Monday, June 29, 2009

A Boy And His Dog

I was reminded today of some cute pictures I took of The Prairie Kid and Jack this month. I haven't given you updates on Jack lately. Doesn't mean life with him is uneventful!

The shock collar came back in the mail and worked for a week and kicked the bucket again. Oh joy! I learned my lesson about buying a product for too cheap from another country (yes, even Canada was a risk!) on eBay. I put a want ad in the local bulletin (our town is too small to have a newspaper so we have a classified ad bulletin we can post info in) for a remote shock collar. We still need one that is for sure! Why, you ask?

Last Thursday I had to give the dog a bath because the overwhelming smell of rotting dead animal in his coat about knocked me out when I went to let him out of his kennel in the morning. He must have gotten into something the evening before and The Prairie Daddy was the one that put him to bed. That evening the phone rang and it was a neighbor (remember, neighbors around The Prairie are not right next door). "Do you have a dog?" Sheepishly I replied, "yes." "Well, he was trying to kill baby deer and I put him in a horse trailer. If he hadn't of been so friendly I would have killed him." I was humiliated. I apologized profusely and headed down the road to get Jack. He has been on "lock down" since then.

But even though there are still trials, Jack has been a trooper with The Prairie Kid. The Prairie Kid is still learning about respecting Jack and thinking about how he'd like it if someone treated him the way he is treating the dog. Jack pals around with The Prairie Kid nonetheless and hasn't responded inappropriately to the torture before we intervene. The Prairie Kid has also liked pretending that he is a dog. I caught these pics of him at the beginning of the month wearing the shock collar and mimicking Jack's behavior.

And this is what reminded me that I had those pics today...just my two kids taking a little rest.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Prairie Warning: You Can't Say I Didn't Tell You

We are enjoying a steady flow of visitors on The Prairie this season. We had several flow through during the Spring and now we're into the Summer group. This past week my cousin and his wife from California were traveling through. The Prairie Kid sees new people as an opportunity for new play-victims (smart kid). He must know that new people have energy available to play things that Mom and Dad are worn out on.

The first "play date" was a pretty simple one that didn't require a whole lot from The Big Cousin. They built a ranch together on the family room floor.

Then The Prairie Kid decided that he was going to make The Big Cousin a a pen. So much for plastic bulls the size of a stick of gum on the family room floor.
Here is The Prairie Kid locking up his new bovine:

But then The Bovine turned into a crazy monster! Run Prairie Kid!

The Prairie Kid was obviously not worried about The Monster... the hands on the hips tell me that he was really reminding The Big Cousin that he was a bull in a pen, not a monster.

And what do you do with bulls? Buck them out of course!
Hmmm, maybe there was more to the reason that The Big Cousin and his wife only wanted to stay two nights on The Prairie.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Move Along Lil' Doggies

Hey Boss! Hep! Hep! HEP! Come on cows! God cows!

That would be the sound on The Prairie this morning. I woke up this morning not having any idea that right away my plans would change. As soon as I plopped down on the big comfy recliner looking out the french doors over The Prairie with my coffee and journal and Bible the phone rang. It was The Prairie Daddy and I had 30 minutes to be at the barn if I wanted to help move cows. I raced to get ready and wake up The Prairie Kid and to the barn we went. The Prairie Kid and I were on one 4-wheeler, The Prairie Daddy on another, and a nephew and his friend on the third. The other nephew and my brother-in-law saddled up a couple of horses. We headed out from the barn corrals and ended up well past our house. It was probably 2 1/2 - 3 miles overall.

Here we are less than half way

And this is a picture of The Prairie Kid and me

And again...

Here is one of the nephews and his friend

My cutie lil' cowboy

Looking back at The Prairie Daddy. Check out that grass! Praise God!

The Kids (and Patch, the dog)

Get along lil' doggies (or cows)

Taking a break while The Prairie Daddy counted the cows going through a gate

My brother-in-law and his youngest boy


Almost there!

Ta-da-la! You're there! Enjoy that grass!

It was a gorgeous morning. A little brisk but beautifully sunny and green after some great rain yesterday. I am sorry that my cousins who were in town the past two days weren't here for this morning. They left about 30 minutes before I got the phone call. Bummer. At least they're enjoying Yellowstone today!


