Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday School Songs & Hymns

 One of the conditions of our coming to work here at Lone Star Corral was that we have off on Sunday's so we could attend church.  One of the things we realized last summer was how much we missed being in fellowship with other believers on a regular basis.  No problem we were told.  This week our days off were Saturday and Sunday.  Starting next week our days off will be Sunday & Monday's.

So today we attended First Baptist Church of Hondo.  It is a pretty big church and they have a school associated to it.  We don't know if this is where we will settle.   There are a few other churches in the area that we would like to check out.  We would appreciate your prayers as we seek where the Lord would have us settle while we are in the area.

Back to today's service.  Today's service was designed to honor those turning 90 and 100 this year.  There were 7 or 8 people being honored.  Between all of them they had over 650 years serving the Lord with 465 of those years serving at FBC of Hondo...an amazing and encouraging statement for sure.  One thing we noticed, at least today anyway, they sing hymns.  We sang Standing on the Promises, The Old Rugged Cross, When the Roll is Called Up Yonder and Only Trust Him.  And they did a special medley of Sunday School songs: Do Lord, I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, I'm in the Lord's Army, The BIBLE, I Am a CHRISTIAN, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children, This Little Light of Mine, Hallelu, Hallelu and closed with If You're  Happy and You Know It.  Oh the memories of singing these songs as a young child in Sunday School at the little Assemblies of God Church in Rancho Cordova that flooded my heart.

And more surprising was the tears that flowed when we sang "Jesus Loves Me."  That song holds special meaning to me ~ it was sang at our son's, Royce, funeral.  It is hard to believe he has been gone from us for almost 34 years and yet every time I hear or sing that song tears just start to flow.  And when the tears flow I think of that precious little boy who was only with us for a short time yet I have so many strong memories surrounding his birth, his time here on earth and his death and the service we had for him.  One thing that always comes to mind is the fact that my mom came to the service.  I have only known my mom to attend a service at a church three times in my adult life: when I married Ron, when Royce died and when Ron and I renewed our marriage vows on our 25th wedding anniversary.  And then I say a prayer of thanksgiving that even though my mom did not attend church after she divorced my dad she never stopped me from attending church and for that I am thankful.

I first new at the age of 12 that I wanted to follow Jesus.  I made that commitment when I was 17.  Because of that commitment I was led a a little church in Las Vegas and that is where I met Ron (remind me to tell the story of our meeting and meeting Ron's family ~ that is a blog post in itself).  We married and together in 1976 we rededicated our lives to the Lord one weekend in the back of our little pickup truck inside the camper shell.  And we have followed the Lord for the last 35 years.  We have faced some hard struggles, had to climb some pretty tough mountains, rejoiced in the beautiful meadows and sang from the mountain tops.  And for all of that I have to say a prayer of thanksgiving for a mom who did not stop me from attending church when I was child.

Thank you Mom for that small gift.  No not a small gift, probably one of the best gifts I have ever been given.

First Week at Lone Star Corral

We have had a busy but fun week.  We have met lots of people.  We have a job just learning everyone's names.  They have it easy.  They only have to learn two.  We are known as the "new managers" or Ron & Ali (my Texas name :).  We arrived at probably the busiest week of all - week of the Annual Meeting.  This is how our first week went:

Sunday ~ we got the motor home organized, attended our first ice cream social and found out our cell phones don't work to well here in the park.  We can get text messages no problem but actually receiving calls well that is another story.  We don't know what we are going to do for phone service.  The two major carriers in the area  AT&T and T-Mobile want a two year contract.  We don't want to do that.  We are going to check on a Cricket phone as that is a month to month plan.  We also had to make arrangements with DirectTV to come out because we couldn't get the satellite to work.  They are coming on Tuesday.  And we set our alarm for 7:00 a.m.  We are so not used to having to set an alarm.  But that's life as they say.

Monday ~ we had to fill out all the new hire paperwork.  And we followed Ed & Jeanette around, a lot!  But we jumped right in with greeting members and guests alike.  We kept hearing how crazy the day was but we thought it went fine.  At lunch I did ask Ron if he was ready to go home.  He said yes, it's just outside the door.  I said, no home, Blaine?  He said nope and I said okay...and then we both laughed and said "we can't go to Blaine, we don't have the money to get there!"  Monday evening we went over to the clubhouse to do laundry and watch my show "The Bachelor."  Well we did laundry but no go on the show...couldn't get ABC in on the clubhouse TV...bummer.  Oh well there's always next week.  

Tuesday ~ we were up with the alarm and ready for work at 7:55.  We had another great day learning where things are around here and how things are done.  Tuesday afternoon I went to the bank with Jeanette.  I will have to get pictures the next time we go to the bank...the tellers sit behind counters that were built in the late 1800's when D'Hanis was founded.

Wednesday ~ was more orientation, reading of manuals, learning the computer system and working around the park.  In the late afternoon we met Bob & Linda, fellow RV'rs and bloggers.  They came here to get their refrigerator worked on and Linda said to meet us!  Pretty cool huh!!!  They have followed my blog for quite awhile.  Linda came by our rig Wednesday evening and invited us to dinner Thursday night! Yippee...new friends and I don't have to cook.

