Beachin it

“It’s a beautiful day on the island. The sun is shining. The sea birds are singing a melodious tune. The fresh, sweet aroma of the ocean is drifting in the air. It’s easy to feel tranquil here.” -Steve Ludwigs

And this, my friends, sums up 13 of a 17 day stretch in July. Apparently I’m not the only one who feels that undeniable sense of urgency to rush for the shore upon occasion…

3 different beaches in 3 different states. 3 lighthouses. 3 incredible fun groups of people. 3 different dolphin sightings. 2 off shore fishing trips. 1 ferry ride. Countless applications of sunscreen. Innumerable waves. Too many brazen seagulls. (Seriously they swooped in and stole a sandwich out of my friend’s hand on one occasion) So many gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.1 awesome group of family and friends who changed their vacation match my work schedule.

I can’t help but fall a little more in love with the Creator every time I spend time at the water. Somehow these Works of His Fingers speak peace to my soul in a way that’s different from the beauty inland. Praise Him!

-1 thankful Kendra.

And so- here is a brief pic journey:


Cape May, NJ


What a deal- a 1/4 lb hotdog


Ferry from Cape May, NJ to Lewes, DE


Assateague Island Lighthouse






Apparently I’m not a lucky fisherman


The rest stop on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is always a charmer





My fish was about the same size as the goldfish from my last trip



Emily captured this gorgeous shot during an all day thunderstorm


#11for30 swimming in the ocean in the full moon light So SO gorgeous


Isaac’s trick kite-Notice how close the tail of the kite is- it was that close to my parents heads lol

One of the girls wrote this to the tune of “We Three Kings” I thought it was too cute not to share. This was a group of schoolteachers…

We young ladies from ‘Ginia  are

Dreaming of being on a quiet sand bar

Waves and Ocean, sand and motion

Calling us from afar!

chorus: Oh, beach of sand dunes! Beach of cheer!

Beach with ocean breezes clear!

Seaward calling (We’re not stalling

Seeking oceanside so dear!)

It is calling us all to stop

Swiftly this moment and thoroughly drop

Books and garbish, pens and rubbish

All that burst our tops!

chorus: Oh, how peaceful the waves that play,

Washing the seashore every day

Gulls and seashells, clouds and kitetails,

Chasing our stress away!


The Duel

I hate to say “I told you so”. In fact, I’m a lot more of a dog than that, so I won’t. Especially over such a heartbreaking matter. But on the way to the dairy on Thursday, I saw the black cloud first. We were riding along, like always, I’d let the Farmer drive his big blue truck, while my assistants and I went over our plans for the day.

Benelli was in an especially good mood. She leaned way over the side of the truck and let the wind whip her velvety ears. I leaned out beside her “See that cloud? I’m afraid that today is going to be a bad one. We need to be extra careful” She grinned in her carefree way and jumped off the truck and went right to work helping the German Shepherds with patrol…


And that’s it. I was the one that found her and I’m not ready to talk about it… Today during her last rites, I attempted to wax poetic… But poetry is not my first gift- so take my account for what it’s worth, but I thought y’all should know. She deserves that much.

Hug your dogs, friends, you never know which bark-all-night-athon will be their last…

You were the best man’s best friend possible, Benelli Isabelly Pintwhistle. I speak for all of the gang here on the farm when I say, “We’ll miss you, lil Benelli Puppi”…

Thanks again for your 2 years of faithful service.

Respectfully ,

Detroit Snappenbarker Mendoza and the remaining assistant, Rolo Adrianna Rohrer


with credit to Eugene Field and the orginal:

The Duel

THE arrogant Buck and the sweet little Dog eyed each other across the downed log;

‘T was half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)

Nor one nor t’ other had slept a wink!

The Man in the Moon and the Half Grown Corn

Appeared to feel quite incredibly forlorn

There was going to be a terrible spat.

(I was n’t there; I simply share  

  What was told to me by the Half grown corn!)


The yellow Dog went “bow-wow-woo!”

And the arrogant Buck. he snorted too!”

The air was littered, an hour or so,

With tension so high it did practically glow,

While the Half Grown Corn looked on in fear

Up with its leaves held over its ear,

For it always dreaded a family row!

(Never mind: I ‘m only telling you  

  What the half grown corn declares is true!)


The Man in the Moon looked very blue,

And wailed, “Oh, dear! what shall we do!”

But the sweet little Dog and the arrogant Buck

Wallowed this way til tragedy struck

Employing every antler and claw

In the awfullest way you ever saw—

And, oh! how the snarls and fur flew!

(Don’t fancy I exaggerate—  

  The Man in the Moon did solemnly state!)


Next morning beside that log

They found a brief trace of the Buck and Dog;

But some folks think unto this day

That burglars stole that pair away!

But the truth about this terrible night:

they both died in valiant fight

If I look like crying-I actually might!

(The Man in the Moon He told me so,

  And that is how I came to know.)


The Perfect Piece of Pottery

“But, now, O Lord, Thou art our Father: We are the clay, and Thou are our potter: And we all are the work of Thine hand…” Isaiah 64:8


All along I knew what kind of a vessel I wanted to be. I had big dreams. It wasn’t hard for me to envision. I was called to brighten the world. I would be a vase setting in the foyer. I would hold lots of huge cheerful bouquets. I could make a big impact shining out to guests who entered there. Everyone would notice me. It was going to be great, and I couldn’t wait to get started.

I carefully started researching the bouquets I loved best. And I always came back to the same ones. I loved the country feel of wheat and sunflowers. I even tried growing those plants. I still couldn’t wait to get started.

