Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 4, 2017 - Evenly Balanced for Once?


Today we got a lot of family time. A lot of good quality time with the kids. There's a trampoline here, and we've been really into doing funny stuff and playing games on it. Today I was doing tricks with the kids, bouncing them up in the air and either catching them for grabbing them by the legs and swinging them around. We also brought back slow motion tickle man, the kids’ favorite character of mine. They were pretty happy with their dad today.


Of course as usual, I only played after I got a lot of work done.  I edited several videos, ones I've been trying to get to for weeks. Got a lot of content out of them and the greatest part is I was doing these so I could show our new video editor how I want them done. So now that they're done, if I can just find the money to pay him, I don't have to do that work anymore unless I want absolutely want to.

Obstacles to a Healthy Balance

Surprisingly, this is the first day in a long time that I felt pretty darn good healthy balance between family time and work time. If only I have more days like this.

June 3, 2017 - "Extended Family" and 3 New Students


I was gone from the family most of the day, I had two students with big events going on. One of my current students graduated from high school last week and had his party today… and a former student of mine got married. It really made me realize how much I just love teaching guitar. Almost all of my students become more like friends over the years.

When I got home the kids were just so desperate for daddy, which I enjoy because they're a lot of fun when they want to hang out that much (at least if I pay full attention to them that is). All we really did was watch America's funniest home videos. But that's OK, at least we did so together.


This morning I had three students that signed up with the parks and rec department. All three of them are awesome and will be very fun to teach. It was definitely worth the drive to Cheyenne.

Obstacles to a Healthy Balance

Today I feel like I did pretty good at balancing family and work, considering that I did have to spend eight hours away from my family. I ask all really be the distance.

June 2, 2017 - Solving My Blogging Problems

Yesterday I wrote about the difficulties that I am having in keeping my blog going the direction that I originally intended it to go.   Today, I'm going to address how I am going to fix these problems and the tools I will be using to do so.  Here we go:

Problem 1: Actually Writing about each day on the same day everyday.

Solution: Reminders, One-touch blogging button with voice to text dictation.

                I have been using the app Todoist nearly daily for several months now.  It has helped to 
                keep me on track with the million things that I have to do everyday, even keeping up
                with the blog.  The problem though has been that I don't have the laptop out or I don't feel
                like hunting and pecking on the tiny phone keyboard to write it out.  So I skip it some days
                and do it later in the week when I have a large chunk of time. 

                To solve this problem, I found an app called Workflow.  This app has allowed me to create
                a one touch button that pulls up a keyboard that I can then hit the microphone on and just
                dictate what's happened in my day.  It then turns that into text, grabs it and throws it into
                Pages almost completely formatted and everything.  This way, even if I don't have time to
                get on Blogger, all I'll have to do when I get the time is copy, paste, fix any grammatical
                errors and touch up the format.  I don't have to try and rack my brain to remember what
                happened 2-3 days ago.
Problem 2: Capturing Visuals for each day to use in the blog

Solution: Better organizing our media and one button GIF makers

               Again Workflow has been my helper on this one.  We have recently reorganized our media
               to make sure we don't make duplicate, that we keep our current photos more easily
               accessible and our older ones archived.  This has made it easy to find and file stuff away,
               which makes it easier to desire capturing media at all.  But we also are wanting to
               incorporate GIF's and self-made memes into our media content.  So we used Workflow to
               make a quick GIF maker button.  This will also make it easy for the kids to make them.
               They automatically load to iCloud and I can see them immediately they are made.  It's

Problem 3: Keeping my focus on the purpose of the blog itself...balancing family and work life.

Solution: Using prompts within my One-touch blogging button to force me to answer questions.

                I didn't mention in problem #1 my favorite feature of the one touch blogging button that I
                set up.  When I push the button, it prompts me to answer three questions:

               1. What happened in the family today?

               2. What happened with work today?

               3. Anything getting in the way?

               After I dictate it into the prompt boxes, it formats them in order with a headline for each,
               and then pulls it into Pages, where I can add photos from the day.  It's incredibly time
In conclusion, forcing myself to blog like this everyday has given me the necessity to figure out how to make things go faster.  I keep stumbling upon incredible tools, first Canva, then hootsuite, I was blown away by IFTTT, and now I found my new favorite...Workflow.

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 1, 2017 - Blogging Problems

So if you have been following this blog at all for the last several months, I have had as much trouble keeping the format consistent as I have had consistently balancing Family and Work Life themselves, which is the whole point of this blog in the first place.

So I've found some new tools to help me solve my problems.  First here are the problems I've had:

1. Actually writing every day. 

      Obviously this is the most important part of every daily journal blog.  I haven't missed writing about a day yet...but it's been really close.  A few times, I've had to go back to my calendar and rack my brain to remember what happened.  Though I have stayed accurate 100% accurate to each day's events...my goal is to get a more real time analysis of my days.

2. Capturing the day in Photo and Video

      This wasn't much of a problem when we had a home, or weren't in the hospital.  But now with everything going on, it is very difficult to remember to get photos and videos for the blog.  And when I do remember, I think about our disorganized system for media and just don't capture photos and videos at all.

3. Keeping with my original structure and intent
      As I said before, the purpose of this blog is to document each day and determine how I can better balance my family time and work time.  I knew that some days it would end up just being a log of our experiences, but I need to make sure that part is subservient to the overall goal of making sure that my kids and wife were not put on the back burner due to our music career. 

Tomorrow, I will go into detail about how I plan on solving these problems....

May 31, 2017 - 5 Straight Months of Blogging!!

