Sunday, November 5, 2017

Our Home on Wheels

We are all moved in!!!

As you walk into our back door you come into the living room. 
These chairs are on the back wall of the trailer.

Directly across from the back door and the rest of the living room.
Our double recliner has traveled with us from Newberg, OR to Waco, TX
and now will continue the journey wherever we go.

Next to the double recliner is our little eating area which includes the TV, printer,
bookshelf with cookbooks.  When we moved out of our home and into the motor home in 2006 we had whittled our cookbooks down to six!!!  I now have one shelf of cookbooks ~ but it should be noted we donated at least two full shelves of cookbooks to the Salvation Army as we moved into the trailer :)

Also, the babies have their home in front of the fireplace (we can heat the whole trailer with this little fireplace; the fireplace was used often in our motor home when we purchased it in Missouri). 

As we brought most of our groceries from the apartment to the trailer we needed somewhere to put the beverages ~ a milk crate works great and once all the beverages are gone, the crate will be gone as well.

The plants in the corner, on the printer and on the fireplace all came from Georgia last February ~ so glad to have them as reminders of a special friendship and love having the greenery in our home.

This is the view from the dining table across to the kitchen (back entry door on right).  We have our Keurig, our ice maker, water filter pitcher, yes my pig canisters!!  We have a built in microwave and oven too!

And for those of you who know I love my pigs ~ check them out above the microwave and beside the stove!

The Christmas cactus in the front right corner on the kitchen counter is actually three cacti plants ~ one was a start from Mom Balzer who had gotten her start from Grandma Workentin, one was a start from Ron's cousin Joann (given to us after she passed away) and one that we bought in December 1998 when Brandon was in college. ~ it blooms at different times of the year, sometimes for Easter, sometimes for Halloween and even on Christmas!!

and then you come to half the bathroom ~ yes my necklaces, bracelets and earrings are tagging along for this journey.  

The plant on the shelf was given to me by my Branson Forever Friends when I had my heart attack in August 2013.  It finally bloomed this past August for the first time!!!  In the mornings when I am getting dressed I am reminded over and over how much I am loved and by so many!!

The sunlight you see coming in on the plant/cabinet is the door out of our bedroom.

On the opposite wall of the bathroom sink are my necklaces!
Ron did a great job hanging all the different hangers.  


Throughout the pictures you will see many of our family pictures.
We love seeing pictures of our boys, their wives and the grands!!!

Going to quickly run out of wall space for more pictures so we may just have to invest in another one of those picture frames that the pictures rotate through.

And that my friends is our redecorated and loaded up 
home on wheels.

I should mention our pantry is located in the back of the expedition :)  

Hope you enjoyed this little tour!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Happening's with the Workentin's

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Lots!!

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We begin with we KNOW God is in charge and knows all things as he says 

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and
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and that is what we have been doing ~
seeking God's will for our lives,
asking Him to show us where He wants us to be,
and help us to be willing to deal with whatever he sends our way.

And last Thursday, October 26
God clearly shut a door for us.

Our Pastor summed it up in these few words:

Please pray for the Workentins' as they are leaving their work as houseparents in Waco, Texas.  This is a painful decision but is necessary at this point in their lives.  

And so for the last week we have been moving out of the apartment furnished by MCH into our home on wheels ~ our 30' travel trailer.

We had planned to go back full~time RV'ing in Fall of 2021, 
now instead it is Fall 2017.

We are currently at a Thousand Trails park in Central Texas.
We are taking this weekend to play!
and boy do we need to 
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Next week we will finish up with some business here in Waco,
and start our search for employment ~ as we both like to eat, take drives and you know all the other adult stuff that needs to be taken care of.

We don't know where we will be going.
We don't know what doors of employment will open.
We don't know what God's plans are for us,
BUT we do know that 

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and

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so that's what is happening with the
Workentin's.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Do You Ever Wonder Why?

As I sit here in our little apartment I keep asking myself
"how did we get to this mess today?"

