Saturday, December 20, 2008


With thanks to the Lord for His goodness and sustaining grace, I have finished my first semester at MARS!

After the final exam week, Erik & Gina (from New Zealand) invited all us first-years and Pastor Vander Hart over for a pot-luck dinner.  Here are some pictures, so that you can see a little bit of my class-mates.  The pictures are compliments of Pastor Vander Hart.

Yevgeni (my room-mate), and Pastor Vander Hart.

Steve and Russ in the background.

Russ and Evan (a friend from Beecher URC).

Richard B. (from Hamilton) and myself, as well as one of Erik & Gina's girls in the background. (I can never keep all their names straight unfortunately.)

Why one deer in the bush is worth two in the hand...

This story is actually a couple of weeks old, but it's been a little bit busy as of late (papers, exams, etc.), so that's why it took a while for this post.  

Anyways, to proceed with the story...

Yevgeni (room-mate from Afganistan-Russia) and myself were happily studying away one Monday night, when Dan (the son of the Swets with whom I'm staying) came in with a story to tell.  He had been trying to get a deer for weeks.  This time, he had a good opportunity to take down a good-sized buck.  But while getting a bead on it, another buck (unbeknownst to himself) walked behind the 1st deer.  So he 'killed two bucks with one shot', not always a good thing, as we found out.  (Two deer = double the work and double the meat.)

Dan had shot the deer a ways away from the road, so he recruited Yevgeni, myself, and Mrs. Swets to help drag the deer to the truck.  It was a good hike, probably a bit over a kilometer.  Part of it was through a chopped cornfield, which was quite difficult.  (I kept tripping and falling backwards onto the cornstalks.  :(  ).

Here's a picture of Dan with his two deer.

The next day, I helped Dan skin the first deer, and then skinned the second one myself later on in the week.   Dan did most of the cutting up, which was a lot of work.  Mr. and Mrs. Swets patiently worked in the kitchen, grinding up most of the meat and combining it with pork.  So we have a LOT of deer meat now!  And Mrs. Swets wasn't even sure if she wanted all the meat from one deer!  :)  But the following week, we had Gary Z. and Aaron V. over, and Mrs. Swets made some chili with the deer meat.  It was really good!

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Seminary Life...

This past Wednesday night, Corey, Simon, and Gary (fellow seminary students - middlers) came over for a hot tub party with Eugene and myself hosting.  (Yes, the Swets do have a hot tub, and a nice one at that!)  We had a lot of fun, with cigars provided by Corey.  It was a good time of fellowship, with conversational topics ranging from theology to Uzbekistan to student life.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Study Break

It's reading break right now (hence the two new posts), and I've been studying all day.  The following was my first study break.   I got the idea while playing with (nephew!) Joel out west actually.

The base is made of 6 sets of 3, then 5, 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1.  I used up every piece of a double 12 Domino set to make this.

I was surprised at how stable it was.  It took a solid bump to the table before it finally fell over!

... definitely time to get back to the books.  :)

Flood Relief

As you probably know, we had a good sized flood in September after the hurricane.  Actually, it was a double whammy.  Indiana got dumped on by two different storms, back-to-back.  I think we had something like 8 or 9 inches of rain on each of two consecutive days.  The seminary was turned into an evacuation center, with people staying there for two nights.  I helped out by staying up on the second night along with Aaron V. and Yevgeni K.

So here's (finally) some pictures of the flood.  None of these are my pictures... I kept forgetting my camera and wishing I had taken it along.  

This past Saturday, I took a break from my studies and helped out one of the relief teams from Oak Glen URC.  We spent the whole morning on this house.  There was a lot of stuff in the basement that was ruined, as you can see.  The man from the house called it the "Wailing Wall".  Apparently,  this was a quite a common sight all along the flooded streets!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Steve & Nicole's Wedding

This past weekend I went to Washington State for Steve & Nicole's (Enter) wedding. The wedding was very nice and went with only one major hitch (sorry, very bad pun :) ). Holly (niece) was one of the SEVEN flower-girls, as you can see in the pictures.

The groomsmen.

The bride's maids (and matrons).

Holly looking quite cute outside. The weather was unfortunately typical Washington weather (grey and rainy), but that did mean that the colors stood out quite well, as you can see.

