Saturday, April 30, 2011

Beach Day?

Mom: uuuuh, what are you doing?
Kenna: playing beach set up
Mom: whats with the pine needles on Brooks?
Brooks: I'm sleeping in the sand!
ooooookkk!

Friday, April 29, 2011

First Kiss - Video

Perhaps more about my Royal Obsession with the Monarchy at another time. It's being passed down quite nicely to my daughter, who has been talking of weddings all day! Kenna's favourite part was the "first kiss" as she calls it. We waited and waited to see them come out on the balcony this morning at 8:25am est. She had lots of questions about my wedding, and if they were similar (HA!). So you can compare our first kisses. I think we win, hands down :-)

This was their wedding kiss...
...this was ours. True Love.
video

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Anything Cuter?

Is there really anything cuter than chubby bubby baby feet in little tiny flip flops?! Every time I catch a glimpse of those cankles and toes, I just can't help but smile!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Week - Video

Well, it's a new week! After our "almost" spring break (still had Ardyn & Sonny at various times), we are trying to get back into the swing of things! Allergy season has been upon us for some time now. Kenna has been complaining almost constantly about her ears. Last night I finally took her to the doctors, and he said both ears are completely full of fluid. She's on Nasonex and Zyrtec for one month to help clear it up. He said it's essentially an ear infection, but the infection is not really the problem, just all that fluid (she's not had a fever or anything). Anyway, we're hoping this clears up for her within the month! The pollen around here really is something to behold. I'm surprised the rest of us can handle it without meds, really!

Just a few random things - here's Grey. He still thinks that bouncy is for him. He "surfs" on it! I need to make sure he doesn't try to climb in when Ardyn is in it!
video
Some organizing stuff. Mail always by the door...hmmm. Why don't I put it in that basket? Do you really think we need TWO baskets full of winter hats and mitts for our once a year snow? Nah. We're down to one now, so I have a place to throw all these random collections.

The "wooden box". It's supposed to be a keepsake or heirloom box (from the Bombay Co.), it's gorgeous, and pretty big. I have it sitting out on the tv cabinet...for hiding remotes! However, it was getting so full of "remotes" that it was hard to close!
This is everything I pulled out of the box that doesn't need to be in there! Crazy.
Brooks wrote this himself. His handwriting is improved SO much since Christmas. He's such a sharp little guy!
His last name is a combo of his first and last name, I guess.
Some reading practice. Notice the mayhem in the background. Thank you Brooks and Jack. In fact, moments later they were both put on time out for whipping a ball in the house (overhand. BOYS!)
video

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter! - Video

Grey got a bouncy ball, since he can't eat all that candy! Here is a little sample of how he talks to us in his gibberish. Lots of inflection and meaning in those non-words. Kenna did this too, but Brooks did not.
video
A pic with Auntie! She blinked! But Grey's face was too cute not to post!
We enjoyed going to church (Kenna's class got to hit a pinata for candy), Kenna loves her puffy dress! We then came home, threw the turkey in the oven, ate a small lunch and took naps. When everyone woke up, the turkey was ready, and so were the mashed potatoes! We headed over to Lauren's next door for an outdoor Easter egg hunt. The kids loved it!
It was about 90 degrees outside, and there were a few hidden Cadbury eggs, that of course got completely melted. Kenna refused to even pick them up, calling them "rotten", haha! Amazing to think that last Easter, Grey was only a few weeks old! (it was much earlier in the season last year. I want to figure out how they pick the dates each year!)
Brooks was the champion Easter Egg finder. He FILLED his basket, and then almost filled Grey's too. Kenna wandered aimlessly and couldn't seem to find anything, even if it was pointed out to her. Brooks had laser vision for all things candy.
The bummer was not being able to eat anything until AFTER they'd had dinner (which was yummy!)
Best Buddies!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Daddy's "Back"

After working like crazy on his various jobsites ("real" work, not side work!), we're happy to have our Daddy back in the evenings! No one can resist piling up and snuggling:-)
I love all those precious little round faces. All my blue eyed Bolgers!

Studious

When he's not allowed to play the Wii, he spends his time "reading the case".

Dog Cake

A friend asked me to make a cake for their little girls party, which is today. She asked me to put a dog on top. I immediately had a little vision, for a small dog's head (round cake), and then just decorate it for the face and maybe have floppy fondant ears coming down or something. Then she sent me a pic of what she wanted done...an old english sheepdog...the entire body! I told her I wasn't sure if I could do it. I am by NO MEANS an artist of any sort. Anyone knows I can't even draw stick people! But, as a people pleaser, I didn't want to let her down. I had to figure it out!!

