The first week of March, right before entering Mexico, we were blessed with a beautiful three days at some friends’ country ranch. Having just gotten off an intense month of concerts + campaigning, we were pretty worn out and in need of some R+R! The timing could not have been better and our hearts, minds, and bodies were so refreshed by this haven. 
Rousing games of Jungle Speed with the youngest six.
If you can’t tell…we are kinda a family of bookworms. =) Both Dad + Mom LOVE to read and the love got passed on to pretty much all of us.
Give us time off and books will be high on the list of ways to relax!
Rebecca, chilling in style (hmmm) in front of the fireplace.
Mom and Taylor together on an early morning walk.
We grilled out several times-sausages one night, and fish the next.
Our faithful grill master. =)

Lots of great family time + discussions in front of the fire…

We cooked all of our own meals while there. It was great fun to have a big and fully stocked kitchen to use! Everyone got in on the action and signed up for preparing various meals.

This one night…
….Mexican buffet the next.
Where there is lots of good food, it follows that there will be lots of dishes! 
Everyone pitched in on cleanup duty.
Liz crocheting.
When I look at this picture the first thing I think is “Denver needs new pants!” =) 
(He received the award for “most inches grown” on our tour)
Chips + Guacamole forever. This is possibly the ultimate favorite Bontrager snack food.
Tuesday night we spent talking with our sweet hosts who came over to join us for dinner, and rotating back and forth between watching the Spurs game + Donald Trump’s victory speech. Can you guess which we HIGHLY preferred? 
Not even a question about it—definitely the game.

Yes, the time was mostly restful but as always there is still work to do! We set up a temporary office of sorts on a table in the front room for emails, phone calls, + mail sorting.

Dinner time…
Game time!
We also slept a lot. Some more than others. =)

We enjoyed some outdoor activities-hunting, fishing, canoeing, + football, to name a few. It was chilly most of the time we were there but we are hardy Iowans and the weather didn’t bother us a bit! =)

Rebs made a big catch!

Allison made this beauty for dinner on our last night. Gluten free + sugar free goodness. What a dream.

We are so grateful to our sweet friends for their generosity + hospitality to our family, and also to the Lord for perfectly working out the timing of this retreat for our family. What a blessing.

“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,
 to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; 
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; 
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 
May be able to comprehend with all saints 
what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
 that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
Ephesians 3:16-19


family, Tour

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  1. Would love if Allison would post the recipe for the gluten-free, sugar-free cake. It looks so yummy! Thank you for your wonderful posts!

  2. glad that ya'll had this chance to rest!! the fishing, hunting and food looks like the most fun!! oh, and i LOVE reading myself!!
    God Bless!!!!!
    Clo, Is. 53:5, #UNASHAMED,, YouTube channel-Clo Hale

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