What's this?!?

Last week was also very eventful because we spent most of the week camping out at a national music festival at LeMars IA. What a fantastic experience! Here are some snapshots of our week.

When we got to the fair grounds where the festival was being held we were blessed to get a spot that provided some shade from the blistering sun. I think that this was one of the last shady areas left. The temperature was very dry and hot (it was over 100 F a couple of the days). But with our van and our instruments in the shade we were ready to set up camp.

Here is a side view of our private camp ground.

 It was pretty windy all week long and Graham did a great job staking the tents down, because they didn't fly away (or maybe there were enough people in the tents that they couldn't blow away :) 

 After our camp was all set up we enjoyed touring the fair grounds...

 We met a lady who had spun everything from silk worms to raccoons. 
She had a basket of very bright colored yarn and she told us that she dyed the yarn with Koolaid and Jello. 

There were ten stages at the festival and musicians played non-stop the whole time we were there! 

After meeting some of our friends and getting familiar with the surroundings we were shocked out of our comfort zone when we were asked to play on the main stage in the place of someone who had not showed up. Well gathering our courage we stepped out on the stage and faced our audience of literally 7 people. (well I didn't really expect more people than that at 11:30 at night)... We played until midnight and then hit the sack totally exhausted.

Random Catch Up!

Its been a long time since I have sat down and actually focused on getting caught up, so that will be the purpose of this blog post!  So here it goes...

We have an announcement to make! We are actually doing something that I never thought that we would do... we are making a our own CD! Since we've never done a CD before we thought we would keep it simple so it is only going to be a recording with Betsy(fiddle), Seth(bass/accordion), and Graham(guitar).

Mr. Pfiel has his own sound recording system. We are really thankful that he would take so much time to help us get this CD. 

CD cover shoot out.

David is making so much progress:) Even after being away two years he has not lost his touch as a performer. He makes us laugh so much. hahahaha

I guess your not a hillbilly until you've tried playing the fiddle.

There was a lot of break time in between performances. We made sure that it did not go to waste... 

Happy Birthday Graham!! 

If you haven't heard the maggie dear song, you've got to look it up... one of our favorites.
Here's a link to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XvJPSRXWPI

We went to the Visitor Trail Center in Omaha, NE and decided to be pioneers. 

We enjoyed sharing our music at the Y. Over the past two years of being members we have made a lot of good friends. 

Corn, Corn, and more Corn!

Yes, its that time of year! CORN SEASON!!!
A few weeks ago, a friend asked us if we wanted any sweet corn and said that we could have as much as we could pick! Needless to say that afternoon everybody that was home headed out to the field and picked as much as they could (In other words, as much as our little honda civic could hold)...
Our Corn Crew!
(David, Seth, Graham, Isaac, and Marilee)
How many do you have there, Graham?

Having fun?
They came home with over 300 ears of corn! 

Seth ran the cooking process and then dumped the cobs into the ice water so that...

David and Graham could cut the corn off the cob!

Isn't that a nice looking pile of corn cobs?

We filled about 40 bags and then stuffed them into our freezer. (I think we are going to need another freezer)
Even though it may not look like much in the end, I can assure you that every bitefull will be thoroughly enjoyed!

"Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving." 
Doctrine and Covenants 89:11

Open House!

Aug 16th, we officially completed remodeling the building and held an open house! We were not sure if anybody was going to show up and so we decided to make it into a jamboree/open house. We asked all of our musician friends to come and we thought that even if nobody else showed up at least we could still have some fun playing music. However, when the time came for the open house we were astonished that a huge crowd showed up. It turned out to be a great success and we look forward to many more evenings spent using the building for community events. 

Here is a picture of some of our friends...
Thanks for coming, we really enjoyed it!

Katie took a head count about halfway through the evening and there were 120+ people there. 
We had no idea that so many people would show up but we are so glad that they did and we hope that they all enjoyed it!

Here are a few more pictures that were taken throughout the evening!

This is the lounge room...

On one of the walls in the main room we marked all of the places that we have lived around the world... 

We hung up flags from all of the different countries as well.

Mom did a fantastic job preparing the food as well as the decorations. 
Graham made the watermelon bowls. Don't they look really good?

Thank you to all of the people who brought cookies, dips, and other goodies!!!

The Jamboree/Open House ran from about 7:00p.m.-9:00 p.m.
We felt really good about how it turned out and hope that this is just the beginning of many many more community events! 

