Be Kind

A lot of things have been on my mind for the past 24 hours, that’s probably why I woke up about every 45 to 60 minutes in the night 😦

I am tired of negativity and bashing for having differing opinions/thoughts/feelings as other along with arguing and name calling. I just want calm and peace…

I saw a friend copied and pasted the following and it spoke volumes to me:

As governors are trying to figure out how to ease back in to a new normal, please remember:

🛑 Some people don’t agree with the state opening…. that’s okay. Be kind.

🏡 Some people are still planning to stay home…. that’s okay. Be kind.

🦠 Some are still scared of getting the virus and a second wave happening….that’s okay. Be kind.

💰 Some are sighing with relief to go back to work knowing they may not lose their business or their homes….that’s okay. Be kind.

👩🏾‍⚕️Some are thankful they can finally have a surgery they have put off….that’s okay. Be kind.

📝 Some will be able to attend interviews after weeks without a job….that’s okay. Be kind.

😷 Some will wear masks for weeks….that’s okay. Be kind.

💅🏻 💇🏼‍♀️ Some people will rush out to get the hair or nails done…. that’s okay. Be kind.

❤️ The point is, everyone has different viewpoints/feelings and that’s okay. Be kind.

We each have a different story. If you need to stay home, stay home. But be kind .

If you need to go out, just respect others when in public and be kind! Don’t judge fellow humans because you’re not in their story. We all are in different mental states than we were months ago. So remember, BE KIND.

And then the tears started falling for all the negativity I have been involved in…yes…I am also part of the problem. Not so much name calling as that brings up painful memories from my child hood ~ NO one should be called a name that is hurtful. And I’m truly sorry for any pain I have caused others all for wanting to be right, to be in control (who’s really in control?), to feel safe and cared about.

The bottom line is that right now, for this season, for such a time as this…this is our new normal…limited trips to the grocery store, no just hopping in the car to go to DQ to get an ice cream just because I want one or heading to Victoria to walk aimlessly through Hobby Lobby just for something to do and I am reminded to focus on what is important! Relationships, my children who aren’t children any more, my grandchildren some who are facing some tough times, our kidlets who are struggling and friends who are lonely, who are missing loved ones.
I think about all the places I have been, all the people I have met, all the different experiences I have had in my life and the thought comes to mind

For such a time. — Abiding Faith Lutheran Church

And again I got distracted ~ this time by the thunderstorm going through our area right now and little ones scurrying to be held and just like that I am reminded by a dose of reality…all that really matters is relationships and the here and now. Yesterday is gone, never to be done again and tomorrow may never happen so for today, for this season of life, for such a time as this…I’m going to smile and be thankful for all the blessings in my life…and there are many!!!

Have a great day! Find something that makes you smile and remember

God is Enough – Peace in the Waiting

Thoughts to a Friend’s Post on Facebook

My friend, Pamela Richards-Woodall, wrote the following on her Facebook page earlier today:


If I have offended you in any way I apologize!
Please examine your words before they pop outta your mouth!
Power of life and death are in the tongue!
If you personally don’t know why someone has issues with this or that, ask them privately! Don’t assume and expect to enforce your beliefs!
Just because you feel and behave a certain way doesn’t mean everyone else can or should. If it were up to me every man or woman who abuses another would suffer severely!! I’m sure you feel something that powerful too. We’re all trying in our own way to get through this crap!!
When we begin to push our own expectations on others we’re stepping on a fine line! I don’t wear a mask. Instead of pouncing on me try asking me why I don’t! Or apply that to a thousand different people for a thousand different reasons!
We are not made from the same mold!
This stupid virus has caused a spirit of fear and panic and ugliness to be unleashed like I’ve never seen in my life! I know fear! I grew up with it.
Terrified while being held down with someone holding their hand over my mouth so I couldn’t scream out in horrific pain as a 3 year old…a 5 year old…a 10 year old…all the while someone was raping me!!! And at times several times a day!
I also was forced to attend gatherings where folks wore masks and did horrible things!
We as a society need to rip off the stigma of #mental health as it’s truly pathetic of how we act towards anyone who exhibits mental issues. But oh lordy…if that person has cancer or a broken bone or a heart attack then its all different.
No it’s not!! Anytime we are dealing with an issue whether physical or mental we all hurt!!! We are not the virus police! And we need to stop it! If Jesus lives in you then share His love and compassion!
He does have plenty to go around.
While at the store earlier I saw many with fear etched in their face.
I desperately wanted to hug them and pray! No one smiling! Folks glaring! Hurt my heart deeply! So I have a meltdown in the car at the store!
Yes my husband can and would shop or do anything I need.
But why should I or any number of 1000’s who deal with any form of mental issues be treated any differently?!? I fully expect to see the numbers of folks who fight these issues skyrocket very soon. Sadly I am not hearing anyone talking about the importance of giving them support!
Believe me…I’d so much rather not have these issues but I do. Its embarrassing and I have to stay alert to keep shame off me! I am healed and being healed! God has and continues to bless me as I grow in Him! I would not be alive if it were not for Him! Yet I know there are so many walking around ashamed of their mental health issues because of others around them! May God have mercy on us all!!*******

