Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pictures and Effort

Some of the best pictures I've ever been in (read: the ones I like the most) cost me some effort (read: sweat).  I went backcountry ski touring again....hey, the snow is falling.....and it was kinda an ugly day.    Snow/drizzle the entire day....a type of wet-cold that sticks to you.....heavy snow that felt more like concrete...yada yada yada. 

But I was totally happy.
Effort always delivers the goods. 


Traveling on a snowy logging road always feels a little precarious....but rarely a problem. 


It doesn't take long to accumulate some snow....but this snow is wet and heavy.


Somehow selfies in the mountains are WAY better than any snapchat/instagram/LookAtMeImBieber selfie.  Mountain partner selfies are somehow more meaningful.  


After lunch in tree well...it was time to go home.  Avy conditions were terrible...so we had no problem calling it quits. 



These are good days....


Monday, January 13, 2014

Ski Touring Season is HERE!....kinda

Here in Vancouver we've been having a crazy winter.
A no snow kinda winter.
It's like the sky is constipated.

Well....there IS snow....but you gotta go high to find the deeper stuff, 1000m+
In the last 72 hours I've spent the last 10 in the mountains....kicking off the ski touring season.

Here are some pictures from today's trip.  I'll post saturday's pictures in another blog.


It was nasty today.  Freezing level was 2000m and we were hiking between 1000-2000m.  RAIN.  HOURS....in the rain.  Oliver B....why do you do this to me?  

With strangely warm weather, rain, but 100cm in the last couple days of fresh powder, and loads of wind....the avy conditions are going CRAZY.  We dug some pits....assessed conditions and were satisfied with keeping it mellow today.


....and mellow is always OK with me.  I just like getting out.  Today needed to be mellow (read: no steep ski descents) because the snow was some of the heaviest powder cement (very wet snow) I have ever skied in. I felt like a beginner!  


....but I'll tell you. There is no better feeling than getting your body moving, being out in nature, breathing in it's silence and enjoying it's beauty.  DO IT!  


 These are good days....


Monday, December 30, 2013

We'd love your prayers


If you read this blog....and you are a person who prays....we'd love to know you are praying for us.  
Elizabeth came down with a nasty ear ache yesterday that landed us in emergency last night.  We are a tad nervous about the plane ride home to Vancouver -- ear pressure, ear ache, air pressure....you get the idea.

As I type this, Elizabeth is sleeping peacefully and seems OK (when I stand over her bed...like a creepy person....watching her every twitch).  We'd love to know you are praying for her and our travels back to Vancouver on Tuesday evening.  

Thanks friends...and any other internet buddy we've made over the years through our blog :) 

Peace.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas day note....

Like many of you, we watched "It's a Wonderful Life" last night.  In it, Clarence, the guardian angel of George Bailey, says, "[In a book inscription] Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends."

Here's just a simple blog post to say.....

We are so glad you are our friends.  To the many hundreds of you keeping up with our family each week, your support and your kindness towards us over the years has meant the world to us...more than you'll ever know.

From our family to yours,
Merry Christmas! 








Monday, December 23, 2013

Cousins belong together

Come'on parents you know what I'm talking about.
When your brothers and sisters have babies
....you feel strangely connected to them. Right?!!

Does it not feel SO GOOD 
to see "the grandkids" all hanging out together?


We know that the Christmas season can be a challenge for families
....there's lots of crap that can keep families apart.

But Moses (of the Bible) said epicly (and with echo), 
"Let my people [play]..."

so bring em' together...
because cousins belong together.




Sunday, December 22, 2013

There's something about leaving

Everybody has to leave, everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons 
- Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts

We haven't lived in Fresno, California for a long time (almost 13 years for Heidi and 9 years for me). We left a long time ago.
We had to leave... to obey Jesus.

...but when we return we remember what this place represents:
It's the place of family.
It's the place of rest.
It's the place of our first ministries.
It's the place of our deepest scars but of our first faith, hopes, and loves too.

Every time we return we remember how God used this place to shape us in the season we lived in its womb.  

So we returned to Fresno


On the plane, as we looked out the window anticipating our return to Fresno, we thought, "There is the light of sabbath rest beyond the horizon.  God only knows how much we need it."


I suppose that unless you are looking for rest you'll never find it. 
We are looking....
and finding it.

In every sunset


 ....and every sunrise...


...finding the rest our souls thirst for.

"You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back.  Kindle and seize us.  Be our fire and our sweetness.  Let us love.  Let us run."
 - Augustine of Hippo, Confessions


Friday, October 25, 2013

Rock climbing children

If the choice were between spending a day shopping with blank check or rock climbing
....we'd probably go climbing.

If the choice were between going to an all-inclusive or going on a rock climbing road trip
....we'd probably go climbing

It's one of our passions!

We had a really nice day in the Squamish sun with some friends.  We brought our kids to the crag and had a nice time hanging out, climbing, enjoying conversation, and just being outside. 


Heidi is now 5 months pregnant....finally done with morning sickness and feeling a lot better.
The baby is healthy and we know if it's a boy or a girl.

