Sunday, January 1, 2017

Our Bible Bee Trip. (Very Belated)

So I decided it was time to post about our Bible Bee trip. Our first stop was at the Hanson's house. We played Balderdash 3 times. Some games got a little long, but it was really fun talking with cousins and just being with them.  (and playing Balderdash at 11 at night is rather interesting. Although the definitions do get pretty funny.)

These four had a great conversation together!

It was great getting to see this little guy. In this picture he was supposed to be taking a nap. However, Josh and Caleb thought that he needed some company. He was very tired that night. :)
Here we are with Julie H. We got to catch up with her for about an hour than we continued on our travels.
We made it to the JW Marriott! It was amazing to see how God took care of and provided for us every step of the  way. Since not all of the family could come we were limited on drivers. Plus, my mom was hesitant to drive our older mini van that long of a distance. After some talking we decided to rent a vehicle. It was a 2016 model!! I think it gave some peace of mind to my Dad knowing that if anything happened to the rented vehicle, we were not responsible for it. Praise the Lord for his direction and protection!! We had beautiful driving weather and Mom did a fantastic job driving.
Playing Ultimate Frisbee with Bible Bee friends.
The National Bible Bee is a wonderful couple of days filled with fellowship, God's Word, opportunities to witness, and an encouragement to memorize more of God's Word!! I was so blessed to soak up the Word of God. It truly is powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.
Dutch Blitz! We played this game more than once at Bible Bee! The camaraderie of fellow believers is precious. I love the spontaneous times that I was able to pray with other sisters and brothers in Christ. You can walk up to just about anybody and feel an instant connection. There are definitely those that feel any setting there are those who need us to walk up and be friendly with, and to make them feel welcome. Somebody has probably done the same for you, so be willing to do it for others.
Mom & Esther right before Esther went to take the Online test and do her Oral round.  We praise Jesus for how well Esther did. No she didn't make it to Semi-finals, but she did her best, and learned a lot in the process. In our eyes she is a winner, as is anyone who memorized God's Word. Esther knew 4 of the 5 passages in her Oral Round...Since she had not memorized all the passages we were afraid that she would have to pass on all her passages(and thought that it might be discouraging for her!) Thank you Lord for caring about the little things and giving her just the right passages!
Elizabeth met Anna M. Their family has been a great blessing to hundreds of homeschooling families and Elizabeth has read their blog for a long while, so she enjoyed getting to meet one of the family members!
Even in San Antonio you have to eat :) Little Caesars! One of our favorite places to eat on trips.
Mmm...Esther + JoAnna eating pizza for lunch!
Rachel with all of the Commanders she got to work with. Rachel was so excited to be able to work with a great group of young people eager to be serving Jesus. Rachel served in this same capacity last year, but it was rather stressful. This time, things were laid out so well, plus it really helped to have some many optimists together:)
Rachel + Bethany X. (Steve photo-bombing in the background!)
Getting instructions on what to do when all the contestants come on stage.The Senior Commanders helped the Senior division telling them where to go, keeping them calm, praying with them, and also volunteering where ever else Bible Bee needed them. Rachel was one of the ones giving out the medals that all of the contestants received for participating. She was even able to give Esther her medal!!
This picture was taken before we picked Esther up from her Testing. It was nice to have quality time with family!

Swimming in the Rapid River down at the JW Marriott. What a fun place to be and relax with your family. The price of this water park was included when we stayed at the hotel.
This year Rachel worked as a Senior Commander with Bible Bee. She really enjoyed her time there. Here she is with Mrs. M, one of the many people she got to work with. The Body of Christ is so beautiful Ephesian 2:13
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Rachel, working at registration. We were so excited about the music this year, very beautiful and really made me think of The Lord. Though there were quite a few technical issues, I appreciated the staff so much. I never saw them get angry when things got crazy. They got low on sleep, but persevered through it all. They put so much work into it, and hardly could find time to enjoy all the fruits of their labors. A huge thank you to the staff and for all those who volunteered and made the National Bible Bee a success.

Elizabeth in our hotel room. Notice the picture of the cow in the background. Priscilla liked this picture so much she wanted to take it home with her! We were very blessed to listen to some many godly men share their faith during the conference. Ray Comfort, E.Z, The Benham Brothers, Steve Green, and more!
We had an extra seat in the van so Priscilla was able to join us! We loved having you along Cilla! Although she insisted that she was trouble with a capital T, she really wasn't:) It was a blessing to have her come!

On one of our 14 hours of driving we decided to take a break at the park! We listened to lots of music, watched some DVDs, read quite a few books, and talked and slept...oh of course watched the scenery:)
Well we finished our trip safely:) It was such a blessing to stay with Ben and Emily! The longer you live, the more you appreciate family. Don't ever take them fore-granted! We finished our trip with an epic game of Spoons, and...
Yes, we played Balderdash...again.

  Matt and Dad, thanks for holding down the fort while we were gone. We really missed you though!!
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year. May our hearts continue to be yielded to the King of Kings. Living in his service is the most beautiful thing that we can do with our lives.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Flashback to Labor Day:)...Don't forget your history!!

10 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.
11 Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;
13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; Deuteronomy 8:10-14
Labor Day was really quite a ways back, but we, as a family had such a special day! Since a large part of my Mom's heritage is Mennonite~ we decided to go to Steinbach and tour the Mennonite village. It was on one of the few days that the village is actually up and running. We didn't take as many pictures as we could have...We visited a blacksmith shop where  the blacksmith was making hammer heads; a print shop where a printing apprentice was printing labels on paper bags which would eventually be used for candy:); Mom and Rachel attended a small class on seed saving; Some of us kiddos attended a demonstration of a player piano( I was even allowed to give it a try...they are harder to play then you think:);  we strolled though a candy shop, an old soddie, a church, a school house, an old barn attached to a house, enjoying every minute of being together and getting a taste of what life was like in the early 1900's.

Someone making fresh butter from cream.

Esther Elizabeth and JoAnna...Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! In one of the houses we toured, we taste tested fresh cucumber pickles, and watched ladies card wool. It was interesting to see the small sleeping quarters and with how "little" people could survive with. It can be so easy feel like we deserve so much, instead of being grateful to God for what he has given us!

Caleb Matthew and Marie in front of a heated sleigh:) Couldn't get cold on this ride, as long as you didn't let the fire go out!

We ran into some sweet relatives!!

These old mills were essential for a village. It would require so much extra labor to make grain into flour so that you could make bread. Another luxury we take for granted!

A special couple. By the way, it's their anniversary today. If you would like to bless them, please comment below and share a way they have impacted your life! They are such a blessing in my life. Their faithfulness to Jesus, to each other, to their family is so motivating! They are not afraid to buck the crowd and go down unbeaten paths so that the generation to come might know...they would be the first to tell you that they are not perfect, but that openness is a rare jewel for us all to wear.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

The threshing crew!! Hard work, sweat, team work, late nights and early mornings, the satisfaction of a job well done...these elements were all typically there in this type of setting, and should not be grudged by those who would  think that this kind of labor is below them.

Dress up time!

JoAnna twirling around:) Some of the best memories made are ones made up with the simple things of life. May our hearts retain that simple childlike joy in which we exclaim with rapturous joy, "Out of all the world, Jesus, you chose me!"

Part of the Berlin Wall.

Our lives are but tales that are told. Give Jesus the pen and let him write a beautiful story of your life, one of devotion, love and service to an awesome God who only is worthy of honor and glory.
We have so much more to tell you. Much has happened in the past few months. Really though what is most important is knowing God and Making Him known to others...May that always be our life story. 
Because of Him: E. Mitton

Friday, November 11, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bible Bee 2016

For the last couple of years Dad and Mom have been local hosts for Bible Bee! Rachel has been so good in helping things get organized...just one of the perks of having an organizer in the family:) The Bible Bee has been such a blessing in my (Elizabeth's) life!! When our family first heard about the Bible Bee, it sounded like such a good idea!! We really didn't know what we were getting ourselves into though. Our first year doing Bible Bee, found us kids very discouraged...there was no way that we could memorize all those verses! As a year or two went by, Rachel and I decided to try again. There were 800 verses that we had to memorize. Every morning we woke up at 5:00 to memorize our 10 verses for the day, and to complete that day's study of a specific book that everyone else was also studying: I never qualified for Nationals, but Rachel qualified her last year, as did Matthew. Bible Bee has changed quite a bit. Now there are fewer verses to memorize during the summer, which I think is wise. With so many verses if you are not careful you can fall into the danger of getting a lot of head knowledge and not a lot of heart would be better to memorize 5 verses and apply them to your life then to memorize 500 verses and get all puffed up with the knowledge that you are so smart!! I am thankful though for the privilege of spending time in God's Word...Bible Bee really helped me learn how to study the Bible, not just read it. It's really weird now not doing Bible Bee( I've not done it for 4 years actually:) This year found my family doing Bible Bee again...after hours of studying Caleb, Marie, JoAnna, and Esther took their knowledge test...days later we found out that Esther had qualified for Nationals, San Antonio here we come again:) Esther will be competing against 119 or so other Primary contestants from around the States, though Esther will not be able to finish memorizing all the verses, it has been such an encouragement to me to watch her study and to listen to her recite as I quiz her. There have been the mornings where it's been rough, I will admit that, and I have had to bite my tongue and ask God for patience:)
We didn't have a huge group of people in our area participating in Bible Bee. It was fun to gather together with those who were and encourage each other and do practice quizzes, short bible studies, singing, skits, ect. Our last meeting was one of celebration, as we had a fun meal, a practice quiz, shared our favorite verses, had a short Bible study, pictures and an award ceremony. Below our several pictures from that day!!
The Whole Bible Bee crew: from l to r.  Front, Esther, JoAnnan and Erin. Back, Marie, Ivan, David, Caleb and Hannah.

Participating in a mock oral Bible knowledge quiz. 

Recite John 15:4-5!! Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in me. I am the vine ye are the branches. He that abideth in me and I in you the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me ye can do nothing.

JoAnna receiving her prize and certificate.

"Well done, Son!!"

"Congratulations Marie!!"

"And Esther, I have something to tell you...You qualified for you will be making a little trip to San Antonio in November!!"

James 1:22-25

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 

If you have an encouraging word for Esther as she perseveres in memorizing and studying please leave a comment below...I know that she would really appreciate that :)
To close with, here is a picture of the place that we are heading to in just a couple of weeks. I know that this picture is a little bit blurry, but you get a little idea of where we are going.
Image result for images of marriott san antonio

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

On To Lawton OK!!

That's one proud papa!!!!

And a very handsome soldier.

Dad & Mom...with him all the way!
 This picture was taken on the day of Reuben's Graduation.

We went to Outback Steakhouse with Reuben!

Wow...that's a large sandwich Reuben!!

 We took Reuben bowling. This was JoAnna and Esther's first time bowling. So......

...Reuben had to teach Esther how to play!!  (Did I mention that she got a strike her very first game??  She must have had a great teacher!)


 "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 
 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life;
 that he may please him
 who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
2 Timothy 2:1-4

Reuben with the three musketeers!

Reuben and I.

Reuben and Rachel.

Reuben and Esther.

Mom and Reuben!
And headed for home!! It was awesome getting to see Reuben! He is now going on to study radiology.  Please pray for him as he is in AIT now.