Pictures: Kids in the pool

Our muubaan (neighborhood) has a small pool. We don't use it much, 'cause we generally go to the much nicer, much larger one at Grace instead. But a couple weeks ago during Songkran we went with a couple other families in the neighborhood to swim, talk, and have a good water fight.

100415 Jacen in the pool

100415 Emmy in the pool

Pictures: Entrances

Here are a couple local shots. This one is the entrance to our neighborhood.

100320 Lanny Pinery Home

This one is the entrance to Grace International School, which kindly allows our kids to use the library and participate in some sports (like swimming, basketball, and soccer).

100320 Grace International School

Pictures: Jacen's Crossbow

Like any normal boy, Jacen is attracted to weapons. And ironically, Chiang Mai sells a variety of wooden weapons for kids to play with. Jacen has already accumulated a rubber band gun, a couple swords, and a little bow, and recently he added a crossbow to his arsenal. This weapon has upped the ante and is approaching "real weapon" status, so we went out one morning for some safety instructions and target practice.

100414 Crossbow

100414 Crossbow

100414 Crossbow

Pictures: Final Shots From Songkran

Today's post is bit more eclectic. I was surprised to see a trio of monks walking down the street armed with Songkran weapons, but they seemed to be into it like everyone else:

100413 Songkran

I wonder if any of these pizzas were a bit soggy when delivered:

100413 Songkran

Pictures: Songkran 2010

The best Songkran action is at the moat. If you go to the moat, either you drive around the moat and soak those standing on the sidewalks, or you stand on the sidewalks soaking those who drive around. Here's a sample of both:

100413 Songkran

Note all the water in the street which this crowd has already drawn from the moat and splashed on people:

100413 Songkran

Review of "30 Days to Understanding the Bible"

Max Anders is a troll. Obviously one cannot understand the Bible in a mere 30 days, and he admits as much in the intro. Nevertheless, I like this book. In simple, easy-to-understand chapters, he explains the big picture of the Bible. He explains the organization of the Bible books and some basic info on genres of literature. He walks through the entire Bible, giving the meta-narrative, the overall story. He shows how the different books relate to each other chronologically. He also goes through the major doctrines of the Bible.

I think this book, which can read in 30 days (or less), is especially ideal for kids, for new believers, and for people just beginning to study the Bible for themselves. It gives a framework for understanding how everything fits together.

I recommend this book.

Pictures: Songkran 2010

Looking for someone to shoot:

100413 Songkran

Totally owned:

100413 Songkran

Waiting for a victim (fashionably):

100413 Songkran

Picture: Songkran

Songkran is the Thai New Year, a 3-day holiday that was celebrated last week. Here in Chiang Mai, the big event is the ongoing water fight that happens around the moat. Some draw water from the moat and throw it on people (nasty). Some bring water in barrels in the back of pickups and drive around squirting people. Ann and I took the kids and did the later. For nearly an hour, we drove around squirting and being squirted. I drove the truck in the bumper-to-bumper traffic (and took a few pictures), while Ann was a super-trooper and hung out with the kids in the back and got totally soaked!

Over the next few days, I'll post a few of the pictures I took.

No gun is too small:

100413 Songkran

I posted pictures about Songkran last year.

Pictures: Jezzy and Zoey

I posted previously that we were dog-sitting another Yorkie. One day we took them to a nearby park and let them run. As the temperature was over 100 degrees F, it didn't take long for them to find some shade and for their tongues to come out.

100411 Zoey

100411 Zoey and Jezzy

100411 Zoey

Picture: Clothes Line

With temperatures hot for most of the year (and really hot lately!), it's no surprise that most Thais dry their clothes on a clothes line like this one:

100320 Clothes Line

This one is portable (notice the wheels), so during the rainy season we can push it under the car port.

Picture: Mango Tree

Last year a mango tree spouted up on the side of our house. It's about 3 feet tall and growing like a weed; unfortunately it's probably not growing fast enough for us to enjoy any fruit before we go. Behind the tree you'll notice our water tank and a small fort Jacen made out of bricks. You also notice the walls around our yard, which aren't that tall.

100320 Mango Tree

Pictures: Water

Water. We don't think about it much, but we absolutely need it to survive. And to be healthy, we need clean water. When we lived in America, we took clean water for granted. We turned on the tap, and there it was. Unless there was something drastic, like a hurricane, it was reliably available, even when the power was out. We washed in it. Did our dishes in it. And drank as much as we wanted. It's not that way in much of the world, even in a fairly modern city like Chiang Mai. The water in our neighborhood is fairly reliable, but we still have a holding tank for those times when there is no water.

