Category Archives: family

Southwest Travels

After Alabama, we were off to the Southwest!

After a two-day drive, we arrived at a church in Albuquerque where we would be singing the next morning. This church family has been a real blessing to us as we have gotten to know them over the last few years. A number of people were there to help us unload all of our instruments and gear, and after we set up, everyone went out for dinner at a true New Mexican restaurant. Tortillas, beans, green chilies…yum!

Mom started having some back pain and by the next morning it was to the point where she wouldn’t be able to join us for church, which included our concert. It also turned out that on Monday (our planned departure day) Mom’s back was not up for traveling, and our hosts, the Delaney family, were so gracious to us when we had to stay a few extra days. We had a good time with them!

Dad enjoyed trying out Mr. Delaney’s segway

a heart-pounding game of jenga

supper and fellowship!

We walked down to the Rio Grande river where there was a beautiful view of the Sandia Mountains.

Even though our schedule hadn’t gone as planned, it was still a profitable few “extra days” in New Mexico. Dad was able to have a couple of ministry-related meetings, and we three girls were able to join some of the church family in a children’s Bible club at the school. We shared the airplane story with the kids, showed them a picture or two, and sang a couple songs.

Thursday we had a concert scheduled on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, so it was time to say goodbye to New Mexico and the Delaneys. Mom was still having some back trouble but she was able to join us for the concert that night! We were in Tuba City at the discipleship center, and we enjoyed meeting people and getting to know the Haskins who minister there and also put us up for a few nights.

And how can you come this far and not go to the Grand Canyon? A few of us have been there before, but we had never been there as a family. We were really looking forward to going. Being at the Grand Canyon reminds us how small we are, and how powerful God is.

…for some perspective. can you find us?

in the lookout tower

I’m not sure if we’ve ever seen so many selfie sticks at one place. But if you don’t have one, just find a friendly-looking tourist to take a family picture for you!

And we can certainly attest to the fact that while pictures of Grand Canyon are amazing, they don’t even come close to doing it justice.

We had been invited to sing on the Hopi Reservation if we ever were down that way. This was another place that was a first-time for our whole family, and it was a great opportunity to encourage the believers and share the gospel. We had a concert there on Saturday night and then stayed for the Sunday church service. We met quite a few believers there and they made us feel so welcome.

the church door open for all

Sunday morning was a church breakfast, with tortillas made hot off the stove. The morning service was an encouraging time of testimony, music, singing Hopi hymns, hearing the Word, and at the end the believers got up and sang in their Native language, “God be with you till we meet again.” We were so blessed by them.

morning service

The town we were in is in a canyon, and right behind the church is a rock wall. It’s beautiful country down there, and between all the rocks, red dirt, plains, canyons, and other scenery we drove through or past in the southwest, we felt very far away from Minnesota! (And we probably sounded like it too…”Look at that rock! Look at all those rocks! Look at the dirt!”)Everywhere we were at on this trip, people were so welcoming and hospitable, whether or not they had met us before. It’s wonderful to be part of God’s family.

From Arizona we began our trek northward, a three-day drive home. We drove through the Rockies in Colorado, and despite some snowfall and high road elevations, we made it safely through and thoroughly enjoyed the stunning scenery.Our last two nights on the road were spent with our friends the Marinos in Colorado and the Wissmanns in Nebraska who are such an encouragement to us. Thank you so much to everyone who prayed for us and blessed us on this road trip! We know that God is working.  Sometimes we see it, and sometimes we don’t.  Either way, we desire to be faithful and trust that where God gives us opportunity, He is at work.

“That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:6

Maryland and Tennessee

The purpose of our November/December trip was fourfold: to give an update to our ministry partner church in Maryland, be at our grandparents’ in Tennessee for Thanksgiving, record testimonies for the Storyteller and sing in North Carolina, and minister in the Florida prison system with an organization called Gospel Express.

So…Maryland. This is where Dad grew up and our whole family enjoys it when we can go there. There is so much history in this state…both American and Fraser! We always love driving around and hearing Daddy tell stories of growing up. “That’s the hill our soccer coach made us run up for drills.” (One time when we were there we all got out and tried it.)

by the Magothy River where Dad has childhood memories

While we were in Maryland we enjoyed fellowship with many friends who pray for and partner with us. In all of our travels one thing that blesses us time and time again is the family of God that we find wherever we go. We also got to enjoy something unique while we were there—that Sunday night, three or four local churches converged for a Thanksgiving worship service, praising God and sharing His Word together. It was a beautiful thing.

