Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween: A Double Feature

Here are our Halloween pictures from 2009. I never shared these with anyone so I figured better late than never, right? That and I didn't have a camera handy and just got these from my neighbor. Thanks Kelli!

I was all about the sibling theme last year.

Is he not the cutest? He's still such a proud big brother. I miss these still days of Esther Grace. She's a whole lot of fun now though!

Jonah & Carter- the best of buds!

 Can someone please tell me how come I look the exact same as I did 3 weeks after having a baby?! It's been a year! It may have something to do with a thing called cardio...or lack thereof.

And here's a look at 2010. I warn you- there less poised than last year. It was a hands-full kinda night! We didn't run into Carter & Riley Kate either this year. They went on ahead of us while we finished watching Georgia/Florida. We still missed the end of the game though. Bear kept asking the score from door to door!

Jameer (Wolverine) and Jonah (Buzz Lightyear)

Boston, Jameer's younger brother, chillin' in the wagon.

Our very own Butterfly? Fairy? Flowergirl with wings? Who knows! I used the dress she wore at Katie's wedding & added wings. That was our sibling theme this year. Wings. Horrible, I know. I thought about dressing her up as Jessie but she doesn't have Sarah's (our cousin) adorable red locks and a red yarn wig would've been ridiculous.

This was before she knew candy was involved. She was content just sitting and picking at the bushes. Then, Daddy rolled up on the Kabota and she realized this was serious business tonight.

Do you see how discombobulated we are? That's because once she figured out people were giving away free sugar, it was a mad dash to the door! Who cares about being cute when candy is at stake?! We were crumpled all night, but still cute.

Wearing down after 3 suckers, a pack of Smarties, and one Crunch bar + the wrapper.

I tried to make Halloween this year not all about candy and picked up 2 Unicef boxes at Toys 'R Us. You collect change while trick-or-treating and then mail a check or your Coinstar receipt to their headquarters and the money helps needy children. This year is their 60th anniversary. $0.07 provides 50 kids with safe drinking water for a day. $2.00 buys 1 liter of therapeutic milk for sick infants. $19.00 buys 3 mosquito nets to protect kids from malaria. There's a whole list on the back of the box of what different amounts can provide.

Please tell me some of y'all did this as a kid! Bear had never even heard of it and thought it was a complete scam. He wouldn't let the kids take their boxes around to the neighbors and ask for money. He thought it was crazy to send our kids out like beggars at Turner Field. You know how you're always bombarded after a Braves game? He said we could just write a check or something. Oh well. We raided GB & Pop's change jar in their closet instead and filled up our boxes. Maybe next year. :)

That was our night. Now I'm crawling into bed and crashing from my sugar high so I can get up in the morning and make chocolate monkey bread for the Sunday School class. I can tell this is going to be a very nutritious week at the Keeling's!

[P.S.- Taggie has not been found.]

Friday, October 29, 2010


No, this is not a commentary on the television show.


You may be asking yourself, "What in the world?" Allow me explain.

Taggie is a little 1' x 1' square of fuzzy polka-dots that Baby Girl adores. It was a gift from Lisa Johnson, one of my GB's friends. The opposite side of it is silky pink and there are tons of different ribbons all around the edges....just perfect for rubbing when you're sleepy.

Sadly, this is the only picture I have of our precious Taggie. :( And it had to be on our set of back-up sheets that doesn't match a thing in our room.

The boys went to Tyler's football game in Commerce tonight so it was just us girls. We went to Wal-Mart to stock up on some reinforcements for the evening. You know- candy corn pumpkins, a Richard Crowe film, just the bare essentials. Esther Grace wasn't feeling so hot (hence the reason we stayed behind) so I let her carry Taggie into the store. She was happy as a dove riding around in that buggy. You'd have thought it was a convertible the way she was acting. I didn't notice until after we checked out that Taggie was missing. I spent the next hour retracing my steps all around the store, the checkout lanes, and the parking lot. No Taggie.

I was in tears and beside myself when the sweet little greeter lady at the door told me that she was on duty until 10 tonight and she'd look for me. She actually stored my number in her cell phone as "Baby Blanket" and told me she'd call. Well, it's now 10:20 and not a single peep from my phone. I've called the store myself about 5 times since 7:00 but no luck. She sleeps with it every night and at every nap. It travels in the car with us, goes to the library, to Bible Study, and comforts her in nursery. I don't know what I'm going to do. I've already called my Dad about 10 times asking if Lisa, who's at the game, can tell me where she got it so I can order another one. He did not find that amusing one bit. Apparently my Taggie saga doesn't hold a candle to Tyler's high school football career. Hmph. I always knew he was the favorite. It's just because he's the baby. And only boy.

