Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bozeman Montana SALUTE!

We spent this past weekend in Bozeman. Probably a month ago or so, Maggie asked to see dinosaur bones, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to visit Bozeman and the Museum of the Rockies. We stayed at the C’Mon Inn, a nice hotel on the west end of Bozeman. Rocky & I took Friday off, so we slept in (or tried to in my case) and took our time getting ready to go. Rocky and Maggie took Otis and Wiconi to the dog hotel and we were on our way fairly early. We even brought along Maggie’s butterflies because only 2 had come out of their cocoons and we hoped to watch the others (I’ll post about her butterflies later).

We visited MSU first so Rocky could finally get his student ID (so we could get a discount to the museum) and had lunch on campus. Then we headed over to the Museum. We just missed the planetarium show and were told there was a kid-related one Saturday mornings, so we decided to go back to the museum the next day. The dinosaur part of the museum was really interesting, but there was growling and other possible dinosaur sounds that scared Maggie (and Rocky & I were happy we did not decide to take her to the dinosaur show in Billings earlier this spring!) So we headed to the hotel, after a quick stop at Target to get Maggie a new swimsuit.

Maggie LOVED the pool. With her new suit and her new floaties, she got brave fairly quickly and let go of us. While Rocky was trying to talk her into it the first time, Maggie told him “But Dad, I don’t want to die.” She loved “swimming” between us and playing “Shark Family”. We ended up spending most of Friday afternoon and evening in the pool and hot tubs.

Saturday, we went back to the Museum of the Rockies for the kid’s planetarium show “Larry Cat in Outer Space” which Maggie declared “the best movie ever.” After, we went to the Children’s Museum, which must have been in the middle of renovations because it felt more like a daycare center than a Children’s Museum. Maggie did enjoy the pulleys to make the big bubbles. We enjoyed hamburgers downtown for a bit of a late lunch and then it was back in the pool! We also hit Cold Stone Creamery for a late snack, and it rather ended up our supper as we were all full after that!

We had one last swim Sunday morning after breakfast and then headed home to Billings. Maggie was sad to leave, but felt better after she realized that her swimsuit and floaties were coming home with us. She had hoped we’d be able to get her swimming pool out once we got home, but the 50 degree weather precluded that.

More pictures from our trip are on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Was Here First!

Last night we took Maggie to the “I Was Here First!” class offered at big_sisterthe Billings Clinic.  It’s a class tailor-made for kids Maggie’s age on what to expect with a new baby.  Maggie is very excited about being a Big Sister, in theory.  She does seem to get a little apprehensive at times, especially when she realizes she is probably going to have to share her toys.  This is most likely the reason she wants a little brother.  She told Rocky the other day that she has little girl and big girl and boy toys.

I think the class was helpful for Maggie.  She drew a picture of her family (and the baby was in my tummy); we watched a silly video – which was her favorite; we learned how to hold, diaper and wrap a baby; we got to see a birthing suite where the baby will be born; and Maggie got a surgical mask (or hat for the baby) & hat.  She was very upset she didn’t get to keep the baby doll we practiced with, but got over it pretty quickly when we went to see the trout.  I think the class helped Maggie see the baby in more concrete terms, rather than the abstract.  She was a little upset that she won’t get to be in the room when the baby is born, but as she’ll most likely get to stay with Cousin Christy, she was pretty happy with that compromise.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Circus, the circus, I love the circus!


Last weekend, we took Maggie to the Shrine Circus. We had gone to see the elephants a few days earlier when they took them downtown. When I got Maggie there, they were giving pony and elephant rides. Maggie was very concerned that there was a pony without a rider and graciously volunteered to be the one to ride that pony. We decided later that week to take Maggie Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately, we didn’t plan ahead enough and buy tickets, so we ended up in line for the 1 p.m. show and bought tickets for the 4 p.m.circus02 We spent our down time doing a little shopping and playing at a playground. I can only remember going to the circus once as a child (and never in my adult life). I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, though I did know they would be selling souvenirs, which may or may not have much to do with the actual circus. The food was actually reasonably priced ($2 for just about everything they brought around to the crowd), but the toys were not. Their big sale item was a saber that lights up. We told Maggie we were only buying food and got a sno-cone, cotton candy and pop. Maggie also got her pony ride (see video below) and it was her very favorite part of the circus.

