Saturday, October 25, 2008

A List

We spent a wonderfully refreshing evening last night with Ryan and Andrea Ward and their sweet kiddos, Grace and Caleb. If any of you grew up in Manhattan or have attended Montana Bible College, you probably know them. What a great family. Filled with God to the brim and overflowing.

Andrea made us pizza and Gracie and Caleb couldn't wait to get to the ice cream they made. J made a big hit with the kids, per usual. He made pineapple talk (which Grace giggled about but promptly informed us that pineapples don't talk). Later he asked if she ate ice cream on her pizza or pizza on her ice cream - - in general he was just a big kid; hence the complete adoration of the lollipop league.

Late in the evening we talked about books that have spoken to us recently and ones that helped us as we were raising a family.

It isn't the first time in the past couple months that I have had this conversation with someone. We have several new, or soon-to-be, parents as friends and it blesses me that people turn to us for answers. We haven't really done anything extraordinary - it's just that intentionality goes a long way when you couple it with the convictions of God in your own hearts as parents. We read and listened to a lot because their is something about becoming a parent that causes you to feel lost (or at least 'at a loss'). Good place to be. Humble, needy, scared, and directionless are all postures that God can use and infuse with His glory.

Here's a list of books we've read, loved, reread, tried to implement, cried over, repented because of, etc... etc... etc...
Family life and parenting in general:
The Family - JR Miller
Ministry of Motherhood &
Mission of Motherhood - both by Sally Clarskson
For the Families Sake &
When Children Love to Learn- Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
Romancing Your Child's Heart - Monte Swan
Family Driven Faith - Voddie Bauchaum
Parenting with Kingdom Purpose - Hemphill & Ross
My one caution is that several of these books lean heavily toward the 'works' side of things. Be careful as you read them to remember that Christ died to allow the Holy Spirit to come and empower you to do all things through Christ. Your lives should be filled with the Holy Spirit and grace so that the work is a joy and an outflow of Who is alive inside of you.

Raising Sons:
Future Men - Douglas Wilson
Thoughts for Young Men - RC Ryle
Raising a Modern Day Knight - Robert Lewis

Raising Daughters:
Beautiful Girlhood - Mable Hale (updated version by Karen Andreola) or online here
To the Harmonious Development of Christian Character - Newcomb
Raising Maidens of Virtue - Stacy Macdonald

There are others, of course, but these are the ones that I have purposed to buy for my own children to read for their development as parents when the time comes. Some of them are for when your children are small, some for when they begin to grow into adults, but if you can read them BEFORE you get to the stage they are really needed, the stages will be in a truer perspective as they come. I read several of these while I was pregnant with Cassia, and have gone back to them continually.

If you are planning on homeschooling:
Seasons of Life &
Practical Homeschooling - Gregg Harris
Anything and Everything by the Vision Forum

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Coo

Downtown @ RMR - it has it's own form of wildlife!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


We live in MSU town. :o) Needless to say we have a lot of college students who are away from home and friends and family ~ some for the very first time in their tender years. So we began Ad./Bc. (Adopt a Bobcat) where those students can get home cooked meals, wrestle with siblings, get hugs & be loved, or get rides to appointments. Last night we gathered for a kick-off celebration. We played this fantastic game with dice, cards and white elephant gifts called SNOOP!
It was a great night of being goofy, and competitve and finding friends amidst new faces, and old. What was in the bags wasn't the only surprise I got. Our friends, Matt, Sara, and Bella have come home for the winter!!! Yes, I totally freaked out... in fact, I screamed - - what else would you expect me to do when one of my best friends whom I have seen a total of 2 weeks in the past year, and who was not scheduled to be back for 2 more months comes nonchalantly walking through the doorway?
They're home, they're home, they're home!!!
(thanks for comendeering my camera and preserving the memories, my friend!)
Incidentally - if you haven't seen Sara's photos, you don't know what you're missing!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Long time, no sleep

I'm tired. We jumped from having Laura for 4 days directly into a trip to a Pastor's conference for 3 days into Worship Without Borders symposium for 5 days. Late nights and early mornings don't make Deea a Happy-fun wifer/mother/teacher...
My senses are dulled.
I seem to be crawling through my days.
I'm usually a pretty upbeat, smiley, positive person with a "How can I help?" kind of attitude, but since sleep deprivation has set in the beat has become a dirge, smiles have turned to glazed stares, and the "How may I be of service?" sounds more like "Get it yourself, BOB!"


