Day 9 ~ 31 Days of Writing still going on!

A loaded question for sure!!! It seems I am constantly working on myself and maybe that is a good thing. As I have committed to copying my journals from paper to the computer it has allowed me to reflect on things. The most recent writings have been from July and August 2016 ~ a big change in our lives. We lost one job due to restructuring of the company, got hired by another, had a quick trip to Texas and was able to spend almost two weeks in Blaine.

I had some great time with my bestie, Dee, good friends Jim & Mary, great discussions with Pastor Charles as well as time to see all of our grands!! And then we moved to Texas for the next job which was as Home Parents at Methodist Children’s Home/Boys Ranch.

Who would have ever thought that becoming House Parents would allow us the second chance at parenting? And eventually to girls.

In response to the question above I want to continue to learn how to extend grace to myself that I have learned to give to others. And to continue to learn to make good choices about eating and other aspects of my health.

Ron and I recently just joined up on MyFitnessPal.com. My user name is Ali1257 and Ron’s is RonbestPapa. Send us a request if you want to join us on our journey of getting healthier. One thing we like about this app is that we can scan bar codes and pictures of what we are eating to make it easier to choose the right food items.

Another thing I continue to work on is my relationships with people and to be more intentional. I think this is an ongoing project that I will continue throughout the rest of my life. I try to be more intentional with my time, be in the moment when I am with people whether chatting via text, on the phone or in person.

And then the thought came to “I am constantly working on myself ~ why is that ~ because I am not perfect!!! What a concept…I say that while laughing. I have known for a long time I am not perfect by any means and all I can do is make better choices today than I made yesterday. One way of doing that is not dwelling the past but focusing on today and looking to the future for the opportunities to be and do what the Lord has called me to … and that is to love one another. And realizing that loving one another may look different with different people.

I think about my relationship with my sister Joanie and I usually do think about her this time of the year as I think about my sister Kathy, who on the 12th of this month would have been 67. And how she has been gone from this world for almost 13 years and I think about all the conversations Kathy and I had about Joanie. How sad I am that she has cut off all communication with me, Ron and our boys as well as her not knowing our grandchildren. And with it being Mother’s Day I think about my mom and how sad she would be to know that her only two girls left don’t even know what the other is doing. Or that they don’t speak to each other. Oh how I wish it was different.

I am thankful though for the relationship with my niece, Christi, Kathy’s daughter. We may not see each other often but we text and communicate through Facebook and it excites me to see her growing into a beautiful young woman who I know her mama would be proud.

Another benefit of rewriting my journals to the computer is the memories that come flooding back of the many friends, who I like to call framily (you know more than friends but not blood family). One pleasant memory I was reminded of was when we spent a week in our Pastor’s home, helping out with the dogs, seeing lots of friends in Blaine and some great conversation with Pastor Charles…at that time, we had been friends for 15 years and reflected on how God became such an integral part of our lives and how we learned to really lean on Him and trust Him and now 5 years later we have even more examples of how the Lord has guided us and taken care of us.

And all the places we could never have imagined seeing but here we are ~ moved clear across the US from one coast to the other. The moves haven’t always been easy but looking back we can see how the Lord just kept opening doors when some were closing and brought people into our lives at just the right moment. And it all just shows me that

God is Faithful I am Blessed - 3T Xpressions

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I hope that whatever you are doing today and whoever you are with that you too feel blessed!

Got off track ~

Life happens, work happens, swollen feet happen and goals get tossed in the wind.

I have typed up three pages of my journals…from 2016. It has surprised me to see that some of the issues I was dealing with then are some of the same issues I seem to be struggling with today. Life is so very different as we are now Home Parents to teens then we were co-managers of a 55+ community but in so many ways so very similar.

A question that keeps coming up in conversation with Ron and a few others leaves me wondering something yet I hesitate to put it out there. The other day I posted something on Facebook that I thought was kind of funny and yet sad…and got quite a bit of negative comments…so I did what I have been doing a lot of lately…deleted it. Said nothing. Just deleted it.

But my question keeps coming up…it has to do with the vaccine, yes the Covid one. The issue that seems to cause such division between people.

My question is “why is it any one’s business whether or not you or I get the vaccine?” I mean, if you have a colonoscopy do you tell your friends and perfect strangers on Facebook? I don’t want to argue, I am just curious.

