Saturday, December 26, 2009

And To All A Good Night

We had a really nice Christmas this year. It was nice to have our good friends over on Christmas Eve. We had a simple meal together, played games, went to church, played more games, ate yummy treats. I am so thankful for our friends.



These girls light up my life.

I have my knees bent to lower myself at least a half of a foot so that I don't tower over them in our picture like I really do. I stick out like a sore thumb with these two petite brunettes!


Here we are at our friends' church ...someone forgot to tell The Prairie Daddy to smile.


We wore The Prairie Kid out so much that he slept until after 9 on Christmas morning. It was nice to be able to wake up and get ready for the morning before he was up. He sleepily came up the stairs and we had to remind him it was Christmas morning and that there was something waiting at the tree for him. We got out the cameras and he wandered in.
A new sled!
And a slinky works like this, Mom!

Fun stocking stuffer

...your turn Dad...

...and your turn Mom!

Trying on Daddy's new mask


I love my boy...even if he's goofy and silly!

Over at Grandma and Grandpa's The Prairie Kid got a Thomas the Train set. It was a group
effort to try to put it together. Auntie and Daddy were brave enough to work on it.
And Grandpa wouldn't let The Prairie Kid win Tic-Tac-Toe. But he patiently tried to teach a 4 year old the strategy.

The Prairie Kid didn't want to give in and go to bed...but he didn't win. He tried to stay awake and play with his new race track. I think we can all see who won.


And it's all over. I was just as anxious as I told you I would be to put EVERYTHING away this morning. I couldn't pull decorations down fast enough! I feel like a new woman with a simple, spacious house. Ahhhh. And now for a movie with the hubby.
Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Big Adventure

In the beginning of the fall we learned that our Assistant Pastor was stepping out from our church to start a ministry in a community of great need in our area. Part of his role with our church is as pastor over the children's ministries. In October our Senior Pastor asked to have a meeting with me and extended an invitation to prayerfully consider becoming the new Director of Children's Ministry at our church. It would be a half-time position on the pastoral staff.

Wow. I was in awe. I was a bit overwhelmed by the decision. I analyzed, processed, dialogued with The Prairie Daddy, and prayed. And prayed. And prayed. The Lord was faithful in giving me a clear answer despite all of my hesitations. I was so thankful for His clarity. Even though I am still struggling quite a bit with my health, the Lord said "yes" and "trust Me."

And I said "yes." And I am trusting Him.

The final signatures were put on paper just a few short weeks ago. And last week I attended my first staff meeting. I am excited, scared, eager, hesitant, energized, and exhausted all at the same time. It is a bit of a roller coaster with my body getting worn out long before my spirit and my mind. I will have to learn to balance, plan ahead and be careful not to over do it.

God has blessed me greatly with the encouragement and support of my church family. This has been an awesome season in my walk despite my physical circumstances. God reminds me often "You are who I say you are" and "You can do all things through Christ." I can only accomplish the things that are now my responsibilities through Christ's strength and I am soberly thankful for His reminder of this to me on the rough days.

The Prairie Daddy and I will venture to Nashville after Christmas to take a few days of vacation and then attend a conference for children's ministry. I am so thankful for the opportunity to get training right off the bat.

So, here I go! It will be quite an adventure I am sure! Lord, thank You for letting me be a part of what You plan to do.

'Tis The Season

of busyness and more busyness. I thought it was due time for a blog update.

We have been busy. Some days too busy, other days recouping from the "too busy" days. I don't know anyone who isn't busy this time of year. And if we don't have Christmas programs, bake sales, parties, and the like, we fill our plates with baking, decorating, and more of the like. I fit into both categories this year. As if The Prairie Kid's Christmas program, school party, the Moms Together Bake Sale, the church caroling night, and the Community Christmas Dinner wasn't enough. I decided I should coordinate sponsors for 20 kids that I knew were from families in need. And then there is the offer to host Christmas Eve with our friends. Oh, and as if that all isn't enough, why not start a job?

Now see the next post. : )

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Better Off

Well, he finally did it. The Prairie Daddy had been talking about putting an ad in the paper for Jack to find a new home. I didn't know if he would do it or not since we've had Jack with us for 9 months and it hadn't happened yet. But Jack has been continually causing problems, including for our brother's dog, enticing him to run off with him and be naughty.

