Friday, September 09, 2016

A Quick Preview

Another Old Thresher's Reunion has come and gone. And with it came some of the best surprises, sweetest memories, most meaningful conversations. 

We're looking forward to sharing photos and stories! But right now the dozens upon dozens of photos are still loaded on Kori's camera. She is finishing the process of editing all of Ryan & Ruth's wedding photos before digging into the new stack of pictures. It's such a blessing to have photographers in the family! 

So, as we wait for the photos, here is a brief preview of some of the highlights from the weekend. Stay tuned for more...! 

Kendrick's stage debut

Alaythia participated in the Sweet Sixteen program, an annual event which is geared toward volunteerism and serving as hostesses for the reunion. We were thrilled that she was honored with a placement in the Old Thresher's court. 

Alaythia participated in the Sweet Sixteen program, an annual event which is geared toward volunteerism and serving as hostesses for the reunion. We were thrilled that she was honored with a placement in the Old Thresher's court. 

What a blessing to share these moments together. 
God's gift of family is beautiful. 

"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!"
Psalm 34:8

Friday, September 02, 2016

These Days

Life is such a precious gift! I don't know about you, but for me it is all to easy to take that for granted. We get busy, our days get full and before you know it we get to the end of the day without appreciating the little blessings that are found in our lives. 

Our last several weeks have been filled to the brim with moments that make me look around and say out of the depths of my heart "I am so grateful!"

Putting up sweet corn is a yearly highlight for us! Usually there is a good mixture of talking and laughter that goes around as we try to get it all done and cleaned up before dark.

Enjoying our traditional "tank wars" thanks to our good friend, Arnie.

Picking berries in our grandparents berry patch during a weekend visit to Iowa.

Freezing 67 quarts of peppers  as well as several gallons of tomato sauce and salsa before leaving on a 2 week trip.

Dad and Mom taking Charissa to enjoy our county fair for the evening.

Enjoying a few hours on the lake after a big week of work.

This saying really hits home...
"Wherever you are, be all there."
-Jim Elliot

What are some moments that you are grateful for this week?

"I will praise You forever because You have done it." Psalms 52:9

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Calling All-American Heroes!

Hands-down, one of our all-time favorite places is Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. Dad and Mom spent their honeymoon at the unique theme park and for years Dad told us that someday they would take us to experience this amazing place. 

It took 25 years for that dream to become a reality. 

We children were beginning to think this legendary place was simply an exaggerated tale from our parent's romantic getaway. That is, until we were finally able to visit. Now it has become a family favorite where we've made memories galore. 

We wanted to alert you to the fact that Silver Dollar City is celebrating Heroes Month during September. All Law Enforcement Officers (active & retired), Firefighters (active & retired), EMTs and Active Duty & Retired Military Personnel are given FREE admission and they even have special pricing discounts for up to 4 dependents. 

If you're within one of those categories, this month would be a wonderful time for you to make a visit to the ozarks! You can find out more details here:

We hope your family has as memorable a time as we have every.single.time we visit!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It's a...


Dan & Bethany are excited to welcome a new little Beasley boy to their family in November. We can't wait to meet the newest little addition to their family!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ryan & Ruth's Love Story

Each God-centered love story is unique. Magnificent.

Ryan & Ruth are thrilled to share the beautiful way the Lord has woven their lives together. They have written their love story and it is now available via your email inbox. Simply fill your information in the following form to have their story and photos delivered directly to you!

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Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

Psalm 100:4

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dad & Mom

It's never too late to wish your parents Happy Anniversary, right?!

Your 35 years of seeking God, loving each other, supporting each other and forgiving each other, has set all of us a beautiful example of marriage. 

We love you Dad and Mom!!!

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me... for without Me you can do nothing."
John 15:4 & 5

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Family Fun

Welcome to our Friday Family Fun series! 

I believe one of God's greatest gifts is the relationships of those He places closest to us: our family. That is one treasure that is always worth investing in! One of the ways we enjoy spending time together is exploring different games and projects to do together as a family in the evenings. Since some of them have turned out to be quite fun we thought we would start sharing a few of our recent ideas with ya'll! 

*Please excuse the somewhat poor quality of these pictures. 
I wasn't going to blog this, but it ended up being such fun 
that I thought I'd pass along the idea. 

Stephen's birthday was last week and since he requested Italian food for supper we decided to play a birthday game with a bit of Italian flavor. Literally. What you will need is a bowl of cooked spaghetti noodles and some dark paper. Cook the spaghetti as instructed on the box then drain and put some ice on the noodles to keep them from getting too sticky. 

Give each player or team a piece of paper and set the timer for 3 minutes. The goal is to create a picture of whatever they want using the noodles. Some of the more artistic members of our family declared that 3 minutes was not enough time to sufficiently add enough detail to the picture so feel free to add a couple of extra minutes if you want.

