Wednesday, September 19, 2018

25 Years!



We had our church's 25th anniversary on Sunday. It was such a special day from the beginning to the end. After the morning service, with a great message, we had a very nice banquet with a time to share memories and praise.

Each family made a quilt square and Jaime had it made into a quilt for our pastor and his wife. (Dad and Mom :)  The squares were so beautiful!

There was lots of special music including the guys who sang, "A Passion for Thee".

The young people sang the "Wonderful Jesus Medley" in the morning service and a variety of VBS songs in the afternoon service. I could listen to these guys and girls all day! I loved the beautiful smiles on their faces!

We are not a big church and we are certainly not a perfect church but I still love our church.  There is no need to try to impress each other, we are like one big family. I don't have children anymore but I appreciate how everyone is like an aunt or uncle or grandparent to the children and teens and how everyone looks out for each other. I appreciate how it feels like an escape from the world where we can put aside the problems of the week and just fellowship and worship God. I appreciate the heart for God this great group of people have. I especially enjoy seeing the young men or young ladies or even children voluntarily getting into groups some Sundays to have a special prayer time or to quote Bible memory to each other. I also enjoy seeing the kids playing after the service! I enjoy having heart to heart talks with the other ladies and how they challenge me to live for God. I appreciate how everyone takes care of each other. Bring meals to each other. Offer to help with projects if they need it. Give hugs when needed. Give money if need be. Share vehicles if someone is going on a trip and theirs isn't reliable or help get their's fixed.


I've enjoyed all the Vacation Bible Schools, the Christmas Programs, the ladies teas and brunches, the special speakers, the Bible memory programs, the baptism services, the share nights, and so much more!

We are a fairly young church for this area and have had our growing pains. But I also remember how the people of this little church wrapped us up in love when our Samuel died. I remember getting meals and prayers for weeks when Priscilla was born. I remember lots of prayer for Arthur when he hurt his back. I remember other families who have received great amounts of help at times. I appreciate it all. I appreciate getting challenged in the messages. I appreciate the missionaries we support and getting to know them.  I pray that God, if He tarries, will give us another 25 years!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

August 2018

Okay, just a warning, this post is really mixed up. I just downloaded the pictures as I found them. August was a crazy month. So far September is too. I find my myself too busy to answer text messages and phone calls let alone post on the blog. So, this is a humble, and quick attempt to catch up!

We had some help getting ready for the maze this year. Hosanna's dear friend Nate Bladine and his sister Marty came up to spend a few days right before we opened and we couldn't have done it without them!

Silas stopped by a few times to lend a hand and he helped Arthur finish up the bale mountain by throwing up a few square bales.

In August we also had Farm Camp. This was a fun group of guys! Not only did they work hard, they heard lots of great preaching from different men in our church. 

Miriam tried on our "Pumpkin Princess" outfit!




Hosanna and Priscilla were at camp all summer and we took a weekend off and headed east to go visit them and to check out Hosanna's "friend"! We actually know Nate's parents from college so we have a few alma mater ties and its where they were at camp. Nate is a great young man with a heart for God and serving. We look forward to seeing what God has planned for their lives! 

There were these pretty waterfalls along the road and stopped to get a picture of the girls. It's a man made waterfall and I think I'd like one in my yard! Arthur wasn't as excited!

Another picture of Silas and his family at the maze. 
Some years the thought of doing the maze again is really depressing. It means months of the year with only one focus. It means forgetting the yard and garden after about mid July. It means no time for anything else. It means a lot of money going through our hands. But then there's these grandchildren of ours! They love the maze and beg to work there! They can play for hours there and beg us never to quit. So continue we do, year after year! Some year it will be our last. We always said if one of the girls gets married we will quit. So we'll see. Meanwhile, if God wants us to have the maze, having the maze we will do. If any of you have extra time to pray, please pray that it will be a blessing to the families that come. That no one will get hurt and that we will have the stamina it takes to finish the season. Pray that the tracts we give out will reach someone who needs it.

