Writing & Reflecting

Tonight Ron took a couple of the boys roller skating. So after baths and getting three boys to bed or should I say into their rooms, I decided to do some more writing from my old journals to the computer. I am currently working on writings from late 2016. A little background…we became House Parents in Waco, at the Methodist Boys Ranch 8/1/2016. We started our new position as Home Parents here at A Kid’s Place the middle of June this year.

As I have been typing up what I wrote four years ago I am surprised at the similar things that I am still concerned and dealing with…

  1. My weight…and now I am even 20 lbs heavier than I was in 2016 ~ UGH!!! I don’t think I am winning this battle!!!
  2. My blood sugars…I can’t remember the last time I had one full week of good and decent numbers ~ UGH
  3. Spending time with the Lord/His Word or should I say lack there of!!!

From my journal ~~~~. 11.10.2016

Got 5 hours of sleep.  Dear Jesus, I so need you today Lord.  I truly believe you opened the door for us to come here, to serve and care for these boys and Lord I don’t want to be known as a quitter yet Lord I feel so discouraged, so inadequate and find my fuse so close to blowing.  Lord, I so need you today, please give me a calm and peaceful spirit.  Lord help me to let yesterday go, give grace to these boys and specially to love on Ron.

Lord the devotional from this morning ~ I have a purpose, You have called me/us here to do your work.  Lord forgive me for my frustrations.  Help me as I step out the door this morning, to do what you have called me to be, a mom, loving on these boys the way you love on me.  Amen.

I don’t think anything has really changed…I think about something I read earlier today on Facebook and my response…(shared with permission):

Something I wrote, read it or don’t 😉Where do I begin? There’s too much going on within…I think I have one thing dealt with and then here it comes again Why can’t I shake this, why does it seem to never end? Why don’t they ever put me first, why do I care so much, think so much, want so much. I should just be content with what I have but there’s always a little voice within telling me I’m not enough Why can’t I believe I deserve good things? Why do I accept less for myself than I give to others, to all my friends I’m trying so hard to keep it together to believe things are getting better. Focus on the good, block out the bad, and trust Gods plan, but I’m wearing thin, I’m getting tired Why do they ignore me, seem to forget about me, about us? I long for that connection, the support that has never been, but that’s just it, how can I long for something that’s never even been…Loneliness and putting on a smile, telling myself I’m going to be alright is what I’ve always done, but sometimes I just want to scream NO, I’m not alright!This world is so hard to stay positive in, to not let the pain win. I try to spread love not hate, but can’t seem to love myself or believe I deserve it…Why can I do these things for others yet struggle so much to believe I’m worth it, the time, the energy, the attention, it’s so foreign to me. I’ve gotten so good at being quiet and staying out of the spotlight, fading into the conversations around me crying inside, just waiting to be seen I’d do anything for anyone especially those I love, but I guess that’s the problem…I’m not someone I love. Why would I love me when I’ve never been enough for them? Even when I’ve pleaded, begged, cried, ran away, I was never enough. I was always the one who was wrong, the one who hurt them, so I just continued to be the girl they taught me to be…quiet and good, so no one notices me…Rachel Weatherby Bode7-23-21

My response: Oh my sweet Rachel Weatherby Bode. First off sending lots of hugs your way!!! My heart resonates with what you wrote. Many thoughts you shared here today are ones I have shared internally and outwardly so many times. I know for me, I have to constantly tell myself…”Ali give yourself the grace you so easily extend to others.” And even though I am better about loving and caring for myself there are still days I fall through the cracks. I wish I had a magic wand to send over you but alas that just doesn’t happen…but know you are enough, God loves you just the way you are and you are loved by many (even those who don’t show it to you on a daily basis). Life is just plain hard at times. Just remember this too shall pass…I know it sounds a bit cliche but for me sometimes I just need to say it over and over. I share this verse with you ~ it came to me this morning when I was reading Matthew 11:28-12:8. I wrote in my Bible this morning: remember sometimes you just have to be…be still, be calm, be enough, just be! Love you sweet girl!!!


Today has been trying here at AKP…how many times during the day must I tell our 7 yr old to please stop running in the house? How many times do I have to tell the 12 year to speak nicely, don’t use that word (in this case poop poop head)? How many times to do I have to say to the 9 yr old, stop arguing over every request or comment? And I want to yell “the next time someone says YUCK at what I fix for lunch or dinner they can fix dinner and see how it feels to have everything you cook for them be YUCKY!!!

In my mind all I want to do is sit down and crochet but there isn’t a decent chair or lighting to even do that for 5 minutes!!! And then I thought about Rachel and my heart echoed hers…why does it not feel what I am doing is enough? why doesn’t it seem we get a break from constant chaos?

