The Big Picture

I stopped at the top of the road and surveyed the scene before me.. The only sound I could hear was that of the traffic going down the mountian.. I imagined if all were silent, I could hear the clomping that only skates on ice make, an occasional shout and a the barking of a dog..


The scene is lovely.. Wintertime in the mountians.. White snow blankets everything, with a few gray mountian rocks showing up here and there.. The Evergreens add a splash of occasional green.. Far below me a lake is visible.. Snow and ice covered.. Creating a beautiful peaceful scene..

I love it. And I smile.. Because I know that even though all looks calm and still, far below me is a bustle of activity.. Energetic people are gliding and sliding, whirling and twirling, across the frozen surface.. Multiple vehicles are easing their way down the mountianside, eager to join in the sport.. Somebody is struggling to pull on a pair of skates.. A very friendly dog is running back and forth, making new friends.. A hockey game is in process.. A campstove is rolling and a few non-skaters are busy feeding the fire.. Thermos after thermos of hot chocolate are cooling off rapidly.. 🙂 Two little guys are learning to skate by pushing a bucket on the ice.. Everyone is enjoying a bonus from the cold weather- Skating on Switzer Dam.. In spite of the brisk wind- Praising our wonderful Creator..

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But none of these details are visible as I survey the big picture..

It good to take time to notice the details in the world around us.. Sometimes I need to be reminded to stop and pay attention to the details of what I’m in the middle of.. The upcoming wedding is the obsession around here these days.. It controls the majority of the conversation, most of the brain power, and a large portion of the free time.. And those of you who have encountered such an event, just smile.. I’ll confess- I had no clue- all the little details.. Trips to town to pick up important things, like purple napkins, and punch glasses.. Trial runs on different recipes.. One of my sensible friends was listening to my commentary and said ” Y’all are making so many memories..” That made me stop.. It’s so easy to be focusing on the main event, that I forget to enjoy the little details.. The special time-this is..

There’s also the other side of the ditch where details become so much a priority, that I forget the big picture.. But I’ll save that for another blog sometime..

So to Emily, who twisted my arm to venture outside whenever I thought Sunday afternoon was a good time for a nap.. “I hate admitting you were right.. But.. You were right.. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the mountians.. Thank you..”

And to Julia, “Thanks for including me in the prep for your special day.. Even though I act like this is a pile of unnessary work- this really is a special time.. And I wouldn’t miss it for any thing.. I’m so glad to help..” But I’m still wondering if eloping is good option.. 😉

And to Deborah, Please hurry home from Bible School.. I’ve missed you!

Bonus Pic:


Took some time to enjoy the day at the neighbors.. Snow fun..:)

Winter Wonderland

To our friends scattered to and fro,

Hello from the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.. I love warm weather.. I could go on and on about the glories of summertime.. But there’s something about a snow day that can’t be beat.  Recently we’ve heard forecast after forecast of snow and subzero temperatures to come.. Julia and Sherman are finally able to move all of their furniture out of our family room into their house. Thus allowing us to be able to access our wood stove.. So last night, as I returned to Paradise Lane I was greeted by the sight of smoke lazily drifting out of the chimney.. Mother was getting ready.. Would the snow come?

This morn, my alarm went off.. The suspense was mounting.. I was reminded of back in the day, whenever snow days meant a day home from school.. Julia was quick to assure me.. The Winter Wonderland was starting.. How exciting!

One of my friends has promised me a ride with her horse and sleigh, and finally today, I was able to scratch that one off the bucket list. The experience was unique. I loved it. Somehow the neighbors dog thought it his duty to run beside the horse and bark as hard as he could.. Silly dog.. We created quite the picture..The wind was cold and the snow stung my face.. We laughed at the thought of everyone peering out their windows (as the sound of sleigh bells and a Red Heeler barking, approached) trying to figure out who the frozen riders where.. Julia especially looked well frosted..

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I love to lose myself in my imaginations of days gone by and how picturesque and beautiful everything is.. But the wind was cold, and I was really thankful to pile in Jul’s Jeep, crank up the heat and tear for home.. Thanks Lora, for a one of a kind experience!!

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Mother- my favorite poetry queen- pulled this one up.. It described my feelings perfectly..

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

-Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

I did allow myself a little time to attempt to capture the beauty of the snow.. Since I had ditched the horse and the Jeep didn’t seem to mind waiting as I photographed the neighbor’s corn thats supposed to be drying down.. A few of the resident beef cows around here..

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Sleigh bells ring, Are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening.. A beautiful sight.. I’m so happy and blessed tonight.. I’m living in a Winter Wonderland!  Blessings to you -Kendra

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..

We’ve apparently started a new habit here on Paradise Lane. Its has been becoming a tendency for years, but here recently-it happens everynight.. When Detroit was little- I remember the first night I heard him bark- we were keeping horses that summer for a friend and somehow they got out.. Our juvenille watchdog sounded the alarm. What a good dog..

