Thoughts on the Meaning of Life… Todd Helmkamp

Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category


Posted by Vogeler on October 27, 2011

We finally have some more news about the adoption!  Some abandonment decrees are almost finished (an abandonment decree is an official statement by a government that a child is abandoned and able to be adopted), and hopefully ours is one of them!  If so, we should be able to go get our little sweetie in January/February as planned.  We can’t wait!  We are traveling up to Ann Arbor, Michigan next Tuesday to get our biometrics taken (whatever that means;  I assume it means things like fingerprints, etc) with Homeland Security.  Maybe I’ll get to meet Gary Quesenberry from TopShot on the History Channel, haha!

In other news, inspired by the pictures of snowfall in her town by my friend Mer, I broke out the Christmas music yesterday.  Sorry Kelly, at least you don’t have to listen to it.  🙂

A few months ago I downloaded the iTunes Holiday Sampler, and I have to say it’s excellent. Three songs really stand out:  “It Snowed” by Meaghan Smith, “Dream a Dream” by Charlotte Church, and “A Snowflake Fell (And it Felt Like a Kiss)” by Glasvegas.  All three very much worth a listen.


Posted in Adoption, Fun Stuff, Ramblings | 6 Comments »

“Happy Anniversary Baby, Got You On My Miiiind…”

Posted by Vogeler on November 19, 2008

The title of this post are lyrics from a great song, entitled, “Happy Anniversary” (surprise!) by the Little River Band.  Man, I love those oldies.  (The song is from 1977, the year before I was born, so it counts as an oldie.  So there).

But that’s not the focus of this post.  No, the focus of this post is that my blog is officially two years old!! (OK, two years and two days.  I forgot.  Sue me.  It’s not like I forgot my wedding anniversary, for pete’s sake.  Who is pete and why do we care about him?)

In honor of my two year anniversary, I will not be giving away free stuff.  If I made money from this blog, I would.  But I don’t, so I’m not.

Instead, I present to you…..   *drumroll*

Todd’s Favorite Posts from the Last Two Years!!!

*pause for cheers and applause*

(note:  these are my favorite posts, not necessarily the best or most profound.  You’ve been warned)

10.  It’s Official!!!!! /It’s A Boy!! (tie)

9.  Bye -Bye Myspace

8.  Passing Through

7.  Today’s Pictures

6.  My New Blog!! (shameless plug)

5.  Ten Years Later

4.  The Importance of A Christian Education

3.  Things I Learned From Reading Louis L’Amour Novels

2.  An Excellent Look at Early Church Relations and Discipline (link updated and fixed)

1.  Be Careful What You Read (I should be on Mythbusters!)

Are there any you would add?

Posted in Announcements, Fun Stuff, Questions for Debate, Ramblings, Things I'm Doing, Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

What’s Yours??

Posted by Vogeler on September 7, 2007

This semester (my final one!  Hooray!) I am taking a course entitled “Environmental Sociology”.  The environment, and how humans interact with it, has long been one of my pet subjects.  I am learning how we can live in more harmony with nature, and I believe that Christians have a responsibility to do so (Genesis 2:15).

Anyway, my instructor, Thomas Overton, mentioned a carbon footprint calculator on the website for the Nature Conservancy.   I plugged in my information, and was gratified that my score, 64 tons of C02 per year is less than the national average of 80.  However, I really NEED to find ways to lower it!

I encourage you to check your own carbon footprint, and post the results here.  The only way we are going to change things is by learning how to do it!

Posted in Fun Stuff, Questions for Debate, Ramblings, Things I'm Doing | 8 Comments »

My legs hurt.

Posted by Vogeler on August 16, 2007

Last night, I ran for the first time in quite a while (years, maybe).


See, I checked out for tips for beginners, and they had several articles recommending a run/walk combo.  Run for 1 minute, walk for two minutes, wash, rinse, repeat.

Keep it up for thirty minutes.

When I was done, I was tired, not exhausted.  I felt great.  I was covered in sweat, so I know I got a good workout (not to mention my legs are on fire today!!).  The dog went with me, and she was about dead afterward.  Poor fat, out-of-shape Lucy.  🙂

If you are out of shape, or just want to start running, I highly recommend giving this a try.  A couple of things to remember:

  1. Check with your doctor first
  2. walk for 20 minutes for four days, then 30 minutes for the next four days before running
  3. give yourself time to rest on off days!
  4.  check out the whole article:,7120,ssss6-380-381–678-5-1X2X4X5X6-6,00.html
  5. Don’t sue me if you were dumb and injured yourself.


Posted in Announcements, Fun Stuff | Leave a Comment »

Learning a New Language

Posted by Vogeler on August 10, 2007

Since I’ve been a father, I’ve discovered something wonderful about those little humans we call children:  they don’t talk so well at first.  In order to understand what my son is trying to communicate to me, I have to be patient, and pay attention.  Anyone know of another Father that is patient and  that pays attention to us?  🙂

Anywho, (just for fun) I thought I would compile a short list (I absolutely adore lists for some reason) of some of my son’s words and the English translation.  Here we go:

Nighteen kween:  Lightning McQueen, the racecar character from the movie “Cars”

Goggy:  doggy

Oosie:  Lucy, the aforementioned “goggy”

Da-ee:  Daddy

Ma-ma K:  My mother, Mary Kay (who sometimes goes by just “Kay”)

Pie-er Man:  Spider Man

Pie Pan:  Peter Pan (this is one of my favorites!  ha ha!)

