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We arrived at 2 am on the 4th to participate (after a little sleep) in the Independence Day Culpeper parade with the Wilkes Team, the Roche family, and Grandpa and Grandma Wilkes! It was an excellent opportunity to reach others with the message of Christ and the vital importance of the biblical family.


Lots of ribbon, lots of laughterExcitement!

Getting the float decoratedTeam workMini-orchestra atop the float

Passing out family tracts and candy IMG_9455

Special 4th of July evening music presentation put on by the young people for the adults:

IMG_9499Young people's meeting to pull the whole performance together

IMG_9519Our generation: the foundation of the futureIMG_9530

We have been blessed with victory and peace; let us as a nation praise the Almighty Power that has preserved us a nation, and humbly implore Him to have mercy on our land. He is our hope, our glory, our rejoicing!

Praise the Lord

“And they that be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:12



The next trip planned was to New York to visit some of Mom’s family and help with some projects around the farm. It was a joyous, bonding time together, and we were grateful to the Lord for all He allowed us to accomplish.

Memories from the week:

Seest thou a man diligent in his business?...... he shall stand before kings.

Cousin funFinding a hotspot to get some work done for Dad :-D

Looking through things...... and sorting piles of boxes.

Hardy femininity in action -- rescuing treasures from the dumpsterIMG_0453

"MUSH, Master, MUSH!!" Everyone needs a good supervisor.We had two AMAZING cooks for the week -- here they had enlisted additional help. :-D

ConversationOur diligent, hard-working loadersSweet

Here we gathered every evening, in our own little amphitheater, for a group time in the Word. Wonderful!

Game time!He didn't just wear the shirt... he lived like he believed it true. Thank you, Nicholas! You were an example to us all of joyful servanthood.

The refreshment stand and it's happy crewIMG_0629

Time with Nana -- 26 of the 27 cousins were there!

Too priceless to forget:




“The sleep of the laboring man is sweet…” Ecclesisastes 5:12

“A faithful man shall abound with blessings…” Proverbs 28:20

“He becometh poor that that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.” Proverbs 10:4-5

Great work, Conn Clan! We love you!

Our "big-rig"

Traveling…. we seem to be doing a lot of it this summer, and what a joy it is! A few weeks ago we were headed to South GA with great anticipation of the trip’s plans. Visiting friends and family, working together, singing together….. it was going to be a full, but wonderful weekend.

We stopped to see the Whiddon family on the way, and enjoyed a delightful evening together, which included a delicious supper.

IMG_0031Sweet fellowship

The Whiddon family string quartet -- so beautiful!!


We arrived at our final destination at 1:30am. After a few hours of sleep, we started into a big, red project….. tomatoes!!


Delicious abundance --- tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes!!

An extended family member gave us ten boxes of tomatoes, which we were very excited about, and made them into spaghetti sauce and salsa. Mmmm…. But what a joy it was to work together on the project! I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Many hands make light work.” Can you imagine doing 250 pounds of tomatoes by yourself?? That would take days… but when everyone pitches in, the project can be done in only a few hours. Another quote I heard recently is, “The job can be as fun as you make it.” Decide to embrace the task at hand with gratitude and cheerfulness, and you’ll be amazed at how much easier it becomes!

IMG_0086Happy helpersIMG_0089Dad helping with the canning process

TeamworkIMG_0128Placing the last tomato in the potThe stack of empty boxes --  over 7 feet tall!!

Watermelon... so refreshing!!IMG_0145Storytime

Swinging with "Uncle Fudge"IMG_0157

By the way, 250lbs of tomatoes + 7 hours of teamwork = 84 quarts of tomato sauce and 44 pints of salsa.

No Time

Posted by Victoria



No time to knock on Love’s wide door,

No time to stay and talk awhile.

No time to calm the anxious fear,

No time to go that extra mile.


No time to make a sad soul sing,

No time to edge dark clouds with light.

No time to act a bit concerned,

No time to cheer, “Faith wins the fight!”


No time to be a treasured friend,

No time to help that troubling need.

No time to look beyond one’s self,

No time to hear the lonely plead.


No time to say, “God understands,”

No time to share a tender prayer,

No time to beg, “Dear Heart, forgive!”…

…Dear Heart is now no longer there!


By our Great- Grandmother, Cornelia Huntsman Conn




This past week,  we had the joy of spending a few days with our dear friends, the Kendalls. As I look back on the weekend, I am constantly being reminded that these times of encouragement with like-minded believers are not to be taken for granted. How thankful I am for God’s blessings, especially those that come in the form of friends!


The grass sled was a favorite!"Bean counters" busily at work. ;-)

Waiting for the action to begin...IMG_9948Resting after a rousing game of lever tag. ;-)

IMG_9957Delightful conversations The trumpet lesson

Chess......and more chess!IMG_9992

The table-slapping game of...... "Up Jenkins!" What a riot!!!!


Abundant Goodness

Posted by Kathryn



“I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever… The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” Psalm 145:1,2,9

In His abundant goodness, the Lord saw fit to bless us with the superb encouragement of a Memorial Day weekend visit from a large portion of the Wilkesteam. It was such a delight to have them here… games, a strenuous hike in the Fires’ Creek area, an evening around the fire pit, sweet fellowship, and just being together again made the visit simply precious.

