29 December 2009

4 years ago...

i gave birth to this little man. he since has brightened each of my days. i love you, sweet gryffie. you are the best!









for gryffie's b-day, he wanted to go to rockin' robin and gma and gpa came along. he also insisted on a cake from the oakmont bakery.

28 December 2009

birthday celebration



yesterday night, we had a mini b-day celebration. we are blessed to live close to our extended family, but i cherish our time together, just the 5 of us. i slept after church as i am on nights again this week, and my cold came back. so i woke up at 5:30 pm and we had some ice cream cake and played twister. jonas was the referee, and gryffie really wasn't into it, so he just sat on the mat and would occassionally move a foot or hand. porter just rolled all over the mat, which was quite amusing. then we read some stories together. it was a great b-day celebration!

this isn't the best lighting, but i wanted to post a picture of me with my boys.

25 December 2009

our christmas miracle

ahh, christmas started off a little rough, but has been altogether lovely. shortly after i wrote my earlier christmas post, re: my b-day dinner and festivities of the season, ben came home and told me that our car's emission light had turned on. the car started jerking and began smelling like burnt clutch. ben sat in the driveway when he got home and read the manual. it said it could be 2 things- one, the gas cap wasn't on all the way, or two, it needed serious help and should not be driven or the warranty would be null and void. well, the gas cap was fine, so, yeah, christmas eve, we had a broken car and of course, our mechanic brunos, and the honda dealership were closed, so no luck there. then we called 2 car rental places and both had no cars available until at least saturday. we were supposed to go to ambridge for the evening to see family as well as ben's family during the day and we had no car. then our home teacher, sam eskelson, stopped by to drop off a gift. ben told him about the car, and about 1/2 hour later, sam brought us his car. one big enough to fit our family and my brother. it was our christmas miracle. we are blessed. after sam's call, we had all the boys come into the living room and said a prayer of thanksgiving. we are so thankful for a good home teacher, a loving heavenly father, our divine saviour, and all those that bless our lives each day. merry christmas to all and to all, a good night.

24 December 2009

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas!!!

i love christmas time! it's just so festive! this past week has been wonderful! we had a ton of snow in the pittsburgh area! i wrapped all my christmas gifts for the boys! we had a party at work. we had sunday dinner with great friends and then went to see the beautiful lights at hartwood. also, last weekend, we had a christmas breakfast with santa. this is pre haircuts but alas, my boys are adorable! notice how gryffie will not get close to santa. he would only give santa a high five with much coaxing.



oh, and tonight, i had a wonderful early b-day dinner with 4 of my favorite girls- carrie, marie, rachel, and marrilee! i love you ladies! thanks for celebrating with me!

17 December 2009

christmas cookies

each year we decorate cookies together. ben had finals this week, so he missed out on the fun. i think the boys eat more icing than they put on the cookies and i had to cut gryffie off...

pictures- you can see the boys' new do's.











15 December 2009

ahh, feeling better

i finally went to the doctor last thursday and found out i had pneumonia. i had been sick for like 3 weeks and now, after antibiotics and an inhaler, i feels so much better. today was my first day back to work. i actually enjoyed being lazy and being home with my boys so much. and i slept, a lot! some random things:

port is a walking machine. i was trying to download a video, but it would not work. i will try later.

we finally went to beth-beth and all three boys got awesome new haircuts. pictures to follow.

i love glee. i love community. and 30 rock. and the office. and chuck starts in january.

christmas is in only 10 days! crazy! this year has flown. and my birthday...

12 December 2009

on the move...

i have been trying to post these videos for a while, but couldn't. my little portie is movin! non-stop! please don't mind my voice... he, he. love this boy! i especially love how he tries to talk back! i can't believe he is 14 months old now!

video

video

08 December 2009

something's missing...

jomi lost his first tooth today!!!



06 December 2009

portie's bad hair cut...

so, i cut baby's hair and haven't had a chance to take him to aunt beth-beth to get it fixed. i thought he looked adorable that day. but then, haha, it is sooo badly cut. see picture #2. poor portie.





and a picture of our finished christmas tree- we still need to move the storage bins out of the way... notice that the ornaments are mostly on the top as we had to move them out of portie's clutches.

03 December 2009

more on jonas

he seems to be the topic of numerous blog postings recently. i love that kid. he asked me today if he could marry me. i explained why that would not work, but anyway... we had an awesome dance party in the living room tonight (gryffie was at a sleepover) and ate pizza and wings together.

jonas told me that jenna kissed him today. on the cheek, but still. they held hands the week before thanksgiving and now she is kissing him on the cheek. really? he's 5.

jomi has his first loose tooth. and you can see the other tooth growing in behind it. he was watching noddy tonight after his bath, and i found him laying on the couch, wiggling his little tooth. it won't be long until the tooth fairy makes her first visit! fun times.

