Friday, November 16, 2012

Some Things to Learn and Do in Rural Minnesota

When my parents, sisters, and I first moved to Fergus Falls in 1990 I was not too thrilled about it.  I felt like we were stepping back in time and as a busy teenager from a big city, small town living was not my idea of a good time.  Growing up really does open your eyes to the realities of life and what is really important.  Since Ethan, the kids, and I have moved to Fergus Falls three and a half years ago, I have really begun to appreciate this town and all the opportunities for growing and learning.  I see how the people in this community rally together to bless the whole town.  As Ethan says, "Minnesota is full of Scandinavians with Socialist tendencies."  People really are generous here and work together to get things done.

Homeschooling has added to our small-town learning experience fourfold.  Every week we are able to take advantage of things in this community that most people do not have the time for.  It has been very fulfilling.  In the past couple of years, my husband and his dad, along with my dad have spent some time teaching the kids about shooting a rifle.  Peter John received a pellet gun and a bow and arrow for his birthday in 2011, and now this year, he saved his paper route earnings to buy his own .22 rifle.  Gretchen and Peter John go to a club here in town called the Fergus Falls Jr. Rifle Club.  They meet at the indoor shooting range every Tuesday at 6:30pm during the school year.  They only charge $10 per child for the year plus ammunition costs.  What a deal!  And they are learning some great skills.
Lizzy trying out PJ's pellet gun at an outdoor range. 
PJ shooting prone at Jr. Rifle Club

Last week our homeschool co-op the School of Choice took a field trip up to Moorhead to see MSUM's children's play.  The theater department at the University puts on a children's play every year, and it is usually very fun and delightful.  This year we saw a play called, "Rupunzel and the Dragon."  Great job, MSUM! We had a good time looking for ice skates at second-hand shops in Fargo after the play.
Lizzy with her friend from School of Choice at the play
Amy with her friend

 Every Monday through Thursday our local indoor ice arena has free open ice skating from 1:30-3pm.  We usually only have time to go on Mondays this year, but the kids look forward to it! The only people who are able to go are adults and homeschoolers since the rest of the kids are in regular school.
Amy skating with an ice skating "walker"

Peter John and Gretchen always competing to see who is fastest!
Our family is planning to move away from this community some time in the next year as God is leading us to carry on our mission work in a much bigger city.  Now, thankful thoughts are filling my mind as I begin to consider leaving this place in the future.  I am very grateful for the family, friends, and learning opportunities God has given us here in Fergus Falls.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mothering on Friday

O Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me. Psalm 139:1 NLT

Friday was a normal day of raising kids--crazy but full of God's grace.  Ethan was out of town for part of the day, and we were busy homeschooling as we do on Fridays.  Amy had woken up with a fever and spent the day in bed. Later Lizzy came to me with a bleeding gum that was sore and swollen.  I was afraid it was an abscess so I took her to the dentist leaving Gretchen in charge of Amy.  I called the next-door neighbor to ask if they could be available if Gretchen had any questions or problems.  That went just fine.  Fortunately, her sore gum was due to some accident, probably from chewing on something hard.  There was no infection and no procedure needed, thankfully. Hah! The Friday before Peter had to have a tooth pulled for a different reason.

By the end of the afternoon, poor Amy began to complain about a sore throat.  After examining her throat with a flashlight, I decided she probably had strep throat, and I called the doctor's office. The receptionist told me if I could get there in ten minutes, they could fit me in before closing time.  The wonderful doctor took one look at her throat and determined that she had "angry strep" and she was promptly tested and prescribed antibiotics and sent out the door.  Meanwhile, Peter and Lizzy were swimming at the YMCA, and Gretchen was holding down the fort at home.

Being a mother is an amazing balancing act with all kinds of events taking place EVERY DAY!  It is such a comfort to know that God is in control of it all, and I can trust our Shepherd, our gracious Father to take care of everything!