24 December, 2007

traveler IQ challenge

I'm leaving for India in exactly 2 weeks. I'll be sitting on a plane in San Francisco getting ready for a 16 hour flight to Singapore which will then deliver me and our River Church team to India. After a short night's sleep in Hyderabad we'll get on a bus and head to our final destination about 4 hours away. After many hours of travel we will be with the children of the Kallurigudem Orphanage...literally in the middle of nowhere. India is a wonderful place like that.

In honor of exploring God's amazing earth check out this site and take the "traveler IQ challenge". Anything over 90 is pretty darn good. Anything less and you'd better brush up on your geography.

Traveler's IQ Challenge

22 December, 2007

cruising Andromeda

I took a short flight this weekend to tweak in the weaponry and booster strength of my new, custom spaceship. It was a beautiful trip but much too short. I plan to go back soon and take in the sights of the many planets and stars that are not so unlike those of our own galaxy. Sometimes when I'm out there I pass the time by pondering questions like: Is there such thing as a space wolf and if so, would it travel in space packs? or.. What would happen if I run into a dead astronaut? and.. Do comets have feelings? To tell the truth I don't much care. But isn't my spaceship cool?

13 November, 2007


Bro-in-law and I went out for a quick hike the other afternoon. It was raining, cold and the perfect afternoon to get outside and enjoy a good, short climb in the local hills. We headed out to the falls and went south rather than NW to the falls themselves. We followed single track for a couple miles. Jon got in front of me for the last 3/4 of a mile and pushed us to the top where we rested for a while and took in the quiet and the view while night began to move in on us. We ended up about 500 feet above the valley floor on a little mountain - 6000 feet in the air.

Here is Jon preparing some tea in his super hi-tech, miniature stove that can boil water at altitude in 2.5 minutes flat. Yummy.

chubby baby

03 November, 2007

boy stuff

We've been enjoying a beautiful fall here in Central Oregon. Lately Eli and I have ventured out in search of some good old fashioned adventure. We've gone on hikes, tromped through unfinished houses, thrown rocks in the river, chased cats, watched hawks soar through the sky in search of food, had lightsaber duels in the middle of the living room and other good boy stuff. A couple times Poppi and Grandma Great joined us for a hike. Good times.

31 October, 2007

growing bird list

Last weekend my father-in-law was here with us. He is an avid birder and has an uncanny sense for the identification of birds whether it be while in flight, on a perch, listening for unique calls or simple behavioral tendencies. I've even seen him ID a bird from its silhouette while in flight - pretty cool.

My yard list is up to 26 now and 2 of those came with his help last weekend. Here are a few feathered friends that are most common to my yard and feeder.

Cassin's Finch in my Ponderosa Pine

Mountain Chickadee on the copper feeder

Pygmy Nuthatch eyeing the feeder from his Pine perch

Pygmy with Pine Siskins

[ Thanks for the photos, Floyd. ]

18 October, 2007

28 September, 2007

17 September, 2007

squirt guns & birds

this is a fine synopsis of our sunday afternoon. eli took great delight in riding his tricycle around the back patio whilst shooting with his squirt gun, the trees, birds, flys, ants and anything else that moved. at times he would switch to a squirt bottle for its increased capacity. this meant, in short, more shooting time and less filling time. makes sense.

i also added 2 new species of birds to my yard list. this is quite a feat considering that my list is only at 19. i positively ID'd a pair of Cassin's Finches and a pair of Red-Winged Blackbirds. then there were many many of the blackbirds in conjunction with Brewer's. they attacked the feeders, scared the smaller birds away and ate until they were content or scared away themselves by larger birds overhead such as turkey vultures or hawks of some sort. i had previously thought that I'd seen the Cassin's Finch but now I know that I hadn't. they are a beautiful bird - both male & female. and the Red-Winged are awesome as well. their red wing bar with yellow spot below is really cool while they're in flight.

finally, the afternoon brought an acrobatic squirrel who leapt from our large ponderosa pine to the copper feeder. and there were even more birds - at one point I counted 7 species at one time. for the day, the tally was at 9 total species. what a blessing to live here and have such varied wildlife in my own backyard.

13 September, 2007

the coast in august

that's what it's called here in the NW. that reference being different than what most people in California call it - which is the beach. the differences are important i think. the main one for me being that the water is not as friendly here as it is down south. it's alive for one thing - there are sea monsters a'plenty out there. and the summer temps hover between 57 & 62 depending on current. by cali standards that is freezing - winter conditions for sure. the other points of contrast include space - there is a lot more of it here, weather - it's typically colder and more windy here, and geography - the coast has an untamed, wild feel - different than the populous beaches of socal. also, there is a vast array of beautiful, unique landmarks and coastal topographies here when compared to say, the beach in Huntington Beach, for example. granted, they have more consistent surf, but it's crowded with kooks and its major defining point is the unbroken row of homes that line the boardwalk, continually frowning down upon the sand and water. no me gusta. but the tall palm trees and warm, sunny afternoons with enjoyable surf make cali a sure spot for fun summer frolics.

Click here for a sampling of our time in lincoln & pacific cities in august.

06 September, 2007

01 September, 2007

26 August, 2007

potty feet

eli was standing in the corner. all of a sudden there was a shriek from his direction and then crying. in his distress from having been sent to the corner he had peed a little in his underwear. ok, a lot. but with a hurried admonition to make his way to the center of the room where his potty sat he scurried with wet feet ::snicker:: to his little throne and did his business. here he is enjoying his treat - an otter pop.

we are proud of him. this has been a traumatic change for him. i guess it is for most kids but i don't know other kids. i do know that eli would rather eat worms than use the potty. he's been quite attached to the convenience of the almighty diaper.

25 August, 2007

Mt. Bachelor

from the west - the meadow at Sparks Lake

15 August, 2007

grandpa & the boys

at the Deschutes County Fair

08 August, 2007


there was a fire here a few days ago. that night the power went out throughout our neighborhood. i got in to work the next day and my macintosh wouldn't boot. the power button would light up for a second and then fade. the fade was like the life going out of it. actually i think the life had already gone out of it. either way i knew it to be bad. i took the box to the local computer store and they wanted $125 to place it on the tech bench so that they could tell me what I already knew - that it was dead. i asked for an advice freebie and told him my symptoms. "For free" he told me that I was correct - the power supply was dead. He also told me that Apple no longer manufactures that power supply, that every 4 or 5 years their parts become obsolete as they upgrade their line with newer, faster, sleeker machines. i felt betrayed by Apple. but this guy had just saved me 125 dollars - i wanted to give him a hug. instead i bought a new Mac Pro with 3GB of memory and an extra terabyte of storage for all of my new and cooler projects that I was sure to be working on with such a powerful computer as this one. i also got the 23" HD screen - a small but welcome upgrade from my previous 22" SD monitor. but all of this great stuff carried a large price tag and i am hoping that my business insurance will kick down and be the carrier i thought it would be when i purchased the policy. so far i'm not so sure. that's why the dual 2.66Ghz, intel driven Mac Pro and large, beautiful monitor will remain in their boxes, ready for return, in case @$^#%* doesn't do what i heard them promise to do in the event of computer failure due to power surge - replace the darn thing.

03 August, 2007

july was fun

"And finally to Bend which seems a little like a heaven on earth. The evening skyline is one of the best... Any town which features “floating the river” as one of its main attractions on a summer afternoon has my vote. And the fact that as you float, you float right past the back door of the Gap makes you realize that this is a different kind of place. Here they use SUV’s to carry their kayaks, not to ensure that they have lane changing rights on the evening commute."

-as penned by Uncle Peter - Bend Visitor, Summer 2007

I made a slideshow for the month of July. You can watch it

31 July, 2007

Los Greens

Friends. Bi-lingual. Missionaries in Columbia. They stopped in to see us about a week ago. We went downtown to catch the bike race and had some Mexican food and Mexican beer. They're good people.

29 July, 2007

i love my family

photos by brother p. schrock

18 July, 2007

grandparents nearby

my parents recently moved up from socal. they love it here. we love that they are here. it's fun to have them close and to know that they are at peace here in this place. it's also great to be close to better half's parentals. i'm really glad to know that there are grandparents on all sides. that's how kids should grow up - surrounded by family with their granddads and grandmoms close by. God is good to us.

dinner by the river

looking for birds near the canal

15 July, 2007


The terror alert has been raised in Central Oregon this week as signs of a new and insidious foe have been found scattered around the yard of yours truly. Evidence of new devices of harassment and warfare were discovered this morning as I woke from my slumber and decided to take a stroll in my backyard. From what has been found I can only surmise that my enemy is cunning, wise and extremely wily. His strategies seem to include trenching and foxholes while signs of exceptionally smelly bomb fragments were also found. Overall I feel fortunate to still have my life. But I will not back down and in a show of desperation I testify that I have identified the perpetrator to be: Shadow Greeley the Wonder Dog.

He is cute, black and great at chasing flies, his own tail and balls of all sorts. He stores energy like a camel does water and can outrun a cheetah.

13 July, 2007

we're hungry

My brother-in-law has been here for the past week. We've had some good times in the outdoors. Monday we spent the day together with my other bro-in-law at Smith Rock. We were 1 of 3 parties in the entire park with 1500 climb routes practically all to ourselves. We had a great time. My arms are actually still sore today from that climb 5 days ago.

Pete put this image together like a movie poster. I still hungry...

05 July, 2007

musical togetherness

father and son, grooving together. or is it just the son who's doing the grooving? who knows? you can't hear that in a photo. of course, we can see him holding his guitar in the wrong hand with the soundhole facing up. we'll work on that. but hey - maybe he's a natural at the Dobro. what it is also evident is that my son enjoys hanging out with me - wanting to do whatever daddy does. i like that. it's precious to me.

i hope he'll follow in my footsteps - some of them anyway. not all of my steps have been helpful or useful. but God is gracious and has ordered so many of them for my good when they should have ended up hurting me. beauty from ashes. my own son is a reminder of that. he's a beautiful little boy and he's been entrusted to me by my own Father. may i not abuse his trust, O God.

