Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial day at the ranch

Big D decided we'd take our new RV out to the ranch Sunday afternoon and spend the night.  My folks spent the night in the ranch house.

Monk and Baby Lu at the lookout point

Here we go on our favorite hike in Old Home Draw of the Palo Duro Canyon.  It's the first time we took Baby Lu.  Nana and I took turns carrying her.  American Boy decided to sit this one out.

Nana has been taking Master Naturalist classes and wanted to photograph the berries.  She knew what they were called.  I just call them berries:).

It really looks different back in here.  Not typical of West Texas.

That was quite a hike!  Nana and I were sore afterwards!

Lu and Grandfather taking a rest.

Supper at the ranch is always something to look forward to (thanks to Nana).

Nana keeps her ranch house kitchen looking so cute!

Sisters sharing a moment.
Measle Bug posing.

The morning Gator crew, Chuckwagon actually.  American Boy is very fearful and refused to go on the Gator the first day, but today we convinced him and he had a blast!
We don't have much water around here so we value our playas.

The watering crew working in the orchard.

Monk, Twinkle Toes, and Jack the cowdog.

This is the first trip Twinkle Toes (9) has taken the driver's seat.  She had a little trouble backing out at first, but soon got the hang of it.  Big brother gave her a few tips.  We all almost had a heart attack when she tore around the corner and into the drive the first time, so after that she slowed down quite a bit.

Monk and Twinkle Toes stayed busy driving vehicles.  I think this is a highlight for them.  Above is one of many near misses.

Everything's bigger in Texas.  How would you like those dandelions growing in your yard? 

Baby Lu glad to finally have her bench to herself!

    Big D had Twinkle Toes screaming on this wild ride.  She was going quite high.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Does God have something against cities?

When Twinkle Toes (9) got to the story of the Tower of Babel on the first day of her 90 day Bible reading, she called out to me, “Mom, this Bible doesn’t have the whole story of the Tower of Babel.” I assured her that she had a real Bible, that it was not abridged, and that the whole story was there. She insisted there were some details missing (I’m not sure which ones she had in mind) and I insisted there were not. Perhaps this little exchange prompted me to make some observations myself while reading through the story of the Tower of Babel and I thought I’d share them.

When I first read: “In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city.” (Gen 11:8) I wondered what God has against cities. You see, this is a recurring discussion in our home. Big D would love to be out in the country and I’m a city girl. Not a big city girl, just a city girl.  Really a town would suffice. (Am I beginning to sound like Lot?)  You see, around here living in the country goes hand in hand with combating the wind and dust, mice and snakes. I mean, are we all supposed to be raising chickens and goats?  Anyway, I got a little nervous reading Genesis 11:8 and thought I’d better investigate further. In order to do that, I needed to back up a bit.

Not that raising chickens doesn't sound like loads of fun.  These belong to a friend of mine who makes living in the country look easy, but I know better :) . 
What had God told Noah’s sons to do after the flood? “Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth.'” (Genesis 9:1) I’ve always looked on this as one command. Have lots of kids and they will in turn fill-up the earth. This time through I started to see God’s words to Noah’s sons as two commands: have lots of kids, and fill the earth. Hmmm. Fill the earth, like spread out, as opposed to staying in one place. In case they weren’t listening, God repeats Himself in verse 7 of chapter 9, “Now be fruitful and multiply, and repopulate the earth” (emphasis mine). Well, there it is as plain as day, two commands. The earth had been full of wicked people prior to the flood, but “God wiped out every living thing on the earth- people, livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and birds of the sky. All were destroyed.” (Genesis 7:23) And now God wants Noah’s sons and their wives to repopulate or fill the earth again. Doing this would require two things: having children and spreading out over the face of the earth.

Now, back to the Tower of Babel. What was the motive behind building the great city? “Then they said, ‘Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.’” (Genesis 11:4) It appears there are two motives behind the cooperative building of this great city, and for some reason it is only the first one that is usually taught or at least emphasized. Their first motive was pride. They wanted to be great. In fact, they wanted their tower to reach to the sky, some saying they had similar aspirations as Lucifer’s desire to be like God. But there was a second motive, as well. They wanted to make a way for them to all live together in one place, without having to spread out around the world. Noah’s sons had kept the first of God’s commands. They were multiplying. But they either failed to pass onto their children God’s second command of filling the earth, or their children knew it, but chose not to obey. Genesis 11 gives us the math- Peleg which means division, so named because he lived through the Tower of Babel incident, was born 101 yrs after the flood and lived for 209 years. So for over 100 years post-flood Noah’s progeny had been multiplying, but not scattering.

