Archive for the 'Happenings' Category

Nov 14 2014

Ever the Change in Seasons

N photo bomb on Flickr

Welcome back.  OK, that was more for me than you, dear reader.  So what does life look like around the Kelsey camp as winter approaches in 2014?  Actually winter, which starts on what December 21st?, is a long ways off.  But last night we had the first snow that stayed on the ground for a bit.  The pictures were taken as we headed out at 9:00 at night to go visit mommy at work.

Yes, for the time being, Laura has taken a part time job to help us through this tight financial season when we have two and three kids attending academy and/or college.  This year and next year we have one in academy, one in college.  The following year we’ll have two in academy and one in college, the next year, um the 2017-2018 school year will be the top of the mountain.  A sophomore in academy and a freshman and senior in college.  That’s as bad as it gets.  Then six straight years like this one at one and one.  So a decade including the current school year.  People say it will fly by.  Who are these people, and can’t they keep their opinions to themselves?
What was I talking about?  Oh yeah, last night.  So I spent most of my evening on the computer with tech support setting up yet another e-mail address.  I told the boys we could go over at 8:00 pm, but that became more like 9:00.  But since she was closing, she’d be there until well past midnight, there was no hurry other than we needed to get there and back before I was too sleepy to drive.
Earlier in the day I had finished a proof of concept on creating a “plug-n-play” functionality for the hardware on the Deposit Kiosk I write software for.  If you have a friend or family member in jail or prison and you’ve used a kiosk there to deposit some money for them, you may have well used the software I write! That’s exciting to me.
The boys had homeschool and as our custom is they give me the rundown of the subjects they addressed and a highlight of what they covered.  Hannah called, but she was going out for a moment and I said by the time she called back we would be out, so she’ll catch us tonight.  And Joshua is pretty good about checking in, but last night he didn’t.
So other than the fact that I finished something instead of struggled with a problem all day without resolution, it was a pretty typical day these days around our place.  Thought you might be curious.

No responses yet

Jan 02 2014

Getting Dad Away From The Computer

Published by under Happenings

Since both my mom and dad are trolling through this blog from time to time and they wonder if we’re doing anything.  I thought it might not be a bad idea to try to revive this place with some of our activities.  Today was a “blog worthy” day – here’s what happened.

It all started five years ago (according to Joshua).  Back when Hannah was still enrolled in the Kelsey School of Higher Learning, Laura was trying to help the kids bring their etiquette to a higher plain.  If the kids could say “yes, sir” and “yes, ma’am” for one week, she promised to take them bowling.  The kids did their part, but the promise had been unfulfilled.  Until we were in the car to go to Crest Bowl.  Sometimes our promises aren’t kept right away.  But we are a patient clan waiting for the fulfillment to come.  Here’s how that commitment was satisfied:

Since there was no set schedule we got what I consider a late start. We were at the bowling alley by about 11:00 AM.  They put is at the other end from all the “experienced” bowlers.  All the shoes were mushy and slipped right on (it wasn’t until we took them off that the notable smell associated with them was noticed).

We bowled by age, so Nathan was under pressure to be the first one up.  We swarmed around him giving him all kinds of conflicting advice.

Nathan's up.

Everybody had their different styles.  Joshua was getting into it.

2014-01-02 11.53.17

We had a lot of problems with the lane.  Pins in the gutter.  A wobbly 10 pin (often gutter balls on the right would knock that 10 pin over and you’d get a “freebie”).  And then Nathan lost his temper and sent a ball down one gutter slow enough that it stopped.  We tried to knock it with another ball with no luck.  Needless to say, we were popular with the staff.  Here’s everybody looking to see if the pins would reset.

2014-01-02 12.25.49

I even attempted a selfie (still learning) along with Hannah.

2014-01-02 12.26.00

Hannah tried to capture my form – my camera just isn’t fast enough for my speed.

2014-01-02 12.28.00

Here’s the results of game 1.

2014-01-02 12.49.08

We were all pretty much done by the 5th frame of game 2, but we carried on – here’s the result.

2014-01-02 13.52.45

Nathan got upset and quit just before game 2, but after a little bit he came around.  He decided that it was more fun to pick up and deliver each person’s ball than to bowl himself.  So we used his turn for practice.  After we were done playing, Hannah showed off her mad selfie skillz.

