Oftentimes we reach low points in life’s journey – the crossroads of major decisions or the valleys of trial which effect so much of our lives. It has been said that “you are either in the middle of a trial, you’ve just come out of a trial, or there’s a trial just around the corner.” But in between the seasons of tribulation and testing, our kind and gracious heavenly Father is faithful to provide the mountaintops – the uplifting and encouraging peaks which comfort the spirit and refresh the soul.  Such was the week that we recently enjoyed with the Wilkes Team: a mountaintop which allowed us a fresh glimpse of the path beyond, and filled us with renewed vision and fervor to press onward again. From watching and learning about their chickens, to eating fabulous meals, to participating in the Independence Day parade, to having family devotions, to helping weed the garden and paint the barn, every moment was filled with laughter, good conversation, and fellowship. What a joy it is to spend time with likeminded believers! Thank you, Wilkes Team, for your hospitality once again, and for your constant encouragement in our family! We consider ourselves some of the wealthiest people alive to call you our friends! May the Lord return a thousand fold the blessings we have received at your hands!

The poultry yard was quite entertaining!

Our little ones enjoyed playing with the chickens :)The ducks could be quite funny!Maybe that rooster will leave Kenan alone for a little while!Titus - ever the animal lover!IMG_2677

Music, of course, played a part in the week.

Victoria really enjoyed the grand pianoBrother/sister relationships are so precious

There was lots of fun around the various projects…

Getting ready for the paradeThey were SUPPOSED to be cooking.......... ;-)

…and fireworks on Fourth of July were a “blast!” Open-mouthed smile

Mr. Wilkes' favorite firecrackers cause movement to look robotic.... so we had a lot of fun with that. :-DMr. and Mrs. Wilkes plan their 10-second showIt didn't take long for everyone to figure out that Jessi was the queen. :-DGetting ready to pop....Lining up with sparklers for a turn at the lighter

We can’t forget the mealtimes – delightful for more than one reason!

Lots of fresh produce from the Wilkes' garden!IMG_2973ParentsKids :)IMG_3187

And some of our favorite times were helping them with their ongoing projects around the barn!

IMG_2984IMG_3178IMG_2986Some of us painted trim........while others of us painted people! :-D (No, really, they were GREAT helpers!!)IMG_3166IMG_3174

We got some miscellaneous fun shots, too. Smile

Looks like it was a good conversation! ("Babysitting" the neighbor's goats)Yes, that really IS sweat running down his face and spotting his shirt, but he didn't seem to mind.From behind, it was really hard to tell these two apart!We even got them mixed up from the front sometimes! What sweet sisters in Christ!