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

Whew!!!

It’s been a few crazy days out in blog land. I was able to get all my blog posts (796!) all imported into WordPress…and then I set up my Crochet and More by Ali page set up…

which leads me to ask…IF you have been the recipient of any crocheted items by me whether as a gift or special order I would love to have pictures…for some reason I am unable to locate pictures of all the crocheting I have done, especially many of the items I made while we were gate guarding…so again, I ask, if you received something from me, would you be so kind as to take a picture and send it to me or post in the comments. Thanks a bunch in advance for helping this ole’ gal out.

I have heard from a couple of you that you are enjoying this new layout/look of the blog and that is much easier to read…thanks for the feedback…and if you haven’t left a note…feel free to do so!!! I love to hear from my readers!!! And my stats show there are over 500 followers on this blog from when I first started it in 2013 when I was trying a few new things…so comment away!!!

Today I’m taking Joey in for his first grooming appointment since he came to live with us…we have given him a couple of baths (he does real well~just stands there) but he needs a good cleaning, nails clipped, hair trim and all the other stuff that goes along with getting groomed.

Thursday’s are my busy days…did my log notes for the week, email to the relief HP who comes on tomorrow, clean off my desk and get ready for whatever we are doing on our off days.

This weekend we are going to Kerrville, TX https://www.facebook.com/events/2180785955520437/ and to meet up with our friends and fellow RV’rs…Dana Ticknor and her kids. Looking forward to getting away for a couple of nights and going to the Hill Country again with maybe a stop in Bandera!!! It will also be our first time taking Joey on a trip…we will see how he does!!!

*****

What do you like to do on your off time? Ron and I love to go on road trips and so one of our objectives this weekend is to see how well Joey travels and does in a hotel.

The other thing I really like to do on our off time is sleep in…can’t wait for Saturday and Sunday mornings to do just that. With the new requirement that all foster home/cottage homes/residential care facilities to have overnight awake staff 24/7 we don’t get to sleep in very often…though Ron and I do take turns sleeping in or even catching a nap or two.

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 🙂

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
Coffeyville Map
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!!!