2014-01-02 13.54.15

After bowling wore us down.  Joshua had been saving up money to take the whole family out to eat.  It came down to Chili’s or Chipotle.  The vote went to Chili’s and so we tried to figure out what to get.  Nathan had both grilled cheese and Mac n’ cheese – he doesn’t get that cheese love from his dad…  Hannah and I had the Guac bean burger.  It was pretty spicy.  I was so thirsty that I think I had 6 strawberry lemonades

After that everybody wanted to take me to vStock since it was unanimous that I would enjoy said store.  And since I don’t get out much, I had never been.  We perused the comics, books, videos, and toys.  They had a huge screen with couches showing Dispicable Me 2.  I sat down and watched for a little while.  Closest I’ve been to a theater since 1991 or so.

Here’s a picture of a Christmas alien – it’s for sale for merely $6,750.00.  Unfortunately I had only brought $6,300.00 with me.  (By the way, it’s the tiny Santa hat that makes him a Christmas alien, not the guitar.)

2014-01-02 16.13.05

After that long excursion we finally headed home.  And we ended the evening by jamming out to Rock Band.  First it was just Joshua and me.  Then Caleb joined and then Hannah.  I sing, they play instruments – it’s really impressive to see those fingers dance along.  It was an excellent day here at the Kelsey’s.

One response so far

Apr 30 2013

An Appeal for Some Help

Published by under Happenings

Welcome Back

Having blogs languishing around the Internet can come in handy sometimes.  There needs to be a place where you can point people to see what you need to say.  This family blog has been off and on for a number of years, so if you haven’t seen things in here, feel free to reach back into the photo album and take a look.

But for the most part, you’ve come to this page because you were encouraged to take a peek.

Ain’t too Proud To Beg

This year 2013 has had more than it’s share of surprises.  Some of them have been expected (two kids in boarding school starting in August) and some of them not expected (Bambi’s mom vs. the minivan and a redo of the master bedroom shower before it ended up in the kitchen).

In the midst of all of that, I’ve been invited to teach a class called Conflict Coaching and Mediation in Johannesburg, South Africa.  I’ve raised some money from the church, and I’ve reached out to a few places to get some financial assistance – and now I’m down to just asking friends and family (and strangers on the sidewalks) if anyone can offer a little assistance.

The process is pretty easy.  Click the “Donate” button just below and put in how much you would like to send.  If you stopped by here and can’t give, I completely understand.  Times are tight these days.  Just say a prayer that things will work out in God’s plan and know that is much appreciated.

However, if you have $10 you can spare, we would be very grateful.  You can donate any amount in the box when you click there (Update: I tested it for $10 using a Debit Card and PayPal gets $0.59 of that – I think if you use a PayPal account there isn’t a fee.  Just in case you’re a nerd and you just have to know).  As has been pointed out to me, this trip was voluntary.  This is not an emergency, but it will help relieve some stress – mainly of the unknown.  So if you can help out, thanks so much.

All You Need To Do…

Just click here:


You are taken to a PayPal page where you can use a PayPal account or a Debit or Credit Card.  This will show up on your statement as BARNABASWAY* (please, don’t ask why… that’s a whole ‘nuther blog post!  Another crazy idea that never went anywhere…)

Again, thank you very much for your help.

So When Is This Trip?

I’ll post more about the details of the trip as they get closer.  But it’s just a couple weeks away.  Why didn’t I think about this sooner?  << If you are asking that question, you do not know me.  At.  All.

No responses yet

Jul 07 2011

Happy Popper Day!

Typically we don’t make a big to-do over most of our holidays. Things seem pretty much status quo for most of the day. However Laura usually cooks up a special meal. Independence Day (for us, that would be the 4th of July…) was no different. We had veggie hot dogs and burgers.

We don’t shoot off our own fireworks, but this year Laura got a box of “safe” fireworks like Snap-n-Pops or the box said “Snap-its” or something like that. Basically black powder wrapped in wax paper. When you throw them on the ground they pop. We also had the little plastic bottles where you pulled the string and they would pop and throw trash on the floor. We went out in the afternoon and littered all over our patio.

Nathan was very apprehensive at first, he wanted to be sure I was sitting next to him. Even at a young age, children understand the concept of a “human shield”. But as he saw that none of his siblings were loosing life or limb, he ventured out and with mom’s coaxing he threw down on some Snap-its.

As we were finishing up we were wishing each other a “Happy Independence Day”, but for him the syllables just didn’t seem to fit together. He listened to what we were saying but the words just seemed foreign. He shouted out “Happy…” and now he was in trouble. Everyone was listening and he hadn’t figured out what that next word was. So his mind was racing and suddenly inspiration struck: “… Popper Day!” That got a big laugh.

And so with one good laugh, that was the phrase of the day. “Happy Popper Day!”