Meanwhile, Miriam did find time to can some tomatoes and pickles. No weeding though! Somehow God blesses it even when we are too busy to weed and the weeds grow tall! The girls are home from camp and busy with maze stuff. Hosanna pretty much takes care of the food and Priscilla runs the store. I keep everyone going with schedules, printing stuff, etc. Arthur runs the farm and gives never ending hayrides! Not having a herd of cows to milk has made it much easier for him this year! Miriam makes sure everyone eats, that the house stays somewhat clean and that we have clean clothes! We are busy but I'd rather be busy than bored!

Well, that is my catch up post. It gives you a little idea what we are up to anyway.  Take care everyone, and take some extra time to pray for our country too!


Monday, August 6, 2018

Great Idea!

I had a quick minute and did some blog reading which I haven't done in a long time. I loved the idea that they had over at www.titus2.com for buying things now for the Operation Child Christmas Shoe boxes. The idea? Buy school things now when they are really cheap! Pick up some colors, notebooks, pencils, etc. and put them away for assembling your boxes if you do those. Have you noticed how expensive they get after school starts! Have a wonderful day enjoying God's blessings! And pray for us this week if you think of it. We are having farm camp with a great bunch of guys. Pray that they will be spiritually challenged above all, and then for no injuries!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Little People

I had some great pictures of the younger grandchildren and thought you might enjoy them! They sure capture their personalities!
Felicity

Samuel & Christy

Christy

Heidi
Heidi was so enjoying eating fresh blueberries! She would put a big handful in her mouth and with her eyes shut eat them. So good! Sorry about the messy kitchen. That's what a busy life looks like :)

Malachi

Samuel

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Goodbye Cows!

The last couple of weeks have been pretty crazy around here. Two weeks ago we got word, through a neighbor farmer, that as of August 1st the truck would no longer be picking up our milk. What? We couldn't believe it! Arthur did some checking, and yes, it was true. Our local processor in Thief River Falls is closing. The next nearest processor had a quarrel or something with the other milk companies and decided that they would not pick up any milk except for Land O' Lakes. We don't sell to Land O' Lakes, and they are not picking up any new patrons, so that left us with no truck as of August 1st.

We did a lot of quick thinking, and praying, and decided to sell them at the next available dairy auction which is tomorrow. It was a difficult decision. We had to decide which cows to sell. Which ones were cull cows. Which calves we should keep and raise. Which bulls to sell. Can we live without a milk check? And all that kind of stuff.

Even though the decision was made for us, it has been difficult. We have been involved with milking since before we even got married. Back in high school Arthur borrowed money to buy his first milk cows! In some ways we feel like we are deserting the dairy industry in which the small farms are disappearing in favor of mega farms. We feel like the dairy industry has deserted us by weeding out the unimportant farms like us. We feel like we are giving up a business that we will never be able to pass on to our children or grandchildren. We feel like we are giving up a way of life that we really wanted our grandchildren to experience. It wasn't so much about the money, but giving up a way of life.

Tonight the truck came to get our cows. These are the spectators that watched. My Mother-in-law with a pile of her grand and great grandchildren!

It's pretty neat watching two layers of cows fill a truck!

Bye! You're a good lady! Keep on milking for the person who buys you!! (This is the cow that is pictured in the Wiktel phone book!)

Had to add a picture of my handsome farmer! I told him that now that he's not a dairy farmer, he can truly be a cowboy with just beef cows! (The girls insist that dairy farmers are farmers and not cowboys!)

Sarah, our niece, also has helped a lot with milking and we will miss her smile around here!

So the cows are gone and will be sold at the auction tomorrow. It's sad too because the prices are about as low as they can be for cows so we aren't going to make a lot on them.

It's okay though. God is in control! We have talked for so long about when the right time was to sell the cows and He made it easy for us! Arthur has a list a mile long of stuff to get done so I don't think he'll be missing them too bad. He needs some rest so a few mornings to sleep past six won't hurt him either. So that's how it goes. The pretty ladies are gone, the barn will be mostly empty, but life goes on. Now I gotta get to bed so I can make it to the auction!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Summer, So Far!

