Christmas 1967 on the Farm in Mohall, North Dakota

I have five DVDs of my mom narrating her slides.  The fourth one’s VOB file wasn’t as easy to get as the others.  So for now, I will skip DVD 4.  Then, when I am finished with the last set of pictures I will watch that DVD on my TV and write what is needed.

The entire family visited that year.  They all drove in to have Christmas.  Jimmy was born in February of 1967.  He is the little boy in these pictures with the brown hair.

My brother Jimmy and some info about his racing career.

This post is probably the first post that has very much information regarding my brother Jimmy.  These pictures are also part of the collection of slides that my mom kept in the basement.  All of these pictures were taken around Denver, Colorado back in the mid 1980s.  My brother Jimmy was an outstanding motorcycle rider.  He became a professional racer and in 1987 he was Colorado’s number one rider for Honda.  He got all his gear and his motorcycles for free.  I remember going with him and my dad to Fay Myers in Denver often to look at bikes and gear.

Jimmy raced in the Colorado circuit mostly but he also raced in California for one season.  The California circuit was very difficult and tested his limits.  He raced the California circuit one winter.  That following summer he came back out to Colorado and started racing.  Midway through the season, I believe the year was 1987, Jimmy crashed at the track in Berthoud, Colorado.  He was going down hill with the throttle wide open going around 55 to 60 mph and went over the handle bars.  He broke his left femur into three large sections.  An ambulance picked him up and took him to the hospital in Loveland.  His blood pressure dropped significantly on the way to the hospital.  This accident ended his racing career.

In order to heal from this accident the doctors gave him two options.  1st, he could go into traction and stay in the hospital bed for 6 months straight without ever being able to get up or 2nd, he could go into surgery and have a large stainless steel rod placed inside his femur.  He opted for the 2nd option and went into surgery.  The doctors had tremendous difficulty getting the rod into place but they eventually got it.  There were three times after that accident that his health was dire.  Once was in the ambulance on his way to the hospital, the other two times were after the surgery was completed.  He never walked quite the same after that accident, he kept the rod that was put in his leg the rest of his life as well.

Jimmy’s lifespan was from February 1967 to October 2008.  There will be a lot more information that will be typed up and entered into this blog about him in the future.  Stay tuned.

Hanging out up in Michigan with Family

Here are some pictures and videos of our recent getaway up to Michigan.  Christen’s brother has his in-laws up there.  It is a nice area with a lot to do.

The first set shows pictures of the barn we stayed in.  So much fun.  This farm/barn was just down the road from Ellen’s mom.

Cody, Chase and I also got to fly around the area in a helicopter.  Here are a few pictures of my ride in the helicopter.

Chase got a BB gun for Christmas.  Here in Chicagoland there aren’t too many places for him to shoot it.  So it was fun for me to see him learn how to shoot it and enjoy shooting it so much.  On one afternoon, Colton, Chase and I got out for a walk on the farm.  I took some pictures of this walk and am posting them below.

We also spent a lot of time playing in Ellen’s mom’s backyard.  She had it set up really nice for her grandkids.  Her property is in the forest in Michigan.

Ellen’s dad lives on a lake.  We went around on a boat, flew in the helicopter and did some fishing.  It was really nice.  Here are some of those pictures.

Below is the playlist of our trip posted to YouTube.

Keep on keeping on folks.


4th of July, 2015

It was a good day today.  Cody and Chase let off a lot of firecrackers and we also got to try out the fire-pit that Christen got for me for Father’s Day.  Last time we drove through Indiana I got a lot of fireworks, mostly firecrackers.  We are now starting to run out and we will probably use up the remaining firecrackers next July.  But we have been lighting them off since 2013 so we definitely got our use out of them.

Caitlyn wasn’t too fond of the louder fireworks but she was happy after I put some earplugs in here ears.  Christen and I both got a kick out of how loud she talked when she had her ear plugs in.

As the day went on, I felt better and better.  Yesterday, Cait and I were both tested positive for strep.  I hate strep.  At least I have been able to make it a few years since the last time I had it.  I am also hoping that the first round of amoxicillin is enough to kill the strep.  Oftentimes when I have strep, it takes two rounds of meds.  Yuck!  Chase was the first one to get strep.  He just finished 10 days of meds about the same time that Cait and I were coming down with it.

