Mommy Confession #5!

Oookay… here it goes:  Mommy Confession #5!  My kids didn’t bathe for a week!  In my defense, last week was incredibly busy; we had an activity that kept us out late every night.  Sure, we could have bathed them in the morning, but let’s get real here!  They were tired!  They needed that extra twenty minutes of sleep!  To be even more honest, I needed those extra 20 minutes of quiet time to wake up just as much as they needed the sleep.

Mommy Confession

Decorating the Christmas tree at Grandma’s house

My kids may or may not have been the smelly kids at their day care (I didn’t notice an odor), but it’s all a trade off.  If I had stuck with our routine and normal schedule, they would have only spent a handful of hours with my siblings who were vising from Texas.  They hadn’t seen their uncle and aunt in months so I stick by my decision.  Slightly dirty children was clearly the better choice in this situation!

Parenting and life are all about trade offs.  We try to squeeze in every minute and every activity that we can, but there are truly only so many hours in the day.  Parents must constantly try to balance work, activities, relationships, house work, and more.  Every evening I feel as though I have to pick between playing with the Keller Kids and doing chores like the dishes.  Unfortunately, doing the dishes usually wins.  One of these days, I’m going to get a dishwasher…

Balancing parenthood and work can also be challenging (I think that’s a post for another day!), and, really, I can’t imagine how many more trade offs we will have to make as the Keller Kids get older and become involved in extracurricular activities.

Mommy Confession

Opening Early Christmas Presents from their uncle and aunt

Finding the right balance is obviously the key.  Choosing to visit with family while still making sure that the Keller Kids get enough sleep was a decision that I made over requiring the Keller Kids to bathe every two days.  Really, it’s not even a very significant trade off.  The Keller Kids got a little dirty, but they were able to build memories that will turn into a family legacy.  Future balancing acts will undoubtedly be a little bit more challenging!

I often think back to my own childhood, and I don’t know how my parents did it!  First, I’m a twin, and I have a younger sibling who is quite a bit younger.  As a result, my parents were constantly pulled in different directions!  We were all three very involved in extracurricular activities, and, of course, they were rarely in the same locations.  Yet, I remember a parent at nearly every one of my activities.  I had a home cooked meal almost every night, our home was well-kept, and all of our basic needs were met.  I sure hope Mr. Keller and I can pull off that same feat!

One last mommy confession today:  this mommy is very worried about balancing work, motherhood, and house hold chores as the Keller Kids get older!!

Norwex January Hostess Specials

I could not be more excited right now! Just minutes ago, I got to peek at the Norwex January  Hostess Specials. I have to tell you: they are AMAZING! I wish I was hosting a party of my own, because I want to earn these for myself for FREE!

Norwex January Hostess Specials

January Hostess Specials! (Click to make it bigger!)

First, it’s Mop Month!  With a $550 party, 1 booking and 3 buying guests, you can earn a free mop!  This mop retails at $95!  What makes it worth it?  First, you’re cleaning with just the microfiber cloths (and water with the wet mop pad)!  You won’t have to buy any refills, the cloths are machine washable, and they last for YEARS!  The mop is light weight, telescoping, and ergonomic, too!  I use the mop on all of my floors (tile, hardwood, and linoleum), and I love it.  I can go from floor type to floor type without having to switch mops; nor do I have to carry around and spritz a bottle of cleaner.  Here’s a Youtube video demoing the mop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK0lUopG7UU

In addition to the mop, there are several other great items included in January’s Hostess Specials!  With a $350 party, you would receive 2 envirocloths, the travel pack, and the reusable snack bag!  The travel pack (a set of 4 smaller envirocloths) was one of my very first Norwex purchases.  I keep one in the kitchen, one in each bathroom, and one in my purse!  With two little ones, it’s incredibly convenient to be able to just whip out one of those little envirocloths when they invariably spill something when we’re out and about!  Plus, I also carry a tiny spritz bottle in my purse with water.  I

Norwex Cleaning Resturants

Yuck! This restaurant’s table was filthy!

can spray down our table at a restaurant and wipe up the dirt and grime that you just know is there with the little travel enviro!  I can also use it to spray and wipe down menus, high chairs, and grocery carts!  Just like the full sized envirocloth, the travel size is 99% effective against bacteria!

