Category: Family News

Family News


(Photo courtesy of Caleb Williams)
Can you tell which one is Stephen? He’s the 7th person down. Stephen continues to get frequent jobs from our local newspaper and other online wire services. This picture was taken about a month ago.

Yesterday, Stephen received a call from the New York Times asking him to cover the “illegal alien arrests” in Postville, Iowa. He’s there at this moment and from what we hear, he’s having a pretty interesting time.

Family News

Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

What could I write in just a paragraph that could express adequate appreciation to you?!
Mom, you have always been slow to criticize and so quick to praise. You’re willing to sacrifice pretty much anything for us kids to be happy! Mom, you are one of my greatest examples of humility. I respect the way you get up early every morning without fail to review the verses you’ve been memorizing/meditating on. Thank you for all you have taught me. Thank you for all the times you’ve prayed with me and helped me work through struggles by pointing me to Scripture. Thank you for teaching me to honor Dad. Thank you for all the ways you’ve protected me from things that would have distracted me from Christ. Thank you for being real and honest with us. I love being with you, mom!

One day I hope to be a mom very similar to you! 🙂 I love you so much!

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed…” (Proverbs 31:26-28)

News from today:
Sarah’s voice was almost gone when she woke up this morning, but her voice came back and held up through our whole talk, PTL! Stephen still hasn’t been feeling very well, but he’s done a good job hiding it. He’s been working hard, and now he’s sound asleep.
The day went well and we were encouraged. Thanks to a lot of help, we got packed up pretty quickly and enjoyed celebrating Mother’s Day tonight. Tomorrow morning we head home.

Family News

Mystery Solved.

“There’s a dead animal in the trailer” Dad announced.
Once we stepped into the trailer and caught a whiff of the stench in there, we all agreed.
“I think it smells like rotting fish!” Sarah said.
Unfortunately, our trailer smelled bad throughout our whole last trip to Michigan. We looked and looked and couldn’t find the dead mouse…or whatever it was. So when we got home we took everything out and did a thorough search for the stinking intruder. And we found it.

Stephen\'s unappreciated crab

A dead crab. Stephen’s crab, that is. When we were in Florida last year, Stephen found this really neat dead crab and he put it into a plastic sack, intending to preserve it in a solution when we got home. Well, he forgot. When everything thawed out this spring, so did his crab.
It’s not that funny, Stephen. [smile]

Family News

Chicken Noodle Soup Disaster

My mom made a big pot of chicken noodle soup to take to a family from our church who was sick. As she was taking it to the car…….somehow something slipped. Poor mom, she had been working on the soup all day, and it was really delicious (or so I hear). She screamed really loud (her natural reaction when she spills something) and my dad came frantically running out. I think he was relieved that the problem wasn’t more serious. A few minutes later, Stephen and I pulled into the driveway to an unexpected sight….



We’ve shoveled a lot of snow this year, but I never guessed that I’d be shoveling chicken noodle soup!

I was at a friends house recently and saw a little wooden sign in their kitchen that said “There is always, always, always something to be grateful for.” Even when things go wrong, benefits arise. For example, we learn patience, we have something to laugh about (well, later), we remember to be more grateful for all the times when we didn’t spill the soup, [smile] etc.
If things “go wrong” at your house today, don’t forget to “Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thess 5:18)

Family News

Chicago Bible Quizzing Tournament


Last Saturday, Sarah and my dad accompanied me to my last WBQA Bible Quizzing Tournament of the year. The tournaments are always intense, very competitive, and lots of pressure…. but also enjoyable (at times). 🙂 It’s like a sport, except it’s mental and not physical. Quizzers have to build their “memory muscles” to contain lots of God’s Word.


A strategy timeout during the finals

I love Bible Quizzing! (As my family knows, I don’t say that when I’m cramming right before a tournament… 🙂 ) but really, I am SO grateful for the way quizzing has helped me to memorize God’s word and for the way my parents have enouraged me to involved. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Family News

Family Times…

Here I am with my cousin, Stephanie. Do we look alike? (We don’t think so.[smile] )

Stephanie and I went out for coffee yesterday afternoon and had a good talk about witnessing ideas. Here’s a good idea she shared with me that I thought I’d pass on to you:

When you are at a restaurant, tell your waitress, “Hey–we are just about to pray for our meal. Is there anything we could pray about for you?”

It’s often difficult to get into a good conversation with waiters or waitresses so I am excited about trying out this idea.


When you are the youngest ones in the family, no matter how old you get, you never outgrow the “kid’s table” at family gatherings. [smile]

This afternoon, when my family arrived home from church we were all really hungry. Funny how that happens when you don’t have much food around. It’s been a busy weekend and unfortunately we didn’t have anything planned for Easter dinner.
Dad wanted oatmeal, so Sarah started to make baked oatmeal but then she found out that we didn’t have enough oatmeal so she substituted rye flakes. [smile] (My mom often mentions how she appreciates that Dad is so easy to please when it comes to food…)

However, we decided that oatmeal just wasn’t enough 🙂 so we tried to find something else. We remembered that we had a couple steaks in the freezer. After thawing them, we had a little family discussion about whether we should grill outside (in 30 degree weather) or broil them in the oven. We decided to broil them. Unfortunately, they started on fire in the oven and set off our fire alarm, etc. It’s a good thing our family likes steaks well done.

It turned out that we had a very nice (Easter) Resurrection Day dinner and a relaxing Sunday.

Family News/Miscellaneous


Recently we have been finishing up the Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends Coloring Book. We have been retracing and fixing pictures and doing last minute touch-ups throughout the final draft.

Projects are always harder to finish than you think! You know how it is…there are always more improvements you could make, but eventually you just have to call it “done.” Tonight we kept rewording the text on the back cover…but I think we just finished it. *Finally!*


We’re thankful that finishing this coloring book is a whole lot easier than finishing Before You Meet Prince Charming was!
Yesterday afternoon, Stephen went through and did all the little games and puzzles we added 🙂 and checked to make sure that all the Scripture references were correct.

We just received an e-mail with a final draft of the cover from Jeremy Fisher, the graphic artist who designed the cover of our two previous books. This time I don’t think we have any more changes to send him! Amazing.

Family News

Homeschool Day at the Capitol

Last week Stephen and I drove to Des Moines to help out with the “Homeschool Day” at our state capitol.

The event was planned for homeschoolers to build better relationships with their representatives, to make their presence known to the legislators, and to lobby on a couple of bills that are up in the state house right now on the issue of homeschooling.

Stephen photographed the event and I provided special music and helped greet and direct people, etc. The whole day went very well and it was fun being a part of it.


Tours were led throughout the day


A radio station interviews a homeschooled student


A rally was held in the afternoon with a HSLDA speaker, a Generation Joshua representative, a local homeschool-dad attorney, and a few others.


A homeschool family talks with their state representative



Family News

Stephen’s Sermon

Stephen spoke this morning at church on the book of Jude. He had lots of insights and I thought he did a great job. (Instead of having a pastor at our church, we have multiple elders. Different men take turns preaching the sermons.)

Jude warns us that there are men who seek to lead the church astray with false teaching, and his main emphasis is that we should “earnestly contend for the faith.” That means that we need to be diligent about defending Biblical truth.