What was God’s response? “Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.” (Genesis 11:7) This seems a little strange, why would God do this considering He Himself had instituted the language they all spoke? Verse 8 holds the answer, “In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city.” A-ha! He was going to accomplish His purposes regardless of their submission or rebellion. His people could obey willingly or they would be forced to comply to His desire that they fill the earth again.

This reminds me of a similar instance in the New Testament. At the ascension, Jesus tells His apostles, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere- in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) In this case, it isn’t people He wants to fill the earth with (that has already been accomplished), it’s His Word, the gospel, that He wants to spread through all the earth. Acts 2 tells us 3,000 responded to Peter’s first sermon in belief. These people were not just from Jerusalem- there were Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs (Acts 2:9) who all heard the gospel in their own native languages! I assume that these foreigners for the most part made their ways back home again, but what about the Jerusalem believers? Acts 4 gives an approximate number of believers in that first church in Jerusalem of 5,000 men, not counting women and children. So we’re talking about a mega-church in the neighborhood of 25-30,000 people when we include women and children. It seems phase one of Acts 1:8 had been accomplished. Though I’m sure Jerusalem was a large city, by this time I bet most people there had heard the gospel. It was making headlines!

Interestingly enough we don’t have any record of believers scattering until they encountered persecution beginning with being confronted by the high council and really heating up with the martyrdom of Stephen. “A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.” (Acts 8:1- phase two accomplished.) Again, we don’t know if the apostles were neglecting this teaching of spreading the gospel around the world, or if they were teaching it, but it was not being observed. Either way we see once again that God’s will cannot be thwarted. He will accomplish His purposes whether His children are willingly obedient or not.
So my conclusion is that while God doesn’t have anything against cities per se, or human ingenuity for that matter, He does have a problem with disobedience. Specifically in these passages, God wants us to not only fill the earth, but fill it with His Word. There are so many ways we can submit to the Lord in this area. We can become full-time missionaries of course, or even go on short-term mission trips. We can help support missionaries with our prayers and dollars, we can help support Bible translation projects, and we can help support Christian organizations that care for and educate orphans around the world (like Rafiki international). One of the reasons I love Sonlight homeschool curriculum is because it’s so missions-minded. In fact, welcoming children into our home and fostering in our children a love for God’s Word and a heart for the lost is probably one of the greatest ways we as parents can be obedient to the Lord in this area. And of course today, we can even share God’s Word over the internet!

I think the point is, God doesn’t want us to live to please ourselves. He doesn’t want us staying in our comfort zones. He wants us to die to ourselves and live for Him. He wants us to adopt His agenda as our own and at the top of His agenda is the spreading of His people and His Word around the world. Some of Jesus’ final words to His disciples were over just this subject. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” (Mathew 28:19-20a) Will it be easy? No. Will we suffer? Yes. That’s why Jesus encouraged them with these words: “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mathew 28:20b) If we’re for Him, He’s with us. And I for one am immensely encouraged that my husband and I can live for Him… even in the city!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

90 Day Bible Challenge- not exactly on a budget this time around.

I know it's possible to do the 90 day Bible challenge without spending any money. But this time I splurged. Twinkle Toes (9) wants to do it and said she needed a small Bible with her name engraved on it. Ok, I thought, that doesn't cost much. Then when I was in the bookstore I saw this nifty little PDA with the Bible on it that had Monk's name written all over it. Monk (almost 11) is a slow reader, though he has great comprehension. It has been taking him over 2 hrs to read each 90 day Bible assignment. While I'm hopeful that his reading speed will improve with time and practice I'm also aware that he spent over an hour per day reading all year, so it's not exactly like he hasn't been practicing. Also, I wanted to encourage him since his love language is gadgets (remember he's my video gamer). It didn't take him long to get it all figured out. He says he'll use it to read the selection most days and only listen on the weekends. I think that's reasonable.

Monk's gadget set me back quite a bit, but I didn't make it out of the store without making one more major purchase. I remember Kimberly at Raising Olives saying she listened to the Bible on CD when she went out of town while doing the 90 day Bible challenge. We've never owned the Bible in any other media format, since we enjoy reading it so much, but I thought this might really help us as we travel this summer. Also, my husband spends so much time studying the Bible throughout his week, I thought listening might be a nice way for him to be able to participate in the challenge without being tempted to cross reference and break out the commentaries. It might be a nice way for him to unwind at the end of the day (a substitute for the news and the economy blogs he listens to??). I'll let you know how it works for us.

