Friday, April 25, 2008


Expelled, originally uploaded by efiw.

We took the kids to the "movies" Monday.
I've been following this movie for almost a year and was intensely interested to see if this was going to just be another bash fest or a presentation of facts. Ben Stein did a decent job of getting word out there as to what is happening and how our World View seems to influence our ability to look at facts objectively and follow those facts to their ultimate conclusion. Still, it was a bit bashing (typical Ben sarcasm.)
I did learn a few things:
*You do not have to be a Christian (or even a Creationist) to subscribe to the ID theory. ID is simply stating that since scientists don't know the origins of life, could there be an intelligent designer instead of having to have all the proteins and atoms mesh in just the right way to bring about the 1st cell that in turn evolved into life.
*Darwinists are much more violent and vigilant than IDists.
*Science has been reduced to popular belief instead of testing, achieving results and documenting facts.
*It sounds just as crazy for me to say that God created life by molding mud and breathing into it, when I have never seen with my physical eyes the performance of the creation of life with mud or otherwise, as it does for Darwinists to say the first cell came about billions of years ago through lightning striking primordial soup causing evolvution into complex life forms.

One of the professors in the movie who teaches evolution was passionate about making sure nobody believed in God or the idea of after-life (heaven in particular). It was hopelessness up close and personal. Minda walked away from it in tears. I did too. He will never know the grace, mercy or love of God, and he doesn't care to.
The next day she said to me, "Mom, it seemed so much easier to believe in God when I was little. This whole God-head thing is strange, and difficult to understand." I went on to talk with her about how faith comes into play where we don't totally understand, and how growing up also means having to make choices for ourselves and not just following our parents like we did at 4 or 5 years old. In the end she said, "I wish I could stay 6 years old in my spirit then, forever."
Don't we all?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Brotherly Love

Tofer is becoming a wonderful songwriter. What is really special is that he loves when Cassia harmonizes with him. He'll write a chorus and then rush up the stairs to show her. By the second time through she has her harmony and begins to sing out, right along with him. He goes back down the stairs smiling and excited to continue writing. When the opportunity came for him to minister in song to the congregation, he wouldn't do it unless Cassia was available. (She is a busy girl right now) It not only worked for her, but God brought together others who wanted to help make this moment as worshipful as possible!

This is them performing "Holy God" together for offeratory~ along with Tanner on drums, Scott on bass, and Mike on rhythm guitar. It was beautiful :O) I'll have to get Tof to put it on the computer so you can hear it.
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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Raw Granola Bars

I've integrated about 90% raw into my diet. It was a challenge from Sara. It's been difficult to do as much as I would like because of family, and lack of a garden, but I have loved what I have been able to do.

I was hungry for granola bars the other day, so I decided to try my hand at making them raw. In order to make them stick together I used organic dates, organic, fresh almond butter, and unsulphered, non-heat processed molasses. Into that I added organic unsweetened coconut flakes, organic whole oats, organic raw sunflower seeds, organic flax seed, almonds, and dried apricots. I mixed it, pressed it into a pan, and let it dry for a day and a half with a screen on it (I also don't have a dehydrator). They were yummy - with the exception of the apricots... I won't add those next time. I may make more soon. The 12 bars this made went fast! I may substitute out the molasses for honey and see how that goes.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


We're Home!! What an adventure. I feel like I conquered the world and all I did was drive to Minnesota and back! Cassia had a great visit. She made friends, fell in love with the college, their faculty and staff, got a taste of late nights and early mornings several days in a row, and got a nifty, purple T-shirt! (he he!) Peter told me before we left to keep my hands at 10 & 2... How did I do Peter? I won't be anxious to get back in the car again anytime soon. Just thinking about it makes my butt ache.

Our special Google map blown up to 350% so you can see "St. Boni" (as the locals say). Google gave us wrong directions, but we made it anyway thanks to the grace of God! It's a beautiful place, although most of our time there was spent watching the unseasonal blizzard. Winds were outrageous!
One of the many long stretches of I-94 east... at least it was a beautiful morning! It reminded us of eastern Washington. We felt like we were driving to Tri-Cities or Odessa. It made Cassia miss 'home'. I can't say that I will ever miss coulees, scrub land, tumbleweeds, or sagebrush, though I do miss the heat sometimes.
This is Tonya. She is from a small town in WY and wants to go into Crown's nursing program. She and Cassia became good friends while they were there. She is one of several people that we are now missing. One thing about going into an environment where everyone is there for a similar purpose, and have similar goals, dreams, and hearts is that you connect quickly and feel their absence acutely when you are separated.
Tof blessed us with some Starbucks money. However, finding a Starbucks in eastern Montana, North Dakota, or small town Minnesota is a needle in a haystack exercise. My nose, however, is a finely tuned Starbucks locator. We found one on the way home hiding out in Bismark. Do we look happy? Coffee = Happy, happy, happy!
Thank you, again, to all of you who were praying for us continually. Cassia's interview went well, she doesn't think the essay went great, & the initiatives were challenging. The roads were good, and the car did fantastic. I wish you were all here so we could tell you about it in person. God did some amazing things and we could not feel more blessed or secure in the knowledge of His love toward us.
Please pray for the scholarships & grants that Cassia will be finding out about in the upcoming weeks. If she is supposed to be at Crown, it will have to be paid for through God's provision. I'm so excited about her future.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

And They're Off!!

