I am always praying for myself, my kids, my family and other people that God puts on my heart.

Over the past several weeks I have been having a come to Jesus with Jesus. Yes you read that right. I have been telling God that I can no longer do the hard work down here, but that he has to step in and make these mountains move. If you know God at all you know he just laughed, and basically said, “Well thanks for letting me do my job.” To which I said, “You are welcome! I just cannot be God anymore down here God!” He just listened and I said, “Lord I need you to take this from me. Don’t let me have it back either, because it is just getting worse the more I try to fix it.” After I got off my high horse, he just said, “I have been waiting for you to give that to me.” Then he said, “If you would only do what I ask you to do and nothing more, then you would see me moving, like I have already promised you I would.” That steadied my heart, and I just had to tell my flesh and heart to be still and let God take it. It is so hard to have faith, especially when you can see nothing in the natural. I just want to say for the record, IT’S HARD!  It’s sobbing tears kind of hard. But you can bet your bottom dollar this chick has faith that it will come to pass. No matter what I see in the natural, I am still believing for the promises and the moving of the mountains.

I would like to encourage you tonight, to know that if God gave you a word that he will do something, don’t give up!! He will do it. You have to have faith, believe, pray, and thank God for the blessing BEFORE they actually happen. Stand with me and I will stand with you for words of affirmation in due season. God is still in the business of miracles. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy in the midst of you waiting for the miracle. Find the joy in the trials. It is there, you just have to find it.

Job 6:10 It would still bring me comfort, and I would leap for joy in unrelenting pain that I have not denied the words of the Holy One.

Love Intentionally. ❤

When Is The ‘Right’ Time?

Texas is completely bipolar, but you gotta love it! Today it’s 70 degrees, wind is blowing and it feels amazing. Tomorrow it is supposed to be in the 60’s and by the weekend it is supposed to be cold and rainy. Who’s complaining? Not this chick.

**This is just a warning that this blog will be a little different than most of my blogs.

Picture it: Girl sitting in the room, reading a book. A guy walks over to her, sits down beside her and slides over a note. She gets red in the face, grabs the note to appease the guy and reads it. “Do you like me? Circle Yes or No” She grabs her pencil, circles Yes folds the note back up, slides it back to the guy. He opens it, reads it, gets a huge approving smile on his face, stands up and walks away. She goes on about her reading, smiling with contentment.

Sweet right? It is straight to the point, there is no blurred lines, everyone knows exactly what the other thinks. That is a scenario before the texting scene popped up.

Picture it: Girl is sitting at her computer, reading through online dating applicants. This one is handsome, but he smokes.This one doesn’t smoke but he is less than attractive to her. She scans through 20 other pictures and profiles until she sees one that has most (at best) of the qualities that she is attracted to. She sends him a digital ‘wink’. She waits… she sees he is online…and waits…. Okay she is moving on to the second best profile. She sends him a virtual ‘wink’. She closes out of that website, because she is now frustrated that her first choice still has not messaged back. The next day she awakes to an email from her first choice! Joyous morning!

*Fast Forward 3 weeks* Okay they have been calling each other off and on, texting everyday. They seem to be really hitting it off. He is funny, he goes to church regularly (so he says) and he loves his momma (but doesn’t live with her, which is very important). They talk about their likes and dislikes, they talk about if they plan to marry again and if each other wanted kids again. They seem to really be hitting it off, so she agrees to go on a date. Their schedules finally match up, and they set the date. She is so excited to finally go out on a legitimate date! She gets childcare arranged, she picks out an outfit with her bestie….she is ready!

Then it happens….

He texts her a dick pic.

Not just any dick pic, but a full body picture. It is weird and at a bad angle (just sayin). If you are going to make this choice, you should really take several pictures for you to examine and then send the best one. (not that I am encouraging this at all) She is confused and honestly horrified that he thought it was a good idea to send this. I mean, when is the right time to send a dick pic? Maybe it is three weeks into a conversation that most people send one. Maybe it is in the guys handbook of “When to Send a Dick Pic” that it says, “Send within 3 weeks but not before 3 weeks because you will surely scare her off.”   Maybe he was too lazy and didn’t get to Chapter 4 in the book where it says “Never send a full body dick picture, because this takes years of practice, and if you are reading this book, you are not ready for that level of dick pic’edness.” (yes i made that word up!) Maybe he thought this was going to take the relationship to the next level, and he was ready for the next step. Is it like playing strip poker, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours? Does this mean there is an unspoken rule that if you receive a dick pic you are now responsible for sending a  veejayjay pic?! Oh no! No, no, no, no.  Maybe she should be grateful to receive this dick pic first thing in the morning. I mean doesn’t it mean he was thinking of her when he woke up this morning? So, I suppose there is always a silver lining, when receiving a dick pic. I guess things are looking up (pun intended) 😉

