Monday, March 30, 2009

I 'd Like The Whole Pie, Please

I ate humble pie yesterday. Not just a slice, the WHOLE thing. Those witnessing my feast may not have felt that I ate it all, maybe just two slices, but my gut said "That was one big pie!" This will be another "entertainment at my expense post" for you all.

My friend Theresa the Tremendous and I were invited to help with another friend's wedding. Theresa is the friend of mine who got married last Easter and had the awful car wreck leaving my house 2 days before the wedding (see last March's blog posts). Anyways, our friend Brett is getting married and his bride doesn't live here. Their wedding is in 5 weeks and she will move here in 3. We met her for the first time yesterday. It was a lot of question asking to find out more about her, how we can help, her tastes, etc. After about an hour and a half and things were wrapping up I said, "well, can we pray for you guys?" They accepted so we gathered round.

I began, and the words were not coming easy. I stumbled and muttered, stuttered and struggled. But I trust God knows what I need to pray for even when it doesn't sound pretty. I prayed a lot of "God, just bless Brett and Jamie in this time. Keep them safe. Pull the details together for Brett and Jamie."

After I prayed, Theresa the Tremendous prayed. Then my dear hubby stopped us and said, "I just want to clarify something...your name is Angie, right?"

OH MY GOODNESS!!! As my face began to turn the deepest possible shade of embarrassed, and my body temperature rose to the peak of a blistering desert summer day, I said, "I was saying Jamie, wasn't I?" I was humiliated. HUMILIATED. What happened? I continually said, "I am so sorry. I don't know what happened! I got messed up in my head! I was even writing Jamie on my notes!" But on the way there I had told The Prairie Daddy that Brett's bride's name was Angie!

The praying continued (although I didn't speak another word until it was over). I tried to concentrate but I really just wanted to vomit and then see if I could turn back time and start over. My gut didn't settle down for about an hour after we left.

I don't think I will EVER forget Angie's name again. Oh my. I told them it is a good thing I wasn't helping with the invitations!

The Prairie Daddy did comfort me when he told me later that in the beginning of the prayer I said Angie. Then somehow I morphed her name and it became Jamie.

I am not sure I will be craving any pie for awhile!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

How?

Where does time go? Who can keep up?
My Nephew is turning 1 today. I am pondering "how?" I know literally, it has been a year since he was born (smart one, aren't I?). But in my heart I cannot figure out why time has to fly by so fast with these precious little ones!

I don't know if you were a blog reader last Spring but here are some reminiscing photos. I will try to post some new ones but some may be repeats.

Here I am holding him at 2 weeks at his home in Seattle:
He visited the ranch in July

And we hung out again in October but this time in Seattle again


And here we are in Denver in February


I guess I cannot complain, we got to see each other quite a bit this first year but I admit it isn't enough!!! Happy Birthday little man!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A New Approach

One of the main philosophies I have in parenting is conserving energy. A tired, worn out parent is not usually an effective or joyed parent.

I decided to conserve some more energy and be a better parent.

For Jack.

Jack was wasting so much of my energy as I drug his puppy toosh across the yard to the place where we had him tied. The other morning while doing so in my pajamas I realized "enough already! This is wasting my energy!"

The Prairie Dad agreed to let me approach Jack differently for a week and "see what happens." (Since Jack is home with me all day this doggie parenting stuff kinda ends up on my plate). When Jack has gotten let out "accidentally" (by The Prairie Kid) without being tied he has taken off running out of the yard and all about the area and will not obey the "come" command. We were going after him every time in the car or the four-wheeler and spending a lot of time chasing him down until we could coax him to us with a treat and then scolding and kenneling him upon returning home.

I finally just thought "what if we just let him go?" Two things would most likely result: #1- he would just keep going further and further each time and get worse and worse. #2- he would realize that we trust him and get it out of the system and come home.

We've left him out a couple times, and even left the ranch while he is out and about (although he always stays within view of the house) and when we've returned after dark he is here ready to come in. Today it is snowing out and he has been out 3 times without taking off and has returned to the door when he is ready to be warm again. Who knows, maybe he will learn that we will trust him and let him "do his thing" and he'll get some of this out of his system.

At this point in the house we're just trying to keep the toys put away so they won't get eaten and conserving our energy in ways that we see we can.

