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Friday, March 3, 2017

Answering an Important and Often Asked Question

I posted this on Facebook last evening ~

"I need to talk to a lawyer preferably one in Texas who knows the laws regarding slander and false accusations." As well asking for prayer for chaotic situations here in our unit over the past 24 hours.

Ron and I appreciate all the prayers and encouragement we have received via texts, emails, messenger and phone calls.

One of our friends asked "Why are you staying where you are obviously NOT happy?  God does NOT want us to suffer through life and there is somebody out there for that job AND there is a job out there for you where you can enjoy!  Please stop trying to fit where you are uncomfortable, instead look for joy in your work and it will find you!"

Below is my response to her but really wanted to expand on it.  
If y'all have questions or ideas or suggestions or ????
Please don't hesitate to share.

Why are we staying here - first off I did not take the post as being mean as it is a question we have been and are asking ourselves quite often.

I wish I had an easy answer but even thinking of answering the question is hard as w
e have strong feelings in multiple directions. On our good days, which are many we are very happy and content yet in the moment of chaos, struggles and raging boys testosterone our hearts break for the pain the boys are dealing with. We have come to love these boys in ways we never thought possible and many in our care are cracking the door of their pain to let us in.

As we have processed the past 24 hours we see lots of good and yes some hard difficult stuff - is bad the right word I don't think so - difficult hurtful painful and definitely scary we (I) immediately in the moment am ready to go out the door to never return but then we/I stop and think what does that model to the boys as Christmas, parents/grandparents, caring human beings - "do we toss the baby out with the bath water"

Answering here is awkward on my phone. Let me grab my laptop and write this out in an easier manner as well as get feedback from Ron Workentin.


I also posted this picture with the post
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This morning I shared more about Lent
and used this in my talk

stressing about words
and how hurtful they can be 
even when people say "just kidding"

and how each of us need to be a bit more
patient with each other ~ yes we are all living 
in one home and yes we try to be a family
not by blood but
believing God has brought us all together 
for such a time as this.

Many have asked 
"why don't you just quit?"
Quitting is not the easiest thing
we have financial obligations,
we like to eat, 
we like to travel
and most of all we need to continue to build our savings.
And even more than that,
we really do love these boys
and feel we are here for a reason.

Maybe that reason is not for the boys
but for us to learn more about ourselves,
grow in our faith in the Lord
and building our marriage to even more than what it is.

*******

Right this moment I am thankful
two of our boys have gone home for spring break,
leaving six behind,
tomorrow I take D to an adoption interview which will give us one-on-one 
time and less stressful for me.

Saturday Ron is planning to take the other five boys fishing for most of the day
and then in the evening we will be going to an evening 
worship service which means
we get to sleep in on Sunday morning!!

Monday another boy will be going to his grandmothers
and Tuesday another boy to his sisters
leaving us with four boys of our own
and two from another unit ~ both are fairly easy
and then Wednesday we are off!!!



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Well...

Where did three weeks go??

We traveled 2949.2 miles in
18 days
17 nights,
13 of which were travel days.

We traveled through Texas,
Arkansas,
Alabama,
Georgia,
Florida,
Mississippi 
and
Louisiana!!!

We put our toesies in the Gulf of Mexico
got and gave lots of hugs to 
friends and family,
made new friends and
reconnected with family we hadn't seen in years!

And then we returned home,
spent two days 
cleaning, resting, cleaning
and organizing
getting ourselves ready to go back to work.

Today was our first day back at work
and 
things went pretty well.

And for that we are very thankful.

One story to share:
today being Ash Wednesday,
beginning of Lent
I wanted to go to the worship service at the chapel.
I asked the boys if any of them wanted to go
one, C, said yes
and then R came out of his bedroom as we were leaving
and said he wanted to go.  
So off we went ~
we got to the church,
walked in and R said 
I thought we were going shopping
I turned and smiled at him and 
said next time you will be on time for the house meeting
then you would have known we were going to church.

He kept looking at me during the service,
wondered how long it would last.
told him about an hour.

