Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alpine NorseAmerican

We took The Prairie Kid on his first ski trip! It was such a beautiful day; blue sky, no wind, perfect temps, great snow. We all had a blast! I am so thankful that we were able to make time for this trip before winter ended in Wyoming (and Montana, since that's where we went to ski).

video

Praying For A Dairy Farmer

This week a woman in West Africa is trying to make the most of hay season. She has 1 (ONE) wood frame, open on the top and bottom. She lays bailing wire down in three sections and then,
with the help of a friend or two, pushes hay into the frame and they jump on top until it is packed down. They then tie the wire and pull it out of the frame. Voila. It works.

She is trying to run a dairy farm on her own. It is my understanding that she has one of the only dairy farms in the area. She sells yogurt and has a dream to be able to increase the production and efficiency of her dairy farm.

She has limited help and support. She often just survives from crisis to crisis. She could use some equipment and help. Will you join me in praying for her?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Conscientious Living

In this last stretch of Winter the Bible study that I participate in decided to take a little break. Usually I have "homework" for 5 days of the week and am strictly directed in my study of God's Word. I have been challenged in what to study, how to study it, etc in these weeks without such direction. I found myself in the Psalms quite a bit until last week. Last week I studied Paul's epistles because I was looking into two topics that had sparked an interest in me to dig into.

And this week, for whatever reason, I felt that I was to read Ezekiel.

I read 1-3 prior to this morning. I took notes and left it at that. This morning I moved into chapter 4. I am challenged by God's instructions to Ezekiel. Ezekiel was to be symbolically used to show the siege of Jerusalem, the payment for their sin. Ezekiel was given specific instructions:

“Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel." (4-5)

He was also assigned 40 days to lay on his right side to bear the sin of Judah and then an unspecified amount of days for the siege of Jerusalem. God lined out specifics on what Ezekiel was to gather and prepare for his food during this time.

I was shocked to have my eyes read the following: "Eat the food as you would a loaf of barley bread; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel.' The LORD said, 'In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them.” (12-13)

Excuse me, did God just tell Ezekiel to bake bread with human excrement? Really?

I love Ezekiel's response: “Not so, Sovereign LORD! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth.” (v 14)

And God responded “Very well,” he said, “I will let you bake your bread over cow dung instead of human excrement.”

After my reading this morning I wanted to dig deeper. I found this profound commentary from Matthew Henry:

"Ezekiel does not plead, Lord, from my youth I have been brought up delicately, and never used to any thing like this; but that he had been brought up conscientiously, and never had eaten any thing forbidden by the law. It will be comfortable when we are brought to suffer hardships, if our hearts can witness that we have always been careful to keep even from the appearance of evil. See what woeful work sin makes, and acknowledge the righteousness of God herein. Their plenty having been abused to luxury and excess, they were justly punished by famine. When men serve not God with cheerfulness in the abundance of all things, God will make them serve their enemies in the want of all things."

What a challenging statement! Oh, Lord, may I always be careful to keep even from the appearance of evil so that I may be steady and founded when hardships come. May you forgive any abuse of luxury and excess and give me a cheerfulness in serving You more and more.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Legacy

We went to a bull sale this weekend. The Prairie Daddy took The Prairie Kid into the pens to check out the animals he was interested in. The Prairie Kid picked number 11 as his favorite. The Prairie Daddy bought 5 bulls...one of them was number 11.


Now The Prairie Kid thinks he owns a bull.

Just For Fun

I was unloading pictures from my cell phone today onto the computer. These were too fun not to share!

What a goof!

Uh, Prairie Daddy, you might have a little something on your front teeth...
(this is what we do to get through 8 hour drives to Denver)

Cheese!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Thankful For The Word

Last week I turned to Psalm 69 where I read words that I felt David had written straight from my heart. This is the way I have been feeling:

" Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.
I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched. " (v1-3a)

This morning God turned my attention to the following:

"In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears... (v6)

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters. (v16)"

I am thankful for a living God who hears His children and answers them. I may not yet feel like I am out of the deep waters in some circumstance, but I know He has pulled me out of them eternally. That alone is comfort enough for today.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Together Again

We had one VERY happy little Prairie Kid when we arrived home. He loved the shells and the Japanese plane we brought home for him. I think he taught his whole class his version of the attack on Pearl Harbor. I tell you what, at this house the Japanese never win! We've got quite the little patriot.

