Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nathanael


Happy 7th Birthday Nathanael!

Hey, Buddy! You're the only one of us to have a nickname that 'sticks', but *Buddy* is so appropriate for you! It's great to watch you follow your big brothers and sisters around, learning new skills, information, and character -- and helping Charissa learn everything along with you. It is a joy having you in our family! May you continue to grow in knowledge and love for Jesus, that you may be a workman...a man of God...rightly dividing the Word of Truth! We love you!


A few of Nathanael's favorite things --
  • Clothes -- Cowboy clothes,
  • Restaurant -- Pizza Hut
  • Game -- Mighty, Mighty Scoop Noodle Challenge
  • Dessert -- Ice Cream
  • Color -- Red
  • Outdoor Activity -- Riding Bike or Minature Golf


    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God...that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Monday, October 27, 2008

One week from today...

...is our opening Christmas Show!

We are currently in the middle of packing the bus as we prepare for almost two full months in Branson, Missouri.

Early this afternoon is our departure goal -- with a week of set-up, rehearsals, prayer time, and public relations ahead.

It will be a time of stretching, learning, seeking the Lord, and treasuring the experience together. We'll look forward to sharing more details soon!

We are so excited at the possibility of seeing many of you, our blog readers, in the coming weeks!


"Sing to the LORD, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day."
1 Chron.16:23

Video Adventures


With the opportunities of Branson quickly approaching, we've also been working on an additional project...video! For our Christmas Show in Branson, a 10 - 15 minute pre-show video is recommended, so we've been learning lots about lighting, video cameras, scripting, interviews, computer capabilities, patience, and perseverance!



With Bethany's eye for angles, lighting, and colors, she spent many hours capturing home life, interviews, and candid traveling moments.


We are so grateful for a couple dear friend who have jumped in to help us with this project -- Abi's dad, Paul Rehm, who has many years of experience in Christian Radio did all our narration voice-overs. I didn't realize the spoken voice could be such an art, but he turned our simple script into a a rich-sounding masterpiece with his warm, deep voice. Thank you, Mr. Rehm!



And finally -- after wadding through the video editing process on our elementary computer program, we had a huge answer to prayer as a friend from Ohio willingly offered to help us put the whole thing together. Thank you, Christopher!


Please pray for us as we finish this project as the deadline of November 3rd comes ever nearer! May the Lord truly be glorified. We are humbled and so grateful for so many of the body of Christ upholding us in this new venture!



"NOT unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth." Psalm 115:1

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Alaythia

Happy 9th Birthday Alaythia!


You brightened our morning with your happy smile again today, Alaythia! We are so grateful to have you in our family. From your cheerful helpfulness with Charissa, to your eagerness to learn new kitchen skills, tackle sewing projects, read and memorize God's Word, and learn new violin music...your sweet enthusiasm for life shines through all you do! May you have a very happy and blessed birthday -- and upcoming year -- as you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ! We love you!!!

A few of Alaythia's favorite things --
  • Book of the Bible - Ruth
  • Restaurant - Amigos
  • Place to Visit - grandparent's homes
  • Color - Purple
  • Pastime - turning cartwheels
  • Dessert - My birthday cake!
  • Ice Cream - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Season - Summer



"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

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Welcome...

...to a new instrument joining our 'family'!


Yes, Elizabeth has been diligently practicing cello this month...with hopes of adding it to our musical arrangements soon. It always amazes me to think of the variety and rich unique quality of sound each instrument adds to our collection.

Kinda like the varying, unique gifts in the body of Christ?! [smile]

"Praise God in his sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
...Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes...
Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!"
Psalm 150:1,4,6

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sewing


In addition to studio work this week, we've had our hands full of sewing projects! With our Branson show to start in just over two weeks, our piles of fabric for singing dresses, nativity and ol' time caroler costumes have been needing drastic attention.

What a BLESSING it was to experience the teamwork and willing help from several friends on Thursday! Loaded with an army of machines, two sergers, scissors, and more sewing notions than I could mention, these ladies spent the day cutting, measuring, ironing, and.....well, you get the idea! [smile] The sewing room was buzzing with activity and lively conversation all day long!

Thank you for your cheerful help, ladies!

Courtney

Bethany

Brittney

Alatheia

Ruth
Abi
Angela
Anna
Elizabeth


And with a couple 'mommys' on the crew, our girls were delighted with the job of babysitting!


We're still working on some final sewing projects, but the bulk of it is done -- and we are so grateful! In a few short weeks, we'll be posting pictures of the costumes and dresses as we prepare for November 3rd.


"In the Kingdom of God, service is not a stepping-stone to nobility:
it is nobility,
the only kind of nobility that is recognized"
-Manson

Friday, October 17, 2008

Studio


Merry Christmas, everyone! Well, I suppose the holidays are a couple months away yet, but we've been pickin, grinnin -- and singin -- Christmas tunes all week! Today was our final day in the studio, working on the new recording. With rejoicing we brought home a demo CD with all 14 songs this evening.