She also wrote “Secrets in the Hollers” https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Hollers-Story-Pamela-Richards-Woodall-ebook/dp/B07D2MCVZL/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=secrets+of+the+holler&qid=1586289478&sr=8-2

Pamela Richards-Woodall and I met through our mutual friend, Barbara Fairchild. We have shared many stories of our lives with each other. We encourage one another when the other needs it, we pray for each other when asked and sometimes on our own. We, as many others have struggled with so many RED flags the past few weeks that just wave their ugly head in our faces and our hearts…it is not a pretty sight.

Pam’s words echo mine ~ this morning I had to go to Walmart to get my weekly insulin (on a side note so thankful for our job and having insurance…my Ozempic was $24.99 without insurance it would have been $976.00 for four injections!!!)..while in Walmart I went down the aisle where the Easter candy was to get a few things for our kidlets…a man, probably in his late 40’s/early 50’s, walked by me twice in each direction and the second time I asked him if he was okay or did he need something from me…he turned and said “I don’t think candy is an essential food item.” and walked past. I just stood and stared at him and felt myself go shaky…I quickly finished getting the other things I needed (I had a list and was sticking to it). I went and paid and the cashier asked if I was okay? I had uncontrolled tears running down my face. I mumbled something to the effect “yes, I will be fine, some people are just so ignorant!”

After paying for my stuff I went to my car. I got in, locked the doors and called Ron…I’m so glad he was available to talk. I told him I had an anxiety attack while in Walmart. I couldn’t remember the last time I had had one. I didn’t go into a lot of detail as I was trying to compose myself as I still had to stop at the grocery store. Ron listened, told me he loved me and we hung up.

I drove myself to HEB, took a deep breath and thought “okay, I can do this.” The first thing I saw was an Easter lily…not an essential item and not on my list, but I knew that Ron always buys me an Easter lily and I knew if he was with me he would tell me to pick one out…so I did.

I got the rest of the groceries on my list as well as a couple of pizza’s for dinner. If you’ve read my blog in the past few days y’all know things have been rough and I was thinking of easy things to do to make today a good day ~ WE ALL needed it. I made it through the store without shedding a tear. Well that is until I got to where I was paying for the groceries and the cashier thanked me for following the rules and not bringing all the kidlets with me ~ because BBYR is a non-profit we are tax exempt and I had said I was a home parent at BBYR she knew we had kids…I told her no problem, I try to follow the rules/directions…how else can I expect our kidlets to follow the rules and/or do what is expected of them. As the tears trickled down my cheek, she asked if I was okay. I said yes and then shared about the man at Walmart and me buying some jelly beans for the kidlets for Easter. She looked astonished that someone would say something to me…and then she said if she could, she would give me a hug…instead we put our hands up to the plexiglass and high fived each other. The bagger, a young man of about 20 just shook his head and said “I want a high five too.” So the two of them on one side of the plexiglass and me on the other high fived!! And laughed!!! And laughed some more.