The Prairie Daddy had a good talk with The Prairie Kid about it. He did an awesome job of including his son in the decision, knowing that a 4 year old might not quite understand. But The Prairie Kid agreed and is looking forward to finding a dog that fits ranch life a little better in the future.

I think the ad went out in the paper Friday. There was a call that day from some ladies who used to have a dog of that same mixed breed and were very interested. They seemed to be the types that spend much time with their animals and even take on rescue dogs. They came to meet Jack yesterday morning and took him home with them. I wasn't around for the "transaction" and I think that was a blessing because I might have been a bit emotional. The Prairie Kid didn't seem to care to much and I think we all know that Jack will probably be better off.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Treats You Shouldn't Eat

Last night was The Prairie Kid's first Christmas program. Every year the local K-12 school includes the preschoolers in their program. They sang 3 songs and then gave a little Christmas "blessing" in song. The Prairie Kid looked so nervous at the beginning but then it seemed like after they were going a bit he relaxed. I was surprised he was looking around at the big audience the way he was too! They were SO cute! And I would be saying that whether my little man was up there or not! Check them out for yourselves!

You'd Better Watch Out

video

The Prairie Kid's belt buckle looks so big but it is the special one Grandpa got him and it meant a lot for him to wear it. At least he can grow into it and wear it forever!

Rudolph

video

S-A-N-T-A

video

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

video

It was so nice for Grandma, Grandpa, Aunties and a family friend to come down to watch The Prairie Kid and his cousin, who is a great saxophone player at age 13, in the program. Afterward we were able to spend some time at our house with everyone and enjoy Christmas treats.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Back Tracking

Did I ever tell you that I was gone for 10 days over Thanksgiving? The Prairie Kid and I took off early to visit some college friends and their 3 adorable kiddos. It was a nice time. I wish we lived closer. And then we headed to my moms where both my sisters and their families joined up with us. The Prairie Daddy came in the day before Thanksgiving. We all had a great time together. Other than wanting my own bed and a little more space I didn't really want to come home. Here are some fun pics of our trip:

My sister being a Super Toddler's Mom

My mom and all her grandsons!
Matching PJ's from Abuelita!

My sister's "helpers"

The little guy has big shoes to fill! (Literally!)
Miss you all already. Had a great time!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Final Touches...Minus The Big Tree

The Prairie Kid was surprised when he got home. He is having fun playing with this singing sheep dog that a boss of mine gave me years ago. It is one of those gifts that annoys the heck out of you but you love it. : )

I don't know if I like the look on The Prairie Kid's face or The Prairie Daddy's in this picture better. They are both fun!
And we put the nativity out.
It is up high on a shelf because I think within arms reach would be too tempting to play with.
I just love this scene. Although we know the wise men weren't really there until Jesus was a bit older. I wonder when they ended up in the nativity scene. Hmmm. Anyways, I can't imagine the awe in the eyes of Joseph and Mary. And the sheperds, who were likely just young men. Imagine this group of young teens staring in the face of God in a babe knowing that everything was about to change. I think it will be wonderful if God shows us the "video" of this night in heaven some day.
And then The Prairie Kid got to put the mouse on the right day of the calendar. Last year this wasn't an interest to him but I think this year it will be a highlight.

It is fun to create traditions for our children. It almost makes me feel like a child again myself.

Serves Me Right

After my "soap box" in my last post I said goodbye to The Prairie Daddy and The Prairie Kid. I've had a really rough time sleeping with my health lately and I just wasn't up for going to town to watch some high school basketball with them. My intentions were to take a nap, or watch a movie but as soon as they walked out the door I found myself putting the Thanksgiving and fall decorations away.

And then out came The Boxes. I hate getting them out. We keep them in a storage closet under our stairs and it smells of dead mice from long ago and is dark and icky. But like every year I squeeze to the deep, dark depths and pull out The Boxes.

