Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Big Pep Talk of '09

So. I went to Bible study last night. And can I just say that the book of Esther is SO much more than a story about an orphan that becomes a queen?! I am learning an abundance of things about being a woman and all that that entails in God's eyes. What can I say? It's a tough job but someone's got to do it. ;) And I just happen to know MANY women who are doing it well! Like Jennifer Lopez says,
You do what you do and you're doin' it well.
Or something like that. And did I just quote the infamous Jenny From The Block? I'm so embarrassed.
But anyway. Some of you might recall my "Thoughts on Fear" post from a couple of days ago. Apparently I am not the only one that struggles greatly with this. I'm not gonna lie, it's kind of a relief to know that I'm not alone. Well. As God would have it, last night's session was on fear. And HELLO! Just what I needed to hear, because as if all my other fears weren't enough, now we're dealing with a little thing called swine flu. Plus, to make matters worse my husband told me last night that "he just feels weird" and "could I please pick up some cough drops for his throat."
I'm sorry. What?!?!
And if I could just take this moment to sidetrack myself for a minute. My husband is not the greatest of communicators when I'm trying to figure out his symptoms.
Because he likes to help me work on my patience like that.
Not to mention the fact that he WILL NOT GO TO THE DOCTOR TO SAVE HIS LIFE! And with this pig flu floating around, a doctor just might have to save his life. Ok, I'll admit it. That last statement was a little overly dramatic, but can you blame me? So I did the only thing I could do. I told him that if his body started aching and he noticed a cough to please see me IMMEDIATELY! And let me just be real here. I had to hold it together because I had just come home from The Great Session On Fear.
Dear God,
It would be so fabulous if You would wait to test me until the next morning. I really feel that I am so much fresher, therefore; greatly increasing the probability of being successful.
So yeah, the lesson last night totally rocked my world. I liken it to a sort of pep talk from God in which He told me to GET IT TOGETHER. Because really, Aimee, you're letting Satan win. And that my friends is what I like to call The Night I Got A Smack-down from God.
Ok, it wasn't really that bad. But close. Because being ruled by fear is pretty much an insult to the Lord of my life. Am I right or am I right? {Ironically, this rhetorical question is often said to Luke. I think he would disagree on a few issues thus leading to some intense fellowship. But that's not important right now.}
I couldn't possibly do it justice so I will give you the link to where you can hear Beth herself talk about how to escape the tight fist of fear.
And then I will give you the highlights.
Because I care about you.
Without further ado, here's the link:
You will have to pay $5 to download it, but money well spent I say.
  • We were not born to be brave {Amen, sister!}
  • But we can become brave
  • It will ALWAYS be possible for us to be brave {Well, thank goodness.}
  • Courage is denying the reality's authority over you
  • You may be one brave decision away from the most important turn in your path {or something to that effect}
  • The most frequent command in the Bible is "Do not be afraid" {that's right. it's not "do good" or "love your neighbor" etcetera and so on and so forth.}
  • Courage is not the absence of fear but the knowledge that there is something more important than fear!! {someone's quote...I don't remember who. Clearly this person was a genius. Well, that or inspired by God. Probably the latter.}
  • And finally, Esther had a choice. She faced the fear. She TOOK the courage.

Let's TAKE THE COURAGE, and therefore, CLAIM THE VICTORY over this battle!! The worst may happen but God will ALWAYS be good. Always. Even if the worst doesn't happen, suffering is unavoidable. I don't know about you but I am just sick of living in fear and missing out on living life to the fullest!

And now we know how to pray.

Oh! And for the record, Luke does not have The Swine Flu so don't feel like you have to avoid us like the plague.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Who? Oh. Swine Flu...

...otherwise known as Every Mother's Worst Enemy! I'm sure most of you have heard about the pig virus sweeping the nation. Here in San Antonio we've already had a couple of school districts shut down and I'm sure others are not far behind. In fact, after hearing of the confirmed death of a 23 month old in Texas, Luke and I made an executive decision to keep Austin home from Mother's Day Out on Friday {*gasp* I KNOW! It's a sad, sad day for both of us!} and will probably not put him in the church nursery this week just to be safe. Maybe we're overreacting but probably not since Austin comes home with some sort of virus every time we leave him in Kids Club. Now let me be clear, we absolutely love the children's program at our church just not all the germs floating around.

Because they are a real mood killer.

So. What am I going to do today? Stock up on Purell, movies for the munchkin, and I may venture into the world of finger paints for those moments when I'm hanging onto my sanity by a FIBER of a thread.

In all seriousness, though, I hope and pray that this does not last too much longer.

Because I would like Austin to enjoy this last month of MDO before the summer sessions start.

The End.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In Honor of My 100th Post, I Give You The Longest Entry Ever!

Well, friends, today marks my 100th post on this blog of mine. If you'd told me a year ago that I would actually keep up with this thing I probably would've laughed in your face as I pulled out numerous projects and journals that fell by the wayside after only a few weeks of dedication. I love writing about my friends and family on here because it has opened my eyes to how truly blessed I am! I'm not gonna lie. I get a little emotional when I think about all that God has given me despite how wretched and undeserving I am.

So thank you for sharing this journey with me. I am honored that you would care enough about us to check in every once in a while. I hope each and every one of you know how thankful I am for you and your friendship. Make no mistake, you are loved by the Keiffer family!!

I have a million thoughts going through my mind today. Well, I guess you could say that's pretty normal. Just ask my husband and he will tell you that I usually try to verbalize ALL of them after he gets home and before we go to bed. He loves it so don't let him tell you otherwise! ;) You are the best, Sweetie! Thanks for putting up with me at the end of your long day.

But anyway. Back to my thoughts. I am realizing more and more everyday that God is forcing me to deal with a certain struggle I've had all of my life. Only recently has it become glaringly obvious that it has gotten worse. This four letter word is quickly invading my life and taking over my thoughts. Wanna know what it is? I'd be happy to tell you because apparently the theme of today's entry is "being real." So here it is.


As far back as I can remember, I've struggled with worry and an occasional helping of fear on the side. At the sight of dark rain clouds, I was just sure that a tornado was going to touch down and sweep us away. And not to somewhere over the rainbow. Clearly, God has a sense of humor since He moved me to Oklahoma. You know, the place where the wind comes sweeping down the plains in the form of dark funnel clouds.

Over the years, I would busy myself with fears of something happening to me or my family. Also, I've always worried about money. With this admittance I can assure you that Luke is wondering why I don't do something a little more healthy with that worry. Like turn into a saver. To which I say,

I can only fight one battle at a time. Only one. Only one.

I think this worry turned to all-consuming fear when I found out I was pregnant with Austin. There's nothing like having a child that will force you to exercise your trust muscles. Sadly, The Firm cannot help me with this. And that's a real bummer.

Lately, I feel like every time I turn around I'm hearing stories of loss, desperate situations, and overall tragedy. Some are friends and others are fellow Christians. And, y'all, it's been weighing me down. On top of the fact that my heart aches for these sweet people facing so many unknowns, I cannot help but fear that any number of these situations could happen to my family too. And the thing is, there but for the grace of God it could be my family experiencing a difficult and trying time. We are not guaranteed a life of puppies and kittens running around just because we are Christians. In fact, God tells us that in this world we will have trouble.

And at that thought, I can feel myself getting a tension headache...

I have to be honest. I feel a little like I am engaged in some daily spiritual warfare. I have been in awe of God's blessings in my life these days, and I feel like I am constantly battling Satan from sucking the joy right out of these blessings! And let me tell you, it. is. exhausting!

But here's the thing. I have had a front row seat to some serious suffering and tragedy. And each and every time, I have watched those directly affected make it to the other side by God's grace and strength. I know without a doubt that they have seen and experienced God in a way that many others have not. And while their lives, much like ours, are still far from perfect, they made it through. With victory, no less! This gives me some comfort when I struggle with my many fears.

In addition, I came across something the other day that was an encouragement to me. It should come as no surprise to you that it was on Beth Moore's blog, which is truly pure blogging gold!

Several months ago, Melissa had insisted upon going with me to have a dye test to follow up a suspicious mammogram. (No rumors please. I do not have breast cancer. Because my mother died with it, however, I never get the luxury of drama-less annual check-ups.) We were sitting in the waiting room and a rack was within arms reach offering all manner of brochure on various cancers. Melissa took one out after another and glanced over them, shaking her head. She looked up at me with that classic expression of hers and said, "Life is brutal, man."I nodded.We both sat silently for just a moment. Then she said one of the most profound things I've ever heard."He knows it's scary to be us."Yes, He does. Yes, He does. He does NOT take the fact lightly that we go through medical tests to see if we have a raging cancer. He does NOT take lightly that some of you are secretly fearing that the monster has come back. He does NOT take lightly that some of you are going through the cancer treatments of your own children. I had to pause and put my hand over my mouth on that one. Holding back the tears. Son of David, have mercy on us! You know it's scary to be us! It's almost too much here, Lord. It's almost too much.

Life is brutal and sometimes it is almost too much. He does not take that lightly. Praise You Jesus! Surely if He cares enough to know the number of hairs on our head and store our tears in a bottle, He is constantly aware of every fear and every worry. At times, when I feel like the fear threatens to overtake me, He gently calls me to crawl up in His lap and let Him tell me that though the storm may rage, He is still in control. The waves will never overtake me and Satan WILL NOT WIN!!

