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.  :)

My Baby is Two!

If I could freeze time, now would be the time I would do it.  Many people will tell you that two is terrible, that it is the time when sweet little babies start throwing fits and getting an attitude.  I couldn't disagree more!  I think that (in my opinion and yes I am biased)  I have the sweetest, most adorable little girl in the whole world.  She might occasionally throw a fit, but usually only if she is tired or hungry.  I don't know if it is her big blue eyes or those chubby little cheeks, but she is absolutely everything I could have dreamed of when I thought of what it would be like to have a little girl.  I remember when I was pregnant with our little Miss Maggie and we had our ultrasound to find out if we were having a boy or girl.  When the doctor finally got a clear view and could tell that she was a girl, I got all excited and Bob got a little nervous.  He started saying things like, "What will she play with?  We only have trucks and tractors!  How am I going to change a girl!!!"  Let's just say that she is now the apple of his eye.  I love watching him watch her and tell her how adorable she is.  

She has really blossomed into a sweet and lovable girl.  She loves giving hugs and playing dress up and babies.  She also enjoys playing cars with her big brother and likes doing anything if he will pay attention to her.  She also loves to sit and color and draw.  She is a big talker and always has a lot to say.  It seems that every time we are out and about, people will stop us and ask how old she is.  When we tell them that she just turned two, they can't believe that her vocabulary is so large.

We asked her what kind of birthday party she wanted and she decided that she wanted a butterfly party.  We decided to go with a garden party theme that had butterflies and lady bugs.  
 Here is the birthday girl with her lady bug cake before the party.

 Thank you Grandpa Gaerte for bringing your super
fun barrel train to Maggie's party!

 Tearing into some gifts!!!

 Daddy and Maggie getting ready to blow out the candles.

 Maggie got her very own pink tricycle for her birthday.
Here she is trying to push Cousin Will up the hill in our
back yard.

All the kiddos also enjoyed a dip in our mini pool.

Maggie loved her second birthday party and wants to thank
all of her family that came to help her celebrate!

July Wrap-Up

We wrapped up July with another fun mini trip and Ben's first trip to the dentist (finally).  He was originally scheduled to go during the winter, but the big blizzard hit and we had to reschedule.  Then we had to reschedule a second time because we decided to take our Michigan trip to Frankenmuth.  Luckily we finally found a time that would work, and I have to say I have never seen anyone enjoy the dentist as much as Ben.  I think the stickers and treats (silly bands and a new bouncy ball) helped, but he left saying that he could not wait to go back again.  The dentist said that all of his teeth look great.  Ben's favorite part was the strawberry fluoride treatment. 

Our mini trip was originally planned as a camping trip with our friends the Blooms.  However, it was decided that camping in 90+ degree weather would not be fun.  The guys asked for suggestions, and we all decided that a trip to St. Joseph, MI would be fun.  As most of you know, that is one of my favorite places.  It has a beach, cute little shops, a farmers market, and great scenery.  We hit it all and you can check out our pictures to prove it.  ;)

 Have you ever seen someone so happy to be at the dentist?

The first day of our trip was spent at the beach and at a kid's discovery zone that is next to the beach. 
 My Cuties!

 Mr. Sand Man

 Maggie is always trying to be just like Ben.

 After dinner we stopped at one of the lookout points to watch the sun
set over the water.  This was the best picture I could get of all
four kids, but at least it's proof that they were there.

 The sun setting over the water.

On day two of our trip we hit the farmers market and several
of the shops.  Here are the Ben's together.  Ben Keefer and
Ben Bloom. 

 Ben and Maggie both picked out a sunflower at
the farmer's market.

 There is a really fun toy store in downtown St. Joe. 
Maggie enjoyed playing with all of the kitchen toys.

 Here is another attempt at a group shot of the kids. 
There are chairs in different spots all around town. 
I think they were watching a man make fudge at Kilwin's in this shot.

 The carousel is always a hit with the kids.  Ben found Nemo
and Maggie wanted to ride a dolphin.

 Lindsay and Ben Bloom
Jake and Claire