I haul them all upstairs so that I can just "dig in" and go for it. And I went for it. I am so excited for The Prairie Kid to come home because he will be SO surprised. For a 4 year old he is so grateful and loves surprises, even little ones. I forgot to mention in my last post that when I pulled out the embellishments for the cookies he lit up and said, "Oh Mom! Are they a surprise? Oh thank you Mom!" And I got a great big hug!

I did save the nativity set for when he comes home. I didn't even peak in the bucket that has housed them since their "birth." We will evn use the same green circle of felt my mom placed them on ages ago.

So, do you want to see some of it?

First, in keeping with tradition, I broke a Christmas ball ornament. I do this every year. I even managed to break a bulb today too. I guess it was a good excuse to sweep floors.

Here is one of the items that I still like from 1972. Actually, my mom could probably tell you the exact year and place that she made this. I think she and a friend made a bunch one year and gave them out as presents. This guy is a favorite of mine...and he always hangs on the inside of the front door.

In case you're wondering, he is made out of a big thick sock...you know the kind you where under hiking boots.

The wreath in this next picture is from my dad's grave the first year he passed away. It sounds kind of morbid but it means so much to me. I am very thankful to have it and I am proud to hang it on my wall.

See the angel? My grandma gave me that when I was probably 11 or 12. And the two carolers? Definitly 1980's paper mache from my moms old collection! They're cute though.
And my mom made this little Christmas tree in the early '80s too. I did have to replace the strand of lights on it for the first time today!

And my mom brought me this beautiful embroidered table cloth back from Germany one year. It is really pretty but you can't see the detail in this picture.

Okay, I hate to admit it but I even went on imeem.com and played a bunch of Christmas music. And I sang along. I indulged my senses with the smell of a favorite Christmas candle as well. It is still snowing out and I am really enjoying this. Happy Birthday, Jesus.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

Outside. But inside there are still bundles of orange, gold and red flowers in vases, leaf-trimmed plates, leafy candles, scarecrow wreaths and Happy Harvest signs. Oops. I am sure not on the ball this year. Actually, many years I don't even get the Christmas boxes out until 1-2 weeks before the 25th. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons.

#1- I like my house spacious and simple. I am usually just as happy to put all of the Christmas decorations away shortly after Christmas as I am to get them out shortly before. Don't get me wrong, I love getting everything out, lighting things up, feeling the nostalgia as I decorate to my Amy Grant Christmas CD. I love going through the items and finding the things that I bought on the clearance rack last year that I forgot I bought after Christmas. I love the memories of the decorations that my mom passed on to me (at least the ones that aren't junky or from 1972 and should have stayed in 1972). I love the twinkling of the lights. My favorite thing, which has also been The Prairie Kid's favorite thing, is setting out the beautiful nativity that my mom painted around 1972. Thankfully she chose a classic ceramic set and painted it with a timeless pearlescent white glaze. And the very last piece we put out is the baby Jesus, which was molded to fit neatly in the manger.

#2- I get sick of the commercialism of Christmas. The truth is that I do not enjoy the day the radio stations start playing Christmas songs in the mix. I get tired of the redundant commercials reminding me that many people don't even celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Santa has replaced Jesus in many homes. I truly, deeply want to focus on the birth of my Savior during this time. Sure, I know that you can completely get into the whole shebang and still have Jesus as the center. For me, I guess I just don't get into the whole shebang like some.

We still do plenty for the season in our home. This morning my sweet boy asked me if we could make Christmas cookies. Little did he know that on last year's clearance rack were some fun embellishments that I had picked up and waited to share with him on a special day like today. So, we turned on some Christmas music (yes, I have 3 whole albums and that really is quite enough for me) and we made gingerbread men and trees. We talked about Jesus and had fun eating some dough. I am not sure if more sprinkles ended up on the floor or the cookies!

There were big snowflakes gently falling from the sky and there was even a part of me that wondered if I should get out the Christmas boxes today. Will I be able to handle the decorations for 3 whole weeks? I think it is worth if for a little boy who excitedly asked this morning "Is it Christmas, Mom?"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Addiction

Last night this was what I heard from The Prairie Kid:

"Dear Jesus, thank you for soda pop, cookies, gum drops, cookies, gum drops, soda pop, gum drops, cookies. Amen."

And we haven't even hit the peak of Christmas goodies. Great.