Guys you can comment if you dare, but really, unless we ask you for a dick pic, please for the love of everything good, DON’T SEND IT. I am curious now though, do women send vag shots without the man asking for it? I guess I am not really a part of this world, so I may just be out of the know. Maybe that is the case. You can be the judge of that.

Love intentionally. (but please keep your privates covered, unless asked otherwise)  😉 ❤

Epiphany

Lovely weather in Texas this weekend. Beautiful days and cool nights, just enough to make you want to snuggle up to a warm cup of jo and chat. I am a female, (just in case someone out there didn’t realize that) and I do love to chat. I love to chat with just about anyone who wants to carry on a conversation with me.

I love talking to different people, especially people I don’t know. I learn a lot about myself from people who barely know me. Know what I mean? We know ourselves from the inside out. Others get the amazing pleasure of knowing us from the outside in. It will never cease to amaze me how people can tell me something that I think I know about myself and they tell me that’s not what they see AT ALL! It can be good and bad sometimes, but mostly it’s nice to know that even a stranger can see who you really are.

I believe it is really more all about our actions than words though. Right? If I tell you I am a nice person and that I’m funny, you could believe me. If I have the opportunity to show you that I am nice and funny, then my actions will prove my words. Words are extremely powerful, but if you say things and you never follow through, people will stop believing the words that are coming out of your mouth. (think about it)

I had an epiphany last night in the shower. I will give you a run down of my brain conversation with myself.

Staring at the shampoo bottle ingredients…wow who knew all of that crap is in this shampoo…I wonder if they really think people in the shower will read this….I mean I do, but I’m a little different than most….hmmm maybe I should ask my friends if they also read the shampoo bottle ingredients…..I could text them and ask…..no that’s dumb, I want to know their actual response when I ask them such a random question….You should call them and ask them….I wonder why people think texting is a major form of communication these days…..doesn’t anybody talk on the phone anymore….just to hear the other persons voice is so nice, and reassuring that they actually care enough to take time out of their life, to talk and listen to me and my random question…. man I love my friends…..wait a minute…..I don’t do that with my guy friends….I text them all….. what the crap?!…..I hate just texting people…..why did I not see this before? I cannot get mad at them when I let them text me…..oh my gosh, I have let the last 3 guys that I have talked to, text me for the majority of our friendships…..well crap, that is completely my fault…..I have to change the boundaries with my guy friends…Wow…You need to change that pronto.

The end. That was my big epiphany. It isn’t just 3 guys, it’s been about 4 years of mostly having a conversation over text. It’s easy, it’s quick. Here’s the problem with it, it sends the wrong message to them. I want them to know I care about their life enough to call them and talk. I also want them to care about what is going on in my life. If they don’t care enough to hear about my life, then maybe I need to reevaluate my guy friend list.

So here’s my challenge to you: If you only text people, surprise them and call them. When you hang up see if you don’t feel happier with your choice. 🙂 Yea, you can thank me later.

Love intentionally. Be intentional. ❤

This is How You Know…

Your days are numb.

You ignore the pain.

You wish you had stayed in bed.

What day is it again?

You go through the motions.

A minute feels like a month.

You tell yourself you don’t need this shit.

How long is long enough?

Stupid song makes you think of them.

You daydream of being anywhere but here.

You tell yourself you will not fear.

This is how you know… you’re done.

How to Accept the Apology You Never Received

So true. Great read.

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

In an ideal world, everyone that causes harm to another, either intentionally or unintentionally, would immediately offer up a genuine apology: accepting responsibility, acknowledging the pain, express empathy and remorse, immediately changing behavior and, if appropriate, making amends for the damage caused. But we know that rarely happens. And it never happens as quickly as we would like.

