Kicking Kellers

The Keller Kids are now the Kicking Kellers!  They started soccer on Friday, and they could not have been more excited!

Earlier in the week we really stoked the fires of their enthusiasm.  Mr. Keller had the kids out nearly every day kicking the soccer ball.  BK had received a couple of soccer balls for his birthday in addition to a soccer net, and they really made use of those items!

Kicking Kellers

Waiting for practice to start

We also stoked the fires a little bit more when we took the kids to Target!  They needed to get water bottles and shin guards ahead of practice.  The shin guards were easy; there was one set that fit.  The water bottles on the other hand…  We had no idea there would be so many options!  It took a good 10 minutes to pick out a good, sturdy set of water bottles, but at the end of those 10 minutes I think we were all satisfied with our choices!

When practice finally rolled around on Friday evening, we were ready!  They went to daycare on Friday in the clothes that they would wear to practice so that was easy.  Practice was at 6:00 and could potentially last an hour so we gave them pretty good sized snacks of chocolate coated super fruits and granola.  Then, we rushed out the door to make it to practice.  Before leaving, I grabbed their winter coats, and I’m so glad that I did.  It was cold!

In fact, the weather was probably the worst part of practice.  Their coach seemed enthusiastic and patient.  His son was less than sure about playing, but I think the cold factored pretty heavily into that.  Regardless, I think the kids will get along well with their coach.

Kicking Kellers

MK dribbling

The coach started out by introducing the kids to  a few basic concepts:  no hands and dribbling and passing.  They ran a couple of drills and then played a short scrimmage.  BK was very into it, and he actually scored 3 goals during the scrimmage.  MK participated, but she was cold!  After running around for a few minutes, MK declared that she wanted to be the goalie.  Unfortunately, she won’t get her way on that as there is no goalie at this level.  Practice was called due to the cold about 30 minutes in.  BK, however, was not wanting to quit.  He and Mr. Keller kicked the ball around for another  5 or 10 minutes.  BK was so into it that he even shed his winter coat!  He was grinning ear to ear.  MK snuggled with me while we watched.

Kicking Kellers

Look at that grin!

The Kicking Keller Kids will have practice again this coming Friday.  We don’t know their game schedule yet, but the whole family is looking forward to attending those games.  Mr. Keller and I are sure that the games will be pretty cute!

Super Weekend

This past weekend was a Super Weekend! Not only was it the Super Bowl, but we also celebrated a very special birthday!

Super Birthday Celebration

Super Grandma Dorothy

MK took this picture of Grandma Dorothy!

Mr. Keller’s grandmother, Dorothy celebrated her 98th birthday!  Nearly all of the family was able to gather at a local restaurant to honor the occasion on Saturday evening.  There was laughter, good food, comradery, cake, and wild “Happy Birthday” glasses.  Most importantly, there was a very happy birthday lady.  Grandma Dorothy was glowing!

Dorothy has to be one of the youngest 98 year olds I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  She just recently started to wear hearing aids, but other than that, she’s in remarkable health!  Honestly, you would never guess her to be 98 years old!  Heck, she still lives on the family farm and has her driver’s license.  I pray that if I have the fortitude to make it to 98 years of age that I am in as good of shape as she is.

Keller Family with DorothyBK and MK are so fortunate to be able to know Grandma Dorothy.  Dorothy just revels in her great-grandchildren when they visit.  She’s always game for snuggles, assisting with untangling of toys, and is always prepared with cookies and milk.  I wish that I could properly describe the awesomeness that is Grandma Dorothy.  She even has a humorous side!  Oh, boy, does she!  She often says things that make us do a double take because we didn’t realize she knew something.  There’s not much that gets past her!

Though Grandma Dorothy isn’t sure that she has any more birthdays left (she’s observed 98 of them, after all!), we continue to hope that her health and mental capacities stay in tact.  She’s truly a treasure!

Super Bowl Celebration

Sunday was, of course, the Super Bowl!  Mr. Keller and I are pretty big NFL fans so, of course, we had a Super Bowl party!

Our party was really a pretty small affair.  There were 3 other couples in attendance along with 6 additional children.  Considering that our house really isn’t too big, that was enough of a crowd!

Mr. Keller and I had spent some time reorganizing the basement and cleaning it up in advance of the party.  It was our hope that the children would mostly stay down there.  Luckily for us, the plan was pretty darned successful!

Super Bounce HouseThe Keller Kids had received a Bounce House for Christmas from Santa Claus, and I have to say, Santa was pretty smart with that gift (Santa also got a really great deal on it!)!  It has kept the kids well occupied since Christmas, and Sunday was no exception.

He's sporting a pretty good knot!

He’s sporting a pretty good knot!

Of course, there have been minor injuries, and BK managed to obtain a pretty good knot on his forehead Sunday.  From what I understand, BK took a header off the slide.  It looks as though it hurts, but when I asked him about it, he grabbed the wrong side of his head and moaned pathetically… you can make of that what you will!

Lady Gaga’s National Anthem performance was spot on.  Everyone in the room quieted down for it, and we were reminded that she can actually sing–as in she is actually a classically trained singer.  She’s certainly not your typical Pop Queen!

I can’t say that we caught too many of the commercials.  The Doritos commercial with the sonogram and the baby… super weird.  I don’t like Doritos, but I’d have to question my desire to support that company after watching that commercial. The texting Domestic Violence commercial was heartbreaking and gut wrenching, and the wiener dog/Heinz commercial was pretty cute.

Now for the actual Super Bowl:  I have to say that Mr. Keller and I were happily surprised at the outcome.  Mr. Keller even had a friendly wager with one of our friends that Carolina would win, but we’re both big Peyton Manning fans.  We were thrilled to see him end up victorious on what is likely to be his last professional game.  Manning is a class act, and I think has made the NFL better.

BK and Kyle taking a Lego break. These two have always been buddies

BK and Kyle taking a Lego break. These two have always been buddies

Anyway, the weekend is over.  The kids went back to daycare, Mr. and Mrs. Keller went back to work, and we have a long week ahead of us.  We had a super weekend, and getting back to work/school today was difficult!  Boooo

Mommy Confession #7: Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration?!!  What?!  I cannot have a child old enough for kindergarten registration.  Oh, wait…

I printed off BK’s kindergarten registration a couple of days ago.  It hit me hard, and I did not anticipate that!  I thought that I would be excited to sign BK up for kindergarten!  After all, it means one less child in daycare (and we all know that no matter how wonderful BK’s daycare is, daycare is expensive!); I was wrong!

Printing off BK’s kindergarten registration made me realize how quickly time is flying.  He’s growing up, and it makes me sad.  Soon, he won’t want to snuggle on the couch with me.  He won’t randomly grab a strip of my hair and smell it jus

t so that he can feel close to his mom.  I fear that he’ll out grow me.  That’s probably crazy, but to me it seems like a very real possibility.

Kindergarten Registration

BK and Mr. Keller practicing their letters

BK hangs out with his dad.  They do chores together, fix things, chop firewood, and more. He’s Mr. Keller’s shadow–his mini me.  BK really only belongs to me when he’s tired, sick, or crossing the road (you know, when he has to hold my hand).  I guess I fear that every year he’s going to need me less and less.  All of his adventures with his daddy just make BK more independent.  That’s a great thing, I know, but right now… I’m just sad.

BK, on the other hand, is sooo excited for kindergarten!  His daycare teachers have done an excellent job preparing him, and he’s ready.  He cannot wait to go to the “big school” and ride the bus (jury’s still out on that one, but he’s sure hoping!).  It’s going to be my job between now and the first day of kindergarten to really maintain that excitement for him.  We’ll start driving past the school regularly and talking about how awesome it will be for him.  We’ll also start involving him in extracurricular activities like soccer and tee ball so that he can make more friends ahead of time (which means that I need to start stalking the  park district’s website for sign ups!).

Developmentally, I think BK is ready for kindergarten!  He knows his ABCs, colors, can count quite high, and he can write his own name.  We do need to work on some of the fundamentals like zipping our own coat and tying our shoes.  We’ll start prioritizing those things ASAP; partly because he needs to know those things ahead of kindergarten and partly because I need him to learn those things!  Maybe we can teach MK to zip her coat and tie shoes at the same time!

Registering BK for kindergarten isn’t about me.  It’s about him, of course!  I’ll put my sadness aside (and the realization that I’m getting OLD!), and we’ll help BK continue to maintain his excitement.  We’ll focus on teaching him the things he needs to learn ahead of kindergarten, and we’ll continue to keep him well-socialized.

BK is going to be an awesome little kindergartener.  I just hope those bigger kids leave him alone (I’m 99% percent sure that they will), and I hope that he makes lots of wonderful little friends.  Like every mom, I have high hopes for BK’s future.

Hearts at Home

Have you heard of Hearts at Home?  An area mom named Jill Savage started it in 1994 as a way to encourage other moms and find encouragement herself.  That first weekend, they expected 400 moms, but 1,100 showed up!  It’s grown every year since.  Last year, there were nearly 10,000 attendees.  I started to type “nearly 10,000 moms,” but I erased it because not everyone who attends is a mom.  Some are planning to be mothers very soon.  In fact, I’ve seen a few who appeared ready to become a mother any day!  All are women who are looking to find more encouragement and camaraderie with God.

IHearts at Home‘ve attended 3 times now, and I plan to attend a 4th time in 2016!  The next National Conference is slated for April 22-23rd in Peoria, IL!  I generally attend just the Friday session, but this year, I just may attend both days.  I’ll have to decide in the next few days! In the past, I have very simply loved the event.  It’s so refreshing, and I learn so much!

