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25 Wonderful Years Together

Posted by Patrick





Today marks our silver anniversary. We decided to begin the celebration with our children at Chic-fil-a where there has been a recent stand for the Biblical definition of marriage.

A few weeks ago, I came across a letter written to me by my father a couple months before I got married. The letter arrived as the first piece of mail I received upon moving into our new apartment in Atlanta. Here is what it said:


May 18, 1987

Dear Patrick,

I wanted this to be there when you arrived at your apartment.

No Dad ever had more love and was “more prouder” of his son than I am of you and I thank God for you.

I hope you and Darlene enjoy the apartment. Your Mom and I are pleased you are marrying such a fine Christian young lady and we love her very much. Always put Christ the head of your home and exalt Him above all.

Truly to God be the Glory, Great things He has done.

I love you, Patrick.


No Pictures???!

Posted by Kathryn



Nope. We were too busy.

If you are like us, you probably like to look at posts that are loaded in pictures… Well, this past Monday we were so enormously busy that we didn’t take the time to get out the camera, but Mom suggested that we tell you about the day anyway.

Here’s a basic summary:

– first day of the 2012-2013 school year!!

– processing 23 qts. of green beans (picking, stemming, cutting, and canning)

– processing 4 qts. black beans

– freezing 4 qts. peaches

– processing 37 dozen ears of corn (picking, shucking, blanching, creaming, and freezing)

– continuing the computer work on putting together this year’s character curriculum

– eBay sales work

– 2 chiropractor appointments

– grocery shopping

– taking lunch to Dad at work

– spontaneous visits from 3 different sets of company!

– making Confederate Candles (minimum of 144)

– cleaning up the last of the evidence from two trees that fell in our yard last week

– trimming the shrubs



… here’s a little background to the day.

5:30 am:

Beep. Beep. Beep.” I rolled over and opened my eyes just enough to see the clock. “Uhhggggg…” I thought. Having an intense cough, I hadn’t gotten much sleep that night and didn’t feel like I could possibly attack all that I had to do that day with such a low energy level. To be brutally honest, I felt down. Way down. Exhausted. Sick. Discouraged. My head felt like a pressure canner. Managing to drag myself out of bed, I went downstairs and started getting ready for the day. I began to pray, telling the Lord how I felt, and suddenly He prompted me to begin thanking Him for it all. Even in the midst of what feels terrible, there are a thousand things to praise Him for! My headache began to lessen in intensity, and there was new hope, new enthusiasm, about facing the day before me.

In my time in the Word a little later, the Lord encouraged me with Psalm 71:8 – “Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and honor all the day.” The Lord periodically brought this to mind, as…

… for the next 18 hours, we worked hard. Very hard. Together. And, did I mention hard?? Smile

Oh what joy and fulfillment it brings when you labor with your family to take dominion over what the Lord has entrusted to you!

Shortly before dropping into bed at midnight, as we were scrubbing the last few stuck-on pieces of sticky sweet corn from the counters and cabinets and floor, we heard something. The last few notes of a song off of a new CD we recently purchased sang with peaceful reassurance: “His grace is sufficient…”

“Listen to what’s playing! How timely!” someone exclaimed. We all paused. We listened, enjoying the stillness.

What a blessed reminder! “His grace IS sufficient…”


So, if you took the time to read this long, rambling post (even with NO PICTURES!!), I applaud your perseverance and want to remind you that His grace is sufficient for you, in whatever you are facing today! You may feel tired, or sick, or discouraged. Your head may feel like a pressure canner.

Begin to give thanks, and seek Christ’s strength through His Word. Recount His abundant mercies in your life. And then dive into the work before you and you will find…

His grace is sufficient.

The Christian Marriage

By C.H. Spurgeon

“Sometimes we have seen a model marriage, founded on pure love, and cemented in mutual esteem. Therein, the husband acts as a tender head; and the wife, as a true spouse, realizes the model marriage-relation, and sets forth what our oneness with the Lord ought to be… Their object in life is common. There are points where their affections [are] so intimately united that none could tell which is first and which is second. To watch their children growing up in health and strength, to see them holding posts of usefulness and honor, is their mutual concern; in this and other matters, they are fully one. Their wishes blend, their hearts are indivisible. By degrees, they come to think very much the same thoughts. Intimate association creates conformity; I have known this to become so complete that, at the same moment, the same utterance has leaped to both their lips.

Happy woman and happy man! If Heaven be found on earth, they have it! At last, the two are so blended, so engrafted on one stem, that their old age presents a lovely attachment, a common sympathy, by which its infirmities are greatly alleviated, and its burdens are transformed into fresh bonds of love. So happy a union of will, sentiment, thought, and heart exists between them, that the two streams of their life have washed away the dividing bank, and run on as one broad current of united existence till their common joy falls into the ocean of eternal felicity.”

On July 21, Uncle Willis and Aunt Myrtle Smith (Aunt Myrtle is Dad’s aunt – sister to his dad) celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary!

Thank you, Uncle Willis and Aunt Myrtle, for your Christ-like example of faithfulness, loyalty, and love. What a legacy we have been handed!

We couldn't find a photo of just the two of them, but here they are with us and a lot of our other extended family. (far left)(Taken 2010)We love you!

P.S. We can’t wait to celebrate #70 with you!!

P.S.S. For those of you who have our Patriotic CD Lest We Forget, and have listened to track 10, you might find it interesting that it was Uncle Willis and Aunt Myrtle who sent the telegram in the spring of 1945 to Douglas, stationed at a Texas Army base, regarding the death of the two other brothers in WWII.

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15

Our final journey (at least for those few weeks Smile) took us to visit the Staddon Brigade and help host the WV FEW Conference. The Lord blessed the effort that went into it all, and though in numbers the conference was smaller than some, in unity and sweet fellowship it was truly great. What a precious time to be together with other like-minded believers who desire to reject the ways of the world and seek Christ in every aspect of life, and to hear the Word proclaimed in clear and practical teaching!

The FEW Team kicked off the weekend with a special birthday celebration!Getting to know the newest member of the FEW Team... just precious!

IMG_9586Working together to get everything ready for the orchestra


The three Team mothers shared during the ladies' sessionMeet "Practically Perfect Pamela"... and learn how to combat the lies she is believing with the powerful truth of Scripture. (Children's hour skit :-))"Accelerating Salary Sam" :-D

Game time!Future leaders

Several of the young ladies were able to share during the "Preparing Daughters" session"Preparing Daughters""Preparing Young Men"

Powerful testimonies in the "Preparing Young Men" sessionWhat a great applesauce-making team!

Time to build relationshipsA rousing game of "Layers!"

For more information about the upcoming FEW Conferences in Virginia and New Hampshire, drop us comment!



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

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