When I Say

When I say that 'I am a Christian', I am not shouting that 'I am clean living.

I'm whispering 'I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Piece Of My Heart

I got a random, unexpected phone call last night. I looked at my cell phone's caller ID and my thoughts went "really?"

It was a wonderful treat, this conversation. It immediately blessed me. We talked for a little less than a half hour. There were lots of questions about what is going on in life today but there was lots of reminiscing about the past. "Do you remember when...?" "Oh, and we..."

When The Prairie Daddy and I were newly married we met the foster care coordinator in our county through ministry. And I can't even remember the process or the decision being made because it was such a natural call on our lives but we enrolled in the foster parenting classes and became certified. Our first experience was intense and short lived. We wondered what we'd gotten ourselves into after the 3 exhausting, confusing weeks with a 10 year old boy who needed much more than we could offer him in his brokenness. The "system" immediately asked us if we were willing to try again. This time they asked us if we would take a teenage boy. I was only 24. How could I become the MOM to a kid only 9 years younger than me? They said I could view myself more as a mentor.

We accepted.

I immediately fell in love with the young man the first time I met him. I took him out to lunch to Taco John's (I let him choose) and we hit it off. He came for a weekend and then moved in. We spent just short of a year together before he was moved. We had some really good times and some pretty rough times. But I gave this kid a piece of my heart and to this day he still has it.

I missed him. We've had other kids live with us since then. Every one of them was different. I remember how in the beginning they told me I would "toughen up" and wouldn't get as attached. I didn't believe them but they were right. I think this first long-term kid got the biggest piece of my heart.

And he called.

As we talked he said things like "we need to have dinner together" and "maybe I could go to church with you sometime." And we both agreed that we wished he would have stayed with us through high school. It was amazing for me to hear him say that. We never wanted him to leave and we were committed to helping him finish out his youth but we didn't have that choice. I was beaming. I told him that after Thanksgiving we would definitely get a hold of him and get together. I am excited already.

I have always known in my heart that even though these kids would leave and they might not stay connected and they might mess up, get into trouble, have their caregivers drop the ball on them, drop out of school, end up in jail, etc, no one could ever take away the love that they got while in our home. And I knew sometime, years later, we might get to reconnect and find out that it is true...no one could ever take away from them what God gave them through us. It makes it all worth it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wannabe Tween Girl

How I am going from a post about simply being about God to Hannah Montana is beyond me. But I wanted to share a fun video with you.

Did I tell you in September that I helped a friend with her daughter's 12th birthday party? And part of "helping" was learning the Hannah Montana Hoedown Throwdown dance? I haven't ever watched a Hannah Montana movie or show, including the movie this dance came from. The Prairie Kid's sole exposure to Hannah Montana is through watching me and my friend try desperately to learn this dance. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you Google it and check it out. It is quite a dance. Fast, eclectic, interesting.

Well, as we learned the dance we also learned the song. This is the type of song that gets stuck in your head and plays over and over and over again. And The Prairie Kid insisted I help him through the broken record going on in his head to learn all of the words. He ended up memorizing the song and parts of the dance and we've managed to bond in new ways thanks to Hannah Montana. What mother doesn't just dream of her 4 year old son dancing and singing like a pre-teen girl with her? Smile. But, it has been fun and I caught it on video to share. Enjoy.


video

Simplicity

Sometimes I think we make things so much more difficult then they need to be. I am for sure guilty of this all too often. I can over analyze any situation. I am meditating on simplicity today. I'd like to internalize it, chew on it, imprint in in my inmost being in such a way that it becomes who I am, and therefore is the overflow of my heart.

The Shema. We've been memorizing this in the Sunday morning children's program at church. It is really THE epitome of life.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 4:9

Even though this verse is followed by more information about how to accomplish this I believe it is simple. ("These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." 5-9)

How often during my day, my life in Christ, do I get focused and hung up on things that distract me from this purpose. I love how Beth Moore put words, again, a simple set of words, to the deepest desire in my heart. She said, "I just want to be about God." She follows that statement with "Not about ministry. Not about my own agenda. Not about writing Bible studies. Not about me at all. When all is said and done, I would give my life for people to be able to say, 'She was just about God."