And then ask, "Lord I don't know what to do, I am feeling helpless and alone." I read scriptures of peace, peace in my heart and soul and yet there is so much turmoil.  I question every thing that is going on.  Why are we currently having so many issues with the boys (not all of them but three very strong willed, loud and self-entitled attitudes) and I just want to cry but alas one boy says "that means you are weak."  

No, I don't think I'm weak I think I wear my emotions on my sleeve and feel at 150% everything...yes another strong willed person right here.  I keep asking over and over, why is so hard for these boys to do the bare minimum that is asked of them ~~
~ make your bed each day
~ clean up your personal area
~ keep your closet clean enough so it doesn't STINK!!
~ keep your dresser top clean and organized
and do one daily chore
It could be: your bathroom, your bedroom, the laundry room, the TV room, the front/back porches, the foyer/halls
but we are told we are demanding,
we pick on them,
we yell at time ~ Yes I do sometimes

Oh and we ask you to be respectful of your home parents and those in authority, even told by administrators and unit managers "it's not okay for them to cuss at you."  Really then why are there no consequences for when they do, not just once but over and over.  Consequences ~ not around here, the boys do what they want, when they want, tell you you can't tell them what to do because we are not their parents.

You are so right young man, we aren't your parents, we have taken on the responsibility of caring for you, trying to teach you right from wrong, how to be smart and responsible young adults, we love on you when you are in an unlovable mood,  we buy you things so you don't feel ignored and left out, you go on more activities  in a month then most kids being reared in a "normal" family do in a year.  

I feel like right now I am the 
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who continues to try to figure out what could I be doing differently?
What do I need to do or say to break through your hard shell.
How do I reach that young man inside?

Maybe 
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Maybe, 
my time here is done.  
I know that Ron and I have made an impact on some of these boys
but with all the pushback,
hatred, negativity coming our way
it's time to move on.

I know I have asked this question before and now the question is when do I/we say yes it's time to go.  There are boys here who we have lots of hope for, want to encourage and be there for them and so then the question comes, do we let a few boys pull/send us away and then wonder what about the others.  

I wish I could say
"Hey God, yeah, we need your help, 
can you please be specific in what you want us to do and how you want us to proceed."

Guess there's nothing much else to say.

So guess its time to work on the laundry.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sitting Here

This morning as I sit at my laptop working on weekly reports and thinking about finishing up our daily logs for this week, 
my heart aches,
tears are flowing,
and I am questioning.

I know and believe in my heart the Lord opened the doors for us to be here at the Methodist Boys Ranch
but today I am not too sure.

The last 2.5 days have been a living nightmare here.
Boys doing what they want, when they want,
regardless of what either Ron or I say to them.

We don't ask much of them,
but I guess it is too much.

This weekend The Compassion Experience is happening here in Waco.  I am hoping the other set of house parents will take our boys to it.
To give these boys a dose of reality
and a glimpse of the real world.

They think life is so tough here,
try living in a third world country where you have no idea where your next meal is coming from or even when that meal might happen.

I was abused as a child and as a teenager
and I made a promise to myself that once I was an adult and living on my own
I would not be abused again.

But I sit here
asking why?
why am I allowing it to continue?
how many times do I allow the boys to abuse me?
verbally?
emotionally?

It's hard to write up daily logs and share what is happening with the boys when everything seems so negative.
And trying to teach these boys to be respectful to one another, to other adults, to those who care about them is doubly hard when you have an adult come into a room and start talking smack to the boys and dishing it out
and the boys feel they have no recourse 
except to do the same back to that "adult."

I am ready to step out of the situation
and say, "You know what, I gave it my all 
and the all is now empty.  I need to take care of me, take care of my relationship with my husband, take care of my marriage, take care of my soul and heart and mind.

I am thankful we are going into our off week.
I am not sure what will happen next Wednesday when we are due to be back at work.  

But I can't keep doing this.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Going Around in Circles

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I woke up this morning way before the alarm was set to go off
so headed out to the living room for some study time.  
I fixed me a bottle of water, grabbed my Bible and notebook
and settled myself in the recliner.