Thursday & Friday ~ Ron and I were on our own though Ed & Jeanette were only a phone call away.    Thursday was pretty quiet in the office as the majority of the people were in the Annual Meeting.  Ron worked with a few of the guests/members around the park and escorted new guests to their sites.

Thursday evening we enjoyed a wonderful dinner of sausage burgers, asparagus and broccoli salad with Bob & Lynda.  We had lots of fun sharing about our lives, our children and of course, our grandchildren.  Check out Linda's blog by clicking on their name.  Thanks Bob & Linda for a delicious dinner and even better fellowshiping.  Be safe as you continue your travels.
Friday was a little busier in the office and around the park.  We said good-bye to Bob & Linda early in the morning and greeted new guests later in the day.  As we ended our day on Friday we commented to each other "this has been a good week and we are excited to be here, to make new friends and see more of this beautiful country.

Saturday we went grocery shopping and then did some work around the motor home.  We pulled the four totes off the roof of the motor home.  Switched our winter clothes from inside the motor home to our summer clothes.  It has been interesting to see people around here wearing sweatshirts and we are wearing tank tops...we think its warm and the members say it's kinda cool.  While we were out running errands we plugged into Maggie (our GPS) a few churches in the Hondo area.  We drove around and found a couple of churches we want to try out.  We stopped by First Baptist Church of Hondo and met Alan & Yvonne.  Found out services our at 10:45 and they are having a lunch aferwards and invited us to join them.

Sunday morning we woke up to a light rain and cloudy skies.  We went to First Baptist Church of Hondo and met lots of people during the meet and greet time.  The services focus today was honoring those who turned 90 and 100 this year!  We sang hymns!  Standing on the Promises, The Old Rugged Cross, and When the Roll is Called Up Yonder.  And in doing so they sang a medley of favorite Sunday School songs.  They included: Do Lord, The BIBLE, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children, If Your Happy and You Know It, I'm in the Lord's Army and we did all the hand motions.  Singing those songs brought back many memories of being in Sunday School for both of us.  The sermon was on relationships: our relationship with the Lord, he wants to be in relationship with us and us with him.  And at the end of the service the Search Committee came forward to say they have asked someone to come and candidate in two weeks.  He will give the sermon, they will have a potluck and a time of questions & answers and then in the evening they will have a meeting to decide if they will call this couple as their new pastors.  We think we will attend there that Sunday to hear the sermon and share in another potluck.  I say another because they had one today and we stayed for that.  It was fun to hear the history of the birthday honorees.  Between the honorees they had over 650 years of walking with the Lord and 465 years of service at FBC of Hondo ~ amazing and encouraging.

In the afternoon we took a nap and then have just rested and relaxed to get ready for another week of work.  Last week we set the alarm for 7:00 a.m each morning to give us an hour to get up, have our quiet time, eat breakfast and get ready to work.  This week we are setting the alarm for 6:45 and next week we are setting the alarm for 6:30 - we are doing that so starting next week we can do a 30 minute walk before starting our day.  We both have commented we have missed our walks that we used to do while working for the carnival.  And we have to walk in the early morning hours because it will be too hot to walk after work.

So now you are all caught up on our journey to D'Hanis, TX and the beginning of our new jobs at Lone Star Corral.

If you are ever in the area, give us a shout and stop on by.  Talk to y'all again soon!!!

From Kerrville to D'Hanis

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The big day arrived with drizzling rain.  For mere moments we thought we were back in Whatcom County.  And then we looked around and checked the calendar and knew we were in Kerrville, TX and the destination of the day is D'Hanis, TX, the Lone Star Corral.

It was a short drive of about 95 miles from Kerrville to D'Hanis.  We saw some huge ranches and beautiful homes and amazing gated entrances.  We plan to make that drive again in the Jeep so we can get some pictures of the different gates leading to the homes on the ranches.  Below is a picture of an old church and some other buildings.
 And then before we knew it we were in Hondo.  We stopped at H.E.B. - a chain grocery story that had a gas station.  Believe me when I say we will not pull into that gas station with the motor home while towing the Jeep.  Ron pulled in and up to the pumps and then we realized we would have to unhook the Jeep so we could back up the motor home.  Before we even got out of the motor home there were a couple of guys commenting about us, the motor home and the predicament we were in.  But what could we do.  Ron got gas.  I went into H.E.B. to get a few groceries that we had forgotten the day before.  By the time I came out Ron had unhooked the Jeep.  I jumped into the motor home and drove it around the parking lot and behind the gas station so we could re hook the Jeep up.  I was thinking as I was driving "I sure am glad that I decided to learn how to drive her."  I think Ron is glad too.