After the service R asked if we could go to the store
since he thought we were going shopping.
Umm,  no but being the nice HP that I am I took him and C 
to McDonald's for a snack.

All during the service
I prayed for the boys to get something out of the service
Afterwards I asked R what he thought it was about
He gave a pretty good summary for someone
who didn't want to be there.
We talked about Lent, Easter, 
the Resurrection ~ opened the doors for some conversation.

So today I give thanks for the opportunities, even unexpected ones,
to share about the Lord.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Our Journey Continues

Just not in the original direction!

On Wednesday afternoon, after a good nap we went to the Extraco Center to see our boy J show his steer.

Blurred on Purpose


J got 7th place ~ we are so proud of him for sticking with showing his steer as he had a lot of issues with the steer not being too compliant.  We used that as a teaching moment explaining to him how a lot of times he is like his steer, non-compliant with our expectations and yet we continue to stick by him, encourage and direct him.  He kept trying to say his steer was stupid ~ not stupid at all, more like stubborn and wanting its own way ~ just like J a lot of the time.

Thursday, 2.9 we got up and loaded our car for our planned trip to Montana and Arizona and points in between.  Our first stop was Hillsboro, TX to meet up with our friends, Gary & Amy who had worked with us the last six months at Methodist Boys Ranch.  We learned a lot from them and look forward to seeing how the Lord uses them in their role as house parents in a new location.
 
And really the steer is not licking Gary's ear ;)
After enjoying a good breakfast and great fellowship we got back on the road about 12:30 pm.  we traveled to Wichita Falls, TX.

As we were driving and checking weather reports we did some serious talking and praying and by the time we got to Wichita Falls we decided to change our plans.  Our original plan was to go to Montana and Arizona and parts in between BUT with all the winter storms they are experiencing and knowing we get another week of vacation in August we decided to go east and south.

Our new itinerary is to Nashville, AR then to Cullman, Alabama, Hampton, GA, Milledgeville, GA and then make our way to Weeki Wachee, FL and then make our way back to Waco, TX and the Methodist Boys Ranch.

From Witchita Falls, TX to Nashville, AR ~ we saw some pretty sites and even made it to Paris!!
We love the old churches and court houses we see along the way.




And then we made it to Paris!!
Paris, TX!!! that is!!!!


And then we were in Oklahoma,
well for a little bit anyway!

And then Arkansas!!!

We stopped in Nashville, AR for the night and then met our friends Alan and Danette Gocio for breakfast before getting back on the road on Saturday morning, 2/11. 

As we walked out of our hotel we saw this van and immediately thought of
Barbara Fairchild and Roy Morris

Because of This
 
The only difference was this one has Arkansas plates!
And they are in Branson getting ready to go to Alabama!!!

That’s all for now ~ as we are traveling from Nashville, Arkansas
to
Cullman, Alabama!!

*****

Today I am thankful for a good night’s rest,

Slept over 9 hours 
and

spending time with my hubby!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Quick Update/Change of Plans

Hello there!!

In the RV world we say our plans are written in jello...even though we aren't currently traveling in an RV we are traveling...we just finished a very stressful and looonnnnggg week at work at the ranch.  And thus we are looking forward to having three weeks off!!!

Originally we planned on going to 
Image result for montana
but with the weather forecasts of snow, snow and more snow along our route through Colorado, Montana and Idaho we have decided to change our trip...we are now heading east and south.

To Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and then returning to Waco ~ haven't exactly figured out our return trip.  And right now we only have two confirmed stops, but only one for sure date...

Today we traveled from Waco, TX to Hillsboro, TX to have breakfast with our good friends, Gary and Amy...we had a good breakfast at the TA Truckstop and three great hours enjoying great conversation, laughter and tears!  Can't wait to see their new place in March sometime!!!

And then we made our way to Wichita Falls, TX for the night.  We spent quite a bit of time checking routes, checking weather forecasts, sending emails and messages and have decided to make our way east.

Tomorrow we plan to drive to Nashville, AR. and are staying at The Southern Belle Inn recommended by our friend Danette!  Can't wait to see her on Saturday!!!  Not sure yet if we are staying a second night there or moving on down the road...we will let you know!

