Monday, June 29, 2015

Going on a mini vacation...

The last two days were partially spent on painting in my parent's new house. Our whole family worked almost all of yesterday in there, and then Lauretta came over and helped too, so we got a lot done, but there is still much to do.

Dad, putting tape on the trim in the living room...

 My mom painting her bedroom...
 Me helping Mom in the master bedroom...
 Andrew took curtain rod holders and outlet covers off....
 Jacob, doing more taping in the living room...
 Painting the kitchen ceiling...
 Lauretta painting in the dining room...
Lauretta stayed over last night and she and I had fun talking 'til all hours of the morning (mostly about wedding plans....imagine that!!!). She is such a dear, dear friend!

In the morning, I'm going down to SD to visit another dear friend, Dorena W. :)  I'm so excited!!!  It's been way too long since we've seen each other (2 years?). 

My blog will once again be silent for a couple days.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Painting and Prairie Days....and paintings AT Prairie Days~

Yesterday, my mom and I started the big and rather tedious job of painting all the ceilings and walls in their new home.  It took a while to get everything set up, but then we got the ceilings painted in the master bedroom, bathroom, and a good sized storage closet. It will be more fun when we're actually putting colors on the walls instead of just painting white over white. :)

This morning, Andrew & I headed West to attend the Dagley's annual Prairie Days. We've gone to Prairie Days every year (except last year) for 12 years. It was really good to see so many old friends and to get caught up a little bit on what's going on in their lives---and to update them on what's going on in my/our lives.

 There were so many new babies to see too!
 My long-time friend, Susanna, figuring out how to use a drop-spindle...
I played croquet with friends for a while...

And yes, there was a (water color) painter at Prairie Days: Mrs. B...
It was really neat to watch her work.
It is such a blessing to have Christian friends---to encourage and pray with and yes, even to struggle through life together with at times, reminding each other to keep looking to God for the wisdom and strength and comfort needed. Many people face challenges that we know nothing of when we see their smiling faces. Then, we discover the trials they're really going through...and see how much trust and courage it takes to keep that smile going....and it is just a good reminder to keep ALL our brothers and sisters (in the Lord) in prayer as God brings them to mind, as they may be struggling in ways we'd never have imagined.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Update time!

I realized tonight that I am WAY behind on blog-posting! 

There is SO much to be said and so little time as it is already late, 
so this will be the condensed version of a very lengthy tale...

I don't remember if I mentioned that my chicks came in the mail last week? They are doing very well now and the cats are not happy with the cat-proof floor we put down, so I'm pleased. ;)
 Michael came on Saturday and was able to stay until Tuesday. It was a great delight and comfort having him here while we worked through the sadness of Grandpa Earl's funeral (Monday).  I thank the Lord over and over for sending such a wonderful, caring man into my life to be my future husband!!!

 There was a viewing/prayer service on Sunday that we all went to. My mom took the picture below. I was not feeling well at all during the funeral, so I wasn't thinking about taking pictures at the time. Please keep my grandma Marly in your prayers as she adjusts to life without Grandpa now. I talked to her on the phone tonight and she sounded pretty well, but I'm sure she has some challenging days ahead of her.

Pastor Steve K. and his wife, Vangie came from Jamestown and Michael's Pastor, Dan H. came all the way from Little Falls, MN to attend Grandpa's funeral. While we had both pastors in one place, Michael and I talked to them a bit about our upcoming wedding. We'll be going through counseling with Pastor Steve and his wife once the books arrive that he ordered for us.  Pastor Dan came to our farm after the burial and visited and spent the night too. It was really good to get to know him better.

Michael & I had some time to work on wedding plans (and have been working on it ever since too). Please pray for God to open doors for a church to hold our wedding in. By the looks of our guest list, it will need to be a large church (much larger than either of our churches).  We're hoping to have our wedding somewhere in between my place and Michael's place, so everyone will have some driving to do. Ideally, we'd like to get married in a country church, but do you know how hard it is to find a LARGE country church? There is one option we've found South of Fargo and Michael talked to the Pastor there this morning. They will discuss the matter at their meeting sometime next week. I'm trying not to worry about it, as I know God has everything planned and very much under control. BUT, if you'd add your prayers to ours for wisdom and for doors to open, it would be very much appreciated!

Another big decision/prayer request is knowing where to live once we are married. There is a possibility that Michael and I would live in North Dakota! We're checking out all our options at present. We even drove around and looked at some farms while Michael was here, so that was a fun little adventure. Lots to think and pray about these days...
Tuesday afternoon, Paula brought Vonn over so I could babysit him for a few hours. He is growing up so fast. Look at the way that he wanted to drink his bottle: 

He already pulls himself up on things and crawls pretty well too. Won't be long before he's keeping up with his sisters.
 On Wednesday, I went with my brothers to Dickinson. 
From this picture, do you want to try to guess why we went there and what we were buying?

