Thursday, February 26, 2009

Facing the Dentist

"Momma, did you know her gloves smelled like," his eyes darted around as he whispered, "like POOP!" My four-year-old son giggled in delight. This was his parting comment as I buckled him into the car seat after his first visit to the dentist. We laughed together at such a funny observation. I was secretly glad he didn't share his little thought with the nice dentist and hygienist.

Isaiah did great at the dentist. We opted to bi pass the KOOL Smiles place or another pediatric dentist and, instead, stayed loyal to my dentist of the past year and half: Dr. Elizabeth Cash. My mommy friends shared how much fun their kids had at these other places, but my hygienist, Ms Kristi warned me that they "tied kids down" to do their dental work. Ms Kristi urged me to bring my kids to her; she promised she would "take good care of them".

Despite the assurance she offered six months ago, today I was apprehensive about the visit. Isaiah was very nervous and a bit scared. He cried this morning over the ketchup lid, but Mommy knew better. It was really over the fear of seeing the dentist.

We prayed together at the table. We asked God to give Isaiah courage and strength as he got ready to see the dentist. When it was time to go, he asked, "Can I bring Bunny?" My heart tightened at his sweetness and I told him to hurry upstairs for the beloved stuffy.

I went first for my appointment. Ms Kristi explained everything to Isaiah as she did her work. Showed Isaiah the little mirror, the "teeth counter" [i.e. the sharp thing they scrape your teeth... OUCH!], and the little "toothbrush". Isaiah started the visit, curled up in a chair watching in apprehension. But, by the time my teeth were nice and shiny, he was sitting on my lap, turning the beaming light off and on. When it was Isaiah's turn, he bravely jumped up into the seat and opened his mouth. He was awesome!

It was stirring to see him steel himself to do something he was afraid to do. When we left the house, he was squeezing Bunny tightly and looking very nervous. My heart ached. All the way to the dentist, I prayed. I wanted to hide him away and not force him to confront this fear. But, I heard the Lord remind me that this little visit to the dentist and conquering a fear is what will begin to make him the man of God he is called to be.

And it was great. I took lots of pictures with my phone. I do not know quite how to download those yet, but if I figure it out, I will post them for you.

Happy brushing; don't forget to floss!

Monday, February 23, 2009

this and that and why I've been missing

I finally have a minute that is not terribly already devoted to something with higher priority then my dear blog. Not that you readers are not special, you are. You ARE! But, blogging... it is merely a pleasure. Not a need. And this week, obviously, has been filled with NEEDS.

For starters, five out of the seven people who abide in this home of mine were sick with the stomach flu last week. Not fun at all. Only the Big Daddy and the Little Samuel were spared the vomiting ick.

Aside from that ickiness, we are doing pretty well. Sinus headaches and runny noses abound, but that's relatively normal, I suppose.

My hubby celebrates his 27th bday today. We went to Chuck E Cheese. Yep. It was great! We went right after it opened, so for awhile our family was the only guests at the restaurant. [We asked a dear friend to come watch Samuel for us so I would be available for fun times with the older kids. Thanks, Kelly!! You're awesome!] Rose decided she loves Chuck E Cheese. Waved at him. Gave him a "high five". Totally and completely fell apart when it was time go. She sobbed, "good-bye Chuck E Cheese" as we drove away. It was hard not to laugh out loud.

Stick with me you guys. I sadly noted I lost a follower somewhere... I'm guessing it's because I didn't post much this past week and someone lost interest. That's OK. I am honored that anyone reads this stuff, anyway. And, it's not a contest, no matter what my competitive nature urges me to do.

Blessings to you all!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

a video saying hello

We made this video for the Keys in Texas to show at Jason's brother Jeremy's graduation from the Fort Worth Police Academy. It is a compilation of videos from the past few months plus a "hello" from Jason and the kids to Jason's family in Texas.

I thought my family and friends would enjoy seeing it, too. For the rest of you, who have never met me, hope you enjoy a glimpse into the life of my intense blessings.

and then there was one [in diapers]

Potty training is a true test of parenting. Like teething, you aren't a parent until you have experienced such a milestone.

Isaiah, my firstborn, got to be experimented on with my potty training ideas. We started the poor boy around 18 months old, per the instructions I had read in a handy parenting magazine. Needless to say, I wiped up lots and lots of pee. He was a good sprayer. We put away the potty, tried it a year later, and again a few months before his third birthday. Three times the charm, and he was potty trained fully in two weeks.

After that escapade, I gave Rose, baby Number Two all the room she needed. We offered her "the chair" several times from that second bday to the third. She humored us occasionally, but never got serious until a few weeks before her third birthday. [Sound familiar?? Guess what I think the "magic" number might be for potty training??] I was juggling a due date and a huge preggers belly, so I was not in a hurry to train Rose, at all. She did it herself. Took her diaper off and that was it.

