Summer Tour East 2016 || Vermont

This summer was our first time in the state of Vermont, and we absolutely LOVED it. We only had three days there, but they were fabulous. We sang at two different churches, met new friends/blog readers, spent amazing time with old friends, practice and practiced and practiced, took some of Denver's senior pictures, and did the regular office work + school work. 
Mitchell at the helm, driving through the hills of Vermont. 
We spent a lot of time working on our latest instrumental, a medley of the fiddle tune "Arkansas Traveler" and the hymn "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name".
This peppy arrangement features three of our violinists and it is my current favorite song that we do! We added it to our set at the end of our tour and it is quickly becoming an audience favorite as well.
This sweet girl has read our blog for years and she reached out to us about hosting a concert at her church. She worked so hard on advertising and getting the word out and we had a great time singing there!

Working on another new song that we've recently added. 
This one features us four older ones in four-part harmony, with Elizabeth + Taylor providing the instrumentation. Our younger ones are stepping up and filling in and doing such a good job!
Whenever we are at churches throughout the day, we spread out and all set up our own individual little work stations all over the church. =) 
I took some of Denver's senior pictures at this church. Stay tuned to see more of these soon!
 Concert time that night! Here is the nine of us on "Boil the Cabbage", featuring Rebecca!

We spent our Saturday in Vermont with these friends at their beautiful home. What a haven.
These 24 hours were pretty much a heaven-sent blessing. We were so exhausted from the summer tour and this day of amazing food, conversation, + spiritual renewal was just incredible.

This was the view from their back deck. Pretty awesome!

Kindred spirits. =)
A fuzzy picture of episode #1,000,000 in the laundry series. =)
Relaxing study + reading times...
Our introduction to "Ben + Jerry's" was a definite success. =)
Gorgeous skies after one of the most beautiful thunderstorms I have ever experienced.
A group of us went on a morning hike and Mitch took one of his famous panoramics from the top of the mountain they climbed.
Bouquet-arranging on the flower-covered hillside.
So thankful for the godly friends the Lord places in our path of life!

"And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, 
and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 
To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, 
even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints."
-1 Thessalonians 3:12+13

{posted by Chelsy}


Summer Tour East Coast 2016 || New Brunswick + Nova Scotia

(Above picture taken by Mitchell. He was named "King of Panoramic Shots" on our summer tour. =))

The summer tour was full of many new stops and sights. After the New England states, we spent twelve days in the Maritime Provinces-New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, + Prince Edward Island.
These places were beautiful. 
Most of the time that we were in the Maritimes it was extremely chilly, especially for us Midwesterners who are used to 90 degree weather in July! We had taken just a few sweaters/hoodies along and we wore those over and over again.
The main sights in these provinces are water, docks, sailboats, and all things related to the ocean. Since we live in the Midwest many miles from the ocean, these sights were quite different than what we were used to at home.
Here is a post with our pictures + a recap from Nova Scotia + New Brunswick.
We sang at several churches in New Brunswick and got to spend time with some great people. We also were able to enjoy a little nature. We stopped along the highway and hiked up to this waterfall one day. That's Denver, climbing up along the edge of the waterfall.
Before and after concerts things are always a flurry of activity with set up/tear down, music practe, and instrument care. (Above, Mitch + Chels fixing a malfunctioning guitar strap)

After our concert in the town of Pugwash, we drove the bus a few blocks down to the water and watched the sunset. It was GORGEOUS.
Denver finished high school on our summer tour! Here we have a late night school session happening on a church stage. =)
A sweet lady at one of our concerts gave us money to visit her daughter's ice cream shop, which was such a fun treat!

Seafood chowder.
Concert time again and again...
We got to watch a fun science debate that was a high school assignment for Denver and Taylor.  We had Josh moderating, Denver arguing evolution, and Taylor arguing creation. Although they both believe that God created the world in six days, Denver did a great job presenting some of the most common and "convincing" evolution agreements.  All in all it was very interesting and informative, and after the debate we all joined in to critique the boys' debating skills.  
We all got up at 4am one morning to watch the tide come in at Halls Harbor.  It was an amazing phenomenon- a tidal rise of about 40 feet.  Boats that were setting on mud (above) when we arrived were floating (see photo above), 40 feet higher, a few short hours later. 
The water kept rising after this picture. 
(if you look to the top left of the above picture, you can see the mark the water rises to every day)
The view as the sun rose over the harbor was magnificent.
Hudson on top of the world. =)
Study time on the dock for Josh + Denver, in between the tide watching. 
Houses like this were ALL OVER the place. So beautiful.  One day in Nova Scotia, we visited a beautiful little seaside town.  
Typical sight- trying to figure out what we are doing and where we are going. =)
There was a really neat fish museum we wanted to visit, but upon arrival we found that the student tickets were cheap, while the adult entrance fee was several times the price.  We decided that the parents would visit the museum with ones still in school (Rebs through Denver in grade school and high school and Josh in college), and we older ones would explore the town and meet up again with the rest a few hours later.
We (Chels, Mitch, and I) sat and talked at this cute gift + coffee shop, "The Laughing Whale", for several hours.
We spent the rest of our time walking around the town, which was right by the ocean and had sloping streets and super cool buildlings.
People sometimes mention to us as we travel, "You all must get so tired of being together!"  The truth is, that is one of the things we love most about traveling- being together!  There is no one we would rather be with than our very best friends, and besides doing concerts and working together on the road, we love every bit of time we get to explore, sit and talk over coffee or ice cream, or go on adventures together.
Rebecca made a new friend at the museum. =)

The younger ones, enjoying the museum.

It was SO COLD this day. But the crazy ones in our midst went in the water anyway. Brrr.
Some of the guys slept out on the beach one night. 
Finally an off night. We didn't have very many nights off to spend as a family and the few we did have were so needed! This night we had parked along the ocean. After it was dark we sat in the bus playing games together.
We toured this place one morning.
Happy boys. =)
More ocean beauty!
We do all sorts of things to pass the time while getting from one place to the next in the bus- mostly cooking, reading, studying, driving (for a few of us:), or napping.  Sometimes we even play games (above).
"Guys! Gather 'round! They have WIFI here!!"
With our phones on airplane mode in Canada, we were always on the lookout for a free wifi connection!
Another highlight was seeing the tidal bore.  It was incredible to see the tide from the ocean caused about two feet of water to push upstream into this river.  It happened so fast- a wall of water from the ocean coming against the flow of the water already in the river.
We loved spending one night + morning parked by this awesome lighthouse!  We even got to tour it and see the tiny space that an entire family likely once lived in.
Some of us had quiet time or went running along the ocean.

We do haircuts in all sorts of places on the road!
Music practice is one of our most frequent activities!
There is always PLENTY to practice, both individually and corporately.
"The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; 
the world, and those that dwell therein." 
-Psalm 24:1

{posted by Allison}