Papa’s Fan Club

The twins are very communicative these days. And even tho they sometimes fall under the “when necessary use words” camp-there’s usually no question what their agenda is and how they need you to help them achieve it.

Isaiah is definitely the more verbal of the two. And he has a one track mind.

We’re riding along on the side-by-side, the sun is shining and the dog is barking. Isaiah leans his little blonde head against me and all is well in the world. “I bet he’s enjoying this” I hug my little buddy a little closer.
He looks up with big blue eyes searching my face.
“Papa?”
“Papa’s out working” I tell him

Blueberries are the fruit of choice these days and the boys can them by the fistfuls. “Wow, Juls going to need to plant a bigger garden at the rate these boys are eating” I deliver another shipment of blueberries to the high chair cafeteria. Isaiah looks at me with blueberries smeared from ear to ear. He cocks his head at the noise of a faint motor passing by the house.
“Papa?”
“Papa’s coming in a little” I tell him

We visit the swing set and because it’s a huge decision when you’re 18 months old to decide whether to go down the slide first or try out the swings-we start on one side and work our way over trying everything. My little buddy disappears into a piece of pipe and pops out of the other side laughing. “Peek-a-boo” I shout while thinking “ah carefree childhood” but Isaiah has something else on his mind.
“Papa?”
“Papa will be home soon” I tell him.

And so that’s how our time is usually spent. We talk about puppies and tractors and “pretty pretty pretty” flowers. We dream of ducks and pizza and Mama and snuggy bear, But somehow Papa is at the forefront of every apparent thought.

📸: Julia

I’m challenged by my little nephew’s unwavering devotion. Do I stop in the middle of the most exhilarating adventure to long for the presence of my Heavenly Father? Or in the middle of my favorite snack? Or in the middle of every single part of the day to day no matter how busy I am-to constantly direct my thoughts towards Jesus?

Today I took my 92 year old Grandma to her church and the words from this song took my thoughts down the same line.

Little Black Songbook (because I don’t know it’s actually name) Song 180: (side note- this songbook has no notes-only printed words-so the song leader can pick whichever tune he prefers to go with the verses):

Dispensing good where’re he came
The labors of his life were love
Oh if we love the Saviors name
Let his divine example move

But ah! how blind! how weak we are
How frail! How apt to turn aside
Lord, we depend upon Thy Care
And ask Thy Spirit for our guide

Thy fair example may we trace
To teach us what we ought to be
Make us, by Thy transforming grace,
Dear Savior, daily more like Thee

Jesus, all for Jesus

Blessings,

Kendra

Bonus Pics:

The American Trucker Historical Society came to town recently. There was such a wide range in the 1000 trucks at the show 😅 My Ben Friend took me and we only saw a fraction of them during the several hours that we baked in that summer sun.

The winners between the most unique thing at the show were a tie between this decked out rocking chair …

… And this… (Ben thought this was hilarious and so accurate. I’ll just leave it here)

And lastly. I may have started a new obsession. It goes by different names. I called it a “s’more charcuterie board” Jul thought it was a “S’MORgasbord” and the Ben Friend said “what’s a Chattahoochee board?”

Precious Moving Memories

To our friends scattered to and fro,

The last several weeks have been a whirlwind of moving boxes, special moments, and as many Alexander cuddles as possible.

We enjoyed one last sunset from Debs back porch…

Took time off to slip over the mountain into Brandywine to eat at the Brandywine Family Dining… (formerly known as The Cabin) (Locals, we had a great experience here.)

A neighbor hosted a barn party. Growing up, their fam was exactly the same age as us, and we were back and forth through the fields constantly. We’ve added a few to our numbers, but the friendship is just as sweet.

Em and Mr John E pulled out the guitars and had a captive audience. Precious Memories indeed.

Deb and I had been attempting to eat at the Magpie Diner for a year now… and because a blessed rain changed our chopping plans>>thus affecting the time of departure>>we squeaked it in at the 11.59th hour. Baby A’s face speaks for us all.

And before we knew it, the last box was loaded and we were off.

