033.31.14 San Diego, TX we’ve arrived!

I’m in the  middle of reading “Behind the Mask” by Elizabeth Michaels.

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It’s very long, intriguing, well written and was FREE on BookBub.  They only offer a book Free for a few days so it probably isn’t free any longer.  I’d highly recommend it if you’re a reader like me who loves being able to pick up a good book in your free time.  It’s also book one in a series and they are all out already so yeah!!

I’m also reading “The Beloved Disciple” by Beth Moore about the life of John and his relationship to Jesus.  Beautifully written, crammed with Biblical knowledge, and holds your attention throughout.

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I’ve also just about finished reading (for at least the fifth time) “The Purpose Drive Life”, by Pastor Rick Warren.  TPDL is a great one to read annually as it’s messages  speak to the stage in your life you’re in differently each time.  It’s currently on sale on Amazon for only $2.99 so check it out while the price is so low.

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God has blessed me with the desire to read and the time now to enjoy reading like never before.  Today’s blog post isn’t totally about books but knowing that so many of ya’ll love it I thought I’d let you know what I’m currently reading and invite you to read these as well!

We’re very close to our final destination for the next 6-7 weeks, San Diego, TX.  We’re in Alice, TX (largest city near San Diego) filling up on Diesel (again!). $300 yesterday in diesel and $125 today.  I’m sure glad we’re staying in one place for many weeks!

I’m quite delighted to see they have a Dollar Tree, Chili’s, Subway, Burger King,  and a Walmart.  Haven’t seen a church yet, though.  When we were in Kabetogama, MN for the summer the nearest town was over 30 miles away and didn’t have any of the stores they have in Alice.  We just pulled into the city of San Diego and it is about 14 square blocks large. They even have a Subway, Dollar General and a Church’s chicken.

Where we’re going to stay is out in the country from San Diego.  We should be  pulling into the ranch shortly.  I’ll write about it and share pictures with ya’ll as soon as we get settled.

Just saw a picture of Southeastern’s new Student Union and wanted to share it with ya’ll before I close!

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Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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03.29.14 Texas Here We Come……….!

Back in my younger days as a youth at Lakeview Baptist Church we went every summer to a youth camp, usually Glorietta, NM or Ridgecrest, NC.  These are two Southern Baptist Assembly Centers where youth, adults, children, senior adults, etc. all have weeks during the summer where we gathered to learn more about the Christian life.

They are both set in beautiful areas of our country.   Ridgecrest is in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

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Glorietta is in a beautiful valley in New Mexico.

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Oh the memories I have spending time with my friends, Susan, Gi, Kim, September, Gary, our youth leaders Blimp and Ralph!

One of the memories that has always stuck in my head is a strong dislike for the State of Texas.  During meetings and eating times we’d do cheers and Texas, being the biggest state, always had the largest group there.  Their bigger is better mantra just ate at us.  I know all of us Lakeview kids remember disliking Texas from those events we went to every year.  Even if we were in Ridgecrest in NC, Texas was always the largest group!

So this long standing aversion to anything Texas is facing a real challenge with us planning to live in Texas for several weeks.  I’d like to put that all in the past and leave it there so who knows maybe I’ll leave Texas wearing a 10 gallon hat and telling ya’ll how wonderful Texas was!  A girl’s gotta dream!

Spending several weeks on a 700 acre ranch near Corpus Christi should soften this Louisiana girl’s heart towards Texas so stay tuned to see what adventures we experience while there!

We left Hammond (our hometown) Saturday morning headed for Beaumont, Texas.  Before we left I took a couple of pictures of our yard work, Dora and Boots sitting in the driveway waiting to go, and our renters dog Dixie.

