August of 1993, the pace of life changed a little here on Paradise Mountain… I took the plunge and entered the incredible world of education-ready or not. There I was heading out the door in a red dress with ribbons to match and my Garfield lunchbox.. “Look out World cause here I come!”


And what an experience it was. As I attempt to dust off some of those memories that have been shelved a long time ago, I can’t help but smile. The educational part of education was great. I’m sure it’s so much a part of me that there’s no way to separate out how much of those years of learning I now put to use, but I know it makes all the difference in who I am. Spelling lists ( my whole spelling idea is a complete nightmare, but that’s a complete other story.. Maybe later ;)..);nature walks, Research papers, Science projects; difficult Language diagramming sentence experiences and creative writing; Music class and the enjoyable times of special singing groups; Art class which somehow I always managed to end up with a sad rendition of what might have been (Art is not one of my strong points); Bible class and the discussions that made me think, like how long forever is- made my brain hurt; Social Studies and History opened up a whole new world to me and made me want to travel and experience it all..

And then there was the social aspect of things. Learning life lessons.. It’s not always fair.. Sometimes it hurts.. Learn how to get along.. Not everyone is included always.. Accept people for who they are.. Be compassionate.. Share.. Give it your best no matter what.. I was blessed with an amazing group of friends as I grew up. Somewhere I still have a collection of notes that we passed-ulta sneakily back and forth- discussing what ever crisis was at hand. My teachers put a pile of time into me.. And patience too-I can’t imagine putting up with me as a child :).. I learned so much! Thank you, Berea Christian!

And then it was over. While I enjoyed school, I could hardly wait to be out. Hard to believe that I’ve been out for almost as many years as I was a student..

So for 20 years now, August contains a date that strikes an incredibly sad note in the hearts of the Horst gang.. Father even wrote a song about it. I wish you could hear him sing it. It almost brings tears to my eyes.. ” Now the Summer’s Over, School is drawing nigh..” This usually is accompanied by tears, and we all morn the passing of another year, the carefree days of summer-back to the grind of school.. And while the amazing days of summer will still be as fleeting this year- as they were before, School is no longer drawing nigh for us.. Deborah graduated Friday night!

20 years.. Of hot lunches, countless rounds providing transportation, permission slips, new dresses- for the first day of school and each music program, tuition, attempting to the get the school children out the door on time, helping study for that test, covering so that one of us could rush off on some important  school related activity, etc etc.. What a marathon- no wonder my parents felt like crying as Deborah walked across the stage, diploma in hand..

I remember Baxter Black commenting on his daughter’s grad that she walks onto the stage-still his little girl, and walks off the stage an adult woman ready to take on the world-college, job world, or whatever.. So I watched Deborah extra closely to see if I could see a difference-Just kidding.. While I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have the parental sentimental idea going on here- He has a point.. Just shaking hands with the Chairman of the School Board marks the official change from childhood to whatever is next..

We attempted to sing an accepella version of “Pomp and Circumstance” .. The last verse written by Patricia Martin really struck me.. “Lord into the future, We follow in step; Thru faith we shall conquer, by grace we are kept; Our torches all burning with kindling divine, hearts holy and yearning, lights ready to shine; Until Thy returning, we’ll serve Thy design..”

So Congrats, Little Debi!! I love you


Bonus pics:


We were so glad the Daniel and Ruth and their hilarious, energetic children were around this weekend. Friday night when Deborah quit celebrating and came home- she had the most excited helpers ever helping her unwrap her gifts.. They pretty much would have each gift unwrapped by the time she’d open the card.. Adorable..


My van “Faith” got a workout pulling this exotic trailer back to the Greenbrier Trail..


The boyfriend’s Mom has the most incredible flower bed full of Irises, peonies, etc that I’ve ever seen. Completely breathtaking..


This time of year is just amazing.. As we sat around a campfire last night, I said “I sure wish there was a way to can evenings like this, and open them up next February..” Hey we are opening up a can of Memorial Day weekend tonight.. Y’all wanna come over? LOL What a Wonderful World!!

Farmer’s Prayer


With Faith, Dear Lord, I turn the sod

Warmed by the breath of spring,

And in the freshly furrowed rows,

I plant my seed and sing,

The same old song my father sang,

When he too tilled the soil,

And found the happiness and joy

That comes through honest toil.

Bound to the earth through ties of blood,

Somehow I seem to know

In seeds as well as kindly deeds..

I’ll reap the things I sow..              -Author Unknown


Bonus pics:


This photo is courtesy of the boyfriend.. He very kindly assisted with tree removal around here, and Julia had her maiden voyage with a chainsaw..


Julia was all excited to purchase multiple seed packets at Dollar Tree and grow her own Marigolds, Zinnias  and Bachelor’s Buttons.. At $2.00 / six pack from the greenhouse, She could hardly fathom how much money she was saving.. She built a little hot bed which she watered faithfully and closed on the cold nights we’ve had recently. The much anticipated day finally arrived when Mother helped Julia  set out her flowers, and she discovered that her hot bed wasn’t only useful for flowers, it made an amazing garter snake habitat.. She said that I’m not allowed to tell all about it, but lets just say the very excited shrieks where not from Mother.. 🙂

My Mother, My Friend

Probably 10 years ago, our family went with a local Old Order family to a lake for a picnic.. James was about 4 years old and somehow spent the entire evening with Julia and I.. I will never forget the 3 of us being out on the moonlit lake in a boat, and him looking at us with big blue eyes and saying, ” I wish you were my Mothers!”

Obviously last Sunday was Mother’s Day, so we take time to think a little more about the huge impact these ladies make on society.. What an undertaking. A lot of my friends have embarked on this incredible journey already, and I’m sure they would have lots of wisdom for me.. What does it take to be a good mother?

As I analyze the Mother figures in my life, I think I have came across the one main key to a successful mom.. ( Okay so this is totally a shot in the dark- all you Mothers are welcome to comment and correct me at the end of this post 🙂 ) .. But as I observe- It’s the ability to be a friend.

I have had lots of opportunities to stand back and watch over the years.. Take the mom with lots of boys, that isn’t afraid to tussle, put up with a pet groundhog (named Chuck) living in a laundry basket on her back porch, help skin out whatever the traps bring in, and cook and cook and cook..

Or the mom with lots of girls.. I struggle as I write this one because obviously we are an all girl family, Yet we weren’t exactly raised to be all lace and tea parties.. Instead dear Mother put up with us roller blading around the kitchen table, attempting to dig holes to China in the garden (we weren’t actually sure we’d make it to China, but we thought we’d probably find something pretty cool if we only dug far enough 🙂 ), playing an unique version of “Ghost in the Graveyard” in our house (this worked amazing because we had two stairways to our upstairs- so you could thunder down the steps a thousand mile an hour and maybe make it to base ok:) ), putting up with our “band practice” directly below their bedroom on Sunday afternoons-for a surprise concert, etc etc..

But We made.. Childhood, teenage years, and now as I attempt to pretend I’m an adult, I can honestly say my mom is one of my best friends. Because, for forever, she’s taken the time to listen to me, encourage, direct, chastise (this one wasn’t as much fun), laugh with and sometimes at, counsel, and the list could go on.. And that in my opinion is the way to be an amazing friend..


And so Mother dear, and all the other ladies who have taken time to be interested in me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your influence really does make a difference. God has blessed me tremendously through you. I love you,    Kendra

Bonus pics:


One thing I learned from Mother is to observe my surroundings. I discovered these little Lady Slippers as I was heading out the lane. What a unique flower!

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We enjoyed one of the most beautiful evenings up on Reddish Knob recently. Craig thought the sunbeams on the mountains were so beautiful, he could just eat them.. It was raining in the Valley and from time to time we could see rainbows.. And then the sky opened up and sent sunbeams-instead of slanting out, they slanted in- right over Mt. Crawford, which the Boyfriend (who is a native of the town) explained to us “Is the chosen place”.. Now you know.. 🙂 Oh and Deborah made the discovery of the year, by roasting “pop biscuit” Garlic Breadsticks on a stick over the fire.. The new “must have” for every campfire party..

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Some couple from N.C came and asked if we’d take a pic of them, so we exchanged photography capabilities.. I love the goofy shot.. Notice Batman in the VT cape sailing behind us.. Not sure what Bruce had in mind there.. 🙂


This week found tears falling once again on Paradise Lane..  I don’t remember when the first time was I met Aaron, but he visited our home on many occasions. Then August of ’09, He showed up to work for us. I have so many memories of him.  One that makes me smile was around Christmas of the same year. Mother had an electric skillet that was at least as old as me, and seemed to be nearing the brink, so I brilliantly purchased a new one for her for Christmas.. Imagine how I smiled as the old beast died about the first of December.. For once, I was going to have Mother the perfect gift. Well, there sat Aaron waiting on lunch and so Mother said, “Hey, take a look at this thing and see if you can fix it..” I’m in the background frantically pantomiming as he calming took it to the shop, dissected it, rewired it and had it ready to go.. Man.. Fortunately it died several weeks later, and this time I was able to intervene as Aaron was heading to the repair shop. 🙂

For years Aaron struggled with seizures. In the year he worked for us, He had 2 of them. The first one caused him to wreck and break his jaw majorly, and after the second one, we found his hat with in a foot of our lagoon..

