Monday, May 23, 2011


Home has been filled with excited activity these past few weeks. In fact, we're all enjoying a season of being home. So much, in fact, that the camera is too often forgotten when it comes to capturing ordinary days. But here's a quick look at a smattering of photos we've captured lately:

Joanna is completely enthralled with our baby chicks.

Spring bouquets

Spending lots of time in our garden.
And we've even been able to plant a whole tree orchard this spring!

With Joanna living only a mile from us, we are always eager for babysitting opportunities.

Lots of homemade baking has been happening, too. Mmmmmmm!

During our season at home, the guys have been working long, long hours installing irrigation systems for area farmers. We girls have been going to work with them on occasion, too! It's physically demanding and quite exhausting, but somehow everything is more fun when its a teamwork project!

Did I mention it was quite exhausting?! Yep...these guys have huge days!

We've begun piano lessons in earnest with each of the younger children. So wonderful to hear those little fingers play!

And that, my friends, is a short update from our camera lens! We're looking forward to a trip to northeastern Iowa to visit our grandparents this weekend. If you're in that area, we'd love to have you join us for our concerts there. Check our schedule page for details!

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Ps 16:11


Trini said...

Good to be hearing from you all again!

Bethany Joy said...

I so enjoyed reading this post, Rachel. Thanks for updating us!

Aw...Joanna is so *cute*! How old is she now? Your chicks look like a lot of fun!

Alaythia looks so happy, holding ALL those would I:)

Hannah looks like she's enjoying Joanna, as I'm sure she is!

I'm sure it nice to listen to your little siblings play the piano. I have a four year old sister, and we might start teaching her in the near furture!

Blessings and Greetings!
Bethany Joy

Anonymous said...

I love random posts like this!!

Talitha said...

I love all these fun, random pictures. :) Thanks for the update. It's great to hear that you're all doing well!

Schumachers said...

Wow looks like lots of hard work and fun times! Hope you enjoy your time at home. We will miss seeing you this summer but I'm glad you get to be at home for a while. Enjoy your summer!

P.S. those baby chicks are so cute. Can't wait to get some soon too!

Love, Mindy

Anonymous said...

I agree with Trini!
I was beginning to wonder... :)
~Elizabeth Lindsay

JoyfulJewels4Jesus said...

Thanks for sharing all of the delightfully random photos with us, Rachel! It is so fun to have a little glimpse into your family's life in photos. =) The one of Charissa and you is so sweet. =) Thanks for sharing! I had a nice time talking with you last are such an encouragement to me!


Anonymous said...

Can you tell us what are on the cards with Charrisa at the piano? are they note cards?

Memory said...

Isn't working outside, getting hot and sweaty, and working hard SO fun?! I love it! :) Especially when it's with sweet family!

Anonymous said...

Are you doing many dates this summer with singing or working on a new CD?

Anonymous said...

Sigh... I was wondering if you had forgotten you had a blog!!!
Stephen looks like he needs a vacation :)

Rachel Wissmann said...

Anonymous --

I don't typically recommend teaching piano to children under 5, but Charissa is so eager to learn along with the other kids, so I'm teaching her with a couple finger/note games. So her cards have finger numbers on them [2-3-4]. She then can play those finger numbers on the "3-group" of black keys. Its a fun game for her, and makes her feel like a big girl. I've been surprised at how quickly she learns. I'm considering using Faber's "My First Piano Adventures" for her, as she seems to have a knack for music!

And yes, we will be doing quite a bit of traveling in the late summer. The guy's work (in addition to garden and home projects) have us home through July, but then August we'll be taking off on tour again!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lot of fun!
God bless!
~Elizabeth Lindsay

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the pictures!



Anonymous said...

I love baby chicks :) (until their about 1 week old then their not so nice)

Our Army of Six said...

Rachel, I saw where you said you were going to use Faber's-My first piano adventures. What would you recommend for children ages 6-7 to begin teaching them? I can play the piano enough to chord hymns (which was my goal so I could play for church and family worship) but I haven't a clue of how to begin teaching our young ones.

We also have a 9 year old boy who really wants to learn how to play harmonica. Any ideas?

Thanks so much!

Rachel Wissmann said...

Our Army of Six --

Thanks for your comments and questions! I just purchased Faber's "My First Piano Adventure" yesterday and am excited to see who quickly Charissa picks up with it. I really like the format.

However, for a 6-7 year old, I would probably start with Faber's Primer books. Most certainly the Lesson and Technique/Artistry books. The Theory and Performance books are great, too, and would be helpful for the younger beginner. [When you have more repertoire the student gets more opportunity to practice for each new concept, which is helpful for earlier beginners.]

You can gain very helpful tips on how to best teach using the Faber method at the following link. I taught piano for around 6 years and experimented with many different methods before becoming completely sold on the Faber method. It combines all the elements of piano excellence and creative repertoire -- and is extremely user-friendly!

In regards to harmonica -- we just gave the boys harmonicas at an early age and they started messing around with tunes, simply by ear. I think there are YouTube videos available for learning harmonica. But unfortunately, we're not much help in that regard!

Hope this is helpful!

Our Army of Six said...

Thanks Rachel. I will look into that! And our Nathan loves to walk around 'playing' his harmonica. I'll try to find a song for him to figure out by ear. Maybe that will get him started!

Thanks again!