Can’t think of a good title so – Thinking it is!

Thinking or Rambling?
I am not really sure…
Today would have been Ron’s dad, Pete Workentin’s 93rd birthday…he died over 33 years ago.  Happy Birthday Pete…I wish I would have had more time to get to know you better.  I can only imagine you were a good man, a good husband and father…how do I know ~ because my sweet hubby Ron, is one of the most kindest men I have ever met.  He loves me more than anyone else here on earth and is one of the best Dad’s I have ever been blessed to know.  Thank you Pete (and Anna) for raising such a fine young man who is my husband.  I wish you could have known your grandson’s and now their wives and children…your love of family has definitely been passed down to our children and I believe is being passed on to your grandchildren.  I don’t have many memories of time spent with you but my favorite is when we came home on emergency leave, Jamie was 15 months old.  We were all sitting in the living room upstairs and Jamie started to climb up on the coffee table and I went and got him down and told him “no, you can’t climb on the furniture.”  You promptly replied, “this is my house and my grandson can climb anywhere he wants” and then you helped him to get back on the table and you both smiled so brightly.  Thank you for loving Jamie as only a Grandpa could do!!
Changing topics…Yesterday my friend, Norma posted on Facebook
Here is my response which was written off the cuff:
How I read this Norma Jones is that we are to Love GOD always and foremost. Then we are to love our neighbors (all other people than ourselves) as we love ourselves. First off, I think many people are not happy with themselves so it is pretty naturalto be critical of others. IF we truly loved others as God loves them and wants us to love others and ourselves we would STOP being critical of others. For myself, I know that when I am feeling good about myself: physically, emotionally, spiritually I am WAY LESS critical of others. I struggle with how people can say they are Christians, and out of one side of their mouth they say they LOVE all people and then out the other side they say mean, hurtful, critical things about someone’s looks, attitude, comments…I don’t have to agree with everything someone says or posts on Facebook…I can keep my mouth shut if what is going to come out is being critical. Just because I have an opinion does not make it right or even something I need to be saying out loud. For me, I think about when my kids would do something I totally disagreed of or didn’t approve of…it doesn’t mean I LIKE their behavior or actions…it does mean that I LOVE them…just like God loves the sinner and hates the sin. I do believe people need to think before they speak and go back to “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then keep your mouth shut.”

and I have been thinking about these verses since and realize speaking kindly is the only way to go.  Another friend, Kelly, wrote about being kind…we can always be kind.
These two references remind me that that is how I want to be.  I don’t want to be critical of others and I don’t want to be mean or unkind.  Thank you ladies for sharing from your heart and giving me an opportunity to share from mine.

So I am putting this out there…IF you hear me being critical of someone or saying something unkind,  call me on it.  I am reminded about an email I sent to my friend Dee a couple of weeks ago about asking how do you tell someone something that is obvious…she replied “you don’t!”  thank you Dee for helping me to remember to be kind in words and deeds.  

Which leads me to asking…what do you think Mark 12:28-33 is saying?  I really would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.  Along with ways on how we can love our neighbors the way the Lord would have us to love?  I am asking because I want to find ways to love one another, outside the box.  I know I can take a meal when someone is sick, send a card when someone loses a loved one, send a note of encouragement…but what other ways can we love our neighbors.  And in turn love ourselves the way the Lord loves us?

Segway…to loving ourselves
I did 45 minutes on the bike this morning, burned 522 calories, traveling 10.25 miles!!! And already drank one bottle of water…yesterday I drank two, my goal is three a day…sure hope I reach it today.

And I want to share 
(sorry can’t figure out how to turn them)

Our sweet granddaughter, Opal with Santa this Christmas.
Isn’t she a doll?

And thanks to Suzanne for scanning these pictures that I thought I had lost
Brandon, age 5 and Jamie, age 8

And Danalyn for sharing this one of the boys.  

Now look at our grands
can’t you see the resemblance to their daddies when they were little?

Time to get to crossing things off my To Do List.

Have a great New Years Eve 2013
and
Happy New Year 2014

A New Day Dawning

I don’t know about y’all but sometimes I have to start over many times…yesterday while fighting a headache I decided I needed to get my butt organized…some of you may find that amazing that I think I need to get organized…I am usually an organize freak…but the last month, maybe two or three months if I am totally honest with myself…I have been slacking…the last few weeks on exercising, the last month on making healthy food choices, the last couple of months on keeping my house clean…oh it looks clean and I am not ashamed if anyone sees my house…things are picked up, but you know the deep cleaning, the dusting and vacuuming…the stuff that is easy to overlook so yesterday was my day to regroup.