That cashier doesn’t have a clue how much her little interaction meant to me. I came home, got the groceries put away, gave the kidlets their lunch. Today was hot dogs, beans and a cookie!! Thanks Tracy for picking them up!! And thanks Stephen for encouraging me to get the breakfasts/lunches that the school district is providing.

While the kids were eating lunch I got on Facebook and was scrolling through…that’s when I saw Pam’s post. I started to share it on my page but my response was getting way too long this this blog post this afternoon.

To add to some of what Pam said above about Mental Health…I remember when I was dealing with major depression, suicidal thoughts (for years!) and how some people would say “Just get a grip.” “If you were a REAL Christian your faith would take away my depression.” And once after being in the hospital for three weeks (I had come very close to committing suicide) and returned to church a supposed friend (I say supposed because I don’t believe a true friend could be so hurtful…asked me what was it like being in there with all those crazies!…I remember looking at her and thinking well I must be crazy to think suicide is the answer to my problems…

Was I crazy…absolutely not…I was a hurting, scared, human being who felt so desperate to think my husband and my children would be better off without me…was I ever wrong…if I had given into the hurtful words, thoughts and feelings I would not be the woman I am today…not only am I a wife and mom but now I also have the greatest gift of all…grandchildren as well as three fun, wonderful sometimes frustrating foster children who call me Mama Ali and Papa Ron (well they call Ron that).

Thank you Pam for giving me the platform to talk/write about my experience today and to stand with you to tell others…stop acting like people who deal with mental health issues are some kind of strange person or being. And as Pam said, if I had a broken leg or cancer people wouldn’t think twice about why I did some thing or another. I remember one time talking with Gayle, my Psyche ARNP and she asked me if I was embarrassed I had diabetes and I replied no. She then asked, why am I embarrassed I have depression. It is an illness just like diabetes. It just effects people in a different way!

Pam shared from her heart and I too have shared from my heart…now my question to you is what can you do to help stop the stigma of negativity towards those of us who deal with a mental health issue just as those who deal with cancer or a blood disease?

April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s this year is a bit different…in years passed I have pulled a couple of jokes…like in 2011 when we were working at Lone Star Corral in Hondo, TX and I posted early in the morning that at 5:00p I was heading for home. And left it at that. I turned off Facebook. I started getting texts from friends in WA. Even got a phone call from my pal, Mary asking if we had gotten fired or quit. I did have to call Mary back and reassure her that no we hadn’t been fired or even quit…it was a joke.

But the joke was on me…the person who I wanted to see it was my boss, Bonnie…she never even got on Facebook that day!!!

Another year while working at a doctor’s office we “borrowed” a bunch of free samples from another office as our doctor did not believe in accepting “free samples” as he saw it as the drug companies trying to buy his business. We put pens, sticky notes, scissors, bags…you name it with a drug company’s name on it, we put it around the office…he wasn’t too happy but he didn’t get mad either. Another prank that didn’t go well.

There is always one thing I have issues with and that is when women or couples post on Facebook or Twitter that they are pregnant! AS A JOKE! In my eyes and in the eyes of many that is just not funny…as so many women/couples deal with infertility issues and yet some people still joke about it.

Today, in this season of life, in the here and now someone posted that Gov. Abbott, of Texas had stated that all students in Texas will be repeating their current grade next year since so many schools have cancelled classes for the remainder of this year…I will tell you I WAS LIVID. This very topic was something the home parents here at BBYR were just discussing yesterday as a possibility. Had the governor really thought that decision through?

I made a comment on the post stating how unfair that was to the students …. maybe not so bad for a kindergartner but kids in other grades, especially the kids who struggle so much already with school and adding distance learning which is hard on so many children and their parents and what about seniors in high school…making them repeat their final year. My mind was racing as I thought about all the repercussions that such a decision could cause.

And I thought…now that’s a topic to write about on my blog. I finished my comment and hit share…nothing happened and then a screen came up saying the post had been deleted. I went to my friend’s page who had posted the “announcement” and it wasn’t there either. I sent Dana a PM and asked her about her post. She messaged me back “she found out it was an April Fool’s joke.” I replied, “so not funny,” and she agreed with me…for such a time as this when so many parents and children are stressed and feeling overwhelmed what would possess someone to think saying something like that would be funny.