Today marks the five straight month that I have been keeping up with this daily record of our lives.  That make 151 straight days, which completely baffles me.  When I started this thing, I knew it would be a challenge, but I had no clue the adversity that I would be facing in keeping up with it.  I had no way of knowing that our son would end up in the hospital for 3 weeks, that we'd be evicted out of our house for falsified reasons, that we would be setting up a new shop while Heather and I lived in different cities.  All of these insane life events put together would generally spell certain disaster for big projects like this in my life...but it's been different this time.  I've learned to adapt and find new creative ways to make sure I document our lives on this journey.

That being said, I've been struggling to find a way to keep this blog interesting as well as achieving a set goal.  I've come up with a restructured plan to make the next seven months more focused and more interesting than the first five.  Check out tomorrow's post for more details.

May 30, 2017 - Appointments, Appointments!!

Heather, the baby, our 3 year old and I all went down to Cheyenne today.  Heather had her first physical therapy session to work on fixing her shoulder.  Turns out that it's less severe than a torn rotator cuff, definitely a good thing.  We also had an interview with a young lady, a prospect for a private and home school teaching position...she also happens to be my brother's girlfriend.  We were so impressed with her resume and just her as a person that we just hired her on the spot.

While Heather was at her appointment, I had a meeting with the first private school on our map to create a music program for.   That went amazingly well too.  It seems that they were expecting just to have just one teacher come in and teach private lessons.  By the end of it, they seemed very interested in a choir and general music class.  Just have to propose the right price.  Things are really moving fast!!

May 29, 2017 - "Couchsurfin' Storyteller"

I got more done with my guitar playing today than I have in about a year combined.  I set out today to do one thing, and that was to begin planning for my "Couchsurfin' Storyteller" Tour.  We are basically going to tell the story behind what is going on in our lives right now...how I am homeless while the wife and kids are in another town, but we are still together.  I'm going to tell people that it is tough to sleep in the car and ask if I could stay on their couch (or guest bed) and use their shower for one night in exchange for a private performance of Dunlevy Family Band's future material played on solo guitar. 

So to do that I have to practice, arrange for guitar, or in some cases even finish writing 28 of our songs to be able to do this.  So I got my butt in gear and practiced 10 that I've been able to play before, 2 that I've never been able to get completely through before today and arranged one that I've never played on guitar at all.  That's 13...1 less than half in the first day.  But I haven't gotten to the hardest part yet, and that's the writing part...which is 10 songs.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

May 28, 2017 - First Day of "Vacation"

It was a great day today.  Got to hang out with my wife, my friends,  all of my kids, and all of my friend's kids.  We for the most part just hung around and didn't do much, it being Sunday and all...a good day to relax.  But I did gather the kids up for a meeting and we got them to clean up practically the whole house.  It was great!!  The one down side was that I promised them to go play wall ball and to go to the skate park.  Well it looked like it was going to rain, so we didn't end up making it out there.  I owe them all big time!!

May 27, 2017 - I'm Going to take a Mini-Vacation

Worked all morning and into the afternoon until I had a huge realization.  Next week has 5 Thursdays and Fridays!!  This means I could take the whole week off if I wanted to.  And I want to, so I am going to.

I have a lot of catching up to do in the family aspect of my life.  A lot of organization and planning that must be done.  I think that each one of us is suffering in certain areas with these massive changes in our way of life.  We need to come together with a plan to get through this even stronger than before.

Our band has fallen a little behind as well.  We are in desperate need of regrouping for that.

So thinking about that all afternoon, I knew that I had to get specific things done in order to make it work.  and everything that I had to do just ended up being harder than it should've been.  I even had to call the cops on someone who thought that I wasn't serious about her not smoking on the property, which was a much bigger ordeal than it had to be.  She thought that I was just going to be fine and dandy with her cussing me out, calling me names and disrespecting the building owners.  I don't think so.

So anyway, I had planned to get out of town by 3pm.  I left at 11.  But I'm here now and it feels great to be with the people who I love (and love me) the most!!

May 26, 2017 - Weird Open Mic Experience

Today was interesting to say the least.  I had our office manager, Kaira, come in today and do pretty much all the same work as her sister Kendra did yesterday.  Except I added having her creating invoices.  This is why I hired her...to do all the boring stuff that I hate doing!!  She did exceptionally well too.

I couldn't figure out what to do with myself this evening...so I strolled up to the rival open mic at the Paramount Cafe.  And let me tell you...it was weird.

I had brought in my ukulele and was considering playing a tune.  This dude who called himself "Crosstown Richard" came in acting mighty strange (I think he would have used the word "cool" instead of strange, not me) when he was talking to the staff about signing up to play.  He was able to sign up to be the very next act...and he wasn't a bad blues player at all...complete with harmonica.  Just still a little strange.

His time came to an end and the next performer, a 15 or so year old girl came up to play.  But "Crosstown" hesitated very awkwardly to get off the stage.  Took him a minute actually.  Then he never really left the stage, standing just off of it by the lone P.A. speaker, guitar still in hand.

This very talented young lady began playing an original...and it was great...marred only by Crosstown Richard playing lead guitar over her song, without asking her permission to do so.  Very strange indeed.  I'm not saying that his playing didn't sound decent...I just have never seen this type of behavior at an open mic without it getting snuffed out by the management.

He continued to do this for the rest of the performers, switching between guitar and harmonica.  And you could read each performer's body language, noticeably feeling the awkwardness as well.

Well, I rounded out the night by sleeping in my car at a gas station.  I miss my family. 

