Week in Moreland Review

Last year we began a tradition of spending part of a week with our cousins in Georgia while several of us fly home to attend to farm matters.
Last year I went with Mitchell & Dad since I had lots of students that were badly needing some piano lessons. But this year I am no longer teaching, so I got to stay and see what all goes on when this many cousins live together for 4 days.
May I just say....there are many moments, memories, and mishaps. 
dear dear.
they're gonna grow up to be just like their crazy older sistas.
Bible time with nine littles.....
Allison and Breanna cutting up apples for Allison's famous apple pie
On Tuesday the mothers took all the children to the zoo (more on that soon)
and left us four girls to keep the house. 
It was so unbelievably quiet.
We didn't know what to do with ourselves in such a peaceful enviroment.
We had a marvelous time but were very happy to see the tribe return.
Courney & Rebecca
Haircuts happen everywhere we go!
The older boys also got to spend part of a day cutting wood for Uncle Joe and they loved it. 
(unfortunately I didn't get that digitally documented....bummer)
They had sore arms, a few blisters, and happy, tired smiles when they were finished.
Aunt Dorcas makes the worlds best pizza....hands down.
grilling some of the pizzas.
some people were grilling. =)
Part of the crew...
Our little wifi hotspot. =)
The eight-year old violinists.
We love to incorporate our cousins into our concerts whenever it works out. So at our concert in Moreland, the younger ones were joined by their cousins in singing several songs.


Sarasota Highlights

We had a very short yet special weekend in Sarasota. Special memories were made Saturday morning when moms Uncle Amos & Aunt Hannah took our family out to Troyers Dutch Heritage for breakfast.
We were also able to spend time with several other dear friends that have blessed us by their faithful prayers for our family.
Another random highlight of the weekend was the 36 pints of strawberries we were given by some friends who own a local fruit market in Sarasota. What a yummy treat!


Georgia Friends....

We met Mr. Westerfield last year when we sang in Georgia. He has won the prize for coming to more of our concerts than anyone else. =) 
We sang at his church again last week and got a photo of him with our guys afterwards.


Tribute to "Grandpa" Arlis

Today we wish to reflect on and celebrate the life of our dear family friend, Arlis Unrah,  
who was electrocuted while fixing a hot water heater on Saturday.
It is the first time we children have experienced the death of a very close family friend. Our whole family is grieving this loss. 
Little did we know when we made the last-minute decision last month to stop by their home for a quick visit....that those would be our last moments and memories with "Grandpa" Arlis.
You will see Elizabeth in most of these pictures with Arlis. He was her special friend. Elizabeth adopted Arlis as her grandpa several years ago. Since then...she would often be the one that would get to go to Oklahoma with daddy when he went to deliver cattle. Dad would drop Liz off at Arlis' and go deliver the cattle, and then come back to spend the night before heading out again with Liz and the empty trailer the next morning. Each time dad would announce another delivery trip there, Elizabeth would jump up and down and beg to go. She just LOVED spending time with Arlis and always came home with lots of special memories and stories of all the things she did with Arlis and Roberta.
Another memory is how they would go to the church library the day before we would come to visit and bring home a stack of childrens books, so that Arlis would have "new books to read to Elizabeth". He was never too busy for her, or any of us, for that matter. I vividly remember Elizabeth's 8th birthday in December. On her birthday, she received a birthday package from Arlis. She was SO excited.
Please keep Arlis' wife Roberta, and his son and daughter, Brad & Amy, in your prayers as they go through this very difficult time.
We also covet your prayers for our family. We have cancelled several of our concerts and are heading back to Oklahoma to be with the family, help in whatever ways we can, and sing at the funeral on Thursday. Please pray that God would give us grace and strength, especially just to be able to make it through the music at the funeral. 
We are so thankful for the godly legacy Arlis has left. And although we are all grieving his death, we  rejoice in knowing that he was ready to meet Jesus!


Gospel Express Prison Crusade 2012

We arrived late at orientation on Wednesday (due to some bus trouble) but finally we did arrive and had a blessed day of preparing ourselves mentally and spiritually for another crusade. We're so excited about everything that God has been doing this week and are thankful to be a part of this group of people who are joining together to bring Jesus to prisoners all over the state of South Carolina.



 Enjoying the annual catfish dinner with dear friends in Macon, MS.
(just for the record....this is the worlds BEST catfish, ever!)
We spent a day with new friends in Magnolia, MS...it was a much-needed break from our intense schedule of the previous two weeks and we were so blessed by their warm southern hospitality and generosity to our whole crew.
Jamming with new friends and fellow musicians



Another WeCare prison crusade has now come and gone.
And yet, in some ways, it hasn't gone. 
Because even after all the singing teams have sung their last song.....even after each evangelist has preached his last message......even after each volunteer has left for home.....there are seeds that remain. Some of those seeds were planted this week. Some were watered. Some were strengthened. 
The harvest is ripe. The labors are few. But what a joy it was to work together in sharing Jesus with those behind bars.
The crusade theme this year was "Revival". Sunday was orientation day and all the volunteers, evangelists, singing groups, and WeCare staff came together to worship and prepare ourselves for whatever way God wanted to use us in the coming week.
Hudson was pretty thrilled to spend some time with Jacob (our neighbor from Iowa) who is serving on staff with WeCare.
Every morning we had worship and sharing time with those working in the same prisons as us.
Hudson and Rebecca were SO happy to see Troy again. 
Our whole family was so blessed to have our cousin Will traveling with us for the week as our evangelist. He totally connected with the prisoners and each evening we witnessed amazing things as the presence of God came down and filled those chapel walls. We were SO thankful to be able to minister with him and watch God move in such MIGHTY ways. 
We had some special late night times with our other cousins who were there as well. 
For more highlights and pictures from last week please visit the WeCare Blog
and the post on my blog here.
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
2nd Chronicles 7:14