Friday, December 29, 2006

David's tram day

By David Henderson

When I woke up, I felt tired. The room was dark and warm. mom gave me my clothes for me. I dressed myself,brushed my teeth and waited for Dad. Next I got in the Blue Car with Dad because we were going to the Portland Tram to go on the first ride. The car ride was slow and boring because of all the rain, but at least we got there. After we drove to the Portland Tram, we saw the building that the station was in, it looked like a hospital. I saw Danielle the reporter who interviewed me for the Oregonian newspaper. I got a hat from a builder of the tram because he is amazed at how I built my Lego tram. The tram ride was cool because of the view but the tower, going over it was even cooler because of a shake. I also got a pen that is nice because it has the tram go up and down using gravity. Finally, we looked in the control room and someone showed me how it worked. Then Dad and I went shopping at the hobby store and got some string for my Lego tram and went home.

The ride:

I tour the tram control center:

I receive a hat from a tram engineer:

- - - - - -

The article in the Canby Herald:


Click to read each of the article pages:



Aviation Museum

OK, so we're a little behind on the blog thing, and I'll get you instantly caught up by sharing about yesterday's outing to the Evergreen Aviation Museum, home of the Spruce Goose. It has been about 4 years since we were there last and they have probably doubled the number of planes at the museum. If you haven't been there for awhile it's worth the trip out to McMinville. Here's some shots of from the trip:


Fighter pilot David:


Fighter pilot Abbie with wing man "Unice" the Unicorn:


Miriam puttering around:


Here's a clip of Miriam in ground school:

And Miriam in her normal "museum" position:


Check out this beautiful GeBee!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

And the tram keeps going...

On Monday night we received a call from the director of Portland's new tram. She told us that she received more emails suggesting David be one of the inaugural tram riders than anyone else. So next Thursday David and I (Adriel) will head to Portland and join 11 other dignitary riders for the official kickoff of the real Portland tram. I'm not sure who else is on that list, but... wow!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

David's tram on KPTV

Click the picture to see the news clip from KPTV12 on David's tram.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"The anxiety of the atheists"

There was an article Republished in the Oregonian today that I found very striking, you can read it here on the Herald Tribune website. The author, Richard A. Shweder, questions why people are so quick to dismiss God and instead hang onto science and knowledge.

His point: Three hundred years ago we came out of the dark ages and the enlightened age began - people began to put God into a box and saw science and knowledge as the answer. The implied promise has been that science and knowledge could create a society that would no longer be opressed, we would be civil, live with less fear, the problems of the world could be solved, religious groups would break down and bond with one another.

Quite the opposite has happened. The wars during this past century have been far more severe than any religious war of the past. Has fear really decreased? For every problem science solves it seems to create or uncover ten more. And religious groups have only grown more intense in their hatred of one another.

As people we tend to continue in the direction that we are facing. We don't want to face regret, so we keep plowing along in the chosen direction, justifying each increasingly large step. For example, when we fill our lives with the latest gadgets, furniture or recreational vehicles we find that the satisfaction fades quickly and find ourselves craving the next purchase. That initial burst of satisfaction, no matter how small, keeps driving us onward. The same truth applies to wanting just one more friendship, one more step in the career path, a little bit more salary, a little bit more house. In the end, none of it satisfies.

As a society we have those same cravings for science and knowledge, cravings that have snowballed to the point that it is tearing at the very threads of our being. Just look at soaring health care costs, the fight over stem cell research, and global warming.

As I look at the increasing surge of articles on global warming during the last few years I see an increase to the intensity and buzz to the point it is beginning to create fear in peoples lives. It's hard to tell where the reality ends the the hype begins, but in it all, science promises to have the answer. How are we going to prevent this catastrophe? Scientists say sacrifice and discipline from each of us will over time bring us all back to rightness. (Sounds alot like religion.)

The more I see the cravings around me in society, even the cravings for more answers through religion, or science, or morality, or personal freedoms, the more I feel that satisfaction can only be found in the opposite - stepping back and finding peace in a simple life. A life that was given to us by a master creator who intended us to enjoy this world one simple day at a time. No fear, no burnout, no regret, but a simple steady daily life filled with beauty.

And that is the anxiety of the atheist - the possible reality that heading away from religion isn't fixing anything after all.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sleeping Beauty

How's this for a picture? (click for the full size)


On Monday night Christina was away at a church function so I was watching the girls. Abbie and I were battling it out on the xbox when Miriam decided, all on her own, to pull up a blanket and catch a nap. She likes cuddling with blankets so much that she will occassionally grab a five minute nappy... just because.