Hawaii Part Nine- Last Day

The clouds returned for our last day. It was pretty sad to drive to the north end of Kauai where it is supposedly extreme and beautiful and not get to see any of it. Here are a few things we did get to see while we drove around the island.

Wailua Falls



A paddle boarder on the famous Hanalei Bay

A typical stilted home

The little bit of the landscape we got to see inland

The Prairie Daddy love pics of local agriculture : )
'Opaeka'a Falls

And there you have it. Our 2011 trip to Oahu and Kauai. The End.

Hawaii Part Eight- Finally!

On our whole trip we had ONE good day of sunny beach time. Hallelujah! We soaked it up as much as we could...snorkeled and boogie boarded our hearts out. The fish were awesome off the beaches in our resort area.

A good beach vacation shouldn't go without a sandy foot picture


Cowboy on a boogie board
There were even feral chickens on the beach!

And a monk seal who basked in the sun all afternoon...
Sunset off the resorts part of Poipu Beach

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hawaii Part Seven- Waimea

You really don't go to Kauai without visiting the famous Waimea Canyon. We headed out on the journey and were already given the "heads up" from a church friend to stop for the BEST shave ice in the world.

I admit, I wasn't super excited about a "fancy snow cone" but I trust this lady and she RAVED about it and I committed to her to stop off at the infamous place. It was a total dive of a spot and, as you can see, there is nothing fancy about it.


However, Jo Jo's shave ice is an AMAZING treat! All of the rave was SO accurate. There is NOTHING like it! And it is not a "fancy snow cone." We had a heavenly portion of Macadamia Nut Ice Cream topped with perfectly shaved ice covered in gourmet, tropical syrups, topped with COCONUT CREAM! Does it get ANY yummier? Mmmmm. The Prairie Daddy and I haven't stopped talking about getting a REAL shave ice business on the mainland.

So, after filling ourselves with Jo Jo's wonder, we headed on our 3 hour drive of the entire Waimea Canyon (accessible by road). Here was the ONLY part of ANY of the drive that we were able to see...
And guess what? That isn't even Waimea Canyon! It is an overlook off the Na'Pali Coast. The clouds had settle into the canyon for the afternoon and we saw NONE of it. Here's about all we saw at the overlooks...

It's a good thing Jo Jo's was so delicious because otherwise I wouldn't have a fond memory of the word "Waimea" after that pointless drive.

Hawaii Part Six- Island Hopping

Next came Kauai. Immediately we felt a difference in ease, atmosphere, congestion (or a lack thereof) in Kauai. The more "rural" feel put us both at ease feeling like it was more like a vacation at that point. We were SO pleasantly surprised when we got to our resort, which I carefully picked due to the amount of sun that part of the island gets, and discovered our accommodations. I didn't realize when booking that we weren't in a hotel room...

we were in a CONDO!

With our own private lanai!

It felt quite heavenly to have this kind of treat. We enjoyed cooking breakfast in the mornings and having the space that it gave. The resort was beautiful and it was easy to get around the area. Our next door neighbors stay for 2 months every year! It must be nice to be retired. : )


Here was a little visitor I had one morning while hanging on on the lanai


And this was the VIEW from the lanai! That is Poipu Beach in the background

Hawaii Part Five- A Ranch Away From The Ranch

We stopped off at the Kualoa Ranch before heading to the airport for a Jungle Expedition. This is a cattle ranch on Oahu that has various tours on it. It was fun to see their land and learn some things. Of course, The Prairie Daddy was asking lots of questions. Here is a picture of the ranch. Nice backdrop, eh?


