Friday, October 31, 2008



We've had a fun week preparing for a fun Halloween day today. Throw in 1/2 days at school, parent teacher conferences, dinner with the missionaries (that they didn't show up for), court of honor, school concert and everything else that goes into busy family life, and I've been running from sun up to sun down. But today should be fun. We have trick-or-treating and then a visit to Grandma's Haunted House party. The kids are buzzing with excitement.
Joe's place to get pumpkins for the kids. It's a small pumpkin patch and farm that we LOVE.
The kids had fun picking a mini-pumpkin for Benjamin.
We ran into my aunt Allison & her brood picking out pumpkins. My cousin Grant is over 6 feet tall at 13, crazy tall.
Here's ben & I, he is chillin in his puj sling. LOVE IT! I bought pumpkin butter at the farm stand and it is delicious. My kids don't like it, more for me I say!!

Carving pumpkins for family night. Dave carved Ben's and helped Savannah.
I carved Bella's and helped David. All the kids scooped their own guts out. YUMMY!

Ben loves the taste of pumpkin.
He just can't get enough...

He's the only one of the kids that is a true conisseur of fine food...especially fine milk!
L-R David's, Bella's, Ben's (MIke Wizowski from Monsters Inc.) Savannah's.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weekend Fun & Tags

We had a fun quick trip to visit the larsens our super awesome friends who just moved back from Germany. It was really wonderful to be in their home, to laugh and talk as if no time had passed at all. That to me is the beauty of good friends, they are your friends forever. And this family is really more family than friend to us.

One quick story. Little David who is a little bit of a nut, was bored after a while so he started watching transformers while we were visiting, making pizzas for dinner. He has seen it before but...

There is one scene where the mom asks Shia Lebouf's character if he is in his bedroom *m-word ing* So David turns around and says...

"dad, what's master making?" At which we all crack up, James & Kailey were about to die trying not to laugh. And I think they were watching how we old pros handle these types of questions for when Shark Bait (or Kedric as everyone not part of the Keller family calls him) asks them the same thing.

Dave smoothly answered: what is a master
LD: Someone who is good at something
D: So what is master making?
LD: Oh, it's making someone who is good at something

Aren't we awesome parents. We just weren't ready to field that question, not without help from our best friend A Parents Guide put out by the church. It actually is a very good resource for when your kids ask "the difficult questions" And seriously, we like to have a more one-on-one and spiritual environment when we talk about the big s word or "photography" as we call it in our family (our kids used to mispronounce pornography and call it photography).

So I was tagged by my good friend Lynn, another army buddy (GO ARMY) who is blessed to be stationed with her husband in Hawaii (tough life!-J/K after NC they toughed it out in Waco while we were vacationing in a European paradise so they have TOTALLY earned this duty station).

So in order to avoid inevitable tagee guilt, I am going to get right on this tag!

8 Favorite TV Shows:
1. Psych
2. Burn Notice
3. Bones
4. House
5. Gilmore Girls (I know it's cancelled but I still love it, especially on DVD like a really long movie)
6. Fringe
7. Big Bang Theory
8. 90210 (I just can't get enough dillon & Kelly)

8 Favorite Restaurants
1. Hole in the wall Donor shops (you know you are salivating right now Germany buddies)
2. Red Robin-they have the CUTEST servers (hee hee)
3. Olive Garden
4. Los Hermanos or really Any Mexican!
5. Panera Bread
6. Chipotle
7. This little Italian Restaurant in Garmish overlooking the Zugspitze, we ate their every year!

8 Things I did Yesterday
1. Laughed & Giggled
2. Admired a friends new abode
3. Got lost when Vicki our GPS died on the way home
4. Drove 6 hours
5. Went to Toys R Us
6. Got our family pictures taken
7. Ate WAY too much pizza & YUMMY salsa
8. Drank Dr. Pepper (I haven't had a DP for probably 5 years!)