Well I am about ready to fall asleep so had better put the computer down so as not to drop it.  

Talk to y'all tomrrow night and hopefully will be able to add some pictures of our traveling day!!!
*******

Today I am thankful for a hubby who is willing to be flexible and who stopped 3x so I could pick up my crochet hook, my scissors and pick up my crochet hook again!!!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Back to the Grind

We have been back to work for three days now.
And like life in general we have our good moments and those we like to say difficult moments.
And we know
Image result for Difficult days

We have also had three
Image result for staff meetings
in as many days!!  

Yet we know
Image result for Difficult days
and
Image result for Difficult days
Hopefully the daily meetings are now behind us and we can move forward.

And now we are busy planning our vacation!!
Three weeks off!!!
So we are going on a 
Image result for road trip
to see
Image may contain: 2 people and Image may contain: 3 people, drawing

in Missoula, Montana!!

From there we hope to see family
in 
Image result for cocolalla idaho
and then travel to Arizona
to see family!!
and then make our way back to 
Image result for methodist children's boys ranch waco tx

Once we get our itinerary figured out we will share it
and hopefully I will be able to do some blogging as we travel.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Change of Shift

Whew!
We made it through the week!!

And after running a couple of errands and changing our plans for the day we came back to the Ranch and took a much needed nap.  For anyone who has known me for any length of time, you know I not only like to sleep I NEED my sleep!!
I have found I NEED between 7 and 8 hours of sleep to be able to function at 100 % or better.
Over the past week I had 
2 nights less than 6
3 nights less than 7 
and two nights of over 9 hours (those happened to be Friday and Saturday nights which is really good on a weekend)
But 5 Nights with less than 7 hours of sleep makes for one tired house mama!!

And so today we got in a good nap!!
Slept about 3 hours and it felt great!!

It was worth changing our plans
so we can start fresh tomorrow to enjoy our six days off!

What goes hand in hand with lack of sleep
is no time for writing.
We are on duty from 6 am to at least 10 pm with face-to-face time with the boys.
And when one is home sick, 
one gets suspended,
days full of meetings,
trying to get class work/home work completed before deadline
means
no time for writing.

And that is something I just need to remember.
So I am going to give myself permission
to not stress about not writing on our weeks on duty.

And that is okay 
(for me to remember!!!)

So stay tuned and let's see what I can write about this week.

******
Today I am thankful that our work week has come to an end
and all-in-all it has been a good week.
Had a couple of great talks with R and J
and only two melt-downs from C!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hanging In When It Would be Easier to Run

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When things get tough people usually do one or the other.

Me up until about 8 years ago I would say my first choice was flight ~ to leave the situation, usually with my  mouth running and anger spewing and then having to figure out how to make things right, figure out how to fix things.  Whatever it was it usually didn't get fixed very well.

With lots of counseling, prayer, hard work, a loving husband and a God who never left me hanging I have learned to fight ~ to work things through, to do what is right, admit when I was wrong, learn from my mistakes, grow in the Lord through difficult times and then move forward and continue to trust the Lord

EVEN WHEN IT'S HARD!!

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And it has been a real hard time for the past week and a half!!
We were involved in an incident a couple of weeks back involving us and the boys in our care.  After many meetings, 5+ hours of intensive training and another meeting this afternoon
and lots of prayers.
We are so thankful for all of those who answer our call to prayer whenever and wherever we are.  It is very comforting to the heart to know wherever we are, we are loved by so many. 

Our prayers and yours were answered favorably ~ the administrators, our UM and us are back on track and all on the same page.

We are learning from our mistakes, addressing some issues with the administrators and other staff, being reminded to stop, take a breath, even two or three before re~acting and we are moving forward.  

One positive from the past two weeks is that we have received additional training and help in learning how to specifically deal with a couple of situations that may or may not appear again.  We are both feeling encouraged and will continue on with our faith in the Lord intact, knowing and believing we are following His will for our life.

****
Today I am thankful for the 

Image result for peace that passes all understanding

For new mercies every day and extended grace.