8.31.2013

Labor Day Prep || Family&Friends

This week has been a busy blur of preparations for Labor Day!
Below are a few pictures of a couple of the projects we did with our willing helper friends!

{posted by chelsy}

8.28.2013

Bible Bee Update||Heading to Nationals!!

All day long anticipation has been building in the Bontrager household, as tonight at 6pm the local Bible Bee scores were scheduled to be posted on the Bible Bee website, and we would find out who had advanced to nationals.
As is typical, different people were on various computers and everyone was "haunting" the Bible Bee site, waiting anxiously for the annoucement.
And then it came!!
I am thrilled to announce that my four little brothers are heading to nationals!!
Joshua (senior division)
Denver (junior division)
Taylor (junior division)
Hudson (primary division)
Seems we just can't get away from the "brotherly competition". =) 
Denver & Taylor will be competing against each other!
I am so proud of all of my five siblings (pictured above) who participated in the Bible Bee this year.
They spent a large portion of their summer delving into God's Word and hiding it in their hearts.
In God's sight they are ALL winners for the scripture they have hidden in their hearts!
Congrats also to all of our "Bible Bee friends" who treasure God's word and are committing it to memory!
The boys are excited about seeing some of you at nationals in November!
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-posted by chelsy

Our Life of Late

//A Trip to Indiana for the Cousin's Wedding//
the "little girls"....all dressed up and ready to party at the wedding.
These little ladies had a grand time playing together.  
We enjoyed a lovely taco salad lunch together outside.  
Lynds and I.  
The guys......watching Sherlock Holmes.
Some sort of sibling picture.:)
My darling grandparents walking out hand in hand.
My mother and her siblings (minus the two that weren't there).
[see Chelsy's blog for more photos of the weekend]

//Good Eating//
These tomato/cheese/pesto sandwhiches.......ahhh SO good!  Just take a thin round (or piece) or bread, slather on some fresh pesto, add a few just-from-the-garden tomato slices, top with shredded mozzarella cheese, throw on a little salt and pepper, and broil in the oven till browned.  Best eaten outdoors!

//Hard Work//
We canned salsa on Monday.  I can't believe how blessed I am to work with my favorite people like this.  
beans.......

//A Surprise Birthday Party//
Surprise birthday parties are way too fun, especially when the birthday girl is one of the dearest people in the world and has such a lovely reaction to the surprise.  It was a sweet evening of eating (lots), talking, laughing, singing, and celebrating.

//Bible Bee//
We are so proud of these five for their hard work over the summer.  Last Saturday the big day arrived and they headed out to our local Bible Bee competition.  They were confident and excited.  All of them did well, but we don't know yet how many of them will be going on to nationals.  For now, they're enjoying a few days, at least, of no studying!

[posted by Allison]

8.27.2013

Annoucing New Cd Release!

After over half a year in the making/recording/designing/etc, we are thrilled to announce the release of our latest family recording,
"ALMIGHTY GOD"
This is definitely our favorite family project to date and we are very excited to be able to share it with you!
Visit our store page here to order your copy!

{posted by chelsy}

8.19.2013

Labor Day Update!

 If you were a mouse here on the Bontrager Farm...you would observe that many conversations these days center around all things Labor Day. 
At mealtimes conversation between the "committee" generally goes something like this:
"Did you call the port-a-pot rental place yet? And how many are you getting?"
"How many tables do we have again and how many more should we borrow?"
"Are we doing lemonade this year, or just water?"
"Last year we didn't have enough drinking water available-we need to change that this year."
"What will be do if we run out of parking space?"
"Did you order the ice-cream yet, and how many different flavors are you getting?"
"Make sure to get chocolate." =)
"So..I need a vote if we should have potato chips or dinner rolls?"
"Did someone get the volleyball nets lined up?"
"Is there someone assigned to put up the nets?"
"Did you get 10 roasters lined up to use?"
"Have you made the phone call about those chairs yet?"
and last but not least...
"So...how many pounds of pasta are you going to have to cook to feed 1,000 people?"
=)
These are the ever-pressing questions right now. 
I spend ?? time every day answering emails & phone calls, tallying rsvps, lining up hotels and lodging, and trying to figure out the best and most efficient way to feed 1,000 people.
And on Labor Day we will be here on our farm, hosting people from Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, & Canada.
At times we find ourselves wondering if this thing has grown a little bigger than we can handle; but we have known for years that this is event is about God so we are confident that He will provide all that we need.
Even in the midst of the craziness with everything going on, we are SO. EXCITED.
SO thrilled for this opportunity to meet so many new people.
Thrilled to share the gospel with the unsaved people who are coming.
Thrilled to encourage people about the blessing of children and godly family values.
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Would you, our blog readers, join with us in praying that God would do great and mighty things this year?
Please pray that He would give us wisdom in planning and preparing.
For safety for all the people that are driving and flying in from so far away.
For safety and protection over our farm and everyone here on Labor Day.
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And one last thing: in past years, we have not required rsvp. All people have had to do is just show up!
Due to the much bigger attendance expected this year, it is a little harder to plan for the food unless we know the amount of people coming. 
So for all of you reading this who usually just show up every year
 (and those of you who are coming for the first time)
 would you do me a favor and just drop me a line via email or text (or leave a comment on this post) and let me know how many in your family/group will be attending? 
Also, if you are out-of-state, please let me know what state you are from.
email: info@bontragerfamilysingers.com
phone: #319-325-4974

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All additional information you may need is listed on the brochure below.
{posted by chelsy}

8.16.2013

HOME SWEETEST HOME

We went from our last concert of the trip, in Mildmay, Ontario....
...to our much beloved home sweet home.
our three faithful drivers took turns and drove all through the night so that we could get home as soon as possible Monday morning!
 This is what greeted us upon our arrival home. 
We were pretty much overwhelmed by all the love! There's no place like home, for sure! 
And Iowa friends are pretty amazing too. =)
The following pictures are from our first six hours at home.

{posted by chelsy}

8.12.2013

Sioux Lookout, Ontario

We had one day in Sioux Lookout and we packed it full to the brim of activity!
It started the afternoon before...when we left Dryden and headed for Sioux Lookout.
We were twenty-five minutes down the road when someone very randomly and unexpectedly figured out that we weren't all there. =)
whoops!
Back to Dryden we went to pick up Mitchell.
He is the one who is responsible for role call, btw.
Is it any wonder that he's the one that is constantly getting left behind?
He was a little disappointed to see us because they were just getting ready to fly him up to Sioux Lookout in a float plane. =)
(up in that area, planes are the WAY to travel)
So he missed that plane ride.

We finally arrived at our friends' home in time for supper and a hike up the mountain with their church group.
Standing on the top of Sioux Lookout, singing hymns & praying together....was so incredible.
It seemed like we were on top of the world.
Elizabeth loves meeting little dolls like this one. =)
Monday evening's concert was one of the activities for the town's annual "Blueberry Festival".
Monday morning we went to another event that was part of the festival-the blueberry pancake breakfast.
Rebecca enjoying some stories with our friend.
Our friends in Sioux Lookout have Kalona connections, and we're actually related to them too. 2nd/3rd cousins. 
It was fun to be at this place so far from home where we still recognized like half of the people on their bulletin/picture board. =)
The boys stayed in one of their beautiful cabins, and I did laundry there on Monday.
this was my view, out the big bay window, as I was folding laundry.
pretty incredible, eh?
While I was enjoying the quiet and rest of hanging out in the cabin and doing laundry...
the rest of the family was involved in a variety of adventures elsewhere. =)
Blueberry & raspberry picking, plane rides, boat rides, swimming, fishing, and a yummy lunch kept everyone quite occupied!
Denver was thrilled with his trophy of a fish.
Long story here...=)
But basically all of the doors inside of the bus run on an air power system. 
You push a button, and they atomatically open. Push another button, and they close.
The only thing is that if the bus has been turned off for a long time, and you close the door...the available air pressure is sometimes not enough to open the door again. 
In the above case, Allison was in the lounge at the back of the bus and when she went to go out she discovered that all the pressure was gone and the door wouldn't open.  And the "emergency button" (which would usually allow the door to be manually slid open when you push it) wasn't working, either.
Unfortunately for her everyone else was in the house or down at the lake.
It appears that she thought she was stranded forever so she got rather desperate and attempted an exit via the small window. =)
Thankfully someone came out just as she was beginning her preparations for descent.
They were able to turn on the bus so the air pressure would build up...and the door would open.
great picture, anyhow, even if she didn't actually get to come out that way. =)
the back view of sibling cooperation
Rebecca started playing her violin on stage on this trip with Elizabeth, Allison, & Denver.
 Its been fun to have her addition to the family band! 
And..we have two more new violinists that are set to "debut" in September. 
A summer of hours and hours of practice is paying off and we're excited about some new features and ideas to add to our fall concerts!
Stay tuned...
Hudson & Rebecca with the festival mascot. =)
the beautiful sunset over the lake Sunday night

{posted by chelsy}