Monday, May 27, 2013


This weekend was unexpected, but good. Awhile back, we were planning on going to OC (Orange City, IA- Northwest corner), to visit Kley's family, but ended up deciding not to go because Jana and Elizabeth (my MIL and SIL) were going to be out of town in Minneapolis. Then (this is a long story...), my sister and mom went to New York for two weeks for my sister's modeling (What?! Yes, my sister is doing some modeling stuff in NY!). So, it's just my dad and Kayla (my other sister) at home. My brother, Keaton, came home from college late Tuesday night. My family came to our apartment on Wednesday night for B'Bops burgers and mentioned that they were considering going to Sioux Center (neighboring town to OC) for the weekend to surprise my grandparents, since they didn't have other plans and don't see them very often. Then we discovered that Brad (my FIL), was not going to Minneapolis, so he would be there. Late Thursday we decided to go with them, so we quick packed and headed out together after work on Friday.

We were supposed to hang out with some friends from church on Saturday, so I felt super bad about canceling on them, but the weekend ended up to be really great and I am SO GLAD we ended up going. We decided to go because we don't make it up there too often, and we could see my grandparents, Kley's dad, and both of his sets of grandparents. (We are super blessed to both have all four grandparents alive and well!) My brother is also doing an internship in Dallas, TX, this summer, and is leaving next week, so we wanted to be able to see him as well. It turned out so well, because we surprised everyone and they were super excited. First, we stopped in Sioux Center and surprised my grandparents. My grandpa had just gone to bed, so we caught a sight of him in his underwear, which was hilarious. Then we headed to OC to Kley's house, and HIS MOM answered the door! (Remember, they weren't supposed to be there!) It turns out that they switched their trip to not leave until Sunday, so Elizabeth could make it to some graduation parties. It worked out perfectly, and she was so excited and surprised. Seeing his grandparents was great as well. Jana kept saying over and over again that she was so glad we came.

It was a quick, but super great weekend! We spent a lot of time visiting with grandparents, and talking about HOUSES! I referenced our future awhile back in this post, but have never officially announced it on the blog May, when Kley graduates law school, we are planning on moving to Orange City so Kley can work with his dad. (Both of our dads are lawyers, in case you didn't know.) We've known about it for awhile, and a lot of people know already, but we aren't talking about it a ton yet because we still have a year left in Des Moines. It's been a huge thing to think about, but we've been praying about it for months, and we definitely feel that God is leading us there.

When we got married, I never wanted to move to Orange City. But, there was always an underlying job offer from Kley's dad that he could work with him. Kley was so gracious and said he would be love living and staying in Des Moines, but the more law school progressed I could see that this was something God was stirring in Kley's heart, and I knew that he would like to practice law in a small town, so he would be able to do a lot more things (instead of having one specialty). God began stirring my heart, and it was actually me who brought up the conversation of moving, which was really cool because I was the one who used to not want it. It will be hard for me in ways, especially to move away from my family, but we will be so blessed to live there. We will be close to his family. Kley will have great job security, he knows he will like working there, we will be more set financially then if we were wandering for a job somewhere else- it just works out so well. We will also be close to my grandparents and sister (who is going to Northwestern College in OC), so we will also get to see my family a lot when they come up to see her volleyball games.

Anyway, back to houses. So far looking at houses has been a far off dream- just thinking about it and looking online. This weekend, it became a REALITY! It was so weird, and super exciting, to talk about houses in a real, this-is-happening conversation! Jana and Brad are also building a condo on the golf course, so they will be moving soon, and they have a fabulous realtor. They were telling us about her and how great and helpful she is, which is amazing to have a good connection. Jana and Elizabeth took me around the while town (including a map!), so I could get a better visual of where different areas of town were and what the houses were like. I made a list of things I wanted in a house and figured out what an appropriate price range is for us. Needless to say, it was exciting. :)

We got home late last night, and this morning we are just hanging low. This afternoon we will see some friends (we were going to go hiking, but we might be rained out to indoor games), and tonight is the start of the new Bachelorette season!

Happy Memorial Day! A huge THANK YOU to all who have served and are serving our country. You are very much appreciated.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Rough One.

This week was a rough one. Kley was finishing his hardest finals, so he was not "present" like he usually is, and it was a really difficult week at work for me. It's hard to find the right words to talk about it here, as I need to be respectful and professional as a teacher, so a lot of work details are often not appropriate for a blog space. Not that anything crazy happened, just a lot of behavioral needs with my current class that are demanding for me, making me pray for extra strength and patience! I pray that God will equip me and help me be the teacher my kids need. I pray that I would be able to show love to them, yet mold, shape, and guide in an honorable and Christlike way.

