Mar 22, 2017

Back Home

We are home! After being gone on the road for a month we were all super excited to be back in our own house, with our horses, milking the neighbors cows, and babysitting the neighbor kids. 
Yes!!! It feels so good to be home!

Back to work, starting with cleaning the horse pens.

We love our horses!

~ Naomi ~

~ Miranda ~ 

~ Allison ~

Milking cows.

These little bunnies are absolutely the cutest!

A few days after we got home we had some good friends over at our house. It was so sweet to be able to visit with them before they head out to Brazil to do mission work.

Making chocolate chip cookies with these two little helpers. 
It was fun having their family over after getting back.

Cookies anyone?

So nice to be making food in a real kitchen again!


Playing outside on the deck on a warm day.

It's always a treat for us girls to make a trip into town together.

Frozen yogurt anyone?

We have fun playing games together on weekends.

Settlers of Catan!

Music practice has been a priority in our house lately. 

Working up a new song.

That's all for now folks! 

Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
Isaiah 42:10

Mar 8, 2017

2017 Winter Tour

  Our family left home on the 20th of Jan. This year's Winter Tour went very well for us! We had a lot of fun, saw the gulf and Atlantic Ocean, met up with old and new friends alike, and made a lot of new memories together as a family. But the main focus of our trip wasn't on having fun and having a good time, but rather our goal was to minister in the lives and hearts of others and to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
 The only singing engagements that we had this year were the two Prison Crusades, which consisted of an intense day of training and then four full days of going into the prisons in the evenings to share the gospel in song and music. A preacher would always go in with us and preach a sermon after we got done singing.
 It was encouraging for all of us to see God work in the hearts of the many men and women in the prisons that we were able to minister at. God moved in so many ways, and He gave us the privilege to  see many inmates give their souls to Christ. It was such a rewarding experience!
 Sadly, we were not allowed to take any pictures inside the prisons. It would have been such a joy to be able to share with y'all photos of what it was like there.
  I did manage to take quite a few pictures on our trip though, which I will share with y'all.  But before we dive into those pictures, I would like to share a little something with y'all that is burning on my heart to tell...

  Dear brothers and sisters, so often most of us don't even think about a mission field that desperately needs the hope of Jesus Christ more then ever before, the men and women in prison. There are so many hurting people in these facilities who long to just have someone from the outside world to acknowledge and talk to them. To show them a little care, to give them love that they so don't have, and to tell them that there is hope in this broken world.
  So often we go about our days, just feeling comfortable where we're at in life, and don't even think of the many, many, many people who's lives are in ruin and out of control. Please, don't forget!!! God has placed different people in each of our lives for a reason, and some (if not most), are hurting and longing for something better in life. And that would be Jesus! Let's be the hands and feet of Jesus and reach out to them any way we can. Even if it's just a kind word or a handshake. Remember, even just a smile can go a long ways! :) So let's not, as Christians, just sit on the couch and do nothing. Not every one is called to go over seas and be a Missionary, or be a preacher, or go to prisons, or leave home to travel around the country and share the gospel in the form of music. But we are all called to proclaim the name of Jesus, and that can be done ANYWHERE, ANYTIME! So let us all stand up for Jesus today, and not be ashamed to stand for the truth!

~ Traveling ~

Smiles in the sunshine.

I think it's lunch time...

At a Walmart!

Bouncing around a volleyball during some free time before leaving for a prison service.

We also had fun walking on some train tracks.

I would have to say that this has become an annual tradition for us each trip. Go to Sam's and buy a huge jar of Jelly Bellies!  

Traveling can get long sometimes, so one day we stopped to get out and play off some energy.

Passing some travel time by playing Rummy.

~ Friends ~

Ten days passed between the Alabama and South Carolina Prison Crusade which meant we needed something to keep us busy, right? Our first stop was at some good friends of ours in Dothan Alabama.

Our friends introduced us to something they call "vine swinging". We all had a blast hanging on to and swinging on these huge grape vines.

~ Allison ~

Swinging across the little stream.

