Thursday, April 30, 2009

Farmer Boy

Daddy is lovin' country life again!

"Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
There He makes the hungry dwell,
And sow fields and plant vineyards,
That they may yield a fruitful harvest.
Psalm 107:31,36,37

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Random Pictures of our Week...



:: Gardening ::
Oh, the joys of small, quickly-growing plants!


:: Outdoor Exercise ::
Yesterday we enjoyed the great sunshine while shoveling
20 tons of sand out of another swimming pool!

:: Writing ::

:: Music ::
The boys' music CD is making rapid progress
and we're looking forward to releasing it sometime this spring.

:: Baking ::
Fun times in the kitchen!



"For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name."
Psalm 33:21

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bright Lights Conference

Our blog has again been silent for a week -- but not due to lack of activity! Our week was very full as we girls spent most of last week in Omaha, helping to serve with the Bright Lights Conference. What a BLESSING!

If you ever get the chance to attend one of these Conferences, I'd greatly encourage you to do so. Designed for young ladies and their parents, it's a seminar filled with godly teaching, encouragement, hillarious skits, heartfelt discussion times and rich fellowship. We came away challenged to not merely seek the 'good' things for our lives -- but to truly live God's best in every area of life!

It was exciting to see families travel from surrounding states to attend the Conference, and we continue to pray for the seeds planted and decisions made in the hearts of these 400+ young ladies.

The ministry of music was a personal blessing to me -- so many rich, encouraging songs!

Bethany and Elizabeth's disscussion group.
It was exciting to hear testimonies of how the Lord used the small group time as the girls were able to talk through many Biblical truths regarding Spiritual disciplines and important relationship principles. It was also a great blessing to have prayer time together!

It was an honor for we girls to share a few songs during the Conferences.



"...for it is God who works in you both to will and to do
for His good pleasure.
Do all things without complaining and disputing,
that you may become blameless and harmless,
children of God without fault
in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
among whom you shine as lights in the world."
Phil 2:13 -15

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our Hope, Our Victory!


Love crucified, arose
The Risen One in splendor
Jehovah soul Defender
Has won the victory
Love crucified, arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again
-Michael Card


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Teamwork!

It was very fitting and appropriate this week that our last big project with Andrew involved scooping out a swimming pool. Over the years this has become a family tradition every spring, with sometimes multiple pools waiting to be cleaned as Dad's business blasts a couple pools every year.

So Tuesday afternoon we all loaded up and headed to a local small town for 3 hours of scooping and lugging buckets. Ah, these beautiful spring days -- and the fun opportunity to be outside in the sunshine together!!!


Bucket transport

The work crew digging out the pools diving area

Alaythia's first experience as a 'sand-shoveler'

Ah, thank the Lord for strong guys to do the lifting!

There's nothing quite like diggin'-in teamwork!!!

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
Psalm 113:1

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

God Be With You...


By His counsels guide, uphold you.
With His sheep securely fold you;

Neath His wings protecting hide you;
Daily manna still provide you;

With the oil of joy anoint you;
Sacred ministries appoint you;


When life’s perils thick confound you;
Put His arms unfailing round you.

Of His promises remind you;
For life’s upper garner bind you;

Keep love’s banner floating o’er you,
Strike death’s threatening wave before you;

Sicknesses and sorrows taking,
Never leaving or forsaking;

Till we meet at Jesus' feet,
God be with you till we meet again.

And when I pray for you, the way I often do
As I think of you, each and every day...
Though it seems we're far apart,
I know deep in my heart...

...we'll be together, when I pray.

We love you, Andrew!

Monday, April 06, 2009

He is Faithful!

Finally! The final post of the NCHEA weekend -- such answers to prayer, testimonies of God's faithfulness, priceless moments, and unforgetable lessons! Here's a quick overview...

Our theme this year was WESTWARD -- Building our lives by God's Design. Traveling back in time to the untamed American northwest, we donned our cowpoke gear and had a foot-stompin', ye-hawin' great time! Yipee-yi-ky-yay!