Baby Number Three, my little Lela Mae has rocked the boat. She is a few months shy of her SECOND birthday and is already potty trained. Last week, she tossed her diaper in the trash and said "I go pee-pee!" And she did. On the little potty chair. I was not even planning to attempt a potty training session for another year! Boy, she has bowled me over. Here she is, her little-almost-two-year-old self, skipping around in "big girl undies". Momma is quite pleased.

Potty training the third is much less stressful than potty training the first. I really don't care when she figures is out 100%, because I know she will. Eventually. Last week, during the first few days of no diaper on Lela Mae, I remembered the early days with Isaiah and how stressed I was about potty training. I can see the "experienced" momma coming out. Potty-shmotty. Whatever. It'll happen. When the kiddo is good and ready.

And so, I sweetly change tiny Samuel, Baby Number Four. I cannot believe we are down to one in diapers. [Of course, the other "babies" are wearing Pull Ups to bed... but, whose keeping track of that??] Three out of four in undies [during the day]. How incredibly wonderful.

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Not Me!" Monday

It's that time again!! MckMama's "Not Me!" Monday-a-thon is ringing in the week. Be sure to run over to her blog and check out the fun. It is a time when truths are nots and nots are true. Or something like that!!

***

It is not me who believes her four-year-old son is a genius artist. I do not stare in amazement at his artwork and wonder what mysteries await his life.

It was not me who volunteered for the nursery at church. SinceI was not in the nursery, it could not have been me who held several squirming children on my lap that did not belong to me. I am not blessed to attend an incredibly fruitful church where wonderful people love my kids and watch them all (quite cheerfully, I should add) every week. Payback is so not sweet and wondrous.

It was not me who spent a "date" with the hubby going to Lane Bryant and getting those sexy pajamas for one-third the pre-Valentine's Day cost! Ha; take that Lane Bryant!! Um. I am so not a rude person. I would never write those last few sentences. Hee -hee.

Oh, and at Lane Bryant it was not me who quipped to the sales lady while she was ringing up my red tank top and heart pants "yeah, we went for comfy not sexy today..." My husband did not choke on his laugh as we watched the sales clerk's eye brows dart up. It was so not fun!

****

No more for me. Blessings to you all!! Have a great day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

what i am missing

I am missing it. Missing watching this little guy grow up. My baby sister's baby, Emmanuel. My dad is blessed to be a part of Emmanuel's life right now. One out of nine grandbabies. Nine grandbabies. Four of those are MINE [man, I have a lot of kids!]. We live about two THOUSAND miles from my parents, my little bro and sis and Emmanuel. Two thousand miles. It takes atleast three airline flight to go for a visit. Meanwhile, my children learn about Grandpa Kevin and Gramma Joy via phone calls and letters. My heart yearns, YEARNS, for more. But, this is all I have to offer them. A long distance relationship with people who love them.

This is my big brother, Israel and his youngest kiddo. They live almost 1000 miles away from us. Once upon a time I lived near enough to visit once a week. My sister-in-law was my confident and friend. Their kids knew their Aunt Jessica and liked being with me. Now... I am a picture on their wall. Oh, I know I'm being melancholy... but I feel so sad about missing out on their lives.

And this fine looking man is Jason's little brother. [Good looks run in the family, can't you tell?] Jeremy graduated from the Fort Worth Police Academy yesterday. And we missed it. We missed it. It grieves us to miss the important moments.


As I watch my kids growing and changing, I am full of longings to share the precious times with my mother. And my mother-in-law. And the other family members who adore my kids. I know they would get a kick out of all the little things my kids do every day. I want to share these days with my family. But, I can't.

And so I settle for phone calls. For emails. I enjoy the technology God has given our generation. I find comfort in my sister, Rachel, living with us and "knowing" my kids. I love hearing them call her by name and I love watching them love her. It blesses my heart. I appreciate the efforts the grandparents make to maintain a relationship with their grandkids. Thanks, you guys. We love you and miss you all!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

new button and short updates

Check out my beautiful BUTTON!! Major, major thanks to Cassandra over at "Momma Needs A Time Out" for the wonderful button she put together for me. I totally love it!
Cassandra offered to make me the button and then worked hard (despite her pain episodes she has been experiencing) getting it together for me. I just want to send out a humongous thank you to you, Casandra. You are a sweetie!!
***
Things are going well over here at the Keys House. We are marching along. I am trying to come off food. I mean a food addiction. I have given up WW and am reading a book called Thin Again. It talks about surrendering overeating to the Lord; only eating when hungry; coming to God instead of food. Basically. That's the basics. Anyway. It's good stuff. Hard journey, but good stuff.
Jason's bday is coming up next week (Feb 23rd). He wants to go to DC. We have lived three hours from DC for the past three years and have yet to visit! Isn't that awful? Anyway. We need to get over there. Whether we make it there next week... who knows.
Blessings, ya'll!! Sorry I don't write much. Kids keep this momma quite busy.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Lemonade Award

Thank you, Danita at "The Good, The Bad and the Beautiful", for graciously awarding my blog the "Lemonade Award". What a sweetie!!

