Custody X Change

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hi, my name is Ben Coltrin (Kelsey is my sister-in-law). I’m trying to get the word out about some software I sell, and Kelsey has generously agreed to let me post something on her blog about it.
I wrote the Custody X Change software to help divorced parents create parenting plans and custody schedules and keep track of actual parenting time. The software works well for people who aren’t in a high conflict divorce (or in any kind of abusive situation) and who want to resolve their custody issues through mediation or negotiation without repeatedly going to court. A lot of parents use my software instead of hiring an attorney (which can save a lot of money) but some people use it along with their attorney.

My goal with the software is to help parents put their children first when making a parenting plan . Divorcing parents have a lot of things to deal with and I hope that my software is easy to use and that it takes away some of the frustration of working out the custody issues. With the software you can easily look at different kinds of schedules, look at different provisions to add to your plan, make changes as you need to, and keep track of what is going on with parenting time.

I’m working on a web version of the custody calendar  right now. The goal with the web version is to help parents communicate about their child and keep track of the custody situation. I hope it will be a valuable tool for people who are co-parenting.

Now, I hope most of Kelsey’s readers don’t need divorce software now or ever. But, a lot of people have siblings or friends who have gone through a divorce, so maybe you can tell someone about Custody X Change if you know someone who could use it. Thanks for helping me get the word out!


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

We hopped on the train to the airport to head to our final destination of Stockholm! It was a super short flight which was really nice. As we were walking out of the train station we saw tents everywhere and a bit Red Cross station. There were Syrian refugees everywhere and it was absolutely heartbreaking. It definitely made everything on the news hit much closer to home. We explored the town for a bit and decided on trying out a Swedish hamburger place that was supposed to be a good price and delicious. We had been skimping out on meals quite a bit in Norway (so expensive in Norway!) so a big juicy burger sounded perfect. We had no idea what anything was on the menu and we were too hungry to be adventurous and risky so we both went with what looked like a bacon cheeseburger. It was sooo good. I’m not normally even a burger person but Vigarda was awesome. 

While in Norway and Sweden we noticed that there were quite a few homeless people on the corners but it was much different than back in the U.S. It was usually a middle aged woman with a scarf on her head kneeling with a paper cup. Inside the paper cup was a picture of children or perhaps her family. She would reach out her arms and start talking in her language. We looked this up back at the hotel and apparently they were Romanian women. I guess the borders have become a lot looser and it almost turned into a business of people bringing them over to collect money from the Scandinavian countries where people are usually pretty well off and generous. Every few hours the “boss” comes by to check on the beggers and they collect their money. They are usually given room and board in exchange for “working.” It was really sad to see.

Sunday morning we headed out to Gamla Stan to check out more of beautiful Stockholm. We needed to try some authentic Swedish food so we went to Nystekt Stromming for some herring, lingon berries, mash and veggies. YUM. We did some more exploring and then made our way to the Vasa Museum. So amazing!! It is a 400 year old ship that sank in the Stockholm harbor on it’s maiden voyage and was underwater for over 300 years until they finally found a way to bring it up to land. It was very extravagant and had so much detail. Apparently living conditions were so bad in Sweden that people would rather go out to see and be a crew member than stay in town. Fun fact: the Vasa was the main inspiration for a lot of ships in movies like Pirates of the Caribbean. Towards the end of our time at the museum Tim wasn’t looking so hot and was needing to sit down a lot and rest which is very unlike him. Usually he is the one pulling me around. ;) He asked if we could go back to the hotel for a quick nap. I checked on him after about an hour and he was burning up so I decided to let him sleep while I tried to find a good spot for dinner. He ended up sleeping for hours and looked awful once he woke up so we decided to bag the dinner plans. We ended up finding a little market a few blocks away so we stopped in and got some snacks and a salad and ate in. It was a bit of a bummer way to end the trip but luckily we had gotten up early that day so we had seen just about everything we wanted to see. 


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Thursday we had an early flight out to Bergen, Norway. We left our hotel at 5AM only to find that the tube doesn’t open until 5:30. We stood and waited until they opened and hoped we would still make our flight! Luckily all went well. Once we arrived in Bergen we exchanged the rest of our pounds for Kroners, bought a bus ticket and went on our way! We found our hotel, dropped off our big backpack (so glad we went this route instead of wheeling a clunky suitcase around all the cobblestone streets) and then decided to walk up the trail to Mount Floyen. I had been super excited about this hike for months so I couldn’t wait! We took our time going up the mountain since we were starving and hadn’t had much sleep but eventually we made it to the top! There is a trolley that can take you up and back down for about 10 USD but I definitely recommend the walk! The views were incredible! We stopped about every 10 minutes on the way up to stop and take pictures. The view just kept getting better and better. We decided to treat ourselves to an ice cream cone at the top. Best soft serve ever! Or maybe I was just really hungry. Either way, yum. Except that I accidentally put dried onion ring crumbles on top of some of it. I totally thought it was some sort of caramel or cinnamon thing. Whoops. It later proved to be very good on the Reindeer Hot Dog. Much better than on the ice cream. We explored the town, walked down by the wharf and old town and stopped in some little shops.  We went to bed early because the next day was Norway in a Nutshell!

Friday we got to the train station early to hop on our train that would get us started on our journey to Oslo. We ended up taking a train from Bergen to Voss, a bus from Voss to Gudvangen, a ferry from Gudvangen to Flam, the Flam Railway from Flam to Myrdal, and then a train from Myrdal to Oslo. It was quite a day! Norway is such a beautiful country. I loved seeing the tiny little farm towns along the way. It was so picturesque with the little red wooden homes with green rolling hills and sheep and goats wandering around. The ferry from Gudvangen to Flam was incredible. Norwegian Fjords are on a caliber of their own. Most of the people on the 2 hours ferry ride with us huddled inside to stay warm but Tim and I put about 8 layers of sweaters and jackets on and staked out a spot on the top deck outside with the best view. SO worth it! It was 2 hours of the cutest little villages and most breathtaking views. It was quite a long train ride to Oslo so it was pretty late and dark by the time we got there.

We woke up in Oslo on Saturday to a band playing right outside our window and found that the Oslo Marathon was going on right outside our door. We checked it out on our way over to the Royal Palace and Vigeland Park. Vigeland Park is the world’s largest sculpture park. They were all created by one artist! They were a little different (all nude) but pretty interesting! A huge Asian Tour Bus pulled up right as we were leaving so I ended up having to take lots of pictures of people with their ipads. We hopped on the train to the airport to head to our final destination of Stockholm!