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Dixie
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The front gardens that we pretty much gutted and moved many plants all around the yard. That big empty patch fills in with beautiful green vines crawling along the ground full of yellow flowers. All along the side of the house the plants died back in the winter and are all cut down to the ground. They will come back with beautiful multi colored flowered bushes very soon!
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Yes this is the same scene we started out with a year ago. Dora and Boots living in the driveway!
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All the bushes you see in the forefront were living somewhere else before the big spring redo. I actually wish we had done this years ago so we could have enjoyed the new look while living there!

Along the way we drove over the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge. In the picture you’ll see the Louisiana State Capital to the left.  We also passed by two domes which I don’t know what they were, but they looked cool.  And finally a whole lot of crawfish ponds.  A little bit of Louisiana memories captured before leaving.

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Crossing the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. State Capitol building is the tall building to the right.
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Do not know what these buildings are but they were very cool. We saw them as soon as we crossed the river. If anyone knows what they are, please let us know!
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Crawfish ponds! For non-Louisianians, crawfish are either rasisd in ponds are caught in the spillway. You pay a different price for each type. Spillway crawfish are usually more expensive.

Upon arriving in Texas we got our first glimpse at how big they do everything.  The Texas star that greeted us was massive!  Thanks, David Cougle, for the tips on things to look for as we travel through this area.  We appreciate all info from everyone as we’ve not traveled through this area in our RV before.  Last trip to Texas involved an illegal RV, the local SWAT team and an extreme dose of stress so we’re hoping this trip is more on the fun side!  If you haven’t read my post about that adventure check out the October, 2012 Conroe, Texas post!

Pictures below are of Dora and Boots (and us) at the Texas Welcome Center.

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The big Texas star David told us about. This picture just doe snot do justice to it’s size.
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The Great State of Texas Welcomes Us!

 

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Dora and Boots being welcomed to Texas!

We spent last night in Beaumont, Texas in a Wal-Mart parking lot and are now headed west to somewhere.  Don’t know where we’ll stop today but we’re inching closer to San Diego, Texas which is our stopping point for this trip.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

03.28.14 GOD’S NOT DEAD – THE MOVIE!!

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Roy and I just came from the movies were we saw “God’s Not Dead”.  It was so amazing I just have to share with ya’ll about it! I’m doing my happy dance right now, loved it, loved it!

The movie is based on Rice Broocks’ book, God’s Not Dead: Evidence of God In An Age of Uncertainty, which was written to equip believers with a real and credible faith–and the ability to defend its most basic beliefs.

The movie centers around freshman college student Josh Wheaton. In Josh’s first day of Philosophy 150, the atheist professor condescendingly demands that the students write “God Is Dead” on a sheet of paper and turn it in to be assured of  a passing grade. The professor advises the class that a unanimous vote to “dispense with the God myth” and move on to higher level thinking will be in everyone’s best interest. Every student in the class, except Josh, gives in and turns in a sheet declaring that God Is Dead. Indignant that Josh refuses, the professor tells him that in order to pass the class, he must prove God’s existence. The audience that Josh must convince? His fellow classmates–all of whom have already declared that”God Is Dead.”

Josh is one of several characters in the movie whose beliefs about God are put to the test. Each character, although in varying circumstances, faces a choice–not only to believe or not to believe, but to follow, or not to follow. This movie paints a dramatic portrait of each character and gives viewers not only stellar entertainment, but a call to examine their own beliefs and level of commitment to those beliefs.

How far would you go…to defend your belief in God?

I’d like to think I would be able to do what the young man, Josh Wheaton, in this movie did but in reality I don’t know.  I lack the confidence to know I could recite scripture and make enough sense to go up against a college professor.  I can however tell you here that God is very much alive and that everything Josh said is true.

If  you’ve ever wondered why Christians have the beliefs we do and why we have so much faith in God I urge you to go see this movie.  It will answer many of your questions.  God seemed dead to the college professor in the movie because his mother believed in God, but she died of cancer when he was 12.  He believed there couldn’t be a God (and if there is a God that He was Dead) since he believed that God allowed his mother to die of such a horrible disease.

