October Odyssey’s Continued

October has past swiftly by filled to the brim with travel, farming, friends, and family- everything that my heart needs. (Not listed in order of importance)

Travel took me to the east coast, across the Mississippi, and into the mountains.

OBX sunrise
Missouri Sunrise
WV colored leaf search

I enjoyed connecting with friends on a number of occasions-but the most “fall appropriate” event happened in a barn surrounded by haybales and bluegrass music. Truly a special evening

But the most noteworthy adventure of October found us randomly on a Saturday afternoon:

Our farm in Forestville used to be an apple orchard years ago and there is a camp on the back of the property that the owner didn’t sell.

I haven’t given it much thought, except to notice that they painted it orange since we’ve been farming there 😂

Anyhow soybean harvest has been delayed this year, but we are finally in the fields. We moved into Forestville and about 4 pm, Father commented on the radio that the workers were home. An old school bus roared in the back lane.

Not long after that, a smiling Latino man biked up to where we were working. We all smiled and nodded but the language barrier was so thick, you could’ve cut it with a knife.

He volleyed between standing in the field smiling and riding his bike up and down the hill (in the thick bean stubble 😅) following the harvest.

Finally I couldn’t stand it any longer. I hollered at the combine operator aka my dad: “Hey Father, do you mind if I offer this guy to ride with you?”

My dad: “How are you going to do that?”

Me: “I’m going to call Deborah and put her on speaker phone”

And so I did. After a lot of gesturing and several phone calls to my Spanish speaking sis, Mr David was grinning at me from the buddy seat in the combine.

As I followed along in the graincart I laughed out loud more than once.

One round: My dad and his friend sitting side by side: silently, grinning

Next round: My dad and his friend both leaning in over my dad’s cell phone-Deb hard at work translating.

In the hour that he rode with us, my eyes were opened to a lifestyle I was unfamiliar with, thanks to my dad’s questions and my sisters translations.

He told about his dad’s farm in Mexico. How he works in a factory when he’s not here picking apples. And that’s this camp houses 35 workers from all over and they work 10 hour days/7 days a week.

My dad and his new friend exchanged phone numbers “so they can keep in touch” and Father’s been receiving messages to “Don Eldon” ever since.

Crazy to think that we have such an intense cultural experience going on in the back of our farm.

Isn’t it amazing to serve a God who fills our lives with unique experiences/opportunities?!

Praying that we can take these adventures and use them to glorify Him!



Rainbow Reminders

This afternoon was filled with rainbows. I didn’t realize I should be counting them until it went on for hours but they were everywhere- complete rainbows, double rainbows, partial rainbows…

Over the pond

Over the Ben friend’s chicken houses

Over the mountain range behind our farm.

And about 10 more that went unpictured.

As I finished planting wheat and headed for the house, it suddenly hit me: God created rainbows to remind us that He keeps his promises. And that’s what he was doing today. I need reminders. So many beautiful promises:

“ I Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. 1 Peter 3:12

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24

Praise Him.

October’s Odysseys: Blue Ridge Tunnel


  1. a long and eventful or adventurous journey or experience

So let me start by saying that A. October has not been long. (Halfway thru already?!) but B. It has been relatively eventful.

For the sake of time, I’ll probably skip right past the days spent in Lancaster County and the taste test between Shady Maple cream filled doughnuts and Sunnyside Pastries cream filled doughnuts. (Results: inconclusive, must do a repeat test pronto 😂)…

… to our well chaperoned date. The Ben friend and I loaded part of his nieces and nephew up in my big ol van and we drove cheerfully to Afton Mountain.

Hiking the Blue Ridge Tunnel has been on my bucket list for awhile and I was super excited that it suited part of his fam to join us.

This railway tunnel was constructed in the 1850s and used until 1944. In the beginning, it was the longest tunnel around. Over 4200 feet of history.

I thought since it was calling for rain on the day of our hike, that we’d have the place basically to ourselves. Wrong

I thought that since it was a pathway of crushed stones that the tunnel floor would be dry. Wrong

I thought that it was going to be so much fun to explore it with the children. Right. So right.

