It’s Been Awhile ~

Life has been tough! Life just seems to be ????? heck I can’t even think of a word to describe it ~ it just has been tough!!!

Someone asked me why I hadn’t written anything in awhile ~ I’ve been thinking about that and my first response is “I’m just tired.” And then I realized I am just tired of everything that seems so heavy, so negative, so stagnant. And then I ask WHY? What has changed in my life…and I reflect back to the middle of March 2020. My anxiety was high, we were preparing to travel for 5 days to go see Ron’s oncologist for his annual cancer check up. Hard to believe it had been two years since his surgery to remove the nasty C.

For the most part we don’t watch the news every day but since we would be traveling we were watching the weather reports and talk of Covid was beginning to run rampant. Yes it was scary, yes it is a nasty bug but life for us continued…we faced what we needed to face and put one foot in front of the other. Tensions were running high here in our home. The little’s were anxious about us being gone for 5 nights, we were anxious of what would the doctor’s find, we were concerned how the little’s would do. It was the beginning of Spring Break and we had had to change our plans from a camping trip to a doctor’s visit. And yet we still put one foot in front of the other.

The doctor’s appointments went well. Cancer is still gone. The only concern voiced was Ron’s weight…but that is nothing new; we have both battled being overweight for all of our adult lives. What a relief. We both commented that night as we laid in bed how relieved we each were, apologized to each other for our shortness with each other and planned a nice one last night out without little’s for our return to the ranch.

And then life threw a punch…quarantined to the ranch. By the time the kids went back to school it was 159 days from school day to school day. Yes, we got out a bit: took the kidlets to the drive thru Safari in San Antonio, only getting out of the truck to go to the restroom, we bought a little blow up pool and the kids had many “swim days” right here at home but for the most part it was Ron or I going to the grocery store or picking up the mail. Even trips to the office were cancelled unless absolutely necessary. Kids did counseling via Zoom, even did a couple of doctor appointments via Zoom ~ do you know how hard it is to keep a 5 year old engaged in a conversation with a face on the screen to be diagnosed and treated by a physician. In my opinion, it was pretty worthless.

Then unexpected changes happened, got new kids to our home due to staff changes. Little’s were moved to a foster adopt home, start to finish was less than four weeks, crazy times for sure, more schedule changes here at the ranch, rumors and anxiety flew at a rapid pace about the future of the ranch, our jobs and then we were scrambling to get the kid’s stuff for school not knowing, were they going in person or would it be remote. Our girl decided she was going to go to school ~ a good move for her as it got her out of the house, she gets to see friends and interact with others.

And then I realized through it all that my depression was lurking around every corner. Visually appearing as exhaustion, lots of exhaustion, absolutely no energy to do anything. Yes I kept cooking for the family, attended the necessary training’s for the job, did what needed to be done but my heart was not in it, I was and am just plain tired.

And yet, through it all I have kept moving forward, slower at times with lots of naps thrown in and yet I haven’t totally given up. Though at times I would like to crawl into my recliner, crochet and watch TV and hide and hibernate from all, and some days I did just that…I give myself kudos for not totally throwing in the towel.

And so today, I find myself asking what do I need to do to get out of this funk…to get energy back, to feel alive and not like a slug. So I did what I know to do. I opened my Bible for a short devotion yesterday and today and always, always God has met me where I am.

Yesterday my devotion was titled “Bountiful Benefits” and this morning was “Relief from Your Distress” ~ yes, Jesus met me right where I am…God accepts me right where I am and loves me unconditionally and I was reminded that God forgives, He heals, He encourages and I am good enough just the way I am AND I have much to be thankful for…family, friends (even though the circle has gotten smaller ~ I think more my choice than anything), a job that doesn’t really feel like a job most of the time, the ability to be with my hubby most all the time and even when he does something that drives me crazy or makes me want to slap the sh** out of him, I am thankful for Ron, for Ron’s love for me and the patience he shows me when I drive him crazy or ask for three kinds of ice cream on a rainy night when he really doesn’t want to go out but he goes to the store anyway. Yes I am blessed beyond measure.

I am encouraged to cry out to the Lord, to give thanks for everything, to keep on trusting Him and to know that

For my good! I may not understand the why’s or how come’s but I do know that I am never alone and that no matter what happens with our jobs, our living situation or ??? that God is in control and that no matter what happens today or tomorrow, in the end everything will work together for good!

Focusing on What’s Important

As I wrote the other day…life has been a struggle for me and like in days and years past I let my emotions control my actions…I had a counseling session scheduled for today BUT yesterday in the middle of my angst I cancelled it ~ DUH…now more than ever I really needed that time to get refocused and calm my spirit. I did have enough sense to schedule another appointment for next Tuesday…NO I will not be cancelling it!!! Telling myself that as much as you!!!