This story is one that many people can relate to, wondering why should we believe in God that “allows” bad things to happen to good people.  My simple belief is that God does not cause bad things to happen to believers, it is the world we live in that causes these things.

However, without God there is no hope. God is always there for believers to get us through good and bad times.  If a non-believer goes through a crisis and doesn’t have the Holy Spirit living in their life they do not have the comforting arms of God surrounding them during those desperately low times Christians and non-Christians endure.  They also don’t have the reassurance that their eternal life (and everyone has one) will be spent in Heaven with God as opposed to spending eternity in Hell.  As a believer, when my mama was dying and died , and at all low times in my life, I felt God’s loving arms around me every step of the way.   When I’ve had many high times in my life he’s been there jumping up and down with joy with me.  My God is very much alive and I’m thrilled that there is a movie now that so many can see to learn about this!

Having attended a University and witnessed the frighteningly atheistic beliefs of some of the professors I believe that what happened in this movie’s plot is absolutely happening to various degrees and in different scenarios in higher education throughout our country.  As parents, when we send our young people out into the world of higher education, we must send them with the full armor of God, knowing that their faith will be challenged.

This movie is a powerful reminder that those who follow Christ must be prepared to defend their faith in an increasingly godless society.  And when we take that stand, we may never know the ripple effect and the lives impacted by those who are watching. The movie shows this clearly.

When the church pastor points out to Josh that if he accepts the challenge to debate his professor, this might be the only time his classmates have any “meaningful exposure” to God and Jesus,  that made what he did very real to me.  Are our lives displaying Christ, do people that know me know undoubtedly that I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  I hope you know that now!  I’m always happy to share what God’s done in my life, so if interested, please ask!

Following are the lyrics for the song “God’s Not Dead” sung by the Newsboys and is featured in the movie!  There is a link at the bottom to actually hear the song on You Tube!

Let love explode and bring the dead to life
A love so bold to see a revolution somehow
Let love explode and bring the dead to life
A love so bold to bring a revolution somehow

Now I’m lost in Your freedom
And this world I’ll overcome

(Chorus)
My God is not dead
He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lion

Let hope arise and make the darkness hide
My faith is dead
I need a resurrection somehow

Now I’m lost in Your freedom
And this world I’ll overcome

Chorus

Let Heaven roar and fire fall
Come shake the ground
With the sound of revival

COME ON CHRISTIANS!  LET’S SHAKE THE GROUND WITH THE SOUND OF REVIVAL!

We’re heading out from Hammond towards Texas right now so FINALLY, we’re back on the road again!!!!

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

03.27.14 Yard makeover!! Madisyn playtime!! and RVillage update!!

 

1960053_633679430014800_1036471047_nStoop, bend, pull, dig….Stoop, bend, pull, dig… Stoop bend, pull, dig

That’s been our routine the last three days.  Plants have been pruned, dug up and replanted, a lot of weeds and winter killed parts of plants cut and pulled, and baby pine trees pulled up.  We only took one set of before and after pictures of a tiny portion of one garden.

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So much work going on we forgot about the picture taking!  Roy is now returning all the gardening tools we borrowed from Harriet and George so the yard work is officially done!   The finished result looks good but should look great when all the cut back plants start to bloom and the flowers are in abundance again!

We’ve been able to see some of our neighbors and catch up with them.  We’ve also enjoyed getting to know the lovely family that is renting our home.  Their children played with Madisyn a couple of times and she really enjoyed that.  Madisyn was amazed at getting to watch the chickens lay eggs and getting to collect them with the children.  2014-03-26_16-10-03_368 2014-03-26_16-10-43_99

Their dog Dixie enjoyed climbing all over me while I pulled weeds which I loved since it reminded me of how our dog Nacho use to do it when she was alive.   Nacho would have loved traveling with us and we often think of how much we would have loved having her with us on the road.

