Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Stephen


Stephen's birthday is in the middle of July. He has had a busy 2018 thus far!


Stephen is helping manage Wissmann Enterprises with Matthias and Dad. He takes care of some of the office work as well as hiring workers and putting in big days on the job.


Time with family and working with wood are some of his free time activities. He has made many lovely and useful pieces of furniture and beautiful jewelry boxes.  He always has a listening ear available, a word of wisdom or an adventurous spirit, depending on what is needed! Stephen has his pilot's license, which has been a great blessing for both business and visiting family. 


He still travels with us in the music ministry, and leads the team at music practice.  He also drives the bus a lot more since Matthias got married. He helps serve in any way he can, whether it's teaching Sunday School, helping with children's ministries or encouraging people one on one.


Stephen still enjoys playing sports and working out! He and Alaythia have the fun tradition of getting handstand pictures when we are able to go sight seeing while on the road. They have one at sea level, one at 14,000 ft above sea level and a whole lot in-between.


We are so thankful for God's work in Stephen's life,  Stephen's earnestness in seeking the Lord,
his steady leadership and servant's heart,  and his kind thoughtful ways.


"Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding."
Proverbs 3:13

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Saturday, July 21, 2018

County Fair


  A week ago today, we were scheduled to sing at Winneshiek County Fair in Iowa near our Grandma's house. Some of the family were already up in that area helping at the farm; the rest of us were at home. Stephen and Nathanael worked all day Friday, Charissa and I taught VBS that evening.  As soon as we finished we hit the road!  We drove till about 12:30AM before we pulled over and slept for a bit.

     We pulled into town the next day at around 8 AM and started setting up. It was our first county fair for the year, and we loved it! There's nothing quite like the sounds and the smells that go on all around you: the cattle and small animal barns nearby, the occasional tractor passing through, and the grills sizzling and smoking with pork chops, ribeyes and burgers!  In the midst of it all is the joy of seeing dear extended family members, catching up with old friends, and meeting new ones before and after concerts. After the concert someone requested that we sing one of our most popular songs from years ago, "Fret Not". It was a fun way to end the program.


After the concert, some of us enjoyed experiencing the fair activities that were available. Some were more successful than others with the hula hoops.


After a late lunch we headed to Grandma's house for just enough time to make cookies, tour the progress made in the sheds, eat a whole pan of Grandma's cinnamon rolls and finish a project for her. Then it was homeward bound! It was a quick trip with not much sleep, but a very special one.

"Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant."
Psalms 135:3

Friday, July 20, 2018

Corn Day


Each year we try to freeze enough fresh sweetcorn to have some good eating til the next year's crop is ready.   Since Dad, Mom, Elizabeth and Susanna were at Grandma's house, and Stephen and Nathanael were working, that left just Alaythia, Charissa and I to do corn this year.


    Our good friend Arnie grows it, and it is the best sweet corn ever!! We are so grateful for all his diligent work in planting, weeding, watering and protecting from varmints!  It is a blessing that we can enjoy sweet corn the rest of the year. Since our numbers were fewer, my hands were too busy to get pictures of the entire process.  It was fun to drive to his farm and pick it all early in the morning, eat a fresh cob of sweet corn, husk in the sunshine while we talked, watch the batches go through the cooker, cut it off the cob for hours on end and see the bags of 2018 corn fill up the freezer.


Arnie and his brother Matt come out to help us pick, and then come to our house to help prepare it for the freezer.  Abi and the kids, Ruth and Lee, and Michelle also joined in the process.  We finished just in time for supper!

"And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. 
And God saw that it was good."
Genesis 1:12

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Bethany



Happy Birthday, Bethany! (a little late)
Dan and Bethany Beasley will celebrate their nine year wedding anniversary in December. They have three children with a fourth on the way! Arianna is thrilled that she is finally going to have a baby sister, because this little one due in September is a G I R L !!


They've lived in West Virginia for 2 1/2 years now. We don't get to see them very often, but we are grateful for those days that a few are able to make the trip out and visit for awhile. Dan still works as a legal attorney for the Home School Legal Defense Association. This year he did more traveling to speak at homeschool conferences.


Dan and Bethany do such a good job of finding local places to explore or new things to experience with their children! It is always fun to see pictures of their latest adventures!


Bethany has been sharing health products with other people that have changed so many things for their family! It is amazing to see the journey that they've been on. Dan and Bethany are very intentional about relationships with family and friends. It is encouraging to see how God is using them out east.


