Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

Just wanted to take a minute to wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving! We continue to be grateful to God for where he has placed us… in a tiny house in the woods in the corner of Pennsylvania, ministering to our church family, missionaries from around the world, and our BCM co-workers. Thank you for being a part of that. Thank you for caring for our missionary kids, praying for us, keeping up with what we’re doing, and supporting us financially. If you have done any of that this year, then you are as much a part of our ministries as we are because we cannot do this alone. 

We hope your Thanksgivings are filled with wonderful family times and great food! We are home this year and have no visitors, which means it’ll be just our family for the first time ever for Thanksgiving! And we decided to do what every normal family would do in that case: celebrate on Friday. The kids generously shared their colds with us and even though Brian is basically fully-functioning, I am completely miserable, have no voice (which the kids think is hilarious, by the way), and have no desire to be in the kitchen coughing over the pumpkin roll. So, we’re postponing and declaring Thanksgiving Day the day of snack food, family games, and movies! 🙂 Whatever works, right??

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Busy Week!

November is turning out to be a packed month. We worked together to finish the annual Christmas giving catalog for BCM. You should have received, or will receive soon, one via snail mail if you have ever supported us or another BCM ministry. Now, we’ve moved on to the 2018 calendar that gets handed out. Brian is compiling pictures and when he has the layout done, I’ll help him with the text. It’s an interesting task as wall calendars are not as popular anymore, so they need to be more artwork rather than functional. Brian does a fabulous job, though!

I am working on a couple of articles for the last BCM World of the year. I have also been asked to consider working on another publication and will decide this week if I have the time to devote to it or not. When I asked Brian his thoughts, though, he looked at me and said, “Based on how you’re smiling and how excited you are about this, I think you’ll find the time!”

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We had asked prayer for James as he had a little procedure done this week. He was sick a week ago and we weren’t sure if it was going to proceed as planned since he had to be put under anesthesia. But, he was cleared for surgery and Tuesday morning everything was done. We are thankful to God for how all of this transpired as his “routine procedure” turned out to be a little more complicated than planned. He is more sore than anticipated and still not moving around much, but is healing well. The whole thing could’ve been much worse, so God was gracious and spared him a lot! Thank you for continuing to pray for his recovery!

Winter temps hit NEPA this week, so Brian rushed to get everything winterized, especially the outdoor pavilion restrooms. We have vacant homes, so he had to check on pipes and plumbing as well. This week, we welcome some short-term guests and our new neighbors, whose arrival was delayed, should move in as well.

The kids are gearing up for Thanksgiving. Their classes will both participate in missions outreaches this week where they visit different nursing homes. Big J’s class is filling shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child and the entire school is collecting canned goods. Grandparent’s Day is coming up right before Thanksgiving; they’re thankful that a great friend from church is playing surrogate Grandma and will be there with them!

And then, in between all that, there’s been time for this:

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He’s anxiously awaiting deer season, especially with the regular appearance of a large buck on his trail camera right where he’s putting up his tree stand! At least he’s got a hobby. You all know Brian; it’s good to see him not working once in a while and doing something else he enjoys.

Welcome, November!

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We don’t do much for Halloween, but the kids got to participate in a community Trunk or Treat with friends and then they got some candy Halloween night.

October is past and we can officially start thinking about the holidays! Snow is in the forecast for today, the heat is on in the house, and everyone has a cough. Yup, sounds about right.

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Front row, ponytail with a white bow – that’s E.

I had the opportunity last week to speak at my kids’ school about the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. They called it “Reformation Celebration” and spent the afternoon teaching the children all about the Middle Ages and the importance of what Martin Luther, Gutenberg, and others did. This was the first time Big J has sat under any of my teaching besides Sunday School. It was almost surreal having his little blonde head sitting in a big kid class.

Brian has been working on putting new-to-MRF furniture into a couple of the homes. One home in particular needed new dressers and bedding; it changed the feel of the home and is a nice update. He got rid of some furniture and other items that are no longer needed – some necessary cleaning out before winter hits. He’s worked on getting leaves off of roofs and cleaning up around our private lake so it won’t flood (and found a giant, resilient beaver in the process!). When he’s not doing all that, you can find him fishing for bass or hunting for turkey. He’s anxiously awaiting doe season and we’re all holding out a little hope that we’ll have venison for the winter.

