#23for30: Silo Singing

Precious Memories, unseen angels, sent from somewhere to my soul..

We have this moment to hold in our hands, and to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand, yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow may never come, but we have this moment today…


The music rose and fell. Our voices blended and ascended into the dark tunnel above, and echoed a reply.

I looked around me at the familiar faces, gathered in a circle, focusing on the songbook in front of them, and remembered all sorts of memories from the month that we had traveled together.

And my heart was full.

Last night, the “Out West Gang” (both the ’10 and the ’14 groups) gathered in Dayton, and we all climbed into a Harvestor silo, and sang.


I’ve known about a “silo singing” for a number of years. I’ve heard stories of the challenge of climbing through the small door in the bottom of the metal giant. I’ve heard how incredible the acoustics are.

And now I know!  Click here for a brief video of our silo singing

As I listened to the words of the music, they spoke to my soul. Songs about God’s faithful, love and provision. And I returned home blessed.

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Ps 42:11


Bonus Pics:

Did you happen to notice the little blonde pup in my video? Meet River Muckalee! Latest addition to the Weaver Household. 😉 Em and KJ, your little yellow lab is adorable!



Available for Adoption ASAP

“Every Rose has its thorns…”

Hi- it’s Detroit the Farm Manager and you know how they always say that every cloud has a silver lining? Well, did you know that every silver lining has a cloud?


It was supposed to be our brightest, happiest hour-one that we’d waited on for two years, but it turned into one of devastated rejection. My heart is torn to shreds and I will never recover.

Rolo- my somewhat blonde assistant is the one who discovered it. She came slinking in while I was trying to sleep, and managed to wake me out of one of the most delicious dreams. In my subconscious, pre-coffee state it made it’s way through my fuzzy brain that she kept repeating something in Spanish (she thinks since her Owner is bilingual-she is too) “Chaba somthing”

I rolled over and punched her in the ribs “would you pipe down ?”

She repeated it again “Chabalo… Si Senor, but when Chabalo is King what are you going to do?”

I snorted “what do you mean when somebody else is King?”

She was rapidly heading for the sleep zone, but she managed “When the new pup takes over as farm manager.”

I sat bolt upright in bed. “New pup?!? Who? What? When?”

Rolo just snored- so I finally resorted to the old trick we call “bark-in-the-ear” and I managed to wake her up enough that she squeaked out a full report. And so here it is:

Miss Deborah is finally home. Finally, I say because she’s been gone for basically forever. The best way that we’ve found to make sure that she’s home is by peering into the windows, day and night. The picnic table is lined up with the kitchen window perfectly, and that’s the best vantage point. But anyhow. So Rolo was keeping watch over the place by night, when the door opened and in walked Her Majesty- Miss Deb and that Kennell fellow. Deb was beaming from ear to ear and exclaiming about Mother’s Day,and how she had a “little surprise” for the most wonderful lady- the Mother of the place. Joyce stood there not sure what to expect when Deb pulled out the most worthless piece of dogflesh you’ve ever seen.


Well, ok, so he’s cute and all, and actually really intelligent, but still.

The moment passed rapidly when Joyce was in the “don’t know what to say” stage. And she apparently made up for lost time with “what in the world?!” and “too many dogs already” (what does that mean, and how is it possible?) and “Eldon, come quick” and “Deborah, you can’t be serious..”

Meanwhile the boyfriend- grinning sheepishly- watched the circus, Miss Deborah explained  that a very generous man had gifted her with “Chabalo” (which means little boy in Spanish) as a welcome home gesture. And the Lady of Reason explained as enthusiastically that really we could.not. use another dog around here. (Good point, I might add)

The Father also got involved, but after a quick interview with Miss Deb, determined that it was all a joke- to get a reaction out of the Dear Precious Mother. “And she reacted perfectly in every way.”

I didn’t think much of the joke myself. I mean, adopting a new dog is serious business. The entire future of our farm lies in those tiny paws.


But anyhow, so Chabalo is back in Mt Crawford with his Collie Mother, and I  am still head of Ranch Security, but let this be a lesson to you- Miss Horst. The long arm of the law is watching you, and if you try to upstage us any more- you may find a picture of yourself on the “free to a good home” page.

The Farm Manager has spoken.

And that, my friends, is a true story.


Detroit Snappenbarker Mendoza

Bonus Pic:

My soybeans are really close to an emergency swimming lesson…


Springtime beauty 🙂






Central American Journey: BUSted in Beautiful Belize

Maybe it was because it was really warm with no AC.

Maybe it was because I was on the verge of having enough foreign water/food.

Maybe it was because the conscience was not relenting with every snapchat from the deserted crew at home, and Mr Kennell’s pitiful “bring my girlfriend home” row.

Maybe it was because all the previous DAYS (literally) that we’d spent busing on the trip were spent in a Coach that lumbered along and served cold drinks and hot meals.

Or maybe it was just traumatizing. But whatever the reason- whether it’s all or none of the ones listed above- I’m ready to take a break from busing.


We crossed into Belize with no trouble and caught a taxi to the “Belmopan Express”. “Great” I thought “We’ll hammerdown for the capital and be there soon.”

Wrong. Not sure what “Express” means, but we stopped and picked up people 50 times if we stopped once. AND they got off usually about 10 minutes after we picked them up. (Maybe we didn’t actually stop 100 times, but I kinda lost count) Also, the bus boy got off occasionally just to ask if the people wanted a ride. Loud Belizean music pulsated the bus from time to time, and since Belize speaks English- I understood the words. No gain there.

We made the transfer ok. Belize is a clean country “Don’t litter, and Belize will glitter” and the bus stations were orderly and on time. We crowded on to the next bus, but because our body guard/luggage boy stayed out to help put our luggage in, He wasn’t able to get a seat, so he stood in the back of the bus. (We had every intention of traveling light, not sure what happened.)


Anyhow so Mervin was standing in the back of the bus, when the terminal offical came on the bus and said that everyone needed a seat. So Mervin squished onto a seat with 2 other guys. The official came to the back of the bus and chased off the other unfortunate guy who had been standing with Merv, and then said with a very thick Creole accent “c’mon man, you catch the next bus. ” He had to repeat himself about 5 times until we understood him. So I asked if Deb and I needed to get off too- because we were all in this together, and our half of the bus broke into a murmur, with the one outspoken fellow saying “Kick somebody else off the bus, you can’t do that to this man- he got family on the bus!”

So the guy let him slide. We took off in a cloud of dust, and stopped at the first street corner to pick up the other man who’d been asked to leave. So there went that.

I enjoyed my window seat. Belizean houses are different from the rest of Central America. Wooden Houses standing on stilts. Curtains covering the windows, tied back to let the air/daylight in.


We tore through the countryside. Grove after Grove after Grove of Citrus trees. We passed Citrus factories were the air smelled like Orange Juice. We passed lots of Mennonites and Amish- Belizean population has the largest percentage of Anabaptist population in the world (I think it’s 3%)

Then we came to the mountains. I’m not sure what all they do to schoolbuses down there, but they have them running good. We breezed up the mountain like it was nothing, and cannon-balled down the other side. The road didn’t have a yellow line and when we came to a one lane bridge- we slingshotted across it without hesitation. It was a little alarming to be watching out the window and suddenly come upon a ravine. The driver never hit the brakes and we were shifting gears. Hallelujah, we arrived safely.




Placencia was our little touristy spot of our adventure. We rented a cabin with AirBnB and were completely impressed. We enjoyed the breezes from the Carribean Sea, the unique flowers, and culture that the area had to offer. I even enjoyed the mouthy bird that sat out in front of our house and hollered to his friends every morning at sunrise. I wish I could’ve identified him though.


The area brags of the second largest coral reef in the world. It was really fun to explore- the brightly colored fish, the variety of coral- mostly browns and purple, and Deb saw a “sea cow” or a manatee.


All the while, I was trying to get up the nerve for last piece of our puzzle- another bus ride. #22 on the #30for30 is bus across Central America. Woosh- we made it and survived. At the risk of being dramatic, I was feeling worse and worse, and we didn’t have any too much water with us. But we made it, and found a taxi at the terminal who confidently knew where to take us. As soon as he had us and our luggage in his van, he started asking everybody within shouting distance where the road was that we needed. Thankfully someone knew. Soon we were at our final stop.


This place looked like an oasis when we rolled in. The staff was so gracious and we enjoyed meeting “Miss Nancy” (highly recommend this book) A 86 year old New Order Amish lady who has lived in Belize for 51 years. She shared her story with us freely and I was challenged and inspired. Floyd and Miss Marilyn took such great care of us. I decided that maybe I wasn’t going to die after all. (I know, dramatic much?)



