Pictorial Recollections (November 2012)

Since I don’t have as much time (or motivation!) to write out entire reviews of our past concerts like I used to, I thought I’d instead share some pictorial memories from our November engagements.  (Pictures say a thousand words, right?)  🙂

Enjoy!

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!

Taylor for The Garms Family

 (Click on the photos for a larger view.)

Hello May, Goodbye April!

Hello Friends!
May has speedily come upon us and Jayme says it has come in like a lion, given the storms we experienced in our area the past two days.  Last evening around 2:40 a.m., all of us except Caleb woke to huge crashes of thunder and continuous lightening.  We were racing about to close windows, mopping puddles of water, and watching the intense storm from behind rain-streaked glass.  Then we all went back to bed to rise again in the 5 o’ clock hour to attend a National Day of Prayer breakfast at 6:30 a.m.  🙂
Our concert season has launched fully now!  We had three concerts in April, and the first at Open Range Cowboy Church in Isanti, MN on April 15th.  It was great to start up again at a familiar place with familiar faces!  Pastor Joe and Linda are great to talk with and we appreciate their hearts for the Lord.
Setting up on Saturday before the Sunday service at Cowboy Church.
The most unusual place for Sam to set-up his drums – behind the baptismal tub!
We all agree this is the most unique use for a Great Adventure Gospel Band CD.  🙂

 Next, on Wednesday, April 26th, we traveled to Edina, MN and sang for the Edynamoes!  We had a lot of fun making new friends and having our Grandma Garms in the audience, as well as a couple we’ve met at several concerts.  While the Edynamoes had their meeting, we hung out in a separate room and enjoyed going through a few of our songs in a very impromptu practice session.  🙂  Special thanks to Carol for being so accommodating and kind to us!
Leesha, Jayme, and Caleb watching Ben closely.
Ben.  Don’t ask me why he was so interesting.  🙂
Christ Presbyterian Church; it was actually styled after Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
After the concert, we rested in the garden for a while, enjoying the beautiful day.
No comment.  🙂
This Sunday we had a fabulous time with the folks up at Barnum United Methodist Church in Barnum, MN. We had never sung in Barnum, though we had often passed it on the way to Moose Lake and Duluth, so we liked seeing a new Minnesota town.  Pastor Gary and the congregation were so fun to spend our morning with and, while I did not take any pictures, I edited some videos from the service for y’all to enjoy:
Out of His Great Love
I’m Feeling Fine
Mountain with His Hand
May you have a wonderful, God-blessed weekend!  We are excited to see the Ball Brothers in concert (Lord-willing) Sunday evening and then are looking forward to our next concert on the 15th at Camp Lebanon, MN.  Hope to see you along the journey soon!
Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF 

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    

“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