Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hard Work in the Field and Ice Cream Rewards

While some people think of outdoor recreation on lakes as their summer entertainment, our family is a little different.  We do enjoy time on the boat, fishing with my parents, but some of the things that make our summer a delight are maybe over looked by some.  

After a quick run to the library, a quick stop at the grocery store, and stopping to give a hug to a friend on her birthday, we headed to the garden and blueberry field.  The garden has one patch that gets overly weedy, so the children worked on that while Jonathon and I worked on the blueberries.  We've been working at getting all the weeds cut back from around the plants, so they can be fertilized easier.  They look pretty good out there.  Still not overly big, but they're coming along.  We have one area in the field that is especially wet.  Those bushes didn't survive, but the other rows look pretty good.  

Yesterday I told everyone that once the field got completed, we'd bike to Stroh to get ice cream.  The job got accomplished today during this beautiful day we had.  While we were working on the bushes, Uncle Norman came in the field with his tractor and rake.  Benaiah sure enjoyed watching him rake the hay that he had already mowed.  Watching the field get mowed and baled is one of our favorite things during the summer.  It just feels like we're in the right place when it's happening.  Jonathon of course loves to help, but today he stayed in the field at the blueberries to get that job done.  Uncle Norman finished raking, we finished cutting back weeds, and I went in to start supper as Jonathon took his tractor and a cousin's bush hog out in the field to mow the rest of it down where he wants to dig some spots to see how the field would hold water for a pond to irrigate the blueberries.  

Field done, supper done, weeds pulled in the garden, and kitchen cleaned up from supper.  Time for a bike ride to get ice cream!

I would say our ice cream treat was well deserved by all!

 The garden area is closest to the camera and to the left of the mowed grass area.  Hay field all raked.  Blueberries all weeded, now we just need to get it all mowed in between each plant to get rid of the extra tall weeds where a plant died. 

 Bush hogging to clean up the area a little.

 We love when it's hay season!

 Some boys enjoying the work on the tractor.

 Our littlest farmer.

 There's something about a freshly mowed and raked hay field.  It looks and smells so good!

Off to get ice cream!

 She usually needs some help.  

On the ride home, she really needed help.  She used her little napkin to keep her lap clean, but it just wasn't enough.  Drip, drip, drip.  :)

Today was such a wonderful day!  Some hard work accomplished by all, some good exercise, and a yummy cold treat to top off our hard work.  My legs feel a little jelloey from the bike ride home, but I made it.  My body is ready to get some sleep, but I'm thankful that it can do all that it does despite being pregnant.  Love being pregnant during the summer to keep it in shape, ready for labor and delivery.  2 1/2 more months to go!  Until then, I'll keep myself busy and enjoying this lovely summer with my family!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Gene Stratton Porter- Walk Thru Summer 2015

We had a busy day the other day picking strawberries.  All were tired afterwards, but I knew that they wouldn't be tired if we stopped at Gene Stratton Porter State Historic Site for a little walking and photography.  They were all into the books they brought along, so they weren't even paying attention to where we were at.  I had some pretty happy children when they realized where I had taken them.  

 I loved this!  All of their best morning faces.  Saphira was even pretending to snore.  :)

We didn't have time for a long walk, but a little is better than nothing.  They would have walked a lot here, but they knew it was an extra blessing for the day, so they didn't complain that we didn't spend much time.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bat Mitzvah, Park, and Celebrating a new baby & his circumcision

We've had a weekend full of friends and fellowship!  Today wasn't part of the weekend, but it sure felt like it with more time with friends celebrating a new baby.  We are so blessed to have friends near and far that we can spend time with and rejoice in accomplishments in each other's lives.  

Our first stop was at a Bat Mitzvah up in Michigan at the Eplett home.  Sadie is a special girl that we all love.  This ceremony consisted of blessings from her parents, siblings, and grandparents.  We are truly enjoying seeing all these young peole growing up and making the decision to make their parent's God, their own God.  It is a precious decision.  On the long drive home we were blessed to have some discussion with our girls on hearing from the Lord and being obedient.  What a wonderful thing to hear our children telling us that God is speaking to them and they need to obey.  Conversations that make a long drive home seem quite short. 

Here are the lovely pictures from Sadie Rose's celebration.  Alegra took all these pictures with delight as she enjoyed the decorations and artsy creativity that her friend has.

The blessing from the father is so important and special.

 Praying over her.  You can tell their relationship is close and meaningful.  He's a great example of a loving father.

