In no particular order…here are a smattering of the photos taken during our February travels! What a month! Twenty-six concerts in twenty-eight days kept us hopping! Thankful for last month + all the good memories it holds!
Above, our concert in Birky Square (where this video was shot)
and where we had more relations and connections present…than we could count!
At it again!
Friends in Tennessee! This couple and my parents met on a business trip, over twenty years ago! We sure love seeing them on the road and singing at their church.
Our dear friend Mr. Westerfield. Always a joy to see his smiling face in the audience at our Georgia concerts. You know you’re welcome in Iowa ANYTIME, Mr. Westerfield! =)
We are given all sorts of things when on tour, but this was the first time we’d gotten a box of the most incredible hydroponic lettuce. It was gone in no time, and we sang better + lived better because of it, truly.
Talk about a labor of love! These potatoes were served us at a church dinner one Sunday noon and I just had to take a picture. Pretty fun. =)
A very rare off morning, spent at the beach. We pulled in late the night before, along the beach in eastern Florida. A few of us were up in time to catch the sunrise. It was gorgeous.
Gotta stay loyal to Iowa, no matter what state we land in. Here we’ve got Rebs reppin’ the Hawkeyes in Florida! =)
This was probably our first time on a semi-warm beach…in years. During our southern tours, we seem to always either miss the beach entirely, or hit it on very chilly days. It was a treat to discover that it actually CAN get warm on the beach! =)
While waiting for everyone to assemble for sound check (above), we have a variety of things happening. Mitch texting, Josh tuning, Liz combing her hair, and Hudson doing pushups.
Hair cut time!
Mother + Rebecca mixing up some delicious concoction in our bus kitchen,
Out to Cracker Barrel with this pastor and his wife.
And just LOOK who we got to park next to! IOWA FOREVER! =)
We did a church service one Sunday morning at this RV Resort in Florida, and spent the next day parked there as well. Most of the family got in a little pool time!
Ah, how we love to bomb each other’s FaceTime parties! =)
Annual breakfast out in Sarasota with Mother’s uncle and aunt! We decided that next time, though, we really need to put our parents in costume. Or leave them behind. Or something. Literally almost half of the restaurant came by and they were all either related, or old friends/neighbors, or SOMETHING. Only in Sarasota. =)
Mom and her Aunt Hannah.
Grabbing a little sister/work time together!
Finally got to meet this dear soul that we’d heard so much about! She’s definitely a keeper. =)
Catching up with an old friend, in the bus, post concert!
Big hair days + special cereal gifts for Josh! =)
In addition to seeing so many old friends, we got to add some very dear new ones to our ever-growing list of kindred spirits in the south! We had an amazing time at this new church in Florida and loved getting to know the pastor, his wife, and their nine children.
Singing in Florida at one of our favorite family venues—Roberts Barn! Full of antiques, country charm, cowboy boots, and a long potluck line, this place is about as family-friendly as they come!
And you thought the show happened on stage. Ha—the real drama unfolds with the littles out in the bus afterwards! The stories those bus walls could tell….=) Here it appears our baby got a little ambitious in her search for something, and the floor got an arrowroot waxing! =)
LATE night Dutch Blitz with friends!
Smiling, washing, and folding!
Some of our family members eat healthy. And then some of us eat REALLY healthy. =)
Sister starbucks date while the rest of the family was spread out + catching that ever-beloved wifi signal!
IOWA PEOPLE! This was just the biggest treat ever—we oldest five’s Sunday School class teachers and their family were visiting in the south and came over to our Sunday morning concert. So good to see them!
