Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Back on the Road

We are back on the road! Only this trip is a little bit different. We knew that without Matthias the bus was going to feel a bit emptier. But since Elizabeth is staying back in Iowa with our Grandma, the bus feels REALLY empty!

It has been a good challenge for us to work up new music. When you don't have much time to get a concert of new music ready you pray a lot and practice morning, noon and night. In the process, Stephen lost his voice and we would appreciate prayers because we really miss it in our concerts.

Last week we sang 9 times in 6 days. It was a full week, but we are praying that it was a fruitful one! Several of those services were in Alabama prisons. Every year that is such a highlight for us! We were stretched musically, because two of the prison services only allowed entry to those 18 and older.   Since Elizabeth isn't with us, Nathanael has become our main guitar player. Charissa has been singing on more songs, too.    However, God can use even the simplest things to touch hearts,  and we saw lives surrendered to Christ, and that makes it all worth it.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him."
Psalms 28:7

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Holding Hands

One day, far away, you gently won my heart
And one night, by candle light we made a vow to never part

And then it seemed just like dream
When wide eyed, side by side

We faced the future holding hands

Thoughts stray, far away, to all that lies ahead

In frail days, when strength fades, 
will we still mean all we said

Our love's secure, so rest assured,
Come what may, till that day

We'll walk together holding hands

There's a hope that won't let go

There's a truth we know God is holding us
In His arms

By God's grace, till that day

We'll walk forever 
holding hands

"As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue."
1 Peter 1:3

*Photos by Eric Vest Photography
If you would like to see more photos of the wedding check out Eric Vest's blog by clicking here.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Coming soon!

The wedding pictures are DONE!! 
Comment to let me know if you want to see them and I'll put a post together as quickly as I can.

"Stand up and bless the Lord your God
Forever and ever!
Blessed be Your glorious name,
Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!"
Nehemiah 9:5

Monday, January 22, 2018

Christmas Candids

Oh, the joys of being together as a family for Christmas! There is always so much hustle and bustle when everyone comes home. But pictures are fun because they capture some of those peaceful, quiet moments that you usually don't get to see unless you are at the right place at the right time. Here are a few candids of some of those moments in our house around Christmas.

Reading a book with Everett

Uncle Nathanael helping a delighted little guy set up his new race track.

That moment when you are tired but just aren't ready to leave all the fun yet. 
Pretty sure we've all been there at some point!

Aunt Charissa playing in the snow with these happy kiddos.
(don't worry, no one was hurt in the moments surrounding this picture.)

Enjoying a Christmas cookie that Grandma made and Grandpa frosted.

The last picture with all of us singles still at home before Matthias got married.

What are some of your favorite moments from this last Christmas?

"The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace."
Psalms 29:11

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Work Projects

A couple of weeks ago we heard about another dead tree in town that needed to be taken down. We thought it would be a fun family project to do together, so one afternoon when the school was done we loaded up and got to work!

Dad spent his time in the bucket truck making a lot of noise while the rest of us made a relay from the pile of wood he cut to our trailer. It was actually quite fun!

We might have taken a little time to play around with the stump before it was all the way down! Making memories together doesn't always have to be fun and games. Sometimes, the best memories are made by working on a project together and seeing what you can accomplish as a team.

"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."
Psalms 90:17

Saturday, January 13, 2018

We Love You BIGGER!!!

There are so many things that I could say about our Grandpa... But I don't think you could ever come up with enough words to accurately describe him. So I thought I would use the words of several family members to give those of you who never met him a glimpse into what made him such a special man.

"A man of incredible kindness - he made all 18 grandchildren feel like his favorite. A man of great patience - he not only taught me math but instilled a love for learning! A man of solid determination - he was willing to attempt difficult things in order to serve others. A man of amazing compassion - he would always have time for little ones or people in need. A man of countless prayers - he prayed for his family by name daily and loved to share the stories of God's goodness. A man of amazing humility - he admitted his fears to a granddaughter and together we learned what it really meant to trust Jesus. One week ago we were standing together, smiling for the camera + sharing laughter + creating memories. Today Grandpa is enjoying the beauties of heaven + our Savior Jesus. I can't even begin to find the words to describe the incredible impact of his life on mine, but may his legacy live on forever in the lives of those he left behind!! I love you BIGGER Grandpa! See you in heaven someday!"
- Ruth (Wissmann) Bourlier

"Some men leave their mark on the world though great earth shattering victory's and others on the hearts of countless individuals by living victoriously in the daily habits of life. This week I've been trying to find the right words to write but none seem just right. Grandpa, you taught me what unconditional love looks like in daily life. You found joy and laughter in the little things and embraced every opportunity to learn and grow. You taught us to always trust Jesus and h...onesty shared your journey. You didn't mind a little girl tagging along with you in your work, but seemed to enjoy experiencing the wonder of life together! Nothing or no one went by you without being notice. You will be missed deeply, and while my heart is hurting I am so thankful for the promise of heaven and not only to know you as Grandpa but as a best friend. I love you bigger!!"
- Elizabeth Wissmann