After the open house was over a couple of our friends stayed a bit longer and we continued to jam until... well until we could barely get any more notes out of our sleepy brains. heehee just kidding we didn't stay up that late... 

This whole experience felt like a miracle. It has been almost a year since we purchased the building and we often wondered how we were going to find the time or money to fix it up. But we knew that the Lord wanted us to buy it and fix it up so we put our trust in Him and we began to work in  faith that this was His project and He would provide a way. He did! We know that without His help there is no way we could have accomplished what we did. We give all the credit and praise to the Lord and hope that we will always be able to use it for His purposes! 

"... I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which He commandeth them."
1Nephi 3:7

Burton's Bend

We have been so bad at keep up on our blog. Last week we went to Burton's Bend Festival down in Hildreth. We really had a great time. The people there were so fun to be with. Below are some of the songs that the Half Staff played.

David Returns!

We were all so excited to see David again. What a wonderful reunion we had. Our hearts were filled with gratitude toward the Lord that He would watch over him and bless him with health and safety. David has grown some man hairs on his face and matured a lot since he has been away:)
It has been fun to hear his stories and experiences. It sounds like he met many new people and made many new friendships throughout his mission in Brazil. Maybe one day we can get him to tell a few of his stories here on the blog.


Where in the World are They?

 June? Where has the time gone? I am sure you are all wondering what has become of our long lost travelers. It has been exactly 4 months and 21 days since Katie went back to India, and 1 year and 11 months since we have last seen David. I thought that it was about time to do a post on their adventures and travels...

Katie arrived in India January 24th, after settling back into a routine and getting back into the swing of Indian lifestyle she was able to start working on the projects that Sandra (her boss and the founder of Families For Children, FFC) had been saving for her. After the children at the orphanage got out of school for the summer they were all begging Katie to do a summer camp with them. So for the next few weeks Katie and 8 of her little friends planted gardens, fixed up the orphanage grounds, took care of the FFC goats, and many other similar work projects. Katie also taught some English classes. When she gets back I am sure that she will have many more pictures and stories to share!

Katie and her crew working in the garden. 

They not only got a lot of work projects done they also played a lot of games. This one was called Chopped. Each team was given a basket of "mystery items" that they had to cook with. Then each team had 30 minutes to make a complete dish using all of the food items. Then the judges (the ones sitting down) would judge their food. Whatever team did not pass would be "chopped" from the game. Sound fun? Our family played this game over the Christmas holidays last year and thought it was a blast.  It is a fantastic game to play when you have lots of time and are ready to clean up a huge mess in the kitchen! 

The secret food items in this plate are bananas, brown sugar, noodles, and an egg. 

The reward for working hard, and being good during their summer camp was that they would get to go on a field trip. So this summer Katie took them to a resort in the neighboring province of Karala and had a great time. They got to swim in the ocean, stay at a five star resort, try "western" food, and have many new exciting experiences. Here are some of the pictures that she sent us about their trip.

Say Cheese...

Here is Katie and her crew! 

You've done it again Katie!
We can't wait to see you again... only 19 days 

Now where in the world has David been... In the spring of 2010 David received a mission call to spend the next two year of his life serving the Lord in the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil mission. He was ecstatic because exactly 40 years earlier our Dad was in Brazil as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. David left our home in Nebraska in July of 2010 and spent several weeks at a missionary training center (MTC) taking a crash course in Portuguese. Because the process to get a visa to Brazil was so slow, he was sent to Texas to begin his mission there. Several months later this visa finally came through and he was able to head down to beautiful Brazil. Since then he has had many great learning experiences and has loved getting to know and serve the Brazilian people, as well as have the opportunity to teach the people about Jesus Christ. 
Here are some pictures that should have been posted a long time ago... oh well its never too late for an update!

He says that Brazil is very beautiful.
If he ever goes back I am going too!

David and a fellow missionary...

Here is David and some more of his friends. 

Washing Windows? 
I guess cleanliness is next to Godliness!

That looks like a taste of Home!
(Anyone in our family who has travelled knows that Mom sends the BEST care packages)

Well that is the update. I hope you have all enjoyed it. We are all excited to see our travelers again very soon! I'm sure there will be many more stories and pictures on their different adventures. We are so grateful that each has been able to serve the Lord around the world. Whether it is a formal church mission or a service trip it is so wonderful to know that each is based on the same basic foundation, LOVE! 

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself."
Luke 10:27