Monday, January 19, 2009


So, this is incredibly late, but here's a few shots from Christmas.  Emma, Darren and April's little girl stole the show with her bubbly, cute expressions. She is such a happy baby!  I praise God for such an amazing family that is so fun to be a part of.  There's not much interesting in this post, photographically speaking, just some fun pictures of the people in my life that make life a little easier and a whole lot more fun.

One of our favorite family past-times is doing the dishes.  We're good at it.
Here Darren and I had just finished scrubbin some mean pots and pans.
In case there's ever a question, Taylor is by far the 
best dog that will ever grace our family's presence.
Just look at that face.  It says it all.  Wisdom. Loyalty.
Spunk. Personality. Determination. Dedication. Cool.
The many, many faces of Emma...

Lela and Emma...too cute.
Mom and Dad, now Grandma and Grandpa, reliving the glory days.
I love this one of April and Emma
My beautiful sisters.

Heidi, while not the best dog, is growing on me. she has
tons of personality and is slowly becoming more engaging.
Our good friend Steve Morrison brought us this nativity
set from Peru.  The clay figures are all wearing traditional
Peruvian clothes and hats.  Just to clarify, Jesus was not born in 
Peru, but I do love this set.
Hannah feeding Emma. Mmm Mmm Mmm!
Emma with Toffee, the new cousin-dog, in the background.

A very cute cocker spaniel.
Here's our most normal cousin.  His name is Isaiahmiah.
Warm fuzzy slippers, a holiday favorite, especially when 
knitted by the one and only grandma Rita.
Is that so?

A few Christmas tree lights.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Camping in Carlsbad

This weekend on Saturday afternoon I went down to South Carlsbad State Beach to join my friend Matt Westrup in some serious surfing...well, he did the surfing and i took the pictures.  I tried to get some video of him doing his thing by putting my small point and shoot camera in a ziploc bag and putting on some fins, but that video is a little hazy.  I'm definitely going to look into a waterproof casing for the camera.  Anyway, here are a few pics from my time there.

Sunset was incredible.
the view from our campsite to the north
I don't know why, but i feel like this next shot needs to be on a teacher's wall in poster size, saying something like..

Dedication: The will to see through what others will not.
the lineup
the campground was up on some cliffs overlooking the water.
These stairs led down to the beach from right by our campsite.
Some Tourists wanted their picture taken with a "real surfer"
so Matt kindly obliged.
wipeout! doom diguh diguh diguh diguh diguh.....

Here's Matt, turning and burning
This is not Matt, but i thought it was a pretty sweet bailout.
I'm pretty sure this was a girl.
Our visitor at the campsite this morning

Friday, January 2, 2009

El Salvador in 50 pictures

My apologies if you're stopping by here with little time.  I'll try and keep this short, but i have to share some of the great things God is doing in El Salvador that I got to see and be a part of.  In the week before Thanksgiving, 40 people from Valley Christian, the school where I teach, traveled down to the region of Baja Lempo, a rural setting 60 miles south of the capitol, San Salvador.  We broke into three teams in three different villages where there are children's centers that we support.  We brought with us much needed educational supplies, hard work and lots of love.  My goal in going was to record some of the local musicians, encouraging them by validating their efforts and leaving them with CD's to sell to raise money for their music classes at the children's centers.  A great guy and now an even better friend, Bandy, came along to help.

Visiting the Children at Presidio (1 of 3 villages)

Please do not feed the children.

