Monday, July 13, 2009

The Event Horizon!

Here is Dave, following Noah, to The Event Horizon....

Event Horizon: For the case of a horizon perceived by a uniformly accelerating observer in empty space, the horizon seems to remain a fixed distance from the observer no matter how its surroundings move. Varying the observer's acceleration may cause the horizon to appear to move over time, or may prevent an event horizon from existing, depending on the acceleration function chosen. The observer never touches the horizon, and never passes a location where it appeared to be. -- Wikipedia

It seems that at the start of each year, as the calendar begins to fill out, we start looking for the "event horizon", when we'll be done...with travel, projects, whatever. Of course, that won't happen this side of heaven, for we must work while it is yet day. New things always come up. But the term "event horizon" is what we often playfully refer to when in the midst of the busiest of times...and we used that term quiet a bit this spring!

We have had a very busy past several months...and continue to be so...but a break in the clouds became apparent. For months, Mommy and the kids, during full days of multiple deadlines and projects, have been discussing "when this is all done," having a surprise for Daddy. For even though there were plenty of things for us all to do, nobody's list was longer than Daddy's. We had already planned to take as much of the load off of him as possible, but there was much that only he could do...

Then, a couple of weeks ago, some things clicked:

1. In addition to all the many things we had done, we witnessed the arrival at a major milestone in the completion of Dave's upcoming programming book.
2. On our preferred surprise day, our next door neighbor agreed to let our guests park in his backyard, adjacent to our campfire area. Hee, hee, Dave would never guess!
3. We finally had all parts of our yard spruced up at the same time (since we were having guests the day before the surprise!)

We really wanted a God-glorifying celebration, with the opportunity for all to share the things that the Lord has been doing in their lives. We had really been missing spending time with many of our brothers and sisters in the Lord. So, the surprise was kind of set in motion by Dave's book milestone, but it was not merely a party for Dave, but a time of Christian fellowship. And the Lord greatly blessed us...and those who came to share it with us!

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon as people arrived and parked in our neighbor's backyard.

From there, they walked to our campfire area, which had been cleared, decorated, and tabled. Once the first two guests arrived, the fellowshipping began, though the surprise hadn't taken place. We assured everyone that Dave had no idea what was going on.

Dave, Zak and Ben were upstairs working on computer projects. Though Dave's book was done, he had lots of edits and review suggestions to go through. Meanwhile, we were stringing up holiday lights and moving yard furniture and party supplies. At times, we were frantically racing around for tools or supplies, running from the woods to the house and back. Whew!

Nothing was out of the ordinary when I summoned Zak, and later Ben, to help me with something. Once everyone was assembled in the woods, Noah came upstairs to escort Dave to a surprise he wanted to show him.

Noah led Daddy past a few cutely handcrafted "This way to the Event Horizon" signs (by Susanna). Perhaps he noticed there were cars in our neighbor's backyard, but that was hardly unusual. Then, Dave entered our little trail in the woods to the campfire area. Nothing unusual there.... until he spotted Steve, our tall brother from south of Madison. Since we see Steve and family so rarely, this did not compute, and Dave's brain started heating up.

When the whole group yelled "Surprise," this further complicated things. Surprise for what? It wasn't his birthday, and since the book was not completely done, it didn't register that this could have anything to do with it.

Due to technical difficulties, nobody actually captured Dave's surprised look at the moment.
Our brother James described his look as "priceless".
This picture was snapped after he was able to comprehend what was happening.

To help clarify things for Dave, we enlisted the help of troubadour Mark:

Mark attained inKLEINations fame last summer for his on-the-fly (pardon the pun) composition of "Mosquito Blues". This time, he helped polish a ditty that I wrote to help commemorate Dave's completion of all the chapters of his book. Mark added the title "Tech Writer's Blues". I don't have Mark's final lyrics, which were much bluer than these, but here is the core...

You see him over at Culver's plunkin on that Mac keyboard

You see him over at Culver's a plunkin on that Mac keyboard

He'll be the one with the decaf soda

Typing stuff that makes normal people bored

Now he's over at McDonalds, hoping that his laptop batteries hold

I saw him over at McDonalds, hoping that his laptop batteries hold

There's no power outlets at McDonalds

But he'll be there till the fries get cold

He's got that kid that does his proofin, adding commas like he's a wealthy man

He's got that kid that does his proofin, adding commas like he's a wealthy man

That kid's drinkin leftover decaf soda

from his daddy's decaf Sam's soda can

He's got a table of contents, and its over two pages long

I say he's got a table of contents, and I say its over two pages long

If that thing gets much longer

I won't have time to finish this song

Now he's got that thing in beta, and he'll take a break for tech review

He's got that thing in beta, and he's breaking for a tech review

Bet they won't add any commas

But parentheses -- he might still need a few

He couldn't persevere unless the Lord gave him his power

He'll tell you he couldn't persevere unless the Lord gave him his power

because that man was at Culver's

writing just about 2 paragraphs an hour!

After that interlude, we began the process of seating everyone around our campfire pit, which was not ignited, so everyone could have a chance to share what the Lord had been doing in their life and family. That took a while, because most of the folks had never met each other and were busy talking and laughing, etc. But, we did manage to get the ball rolling. Since Dave had no advance warning, he was to take the last turn. I think I caught him massaging his facial muscles, as he told me he was hurting from smiling so much.

This was such a special time and everyone seemed to have a different angle, so there was not much repetition. God is so good!

After Dave wrapped things up, he gave thanks for the food, among other things. Another reminder to our children, its only because of the LORD that we can have such special times with our family in Christ!

So, we had it pot luck, and it worked out so cool, because we just brought what we were making anyway for our lunch, nothing that Dave would notice. Folks brought lots of yummy stuff!

Here are Jay and Mark.

Here are the hard-working Klein fellowship committee girls enjoying the company of Abigail, their friend. The weather under the trees was so pleasant. The Lord gave us a perfect day for an outside event, sandwiched between two rainy days!

And what would we have done if it rained? Simple: we just knew it wouldn't!

Getting acquainted with distant family...

Dave was so blessed to overhear and/or participate in so many great discussions with the brothers.

Baby Zipporah was a happy camper, and found many welcoming arms.

The kids enjoyed exploring our bit of woods and decided to build a fort, Lincoln log style.

These same energetic young-uns would soon be enlisted to haul ice cream out to the backyard!

We discovered the fun of family volleyball at the home of our dear friends, the Criggers. As Giddy (foreground, age 4) put it, "I liked playing volleyball, and I never even hit the ball once!"

Our visitors enjoyed checking out our new batch of Muscovy ducklings, of which only 4 of 9 remain.

Linda Crigger didn't miss a beat in taking up the scoop and dishing up brownies and ice cream for the crowd. Thanks so much, Linda!!! Susanna made 8 pans of brownies, and we learned that 8 pans of brownies, to Daddy, smelled just like 1 pan of brownies. He was so clueless!!!

We located the dessert table out by the volleyball game, realizing it was not going to be easy to get them to take a break.

As the shadows grew longer, folks started to depart for home. We began the process of saying goodbye...

Our Abi and friend, Hope.

Hope and Sarah. Though ALL the children helped tremendously, Sarah's organizational skills and willingness to lift heavy objects was a blessing.

Susanna, our certified brownie baker, takes the cake!

Zak and Lee Crigger, both are the oldest in their respective families.

Certain friends, who wish to remain anonymous, found it hard to say goodnight.

What a wonderful time! Thanks to our dear friends who came out, and mostly thanks to the Lord Jesus for everything! We love you!!!

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