I know we are where the Lord would want us to be…to loving on kids who don’t have someone to love on them. …to be near our son and his family, to be Grammy and Grandpa in person, and encouraging those we come into contact with. And I am reminded that each day is a choice, each item of food I put into my mouth is my choice, each moment I spend zoning out on Facebook or picking up my Bible or rewriting my journals…those are all choices I make every day and no one is responsible for any of them but me.

So I committed this week to pray and find a support system for me…to focus on three things: my spiritual walk, my health (diabetes, eating healthy and moving this body!) and my writing. And I found this group: Faith & Fitness for Christ Followers. I was able to listen to about 20 minutes of a welcome post/live this afternoon and I was so encouraged. First, Freddie is easy to listen to and is full of energy. I got through the first three habits: !. Spend time with God! 2. Fellowship with other believers ~ being in a new area, working the crazy schedule that we do, it is sometimes hard to find fellowship with other believers. We don’t go to church the Sunday’s we are working ~ it just doesn’t work out. And the past Sunday’s we have been off we have either been out of town or sleeping in or ??? it just hasn’t happened. And this next Sunday we are off we are going to be out of town with Christopher, having some Grammy and Grandpa time celebrating him!!! But in saying that…somehow I connected with a church on Facebook Salvation City Church. I have messaged back and forth with Pastor Joel a couple of times. One of the things that was an encouragement from him was a message/prayer he left for me in Messenger without me even asking. If there is one thing I miss ~ that is having a personal relationship/friendship with our pastor. Pastor Charles from Northwood, Pastor Isaac from Open Door and Pastor Adam from New Life have all been encouragers to and for me over the years. Habit 3 is drink water!!!! I had been doing really well drinking anywhere from 60 to 80 oz of water every day until we moved here to Florida…now I am luck if I down 48 oz…I need to find that water bottle and get back to drinking water!!! I know I feel better when I drink more water.

And then I began transcribing my journal from November 2016 and realized that though my battle seems to be exactly the same as 5 years ago but in reality and I’m trying to see the truth!!! Yes I may weigh more now than I did then, my BS numbers are all over the board BUT I am more aware and immediately I think of something Tom shared with us many years ago

Awareness + Contact = Change!!! and today I am definitely more aware than I was five years ago!!! And I am making healthier food choices more of the time than not and that is a good thing!!!

And just like I shared with Rachel this morning…I need to give myself the grace that I so easily give to others!!! And so as I prepare to go to bed I am thanking the Lord for today…reminders I am not alone…support groups on Facebook, friends who send me texts of encouragement and little boys who say “Ms Ali, would you pray with me tonight” which says “Ms Ali, thank you for loving me along with all my foibles.”

And so again I say to myself…Ali you can make the changes that need to be made in your life…make healthy food choices, drink water ~ forget that dang soda pop!!! 😉 and give yourself the grace you so freely give to others!!! Just like God gives grace to me every single day of my life!!!!

I want to add a big thank you to Rachel for sharing from your heart and walking my journey with me and allowing me to walk your journey with you!!!! And remember:

BE

As I went to bed last night I reflected on my day…it didn’t start out great, in fact it was a grumpy and frustrating morning. I didn’t go to Sunday School ~ I just couldn’t put on my mask of EVERYTHING IS JUST FINE! After dropping Ron and the kidlets off at the church I went and got gas, stopped at the post office and then drove back to the church and sat in the van and played Tetris on my phone till it was time to go in for the worship service.

As I was walking from the restroom to the sanctuary one of the gals asked me if I was okay. I took a breath and said not really. She reached out and gave me a hug…I shared I was frustrated ~ frustrated with kids who won’t flush the toilet. I know it’s gross but it is what it is. Probably wouldn’t be bad but it’s not one kid, it’s four of them. And they are not toddlers…they are 5, 8, 11 and 14!! I know, it’s my issue and I can just flush the toilet…but dang, how hard is it to flush the toilet ESPECIALLY after you have pooped!! I’m frustrated with a couple of other things that don’t seem fair ~ I know, Life isn’t FAIR!! But it’s still hard some times.

As I replayed the day back I saw some good ~ four kidlets played outside most of the afternoon, birthday girl had a good birthday dinner of hamburgers, mac n cheese, tater tots and broccoli topped off with red velvet cupcakes. My sissy is out of the hospital and I am so thankful for that. Yes I was grumpy throughout the day but things did get better…three littles had their showers and were in bed at the set time, one went to bed earlier than expected and one was very responsible!! I was thankful I got to spend some time writing and crocheting ~ two of my favorite things to do.