Coffee, how I love thee; let me drink thee in and absorb thy drug induced counterfeit reality.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Old Man Winter

Is Reborn...

I took these through the fron window this morning. Absolutely amazing!

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Worship Without Borders

Tim and Maryl are here for a 5 day worship symposium. Last night we met at the Schlender's for dinner, worship and a lesson.
It was one of the most awesome, sweetest times of worship I have ever experienced. Everyone sang out in abandon, giving God all of themselves. It was life changing.
We left with the snow drifting down and this morning we have 4 inches! I'm so glad we are inside for more time of worship and fellowship!
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Friday, October 10, 2008

It's Snowing!

Not a great amount yet, but it is still coming down! WOO HOO! I'm puttin' on a pot of cocoa, and pullin' out the woolens!
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Monday, October 06, 2008

Food, Funk, Friends (not necessarily in that order!)

When I was in 6th grade we moved to Wenatchee, WA. We weren't wealthy, I was insecure, and I was the new kid in school. That doesn't make for an easy adolescence. Little did I know that God had something in store for me that would not only make me wealthy, it would last a lifetime - through several more schools and moves, through foreign countries, colleges, marriages, & kids. That something was a friend, Laura Christensen. Our choir teacher introduced us, but it was our foundation in Christ that sustained us. Laura was the only christian I knew at school. She lived just blocks from me. She and I both played flute. We both enjoyed quizzing. Our love of God and what He was doing in our hearts and lives was our constant reconnection point, however. This past Thursday, after 8 years, 2 boys, and a few moves, Laura and I were together again! She is a lawyer in the Seattle area and she blessed me by putting things on hold, kissing all her men (that would be her husband Jason and her 2 sons, Brennan & Fox) goodbye & hopping a plane to Bozeman just to catch up with me. She tagged along with our home group too. We all had planned to go listen to Scotty's band, The Big Caboose & The Soul Penetrators, play @ Chico Hot Springs Friday night. J & I, Laura, Dan, Jess, Kaitlin, Sadie, Shannon, Abby, Jon, Sam, Sara, & Peter packed into 2 vehicles and headed out for a night of gettin' our groove on.
A night out with a bunch of friends isn't common for any of us and we were makin' the most of it.
Naomi was on her own little adventure this week, but Peter was thinkin' about her.
We stopped in Livingston @ the Rib & Chop for dinner. 2 of Laura's friends from quizzing days met us there too. The guys were salivating over the thought of devouring hurkin' slabs o' grilled flesh. Us girls wanted salads and soup and baked potatoes :o) Viva la differance! When we were thoroughly engorged, we loaded back up and drove down the road to Chico so we could work of dinner with Scotty's nasty, funk. A little Steevie Wonder, a little Ludacris, a bit o' Commodores, and of course Mr. James Brown and we were workin' the floor.
MOST of us danced until we were ready to drop. You can tell we all have jobs, families, and schedules though, because we didn't even make it til 1AM before we were saying g'dbye and cramming into our vehicles to come home and crash!
Laura and I mainly just hung out and chatted. 8 years of Christmas letters had kept us apprised of what was happening in each other's lives, but those are highlight reels. This was the time for the unabridged version. So we took walks and sat in the wonder of creation and found each other's hearts again. We still have so much in common after all these years. Our mindset of raising family, our desire to let go of what we can't control and let God have His way, laughing over our kids and their antics, our love for our husbands and cinnamon rolls...
Thank you, Laura. Thank you for putting enough value in our friendship to put trials and cases on (semi) hold, buying plane tickets and flying hundreds of miles spur of the moment without the boys, just to catch up with your insecure little cribbage partner from Washington Elementary. I love you!