“Look at the CRAYFISH!!” Leave it to the boys to discover critters everywhere we go 😂 There was a pretty decent stream running along the side of the trail.

The roof leaked occasionally and added to the underground cavern type feel.

If you are one of the few people who weren’t visiting the tunnel last weekend, definitely take the chance to check it out.

Take a flashlight, and maybe some waterproof shoes, but prepare for a grand adventure

It’s a super easy hike, but truly unique.

And suddenly it’s hitting me. If I’m going to do another Lancaster-Co-Cream-Filled-Doughnut Taste Test, I’d better be dreaming up another hike or two . 😂

Blessings on whatever experiences October is bringing your way,


Mission Surprise Alexander; Completed

The idea came to me during Deb’s visit this summer. I threw it out to Em and she was on board. I threw it out to Jul and she was on board. I checked in with Nate’s sister-in-law who lives in Atmore, and they were on board. And so the waiting began.

We bought tickets to fly to Alabama to surprise, Deb, Nate, and Alexander for Baby A’s first birthday.

We held our breath as to whether or not we could pull this off. There are several over-talkative, unable-to-keep-a-secret links in our family chain 😬 myself being the main one.

Deb kept saying things like “I miss y’all” and “I wish I could see the twins again” and when she ended a conversation with Julia by saying “See you soon” we were on high alert. But still we moved forward.

I spent a far amount of time collecting items to entertain 2 lap babies for the duration of travel time- finger puppets, stickers, new books, sunglasses, magnetic men, and as many snacks as I could cram into my backpack.

The week of, Deb was up to her elbows in planning Alexander’s birthday party and we all teeheed at ourselves. “Those pig cake pops look so good I wish I could eat one, I love cake pops” “Be sure that Alexander checks the mailbox today, his surprise is out for delivery!”

So fast forward thru 2 flights, a 3 hour flight delay 😅, 2 wild Indians who missed naptime, were hopped up on sugar, and insisted on riding their suitcases for miles thru the vast airport prairie… We arrived at our destination with our entourage, including both snuggies and all 4 crocs. 😅

(Side note- God provided us with a beautiful little room called a Mother’s Nursery where we stayed for some time- it was such a relief to be able to let them rest in the quiet instead of trying to calm them in the midst of all the busyness. I’ve never traveled with children before-so I didn’t realize such a thing existed-but wow, it saved the day for us)

Kevin graciously picked us up and we beelined it for Deb’s house.

We grabbed boys and rolled in her door and it was perfect. She gasped and stared and we all cried, and thus continued our whirlwind visit. (Alexander and Nate did not react as amazingly as Deb, but I’m sure they were surprised too😂)

We spent our weekend juggling naps, shopping (it was so much fun to see one of Nate’s thrift stores) ordering take out, getting ready for the birthday party, and just enjoying being together.

Alexander loves pigs, so Deb did a great job at a pig birthday party.

Pigs in a blanket (made from Alabama’s special Conecuh Sausage, fresh green beans (straight from VA thanks Laura) cheeseball, veggies, fresh fruit, finger jello made with Grammy’s pig cookie cutter, and piggy cake pops.

And of course a smash cake that none of the rest of us wanted to touch after the birthday boy ran his hands thru all the icing.

Deb found a huge bag of balls at a thrift store and bought a small inflatable kiddie pool and Alexander’s birthday gift was a huge hit

How we all felt about being together ❤️

How big is Alexander? Soooo biiiig

In the spirit of fairness, I dusted off our Fisher Price collection and put together a story about Cousin Wade flying to visit the twins on the farm. The point of the entire story comes from Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t worry because I am with you. Don’t be afraid because I am your God. I will make you strong and help you!”

I hope those Words get written on your heart, little buddy ❤️

Celebrating you was a treasure for the Memory Chest.

Aunt Ken

Bonus Pic:

Same giraffe, Same boy; one year difference