Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Summer Highlights - Concerts, Lunch with Friends, and a Birthday Celebration

Well, September 22 was the first day of fall, so summer is officially over. 😢 I love summer, so I always hate to see it end.  I like fall too, but in Wisconsin the fall season is pretty short, so I always get depressed when fall arrives because I know the long, cold winter lies ahead.  

The past few weeks I have been showing the highlights of my summer for my weekly travel posts.  Week One I shared "Hiking in the Driftless Region",  Week Two I wrote about "Celebrating the 4th, Going to the Beach, and Playing on the Porch",  Week Three we were "Exploring Pepin, Wisconsin and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum",  and Week Four we went to "The Northern Wisconsin State Fair."

This is my fifth and final post of my summer highlights and I will share a hodgepodge of activities.  First up a Christian concert called "Onefest" where I got to see Danny Gokey!

Danny Gokey Concert

For those of you who may not know who Danny Gokey is, he is a Christian singer who was a third place finalist in the eighth season of "American Idol".  I absolutely love him as a performer but I really respect him for being a truth-speaker and not your typical celebrity who says whatever is popular with the culture at the moment.  It was a thrill to be able to see him in person.  I got right into the pit to take this picture:

Lunch & Shopping at Stockholm with a Friend

I always try to get together with every girlfriend I have at least once during the summer (Don't worry, I don't have that many girlfriends, so it isn't that difficult).  On this day, I got together with my friend Ann who I had not seen since last winter.  We went to a cute little town called "Stockholm" which is only about  37 minutes from my house.  The building above is called "Stockholm Pie and General Store".  They are famous for their pies.  We enjoyed a nice lunch here then we went shopping at some of their cute shops.

I love the big red doors of this shop.  All the shops are located in historic homes and buildings, it makes shopping so much more interesting for me because checking out the architecture is just as fun as checking out the merchandise.  That is my friend Ann in the photo below.

They had an old wood stove inside this shop, isn't she a beauty?

This store sold all things Swedish.  Yes, Stockholm was founded by Swedish immigrants in 1854 who named the town after their nation's capitol.

I just loved the quirkiness of this building!

The inside was a quirky as the outside, they had a throne for a photo opportunity...ya'll know I had to take advantage of that!

A Birthday Celebration at The Stone Barn

Some of you may remember THIS FASHION POST,  where I shared some pictures of this unique outside restaurant in the country.  I said then I would do a future travel post on it, and now's the time!

The Stone Barn is only about seven miles from my house, located in the beautiful rolling hills of Buffalo County.  It used to really be a barn, but now only the brick foundation walls remain which they made into a restaurant.

This is how the front entrance of the restaurant looks like.  You go through the door on the right, and place your order at the counter inside.

This is the inside of the restaurant where you order your food and the pizza is made.

The pizza is made in stone favorite way to make a pizza!

The restaurant portion is entirely outside, you can eat under the trellis like we did, or out on picnic tables in the open fields.

We chose a table right next to a beautiful stone fountain.

Some pictures of my husband and I with the birthday boy.

The restaurant grows all their own spices and vegetables for their pizzas.  Their herb garden is right in the middle of the outside dining area...isn't that cool?

Just look at all this yummy basil!

The restaurant was super crowded, which really surprised us as it is literally in the middle of nowhere!  I have no idea how most people even find this place.  There is no Internet service, so GPS is helpless, and there are no road signs directing you there.  But somehow everyone finds it because it is super popular.  We had to wait a very long time for our food, but that was ok as the environment was so pleasing.

While waiting for our food, I walked over to the other side of the brick wall to take some pictures.

I peeked through the window to capture this shot.  You can also get a better idea of the herb garden and trellis in this photo.

Then I walked up the hill a bit to capture this view of the one side of the dining area.

And here is the other side, families like to dine on this side because then their kids can play games in the grass while they wait for their food.

And this is a view of the back end of the outdoor dining area.

Well I can't forget to show you a picture of their pizza.  You can only order one size, and this is it.  We ended up getting two pizzas because I like what we call "Chick Pizzas"...white sauce, or just olive oil with lots of veggies.  Hubby and son like traditional pizzas with lots of meat.  Needless to say, we had leftovers for days!

After we ate we decided to explore the grounds a bit.  The barn on the left is used for weddings or other private events, the building on the right is a cute little gift shop.

You can buy feed at the gift shop to feed the goats.  They were very anxious and ready to be fed when we arrived.

The Stone Barn is such a great place to take families or guests who live in cities.  Eating in a beautiful outdoor place is a real treat for city people.  They don't get to see views like this!

My hubby was so shocked at how tall their corn was that he had me take a picture so ya'll could get some perspective.  He is 5'10 so that corn is pretty tall!

It was a wonderful, beautiful evening to celebrate the 30th birthday of our son!

