Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Wedding, The Children

The four little grandsons welcomed a new brother this month!  What a little blessing!! Mama and baby are fine!

Right before our BC trip, we headed south to go to our niece's wedding. What a sweet couple that God has led together!

As with all weddings, there are parents to leave behind.  However, when you know a child is marrying the right one, there is so much joy as well!

Another picture of the new little guy getting some love from big sister! She is going to be such a good little mama's helper someday and already has that "I love babies" attitude.  It's so sweet!

While we were gone, our girls babysat some, most, of the grandchildren. The girls enjoyed playing dress up for a tea party and dug out Priscilla's old Indian dresses that she lived in.  These girls bring so much joy and laughter wherever they go!

When we arrived home from our trip and opened the door, this is what we saw! Most came running and gave us hugs like we had been gone for a long time :) It was a busy week for the girls, but oh, the fun the cousins had!! It reminds me so much of the fun my sisters and I had with our cousins, and the fun our children have had with their cousins.  Such a special relationship God created!

Since then, a couple of us have had the flu, and so we've made it a quiet week to avoid passing germs around. May God bless you all give you a quiet and healthy weekend! (Unless you don't want it quiet of course!)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

NAFDMA - North American Farm Direct Marketing Association - Conference

This post actually starts back at Christmas when our children went together and gave us a vacation package to British Columbia! They knew we wanted to go there, but they didn't all know why, the NAFDMA conference! I've always wanted to go to the conference because its where the corn maze people go, also greenhouses, bee farms, farm market people, etc. People who work with people on the farm. Anyway, we were excited this week to head out to beautiful British Columbia. We flew out of Winnipeg, since it's the nearest big airport, and flew to Vancouver. The conference itself was in Abbotsford, close to Vancouver. There were lots of great workshops and then one day we took tour buses to different field locations. I went on the bus that visited the BC Department of Agriculture Ag in the Classroom program, a honeybee farm, a corn maze, and a greenhouse. Arthur's bus visited a dairy farm, chicken farm, and farmer's market. This is the Ag in the Classroom staff member showing us how they do their school tours. 

We went around in our BC tour buses.

The Honeybee Centre and their "Beestro".

The owner showed us their education center and bee harvesting room. They also had a really nice honey gift shop with everything you can imagine having to do with honey. The honey I bought was in too big of a jar and was confiscated at the airport :(  So was the tiny knife I always keep in my purse that has been there so long I forgot about. Very embarrassing getting "special" treatment! For some reason I kept the machine buzzing as I went through it :( Anyway, this man provides bee supplies for movies that need bee related things in Canada. 

I donned the bee hat. I think it was on backwards or something. I could see out just fine but the picture doesn't show it. Anyway, it was one of the only pictures I got to prove I was there!

We visited the Chilliwack Corn Maze. Of course the corn isn't actually there but they had a bunch of things to show us, including their indoor square bale maze.

Their sign showing what they have during maze season. We also visited another maze where we were served a barbeque meal. They had a neat fort, mini train, and haunted maze.

One of the speakers was one of Canada's most popular gardening experts. He was really good, and we got a chance to visit his greenhouse. I should say green houses as there were a number of them. I especially enjoyed seeing GREEN!!  How nice after months of white!

I found this groomed tree in the shape of a cactus to be pretty neat.  It had a nice price tag on it too so I didn't bring it home :) This really would've sent a flag up at customs!!

So we had a wonderful trip! The food at the convention was fantastic as were the meals Arthur and I ate out. Our hotel was nice and we even had the pool to ourselves during the week. We met a lot of fellow maze people and farmers from all over North America so there was much we all had in common. There were vendors with their displays of things to use at mazes and we came home with way more ideas than we can ever use.  As much fun as we had, home is wonderful! I can't thank our children enough for giving us the chance to do something we have talked about for years!

Meanwhile at home... You'll have to wait for another day to hear about that!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Why Christians Should Vote...