Cassia and I leave in about an hour!!! We're packed, we have our directions printed, we bought a map, we got snacker-nackers, and have checked and rechecked our lists. J. filled up Lassie with petrol, changed her oil, left the snow tires on and checked their pressure, and washed her with triple action foam so she is shiny metalic blue again (we'd forgotton what color she was!).
Tof and Minda have their school assignments lined out for them, their work assignments have been rehersed, snack and meals have been gone over...

You all have been awesome with your prayers and blessings over us in these preparation days, please continue to pray for us!
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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Frogs and More

We are in the middle of endless winter. We're experiencing barefoot & frolic depravation. Last winter was our first in Bozeman and God must have let us just have a 'sip' ~ Sorta work us in, easy like. This year its' been like drinking from a firehose. It has literally been 8 months of winter. We've had non-stop snow since the end of Sept. Great for the skiiers, not so great for those of us with Spring in our hearts.
We've been hankerin' for Summer - campfire grub, Flip flops, tank tops, Fresh fruits, vegies, grilled fish.
Family night this week I decided to cook a childhood favorite of mine. Grampa used to make this in the big dutchovens when we'd go camping. He called it Frogmore Stew - cause it had Frogs and More in it! It's simple and fun.
Throw chunks of potato, corn cobs, crab, shrimp, frog legs, or whatever into a pot with some olive oil and water. Season to taste with whatever you want and boil it until tender. Then drain it and dump it onto newpaper in the middle of the table. (I put a garbage bag under it so it wouldn't damage the table, but when you are camping it doesn't matter!)
Give everyone a ramikin of garlic butter, a big napkin and long forks and have at it!
You'll be surprised at how quickly it is gone!
Minda beat us all in corn cobs ~ Her place looked somewhat like a graveyard.
What I really love about this dish is the clean up! When you are finished you just roll up all the newsprint. I tossed the cobs out for the squirrels, the newspaper went in the recycling, and that left me 5 forks and 5 glasses to wash!

It reminds me of Fondue in some ways. You all sit around a central 'pot' and laugh, chatter, and eat, getting your forks tangled up, chiding the ones who are hogging all the shrimp... Great family fun!
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Happy .... Um, April??

We had a blizzard. 90 inches at the top of bridger, only about 24 at our level... More snow in April than in October??? Welcome to Montana!
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Thursday, April 03, 2008

UPDATE on Cassia's Trip

I'm driving. I'm nervous. The farthest I've ever driven is about 5 hours from Portland to Moses Lake by myself. Portland I knew my way to and around... Minnesota I've never even seen or set foot in!
But this means Cassia isn't going alone, and it will be only 30 hours of driving instead of 50 hours on a Greyhound. :o)
J is calling us Thelma and Louise - let's hope not!
We are going to need all your prayers ~ during the preparations, during the drive, during the Campus Preview, for the fam. staying behind, for the vehicle, and anything else you can think of to cover!
God is well able, I know. Just trying to get as many people petioning Him on our behalf as possible!
Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

First Born

Before Cassia was born a prophesy went over her:

"Every child that opens the womb shall be called holy unto the Lord. And this child, in your womb, this child will be His anointed. This child will be a fulfilling of the scripture, ' and a child shall lead them.'

Anyone who knows Cassia wouldn't look at her and say, "Now there is a great leader!" But typical to the kingdom of Heaven the weak confound; the least are great. Cassia has a meek and gentle spirit that draws you to her, helps you let down your guard, and captures your affections. She has an uncanny ability to care deeply about everyone she comes in contact with. You are taken into her heart. Once there you will be ushered before the Throne of Grace by her, time & time again.
Being around her challenges you spiritually. She doesn't have to say a word. There is simply a quiet strength about her; an irrevocable presence that goes deep unto deep where Christ speaks life and blows away the dust of dormancy as Holy Spirit begins to move.
She has made us unbelievably proud as parents, but more importantly, I believe God looks upon her and smiles. He sings over her. A song that bestows anointing and grace with it's melody. And she sings back ~ in harmony.
She is leaving in 7 days to take her first road trip all by herself. She'll be gone 4-5 days, for more than 50 hours on the Greyhound, and be going through an interview and several other events at Crown College in Minnesota. Please pray for her (and for us as we watch her grow up)!