What are we going to do for Labor Day this year? This question turned into a family discussion, which resulted in plans to spend six days visiting friends in WV and VA!
The Staddons welcomed us into their home late Wednesday evening, the week before Labor Day. They had asked for some advice on growing their businesses (art, honey, photography, baking, etc.) so we were able to spend most of Thursday and Friday working on that.
It’s apple season here in WV, and the Staddons were harvesting them off their trees by the 5-gallon bucket-fulls! We were thrilled to be involved with the new and exciting process of apple-drying, something we’ve never really done before as a family. We ate a lot of apples both fresh and dried throughout the week. We are excited about harvesting our own apples in the years to come :-).
The Staddons served us fresh green beans, tomatoes, canteloupe, and blackberries from their garden, and then gave us seeds to grow our own back home! Their home-grown produce tastes amazing!
Something else we love about the Staddons is their discipleship mindset! The older ones were quick to involve the younger ones in outdoor projects, board games, and even meal preparation.
During our visit some of us enjoyed a visit to the Farmer’s Market to sell some fresh baked bread, honey and produce (Sarah, Bethany, Jonathan and Josiah went along). We also helped pick vegetables and spread mulch in the orchard.
One of our highlights was watching a film we received as a gift from a family that attended our Raising Entrepreneurs Conference in July. Sarah had seen the film Back to Eden, but we had never watched it as a family, and our visit with the Staddons proved the perfect time to do so with friends! We were very encouraged, challenged, and blessed. We are now taking steps to implement these principles of God’s Word, by changing the method in which we grow our garden and orchards! :-).
On Sunday, we visited the Staddon’s church and had the opportunity to play music (David-piano) and also sing a group hymn (A Passion for Thee). We hit the road shortly after lunch, and made our way to VA where our dear friends the Wilkes live!
On the way we stopped at the VA Farm Market (Sarah, Jonathan, Josiah, and Timothy pictured above) where we purchased fresh Honeycrisp apples (our VERY FAVORITE apple variety!!!) and some jarred goods to try. Seeing all the pumpkins, apple butter, and pumpkin butter made us think of fall – the smell, the colors, the crisp autumn air.
We didn’t get very many pictures at the Wilkes’ probably because we were just having way too much fun. We arrived Sunday evening and left Tuesday morning, so Monday was spent relaxing and catching up between fellowship and delicious meals!
The Wilkes Family has worked so hard to build this farm little by little. They are a testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness. Truly, the Lord prospers those who fear and trust Him wholeheartedly. We are grateful when we look back to the time when this farm was just a field, and now to behold the gardens, the animals, and the beautiful barn/house ministry center that the Lord has provided.
One thing we love about the Wilkes family is their love for hospitality, and their servant hearts. They were headed to New Hampshire two days after we left, to help host a conference and then travel on to MN for some family time/vacation. They graciously opened up their home to us, despite this busy schedule, making everything comfortable and wonderful!
Lots of discipleship took place between older and younger ones.
These pictures below, are from a trip we took earlier this year, passing through VA on our way to PA. We never posted them, so enjoy them now :-).
Thank you Staddon and Wilkes Families for letting the light of the Lord shine through you so beautifully. We were richly blessed by the sweet fellowship, exhortation, and memorable activities done over the week. What a joy it was to see you all face to face again. May God bless you for your hospitality and service! We are hoping you both will come visit us soon – before 2013!!! :-).