Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 4th Festivities

Today the miles are once again flying under our bus wheels as we head south to sunny Florida. We had a fantastic concert last night at St Peters, Missouri and tonight we're sharing a community concert in Live Oak, Florida. So obviously, most of today will be spent watching the southern scenery fly past the bus windows! 

I've checked our blog drafts and realized I'm quite behind on getting some of these pictures and updates posted. So let's take a quick step back to July 4th for a few pictures which Kori captured of our time together at our local city celebration. Almost the whole family was able to be together for the weekend. (Alan, unfortunately, was in the height of wheat harvest so was unable to join us.)  Here are a few pictures of our time together: 

It was a gorgeous, cool evening for a concert. 

Enjoying the ever-growing Cadan.

Andrew & Kori

Arianna's hair is finally long enough for pig-tails!

Playing banjo with Uncle Andrew

The crew gathers for a family rendition of "My Country Tis of Thee"

And the grandkids always steal the show. Asher discovered the revolutionary fact that the closer you hold the mic, the louder you sound. He innocently blared us all out for a bit -- making for quite a bit of laughter for the crowd and impromptu face expressions by the rest of the kids. 

Ah, the joys of having little people in our family!

"Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength!
We will sing and praise Your power."
Psalm 21:13

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It's Completed!

A semi pulled up in front of our home today for an extra large delivery. Excitement was high as they unloaded our shipment of 13 boxes containing the new, hot-off-the-press songbooks! After working countless hours on this project (Rachel especially), its so rewarding to have the finished product in-hand! The printers did an excellent job and we're thrilled with the quality. 

We've received a large stack of pre-orders over the past weeks, so we have those packages addressed and ready to ship out later today. If you've recently placed an order, be watching your mailbox for a package soon! If you haven't yet ordered, you can do so on our website: 

We pray this will be a valuable tool for families, churches, camps, and personal enjoyment and worship. 

I will be glad and rejoice in You;

I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:2

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Arianna's Visit

As we mentioned in our post earlier this week, spending time at our grandparents' homes has been a treasured tradition in our family for over 25 years. 

We recently added a new twist to the tradition. Dad and Mom are grandparents now, so its time to begin with the next generation! We're thrilled to have Joanna and Asher live only 2 miles from our home, so we typically see them multiple times each week. 

But Arianna (who lives almost 600 miles away) recently spent her first "3-day camp" at our home. I'm not sure who was more thrilled: Arianna, Grandpa & Grandma, or all the aunt, uncles, and cousins! Here is a quick peek at her week of activity:

Checking chickens with Uncle Nathanael

Jumping on the trampoline 

Morning smiles

Making granola with Elizabeth

Big helper!

Coloring with Aunt Charissa

Riding the lawnmower with Uncle Stephen.

We hope this is a long-lasting tradition as we treasure these dear little people in our family!

"That the generation to come might know them,
The children who would be born,
That they may arise and declare them to their children,"

Psalm 78:6

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Happy 21st Birthday Stephen! 

Stephen's ministry of choice: 

In 1917 a missionary named William Cameron Townsend went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles, but discovered that many people didn’t understand Spanish well. They were Cakchiquel speakers, and they didn't have a translated Bible.
Cam dropped everything for the next several years to translate Scripture for them. The completion of their New Testament was the beginning of a worldwide movement. 
In 1942 Cam founded Wycliffe to help reach every people group with Scripture in their language.

"Who is wise and understanding among you? 
Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom."
James 3:13

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Week with Grandparents

Growing up, we children looked forward to summertime with great delight.

Instead of spending a week at a camp each year, each set of grandparents would plan a week full of activity and fun for us. Since we lived quite a distance from our grandparents, this was always a memorable treat. Those weeks were full of laughter, adventure, late night ice cream & raspberries, bike rides, unique museum visits, hiking, singing, and lots of affectionate bonding with our grandparents.

The years have passed and one by one the older children are no longer able to take a whole week off to adventure with our grandparents. But our younger ones still keep the tradition going and recently headed up to Iowa to spend their 'grandparent-week'. What priceless memories!

Here are a few pictures:

The house where Mom grew up. So many memories!

Grandpa is an avid gardener, so we spent many hours helping plant and pull weeds in their beautiful garden. 

Pounding stakes for the tomato cages.


We've had an on-going competition to see if we could keep Grandma from washing dishes our entire visit. I think we succeeded this week! 

Enjoying the porch on a warm summer day.

One of the perks at our grandparent's house?! 
Ice cream and berries every night!

Enjoying the outdoors


And more smiles


In the evenings we'd gather around the piano to sing and practice harmonizing. Our grandma has played piano/organ for the same church for over 60 years -- and both she and grandpa have always encouraged us in music. She continually uses her gifts to bless others at church and local nursing homes. Just another reminder that when you learn an instrument in your youth, you can use that skill to touch people's hearts for decades!

