Tis the season...

to spread the glad tidings that brought such great joy to the world 2011 years ago. It is a season of celebrating the coming of the greatest gift our Father in Heaven gave to us, a Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

From Dec. 1 to Dec. 25 we were originally scheduled to perform 25 programs but because of last minute opportunities and requests we ended up performing 30 times this month. It has been such a blessing to proclaim Christ's birth and share the true meaning of Christmas, with so many people.
This is one reason why the blog has been so quite lately. So I am going to go back a little bit to the beginning of this month. So here it goes...

We have officially moved into the back room of "R" building. The floor looks so beautiful and is very solid (thank you floor crew!) It will be so nice to practice and dance on.

"Ding Dong merrily on High, In heaven the bells are ringing"

The first Saturday in December we had the opportunity to perform a short Christmas program as apart of the Great Plains Opry. There was a professional photographer there that took some pictures for us (since our nice camera is still out of commission.) So here are some of them...

While we were waiting for our sound check time, John found the grand piano in the foyer of the performance center and when John and a piano get together we always enjoy listening to a spirited rendition of the piano concerto the "Turkish March".

Another pre-show pose!

What's wrong with this picture?
To put it mildly I got a haircut.
I really like having short hair; so, so far so good.
I also got my braces off and just have a retainer now.
What a relief!

Holiday Smiles!
The holly looks very festive on you banjo, Isaac!

John has also got a touch of festive fever and loves to wear red socks when he does the Christmas Polka.
Very Christmassy, John!

I found this random photo and could not leave it out.
Merry Christmas to one and All!

After our sound check on stage was over, we enjoyed a delicious Subway supper and then some very relaxed and hilarious conversations with our good friends Mr. and Mrs. Pfiel.

The visiting and chatting was by far our favorite part of the evening. We love talking with and getting to know these wonderful people better.
Thank you for being our friends and God bless you!

Show time!
Hey Joseph, is that a dancing song?
Of course it was, we started our program with the song, "Let's have an Old fashioned Christmas Polka". John and I had learned a short polka routine and had fun trying to dance it in a 10x15 rectangle.
Anyone who dances the polka will know that this is nearly impossible but who cares when you are having fun.

OH NO!!!
Someone "forgot" to bring in all of the carols that we were going to play.

Well Graham ran off stage, grabbed the music and when he was coming back with it he just happened to "accidently" trip, fall, and scatter the music all over the stage.

So while everyone was "sorting" the music, I would start a carol and then Joseph would stick another song on the stand and then I would switch to the next song. Luckily everyone had the order of songs memorized so we did not really need the sheet music!

After playing through the medley with just the violin then the rest of the family sang through it while Graham was still trying to find the right song.

We will have to post a video of this!
It was classic.

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow...
right, Graham?

"Joy to the World, The Lord is come,
let Earth receive Her King"

Then we ended with our favorite Christmas Song, One Bright Star.
At the very end of the show all of the people that played at the Opry came on stage and sang Jingle Bells.

This is just a taste of what we have spent this last month doing. It has kept us very busy but we have also felt God blessing our lives abundantly. We feel honored to be able to sing about the same joyful message that the angels sang about so long ago.
We wish you a Merry Merry Christmas this year and always!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given" (Isaiah 9:6)
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

What a blessing it is to have a day set apart just to stop and give thanks for ALL the blessings, great and small, that the Lord has tenderly blessed us with throughout the year!

We felt very blest this Thanksgiving because Dad was able to take the whole week off work and could have the time to help us work on "R" building. There is so much to do like knocking down some walls, painting other walls, building new walls, putting in flooring, remodeling the bathrooms, fixing the cellar, putting up molding and baseboards, and the list goes on and on... We have been working on it as much as we could but we just have not had the time to get as much done as we would like. So when there was the prospect of Dad being home for a whole week, we decided to make a holiday of it and to just spend all day every day working on the building. We decided to focus on remodeling the back room, our future studio area. The walls had been painted and it was looking pretty good but it was missing one very important factor, the floor. John had been looking into wood flooring and had found a very beautiful bamboo floor that was just what the room needed. So with the floor picked out we had to figure out how to install it. We could not lay it straight on the uneven cracked and sloping cement floor, and so after discussing all our options it was decided to build a solid subfloor that should last at least 100 years, well maybe not that long. It always seems like the preparation for a construction project takes longer than the actual project itself, but just like this blog eventually you do get to the "action" part of the story.

"1 2 3-ho
'R' ole bamboo, 'R' ole bamboo"

Our pile of subfloor material!

Within a few short hours it looked like this (wishful thinking)

Reality Check!!!
Life is never that easy. In fact, it took a whole afternoon just to do this much. This was the first time that we have ever attempted to make a subfloor like this and it can be tricky.

By Thursday morning, the project was in full swing and everything was running smoothly.

The first thing they did was glue down a grid pattern of two by fours that evened out the floor.
Then they glued a eight foot sheet of plywood on top of that, then finally screwed it all together. It looked pretty solid.

