Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Life is like hot chocolate

I didn't write this but wanted to share it especially during this time of year. It was in a Christmas card and I don't know if the person that put it in their Christmas card wrote it or if it is from a forwarded email that everyone gets. No matter who wrote it I found it interesting and thought provoking. Enjoy.

A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups - porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate. When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: "Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups. Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us. God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy your hot chocolate.


Sunday night there was a terrible accident in our neighborhood. After hearing the story I realized I needed to blog about it so I could get as many people praying for this family as possible. A boy (eighth grade) and his mom was severely burned when a propane tank exploded. They were both airlifted to Augusta burn center. The boy, Connor has extensive burns on 87% of his body. His mom was not burned as bad. To make matters worse the father has been in Iraq since February. Thankfully the father was on his way home for his 2 week R&R so he is able to be with his family at the hospital.

Please pray for this family as it will be a long road to recovery. Pray for healing, strength, comfort, and that the father will be able to stay with the family and not have to go back to Iraq after his 2 week R&R. If you want to read more about this family so you can pray specifically they set up a website -

When things like this happen it makes you realize all the things you have to be thankful for. All too often we complain or think our life is tough when in reality we have so much to be thankful for. I know that the Lord is the great physician and He has the power to do miraculous things for this family. Please take time to lift this family up and take time to thank God for all he has done for you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stories from Grammy Keeks and Poppy

So once again I fell off the blog wagon and haven't written in awhile. It's not because I don't have anything to write. In fact it's the opposite. We have been so busy and there are so many stories to write about I don't even know where to begin. Monte and I were able to get away for 6 days which was absolutely wonderful (more about that in a different blog entry). A big thanks to my parents for watching the kids. The kids had a great time visiting with Grammy Keeks and Poppy and I think my parents had a good time too. When we got home mom and dad both mentioned that they asked themselves - how did we raise 5 kids? I told them Monte and I ask that all the time. That's why we are stopped at 2 - two and through.

Anyway, the kids had a jam packed week with Grammy and Poppy with lots of Christmas activities and fun. One of the funny stories mom told me was every night Beckham would brush his teeth look in the mirror and say, "I think I'm turning into an elf. Yep! I look like one more and more each day. My ears are starting to point." Mom said it was the funniest thing. Which I imagine it was.

Then there was Ainsley who acted like Santa's best friend when they went to see him at the restaurant up the road. When they pulled up Ainsley said that Santa wasn't there because she didn't see his sleigh. When they walked in and saw Santa Ainsley couldn't contain herself. She was smiling ear to ear, jumping and clapping. She asked Santa where his sleigh was and he said that Rudolph was sick so he couldn't take the sleigh out. Which must have made an impact on Ainsley because at night she prays for Rudolph to get better. The whole time they were eating dinner Ainsley was very concerned that Santa was not eating and asked him if he wanted to eat with them. He kindly declined and said Ms. Claus had made lasagna. Then she told someone to get him a drink because he looked thirsty. As my mom was relaying the story I wondered, was Ainsley really concerned for Santa or did she already figure out how to butter him up in hopes for more or better gifts?

At the dinner table last night both kids called out "get your elbows off the table this is not a horses table". Right when they said it I knew they picked that up from my dad. I remember him saying that when we were young. Ainsley also picked up the saying "Sugar Booger" from Aunt Megan. She thinks she is so funny when she says it.

There were many more stories but I'll have to post those later. I'll have to fill everyone in about our trip to Austin and Dallas.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


We had a wonderful time over Thanksgiving. There is so much to be thankful for I don't know where to begin. Our family has truly been blessed. One thing we are thankful for is living close to family. When we were in Texas we felt a little isolated. Don't get me wrong we LOVED Austin and hope to move back someday but right now we are where we are supposed to be. Not only are we close to my family but Monte's family is in driving distance too. Over Thanksgiving my whole family got together. I can't remember the last time my whole family was together on Thanksgiving - probably not since Adam graduated from the Naval Academy.

Anyways, we had a great time catching up and enjoying mom's great food. Mom is a great cook and you can always count on gaining a few pounds. (we were there less than 24 hours and she had already gotten out 4 different kinds of homemade cookies - Yumm.) The kids had a ball playing and getting to know their cousins a little better. Everyone made sacrifices to make Thanksgiving happen. We are thankful that Adam's family, Amy, David and Katie all braved the traffic and drove down from the DC area. (We're also thankful that Meggo made the long trip upstairs). And mom and dad for opening their home and mom for cooking and doing 11 loads of laundry after we left. We really have enjoyed being able to spend time at "His Way Inn". And are so thankful for the time we spend there. It is always so relaxing and fun.

Here we are:

Amazingly we were able to take a family picture and no one cried! That is a rare occurrence for our family. Every year while taking the Christmas card picture one of us would end up crying (usually me since I hate getting my picture taken and mom and dad would take 3 rolls of film just to get 1 good shot of all 5 of us)