Tag Archives: Family

The Sisters’ Cruise

The emails have been reviewed.
The SOWER newsletter is ready to go.
The banking and the credit cards have all been reconciled.
The pictures have been sorted.
I even put in a full SOWER work week.
Finally – a quiet afternoon (well, except for the shouting on the TV from the World Cup Finals) to write about The Sisters’ Cruise.
Oh. My.
2018 Cruise - Day 6 - Halifax-09
To say that this long anticipated Sisters’ Cruise lived up to our expectations would have to be an understatement. Our days started with coffee and Colossians (often on our sweet balcony)
2018 Cruise - Day 3 - Portland-2
and often ended with more balcony time and beautiful sunsets.
2018 Cruise - Day 3 - Portland-6
Or maybe a full moon, shimmering on the calm sea.
2018 Cruise - Day 2 - at sea-11
And in between? A bit of pool sitting,
2018 Cruise - Day 3 - Portland-3
a bit of game playing,
2018 Cruise - Day One - NY-15
a bit of eating (ok, maybe more than a bit of that!),
2018 Cruise - Day 2 - at sea-08
a bit of napping,
2018 Cruise - Day 2 - at sea-04
a bit of reading
2018 Cruise - Day 2 - at sea-07
and a bit of being entertained.
2018 Cruise - Day One - NY-14
(loved our seats!)
2018 Cruise - Day 3 - Portland-5
(In all honesty, we didn’t love ALL the entertainment, but we did love that we had the option to be entertained each night!)
The ship docked at four different ports – Portland (ME), Bar Harbor (ME), St. John (NB) and Halifax (NS). We opted to stay on the ship for the two Maine stops, and thoroughly enjoyed the quiet ship on those days.
Our view of Portland –
2018 Cruise - Day 3 - Portland-4
Our view of Bar Harbor –
2018 Cruise - Day 4 - Bar Harb-4
We did enjoy bus excursions in both St. John and Halifax –
2018 Cruise - Day 5 - St John-09
The Sea Caves at St. Martins (Bay of Fundy)
2018 Cruise - Day 6 - Halifax-25
Peggy’s Cove, near Halifax, Nova Scotia
We relished each and every day – whether we were busy learning about the Bay of Fundy or the great Halifax Explosion of 1917 or just sitting on the deck watching the world go by.
2018 Cruise - Day One - NY-06

Each day we thanked God for His faithfulness to us, His kindness to us in allowing us to have this oh-so-special time together, and the wonderful gift of our sisterhood (both in Him and by blood). To Him be all the praise and glory!!

Thanks for being patient with the long gaps between posts.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this little glimpse of our Sisters’ Cruise 2018 and if you’d like to see some additional pictures (more or less in order!) you can check them out HERE!

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.

Every Day in May

Although at the moment we are sitting in the waiting room of the RV repair shop and don’t actually know what the next couple of days might bring, the month of May looks pretty clear for us. It seems like a good month to challenge myself to do a blog post “Every Day in May”. Since we just finished up a wonderful time with our grands in Ohio, I figured that would be a great place to start. Be prepared for extreme cuteness!

This is probably not new news to most of you, but just to refresh – we have 10 beautiful grandchildren! Seven of them live in the Columbus Ohio area, and we were blessed to be able to spend 5 busy days with them. The Marysville clan, 3 girls and 2 boys, are crazy busy this year. Sports schedules, art exhibits, sleepovers – we get exhausted just thinking about their busy schedule. Down with the Gahanna crew the kids’ schedule isn’t quite so crazy, but both parents are working, so it’s still a busy-busy place. We did have a super fun day with the two littlest who are not in school – Reis and Alexandra!
There was some Cross-Fit time-
Some picnic time –
And a great time at a nearby playground!
Once everyone got home from school (except for one that had a game and one that we pick-up on the way), we piled into the Conrad-mobile, and headed to the local Chick-f-La for dinner.
Yes, just Grams and Pops and 6 grands. And Oh, How Grand It Was!
(No worries – all children were returned to their respective parents unscathed.)
We were also able to get to a couple of the ball games, an art exhibit, and even had a lovely evening out with just the grown-ups. =)
I tried to get individual shots of each of these precious little (or not so little) ones – and was mostly successful! I had to snag one off of Facebook for Ellie B, and sweet Maddie wasn’t feeling well, so hence the blanket. But overall, I’m pretty sure I have some of the very cutest and talented grandkids on the planet!