Ron and I have heard talk about airlines going to ask for proof that someone has the vaccine before they fly…is that really anyone’s business? What about the HIPPA laws? I know I was admitted to the hospital the day HIPPA went into effect and my boss had to call me on my cell phone to reach me because the hospital wouldn’t even tell him if I was in the hospital or not.

I think about our boys and when they were little and got their vaccinations…I didn’t advertise to anyone when they got them. I am sure people would be surprised to hear that Jamie didn’t even begin getting vaccinations till he was 4 months old…most babies start getting shots at 2 months…but really who’s business is it?

Well I’m sure I have rattled some cages with my questions and tomorrow is our Tuesday ~ extra busy as we are going to be traveling after we get off work…it’s time to go get some more Grammy hugs!!! So I will close for now.

Day 8 ~ 31 Days of Writing

I read the Writing Prompt for today and started laughing…why you ask? Because my focus for the last day and a half has been on me! Yesterday I had a dentist appointment to get a tooth pulled ~ definitely not something fun but a necessity. My appointment was for 2:00 and I was done by 2:29. The dentist said the tooth did not splinter at all which is what he was afraid of due to the old filling that had broken off. Thank you Jesus for an easy extraction.

And then with a stop at Walmart ~ Ron went in and I stayed in the truck and then home. I was up for about an hour, laid down and slept for almost 4 hours ~ I think because of a combination of stress and Lorazepam. Whatever it was, it worked.

Was up for about an hour, ate some jello and some pudding. Tasted good but hard on the emotions after two doctor appointments where it was stressed I MUST LOSE SOME WEIGHT! But it is what it is and this tooth pain/recovery won’t last forever. I went back to bed about 8:30 last night and slept till 9:30 this morning.

Ran some errands with Ron and then back to the trailer. Ate some oatmeal and cottage cheese (not together 🙂 ) and was feeling grumpy…my

Take a peek inside our family rv trailer! ⋆ Take Them Outside
Messy Trailer!

is driving me nuts but the energy is just not there to clean it up. So I took another nap ~ yep slept for another 2 hours.

Got up and thought I would do some writing beginning with today’s writing prompt! And laughed since my focus the last 24 hours + have been on me…but I doubt that is what the person meant.

I am fortunate with our work schedule that I do have a lot of free time for just me or just us. Along these lines I think of the Daily goals I have set for myself. Walk twice a day, and write two different things. Yesterday I did get for one walk. Today has been one walk and one writing session. As I have mentioned before, I am trying to extend myself the grace that I give to others. So I am doing what I can and what is working for me. And that is all part of remaining healthy ~ emotionally and physically.

Thinking out of the box…a day for me would include sleeping in, a walk along the beach, eating a nice healthy lunch full of tasty vegetables: thinking stuffed mushrooms, celery and carrots with tzatziki sauce, cheese, meat slices and crackers, then time writing and crocheting and watching some TV shows with the hubs! My second day would be a day at Woods with my Bestie!!!

Blaine Coffee Shop: Birch Bay Square - Woods Coffee

It’s been such a long time and yet is needed so much! We keep reminding ourselves that all in God’s time!!!

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What does a day just for you look like?

Day 7 ~ 31 Days of Writing

Ouchie!!! Oh how this hits so close to home. I have been reminded a lot lately that I am quick to extend Grace and Mercy to others but not so much to myself. Ouchie!!!

After a difficult day today I am reminded that I can only do what I can do…not what others say or do. Thank you Lord for this GIANT reminder to love myself the way I love others and how I want to be loved!

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Today I have completed my tasks on my To Do List…I made all my scheduled appointments, I went for a walk with my hubby, and I wrote/transcribed two pages from my journal and am doing my Daily Writing Prompt for the day!

Pat yourself on the back by Ashleigh Green | Dribbble | Dribbble |  Ilustrasi grafis, Seni gif, Ilustrasi

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Part of my difficult day was being faced with a BIG DOSE of reality from my doctor. Hey I know I’m overweight and I know I don’t always make good food choices. But sitting in the doctor’s office today with

When to See a Doctor for Swollen Feet Treatment

which seemed to have come out of nowhere on Sunday and doesn’t seem to be letting up I knew I needed to get it checked out. Thus I found myself sitting in the doctor’s office…answering questions: yes I have had a heart attack, yes I tend to eat a lot of salt and not always sea salt, I know I don’t drink enough water and definitely don’t get the exercise that I KNOW I SHOULD BE DOING! But the kicker for me was the fact I had gained 12.5 lbs since March 3rd!!! That is what scares me.

