Four Weddings, Nine days

May has proven itself to be a rival to the “June Wedding Month” stereotype… When it rains it pours- they say. Clearly love is in the air the last week and a half. Part of the events, I was an invited guest, and other times it was because of work. Regardless- hope you enjoy snapshots of my day:

Wedding  1: Come gracious Spirit Heavenly Dove, with light and comfort from above…  The music rose and fell, along with great drops of rain creating the most intriguing combo. From my vantage point, a horse peered out of a stable door his ears pricked- listening… A chicken ran past and shivered in the rain… a green fern waved gently in the breezes…  Be Thou our guardian, Thou our guide- or every step and step preside.. The farm dog lay stretched out nearby- snoring contentedly- She had successfully been part of the day- She had managed to feel the urge to nap precisely at 9:30 and of course, the best place was an open area out of the rain- So she stretched out in the aisle- and seemed oblivious to the fact that the entire bridal party had to troop over her… And I smiled- it is really an honor to be included in a special day…


Wedding 2: Exactly at 11:00 the Ford pickup, that I thought was parked in the drive to help guest find parking, suddenly started to move… And as it rumbled its way up the drive- it became obvious its occupants were not the car parkers… The bride descended from the passenger side. 🙂 The setting of this event was rather magical- in the woods in front of the groom’s home- the busy birds of the forest and a distant baying of a hound created the music for the morning. The bride had slaved away for weeks on wedding prep, and she had a lot of original ideas. I loved the country feel – such a relaxed, happy occasion!

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Wedding 3: This one started at 8ish and lasted til after 12… But since it was in a language none of our gang understood- we arrived about 10 minutes before the couple took their vows. We had barely gotten seated, when the door opened and the cooks and waitresses arrived (all 100 of them) and the immediate family- I was shocked to discover that the family only gets in on the vows- then they scurry back to the reception area. The bride (and her attendants) wore  Navy, a white apron and black coverings. Everyone else wore the bride’s choice of blue. And who knew there were so many choices of blue: federal, denim, steel, sky… And although our gang completely flubbed when you kneel for prayer and when you stand for prayer- the rest of the service went fairly much as expected.  Until the music…  


Last winter I watched a flock of birds flying across the Valley in front of me- Like a dark ribbon in the sky. As I watched them go- wings flapping- rolling along after some unknown leader- I was amazed at how the entire gang of thousands of birds followed an unseen pattern.  Up they’d all go, and down they would swoop- together as a group… Fascinating.. The final song of the service was also in German and it was not the first time I’ve heard the traditional music. But wow- it was the loudest vocal music I have ever experienced (the guys in our group admitted to wanting to protect their ears)  And like that flock of birds or the ebb and flow of  water at the seaside- the singing would start and get louder and louder and high and lower without a noticeable pattern… And I sat on the sidelines and watched with ears ringing . Fascinating…

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The rest of the day was packed full- lots of good food, laughter, singing and volleyball. I found the tour of the kitchen to be amazing- a shop with 9 propane portable ovens baking away… About 9- we left this happy place and start the 4 hours trek southwest to…


Wedding 4: At this event, I took my driver role seriously and spent the day running around with the bus driver 🙂 My dad had left VA at 12:30 to bring the bus to the wedding- so he and I spent the morning relaxing at a neighbor’s house and then ran around the community taking self guided farm tours. 🙂 It was great. We arrived back at the wedding in the afternoon and got ready for the return trek to the Valley. The music from the afternoon wafted out the windows from the house  and after the singing continued after the assumed departure time, we started joking about calling out a parting hymn… So Father said “607 in the Church Hymnal” And just like they could’ve heard us from across the parking lot “Bless Be The Tie That Binds” floated on the breezes…  The bus left a bit before us, and the entire trip home- we kept updated on where police where watching traffic “Hey Ken, There’s a bear at 214…” And our gang felt smug when we spotted an actual black bear trying to cross the interstate. Guess that was a bear that went undetected.

When I think back over this wedding marathon, I’m amazed. People are people. We love, we laugh, we cry. We sing loudly sometimes, and sometimes quietly.. These events represented a vast variety of culture, experiences, and communities. And yet they were similar, Two people met, fell in love, and felt God’s leading to make this a lifetime event. Countless hours were spent in prep for the big day- lots of people helping- made it a community wide effort. Crowds showed up the day of to help celebrate (or at least eat the amazing food..) And before we know it – it’s a happy memory…


On the flip side- no two stories are alike- and that comes out in wedding days as well- rainy, sunny, flowers of the bride’s choice… So similar, yet such unique individuals…


All of this makes me excited- someday- we will all be invited to the best Wedding Ever… May We be busy TODAY preparing for that earth shattering event.

