Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Western Nebraska


The last week we have been working on a couple of jobs out in western Nebraska, about 6 hours away. Between commitments at home, some work in Colorado and the weekend it has made for some full days with lots of traveling!


We are finishing up the last of the irrigation season and I think everyone is ready for this busy season to be done for awhile. We pulled into the field on Tuesday and started laying out and putting together all of the pipe.


After the trencher comes through the guys come along and clear out the space around each drip tape so that we can hook it up to the pipe. I don't know how much we've shared before about the installation process. Long story short, it is a lot of good hard work. 


Having to take the four wheeler somewhere is one of the funnest parts of the job. It was super hot out there and all of us got a pretty good tan/sunburn! 



We finished Tuesday morning, hiked a big rock to celebrate (more pics coming later) and then drove home just in time to unpack and repack for a trip to Canada! We are so grateful for the opportunity to work hard in the fields and how God has blessed the business as well as being able to travel and share the most important message through music. It isn't always easy, but God is so faithful!

"But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak,  
for your work shall be rewarded!"
2 Coronicles 15:7

Monday, June 18, 2018

Ginger


Look who is growing up on us! 
Ginger isn't quite the little puppy anymore. She is learning new tricks and growing out of the chewing stage. (At least we hope she is!) 

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
2 Peter 3:18

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Grandma's House


The couple days before Memorial Day the ladies of our household were able to head up early to spend time at Grandma's house and help with some projects. Time with Grandparents is such a gift, treasure it!! Years ago, when we were all much younger, Grandma and Grandpa would invite us up every summer for about a week and make all sorts of memories together. We always considered Grandma and Grandpa some of our very best friends.


During those visits they would take us on the bike trail, feed the fish at the hatchery, visit Ice Cave, we'd go hiking, play at the park, eat oodles of chocolate chip cookies, have water fights, play games on their farm and so much more! There is enough of an age gap that Charissa wasn't able to do a lot of those things. So we thought we would change that!


This time when we were at Grandma's, we spent each morning working on projects, and then we took  the afternoons to make some memories together doing the things that we used to do years ago.


We made flower chains... went to the park... played games on the farm... and went on a bike ride.



It was fun to bring back some of our favorite activities from years ago! And now everyone from Rachel to Charissa has made some of the same memories at our Grandparent's home.

"Mark well her bulwarks;
Consider her palaces;
That you may tell it to the generation following."
Psalms 48:13

Monday, June 04, 2018

Memorial Day


It seems that we go in spurts of normal life where I don't have many pictures to post and then we have one weekend that I take a bunch of pictures of one event. Memorial Day weekend was one such weekend. It was so special to be able to spend it with our Grandma.


It was the dream of our great-grandma to have a whole display of flags at the cemeteries in Castalia, but she wasn't able to accomplish it.  After her death Grandpa designed the layout and used the memorial money people gave at Great-Grandma's funeral to help set it up.  So these flags honor the veterans buried in the cemeteries, and remind us of our Grandpa and Great Grandma!


Every morning from Saturday to Monday we head out before 7 to meet the local crew and help put the flags all up!  In the evening we all met again to take them all down.  The weather was beautiful this year, no rain to hamper flying the flags, and just enough wind to wave their stars and stripes boldly throughout the weekend.

Memorial Day started in response to the great loss of life during the Civil War.   Many communities began to honor both southern and northern soldiers buried in their cemeteries by decorating the graves with flowers, and with veterans marching in parades.  It was first known as Decoration Day, but officially changed to Memorial Day in 1967.



We enjoy the work and fellowship while putting up the flags,  but there is also a reverence, too.  Each veteran's grave stone has beside it a bronze medallion naming the war in which he fought.  


This year all of  us living at home yet were able to spend the weekend together with Grandma.


It was different experiencing Memorial Day without Grandpa. But it was special to be able to help carry on this tradition! Freedom really is not free and taking time to remember the sacrifices of so many is a real honor.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
John 15:13


Monday, May 28, 2018

Sacrifice


Spending Memorial Day at our Grandparents home in Iowa has meant a lot to us over the years. Our Grandpa was on the very front lines during the Korean War every once in a while he would share a few stories of his time over there that made us realize just how amazing it was that he came home.


