Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hello!?

With my apologies to you, our blog friends, I recognize that our corner on the web has been very quiet lately. Very quiet!

And believe me, the silence is certainly not for lack of blogging material. Rather, life has been so full lately, that I haven't made the time to upload our pictures. But hopefully that will happen soon!

Preparations for our state homeschool conference are in full swing. The past couple days have included:
  • Our guys putting in big days either working for Andrew or Dad.
  • A 19-hour-straight sewing marathon to finish a pile of costumes for NCHEA.
  • Susanna making 40 bean-bags for the preschool time.
  • Dad and Mom both preparing several sessions that they will be sharing at this year's adult portion of the conference.
  • Painting the huge backdrops for this years' drama and building frames.
  • Making a large fabric banner for the Conference foyer.
  • Scouring thrift stores for needed items.
  • Making 10 large palm trees, yards and yards of tropical 'vines' and dozens of paper flowers.
  • Rehearsing the drama (for Matthias, Stephen & Hannah)
  • Writing and preparing the music for the Conference.
  • Making large posters for teaching aids.
  • Preparing lesson plans for the small group sessions.

And by tomorrow afternoon all of the above projects need to be wrapped up as we head into Lincoln to set up for the Conference!

But as we've been keeping our hands very busy, I've been pondering the lyrics of our theme song this year:

To love the Lord our God is the heartbeat of the mission
The strength from which our service overflows.

Across the street, or around the world,
The mission's still the same:

Proclaim and live the truth in Jesus' name.


What a timely reminder. The heartbeat of our mission is to love the Lord. All the extra details of this conference fade into the background when it really boils down to it. While we endeavor to do everything with excellence -- from the costumes to the decor, music and curriculum, -- these details must always take the backseat. Because our mission is to love the Lord. Sit at His feet. And share His love with each of the children who attend the conference.

We covet your prayers for the coming days. Tomorrow we head into Lincoln to get set up -- and the staff arrives early Thursday morning for a day of training. We're so blessed by the many faithful young people who pour their hearts into serving. May the Lord be glorified!

Stay tuned...

"Let Your work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands." Psalm 90:16-17

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Abi


Happy Birthday Abi!

Sensitivity:
Exercising my senses so I can perceive the true spirit and emotions of those around me.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Heb 12:15

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Citrus Days

During our 'reunion' weekend following the wedding, we had the opportunity to spend an afternoon picking fresh oranges. Amidst the dancing rays of sunshine and fragrant orange blossoms, we enjoyed several hours together in the grove.

The happy winners of an impromptu 'orange picking' race.

We were SO thrilled to have our grandparents join us! Everything is always more fun when they are around. "Love you BIGGER!"

There's nothing like breaking open a fresh orange to enjoy.

Our littlest 'picker'

Nathanael enjoyed his long-time tradition of getting to drive the lawn mower.


Mmmmmmmmm!


Wishing we could share with y'all!

Bagging enough to last us awhile.

And mostly, just enjoying the time together!

THANK YOU, KNUTH FAMILY!

"The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father's God, and I will
exalt Him."
Ex 15:2

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Visiting the Beach

Last night we were able to visit the beach while visiting some friends near Tampa Bay. The air was warm and perfectly calm as we walked the sandy beaches and searched for shells. From the uniqueness of each shell to the colorful palm trees and foliage, every detail of this earth proclaims the creative, detailed God that we serve. Whenever we spend time in nature, I never cease to be in awe.

It was especially fitting as just hours earlier I had read the following verses:

"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him?"
Psalm 8:4-5


How great is our God!

Alaythia found this unique sea creature.

Smiles in the sunshine:










[Jesus is the ANSWER!]

"O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds?"
Deut 3:24

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Wissmann


Tender moments. Priceless smiles.
Union. Commitment. Love.

It's been a memorable weekend and we rejoice in Andrew and Kori's marriage. More pictures to come as we wait for the official photographs!

"This was the LORD's doing; It is marvelous in our eyes."
Psalm 118:23

Monday, March 07, 2011

Susanna


Happy 14th Birthday Susanna!

Loyalty:

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

Friday, March 04, 2011

Preparations

We're here in beautiful Orlando, Florida in the midst of a myriad of last minute wedding preparations. Its been such a special week thus far as we've enjoyed time with Kori, family, and friends. But while there's been plenty of visiting, laughing, and storytelling, our hands have also been quite busy. Here's just a preview of some of the projects we've been working on:


Cutting ribbon

Assembling programs

Making a white satin vest for the ring bearer.

Shopping at Sams for lots of cream cheese...


...and gathering spring-form pans.

For the rehearsal dinner, we're serving 7 different kinds of cheesecake.

Can anyone say, "Mmmmmm"!!?!

We're thrilled to have our friend, Anna, here helping with the preparations.


And as the preparations continue, the anticipation is building: Grandpa and Grandma Hager are here. Last night Andrew arrived. We leave to pick up Dan and Bethany from the airport soon and Josiah, Abi, and Joanna are enroute.

We're looking forward to a very special weekend ahead! Thank you all for your prayers. We look forward to sharing pictures and reports soon.

May the Lord be glorified!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lifting Praise

PRAISE the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God;
For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name.

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
Sing praises on the harp to our God,

The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy.

PRAISE the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!

Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For He commanded and they were created.

Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For His name alone is exalted;

His glory is above the earth and heaven.

And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him. Praise the LORD!
Selections from Psalm 147 &148