"It’s hard to think about the fact that just one week ago He gave me one of his big hugs and said “take care of that little one, mama” as we parted ways at the wedding. It’s hard to imagine that he is no longer here with us on earth, but is walking the streets of Heaven with Jesus. I will miss his sweet teasing and charming sense of humor, the sparkle in his eye and his big grin as he handed me one more chocolate chip cookie...and then another, and the hugs he gave as he said “love you bigger.” He was so special, and was always more than just my husbands Grandpa, because he treated me as if I was one of his own grandchildren. I will cherish the memories I have of him in my heart forever and I am extra thankful that my husband has so much of his Grandpa Hager in him."
- Kori (Knuth) Wissmann

 "Grandpa, words can't express how much I'll miss the twinkle in your eyes. Your warm bear hugs. Your charming humor. You invested into my life in a million ways and I count you as one of my very best friends. I will always love you bigger!!"
- Rachel (Wissmann) Busenitz

"I’ve been trying to find the words to tribute the life of my grandfather but I can’t seem to narrow it down. You see, I am lucky to have so many memories with my grandparents and the beautiful family they built but what stands out the most to me are the things I observed when you didn’t know I was watching. The amount of love and respect in your eyes when you looked at Grandma, the kindness you’d show to complete strangers, your work ethic not only in providing for your famil...y but in volunteering as well. His mentality to never give up on anyone or anything spoke volumes to who he was. He could literally find treasures in anyone’s junk and he did that a little too often. No item or relationship was invaluable to him. If it wasn’t working it just needed some elbow grease and a little TLC. Thank you for always seeing the potential in all of us and putting in the work to nurture our relationships. While my heart is hurting from the loss I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to learn and grow from your example. Love you bigger grandpa!"
- Jenna (Hager) Christoffer, our cousin

"I've never been good at finding the words to express myself. Especially when the emotions run deep. But how can anyone ever put into words all that you mean to me. Over the years you have taught me so many things from riding bike to driving a skid steer. But more than that you've taught me the importance of patience, selflessness and unconditional love. You will always be missed and our memories treasured. I love you bigger and look forward to seeing you again someday!"
- Susanna Wissmann

"The kindest man I ever knew, the biggest heart one ever did have, the deepest love for those he knew...that only begins to explain the gift I gained in this Grandpa, by marriage. I've never known someone to make each person he encountered feel SO special!! Heaven gained one incredible guy last night, but it's left a gaping hole in all of our hearts, who loved him here on earth. We will miss you, Grandpa!! I was blessed to have known the man of integrity you were, my kids lives were richer because you were in it, and I look forward to the day you can give me a grand tour of what's beyond those pearly gates! I know you'll have found all the best spots, and have lots of stories to tell. Your legacy will far outlive your lifetime!!"
- Abi (Rehm) Wissmann

"Humility, integrity, and encouraging others. Just a few of many qualities my Grandpa taught me by example. I’ll always love being named after one of my best friends. I’m going to miss you in a million ways, but especially our talks about the projects we were working on, or the ideas we wanted to try. Your example to put others first is something that will challenge me for the rest of my life. Love you Bigger! See you in heaven! II Timothy 4:7-8"
- Stephen Gerald Wissmann

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way."
Psalms 37:23

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

In Loving Memory

We cannot say Thank You enough for all the love and prayers. It has been a hard start to the new year, but we are so grateful for all of your support and God's faithfulness. He is good, all the time!
The funeral will be Saturday morning. There have been many tears shed as we look through pictures and talk about the wonderful memories we've made together. Grandpa and Grandma have had such an impact our lives. We feel so blessed and humbled to have such a legacy. We are so very grateful for the years we had with Grandpa and look forward to seeing him again in heaven.

Grandpas life was one of service.
- Serving on the front lines during the Korean War
- Driving school bus routes for 25 years
- Hauling milk for  41 1/2 years
- Active member of their church
- Volunteered with the Fire Department
- Created and volunteered hours of service for a flag display at the cemeteries
 - Building houses
- Founding member of Castalia Tractor Days
- Collected Allis Chalmers tractors and toy trains (as well as other things)
And kept busy in his free time with woodworking, architecture, drawing, cookie and cake decorating, gardening and making maple syrup.
But first and foremost came people. Meeting new people, staying in touch with old friends, swapping stories, joking and teasing. He was a delight to all who knew him.
The final thought that Jerry wanted to leave with his family is this:
“Love one another and stay in touch with each other.”
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
John 15:12

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Grandpa Hager

There are some people on this earth that make such an impact, you wish they could be a part of it forever. Yesterday morning we lost not only a dear dad, grandpa and great grandpa, but a best friend to all of us. He was no ordinary grandpa and we will miss him more than words can express! Someday we will see you again in heaven and I cannot wait to be wrapped up in one of your giant hugs, hear your deep laugh, look at you in the eyes and say one more time “I love you BIGGER!” We would greatly appreciate your prayers during this time for our Grandma Marlys Hager and the family.

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And he delights in his way."
Psalms 37:23

Mr & Mrs Matthias Wissmann

They're married!!!

We are so thrilled for Matthias and Michelle! The weather was cold, but everyhing else on the wedding day was delightful. I am looking forward to sharing more pictures with you all!!

"Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good."
Psalms 135:3