Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Change of Shift

Whew!
We made it through the week!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hanging In When It Would be Easier to Run

Image result for fight or flight

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

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

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

EVEN WHEN IT'S HARD!!

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

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

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

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

****
Today I am thankful for the 

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For new mercies every day and extended grace.




Monday, January 16, 2017

Fellowship with our Northwood Family

What a blessing to be with our church family on Sunday.

It always feel so good to be back in our church home.
Hard to believe we have been a part of Northwood Alliance Church for over 15 years.  One of the blessings of returning to our church home, is it is like we have never been gone.  Hugs are given, stories shared and we are surrounded by love.

Sunday was no different.  We saw many familiar faces and quite a few new ones.  That is always nice  to see new faces and meet new friends.  Being surrounded by old friends also brings many blessings.  Worshipping and praising the Lord together always warms my heart.  And today singing, MAJESTY together reminded me of many memories of the love of my brothers and sisters.

MAJESTY

Majesty, worship his majesty;
Unto Jesus be all glory, honor, and praise.
Majesty, kingdom authority,
Flow from his throne unto his own, his anthem raise.
So exalt, lift up on high the name of Jesus.
Magnify, come glorify Christ Jesus, the King.
Majesty, worship his majesty,
Jesus who died, now glorified, King of all kings.



Reminding me that everything I have and everything I am comes from the Lord.
Without the Lord I am nothing.
And Jesus is everything!!!

And how Jesus went to the cross for me, for all of us, taking all our sins upon Him and that as Jesus is God's Beloved 
We are also God's Beloved
I
Am
God's

Beloved!!
Belong
To
Him!!

I am His
In the good times and bad,
In sickness and in health
As I walk firmly and when I stumble
I am His.
I am His Beloved!!

****
Today I am thankful for a church home and church family who welcomes us home whenever we can make it to Blaine.  Whether is is 7 months or a year or two ~ we are blessed beyond measure with a church family who loves us!!


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Quick Update and Prayer Request

Well we made it to Blaine on Thursday!
Our day started at 3 am CT and ended about 11 pm PT ~
Boy were we tired
We flew from Waco to Dallas
Dallas to Seattle
Seattle to Bellingham
And then drove to Blaine.

Once we arrived in Bellingham we had dinner with friends.  The food was delicious but the laughter and conversations were wonderful.  It was good to catch up, share about our work and life in Waco and most of all just be with friends with no expectations.

And before long it was time to head to the Lang Hotel ~ our favorite place to stay when we are in Whatcom County.  

Thursday evening we found out Ron's brother, John was in the hospital. And our friend, Tim had been seen in the ER and was not feeling well.

My word for 2107 ~
Fluid

As RV'rs we always say our plans are made in Jello ~ you never know when they will jiggle around and things change

And so in keeping with the FLUID ~ going with the flow

Friday morning  we got up and got moving.
Stopping first at my beasties to drop off some clothes for her daughter and picking up our mail but most importantly getting in some good hugs!!!

Then off to the hospital to see John.  He is stable and for that we are thankful but do covet continued prayers for him and his health, for his wife and two daughters as they are supporting him during this time.

After visiting with John we went to Michael's to pick up some more yarn to make a gift for my friend Lynda, she loved the color and so I made her a cowl.  

And then back to the Lang Hotel to relax and enjoy some great fellowship with good friends.

Saturday Ron went to see John, still stable but definitely not out of the woods.
For me, I hung out at the Langs, crocheting that cowl.  In the afternoon we watched the Seahawks game ~ sad to say they lost but there is always next year!!
In the evening Ron went to see our son, his wife and our sweet princess granddaughter.  I didn't go as I was battling some sniffles and hacking coughs.  Don't think it's a cold but more of a reaction to the change in weather...it's pretty dang cold here!!

More to come later!!

*****

Today I am thankful for time to rest and relax!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Anxiety Attacks are NO FUN!!

It has been a very long time since I have had an anxiety attack
and I have had three in the last three days!!
Not good at all!!!

Late Sunday night
the first one hit
just after midnight.
At first I thought I was having another heart attack,
so did what the docs have told me to do ~ 
take a Lorazapam,
wait 20 minutes and see if it kicks in,
fortunately for me
it did
so with deep breathing, 
snuggling with my hubby,
praying and telling myself I was okay
I finally drifted off to sleep.

Second one hit
yesterday evening after our meeting with UM Chris and
the two administrators here at the ranch.
Felt very frustrated with some of the outcome,
some totally makes sense,
some not so much
but it is what it is
and we just move forward.

Yes we are still employed, just got a few extra 
unpaid days off
but that just means I get two days to just be with the
hubby doing whatever we want ~ like
going for a drive in the country, eating at Rudy's,
sleeping in and some extra snuggling.

And we are looking forward to getting on
Image result for american airlines planes
and heading to Blaine
to see family and friends!!!

One more sleep and we are off!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Oh Poop

Slept in a bit this morning
and then went to the restroom
(you know normal routine for most people)
but
we found this
Image result for toilet overflow cartoon
but my trusty plumber hubby
got a snake from the ranch manager
and tried to fix it...but it couldn't be done!!!