I began with setting the alarm on the phone….
…5:45 a.m. ~ Monday ~ Saturday’s…get up to exercise
…8:00 a.m. ~ Sunday mornings…get up and go to church

And then I did my Weekly To Do List

On my list for today, 12/30/13

Daily Quiet Time ~ what a great time in the Word this morning, more on that later in the post 
Weigh In _____
6:00 a.m. 45 minutes on Bike, rode 10.12 miles, burned 516 calories
Blog – BVC
Encourage someone
Drink Bottles of water X¨¨
Breakfast
Dinner: Creamy Turkey Soup
Watch Liberty
List food/exercise on My Fitness Pal
Fasting Blood Sugar ~ was 80 so that is good!

I am a LIST Maker – it helps me to stay accountable so I am off to a good start this morning.

There are some things on my list that is the same each day ~ 
that will help me with consistency.
Some days have lots of things listed and some days not so many
And then at the bottom of my Weekly To Do Lists

I also listed all the TASKS that need to be completed…
…I have so many craft projects that I have started or committed to that have been pushed aside and the biggest reason is how I have let Facebook and Solitaire suck up my time.  I get easily distracted and lose my focus…today is Day 1 of beiing better disciplined with my time.  Facebook is hard…I go on there to write the Facebook Post for Branson View Campground and then I might see a comment from a friend or a message or someone is on chat and the next thing I know two or three hours have gone by and nothing that I needed to have done is completed.  We have five Admins on our page (me, Ron, Kimberly, Jw, and Virginia)  maybe we need to start a rotating schedule…hint, hint, hint.  I have a similar list of Things To Do each day for me, Ron and the Workampers at Branson View Campground.  Now I just have to stick to it.


And once again the Lord met me right where I am today…He is good like that!!!

Beginning with
and really I am having trouble…trouble staying on task, following through with my commitments, cooking healthy, making healthy food choices, drinking way too much soda pop and not enough water so this verse reminded me to Seek God each and every morning and not just for the big things like the awfullizing thoughts that I was dealing with yesterday BUT with the little things as well…choosing a bottle of water over a bottle of soda pop.
And remembering to Be Still, Be Quiet so that I can hear God when He speaks to me.  Keep my eyes and ears open, be on the lookout to see what God would have me to learn and do each day, how I can serve Him, encourage others and most of all be aware of Him in my life.
And it continued with

and
and
Don’t forget God will give me the strength to deal with and do what I need to do each day, I need to be the one seeking after the Lord, He will not chase me down nor beat me up side the head…He isn’t like that and to remember that the things I have are ALL HIS and I need to not be Selfish but to serve Him with Open Hands and not hold on so tight to things like blankets or people.
And then I turned to
and was reminded HE died for me, HE gave his life so I might live
and then I wrote this
“Lord help me to remember that all I have is because of You ~ help me to open my hands and let go of what I grasp and try to hold onto ~ like the blankets, help me not to mention them again to anyone, help me to let them go ~ you gave your all…my letting go of a couple of blankets is nothing compared to what you gave for me!! Amen and amen!!!
And then just to give me one reassurance that He will never leave me, that He is always with me
and

Isn’t God grand…
He will never leave me ~ Satan likes to try to isolate me and make me think I am alone in this world BUT that just ain’t so!!!

Thinking on this all day today!!!