I don’t often talk about my sister, Kathy ~ she died in September 2008 at the age of 54, she was quite overweight. We didn’t have the best of relationships all the time but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that she loved me and had my back on the darkest of days BUT I don’t want to die in my sleep as she did, so overweight that the coroner said the family shouldn’t see her in the state her body was in…and I have always THOUGHT in my head that if my weight got to 250.1 lbs. I would die in my sleep…250 lbs. has always been the number that I wanted to avoid…but today I reality hit me in the face when the number was about that number!!! Reality hit me hard in the face.

And I know I must do something, that no one else can do it for me. So after having a heart~to~heart with Ron we made our way to the grocery store. Why oh why does eating healthy have to be so damn expensive! I am happy to say (pay myself on the back again) we only bought fresh fruit, fresh veggies, some dairy products and a little meat…no potatoes, no cookies, no candy and no ice cream!!!

Our dinner this evening:


And I added another reminder to take both a morning and evening walk! The doctor would like me (us) to walk for 10 to 15 minutes after every meal…but I know this will be a big change for me (us) and I know me, I have to set goals that I know I can keep or else I will FAIL ~ and this is not an option!! So for now, walking twice a day is on my To Do List…

~ To take a morning walk
~ To write/transcribe a page a day from my old journals
~ To write a post on my blog
~ To take an evening walk

And in meeting one of my tasks from today…God showed me in so many ways that He will continue to love, nurture and care for me. Below is part of what I transcribed from my journal this evening:

3.13.16

God will breathe into me if I stay close and seek Him.  Lord give me renewed strength today ~ to trust in you and to seek your assistance in whatever I do.

Exodus 18:14-24 “We cannot do this journey on our own.  Let others share our burdens.  Where two or more are gathered God is with us.  Don’t struggle alone!

It’s okay to delegate work, we don’t have to do everything on our own.  Remember it’s okay to take a breather to step away and allow others to help out. 

Balance that’s what I need!!

         B ~ Believe in God; He is always there

         A ~ Allow others to assist me, I don’t have to do it alone

         L ~ Lean on God, He is strong enough for everything

         A ~ Align myself with God’s teachings

         N ~ Never doubt God’s presence or abilities

         C ~ Cling tightly to God’s Word

         E ~ Encourage one another

Lord help me to find BALANCE in my life!

How awesome is that…reminding to share my burdens, stay in the Word and that God loves me today just like he loved me five years ago and I know he will continue to love me in the days to come!!!

I often mention “God Winks” well for me today, this was a God Wave!!! And so I am extending grace and mercy to myself ~ I am not where I want to be physically but it is what it is and today I made good choices! And that is what matters.

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What good choice did you make today?

Day 6 ~ 31 Days of Writing Prompts

Taking a leap of faith ~ how this goes along with the Daily Bible Verse that hit’s my email each day. Today it was

Faith & Trust seem to go hand in hand. In reply to the question “what is something that scares me a little but I want to do it anyway?”

First thing that comes to mind is to write a book. I feel like the Lord has worked so many miracles in my life that I need to share them with others. He has healed me from uncontrollable anger and parenting struggles that made be believe I was the worst mother in the world. He has shown me how to

even in the midst of some difficult and scary times. I wrote and had published an article called “Cycle of Pain, Cycle of Hope” and I would like to use that article as the basis of my book. I have kept all my journals from over the years just so I can do that.

I believe the first step in getting that book written is to take my handwritten journals and put them on the computer. My

is there but the little BIG tapes that keep running through my head say

~ who would want to read your book?
~ what makes you think you could write a book?
~ what makes you think you are so special that what you have to say is important?

While sitting here writing I think this fear/roadblock is no different then other roadblocks that have gotten in my way. Like calling myself lazy and fat…YET I have faithfully walked for the last 5 days!! I may not notice any change in my weight or how I’m physically feeling but emotionally I know the walking has helped me emotionally to not feel so down and hopeless!!!

So as I challenged myself and put it out there for others to hold me accountable I think I need to do the same thing with my writing of my book…just start with one journal, one page of the journal and transfer it to my laptop. One page per day is a great goal!!! Done!! I now have three daily reminders on my calendar:

~ Take a Walk!
~ Complete another Day of the Daily Writing Prompts!
~ Transcribe ONE page of my journals to the computer!

How do you keep yourself challenged?
What are some steps you have used to conquer a fear?