Yet, I still struggle. This is a painful process for me that I know will be worth it in the long run. The truth is, though, that because of Christ the victory is mine to claim. Apparently, it will be a daily victory that I will have the privilege of possessing should I choose to do so.

And now you know how to pray. :)

On a lighter note, Luke gave Austin a hair cut last night. We meant to take off just a little so that we could try to spike the front. Just because I like to torture myself and make him look more and more like a little boy. Well, turns out that there are two shades of purple in our trimmer guard kit. As luck would have it, we picked the wrong one. Let's take a moment of silence for the extra amount of hair that was lost yesterday. You will be missed. And mostly by me, the mother of Austin.

And now I present to you The Summer Cut...

He's just beside himself over the dramatic hair loss, as I'm sure you can tell.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

He's Kind Of A Big Deal...

...and here's the proof:

I love these little pajamas! I think it's always great when they say something on the back. Even though he can't talk as clearly as he will soon, he can still leave us with one final thought.

And let's face it. He is a big deal.

This morning we had to take Luke to work so we were all up bright and early. Actually, Luke and I are up early most days since we work out at 5. He does P90x, and I spend a little quality time with my friends from The Firm. And that's exactly what I hope to look like in a few weeks: firm.

Anyway, because of Austin's early start he spent some extra time in his pajamas. Never a bad way to start your day, I say. While I was making breakfast, I caught him hanging out with Savannah. She really is quite the trooper since he likes to use her as his own personal jungle gym. Here they are in all of their cuteness:

Savannah really does look thrilled doesn't she? And I am truly amazed at her modesty.

I like to call this next one "Please don't take my picture! I'm having a bad hair day, and I'm pretty sure I've got dog food stuck in my teeth."

Of course Austin is doing what all good friends should do... "No! You look AMAZING! I would never have known that you just ate"
Girls really are so dramatic. ;)
And just to make sure that Savannah had a good self-esteem day, Austin gave her some kisses. Such a precious, tender moment.

And here are a couple more pictures of the little man to brighten your day and put a smile on your face.

I get the feeling that he misses his pacifier.

But at least he's still a happy camper! :)

Hope you all have a great day! Austin and I are off to do a little cleaning before his Grammy gets here. And by cleaning I mean I'll do the actual cleaning and Austin will come behind me and undo it. Should be fun.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Southwest Airlines: Otherwise Known As The Ultimate One-Uppers

It's been a while since I've done a two for one special here on the Keiffer blog. What can I say? Today is a special day.

It's no secret that I'm a HUGE fan of Southwest Airlines. They're on time, reasonably priced, and have friendly flight attendants. I also feel like their ad campaigns are pretty good. Right up there with the Chick-Fil-A cows. And oh yeah, they don't charge you PER BAG.

Because they care about you.

I have to say that I have never been disappointed, and I've flown SWA alot. Ok, well, I was a little sad when they did away with the family boarding policy right before Austin was born. You know, those with small children got to board first so that everyone else could steer clear of the surrounding seats. Now we get to find seats after the A group. And I can't imagine that the business select customers are too happy about that.

Just to prove my point about this wonderful airline, here is a little something to brighten your day. Maybe it will even inspire you to make up your own rap for your kids about cleaning their room, eating their dinner, or going to bed without complaining. Best of luck with that.

And in closing comma I would just like to say,

Dear Courtney:

Thank you for posting this on your blog. I feel so honored to pass along this gem of a YouTube find.

Love Aimee

Enjoy, friends!

Maybe Luke Would Wear His Orange Polo For This Reason

Hello all! I've been working on my sister's graduation announcements, and I just HAD to take a break because I think my fingers are cramping from putting tiny little flowers on with glue dots. Anyway, there's this blog I read. And right now you're probably wondering WHICH ONE because I tend to blogstalk. Well, turns out that I'm not the only one that reads it. Here's the link: Their youngest little boy was diagnosed with a heart problem in the womb and was not expected to live. Well. God works major miracles, and he made it full term! However, he's been in the hospital for several weeks and today he is having heart surgery. Many, many people have chosen to wear orange today to show that they are praying for Stellan and his healing. I would encourage you to go here to see some of the "orange supporters." What touches my heart the most is seeing pictures of children and teens wearing orange and holding signs that say "praying for Stellan." What an amazing job these parents are doing! Already their kids believe in the importance and power of prayer.
Also, I was so blessed by the reminder that we don't have to live in the same city or even know someone well to be praying for their family. I am so honored to be a part of a community of Christians that gladly "hold up the arms" of another Christian family in their time of need. So, if you think about it today, I hope you will join me in praying for Stellan and that God would continue to be glorified in this situation.
Unfortunately, I do not own anything orange. Oh wait! Yes I do, but it's dirty. Maybe I'll throw on Luke's neon orange AT&T shirt instead. Aaaand maybe I'll just pray for baby Stellan today.
One last thing. Perhaps you have noticed the random comment below from a "wooden hangers." I have NO idea how this ended up on my blog, and frankly, I don't care. I would just really like to delete it but can't remember how I did that the last time I got a weird comment on my blog. So, help a sister out and remind me how to erase a comment that really has nothing to do with my last post.
Thank you and good day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

