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



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:


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.”


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.


Puppy Dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails
And puppy-dogs’ tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.

Uriah Ray 💙
Isaiah Stan 💙
Alexander Wade 💙

My little buddies and Aunt Em’s puppies-what a combo 🥰

And lest it seem like these pics came without hassle-there are about 200 pics that are some version of this : 🙈😂

This season of life is so precious. We are soaking up these days, knowing that they are over far too soon.

Luv you buddies,

Aunt Ken

Bonus pics:

Ruff day? I still lick you a lot.

Part 1: Vulnerability-is it worth the risk?

The story goes of a couple on a flight home that hit extreme turbulence. The plane tossed and pitched and dropped. Suddenly the young boy seated next to them turned and said “Can you help me? I’m sixteen and this is the first time I’ve flown alone and I’m really struggling with a panic attack right now.”
The Mrs without hesitation said “Hi I’m Mrs and this is Mr and for the next 50 minutes, we’re going to be your best friends. That was so brave of you to tell us what your dealing with! So tell us about your school…”
And so it went-they discovered a common interest in music and chatted the flight away. Because the young man was strong enough to admit weakness/ brave enough to be vulnerable

I’ve been kicking that story around in my head all week. And then my sweet friend Jeanette posted a beautiful poem about rose pruning on her blog. As I read it I saw so much truth and saw so many times when I’ve failed to show Jesus to the vulnerable… (read the entire blog here) but here it is in part:

So it is in life, and sometimes we see
A life that looks bare and bleak
No blooms to charm, no fruit to admire
We deduct that they must be sick.

For surely the Master Gardener
In all of His wisdom grand
Would never have pruned the branches back
With such a heavy hand.

Unless there were some disease inside
That rendered it almost dead.
If it were a healthy bush, would not
He let it grow instead?

So we pass by on the other side
Lest we be infected too.
With the plague we are sure our brother has
When really we have no clue.

Perhaps the fruit in our brother’s life
Is prime for the Master’s use
So He wields the shears with a tender hand
So the fruit will grow more profuse.

But we walk by with our heads held high
Pointing fingers to find the blame
For the things gone wrong in our brother’s life
And murmuring “What a shame.”

Maybe instead, when our brother is down,
We could let him know we care.
Or take his hand and join with him
Intreating our God in prayer.

As we learn and grow together
In wisdom and in years
Let’s not draw back in horror
At the work of the Masters shears.

When all we can see are the thorny stalks
Let’s remember the lovely rose
It has to be pruned, to prepare for June
When that sweet, sweet fragrance flows.
-JMD 2021

How often do we add pain to the already broken? Why is it that when someone shows up truly hurting that we feel like we have to fix and psychoanalyze what went wrong-when all we are called to do is to share Christ’s love, mercy, and grace.

On the other side of the coin-Where is the balance between being vulnerable and sharing too much info (oh dear, here comes that sad row again🥴)

Oh God forgive us-for throwing stones when the weight of sorrow and shame already feels too much to carry; for painting unrealistic pictures of perfect unapproachable lives when the reality is-there’s pain within us all; for completely missing chances to walk beside the hurting helping carry their load and show them Jesus.

I have no answers. Only conviction.

Ease someone’s pain today, show them you care.


Bonus Pics:

Lake Seneca of the Finger Lakes

My recent travels have contained a fair amount of variety 🙂 It feels good to be on the road again.

Mt Storm, WV

Mother Natures best April Fool’s Joke- snow squalls the entire day.

Tidal Basin, DC

I’d hoped that the lack of crowds at the Cherry Blossoms would make parking easier on my way home from an early morning airport run… no such luck.

And finally… Easter morning Sunrise. Christ is RISEN! So thankful that no matter how heavy the pain is, or how bad we fail- His Mercies are new every morning. Great is His Faithfulness. ❤️

Just Floored

Or maybe the better title for this post would be “It is finished” (Ben friend with the puns going strong over here 😂)

Either way- I’m super thankful the past 2 weeks are behind us.

Ben’s new house is a small ranch style house from the 60s with lots of hardwood flooring and lots of oak trim. And while it has all stood the test of time, it became pretty obvious to us on the first trip thru that it needed a face lift.

The floors were dull and chipped and dirty.

I’d always heard that it was worth your money to hire a professional right out of the gate. (In fact the winning joke we heard when we asked a group of friends if they had experience refinishing flooring was “the most important thing I’ve found for using to refinish floors is the telephone”)

But Ben’s dad had a fair amount of experience with working on school floors, so we waded in.

We rented a sander from the hardware store for 24 hours and chased that thing relentlessly across the living room, down the hall, through the laundry room and 2 bedrooms… back and forth, over and over until dust practically settled on my brain and I lost track of which room I’d sanded last.

We took a hand sander to hit the spots that needed a bit more attention. And hoped we’d done enough.

And then Rohrer Floor and More took over.

