A Shout of Triumph

I might as well admit this. At first I wasn’t overly excited about the eclipse. I was completely uneducated about the event. Ignorance may be bliss and I was comfortable in my uninterested state.

Until I received the call to take a trip to southern Kentucky for Aug 21.

As the day approached, my excitement mounted. I did some research and learned a lot about what to expect. I also added “watch solar eclipse” to the #30for30 list.

I excitedly told my family about it.

“Nah” said my dad “I remember one while I was in school. They said all the same things: chickens roosting, stars coming out, temp dropping… It’s nothing. Sorry”

I purposed in my heart to return home with a full report.

Monday morning was beautiful. The Kentucky sun shone a cheery welcome as we joined the 3,000 people trudging up the steep hill to the colorful tents. The edges of the tents gently flapped in the breeze.

The sun got warmer and warmer as we sat through a number of science lectures varying in degrees of practicality and interest.

My mind raced. Mainly I was trying to decide when was the optimal opportunity to stand in line to purchase food where proceeds went to Haiti.

And I felt antsy- totality was so close!

Finally the meeting was dismissed and we gathered out on the great hill in our little groups and waited.

The sun shone brightly and we appreciated the breeze. We donned our glasses, and exclaimed as a small bite appeared on the right side of the sun.

The children in our group could hardly sit still. They ran back and forth exclaiming over the crescent shapes in the shadows, peering through different telescopes, checking on Pluto the Rooster. The bite in the sun grew larger and larger.

The sky grew to an eerie dusk. We started seeing planets pop out all over the sky.

I watched as the small fingernail of sun grew smaller and smaller, and then:

Darkness descended upon us.

(Notice the Planet off to the left of the sun.)

And 3,000 people lifted their awe-filled voices in a shout of triumph. “Ooooooh” we said “wow!” “There’s the diamond ring!” Shouted an excited man behind me. “Look at the streetlights are on!” “Listen to the crickets!” “Look at the sunset on the horizon!”

There were so many things to see. I absorbed as much as I could in the 2 minutes before the light eased back on and the moon continued its journey across the sky.

We all headed to join the horrendous traffic in eerie light, with hearts overflowing.

It was better than I’d dared hope. I’d expected to be totally awed by the Perfect Timing of our Heavenly Father’s Universe and how I believe His timing is perfect in my world too. But there is a reminder burning brighter in my heart than that.

We finished up our trip by visiting the Ark. Noah believed that the World was going to be destroyed by a flood. He spent years preparing for it. 100 years to be exact. And when the flood happened, Noah and his family were saved.

Someday there will be another event transpiring. I’m anticipating it. I spend a lot of time sitting through lectures on it, that vary in degree of practicality, and admittedly sometimes my mind wanders. But still I stay.

Because I believe this event will take place, I am carefully arranging the details of my life around it.

I’m doing research, learning everything I can, accepting the facts by faith. Some believe the reports, some do not.

My friend, there is not a doubt in my mind that someday, the clouds will part, and Jesus Christ will appear, ending the world as we know it, calling His Children Home.

I’m so thankful that unlike the rapidly disappearing solar glasses, there’s no limit to the gift of becoming a child of God. Jesus Christ died on the cross to save the entire world from their sins.

We can look forward to an eternity with Him in Heaven if we accept this gift of Jesus’s sacrifice and allow Him to rule our lives.

And when He returns, may we be found with the rest of the saints, raising our voices in a shout of triumph.

Worthy is the Lamb,


The Wise and the Foolish Eclipse Hunters

With a few alterations to Matt 25:

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten solar eclipse chasers, which took their maps, and went forth to meet totality.

And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

They that were foolish took their maps, and guessed they’d find glasses along the way:

But the wise took maps and their ISO compliant eye cover with them.

While the time tarried, they all slumbered and slept, and appreciated the generosity of the local people in the area.

And at midday there was a cry made, Behold, the eclipse cometh.

Then all those travelers arose, and donned their glasses.

And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your eye protection; lest our retinas be burned out.

But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10 And while they went to buy, the glasses were nowhere to be found; and the eclipse came. They that were ready rejoiced to see the perfect timing of the Father’s Universe: and the time passed.

11 Afterward came also the other travelers, saying, Lord, Lord, we wish to see it too, we knew it was coming, we just needed more time.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

13 Watch therefore, that ye be ready for the Son of man cometh.

Yes, I’ve joined the throngs waiting to see this marvel. 🙂

More later,


Family Time Galore, OBX 2017

Mark 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

Last week found us retreating to a "desert place". Desert by the fact that there was sand. Not desert by definition because there was plenty of water.

The last time our entire family went on vacation was August 2013. We've changed a lot since then. A lot of things have happened. We added KJ to our number. 😉

I love my family. And I couldn't get over how spectacular it was to have everybody together, without previous obligations, or deadlines, or distractions. It was just us, enjoying each other, relaxing and eating amazing meals and celebrating God's beautiful creation.

The fact that every morning I was awake by 6 am by at least 2 people stomping through my bedroom (aka the couch in the living room) to see if there was going to be a sunrise and that it rained while we were outside grilling steaks did nothing to dampen my spirits.