Say "GO!" and let the creativity and noodles start to fly!

Just so you know, we don't make a habit of playing with our food... this was an exception to that rule for the sake of making memories together.

Can you tell that this is Ryan and Ruth's picture?!

This picture got the most laughs by far! It was affectionately dubbed "The Yodeling Cowboy".

You probably can tell which pictures were made by people on a team vs. single players. 

I hope you enjoy doing this as much as we did!

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!"
Psalms 34:8

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lake Itasca

As many of you know, our family has a yearly tradition of traveling to the lovely northern Minnesota for the Lake Itasca Family Music Festival. This event is always such a highlight of our year! If you're looking for a family getaway that is enjoyable, educational, and spiritually edifying (did we mention affordable?!!), we highly recommend considering the 2017 festival. Be forewarned -- many families who visit once end up returning year after year! 

This year it was a fun challenge to get everything unpacked & settled after the wedding, catch up with the industrial work and the garden, then pack and prepare to head north. But as we pulled into the grounds, it was completely worth it. 

The weather was absolutely beautiful the entire weekend! 
We enjoyed sharing on the main stage three times.

We were completely surprised to see these two blissfully happy people stop by for a couple hours on Friday evening. Ryan planned their honeymoon location to coincide with the festival so they could have the opportunity to meet many of our friends & share an evening with us before slipping away for the remainder of their getaway. What a treat! 

A major highlight -- and undertaking -- each year is planning, preparing, and presenting the annual Storybook Theater. This consists of two, 1-hour sessions geared specifically for the children at the festival. We teach songs, memory verses, and Biblical themes to an enthusiastic group. This year we observed almost as many adults and teens in the crowd as children! 

During the Storybook Theater, our feature presentation is always the...<drumroll>...


Each year we select a hero of the faith to research and present in theatrical form. Ruth writes the script and it is a team effort to bring the story to life on the stage. We owe a massive 'thanks' to our friends who spend time rehearsing lines, scrounging up costumes, and then add their dramatic talent to the production. 

This year we featured the life of George Mueller. If you have not read about this man of faith, we'd encourage you to look him up! There are many books available that would make great read-alouds for your family. He lived a remarkable life of trust and prayer. 

Our theme for the Storybook Theater 2016 was "Trusting God in Prayer".  And without further ado, here is a glimpse of the drama: 

Depicting George's early life.

The following are quotes from George Mueller. May you be challenged -- and encouraged to learn more about his life! 

"I have joyfully dedicated my whole life to the object of exemplifying how much may be accomplished by prayer and faith."

"Life is worth as much as it is spent for the Lord's service."

"George Muller, nothing. The Lord Jesus, everything. In himself worse than nothing. By grace, in Christ, the son of the King."

"My Lord is not limited; He can again supply."

"You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and said to you, 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away. Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'" 
Isaiah 41:9, 10 

*Thank you to Hannah Schoenfelder 
for allowing us to use her pictures!

Thursday, August 11, 2016


It's on to an update about Stephen!

Stephen is one of those hard-working, fun-loving, committed guys. He enjoys investing in the lives of his siblings and is not afraid to tackle a big project.

Over the years Stephen has enjoyed spending his free time in the shop building things out of wood. Making everything from beds and stools to jewelry boxes & mantles, it has been amazing to watch him fine tune his skills and create useful and beautiful things.

Lately he has not had much time to work with wood. But we are enjoying this mantle which is his latest wood project.

On the business side of things, Stephen also plays a major role. Managing the sandblasting as well as the irrigation has been a big responsibility but he has risen to the challenge. On our last job I was hoping to get a picture of the pipe work that the guys do but since they put it all together before we got to the fields I decided that this would have to work instead.

Here is an aerial shot of one of the irrigation fields we installed. This field is a test plot and so it has a different setup than most of the fields we instal  but it will give an idea of the trenching a pipe work involved.

Since we moved into this house 7 years ago our shed has accumulated a large variety of stuff that we never cleaned out. Until this year. We spent a couple afternoons taking everything out, sorting, cleaning, getting rid of a lot of stuff and reorganizing what was left back in the shed. I don't know how many times Stephen's name was flying around with the question "What about this?!"

Stephen also plays a large role into the music side of our family. The time he has spent learning the mandolin has been a huge blessing to us and we love it when he and Matthias get their instruments out and serenade us in the evenings.

A project that he has enjoyed working towards and now has complete is his pilots license! Since some of the work that comes in is several hours away it has been so nice to have an airplane and pilot to run parts or workers from one place to the next.

Always ready to do something active he and Alaythia have the tradition of doing handstands together at some of the major landmarks as we travel.

This last year Stephen has enjoyed helping teach Sunday School at our church. His passion for seeking Christ and living out the truths of God's Word has been an exciting walk for him and we look forward to see what God has in store for his future. 

"Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path," 
Psalms 119:105