We love you, Grandpa and Grandma.
Thanks for the great week -- and years -- of memories! 

"We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD,
And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done."
Psalm 78:4

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dueling Banjos

For those of you who weren't able to make it to our hometown concerts over the July 4th weekend, here is a small glimpse of the music and family fun. With competitive brothers both playing the banjo, a showdown/duel was in order:

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Happy Birthday Bethany!

Bethany's chosen ministry:

This past year, Bethany has been encouraged by the writing ministry of Rachel Jankovic. Her books include "Loving the Little Years" and "Fit to Burst". For more information on these books, visit here

"Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the LORD."

Psalm 31:24

Monday, July 07, 2014

Fifteen Years


Honestly, that's one of the things we love the most about this little online place where we share a taste of our lives with you. Many of you have watched us grow over the past 9 years.

(Have we really blogged almost nine years?!)

You've shared our laughter and joys. 
You've lifted us in prayer during crucial times. 
You've rejoiced over answered prayer. 
You've celebrated with us in the joys of courtships, marriages, and new births. 


This past weekend we celebrated 15 years of music ministry. Yes, fifteen! It was July 4, 1999 when we were first asked to share a concert at Seward's July 4th celebration. To say we were nervous would've been an understatement! No, we would never have guessed that we'd spend much of the next 15 years on the road, covering 42 states, and producing 12 music projects.

But isn't that the joy of serving the Lord?! We simply remain faithful each day. Seeking Him. Drawing near to Him in prayer. Resting in His presence. Serving in the doors He opens. And He has a way of taking our ordinary lives and making something beautiful. Whether your life touches a thousand or a few, it is for His glory alone.

We are very ordinary. With struggles, challenges, and shortcomings. We know that full well! But this weekend was a special landmark in the journey of our family's path. Its not about us, but about a God who can take the ordinary and transform it beyond our wildest dreams or imaginations!

And you've been a sweet, tremendous part of that journey. Thank you!

We're also grateful for the many of you in the blog world who have linked to this spot. That's the beauty of community! To make this easier for you, we've recently updated our blog button. Just copy the link in the box below to add to your blog or site.

If you add the web button, please comment on this post with your website link! We certainly need each other's encouragement as we endeavor to "exhort one another, and so much the more as [we] see the Day approaching." Heb 10:25

Wissmann Family

As mentioned, we just wrapped up our annual July 4th celebration. 
Yes, we have lots of pictures to share!
Stay tuned...

Friday, July 04, 2014

Our Liberties

The flags are unfurled. 
The firework stands are open.
A watermelon is chilled for eating. 

But what is this holiday we call the Fourth of July?! 

Over the past several days we've been posting dynamic quotes from our founding fathers and other influential Americans on our 
Facebook page.
(Note: If you're not already on our page, buzz over and check it out. We'll be posting more quotes over the weekend and you won't want to miss it!)

Although our Christian heritage is a cornerstone of American history, it has been almost forgotten and scrubbed from our history books. The truths spoken by American heroes for centuries are being buried and neglected. Is it any wonder we now live in a society adrift, unable to discern right from wrong?

As you celebrate and watch those stars and stripes wave in the wind, please join us in praying for our country. Please read and share these quotes as we remember the vision of these great patriots!

"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." 
Proverbs 14:34

‘Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me 
and always keep all My commandments, 
that it might be well with them and with their children forever!' 
Deut 5:29

"And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 
2 Cor 3:17

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Iowa Reunion

Lush rolling hills. Red barns and tidy farmsteads. Fresh air after a summer rain. 


That pretty well sums up our past weekend in Iowa. Once again we were able to travel to our grandparents to share music and enjoy an extended family reunion. Since Dan & Bethany don't live too far down the road, they popped over to join us, too. We enjoyed meeting many second and third cousins and seeing familiar faces, too. With plenty of aunts and uncles around to entertain her children, Bethany kindly captured a few pictures: 

They had horse-drawn carriage rides around the farm.

Enjoying Great-Grandpa...

...and Great-Grandma, too!

Arianna takes after her mommy -- especially when it comes to her love for books! 

She also enjoys helping Grandma tune up her hammered dulcimer!

The setting for our concert was so unique! The barn was lovely and rustic --and what made it extra special was the fact that our great, great grandfather actually built it! Would he have guessed that future generations would gather under its roof for a bluegrass gospel concert?! 

What a joy to praise the Lord as part of a reunion weekend!


And more smiles! 

And in that day you will say:

“Praise the LORD, call upon His name;
Declare His deeds among the peoples,
Make mention that His name is exalted."

Isaiah 12:4