Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sometimes you've just got to play with a kitten

Penelope just makes Nithesh look even bigger.  This is what Batman looks like when softened by the cuteness of a kitten. If Batman were Indian.

Naturally making faces is a great thing to do when around kittens.  Clearly it excites Justice here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

One Day back in January

Big Brotherly Love, it involves running over your sister.

Sister Gymnastics

This is my Grandpa, Merle Engelke, pulling me in the same Radio Flyer when he pulled me in around West Burlington when I was a kid once.  This was on his 80th birthday and he remembered it so we brought the wagon just for this picture.

Playing some chess, me against Cory.  I guess I won.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Plant Disco Party

Sometimes you've just got to have a disco party in the woods.  I imagine this is what it would look like if it were tried.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Morton Pumpkin Festival

Birds or Bats?  Definitely birds
Group picture while we waited for more of the group

Jumping was definitely a favorite thing to do in pictures and was done a lot.  This one looks like popcorn.  

pumpkin ice cream is great once a year


The Zipper upon approach to the festival, it was crazy like the last time I rode it.

My hair in the wind

And then some normal pictures:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sometimes you've just got to dance

This is my grandpa, Merle, and my sister, Alicia.  I just happened to catch them talking when we were at a lake house down in Missouri (Lake of the Ozarks) and saw what was really going on.  Obviously my grandpa can really dance and was informing my sister what was up . . . back then.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

When the Sun Goes Down

This is one of the sunflowers that my mom had planted near the back corner of the house.  We came home one day a few weeks ago and all of the eight-foot-tall flowers had fallen over, probably because of wind whipping around the house.  I named this picture "When the Sun Goes Down" thinking about it being dark, but later it occurred to me that not only did the sun itself go down, but this is of a sunflower that had gone down.

Now that I'm writing this it actually reminds me of a popular Christian song that is based on 2 Corinthians 4:9 "persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed" (NKJV). The flowers were struck down, but are not destroyed.  And . . . they are sunflowers.  They are thus called because they follow the sun.  They are seeking its light constantly.  And they are beautiful because of it.  We as Christians are supposed to look at the Son and his light to be like him.  (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Without Jesus

I titled this picture after taking it.  I have a profile on (here) and it always makes the picture slightly more visible to others to give it a name. Sometimes I feel like God's creativity is flowing through me, other times I come up with very boring names.  When I put up this picture it just came to me:  Without Jesus.  This is what people eventually look like without Jesus.  He is, as Psalm 3:3 says, the "glory and the lifter of my head." (ESV)  Without Jesus we are downcast and dying.  Jesus lifts us up, draws us near to his light, and breaths his life into us.

These flowers were once alive but life has bent them over and they are drying up.  Their beauty has past and they are downcast. Through Jesus we are brought to life and near to him.  He shows the glory that he himself put into us when he made us.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Little Adventure

Today I went on a little adventure where most people don't normally go: the forest within the city.  I live in Peoria IL, which is where these were all taken.  I started down the trail that goes north off of Nebraska just West of highway 74.  It starts as a very overgrown cement access road that ends with a path looking something like this:

After a while it opens up to a place where there are concrete pillars covered in graffiti.  I guess sometimes the water flows out of here pretty fast.  This next shot is from inside the tunnels that go under 74.  About a month ago I went on a walk from War Memorial near Barnes and Noble through these storm sewers all the way to Laura Bradley Park, so this wasn't the first time I'd been back here.  I didn't go further today because I didn't want to get my shoes wet. 

The water moves pretty quickly through here.

Overhanging trees and such.  It almost reminds me of some ancient Babylonian hanging garden, but there is just way too much nasty graffiti about drugs and things I don't really want to know about. 

Not many people know the city built a slip and slide.

There's drift wood even in Peoria, IL.  I bet the Bicentennial man couldn't make a cool little horse out of this though.

Here's the whole scene from afar.  

On the way back to my car:

Those one trees that always get holes eaten in the leaves by some specific bug: