12.04.2018

Watch the National Bible Bee Livestream!


Yes, it is that time of year again! For those of you who have been following our blog/family for much time at all, you know that one of our highlights of the year is participation in the Bible Bee. We post about the competition every year and many of you have followed along with watching ours and hundreds of other young people who have hidden the WORD in their hearts in this way!

This year, Elizabeth, Hudson, + Rebecca all competed in the summer program, and all advanced to the National round for this fall. (Denver chose not to compete this year due to other priorities in his schedule, and Taylor is no longer eligible to compete since he won first place in seniors two years ago) That leaves just our three youngest. And, with the timing of their birthdays, it just so happens that this year they all landed in the same division together (juniors) which means that they are all competing against each other! What fun! =)
Elizabeth-14, Hudson-13, and Rebecca-11

These three competitors, along with Denver, Taylor, Dad, Mom, Josh, Cassidy, + little Wallace, are all currently in Texas at the National Bible Bee! Today was the written test and first oral rounds, and tonight is the Semi-Finalist Announcement Livestream. (with last evening being the opening ceremony)

As always, we would love for you to join us for the livestream! It is truly such a powerful and encouraging thing to see these young people with such a love + passion for the Word of God.

Semi-Finalist Announcement Livestream is tonight from 7:30-8:30pm CT. This is when the semi-finalists (top 15 out of 120 from each division) will be announced. Tomorrow is the semi-finals competition, and Thursday is the finals, with competition times below:

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 5th
Junior Semi-Final Rounds: 11am-1:30pm
Primary Semi-Final Rounds: 2:30-5pm
Senior Semi-Final Rounds: 6-8:30pm

THURSDAY DECEMBER 6th
Junior Final Rounds: 8-10am
Primary Final Rounds: 11am-1pm
Senior Final Rounds: 2-4pm
NBBC Awards Celebration: 6-7:30pm

Livestream Link Here!

(Note: all times are Central Time Zone)

If for whatever reason you are unable to watch the livestream and stay updated that way, you can follow us on instagram @bontragerfamilysingers for further updates throughout the week!

12.01.2018

Thanksgiving Week


On Thanksgiving, we met with most of the Bontrager aunts, uncles, and cousins at our grandma's house. To date, there are 41 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and 3 more great-grandchildren on the way.

The conversation often becomes quite animated. Here Uncle Gary is telling one of his classic stories, one that grows better with age.:)


Grandma makes incredible pie!


After Thanksgiving lunch, we enjoyed snacks in the evening.


A few days after Thanksgiving, we had brunch together.


Some of the family got together with some friends while John and Chelsy were in town. 


Bible Bee is in full swing. Denver is doing double duty as both a listener and baby-sitter.


It always helps to have two verse checkers!


Posing for the press.


On Sunday, we met together for another Thanksgiving feast, this one at the Bontrager farm. The blustering wind and flurry snow contrasted with the warmth indoors.



Grandpa and grandson.


We were blessed with a foot of snow. In this picture, the truck slid off the driveway.



Snow means lots of fun.


In the evening, we enjoyed snacks, conversation, and games.


Risk is a Bontrager brothers favorite, as it embodies the intersection of strategy, diplomacy, emotion, and luck.


A perfect panoramic. No, our porch is not L shaped!


Uncle John and and aunt Chelsy enjoying Wallace and Jubilee, who both appear slightly distracted.


Football in the snow!

Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord. The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel. --Psalm 128

11.23.2018

Limited Time Offer Christmas Sale!

We're thrilled to offer our 5 Albums to you for a first-time-ever 25% discount!

You have only 23 days to grab this exclusive deal before it expires on December 15. Here are a few reasons we think you might enjoy our CDs:                                                                                                    

  • To uplift your spirit in the season of Christmas.
  • To give to your family as Christmas gifts.
  • To pass out to your neighbors. 

As December approaches, we urge you to remember Christ, who is the reason for the season. He came to earth to live and die for our spiritual freedom.

Merry Christmas!

Head to the store to claim your discount today!


