Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry, Merry Christmas!

The Garms Family - Christmas Eve 2011 | From Left to Right: Front row - Sam (11), Caleb (8), Dad (David), Mom (Kris); Back row - Jayme (10), Ben (20), Leesha (17), and Taylor (19) 
We pray you and your family had a delightful, most blessed Christmas; ours was relaxing and reflective, and we enjoyed our time at home.  May you continue to be blessed exceedingly throughout the rest of this year, and into 2012!


"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons."
(Galatians 4:4-5 ESV)


Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
The Garms Family

Happy 10th Birthday Jayme!

"Jaym-Jaym", "Giggles", "Jollylegs", and most recently "Pipsqueak" (I called her that from stage during our last concert, and people afterwards kept coming up and calling her "Pipsqueak"!)...all these nicknames describe our little Christmas joy, Jayme.  We celebrated her 10th birthday on December 22nd, and now she goes around exclaiming, "I'm a decade old!"  :)  She had been counting down the days to her birthday for several months (yes, really!), and was so excited when the day finally arrived.  Jayme was doubly excited when Grandpa Pete and cousin Noah were able to spend the day as well.

Jayme - December 22nd, 2011
Jayme
Joyful (mostly!)
Amicable
Youthful
Musical
Excitable

Our little fiddler - December 20th, 2011
Jayme chose Psalm 62 as her psalm for the day:


For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse. Selah
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work.

Happy Birthday Jaym-Jaym - we love you dearly!

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF


Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Concert Video Highlights

Hello Friends!

Here are a few video highlights from some of the Christmas concerts we did this December.  Be blessed, and may your hearts be filled with the Joy of Christmas!







Merry Christmas!
The Garms Family

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Ring Christmas Bells" Video

A special thanks to everyone who came to our special Christmas concert at our home church, St. Stephen's Lutheran, on December 4th! We enjoyed dusting off our Christmas songs, debuting some new ones, and even rearranging some off of our latest CD (you should hear the LAs exciting new arrangement of "Go Tell It On the Mountain" with full instrument back-up now; my favorite part is the ending - it's awesome!). It was so neat to have friends and family in attendance (Grandpa Pete stayed the weekend and sister Uli came to the concert) - and we made new friends as well. It was a blast!

We were extremely blessed and flabbergasted by the generosity of our friends: St. Stephen's has been raising money for our family while we've been away at concerts on Sundays. Pastor Anderson presented Dad and Mom with their gift, along with the freewill offering. Wow. Thank you all SO much!

We've been having a wonderful time at our other Christmas concerts as well! Last night we had an enjoyable evening at Kost Evangelical Free Church in North Branch, MN with friends new and old - thank you Linda for having us come to your church! And, we were thrilled to return to Eagle Bend Assembly of God this last Sunday (the meal was absolutely delicious, y'all!). We've been so blessed.

Here's a highlight from our concert at our home church; enjoy!



Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for the Garms Family

Friday, December 9, 2011

Chronicles of the Sightings: Counting Our Blessings


On Monday, November 21st, our family was traveling in the Glory Bus to celebrate our grandpa's birthday with him when disaster struck.  Leesha tells the story below and shares the numerous blessings which came from the day...


“The cheesy potatoes were baking as they recorded the commercial and mmmm, they smelled so good!” Jayme chattered excitedly to Mom.  Then she stopped, suddenly seeing Mom’s fixed stare at Taylor.  At that moment, Taylor smacked her forehead, “Oh! I should have just made the cheesy potatoes and brought them along to cook at Grandpa’s!” she groaned.  Both Jayme and I looked at each other confused; until it dawned on me what they were talking about.  “So that’s what you meant when you said we were bringing potatoes for Grandpa’s birthday!” I cried.
  
“Yeah,” said Mom, “they were to be baked at Grandpa’s so they would be warm for supper.”  Still Jayme did not grasp the situation, so Mom patiently explained to her why the cheesy potatoes should have been only made, not baked.  


I turned to Taylor and said, “Sorry Taylor, I didn’t realize you shouldn’t have baked them.”  “It’s okay, but I wish I had thought about it before I cooked them,” she sighed, “But we need to get busy; we have yet to make cranberry sauce and a cake, not to mention doing the dishes from supper.”  Wearily, we both got up from the couch in our family room and headed to the kitchen.


Jayme came prancing into our room on her stick horse the next morning, saying “Wake up girls! It’s Grandpa’s birthday!” and galloped out.  I groaned (while saying to myself “Next time Jayme, could you sing a song or something other than making your horse say, ‘I like it when you brush me!’”) and looked to see what time it was - more specifically how long it would take us to get out of the house.  Then I cracked a smile and called down to Taylor from my top bunk, “At least the cheesy potatoes are made!”  Taylor only groaned, rolled over, and threw her covers her head.  