Once hooked up we headed west on Highway 90.  We passed "Billy Bobs" which we have heard is a great place to eat.  We have put that on our list of "must do's" to accomplish during our stay here.  We pulled into Lone Star Corral at 11:50 a.m.  We walked into the office and received a very warm welcome from Ed & Jeanette, the Assistant Managers.  We were introduced to Bonnie, the Vice-president of the Co-op.  After chatting for a few minutes Ed guided Ron into our site.  I followed them in the Jeep.  After chatting for a little while we made plans to meet Bonnie and her hubby, Ed (a different Ed from Ed & Jeanette) at 1:30 to go to Bill & Rosa's for lunch.
We got the motor home level, rugs put out, windows open, it was already 75', and organizing our home.  When we travel lots of things get stowed here and there, pictures our tucked away, the Christmas cactus is put into the tub (to avoid being spilled if we round a corner to sharp or slam on our brakes ~~~ been there done that). As we were busy getting settled a few people came by to welcome us to the park.

At 1:30 Bonnie & Ed picked us up.  We went to Bill & Rosa's for lunch.  They have great prices and tasty food and HUGE portions.  It is quite the interesting place with all sorts of things hanging off the walls and the ceiling and me, of course without my camera.  We will definitely be going back there so will remember to take my camera to show you what I am talking about.

After lunch and a quick tour around D'Hanis we returned to the park to do some more organizing and settling in.  In the evening we were invited to the weekly ice cream social where we were introduced and welcomed with a round of applause.  The ice cream was pretty tasty too and at only 50 cents a scoop it was quite reasonable and they had lots of sugar free ice cream to choose from too.  After visiting for a little while we called it a night and returned to the motor home.  We went to bed about 10:00.  Set the alarm clock for 7:00 as we had to report to work at 8:00 a.m.

Please join us as we give thanks to Our Father above for answered prayer on this journey from WA to TX.  We had some bumps along the way, shared lots of laughter with family and friends, shed some tears, faced some anxiety (me) and saw lots of new things and places we have never been.  As we went to bed on Sunday evening we thanked the Lord for this new adventure that He brought us too.

Stay tuned for our first week of work!

From Arizona to New Mexico to Texas

Knowing that Thursday, February 17th was going to be a long day of travel Ron wanted to be on the road by 10:00 a.m.  We were up and at 'em at 8:00.  We had a delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, sliced tomatoes, fresh orange slices and toast that Aunt Erma cooked for everyone.  Boy have we been spoiled as we have made this journey to Texas.  We have had some of the best chefs cooking for us:

Danalyn & Brandon
Aunt Joan & Uncle Don
Cousins Sharon & Jim
Niece Jennifer
Aunt Tiny
&
Aunt Erma
Thank y'all for all the wonderful meals you provided for us ~ we enjoyed each and everyone!
Before getting on the road we had to take some more pictures.  Do you notice the one of Aunt Erma taking a picture?  She is taking a picture of us as Ron was taking a picture of her and Uncle Rex. I just love the daffodils ~ Uncle Rex bought them for Aunt Erma for Valentines Day and we were able to enjoy watching them open from little buds to beautiful flowers.
 And before  we knew it we were crossing into New Mexico.  As you can see from the pictures we had a beautiful day for travel. The picture in the upper left corner is a type of cactus.  People cut the stalk off and make walking sticks out of them.
 And then we crossed the Continental  Divide.  We enjoyed all the different desert vegetation that we saw and especially driving with clear blue skies.
 During our travels on Thursday we had to go through an inspection station.  The Border Patrol Guard was very nice, just asking a couple of questions: were we US citizens, where were we from, where had we come from and where were we headed.  After answering his questions we continued on our drive to Von, TX where we stopped for the night.  Friday morning we were up early and continued on our journey.  Again we were blessed with beautiful weather and glorious scenery.  We pulled into Kerrville KOA about 4:30 in the afternoon.  We were welcomed by Karen from Womens RV Forum.  If you look closely at our picture you can see me being welcomed officially into the Forum as I receive my Flamingo Wine Glass.  And of course, we had to have a glass of wine together.
We spent Saturday in Kerrville with a shopping trip to Wal-Mart and getting things organized in the motor home.  In the evening we went out to dinner with Karen to a small Mexican restaurant.

Stay tuned for our drive to D'Hanis, TX and the Lone Star Corral.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Visiting Family in Tucson & McNeal, AZ



We left Scottsdale pretty early as we were woken up by our neighbors who started their engine and generator at 7;30 a.m.  Between the diesel coming in our bedroom window and the yelling from next door we decided to just get on the road sooner than later.  Below is a picture

We were in Tucson, AZ to visit with Aunt Tiny & Uncle Ken on February 13th & 14th.  We stayed at Voyage RV and Resort on Kolb Road.  It is a very nice park and huge!  They have a restaurant, pools, a spa, barber/beauty shop and activities that run from early morning to late evening.  The only thing we did in the park during our stay was go in the hot tub (well Ron went into the hot tub) and visited with our neighbors for a little while.

On our way to Tucson we saw a place where we could get the motor home washed.  It really needed it as we had driven through snow, 7 miles of dirt road to my Aunt & Uncle in Middletown and rain.  Below is a collage of pictures of the before, during and after.  The Jeep came out as clean as it was the day we picked it up at the dealer. 