8 Things I love about Fall
1. The holidays are right around the corner
2. Apple Cider at Starbucks
3. Chill in the air which means sweaters
4. Beautiful leaves everywhere
5. Walks on sunny days
6. Pumpkin Patches
7. Trick or treating at REAL HOUSES (which they don't do in Germany)
8. Dressing up my kids & figuring out cute costumes

8 Things on my wishlist
1. Good Health, Long life
2. Dave to find a good dental practice to buy
3. To enjoy every moment of my kids growing up
4. A calling in church (I don't have one yet and I am starting to get sad about it)
5. Not to worry about money anymore, whether we have money or not, just not to worry about it
6. A fun trip with my husband (Italy, England, Scotland)
7. To take my mom & sisters on a Christmas Market Tour
8. Take the kids to Hawaii (Can you tell I love to travel?)

That was fun Lynn, thx

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tag & guilt...

Sorry it took me so long Deon, I am trying to catch up...

I always feel such incredible tagee guilt like the tagger will think I don't like them if I don't reply...I have facebook guilt like that too...I'm so afraid of hurting people's feelings if I don't let them be my friends! My mom always told me I needed to be friendly and nice to everyone and saying, no I don't want to be your friend just really goes against my nature. I had to un-friend someone, someone who I really should have said no to in the first place...and it was SO HARD, even harder was hitting ignore when this person tried to friend me again!!

Okay that was a really long tangent. ANYHOO-

I have to reply with one word answers to the questions posted in Deon's tag.

BTW-Deon is my awesome friend from NC. Thanks to the Army for moving us every year and a half and helping us to meet such wunderbar people like Manny & Deon and many many others...GO ARMY!

1. Where is your cell phone? KITCHEN
2. Where is your significant other? SLEEPING
3. Your hair color? FAKE
4. Your mother? LOVING
5. Your father? STRONG
6. Your favorite thing? FAMILY
7. Your dream last night? DEAD (as in I sleep like the dead, no dreams at all)
8. Your dream/goal? GRADUATE
9. The room you're in? OFFICE
10. Your hobby? CRAFTING
11. Your fear? LONLINESS
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? FAMILY
13. Where were you last night? BED
14. What you're not? PRETENTIOUS
15. One of your wish lish items? ITALY
16. Where you grew up? WASHINGTON
17. The last thing you did? IRONED
18. What are you wearing? SLIPPERS (and other things too...)
19. Your TV? OFF
20. Your pet? BUSTER (who is imaginary still)
21. Your computer? YUCK
22. Your mood? RELAXED
23. Missing someone? TRAVIS
24. Your car? DENTED =(
25. Something you're not wearing? EARINGS
26. Favorite Store? GAP
27. Your summer? BUSY
28. Love someone? DAVE
29. Your favorite color? BLUE
30. When is the last time you laughed? TODAY
31. Last time you cried? FRIDAY

And you're supposed to tag 7 people but since I would hate for anyone to feel as guilty as I do I tag no it if you's really fun!

We're Off

Back on Monday with more in our exciting lives...I know you can't wait. In the meantime we are off to see the Larsen Clan for a much anticipated reunion with our old friends. And as a bonus, Kailey is doing a family photo shoot. We are so lucky to have great friends-I know all my Wuerzburg peeps are jealous. Just wish you all could be there too!

Just to give you something to do over the weekend, another blogger to friend JEN wrote an awesome post about why blogging is important to her, and I have to say I agree 100%. Check it out.

Also check out how to be cute...everyday! Loving it!

Mid-Morning Madness

Here we go again-another glimpse into the day-to-day life of the Kellers...

Once the older kids & dad are off the fun begins...

I make a sweep of the house with Benj on my hip to make sure lights are off & baby gates up...nope & nope

Then it is off to the computer for some surfing, checking of emails and if it's favorite thing of all...updating the budget woohoo

Morning nap for the benjer, today he got spoiled, mommy didn't even make him get dressed & he got to sleep in my arms while I surfed the internet...lucky boy

Here's the little giggler finally making himself presentable for the day...I know Dave wishes he could stay home & change diapers all day long-who wouldn't love to be around this sweetheart!

Checking on the boo. That's one of bella's nicknames...booboo...she told her new primary teacher her name was Isabella, when asked what her last name was she replied Booboo. She insists on having her feet touching the entertainment center. I guess it helps her see the show better. She gets to either watch morning cartoons or play computer games when the kids are gone in the mornings.

It must've been a good episode of Diego today

Off for our morning jog...Bella is not feelin it today. Note ben's toothbrush which he loves to carry around-everywhere-what a good boy

Ben insists on helping mommy get ready.