Want to know?
....maybe I'll tell you.



Josiah (21 months) is now at the age where he wants to climb too. 

So our friends let us borrow their kid specific harness (yes, they sell those
...and we found a piece of rock just for him!

This was his first time in the vertical granite terrain.


He got right after it....no fear, no trepidation, only giggles and smiles.


This kid doesn't have any quit in him....I was a really proud daddy.




making memories! 






Friday, October 11, 2013

Start them early....


"Train up a child in the way he should go..." 
- Proverbs 22:6


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Haiku Poem for my kids

with lizard tongue smiles
an aperture memory
of rainbow shaped lives

photo courtesy of Leah

If you didn't know the rules of Haiku poetry.
If I remember correctly from junior high school
it's...
5 syllables for the first line,
7 for the second, and
5 for the third

You should totally give it a try! 


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Josiah gets his FIRST haircut

Every parent takes a picture of their kid getting their first haircut.  This is ours.  It took us over a year and a half to get him a haircut.  We couldn't bring ourselves to cut off his golden locks.


Do you remember the day you took your kids to get their first haircut?
....is it something you remember?
...or do we only remember it because we all take pictures of it. 

If Josiah gets a haircut 6 times a year and he lives to the national average for life expentency in Canada....he will do this very thing 480ish times.

 But the first one is special....I think, for one reason.
Because for the first time...
their big kid haircut makes them look... so much older.
WOW.  
he really is growing up.
...and that's worth taking a picture.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The art of playing


Watching children play is like watching someone figure out how to whistle for the first time
....genuine discovery is always marked by laughter and smiles.

I love watching my kids play
they've discovering an empty space in their heart that can only be filled by noticing their inner superhero, a magical kingdom, or the thrill of a swing.

A poverty of play leads us to take life too seriously....but too much play, and we don't take it seriously enough.

I think my kids need play
....but even more than that....
they need me to play with them.

gotta go!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Run Report - My hardest run ever

This morning I had the hardest run I've ever had in my life. 
It was a perfect storm:
20 miles in the rain, strong head wind (30km/h), cold, alone, not enough water (i.e. painful cramping), and underdressed for the conditions.

Now...don't get me wrong.
I've had many hard runs.....
This was painful.
My hardest to date.

It was hardest because for over 3 hours I suffered.  Really suffered. 
Mentally and physically...
At some point it stopped getting worse because it couldn't get any worse.

By the end I felt emotionally drained...and in the car on the drive home I caught myself staring off into space without blinking....like you'd expect from someone who just witnessed a horrific crime.


Now as I sit here, in the comfort of home....I am SO THANKFUL I had this experience.  I am thankful because it forced me look inside myself to find out what's really there.  You see, I can push my body....I know that about myself -- that's easy.  Today was hard because I pushed beyond what my mind would accept is possible for me. 

Today, at mile 19.99 of 20.00 my brain was not the same brain I started with.  This "perfect storm" had taken me to deeper waters mentally and physically than I ever had before.  Dirty Harry said, "A man's got to know his limitations".... Today I found my limits, and exceeded them.

I am so thankful for this mornings run.  
I think I better understand Romans 5:3-4:
"we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope...."    


Friday, September 27, 2013

My broken branches

In God's garden of grace, even broken branches bear fruit.

I'm a broken branch.
One day, probably soon, Josiah is going to realize this.  

Right now...when he looks at me he sees: 
Dad - provider. Dad - comforter. Dad- caretaker.

One day he'll see so much more.

.....but that's OK
because I live in God's garden of grace.

Keep looking, Josiah. 







Thursday, September 26, 2013

Elizabeth's Question

I caught her staring at me the other day.
She was thinking about something.
You can always tell someone is thinking about something when their eyes look through you.

She was looking through me.
Finally, she let her lips catch up to her thoughts.

She broke the silence.
She asked, "Daddy....do you love mommy?"

Did she wonder because I had been unloving?
Did she wonder because I hadn't told Heidi I loved her that day?

....or maybe she knows I love her and wanted to make sure I loved mommy too.

"Yes, Elizabeth. I love mommy....just as much as I love you."

She didn't respond -- this time her lips were far behind her thoughts...and they'd never catch up.
But it didn't matter...because her face said everything:



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Following Jesus to Africa

Short story....with big implications.  You know how people always say..."I'm scared that if I follow Jesus...he'll send me to Africa, or something."

Let me tell you this:  He might.
...but in our student Alex's case - it was his joy to obey. 

He's a talented mechanic
...and he is following Jesus to use his skillz in a place that needs great mechanics.


It was exciting to see him take a step (leap? jump? base jump?) of faith.
Take a lesson, blog readers.


Sometimes taking a step of faith means leaving some comforts behind so our only comfort can be found in the One who says, "Come to me all who are weary...." (Matthew 11:28)


Our community misses this guy!  
But we'd be more bummed if he missed God's Call by sticking around Vancouver

Better to follow Jesus on mission than find yourself in the belly of a whale...
...at least, that's what Jonah said.


Go get em'! 



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