Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sparks!

Last night was a first for Kenna! She was "clubber of the night" at Sparks, which means she said more verses than all the other Kindergarteners! Slight disadvantage to the other children...we were sick last week, so she had 2 weeks worth of stuff to recite (5 verses I believe!). Anyway, she was still very proud of herself (and wasn't boasting but still...), which plummeted Brooks, in the "lowly" Cubbies club, into the depths of despair. He wishes he could say the most verses.

Recently, everything has become a competition between these two...who is better, who is smarter, who is taller...they self declare the "winner", and the other one is in tears. So many life lessons to be learned between these best friends! Some day they'll be happy for each other, instead of seeing it all as a challenge to be the best.
It was sports theme at Awanas...the only time she's ever been happy to wear "boys clothes"

Meet your competition. One of them has their clothes on inside out. Kenna = 1, Brooks = 0. ok ok, I'm not helping:-D
Random pic from today.
The happy hat people!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Candle Day

Dinner time! Earlier in the day, Kenna found a teeny little candle in the candle basket in the garage. I said she could have it. Amazing how kids, even when they don't know the term "candlelight dinner", or even really what that is...they invent it "for the first time". Brooks says, why don't we turn out all the lights Kenna? Yah! It's a happy candle day! Thankfully the garage light was on (for a very dim backlight), because, we essentially ate in the pitch black
The little candle, lighting our dinner. The match is there beside it. That is how small it is!
This was one of those nights where I was glad that Brian was working late and not home yet...it was incredibly hard to see...anything. Like when we were kids, and attempted the candlelight thing...my Dad always turned the lights on (ruining the fun), because he "couldn't see his food". Well, you know how they say you marry people like your Dad? Brian wouldn't have enjoyed the lack of visible scenery as much as the kids did, I'm sure of it:-)
He likes to sit at the table with us now, on a stool. He gets a little offended at the high chair.

I can't see my food. From this light it looks like dog food, actually. It's really good, promise!
This is what happens when the sensibility of Daddy is gone. Things deteriorate quickly. The little flame, along with all the mosquitoes flying around the house, got me thinking of campfires. Do you know how to roast marshmallows? You've never had one? I can fix that! Little candle, little marshmallows, toasted in a variety of ways, from light brown, to burned black (my fave). It was really easy too. I didn't need to trouble myself with straightening out a clothes hanger.
Brooks, the only child who shares my love of the fire engulfed 'mallow, told me I was "the best ever". Yes, I told him, I might just be :-)

Please don't tell me that we've somehow ingested carcinogens with our haphazard cooking method. I did consider the possibility that it might not be the "same kind of fire", as a real campfire. (As even by that very statement I have likely proved, I know NOTHING about fire). But I figured off-setting that with using a clean fork, instead of a branch from a tree that has possibly been peed on...we'd live. So far so good.

Pacifist

Isn't this shirt (on Ardyn, the baby girl I watch) just the most hilarious?!
With the fit she gave me over this particular diaper change, I would say this is not a view to which she personally subscribes :-D

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Moves Like Jagger - Video

You may wonder where my kids get all their "awesome" dance moves, since their mother is so rhythmically challenged. Answer: Their father. I swear Grey is copying all his breakdance moves, lol. He may have the moves like Jagger, but I think he's got some Elvis hips too!

We like to put the cable tv onto the radio stations and the kids dance around to what they hear. Grey was cracking us up with his 'floating karate' arm moves, and then gave up on dancing until he heard this song play! He was right back in the groove, making us smile:-) Around 57 seconds is my fave part!
video

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Favourite Things

Dry Erase! Isn't it the best thing ever invented? 
This calendar - on the fridge - has a clingy back. You can stick it anywhere!
I find it a really great and easy organizational tool...that saves me some paper!
Using this in combo with Say Mmm, keeps my weekly dinner plans in front of me
I have dry erase markers - the caps are magnetic - so they are always right there! The cap also holds an eraser.
I find it keeps my fridge a little more clutter free. We jot it all down on the clingy dry erase boards! (They could stick to a wall, too)
Another thing I find it great for is KIDS and school! Also a huge paper saver! There are letter tracing books and flashcards made for dry erasing, and so it makes it very easy to set the kids up to write away, wipe it off, and do it again tomorrow! These are a few of the school items I use that are dry erase.
Oh look, a sideways picture and me, lacking the motivation to fix it and re-load. Twist your neck and you'll see what it would look like right side up.
As I was shopping this summer for school supplies, I saw this little gem in Walmart. (Crayola Dry Erase Crayons). Interesting and neat. I decided to try it out for their writing boards (I had some issues last year with the kids using the markers on paper or leaving the caps off).

