Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Salt Rub

You know the expression about pouring salt in a wound?

Here is what I get to listen to, sing along with, and cope through these days:

♪ ♫"Kindergarten, here we come, HERE WE COME! Kindergarten, here we come, HERE WE COME! ♫ Preschool has been soooo much fun. ♪ Kindergarten, here we come, HERE WE COME!" ♪

Thankfully God has been reminding me to give HIM my focus and not focus on my pitiful self. : )

Monday, April 26, 2010

Preschool Logic Surprises Mom

Driving down the road today:

The Prairie Kid: "Mom, I am going to grow taller and taller."

The Prairie Mama: "I bet you are. You're going to be taller than me. You're going to be taller than Daddy!"

The Prairie Kid: "I am going to grow so tall I will be as tall as outer space!"

The Prairie Mama: "Wow. I think I'll believe that when I see it."

The Prairie Kid: "How are you going to get me down from up there?"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ready Or Not

Here kindergarten comes.

I am not ready. Even so, the school district only gave us one kindergarten registration day. They did not even bother to call me and ask me if I was ready or not.

Granted, we could have The Prairie Kid stay home for another year but that is not where we are feeling God's leading. I know better than to disobey.

Thankfully I was able to fill out the plethora of paperwork without sobbing all over it, after all I don't actually send him until August 23rd. I am glad we will have his 5th birthday the week before school starts.

School starts. : ( I can barely type it without wanting to cry.

I think this would be easier if I had another kiddo at home but I know God's timing for our family is perfect. PERFECT. Could it get any better than that?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Am Not Ashamed

With a title like that you might think I will be talking about my faith again in this post. As much as my faith is the fabric of who I am this isn't a faith-based post.

It is all about Taco Bell.

This last year the two closest Taco Bells to us closed down leaving the closest one 2 1/2 hours away (this should be illegal)! I am not a fast food junky but Taco Bell is almost as important to me as chocolate (I said almost). And although I only ate it on a semi-regular basis (especially since the closest TB was hit and miss, mostly miss) now that it is gone I have been DEPRIVED.

In college at least once a week I would hit the TB drive through and eat a five pack of tacos and a large Dr Pepper in no time at all. My metabolism was such that I could do that regularly. Oh how I miss those days. I loved college. I loved my metabolism. I loved Dr Pepper.

And I still unashamedly love Taco Bell.

So, of course I was planning ahead for the trip to the "big city" this past weekend. I packed a cooler and ice packs and planned to order a bucket load (or should I say cooler load) of bean burritos (no onions) and soft shell tacos (no lettuce) to freeze and enjoy at home because these are cheap and would re-heat well.

Molly the Marvelous thought I was disgusting to be planning this. However, when we hit the drive through and she realized her family was TB deprived as well, she jumped in with me, both feet. I have a feeling her blog post title, if she had one, would read "I Am Ashamed." (When we got back from the trip her son saw our taco bell trash and whined "You had Taco Bell?" They were thrilled when they found out we had brought some home for them!)

I just popped the last bite of a bean burrito into my mouth as I wrote this post. And I am not ashamed. I am happy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

As Far As It Depends On Me

The spiritual theme for me this weekend began with a class on peacemaking. If you are human, you have relational conflicts. I am human. And I work in the "people business" which has shown me that I will probably deal with an increase of interpersonal conflicts, whether they involve me directly or involve me coming alongside others.

The Bible is clear about how God wants us to approach conflict/people. Very clear. So clear that when I was taking this all in this weekend I lost 2 shoes sizes. Now, I can't complain that I went from a size 10 to an 8, but I am not sure I like that my toes were completely taken off. These lessons stepped on my toes HARD. (In reality I would like to be a size 8 but I think I need toes.)

It is good. God is good and faithful and loving enough to not leave me where I am at. I stumble so much. But He does not let me fall and He "upholds me in his hand." (Psalm 37:24)

At one point in the weekend I was led to a time of intense prayer and repented with great grief and tears over the darkness in my heart. God calls us to love; I complain. God calls us to bear; I accuse. God calls us to forgive; I stew. May the Lord have mercy on me.

He is merciful and He provides. My heart has been singing songs of praise, my lips have been praying Scripture for others, including my "enemies." And when I was tempted to fall right back into an old pattern yesterday, the Lord reminded me to turn to Him in praise instead of focus on the faults of men. Oh Praise the Lord!

We learned a song this weekend that was so much fun. As I turned to the Lord in praise yesterday I sang new, make-them-up-as-we-go verses to Him. It was my prayer being answered; instead of a yucky overflow in my heart, my overflow would be praise and truth. Thank you, Lord, now please, please keep me here!!!