These Are The Times That Try Men's (or Women's) Souls

I really should be doing a little housework right now, but I had to get a little something (or somethings given my recent history of rambling until the cows come home) off my chest. Today is MDO, and by now all of you should know that since I feel the need to announce it each week. I just can't help myself. And let me just say that I really do miss the munchkin on these days but it sure is nice to get some things done. Plus we are so thrilled to see each other at 2:15 that I feel this time apart is worth all the excitement of being reunited!
Again, with the rambling. It's got to stop.
Anyway, I decided this weekend that I would head over to La Cantera to do a little shopping on my "day off." Mind you, I just cleaned out my closet and organized all of my shirts. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with a plethora of clothes so I probably don't need to add to my collection. I'm getting an Amen right now from the husband. To be honest, though, there are a variety of sizes in there because some of the stuff are things I wear after losing the baby weight and some are what I wear when I'm in between sizes. Not that you care. I just wanted to throw that out there.
Oh geez. Now even I am annoyed with myself because of the rabbit trails I'm taking!
So. Back to La Cantera. I've been a little stressed because we have ALOT of things coming up this summer that require a non-mom uniform. Weddings, graduations, plays, and what have you. Since I don't have many occasions to dress up I wanted to find something cute and stylish that could be worn to all said events. I've been having trouble with this. You see, I have very classic taste. So when I say something stylish what I really mean is something stylish and not over-the-top trendy.
Because I'm going to wear it a long time.
And I want to continue with the stylishness.
And I've had a baby.
I have been so frustrated because I am not Edyta from Dancing with the Stars. I have grown and pushed a darling little boy out of this body and do not have the luxury of wearing as few clothes as possible to rub it in everyone's face that I am proud of my perfectly toned non-baby body. Designers, please KEEP THIS IN MIND!
Well. Today God spoke my love language and I found a super cute but classic dress. Maybe I'll post a picture of it in the future. And now I would like to take this moment to GIVE JESUS SOME PRAISE for the lovely pink dress. And before you gasp in disapproval, it is not a baby pink. Come on, people, I know I'm a jewel tone kind of girl. The skin, it tends to glow and blind people with it's whiteness.
But here's the deal. And don't get me wrong, I love La Cantera! I love walking around outside in the amazing weather (now that I've gotten my fill of the rainy weather) and window shopping. HOWEVER, I am so over the racks stuffed with clothes. You cannot even see the sizes because YOU CAN'T MOVE THE HANGERS ASIDE. Case in point, I was looking through the clothes in NY&CO and was beyond frustrated that I could barely reach in and grab the tag to see a very small S,M, or L. In fact, I let out a very audible sigh AND THEN an even louder sigh. AND THEN I yelled,
What is the deal with the over stuffed racks, people! A girl just wants to push some hangers aside and see some sizes up in here!
Of course this was screamed in my head. I didn't want to ruin the other shoppers' experience since I'm sure no one else noticed the cramed racks. Well, that and not everyone needs to know that there's a little bit of crazy in me.
So after wrestling with the hangers and the clothes and the ridiculously stuffed racks, I headed to the register to pay for my stuff. While paying, I thought it would be fun to dump all of my change on the counter. But not really. This was after I knocked a small sign down while shopping in this store with the crowded racks.
Bitter, party of one please.
You know, the more I think about it the more I realize that this trip was destined to be a less than stellar experience. It probably won't surprise you that I almost bit it while walking around because apparently sometimes they water the sidewalk and not just the vegetation. Cool. Also, I am not a fan of the guys that try to suck me in to their kiosk so they can try to sell me some product I have absolutely no use for. Don't even pull the "can I ask you a question" stunt on me because it won't work. Not even the second time I pass. Hello! If I told you no not 45 minutes ago chances are I haven't changed my mind. And is it really necessary to say "have a nice day" in a tone that suggests I'm rude? The answer is no. No it is not necessary. In fact, I was very polite when you asked.
Because I'm nice like that.
And now I think it's safe to say that judging by my attitude it was probably a good thing that I got in my car and headed home. At least I have a classy dress to wear along with another shirt to add to the under stuffed closet. It kind of makes the major slippage, crazy cramped racks, and annoying sales guys worth it.
The. End.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Big Rundown of '09