May 25, 2017 - Employees' First Day of Work

It was a quite exciting day today as my employees first day of in depth work was today.  I had Kendra work on entering receipts into Quicken, enter my new contacts into my email, reconcile music teacher's helper lessons, sweep and mop and a whole lot more.  It was great.  All of this would have taken me much longer to do because my mind is flooded with so many other things that I need to get done.

Other than that, I had 2 lessons today.  The first one is a father and son taking guitar lessons together.  They come from a line of musicians.  The father's mother played in a band who employed Jalan Crossland, probably the most famous current Wyoming guitarist.  Anyway, they brought the son's two brothers and towards the end, we set up a full jam session with these kids.  And they are incredible!!  I've never seen kids this young with this tight of rhythm before...incredible!!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

May 24, 2017 - Welcome to Insomniac-Workaholics Anonymous

Well, last night I couldn't really sleep again.  I decided to go to Shari's and spend most of the night working.  I left around 4 or so to go sleep in my car.  I know how this week is going to go too, it's going to feel like an eternity between now and when I see my wife and kids again.

I did still get quite a bit of work done.  Pretty much every little organization thing that I didn't have time to get to yet has now been finished. 

Tonight, I also attended the open mic night here in the building.  I wasn't going to play, but I decided to when I saw a 12-string.  I got reminded how I always had heard my song "Don't Be Sad" played on a 12-string, so I couldn't resist.  I got 2/3rds of the way through the song when I realized that one of the doubled high E-strings was out of tune.  It sounded terrible.  I had to stop and tune the darn thing.

At any rate, I made it through the song and played one more, only to jam with Mark to one of his tunes afterwards.  It made for a good night.

May 23, 2017 - Torn Rotator Cuff and Torn From Each Other

Well, it was bound to come.  I had to leave for Cheyenne again today.  Better get used to this feeling, it will happen every week.  Heather and two of the kids came with me, Heather had an appointment to check out her shoulder (which has been hurting for a week now).  I hung out with our oldest while she went with the baby...where she found out that she tore her rotator cuff.  Not good for a ukulele player.  So now she is going to have to go to physical therapy and the chiropractor on a regular basis to make sure it heals right and she can still play.  One more thing added to our crazy life.  Whew.

I had fun with my daughter while we waited.  We needed that time together.  You should have seen how excited her turtle was to see her at the shop!!

Soon the time came for us to part ways.  And we didn't have time to eat dinner together.  We were really upset about it.  I could not focus at work.  I had to go eat.  I sat at Chick-Fil-A and talked to the new franchise owner, who was extremely cool.  He also had left his family back in Kansas while they try to sell their house and he is in the early stages of owning his franchise.  Talking to him helped me a lot.

Poor Heather though had a tough time with the kids.  Their behavior was very off tonight, this is obviously not easy for them at all. 

May 22, 2017 - Cleaning Tile and Hiding from the Kids in a Fort

Full day number two with the family.  Today I helped my buddy by cleaning his tile after he grouted it.  I didn't do a very great job, let's be honest here.  I decided to eat lunch after he grouted, which let it dry way too much.  He left right around the time I started, and that near solid grout wore me down quick.  I only got a few hours of sleep last night, so I fell asleep before I could finish.  Then I went back and it was pretty much fully set.  Oh man.  It took the rest of the day.

So I didn't get to any of my own work...I didn't get to really hang out with the kids.  But at least I was with them.   And my wife and I made a fort when the kids fell asleep, using blankets and Christmas Lights that I was going to return because I got the wrong kind.  Heather's idea to use them, and it was awesome!!

May 21, 2017 - Butthead Ball

It was a great day.  I did some work (which in retrospect I wish I hadn't done, but I have to work hard to get our family back together), but quit early to play with the kids.  We played "Butthead Ball" again on the trampoline.  The kids love it...it's pretty fun.  The name of the game is the if you get hit in the head or the butt 3 times, you are out of the game.  These kids are pretty good at it!!

I did however get cut short.  Heather was gone to the store and my son started throwing up.  He threw up all day sadly.  He has a lot of days like this.  It can be really scary with his hyrdrocephalus.  I'm pretty sure he's just a little sick though.

All things considered, I am just glad to be with my family. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

May 20, 2017 - I'm Just Frustrated Now

I haven't showered in several days now.  I am starting to stink.  Not enjoying that part of this whole thing.  In fact, the whole homeless thing a hundred miles away from my family royally sucks.  Is that okay to say?  I don't care, because it does royally suck.  And Heather agrees.  She misses me, and worries about my safety.  And the kids miss me a ton and are having a tough time because their main disciplinarian isn't there everyday.  ARRRGGGGHHH!!!

Anyway, I got to see them tonight...but I had to finish a bunch of stuff first so it was late when I got here.  So the kids pretty much went to bed shortly after I arrived.  Bummer.  Tomorrow I am going to hang out with them though.

At least I am getting some good adult time with my wife.  I love her so much.  

May 19, 2017 - Woke Up to a Blizzard @ the Welcome Center

Well, I was justified to be worried about the snow!!  This morning I woke up stiff as a board in my car surrounded by several inches of snow at a Welcome Center right off the highway.  I left in a practical blizzard, could barely see...nearly got stuck, it was crazy.

But I made it into town safely.  I almost forgot to mention...all I brought was my sandals!!  I left my snow boots in Wheatland...and there is no getting back to Wheatland right now.  So I'm sloshing through this deep, wet snow with my feet fully exposed all day.  People are looking at me like I'm nuts...maybe I am.