 These are views along I10 from Scottsdale to Tucson.  Isn't the driver lookin pretty happy driving in the sunshine and not all bundled up in a sweatshirt and gloves.   I sure love that guy!
Below is cousin Erv and his lovely wife Anita, Uncle Ken sharing stories of his time in the Air Force.  Aunt Tiny busy cooking, a pretty cool spice rack (looks like test tubes don't they?) and Erv with Uncle Ken.
Pictures from Davis Monthan AFB.  Uncle Ken said these airplanes are checked monthly and can be ready to go very quickly if needed on short notice.
Uncle Ken & Aunt Tiny.  Uncle Kenny has always been Ron's hero and it was because of him that Ron went into the Air Force.  Erv & Anita and then Ron with Aunt Tiny & Uncle Ken.  We enjoyed our time with lots of visiting and eating something I had never had before Ham Loaf.  Will definitely be adding that to my menu repertoire. 

The morning of February 15th we got up and got on the road about 9;30 a.m.  We made plans to meet Phyllis & Len, fellow bloggers, just outside of Benson.  We enjoyed a tasty breakfast and great company.  All too soon it was time for us to get back on the road

 This is the buggy out in front of the restaurant.  Pretty dilapidated but was probably very beautiful in its day.

Our drive was an easy one of 90 miles to McNeal, AZ where Uncle Rex & Aunt Erma live.  Ron missed the turn onto their road and we had to drive about 2 miles to a spot where we could unhook the Jeep, turn the motor home around and re-hook up the Jeep.  Ron drove really slow so we would not miss the turn a second time.  They live on about six acres.  They have a house, a garage and a small shop.  And room to park the motor home.  We pulled in and around the gaage and the shop and parked.  We didn't even have to unhook the Jeep.  Shortly after we arrived we went for a ride to The Lavender Pit and the little town of Bisbee. It is quite the interesting little town.  And just as we went up the hill in Bisbee the camera died :(


Shortly after these pictures were taken the camera died.  What we didn't get a picture of was the guy with bright blue hair (reminded us of our carnival days).

In the evening after a delightful dinner of meatloaf (Ron's favorite), mashed potatoes, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and corn Aunt Erma & I beat Ron & Uncle Rex at Spades.  We also played Spades on Wednesday before and after we went to see the cranes (see the movie below) and whupped those boys 5 games to 1!!!!  (Thanks for being such terrific losers Ron & Uncle Rex).  We'll let you have a rematch soon.

On Wednesday we got to see a very special treat...the cranes coming back to roost for the night.  There is a little lake about a mile from Uncle Rex & Aunt Erma's place where each year the cranes make their winter nesting ground.  Sure hope you enjoy the movie that I put together.


Thursday morning came to quick and then it was time to get on the road for our last two big days of driving to Texas.  Before heading out we had to take pictures.  The three pictures on the left were taken on Wednesday evening while watching the cranes.  The three on the right were taken on Thursday morning.  Thanks Uncle Rex & Aunt Erma for a fun two days. We loved the great food and all the visiting.   Ron says he can't wait for a rematch at playing Spades.  Maybe next time we can get Aunt Tiny & Uncle Ken to join us.

 And then we were off to Texas!

Sure hope you enjoyed this time with family...we know we sure did.

Disturbing News

In the last two days I have heard that two young couples, with children, are getting divorced.  I am sad to hear this...these two couples were so excited to get married, shared in the joys of parenthood but after just a few short years have decided to go their separate ways.

I don't know the specifics and I don't want to speculate.  It is just sad to see four young people, who love the Lord and who loved each other at one time find they must separate and divorce.  Who I feel really bad for are the little ones.  They are 5, 2 and 1...having grown up in my own family of divorced parents ~ they divorced when I was eight I know how hard it is to be the child of divorced parents.

My parents hated each other.  I never heard either of them say a kind word to or about each other.  I want to tell each of these four young people "no matter how you feel about your ex-spouse, don't say negative things about them in front of your children.  In your eyes they may have been hurtful, mean, crazy, whatever BUT in your child's eyes they are their Mommy or Daddy.  They love their mommy and daddy.  

Maybe you are right and they are bad, mean, crazy, whatever ~ let your children find that out for themselves.  If what you say/believe is true than the truth will come out.


If I could have asked my parents to do one thing for me that would be "please don't tell me how bad, wrong, crazy my mom/dad is"  he/she is my mom/dad and I love them.  And please don't keep me from them ~ I need and want them in my life.  If the day comes that I don't want to be around them or have issues with them then let me decide that on my own.


I can't say anything to change any of these young people's minds but what I can do is pray for each of them and for their children.  Especially for the little ones.  Their little lives are being turned upside down right now ~ they need all the love they can get.  And that is what I pray for ~ for the Lord to surround them with parents who love them, who can be respectful of each other in the presence of those little ones and most importantly for the little ones to always know and remember THEY are not responsible for their parents actions and choices.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Little Catching Up

It has been awhile since I have posted so thought I should do a little catch up.  Guess I should have checked to see what was my last post....

...so a quick summary and will elaborate in more detail in the days to come.

We had a great time at Ron's Aunt Erma & Uncle Rex's in McNeal, AZ.  The highlight, well one of two, was the gals beating the guys 5 games to one in spades.  But even better was watching the Sand Hill Cranes coming in to roost for the night.  That was so interesting, the sunset was brilliant and so fun to walk around the lake with Aunt Erma and just get caught up on each others' life.

