Little Condo On The Prairie

As difficult as uprooting our family and moving to another state has been, there have still been no shortage of fun family moments. With Paul having moved here just before us to help get us settled, and Josh & Libby following shortly after with her baby on the way, we are enjoying plenty of time together. We know this familial proximity most likely won’t last forever, so we are savoring each day. Here are some of the highlights I can share:

I was really looking forward to one particular benefit of being in Norman, Oklahoma: going to the OU football games. I had hoped to go to the OU spring game in April, but I ended up being sick that weekend. But that morning I told everyone: “You all should go ahead; don’t stay home on my account.” “OK”, they said, and began to leave — without much outward indication of remorse!
“Cheryl, be sure and tell me how the quarterbacks look,” I said as she headed out.
“Really?” she answered enthusiastically.
“I mean how they PLAY, not what they look like!” I said disgustedly.


One night Josh asked me if I had used a certain commentary, and I said I hadn’t.
Paul, pointing to a nearby bookshelf, interjected: “We use those red commentaries over there.”
Josh: “You can tell Paul’s been to seminary.”

Josh, to Cheryl & I: “You two should go and patronize the ‘Short Stop’ convenience store down the road. It is literally a ‘mom and pop’ store, run by a couple that, well … they’re probably just a little bit older than you.”
Cheryl: “We’re gonna see a really decrepit old couple there, aren’t we?”

Since we are pretty much settled, Paul has now begun looking for a church to serve. Cheryl was telling me about how he had heard from a couple of churches who were looking for a youth minister. Michael, walking in on the middle of the conversation, said, “Wait, DAD put his resume in for a YOUTH job?”
“NO!” Cheryl & I both said adamantly.
“Yeah, ’cause he’d be horrible at it”, Michael replied.
“No” Cheryl said, “Not because he’d be horrible at it; the football team used to like to listen to him. It’s just that with his POTS, if he got back to anything, it wouldn’t be youth work — that takes so much energy.”
“Yeah … plus he couldn’t beat everyone at ping pong”, Michael sagely added.

One evening, we all piled into the car for a “family outing” to get some fast food to bring back and eat while watching a movie. Most of us wanted a bbq potato, but Michael, who rarely eats anything but chicken, wanted a chicken strip dinner, so we stopped at Church’s first for his meal, and then headed to the bbq drive-through. As I was not feeling well, Paul was driving, and he pulled up to the sign and began to order: “I need 3 pulled pork bakers …”.
“I’m sorry, we are out of baked potatoes”, the voice responded apologetically.
A loud, collective groan emanated from the car which was undoubtedly heard in the store.
Michael sat there with a satisfied smile on his face. He had HIS food!

One weekend I felt well enough to take Cheryl & Michael to the medieval fair in a nearby park. One of the highlights would be a jousting exhibition. We had been at the jousting venue for a few minutes, and I queried: “What time is this supposed to start?”
Michael: “3:15”
Me: “Well, it’s 3:17 now.”
Michael: “It’s a medieval fair. They’re probably using a sundial.”


We watched quite a bit of the Masters golf tournament one Friday, since Paul & I had both been sick the previous couple of days. At one point, feeling a better and needing to stretch a bit, I got up and started doing a little “practice swing” imitating one of the guys on tv. Paul and Michael started doing the same thing.
Paul, observing Michael, told him he should “squat” just a bit in his stance. Michael started raising up on his toes and squatting down, in a comical fashion. We all laughed at how ridiculous he looked, and kept up our practice. Just then, Paul looked over at Libby and said, “Are you taking pictures?”
“Oh no”, I said, knowing I had been in bed sick for four days, and did not look my best, but I didn’t think that much of it.
Michael said, “You didn’t get me doing THIS, did you?” — and started doing his ridiculous motion again.
“Not till now!” Libby answered. Then she promptly posted the video on Facebook!

One evening, everyone was over, and, lacking better entertainment, we pulled Richard Baxter’s “Christian Directory” (a huge, all-encompassing volume on the Christian life, written in the 1600’s) off the shelf and began reading interesting-sounding sections and talking about them.
Josh was one of the first to read one of Baxter’s headings: “‘Ten Temptations by which (the devil) would persuade men that their heinous, mortal sins, which prove them unconverted, are but the pardoned infirmities of the penitent.'”
A brief quiet ensued, then Josh mumbled: “I don’t think I understood a word of that …”

The truth is, there are a plenty of things we do not understand in life — and that certainly applies to our current situation. But we also know that we have plenty to be thankful for, including this family time in our “Little Condo on the Prairie.”

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
This entry was posted in Home & Family Life, This Week In Paradise (pastors family blog) and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Little Condo On The Prairie

  1. Towanna says:

    Thanks so much for the update. Loved it. Miss you guys.

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