Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How do you SURVIVE the Valley?? :)

As homeowners, my husband and I have sure learned our lesson in this month alone of what essentials you need to have on hand at all times to fend off any kind of weather (minus a hurricane, although, by now, I wouldn't be surprised!).

Ahem...my "Red River Valley Survival Tool Kit"

-shovel (and not just one, many different kinds to deal with various types of snow, ice and depths of snow)
-snow blower (the bigger the horsepower, the better)
-boots (including those for rain, snow and sub zero temperatures)
-rubber gloves
-ski mask
-heavy coat
-snow pants
...just go all out and get yourself some Carhartts..full outfit! Oh, and bright orange IS ideal, because, depending on where you are living, you run the risk of being shot by a local hunter at various times of the year.

Okay, where was I.....

-an umbrella ( although you run the risk of having it snap in half due to the high winds)
-winter gloves
-space heater
-sump pump hoses
-battery back up sump pump
-drain plugs
-life jacket and canoe, (paddles optional )
-buckets, squeegees and mops for random acts of flooding or flowing poo from a leaking drain that is already "plugged"
-ice scraper for windshield
-windshield de-icer if you cannot cut through the ice with your scraper
-spring jacket for those "whoopsies" of warm weather mother nature surprises us with ;)
-pockets full of kleenex to wipe those teary eyes from being exposed to inhumane temps and winds
-endless supplies of hot cocoa, coffee, tea, or whatever hot beverage suits you

You know, I think I'm done...I think this can give you a good picture as to what to expect in living in the frozen tundra I call home. I'm sure there are many more to add as I haven't started with the month of scortching temps that come in July or August, mosquitoes and other random bugs that find there way up to the great white north.

So lesson learned-when purchasing a home in this area, good advice would say to have a big garage or a shed easily accessible year round to house your basic survival needs.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The JOY of Macy

This is Macy. Our family dog. I know, right??? How can you NOT love her? Today, I am thankful for Macy...and for the sun that is out today. Macy is walking around wondering "what the FLOOD is going on" as our yard is just too soaked for her little paws to walk on (and now snow covered)......
Because she can be a diva that way.

She has just brought so much joy and laughter into our household since chaos has broke out in Fargo/Moorhead.
So today, I hope she brings a smile to your face. For those of you in the F/M area, let us know if we can do anything for you and we are praying alongside you for protection over your homes.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More flood 2009 pictures

These I have found that can perhaps describe just what people are going through. Grab a cup of coffee and a snuggly blanket, as I get cold looking at them :)

A boy played among the hundreds of thousands of sandbags in the Fargodome, an indoor football stadium, on Wednesday night. Residents in North Dakota and western Minnesota are bracing for the Red River and Missouri River to spill their banks.
Photo: Dan Koeck for The New York Times

Volunteers worked during snowfall to build a sandbag dike to protect homes in South Fargo, N.D., from the flooding Red River.

Water and ice rose around a home in Hickson, N.D. Weather forecasters predicted that by Saturday, waters would swell to more than a foot above the record level reached on April 7, 1897.

Before he was rescued by the Coast Guard, Randy Ward gathered some clothing in Dick Huntley's flooded home.

Emergency workers used an air boat to rescue Destiny Dolan, front left, 15, and Kayla Weston, 15, in Oxbow, N.D. At least 20 residents south of Fargo had to be rescued from homes in which water had pressed through sandbags.

Doug Stensgaard used a boat to return to his family's home near Fargo, where officials said they expected to announce an evacuation plan on Thursday.

So proud of Fargoans!!! Flood 2009 update

How do you begin to describe a community in such devastation? I see what I am seeing in other places of the US, but not here in Fargo! Pictures cannot do justice to what is happening here!

I have to say, though living here can be challenging, I have never been more proud to say that I am a part of a community that is so willing to support eachother and care for eachother like I've witnessed today.

Almost everywhere you look, you see piles of people sandbagging and piles and piles of sandbags where there once was a group of people.

Today, I was based out of a church in South Fargo helping coordinate volunteers, sending them to neighborhoods that are desperately building their dikes wider and higher. A co-worker was in a bus that nearly fell into water coming up onto the road, but thankfully she was safe. See pic below.

Many many homes have succumbed to the water, however, many more are safe thanks to the overwhelming volunteers that have come from near and far.


No, for real, they have really made such a difference in our community. Thank you so much guys from all three Universities in our area!

Pictures do not begin to tell of all that is happening here, but I posted a few here to show you what it has been like this week. Please keep Fargo and Moorhead in your prayers. The crest is still predicted to be 41.1 feet early Saturday. Fargo has never seen the water this high.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Praying for Stellan

To swich gears a little bit, I want you to direct your attention, for a moment, if you would, to a precious family that I have been following for some time now. MckMama is a sweet mom to 4 children and her youngest, Stellan is in the hospital with an extremely high heart rate - in the upper 200's to lower 300's (what almost killed him inutero). Please be in prayer for Stellan, that his heart will flip back to a normal heart rate. They have tried several manuevers and medications to get his heart to flip, all to no avail.

