Mother’s Memorybook aka Recipebook

The past weeks I’ve been working on a project that I stuck on the back burner far too long.

My mom has a fairly extensive recipe book and somehow it was just way easier to text her whenever I needed a recipe rather than copying it down myself 🥴 but I’m attempting to remedy that.

What I wasn’t expecting with this project is the amount of traveling I’m doing here:

Suddenly I’m back at our Christian Day School: middleschool age. My mom and her friend Michelle concocted these treats for a hot lunch they brought to school over Easter. Mother’s hot lunches were always amazing.

Next stop I’m on Chincoteague Island with a group of girls, experiencing this incredibleness for the first time. Thankfully they shared the recipe and it’s been something we’ve pulled out for special occasions. Once being my first family vacation with the Rohrers. I still get nervous remembering 🙈 but it turned out ok- they decided to keep me 🥰

Speaking of the Rohrer’s keeping me- we served Glazed Carrots at our wedding. We got the recipe when Mother traveled along with me to an Amish wedding and somehow she got drafted onto carrot cooking detail for supper. [*note- we knew the brides family, don’t think that random people get pulled to cook at weddings lol] Mother and an Amish lady that she’d never met before were given orders to cook the carrots until done. Mother loves tendercrisp vegetables and apparently Amish Lady did not, because they made a round or two around the Carrot cooker: Mother thinking the carrots were plenty done and turning them off; Amish Lady thinking they weren’t mushy enough and turning the stove back on 😅 In the end, our team won though. Mother brought the recipe home and we’ve feasted on tender crisp carrots ever since. (Drop them in boiling water and cook them 7 minutes max)

March 5, 2022 Horst/Rohrer Wedding

So many memories are hidden in these pages: recipes I drug home from the field because the food the farmers wife sent was exceptional; recipes collected from Home Ec class; from all of my aunts including dear Aunt Thelma who’s now enjoying the bounty of Heaven…. Recipes from my sister’s in-laws; food from friends around the globe- this book contains a vast and varied collection. Just like the collection of experiences of my life.

As I peruse Mother’s recipes- I’m struck by several different emotions:

1. Gratitude: the bounty of the earth is ours to enjoy because of God’s graciousness towards us. I’m so thankful. Christian Aid Ministries newsletter touched on world hunger this week ( here) The delicious food we experience daily is not something to take forgranted.

2. Nostalgia: so so many incredible meals and along with that memories. My mom has spent her life faithfully pouring her love into those around her by serving delicious meal after meal. My grandmothers did the same.

If you’re in the trenches of motherhood- here’s a little encouragement to keep doing what you’re doing. Your faithfulness does not go unnoticed even if your daughter takes years until she fully appreciates it. 🙈

So thankful for my mother’s selfless giving and the influence of so many ladies like her,


Gatlinburg, TN

I googled “quotes about the Smoky Mountains” Our experience could be summed up well by one quote (and we visited during off season 😅):

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity. – John Muir

An ice and snow storm kept us out of the main pass, but the Smoky Mountains are beautiful!

Gatlinburg always shocks me a little. I’ve visited on several occasions, but this was the first time I’d stayed for more than a partial day and I was anxious to see if my initial perspective was my final call on the area.

Our motel was just a quick walk from the strip and we fought our way thru the crowds to be dazzled by the remaining “winterfest lights”

Howard’s Restaurant had the cozy mountain tavern vibe I was looking for. Delicious food in Gatlinburg’s oldest restaurant.

We found our way back to Pigeon Forge several times.

Paula Dean’s Family Kitchen superseded expectations.

The Dixie Stampede has been on my hit list for awhile. My major faux pas was not realizing that it had changed names. 🥴 A friendly clerk asked in passing what our evening plans were and I off-handedly said “Dixie Stampede!” She corrected me “you mean the Dolly Stampede” “No, the Dixie Stampede” “The Dolly Stampede” and so she and I stood there saying “Dixie” and “Dolly” until I realized that we both had the same place in mind. Oooops. I wasn’t trying to argue or push an agenda. Anyhow all that to say- I’m glad I got to experience the DOLLY stampede. Very memorable evening.

I love my souvenir from Smoky Mountain Knife Works. I have a collection of miniature things in my kitchen and I’m excited to add “the worlds smallest folding knife” to the collection-folded up it’s about the size of my finger nail.

And can you go the the Smokies without dressing up for a picture? Happy early anniversary to us 🥰

Gatlinburg/ Pigeon Forge treated us well. If you’re going-expecting a quiet mountain getaway, where the old men and coon dogs sit on the front porch of the general store and swap stories- you’ll be like me: disappointed lol

If you’re looking for lots of good food, big crowds, and plenty of unique amusement rides, rush on down.

To quote Ben “this feels less like vacation and more like…!”

Parts of Isaiah 55: 1. Come, all you who are thirsty,come to the waters, and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! 6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you…



Tracing my Family’s Roots

“It’s cold in here” I took a break from my phone and announced

Ben looked at me with amusement “It’s because you’re wandering around in the ice age”

And it’s true- Deborah messaged us crowing about her newly achieved favorite daughter status “Did you know that in the 1731 Father’s great-great-great-great-great-great grandad was buried at sea on the way to America leaving a wife and 3 sons? Someone shared this app the family tree and I’ve been knee deep in genealogy ever since.” (Android users, this is not your link-but don’t despair, just search “the family tree” or FamilySearch Tree in your App Store. I had a little trouble getting my family to pop up, but Deborah says it searches obituaries, so once I added info from my grandparents who have passed, it dug up all my info)

I couldn’t let Deb be the only one who was up on family history, so I set myself up a free account and followed Fathers line back as far as it went. I sorted thru all the different stories- lots of Dukes and the random couple (that lived 0586-0650 that decided to become a monk and nun after they had their second son. Grandmonk couldn’t be excused from his service for king at the time, but Grandnun became a nun at Treves. Towards the end of their life, they had to meet to settle some affairs and she was so concerned that he would fall back in love with her, that she shaved off her hair as a deterrent. It worked- he was horrified. Hmmmm

I kept going to until I came to Quintus Sulpicius de Rome 0060 BC, Roman Empire… unreal! “Romans” Nate spit in disgust when I called Deb to compare notes. My mind is just blown to imagine my grandfather a few times removed could’ve been the soldiers marching thru Jerusalem attempting to keep peace.

So that’s what I found about my dad’s family. He’s a skeptic as to the accuracy of this.

But on my mothers side of the family… I haven’t found that her pedigree (that’s what the app calls it and it makes me feel like I’m researching dairy cows or Labrador retrievers) goes back to the Roman Empire- but it’s equally as colorful. Grandpa Sir Hugh Montgomery was over in Ireland storming around in the late 1500s and got involved in the feud between Clan Montgomery and Clan Cunningham. He chased a Cunningham that had offended him clear to Holland where he combated him with a sword. A supposedly deadly blow was deflected by Cunningham’s belt buckle, and Grandpa ended up in jail until he broke out with the help of a Scottish soldier. Grandpa Montgomery “received a reprimand from King James but was soon back in favour.” Fact or fiction 🤷🏻‍♀️

And then I put a puzzle piece together that perfectly explains my nephews: Ragnar ‘Loðbrók’ Sigurdsson Danish King of Lethra, Russia Supposedly my moms family is from this well know Viking king. When I googled him I hope that the nephews don’t try out his warfare strategies, but sometimes when I’m trying to talk to my sisters on the phone I can understand what a Viking attack sounded lol Just kidding.

So is there merit perusing these stories of ancient days? I went to Scripture to be reminded again that God encouraged telling stories from generations to generations.

Joshua 22:28 Therefore we said that it will be, when they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say, ‘Here is the replica of the altar of the Lord which our fathers made, though not for burnt offerings nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between you and us.’

Psalms 78:4 We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.

Psalms 22: 30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. 31 They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!

Conclusion: 2 things: 1. These verses are instructions for families to tell stories from generation to generation about how God had moved. I’m not sure that Viking or Clan Montgomery were the type of stories that fall into that category. Or even the nun/monk ancestors. Who raised their sons after she joined the convent? 🤔

2. Today matters! If the world stands and in 200 years someone is reading a paragraph on my life, my legacy is important and it’s up to me-today- to chose what it says.

