Saturday, June 30, 2007

One Good Turn...

...deserves another. Or so it was once said. And we seem to agree -- as after our recent kitchen project we've spent the week tackling a whole assortment of house and yard projects. With the deadline of the huge July 4th celebration upcoming, we're glad that many hands make light (and speedy) work!

Here are a few of this weeks' projects...

Curtains! Finally!

It's so nice to have one project done.


We had some fun with the kitchen pantry -- a little wacky perhaps, but it makes us smile!


With the kitchen now full of color, the dining room was 'begging' for a little attention. As the curtains were in dire need of change anyway, we rolled up our sleeves and began.

(I should'a had the picture taken before taking down the curtains -- but I forgot!)

Our happy painting crew.

Stencils are so fun!

Adding the final touches.

The weather has been beautiful for outside projects as well.

Living in town we have lots of sidewalk to trim.

It's wonderful to have it looking nice again.

And yes, house painting has also been in the works. With the coat of primer half done, we should have it complete by the 4th!

It's been a full -- but good -- week. In thinking over the past several days, I'm just so thankful for a home to call our own...for the joys of working together as a family... for the creativity of color and design...for the ability to physically labor...for smiles and laughter...for the truth and practicality of God's Word. And the list could go on!

What are you thankful for this week!?!

"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms!"
Psalm 95:2

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hannah


Happy 12th Birthday Hannah!

This morning as I glanced through your 'scrapbook pictures' I was amazed -- Hannah, in the past year you've grown from a little girl to a young lady! And so quickly, too! It's been fun to watch you take on 'big girl' tasks like baking, gardening, decorating, and more. Your thoughtful little notes and 'love ya' surprises truly bring sunshine to our household. May the upcoming year be one of continued growth -- and most especially as you seek to become a woman of virtue with a heart for the Lord. We love you!


"Who can find a virutous woman? For her worth is far above rubies."
Proverbs 31:10


Little known facts about Hannah:
  • Was born at 11:57 pm on her due date.
  • Has had more stitches than any other Wissmann child
  • Sang her first solo at age 2 -- "And He holds me in His hand..."
  • Has been on a special diet the past few years and is finally getting healthy!
  • Doesn't like 'chewing sounds'
  • Enjoys scrapbooking and reading in her spare time
  • 'Esther' is her favorite book of the Bible

Friday, June 22, 2007

Traditions

Traditions are priceless. Especially those 'unique-to-ones-own-family' traditions. Over the years we children have started a 'home alone' tradition of our own -- interior design.

You see, whenever Dad and Mom plan a multi-day trip, we scheme, plan and prepare for our own version of 'While You Were Out'. This has made for many delightful surprises -- in addition to teamwork and elbow grease! For example, a couple years ago we sabotaged their room with the following results --

Before

After

To make a long story short, we've been hoping for months to tackle a kitchen re-make. And without warning, yesterday morning the opportunity arrived -- a 28-hour marathon!

Dad and Mom pulled out around 10:00am and the action commenced with a flurry! Cupboards were quickly emptied and wiped, appliances moved, and the long job of sanding and cleaning began. Around 5:00 we started painting the ceiling and cupboards. Meanwhile a friend showed up with a beautiful ceiling fan to install.



After taking a quick break to silence our hunger pains and tuck the younger ones into bed, we dipped our rollers into the butter-yellow and started the painting routine once again. Ah, the smell of progress!After sending our hardworking painters to bed (so at least some of us would be functioning in the morning -- yeah, Ruth and Elizabeth!!!), Bethany and I brainstormed a last minute project and made a past-midnight run to Wal-mart for extra supplies.


Three hours later we were ready to call it a night. The morning began early, and with a few bites of cornflakes everyone set to work taping and painting the final 'trim coat'. Alaythia, Nathanael and I headed to Lincoln in search of curtain material and a few room details we were missing.

And the clock ticked on...

By noon we were hearing reports that Dad and Mom were en route home -- as in, getting close to headquarters!

And back at headquarters, we were feeling very far away -- the kitchen looked more like a disaster area than a home interior display.

The little ones furiously vacuumed the house...we mopped the kitchen floor and began putting things back in the shelves....decorations were set above the cupboards....the dishes washed...paint shuttled down to storage. Talk about an adrenaline rush!

And as the last rag was being wrung out, the last dish being set 'just right,' new towels on the stove and the rug thrown down, they drove in -- Phew! We made it!

The final 'look' -- minus the curtains, which will be hung just as fast as they can be cut and sewn.

Of course, the best-est reward of all was hearing Dad and Mom's ohhhs and ahhhhs as they walked in the room. They are just so much fun to surprise! We love you!!!

And I guess only time will tell which project our 'tradition' will tackle next... [smile]

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Our God Hears

Okay, okay -- one last Camp post! There were just so many answered prayers over last week, I thought I'd take time to share a few of them with you. We are so very grateful for each of you who lift our family in prayer!

