We arrived home on April 12. Since then, life has been a blessed flurry of activity, with crops and gardens to be planted, lawn to be mowed, cows to be milked, friends and family to be fellowshipped with, and God’s goodness to be enjoyed. The above picture is of our first meal at home.
Soon after arriving home, Mother, Allison, Liz, and Rebecca drove to Kansas to visit John
and Chelsy for the weekend.
They enjoyed walks, conversation, and Chelsy’s fabulous cooking.
With enough rain and sunshine, the grass began to grow and we began to mow.
Some of the siblings enjoyed time working and catching up with Mitchell at the Dutch Country Inn.
Allison rewarded her diligent violin students with a coffee shop date.
In late April, Josh and Cass visited Galena, IL, for a week for a very early first anniversary getaway.
They spent time brainstorming, reading, talking, walking, playing games, relaxing, and planning.
They also enjoyed gelato.
In May, we began practice for the Summer Tour.
Mother and this dear friend enjoyed walking and conversation.
Our father and mother are certainly the sweetest and classiest parents around!
The effervescent, expecting sisters.
Two of Mother’s VS friends from over 25 years ago visited for a weekend.
Hudson applies diligence to every endeavor, whether music, cooking, or calf feeding.
A bike ride on the Kewash.
Mitch and Bryn are enjoying married life and hotel management.
They visited Branson for a weekend.
They continue to bless their family, church, and all they interact with.
We really miss having little people around and are joyfully anticipating the grand babies this summer.
Denver loves little people and will be a great Daddy someday.
The brotherhood enjoyed a campout.
Games, manly conversation, and good memories happen best around the fire.
Allison traveled to Mexico for a friend’s wedding.
Denver incorporates younger friends into his work whenever possible.
The two oldest sisters still at home continue to bless all of us.
We’re not sure if this trio was having too much fun!
They also love hospitality. In their short 5 months of marriage they’ve already hosted many guests!
One day, Chelsy brought Dad and Carson lunch and then spent the rest of the day
riding with them in the tractors.
The Lord gave us a blessed planting season.
All the seeds were in the soil just before the rain came.
Part of the family enjoyed a picnic by the field in the midst of a busy planting day.
An evening rodeo temporarily stampeded our family Mother’s Day celebration. It’s always better when the neighbor’s cattle escape into your field than it is when your own cattle escape the pen.
Taylor and Allison visited some friends in Canada for a couple days.
While there, Taylor applied his calf management expertise.
The newest Bontrager to get a driver’s license, Taylor takes life very seriously and is a
diligent, thoughtful, and conscientious young man.
We celebrated Allison’s birthday in May. She continues to bless her family with her kind thoughtfulness and servanthood. She also hosted a girl’s retreat the end of April.
The vast land to be planted tis truly a conquest of the open spaces.
Pizza parties are the best!
Basketball with Hudson caught in mid-motion.
The garden crew strove hard to prepare the gardens and beds for summer.
Taylor applies thoroughness to every situation.
Liz blesses her family with her fine culinary skills and her blossoming womanhood.
Rebecca is a plucky young lady who ministers to us all with her cheerful smile.
Josh and Cass spent a fun-filled evening at Carson and Lina’s.
Carson and Lina hosted these friends a week before the family returned from tour.
Carson’s woodshed is filling up and represents many hours of diligent labor.
The family hosted a baby shower for one of the new mothers at church.
Planting season is a great time to bond family relationships.
Truly the Lord has been good to us.
“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.” –Psalm 144:12-15