My cousin Marj came to visit and summed my life up in a coffee cup and I love it. But I hope my life is more than my garden or our farm, or a blog that keeps my family on pins and needles about what I’m going to post next.

I pray that my life paragraph states a strong faith in the goodness of God.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his powerthat is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!


Kendra Horst Rohrer, distant daughter of so many people; current daughter of the Everlasting King

Sweet Home Alabama

Last week was great.

Baby Gid, Julia, Em and I hopped in a car and sailed south.

Gideon was a trooper who rode more contentedly than some of the rest of us (I won’t mention any names)

And 12 hours later, we rolled into Atmore, Alabama.

Nate had a Thrift Store Conference, so he was out of town for most of our stay. I’m guessing he was a little relieved to miss his sister in laws taking over the house.

Immediately upon arrival, Alexander took over the entertaining. Here he’s offering me a motorcycle ride to Pensacola. I could ride “right here” in front of him and he promised to drive slow lol how could I refuse?

Gideon and Maria became fast friends and had their aunts swooning at their adorable little conversations.

Even though the Sunny South didn’t charm us with its warmth this round, we did adventure a little. Em’s birthday treasure hunt led us to the Gator Boardwalk in Spanish Fort.

It was too cold to see any gators, but we found a treasure box, and we spotted some pretty cute kids.

We found more treasure at the Hiding Tree at Blakey Historic State Park

The History was pretty interesting. They fought one of the last major battles of the Civil War here hours after General Lee had surrendered in Appomattox. Supposedly Confederate Soldiers hid in this tree after the Fort fell.

The hanging tree was another somber scene from yesteryear.

Exploring the swampland was a definite highlight.

And here’s a pic of all of us to prove the trip actually happened.

For years, I’ve admired a local family and their ability to win at the long distance game. The Oren Heatwole family lives in a number of different states, but they manage to get together for a week every year as a sewing retreat. They’ve figured out how to thrive.

Having family out of town is tough. There’s no way to sugar coat this reality. But I’ve thought about the Heatwole’s and am inspired by their example. Maybe once a year, my sisters and I need to prioritize a getaway.

But atleast for this year, there was no sewing involved-just lots of baby snuggles. But what a treat that was.

“Our roots say we’re sisters, our hearts say we’re friends.” And for this fact, I’m grateful.


Bonus Pic:

Every year at the School Fundraiser, a local man donates coupons for his famous Chicago style deep dish pizza. It was such a treat to get in on the feast that Deb and Nate had purchased.

God’s goodness for 40 years ❤️👰🏻🤵🏻

14,600 days ago… or 480 months… or 40 years ago marked the beginning of our family. Eldon and Joyce got married!

Mother often tells us about the snow on their wedding day and how the one guest stated she would be there “even if she had to walk there…in boots!”

There aren’t many pics from the event, so the ones we have are extra special.

Just look at them 🥰

40 years is enough time to see a lot of hardwork, health issues (not cancer or any worst case scenarios, but definitely enough time spent in waiting rooms), and disappointments.

40 years is enough time to enjoy my dad’s special blend of humor, my mom’s good cooking, lots of incredible blessings and memories.

40 years is a gift.

I dropped some flowers off that I’d picked up at the grocery store (“Some assembly required” I told my florist Mother) and asked what wisdom she had to share after 40 years. Soon we were knee deep in reliving the past.

Life is hard. No one is exempt. But the goodness of God is far greater than whatever valleys we encounter.

40 years, 4 daughters, 4 grandsons and one Miss Maria. (Missing the youngest 2 grandchildren here/ We definitely need an updated family picture.)

I’m so thankful that God gifted their love to us. I’m thankful that their commitment to God and each other has stood for 350,640 hours + . God is good and we are thankful.

As I’ve heard my dad sing every January 22 ever since I can remember “Darling happy anniversary!” He’s the king of creating different lyrics to fit the occasion, and it’s always a surprise when I look up lyrics and it’s just how he sang it-lol-

Darling, happy anniversary
Another year of love has gone by
Thank you for each day you give to me
My darling, happy anniversary

Psalms 16: 5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Luv y’all,


Bonus Pics:

It so happens that I remember both my Rhodes and Horst Grandparents 40th anniversary’s. We took pictures and in my 4 year old mind, it was a big deal.

The entire Stanley Horst family

Reuben and Margaret Rhodes and grandchildren

Chief Snow Cloud’s Treasure Hunt

Isaiah 45: 3 I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

This verse is the perfect backbone to my current obsession. My prayer is that the energy I’m pouring into these pet projects leaves the recipients feeling loved. The kind of love that points us to our Heavenly Father who calls us by name.

I’m all about treasure hunts these days. Ben’s family got together yesterday and since I’m up to my elbows in Em’s birthday celebration treasure hunt, it was easy to throw together a 10 stop hunt for the nieces and nephews.

One idea lead to another and soon we had 10 very carefully articulated letters from Chief Snow Cloud to his tribe. Apparently his son “Ice Storm” was going thru a very sloppy stage and much to his father’s dismay, he keeps leaving things everywhere.

That boy forgot a garden trial in a hollow stump and planted Osage orange fruit (that looked suspiciously like the green baseballs that Isaiah had helped me collect out of the soybean field next to the ball field last fall) in the middle of the winter in a sandy area (the forgotten sandbox). “What can we do with him?” Questions Chief

I had to chuckle a little when the Chief stated : “Snowman should hunt without snacks, we warrior men prefer pemmican, but hunting has been scarce recently. Share the extras with the papooses” Mozzarella Cheese sticks for the win.

The hunt went hither and yon around the property and included nursery rhymes like “the eensy weensy spider”; “well house” written in code; various poems and riddles: “when it’s cold outside, I can’t be beat. Light me up and then make a toasty treat.”

Dad has an outdoor fire pit and I was going to hide the next clue right in the middle of it… until I noticed they were moving firewood in prep for a fire. 😅 The hunt almost hit a dead end right there.

The children were tremendous sports and I showed up occasionally in the shadows as they rushed back and forth. But they solved the clues rapidly and without assistance from Chief Snow Cloud’s Scribe.

The grand finale treasure was 11 sets of Oriental Trading kits that I’d found at a consignment store for a grand total $.79. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a treasure hunt fun. 🙂

Unfortunately the dream catcher that I helped Julie make looked more like it caught nightmares.

But Jasmine’s buckskin purse turned out more like what I’d envisioned the end results to be.

Family is the actual treasure.

Chief Snow Cloud and Scribe, KR

Bonus Pics:

I over bought mozzarella sticks for another project and I had a blast using the ones that didn’t get turned into snowmen into these little guys.

I told Ben I was going to have “my ducks in a row” for family day and he mildly stated “you mean your penguins” 😂 we all marched in together.

My dad has been on a spree about wanting oysters on the half shell, so he arranged a party at the Bagger’s Shop.

Ben and Sherm were quite experienced with such a feast, and the rest of us caught on quickly. I hope I don’t have to wait another 36 years until I get in on this kind of fun.

This was more of a treasure wait than an treasure hunt-lol but we stood around and waited while the oysters cooked in their shell until they started to pop open. We scooped the treasure off onto saltine crackers. Then we searched around through a variety of seasonings to add: old bay, cocktail sauce, Parmesan cheese, butter, lemon juice, hot sauce…

A very different type of experience from crafting with the nieces, but definitely highly recommend.

Charcuterie Carry in Celebration

30 years ago today was a big day for me. My parents dropped Julia and I at Uncle Fred’s and we settled in for a stay.

I remember I kept busy out in their new chicken houses and doing whatever a 6 year old does whenever she’s visiting cousins until the call finally came: a girl “Emily Renee” was added to our household. What a gift she is!

We started celebrating early. Em got the idea to host a charcuterie carry in with family and friends. It was amazing!

Google gave me this explanation about the charcuterie rage: “The term “charcuterie” refers to the preparing of cured meats, like prosciutto, bacon, salami, etc., but these days when people say charcuterie, they are usually referring to a fun, meat and cheese board that typically includes cured meats, a variety of cheeses, crackers, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and dipping sauces”

A carry in goes a step further because the sky is the limit. Just bring a platter filled with something. And wow our guests delivered!