I just want to love God. Obey God. Get to know God better. And through that the rest will work out.

I simply, deeply, madly, steadily, truly, passionately, whole-heartedly just want to be about God.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wrapping It Up

I am going to finish my "thankful" list today. It has been good for me though!

181. Finding recipes online.
182. A happy preschooler.
183. Cleaning out the toys.
184. Throwing junk away.
185. Picking out things to donate to kids who don't have as many toys.
186. Organized toy shelves.
187. Having a good, deep belly laugh.
188. Non-stick cooking spray.
189. Freezers.
190. Celebrating birthdays.
191. Old friends.
192. God giving me glimpses of "what's next."
193. Armor.
194. Watching people accept the risky calls God has on their lives.
195. Community.
196. Bake sales.
197. Grants.
198. Deodorant.
199. Tape.
200. Finishing projects.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

God of Wonders

I knew that there was going to be the Leonid meteor shower last night. I read that even though it wouldn't be the best viewing from the US, that in the pre-dawn hours there would still be between 30 and 300 "shooting stars" every hour.

I have typically been waking up at 3:30 to go to the bathroom. Last night I slept until 5. I decided to peak out the windows and see what was going on. Nothing. I toured the main floor windows going from office to mudroom to dining room to family room and back again. Nothing. I let the dog out and decided I didn't want to miss anything spectacular that could be going on over the roof that I may not know about. I donned The Prairie Daddy's lovely muck boots and my heavy parka and went out to the deck in my pjs. I wanted to lay down but there were two owls hooting, a new cat that has come around our place was near, and it just felt altogether too spooky to lay vulnerable under the dark night sky. So I stood, staring into the beautiful infinity. The stars from our deck our phenomenal since we don't live near a city that can fade them out. On these dark nights with little moon light it is just awesome. You not only see the Milky Way, you know you're standing in it.

I started talking to my Father in my head. I was just praising Him for the beauty of the creation. And then, out of the corner of my eye a great big meteor shot across a short span of sky. I waited. Another. This one not quite so big. I think I only stayed out there for 5 minutes and saw about 5. I wished that I was curled up in a sleeping bag next to The Prairie Daddy for the remainder of the darkness but he was soundly, warmly sleeping inside and that is where I returned.

Lord, thank you for the stars.

"When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?" Psalm 8: 3-4


"He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit." Psalm 147:3-5

Abundantly Blessed

166. Meteor showers.
167. Maple syrup.
168. 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner for lazy days.
169. Clean sheets.
170. Google.
171. Google images.
172. A clean house.
173. Crock pots.
174. Hearing great news that a friend is finally expecting.
175. Thank you cards.
176. Snow covered mountains.
177. Making plans.
178. Having my hubby call and check in.
179. Mascara.
180. Table cloths and place mats.

Monday, November 16, 2009

So Many Gifts...Thank You, Lord

151. Baking soda.
152. Preschool.
153. Being able to say I am sorry when I sin.
154. A day without plans.
155. Music.
156. Anticipation. I actually like it.
157. Comments on my blog posts.
158. Playing movies on the laptop for The Prairie Kid on long drives.
159. Technology.
160. Patience.
161. Hearing God.
162. Jesus' example.
163. Corn starch.
164. Baby wipes.
165. The prairie.

Full Circle

This morning I am pondering how I feel. Am I cautiously hopeful? What does that mean?

Hope
Pronunciation: \ˈhōp\
Function: verb
intransitive verb 1 : to cherish a desire with anticipation 2 archaic : trust

Did you see that archaic definition? TRUST.

Trust
Pronunciation: \ˈtrəst\
Function: noun
1 a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b : one in which confidence is placed2 a : dependence on something future or contingent : hope

Look what happens to this Proverb when you interchange the word "hope" with "trust":
Proverbs 13:12 reads "Hope deferred makes a heart sick."
Trust deferred makes a heart sick.

Hmmm. Interesting.

So, what am I feeling this morning? Hope. Trust. I still believe it is God's will for me to be healed. Where does that "caution" come in? I saw my bioscanner Saturday morning. The Prairie Daddy and I both prayed and prayed before going. We were hoping that God would use this method to pinpoint a root cause of my issues. The bioscanner thinks he found it. We started a new protocol.