So while it's definitely possible to do the 90 day Bible challenge without all these tools, I'm hoping they will encourage my family to stick with it through the summer. And I've learned a lesson, as well. Stay out of bookstores!

90 Day Bible Summer Reading Challenge- T minus 2 and counting and none too soon!

I think I'm all ready for the summer reading challenge. I bought a new Bible yesterday. My first New Living Translation. My mom did her reading in this translation last time around and said she really liked it. I thought it'd be fun to use a translation that's new to me. As you can see it's very small making it convenient to take everywhere with me, and I'm in the process of recording my reading schedule in the inside cover.

It's 7:30 Saturday morning and Monk just came downstairs looking for his 90 Day Bible. I'm thrilled that Monk (11 next week) and Twinkle Toes (9) have decided to try the challenge, too. I was having them read 1.5-2 hrs per day anyway, so they decided rather than read all the many biographies I bought (Trailblazer series) they'd read the Bible instead. I'm very excited about our reading as a family together this summer. Big D says he's going to try it again, too. (So hard for a guy who loves digesting a few verses at a time! I think he spent a year preaching through the Sermon on the Mount. I'll have to encourage him to just keep reading and go back for further study later.) I think it will be great for my family to be reading the Bible together, well separately, but together. And I think it may be none too soon.
A friend of mine was teaching Twinkle Toes in SS one day about a year or two ago. She was going to give a lesson on following Christ, not different teachers like Paul or Apollos so she asked everyone if they knew who Apollos was. Twinkle Toes immediately shot her hand up and when called on replied, "Wasn't he the one who fought Rocky?" Funny, but sad. A similar incident happened yesterday. We're driving along jamming out to a Jamie Soles Psalms CD singing "Offer right sacrifices and put your trust in Yahweh... Lift up the light of Your face upon us, O Yahweh!" when Measle Bug (6) who loves to sing and is just belting it out, pauses mid-song and says, "Who's Yahweh, anyway?" At this point Monk who's sitting in the front seat turns to me and shakes his head saying, "That's not a good sign, mom." I explained to Measle that in our Bible (NKJ) Yahweh is usually translated the Lord. That she understood. Kind of defeats the point of singing praise songs when you don't know whom you're praising, doesn't it? Maybe I should be reading the whole Bible aloud to my little ones this summer! On second thought, I think I'll save that for a future challenge since I read so much faster in my head and the vision of making BabyLu (19 months) sit on her blanket for an hour and a half per day is more than a little daunting.
If you're doing the challenge, please let me know. We can try to encourage one another this summer. We will be going out of town several times so I know I'll need to get a little ahead in preparation for those trips. Monk is going to swim camp in a few weeks so that's why he decided to start a few days ahead of time. I think he's reading day 3 today. Twinkle Toes will also go to camp, but her camp includes quiet time in the schedule so she'll be taking her Bible along with her. I know we can all do it. Since I've done it before, with morning sickness the last month or so, I know I can do it again. I'm looking forward to allocating a larger portion of my day to the reading of God's Word. Like my husband said last time, why don't Christians read the Bible this much all the time? Just think, we could read the Bible through 4 times every year! I know it could change our lives. God's Word is living and powerful- and it will change us. Join me and let's immerse ourselves in the Bible this summer. I can't wait to see what the Lord teaches us and works in us through this challenge!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What's in a name?

A lot if you're like us. We have several naming traditions and it seems to get more complicated with each child. We named our first son after Big D which began the tradition of naming our children after family members. Then when we had our first daughter we decided to name her after my mother. I had always loved the name Hannah so was going to use my mom's name as her middle name, but Mom preferred her name be the first name and Hannah didn't sound nearly as good as a follow-up to my mom's name so we ditched the Hannah and started the awful tradition of calling our kids by their middle names.

It was only natural to name our second daughter after my mother-in-law, but now we had yet another tradition to follow. Our oldest daughter's middle name, that we called her by, also held special spiritual significance for us. We searched and searched and finally settled upon a name for our second daughter that when put together with my mil's actually meant something special. But now we had inadvertantly started a third naming tradition, at least for our girls. Both daughters in addition to being named for family members and having a name of spiritual significance, also had names that began with the letter G.

When we adopted our fourth child, second son we decided to name him after my dad. You've probably noticed by now that we had also started taking turns naming our kids after Big D's side of the family and then mine. Then when our fifth child came along it was my father-in-law's turn to have one of our kids named after him. The only problem was our fifth child turned out to be a girl, so... we went back to my side and named her for my two grandmothers. I'm also named for my grandmothers so her name is similar to mine, as well.

