Category Archives: Family and Friends

Pictures and stories of our dear family and friends

Full arms, Full hearts

This past weekend we took a quick trip to Waco to greet our newest grandson, and love on the rest of our Waco clan!
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It was a super sweet couple of days, where we snuggled with the littles and hung out with the not so littles!
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It was a laid back couple of days
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and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with the kiddos. Little Deacon spent Saturday night back in the hospital, enjoying a ‘spa day’ under the lights (the dreaded bilirubin count was getting higher instead of lower), but by morning his ‘numbers’ were back in the right range, and he was home Sunday afternoon.  God is good!

We did have a opportunity to see some friends, make sure a couple of our favorite Waco eateries were still delicious, and even stopped at the Parrott Ave house and greet the new owners. (Yikes, I know that was risky, but we had a gate opener that we wanted to return so it seemed like a legitimate reason to stop. They were delighted to officially meet us, and remain totally thrilled with the house. I confess it did our hearts good to know that all was well!)

We left Waco knowing we wouldn’t see these darling kids until next summer, but oh so very thankful for Facetime and Skype and any of the other miracles of technology that allow us to watch ALL these babies grow!
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Today we had another addition to the family! This very day we welcomed this sweet ride into our family-
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Not as exciting as that little Deacon, but still a pretty big deal in our world!
Thanks for joining in our JOY!
Steph
PSSST – if you’d like to see a couple more photos of those cute grandboys – you can check them out HERE!

Cabin Chronicles, Reader’s Digest Edition

When I started writing about our time at The Cabin in my head, I had it organized in several categories. Like Cabin Mornings
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or Cabin Sunsets
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or Cabin Gardening
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or just fun Cabin shots –
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But now that two months have passed, it seems best that I just focus in on The Dock Project. (Because what would our end of the summer Cabin visit be without a Project!)
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As you can see, our dock has seen better days. I think we could go as far as to say that it’s seen better years!! At our annual meeting we discussed removing, replacing or rebuilding it. Since a ‘ready made’ dock was a little out of our budget, and the idea of No Dock was not well received, it was decided that Gary (with the help of our VT family) would work on rebuilding it at the end of the summer.
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Let’s just say that Gary really loves a challenge!
First there was the dismantling….
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Once all the top boards were off, he moved the frame (with a little help from the 4 wheeler and no documentation) to the shore and then up on a pair of sawhorses. (Happy to report I DID actually help with that!)
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For the first time in 40 years (+/-) the pond was dock-less!Untitled

Once all the rebuilding/reinforcement of the dock frame was done,
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we just waited until we had more willing bodies and then back into the pond it went. Again with a little help from that trusty ATV!
Dragging the Dock into position
And then the real fun began!
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To say this was a family affair is an understatement!
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To say it was lots of fun (and lots of hard work) is also an understatement!
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So it’s not quite ready for diving off of, but we had to save something for next spring’s project, right?
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It was a great family day, and we give a big shout out to Dewey, Sharon, Bethany, Mike, the little guys, Talon and Alaster, and the puppies, Amaya and Sunshine (along with Elna and Henry who were up at the cabin cleaning up after lunch!) who made Phase One of the Dock Project a reality!

We only had two weeks at the Cabin this year, but we made sure they were filled with friends and family and long naps and sleeping late and waking to the sound of a crackling fire and the sweet aroma of a fresh pot of coffee. (OK, so I was the only one sleeping late and waking to the sound of crackling fire and the sweet aroma of a fresh pot of coffee, but we were both involved in the naps and friends and family!) So although this update is just about two months late, it was a lovely reminder of that perfect end of the summer we so often enjoy!! (If you’d like to see more photos of our Cabin time, you can check them out HERE!)

In a real-time update, I’m delighted to report that we have welcomed our newest grandboy into the family!
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Deacon Wood Conrad entered the world on Oct 15, weighing in at a healthy 8#13oz. Momma and baby are doing great – and the big brothers seem to be quite enthralled with this newest Conrad.
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And I’m happy to report we’re just days away from holding all that new baby goodness!