Despite having a late start in leaving, we were finally all in the "Glory Bus" (or as Taylor has started to call it the "Adventure Bus") on our way to celebrate Grandpa’s 71st birthday.  “Isn't it nice to be going down just to visit Grandpa and not having to pack suitcases and set up at a church?” remarked Taylor from across the aisle from me.  Ben and I nodded as we bumped along down the road.

We were about at the half-way point in our trip when Dad suddenly exclaimed, “Oh no! We have a problem!  I've got to pull over, the engine is over-heating!” Unfortunately, we were in the middle of a busy highway during the lunch hour rush.  In the next suspenseful moments, Dad slowed down and took several exits to get off the highway.  To make matters worse, the roads we turned on were under construction!  Finally, finding a gas station, we turned in - only to find all available parking spaces filled.

Driving a little further, we found a nearly deserted parking lot; Dad pulled in.  As the engine shut off, we all thanked God we had made it this far without the bus exploding into flames or maybe worse.  Ben and Dad exited the bus to look around and see what was going on with our "whale on wheels", while Mom took stock of the position we were in.

Soon Dad and Ben came back in with what they thought was wrong.  Dad thought that a hose was leaking coolant, thus causing the engine to over-heat.  But a more careful inspection (I am so glad Dad is a mechanic) showed a belt almost completely demolished.  This belt controlled the alternator, the water pump, and the fan, all necessary for the running of the engine.  And this was beyond what Dad could do (he happened to leave his tools at home on this particular trip); we needed help.  With the aid of his GPS, Dad began calling different auto shops to see if anyone in the vicinity could help.

The shredded remains of the belt.
It was around 12:00 p.m. when we stopped in the parking lot, and after the preliminary settling down, Mom suggested we all should have some lunch (we were all starting to get hungry) since it was looking like we weren’t going to make it to Grandpa’s any time soon.  As I made my way to the back of the bus and saw the cheesy potatoes, I exclaimed, “Hey, maybe it was a good thing after all that Taylor made the cheesy potatoes!  God knew we would need them today before we got to Grandpa’s!”   Everyone agreed; the first blessing counted.    


“Well,” said Dad just getting off the phone with roadside assistance, “it’s going to be an hour and half wait until the mobile mechanic gets here.”  "I’m going to walk over to McDonald’s to keep warm,” said Mom, “And this will be a great time to get those spelling tests done, Sam and Jayme, as we’re not moving. Anyone else coming in with me?”  Taylor said she would also come, so Mom, Sam, Jayme, and Taylor set off across the parking lot.  Dad, Ben, Caleb and I waited in the ever-getting-colder bus.  Caleb, Ben, and I began reading books as the minutes ticked by.


Suddenly Dad said, “They're here!”  All of us in the bus looked outside excitedly as a repair van pulled up beside our poor bus.  We all hoped the repair man would fix it soon so we could either continue to go down and visit Grandpa or go home soon.  Sam and Jayme came over and Ben, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb began playing games as the repair man, Jim, began trying to fix our bus.  Soon he (and we) found out that the replacement belt was too short and would not fit.  Then began the long process of finding another belt, waiting for Jim our repair man or some else to get a belt, and trying to make it work.  


Jim, the mechanic, discovered the tensioner for the belt was broken, so after another belt was picked up, we waited for that part to be fixed.  But even after the tensioner was fixed, the belts we had didn’t work!  In the end, Jim and another repairman moved the alternator to make one of the belts work.  


Meanwhile, all of us kids (with Mom) hung out in McDonald’s.  Boy, I was never as thankful for McDonald’s as I was then.  First, we sat around and chatted, but then we had the bright idea to play a game. We played one game for over an hour and got quite loud, so loud that Mom asked us to burn off some energy outside.  :)  After walking around in the parking lot, we came back in not wanting to finish our game.  Being supper time, we had gotten awfully hungry sitting in a restaurant.  Knowing it would be rude to bring in our food to eat, Mom said we could eat off the dollar menu (our last concert we had been given money for a meal, and well, it came in handy!).  


As we were eating, Dad and Jim came in to get warm and wait for the last belts to arrive.  Jim shared stories about going out to eat when he was young; how a cheese burger cost sixteen cents and a regular burger was fourteen cents.  He told us of growing up in a family the same size as ours with eight kids.   It was interesting to hear what life was like back in those days, before the age of technology.  


Around nine o’clock the bus lights went on (we saw through McDonald’s windows), and we knew the bus was fixed!  We could go home!  We cleaned up our school books, games, jackets, etc., at McDonald’s (we took up a lot of room, three booths!) and prepared to head out to the bus.

As we left the parking lot, we began reviewing the past few hours, seeing how God’s hand had been at work through all the crazy-mixed up day:

  • First, we were not out in the middle of no-where, but still close enough to the Cities (as we Minnesotans call Minneapolis/St. Paul and their suburbs), so that we didn't wait hours and hours just for someone to arrive.  
  • It had been a nice day, not snowing or raining.  
  • Also, we were near a warm place with bathrooms.  
  • We had food along (already baked!) and it was cold enough they didn't spoil during our long wait.
  • Another blessing was we had brought along games (more than we usually do) to play with Grandpa on his birthday.   
  • We were blessed with good mechanics who worked hard to fix our bus.  
  • God was watching over us; the bus didn’t break down on our way to a concert.  And even though it was sad not being with Grandpa on his birthday, we were not really pressed for time.  
  • God had also provided for a meal at McDonald’s, and He brought us back home safely - all in one day! 
  • Also, because of the amazing generosity of a certain individual, we were overwhelmingly blessed to not have to pay labor charges (which were very large) - we only had to pay for the parts.

All the way home, I was praising God for the good things He had done for us.  Truly I could say with David: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”  What a time to be mindful of all the benefits of trusting in God!  And how fitting that it was Thanksgiving week, a time set apart to be grateful for the abundance of our blessings so graciously given to us from a loving God.

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!   


- Leesha for the Garms Family    

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy 17th Birthday Leesha!

Our "happy" sister, Leesha ("Leesha" means "happy" and she generally lives up to her name very well!), turned 17 years old this Saturday, December 3rd, 2011.

17?!

Wow, get me a chair!  We're getting old!

Leesha - December 3rd, 2011

LEESHA
Like-able
Easy-going
Encouraging
Silly (yet sensible)
Happy
Animated


Leesha chose several passages from the Bible too lengthy to include here, but let me share with you one of her favorite psalms:

PSALM 150
Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!

Happy Birthday, Leesha!  We love you very much!

Blessings and Joy in the Journey with JESUS!

-Taylor for the Garms Family

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Thank You, Lord": It's "The Right Time"!


The picture says it all.  :)

Preorders are on their way!  Click here to order your copy!

Also, listen below for a preview of the new CD!  (You probably should listen to the first commercial for this one to make sense.  :)  To listen to the first one, click on the "next" arrow button on the player, and then click the "previous" arrow button to hear the new one!)



Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
The Garms Family

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Thank You, Lord" CD Review by MN SG Fan

Our blogging friend, Josh, recently reviewed our first CD, "Thank You, Lord" on his blog, Minnesota SG Fan. Click here to read the great review!

Speaking of lutefisk, Josh: we all tried lutefisk for the first time on November 3rd when we sang for a lutefisk feed in Cambridge, MN. It actually wasn't as bad as we thought, but perhaps it was because we were overly hungry when we finally sat down to eat! (Jayme seemed to enjoy it the most, strangely enough.) :-D

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF

P.S. Y'all can now preorder our latest CD, "The Right Time" by visiting our store!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Alas, the TGF blogger is behind, behind, behind! Our dear Mom's birthday was October 21st, on which she, once again, turned 29+ years old. :)

Happy (belated) Birthday, Mom!

Mom at MWQA - October 21st, 2011

KRIS
Kind
Radiant
Industrious
Selfless

We were at the Midwest Quartet Convention during Mom's birthday, so unfortunately, there was no cake, no ice cream, and only a handful of cards later that evening. :( But there were plenty of birthday greetings from everyone who found out it was Mom's special day!

The impromptu poster Dad and we kids made for Mom and hung up at our booth.

Here is the most unique birthday greeting Mom received during the convention:



We love you Mom! What would we do without you? ;)

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Recorded at "The Cave"...

We are home from a four day "tour" in Iowa. On Thursday we left for Altoona, Iowa and enjoyed our time there for the Midwest Quartet Convention. Lord-willing, we'll post more stories and pictures from the awesome weekend.

But here's something we'll quickly share: Our friends, the Nuckols, came over to our home studio this summer and recorded a song for a music video. Here is the finished result. Didn't Ben do a great job with the audio? (And he also played accordion and upright bass, as well!)


Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
TGF

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More New Videos from the Garms Family

Hey Y'all!

Here are a few more videos of our set before the Legacy Five concert on September 23rd, 2011; enjoy!




Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

Happy....um...39+ Birthday, Dad!

(Or here's Ben's way of introducing Dad and Mom on stage: he was born sometime between 1900 and 2000. :-D )


David (Dad) is:

Diligent
Adept
Visionary
Insightful
Diplomatic

Dad selected Proverbs 12 in our Bible reading today:

"A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
but a man of evil devices he condemns."
(Proverbs 12:2 ESV)

"No one is established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved."
(Proverbs 12:3 ESV)


"From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
and the work of a man's hand comes back to him."
(Proverbs 12:14 ESV)

"Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
but those who act faithfully are his delight."
(Proverbs 12:22 ESV)



We love you Dad and appreciate your guidance for our family! We are grateful for all the invaluable work you do for us and are blessed by your presence.