The highlight at work was training my employees though.  The Tunnicliff sisters are going to be great employees.  I gave them a ton to do and they did it all happily.  I am very excited to have them on the Dunlevy Family Band team.  I just hope we can land those two huge accounts so I can give them a ton of hours...

My brother also had an acoustic show tonight at Sanford's.  I went and hung out for awhile, played some air hockey and foosball then hung out with my old student Denning for a couple hours jamming at the shop.  This kid (I should say adult now!!) is such a good musician, it was a lot of fun jamming with him again...felt like old times. 

May 18, 2017 - Snowing in Late May

I had three lessons tonight, including a brand new one.  I love getting new students.  This guy wants to do a lot of fingerpicking and I do a lot of fingerpicking.  It feels great to have four students on Thursdays.  I think we are really going to start picking up students left and right.  It's really starting to look pretty nice in here.  I can't wait until it's done, we're making good money and can live all together again.  It will be an amazing day.  We are all just kind of lost without each other.

I left work and decided to go sleep at the welcome center again, and it starts snowing!!  In late May!!  I'm already here at the center, which is several miles out of town...so there is no use in trying to go back into town.  I'm a little worried about the morning though...

May 17, 2017 - No Choice but to Leave the Family Again

So I had no choice but to go back to Cheyenne today.  The internet was installed, I had a lesson scheduled and the open mic was tonight.  I immediately facetimed the fam from the shop.  That was nice.  Not as good as being together, but at least I don't have to leave the shop to see them.

The open mic was great, a really nice lady came in with her daughters...who both had awesome voices.  Turns out the mom is a Sunday school teacher at our favorite church, Calvary Chapel.

My big family of students, the Tunnicliff's also played up there.  I was really proud of the oldest, who played her originals even though she was nervous to do so.  They got the best response from the crowd for the originals (so hopefully she likes them now as much as everyone else did!!)

The big downside is poor Heather and the kids had a rough day though.   Lots of behavior problems.  Probably because they miss me and are having a tough time dealing with us all being separated.  I don't blame them, we just have to figure out how to help Heather keep her sanity.  Hopefully this season of life won't last too long. 

May 16, 2017 - Excuses, Excuses

Today I was planning on going back to Cheyenne by myself to get back to work...but I found an excuse to stay with my family.  I had a ton of work to do on the internet today...and I don't get the internet in the shop until tomorrow.  So naturally I just decided not to go back to Cheyenne and just stay with them while I do all my computer work.

It was tough, mostly because I chose to stay in the living room...where all the crazy little people hang out!!  But I did get so much done.  I organized our dropbox account, organized all of the other files on my computer, organized our tablet, ipod, etc.  I also called Destiny Church about possibly putting together a music program for their K-12 school.  This would be a huge account if we land it...and she is very interested!!

It was an awesome day...I am very glad to have gotten an extra day with my wife and kids...even if I did have to work all day.  At least we were all together. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

May 15, 2017 - Finally Some Help at the Shop!!

I took Heather with me to the shop in Cheyenne today.  I got some much needed assistance hanging stuff up.  We busted it out quick.  It was awesome being able to hang out with her practically alone (with this big of a family, having only an infant an a dog feels like a date). 

It was great to have her eyes and her hands for hanging stuff.  She steam cleaned the couches, swept and mopped, all while I set up the P.A. system.  We played a song together on our practice stage too.  We recorded it and everything...but then the phone died and we lost it 🙁.

The highlight of the day was when we went to grab some stuff at the storage shed.  It was beautiful all day...but when we went there it began to pour rain...the hardest of the night while we're trying to dig through the junk I stuffed in there.  And it's so packed you can't get in so we were being dumped on the whole time!!!

It was a great day.

May 14, 2017 - Mother's Day Organization

Today was Mother's Day.  I am so glad I got to spend it with my wife!!  I got her a little speaker/stand for her ipad so that they can all hear me better when we facetime.  She can also use it for spotify or youtube or whatever she wants. 

My friend who we're staying with and I worked on organizing his garage today.  May not sound like the best thing to do for Mother's Day to you...but I guarantee you it was.  My friend is a man who likes to get stuff done...and he tried to get too much done at once...and it made everything all discombobulated in his house from all of his remodeling projects bleeding into each other out of necessity.  So it's making the ladies go crazy while they take care of the kids during the day.  So we are going to fix that for them...and the first step is organizing the storage area.

May 13, 2017 - Mother's Day Eve Pizza

I got to be reunited with my family today!!  I couldn't get jack diddly done at work because I was thinking about it so much, and there is so much to do that it's overwhelming as it is.  We went to Pizza Hut as a family to celebrate Mother's Day Eve.  It was so great...other than the $50 bill!!!  But that's okay...she's worth it.  We made a plan for tomorrow and beyond...we have a lot of work to do but we're going to make it.

In work related news, I found a killer podium, probably worth $200, that I picked up for only 10 bucks.  Also, I am dangerously close to landing a huge account with a Christian K-12 private school.  They want us to do their entire music program...and that Sara girl that my brother brought over yesterday...she is going to school to lead a choir...

May 12, 2017 - Strange Quartet

Today was the final Friday at the Asher concert in the series for the year.  I sat through nearly the entire sound check for both bands.  The opening band's sound was a little rough...but not too bad...but the second band had it almost nailed.  There was still a little problem with the volume and clarity of the vocals, but overall them and the sound guys did a more than decent job.