Perhaps a week later, a commercial for this very product came on tv. Brian said with an air of what a money grabbing product, "Good grief. I hope you never buy that".

{Uh oh! Little did he know that it was already tucked neatly away with the school books, and that it didn't even take a commercial to convince me of their usefulness.}

I probably should have mentioned that I already did buy them. But he spoke the words with the same disdain as when he declared we "would never be watching Toddlers & Tiaras" after seeing a commercial about that show. So in a peace keeping effort, I didn't say anything. I didn't want to defend them, since I hadn't used them yet. And I've never seen Toddlers & Tiaras. And he's ok with the crayons now:-)
So, in defense of my purchase, and for the record, dear husband - This is really not a money grabbing product, it's amazing! I actually like them better than the markers. They are much easier to erase! The kids love them, and it comes with a glove to erase, so it's fun to rub it all off, and the crayons don't leave the residue that the markers do. SOLD!

Dry erase forever!

Sick Week - Video

Sickies! We've had a strange brand of the flu, I suppose. On the weekend Kenna & Brooks were sick (barfing) in the middle of the night. Then they were fine. Monday evening Sonny threw up for his mom at home. Tuesday morning Brian threw up. Tuesday night Brooks threw up again. Wednesday night Grey threw up, and Brooks threw up. Thursday night - BARF FREE. I'm really hoping that trend continues! I got such good sleep last night!

The strange thing about this virus is that they have no fevers, and their energy & behaviour is totally normal - as is their eating - and then barf in the night. Weird. Hoping its over, however, it is nice that they aren't feeling sick with fever and aches and stuff. It's also nice that I have felt fine!

Wednesday night Grey was up quite a bit (as was Mommy), and so he was beyond tired on Thurs. He napped twice and for loooong times, and then went back to bed around 6 because he was soo tired again. He woke up around 9:30 for some snuggles. We didn't know if he wasn't feeling well, but he seemed fine. After a few snuggles he went back down and slept until 7am, yay!
"computer" time with Daddy

Also watching Person of Interest on tv, while "emailing" with Barbie

Waving good bye to Daddy this morning
Grey loves to run! He will literally run around the Jumperoo as long as Ardyn is in it. It's quite entertaining for her:-) This is from earlier in the week, maybe Monday. I am just now getting around to editing it for time and posting:-)
video

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two Weddings

...then came marriage! With all the official wedding pics in from both sides of the family...and posted to facebook...I just had to steal 'em! Of course I loved all ten thousand of them, but picked a few faves (also trying to include other family members too!)


This is my beloved, and this is my friend... - Song of Solomon 5:16


Logan Braden Trevor & Kari Lynn. The best of friends.
Love, you know, seeks to make happy rather than to be happy - Ralph Connor


Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be... - Robert Browning
Cute!
I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you - Roy Croft

Kari, Logan, Mom & Dad Kennedy
"We'll be friends forever, won't we Pooh?" asked Piglet. "Even longer" Pooh answered. - A.A. Milne
Davis (22), Logan (20) & Kaden (18). Three brothers, three men. They'll always be the "Little Boys" in my heart

Came but for friendship, and took away love - Thomas Moore
Davis, getting Logan ready to watch his bride walk down the aisle and into his arms forever

Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero - Marc Brown
All of my handsome brothers. Kaden, Brent, Logan, Jared, Davis & Lehman
_________________________



May they never take each others love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims, out of all this world, you have chosen me. - Prayer for the Bride and Groom
Jacob & Ann
Love is patient, love is kind...love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres - I Cor 13:4-7
Meghan & Lauren, bridesmaids and sisters
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much - Helen Keller
The groomsmen, goofing off. Brian and Jake's brother, Caleb

Where thou art, that is home - Emily Dickinson

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother - Theodore Hesburgh
Dad & Mom Bolger
Some moments are worth several lifetimes - Anon
This is my favourite of all the husbands, of course:-) I love that silly man! Parasol and all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dy-no-mite - Video

Well, lets just say they can dance better than their Mom. The hilarious impromptu dance choreography was super cute. From the mouthing of the words to the sheer distraction of so many "awesome" moves going on, all at the same time. They are both a total crack up, but you almost can't watch them together, you have to watch Kenna, and then watch Brooks, to really see their faces and everything. Just another you tube moment at our house!
video

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Barthing and Barthing

Saturday night I went to a benefit gala with my friend Chae. Her hubby is deployed, so I was her +1. It was really fun, I borrowed one of her fancy "ball gown" type dresses, and she paid for us to get our hair done too! It was really nice, relaxing and we ate amazing food! Then when I got home (around 11:30), and was almost asleep (midnight)...Kenna barfed in her bed. Ick. Baths. Laundry. Then Brooks barfed around 1, and then Kenna had another one around then too (thankfully in the bucket!). Joy joy joy.