We then took two days to get to Kerrville, TX where we met up with one of the gals from the Womens RV Forum that I am a part of.  Even got my official welcome and flamingo wine glass (I do have pictures to post later).

Then last Sunday, February 20th we pulled into Lone Star Corral in D'Hanis, TX just before noon.  Funny the address is in Hondo, the park itself is in D'Hanis.  We got parked into our site and some of the setup done before we headed out for lunch with Bonnie & Ed Mason.  Bonnie is the VP of Board of Directors of the park.  Forgot to take the camera to lunch but you should have seen the pepper steak that Ron had.  He ate half and brought home half and had enough for the two of us to share in the evening.  We then got a quick tour of D'Hanis and saw where the bat colonies are (under the bridge of the overpass).

Came back and got more things done around the motor home.  Then we went to the ice cream social where we were introduced to the campers.  They had so many choices of regular and sugar free ice cream as well as birthday cake.  We only stayed a little while and then returned to the motor home to finish getting things organized.  


We had to go into Hondo to call DirectTV to set up an appointment to have them come out...we could not get a signal at all.  Also spent about an hour on the phone with Verizon as we have little to no cell phone coverage at the park.  We did what the customer service rep said to do but to no avail.  We have to see about getting another cell phone or figure out what we are going to do.  We do have the land line that we can receive calls on ~ we just can't make long distance calls on them.  If you want our land line # or our address here in Texas give us a shout out and we will send it on to you.


Our first two days of work have gone real well.  I keep getting told "it's not usually this crazy, it's usually much quieter around here."  I think things have gone pretty smooth and not so crazy at all.  Ron is learning lots of new things too.  Today he read all the electric meters in the park and I made bills for all the units.  Tomorrow I hear it can be pretty crazy as everyone rushes in to pay their bills.  Wonder if I should put out a tip jar?


We have felt very welcomed by everyone.  Tomorrow I get to lead the social hour at 4:00 p.m.  I have to give a report of how many members and guests are here, ask if anyone has any announcements, and pass the basket of chocolate.  Don't think I will have a problem with that.  Jeanette the Assistant Manager said she gets in there, says what she has to say and then gets out of there ~ she doesn't like to be in big crowds.  


Saturday we are going to our first dinner here at the park.  It is a chili cook-off.  Should be lots of fun.


DirectTV came out today and we now have TV ~ didn't realize how much I missed hearing the news.  Was sad to hear about the earthquake in New Zealand and the four people killed who had been kidnapped by the Somali pirates.  If you think of them say a prayer for the survivors and families of the victims.


PRAISE ~ we are so thankful for all our friends and family who prayed us here to Texas.  God was faithful all through our trip even when my faith waivered.  


Need to close for now will get to writing updates in the next few evenings.  


Need to share a funny with y'all ~ last night we Skyped with Brandon and his family.  Christopher was so cute.  They have a hand held mike that they use and he kept trying to give it to us to hold.  He would hold it up to us at the screen for us to grab.  He then called the camera Grammy's eye is looking at him.  That got a huge laugh from all of us.  It was so good to see them all.

Proud to say that Max got all A's and 2 B's on his report card.  He is working at getting all A's so he can get $50.  We are proud of him as he was struggling at the beginning of the year with his classes.

Okay for reals now, I am closing for now.  Love you all.  Remember we love to hear from you so feel free to leave us a note and if you want our land line number or our snail mail address give me a shout out.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Just Thinkin'

The view from our campground in Kerrville. 
A lot of things have been going through my mind today ~ time to put them down on paper and do some reflecting.  The above picture is the sunset from last night here in Kerrville.  It just evokes thoughts of change.  And I have lots of changes in recent months, in the past year, in my life.

I don't want to get too heavy in this post but want to think about the many changes I have had in my life in the last year ~~~ (note anything that is underlined is a link to another post or link to a different page)

~~ January 2010 ~~ Ron came home and we did some serious talking about our work future.  Our plumbing business was failing more each day.  Ron had two plumbing jobs in January.  We both were stressing about how we were going to pay our bills.  Even wondering where and how we could get some groceries.  And that is what proceeded his question/directive: pick a place to go and lets see if we can get jobs with the carnival.  So that is what we did.  You can read about our we came to make the decision to join the carnival and our time with the carnival beginning here.

~~ February 2010 ~~ we got ready to go to work traveling, working and living the carnival life.

~~ March to September 2010 ~~ we worked, traveled and lived as carnies.  We had lots of fun, met lots of neat people, made lots of friends and got back on our feet financially.  God answered many prayers: providing meals, money for motor home repairs, blessing us as we shared His love with others.  Yet working for the carnival was really hard work with lots of long hours especially for Ron.  We learned to trust God not just for the little things like having the money to buy groceries but for the big things like when the drive shaft fell off the motor home.  God encouraged me in my thoughts to learn how to drive the motor home.  And I did and now I drive with confidence most of the time.  (Haven't driven in heavy traffic yet).  He answered specific prayer.  As I walked across the yard to pay the mechanic I told the Lord we only had $645, please don't let the repairs cost more than that.  The repairs were $642 and change!

~~ May 2010 ~~ We rode the roller coaster of emotions.  Finding out we were going to be Grandparents again on Mother's Day and then learning the next evening that Tory went home to be with Jesus.  It was hard to be so far away from Brandon & Danalyn as they mourned the loss of their precious baby.  Yet we were thankful that Danalyn was okay.

~~ October 2010 ~~ We took a well deserved four week vacation.  Taking 5 days to get to Lewiston, ID and then spending three weeks with Brandon, Danalyn, Max & Christopher. Starting here you can read about our time with family and what we did after carnival life.  Again we were at a turning point in our work situation.  Now with both of us unemployed we needed to decide what we were going to do.  We started sending out applications to campgrounds, spoke with Rob with Funtastic Show about 2011, and sought the Lord for where He would lead us next. 

~~ November 2010 ~~ We returned to Whatcom County and I started back at Northwood as church secretary.  And we continued to seek new employment.  We enjoyed being back with family and friends yet felt anxious about what were we going to do next.  We had the opportunity to share our testimony at church.  We were showered with love after sharing some of our struggles and reminded how precious our Northwood Family is to us.   Ron mentioned he wanted to sell Christmas Trees.  Well the Lord answered those prayers by providing work for us selling trees for Noel Christmas Trees in Edmond, WA.  That adventure begins here.  


~~ December 2010 ~~ We sold Christmas Trees and continued to apply for work.  We sought the prayers of many for the Lord to open the right door for us in the area of employment.  We saw God working as we ultimately had four job offers.  Two from Texas and two from California.  We felt the Lord leading us to Lone Star Corral as the Office Manager & Property Manager.  We finished selling Christmas Trees on Christmas Eve at 5:00 p.m.  We went to a wonderful Christmas Eve service at Edmonds Lutheran Church where we were reminded of God's ultimate gift for us ~ his son, Jesus.  We thank the Lord for giving us his son, to lead, guide and love us each day.  We then took another two week vacation and went to Post Falls, ID to see Brandon and his family at a basketball tournament and then onto Lewiston for more time with the grands and their parents.  


~~ January 2011 ~~ We returned to Whatcom County for Ron to serve on jury duty and to get get ready for our trip to Texas.  We anticipated leaving on February 13 and arriving in D'Hanis, TX on March 11.  But once again God challenged us in our faith and belief.  Were we as flexible and trusting of Him as we said.  Again we rode the roller coaster of having plans set and then having those plans changed and then changed again within a matter of two hours.  


We finished what we needed to do in Blaine, saw as many of our family as we could, had a few meals with friends and even got sick before we actually got on the road for Texas.  Again the roller coaster was in full swing ~ anxious to head off on a new adventure yet feeling sad leaving friends and family for a place we have never been and where we knew no one.  I knew we were heading where the Lord was sending us ~ all the pieces to the puzzle fell into place to be anything but from the Lord.


~~ January 26 to February 19 ~~ we have been on the road.  We have seen family and old friends as well as made new friends as we have traveled.  We have had motor home problems leading to thoughts of "Lord are you really here?  How the heck are we going to get to Texas if all our gas money is spent on repairs?"  Seeking prayers from many and crying out to the Lord in wonder.  

One day specifically comes to mind.  Tuesday, February 8 was probably the hardest day I have had in a long time.  We had already spent two days at the mechanics in North Bend, WA had replaced some parts in Middletown, CA with each of those costing us what I thought was precious money ~ money we didn't have to spare for mechanical issues.  We needed all the money we had to get us to Texas. We had borrowed money after the first issues in Washington and now we were using some of that to pay for the repairs in Fresno.   I remember sitting at the table while Ron was outside working on the motor home with tears streaming down my face.  Feeling like I was ready to give up ~ but then again that wasn't an option either ~ couldn't stay at the Fresno RV Park we were at indefinitely.  I once again sought the prayers of others, cried on Ron's shoulders and just wasn't sure if we had made a mistake or not in heading to Texas.  My heart ached, my head hurt with a headache and my eyes hurt from so much crying.  I just didn't know what WE were going to do.  And then it was time to go to dinner at Jim & Sharon's with Belva. I didn't think I would be good company but I went with Ron and I put on what I thought was a happy face.


I wasn't a very good actress.  At dinner Jim prayed for us in our travels, for the Lord to provide for our every need, for us to enjoy our time of traveling and of course for us to have a good dinner.   Little did I know how God would provide for us.  And once again I was reminded that God is in control and it is his timing not mine on when things should happen and how they would happen.  The Lord has blessed us over and over on this trip.  He has provided funds where there were none.  We have gotten groceries from those we did not expect any.  We have been taken out to eat to share in family and friend time.  God has truly blessed me/us over and over again.

I can't say that enough ~ God has blessed us over and over again.  Not just on this trip but in so many ways.  It's just right now the blessings we have received as we have traveled from Blaine, WA to Lewiston, ID to Bend, OR to Corning, CA to Middletown, CA to Fresno, CA to Phoenix, AZ, and onto Tucson and McNeal, AZ and now as we near the end of this journey to Texas.  


