Making Cheese

Last week some friends, the Carden family, held a cheese-making demonstration.  It was a very fun and informative afternoon.  Hopefully, we will enjoy our very own fresh, home-made mozzarella cheese someday in the near future!

When the cheese was completed, we had bruschetta sandwiches- baguette slices with tomato, olive oil, seasoning, and fresh mozzarella.  {absolutely scrumptious!}

Jonas did a wonderful job demonstrating and explaining the cheese making process.


Summer Tea with Friends

~tealovely lady friends, good conversation, s w e e t times~

~little girls, frozen fruit bars, an afternoon of playing together~

~luscious lemon bars w/ blueberries~


~delicious crab cakes w/ dips~


Memories at the Campsite

In the midst of a very busy farm season, our family took a much needed two-hour break and enjoyed a delicious brunch back at our campsite. 
On the menu: 
::sausage patties::
::fresh RAW milk:
::roasted bananas w/ chocolate & peanut butter::
Take time, even in the midst of the busy-ness of life, to savor those moments together!


Mother's Day 2011

This year on Mother's Day, we drove the short distance to Grandma Bontrager's House to have dinner with the entire Bontrager clan (or at least all those who live nearby).  The party totaled 37 people.  It was a wonderful day of celebrating the gift of mothers. 

There was time for some conversation in the Grandma's living room before dinner was served.  The daughters, daughters-in-love, and granddaughters brought the food, so Grandma, who frequently cooks for large groups of people, was able to simply sit and relax.  

 The younger cousins had a grand time together outdoors.

Aunt Vesta and Aunt Linda planned a delicious menu of little meatloaves, cheesy potatoes, lettuce salad, jello salad, bread, and dessert.  The children ate in the sun on Grandma's deck.

 These little ladies are best buds!  I'm afraid it took a little longer than usual for the to comsume their dinner, due to the jokes, playing, and general fun being enjoyed (when they should have been eating!;).

 Dessert was banana pudding and cheesecakes: 
a l m o n d

c h o c o l a t e

 v a n i l l a  with  b l u e b e r r y topping

 When Dad and his four brothers get together, there is no lack of lively conversation.  As usual, there were plenty of crazy stories, jokes, and laughter!  

 Denver, Nicki, and Joshua played a "rousing" game of Rook, a Bontrager family favorite.

"Children have loved playing in that orchard for 40 years." ~Grandma Bontrager
It's true.  My aunt remembers climbing the "Zaccheus tree" as a young girl (it's the one with branches that fork low in the tree as if they were designed to be climbed by small children.)  On Sunday the tradition was carried on when some of the cousins spent part of the afternoon playing in the orchard.  


in the carrot patch

One day last week, some of the boys worked hard planting a big patch of carrots.  Our family  l o v e s  carrots..... and there's just nothing quite like sweet, tender carrots fresh from the garden!

Spring Days

freshly-washed laundry drying in the breeze
 preparing the soil for planting
freshly-picked garden goodies


Big Sandy, TX

We spent April 27th-29th at the ATI Regional Conference in Big Sandy, Texas.  The messages and fellowship with other believers were so encouraging and challenging.  We highly recommend this conference as a wonderful time to relax, refresh, and renew.  We were so blessed!
Elizabeth and Hudson greatly enjoyed Children's Institute.  Their sacrificial teachers invested in their lives in such a sweet way (thank you, Andrew and Janae!) by teaching them Biblical principles and making their time fun and character building.  
The ALERT Cadet program was a highly anticipated and much enjoyed experience for Joshua, Denver, and Taylor.
Chelsy with her COMMIT small group.  
I loved my time with these sweet girls!  
One beautiful, sunny afternoon the young peoples' session was held outdoors on a grassy hillside.  We were glad Mr Harmon's (pictured above) voice carried well!  The old days (before microphones and auditoriums) must have been like this!
One evening Dad's sister Karen and her children drove over to visit.  (Unfortunately, Uncle Tim was unable to come)  We had a great time talking, laughing, and eating in the bus.
The last evening, there was a big potluck/fellowship gathering.  We enjoyed talking with old friends and meeting some new ones.  
A little later in the evening, some of us got out instruments and began to play.  Others joined in singing on some of the songs, and for the next several hours, worship filled the air.  


April at Our Home

Yes, I do realize that this blog has been completely silent for the past 20 days.  Maybe we were trying to set a record for the longest time without posting.  Or perhaps we've just been without our photographer and very, very busy.  The last scenario definitely fits.  
Our photographer is back, and this month looks not quite so crazy, so I am hoping you will be seeing frequent new posts in the coming days.  
Here a recap of the past month at the Bontrager home:

Denver was thrilled to catch his very first mink.......in his rat trap!  That was an exciting day, and the whole adventure just got more exciting when he decided to tan it himself.  Don't even ask me what all is involved in that process- I remember hearing words like "stretcher and tanning solution".

The Kalona Coffee House has the sweetest little toy corner just for little people.  Elizabeth and Grace enjoyed some play time together there while their big sisters talked nearby.  

These days we eat so much.  Let me clarify.....certain (Bontrager) young men eat, and eat, and eat some more!  That's right, we are in the throes of the "hungry teenage boys" stage.  {Those of you who are there, as well, know exactly what I mean!}  Oh, but it's so much fun.  I love making huge quantities of food and seeing it devoured with such appreciation!  

scrumptious drinks +  decadent b i s c o t t i + encouraging conversation = loveliness

and Chelsy.......the talented seamstress, hard at work!
"The Lord shall preserve thy going our and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore."  {Psalm 121:8}