Happy Saturday, friends! Have you all been enjoying the rain as much as we have? I have a small confession to make. I absolutely LOVE this kind of weather. In fact, too many days of sunshine tends to make me a little crazy. Now don't be haters! I just feel like we need a good, cleansing rain every couple of weeks. Or days. Don't get me wrong. I love beautiful, sunny days, but I can only take so much, ya know? Into every life a little rain must fall, I say. However, no one has enjoyed this weather more than Savannah. She is in our laundry room drying off as I type. And holy mudpit, is it dirty in there! I could show you a picture but I won't.
Because I care about you. And your stress level.
I repeat, it is DIRTY in there. Good thing I'm all caught up on laundry because I won't be venturing in there anytime soon. To say that it really stresses me out to see all that mud and dirt would be the understatement of the day! I feel like I need to spend a little time mentally preparing myself for the Big Clean-Up of '09 so she'll be having a little "Savannah time" for a couple of hours.
Now on to more important things like what we've been up to these last few days. Luke has been off since Thursday. {I know. This is not new news. Repeateritis. It's real and it's a serious problem for some.} I always try to think of something fun for us to do as a family to celebrate more of Luke's presence after being on call. {That's right. It's not just for doctors anymore!} Since the weather was supposed to be yuck with a capital "Y," I thought we could make a trip out to The Rim and look at the fish tanks in Bass Pro. Creative, I know. But first we needed some lunch so we made a stop at TGI Fridays. I've decided that there's just something about lunch on these "family days" that makes me want to punch myself in the face.
Austin was TERRIBLE!! There have only been a couple of times in his short life when I've been 3 clicks away from selling him on ebay, and this occasion was one of those times. We left a $5 tip and not because we consumed alot of food. That's all I'm gonna say because I think all you moms out there know exactly what I'm talkin' about. And all you non-moms, well, I don't want to scare you and I'm fairly certain you have a good imagination. His attitude got a little better so we still took him to Bass Pro. On the way home, Luke and I discussed a serious game plan for encouraging our little man to act a little less spoiled. And my motivation to finish Dare to Discipline has been renewed!
And now you know how to pray.
Friday was great since Austin had MDO which meant that Luke and I had some quality time together. After lunch we picked little A up and brought him home for some playtime with Mom and Dad. It was a good day!

And that brings us to today. Luke and Austin had a father/son date this morning so I SOAKED IN the quiet at the house. We also had the privilege of having lunch with my dad and Claire. Good times were had by all, and of course, pictures were taken. In fact, for your viewing pleasure, I give you our life in pictures these last few days...

Thanks to Uncle Josh and Uncle Jared {or the Funcles, as they call themselves} Austin is lookin' like quite the little stud while he's chauffered around town. Look out ladies! He's gonna be a heartbreaker.

Proof that he did make it to Bass Pro despite the rough start. He really enjoyed practicing his driving skills. We neglected to tell him that the only thing he'll be driving for a while is his Little Tykes car at the lake.

Oh yeah. We also got a webcam to use with Luke's family and the Yeagers {Britt and Jon that is. I doubt Jon's parents have a strong desire to speak with us via webcam.} Gone are the days when I didn't have to worry about my appearance when talking to family. I know they don't care but I DO care about not breaking their webcam and computer.

Posing with Aunt C at lunch.

Hamming it up! Clearly, he is not camera shy!!

So there you have it. A complete rundown, which I'm sure you were just dying to get!! My apologies for the long-windedness. This too is a sickness that I believe is incurable in my case.

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Randomness With A Side of Rambling