On approach. This is the coastal region, to clear up any confusion.
This is a Rode NT2-A Microphone (Thanks Preston!)
We took down 9 Mics, mic stands, 2 small monitors,
cables, and a sweet SKB rackmout case with a space for
my laptop, a power conditioner and the M-Audio Ultra 8R.
Here's Bandy in the cockpit.  you can see the SKB Case 
housing the goods, and the MacBook Pro on top.
Our first meal...Yum!  Carne Asada, Rice and veggies.  We 
did not eat this well again on the trip.
The Gate to Presidio
We recorded three groups and 50 songs in two days 
and left them with 100 CD's.  MacBook is amazing, and God
is even more amazing for his care and provision.  The whole
thing went way, way to smoothly for us to take any credit for it.
This is the first group, and lets just say, it got better from here.
We visited some homes out in the villages. I know you've
heard it before, but they are so happy with so little. I've got
a lot to learn.
Look at those eyes!
Fun on the swings. Ahhhhhhh!
Lunch time on the farm and the animals are hungry.  The 
women made us fresh tortillas for each meal. Yum!
This was the second group we recorded. They laid down around
12 songs.  this duet had beautiful voices and were accompanied
by the instrumentalists from our third and final group.
We recorded all day Thursday, all day Friday, and 
mixed all night to have the CD's ready for Saturday, when 
the final celebration would take place.  Bandy is very excited
and energetic in this picture. Very.
Corn is one of the main crops grown for food in the region. 
Severe weather has taken out much of the crop this year, 
leaving many wondering how they will feed their families.
The guy on the left asked me if I wanted his shirt tucked in
or un-tucked for the picture, and then I saw what he was 
really asking when the fat pistol appeared just above his belt.
A typical house in the region.
A baby pig can be purchased for around $20 USD and after 
a few years will provide a lot of food.
We snuck out early one morning from the school compound
where we were sleeping to watch the sunrise at the river.
this picture was taken on the way there before the sun rose.
Jeff Westrup, where do I start....this man rented me a room
for the past two years, and during that time he has become 
family.  His humble, generous spirit challenges and calls me
to a deeper walk with Christ.  It's hard not to feel the love
when you're around Jeff.  He was the fearless leader of this 
trip, and serves as the Service Learning coordinator for Valley.
These shots were taken as he was addressing the crowd 
at the final celebration in Amanda Lopez, the village where
we did the recording.  If you ever think it might be Jeff but 
aren't quite sure, just look for the hand motion.
One of the projects at Amanda Lopez was a "Palm" tree,
where the green handprints of the kids made the leaves.
A game of pato, pato ganso is always fun times!
In case anyone was looking, i found the origin of 
"skinny cow" ice cream and dairy products.
The river at Sunrise
Adam trying to part the river.

The vines hanging in the dark on our way 
to the river give a cool perspective
We arrived in the capitol on Sunday afternoon and did
some shopping.  I thought about shoplifting...for 2 seconds.
Senor Romero's grave under the cathedral.  He is a 
tremendously important figure for many people in
a war-torn country still licking its wounds.
the amazing dichotomy is startling.  Huge, rich Cathedral
adjacent to abject poverty.
Instead of his hand, Bandy left his visage. Very nice, Bandy.
Nice looking rooster.  Too bad it can't remember what it looks
like when the sun is coming up.  But just to make sure he doesn't 
miss it, he crows all night long.  A broken Cock is right twice a day, right?
The coffee farm had an incredible view of the valley,
all the way to the sea.
A portrait of a young man who lives and works on the Coffee farm.
The Professional.
The volcanoes in the distance pose for a delightful scene.
Jeff calling in the airstrike on the satellite phone.
And by airstrike i mean touching base with some parents stateside.
I was there, really
The falls at the bottom of the valley.
Just Beautiful. And over saturated.
The pool was tons of fun
We found the BatCave.
Putting the beans in to be shelled.
Adam Hernandez kept us safe the whole time.
He was also helpful when I created translational 
messes while trying to speak spanish.  
Where they store some of the dried Coffee and Corn
Local botonist Scott Tamminga points out the settia of the Pointsettia
Alba is the head contact for ANADES, the organization 
we partner with in El Salvador.  She was so kind and joyful,
helping us through the whole trip.
Bandy, Jeff and I were given these awesome shirts by the 
people of El Salvador.  Talk about a humbling gift.
A traditional El Salvadorian dance troupe dances a traditional
Mexican dance.....huh?
They've got some pretty ones down there.
Finally, the foldgers' shot of the donkey carrying the coffee.
A worker on the coffee farm.
Alright, so i really tried to narrow it down.  I started with close to 2000 images, and tried to narrow it down to ones that would show the flavor, not show students (I don't think it's legal to put them on my blog) and would bring a little bit of what God is doing to the surface.  I'll keep working on this, helping it make more sense, but I had to get something up in the mean time.  thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment or any questions you might have.