April 10, 2013 Aaron was married, and he and his bride went to Florida for 2 weeks. Saturday the 27th they moved in to their new home. And at 8:00 Tuesday the 30th, Arlene discovered that life was gone.. Her husband had been had been called to his eternal reward.. 21 years old..


Mother found this poem and thought it very well could be written by Arlene..

Echo – Christina Rosseti

Come to me in the silence of the night;

Come in the speaking silence of a dream;

Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright

As sunlight on a stream;

Come back in tears,

O memory, hope, love of finished years.


O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,

Whose waking should have been in Paradise,

Where souls brimful of love abide and meet;

Where thirsting longing eyes

Watch the slow door

That opening, letting in, lets out no more.


Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live

My very life again though cold in death:

Come back to me in dreams, that I may give

Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:

Speak low, lean low,

As long ago, my love, how long ago.

“Rest in Peace- dear friend Georgie..”

Bonus pics:

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Our wisteria is going to town.. Eventually we are going to have to schedule a major pruning, but for now we are enjoying the beauty and fragrance of this amazing-yet intrusive- vine.. Thanks to Deb for the pic of the Tiger Swallow Tail..

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Also Praising the Lord that Springtime Harvest on Paradise Lane is complete.. 🙂 Em contributed the pic of our farm.. And I was totally impressed by the professional job done packing the silage pile.. Uncle Fred, with a little help from the boyfriend..



Cow Caption Contest

To our friends scattered to and fro,

This week found us continuing the hammer down life of a farmer in the springtime.. Father completed planting soybeans on our rental ground, and we started spring chopping. Wednesday as I was in the field, I received a text from Julia.. It read:


Caption naming contest! Winner will receive reward.. To be announced..

Apparently Julia was working with our heifers and snapped this pic on her phone.. I had no idea how serious this really was.. Lets just say 49 entries, and a party complete with 3 gals of homemade ice cream later, the results are in.. 🙂 I get such a kick out of the different directions that the mind runs.. Thought maybe you’d enjoy seeing some of the entries.. Thanks to those of you who humored us.. 🙂

-Just one little kiss!

-This neck massage is moovolous

-Somebody kill this copycat beside me

-Life’s miserable

-I promise I didn’t do it

-Smoochias gracias

-Isn’t there more to life than making milk?

-Mama said there’d be days like this

-Will you marry me?  *Julia wasn’t sure what to respond to this one 😉

-She knows (nose) what’s up

-I’m in a great mood today

-Milking up the sunshine,sunshine

– Mommy why is the world crooked?

-You may be cheering that your bulktank is running over, but this is how we feel about it!

-Crazy for you

-They say that the grass is always greener on the other side..But it looks like I’m going to have to go see a chiropractor to get rid of this kink in my neck!

– I hate it when the milk maid has cold hands!

– Sunshine Indulgence

– No service unless you can see over the bar ( and that’s no bull!)

– Hey.. you sure you know what you’re doing?

-Drink milk, eat chicken!

– Eat more chicken *these were submitted by the boyfriend- the excited new chicken farmer

–  I like to moove it, moove it

– Help me! I hear Emily’s milking again!

– ” Don’t mind me, I’m just admiring your cowloused hands”

– What are you looking at?  Never seen yoga cowlesthentics before?

– What’s with the grill and BBG sauce?

– I love hanging out here.. Now all I need is a moolatte

– Ya wanna sMOOch?!

– Am I cute enough to survive the bulktank overflow?

– I just love that moocic!

– What kind of a mood is Miss Julia in today?

– No offense cause you feed me well too, but where’s Andrew?

– Julll, we finally got the tank fullll!

– And don’t you dare say that I’m being nosy!!

The contributing authors that showed up at the ice cream party voted for the best caption..

Second place: -Kissing booth: 25 cents/ kiss

And the winner -Normally I wouldn’t kiss on the first date, but I’ll break the rule for you!

..and thus provided some excitement for Paradise Lane.. 🙂 Some of the captions have a story behind them.. Like our milk tank has the unusual problem of running over recently -PTL.. And Andrew is a former hired man who was convinced the cows are missing him ;).. Anyhow.. Have a moovolous day- Kendra

Bonus pic:

This is Father’s contribution to my blog.. He thought this would be I’m still not a fan of the rooster, but am a little more tolerant since Sqwack is penned up most of the time.. I wish I knew what Rolo was thinking.. Jimmy and Mervin are being good sports..

” Somehow the picnic didn’t turn out quite like Sqwack had imagined..”