Monday, August 29, 2011

Lake Itasca Family Music Fest

Although its been almost a month since the Lake Itasca Family Music Festival, I would be remiss if I failed to post any pictures from our fantastic weekend! With many thanks to Kori, we actually have some pictures to share. (She's become our 'event-photographer' -- thanks, Kori!!)

The first weekend of August found us near the Lake Itasca State Park for the annual family music festival, hosted by our good friends, the Berge family. If you live within traveling distance and enjoy family music, we highly recommend attending festival in 2012...and 2013...and 2014...and, well, you get the idea!

The days were filled with fellowship, music, great food, gorgeous weather, and lots of spurring one another on to love and good works. We're so grateful for the body of Christ!

It was a fantastic treat to have Andrew and Kori join us for the weekend! Its such a wonderful treat whenever they travel with us!

Anna and her sister, Esther, stopped by after visiting their MN grandparents for the week. So wonderful to have them help with our various responsibilities at the festival!

With so much extra company, our first order of business was to set up a tent in our little 'campsite' area.

How many girls does it take to set up a tent?! *smile*

Between the music sets by this year's featured bands, our guys provided a little entertainment and comic relief. Yes, its true....with these guys around, there's rarely a dull moment around our place!

Helping in the Snack Shack

Another highlight was leading the "Children's Storybook Theater" for two hours on Saturday. Such a delight to watch these eager faces and hearts during our times together! A fantastic crew!

Our drama this year detailed the life of Mary Slessor. Here the ship captain warns her of the dangers she will face ahead.

Ruth and Stephen taught the memory verses.

Why do we always make the craziest faces on stage?!

Stephen helping with the mandolin workshop

Matthias taught dobro.

And lots of great late-night jamming!

A smiling face at our CD table.

And finally, it was a blessing to be able to share the closing concert this year. It was incredible to look out over the crowds of families, enjoying the last of the festival before tearing down camp and heading for home. Dad challenged them (and us) to ask the Lord to prepare and place each of them (us) where we can be the most fruitful for His kingdom. This time of fellowship is important. But the Light of Christ isn't meant to be hidden under a basket! We all have a part in that opportunity to share the love of Christ in our home areas. What a joyful challenge!

"Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works and
glorify your Father in heaven."
Matt 5:16

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This past Monday we had the opportunity to travel to Brooklyn, New York City. The main focus of our visit was to sing at a Turkish restaurant, and before we sang they fed us a most delicious meal of authentic Turkish food.

But while we were waiting for the meal, we captured a few random smiles --

They brought us a large, piping hot bread, along with 5 different dipping sauces and veggie trays. The main dish was 3 meats with rice and wonderful spices. We've all decided that we really like Turkish food! (Which is fun, because we've actually been learning to make allot of different ethnic foods at home. We'll have to practice Turkish next!)

And finally, the opportunity to share to the restaurant customers.

Many thanks for your prayers over this past week. We've really seen the Lord working in amazing ways on this tour. Divine appointments, timely conversations, safe travels, and increased opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Praise His name!

"I will praise You, O LORD, among the peoples,
And I will sing praises to You among the nations."
Ps 108:3

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Happy 28th Birthday Ruth!

"Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to God and to those whom He has called me to serve."

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
John 15:13

Dad & Mom

Happy 31st Anniversary Dad & Mom!

"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

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Photoshoot

It happened again. A couple weekends ago, Dad and Mom took their every-once-in-awhile romantic getaway. And if you're a regular blog reader, you know what that means. Yep! Another surprise was in order. But more about that later...

In the meantime (while I'm still trying to gather pictures from our decorating re-make), part of our surprise was taking all-new individual pictures for Dad and Mom. With a heat index of well over 100 degrees, I was secretly wondering how we'd be able to pull off pictures that weren't filled with sweat and red faces. But, since the guys were putting in long hours of work, I only had one opportunity to snap the needed pictures.

So, armed with a camera and earnest prayers, we set off in search of a location. Thankfully, everyone cooperated beautifully and within 30 minutes our mission was accomplished!

Stay tuned for more of the surprise in a later post...



Josiah, Abi, and Joanna
[Taken at a different time/location. But too cute not to post!]

Dan and Bethany
[Taken at a different time/location. But again -- too cute not to post!]

Andrew and Kori









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

A Complicated Smile

As I mentioned in the above post, we recently took 'school' pictures. With 11 individual pictures to take, you'd think the photo-shoot might have been a boring, routine hassle.

But not with Matthias around! Since he is always coming up unique ways of turning the ordinary into exciting, we had quite a time trying to get a 'typical' picture of him! Within a span of 60 seconds, we captured over 30 pictures of unique expressions as he had us in giggles during the photo session. Here's a quick sample:

"But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast."
Prov 15:15