As I began writing I asked the Lord to show me what he wanted me to focus on today.
Today is our Monday,
the first day back at work,
with lots already on the calendar:
Changeover Meeting at 9,
Normalcy Training from 10 to 12,
Ron has a follow up dental appointment at 12:50,
Pick up boys at 3:30 and then go, go and go some more.

I opened my notebook ~ it has been 16!!! days since I last spent any time in the Word, being quiet before the Lord!!!  
Where is my follow through?
What happened to my intentions?
No, don't go down the trail of beating myself up ~
it is what it is!!

No excuses!  It is what it is!!!
My mouth/teeth are killing me ~ I know I need to get back to the dentist.
What goes through my mind is FEAR of the dentist, COST of any procedures,
but the pain is so intense...grabbed a couple of Ibuprofen,
back to my Bible and spending time in God's word.

I prayed "Lord, show me what you want me to focus us today"

Luke 17:1-10
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"Lord help me not to be a stumbling block to others, forgive those who hurt me, no matter how many times they hurt me,  help me to respond in Love & Respect"

and
2 Timothy 4:6-8
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"Lord help me to fight the good fight, help me to finish the race strong and most importantly, help me to keep my faith strong in You!"

~ Quitting is not an option
~ Need to believe and that IT (whatever IT is) can be done
~ Do not let discouragement or unbelief set in
~ Run with purpose, keep focused on the goal
~ Don't let negative talk control me
~ Keep moving forward, keep your eyes on the end goal
~ Remember challenges can be overcome
~ Keep moving, one foot in front of the other

"Lord help me to focus on today, the moment, the Big and Short goals.  Lord help me to keep Your word on the tip of my tongue."

Hebrews 10:23
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God is faithful.
The promises he makes, he keeps.
If I am determined to hold on, the fog will eventually clear.

Where does
"going around in circles"
come from...
I find myself starting over so often!
But then I am reminded that 

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And so I tell myself it's okay to go in circles,

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because even going round in circles the journey
is a bit different.

Thank you Lord for this journey I am on.
Thank you Lord for supplying all our needs.
Thank you Lord for loving me just the way I am,
in all my foibles and along all the circles I find myself going,
Thank you Lord for never letting me go.
Thank you Lord that you give us "redo's"
Thank you Lord for this life you have given me!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sitting Here

Sitting here not sure if I should cry or not cry, laugh or scream.  I hate dislike that I take things so personally.  I just want to scream ~ you don't like it when people hurt you, why do you purposefully hurt me???  But why waste my  breath ~ I am sure you don't know why you do what you do.

But I know...you push away anytime we start to get close, if you push away first then it won't hurt so bad...how do I know this??  Because I did this for years.  My heart craves to be loved and liked but my mind says "no way"  you aren't going to hurt me too.

And I let him win...he egged me on all evening and then I stooped to his same behavior and yes I hate that, I am disappointed in myself.

I've been told, don't let the boys see your emotions, you must remain neutral ~~ that is so friggin' hard!!!

Today I'm ready to throw in the towel, run to avoid being hurt over and over but I can't ~ I know that God opened the doors for us to be here at the Boys Ranch and yes most days go smoothly and YES we have seen positive changes in the boys we live and work with ~ BUT it hurts so much when they attack, are disrespectful and openly defiant....I just don't have the tough skin I need...or at least it sure doesn't feel like it today.

So the choice is mine...and I am choosing to fake it till I make it; put on the smiling face and go through the motions.

I know so much influences our day-to-day ~ one of them being tired and YES we are tired ~ we have worked 36 days out of the last 47 days and yes there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  We have six more nights/days of work and then we will have our week off...don't really have many plans...a few doctor appointments, an appointment to get the tires rotated on the Expedition which means a walk through Costco!!  Hopefully we will get in lots of naps and true rest.

And the dynamics in our home unit have been changing...change is hard, hard on the boys, hard on us and especially hard on the new boys coming into our unit.  Tuesday one of our boys returned after being gone for 9 days and we got a new boy.  Today we are getting another new boy ~ new to us but not new to the ranch, so we know what some of the issues are going to be and I feel like I have to put on my steel armour and be ready to battle...I don't like that feeling...battles are no fun and no one really ever wins.

