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!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mini Vacation

Sometimes you just need to get away! For the last couple of years we've been going on a short trip between Priscilla and Hosanna's birthdays to shop, and just have fun. We headed down to Iowa this time and after a lot of bad roads, and seeing tons of cars and semi's in the ditch, we arrived at our hotel. We love these suite hotels so the girls can have one room and Arthur and I the other. Plus there's the nice "living room" area and kitchenette.  We stayed in one other nice hotel like this one, and then in a Super 8 one night. Strange hotel. If you ask we'll tell you about it!

You can't go shopping for just clothes and such! Arthur needed to shop at Scheels and felt he was ready to guard the presidents! Too bad he didn't have his white hat on!

I posted this below, but one of the reasons we went to Iowa was to go to a Patch the Pirate Concert. Their team preformed the Ocean Commotion CD/book minus a couple of songs.  There were a lot of people so we didn't have the greatest seat but still really enjoyed it.  We would've been there earlier and gotten a better seat but the roads didn't cooperate! Anyway, the girls really enjoyed listening to Patch the Pirate when they were young and so we thought we'd go. We're glad for the picture too!
Another thing we did since we were in Iowa was visit missionary Bill Adams. I first got to know him and his wife way back in 1984 when I spent time helping them in France. Throughout the years we've kept in touch but he doesn't head up this way anymore, at least since his wife Mary went to heaven. So, we thought we'd go visit him! We had such a good and edifying visit and it was fun to reminisce about those days long ago in France. Believe it or not, this 86 year old man still travels to France every year to preach and serve in the church there! This picture was actually taken last time he was at our place and I neglected to get a picture of him now like I really wanted to.  It was especially encouraging hearing how the church in Europe, and the middle east are growing.

Other than that, we ate out, sang on the road, laughed, swam in a hotel pool, and shopped till we dropped! It was so fun! I treasure these days with our adult daughters because I know they can change so fast. God is so good! I'm so thankful for a husband that patiently waits in vehicles, or on benches so we can shop! We are so thankful too for Isaac and my niece Sarah who did chores so we could be gone!! Family is just so precious! 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Happy Golden Birthday, Hosanna!

Happy Birthday, Hosanna!
I appreciate you so much and your sweet godly attitude. I appreciate seeing you so willing to serve God in whatever area He asks you too!
Have a great day! (Yesterday the girls got their picture with the Hamilitons at a concert!)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy 21st, Priscilla!

It's hard to believe it's been 21 years since you were born!! You have brought so much joy to our house with your quirky humor, unlimited energy, and above all, a desire to please God! We love you and pray that you will have a wonderful day and a blessed year!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Maze Craft

I am so enjoying this winter! My project this week has been to make some of these notecases for the maze and for Priscilla to bring to camp. I love the look of all the pretty papers and the finished product! I don't love the mess I'm making!!

If you haven't seen these before, I've been selling them at the maze for a few years now. Inside they have sticky notes and a notebook along with a pretty pen. They're all just a little different. I still have a ways to go before I'm done.

Other than that, Arthur has been busy working on "sprucing up" the milkhouse and on a "top secret" maze project!  Miriam finished her painting project and someday when we get the finishing touches done we will show you by picture what she did.  Priscilla is busy with her book writing, and Hosanna keeps us all going!

I hope and pray that each of you reading this will have a good day knowing that God loves you and cares about you!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

This and That


The girls had their cousins over the other night for a cousins game night.

Playing Dutch Blitz with that many people is just crazy!

We got the privilege of watching several grandchildren last week and Miriam had the fun of entertaining them with Rosa. I just loved the laughter on their faces as Rosa sang "The Bible Stands" to them!
This might not look like much to most of you, but we have never had the ice or water working on our fridge because our house just wasn't plumbed for it. Silas decided that had to change and came over one day and within an hour he had the ice working and the water running! A big thank you to Silas! I love ice in my water so this is pretty nice to me!

Arthur and Isaac have been busy caring for the cattle and ran them all through the chute yesterday to vaccinate them. Arthur works some pretty long days. He was complaining about being tired (after a long day working cattle) so decided to take it easy yesterday and only work 12 hours (a short day for him). He was still tired at bedtime and thought he must be getting old!

Miriam has been tackling a painting project for me this winter, which also includes removing wallpaper, and a host of other things. Our stairs and hall landing will look so nice when she's done!

The other day we decided to make some wontons and egg rolls. I went into the grocery store, went to get the egg roll and wonton wrappers in the vegetable section of the store like I always do. I must've looked confused or something because a local Laotian woman asked

if I was planning on making egg rolls. I said yes, and she shook her head. She said I do not want to use those egg roll wrappers. She waved her hand and said to come with her. I followed her to the freezer section where she showed me large packages of egg roll wrappers and wonton wrappers. She said the others didn't taste good and these are the right ones to use. They were a lot cheaper too! I thanked her and felt blessed by what she taught me. We actually didn't like the egg roll ones quite as much as the other ones but the price made them taste better! And we roll the cream cheese wontons up just like the egg rolls. I'm sure the Laotian lady would be appalled at how we Americanize their food!

Well, that's it for today. I need to get working on the projects I want to get done before spring! Remember that God loves each of you and cares about you! Looking forward to the day when we can see His face! 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone! Hosanna did the light painting heart in the picture above and I thought it was too nice to leave in the picture file!

We are still alive even though I haven't posted for a long, long time. Basically, I've been hibernation mode! With how cold this winter has been, I have been working on all my inside projects, like maze stuff, VBS stuff, house stuff, and things that I do not want to do when it gets nice outside. 

So, everyone have a good day remembering how much God loves us and how He sent his Son to die for us because of that great love!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas!

We didn't get a lot of cards mailed out this year, but we still want to wish you all a Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Eve

If you want something really special to do this Christmas, come on out to our church's Christmas Eve program! We would love to have you come!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas - So Far

We had the joy of attending Pastor Aaron and Naomi's church's Christmas program last night. It was so sweet! Yes, I'm a little prejudiced!

Little Aaron in the front middle made me smile so big! He knew so many of the words and was so fun to watch as were his sisters!. I can't help but think God must be pretty pleased to see children singing praises about him and to see them acting out his birth! Even at their young age, they bring glory to God and share His story with others.

My mom holding little Malachi.

Our church program isn't until the 24th but if you want to see Arthur play the part of Gabriel, please come! I got a chance to watch the dress rehearsal this week and it is going to be a really touching program that you won't want to miss. 7:00 pm on the 24th.

We had our family Christmas on Saturday since a few of the "kids" will be leaving for other family events elsewhere in the country. Arthur entertained the children with the story of the nine hats since waiting to open gifts was just about too much for them!

Sitting around listening to Arthur share a few words about Christmas.

Aaron and Naomi and Aimee and Isaac.

Karen helping Christy open her stocking. She really got into it!

Even Heidi picked up the idea that it was fun pulling things out of a stocking. The things in the stockings went straight into bags so they could take the bags home.

Have you ever seen anyone get excited about opening a toothbrush?!  Well, Samuel did!

I'm so thankful for the girls who helped me get our brunch ready that day and then for the married girls to bring afternoon snacks along. It was a super fun day together. This week we get together with my side of the family and next week with Arthur's.

Meanwhile, I just ordered Christmas cards so if you're wondering where yours is, I won't get them mailed for a while yet. :(

Have a wonderful Christmas, everyone, enjoying the birth of our Savior!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Decorating the House

I'm not sure what it is that is making us all eager for Christmas this year, but we couldn't wait to start decorating.  Maybe its the fact that the long fall is over, or maybe its because Arthur and Eli headed to the auction for the day to sell off our beef calves for the year, or maybe its just the thought of all the people that will be coming through our door in the next four weeks! Whatever the reason, we had a lot of fun today! We got a new fake tree this year.  It looks so "perfect" after having real trees for a few years! I like to put all my favorites on, the poinsettias and snowflakes, bulbs and sparkles, and then fill it in with treasured ornaments. That includes a variety of cow ornaments that the grandkids love finding!

Above the bookshelves in our living room I put the family picture the girls got us last year for Christmas along with garland and lights.

The buffet got a more woodland look with an adorable reindeer and the two trees. I'm pretty happy with the trees. They took all of about 15 minutes to make! We'll see how long the bowl of Hershey kisses last!

Miriam put up the giant snowflakes and garland on the kitchen shelf.

Hosanna put up our Bethlehem village on the piano.

Priscilla always sets the village up in the china cabinet. The kids love seeing who can find certain things first, as we ask "Where's the cat?" kind of questions. 

And then there was little Heidi who joined us today. She loved the lights!

Okay, I know that's a lot of decorations, and we haven't done our bedrooms yet. I get it from my mom who faithfully decorated our house from top to bottom each year growing up, as did her mom. It's just in my blood and brings back so many good memories!

My favorite thing about Christmas though, is not only how people tend to put aside the problems of the world, or the special times with family, but the real reason for the season - Baby Jesus! Most of the year people just forget Jesus even came, but Christmas is such a good reminder that we have a Savior that was born about 2,000 years ago, and is still alive today! I know December 25th isn't the exact date of Jesus' birthday, but does it even matter? I'm just so thankful for another day to remind me to be thankful for Him and what He's done for me.

Have a wonderful time remembering the real reason for the season as you decorate your home this Christmas!