Many thanks to those of you who upheld us in prayer. Because we were recording many new songs, the process went a bit slower than earlier projects, but we're really excited with how it's turning out. May the Lord be glorified and hearts lifted to worship the King of kings this season!

And now for a few pictures of the week...


:: Smiles ::

:: Concentration ::

:: Endurance ::

:: Teamwork ::

:: Decision Making ::

:: Cheerfulness ::

:: Attention to Detail ::
Christmas music simply begs for the harp!

We were so thrilled that Josiah and Abi made time to help us with this recording! Josiah sang on several songs, and Abi helped in multiple ways. What a blessing!


And we are so grateful for our engineer, Tom Ware. His professionalism, musicianship, and skill are such a blessing!

We're scheduled to have Joy to the World available by November 1st. Stay tuned...


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,
teaching and admonishing one another
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Col 3:16-17

Monday, October 13, 2008

Recording

This morning as I type this we are loading the van with instruments to head to the studio to begin our Christmas recording, Joy to the World. Please do keep us in prayer this week as our goal is to have the recording, mixing, and mastering all completed by Friday.

Our prayer is that this CD will be a mighty testimony of the reason we celebrate Christmas, and draw many hearts unto Jesus Christ -- glorifying His name.

"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy, because of Your truth."

Psalms 115:1

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Newlyweds

After spending 10 days in the Colorado Rockies, the newlyweds are settling into their cute little home and the joys of married life. Yesterday they welcomed our family and the Rehms for an afternoon of hospitality and opening gifts from their wedding.

They are well on their way to making their first house into a home, with pictures already hung on the walls, curtains up, and candles adding a warm, cozy touch!


They can't stop smiling!

Each of the cards and gifts were such a blessing and we enjoyed watching them discover each item with laughter, comments -- and much gratefulness.

And yes, it looks like the honeymoon is going to last a looooooooooong time! [smile]


"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love."
1 Cor 13:13

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The many phases...

...of music practice.


For those of you who would like a glimpse into our family's musical routine, we recently captured a typical practice session in our guitar studio (i.e. - bedroom)...


Please note: No instruments were in any way harmed during the following documentation.



Phase 1 - You pick up your instrument with excitement, and listen to the song you're assigned to learn. You begin eagerly, as you're confident the complicated licks and chords you envision will be simple to teach your fingers to play.


Phase 2 - You're mind is fully concentrated as you go over and over the song, one measure at a time. Slowly. Painstakingly.


Phase 3 - You suddenly realize the complicated licks you'd envisioned are INDEED complicated, and your fingers don't seem to be making any progress in the right direction. You're tempted to give up.



Phase 4 - Determination fills your body as you grasp the instrument and start over. Slowly. Painstakingly. You fight feelings of frustration. Why do our brains have such a difficult time communicating with our fingers?!



Phase 5 - You begin to feel violent thoughts towards your instrument and the so-called beautiful song you were supposed to learn. At this point, it's generally safest for all involved to call for a short break.


Phase 6 - Take a few hours' break and start over with Phase 1.



"And whatever you do, do it heartily..."
Col 3:23

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Practice

After arriving home from a very blessed trip to Michigan and Ontario (it was great to see all you folks again!), we are now digging in with all our energies concentrated on Christmas music.

And with great urgency -- next Monday we are scheduled to head for the studio to record our new Christmas project! We are very excited about this project, but still have a long ways to go. We're currently working on several new arrangements, as well as polishing some we haven't sang since last year.

So you can probably imagine a peek into our house today. As I was working on text for our new CD cover, Hannah spent a few moments with the camera. It's a good thing our home has many rooms, because this is what she found...

Bethany practicing harp in the basement Great Room.


Elizabeth working on a song in our living room.

Stephen working on a new mandolin solo in the sunroom.


Alaythia practicing "Away in the Manger" in her bedroom.


And Susanna working on the same song.

Matthias had to search for a quiet spot...and finally ended up in the laundry room atop the freezer!


Andrew picking away in the guys' room.


Would you join us in prayer for this new project??! Our goal is to have it available November 1st, so stay tuned!


"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,
teaching and admonishing one another in
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace
in your hearts to the Lord."
Col. 3:16

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A few more...

...wedding pictures have been posted on Bethany's blog!


"This was the LORD's doing; It is marvelous in our eyes."
Psalm 118:23

Michigan

Greetings from the chilly state of Michigan! As our bus rolled into the Flint area this week, it seems the cool fall breezes blew in as well. But as always, the fellowship is warm here and after our summer of comunicating via Skype, we are greatly enjoying the opportunities to share together! [smile]

Here are a few pics of the week...

Having fun with our chopstick skills!

Mmmmmmm!

Sibling friendship -- how sweet it is!

Peek-a-boo!
Spending time with friends.

Buddies!

Sharing with the older generation.

"For this reason we also... do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be...
strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;
giving thanks to the Father
who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light."
Col 1:10 & 12