01 December 2009

o christmas tree

each year we go to lake forest gardens in fombell, pa, to cut down our christmas tree. this is one of my favorite traditions of the year. it's so much fun. and the weather was perfect this year. basically, you pick what type of tree you would like (we usually pick canaan fir as the needles are softer) and you take a hay ride out to that type of tree. they drop you off and the search begins. after finding a tree that is perfect for your family, you cut it down yourselves. so much fun!

this year's choice, not yet decorated completely:



we have some crazy times together- singing christmas carols, trying to take family photos, and this year, the trees kept falling on uncle chris and all the boys! they loved it. we went to the chinese buffet in cranberry after for lunch. here are some more pics of our family fun!









29 November 2009

bowling for turkeys

ah, thanksgiving. last weekend, we had dinner with my family out in cranberry to celebrate. my mom does not like turkey, so she made ham. that ham was sooo delish! and the boys were very well-behaved. is it bad that i gauge my enjoyment of an activity/visit/event, etc, on how much my children do/do not drive me crazy?

thanksgiving was a nice day. we went to the joe natoli field for the annual turkey bowl. jonas played for a bit but then suffered an injury and wanted to go back to grandma and grandpa's house. there we had doughnuts, hot cocoa, and watched the parade, as well as hung out with wonderful friends. i heart doughnuts.

pictures of the turkey bowl



then we went home and i slept for a while (i am on night shifts all this week). we headed back over to the kellers' for dinner around 4:30 pm. it was nice and laid back and the food was delicious! then it was time for bed and shortly thereafter, work. work is the bane of my existence, but i am grateful to have a job. nonetheless, it was a good day.

26 November 2009

happy thanksgiving!

wishing you all a wonderful thanksgiving! we have had our ups and downs these past few months, but i have so much to be thankful for.

i have an amazing family- a wonderful husband and 3 sweet little guys that rock my world daily. i am grateful for their health and strength, the excitement and love they add to my life.

i have wonderful extended family that offer their love and support to us, while in different ways, in a perfect balance.

i have incredible friends, ones that at times do so much more for me than i do for them. i love you guys.

i am grateful for the understanding i have of the gospel of jesus christ. i make light of it at times, but i am thankful for it. i love our ward despite the high levels of conservatism. but i know this is where we belong.

i love teaching relief society- i teach on the 4th sunday so i get to do the teachings for our time lessons. for that i am grateful.

i am grateful for family traditions- i love this time of year, specifically for all the traditions we have. each year, we go to trax farms, we cut down our tree, we go to the strip on a saturday before christmas. we also have set christmas eve rituals-all surrounded by family.

i am grateful that ben has been able to be doing so well in school. it is wonderful to see him happy and doing something he loves. 1 1/2 more years- it will go by quickly, right?

i am working and ben got a parttime job that is flexible. i am grateful to have steady employment in this time of financial upheavel. things could be so much worse. i am grateful they are not.

and lastly, i love food- chocolate and cherry pepsi, and pizza, and pie. and can't wait to eat turkey today. woo-hoo.

love you all. happy thanksgiving.

22 November 2009

jonas' news

so, i called home on my way back from our relief society "make and take" and ben told me that jonas had some news for me when i got home. i heard jonas say, "no, i want to tell her now." jonas got on the phone and said, "mommy, i have a girlfriend now." haha, i knew he liked this little girl, jenna, and she even came trick or treating with us for a little bit, but now he is calling her his girlfriend. so far, no kissing, thank goodness, but he has held her hand.

jonas then went to a birthday party for his friend, shawn, tonight and jenna was there. while we were getting ready for bed, he told me he had more "news" for me. he and jenna are getting married and his friend isaiah is buying the ring for him... what??? my 5 year old is engaged! haha.

20 November 2009

i'm in love



i admit it. i saw the midnight showing of new moon with some of my bestest friends- care bear, marrilee, rach, and jess! woo-hoo! it was amazing! so much better than twilight! it was so worth it.

17 November 2009

the first bad word

jonas swore yesterday for the first time... i guess he had to do it sometime and i guess i should be happy that he is 5 and in kindergarten so i can blame it on his peers. i, unfortunately, missed it. but according to ben, this is what happened... i will tell you in the form of our texting.

ben:jonas just swore like 7 times. literally 4 times. i put him in time out. but it is also a little cute and funny.

rachel:what the crap did he say?

ben:damn. he jumped like a bug bit him, then slapped his arm 3 times and said "damn!" each time in rhythm. when i asked him where he learned it, he said he made it up.

rachel: what? that is so odd. and funny. did you laugh?

ben:no, but i wasn't mad or mean either. i started to giggle after i put him in time out a little. it was sort of surreal.