Our convoy sailed down the road-spirits were mostly high and the 2-way chatter was constant. 13 hours later, we pulled into We Care rejoicing.

Lots of people showed up to help unload and piles of food rolled in the door and the warm welcome we received wasn’t just from the southern summer humidity.

Even the neighbors dog extended a hearty welcome. (Ricochet, the yellow lab can’t believe the southern hospitality 😂)

The before mentioned guitar party ended with “Blest Be the Tie That Binds” and I’ll admit those words keep coming back to me…

When we are called to part,
it gives us inward pain;
but we shall still be joined in heart,
and hope to meet again.

Blessed be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like that to that above.

Blessings to y’all,

Kendra

Bonus Pics:

The flowers of the south land 🥰

Alexander’s nursery had the most gigantic giraffe on the wall… with a bit of help we got it moved too. 😅 enjoy your new room, Sweet Baby A ❤️

VA giraffe
Bama Giraffe in progress

And finally, I’ll spare you all the glowing report… but I’m super thankful for my supportive Ben Friend.

Mobile Bay, AL

A Sheep Named after Ewe 🐑

Luke 14:7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table,he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Several months ago my neighbor left me a voicemail:

“Hey friend, just calling to chat while I was doing the dishes. Did you hear Wyatt got 2 sheep? His mom thought he should name them Daffodil and Daisy. But he said he didn’t really like Daffodils. So yeh, I don’t know if you’ll feel extremely honored or extremely slammed, but he named them Daisy and Kendra.”

Oh my! My sweet little buddy Wyatt! Why would I feel slammed? Immediately my mind went to the only lamb experience we’d had growing up- Uncle Galen’s had a lamb (incidentally-I’m thinking it was called “Daffodil”) and it was the cutest, soft little bundle of wool. We loved that little lamb and were terrible jealous of it until it got old enough to stomp on our toes with its sharp pointy hooves while ramming us with its hard head. Nonetheless named after a lamb by a 5 year old was a honor indeed.

Several months passed by and I met up with my young Shepherd friend. “So Mr Wyatt, they tell me you have 2 lambs?”

“Oh no” he said “we have way more than that-it’s more like 50.”

“Have you named all of them?”

“No, just the first two sheep. Daisy and Kendra But they’re in with the other sheep and it’s hard to tell which one Kendra is. But I think for sure she had a baby.”

Wait. What?

I stopped by this week and met the flock myself and it’s indeed true.

Kendra is not a soft fluffy adorable lamb.

Kendra is a big fat ewe.

I’m thinking this piece of humble pie has a pretty strong mutton flavor,

Kendra

Farewell Photoshoot

Once upon a time there were 3 little cousins. A chocolate, a vanilla, and a strawberry.

And even though their mamas were sisters and best of friends-the boys didn’t really look alike. Except for their blue eyes-but those didn’t come from mama’s side of the family.

They loved going over the river and through the woods to visit Grandfather and Grammy.

Grandfather had the wildest games he’d play-like “man over the moon”-which was kinda scary until you were big enough to at least hold your head. But so much fun after you figured out that you’d actually survive.

But then something changed from just all being fun and games. (Isaiah isn’t too sure what to think about it)

The reality is life is full of change-but this one is gonna take some getting used to. (Uriah looks on in disbelief)

Sweet Baby A- all confidently optimistic… God asked his fam to move away for a season, to share His love with another community… and they are going.

Isaiah, his mouthful of crackers, and his enthusiastic hugs 😂

So we are soaking up all the hugs we can for a few days yet. 🥰

“Close together or far apart, you’re forever in my heart.”

Go with God-Nate, Deb, and my little Zanderman ❤️

I love you,

Kendra

Bonus Pics:

All of the pics from this post are by the talented Molly Suzanne. I’d bought a half hour photography session at a benefit auction and we had in mind a grandparent photo shoot before Alexander moved away. She did such a great job and captured everyone with ease (we even had extra time for pics with the ground crew-Deb and I) totally recommend.

