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

Announcing a New Blog…

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Hey everyone!
Today we have exciting news for you! My friend, Kaitlin, and I are launching a new blog.
You can find us at Joys from Within.
Our purpose for Joys from Within blog is to encourage and inspire people. It could be a recipe, story, or something we’re learning, and we hope that it inspires you and that God will receive all the glory!

I will continue blogging on here, although it might not be quite as often. 🙂

God Bless you all, and see at Joys from Within!
linda thingie

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

The most amazing parents in the world!(and that’s my opinion.)kentucky trip 139

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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