One thing that impressed me this weekend was a fresh view of a familiar verse:
"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God" Matthew 5:9

I've never looked at this verse in the way I was taught this weekend. This verse implies ALL sons and daughters of God are to be peacemakers! (Here is where I went from a size 10 to a size 9...bye-bye toes).

I want to be a peacemaker. I am CALLED to be a peacemaker.

What does a peacemaker look like? Romans 12:9-21 gives us some excellent descriptions. I have added the color to the pieces that are especially impressing to me in this area:

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Wow. Thankfully God had Paul write "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." (Philippians 1:6). It is only the Lord who can accomplish this in me.

Spirit AND Soul Food

I had the joy and privilege of going to a ladies' retreat this weekend. Our denomination, Christian and Missionary Alliance, (aka CMA or The Alliance), has a district made up of Montana, Wyoming, parts of the Dakotas and Idaho. It was a gathering of a few hundred; a really nice size.

The schedule was great. It started on Friday evening, permitting plenty of time for shopping, dinner and more before beginning. Saturday there was a nice 4 1/2 hour free time in the afternoon for more shopping, rest, fellowship and whatever else a Rocky Mountain woman would like to do in Billings, MT. Sunday morning was our last time together and we had plenty of time to hang out, shop, eat, etc. (AGAIN!) before feeling the need to head home. It was so nice not to have a rushed schedule!

I felt like I needed the getaway. My job at church is still a bit of an adjustment and I was thinking a break, refreshing, and some awesome girl time was in order. I got all of that and more. What a sweet time. I traveled and roomed with my wonderful friend, Molly the Marvelous. We laughed, cried, shared, shopped, encouraged, challenged, teased, and enjoyed one another. It was good.

I enjoyed time with other ladies from our church and reconnecting with ladies from other churches that I have gotten to know and love through Kidz Kamp each summer. I made sure to put the pressure on them to return this June as well. God willing I will see them again in June and Molly the Marvelous is going to go this year! Yay!

I was glad to come home with God pressing things into my heart. I will share that with you in the next post. I would post a picture of our weekend together but Molly the Marvelous has the pics on her camera.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Giving In

I am fine without a dog. I have a wall around my heart since losing our beloved Gus. It'd have to be one special dog to get me to let that wall down. The wall is thick and tall and has a sign on it that says "Warning: Views Dogs As A Chore." Dogs have to be fed. Dogs have to be let out. Dogs have to be let in. Dogs have to be played with, pet, loved, and taken care of. Dogs have to be taken care of when you leave for the day. Dogs have to be arranged for when you leave for more than a day. Dogs are a chore. Big, thick wall.

That's just the honest truth about where I am at.

However, just because I have a thick, calloused, protective wall around my wounded doggy heart doesn't mean I don't honor the desire and readiness that my guys have for the "right" dog. Jack, the last attempt, was NOT the "right" dog.

The Prairie Kid was told that after The Prairie Daddy's ultrasound season was over that we'd start looking for the "right" dog. The ultrasound season is winding up.

Here is our list for the "right" dog:
- Border Collie or Border Collie mix
- good with kids and cats
- not a runner; does not chase wildlife, cattle or cats
- 3 or 4 years old; definitely over the naughty puppy behaviors
- stays in the yard without being tied up
- house broken
- doesn't shed a lot
- not too high energy
- cleans up its own poop, does laundry and dishes (okay, just kidding, but I wish these were reasonable expectations)

Some people might read that list and think "yeah right, good luck finding that kind of a dog" but we know they exist...Gus was just this and so much more. Our brother's dog, Patches, is this and so much more too.

Today I was reading the classifieds and a gal going into the military is looking for a new home for a Border Collie. He is 4. He is house-broken. He is fine with cats. He doesn't chase rabbits. He doesn't shed too much. He comes back after being called. He is cute. (His name is Jack though...)

The animal shelter also has a Border Collie named Cody. He is 3. He is good with kids. He is fine around horses. He is cute too. He is house-broken, cage-trained, cuddles and plays tug-o-war. He has a blue eye. Here are the pics of him from the web:

Boy, oh boy, I might be in BIG trouble.

Monday, April 5, 2010

More Easter Fun

We had our traditional Easter lunch and egg hunt at The Prairie Daddy's parent's place yesterday. The "Hero" cousin (remember the high school athlete cousin?) hid the eggs for the other 3 boys. The Prairie Kid was the youngest by years and he was so excited!
You can't tell he's excited at all, can you?
He had to protect his loot
There were some hidden really well for the older boys
Grandpa tried to tell us there were "M&M's" on the ground...I thought they looked more like Milk Duds.
I said, "You first, Grandpa!" He declined. : )
How many men does it take to find an egg in a rafter?
There's one!
"7, 8, 9..."

