To our friends scattered to and fro,

Hello once again from the beautiful Shenandoah Valley!! This week was beautiful weather wise- mild, blue sky days, with some rain mixed in..

Several of our family headed to Lancaster in quest of Julia’s perfect purple fabric.. Father rode along, and we were hardly on the interstate til he was second guessing his decision.. Yeah, we wondered too.. 🙂 But he HAD to stop at M M Weaver and so he endured the entire time for a 20 minute visit.. Poor guy.. Good trip tho, and Julia had a lot of success shopping so we returned home with our van laden with purchases.  Although Julia is the most laid back person around, this type of a trip is not for the faint at heart, I assure you.. And I was really really ready to see Paradise Lane.. 🙂


Ruth met us for breakfast, and Father was so glad to have another guy he hardly knew what to do-lol. They went with us to the first store, and Father was there for about 25 seconds before he said ” William, this looks like a girl’s store, let’s go outside where we can discuss tractors, and roosters, and stuff..” So they made use of the rockers outside.. I love children with personality and Daniel and Ruth are blessed with two of them.. And Father wished the rest of the day that he had a buddy who would sit outside with him and continue to tell him stories.. Good information.. 😉


Meanwhile Keturah was in with the ladies, selecting fabric of her own, making friends with a little amish guy who was not privileged enough to be included in the male pow-wow outside.. I wish I knew what they were thinking on this pic.. Too cute..

Today marked the end of this Sunday School year, and the last Sunday of my teaching term.. This year of “learning at the feet” of the older ladies at church was a real time of growth for me, and I will miss their wisdom, and insight. Today’s lesson was from Lamentations 3 and 5, and I thought it the perfect recap for our year of study..

Represented among our class was a wide variety of experiences, and they shared a lot.. Life lessons.. Broken health, broken dreams.. Illness.. Doubts, Disappointments.. Death of loved ones.. Difficult things.. Yet that hasn’t paralyzed them.. They still find beauty in the ashes..

That’s where the writer was- looking at his sorrow, and suddenly he bursts out in praise to the One who is Faithful. “His mercies are new every morning.. My hope is in Him.. He is good to them that seek Him.. that quietly wait for Him..”

And so I’m challenged.. As I look at the lives of those being lived out before me.. At the words of the writer.. God is Faithful. Even when the future seems really unknown.. And that is frustrating..

If I can just conquer that quietly waiting idea..:/

May you find Him faithful as well, Kendra

Bonus pic:


Our neighbor’s are trying to see how big they can grow this steer.. The last time he stepped on the scales, he topped it at 2615 lbs.. I’m curious how many acres of potatoes it would take to supply the fries for the amount of happy meals that fellow represents 🙂


Give a Smile

Our Hilarious dog, Detroit Snappenbarker Mendoza is the best example of optimism that I know.. He is not blessed with a high IQ, yet that doesn’t stop him from being willing.. His favorite job is to help with heifers, whether the task is feeding, sorting, or transporting- He’s there providing the best help he can.  It doesn’t matter that he sometimes gets chewed out.. “Hard to understand humans.. Everybody knows that if you stand behind a cow and bark, she can’t see you.. Of course a cow moves better when she can see you..” And.. So maybe sometimes he does get a little eager chasing cows and does a dare devil trick and jump in and take a small nip out of the heifers leg.. And perhaps, caught up in the spirit, of helping- he may have misjudged and nipped one of the boss ladies.. “Hey everyone makes mistakes”.. Ol Detroit.. There he is, happy as can be- no matter what.. Running thru the yard, ears flopping, full of joy, big dog smile on his face.. I love to watch him. He reminds me to relax and smile..


There are people in my life that remind me that too.. There’s a lady in our church that just turned 90.. She is the giver of laughter. She randomly drove out to our place several Sundays ago, came wheeling in with a couple from church that can no longer drive.. Big sunglasses and a huge smile.. She is so full of joy, and love for other people. I’ve been blessed for years, by her stopping and chatting on the way out of church.. I’m inspired..

My Great Grandmother, Stella Good, wrote a poem that Deborah memorized as a little girl.. I like it:

Give a Smile
Give a smile it costs you nothing
And tis an easy thing to do;
It will make your own life richer
As well as those you give it to.
Give a smile to those discouraged,
It will brighten up their day.
‘Tis nature’s antidote for trouble,
And may drive the blues away.
A smile may be a panacea
For someone’s heartaches, pains, and ills;
It may be more beneficial
Than a doctor’s shots and pills.
None are rich enough and mighty
That they do not need a smile;
And we all have time to give them-
It takes such a little while.
There’s so much of cloud and shadows
In this world where we live,
But we can all create some sunshine
By the smiles that we give
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That last verse speaks to me. I don’t know about you, but it seems like there is no end to reasons for apprehension, dismalness, and discouragement.. But there’s so much positive too!! I’m so blessed!!! So I guess you might say that my end of summer resolution has to do with spreading as much sunshine as I can.. One meager smile at a time.. 🙂   Smiles -Kendra
Pictures: a.) Detroit and Rolo   b.) Julia with William and Keturah Herschberger   c.) The Horst gals  d.) Yours truly and Trenton Herd


Ah Vacation…

Back in the late 70s a equipment salesman gave my dad some advise.. “Don’t wait until you retire to take vacations…Learn to take time out and enjoy life while you’re young”… So my dad took his advise to heart and continued to love to travel- a trait that he may or may not have passed on to a few of his daughters 🙂

My first vacation memory comes from when I was 2.. We were heading to Myrtle Beach and I just remember looking at Julia way across the back seat of that fine Toyota as we rode and rode and rode…

My trip down Memories Lane takes me all over the place… Camping at Black Water Falls… Driving up the boardwalk at VA Beach during their Christmas Lights show…Hershey Park also at Christmas Time… Piling in the van and tearing for the St. Louis Arch and not stopping for any reason-not even to eat-because Father was on a diet.. Niagara Falls… Florida during Christmas Vacation.. A trip to the West where Julia looked at the Grand Canyon for 10 mins and then declared ” Ok, well we’ve seen that..Let’s go!” .. Puerto Rico.. Colorado… Almost drowning on the Outer Banks with my aunt.. The memories are endless..

We just enjoyed a few days away.. There were two other families with us and we had such a great time!!! It got me thinking.. What makes a successful vacation? Why is a break in routine important? Are there people who vacate alone? I imagine there are.. I bet they spend complete days in silence 😉

Its good for me to get away.. It seems a shame that it’s impossible to completely relax here on Paradise Lane- but there is always something that needs attention.. So for several days- I focused on absolutely nothing.. except jumping that next wave.. taking a leisure walk up the sand…helping dig a hole to China-which ended abruptly when we hit water at 4 feet.. Listening to the people around me.. Appreciating that God placed them in my life… Just enjoying the blessing of being together… Emily with her shoulder in a sling recovering from surgery.. Julia with her mind all boggled with wedding plans.. Deborah missing her little brown eared dog… My Crazy wonderful family.. I love them 🙂

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1. Julia and her buddy and the well.. It caused quite the stir. One family even saw it as a potentially playpen, so they dropped their children in it and ran back to the condo for their last arm loads of beach equipment..

2. The Horst gang… And even if Father’s camera face makes him look like he’s being persecuted- he’s actually having the time of his life 🙂

So where do you go to for time out? It really doesn’t have to be anywhere spectacular. But take the time when you can.. So-like me-you can enjoy being refocused, re-energized, really thankful, and ready to roll… Blessings, Kendra

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3. Cass Railroad

4. Luray Caverns

Bonus Pic:


Valient brought her baby in to play volleyball I guess..