3rd Annual Family Camp Recap

Once again, we have returned from family camp refreshed, spiritually filled, and rejoicing at our Father's hand at work in the lives of each family unit that was present. Our theme for camp this year was Ephesians 5:15-20, "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
I will let the pictures tell the story.....



The fathers/sons made rockets as their hands-on activity. The first day they were completely on their own with no instructions. This resulted in rockets that didn't fly very far, due to not being properly made. The next time they made the rockets, they were given instructions. This is the same way it is with our lives. If we want to win this Spiritual Battle we are in, we have to understand our enemy and his tactics. If we don't understand and are not prepared, we will not be effective for the Kingdom of God and our "rockets" will not shoot far and straight. 




There are children everywhere at camp! What a blessing to enjoy fellowship with families who are obedient to the Word of God in regard to the blessing of children!


What a blessing it was to sit under powerful teaching from God's Word each night! Mr. Wissmann based his messages off our theme verses for the week, Eph. 5:15-20, and we were greatly  encouraged and blessed each evening as he expounded on what we had been talking about during the day during our father/son and mother/daughter times.

As some of you know, my brother Joshua is notorious for his ability to quietly sneak up on unsuspecting individuals and tie them to their chairs. :) Here a few of the other guys got back at him and tied him to the park bench.


Everyone needed their faces painted in team color (red or blue) for "the game". (see below) Rebecca thought she was missing out, so I painted her cheeks for fun. :)




Where Have We Been/What Have We Been Doing?

I know that it has been a month since we posted on this blog. The days have been flying by, full of life. Here is a quick recap of the past month:

Grandpa & Grandma (my parents), my nephew and his wife, and another nephew came for a 4 day visit. While they were here we (along with Marlin's mother) knotted a comforter that my mother helped Allison put together.

We also had a blessing ceremony for Allison & Carson. This is a special ceremony that we have had for each of our children as they enter adulthood. It is a time to recognize who God is calling them to be and to bless them in it. Each of the guests in addition to the grandparents, had the opportunity to read/share a blessing for Allison & Carson. Grandma read her blessing for them.

Grandpa & Grandma Stoltzfus each shared a blessing.

Reading a blessing for both Allison and Carson was time for remembering what all God has done in their lives and also for blessing them in what He will do in the future.

What a privilege it is for our children to have a father who has a vison for raising godly children who will follow God wholeheartedly.

We gave Allison a hope chest and Carson a tool chest as a special gift for this occasion.

We ended the evening with a meal.

We had 2 sessions of cutting corn and putting it in the freezer. The large crew of huskers made short work of 30 dozen ears of corn.

Good job, girls!!

My mother is one of the fastest "corn cutters" in the world!

Two weeks after my parent's visit, 7 of my nieces and nephews from NY came out to IA for a wedding. We loved having them visit, even if it was so short!
Marissa (middle) stayed with us for an additional 10 days. After living with us for a month last summer, and now 11 days this summer....she is getting used to our crazy life! :) She was a huge blessing, as always, and spent many hours caring for our little ones, washing dishes, and working with our family.

The gardens have been producing all kinds of good food.......kohlrabbi, radishes, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, cabbages, cucumbers, and peppers. We are indeed blessed to enjoy all this bounty from the Lord.

For these 3 young children, life is one long concert. When we aren't on the road singing as a family, Taylor, Elizabeth, and Denver are giving their own concerts in our living room.

The girls spent a morning visiting our dear friend, Ruth Hoppe.

We spent 2 days singing at "The Farm Progress Show" at the FCF (Fellowship of Christian Farmers) tent. FCF gives away a walking stick with the colored beads to all who will stop by their tent to hear the story of the Gospel of Jesus. Many people have heard about Jesus through the ministry of FCF.

During a Wal-mart stop we said good-by to our beautiful friend, the monarch butterfly. We kept him in a jar as a caterpillar while he ate HUGE amounts of milkweed leaves then watched over his cocoon for almost 2 weeks until he came out as a butterfly.

This is one of the most amazing processes in the world! How could evolution explain this?

After Farm Progress Show we sang at "Old Threshers Reunion" in Mt. Pleasant, IA for 4 days. This event is all about antiques and how life was 50, 60, 70, 80, and even 100 years ago. The little children loved driving an old putt-putt tractor and also riding a steam powered carousel.

We arrived back home on September 6, just in time to finish our preparations for the "8th Annual Turning Hearts Celebration", which we will post about in the near future.
And now you know why we didn't have time to post recently!!

"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." Psalm 105:1 & 2