– Kendra

A few issues to be addressed… With luv- Head of Ranch Security

There’s a time to weep, a time to laugh… A time to war against varmints- a time for peace.. A time to bark, and a time for silence…

Ok, I get this. But I have a few things to explain to the folks around here… So here goes a rant from the Head of Ranch Security…

Dear Horst family,

If you notice- there’s a few things I’d like to comment on… So I know that y’all are busy here- I watch you slaving away outside- hello we are getting ready for a wedding here- and I’d just like to call to your attention when my posse and I dig in the yard too and create well-worn trails all through the flowerbeds- WE ARE HELPING! We all want this place to look its best come Aug… There’s a time to dig, and a time to refrain from digging…


Secondly- please don’t be irritated with us- but we are dealing with a heart-break. Now granted it’s not quite as bad for me as it is for Rolo. It would be like that object of my undying devotion- the Mother around here- would disappear… We miss Deb! So if we seem a little short tempered- there is a reason!

And thirdly- please don’t hamper our style… How would you like for us to hire you to do field work, and then not let y’all work except when it’s raining? Our job is ranch security… So when y’all pen us in the garage at night “because we bark”- you are committing a major breach of security. And the stupidest thing I’ve heard yet is you complaining about the whippoorwill who has moved in to holler on the house roof all night long… Ummm hello- you’ve captured the complete branch of National Security and banished them to never never land. Big surprise that the place is being overrun by aliens. Wake up, America!  So please don’t be angry with me whenever I- hee hee– avoid your cunning little plan and stay out at night… No prophet is accepted in his home country… And I realize that the insults hurled my way are based on lack of knowledge… I’m tough- I can handle this..


Fourthly- thank you thank you thank you for getting rid of all of Rolo’s latest family. It’s really stressful having to train in new recruits and I’m glad for the break. Seriously. P.S And I can’t say I hope the farm inherits a bunch of Kalila’s German Shepherd pups either…

And one last thing- remember that lab awareness thing Kendra was posting about? I think it’s time to add a few more pics..

Forever Chief of the Farm Management,

Detroit Snappenbarker Mendoza


S for Shoe Shiner


T for Taste Tester


U for Ultimate Stress Reliever


V for Varmint Control

Why I am not a Barber

Once upon a time, there were two little girls who were left to spend Sunday afternoon playing quietly while their mom was away at a funeral and their dairy farmer dad looked after them.

You know how Scripture says “on the seventh day God rested”? Well this dairy farmer dad was living by the Book and his rest/ little girl watching turned into snoring excessively while the little girls played quietly…

They hadn’t conquered the “Seventh Day God rested ” idea properly at this point- because the perfect activity for the afternoon seemed to be building a house in the kitchen- a sheet over the bar created the best walls and roof you could wish for- construction was a success. And for the most part was carried out quietly…

Now the older of the duo had the unfortunately ability to notice random things, and it came to her attention that her little sister’s hair was falling down over her ears- thus impeding sound.

“You can’t hear very good can you?”

“No, I can hear fine.”

“But how can you with all that hair over your ears?”

“No, really- I can hear fine..”

Older wisdom prevailed and next thing Julia knew, the house had been renovated into a barber shop with Kendra running the scissors. I did the best job I could, but apparently it was not that impressive- because Father woke up and nearly heart attacked and a sheepish trio met Mother at the door when she returned…

An emergency trip was made to Grandmother Rhodes’s who attempted to salvage the job, and Julia- whose hair had been thin- sported a cute pixie style hair cut, and remembers sitting outside the bedroom door smiling as the barber received her reward…. Hair cutting is not for me!


Hair cutting Vol II

Once upon a time there was a man who needed a haircut and with summer on its way, he asked the barber to trim it rather short.

Now this barber/client relationship was a little bit more negotiable than some and the barber wasn’t convinced that he wanted it quite that short…

So she fired up her brand new clippers for their maiden voyage and took them one swipe up the back of her client’s head… Only to discover that the guard was adjustable and somehow it was on the shortest setting and her husband was now sporting a reverse Mohawk…

Since Miracle Grow doesn’t do much for hair- My dad now has that really short haircut he had ordered… And my Mom is considering a mid-life crisis/career change… 🙂

But all is well on Paradise Lane.

“All things work together for good” can be taken out of context too often… but I love little examples of God’s faithfulness even when we’ve made a mess of things. Julia’s hair really grew after it’s trimming- even though the barber was properly reprimanded (so technically I should have hero status here)… And my dad’s summer hair cut is just in time for that 80 degrees they are forecasting… (But maybe he’s gonna need to wear a little sunscreen today) But all is good.

May you find that to be true in your life is well. God is Good.

Blessings on your week,



It’s amazing how one little slip can change the message when you’re texting…  Deborah had that happen before she left- so I share with her permission (this is what I remember- some details may be slightly changed)

Friend: Hi- I was wondering about getting one of your prayer cards?

Deb: Sure- just send me your address :$   (That $ was the mistake apparently the $ was beside ) on her keyboard causing a goofy smile..)

Friend: Yeh- and about the money- thanks for the reminder-  I do want to send you some..


I spotted this adorable dish garden at a Mental Health Care Facility that my one group was visiting… What better symbol of hope and triumph than the empty tomb?!? Hallelujah!


The last of these heartbreakers has left for his new home… I think my mom is silently glad her daughters no longer have that constant distraction 🙂


Is it just me? Or has this spring been more beautiful than usual? Maybe I say that every year…