I showed a few people the shop, including my old employee Denning, and Mark's new friend Sara.  We all banded together in the shop and put together one of the strangest quartets imaginable:

Sara - Ukulele
Denning - Accordian
Mark - Melodica
Paul/Random Passers-by - Theremin

I totally wish that I had internet today...we should have live streamed this.  Maybe should have just filmed it...but that's okay, if you think that's the last crazy busking group we put together at this shop you are sadly mistaken...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

May 11, 2017 - 1 am Sound Check

Today's biggest event was my brother and I working together until 1 in the morning on the sound in the Asher building's event room.   It was a ton of fun...we live streamed nearly the whole process.  Mark and I get kinda goofy when we get together. 

We've noticed that the sound loves to bounce all around the low ceiling, tile floor and brick walls.  We've also noticed that live sound guys who come in have a lot of trouble with the clarity and volume of the vocals.  We believe that this can be fixed with a lower volume, in-ear monitors instead of stage monitors, wall and ceiling treatments, and a lot of experimentation.

It was a lot of fun and my wife and kids got to watch most of it through the power of the internet.  Not as good as being with them, but it will do for now.  I can't wait for Saturday!!!

May 10, 2017 - Making Waitresses Cry

So I stayed up all night last night at Shari's working.  I got a lot of work done, don't get me wrong, but it was rough.  I finished editing the first video in a series that I am going to put out soon.  It's called Anything Uke Can Do.  In this series, I take a video of someone who is teaching a guitar lick in a particular style on Youtube, and I play the exact same thing on the Ukulele.  I think it'll be a good series if I can get it to take off.  Not sure if it will take off or not, it is more of a teaching style video than story-type content like we are mainly planning for Dunlevy Family Band.  But it does help my playing a ton, and it could help someone else's.

I was very depressed working late into the night last night.  I really miss my family.  My waitress was awesome though...she kept all my glasses full and even gave me a free huge plate of garlic bread after the first one I ordered tasted awful.  She then asked about what I was working on, I told her and she asked me to play her a song.  I played Been Too Long and I guess it struck a nerve.  She started tearing up.  Man I needed that reaction.  It made me feel like this is all going to be worth it one day. 

May 8, 2017 - Not Good For a Man to be Alone

I couldn't stand it anymore...I had to see Heather and my kids.  I slept in my car at the welcome center outside of town for about 2 to 3 hours.  I had the dog with me too, and I couldn't find my blankets...so I had to use a towel.  I woke up around 630 or 7 and just decided to drive to see them.

It felt so good to be with the family after all the stress of having to move all the stuff out of our house.  They were happy to see me too!! When I got there we spent a little bit of time hanging out all together out there, but then we had to go back to Cheyenne in order to clean up the yard.  I wasn't able to get everything in the yard last night because it was so dark.

It was pretty sad at the house, but Heather and I had a good time together (even though we had the dog).  We headed back to where they are staying together...but sadly I have to leave for Cheyenne again tomorrow. 

May 7, 2017 - Almost Squatted...Woulda Won the Fight

Today was the last day listed on the notice to quit for us to be in the house before they start the eviction process.  I really thought about squatting...mainly because they totally lied in it.  They said that we were being evicted for not paying rent (which we did, even this month's before they returned it) and because we broke a term of the lease (which they've never specified what that was, and I've checked dozens of times and have seen nothing about getting the water shut off being grounds for eviction).

But, even though they lied on the form to the courts...and we probably have a cut and dry case...I feel like we should direct our energy into our band and our business instead of into a defense in an eviction case.  After all, if we win we end up in a house owned by people who can't stand us.

Anyway, I got everything out of the house at the buzzer, pretty much midnight exactly.  It has totally exhausted me...

May 6, 2017 - All Alone...Except for the Dog

Today was the first full day of being by myself out here.  This is really no fun at all.  I did lessons and attempted to finish packing the house.  It was difficult to get motivated.  I am very bummed out.  I've gotten to talk with all the girls today, but I just want to be with them.  Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to get everything out of this house.  I am sick of being here. 

The dog is freaking out, he's just in bad shape.  I have decided that I am going to keep him with me as much as possible.  I am going to go to Fort Collins to get him fixed, which will make it easier to have him while being homeless. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

May 5, 2017 - Leaving My Family Behind...

This morning I had to rush out of the house with Heather and our son, take them to the girls an hour or so away, spend an hour and a half loading all the stuff into our friend's house, then immediately drive all the way back.  Then I spent the rest of the day without my family.  :(

There were good things that happened today.  I trained our new Office Manager and Receptionist at 11 this morning.  Then I had several students.  I got a lot of organization done in the shop.  Not as much as I would have liked, though...a wave of depression hit me about 7 pm or so. 

There was a band called Edison playing upstairs on the stage.  They were great, although it was tough to hear them because there were only literally 15% of the people actually listening to them.  Everybody else was practically screaming over the music trying to talk to each other.  It was pretty sad, because the band was very good. 

May 4, 2017 - Heather's Birthday Car

Today was Heather's birthday.  All she really wanted for her birthday was to see her kids.  Sadly we weren't able to make it out there in time.  We had so much to do and just could never get out.  We'll just have to leave tomorrow.

We did have a pretty good day though.  I bought her a car for her birthday.  I'll probably be driving it mostly, at least for now.  It is mainly going to be for driving back and forth between here and where the rest of the family are going to stay.  It's a 2002 Ford Focus, manual transmission which is what Heather really wanted.  It was a steal at $1,000 and no mechanical issues!!

We also went out to lunch at Olive Garden and looked at RV's, our favorite birthday pastime!!

May 3, 2017 - Open Mic Stress Relief

So I was going to go to the Montessori School to teach the kids again, but with our son's scare last night, I didn't get to sleep til almost 7, which would have given me an hour of sleep.  Thankfully, I had already commissioned two of my students to go out there.  I am hiring them to be the main teachers of this class, as well as to be the Office Manager and the Receptionist.  I'm sure it went well as they are great musicians and very good with kids.

