Saturday, March 31, 2007

Night Pictures in Spring

As a photographer I enjoy foggy days and nights. It makes for interesting views. On a recent foggy night I took to the Square with my camera and tripod. I wish the fog were thicker, but it was still a beautiful night. Here are a few photos of our great downtown (click for larger image)...

Statue in Sepia

Better Than an Opera


View all of my Woodstock photos.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Woodstock: A "Great Place"

PainterThe American Institute of Architects has listed Woodstock as one of the 150 Illinois Great Places. Yet another reason why we shouldn't take our city for granted.

If you live here, when was the last time you just enjoyed what you have here? It is a great place.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Oh, It's Springtime!

Wish I had some new pictures of Springtime, but as you know if you live in Woodstock it's not really photography weather. Lot's of rain, thunder, lightning and warm Spring winds. Here's a photo of some lightning from last year. Hopefully I can add to my lightning photos this Spring.

Purple Fingers

Friday, March 16, 2007

Family Van

Very brief story. Our local mechanic is great. It's Ernie (JoAnn) and the guys over at Meineke on 47. We've been driving very old, struggling vehicles for some time and they have kept us running. That time ended several weeks ago as both cars in a three day span were diagnosed with very serious problems that weren't worth fixing for the cost. My income as a pastor didn't leave room for a car payment so we were stuck.

Some friends, both local and over the internet, heard about my problem and made it public on their websites and in our local church. Within a few weeks we were given near $12,000 for a new (used) van. We have four kids, it has to be a van!

We started looking at pretty much any van on the market and didn't find anything our mechanic would approve. So he made us a list of the vans they thought were the best. #1 was the Honda Odyssey. We found the closest dealer is in Crystal Lake (Brilliance Honda) and found a great used van there. Our mechanic checked it before we bought it and said it was one of the best used cars, in the best condition, that they have ever checked. We paid cash.

Have you ever been in such need and someone (or many people) came to your rescue? We have a great used van today that is safe for our family because of the generosity and love of our church and Christians around the world who wanted to help this pastor out. It's a beautiful thing.

So for fun, I made this video that would introduce our new van to the world. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Longing for Summer

The 40 degree temps today led us to venture out for some ice cream at Cobblestones. I had Moose Tracks, Molly had Strawberry, and the kids went for lemon sorbet, rainbow sorbet, mint chocolate chip, and oreo cookie. Man, good stuff. Also grabbed up some Zots and Sweetarts. Yeah, the candy was my idea. Haven't seen Zots for years, and they are still sour/fizzy delicious.

They also had a horse and carriage on the Square today. No question, the town has been abuzz with Spring Fever.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Woodstock: Dozen Distinctive Destinations 2007

Woodstock has been named by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2007. (via)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Where's Spring?

It's been too long since my last post. Life has been crazy. But rather than making excuses I'll just start up again. Several new things have happened since last fall.

The most important thing that has happened in Woodstock in months is the revelation that Woodstock Willie lied to us on Groundhog Day and said Spring was on the way. He was wrong, W-R-O-N-G. :) It's been a terrible February with bitter cold temps, lots of snow, and a refusal for a full thaw. There may be some rising temps at the end of this week. Cross your fingers!

In other news...

Wal-Mart has opened up in Woodstock. I was there on opening day and it was, well, Wal-Mart. I was surprised at how big it was. I mean, I've been in the huge Super Wal-Mart's before but never one with benches in open areas around the store.

Jenapeas has opened up on the Square with sandwiches, coffee, and more. I haven't been there yet but my wife has and had nothing but good stuff to say.

The Jailhouse Restaurant on the square is gone and replacing it is Courthouse Grill. We haven't been there, but eager to try it out. Maybe we'll go on an upcoming "date night."

Woodstock Station, a new brownstone-ish development near the train station, has finished a building. Read more about these homes at The Woodstock Independent.

I've noticed at our local Starbucks they have been hanging stuff from local artists every month. I need to try to get some of my photography up, but haven't made the effort yet.

Coming soon, Office Depot, Aldi, and more.