Yesterday morning I woke up at 4:07, struggled through the day with tears, worry, anxiety but I didn’t take a nap thinking it would help me to sleep better last night…well it didn’t…I was up numerous times and this morning I woke up at 4:22!! I laid in bed for about 15 minutes and then got up…made myself a bottle of water (taking thyroid medication can’t have anything to eat or drink but water for an hour), combed my hair, put on some earrings, made my way out to the living room. Putzed around until our night staff person left shortly after 6:00a. Cleaned off my desk, put some more pages in my planner and then opened my Bible and devotionals.

I don’t know why but I am
ALWAYS
and yet you always meet me where I am…
and this morning was no different!!

I opened Pocket Prayers for Moms given to me by my bestie and this was the verse that was written….
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along with this prayer
Heavenly Father, you are the Lord of all, the almighty God and the everlasting one. Be near to me when my family faces change. When nothing feels steady, it is hard on all of us. Give me strength and courage in times of transition. Allow my family to see YOU leading the way. May the rely on you, especially when they feel uncertain. I am so grateful that even when everything around us feels unstable, YOU are there. YOU are our rock. I thank you and praise you for that. In Christ’s name. Amen

Just WOW!!

This prayer says it all…all that I’m feeling and thinking…there is just so much uncertainty in today’s world yet GOD remains steadfast and consistent…the things this mama needs to be for her family…steadfast, consistent, loving, kind and caring. I need to remember to extend the grace that I am so willing to extend to others to myself and our kidlets.

So many changes are happening, transition is the name of the game…transition from kidlets going to school to being schooled at home, from fixing one meal a day to fixing two or three and then being reminded to accept the help that is being offered…our school district, like so many will provide breakfast and lunch for all our kidlets. At first I told the principal “no, we’ve got the meals covered” and then our boss reminding me that by allowing the school district to provide breakfast and lunch five days a week it will relieve me/us of some of the pressure and thinking needed to be done.

WOW…yesterday was the first day we took advantage of the school lunches and it was wonderful…no comments from the kids that they didn’t want such and such. They ate and cleaned up after themselves. It was a good thing. And we have breakfast for today: pop tarts, apple juice and milk. Easy for everyone!!!

As I continued with my time with the Lord, I wrote…
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and then I got distracted by looking for something on Facebook
but it turned out to be just what I needed for me, for us today

As I posted on Facebook we don’t have any beer but that’s okay, I have my Coke Zero, I won’t make a coffee cake but I will make my pineapple angel food cake bars…topped with whip cream and since Tuesday is one of our “chore days” we will pass on the big chores for the day like cleaning the bathrooms (we have six in our house!!!) and vacuuming but the laundry will at least get washed and dried…maybe even folded and some school work will get done…and this mama’s goal will be to keep a soft tone…remember the

marshmallows…and I might even have some for a treat for the kidlets!

Thank you Lord for my time with you this morning, for the many reminders that have come my way today…even this one…

Let’s remember…today is in the Lord’s hand, HE is in control and though we may face some struggles we will get through this and through it all let’s remember to give

Life Continues…

What a week we have had…we made our trip to Midland, TX for Ron’s scheduled appointment with his oncologist and surgeon. Ron had been feeling some pulling in the area where he had had surgery and so you can imagine we had some concerns. We gladly report that Ron continues to be

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And we give God all the glory and thanks for good doctors and praying friends and family!!!

The Kidlets are on Spring Break this week. We had planned to go camping but with the Corona Virus and health situation that didn’t happen so we have changed up our plans. Thursday we started a new Chore Chart and the kids did great…they have daily chores like making their bed (we do too!) and cleaning up their bedrooms. And then there are chores that need to be done 3x a week so we chose Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and Saturday’s so we can keep Sunday for a family day. Fortunately the kidlets are still at the age where they like to help…hopefully they will keep that attitude for a long time!!!

Thursday afternoon while at the grocery store by myself I got a call that school is cancelled for the kidlets at least for the next week (we were surprised it hadn’t been cancelled yet) so we have done some extra planning for the kidlets with work packets for math, reading and writing (there are lots of free resources on the internet right now!!!) And we devised a “schedule” for next week. Fortunately the previous home parents at Meadows loved to do crafts…me not so much…but we have lots of craft projects we can do, board games to play, and dvd’s to watch.

Friday was a day of storms and lots of rain so no outside play but it is supposed to be sunny and warm next week and we have a great playground here at BBYR so we can do lots of PE!!! And with the kidlets home we will do some baking (math), organizing (more math and reading) and learning to make the best out of what life has…AND isn’t that what we all need to be doing…

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We ended our evening with some unexpected excitement at our place. We were listening to Neal McCoy https://www.facebook.com/pg/nealmccoymusic/ with his live concert and I started dancing in my chair and caught the cord of my laptop and sent it crashing to the floor…yep no more laptop ! Ron was so sweet and so nice to me…I think I expected him to yell but he didn’t … he said

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and I posted

POOP!! My foot got caught on the cord of my laptop and it hit the floor hard and shattered the screen!!!! POOP!!!

on my Facebook page!!!