So we obviously had to skip church, Brian was also feeling "off", but the kids were acting normal by the morning. To burn off some energy and not share our germs we went to the Botanical Gardens for the morning. Fun family times.

Kenna, describing her "wake up call" in the middle of the night...: I just started barthing, and I couldn't stop! I was barthing and barthing
Brooks, pay attention!

Odd poses with the two in the back, and Grey's one piece is stuck in his leg fat. Aren't we a lovely crew.

Hitching a ride!
The kids had such a fun day with Daddy! (even though he wasn't feeling 100%, he was a good sport!). We came home for NAPS! We all slept well:-) Here's hoping we're done with the sickies!
Getting treated by Daddy!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Boys Room

Dreaming of another bedroom remodel! Not really, actually. Let me 'splain...THE BOYS. I will keep their room green (the same as it has been since it was Kenna's). I heart those colours and couldn't bear to change them yet.

Trying to think of what the 'contrast' colour should be. This will depend on what bedding I can find when we are ready to set up their twin bunk beds! Blue & Brown like this?
The green in there is the perfect shade!

Not sure I want polka dots long term for my little men though...:-/ Maybe just a solid black as the contrast? That would be cool I think.

As they age, I want to theme the room around something...sports is the immediate thought, since Brooks is such a sports nut. But this is some inspiration, and I think it just might come out on top in the pile of ideas.

click to enlarge, this is incredible! My brother is a phenomenal artist.
My brother Brent drew this picture years ago and gave it to me. It's stipple art...the picture is comprised of millions of dots (no lines at all, only dots). He used a regular ink pen! TALENT. It's so stunning. And it's a cowboy. What a great theme. I might have it re-framed and matted, but I love the picture. With cowboy names like Brooks & Grey, I think it could be a neat theme, with some old boots and pieces of tack or something...

There is a company my friend has used, that makes vinyl wall art...you can customize your own sayings or letters, if you don't like theirs. Something like this might be perfect for boys, both young and old.

We ride and never worry about the fall. I guess that's just the cowboy in us all - Tim McGraw

An idea is born! Lets see where it takes us! Gathering inspiration and ideas at this point.

Here's a close up of all those dots. It took him an eternity of hand-cramping to finish this piece. It's hard to capture the awesomeness on my camera, since each dot is the size of a pin point!

Drawn by Brent Kennedy

Friday, September 16, 2011

Random

Random news: Busy days! Soccer, piano, Awanas, school in full swing, and all the "extra" kids back mean that we are...alive:-) We're pretty well scheduled, so chaos is usually avoided, but there's always the unexpected in life. Like getting the license plates stolen off two of our vehicles in the night. I guess since there were no tools to take they got what they could? Argh. Can you say gated community?! Add to my list, file police report. Check. Add to Brian's list, go to DMV for new plates. Check.

Random funny: Talking about her new adventures at Sparks, over lunch...
Kenna: I do try my best, but I don't win 'cause I am not very fast at running
Brooks: I think when I am five and I go to Sparks, I will win that challenge
Kenna: You won't. You won't win until you're a teenager
Brooks: Well, when I'm eight, I'll be a teenager! That's soon
Kenna: Brooks?! You're a weird kid
Brooks: No I'm not. I'm right

Random pic: It's Sonny! They all love to dress up, and when I saw his hat-and-"weapon" pairing, it literally made me laugh out loud, it was so cute!
Sonny will be 2 in January, isn't he adorable?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Phases

We've entered a new phase..."I really love camping!" (Yes, he genuinely claims this is the reason)
More realistically, it could be called "I like trying to sneak a peak at the tv when I am supposed to be in bed and conk out in the hall". Crazy Boy. It astonishes me how kids actually think their parents are idiots. Messing up your hair and announcing that you've slept will never work. It didn't work for me when I was 5 either:-)

And another new phase for the third time...wearing other peoples shoes.
One of these is 2 sizes too small, and one is 4 sizes too big. We've never been big on matchy-matchy around here. We're free shoe spirits.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Parmesan Crusted Chicken - Recipe

Well, I came across this recipe in a People magazine. So you know it has to be good idiot proof, right? It was actually on an ad page for Hellmans Mayo. Have I ever mentioned that Brian...not just Brian...ALL the Bolgers have this extremely weird fascination/addiction/obsession/*thing* for Hellmans Mayonnaise. Heaven forbid another lesser brand of mayonnaise be purchased. And if you even try to use Miracle Whip, claiming to enjoy the flavour and palate interest...you will never hear the end of it. And you'll have to eat a whole lot of potato salad alone. The tangy-ness, as Brian puts it, is the chemicals. And he doesn't eat chemicals:-)

So the very nature of this recipe alone was intriguing to me. Another point of intrigue is why Hellmans is called Best Foods Mayonnaise on the west coast. Wouldn't it be easier to just print one set of labels?