Why Christians Should Vote for Ted Cruz 
(An article reprinted from and written by Joshua Bontrager. We met this family at the National Bible Bee and he won 4th place in the Senior Division. Used with his permission.)

We stand at a critical time in American history. After seven years of our current administration, the American people people are tired of the liberal policies of Barack Obama. They are tired of an overreaching federal government which has trampled on our God-given rights, ignored the Constitution, and greatly restricted the freedom of the American people. After experiencing the disastrous effects of Obama's policies, we may be tempted to believe that all of our problems in government will be solved if we just elect another Republican to the White House. However, we must all understand that it is not enough to simply to put any Republican in the Oval Office. In this time of crisis, it is vitally important that we elect a Republican who truly shares our values and who will fight our enemies in both political parties. I believe that of all the candidates running in this election cycle, Ted Cruz is the best equipped one of them all to take our country back to the conservative policies of Ronald Reagan. Here are several reasons why I believe you should consider voting for Ted Cruz in the up-coming Iowa Caucuses.

First, Ted Cruz understands and follows the Constitution. Although our current President has largely ignored the Constitution, Ted Cruz firmly believes that the Constitution is the standard to which American Government must adhere to. From a young age, Cruz memorized the United States Constitution, and studied it intensely. In addition to thoroughly understanding the Constitution, Ted Cruz has fought tirelessly to defend the same Constitutional rights he so firmly espouses. As a lawyer in private practice, and as Solicitor General of Texas, Cruz passionately defended our constitutional rights, including religious liberty, United States sovereignty, and the right to bear arms. I challenge you to find another candidate who understands, believes, and and follows the Constitution to the extent that Ted Cruz does.

Second, Cruz is a proven conservative with a consistent record. The term “conservative” is one of the most mis-used and abused terms in American politics today. If you were to ask any of the Republican candidates running for President if they are a “conservative,” they would most likely respond in the affirmative. However, true conservatism in a candidate must be judged, not by words, but by actions. I believe that Ted Cruz stands apart from other “campaign conservatives,” because unlike many candidates who say when thing while on the campaign trail but do another once elected, Ted Cruz actually keeps his promises. When Ted Cruz campaigned for the Senate in Texas, he promised the Texan people that he would fight their fights, and stand up for their values. Since taking office in the Senate, Ted Cruz has done exactly that. He has not compromised but instead has led the fight to repeal Obamacare, helped lead the fight against amnesty, and has stood up against the cronyism present in both political parties.

Third, he is the only candidate running who has been willing to stand up to the leadership of his own party time after time. In the Senate, Ted Cruz has been willing to fight for our values and to boldly stand up to not only the Democrats but to his fellow Republicans as well. In February of 2013, President Obama wanted Congress to raise the debt ceiling, so he could continue his irresponsible spending. After the bill to raise the debt-ceiling passed the House, the measure was introduced to the Senate for consideration. Under ordinary Senate rules, raising the debt ceiling required a minimum of 60 votes, unless all 100 senators agreed to change the rules to allow a simple majority vote. Shockingly, the Republican leadership urged all 45 Republican senators to unanimously consent to change the rules to allow a simple majority vote. If all 45 Republican senators unanimously consented with the 55 Democrat senators to change the rules to allow a simple majority vote, then the Republican Senators could all go home and tell their constituents that they had fought to stop the debt-ceiling increase, but had failed. When the Republican leadership pressed the 45 Republican Senators to simply go along, only Ted Cruz, along with Mike Lee, stood up in demanding a 60-vote threshold. The Republican leadership was infuriated that Cruz would not allow them to dishonestly mislead their constituents. When the Republican leadership could not change the rules by unanimous consent, 12 Republican Senators joined the Democrats in passing the debt ceiling increase. Although our own public officials have so often betrayed us, Ted Cruz has kept the promises he made to the Texans who voted him for Senator. When you vote for Ted Cruz, you can rest assured that he will keep his word. In Ted Cruz we have a candidate who is more than a career politician, because Cruz is a trusted statesman committed to the cause of liberty.