God spoke to me a lot this week through music. Here are youtube links to my two current favorite songs we've sung at church the past two weeks. I have downloaded them and taught them to my kids at school, which is so so great. My kids especially love the "We Are" song. I encourage you to listen- I love them!

God Is Here- Darlene Zschech
We Are- Kari Jobe

This morning I found this new (to me) Needtobreathe song. (I love them as well- you should check them out.) I listened to it while I was getting ready for church this morning, and then again on repeat while I was unloading groceries/getting lunch ready. These lyrics are my prayer this week.

Garden- Needtobreathe
Won't you take this cup from me
Cause fear has stolen all my sleep
If tomorrow means my death
Pray you'll save their souls with it

Let the songs I sing bring joy to you
Let the words I say confess my love
Let the notes I choose be your favorite tune
Father let me heart be after you

In this hour of doubt I see
Who I am is not just me
So give me strength to die myself
So love can live to tell the tale

Let the songs I sing bring joy to you
Let the words I say confess my love
Let the notes I choose be your favorite tune
Father let me heart be after you

Father let my heart be for you, for you, for you, for you
Father let me heart be after you

(Listen to it here.)

This weekend was a good lesson in perspective for me as well. No matter what happens on this earth, whatever struggles we go through, it's NOTHING compared to the vast greatness we will experience knowing Jesus fully in Heaven. I am thankful for the encouragement I received this weekend- through going for a walk and watching "The Proposal" with girlfriends on Friday, to going to garage sales with my sweet coworker on Saturday morning, to eating dinner with my family on Saturday night, to an encouraging message on the seasons of marriage at church this morning.

Thank you, God, for uplifting me after a hard week.

Father, let my heart be after You.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pumpcast news and a day off!

Today is the first day of our new work schedule (talked about here). We are switching to a four 10 hour day schedule- so my day off is Monday, which means Tuesday-Friday I will work 7-5. Change is always weird, so I am a little bit nervous about it, but I know that after the first week it will be great. Everyone keeps saying how much I love it, and so far being home on a Monday has been fabulous! I slept in a bit, got a little work done for school (I know, I shouldn't do that on my day off), and cleaned our apartment so well I'm pretty sure it's never sparkled like it is now. :) I'm about to go for a run, make my wonderful hubby some lunch before his final (one more week and he's done with year two!), and then get pedicures with my mom and sisters!

A pretty great day, if I do say so. (I also already prepped dinner for tonight, so I only have to stick it in the oven. Go me!)

Yesterday we discovered these videos. You should definitely watch. They are "pumpcast news" videos where this guy talks to people while they are filling up with gas. Most of the other ones are inappropriate or not that funny, but this one is definitely worth watching. In part 2, they are featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Pumpcast news part 1

Pumpcast news part 2

Enjoy! Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thankful for my sweet mom.

Happy Mother's Day 2013!

This morning was a great morning at church. It is so rewarding and we feel so blessed to be able to be the leaders of our life group. It's so great to see His body alive in community- to be able to laugh, cry, and share life together. The fellowship we have with our small group is so encouraging- we are extremely thankful to be a part of it. The service today was really great as well. My voice hurt from singing so loud, and it was neat to hear a very personal message from our pastor about life with his mom. Also, I received a very kind, unexpected compliment from someone about someone I had helped, which is a lot like my mother. My mom does a lot in the background that often goes unnoticed, but she is so deserving of praise. My mom shaped me to be a good leader and Christ follower.

My mom is largely responsible for who I am today. My mom (and dad) taught me about Jesus and was/is a selfless servant to Him and her family. I could write a novel about my mom. She is definitely a Proverbs 31 woman. She is a wife of noble character to my dad. She brings him good, not harm. My mom works hard with her hands, providing for her family. She goes about her work vigorously. Her lamp does not go out at night- she is always available. She opens her arms and extends to the needy. She is clothed with strength and dignity. She speaks with wisdom and instructs faithfully. She takes good care of her household and is not idle. The last four verses sum up my mother well: 

Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

My mom had four children, and we were so blessed to be able to have her stay home with us. I am grateful that that is something my mom wanted to do, and that my dad worked hard to make happen. My mom was and is always there. I remember her setting up pools and sprinklers in the backyard for us in the summer and letting us drip sticky popsicles all over when we were done. She let us play outside in the snow in the winter, which meant a lot of work for her dressing us and cleaning up after, when we only wanted to stay out for 10 minutes when we got cold. She would scratch my back when I couldn't sleep at night. One of my favorite memories is when my mom let me sit on the counter and help her bake. It was also a special day when she got out her stamp collection and let us go wild with ink pads. My mom ironed countless perlor bead creations we made. She let us slide down the stairs in sleeping bags, even though she thought it was dangerous. My mom washed my volleyball and track uniforms over and over. My mom curled my hair everyday when I was younger. I remember confessing to her when I first held hands with a boy. She taught me to shave my legs. My mom was the beloved mom of my high school friends because she was the only one who would cook them countless pizza rolls and taquitos. More than the little things, my mom was an example to be selfless, to be a servant, to have a joyful heart, to not complain about the mundane tasks but do them your best, to seek Christ, and to love others well.