And I was asleep before 10pm!!! Woke up more times than I care to admit in the night but my tracker says I slept more than 7 hours so that’s a good thing. Had a pleasant conversation with our night staff person which doesn’t always happen and spent some time in the Word! I would have loved to have a cup of coffee but have to get some fasting blood work this morning…so water it is!!

Back to the Word

Image result for psalm 40 2
and I am thankful that HE keeps me from falling too deep!

and I have been feeling like I am slipping and sliding into that pit of destruction YET HE reminded me this morning HE will keep me out of the pit that destroys me!

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And even though I MAY feel like I’m getting boxed in and there is no place to turn…GOD will not let me be destroyed!!!

And then the BE’s started flowing

BE intentional in giving thanks!!
BE kinder
BE less selfish ~ I can be selfish, just be less selfish
BE aware
BE a listener
BE there
BE present
and most of all ~ DON’T JUDGE

And now it’s time to get this day moving with the kidlet’s.

***********
What are you told to BE today?

Y is for …

Y is for …

…hubby says

yellow

The morning sunrise!

y sunrise

Yellow roses!
y roses

A yellow kitchen ~ we used to have a bright yellow kitchen, much brighter than this one.  Then we moved to a new home and we painted it yellow and blue – still like yellow and in fact painted the bathroom in our motor home a light yellow.  Guess I have mellowed in the past 25 years 🙂

y kitchen walls

Yellow Fish – this is more the color of our first yellow kitchen 🙂

y fish

Corn on the cob – one of our favorite things to eat.  Am hoping since we are now in Kansas we will find lots of fresh corn this summer.

y corn

When I was thinking of a Y is for ?  The word that came to mind was Yearning…yearning for God.

 y yearning

I have found that in being more intentional about my time with the Lord, studying His word, writing out my prayers and talking about and trying to understand different things from the Bible with others I yearn more for the Lord.

I do another blog, Alice’s Restaurant ~ Dishin’ Up Food for Thought where I write about what is on my heart.

Today’s Post is here where I share about my yearning for understanding the Holy Spirit and being an encourager.

What is your favorite Yellow thing?

Mine would be the sunshine!!!  I love the sunshine and I even love hot summer days.

 

W is for Writing

W is for

writing

I enjoy writing.

I like to make lists.

list

I like to send cards with little notes in them.

I like to write letters to our family and friends that don’t do the internet thing.

letters

Writing helps me sort things out.

I like to write my prayers out,

prayer requests

 sharing praises and requests.

praise

I like to send postcards to our grands.

postcards

And I like to write blog posts.

Alice’s Restaurant is a mixture of writings.  They include prayers to God, thoughts about world happenings, devotional’s and anything else that just pops into my mind that I want to reflect on.

Alice’s Restaurant ~ Dishin’ Up Food for Thought

and the first edition of  The Wandering Workentins can be found here.

The Wandering Workentins ~ First Edition

Highlights include February to September 2010 of when we worked, lived, traveled with a carnival,

Selling Christmas Trees November to December 2011

Our very eventful trip to Texas from Washington January-February 2012

You can check any of these out using the link above and going to the archives.

And of course writing this blog where I am currently doing the

A to Z Challenge for April 2013.

What do you like to write about?

Do you like to get real mail?

Do you have a prayer request you would like me to pray about?

Oh and with writing goes PENS!!

I love me Fine Pt Colored Pens!!!

colored pens

because not all my writing is on the computer you know 🙂

V is for Victory and Views

V is for

…Victory in Jesus

victoryinjesus

by Author: Eugene Bartlett
Year Written: 1939
Copyright: BMI Work#1803360

This is one of my favorite hymns.

I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood’s atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.

Chorus
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about His healing,
Of His cleansing pow’r revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, “Dear Jesus,
Come and heal my broken spirit,”
And somehow Jesus came and bro’t
To me the victory.

Chorus
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about a mansion
He has built for me in glory.
And I heard about the streets of gold
Beyond the crystal sea;
About the angels singing,
And the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I’ll sing up there
The song of victory.

Chorus
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

and Views

This is the view from the couch in our motor home looking through the campground towards Amazon.  Currently there are less than 10 rigs here at the Big Chief RV Park.  As more workers start with Amazon this campground will see more rigs here.

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These next two pictures are the view from the recliner looking away from the campground.  We are the last rig in this row and so we will have this unobstructed view for the whole season.  If you look towards the bottom of the picture you can see lots of water/mud ~ we will be glad when the spring rains stop and this can get all dried up.

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This view is from the chair directly behind the passenger seat.  It has been nice to watch the clouds come in and go out.