So, it's quick, it's easy, and it's delicious!

1/2 Cup HELLMANS Mayonnaise. {As a proud member of the Bolger family I will tout the family claim} I will not guarantee the outcome if you attempt to use a lesser brand. Kraft, Duke, *gasp*, store brands...you know you stink. Who would even buy you?!
1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese {We Bolgers have no particular affinity for a specific type. Knock yourself out}
4 T italian bread crumbs
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Mix mayo and cheese. Spread over chicken. Top with bread crumbs. Bake at 425 for 20-25 mins. Done.

Very tender and yummy! A great chicken recipe when you're in a pinch for time or ingredients! I served this up tonight with rosemary & thyme potatoes and frozen peas! It was a perfectly yummy meal and barely took any time at all to make. Note that I did cook the peas before serving them:-D

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kenna

What a sweet little girl! She went to a Princess Party for her little friend on Saturday. She asked if she could wear my wedding crown and I said yes, if she was responsible...

She was! She came to me during the party and said she was thinking about running around...

So maybe she should take it off now:-)
She is a beautiful Princess inside and out!
We love you Kennedy Shea!!

I remember

As life goes on, I become more aware of my desire to have life events and stories captured on my "online scrapbook" {ie: this blog}. So bear with all the long tales from the past. They are not for you, really. They are for my kids, someday.

"On that terrible day, a nation became a neighbourhood, all Americans became New Yorkers" Gov. George Pataki

There are a few events that happen in your life that are "where were you when" events. They are things that rock the nation, and moments in time that will never be forgotten. A very popular one was when President Kennedy was shot. But I was not alive back then. There are a few of these events that have happened in my lifetime. When the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986, I was watching it on tv, in an assembly in the gym at my school. When Princess Diana was killed in 1997, I was watching tv (a show, FX, which was actually produced by Dodi Al Fayad), when they interrupted the broadcast to share the sad news.

Tuesday September 11, 2011 started out just as normal for me as for all those people who died, I'd imagine. I got up and went to work in a big city, just like they did. I was sitting at my desk doing the early morning deposit for A Rent A Car at Gyro Mazda. We always had easy listening music on the radio. The kind of stations that play Lionel Ritchie songs, and "Lady in Red" and stuff like that. Sometime right after 8:45, they interrupted the regular radio programming, and shared the devastating news of the first plane, flown into the first tower.
Gyro Mazda, the building I worked in. Pic from google maps.

We were all incredulous. Who would do that? It was being initially reported as a pilot error. And we all looked at each other. Who could make THAT kind of gross error in judgment? It's not like you couldn't see the biggest building ever! "We" included my office mates. The accounting dept was one large room, no partitions between desks. Jennifer was an immigrant from England, and "C of E" (Church of England). Silva was an immigrant from Slovenia and Roman Catholic. Shiraz was an East Indian immigrant from Africa and a Muslim. And me, just "from there" and a Christian. The accents (and lunchtime cuisine) we had going on in there was great!

When the 2nd tower was hit, we realized something bigger was going on, and we gave up the radio in favour of the tv in the showroom downstairs. We all called our families at home. Had they heard? Were they watching? What is happening? Then reports of more planes and more attacks. I saw the towers fall on tv. It was surreal and unbelievable devastation. Being in the age of information and technology, there are pictures and video a-plenty. Seeing them again brings back the hollow-chest, sinking feeling that you had when seeing it all unfold. I guess I would describe my mood as shock, perhaps. People were encouraged to evacuate the city and go home, if they did not live there. I decided to stay at work. I was not "being brave", I just was honestly not scared, personally, for my life. If it happened now, I think I would be, but perhaps since nothing had ever happened like that, I didn't quite know what to make of it.

There was such pandemonium. A plane went down in Pittsburgh with no other details given. Brian lived in Pittsburgh. We were good friends at the time. I had my mom log into my AOL Instant Messenger account and see if she could contact him. He was fine. Whew.

They landed ALL the planes in the sky. Thousands of people, stranded. People that lived near Pearson International were encouraged to open their homes to strangers in need of accommodation for a few nights. I wished I lived near the airport to help out.

