Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Girls Room

Here is another version of this one for boys, that I made for Kenna's room. I decided to try a different background colour this time, and it's at the printers, so we'll see how it turns out! What do you think? I really like it. Brian did, but likes the boy one better, he says. He kind of balked at the "learn to sew" line, but I think it's wise advice for a young girl/woman.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pinning

I saw something online, and I liked it, so I pinned it (on pinterest, of course). It was this pic:


I really liked it, but it wasn't perfect for me...I'm inspired! I began working on my own, and came up with this: Words for my boys to be encouraged by. Wisdom for boys, wisdom for men.
By the time I was finished and checked my email...WOWSERS. My pin of the original pic had been posted 433 times in less than 3 hours. I call that being EXTREMELY popular with people I don't even know. I had a brief moment of proud pinning! Never before has anything I've pinned been re-pinned more than once or twice. So yay. I can cross something off my bucket list. I managed to find something that was interesting to all! I'm gonna pin my new version too, and see if it gets any love, :-D

My new version is at the printers, and I think I will antique it, as I did the word art, and will put it in the boys bedroom.

If you would like a copy of the one I made for your own home, comment with your email address and I'll sent it to you. It's made to be 11x14. I'm working on a girls version for my daughter too.

Word Art

This is a "word art decor" type of thing (my mom makes these). All of these places are special to us...our first date, where our kids were born, where we got engaged, etc. Such great memories. I had it printed at my local photo-printing store, in an 8x8 size. It was printed as matte, but still had that "photo/picture" look, and wanted something a little more authentic...
It started like this. A black and white photo.

It ended like this. I love it.
I used spray adhesive (Brian's, in the garage:-) to stick it to chipboard. Then I took a craft sanding block from Stampin' Up, and starting sanding it. It started revealing the colours "underneath" that the black is comprised of. As I rubbed away some of the black, blue, turquoise and brown came up. I love love LOVE it!
The sanding block. It got stained a little from the blue coming out of the picture.

A close up so you can see the detail of it. Pretty neat, right? It definitely has the painted and aged sign look that I was going for. The random blue was unexpected and couldn't be more perfect (I thought it would just dull the colour, but this was way better than I could have guessed)

Special Day

Brooks had a "Special Day" with Dad on Saturday night. It started out with Brian wanting to take him to a game and invite a few men/friends along too. It morphed into wives also coming, so it was 4 couples, and Brooksie!! The girls had a blast talking, visiting, and sorta watching the game. The men...I don't know what they were doing, but they seemed to have a good time too:-) I snapped a few pics down the row of Brooks and Daddy enjoying some manly time together.

It was Brooks' first time at a hockey game, (we don't have the NHL here, but we do have an AHL team). We forgot to mention to him how LOUD it is there, but he did ok. No tears, and only a few shocked looks and covered ears:-) He loved it!

Licking cotton candy off his fingers

Wearing his Flames jersey, with Daddy in his Rangers one (and "Uncle" Sam in his Flyers jersey too)

Crazies

We start off with a nice group hug

And a picture with hats...and it all goes downhill from there.












Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's not a picture, it's a movie - Video

Sonny & Grey were having so much fun jumping off the potty...Mom grabs the camera. It's all over. It's worth it to watch and see them pause, cheesy grin, say "cheese" and do everything except jump off the potty! Add Kenna and Brooks to the mix and yikes! Then the end clip...again, playing nice, until I grab the camera. Then they have to fight, yell, hit...time to shut it off and deal with Grey! (By the way, we have the potty out because Grey is starting to sit on it! Yay!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fashion Accessory

Well, for the past few years (during and since my pregnancy with Grey) I have been experiencing throbbing in my lower legs, sometimes thighs, and sore tired feet, and itchy, itchy, constantly ITCHY calves. Also, I have a "bruise" looking spot on my left shin thats been there for over 2 years (appeared during pregnancy). I guess I never really thought much about it all, I just assumed I was too tired, or it would go away over time or ??. I don't know. It really didn't concern me much until recently, when suddenly it struck me like a ton of bricks...

Why am I putting up with this? Why don't I get it checked out? What could it even be? Note to self: Never type random symptoms into the computer. So, after Google confirmed that I was dying, rapidly, I decided I should likely book a doctors appointment and get it checked out.

My symptoms were actually similar to those of vericose veins, except I have no bulging visible veins at all.

So a trip to a vascular specialist - I have a hereditary breakdown in the valves in the veins of my legs. Compression hose for awhile, and if that doesn't fix the problem, we can consider an ablation laser surgery. The "bruise" is just a cluster of veins close to the surface. If I don't like the look aesthetically, they can inject some meds into the vein that irritate it and shut it down. No blood in vein, no bruise-look. I don't know if I'm really that vain (haha vain veins:-D). We'll see. It's been there so long, that I don't really think about it. I have a follow up appointment and ultrasound of my veins in April.

Well at least I'm not dying! And let me tell you what, as un-sexy as compression hose might be, wow, do they ever work. After wearing them for only hours, I could see a remarkable difference. And let me tell you, its been been YEARS since I have gone an hour, let alone a whole week without pain in my legs. It is amazing how much low-grade annoying pain wears you down without your knowledge. Once it's gone, it's like WHOA! I have so much more energy and haven't put my feet up once since I got them. Really amazing. Also, no more itching. Incredible!

Thankfully it's winter, so they only look like trouser socks under my pants (they go up to about an inch below the knee, and they are black). They are my new fave fashion accessory. I wrestle them on every morning and couldn't be happier about it. I guess after the ultrasound in April we'll see how everything looks and if the laser surgery will be recommended or necessary.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Singing in SK

Check out a family rendition of the song I posted earlier this month, Blessings (by Laura Story). My brother Logan and his wife Kari were visiting Mom & Dad in Saskatchewan, and Mom recorded them for us to see. I truly love this song, the lyrics are outstanding. You can see them play and sing it here.

And if you know anything about my family, you know that guitars are as plentiful, and as important, as people. Check out Logan's alternative way of playing a catchy little tune on a Taylor right here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jump & Dance - Video

A little sample of the jumping-wiggling-head-shaking-dance. Brought to you courtesy of Lleyton Grey, 22 months old. We feel like he takes his moves from all the best. Elvis, Beyonce, move over, here he comes:-)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Buds

Watching a show! Kenna's little buddy, May

May looks soooo much like Sonny, it's uncanny!

Weddings galore

We got a very "suspicious" call from Lauren (aka Auntie Noni) at 10:30pm on Wednesday, asking if she could come over...
And guess what? Dale proposed (apparently with the help of Train, and the "Marry Me" song), and she said yes. So sweet! We are very excited for another wedding. Congrats to Dale & Lauren!! Let the planning begin
Her gorgeous ring! Dale did a great job picking it out without her input. I love it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Organize 2012

Things just eventually go downhill. It's the nature of things. One of my goals in 2012 is to work on all the problem spots and improve them in some way to make them not such a problem,resulting in a more organized and functional home. We don't have a lot of space, so we have to make it count! Of course we know I have very little cabinet space in my kitchen (2 sets of uppers, this is one of them, the other holds dishes). Anyway, this one is always kind of a disaster!
The bottom shelf is the main issue. YIKES!

All beverage only items removed from the cupboard. TONS of stuff. Yikes. I gave away 3 boxes of brand new, unopened tea, and condensed the rest (different brands, but all peppermint tea, for example)
Now it all fits in reasonably and isn't mixed with the spices. And I'm not buying any more tea until the tea we have is gone. I've decided I can still be a good host without an infinite number of choices. Since we are limited on space, we have to limit our stuff too!

Done! I put all my spices in a basket, so hopefully that will solve the problem of them spreading out and tipping over etc. I sorted through all our meds and vitamins and threw away the expired things, and was left with an amount that fit nicely in the space I had leftover.

Randoms

Lunch for five! Ready to go! Depending on what we're eating, Ardyn joins us for a "grown up" lunch.

"Nya Ning" (Lion King), with his pillow pet. He loves to snuggle it, but wouldn't let me snap a pic of the love

"Mom, come look at this! I made a great trap!!" Well sure enough, she did. I don't know how he even got in there, but I could barely get him out!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Banana Bread - Recipe

Can't you just smell this?? Four mini loaves of delicious banana bread - in a very handy stoneware from the pampered chef, given to me for Christmas, by the way. The whole thing make me HAPPY!