That is all for tonight.  Folks are still setting off fireworks outside.  They are starting to slow down though.  Until next time.

Cody and Chase at the beginning and end of school (2014 to 2015)

cody in 6th grade beginning and end chase in 1st grade beginning and end

I haven’t posted in a long time.  I have update a couple of pictures about my parent’s pictures from the 1960s but that is about all.

Today will be a quick post.  Christen took all the pictures above.  Each set shows our two oldest boys photographed on the first day of school last fall and the last day of school this spring.  Left is fall, right is spring.

Until next time, take life one day at a time.



Snow Storm 2015 in Chicagoland

We had a very good snow storm here in Chicagoland.  It started snowing Saturday night and continued until about 4:00 am this morning.  I am guessing we got about 16 inches.  I had to shovel twice.  The wind blew all night long last night.  We enjoyed watching the Super Bowl and kept wood on the fire.  The Patriots beat the Seahawks.  It was a close game.  Much better than the Bronco game last year.  I woke up early this morning and checked the weather, it was still snowing and I decided I definitely wouldn’t go to work.  Woohoo, a free three day weekend.

Now, Monday night, my wife and I are watching season 5, episode 7 of Walking Dead.  I have to go back to work in the morning.  :-(

Until next time.


My Top 10 of 2014

Each year, at the end of the year, we write down our list of top events that happened to each of us in that year.  This is my list for 2014.  No particular number.

  • Having our fourth and final baby, Colton.
  • Time off from work.  Mostly this Christmas and New Years but also this summer when we went to Omaha to visit Kelly.
  • Buying our new home here in Plainfield.  We love this house.
  • Finding a new job.  However, I hate the commute.
  • Floating the Dupage river with my kids.
  • Still remembering to take life one day at a time.
  • Buying the Xbox and the archery equipment.
  • Seeing Christen get through her surgery and knowing that she is on her way back to full health.
  • Making more memories with my wife and kids.
  • Seeing Caitlyn follow me around while I am at home.  Enjoying all the time I have gotten to spend with her now that she is getting to be a big girl.  Sometimes she is glued to me.  It is pretty cute!

And that is my list for this year…

Sunday, a day of rest

On Saturday night my wife came down with a fever after the surgery.  They say that her lung collapsed and this is causing the fever.  They gave her more breathing exercises to do.  Rough night.

Sunday was also my day to have all the kids at the house all day.  The day started out with Caitlyn having the worst diaper blowout I have seen yet for her.  Poopoo everywhere.  I was able to get most of it out of the carpet except a slight stain.  Will be working more on that today.

Next I decide to be a good dad and make a good breakfast for everyone.  I place Colten in his saucer.  I go start scrambling some eggs, adding cheese, cooking wienies, etc.  After breakfast, I go check on Colton.  He has been bouncing around in his saucer for 20 minutes.  Somehow he has managed to go number two and have all the poop go up his back, down his legs.  It was in his armpits, up to the back of his neck and down to the heals of his feet.  Talk about a mess!  I then laid him on the wooden floor, having learned about carpet contamination from Caitlyn, and changed his diaper.  I just threw away the entire outfit.

Most of the rest of the day went by OK.  Christen seems to be getting better.  Life sure is easier when Mom is around.

Keep on keeping of folks,

One day at a time.

Regards, Caleb.

Waiting for my wife to finish up at the hospital

My wife, Christen, is currently in surgery here at the University of Chicago Medicine Center.  I am sitting here, with my Linux powered Dell, waiting for her to finish up the procedure.  We had hoped for the last few years that it wouldn’t come to this but the mass growing in her abdomen, next to her spine, nerves and arteries isn’t going away.  Over the last couple of years it has steadily grown each time we have it imaged.

As we talked to the doctors, big tears welled up in our eyes because they have to let us know everything that could go wrong.  I watched her blood pressure and it never got high.  I thought it likely would due to anxiety about the upcoming procedure.  It never raised above 114 over 65.  Strong mamma.

She will be OK, I assured her that I would take care of her no matter what the outcome will be.