The first act was the best: trained tigers! There were 2 white Siberian tigers who were gorgeous! One was a bit feisty and we half expected her to take a piece out of the trainer! We did see an acrobat take a spill. The first half was about an hour long and at intermission, it was painfully obvious that Maggie was very tired. The ring master was certain to tell the kids that the light sabers were for sale and Maggie decided she “needed” one and attempted to wave down one of the guys walking around selling them. Rocky told her several times we weren’t going to get one. Then she started asking for an elephant ride again (after her pony ride, she told us she “needed” an elephant ride). Another no and the tears started flowing and it was time to go home. She cried most of the way home, until she found her new finger paints. She fell asleep early and even took a nap Sunday afternoon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Another boring OB appointment

It's so nice to return from an OB appointment with nothing to report. Low blood pressure, weight is good (though I did gain 7 pounds in the last month; I really shouldn't complain about a 14 pound overall weight gain so far), 31 weeks along and measuring at 29, and as my OB put it "pregnancy seems to agree with you." Too bad this is the last time, then!

I am tired and feeling a little punchy/crabby and a little short with Maggie sometimes. I've been trying to redirect her when I'm tired to let's read a story rather than play. It was a bit of a rough weekend with the Circus (I'll post about that once I download the pictures) and I know she was a bit tired all weekend as well -- she went to bed early on Saturday and even took a nap yesterday.

A maximum of 11 weeks is left in this pregnancy and while the days seem to drag, the weeks seem to fly by. Maggie and I started going through toys this weekend and we should probably start dragging out baby equipment and clothes. I'm also thinking I need to clean out some room in the spare closet for the baby stuff in our room. Guess I am hitting the nesting stage.

Edited: I forgot to add baby's heartbeat was 141. For a while last night, I was thinking that was low and meant the baby is a boy, but after checking my notes from Maggie turns out her heartbeat was around that as well about this point. I know there are theories out there about gender prediction and heart rate, so we'll see which is true.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easter Weekend Photos

Maggie hiding her Easter Eggs before church
After church, ready to start the hunt!
And she's off!
This basket is soo heavy!
Hey, what did the Easter Bunny bring?
A family photo, the 3.5 of us!
Maggie, Grandma Bonnie & Grandpa Mike

Easter Weekend

We had a great Easter weekend last week. Rocky's folks came out and Rocky & I both took a long weekend to enjoy Good Friday together. We shopped and ran errands, nothing more notable than the trip to Build-a-Bear I posted last weekend. We did color eggs and thankfully Maggie was happy to only color 6 eggs, 5 of which went home with Grandpa Mike. We also stuffed the plastic eggs to hide Easter morning.

Saturday night, Rocky and I joined our church group for a Seder meal. It was quite the experience and one I hope we will make a tradition for this group. The Osterlund's hosted -- they have a great space in their basement for the triclinium table. We all brought part of the meal. I'm not sure what possessed me, but I decided to volunteer the lamb. I have not eaten lamb much in my life, and this was my first attempt at cooking one! A recipe from Bobby Flay led the way and everyone seemed to enjoy it: at least there wasn't much left at the end of the night. We all enjoyed several glasses of wine (some of us enjoyed the non-alcoholic versions) and enjoyed our time together. We never did "officially" get to the 4th glass of wine, but the most important aspect of the meal: eating together and talking about the reason for the Passover, were enjoyed by all.

Rocky had wanted to get up for the sunrise service, but it was very cold (about 25 degrees) that morning, so he opted to stay in bed instead. We enjoyed some leisurely coffee before getting ready for the 10:30 service at church. It gave Maggie time to hide her own eggs to find after church! We ate breakfast at the church and enjoyed a great service. At home, Maggie enjoyed finding her eggs, and the few treats the Easter Bunny left while we were at church. We had a quiet afternoon enjoying the "Ten Commandments" which Maggie informed us was NOT a family show.

I hope your Easter was filled with blessings!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lent Reflections: Christ the Victor

I guess it doesn’t matter than I’m writing my final thoughts on our Lenten study almost a week after Easter.  After all, the fact that Christ rose from the grave is not something that ends at Easter. It is a message that continues and blesses us to this day.  Without the resurrection, this story could not have continued.  It would not have continued.  How could it?  Would the disciples ever have come out of hiding?  Would any of them had even bothered to write down their experience or Jesus’ words? What would have been the point?  After all, they weren’t there when he died or was buried.  His burial was left to Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, both most likely members of the Sanhedrin. Do you suppose they felt guilty for not speaking up earlier during the trial?  Perhaps they both felt this was a way for them to make it up to Jesus.  I wonder if they realized that their work in preparing his body was futile, that in 3 days Jesus would be resurrected.

