A Little Cutie Shower

I'm not a very visually creative person, but with the help of Pinterest and the Internet in general, I can sometimes pull off something amazing. :) Three weeks ago, my daughters and I threw a baby shower for my niece. I really wanted to make it special, so I went to Pinterest and got all sorts of ideas. Thanks to my daughter Kate, who knows how to make a balloon arch, and my friend Brian, who...
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Anna Helmuth’s Best Household Tips

A message from Anna Helmuth, Amish fraa, mater, and mammi and irrepressible matchmaker in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill books. Vie gehts, everybody? As a mater of 13 children, I’ve learned a lot about cooking and cleaning over the years. Here are some tips I’ve picked up. To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. Not that I’ve ever seen a...
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Kindness, Part 2

Recently I posted a story from my dad about German prisoners of war coming to his father's farm to work. Now I want to share a story written by my mom. I hope we all remember kindness instead of anger, judgment, or blame: One year, when I was a teenager, my dad had a good crop of alfalfa.  Because of the extra money he made from selling it, he was able to buy a new tractor for the farm. Up to...
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A Little Kindness Goes All the Way Across the Ocean

There is so much unkindness in the world. People act like bullies online, with no consideration that there might be a human being on the other end. We've lost the ability to discuss our disagreements in a civil and kind manner, and it makes me so sad. But good people all over the world can change that if we just take the time to understand each other and choose kindness instead of judgment and...
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A Father’s Wisdom

| By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer's father| My father was wise. He told me that complaining serves no useful purpose. And nobody wants to hear my complaints. If I was in a situation that I did not like, I should either get out of it or change it, but in no way should I complain about it. We experience these situations almost daily. It is either something that I created or a situation that I have...
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A Daughter’s Truth by Laura Bradford

| By Laura Bradford | Greetings! Jennifer was kind enough to invite me here today to tell you a wee bit about my newly released women’s fiction novel, A Daughter’s Truth. For me, A Daughter’s Truth is about those moments in life that come out of nowhere and shake us to the core, leaving us to wonder who we are and how we will keep going. Sometimes, as is the case for Emma Lapp, that big...
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Anne and Spud

| By Anne Gappmayer, Jennifer's mother | A few years after WWII, I was in sixth grade when I met Spud. He was the new kid at our school. Spud was big and husky and quickly became known as a bully. He was constantly beating up other boys, pulling girls’ hair, taking things away from kids, and generally making a nuisance of himself. One warm spring day I was walking on the playground with a...
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Horses on the Farm

| Written by Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer's father, age 82 | Every farm needs a few horses, either to ride, pull the wagon and the cultivator, or to look at. My father had them for all three reasons as well as to talk about them with his neighbors. He had a real gift with the horses. He loved them, respected them, and took good care of them. One of the biggest jobs with horses was to break them to...
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Easy Huckleberry Pie

If you live on Huckleberry Hill, you eat a lot of huckleberries. Here is a sweet, mild recipe for huckleberry pie from my friend Lori Peterson. My son helped me make pies one day. (He is a very nice son.) The directions are very straightforward. The hardest part about making most pies for me is the crust. My friend Lori goes to Idaho every summer to pick huckleberries. Then she brings them home...
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