Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter with the Boys


Image result for Easter

This morning we were up early as the chapel services started at 8:30 AM.
Surprised they all got up without any complaints.

The chapel service was a bit different
as we are just not used to Rap music celebrating the Risen Lord.
The message was great ~ it was on "The Last Word"
Pastor Ahmad asked how many like to get the last word,
nothing like four sets of eyes looking directly at me.
But they are right ~ I like to have the last word!!!

Pastor Ahmad challenged us to seek out what
"last words" 
we let rule our lives.

Is it a negative thought a parent or someone in authority spoke over you?
Or is the Lord saying "you are my precious child!"
and
it reminded me to be careful what the last words are 
each of the boys hear at night as they go to sleep,
when they get out of the van to go to class and 
even the first words they hear in the morning.

My prayer today is "Lord help me to put pleasant words/thoughts in the hearts of these young boys that you have entrusted to us to care for."

What "last words" are you letting direct your life today?

Image result for Easter

In talking with the boys the past few days we were a bit surprised to hear two of them say they had never received an Easter basket ~ something we have provided for our children for too many years to count...but saddened to hear two of them didn't know what we were talking about.

So off to Dollar Tree and Walmart
I bought six little wooden baskets
and filled them with a chocolate bunny, peeps, jelly beans,
eggs filled with candy, malted eggs and of course a few of these

Image result for Reese's peanut butter egg

The baskets were waiting for the boys when we returned from Chapel.

One of our boys even had tears and couldn't stop thanking us.

And all I could think of was Pastor Ahmad asking
What is your last word?

My last word to these boys is that we love you!!!

And though some days are hard
the better days out number them by lots.

We have three more sleeps to go and then we are off...
thinking back to the first day back on this 21 day shift I prayed
Lord help us to have the energy to get through
and He has more than answered that prayer.

And the many prayers of all of you.

As we go into the last 2.5 days on duty, 
we pray for continued peace in our home
and to be a light into these boys lives.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

End of Day has Come

What a roller coaster ride today has been!

First off the mountain top ~ 6 of our 7 boys met the requirement to go on the weekly outing.  Much better than last week where only two earned it!!

Down to the valley ~ finding dip, dip cans and spit bottles on the floor and hidden in a cut out of the van seat :(

And a little deeper ~ feeling so discombombulated on the inside ~ beginning week two of new eating habits, increased water intake and seeing
Image result for Peeps
everywhere!!!

I love Peeps!!!!
and feeling as crummy as I was 
I was so 
Image result for tempted

But I did not succumb!!!

Instead I crawled into my bed and cried
and cried some more

Feeling alone, 
missing my coffee buddy,
missing a good friend to just vent, cry and pray together
missing Christian fellowship

And deeper into the valley I went ~
feeling alone in this journey as a Home Parent ~
questioning our values and beliefs,
wondering if our expectations are so high, they are unachievable?

So I began the climb back to the top of the mountain ~
one step at a time,
first journaling
what did I want?
what did I need?
how do I go about getting it?

So I sent an email,
I cried with Ron
I asked for prayer
and cried some more

And then life hit ~
boys home from school,
phone call from the 2nd in command,
explained some of my frustrations,
dealt with more boys coming home from school,
getting yelled at by a student because HE did something wrong,
more phone calls
and lack of information caused more tears to flow,
wanting to run,
so I ran to my hubby's arms,
he hugged me, we talked,
dealt with boys refusing to follow the program, 
talked to the 2nd in command AGAIN,
cried some more,
talked with and walked with my sweet hubby
(the one who shows me in tangible ways God's amazing love)

And met with the administrator of the ranch,
shared some of the issues,
discussed a young man and what to do,
cried and talked some more
(I really need to buy some stock in Kleenex)

Felt God's peace coming over me,
back to the unit,
put our plan in action,
concerned about hubby driving alone with said student
yet God heard that unspoken fear
and provided a second adult to ride with him
~~ thank you Lord for like minded thinking with others ~~

Went to dinner
Good Ole Comfort Food ~ homemade mac & cheese
only ate one serving
didn't give into really wanting a BIG second helping

Came back to the unit,
one boy working,
one boy to the gym,
leaving four boys playing games
and I got to watch
Image result for Survivor

One boy to the shower,
2nd boy to the shower,
2 boys watching survivor with me
2 boys playing minecraft
=
peaceful evening!

Back to the mountain top of
Image result for tranquility

Now six boys are in bed,
all is quiet on the homefront,

Reports can wait till morning.

Time to crawl into the loving arms of my hubby,
snuggle under the warm blankets,
and rest knowing that
Image result for god is in control




An Emotional Day

My day has been filled with tears and more tears.
Feeling lost and discombombulated.
Missing sweet fellowship with other believers

Heard ~ dreaming that will happen
Anxious ~ about most everything today

Missing girl talks, coffee dates,
and having a couch to sit on and just dump

Missing prayer partners in person
Missing good Christian fellowship

Missing!!!

So the tears fall,
snapping at others way too much.

Cried alligator tears into my pillow
feeling alone even though there are people around

Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Not wanting to disappoint others
Yet wondering where do I fit in

What about my feelings?
My fears?
My anxiety?

No more time to think
Boys coming home in minutes
Need to wipe away the tears
and put on the smiley face.

Going to be one of those nights of 
Image result for fake it til you make it

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!!!

Easter with the Boys

This morning we were up early as the chapel services started at 8:30 AM. Surprised they all got up without any complaints. The ...