I was encouraged when I got a couple of messages from friends on how to get my information from my laptop to put on a new one.

So that brings up a question…what is a good laptop. We don’t play games on it, we do use it for keeping track of our finances, online banking, writing etc. What do you think of refurbished laptops?

I guess this is all for today…our three kidlets are chatting in my ear, teenager is whining because she can’t go to Walmart with Ron and my watch is reminding me that I have been sedentary for awhile…

Oh that was the good news this week…I think I told y’all that I lost my watch somewhere here in the house…well Little Bit found it!!! It was caught between her nightstand and bed!!! Must have fallen off when I was tucking her in last week…and of course she found it after I just ordered a new one on Amazon that will be here next week…now I have to decide do I want to send the new one back or keep it as a spare…oh what to do, what to do????

So what would you do…keep the watch or send it back???

T is for Travel

T is for Travel

Travel is something we love to do.

It felt wonderful to get back on the road in the motor home on Sunday morning.  It was a good day for travel as the sun was shining and there was just a slight breeze.  Our trip for the day was to drive from Branson, MO to Quapaw, OK otherwise known as the Downstream Casino.  It was 136 miles from Branson View Campground (hard to say good-bye and the campground looked so sad with not a camper in sight) to Downstream Casino.    We left Branson at 10:04 a.m. and are ETA was 12:31 p.m. But that was not to be.  Once we were on the road Ron realized there was a problem with the Jeep…it was swerving all over the place…something was wrong with the tow bar.  And of course, no place to pull over, for eight miles 😦  I stood in the back of the rig keeping an eye on the Jeep and Ron  drove very cautiously.  We finally got to the Walmart in Branson West ~ big empty parking lot where I pulled forward, Ron worked on the tow bar, I pulled forward, Ron worked on the tow bar, I pulled forward then backed up a little and Ron worked on the tow bar.  After about 15 minutes all was hooked up correctly and we were ready to get back on the road.  Problem: the left tow bar would not catch correctly.  Giving thanks to God that the Jeep didn’t let loose while we were driving, that no damage was done to the Jeep or the Motor home and all it took to fix it was a little time and no money 🙂

We drove about an hour and a half and then found a nice place to pull over and eat lunch.  And what a delicious lunch it was ~ leftover rib eye steak sandwiches from dinner the night before.  Thank you Renee for a special evening out.

We arrived at Downstream Casino at 1:01 p.m. just 30 minutes past our original ETA.

The view from our campsite at Downstream Casino.  So peaceful to look out the passenger side big window.

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Cost of camping: $0 – we signed up for a Qcard (free) and with it we each get one free night of camping.  Along with the free nights of camping  we also each received one free buffet meal ~ so we went there on Monday evening.  Usually $16.99 per person.  That is more than we would normally pay for dinner at a buffet but free was good 🙂

On Monday we decided to do a little sight-seeing and decided to go to the Precious Moments Chapel and grounds.  It was beautiful.

This rig was parked a couple down from us at the casino – love the picture on the back of their rig.

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Funny place to park a truck if you ask me 🙂  This was on the drive from the casino to the PM chapel.

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I took over 150 pictures so put them into collages.

These include the signs leading to the Precious Moments Chapel and grounds.

The entrance and the fountains welcoming you.

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Different scenes inside the Gift Shop and Cafe.


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Walking towards the chapel.

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Inside the main room of the chapel.

Bottom left picture is of the ceiling.

The four scenes with the red borders are the chapel grounds in Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter

In the picture above the ceiling one if you look close you can see little ones playing basketball in heaven.

The middle picture top row has 15 murals…Mr. B painted them all in 4 days.

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This is the Remembrance Room.

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The center picture top row look out onto the garden island.

The stained glass windows were original paintings the Mr. B’s daughter-in-law made for the hallway.

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This is leaving the chapel and heading back towards the gift shop.

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This is a planned development that has a chapel, gazebos, a few large homes and a huge horse barn.  You can rent the chapel & gazebos for weddings and parties.  The large white home in the bottom left of the picture faces a river on one said and has many large windows all the way around – what a pleasant and peaceful view.

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The drive back to the campground.  The skies got dark and the rains started.

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Hope you enjoyed the trip to Precious Memories.

Tuesday morning we left Downstream Casino to head to our new home ~ Big Chief RV Park and working for Amazon.

It was not an easy drive as we battled wind and rain most of the way.

