Thursday, May 28, 2009

The candid smiles...

...the inexplainable joy of brothers and sisters --
of memories and friendships that last a lifetime!

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

Psalm 133:1

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Musical

In keeping with the patriotic theme from yesterday, our family is working with great zeal towards the July 4th weekend. Over the years we've talked, brainstormed, and prayed about producing a Patriotic Musical for our hometown's large and festive celebration -- but until now its never materialized.

But sometimes God's plans take time to unfold -- and His timing is best. Several weeks ago we discovered the theme for Seward's 2009 Celebration; "Foundations of Freedom". With an open door in the community, we began to pray about the possibility of this being the year for the Musical. Our goal being, to share the godly heritage, sacrifice, and vision of our Founding Fathers -- and to show the mighty hand of God in the birth of our nation.

It seemed an overwhelming task, as both script and songs needed to come together in a matter of weeks. I could write a huge post detailing how God brought both together in an amazingly short amount of time -- plus the support of our wonderful church family. Perhaps that's a post for another time.

But sufficient to say, we're grateful for so many people's input and earnest prayers. We're excited about the storyline, music, choreography, and actors -- and are praying for all the final details that need to fall in place before our first performance on July 3rd. (There will be two performances total.)

We'd covet your prayers as we -- and our church family -- work together and seek the Lord in making this a very memorable, professional, and powerful production. I'm sure you'll be hearing much in regards to this as the date gets closer!

Specifically, we'd ask for prayer regarding creative and economical costuming. We are currently in search of 9 British Redcoats, Tri-cornered hats, and Constitutional Convention wigs. Any ideas?! We'd appreciate your input! [smile]

“In circumstance as dark as these,
it becomes us as men to reflect that while every prudent measure
should be taken to ward off the coming judgments…
we need understand only that
God rules in the armies of heaven,
and without His whole blessing,
the best human counsels are but foolishness
--Founding Father, John Hancock

Summer Schedule

"All the earth shall worship You And sing praises to You;
They shall sing praises to Your name.
Come and see the works of God;
He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men."
Psalm 66:4-5

With thanks for your patience, our over-due summer schedule is now updated on our webpage! We're looking foward to the upcoming opportunities to share together. We still do have some open dates, so if you notice we're heading towards your area of the country and would like to be included in the schedule, please contact us!

Monday, May 25, 2009

In God is our Trust

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Our family had the special privilege of spending Memorial Day weekend with our grandparents in northeastern Iowa. It was a joy to help fill the local cemeteries with color -- hoisting dozens of large flags into the sky. Reminding us of how grateful we are to live in a land with such rich heritage and sacrifice.

How grateful we are for folks like our grandpa, who have faithfully served our country. Grandpa is a Korean War veteran, and we're so proud and thankful for him! A heartfelt thank you to each of our veteran readers! We love you, Grandpa!

And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."

"Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people."
Prov. 14:34

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Back on the Road

I have found a friend in Jesus,
He's everything to me
He's the fairest of ten-thousand to my soul.

The lily of the valley,
In Him alone I see,
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.

In sorrow He's my comfort,
In trouble He's my stay
He tells me every care on Him to role.

He's the Lily of the Valley,
The bright and Morning Star...

...He's the fairest of ten-thousand to my soul.

After much practice in our livingroom and garage -- and sharing the new music at a couple local nursing homes -- we're back on the road for a short trip, to be home on Monday. While our website should be updated with our schedule very soon, we do have one additional service for this weekend for those of you in northeastern Iowa.
Ossian Lutheran Church
Ossian, IA
Thank you all for your prayers -- once we get back to wireless internet I'll look forward to uploading more pictures and updates!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Loren Albert

laurel” :: “noble and intelligent”

One who finds victory in Christ and treasures His Word knowing all wisdom is found therein.

“Your testimonies are wonderful; Therefore my soul keeps them. The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:129-130
Happy Birthday Daddy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Home Projects


As long-time readers of our blog know, we children have a standing 'tradition' of sorts when Dad and Mom leave home for several days. While we learned lots and had some great times decorating our Seward home, we're now getting to start over with a new home...and all-white walls!