The kid’s ministries have been booming. We have welcomed new children every single week both Sundays and Wednesdays and have had a great attendance in every class. My team has taught children’s church all month and it’s gone very well. I asked Sunday if anyone feels God is calling them to be a missionary and had a whole group raise their hands! The discipleship time with the 6th grade has even touched on harder topics and been challenging for the girls. It’s been a full year already and we’re only two months in. Brian has even decided to join us on Wednesday evenings. It’s one of our favorite things – doing ministry together – and so I’ve been thankful to have him join us.

November includes:

  • a medical procedure for Baby J – please pray his cough clears up so they can proceed as planned next week.
  • a conference for me for women’s leadership training.
  • prep for our church’s biggest outreach of the year, the Living Christmas Village.
  • Grandparent’s Day & Thanksgiving – our first two big events with the grandparents in Florida – pray for the kids as this will be especially hard on them. We are praising God for surrogate grandparents who are filling their shoes and doing a great job with it!
  • numerous ‘short-stays’ here at MRF, which means lots of double-checking homes to ensure they’re ready for the next guests.

Have a wonderful first week of the new month!

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……this smile is just about the best thing ever.

Fall Ministries

Birthdays are over and fall is supposedly here, but the weather feels like spring and the colors of the leaves are pretty dismal. But, a part of me secretly loves the fact that it’s still warm so late because that means less time in the bitter cold! I’ll take it!

Here’s what’s been going on around here:

I spoke in chapel at the kids’ school on Sept. 27 – Big J’s birthday (I was essentially at school all day). It was a blast and I was so glad I got to do it! I speak again in February, but told them I’d be willing to be a fill-in if they needed someone last minute. It was just to the elementary, but it was so much fun. I return to the school on Oct. 29 to help teach part of a “Reformation Celebration.” I thoroughly love doing more at the school and being a hands-on part of their education, even if it’s in small areas.

The day I was gone to Philadelphia, our roof got replaced (if you haven’t read about my experience in Philadelphia yet, click the link). A team of men from area churches came and helped Brian redo our roof. It was a HUGE blessing, especially because Brian didn’t have to do it alone! Our roof was getting quite ‘iffy’, so having a new one before winter is awesome.

We had people move out of MRF and realized we had a lot of work in a couple of homes. One was just in need of basic maintenance due to normal wear and tear, but the end result was lots of plumbing, a fair amount of cleaning up afterwards, and digging out new bedding and towels. But, it looks great and should be set for awhile now.

We have a number of “short stays” the rest of October, then a few will be here for longer stretches starting in November. We were overjoyed to provide a stay for a couple who had never had a break from ministry, not even for a honeymoon. They loved their restful week here and were a good reminder of why we are involved at MRF. Our daughter is seeing once again that God cares about her: she has been praying faithfully for a family with a daughter to move in next door. She gets her answer on Nov. 1 when a family with one child – an 8 year old girl – moves in for a year and a half!

2017 coming to a close means lots of computer work for Brian and writing for myself. We are currently working on the giving catalog, then the 2018 BCM calendar that gets handed out. We have been tasked with the design and the writing for both.

We had our first Skill Nite of the year this past Wednesday at church. We had a blast teaching them about puppets. The leaders did a phenomenal job, especially considering a number of things that went ‘wrong’ behind the scenes! We had a big turnout and a number of guests. By every estimation, it was a wildly successful evening.

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The end of Skill Nite with one of our leaders sharing his testimony with the 30 kids.
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Brian took the big kids fishing a few weeks ago. Big J is an avid fisherman who loves it so much. E is a little more unsure. 🙂 
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My girl and I, since I realized I’m usually the photographer and don’t share many pics of myself!

Biegert Birthday Week!

Every year, I try to write up a little tribute to my kids on their birthdays and it’s that time again!

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Big J turned 5 yesterday. I remember turning 5, so I know this is a milestone of sorts as memories are now going to start sticking.

