Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dan & Bethany

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Dan & Bethany!

Let us give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love
and His wonderful deeds for men.
Psalms 107:8

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like...


It's that special time of year when you get to pull out all those fun decorations:

Lights, ribbon, bells, wreaths, and all the other wonderful sights and smells. Reading all the Bible stories that tell the wonderful news that "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him." 1 John 4:9

Picking out that special tree and then getting to decorated it!

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
Isaiah 9:6

Friday, December 14, 2012

Birthday Traditions

One of the blessings of a large family is that we get to celebrate a lot of birthdays in a year's time! 
 One of our traditions is that the birthday person gets to pick out the birthday "cake" of their choice.

In recent birthdays,  Elizabeth picked a cheesecake.

And Charissa, Alaythia, Nathanael and Kori picked our Mom's incredible ice cream cake!

What is so fun about Mom's ice cream cake is that it can be ANY flavor you desire...
chocolate chip cookie dough,  peanut butter, or a favorite candy bar!

We used to make plain old rectangle ice cream cakes. Till we discovered that our local library has oodles of different cake pans available for free!  So, our cake making has taken on new dimensions! :-)  The first thing to do is to pick your flavor.  I only have pictures of making the chocolate chip cookie dough cake, so that is what you'll see here.

First, we spread a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in the cake pan and popped it back in the freezer to keep it from melting. Then we made an egg-less recipe for cookie dough, added it as a layer in the cake pan on top of the ice cream, and popped it back in the freezer!  Next we topped it with a layer of chocolate ice cream, and popped it back in the freezer!

Then you are ready for the decorating, float the pan in a sink of warm water for about 10 seconds, place   on a cutting board, and tap lightly till the ice cream slips out. Frost it all with whipped topping, or cool whip.

To make the brown color we stir cocoa powder into the cool whip,
and if you'd like a different color you can use food coloring!

Each step has been done at a different time throughout the day, because the ice cream melts very fast! For best results you need to do a layer then put it in the freezer, layer, freezer, layer, freezer...!

For Kori's cake we tried something new: a monogramed cake! After melting some chocolate chips and  putting the melted chocolate in a bag, we piped it onto a sheet of wax paper, tracing her initials. (Under the wax paper we had placed a normal sheet of paper pre-printed by the computer with the initials: KJW.) Then we put it in the freezer to cool.

To finish the cake we sprinkled mini chocolate chips around the edge of the heart, we pealed the letters off the wax paper,  and then placed them on top of the 'cake'!


Another favorite option for the middle layer is to crush Oreo type chocolate cookies, stir in a bottle of chocolate fudge or chocolate sauce ice cream topping, and spread it between the two kinds of ice cream. (Actually any kind of cookie or candy bar works deliciously! :)
Or, to make it healthy, we've made it with our own homemade ice cream!

We hope you have as much fun with this as we have!!

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!"
Psalms 34:8

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Farm Journal: Autumn

Greetings from the sunny, Kansas farm! I know its been awhile since you've heard from us. Alan and I are blissfully enjoying this season of marriage together. It is an incredible thing to serve the Lord and grow with the love of my life. In keeping with the season, here are just a few of the recent joys I'm thankful for: 

Beautiful Kansas weather - perfect for afternoon walks!

Learning to cook for two. It's splendid.

Have I mentioned that I enjoy my kitchen?

Getting to cuddle this adorable niece.

Listening to my family sound-check during the recent 'reunion' concert. They are doing so well musically and its exciting to watch the younger girls grow into their new responsibilities.

Visits from my sisters! 
We've actually had an abundance of overnight guests lately: 19 days out of 25, to be exact. Completely delightful! 

My new adventure: salve-making for moisturizing and skin-healing. 

A visit from a wonderful friend -- why did the week have to fly so quickly?!

Team-working with Anna to add curtains and other darling touches to our home. 

Directing the children's choir at our church. Right now we're eagerly preparing for our Christmas musical in a couple weeks!

And, of course, my handsome man...who daily loves me, prays with me, encourages me, and gives me a thousand reasons to admire him and thank God for the treasure of being his wife!

Oh yes -- and this picture is from our recent tree-cutting adventure. I'm looking forward to decorating for our first country-style Christmas together!

What are you thankful for today?! 

Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; 
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
PS 105:1

Friday, November 30, 2012


Happy 1st Birthday Asher!

 Highlights from the last year...

- Vacationing in  Wyoming and Montana
-God's faithfulness when he was hospitalized at 3 months old for RSV
- "Singing" with his big sister
- Discovering and loving pet puppy dogs
- Laughing at funny things daddy does
- Taking his first steps during Thanksgiving weekend!

The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, 'Destroy!'
Deuteronomy 33:27

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


We are delighted to let ya'll know that we are going to be doing two concerts in Iowa this weekend and would love if you could join us!

Saturday, November 24, 2012     Zion United Church of Christ            Waukon, IA        7:00 PM
Sunday, November 25, 2012       West Clermont Lutheran Church      Clermont, IA      9:30 AM

As a special treat, Alan, Rachel, Josiah, Abi, Joanna, Asher, Andrew & Kori are all joining us for this weekend trip up to Grandpa & Grandma's house for Thanksgiving! (stay tuned for pictures) This means that they will also be joining us for these 2 concerts as well! We have our website back up and running again, so feel free to check out our schedule over there!

I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Psalms 9:2

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Happy Birthday Kori! 

Personal highlights from the last year...

- Spending two and a half months in Florida. (November & December 2011)
- Our anniversary trip to the beach.
- Coaching Volleyball.
- Visiting Dan, Bethany, and Arianna in Virginia and helping them move back to the Midwest.
- Living life everyday with my best friend.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."
Psalms 84:11

Monday, November 12, 2012

Let My Life be a Light


Let me live blessed Lord, in the light of Thy word. 
Let my life be a light on a hill.

Leading souls now astray to the straight narrow way,

Help me do some good deed while I live


Let my life be a light shining out through the night. 
May I help struggling ones to the fold. 

Spreading cheer everywhere to the sad and alone.
Let my life be a light to some soul.


Give me wisdom and power everyday every hour,
let me drink from the fountain above.

Guide my footsteps a right through the dark stormy night.

Give me peace, give me joy, give me love. 


Let my life be a light shining out through the night
May I help struggling ones to the fold

Spreading cheer everywhere to the sad and the lone. 
Let my life be a light to some soul. 


Give me souls for my hire, 
let my life be on fire, 

Shining out to the world as a guide. 

Help me rescue someone sinking now with no hope 
that in Heaven we shall ever abide. 


Let my life be a light
shining out thru the night,

May I help struggling ones to the fold. 

Spreading cheer everywhere to the sad and alone.

Let my life be a light to some soul.


The last few months we have been on the road pretty much non-stop. We had some incredible opportunities to share the gospel and are so grateful for all of your prayers! Right now we are home and will be for almost the rest of the year. Now that the crops are out of the fields, irrigation work has started up again in full force. So we are enjoying spending these wonderful autumn days out in the sunshine!

Also we are booking right now for our 2013 spring trip which would be January through March in Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, and everywhere inbetween. If you are interested in having us for a concert please contact us soon!