We went out for dinner with some dear friends of ours one night, where a couple of us helped ourselves to some East Coast fare (among other things)…

Since we had plenty time in Maryland, we decided to go to Fort McHenry. It was a first for all but Mom and Dad, and it was really amazing to be where the battle happened which inspired our National Anthem.

Mom holding a replica of one stripe, to scale, of the star-spangled banner

It was truly a treat to go to Fort McHenry. We are reminded of the sacrifices of so many, that others could be free.

and this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”

During our time in Maryland we stayed with a dear friends of Dad’s family while he was growing up.  Nana2 (as she is known to us) was such a wonderful hostess, encouraging us in the Lord and making us laugh at her stories. Her son – who was a friend of Dad –  is a state senator, so one night after a Lebanese dinner, he took us to the Capitol building in Annapolis. He’s taken us there before but that was a long time ago so it was fun to go back. Nobody was there except for us and the security guard who turned on some lights and opened up some rooms for us out of the goodness of his heart.

eating Lebanese

in the Annapolis Capitol

with a Senator!


And here’s a few more pictures from our time there…

the Magothy River

helping with a project – many hands make light work… and with Nana2 – lots of laughter

lots of ping-pong and round robin

so beautiful

After Maryland we were off to Tennessee for Thanksgiving at our grandparents’/aunt and uncle’s. Most of Dad’s siblings were there, and we found ourselves playing many games over the weekend, such as…

run down…

dutch blitz…


signs (and it was Grandpa’s b-day, hence the hat)…

…as well as football and spoons (which may or may not have had a very dramatic episode in which someone dove for a spoon and, having unknowingly knocked over their chair, in an attempt to quickly sit back down, had an abrupt meeting with the floor).

There were twenty-one people and six dogs. Nana, Grandpa, Uncle Joe, Aunt Kim and the cousins were so gracious to all of us. And as you can imagine, there was a lot of food for the Thanksgiving feast.

preparing for dinner

mucho food

all the seats were filled for the meal (this was taken near the end)

Hope, the Alaskan malamute,  found her way to Dad’s plate. Thankfully he was about done anyway.

and now she’s his friend

And this is only the first half of the trip. Pictures and details of the rest coming soon!

It is good to give thanks to the LORD.

Psalm 92:1


First Flight

This has been a very different year for us. Sometimes it seems like it’s been defined by the plane crash. And in a way it has been. But maybe it’s more accurate to say that this year is defined by God working through the plane crash. We’ve been able to share the story with so many people and speak of our powerful God. Of course, it’s not an experience we would have chosen to go through beforehand…but on the other side of it we are so grateful for the testimony we have to share. A friend recently challenged us that this a gift God has given us, a ministry tool to use for the rest of our lives. And not only that, but for us personally it is a faith-builder! Having lived through that experience, it reminds us that God is in control and we are immortal till He is finished with us.

A question that people ask us frequently is, “Have you flown since?” or they wonder about the fear factor.

The answer to the first question has been, “We haven’t had to,” and the answer to the second has been, “It will be hard, I’m sure, but God will give us the grace if He wants us to fly again.”

Now the answers have changed. Now it’s, “Yes, we have flown again. It was hard, but God helped us.”img_1731

The ministry that owned the first plane bought another one. It is very similar, with six seats and the same set-up. A few weeks ago, the pilot Dan and his family flew out here in the new plane with the idea of our family going up in it. Dan is a good pilot and we trust him.

walking out to meet the new plane

walking out to meet the new plane



img_1741The first flight after the crash is a hurdle all of us siblings would have to get over sooner or later, so our whole family decided to go. Before we climbed in Dan huddled us up and prayed.

And then we went flying. Mom and the girls went on the first flight, and Dad and the boys went on the second. Each of us experienced our own levels of difficulty, but God gave us each the grace and strength to do it.

off we go

off we go


our house (center)






on the ground again

We are so grateful for our God and for each other, and for His grace and help in our first flight after the crash.

img_6545-4And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9