I am hopeful...but...

Part of my hope sure is that "this is it" as far as my issues are concerned. But...I trust God that if this isn't that end He is still trustworthy. My caution is in myself. "Prairie Mama, don't get so excited that you will fall if this isn't it." Sure I am hopeful that I will be healed now...but my true hope, trust must be in the Father. I am trusting that God wants what is best. If His best for me is not to fully be healed at this time, or through this means, then it is His best. And His best is my best. I just have to be cautious that I stay aligned with Him.

So, pulling all of my thoughts together to complete my pondering this morning:

Our hope and trust must remain steady on the One who deserves it, God. Not on what God will do for us. If I put my trust in the outcomes, the circumstances, I will quite possibly be disappointed. If I put my trust in Him, I will surely not be disappointed.

For He is good, for He is good, for He is good to me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

So Much To Be Thankful For

136. Our church.
137. Our church family.
138. People praying for me.
139. Salad.
140. Hanging out with family.
141. People willing to serve in ministry.
142. Little cowboy friends for my cowboy son.
143. Non-cowboy friends for my cowboy son.
144. Seeing pics of my nephew on his latest trip to Paris and Congo.
145. My mom being willing to shop for me since I live too far from the Gap and the sale ended today.
146. New pajamas for The Prairie Kid.
147. A new protocol to hopefully help me heal up.
148. Rest.
149. The empty box that will entertain my child for awhile.
150. Heated seats in the car.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Home And Still Thankful

121. Road trips.
122. Getting home after a long day on the road.
123. My mattress.
124. Hope.
125. Prime Rib.
126. Family.
127. Warm clothes at a freezing cold football game.
128. My old college town and...
129. Memories.
130. Coconut and Quinoa treats.
131. Gluten free almond cookies sent by my sister.
132. Rest areas.
133. Getting excited about God with family and friends.
134. Hugs.
135. Scarves.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Adventure Time

We're leaving for Laramie in a few hours. The Prairie Kid's Hero, and cousin, made it to the state championship football game with his team. He's a senior and has had quite a season. We've loved going to watch his games. For the first time the high school championships are going to be played in the stadium at the University of Wyoming. We're excited to head down there to support him.

The Prairie Daddy and I are both alumni of UW. And The Hero's brother and his wife live in Laramie (remember the wedding in which The Prairie Kid was the ring bearer? That's them!), as well as some other friends of ours. It should be a fun time.

I am not quite sure what I am going to eat yet. That is the stinky part of life right now when I leave home. This might be a struggle. I guess I will have to pack some of my "pre-made" meals that I put in the freezer. I've been making big batches of things that sound good that I can actually eat and freezing meal-size portions. It has help a lot. Not really what I want for the road but after a few bad nights and a flare up I am not willing to risk it.

I will see my bioscanner in the morning. I sure hope he figures something out with me. I am really, really ready to have some relief and answers. This has been a rough season.

Well, I suppose I won't be getting anywhere blogging! I need to get this family packed and on the road! Yay! Go Broncs!

Keep On Truckin'

106. Electric blankets.
107. Road reports.
108. Co-ops.
109. Visiting friends and family.
110. Super glue.
111. Songs that someone else wrote but seem to be your own heart's cry.
112. Hope.
113. Hot showers.
114. Yummy smelling soap.
115. Nail polish.
116. Sharing life with others.
117. Caring friends and...
118. Random acts of kindness.
119. Facebook.
120. Long drives with my hubby so I actually get to spend time with him.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thinking Beyond Today

91. Flowers.
92. Smell of a Christmas tree.
93. Hot tubbing on a clear, dark night.
94. Flip flops.
95. The feel of thick grass under your feet.
96. Fall.
97. My iPod.
98. Baby calves.
99. Pushing cows.
100. Shooting prairie dogs.
101. Snow mobiles.
102. Blogging.
103. Traveling.
104. Cheese.
105. My pillow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Enjoying The Walk

76. Waking up without an alarm.
77. Reconciliation.
78. Children's Relief International.
79. Our veterans.
80. Freedom.
81. My Rock and Refuge.
82. Worship.
83. Sweaters.
84. Flat irons.
85. Sisters and sister-in-laws.
86. Care packages.
87. My rice bag.
88. Games.
89. Buying Christmas presents for others.
90. Answered prayer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Marching

61. Microwaves.
62. Quilts.
63. Humor.
64. Cuddling.
65. Facebook.
66. Working in children's ministry...
67. With an awesome team of people.
68. To be married to a wonderful provider.
69. 4 years. It is a great age.
70. Being able to confidently approach the Throne.
71. Tetris.
72. Electric blankets.
73. Satellite radio.
74. Cup holders.
75. Getting encouraging notes in the mail.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Onward Soldier

46. Melatonin.
47. Broken fevers.
48. Sunshine and...
49. Blue sky.
50. Weekends.
51. The Amazing Race.
52. Reclining sofas.
53. Every day is a new day.
54. God's mercies are new every morning.
55. The Bible.
56. Email.
57. Sales.
58. Intercessory prayer.
59. Fuzzy socks.
60. Kleenex.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sword AND Spear

31. Grace.
32. Getting to watch our nephew play in the state football championship next week.
33. Digital photography.
34. Ear plugs.
35. Instant Netflix.
36. Wireless Internet.
37. Friends that bring meals for my family to let us know they love us.
38. Being able to give.
39. Chicken.
40. Microwavable neck bags.
41. Texting.
42. Saturday afternoons with my hubby.
43. God's plans to prosper, not to harm; to give us a hope and a future.
44. Beth Moore Bible studies.
45. Pumpkin.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm Not Hiding Behind My Shield...

I am going forward with my sword in the air!

16. Thermometers.
17. Natural remedies for flu symptoms.
18. Children's Motrin.
19. Epsom salt.
20. Being able to love on a little boy who doesn't feel well.
21. Left over Halloween candy to bribe a 4 year old to take the nasty-tasting remedies.
22. Videos.
23. God's gentle correction. He turned me from my flesh this morning.
24. Psalm 25.
25. 60 high school football players saying "thank you" for the baked potato I put on their plate last night at their team dinner before semi-finals.
26. Good grass fed natural beef.
27. Sleep.
28. Comfy sweat pants.
29. Honey.
30. The sound of a child singing.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Warfare

I am inspired by a family of bloggers that I follow. They're all posting 100 things they're thankful for. I think I need this weapon in my battle. : ) I know that if I am focused on the good stuff then I am not focused on the frustrating. So, I will start off today with part of my list...and we'll see how it goes...I may need to do this way past 100. : )

I am thankful for...

1. Having a personal relationship with the God of the universe.
2. My dear husband.
3. My precious son.
4. A home with extra rooms where I can invite people in.
5. The view of the mountains out my windows.
6. Eggnog. One of my few treats left.
7. Gluten-free oatmeal. Yes, I am thankful for it.
8. A computer in which to connect to others even though I am in the middle of nowhere.
9. My church family.
10. My apron. I love cooking without having to change my clothes afterward.
11. High school football. (Win that semi-final tomorrow Broncs!)
12. Fall decorations.
13. Wyoming weather. It is 65 in November.
14. Digital photography.
15. Girlfriends.

Is This Helmet Too Big On Me?

Life is a battle lately. Every day, every night may bring something different. It is a roller coaster and a waiting game. I have "good" days and bad days. I am learning by trial and error how to better prevent the bad nights which prevent bad days. But some of the battle lies within my head. I am struggling to find myself content or accepting this current situation in my life without resistance. I feel like I am "over it," "done with it" and I am ready to move on. I am frustrated, weary, and at times down right mad. I know there is more purpose in this then I am currently aware of but that in itself isn't making the process easier. I usually can focus on that "future purpose" in trials and buckle down and "get 'er done" and come out having learned much. I don't feel that way these days. I felt like I learned a lot in August and had some great "heart work" done, but now its just a waiting game and I don't see the end in sight.

I had a rough week last week. Ended up at the urgent care clinic, had tests done, found out more about symptoms but no root cause. The Prairie Daddy and I, as well as both of my alternative practitioners, truly think there is an underlying kidney infection that hasn't been pinpointed. I am hoping and hoping that soon someone can figure that out. Meanwhile I have recognized more sensitivities to food in my body and have had to take myself off even more than what I was originally taken off of. It seems pretty pathetic that one of my biggest "treats" is gluten-free oatmeal with blueberries. I don't even like oatmeal.

When I can push aside my temporal, fleshly view and lift my eyes unto the mountains, I know where my Help comes from. I believe this is a season. I believe there will be purpose in it. I just cry out "bring Yourself glory, o Lord. I am willing." I look forward to the time when I am writing about the victory.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Homework Helper

My mom decided that since I have had such struggle with my health she wanted to come visit. I was thrilled. So, she flew in on Saturday and she gets to stay until tomorrow. She is enjoying some time with The Prairie Kid as well. They have been doing "homework" together, practicing writing his A,B,C's. It has been so cute!



Toothy Times

The Prairie Kid was excited to carve a pumpkin with me this year. I thought it would be fun to Google "happy jack-o-lanterns" and have him pick a face. Unfortunately, scary ones came up on the search too and that is where he fixated. I decided it wasn't worth the battle and I didn't want to "ruin" his fun pumpkin carving experience so I went through the pictures with him and we agreed on a "scary enough" for him but a not-too-scary for me face.

We started out with a beautiful pumpkin from our church's youth fund raiser:

We drew the face on and I cut the pieces so that The Prairie Kid could pull the chunks out


The Prairie Daddy came home and joined in the fun

And wah-lah! A toothy finished product!
On Halloween we have a great, fun party at our church. The Prairie Kid decided the day before that he would be a lion. I didn't push for an answer ahead of time because I had 4 things ready to throw together without having to go buy anything for an indecisive, "change-your-mind-every-five-minutes" four year old. I was happy he wanted to be a lion, it was my first choice!


I got to paint his face up:
And I sure thought he was one cute ferocious lion
Oooh, toothy.

Now the only remnants of Halloween are plastic wrapped morsels of goodness that The Prairie Mama has to constantly explain are limited and for after lunch and dinner only. : )

Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm Not The Only Torture Victim

We branded calves at our place today. Poor things never know what they're in for but their torture only lasts a few minutes at most. 3 vaccinations, a new ear tag, a burned hip and if they are boys, they lose their manhood so to speak. My job was the usual: paper work, load RFID tags into the piercing guns, help with mixing vaccinations, provide treats and beverages, and cook lunch. Everything went well.

The Prairie Kid "helped" push calves up


Burn, baby, burn


Manhood eliminated



Happy Helper

A little ear piercing

"Mama! Where are you? Ouch, ouch, ouch"


Self-Entertainment
Now its off to town to watch The Prairie Kid's hero play some football! Go Broncs!

Torture

We're busy processing cattle this week. I like to spoil all of the cowboys with goodies and meals. Yesterday I spoiled them with cinnamon rolls and even got to sneak a few to my Bible study gals. I haven't made cinnamon rolls in a long time; it is my dad's recipe that I grew up with.

I did not get to taste the cinnamon rolls. Assembling cinnamon rolls, smelling cinnamon rolls baking in your home, and removing fresh baked cinnamon rolls from the oven and not getting to taste them is torture. Sheer torture. I seriously told some friends that I would have rather been punched in the face than have to resist tasting those sweet, yummy buns of goodness. I didn't cheat though.

Object of torture.

Okay, now that you want to cry for me I have to fess up that it wasn't cheating to get to eat a little of the caramel. Here was my "reward"



I also made a batch of white chocolate coconut oatmeal cookies this week. Since I cannot have those either I did make myself some gluten-free carob cookies. They looked beautiful, stayed soft, and well, they tasted...tasted like something other than a real cookie. They must be an acquired taste. But I can't complain, right? Because I got to eat a cookie. At least a fake cookie.
I also made a batch of rice krispie squares and a batch of chocolate chip M&M cookie bars. Yep, couldn't touch those either. Maybe all of this torture is just to help me appreciate treats in a new way. Sure, its all a lesson in appreciation.

No it's not. It is torture. Sheer torture. Now if you'll please excuse me, I'm going to have a cup of rice milk.