Life Goes On…

Life marches on, every day, every hour, every minute. Sometimes I wish I could stop the clock…like this past Sunday while FaceTiming and watching the Seahawks game with our grandson. We laughed and cheered the Seahawks into a win over the Cowboys! It was definitely a fun time and I am thankful for technology that allows this Grammy to spend time with her grands even when they are 1500 miles away!!

And then there are days like today where I find myself looking for things to keep me grounded and centered. Today these two spoke to me…the first one was sent to me about a week ago by my bestie. And just like two weeks ago, it is right on the mark for where I am and where my mind and heart is.

and then this one:

Today has been a hard day yet I know that no matter what obstacles I face that I am never alone. And that God has never failed me!!! And when I do feel alone and I question whether anyone but me cares about XXXX that when I ask for prayer for something that many are there just to say a prayer for me. And for that I am truly thankful.

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What are you thankful for today?
What do you do to encourage yourself?
Do you have a favorite scripture verse or saying that you like to repeat on those difficult days.
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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!

Response and Thoughts to a Friend

I was chatting with a friend today and she had tears seeping out her eyes. I asked if everything was okay….DUH, of course not, she is crying you fool!!! Later I sent her a message and asked if there was anything I could do for her…and our conversation went like this:


(My Friend) No worries. I’ma little better. I’m trying to keep perspective on the positive things. I was having a moment of being overwhelmed. Thank you for asking. Itll be alright. God is good.

(Me) I know the feeling…that was how I was last night about AZ and her school work. I’m going to stick to my schedule and what the kids get done, they get done. There is no way the teachers/principal can expect us as parents to do all the teachers are expecting and would do…that is asking for failure and issues between parents/kids which is not where we need to go. I think this is the time for us to be giving ourselves extra grace. If this really is how life is going to be for two more months or longer we need to take care of ourselves as moms/wives/women because if we don’t take care of ourselves there is no way we can take care of others.

Yes, thank you for that reminder and perspective. I need to remember GRACE on myself and to make sure I am taking care of me. Keeping as much as I can routine for me and our family.

That’s the discussion we had with AR & AZ tonight…that this is a hard time for everyone for different reasons. We have to have a schedule and to remember that we are not their teachers and their teachers are not us. Just like our Relief Home Parent does some things differently then we do things doesn’t make it right or wrong,..it just is.

And then I found myself thinking of lots of other things I wanted to say but kidlets needs called for my attention so we ended the conversation there.

We were off this past weekend…we spent a lot of time watching TV shows we had recorded. We got lots of rest and YET when we came back on duty on Monday my stress level seemed to escalate faster than the elevator at the Statue of Liberty and I couldn’t pin point what was going on.

I spent a lot of time outside yesterday watching the kidlets playing, talking with the other home parents here at the ranch…we are 9 adults with 10 kids onsite. AND I am so thankful that we are together in this social distancing/season of time that we are not alone. Our boss has been wonderful ~ keeping the main gate locked, must have code to get in, doing counseling for the kidlets via ZOOM/SKYPE, doing tele visits with doctors as needed and being available by phone, text and email. Though we are isolating ourselves we are truly not alone.

At one point yesterday I just wanted to cry. In fact, I laid my head in my hands and said “I don’t even know what to cook for dinner tonight.” Such a simple thing but seemed insurmountable. And it’s not like we don’t have any food … we have one chest freezer and one upright freezer full of meat, pecans, veggies, treats, did I say pecans, ice cream, pecans…yes lots and lots of pecans!!! We have a pantry full of canned goods, baking items and all sorts of food items…just needing and waiting to be cooked. But I still couldn’t think of what to feed these little chillins.

And I have much to be thankful for…we have our jobs, we are getting paid, we have the money to pay our bills, we have health insurance which makes my diabetes medication affordable, we are in reasonably good health and even though we are not near Jamie or Brandon or their families we are able to chat with them via text, phone, FaceTime and Facebook. And we know they are safe, our grandchildren are safe and their needs are being met.

We have much to be thankful for…some sweet dear friends gifted me a laptop…and with the help of our son, Brandon and friend Lee, I have gotten everything off of the laptop that was not a very good dance partner (the one that crashed) and put on this new to me laptop…in fact I am typing on it now!! I was so excited when I was able to get the pictures from the old laptop to the new one…One reason was because while we were gate guarding Ron took on the project of scanning the two totes (each 32 gallon sized) of pictures that represent our 44 years of married life, our parents and grandparents and the thought that they might not be saved was definitely a cause for some of my anxiety. But I have them all!!! And yes we will be making a back up of them!!!

One of my favorite pictures from a long time ago

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is this one of me in the first grade. My mom was so mad at me when she saw this picture because she had styled my hair and the cute little bow on the side of my head…I moved it 🙂 she was not happy…but I have come to love and cherish this sweet little girl!!

And this picture of Max…

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with his Pop Pop before he was a part of our lives, which allows me to see how much his siblings look like him and we are so thankful he is a part of our family!!!

As I write and watch and listen to our kidlets I am reminded that we really do have much to be thankful for…and so I want to encourage each of you to find something positive about today…it doesn’t have to be a BIG thing, it can be something as simple as I am thankful that I was able to make myself a cup of coffee and I had some of my favorite creamer to put into it.

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What are you thankful for today?

Hard Lesson Learned :(

When I dropped this last night

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my heart sunk! I am blessed to be married to Ron as he didn’t yell or scream, he just said…it is life…we can deal with it.

At first I only thought, oh crap, no using my laptop while sitting on the couch…I am using the desktop provided and thankful I have access to it.

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as the day has progressed I have realized OH CRAP…all my financial records are on the lap top…that means all my tax information are on the computer!!! All my billing records for doctors, hospitals, credit cards, car and trailer, etc…are on the computer!!!!

I have been reassured by a couple of friends and our computer guru son that I will be able to get my information off the laptop…but first I need a new laptop to put the info on, I have to buy the

which our local Walmart does not carry (think small neighborhood Walmart not a Super Walmart so I will be ordering one from our trusty Amazon!! And that will all take time…

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which means I won’t be able to pay bills…heck all the information is on the computer!!!

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I will start printing up a monthly recap of our financial records so I have everything readily available for the next thing that comes my way…I am thinking like a power outage that lasts for more than a day or two, while spending time boondocking or camping on the beach…it’s called

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NOW though I have to be calm with myself and know that in the big scheme of things one week without access to my financials we will survive and I will just have to write some letters or make some phone calls once I have all the contact info again and explain why I am late…giving grace to myself and praying my creditors will do the same with me!

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???

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.”

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**