I love spring! It’s so exciting to see the new life appearing after 5-6 months of our Midwest winters. I’m always amazed at the strength and brilliance of the tiniest of flowers that emerge so powerfully through the coldest and darkest of soils. What a beautiful reminder of the hope we can all cling to when we feel we don’t have a voice, when our circumstances are too dark, when we are frozen, entrapped, alone. Yet, the One in charge is indeed in charge. He can bring every situation into victory and success, even when we feel there can’t possibly be a positive outcome at the time.

“You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.” Job 11:18

Tests of time

We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character;  and character, hope.  Romans 5:3-4

The old barns tell a story from an era long ago.

Withstood the harsh realities of rain and wind and snow.

Stored hay and grain and leather for stock that worked the land.

Through storms and scorching sun, it always could withstand.

Seen generations of men pass through big double doors

As sweat from working sun to sun flowed freely from their pores.

Now they face uncertainty towards eventual demise

As horse-less carriages relentlessly speed ignorantly by.

So if you pass a weathered barn, breathe in its vital history

Of family and perseverance, of hard work and unity.

For traits that seem to be fading, like the weathered barns, too fast

May soon be fully extinct from the rare breeds of our past.

- Denise Strahan


A girl and her horse.  Just as people think of “a boy and his dog”, I look at this photo and think of “a girl and her horse”.  Has there ever been a young girl that doesn’t love horses?  Some lucky few, grow up with horses readily available to them.  Others are content to pretend their stick horse is real.  Or they dive into every book they can get their hands on about the beloved equines.  Or they collect and play with model horses.  Or draw pictures of them.  For the fortunate who have access to horses, it is a dream come true.  Whereas many view the tedious tasks of keeping a horse as grueling work, a girl takes pleasure in the grooming, mucking stalls, and the feedings.  The girl considers it an honor.  Just being near a horse and breathing in the sweet smell of them is a wonderful opportunity.  And while adults and trainers may have a horse with a vice, the girl can take the same horse and walk him down the aisle, whispering sweet-nothings, and the horse becomes a gentle, obedient giant at the end of the lead.


Definition of Cowboy

Definition of cowboy:  A condensed version of my thoughts.  I think the word “cowboy” means different things to different people which vary from the icons of the Old West to modern day rodeo cowboys, from the large scale cattle ranchers to the small scale cow/calf operations, and anywhere in between.  My thoughts are a little mix of all of it I guess.  To me, a cowboy is a “real” man; a gentleman.  He holds open doors for ladies.  He takes off his hat at the supper table.  He has polite manners and language.
A cowboy respects his parents, the elderly, and all of nature.  He is dependable, kind-hearted, and willing to help anyone in need.  A cowboy has callaused hands but a gentle touch.  A cowboy has a firm handshake and looks people in the eyes when he speaks to them.  A cowboy knows horses and/or cattle and a good dog and he never treats them unkindly.  A cowboy is true to his word.  His word is his contract.  He is faithful to his family.  He is honest in his dealings and never cheats.  A cowboy tends to his livestock first before sitting down himself to eat.  A cowboy loves and cherishes and protects his mate.  He does not rely on The Weather Channel as he is so in tune with nature.  He can read the skies and his livestock because he spends so much time with them.  He’s a meat and potatoe man, a dedicated family man, and utilizes each minute of daylight.  He knows the Lord and obeys His commands.  He honors Him with thanksgiving and praises Him for his blessings.  A cowboy is slow to anger and rarely complains.  He makes the most of every opportunity and setback and can roll with the punches.
A real cowboy is few and far between and those that know him are honored to be acquainted with him.

Here’s to the cowboys out there, young or old.

Kudos to all the real men.

Fall is here!

Fall is here!

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High School Seniors

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$150 1 hour photo shoot with CD of your top 5 choices of pictures to print as you wish

Forever sisters, forever friends

Well, what can I say?  These two sisters were soooo much fun to shoot.  Granted, at home, they may actually want to “shoot” each other but while taking their pictures, I couldn’t help but think about the lifelong bond they will have with each other.  They’ve shared many memories I’m sure, as childhood playmates, school days together, and squabbles over clothes, the phone, the TV, etc.

As they’ve matured, I think about all the other memories they probably have (but do not yet appreciate I’m sure):  prom dress shopping trips, driving each other to school, late-night talks about boyfriends, bickering about their parents, visiting each other at college, etc.  The future is not far away.  Soon it will be endless conversations about wedding preparations, new homes, baby registries, and play dates for their own children.  I hope when they look at their photos from this day, they will recall that they are forever sisters, forever friends.

Little Things

I could probably write an entire book on “little things” that my sweet son does or says. Colten is my sensitive gentle giant and always amazes me by how much he considers and thinks of others. This is a picture from last fall, a giant pumpkin he bought for me for an early birthday present for me in October. The leaves he brought me the following day (because he knows how I LOVE all the colors of fall). Maybe this isn’t a big thing but we sit on 20 acres of leaves and one could most easily overlook and take for granted the crunchy leaves underfoot all the time. Not Colten…he spotted one of these as he rode his bike up the drive from the school bus (dismounted and retrieved it), one as he was shooting his bow (found it while getting a stray arrow) and one while frog-hunting at the pond. He brought them to me saying he found “perfect” leaves and, melted my heart when he said…. “and I thought of you.” ~sigh~

Two are better than one

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

- Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

When I look at this picture, I am just simply….at peace.

I was watching Colten and Caley at the pond this spring feeding our yearly geese families.  They were having a grand time with each other and would get excited as the geese came nearer with each toss of bread crumbs.  Colten’s dog, Coy, must have been enjoying their comradery and giggles too as she sit or lay silently nearby, reserving her urges to jump in the water for a little goose chase.

After the bread crumbs were gone, I noticed them sitting on the bench just studying the geese.  I wish I could hear the conversations.  I could only make out that there was conversation but will never know the depth of it.  The longer they talked, the closer Caley would scoot over to her big brother, her “Buddy”.  Soon, they were right next to each other and the arms reached around the other.  I often wonder what thoughts were being spoken during this time.  Were they just having a moment?  Were they realizing how much they really love each other?  Were they aware of their lifelong bond they will forever have?  Were they just slowing down from their non-stop play and realizing that they were amongst good company?  Were they marveling at the geese that come home every spring and enjoying the simplistic beauty of the monogamous pairs?  I’ll never know.  All I know is that I was glad I happened to look out when I did.  I wonder how many other “moments” we miss when we just don’t pay attention.