Tuesday, February 20, 2018

It's a...



BOY!!!
Congratulations Andrew and Kori! 
We are so thrilled for you and cannot wait to meet your little man. 


"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well."
Psalms 139:14

Saturday, February 17, 2018

During the Day

We often get asked what we DO all day when we are on the road. Well, that depends on the day. Setting up, getting ready for a concert, singing, taking down and talking with people afterwards does fill a lot of our time! But we do have free time on the road and that can be filled up in a variety of ways.


On the road, as well as at home we try to start the morning out with family devotions. Or we have breakfast first and then family devotions. It sets our focus in the right place and gets us all on the same page. Over the years we haven't always been consistent, but we try to do the best we can to make it a priority. 


We make most of our meals in the bus except for what other people provide for us. But since our kitchen area is so small it is really hard to get a picture of us making food. So here is Charissa eating it!  There are a few of us still in school so that takes up a good chunk of our free time. Even those that aren't in school enjoy learning and spend travel time reading or doing some online studies.


All of us love to be active and so if we are parked in an area for a couple hours we try to take advantage of that. Usually the guys pull out their weights and work out. Sometimes we just happen to park at a shopping center which is great, because then you can go for a walk to get some exercise and come back with some new purchases! 


I have to admit, if we are driving down the road, sometimes we all just curl up in our bunks and take a good ol' nap. Life on the road is not the vacation that some people think it is. Don't get me wrong, there are aspects of it that are very enjoyable, and we've been able to do a lot of things that most people don't have the opportunity to do. Sometimes, though, when you're schedule is really full, it's nice to get a bit of a refresher.


We are always trying to work up new music,  so some of our time on the road is spent practicing instruments or working on new stuff. If we have an open evening with no concert, we try to plan something fun to do together as a family! Sometimes we spend it with some friends in the area, or we will make something special for supper and then either talk and plan, play games, FaceTime family,  or watch a movie. 

"Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope."
Psalms 16:9

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentines Day


We are so grateful for God's gift of love and the special way He has brought each of these couples together. We read 1 Corinthians 13 the other morning in family devotions and were once again reminded of the specialness of love. Not just in marriages, but in every relationship. Love is a commitment, it's an action, it's a call to serve and a fulfilling way to live. 
Happy Valentines Day!

Alan & Rachel

Ryan & Ruth

Josiah & Abi

Dan & Bethany

Andrew & Kori

Matthias & Michelle


"In this the LOVE of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that He LOVED us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we also ought to LOVE one another."
1 John 4:9-11

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Rachel



Many of you have followed our blog for years, and we are often asked about our older siblings that  don't make it on the blog very much. Well, I'm going to post an update on each one of them like I did last year, so that you can see what they're up to now. For those of you who are more recent acquaintances, this gives you the chance to meet more of our family individually! I plan to post the updates on their birthdays, but since Rachel's birthday was January 31st, I'll start now with her!



Rachel and Alan have been married 5 years now and live near Wichita, Kansas. The biggest change in their lives recently is the addition of Autumn Joy. She was born in October 2017 and has completely won the hearts of her big brother, Kendrick and her parents. Not to mention the rest of us!



Rachel's husband, Alan is still farming. They grow corn and wheat as well as raising cattle. Some people say that a farmer's work is never done, and I'm sure that is true! Kendrick loves every opportunity to ride the tractor with his dad.


Rachel is busy taking care of two sweet kiddos. Kendrick who just turned 2 is quite the talker! We don't really understand what he is saying yet, but he can communicate quite well even without speaking comprehendible English. He loves the outdoors, riding the four-wheeler, playing with balls, petting dogs and kissing Autumn.


Rachel loves keeping the home running smoothly! She teaches piano students during the week and continues to write new music. We are hoping to record another children's cd sometime soon! Searching out healthy options for her family, Rachel switched to using Young Living products in their home, and now she enjoys helping other families cleanse toxins from their homes and find healthy alternatives.


Alan and Rachel are still extremely active in their church as well as leading a Bible study/fellowship group at a local college. Kendrick enjoys all the high fives and "People!" time!


We love every opportunity we get to see them and look forward to seeing what God has in store for their future.