Blessings and Joy in the Journey with JESUS,

The Garms Family

Monday, October 10, 2011

"The Right Time" Coming Soon!

"THE RIGHT TIME"
Great Adventure Gospel Band's second CD coming soon!

The song list for our upcoming Christmas CD.

Ben - our wonderful engineer has worked tirelessly on the project.

This Saturday and Sunday (10/8 - 10/9) found us busy wrapping up the CD. Ben set about mastering the CD on Sunday afternoon with Leesha lending a listening ear.

Taylor working on the graphic design for "The Right Time" on Sunday afternoon.

And while BLT were working on different aspects of the CD, Dad, Mom, and the LAs all contributed to another project: bulletin necklaces! (But more information on that later.)

Yes, we are in the throes of finishing up our first Christmas CD, and are thrilled to be almost done with it!

We decided on the name The Right Time for our Christmas CD, based off of a song which has received positive feedback during our concerts: "At the Right Time". The CD will include many traditional Christmas songs, including (not in any particular order)...
  • "At the Right Time"
  • "The First Noel"
  • "Away in a Manger"
  • "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
  • "Dona Nobis Pacem"
  • "Silent Night"
  • "What Child Is This?"
  • "Go Tell It On the Mountain"
  • "Little Drummer Boy"
  • "Angels We Have Heard on High"
  • and also Sam and Jayme's cute recitation of "Jesus and Santa Claus"
There are a few minor details to be completed before we send the CD off to the replicators, but Lord-willing, "The Right Time" will be available for purchase this month! We will keep you all posted on specifics.


Merry Christmas! :)

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
The Garms Family

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Chronicles of Sightings: Riding "No-Handed"

Earlier this summer, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb challenged me to try riding bike without holding on to the handlebars: "no-handed", as they call it. Mustering up my courage and relying on the fact I can ride bike with only one hand, I took up their challenge. After several near crashes and wimpy attempts, I finally succeeded in riding "no-handed" for more than five seconds, using all the balance tricks I could think of and riding very slow! My little siblings applauded me, and then showed off how long they could ride with "no hands"! :)

Thinking of that experience brings my mind back to September 27th, 2010. I was at our home church uploading Caleb's first "Legacy Six" video when I got the call from Dad: he lost his job. A great fear gripped my heart as Dad told me the news. To be certain, we've always dreamed of Dad being home with us, but it seemed so sudden, and it definitely wasn't our timing. If it had been our will, the band would have been so busy that Dad would have to quit his job and we could easily transition into full-time ministry and concentrate fully on expanding it. But God had other plans.

You see, throughout this year of unemployment for Dad (and even without unemployment supplements!), we have learned to trust in the Lord, to lean on Him, and rely on Him for all of our needs. We have been riding on faith, "no-handed", you could say, as we let go of our plans and expectations and lay ourselves in God's gracious Hand. Have things been scary and uncertain at times? Yes, no doubt! But, time after time, we have watched God provide for all of our needs. We have not missed a single house payment or bill, we've never been hungry, and have even been blessed above our expectations. Time after time we have spotted "sightings" of God's Hand of provision working in our lives.

Let me give just one testimony of God's amazing provision: last week, bill time rolled around, and Dad and Mom wondered how they were going to cover the bills. The day bills were due, an envelope came in the mail with a sweet note of encouragement from someone who attended a recent concert...and enclosed was a check for the amount needed to cover our shortage! What a precious gift it was, and did we praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Yes, this has been a "no-handed" ride of faith, a journey of joy, and we are looking forward to what's ahead! Thank you for all of your prayers, and remember to praise God for His wonderful provision.

As a close to this post, here is a song we sang this last Friday in Baxter, MN, which has come alive to us through this season of trusting:



"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Legacy Six Returns!

Yep, y'all: Legacy Six returned this Friday (September 23rd, 2011)!



Trey Ivey called Caleb up on stage during Legacy Five's encore, and Gus Gaches shared the last note on "Somebody Sing" with Caleb - "it was a hoot!"

If you haven't seen the first Legacy Six video (or just want to see it again), here it is:



More coverage from our time at Baxter soon to come. :)

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Higher Ground" Video and A Prayer Request

Good Morning!

Usually before a concert if we have some "waiting" time, you'll more than often find us singing together. Even while we set up and tear down, the room will be alive with song and harmony! Such was the case back at our concert in Pequot Lakes, MN on April 30th, 2011. While the audience was eating dinner before the concert, we sung our hearts out. One the songs we caught on video.