Did you know The Prairie Kid has 3 basic "needs" in life? He seems to be in a position to be quite content to survive with these 3 things:
1. Gum
2. Chapstick
3. Money
I forgot to tell you that a few weeks ago he brought in a play wallet that I hadn't seen for awhile. When he opened it up I did a double take...there was real money in there! And it wasn't a couple dollars. I asked him to show me what he had. Out came a...$20...and another....$20....and...a $50! The 3 year old Prairie Kid had $90 in his wallet! I got my wallet out and asked him if he'd trade me. He agreed, so we traded $1 for each of his big bills. How did The Prairie Daddy and I miss the fact that $90 was missing out of one of our wallets?
This past week there were a few mornings that suddenly I realized The Prairie Kid had a mouth full of gum. Where did he get it? I thought out of my purse...but it was hanging up in the mud room out of reach. Did he climb the shoe shelves and get some off of the top shelf in the mudroom cabinet? Maybe.
Then I was cleaning house for my cousins to come to town and I was putting miscellaneous annoying toys in places that would hide them from sight. And that is when I found this...

So, he had somehow gotten a whole pack and had it stashed. Well, at least I am kept on my toes and not allowed to slack off as a mom!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Who Am I And What Am I Doing Here?

Now that the marathon is over I think my brain turned to mush along with my body. I am usually up on the date, the events of the week, who I am, etc. Not so much the case these days.

Did you know that June 30th is not two weeks from June 23rd? I didn't. Last night I was telling friends that there is a concert on Friday, June 28th in two weeks. First of all, June 28th is a Sunday, and secondly, Friday is 2 days away. What happened to me? Then, I had it set in my head that my sister and nephew would be here in two weeks...June 30th. That is next week! Wow. It's probably a good thing my car is in the shop because I don't know if I should even be allowed to drive!

Last night The Prairie Daddy was in the Passion Play. There is an awesome ministry called Mission Adventures at Cowboys With A Mission. Molly the Marvelous and her hubby Dave the Dynamic run this program. A youth group can bring their kids to the CWAM base and the MA program trains them for five days for a short term mission. Then they all head up to the Crow reservation in Montana and serve for 5 days. Sweet, eh? Well, they also put on the Passion Play for the groups. My hubbers was invited to play Pilate. The play was moving and intense. They all did a great job.

The Prairie Kid was off playing with other kids when the play got started. But as it moved outside and Jesus was sentenced to crucifixion, The Prairie Kid and another boy had migrated our direction. They had stripped Jesus down to a loin cloth and there was fake blood all over him as they reenacted the guards beating him all the way to the place where they nailed him to the cross. On the ride home The Prairie Kid kept asking "Why they bang that man? Who that they bang?"

W had to explain to him that they really didn't "bang" that man, who is Mr. Chad. It was pretend. But that is what really happened to Jesus. And we talked about how Jesus didn't stay dead, but rose again on the 3rd day. We talked about how His perfect blood gives us the way to be friends with God. I am starting to see the wheels turning in The Prairie Kid's head about all of this. Yay! But he's not quite got it yet...this morning when he was thanking God for his cinnamon toast he said, "Dear Jesus, pray for Jeremy and...Mom, what's that guy who got banged?" And we went over it again. : )

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Stones Rolling

This video is long overdue. This is the video of The Prairie Kid and his group's performance at the final Galaxy program in April. This was his first ever performance in front of an audience like this. I think the head count for the night was 110 people. If it weren't for the break dancer and big kids behind him I think he might have participated more. The little girls are hilarious though!

Across The Finish Line

Push play if you'd like to hear a song that goes along with this post...

Not To Us (Not To Us Album Version) - Chris Tomlin

I just completed a marathon. What? You didn't know I am a runner? The race I run is a different race. It is the race of living out the call that God has on my life. And this past 3 months was practically a race without water breaks. There were a few here and there. I had to learn to drink in the Living Water in the midst of the marathon. Thankfully God is the One who equips and provides because I wouldn't have made it without Him doing this for me. I feel so humbled that He has allowed me to be a witness and a tool in His work. To Him be all the glory.

From Galaxy to Moms Together leadership, from Community Service Initiative to teaching Orbit (the Sunday morning kids program at church), from Beth Moore's study of Daniel to couple's small group, from two weddings to visitors in our home, from a trip to Seattle to Rodeo Bible Camp and Kidz Kamp, this has been a whirlwind of a few months. I don't think I've ever been this busy. I felt energized by much of it and exhausted and exasperated at other times. Working with others, planning, administrating, problem solving, teaching, studying, learning, helping, loving and seeing God do His thing are all such a blessing. It is worth the loss of down times and a clean house at times. I am so thankful that He has a calling for me. And He has a calling for you! Are you living in it? : )

He sustained me miraculously through this 3 months. And when I pulled into the drive on Friday evening after Kidz Kamp that was the finish line. I was finished with the marathon. I actually have a break for a bit. Whew. His provisions and protections over me were so obvious. I was sustained through the finish...but now comes some mandatory rest. I woke up Saturday morning with a double sinus and ear infection. Being the "anti-antibiotics" girl that I am, (which is a whole other soap box that we won't engage in today), I started hitting the natural remedies I have in my cabinet. I can tell that the lack or rest in my life is preventing me from bouncing out of this quickly. I am thankful that The Prairie Daddy is willing to give me some extra rest and take The Prairie Kid out with him some.

Even though I have a fever, headache, and feel overall lousy, I am still basking in the glory of the Lord. He is so good. So faithful. So trustworthy. He is gracious, merciful, powerful, mighty and victorious. There are songs of praises continually pouring for from my mouth, heart, and spirit. Who am I that He wants to be friends with me? I am no one...He is everything. Oh how thankful I am.

Lord, thank You so much for including us in Your plans. I adore You. Whatever You have for me, I am willing!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Random Writings

I spent the week with camp having to use other people's cameras. Before I left I passed my camera battery off to a guy at church that uses the same camera. He put it in his camera to see if it was my battery or my camera that wasn't working. My suspicions were confirmed...good battery, broken camera. : ( Let's take a moment of silence.

I am going to Billings in a couple of weeks to pick up my oldest sister and nephew! When I go I will try to have a camera shop picked out to drop off the brokenness in hopes that when I return her to the airport the following week I will be able to pick up a not-so-broken camera. I may not be much of a photographer but I love taking pictures and being without my camera is icky. I think we should take another moment.

And guess what? My nephew is staying on with us for 7 weeks this summer! I am not sure what it will be like to have a 16 year old boy around again. I say again because for over two years of our lives, 5 years ago, we had a teenage boy living with us. We fostered 2 different ones, for about a year a piece. I love teenagers...even though they are only partially human and predominately hormones. And I wouldn't wish on anyone to revisit that part of life but I think I have a heart for what they go through considering my teenage years were the worst.

I am trusting the Lord to provide some social opportunities for him though. I feel kinda bad that he is going from the big city to the middle of nowhere. There will be many aspects of his life here that will be different. There are a couple guys from church (the worship leaders that were in the Kidz Kamp post) that have volunteered to hang out some with him. Yay! And I will do my best to provide opportunities to break up the solitude.

On a different note, (remember, this post is called "Random Writings"), The Prairie Daddy and I got to play tennis yesterday for Father's Day. I beat him. : ) It was a close set and I came back from being behind two games...and when I got my game on I just lost control and continued to climb up the winning ladder. Maybe I should have let him beat me on his special little day. Too late! : )

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Life Is Good

I fell in love with a song this week at camp. I found the video on Tangle of the band Stellar Kart performing it. The Prairie Kid loved it! He decided he needed to perform it along with them...enjoy!

Sometimes we just need to ditch our instruments and dance!

Friday, June 19, 2009

What French Fries?

Last year I went to the Wyoming Alliance Kidz Kamp for the first time as a counselor. This year I felt God calling me back. The two experiences were quite different...let me show you the final paragraph of my blog post from last year:

Overall, it was totally worth every bit of sleep deprivation, whining, lack of privacy, etc. Am I glad to be home? You betcha. I cried when I got to wrap my arms around The Prairie Kid again. Would I do it again? You betcha. But I would do my best to recruit more adults to help because we were short on staff and that made it a much harder week. (emphasis added)

And recruit I did! I talked and touted Kidz Kamp all year with my fellow adults at church. And even with some high schoolers that I worked with. And God called many others to go and serve. YAY! It did make a HUGE difference and so did many other a responsible counselor-in-training, and an amazing group of girls in my cabin, and the experience of having gone before and having a bag of tricks in my back pocket. I never could have imagined how far a bag of nail polish and nail stickers can go in changing the atmosphere in a girls' cabin! : )

So, in a nutshell, I HAD A BLAST! The only true reason I was ready to come home was so that I could get some decent sleep! I mean it, I wasn't even at a place that I wasn't really missing the rest of The Prairie Family yet. Of course I loved being with my two Prairie Men again but I could have stayed at camp for several more days. We were having so much fun that a group of us counselors would stay up late and hang out in the nurse's room. Just like I told the campers, I am not at liberty to discuss whether or not McDonald's was snuck into the dorms after lights out. I loved getting to know some of the people from my church the way we got to by getting into a caravan of SUV's with a bus full of camp-crazed kids and communing together for 5 days at the state fair grounds.

I hid behind a camera much of the week. I also put together slide shows every day which was a fun project. I don't have many pictures of me at camp since I got to hide behind the camera but there were a few. I am planning on downloading the bulk of the camp pictures at church tomorrow because they were all stored on the director's laptop. For now I will just post a few that I actually ended up in.