Say cheese!

Relaxing with some coloring and card games.

Laurissa with these two little cuties. 

It was so fun to hear our friends sing for us.

I think they've got a new musician in the makings. =)

Our family, plus the seven kiddos of our friends. 

~ The Gulf of Mexico ~

Feeding the seagulls. 

Hey, I see a sister pile up!

But they're definitely the best!

Time to build a sand castle.

All finished!

So these two ask me, "Hey Naomi, can you get a picture of us doing a hand stand at the Gulf?" Definitely something you'll see on a every day basis. ;)

Sunsets at the beach are stunningly beautiful! 

~ An Unexpected Blessing ~

  One day, which would've been during the time we were in Florida visiting the Gulf, the family decided it was time we went out to eat, (which would have been the first time on the trip). So we decided at the last minute we would try out a Mexican Restaurant in the town of St. Joe FL. 
  Towards the end of our meal, a middle aged couple came up to us and made the comment of something like, "What a nice family you've got there!" We started talking and it turned out that he was a sales man for the store of Menards including one that is here in Wisconsin and knew our area quite well. He then asked us where we were staying the night and Dad told him that we were camping out at the RV park about a half an hour drive from where we were at. He then said, "Well... Why don't you come and stay at my place? I have a really nice place out on the beach with a very good view and even have my own private dock." Dad smiled and told them that we were very appreciative, but kindly told him that we had better not since we'd already made arrangements for that night at the RV place.
  They then gave us their card and said to let us know if we needed ANYTHING, and then left the restaurant. We were all done eating by then, so we then left pretty soon right after they did. 
  We were then walking up to our motorhome, almost ready to make our entrance when we saw this pickup slowly drive by and then stop, backup, and park right next to our rig. It was the same couple that we met inside the restaurant!!! They again asked us, with more determination, to consider their offer. They said it would be the perfect place for the family to sprawl out and relax! Dad then agreed to it, and we soon found ourselves getting handed over a set of keys to a really nice rental beach house, free of charge!

  God has such an awesome way of working things out for His children! It defiantly was the perfect place for us to sprawl out and relax a spell before heading out to do our next set of prisons and to get practiced up for our up coming CD project. God is so faithful!

The house.

View from the top of the double deck.

This was defiantly the longest privately owned dock we had ever seen in our life!

The sea shells that were collected.

We wanted a family photo before we left the place.
It was a time when we felt like God knew exactly what our needs were, and knew that we all needed an oasis for a couple of days. God is so good! This was definitely a gift that we wanted to remember forever, to remind us of His faithfulness.

 ~ More Traveling ~

We got to see the Atlantic Ocean this year! 

But as you can see, it was very cold! We didn't stick around the water for very long!

The Smoky Mountains! 

We had a couple days where we drove ALL DAY LONG! By the time it was night, we were all getting so bored, wild and crazy thought it was about time we tried practicing on the go. Let's just say, it was very crazy! 

Did I mention crazy?! 

~ The Ark Encounter ~

In Kentucky, we got to see the Ark Encounter! 

The walkways...

The horse kind. 

One of Noah's three sons filling the water container. 

Another son working with wood.

And another blacksmithing. 

A son with his wife in their room they call their own.

Another couple in their room.

One of the wives making a meal.

Noah and his wife.

Let's just say, It was an incredible experience! 

~ The Studio ~

Getting ready!

Smiles from inside the studio.

Hey! It's a photo bomb!

Sounding good! 

I think someone stole the captain's chair! 

Are we done yet?

Behind the scenes...

Taking the final listen to see if we got everything right. 

AND WE ARE DONE!!! What an awesome feeling! 

Thank you Mathias Wissmann for the many hours of your time hearing us play and working beside us to get this project done. We greatly appreciate all your hard work! 

After we were finished recording our CD, we made the eight hour drive back to our home sweet home.

Keep a lookout on our family's Facebook page for our new CD project coming out, Lord willing, later this spring/early summer. 

"O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."
Psalm 136:1