Daddy has been dropping hints over the past couple weeks regarding our home decor, so when they planned a weekend trip to South Carolina to see Andrew (more about that coming soon!), we decided the timing was perfect for another project with our family 'make-over' team. Since Matthias, Stephen, Susanna, and Alaythia joined the SC trip, our numbers were depleted....however, Josiah and Abi pitched in and were SUCH a blessing!! (We love you guys!!)

So for a photo-journal of the weekend...

We started Monday morning with finalizing the colors and trouping off to town for paint and supplies...while the home crew started preparing the rooms with plastic and tape.

It's always good to have friends to share the creativity!

Paint! Ruth and Elizabeth did most of the huge, high ceiling -- draining three buckets of paint!

While the house was in disarray, the little ones had fun running errands with us and having picnics outside.

Ah, the FUN of color!

Our wonderful sis-in-love edged for hours!

Painting those hard-to-reach spots

Cleaning as we go!

Josiah even got in on the action!

When we heard the family was returning on Tuesday night instead of the original Wednesday plan, our worked shifted into high gear and by the last hour we were literally racing around the house trying to get it all finished. Thankfully, we completed the last touches only minutes before Nathanael shouted their arrival!

So for a few before/after pics....



(Minus the family picture which will be hung above the piano.)

Special pictures! [smile]

This is the only 'before" picture I could find of the hallway, as it was a last minute addition to the project. Basically, a typical white-walled hallway.

I LOVE playing with Bethany's pictures!



The basement stairway

And yes, we did one other project...and I wish I had a 'before' picture to show you -- and a picture of Bethany painting her lovely Scripture print on the wall. But unfortunately, this all was done in the final scramble to finish before the deadline, so the camera missed those moments. Thank you for the Scripture painting, Bethany!!!

And there you have it - another memorable, fun weekend. What a joy to work together!

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might"

Ecc. 9:10

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Its a quiet day... the Wissmann neighborhood today. While the days have quickly passed since our last post, life has settled into a somewhat regular routine here on the home front. Life in the country has very different dynamics than city life and we find ourselves so busy enjoying the newness of it, -- so much so, that we too often forget to take pictures to document and share with you.

[Not to mention the fact that our main photographer has 'other things' on her mind and heart these days. *ahem* (laugh)]

But as the quiet spring breezes are drifting through our sunroom, I decided I should at least let you all know that we're still alive and well!

With spring in the country, gardening has taken on a new interest. Mommy has been gathering our younger ones for several planting sessions, and daily the little plants are checked with care for signs of growth progress. The day our peas pushed through the soil there was great jubilation!

In our routine this month, most of our evenings have been spent digging into new music, working on arrangements, and looking ahead to our first few concerts without Andrew. Matthias has been very diligent with his banjo practicing, so the cheerful sound of "Andrew's instrument" still fills our home every day.

For those of you who regularly check our homepage and have been wondering about our summer/fall schedule -- yes, that is certainly in the works, and we'll be posting the upcoming schedule soon! Stay tuned. We're excited for the opportunities the Lord has opened for this year.

And speaking of opportunities, another big project that has been taking much of our time and energies is the writing and producing of a full-scale Patriotic Musical for our city's July 4th celebration. We're looking forward to sharing more details about this in the coming weeks! It is certainly a matter to keep in prayer!

Finally, for those of you who asked about Andrew -- he's had many challenges in his first few weeks, but each time we get to talk with him on the phone, he's always very upbeat and excited about what the Lord is teaching him and working through him. As Mother's Day weekend is our last *free* weekend for awhile, Dad, Mom, and four of the younger kids are currently headed to South Carolina to spend a few days with him. We'll look forward to sharing a more complete report when they return. Please do keep him in prayer. Most specifically, his knee was injured a week ago and is not healing very quickly. If it doesn't improve soon, more medical intervention may be needed.

Again, thank you all for your prayers, encouragment, and fellowship in the Lord! Till next time...

"Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together."
Psalm 34:3