And of course, another high point was seeing once again Steve, Laurie, the kids (Emily, Marie, Joel, Holly), and for the first time the NEW BABY Jenna!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Camping Trip To Thousand Islands

Two weeks ago, the three kids of our family (Jer, me, and Ruth) went on a camping trip to the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence. (Well, one of the islands anyways.) We had a very relaxing enjoyable time, filled with snorkelling in our wetsuits (we sure put those to good use), some fishing, and enjoying ourselves. I've been meaning to post about this for a while, but here are some pictures. I did take an underwater camera, but we haven't filled it up yet, so I don't have any pictures of those unfortunately.

It's a beautiful park, good fishing, great snorkelling, fairly quiet. (There are a lot of boats that go by during the day however.)

Yes, we did do other things besides fish.

Jer and I caught this one trolling. I forget the size... something like 3.5 lbs? (For the record, I caught this one, even though Jeremy's holding it. :) )

Go west, young man... where did that quote come from, anyways?

This fungus was HUGE, probably about 1.5 feet across.

Ruth took this beautiful sunset picture.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


... just a note to say that Steve has pictures of the Seminary Retreat up on his blog:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Seminary Life

Steve and I have been doing pretty well by ourselves so far. Steve makes these amazing power drinks made of beets and carrots and all sorts of other fruit... they taste amazing. We've been eating pretty well too... here's a picture of our last supper.

But just today both of us needed haircuts, so we went to a place in a mall. I don't think either of our barbers had ever cut many heads of hair like ours, and they both took quite a long time cutting. Steve's turned out pretty well, but I think my barber was a little lost... half of my head on the top was buzzed, while the front was clipped, allowing for a nice big cluft of hair (like Tintin). :)

Here's two pictures of the 20 dollar haircut:

And here's a picture after the fix up job in the bathroom.
Steve and I had a good laugh about this one! :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

This is what happens to guys who study Greek (continued)...

Seeing Steve & Amy's blog reminded me of a funny picture I saw in my Greek workbook.

If you can't read the caption, it says: "Here is a famous Greek scholar who spent too much time studying and not enough time playing." (Basics of Biblical Greek Workbook, 2nd Ed., William D. Mounce). :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Trip to the Zoo

On July 1st (a while ago, I know), we (the Ontario Clifford & Henriette Van Dyken clan) made a trip to the zoo ( ) on the way to Fort Erie. It was a beautiful day for it, and we had a good time. We saw monkeys swinging, lions roaring, storks squawking angrily (we got too close to the nest), hippopotami sneezing, friendly macaws, and we even got some fishing in there. The park was very nice for a day trip... not too big, not too small. Here are some of the pictures I took (I don't know where Mom's are, sorry).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

And some more fishing...

Dad, Curt, and I went to Mountsberg on Saturday morning. The fishing was excellent, probably because it was just after a long cold week (both of the fish I cleaned had empty stomachs). We caught about 8 pike, some small perch and sunfish, and two crappie. Curt's pike was his biggest ever, (I think), 26.5 inches, 3lbs 7oz. My second crappie (picture below) was 11.5oz. Some good fishing!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fishing again...

I went out for about an hour on Friday just before a storm. The fishing was incredible! I spent most of my time fighting with the fish. I had a nice one on at first, but it got so tangled up in the lilypads that it finally got off. Then I caught this one, an 8 lb catfish. I was in my rubber dinghy, and went on a nice ride for both of them.
(Sorry, the pictures aren't that great.)
For bait, I tried something new... cheese & raisins! I plan on trying to make some kind of a mesh around the cheese in the future to keep it on. Usually, it would fall off on the first strike.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Another cat...

Dad caught this one tonight... 5.3 lbs.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Catfish Season

Catfish season is just starting in Jordan Harbour, as the weather is finally starting to warm up. I went fishing for a bit today with Derek and Elliot (two neighbour guys from Trinity). I didn't catch any big ones (the two biggest are shown here), but Derek caught a five-pound one before I got there.

I think this one was about a pound or so.

And one last picture of a beautiful sunrise I saw a couple of days ago from out of my bedroom window!

Friday, May 16, 2008

And Some Pics....

Here's a couple of pictures... maybe you've seen some of them already, and maybe you haven't.

Tepic in the early morning.

Jim Vannette vs. Paco.... can you guess who won?

Paco, Carlos, Marcos, and myself.

Angie at the beach.

On top of Cera de la Cruz.

Sophia, Edmundo & Elouisa's little girl. :)