Norwex is being even more generous than that!  If you close your party January 1-14th have $600 in sales and 6 buying guests, the hostess receives a $50 hostess credit!  This is in addition to the percentage of sales that you receive in hostess credits!  For example, if you host a $650 party January 1-14th with 6 buying guests, you would receive the $50 hostess credit, 3 envirocloths, 1 travel pack, 1 snack bag, 1 small mop set, 1 rubber brush, free shipping, and an additional $65 in hostess credits (10% of your customers’ purchases).  How amazing is Norwex?!

Contact me to host a party and earn these wonderful Norwex January Hostess Specials!

Family Legacies

Legacies

4 Generations of Cookie Bakers!

Every family has it’s legacies and traditions that it passes on to the next generation.  I was strongly reminded of that fact this past weekend as we baked Christmas cookies with Mr. Keller’s family.

Every year, Mr. Keller’s mom, grandma, aunt, and cousins meet at Mr. Keller’s grandma’s (Bernice) house.  Fortunately for me, I’m invited, too!  In fact, to be perfectly honest, I’m more than invited.  It’s expected that I attend along with the Keller Kids, which is awesome!  I love that we’re included and treated just like one of the blood relatives.  We have a list of cookies that we always make:  Christmas Crescents, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Reese Peanut Butter cup cookies, 7 Layer Dessert, fudge, frosted sugar cookies, and chocolate coated pretzels.  We also usually try one or two new things!  This year we added snicker doodles and thumb print cookies.  As we bake the cookies, everyone kind of knows what their task is.

Legacies

MK and Clayton!

The Keller Kids decorate the sugar cookies, open candies, and play!  I help with the Keller Kids, roll cookie dough into drop cookies, and help with the oven when it’s necessary.  Mr. Keller’s aunt Kathy usually mans the oven, Sheena fills in everywhere and makes sure that we stay on task, Bernice makes the fudge and 7 layer dessert, and Carol (Mr. Keller’s Mom) very patiently ices cookies for the Keller Kids and monitors their decorating.

Family Legacies

BK and Bernice!

My children and everyone else will forever have the memories of baking the cookies and spending time with family.  There’s always Christmas music playing in the background (music chosen by Carol and Clayton, typically), and sometimes even live music provided, again, by Carol and Clayton.  There’s laughter and opportunities to catch up and discuss our current situations.  It’s a wonderful tradition, and one that is building a legacy of happy memories for my children and everyone else involved.  With any luck, they will receive copies of some of the recipes, too!  The cookie recipe book, however, is a legacy that will be inherited by one of Mr. Keller’s female cousins, as is appropriate!

Family Legacy

BK & Rich! They’re both so proud!

While we were at Bernice’s home baking cookies, Bernice’s husband, Rich, gifted the Keller Kids with another legacy:  one stained glass creation for each of them.  BK received a stained glass creation depicting the John Deere symbol while MK received a stained glass creation with butterflies and flowers.  Both suited them perfectly.  Even more importantly, they will have these legacies long after their great-grandfather, Rich, has passed away.

Legacy

MK and Rich! She loves it!

At just 4 and 3 years of age, both BK and MK adore their new stained glass art.  They may not realize the importance of it, but they do realize that it’s something they will always have from their great-grandfather!  In fact, just tonight Mr. Keller and BK proudly chose places to display the art.  I’m not sure who was more thrilled and more proud!

There are a lot of ways to leave your family with a legacy:  property, financial gains, and memories.  For us, family traditions such as baking cookies together is an excellent way to build those memories!  These memories are then recalled by physical legacies such as cookie recipes and stained glass creations.  I pray that the Keller Kids are rich in Family Legacies–especially memories!

 

MK Turned 3!

It was a huge weekend for the Keller household!  For one, MK turned 3!  Both of the Keller kids adore birthday celebrations, and if it’s their birthday, it’s even more awesome for them!

MK Turned 3!

MK and BK love MK’s birthday balloon!

MK actually turned 3 on Thursday; however, she received an early birthday surprise on Wednesday!  She received a gigantic Disney Princess birthday balloon!  She was so thrilled!  Her brother was also pretty excited!  Since bringing it home, they’ve had a great time chasing it around the house!  The darned thing is almost as big as she is!

MK Turned 3!

MK enjoyed her cupcakes!

