Memorial Weekend Fun

Making memories on a messy table........yes it's definitely possible!!!! :D Miss Danelda & Liz looking at pictures on Danelda's camera

Miss Marilyn reading to Liz (Marilyn has been our nanny at the prison crusade for the past 2 years so Liz remembered her & her stories very well!! :D)


~This past weekend 2 of Mom's good friends came to visit. They have come nearly every year on Memorial Day for the past ?? number of years, & its always a highlight for all of us when they visit! Mom was in voluntery service with them nearly 20 years ago, and so they have many memories & stories from "the old days" when they worked at the daycare. :D
This year, we all think, was the best year yet!! Ball games, scrap booking/stamping, taking pictures, reading ?? stories, listening to Mom, Danelda, & Marilyn reminisce about their vs days, & laughing & laughing & LAUGHING, were some of the favorite activities. (yes, laughing w/ Danelda & Marilyn IS an activity..:D)

Thank-you, Miss Marilyn & Miss Danelda, for being our "adopted aunts" & for all the special memories!! We love you!!


Happy 13th Birthday, Allison!!

Today, just 13 years ago, a precious, tiny little blessing was born to a little family of Father, Mother, & sister & brother.

In the past 13 years, this tiny blessing has grown to be a not-so-tiny, lively, fun-loving, social, & beautiful young lady!

~ I remember her with her short bobbed hair, dramatic, outgoing personality, & her ability to get to know a total stranger in record time.

~I remember literally rolling on the floor, laughing, with my younger brother, Mitchell, as we huddled outside her bedroom door and listened to her singing & dramatizing some very "original" compositions. :)

~ I remember all those summer days the 3 of us (Mitchell, Allison, & I) spent playing house out in the pasture. Later as all the boys came along, our "pretend" families grew, as well as our creativity! Allison was always right in the middle of things, decorating her "house", and cooking up "scrumptious" fares. What wonders we accomplished with a few sticks, stones, & odds n ends!

~I remember the summer that we remodled our house and we children thought that heaven had moved to our front yard. To our little selves, those piles of dirt seemed like absolute MOUNTAINS, and many afternoons were spent on top of those dirt piles, singing away at the top of our lungs! Allison was our "violinist" and "vocalist", and she just knew that when she "grew up", she wanted to play violin and sing. (Since then, she has "upgraded" from a hairbrush to a real violin, and she now uses a real mic instead of sticks.)

Some of the original quotes from her younger days are:

While sitting by the window, enjoying the scenery, Mom asked Allison (2), who made the grass. She promptly replied, "Grandma".:) Mom told her that God made it . Later Mom asked her who made the trees. Obviously confused, Allison said, "well, let me think...."

"I've never had a lunch as good as this one, except for all your other lunches were as good as this one." confusing....(this was after a yummy picnic lunch in the yard.)

"Well, I'm never gonna have a husband, at least not until I'm older." (Mom was telling Allison that letting Chelsy have her feet on Allison's side of the bed would be good practice for when she had her husband someday. At first Allison said that she would get married when she was 31, then later she changed it to 18.)

And all these things that I remember, seem like they happened just yesturday, and now she's a teenager. How does time go by so fast?

Some things you may not know about Allison are:

1-She absolutely LOVES horses!! (ok, you probably know that!)

2-She wants to be a missionary to India someday.

3-Her favorite colors are blue & pink.

4-Her favorite music group is the Wissmann Family.

5-Her favorite song is "Only Here for a Little While".

6-Her favorite foods are spaghetti & chocolate...not together! :)

7-Her favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5 &6

In the Bontrager family, Allison is the encourager, our nurse, the tender-hearted, compasionate, friendly, outgoing, music-loving, creative, & gentle sister & daughter. Her cheerful spirit & sweet personality make her a joy to be with and to have in our family.

Happy Birthday Allison!! We are so glad that God placed you in our family!

We love you!!

(written by Chelsy)
Allison playing violin at a recital.


Memorable Camping Trip

We were finally packed up and ready to go at 6:45, at least 30 minutes later than we had wanted to go. But this was a beautiful day, we had good food to put over the fire, and everyone was excited about heading back to our camping site (a mile from our farm) for the first time this spring. We had packed supplies for supper, for spending the night , and for breakfast in the morning. Nobody told us we would need plenty of patience and a generous amount of laughter, too!! Carson, Joshua, Denver, and Taylor had gone back 2 hours earlier with the mower & the golf cart to pick up sticks and mow the grass. Allison biked back, Mitchell ran, and that left Marlin, Chelsy, Elizabeth, Hudson, and I to ride in the pickup which was loaded down with everything from pasta salad and brats to pillows and sleeping bags. When we were about 1/8 mile from the campsite our troubles started. I forgot to tell you that we have had an abundance of rain in the past week but the last few days have been dry and sunny so we thought the lane would be dry. Alas, the pickup got stuck so Marlin ran back to the farm to get the uni loader to pull the pickup out of the mud. Unfortunately, that didn't work, and we now had a pickup and a uni loader stuck. So Marlin and Mitchell ran back to the farm again, this time to bring back the tractor & the 4-wheel drive pickup. Finally, a plan that worked! :) While all this was going on, supper was cooked over the fire and the rest of us started to eat while Marlin and the older boys were working in the mud. By the time Marlin finally got to eat supper it was getting dark which meant it was time to put up the tents. Now we had another problem. The little boys had packed what they thought were 2 tents but in fact it was a very small tent and the cover and poles for our large family sized tent. It was dark by the time we got the first tent up so Marlin, Hudson, and I headed back to the house for the night while the girls settled in the small tent and the boys slept under the stars. All in all, it was an event that we will remember for a long time! If you have seen the movie "Facing the Giants" you will remember the phrase "We're gonna praise God when we win and praise God when we lose"! Truly, that applies to everyday life so well. Our camping trip was concluded the next morning with a tasty breakfast of brats and pancakes cooked over the fire and fresh fruit. (In case you weren't counting....we had 6 vehicles back there at one time! No, sorry, we didn't get a photo of all of them lined up.... :) ) And thus ended our first camping trip of "07.
And of course, several photos ..........

The dilemma that comes when tires connect with mud...LOTS of mud. :O Daddy & Hudson enjoy strawberries for breakfast~what a yummy treat!!

Mitchell......the assistant cook for our breakfast.

Family devotions around the fire, with the beauty of God's creation surrounding us.

"My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the tables of thine heart."
Proverbs 7:1-3