Chupp Family Reunion

This past week end we attended the Chupp family reunion in Leon, IA. We had a wonderful time with relatives we hadn't seen for a while and realized again the blessing of family and the privelege of being able to meet and fellowship together.
And of course, we got lots of photos!
Alex & Rebecca having a "fist fight"...................not really! :)

Most of the girls.............

Dozens of NOISY games of Dutch Blitz and spoons

A pinata for the children

Lots of good conversations

Grandma and her sister, my great-aunt Mary

The boys enjoyed many games of chess and checkers

"Forever, O Lord, Your work is settled in heaven, Your faithfulness endures to all generations." Psalm 119:89
(written by Chelsy)


What's Been Happening at the Bontrager's

Marlin, along with some help from the boys, put up a fence for some of our many tomato plants. He is a busy man but took the time to make his wife happy!!

Allison made a salad with some of the bountiful lettuce from our garden.

You've heard the phrase "Somebody follows you". Elizabeth loves helping me cut spinach and she also loves "wearing" her baby, just like mommy does.

Denver played in his very first violin recital.

One of the benefits of farming is having space to raise our own chickens. We took them to somewhere else to be butchered and then we cut away. My mother-in-law taught me all I know about cutting chickens and now I am teaching my daughters (and neice, Marissa).

By the way, Marissa came all the way from NY to spend 5 weeks with us. She will be working, playing, traveling, and maybe even singing with us.

This is the season for baby calves on our farm. There is such love and tenderness in the picture of a cow and her newborn calf.

We have been enjoying large, delicious berries from our garden.

Joshua, with some "help" from our dog, Rycar, were part of the mulching crew.

Green onions have been a part of many meals at our house this month.

Joshua, Taylor, Denver, and Elizabeth have their own little garden plot. In the process of the children planting and working in this garden we have discovered that Denver has a real passion for gardening. So Marlin promoted him to be general manager of all the gardens and he has been my right hand man with transplanting strawberry plants, tomatoes, peppers, kohl rabbi, and cabbages. He also tediously planted a long row of carrots and is a faithful waterer.
And now you know some of the reasons why I haven't been posting much recently. In addition to all the previous activities we spent many happy hours preparing for Chelsy's graduation party last Sunday. But that will have to wait for another post. Maybe on Monday..............


Beautiful Gardens

"For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;" Song of Solomon 2:11 & 12
This is the lovely view from my parents' home in the Finger Lakes area in NY. The area is picturesque with rolling hills, valleys, woods, the Finger Lakes, vineyards, and of course, my parents' gardens!

When they moved to this place about 10 years ago, there wasn't a flower on the property, but years of diligent, loving care have changed that! When I was growing up my father was a farmer who worked very hard raising crops for the cows that he milked. Now he has transferred that love of the land to the many vegetable and flower gardens that he and my mother have created on their small acreage.
Along with a love for plants, my parents have a love for birds. They have numerous birdhouses and feeders on their property. At any given time you might see a dozen different birds in their yard. My favorites (and I think my father's, also) are the bluebirds. He even raises worms for their daily breakfast and builds special houses just for them. I also really enjoy watching the hummingbirds as they flit from the feeder especially filled with sugar water just for them to the many flowers with the nectar that they so love.

I can't begin to remember all the different types of flowers that they have planted in their gardens but I think the columbines must be some of the most beautiful. I can say that because the roses aren't blooming yet!
Even their vegetable garden is artistic and orderly, so much like their lives.
Nestled in the branches of an evergreen tree beside their house, my father found a nest of chirping sparrows. The little mother was most distressed with our discovery!

My father also has a passion for bee keeping. Here he is at work on the hives.
My parents are a great example of the rich, productive lives that I believe that God would desire for grandparents to live. They spend their days working in the gardens, helping their neighbors, babysitting their grandchildren, and being involved in their church. My father has a daily job of taking some young men to their place of work. My mother also keeps busy with sewing and quilting projects. They eat much of what they produce but also share great quantities of their excess garden produce with others. In spite of some health issues, they continue to be physically active and strive to take care of their bodies by eating well. They love the Lord and their lives display this love in many ways.
I told my father, "When I grow old, I want to be like you!".

Marissa's Graduation

Chelsy, Rebecca, and I flew to NY to join in the celebration of my niece, Marissa's graduation from her parents' homeschool.

Since this was Chelsy's second jet flight, the first being when she was 3, she was quite excited. The incredibly beautiful clouds were an opportunity to use her photographic skills.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork." Psalm 19:1

Marissa's mother, Sarah, shared a beautiful speech about how Marissa was born as a rose bud and is now blooming like the lovely pink rose that she was holding.
Marissa and one of her 4 brothers, Wesley.
Marissa and Chelsy.

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." I Timothy 2:15