I feel so guilty. I mean, I was such a better mother than this to Jonah when it came to Lovie. Partly because I pictured myself huddled in a corner of his room loving that little lamb the night he moves away to college, but still. I was a good mother. I've just slacked off with Baby #2. I mean if I'm this laissez-faire with a Taggie, then what will I be like with her boyfriends? (I knew French would pay off. Spell check didn't even flag that. I googled it just to check myself. Madame Carlson would be proud.) But seriously. I prayed over Jonah every night when he was younger. I labored in my journals over his future and daily hourly approached the Throne on his behalf. With Sister, I'm just grateful when she closes those eyes and I can change into some jammies. What am I doing?! I have got to be more purposeful with her. And if the Lord uses a square foot of fabric to teach me that, I'm grateful. It could've been worse. The lesson could've come in a 6' foot tattooed package with piercings named Flash. Oh thank You, Lord.

Anyways- I seriously doubt anyone reads this blog that lives in Monroe. I think the only people that do read it are family and that's just because they feel obligated to since I refer to it at every holiday function as of late. BUT- if anyone finds our sweet Taggie at the Wal-Mart in Monroe, I'd offer you a large reward. Okay, maybe just some homemade pumpkin bread or something. I'm sure a little one-year-old would be very appreciative.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Today was Arktoberfest at Jonah's preschool. It was his first theme day at school and my first parent volunteer experience. The children came dressed as different animals that would have been found on Noah's ark. (Except the preacher's son came dressed as a Ninja Turtle.....I guess turtles were on the ark but I'm not sure the Bible's clear on their martial arts skills.)

We took this picture when we came home.
Just excuse the Chick-fil-a on the front of
our shirt.

This is my favorite view. :)
His nose made a roaring sound when
you pushed it.

We pulled up to what looked like a zoo. Granted, most preschools do tend to lean that way but this one is very well managed. :) It was a bit out of the ordinary.

All of my pictures are pre-kids because I can't be in the same room as my child or he breaks out into convulsions, cries uncontrollably, and suctions himself to my leg so as not to allow anyone to tear him away from me. He's not right. We'll probably be in therapy until he's 30. That or he'll just move in down the street and raise his family right underneath me like his own mother did. Who knows- the jury's still out.

He did promise me last night that he wouldn't cry if I wasn't in his room. I guess he was lion. Ha! Get it? Lying? Lion? Now you know where he gets his not-right-ness. Moving on.....

The day followed Noah on his journey beginning with the first part of the story told by Noah himself... & Mrs. Noah- the Bible's not clear on her exact name either. Poor thing. I can relate. I'm known as Mrs. Bear to most of the youth at church.

Does he look like a member of ZZ Top
to anyone else? He was also sporting
a stacked wedge if you looked from
the back.

After Noah began his story, he paused to let the kids help him build the ark. It doesn't look like much but it's a huge homemade floor puzzle that the kids put together to make the ark.

Next up? Snack, of course! You can't expect all those hungry animals to go 40 days and 40 nights without food, can you? The kids gathered food for the animals...which worked well for them since they were the ones in fur.

Then came the games. What else did you think the animals did for all that time crammed up inside a boat? Just ride? No. There was definitely entertainment.

Animal Bowling

Feed the Monkeys Bean Bag Throw

Flamingo Ring Toss
(You can't see the rings but you had to toss them
over their necks.)

Animal Golf

Oh, sorry. Random picture of skydiver in
the children's wing. If only our church had
 this type of budget! This is Esther Grace's
favorite part of BSF. That and the goldfish.

Musical Chairs Noah's Ark Style

The Musical Chairs room was my station. I don't know how it happens but I'm always assigned anything to do with music anytime I volunteer anywhere. I've decided that the workers at Jonah's school have seen my car had to dodge falling objects out of my car so many times through the pick-up line that they figure I'm left-brained and artsy. With organizational skills like that, they probably think I'm destined for Broadway!

Safe in the ark!

After games, the kids listened to Noah tell the conclusion of his story and how God promised to never flood the earth again with a rainbow in the sky. All of a sudden, I hear a familiar voice start saying,
     "Woah, double rainbow! So intense!"
I about died! In case you are unfamiliar, we have a running joke among our close friends involving this video:

Everytime one of the ladies makes a great dessert or we're just in a goofy mood, we start quoting this guy-who is obviously enjoying some sort, supplementation. I'm talking complete with fake sobs, hollers, moans, full out foolishness in front of any and everyone. Football games, church, public restaurants, you name it. We're getting a head start on embarassing our kids when they're teenagers. I don't even know how we were ever introduced to this but apparently someone's picked up on it. Oh, be careful little ears what you hear, I guess.

After all that, the kids ended the day with trick-or-treating in the church's front office. They completely racked up on the candy and even got a Noah's Ark coloring book, crayons, and an animal pocket-notepad.

All in all, the day was great! I actually think that I had more fun than Jonah. It made me miss teaching soooo much! (Shhhh. Don't tell Bear. He'll make me go back.) I was even in the mood to make Monster Mash when we got home as a tribute to my days in kindergarten. After that, I put the kids down and once the house became silent, I remembered what staying home was all about......NAPS!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Our Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

On Friday, Bear had a small *ahem* procedure done which laid him out for the rest of the weekend. (Let's just say no more pregnancies for me!) I had to think of a way to get the kids out of the house because if they're within 15 feet of Daddy, they're wanting to climb, jump, flip, spin, you name it.