I also taught several people today.  After words, Heather and I took a little break from all the moving stuff and went to the open mic upstairs from work.  We played three of our songs...which felt very good.  We didn't do too bad either.   I am really going to miss her when she leaves in a couple of days...

May 2, 2017 - Back to the Hospital for Our Son!!!

Today we decided that the kids needed to get out of this house while we clean.  They are having a tough time and making it difficult to get anything done as they have next to nothing to do around here.  We might as get it done as fast as possible.

Our boy was puking all day, which gave us a heck of a scare.  While our friends were heading into town to pick up our girls...Heather got ahold of the doctor and he told us that we needed to drive to the Denver Children's hospital.  His puking without a fever could have possibly been a shunt malfunction.

This of course lead to a ton of chaos.  Our friends got here as soon as we were about to leave.  We left at 10:30 pm, got there after midnight.  After several hours we thankfully got good news that our son was just fine.  False alarm.  We left around 4 am and aren't going to get back until 6 am.

I almost forgot...I went to the Montessori School and helped teach today too!!  That went very well and I am excited to start putting together a program for them.  The kids were awesome, and I know three people who work there.  It's going to be great.

Monday, June 12, 2017

May 1, 2017 - What Just Happened?

Big day today.  I went and paid the rent...just to have them deliver the money order back to me.  They want us out and don't care if we try to pay.  So we'll have to wait and see when they'll serve an eviction notice.  In the meantime we made arrangements with a friend to stay with them.  Toughest part is that it's in a different town.

We also scored a $1,400/month client, a Montessori School here in town to do Music Together.  How huge is that?!?!  And it just fell in my lap.  The woman who did it sent me and email saying she was moving out of town and that she wanted to give the program to me!!  When does that happen?  Only thing is that the smart thing to do with the money is hire a full-time receptionist to attempt to get things going faster and keep organized with the band and lessons.  Phew. 

So it looks like we might be separated against our will for a few months while I try to build the business and Heather and the kids stay with our friend an hour out of town.  Did not expect this.  Our relationship will no doubt survive this.  The desire to be reunited with my family will drive me to do the absolute best that I can and move fast!!

April 30, 2017 - Getting the Shop Ready

Today we spent the whole day at the shop together as a family.  We got everything in order...except plugging things in and hanging things up.  It is awesome.  It was very tough because the kids had to stay in a confined area (the shop isn't that big).  They would need something one after the other whenever we would try to start getting something done.  But it worked out after awhile.  They napped and we got them busy on a movie towards the end (which we don't like to do, but it works in these kind of situations).

Tomorrow is the day we are supposed to be out of the house, and since we don't have anywhere to call our own, the day we are possibly going to be homeless.  Our family began walking home at around 11am, through downtown with the kids covered in blankets being pulled in a wagon.  We could feel the people who saw us wondering if we already were. 

April 29, 2017 - Moving Out and In

Today I got the truck.  It took me and Mark all day to move everything out to the shop and to the shop and to the storage shed.  Maybe partially because I slept till 10 after my one hour of sleep day yesterday.  We got started about 3 1/2 hours late.  It feels really good to have practically everything out.  I started off the day kind of bummed out, but I had time to think about all that's going on...and I have a plan now.  I'll save it for another day.

Mark was a ton of help.  Not sure what I would have done without him.  And, the shop...ooh man does it look awesome.  Wait til I put it together and we get some pictures up.  It looks so good!!  And we got the truck dropped off 3 minutes before we would have been locked out of the gates.  So a typical move for me and Mark.

April 28, 2017 - Did that really happen...or was I just sleep deprived?

This morning I was awoken by the dog barking at the top of his lungs...at 7:30 am...I went to bed after at 6:30 am editing our video...but lo and behold it was one of my favorite student's parents handing me $300!!!  She said she and her son had been homeless before :(  I cannot believe how kind that was!!

I proceeded to stay awake the rest of the day...riding a bike all over town.  I got the lease signed and notarized, the keys to the shop, the keys to the moving truck, cleaning supplies, our son's seizure medication, money put into the bank...in freezing temperatures with little icy snow pellets slamming me in my eyes...did I already mention on one hour of sleep?

In a car I could have done all that in an hour...it took me 5.  Should prepare me for tomorrow though.  

Sunday, June 11, 2017

April 27, 2017 - Another All-nighter

Things are getting so down to the wire now... I think I'm going to skip the Family/Work format and just write about everything for a few days.

Tonight, I have stayed up all night working on a video for our GoFundMe campaign.  It was a difficult video to make, pretty much putting ourselves out there nearly begging for help.  Man it's tough.  If we felt like we had another choice at this point we'd do it.  We feel very vulnerable, but God is in control.

If nobody sees the video and nobody donates...I do feel like I am getting some hardcore video editing training.  I am really enjoying that part of it. 

April 26, 2017 - Stir Crazy and Wishing We Could Focus on Work


Every day just keeps getting more and more difficult as we speed toward the first.  We only have 4 days now until we have no place to call home.  I never thought that we would be at this point, but here we are.  I've learned in my experiences though that this is typically where God does His most impressive work...when you have nothing to lean on but to trust in Him and His goodness.

The poor kids are going stir crazy again.  Almost got them out tonight to go to the open mic night...but the threat of rain (which never happened) and 40 degree weather kept us from it.  They did pretty well for the most part today though.  This is just tough for all of us.


I had a student today...other than that, I really didn't do much work.  Heather and I discussed our plans for if she has to stay out of town and I have to stay here to try and build the business, but that's about it.  I will be focusing very hardcore on work beginning the first.  And when I say hardcore...I mean we are going to make this thing great!!

April 25, 2016 - One Chapter Ending...the Other Beginning


Everyone's kind of depressed around here.  Not knowing where you'll be living in five days will do that to you.  We moved the kid's room upstairs...so they're excited about that.  But that will be over by Monday and the reality that we have nowhere to call our own will set in for sure.  Mark came over though...


...he helped me move a bunch of stuff into the studio.  We'll be moving everything else on Saturday morning.  Then it will be determined focus on the new shop and trying to get teachers and students to make the thing pretty much run on it's own with me calling the big picture shots.  I've even got a pair of receptionists ready to work...as well as a couple of teachers.  We've really got to make this thing count so we can get a place to live asap.  And at the same time...we can't let the lessons overrun the band...so we'll have to be very careful. 

April 24, 2017 - Total Wrecks and Inexperience Getting in the Way


This is very difficult.  Barring a miracle, it appears like I am going to be homeless here in Cheyenne while Heather and the kids live with some friends nearly an hour away.  I am not looking forward to that at all.  I have already spent more time away from my wife and kids this year than all 8 years of our marriage combined.  We are all just total wrecks and we are attempting to finish packing...which isn't working out too well.  Especially since we are trying to balance this with a campaign to get our story out on the internet...


We are working late into the night working on trying to get our music video out to more people.  It is just kind of a bummer that this is our first attempt at pushing content out as far as we can get it.  We are starting to figure it out as a matter of necessity...but it may be too late and it may take too long as everything we are doing is taking twice as long as it should as a result of our inexperience.  Maybe there's the reason for all of this. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

April 23, 2017 - Completely Burnt Out


We are having to come to grips with the idea that we won't have a home and we'll have to live in separate towns for a week or more.  This is very depressing...I really don't feel like elaborating.  I am burnt out.


We didn't really work on our band much at all today.  All we've been doing is packing.

April 22, 2017 - Crazed Baseball Bat Wielder and Looking to the Long-Term


Today I wrote a song on Garageband with the two oldest girls.  It was some much needed fun.  We have been so stressed out lately and it's really been getting to the kids.  It was nice to do something we all enjoy.  You can hear it here.

I also forgot to mention something crazy that happened the other day.  I walked down to a friend's house who lives down the street the other night.  It was raining pretty hard and was just overall kind of creepy.  When I was almost there, I heard something and turned around to see some guy wielding a baseball bat staring my way and walking towards me.  Once I noticed him, he began pointing the bat at me and hitting a tree as hard as he could with it.

My friend stepped out and saw him...so I know he was really there...but it did freak me out.  I have no clue what that was all about.


After several days of getting a little off track, we are back in focus.  We are running out of time and have to focus if we are going to have a place to live by the 1st.

In addition to attempting to get the music video to go as far as possible, we are coming up with some plans for the future.  Part of our business model includes working on becoming thought leaders in a certain area (We'll reveal in what when the time is right).  We decided to rush in and create a couple of groups based on this certain area before someone else did.  We also created several social media pages with the name of the kids' and my band name (Daddy and the Kids).

As much as we just want to focus on the here and now, we aren't just trying to keep ourselves from being homeless...we are trying to build a career.  And because of that, we need to water our long-term goals and plans.

April 21, 2017 - Horse Supplies and Discouragement


Today we still just kind of worked around here, which left the kids to mostly watch movies and play with their toys all day.  I did take the time to read the six year old's favorite new catalog with her.  It is a horse supply catalog.  She has been mesmerized by this thing since she got it in the mail several days ago.  I really enjoyed that.  I really need to start doing something like that with everyone of them everyday. 


We feel stuck with this video.  We are counting on this thing reaching enough people that in turn see our story and then donate to our gofundme.  Other than that we are next to helpless.  No vehicle, no place to live in nine days, limited income from my lessons, bad credit, not enough time to get a different job outside of lessons and get paid from it to find a place.  We are extremely vulnerable right now.  We could really use a win on this video.

Sometimes we get discouraged for asking for money from our video, but then we step back and realize...we are really just asking to get paid for our service, the service of writing a song and filming a music video.

April 20, 2017 - Tougher and Tougher


It's just getting tougher and tougher.  The clock is ticking, our days are running out.  We have only 10 left until we have to be out of here.  We are starting to get a bit worried.  We have come up with a couple of back up plans.  One being to go pay for May's rent and take in the lease.  We can't find a single section in there that allows for them to kick us out for the reasons they have given.  And they haven't gone through the courts yet.  We really don't want to stay here, but it's looking like it may be a possible option and a risk we are willing to take if we don't have a place by next week. 


Last night we lost our only debit card.  And this was at such a terrible time too.  We still need it to be able to boost our music video post on facebook, to pay for the single release to get it on Spotify, iTunes, etc.  And we may need it for other things too, which really puts us in a bind.  We canceled the card so no one else can use it because we were under the impression that they would give us a temporary card number that we could use for online purchases.  That's what they said anyway...but that hasn't happened yet.

So because of this and the video not seeming to want to really take off like we need it to, we are getting quite discouraged.  Especially because we only have ten days until we have no home. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

April 19, 2017 - First Music Video Launch!! and Babysitters!!


The kids had babysitters all day today.  We left before they were even awake.  Our six year old was mad at us...because she forgot that we were leaving.  So she had a rough morning she told us.