On Tuesdays the Hammond Chick-Fil-A has family night where they have a different craft for the children to make each week.  This week’s craft was a clay pot that the children colored and they filled with dirt and a plant.  Madisyn was with us Tuesday so we took her there and she made one for Chip’s girlfriend Kim’s birthday! The pink Chick-Fil-A cow was also there and took a picture with our little princess!

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UPDATE!

 

 

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In just two weeks RVillage has grown to 3,605 members!  It’s definitely the place to be for RVers!

 

Roy recently re-created our business cards which we use to share our blog and contact information with RVers we meet.  He added our RVillage contact information to the card and a beautiful rainbow background.  Now instead of our cards being okay, they are very colorful and are printed on photo paper!  I love his graphic abilities especially when he uses it for something like this!

Dora and Explorers business card

 

Looking forward to a couple of restful days before we hit the road again.  Ya’ll have a blessed Thursday, and  ya’ll please come back again!

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After I posted this blog just a few minutes ago I got this news release from RVillage and wanted to share.  Side note is that I created (at least the original which was a little revised by the professionals) the ad shown below.

ANNOUNCEMENT:

RVillage is hiring sales associates – great for enthusiasticRVers! Earn an income, be part of something big – while traveling wherever you like in the US (with internet)! You’ll also be contributing to building our service directory of RV-friendly businesses across the country!

Interested? Click on the new ad on the right hand side of any www.RVillage.com page, and submit your application! (Not seeing the ads/service directory? Make sure you have your ad blockers turned off for RVillage.)

 

03.26.14 Why I Would Never Force my Kids to go to Church – WHAT?????

This wonderful blog put into words what I believe in a way my meager writing skills could not. My hope is that all parents reading this will take it to heart. The very most important thing you can do for your children in their lives is to guide their spiritual growth. Ya’ll have a blessed Wednesday and come back now, ya’ hear!

TruthNotes

My parents forced me to eat three times a day growing up.  No joke.  Three times.  Every.  Single.  Day.  And it wasn’t always stuff I liked, either.  Matter of fact, I complained a lot about what my mom made.  “Ewww, gross!  Sauteed zucchini?  Seriously?  Mom, you know we hate this stuff!”  So as I approached adulthood I made an important decision.  Since my parents forced me to eat while I was growing up, I decided I was done with meals.  Oh, here and there I’ll eat out of obligation.  I mean, family traditions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, yeah, I’m there.  But daily eating?  No way.  I’m done.

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03.24.14 We’re back on Wardline Road!

Driving down Wardline Road and pulling into our old driveway to live for a few days had a strange feeling to it.  Sitting in our RV rockers under the patio in front of the garage has a strange feeling to it too.  Spraying the ditches for weeds, picking up a lot of limbs and cutting back winter killed plants had a familiar feeling of excruciating old people aches and pains. What was I thinking when we bought this house with no landscaping and felt like I had to landscape as much square footage of the yards as I could!

The yard looks a mess right now since Roy and I died after cutting back a lot of things and just left them in the yard.  Our wonderful brother in law George and my sister Harriett allowed us to borrow some yard tools which we tremendously appreciate.  Now we have to use them!!!

We’re still working for RVillage so we’ll be balancing yard work with paying work this week! I hope to take pictures of us doing the yard work so we’ll have proof we really can work that hard.   We’ve decided to dig up some bushes and move them to a needy location so that should make for some good hard work pictures!

We met with our real estate agent, Jamie Johnson, when we got here this morning and walked through the house with her.  She gave us some tips on what she’d want us to do before we put it on the market.  We’ll be coming back here at the end of May when our renters move out to do some more work but this major spring yard cleaning will make a huge difference in what we need to do then.