12 November 2009

oops, we missed it

we have been meaning to take the boys hiking for some time now. unfortunately, by the time we got ourselves out and moving, we missed all the beautiful changing colors of the leaves. we still had a great time. we took the boys for a walk/hike by the stream in indiana twp, pa. it was lovely, but got dark fairly quickly. afterwards, we headed to pizza roma for some good ole' pizza. for those of you who know this, i could seriously eat pizza EVERYDAY! it was an awesome little restaurant and there was only one other table occupied when we got there. great food, great company. ahh, i love spending time with my boys!









10 November 2009

sometimes i wonder...

what the heck was i thinking???

bringing 3 boys to the doctor's on one day. the good thing, ben was with me for the appointment (but he was at class tonight). all 3 received the flu shot. porter had 3 other shots and jonas 1 other shot. jonas freaked out the most. (jonas told the nurse that he would slap her face if she tried to give him a shot.) they were all hot messes tonight. also, gryffie had a splinter that i had to remove. he did not like that- it was the most i have ever heard him scream. jonas came running into the room, wondering what was going on. ahh, what a night. but they all got baths, tylenol, and were in bed by 7:30/8:00pm. and here i am at work, night shift week...

06 November 2009

caged animal

george still sleeps in his crate at night. and porter can't resist it. we try to make sure it is locked, but he still sneaks in when we aren't looking. babies are so fast.

video

speaking of porter, he is almost 13 months and still only taking 2-3 steps at a time. he just doesn't feel the need to walk. i love it when he does and praise him highly. such a little lazy man!

03 November 2009

parent-teacher conference

today was our first parent-teacher conference with mrs. yohe. we love jonas' teacher. she is fabulous. she really knows how to motivate the kids, specifically my boy. each day jonas brings home a behavior calendar, and if he does a good job, he gets a sticker. he has gotten stickers every day.

jonas is doing great in kindergarten. mrs. yohe said he is very meticulous with his writing, is eager to learn, and is sweet. she did state that, at times, when he is overly excited, he will call out answers without raising his hand. jonas also loves art work, and will draw any time he is sitting at his desk. sometimes mrs. yohe needs to tell him 2-3 times to pay attention. yesterday he brought home little pieces of paper that he cut out and wrote his friend aaron's name all over. is he a mini-stalker? no, he just does his thing. it's one thing i love about him. ahh, that kid, he is the most like me, and the one that drives me the most crazy. it is amazing to see how much he is learning in school.

on a side note, for those of you that have kids in school, or are teacher, when you have a parent-teacher conference, does the parent typically bring their child along? i didn't but then the person after me did. just wondering.

01 November 2009

happy halloween!

we have had a fun-filled weekend so far, and i hope you have too! friday was the fall celebration party for jonas' kindergarten class. then we headed to the church for the trunk or treat.

saturday, we had family and friends over for a potluck and then set up the firepit in the driveway to hang out and wait for trick-or-treaters. we had an amazing turnout. and the boys made out like bandits. our friends, the perrys, brought their 3kids over. it was pretty funny, between our six children, we had 2 spidermen, 2 supermen, a ladybug, and a cow. cute kids!

happy halloween!

some of my favorite pictures:



my superman



daddy and portie



marrilee and hadley



lovin' the pumpkins



spiderman



papa and captain fishieman



cute boys (jacob and oliver perry/gryffin and jonas keller)



my happy sweet boy

the rest

31 October 2009

pumpkin time

so, it has been a crazy week as i have been on night shifts for most of it. on wednesday, we finally had time to carve our pumpkins. then we made treat bags for gryffie's joy school party and jonas' fall celebration party. it was lots of fun. the boys look forward to carving the pumpkins each year.

29 October 2009

boo and the dancing gorilla

these videos crack me up!

poor jonas getting scared by the crazy gorilla. i told him daddy had a surprise...

video

the dancing gorilla really likes the kooks!

video

unfortunately, we returned the monkey suit, but it was fun while it lasted.