My girlfriend Carolyn and I started an online support group on Facebook to get healthy. It’s called R3 With Friends. It is a place where we welcome friends and family (and friends of friends) to our little group which is intended to be encouraging and supportive along our journey to becoming healthier. This is based upon the R3 Weight Loss Plan. R3 stands for Reset, Reintroduce, Real Life. How I like to look at it is ~ Reset ~ every day I have a choice to eat healthy, Reintroduce ~ put something in my life today that is a positive thing (this week I have been focusing on walking for 30 minutes a day) and Real Life ~ means life happens, things don’t always go the way I think they should but I can learn how to deal with things in a healthy manner. I am personally using this group to encourage others ~ something I love to do! and to hold myself accountable to reach my daily goals!

If you would like to be a member of this group or have any questions, please let me know either in the comments or through a private message or email.

Day 5 ~ 31 Days of Writing

Oooh…a very hard one for me. I don’t know if it’s because I am getting older and don’t want to be involved in drama but I find I more often than not just don’t say anything. Especially on Facebook!

Why you ask? Because it seems more and more people just want to argue and don’t want to carry on a conversation by sharing opinions. It seems people are more argumentative because they can hide behind their computer screen.

For awhile I even found myself being “careful” about what I wrote on my blog because I didn’t want to be criticized for something I said or my opinion about something. And I especially got tired of people, especially ones I don’t know except through Facebook, sending me private messages telling me I was wrong or worse, calling me names.

Boundaries ~ hard to enforce but so important to have!

Conversations about Being in Ministry

Today has been an interesting day for me. On three different occasions I was able to share about our job here in Southport, being Home Parents at an Emergency Teen Shelter. Each person/couple I was talking with gave us such praise for the work we do and each time I found myself saying “no, it’s not me/us, it’s definitely a God thing!” And it got me to thinking about being in ministry.

I remember when Ron and I began our journey of working and traveling with the carnival (begins here) and often thinking of things Pastor Charles said to me before we took off. One of the things he said to me and which has stayed with me over the years (can you believe it has been 11 years since we worked with Funtastic Shows?) and that is “Wherever we go it is our ministry field. We don’t have to go to a foreign country, learn a new language or eat different cuisine…our ministry field is wherever we are! And I have carried that over in my signature line of my emails and even on this blog “Love serving where the Lord plants us!”

And oh the places we have been

  • working for a carnival for a season, the friends we made along the way both in the RV world but also with our traveling carnies!!
  • selling Christmas trees ~ 252 trees sold in six weeks, the poems written by friends, the lady who came at least 8 times before buying one of the first Christmas trees she had touched, YES touched!
  • moving to Texas (the first time in 2011) and learning/not learning how to deal with politics and 150 bosses in one campground!!!
  • a three week forced vacation and leaning and trusting more in the Lord!!! Being reminded that HE is with us every where and every day even when we can’t see it!!
  • managing a campground in Branson for a year
  • working for Amazon camperforce (well Ron worked and I cooked food and babysat for another couple who worked there)…loved getting to be Grammy to a little boy who just needed to be loved!!
  • traveling back to Branson to manage the same campground with a whole different feel
  • being on the ground floor of the beginning of GUMI Camp – a place where we saw us being for years and reality was it didn’t last 8 months no fault of our own
  • working for a month cleaning and readying a motel while the Lord opened a door back on the West Coast
  • Co~managed a 55+ community – how strange to be the same age as our residents! Getting a different flavor of politics or “Kissing A** education ~ the benefit being we got a year being close by to our son, his wife and our four grandsons!!!!
  • And then back to Texas ~ this time to be Home Parents at a Boys Ranch; 8 teenage boys at once is a challenge for anyone and I thank the Lord that I can look back and see how much I have grown since those first days/months and realizing kids are kids no matter where they are. Some need a mama, some need a babysitter, and some need a swift kick in the butt ~ too bad I wasn’t able to follow through on that one!
  • then another forced six week vacation, a trip to Arizona, a special two weeks with our grandsons while B & D traveled for their jobs
  • a move to Utah ~ and realizing the job is not always what they say it is! And learning to stand up for oneself even at the age of 61 ~ that sometimes its good to cut the ties even when you don’t know if that will just cause more unraveling!
  • then back to Texas! Man is it hot in Texas! But it can be cold too…even saw some snow a few days. Met some great young men who were just trying to provide for their families. And seeing how the Lord put us in a place where we had good work but it wasn’t strenuous and that doctors were readily available to take care of some serious medical needs! It was another time we give great Thanks for the healing of Ron’s breast cancer ~ he is almost to the beginning of year 3 of being cancer free!!!
  • and then a move farther south in Texas where we made good friends, got to love on some littles, who needed a Mama and a Papa to encourage and love them just the way they were and to watch them grow and love in relationship with Jesus and their siblings
  • and then again, things happened, well we were told things were going to happen and once again we put out the fleece to see where the Lord would lead us…and that is to today
  • where we are home parents to kids who just need to be loved and listened to, kept safe and have a place to rest their heads and eat!! A place where we laugh and listen, make the same dish every other week for six weeks because the kids change but they each like the enchilada casserole taught to me by my bestie!

