Week seven was the first week of our tour that we spent the entire week in the same state-Florida! It was mostly chilly, and we had a very intense schedule of concerts almost every day. The days were filled with the norm-school, projects, and work, and also many special times of being with friends and relatives.
We loved spending time with these favorite little people! Their family are dear friends of ours who moved to Iowa a year ago and just moved back to Florida. We were so sad that they moved away but it was great to be able to spend a little time with them while we were in their area.
Mitchell and Gideon having a chat.
One very fun aspect of our tours is all the connections we make.My parents seem to always meet people they were to Bible School with, or knew growing up, or are related to, or something like that!
Last year my mom was able to meet up with her high school best friend, whom she hadn't seen since their graduation! Her friend came again to one of our concerts this year and mom had a wonderful time with her again.
Singing in Sarasota is always a highlight because of our many many friends and relatives who vacation there. On Monday morning we continued our yearly tradition of breakfast out with Uncle Amos and Aunt Hannah. One of my moms cousins and her family also joined us.
For lunch one day we had a special treat-my moms brother, my cousin, and their employee were traveling through on a filmmaking project, and they stopped in Sarasota to spend a little time with us! We had a delicious picnic lunch in my great-uncles back yard. It was one of the first truly warm days we had on our tour!
One of my personal highlights of the week was getting our family pictures done for our new cd!
I'd been wanting to work with these photographers for a long time, but timing just hadn't worked out. We were down to the wire with needing to get updated family pictures on this tour. On a whim I emailed them and asked if there was any chance they were going to be in the south at all over the winter. And what do you know-they were in Florida over the exact time we were, and even in the very same town that I was hoping to get pictures in, the same weekend we were singing there! I felt like God definitely orchestrated this whole shoot from beginning to the end. Even though I hadn't met them before, I had been following their work for a long time and was very impressed with what I had seen. Meeting them just confirmed that-they were an awesome team and worked so well with each other and with our family. We aren't exactly your typical family (with so many of us and then all of our instruments on top of that!) so anyone that can handle us without getting stressed out gets high marks in my book. =) Our whole family loved the shoot and we are very excited for the pictures to appear on our new album later on this summer!
Siblings-killing time while mom and dad were getting their couple shots done. =)
While in southern Florida we spent a little time one morning walking in the cypress swamps. It was chilly but sunny and with fast walking we were able to keep from freezing. =) It was wonderful to spend some time out of the bus enjoying some of God's creation.
We don't get pictures nearly everywhere we travel, but here is just a little example of one of our favorite things about road life, and that is the incredible family of God. We have been privileged to meet so many people who have been such an inspiration to our family.
Above, spending time in God's Word one evening while at the home of friends
we met through the National Bible Bee.
Week seven was a wonderful week in Florida and we extend a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who went out of their way to bless and encourage our family!
"And of His fulness have we all received, and grace for grace."