Over the weekend we were able to spend some time with Chip, Kim, Braxton and Bentley at Yogi Bear.  We walked all around the campground with the boys in their double stroller.   They are too little to participate in the many activities they have for children but we had a wonderful time visiting with the grown ups and playing with the little boys.  The boys are extremely mobile now (not quite walking on their own) which makes the RV a wonderful land of new objects to touch, pull up on, try out and whatever they could come up with.  They are sweet, well behaved, calm little boys and are a joy to have around.  In one of the pictures below Braxton and Bentley have on little shirts we had made for them when we were in St. Augustine.  Each of them says “He Did It” and points to the other one!!  We thought the little kid ride around carts was cute sitting next to the grown up golf carts so of course a picture was taken.  Chip and Kim were being kids having their picture taken with Yogi Bear!

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For the first time in our lives we filed a state tax return with a different state than Louisiana.  Since we worked in Minnesota all summer we had to file one with them and thankfully are getting back all the money we paid to them.  Yeah for getting money back from the state and the feds!!

Well it’s almost time to go to bed in our driveway on Wardline so…..

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03.21.14 A little delay in leaving and a wonderful week – we are soooooo blessed!

Okay so I haven’t written about our experience visiting the funeral home to make pre-arrangements, haven’t had time but I plan to.  I even took pictures there – yes I know you can’t wait for this one!!!

We planned to leave Hammond this coming Monday but we’ve had a little delay to our plans.  Our renters will not be renewing their lease in May so we will be putting the house on the market.  The real estate market is much much better than last year when we tried to sell it so we’re praying hard that the right buyer will come along.

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Our one acre is full of flower gardens front, back and side.  Every spring I spend about 3 weekends getting them all cleaned up and plants cut back so they can bloom properly in the next few weeks.   Since we will be putting the house on the market in May we need to do our spring clean up now so everything will be blooming nicely when we put it on the market.  Our wonderful real estate agent, Jamie Johnson is meeting us at the house Monday to do a walk through so she can point out anything we should plan to address in May when we return.  The last house she sold for us, she sold before it before it even hit the market.  We know she’ll be just as on the ball with this home that we’ve loved so much!

Monday morning we’ll be moving from Yogi Bear in Robert to the driveway of our home on Wardline – back where Dora lived for 5 months before we went on the road.  We have no tools so my sister and her husband have graciously agreed to let us borrow there for the week.  I haven’t had much fun digging in the dirt in a year so this will be a treat.  I remember too well how badly my back and all other body parts hurt when I do this so I’m going into it with open eyes and I’ll have Roy’s help this time.  The yard was always “my territory” but this time it’ll be “our territory!”

We planned to go to Texas and then out further west and north west after leaving Hammond.  We’re still going to texas to take care of the ranch for several weeks but we’ll come back to Hammond near the end of May when the renters move out so we can clean the interior and make any repairs necessary to sell it.

So it’s Hammond on Wardline for several days, then to Texas for 6 weeks, then back to Wardline for several days and then north west first!  Live changes so quickly sometimes and we just have to go with the flow!  I know Madisyn will be happy that Grannie and Paw Paw will be back in a couple of months and we’ll probably get to see Braxton and Bentley walking by then!

rvillage_badge_300x200-findusWe’ve been working a good number of hours this week and loving it!  RVillage is growing by leaps and bounds and we love being a part of this!  Once they unveiled the site a week ago (my blog post about RVillage was the day they unveiled) the number of members (RVers) went from 300 to over 3,000.  RV Parks all around the country are claiming their park on the site.  While this is just a start it shows how popular this concept will be with RVers.  We’ve already connected with 5 friends on it and can always see where they are on the map.  We joined a group on it called Christian Caravan and will know where these folks are as we travel from now on so we can meet them!  They will be advertising soon to hire RVers who want to be salespeople for them.  If you’re an RVer and would like to apply go to: http://rvfriendnetwork.com/application/

We did have time for Madisyn and Chip to come play with us one afternoon.  We built a campfire, melted smores, fished in the pond and fed the fish in a different pond.  Madisyn loves to look at the little fishies, froggies, etc. in the ponds and there are a lot of ponds here to do that in.  We really love Jellystone Yogi Bear Campground here in Robert and any family looking for a close place to go for a family weekend there are cabins to rent, three huge swimming pools, put put, hay rides, arcade games, horse shoes and a weekend full of activities for children and older children every weekend.