And finally, one of my biggest thrills o the summer, attending 

                     A "Let Us Worship" Event

The past eighteen months everyone has had different feelings and thoughts about what was going on in the world.  I'm going to try to speak in code here so I'm going to avoid words that start with "C".  Sides have been taken, and I don't see one side giving in to another.  We have all dug our heels in and are staying put it seems.  I've been very disappointed by many politicians, celebrities, and Christian leaders the past eighteen months, but I've also had my hero' of them being Sean Feucht.  

If you don't know who Sean Feucht is, there are thousands of YouTube videos of his "Let Us Worship" events.  I would highly suggest watching a few as they are very powerful.

When "C" and the subsequent lockdowns happened, Sean missed attending his home church and felt led by God to go into America's Cities and take church outdoors to the hurting people.  His movement is called "Let Us Worship" and is a protest of sorts to church lockdowns.  His catch phrase is "The Church has Left Building".  At his events, people mostly sing and praise God.  Sean's signature song that is sung at every "Let Us Worship" event is "Raise a Hallelujah".  I think the lyrics of this song really sum up his ministry:

I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, heaven comes to fight for me
I'm gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you're gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise

Death is defeated, the King is alive!

Even though praising God "in the middle of the storm" is what is mostly done at these events, they also pray for the sick, and people are saved, delivered from bondages, and baptized.  

Ever since I saw the very first "Let Us Worship" event on TV, I LONGED to be able to attend one.  I never thought it would be possible for me as the nearest city is two hours away and frankly, we don't go into cities too much anyway because they are too dangerous.  But to my surprise, I opened Facebook one day and saw that Sean would be in Marshfield, Wisconsin which is a small town not far from me.  I was so excited!  I could finally attend a "Let Us Worship" event.  It turned out that Sean was supposed to be in Phoenix that day, but they cancelled on him, so he came to Marshfield instead!  Yes!  Lucky Me!  So many people were thrilled that Sean came Wisconsin.  We had over 2000 people in attendance, from all over the state!  

And in honor of us cheeseheads, Sean even wore a Green Bay Packer hat to the event.  

I was so grateful that God answered my prayer to be a part of the "Let Us Worship" movement.  Everyone that attended was so moved, and many souls were saved and lives were rescued.  The best part is that on the drive home, we all saw the most beautiful sunset and sky that we have seen in years.  On Sean's Facebook post the next day, everyone talked about the beautiful sunset they saw driving home and shared pictures of it (sorry, I didn't take any pictures, but I'm sure you can see some of them on FB).  It was as if God was giving us all one more blessing at the end of an already beautiful day.

Well that's it.  Summer is officially over!  I ended our summer with a bang with a vacation out west.  I will start that new travel series next week Wednesday.  Until then, 

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

August Bible Journaling Pages: Matthew 27 thru Mark 12

Once a month I like to share my Bible Journaling Pages and what God has been teaching me.  In the month of August I finished the book of Matthew and started the book of Mark.    Sometimes I just color in the preprinted images of the "Inspire Bible" (available on Amazon) and I also create my own pages.
Unless otherwise stated, all the images are colored in with either gel pens or colored pencils.  I tend to color larger areas with pencils then get the more intricate spots with pens.  I high light my Bible with gel highlighters, and I usually use gelatos or  craft paint for my backgrounds.

It is so increasingly hard to study God's word every day in the summer and fall.  There is just so much to be done in the garden and with the fall harvest of vegetables.  Plus, I took two vacations:  Our annual fall vacation and a visit to my daughter's to see our new grandson, and although I enjoyed the time off, I didn't help my "to do" list at all.  Nevertheless, I'm still staying faithful as I can be to my daily Bible reading.  We are living in very strange times and I do not want to be deceived so I need to stay close to the Lord.  I have found "tricks" to stay in the word, and accomplish other tasks at the same time.  For example, I read the Bible, then I listen to a sermon while I do the dishes, or I pray and worship.  I don't think the Lord will mind, I think that's actually what He means when He says "Pray continuously".  He knows we only have so many hours in the day, and unfortunately doing work is how most of us spend most of our days.

Well let's take a look at my Bible Journaling pages for the month of August and what God has been teaching me, shall we?

This is a page I did myself.  I had some left over digital images from another project so I decided to make a page illustrating Jesus' betrayal.  I used stamps and my own handwriting for the scripture.  The background is craft paint.  Matthew 27:9 says that thirty pieces of silver was "the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel".  Isn't that so sad?  Here was the son of God, who came down to earth to save his people, and all he was worth to them was thirty pieces of silver.  Do you know what thirty pieces of silver was worth back in Jesus' time? About $200 dollars today.  

I created this next page using more of those leftover digital images from last years project.  The background was once again created with craft paint, and all the words are stickers.  The hearts are a stamp.  

This is a pre-printed image in the Inspire Bible that I simply colored in with pencils.  The yellow background was done with gelatos.

I created this page by googling a coloring book image off the Internet.  I simply printed it onto sticker paper, colored it in, and cut it out.  Then I used stamps for "Be Still" and "know that I am with you".  I then hand wrote the Great Commission out and drew rectangles around the key words.  This page is a good example of Bible Journaling to me.  The illustration shows the story, and the words capture the key points.