I keep telling myself my vacation is almost over.  Tomorrow is the last day of that vacation and then we start a new adventure.  The adventure of being Office & Property Managers of a campground ~ something else we have talked about doing and God is blessing us with the desires of our hearts. 

I think about the new changes coming our way ~


~ we will have regular days off
~ we will meet lots of new people
~ we will once again have regular paychecks and get back on that stable financial plateau 
~ we will not be moving all the time; don't get me wrong I enjoy moving around but I am ready to be in one place for awhile
~ we have a new grandbaby coming in May, that is always exciting
~ we get to see new parts of this ole country where.have never been
~ we will make new friends


and we get to do all this with God's blessings on our lives.  He guides us each day if we let him.  That's the key ~~ trusting and seeking God each day.  Living out our faith in our actions and words.


I want to close with this prayer: Thank you Lord for allowing me to blessed with so many Christian friends through the years.  Thank you for a loving husband who has an adventurous soul and showers me with his love every day.  Thank you Lord for Jamie & Brandon and their families.  For expanding my family, for surrounding me in love and for special friends who have walked with me through the hard times and the good.  Thank you for loving me Jesus!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sightseeing Around Scottsdale

Our first stop in Scottsdale was the West World to park our motor home.  It is a huge equestrian complex. Equestrian sounds so much better than a horse place.  We got all checked in and then found where we were supposed to park the motor home.  Ron unhooked the Jeep and I jumped into the drivers seat.  I can back this thing up you know.  Things got a little tense with Ron telling me to turn this way and that.  The problem was his hands went one direction when he wanted me to turn the wheel the other direction.  But in the end I got it parked.  See!
See how close I got to the pole marking our spot.  I am thinking I done real well!  What do y'all think?

The view from our back window.  We back right up on the polo field.

Another view of the polo field.
Various views of West World.
Top of the line horse trailers.

We have done a little bit of sightseeing while here in Scottsdale. 
It has been fun to play tourist though I am sure some of the drivers wish we knew where we were going.  Maggie does not always give us enough time to make those crazy lane changes.

Yesterday afternoon we went into Old Town Scottsdale.  
Saw some crazy things like a gal riding her horse through the traffic of cars!
Here's a movie of our time in Old Town.  Sorry it is another silent one.  I did learn how to add music to the movie (Thanks Rick) now I just have to figure out how to get the songs onto my computer to put them to the movies I make.


We had a lazy morning this morning but decided to go to the Penske Racing Museum in the afternoon.  Ron had wanted to go there for quite awhile.  It was interesting to read about the different cars.  We were told we could not take pictures of any of the orange & white cars do to legal issues between Penske and Marlboro.  I took a picture of one of the statues that was right next to one of the orange & white cars and the gal there was immediately by my side asking me if I had taken a picture of that car.  No mam, just the statue.  I told her she could 
check my camera but she said no that was okay.  Hope you enjoy these pictures as much 
as Ron enjoyed checking them all out.  


  
I even got up close and personal with a couple of Bentley's.
  
Which one should I choose?  $125,000 or $245,000?  You decide.  





Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sunshine!!

Love the sunshine!  And the warmth!  It always helps me to feel good.  But so do good friends, loving family, precious time with little ones and enjoying the many blessings of the Lord.
 
Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that God is the one in control and not me.  I learned that lesson again last Tuesday.  I will probably have to learn it a few more times, okay lots more times.  

But God is a loving and forgiving God.  Last Tuesday was a hard day for me.  I spent the majority of my day in tears (see the previous post).  I was frantic about issues with the motor home, how were we ever going to make it to Texas and concerned about a couple of friends who were struggling with illnesses.  I fretted and figured and figured and fretted some more.  


The motor home finally got repaired late in the day on Tuesday.  We had dinner plans with Ron's cousins, Jim, Sharon & Belva and I was just not in the mood to be "happy and social" yet I knew that would be the best thing for me.  So while Ron drove to Jim & Sharon's I sniffled and wiped my tears.  


We had a delightful dinner sharing lots of laughter and good stories about our children ~ you know those teenage years you wonder if you as the parent will survive them.  And we talked about the joy of grandchildren and how special they are to us grandparents.  And we talked about our families and some of our struggles and yet each time a struggle came up that we talked about each of us were able to say "but God did...." or "God showed me how to do...."  and in the end we were all able to say that we were each blessed time and time again.


And you know what.  God continues to bless us even in our humanness.  I can say I prayed a little on Tuesday but did I spend time on my knees seeking God's wisdom and not mine.  Nope.  Just a few arrow prayers.  But God is an awesome God and he works things out a whole lot better than I ever could on my own. 


I talked with a friend that night, three times to be exact.  And each time I hung up just thinking "Lord, thank you for loving me and showing me that love in so many ways."  And when I went to bed that night I prayed for the Lord to forgive me for trying to "fix" things on my own once again.  He is so much better at fixing things.  I need to remember to go to Him first.  Turn things over to Him first.  Not fret and worry.  I slept so well Tuesday night.  God forgave me for trying to do things my way.  He gave me rest so I woke feeling so much better emotionally on Wednesday morning.