People think the maze doesn't start till August 24th, but for us, its already in full swing. That includes the 4th of July parade! We have such fabulous workers that so faithfully pass out flyers!! We love you all!!! Our theme is "The Cow's in the Corn" so we put a couple of dairy calves on the trailer.

We've also been working on the "Rustler's Den" escape room for the maze. We've had some really fun test groups through!

Another fun group!

A smart group that bypassed part because of their brainpower! We will have to do some fixing so that doesn't happen again!! 

It's been a great summer for hay. This is Isaac's field and he and Eli are doing the baling.

It's raspberry season and blueberry time! There's not many things better to eat than a raspberry pie!  No, we didn't eat both of them although Eli would have liked to :)

A couple of weeks ago my sister and her boys and their girlfriends came by and we had a couple fun days including a game of Balderdash.

Back to the escape room. This wonderful family had so much fun they did it a second time to see how fast they could do it!

And this group hold the record for the fastest time out! It's a thirty minute room and they made it out in 23 minutes! We figure its because they think like us :)

We had a great time on the 4th with family and also gave Abby a bridal shower. She will make a wonderful wife and I hope Levi knows how lucky he is to get her!!!

So we've been busy. There's been a little stress too because of our dairy situation. The local milk processing plant is closing, and, well it's a long story, but they will no longer be coming up here to get our milk. I will do a separate post on that in a few days.

Meanwhile, aside from maze work and the dairy closing situation, we have just had a fast summer! Arthur works from sunup till sundown. That's pretty late around here! The other night I was up at 11pm and I could still see where the sun set! Hosanna and Priscilla are having a great time at camp. They are seeing children getting saved and are enjoying their work. I couldn't live without Miriam! She has been my right and left arm and brain since the other girls left! She keeps the house running, the garden going, the pumpkin patch weeded, and so much more! I've been mostly spending my days on maze stuff. Then there's Eli who is perfecting his Swedish accent so we can tell people he's our exchange student :)  He can at least talk Minnesoootan as he helps Arthur! Sometimes I wish the sun would stay up even later! We could use the extra hours!!

So, I am enjoying the summer and pray that you will enjoy your week and the blessings God sends your way!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Men

We just finished a great week of Vacation Bible School! We had such an awesome team of leaders!! It was fun to see them bravely teaching lessons or leading songs when I knew some of them were pretty terrified! We had 95 kids total and talk about energy! It helped that the weather was just perfect and not too hot and no rain. I don't have any statistics with me but I know that there were a lot of kids that made salvation and character decisions. Our theme was the armor of God and we had a character trait for soldiers each day. The boys especially loved the theme.

Now, men. We hear that when students leave for college or adulthood, so many of them drop out of the church. After years and years of working with VBS, I wonder if we aren't losing the men from the time they are young.

Let me explain. Quite consistently, year after year, we have about half the number of boys at VBS compared to girls. We've had a lot of youth groups come visit the corn maze and there are always considerably less guys than girls.  Some youth groups are more like 90 percent girls and 10 percent guys. It looks to me like we are losing them not when they reach adulthood but from the time they are young.

Are we parents teaching them that ball practice takes priority or other fun activities from the time they are young? Are we teaching them that spiritual things aren't for them? I know families that have sent their girls to vbs but the boys just stay home. Why? I'm not sure why, but the problem with godly young men is starting way younger than people think. It's starting way back when parents decide their boys don't need things like VBS when their girls do. We don't run a traditional Sunday School but I would guess it might be the same way in churches that do that as well.

It's no wonder there are so few godly young men of marriageable age when half are missing from almost day one!

I guess I want to encourage any parents out there to make sure your boys priorities are right from day one. Help them to understand that spiritual things are more important than ball games or swimming lessons or whatever. I applaud those mothers that pick their kids up at vbs, bring them to ball practice, and bring them back to vbs when its over. At least they make the effort to get them there as much as possible instead of saying a complete no to vbs.

