Monday, July 26, 2010

More

I am in a pretty intense season of life. Really, much of my life is intense. I think I welcome intensity in some strange way. I invite the uncomfortable, ask for the hard stuff, long for the growth that I know comes from it, and look for new challenges and direction. Call me crazy, I don't like to sit still.

And after I invite, ask, long and look, I often say "what in the world was I thinking???" And then I remember that this is what it takes: hard stuff...tough roads...new terrain...painful pruning...to live the life that Christ called me to. Dying to self. Dying to the cravings of my flesh. Following the One who is worth following. I cannot say that it gets any better than this. Not in a fleshly, worldly kind of way. It is in a "there is life beyond, and much more important than, my flesh" kind of way.

In one week from today I will oversee the biggest project of my life thus far. And I am gently and faithfully reminded by the Father: "This is not about a project but about my people. This is not about you, this is about Me." Amen. May I stay in a place where I further die to myself and allow Him to prune the dead branches from my life. May I allow Him to continually take me where He wants to take me: more of Him and less of me.

I have often said that the busier we get the more we need to spend time with our Father. This is so true for me right now. I am savoring the time that I can withdraw to a place of intimate, individual time with my Father. I am so thankful for a Father that is capable of, and willing to, spend such time with a needy daughter. I am lost without Him.

And to know that He is capable of, and desires to, be in such relationship with every single person. What a mighty God we serve. The Most High. Indescribable, Uncontainable, All Powerful, Untameable. Amazing.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Keeper

We took the plunge.

She fits all of the criteria.

We've had her five days and it has been quite heavenly.

She is perfect for us.

I'm a gonner.




Her name is Sissie (or Sissy, we still need to pick up her papers). She is probably 5. She is a border collie. She is well trained, totally obedient, sticks around, and is sweet as can be. She does not chase wildlife. She ignores our cats. She is awesome with The Prairie Kid. She loves to be sweet and affectionate. She really likes to lay on her back when she thinks she's going to get pet.

She does like manure and needed a bath today. If that's as bad as it gets then we're already spoiled rotten.
This Spring I posted this 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)
She fits all of them accept she is 5, she nipped at a cows heels the other day, and she has yet to do any dishes. : ) We'll work on that one soon.

Summer Running

The Prairie Kid is enrolled in soccer and tennis this summer. It has kept us super busy on Mondays and Wednesdays but just the other day I realized that it was a total Godsend that our schedule has been so wild because The Prairie Kid will be much more prepared for all-day kindergarten in a few weeks. Some days he and I are in town for 12 hours! He hasn't been sleeping in the car on some of those days on the 35 minute ride home either. I am amazed at how much he's grown up over the summer and it just confirms that choosing to start school this year feels like the right decision.



Sneaking A Break

One night two weeks ago I was in need of something fun. The Prairie Kid and I had been riding in the swather with The Prairie Daddy just to see him for a little while. It was after a long day at work. Some wind had blown some smoke in from an Idaho wild fire. It was getting to be dusk and the sky was amazing.

The Prairie Kid and I drove all the way up the paved road to where the oil fields start. There was some wildlife spotting that evening as well. Other than cropping in on the two buck deer these pictures are completely unaltered. It was a phenomenal night.

These beauties were just a little ways from my house

You couldn't see any smoke just slightly south...the jet stream is amazing


A doe and her twin fawns
Meeteetse Creek









Surrounded

One of the nice things about hay season is that often I can look out of a window from the house and spot my man in a tractor. Even though he's still out working, and I am still not with him, it is a comfort to just get to see where he's at.

I have to admit, I am SO done with this first crop...but the first crop is not done. : ( I was just curious to know how many hours my dear hubby really is working these weeks and I couldn't believe it when I calculated it is between 80 and 85 hours per week. No wonder I am over this! They started the end of June and will finish first crop next week some time. There was a day or two here and there that weren't quite as bad and thankfully they have been preserving Sundays as much as possible.


Family Fun

We had lots of extended family come to the area to visit this month. We got to celebrate The Prairie Kid's twin cousins' 5th birthday.

We celebrated their 1st birthday together at the lodge as well. The Prairie Kid sat in on these photos back then.

Oh how time flies.

A Name That Fits

The Prairie Daddy grew up on a ranch in Rattlesnake Canyon. Rattlesnake Creek flows down Rattlesnake Canyon. Rattlesnake Mountain drops down on it's west side into Rattlesnake Canyon.
Get my drift?

We were on our way up the canyon for a family get together at the lodge that is on that ranch. While we were driving we passed an already dead snake. Then we found one that wasn't dead. The Prairie Daddy took care of that. It was an exciting adventure. The Prairie Kid was excited too, especially when the already headless snake kept moving its body all over the gravel. Ewwww.

It tried to strike after the first rock went toward it
Checking it out
Going in for a poke

Learning from Dad

Saturday, July 10, 2010

True Yellowstone Wildlife

Toward the end of our two days of driving The Prairie Kid was fast slipping into complete and utter goofiness. It was quite entertaining. Thankfully we were able to catch a glimpse on video (although when the camera wasn't out he was much, much funnier).


video

Birthday Getaway

The 4th of July is my birthday. This year I requested that we get away for the weekend if The Prairie Daddy was willing. I wanted to spend the weekend in Yellowstone if it worked out. A couple weeks before the big weekend I was able to book one of the last two rooms in the park. We actually got a cabin and the Lake Lodge.

It was a wonderful Saturday and Sunday with my boys. We enjoyed the drive, the scenery and the wildlife. We were spoiled on Saturday with seeing 10 bears and a moose cow and calf.

Here was one of the black bears we watched
video

And here is a grizzly sow with THREE cubs! What a treat!
video
On Sunday, on my birthday, we had a wonderful brunch, including lox and bagels and blueberry cheese blintzes, at the Lake Hotel. It was heavenly. From there we ventured to Old Faithful and after waiting a little while the crowd of about 500 people was really excited that it faithfully went off.

video

Friday, July 9, 2010

Diary Of A Hay Season Widow

Hay season began last week. One week in and we're in full swing (and when I say "we" I really mean "the people actually having to hay," which is technically not me). Across the street from my house I can see three John Deere's moving about in three different fields. One is swathing, one is raking and the other is baling. Soon I will see a truck and trailer hauling bales to the stack yard. Eventually, the fields will be bare, the water running on them again, and I might get to have my hubby back for a few weeks.

So, this pretty much means no Prairie Daddy. When our day isn't broken up by him coming home for lunch and dinner, and we're not going anywhere, it can seem like a REALLY long, drawn out day. Well, there is just no reason to be bored on The Prairie. Smile.
So late this morning we set a tent up on the deck. Fun!

And then we ate some popcorn on a blanket in the tent! More fun!


And I set up my "office" on the deck, next to the tent, to work on my VBS plans for next month at work.


We had a picnic lunch in the tent after that.

And then decided we should make some s'mores!

Did you know that candles turn marshmallows black? There aren't any good coals in a candle. ; )
And we ate the charred, scrumptious, candle-blistered s'mores. Yummy!


We also played cards in the tent. But after 2 games we were starting to get hot because the sun was moving under the shelter of the deck. So now we're finishing a brownie batter blizzard from Dairy Queen.
I wish The Prairie Daddy could join us in "Hay Season Coping Mode."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Blessing In The Backyard

I looked out tonight just in time to see 6 buck mule deer in velvet coming over the hay field fence toward the house. I crept out onto the deck with my camera. The flash and the sound didn't seem to bother them so I went all the way to the fence at the edge of the yard. They continued to be unbothered and made their way toward me. I had fun taking lots of pictures. I couldn't get them very clear with the auto focus and I am not good at manually focusing but I wanted to share my blessing.

It was an added blessing the background was the sky changing colors at dusk.





Sometimes I am still in sheer awe that God chose this place for us.