Boone’s First Day of School 🐶 #Dogtales

Dear Reader- by way of clarification: There’s a new kid in town! Em’s dog Riv had a litter of pups and the Ben friend ended up with Boone and the Kennell’s adopted Ricochet. They are the most adorable yellow blurs of energy you’ve ever seen. But that’s enough of a spoiler alert. Until next time~KH

Dear Diary,

Today was the bestest day everrrrrr.

Dad got up early and opened my pen and told me to be a good boy as he headed out for a big day of trucking.

I did the usual-went out and peeled around the yard, watched the clouds float by, sniffed a few fence posts and then started in on my morning nap routine.

That was interrupted by Riv and Ricochet rocketing in the lane barking commands at Aunt Ken and her pickup to “go faster, go faster”

Before I knew it, I was loaded and heading for my very first day of school.

Me, looking all scholarly and stuff

I didn’t know what to expect, but when you go visit family-you’re going to see people you’re related to. So wouldn’t going to visit school mean seeing students?

Well I sure saw piles of them. They had taken over the entire pond and were fishing away. Occasionally Mr Kennell would have to go help with getting a fish off the line-so I’d go too. As fast as my little legs could take me.

We played some really cool games like a scavenger hunt where you needed to bring something soft, something rough, a piece of bark, a ladybug… (wait how many times have I heard-“stop buggin the lady!” Wouldn’t that make me a lady-bug?!) C’mon team- here I am-the answer to everything you’re looking for- just carry me to the finish line..

They played a 3 legged race thing that we dogs thought was really insensitive . Especially Detroit because he walks on 3 legs most of the time since his toe injury. But they hooted and laughed and hopped along- so I guess it was great fun.

We ate good food (well they did and we dogs were left to sniff out whatever we could find ). Way to soon it was time to go home.

I really liked that school thing.

Detroit says now that I’m educated, maybe I should consider helping with the reports from ranch security. But I don’t know, I think I’m better at this classroom stuff like giving out fishing instructions.

Yours until the cows come home, (without us having to give them a strong piece of bark)

Master Boone Rohrer M.D. [Main Dog]

Bonus Pics:

The twins came to watch the festivities with Alexander. They all agree that if school is hot dogs and fishing- count them in too.

Reuben Reuben I’ve Been Thinking #TabletoField

“I could eat a Reuben sandwich every day” -Sherman

Not everyone shares Sherms sentiment on this one (in fact Jul can hardly handle making these) but thankfully the harvest crew tends to be fairly open minded when it comes to food, so these have been showing up at the field more frequently.

We don’t always get warm sandwiches delivered to the job-but it certainly is a treat when it happens.

My mom’s sandwich typically follows the traditional Reuben idea: corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut (rinsed and heated on the stove) and thousand island dressing on rye bread and toasted to perfection.

The benevolent wife pulls out Sherms recipe and follows it. I have no idea where that recipe is from other than the A+ cookbook. I’m pretty sure Sherm didn’t create it himself, but I’ve been surprised before. Either way-it’s delicious.

And so healthy-ignore how much butter you’re using and just think about all the benefits from adding sauerkraut into your meal. 😂 Follow me for more diet plans. Haha

“Reuben, Reuben, I’ve been thinking what a sad world this would be. If [your sandwiches] were all transported, far beyond the Northern Sea…“

I never am quite sure how that song goes-is it a “sad world” or a “glad world?” Maybe it depends on which side of the sauerkraut argument you’re on.

Enjoy,

Kendra

Bonus Pics:

Because these little fellows are too precious these days:

Sweet Baby A so proud of himself sitting in his own little rocking chair.

There’s a carrot top who can barely walk
With a sippy cup of milk
A little blue eyed blonde with shoes on wrong
‘Cause he likes to dress himself…
Yeah one view I love the most
Is Jul’s front porch looking in

-Lonestar (with slight editing)

God Be With You Til We Meat Again 🥩

It’s official-Deb and Nate and sweet Baby A are moving to Alabama for a time of service with We Care Prison Ministry.

Spare moments are spent helping them prepare for the big moving day and just being together.

Last night was a very special evening.

Men from church put piles of time into a BBQ contest as a farewell for them. The variety and originality of the cooks was impressive. It was an amazing feast.

Trophies were given for appearance, flavor, and tenderness.