I know that VBS and things like that are not a guarantee that boys will turn out to be godly men. Girls either. Ultimately, each person has to make their own commitment whether they will live for Christ or not. But it sure helps to give them the right foundation! Please, parents, do what you have to do to make sure your boys, and girls, get all the spiritual input you can possibly get! That, and give them opportunities to use what they learn! 


I would love to hear your input from areas around the country to see if this is true everywhere.

I'm sorry I haven't posted more. We have been so busy that I find even posting to be more than I can handle! I will try to do better!  Meanwhile, have a wonderful Lord's Day tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Basic Ministry Training 2018

We had Basic Ministry Training last week and what a fabulous group of teens and adults! Most of them spent the night at the farm with the guys staying in the "barracks" and the girls in the house. Here they're playing a game of "The Prince of Paris Lost His Hat".

We had training early this year because every weekend is busy from now until VBS. We still sang the songs we'll be using at VBS. We will be having an Armor of God theme VBS and are singing some patriotic songs.

Practicing counselling. We never want to just have children "say a prayer" and go through life thinking their saved because of it. We actually teach the workers to ask tons of questions and use lots of verses to make sure the child knows exactly what he wants to do. Sometimes they find children just want to have someone pray for their grandma or cat. Sometimes they are just doing what someone else is and don't really mean it, but we want them to be prepared for the child that really does know they want to get saved.

The last few years we've been learning the wordless book. We changed it up a little this year and made "wordless crosses" that also have a blue square for creation.

And here's the group! This includes students and leaders.

Class time. We spent a lot of time studying the armor of God and how it applies to our lives. What a great thing to study on an adult level.
Working on the cross.
The older students spent some time working on teaching Bible lessons and how to put different points and applications in the lesson, how to handle visuals, their speaking voice, etc.

Working on an Armor of God skit for VBS.
It was a great weekend! I am so thankful to know each of these great young people and can't wait to see what God will do with their lives!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Easter /Maze

Before Easter, we did the old familiar "egg carton tulips" with some of the grandsons. Remember making those?

Spring just isn't coming very fast and Priscilla just couldn't wait for a roasted marshmallow! Actually, Arthur was burning some brush and it just looked like a good thing to do!

The girls and I made some small Easter baskets for the grandkids and we thought they turned out pretty cute. 

Easter morning we all came downstairs dressed in pink so we had a picture taken. We had a great breakfast at church followed by a great message about the Resurrection of our Savior! I love Easter! I love the hymns we sing and I enjoy messages about the cross and empty tomb. I love the reminder about why and how much we have to be thankful for!

I also love Easter dresses! I remember as a girl my mom would always sew us girls new Easter dresses which made the day even more special. Then we went over to our grandparents for Easter dinner either here or up in Winnipeg. Grandma Giesbrecht would hide Easter eggs all over the house and made even the adults looks for them! Then we would sing some Easter hymns and eat, and eat! 

We had our children, my parents and an aunt and uncle over for dinner. That's a lot of people so we used both the kitchen table, dinning room table, and set up two in the living room.

Miriam holding little Grace.

The kids loved the little baskets. Heidi would "crack" the eggs before opening them!

And then there was naptime!

Meanwhile, work on maze things progresses. These are some sticky note books to sell in the Granary. So fun and quick to make!

And these are the mini sticky note books. These were so fast to make and just adorable!
Yesterday I also, finally, sat down and started making the maze design. I had been putting it off because I just wasn't sure what to make since its our tenth year and I thought it should be special. Well, I'm not sure its that special, but it turned out nice even though it looks like the hardest one we will have ever cut. Not necessarily the hardest to go through, but hardest to cut because of all the curves. Straight lines are so much nicer! 

Well, I need to get going! Have a wonderful day in the Lord and remember that we can celebrate Easter every day!!
  

Up from the grave He arose!