Going public - update

DavidTram.JPGThe Oregonian did a small feature on David's tram which ran in the Tuesday metro section. Tonight a cameraman from KPTV 12 came and did some shots of David and the tram - it may run on the 5 and/or 10 o'clock news Sunday night. Click here to see the full Oregonian article.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Going public

The video of David's lego car tram has been getting some attention lately. A reporter from the Oregonian saw the video on youtube and posted an entry on the website. That then got picked up by Mark & Dave who posted the link on their web site (scroll down the page, it's below the picture of Portlands new trams) and interviewed David on their radio show tonight.

Listen to Mark & Dave interview David.

Since that interview David's video has received over 1000 more hits.

Go David!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote by Mail

On this election day I wanted to take the opportunity to ask a question. When so many states were revising the way they vote, why did no one think of voting by mail? Oregon has proven that it works beautifully for years now, yet no one else jumps in. You can sit with your ballot, all of the information about measures and candidates, your cup of coffee at your kitchen table and make a clam and informed decision about your voting choices. No rushing to get to work, going out in the rain, dragging the kids to the polling place. Most of all, no unreliable electronic voting machines. If we need reform why go with an unproven technology when out here in little 'ol Oregon we have a pretty low tech, proven solution - All you need is a pen and a stamp.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Lego Cable Car

David and I have been working on a Lego cable car the last few weeks. David did the Mindstorm programming all on his own - when it bumps the catch at the end of the line it waits for a few seconds (for the passengers to get on/off) before proceeding to the other side of the line. I'll let David explain the rest:

Trick or Treat

David was at his mom's place on Halloween, but the girls both got dressed up as lady bugs and boy were they cute. Here's some shots, click any to get the full size view:







Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bauman Farms

IMG_0994_1.JPGSome of the farms around these parts go "theme park" for certain seasons. Bauman Farms, just North of Woodburn, puts on a harvest party and so we decided to give it a try. We played our hearts out for a few hours: hay mazes, obstacle courses, a zip line, animals to play with, corrugated pipe slides, and some great apple juice. The day was beautiful, upper sixties, with no clouds in the sky. As you can see, Miriam ate more than her fair share of alfalpha. Click on any of the pics to see a larger shot.









Sunday, October 01, 2006

30th Birthday Beach Trip

IMG_0781.JPGChristina surprised me with a trip to the beach with our friends the Nielsen's to celebrate my 30th birthday. The plans included some tandem paragliding flights which didn't work out due to the weather on Friday night (when we were going to fly) but we had a great time over the weekend anyway!

Click here for a number of great shots from the weekend!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Do The Roomba (Dance)

As Christina said in the last post we purchased a remanufactured Roomba for a great price. We've bought it to help keep the hard wood floors swept, something we do multiple times a day. It works! I came home last night to a floor with no crumbs under the table and the living room carpets vacuumed clean. Throw the Roomba down in a room, hit the "clean" button and walk away.

Yesterday we all enjoyed the novelty of having a robot do one of our chores. Here's the kids chasing our Roomba, and just like in the wild, the Roomba selects the slowest/weakest member of the pack and comes back to bite - proof of it's intelligence. :)

Oh, Abigail has named it "Roomba Fun" and declared it a girl.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Roomba has arrived

With great fanfare our new Roomba has arrived. I am reserving judgment of it's cleaning abilities until it is fully charged and useful. We did play around with it a little today and found it to be very entertaining. It scared the snot out of the cat and is a great baby-sitter. Entertaining commentary and video to follow.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Global Warming

Today a report came out that the earth is soon to be hotter than anytime since 12,000 years ago. This reportedly is due to increases in pollution. (So, what made things so hot 12,000 years ago? )

Al Gore has a solution: Spend more money.

Ted Kulongoski has a solution: Re-elect him as governor.

Bush has a solution: What's the problem again?

Ford has a solution: Make a more expensive car that feels greener.

Hollywood has a solution: Make more disaster flicks.

Iran has a solution: Nuclear winter.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Donut Factory

Last night we took a trip to Krispy Kreme for some donuts. Here's a short video of the kids explaining the "donut factory" process.''

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tractor Ride

This last Sunday we grabbed lunch at Oktoberfest in Mt. Angel - This is a cute video clip of my very bouncy daughter during the tractor ride from the parking lot into downtown.