Sunday afternoon discipleship story timeAn invigorating walk at a local trackOur dear mothers

Game buddies :-DWorking in the kitchen... together

We're ready, we're let's go on a hike!

Lovely viewIMG_9767Stopping for a little rest

SweetCAREFUL!! Don't fall!Sisters in the Lord

IMG_9789"Sharing, sharing, that's what Christians do..."  :-D :-DIMG_9814


Praise the Lord!

“My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.” Psalm 145:21

P.S. To the missing members of the Wilkesteam, we really missed you!!! Can’t wait till next time we are all together! Open-mouthed smile

End of School Year Picnic

Posted by Jessica



Such an exciting time of year this is – not only are the flowers blooming and the grass turning green, but the school books are being finished, closed, and put away, and the school room is being refreshed for the next semester.

Beautiful cupcakes were prepared, because cake seems to complete a celebration. :)

Well, a few weeks ago we took an evening to celebrate. Finishing a year of school is not something small, so we went out as a family for a picnic along a peaceful river.

IMG_8388IMG_8390Mom, and a member of the alumni association :)

IMG_8397IMG_8398Our wonderful parents -- the best teachers we could've ever asked for

The Neely Team

Congratulations, Team!! We’re looking forward to watching you continue to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)

The Heavens Declare!

Posted by Jessica



When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth! – Psalm 8:3-4, 9

IMG_9516 - Copy

A Much-Anticipated Retreat

Posted by The Neely Team



(Written by Susanna and Lauren Smile)

For over a year, we wanted to go to the Vision Forum Father and Daughter Retreat with Daddy, Bethany, and Hannah. In order to do that, we did four fundraisers last fall: flower bulbs (from Dutch Mill Bulbs), home made candies, Confederate Candles, and our family’s CDs.

Thank you, to all who supported us (and those who happened to be here on baking day and volunteered to help with the project Smile). It was well worth all the work and time. We came away from the weekend very encouraged, and we highly recommend it to all of you fathers and daughters. (Go to to sign up for 2013!)

Here are some pictures of the whole process. Smile


Pro ChefsIMG_8011

March 23-25, 2012 – at the Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA

In the Butterfly HouseIt landed on her foot :-)

Have a drink of orange juice, anyone??!100_7919100_7923

The garden gate100_7940

The High TeaLooking at ...

...the turtles!!100_7939

By the Lake.

Creative coloring with Daddy.;-)A finished picture



100_7965Best friends!



A restful SundayFatherly fellowship

Descendants of Nate SaintA sweet friend from Georgia

100_7990A peaceful lake

"Birds of Prey" show100_7998100_7999

To God be the Glory!

Again, we HIGHLY encourage all of you Fathers and Daughters to go to the retreat in 2013!! You will come away encouraged and refreshed.


Posted by Kathryn



“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

Graduation… a time to reflect on the abundant goodness of the Lord in the past. A time to evaluate your direction in life in the light of Scripture. A time to set goals and make decisions. A time to commit everything anew to the Lord, knowing that in His perfect sovereignty, He will work it all together for His own glory, and your best good.

By God’s grace, I walked through this door this past Saturday as we celebrated my high school graduation. Many dear friends and family members came to join the festivities, and the Lord gave us a joyful, tremendously encouraging afternoon and evening together.

An oh-so-extra-special blessing was having both grandmothers there, as well as a dear cousin who came all the way from NY at the age of 94 to see her namesake graduate! 

Confetti... a Neely graduation tradition. :-D This time, though, the tradition was added to. Typically the graduate gets it thrown all over her bedroom floor, but I received both that, a shower of it when I was getting ready for the day, and a violin case full! :-DCherry limeade - deliciously refreshingIMG_9113

Mom and I had a delightful time working on this togetherIMG_9115Who would have thought that they would come out with pink and brown Oreos special for the occasion?? :-D

Family shots Smile

Cousin KatieNanaGrandmama and "Uncle Fudge"

My darling little and big-little sisters!The best brothers in the worldCousin and soon-to-be cousin-in-law! PTL!

Dear sweet Motherkin:-D

Alumni Association :-DMy precious parents

Music presentation

'Tis So SweetIMG_9226

"Orange Blossom Special" -- just for Dad!!String sextet

Fellowship…  glorious fellowship!

 Band of merry gentlemenMom time


The famous grass sledFor of such is the Kingdom of Heaven

Willing helpers

My dear mother, sisters, aunts, and a few cousins did all of the serving to free me to socialize :-D - this one kept us well supplied with delicious cherry limeadeRefilling trays :-D

An emerging tradition – that of doing some shooting after the graduation — turned into a painful, educational, and actually quite hilarious experience. (That 50-caliber beast – an elephant gun for safari hunting that was loaned to us for the occasion – had the audacity to “scope” us!) Needless to say, for the rest of the evening, we sported beautiful cuts and goose eggs.

L to R: Knuckle Head, Smash Face, Knot Head;-D

Fellowshipping while cleaning upSweetThe Grant family drove nearly three hours each way to come for the day -- such a blessing!

IMG_9327IMG_9337A simply lovely name plaque from the Owen family (btw, note forehead)

To God be the glory!

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