The rules for this award are as follows:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post. (Right click on the logo and save to your own computer.)

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude!

3. Link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to this post with the person from whom you received your award.

My nominees are:

  1. Joyce (my mom) over at Handmaiden of God with her wisdom and grace
  2. Kevin (my dad) over at Pilgrim, Stranger in a Strange land and his way with words
  3. Sarah (my sister) @ a new mother's trials for her raw honesty and sincerity
  4. Kim @ Journey of Healing with her beautiful insights to life
  5. Shannon @ The Maggi Two and her new love for photography
  6. Cassandra @ Momma Needs A Time Out for her sweetness in creating my own blog button (coming soon!!)
  7. Amanda @ proud mommy of four, a wonderful fellow mommy of four that encourages me so much
  8. "Mama" @ 4 Little Men who has over 500 followers and the most beautiful pictures of her children (check out the pics of her twin girls!)
  9. Timmy's Girl at Luv My Arrows for her beautiful arrows that caught my eye one Not Me Monday blog cruising day.
  10. Tonya @ Life at the Lindsey's who posts gorgeous pictures of their sooo Texan family; we miss you guys!!

"Not Me!" Monday



It is Not Me! Monday again. The sweetly addictive game we crazy bloggers like to play on Mondays. MckMama's the one to thank for this party, so head on over to her blog and check out her beautiful babies and her cute blog. Here we go!!

***

It was not me who spent three days last week attempting to wash Vaseline out of my three-year-old Rose's hair. I did not post pictures of said excitement here. I am not that addicted to blogging. I did not tell everyone I met about Rose's antics, wanting to share the humor so as not to loose myself in the craziness!!! Not me. Everyone knows I am a private person and don't like to share anything. At all. Hee-hee.

It was not me who accidentally tossed a large cup full of ice water all over the kitchen floor last night. I was not in such a hurry to take my yummy steak to the living room to watch a totally funny movie that my hand lost control and knocked the glass over. Not me. I never spill anything (right, Daddy??)

It was not me who played in the sand yesterday, enjoying the beautiful unseasonably warm weather. I did not build a mini "fire pit" with tiny stones and little twigs. It was not me who shooed all the children away from my creation, not allowing them to "mess it up". Ah-hem. I am an adult, I would never do that.

It was not me who had six children in her home THREE days last week. My home is not already full with four children. I certainly did not have gobs of fun with the extra kiddos. We did not totally rock out with play-do and colors. My house was not the happening place to be last week. No. We are so boring.

***

Well, that's it for me today!! Blessings to all you MckMama fans who popped in and blessings to my faithful followers who love me and keep up with my day to day silliness. LOVE YA!!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

a kramer family giveaway to let you know about

Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you know about a giveaway over at Kramer Family. This is her first giveaway. Now, I want all 29 of my amazing followers to head on over there and comment on this woman's giveaway post. Be sure to let her know I sent you over! Go there, now.

Blessings you guys!!!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Motherhood Ministry: Making your Marriage a Top Priority


I am reaping the blessings of my parents living out a healthy marriage through out my childhood and continuing even to today. Not that things were perfect; I saw the arguments and reality of marriage. But I also saw love. And commitment.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is a healthy marriage with our spouse. Part of our Motherhood Ministry is to make our marriage a priority. How do we do that? I was praying about this and God urged me to remember the beginning.

Song of Songs is the most romantic book of the Bible. Honestly, it might even be called "erotic". Have you read that thing?? Anyway, Song of Songs 4:9 says "You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride." How did your husband capture your heart? Do you remember the moment?? Remembering the moment he captured your heart re-ignites some of that early blushing love.

I also remind myself to take time for my mate. He will still be around when these kids pass on through our home. I do not want to put my marriage on the back burner only to, well, burn it when all is said and done! Jason is my number one! (Well, second to God, of course.) I want our relationship to get healthier and healthier. One way we do this is by continuing to "date". We aim for at least once/month dating. When money is tight, we trade babysitting nights with other couples who have children. Sometimes we have "date night" at home after the kids go to bed. Light a few candles, order Chinese food and enjoy the evening together [no TV].

A major way to keep your marriage healthy is by continuing the education. My parents were always working on the gem of their marriage [together now for over 30 years]. They went to marriage encounter weekends, took classes at church and read books. Some of my favorite books are His Needs Her Needs, Intended for Pleasure and When Two Become One. Great, great books.

