Monday, December 11, 2006

I just haven't had it in me to blog these past few weeks. I am busy, tired and just not very inspired when I sit down at this computer. There's been plenty to blog about. Thanksgiving, my parents visiting from England, my blog turning a year old, getting ready for Christmas and of course, the endless adventures of John Henry. So, I'll play catch up for a moment. Thanksgiving was great, like I mentioned my parents are in the country. They live in Oxford, England as missionaries. This was the first Thanksgiving with my whole side of the family in around 10 yrs. It was wonderful to be with all that "blood" and see my child, and my sister's children playing with their Grandparents, as the Great Grandparents watched. Johnny and I took a 9 hour road trip with my folks up to spend some time with my sister in her home in Paradise. We were gone about a week and I am so glad Johnny had all that time with my parents and his cousins. I fee like he knows them now and will know who I am talking about when I say their names or we speak with them on the phone. I returned home, happy to see Evan and be back with my family here. And I was very eager to start making my home look like Christmas since it sure didn't feel like Christmas outside. We have had such warm weather here, it was getting to be disgusting. So, I am loving the rain we've had the past couple night. Bring it on! Saturday, Johnny and I, and our favorite neighbors went to the 56th annual Escondido Christmas Parade. (something like that.) It was pretty funny, such an eclectic variety of floats. My favorites were the Shriners, (which I have pictured driving around in those crazy little cars), the marching bands( I just love marching bands) and the low riders, with hydraulics, bouncing their cars down the street. It was ridiculously great. What was really cute was how Johnny and Leif sat next to each other on the curb, clapping and waving.

Here are a couple parade pictures...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Leif and Johnny...

...have been buddies since birth (they are six weeks apart)
...enjoy screaming contests when out in public to chase each other around
...also love to completely ignore eachother
...have great heads of hair
...are too cute!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Press Pause

These are some professional photos taken of Johnny a few months back. I am feeling like I want time to slow down and for him to stay this way a little while longer. He's growing up SO fast! I am happy to have these pictures which have captured him at this age so beautifully.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's About Time...

For the first time. I guess growing up overseas (missionary kid) made me think I didn't really care. I am a voter now, promise.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Morning Walk

Living in an apartment, we don't have a yard for Johnny to get outdoors and explore. So, we take walks around the neighborhood instead. I love watching him check everything out. He's terrible about following or staying with me, infact, I think he waits to see which direction I plan to go so he can head the other way. Nonetheless, we have a lot of fun and I think it wears him out. He is sound asleep right now.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Just for Fun.

I've got some time on my hands, babe is asleep and I have thirty minutes before Evan gets home. I thought this little questionaire that some other blog friends have done looked like fun. I just love music and often have it playing when I am home. My car stereo was stolen a few months back and has yet to be replaced. Despite my own singing accompanied by Johnny's yells, giggles and "gawks", driving just isn't the same.
Anyways, here it goes...
So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
* I did skip songs, but only the ones that were strictly Evan's music and songs I never actually listen to.(i.e. he is a big dinosaur jr. fan, me, not so much.)