"O Lord, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all!"

Weather

As you may remember, this was a huge request. Not only was rain in the forecast for Monday through Wednesday, but it had been pouring buckets over the past weeks -- turning the open playing fields into swamp-land! But the sky couldn't have been more beautiful. Each day was a precious answer to prayer as the sun shone brightly and the breeze dried out the "Mighty Mighty Scoop Noodle Challenge" field. Wednesday morning we had a few showers, but that was the perfect opportunity to share some of the many 'indoor' activities we had prepared. Thank you, Lord!

Staff

This year we had the joy of working with a group of exceptional youth! Thomas, Abi, and Anna Rehm again traveled with us from Iowa (yeah!!) -- and we were joined by a host of local teens who blessed us with their joyful spirits and servant's hearts. The personal time, love, and care invested by these friends was such an encouragement! Thank you for your labors! We miss you all! [smile]

Message

This year we were overjoyed to have 'dear Farmer and Mrs. Jones' share much of our 'Heart of the Matter' theme. They reminded us how important it is to keep the soil of our hearts soft and weed-free. They also taught us about seed. Although seeds may not look like much, when planted on good soil, it brings LIFE! And the same with God's Word -- it may look like an ordinary book, but when planted in our lives and 'lived' -- it, too, is LIFE!

Drama

This was huge! With only a week to learn the lines to our 3-part R.G LeTourneau drama, gather props (many thanks to our local Seward friends!), and practice, practice, practice -- the Lord pulled it all together for a special afternoon 'Prairie Bible Camp Theater' of sorts. And studying through the testimony of R.G.'s life, we all learned alot about life choices, priorities, and investment in others' lives. Truly his heart was 'good soil' that bore much fruit!


Outreach

And once again this year we were blessed by the opportunity to share the gospel message at a local nursing home. With ten students equiped to tell the 'flipper-flapper' story -- and a few older staff -- we enjoyed an hour of visiting room to room with the elderly people. What a precious time!

May the Lord bless you for your investment in eternity! Your prayers make a difference -- as only heaven will be able to fully tell!

"May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
May the Lord rejoice in His works!" Psalm 104

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Prairie Bible Camp



Finally! A camp update! And after sorting through 500+ of my sister's wonderful pictures, I was overwhelmed with how to share them all with you without starting a separate 'Camp Blog' to handle all the photo uploads! [smile]

Thankfully, Ruth has come to my rescue with one of her fun photo-projects to give you a quick peek into the activites and action of the week. After embarking on the adventure of trying to get it uploaded in the right format, it's here for you to enjoy. Ah, technology!

And for all of you who daily were praying for our week, I'll be posting one more camp post soon -- detailing specific answers to prayer and special ways we saw the Lord at work. Thank you, thank you, for lifting us before the throne!!

"My heart is overflowing with a good theme;" Psalm 45:1

Monday, June 18, 2007

The many faces...

...of our wonderful parents!


Elphie and Boe -- always up to some sort of adventure!

'Farmer Jones' and his dear wife -- teaching us all about farming, seeds, soils -- and how they relate to various 'heart conditions'.

"Oh dear, the weeds are takin' over again, honey."

And yes -- the ever-vigilant and alert room inspectors!

We love you, Daddy and Mommy!!!

Matthias

Happy 16th Birthday, Matthias!


Sixteen?! Can this be possible!? [smile] As I've already ridden many safe miles with you, Matthias, in the driver's seat -- let me be among the first to welcome you to the responsibility-filled age of driving!

We're so grateful for your thoughtful, serving attitude and actions in our home, Matthias: The kind way you spend time with the younger ones -- teaching them a new game, or simply tickling and bringing laughter to their days (and ours, too!) The selfless way you work and play -- without complaining about your foot rash (and we're so glad to see its on the mend!) And especially these past couple years as you've been growing from a little boy to a young man. May the Lord continue to lead and guide you as you seek HIM in the coming year! We love you!

"And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air."
1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Little-known facts about Matthias...

  • He is left-handed
  • He is named after our Grandpa Wissmann -- and closely resembles him
  • There was a baby goose in the delivery room when he was born
  • He can wiggle his eyebrows and ears independently
  • He learned how to walk before he learned how to crawl
  • He is the 'orderly one' of the Wissmann boys
  • He enjoys long distance running -- competing in Seward's 10K last summer
  • He plays banjo and harmonica in addition to the dobro
  • He is one of our best 'Wissmann family/Prairie Bible Camp' actors!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Over Already


God is so good.

We just said our goodbyes to the last group of camp kids. All the skits, songs, games, Bible studies and cozy dorm devotions are over for this year. Already. The days flew too quickly.

We have marveled at the abundance of answered prayers over the past few days (yes, including clear weather!!!!). I hope to put together a more complete post soon. But for now, a few pictures will have to suffice! Thank you -- thank you -- for your prayers! Stay tuned...