You can imagine how concerned I was about being able to come up with a name for this baby, especially if she had turned out to be a girl. Thank goodness we found out today we're expecting another son! That simplifies things. We know his first name will be after my father-in-law, but what about his middle name that we'll call him by? We have no idea! And now we have a whole house full of little opinions on the matter. Past kid favorites include Firebob, Clifford, and Crack-in-the-eyeball. Needless to say we're taking their suggestions with a grain of salt, but it does rain on my parade when they hate the names I come up with.

Big D and I had some fun today perusing Purtitan names. Our personal favorite was
If-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-damned, nicknamed Damned for short. That's a little radical even for us. Well, maybe for a middle name:). Seriously, we're having trouble. Big D comes from a big family and we love Bible names, but also want to be somewhat original (and no, I already told Big D we're not naming our son Zebedee!) Not Moses, either. Really, I don't think Big D takes this very seriously. I would love to hear your suggestions. I liked the idea of naming him after a Reformer, but not Luther. I'm sorry. I'm indebted to the guy, but we already have one Lu around our house and isn't that enough, really? We need a cute sounding Bible name or Reformer name that's not terribly over-used. Please help!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blue or pink?

We find out tomorrow if I'm having a boy or a girl. I admire women who are able to wait until they deliver to learn what they're having. It would probably save us some money! I think it's the nesting instinct that's so strong that demands I know as soon as possible so I can start getting ready for baby's arrival.

This will be our 6th child. I wanted a boy desperately our first time around, and got one. Then during my second pregnancy I longed for a second son, and got a girl. The third time around I wanted a boy again and got another girl. The fourth time around we were determined to have another son and we adopted him! Then for my fifth pregnancy I desperately wanted another baby girl (it had been 5 years since we'd had a baby girl), and got one. (So I'm 3 for 5;). I can honestly say this time that it doesn't matter to either of us which we have. We will be delighted with either another son or another daughter. But I'm still anxious to find out!

What about you? Are you patient enough to wait or do you find out what you're having ahead of time? Does it influence your spending habits?

Monday, May 24, 2010

90 Day Bible- Focus on God

When I heard myself telling Big D the other night that I wanted to focus on God this time during my 90 day Bible challenge, I realized how ridiculous it sounded. The very idea of reading the Bible and not focusing on God! What I meant is this: I have so many questions about how God acts and interacts with His people. The trinity is a foundational theological concept that we learn about as preschoolers, but I haven't even scratched the surface in my understanding of it yet. And what is more important than who God is in terms of being able to rightly worship Him? I'll list a few of the questions I have that I'll be on the lookout for this time through the Bible. By the way, I think reading the Bible in a relatively short period of time like this is especially helpful when having a few questions in mind. If I were trying to answer them in the course of a year I fear I might lose my focus, but hopefully during the summer I'll remember during each reading what it is I'm reading for.
1. The inter-relationship of the three persons of the Trinity. How do the Father, Son, and Spirit relate to one another? Do they act separately or in conjunction with one another? For example, I remember learning as a child that God created the world. It was a bit confusing to me when I learned in John 1 and Colossians that the pre-incarnate Christ created the world. Then on closer inspection of Genesis I saw the Spirit was involved, as well. Is this always how they work- together? Do they each have a separate role within each cooperative act? The Bible is another example. It's God's Word. Yet, in the beginning was the Word and we know from John 1:14 that Word was the pre-incarnate Christ. And inspiration is accomplished by the Spirit. I know it's a bit of a mind-bender, but I think it's important to have an accurate picture of the Trinity in order to rightly worship God. These deep truths are not hidden from us, but revealed in Scripture, and it's my prayer that I will gain more insight about God this time through the Bible in order to be able to better praise and glorify Him.