They live in a bit of a rough section of town, but Deb and I thought we could go down and talk to children through the gate. We watched them play basketball, and ride their bikes in the street, and felt all secure. Until the one little bundle of energy calmly reached in, unlatched the gate and I’m sure my mouth fell open as no less than 6 children rolled in and took over the courtyard. The girls told us that they “were 4 years old and were COusINS” and the boys ran pellmell around the vans and ran past smacking me on the back of the head and making it rain rocks. It was very exciting. Soon “Brotha Floyd” came and shoo-ed them back out of the gate and things got a bit less chaotic.


As we bid Central America “farewell” and I watched the land get swallowed by clouds, my heart is full. Our travel found a wide range of experiences, but at every stop- we found people who’s heart cry was to serve their Creator. It is so encouraging to know that there are so many Righteous who are seeking His Face.

And that completes that puzzle. We had some pretty unique shaped pieces, but ever.single.one fell into place perfectly, and the finished picture is one that I will talk about for a long time. Thank you, Jesus.

Thanks for all your support and for kindly following along with my tales from our adventure. I’m excited to enjoy things stateside for awhile 🙂



Central American Journey: Gorgeous Guatemala

Back in 2012, I spent several months in Guatemala. I left full of good intentions, and suddenly, it’s 5 years later and I’m returning for the first time. The country was still as beautiful as I’d remembered.


We stayed with Jonathan and Vivian Hartzler and they went the second and third mile to show us their world.


The girls gave us a tour of their school there in El Chal (aren’t their uniforms cute?) One of the teachers did the painting on the wall.


We rode along in the back of the school bus as Jonathan delivered the children home from school.


Cousin Kelly gave us a tour of the “Good Samaritan Clinic” where she’s a nurse.


Deborah made friends with yet another black lab. (This hill is a Mayan ruin. I guess time and nature fill in the stone structures, leaving an abrupt hill occasionally dotting the countryside.)


We spent part of a day exploring Mayan Ruins that had been uncovered in Tikal.


The restoration process is ongoing- I got a big kick out of this transport system.


One of our tour guides from our day. This is called a Pizote or Coatimundi. We had one as a pet while I was in Santa Rosita in ’12- inquisitive little creatures.


Making 90 lbs of Guatemalan cheese.


Jonathan refereeing a backyard turkey fight.




We went over the river and through the jungle to the Jungle Breezes Ranch. This is a new program that is developing, but it’s a 400+ acre ranch where families live and work and take in boys who need a bit of guidance.




The Ranch has an airstrip, and one of the men that lived there said that they hear airplanes coming in from time to time, and they run outside with their eyes to the sky…only to discover that it’s a cockroach. They do grow them big out there.



We ran up the river for just a few minutes and hit another country! Mexico 🙂 We had to wade to shore, so I guess you might say we kinda wet backed it in.




It was so much fun to see so many familiar faces and to be able to catch up briefly. Blessings to you, Jonathan, Vivian, and family, as you continue to discover and embrace your new world! Thanks for showing us a wonderful time!


Bonus Pics:

3 Step Photo Description of the best way to fly using the resident hammock, by Julia. It worked wonderful for her- I didn’t try it-lol




Central American Adventure: Encouraged in El Salvador

We caught an express coach early in the morning and soon we had successfully exited Nicaragua and were making our way through all of Honduras’s road construction and stop and go traffic.

Maybe I should introduce us: Here we are cutting fresh mangoes at our destination. From left to right- Deborah was our translator, I kinda planned the trip, and our cousin Mervin (or Boogs) was our body guard and luggage boy.  What a time.


This is pretty much our view of Honduras:



It wasn’t more than a few hours, until we were safely in the Capital City San Salvador, El Salvador, and had made our connections with the director of the Deaf School we were visiting.

Two facts about El Salvador that I didn’t know: Their exchange rate is the same as the U.S. They were taken over by communist 7 years ago.


The school was fascinating. They have 9 completely deaf students who are also mute. We were privileged to  join them for morning devotions and for the Bible study at the end of the school day.


I watched them sing, none of them making a noise.  Their hands fluttering through the air in perfect harmony- worshiping the One who understands, I was just totally impressed again with how incredible it is that our God knows no language barriers. That He can understand perfectly what we are trying so say- even when our lips don’t make a sound. He listens to our hearts. This means a lot to me.



One of our group thought is was important to sneak a dog into devotions. 😉


The school director’s sons playing marbles.


We caught this true “mini van” into town for the famous El Salvadorean Pupusa’s



Thoroughly enjoyed meeting Miss Bethany and her friend Beatrix. And the energetic pup who managed to be basically all places at all times.


Today I’m rejoicing that God understands my heart.


P.S Next stop: Guatemala