‘Tar:  guitar

That’s just a short list.  Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did  (if you thought this was stupid and pointless, you obviously don’t have children, and are probably not a very nice person).

Posted in Fun Stuff | 2 Comments »

Things I Learned from Reading Louis L’Amour Novels

Posted by Vogeler on July 27, 2007

This past Wednesday, my wife and I had some friends over for a cookout/bonfire. We were planning on starting at six pm. So of course it began raining promptly at 4:30 pm. My friend Isaac stood outside under an umbrella with me as I cooked hot dogs on a gas grill (he’s loyal like that).

Several of our friends couldn’t come until about 8:30 or so because their church’s annual business meeting was that night. At around 8 pm the rain stopped, so Michael and I went out to see if we could get the fire started. The wood was all soaked, as it was in a heap rather than neatly stacked (had it been stacked, only the top couple of layers would have been wet. But it was free, so I’m not complaining). Long story short, even with wet wood, I was able to get the fire started using a few pieces of dry pine for kindling, around three pieces of newspaper, and a single match.

I was pretty proud of that.

One of our friends called before he came, and thought I was telling stories about having a fire going. It was nice to see his face when he looked at my respectable blaze. 🙂

The point of this is that had I not been a huge fan of Louis L’Amour’s western novels, I probably never would’ve gotten that fire going without a chemical agent. It was from his works that I learned that if the wood still has bark, you can peel the bark off and the underlying wood will still be dry. He also taught me how to make a reflector out of earth (or in this case, sand) so you can dry out other pieces of wood with the heat from what you’ve already got burning.

After some thought, I decided to make a list of some of the best things I’ve learned from his books. Here we go!

1. How to find water in the desert (look for bees, and follow them).

2. Always cross a stream or river that is in your path before you camp for the night. It could be running bank-full in the morning.

3. You can’t bargain with evil (see also the unfortunate early policies of the US and Great Britain toward Hitler).

4. Women are to be protected (also learned from my Dad).

5. Working with your hands is a good way to accomplish something productive yet still give you time to think about problems.

6. Always check your backtrail.

7. Good men (and women) must stand against evil. Many of the world’s problems would be lessened if good people didn’t stay silent.

8. If you are lost in the snow, make sure not to over-exert yourself. If you begin to sweat, it can freeze inside your clothes and suck away all of your body heat.

9. Snow is an excellent insulator for the outside of a cabin, tent, or shelter.

10. A man isn’t really a man until he is building something. It doesn’t matter if its a business, a town, a farm, or whatever, as long as he’s building something for the future.

11. Manhood has nothing to do with age, and everything to do with accepting responsibility.

Just a short list, but if I listed everything it would take days. If you’re a fan of L’Amour, I’d love to hear some of the favorite things you’ve learned. If you’re not a fan, or haven’t read any of his books, I’d highly recommend them (apparently, so does Billy Graham. I read that he’s a big fan too).

Posted in Fun Stuff, Ramblings | 6 Comments »

I’ve Been Tagged

Posted by Vogeler on June 30, 2007

So.  I have been tagged.  I am supposed to write the five things I like most about Jesus, and then “tag” five others.  Here goes:

1.  Salvation!!!!

2.  John 14:1-3

3.  John 17:20

4.  John 2:14-16

5.  Revelation 21:3-4

Don’t be lazy; look the verses up and read them again.  🙂

Here are my five:






When you get tagged, its your turn!

Posted in Announcements, Fun Stuff, Ramblings | 4 Comments »

Beyond the Ultimate

Posted by Vogeler on February 2, 2007

Beyond the Ultimate

Superbowl coaches and players share their testimonies about faith in Jesus Christ.  Check it out.

Posted in Announcements, Fun Stuff | 1 Comment »

The Case For Christ…and Robin Hood?

Posted by Vogeler on January 2, 2007

So, our small group is starting tonight. We’re going to be reading through The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. Lee is a former journalist for the Chicago Tribune. He became a Christian while on a quest to prove to his Christian wife that her faith was wrong. The book is the story of his journey.

I love this book. I encourage everyone to get a copy. Also, if you are a young couple under 30 and are interested in this study, you can contact our group leader, Nathan Diehl, at

Now, the Robin Hood thing.

Stephen R. Lawhead is one of my favorite fiction writers. He has re-written many of the legends surrounding King Arthur, using a lot of real historical evidence (unlike the recent movie with Clive Owen, which, while entertaining, is SO inaccurate). I would highly recommend his works, as he skillfully, and subtly, interweaves his Christian faith into his books. His latest, Hood puts a much different spin on the Robin Hood legends, using some very early source material that indicates a Welsh origin for the legend. Good stuff!!

What’s your favorite book? If it really is the Bible, great! But I’d like to know what book besides the Bible is your favorite.

Oh, yeah, Happy 2007. Good luck remembering to write 2007 instead of 2006. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Fun Stuff | 9 Comments »

Let it snow…..

Posted by Vogeler on December 1, 2006

Ok, so it’s not gonna stick yet (because of the unseasonably warm weather, the ground is still too warm) but I’m still excited about snow! I can’t wait to take my boy sledding for the first time! And, to have a snowball fight with my sweetest. And make a snowman. And….

Even though I usually don’t get very many posts when I ask questions (why?), I’m going to keep trying.

What is your favorite activity in the snow?

Stay home tonight with someone you love.  Friend, family, spouse, etc.  Curl up in front of a fire.  Play a game.  Watch a movie.   Enjoy some quality time. I will.

Posted in Fun Stuff | 8 Comments »