Aug 9, 2018

Welcome to the World, Jamison!

This post is a little late, but he is here!!!
Welcome to the world Jamison Christopher Maendel! 
Born July, 20 @2:26 pm. This little peanut weighed 6 lb 4 oz at birth.
We are all so in love with this little man already!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well."

Jun 8, 2018

Memorial Weekend

This year's Memorial weekend was spent at our sister's place up in Manitoba, Canada. 
We were blessed with some very beautiful whether while we were there. Normally its either raining or snowing. But this year bright sunny days and steaming hot days greeted us with a smile.

For awhile now Andrea and Joel have been dreaming of putting up a fence around their house for a bit more privacy in their quaint little town. It just so happened that their fencing arrived the day before our visit. So hey! Why not take advantage of the beautiful whether and extra crew and get the job started?! And that's what they did!

Digging the holes with this lovely little machine. Thanks to a hired man for his service in the job this task went rather smoothly.

The skid-steer wasn't quite able to dig all the holes that were needed, so the rest got done by hand.

Lining up the posts, trying to get them straight. 

And the work is on! We didn't get the job near finished but did manage to get a big chunk of the work done

Time spent with these kiddos is always so special!
Miranda and Allison had great fun keeping the kids entertained playing in the pool.

Another thing that happened while we were visiting was this new play structure coming on to campus. Ethan and Leana were beyond delighted!

Tons of smiles and laughter took place around this slide in particular. 

Especially when you make it into a slippy-slide. ;)

Watermelon and an aunty; for this little guy I don't think much more could make him happier on this hot summer day.

The trampoline was also one of his favorites.

After a long day of hard work we thoroughly enjoyed this scrumptious, refreshing meal of yummy goodness. 

For the past few years Andrea and Joel have been wanting to take us all out on some awesome hiking hills just an hour away from their place. But due to the bad whether that seems to show up every time we go up to visit it has never happened. Until now...

Taking the bus we all rode together. You could say it was like one big party with all the family squeezed inside (minus one brother, Justin, who had to stay home due to his work schedule).
It was quite the ride!

We all find it pretty amusing how Ethan has taken after his favorite uncle's looks.
He loves Matthew so much! Makes us aunties feel a wee bit jealous. ;)

So our Sunday afternoon was spent at the Provincial Park of Pemina Hills. 
The whether couldn't have been more perfect for a picnic together, followed by some hiking.

Joel did an amazing job grilling our burgers and brats for us.

Time to eat!

Our dear daddy with his grand-kids.

 Now off for some hiking!

 This place is beautiful to hike!

Lots of great views, such as this one.

Aunties + Niece = lots of smiles from everyone. =)

We were all so proud of Leana for making the whole hike with us. 
I think we figured out that we hiked a full 4 miles. And that was hard hiking too! 
Up and down ravines, valleys, in and out of woods, crossing streams, you name it.
 It was pretty awesome!

This little guy... We all love him to pieces!

Then later, towards the end of our hike, we came upon this tower.

The view from the top was amazing!

Daddy and little girl... so precious! 

All good things have to come to an end. Our time in Canada was short; but very sweet! We greatly look forward to our next visit with our sister's family.

Before we left a picture was taken of all the sisters, including Leana.
Time has a way of changing things, but not the sister bond that these girls have.
We will greatly miss you, Andrea!

"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart,
 with all your soul, with all your strength,
 and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
Luke 10:27

May 21, 2018

Spring in Wisconsin

It's warming up! Things are turning green up here in the northwestern part of Wisconsin. 
Trees are budding, flowers are blossoming, and plants are growing. I think it is time for us to plant our garden!

We count it a blessing to be able to start our own plants in our greenhouse.
They sure have grown in the last few weeks!

And they keep growing!
 These tomatoes look like they're wanting to go in the garden pretty soon.

Here we have some spinach started in a raised bed in our greenhouse.

Our neighbor was kind and lent us his big tractor on the garden.

And so the planting begins! 

We've got the veggie plants in the ground!
Now we just need rain.

Our grass is long and the dandelions are in abundance. 
I think it's about time to mow the lawn again.

And Laurissa, our ever faithful mower gal, does the job very well.
Looks to me she wasn't too thrilled to get herself in a photo though. ;)

Our dog Arlo found himself a new favorite thing to do around here...

He also LOVES to play with this swing!

One thing Daddy enjoys very much is flying his model airplanes. 
I think he's missed it during those long winter months. ;)

Miranda and Arlo.
We all adore this puppy very much!

And he's just chilling out...

This new Spring season is busy for all of us. But as we go about our daily life's activities let us not forget the real reason why we're put here, to bring honor and glory to our Creator.
May Jesus Christ be in the center of your life this week.

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, 
or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31

Apr 10, 2018


Home sweet home! We pulled into our snowy yard very late on February 18th. 
 After six weeks of travel on the road we are all rejoicing to have made it back home safely.  

We all love snow! I mean, who doesn't? But I think we're all starting to get a wee bit tired of it. Because even now IN APRIL there seems to be a whether pattern going on here. getting dumped on with a bunch of snow, then comes a warm day and the snow melts, then more snow, another warm day and the snow disappears,  then comes another storm! 

It seems like the snow just doesn't want to leave Wisconsin this winter! I guess that T-shirt and flipflop whether will have to hold off for a little while longer...

In the meantime, please enjoy a few pictures of the beautiful "Winter Wonderland" of snow.

Home at last!

A view from our front door.

It was sure nice to see our horses again!

We are SO enjoying our time with our new puppy, Arlo!

The snow can get pretty deep around here. Especially in the road ditches! 
It's play time with Arlo!

In the meantime, we've got plants started inside where it's warm; tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, herbs, flowers, you name it! Hopefully it won't be too much longer we can keep these little guys outside for good.

"Rejoice in the Lord 
and again I say,

Mar 29, 2018

Our Last Days On The Road

Our last four days on the road were full ones! with three different concerts across the state of Iowa.
Following our way through Missouri we stopped in at the Nonebar Cowboy Church in Newton, IA for a Thursday evening concert.

Cowboy churches are always fun to sing at! Lots of nice, friendly people who are all super enthusiastic about bluegrass music.

It's such a joy to minister to others in words of song!

Friday found us at some good friends of ours in Charles City, IA.

Even though it was a chilly 19 degrees outside we still gave the bus a good scrub down.
It never hurts to wash all that salt off!

That same evening was a special one! Not only did we give a concert but several other groups did as well.
The service consisted of four different bands, each playing for 20-25 minutes each. 

The Nolt family was up first.

Then our wonderful hosts, the James Zimmerman family.

Third up was another family with the last name of Zimmerman. ;)

And then we were up, doing the last set of music for the night.

What a joy it was to share our music to a large group of young people with their families. 
It was a treat for us!

Our last concert took place at the First Baptist Church in Seymour, Iowa.
Again, we were very blessed by the kind and generous people who attended.
Thank you all so much!

And look who we found!
It just so happened that there was a family who had puppies for sale at the last church of our tour.
Our family's been talking a great deal lately about getting a puppy, but the timing just hasn't worked out. This time though it all seemed to be just right and we found ourselves coming home with an Australian Shepherd/Collie Mix!

This little guy ended up riding out the last seven hours of our journey home with us!
 Surprisingly he did very well, sitting in our laps not making too big of a mess. ;)
We've named the little pooch Arlo. 
And yes, we are definitely enjoying our time spent with him so far! 

"Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: 
thy spirit is good; lead me into the way of uprightness."
Psalm 143:10