04 July, 2007

so good

there is something mystical to me about a long, warm summer evening. tonight was one of those nights.

03 July, 2007

peace & love

I really like this picture. I like the expressions. I like the feeling it conveys - the ones I feel when I look at it.

I'm thankful for my family.

25 June, 2007

men one day

We played king of the mountain out on the end
The world come chargin' up the hill, and we were [young boys] and men
Now there's so much that time, time and memory fade away
We got our own roads to ride and chances we gotta take
We stood side by side each one fightin' for the other
We said until we died we'd always be blood brothers

In the early evening light
And the miles we have come
And the battles won and lost
Are just so many roads traveled
So many rivers crossed
And I ask God for the strength
And faith in one another
Cause it's a good night for a ride
Cross this river to the other side
My blood brother
(from revised edition)

But the stars are burnin' bright like some mystery uncovered
I'll keep movin' through the dark with you in my heart
My blood brother

-Bruce Springsteen

Christ on the mountain

Our knowledge of Christ is somewhat like climbing one of our Welsh mountains. When you are at the base you see but little: the mountain itself appears to be but half as high as it really is. Confined in a little valley, you discover scarcely anything but the rippling brooks as they descend into the stream at the foot of the mountain. Climb the first rising knoll, and the valley lengthens and widens beneath your feet. Go higher, and you see the country for four or five miles around, and you are delighted with the widening prospect. Mount still, and the scene enlarges; until at last, when you are on the summit, and look east, west, north, and south, you see almost all England lying before you. Yonder is a forest in some distant country, perhaps two hundred miles away, and here the sea, and there a shining river and the smoking chimneys of a manufacturing town, or the masts of the ships in a busy port. All these things please and delight you, and you say, "I could not have imagined that so much could be seen at this elevation."

Now, the Christian life is of the same order. When we first believe in Christ we see but little of Him. The higher we climb the more we discover of His beauties. But who has ever gained the summit? Who has known all the heights and depths of the love of Christ which passes knowledge? Paul, when grown old, sitting gray-haired, shivering in a dungeon in Rome, could say with greater emphasis than we can, "I know whom I have believed," for each experience had been like the climbing of a hill, each trial had been like ascending another summit, and his death seemed like gaining the top of the mountain, from which he could see the whole of the faithfulness and the love of Him to whom he had committed his soul.
Climb up, dear friend, into the high mountain.

-Charles Haddon Spurgeon

23 June, 2007

outdoor solace

i haven't worshipped in any greater or more beautiful cathedrals than those i've found in nature. my backyard is this kind of sanctuary for me - a small refuge..a place of peace & solace. i love it. thank you, Creator God. i'm very grateful.

so after many long, sweaty, sunburned & joyous hours of manual labor my yard is nearing completion. this particular project has been very long in coming and extremely satisfying as a process. i'm thankful for the good friends, family & neighbors who all pitched in with time and tools to help me get it done. about 5 months ago it began with a sketch on a scratch pad at my in-law's and today the idea has come to nearly full fruition. a bird bath will just about round it all out - and hopefully bring in more feathered friends.

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul."

- John Muir

20 June, 2007


this is eli.
he’s 3½ now and he loves diggers, playing in the sandbox, bob the builder, taking walks – especially by the river, cuddling with the peanut, and everything john deere. the john deere part threw me for a while but I guess when both granddads grew up on a farm, who can blame him? we’ve all received a thorough education on the tractors, implements, earth moving machines and general farming & forestry equipment that john deere has to offer. I never could have guessed that my son would be instructing me on the finer points of the Fellerbuncher and Knuckle-boom loader. as I said, everything john deere.

19 June, 2007

good things come in small packages

-- 11:30pm -- 5 June 2007 --

You are coming soon. I’ve been waiting for you. We began tonight with prayer – a circle of friends around mommy. Many hands lifted you to God.
You are coming soon. I’ve been waiting. I don’t yet know you but I love you. You are coming soon. Big brother is excited.. Grandparents are excited.. Mommy is excited. You are coming and I’ve been waiting.
We love you little baby. We love you. You are coming soon.


Curren entered the world at 11:46pm on Tuesday, June 5th. He weighed 6lbs. 6oz. He has remarkably large hands which he uses to scratch his face and he is already very accomplished at performing the startle-reflex. Did I mention that he’s super cute? Welcome little man.

18 June, 2007

blog 1.0

this is where it all goes down. or doesn't go down. i guess that depends on your perspective. either way, this is the blog i never expected to take shape. but an out-of-state move can sometimes change things like that.

what to expect:

-photos of our adventures here in the great northwest and beyond. these may, at times, be accompanied by a witty caption. most likely not as Betterhalf says i'm not witty. ok, she doesn't say that. but she doesn't laugh at me much anymore and that about sums it up for me.
-the random video or two. but not too many because as we all know, the cobbler's children don't have shoes.
-simple reflections on the good life God has given.

what not to expect:

-deep thoughts...unless penned by Jack Handy
-political rants
-soap boxing

...keep in touch and all that...