Thursday, June 30, 2011

Field Work

As you've probably noticed by our schedule, our family has taken a few months off the road for a 'sabbatical' of sorts. We were earnestly praying for future direction this spring and the Lord was so good to confirm a season of 'home-time' for our family -- a rare occurrence during these past eight years. He also provided an amazing way to make provision for this season: field work!

The past two months have found us spending long, hot hours in the Nebraska sunshine as we've installed in-ground irrigation systems for farmers. There's just something about good, honest, hard work that is refreshing, rewarding, -- and yes, exhausting! And that has been the story of our spring.

A few weeks ago, Kori joined us in the fields to work -- and to capture much of the installation work with her camera. [Thanks, Kori!]

So here's just a glimpse of a typical day in the fields:

First, Josiah digs through the field with a massive trencher, creating a 4ft deep trench just about as far as the eye can see. I wish I had a picture of him with that massive machine. Totally impressive!

Then, we glue miles of water-supply pipe together and lay it in the trenches, ready to attach to the irrigation tapes already run through the field via another big machine.

We lay out the 'goose-necks' which will attach to the pipe and flow the water directly to the irrigation tape.

Ruth drills a hole in the pipe at every irrigation tape...

...and installs the small, rubber grommet.

Elizabeth installs the goose-necks into the pipe.

Stephen hacks away at the trench wall to uncover the irrigation tape.

Yeah, so thankful for such strong, amazing brothers!

I use a handy cutting tool to measure the correct distance, trim if needed, and slide the tape over the goose-neck.

Behind me, Kori or Matthias will attach a metal wire around the splice and tighten it down -- and the trench work is complete!

At various intervals in the field, there are zone spits, drains, and various, intricate pipe-work projects that need assembled. Usually Dad works on these while we're in the trench.

And finally, Matthias is typically the project manager and oversees all the 'zones', 'splits' and supplies. He keeps us motivated and somehow still manages to work faster and harder than the rest of us!

Have you ever noticed that many hands make light work?! Or maybe its just the fact that working with great friends is always fun! *smile*

A few more random pictures:

Andrew drives the mini-excavator across the field.

Yeah, he runs a cool machine, too.

The newlyweds

Nothin' like working together, right?!

Oh yeah!


The best time of the day -- LUNCH!

And this was a unique job. The trench was filled with 2 - 3 feet of water. And mud. And slime. And yes -- we waded through that guck to hook up the pipes. We were a mess and made enough memories to last a long time! [Sadly, it was the day after these pictures were taken, so I don't have pictures of the process. But believe me -- we were MUDDY!]

Trying to measure the mud depth.


Getting ready to head back in the trenches.

Trying on the guys' boots.

Re-filling Ruth's supply apron.

More digging


We so enjoy every opportunity to work together!

And that's a summery of our Spring. Yep, lots of new experiences, but its been good! Installation season is over due to the growing crops, so for the month of July the guys will be working painting jobs as we all practice and prepare to head out on tour again in August. Check out our updated schedule and be watching for updates as we book the remainder of 2011!

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."
Psalm 133:1

Monday, June 27, 2011


Happy Birthday Dan!

"Visualizing each task as a special assignment from the Lord and using all my energies to accomplish it."

"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,"
Col 3:23

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Happy 16th Birthday Hannah!

Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives.

"Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart."
1 Peter 1:22

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Happy 20th Birthday Matthias!

Purposing to accomplish God's goals in God's time
-- regardless of the opposition. "

"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2 Tim 4:7

Thursday, June 16, 2011


A theme for our ministry team in preparation for the Iowa Conference was "Faith and Dependency". This was the first time we'd stepped into another state and worked with another homeschool conference and there were many unknowns. Many details to watch out for. And yet, time and time again the Lord was so faithful as we saw Him answer so many prayers! Praise His Name!

"Only fear the LORD,
and serve Him in truth with all your heart;
for consider what great things He has done for you."
1 Samuel 12:24

Sunday, June 12, 2011

NICHE Conference

"Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD?
Who can declare all His praise?"
Ps 106:2

It's been a full weekend in DesMoines, Iowa. But the above verse sums up the activity-packed days perfectly well. We were able to bring our Kids Conference [The Great Adventure] to the Iowa Homeschool Conference during this past Friday and Saturday.

Over the past year, the Lord has really laid a vision of discipleship on our team's heart -- praying for young people to catch a vision for serving and ministering in their own home areas. The young people of Iowa were such a blessing as they partnered with us to make this program possible. And we saw so many answered prayers!

I'm currently working to put together a full slideshow from the weekend [since I have hundreds of great photos to share], but for now, here's a little glimpse from the Conference:

I love watching the children learn the new songs and grasp the message of the words they sing. Certainly a personal highlight!

And Stephen was my side-kick for this conference. The children loved him!

Charissa was thrilled to be on a team for this Conference. She especially loved the songs and would put her whole heart into the singing.

Ruth's team -- Chili

Elizabeth's team -- Egypt

Hannah played the part of Alice Hadley in the drama.

And Matthias had the most 'eventful' weekend of all. He sprained his ankle the night before the Conference began, causing the drama team to improvise for his part. So, wielding a crutch in disguise, he valiantly took the stage for all his parts! We thank the Lord his ankle seems to be healing well.

We've had lots of requests for an update on the newlyweds. Hopefully we'll get more posted soon, but here's a quick picture from the weekend. They came and joined us for the Conference. In fact, Kori was the official photographer and captured most of the pictures on this post. [Thank you, Kori!]

Kori also helped lead the preschool time.

"Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Psalm 150:2

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Basket Weaving

This is Hannah again, giving another report from our adventures at Grandpa and Grandma's house:

Last week Grandma planned a special treat -- she brought us to a friend's house to learn basket weaving.

The first step is to let the 'reeds' soak in water. Then, after a few more steps you just start the weaving process.

Even Charissa got to make one, with Grandma's help!

Once you have the shape down it gets a bit easier.

Adding color is so much fun! Our teacher had so many different ones to choose from!

It was fun to see everyone's style come out in the colors.
Nathanael had a lot of fun color woven into his basket!

Alaythia's is more purple and navy.

Charissa's is pink, red, purple, and blue.

Susanna had very bright colors -- orange and Blue!
I had red, white, and blue.

Once you are done weaving, you have to finish the handle and wrap the top. That part was a little harder but still a lot of fun!

Here are just a few of the hundreds of baskets that Grandma's friend, Jean, has made.

She is so good at making baskets! It was so much fun to learn from her!
Thank you Jean!