Category Archives: Vacation

Behind the Scenes: Channels Only

The flat tundra in the photo below is where Joseph recorded. This was only part way down the mountain–we were still above the tree line.

If you remember in the previous post, Joseph descended faster than some of us. Actually, Jesse and the other brothers did too. At a certain point in our descent, we could hear Joseph singing. It was stunning. To hear praise for Jesus, out in God’s Creation, with natural amplification, was amazing. Joseph’s voice echoed off the mountain walls, singing praise to the only One worthy of our praise.


Jesse used iPhones to record the video. He was very patient, taking many clips in different locations. In addition, they used a practice track as they recorded for Joseph to keep timing.


Christopher’s forte is lighting, so he helped with that aspect. You have to realize we were out for a hike, not a video session, so our resources were limited and improvised. Christopher asked around for something white to use as a reflector. We examined what we had and came up with a mostly white windbreaker. In addition, we needed extra light. We produced two flashlights. Jesse used a hiking pole with an iPhone mounted to it for a mobile monopod. We had a real production team going.IMG_9155

IMG_1753IMG_1754IMG_1761IMG_1765IMG_1769IMG_1770It was a sweet sight to see so many of my siblings involved with helping Joseph on his special project. They all knew what joy this would bring Elissa.

I don’t believe you could have gotten a prettier day. It was picture-perfect. Notice some are even in their short-sleeves, and we’re at altitude.

A very special thank you goes to Jesse. He invested a lot of time and effort into post-production.



“And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness
and of thy praise all the day long.”
Psalm 35:28

Channels Only: Live on the Mountain

We are excited to share with you a very special video that Joseph recorded for Elissa, August 21st, while we were in Colorado. It had been on his heart to sing her favorite song, and after summiting Mount Huron, he hurried back to the perfect location. The video is informal, and the background music was just practice music and spliced in. Joseph sent Elissa the music from Colorado. She was delighted! We’ll be sharing the behind-the-scenes pictures in a separate post.

May we each be a channel for Jesus. I hope this ministers to your heart today!

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life
which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith
of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20

Mount Harvard and Mount Columbia: Part 2

–With all the wedding and trip posts, I never got our 14er summits finished. But, I’m not leaving them undone. If you want to refresh your memory, here is Part 1. I’ll be sharing some Christmas pictures later, but for now, here’s Colorado!–

Team A (Joseph, John, Anna, Jesse, and Mary) saw wonderful progress and made Harvard’s summit at 7:20 local time. Pretty amazing! They enjoyed a cold and windy but beautiful summit. The clouds and sunrise made for a dramatic light show that morning.

This doesn't look so hard, but actually they had to climb a rock that required you to hold on, and if you let go, well, you don't want to go there!

This doesn’t look so hard because the picture doesn’t show the exposure to the right, but just below the summit they had to scramble a rock which proved to be one of the more interesting places of the climb.

Way to go, y'all!
Way to go, y’all!



After consulting the weather and deciding it didn’t look prohibitive, they decided to start the traverse.

IMG_7896They were one member short as John decided to head back and do some work in town. On John’s way off the summit, he made a new friend (check the picture).

Talk about a selfie! I guess the goat got the memo too.
Talk about a selfie! I guess the goat was pretty pleased too.

Meanwhile, Team B (Dad, Mom, and I) began the steep trek up one of Columbia’s slopes. It did look daunting, but we knew that step by step, we’d make progress. As we climbed, a young lady caught up to us, and we enjoyed talking. Then, she went ahead. She disappeared after awhile, which meant our path wound around the mountainside. Due to the loose rock (also known as scree), it made the climb unpleasant. I knew if it wasn’t pleasant going up, it wouldn’t be pleasant going down. But that part didn’t have to be faced at the moment. As we climbed higher, the wind grew stronger.



Back to Team A. They were attempting to accomplish what is considered a rigorous mountaineer experience.

Here you see the traverse to Columbia. Yes, it’s that far off.

They followed the cairns and light trail which generally stayed to the right of the ridge. They then crossed to the left of the ridge and descended into the basin to avoid a section of the ridge that was practically impassable.


After they started descending towards the basin, route-finding became significantly more difficult. Cairns disappeared and there was certainly no semblance of a trail to follow. When they started traversing below the ridge, the terrain became rough and they found themselves scrambling across fields of boulders the size of cars.

In many ways the back side of ridge was a bit of a box as there was no easy way to continue descending into the valley, and the best way out was over Mt. Columbia (which wasn’t visible). This element, and the fact that thunderstorms were likely coming that afternoon as evidenced by the clouds starting to develop, made the lack of navigation quite disconcerting. They prayed and asked for the Lord’s wisdom as they pressed on. It was a stretching time for them, as it was an uncomfortable feeling not knowing for sure if they were on the right route.

This is the basic they descended into to avoid the ridge.
This is the basic route they descended into to avoid the ridge.
Here Columbia’s summit is easily visible before they descended into the basin. Notice how far off it still is?

After perhaps a 1/2 hour of scrambling and pushing on, they started coming across an (very) occasional cairn, which was an answer to prayer.

I’ll finish up with Part 3 sharing the summit stories.


“I sought the LORD, and he heard me,
and delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalms 34:4

Mount Huron: Part 1

It’s dark, cold, and early, but the stars are sparkling against the sky. The time is 3:47 am. Yes. It’s a 14er morning.

After Bible time and prayer, you finish packing your Camelbak. You hope you have everything essential for the day. Oh, and you make sure to wish Mary a happy birthday.

5:02, everyone loads up in the van and John’s truck. Since we’ve stayed on Kansas time, it’s actually 4 local time. We don’t pass a single vehicle as we drive along the main road. After we turn off onto the county road, we see the headlights of other vehicles following us. John’s truck takes the washboard fine, but the van’s suspension makes for a rougher (and that’s even with airing down the tires) ride.


About 6, we made it to an area where we parked the van. Then, we waited a bit for some light before piling into the truck for our final part of the drive. John’s truck did awesome across the rock-laden, pot-hole-and-beyond “road.” He saved us several miles of hiking! Thanks, John.



We get to the trailhead and try to disembark quietly, since campers are in the area, and it’s still early. It’s cold, quite cold, probably in the 30’s.

Our goal this time had been to hike without headlamps, so it was refreshing not to begin in the dark. We are not quite sure what we have ahead, but we’re looking forward to it. The sun’s rays hit nearby mountains giving us gorgeous scenery. We soak it in, as we hike along the trail.

Mary and Anna



Part 2 up next!

“Bless the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, thou art very great;
thou art clothed with honour and majesty.”
Psalms 104:1

A Morning Hike and Chipmunks

Monday morning, some of us left the cabin at 7, so we could do a hike before meeting up with the young families to feed the chipmunks. We hiked to Grizzly Lake, which was a pleasant trek. We didn’t meet a single hiker, until we came to the lake, where we saw campers. It was a gorgeous morning to enjoy God’s creation! We’re so grateful for this time together.

Lord willing, we plan to hike a 14er, tomorrow! I have other pictures to share with you too, but for now, I’ll leave you with these.

Joyfully His,


Jesse and Mary had a little contest going about finding two identical rocks. It goes to show how amazing God's creation is when one can't find two rocks just the same!
Jesse and Mary had a little contest going about finding two identical rocks. It goes to show how amazing God’s creation is when one can’t find two rocks just the same!


Those of us who went up to the lake got our picture. Joseph and John had work to do so they stayed back.
Those of us who went up to the lake got our picture. Joseph and John had work to do so they stayed back.
At Grizzly Lake.
At Grizzly Lake.
Home is where the lawnmower is.
Home is where the lawnmower is.


We had a picnic at a stream afterward. Those waterproof boots are handy.
We had a picnic at a stream afterward. Those waterproof boots are handy.


We had a campfire that night and roasted hot dogs and s'mores.
We had a campfire that night and roasted hot dogs and s’mores.
Drew ;)
Drew 😉


“The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”
Psalms 19:1

Our Final Hike

Saturday, our final day in Colorado, we went for one more hike. We began with a slower pace for the little girls. Abigail and Bethany were so cute and did really well. Eventually, though, Nathan’s family turned around, and John stayed with them a bit to carry Christina a little longer, while the rest of us continued. John caught up to us before we reached the ridge.

Since it was clouding over, most didn’t go on to the top peak, but stayed on the ridge. We took pictures, ate lunch, and enjoyed the rest. Then, we headed back down. Although we heard thunder, some of which sounded pretty close, we didn’t get wet.

We drove safely home Sunday. The trip was an incredible blessing as we enjoyed each other, God’s creation, and quiet days. Now, we’re back to catching up and preparing for our next trip.

Joyfully His,



The little girls wanted to use walking sticks.
This was a quick group shot, minus Jesse, who took the photo.
Here we go again, climbing another incline ;).
Joshua was pleased to walk around and be out of his carrier.



You do what you need to do to get a little one to smile!


A girl shot.





We have a similar picture from previous years.

“Seek the Lord and his strength,
seek his face continually.”
1 Chronicles 16:11