Oh the Little Things that Bring Us Joy

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

I got to Skype with this sweet momma and babyImage

And these two pumpkins

Image

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

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

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

Went for a Drive.  This time to Oklahoma.

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

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

Liberty, KS 0501to050213

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

Liberty, KS 0501to0502131

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

Liberty, KS 0501to0502132

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

Liberty, KS 0501to0502133

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

Liberty, KS 0501to0502134

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

Liberty, KS 0501to0502135

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

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

Liberty, KS 0501to0502136

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

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

Liberty, KS 0501to0502137

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

witch riding her bike

Hope you enjoyed our little trip.

Z is for …

Z is for Zippity Do Day

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

What do you think of when you hear that phrase?

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

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

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

Liberty, KS 0425to043013

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

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

Liberty, KS 0425to0430131

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

Liberty, KS 0425to0430132

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

Liberty, KS 0425to0430133

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

Liberty, KS 0425to0430134

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

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

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

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

Liberty, KS 0425to0430136-001

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

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

Liberty, KS 0425to0430137

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

Liberty, KS 0425to0430138

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

Liberty, KS 0425to04301310

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yep ~ I am one blessed lady!!!

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

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

Saying Good-bye ~ Part of an RV’rs Life

Saying Good-bye ~ Part of an RV’rs Life

While we have been here in Branson we  have attended Friendly Baptist Church.  And it is just that FRIENDLY.  We were warmly greeted by Pastor Cardis Bryan and had met  Bill & Virginia Hickox through an RV Facebook page that I belong to.  Shortly after our arrival here in Branson Virginia invited me to a women’s fellowship luncheon and we attended a services there.  We love the great Southern Gospel Music, all the old hymns and the great preaching by Pastor Cardis.  As campground managers we couldn’t always  make it to services on Sunday mornings and we just hoped they would understand.  And they did 🙂  Pastor Cardis came and visited us one day here at the campground and told us we were always welcome whenever we could make it.  And there was no pressure to join the church ~ we explained that our home church is in Blaine at Northwood Alliance Church and that was not an issue like the church we attended off/on in Hondo, TX.  That made attending Friendly Baptist Church very enjoyable with no pressure.  We found out a couple of weeks ago that Pastor Cardis was retiring and today would be his last Sunday preaching there.  We made sure to make sure we could go today.  And boy are we glad.  What a glorious service honoring Pastor Cardis & Stephanie and hearing how the church started and how God has blessed them over and over.  If you are ever in the Branson area we encourage you to attend a service or two.

Here are a few pictures and some of the special music we were treated to.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Choir leading the opening song accompanied by so many wonderful musicians.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Stained Glass window above the baptistry.  When the sun is shining through it gives off such beautiful colors.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pastor Cardis Bryan giving his last sermon “Memories”

Jerry, Son-in-law, singing a special tribute to Pastor Cardis

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Music Director Bob Mabe and his sweet wife, Sue

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Recognizing Pastor Cardis & Stephanie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Saying good-bye to Virginia & Bill Hickox

And we  were invited to stay for lunch and boy was it tasty.  We had fried chicken from Bobby Jack’s BBQ and was it delicious!!!  And an assortment of salads, baked beans, corn and green beans w/ham 🙂 and ended with a variety of cupcakes.

L is for Life

L is for LIFE

Co-authored by Ron & Ali

Life

Life can be good, great and wonderful.  Life can be joyful, content and fulfilling.

Our life is full of many blessings:

living and traveling in our rig, sharing God’s love with those we come into contact with.

Fellowship with friends, family and other believers.  Playing in the beautiful nature  designed by our Heavenly Father.

Watching how God provides for us in ways we could never imagine.

HEAVEN CAME DOWN AND GLORY FILLED MY SOUL / O what a wonderful, wonderful day

By John Peterson

O what a wonderful, wonderful day – day I will never forget;
After I’d wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Saviour I met.
O what a tender, compassionate friend – He met the need of my heart;
Shadows dispelling, With joy I am telling, He made all the darkness depart.

Chorus:
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away –
And my night was turned to day –
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Born of the Spirit with life from above into God’s fam’ly divine,
Justified fully thru Calvary’s love, O what a standing is mine!
And the transaction so quickly was made when as a sinner I came,
Took of the offer of grace He did proffer – He saved me, O praise His dear name!

Chorus:
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away –
And my night was turned to day –
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Now I’ve a hope that will surely endure after the passing of time;
I have a future in heaven for sure, there in those mansions sublime.
And it’s because of that wonderful day when at the cross I believed;
Riches eternal and blessings supernal from His precious hand I received.

Chorus:
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away –
And my night was turned to day –
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!


Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Psalm 103 1

One of our life’s most precious blessings ~ our children and grandchildren

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Our love for each other and faith in the Lord!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Life can also be  ugly, uncomfortable and just plain scary.  Life can also be tumultuous and messy.

We have faced many hurdles in our life.  We have been stuck in the valley’s and climbed to the mountain top

And through all the hard times of financial uncertainty, deaths of parents, babies and dear friends, scary health issues,  job changes, filled with worry for the safety of our son, Jamie, and his unit while serving in Iraq for a year and facing the unknown ~  God has been faithful! and has my girlfriend reminds me “He has never failed you yet!”  Thanks Miss Dee!!

Is 40 31

And I cling to my life verse

Prov 3 56

And we sing

Great is the Lord!

And for that we give thanks!

How do you handle life’s challenges?

Special thanks to Pastor Charles for being an instant resource when this crazy gal calls and says help!!!

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Danalyn & Alex (unable to attend the wedding)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jamie & Suzanne

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jamie, Suzanne & Opal

Us, Mike & Betsy

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

And special friends.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of God’s beautiful creations!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A beautiful sunset!

He is Risen!

Woke this morning to loud thunder/lightening and rain and there was a huge thunder clap and immediately I thought about that Friday afternoon when Jesus said “It is Finished” and the great vale was ripped away.

My mind this morning had thoughts of God ripping the sin from my life and making me new in Him.  I am struggling to find the words to express my thoughts but I am filled with thankfulness and awe about what God must have gone through to watch his son die on the cross for me, for you, for all the world.  And no words can express the magnitude of feelings welling up inside of me.  Feelings of love, abundance love!

I want that love that Jesus has for me to exude out of me to others.

We got up early this morning and headed over to Friendly Baptist Church for their early service and breakfast with Virginia & Bill.  We were welcomed by so many.  What a blessing that we as believers can love on each other even though we are unknown to each other.  God’s love is what binds us together.

By the time we left church the skies had turned a light blue with the sun peaking out from behind the clouds.  Another new beginning!

I want to close with the words to the hymn “Because He Lives” ~ each time I hear or sing this song I am reminded that I am not alone and that it is because of the sacrifice that God made of giving us his son, to die for us that we can live and have a full and everlasting life.

Because He Lives

God sent his son
They called him Jesus
He came to love
Heal and forgive
He lived and died
To buy my pardon
An empty grave
Is there to prove
My Savior lives

(Chorus)
Because he lives
I can face tomorrow
Because he lives
All fear is gone
Because I know
He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because he lives

How sweet to hold
A newborn baby
And feel the pride
And joy he gives
But greater still
The calm assurance
This child can face
Uncertain days
Because he lives

And then one day
I’ll cross the river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then as death
Gives way to victory
I’ll see the lights
Of glory and
I’ll know he lives