Category Archives: Family and Friends

Pictures and stories of our dear family and friends

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!!!

Family Blessings

When Gary was a youngun’ he was unofficially adopted by his Aunt Sis and Uncle Rich into their (already robust) family of seven. Those good Jesus-loving folks included him in vacations, had him over for weekends, and generally loved on him during a time when his family was pretty much falling apart. As I was introduced and well-welcomed into that family I could see how God used those dear people to model for Gary not only what an intact family looked like, but also what living for Jesus looked like in real life. Oh, there was lots and lots of teasing, but never without the underlying lots and lots of loving. Even when the family moved from the Philadelphia area up to Massachusetts, the connection stayed strong. When we set out on this journey, their house was the first place we visited. While I failed to get a photo of them at the time – here they are a couple of years later –
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Man, we love these folks! They have both been promoted to Heaven, but we still are in contact with those wild and crazy cousins. When we got an invitation to join their family reunion in MA, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to join in the fun. While we had little to no idea who went with who in the younger generations, it was still a marvelous day of seeing the Lake tribe in all of its glory and goodness. They might’ve been short a family or two, but it was still a perfectly wonderful day. Since we were so enjoying catching up with the gang, I didn’t take too many photos, but I couldn’t resist when all the littles were gathered together for a group shot.
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Even though they were definitely looking at a different camera, you can get a feel for the energy of the day! And for the moms that were busy trying to capture the moment.
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I did manage one sibling/cousin/spouse photo –
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We might not get to connect with these folks very often – but the love is always there!!

After our quick trip to Mass, we returned to work for a couple of days and then headed south to do some doctoring and other family visiting! Blood work, mammogram and annual check-ups all went well (thank you, Lord!), but the real highlight of our “Doctoring” time is our chance to visit with the Chambersburg Fitz’s and any other nearby family – Joie and Fitz came for the day to add more delight to our visit. Such a wonderful time of catching up with this sweet family! I totally failed in the picture taking department, but managed to get a shot of three of the four kiddos working on one of the three jigsaw puzzles that were in process during our visit!
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The time spent with that family more than made up for the two shots I got at the Doctors. And a quick stop at Trickling Springs Creamery also helped!
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All in all, it was an excellent week. A little work, a little road trip, a little business (those doctoring things!), a little ice cream and a LOT OF FAMILY!!! What could be better!!

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph
PS – If you’d like to see just a few more pictures of the trip, you can check them out here!

Catching up by phone

First of all I’d like to say “Thank you” for continuing to visit this little corner of the internet!! My posts seem to get farther and farther apart – somewhat because our life seems pretty mundane these days but mostly because it’s easier not to write a post than it is to write one! Just trying to keep it real here, friends! Since it’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote, I thought I’d just look through my phone to see what I thought was interesting enough to document. And in that looking back I realized I’ve done a really poor job of photo-documenting some of the really important stuff!
So work – SOWER work that is!
We ladies have been largely working with housekeeping – making beds and getting rooms ready for guests. No pictures of that, but surely you can imagine the whole bed-making process. =) On the Fourth we were pulled into the kitchen, and that was super fun!
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Did you catch the whole red-white-and-blue theme of our attire?? Always working on getting in the spirit! It wasn’t all work, though and we did enjoy a yummy chicken BBQ
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and later in the day sported our matching (though you probably can’t see them) flag earrings!
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The guys have been busy working on that walk-in room.
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Framing approved and on to the insulation

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Insulation approved and on to the drywall….
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The drywall has passed inspection and hopefully sometime this week they will actually be able to start constructing the walk-in!! (I’m home alone this lovely Saturday morning, and I’m pretty sure that Gary is down tapin’ and muddin’ that drywall!)
So in a nutshell – this SOWER project has gone by in a flash, and with just one week to go, it will be sad to see our co-workers head off.
In Non-Work news, we took a little road trip last weekend up to the cabin (YIPPEE!!!!) for our annual Dwinell Cabin Association meeting. This is where I really fell down in photo-documenting it! No pictures of the cabin, no big group picture, no pictures of the friends we got to see along the way. Ugh. BUT – regardless of my sad photo taking, there were a couple of pictures on the phone from the weekend.
Like the produce at the Farmer’s Market in Ludlow, VT
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or the beautiful VT highway, with its lovely lack of traffic –
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or a candid shot from our meeting.
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What I failed to take pictures of are all the sweet moments we spent with friends and family. But maybe it’s just that I was too busy enjoying the time to get out the camera. Yep, I know that’s the case! Those wonderful memories are best stored in our hearts anyway, right?

Well, in the interest of getting something accomplished today, I’d best hit the ‘publish’ button on this.  I did just return from tracking down my sweet hubby, and sure enough –
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he’s been playing in the mud!

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph