Saturday, August 30, 2014

#Instagram


Old Threshers is in full swing! For those of you who aren't familiar with this event, it is a weekend celebration of the history and ingenuity of the American farmer. All around us are antique tractors, trollies, trains, steam engines, handcrafts, and living history reenactments. 

While we have lots of 'real camera' pictures coming soon, this phone capture from one of our concerts was too sweet not to share. My favorite part? The affectionate older couple in the foreground. Every year we give a free CD to the longest-married couple. It's always a joy to recognize couples who have fanned the fires of their love and commitment over decades and decades. And are still as obviously in love as this sweet couple. 

Beautiful. 

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, 
in honor giving preference to one another;
Romans 12:10

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Summer Days


Work hard. Play hard.

That's been the story of our summer. Over the past 25 years our home has gradually changed from caring for active little pre-schoolers and toddlers, to trying to keep up with energetic teenagers and young adults. This brings both new challenges and new joys as we learn and grow together.

It reminds us to treasure each season of life. We echo the sentiment: "The days are long, but the years are short!" The little people who once filled our home with giggles, play-dough, and legos, are now filling our lives with stimulating conversations, Spiritual insights, music, laughter, and camaraderie.

Where did the time go?

So in the midst of the summer to-do lists, we also tried to carve out special activities to make memories. These pictures are from one of those occasions. With thanks to some friends, we were able to experience a jet-ski and wake-boarding for the first time!

Isn't that a delightful part of being a family? The ability to work and play...together! It's building friendships and memories that will last a lifetime!



Windblown smiles


We gathered under the awning to wait out a short-lived rain shower.










"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth."

Psalm 127:3-4

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gathering the Harvest

Whenever the bus wheels turn towards home, we begin to make lists. 

These lists detail everything we're hoping to get done during our short window of time at home: There are lists for the sandblasting business ongoing through the summer. Lists of ministry emails that need answered & CD orders mailed. Shopping needed. Baking and freezer meals completed. 

And this time of year, many of our 'lists' revolve around the garden. What a tremendous blessing it is to have our hands overflowing with produce! 

In keeping with the garden theme, here are a few of our recent harvesting pictures: 



We put up over 400 quarts of sweet corn this year.
What a blessing to have our freezers filled with the sun-kissed taste of homegrown corn!



Stephen had his wisdom teeth removed earlier this summer, so he opted out of the sandblasting for a couple days to recover. Our corn crew kept him busy! 


This week we canned peaches! Lots and lots of peaches. 


Blanching long enough for the skins to slide off.


Peeling and filling the jars


We ended up with a great assortment of pumpkins. We love roasted pumpkin seeds... and who doesn't like fresh pumpkin pie? We canned the pumpkin flesh for tasty winter pies. 


And believe it or not, we've had several full loads of tomatoes similar to this one.


Washed & ready to be peeled.


Fresh tomato sauce, coming right up!


The tomato production


Many hands make light work. 
And what's more efficient than assembly-line style?!


Golden peaches. Yum!

And just to give you a glimpse of what the guys were doing this week, this is a snapshot of their sandblasting/painting work. They take rusty, old tanks (upper left) and sandblast them down to the metal surface (lower left). Then they prime and paint the tanks so they look brand new! 

As I post this, the bus is currently loaded for the weekend and headed east for the annual Old Thresher's Reunion in Iowa. Each of our married children -- plus our grandparents -- plan to join us over the weekend, so we're looking forward to a wonderful reunion with them!! Stay tuned for lots and lots of pictures in the coming week!

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”

Genesis 8:22

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Wisconsin Travels



As you've probably noticed due to previous posts, last weekend we toured near Dan and Bethany's home. It was a great weekend of music, family, and meeting a host of new friends. On Saturday we sang in this nice, outdoor pavilion. We were especially grateful for the shelter as the storm clouds gathered mid-concert. Before long, this happened:


Have you ever tried to sing over the thunderous roar of a rainstorm? 


