Category Archives: Family and Friends

Pictures and stories of our dear family and friends

Flag Day and the answer

Happy Flag Day everyone!
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Have you been having a good week? Aside from an excursion to the cardiologist on Wednesday (tests went well – but no word yet.), I’ve been busy helping with the Big Bed Shuffle here at the conference center. Remember all those mattresses that were delivered a week or so ago?
UntitledWell, the new queens are going into the rooms in Lily Hill (the motel), and the newer doubles that had been in Lily Hill were moved to replaced some older doubles in Dreyer. Then all the twin beds were replaced with new. In other words, just about every room at the conference center got some type of new (or new to them!) beds. It was a good chance to do some behind the beds cleaning,
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and then ALL those beds had to be made! Ah, job security!
Gary, who has been on ‘light duty’ since this whole heart thing started, kept busy making all the bed frames for those new queen beds.
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Neither he or I were actually involved in the shuffling of all the mattresses (thank goodness!). Just the pre- and after-math of said shuffle!! All in all, it was a good and productive week!
This weekend we head to upstate NY for a weekend visit with our good SOWER friends, Joe & Kim. =) At the end of the weekend, Gary will head back by himself and I’ll hang around in NY until Kim and I pick-up our other dear friend Jenny at the airport on Tuesday for a much anticipated Girls’ Getaway!!
Watch out – here comes trouble!
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Oh – the Where in the World Wednesday location? I had a lot of good guess over on Facebook, and lots of them got it right away.

Mount St. Helens in Washington State.  The mountain missing it’s main peak since its 1980 eruption.
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Just a little randomness

Did you have a good Memorial Day? We were busy here at the conference center. Not only was there a full house at the lower campus, but they hosted a community picnic and chicken BBQ up at the upper campus.  So the kitchen was super stretched on Monday, but as always, everything worked out well. I was taking a turn in the kitchen (I’ve been mostly helping out with housekeeping) and they even let me play at the griddle!
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Hotdog, anyone?

Today the busyness continued!! I was back on housekeeping (after all, it was a full house over the weekend so ALL the rooms needed attention) and we were mostly working on the the preliminary stripping, collecting trash and towels, since today was also the day that over 100 new mattresses were delivered!
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Oh yeah –
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Mattresses, mattresses, everywhere!!
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These are some of the old ones waiting to be hauled downstairs. Pretty sure it was time!
But while the rest of the guys were hauling new and old mattresses hither and yon, Gary was still working on leveling that foundation.
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I think the ‘jack up the building’ phase of this job is about done! Thank-goodness!

Oh, the random thing? Well, I got a video from my daughter this week that absolutely made my day. For the last several years, each spring I send each of the grands a new book to start off their summer reading. I enjoy reading reviews and trying to find just the right book for each of them. I know they always appreciate them (and I can only hope they actually read them!), but this video that Lara took right after Alexandra (age 3.5) opened her book is absolutely priceless –
Alexandra and her new book!
My heart is full!

The last six pix – from my kids

“Chirp”

There is almost nothing that makes my day happier than when my phone “chirps” to indicate a new text message and it’s NOT from Joann Fabrics alerting me to their latest super coupon or from SONIC letting me know that I can get half off corn dogs all day, but rather from one of my kids! And when that text includes a picture, well, this traveling Gramma’s heart sings. In the last week I’ve heard from all of them – and all of them have sent pictures!
From Lara –
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“We stopped by the park and there was a 3 yr old birthday party happening and we knew the little girl a bit so they invited us to join. It was all Daniel Tiger. :)” (Alexandra’s favorite!!)
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“We got our nails done today for a belated Mother’s Day 🙂 ”
From Toby –
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“Reis playing tball and Maddie’s team won the championship for the season today!” (Maddie’s third from the right in the front row!)

And from Josiah (well, technically from Abigail, but we’re still counting it!)
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(This one came without caption – but then again, does it really need one?)
and finally –
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“He loves his quilt!”

Those little snippets from the busy lives of our kids are treasured beyond words. SO – If you have young children and your parents don’t live close by (or even if they do, for that matter!): Quick – snap a picture with that fancy phone of yours, and send it off to them! It’ll do their hearts good!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Dear Mom,


Today is Mother’s Day, Mom, and I’ve heard from all of my kiddos, had a sweet lunch with an “adopted” daughter, and even received a nice pot of pansies to brighten the outside of the coach. But still there’s a part of me that wants to wish YOU – My Mom – a very happy Mother’s Day. Your love and care for our family taught me how to be a Mom. You were smart and talented and modest and quiet and funny (and maybe even a little bit quirky) and you loved us all very well. Happy Mother’s Day in Heaven, Mom. I’m missin’ you!

Our SOWER Family

There are lots of reasons to be part of the SOWER Ministry. We get to travel the country, make lots of new friends, and see God at work at the ministries where we serve.  But one of the absolute BEST reasons to be part of this ministry is the SOWER Family you instantly gain when you join.  When I say SOWER Family, I really mean SOWER Praying family.
This week I sent out a prayer request for my sister Elna’s immunotherapy treatments that began yesterday.

Dear SOWER family –
Thank you so much for your prayers for my sister, Elna, who underwent extensive abdominal surgery for renal cancer tumors on her pancreas in January. She has recovered nicely from the surgery (thank you, LORD!) and is doing well. However, recent CT scans have revealed several nodes on her lungs. These cannot be dealt with surgically and she will begin a course of immunotherapy (Opdivo) on Tuesday (5/8). This new development has not caught our God by surprise, and although we are sobered by this turn of events, we are still resting in HIS faithfulness.
We covet your prayers for her that she would experience minimal side effects, that the therapy is successful, and for healing. Thank you for lifting this dear sister in Christ before His throne.
In Him,
Stephanie Conrad #2509

Here are just some of the responses that so lifted my heart, even as they lifted her up in prayer

  • Sending prayers to the great healer for your dear sister.
  • We will continue to praise God and rely on his care for your sister
  • So so sorry😒. But our God is an amazing, awesome God!!  We are praying
  • Thank you for the update.  We will be praying for Elna, that the immunotherapy will have great affect on the nodes, and side effects will be minimal.
  • “Jesus, please meet this request.  Thank You for Your Grace. Amen.”
  • Sorry to hear this about Elna—every cancer survivor dreads this news! Where does she live and does she have access to a support group? As a cancer survivor, I’m willing to listen if she needs someone to talk to.
  • Lifting you and your entire family and trusting in the security of the loving arms of our Almighty God.
  • Yes!  God is Faithful, Willing, and Able!  We pray that His merciful healing hand will be on your sister, and that all those who are near and dear to her will be comforted by His Presence !

I thank God for those beautiful responses to my request, along with the hundreds other prayers that were uttered without the need to hit the ‘reply’ button. (My usual response.)

Today the report from Elna is good! Yesterday’s infusion went simply and without any drama, and so far she is feeling great.  Of course, it’s one-day-at-a-time with these things, but that’s how prayer works too! I’m so thankful for my SOWER family (and others of you, of course) who are walking alongside Elna and our family as she begins this journey.

To God be All the Glory!

PS – the image at the top of the post was taken as SOWERS surrounded (literally!) with prayer the RV of a SOWER who had just been taken to the hospital.  Photo creds to Larry Shoup.