The pre-printed title page of the book of Mark.

Like everyone else in the world right now, I have fears, and God has been helping me work through these fears.  I can't believe how many times God tells us not to be afraid in the Bible.  He says it 365 times!  That is a daily reminder from God to live everyday FEARLESS!

Here we go again! 😂. Maybe God has to remind us of this so much because we can't help but not to fear!  
I really like Mark 6:50 because it's the story of Jesus Walking on Water.  The disciples were terrified because they thought they were seeing a ghost, and Jesus says "Don't be afraid, Take courage, I AM HERE!".  Every day as I navigate these very uncertain, strange global times we are living in, I must remind myself not to fear, because HE IS HERE with me!

This page I created myself.  I know it seems kinda dark, but it is definitely what I've been feeling for a long time.  In this story, Jesus is scolding the religious leaders for ignoring God's laws and substituting their own traditions.  I see that so often today, which is also a sign of the times.  Christians who accept sin that is clearly condemned in the Bible,  or believers who try to fit God into modern culture.  They create their own God by keeping the attributes of God they approve of, and ignoring the ones that make them uncomfortable.

I love this verse so created my own fun, whimsical page with it.  I did the background with  gelatos, then I used a mix of stickers and my own handwriting for the words.  The coffee cups is a piece of vellum that I just cut out, colored in, and glued on the page.  The design above and below the verse is Washi Tape.  I hand drew a few flowers in to match the flowers on the coffee cups.

These whimsical pre-printed images in the Inspire Bible are always my favorite.  I love the style, and I love to color them.  I've always loved this verse too!

I love the song "Do It Again" by Elevation Worship.  This page reminds me of that song, and I couldn't help sing it to myself as I colored.  The verse in the song goes
 "I've seen You move, You move the mountains
                                                    And I believe I'll see You do it again
                                                    You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe I'll see You do it again"

When I worship God at home, I quite often sing this song.  When things look so hopeless, so impossible, it restores my faith.

And finally, a pre-printed image of the word "Love" which highlights the most important commandment:  to love God and your neighbor.

Thank you for spending time in God's Word with me today.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


Thursday, September 23, 2021

A New Little One To Love

Well if you've been wondering where I've been or what's up with the spotty blog posts here and there, this is one reason why.  This adorable, little, snuggle muffin was born!  Can you tell I'm just smitten?   I'm one of those people that just loves newborn babies!  I could hold them for hours.  I love their smell, their soft skin, and all the funny little facial expressions and noises they make.  I can't stop kissing those chubby cheeks!  Oh, my goodness!  Newborns are a gift from heaven!

Elisha John was born while my husband and I were vacationing in North Dakota.  That explains week one of my absence from the blog.  We were at the end of our vacation, so we finished it and came home for a few days to unpack and get some things done.  It's harvest season, so you can just imagine all the vegetables I had ready for me to be canned and processed.  Hubby of course had to go to work and take care of a few things since he was gone the week before.  Then we left on Saturday to see our newest grandson!  My husband had three days of vacation left that we were saving for Thanksgiving, but we decided to use them up now to see the baby.  Alethea, our granddaughter, was so overjoyed that we were coming to visit that she cried.  Oh, it melts my heart to be loved so much by my grandchildren.

I took these newborn pictures just using my iPhone in Elisha's nursery.  

Elisha John arrived right on his due date at 40 weeks.  He was 9lbs 12 oz and 21 and 3/4 inches long.  My daughter has big babies!  

The names Elisha John are from the Bible.  In my daughter's words:  "Elisha means "my God is salvation." We chose the middle name John out of admiration for the humility and faithfulness of John the baptist.

Our hope and prayer is that Elisha would lead a life in humility and zeal, declaring the saving power of our God!"

And here is the happy new family of five.  The other children, Atticus and Alethea are just loving their new baby brother.  And we are all very grateful Elisha is such a "good" baby (I hate using that term, because all babies are "good" but everyone knows what I mean by it) because he can sleep through all the noise and racket the other two children make.  He rarely fusses, and he sleeps pretty good at night already.

Ashley is feeling very well already, so we were able to get out and do a little something every day we were visiting.  One of the things we did was go to downtown Zionsville to take some fall pictures.  It is such a cute little town, and there were plenty of fall displays to choose from.

Isn't this little guy just the cutest?  

Alethea and I both wore purple so I was so excited to find this unique purple house to use as a photo backdrop.  And oh my goodness, you should have seen the garden of this home!  An artist must live here, because they had so many quirky, fun art in their garden and the cutest potting shed I ever did see...also the color purple.

I couldn't help but use this pretty store display for a photo shoot.  Here I am, my arms completely filled with love!  I couldn't be happier!

We still haven't figured out who he looks like, we all have different opinions and of course everyone on-line who sees the pictures has their opinion.  But as he grows, we will soon see!

Now I am the grandmother of two grandsons!  Such handsome, sweet boys they are.  My prayer is that they will grow up to love and serve God all the days of their lives.

Have A Great Day!  Amy