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph

Still in Real Time

Well, we made it!
From here
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to here
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to here
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to here.

1000 miles later, and we’re nicely settled (with the slides out – whoohoo!) for the next couple weeks. Though in reality we’ll be gone for one of those weeks (flying to South Dakota Friday for the Midwest SOWER Rally), we’re still thankful for this sweet spot and are enjoying reconnecting with SOWER friends that live here in Lindale. Oh, and doing laundry and balancing check books and packing for our trip. Yes, life.

So although I still have plenty to share about our time in Montrose, our time in Vermont, our time with the Columbus Kids and other miscellaneous points of interest, I have to be real here. It might be a while before I carve those blogging moments out of the next couple of weeks. SO – I will leave you with a pretty darn cute video of my youngest Ohio grandboy (the cutie in the red shirt)on a ride at Kings Island in Cincinnati.

Sabbath Rest

I need to be very honest here. One of the harder things about our life on the road is our lack of church family. Oh, it’s been wonderful to visit churches around the country and catch glimpses of how God is working in different communities. We worship a Big Big God, and he is not constrained by denominations or worship styles or liturgy. These have been powerful lessons we have learned, and we are thankful for them. But given that we change locations, on average, every three weeks we have become Professional Church Visitors. And sometimes we grow weary of it. Which is why we have come to love the little Bradford E-Free Church near our cabin.
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We get there 4 or 5 times over the course of the summer and each time we are greeted with “Hey, it’s the Conrads! Welcome home!” and hugs. Lots and lots of hugs. We may just be ‘summer folk’, but they include us in their family. I know they pray for us (and we them) and we are blessed to worship with them when we can. This morning was no exception. We sang a ‘new to me’ hymn and the words really spoke to my heart. I’ve found a video, but I hope you take a minute to read through the words before you listen to the video. They are very powerful! May we all continue to be astounded by this “amazing wonder, irresistible and free!”

God of Grace

“God of grace, amazing wonder,
Irresistible and free;
Oh, the miracle of mercy
Jesus reaches down to me.
God of grace, I stand in wonder,
As my God restores my soul.
His own blood has paid my ransom;
Awesome cost to make me whole.

God of grace, who loved and knew me
Long before the world began;
Sent my Saviour down from heaven;
Perfect God and perfect man.
God of grace, I trust in Jesus;
I’m accepted as His own.
Every day His grace sustains me,
As I lean on Him alone.

God of grace, I stand astounded,
Cleansed, forgiven and secure.
All my fears are now confounded
And my hope is ever sure.
God of grace, now crowned in glory,
Where one day I’ll see Your face;
And forever I’ll adore You
In Your everlasting grace.”

— WORDS AND MUSIC BY KEITH GETTY & JONATHAN REA COPYRIGHT © 2003 THANKYOU MUSIC
-Performed by Joanne Hogg, Kristyn Getty, Margaret Becker
– Video by Maxfli82

Things they are a’ changin’

Well, I guess it would be more accurate to say – things they are a ‘changin back.
Two years ago I shared how we had purchased this sweet house in Waco

It seemed weird, at the time, that even though we were in Pennsylvania we could buy a house in Texas. Ah, the magic of technology.
So today it didn’t seem quite so weird that even though we are (again!)in Pennsylvania we have been able to sell a house in Texas.

It was a bittersweet moment as we bid farewell (in a distant kind of way) to little bit of Waco, but I must confess that it was much nicer to see money arrive in our bank account rather than have it get sucked out. We wish the new owners much joy in the house, and pray they love it as much as we did!
But we’re not done with Waco. Not by a long shot. Even though the Parrott Ave (aka the PAZOO) Era is over, there is still lots to love about Waco. No, it’s not Chip and Joanna. It’s the friends we’ve made over the 10 years of our Waco connection and of course it’s these guys most of all –J&A&family
Yes, Waco – We’ll be baaaaack!!!