If you guessed it, you should get a prize!! :)

 Yes! We pooled our money and bought a camper (a '99 model). Now that we don't have many cows to care for, we might actually get away from time to time?  It should come in handy for farming in SD next year (if that happens) and also for packing full with wedding supplies this year. ;)
 Inside the camper:
There are bunkbeds in the back room and a queen sized mattress in the front. The couch is comfortable enough to sleep on too.

Comfortable, Andrew?
 It needs a good cleaning, and a few things need fixing, but then it should be ready to go.
 I like how cheerful the kitchen area is. It has a refrigerator and freezer; stove-top/oven; microwave; and there's even a washer and drier. 
 I spent most of today out in the garden, trying to get caught up there. My dad cut hay. Mom went to Bismarck and bought paint for their house. Andrew worked on the camper, and Jacob used the tractor to clean out the south pole-barn (where we'll store hay).

I've probably forgotten something, but I can post that another day. 
For now, I'd better call it good and get some sleep.  

Until next time~

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Very big, exciting news!!! :)

Remember the last time Michael came to visit? He arrived on a Friday and, unknown to me as I was tired and went to bed early (at 11:00), Michael talked to my parents for a few hours and asked their blessing on his asking me to marry him!!!!----and they gave it!
 I love the following song, as it makes me think of what it must have been like for him to do so:

Saturday morning, Michael proposed!!  

He asked me to be his (future) wife, and I said YES, of course. :) 

Oh what a day of rejoicing that was!!!!  It felt like we were living in a dream. I've dreamt of that super special moment for most of my life, and when it finally happened, it didn't quite seem true at first. Now it does. :)

I love Michael David Dalquist so much already and am forever grateful that we met (I'll tell that story another time). God is SO good and truly answers prayers! The Lord has blessed me with the gift of a Godly, honest, hard-working, gentle man who desires for me to marry him. How wonderful it all is! I hope and pray that I will be a good wife.

Through our courtship (when we were praying and discussing many things, determining where our relationship was to go), we had agreed not to hold hands (outside of meal-time prayer, when we all do so). 
After discussing it, we agreed to hold hands now that we're engaged, and I'm so glad we did. It is bonding. For those who are curious, yes, we are saving our first kiss for our wedding. :)  It is very special having such "Firsts"!  
Andrew got out his big camera and took some pictures of the two of us on our happiest of days...
Yes, the rose Michael picked for me did smell very sweet...
Please pray for us now as we make many big decisions (where to live; when and where to marry; who to put on the guest list....). :)

We didn't know Andrew was taking this picture, but it ended up being one of my favorites...
I love, love, love him!
Can't (and don't want to) stop smiling! :)
The following day, we went ring shopping. We picked out our rings at Riddles Jewelry, but the rings needed to be resized and the jeweler wasn't there that day so, sadly, we had to wait a while.  Paula actually ended up picking them up for me (thanks again, dear friend!), just in time for me to take them along to MN when Jacob and I left last Friday to be with Michael and his family during his grandma, Violet's burial and funeral service.

It was a week after we got engaged that Michael got down on his knee and, after making sure I hadn't changed my mind ;), he slipped this gorgeous ring on my finger... 
It was very hard not to tell my blogging and facebook friends about our great joy, but we desired to share the news with family first before telling everyone else (and wanted to have the ring picture too, when we did share!).

Here are a few pictures from our MN trip:
Amidst the funeral planning and family coming and going, the Dalquist men got some hay chopped and blown up into the silo...
The milk cows enjoying the buffet-style mineral feeder that Michael made for them... (He has since then built a cover for it too so as to keep the rain off).
Jacob, for some unknown reason??? likes when cows lick his fingers...
Dale (Michael's dad) feeding some haylage...
We helped the D. family clean out some of the things from their grandma's apartment. They (Violet's children) generously offered many useful things for James & Jenny's and Michael & my new homes, so Michael & I now need to figure out where to live so we can start getting our home ready. :) James (Michael's brother) & Jenny are already fixing their place up.

On the way to the apartment, Michael took Jacob and I to see the dam in Little Falls... 

It looked like a good picture-taking spot, so....

I rode with Michael for a few rounds while he chopped hay on Sunday...

Trying to get a good ring-and-us picture on Monday (the day of the funeral service)...

I love wearing Michael's ring! I took it off for a little while today while I was baking and it just didn't feel right, so I put it back on as soon as my hands were clean.