11.08.2018

Fall, Leaves, Corn, and Beans


Fall engages us in a variety of activities, including harvesting corn and soybeans, reciting verses for the National Bible Bee Competition, milking cows, hauling manure, playing with kittens, and raking leaves.


Raking leaves can be a party!



Some specialize in the abstract.


Combining finds Dad in his element.


Dusk descends upon the farm. 


Liz teaching her niece piano.


Rebecca gathering herbs.


Mitchell and Bryn hauling manure. 


Time to clear the gardens!


"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men" (Colossians 3:23).


The apple crew.



Wallace is clearly having a party!:)


Filling up the grain wagons.


Not every day is picture-perfect, as you can see here! The crew discussed how to best extricate the combine, after its front wheels sunk into a soft, muddy, rut.


When one tractor wouldn't do the job, we eventually used two to pull out the combine. 
Thankfully, no one was hurt, and harvest continued.

And that's a brief snapshot of what we've been up to this fall!

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." --I Thessalonians 5:18

11.05.2018

Our Sacred Duty: A Voters Call to Action



Tomorrow, millions of Americans will go to the polls to elect US representatives and senators, state representatives, senators, and governors, and local officials.

Watch this inspiring video by evangelist Caleb Garraway, to learn why America has been blessed by God and why voting is not only a privilege, but also a sacred duty.

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." --John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

10.16.2018

Shipshewana!


At the beginning of October, we hit the road to sing and share in one of our favorite towns, Shipshewana, Indiana. We also performed a few concerts in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan on the way to and from Shipshewana. 


Singing "How Firm a Foundation."


In an area that is home to many Amish, the "Amish Wedding Song" was a favorite.


Taylor played exceptionally well, despite having jammed his finger in a door a couple days before the trip. Somehow he managed to chord with only three fingers!


Some of the ladies reconnected with a few friends for food and fellowship.


Our fearless leader passionately challenges fathers and men wherever he goes.


Precious family moments.


The perfect picture of determined grit, blank surprise, and wide-eyed expression.


At our last stop in Michigan, some friends graciously provided a delicious soup and salad buffet. With touring finished for the year, it's off to harvest, manure hauling, Bible Bee, and CD preparation! 

"O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth." --Psalm 105:1-5


10.06.2018

2018 Family Camp Recap

Thanks to all who joined us for Homeschool Family Camp 2018 a few weeks ago! The Lord blessed in remarkable ways. At Family Camp, we experienced an unforgettable time of learning, growth, fellowship, and fun!
Our theme this year was Except The Lord Build The House: Building Godly Generations By God's Blueprint. Through the morning and evening sessions, we learned what God's Word has to say about marriage, parenting, family structure, our purpose, family relationships, and much more! 
In the afternoons, attendees enjoyed fellowship, swimming, 
hiking, resting, volleyball, and other fun activities. 

Homeschool Family Camp ran for two consecutive weeks, with mostly different families each week. 
Some of the young men did a SEAL workout one morning.
An afternoon breakout on scams, deception, and self-awareness.
The 3rd Annual Homeschool Family Camp Arm Wrestling Competition was a big highlight!


This year, we had a first ever Mother/Son and Father/Daughter session one of the mornings.

We also had a father-daughter session.
Mr. Yoder memorably demonstrated how the giraffe proves intelligent design.

Mr. Wissman gave practical talks on various aspects of family life. In this session, he
presented a powerful illustration on the dangers of peer groups.


Reconnecting with family.
Storytime.



Tug-of-war!





Family volleyball.
Precious family moments.
Mighty Mighty Scoop Noodle Challenge!
Liz with her nephew, the ineffable Wallace Bradford.
Thanks again to the Wissmanns and Bowers for joining us in this endeavor! Thank-you to all who came and made Homeschool Family Camp 2018 a reality!
Does your family need to be encouraged, strengthened, and refreshed? Prayerfully consider joining us for Family Camp 2019! You can attend either September 3-8 or September 9-14, 2019. We would love to have you join us! For more information, send an email to iowafamilycamp@gmail.com.

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. --Psalm 127