*Opening Credits: Metal Heart- Pedro the Lion.
*Waking Up: The One Red Star- Songs:Ohia.
*First Day of School- A Hunting We Will Go- Hem. ( I actuall skipped the Jimmie Rodgers song, Pistol Packing Papa, because I didn't think it counted as MY music. This was what came on next.What's with the gun theme?)
*Falling in Love: Quito- The Mountain Goats.
*Fight Song: Smooth Death- The Danielson Family.
*Breaking Up: All the Morning Birds- Jolie Holland
*Prom: The Beast in Me- Johnny Cash.
*Life: Lucky- Hem.
*Career: Byrd Joel- Red House Painters.
*Mental Breakdown: Ghost Waltz- Jolie Holland.
*Driving: Stable Boy Song- The Mountain Goats.
*Flashback: Big Decision- Damien Jurado. (Just saw him in concert Wednesday night.I was hoping he would show up on this thing.He is one of my favorites!)
*Getting Back Together: Willful Supsension of Disbelief- Modest Mouse.
*Wedding: He Lays in the Reins-Calexico/Iron&Wine.
*Birth of a Child: Show Me- Over the Rhine.
*Midlife Crisis: To Those Who Will Burn- Damien Jurado.
*Final Battle: Carry Me Ohio- Sun Kil Moon.
*Death Scene: I Can Not Have Seen the Light- Magnolia Electric Company.(well, that wasn't planned)
*Funeral Song: Rosewood Casket- Damien Jurado. HA! I am entering these as they play and it's pretty funny how well this last one works.A rosewood casket will be just fine for me, thank you. It's a very pretty song, and if you haven't heard of him, I'd encourage you to give him a listen.
*Ending Credits: Disillusion- Badly Drawn Boy.
The End.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pumpkin Patch, Petting Zoo & Pony Rides

I have really come to love Mondays. They are Grandma day. She come out and sometimes we just hang round the house and play other times we go on little adventures. I love that Johnny has this day with her and it is so nice for me, too. Not only to have her there keeping my son so happy, but I also just love her company. Last Monday was quite fun and I've been meaning to blog about it, so, here I go..About thirty minutes east of us gets you into the country with lots of open land and ranch homes. Amidst it all is great place called Bates Nut Farm. We headed out there with Johnny's Grandma and GiGi (Great Grandma) and our friend Tanya. It was so green and beautiful all around, it definitely beats those pumpkin patches in the parking lots of malls..

Johnny was pretty serious about the pumpkins, he climbed on them a bit and liked just running around. But his whole demeanor changed when we stepped in the petting zoo and he met his first goat. He was so gentle and just sat by her in that little house stroking her and making funny faces at me.

Then we got to the ponies. He was interested but I was pretty certain once we put him on one he would flip out. Afterall, he cried when we let him ride those silly mechanical cars in front of the grocery store. Boy, was I wrong! This kid just loves animals. He had the greatest faces the whole time and was squealing and laughing. He kept stroking the ponies mane and when the ride was over Johnny was still bouncing in his saddle ready for another go. We did let him ride again later that day, it was just too cute. The whole time he was riding, I just couldn't get over how he looked like such a kid, not my baby. Sigh.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My son is sick. It's hard for me to even write those words. I feel personal failure when Johnny gets sick. Of course, overwhelmingly, I am just sorry to see him hurting but his illness also causes me to question myself. What I am doing wrong? Aren't nursing babies supposed to be immune to illnesses, especially ear infections?? Where's the pay off for all the time I spend nursing him still? I am realizing that this attitude is pervasive in other areas of my life. When Evan and I struggle financially, I question, why are there so many wealthy with excess when I just want enought to get by? Evan works hard, finished his college degree, where are the benefits of that? I guess I feel owed something. How terrible!
What I fail to see is, in the 15 months my son has been around, probably ten days have been spent sick. We may not have a whole lot of money, but there is laughter in our home everyday. That prayer I found in my prayer book could not have come at a better time. I so easily focus on the problem, the despair, the emptiness and threats. I fail to see the meaning, promises, possiblities and hope. I fail to see Christ. When I do, how can I ask what I am owed? Everything I've already been given I never deserved in the first place.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Put Me in the Zoo!

Johnny and I made our way to the beautiful San Diego Zoo today. It was nice to spend that time alone with him. I kind of just let him lead the way, we didn't even end up seeing a whole lot of animals but the ones we did see we spent a lot of time looking at and talking about. More than anything, he just liked exploring, people watching and climbing on any and everything. He is so much fun! On a different note, Johnny was called a girl more than once today. Oh well, I am keeping the curls! (for now, anyway.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fathers and Sons

Sunday we got together with some of Evan's family. Johnny is blessed to have two Great Grandpa's and three Great Grandma's in his life. Here are four generations of Keeling men.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

O Lord, Help Me...