I have tried many recipes, but have settled on this one as my fave (from Betty Crockers cookbook), it just turns out every time! Don't throw away those nasty old brown bananas, make this!

1 1/4 C white sugar
1/2 C butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1/2 C buttermilk (*see bottom for how to make this easily)
1 t vanilla
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 cup chopped nuts, or chocolate chips, if desired

Move oven rack to a low position, so that the tops of pans will be in the center of the oven. Heat to 350. Grease 2 regular sized loaf pans (or 4 mini sized), with shortening or cooking spray.

Mix the sugar and butter in a large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Stir in bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla, beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt until just moistened. Stir in nuts or chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly between pans.

Bake 8" loaves about 1 hour, 9" loaves about 1hr 15min, and 4 mini's about 45 min. or until toothpick inserted in center come out clean. Cool 10 mins in pan on wire rack, then remove, cool completely before wrapping. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

**HOW TO MAKE BUTTERMILK

For 1/2 C buttermilk, place 1 1/2 t of lemon juice or white vinegar in the measuring cup. Add enough milk to equal 1/2. Do this at least 30 mins before you need it and let it set on the counter, it will thicken up like thin yogurt or old milk. (I tend to use the lemon juice)

For 1 C of buttermilk, do the same as above, with 1T of lemon juice or vinegar, and enough milk to equal 1 C.

A Lazy Weekend

We had a peaceful weekend, full of love, laughter and each other! Brian did have to work some on Saturday, but we did manage to have a date night sans children, I think for the first time since dear Janessa left us (sniff sniff). And we did lots of movies, snuggles, stories and games too.
Making some orange juice...

Wearing pj's all day!

We've entered the phony smile phase. Great. My fave:-/
He's a very handsome little guy...thanks to the long hair (to cover up those ears:-), he gets called a girl fairly often. He is mystified as to why. I tell him he's just too adorable, so don't worry about it. We're gonna take him to a place and get him a "skater style" hair cut that Brian can then maintain.

 This picture was actually taken by Grey. He is a camera and phone expert. He actually answered my ringing phone the other day with a "Allo?" and seeing what he'd done, I accidentally hung up on them trying to wrestle the phone away from him. This is my kitchen table after lunch:-)

It Is Good

Isn't it interesting how God orders a family?

If I'd (we'd) had a choice, we would have chosen a boy. First. Oh how wrong we would have been! God knew what we needed first. Our girl. From gender to personality, she's just what was missing in our family.

These thoughts come to me, as Kenna & Brooks especially have been going through a "hard time"...for really the first time in their little lives. They've always gotten along famously, but now with getting older and more aware...Everything is a competition. Who is smarter, faster, bigger, stronger, the nicest, the best, the fave, the cutest, who has the darkest hair, who has the bluest eyes. "Lets race!" declared by one, out of the blue, "NO! I'm not going to race. NO RACING!" declared by the one caught off guard - seeing their sibling take off running, knowing they can never catch up, declaring an unfair start and refusing to try seems the best option to avoid the humiliation of being beat.

These are very emotionally charged competitions - usually resulting in tears from the "loser". I really try to stay out of their conflicts, and let them figure out their place. As long as they are dealing kindly and respectfully with each other, I suppose these are things you have to discover about your place in the world, and come to terms with - by yourself. It's not going to help them if I declare the "winner" and "loser". Keeping in mind they are about 13.5 months apart in age, so the equal-ness that they are trying to balance out is really a pretty big deal to them. When they look at each other, they DO see equal, they don't like it, and are fighting for top spot. Kenna, because she deserves it as the oldest, and Brooks, because he's not one to take second place.

What I am trying to guide them toward is accepting - who you are. Kenna will always be the oldest, Brooks will never "catch up". Brooks is rapidly outgrowing her, and it's good for girls to be cute and tiny compared to their younger, bigger brothers. Each one is smart in their own way. We are all capable of different things, and that make us a perfect team. It's good for each person to be who they are and not worry about what they aren't. It's good for us to be genuinely happy for other people, when we see in them what we lack in ourselves.

One thing which being a parent affords you - a chance to see what God is like. In only a very very small way, but the comparisons are enough to really send you running back to God in gratefulness for all He's done for you!

As a Mom, who has seen these kids grow and develop from day 1 - I know them so well. I know everything about them. And as, (at this point anyway) I am infinitely smarter than they are, I can see so much more than they can. I can see how they fit together. How, as they've aged, their lives have molded to each other and they really need each other. They are not as similar and equal as they think they are. But I, seeing the overall picture, can see how perfect they are as individuals, and how life is coming together for them.

As they grapple with their unchangeables (parents, time in history, mental capacity, brothers & sisters etc), I can see the end already, and how it fits together so well. SO God, being infinitely smarter than me, can look at my life and all the things I grapple with, and see how perfect it is, even though I would consider it terrible perhaps. But seeing the bigger picture, He knows that my life includes everything I need, whether or not those facts are observable (or believable) to me in the moment.

I am grateful for many things that I have been blessed with. I am grateful to be a parent, and to have given life to such amazing little people. I am grateful for the opportunity to parent both genders. I am grateful for God's guidance in my life, and working all things together for my good. Whether or not I can see the end game, I can trust the Lord, as children trust their loving parents. So I can say, through all the sunlight and the storms of life, "This is good for me".

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Blast from the Past

Year unknown: Guessing at 1948. My Uncle Cliff, Grandpa Kennedy (Harold Leslie), Grandma Kennedy (Mary Francis, nee Lehman), Auntie Lois & Auntie Elva. Before my Dad (Dave), Donna & Faith were born.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Deep Thoughts

Put on your thinking caps - it's about to get all serious up in here...with no pictures. gah. I hate those posts. Even when I'm the one writing them:-) Please note, I do not like to - or intend to - stray from the purpose of my blog - which is capturing our life and loves. And I don't want to be getting all bossy and preachy on you - which is NOT the intention of what I will write in the future.

Deep Thoughts. Or something like that. I will label these posts Christ in Me as we go along for ease of searchability. (In the very rare event that you actually want to search for these posts). I decided on that label - "Christ in Me", even though the posts may not be of a super spiritual nature per se, because I have Christ in Me, and He has brought me here. To the exact place I am right now in life. I won't always be here. The thing about life and the Lord is you are always learning, changing and growing. I've been a Christian coming up {rapidly} on thirty years. Which sounds insane to me! How much have I grown in those years? How much have I refused to grow? Oh how much further I have to go!

So these posts will be observational, and testimonial, of sorts. Testimonies are grown over time. And I think it's important to keep it all fresh, so you aren't learning the same lessons over and over. I've had lots of time, and my faith (and my testimony) have increased much.

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. " 1 Corinthians 13:11-12

I was reminded of something via a sermon recently...Isn't it interesting that the difference between "milk" and "meat" is me. All of the whole Bible is both milk and meat at the same time. The difference between the two is found in the person reading and applying it. When I was a child, there were portions of scripture that were as milk to me, nurturing me along. And as I grew became meat as I grew in a deeper understanding of my faith. And Christ in me makes the difference.

Anyway, the thoughts and observations that will be forthcoming are really for my kids to read someday, as they grow from the milk and into the meat. With the rapid decline of my memory {thanks to said children}, I figure I should document a few things for the future - and they will be of a deeper nature than my normal everyday ramblings and postings. So be warned:-) I cannot promise with what frequency they will occur...only as I have the time, and inspiration - I would guess every few months. As I write this, so far I have only two post topics coming to mind, so we'll see.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Get to the point already!

This is guaranteed, well lets just say, if you're the type of person who... no, you know, sometimes, when you think about life you, well, if we were to ask everyone here what they thought...

they'd laugh. Enjoy! This one gets me everytime!!

For all my Canadians, check out short clips from me taping the tv, haha. Sorry hulu doesn't work in Canada:-(, it's not the whole of the skit, but a major part of it anyway. Too funny!(and no, he never does actually get to the point, he just goes round and round:-)
video
video

Lion King Roar - Video

The kids got the Lion King for Christmas, since it's "out of the Disney vault" or something. Anyway, I *think* they saw it on tv ages ago, but basically, this was the first time they'd ever seen it. They love it, especially Grey. Now he crawls around like a lion, and rawr...you can hear him coming. So cute.
video

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Heart Songs

Blessings - Laura Story

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Week in review

I was unintentionally quiet this week! We spent the week getting back in the groove of school and schedules with all the kids, including Baby May (already nicknamed, Maisy Daisy...it doesn't take us long:-) Every one is in love with her! She was a perfect little {sleeping} angel this week. Hopefully that's a trend that continues!
To keep warm we wear slippers and scarves...with our sundresses:-/
Baking cookies and using up Auntie Noni's "squeeze tube" icing. I divided each cookie in quarters and had them fill in 1/4, 1/2, 1 whole, etc. For practice with fractions and also for beats/music notes. The kids thought it was great fun!
Everyone needs a pic with the baby!