Making the dog, using fondant, and (drum roll please)...a garlic press!!
I pressed little balls of fondant through the garlic press, and then applied all the little tuffs to the fondant dog I "sculpted". It really looks a little more like a bear in it's face, but the point is made. I think you can tell it's supposed to be a dog. In any case, it's cute, right?!
Bake and stack 8 cakes (4 per tier). We have lots of people to feed! The lower tier is chocolate with raspberry buttercream, and the top tier is vanilla with raspberry buttercream. Then do the crumb coat. This is always the hardest part for me...doing the sides. I have never taken a cake decorating class, I just wing it!...but I think formal instruction would greatly help me here. This is my first tiered cake. I used dowel rods in the bottom layer to support the top and keep it from sinking. Dontcha love how I do my experiments, not knowing if and how it will turn out, on things for other people. It's all about the confidence. I just knew I could do it. And thankfully I could! :-)
Crumb coated

Covered in pink fondant
Let the decorating begin! In this case it was pretty simple, they wanted a bow, polka dots, and I added the little 2's for her age. I thought it was cute:-)

Cute, right? I was very happy with how it turned out! It still has aspects that I consider not perfect, but it's an acceptable job...nothing I'm embarrassed by anyway!

In two weeks I will be making a similar cake (cake wise, 2 tiers), only it will be a princess castle for a 5 year old! Stay tuned for pics!
aw, he's smiling at me:-)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Favourite Things

Lets get Naked folks! At Costco, you can get 64 oz of Green Machine for 6.99. At my store, this is the only flavour they carry in a big size. These little guys usually go for 14.49 (again, at Costco), however, they put out Costco coupons, or you can use a manufacturers coupon to bring the cost lower. I recently got the multi-pak (10, 10oz each), for 10.99 with coupons. This is nice, as this juice is a treat...to expensive for me to buy on a regular basis. However, it is healthy and delicious. The Green Machine one is actually my favourite flavour, and includes ingredients like broccoli, barley green and garlic! If you know me, you know I wouldn't eat it if it wasn't completely good! It is one "processed food" that is very natural (it is pasteurized, but there are no other additives), which is so nice in our current "high fructose everything" world.
Anyway, I'm sure you've all tried a Naked juice at least once, but if not, see if you can get a coupon and treat yourself!...or buy a very overpriced one next time you are stuck in an airport somewhere:-) OR, if you like Naked juice, (Green Machine, 6.99), and do/would purchase it on a regular basis, Costco has the best everyday price on it, hands down, so shop there!

Notice how my favourite things are kind of like ads, lol. I just hate to highlight something I love without telling you how you can get your own!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peepshi

I saw this adorable idea online a little while ago, and I mentally filed it away for the Easter season. It's like dessert sushi...made with Peeps. So Peepshi! It's the only kind of sushi I will personally eat (not a fan, but Brian likes it). Anyway, here's how you do it!

Make a batch of rice krispie treats, and lay out in a very thin "sheet" (not thick like you would for the squares). Then let it set (harden up) for a little while. Cut into little strips.

Buy Froot by the Foot, or Fruit Roll Ups. Cut into strips if they aren't already.

Start by murdering your peeps. Decapitation is really the quickest way. Ignore their cries and pleas. Just get it done.
It does not help with Kenna standing next to you, saying in her best birdie voice "no! no! I beg of you. I beg of you!". Yes, she really did. Talk about guilt!
Dead Peeps
Take some peep appendages, and wrap in the rice krispie treats. Then wrap the Fruit Roll Up around everything to secure it, and you're done! This is pretty sticky. Keep some butter handy to use on your hands!
I made lots of different kinds of Peepshi, I wish I knew what the real sushi names were, so I could come up with cuter alternatives.

I cut up only 3 peeps in each colour. This, and a regular recipe of krispie treats will give you about 4 plates worth of Peepshi (like the dinner plates I used). So it's a little time consuming, but really cute and fun!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekend Update

Nothing better than hanging out on a gorgeous weekend doing pretty much nothing except enjoying each others company!
Izzy the Lizzy in her "terrarium". There is an umbrella for shade, a rock to climb on, and a real plant, for food:-)
Testing out a flavour combo, and making sure my raspberry buttercream recipe is awesome...made these little gems for a friends party. He is one of Brian's very best friends in the area, and is about to be deployed for a year. His departure in a few weeks will leave Brian very close to friend-less (local close friends anyway), as almost all his best buds are deployed. Sad. Brooks also has a special bond with this particular friend. We'll miss him!
At the going away party - a tree fell over in their yard! So glad we were all in the house and safe! There was a storm, high winds and tornado watches/warnings!

