Thursday, July 31, 2014

Florida to Minnesota

After our cupcake-baking marathon and the joyous celebration of Josh and Kaitlyn's wedding, we had one final day to spend in Orlando with our dear friends. 

Sunday started early as we had the privilege of sharing a morning service with Eastland Baptist. What a rich time around God's Word and in praise. Unfortunately, we didn't have our camera along for the morning, so the above picture is all we were able to capture.

Afterward, we visited one of our favorite snack-shops: Red Mango. 

When we made our first trip to Orlando in 2003, these young adults were just little kiddos. 
How quickly the time flies!

And anyone who has ever told us of the Florida heat and humidity was certainly not exaggerating! After a full weekend, it was great to relax and cool off. Being highly competitive as we are, we had a rousing game of relay races across the small pool. Work hard / play hard, right?

And before we knew it, the bus engine fired up with the familiar rumble -- which is always our cue to come running. Our short visit had come to an end. 

Saying goodbyes. 

We arrived home Tuesday evening with a long to-do list before heading on tour again this afternoon (Thursday). Over the past two days we've had a lot of action around our place: 
  • Painting large back-drop posters/sets for the children's ministry at Lake Itasca Family Music Festival
  • Printing verse posters and finalizing costumes/props for the same event (We're super excited about the theme and drama this year!)
  • Picking and processing 145 quarts of sweet corn. 
  • Shopping and deciding on a new set of coordinating clothing for the upcoming concerts. 
  • Mailing out website orders and catching up with office correspondence.
  • Laundry, cooking, garden-tending, and all the various real-life stuff that invariably needs attention. 
And now we're officially on the road headed north to the annual Lake Itasca Family Music Festival!

We're excited for what the Lord has in store for the weekend. We're always so encouraged by various conversations with the families in attendance. We also have several opportunities to share over the weekend. We covet your prayers. Dad will be teaching a session on family ministry, we will be leading two hours of children's ministry, and several of us will be helping with the instrumental workshops in addition to singing on the showcase stage. 

If you're within driving distance, please consider joining us for the weekend! For the rest of you, we'll look forward to sharing pictures in the coming days. 

"For we are His workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus for good works, 
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
Eph 2:10

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Josh & Kaitlyn's Wedding

There's just something holy and beautiful about the wedding celebration between a man and woman who love God with all their hearts. Who have both developed a pattern of joyfully serving others. Who mutually desire to make an impact for Jesus Christ. Who are enraptured by their love for one another.

Are there words to fully describe this beauty? This joy?

This past weekend we had the privilege of witnessing such a wedding. On Saturday, our dear friend, Kaitlyn, was married to Josh and we were so honored to share in their special day. The testimonies that were shared left us in awe of God's sovereign hand, drawing these two dynamic people together.

Sharing "Handful of Weeds" as the mother's were seated.

What God has joined together!

For the reception, our girls played over an hour of classical chamber music. This was quite the switch from bluegrass fiddling, but they managed beautifully (after weeks of very diligent practice)!

The musicians

Visiting with new friends at the wedding. 

Group smiles with Lindsey, Kaitlyn's sister. 

Hannah, Stephen, and Susanna

Lindsey, Alaythia, & Matthias

And the grand exit: What a perfect send-off!

Firework smiles

And we always manage a goofy picture thrown in somewhere!

The cupcake girls. 

But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
1 Cor 2:9

Monday, July 28, 2014

420 Cupcakes

Let the action begin! We arrived in Florida last Friday morning with 36 hours to crank out 420 baked, frosted, and decorated cupcakes. Our dear friend, Kaitlyn, was getting married and we were excited to be able to share a tiny part in the pre-wedding preparations. 

Kori's family was so gracious to open their home to the 'busy bakers'. With plenty of counter space and a handy mixer, we laid out our stack of ingredients and began whipping out the yummy cakes. Thankfully, Kori had 100 cupcakes already baked when we arrived, so with that encouraging head-start, we dug in:

Mixing up the batter.