Wednesday & Friday this week were errand days, Wednesday we went to the we grocery shopped, Bella is happy to ride the rides even without quarters.

Note the missing sock & chub hanging out, my kinda boy. I love the chubs! See you in the afternoon....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Good Morning Vancouver

David doing some morning reading of Spongebob or as they say in France Bob Le Esponge
I've been wanting to post for a while kind of a day in the life of our family...spread out over a week. So that I could chronicle what life is like for us. So today we are starting with the morning routines.

Dave & I are opposites when it comes to waking up, he is up early and happy...and I am happiest when I can sleep in and enjoy slowly waking up. So far we have two that wake up early and one who wakes up late and likes to stay up late...can you guess who?

David pops out of bed happy and raring to go at about 6 every morning. Savannah wakes up around 6:30 but not happy, she wants to be cuddled for a while to begin her day. Isabella, the night owl gets woken up between 7:30 and 8 and always needs a little bit of time to rub the grump off her face.

Usually David & Savannah are up before I get up which is around 7. But they will never fix breakfast for themself. They will ask everyone to fix them breakfast, hoping that someone will make them pancakes or French Toast. Their least favorite is cereal which is what they make for themselves when in desperation. Today we had pancakes.

The kids have late school-they don't leave for the bus until 8:40 so we have a long morning and if it was up to them it would consist of watching cartoons until 8:20 when they would race to get dressed and race to school. Except on Thursdays when Savannah goes to EXCEL-a gifted program run by the district. She leaves for the bus at 7:30.

Today our morning went like this:

-Mom's alarm goes off at 6 (I have to set it for EXCEL or I will sleep in & miss the bus like last week)
-Try to put Benj back in bed unsuccessfully so I can make breakfast, instead pass him off to daddy.
-David wakes up, I wake Savannah up with loves & a morning song (a tradition from my mom-good morning little sunshine) She needs to be up before 6:30 today.
-The kids read their scriptures on the couch while I make breakfast, Dave & Benj are working in the office
-Breakfast time at 6:30-pancakes, milk, loads of syrup
-Get dressed, brush teeth, mouthwash, fix Savannah's hair-today is a ponytail day. David incidentally HATES having his hair combed or fixed in anyway, no water on the head, no gel. That is why his hair is always so short.
-Send the kids downstairs to clean the toyroom, with threats that the toys that don't get picked up will be thrown away. They both come upstairs indicating that they only picked up "their toys" and they don't care about the rest. Poor Bella!
-Time to make beds & send the kids to turn lights off
-Family prayers at 7:20 (some days we say 3 family prayers, once with Dave & I before he leaves for work if he has an early patient, once with David & Savannah before school and once with Bella when she finally rolls out of bed.
-Walk Savannah to the bus, if Dave is gone David babysits the baby so I don't have to bundle him up, it is starting to get cold in the mornings

Savannah ready to go to EXCEL

-Wake up Isabella and turn off Savannah's light...she always leaves it on...Bella gets woken up with the morning song too and insists on being carried down the stairs. She also insists on getting dressed before coming downstairs
-Breakfast for Bella, practice the piano for David, do the dishes for mom & Benjamin (this is Benj's favorite chore. He loves to sit and play in the water and take dishes out of the dishwasher, totally entertaining for him)

Bella is ready to start her day with coloring

-David hovers by the door at about 8:30 waiting for the Perrins kids to come so he can run to the bus with them. And now the mornings is over and our day can begin....

Evidence of the morning cuddles, blankets left all of the couch!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Angel Mother

Yesterday was my wonderful mother's birthday-insert cheers here-what a special day for all of us, we get to honor her all day long. And for the first time in 15 years (yes that's right 15) I got to wish my mom a happy birthday with a hug on her actual birthday. So needless to say I was so thrilled and wished it wasn't Monday (the day she works) so that we could've spent the whole day with her. Instead we settled for lunch with mom & dad on their lunchbreaks and an evening with the whole family for cake & laughs.

