As you all know, it has been quite a while since we have done a recap of our life.
In fact, it hasn’t happened ALL FALL.
My computer is stuffed with pictures from August, September, October, November, AND December, that have all just been waiting to be blogged.
Unfortunately, time for blogging has been lacking this fall. August and September found us coming and going—hosting events, touring, and working the farm. October, November, and December have found us primarily at home sweet home—canning, clearing out the gardens, harvesting, and being involved in political and church activities and campaigns. Among other things…Mitchell + Carson have been gone many weeks working for farmers all across the state with their custom farming business. Allison has started her own design business and has continued working at the hotel and managing details there. I have been working on the farm and assisting with scheduling/finalizing details for our tours for 2016. Joshua has been recently taking tests and preparing to leave for college for a week on campus before joining us for our winter tour. (and continuing his studies online)
. Josh, Denver, Taylor, Hudson, and Rebecca have all spent hundreds of hours studying and competing with the National Bible Bee. (post on that coming soon!) Denver, Hudson, and Rebecca auditioned for the Bible Bee Game Show and were accepted, so their study has continued on into December. Elizabeth has become an accomplished chef and study coach to her siblings, and has been pouring herself into her music as well. The parents (Marlin + Becky) continue to wear more hats than I think is humanly possible! But in addition to everything that they normally do, God has opened new doors for them to be involved in more mentoring and discipleship ministry.
Here are a few highlights that happened these past four months:
Mitchell + Carson gone most of October + November doing custom farm work for other farmers across the state.
All food from the six gardens either eaten, frozen, canned, or otherwise stored for the winter
The Live Animal Christmas Play
The National Bible Bee
Special Services and events at church
All that said…enjoy these random pictures, in no particular order, from the past four months of life with the Bontragers!
When your cousin works at one of the best bakeries in the world, and he delivers you fresh donuts. =)
This dear lady and her husband let our family spend two marvelous days at their retreat back in the woods in northern Indiana, in September, while we were out on tour. What a blessing.
I try to coordinate decent outfits, I really do. But sometimes certain individuals like to suggest new ideas for combining certain styles.
Don’t worry-this one was immediately shot down. =)
We also had friends visiting from Alberta the week of Rebecca’s party so they got to join in on the festivities as well.
We do all sorts of things when people come to visit. Sometimes (like this day) we have work parties, and then after a long hard day of work, we go out and shoot for awhile.
Moving equipment from one job to the next…
The only bad thing is when you are having such fun with your shenanigans that you miss your cue to be out on stage. =0
Watching the GOP debates was high on our priority list this fall. Dad + Josh got the opportunity to attend this one live!
So thankful for the bountiful harvest the Lord blessed us with this year, both in the fields and the garden.
Allison making pies.
We had a houseful of random guests and a beautiful day celebrating our blessings.
Some of us older ones enjoyed an evening out with friends-dinner at Pancheros and catching an awesome movie at the theater. So thankful for dear friends like these that the Lord has given us here in Iowa!
The view, looking back from the tractor…
Making homemade pizza for yet another birthday party.
Time around the breakfast table, in the Word, with more dear visiting friends.
A rousing game of “Do You Love Your Neighbor” with friends whilst the parents were out on a double date.
Taylor so generously wanted to cook a special meal for the family, as a thank-you to everyone for helping him and listening to his verses in preparation for the National Bible Bee.
He choose an AMAZING menu and we all loved this meal so much!
Izzies to drink, and then grilled shrimp and tilapia, loaded baked potatoes, cranberry/pear/nut/lettuce salad, and grilled asparagus.
We played a Bible Trivia game one morning, using a Bible Trivia book that a friend had given to Taylor. This ended up being like devotions, and school, and family time, and laughter, and growing in Bible knowledge…all rolled into one.
This honestly only scratches the surface of what all went on here this fall. I missed taking pictures of so SO many things. Guys in the field, school, Bible Bee, work…those things consumed hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours and never are properly documented through pictures anyways. It has been a good past four months. Tiring and crazy but oh so good. We are so thankful for the opportunity to live this country life and wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Stay tuned in the coming days-we have several more recap posts in the works that we are excited to share with you!