28 October 2009

carnegie mellon university- thursday

be there, or be square. argyll's revenge is playing at 9:00 pm. this is their show after winning the battle of the bands. for those of you who are unfamiliar, argyll's revenge is a funky-rock band in which my hubby, ben keller, my b-in-l, chris keller, and our good friend, colin pinto-martin plays. i know a few of you have asked to hear their music. they are on facebook and myspace and have several videos on youtube as well. i also have previously posted some short clips on the blog. here are some links:

myspace

video-mimi's coming

fail like a man

scissors

white horses -tribute to the fallen Pgh officers

mimi's coming

26 October 2009

happy thoughts

jonas gave his first talk in primary yesterday. it was on the family proclamation. ben helped him and jonas did such an amazing job. i am amazed with how he has changed over the last year. last fall, he wouldn't even get up to sing in the primary program, he was so shy. now he jumps up and can do things on his own. he is looking forward to the program in 2 weeks. i am so proud of the little guy he is becoming and i really think school helps a lot. he is still loving school and gets stickers daily for good behavior. yeah, jomi!

i taught in relief society yesterday as well. the lesson was on president monson's talk "what have i done for someone today?" this was the 2nd time i have taught in relief society. i have horrible nerves, but for some reason, i feel so comfortable and at home when teaching in rs. i think heavenly father is really watching out for me. and guess what, i LOVE teaching. i never thought i would, but i do.

one last thought, 2 weeks ago, we were sitting in our teaching the gospel class for sunday school. patriarch fields is in our ward and he was giving a brief lesson on someone that had touched his life. he spoke of the prophet and had a wedding gift from him when partriach fields and his wife got married. i was so inspired by partriarch fields, so touched by the spirit. and my spririt was lifted to remembrance of something i didn't realize. when i was 16, patriarch fields gave me my patriarchal blessing. i knew he was in my ward, but listening to him made me remember that it had been in that very same room that my blessing was given. i hadn't connected that the ward i am in now was the same ward where that occurred. it was an amazing day and i was so happy to be able to remember it in that way.

25 October 2009

porter's place



my friend marie sent me this picture. it's a place in lehi, utah. i love it.

20 October 2009

congrats again

to sadie and dustin. saturday night was a ring ceremony/reception held in their honor at the bower hill fire hall. it was a wonderful evening. i was able to eat tons of great food, hang out with wonderful friends and family, and dance with my wonderful best friend carrie! unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries, so no pictures were taken, but again, here is a picture of the beautiful bride and groom.

17 October 2009

dinner guests

we had a big dinner party last night for all out of town guests to celebrate sadie and dustin's wedding. grandma kelly offered her home and about 25 of us crashed for dinner, dessert, and a celebration. here are a couple pictures of the night, including the bride and groom and an awesome pumpkin grandma kelly carved for them.



mr. pumpkin



the bride and groom



grandma krashna



cousin nancy and aunt betty



grandma keller



me and portie

here was the menu:
veggies with dill weed dip
warmed brie with apricot preserves on crackers
cool berry soup
chicken salad on rolls
linguine salad
mixed green salad with poppyseed dressing
apple crisp with vanilla ice cream.

yum.

side note: sadie and dustin got married in april, but had a ring ceremony/reception scheduled for saturday night.

15 October 2009

one fine day

my portie is 1 today! i can't believe it. he is such a wonderful sweet boy. he is starting to get into everything!!! i love his snuggles, his smiles, the way he giggles and says mama, dadda, and all done. love that boy.

highlights of the day included a pizza/salad dinner with the kellers, including gma and gpa keller who are visiting from colorado. happy birthday sweet porter!

a year in review



my little thumbsucker- day 1



lovin' the daddy



trying to sit up



4th of july



1 year old

13 October 2009

zoo, zoo, zoo

we go to the pittsburgh zoo. a lot. the boys love it and i love that they run around and get some exercise. except for porter- he doesn't even walk yet, lazy baby, who i love with all my heart. anyway, here are some wonderful pics of our zoo day (from a while ago, notice the shorts and we aren't wearing shorts anymore...) the boys LOVE the new shark exhibit, and of course, we alway head to the play areas to play first. port was cooperative this day and fell asleep, so we saw all the exhibits, even the stinky monkeys. ahh, i love the zoo!

09 October 2009

the prize

i think it is wonderful that president obama won the nobel peace prize. he won the presidency for a reason and he is making great strides towards world peace and helping the citizens of our country become more hopeful during a difficult season. it's an honor.

here's a great article on cnn.

07 October 2009

totally rad

each year in pittsburgh, there are radical days. these are days that different venues throughout the city offer free admission days, activities and performances. on sunday, both the children's museum and the aviary had free admissions, so we took advantage. despite the crowds, we had an amazingly wonderful time together. we parked at a meter then walked to the children's museum, then the aviary, and spent some time as well at a little park on the northside of the city. pittsburgh is a beautiful place and i was happy to spend another fun-filled day with my beautiful boys.



my boys



gryffie posing as always



portie



jonas happy to be playin' in the water