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::

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

 

 

Autumn and Family

This past Sunday our family went up to Middle Creek wildlife center. We love going to this place every fall because it is an awesome place to go hiking and the fall colors and leaves are just glorious.

So, I thought I would share some of the pictures we took. Enjoy!!

Playing in all the leaves that were there was so much fun for us all, as we don’t have many leaves here at our place… october 093

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Some of the beautiful views…october 158

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More of the handsome people in my family.october 165

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Kathy with chicken pox and all…october 182

I got to carry this big guy around. He did amazing though, sleeping most of the time we were hiking…october 185

Caleb has some of the most hilarious expressions…october 168

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Well, there you have a little glimpse of what we might do on a beautiful fall day. I hope you all are having an amazing fall. Enjoy it to the fullest because before you know it winter will be here.

Have a fabulous week…

posted by: Suzanne

Virginia

Hello again! It’s been a little while since I blogged….

A couple weeks ago we went on a family vacation to Virginia and the Creation Museum in Kentucky. We had been wanting to take a trip to the Creation Museum for a while. This was the longest tip we have ever done all together as a family.  We had originally been planning to visit Faith Mission on our way down, but those plans fell through when my little brother Caleb got the chicken pox a couple days before we left. But then we got to enjoy the view from Skyline Drive. We had such a wonderful time together.

And now here are some of the pictures. I will kinda let them speak for themselves.

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Some chickens gone loose at a stop (not ours though)kentucky trip 107

Stopping for breakfast in the town of Front Royal in Virginiakentucky trip 109

Then we were ready for the mountains! We saw lots of gorgeous views!kentucky trip 110

On top of the world!! 🙂kentucky trip 111

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And the finished product!!kentucky trip 136

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Later that day we got to hike down to see a 70 foot waterfall!!kentucky trip 155

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And another family picture by the falls.

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And then the long hike back upkentucky trip 204

That’s it for now! Part two is coming soon 🙂

Have a wonderful week, folks.

Suzanne

Horse back riding

This past Tuesday I was very happy to go horse back riding with some awesome friends. We were celebrating Barbie’s sweet sixteen!!

Here is Barbie with her three of her sisters… Left to right: Martha, Mary, Barbie and LizIMG_0041

Liz and Barbie on the horses they got to ride…IMG_0055

Mary and her horse…IMG_0051

Lavina…IMG_0244Galina… she is an amazing horsewoman 😉
IMG_0150Getting situated on my horse… Her name was Wildflower…IMG_0048

Heading out to the trail…IMG_0046

IMG_0062After we came back from the trail we went out in the meadow and were galloping around in there…
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This is Barbie, high up on her horse…

Happy Birthday to you!! I hope that you have a wonderful year. And be safe on the road. 🙂
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I hope to go riding again soon. This was tons of fun and hope to do it with some more of my friends soon…

Have a wonderful week… Suzanne

friends forever

The other day, four of my wonderful friends and I got to spend the day together. It was something we wanted to do for a long time, so we were very happy that it was finally happening 🙂
And while we were together, we had to get pictures… because that’s just how we think 😉

first, we went to the ice cream shop…
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oh yes, they have drinks, too.IMG_1151
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yeah, you saw these people on this blog before (because I never get tired of putting them on display ;))
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…in this nice old town 🙂
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those who know me well, know that I like cities/towns and vintage type places to take pictures at 😉
This worked very well 😀

Elizabeth (better know as Liz :))…
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Mary… my fellow photographer. but then, they all are! sweetly offering to carry the camera (because sometimes it gets heavy) and taking some pictures for me when I happened to get tired of taking them (which I never did yet :))
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Fannie… My almost twin 🙂 the reason why we planned this get-together. (to celebrate our birthdays) 
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beautiful Katie… whose 14th birthday was very recently 🙂
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cousins… 😀
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these blue doors blended right in with us but stood out otherwise 🙂
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sweet smiles+sweet girls=perfect combination
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on the way back, (and the way over) we walked the railroad tracks…
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pictures at the bridge
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checking my lighting… and these are the subjects 🙂funny girlies
I have no Idea what was going on here, but this picture is so funny, that i’m currently sitting here laughing 😀
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matching with this sweet girl 🙂 I miss being neighbors! 😦 (her family moved faaaar away recently- which happens to be around fourty-five minutes from here)
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and after we got back, we dressed up in “old fashioned” clothes 🙂
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and because I like the way Mary styled my hair, I’ll add this picture 🙂
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thanks for the wonderful time, girls, and let’s do it again sometime!
these two agree…
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{Posted by Linda}

radom happenings

so many things have been happening around here lately, and today I’m just sharing some pictures 🙂

enjoy all the randomness! 😀

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on the farm, the ducks have been sitting on their eggs for a long time… we’re hoping that a bunch of little ducks will be waddling around here soon! 🙂
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Visiting Hershey Chocolate World in celebration of the end of the school year.
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having fun with friends… 😀IMG_0223
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playing crochet one Sunday evening.
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and of course we have strawberries to pick. (we have around 600 plants)
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just a picture of my sister, Katherine, yet 🙂
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’till next time folks!

{Posted by Linda}