Originally uploaded by the.hendersons.
Last week Miriam started crawling, this week she realized that she can get to a standing position by climbing up just about anything - tables, chairs, shelves, desks.... watch out!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Miriam has been scooting around for a few months now, but just took her first crawling steps today. By the end of the week she should have this down pat.


Originally uploaded by the.hendersons.
Here's a shot from tonight of Miriam gnawing on her spoon - more fun than the whole food thing.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Shelf Space

This weekend I completed a library shelf in our bedroom, this gives us 24 feet of shelf space, something we've needed for awhile.

Bedroom Library 1

Bedroom Library 2

And the shelf was inaugurated with a nice show of fireworks when I ground the bolts down to size.

Bedroom Library 3

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

State Fair

After church on Sunday we drove to Salem and enjoyed the afternoon at the state fair.

Click here for some great photos.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The adventure of the pink marker

I just tucked Miriam into bed for a nap and was chatting with her about her "adventures" this morning. I thought I would share how she got her face and hands a lovely shade of pink. It was simply that the big kids had been coloring history pages at the coffee table and a few stray markers fell to the floor. The three of us left Mim in the living room for a moment while I set up the documentary about Jamestown colony. I found her casually under the coffee table with a giant Lego in her mouth (acceptable teething toy in our house and greatly loved by the baby). I swept her mouth with my finger to make sure it was clear and then hunted for the marker. Needless to say the big kids came out to pick up the overlooked art supplies and even apologized to Miriam. All is well, but she does look pretty funny. Now we will get back to learning about all of the horrible ways the first settlers of Jamestown died. The first week of school a queen got her head chopped off and now Jamestown. David is really enjoying history this year!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Count down to school

What a busy month August is shaping up to be. Abbie is 5 years-old now and her party is coming up. We are planing a little trip out to Sun River next week and Gymnastics will wrap up a couple of weeks from now. The 18th and 19th I will be attending the Oregon Christian Home Educators Network Conference. There will be an exhibit hall with many venders and classes on a wide range of topics. It looks like I will be purchasing Abigail's next math level while there. My lesson plans are nearly laid out for this year and Miriam is working on getting into everything. This should be an exciting month. School starts on the 24th around here so it is coming quickly.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


David and I (Adriel) went on a geocache adventure this last Sunday.

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache (pronounced /kæʃ/, or "cash") is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and "treasure", usually toys or trinkets of little monetary value.

From Wikipedia

This sounded like fun so we decided to give it a try. We started at and decided on a cache called "Tomb Raider" set in the Columbia Gorge.

Here's how it goes: Using the first set of coordinates we would be searching for a burned out tree with a tag, the tag has coordinates to a "tomb," the tomb then has a treasure map hidden in it, the treasure map would lead us to the hidden cache box.

Our only mistake was where we parked the car to start the hike. After 45 minutes of tromping through tall grass, crossing streams, and picking our way through blackberry bushes we finally came to... water.

Here, David using the GPS, points out that we needed to get across the water about 200 yards.

So, we tromped back through it all and to the car. Oh, there was another mistake, and that occurred when I dropped the camera in a stream as we were jumping from one side to another. (It's still sitting in a bucket full of silica gel to help get things dried out). We took a break and flew our kite which practically lifted us off the ground (which was quite fun!), packed up, and drove to a better starting point.

We spent the next few hours tromping back and forth on the island discovering the first, second, and third locations, and finally we were rewarded with the discovery of our "treasure." We signed the log book in the cache box, took a token item from the box, and headed back to our car.

We stopped at an ice cream shop at Cascade Locks on the way back home - that was the best ice cream I have ever had. I'm not sure if it was the ice cream itself or the pure exhausted satisfaction we were feeling after spending seven hours on our adventure - whatever the case it was a taste of heaven!

Here's a bunch more pictures of the adventure... right up to the point that the camera got ditched that is.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

We have mobility!

Miriam has been scooting for nearly a week now. Sometimes she seems to know just what to do and other times it is as if she is not sure exactly what moves will propel her forward. It is sort of a cross between an army crawl and a fish swishing back and forth. Pretty cute and getting faster every day.