2. How does God work through prayer? This is a biggie for me. I know we're supposed to pray and often told in the gospels that God will answer us and give us what we ask for. Yet, we also know we're called to suffer and have examples of God not answering in the way His children desired, even Christ. What is it we're supposed to pray for? See, I think I've been guilty of praying for the wrong things, but since Jesus never sinned, it cannot be wrong to ask God to "take the cup" of suffering from us if there is another way for Him to accomplish His purposes. And how are we supposed to pray? This might seem like a no-brainer. Just follow the example of Christ in the Lord's prayer, right? Yes, I think that is best. I hear many people today praying to Jesus, though. I've wondered about this. On the one hand, He is God, so surely it can't be wrong to pray to Him, but on the other hand, nowhere in Scripture are we instructed to pray to Jesus, but only "in His Name". (A whole separate issue- what does praying in Jesus' Name mean?) Jesus Himself prays to God the Father and I'm not aware of any example in Scripture of anyone praying to Jesus. People pray to the Holy Spirit, too. The same arguments against praying to the Son apply to praying to the Spirit. Anyway, you get the idea. I want to make sure I'm praying in the right way and not just asking for what I want.
3. How does the Spirit of God work in us? How is it different now than in the Old Testament? I realize theological books have been written about this, but I want to seek the Source. The pat answer I've always heard about the working of the Spirit then versus now is the difference between "on" and "in". It's not that I don't buy that, I just don't understand it. And we also have examples of the HS dwelling "in" specific OT saints. I want to look on every page of the Bible for how the Holy Spirit works. I just finished a year-long study of Acts and gained some insight there, but want to put it together with the whole counsel of God.

4. Then there's the pre-incarnate and glorified Christ. Interestingly enough when we see the second member of the Trinity appearing in the OT, He has some sort of body- like an angel (Christophany). This interests me. Then once glorified, He also has a glorified body. But He is also the Word. Somehow the Bible is a representation of Christ, or is Christ, who in turn is an exact representation of the Father. Another mind-bender. Also, does His relationship to us change? Is Christ one thing before and another after His incarnation, crucifixion, and glorification? What does He concern Himself with when He appears in the OT? I've never really paid special attention to this. You see, I was brought up (I use this loosely meaning it was taught in the churches I attended as a child, but not taught this way in my home) in the dispensational way of thinking. You know, that was the Old Testament, but now we have the New Testament, thank goodness, so that's how God works now. OT saints were under the law, but we're under grace. That was then, this is now type of thinking. I've come to seriously question this. If God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, why would He work so differently then as now? I don't know that God's timeline is linear like ours is. Anyway, just another interesting issue. And I definitely don't believe in a plan B-type of explanation for the New Testament. I delve into this in my Advent series if you're interested. But I'm particularly interested in how the second member of the Trinity appears and works in the OT, before His incarnation and salvific work. Wrapped up in this question is the issue of annointing, or being set apart by God.
I think these are the main questions I want to seek answers to. I'm excited to embark on this adventure once again and praying that God will enlighten me by illuminating the Living Word to me through His Spirit (see what I mean). I encourage you to read along with me with your own set of questions. I'm confident that His Word will not return void, so He will work in us as we immerse ourselves in the Scriptures.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's here!

Big D flew to San Antonio early Thursday morning to buy the motorhome we had picked out online. When he got there he decided he didn't like it nearly as much in person and found another one he preferred. He called me and had me look at 3 others online and this is the one we decided on. It was really a blessing that he was there and able to walk around in them and inspect them upclose. (The one I had picked out originally was a money pit and smelled!) Anyway, here's our new RV.

Big D drove it home and arrived in the middle of the night Thursday. Friday morning was like Christmas at our house. All the kids were up early and in our bedroom begging for the keys to the RV. They couldn't wait to get in there and have a look around. We had a cleaning party first thing.
Well, some of us did more cleaning than others of us:).

The kids were up there playing as we were preparing to leave for a swim meet.

Here they are all ready to go. We had quite an adventure! I have to confess I missed my GMC Yukon XL and all of us being immobile, but the kids loved the RV. I think I'm going to have to lay down some ground rules for future trips, though. Let's just say I got my exercise going back and forth, back and forth between the kitchen and everyone else keeping their bowls and cups full. (Byproduct of driving a traveling pantry, I suppose.) I'd sit down next to Big D with his sandwhich and his bottle of water and he'd say, "That's it? I'm going to need more to drink than that." Then back I'd go again. There was also the up and down, up and down of putting things away in storage and getting them out again. I felt I had to take over this role after one of the girls dropped her suitcase that was being stowed in the overhead bin on Monk's head. I now know a bit of what it's like to be a flight attendant. I used to find trips relaxing! Ha!
Then there was Big D's annoyance with all the rattling noises. He made me go up and down the RV trying to resolve all the rattling, no easy task considering we had 60 mph winds the first day of driving. I'd collapse in my seat exhausted and defeated and say something like, "I got all the windows closed up and latched, but the screens don't seem to fit just right." And Big D unphased would say something along the lines of, "Well, then take the screens out" as he handed me a screwdriver. Really? Life before the RV was much simpler, and easier on me, but I guess everyone was suffering for my comfort. Now it's the other way around. Monk tried to make me feel better by reminding me how much money we were saving by not having to pay for two hotel rooms. I assured him that the RV would definitely pay for itself in another 15 years of going to swim meets! And it never occurred to me that Big D wouldn't be interested in going to Starbucks when he had his own coffee pot in the RV. The kids and I were a little disappointed about missing out on that swim meet tradition. But all in all we had a wonderful time together, I mean really together, as a family on our little trip. Hopefully there will be many more in our future!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My how they shine!