Our actual arrangement of "Higher Ground" includes instruments, but we had fun trying it out
a capella. Here's the result:



As a side notefor today: Taylor fell ill with a cold last week (right before our concert on Friday, too!), then Leesha caught it, and now Mom and our friend Mal are coming down with it as well. All four of us had been at the local clinic last Tuesday for Mal's doctor appointment and obviously contracted a mean sore throat and cough. So, as the Spirit brings us to your mind, would you say a prayer for swift recovery for those who are sick and protected health for the rest of the family? We would certainly appreciate it, especially as we have two concerts this week. Thank you!

And, for those who may attend the Legacy Five concert this Friday, our set starts at 7:10 p.m. and then Legacy Five begins when we're done; we're so excited! (Anyone want to join us in the front row?) We're looking forward to seeing y'all there!

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
The Garms Family

Friday, September 16, 2011

Who Is This?

Last week, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb had the privilege to talk with a special person. Do you know who he is*? (If you're into Southern Gospel music, it should be pretty easy!)

Look for a special video interview on SouthernGospelBlog.com and pictures coming soon!

*For those who aren't familiar with Southern Gospel music, the man the LAs are speaking with is Ernie Haase of the Signature Sound Quartet.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Legacy Five and Great Adventure Gospel Band

Legacy Five with Great Adventure

We were exceedingly honored and humbled to be asked earlier this year to open for Legacy Five on September 23rd, 2011. (Our first reaction was, "NO WAY!" :) ) We are very excited (and yes, VERY nervous) to "warm up the audience" for our "Favorite Quartet of Today", and are looking forward to a night of fun and praising the Lord. (And yes, we still claim the front pew!)

The concert starts officially at 7:30 p.m., but our set begins a short time before then. Tickets are $16 in advance and $19 at the door, so order yours today to join us for this special concert! (Click on the Legacy Five button to get more details and order tickets.) We would love to see you there!

And please pray we don't get chicken pox or any other illness this year which would hinder our time in Baxter! :)

P.S. If you would like to view our latest e-newsletter with other newsworthy items, including information about the Glory Bus and the Christmas CD, click here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And Happy 87th Birthday Mal!

Mal and our kitty, Tiger, working together.

(The Garms Family blogger is obviously catching up on birthday posts!)

A happy (belated) birthday to our friend, Mal! He turned 87 years old on August 7th, thus beginning our birthday season for 2011-2012. And since a picture speaks a thousand words, let's allow several pictures do the speaking for now:


The two August "birthday boys": Caleb and Mal.


We were so glad to be home to celebrate Mal's birthday with him this year!

Happy Birthday to our precious friend, Mal! We love you, Mal! We're with you on your journey though life and ageing, and thank God for your presence in our lives.

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
The Garms Family

Happy 8th Birthday, Caleb!

Happy 8th Birthday to the sweetest, cutest 8-year old boy in the world: Caleb!


CALEB IS:
Caring
Adventurous
Lively
Easygoing
Bold

Caleb selected Psalm 8 for his birthday psalm today:

8

O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants,

you have established strength because of your foes,

to still the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him?

5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;

you have put all things under his feet,

7 all sheep and oxen,

and also the beasts of the field,

8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,

whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

9 O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!


We love you, our little (but growing!) bundle of joy and laughter! Happy Birthday, buddy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Catching Up with the Family

In seeing the last time I posted here was August 1st, I figured it was quite time for another blog! So much has been happening that I do not even know where exactly to start, so I'll take a creative approach and put my family on the spot with the simple question:

"What two things have happened in your life recently that are exciting, big...or just what you've been up to?"

We'll see how this goes! (I think some people will be easier than others!)

---------------------------------------------------------------

Caleb: "I lost two teeth recently, and I have been collecting toads and frogs with Sam; I kept a toad for a day, and fed him worms and made a nice grassy home for him!"

Jayme: "I'm very much looking forward to and waiting for the day when we open for Legacy Five. I've also been outside a lot, and I have to admit, INSIDE a lot, playing with my LEGO horses."

Sam: "I've been helping Dad work on airplanes, and I have been practicing my slingshots with Caleb. Also I have been trying to learn German, but I have to eat sauerkraut though!" (Grandpa Junker told him he had to eat sauerkraut before he could learn German.) :)

Leesha: "Nothing!" (She then breaks into a giggle.) [Oh, come on! There's got to be something!] "What is the meaning of 'recently'? How recent is 'recent'?" [I told you some people would be easier than others! ;) ] ["LEESHA!"] "I was looking at the calendar to see if there was anything important on there! What was your question again?" (Reads question again.) "The Iowa trip is obviously the 'biggest' thing that has happened in the past two months. I can't believe it is already done; I still think we're planning for it! I think we would have enjoyed it more if we hadn't been so tired and our tire hadn't blown - that added an exciting twist to it all." [Taylor's interjection: Keep your eyes open for more details coming about this incident!] "Nothing much else, except for day to day things: school, practice, making meals, eating meals, and planning meals...and life!" :)

Taylor: "Oh, I'm next! THAT should be pretty easy! The two biggest, most exciting, most exhilarating, the most thrilling, and most invigorating things which have happened in my life are publishing my very first website - made entirely from scratch; it's amazing my mind hasn't exploded yet from living in code and Photoshop for the past few months!! - for 4 His Love Quartet (check it out, if you'd like, at http://www.4hislove.com), and purchasing a new, "peach-colored", wood-toned Morgan Monroe MMS-8 mandolin! I'm especially excited about my beautiful mandolin - I absolutely love it! Okay, those are the big things. Moving on..."