And no trip would be complete without some type of mishap 🙂

On the drive on Tuesday morning besides fighting the wind and rain we lost two totes on the road.  And as you can see there really is not much of a shoulder to be parked on.  If you notice the big white truck – the guy passed us, stopped and turned around and helped gather the stuff from one of the totes.  One tote never lost its lid 🙂    You also see Ron heading back to pick up stuff.  And then working to secure the remaining totes ~ it was windy and rainy ~ absolutely no fun.  You can see the two totes and the Christmas bear and dog that got soaked.  Put them on the counter/in the sink to dry.  We did lose one thing – a ceramic angel with fiber optic lights that shone on the nativity scene.  It was a gift from Ron’s sister, Judy the first year we moved into the rig.  Ron said it was shattered into way too many pieces to try to fix 😦  All this happened 11.5 miles from the campground in Coffeyville 🙂

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And then we arrived at Big Chief RV Park in Coffeyville, KS.  We are parked directly across from Amazon.  The campground has 132 sites.  We are parked in the furthest corner from the entrance.  The upper left picture if our rig as driving towards it.  Our view is of the two far right bottom pictures.  We are parked right next to the booster antenna for wifi – we have a great signal 🙂  The freeway is along the back side of our rig.  But looking our our living room window on the passenger side we have a beautiful green field and some trees and no one will park on that side.  It is very relaxing to look out the window.  They have had quite a bit of rain so there is lots of mud around right now.  The weather is supposed to be nice for the rest of this week, a little rain expected early next week and then we should be in for a nice long dry  spell.  One thing we don’t have is TV – we cannot pick up any channels with our antenna and there is no cable.  We are going to check into Netflix.  The downside is we won’t know who wins the Amazing Race or Survivor ;(

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Well that end’s our trip from Branson, MO to Coffeyville, KS.

If you are in the area of Coffeyville, KS give us a shout out.  We love to meet up with other RV’rs.

Stay tuned for our next adventure ~ working for Amazon.

**Edited on April 25th, 2013 ~ thanks Jw for letting me know about the name of the Precious Moments Chapel**

G is for Grateful

G is for Grateful

Grateful = Gratitude = Thankfulness

The definition of Grateful: 1.  warmly or deeply appreciative  of kindness or benefits received; thankful   2.  expressing or actuated by gratitude   3. pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing

I am grateful for my hubby and the upbringing he had.  I am grateful he had Christian parents to raise him into the wonderful man, husband, father, grandfather and friend that he is to so many.  I have been thinking of his parents a lot today.  33 years ago today his dad, Pete, went to be with the Lord after a long fought battle against cancer.  I remember that day so clearly in my mind.  It was a day full of crazy happenings: first I got my wedding rings stuck on my finger and had to have them cut off (Ron’s first trip home from work), then Anne (Ron’s mom) called and said Pete wanted to speak to Ron ~ kinda hard because Pete could not speak above a whisper so I called Ron’s boss, told him what was going on and he sent Ron home for the second time in less than two hours.  After making arrangements for a friend to keep Jamie (2 1/2 years old), packing a suitcase for us and Brandon (almost 2 months) and getting the truck loaded we headed from McChord AFB to Blaine, WA.  About 3 1/2 hour drive.  We had reached Everett (half way) and made one of our usual stops at the rest area.  Ron’s driving was pretty erratic  so I told him I would drive.  As I began driving towards Blaine I prayed “Lord, please let Pete still be alive or have him pass at least 15 minutes before we get to the house.”  I think I said that prayer over and over all the way to Blaine.  Selfishly I didn’t want to be the one responsible for Ron not being able to see his dad one more time.  God is Good and for that I give thanks – Ron was able to have a few minutes alone with Pete before he breathed his last.  And in sixteen days it will be five years since Anne was reunited with Pete.  And even though his parents and I didn’t always get along, I am so grateful for their parenting of Ron, their love for us as a couple and parents and for our children.  One happy memory I have of Pete is him babysitting Brandon.  At meal time, we would put Brandon on the bed next to Grandpa and Grandpa would keep an eye on Brandon.  Another memory is when we were visiting at their home when Jamie was 15 months old and I was scolding Jamie for climbing on the coffee table and Grandpa telling me “Jamie can climb on table it is not going to hurt anything.” And once Ron was scolding Jamie for throwing his paci on the ground and Ron telling him he was going to spank him if he did it again and Grandpa Pete saying something about spankings not really being necessary and Ron telling him he should have thought of that 20 years ago when Ron was a little one.

I am also grateful for the people God has brought into our lives over the years.  I am grateful for friends who encourage me in new adventures and remind me that God has never failed me yet and that He also meets all of our needs.  Today we were blessed by some friends here in Branson and so grateful for their friendship ~ we will miss you Jw & Wanda!!  We have many friends in our life who have blessed us time and time again and we look forward to making more friends as we continue working and traveling around the USA.

What are you grateful for today?