After the towers fell, I went back to work upstairs (away from the tv) and listened all day as the news unfolded. The loss of life and dramatic display of terror were almost too much to wrap your head around, in such a short amount of time.

My drive home, although only 35 km (21miles), usually took about 1 to 1.5 hours (gotta love traffic!). Not that day. By the time I left work at 6pm, every one was home. I could count on one hand the number of cars I saw on the Don Valley Pkwy and the 404. It was eery. It took me less than 30 minutes to get home. We watched all the devastating news on tv that night of course. With each increasing minute it was just so hard to fathom HOW and WHY.

I can't remember if it was confirmed that same day, or the next day as to the purpose of the attacks. My co-worker Shiraz was outraged and incredulous. This was not his religion, he insisted. These people are crazy. I was really impressed with President Bush and the speeches he gave. Being Canadian, his speeches were never heard, or even known about in Canada (unless you really followed politics, which I do not), so that was really the first time I'd heard him speak. The devastation of the day began to really set in. What would I say to my husband, on a final phone call to say goodbye, moments before he jumped from a 100+ story building, or his plane crashed to the ground? What would I do if I were there? God's grace.

The stories of the lives of the victims and survivors are so touching. Everyone was so unbelievably brave. The way that the country united on that day was visible to an outsider. Americans, you should be proud of the way you banded together, and your resiliance. It makes me proud for my American children. Of course, since I listen to country music, there were quite a few songs sung about the event, and they still make me cry to hear them. Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning by Alan Jackson and Have You Forgotten by Daryl Worley are two of my faves.

After the attacks, the North American world changed forever. The American people sacrificed personal freedoms forever, in an attempt to feel protected from the evil outside, and within. The first time I tried to cross the border post 9/11 I realized the change. The first time I flew in an airplane after those attacks, I realized the change. What a remarkable difference. For a long long time when driving, you had to cross the border twice in order to enter the USA (two different and complete check-throughs), but only once to get back into Canada. And we all know the impact it's had on flying - with so many restrictions it's almost ridiculous - except for the fact that they are saving our lives. When I get in a bad mood about having to throw away all the liquids for my babies or not being allowed to bring ANY carryons at all (this did happen to Brian in 2010, when there had been a bomb on a plane a few days prior) - I remember that I would rather be alive right now, than a tragic part of history.

 It made my immigration to the USA ten times more difficult and expensive. After 9/11 they began changing all the rules and all the visas. Trust was broken, and it was time to clamp down. I understand completely, even with the personal inconveniences I was caused. A superpower was broken on the outside, but its spirit remained strong.

This is how Ground Zero looked in 2002 when I was there. Found a picture of it on Wiki.
 I visited New York City for the first time in 2002. We went and visited Ground Zero, where the towers used to stand tall. We didn't take any pictures of it, and I don't know why. That is a big regret, I wish I had. We ate lunch at a hotdog/gyro place right at the base of the towers, and tried to imagine how it must have been that day, buried in debris, soot and ash. Brian told us how they used to stand at the base and make people look straight up (it makes you fall over/get dizzy). With so many tall buildings around it was hard to imagine something even twice that tall. 
There were memorials and peoples names written all over the construction boards keeping people back/out.

There have been lots of theories, controversy and conspiracies about the events that occurred that day. I don't know if they are true or not. And it's something we'll never be able to know for sure, so it seems pointless wasting too much time dwelling on it. The fact remains that 3,497 people lost their lives that day, (including 27 Canadians that were killed in the attack). They died horrifically, and were brave. They didn't deserve what got. And we will never forget them. God is still on the throne. And He is faithful.

It was a day that was a turning point in American history. I'll not forgot that day or those blessed people as long as I live.

God Bless America

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Boy

One night recently, it seems literally overnight, our baby grew into a boy.

He thinks burps and toots are hi-larious (and loves to make the sounds). He thinks throwing everything is fun. He wants to colour and read books. He wants to do chores with the big kids. He will only eat if he's using cutlery (that would be silverware, my American friends), no more fingers. He likes to sing and "beatbox" with the big kids.

He has a new nickname, Lleyt-Lleyt. As far as we can tell, he's always on time, so far:-) We still call him the Baby though too. I wonder if that will stick forever?
Lleyton Grey - will be 18 months old on Sept 21st
There's one thing we need to do, but haven't...given him a boy haircut. I know the moment that happens, it will be Insta-Boy, as far as his face. And there is no going back from that point. He'll be grown up forever.

So we'll keep his shaggy baby hair just a little bit longer I think.


Soccer Time

Are we ready for soccer 2011?


Yes, we are!!