Who Are We?
Hi, we’re Dave and Debbie Klein. Starting in 2011, our family has organized events such as CocoaConf, Swift by Northwest, and now Micronaut Summit, and we are glad you are here!
In these past years and miles, we have met some special people and learned many lessons. We’ve also had a few weddings, and now everyone is potty-trained.
We function like a single, finely-tuned 24-legged unit. Well, some of the legs are detachable and work mostly from home. Some legs make name-badges. And some of them are specially adapted to consume leftover cheesecake at our events. At some point, this analogy broke down. Sorry.
Here’s a little about us.
We were married in 1985 and planned on being your average American family: a nice house, two cars, 2.5 kids. Normal.
But then we realized from God’s word, the Bible, that there was a lot more to life than that. That we, and all of us, were created for a purpose. In order to fulfill that purpose, we needed to let God take the lead in our lives. In our case, that meant 14 dearly loved children, and, at one point, a school bus in the driveway. We have since had the joy of seeing four of our children married and welcoming several grandchildren into our lives.
Children are a gift from God— a blessing, and not a burden. We never expected to have 14, but the Lord hasn’t given us one yet that we wanted to send back. 🙂
Being a larger than average family, we often get asked certain questions. We’d like to answer a few of them in advance here:
No, we are not Mormons.
No, we are not Catholics.
No, we are not Amish or Mennonite.
No, no twins or adoptions.
No, we don’t have a TV show.
Yes, they are all ours.
Yes, we have a big house.
Yes, we teach our children at home.
Yes, we’re rich (just not in money).
No, we’re not crazy.
Well, that last one is kind of a subjective thing, isn’t it?
Actually, there is a lot of subjectivity going on in this world. Where are the absolutes? We see them when water freezes or the birds fly south, but in human life, are there any absolutes? Is there any plan for people, just like there is for penguins? Some say “Absolutely not!” But that is kind of subjective, too, isn’t it?
God’s design for the family is perfect, and even though we’re not a perfect family (not even close), we do have a perfect God who will help us and as we follow Him and His Word, we can begin to fulfill the purpose we were created for. We’re counting on it!
More about this in a minute, but first we’d like to introduce you to our gang. This may take a few minutes, so you may want to sit down.
Zak, and his wife Beth, love kids. Formerly our lead webmaster, he and Beth are busy parents with John, Timmy, and Elanna Hope. Zak works as a software consultant, but he still shows up at events now and again.
Abi, and her beloved, Jebi, love kids. They married in 2017 and reside in the Pacific Northwest. Formerly our hotel liaison, Abi now works with Jebi in building their fledgling internet tea shoppe.
Ben is the devoted husband of Lily, and father of Debbie Ann-Marie. They love kids. And nature walks. And making pies. He is a tech writer with Pivotal Software.
Sarah loves kids, and if it is all Greek to the rest of us, she is who we call. She helps us stay organized, which is a huge job, and she can find things. Very important. She helps design our event programs and makes sure we pack enough socks.
Solomon loves kids. He plays bass and practices photography. Solomon handles event scheduling, transportation, set up, tear down, swag production, and most of our official business communications. As a result, he has a lot of leftover t-shirts in his drawers and much of our official business communication features the word “alrighty”.
Hannah loves kids, writes poetry, enjoys violin and singing, and can spot a planation surface a mile away. Hannah handles venue and travel booking details, name-tag creation, and accounting. Her years of loving persistence have yielded the perfect homemade pizza. After that, we were able to put the batteries back in our smoke alarms.
Joanna, and her husband, Ezra, love kids! Prior to April of 2018, Joanna helped with logistics and was one of our smiling greeters at registration.
Rebekah loves kids, enjoys singing, and can play almost any instrument within an 8-foot radius. She also enjoys learning media production and creating culinary curiosities. Bekah helps with travel logistics, registration, and greeting. Her reputation for garnishing cakes with chocolate-dipped vegetables precedes her.
Susanna loves kids. She enjoys learning to cook international cuisine, listening to international music, learning foreign languages, and reading old books. She endears herself to friends and family by her skill in bringing tea to the tealess.
Noah loves kids. His interests include lawn-care, carpentry, home repair, music, baking, and speaking while inhaling. He vacuums exclusively with a Kirby. He is a very devoted uncle and thoroughly cleans the kitchen every night.
Sammy loves kids. He is studying Swift programming, really enjoys photography and reading, and is learning photo and video editing and drums. His chief culinary skill thus far is applying veggies to Hannah’s homemade pizza in his signature, fractalesque style.
Gideon loves kids. He helps with registration and set up and tear down. He enjoys calligraphy and detail cleaning— whether the inside of kitchen cabinets and fridge or campers, the bathtub, or passenger vehicles. His room, not so much.
Joshua loves kids. He is an early riser. He helps with registration, set up, and tear down, and is on the leftover cheesecake team. He loves tackling big projects, working outside, not being inside, building campfires, uncling, cooking, and not having his hair cut.
Daniel loves kids, especially his nephews and nieces. He enjoys drawing in the same way most people enjoy breathing. Daniel is fascinated by carbon-based life, especially the large mammals of Africa. He runs the whole operation.
Trees don’t deliberate about changing color in the fall, do they? Caterpillars don’t opt out of making a cocoon. You don’t hear of the disintegration of the porcupine family unit. God has laid out intricate plans for all of life. But He didn’t stop that plan with people. The difference is that he gave people a choice: whether or not to follow His plan for their lives.
We look around and notice that some people make pretty bad choices, choices that affect others, sometimes for the worse. The Bible calls that sin, and it doesn’t just affect ourselves and others, but actually causes God’s condemnation. There really is evil in this world, and if we were each honest with ourselves, we would admit that we are a part of it. We have 14 children, and we have never had to teach them to sin.
We are all guaranteed to face death. “... it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27) None of us want to be judged, but we probably wouldn’t mind a few (or many) others we know being judged. That is because we all have a sense of right and wrong. Our sense of right and wrong is often subjective, but there is a perfect Judge. We have not followed His plan for life, in fact, we have rejected it. We know the good we should do and yet don’t do it. We do things we wish we could forget. One day, we will each be judged.
God is love, and God is just. His love provided a way for us to escape judgment. His own Son took our place when He died on the cross. In speaking of His death, Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:13)
We couldn’t possibly tell you everything we would like to about our need for a Savior and God’s gift of salvation, about God’s wonderful provision and help in every situation, or about our hope of His coming again, but we can and do encourage you to read it for yourself, in the Bible. God is not far off, nor hard to find. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17)