Ben: "Recording our Christmas CD and growing even more skilled at audio engineering over these past 14 months has been exciting! I went from absolutely nothing to what I know today. It has been fun learning new techniques and putting into practice what I've already learned. Also, getting to know friends better is something I've been shooting for recently."

[Sam just came in and said, "Taylor, I'd like you to meet somebody." He pulled a toad out of his pocket and it started climbing out his shirt. "Meet Tiny the Toad!" he said. Then a short time later he came in again, repeating, "Taylor, I'd like you to meet somebody". A toad leaped from his hands and started exploring the carpet, with Sam following behind crying, "No! No! Come back here, Teenie!". Finally, big sister Taylor had to intervene, and saved the day by grabbing the escapee and releasing the small reptile outside.]

Mom: "I did something I didn't think I could do: I came up with my own pattern and sewed curtains for the bus, and actually really enjoyed sewing! In the past, sewing and golf were just two things I wouldn't claim any knowledge or skill about, but who knows, maybe I'll get into sewing skirts for the girls of this family! Now, golf....I can honestly say, forget it!! :)"

Dad: "What's been really neat for me is being home this summer, as in not being an employee. I've been around my family and have been able to work on things around the home. The other thing was the tire blow-out last week! I can't think of anything else other than working on the bus; that's been my summer!"

---------------------------------------------------------------

That's a small piece of "life" from the members of the Garms household! We'll (Lord-willing) continue to update you on road stories and other family happenings as the days roll on. Also, we have two concerts this weekend; check out our calendar for more info, and we'd love to see you somewhere! :)

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for The Gang

Monday, August 1, 2011

"Folks, It's Getting Bad"

"Wow, look at the clouds!"

Last Saturday evening we were sitting at Wendy's, visitin' with our good friends, the Hainings when someone noticed the clouds. Dark, impressive as they shaded the sunset...and gathering fast.

Earlier that day we had performed at Bethany Lutheran Church in Grantsburg, WI; it was supposed to be an outdoor concert, but because of heavy rain in the morning, it was moved inside...which we were actually grateful for, as outdoor concerts are tough to do with lots of instruments to protect, blood-thirsty bugs, and unpredictable summer weather. So, suffice to say, we enjoyed the air-conditioning as the humidity rose throughout the afternoon! Pastor Jay, Ruby, Dorothy, and all the ladies of the church were so gracious to us.

We were utterly surprised when our long-distance friends, the Hainings showed up. They recently moved to Missouri and were in the area; our families wanted to get together sometime while they were here in Minnesota, but it wasn't going to work anytime soon. So, when they appeared at the church right before the concert, we were shocked! :)

After the concert, the Hainings and our family headed to Cambridge, MN to eat supper and catch up on a couple months. We laughed and talked and shared over the course of four hours (when you put two families who like to talk together, well, the conversation never stops!). Meanwhile outside, the bright sunshine was fading away quickly, not only because of the evening hours, but because of gathering cumulonimbus clouds. Lightning flashes eventually began to interrupt our talks, and the subject of our girls' conversation turned to storms briefly.

Then, suddenly, I heard something which chilled me: the wail of a siren...at least I thought I did. "Is that the sirens?" I asked suddenly, shushing our talk, looking at the rain starting to pour and the pitch black clouds. "It couldn't have been," I answered my own question quickly, knowing when I get scared I have the tendency to "hear" things. Then, I heard them again and I knew I wasn't hearing things! I jumped up out my chair quick, and tapped Dad on the shoulder; "Dad, I hear the sirens," I said with a tremble in my voice. ("Sirens", meaning a siren which signifies a tornado has been spotted.)

Everyone sprang out of their chairs and went to the windows. (What is the first thing you're supposed to do in a bad storm? Stay away from windows!) An employee nearby started filling us in on the latest news: a tornado warning had been issued until 9:00 p.m. Well, it was just 9:00, so it would be over soon...so we thought. Mr. Haining checked his phone for more information, and sure enough, we could see we were in the thick of a nasty looking storm. The lightning was flashing continually now, the wind was whipping the trees, and the thunder claps shook the windows...and it was pouring!

Then the warning was extended to 9:45 p.m. It looked like we could be at Wendy's for a long while.