David and Abigail are really enjoying gymnastics. Today is their third class and I have seen improvement already. It is fun to watch them learn new things and get better every day. Only three weeks until the start of school and things are nearly ready. I think this will be a great year.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

God's Provision

It is interesting how God provides things we don't know we need, even when we don't ask. I like looking for "God things" in everyday life. Those gifts and miracles that we sometimes chalk up to the kindness of a stranger, or of a friend and occasionally forget the spirit that prompted it. I had a "God thing" show up at my door yesterday. It started when I borrowed a "Hooked on Phonics - Kindergarten" set from the library. I already own a book on how to teach children to read but this looked fun so I thought we could check it out. It turns out that Abigail LOVES this program. The little books, the sticker chart, all of it. Eventually though we had to return it to the library and go back to using our other book, which is very good but has no bells and whistles. I was annoyed that it taught the vowel sounds in a different order than a set of beginning readers recommended called "Bob Books". I went to an online message board for homeschoolers at to ask if anyone had suggestions for little books that would work. I included our story of how Abbie liked HOP but we had to return it - so sad. A woman in New Jersey read my message and offered to send me the entire hop set. Not just kindergarten but levels 2-5 as well, and all free of charge. Needless to say we were thrilled. I didn't ask to many questions and I figured it must be the older version of HOP. In between this online conversation and Yesterday Adriel and I decided for sure to keep Abigail home next year instead of sending her to the local public school. Then this box shows up on my door step. It doesn't just contain the new version of HOP, levels 2-5 are still in shrink wrap. What a confirmation that we are right where God wants us with our kids education! Curriculum I didn't know I would need and could never have gotten on my own shows up on the door step. What a great God we have!

Abigail is now 3/4 finished with the Kindergarten HOP program and 2/3 of the way through her Kindergarten math book. She has only had the math book for two weeks now. I am very proud of her enthusiasm, although I sometimes have to refuse to work with her. I occasionally have to make a meal, fold laundry, or take care of the baby; much to Abigail's annoyance.

Back to School Night

This past weekend we had all of the grandparents over for a homeschool open house of sorts. We decorated the walls with their art projects and made some snacks for our visitors. Abigail read a few Bob Books while David did a little presentation about a short story he wrote and recited a funny poem called "The Goops". Everyone had a good time and the kids were thrilled to be able to show off what they have been learning.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Adventures in Sewing

This entry actually has very little to do with sewing. The story just starts out that way.
Sunday night my Friend Sarah and her boys came over for dinner as usual. After putting the kids to bed Sarah was working on a sewing project while I organized a cupboard. On the last stitch of the project Sarah somehow sewed her thumb. After releasing some screws and unfortunately having to cut a chunk of material out of the pillowcase she was making, Sarah was free of the machine. Some people might have freaked out, but Sarah is level headed, and she was a little in shock. She was very calm considering there was a needle all the way through her finger, still connected to the sewing matching foot and some material. We called in back up in the form of our dear friend Rebekah. The mother of 5, nothing phases her. It was decided that sitting in the ER all night was not the best idea so we set to work on our own makeshift operating area. Even though there was a slim chance of her passing out Sarah sat on the floor. I found Hydrogen peroxide, Rubbing alcohol and gauze. Rebekah went to the toolbox for an adjustable wrench and some pliers. After sterilizing the equipment and soaking Sarah's thumb in alcohol we were ready. I held her nail in place with the wrench and in a flash Rebekah used the pliers to remove the sewing needle. More soaking in alcohol and peroxide, some gauze and we were done. We ended up having tea and some great girl time. Monday morning Sarah went in for a tetanus shot. She will heal up just fine but it will take a while for her nail to grow out. God was watching us that night. The needle didn't go through the bone and we were together. It is true what scripture says "two are better than one. If one stumbles his brother can help him to rise." Life is never dull here at the Henderson house!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Anna's Married!

My sister Anna and Johnny had a beautiful wedding today. The special moment for me was when I got to dance with my little sister and tell her that I love her.

Anna & Dad

Amazing Chapel Setting

Beautiful Couple

Anna's Getting Married...

This morning I was hanging out at my sister's apartment as she began to get ready for the wedding. Here's the shot of all us Henderson kids.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


I'm down in Tulsa, Oklahoma for my sister's wedding. Anna and Johnny are getting married tomorrow in a beautiful chapel at a campground not to far away from the city. Today was the rehearsal and dinner. It's been good being with my family and it's neat to see Anna getting married to such a great man.

Photos: Top - the chapel, Middle - The reception hall, Bottom - Anna and Johnny in the middle during the rehearsal dinner, my mom on the right, and Johnny's parents on the left.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Why do we pick the most complex devices?