Grey Wolf

The Grey Wolf is our favourite wolf...
...for obvious reasons:-)

The Extras

Many times people are confused as to who is in my house on a daily basis. Here's the scoop on "the Extras" as I affectionately dub them. With a house full of 6 kids, ages 5 & under...there is NEVER a dull moment, and always a poopy diaper to change! It's definitely a full time job (plus some, really!), but I wouldn't trade it - it allows me to bring in a paycheck (which we need), but also be home with my 3 kids, and homeschool 2 of them - while attempting to control the mess and clutter. We love our Extra kids!

Sonny aka Sonny Bunny and Son
He was born Jan 2010. He's a pretty easy going kid - has a cry that will rock your world and send you running for the hills:-) But as long as he's happy, he's a gem. He can be a sneaky one, you have to keep your eye on him or he'll quietly run off (which I am not used to, as my kids do nothing, I repeat, nothing, quietly). He's not a big eater, but loves his milk and Capri Suns! He is a very obedient little boy, and we're hoping that rubs off a little on his play-mate, Grey;-) Sonny is here Mon thru Fri, Sept thru June, from 7:45am - 4:30-45pm

Ardyn aka Ardy and Arda
She was born Dec 2010. She is the baby sister of Jack, who we used to babysit, until he started school. She is cute as a button, and full of opinions. Although she can't talk yet, she "yells at me" or the other kids to let us know exactly what her little heart desires. She's not really fond of sleeping, and eats like a horse! She started walking over the Christmas break, so it has been fun to watch her toddle around! Ardyn is here Mon - Fri, Sept thru June, from 8:30am-5:00pm

May aka Baby May May and Maisy Daisy/Daisy Maisy
She is Sonny's baby sister and was born Oct 2011. She is calm, quiet, sweet and cute. It will be very interesting to watch her personality grow and see what she's like. For now, she's the perfect little newborn. She's so cute and chubby, we love "pinching" her chubby little thighs. Ah! We love fat babies! She of course, is here like her brother, Mon - Fri, Sept thru June, from 7:45am - 4:30-45pm

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Word Art

Some more "homespun" crafty Christmas coming at ya!

These were made by my Mom! How perfect. My only regret? I don't have one for ME! I sooo want one! But they made a wonderful gift for a few people on my list, I hope they love them as much as I do.
Framed and ready to wrap

This is what mine would look like...with some minor changes:-)

So cute!

Tea Wreath

This is a tea wreath I made for some friends of ours who love Tazo tea. It conveniently comes wrapped in Christmas colours! I got this idea from my childhood friend, Lauren's site...and I think she saw it on pinterest! In any case, this is my wreath, that the kids and I worked on. It was really, really easy!

I used my Creative Memories Circle Cutting system to cut the circle/wreath shape out of designer (12x12) paper, and chipboard (a stiff, dense cardboard). I used sticky strip (the double sided sticky tape with the red backing) to adhere the paper to the chipboard. We used old/leftover spray paint to paint the clothespins white. We used sticky strip to adhere paper to the top of the clothes pins, and a hot glue gun to glue down the clothespins to the wreath. Add your tea, and a ribbon to hang it by, and you're done! It was a cute and easy Christmas gift from the kiddos! Love it!
I debated leaving the clothespins white, but thought it added to the whimsy to put on some different paper. This could be as whimsical or as plain as you want, depending on your tea and paper choices!

Elmo Cake

Nothing like squeezing in a little party at the end of the year! Ardyn (girl I babysit) turned 1 year old on the 31st! I made her a cake to go along with her Elmo/Sesame Street themed party. It was pretty cute, and pretty tasty!
Vanilla cake, stacked, with Vanilla buttercream (and coconut dyed red stuck to the icing, for fur)

Extra cupcakes to spell out happy birthday!