March 6-9th, our family was once again blessed with the opportunity to have a family vacation at a beautiful ranch in the hill country of Texas. Carson drove down from Iowa so we were ALL together again, and it was amazing to be twelve instead of eleven! 
The timing for our vacation was perfect as well, since we had just completed a very full tour schedule in the states, and were preparing to head into Mexico on the 10th for two weeks there. 
We played hilarious games, gave speeches, went on hikes, explored, enjoyed the abundant wildlife, cooked + ate INCREDIBLE food, read good books, played sports outside, soaked up the sunshine, spent time singing + in the Word, had many many many long conversations, and all in all just enjoyed the blessing of being a family together. I’ll let the pictures tell the story. 

“Some of the best things in life are the people we love, 
the places we’ve been, 
and the memories we’ve made along the way.”



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  1. aw… LOVE these pictures!
    I'm so thankful that God provided this time of rest and relaxation. What a blessing!! Hugs to you all… and, save me a little something from "Denny's Grill"… Quesadillas always sound yummy!! ha!
    Love to you all from Florida!

    1. I bet your Denny's is better than the one I just ate at. I am trying to figure out what Dad is doing in the second picture? Is that Mitch I see cooking? He does so many other things that I would never guess he cooked.

    2. I believe Dad had just brought in the dish of grilled shrimp + fish, and was transferring it to a platter. =)
      And yes our Dennys was probably better! FYI Denny is Denver's nickname, that's why he and Liz called it "Dennys Grill". =)
      Yes, Mitchell wears many hats! These days he really likes to make tiramisu. =)

  2. So glad y'all had this little vacation! Love all the happy snapshots of your time together. The food looks absolutely fantastic! Especially those meatballs. I've seen some that look almost as well done before. Thanks for posting!

  3. Looks like a party!
    I love Joshua's amazing smile in the second to last pic! 🙂
    He must have been sharing something exciting or else the audience must have just made him smile!

  4. That looks like a fun game of dare base!

    I am from a large family too, but didn't think 12 poeple would be quite enough to play. 🙂
    I guess we'll have to try it!

    1. Definitely you should try it. We also have very good suggestions of ways to help/add to the game if your family doesn't have enough people…

  5. It looks like you all had a nice time. I hope it wasn't cloudy the whole time. We have nice sun in TX. The game that involves napping and standing looks interesting. Denver's sense of style is impressive. Are we going to see v-neck shirts and sport coats in concert soon? Your guys must have huge appetites, considering all of the extra plates.

    1. The weather was the best combination of sun AND clouds. Most people don't get to experience this kind of weather, in the quantity that we had it! Lots of sun along with lots of cloudiness is amazing! =)
      I doubt you will be seeing that style in concert clothes.
      And as far as is a known fact that Bontragers eat a lot. =)

  6. Fun to see the four committee members all together! Those biscuits and gravy make me hungry just looking at them. It looks like you all a hose rippin good time, playing all of those games. Settlers of Catan is one of the best games ever!

    1. What game even is Settlers of Catan? You will have to teach us because our family does a lot of hosting with other large families and we LOVE playing games at dusk!

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