Add in frustration with administration of no follow through on things they say will happen or not happen.

Giving us tasks with only partial information and then getting upset with us because we didn't to it right...can't have it both ways.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

You Know You Are

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when both House Parents are ready to
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Trying to do the best we can
when we don't have all the information
So you make a decision
then get reamed out!!!
Because it was the
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thing to do!!!

Well if you want us to do the right thing
and not think for ourselves
then give us all the 
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that we need to do our jobs!!!

Today is one of those 
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that we question are we in the 
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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Continuing the Search....

to get myself organized 
and back on track 
doing the things I want/need to do.

The two biggest things I want to do yet never seem to find the time is to 
write and spend quality time with the Lord.

I am hoping that

https://compass.intentioninspired.com?kid=H28RZ

will help me get back on track.

It is called Compass.

If you would like to join me,
click on the link above.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Expectations

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I wish there was a magic button to turn off expectations!

Things seem to be going well 
and then

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I think I need to set a timer to go off every 30 minutes
so I won't be surprised when things change on a dime.

Things are going well and then
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no cooperation,
smart alecky comments,

and then

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explodes!!!

It's so hard to keep 
feelings inside,
to keep my mouth shut
and not to take things personally.

Makes me realize how much I have grown
and at the same time realize how
much my past behavior was so hurtful to so many.

Oh how I wish I could turn back the clock with the knowledge I have today;
back to when our boys were little, 
to their young teenage lives,
to their teenage years.

But I can't!

What I can do is learn from the past,
make positive choices today,
and continue to trust the Lord to be with me/us
as we do our work here
Trying to remember the good things,
Saturday night being asked by one of our boys to buy him a Bible
Sunday buying that Bible

and laughing and joking with all the boys.

Making 
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on Sunday and watching one young man eat 8!!! yes 8 pancakes

and
making
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this morning and watch that same young man eat 6!! yes 6 waffles!!!

Sitting here in tears
wanting to yell at someone
instead choosing to 
write and write some more!!

Was going to send a 
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email to a couple of friends
and decided against that.

Decided instead to write here ~
and try to 

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I turned the TV off, 
one boy is playing games on his phone,
one boy is at athletics,
one boy is playing on the XBox
and one is outside being watched by my sweet hubby!!

So thankful he able to remain 
calm and patient
when all I want to do is react!!!







Thursday, August 31, 2017

Feelings Running Amok!!!

I am really struggling this week.
Short fuse :(
Frustration :(
Exhausted :(
(and don't understand why???)

Yet
I am feeling blessed ~ 
great relationship with our boss
loved by so many
for the most part financially stable
blessed by K & J with a new to me laptop
loving watching our MCH boys maturing in a positive manner
loved by the best husband in the world
have two healthy sons & their families
five healthy and lovable grands

and yet little things are bugging the crap out of me!!

why can't I get quicken to work on the laptop???

why am I so exhausted ~ especially since we had a great week of rest???

craving salty foods like crazy!!!

did I say I am tired!!!!



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ramblin' On


Our view this morning from our campsite at Lake Whitney.
We had a great six days off ~ lots of relaxing, went for a drive one day, friends visited on Sunday, we played cards and watched movies.  

Today we drove back to Waco,
got the trailer set up on the ranch ~ not sure when we will be going out in it again as the next few times we are scheduled off we are only off for three days.  Haven't heard when we can expect new house parents.  So we go day by day.

This afternoon we headed out to have a late lunch with some friends.  I found myself getting more and more 
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with Ron for taking a wrong turn,
with text messages giving me grief for being late.

