Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Christmas 2019 - So far!

It seems as if the whole month of December we have events that remind us that we should not be celebrating the birth of our Savior only one day of the year!  These are Aaron and Naomi's children at the Immanuel Baptist Church program this last Sunday. For as many programs as we've seen over the years, each one is still special including this one!

Okay, this isn't Christmas but its something that happens most years in December. We ship the calves that were born in the spring. They sold okay and we are happy. It sure cuts down on Arthur's work this time of year! Some years I go along but this year I stayed home and watched it online.
Our church ladies had a Christmas Tea. Jaime D. was in charge and she did such a good job! The theme was Christmas around the world and included foods from around the world, a skit about how Christians aren't able to celebrate Christmas in some countries, and devotional by Arlette, and more.

The young ladies in our church have a Christmas party each year as well and take turns hosting it. Priscilla took the job on this year and made "Gingerbread" houses for the girls to decorate. I wish I had picture of it, but they did an awesome job with them! They sang carols, exchanged gifts, ate, watched a Christmas movie, and had a devotional.

I was asked to share a devotional at the Berean Baptist Church ladies tea this year. I did it on the shepherds and how they were anxious to tell everyone the good news, as we should be. Priscilla, Jessica and Krystal came along and did a couple of music specials. Miriam came along for moral support! I only got this one picture because I thought this wreath made of clothes hangers was pretty creative!

About 35 years ago this year, I returned home from a visit to France and gave Arthur a sweater I had bought for him in France. We got engaged that Christmas! Anyway, every winter he digs it out and wears it. A LOT! It looked good for quite a few years but now he just wears it for work on the farm because its almost see through in places! Last year I thought he must've misplaced it because I didn't see it or that that maybe I chucked it. But one day a few weeks ago, here he was again in the sweater!

We watched Amos and Rebekah's children one day and Miriam and Priscilla entertained them with 5-Day club style Christmas songs, and stories and taught them the verse I Timothy 1`:15 ...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners...  Such a good reminder that it isn't just about the baby Jesus, but why He came, to save sinners, all of us!

If you have time this special season, take time to pray for our brothers and sisters in countries of the world where they are persecuted, tortured, or even put to death for celebrating Christmas. Pray that God would bless them and allow them to celebrate it in their hearts with joy and for His protection.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Churches - Trip to Ohio Part II

Okay, I one thing we enjoy when we travel is to visit different churches. I know when we have visitors at our church, which is a small church, it is such an encouragement. So we like to visit other churches, make new friends, encourage them, and learn from God's Word at the same time! (Hopefully we're an encouragement!)

On this trip to Ohio, because it was over a week long, we visited three different churches. Each was an Independent Baptist Church. It was one of the highlights of our trip! On the way down we stopped at Park Meadows Baptist Church in Illinois as we flew through the town to get to Ohio. We have always loved going to this church but hadn't been there for five years. They have a different pastor since we were there last who preached a great message on the Prayer of Jabez.

That evening we visited Nate and Hosanna's church in Xenia, Ohio. They had a special speaker and for a small church, their singing was fantastic and the fellowship was so good!  So nice to meet the people Nate and Hosanna hang out with! I loved how the people hung around and visited afterwards, a good sign of a healthy church!

On the way home we stopped by a church in Superior, Wisconsin. I want to say it was the Twin Ports Baptist Church. The singing was great there and the message was just what we needed to hear. Being hunting season, and being Wisconsin, they decorated their church with deer and fish mounts. Arthur loved it! We had driven by this church many times and were so glad for the chance to finally stop and visit.

So, my takeaways are this:

#1 - I heard one time about how churches cater to women, from the praise music where the men don't participate as much, to the decorations. Well, The Twin Ports Baptist Church didn't have to worry about the decor! The music was great in all of them too!  And I don't want to criticize those that use praise music in their services, but every time we are somewhere that uses it, with a worship team, aside from my personal music convictions, I am disappointed because I feel like the songs are high, and geared toward the women and good singers. Those of us that sing alto, or lower, and aren't the greatest singers in the world, just don't fit in and can't hardly sing along. I encourage you next time you're in a church like this, to see how many men or ladies that sing alto are really enjoying the singing. Can you hear the parts? Maybe the melody is great, but God made everyone with different voices. Just my observation. I also struggle standing in one spot for fifteen minutes singing. It must be even more difficult for people older than I am.

#2 - Where are the young adults?  Maybe they're all in our church? I don't know but it seems like everywhere we go, my adult girls are the only single ones their age.  Just a sad observation.

#3 - Churches that have children's church are missing out on the blessing of having children in their services. I love having children in church during the service even if there is some noise with it. As I get older the noise bothers me a little more, but I am still so happy for the parents who set an example for their children by sitting with them and teaching them to listen to God's Word being preached.