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One funny thing about views.

When we were at Branson View Campground we would watch the sun rise out the passenger side living room window and the sunset out the drivers side living room window.  This morning as I was having my quiet time with the Lord I looked out the drivers side window and much to my surprise the sun was coming up!  It took me a few minutes to realize that the sun hasn’t changed where it comes up or goes down but we have the motor home facing a different direction!!!

Do you have victory in your life?

And what views do you see each day from your home? On your drive to work or church?

K is for Kind, Kissable, King

K is for Kind, Kissable, King

K = Kind

K = Kissable

Alex 041213

Doesn’t he have the cutest KISSABLE cheeks?

Baby Alexander – April 12, 2013

K = King

Jesus is My King!

kingofkings

King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Glory, hallelujah
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Glory, hallelujah
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Glory, hallelujah
King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Jesus, Prince of Peace)
Glory hallelujah
King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Jesus, Prince of Peace)
Glory hallelujah
King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Jesus, Prince of Peace)
Glory hallelujah
King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Jesus, Prince of Peace)
Glory hallelujah

King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Glory, hallelujah
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Glory, hallelujah

King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Glory, hallelujah
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Glory, hallelujah

King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Jesus, Prince of Peace)
Glory hallelujah
King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Jesus, Prince of Peace)
Glory hallelujah

J is for Just…

J is for Just

Once we had a cat named Justa JUST because she was a cat 🙂

JUST is mentioned 568 times in the NIV translation of the Bible?

360 times in the Old Testament and 208 times in the New Testament

Two of my favorite verses are:

Ephesians 4:32

Eph 4 32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
I am reminded to be kind and compassionate and caring to others JUST as God loves me.  Remember the adage: Treat others like you want to be treated.
and
As a sinner I am to confess my sins to the Lord and he will forgive me and I am to forgive others.

D is for Distractions!

D is for Distractions!!

distractions

One of the things I struggle with is getting Distracted.

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to distract me.

Like earlier today when I was working on a project at work.

 I needed to find a picture on the computer and the next thing I knew I was scrolling through the pictures of my grandchildren.

I can look at their pictures for hours especially when I haven’t seen them in a while.   The next thing I knew 30 minutes had passed 😦 .

Getting distracted doesn’t just happen at work.

When I am at home I can start one thing like putting the laundry away and the next thing I know I am cleaning out the closet.

The one area I get distracted in and is the one that frustrates me the most is in my quiet time.

 I like to read my Bible, do daily devotions, study God’s word and spend time in prayer.  Now I find that if it is not totally quiet  without music or soft lighting I am unable to concentrate, remember what I have been reading or even give my total being to the Lord in praise and prayer.

So I decided that I needed to do something to keep my distractions at a minimum.

I found this poster and was excited to see so many solutions that really work for me.

Help with Distraction

1.  Keeping a To Do List and Prioritizing It

2.  Turn off the computer in the evening to allow quality time with my hubby, friends, and activities.

3.  Setting the alarm and scheduling an hour of quiet time where the TV is off, Ron is still sleeping ~ setting the stage for what I need.

4. Finishing one project at a time.  I have so many unfinished projects from crafts to writing to household obligations to redecorating parts of the motor home that I  have made a list of  all of them, choosing one, doing it and then choosing the next one to do.

5.  Meal planning – this helps in a couple of ways.  We eat healthier and we don’t go out to eat which saves us money 🙂

Do you get distracted?  How do you stop distractions from taking you away from the things you need to do?

 

C is for Care

C is for Care

I was given the word CARE this morning in my devotional time.

My reading began in the Book of Ruth.  Do you know the story of Naomi & Ruth?

I claimed the verses in Chapter 1:16 – 17 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”  when Ron told me in February 1989 that he wanted to move our whole family to Blaine, WA.  You see I had always told Ron that I would not 1) move to Blaine, 2) live with his mother, 3) go to Birch Bay Bible Mennonite Church, or 4) move onto the farm where he was born and raised**.  But I knew that Ron cared for me and wanted only the best for me and our children and so I claimed this verse to help me with the move and to keep my focus on how and what the Lord wanted me to do.  And you know what…God and Ron has never let me down…they both have taken such great care of me.  Yes we have faced many hard times but through it all I know Ron cares for me, loves me and will always provide for me.  All because he cares about and for me (and our children, their spouses and their children).

I reflected on how Ruth put her trust in God and she was not afraid to take action by standing firm in her faith.  Ruth was willing to take a risk in order to see the fulfillment of God’s purpose for her life.  Faith trusts but it also acts.  Sometimes we struggle to know if God is working in our lives especially when we are facing uncertainties or the unknown.  In the Book of Ruth we can see how God worked in Ruth & Naomi’s lives as they faced many difficulties and hardships.

