Clive, IA


I came across this hidden gem in Clive, IA. It is an old train depot right off the railroad on University Avenue and 86th Street. The historian on duty shared a lot of interesting facts about a Des Moines suburb that seemed to have no notoriety. Until now…

She’s An Adult


Grace Maczei Barker is 18 years of age today. She, as she likes to tell me recently, is an adult. I could not be more happy for her. It has been an absolute privilege and honor to watch her grow into a young, strong woman of faith. Here are a couple of pictures taken by Lori Mortenson.


I call this one “Pouty Grace”. So serious, even then!




This is called “Fragile”. Grace is drinking from a Humpty Dumpty tea set.

The Ol’ Light Pole


Summer Pictures 009Seth Grows Up 004Back to School 129Back to School 141IMG_0869IMG_1083.JPGIMG_1218IMG_1466IMG_1541IMG_0098IMG_1749IMG_1041IMG_0096IMG_1542We’ve been sending our kids to school for too many years it seems. We, like most parents, have taken pictures of them as they walk/drive away from our loving care into the hands of strangers.  I thought it would be fun if I posted their shots over the years.

Something of a spiritual note, though, for you to think about. At first we would just take their pictures out on the steps, but as you see they soon posed every year next to the light pole in our front yard. They have come to expect to get their pictures taken by it every year. The symbolic idea of my kids walking to the light before their first day of school delights me. We have chosen to send our kids to public school so they would share the light of Christ with the world. We understand that they are at risk…but they are not ours. They our God’s. We want them to be light pole’s of God’s light to a dark world. Every year we have be subliminally and ceremonially imparting this to them.

“You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14IMG_0238


Day Eight: Wild West Tour


We hit the open road again and left Arizona with a sense of awe and wonderment. Today was about the journey, not the arrival. Our path led us through beautiful desert lands along the Route 66 highway. We were given a sense of appreciation for everyone who traveled that two lane highway west. So much has changed in our country but there is something to be said about the simple way of living. 

We stopped at the Hover Dam as well. It is incredible to see what humanity is capable of–when given a great task. 

After a quick change at the hotel we headed to the MGM Grand and took in a show. Grace was giddy with excitement. Seth is trying not to get second-hand smoke. Thanks Code 411 of Western Hills.