Cousin Visit!

My nephew and niece from FLA came to spend a few days with us.

On a perfect Sunday evening, we went to the IA City River and then walked downtown.

Nic and Mitchell were in great demand for their rides.

On Monday morning we picked 102 lbs. of blueberries.  


When we got back from our expedition, we found Hudson, (who had stayed with Marlin and Mitchell in the barn), with a bad gash in his forehead.  He ended up with 9 stitches!!

We ended that eventful day with a cookout in our woods-grilled pork burgers, tomato/cucumber salad, pasta salad, fresh veggies, watermelon, and banana tin foils.

These "classy" jackets were mosquito protection!!
Laura and Nic, thanks for coming to see us.  We love you!


Back Home

We were  blessed to have the opportunity to share at so many different churches in IA, MI, Canada, NY, DE, PA, OH, and IN but it is so great to be back home again.  We met many wonderful people, ate so much delicious food, saw many interesting sights, etc.etc. etc.  But let me tell you about the joys of home..............eating an abundance of fresh produce from your own garden; waking up to read your Bible in a favorite quiet spot; cooking a meal in a large, spacious kitchen (unlike our little 2' by 2' bus kitchen); making friends with baby kittens that were born while you were gone; sleeping in your very own bed; taking a shower every day :); eating a meal around the dining room table; and rocking a little one in a rocking chair (no room for a rocking chair in the bus!!).  We do like life on the road but the best part of a trip is still coming home.


A Blessing On The Road

This dear lady wanted to clean our very dirty windshield while we were in PA.  What a blessing!:)
"And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."  Matthew 20:27 & 28


Washington D.C.

Let us remember Paul's exhortation in I Timothy 2:1&2  "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplication, prayers, intercession,and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and forall that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
We had the privilege of meeting with one of our senators, Mr. Grassley, who took the time to talk to us and hear some of our concerns for our nation.
The Capitol
Visiting George Washington's farm, Mt. Vernon, was a highlight for the entire family.  We weren't allowed to take pictures of the house's interior so you will just have to imagine the beauty of this graceful and majestic yet simple home.  George Washington was a man of integrity, purpose, and vision.  He and Martha were very hospitable and kept many guests, sometimes for long periods of time.
Gardening was one of Mr. Washington's passions.  He grew vegetables, flowers, and fruit trees to provide for his household and servants in addition to large gardens which he used to grow seed for the following year's plantings.

The Lincoln Memorial
Rebecca caught a little snooze as we walked to yet another destination.
The Washington Monument
The White House
As we toured this city which is so full of history we were reminded of what our forefathers believed and the principles that this country was founded on.  It does seem as if the very foundations have been eroded, yet our trust remains in God.  
"The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water:  He turneth it withersoever He will."  Proverbs 21:1


NY Family

"Happy is that people, that is in such a case:  yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord."  Psalm 144:15

Our family spent 3 1/2 happy days with my parents and sisters and their families in NY.

Work is so much more fun when done with a friend/cousin.

Lyndsi and Allison cut lettuce from the garden.

On July 4th, all of the NY Stoltzfus family got together for the evening.  On the menu was "tin foils", a mixture of veggies and meat wrapped in foil and then put on hot coals.

While the foils were cooking we made salads from a salad bar.

We made so many memories in 3 days!

Who won this game of tether ball?

This wild crew of young people cleaned up the kitchen!!!

The little ones enjoyed wagon rides.

Elizabeth and  Becca picked a lovely bouquet of wild flowers.

So much love!

I think they were posing??


The Bachelors

 There has been very little opportunity to post in the past weeks, so I will attempt to catch up this morning.  I will begin with this post about my 3 nephews:  Anthony, Ernest, and Laverne (left to right) from Lancaster, PA.  They are "bach-ing" it while my sister and her husband (John & Barb)are in Kenya, Africa.   
My sister, who had 7 boys, has blessed her sons by training them to keep house.  
We were welcomed to an immaculate house, well kept gardens, and great food.
They served 40 eggs, 2 1/2 lbs. of bacon, 1 1/2 loaves of bread, large platters of fresh fruit, a gallon of juice, fresh milk, and cereal for breakfast.  M-m-m-m.
Laverne made scrambled eggs with cheese,  Anthony fried the bacon, and Ernest cut fruit, made toast, and set the table.
Going down the barn hill in a wagon was a favorite activity for my nephews and I over 30 years ago........now the tradition continues!
This is a game for the young and young at heart.
Barbara, this picture is for you.  Even though we missed you and John, we so much enjoyed the fine sons you have raised.  My girls and I agreed that the house was cleaner than our own house (of course, there are no little people to make messes!!).  Ernest had the second load of laundry ready to hand out on the line by 8:00 a.m.  The breakfast was a feast for both the eyes and stomach.  Barb, did you notice that they set the table with your china?  Their garden of pepper plants, onions, lettuce, a tomato plant, corn, cantalope, and watermelon was mostly weed free.  I am motivated to go home and keep working on training my young men to clean up after themselves so if they ever need to keep house they can do so with excellence.  By the way, Allison cut and arranged the flowers.  
P.S.  Don't you think these men would make great husbands???  Anthony and Ernest, do you need any suggestions???


Tea Party

While we were in NY my sisters planned a special luncheon/tea party for the ladies.
Beautiful bouquets were the focal point on each table.
The citrus mint tea was so refreshing!
Fresh strawberries dipped in bittersweet chocolate were delectable.
What is more nutritious and delicious than a platter of fresh, crisp veggies served with dip?
The "mothers" sat together.....
The "teens" at another table...........
And then there was the table for the "littles".
Ruth and Sarah, thank-you for this time to enjoy great food, make great memories, and to celebrate our femininity.  


At Grandpa and Grandmas' House

We have been enjoying every minute of our time in NY with my parents, my sisters, and their families.  Here are a few snapshots of life at Grandpa's.
Grandma's collection of farm animals, fence, barn, and blocks provided hours of fun for our "farm" boys.
Foos ball is another favorite.
Their flower gardens are a sight for the eyes.  The yellow flowers are evening primrose which we hope to watch as they open up this evening.

We have been eating peas, green onions, raspberries, strawberries, and lettuce from this lovely vegetable garden.
Last winter Grandma quilted this beautiful quilt made with blocks that Chelsy cross stitched.  
Grandpa and Elizabeth served this lively breakfast of worms to the bluebirds that live in the bluebird house that Grandpa built.
The sight of these worms is not for the weak stomach!!

And here is the grateful bluebird ready to enjoy his feast.