October 31, 2006

I wrote this last night….so the countdown is 6 days now, not 7. :-P We're also not as Keswick anymore....


Day: Monday
Time: 6:48pm
HOME countdown: 7 days
Place: America’s Keswick, Whiting, NJ

I’ll pick up with last week……

Wednesday night we sang in West Hopewell, VA at a larger sized Presbyterian church. That went pretty well. It’s an adjustment coming back to the quiet north after being in the warm and outgoing south.

They had a nice big sanctuary. I like playing in bouncy rooms. :-D

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The emcee ‘interviewed’ Daniel and Nathan publicly in between our singing. LOL. I don’t remember any good quotes but, the boys were cute. :-)

We headed over to Dover, DE Thursday and spent the night at Wal-Mart. What frustrates me is when my computer says there is unsecured WiFi and it doesn’t work!! This happened to me Friday night at Wal-Mart. (It’s happening here at Keswick too. : p )

We sang at our normal place in Dover, Modern Maturity Center on Friday. There must have been 600 seniors there, making it the largest audience we’ve sung for on this trip. :-)

After we stopped on that dark and rainy night at the Flying J we traveled up to park in the driveway of our friends in Mantua, NJ.

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The rain on the windshield was interesting…..

We stayed Saturday and practiced some new brass arrangements in the church. *Ehem* I’m sure glad there wasn’t anyone else around. LOL. I did awful…. The Sunday School rooms were great for individual practice.

That night Pastor Rich and Naomi took us out to Old Country Buffet. The food was delicious and the restaurant was crowded! There were people everywhere. Half the fun was dodging the people on the way over to the buffet tables. : D

On Sunday we sang twice. See Bonnie’s blog for locations.

When the Kochers walked into the church Sunday afternoon it was like dejavu all over again! Wow….memories! We had food, fellowship and music at their house after church. FuN! That kitchen sink brought back memories too…hehe…..I did have much time to think aboub it since the boys washed the dished for the ladies that night. :-)

We actually said goodbye and goodnight at a decent hour and marched out to the bus. :-)

A house at night. Anyone want to guess whos house this is?!

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This morning we left and went to Toms River, NJ. We sang for a banquet at Holiday Inn. I’d never been to Holiday Inn before. We arrived at 11:00 am and set up. We had until 12:45pm to get ready to sing. When we went in at quarter to one they weren’t ready for us. Apparently the meal was taking longer than they thought. :-/ So, we sat and stood around in the hallway for a loong time. It was boring so we took pictures to amuse ourselves.

Peter….. posing at the sign in table out side the ‘grand ballroom‘…supposedly signing an important document. :-)

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Pretty marble floors. :-)

Bonnie’s trying to be serious. We took a lot because she kept smiling!

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Bonnie in the big ole chair…

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Getting ready to go in…YAY!

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The concert went really well, except when Hannah’s violin string detuned all the way, she just kept going! Oh and they fed us afterward. Well worth the wait. :-)

The boys were boys and got tired of using their napkins in the traditional way. Thankfully everyone else in the room had left at this point!

Behold the masked boys!

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One more thing…this evening someone over heard Peter saying; “Aren’t popsicles vegetables?” For some reason that made me laugh. Yup. Tired and ready to go home. :-)

October 29, 2006

Bonnie blogged. I'm too tired to write more about today and last week. :-P Here are some pictures though...

This is proof that when I start snapping my siblings hide!
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This is a very large peach we saw in Georgia.
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Impressive, eh?

And this is what happened when I got bored the other day...(I know, it's impossible to get bored on a bus with 10 other people all sitting within 2 inches of you...)

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October 26, 2006

I had a real hard time finding wireless this week so this update is VERY late. :-P


Singing, horses, symphony hall and new friends…

Psalm 63:7b …I will sing in the shadow of Your wings.

2 weeks and counting until we go home! I love traveling but I start thinking about home after a while…. we’ve been very busy this past week. Stressful at times though. Romans 8:28 is so true. Trials are not pleasant at the time but they make you grow so much. Doesn’t the first chapter of James talk about persevering through trials?

On this trip I’m learning to trust God with my life more and more. Giving myself to Him fully and listening to the still small voice so when I have to make life changing (and even not so life changing!) decisions I will be able to hear His voice and respond. I want to be sensitive the Holy Spirit and His leading always.

The colds are winding down for most of the people who got them at the beginning of the week. Papa is doing ok, still not very good but better than before. I’m still dealing with the cold I came down with on Wednesday. I stopped talking for a few hours because my throat hurt so bad. Ugh. Things can only get better from here, right?! ;-)


Before I jump into what happened from Wednesday on…here are a few more pictures from earlier this week.

Sunday morning. (Thank you Mr. Van Horn for taking pictures.)
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A human pyramid.
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We enjoyed the generous hospitality of the Overholt family Monday and Tuesday. We visited the Randolph’s farm on Tuesday night. We had a nice time visiting and seeing all their unique animals, including miniature ponies and one very very large black pig. : D

They played the ’ugliest creature in the world’ joke on Bonnie.

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Bonnie and Jonny shared a roasted worm with Matthew looking on. ICK! LOL : D Bonnie said it was gritty and Jonny said it was cold in the middle. *gag*

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Playing with sparklers at the Randolphs.

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Jordan set off a whole bunch of fireworks….it was like the 4th of July. : D

Wednesday afternoon we traveled over to the Van Horn’s house and dropped off the trailer. They started teaching us to ride horses before we and headed over to set up for our concert that night in Franklin, KY.

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We had several people, who had heard us in different locations, come and hear us again that night! Some of them brought new people with them. I nearly poked Bonnie’s eye out with my fiddle bow that night and Bonnie dropped her pick in the middle of a song. Both incidents were captured on a video recording which we do not have at this time but hope to obtain soon. : D

We went over to the Van Horns after and ate ice cream and played Dutch Blitz. : D

We went riding again on Thursday even though the weather looked threatening. :-P We did go in after it started raining. I wasn’t really interested in horses or riding before, probably due to previous experience with riding bareback, but, this time it was really fun! Vicky and Becca made it seem so easy and do-able. If any of y’all need riding lessons and you’re in Franklin, KY ask us for their number.

Thursday afternoon one of the Van Horns invited Mom and I to attend the Nashville Symphony Orchestra concert with them that evening at their new concert hall in Nashville.

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The view of the “Batman” building across the way.

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The concert was INCREDIABLE! They don’t allow pictures taken in the concert hall or else I would have taken lots. The closest I’d previously come to hearing a orchestra was at Bonnie’s district meet - high school level - but this was a REAL concert, as classical as they come. :-) They did one new classical dance piece which was ok. The atmosphere was just so neat! They could have been playing Mary Had a Little Lamb and it would have been great. (For some reason I can’t quite imagine them doing that in tuxedos …possible I suppose….lol) The second piece was Mozart’s violin Concerto No. 5 in A, very nice, just a little repetitive. At intermission. we walked around the brand new building and took pictures. Before and after the concert started we looked at the plaques listing the people who have made one million dollar donations….quite interesting! We counted 36 one million dollar donors. :-o

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Mom got a tickle in her throat right as we got back to our seats and she ran out to find some water. We didn’t think she’d make it back in time but she did! (They don’t let you in during the middle of a piece.) The last piece was by Sibelius Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 43. Oh wow. It was so pretty! (He wrote “Be Still My Soul” BTW.) There was one lady in the front row playing second violin and the expressions and emotion you could see on her face were so interesting. You could tell this piece meant a lot to her. She was practically crying for some of it. I started wondering, what do people think while they are playing? The lady next to her seemed totally unaffected. Are they totally engrossed in the technical side that they forget everything else or do they think about everyday normal things? How much emotion is involved when you‘re a ‘professional?’ Is it just a job? Does your mind have to ‘be there’ all the time to play well?

Anyway, we sat third row from the very front in the center aisle on the right. Sweetness. :-)

We made it home in one piece through the rainy mess in Nashville to find everyone had waited up for us! It was quite late by then, something like 11:30 pm. :-P :-) They wanted to see the few pictures we got and the scoop about the frustrating parking lot fee machine that kept eating money and how debit cards can save the day, or evening as it twas. :-P

We went riding again on Thursday. :-) Bonnie told you about the bucking that happen to her. Bonnie was so calm, it was amazing! My horse for the day, Lightning, kept wanting to stop and eat on the trail ride but he was sweet and easy to get along with for the most part. It’s amazing how horses have such personalities. Kinda like people. :-p

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We taught the Van Horns how to play cups Friday night. :-) It got VERY noisy!

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I did a photo shoot with Joshua’s new nameless, as of Saturday, puppy. This is of my favorite shots.

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J.B. and Hannah

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Rebecca did some tricks for us on Alfalfa before we said goodbye.

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Goodbye Kentucky….

We sang Sunday morning and night in Jasper, AL. Poor Vincent woke up with a raging headache and threw up about 5 minutes before the concert. :-( He felt better by the middle of the concert, thankfully! The morning church had such a big spread for lunch. They had a whole separate room from desserts!! The night service went well except for when I got a tickle in my throat and I couldn’t sing or talk for about 30 seconds. :-P That was embarrassing! Lol The tickle feeling didn’t last for but for two songs, thankfully!

The Overholts traveled all the way down from KY and brought a friend from AL with them for Sunday night. We said goodbye to them after a late supper out at Wendy's. :-) We’re so grateful the Lord directed us to Kentucky. We’ve had so many growing experiences here and have been able to get to know our new friends. (Of course we are sad we had to miss seeing all our friends in CA, OK, MT, and TX!) The Lord knows all things and we’re trusting the Lord to direct our steps in the future.

Monday, the 23rd, we traveled down through Alabama to Lanett. We visited with the guitar player of Three Pines, his wife and the pastor over hamburgers and ribs. After we headed over to the church and met the Godins! We haven’t seen them in AGES! Ok, well, a year and a half. It was nice to see them again! We did our concert, did a few numbers with them and sat back and listened to them play. It’s really a treat to sit back and listen to others minister! J We jammed for a bit and packed up and THEN we taught them how to play Dutch Blitz. : D God bless you guys and keep on singing for Him. :-)

The Godin Family in concert at Three Pines…

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Kim, Kris and Mrs. G.

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Wow..this is a long update….:-)

If you’ve read all this you should get a medal!

October 16, 2006

Bonnie said we’ve sung 10 times in 9 days. God certainly is faithful. Saturday afternoon/night I was feeling strangely exhausted. I was sure I was catching Hannah’s cold or the other sickness that was floating around. Save for Bonnie and Nathan we’re all feeling under the weather. Perhaps we caught something singing out doors in 32 degree weather? That was interesting and an experience I would not like to repeat in the near future.

So what have we been doing besides singing? On Monday we visited Mammoth Cave National Park which has the longest cave ever discovered! It was remarkable! I’ve never really been in a cave before so this was so different than the norm sightseeing trip. We only went through ¼ mile of it. The temperature was 55 degrees and it stays like that year round. They turned the lights out for a minute or two. It was sooo very dark!! You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. It gives me a huge respect for spelunkers!! And, no, I’m not considering a career in spelunking I just respect those who do.

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The ceiling….
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I was not very good at getting pictures in the low lighting so I've not posted a lot of the pictures...:-P

Bonnie and I have been buying fabric from our new very favorite store called Whittle. You know how guys like tool stores? Well, Whittle is the tool store equivalent for females, only we’re shopping for fabric not tools. : D

Before our final goodbye to the Myers we started arm wrestling…after several games of Dutch Blitz of course. 

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The house is progressing nicely…
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(Reply to Mandy - Yes, it is on the same street.)

We have been playing a lot of volleyball. I’m so spoiled after playing in a gym. :-P No wind, sun, uneven surfaces…ahhh. We played until 12:30am one morning…:-o

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Until next time….

P.S. Sorry about the uneven picture sizes! :-P

October 11, 2006

Last night my family went to jail. Thankfully, they let us back out again. :-)

It was a very low security jail, no barbed wire, no metal detectors, at least not that we had to go through.. We unloaded our equipment at the door and waited to be brought into the ‘courtyard’, supposedly outdoors. Wow. It was a cement box with screen on the top It sure helps you appreciate your own freedom more when you see how these men live

I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’d been warned this could be an extremely rude audience. When all 18 of them filed in wearing orange I started getting nervous. I asked the Lord for help and He gave me a peace. Turns out they all were very polite and appreciative. And miracles of miracles, Vincent actually volunteered to speak!! I was so happy! He gave a Ray Comfort style message talking about the law and that none of us have kept the 10 commandments and we are all guilty of sin and God will judge us accordingly. He used the illustration that in civil law you might be able to get away with some things but God sees all things, even what you think. But some of you are saying ‘but God is a forgiving God, He’ll just forgive me.’ The only way to be forgiven is through Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in HiM should not perish but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16 NIV

The jail allowed us to give cds to be held for the prisoners to be given to them upon release.

It certainly was an experience I won’t forget for a very long time…an excellent reminder to pray for those in prison.

Edit: We went back to jail tonight. :) I don’t have time to respond to comments tonight….we’re in the middle of Dutch Blitz and we're suppose to be in bed in about 2 minutes. : D Our last night... :(

October 10, 2006

What an eventful weekend! I said something about it going to be a busy Sunday in my last post. It sure was that, and tiring!

I’ll pick up again on Sunday morning….

We left the Overholts and headed over to Bowling Green, Kentucky. The pastor let us in and Mr. Overholt helped us unload. We were about done with our sound check when little Ethan O. got his finger caught in the van door hinge! The took him to the hospital and got 6 or 7 stitches. Poor little guy! He was such a trooper and by the night service he was showing off his bandage. Keep him in prayer if you think of him.

The service was so awesome that morning. The presence of the Lord was so strong and sweet. As one of the songs we sing says ’All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down.’ How true that is. We can sing until we’re blue in the face and say everything we know to say but unless the Holy Spirit is there we’re helpless to touch lives.

I was struggling with something today connected with this weekend and asking the Lord to keep me from getting discouraged. That struggle combined with being very tried wasn’t a fun combination. My prayer tonight is that the Lord would direct my steps today, tomorrow, the next day, the day after that and forever. The Lord is still working, I’m sure of that. Even if I don’t have all the answers I can trust and rest in Him and in His plan for my life. I’m so thankful for the Word of God and how He directs us to verses and speaks to us through them. The Lord is faithful and He does work through and in all circumstances.

After the service we ate a lovely lunch with the folks from church.
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Don’t you just love group pictures. : D

After church a few of the Vanhorn children road with us over to Ross and Teresa’s house. They just happen to be their neighbors. :-) T&R have a really skinny driveway, trees on both sides, and a cattle guard right at the entrance. I don’t know what we’d do with our dad’s excellent driving/parking skills. :-) T&R fed us a wonderful Italian meal - at our third meal of the day. :-) Bonnie tried out some guitars and we visited with everyone including the long horn cows they keep.

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T cooks like my grandmom. :-)

We had to say goodbye and headed off to Grove City Baptist Church. The Overholts came and again helped us set up. God bless you guys!

We’re were done with our set they asked for two on encores. The pastor then asked us if we would sing on their radio program which was coming on in about 5 minutes and at their Christian school the next morning. (Some of us were totally shocked. :-)) It was funny singing the same songs over again to the ‘same’ audience over. Afterward we all lined up and everyone shook our hands. They invited us out to Denny’s to eat. Our fourth meal of the day didn’t arrive until 10:00pm

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Isn‘t Matthew clever? :-)

Nathan and older (minus parents) stayed up until 12:30am playing volleyball with the Randolph’s and their friend Jessica in the gym we were gong to sing in the next day. The gym was so much fun to play in! No wind, sun, or uneven ground! I was sooo tired though… *yawn* My little birdie alarm clock went off early and I got up at 7:00am. It took me a while to actually wake up; I was so tried still! We sang for about 170 students and teachers. The pastor was there also and invited us back to the church and school again. We lined up again and shook hands with almost all the students. We probably shook more hands that weekend then any other weekend. :-)

We packed up and said goodbye and headed back to E-town to do some building work with the Myers family. Tonight we’re scheduled to sing at “Jonathan’s Jail”. This will be the first time we’ve ever sung in a prison. We’ll let you know how it goes.

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Weekend pictures

Jessica, Bonnie and me after the concert on Monday morning.
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(Hi Jessica!)

I should have blogged this last week - has anyone had squirrel before? They said it tasted like chicken. : P I decided not to have any after I saw all the hair on the meat still.

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The Myers and MacDonald girls right before they left for the Whistle Stop to celebrate Bonnie’s birthday last week.
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Progress on the house we’ve been working on….
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We have more done but I'll save that for another time...

October 07, 2006

We're in Smiths Grove, KY tonight with the Overholts. :) We’ve been playing volleyball, building a porch roof, consuming delicious food, shopping at the BEST fabric store ever and enjoying sweet fellowship.

We did the COOLEST concert ever this morning! And, no, I don't mean awesome or good. : P The concert was at 9am and it was cold. I've been asking, 'Doesn't it ever got cold in Kentucky?' after a few days of 80 temps. Maybe I should have asked since it was a brisk 50 degrees this morning. After a few songs my fingers went numb. About half way through it was uncomfortably cold. I'm sure going to appreciate a warm place to play tomorrow morning and night. I'm glad we did it though.

The moon was so big last night but I didn’t get any good pictures, just bad ones. I did get a couple postable (is that a word?) ones tonight.

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Tomorrow looks like a long day of concerts and visiting folks.

Till next time....