Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Reflections

The following is our Christmas Letter for 2009, for anyone who is interested! HOPEFULLY my cards will be in the mail on Monday!

Once again, the hustle and bustle of the holidays is upon us. And, in the midst of baking gooey cinnamon rolls and sipping warm, strong coffee, I am reminded of the importance of taking the time to gratefully reflect on this past year.

God has blessed our family in many ways. Nat and I continue to be amazed at God’s grace and faithfulness in our lives. In Him we find our hope and joy, and we are humbled that God chooses to teach us and use us together as a couple in His service.

Nat is serving as the associate pastor of Germantown Hills Baptist Church. We both enjoy ministering in this area, and we couldn’t ask for a better, more loving church family. We are honored to serve with them.

I am enjoying my role as a stay-at-home mommy. It is a blessing to be able to devote my time to my boys and to Nat and his ministries. In my spare time (ha, ha!) I am teaching piano lessons, occasionally freelancing for Crossway books, writing, and sewing. I enjoy these opportunities greatly, and I appreciate my husband’s household help in the busy times!

Jack is now seven and absolutely loves first grade at Germantown Hills Elementary School. He is thriving in his class, and his love for reading and learning is starting to spill over at home. He is one of my piano students and is doing well, though he would rather “create” his own songs instead of practicing from his lesson books.

Andrew is now four, and his main goal in life seems to be to keep us all on our toes. He has an active imagination, and he is learning (sometimes ever so slowly) to curb his temper and to obey with a happy heart. He loves to sing and play, and he still seems to be a die-hard Cubs fan. (Yes, the rest of this Kealen household prays that he will come around to the Cardinal side of life!)

Well, that is about it for the Kealen family. To see pictures of us and our crazy lives, visit our family blog,

We love you all!

Nat, Erin, Jack, and Andrew

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Test for our Christmas Drama

So I wrote another play for our Christmas Dessert Theatre, and there is a short scene on the play where the kids are visiting the blog of a missionary who works with an orphanage in Africa. Baptist Children's Home has graciously allowed us to use some of their images for this quasi blog, so this is a test to see if it will look okay onscreen at our church.

Here it goes!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Vacation, Part One

We spent a long weekend with some friends at Lake Michigan.

The boys loved the icy water.

The sunsets were breathtaking.

We had a wonderful and relaxing visit. The only downside was that Jack developed Strep throat while we were there. Poor Peanut was sooo sick! We did get a few pictures of him at the water, but he spent most of his time enjoying the view from the sunroom in the cabin.
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Vacation, Part Two!

Jack and Andrew on the beach.

The view from the steps of our friends' cabin.

Lake Point Sable Lighthouse, about a mile from the cabin.
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Friday, May 29, 2009

Sneak Peek. . .

I hope to finish this today (most likely tomorrow), then I will post details and the finished product soon!
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On to First Grade!

Congratulations, Jack! You have now finished kindergarten!
You have done so well this past year; mommy and daddy are so proud of you!

Thank you so much, Mrs. Ringenberg! You were a great teacher, but more importantly, you were a godly influence in Jack's life.

First grade, here we come!

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

We love you and miss you very much!

Nat, Erin, Jack, and Andrew

Friday, May 01, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lauren!

I wish, I wish, I WISH we could be there this evening to have a cupcake with you on your birthday!
I hope you have a very special birthday today! We love you, Lauren, and are looking forward to you visiting us this summer during VBS!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Photos, Take One!

"Okay, Jack first! Good job smiling, Jack!"

"Now it's Andrew's turn! Andrew, put your shirt down!"

"Andrew, stand up straight, please!"
(oh brother!)
"Okay, let's try one of you two together."

"Jack, please don't touch your brother. Andrew, can we try to get just one picture!??!?!?!"

"Just one?!?!?!"

I hope Jennifer had better luck with her camera!
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Fun with Family

Uncle Bob, Aunt Debbie, and Jennifer stayed with us over Easter weekend. We spent Saturday at camp.