Instead, we receive a “sorry” tossed out with little thought and nothing to back it up. We hear, “I’ll do better” and better never comes. We may find that in place of an apology, we instead receive blame and misplaced anger as defensiveness leads instead of empathy. The apology may be discounted by the excuses that accompany it. We may see an utter lack of comprehension at the pain that was inflicted. Or we may just be listening to radio silence, waiting for an apology that never comes.

An apology that maybe we…

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Faith Is…

Faith is believing in things unseen.
It is standing up when everyone else is sitting down.
It is marching to the beat of your own drum, despite what people say.
It is thanking God for making you a victorious overcomer, while you are in the very midst of a storm.
It is believing you can when the world says you cannot.
It is seeing triumph during tribulation.
It is joy when the world says you should have sorrow.
It is taking the first step, even though you cannot see the second one.
It is preparing for a spouse when you aren’t dating anyone.
It is believing things God told you even though everything points to impossible.
It is praying over your spouse while you are very much single.
It is believing in Gods word.
It is believing in God.
It is believing.
Faith.

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Why Are You Not Married Yet?

People ask me all the time, why are you not married yet? I just smile and inside my head I answer differently than what comes out of my mouth. What I say is “Well, I have to date someone before I can marry them, so I’m not married yet.” Inside my head it goes something like this, “Really!? That question again? Should I tell them the truth, or just enough of the truth so that they will leave me alone. Go with just the little bit of truth, that way this conversation doesn’t have to continue.”

You see there are two different types of people in this world. Those that have faith in things unseen and those that believe what they see. So based on the type of person I have seen in you, I will answer that marriage question accordingly. If you are like me, and have faith in things unseen then you get a totally different answer. The answer I would give you goes as follows: “Well, I believe that God is preparing my husband for the exact right time to realize that I am his wife. I believe that God has a plan that is far greater than I can see or even hope to imagine, and in God’s timing, he will reveal us to each other. You see I have been praying for my husband day and night for the past year and I believe God put that on my heart. He is teaching me to love and care for a man that does not even know I am doing it. He is teaching me honor and respect through prayer and supplication. Everyday that I breathe air, is a day that I pray over my future husband. I not only pray for him and over him, but I pray for his family and friends. I read from the book The Power of a Praying Wife.  I read this book often because I know that God knows my husband. I don’t have to know him to pray over him. But I do have to have faith that he is out there, and that I am sure he could use some prayers.” Usually after I give someone that type of answer I wait to see their facial expression. Then I say “Do you think that is crazy?” Even though I totally expect them to say “Yes”, they never have. They tell me that they wish they had done that before meeting their husband, and they tell me that my husband is blessed to have a future wife like me. To which my face turns red from embarrassment, and I also agree that my future husband is blessed and highly favored. ❤

If you are a wife, or want to be a wife in the future, I highly recommend that you buy The Power of a Praying Wife and start reading it over your husband. It is amazing!!

Love intentionally. ❤

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…

Just in case anyone out in cyber land ever wanted to know some of my favorite things, here is a random, not in any specific order list.

  • intentional (thoughtful) gifts
  • touching someone I care about (get your minds outta the gutter people)
  • strawberries covered in chocolate
  • tulips and gardenias
  • a hammock on a beach
  • a hammock anywhere quiet
  • a good book
  • being with my friends
  • playing games with my girls
  • a fire on a cold night
  • hot coffee
  • snuggling on the couch
  • old historic houses
  • lit candles
  • ice cream
  • freshly baked super soft cookies
  • blueberries and strawberries with vanilla yogurt
  • fresh pineapple yum
  • breakfast for any meal
  • family vacations
  • a nice smile with nice teeth
  • snow falling
  • porch sitting
  • comfy beds
  • Monet paintings
  • the smell of rain in the air
  • dirt roads with shade trees lining both side
  • out the window of a car; hand roller coaster with the wind
  • driving to get lost; finding my way back
  • people watching
  • long talks with myself (out loud)

Awww I just re-read my list and it made me happy. ❤ Find the things that make you happy, and do at least ONE of them daily. You will be happy that you did. Believe me. 😉

Love people, and love them intentionally. It will make you happy. (and you are the only one that really matters)