Since it is Tuesday here are 10 things I love about my mom:

1. She is someone to look up to in the way she lives her life. She honors her temple covenants and has always tried her very best to do what is right.
2. She always has a happy smile for everyone, regardless of what she feels inside she tries to look at the positive and help others feel happy too.
3. Every time she sees me she gives me a big hug & always has to love on all the grandkids. She has the ability to make them each feel like they are her "very favorite". When she would leave from visiting us I don't know who would cry more, me or my kids.
4. She has always dropped everything to come and help me when each of my babies was born. This was especially important to me when Bella & Benj were born since they were born so far from home & family. I think it was a fun for Dave too since they always bonded for hours while we wait for the induction to start. They always end up buying something delicious for lunch to keep me focused on what I get to eat (and then throw up) after the baby is born.
5. The three years we were in Germany she visited every year. I can't tell you how important that was to me that she would spend the money and time to come out, twice with dad and once on her own as a last minute surprise. Some of my favorite memories are of travelling with mom & dad. And of travelling with just mom, touring the countryside, visiting Louis castles while Dave was at a conference. Driving around. Good times.
6. Speaking of travelling, my mom drove across the country with me not once, but twice. The first time when Dave joined the Army and we had to meet him in North Carolina, she helped me drive my babies and belongings. What a fun trip full of books on tape, laughs and exhaustion. And then the second time when we were leaving the army with a 3 month old baby, she came with Dave & I, two cars, four kids, books on ipod, carioke, laughs and exhaustion.
7. My mom is beautiful. When she was married she had gorgous long brown hair, and pretty brown eyes, now her hair is shorter but she is still just as beautiful. Thanks for the great genes momma!
8. She loves to exercise, and ran a 5K with me this spring. We trained together since I was living at her house and had a lot of fun. I hope to do it again soon with her.
9. She is a fabulous cook, but not only that LOVES to cook and bake especially if it is for someone she loves. We tease her that Dyers are all about the food...the delicious Dyers. But what a treat it is to cook with my mom, plan a fun meal or fun dessert, get in the kitchen and talk and laugh together. I love it!
10. She always makes it all better. I am so thankful that I have a mom that I can talk to about anything, and she always makes me feel better. Thanks mom, I Love you!! Happy Birthday!

Blowing out the candles

Mom & Dad presiding over their is helping the kids draw names for Christmas, oldeset to youngest.

I just loved this look on Ben's face, isn't he such a cutie pie!

I thought this was so funny, Eli mooching off great grandpa!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10 on Tuesday

Pre-school day at the pumpkin patch:
Bella, Kailey, Gabby, Hyrum

Ten random facts from ou fun filled life this last week:

1. I got to babysit some real cuties for two days so their parents could get away to a not so fun funeral in Utah
2. Hyrum talks to us when his mom isn't in the room
3. He does not like to wear Incredible Hulk costumes
4. David is now too old for "babyish" carnivals at the craft store
5. He is perfectly happy to tag along when there is free popcorn involved
6. Dave's staff is really fun to be around (thanks for hosting a bbq)
7. Isabella is a bruiser-we found a huge bruise on her ear that we have no idea where she got and she says it doesn't hurt
8. Baked potato salad is a fantastic midnight snack
9. When your daughter says "mom gabby borrowed my underwear" suspect a reason other than just wanting to share fun clothes....I know gross I just found the smell...
10. The lady who was painting faces at the craft store can "draw horses better than you mom" (direct quote from Savannah)
Future Cougar at the craft fair
The girls making trick or treat bags
Gabby & Bella have to be twins

Homemade pizzas, they each got to make their own

David & Savannah eating their pizzas

Benj's first ride in the big boy backpack...he loved the animals at the farm until he crashed

Bella feeding the goats

Bella's bruised ear, the front looks bad too!

The cute memory board I made, aren't I crafty!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An angel of mine...

