One Month

One month, can’t believe we are already into our second month here at the Ranch.
It has been an interesting time: times of laughter and tears, crazy mistakes and great accomplishments, easy and tough times yet through it all the Lord has been right here with us.
We began our time here with two weeks of orientation, shadowing, being shadowed and then it was time to start officially as House Parents (HP).  
Our first week on was filled with boys who chose to be defiant to see how far they could push us ~ they found out we will not hesitate to call in reinforcements if necessary as we demonstrated our first Saturday morning here when they engaged in a food fight in the dining hall, left the dining hall without permission along with using every swear word  ever said ~ and yes, we had heard them before.
And laughter at my expense when I got lost taking a threesome to school at a different campus ~ of course they waited to tell me I was going the wrong direction when I was almost to the main campus!!!  
Received lots of thanks from two boys who I had to take to doctor appointments and pick up from football as I stopped at Sonics because I was dying of thirst and can’t leave them in the car to go into a store.  
And then we had our first week off…can you say 
and that’s just what we did that first Tuesday we were off.  A four hour nap and then heading to bed even before 9 pm.  And we slept till 9 am the next morning!!!
Our first week off we did some shopping for the last of household furnishings we needed like a couple of pole lamps, bed stand lamps, cleaning supplies and of course some groceries.
That’s one thing that is different here at the Ranch then was at Astor House ~ because of our schedule we do have to do some cooking on our own.  One night I made a roast with all the fixin’s and my go to ~ spaghetti.  
On Saturday we went to the farmer’s market and then a flea market where we got some 
pear cactus fruit!!
It was delicious and we can’t wait to get a bit more.  
Dinner Saturday night consisted of bbq ribs, fresh corn on the cob, fruit salad made with cantaloupe, pear cactus fruit, apples and oranges ~ yummy!!!!!
Sunday we attended Greater Waco Baptist Church
and stayed for their potluck ~ you can never go wrong there!!  
Not sure if we will go back or not ~ it is a huge church and doesn’t have some of the things we are looking for like a women’s ministry group and small group Bible studies.  
Monday we stopped at 
sort of like a Dunkin Donuts with lots of choices.
Donuts were delicious but that is one place we won’t go to very often ~ can you say
And then it was time to head back to work.
We were rejuvenated and ready!!!
I am happy to say that our second week has been much better.  
Wednesday there was a major leak in the water system at the Ranch and we had to take the boys, yes six boys to dinner ~ not something I was wanting to do for a long time.  You ask why ~ well if you saw their behavior in the Dining Hall  you would understand: hoarding of food, wasting lots of food, swearing and “picking” on each other.  Nope, not on our agenda for a long time.
But necessity changes things and we have learned over the last 10 years to be flexible and I mean real flexible…so we had a pow wow (Ron and I) and came up with a game plan…Ron would take three boys and I would take three boys and go somewhere as long as it was not McDonalds.  I took my three boys, J, D and D and went to Chick-fil-et.  We ordered, they stayed within their limit and we had a pretty uneventful meal.  Helps to have free WiFi for the boys!  And then I get a call from Ron ~ where are you ~ we can’t decide where to go.  So Ron and J, B and T joined us.  We stuck around for about 15 minutes when the boys began to get a bit too rambunctious for our liking.  But hey, there were no food fights or swearing ~ just six! teenage boys being boys.  Looking at girls, slurping the last of their pop way too loud but again, they were boys being boys!!!
Wednesday night we had a mini-house meeting.  We told the boys thanks for their good behavior at the restaurant and for not embarrassing us in any way.
Then things got interesting.  Got a call from the On-call Unit Manager who said we were going to have an extra boy for the night…you know its serious when a boy is taken from his assigned home to another ~ yep it was serious.  It involved 2 boys from the Ranch and 1 girl from Main Campus getting arrested ~ yes for something very stupid and that could have some very long lasting consequences.  
We called our boys together and said that  we needed their cooperation, 100% compliance as we needed them to do their night chores, get ready for bed and stay in their rooms without any issues.  
They did a fabulous job!!!  
Thursday was a busy day…court appearances, having to have meals delivered for me and the one boy staying in our unit – nothing like cold eggs or a chicken sandwich stuck together…thank goodness I could make a protein shake for breakfast and yogurt and fresh fruit for lunch.  In the evening our houseguest was able to go back to his home unit but wait, never a dull moment where we are at ~ the youngest boy on the ranch, age 11, decided he was going to run!  Now where is he going to run?  We are at least 3.5 miles to the main road, we sit on 2500 acres and its a long walk to anywhere.  So what does he do, he runs to our home unit with his HP following behind.  He ended up staying the night in the other wing with one-on-one care for the night.  
Friday was early release at school and then a rush to get four of the boys ready to go on home visits. Life here Friday night was definitely different with two HP’s and two boys.  The boys ended up watching a movie and hanging out with Ron for some guy time.
Saturday, J returned just after supper, in time to go to a local car show.
And then it was off to Dairy Queen for some ice cream.
And this is how we ended our evening
This morning we attended University Baptist Church with the boys and then went to Vegas Buffet – Sushi, Mongolian Grill and lots of oriental food.  Again the boys were great.  As I am writing the three boys are watching movies and having more guy time!!
Tomorrow we get to sleep in ~ the Dining Hall is closed for the day so we are on our own for breakfast, lunch and supper.  We are going to be BBQ’ing burgers, hot dogs and watermelon for lunch and the boys have asked me to make dinner…it will probably be my standby ~ spaghetti.
Our other three boys should begin returning to our home unit about 2 pm and the last one is due home around 8 pm.  Life will definitely be busy tomorrow night as we get ready for school on Tuesday 
we are off Tuesday at noon and are planning a getaway for a few days.  We are either going to Galveston (the beach) or Fredricksberg (wineries)!!!
Hope you enjoyed this little recap of our past month here at the Ranch!!!

One response to “One Month”

  1. Yup..those kids will keep you busy. Question……. does the agency have a policy regarding what you can relate? We find when volunteering at Methodist homes we can not take pictures, etc. I did notice your picture was of their backs and you only used initials, not names.

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