// He was relieved from his shift at an outpost then 1 hour later the replacement was captured by enemy soldiers //

// He was shot at by a sniper but was knocked down by a fellow soldier before being hit //

// A mortar flew into their bunker but never went off //

// He faced intense combat and was unharmed //


// Korean Memorial 2003 //
Fun fact - when Grandpa was overseas Grandma would write him a letter every single day.

Our men and women in uniform sacrifice more than we will ever know for our freedom and safety. Next time you see a veteran or someone currently serving make sure to say Thank You!!


"May we never forget that FREEDOM is not free."

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
John 15:13

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Silver Dollar City






We were scheduled to sing in Kansas last Sunday, and since it was pretty close to Branson we talked about celebrating Dad's birthday by leaving a day early and visiting Silver Dollar City.  Before we could go we had a large irrigation job to do in Colorado. We headed out Wednesday and after 2 big days the job was finished, and we were headed home. We made a quick two hour stop at home to unpack and repack, then we headed to Branson! It was a very quiet trip down since pretty much everyone, except the driver, was sleeping.


We pulled into town Saturday morning and headed to the Bluegrass and BBQ Festival at Silver Dollar City! It rained in Kansas, so Alan and Rachel were able to join us in Branson. We all know how fast children grow, but hearing Kendrick's new words and seeing Autumn's smiles was a treat! It was so good to catch up and spend some time together.



It was such a special day, being together, celebrating Dad's birthday, riding rollercoasters, eating good food, getting soaked on the water rides and just sitting down and trying to catch up from the week. Everyone was sooo tired of walking by the end of the day!



Of course a friendly competition is always in order...



A few of us had races to see who could get their (fake) frog to fall off the end first by cranking water out. I think they all agreed that one pumped water faster than the other ones so it wasn't completely fair. But it was still a lot of fun!


Together is the best place to be!



It was so hot that the water rides had really long lines all morning and afternoon. Before the park closed the lines went down, so a few went to ride them. They definitely cooled off! They were soaked!!




Happy Birthday Daddy!!!

"I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of Your marvelous works."
Psalms 9:1

Monday, May 14, 2018

Baby Animals


Since Dad and Mom both grew up on a farm we love having a few animals around. For several years we were gone so much that we weren't able to have any animals. But the last few years we've been home more, and so we decided to add to our little "farm".


We got about 60 chicks and 10 baby ducklings. Part of me wishes they would stay as cute as they are right now, but I guess growing up is good too!


And of course, Ginger is growing quickly! Aren't baby animals the cutest?!

"Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness."
Psalms 37:3

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Congratulations Alaythia!


During the Homeschool Conference they have a graduate recognition and this year we got to celebrate Alaythia's graduation!!! Can you believe that the little brown eyed cutie is already old enough to graduate?!


Rachel and the kids came up from Kansas to help celebrate and we grabbed all sorts of pictures! Hope you enjoy!!


Congratulations Alaythia!!! 
We are so excited to see what God has in store for the next chapter of your life.


We love you BIGGER!!!


"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ."
Philippians 1:9 & 10

Thursday, May 03, 2018

NCHEA 2018


Another year of NCHEA is in the books. And what a wonderful year it was!! One of our biggest years, we had about 320 children over the course of the weekend. The theme was The Great Adventure and focused on missions. Sharing God's love to the world around us.


The sixteen teams were placed in different countries. It was absolutely amazing to see the creativity in decorations this year!! Literally hours upon hours are spent getting ready. God blessed and provided just the right amount of teachers that we needed. Every year I am blown away by His faithfulness and grace as He pulls together so many last minute details and works in ways that only He can. It is truly exciting to be a part of His work! 


Elizabeth was a team leader this year and found herself in the country of China!


One of the assistants on her team made this amazing dragon to hang from the ceiling. The children LOVE walking into a room and feeling like they are transported somewhere else.


Susanna was in Argentina with three assistants and a whole bunch of children.




Alaythia helped with the Leaders In Training program which equips 13 and 14 year olds to be able to plan, prepare and teach a lesson in front of a group of people. Nathanael was in the drama and I helped out with the staff.


100 volunteers, lots of time and energy, not much sleep and numerous prayers.
God is good.

"By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.
And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
1 John 3:16

Monday, April 30, 2018

Working


A lot of time in the sun, a lot of time in the dirt. 
That's what our spring looks like these days!


Our favorite part, doing it together!


"That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."
Colossians 1:10