These energy conservers have made life with Jack a little easier. And I have enjoyed cuddling and playing with him. And he and The Prairie Kid played together for quite a while yesterday.

Time will tell. : )

Savoring The Times

It wasn't too terribly long ago that I was posting about The Prairie Kid's resiliency. It was a challenging time in our home dealing with his choices of pottying around the house. I forgot to report that it ended after two weeks (two very long weeks in my memory). It was as though he just had to get to a place where he chose different. Thank the Lord! I hope he realized that his positive choices resulted in positive consequences. Something must have clicked cause he sure hasn't done that again!

At some point right after those two weeks I had a revelation of sorts. I just really sincerely realized that I am always commenting to people about how time flies and how The Prairie Kid grows up too fast. I realized that I need to savor the time. Before I know it I will not have all day, everyday with my son. Even though we aren't constantly interacting in the house all day, we always seem to be in tuned with one another as we go about our business.

I have been savoring. I have been soaking up, eating up, and meditating on these times as of late. And my heart is filled with joy. As exciting as it is to see his growth I also realize there is one more thing that is now only a part of the past. I have to set my mind to be joyful in the growth or I will be saddened by the loss. This all goes so fast! If I let myself think about sending The Prairie Kid off to school I about cry. I truly must decide not to let myself go to such places. I am in the moment. I am breathing in "the now."

And boy is it fun! The Prairie Kid constantly makes my heart sing. He is learning so much! He has been spelling his name verbally, writing it on paper (in fact he just brought a pencil and paper over for writing his name as I typed this!), singing songs I didn't know he knew, asking to learn more words to the songs, identifying letters, putting away toys better, playing longer and more intentionally and trying to memorize scripture! No kidding! Yesterday on the way home from church he was trying to say the verse that we have been encouraging kids to memorize in Sunday School:

"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20:31

I have also been listening to his play. It has been so rewarding to hear the manners that his toys have! : ) Manners have been a part of the foundation of training The Prairie Kid. I believe that manners are one of the best ways we can show love and respect to those around us, focusing on others and not just ourselves. Anyways, when The Prairie Kid is creating dialog between his toys it goes something like this:

"Oh, excuse me. I am sorry. Kank you. Please."

Even his pirates are polite. My sister and I were laughing on the phone when I shared this with her and we created our own "polite pirate" dialog:

"Arghh, matey. Please walk the plank!" "Aye-Aye, kank you for your bounty! Excuse me while I run off with it. Sorry to have taken the treasure, arghh."

Sure, life isn't void of tantrums and issues. But when I see the joys of the moment and relish them and ask the Lord to parent through me and be the kind of parent He is to me, then it is sure better. Better doesn't necessarily mean happy or easy; it means I know I am right where God wants me to be and that is way better than the temporal happy or easy that I see this world chasing. God's idea of life to the fullest and "the best" is becoming more and more my own idea of full life and "the best."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Relationally Full

I am just so thankful for the wonderful friends that we have. It seems like it took 6 years, almost 7, to develop/find really great friends here. When you live outside of a town of 350 it isn't necessarily easy to find the right fit. For years I struggled not having close girlfriends here. But God brought in some families that have become so very dear to us. And everyone hits it off! The guys get along great, the girls get along great, the guys and the girls get along great, the kids love each other...it is awesome! We are enjoying regular get togethers just for fun, a couple's small group on Sunday evenings, girl's Bible study on Thursday mornings, and the guys are going to be crazy and start meeting on Monday mornings at 5:30am to make breakfast together and have an accountability group. What a treasure!

What fills my heart with joy is that there is such love between us. I don't come home wondering "Do they really like me? Did I say something wrong? What do they think?" And if I really don't trust someone I think those thoughts after hanging out. But not with these awesome people! I am just free in these friendships. Free to be me, free to love others right where they're at, free to forgive, free to blow it and apologize and know everything will be fine. Christ is obviously the center of these great friendships and He has allowed a very quick, sincere and deep bond to form. Yea!

Oh, I am so thankful. My cup runneth over. You all know who you are. I love you.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jack The Ripper

I know, it sounds horrible right? You probably think I am so awful for titling my post after a serial killer. Well, there have been some murders and mournings going on around our place lately. Life with Jack is a roller coaster ride. And as cute as he is, and as good as he can be with The Prairie Kid, is he truly right for us? I am not sure. This post might give you a better idea of the adjustment we're trying to make. I welcome your advice!


In my "introduction post" about Jack I did tell you that he is a chewer and a runner. But he also has gone poop, pee, and puked in the house. He has destroyed several things. He runs away if you don't hold his collar all the way from the house to the place we have to tie him outside and back again. He barks at every sight and sound outside. And there are a lot of those out on the prairie!

I know this looks like the face of an innocent pup...
...but it isn't! My two front flower beds have been ransacked by the "innocent pup."

This may look sweet...
...but it is really the face of guilt! Guilty for popping the Whinnie The Pooh ball, tearing apart the beloved baseball bat, tormenting the cats terribly, ruining the brand new leash we got him the first day, tearing apart my old saddle pad, digging holes in the yard...

And murdering "Blue Guy"...
...poor Blue Guy. He was a favorite.
Yes, this may look like the sweetest of friends...

...but this sweet friend taught The Prairie Kid to poop outside. Yes, my son took a dump on the front walk and came in proudly saying "look! I pooped outside like a dog!" (okay, I can't really blame this on Jack but it did happen!)
Sick!
So, ultimately here is our thoughts:
- We are not "tie up or kennel your dog" kinda people. We want to let a four-legged friend freely roam the house and yard
- We are not "train a dog" kinda people. I am willing to do small stuff, but this pup needs some major training.
- We are more "ranch dog" not "hunting dog" kinda people. Jack has exhibited many more "hunting dog" attributes than we expected. He points, he sniffs, he senses, he tracks. This doggie got hound!
- The Prairie Daddy would love a dog that goes out easily to work with him on the four-wheeler. Jack would only run off and terrorize every wild animal within 2000 yards and not return when called.
However,
- I don't want to "quit" on Jack
- We would only release him to a good home, suitable for his characteristics (anyone want to train a bird dog?)
- He is really sweet to The Prairie Kid.
I have asked God to reveal His will. At least we know that Jack didn't get euthanized or go to the shelter to be kenneled completely for awhile.
Sigh.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No Spring Chicken

The Prairie Daddy and I went on a great date. I love dating my husband. This date was in the making for FOUR YEARS! Yes, you read it right, FOUR YEARS! I will give you a brief history:

Christmas morning of 2004 The Prairie Daddy and I opened a fantastic gift from my family: a gift card for Red Lodge Ski Resort, a gift certificate for dinner in Red Lodge, and one night at a Red Lodge B&B.

Christmas morning of 2004 we announced that I was pregnant! Pregnancy and skiing are a "no-no." We did use our B&B and dinner out eventually but we saved the skiing part. Thankfully, after checking with the resort, there was not an expiration date on the gift card.

Finally, we used it up this weekend.

We drove up to Red Lodge, MT (about an hour and a half from home) Sunday after church. The Prairie Kid got to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house. We checked into the historic Pollard hotel downtown and our nice room overlooked main street from the second floor. It was great!
We decided to splurge for dinner and went to the Carbon County Steakhouse. Wow! I was super impressed. The service was impeccable. This place made you feel like you were the only ones there. The timing was perfect, the atmosphere was relaxing yet classy, and everything was great. The food was awesome too. We started out with a seared scallop in a forgotten liquor/broth of some sort with onions and fresh bread followed by a Caesar salad. We shared a New York that was prepared with sauteed Jack Daniels, onions, and mushrooms with wild rice and sauteed vegetables. And for dessert we had their own special version of mud pie. Yum!

Our hotel included a great breakfast in their dining room. As if we hadn't been spoiled enough at dinner! The Prairie Daddy ordered the Gran Marnier French Toast and I ordered The Pollard Benedict, a bagel toast with smoked salmon, brie, a poached egg and topped with a dill Hollandaise. Yummmy!

We headed off to the slopes with our satisfied palettes and full tummies. I had to rent equipment and The Prairie Daddy sported his 1990's ski team skis and gear. (I have to admit, he looks darn cute in that Univ. of Wyoming ski jacket!) Have I mentioned that my manly-man was on the ski team for the University of Wyoming? : )

It was my first experience with shape skis. I didn't mind them except they slowed me down way too much on the flat stretches.

We skied our hearts (and quads) out. I teased The Prairie Daddy that he skied like he had something to prove. I didn't stand a chance against him but I did really well on my technique. The weather was pretty good except for some late winds and snow. The slopes were a little icy but we stayed on some that weren't too bad. I had forgotten how long you have to sit on the lifts! For awhile we were on the "slow lifts" side of the mountain and we would ride lifts for almost 15 minutes to ski for 3-4! Finally we found a 4 minute high-speed quad for a 4 minute run.

When the lifts closed at 4 we were both pooped and I can tell that I am no longer a spring chicken when it comes to skiing! But I do hope it isn't another four years before we go again!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

You've Waited Long Enough

Okay, Okay, I know some of you have been patiently waiting (or maybe you haven't been patiently waiting) but I think you've suffered long enough. Maybe.

The Prairie Kid has expanded his prayers and pleas as of late. I shared with you that he has been asking Jesus for a baby brother, or a baby in mommy's tummy. I have prayed that Jesus give my son a sibling.

Well, our prayers have been answered! The Prairie Kid gets a sibling!

Last Thursday we were preparing to eat lunch with our friends Faith the Fabulous and her cutie pa-tutie, Caleb. The Prairie Kid decided he was going to pray for lunch. "Dear Jesus, kank you for daddy and mommy. Pray for I want a dog. Pray Patch comes over. Amen."

Patch is our brother and sister-in-laws dog. He gets to come stay when they are out of town and he plays with my son so well! It is like having a babysitter! Or a sibling who doesn't yell back.

During lunch Faith the Fabulous, who happens to work at the local vet clinic, says "there is a really sweet dog at the clinic that they're trying to find a home for." And proceeds to woo me with details of this young dog who got picked up by our sheriff friend and hadn't been claimed. He would either have to be put down or taken to the humane society. And he was so sweet that the vet and his assistant really wanted to find him a good home. And he was good with kids.

Now, let me fill you in on a pre-blogging story. I did not grow up with dogs. When we were planning our wedding I wanted to get one. One day in the local paper, about 3-5 weeks before our wedding, I came across an ad for a border collie mix needing a new home. The Prairie Daddy and I went to meet the dog, who was 5 1/2 at the time, and brought him home. His name was Gus. He was the best. He was immediately attached, never took off (unless the lightening was super bad), rode on the ATV, played, obeyed, etc. Last January Gus got sick and passed very quickly one morning. It was traumatic and horrible on us all. I have never really wanted another dog since then. The Prairie Kid, even though he was only 2 when Gus died, talks about Gus regularly. He even prays that Gus will get better. I knew that a dog would be good for The Kid but I didn't want to do it again.

So, I shared with The Prairie Daddy about the pup in the clinic. We both agreed that we could go meet him. I clarified that I didn't want to do this but that it would be good for The Kid to have a dog. And I clarified that if we went and met him that we'd most likely bring him home.

Last Friday we told The Prairie Kid that we were going to go "meet a dog." And that we did. And then we brought him home.

There is much unknown about this dog. Here is the scoop:

He might be around a year and a half.
He is an uknown mix and might have some McNab and some hound in him.
He's around 40 pounds.
He's neutered.
He's a chewer and a runner.
He sheds a little but not too bad .
He acts like he's never seen other animals and wants to torment our 2 outdoor cats.
He plays really well with The Prairie Kid.
He has really cool eyes.
He didn't hate me for giving him a bath but didn't love it either.
He is really energetic but does well laying around on his bed.
He will tell you that he needs to go outside to chase a cat but not when he needs to pee.

Wanna meet him? We named him "Jack." I have already ordered him an engraved tag and a new leash. He came with a nice collar.



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Childlike Faith And Answered Prairie Kid Prayers

The Prairie Kid got an answered prayer. : )

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Pleas Of The Heart

I have been experiencing some sweet times of worship lately. Our God is so deserving and worthy of our worship. He is also so gracious and good to bless us in those times as well. I am continually amazed that through Jesus we have free access to the Holy of Holies. I am awed that I can enter the throne room of God and call upon Him. "Daddy!" To think that each and every one of us can have a father/child relationship with the One who spoke the heavens into place! Wow.

The two songs that I will post below have become songs that are truly the pleas of my heart. It if funny because it is as if the writers borrowed the longings of my heart and soul while they put the words and music together.

I hope you enjoy them.




One Pure And Holy Passion (One Day Live Album Version) - Candi Pearson






Set The World On Fire - Britt Nicole