We eventually sat down again. We were the only customers, so we just made ourselves comfy. Mrs. Haining, James, and Gracie started singing a song called "Master of the Wind", as our family hadn't heard it before, when suddenly an employee came up to us.

"Folks, it's getting bad," she said in the utmost sincerity.

"Just the way she said it gave me a pounding in my heart," Jayme told me later.

During the song, I had looked over at Leesha and saw her eyes were huge. She was staring at a metal light post which was swaying crazily back and forth, bending in the force of the wind. Yep, it was getting bad. Before we hurried for the safety of the bathrooms, I peeked outside and saw a thick wall of water surrounding the building. Sam later described it as "it wasn't raining sheets, it was raining MATTRESSES!"

The wind was howling and thunder rolling, and my legs were shaking from fright, I tell you that! Ruthie started texting their friends for prayers, and we then started singing "How Great Thou Art". (Earlier I had suggested we sing "I'll Fly Away", but no one really took up THAT suggestion!) The bathroom acoustics were wonderful and the harmonies of two family singing groups resounded through the restaurant. It was so funny, because when we girls finished the last powerful note, we heard the boys in the boys' bathroom still holding it out! We laughed so hard.

After the song ended, an employee told us the storm had lessened. We peeked out of the door and saw her mopping up puddles of water which had seeped through the doors. 14 people trooped out of the bathrooms and headed to the windows. The parking lot was solid water, but everything amazingly looked intact! Even Cub Foods was still there! (Ben had joked when we'd see Cub Foods gone, we'd be goners!) The Hainings' Sprinter looked okay and we trusted the Glory Bus was okay and didn't leak (it was parked behind the restaurant).

We waited some more, and around 10:00 p.m., we parted ways (sniffle!) and went out into the subsiding storm.

It just happened to be the day I failed to bring the camera or the Zoom, so I didn't get any of the adventure digitized to share. :( All we have are memories. As Leesha, Jayme, Ruthie, Pearl, Gracie, and I talked about the crazy night, Leesha said, "When we're all old, we'll say to each other, 'Do you remember that one time when that one storm came?'", making her voice sound old and scratchy, and making us girls laugh.

You never know what is going to happen when you're on the road! But it's always best to experience strange happenings with good friends.

Okay Hainings, I said I'd blog about; did I sum it up well? :)

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Soon and Very Soon" Video

Good Afternoon Friends!

Do you have 2:33 minutes?

Want a smile for your day?

Okay...here's Sam, Jayme, and Caleb's rendition of "Soon and Very Soon" from our concert at New Life Church of God in Bertha, MN on July 10th, 2011. Ben also joins them with some fun bass vocals. Enjoy!



If you can't watch the video here, visit our YouTube channel to view it there: http://www.youtube.com/user/greatadventurefamily.

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for The Garms Gang

Friday, July 22, 2011

New Promotional Photos!

Hey Y'all!

I'm finally catching up on some housekeeping on the website! If you are promoting a concert with the Great Adventure Gospel Band and are desiring promotional material, please visit our Promoter's page for new photos and an updated press release. If you experience any difficulty downloading any of our promotional items, do not hesitate to email: greatadventure@localnet.com.

Also I added three new concert dates to our calendar yesterday; so check those out - we'd love to see you soon! I believe we are around 49 appearances for 2011; praise the Lord!

We sang last night in Gregory Park, Brainerd, MN and were SO thankful it was beautiful weather for the concert! The storm clouds began to gather and thunder began to roll right after we stopped singing and, with extra helping hands of friends, we were able to beat the rain! It was close, though! The most unique aspect of the concert was the bandshell we sang in. It was about nine feet off the ground and we had to climb a flight of scary stairs inside/underneath the bandshell to get all our heavy equipment on to the "stage" area.

And now we are looking at a weekend off and wondering what we are going to do with all our "free" time! :)

Hope you have a wonderful, God-blessed weekend!

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 4th of July and "Thank You, Lord" CD Review

The Garms Family - 4th of July (2008)

Hey Y'all!

Happy 4th of July! How are you all spending your day? We are enjoying a beautiful sunshiny day at home and are thankful for electricity (we were in a power outage for about 22 hours Friday-Saturday this weekend, believe it or not; that was interesting!). We are also extremely grateful for the sacrifice of our brave soldiers (and their families) who served and are serving our country in the military, and praise the Lord for our country's freedom.

Well, here's a tidbit for you to enjoy: Yankeegospelgirl recently reviewed our debut project, "Thank You, Lord" on her blog, www.SouthernGospelYankee.wordpress.com! If you'd like to read her kind, insightful, and thoughtful review, click here to visit the post.

Thanks, YGG!

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Let's Celebrate: It's Our 3rd Anniversary!