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Chip, Kim, Braxton and Bentley are coming to Yogi Bear to have fun in some of the activities here like taking a hayride, playing games like sack hoping, and others!

I’ve always enjoyed decorating for Easter when we were in our sticks and bricks house.  We sold all that decoration before we moved.  I found a cute window sticker decoration yesterday and put it on our entry door to add a little Easter cheer to our home!

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Just got word that Chip and his gang are headed over here for our afternoon of fun so I’m outa’ here!  Oh oh, before I leave I want to share that this past Thursday we had 206 views on our blog. That’s the most in any one day ever!   Lots of other RVers, through RVillage, are finding out about the blog and checking it out!!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

03.16.14 Madisyn’s Hello Kitty 5th birthday bash!!!

madisyn birthday dressnThe big event we’ve stayed around Louisiana for was Madisyn’s 5th birthday bash on Saturday at Spirit Professionals in Hammond.  It was, of course, a Hello Kitty event!  A bunch of kids of all ages were there to run, bounce, jump and roll all over the mats, blow ups, trampolines and other assorted padded things for children to play on.  She had a beautiful Hello Kitty cake and cupcakes accompanied by some delicious Dominoes pizza!  Kim’s little twins had a great time and since everything was so padded they got a little freedom!   All the children had so much fun and we had a great time watching them.  I even bounced around with the kids a bit!

Happy Birthday to the little girl that always makes our hearts smile!

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Roy and I had a great time  at the party.  We went to church with Chip, Kim, Madisyn and the boys on Sunday at their church Soul’s Harbor in Hammond.  Kim was baptized and we just couldn’t miss being there for the amazingly special occasion.   For anyone who does not know about Baptism, it is full body immersion into water.  Nothing is special about the water but we do the full body immersion to represent the individual’s being washed clean from their sins and rising to a new life with Christ.  Only accepting Christ as your Savior can wash away your sins.  Not living a good life and being kind to people.  Many unsaved people believe they are saved because they live a good life and do good works but that isn’t it at all.  Even baptism doesn’t save you.  The only way to have eternal life with Christ is to repent of your sins to God, and accept him as your Lord and Savior.  When you do that the Holy Spirit will come to live in you, and your life will be changed forever.

During the time we were all singing at church Roy nudged me to look at Madisyn.  She had kneeled down on the floor and with her hands together was praying to God.   Her sweet heart loves God with a purity that is inspiring.   We will miss that little girl so much when we leave but we know we’ve been blessed to have this time with her and her family while we’ve been home.  One more week and we’re back on the road heading towards Corpus Christi!

Ya’ll are gonna be in for a treat when I write tomorrow about Chip and my visit to the funeral home to pick out caskets, etc. for Roy and I!!!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

03.16.14 Northern Lights Resort – Winter Style!

Remember those beautiful pictures we showed you all summer of Lake Kabetogama in northern Minnesota where we lived and worked for the summer?

Well Minnesota’s winter has been brutal, as low as -41 degrees!  We came across some pictures of their winter and thought we’d share then with you.  Do not fear, we will never be tempted to visit Minnesota during any winter month!  Two of the pictures are from the resorts webcam.  They were taken just a few minutes ago and you can see some of the snow is starting to melt but not much!

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The resort is now under new ownership, Steve & Tracy Lindstrom.  We had the opportunity to meet and work with Steve and Tracy near the end of this past summer season and really liked them a lot.  I can’t say enough about what a wonderful place this is for a family vacation during the summer.   I hope ya’ll will consider this location when making summer vacation plans.  The website is http://www.nlro.com

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Ya’ll stay warm and come back now, ya’ hear!!