As I watched the beautiful and unique boards roll in the door- I thought “there’s no way we’ll eat all this” but the boards emptied surprisingly fast.

Everyone had gone to so much effort and it was so much fun to see the creativity!

A taco board, beautiful fruit platters, dessert boards, traditional charcuteries..

As I wandered down the table trying to soak up the 20+ boards before the crowd descended on them, I couldn’t help but imagine that this is is a small taste of what the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will be like. Did you ever think about what food in Heaven will be? I’m wondering if mushroom soup and gourmet potatoes will be passed away, and we’ll feast on whole foods like we did Thursday eve. Delicious and beautiful.

Pinterest gives unlimited ideas and when I came across a charcuterie house, I couldn’t help myself. Admittedly the pepperonis gave me heart burn because they wanted to slide off the roof, but watching the delight of the children made the extra effort worth it.

We hosted the party at the church/school combo where Sherman’s worship and the twins were so excited to see us “at mine’s church!!!” When I pulled out the olive penguins for my house Isaiah won the quote of the day: “Never me see a bird at mine’s church! Get that bird out of mine’s church!” 😂 What a zealot! 😂❤️

After the food, we moved upstairs to another type of a smorgasbord. Emily has a bunch of musician friends and they entertained us well into the night.

What a unique fun evening!

Celebrating Em is just beginning though. For the last several months I’ve been plotting a treasure hunt for her. I’ll post more on that later, but for now, if you have any good ideas of ways to understand how your sisters brain works-I’m sure she’d appreciate it 😂

Here’s the birthday girl this morning, fresh off of a sleepless 24 hour shift at her fire and rescue job- discovering the hidden treasure in her old barn. One treasure down, a few more to go 😆💪🏼😂 More on this project later 😉

She’s the actual treasure. Happiest of birthdays, Em!

Luv you,


Ice Bells

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on Earth, good will to men

And the bells are ringing (peace on Earth)
Like a choir they’re singing (peace on Earth)
In my heart I hear them (peace on Earth)
Peace on Earth, good will to men

I heard about the bells on Christmas Day… thanks to Philip and Myrna. I’d never heard of ice bells before. But apparently they form when the water levels of the creek are high and dropping and the temperatures are cold.


Em and I trudged up and down the banks of Muddy Creek attempting to capture the intricate beauty.

“This is what I love about winter.” I commented “so much of it, I hate. But then there’s these super unique things like this that show up. This is incredible!”

“I have to make myself go outside. Then it’s incredible… but if I just stay inside- I drive myself crazy” Em added.

And then suddenly the bells ceased. Ice still lined the shore, but no bells.

“What makes the difference?” I pondered out loud “Oh wait I get it- the more turbulent the water, the more elaborate and beautiful the bells!!”

“I can hear a blog post coming on” said Em

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty, instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

The same Hands that decorated the creek side with this elaborate beauty can take whatever the rough waters are you’re traveling through and exchange it for something beautiful. “A crown of beauty instead of ashes”

Honestly it’s a little hard for me to fathom that God is so powerful that even the hardest things in our lives He can use for good if we surrender it to Him.

So if you find yourself in the rough waters- take courage! Through our difficult experiences, God often equips us for a very specific ministry, if we allow Him to work in us. “Better not Bitter” can be easier said than done. But it’s a blessing to witness this lived out.

And can I just say, to the Ice Bells who’ve impacted my life: Bless you for being vulnerable and allowing your rough waters to become a thing of beauty enough to inspire those around you!

Beauty for Ashes/ Ice bells for Bitter cold… Thank you Jesus!


Bonus Pics:

The birthday train arrived yesterday for these eager 3 year olds 😂 The cake has been a hot topic for weeks. There’s so many possibilities for cakes and so few of birthdays 😂

The delight of a child is so precious. Somehow they were able to keep up their excitement over all of the Christmas AND birthday gifts 😂💪🏼

The Thrill of Hope

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about hope this Christmas. The following is a version of a quick write up I did for our church’s blog:

I slid out of the shelter of our warm car into the dark night. The cold air hit me in the face. I paused for a brief second and took in the stars in the clear night sky. “Wow!” I thought “when was the last time Ben and I went somewhere on a Sunday night? I’m actually alive again!” And then I hurried to keep up with my husband heading toward the CCA School Gym for their Chorale Program.