I found this meme…it is so true for today (sorry if some of the verbage offends you) but this is truth for today, April 1, 2020!

almond tits on Twitter: "April fool's cancelled this year cause ...

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I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer so ask that you share a funny prank you have pulled in the past to celebrate April Fool’s Day!!!

Do You ever Wonder?

It has been a rough week for me…and as I reflect back on the week I keep asking myself why was this week so hard…IF I look at all the good things and there are many I wonder even more why has this week been so tough?

How has the week been tough…

  • I am exhausted…I can take two 2 hour naps a day and still sleep 8+ hours at night and still am exhausted.
  • I am struggling with not following through on things in a timely manner…so not me.
  • We are dealing with an issue with our kidlets that just doesn’t make sense to me.
  • I have one thought that keeps running over and over through my mind. I wake from a sound sleep thinking about this one thing. I prayed about it, rebuked Satan from my mind and yet the thought just keeps coming to my mind.

My life is filled with many blessings…

  • I am well loved by my husband.
  • I am surrounded by great friends who are my family.
  • I am for the most part, pretty healthy…my A1C dropped from 10.3 to 7.1 ~ and that is great news!!!
  • We are financially more stable than we have ever been in all of our married life.
  • We have great health insurance. My medications used to cost me $1500+ a month and now it is $74.99 a month!!! And I don’t have to skip meds any more.
  • We are starting to build friendships with people at the church we have attended for the last 10 months.
  • The pastor preaches great sermons each week and are so relevant to our lives in the here and now.
  • Our boys, Jamie & Brandon are well adjusted young men, are both married to wonderful women and have blessed us with the best grandchildren a Grammy could ever ask for.
  • We have many friends around the United States who are more family than friends.
  • And probably the most important thing is that we are loved and guided by Jesus each and every day of our lives.

And yet I am struggling. Struggling to feel peace in my heart. Struggling to feel like we are doing what the Lord would want us to be doing. Struggling to get my diabetes under control. Struggling to not rock the boat. Struggling to be a good example to and for our kidlets.

Struggling is hard and the want to just hide is strong yet it’s hard to hide when we have kids to take care of, errands to run, appointments to keep and life to live…so I struggle on the inside and then I see it ripple to the outside in my frustration over stupid things, over things I can’t control.

And then I think of something I have shared so many times…I need to learn to give the grace that I extend to others to myself.

So tonight I want to end the day focusing on a positive…the positive interaction with our girl, who struggles to be herself without coming across rude to others who told me tonight as I was tucking her into bed…Mama I love you, thank you for loving me even when I don’t do things right…OH Girl…if you only knew I am trying to be the Mama to you that I so wanted as a little girl. And then I silently say “thank you Jesus for giving me this opportunity to love these kidlets in the manner I always wanted to be loved.”

Oh the Little Things that Bring Us Joy

First off, I have to start with a special blessing we had today.

I got to Skype with this sweet momma and babyImage

And these two pumpkins

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And then once Grandpa got home he got to Skype with them too!!!

We heard about Christopher saving up his money to buy a special sprinkler ~ it has like 10 points that shoot water all over and because it is so warm there in Clackamas today (85′) and now that all the boys are awake from their naps they get to go play in the sprinkler…guess Grammy & Grandpa will have to wait for another day to see those sweet boys again.  We are always thankful for our blessings.

Last week on Ron’s three days off we ~ can you guess ??? that’s right

Went for a Drive.  This time to Oklahoma.

It was a 6 hour drive but we were probably at most 75 miles from our home on wheels.

I took over 70 pictures, but fortunately for y’all I put them into collages 🙂

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We started out going to Oklahoma to get gas.  It is 20 cents a gallon cheaper 🙂  This is a little town we came upon.  The sign in the second picture down on the left side represents their school mascot and then we saw this cool grocery store. And a sweet little home.  As you can see the sky was filled with lots of blue and white puffy clouds.

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We like to go to old cemeteries and we saw this sign for “Relocated Cemeteries” so we wandered through.  One of the oldest markers was from the mid 1800’s.  Lots of babies 😦 and one of a mom and her four little ones lost over a period of 5 years.  The one in the 2nd picture down on the right side was in a family plot and this was for a newborn, I think he lived 3 days.  The 3rd one down on the right was quite interesting.  It had the marker then next to it was the round stone that had etchings of farm life, trees, a spring and field of grain.

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As we continued we came into the town where Will Rogers was born.  The 2nd picture down on the right is there town square and this is in the center where all four roads meet.  Loved the simplicity of the Methodist church and the street sign.

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On the main thorough fare is a replica of Will Roger’s home, a sign welcoming people to the town and the story of Will’s life and career.  The red barn and white face cow are behind the replica of the home. And see we were really there!

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As we continued on our drive we saw this roadside sign of one of the many battles in the area.  Ron had to show me the Jeep in the center picture – he wants to do that to our Jeep ~ ummm…don’t think so I already have a hard enough time getting into the Jeep 🙂  Along with more pictures of the surrounding area.

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I love hominy and there was a sign to Hominy, OK so I said “Let’s Go”  We found this little meat market and so went inside.  Ron has been looking for Head Cheese since we left Branson, but alas we still have not found any.  We did pick up some nice looking bacon (and we had some the other day and it was quite tasty) along with a nice rump roast.

Which is what I made for dinner tonight (Monday, 5/6).  It was very tasty and we have plenty left for two or three more meals.

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Another road sign of another battle.  And do you see the clouds forming there.  We decided we had better head for home.

After being home about 45 minutes the skies got dark, the thunder started rolling and the next day we had SNOW, yes snow in May in Kansas!!!  We couldn’t believe it.  I tried to take pictures through the window of the rig but as you can see they aren’t very clear through the screens.  I opened the door at one point to take a picture but the snow is not really showing up.

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I had a friend who posted this picture on my Facebook page and said if I saw her I had better run for cover…let’s hope I never see her 🙂  Because we all now about that nasty tornado that came through Kansas after she was seen.

witch riding her bike

Hope you enjoyed our little trip.

Z is for …

Z is for Zippity Do Day

Just saying that makes me want to just go skipping down a lane.

What do you think of when you hear that phrase?

Well we didn’t go skipping today ~ we went for a drive 🙂

First let me share the drive we went on last Thursday, 4/25/13

It was a beautiful sunny day and a great day for a drive.  Ron said if it stays warm and sunny soon it will be time to put the soft top on the Jeep, we just figure out where to store the hard top.

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And then on Sunday after Ron got off work we went for another drive

I love all the purple flowers we see along the roads.  And Ron just missed hitting the turtle so we had to go back and get a couple of pictures of him.  When we turned back around to go the way we wanted he had started to stick his head out a little but we didn’t stop to take another picture.  Maybe if I see another one I could make it a pet 🙂

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There are all kinds of roads ~ paved, two lane, gravel and even dirt roads.  But we love the scenery!  And we met the sweetest lady and her two kids (older teenagers) at the little grocery store Altamont ~ she gave us all types of places to visit and see in the area.  Ron was excited to hear about a lake about 30 miles from our campsite where we can go swimming this summer.

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The center row of this picture is an old school house at an intersection out in the country.  It would have been fun to traipse around inside but it is all fenced off.

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When we first came across these horses (top right photo) it appeared they were grazing in the middle of the road.  But upon getting closer we found they were actually in a fenced field at a corner.  We saw lots of beautiful horses. Each time we saw a Paint, we would talk about our sweet friends, Al & Selma Gienger.  We miss their friendship and fellowship here on earth but we know one day we will be celebrating in heaven with them.

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I read in one of the local free papers that a Farmers Market was going to be held on Tuesday’s from 4 to 6 p.m. and today would be the first one of the season.  Guess it was time for another road trip – this one 33 miles away according to Maggie (our GPS)

These are pictures of every road we turned on as we drove from Liberty, KS (the actual town we live in) to Parsons, KS.  Again, see all the different types of roads.  We did have to make one stop and that was the gas station in the center of the picture.  Gas was $3.39 a gallon.

All the roads we went on to get to Parsons, KS

These are sights we saw on the road leading into Parsons.