Jennifer brought her camera, and thankfully she got some great photos of the boys. However, until I can get my grubby paws on her amazing work, you will have to settle for my feeble attempts at capturing the moments of the day.

Aunt Debbie is so much fun! After helping me bake all morning, she still had energy to help Andrew with his plane.

I don't think Andrew's plane took flight, but he sure had fun running around with it!

Jack quickly got the hang of his little glider. He was able to get it in the air quite a bit that afternoon.

Ah, another missed opportunity for a good picture of Andrew. As soon as he spotted me lifting the camera, the cute little grin turned into the growl and laughter that soon followed!

Here is Andrew with Uncle Bob. Poor uncle Bob had to sleep in our tiny guest room on our full mattress.
Next time you come, Uncle Bob, I will try to stretch the mattress another 3 or 4 feet! :-)
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Feedin' the Horses

Nat needed some "horse byproduct" for our flower beds, so we made a trip to feed the horses with Camp Grandpa.

The boys and Daddy took a break to check out the minnows and tadpoles in the creek.

We are so blessed to live by Camp Manitoumi. The boys have so much fun "working" with Grandpa.
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Eggciting Events!

We had so much fun decorating Easter eggs with Great Grandma and Grandpa Kealen!

Andrew with his never-natural-looking camera pose!

Jack with another not-natural smile.

Grandpa, lookin' all spiffy with his egg.

Doesn't Grandma seem proud of her creativity?!?!
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Friday, April 03, 2009

Easter dresses

I had sew much fun working on these dresses for my nieces!
This is Emma's dress.

The skirt has netting sewn to the lining. What a chore, but the results are really cute!

I have never sewn a zipper in a lined dress before, so that was a new experience for me.

Now, I can't wait to get some pictures of them in their dresses on Easter Sunday!
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Happy Birthday, Mary!

There are some people in this world whose very presence make the world a bit cheerier, whose smile warms the coldest of days, and whose sweet spirit makes everyone around them a better person.
When I think of such a person, I think of my big sister, Mary.
And whenever I think of her, I remember how she used to sing to me.
I remember how she used to make me tapes when we lived so far apart.
I remember how much I missed her, and how I would sit by the tape recorder and make her tapes. And when I couldn't think of anything to say, I would pat the tape recorder and say, "I love you, Mary."
I remember going to visit her in her little trailer in Rossville, Georgia.
I remember crying every time I had to say goodbye to her.
I remember her patience as she taught me to sew.
I remember all her godly counsel and Bible verses set to cheery songs, like "Wait on the Lord, and be of good courage!"

And always, always, always, I remember her smile.

And when I remember, I smile and thank the Lord for giving me such a godly example in my life.

I love you, Mary!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Little Sewin'

I am working with my SIL on Easter dresses for my nieces. The first one took For. Ever. (I became good friends with my seam ripper, and I realized how much I don't like to follow patterns.)

The second is coming along a zillion times faster.

My goal? Finish the second dress today, sew the last curtain for the ladies room at church, then work on the last Easter dress.

I will post pictures soon!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Finally Home!

As you can read below, we had a great time in Quincy. It was a bit stressful at times, but it was really a lot of fun. I missed Nat terribly, though, and wondered if he thought of me while we were apart.
Come to find out, he did!
When we got home, the first thing I noticed was the immaculate house. Then, as I walked upstairs, I noticed this.

I had already put up the vinyl lettering, "All because two people fell in love," but I couldn't figure out what pictures to hang up on the wall.
Well, Nat chose the pictures, bought the beautiful frames, and hung them up.
Yes, I cried when I saw them.
And then, I thanked God for the wonderful family He gave to me.
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Play Ball, Part 2

Andrew wanted to play ball too, but didn't quite get it.
"Andrew, hold the bat on your shoulder."

"Well, almost. Let Grandpa help."

"There ya go, buddy!"
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