The year of 2022 for me has been some incredible highs and some pretty significant lows. Obviously getting married and enjoying settling into a new role has been a high.

My health took a turn in May and I’ve struggled ever since. Finally in November we discovered a misdiagnosis and after a routine gallbladder removal surgery, I feel my old self returning.

I am so excited and thankful!

But as I’m rebounding, I’m looking at the Kendra from a month or two ago and I’m realizing the difference in the despair/hopelessness I was combatting versus now. It sounds dramatic to say I was at a place of “no hope” but we weren’t getting answers and I was thoroughly discouraged.

Hope surges through me- maybe I won’t be stuck in those holding patterns of no energy, pain, and uncertainty, forever. Thank you, Jesus!

So many friends have come beside us during this time and prayed fervently and God has answered those prayers. This season of HOPE is extra meaningful to me.

Hope according to Oxford means “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.”

And scripture is full of exhortations to hope:

Psalms 42:11 ~Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Romans 5: 3-4~ Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Romans 12:12 ~ Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

While I’m guessing your list of highs and lows in ‘22 will look differently from mine, I’m sure there are reasons for joy and reasons to long for hope. Whatever your low is, don’t despair. You are not alone. Our loving Heavenly Father wants to walk through it with you and offer you HOPE!

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining

It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth



Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!

O night divine, O night when Christ was born

O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!

O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!

Romans 15:13 ~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Praising Him,


Bonus Pics:

My Dollar Tree decor reminds me to hope every time I walk through the door. Also it was 0° this morning. We’re hoping for a warmer new year 😂

Merry Christmas from our home to yours! Thanks for tagging along and being interested in our lives ❤️

Go Rest High on That Mountain

The dairy farm that I grew up on was at the foot of “Paradise Mountain“ in a little valley known as “Eden Valley”.

Moving away from that immediate area made me realize that every neighborhood has a mayor. Sometimes that position is self appointed, sometimes it just happens. Eden Valley was no different.

The Shank family has been our neighbors for as long as I can remember. My first definite memory of them was going to supervise the cleanup of a wagon that had rolled during chopping season. (Julia takes time to smile for the press, I’m too focused on the task at hand for such things 😂)

Mr Galen lived smack in the middle of Eden Valley and was the best neighbor you could wish for. If we had a mayor- it was him.

I have so many memories of their trusty Dodge pickups rolling in to move cows to town for us, or hauling load after load of straw to other farmers.

Mr Galen loved to travel and during harvest, we’d spend hours in the field chatting about whatever car tour he’d just been on. Or what part of the West he’d recently explored. I loved his stories of traveling in the Rocky Mountains.

Mr Galen was a true gentle giant. He was the first neighbor that I called when our silo was collapsing (full story Here) I knew that the calamity we were facing was going to require reinforcements. And roll in they did. I love this pic- Mr Galen and Mr Maynard were sighting in the silo’s movement and when it started to shift significantly- they warhooped and Father and his JCB roared off to the sidelines to safety.

At the cleanup the next day, Mr Galen’s dad- Norman wanted to help. So Mr Galen brought a four wheeler, and ice cream sandwiches and his dad was kept busy handing out treats to the volunteers.

But most memories don’t come with pictures. Mr Galen took my dad aside right before Julia’s wedding to address the elephant in the room “Eldon, I feel TERRIBLY sorry for you! You’ve got a big job ahead of you- giving away a daughter is so hard…”

Another conversation he had with Father, as his dad was slowing down after he’d turned 90… “I tell you, I don’t want to live to be that old..”

And today, Mr Galen got his wish.

Go rest high on that mountain
Son your work on earth is done
Go to heaven a-shoutin’
Love for the Father and the Son

We will miss you, friend. Your cheery smile, friendly wave, your sense of humor. You showed us by example of how to be a great neighbor. And your stories will be retold in our family for as long as I’m around.

Thanks for watching our little valley… We will take it from here.


Kendra for the Horst family