Rhonda is the smallish mother of 4 sons, ages 6 to 22. She married her blue-eyed soulmate 25 years ago this summer and calls him “all kinds of brave” for sticking it out through years of diapering, disciplining and daily debriefings with an (occasionally) hysterical female.
She grew up on the plains of Kansas where buffaloes wallowed, Indians hollered and wheat turned gold in the fields. Then she married The Boy and moved to Northern Indiana where two-legged buffaloes wallow regularly on her living room floor, the local savages holler plenty and her hair turns gray on her head.
A self-described voracious reader, she's devoured books ever since she started to read. She developed an extensive vocabulary, which, to her great surprise, helped her win the Reno County spelling bee as an eighth grader and sent her to the state competition. The awkward news photo of the nervous young champion won’t see the light of day again, but she’d be happy to show you the plaque.
As a young girl, Rhonda would entertain her friends, holding them enthralled with stories from her vivid imagination. Folks noticed that she had a way with words, and by the time she got to high school, she herself began to notice that she could make others, even upperclassmen, laugh.
The winter of her senior year, she went to Maranatha Bible School in Minnesota. There, students and teachers alike were drawn to the tiny dynamo from the plains. Her quick wit, surprising vocabulary and great love for people won her many friends. “Dynamite comes in small packages,” they would say, eyes gleaming.
CREDITS (and what she's up to now)
Today, Rhonda still loves people. As her mother once said, “You’ve never met a stranger.” She hasn’t.
She's still a voracious reader, and she’s still entertaining folks with her quick wit, colorful imagination and surprising vocabulary. That hasn’t changed, either.
By day, she is a medical transcriptionist, typing reports from her home office for physicians in another state while riding shotgun on the homework crowd and tracking the local pantry pirates. By early morning, however, she loads her backpack with the girlish accents and her bright, orange purse into the beloved BMV (Blue Mommy Van). Hitting the gas, she heads for the coffee shop where she pens the weekly column, “Grounds for Insanity,” for her paper of record, The Goshen News.
She is a prolific blogger, having blogged professionally for Bethel College, Boy One's school of choice. She's hosted a blog for Moms Michiana, the former parenting arm of The South Bend Tribune, and she's contributed to a humor website devoted to the legendary humorist, Erma Bombeck.
Rhonda blogs twice a month for bestselling author, Suzanne Woods Fisher. This past May, she was invited to join a week-long series for Mother's Day on the Pearl Girls blog, along with notable authors and speakers Sheila Walsh, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Tricia Goyer and others. Her post, “What I Didn’t Know,” was chosen to run on Mother's Day, an honor that “tickled her clear pink.”
For years, Rhonda has maintained her personal blog, “The Natives are Getting Restless.” There, she developed a loyal, enthusiastic following of readers eager for the humor, encouragement and spiritual insights she posted regularly. All of which will, thankfully, be continued on her blog here.
In early 2012, Rhonda joined the staff of “Cooking & Such: Adventures in Plain Living,” which many have compared to the old “Taste of Home.” In addition to being an editor for the magazine, she is a contributor as well, sharing “Grounds for Insanity” with the magazine's broad base that covers 4 foreign countries and 42 states. Watch out, though. She's given to exuberant “ka-ching!” arm pumps when talking about this unusual publication.
Rhonda speaks, too. She's been invited to speak to several civic organizations, including Kiwanis and Extension Clubs. To no one's surprise, she leaves with a roomful of friends, having connected with the audience through her family stories, easy humor and personal warmth.
She's appeared on radio as well, spending a fast-paced hour in February 2012 with California author, Suzanne Woods Fisher, on her show, “Amish Wisdom.” More recently, she appeared again on “Amish Wisdom” with Sherry Gore, Editor-in-Chief of “Cooking & Such.”
In 2010, Rhonda was contacted by the president and CEO of The Boys and Girls Clubs of Elkhart County, Mr. Kevin Deary, who’d read her work and loved it. When TBGC launched a new initiative targeting the needs of their young female members, he asked Rhonda, along with other local women in the news, for her help in promoting the new program. Happy to help, she got behind the project, adding her voice on behalf of girls and the challenges they face today.