In silence
to find peace, not just emptiness
In suffering
to find meaning, not just agony
In knowledge
to find wisdom, not just information
In routine
to find order, not just boredom
In order
to find purpose, not just the expected
In daily life
to find surprises, no just conformity
In prayer
to find You, not just my own desires
In change
to find promises, not just threats
In opportunities
to find possibilities, not just problems
In sin
to find forgiveness, not just guilt
In problems
to find hope, not just despair
In leadership
to find directions, not just power
In challenges
to find trust in You, not just personal insecurity. amen

~I found this prayer in the back of one of my prayer books. Just thought I'd share it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

We celebrated our precious goddaugthers' first birthday on Saturday. It was so much fun! Evan and I continue to feel so blessed to be a part of their lives in such a special way. We just love them and it's so great to see them turn into such individuals. Little miss Ainsley is dainty and sweet. She has become so social and will say “hi” in her sing-song voice to just about anyone. Ava girl is active and strong, she loves pushing her sister around in their push cart (whatever you call it). She can stare you down when in the mood but also has a great belly laugh. It's wonderful to live close enough to see them throughout the week. May God grant our dear girls and their parents who have worked so hard and done such a great job the past year, many many more years!
I got inspired by some of you bloggers and made the girls a banner and birthday crowns. I included pictures of those. It was so much fun to put them together and I will definitely be making more. I am working on one for my niece, in fact. Thanks for the ideas!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Making Faces (part two)

Johnny had us cracking up at dinner tonight. He gets in these moods where he knows he's being funny and starts making all these ridiculous faces to makes us laugh. We do enjoy it. By the way, part two refers to a post I did in the early days of my blog. You can check out those silly faces under the January archive.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Year of John Henry

I can't believe my baby boy's first birthday has come and gone. He is almost 14 mos. old and seems to do something new and be less of a baby everyday. But I still see that sweet newborn in when I look at his beautiful face. He is a VERY active one year old. Most of the day is spent running around the house. All play is in motion and because of that my entire downstairs is covered with toys by the end of the day. Books are the only that will get him to sit still. He loves to be read to and loves to just sit on his own and flip through the pages. Animal books are his favorite and he can make more animal sounds than there are words in his vocabulary. But he does say, Papa, Grandma, Grandpa, Mama, book, cup, bath (bap), ball, dog and cat,oh yes and "GAWK". Gawk is his all purpose word. If he wants to nurse, "gawk". If he wants to read a book, "gawk bawk". Whatever it is, it's cute.
Johnny and Evan have entered a new relationship now that he is older and less dependant on me alone. He just loves his Papa. Runs to the window saying Papa when he hears a car pull up in front of our house. Johnny especially likes it when I sing him songs about Papa, which has required me to get creative and either make up some songs, or insert the papa into songs I already know. "Johnny's Papa had a farm.." Silly, but he loves it.
One of the new things Johnny has begun to do, which almost made me cry (happy cry) the first time, is cross himself. We never worked too hard at getting him to do it but he started when we would pray at meals or in the evening. Now he walks around the house crossing himself, or if I mention church he crosses himself. Sometimes rather dramatically. He also loves the icons. This thrills us, considering he is named after St. John of Damascus who defended the icons when the church was accused of idolatry. It's just great to see him interacting and learning his faith even at such a young age. Which makes having him in church, even on the Sundays where he is especially squirmy or loud, so worth it.
It's really good for me to write all of this right now. We've have been having a really rough week with Johnny cutting four teeth and fighting a cold. Motherhood has been demanding a lot of patience and selflessness and it's been hard. I feel like a lousy mom and wife some days. It's good for me to think about what I love and ofcourse, I could say more, but I think I'll just put up some pictures instead. Some old and new, so you can see how much he's changed and what hasn't.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Chop, Chop!

I cut it all off today! It feels great and what feels even better is that I had enough hair to make two seperate pony tails to donate to Locks of Love. Sheesh, that's a lot of hair!