100320 Water

And the water isn't really that clean, so we have these water filters to help clean it out some. See that center water filter? It's usually filthy within 2 days of being cleaned. These guys help make the water clean enough to bath in and wash our dishes with (so long as we crank up the heat on our water heater).

100320 Water

But we still don't drink the water; not even the locals do that. So our drinkable water is delivered to the house every other Tuesday in these large, plastic bottles. We get 6 at a time, and that's about right for our family. We have a mechanical device for pouring the water out, as well as a traditional water cooler/heater. It's a pain to haul these heavy guys around, but we're grateful to have clean water that we don't have to boil before we drink or cook with.

100320 Water

Picture: Thai School

As a photographer for a foundation, I spend a fair amount of time in local Thai schools. Here's a shot of how one school keeps daily attendance records.

100226 Attendance Record

Picture: Ann's Short Hair

Ann got a haircut about 6 weeks ago. And what a haircut it was!

100226 Ann has short hair

1 Kings 21

Just posted my study of 1 Kings 21 to my website. Only 1 more chapter to go and I'll conclude this 7 month long study.

Pictures: Plants on the Gew Mae Pan Trail

There was an abundance of plant species along the Gew Mae Pan Trail, some of which were unique to the area. Here are a few of the more interesting shots:

100120 Gew Mae Pan Plants

100120 Gew Mae Pan Plants

100120 Gew Mae Pan Plants

Pictures: Gew Mae Pan Trail

One of the highlights of our visit to Doi Inthanon National Park last Jan was walking the 2.5 km Gew Mae Pan Trail. This nature trail, which requires a guide, goes through an evergreen forest and then follows the ridge of canyon over the Mae Pan River. It was very foggy when we started, and visibility was highly restricted. It cleared up some once we got to the ridge.

100120 Gew Mae Pan Trail

100120 Gew Mae Pan Trail

100120 Gew Mae Pan Trail

100120 Gew Mae Pan Trail

Picture: Vachiratharn Waterfall

There are several waterfalls within the Doi Inthanon National Park. One of our favorites is Vachiratharn Waterfall. The volume of water coming over the fall creates a mist that comes spraying up onto the path and delightfully cooling the visitor. It also creates misty "rainbow."

100120 Vachiratharn Waterfall

Pictures: The signs of Doi Inthanon

One of the joys of living in a foreign country are the signs written in English; inevitably, some just don't quite come out right. Here's a handful of the signs we saw while at Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand, last Jan.

Apparently a number of visitors have been hurt recently, so no throwing glass bottles. Plastic ones, however, are fine:

100120 Doi Inthanon Sign

Something is bound to come sliding around the corner, so beware of it:

100120 Doi Inthanon Sign

No dirty visitors allowed in the park:

100120 Doi Inthanon Sign

You are free to take any garbage you want:

100120 Doi Inthanon Sign

You can throw away one piece of garbage; the rest you must take home with you:

100120 Doi Inthanon Sign

Pictures: Mae Ya Waterfall

We've been to Doi Inthanon National Park, the home of the tallest mountain in Thailand, last November, but when my folks came in Jan 2010, we went again. Here's a couple pictures of the kids in front of the Mae Ya Waterfall:

100120 Mae Ya Waterfall

100120 Mae Ya Waterfall

30 baht Miracles

We were sitting in the "food court" at Carrefour (like a Wal-Mart, sorta) having lunch today after shopping all morning. I looked right at Ann and asked, "If you could have a miracle right now, would you take it?" She looked at me warily and said, "Sure." "Good," I replied, "You can get two for 60 baht." After looking around for a bit she finally found the small stand I had seen: Miracle Coffee. 30 baht a cup. Seemed like a good deal to me, but she didn't buy any miracles.


Just finished Frank Peretti's "Visitation." Though the plot of this well-written fictional story is about a false christ, the real point of the book is to highlight some of the deficiencies that Peretti sees in the American church. He picks on Penecostals, but I think he could have picked on any number of different denominations (or non-denominations for that matter) and still been right on target. It's a good read.

Picture: Zoey

We have friends on vacation who asked us to watch their Yorkie. Our house has certainly been more exciting with a second dog around!

100403 Zoey

Picture: Riding the Elephant

If you come to Chiang Mai and go to the Mae Sa Elephant Camp, you'll have to ride the elephants. We were warned that the 30 minute ride was long enough, no need to go the full hour. I agree. It's not the most comfortable ride ever; I don't know how those who used to trek all over Thailand on these things did it. Beats walking, I suppose. Still, it was fun and interesting, like being on the top floor of a skyscraper swaying around during a hurricane.

100118 Mae Sa Elephant Camp