Tag Archives: siblings

South Dakota Vacation | Personal

Life has been such a whirlwind lately. As my siblings and I grow older, it’s a challenge to have family time. The second week in May, we were able to take several days and head to South Dakota. Andrew was unable to join us for the week but we were delighted to have Granny come with us. We had a terrific time together and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Black Hills and the Badlands.


South Dakota had several inches of snow a few days before we got there.


Shortly after we drove into South Dakota, we heard a loud “pop” and our van began experiencing difficulties. We slowly made our way to the nearest exit only to discover that we were still some distance from a town. We spotted a oil and tire company and figured that they could at least point us in the right direction. The manager graciously allowed our family to camp out in the break room while our van was towed. God miraculously worked out the details and the necessary parts were found and repairs were made in less than three hours! God is good!


The scenery was breathtaking.



Pardon the well-loved and dirty sweatshirt. [grin]


Visiting Mount Rushmore was one of my highlights of the trip. Pictures just don’t do it justice. The sculpture is just incredible.


The visitors’ center was fascinating and informative. Did you know that the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, had originally planned for Jefferson to be to the left of Washington (as seen above in the studio model)? Due to faulty rock, the original Jefferson was blasted away and moved to the other side of Washington.


I love this picture of Joseph and Nathan.


We were hoping to see bison up close and this fellow kindly obliged by standing about three feet away from the road.


This rock formation, located in Custer State Park, is known as “The Needle’s Eye”.


We took a day to drive through Badlands National Park. The rugged beauty is amazing. We spotted this sign at one of the viewpoints along the way.


My lovely parents


Granny snapped this picture of us.


Jonathan surveying the land.




This picture depicts the many layers of sediment and rock.


One of our outings included a hike around Sylvan Lake.




Some of us enjoyed climbing really high. If you look closely, Benjamin is proudly standing at the very top of that rock formation.


You could see the Crazy Horse Monument from our cabin.


Goodbye, South Dakota! We thoroughly enjoyed our visit.


Northwoods Vacation | Personal

I got back from a delightful, restful, and fun family vacation last Wednesday. A sweet older lady at our church owns a cottage up in Conover, WI and has graciously allowed our family to vacation there for the past three years. It’s definitely been one of our top vacation spots. We had no internet and little cell service and I thoroughly enjoyed being disconnected for several days.

The cottage is on a lake and we took full advantage of a number of water sports. Tubing, skiing, kneeboarding, swimming, boating, etc. were all enjoyed by various members of our crew. [smile]  I got my WI boating license before we left and loved getting to drive the boat a few times. Hopefully, you won’t mind the picture overload!

IMG_0827 First campfire of the week! The evenings really cooled off and the fire felt great.


Cuddling around the fire with Nathan.


Joseph in a contemplative mood.


Mom and Dad canoeing.


Eagles were nesting near the cottage. We saw one catch a fish.


Chloe and Andrew enjoying some time together.


Fixing meals is fun in the cottage’s tiny kitchen. [grin] We could crowd quite a few people in there.


Two of my pretty sisters–Anna and Chloe.


The cottage is so pretty at night.



Some of the guys enjoyed fishing. Left to right: Andrew, Jonathan, Zach (friend of our family), Benjamin


One of my highlights from the trip was ministering through music at Twin Lakes Bible Church. Jonathan, Benjamin, and Zach sang a men’s trio while Andrew and I accompanied them on piano and violin. Video coming.


Cooking breakfast over an open fire. It was the first time I had cooked a meal over the fire. I enjoyed doing but am certainly grateful for modern conveniences.


 Chloe getting ready to go tubing!


Tuesday found us visiting Bond Falls in the U.P. of Michigan.


My sweet parents


We saw a family of ducks.


_MG_2818Zach snapped a picture of our family. Left to right: Andrew, Abbie, Jonathan, Benjamin, Anna, Bethany, Chloe, Joseph, Mom, Nathan, Dad


Nathan at the falls.


Our wonderful hostess, Mrs. Corbin, showed us some old slides of the cottage.


Cooking supper over the fire. Hotdogs, baked beans, and….


Fresh fish! Courtesy of the fellas.


We ate outside for almost every meal. Don’t you love the random chairs?


Joseph and Nathan


Another of my highlights was boating up to Phelps. Here, Andrew, Anna, Bethany, and Chloe pose for a quick picture.


We stopped in at Sweets, Treats & More for some delicious ice cream.


All the girls enjoying their ice cream.


We enjoyed some [ahem] singing on the way back. Daniel (Mrs. Corbin’s grandson and our faithful boater), Jonathan, Benjamin, Zach, and I sang various songs as we boated along. (Note: Benjamin’s face is not shown here but those two extra hands in the picture are his!) [smile]


The final day, Mrs. Corbin generously treated the entire group to an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. Left to right: Mrs. Corbin, Dad, and Mom.

We really had a wonderful time enjoying each others’ company and soaking in the beauty of the Northwoods. Several times throughout the week, I was reminded of the awesome power of God. As you sit and ponder the creation around you, you can’t help but marvel at how mighty our God is!