The oven was working non-stop!

Kitchen smiles

A friend, Alyssa (Bates) Webster, lives in Orlando and we were excited to have her join us.

And the process of frosting begins. 

The bride requested several different flavors, styles and colors, so we had a great time planning for the variety of different cakes.

All ready to go!

Pretty in purple.

Dainty flowers

We even had the guys help us out with some of these!

Dark purples

Frosting, anyone?!


"But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You."
Psalm 5:11

Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 4th Festivities

Today the miles are once again flying under our bus wheels as we head south to sunny Florida. We had a fantastic concert last night at St Peters, Missouri and tonight we're sharing a community concert in Live Oak, Florida. So obviously, most of today will be spent watching the southern scenery fly past the bus windows! 

I've checked our blog drafts and realized I'm quite behind on getting some of these pictures and updates posted. So let's take a quick step back to July 4th for a few pictures which Kori captured of our time together at our local city celebration. Almost the whole family was able to be together for the weekend. (Alan, unfortunately, was in the height of wheat harvest so was unable to join us.)  Here are a few pictures of our time together: 

It was a gorgeous, cool evening for a concert. 

Enjoying the ever-growing Cadan.

Andrew & Kori

Arianna's hair is finally long enough for pig-tails!

Playing banjo with Uncle Andrew

The crew gathers for a family rendition of "My Country Tis of Thee"

And the grandkids always steal the show. Asher discovered the revolutionary fact that the closer you hold the mic, the louder you sound. He innocently blared us all out for a bit -- making for quite a bit of laughter for the crowd and impromptu face expressions by the rest of the kids. 

Ah, the joys of having little people in our family!

"Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength!
We will sing and praise Your power."
Psalm 21:13

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It's Completed!

A semi pulled up in front of our home today for an extra large delivery. Excitement was high as they unloaded our shipment of 13 boxes containing the new, hot-off-the-press songbooks! After working countless hours on this project (Rachel especially), its so rewarding to have the finished product in-hand! The printers did an excellent job and we're thrilled with the quality. 

We've received a large stack of pre-orders over the past weeks, so we have those packages addressed and ready to ship out later today. If you've recently placed an order, be watching your mailbox for a package soon! If you haven't yet ordered, you can do so on our website: 

We pray this will be a valuable tool for families, churches, camps, and personal enjoyment and worship. 

I will be glad and rejoice in You;

I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:2

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Arianna's Visit

As we mentioned in our post earlier this week, spending time at our grandparents' homes has been a treasured tradition in our family for over 25 years. 

We recently added a new twist to the tradition. Dad and Mom are grandparents now, so its time to begin with the next generation! We're thrilled to have Joanna and Asher live only 2 miles from our home, so we typically see them multiple times each week. 

But Arianna (who lives almost 600 miles away) recently spent her first "3-day camp" at our home. I'm not sure who was more thrilled: Arianna, Grandpa & Grandma, or all the aunt, uncles, and cousins! Here is a quick peek at her week of activity:

Checking chickens with Uncle Nathanael

Jumping on the trampoline 

Morning smiles

Making granola with Elizabeth

Big helper!

Coloring with Aunt Charissa

Riding the lawnmower with Uncle Stephen.

We hope this is a long-lasting tradition as we treasure these dear little people in our family!

"That the generation to come might know them,
The children who would be born,
That they may arise and declare them to their children,"

Psalm 78:6

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Happy 21st Birthday Stephen! 

Stephen's ministry of choice: 

In 1917 a missionary named William Cameron Townsend went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles, but discovered that many people didn’t understand Spanish well. They were Cakchiquel speakers, and they didn't have a translated Bible.
Cam dropped everything for the next several years to translate Scripture for them. The completion of their New Testament was the beginning of a worldwide movement. 
In 1942 Cam founded Wycliffe to help reach every people group with Scripture in their language.

"Who is wise and understanding among you? 
Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom."
James 3:13