Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Wesley Bell Ringer 2018 Summer Bell Tour - Day 17 - Idaho Falls to SLC -FINAL DAY

It was a great tour, ending way too quick.  Thanks to everyone who supported The Wesley Bell Ringers in along the way.....Until next year....


Colors of the heart, friendship hearts, & treasures along the way. 

Home concert.  A full house.  Thanks to everyone who attended. 

Wesley Bell Ringer socks - "bell pride" chaperone gifts & now available to everyone.

Directors, lead ringers, & honor bell winners celebrate the great year.  

Holden - Honor Bell Recipient & Marko Honor Bell & Marsha Villivan recipient.  Way to go. 

Great job Wesley Bell Ringers.

But wait….there is more.....

Wesley Bell Ringer's play Deer Valley

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Wesley Bell Ringer 2018 Summer Bell Tour - Day 16 - Hamilton Montana to Idaho Falls Idaho

Hamilton Montana to Idaho Falls, Idaho today for the LAST tour concert of the 2018 season.  There have been days along the way that have felt as if we were a million miles from home & then today as the reality starts to set in that tomorrow we will be back in SLC, we are reminded how quickly times has gone by.  It has been 16 days since we left our home base & today we entered into more familiar terrain & for some a more familiar location.  

Before leaving Hamilton, The Wesley Bell Ringers managed to squeeze in some fun starting with a group breakfast hosted by The Corvallis United Methodist Church in Corvallis, close to Hamilton.  Group breakfasts have been a common occurrence on this tour, but this is the first time the choir has played at one church & invited for breakfast at another!  The breakfast burritos were amazing & set the group up well for today's travel.  

Salmon Idaho was the afternoon lunch & activity area.  The group took some time to explore the Sacajawea interpretive center, after waiting patiently on the bus for a bride & groom to say "I do" before getting off the bus.  Can you only imagine a large passenger bus pulling up to a stop right before this moment?  

Two Wesley Bell Ringer traditions took place today.  The Wesley Bell Ringers took the time to reflect on this year & cast their individual vote for the Marsha Villvan award.  The Marsha Villlvan award is given each year to the ringer (in any age range or year of playing) who demonstrated continuous support to the choir & to ensuring that the traditions & the culture of The Wesley Bell Ringers continue on for future generations of the choir.  The second tradition that was taken care of today was the senior lunch.  This lunch is a chance for the seniors & super senior to have a special lunch as a thank you for all the amazing music over the years.  Once the seniors & super seniors left for their lunch the remaining 4 ringers who are currently not seniors got a glimpse of what next year will look like as the choir welcomes in new ringers.  

From Salmon to Idaho Falls it was a smooth & flat drive.  Perfect for napping.  Some napped harder than others (see photos below) trying to soak in all that good nap time before leaving the comfort of the bus tomorrow.

Tonight's concert was held at the impressive Trinity United Methodist Church in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  Every church The Wesley Bell Ringers played at this tour was incredible & tonight's church did not disappoint.  The Trinity United Methodist Church was built back in the early 1900's & incredibly beautiful.  For the last Wesley Bell Ringer concert, the crowd also did not disappoint.  They were incredible receptive to the concert & provide the Wesley's all the energy they needed to play an amazing show.  We can't wait to get home tomorrow night to show you how they have taken what was an already incredibly concert into one that is spectacular.  
Brothers!  CP's brother Michael came to Hamilton to see CP's playing. 

The Wesley Bell Ringers were treated to an ice cream party after their extraordinary concert in Hamilton.

Well done Wesley's! 

The ladies of The Wesley Bell Ringers were treated to a night at The Mittelstadt's amazing cabin near Hamilton.  

It's OK parents, the didn't go to jail.  Just really sad to be leaving Hamilton.
How many Wesley Bell Ringers & chaperones can we fit into the Middelstadts car?  

A little slice of heaven in Hamilton Montana.  

Another group shot at another activity area - Today at the Sacajawea center, Salmon Idaho. 

Mom, can we have this dog?  PLEASE!!

Our bus driver, Lloyd has gotten into the spirit of tour, collecting pins at every stop along the way.  THANK YOU LLOYD for putting up with us & helping us along the way.  

For every sleeping ringer who has been photographed by Terry over the years, this one if for you.  

So good, it was worth two photos.

Beautiful venue for the last road concert on tour.

Trinity United Methodist Church

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Wesley Bell Ringer 2018 Summer Bell Tour - Day 15 Helena Montana to Hamilton Montana

Day two for The Wesley Bell Ringers in the state of Montana & 2nd to last concert night on!  The end is near.  As the choir loaded up the bus in Helena, the head count grew by one as devoted WBR fan begged & pleaded to join the bus journey for the next couple of stops.  With a few extra seats on the bus, this fan's wish was granted!

Helena to Hamilton Montana was an extraordinarily beautiful drive through mountains and mountain communities & the choir was greeted at the grocery store in town by the rest of the Mittelstadt family who organized the Hamilton stop.  Not sure if the kids were more excited to see the Mittelstat's or their dog, everyone was happy to see some familiar faces as we head home.  

Lake Como near Hamilton a beautiful spot for the annual WBR picnic & despite the wind, the choir took advantage of their time here, swimming, or trying to swim, eating, and enjoying spending time in the mountains in Montana. A special thank you to Al Sherwood, WBR alumni ringer who came up to Lake Como ahead of the choir to save space & for supplying kayaks for the group to use.    With some time to spare, The Wesley Bell Ringers hit main street in Hamilton in search of Montana stickers, shirts, & various souvenirs (believe it or not, some do have money still!) before the less than half mile trek to The First Presbyterian Church in Hamilton.  Thanks to the marketing efforts of the Mittelstat's, The Wesley Bell Ringer's concert poster was posted in the majority of the local shops & restaurants.  

Tonight's concert was at The First Presbyterian Church in Hamilton.  This smaller quaint church in Hamilton was another opportunity to play in a unique setting to a bell loving audience.  Dinner, again was amazing....what are we going to do when we get home & have to come back to "real" life without breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner & desert? 

Our WBR fan!  Who wouldn't let this face on the bus?  We couldn't stand to see him cry!  Seriously - THANK YOU TERRY for traveling to Montana & joining us.  You were a great surprise.  

One, two, three four....

Lake Como Montana picnic day!

Reunited mom & daughter.

We are so grateful for the Mittlestat family!

Day 15 & the chaperones are still smiling.

And the award for most creative sandwich making goes too.....

Pretty cool seeing The Wesley Bell Ringer poster up around town.

Taking a break after an afternoon of shopping main street Hamilton.

If I had a nickel for every local coffee shop The Wesley Bell Ringers have visited along tour, I'd be rich.  

A ringer enjoying her time reading a book.  

Here we are again!
Ed & alumni ringer Al Sherwood

"So, in The Wesley Bell Ringer movie Ed, who do you want to play you?"  Ask Terry today

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Wesley Bell Ringer 2018 Summer Bell Tour - Day 14 Miles City Montana to Helena Montana

Rain, hail, & more rain was the view today from the bus on the way to Helena Montana.  The Wesley Bell Ringers put some miles on the road today as we moved back into the mountain terrain we are all accustomed to.  Time was spent sleeping & thinking about coming home on Sunday, as usual the time has gone by incredibly fast.  

Lunch was quick in Billing Montana.  Many of the choir took advantage of a "sample lunch" at Costco to save their last remaining funds for the next four days.  Two weeks on tour teaches us many things, especially how to creatively eat cheap or for free - a very useful skill as some move into their college experiences next.  

Afternoon bathroom break was at a unique spot - Wheat Montana in Three Forks.  Delicious pastries & treats were had by all.  

Tonight's concert was held at Our Redeemer Lutheran in Helena Montana.  The choir got lucky & were able to unload the bus between thunderstorms & were treated to another amazing dinner (don't worry parents, your kids are eating very well on tour) hosted in the church.  

After a day off,  The Wesley Bell Ringers were well rested & played yet another incredible concert. 

Hotel night in Miles City, Montana.  Give The Wesley's a dollar store & a hotel lobby, & are guaranteed to create fun.  

So many pastries, so hard to choose, so everyone decided to share at the afternoon rest stop in Montana. 

Our Redeemer's Lutheran, Helena Montana

The Wesley Bell Ringer 2018 Summer Bell Tour - Day 13 - OFF DAY! Fargo ND to Montana

The Wesley Bell Ringers enjoyed their second DAY OFF leaving North Dakota headed to Montana.  The second largest bus day of this tour, the choir thought they were settling in for a long nap across North Dakota, but in keeping up with tour culture, some unique, only seen on tour stops were quickly planned to break up the travel.

First stop - The Fargo visitors center as we left town.  The kids had the opportunity to see "the wood chipper" from the movie Fargo as well as other film photos & items.  Probably unseen by most of the choir, but maybe now will be.

Second Stop - National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown North Dakota, home of the largest buffalo in THE WORLD.  Need I say more?

Third stop - lunch in Bismark North Dakota & a very special guest bell ringer.  Many times along tour we are lucky to have alumni ringers at our concerts, but it is not frequent that a alumni ringer drops everything to meet up with the bus just to say hello.  Jody rang at a Wesley Bell Ringer back in the 1990's during her time in college at Westminster & later assisted Ed as assistant director.  Not unlike past & current ringers, Jody shared her story, her love for bells, and how being a Wesley helped shape her life, this is always inspiring to hear.  Unique to Jody's story was how she came about joining the choir.  While in high school The Wesley Bell Ringers came through her home town in North Dakota & Jody fell in love with the choir & wanted to be part of this group.  Unfortunately playing in The Wesley Bell Ringers while living in North Dakota wasn't a possibility while going to school. When it came time to think about college, Jody came up with a solution - go to college at Westminster in SLC & play in the choir!  She contacted Ed, he said "yes" you can join & Jody took a leap of faith & moved to Utah.  Needless to say, there wasn't a dry eye on the bus as Jody said goodbye to the group.

Fourth stop - Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Our quickest national park visit yet.  Small enough to see a taste of the Bad Lands, use the restroom, and do the usual WBR shop-a-thon in the gift shop, the choir enjoyed the stop &l earned  some great trivia along the way.

Final stop of the day - Miles City Montana for a much loved hotel night.  The group was given boundaries & set free to explore what they could in the small radius around the hotel & enjoyed some much needed rest from the bells.
The famous Fargo wood chipper.  

The National Buffalo Museum hosts - Katie & Anna

The Wesley Bell Ringers are getting really good at posing by signs as they know the chaperones will be requesting a photo. 

Is there any question about the WORLD'S larges buffalo statement?  

Ride 'em bell ringers. 


Catching up on old times.

Another great group shot.

"wait.  People actually used these phones attached to walls & needed coins to do so?"  Holden was perplexed.

Winner !  Winner!  Chicken dinner!  CP had the answer to the North Dakota trivia hour question. 

Way to go Molly!  Another winner.

Connor Steve, smarter than the rest for this question.  

Holden earning back the dollar he owed to the fine jar. 

Last but not least, Jack gets the final question right.  

Catching up on the recipes shared along the way - Lemon bars! Crock pot Breakfast Casserole!