Last Saturday the kids printed fireflies. They're arranged from youngest top-left clockwise to oldest bottom left. Here's Twinkle Toes (9) with her World of Music trophy. I think she was awarded this for a statewide music theory test she scored well on.

Measle (6) was thrilled to get a trophy the same week as her sister. Measle ran track this year for the first time and all the kids got trophies.

Monk (10) worked at the ranch for his grandparents and picked up 1,140 pieces of brass from the shooting range. With the money he earned (3 cents a shell), he bought a large Bionicle and spent that evening feverishly putting it together. Here he is showing off his work.

Not to be outdone by his older siblings, American Boy (4) has mastered pattern recognition and put together this rainbow road from my blog friend Tara at Too Many Kids in the Bathtub. It's also a handy tool to teach the order of the colors of the rainbow. Remember ROY G. BIV?

And it looks like we may have another musical one on our hands. Big D left the guitar out last night and guess who thought she'd try her hand at it? Baby Lu was just strumming away.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Horsin' Around

My mom and I are blessed to have a sweet friend who shows and breeds horses and she invited us out to her ranch today to see two of her new babies. Twinkle Toes (9) is obsessed with horses and this absolutely made her year! Measle (6) and Monk (10) also had a great time and all three kids got a bonus riding lesson today!

Don't you just love this caboose? It's been completely restored on the outside and our friend and her husband are having it remodeled on the inside to be their guesthouse. They'll have chairs that fold out into beds and a bathroom. We can't wait to see it finished!

This little foal was born last Thursday. Isn't she beautiful?

This colt is a couple of weeks old and is very spunky!

Here he is with his Mama. He doesn't venture too far from her at this point.

My sweet friend gave Twinkle Toes and Monk a horseback riding lesson and had them trotting and going around barrels by the end of it. Well, going around barrels slowly anyway :).

Measle decided she was content to be led around for her first time on a horse. I think riding lessons are in her future, though.

All the kids enjoyed petting the colt. He was very curious and seemed to like the attention.

Monk had not planned on riding, but after watching his sisters asked if we thought he should try it, too. I think he had more fun than anyone and did such a great job of listening and following instructions. My parents are planning on buying horses next year and the kids are so excited it's practically all they talk about. Our friend was so great to have us out to her place and take time out of her busy day for us. She was so patient with the kids and explained so much to us about breeding and ranching, too. But, I have to say Snowball was the real star today and made 3 kids exceedingly happy!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ultimatum update.

I shared with you a few weeks ago about how I want to go to a Vision Forum conference in San Antonio this summer and Big D said we could go IF we bought a motorhome. The ultimatum had been issued. Phase one of the ultimatum involved selling our travel trailer and I'm happy to report phase one is complete, thanks to some wonderful friends at church who sold it for us on their RV lot commission free. I realize this doesn't mean we'll find a motorhome to our liking and in our price range in time for the conference, but at least we've freed up some space in our driveway and added some dollars to our RV fund.

As far as purchasing a motorhome goes, I'm not at all sure how we're going to be able to do that. There aren't many used ones for sale where we live and Big D and I are both a little intimidated to buy one sight unseen via ebay or another online dealer. Remember that Seinfeld episode with the terrible smell that entrenches itself in Jerry's BMW? I can just see us buying an RV over the internet then learning only too late that it stinks so bad we can't stand to go anywhere in it. And you know how sensitive pregnant women are to smells!

The funny thing is, there is a motorhome we found on ebay that we're interested in and, irony of ironies, it's in San Antonio. Maybe Big D will go get it for us next week. Poor guy, I think he was hoping to get out of going to San Antonio this summer and now it looks like he may be going there twice! Oh well, he's always up for an adventure and he's been wanting a motorhome for a long time. He said he may even get his dad to go with him and drive our car back for us. I'll let you know how it all turns out. (I don't think the rest of the family was invited this time- memories of our Houston trip must still be haunting Big D:).


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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.