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I should know better, it was after 2:00p and I hadn't had anything to eat ALL day!!  We had gotten up around 9 and started tearing down camp and getting ready to head back to Waco.  We got the trailer in its home here at the ranch and then unloaded the car, touched base with our UM Mr. Chris
and then headed out for the restaurant.
As we were driving, Ron missed a turn, we started arguing,
I wanted to throw my phone at him for getting mad because he missed the turn.
Got to the restaurant after multiple texts saying they wouldn't serve us if we weren't there by 2:15.  Got there at 2:10 and walked in.  
And from there I just fell apart and turned around and walked out.  
Sent a text to Ron to eat without me
(doesn't solve the problem that I haven't eaten all day)
walked over to the mall,
sat for a bit,
walked back to the car,
and laid down on the back seat.
About an hour later, Ron came out to the car
and we headed back to the ranch.
I did ask him to stop at HEB so we could pick up some fruit, cottage cheese and a few other things...$65 later we headed to the car.

Got back to the ranch,
unloaded the groceries,
ate some spring rolls and sushi,
drank a bottle of water,
watched the news ~
so much devastation in the Houston area.
Spent time talking with our friend Merel
and then watched some TV.

And setting up my new to me laptop.
Thank you so much K & J for blessing us.
Words can't express our thanks.

Planning our trip to Oregon and Washington
in November.
Can't wait to see our boys, their wives
and of course our grands!!!

Time to call it a night as 5:15 comes super duper early in the morning and we start working at 6 a.m. tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

God's Perfect Timing ~ Always

I am always amazed how the Lord puts things in my path 
to remind me over and over that He is in control
ALL the TIME!!

This morning the picture below showed up on my Facebook feed.
This was after I had walked the circle,
talking to the Lord about why little things seemed to be really 
bothering me this morning.
Music too loud ~ every morning we have to tell D to turn his music down
Repeating daily to L to clean his personal area and under his bed
Giving a 5 minute warning "5 minutes to leave for breakfast" and then 
still have to wait on R to get his shoes on...
...little things that seemed to be mounting
and not knowing the reason why.

I began to think about the past few days ~

Sunday ~ we have talked over and over that we need to get connected to a local body of believers, yet with our schedule would going only every other week really meet our needs and could we become a part of a family only part~time?  We wouldn't know unless we tried.

A few weeks back I was going to go to Heart of Texas Cowboy Church but having a boy refusing to put on church clothes changed those plans.  I had left a message on HOTCC phone and about 12:45 the pastor, Jeremy, called me.  We chatted for about 10 minutes and he said to come any time we could.  We would always be welcome.  His phone call ministered to me and I could just feel Jesus' love coming forth.

Working lots of overtime right now (down a set of home~parents) makes our time off even more precious.  We said and knew we needed to get into a body of believers, we need to fill our soul, to be able to love on these boys in our care.  So we set our alarm (both woke before the alarm ~ definitely a God thing) and got ready to go to church.  As we pulled into the parking area people waved to us and walking in the door we were greeted by so many people, welcoming us, thanking us for coming.  First impression was ~ yes, this feels like home!!

The same feeling the first time we walked into 
Open Door Community Church in Cedar Creek, MO
we just knew it was home!!

And the same feeling we had when we walked into 
that second Sunday in November 2001!

The sermon was titled "Ride for the Brand"
from my notes ~

Drag Riders ~ Adapt and Overcome

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Do I dance with the designer (God) or the world?

Loving the world leads to destruction
Loving Jesus leads us to peace

It's not about stuff! Stuff does not make you happy.
Love makes you happy

Struggles keep us faithful

Stop living for the future ~ we never know if we will make it to the future

God's perfection is better than anything I could ever imagine!

As we drove away from HOTCC we both talked about how much we felt at home,
felt welcomed and definitely want to go back.  We have made plans to go back on our next Sunday off, August 27 even though we will be up at Lake Whitney that week ~ but that's okay, it's just an hours drive and so we plan to go back!!!

Monday ~ received the following devotion from Refuge Devotional by Roy Howdyshell

THE BIBLE SPEAKS TO US

DEVOTION FROM THE BOOK OF ROMANS

Romans 7:14-20

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to
sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I
myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that
is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do
not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I
do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

The Beast Within

Trying to eat healthy food over the holidays drives me crazy, and to be honest
it drives me crazy to eat so called Healthy Foods anytime. My question is, is
there really any kind of food you don't grow yourself that is really healthy?
But on to our Devotional today.