Rough Night BUT Great Morning

After a busy day in the office for me and Ron fixing multiple plumbing problems in the campground and at some of the rigs of guests we were both exhausted so decided to go out to eat.  We like to go to Grand Country  for their buffet as we have a Buy 1 Get 1 Free so we decided that is where we would head…on our way we decided to see if we could get tickets to see the Grand Jubilee because a little voice whispered to us that it was the first night of the new show and you know us, we can’t pass up a free show!!  So we had dinner and then made our way to the theater and got situated in our seats. 
As we were sitting there my head started pounding and I was freezing…I had Ron’s jacket on my back/shoulders and my fleece on my lap and I just could not get warm.  We enjoyed the first half of the show, especially Dolly Parton making a guest appearance…what a hoot.  By the time intermission came around I was feeling horrible so asked if we could go home…even though Ron would have enjoyed staying for the second half he obliged me and brought me home.   
I immediately got ready for bed and was off in slumber land.  Ron was watching football & basketball waiting for our very first Couchsurfer, Josh to arrive.  Josh is from Madison, WI and was running in a half marathon in Springfield and found us through the Couchsurfing.org website…I had signed up on that as we are looking for places to stay on our trip out to OR/WA in February and since we love to meet new people and have a spare bedroom here in the apartment…well as they say the rest is history.  I heard Josh come in about midnight and him and Ron chatting for a few minutes but dozed back off without moving a muscle in the bed 🙂  
I did a lot of tossing/turning/tumbling in the bed most of the night, got up and got a few drinks of water and even a little bit of 7-Up…and at 6:05 this morning found my mind racing and riding that “awfullizing train.”  You know the one where you imagine the worst thing that could happen and your brain just continues to snowball through the thoughts.  After a few minutes of heart racing/pounding I turned to the Lord and asked Him to take those thoughts captive…I knew they were of Satan trying to attack me and ruin my day.  After about 10 minutes of yucky thoughts, prayers to God, tossing and turning I decided the best thing to do was to get up and spend time in the Word…and what a blessing it was.  Filled with reassurance from the Lord…beginning with Hebrews 12:11
,
This was a verse I have claimed over and over during difficult times and I was reminded that though I may face difficult times, horrible experiences or in this case those awfullizing thoughts and they are troublesome that once I call on the Lord…things begin to look better…and this morning I gave thanks to the Lord that the thoughts didn’t last a long time, that I turned quickly to the Lord and He filled me with peace and the reminder that I am never alone!!!
And from Psalm 143
that God hears my pleas, 
He encourages me,
never leaving me alone
And from Ephesians 1:3-6
He chose me before I was even born!
He wanted me!!
I am not one of his mistakes!!
I am His Beloved!!!
And that is the best thing any child could ask for…
…to be loved, chosen, and wanted!!!
And God, my Abba Father,
wants only the best for me…so now I am
encouraged and looking forward to this new day
that the Lord has made!!!
After this time with the Lord, reading His Word, 
listening to the song “This is the day the Lord has made”
I turned to my 2014 Guideposts Daytimer
to read the prayer and the verse for today.
“Dear God…show me how I can welcome the visitor you send to my door.  Amen.”
Haven’t we all been little children at one time?
And doesn’t God’s word tell us to love one another?
And to bless those we come into contact with?
I don’t know Josh’s beliefs but I do know
I look forward to getting to know him a little bit this morning
and sharing God’s love with him!!
Who knows?  Maybe he will become a new life-long friend!!
So I leave you asking…who can you bless today?
And remember You are HIS BELOVED!!!

A little snippet of what we did last night

It is a busy time of the year.
This guy is definitely in demand.
Santa loves to share ~
And sometimes he gets hungry…
….so we stopped at Chili’s after the festivities of last night.

And we were blessed by an unnamed guest
who paid for our dinner last night.  
When we asked for our check, 
Hannah (the one between the two guys) said
…Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas, your bill has been paid!
And Santa asked by who…she said she couldn’t tell 🙂
Now wasn’t that a blessing!!!
Hope y’all have a 
Merry Christmas!!!

Encouraged

I am so encouraged tonight.
Our home church is in the process of updating our picture directory.
I was asked to submit a new picture of us.
So I did.
This one was taken this past Sunday, December 1st
celebrating my birthday.
And is the one I sent to Bernadette.
She sent this one back to me.
It was taken March 21, 2010 the day we left Blaine to go work
for the carnival (check out the archives March 2010 to September 2010)

Wow…what a difference.
As many of you know I had a heart attack in August 2013
and was told to lose weight!!!
and exercise!!!!
I have lost a total of 24.4 lbs
and Ron has lost just about 30 lbs 
(he got a kick start working for Amazon 
otherwise known as the Amazon Fitness Center)
Wow is all I can say!!!
And I needed to see this
I have been slacking on my exercising 
but woke up early this morning
and gotten back on the bike
did 45 minutes, 9.87 miles, burned 437 calories.
Seeing this picture tonight
just encourages me to keep going.
I have 15.4 lbs to lose to reach my first goal.
I had set 1/1/14 as the day I wanted to reach that goal
Realistically with what I have been eating
and not exercising I know that is not possible
so my goal is to reach that by 2/1/14!!!  
I can do it!!!
With God’s help….I know if I pray at night to wake up early 
I do, just about 6 a.m. which is what I need to do to get my exercise
in first thing in the morning.
Would you pray with me that 
I wake up every morning between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m.
Stay tuned for the rest of the journey!!!

Do You Ever Hear a Little Voice?

