Sunday, June 26, 2005

It's Official...

It's official, I am no longer taller than all my kids. At 13.5 years old, Malachi is now just as tall as I am (a little over 6' 1"). And since I am no longer growing any direction but out, the odds of me regaining the lead are slim to none.

I have resorted to telling him: "Just remember, no matter how big you get, I am still bigger in here" (pointing to my heart). Then I say something like, "Oh my, whatever could that be?" or "Look, an eagle!" so that I can whack him behind the knees. He just grins and says, "Nice try Dad!"

As part of this whole "growing up" thing, I'm happy to report that Malachi officially became a communicant member in our church today, meaning he is now old enough to take communion. That's a pretty significant milestone in a young man's life...

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Latte on a Laptop

(Ok, so I dig this mug and wanted an excuse to take a picture of it)

Evening Flowers

Just in case you're interested, I've put up a few flower shots that I took out front this evening as the sun was setting. I've been very pleased with how our camera does at closeups.

Rockwort #1 at dusk
Isn't amazing how different the world looks when you get down on your stomach and look closely at what's right there all around you? It reminds me of God's word - how much glorious detail I frequently overlook because I already think I know what it looks like...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Father's Day Drive (part 2)

The rest of the Father's Day trip-to-the-Pryors photos are up on the photo-blog. If you haven't seen them yet, click on over and take a look. Let us know which ones you like the best!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day Drive (part 1)

Since today was Father's Day, Marilyn suggested we all hop in the car and take a Sunday drive to the Pryor Mountains, where the flowers are beginning to bloom. 7 hours later (with nearly 200 pictures on my camera), we made it home. What an amazing day! We saw beautiful flowers, breathtaking vistas, wild horses, an ice cave, and much, much more. All told it was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon, and everyone enjoyed it greatly.

At this point (12:20 AM), I've still only managed to wade through about half of my photos, but many of those are up and you are welcome to take a gander. I'll try to get the rest up tomorrow. This was far and away some of the finest scenery I have seen in ages... hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

What's that - a Cottonmouth?

What's that - a Cottonmouth? Well, kind of. Actually, it's a very large Bull snake (4+ feet) with little Peter Cotton Tail (or what's left of him) IN his mouth.

After a great baseball game this morning (first game of tournament, their team advanced!), Malachi and I decided to go for a bike ride on top of the Rims. Now, those of you who aren't from Billings may well be wondering - what the heck are "the Rims"? Basically, "the Rims" is shorthand for "Rimrocks", sandstone cliffs which run along the north end of the Billings. If you can remember back to American history, hearing about Indians who ran bison off of "Buffalo Jumps" you'll have the right idea.

At any rate, there are a lot of great mountain bike trails along the top of the rims. And as I rode past one very large rock I heard one very large hiss (Malachi said the snake actually lunged at my bike wheel). He hollered snake, we jumped off our bikes and managed to get some really great photos.

Bullsnakes aren't dangerous (although they can sound pretty scary when they hiss). In fact, they are great to have around because they keep the rodent populations in check - but a lot of them get killed by people who mistake them for rattlesnakes. In this case, this snake was just finishing up a baby rabbit that he had caught (there are rabbits ALL OVER the place up here). So he wasn't particularly happy about being disturbed.

We watched him for a few minutes until he slithered away into the grass, where he waits to this day for his next unsuspecting victim...

Anybody want to go for a hike on the rims? :-)

Ok, that was mean. In case you'd like to see more pictures, mosey on over here and then scroll up to see the day unfold. As for me, I'm off to bed to dream nice, snakey dreams!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

God's Sense of Humor

When I was 5 or 6 years old back in the early 70s, I lived on a pig farm in eastern Montana (we are talking 'nowhere, in the middle of nowhere' - literally!). My dad worked as a hired hand for some folks named Irv and Marilyn Haidle. Now, these are some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, but as a kid, I just remember thinking how strange it all seemed:

"'Irv'? What kind of name is 'Irv'? And 'Marilyn'? Who would ever marry someone named 'Marilyn'?"

I spoke these fateful words in the middle of a sunny farmyard, and then promptly forgot all about this incident until years later, when I was in college, relating my childhood experiences to my then fiancee... Marilyn Klaassen.

And that's when it hit me: I was going to marry someone named Marilyn! Wow. God must really have a sense of humor.

And here we are today, on our 15th wedding anniversary, more happily married now than we've ever been before. I still think God has a sense of humor, but time has taught me that he is also good and trustworthy - he blesses us in ways we do not deserve, often in ways we do not expect. He has given me a wonderful wife who is better than I ever could have hoped for, and three kids who love us all: me, my wife, and God (and even each other most of the time).

For all these things I am most thankful, but especially for God's sense of humor - that seasoning that makes life beautiful.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Tobacco Roots

Tobacco Root Mountains at sunrise, just West of Bozeman, MT
on our way to fish the Madison River in Beartrap Canyon.

This past Friday night after Malachi's baseball game, we packed the family in the car and headed to Bozeman to visit my brother Jake. We got there about midnight, got to bed a half hour after that, and then were up and at 'em by 4:30 AM Saturday morning in order to find some fish on the Madison River. All of which made for some very pretty scenery on Saturday, like this photo of the sun rising on the Tobacco Roots.

We didn't catch many fish, but we saw some beautiful country and had a great time nonetheless. If you are interested in more photos, you can browse the photo album under Sunday, June 5 2005.

[Addendum: Hey, I just noticed that if you look at the large, hi-res view of the picture up above, in the bottom right hand corner there is a cool little bluebird sitting on the fence. When you click on the full size image it will load in the browser, but it probably will be scaled to on THAT image and you should see the full, unscaled image...scroll to the bottom portion of the picture and there he is! Can you see it?]