Care also came up in a conversation I was having with Pastor Charles via email the other day.  It started with me saying I needed to go and clean the lower restrooms here at the campground which is not my favorite job at all.  He reminded me that Jesus cleaned the feet of the poorest people and even those that would eventually betray him and that I should think about cleaning the bathrooms with a servant’s heart.  So as I cleaned the bathrooms on Monday I decided that I could clean like they (the bathrooms) would be used by a King and that I could pray for those who would come in and use the restrooms after they were cleaned.  I could take care and do a great job of cleaning and not do it haphazardly.  One thing the Book of Ruth shows us is that the most ordinary acts of obedience and stepping out in faith can lead to extraordinary results.  And so I did just that ~ I prayed for the guests in our campground and for future guests that will be using the restrooms and I found myself singing

And it made the whole job of cleaning the bathrooms not so bad after all!

And then I thought of the following verses:

I Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  And then I found this cartoon and it made me smile as I pictured Jesus actually carrying all my cares and lessening my burdens.

and

Philipians 4:6-7

I know God cares about me, I know Ron loves and cares about me as do many other friends and family and I am so thankful for each of them.

And then I began to think about how I care for others.

I pray for people, send cards to people, try to make treats or gifts for those in need and do nice things for others and I realized I do the things for others that I enjoy others doing for me.  And then I realized that often in the past I have done things for others just so they would like or love me and do things for me.  I asked the Lord to forgive me for doing things with a selfish expectation of what could others do for me.  I decided to do one thing each day for 30 days just because with no expectations and you know what? I realized that I just love to do acts of kindness just because and to bless others as so many have blessed me.

Let me ask you ~ do you do things for others because you want something in return or do you do them just because and to share God’s love and care with others?

One of the tools I am using to care for others is to ask God to bring people to mind and I write their names on my daily calendar.  I do this so I can pray for them and sometimes send a card or make a phone call or drop them an email to let them know I was thinking of them.  Sometimes I do things anonymously ~ it is fun to watch someone be blessed and not know who is blessing them or hear about it later from them and they not know I was the one who did XYZ.

Try it sometime, a random act of kindness to a friend or a stranger and be blessed for blessing someone just as God blesses us unexpectedly.

**If you are wondering we did move to Blaine, WA, we lived with Ron’s mom for four months, we went to the Birch Bay Bible Mennonite Church for a total of six years and we lived at the home place for seven years!!  I have learned never to say never :)**

B is for Bold, Blessings, Beautiful

B is for Bold, Blessings, Beautiful

In my devotions this morning I was reading in Proverbs 2:1-11 and read that as I seek God he will give me wisdom, He is my shield, He guards my path and preserves my way.  Discretion will preserve me and Understanding will keep me.  What kept going through my mind was I need to be BOLD in my walk with the Lord, sharing the  many BLESSING’s of my life.  In Exodus 3 God says he is the I AM!  The same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  And I should not be ashamed to share Him – so that means I need to be BOLD!!!

And my life is overflowing with BLESSING’s.  I am blessed with a wonderful husband.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARon w/Alex

Ron loves me so much and this morning when I woke up and noticed he had already left to go to the computer store and to the bank.  I am so thankful for my wonderful husband.  I need to remember to tell him each day I love him and appreciate him for not only what he does for me but for who he is.

I am blessed with a beautiful family.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARon, Jamie, Alice, Branson

Bunces's, Wedding Party

Alice’s Aunt Joan & Uncle Don, Jamie, his wife, Suzanne, Alice & Ron

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABrandon w/sons: Max, Christopher & Treyson

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Danalyn & Alex (unable to attend the wedding)

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Jamie & Suzanne

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Jamie, Suzanne & Opal

Us, Mike & Betsy

Ron & Alice and Alice’s cousins, Mike & Betsy

And special friends.

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High School Best Friends Reunited after 38 years.  Corrine Randall Lanier & Alice

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Best friend, Dee, who flexes with my schedule just to sneak in a visit!

Mike, Conny, Alice & Ron ~ Greeley, CO

Our friends, Mike & Conny who we have known since our early military days.

We are blessed beyond measure with lots of family and friends.

Beautiful can conjure up many different things in one’s mind….babies, nature, thought…here are just so many things that are beautiful in this world.

Alex March 2013 1

Isn’t he one of the most beautiful babies you’ve ever seen!  Alex is growing just way too fast.

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One of God’s beautiful creations!!

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Pike Peaks mountain!!!  Another beautiful sign of God’s creation.

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A beautiful sunset!