Jerusalem for a Month (VIDEO)

It’s been a while since we’ve posted and there have been many adventures but here is the story behind out family spending a month in Jerusalem.

In November we found out that some close friends were going to be out here as well. We’ve always wanted to visit the “Holy Land” and we enjoy traveling with other people so this seemed like the excuse we needed. What ensued was a 7 day chaotic rush to get passports (for all 6 of us), buy plane tickets ($6500 total!) and find a place to stay. We ended up securing a 2 bedroom apartment 2 days before we left. It’s $2300 for our whole stay.

We had am intentional 9 hour layover in Amsterdam but besides that our trip over was pretty uneventful. Also over here are Kami’s brother’s family (Jeremy, April, Kelsey, Jack, Sydney, Elli, Kaira)  and the Mowry’s (Stephen, Tiffany, Angus, Desmond, Ivy). They are 2 of the business partners who I do Epipheo with.

Originally, our plan was to just live life over here and do some touring about, since we have never been here before. After seeing the first few sites, though, it became pretty apparent that sightseeing out here wasn’t so much what we were excited about. Arranging transportation, (we do not have a car out here) to arrive just to see a stack of cathedrals all fighting over the same rock, doesn’t seem to hep us progress in many of our spiritual goals. At this time we were also presented with the opportunity to join an UlpanOr which is a really intense Hebrew training school. Normally it’s pretty expensive but Jeremy and Stephen had worked out a deal for us to make them an Epipheo and they would give us a substantial amount of training credits.

Studying Hebrew

So, that’s our life here. We eat, we work, we study Hebrew and we learn. One of our primary goals for coming over was to spend time immersed in the Jewish culture. We have observed that much of the Jewish culture and belief system has ingrained in it, very deeply, a blueprint for life, family, and business. Historically, we have had very little exposure to Toraic beliefs and practices as most churches we were raised in focused 90% on New Testament. We will be back in mid-January with 3 weeks before Kami’s due date (the airport permission paper required a little fudging). If it was not for Kami’s due date we had considered staying for 2+ months. So far it’s been great, challenging and valuable.


Here are a few practical goals while we are here:

  • Build a solid enough foundation in the Hebrew language that we can continue Hebrew with the children back in the states.
  • Ben would like to spend some time reading the Old Testament at the Western Wall in front of the temple mount (20 minute walk from our house)
  • Ben and Kami plan on going to Yad Veshem (Holocaust Museum)
  • We would like to spend the day with the family at the Dead Sea (45 minutes drive with rental car)

    Kosher Pickles

  • We would like to develop some business contacts in Tel Aviv. So far we have been quickly accepted and have a meeting scheduled with 15 different entrepreneurs this Monday.
  • Learn from the cultural and Toraic rhythms that reinforce a healthy family and spiritual culture.  These guys have been at it for a while.
  • Establish a bit of a foundation for potential return trip.
  • Ben wants to buy a juicer and consume as many pickles as possible.

You can view more pictures on our Facebook Album HERE.


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the Portland Experiment

portland3This last week our family moved to Portland for at least 2 months. We may stay here longer but that it up in the air. As of now, we are living with a family of 4 that we came to support with discipleship related goals. In one sense, this whole trip is an experiment to determine if our family can travel with more of a nomadic lifestyle and still maintain a healthy rhythm, identity, and achieve our goals as a family.

Here are some of our small picture goals while in Portland (kind of just a to-do list):

  • Go to Saturday Market
  • Go to Powells (the largest bookstore in the world)
  • Go to Multnomah Falls
  • Ride a bike everywhere under 5 miles (Ben)
  • Take the kids to Multnomah University and show them where Kami and I fell in love
  • Take the the kids on the MAX (Portland’s light rail)
  • Spend one night a week on active and deliberate discipleship with Host family
  • Meet with Adam and Nate for 1 hour a week to discuss life and family
  • home school the girls for 3 hrs. Mon-Fri (Kami)
  • Take one of the girls with me to work (coffee shop) each day to teach them and have them interact with me on my schedule 5 days a week (Ben)
  • Facilitate 2-3 Family Team discussions
  • Write 3 e-books (Including the story of our Wonderland Trail Adventure) (Ben)
  • Get a tattoo, it’s just that time (Ben…and I think maybe Kami?)
  • Better understand our ability to travel and live in temporary places as a family and use this experiment to plan our next 3 months.

If you can think of an awesome food spot that we have to  eat at while in Portland Post it as a comment! If we visit it twice we will buy your meal the second time!

Can YOU think of anything else we should add?


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Wonderland Pictures Uploaded

DSCN2367We posted  60 pictures on facebook. You can click HERE to see them all. You do not have to have a facebook account.


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Wonderland Slideshow – Our 93 mile journey around Mount Rainier with 4 kids

Actually, it may be better if you put these videos in the “documentary” category because all totaled, they are more than an hour long. If you don’t have the time to watch them all, I would encourage you to watch the first one and the last two. In one sense it’s a shame to even put these pictures and videos online because they don’t seem to do justice to the images and emotions that we experienced on the mountain but hopefully they give you a little bit of a feel for what we experienced.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be posting some thoughts and specifics on this trip over at


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We Finished the Wonderland!

Just wanted to let all of you know that on Friday August 14th all 6 members of our family completed the 93 mile wonderland loop around Mount Rainier. We started on August 3rd and finished in 12 days, 3 days ahead of schedule. Our last day was 14 miles long. Thank you for all that have supported us. We are going to be working hard in this next week to get some pictures and video up but for now we are all just enjoying the 6 of us not having to share a 2 man tent.

93 miles at Frying Pan Creek

93 miles at Frying Pan Creek

If we met you on the trail, please shoot us a note so we know how to contact you and leave comments so we know how you did!


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Lemonade Stand

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This video was sped up 400% so the entire process took place under 6 minutes. Not bad for kids that can’t reach above the counter.

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