And as I look over this list I see where the Lord has allowed us to do what we do best…love and nurture those who need it ~ those who come into our ministry field or we move into theirs ~ and I am truly thankful for the ministry of serving the Lord by caring for those who need a listening ear, a good meal, sometimes a trip to the place that shall not be named (Dairy Queen for those who don’t know), sometimes watching Paw Patrol over and over and being able to share my love for being near the water and going to the beach with multiple children!

So today I give thanks for being able to serve the Lord wherever He plants us!

Day 4 ~ 31 Days of Writing

This is just what I needed today:

Focus and Honor my Strengths!

I so often look at what I haven’t done and not what I have done!!! So today I am looking at the positives

  • I have walked three days in a row for at least 30 minutes each day! Go Me!!
  • Today is Day 4 of consecutive days of writing!!! Go Me!
  • I have gone 5 days without a soda pop!! Those who know me, know that’s a hard thing for me to accomplish!
  • I have been consistently checking my blood sugar 4x a day! It is so easy for me to just guess at how much insulin I need but I know I feel better if I check my BS before eating. Since Wednesday I have checked it before every meal!

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I want to say a big
THANK YOU
to those of you who have been reading and commenting along on my blog.
You are such an encouragement to me!!!

Day 3 ~ 31 Days of Writing Prompts

This prompt was so on target for me today. I have been in a funk the past few days and like I mentioned yesterday I am the first one to compare myself to others or think I am not good enough. I heard it often as a child that “you are not good enough” “you are an idiot child” “why can’t you be like your sister?” the list goes on and on. And the tapes are hard to turn off

I will try! And that is all I can do. And so bypassing the tapes and moving directly to the question of the day “if someone were to describe me in a book, what would they say?”

They would say ~

  • Ali is a good mom and grammy
  • Ali loves her hubby
  • Ali likes to laugh
  • Ali loves
No Halloween Peeps: Peeps maker pauses candy production due to the  coronavirus - CNN
  • Ali tries to look for the positive
  • Ali loves Jesus
  • Ron would say “Ali is a pen snob :)”
  • Ali enjoys cooking
  • Ali loves being a Grammy
  • Ali is a good friend
  • Ali is too hard on herself
  • Ali is her own worst enemy and tattles on herself
  • Ali’s favorite color is Purple
  • Ali loves to
Beginners Crochet Tutorial-Slip Knot and Chain Stitch | Through The Loops

So if you are reading this blog post you must know me…so now I am asking you

How would you describe me in 5 words?

Day 2 ~ 31 Days of Writing ~ 5 Things I Love

Five things I enjoy doing:

  • spending time with my hubby
  • writing
  • walking at the beach
  • sending cards to friends
  • crocheting

One thing I enjoy about my life right now is that I not only live with my hubby of 45 years but we also work together as home parents (foster parents sort of). We are currently working in an emergency teen shelter in North Carolina. The location is perfect as we are just two miles from the waterfront. Which is another thing I enjoy ~ walking along the waterfront or sitting watching the ships on the water. We have a great work schedule as we work 7 days on with 7 days off. The downside is that I rarely have time alone for just me. I either have to get up early or stay up late which I really don’t like doing either one



but we make our life work for us and that is what counts!

Two of the things I like to do is write and send cards/notes to friends and family. It is a way to do two things I enjoy at once. I am trying to faithfully send cards out once a week. Again, my goal and I don’t always meet it but it’s okay.

And I love crocheting…I have found I love making baby clothes even more than blankets. And I enjoy making things for friends and family. This is the most recent baby outfit I made for Ron’s cousin’s first grandson!: