Making Donuts

Our traditional "fall/winter donut making party" was very fun and yummy, as always.:)  This year, we planned the party for a day when everyone was off work for the whole day.  I mixed up the donuts in the morning, we fried them in the forenoon, and we played games and consumed a rather vast amount of donuts in the afternoon.:)
Apple cider and milk are our beverages of choice to enjoy with our donuts.
Everyone took turns frying, glazing, or sugaring the donuts.
golden loveliness in the oil!
Donuts are best shared!  
"Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me bless His holy Name.  Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things." Psalm 103: 1 & 5b
Fresh donuts rolled in plenty of powdered sugar.....oh so good!!!
Taylor and Chelsy 
Here is Denver taking a turn at frying.  He didn't burn too many.:)  No seriously, the guys all did a great job helping fry!
This was supposed to be a nice little shot of siblings + donuts, but Denver, ever the photo bomb, added an unexpected twist to the photo.:)
We were just talking recently about being close as a family and what builds that closeness, and one thing we decided has been invaluable in drawing us together is doing things together.  If you want to build a relationship with someone, you must spend time with them.  I'm thankful for all the memories we have made and all the moments that have brought us closer together.  We continue to desire to spend more time together than ever to have the best relationships possible!

-posted by Allison


January 2015 Schedule

 We'd love for you, our blog readers, to join us at one of our upcoming winter tour concerts! This coming month we will be performing in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, & Alabama. (dates below) 
3rd...Streets Gym, Latham, MO, 7pm
4th...Bethel Baptist Church, Sikeston, MO, 10am
4th...Memorial Baptist Church, Murray, KY, 6pm
5th...Old Bethel Baptist Church, Eddyville, KY, 6pm
6th...Glasgow Faith Church, Glasgow, KY, 6pm
7th...Bible Baptist Church (HolidayInn Express), Clinton, TN, 7pm
8th...Heartland Worship Center, Lenoir City, TN, 7pm
10th...Panco Community Church, Oneida, KY, 6pm
11th...First Baptist Church, Pennington Gap, VA, 11am
11th...Friendship Baptist Church, Jonesville, VA, 6pm
14th...Emmanuel Baptist Church, Carthage, NC, 7pm
16th...Smyrna Presbyterian Church, Newberry, SC, 7pm
17th...Reedy Branch Baptist Church, Broxton, GA, 7pm
18th...Westwood Baptist Church, Ambrose, GA, 10:45am
18th...Word of Life, Montezuma, GA, 7pm
21st...Mt Shady Baptist Church, Swainsboro, GA, 7pm
22nd...Living Waters, Waynesboro, GA, 7pm
23rd...Elkdale Baptist Church, Selma, AL, 7pm
24th...East Gadsden United Methodist, East Gadsden, AL, 6pm
25-29th...Renew Hope Prison Crusade, statewide Alabama
30th...New Home Baptist Church, Monroeville, AL, 7pm

We hope to meet some of you along the way!!


Merry Christmas!!

A very merry Christmas from the Bontrager family!!!  
We have been enjoying a quiet Christmas season- savoring the blessings of family, home, food, and, most of all, our precious Savior, Jesus.  He is what we celebrate.
"For unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called 
the Mighty God
  the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."  (Isaiah 9:6)
We are so thankful for Jesus coming.  Because He came, we have abundant life and perfect peace.  In a world of sorrow and sin, He is the only reason for living.  Without Him where would be purpose, direction, a vision for something greater than ourselves?  His salvation is an unspeakable gift! 
-posted by Allison


Gingerbread Houses

Mother decided to have a gingerbread house making party with the littles this year!  We had a lovely time structuring and decorating the little houses.
The crew (sans Mother + me)
candy galore!!!  
Hudson, Javan, and I built a snowy little cabin-with a mint chimney!
Taylor and Liz were having a bit of trouble with their house collapsing, so they called in Carson the architect, and he helped them build a beautiful, sturdy gingerbread mansion.:)
Mother + Rebecca's little cottage
putting on the finishing touches


Thanksgiving with the Bontrager Side

Thanksgiving Day 2014 was spent with our wonderful and loud Bontrager relatives.:)  We missed the ones who couldn't make it, but the 40-something of us who were there had a blast!  
Before we ate dinner, my uncle asked the oldest child in each family to share something they were thankful for.  Guess what this little guy's family said they were thankful for?  A new little one on the way!!!  We love babies and children, and I am so grateful that my grandparents welcomed each little one as a gift.  Because they are gifts, and if my grandparents had "stopped" after six children, which is a "large" family by the world's standards....well, there would have been 11 less people (plus the baby on the way) at our family gathering.  And our family would be short one wonderful set of twins (my dad's two youngest siblings) and two equally wonderful in laws, as well as 7 adorable little cousins with another one on the way.
My grandmother loves her grandbabies!  Above, she is holding her 8th and newest great-grandchild, Asher.
Conversation around the table is always a highlight.  
Grandma's custard pie.....now that's a major highlight!!!
Cousins are the best.  Our cousins are the best.
This is "storytime with the newlyweds"!  (Plus the new Grandpa (Uncle Merle) and grandbaby and Uncle Leon.)  Our good friend, Jacob, recently married our cousin, Dorcas, and they are so sweet together!
We have a big dinner, of course, but in the evening (since we are so full from dinner:) everyone makes their yummiest snack recipes.  By the way, if you have never had ham wrapped pickles, you must try them.
Scattergories, Dutch Blitz, and Take One are favorite Bontrager games.
Oh, and Rook!
It looks like Take One has everyone a little intense here.
"Give thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:20)

-posted by Allison

Live Animal Christmas Play this Weekend!!

Get all the details here! We would LOVE to see some of you readers at the play this weekend! We are so excited about what all God has done in preparing the play this year and we are so excited for the actual show weekend to finally be here!

Even if you aren't able to come..please know that your prayers are very appreciated!
Also, just a reminder that you can order last years' dvd of the play here.

If you do come and we haven't met you yet...be sure to come up afterwards + introduce yourself! Most of our family will be in costume so you might have to watch closely to spot us as we will look a little different from normal! =)

And be sure to come EARLY!! (as in an hour early)
(Our church only seats 600 so if you aren't there early there is a very good chance you will get turned away.)


Christmas Sale!!

We are so excited to announce this new Christmas special going on over at our family website!

We have just released our brand new family dvd, as well as begun selling "Christmas in the Heart", the newest dvd from our church's Live Animal Christmas Play

If you have read our blog for any length of time, then you know that for six months out of each year we travel the US & Canada in our bus, singing + making music wherever we go. Our new DVD is a compilation of some of our favorite songs, as well as bonus features + trailers. 

The other half of the year we spend at home sweet home, and in that time we are so blessed to be actively involved in our incredible church, Marion Avenue Baptist. Every November & December, our church pulls together to prepare + perform the annual Live Animal Christmas Play. The DVD "Christmas in the Heart" is last years' play and includes acting, staging, + effects by the people of our church, including our entire family.

We have a special Christmas sale going on right now featuring these two new products!
Head on over for some Christmas shopping! Sale lasts through December 18th!