It isn’t that I don’t know what to eat. I know how to read food labels. I know
the difference between good and bad foods. I know how many calories I am
supposed to have in a day. I even know that I need to exercise, even though I
don't care to exercise. But when I am confronted with a plate of Christmas
cookies or a candy dish full of M&Ms and could name many other good things,  my
plan goes out the window. I know the food I should be eating, but it is not what
I end up eating. My appetite for sugar takes over. Is it too strong of a
statement to say I struggle with an unhealthy food addiction?

But here we see the apostle Paul is struggling with something much more serious
than junk food when he writes these words to the Romans. He is sharing his
addiction, an addiction we all share. It is an addiction to sin. Paul knew this
addiction first hand. He tried to stop sinning many times. He tried to be kind
and loving and compassionate at all times. He had plans to put others first and
to control his thoughts of lust, envy, greed, selfishness and anger, to name a
few. He had a great plan, but he still found himself sinning.

Yes time after time he found himself right back where he started, doing things
that he knew God hated, things that were wrong. This sin hurt his relationships
with other people, and even worse, threatened to completely destroy his
relationship with God. You see, Paul knew that he didn’t need to just work on
“self-control”. He realized that he was the problem. He had a sinful nature.
And, as a result, that sin living inside of him took over the steering wheel of
his life at times. He wasn’t trying to make excuses; he was just trying to state
reality, he was just being honest with himself. I think all of us can relate to
his misery. We end up doing the things we wish not to do, and the things we wish
to do we don't.

The answer for sin addiction does not come from inside of us. It comes from God.
The first step to getting help is to do what Paul did. He confessed his sin and
his inability to control his life. He asked
God to help, and he did, by sending Jesus. With the seed of faith in Jesus
planted in his heart, Paul now had good inside of him - good that came from God.
And so he committed himself to the daily struggle against sin.

Please remember that sin is anything that falls short of the glory of God. Do
you have sin with which you struggle? Take heart. Jesus has won the victory, and
he offers strength to you for your daily battle. Go to Him and ask him to help
fight your battle with sin or sins.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, I do things I don’t want to do all the time. Please forgive me. Take
away my guilt. Give me strength to continue to struggle to do what is right. Amen.

Need to talk to God?
He is only one knee-mail away

And I could see myself and so many of my struggles
of where I do the things I don't want to be doing
and not doing the things I need and want to do.

My prayer was that God would give me a redo ~ to start a fresh
just like God's mercies are new every day and I try to give that grace to our boys and I need to remember that God also gives those same mercies and grace to me.  To be aware of how I interact with the boys, 
to speak in love and remember the little things are just that, little.

And to focus on what's important.  
Is it really a big deal if their music is a bit loud,
if it's not bothering the other boys in their bedroom, why should it bother me,
and telling the same boy every morning to clean up his personal area
is really no different than reminding myself it's laundry day or time to do the dishes.

And then this morning,
this showed up
And I am reminded that life is full of little things,
yes we have rules and expectations,
but doesn't everyone?

And as I walked around the circle this morning,
I was reminded of God's beauty, seeing the cows out in the field,
the sun shining over the pond
and how precious life really is
and I prayed for the Lord to soften my heart 
a bit more, to not be so critical of the boys.

One of the new rules for the boys are no cell phones/accessories
at school ~ so Ron got a basket for those items, three of the four boys put their phones
and earbuds in the basket.  Ron explained if the boys lost their phone at school they would lose it for
24 hours here at home.  Three of them decided to put their phones in the basket.  

One of the things I am working on is not arguing with the boys about the rules.  Today is a good practice.  If D loses his phone at school, it just means he doesn't get it at home till tomorrow afternoon.

Here's to remembering 
in the big scheme of things
everything is a little thing!!

Our Home on Wheels

We are all moved in!!! As you walk into our back door you come into the living room.  These chairs are on the back wall of the traile...