This has been a big year for Big J. He asked Jesus to be his Savior this year. We’re still working on growth with him, but that’s normal. He’s turned into quite the fisherman – still incredibly patient and hauls in more of a catch than his father when they go out together. He loves to get enough fish to “feed the family.” He helps Brian all the time and is a hard, persistent worker. He’s my sweet boy who is quick to give kisses and hugs, especially if someone is sad or hurt. He’s kind and doesn’t like to see other people upset. We are still working on sharing and not teasing his sister, but we’re pretty sure that’s going to be a life long struggle.

We are thankful for his sense of humor, his sweet spirit, and his work ethic. Just praying he keeps these qualities as he grows up!

 

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Oh this girl. She turns 7 tomorrow and is more grown up and mature by the day. Some days, I wonder if I’m talking to a 7 year old or a 14 year old! She comes up with the deepest stuff; I can’t even imagine what she’ll be like as a teen. Her current kicks are face painting, bike riding (she mastered riding a 2-wheeler this year!), and science. She is curious about a lot of things, including outer space and how things work. She informed me last night that she wants to build a robot when she grows up. She is kind and considerate, makes friends easily, and cares deeply. All of her emotions are strong – if she feels something, she’s all in, good or bad. She’s spiritually very sensitive and is worried about everyone’s spiritual state. Her prayers are sincere and is the perfect example of childlike faith in a great, big God Who listens to her.

We are most concerned in just honing all of her amazing attributes and helping her see the potential she has. Helping her grow in self-control and patience with others.

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We thought life was an adventure before these 3, but boy, were we wrong. I haven’t been bored in 7 years. Something random, weird, and/or exciting happens every day. They alternate between making me want to pull my hair out and being so in love with them I could just cry. Life is loud, messy, crazy, silly, frustrating, and so much fun. I’m thankful for healthy children who love Jesus. I’m grateful God gifted us with another year of life for both of them.

To read last year’s tributes, click here and here. Here’s Big J’s 3rd birthday and E’s 5th. There’s more, but I won’t bore you with much older posts!

Woops, it happened again!

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Good grief, I’m getting bad at this whole summer blogging thing. Sorry about that. 

July slipped away rather suddenly. It was quite emotional to see it go, too. I like July.

Brian is safely home from Florida. My parents are tucked into the suite at MRF for the time being. My dad had an unfortunate injury and so they will be here a little longer than planned. He is just fine, don’t worry.

Since returning from Florida, Brian has been able to work full-force on the shed. It is almost completely sided and coming along nicely. Currently, he’s working on internet issues, which are his nemesis.

The BCM World is in full-swing. Brian has multiple projects from the BCM home office on his plate right now, so as soon as he comes home from work on the property and gets the kids to bed, he sits on his computer.

I am back to teaching on Sundays for children’s church. Praise the Lord, we are FULLY STAFFED in every kid’s program! It’s unbelievable! Now, I begin the process of training and filling schedules. August is filled with meetings every Sunday and a few on weekdays. The end of August is our Family Carnival, so I’m busy recruiting, planning, directing, and rehearsing, too.

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Before my dad’s injury, he managed to acquire tickets for a Railrider’s baseball game for Brian and E, who has been begging to see one for two years (she’s obsessed with baseball). When plans changed last minute, we decided to take BigJ and purchase another ticket for me while my mom watched the baby. While the game didn’t move as quickly as a certain 6 year old thought it would, they still enjoyed it (especially after shade moved over us and ice cream was purchased) and we managed to stay for all 9 innings (and an awesome win by the Railrider’s!).

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Kids got to meet the team mascot, Champ

School starts in just a couple of weeks. Our scholarly, social little girl has been begging to go back since August 1st! She can’t wait to see her friends and start 2nd grade. Big J will begin K4 and is ecstatic…mostly because he gets his own backpack.

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Thanks for praying for us! August is very full and we could sure use your prayers – to prioritize, spend quality time with each other, get everything done on time, and be ready for the school year and (shiver) cold weather to arrive.

And then *poof* the calendar turned a page…

If you follow our blog, you may be wondering, “Where have you been?!” If you follow us on Facebook or get our newsletters, you know exactly where we’ve been: going crazy.