We went to Washington Farms in Watkinsville to pick out our Halloween pumpkin. I had no idea the adventure it would be as a single parent of two toddlers. Whew! I didn't get a picture of the pig/duck races (Jonah's favorite part) and shooting the corn cannon but I think I covered pretty much everything else. Oh-and sorry about the snotty noses. Part of it is just genetics (apparently Bear's nose was a constant drip when he was little) and part of it is I didn't have a free hand to wipe every 20 seconds. We came home and crashed before going to GB and Pop's to watch the Georgia game on TV. Next year, we're all going as a family.

Waiting on the hay ride

Here it comes!
(We were a bit perturbed that it wasn't a John Deere.)

Chillin' on the ride up to the farm activities-
don't you just love those little, round heads?!

Why couldn't she have been this still
during her one year portraits?

Does this look a little too high to anyone else?

It wasn't as fast as I thought it would be.

Workin' up the nerve....

Here he comes!

Playing in the corn box

I'm pretty sure she ate most of it.

Making corn angels

I'm still finding corn in shoes, socks, undies, pockets.....

No one's broken the news to her about the raised driving age yet.

On the jumping pillow

I love this shot. :)

Possibly his favorite to the pig races.

Everyone else's cows had names like Oreo, Jelly Bean, and
Milky Way. Jeffrey? Really?

Much happier once Sister decided she didn't want to ride.

Get along little doggie...or something like that.

Our pumpkin was a whoppin' 18-pounder!
What a great day! (I'm feel the urge to nap just reliving it!)

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Pretty Red Bow

God is so neat. He never does anything like I quite expect or plan out but His version is so much better.

Last week around this time, I was praying so hard for assurance of my PawPaw's salvation. I just had to have a clear 'yes'. I wanted this package I had dreamed up, complete with a big red bow on the top. I never got that. But this week, I've got peace that passes all understanding. Not about whether or not PawPaw knew Jesus but that I serve a Sovereign Lord, in control of all things, and I don't have to know. It's okay. No matter what.

The funeral was awesome. The Marine Corps handled everything with full honors, complete with a 21 gun salute. (Well, 22. Skylar, my cousin's newborn, fired her own round in her diaper just to send PawPaw off with style. It was loud!) My Nana was so strong. My uncle was so strong. Gosh, all of us were pretty strong. The preacher who officiated the service did a wonderful job and gave God glory above all else. He weaved Scripture throughout the message that gave hope and reminded us of our heritage we've inherited through Jesus. He also talked about the heritage and legacy PawPaw left with his sons and grandchildren.

I do love being on this side of the funeral arrangements though. There's more peace. It's just brighter. God gave me a picture of the disciples and the three Marys after the Cross. No wonder they were in such a hurry to get to the tomb Sunday morning! They just wanted to be there. We just wanted to be together at that funeral home. But now that everything's over, we still just want to be together. But the setting's much different. Much more joyful. Last night, we had dinner brought by loving friends to my parent's house. There were babies running around everywhere, laughter around the table, with coffee and dessert to moan over. I'm glad that we're on this side of the funeral. I'm glad that we're on this side of the Cross.

I didn't get my pretty little package with the big red bow of PawPaw's salvation on top. Instead, I got an ice-cream sundae. Sundaes, with their gloopy and sticky goodness, are messier than packages, with their crisp and pristine edges. (Ask anyone who's ever taken a toddler to Bruster's!) But they're also so much sweeter. Mine came with all the fixin's.....Nana smiling as she played with Esther Grace, Jonah reenacting the ceremony with his cap-gun rifle and saying he wants to be a Marine (which will change next week when he's Buzz Lightyear for Halloween), my uncle and dad watching TV and talking in the yard about who knows what, my cousin and myself ganging up on my sister and giving her a hard time as usual, And the cherry on top? His grace, His mercy, His peace, His Sovereign control of all things. That's better than any neatly wrapped package I could ever dream up.

"...Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Real Life Application....for a 3 Year Old

Okay, so after this hard week God figured I could use a laugh. I've been studying Isaiah (yes, you'll probably hear about this until May when my study ends) and this week was over chapters 7 & 8. God warned Judah that if they didn't repent, He was going to send in Assyria to straighten them out, whip them into shape, and give them a big time-out. Keep in mind that's in the KKV- Kristen Keeling Version. Well, in Isaiah 7:20 God tells them:

"In that day the Lord will use a razor hired from beyond the River- the king of Assyria- to shave your head and the hair of your legs, and to take off your beards also."

I always review the lesson with Jonah before we go on Wednesday mornings. (It's the teacher in me.) After washing, he wanted to stay in and play for "a bittle bit" so I went and packed up all my things for Bible study in the morning. When I came back into the bathroom, this is what I saw.


Don't tell me God's Word isn't relevant! (I'm just thankful it's a plastic razor. Can you imagine what he could've done with Bear's electric clippers?!)
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