Your assignment this week, should you choose to accept it is:


  • Buy a package of post-its.

  • Write short love notes on the post-its.

  • Examples: "I love you" "You make me smile" "Hello handsome!"

  • Hide them around the house for your husband to find.

  • Be creative. Be sexy. Be encouraging. Be silly. Love him!
Keep that marriage healthy!!


"Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine." -Song of songs 1:2

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Rose the Vaseline Girl

Cornstarch Treatment Number One

Cornstarch Treatment Number Three

Still greasy, but much improved. And, she is still smiling. This girl's hair has been washed TWELVE times in the past three days. I hope she has learned what NOT to put in her hair.

video

Amidst the chaos of discovering Rose's Vaseline adventure, I maintained enough composure to record this video. Can you see the lumps of Vaseline??? What a girl. Love her!! Really, I do. She keeps my life exciting. Oh yeah, FYI this video was taken around 11pm, after Rose had been "in bed" since 7pm.

And the winner is!!!

I gained SEVEN new followers with my little giveaway! YEA! Thank you newbies. And, ofcourse, thank you old faithfuls! It just gives me quite the thrill to see all your tiny pictures lined up over there. Sigh. Thanks. Anyways. Everyone got their names in the pot. Plus those who blogged about the giveaway got their extras. (Thanks girls!)

My darling Isaiah (the only child awake during naptime) fulfilled his responsibilites seriously.


And drew out Momma's name. Well, not my momma's name. (She's JOYce over at Handmaiden of God. Maybe next time, Mom-Joyce!) Anyway, "Momma" has two blogs. One is just for giveaway posts!! Isn't that cool?? Momma, email me (jandjkeys@hotmail.com)! I need your address so I can send you your prize!! Congratulations, Momma!!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

releasing the pressure valve

For better or for worse, I absolutely have got to post today!! It has been a doozy of a few days and I need the pressure release blogging brings to me. Ahhh.... I already feel better.

Yesterday, Jason was home all day. It was great. He was "called in" around six this morning and I have no idea when his "deployment" will wrap up and this "exercise" end. Until then I am watching two other little guys on top of my own. Craziness!!

Oh, and the Vaseline girl. Wow. I washed it six times or so with dish detergent the night she globbed it on her hair. Then yesterday I did some research online and got some tips for Vaseline removal. We tried cornmeal. Washed it out. Still very greasy. Last night we used cornstarch. That worked better. The oil clings to the thin grains and it helps pull the grease out. I have pictures. I just need to download them. Good pictures.

Anyway, we washed that out (each corn product use requires two hair washing to remove it). In the past twenty four hours, we have washed Rose's hair about TEN TIMES!! She has been a trooper. Tips her head back and "looks at the ceiling" while Momma pours and pours water over that beautiful, greasy hair. Sigh.

OK. While I feel better. Love you guys!

Monday, February 02, 2009

"Not Me!" Monday

It is already Monday again, and you know what that means!! "Not Me!" Monday carnival over at MckMama's blog! Jump over and pop around the over 400 other bloggers who are joining the fun today. [Oh yeah, don't get lost. Be sure to make your way back here and sign up to be my follower so you can be entered into my little giveaway that ends soon! ]

***


It was not me who learned the hard way that a big, giant cookie will overflow the flat stone pan I baked it on. It was not me who carefully smoothed out the cookie dough to completely cover the circle stone before placing it in the oven. Since I did not do that, it could not have been me who innocently checked on said gigantic cookie only to see cookie droppings all over the bottom of the oven. It was not my giant cookie that continued to drop cookie droppings before my very eyes as I stared aghast into the hot oven. Um. It was so totally not my oven that, well, caught on FIRE. My cookie dough was not on fire in my oven. NO. No matter what my sister/witness may tell you, that was not me. Hee-hee. Good times here at the Keys house.

It was not me who discovered a daughter covered in VASELINE! My daughter did not sneak out of bed and lump gobs up on gobs of oily vaseline on top of her head. It was not me who shampooed her three-year-old's hair eight times with dish soap. It was not my daughter who still has greasy hair.

It was not me who agreed to watch two other small children today. I am not crazy enough to add more to the full home. It is not my house that is now full of the joys and intensity from SIX children under FOUR!! AHHH!! Ya'll pray for me

***
Yeah, well, that's it for me. Don't you think that's enough??
Blessings, ALL! PS Don't forget to check out my daddy's blog and his Not Me! List!!

revolutionary love

I have experienced revolutionary love. Love with no strings attached. Jesus Christ loves me and made a way for me to have a relationship with the One True God. God desires a relationship with you, too. If you have yet to experience this revolutionary love, please email me at jandjkeys@hotmail.com so I can share this amazing experience with you. Blessings, -Jess