That’s right. We’ve been going crazy the last few weeks. I blame my parents.

My dad did his retirement thing in June and then decided it’d be fun to pack up and move to Florida. Yet, not move to Florida. And yet, move everything they own to Florida. Or, most of it. Confused yet? Welcome to our July.

Brian is currently IN Florida and won’t be home until sometime this weekend. My dad made one trip to Florida the beginning of July to take some things and do some work in the condo. Then it was mad packing for them as they got ready for closing on their house on July 21. Brian helped load the trailer, but the day before closing it was obvious the trailer was just not quite big enough. And that’s when the skies opened up.

Literally, actually.

I walked through my parent’s home one last time with my children, then took them home to feed them and get them to bed before my parents showed up to spend the night. We were home about 30 minutes when the skies let loose and it POURED! Our power blinked and then *poof* – nothing. We never lose power, so my children had no idea what was going on and of course, good ol’ me, was ever the unprepared mother! I found little battery-operated candles and read to my children by candlelight since the storm had made the world very, very dark.

Brian didn’t get home Thursday until 10:30pm and then spent a good chunk of the night trying to fix MRF’s generator and on the phone with the power company. He actually brought the spotter up our road and showed him the giant tree on the lines. At 4am, the power truck came up the road, passed said tree, turned around in our driveway, and left. The main road at the bottom of ours got power at 5:30am. We had nothin’. The entire MRF road was dark. After many more phone calls, we finally got someone to tell us we were next in line and by 2pm, our lights turned back on. Woo hoo!

In between phone calls, Brian was finishing up cleaning out my parent’s house before the final walk-through of the buyers. My parents scrambled out the door for closing. We crashed a friend’s house for lunch since I literally had nothing to feed my family that was not in the fridge (again, great mom-award to this one right here). My sister and brother-in-law arrived from Vermont moments after power got restored (literally, the truck was coming back down the hill as they were going up). Andy, my brother-in-law, took one look at the trailer and said, “No way is that going to Florida.” At 4pm, they were busy unloading the trailer in order to turn back around and reload it all into a rented U-haul trailer. The guys finally pulled out at 7pm Friday.

Everything is unloaded and in the condo. Everything in the condo coming back to MRF is loaded up. But, there’s still work to do as the condo is in shambles and my dad wants it nice for when they arrive in September, so Brian will help get it ready (Andy flew home tonight) and then they’ll make their way back home.

Thankfully, my mom is able to live here at MRF while they’re gone. She’s right next door and at my every beck and call. Well, not really. But, it is nice to say to the kids, “Yes, please, go see Grandma!”

Here at MRF, Brian was running like a mad man trying to finish projects before he left. He was roofing the shed last Wednesday (thankfully with a team and not alone!) and installing the garage door so power could go in while he was gone (which it has). He had other random jobs to do, but with no electricity on Friday, he couldn’t exactly do the electrical jobs that were left!

It’s also nice having my mom next door because she’s helping me inventory the place. Since she’s essentially living there for a few days, she is helping me figure out how to better arrange the kitchen and what kitchen items need replacing before new guests arrive Saturday. This is quite helpful!

As for me, I feel like I sit and write every spare moment I get. I’m working on three articles for the BCM World plus a submission to a mom blog that got accepted (woohoo for that, too!). I’m writing some other material and having that critiqued, which also takes time. Now it’s late enough in the summer that I am full-on planning for the fall, as well as revamping teams and scheduling trainings and staff meetings. The Family Carnival is literally one month away, so all of that is kicked into high-gear, too. I’m now meeting weekly with one of our Kidz Konnect girls for discipleship time. Oh, and I have my own three kids on summer vacation!

If you think of our family this week, please pray for us without Brian and safety for Brian and my dad while they’re gone. Pray for me to prioritize my to-do list and to be wise about what has to get done and when it’s due by. Pray for Brian to be able to relax while he’s gone and not stress about work that’s not done yet up here or things he has to do as soon as he gets home.

I’d leave you with a snappy picture, but I haven’t taken many lately, so just imagine three smiling kids right here: