Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend!

This weekend was full of fun!! Friday night I had a Stampin' Up party, which was really fun and well attended. The kids did great as usual, and went to bed early and slept right through the whole thing. Brian has some sides jobs right now, and Friday there was some drama with a subcontractor, so he was out working all night on the job (until about 10:30!).

Saturday morning the kids were introduced to a Shamrock Shake at McDonalds (yum), and Grey tried his first Costco samples (scalloped potatoes, cheese puffs, and apple turnover). Saturday afternoon auntie Noni (Lauren), Grandma B & Meghan (in town for a week) took Kenna and Brooks to their very first live play! They loved it! They waited around after and got to meet all the actors, the kids were thrilled. Then Saturday night after Brian got home from work we had our "Friday" family night (pushed back b/c of the SU class:-), with our home made pizza, Megamind, cheesecake, and a few early birthday presents for the kids from Grandma. Then after all that some friends came over and we played the Wii until waaaaay too late!

Brian had to work all day Sunday too, but when he got home in the late afternoon, he helped the kids start to make their Derby cars for the upcoming Awanas/Cubbies race. A full, fun weekend!!
Brooks: Wow Kenna, what happened to your face?!
Trying to go through instead of around. Big mistake:-)
Helping Daddy cut a car shape out of a wood block!
New Trick - he likes to lay on his tummy and cover his face in bubbles!
The kids got to go to "the shop" at Brian's work for the first time ever, to sand them and prime them with the spray guns. They adored the Daddy time and getting to see his office. This morning Kenna told me how she likes how Daddy's work smells, and that the smell is still in her nose. I told her my Daddy used to work at a place that "made books", and it smelled like paper, and that smell is still in my nose too. 'Cause we love our Daddy's! :-)
They got to see You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, the musical. The only disappointment is that Woodstock was not a part of the cast.
Look! It's a bouncy house! Which means they have pretty much ALL of our blankets and pillows piled up, and they run, jump, and dive!

No Shoes - Video

Grey hates anything more than socks on his feet! His shoe size is now a 5w, but he has yet to ever wear a pair for more than a few minutes. Ever since he's starting walking he wants to walk, sometimes in public places, so he's really going to need to get used to these shoes! I've tried sandals, crocs and running shoes, and they are each met with the same response. He refuses to even stand. On Friday, when I put these little crocs on him, he threw an all out tantrum, screaming and kicking around. I ran to grab the camera and only caught the aftermath of his refusal to move. We try a little each day, still with no luck
video

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Favourite Things

This thing is a life saver! It's a jar opener. I have the Oxo brand, and we bought it at "our" Outlet Mall (in Geneva NY),  when we got married...so it's lasted! And for only a few dollars...it's amazing. I am terrible at opening jars, and this thing makes it super easy. There are a lot of kitchen gadgets that I could live without, but this is not one of them! The Oxo brand items always have squishy handles that are easy to hold & use. If you don't have one, and can never open jars, pop bottles, chocolate syrup once it been used and the lid is glued on there...get one of these babies:-)
Amazing little tool!

Food and Exercise

Last night I made something new...and was it ever good! Bacon wrapped meatloaf. Get the recipe here. In an attempt to convert my husband on to one of my favourite foods, I upped the ante with BACON! He generally considers meatloaf to be "a waste of ground beef", because "it could have been a hamburger". (Good point). But it's just so comfort food yummy!

When I was younger my request for every one of my birthday meals was: Meatloaf, Scalloped potatoes, and creamed corn. Love it! If this would be any indication of our compatibility, Brian 1) dislikes meatloaf 2) hates potatoes in almost every form 3) is allergic to corn. I have a feeling we would have failed to strike up an e-harmony match up, right? :-) I love him, and all his food quirks. Just last week, he told me I should be grateful for his generous critiques of my cooking, as it has turned me into an "exceptional cook". :-)

In any case, the meatloaf was truly delicious. The kids were even asking for "more chicken". Did it convert the distinguished palate of Brian...I don't know. He didn't eat it. He had to work late (2 side projects going on), and one of the homes he was at fed him dinner. Oh well. An excuse to make it again someday!

Ready to go in the oven! It took much longer to cook than the recipes 45 min suggestion, but other than that, it was perfect!
And how am I going to work off that meatloaf? Meet my new best friend. She will help train for the 8k I am running in March, and (crosses fingers) help me lose Grey's baby weight too! I'm very grateful to a friend for loaning this to me so I can run in the comfort of my own home!

Oh Wow - Video

First official words (that he will say on command) - "ooooh, wow". Second is "cuh cuh" for cookie. He will say Mama and Dada randomly but never when asked.
video

Monday, February 21, 2011

Heart Songs

I love this song, because it tells the story of life. When I was 15 years old I remember having a discussion with my family, and expressing that it was completely inconceivable to me, to imagine my life in another 15 years. It's the fun of being young. You can't even imagine how your life will end up! As you age the fun and mystery of this whole thing called life is sort of snatched away...I have a pretty good idea of what my life will look like in 15 years. So life happens...the dreams we held for our futures are met with the realities of daily living, and a balance is struck. But in the end, if we are following the Lord, we end up right in the perfect place we should be. Even if it had never been imagined before.

CLICK TO SEE YOU TUBE VIDEO of Life Happened, by Tammy Cochran

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nothing really...

Random pics...
for some reason he wore his shirt like this...
...for hours. ??
Someone was not a fan of the trampoline! He has been on it one other time, and seemed fine with it. Perhaps this day it was a little too close to naps. He was nervous and very not impressed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tired?

Perhaps you know you're tired when you can no longer play Wii standing up, and have to take a rest in the nearest available seat. Brooks is obsessed with our newest family toy. He literally wakes up asking to play video games. This is kinda cute but mostly annoying:-) I am working on a rewards chart to earn playing time for completed chores, happy heart, happy voice, kindness to others etc. I had something a little too elaborate, so I am simplifying it, so it will be easy to use (=effective).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sippies

From a few days ago...Grey can use a sippy cup, and drink through a straw. Cutie. Yesterday his second top tooth poked through.


Cashew Chicken - Recipe

Valentines Day is made great with some yummy dinner! This recipe is very good, and doesn't take that much prep or cooking time!

1 lb boneless chicken, cut into pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
4 dried red chillies, chopped
2 T vegetable oil
2 T oyster sauce
1 T soy sauce
pinch of white sugar
1 bunch scallions, cut into 2in. lengths
1 1/2 C roasted cashews
cilantro leaves to garnish
Serve over rice

Preheat a wok an heat the oil. Add the garlic and dried chillies to the wok and stir fry over a medium heat until golden. Do not let the garlic burn, otherwise it will taste bitter.

Add chicken to the wok and stir fry until it is cooked through, then add the red pepper. If the mixture is very dry, add a little water.
I used fresh green chillies instead of dried red ones.

Cooking is made more fun with pretty Valentine flowers from Brian!
Stir in the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Add the onions and cashew nuts. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes more, until heated through. Garnish and serve immediately.
This was sooooo good!
More flowers! Thank you Chae!

Root Beer float for dessert. Best ever!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oh, Love...

Oh look...it's my husband! Walt Disney stole his likeness, quirky personality, accident prone-ness and great hair:-)  I love you Brian James, you are just as charming as ever!
Flynn Rider who? This is clearly a picture of my beloved. {he used to dress like that, when he was into the renaissance and man purses. lol}

 This is a picture email I sent to Brian, about 1 month before our wedding! Ancient technology webcam pics, lol

Valentines Memory

A Valentines Memory that will live on, as perhaps the greatest one ever for us. I actually really can't remember how I spent valentines any other year except for this one, so it's definitely notable...

February 14th, 2003. It was the first Valentine's Brian and I had spent together, and we were engaged...and planning a wedding. A few grander ideas for an evening were thrown around, but we decided, in an effort to save money towards the wedding, we would go cheap...

I had heard about a neat little authentic Jamaican restaurant downtown (Toronto), from a co-worker, and it was very reasonably priced. So we would eat dinner there, and then meet up with my brother Jared and his girlfriend (now wife) Liana, for a homemade ice cream cake for dessert.

We arrived, were very pleased with the cost of the items on the menu (around $10 per person), and were enjoying the awesome atmosphere of the place and trying to decide on which dishes to try (we are by no means experts in Jamaican cuisine!). From our table I had a view of the street...

Um..."Where is my car?", I asked Brian. It's right over...there...where is your car? My car is gone!! A glance down the once car lined street revealed almost ALL the cars were gone. Slightly panic stricken, I asked the waiter, where is my car, it was parked right out front...? Oh, she explained. This happens all the time. There is no parking on this street after 7pm. You've been towed.

WHAT! You would think a friendly Jamaican reminder upon our entrance into the restaurant at 6:45 would have been in order. Then perhaps, this would not happen "all the time".


We had only just put our order in for the food. They brought us out a complimentary appetizer for our trouble, and a phone book. We wolfed down our meals with no particular air of romance. We located the tow yard and confirmed my car was there. We called Jared and Liana and told them to enjoy the dessert without us...we'd be very late.

We walked to find an ATM and got cash out. We called a cab. We paid $40 for a cab ride way across the city to retrieve my car. Lamenting at how our cheap date was ending up being very expensive!

At one point during our cab ride Brian says "oh my goodness!! It's Jane St Clair!" What are you talking about? "It's Jane St Clair, from the song! That's cool" Wow. Glad to put a little happiness and excitement in your night there buddy. Like we didn't have enough of it already. But yes, Jane St Clair, (from the song Jane, by the Barenaked Ladies) is named after an intersection...the intersection of Jane and St Clair. It's somewhere in Toronto, in between the Jamaican restaurant and the car compound.

Upon our arrival at the compound, I believe the total tally for car retrieval and parking ticket was $230.00.(Putting the evenings total around $300). I actually think that is THE most expensive date we've EVER had! We didn't get home until 11pm or so, and Jared had already left to take Liana home. Evening basically ruined. Memory forever created.

We actually have another awesome story about driving downtown which resulted in a less-than-perfect day. I'll have to share it some time. It's the story of going to pick out our wedding bands.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Funny funny, food food

This is very hilarious, but not really that short. Read the whole thing here. If you have children older than 2 years old, you will find this very very funny (and true). A friend posted this link on facebook and I just had to share it...too good to pass up!

One of my favourite paragraphs is this one below...my kids are not known for being big eaters, and almost every meal ends with one of them still at the table long after the meal has been over, with a plate of untouched food. And either Brian or I sitting there saying "Pick up your fork. Put it in your mouth. Chew. Swallow. Do it again. Put more on the fork, not just one. Chew it" Sometimes I feel like I am dealing with CHILDREN. Oh wait. I am:-) And aren't they such a joy? Mostofthetime. The battles over eating what you are served without complaint have not yet been conquered...someday:-)

One evening, I asked Kenna what her favourite part was (of the meal), and she said "My favourite part was when you put half to the side and said I only had to eat the other half". Good heavens. And she likes to remind me "Remember when you made me eat that ravioli and I barfed on your shoe?"...it was tortellini, and I believe she brings it up on occasion just to subtly remind me never to serve that again. Mothers, never under-estimate the gag reflex - just saying:-)

Laws Pertaining to Dessert
For we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that is clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then you shall have dessert. But of the unclean plate, the laws are these: If you have eaten most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six peas, eaten where I can see, and you have also eaten enough of your potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can see, then you shall have dessert. But if you eat a lesser number of peas, and yet you eat the potatoes, still you shall not have dessert; and if you eat the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten, you shall not have dessert, no, not even a small portion thereof. And if you try to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around with a fork, that it may appear you have eaten what you have not, you will fall into iniquity. And I will know, and you shall have no dessert.

Girls Names

Another installment of my lifelong obsession...baby names...

I have always had three, and only three names on my girls LOVE list. In order, they are

Shaughnessy
Kennedy
Laken

It was decided that we would use Kennedy first, since it was my maiden name. Laken was stricken from the list by Brian before we even got married. It's still on MY list, but not on OUR list. When I was expecting Brooks, Brian veto'd Shaughnessy, which was a huge disappointment to me. What would we call a girl then? We began making lists of names that we could both live with/liked to some sort of extent.

Some on MY like-list:

Tallasee - Tally
Mattea - Tea
Brittain
Cassidy - Cassy
Zephyr


Some on HIS like-list:

Kimberly
Cassidy
Jodie 
Téa

My list was MUCH longer than his, I've only listed a few here. For awhile we settled on Téa, but then Brian decided he didn't want to use that one. We literally brought the Baby Name book and our lists to the hospital with us (which is murderously last minute for a name-planner like me). In the few days before the baby was born, we tentatively settled on Cassidy Jordyn (Cassy). Basically because they were the only names we could say yes to at least semi-happily, without an argument! But the baby name book came along just in case. God knew all our disagreement was for nothing, since we had a perfect little boy!

But that sure was tough!! On our lists, we basically just crossed referenced to see if anything lined up. I hope I never have to do that again, it wasn't fun!...But it was productive. It lead us to a happy medium between some of my crazy choices, and some of his more traditional ones. 

We've (he has) come to terms with Shaughnessy now, so chances are we'll never have a Cassidy in our family, but we came close!

I don't know what the art of compromise is with names, precisely, but there definitely is one. It could be different for each family. I know one family who each take turns naming the baby. Works for them! I wouldn't choose that for me, because then I could end up with "my perfect name" on one hand, and absolutely "no say" on the other hand. I prefer to come to a meeting in the middle and try to make something work for everybody. It's not always easy. Especially for the spouse of an opinionated name person, like me! He bears it well:-)

Sloppy Joes - Recipe

Simple, quick, and easy! It was dinner last night, and we enjoyed it!

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, cut fine
1 T vinegar
1 t mustard
1 T white sugar
3/4 C ketchup
1 C celery, cut fine

Brown meat and drain, then add other ingredients. Simmer until tender. Serve on hamburger buns.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Boys

Brooks found this green shirt in the folded laundry...it is not his! However, I don't think he ever noticed the rose on it, and can't see it from his vantage point, so he doesn't seem to care that it's a girls shirt. He wanted a green shirt to match his pants. Here's the shirt, and a little sword too.
Lleyton Grey loves to ride his car. Well, as long as someone is pushing him! Love that smile!
Taken on Feb 4th. What happens when Mommy puts you in the jumperoo at 1:15 while putting other children to bed. Sleep is just so hard to avoid:-)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Free No More!

Well, I'm in my 5th year of blogging on My Crazy Life...but I actually started the blog almost a whole year earlier in 2006, when I was bored one day at work. And at the time, I didn't really think I had anything to write about, so I left it alone, and continued to email and upload pics onto a Kodak picture printing site and share that (logging in with my username and all!) with family and friends back home. One day it HIT me. That's what my blog is for! Sharing those pics with my family since we've moved so far away, and to a foreign country and all. And it would save me having to give my login information to everyone in the world. lol.

So last night I got a little notification. I guess 4 years of constantly uploading multiple pics, on an almost daily basis has become a little too much for Google, Blogger, and Picasa. They've seen enough of us! - If I want to continue to upload pics to my blog, I must pay for it...I've maxed out the limitations of the "free" service they provide. Pish Posh. So, seeing as that I do NOT want to go back and delete older pics to make way for newer ones, I was forced to make the decision.

You all should count yourselves as lucky. I am PAYING to put this blog up for your viewing pleasure. Nevermindthefact that it's only $5 per year. I could've bought a frappaccino with that five bucks, but I thought in the end, it was a small price to pay for the preservation of memories, stories, and the ability to share our lives with the people we love most, so they don't miss out on what we do in our part of the world.

So some of my newer blogging friends, this is what you have to look forward to in a few years...You can set aside a little "Google" savings account for the occasion.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ice Cream!

It all started a few days ago...we bought an ice cream maker on a really good sale (for 37.00 shipped...more than 50% off!) It's the best one out there these days. I've wanted for awhile...so here we go. It's sooo easy!

Start with some yummy ingredients...Heavy Cream, Homo Milk, sugar, salt and vanilla.
YES, I am Canadian and will continue to unashamedly call it Homo milk...if this embarrasses you, you are definitely an American. CANADIANS, if you want a red face or a giggle say "Homo Milk" or "Regina" next time you are down south. It's worth it.

Mix the sugar, milk and cream, and let it cool in the fridge

Keep the freezer bowl in the freezer, then it is always ready to make a batch whenever you want! It make 1.5 quarts at a time.

Put it all together, and pour the liquid in through the wide open top. Turn on and it will churn away for about 15-20 minutes.
It's starting to form into real ice cream. This batch, I added some chocolate chips right near the end (at about the 15 minute mark). This is some GOOD ice cream. The kids are in love!!
Our waistlines may suffer! This is soooo yummy and sooo quick and easy (providing you have all the ingredients on hand and the freezer bowl kept in the freezer, you can whip out a batch in 15-20 mins. That's about the same as going to the store, and back for a bucket of frozen deliciousness. You can play around with your own versions (Soy, etc), or make frozen yogurt, custard (I'm trying this next!)...even slushie type drinks. It's fun and great. Now to decide on what flavours we will make for our birthdays coming up!

Snow Day, again - Video

Well, I sort of feel like if I wanted it to snow this much in my winters...I'd still live up north. Last night we were treated to some more heavy wet snow. And school was canceled of course. The snow is almost gone now, at 3:30pm, so it was very short lived. Kenna had to go outside and play in it right away...
Cleaning off the car for me!
Kenna brought in a little snowball for Grey. Of course all he did was eat it:-)
Snow Days are perfect Craft Days! - See my little contained mess - it's only on the stove! Valentines for the kids classmates at church:-)
The {sweet} little end result. Don'tcha love it?