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We got to celebrate Gary’s birthday (actually we celebrated it at every opportunity)
and managed one group grand-kid photo with only a little bit of cajoling. (It did not seem prudent to ask that everyone actually have shirts on since we did this way past everyone’s bedtime!)

So there you have it – the Ohio visit in a nutshell!! Lots of hugs and kisses, some early season ball games (brrrrrr), plenty of indoor game playing and good quality time with the kids. It did this Gramma’s heart good!

Real-time update – the RV is out for a test drive, so we’re hopeful it was an easy adjustment and we’ll be on the road before too long. Hopefully with some money still in our pockets.

Thanks for stopping by – and stay tuned for the Every Day in May blogging extravaganza!

A Fine February

After my crazy (though wonderful in many ways) January, February settled down nicely. In fact, it turned out to be quite a lovely month in many way. Here are just a few of the reasons it was a Fine February.

  1. Family Birthdays!
    Ellie turned 15! Oh my!
    Taran turned 3
    and Tammy turned….well, just a bit more beautiful!
    We weren’t actually there to help celebrate, but we made sure they all got a perfectly awful rendition of Happy Birthday from Grams and Pops. It’s what we do.
  2. UntitledAlthough we usually don’t do much of anything for Valentine’s Day (on a good year we go to a card shop, choose a card and then read them to each other), Gary got me flowers this year!
    I have to confess, it was very sweet! It’s amazing what you can find in the little town of Comfort!
  3.  I won TWO little “give-away’s” last week from different blogs/Facebook pages I follow! I don’t usually enter those contests since I have never won anything, but for some reason these seemed simple enough and I knew they were the real-deal. So – Thank you to Happy Cloud Creations for this sweet pack of fat quarters
    and to Alison Treat, Author, for a sweet one-size-fits-all $10 gift card to Amazon. Several folks asked if I went right out and bought a lottery ticket. But no – didn’t think I should press my ‘luck’!
  4. That same week, these two mug rugs also arrived at my place –
    courtesy of my uber-talented quilting artist good friend, Lynne Croswell.  You can check out some of her other creations at her website – Mountain Vistas. Thanks, Lynne!!
  5. Our SOWER project this month was great!  We were volunteering at His Hill Bible School/Camp  (in Comfort, TX) which is a gap-year (usually after high school, but sometimes after college) Bible program under the umbrella of Torchbearers, International.  Our work was pretty standard SOWER work – painting, painting, and painting for the ladies and general maintenance for the guys – but the true blessing was getting to know the students and faculty.  We joined them for lunch most days, and visited with kids from Germany, Brazil, several Canadian Providences and right down the road in San Antonio.  Hearing their stories of how they came to His Hill and then to hear what Christ was doing in their lives at the moment, was truly inspirational.  We were honored to serve there.
  6. Since there are several other projects in the area, we had several opportunities to have some great SOWER gatherings. Of course, they all centered around food, but hey – that’s just how we roll!

Continue reading A Fine February

Catching up Vol 8, issue 27

Life these days seems to be all about catching up. I’ve got the bills paid, the taxes started (well, I’ve started to collect the stuff I need for the taxes at least), the monthly SOWER newsletter is just about ready to go and it too late to send out those Valentine cards, so I guess it’s about time I catch up with life here on my little corner of the internet. Here goes~ Continue reading Catching up Vol 8, issue 27