If you haven’t heard of Hearts at Home, you may be wondering what occurs at this conference.  All of the attendees gather together in the morning.  We’re energized with music and prayer (oh, the music!  It’s so wonderful!!), and then we break apart for the classes that we have chosen.  The classes are led by Nationally known Christian authors such as Arlene Pelicane, Karen Ehman, Tim Shoemaker, Kathy Koch, Dr. Gary Chapman, Lysa TerKeurst, and more!  This year, the featured guests are Meredith Andrews (oh, the music!!) and Missy Robertson.  Then, we come together again for lunch and an afternoon session. You’ll have two more classes of your choosing, and then, you can stay for the Mom’s Night Out if you sign up in advance–which you should because it’s so much fun!

The classes or break out sessions really vary.  They cover topics ranging from marriage, raising teenagers, preschoolers, fashion, coupons, and budgeting.  Sometimes I have a heck of a time picking just one session for the available time slot!

Hearts at Home is a transformational experience for me each year.  I only wish that I could bottle up that feeling and pull it back out every other month or so!  Not only does the conference leave me feeling refreshed as a wife, mother, and person, I feel renewed in my faith in God.  In the past, my mother in law has attended with me and purchased many of the sessions on CD.  This year, I may just do the same!

Truly, if you’re a Christian woman, you should seriously consider attending Hearts at Home.  In fact, let me know if you’re going!  Maybe we can attend together!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! I apologize for not having posted in quite a while! I’ve had the last two weeks off from work, and I had all kinds of plans for posts to the website. Then, of course, life hit!

I started out my break with the opportunity to cut out of work early Friday, December 18th. We had an excellent team lunch at an Hibachi Grill. It was a lot of fun, and the food was pretty good, too. I was really excited to be able to head home after the lunch because BK had his school program that afternoon. He was playing Santa Claus, and I couldn’t wait to see him in his Santa suit, but wouldn’t you know it, my cell phone rang 10 minutes before his program. It was my boss’s boss, and he had an emergency request. I arrived at BK’s school program about 2 minutes too late. I’d love to sugar coat it, but, frankly, I was pretty heartbroken to have missed it. To make matters worse, BK noticed.

The weekend improved with the arrival of my grandparents from Florida! We hadn’t seen them since this summer so there was a lot to catch up on. BK and MK even got to spend a little extra time with them as Mr. Keller and I had to head to a visitation.

The next few days were spent getting ready for Christmas! I cleaned, cooked, shopped and wrapped! One day, I even went to the Chicago Premium Outlet in Aurora, IL with Mr. Keller’s mom. That was a great day! I totally overspent my green employees (dollars), but the items I purchased were really an excellent value. They were also needed–well, except maybe the clothes that I purchased for MK. The weather that day started out pretty dreary and rainy, but that was actually a good thing! There was no crowd at the outlet mall as it’s outdoors! Most of it’s covered so the rain really didn’t bother us. Even better, the rain stopped after lunch. It was also an excellent opportunity to catch up with Mr. Keller’s mom. Over all, it was a very enjoyable day!

After that, to be perfectly honest, things have gone down hill a bit for the Keller Family. BK woke up during the night before Christmas Eve with an upset stomach. He ended up getting sick, but he did seem much better the next day. Good thing, too! My dad came over to celebrate Christmas with us! It was kind of weird having just my dad over for Christmas Eve. We were really missing my brother and sister! Maybe they can come home over the holidays next year.

Happy Holidays

I think she liked her presents!

Happy Holildays

Pure Excitement!

Christmas Day dawned with MK having stomach issues. They opened their presents from Santa, but poor little MK was just not feeling well.

Happy Holidays

Poor little pumpkin









She fell asleep on the couch soon after opening presents. Luckily, the nap seemed to revive her and she was good for the rest of the day! I did notice that we were all starting to get coughs at that point, and then both children started to run fevers during the night.

I had all these plans to go to the museum, maybe take them to their first movie, a play date, an art project involving salt dough, and a trip to a bounce house place; none of it happened!  First, we had a winter storm that knocked the electricity out for a day.  That combined with the small creek flowing through our basement caused the play date to be cancelled.  Then, the Keller Kids really started to feel sick.  For the next few days all they really wanted to do was lay around and watch TV or play with their Kindles.  I even took them to McDonald’s, and they didn’t want to play in the play place!  Poor Keller Kids just weren’t up to anything.

Happy Holidays

Lots of rest time

I’ll be honest, I complained to my husband the other night that this has been the worst vacation ever.  Nothing went as planned!  Yet, I realized this morning that it wasn’t so bad. Sure, the children were sick, but they sure were cuddly!  Really, having the opportunity to snuggle with my children for nearly two weeks is pretty awesome.

Happy Holidays

Napping together

Happy Holidays to everyone!  Hopefully not many of you lost electricity, and hopefully you all had better health than we did these last couple of weeks!