All posts by Nathan


With having two young children, we find we are often in need of a vaporizer. This winter, we are experimenting with running a vaporizer year round, whether they are sick or not.

The problem, is finding a good vaporizer. Does anyone have any suggestions. Here’s the criteria I’m looking for:
– Cool mist
– Ultra-sonic – these run quieter and have great control on mist output. When the girls aren’t sick, we run it on a very low setting over night.
– Easy cleaning – the ultra-sonic one we just discarded (due to mineral deposits I couldn’t get off the base, hence it wasn’t putting out mist) made it virtually impossible to clean the tube that the mist travels up. I found a thick, gross looking layer of pink slime coating the inside of this tube. I need to be able to get a cleaning brush/rag on every internal surface. I handle vaporizer cleaning, while I’m happy to use power tools to get things dis-assembled and clean, I don’t know that the vaporizer will work once I’m done with it. 🙂
– Easy filling — This is not a necessity, but would be very nice. Does that tank stay upright when upside down?

There’s the challenge. What have you found to work well? When responding, if you have both the model number and the name of the manufacturer I would be grateful.

Thank you.

“But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”    Genesis 2:6

Vaporizor Follow-up

A Post with the News from Melanie

It has been fun to see the excitement resulting from a simple caption below Bethany’s picture in the last post. 🙂

Yes, we are expecting again! We are excited and a little apprehensive all at the same time. Many of you have traveled the journeys of our pregnancies with us and understand the challenges we have gone through.

I am 9 weeks along now. As with my other pregnancies, I have been on progesterone since we found out I was pregnant.

It is fun to watch Abigail be so excited about the new baby. She has had the “job” of telling our news. She loves sharing that “Momma’s going to have a new baby!” She has also changed her doll’s name to “New Baby” and carries her around most of the day. She tells me that she is carrying the new baby so that I can carry Bethany. 🙂 And Bethany doesn’t really understand what is going on, but she shares in Abby’s enthusiasm. So when Abby tells the news, Bethany will often add a happy exclamation.

This is baby #6 for us (three with the Lord). It is an incredible privilege to get to carry another child. We pray that we will have the joy of raising this little one.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer!


“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalms 139:13)

ITonRamp Update

This post is a bit belated, but thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the ITonRamp survey. The responses were most helpful.

One thing we learned is that there is a great interest in an introductory course. After extensive searching for the right curriculum, we discovered something. Or, we discovered a lack of something. There are many entry-level computer books, but none that we found that covered what we felt was important. They were more geared to general computer usage instead of beginning IT. Thus, part of my prep work in bringing ITonRamp to you is writing the curriculum. That is now a work in progress.

Where do things stand now:
– Website is being written
– First round of logo drafts have arrived.
– Business plan is largely done
– A number of A+ books are under review
– Introductory track curriculum is in development.

Wow – nothing of this magnitude launches easily.

Shortly, we will unveil the ITonRamp website and blog. We want that to answer many of the questions we know are out there. As with the fitness challenges (which is ongoing btw at we don’t want to distract from the message of Titus2’s blog. The goal is to move ITonRamp communications to it and let those interested follow that blog.

Our plans now are for the introductory course to be offered twice over the summer. Course length is looking to be 4-6 weeks. We may offer the more in depth course (A+, the IT technician training) as well over the summer, but for sure at the fall semester. This course will target a standard semester length of 16 weeks.

I would covet your prayers as I reduce my workload. Knowing which clients to keep and which I need to part ways with is hard. I would also appreciate prayer support in the writing and planning that is ongoing.


“I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word” (Psalms 119:16).


Regularly parents ask us how their children can acquire computer vocational skills similar to those our children have learned. These parents want a way for their children to gain this same knowledge from home. Because of the number of inquires we receive, several years ago we began praying about a way to get this information into the hands of other families. Praying turned to discussion, and discussion has turned into a starting plan.

Through this blog post and survey, we are investigating whether there is enough interest for our oldest son, Nathan, to begin a mentor-guided distance-learning course to help others develop vocational computer skills. We think you would find Nathan to be an encouraging facilitator and a good role model – one that you would be happy to have your children, or maybe you yourself,  learning from.
The course that Nathan will be leading would:

1. Be reasonably priced – without the negative influences often encountered through other higher education vocational options

2. Challenge but be achievable by anyone

3. Enable others to begin a small business that:

a. Has little, if any, overhead

b. Can find clients in businesses, churches, and homes because almost everyone has a computer, and those computers have problems that need to be fixed.

c. Allows schedule flexibility
Steve and Teri

ITOR Introduction Blog Post – by Nathan

This article will share with you a direction the Lord is potentially leading me. As many of you have walked with us through life’s highs and lows, we wanted to bring you into this as soon as we could and solicit your thoughts and feedback. We have a survey below and would appreciate anything you wanted to share/post as a response to this blog entry in addition to completing the survey.

For the past 15 years, I have worked in the IT industry (IT being an acronym in the computer industry – Information Technology). Through strictly word of mouth, the Lord has brought together a consulting business for me, which is my full-time vocation. I work with small businesses; most of these organizations are not large enough to have full time IT staff members. The Lord has wonderfully directed my work. Times where I needed less work (such as a wife on bedrest) have been slow, other times much busier.