I seem to have been in a fog lately, not the fog that has been hanging around outside each morning for the last week or so but more like just going through the motions and being way too busy for my own good.
The last three days though, a little voice has been whispering in my ear
“Umm…where am I in all this busyness?”
Tuesday while at Forever Friends I kept hearing “But God” over and over
and I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  
We heard a wonderful testimony from Paula Hall of how God delivered her from a Meth addiction and being wrongly accused of murder.  If you are in the Branson area this weekend, she will be sharing her testimony at the worship service hosted by Barbara Fairchild at the Doug Gabriel Theater this coming Sunday morning, December 8th at 10 a.m.
And those two little words kept echoing in my head “But God.”
Yesterday I had an eye appointment in Springfield.
I was a bit worried going into it because my eye socket had been sore for the past few days and was very tender in the corner of the eye by my nose.  
After taking my eye out (for new readers I have an artificial eye) and checking the socket it was decided that the eye needed to be built up a bit more around the bottom, along the top and fill in a bit more of the back.  Ugh…that means walking around with an eye patch on 😦
The first thought was “Oh no, this is going to be a $200 visit.  Oh well, nothing I can do about it.”
So after getting the molding put on, put in, checked, taken out, tweaked, adjust the molding, put in, checked, taken out and tweaked a bit more we were told to come back about 1:30 p.m.
And off we went to Bass Pro Shop.
What a huge store.
And great museums.
We ate lunch at Heminways Blue Cafe and watched the many fish in the aquarium, we then wandered around the store, the archery museum, the Theodore Roosevelt display of hunts and reading about a lot of his work in the National Park Systems and then the actual store it was time to head back to the doctors.
When we returned to the office the waiting room was packed.
So we took a seat and prepared for a long wait.
But, Randy walked out and called me in right away.
After cleaning the socket he put my eye back in…it was uncomfortable at first but then it seemed to settle in…Randy was pleased with how it looked.
And so were we.  Now for the bill.
I asked Randy what we owed, he hesitated a minute,
I took a deep breath and he said nothing…this one’s on him.
BUT GOD is so good and only God knew we really didn’t have any money for this eye appointment.
I asked again “are you sure.?”  He said, “go get out of here and have a Merry Christmas.”
Thank you Dear Lord for providing in ways that always astound me.
(And by the way, by the time we got home the swelling had gone down a little in the eye socket and the eye is tracking the way it should be.)
BUT GOD…But God…But God
And then this morning, I woke early, something I have not been doing for the past few weeks…no early morning exercise, no time in the Word, just bounding out of bed and getting right to work…
BUT GOD….where am I in your life?
My devotional this morning was titled “Need a Lift?”
Yes, a little one but more like a kick in the butt I think.
BUT GOD is good and loves me and this verse came to mind
and then the verse for the day
And I am reminded that when I measure my troubles or burdens against others or feel overwhelmed and like every where I turn it is one more thing that is heavy laden on my heart
BUT for GOD when I measure the things that are weighing heavy on my heart and mind against GOD they are just tiny little things compared to how big our GOD is!!!
He is big enough to handle anything that I am dealing with.
Thank you for the reminder this morning when I looked in the mirror at my eye…it is clean and sitting properly in the socket.  Yes, I still have a bit of a headache and who wouldn’t after having their eye taken in/out and jostled around like I did yesterday, but the headache is not as intense this morning as it was yesterday and for that I give thanks.
And I am reminded when I am feeling down and slumped over, feeling the weight of all the things I am dealing with and need to deal with IF I look up towards the Lord and give thanks for the things I do have: a loving husband, great son’s, delightful daughters-in-love and the five most precious grandchildren along with a warm place to lay my head at night, food in the freezer and a job that fits us to a T…the world seems a bit brighter and load a lot less heavy.
I am reminded again BUT GOD is the answer to everything.
And then I moved onto Joshua 5 where God called the Israelite’s to be circumcised and to put their trust in HIM and the Lord provided fresh food and water for them, kept the armies away from them
I am reminded
that I need to trust in Our Lord Jesus Christ
and not in man or things
BUT only in GOD!!!
To stop trying to do things on my own,
BUT to TRUST GOD
And for that I am so thankful.
And I am reminded
when I am feeling down,
overwhelmed,
alone,
like nothing is going right
BUT GOD 
is with me
and has never failed me yet!!!
Today I am thankful for so much
but most importantly for a God, Abba Father
who loves me just the way I am
and that he is the best DAD anyone could ask for.

Forever Friends Christmas Party 2013

I have shared often about a Ladies Fellowship group that I attend
Forever Friends
here in Branson, MO
Monday, December 2nd
I had the pleasure of hosting our
Forever Friends Christmas Party
And of course no party would be without its food!!!
We had baked spaghetti, green salad, green beans, corn casserole
deviled eggs and lots and lots of desserts 🙂
And then we visited and learned more about each other.
Lots of laughter, good conversation happened until
SANTA arrived!!!  
He brought candy canes for all
and then he snuck in a kiss from Mrs. Claus.
And then it was time to open Christmas gifts.
There was not much stealing of gifts (we played dirty Santa) but a few gifts did get passed around.
Everyone enjoyed what they ended up with.
The biggest laughter was Barbara F. receiving a Day Planner!!!
Two beautiful blankets passed around a few hands…
there was a purple/white fleece one and a multi pink afghan.
We then had a bit of sharing time
and encouraging of each other.
We missed many of our Forever Friends
and hope next year we can all be together!!!
If you want to be a part of our Forever Friends,
Branson Group
we meet on Tuesday mornings at 11:00 AM 
at Golden Corral 
on Shepherd of the Hills’ Parkway.

Blessed by Friends

The other day I received a phone call from a friend here in Branson.
They wanted to know if wanted to use some antique furniture that they had sitting in their storage unit.
WOW!  
Is all we could say today when it arrived.
This is our little apartment in the middle of rearranging
Top Left ~ Living Room Outside wall (had two chairs and table there)
Top Right ~ Wall backed to the Garage of Dining Room
Middle Row ~ 1.  Corner in Dining Room  2.  Dining Room wall bordering our bedroom
3.  looking from kitchen towards the dining room
Bottom Row ~ Standing in Living Room looking into Kitchen and Looking from Kitchen into Living Room
Then we rearranged
and rearranged some more 🙂
Top Row ~ 1.  Looking towards outside wall of living room from kitchen
(you can see the corner of new coffee table and end table between the two rockers)
2.  Looking from Living room into Sun room towards deck
(matching end table in front of sliding glass door with Christmas tree, 
opposite that wall is another end table and two chairs facing the outside deck.
Middle Row ~ 1.  Moved Wine cabinet to corner in Dining Room
2.  New cabinet ~ has two drawers and two cupboards
(you can see into our bedroom from the dining room ~~ 
reason enough to make the bed every single day 🙂 )
3. & 4. Different views of the cabinet and dining room
Bottom Row ~  Cabinet put into spare bedroom, 
used to have a coffee table in the same spot.  
Opposite wall from sliding glass door in Sun Room.
Hubby said he can’t wait to see our friend and tell him
“he hopes he enjoys all the work he caused for Ron today ;)”
I say a big THANK YOU for the use of these wonderful pieces of furniture 
Sweet Friends.
We promise to take good care of them.
Oh, and we moved a cabinet into the bathroom 
and the little nightstand that had been in the bathroom
into our bedroom 🙂
What do you think of the changes?

Celebrating a Sweet Birthday

Happy Birthday to Ali!!!
What a great day of celebrating with my sweet hubby,
especially after he wished me Happy 57th Birthday….
….um it’s 56 you goof!!!
After sleeping in
These are pretty interesting deer hiding by the entry.
Lots of yummy desserts
  
Coffee and Raspberry Iced Tea
 Enjoying our desserts.
  
Us!  Bet you didn’t know that.  
Photo courtesy of Jean Wesley our wonderful waiter.
 And then the servers brought this out and sang Happy Birthday to me!
Can you say scrumptious…well I had one bite and then they boxed it up for me to bring home.
 
Jean (pronounced Jon) Wesley (he is from Haiti).  He is a junior at College of the Ozarks,
majoring in Sociology with a minor in Psychology.
Heading out of the restaurant this is what you see!
We then went for a drive around the campus,
definitely going to go back sometime soon
(on a sunny day)
Loved the Bobcat!
As we were leaving we saw this fire away in the distance.  
Found out Branson Pattern Works lost one whole building.
 One of the many old buildings on College of Ozarks campus.
The Chapel
Close up of the Chapel
 
Another side of the Chapel.
 From the Veterans Grove
Entrance to the Veterans Grove
After two hours we departed the CofO
and headed to Dollar Tree and Walmart.
Came home and realized I forgot the coffee – oh well there is always tomorrow.
It has been a great day.
Jamie, Opal & Suzanne called me
and shortly after that Brandon, Danalyn, Max, Christopher, Treyson and Alex 
called me on Facetime.
This was them on Thanksgiving…so happy the boys and their families could be together.
Starting with Opal, Christopher, Treyson, Jamie,
Suzanne, Max and Danalyn.
Brandon was taking the picture and Alex is sitting between him and Opal so missed being in the picture.
A pretty good looking family if you ask me!!!
Today I am thankful for our whole family and 
can’t wait to see them all in February.