Fourth, I believe that Ted Cruz is the candidate with the best chance at defeating the Democrat nominee in the fall. Some would argue that a consistent conservative cannot win a general election, so therefore we must settle for a more moderate candidate. Let me simply respond to these skeptics by asking, “Where are Presidents Dole, McCain, and Romney?” Why did they not win against Democrat candidates? Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney all won their party's nomination, yet failed to win in the general election because they refused to stand by principle, instead watering down their message in an attempt to attract voters from the other side. I believe that we will only win elections when we draw a stark contrast between conservatism and liberalism. We will win when we stand by our principles, not when we abandon them. Cruz himself has said that we need to “nominate a candidate who is as committed to conservative principles as Barack Obama is to liberal principles.” I believe that Ted Cruz would be a strong general election candidate who would attract voters in two ways. First, Cruz would motivate the conservative base to turn out in greater numbers. He would attract evangelicals and disaffected conservatives who stayed home in previous elections because they were reluctant to support a Republican they felt did not truly share their values. Secondly, I believe that Cruz would attract Democrat voters who are tired of career politicians who just play politics rather than standing by principle.

The American people are ready for a President who speaks the truth and keeps his word. I believe that Cruz will attract voters who see in Ted a candidate they can trust to do exactly what he says. Ted Cruz can connect with voters because Ted Cruz has the unique ability to communicate the conservative message with clarity and boldness. But there is one more important thing to mention about Senator Cruz. He is a former Princeton debate champ! When he hits the stage to debate, truth goes forth in a clear and concise message. If we nominate a committed conservative like Ted Cruz who will stand for principle and expose the lies of the left, this is how we will win in 2016.

Fifth, Ted Cruz is a born-again Christian who loves the Lord and is not ashamed of his faith. Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice but when the wicked rule, the people mourn.” Our country's greatest problem is not the economy, the military, the national debt, or the liberal agenda of the left. Our nation's problems all stem from our nation's greatest sin, the sin of forgetting God. Jonah chapter 3 describes the repentance of Nineveh, a national repentance that began with the king of Nineveh, who first humbled himself, and then called Nineveh to repent. In like manner, we need as President a man who recognizes our nation's sin against Almighty God and who calls for national repentance and a returning to the Lord. We need more than a candidate who promises to “make America great again;” we need a candidate who will lead the nation in righteousness. Ted Cruz has said that “any President who does not begin every day on his knees is not fit to be commander-in-chief of this country.” This is the type of man we need as our next President.

As conservatives, we must remain divided no more, but we must coalesce around a candidate who fights for our fights and share our values. This may be our best chance in a long time to elect a committed conservative to the White House. If you believe in the Constitution, Biblical values, and limited government, then Ted Cruz is your man. If you believe that America is still worth fighting for, I encourage you to get out in the primaries and cast your ballot for Ted Cruz. Join the movement of courageous conservatives, and together we can take this country back and once again reignite the promise of America. To learn more, go to

{Article written by Joshua Bontrager}

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is He Okay?

Well, that's what the kids are wondering.  I mentioned after Christmas how blah the house looked without the lights and all. I told Arthur about a picture I saw where the lady decorated with the boxes from the candy her husband gave her each Valentine's Day.  Honestly, I wasn't hinting!!  I thought I might pick up a couple of pretty boxes to put on the shelf.  Anyway, Arthur has been showing up with a new box every couple of days!  They are everywhere in our house!

So yes, the kids were wondering if Arthur was okay.  It's just not the norm for him to buy candy!!  Isn't he sweet?!!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Manure Spreader / New Blog

Every once in a while, the twine gets built up on the manure spreader, and stuff gets frozen on.  Well, Arthur usually starts it on fire and lets it burn off while he spreads manure in the field.  It looks pretty neat because he leaves fire all along the ground when he's spreading it on the corn maze field. I'm sure the neighbors that drive by wonder what's going on!  Arthur thought you might enjoy seeing this.

Priscilla would want you to know that she started her own blog: You will enjoy looking at that!

Yes, I know I've been slow at blogging.  While we are quite busy, there doesn't seem to be any specific things to blog about.  I'll try to do better!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Christmas 2015

I finally feel like I have time to do a little blog writing.  It's been a very busy Christmas, but probably one of the best Christmas's we've ever had.  Our first get-together was my side of the family.  This is a picture of my sisters and my dad and mom.  We haven't taken a picture like this since I was a little girl so it's kinda special to me.

Then we got a big family picture which we haven't done since Amos was a baby.

At our house we took the annual girls photo.  Such lovely and godly young ladies!  I so appreciate them!! 

We had our family Christmas with the married children and their children.  Arthur kept them entertained giving sled rides.

We gave Anna and Esther each a doll for Christmas with nighties.  It was fun seeing how excited they were and how they quickly went to go try them on and put the matching ones on the dolls.  They wore them the rest of the day.

Arthur got a new "toy". A small tractor for maze work.  Another new way to give sled rides without the sore muscles! The boys loved it when Arthur got stuck trying to go through the deep snow.  It's certainly not a snowcat!

Maybe it was the nice weather or something, but Arthur decided he wanted lights on the house and so he and Miriam headed out and had it all done in about an hour.

I had my 50th birthday on the 27th followed by our anniversary on January 1st.  Arthur bought me this gorgeous bouquet of roses for our anniversary and gave me a nice Canon 5t camera for Christmas.  Finally, nice pictures and not blurry ones!   
We got a picture of our seven daughters! 

Finally we had Arthur's side of the family get-together.  The girls always enjoy having sleepovers together and we also had a family wedding shower for Hannah.

So, after all that, including things going on at church, we can finally sit back, and look at another year.  We did not send out Christmas cards this year as some of you might have noticed.  I was just feeling a little overwhelmed with the steady go, go, go pace we keep.  Last year was actually one of our harder years with a lot of pressures on all sides.  I'm praying that this year, even if it is another one full of pressure, that we will rely even more on God's promises and enjoy the peace that only He can bring.

Have a wonderful week and may you enjoy God's blessings in abundance this year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Little Angels

We sure enjoyed going to Aaron and Naomi's Christmas program last night.  I'm not sure what Anna is doing during this Away in a Manger song :) Guess she's already onto the stars part!

Anyway, I think these are some pretty cute little angels!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Party

It was Priscilla turn to host the yearly "Girl's Christmas Party".  They had fun playing Human Clue, singing carols, reading scripture together, exchanging gifts, and of course, eating. From a mom's point of view, I am so glad my daughters have so many good and godly girls to be friends with.  Thank you girls!

Some of you have seen this, but we are redoing the boys room into a guest room and found this cool flower print linoleum
"rug" as its called, under the old carpet.  As far as I could research, its from the 40's.  Anyway, we covered it up with some carpet that I found on a good deal.  And now, I am adding the finishing touches to make it feel a little more comfy. (That's not my foot ;)

Otherwise -

Arthur is busy adjusting to milking cows again full time.  Amos got a job at Marvin Windows and he had been doing the bulk of the milking earlier.  So now, in addition to Arthur's 60 - 80 hours a week of work, he now milks cows.  I think it might be a long winter! Thankfully, the girls, as well as Mathias and Sarah, and sometimes the sons, have been helping out when they can.

No, we did not get Christmas cards out this year so we haven't forgotten anyone.  Merry Christmas anyway!  Maybe next year!  Sometimes there just isn't time ;(

Priscilla is back to her writing after the Bible Bee break.

Miriam and Hosanna have been doing some Christmas baking and wrapped all my gifts. I'm afraid that's one job I don't really care for so I'm thrilled to turn it over! They also continue to volunteer at the Senior Living Center and deliver Meals-on-Wheels.

We have a bunch of snow now, and so we look forward to Christmas and the celebrating of our Savior's birth!