Here is a little clip of Grey, eating his very first snowball!
video
And here is the boy who thinks video games are more awesomer than snow (see the Kids Kwotes on the Right hand sidebar of blog)...playing a little sword fighting (his fave).
video

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Short Story

The Mogul King - an excerpt from Abiding Stories by Michael Wells


I Cor 3:21-23 So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.

In Him I will find everything that I looked for elsewhere in vain. There was a great Mogul King, a very different sort of king. He had been blessed by the loyalty and hard work of his people and was thinking how he might bless them. The king made the decision to take his most favored possessions and place them in the courtyard. He called all the people there and made a proclamation.

"Look around you and whatever catches your eye, go, put your arms around it, and it will be given to you!" The people were very surprised, for the king had placed in the courtyard carriages, vases, one hundred of his best horses, rugs, silver candlesticks, and more. Immediately they each began to put their arms around an object they wanted to take.

The poorest boy in the kingdom stood watching the people and the king. Respectfully, fearfully, the boy approached the king with a question. "Is it true that whatever catches my eye in the courtyard can be mine?" The king answered, "Yes, it is true!" The boy hesitated and spoke again, "Do not be angry with me, but has Your Majesty thought about his offer?" The king said, "Look at the people and see for yourself. Whatever they see and desire in the courtyard is theirs once they put their arms around it. Go and do the same!"

At that, the boy stepped forward and wrapped his arms around the king's legs. The king was surprised and then smiled, "Now that you have me, all that I have is yours!"

I am convinced of this, that in Him we will find everything that we have looked for in other places in vain.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Toothless

Well, Grey is loosing his "Toothless" nickname. Sunday night a top front tooth finally popped through. We're taking in as much of this baby grin as we can. Won't be long until it's full of pearly whites:-)

If you enlarge this one, you can see the barely there little tooth that came in (right side)
This chill-baby is so good. We love him! It's safe to say he's a walker now too!

Wii Play

Sword fighting - first time ever
Brooks was so into it, and swinging so wildly with excitement, that Kenna didn't stand a chance. She was constantly being thrown into the water. We had fun making our Mii's look like us. The kids got to make their own choices...and notice the name. Kenna asked to be Kennedy:-)

Learning how to bowl on a Sunday afternoon!

She's got it! She throws lots of strikes and spares!

Birthdays! - Video

Birthdays are great! They make turning older bearable anyway:-) I got a few surprises, that are semi-birthday related -mostly it's all because of Brian's stolen tools and insurance (long story), but since it was all the week of my birthday, we'll call them my gifts-. So the most exciting one to me personally is MY NEW CAMERA! Wahoo. No more terrible grainy pictures! I basically got a Canon PowerShot, the same as my old one, only the new version, since I was so happy with the old one, and it really lasted so well. Another little bonus is something Brian has been lobbying for for awhile, I think we will count it as ALL of our birthday presents...a Wii! The kids have been having a blast with it!

My camera also takes video, and does a great job! Here is the very first video ever taken, just to test it out. I've Had the Time of My Life...appropriate song choice for my birthday celebration I suppose:-)
video
Brooks counting. We got him away from "free, four, five" but now it's "three, thor, thive". Haha!
video
Lauren found me some Canadian chocolate bars at the World Market! yummmmm, Aero.
Just look at all that airy, bubbly goodness. If you aren't from Canada, you should wish you were. The chocolate and candy there will rock your world. The American options are truly horrible by comparison (haha, ok, not HORRIBLE, but man, you really don't know what you are missing!)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ewww and Owww

Because it's just been entirely too long since we've had a traumatic head injury a la Brian, I give you this:
No, *I* did not "give him this". A hammer did. But the good news is it only needed 3 stitches, and not more. The bad news is the Dr said he might want to shave his head, since it's back in his hairline. The joys of blue collar living! He's all stitched up here, but it randomly bleeds...kinda a lot still.

How To...

...get a 10 month old to give you a hand print. Do not attempt this unless you have:
1. lots of paper to spare
2. lots of patience
3. extreme physical strength
4. a lollipop

Basically it comes down to this: it is impossible to force a baby to open their hand. In the end we got one and only one good print!
It says "These {hands} will hold my {heart} forever". I did Kenna's left hand, since she's a leftie:-)