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!)

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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!"

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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