Joseph's project was to put up molding around the ceiling.
Looks good Joseph!!!

Mom, Katie, and I spent the morning cooking a delicious meal of Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Sweet Potato Casserole, Cranberry Sauce, and last but definitely not least we made Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.

Graham is ready for dinner!

(due to camera problems I do not have any pictures to post of the meal sorry)
Seth got to do all the dishes! (Just kidding)
Everyone usually helps do the dishes which makes them go really fast.
Dishes are always fun when you have lots of help!

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
This fluffy pumpkin pie is a family tradition as well as a family favorite!!!

In our family one way to tell that the meal was "VERY" good is when Joseph sighs and says "its nap time". right Joseph?

To our dismay and chagrin when we returned to the building after our Thanksgiving meal, we found that we had used the wrong glue and that the wood planks were not sticking to the cement.
So guess what the boys got to do?
Pull up every piece of wood, scrape the glue off and start over!
Through the years as we have done various construction projects, we have learned that it saves time, effort, and money in the long run if you take the trouble to do it right at the beginning. So with this in mind the boys jumped right into it and got it done in quick time...

Early Friday morning the floor was ready to be put back together, with the right glue this time!
Good job boys!

In the meantime, Katie and I were touching up some of the walls and then started painting the bathroom. If you ever need someone to help you pick colors for your walls just ask Mom. She has an amazing eye for colors.

Our faithful screwers and gluers!

Oh JOY, end in sight!
Within fifteen minutes the last board was secured and now the floor is ready for the next step, the Bamboo!
The floor crew!
They worked through thick and thin and got it done. It was a fun family project and even though there were setbacks and delays the time spent together was priceless. We were all so grateful to be together and to be able to fix up and beautify this old building for the glory of Him who provides for our every need spiritually and temporally.

I think that this scripture would sum up our feelings this Thanksgiving season.

"Therefore will I give thanks unto Thee, O Lord,... and sing praises unto Thy name." Forever and ever Amen.
Psalms 18:49

November brings?

Turkeys right?

Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. After a whole year of seeing how God has blessed us and been apart of our lives, what better way to thank God than to set apart a season of thanksgiving and rejoicing. So with that in mind we decided that for our thanksgiving program each of us would say one thing that they are grateful for and then to play a song about that thing. For example, Marilee said she is very grateful for her bunnies; then we sang the song "All God's creatures got a place in the choir".
Seth however was grateful for turkeys and so he got to dress up like one and be the "star" of this show by being chased by hunters (John and Graham),

Juggle balls,

Sing a solo and eventually become a full member of our band!
Well it goes something like that...
This is all pretty silly but it is all worth the effort when we see the smiles our friends' faces at all of the different nursing homes that we visit.

Putting a whole new program together every month is very challenging but when we all work together, with the Lord's help and direction we are able to accomplish things that we thought were impossible.

While all this practicing and preparation was going on, John decided that we needed one more instrument to add to our collection. A snare drum! It will be fun to implement this into our programs. Our only fear is what will happen when David (who has a knack for making practicing seriously impossible) will do with it when he comes home (heehee). Actually, this month marks his 16th month away from home. He has been working hard and loves the people of Brazil. Keep up the good work Elder Richards!

Our first Thanksgiving performance was at the Cottonwood Estates in Central City Nebraska. It went fairly well, considering it was our first performance. The residents seemed to enjoy it and that is what matters the most.

Mom had surgery on her foot a couple weeks ago and so we were grateful that it was healed enough for her to be able to come with us to our premier performance. We keep praying that her foot continues to heal properly. We love you MOM!!!

We could not ask for a more outstanding Turkey!
You did a wonderful job Seth!


We had been asked to play background music for a pancake supper being held in Holdrege. Their theme was go Huskers! Even though we are not huge football fans we do love Nebraska!!! We feel so blessed to live in this wonderful state!

We all put on our Red Nebraska Shirts and literally jammed for a couple hours.

I am not sure that anybody know exactly what is going on here but as long as the melody is still being played that is a good sign. (the trials of being amateur performers.)
Overall I must say that the evening went well. I guess they did not throw us out! (heehee)

We love our Veterans!!!

Veterans Day was a very special day for us! We were asked to play for the Elk's club annual veteran event. We felt honored to have to privilege of personally thanking those men and women who have risked their lives fighting for our country.
Our patriotic program was based around this sacred document, "The Constitution of the United Stated of America". It contains all that we hold dear as American citizens.
"The girls"
Yup, that's us! We were ready to start.

This vacant chair was placed there and decorated in memory of all those who have not returned from the conflicts abroad. It is very sad that there must be war in the world today when there is a solution to all conflicts. If everyone would just turn to Jesus Christ and become perfected in Him then people could be spared so much grief, fear, and anguish of soul and body. He is the only way to peace and happiness. May God bless all those who have sacrificed their time, talents, and even lives for our country.

(Like I said before our camera is not really working and so there has been a shortage of pictures lately.) but we do have more videos!

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
John 14:27