I felt like I got a trophy just by being included on the fun.

Children are so unpredictable- of all the places to enjoy a meat fest-why would you chose a doghouse? And the poor dog-if this wasn’t an example of “thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”😂

Such a gorgeous memorable evening.

Another highlight was celebrating the ending of soft pretzel month by meeting at the Farmers Market with special out-of-town guests. Nate’s mom flew in to see them before they move and his sister came along as a surprise.

This season is a whirlwind and I’m trying so hard to steel my heart for what’s coming, while still embracing today. It’s such a beautiful thing to see the brotherhood rally and support the Kennell’s as they follow God’s leading on their life. But change is never easy. I keep thinking about the lyrics from the Gaither’s “We Have This Moment Today”

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

Blessings,

Kendra

Bonus Pic:

And if I needed any more reminders about how briefly today’s moment lasts… Uncle Leon pulled out this gem and invited the Rhodes Family back to the cabin for round 2:

2002
2021

And finally-another rainbow/harvest pic because I can’t help myself

Final Call for Rolo Adrianna Rohrer 🐾 RIP Little Girl

Well folks, it’s me again, Detroit the main farm manager. And I have terrible sad news to break to you. Devastating. I’d rather fight off coyotes and a complete battery of strange vehicles, than to be at this point of my career. But here goes:

It was in the spring of the year when hearts bleed.

I never knew what a bleeding heart actually felt like. I mean they always grow at the corner of the house and the Mother Precious ( MP for short) around here always hollers if we smash them… Which they actually make a pretty comfy mattress but anyway where was I? Oh yes the heart bleed. Now I know what a bleeding heart feels like.

Our little Rolo girl crossed the rainbow bridge this morn.

Rolo has been my faithful brown eared little assistant for lots of years now-so many years I’ve lost count of how many. And I knew she wasn’t feeling great but none of us were prepared for the reality of what took place today. Recently when we would run surveillance around the farm she would complain about her old bones. But I guess I kinda had so many things on my mind that I tuned out how bad she was feeling. I am so glad that she’s not in pain anymore.

She was my best friend. And a fearless defender of our operation and it’s people. She would never back down no matter how big the groundhog was or how ferociously the coon would scratch or how scary the piece of plastic appeared. (She’d bark relentlessly)

She was faithful to come out no matter how late Kendra got off work and meet her at her vehicle and lick her which caused Kendra to growl (I guess she must not feel like being licked after a full day of work) *side note: Kendra feels bad about that now… But I told her at least she wasn’t like that Old Testament War General who vowed to sacrifice whatever met them when they returned from battle . I don’t know who he was expecting to come celebrate their return but it was his only daughter. Bad day. So while Kendra was a little grouchy at least she never sacrificed us. But anyhow Rolo loved truly even when she wasn’t always appreciated in return.

She was tough as nails, but she had a gentler more poetic side. Her most famous piece is found Here.

Thanks for everything, old pal. Rolo Adriana Rohrer we will miss you. This is your final call. Marked out of service April 29, 2021.

My deepest sympathy goes to Deb and the rest of the family.

With a bleeding heart,

The farm manager and the only remaining member of the security division,

Detroit Snappenbarker Mendoza

Em’s Italian Melts #TabletoField

Spring harvest is in full swing around here.

📸 credit: the merger guy

As always with the harvest crew-the number one discussion is food. Usually it starts about 10 am at the latest and snippets about the chuckwagon dot the conversation until that saint is spotted heading for the field.

With our crew-meals are always provided. A number of our farmer wives send food out (bless y’all). In fact-way back in the day I wrote a blog about how much a sandwich reflects the personality of the sandwich artist. (Find that here)

My mom and sisters cover whenever the farm we are working isn’t “meals included”. And they’ve gotten extremely creative. (I know,I’m spoiled)

Today’s helpers. Once they outgrow the bottles they might take my job ❤️

Today Em’s errand of mercy included feeding the crew. The Farmer’s wife was down with Covid, so we cut a wide berth around their house and blessed Em for filling in the gap 🙂 The sandwiches she made were a real treat ❤️

Em and Deb came up with the idea of running a #tabletofield series. I’m pretty sure they were joking, but I thought it sounded like a great idea. I honestly have no clue what it’s going to look like, but if it includes more delicious food-I’m game.

Packed lunches can really get in a rut. And although you might not find yourself needing to get 8 lunches out the door before the crew starves, we all find ourselves needing an occasional “on the go” option.

Em’s Italian Melt

10 Hoagie rolls
1 lb smoked Turkey breast thin sliced
1 lb ham
1 package sandwich pepperoni
Sliced Colby cheese
Spread Mayo on hoagies
Layer meats and add cheese
grill (or broil) until cheese melts

Add lettuce tomato and onion (sauté onions in butter with a dash of brown sugar)

Drizzle thin layer of Italian dressing over veggies

Wrap in plastic wrap for easy eating.

Stay tuned for more details on #tabletofield courtesy of “my mom and ‘em.”

Kendra

Part 2: An Answer to Dealing with Emotional Pain

A week ago I blogged about vulnerability (here) and although I didn’t spell it out literally- the question burning in my heart was “How do we process pain? We all carry some. And how do we support someone who’s pain is community news?” I ended my post with “I have no answers only conviction.”

Today I have an answer.

It’s crazy how it all worked, but God answered that blog.

I’m on an email list for a Sunday School commentary from Wendell and Laura (bless y’all) and occasionally they will add in a bonus sermon.
Sometime recently they sent a copy of the sermon “Dealing with Emotional Pain” by Phil Beiler (I’d love to email it to you if you’re interested) and I read all 15 pages. Twice.

Basically here’s the summary:
John 9: Jesus heals the blind man by spitting on the ground and putting the dirt on his face and sending him to wash it off. There’s a lot that happens in the next verses-they discuss whether or not he was born blind because of sin (Jesus says “no, he’s been dealing with this all these years so that God’s power can be made manifest thru this experience ) The man receives sight and immediately is rejected-first by his neighbors (“This is just someone who looks like the blind man.”) Then by the church officials – they listen carefully to his account and then say “can’t be possible, let’s talk to his parents.” The parents-because they feared their standing in the church-say “He was blind, but now he’s not. He’s an adult-ask him what happened.” So they go back to the man and instead of rejoicing with him over his miracle-they kick him out of church. And that’s when Jesus shows up again. “Do you believe on the Son of God?” And he says “Who is He that I might believe?” Jesus says “You’re talking to Him.” The formerly blind man said “Lord I believe” and he worshipped Him.

So what we have here is a man who’s entire life was surrounded by the pain of loss. A quick time line would be: Born blind with all those complications. Huge miracle of gaining sight. Tremendous loss of being rejected by everyone-friends, church, and family. At that point, Jesus finds him alone. He believes and worships.

Mr Beiler made a point I thought worth repeating “So, we forgive. Yet there is something there that doesn’t quite go away. Do you know what I am talking about? There is a pain there. It is one thing to forgive. But it is another thing – what do you do with that pain?”

Emotional pain is not a result of unconfessed sin in someone’s life. Rather it’s the reality of what’s left after a traumatic experience.

We all bear scars. Some scars are deep- the pain of complete rejection from people who should’ve stood by you. Some scars aren’t from someone’s choice to wrong you- but merely circumstances-like repeated health issues, or the pain of losing someone close to you through death.

So what now? What do you do when life’s circumstances and the pain that it involves shrouds your life like a heavy coat?

The answer is found in John 9:38 “and he worshipped.” Deep worship.

“Don’t do reasoning. Go by faith. Trusting God in faith you will find answers. You will find healing in worship.” -Phil Beiler


I heard the quote recently “God doesn’t waste pain-we can waste our pain, but God doesn’t.” I love that. We don’t often have a choice in emotional pain. But we can choose how to move forward. May it always send us running into the arms of Our Loving Heavenly Father with hearts ready to lay aside self, seeking to worship.

How Great is Our God that even in the most difficult moments of our lives, He’s able to take things intended for evil, and use them for good?

“Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside
Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me”

Let us worship.

Kendra