On her actual birthday, MK attended daycare as usual, but she was thrilled to be able to spend her birthday with her friends.  She was so excited to share the cupcakes she had designed with her friends!  We had gone to Kroger’s the weekend before her birthday to put in our order, and she had a wonderful time deciding what her cupcakes should look like.  She choose one dozen white cupcakes and one dozen chocolate cupcakes. They had swirls of white whipped frosting and swirls of pink whipped frosting.  They were then topped with chocolate shavings and Frozen rings.  They turned out ridiculously cute!  She, apparently, has quite the eye for design!  Of course, with her artistic grandmothers it’s hardly a surprise.  I just wish I had a picture of the cupcakes to show you!  There were 3 cupcakes left, which thrilled BK.  He had been very disappointed that he didn’t get to go to her classroom to celebrate her birthday.  I guess I should have done 4 dozen cupcakes so there would have been enough for both classes.

We had our families over to celebrate MK’s birthday on Sunday.  Fortunately, my brother and sister were even able to attend!  They live in Austin, Texas, but they have come home for the week to celebrate Christmas.  They both have to work over the holiday week and found it much easier (and found much less expensive flights) to come early, and it happened to work out well with MK’s birthday celebration.

MK Turned 3!

Opening her presents

MK was really into opening her presents this year!  She could not wait to open the next one, and I don’t think she really even took the time to notice what she received until after she was done opening!  One of the things that she played with most after everyone left was a water coloring book.  She even slept with it!  I may have to get BK and MK another for Christmas!

MK turned 3!

One of her favorite toys!

Now, it’s Monday, and we’re back to the grind–sort of.  Mr. Keller is at work, and the kids are at daycare.  I’ve taken the day off from work in order to spend more time with my sister.  We’re going to bake cookies!  We’ve baked Christmas cookies together every year since I was pregnant with BK.  Next time, I’ll have to schedule a “vacation” day for the kids so that they can spend time with their aunt, too.  I honestly didn’t even think of it until Saturday.  Too late now!

Thankful Reflections

At first, it seemed like a major cliche to sit here and type out everything for which the Keller Family is  thankful.  Then, I realized that if that was my attitude, maybe I really do need to take the time to stop and reflect!

Thankful

So much for which to be thankful!

First and foremost, our family is thankful for our God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  With unbelievable patience and forgiveness, God has provided  salvation for us through his only son, Jesus Christ.  Now that we have children, Mr. Keller and I can more fully appreciate that sacrifice and the gut wrenching feeling of knowing that one of your children is hurt.

The Keller Family is also extremely thankful for our friends and family.  Daily, we are reminded of just how blessed we are by those in our lives.  We are very aware of how much we have lucked out in this department!  We have friends and family who we can truly count upon to help us out of a bind, love on the Keller Kids, and help guide us all on the right path through their good examples.

Speaking of the Keller Kids, Mr. Keller and I are infinitely thankful to the caregivers who have taken such wonderful care of the Keller Kids!  The girls who daily supervise our children at their daycare are absolutely rock stars. I cannot imagine watching 12 2 year olds all day long–let alone guiding those same 2 year olds through art projects and learning activities!  Mr. Keller and I firmly believe that it takes a whole village to raise a child, and we’ve been blessed with a wonderful village (at the daycare, prior caregivers, and our wonderful friends and family members who have helped out!).

Mommy and daughter

My Mini

Two peas in a pod -- or a tractor!

Two peas in a pod — or a tractor!

Mr. Keller and I are also very obviously grateful to be parents to the Keller Kids.  Some days are hard, but every day is rewarding.  BK is Mr. Keller’s mini, and both take such pride in one another!  I love listening to them as they work on their most recent project in the basement (a indoor playhouse for the dogs and kids to use during the winter).  MK is (mostly) my mini.  I love that she helps me cook dinner every night (when I cook!  Freezer meals have greatly reduced a lot of my prep during the week!).  Both Keller Kids are beyond sweet, and I wouldn’t trade them in for anything.  Not even on their bad days!

All of those items that I have just listed are all truly something to be thankful for, and Mr. Keller and I are certainly thankful for them!  The thing is, all of those blessings are possible because of circumstances beyond our control:  the circumstances of our births.  We were born in the United States of America into middle class families with involved and active parents.  In all honesty, that alone has set up Mr. Keller and I for success beyond most in this world’s wildest dreams!  With the news being full of events in the Middle East every day, how could I be anything but be thankful!  We live in a country that has never known modern warfare on its own shores. A country where I have the right to drive, wear pants, own property, vote, receive an education, and decide my own future.  Seemingly obvious human rights, but they aren’t rights every woman has worldwide.  Additionally, I can rest easy knowing that my children are growing up in a comparatively safe environment with modern medicine readily available in emergency situations. So many woman in poor countries don’t have that same blessing.  Yes, indeed, the Keller Family has much for which to be thankful!