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; 
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?"
Micah 6:8

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Weekly Update



We've had another full week of concerts. Most of them were in North and South Carolina. One of the churches we sang at sent us on the road with a basket packed full of all sorts of delightful goodies! It was such a delight to see old friends and meet new ones!


This week we are in South Carolina going into prisons all week. We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we sing and Dad shares from God's Word.  Not only that lives are changed for eternity, but also that those who are saved would be encouraged in their walk with Christ. 


Whenever I think of ministry I am reminded of the verses in John 15 where it talks about bearing fruit. If we truly want to reach others, it has to start with us abiding in Jesus Christ. Ministry should simply be an overflow of what God has done in our own lives. Love, joy, peace... those all come from Christ and in order to share that with others we need to be plugged into the source. Dad shared a devotional this morning that went along with that and as we prepare to go into the prison this evening my goal is simply to be a vessel. Jesus Christ has changed our lives, and we want to share that with others. That is why we do what we do.


“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."
John 15:4

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Back on the Road


We are back on the road! Only this trip is a little bit different. We knew that without Matthias the bus was going to feel a bit emptier. But since Elizabeth is staying back in Iowa with our Grandma, the bus feels REALLY empty!


It has been a good challenge for us to work up new music. When you don't have much time to get a concert of new music ready you pray a lot and practice morning, noon and night. In the process, Stephen lost his voice and we would appreciate prayers because we really miss it in our concerts.


Last week we sang 9 times in 6 days. It was a full week, but we are praying that it was a fruitful one! Several of those services were in Alabama prisons. Every year that is such a highlight for us! We were stretched musically, because two of the prison services only allowed entry to those 18 and older.   Since Elizabeth isn't with us, Nathanael has become our main guitar player. Charissa has been singing on more songs, too.    However, God can use even the simplest things to touch hearts,  and we saw lives surrendered to Christ, and that makes it all worth it.


"The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him."
Psalms 28:7

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Holding Hands




One day, far away, you gently won my heart
And one night, by candle light we made a vow to never part


And then it seemed just like dream
When wide eyed, side by side


We faced the future holding hands


Thoughts stray, far away, to all that lies ahead


In frail days, when strength fades, 
will we still mean all we said



Our love's secure, so rest assured,
Come what may, till that day







We'll walk together holding hands



There's a hope that won't let go


There's a truth we know God is holding us
In His arms




By God's grace, till that day


We'll walk forever 
holding hands

"As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue."
1 Peter 1:3

*Photos by Eric Vest Photography
If you would like to see more photos of the wedding check out Eric Vest's blog by clicking here.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Coming soon!


The wedding pictures are DONE!! 
Comment to let me know if you want to see them and I'll put a post together as quickly as I can.

"Stand up and bless the Lord your God
Forever and ever!
Blessed be Your glorious name,
Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!"
Nehemiah 9:5

Monday, January 22, 2018

Christmas Candids


Oh, the joys of being together as a family for Christmas! There is always so much hustle and bustle when everyone comes home. But pictures are fun because they capture some of those peaceful, quiet moments that you usually don't get to see unless you are at the right place at the right time. Here are a few candids of some of those moments in our house around Christmas.



Reading a book with Everett



Uncle Nathanael helping a delighted little guy set up his new race track.


That moment when you are tired but just aren't ready to leave all the fun yet. 
Pretty sure we've all been there at some point!


Aunt Charissa playing in the snow with these happy kiddos.
(don't worry, no one was hurt in the moments surrounding this picture.)




Enjoying a Christmas cookie that Grandma made and Grandpa frosted.


The last picture with all of us singles still at home before Matthias got married.

What are some of your favorite moments from this last Christmas?

"The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace."
Psalms 29:11

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Work Projects



A couple of weeks ago we heard about another dead tree in town that needed to be taken down. We thought it would be a fun family project to do together, so one afternoon when the school was done we loaded up and got to work!


Dad spent his time in the bucket truck making a lot of noise while the rest of us made a relay from the pile of wood he cut to our trailer. It was actually quite fun!



We might have taken a little time to play around with the stump before it was all the way down! Making memories together doesn't always have to be fun and games. Sometimes, the best memories are made by working on a project together and seeing what you can accomplish as a team.



"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands."
Psalms 90:17