Now for the exciting news . . . We are looking at launching an IT mentor-guided, distance-learning in-depth program that I would facilitate. We will call it Our goal is to help individuals learn computer skills, foundational and beyond, to equip them for income generation, life skills, and service!

First, who would be interested in ITonRamp? Mainly, high-school age students. But, we see potential way beyond that. For example dads seeking to make a career change, graduates desiring to add skills to their portfolio, moms wanting to understand their computers, and even single moms developing a skillset to support their families.

We are looking at offering two tracks, with a third to come in the near future. The first two tracks will focus on foundational computer skills and knowledge – based around CompTia’s A+ (an industry-accepted certification of specific IT skills). These skills account for roughly 60-70% of what I use on a day-to day-basis as a self employed, small business IT service provider.

Let me address what this course isn’t. It’s not an easy, “here’s what happens when you double-click the Microsoft Word icon” – “Here’s how to copy and paste a file “. Rather, it will be challenging, in-depth, and frankly – hard! Someone with zero computer knowledge could expect to invest up to 200 hours in learning the material. Those with a greater familiarity will require less time. The big picture is that almost anyone would benefit from a knowledge of how computers work, the ability to remove spyware/viruses, and when repair doesn’t work, the ability to reload the computer. Because most homes have small networks, being able to work with residential routers, share printers, and make sure the wireless is setup in a secure manner are skills almost every home needs.

Anyone with even a slight interest in a computer-related field would highly benefit from this training. Joseph, a skilled programmer, received his A+ certification when he was fourteen by passing both tests. It meant hours of studying, week after week, but he has benefited greatly these last seven years from this information.

Whether you’re interested in system administration, project management, information security, web design, programming, electronic forensics . . . A+ is the place to start.

We are excited! This venture has been bathed in prayer, and we eagerly look forward to your thoughts. We’re wondering if there is a market/need, if it’s financially viable for me to reduce my client workload to begin ITonRamp, and if home educators are willing to invest the time and resources needed. So many questions! We are looking to hearing back from you as we begin this venture.

Would each of you please take a minute to complete the survey for us?


Nathan, Melanie and the girls

“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Proverbs 20:11

Pushup Challenge Question

We received this as a question:

“What do I do if I can’t even do 1 beginner pushup? I know that sounds pathetic, but I really tried and I guess I just don’t have much arm strength.. I know I need this exercise, and my husband thought it’d be a nice way for us to begin family exercise, but I am unsure how to start.”


Good question. It’s not pathetic at all. Arm/shoulder strength isn’t a given in anyone; and there are probably more people in your boat than you realize.

To make pushups easier we need to minimize gravity. It’s not as hard as it sounds. Here are some options:

Try in front of your stairs. Stand or kneel (depending on ability), and then lay against the stairs. Put your hands on the stair that hits just below your shoulders and try a pushup.

Or, stand upright in front of a wall. Move your feet back 2-4′ depending on your ability. It will be more difficult the farther you stand from the wall. Keep your body straight, lean forward to where your forehead touches the wall, and push back. You might want to mark the floor where you will be standing each time.

Any other questions?

God bless,


“That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:6


What a great response to the test post on a fitness challenge!! We’re ready to go on our side. We grabbed a few pictures the other night to set out some suggestions on proper form, and they will be with the next post. A rough plan has been completed to cover the next 90 days; we’re looking forward to it.

As Dad did in his initial post, I would like to again provide a bit of encouragement in a few areas.

First, balance. Scripture says that “bodily exercise profiteth little.” We see that there is benefit in exercise, but according to Scripture, it is minimal. Our bodies are Christ’s temple; they are what He indwells. But, our spirit is what will live forever. Therefore, to neglect what is important for that which isn’t would not be a good thing. For someone to get their pushups in for the day, but miss their time with the Lord would show misplaced priorities.

Secondly, we are not wanting this to be a catalyst that encourages joining of gyms. We’re sure some will disagree with this, but we don’t see gyms as a wholesome environment for Christians. Between the modesty, music, and TV, they aren’t edifying. Therefore, our challenge is to encourage physical fitness that can be accomplished at home.

Thirdly, we desire to build the body, not injure it. With exertion there is the possibility of injury if there are existing physical problems or poor form/execution of the exercise. Please be sure you have correct form, and if you have any concerns or questions about your current health status, check with your physician. We won’t consider stiffness an injury. (smile)

And last, this is not a competition. We are not competing against each other. It is an “as iron sharpeneth iron” environment where we can encourage each other to improve. We’re not competing. The goal of this is to provide a forum for interaction, accountability to push on, and programming that makes it accessible for everyone in a family environment.

Scripture says that a threefold cord is not easily broken. I’m looking forward to being a part of that cord with you over the next 90 days.

Watch the blog as the next post will describe how it will work and give you the opportunity to measure your current ability. Look for it Thursday or Friday!


“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

A family team
Abby’s little stuffed animals were going to take a turn riding.