Until the evening fireworks. I’ve posted about previous 4th of July celebrations. We settled in on our little hill to watch 3-5 different township displays. We get to see more variety and we aren’t close enough to scare the children. About half way through, Hannah had mentioned or was discussing with Nathan about the “Grand Finally”. So with each explosion of light (and a little sound…) he would exclaim, “There it is! The Grand Finally!” followed with “Are we done?” or “Let’s go now.” It was worth it to stick it out, because with the Grand Finally in full swing his face lit up so much that Joshua was having us look at Nathan’s face instead of the fireworks display. The grand finally was truly grand.

We then took our bug-bitten bodies home and tried to get to sleep with the hooligan’s in the field on the other side of the creek firing off their home cooked displays into the wee hours. Indeed, a cause for celebration.

No responses yet

Jan 14 2011

I Had to Abandon the Vehicle

Published by under Happenings

Monday night I was driving up to Des Moines to attend a ministers’ meeting where one of the topics was going to be Biblical Peacemaking. I left directly after work and knew I wasn’t going to get in until around midnight.

The weather was snowing, just like the weather across much of the country this week. Although it was snowing, it was so cold that the snow was very fluffy and blew around so the roads we bad, but not terrible. I did feel some sliding a bit along the way.

Outside of Hannibal, I found myself behind a police officer. I has stopped to grab a burrito and was eating it. I thought that it would be safer to just stay behind him and wait until I had full control and attention before trying a passing manuver. But the officer kept slowing down and slowing down. I would’ve almost had to come to a complete stop not to be following him closely. Finally he was doing about 20 mph (which I thought there was a minimum speed on highways… whatever) and he put on his blinker and pulled to the shoulder so I had to pass him. When he pulled back on, I figured I was in trouble for following him, but I just saw him fade away in the distance.

Later, up on I-80 in Iowa I was driving behind a semi. I saw another semi off in the ditch on the right. There was an off ramp to a rest stop there. The semi in front of me wanted to get off but didn’t want to sideswipe the other truck in the ditch so it weaved out into the fast lane to then make the exit. As it did so it fishtailed a bit and I moved into the passing lane hoping it would get by. I started tapping the breaks at that point. Then I realized he wasn’t getting out of the way very fast and was basically blocking both lanes. I wasn’t going to have enough distance left to stop. So I tried to move into the median shoulder and hope to squeeze by. But the shoulder was slippery and I started to fishtail too. So I had to choose between swinging right and smacking into the back of that semi or swinging left and possibly loosing down into the median valley. I chose the median.

I ditched out into a big drift of snow. After I got my bearings I tried to drive back up onto the highway, but couldn’t get a grip. So I drove down the median a ways and tried again (and again and again). After going about 1/4 of a mile that way I finally gave up and called the police. I said if they could just send a couple guys to give me a shove, I thought I could get going again. But instead the dispatcher just said that they’d send “the deputy.”

Two patrol cars arrived from different directions and they told me to just turn off my hazards, lock it up and get in their car. They had no intention of pushing my car in the middle of the night on the highway.

I found out in the ride to the hotel that there was a towing ban due to the bad conditions. I had never heard of such a thing. I probably wasn’t paying attention because I need a tow so very rarely. (The last time was our stay in Bethany). So now I can add Grinnell to my list of little memorable towns.

The pastor from Newton came and picked me up and brought me to the meeting in the morning. When it was time to go, he brought me back to the towing company and I picked up my car and drove back home.

No responses yet

Jan 02 2011

Our world at 2011

Published by under Happenings,Slice of Life

As the new year dawns, we’re all at home. We didn’t travel anywhere for the holidays. Hannah has been home from academy for a couple of weeks now. And like a New Year’s in the recent past, we’ve had a flu-like bug floating around in the air. Nathan got it first, then Caleb, Joshua, and I’ve been doing battle with it for about a week now. Hannah and Laura have evaded the effects.

We had an opportunity to meet Hannah’s first boyfriend who visited with his family at our church on New Year’s Day. I didn’t get to talk with him for more than 20-30 seconds. It was communion which is always hectic.

Come Monday we will all be back into the standard routine. I’ll be back at work. I’ve been at the same client for two years as of January 12th. That’s a long time based on some of the contracts I’ve had in recent years. And the boys will be back in home school.

This weekend does start a 40 day season of prayer at church, and that will keep us busy right up into mid-February.

As always, always on the move, and more news as it happens. We look forward to sharing as 2011 rolls along.

No responses yet

Jul 20 2010

Ridin’ the Storm Out

Published by under Happenings

Whew, it’s been a pretty wild couple of months.

At the beginning of June, I took the three oldest kids to camp meeting for a week. Poor Caleb got sick as soon as we got there so he headed back home. So it was just Hannah, Joshua and me.