Denver’s got the touch…
Typical conversation in the bus before we arrive at a church: “So where are we singing tonight? No, I don’t remember that church name or town…regular size stage? Out in the country? Perfect rectangle size auditorium? Small foyer? That would be 95% of the churches in Georgia! Not helpful! Hmmm. What did we eat? Salads? With meat? Big fruit trays? OHHHH!!! Those amazing chef salads in the HUGE bowls! Now I remember!!” =)
We were extremely honored to meet this gentleman, Marion Snyder, at one of our Georgia concerts. He served our country in the Philippines, in World War II, when he was just nineteen years old. It was fascinating to hear his stories. My personal favorite thing about the conversation was watching his eyes light up as Denver asked him about various battle locations and other such information. A special moment that evening at the concert was when Denver asked Mr. Snyder to stand, and honored him publicly before our song, “I Have Been Blessed”.
It was a great reminder to me, how much our generation owes to the men + women who have given so much for our freedom. We can never honor their service enough.
Morning brunch in the south with friends!
Music practice continues, wherever an available place may be found. In this case, the trailer. =)
Weightlifting—we have several in our midst who are extremely dedicated + disciplined. They’re also bulking up these days!
Taylor and a friend, out riding horses in the Georiga woods.
Restocking the fridge at our favorite Sarasota grocery/market!
And then of course school + study continues. In this case…we have Taylor doing school, Denver reading his Bible, and Rebecca vacuuming the back lounge as they do so.
I could give you the whole story on this picture. But to save embarrassment for certain unmentioned individuals, I will just tell you that “somehow” the keys were “accidentally” left in the bay, and “someone” forgot about that and locked that same bay, and…yes yes yes.
Many break-in attempts, several hours, and $150 later (paid to a very adept locksmith)…we moved on from yet another story, and left it with the infamous label of, “hashtag cloud status”. =)
Loved our time in the home of this dear couple in Georgia. They are such a blessing to our family!
Mom washing windows at some friends’ home.
So grateful for our faithful bus and the many miles it has traveled so well for our family!
While we were parked in a mall parking lot one afternoon, Josh + Denver took advantage of the time + opportunity to go out witnessing in the food court. They are currently going through the Way of the Master together, and are excited about what they are learning!
Allison, the new laundry queen, with a few bonus helpers who “popped in” her little station for a bit!
We ended the month of February with two days at the WeCare headquarters. So grateful to our friends there for allowing us the opportunity to spread out in their basement and use the kitchen, wifi, laundry, and showers! We were even able to host some friends Monday night, and had an amazing time together!
Love these ladies!
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed.
If you look within, you’ll be depressed.
But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.”
-Corrie Ten Boom
So very nice y'all
Hello Bontrager family. Hope you are all doing well.
I have noticed in your pictures that Allison is wearing glasses. Has she always worn them and wore contacts or has she recently had her eyes checked and found she needed glasses? Does she have to wear them all the time?
I, myself, have had my eyes checked and found out i have astigmatism. I used to be in the habit of wearing my glasses but stopped wearing them regularly. I need to start wearing them so I can see distant signs and objects more clearly.
Just thought I'd share that little tidbit of information.
oh, fun, fun, fun!! What an eventful February!!
Your pictures and descriptions are so revealing and FUN – a real peek into your life on the road! I LOVE the little mushroom shaped potatoes (can't even imagine how long that took!) fun Florida beach/pool time – so glad you guys got to enjoy a little of our Florida Sunshine while you were here! 🙂 I am EVER SO thankful that i finally got to meet you all and hug your necks – what a huge blessing and treat!
I love smiling, washing and folding…and, in that order! ha!
and, Mr. Snyder is so dear! what an incredible sacrifice and how precious of Denver and your family to honor him and his service!
Love and hugs to you all – until we meet again!!
P.S. I'm a huge fan of #CloudStatus 🙂
Glad to see Steven and Mary make your concert. I talked to them before they left and they really drove hard to make it down there. There were happy they did. Love the photo of Denver with little Steven. His knew thing is to lay his head on the shoulder of anyone he likes. Just sad that the photo immoralized another one with no eyebrows…
Awww, it was so good to see you all!! So nice to catch up, Chels!