#4 - The next time you travel, take time to visit a church you normally don't. You will be blessed, maybe make some friends, and it will help you appreciate the church you normally go to! It will also encourage you because, I don't know about you, but sometimes it feels like the church as a whole is slipping into the world and it is so encouraging to meet other believers who are like minded and care about the things of God more than what is popular today.

Just some random thoughts about churches and our trip to Ohio!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Trip to Ohio

We took our first family vacation in years to Ohio in November.  We stayed at a gorgeous hotel on the 11th floor next to the Northern Kentucky Convention Center where Priscilla and Miriam helped judge at the National Bible Bee. While the girls were there, Arthur and I enjoyed visiting Hosanna and Nate who were only an hour away. The hotel had this beautiful gazebo in the center of the building.

One day we went to the Air Force Museum in Dayton. This is a WWII RAF plane. If you've ever read the children's books about the RAF you will appreciate this! Good books for boys, by the way!

Priscilla in a space suit at the museum!

This museum was a pretty awesome place to go. There were SOOOO many airplanes starting with WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Others, Presidential, and space. It was during the week and we had the place almost to ourselves.  If you ever get there, go! Plan for a long day though!

My favorites were the Air Force One planes. And yes, you got to walk through them! This was the newest one they had that a number of recent presidents used.

The whole way down to Ohio we could hear a strange noise in the vehicle. We pulled into Nate and Hosanna's place and right away the water pump went bad. So thankful that it didn't happen on the road! God was watching over us! So Arthur was able to use Nate's tools to replace that. Then one of the breaks started squealing really  bad and he ended up replacing that too. He didn't want to get his shirt dirty so we popped into a thrift store and he bought a cheap suitcoat to wear to do his car repairs!

The view outside of our hotel window! This was taken outside but this is what we watched at night. So beautiful and so nice and warm compared to home!

We enjoyed watching the Bible Bee finals that were held at the Ark Encounter. I get so edified listening to these young people quote scripture! Also, we are so thankful for the Bible Bee and the help its been even in our family.

We took some time to go through the Ark. What a great place!!!

The Ark had all their Christmas lights up.

And this picture, a little blurry, shows just how big the Ark is!  Pretty impressive!

Priscilla and Miriam in front of the Ark.

Nate and Hosanna were living in a studio apartment when were there but just got a bigger apartment with two bedrooms. Which they will need come next summer!!! Around June 20th to be exact! So we helped Hosanna clean the apartment. It was already clean but you know how you like to KNOW its clean! They moved in right after we left and Hosanna said she is already enjoying the bigger kitchen and space!

And the sisters together once again for the first time since Hosanna and Nate's wedding. We sure missed them!!! And its hard not knowing when we will see them next. So thankful for phones!!

On our way home we took a few hours to spend at the Creation Museum. I've been there before but I just love this place. We really enjoyed the 4D theater of the six days of creation. Their bookstore is pretty awesome too!

With a trip that long, you need to eat out and we enjoyed Steak and Shake which we don't have up here. We also did a lot of Christmas shopping.

Okay, my family groaned when I said I wanted to go to a corn maze but they went along with my passion for that kind of thing and we visited the Rader family farm. Their maze was closed but their gift shop and food stand was open. They let us look around and we got some great ideas and enjoyed some good fellowship.

When we got home it was hunting season and Arthur got the two deer he was wanting. So our freezers and pantry are full despite the difficult fall for gardening and farming.  We never did get all of my father-in-laws beans harvested and none of the flax.  We get so many flax calls in the fall that finally we just quit answering the phone. People just didn't understand that with 12+" of rain, the fields just weren't good for driving in. Hopefully nobody's septics will freeze this winter.

So now, after a good Thanksgiving, we look forward to all the activities of December.  The house is decorated and warm and I can smell the corn chowder Priscilla made for supper so I better go.  Don't forget to be thankful every day for the blessings God sends your way!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

This and That, a Random Picture Post!

I saw this idea on Pinterest and knew I had to try it! Well, I have a three year old granddaughter who already loves tea, bandaids, salve, elderberry syrup, etc and so I knew it was time to make these for her birthday. I mainly wanted to try out the new embroidery feature on my new sewing machine and this was a fun project to try it on.  What a fun project. Now I need to try something harder!

Over at  the maze, its been raining for almost three weeks now. Pretty depressing! This was taken a couple of weeks ago when we had 10" in one week. It's a lot better now, but still really muddy.

I've been trying to get pictures of workers this year. These are some of our Maze Patrol guys, Darren, Ethan, and Eli. Couldn't run the maze without them!

And this is the fabulous food crew: Priscilla, Jessica, and Krystal. Awesome girls!

We had some company last Sunday and pretty much if you come to our house for any amount of time, we're going to make you go through the "Sven and Ole Escape Room"! 

Our company from the other side of the border! 

We're swamped in peppers this year so Priscilla has been making lots of jalapeno poppers and some to freeze.

Can you smell it? I love the smell of
spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove! Miriam has been so faithfully taking care of the garden while the rest of us are over at the maze, including canning lots of tomatoes, and freezing a lot of corn.

Arthur had a birthday this week and so he took a few grandchildren out goose hunting on his birthday. They didn't get anything, but they sure had fun!

And then the maze! It keeps on a going week after week, regardless of rain! The grandchildren love coming over to volunteer work or just to play with their cousins. What great memories they are making!

Well, that's about it. I scheduled workers more this fall so I would have more time at home so that's why I'm free to post in the middle of a Saturday afternoon! We're in the home run stretch though and have groups almost every single day till closing day on the 19th.  Pray that we can keep going without getting sick or something!!

You all have a wonderful day and Lord's Day tomorrow and enjoy the blessings God has sent your way!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The 2019 Corn Maze

Well, the wedding has been over for a few weeks now. Hosanna is quite happily married and they are enjoying their new life together! She has made some new friends, met the neighbors, done some canning, and unpacked most of the stuff they have.  She's also helping with a homeschool co-op group so she's keeping busy. Meanwhile...

The maze has started! This is an older picture taken the day that everyone was leaf whacking.

Okay, this isn't the maze, but a normal part of life around here. Fixing fences! Amazing how cows can find the one weak spot in a mile long fence and get out of it!

We try to have a staff meeting a few days before we open, and sometimes it gets a little out of hand! I know, scary! Hard to believe that these are the best workers you would ever find in Minnesota!!!

That's better! You can fit a lot of people on that Paul Bunyan chair!
Handsome isn't he!!!

We took a Sunday to watch Aaron baptize our two oldest granddaughters! What a joy to know they are saved!

I think one of my favorite parts of the maze is the Sven and Ole Escape Room!  It's a little different this year in that it's three different levels, each ten minutes long. Sven and Ole are loggers in the Paul Bunyan logging camp. Uffda is right!

One evening at the maze, God sent a reminder that He would never flood the earth again!

That's it for now! Have a great weekend enjoying the creation God made wherever you live!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Wedding, The Maze, The Baby!

Our family was so happy to share in Hosanna's special day!

The wedding was so beautiful! It was the hottest day of the summer, but I'm not sure that bothered anyone except maybe me! Hosanna thought through each part of the wedding, making sure that each thing would bring glory to God so that made it extra special.

Hosanna and Nate cutting the cake that the two of them decorated together!

Amos leading the reception program like a good big brother!

Nate and Hosanna thanking people for coming.

Our girls! All seven of them are very special to us and we love them all!!!!!

The happy couple! Hosanna did most of the planning and work for the wedding and she did a fabulous job. The Dunton family ran the kitchen which was a huge blessing! So many other people helped with food prep or setting up or taking down. Thank you to those that helped!!!!

Awww! One of my favorites!

The wedding party! The little girls were so adorable as they threw their petals.  The bridesmaids looked so lovely in their dresses and Hosanna was stunning in her dress! The smile never left her face from the moment Nate arrived a few days before the wedding till we waved them goodbye!

Apparently they had a good honeymoon and should be at their home in Ohio soon.  One restaurant even gave them a bag of doughnuts that said on the bag "Cutest couple award"!

I must say that weddings are a little bittersweet. You can't help but be happy for a young couple that loves the Lord, who find each other and get to the marriage altar still pure. But at the same time, a family loses a daughter, a sister, a friend. One that's been around for 25 years! So there's been some sad days around here but we all know that eventually we will quit expecting Hosanna to come skipping down the stairs and life will take on a new "normal", whatever that is in this house!!!
To finish off the wedding celebration after the church was cleaned up, and the newlyweds were gone, we spent an evening with Nate's family over at the maze. Nate's brother John brought his guitar and we sang hymns and camp songs, and shared around the campfire.  All six of Nate's brothers made it to the wedding as did his sister so that was special for their family as they are scattered all over the country.  We are so happy Hosanna is married into a family that we can appreciate and know they love the Lord.  We actually knew his parents from back in our college days so there was a lot of reminiscing going on those few days as well.

There hasn't been a lot of time to sit around and think about the wedding though. Maze work went into full swing this week. Mathias and Eli posed for a photo to show how the corn is Paul Bunyan tall this year!

Also, a big blessing this week was Silas and Karen's new baby, Bethany!  What an adorable little girl!!! The delivery was long but went good. Bethany has the distinction  of being #20 of the grandchildren. If you would have told me I'd have that many grandchildren when we got married I would never have believed it!!

So, life continues here on the farm! The hay is being baled, and Arthur says the wheat harvest is just around the corner. The calves are growing and with all the rain so are the pastures. The cows still get out and fences still need fixing. Our "microdairy" cows still need milking and the garden needs harvesting.

If you think of it, pray for our family. We are tired and our "busy" season hasn't even started. Well, we're on lunch tomorrow at church so I gotta go get some things ready.

Have a great Lord's Day tomorrow and don't forget to count your blessings, naming them one by one!