Finally the day arrived. I watched with eager eyes as the Potter placed the clay on the wheel and prepared to throw “my” pot. The process looked so easy. I’d watched Him work with others. He was good at  His job. He specialized in making vases, so I knew exactly how it would go.

But it didn’t. As He pulled up the sides of the clay vessel, I realized that something was wrong. This wasn’t the dream vase I’d seen. I was horrified.

Before I could stop myself, I was taking over the Potter’s wheel. With trembling hands, I took the clay and changed the look of the vessel. I’d seen Him do it so often, I knew I could… The wheel spun faster and faster and soon my clay was out of control. It was totally lopsided and finally collapsed on the wheel all together.

The wheel slowly spun to a stop. I sat there looking at my dreams and was overcome by the devastation in front of me… I cried big salty tears as I watched my ideas of perfection slowly ooze across the wheel…


But the great big Hands of the Potter covered mine. We took the wrecked vessel and threw it again and slowly together we started pulling up another vessel. This time I didn’t resist when it became apparent that it still wouldn’t be my dream vase. This time, I let His skillful fingers work into the character of the clay. And although I still fought a tear or two, I felt a measure of excitement again..

Finally, I had the nerve to ask “What are you making”

“My daughter, this is going to be a serving bowl. I have a lot of vases and I chose you to serve this way.”

The news shouldn’t have shocked me… I had one more question… “But what about the sunflowers and the wheat that I’m already growing for my bouquets. I can’t let them go to waste. They’re beautiful.”

He wiped His Hands, and we walked out to my garden. There He took the wheat and the sunflowers and He showed me how to crush them. And He gave me a Bread recipe that included crushed sunflower seeds and  of course, lots of wheat…

And in that moment- I realized that He’d been preparing me to serve all along, and really- how many more people could I touch by serving, rather than shining…

◊            ◊            ◊            ◊            ◊            ◊            ◊            ◊            ◊            ◊

Life isn’t always as we picture it is it? I love resting in the assurance that He is writing my story to use me in the best possible way… As long as I can keep my big ideas from trainwrecking His plans…

Blessings to you as He “pulls up” the vessel best suited for you,


Bonus Pic:

#10 for my #30for30 was make a piece of pottery… (Guess where the inspiration and all the attempts at correct lingo for this blog came from) And apparently our neighbor has had a pottery business in her garage for years… So she treated Karen (our current Fresh Air Guest) and me to a very educational experience! I learned so much! My mug is currently waiting to get fired… Pic of the finished product coming later… And if you need a piece of pottery for any occasion, Mrs Carol Miller is the lady to see 🙂





God, be Merciful to Me


Ring of Kerry, Ireland

The inspiration for this came after a thought provoking chain of discussions with a friend… This introspection was good for me. Hope it speaks to you,too… May God be merciful to us,


Luke 18:9-14 Paraphrased

9: To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:
10: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a churchgoer, and the other a worker at the local poultry plant.
11: The churchgoer stood by himself and prayed “God, I thank you that I am not like other people- robbers, evildoers, adulterers- or even like this guy”
12: I work extra hard and manage carefully and give lots of money to the church so that we can pay our own medical bills and be exempt from different taxes,and that my children can go to our private schools and not have to deal with all the pressures from the world. Thank you that You gave me two parents that loved each other forever and always had my best interest in mind. They taught me right and wrong to the point that when I decided to follow you, my moral compass was so on track, I didn’t have to make many changes, and not many mistakes. Thank you that You gave me the fitting calling of being the quiet and peaceable in the land, so that our good testimony will shine out in the community and that others will see what great farmers and efficient housewives we are, and will wish to be like us. Thank you for the amount of money You’ve entrusted in my care. Help me invest it wisely for my children. Give me wisdom to know when to withhold information and when to tell all when it is a financial advantage.Help me not rip off my neighbor to the point that it reflects badly on our name in the community. Thank you for my church and that You’ve given the leaders wisdom to instruct us how to dress perfectly according to Your Word.”
13: But the plant worker stood at a distance “God, I know very little about you. I’ve been in this community for years, working here for these people. I’ve watched them and waited for them to tell me about You. But I’ve waited long enough. I’m not sure how to talk to You, but I need a Father. I can’t do this on my own. I’m so unworthy. Be merciful to me, a sinner…”
14: I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Frenzied Fourth and Family

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”

The heart was fond for starters. But absence really doesn’t hurt that. My life has been a whirlwind since the Isles trip. Deborah flew in and met us at the airport. What a fun and very short 12 days. Sunday Eve was the definite highlight where the entire family was together here at Windy Hollow and we grilled out. (Actually Mr W grilled and the rest of us ate- what a perfect partnership- lol)


We enjoyed the Herschberger family’s visit completely… Little Kendra’s love of canines is something to behold (except when the pup is going after her watermelon)… What a great family!


The guys had a few firework type activities to complete the evening… They had a contest to see who could shoot a bottle rocket and take out my sky lantern… I felt smug that the score remained sky lantern 1 bottle rocket 0 🙂




As always, time together was too short…. I thought about how many campfires we’ve enjoyed as a family and how special it was to have us all together for the first time in a year. Family is a wonderful blessing.  – Kendra

Bonus Pics:

Wheat harvest came and has pretty much gone..


We tried to cross of #9 on the #30for30… But it sadly remains unchecked. We headed off valiantly to go spelunking… But the cave remains MIA… We got completely drenched after traipsing of the mountain for almost 3 hours in what started out as cloudy and ended in a downpour… And I’m afraid, judging from the poison ivy reports that are filtering in, I’m going to need to summons new troops to get this one accomplished… More on this on later 🙂


And finally attempt at family photos…


Way to point at the intruding dog, Kendra