Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sister, Sister...

Me and my "little" sister, Savannah!  
(I tried to put her in the slight slope so she wouldn't look that much taller than me, but it didn't really work!  ) 

I love this girl to pieces!  Savannah is such a joy to be around.  She is lighthearted and cheerful and is  one of my very best friends!  Hardworking too, but she always knows how to enjoy whatever she's doing.   It's so much fun when something strikes our funny bones, because neither one of us can control our laughter, so we end up egging each other on, only causing the giggling to increase and the tears to roll!

She is also very understanding and a good listener.  Many a time I can ask her personal opinion on something and know that she will tell me the truth. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12  (KJV)
"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."

 The only thing that would have made this picture better would have been to add Jordan to it! 
 Love you both, Jordan and Savannah!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

More From The Shindig...

Here are a few more photos and a couple of videos from our time at the Shindig...

This video was from the first night of dancing.  The dance was called the Pattycake Polka.  I am in the green shirt and Savannah is in the pink and white striped shirt.

The Waltz...

One of the many square dances....

The following photos are all courtesy of the No Greater Joy Facebook page...

This next picture is of the huge musical chair game that we played.  Savannah and I are in the center of this line, sitting with our friend, Rebekah Stevens!  The girl on the far right was Tatiana Martin.  We had a lovely time talking with her one afternoon.  She will be heading out to Vietnam for one month of mission work starting in October.  Please keep her in your prayers as she prepares for her time there, that the Lord would use her mightily to do His will while she is in Vietnam, and that He would guide and protect her during her time there.

A photo of the adorable children's choir that sang for us on Sunday morning.

I thought that this family was precious.  These were the children who sang scripture passages.  Their parents definitely did a wonderful job teaching them to sing with enthusiasm and to smile while singing.
(If you've never noticed how much better a smile looks on your face than a flat face or a frown, just become a people watcher.  It will turn you into a smiler in no time flat!)

The knife throwing...

One of the talks given by Debbie Pearl, Shalom Brand,  Joshua Steele and Nathan Pearl.  Their stories had us all chuckling!

Hopefully that will give you a bit of a glimpse into our time at the Shindig!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Recent Randominity....

Okay, so "randominity" might not be a word, but it sounds so good that it should be!  This post is going to concentrate on all of the little things that have been going on in our lives.  I'll just lump them all into one post.

We have recently had the blessing of buying a little truck.  It serves well for the pool business and market trips, as well as trips to pick up goats, as it has a hitch!

Noah and I have enjoyed taking it to the market.  It has plenty of space with the bed, but it's small enough that we call it our "Little Zip-Zip" truck, because that's exactly how it seems to drive (remember, I'm only used to driving a large van!).  

Recently we have had some persnickety milking does, so for a joke, I hastily scribbled this and pasted it to the wall in front of their faces when they come in to get milked.  
For those who can't read it, it says:

In regard to selling season, we suggest that you mind you P's and Q's, because once a rash decision is made, it cannot be undone.  Thank you!

It then includes a "Naughty List"

It seems to have made a difference, though, because all of the girls are behaving better!

Chef Brandon from Juniper Restaurant came to the market not too long ago to give a cooking demo.  His samples were delicious and he was kind enough to use our crumbled feta in one of his demonstrations.

Here are some photos of Noah, Ethan and Mist one morning cleaning the pool.

Me and my Border Collie Mist.  She is doing so well.  We have had her now for one whole year and she is doing excellent.  Every time we see her work, she simply amazes us.

A beautiful sky...

Our youngest two baby goats, recently weaned.  They were definitely blessed with spots, which made them instant keepers in Mom's book!

My wonderful grandparents, a legacy of love...

One day, while watching the goats out in the field, I noticed these two odd looking birds walking among the goats.  The milking girls were definitely interested in them as you can tell from the photo below....

Also, our garden grew some very interesting characters this year...such as the long-nosed fellow below.  He was just too cute to resist, so I put some eyes and a mouth on him.

Ain't he cute?!?

Ethan, being Ethan....trying on a wig.  Doesn't he look absolutely groovy?

Here is half of a photo of my niece, Berea, with the booties that Jordan is knitting for her.

Here is a better picture of Berea...she's so adorable!

Here is Victoria, enjoying a day out at the Upper Canada Village.

We love this photo of Victoria.  Such a farm girl.

Here is Gram snuggling with Berea, and both of them fell asleep. : )

Rocking Berea to sleep.  It was such a joy for her and Poppy to be able to travel up to Canada and see Berea when she was only a few weeks old.  With Victoria they had to wait until she was three months old, so this certainly was a thrill for them, with Berea being such a newborn still.

My wonderful parents...

For Noah's birthday, we spent the day at the lake.  Dad grilled out for us a delicious meal of shrimp kabobs.  The weather was wonderful, nice and breezy.  The only downfall was that our suntan lotion didn't work.  So WE GOT BURNT!  Severely burnt.  Like I've never gotten burnt in my life.  Which of course meant peeling.  Thankfully it was almost completely healed by the time we went to the Shindig!

Noah's cake!

The swimmers
The cook...

The food...

The view...

Ethan enjoying a Turkish meal at a nice restaurant.

So hopefully that covers all of the little things that have been going on in our life lately.  One big, giant random post. : )

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Smoky Mountain Shindig

My family and I spent the weekend of September 10th-14th up at Ridgecrest in the mountains of Asheville for the Shindig that No Greater Joy ministries was hosting!  To sum it up, we had a blast!  Here are some pictures to prove it...
Every morning and every night they held sessions in the main auditorium.  Nathan Pearl, Michael Pearl, and Joshua Steele were just a few of the speakers who gave messages from what the Lord had been laying on their hearts.  They spoke the truth, bluntly and strongly, but it was what all of us needed to hear!  One of the breakout session talks given during the weekend was by Kelsie Steele, wife of missionary Joshua Steele.  I have followed their blog for many years now so it was a special blessings for me to be able to not only meet them, but to share a wonderful conversation with her.  She was definitely very encouraging to talk with!

Here is my family waiting for the session to begin...

They also had plenty of entertainment before the sessions which ranged from adorable children singing scripture verses, to large families using their musical talent to glorify the Lord, to the insanely hilarious Soggy Britches Band with their hillbilly music and their "granny" who danced all over the stage!

Then there was the night that Mr. Michael Pearl put on quite a show of his knife throwing and whip-cracking abilities!  He and his son worked perfectly together, even going so far as to have his son catch the knives out of the air as he threw them!  Amazing skill, but slightly nerve-wracking!

This was the view from our room that we stayed in for the Shindig.  The beautiful Smoky Mountains....

The other direction from our lodging...

There was plenty of game time to get to know others at the Shindig and volleyball was just one of the many games going on in the afternoon. 

Ethan particularly enjoyed the volleyball games and we really enjoyed watching him play.  He doesn't get to play it that much, but he held his own in there and played a pretty good game.  Savannah, Noah and myself, on the other hand, were not quite so confident with our volleyball skills to join in the game.  I enjoy playing when it's just family making fun of my skills, I mean, playing with me!  LOL!

Ethan having a good old time!

He moved around so much that I had a hard time getting a good shot of him.  We got a good chuckle out of the way some of the photos turned out!

Other games going on at the same time included Ultimate Frisbee, putt-putt, Frisbee golf, cards, bean-bag toss, and an unusual game of what looked like hot potato with a ball, pictured below!

Mom, Savannah and I were simply enjoying watching...

Dad talking to a dear family friend...

Our family enjoyed two afternoons of playing putt-putt. 
(Or as my dear old brother-in-law would remind me, "Mini Golf"!)

The man lied to me though when he told me that by keeping everyone's scores I could win.  This was not true, to which he replied that I mustn't have kept score correctly!  Wink, wink...
Savannah ended up winning, even sneaking up behind Mom and Dad's score to do so.  My parents were playing so competitively against each other that neither one of them knew Savannah was taking the lead till the end!

Dad signed up to play in a ping-pong tournament one afternoon, so that was quite enjoyable to watch.

It's been about 5 years since he's played, so the challenger beat him, but he had a good time playing.

One evening, right after dinner, we decided to take a trip up to the top of the mountain.  There was supposed to be a really great view up there and we had about an hour to kill before the next session started.  When we were almost to the top it started to rain, so we weren't able to stay up there as long as we would have liked, but it was definitely a spectacular view! 

This sign greeted us upon our arrival:

How fitting!

The view from the top...I wish that I would have taken my camera so that the pictures would have been a better quality, but at least we were able to use Dad's phone to take some.  Better than nothing!

 Looking down at the interstate...

 The storm clouds were gathering...

"Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praises on the harp to our God, who covers the heavens with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow on the mountains."
Psalm 147:7-8

A quick picture of Mom, Dad and Savannah...

and then one of myself, Dad and Savannah.

Just about every day there were musicians playing together in an informal jam session.  It was always delightful to stop by and hear the beautiful harmony of their instruments as they played together.  Most of the young people playing together had never met each other before, let alone played with each other before, which always impresses me that they can simply pick up their instruments and play  so beautifully together, song after song after song!

After the last session every night, we would all split off into groups.  Ethan and Noah went with the 12-17 year old group, while Savannah and I went to the 18 and older, singles group.  Dad and Mom came with us to our group, where Dad was at once assigned to help out with the organizing!  That was right up his alley.

We played a lot of really crazy games each night, including Running Pictionary, Dodgeball, and Musical Chairs just to name a few, as well as some get-to-know-you types of games, like the one where you had to ask someone a given question at your table, get up, run to the next table and ask someone else a new question from that table.  

The pictures below where taken during a game where you had to ask questions of people and when you found someone who fit the question, you'd take a picture of them and move on to the next question.  Below is a picture of our new friend Muarya!

And lo and behold, I even got a pictures of my sister, Savannah, during the game!  She fit the bill for the description of "Someone who exhibits a lot of patience...".  Love you Vanna!

Last, but not least, each night they had dancing.  Square dancing!  And a few waltzes.  The man in the picture below, along with his brother, were patient enough to teach all 200 of us young people the steps to about 5 different dances.  It was not an easy task, but once we all had the hang of it, we didn't look too bad! ; )

 They made sure that the partners kept switching as one dance came to a close and another one started up.  We were all pretty evenly matched up, (it was amazing to see that many young men dancing) but there were about a dozen more girls than guys, so there were a few times when we girls had to grab another girl if we wanted to join in on the dance.

We all had a fun time and even Mom and Dad joined in on one of the dances, a waltz.  We were able to stand by and take a few pictures of them.  It was sweet to watch the two of them together!

Before leaving Asheville, NC we always make it a point to stop at the local pizza joint, My Father's Pizza and Pasta.  So after enjoying a quick lunch there, we headed on home to catch up on some of our farm chores that had been neglected while we were gone.

All in all, we had a lovely long weekend fellowshipping with other believers, relaxing and hanging out together as a family, hearing thought-provoking sermons and messages, and making new friendships.