We did end up going out for a walk to the open mic night at the Asher and then eating at Arby's as a family.  It was a lot of fun.  They are really well behaved (for the most part) in public.  After a long day without them at all...it was great to have a family night.


Having babysitters allowed us to get a ton done work-wise.  We worked at the Coffee Depot in the Asher building.  We even had live musical entertainment from a blues guy named Lightnin' Len.  He was a pretty good player.  We launched the music video, created promos and ads for it, launched the website, finished the single album art, networked and a ton more.  It did seem like everything that could go wrong was going wrong...and it seemed like it took way too long to accomplish one task because of that today.  But looking back in retrospect, we really did get a lot done.

Now we just need that video to get a ton of views.

April 18, 2017 - Use Precaution Moving Forward & Too Much Work


Today I see exactly why we want to start Family Amplified Musicianship.  This single release is taking up so much of our free time.  We really need to hire out some of this stuff.  It is so much flippin' work.  Our house is trashed, our poor kids are under-stimulated.

We did take little bits of time out to give them some good attention though.  I let both the 3 year old and the 5 year old help me file for copyrights (one kid at a time).  I put up the 6 year old's fort, and I gave her a big long hug and told her I love her.  We went to the library...though both Heather and I got involved in work.

This is why I am writing this section...we both have to be very careful how we structure everything moving forward.  Typically, everyday isn't like this...just on occasion.  But if we aren't careful, we could really shove them to the side.


What didn't we work on today?  We made promotional videos, filed for copyrights, fine tuned the music video, almost finished releasing the single through CD Baby, went live on facebook to premiere the video to our family and friends.  Oh man it was a nutty day.

April 17, 2017 - Need a Vacation and Finished the Mastering


Heather and I have had discussions about what to do when things start settling down...once we find a home, finish the release, settle the business into it's new location, etc.  These five kids are such troopers.  They have been a little on the edge lately...but what do you expect when their whole life is about to change and they know it.  We all really need a good vacation.


Today I wrapped up the mastering of the single with Kyle.  It turned out amazing!!  I am so happy with it and I think we will really have something good to work with here.  I have a feeling people are really looking for what we have to offer.  Heather's Instagram engagement is enough proof of that to me.  We believe that all this hard work is truly going to pay off.

April 16, 2017 - Easter Pizza and Deeleted the Music Video Files


Today was Easter, and we had no vehicle.  So that was interesting.  We actually had to work most of the day to get all this stuff prepared for releasing the music video and single anyway, which kind of stinks but you do what you have to do as an entrepreneur. 

We did take a walk as a family and stopped working in the evening for awhile.  We went to Domino's, which was the closest food place to us that was open.  Then we took it home and watched some Easter kid's movies.


We've decided to hold off most of our Live Series until we move into our Studio, there is just too much to do right now.  We'll have a new location, new equipment (once we get the Grant check from the Wyoming Arts Council), and we won't be in the middle of trying to move, find a place to live and release a single.

Heather made this awesome graphic to let people know about the change.
I also had a little crisis happened this evening.  I wanted to move the music video files over to the other mac to work on...I moved the files and it told me it would take like 2 hours.  I didn't want to wait that long so I moved it back.  Then it said it would take a couple hours to do that.  While waiting the laptop ran out of power and I accidentally restarted it completely once I hooked it back up to the charger.  Then MY WHOLE FILE FOR THE MUSIC VIDEO WAS COMPLETELY GONE!!!  Praise God, I had compressed the whole thing into an mp4 file accidentally just an hour earlier.  I nearly puked until I found the file!! That's been something like 150 hours plus of work I thought was gone forever. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

April 15, 2017 - Daddy Daughter Time and Late Night Video Editing


My brother came over this evening.  He took me to the grocery store and I took our 6 year old.  She got some much needed one on one time away from her sisters...which is always good for the kids...especially because they don't get it that often.  I also took our 3 year old to the gas station to get hot dogs for lunch.  Both of them had extremely good behavior afterwards.


Working late into the night on editing the music video.  I'm working on it right now.  I just finished revising the opening title screen and it looks much better.  Now I have to get all of the rest of the footage that I've shot over the last two days plugged in.  It'll take me all night, but I've drank my Redbull...so I should be able to last.

I also plugged in the most current draft of the song into the video, and I think we really have something here.  So does Heather and Mark.  If we can just get this video out to the right people and have people share it left and right...I think we could get to 10,000 to 100,000 views.  I sure hope so, we need people to see our story because we are literally only 15 days out from being homeless...

April 14, 2017 - Surprise for Heather and More Video Shooting


I got a ton of extra bonus points today!!  I surprised Heather with a babysitter.  It was classic.  My student (who doesn't drive) comes back 3 hours after her lesson and knocks on the door by herself.  Heather answers and says "Is everything ok?".  She explains how I had asked her to watch the kids so we could go out on a date.  Heather was floored!!  5 hours with no responsibilities!!


Heather is a trooper.  We did quite a bit of work on our date.  We went up to the building we'll have our office in to scope out the live music playing.  They've put on a series called "Fridays at the Asher".  We met up with Kyle our Recording Engineer to discuss some future hopeful plans.

Earlier in the day, I got 3 more of the remaining 4 shots for the music video.  All that's left is the helicopter shot.  I am getting kind of worried about that one, it's going to be tough.  We did find this awesome foundation that helps the Flight for Life crews stay mentally stable.  They have a ton of videos of Flight for Life helicopters taking off and landing.  I am going to ask if I can use one of their clips for our video...that will save me a ton of headache if they say yes...let's hope.