"The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the day time, And in the night His song shall be with me -- A prayer to the God of my life."
Psalm 40:8

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Preparing...

Today our house is filled with the sounds and sights of packing to head on the road again. Although this time the piles of necessary items are accented with an unusual conglomeration of various props and supplies. That's right, it's time to head to North Dakota for Prairie Bible Camp!

Every year this has been a highlight for our family as we share 4 days of action-packed learning with youth from the area. The past few years we've had around 60-70 youth in attendance, and we're looking forward to what the Lord has in store for 2007.

Ruth and Elizabeth work on creating a 1900's motorcar for our 3-part drama. Ruth, especially, is our 'prop extraordinaire' and has been creating various 'scenes' for us this week.

And we've been working on the script, too. Poor, dear 'Mrs. Peters'!

Our theme for the week is "Heart of the Matter" -- focusing our learning around the parable of the Sower and 'heart/soil conditions'. We would greatly appreciate your prayers for our family; Thomas, Abi, and Anna Rehm; and five local youth who will be serving with us this year.

Pray for our hearts to be open and sensitive to the Lord and His Word. Pray for the hearts of each of the children (ages 5-18) who will be coming. Oh yes, and we continue to pray for sunshine! [smile] We'll do our best to keep you posted!

"...But the [seed] that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience."
Luke 8:15

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mommy

Happy Birthday Mommy!

Today is an incredibly special day.

Not only because its our mommy's birthday (which is a grand occasion in itself!!). But also because exactly 30 years ago today a young farmer boy arrived at a Wisconsin Bible camp -- finding a group of teenagers throwing a party for a cute little brunette. He hardly suspected that one day they'd be committing their lives to each other and the Lord for all the grand adventures, struggles, and joys of life. Oh, and with 13 children joining them, too!

We love you, Mommy! As a little girl I remember watching you and so often thinking, "I want to be just like her." Packing picnic lunches, finding a new science experiment or monarch caterpillar, snuggling in the dark during a summer storm, taking homemade bread to an elderly friend, or catching your excitement for Daddy's arrival home from work. And best of all was the look on your face when Daddy would tell us another brother or sister was on the way. [smile]

And you know what?! I still want to be like you!!! Your love for Jesus, your commitment to Daddy, and your joy in motherhood has laid such a beautiful example for the eight of us daughters!

Little known facts about Mommy:

  • Has one sister (older) and one brother (younger)
  • Was a talented basketball player in high school
  • Graduated from Iowa State with a degree in Leisure Services
  • Is an artist with a whole college portfolio of drawings
  • Didn't know hardly anything about cooking or babies when she got married -- Grandma had to teach her how to change diapers!
  • Plays guitar, flute, hammered dulcimer, recorder, and tambourine.
  • Has been 'with child' almost 10 years total time!

We love you, Mommy, and hope you have a simply wonderful day!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sunshine -- Where art thou?

Prayer Request: Over the next three days our family will be scurrying to finish planning and preparing for our annual trip to Prairie Bible Camp in North Dakota. Last year we were blessed with around 70 youth ages 7-18 for several days of learning, playing, singing and experiencing all those wonderful camp memories.

Unfortunately, this is what Camp looked like last weekend -- with more rain in the forecast for our 'camp days' next week. Would you join us in praying for sunshine and warm temperatures?

...and most important of all that we would be sensitive to the Lord as we seek to lift these children's hearts to Him!

Families are Forever

Okay, I think for the first time in a year-and-a-half of blogging I've been hit with a serious case of writer's block. Not bad for 18 months without the malady, but when I have Bethany's wonderful photography to work with, I don't really have an excuse! So my apologies to those of you who have been checking for new posts without avail. [smile]

We just finished with a very full weekend here in Nebraska. We shared eight services over the course of four days at events ranging from retirement homes to churches -- and a breezy afternoon in the park.


Along with the delight of seeing local friends and extended family, this weekend I was struck with the sheer joy of sharing with my family. How often I take them for granted -- forgetting to treasure those 'little moments': Stepping on stage and catching my brother's eye to get a smile. Watching Nathanael try to figure out Dad's hand cues from the front row. Sharing jitters of nervousness as we start a new song for the first time -- and the grins of relief when we make it through.

But most of all it's always a great moment to plop on the crowded bus-sofa; all together and quiet after saying our goodbyes. We talk about the different people we met. The conversations shared. Whether or not Bethany tried those ultra-fudgy brownies. How 'such and such' song went "way too fast". [smile]

Family. In all of God's creation, I don't think there is anything else quite so beautiful as a family filled with His love.

After all, families are forever.

Have you told yours that you love them today?!

Whew! That was quite a mouthful. Perhaps I'm cured of my writer's block now!? [smile]



"I will praise You, O Lord among the peoples;
I will sing to You among the nations.
For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,
And Your truth unto the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth."
Psalms 57:10-11