My pastor, Charles, used to tell me to reign in those wild horses Alice.  Don't let them escape out into the wild blue yonder.  And I thought a lot about that on Wednesday.  Boy were those horses out running amuck on Tuesday afternoon.  So glad that God helped to bring them back into their corral.  


I have had a good rest of the week even though there were a couple of bumps along the road.  Wednesday we went to Edwards AFB where we met up with Jenn and Mike, Ron's niece and her family.  We had a fun time playing with the little ones and getting in some more kisses and hugs.  One can never get too many hugs and kisses from little ones.

 Thursday morning we got on the road about 9:30 a.m.  We drove to Quartzite, AZ.  While on the road I got up to get us something to drink and while getting back into the passenger seat I hit my head quite hard on the TV.  A little later I started feeling sick to my stomach and my head was pounding so I went and laid down on the bed.  I slept for over two hours.  I woke up just as Ron was pulling into Quartzite.  It was about 4:00 p.m.  Actually it was really only 3:00 p.m. but because of the time change it was 4:00 p.m.  So I guess it really was around 4:00 p.m.  We found a campsite for the night and got parked and set up.  Then we had dinner and dinked around on the computer for a few hours.  I did not sleep real well even after taking Tylenol for my headache.  


When I woke up Friday it was still there. I also felt like I was getting a sinus infection. We slowly got on the road about 11:00 a.m.  It was a short day for driving, just over 160 miles to Scottsdale, AZ.  I still had a headache but it was not too bad.  Once we got settled into our camping spot at West World - a huge horse complex we decided to go into Old Town Scottsdale.  We walked around and went in/out so many little gift shops things began to look pretty much the same.  After stopping at the local Safeway to pick up some groceries we came back to the motor home.  We had a nice dinner and then Ron headed off to bed.  I think the stress of traveling and the motor home issues were getting to him.  I read a few blogs and got the advice from three or four friends to put some Vicks on the bottoms of my feet and then sleep with socks on.  So with some thoughts of "those crazy friends of mine...I am so gullible...but gooped up my feet and put my socks on and crawled into bed.


And you know what? This morning I didn't have a headache, my sinuses weren't hurting and the bottom of my feet were kinda soft.  Guess those girlfriends of mine know what they are talking about.  That and asking God to relieve me of my headache helped tremendously.


We have had good days of travel and now a couple of good days of rest.  Tomorrow we get back on the road and go to Tucson for two nights.  We are going to be able to spend some time with Ron's Aunt Tine and Uncle Ken.

Thanks for listening as I rambled on tonight.  I am so glad that I am a child of the King!  And that he works in ways we could not imagine.  And that he knows what is best for us and when we should be where.  Thanks for praying for me, for us and for our motor home.  God is faithful and he is answering your prayers.



Our Trip to Texas so Far...from Blaine to Quartzsite

Thought it was time to show you some of the places we have been so far on our trip.  I have put together collages of different people and places we have been.  I have also made one movie (silent at that because I can't figure out how to put music to a video much less figure out where to find said music).  Hope you enjoy travelin along with us.

Breakfast with the Workentin Family on Sunday, January 23, 2011
Isn't Miss Opal the cutest little girl around?


Then onto services at Northwood Alliance Church
Lunch with Kristen, Jade & Coral 

Wednesday, Janury 26 saying good-bye to my bestie, Dee
Enjoying a farewell southern breakfast with Gerald & Sandra

And visiting with Brandon, Danalyn, Max & Christopher

And more fun times with the grands!

From Lewiston, ID to Bend, OR ~ January 31, 2011

 And then we went to my Aunt Joan & Uncle Don's place which is known as Noyes Ranch.
We spent 4 nights and three days there.  It was a good time of restin and relaxin.  The drive in can be very nervousin at times so I took lots of pictures.  Decided to put them into a movie to make it easier to see.  Just wish I knew how to put music to the movie.


This is the hunting lodge and caretakers residence at Noyes Ranch.
This is where we saw our first daffodils of the season! 
Guess I liked the daffodils so much I posted the picture twice :)
 
 In the kitchen at the hunting lodge.  Uncle Don is our usual chef for breakfast but he was in Napa for Friday night & Saturday morning so Aunt Joan did the cooking.  Look at all the different spices behind the stove.  Wish I had the wall space to do something like that here in the motor home.

And then we went to Santa Nella to the San Jouquin National Cemetery where Alice's Dad is buried.  He was a Korean War Vet.  Their memorial is the picture with the flag to the left.

And then onto Fresno for time with Ron's cousins.  We had a fun breakfast with Wes, Belva, Sharon & Jim.  Shared lots of laughter, old memories and made lots of new ones.  

And then onto Edwards AFB to see Jenn & Mike and their two little ones, Brooke & Adam. 
It was so fun to get more hugs & kisses from the little ones. 

And then to Quartzsite, AZ to meet up with Sheila & Larry.
Sheila and Ali are Forum Sisters on Womens RV Forum. 
 We met at Bad Boys Cafe for breakfast and visiting.


 And now you are all caught up with us on our travels.
Next stop is Scottsdale/Phoenix for a day of restin and relaxin.

Come back soon and see where are travels take us next on our journey to get to D'Hanis, Texas
to start our adventure of being campground managers.


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