So he’d bark sometimes- but not excessively- a stray piece of ag bag plastic was on the premise, or a plastic bag.. Or a car was parked somewhere out of place.. Not quite as good of a dog..

But recently-the coyotes have been spotted running past the house, and a black bear.. which is reason to bark.. But my!! All night, every night? And both dogs at full capacity? And usually right beside our equipment shed, where the sound fills the shed, and amplifies, and our house practically vibrates.. Bad dog..


I’m not sure when the first time was that I heard this song.. Mother has sung it for years. I’m sure you recognize it from “The Sound of Music”..

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

So maybe it would be helpful to take this to heart.. “When the dog bites” (or barks).. I wonder if my parents think of this, as they, once again, experience the benifits of an over protective guardian.. “DETROIT! ROLO! FOR THE FIFTH TIME!! BE QUIET!!!!” Usually the war ends with the dogs being ushered into our garage to ponder their misdeeds in silence.. It must be hard to be so unappreciated..

What are your favorite things? I have quite a list.. *Mint tea in the summertime  * Hearing a song that brings another place and time to mind- trip down Memory Lane  *Random encouragement from a friend- whether its a note, a text, or a hand on my arm with a “How’s life?”  * The Bible verse a day app on my phone  *Riding along with the windows down  *A starry night  *Sitting in our livingroom and watching out the windows at snow swirling downward  *Parking equipment after a long hard day, and being so thankful for God’s provisions  * Fresh cookies  *A colorful sunset or sunrise

I could go on and on.. Maybe you have some to add too.. It’s good to look at the blessings.. Maybe that’s why it good to be awakened at night.. To stop and think over all the amazing things in my life.. God is so good.. “And then I don’t feel so bad..” Thanks Detroit and Rolo.. And they smile, and go back to their afternoon siesta.. After all, there’s work to be done come nightfall.. 🙂

Blessings on your week,


Bonus pic:

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It was cold this week.. Mother, Emily, and Julia got to enjoy some quality time on the ice..


This week marked the date for me to sign the dotted line and take possesion of a bit of land in Fort Defiance.. I’m so excited and thankful for God’s leading.. Pretty sure it may soon be added to my list of favorite things.. 🙂 Time will tell..

To Resolve or Not to Resolve?

“So what’s your New Year’s resolution?” I thought that was a perfectly innocent group question as we sat chatting away the few remaining hours of 2013.. But apparently I have become a person of suspect, as someone quipped.. “So are you dragging for a blog?” I promise my motives were pure.. But it was on my mind..

Statics got my mind going.. “Studies show” that 8% of people keep their resolutions.. 92% of us fall by the wayside, sometimes before we even start.. Frustrating! And the best way to persevere is to have the whole world hold you accountable.. Tell everyone, they suggest.. Post it, tweet it, blog it-I guess- so that the fear of everyone knowing that you are in the 92% catagory will propel you out of bed for that early morning jog, or whatever..

Hmm.. I’m still thinking.. Then Mother pulled out an article from the Progressive Dairyman.. Yevet Tenney has a wealth of wisdom on a lot of subjects.. I was not disappointed.. She pointed out that New Year’s Resolutions often boil down to “I want.. I want to have.. I want to do..” Where basically the object can very easily become glorifying ourselves.. Self promotion..  And so I quote her “I can’t really sit down and write resolutions like I used to. I can set goals to ask for transformation, but only God can change my life. Change is a daily pursuit of questions and still-small-voice answers. God will not tell me in January what person will need my help in February. He will not tell in March what adversity I may have to pass through, but He will provide the strength and the courage to do whatever I need to endure. The catch is, I must build my ability to listen day by day, so I will know what He wants me to do when He asks..” You never know what all you will find in a dairy magazine.. 🙂

Personnally, I think resolutions are a good thing. And just like Christmas is the perfect time to catch up with old friends, there’s something about the beginning of the year that seems like the appropriate time to re-evaluate and commit to changing the things in my life I’m not overly fond of..

So.. Should I tell you what my resolutions are? Then you could all pledge to text me once a week as my accountabilty partners.. Hmm.. Too complex for that.. Maybe you can ask me in person.. And if I’m among that 8% of people, I’ll be happy to discuss it.. 🙂


Blessings on your week,


Bonus pics:

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Bologna making project, that turned out fantastic..


With the beginning of the year, came major changes at our dairy.. As I sat at a friend’s place, leisurely drinking coffee, gazing out at the 27 degree snowy out-of-doors, at milking time.. Can someone remind me why I questioned if change was a good thing? 🙂 Praise God for His leading.. and His perfect timing..

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Julia’s bridal shower was this week.  Blessings to the ladies who worked so hard hosting a lovely evening.. 🙂 And to all who braved the snowy night to support Julia..