Progress 🤞🏼🙏🏼

I’m overjoyed at the finished product. And I can’t believe that we were able to pull this one off ourselves with the help of family (bless y’all)

Somehow I don’t foresee us becoming the next Chip and Joanna but we are definitely 1-0 with a happy homeowner.

Blessings to you in your new home, Ben ❤️

Bonus Pics:

Our neighbors got in a 2 story modular recently and it was super neat to see how rapidly the house went together. It went from straight dirt to all the pieces into place in about 24 hours.

Grandfather has decided the twins are old enough to go with him everywhere. Usually they have to take turns. Julia commented that it’s like she’s back in her childhood whenever Father drops off a thirsty, hungry, exhausted boy and says “that took longer than I was expecting” 😂 ah, the good Ol days- been there,survived that. ❤️

Recently I travelled to PA with a group of ladies (and Sweet Baby A). We watched Esther at Sight and Sound. Such a powerful reminder that “everyone has a story” “perhaps you were born for such a time as this”. Definitely worthwhile time spent.

March Madness and the Winner of the Giveaway

To our friends scattered to and fro:

The last few weeks have gone past in a whirlwind. If there’s one pic that describes me while my mom was on vacation it’s this:

I love the chance to be Aunt Ken and babysit my little buddies.

In other news-my Ben friend save the day again.

I thought I could save money by varnishing the rough plywood in the upstairs at the cabin. Terrible idea. I worked and stressed and slaved and never felt like it was clean. So now we have laminate flooring and all is peace in the neighborhood.

The other huge deal from this past week involves my Ben friend again:

We have a new neighbor. It just so happens that it’s the poultry farm less than a mile from us 😉 I’m so excited for Ben and just so thankful for the ways that God has provided.

This opportunity has truly been the Hand of God. Maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime. But for now-I’ll just testify that Gods timing is perfect. All praise to the One “who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think”.

I don’t know what door you find yourself waiting in front of, but I encourage you to take heart. God will provide in a beautiful way when the time is right.

Trust Him,


Bonus Pic:

The Giveaway was so much fun. I loved reading all your comments. Julie Horst is the winner and I’ll be sending a copy of “The Covid Cow” her way. Thank you all who entered.

Covid the Cow Goes West Giveaway

I don’t know if you remember the Covid Cow who popped up randomly on our western adventures last year.

But he’s back-with his own twist on all the fun.

Petrified Forest

I put together a short children’s story including a lot of random facts about the places we visited. Example: the steam from Old Faithful is as hot as your mom’s oven (350° F).

My goal was to gift the book to the children of the family we traveled with as a fun little memory. So I only printed a few.

But I have one extra that I’d love to giveaway.

So if you’re somewhere in the US- comment something about one of your favorite children’s books (past or present) on this post and I’ll announce a winner March 7. (Sorry but international shipping isn’t an option)

Sequoia National Park

Covid the Cow and I wish you luck 😘


P.S Naming our mascot Covid was not a solid plan. I’ll never forget walking through a crowded national park and suddenly realizing how we sounded: “Hey do you have Covid?”

“Yep, sure do”


Rejoicing Over the Lost Glasses

Luke 15:8 (with slight adjustments) “Or suppose a woman is working in a chicken house immediately before leaving on a trip to Florida, and somehow her only pair of glasses slips from her pocket. Doesn’t she light a flashlight, walking the house multiple times and search carefully under 60,000 birds until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, her daughter summons her friends and neighbors and she says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my glasses which were lost.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents

It’s true- my parents migrated to Florida and directly before the migration, Mother was helping Em in her chicken house. The temp change from the current Arctic Circle we are living in to the inside of the chicken house is significant and caused her glasses to fog up. So Mother hurriedly stuffed them in her pocket and went about her chores aaaaaaand realized about 3/4 of the way around the outside of the 600 ft house that she’d lost something important.

Praise the Lord on the 3rd round of retracing her steps, the lost was found and after a good scrubbing-the glasses were heading south.

My parents, the famous glasses, a gulf sunset, and “our first ever selfie”

My Ben friend brought my dreams of seeing Blackwater Falls in the wintertime to life this past weekend. It was even more gorgeous than I’d imagined. Bless him 🥰

Just wow. Thank you Jesus for creating such beauty ❤️

It was also more of a health hazard than I’d imagined. All 200 steps were covered with a snow ice glaze that made them very treacherous.

Our travel companions created quite a stir as Deb hauled Sweet Baby A along with ease. What an adventure.

The ice snow glaze over the entire countryside turned the world into the most gorgeous place and made our travel breathtaking.

I’m so thankful to have a Heavenly Father who cares about little things like lost glasses, and a girl’s dreams of seeing a mountain waterfalls in the wintertime and provides the right thing at the right time.

Thanks for rejoicing with us,


Bonus Pic:

Same Day in Feb, Same sweet nephews, Different year 💙💙