So called Ranch Maintenance,
they called someone from Plant Maintenance
to come out and check it out.

Found out our issue was just a symptom 
of a much bigger problem
This is what was found out in the yard
Image result for septic tank overflowing cartoon
UGH!!!
So what's a girl to do?
Well get her hubby to take her out for lunch
at
Image result for rudy's bbq
and then out for a drive,
enjoying the country side,
stopping at 
Gib's RV 
checking out some travel trailers!!
Found a couple
but will see what's available 
when we are ready to buy the end of the month!!
And we continued on our country drive.

Passed the plumbing company truck leaving the ranch
and found out they will be back tomorrow...
...so short showers
and as our UM Chris said
"if it's yellow, let it mellow,
if it's brown, flush it down"
Gotta love his sense of humor!!

So we are calling it a day,
snuggling under blankets in front of our little
Image result for electric fireplace heater
watching some TV,
doing some crocheting
and just enjoying time with each other.

******

Thankful today for sunshine and warmth,
we broke a record here in Waco today,
as it was 81*!!!
Unreal for winter in January!!!

What are you thankful for today?

Are you experiencing unusual weather where you are?



Monday, January 9, 2017

I AM

Image result for exhausted

AND

Image result for emotionally exhausted

AND

Image result for physically exhausted
BUT GOD TELLS ME 

Image result for physically exhausted

AND SO 

Image result for exhausted

********

Today I am thankful for a husband who loves me
even when I make stupid mistakes,
react instead of act,
and continues to love me
for me!!!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Things Can Change on a Dime!

Wow!!

Just when you think things are going well

BAM!!!

We had a great morning and a wonderful sermon ~ 
It was about being consistent and one of the examples given was about a student who can be nice and respectful for one day but the next he is a wild beast and then wonders why the Home Parents don't trust him to do what he is supposed to do.  Pastor A said that if he one day decided to give his son everything he wanted, played with him, took him out to dinner to his favorite restaurant and focused on only him then the next day he wouldn't speak to him, wouldn't spend time with him and ignored him then the son would be confused.

Inconsistency leads to confusion.

So think about things the next time you wonder why your HP won't do what you want.  Maybe it's because the home parent is confused ~ so they don't know how to act towards you.  It's because your behavior and actions are not consistent.  The HP is confused.
Same thing with parents and teachers ~
If you are not consistent they don't know what to expect or act.

THEN 
Five boys returned to the unit and chaos reigned!!

One boy stole something from another student,
One boy bit another student
Then kicked another boy
Then one boy kicked me!
And then threw things across the room
Was jumping off the furniture
And multiple boys were calling me MF, FYou, FWhore
And no one would listen to HP Mr. Ron :(

Phone calls were made, on-call staff showed up,
YCC came on duty
Then it was time for dinner
And chaos continued
Not just with our boys but all three tables of boys

On-call Administrators showed up
Ranch Administrators showed up

I went to the apartment
Done and spent!!

Talked with multiple administrators

And I went into our apartment
Took a nice long hot shower
Until I ran out of hot water :)

Put on my nice warm flannel Jammie's that Ron bought me for Christmas
And then met with administrators again, this time in our apartment :)

Was told to get some rest tonight
Let Ron work tonight and tomorrow morning
Let the administrators meet in the morning with the UM On-call, our UM, and go from there.

All this to say
Don't know if we still have a job or if we will be looking for work once again

What I do know is that we are going on our trip to Washington on Thursday ~ just don''t know if our stuff will be put in storage on Wednesday or not!!
Guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it!

******

Today I am thankful that my hubby is home!!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Enjoying a Slower Pace

I love days when activities are few
and that is us today.

Ron and five of our boys are off on a hunting trip with 15 other boys and staff from main campus.  They left yesterday at 12:30 and are not due back till sometime Sunday evening.

This means I am on duty with three boys.  D & C are very low maintenance and also a big help in the unit. Little C can be very high maintenance but as long as he is kept busy and occupied things go well with him.  Last night we made a trip to Walmart.  After getting Little C's word that he would not hide, wander or disappear we were off.  This Home Parent (HP) was pleasantly surprised as he was very good.  Promising to buy him some oatmeal cream cookies was worth an uneventful store run.

My only concern when Ron is gone is "what if my blood sugar drops and I am in the apartment?"  so we put in an emergency plan.  D knew that if I was not out of the apartment by 8:45 this morning he was to call Miss Donna & Mr. Jack though Little C said he could run to their unit faster than D could call and to give him something to do we told him if D told him to run and get Miss D and Mr J that he needed to do that.  He said "Miss Ali I hope you don't have any issues but I will run real fast if D tells me to!!"

Fortunately no issues happened last night and we will have the same plan in place tonight.

The boys and I have decided that the next Saturday we are on duty (the 21st) we are going to skip breakfast in the dining hall and have a sleep late morning!!  Sounds good to me.

So we were off to Walmart and then back to the unit for snack ~ homemade vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and maraschino cherries and of course whip cream.