Sweaty palms, tightened throats, anxiety about off-notes and forgotten words...what were we getting into? It was Sunday, June 29th, 2008 and we, this unknown family who just loved to sing around the keyboard, were opening for a Southern Gospel group, Living Sacrifice from Missouri.

Now, three years later...

- A white bus sits in the driveway and Mom is at the kitchen table sewing curtains for its windows (wow, she is brave!).

- Most of the sound system is set-up in the living room, and around the room are scattered over 22 instruments.

- Dad is making a Great Adventure contact call, and I just added two more concert dates to our schedule for July, making a total of eight concerts.

- We'll be practicing yet today for our two concerts this weekend and Mom and I have to put together a program for both of those events.

- Just two nights ago, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb performed their arrangement of "Soon and Very Soon" in the living room and absolutely sold it to us! (It's amazing what the LAs come up with sometimes...)

- Nearby where I am sitting at the computer desk, boxes of our first CD are neatly stacked, and studio equipment is placed strategically in the boys' room. (And Ben is currently mixing down a song for some friends of ours, the latest release from...ooo, but I can't tell you! :) )

Did we expect this when we stepped on stage to perform our three songs before Living Sacrifice's concert? Did we envision this? No! Wow, look where God has brought us! We had dreams, but not plans. We had passing thoughts, but never really expected it to happen in reality.

It has been a journey of joy mingled with trials and tears. We have learned much, prayed much, played much, and met so many wonderful people. To be bearers of the Gospel of Christ through music and message, words and lives is the most awesome responsibility we could ever have.

We have so many wonderful memories and are looking forward to making many more. On to another year of Great Adventures!

"Saddle up your horses, we've got trails to blaze..." :)

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF

P.S. In celebration of the day, here's the link to photos from our first "official" concert: http://greatadventurefamily.com/PhotoAlbums/album_1/

And also, here is a "Taylor'd Perspective" I wrote on our first anniversary (2009) for our e-newsletter:

We were at a concert at Lord of the Lakes Lutheran Church back in June and I was enjoying talking with a gentleman there about the beginnings of Great Adventure. When he would ask questions about our ministry, the first words that would come out of my mouth were usually "It’s amazing!" and then I would proceed to answer his questions. It seemed my tongue was programmed to repeat this phrase over and over again. Later that evening as I was processing my day and my conversations, I realized that I was speaking the truth with this simple sentence.

The growth of this ministry has been truly amazing! The doors God has opened, the places we’ve visited, the people we’ve met, the lessons we’ve learned - all of these have been amazing.

We celebrated the one-year anniversary of our first official public appearance on June 29, 2008. On this day, Great Adventure Gospel Band sang at North Isanti Baptist Church in Cambridge, MN as the opening group for Living Sacrifice, a mixed quartet from Missouri. What a wonderful time it was, and a great learning experience! We sang three of our best songs (at the time they were anyway!) and received a good response. Through our mistakes and difficulties, God chose to bless us. It was amazing!

When I was little, I always dreamed of becoming a singer, but I never really thought it would happen, at least not this way. (I wanted to tour with Michael W. Smith, Point of Grace, Steven Curtis Chapman, etc. I didn‘t know what Southern Gospel or Bluegrass was!) Now as we travel to concerts and play to any number of people, I ask myself, "What are we doing? Is this really happening? This is amazing!"

We have played for small groups of seven at assisted-living homes and played for hundreds of people in a large church or outdoor event. We've weathered cold and rainy outdoor picnics, and survived sticky, humid concerts at local parks. The church denominations we’ve played at have varied as well: Lutheran to Baptist, Assemblies of God to Evangelical Free.

The people we’ve met have also left an impression on us: The man who danced to our music, the mother who asked if she could come home with us, and the widow who needed to hear the songs we sang. The tears and laughter have been unforgettable.

Our voices have matured and instrument playing has improved. (At our concert at North Isanti last year, I could only play a deadened chop, while now, I can play full bar-chords! Only mandolin players can relate to this!) The Lil' Adventurers have grown and their love of music has expanded as well.

So many people have encouraged us over the past year as well. Pastor Anderson and our home congregation at St. Stephen's Lutheran, Grandma Frieda Garms, Bob and Carol Wood, Curt and Lois Olson, and Larry and Lois Gustafson from North Isanti Baptist, Pastor Walt and Lee Reese, Bill Holbrook from River of Life Productions, the Berge family from Bemedji, the Gospelmen Quartet from Michigan, Terri Toney and the Toney Brothers from Tennesse, and SO many more!

This year has been a year of blessings as well. For instance, we had been praying for a trailer to meet our transportation needs. Then in April, God provided just the right one for our family! He has also been blessing us with funds for a future CD.

As I close this review of the past year, I am humbled at where God has brought us. Doors continue to be opened for our ministry and people are being encouraged by God, through us. All I can say is, "It's amazing!"