This is my incredible cabin. Tanya the Tremendous was my co-counselor (she's the beauty left of me) and Andra the Amazing was our counselor-in-training (she's the beauty with the little one leaning over into her lap). We shared our week with 10 great girls: 4 from Cody, 4 from Douglas, and 2 from Saratoga, Wyoming. These girls were awesome! Our cabin name was Shoshone River. (Shoshone means "stinky water" but I brought an air freshener for our room and it helped! Hee, hee)

This is a picture of us passing out chocolate cake to two of the girl's cabins during a rotation.

And here I am enjoying my favorite activity of the week: floating the North Platte River. Weird picture of me...must have been talking or laughing...oh well.

Here we are trying to get out of the river. My feet got planted in inches of black, thick mud and for a bit I wondered if my Teva's would make it out of the river with me!

Maybe I should have asked them if I could have kept that cool life jacket. What an accessory! Don't you think it is stylish?

And here we are stinking up the bus with our lovely river smell...and thanks to the crazy guys sitting in front of me (who were the worship leaders for the week) we got to sing fun songs like "She'll be coming out of the river when she comes" and "The wheels on the bus"...but my personal favorite was this verse in "Old MacDonald" graciously provided by one of the campers:
"Old MacDonald has a farm, eee-i-eee-i-o. And on his farm he has a lousy wife, eee-i-eee-i-o. With a nag, nag here, and a nag, nag there. Here a nag, there a nag, everywhere a nag, nag." Wasn't that a nice contribution the camper added to the camp experience? I am so touched.
The theme of camp this year was "Friends of God" and focused on the fact that God does desire a friendship with us. He is the Friend that sticks closer than a brother. He is the generous, unselfish, committed Friend that we can count on like no one else. He gave the ultimate sacrifice to be friends with us. I loved seeing this truth come alive this week. I loved hearing the kids talk about what God has already done in their lives and hearing them sing praises together. It is a wonderful sound to hear kid's voices together praising God.

I will probably have another post or two about this week in the near future. Meanwhile, I am hoping to get some rest and kick the cold I got from Rodeo Bible Camp that is still hanging on and filling my head head with, well, let's not go there!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Family Pictures

Here are a few family pictures from the wedding. This first one is of The Prairie Daddy with his parents and siblings. All of the siblings were in town for the wedding!

And here is The Prairie Dad's oldest brother, his wife, and their daughter and her boyfriend

Here is The Prairie Dad's oldest sister with her two sons
Here is the whole clan that was at the wedding
After looking at this above picture I realized that the little guy in the front had an accident! Oops! He wasn't the only one, though, The Prairie Kid had one in his tux pants after the ceremony.

And The Prairie Kid with is twin cousins that are his age, hey, there's those Wranglers with the tux top! I think the little guy on the right is covering up the accident! : )
The next day we all celebrated some birthdays out at Mom and Dad's. One of our nephews is a great musician and he borrowed The Prairie Daddy's guitar and sang for us. It was fun!

His audience...
And the 3 year old mosh pit! I bet he's never had a preschool audience before!

The Wedding...Finally

Okay, finally, some time to post The Wedding. I will start where I left off in the Sneak Peak:

The Prairie Kid was "primping" in the nursery...

Here we are with my in-laws
Here is The Mother of the Groom pinning The Grandmother of the Groom's corsage
(this would be my sister-in-law and mother-in-law)

And The Ceremony finally got started. Here is the Best Man and the Maid of Honor

And the Groom and the Pastor
And now for...The Kids...

This picture shows the onset of sheer panic that the Flower Girl had
That panic proceeded quickly into a screaming, crying attempt to find her mom...which quickly led the Ring Bearer into confusion, panic, and an identical frenzy. Which led to the two moms rescuing them from the aisle and taking them back to their seats where the quietly calmed them down and allowed them to sit until the end. I did shove The Prairie Kid back out into the aisle after The Ceremony and had him walk out with the wedding party.
So, the kids made for great pictures before The Ceremony but that is about it! Oops!
Here is one of the only pictures I got of the ceremony due to the child that was in my lap

After The Ceremony, the Ring Bearer was shot. He hung out in the nursery by himself playing for awhile. Then I discovered that he had wet his pants...and he ended up in Wranglers with his tux top. I wish I had a picture of this transition, cause he looked so cute, but it didn't happen.
And now on to The Reception
Enjoying a good story from the Maid of Honor

Our Nephews

The Dance

Our nephew Will from Milwaukee teaching Jake how to Electric Slide

Cake Cutting

Off go the newlyweds!

Except they can't get in their car yet!
The Prairie Kid's final wedding attire
The 3 inches of snow we woke up to the day after the wedding!

I will post some family pics in another post. What a weekend!