You can click on the badge I have posted on the side of my blog and follow this story.

I know what it feels like to have a child born with medical needs, as both my boys were in the NICU for breathing issues. It feels so uncomfortable and helpless. I remember feeling so angry when I would walk out of the hospital and the world was still carrying on with it's day as if nothing was happening and how I wanted to SCREAM for it to just STOP and pay attention to helping my child.

This mother is strong beyond words, and she is such a testimony on what it mean and looks like to fully surrender your child into the arms of the Lord when so many things are out of control.

Please stop for a moment today and read their story and be praying for Stellan's full recovery!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fargo Flood 2009

I wasn't here in 1997 when this area and North had record flooding and numerous lives and homes lost as a result. It's hard for me to imagine what it could be like. But as I watch the river rise as I cross it on I-94, my heart beats a little faster and I pray that mother nature just throws us a bone!

On top of the rapidly melting ice, we have endured heavy rains and tonight more thunderstorms and more rain. Here is a pic of what Moorhead, MN looked like from top of a parking ramp today.

Another pic from North Moorhead

SandbaggersIf news holds true, we are looking at the river cresting Friday between 39 and 41 feet. The 1997 flood crested just over 39 feet in mid April. Not only have we dealt with a higher anticipated crest this year, but it has come much, much sooner.
If you are able to get to a sandbagging station, please do so. There are many people I know that are willing to help with childcare for those of you with kiddos at home that would like to help!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Has Sprung....

So, as many of you know, I've delved into my creative side and recently purchased a sewing machine. Little did I know the joy I would find in fabric shopping and finding free patterns on the internet. So, I've been busy, stitching up some fun finds and the outcomes haven't been that bad. It's definately brought an inner relief for me (*deep relaxing sigh*) after a long hard day at work.
I've also found some GREAT spring projects, perfect for anyone who would like to add some refreshment to their home or desktop! Here are some ideas below:

Pixie Girl - for some fresh desktop wallpapers for your computer.

Imagine, Create, Inspire - for some pretty paper roses.

Made by Rae - free buttercup sewing pattern.

Fancy Paper Flowers - by Martha Stewart

Butterfly Straws - by Goodhousekeeping

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mattaw Children's Village

"The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” -Mother Teresa

I just have to share about this amazing couple again, Bud and Kim who are living in Kitale, Kenya with their 1 yr old son. We lived with them for the 2 weeks we were in Kenya last fall. They have been on my heart this week as they are back in Kenya after coming "home" to the US for 2 months. Now, they will be living in Kitale for the next 12 - 18 months. They work so hard to provide love and nurturing to children who otherwise would be on the street-or dead. Pray for Bud and Kim this week as they pursue goals of filling their second of 4 or 5 homes with children very soon. You can track them on their blog http://www.huffmansinkenya.blogspot.com/

We miss you guys!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Happiest Birthday

I haven't taken time to share about the JOY that comes in spending time with my family! Recently, we have been spending some really fun time together. I am required to attend a training at UND for one week out of the month for 4 months, so my fam comes and visits for a night! Fortunately, my hotel has some really fun options! Such as WATERSLIDES!

It's always interesting being a mama to an all-boy family, as there is always some sweetness, but a lot more rough, tumble and PLAY!

But nothing, holds a candle to what my boys did today. Not that this isn't out of the norm, however, when it's mom's birthday, they go out of their way to make me feel extra special!

This morning I woke up to my favorite breakfast-french toast! Benjamin also greeted my happily this morning (this isn't so frequent) with a card of nothing else but....CINDERELLA "because it's your favorite". Who would have thought that my 4 yr old remembered that I LOVE the Cinderella story!?!?!

Also a huge highlight, we were blessed with an additional 12 inches of snow and 50mph wind gusts, requiring the city to shut down, forcing my family to all be at home together for some much needed quality time! We spent the day watching a movie, playing 'guys', cars, trucks, monsters and also being entertained by my boys' family band consisting of pots, pans, spoons and howling voices....I should sell tickets!

When the band was finished, they cooked me a cake-a SUPERHERO cake, that turned into more of a square PINK cake (with Ben's approval, of course) and we ate it alllll up!

Today I felt truly thankful, for my boys, for our home and all that we have been blessed in this life with. It meant so much to me to spend the day with you and I love you so very much. I am so proud to be your wife, TJ and proud to be your mom, Benjamin and Collin. Thank you for making my birthday so special today!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Okay, so I've surrendered!

That’s right folks… I've surrendered! I have competely learned that faith is NOT about how we feel or our EMOTIONS. However, in my mind, I do not see how this is happening. So, I've surrendered. I'm letting God take hold of this trip in April and use it to bring Glory to Him!