I was with my favorite people, reminiscing about the days of old, creating memories to be cherished, and discussing optimistically the days to come.

I'm discovering as we learn to navigate the challenge of hectic schedules, it's easy to be so busy that we don't take time out to just be:

To be focused only on the blessing of being together. To be thankful that we have the opportunity to spend time together. To be confident in the support we are for each other.

To be family.

Because tomorrow isn't promised.

I hope they know how much they mean to me.


New Troops Arrive at the Ranch

I now interrupt this broadcast to bring you this important announcement:

Just in from the head of ranch security:

You see, all week I've been banished to never never land (aka the dairy and German Shepherdville) and poor ol Rolo was left in Singers Glen to defend our property and our honor. I did.not. feel good about it, but hey, did anybody ask me? Nope, they just lured me in with that phony "Detroit, get on the truck" line. (They know I can't resist that 😔) and there we were rocketing out the lane with Rolo standing at the garage slowly wagging her tail, waving a white handkerchief and watching us go. Oh boy.

All week, I was a nervous wreck thinking about my pal. The family was off on vacation, and really the farm should've hired more troops instead of less, but anyhow. Finally, last night, Jul decided that I had the dairy returned to its former splendor, and I was allowed to return home. So I went, preparing to survey the damage.

Rolo faired pretty good, apparently. Maybe she's a better assistant than I give her credit for. The house was still standing, and even the cat was still alive.

The family rolled back in, and Rolo was released from her solo shift. Barely in the nick of time.

Not only are the Ranch Security Divisions reunited and standing fearlessly in the face of evil, our numbers have increased!

I'm so glad to be here to start the new pups in boot camp right way.

And you should've seen River. We are so excited to have all these nieces and nephews! She raced around and picked Rolo a beautiful bouquet of Cyclamens and Poinsettias. Apparently the Mother around here is not running a florist and is not interested in supplying bouquets for the new doggy mother… The idea was nice tho, Riv, but next time, please let Mother's plants alone.

Anyhow, if you happen to run a haphazard outfit, and have an opening for some top of the line security dogs, you may want to get in touch with us.

Quick while supplies last!

Detroit Snappenbarker Mendoza/proud uncle

The MidWest

So apparently I didn't quite have my fill of galavanting along with a group of ladies, fearlessly guiding the "covered wagon" know as Farren.

For another 9 days in July, our jolly band explored the Midwest.

We enjoyed a leisure morning of watching the sunrise and waves crash along the shore of Lake Michigan at Illinois Beach State Park. (Except for the driver who slept in and missed the sunrise but it was cloudy on the horizon and she didn't miss much, they assure her.)

Wisconsin enamored us from the beginning. We grabbed an early lunch at Cracker Barrel and some Good Samaritan picked up the tab for all 10 of us. That generous heart blessed me completely.

We managed to hit several open houses at different creameries across Wisconsin. As I watch people interacting with the farmers and their herds, I was again impressed with the importance of "hands on" agricultural education. These farms were doing a wonderful job at that!

The tour ended back at the creamery where I watched children on pedal tractors (provided by the creamery) racing through the yard. And met the resident calf. AND enjoyed a fantastic ice cream cone. What a great stop!

Another stop introduced us to the "Gouda Gals" where we learned about the cheese making process, ate some cheese curds, and got a barn tour by the owner who wore wooden shoes in honor of his native country. (Any guesses which country that is? 🇳🇱)

I hadn't spent much time in the dairy state, previously. I love all those colorful red barns. I find that even though I'm not as closely involved with the dairy these days, there is no way to get certain loves out of my heart. Dairy farming is a wonderful calling.

And then we traveled on to another land flowing with milk and honey, and more opportunity for KH to obsess. The corn belt.

The crops in Iowa are something to behold. We (or mostly me) got all excited about the crop dusting that was going on. It is incredible to watch the bright yellow planes darting and diving, delivering insecticide to the tasseling corn- missing trees and power lines…

Somehow I think this picture resembles me going through 2017 #augustalready ?!?

Psalm 65:8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders, Lord;
where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.

More hands on Ag Ed included a tour of a hog farm. 🙊 This bacon in the making is kinda cute, isn't it? 🐷 I would enjoy a more complete tour sometime when I'm not worried about spending the rest of the day smelling like a pig farmer.

Near Charles City, IA is this adorable little brown church. In the 1850s when the area was just a meadow, a Dr Pitts wrote a poem about a church house he envisioned there. He returned after the Civil War, and saw the church house construction. The cheapest paint available then was brown, so the congregation agreed to a brown church house. Dr Pitts remembered his poem, and put it to music in time for a group of high schoolers to sing it at the dedicatory service. And that is the story behind the song "Church in the Wildwood…"
🎼oh come, come,come,come…

The Midwest adventure ended on a very high note. We toured Harvester Works in East Moline, IL. I'm not sure I could've enjoyed a tour more! We followed the progress of a combine from the bending of the first steel pieces until it drove off the assembly line. Wow!

And now with a bit more understanding about the beautiful machine, I look forward to taking my newfound information and returning to the field. It won't be long!! 🙂