Jeff & Debbi's Family

Just another VanDFam Website

October 11th, 2015

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Another exciting week has come and gone in the VanD home so that means it’s time for a family update!  I decided that it was time for a a few short video updates.




Unfortunately Spencer was not feeling well on Sunday so no video from him.  He is still just loving playing with legos.  That is really what he does in any spare time he has. The kids have set up a lego city on the back porch are are often out there playing (all of them at some time or another), but Spencer plays out there more than others.  He has a lot of fun with them.  It is very cute!

Deb and I are doing well.  Nothing too exciting to report on our end.  I’ll try to see if I can take some more pictures this week!

Have a great week!  Keep your arms and hands inside the ride at all time sand have fun!

Written by Jeff

October 12th, 2015 at 1:41 pm

October 4th, 2015

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It has been way too long since I have written on a regular basis in here and life is just passing us by! I really feel the need to keep a better record of who and where we are!

Generally, since the last time we wrote with any consistency we moved from Arlington up to Frisco TX after I was offered a partnership at a startup company, Osky Blue. We lived at a rental home for a year while our home sold in Arlington, and while we built out a home in Little Elm (right next to Frisco). We now live in a great neighborhood called Frisco Hills in a wonderful home. We are so blessed. Each of the kids have their own room and there is a good family room upstairs for the kids to play around in. It has been our home that this will be the home we stay in for the next 10 years while our kids all grow up. We love it here in Frisco and love the people. Anyway, here is a short update on each of the kids and us.

Joseph is busy being a teenage Freshman (9th Grade) in high school. I don’t know how it happened, but we have a cool kid high schooler. Most days are just spent trying to survive. He get’s up at 5am (or 5:25 when I come up stairs if he thinks he can “sleep in”). He has early morning seminary (Old Testament this year) and then goes from school to Band practice EVERY day. Seriously.. they don’t mess around here with Band.

In addition to practice every day, I think every weekend this month they also have a band competition… so we are just trying to enjoy any time we get with our sweet son.


Rebekah (7th Grade) says the highlight of her week was yesterday when I kicked them out of the house! It was beautiful outside and the kids were all sitting around so I told them to get lost! They took off toward the forest by our house and found what they are now calling “The Brain”. It is a clump of those trees that drop “Brain” looking fruit. It think technically they are called Osage trees. Anyway, the now LOVE this forest hangout and want to go back there every day. We went by this afternoon as a family so we could all check it out.

Besides that Bekah has been busy with school and is loving Band. Since I have not written in forever, she is in the Symphonic band (the top band) at her middle school playing the beautiful French Horn. It is her favorite class right now. (For the record… she hates Math).


Kay is just a sweet as ever. She is in the 4th grade and started at a new school this year. In typical Kay fashion it wasn’t too long before she finagled her way into being Class President and twice a week goes to choir practice before school for the school choir.

This year with Bekah and Joseph in Band she didn’t want to be left out so she has taken up the Trombone and can play a few songs… I’d post a video… but alas, I love you all too much for that. Perhaps in a few years of practice.  Kay is always available for a good cuddle… She loves curling up with just about anyone. If I could get her and Bekah to sleep in their own rooms it would be a miracle.

Today Kay and Bekah were reading old journals and they came across something about a palm pilot. I pulled out my old one and put in batteries and it started up. She is playing with that now and is calling it her “starter phone”. It doesn’t do anything… but she is excited… and how cool is it to have one of my 10 year old palm pilots working…


Spencer was part of the Brain patrol as well and loves to climb in the trees to go and find things there. Right now he is about 1/2 way through his first (and perhaps only) season of flag football. Most of the time he just does what the coaches ask… and tries not to get into too much trouble. Lol…  He doesn’t really understand football… I guess that is what happens when you are raised by a non-football guy…

He REALLY likes to hang on things.. .anything, anywhere. We were at Joseph’s Football game on Friday and he found a bar to hang all night and is now nursing a blister in the middle of his hands. We have long felt that gymnastics may be a good thing for him that he would enjoy so yesterday we took a few hours and went an visited local gyms. We may try out a class in the near future.