On that day, Jesus chose to first reveal himself to those who showed up first: Mary Magdalene, another Mary and Salome.  Interesting that he chose to reveal himself to them first.That they were the ones to tell the others first. I cannot even imagine what was going through the women’s heads at that time: disbelief, fear, a small part of them daring to believe it.  Like all the disciples, I suppose. All of the gospels agree that there was disbelief among all of the faithful.  They were brutally honest about that.  After spending over 24 hours in hiding to avoid the same fate as Jesus, they saw him.  They talked to him, ate with him, walked with him.  And then, they proclaimed him.  They endured torture, jail time, most were martyred for proclaiming that Jesus is not dead, he defeated death and is our champion!

But the Resurrection is not simply about a man being raise from the dead: after all, Jesus did that while still alive. The Resurrection is about God showing his power over evil, over death.  He has shown that we just need to side with him to be on the winning team.  We still NEED to choose him. We still have the free will to reject him, to reject the story, to find a way to explain away the resurrection.

To me, the final word of the entire study is that the power of Easter is Hope.  Hope in Jesus. Hope in life eternal. Hope that there is reason and meaning in this life. Hope.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Build a Bear Workshop

For quite a few years now, Grandma Bonnie has wanted to take Maggie to Build a Bear Workshop. As Grandma and Grandpa were coming up for the weekend anyway, Rocky suggested that this would be a good weekend to do so. And this afternoon we went. Maggie absolutely loved it! She picked out a brown and white dog. Later she told us, “My puppy said ‘pick me’, so I did because I just love her.” She had fun picking out the heart, dress, shoes, panties, bows and even a sound maker so her dog can bark and a pretty pink dog bed. She decided her dog’s name should be Maggie, “just like my name.” Her dog has not left her hands much since we got home. She is enjoying dressing and undressing her dog. I helped her once, but she told me I wasn’t doing it like it said “in the book.” Though as we dressed her dog, she decided that she could re-write her “book” on dog dressing.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lent Reflections: The Crucifixion

Fitting, isn’t it, that I end up writing about the Crucifixion on Good Friday? I can honestly say I did not plan that.  I have some extra time this morning and thought it would be a good time to write down my thoughts.

The service the last 2 Sundays have been so, I’m not sure exactly what word to use: disturbing? horrifying? convicting?  The replica cross is eerie and even more so when Brian was pounding in the nails.  It felt strange to continue on with the service, like everything is normal, after a sermon like that.

Jesus was crucified at 9 a.m.  It had probably been about 3 hours of flogging, humiliation and carrying that heavy crossbeam to Golgotha.  It took 6 hours for him to die.  He was only 2-3 feet off the ground so his mother and followers were able to look into his eyes, talk to him, touch him.  Horrifying.

In this chapter, we also discussed a theory of atonement that is the one that makes the most sense to me.  The other two theories discussed in the book were 1. the substitution theory in that Jesus took our place, receiving the punishment for us, and 2. the subjective influence theory in which Jesus’ suffering and death demonstrated the depth of human sin and the breadth of God’s love for us.  The final theory is the sacrificial offering theory.  Throughout history, humans have offered sacrifices to the gods for various reasons.  The Jewish people offered sacrifices to God through the Temple priest.  The sacrifices were offered not to turn away God’s wrath, but to express the people’s repentance and their desire to be reconciled to God.  One goat was offered as a sacrifice and another, the “scapegoat” was given the sins of the people and sent into the wilderness never to be seen again.  In Jesus’ death, he acted as high priest representing all of humanity.  With His death, he opened the door to God to us. This sacrifice allows us direct access to God.  This is shown in Matthew, Mark and Luke as all 3 gospels mention that when Jesus died, the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  The curtain blocking access and the view of the Holy of Holies was torn and we are no longer separated from Him.

Yet, at the time, his disciples didn’t understand.  I can imagine their despair.  The last 3 years, they had left their families and followed him.  They most likely, much like Judas, thought it was all over.  Did they leave the cross before he died?  John probably took Mary somewhere, though I’m sure she waited until Jesus had died before leaving.  But they all left. No one was there to bury him.  The women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome were the ones to go to the grave 3 days later to anoint his body, so they were probably at the burial, or at least knew where the body was located.  Perhaps the anointment was women’s work, which is why the disciples didn’t go. Or maybe they just stayed in hiding, still fearful for their own lives.  What do you supposed they talked about those two days? Or did they talk at all?  Perhaps they just sat in silence, pondering the last three years, wondering whether or not it had been worthwhile.  Fortunately, for them and for us, they did not act irrationally.  They waited.  And three days later were rewarded greatly!  How wonderful for us that we already know how this story will end.