The Bat Mitzvah night was a long one, but we made it home safely and recovered well the next day.  We had some shopping to do for another party and then to graduation party.  We left a little early, so I suggested we take the children to the park.  The rains cleared away for a time and we headed to enjoy some park fun.  It sure felt good to sit and watch my children run, play, and be creative with health and strength.  I am thankful that they all are healthy.  I was quite content to sit there and enjoy the time being together with my family who is happy and whole.

 The girls and I took a brisk walk around the park on the trail.  Ugh, this baby sits low and cramps up the hips, but I kept moving.  

We left the graduation party in a down pour.  We did spend more fellowship time with friends, helping them set up for the party and visiting.  But after the second round of rain, we decided it was time to go.  My parents came over for supper and entertained the children and helped with decorations for party #3.

With new babies come celebrations of new life.  With boy babies come circumcision time.  We like to make it a time of celebration as well.  Not that the poor little guy is getting a procedure done, but rejoicing that his parents are choosing to walk in what the Scriptures instruct to do.  Making it a lighter feel and giving it special touches helps the momma deal with what her son has to go through.

Welcome, baby Emmett, to the Smith family that we love so much!  

 They were recommended this jewish moyle who was very good and added some special touches with speaking on the name they chose and the history of circumcision.  Another friend read some blessings over Emmett,  It was a sweet time for something that is typically done in a medical room and not allowed to be a special procedure.  When the Father said to do it on the 8th day, He had actual physical reasons why as that is the best day when the blood clots to prevent too much bleeding.   Since He chose the day and that it should be done, why not bring Him into the procedure of it.  It is beautiful when done as unto HIM, just as we are to do everything in our walk.   

It was a wonderful way to end our busy weekend.  The light shines on as we bring more children into this world to raise up for HIM.  The light shines on as we have conversations with them about obedience to HIM.  The light shines on as we, in our own examples, walk a walk where we do everything as unto HIM.  I pray we are leading them and showing them what we should to cause them to stay on the straight path and not sway.  Blessing the children to rise up and bless HIM in return.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Shavuot 2015

We had a lovely Shavuot Celebration this year.  City on a Hill fellowship shares the feast with many, many other fellowships around the Michiana area.  We always delight in seeing so many friends from near and far during this feast.  There is always lots of catching up to do, fun for the children, and of course delicious food.   Here is how we celebrated :

The decorations are always so festive and add to the specialness of the feast.

 Run down of events

 The worship team did a great job leading in worship and focusing on the Spirit, which is what this feast is about.

 There were plenty of people, male and female, who enjoyed dancing during worship.  It's such an added element that we can't always do in tight spaces.

 The youth did a skit set to music.  If you look closely you can see Alegra in the orange shirt. in the middle of the group.

 The Bovee Family Singers, as some call us, sang 2 songs.  The girls did Oceans first, then we all sang Holy Spirit.  Thank you, Ireena Keeslar for the pictures!

 Alegra played the ukulele and Diella played the rain stick.

 So thrilled that we, as a family, can worship together in this way and bless those around us.

 The sound guy.

These next few pictures are of the men reenacting the wave offering.  It's always such a neat time to see all of the leaders of the homes represented there participate in this part.  

This year we were in charge of the children's activities.  We had about 45 children ages 12 and under by the end of the activity time.  It was a little bit of a challenge, but all in all, I believe they had a good time, learned a little bit about the Fruits of the Spirit which was the theme this year, and were able to get some energy out of their systems before it was time to sit and watch fireworks.  We read them a story, taught them a new song, played a Fruit of the Spirit sticker tag game, and the shoe race game.  We ended with giving them the supplies to make beaded bracelets where each color represented a different fruit of the Spirit.  I hope they all went home and practiced what they learned.  :)

 Spreading Love, Joy, Peace, and Goodness to our friends. 

 He's such a happy helper. 

 Bracelet time!

 One of the very few who were able to get in a nap.  :)

Onto the sky lanterns.  This is always such a fun part of the evening.  Sometimes families join up to let one go and other times friends do it together.  Either way, it creates a sky full of light, special moments with each other, and an awe for the peaceful quiet picture that it gives us as the sun goes down.

The final fun is the fireworks display.  Most people have to wait for the 4th of July, but we do the fireworks with thing early.  It's a great way to end the celebration!  
Thank you to Ireena Keeslar from Wild Rose Photography for sharing some of her photos with me to share with you.  Alegra took most of the other pictures.  If she was in the picture, then I took it or Diella.

I hope your feast was as spectacular as our's.  If you don't know about this feast, check it out. Whoever says we shouldn't have to keep those Old Testament feasts is sure missing out!  :)  May His Spirit be among, within, and upon you today!