You know those posts that you read on my blog in which I tell a funny story or post a picture of Austin?
Well, this post is going to be nothing like that.
In fact, this may come across a little scatterbrained. No jokes please.
So today I was having coffee with some friends, and by friends I mean Chris, Diane, Robin, and Sam of Good Morning America. I'm sure some of you are gasping in disbelief right now {right, Michelle?!} that I don't watch Matt Lauer on the Today Show, but I'm just tryin' to keep it real, folks. You see, I don't have a crush on Matt Lauer and I DID NOT like Katie Couric; therefore, GMA became my source of news and morning entertainment. I'm not ashamed to tell you the truth. But that is not the point of my story. Anyway, I was watching GMA while I folded a PLETHORA of Austin's clothes and happend to catch an interview with a darling girl name Kristin Chenoweth. I realize that she is not new to the Hollywood scene, but I don't watch Pushing Daisies because I HAVE WAY TOO MANY SHOWS TO WATCH AS IT IS! Regardless, I just need to take this moment to say that she is quite possibly the most refreshing celebrity I've seen interviewed IN MY LIFE! In fact, I was so impressed that I'm thinking about buying her new book, A Little Bit Wicked. I read an excerpt and I'm not sure but it is possible that she's a Christian. Do not quote me on this, internet friends, because I am not even 50% positive.
And this is where I tell you that she graduated from Broken Arrow HS in Oklahoma. Good people come from Oklahoma and I would know. So let's buy her book and read it together and then we'll speculate on whether or not she's a Christian. I'm so glad you're on board with my plan!
In other news, Luke has the rest of the week off since he was on call last week. To say that I am fired up about that would be a gross understatement! I picture lots of family memories made in the next few days. Memories like taking Austin to look at the fish tank in Cabela's while Luke buys a gun.
Say what?!
Yes. You heard right. He informed me just the other day that he wanted to take care of that while we were out there before Obama takes away our right to bear arms. You might wonder why in the world our quiet, conservative Luke wants to buy a gun. Well, that would be because he wants to "protect his family should the need arise." I don't know what surprised me more- the fact that he just threw this out there in casual conversation or that I said ok without thinking twice. I guess come tomorrow, we'll have to get out those super short cut-off jean shorts and sleeveless flannel shirt. After all, if we're gonna act redneck we should definitely dress the part!
Finally, let's talk about the little man. He has been delightful lately! I have a slight problem with his inability to use the volume control on his vocal cords, but other than that we've been having a BIG time these days. My favorite thing right now is how many words he's using. Things like "aww man," which is pronounced "aww meow" in Austin speak, just make my day. He also has started calling Savannah "ga goo." Don't ask, because I have no idea. And I love it when he's walking into a different room and turns around to say,
Bye, Mommy! Bye!
I am just thrilled that he's starting to put words together in order to form a sentence! However, since he is repeating EVERYTHING, I feel like Luke and I should start giving each other random spelling quizzes to ensure that we're capable of minding the little ears while still communicating a phrase or thought. I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little tired just thinking about it. I'll keep you posted. Or maybe you'll just find out for yourselves if Austin happens to use the words "stupid" or "dang it" in your presence. That will be your first clue that the spelling tests aren't going so well.
And on that note I'm gonna wrap this up. My computer keeps freezing and Austin smells. Two good reasons to bring our time together to a close if you ask me.
Have a lovely evening!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Easter Recap of '09. And Also Some Pictures

Well, another Easter has come and gone. It was a great weekend full of food, fun, and family memories. Let's recap, shall we?

Friday: Austin and I woke up bright and early to run some errands before Britt and Jon got into town. We finished just in time for a delish lunch of tacos with some of our favorite people. I took little A home for a nap since we were going to church that night so as to avoid the masses on Sunday. Also. Luke was on call so the 7:00 service was the best chance he had for attending church this Easter. I was a little worried that he wouldn't get off work in time to go with us, and he wouldn't commit just in case something "blew up" and he had to work late. This led to a little bit of crankiness on my part, which led to Luke asking if I wanted to apologize for my attitude.

I said no.

Luke graciously informed me that sometimes we have to do things that we don't feel like doing.

I still said no.

But we were able to celebrate Jesus together so it all worked out. I know you're breathing a sigh of relief right now...

And what would a family gathering be without a picture of the sisters? Not much of one at all. So here it is. The token sister picture.

Please excuse the weird angle of my leg in this picture. Instead, I would encourage you to focus on how well we coordinated that night.

The Easter service was A-MAZING!! Truly. I wouldn't write the word amazing like that if I were lying. The choir did an awesome job and the congregation was fired up about Jesus. There's nothing like worshipping in that kind of atmosphere if you ask me! The best part was Claire's solo. She did a fabulous job. Obviously, I didn't get a picture of her singing this weekend, but here's one that Marks Moore took of her a while back. Just pretend that she's standing in front of a cross singing her heart out for Jesus.

Like I said, she did great! So great, in fact, that I went back on Sunday morning to hear her again.

We finished the evening at IHOP. When Britt found out this was the plan she leaned forward and asked Claire and I,

Do we like IHOP?

Turns out that we do, especially their chocolate chip pancakes! We also like that they put families like us in the back so that we can be loud and obnoxious without feeling bad.

Saturday: Britt and Jon left early to head to Dallas to see the Yeagers. Since Luke was working, just Austin and I went over to say goodbye. The rest of the day was spent at the grocery store, having lunch with Luke, and making dinner for the whole family. It was a good day but I was worn out by 8:30.

In the morning.

I'm not kidding.

Sunday: Aftering hearing Claire sing one last time, I headed to breakfast with my dad, mom, and Austin. Guess where we went? No, really. Guess. {Don't you hate it when people do that?} IHOP! Remember? We like IHOP. It was good. And that's all I'm gonna say, because if I go into any details about what I ordered or how much I ate, I will embarrass myself. And we all know that I don't need any help in that department.

Turns out our late lunch was being held at my parents' house. I say "turns out" because we went to my Granny's house first. I got confused.

Austin got to experience his first Easter egg hunt and it was too cute to watch. Here are just a few of the pictures I took.