Dan and Bethany are homeschooling their children and very involved in their local community. Arianna, Caden and Everett are growing up faster than ever! Ari is quite the little bookworm, Caden loves to copy his dad whenever he can, and Everett loves exploring and experiencing all the joys of summer.


"Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You."
Psalms 63:3

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Random Week



This last week we've had a variety of projects going. Stephen has been out working every day for the business, so his week looked pretty normal.


Dad, Mom, Elizabeth and Susanna headed up to Iowa to help our Uncles and Aunts start organizing Grandpa's sheds for an auction. Our grandpa loved collecting things so it is no easy task, especially with this summer heat! But they enjoyed being on the farm and spending time with family.



There was a variety of work projects that needed done during the day: mowing, getting ready to teach VBS, yard projects, house projects, running errands, etc. Then late afternoon we would head out to do something extra ordinary.


One day we made it in to Chick-Fil-A for cow appreciation day. We always saw pictures of other people doing it, but two years ago a Chick-Fil-A finally came to our area and now we enjoy their food too.


One 90 degree day we went floating down the river to cool off. 
There were a lot of random projects that came up this week that filled up our schedule. But I'll post more about that later.

"So teach us to number out days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom."
Psalms 90:14

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Fourth Of July



I think the Fourth of July can be summed up in a few simple words... Singing, family, friends, fun. We ended up singing 3 times over the course of two days. Since some were trying to recover from sore throats, it was a blessing to have Matthias and Michelle join us!


The evening of the third our friends, the Stangl family shared a concert with our hometown. They have been some longtime family friends of ours and were such a blessing to listen too.


Alan was busy on the farm, but it was so special to have Rachel and the kids join us for the two days.


During the morning of the Fourth we did a lot of walking around town and enjoying all of the festivities.


Then it was off to get ready to sing!


Michelle picked things up with the Orange Blossom Special.


About 18 years ago at this location, on July 4th we did one of our very first concerts! And it's been a tradition to come back and sing here every year since.


Love the small-town feel!


Then we headed out to sing before the big fireworks display. It ended up being quite eventful! About halfway through the concert it looked like a storm was coming and so they decided to start the fireworks show early so that they wouldn't have to fight the weather as much. As soon as that call was made, the wind picked up and knocked our bass down. It was a mad scramble to pack everything else up before the wind knocked something else down. A short time later we were all loaded up and laying in the grass enjoying fireworks.

We are so grateful to be able to call this beautiful land our HOME.

"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14

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Monday, July 09, 2018

Matthias


I just realized that at the beginning of the year I was posting updates about each of the siblings on their birthdays. Since I didn't miss very many I'll try to post them now and get caught up.


As you probably know, Matthias got married on December 30th. So happy 6th month Anniversary Mr & Mrs Matthias Wissmann!


The last couple of months he and Michelle have been setting up house in Seward, Nebraska! If they have a free weekend they usually spend it working on some home projects. It is really fun to see the changes that they've made to the place. Michelle enjoys cooking and trying new recipes, which is really good, because Matthias really enjoys eating! It is always fun to see pictures of the beautiful dishes she creates.


They try to stay involved with both families as much as they can, which means trips up to visit her family in Minnesota and some evenings spent at our house. They usually don't travel with us, but they joined us for the trip to Wyoming, and they sing with us if we are local. They both love music, and they are willing to pitch in and play wherever needed. If they come over in the evening you can be pretty sure there will be some jamming going on. Matthias still has his recording studio and He has done several projects for other families. His latest project is recording our new cd!


Matthias is part manager of Wissmann Enterprises, so we see him very often. Michelle helps install the irrigation systems in the spring and fall.


It will be exciting to see where God leads Matthias and Michelle in the future.

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen."
2 Peter 3:18

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Wyoming



Two weeks ago we got to spend about 4 days in Cody, Wyoming. It used to be an annual trip for us, and we have tons of memories out there. But since Charissa doesn't remember any of our stories, more years must have passed than we realized. I guess that just made it more special to go out there this summer!


Each evening we would share a concert along with two other groups that we work with in the South Carolina prisons. But during the day our friends would take us out to explore the beautiful countryside. It was amazing!!


They took us hiking and caving...



We played volleyball and rode four-wheelers and dirt bikes...


We got to catch up with old friends and meet new ones...


It was so special! 
Thank you Atnips for the incredible hospitality.

"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God."
Psalms 90:2
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Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus


Oh soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness to see


There's light when you look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free


His Word shall not fail you He promised
Believe Him and all will be well


Then go to a world that is dying
His perfect salvation to tell


Turn your eyes upon Jesus look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace