Puerto Rico :: January 2018

2018 started out with a five of us from our family traveling to Puerto Rico to help with Disaster Relief after Hurricane Maria. We had a great time and made many wonderful memories!
Below, in italics, is the recap that I wrote about our trip on the way home from Puerto Rico.
This past week has been full of so many funny, adventurous, and a few rather scary moments. 
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Palm Trees! [insert heart eyes]
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The highlight for me was Sunday. I loved the church service, although I could only understand a few words. I could see and feel the genuine love that they all have for each other and seeing that touched my heart. 
That afternoon, we drove to the top (or nearly the top) of the mountain. Seeing more of the devastation was rather heartbreaking, but the people still had smiles on their faces. We saw washed out roads, damaged houses and steep and narrow roads that are not for the faint of heart. We must not have had any faint-hearted people because we all survived. For myself, being on the edge and doing something more adventurous was very refreshing.
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A building that got washed away
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I was surprised when I found out that we girls were going to be working on the roof with the guys. I’ve hardly ever used a power tool in my life, so obviously, I needed to learn how to operate those things better. That all has changed now, and I’m a little closer to being a pro at it than what I was before this week (Not to sound conceited or anything). Working on the roof provided a lot of laughs and produced quite a few stares from different people. Every day, someone from the home we were working on served us lunch or supper. It was so special to meet the ladies who live there and get to know them a little bit and hear some of their stories. Saying our goodbyes at the last house was a especially sad. We all had tears in our eyes as we said our goodbyes.
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 Trying to communicate with people who barely spoke English was no doubt a challenge, but it was a great way for us to learn a few more words of Spanish. 
One thing that I so loved about the week was seeing the love and acceptance that these people have for others, and how they’re always ready to serve. The warmth we felt in Puerto Rico was not only physical, but it also warmed our hearts. I learned a lot from them in this area, and after this, I definitely want my guests to feel as welcome in my house as I felt in their homes! 
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I know I’ll miss the place and the people tremendously, but I’ll always cherish the memories we made there. The beautiful island has captured a piece of my heart this week, so Puerto Rico will likely be seeing more of me in the coming months. 
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::Posted by Linda::
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A Tribute to You, Summer

Summer… driving through Lancaster County roads with windows down, hair blowing, and music turned way up; Children giggling, and happily climbing all over you, making you sore for the days ahead; Long distance road trips where the cramped space and kids all talking at once makes one nearly lose its sanity; Stuck in a mud puddle in the middle of nowhere for hours (because those dirt roads out west…); Baby snuggles and the newness of that precious life that somehow has the ability to make one melt into a puddle; connecting with old friends and making new ones; and all those iced coffee’s and frappes… yes please! So, a tribute to you, summer, because you were amazing!
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This summer has been the best yet, I believe. It’s also been the craziest one yet. I’m so grateful for the memories that were made, the relationships that were build and the love for each other that grew so much stronger.
Here’s a peek into our summer…
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We headed to Colorado for our family vacation this year, and also to check some things out for future reference. On our way, we made this stop in Kansas to see the Chalk Monuments.
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The roads to the top of Pikes Peak were a little curvy 😉
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At the top of Pikes Peak!
It was kinda cold. 😉

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Tunnel Drive, Canon City, Colorado.
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Skyline Drive, Colorado
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Colorado scenery… so gorgeous!
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Several of my photogenic siblings…
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back in Pennsylvania…
Lancaster Bible School was a lot of fun. These are two of my beautiful girls…
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My co-teachers and me with two of our precious kiddos from Tuesday Church ❤
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This darling child joined our family on September 1. Meet Kaylea Grace…
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We love this child so very much, and we already can’t imagine our life without all her sweetness.
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Beach day…
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There were also a lot of other fun experiences that we had this summer… way too many to share on here. It was a really good summer, and I’m looking forward to what the rest of 2017 holds for us 🙂

