The title of this post could be “A Collection of Pictures from the Recent Life of the Bontrager Family Farmers”. 
But “Busy as Bees” was what came to my mind, because that pretty accurately sums it all up. Its been a crazy life, this spring at home, but we have LOVED it! There’s nothing quite like experiencing the farm again after having been cooped up in the bus for three months. Even though most days have been long and exhausting, I’m so thankful that we have such a big gang to work together and turn every project into a work party! (well, most, at least =)) 
Much of our time has been spent in the fields, in the gardens, and just outdoors in general. But in the midst of the work we also managed to squeeze in time for ??? sets of company, a few weekend road trips for various people in our family, several special church events, and a couple of family night cookouts at our campsite.

Enjoy our last “farm installment” for a while….we will be back with another one after we return home from tour the end of July!
Tis the season for celebrations! This past month our refridgerator has been covered with nearly thirty graduation and wedding invitations. Pretty much every week we are getting news of another wedding or relationship in the works. Such fun times call for special projects, like designing cards to give to the happy couples. =)
We had a birthday girl in May! =) It’s always fun to come up with different ideas to make each birthday celebration unique. Our “chalkboard door” provides a great place to post special messages for the birthday person. 
This was a very familiar sight in May! Here, Carson is heading back to the field to plant after getting his supper delivery from yours truly. =)
 The planting was finished May 23rd and it was a great feeling to have it all finished.

One of our very favorite things about being home is being able to host friends and family from all over. I lost track of how many times we’ve had company in the last six weeks, but it has been delightful! 
Old friends, new friends, relatives…and everything in between.  Sadly there aren’t pictures of most of our company, but we have lots of great memories! 
sometimes when we have company our farm looks like an RV lot. =)
Mom and Rebecca
Mitchell and Carson have been busy with the spring manure hauling. Here they are getting our hog pits emptied before we leave.
Our faithful dalmation, Ryker…we have decided he really has the ideal life. =) So chill and relaxed.
A rare moment of rest for some of our farm equipment. 
Bringing the hay home from the fields…
Cheesecake bites that Allison made for a wedding recently
It is SO good to have Mitchell home again!

Sometimes when you are little and you want a nice spot to lay to read your book, you choose an empty banjo case. =)

Music practice time! We’ve been having fun mixing things up a bit and switching out instruments. Mitchell brushed up his piano skills while he was in Arkansas and even accompanied himself for some special music one Sunday morning. Taylor was our banjo player while Mitchell was gone. All four of the middle boys (Carson, Josh, Denver, and Taylor) have spent hours taking online lessons from Banjo Ben. Josh and I started playing piano together and arranged a lively hymn duet, ragtime style. And our three littlest violinists…well, they have a brand-new act that they excited to present in our concerts on this summer tour! Stay tuned…{no pun intended}
The faithful mulching crew!
Little Miss Rebecca, smiling to show off her very first loose tooth…
Daddy, the world’s best tooth puller!
There may or may not have been tears shed by several other members of the family at seeing our baby girl looking so grown-up, missing a tooth.
We did a local concert for a friend’s birthday celebration.
Sunday dinner dessert
We five oldest enjoyed an event our church put on for all the singles and young married couples. It included some pretty intense speed volleyball.
(mom with four of her siblings at our cousin’s wedding)

 A few of us did a “flying trip Bontrager-style” to our cousin’s wedding in Ohio. (flying trip means leaving at 4am, arriving at the wedding half an hour before it started, staying about three hours total for the ceremony/reception, and then driving all through the night, getting home Sunday morning in time to sleep for an hour or two before getting ready for church)

A few of the cousins, and cousin-in-loves…had an awesome time together, short though it was!
Our two amazing hunters/cooks extraordinaire. They made some amazing sausage and jerky the other day from a deer Carson got last winter.
There are always things going wrong on a farm. As you can see, the above hay bales have seen their better days!
Elizabeth has been learning a lot in the kitchen lately. Here she is mixing up a batch of cookies.
Freezing rhubarb for next winter.
Our church had a special Mother’s Day Celebration on Mother’s Day. (read more about what we did here)
One night my parents were out on a date and Allison and I were gone for the evening as well, leaving the boys in charge. I arrived home late after everyone had gone to bed and discovered that the boys had washed dishes. (bless their hearts) 
How did I know it was the boys? Only guys would stack glass pans like this. Everything was stacked just so, but if I would’ve so much as BLOWN on that stack….well, I didn’t. =)
One Saturday we made 250 muffins for the children that ride our church buses to church every Sunday. Above is the kitchen during the baking process. #tornadozone =)
painting projects…
Mom helped the four youngest each design and plant their own little garden plots.
Allison and I enjoyed an amazing retreat with our Stoltzfus girl cousins at a gorgeous B&B in Shipshewana. We had a great trip and made some wonderful memories. (more to come on my blog!)
Twice a day, rain or shine, someone is feeding the cows….
…and milking them, too!
In May, Mom and Rebecca took the train to New York to visit mom’s parents and our other relatives there. They had a wonderful time!
Grandpa is an inspiration to us all with his gardening skills!  Above, he helps mom and her sister in identifying medicinal weeds. 
Mom with her father. 
story time with Grandpa
playing Parcheesi with Grandpa and Grandma
The three Rebecca’s!
Our faithful little calf-feeder man. =)
In case you haven’t noticed…this guy almost ALWAYS has a grin on his face. =)

“Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. 
Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. 
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the Lord’s name is to be praised. 
The Lord is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens.” 
Psalm 113:1-4
{posted by chelsy}


family, farm, home

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Leave a Reply
  1. Yay, I'm the first commenter! 🙂 I really enjoyed this post, and I think my favorite picture is Reebs in the banjo case. So cute!
    Miss you all! -Marissa

  2. Wow, that was a PERFECT title for this blog post Chelsy. Man, you guys are so busy! But isn't it fun?! 🙂
    So glad we were able to come over to your house and play vball with you! Means a lot knowing you were SO busy! <3, Mary

  3. Hey Bontrager's
    Being busy is good. I like being busy cuz when I'm busy I stay out of trouble lol. The garden looks great! What did u all plant in the garden? Did u all plant any flowers or herbs? Happy belated bday Allison. I'm sry I missed it.
    In Christ,

  4. Hello Lexi-

    We planted flowers, herbs, potatoes, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and lots more veggies! We just love all the fresh things!

    No problem about my birthday!:) Thanks:)


    Hello Godly-young-widow,

    Much as we would love to, we aren't going to be able to make it to Jill's wedding. We are on tour right now and will be for a few more weeks.


  5. What a happy post, which so many adventures! 🙂

    I had to crack up at the stack of pans and dishes. Men and women have different things of doing things, don't they. 🙂 Neither is better or worse, just different!

    Also, Alli and Chels, I am once again inspired by your art of putting tasteful outfits together to showcase your place as God's daughter. So lovely.

    Can't WAIT to see y'all on THURSDAY! 😀


  6. Hey Bontrager's,
    That's neat! We planted purple flowers, herbs, tomatoes and strawberries. Ur welcome :)! Ur 20 or 19?
    In Christ ,
    P.S. Do u all know the Wissmann Family from Nebraska?

  7. Wow…busy as bees is right!
    Glad to see that y'all are doing well. Your gardens look great!
    God bless you all as you shine as lights in a dark world!
    Maggie for the Mayo Family
    Jeremiah 32:17-19

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