There's one more out there! Hurry!
Family Photo Opp

Good Easter Morning

We had to wake The Prairie Kid up pretty early for Easter morning because I was working at both services at church. We "prepped" him the night before that he would get his Easter present when he was all dressed and ready to go. It was a great motivator! This is such a fun part of being a parent.

"Mom! Silly Putty!"

A happy, sleepy Silly Putty smile

More basketball!

Candy for breakfast!

Cheese! Chocolate!

Jesus, thank you for giving us such a reason to celebrate!

Eat You Up!

There is just something about kids in their Easter outfits. It is one of my favorites parts of the day. Oh, they are just SO cute! And of course I am partial to my own in his Easter duds. I actually bought him a suit for this year. He was way sweeter then all of the Easter candy combined! I took pictures of him everywhere we went. Poor kid.

Home Church Some girl is gonna be in trouble some day with this next look... Grandpa and Grandma's And our attempt at a timer-taken family photo

Warm Artist

I love surprises. I love surprising others. When we got home after the Egg Hunt (which was a surprise because I told The Prairie Kid we were going just an hour before we went) I said to him "I have another surprise for you." Oh he was so excited! I had already boiled the eggs and bought the dye kit. I took him into the kitchen and pulled out the kit. You'd think the kid had won the lottery! He was thrilled! We put on our aprons and away we went...

My Happy Artist

My Serious Artist

A Very Happy Kid And Mama

Good Thing He's Norwegian

The local egg hunt was on Saturday. Our rec district puts it on; I worked for the rec for about 4 1/2 years and my old boss does a great job making this a fun event with lots of eggs.

It was only 32 degrees out that morning. Good thing The Prairie Daddy brought The Prairie Kid's work gloves!
Here is my old boss and The Prairie Kid, who calls him "Tio" (uncle)
Just say go already, Tio!
Uh-oh, you win some and you lose some...
I think he's just practicing for base ball some day : )
Here is The Prairie Kid and his best buddy showing off their findings. She actually found a prize egg and went home with a huge Easter basket full of goodies.

Globa, Globa

This last week has caught up with me. It was a busy week with a lot of responsibility. After a very, very full day yesterday I feel like a character, Mac, on the video clips we watched in the children's program at church. All the poor guy could say was "Globa, globa." I feel ya, Mac.

Thankfully today is still Easter break for The Prairie Kid and I don't have much going on. I think it might be a day to sneak a movie in for myself. I can't remember the last time I did that. Maybe six weeks ago?

The holiday was worth all of the energy and time however. Enjoy the next posts!

Friday, April 2, 2010


We hosted a Passover Seder last night for Maundy Thursday with friends and church family. The neat part about hosting is the meditation throughout the day that I experienced as I prepared our home. I kept thinking about the Upper Room where Jesus shared the Last Supper with his beloved friends. I kept thinking about them making the preparations like I was. What a great time of reflection.

I learned this week that maundy means "new." I am so thankful for the New Covenant that Jesus made by becoming THE sacrificial lamb. The other night at the Wednesday church program we were talking about the crucifixion. I asked the kids to raise their hand if they would die like Jesus did for someone else. No one raised their hand. I can't blame them. And to think that Jesus did this for His enemies. We are so undeserving and I am forever grateful.

Here was the table set. More chairs to come... : ) The Prairie Daddy used these tools to remove the leaven (symbolic of sin) from the home
He actually burned the crumbs after he collected them with the spoon and feather

The Four Cups

The water and bowl and towel used to wash each guests hands

The Matzah...with piercings, stripes and bruises.

The middle one, the Affikomen, is broken, just like the middle of the Holy Trinity was.

The Four Cups with juice, the bitter herbs, salt water, eggs

The "host mother" (me) lights the candles and reads a prayer

We joined together in the cups

And eventually this leads to communion, which The Prairie Kid got to partake in for the first time because recently he became friends with God!

Today I am thinking about how as I type, drink my coffee, love on my son, and go about my day, Jesus was being tormented, beat beyond human recognition and put to death...for me. For you. For us all.

I wonder, have you accepted this greatest gift ever given?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Some People Like A Firm Bed

I think we wore The Prairie Kid out yesterday. What do you think? We weren't home for 5 minutes from the Wednesday night church program and this is what I found.