Hope y’all have a lovely October!
-Linda

Cape May, New Jersey

cape-may-beach-31Last week, two of us families decided to do a last minute trip to New Jersey because of the wonderful almost-70-degree weather we were having on Sunday 🙂 I got so many nice pictures that I decided to do a blog post about it 😉 Having weather like this in February is very unusual so we took advantage of it 😉
We first headed to Cape May Zoo (where there were a lot of people- more than there were animals :P) and spent several hours there.
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And now, our favorite part of the day…
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We then headed to Sunset Beach to watch the sunset 🙂
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God definitely has some amazing art skills!
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It was great to go out and enjoy the sunshine and take lots of pictures again 🙂

Hope ya’ll have a wonderful week!
linda thingie

Thousand Islands, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario

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This year, for our family vacation, we went to Ontario, Canada to Niagara Falls. On the way up there, we stopped at Alexandria Bay, New York, and took a boat tour of the Thousand Islands on St. Lawrence River. We saw a lot of castles, mansions, and several other unique buildings, including a small general store 🙂

Suzanne and Caleb during the boat tour:
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Heart Island (Boldt Castle)
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Boldt Yacht House
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A cool victorian home 🙂
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The smallest Island on Saint Lawrence river 🙂
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thousand-islands19Here’s a fun fact: There are exactly 1,864 islands on that river.
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That evening, we headed to Ontario, Canada, to the place where we were staying for the weekend.
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We stopped at Swiss Chalet and ate a wonderful dinner there. Suzanne and I shared our meal, because… well, as you can see… There was a lot to eat 😉
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Naomi and Ruth holding their “Shirley Temple” drink’s… maybe that what you do when you’re a fan of Shirley Temple?
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Niagara Falls


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On Saturday and Sunday, we were at Niagara Falls in Canada.
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Fall is our favorite time of year to go on family trips because we get to see the changing leaves 🙂
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This skydiving looked super fun! We’ve both been skydiving before and would love to do it again- I think this would be the perfect place to do it 😉

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Maid of the Mist boat tours
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Journey Behind the Falls
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One of the biggest highlights was the evening when we got to see Niagara at Night.
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Ride across the rapids
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White Water Board Walk
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Back at the cottage that we were staying at. I got to have my own bedroom – so unusual 😉
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Several more pictures of the Falls
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linda thingie

::of days gone by::

It’s been rather long since you heard from us via blog-land. Please know that we are still alive and we’re all doing well. 😉 If you’ve been following any of our social media’s (mainly Instagram) you already know that we aren’t dead. 😀

Now you know that. So what have we been up to?

Photoshoots

The Shirk Family…
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Ammanah…
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and since she’s also a photographer, she took several pictures of me, too. Here’s one…
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In August, Emma came from NYC to spend several days with us. She came through the Fresh Air Fund. This was a dream come true for us 🙂
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One her favorite things was wearing the girls dresses. She barely wore her own while she was here :-O
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visiting the chickens…
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…and the sheep 🙂
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Having a fresh air child here for nine days was a great experience, and we want to do it again next year 🙂

Several pictures from this past summer…
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This past summer, Suzanne bought an English Cream Golden Retriever dog, whom she named Maggie, and I bought a Golden Retriever dog, whom I named Kenya (below). They’ve grown so fast, and are now half-way adult size!
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More Recently, We traveled to West Virginia for a baptism. It was great reconnecting with a lot of our friends that we hadn’t seen for a long time.
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There was a beautiful back road there, and when we drove through in the morning, it was foggy and made for a great picture 🙂
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This past weekend, we traveled to Ontario, Canada, and stopped in at Thousand Islands in New York on our way. In Canada, we visited the Niagara Falls.

But, that’s a post for later…
So stay tuned and have a wonderful weekend!
linda thingie
P.S. Here are the links to our Instagram accounts if you wish to follow us:
Suzanne: instagram.com/suze_stoltzfus
Linda: instagram.com/lindasrose

 

 

Naomi + Kaitlin :: Old Stoudtburg Village

Last week, I finally made it to Stoudtburg Village to capture some photos of a wonderful family. My assistants (because Suzanne wasn’t and isn’t here) were Kaitlin and my sister, Naomi.

See, the reason I asked Kaitlin to come with me is because she and I both enjoy photography and we both wanted to go to Stoudtburg Village for a while. So it worked out perfect. And a bonus is that I also got to take pictures of them, tooSo if you scroll down an inch or two, you’ll find the pictures I took of them.

Meet Kaitlin…
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And Naomi…
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What can I say? I have a beautiful sister 🙂
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I don’t know what she was doing here… practicing taking a selfie?
very likely.
Or giving someone a thumbs up?
But nobody was in sight in the direction she was looking.
I should ask her…
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And since a fellow photographer was there, I had to get pictures taken of me too.
Thanks Kait!
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Have a wonderful rest-of-the-week, people!
linda thingie

 

David Austin {1 year}

As hard as it is to believe baby Davy is not quite so baby anymore!! His birthday was this past Saturday. Linda took his one year pictures and then for dinner that night we had a cake smash for him…

Although this picture might not seem like he is very happy, it is just because he could not understand why someone was telling him to look at a camera when he wanted to enjoy his cake! 🙂 David's First Birthday 055.JPG

This little boy is such a little charmer and in my opinion the most handsome little guy! David's First Birthday 003.JPG

This balloon was fun and he enjoyed playing with it! 🙂David's First Birthday 014.JPG

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And making a mess… 😉David's First Birthday 078.JPG

Well, there you have some glimpses of the youngest child of this tribe! 🙂 It has been so much fun this last year watching him grow and accomplishing milestones. I can’t wait to see what this next year holds for this little guy!

 

On a totally different note, On Sunday I (Suzanne) will be leaving to work at Handi*Camp for two weeks! I am really looking forward to it and everything I will learn and get to do. If you happen to think of me in these next two weeks I would appreciate you prayers…

 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Suzanne

Little Brother, Little Brother

We’ve been silent lately, But we haven’t forgotten you!

It seems that since all the warm weather came and the weeds started growing, we’ve been extra busy. And of course, there are a lot of other activities we do… Such things that happen in a large family 🙂

And speaking of family, today I’m sharing with you guys several pictures of this little brother of ours. (these pictures were taken several weeks ago when he turned 11 months old) If you keep scrolling through our blog for a little bit, you’ll see some more pictures of him 😉 He’s a lot of fun to take pictures of [if he stays in the right place and position 😀 ]
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Capturing his expressions are one of my goals… and they are hilarious!
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And he’s super charming 🙂
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our favorite… 😉
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David discovered that he loves to climb, so he climbs onto almost everything.
One day, we found him almost at the top of our basement stairs before we saw him. He had climbed the stairs before, but always with someone ready to catch him if he would happen to fall.

Yesterday, he was a the top of another stairs. He was crying because he wanted to get down, and he hasn’t learned yet to crawl back down. This time again, He did it without supervision 😛

He also climbs onto the couches. He love to look out the window, so he stands on the couch and “jumps” up and down while ‘watching the world’. He can climb down from the couch, but he did fall once or twice. [oops]

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
linda thingie

 

Just a Reminder…

Hey Everyone!
It’s another beautiful morning here, as always 🙂 The green grass and trees with leaves show plainly that spring is here, and I’m very happy about that, because winter gets old and too cold after a while. Y’all probably know what I’m saying 🙂

We girls are really looking forward to the Mommy & Me Sessions on May 3. So if you’re interested in having your pictures taken, the deadline to respond is this Saturday (April 30)!
Here are a few details:
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  • 30 minute session
  • 5 digital images
  • photo print release
  • One location
  • We’ll be shooting at Historic Poole Forge.
  • You’ll be getting a private (password protected) online folder with your pictures that you can share with your friends.
  • 30% of the  profit will be donated to i58 in Greece.

Enjoy your day!
the stoltzfus sisters