I’m headed to Africa. I will be going along with three or four others from th Fargo community as well as a team put together by Children’sHopeChest on what they call a “Vision Trip”. Children’s HopeChest currently has sponsorship programs in Ethiopia and is looking to expand to Uganda. So we will be touring the area visiting orphanages that are in need of sponsors, visiting and loving on the kidsWe are hoping that 400-700 children will be sponsored as a result of this one trip.

I would love for you to be able to share in this journey with me. I will be blogging and trying to post pictures as best I can as the trip goes to keep you updated as often as possible.

There are several ways you can get involved in this project…

1. I will be collecting donations to help pay for the costs of going on this trip. If you want to help in this way, please email me at email_the_erhardts@yahoo.com.

2. Cosider donating your points to one of the people going on this trip. Points will alleviate the costs for a plane ticket. We need 80,000 points to get a free ticket. If you have even a small amount to donate, we will cover the transfer fee. Please email me if this is something you can do!

2. I would like to collect small items to be able to bring as gifts for the orphans. This includes bubbles, socks, onesies, crayons, etc.

3. Prayer: This trip feels a lot different for me in a lot of ways. This is a trip to potentially get many people in our community involved with caring for these orphanages. Pray for God's leading in this, in choosing a community he would like our community to sponsor. Pray for safety in our journey. Pray for issues that often come up such as our "time of the month" (sounds silly I know),

4. Here’s a BIG one. Will you consider the possibility of sponsoring a child in one of the orphanages I will be visiting? For just $34 a month you can change a child’s life. The neat thing about Children’s HopeChest is that they help facilitate an actual relationship with your sponsored child. You will receive information about their circumstances, family of origin, orphanage, town, and country. You will have the opportunity to write to your child through the CHC website as often as you’d like, as well as send hand written letters if you wish. One of the coolest parts about CHC’s sponsorship program is that they coordinate yearly trips for the sponsors to actually visit their children and orphanages. Can you imagine coming along with me to Africa to visit the poorest of the poor? To bring joy to children in a country where one meal a day is considered a luxury?

I would LOVE to get all of my blogging readers to join together and sponsor an orphan community. Get your children involved. Get your family involved. This will truly change your life!

Monday, March 2, 2009


I've been questioning a lot of things in our life recently. All of a sudden, I feel as though the desire to go to Uganda-to work in Uganda-to do anything with Africa is completely gone. Completely. Part of me is feeling relief, and another part of me is wondering where this is coming from. It is so unlike me. So, is this from God or from the Enemy? Is this God asking us to move forward regardless of how we feel? Or is this God asking us to just be content in Fargo-for now?
I am such a dreamer, a risk taker, an adrenaline junkie....but at the same time I am a person of logic and a woman of a sound mind that I would never do anything that "financially doesn't make sense".

The truth is, TJ and I have been offered a "job" to run a baby house-for adoptions out of Gaba, Uganda. WHAT!?!?!? Could this be????? I, Lindsay, have ALWAYS wanted to have an "orphanage" of sorts-a children's home....but Lord, a BABY HOUSE!?!? That's my dream's dream. we have been in contact with people who have been in Uganda, just recently adopted from Uganda, and somehow we have connected.

Also, I am going to Uganda this April through Children's HopeChest with 3 or 4 others from the Fargo community...AWESOME! There, we will be travelling with Peter, a significant person, who has authority and discernment to tell TJ and I if this baby house is "legit"and how to minimize it being corrupt (if that risk is there at all). This Peter guy is also in the know of Children's HopeChest AND this couple that just recently adopted from Uganda. This all just seems to be coming full circle, so why, then, have I completely lost my desire to serving in Africa??

Some thoughts that I have had this week are:

"Why would you want to go to Africa? Your family couldn't be safe"

are you kidding me

"Why would you want to go to Africa You are too small to fix those problems"

are you kidding me?

"Why would you want to go to Africa? It's a waste of money that could otherwise be spent on the children there who have nothing...and you've been there several times anyway".

are you kidding me?

I mean, logic can tell me that "those thoughts are not from God". But sometimes I truly feel these things-really!

I don't know. I'm just rambling, my thoughts are jumbled because it is late and I am tired. I'm tired of thinking, tired of wondering if Africa is for us full time or not. Somtimes I just want to sit in a room full of cute purses and shoes and say "this is good for now" but I know that that is not what God wants with my life.

I love the analogy that God has in the Bible about us being jars of clay. What a beautiful picture to think of as he is refining and molding us-in the Potter's Hand. And each of us are so unique. I love the Body of Christ.

But wouldn't it be easier if we could just be handed a piece of mail and told what steps to take next?!?!!?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Having a purse emergency?!?!?!

I just found this fantastic site that is going out of business and has some really cute stuff including purses and jewelry!! I think the bags are adorable.

I know my friend, M, may just have a heart attack !!!! (let me know)

Primo Purses