Nothing like sleeping through a sermon:-) Yes, I know he's too big for this old seat...I keep it in the trunk and use it, because he will sleep in it anywhere. It's great!!
pic from my phone
Picnic time with all the stuffties! Kenna is really getting into playing restaurant, taking orders, serving and clearing dishes. Cute! I remember doing that when I was young too:-)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shoeless Joe...

no more! Look who is over his phobia of shoes! He's in a toddler size 5, and that 6 is not far off as some of the 5's are pretty snug!
Wearing one of Brooksie's shirts (4T)!

Sports Obsessed - Video

When I say that Brooks is sports obsessed...well, I mean OBSESSED. It's his overwhelming desire to conquer every sport he hears about. Even ones that are beyond his 3-almost-4-year-old abilities, like ping pong. Can we just throw a ball? Yah, thats kinda old news now. What we really want to do is throw it like "a man does". Like an actual baseball pitcher. I'm not really sure of the talent level here, but the determination is something to behold:-) Being such a good mom, I video him, so he can watch and see what he looks like. He likes to say "Excellent technique!" when he feels he's done a perfect throw. LOL. This kid is too much!
video

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Cookies

{back story} Brian's work has him as a superintendent on a job at the World Trade Center. Yes. There is one here. No. I did not know that before last week. Strange. Now I wonder if all cities have one and I am the only one not to realize this, making me, once again, (as I've always been), a bit of a ditz. In any case, it's a rush job for whatever reason, they need to be in and out really quick. Which means he works 'round the clock. They will be done any time now, tonight he said all the workers were willing to stay until it's done. He's been working on this schedule: 20 work, 4 hours sleep, since last Friday. Naturally, now he's sick, has almost no voice, and will not answer his phone (distractions!). I haven't seen him before 2am in what feels like ages, but has really only been less than a week. I'm telling you, that man is a hard worker. My goodness. He's not the type of super that hangs around babysitting a jobsite, he works hard and does anything, and everything along with the subs. I know he hates the long hours and can't wait to be home (same here!), but his dedication and work ethic are more than admirable, that is for sure!

{the actual important story} Since Brian's been gone for a few nights in a row, I've been doing girl stuff. Chick flick every night, doing my nails, Kitchen Boss, Cake Boss, House re-runs. I've recently gotten 2 requests from friends to do a cake for their little girls birthdays. One on the 23rd, and one on the 5th. One of the cakes is going to be a castle cake. Of course I am up for the challenge, but petrified of things looking terrible. I decided for the one cake, I would need to learn how to do royal icing flowers. Just the simple ones, the teeny little stars. So I decided to bake sugar cookies last night. We decorated them today, with my very first batch of royal icing! Turned out very well. I practiced lots of flowers. This is going to be fun!
So pretty! Almond sugar cookies, with royal icing piped around the edges, dried, and then "flooded" in the middle
It makes a pretty big mess in the end!
Yummy. Very very yummy!

Birth Days! - Video

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday! Happy Birthday, we love you!! Here's a little birthday song.

video
...little did we know that some one else was having a birth day too!! Lauryn (my sis), hit my little brother Lehman's birthday last month with the birth of Kayla, and my sister in law Chantelle hit my dad's birthday with the birth of this little man...
Keaton Asher, 8lbs 6oz and 20in long

Dad and Brent...add another generation of Kennedy men with little Marshall and Keaton!
So congrats to Brent, Chantelle & Marshall, and happy birthday to Dad and Keaton!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chubs!

I gotta post it! Before he gets as skinny as a stick. He's been slimming down rapidly, as did the other two at a similar age. He's still a tank, don't get me wrong, he's just losing all that baby chub that I/we/everyone loves so much. With the weather being so great, he has discovered the joy of outdoor play and he loves it! It means lots of dirt and lots of baths though too. Nothing like running around naked after a tubby!
A fun way to start a Monday? With a bouncy house! Thanks to a friend from church, we have this little gem, which is very perfect for the younger kids. Sonny was in heaven. Clapping and laughing his head off! It's a lot safer for the littles than our big trampoline is. I'll have to set it up outside this summer for Grey and Sonny, only.
It looks like I have them in a cage. Not far off really:-)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kennedy Shea

Another installment of my lifelong obsession with names!