Today Dave was watching the conference sessions he missed while he was flying home from Chicago. I was busy in the kitchen, cleaning up from lunch & breakfast but still listening again. While Elder Holland talked about angels in our lives today it made me think of one of my personal angels. My Grandmother Raquel was someone who I could always count on to lift me up. She has been gone for just over a year now and I know everyone who her life touched misses her deeply. There are so many things that remind me of her-from the cadence of Martha Stewart's voice (I know wierd huh) to the strains of Pachelbel or Pavarati, to a good book she continues to uplift and inspire me even from heaven. The other day I was reading a much beloved book while I waited for Isabella to get done with pre-school. I casually flipped open to the cover and remembered who I had gotten it from. In their dedication it says that "through reading I could travel the world". Miss you grandma!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

10 on Tuesday

1. Had a hard night with Benj who is either teething or getting an ear infection or 5:30 I had reached the end of my patience so turned him over to Dave (who loves to get up early anyway) and crawled back in bed for a precious few hours before the kids needed to be fed. When I got up at 7:45 Dave had fed the kids, packed their lunches, gotten them all dressed and they were all cleaning the house together, sweeping & vacuuming. What a wonderful husband I have!!

2. With my double jogger now fixed I really have no excuses to not jog every week. Today is Dave's day off so we went on a great jog through the neighborhood. He didn't even complain at the snails pace I kept, and pushed the kids happily, encouraging me to make it up the hill. We had a little downpour when we were out and it was so refreshing.

3. Ben took a good morning & afternoon nap today (because he was up all night) so instead of cleaning bathrooms I caught up on my Martha Stewart episodes (the one thing I tivo just for me).

4. Martha gave me a GREAT idea for our halloween dinner (which the kids look forward to every year. Last year it was spiderweb soup & the year before Monster burgers.

5. My mom came to visit today on her way home from costco. -I love living close to her. Gone are the daysof talking once or twice a week and missing her terribly. Now I can show her my great idea from Martha right on my very own tv.

6. David has been struggling with wanting to do his homework. Today we had a big "discussion" about how being free does not mean you can do your homework sloppily on the bus and mom won't get mad.

7. We're still the neighborhood fun house, being new and having a trampoline-I am sure the novelty will wear off but I do enjoy listening to the kids playing happily from the basement toy room or outside.

8. Dave is at a meeting tonight which means easy dinners...I love that my only choice for drive through food is no longer Burger King & McDonalds (as it was for 3 years in Germany). What did my kids choose??? Burger King (I was voting for Panda Express our Taco bell, but David learned about democracy at school today and wanted to vote...tomorrow he's going to learn about monarchys)

9. Early showers & beds since Dad is gone and we're going to have company Wednesday night & Thursday night. Bella is SO looking forward to Gabby & Hyrum staying over.

10. CARAMEL APPLE CAKE-A MUST TRY! (See last week's Indian Summer post)

2 c sugar 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c oil 2 t vanilla
3 eggs 3 c baking apples, peeled, pared, cored and diced
3 c flour lemon juice
2 t. cinnamon 1 c. walnuts, chopped (or hacked ha ha)
1 t. baking soda
Mix sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time beating well with each addition. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Add to egg mixture, gradually, beating constantly. Add vanilla and combine thoroughly. Sprinkle apples with lemon juice and add to batter with walnuts. Batter will be very thick. Spoon into greased and floured Bundt or tube pan. Bake at 325 for 75-80 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes and then invert onto serving platter.

Caramel Glaze:

3 T butter 3 T brown sugar 2 T milk 1/2 t vanilla
In small saucepan melt butter. Add brown sugar, milk and vanilla. Bring to rolling boil and boil rapidly for 2 minutes. Cool slightly and spoon over cooled cake allowing glaze to run down sides.

Enjoy...take to sister as a thank not tell brother-in-law that you brought cake to sister so he won't know what a delicious treat he didn't get to share.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Daily Inspirations

Today I've been thinking about things that inspire me, make me want to be better. So in no particular order here are a few things that I believe are truly inspirational:

1. Beauty in all it's forms-

The beauty of the earth, of God's creations...

The beauty that man creates... and BTW, if you haven't read the email about how mothers are like Cathedral builders post and I will send it to you, it is phenomenal... The beauty of man (or WOman)...check out Kjrsten's blog about being stylish while cleaning house and she seriously is always stylish & cute

2. Family and Love...

Innocence and love at first sight...

Love that lasts...

The promise of the future

3. Trying to be better by...

Dancing to the beat of your own drum...

Always striving to be better...

Triumph in tragedy...

Finding joy in your calling.

4. Love of the Lord

This weekend we all have the opportunity to be inspired, I challenge us to really listen during conference and pray for inspiration from our prophet and church leaders.