When I got back to work, I found out that there was an issue on my project that just couldn’t wait until I got back and another developer was assigned to fix it. My current manager is of the opinion that anybody can just jump into 50,000 lines of code and make changes without impacting anything. So through the middle of June I was working on a new project, all the time knowing that when my old project was sufficiently messed up I’d be responsible for making it right. This happened at the end of June – the very day before my first trip to Billings, MT.

I was in Billings for a Peacemaker panel where they brought 9 people from around the country to give them feedback on how they can better serve peacemaking teams in local churches. I had a blast. I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough input to make it worth their while to bring us all out there. But I feel like we gave them enough value.

When I got back I was thrown back into my old project and had to figure out what had changed. I was told I had that one week to get everything fixed and ready for final testing. That lead up to 4th of July weekend. We did our usual Independence Day activities (see last year’s blog post for more on that).

Then entering into July I had another trip to Billings, MT. This time for a “Train the Trainer” event with Peacemakers. So if I get a good review, I’ll only have to participate in two trainings and I’ll be licensed to teach ‘Conflict Coaching and Mediation’ training within my denomination. That will help save on costs and then we can encourage more people to go through the training and develop peacemaking teams in our churches. At least that’s the plan.

That brings us up to last week. Last week was VBS, ’nuff said.

This week is just starting, but it’s a little shell shocked. Nothing going on here for a few weeks until Hannah leaves us. There’s also a promised Six Flags visit coming up too.

Other than that, life’s just sliding along. How about you?

No responses yet

Apr 18 2010

A few pics snapped

Published by under Happenings,Slice of Life

I just wanted to show you a few pics that we’ve taken over the last little while. These first few are from Nathan’s birthday. A real rarity – I’m actually in this one!

Here he is checking out a gift.

He’s happy – but it’s not really his birthday yet…

Once the candles were blown – then it was really his birthday.

A couple of weeks later it was time to go do the “egg thing” for Easter. This year we added reading from John 23 & 24 to get the real story…

We also have video of Hannah’s birthday, Nathan’s birthday, and even some Easter footage … but the time to transfer all that stuff around is just too long. So these will have to tide you over until then.

No responses yet

Mar 28 2010

Incisions #13 and #14

Published by under Happenings

I’ve had weeks like this before.  Some of them in the hospital, some of them on a couch with crutches.  I’ve been put under and cut on 6 times now.  That’s probably a little above average.  And this time it wasn’t a medical emergency.  I could still walk, I didn’t have to limp.  I could still go to work and about my business, I wasn’t doubled over in pain.  But I had hernias.

I checked the Internet and studied up, were there exercises I could do, was there dietary changes I could make to reverse or affect this?  All sources indicated no.  They would either stay the same or get worse.

With our current health insurance we have an annual deductible, so doing something early in the year made sense.  The question was whether it would be this year or some future year.  No one knows what the future holds, and we had started to rebuild our savings, so we went forward.

The recovery has been coming along.  I found out that the only thing keeping me from being able to drive or go back to work was the use of the prescribed pain meds.  I stopped taking those on Thursday.  It hasn’t been unbearable (not like getting my wisdom teeth pulled – saying no to pain killers there was a big mistake), but little pulls here and there are always a surprise.

I’ve also read and heard a lot about people not being satisfied with mesh installation.  Recurrent pains, mesh that rolls up or balls up and creates pain or numbness.  So I was torn (no pun intended) about going ahead with it, but I opted to.  Now every time I feel a sharp pull or tug I wonder if it’s just healing happening or if the mesh is messing up.  It’s going to take time to know for sure.

The Kelsey homeschool has been on spring break to “celebrate” dad being “in the way.”  So I don’t think that things have been too disrupted.  I did have to request an early exit from church as I was feeling pretty worn down.  But I can’t think of anything else that’s been a challenge.  I’m sure I could interview everyone and get some more examples, but they aren’t up so – it’s just me!

The debate is continuing on whether I will start back to work early (i.e. on Monday) or if I’ll wait all the way until Wednesday when I told my employer that I would return.  I guess it just depends on how the healing process goes.

No responses yet

Mar 21 2010

March is Birthday Month

Published by under Happenings

We have more birthday’s in March than in any other month of the year.  We are also entering into the summer months, this is the only time of the year when I can actually remember all my children’s ages 🙂

This week will also be spring break around the Kelsey homeschool.  The weather has cooperated, and it didn’t snow like the weather intelligentsia were prognosticating.  The week can only be more spring-like ahead.  So the kids will be taking some time off as I take the week off to recuperate from surgery.  There will probably be much more to say in our next installment.

No responses yet

Next »