I love a hundred boys names. I've loved only 3 girls names as long as I can remember. Actually, not true. When I was really young (10-12 years old), my fave names were Delanie and Danette. bahhah! I like to say I've matured. So we'll say, "as long as I can remember" starts at 15:-) I've kept a running names list since 1997, when I was 18 years old. Every year, I add to it, as I hear of a new name I like. For 4 years in a row, there are only 3 names on that list on the girls side:

Shaughnessy
Kennedy
Laken

I didn't know/had barely met Brian when I was 18. I certainly didn't know I would marry him. Or that he was such a stick in the mud. When it comes to naming people anyway. I really had my heart set on these names!! Thankfully, he was good with Kennedy. It was my maiden name for goodness sake, so it would have been especially cruel to take that away from me, right? But not quite as cruel to dash my other hopes and dreams...Laken. Out. Shaughnessy. Out. He is 100% Irish. I thought for sure he would have some appreciation for my beloved Shaughnessy.

Apparently not all the Irish are fans of their propensity for strange spellings and words that sound shorter than they actually are...

I've had a few middle name choices for the other names, but I was stuck with Kennedy. I didn't have anything I both loved, and/or thought sounded great with it. Enter Brian. He jumped a thousand cool-name-notches in my book when he solved that dilemma. And it only took him about 2 minutes. What about Shea? Love. It's Irish, it's a family name on his side. Perfect. And the Mets played at Shea Stadium (his baseball team). Even better:-).


So our firstborn daughters name was determined before we were even married. And now we have a little girl with three last names. And they're all Irish. (Aside from the side note that "my" Kennedy line is more Scottish than Irish, but whatever, it's both Scotty and Irish, and most people automatically think of the Irish Kennedy's). And we gave her a nickname to feminize it, cutesy it up, and make it baby girl-ish...Kenna.

More about my belovin' Shaughnessy in another post, stay tuned! (My kids say belovin' instead of beloved in a few of their memorized Bible verses, I think it's cute)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Teach Your Children Well...

I came up with a really "fun game" today. Kenna was asking for a Cadbury Creme Egg (girl after my own heart!)...I said she'd have to wait until Easter. She said she wished she could buy her own. Idea is born:

Do you want to make some money to buy whatever you want? Of course she does. Is it really ever too early to instill the value of a dollar?

Here is what you have to do. Fill up this bucket with pinecones, and I will give you a penny for every pinecone picked up. They loved this idea and got straight to work...
Notice Jack is the only one not pausing for a photo op and continuing to work:-)
I might insert here that this idea is not original to me. However, I do consider myself *slightly* kinder than my Mom, as I am not asking them to pick up roofing nails from the grass and flowerbeds in the blistering summer heat (after getting a new roof). Nor am I asking them to remove rocks, in a yard that is completely bedrock (after getting a new septic tank). And all for a penny per. Granted we were older, but that nail thing was killer:-)
Hard at work!!
They filled up a bucket! We went to throw the pinecones out, and practiced our counting...107 pinecones! So I determined that they would get $1 for every bucket filled (mostly to save me from counting/handling each pinecone again, since they are too young to reliably count their own). They filled 3 buckets, for approximately 300 hundred pinecones, and $1 each. Good job kids!!! You can't even tell however. They could pick up 300 pinecones every day of their lives and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. We have thousands and thousands of pinecones...with thousands more, ready to drop. If they could pick them all up, I'd be broke!!
Just look at all those pinecones up there (click to enlarge, you can see them)!! We have 14 of these massive Virginia pines on our little lot.
So my kids will probably have horror tales someday of the literally never ending 'pick up the pinecones game'...and all for a penny! But I'm sure that Creme Egg will taste so much sweeter after all that hard work! They are ready with their money in envelopes for the trip to Walmart! (We also had fun learning and counting all our coins out to one dollar. Lots of skip counting practice:-)

I promise you, if I ever buy another house, it will have NOT A SINGLE TREE ON THE LOT. Not even a pretty one. Nothing. I am over trees in every way possible:-)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Today

Look who's almost done her kindergarten reading program. Only 8 more books (& stickers) to go!
Playing outside!
Hitching a ride, notice Kenna off to the right, pulling the car with a rope:-)
Everybody loves throwing balls at the strike zone target for practice. Boys are so fun!
Jack was really peeved that Sonny couldn't make it go with him in the back:-)