We were amazed at the number of umbrellas that popped up as people endured the downpour!




When it showed no sign of letting up, they canceled the rest of the evening events, so we had a cozy party in the bus to sit out the rest of the storm. Which was a perfect opportunity to celebrate both Dad & Mom's wedding anniversary and Ruth's birthday. Ice cream all around! 


We also had plenty of entertainment with Arianna and Caden on board!


Smiles


The next day we shared an outdoor service at a different location.
Morning smiles, everyone!


Arianna & Elizabeth


It was wonderful to catch up on Dan and Bethany's busy, happy life.


Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
Psalm 33:1

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cure for the Mundane



Have you ever been so caught up in every-day-ness, that it seems life becomes mundane? It happens to all of us, I'm sure. Our view of the world narrows until we develop a case of tunnel-vision. 

Then suddenly, a light pierces through the routine. A verse from God's Word. A song of victory or praise. And, as if for the first time, we catch a glimpse of life from God's perspective. It begins to change how we view everything.

We begin to marvel at God's goodness. 
His relentless pursuit of our hearts.
His abundant love. 

Honestly, sometimes even ministering in music can become a routine. Set up equipment. Tear down and pack it away. We've sang these songs dozens...if not hundreds...of times. 

But as we gather for prayer before each concert, we ask God to burn His fire afresh in our own lives. Desiring the words we share might be an overflow of His Spirit daily refreshing us. Motivating us to pursue deeper. To study with diligence. To love with sincerity. 

This is our prayer every time we stand behind the microphone. And every time we arrive home with endless to-do lists. 

For it is when we view life from God's perspective that our every-day-ness becomes meaningful and every act becomes a purposeful opportunity for worship. 


"Ministry is simply the footprints we leave behind 
as we run toward Jesus."








Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing 
in the heavenly places in Christ, 
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, 
that we should be holy and without blame before Him 
in love."
Ephesians 1:3-4

Linking up  to Mama's Moments

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Week with the Aunts




Our schedule recently arranged for two back-to-back weekends in Wisconsin. Brainstorming immediately kicked into high gear. After all -- spending the week with Bethany's family was too good an opportunity to pass up!! 

One problem. 

Our final concert from our first weekend in Wisconsin was over four hours drive from Dan & Bethany's home. How would we arrange one-way travel for two eager girls?! 

Pray. 

At the last minute we were beyond delighted to find out that one of the other music bands sharing at our final event lived only 15 miles from Milwaukee. Did they have extra room on their route home?! Yes! With hearts thrilling with thanksgiving, Hannah and Susanna packed their bags and headed out for a week of adventures with Dan, Bethany, and their dear little people! 


Babysit so Dan & Bethany can enjoy a date-night? Certainly!
Isn't that what aunts are for!?



This little guy is endless smiles!


Arianna loves helping in the kitchen.
With our grandma's famous cookie recipe in hand, it was time to do some baking!


I think this picture needs a caption!?

Dan showed us his softball skills and hit a home run!



The happy cheering team!

All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You."

Psalm 22:27

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ruth


Happy Birthday Ruth!

Ruth's ministry of choice: 


Based in Niles, Michigan, Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries. We are believing God for a widespread personal and corporate revival and reformation among women as we call them to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. We’re also trusting God to continue to grow a grassroots movement of heart revival and biblical womanhood, as we encourage women to:
  • Discover and embrace God’s design and mission for their lives,
  • Reflect the beauty and heart of Jesus Christ to their world,
  • Intentionally pass on the baton of Truth to the next generation, and
  • Pray earnestly for an outpouring of God’s Spirit in their families, churches, nation, and world.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, 
be steadfast, immovable,
 always abounding in the work of the Lord, 
knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Cor 15:58

Dad & Mom


A very happy 34th wedding anniversary, Dad & Mom!

“I am the vine, you are the branches. 
He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; 
for without Me you can do nothing."
John 15:5