There's something about the way we are wired, we want the gadget with the most features: Features = Perceived Value. But satisfaction with our gadgets is often the opposite: Simplicity = Satisfaction. These two laws are in conflict and we, as consumers, are directly to blame.

A human expirement was done recently that is very telling. The first group was asked to look at the marketing for a variety of audio/video players. Individuals in this group were asked to evaluate the number of features each device had and also evaluate how easy they felt each would be to use. The results were clear, the individuals determined that the devices with the most features were most likely going to be harder to use.

But the striking point is this: Hands down, everyone in the group said that they personally would want the device with the most features - even though they knew it would probably be harder to use.

A second group was given the actual devices to use over time. Can you guess what happened? Those who had the simpler devices were much more satisfied with their device.

So why do we think we will be happier with the most "feature rich" devices, even though the opposite is true?

Can we have both features and easy interface? Why do we keep filling our lives up with more clutter, even though we know contentment comes from being satisfied with the simple.

Here's an article with more information about the study that was done Oh, that kind of better

Good interface design? It's all about getting rid of the clutter.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Grub Camp - Part II

My Junior High youth pastor Brian Eberly made a post about Grub Camp on his blog, check it out at the link above. Last week he gave a little more history on the tradition as well.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Grub Camp

This weekend I spent an Friday afernoon through Saturday afternoon with a group of guys that for the most part I haven't seen in 15 years. We were all in Junior High and High School when last together, Brian Eberly and Gregg Wygle were our youth leaders at the time. These were very memorable years and we seemed to snap right back into "Grub Camp" mode this weekend. It was a blast.

Crawdads, garbage eggs, mystery meat, campfire chats and more... It was great to hear everyone's stories, the journey of life that has taken us from those early days to who we are now. To come back together again, full circle, was an amazing experience.

Here are some pictures of the time together. To view or download a higher quality sequence click here.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Miriam's Safari

Grandpa and Grandma went on Safari when they were in Africa. They brought some surprises back to the kids and Miriam's elephant quickly became her favorite toy.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Cutting Teeth

Wow, it's been awhile since I've been able to open up our blog and make a post. But, finally, I find myself with the laptop outside a cafe with some time to make a post.

Cutting Teeth - Miriam suddenly became very emotional yesterday, crying at every chance, not sleeping her normal schedule, and she seemed a little feverish. Chrissie finally reached in her mouth and discovered a nice sharp lump coming through - so we have a teether at only 4 months old. She fell asleep in mom's arms last night with a cold rag between her gums. And to make things all the better she has been practicing her most pitiful cry lately.

Road Trip - My friend Jeremy and I took our second annual road trip around Oregon over the holiday weekend. 900 Miles over 4 days brought us an incredible variety. Bend - Christmas Valley - Crater Lake - Florence. From snowfall to rain and finally to beautiful 80 degree sunny weather we had a great time. Next year we'll look at hitting the NE part of Oregon. It truly is an amazing state - every day we were amazed at how much the scenery changed as we drove through.

Spring Cleaning - OK, a little late, but both Christina and I have been making great strides in getting the house decluttered. Life has been so busy this last few years that things have piled up, especially in the garage where I delivered two van loads of stuff to the dump, most of this was old business records, files and reference books that were no longer needed. Now we are able to park the van back in the garage and my workbenches are actually usable again.

Testing - David went in for his evaluation exams last weekend. He wasn't nervous and he felt like he did a great job. Go David!

Birthdays - Abigail and David have fond memories of their birthdays the last few years where we have come up with themes and did the games and decorations around those themes. So now Abigail is in heated anticipation of her next birthday and is trying to sell us on the perfect birthday theme, we're still a few months out on that one so there's time to perfect. David though is coming up on 9 very shortly, just a few weeks away.

Back to Junior High - This weekend I head up to Indian Henry for a "Grub Camp Alumni" camping trip. During Junior High and High School the guys from our youth group would have a weekend getaway at Indian Henry. Now, 15 years later we're going to do it again. Should be fun.

Wedding - The weekend after next I head over to Tulsa, OK for my sisters wedding.

Weekends at home - July maybe?

- Adriel

Monday, May 01, 2006

Spring Day

While Adriel was playing catch with the kids Abigail kept putting her glove on her head and saying "I caught myself!" Both of the kids got pretty good at playing catch. They also had a great time with the new nerf football Adriel got them.

Once the children were eating their ice cream cones Adriel tried to teach me to catch the football. I managed as long as he lobed it to me from only a few feet away. OK, so I ran after it more times than not but I had a blast!