He also LOVES lego’s. He has gotten creative and is now putting his lego guys in funny places (like holding up the dutch oven table), or eating a snack in the fridge.

Lego guys holding up the dutch oven table.

Lego guys holding up the dutch oven table.

Snack time!  I love grapes!

Snack time! I love grapes!

Oh, and he loves to work in the garden.  Here he is digging for potatoes!



Debbi and I are doing great. We celebrated our 15th anniversary this past summer. I am working away at Osky Blue, where I am the Chief Technical Officer and work on technology all day long. Debbi works about 20 hours a week there as well as the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Manager. (She makes sure all the SEO get’s done for our clients each month). But mostly she is trying to really be involved in the kids lives. She is serving on the Band Board for Bekah’s middle school and volunteers with Joseph’s High School band as well on a regular basis. She is attending Intitute each week and makes me some killer fish at least once a week for dinner (no minor miracle here folks).

We are so blessed and grateful for each and every one of you!

Written by Jeff

October 4th, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Spencer Flag Football

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Had a great morning with Spencer registering him for flag football this fall. Should be fun!  Happy birthday to me sweet 8 year old!

Written by Jeff

May 16th, 2015 at 10:24 am

Posted in General

Rebekah Our Spelling Wizard

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Rebekah participated in our school’s Spelling Bee for the second year in a row.  She has a real knack for spelling and writing.  Last year she was a 3rd grader going up against 4th, 5th, and 6th graders and went really far in the competition.  This year in 4th grade, she did the same.  She is amazing!!

Written by Debbi

December 3rd, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Rebekah

If we are His hands, should we not do the same?

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“Christ knows how to minister to others perfectly. When the Savior stretches out His hands, those He touches are uplifted and become greater, stronger, and better people as a result. If we are His hands, should we not do the same?”

–Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “You Are My Hands”, Ensign May 2010, 68-70, 75

Written by Jeff

September 1st, 2012 at 5:28 am

Posted in General

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Back in April, the family did one last 5k Race before it got to hot to run.   They did an amazing job!  Joseph shaved off 5 minutes from his last race.  Rebekah placed 2nd in her division, Kay placed 1st in hers, and Spencer got 2nd in the stroller division… he ran a good portion of the race though.  🙂  Mom, Brad, Jamie, and Eli met us halfway through the race to cheer us on, squirt us with water guns, and take these fun pictures.

Rebekah sped by them before they could get their camera out… she was Hauling!

Here’s Joseph.












Here is Kay, Jeff, and Spencer before and after the squirt.


Debbi bringing in all the last of the Swift Striders.









And then Mrs. Nelson (Spencer’s Pre-K teacher).

Written by Debbi

July 6th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Joseph’s Crazy Hair

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Joseph got a new haircut tonight. He wants to keep it all summer. I said he could have it for 24 hours. What do you think?



Written by Jeff

June 21st, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Joseph

Rebekah’s Career Plan

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Got this today from Rebekah. Just about cried. :).


Got this awesome keychain from Joseph too. Best … Fathers … Day … Ever!


Written by Jeff

June 17th, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Posted in Jeff,Joseph,Rebekah

Cute Kay

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Kay was playing on some app on the phone and made this and sent it to me.  How cute! 🙂

Written by Jeff

June 11th, 2012 at 7:30 am

Posted in Jeff,Kay

Joseph 11 Year Old Camp

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This week has been 11 year old camp for Joseph. He has had a ball tying knots, hiking (getting lost), working on merit badges, swimming, and finally a camp out with his awesome dad last night. We had a great time. Here are just a few pics. (dinner last night… He cooked his own foil dinner and his was one of the only ones that was done… Patience… Amazing patience. The second is this morning in the tent)



Written by Jeff

June 9th, 2012 at 5:22 am

Posted in Joseph