Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Kids

I took a few new pictures of the kids today in their Christmas outfits and thought I would share.  I know that someday soon they are going to refuse to let me take their pictures constantly, so I will do it for as long as I can.  :) 

Just for the sake of comparison, here is their picture from last year. 
Can you believe how much they have grown?!  Time is just passing so quickly. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Snow Day

As a mommy I often have days where I ask my kids over and over again to complete a task, and they just won't listen.  When I just can't take it any more I often get frustrated and force them to do whatever it is that I have asked (eat their food, change their clothes, get their coats on...).  I think this must be similar to how our Heavenly Father feels when He asks us to obey Him, and we simply ignore Him. 

Recently I have been feeling what I thought was "mommy guilt" because I felt like my house had to be cleaned constantly, and I had to run a certain amount of miles a week.  All of the pressure I was putting on myself to have a perfect house and stay fit was taking a toll on me.  I just kept feeling this nagging that I needed to slow down and play with my kids more .  These are things that I have struggled with since I started having kids, so I thought that I was just over analyzing things again.  Then it happened.  The power went out.  We had a decent sized winter storm earlier this week that started as rain and ended with over a half foot of snow.  The more it snowed the more the power blinked and around midnight we lost power altogether. 

We lost power for nearly 20 hours.  During that time, I wasn't able to run on my treadmill, vacuum floors, wash dishes, clean bathrooms, or even take a shower.  It almost felt like God threw up his hands and said, "ENOUGH!"  It occurred to me that God was forcing me to slow down and spend time with my kids, because I wouldn't listen to that whisper in my heart that He had tried so many times lately.  So instead of cleaning and running, I spent the entire day playing with my kids.  We bundled up and went outside in the snow.  I helped them make snow angels and a little snowman.  I pushed Maggie on the swing and pulled both kids down the hill on the snow-tube.  Then we came inside and cuddled up on the couch and spent way longer than normal reading books together.  I didn't do any of the things that I normally feel have to be done each day, and it was wonderful.  The house didn't fall down around me and although we ordered pizza for dinner (because the power was still out)  I didn't fall out of shape either. 

As we were eating pizza by candle light I remembered why we made the decision that I would stay home with the kids to begin with.  It wasn't so I could keep a perfect house, or be in the best shape of my life.  It was because God had blessed us with a beautiful little baby, and I didn't want to miss a second of his precious little life.  I wanted to be the one to teach him his alphabet and how to say bedtime prayers.  I wanted to watch him grow and change.  Now I have two beautiful children and even more reasons to put the steam mop down and pay attention.  Of course it is important to keep the house clean, but God keeps reminding me that my family is MUCH, MUCH more important.

Isn't it amazing what God reveals to us, even if He does have to force us to listen. After our power outage I have made a few decisions.  First of all, I need to scale back my running.  I don't need to be running ten miles several times a week.  Especially when I am not even training for anything.  I have also decided that I am going to spend less time cleaning and more time playing with my kids.  My final revelation is that I will be spending significantly less time online.  That's right, if you need to get a hold of me you will have to give me a ring on the telephone.  I plan to check my email only once a week, and facebook will only be used to video chat with my sis who lives far away.  I waste entirely too much time on this computer, and it does not help me quiet my soul and listen to what God is saying.  Although it was fun, I don't want any more power outages anytime soon. 

Are you listening to what God is whispering to you?  

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I'm not sure how another season has nearly passed us by, but winter seems to be on the way.  It is certainly time for me to catch you up on what has been happening around here.  I am going to attempt to post all of my pictures in two different posts.  Blogger has not been my friend lately.  This is my fourth attempt at uploading pictures for the blog, and I have decided to put up as many as I can and hopefully add the rest later. 


Over the Labor Day holiday we camped with the Keefer family and despite all the rain we had a great time.  I think that Brown County is one of my favorite state parks.  The scenery is just so beautiful there.


Ben played his very first season of soccer this fall.  He learned a great deal and improved throughout the season.  He spent a lot of his time watching and chasing after a cute little girl named Emma on his team.  Hopefully next season he will be able to focus less on the girls and more on the ball but at least he had fun.  :)


Not only did Ben play soccer for the first time, he also started school this fall.  He attends preschool at a local church three days a week for a few hours each time and LOVES it!  He told me recently that it is like a fun playdate where he also gets to learn new things.  I hope he always has a passion for learning!  Although I miss him while he is gone, I love that he is getting used to being on a school schedule and learning to follow directions from someone other than me.  I also love that he is making new buddies and having fun!


This fall Ben got to attend his first field trip.  I was able to go along, and it was a blast.  We went to a local pumpkin farm.  The kids learned about farming and pumpkins, took a hayride, watched a cider press, visited a petting zoo, and picked their own pumpkin and gourd to take home. 


We recently set up the tripod in our back yard and made an attempt at getting some family pictures.  Here are my favorites.  I think this is our second year of taking family pictures in the fall, which might mean that it is now a tradition.  :)  I am the only person in our little family who wants this to be a tradition, but I just love looking back to see how much the kids have grown and changed.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Maybe it was because I knew that this was our last summer before Ben starts school or maybe it was because I am married to a Keefer, but for some reason we packed this summer super full of FUN!  We took another vacation at the beginning of August.  This trip was a little different though.  We decided to go on this trip to see Uncle Tedd graduate from his basic training.  About halfway through planning this trip we decided that we would also spend some time in Georgia visiting Bob's Aunt and Uncle.  We had an absolutely fabulous time in both places and the kids survived more driving than any child should have to endure in a weeks time (7 states!!!). 

Uncle Tedd's Graduation
We started our trip with a long drive to Columbia, SC.  Mom and Dad and Jess drove down together, and we drove down at a slightly slower pace behind them.  Let me just say that I have never stopped at so many rest areas in my life.  I suppose that is all part of trying to potty train a toddler.  :)  Almost the entire first day was spent driving and then we got to partake in Family Day at the base on the second day.  It was an awesome experience.  First of all my sister had not seen her hubby in months, so it was really sweet to see them reunite!  Second, it was interesting to see all the military stuff and the show they put on was really cool.  It was nice to see Tedd and hear all of his stories.  Needless to say, Ben is now obsessed with anything Army.  He talks about Uncle Tedd and the Army constantly. 

The third day was the actual graduation.  If you look at the last picture in this group you can see Tedd in the back right corner of his group on Graduation day.

After Uncle Tedd's graduation we left and headed to Georgia to visit Uncle Joe, Aunt Cindy, and Molly.  It was nice to spend some time relaxing with them and catching up.  They were wonderful hosts!  Aunt Cindy fed us super yummy food, and we swam in their big pool.  They took us on a tour of their town, and we had some barbecue and fried okra too.  The kids also got to ride on Aunt Cindy's John Deere tractor, and she sent them home with bags of goodies.  Thank you so much Aunt Cindy, Uncle Joe, and Molly for letting us stay with you and for all of your southern hospitality. 

Heading Home

On our way back home we stopped in Chattanooga, TN to go to church.  After church we took a drive around to see if there was anything interesting to do and found another cool spot.  There is an old train depot that is now a hotel and tourism area.  We had dinner in a train car and toured the area for a few hours before we were back on the road again heading for our next hotel.  The next day we woke up and headed for Cousin Will's fifth birthday party.  After a bit more fun family time we headed home for good.  It was a great trip but like always we were glad to be home.  I have to say that I am vacationed out for a while.  We will see how long that lasts.  :)