Today is going to be a pretty relaxed day ~ one reason is that it is freezing outside...22* this morning and supposed to warm up to 29* so I am happy to stay home.  
I finished up a pony tail hat for one of the other house moms.  This one was lavendar.  I am thinking I may make me a beanie hat in the same color or maybe make one in light blue to match my jacket.  

I will also be working on a baby blanket ~ baby girl not due till May but better to be prepared.  Once that blanket is done back to the black, grey and white one I am making for a friend.

One nice thing, the three boys here all like playing video games or spending time on the computer so I shouldn't have to go outside except to walk over to the dining hall.

*****

Making the Apartment Our Home

We really like our little apartment but realized the bedroom we chose for us really wasn't a great choice as one wall backs to the wall in the living room which means we can hear the boys early in the morning on school days and late weekend nights.

So this week we took on the project to move our bedroom from the front to the back. The common wall in the bedroom goes to UM Mr. Chris' office and since he is not here early in the morning or watching TV at night our bedroom is now a welcome sanctuary.  Another plus is that the big window in the bedroom faces the pond and cow field so we have a very peaceful view when we wake up in the mornings.  

The bedrooms  have been switched but I still need to move the clothes from one room to the next, move the TV from the old bedroom to the new bedroom and then organize the spare bedroom ~ though it is more like a storage room, craft room and catch all room.

I will try to get pictures once I have everything organized.

*****
Today I am
Image result for thankful
for a warm house to hide from the cold!!!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Anticipation

I love dreaming about things we have planned.

Right now we have two trips planned

The first one is a quick trip to 
Washington!!

We head out on Thursday
and return the following Tuesday.

We are looking forward to time
with 
friends and family
and
worshipping with our 
Northwood Alliance Church Family.

We have been watching the weather and trying to figure out how to pack.  
It looks like we might get one day of snow!!!
And it wouldn't be the PNW
if it didn't rain a bit too!!!

And then in February we will have 
three weeks off!!!
That's one of the perks with our job
here in Waco:

we work 7 days
and then have 7 days off
so when we take a week of vacation
we actually get three weeks off ~ 21 days!!!

We don't have all our plans set but we know we will be going to
Montana!
Idaho!
Arizona! 
and then back to Texas!!!

Do you like to anticipate things?
What's your favorite thing to look forward to?

Me ~ anytime I get to spend with family and/or friends!!!


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy Birthday Cuz!!

Happy Birthday to 
Mike Stortroen!!!

I love you and am glad you are my cousin!!!

I hope today is filled with lots of
love,
fun
and 
happiness!!!

Should I or Shouldn't I?

As I sit here and spend waste time on Facebook, 
checking out Amazon looking for a shoulder bag/purse big enough to carry some daily necessities like my glucometer, a wallet, my cell phone ~ why the heck did I get such a big phone???, some medication, a few pens, 
looking at emails, trying to figure out how to reply to some of them I find my mind
Image result for wandering...

I should get up and clean my kitchen

I should pick up my crocheting ~ I have two different projects I am working on, both by the way too big and bulky to take on the plane next week when we fly to Washington

I should think about going to bed ~ we do go to work tomorrow

I should order my college transcripts to take a class being offered
by MCH which would eliminate having to take 30 hours of training

I should figure out how to get my birth certificate so I can get my Passport

So many

Image result for shoulds

but here I sit
(cross legged in the recliner ~ that's a GOOD thing)

So what do you think I should do?

Or 

is this what I really need to do???

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Palestine

Palestine, TX that is 😋

We woke up on Tuesday morning
feeling rested and ready to get out of the apartment
so we headed off to 
Image result for palestine tx
Palestine, TX
about 95 miles from the Boys Ranch
the weather was sunny and supposed to be in the mid 60's
definitely a great day for a drive.

We packed a small ice chest with water, cheese, beef sausage stick, 
some protein bars and a few other things
and off we were.

The drive was wonderful.
First we listened to the six Christmas CD's we had,
then changed them out to gospel ones.
We love to sing while we are driving
and today was no different.

One thing we noticed today in our drive
is that there are a lot of small cemeteries throughout the area.
We didn't stop today to walk through any
but we have before. 
We read the dates and try to imagine what their life
had been like.  Maybe next time.

We got back to the apartment just after 5:00
and the weather was definitely changing
as the wind was picking up and the air was quite chilly.

One thing we always do
before heading out for a trip, whether just into town
or out and about like today,
is PRAY.

In my scripture reading today I was reminded
over and over how God is our protector.

First in,
Image result for psalm 91 11
and
Image result for 2 kings 6 16

We may not always know what He protects us from,
but sometimes we can imagine.

Tonight on the news there was a story about a man with multiple guns,
the SWAT team responding and closing down Highway 45
for a few hours ~ one of the routes we had thought of taking
was Highway 45 
BUT GOD
protected us as we came home a totally different route.

One of our many discussions today
was about 
"BUT GOD"
for where would we be without God.
Our strength comes from Him.

We are thankful today that God
encouraged us to go a different route
and brought us safely back to our little apartment.

What are you thankful for today?

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...