Michael plans to come this weekend to be with me/us as we bury my Grandpa. It seems a strange way to start our engaged life---each of us burying a grandparent, but maybe God knew we all needed some joy mixed in with the sorrow?
Yesterday, I went with my parents to help make funeral plans at Grandma's place. Today, my parents went up again. The funeral will be on Monday.
Well, I still have things to accomplish this evening so, bye for now,

~The future Mrs. Michael Dalquist   :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Grandpa passed away.

Jacob and I returned home from attending Michael's grandma's funeral (yesterday), just in time to say goodbye to my own grandpa. He passed away this evening. My parents are still up in Mandan with Grandma. My brothers and I were up there this morning. Please keep the whole family in prayer.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

We started the day off by getting the cows in and sorting off the open cows and loading them on the trailer. My dad and I then took them to the Napoleon salesbarn, then ran around town getting parts and taking extra sunflower seed back and depositing checks.

(The line in front of us)
 (The line behind us)
 When we got back, we went across the road to see how things were coming with the house. The electrician was just finishing up there...
 ...and Nathan in the house was back to working on mudding the cracks shut. He has at least one more day of that left.

Jacob and I mowed/weed-wacked the lawn. Oh, and we scraped out the stock trailer, which was a not so delightful job, as it hadn't been done recently.

(One of my Columbines blooming)

I made a quick trip over to Zach & Paula's, as Paula had picked something up for me in Bismarck (something that I want to take with to MN). 

My grandpa could sure use prayer. Grandma called this morning to talk to my dad about the option of Grandpa having a feeding tube. Later in the day, Dad got a call from Uncle Ronald, saying that Grandma had called him just then with news that Grandpa had some heart trouble during dialysis and she was asking her sons to come, so my parents left right away. I'm still waiting for their return.

Also, please pray for the Dalquist family. Michael's grandma passed away this afternoon. Jacob and I plan to head East tomorrow...

Busy days. We never run short of things to do or people to pray for.

My blog will once again be silent for a few days.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A picture post

Last Sunday morning, Michael helped us tag 10 or so calves because a buyer was coming the next day to take all of the pairs and most of the bred cows too.
 A fawn that Michael & I saw by a fence...  
It was so tiny and cute and just held perfectly still while we looked at it.

Monday was a very full day! The guys from Centennial Homes came to move the house onto the site... know, the polka dot site.
 It was pretty amazing to watch!
 Directing the driver...
 Around 1:00, the cattle buyer and the veterinarian arrived to PG (pregnancy check) the cows.  We had a few troubles with the cows not cooperating, but everyone was kept safe, thankfully.

Michael, my very dear friend. :) 
 The cows the buyer didn't take...
 After loading up and sending one small trailer down the road, we all went over to watch the house moving project some more. It wasn't long after that when Michael said his goodbyes to my family and I and headed back to his land of lakes... :(
 Mid-afternoon, the truck pulled in for the rest of the cows and calves.  Pretty adorable little herd here, huh?
 "Shoooo babies, shoooo."
 My dad, Andrew and I went up in the trailer with the buyer and his daughter to help them retag and band the (bull) calves...
 Then it was back across the road again. 
Dad and Jacob in the "breezeway" of the new house...  ;)
 Serving the two workers (and us) some ice cream in the middle of the house, as it was such a hot day...
 Jacob, bringing the skidsteer over to do some cleanup work...
 Yesterday was another sweltering day...but much got done in spite of the heat.
 Paula brought Vonn over so I could babysit him for a few hours while she went to Bismarck. He slept for a little while, but then was curious about everything that was going on.
 I got to see the girls when Paula came to pick Vonn up again. Love getting hugs from them!! 
They brought an ice cream cake AND...
 ...a cute little chick----because we lost our chicks, you know, 
and this one should NOT be tempting to cats!  Paula is so thoughtful and is teaching the girls to be so too. :)
I spent part of the morning in the garden and found these lovely daffodils blooming...

 My mom planted the rest of our flowers in the front flower bed...
 I tilled up a couple spots where we'll plant the tomatoes, cabbages, broccoli, and cauliflower that we started in the greenhouse. I got the peppers and 14 tomatoes planted before it started to rain, and it's kept sprinkling here and there all day long.
 That made this day a lot cooler for the guys and they were still able to work out of doors. They got the siding finished...
 My dad was over there helping all day. There were 2 guys working inside the house today, and the electrician came; the plumber was here yesterday; and the propane tank arrived this morning. It won't be long now and my folks will be able to move in!!!  Hooray!
Andrew left early this morning to go to MN. He will be gone until Monday, I think, working on a film project with several others.  I'm sure he'll have a marvelous time.

There, I'm mostly caught up now. 
There still is at least one more days worth of blogging to share at a later date... :)

Please continue to pray for my grandparents. Grandpa Earl had surgery yesterday morning and will hopefully start to feel better now. Also, Michael said that his grandma is really close to the end now, so please keep their whole family in prayer.