Here is our fancy Jungle Expedition rig



And here we are on the part of the tour that overlooks the famous Moli'i pond. Many shows have been filmed at this location...from Gilligan's Island to a current TV show called "Off The Map." Lost, Jurassic Park, and 50 First Dates are all other shows I remember hearing were at least partially filmed in this area.
See that cute little island sticking up in the left background? You might remember it from 50 First Dates! And look, the sun decided to come out a little bit for us!

Hawaii Part Four- A Little Culture

On our last day on Oahu we crammed in a couple tours on the Windward side. The Macadamia Nut Farm had a great tour that we enjoyed immensely (despite the POURING rain that accompanied our tour). These guys really brought to life the native Hawaiian history of the island. We didn't go to the Polynesian Cultural Center where things supposedly REALLY come to life, but this satisfied both our cultural hunger and our pocket book.

View of part of the farm


The "chief" ready to try to start a fire with the downpour (note the native "umbrella")


A little fire fun


The islander's way of cracking a coconut (I wonder what his Coconut Cupcakes would look like!)
Smart feral chickens who know what time the coconut falls

Hawaii Part Three- Windward Oahu

We stayed our first 3 nights on Oahu on Waikiki Beach, the Leeward side of the island (yep, we learned all sorts of fun island lingo on our trip!). We felt Waikiki was really overrated, overcrowded, difficult to navigate (not that ANY of Oahu was easy to navigate), and, well, a waste of precious vacation time. It just isn't our "cup of tea." However, it is not easy to find places to stay on Oahu that aren't in Honolulu or on Waikiki.

The Windward side of the island was our island paradise (despite the weather, which was cruddy, but it was on Waikiki most of our time there also). We booked a room at this great, quaint, hidden inn overlooking a little piece of Kaneohe Bay.

Before arriving at our inn that night we drove around the north end of the island to check out the world famous Bonzai Pipeline and big wave surfing area. It was pretty cool to watch the people out there...


The inn was awesome. The weather was terrible though. The night we arrived a huge storm went through the area, causing tree limbs to fall into streets and there was quite a lightning storm.
This is the cute breakfast area on the main deck of this resort that is
built onto a hillside off the water...


Here is our view from the dining area

Looking toward the island from the dining area...

The beautiful mountains not far from the inn...

The east side of the island had stunning mountains pointing straight into the sky that were lush with trees. We really enjoyed the slower pace of this side of the island as well.

Hawaii Part Two- Pearl Harbor

The main reason we chose to go to Oahu was for Pearl Harbor. Visiting this memorial was something that both The Prairie Daddy and myself were interested in doing. As you can see, the day we were able to go it was a bit blustery out. The fact is, we never actually got to go to the memorial itself...the Navy canceled the boats to it for the day. But we did our best to soak in what we could from the other aspects of the area.

Looking across Pearl Harbor to the memorial off Ford Island


The USS Arizona Memorial


The USS Missouri Battleship

Hawaii Part One

We had an "interesting" trip to Hawaii. At some point I need to write down then entire trip. We dealt with SO many frustrations, disappointments, and road blocks that we could have our own comedy show re-telling the adventures. However, I don't really have the time or desire to relive all of that right now, so we'll focus on the photos and good snippets.

We started our trip on Oahu.

One evening we took a hike up Makapuu point. We got to see humpback whales playing in the water just before dusk. It was the first pleasant part of our trip.

Makapuu Lighthouse

Dressed up for a dinner out...


Our second, MUCH better hotel room on Waikiki
The view from our room


Can It Be?

Can it be? I have some time to write another post this week? I am choosing to allow this time because it is therapeutic for me in the middle of a very stressful schedule right now. I will not let myself feel guilty for setting aside some time this afternoon to take a rest from work, house chores, etc.

The last post that I wrote about the events of our life (other than incredibly beautiful cupcakes) was in December. DECEMBER! It is MARCH! Oops.

After Christmas life went back to "normal" routine for a whole...week...and then we jumped into the remodels of 2 bathrooms and prepped for a trip to Hawaii.

The remodels were a little frustrating but ended up good. I got to listen to a whole lot of sermons and seminars while doing some finishing work in one bathroom.

And then we left for Hawaii. And you can see pictures on the next post!