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The center picture below is the Farmers Market.  There were three vendors.  We bought some green onions, radishes and a dozen brown eggs.  And we got it all for $3!!!

We just loved seeing all the old homes.  I would love to see the interior of some of them, especially the home pictured in the top left and the two along the left border – all the same home.

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These are the roads from Parsons, KS to Angola, KS

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This is entering into Angola.  The top picture is the old school…it has lots of broken windows but we surmise it was beautiful in its prime.  And the Methodist church next to the school.  Sunday School is at 9 a.m. and the worship service begins at 10:45.  Reminds us of what we think ole’ country churches looked like.

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And what could be better to end the day then with a foot massage.  I love when Ron massages my feet and puts lots of lotion on them ~ it is just difficult because I am so darn ticklish and so we have to stop every few minutes till I quit laughing.  And don’t those toenails look pretty – yep, he also does my nails for me 🙂

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Yep ~ I am one blessed lady!!!

Hope you have enjoyed following along on the A to Z Challenge for 2013.

Stay tuned for more updates about our life as we live/work/travel and share the blessings of the Lord living in our comfy 37′ Class A Motor home newly named The Wander Lodge.

F is for Fun, Food & Fellowship, Flexibility and Future

F is for Fun, Food, Flexibility and Future

F is for FUN

One thing we have learned over the years is to have FUN.

When I think back to our early years of marriage it seemed we were always busy working or trying to solve problems or just plain surviving.

One of the things we seemed to have lost was having fun.  I remember once when my therapist asked me what I was going to do with three hours of free time as the boys were going to a birthday party.  I replied “clean my house.”    And she challenged me to actually do something FUN with my time and I could not think of anything to go.  As time has passed and we have lost loved ones over the years I started to reflect about time spent with the loved ones and it was really hard to remember fun things we did together.  I used to be a perfectionist about keeping our home spotless and always feeling like I had to be doing something instead of just relaxing, or going for a walk or spending time with a friend.  Now I plan things to do that are fun to do by myself or with friends or family.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARon and I enjoy going for rides and see the many blessings and creation of the Lord.

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Spending time with our family.

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Having coffee with special friends.

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Family!!!

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Family!!!

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More family!!!

What have you done that was fun lately?

F is for FOOD & FELLOWSHIP

We love to have friends over and go visit them in their homes, go to potlucks and Fellowship with friends.

Here’s a peak at two of our most recent time of being with family & friends, sharing in a meal and lots of Fellowship.

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Jamie and the groomsmen at the Rehearsal Dinner

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Not the best picture, but we were definitely having fun!!

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Emilio enjoying lots of fruit & vegi’s at the Rehearsal Dinner.

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Fellowshiping with friends!

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Having fun with friends!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALots of great food enjoyed by all!!

Have you spent time with friends or family just enjoying being with each other?

F is for FLEXIBILITY

Something I have learned over the years is to be Flexible, don’t sweat the small stuff, know that God tells us he is in control as shared in Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
And in the RV’ing community there is a saying “All our plans are made in Jello.”
And so even though we make plans we know they can change and that leads us to
F is for FUTURE!
We have been  Campground Managers here at Branson View Campground for almost a year.
We have talked often about what we might do in the Future for work and travel.
We have enjoyed exploring the Branson area, attending many of the shows and participating in many different activities like Silver Dollar City and the Showboat Belle.
And we started praying for where the Lord would have us go next and when.  We talked about working for Amazon this winter in Campbellsville, KY or staying here in Branson through December or ???  And we prayed for the Lord to lead us and open doors according to His will.
And so we applied for work with Amazon for this coming winter.  And then the door was opened for us to go to work for
Amazon
in
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Coffeyville, KS
We are excited to start this new adventure.
We will be leaving Branson on Sunday, April 21st
and arrive in
Coffeyville
on Tuesday, April 23rd
And Ron will begin training on Thursday, April 24th!
Now you may be asking what is Alice going to be doing?
Well she is not sure.  She will be looking for work in the community of Coffeyville or see if about working from home online.
But know whatever we will be doing we will be  Flexible and have lots of Fun!!!