Monday, June 15, 2015

Kansas Life


 Welcome to our happy home in Kansas! This is Rachel, signing in to give you a quick update on our life and adventures here on the farm.

The corn is stretching toward the sky and my husband is preparing for wheat harvest as I type. As those of you on the farm can attest, each season comes with unique activities and tasks, a reality both Alan and I savor to the fullest. There's just something beautiful about rustling of wheat fields blowing in the wind. Or watching the cattle graze in silhouette with a flaming sunset for a backdrop. Yes, farm life is delightful!


 I've enjoyed being in my garden this spring and we've been reaping the benefits of plentiful greens since early April. Lettuce, spinach, radishes, kale, swiss chard, spring onions, snow peas, and beets, just to name a few! Our table has been brimming with nutritious salads and I've had fun experimenting with new ways to use our plentiful harvest!


Another adventure has been starting my first herb garden. A friend visited me this spring and painted these lovely herb-markers for me. Aren't they just perfect?!


Of course, not ALL our food is healthy. For a mission fundraiser this spring I decided to experiment with my basic cinnamon roll recipe. (Those who know me, know I LOVE to make homemade cinnamon rolls. Yum!) The result was a variety of tasty treats:

 Pictured above are: Peanut Butter Rolls // Cinnamon Rolls // Lemon Poppyseed Rolls // Salted Caramel Apple Rolls // Nutella Rolls // White Caramel Cranberry Rolls.


Last September, Alan and I began a new venture which has become a highlight of each week during the school year: College ministry! With an opening to serve in leadership at a local college student ministry group, we sensed the Lord's blessing to plug in and invest in these dynamic, young lives. It's been awesome to watch the group grow and deepen relationships through the weekly meetings and small group Bible studies. It's been stretching and rewarding to see the students initiate ministry on campus and dig into God's Word for themselves.


I greatly enjoyed getting to hear my husband open the Word and teach each week. He has an earnest, motivating teaching style which really seems to resonate with the students. He taught through the book of Daniel and I was personally challenged by the godly characteristics displayed in Daniel's life -- especially in the face of great adversity. We also reflected on God's character as He revealed Himself in Daniel's life. What a great God we serve!


We look forward to every opportunity to spend time with my family and were thrilled to have Hannah & Susanna spend a week with us last month. Jogging. Ice cream at Braums. Decorating. Laughing. Trying new recipes. Yes, we had a delightful time!


I still enjoy directing the children's choir at church and teach a few piano lessons on the side. Hearing children lift their voices in song is a priceless joy and I continually marvel at their ability to grasp Biblical truths through the lyrics. Alan encourages me to write music and the children's choir continues to be a wonderful outlet!



Life is an beautiful, endless adventure with this amazing man.
 (Yes, we're paddling in a cardboard / duct tape boat!)



"Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds."

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sisters Visit


Having a brother & sister living 8+ hours from our home state of Nebraska, we're always looking for ways to spend time with them and their precious little people. In the weeks surrounding Andrew's CrossFit competition, it worked for several of us girls to spend a bit of extended time making memories with Dan & Bethany's family. What a precious time!


Disk Golf
 

 
With the excuse of a wedding to photograph, Kori even made the trip north for some great sister time!

Sweet times!


 
Storytime with Aunt Hannah
 
 
Susanna helps with outdoor playtime
 
 
...with fresh watermelon for a treat afterward!
 

And more stories. We think Bethany's children have inherited her ardent enjoyment for books! 


And finally, we wrapped up with a weekend at our Grandpa & Grandma's house where we were able to capture a 4-generation photo. Relationships are such a priceless treasure in life!
 
"One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts."
Psalm 145:4
 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

CrossFit Weekend

 
From a very young age, our mom has encouraged us in the area of physical fitness. An athlete herself, daily exercise became a regular part of our morning school routine. From calisthenics to vigorous walking/jogging, she helped build healthy, active habits into our lives.
 
Andrew has especially enjoyed working out and this year was a qualifier for the Central Region CrossFit games. The last weekend of May found several of us gathered in Minneapolis to cheer him through several excruciating workouts. In between the competitions, we had great times of conversation & enjoying time with Dan, Bethany, and their children. Here are a few pictures Bethany captured:
 



Heavy-lifting
 

 
The cheering committee!
#TeamAndrew
 
And whatever you do, do it heartily,
as to the Lord and not to men,"
Colossians 3:23