Showing Papa B his eggs.

Showing Daddy his eggs. Love his face. Love it!

And the day wouldn't be complete without a little egg show and tell with Gigi.

This picture makes me laugh.

And that brings us to today. Here are the highlights so far.

  • I'm a little behind on laundry so this is the shirt that Luke had to wear to work today:

As he was walking out of our bedroom this is what he said,

I'm gonna go ahead and turn out all of these lights and find my way to the door by the glow of my shirt. Good thing I won't have to wear my reflective, safety vest today.

I'm strongly considering not washing any of his clothes today so that he will have to wear his other orange AT&T shirt tomorrow. I think it would be fun to hear some more of his witty remarks, wouldn't you agree?

  • Austin and I have done lots of fun things together today. For example, we played with stickers...

Which leads to the question:

Does this Diego sticker make my hand look fat?

I hope you all had a fabulous Easter with family and friends. Now do have a lovely week.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


This weekend we will celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. Church services will be packed and the little people will be dressed in their finest attire. In fact, if you look closely at the Sunday crowd you might see mothers and daughters in coordinating dresses. I can assure you that this was strictly for the purpose of the Easter morning photo op. I would know because I lived it. You may or may not be surprised to know that my mom made all of our dresses one year. It's true and I have no idea how she did it! Make no mistake when you see Austin, his outfit was made for him by either Old Navy or Target.

But I digress.

All of my life, I have heard the Easter story, but it wasn't until I was older that the magnitude of what He did for me started to sink in. Let's be honest, people. When you're young, the Sunday school teachers tend to focus a little more on the resurrection side what with the crafts centered around the empty tomb. I like to call this the G-rated version. It isn't until much later that the pastor rocks your world with the graphic details of just all that "dying on the cross" entails. It was a slow, painful death for some of the worst criminals. Yet He was willing to endure all of it to save us from a fate worse than death.

So many things run through my mind when I stop to think about the reason why I call my Jesus, Savior. First, I put myself in His shoes. And then I quickly move on because thinking about all of that pain makes me throw up in my mouth just a little. Now that I'm a mom, I tend to think of it from Mary's perspective. I'm not gonna lie, it takes all I have not to start the ugly I-look-like-I-just-got-stung-by-a-bee cry. Therefore, I don't camp out here either. But I do wonder what was going through her mind while she grieved and watched her worst nightmare unfold. In my humble opinon, I think she thought about the first time she saw Him. I think she remembered playing chase with her first-born and laughing at things He said. I think she couldn't help but recall all of the scraped knees and elbows she kissed. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that she spent some time thanking God for giving her precious memories to treasure while she felt like her heart was being ripped out of her chest. But I also think that she was angry with the mocking crowd and frustrated that she couldn't do anything to help her son. And at this point in my thinking, I am acutely aware of why I was not chosen to be the mother of God's Son. Clearly, it was an emotional rollercoaster that this girl was not made to handle.

I also wonder what Jesus was feeling besides excruciating pain. Did our names and faces flash one by one in His mind? Did He feel sadness for those that would not accept His gift of salvation? I wonder alot of things, but there is one thing that the Bible does tell us He experienced and that's separation from His Heavenly Father. Matthew 27:46 says that this was His cry before He died, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" I cannot even imagine {nor do I want to} what this must have felt like. I think Beth Moore describes best what this moment must have been like for Jesus:

I believe this cry marked the exact moment the sins of humanity- past, present, and future- were heaped upon Christ and the full cup of God's wrath poured forth. Somehow I believe that to bear the sin, Jesus also had to bear the separation. Though Christ had to suffer the incomparable agony of separation from the fellowship of His Father while sin was judged, I am moved that He breathed His last breath with full assurance of His Father's trustworthiness. The human body of the Life-giver hung lifeless. It was finished. He gave up His last human breath so He never had to give up on humanity.

In that moment, Jesus became our Rescuer.

If we choose to accept, He will rescue us not only from eternal separation from our Heavenly Father but also from hopelessness, fear, rejection...the list goes on and on.

It is my prayer that those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus will come to church this weekend and will choose to be rescued. If you live in San Antonio, I hope you will consider coming to Community Bible Church {} or watching Pastor Emmitt's message online {}. My sister, Claire, will be singing one of my favorite songs "Rescue" by Newsong. In fact, Rescue is the title for this year's Easter services at CBC. I am pumped!

In closing, here is a video of my favorite song with scenes from The Passion of the Christ. I hope it moves you as much as it did me.

Be blessed this Easter weekend!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Reason I Call Luke My Favorite

There are several conversations that I tell myself I never want to forget. But then I forget. Well, tonight I am going to document the latest one between Luke and I that made me laugh.