I can't even express how blessed I am by my mom. She is the ultimate best. Thanks mom, for all that you do! I love you so much.

My mom and I when I was a baby.

My mom and I after I got my first "short bob" haircut. :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Day.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day (tomorrow)! Below is an email I sent to my awesome coworkers.

Hello wonderful coworkers! Today is Teacher Appreciation Day- what a great day! I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you for what you've done/continue to do for me, each other, and all the kids! You make a huge difference and I am so appreciative, blessed, and grateful.

We serve a mighty God, and I feel so honored to be blessed with working with you, and I hope you feel the same. What a great purpose we are called to. I know you don't get appreciated near as much as you deserve. You work so hard- graciously wiping nose after nose, comforting many tears, calming fights, encouraging the downcast, correcting and training again and again, laughing with the joyful, and on and on. You clean up spills, spray tables, mop the floor, take out the garbage. You rub backs, whisper sentences to drift to sleep, and comfort bad dreams. You try to make grumpy faces smile. You do a great job communicating with parents- not always an easy job! You lesson plan, laminate, decorate bulletin boards, and hang artwork. You pretty much do everything- you're a superhero. 

We get the opportunity to form young lives toward Christ's love; what a great and high calling. Matthew 25:40 says, "And the King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Jesus is watching and guiding us all day long. Whatever we do to serve His loved ones, no matter how small, He sees and will reward you. Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Keep pressing on and don't give up! Those tiny moments are what make our job so fulfilling and rewarding- the moment a child does the right thing when no one is looking but you see it, the moment a child says something hilarious, the moment a friend helps another out of love, the moment after disciplining time after time and the child grows from it, the time you are teaching something difficult and they master it, the moment someone repeats a Biblical truth you taught in another context/situation- we are doing amazing Kingdom work here.

I am so glad God has called us to serve together. I am blessed to work in a place where people don't complain, but lift each other up and ask each other how things are going. 

Psalm 63 is my favorite Psalm. I hope the words below lift you up and encourage you. I pray that you are filled to overflowing, so we can rain Him down onto our kids. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all that you do. Today (and every day!), know that you are appreciated! 
Love, Kelsey

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
1You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
2I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
6On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


So, somehow the connection that used to upload my instagram pictures to be blog is still yet broken, so I can't put any pictures into my posts. I need to have Kley fix it. :) It's been broken for awhile, and I just haven't had the time (or chosen to take the time) to fix it.

This weekend was good! Friday night we hung out with my parents and sister- we went to Panera for supper and went and saw The Croods. It was so good- about cave people who lose their cave and end up "finding the world" and being close as a family again. Kids movies are pretty much my favorite now. So cute, uplifting, and much more wholesome than most other movies. (Speaking of, remember in this post when I said we were going to watch Flight? Well, it stunk. Denzel let me down. It was so sad- about this pilot whose plane was going down and he did this miraculous landing that saved most on board, yet the issue was he was drunk and high while he did it. I have no idea how someone drunk and high could function like that, but I guess he did. The rest of the movie was about his addictions. It's so sad how wrapped up people get and basically lose their whole life. There was tiny redemption in the end when he turned himself in and told the truth, but overall it was so so sad.)

Saturday was low key. Kley has finals for the next two weeks, so he is studying hard. I went to Target (which I love), and at night we went to church and the dedication for the new community center they built. It's pretty cool- a new building all about reaching the community and letting others use it.

Kley played at church this morning, while I pretty much read my book and watched TV at my parent's house while I did laundry. I went to church, but no one came to life group since they all came last night, so I just left because I had already heard the sermon. It was nice to have some extra reading time! This afternoon we took a nap, and now we are headed to small group.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Teacher Appreciation Week.

Dear Teachers Everywhere

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. It fills me with many emotions, as a teacher myself, kid lover, and one who will send my future children into teacher's classrooms. I will share my own thoughts later, but you should definitely read the post above that someone else wrote about Teacher Appreciation Week.

If you are a teacher- THANK YOU for your hard work! You are appreciated!