We had right at 300 children register for the Conference this year -- our largest group ever. With almost 90 staff, the church was filled to the brim with smiling faces and lots of activity. The staff was an incredible answer to prayer. Although a handful of staff were unable to help at the last minute, God proved (literally last minute!) capable young people to fill the needed spots. What a blessing!

I had such a wonderful time leading the music and large group sessions. The children were so attentive and sang with such energy! To hear 300 children and 90 staff lifting praises with full voice is truly a priceless moment!

We had a very specific answer to prayer regarding the songs this year. We needed 4 songs for the weekend, keeping with our western theme and the spiritual truths we were trying to teach. As I sat and tried to write, I just wasn't coming up with anything worth using. A frustrating feeling!

Several ladies from church started praying for this specifically, and it was amazing to watch as each song was 'born'. Not even what I was thinking should be the message of the songs, but as I watched the drama and saw how the lyrics dove-tailed so much of what was being taught, I marveled at how much higher God's ways are than mine! He is so faithful!


Hannah was on a team for the first time this year and loved working with 'her' children.

Anna was such a blessing! As I didn't have sheet music for any of the songs, she spent literally hours upon hours learning to accompany for the large group.



Besides serving on a team, Matthias and Stephen were the villans once again in the drama. Their antics kept the crowd in stitches! For more about the drama, visit here.

Bethany's team, Bent's Old Fort
Each of the teams were named after a historical western fort.
The local "Sheriff" looked for every opportunity to spend time with a certain 'Kori'! We're so thankful she could join us for the weekend!

Ruth was a team leader, in addition to heading up the background props and video project. Seeing the children's smiles is so priceless!


Elizabeth was team leader for the sweet 'pre-school' team.

"Skeeter" added many humorous moments -- and a great lesson for the kids as the Conference concluded. Putting into practice what the kids had been learning through the whole weekend.

Just one of Matthias' million face expressions!


He is faithful to supply my need,
He is faithful to give me joy abundantly,
He is faithful to calm the storms of life for me.
He is faithful, He's all I need.
To God be all Glory!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Treasured Times


Tonight will be another bittersweet milestone in the journey of our family -- our very last concert with Andrew as an active part of our group. While we dearly hope that he'll be returning for a few special events (July 4th, etc...), things will undoubtably never be the same as life moves on and we arrange new music without him.

I'm sure you've noticed life around our home has been quickly changing, with wonderful new relationships and Andrew leaving to pursue God's best for this time in his life. It is an exciting, yet adjusting phase and we are treasuring every moment of being together!

Last night was a good example. We had a fun, pizza night, with a tender scene unfolding afterwards -- we all gathered in the living room, little ones perched on laps, Josiah and Abi joining us. And the stories began. "Do you remember when we climbed that old woodpile and made it into a playhouse?"...or "How old was Elizabeth when we carried her up in the trees to climb with us?!? 3?!" ...or "Remember Mom's egg object lesson!?"

And for over an hour the re-enactments, and storytelling brought smiles, giggles, teasing -- and all those wonderful family moments that overwhelm me with gratitude. The tender, strong pull on the heartstrings in a family filled with love is something that is only possible by the grace of God -- and is something that can't be bought, nor would be traded for anything.

When was the last time you had a family night to share in those special memories from years past?! Treasure, treasure each moment with your children, brothers and sisters, and parents. Life moves quickly, and before you know it, the pages of your story will be turning to the next exciting chapter!

For those of you in the Hiawatha, Kansas area who would like to join us for the concert tonight, here's the information --

The Fisher Center
Hiawatha, Kansas -- 8:00 PM
*Concert to benefit the outreach of Midland Ministries

"Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness." Psalm 37:3

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

NCHEA



With thanks to Ruth for another great photo project, here is a quick re-cap of last weekend's NCHEA Kid's Conference. Thank you all for your prayers! We serve such a faithful, amazing God!


[Note: The only down-side of writing our own music is not having a high-quality recording for the slide-show. I wish you could hear all 300 children singing with all their hearts! *sigh* Ah well! Enjoy the simple renditions anyways! (smile)]


"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
Colossians 3:17

One more NCHEA post to come...and in the meantime, check out the drama pictures here!