Luke: (as we're driving past our neighbor's house) I sure wish he would hurry up and finish working on his Mustang. I always see him working on his Bronco but never his Mustang.
Me: Yeah, well, I guess the Bronco is his favorite.
Luke: I have a favorite...
Me: Really? Is it me?
Luke: It sure is. (and then 2 seconds later) I MUST be your favorite because you're always working on me.

Truer words were never spoken.

And as an added bonus, here's what Austin did that made me laugh right after Luke's comment.

As we're pulling into the garage I hear a THUD! against the back of my seat. I turn around and this is what Austin did...
Austin: (slight pause while he looks at me) Catch!!

He had decided that since he was done with his drink he would throw it on the floor. I think he added the "catch" after I turned around and gave him the "mom look." He's been getting alot of those today, and frankly, my face is worn out!! TGFMDO...Thank goodness for Mother's Day Out (which is tomorrow!)

Y'all have a lovely Sunday evening.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good Thing My Mom Didn't Name Me Betty Crocker

Many of you have heard me talk about how excited I was to start the Esther Bible study by Beth Moore. Well. The day finally arrived and I. Was. Pumped. In fact, I was so excited that I offered to bring the snack on the first night. My plan was to make these amazing cupcakes with chocolate chip cookies in the middle and then ice them with vanilla icing. Sounds easy right? I also decided that I wanted to bring chips and salsa. What was even better about my big plan was that I would only have to buy a couple of things since I already had most of what I needed. After lunch with Luke yesterday, Austin and I ran into the grocery store, picked up the things I needed, and headed home. Everything was going as planned until I realized that I'd forgotten to get salsa at the store. I wasn't about to make another trip to HEB so I decided to start icing the cupcakes while I thought about what else to bring instead.

And let me just take this moment to tell you about the icing job I did on these cupcakes. About the 3rd one, I realized that it was not going well. The sides kept crumbling, I didn't like how the icing was turning out, and I felt like I was smashing the bottom of the cupcake. It was about this time that I made an executive decision NOT to ice every single one. Best decision I made all day. Hands down.

I also decided that I wanted to set one aside for Luke since he asked me Tuesday night {and I quote}

Do we have ANYTHING for dessert in this house?!

Clearly, he had forgotten about the conversation we had not 2 weeks ago about being extra healthy in preparation for our big lake debut in May. Don't worry, though. I was happy to remind him. I am convinced that this is why he chose one of Austin's Nutri Grain bars {also known as a cookie} for dessert. Nevertheless, I took the time to make Luke his very own personal dessert...

In case you can't tell that says "I love you" not "I love vou." It's the thought that counts. Luke was thrilled when he got home and saw it. Here's proof...

He's probably going to kill me for posting this picture but I just love it. It shows a side of him that not many people get to see. He makes me laugh on a daily basis, which is exactly what I need at the end of a long day. :)

I bet you're wondering what else I decided to bring to the Bible study. That would be goldfish. You know you're a mom if you have goldfish and the stuff to make cupcakes on hand in your pantry.

Goldfish and poorly iced cupcakes. That's what I ended up bringing to our first night of Bible study. I felt like walking in and saying,

Hi. My name is Mrs. Keiffer. Welcome to preschool and here are your snacks.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

If You Tell Your Child It's A Cookie...He Will Eat It

I may be new at this motherhood thing, but I think I've picked up a few tricks already. In fact, I learned my first trick at the very beginning of this wonderful journey. In an effort to get several hours of sleep in a row, I put an extra ounce of formula in Austin's before-bedtime-bottle. My thinking was that a little extra formula would tide him over until at least 5:00. I was desperate, people. But more importantly, it worked. Remember that Nyquil commercial where the woman is in a luxurious bed with rose petals scattered all around and angels are singing the "Hallelujah Chorus?" That's exactly how that first night of glorious sleep went at the Keiffer house.

Next came the question "To Swaddle or Not To Swaddle?" It was a brutal transition, but we finally discovered that leaving one arm out and the other swaddled helped Austin get used to the feeling of freedom. Good thing we figured that out because it would've been REALLY embarrasing to have to teach his future wife how to swaddle him just right.

And these days the battle we face is a little thing we like to call picky eating. Somedays he likes chicken nuggets and somedays he'll only eat pizza. That is why I have resorted to renaming his food. Peas are now known as "little green balls." And cereal bars? Well, they are now cookies in this house. Before you know it, we'll be calling broccoli "little trees" and peanut butter sandwiches "cake."

This may have been my most amazing trick yet, because mealtimes are no longer the teeth-nashing and wailing sessions they used to be. Now they resemble the Ovaltine commercials. You know, the one where the kids keep saying,

More Ovaltine please!

Here's proof that our little man is enjoying mealtimes more...

So if you happen to visit us during Austin's breakfast, lunch or dinner, please MIND THE LITTLE EARS and call his food by the proper name.