Wednesday, June 27, 2018

May Tour

May Tour - Part Two

We covered a lot of ground this tour which included five states totaling 2,346 miles. The first week of our May tour found us playing at three different events in two states in just three days. Then it was off to Silver Dollar City for the KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Competition.  The top youth in bluegrass bands, ages 21 and under came from all over the US to compete.


At the beginning of our tour we stopped at Hobby Lobby and Mitchell found the Styrofoam sword and shield. Mom & Dad decided it would be good for him to have.  Harmless right? Wrong. The whole bus became a battlefield to Mitchell as he would literally jump from one person to the other fighting them.  Here it seems he was a casualty of a fierce battle. 

We spent a couple of hours with Pastor Steve, wife Hillary and their children before going to their church. The funny thing is that both Bethany and Mitchell ended up taking an evening nap, which they have not done in a while. They were tuckered out from all the playing with their new found friends. 

Our first stop on this tour found us in the middle of southern WI farmland.  It was such a beautiful setting and we are looking forward to play here at this church again. 

Next, we did a concert in Memphis, MO one evening in the park. This was a community event put on by the local churches in the area.  It was exciting to see a group of local churches get together to do something like this.
 The bus couldn't take the roads that lead to the park, so we borrowed the churches van for instruments and ourselves. Then the pastor loaded his truck with all our sound equipment and off we went.  Thee is always a way right?

Back to Paris, MO where we feel at home.  Nothing is better than homemade ice cream made by Pastor Steve and our little Mitchell.

Bethany taste testing the sweet cream before they freeze it.

Brotherly love? 
Turns out that Austin thought it would be funny if he took out a screw on Daltin's microphone stand. Well, as you can see this became a little wrestling match between brothers.

Just taking a moment to take a picture with Pastor Steve. Love this guy!

It has been so much fun having Mitchell join us on stage singing harmony with Bethany.

New dobro player?

Finally we arrived in Branson.  The playground at the campground is a huge highlight for Bethany and Mitchell.  We stayed again at Branson Tree House Resort.

Adding to the excitement of this tour was having grandparents joining us again!  Of course, its always way more fun on the teeter totter, when you get Grandpa to go with you!

We remembered seeing this white squirrel last year! 
Funny seeing it again!

Morning smiles in the bus!

These two are so close and its hard to ever find one without the other.

Funnel cakes with Grandpa are just the best.

All of the 18 bands on stage together!!

A Few Pics From The KSMU Single Mic Competition

Talks around the table are always the best. 
We loved getting the chance to talk with Evangeline from Resonating Grace on the night of the competition. 

Taking a water ride couldn't have been nicer on a hot day! 
Even if Austin did jokingly complain a little with how wet denim wasn't his favorite thing.

Giving Dad a big wet hug!

A little competition with squirt guns that the operator has to aim at bullseye to make a horse run down the track. Bethany won with Grandma a very close in second.

We love our camp site at Branson Tree house Adventures!  Our Bus (named Sophronie Belle) looks right at home here!

So many laughs with this group!!  Congratts to The Russell Clan for a well deserved win at the competition!  Mitchell is a little less enthusiastic in this pic.  

Bethany loves her stories!

Love getting to see old friends while out on the road. 

Such a pleasure to play at The Bar None Cowboy Church!

It was great to see Pastor Dave Rex again! He surprised us down in Branson.

To neat not to take a pic!

Like Bethany says, "We live in a hallway in a Walmart parking lot."

We returned home to find 14 chicks running about
 and Bethany and Mitchell couldn't be more excited!


"But the mercy of the LORD is from
everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him,
and his righteousness unto children's children;
To such as keep his covenant,
and to those that remember his commandments to do them."
Psalm 103:17-18

Friday, June 15, 2018

Transitioning in May

Transitioning in May!
Before we post our blog........
There is so much that happens behind the scenes that allow us to do what we do.  Many good people that support us along the way do not even get mentioned.   We want to acknowledge some of these fine folk now.  Maurice Tate thanks again for helping us with the bus, The Kaat family for helping us with the sugarbush pumps, and a HUGE thank you to Josh and Sara for looking after our animals!  We could not do it without you!

May is usually a time when we transition from maple syrup production to music ministry and maple product packaging!  It was especially hard this year as syrup production was almost non existent with a bad crop.  We harvested less than twenty percent of expected harvest.  We were more than happy to put it behind us and start a new season.  There was taps to pull from trees, equipment to clean, bus to fix and prepare a ton of music.  When we purchased our bus late last year we did not have the time to address the many, many repairs that needed to be attended to since winter was upon us and the sugarbush needed our attention. Before we could take it back on the road these repairs now needed to be addressed, in conjunction with new songs and rehearsals for the upcoming concerts tours and the KSMU youth in bluegrass competition at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO.  It seemed like there was not enough time to fix the bus and learn and review all our music.  May is such a busy month that we will post two blogs to cover it!

Before we left for our May tour, the boys had quite a few jobs to make the bus road worthy.
One of them, was replacing all of the old, broken, missing and mismatched lights with new LED puck and rope lights.

Momma also pitched in and learned how to fix the shades that were broken (which was most of them).  The overall improvement was definitely a huge and noticeable making our home away from home even more comfortable and welcoming!


The mirrored ceiling light fixture was falling off and needed serious attention.

Some of the repairs were beyond our expertise and requires taking it to a 
Detroit diesel dealer.  Boy did they ever get this rig running right.

Ahh spring!  Off with the boots and on with the flip flops.  Still a Florida boy!

Yup! They are taking their chickens for a walk!

The spring sun feels especially good!

Yup! That is momma hanging up laundry in the snow.  It was actually in the 70's that day!

Spring brought Daltin's graduation.   It seems to be a family tradition that upon
graduation a new quality instrument is in order.  This time a new Huber VRB-G.

Gibson and Huber in Daltin's stable.  Just a little spoiled right?

Priscilla making sweet treats for the family. 


 Not to be outdone by her older sister, Bethany baked muffins for the road.

Pretty common site around our house!

And so it begins!
After not playing concerts for over five months, we were more 
than a little excited to be performing again.  

It's always exciting to meet fellow musicians and even have
 the opportunity to jam with many of them.

Mitchell in his singing debut!

.... and because one picture of Mitchell wasn't enough!

First concert of the year!

Finally on the road!  Yes, that is still snow on the
ski slopes in Waussau, WI. in mid May.

To be continued............

Hosea 6:3 King James Version (KJV) 

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.