Friday, August 30, 2013


This year we joined a homeschool group co-op - it meets every other Friday, and they will do two subjects Art (renaissance period), and Science. Today was the kickoff - no real school, just a big picnic so all the parents and the children can meet each other and start to make friends before the official start next Friday.
Kenna, put me down!

Maisy loves bubbles!!

My big girl

Love that hair. It is one of the many things that makes me happy


A fruit by the foot creation

Lots of new friends!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

School Started

A few pics from Monday, the official first day of school. So far, all is going really well!
Ma, I made a cheese sandwich! Out of cheese!

Grey's very first day of preschool!

Sonny's first day of preschool too!

...and May's. She tags along too:-)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back at it!

Well, our summer is OVER, it's official. We have Sonny & May back now, everyday, starting today! My kids are very excited for their friends to come back and be part of everyday life.

We topped off a crazy week (mostly crazy for Brian) by going to Camp Pendalton (30-ish mins from our house - a military base). Our good friends the Allen's were in town! Sam had training, and Heather and the girls came along for the fun of it! They rented a cabin there, and it was big enough for ALL of us, so we joined them! It was soooo fun, and I didn't manage to take a single picture. BOOO.

Brian took Thursday off work so he could hang out with me and kids (and Heather, and her kids...haha!) He used the day to catch up on sleep, and just do nothing but talk and visit. It was really quite lovely. Although he pulled off a miracle with that hospital job he finished...he was booked back to back for another job - in an occupied space downtown Norfolk in the World Trade Center - so it's a night job. Joys, right?! So he didn't really have a chance to catch up on any lost sleep from the hospital job, so it was really nice that he could a day off to sleep and rest up and hang out. Poor boy!

A funny - he said while he was at the hospital job, and spending the night there working - 2 different days/nights he never came home at all. He caught a few hours sleep each night - once on the floor with his feet against the door so no one could come in, and once on a reclining chair that they use for pregnant ladies  - it's some kind of really comfy chair that leans back so they can relax the mom/baby. I thought that was funny. He said that he just couldn't bring himself to sleep on an exam table with stirrups. HAHA!!

Anyway, now that we have Sonny (3) & May (2 in Oct) back, it's school time too!! It will be another month before we add Ardyn (2) & Alice (will be 3 months) to the mix, since their mom is still on Maternity leave. And then, I will not have them everyday, but only 6 days per month.

Once I have the kinks to our school schedule worked out, I'll post about it, (how, why and if it's working for us:-) - Running a day, including schooling 5 to 7 children, ranging in ages from 7 to infant:-)

I have lots planned and scheduled for this year. It will be our busiest ever, so far, with regards to kids, and school anyway. It will be fun though, and I can't wait to post and share about our progress!

Here are a few pics from today - no school today, we're starting on MONDAY! Yay!! But I have introduced them to a few things that will be part of their daily schedules this year...
It's quiet play time for May-May

Sonny is working on one of his chores - laundry :-)

Busy Book/Quiet Play

This set up is a new arrangement to the boys room this year - it will be necessary space wise for things like quiet/structured play time and also a large "desk" area for when that is needed (for when Kenna or Brooks need a quiet place to concentrate when I'm doing louder school activities with Sonny & Grey)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Brian's Week

I should really have him write about it, but he's too busy, and so tired, I'm sure its all a blur:-) I added it up, and Sunday morning at midnight, he'd worked 80 hours since waking up on Wednesday morning - but then I lost count. When days run into nights, it's remarkably hard to keep track!

So at midnight it was 80 hours...but then he worked all day Sunday and didn't even come home Sunday night, working through the night (for the second time), crashing for a few hours (on the floor I assume?) around 3am. If I can figure it out correctly, I think he worked somewhere around 115 hours from Wednesday to Monday. He came home Monday night - or actually, this morning, around 2am. And he slept until 9am. YAY. That is more sleep than he's gotten collectively since about Wednesday I think!

I should be writing this post about his trip to NYC and his fantasy football draft - this trip and that draft is/was the highlight of his year...and he didn't go. Not only did he not go, he auto drafted. *gasp*

So last night I got to talk to him for more than 2 seconds or a "bring me clean clothes" text. And got some of the story -
He told me at some point, he put a sign up on the main door. "No more whining". I had him text me a picture of it this morning:-) LOVE the sign! He was working his subs pretty hard - but he was working harder - and they got to go home, and he didn't...and they were all complaining. The sign is hard to read from this pic, and I can't remember what he said he wrote exactly, but it was to the effect of

"No more whining. Just get your job done, or replace yourself with someone who can"

Apparently, it really worked:-)

The job was at a hospital in the area, and the rush was that today they start seeing patients there again - and when things started not to go well - subs starting taking too much time and not getting things done in an efficient way, they needed 'round the clock monitoring and help. Brian said, basically, as soon as he would leave - no more works gets done at all. So he couldn't leave - and due to a family emergency with another co-worker, there was no one at Woodard to take his place, so he could leave and sleep.

It was a huge project, with a tight turn around (10 days), and he got it done. Pretty incredible. We are really proud of him.

Normally, not showering a minimum of once a day is completely out of the question for him, and he previously balked at my dry shampoo. But I think he's converted now;-) It really does have it's place when it's necessary!!

1:26am Monday Aug 19: to Brian: Anyway. Be good. Get some sleep. Don't use all my dry shampoo

Grey is fairly convinced that Daddy lives in a hospital now. It's been a crazy crazy week for our boy! I'm don't really know what scope of work he has coming up next, but here's hoping it involves sleeping. In a bed, at home, preferably:-)

New Camera Shots

My friend Chae just gave me a new-to-me camera! It is really neat - it's slightly fewer megapixels than my point and shoot, actually, however, it's a real camera with manual zooms etc, so I am having so much fun learning how to use it correctly! Here are a few pics and stories from me trying out the new camera!
Buzzy Bee!

When we got home from Canada in July, we got quite a shock. Full on CORN growing in our front flower "garden". The term garden is used rather loosely. It's a smattering of weeds, rocks, grass, and rose bushes:-)...but certainly no corn!! I was remembering back to when the kids planted popcorn to see if they could grow popcorn - did it work??!! Or Brian suggested perhaps squirrels or raccoons, getting into old food or something dropped some kernals and they grew? No idea. But super weird and kinda cool:-) We forbid the kids from eating it, although they begged! We thought it was best that the animals got it

A fallen bloom from my beloved Crepe Myrtles

My Lleyton Grey. His one of a kind personality lights up our world!

We LOVE living on a cul-de-sac in a quiet community. Truly truly love it. We also love having great neighbours with wonderful children of similar ages to ours. Playing on the circle has definitely been a summer time fave. With our lack of decent yard and grass, "the circle" expands our usable space quite a bit, and it's one of our fave "features" of this house.

Rain boots on a clear day? Well, they are Lightning McQueen, so why not:-) A rock wall masterpiece is in process here

Cutest face in the world

...yup. Definitely the cutest

It's our Live Oak, or Larry's Tree. It's healing and recovering still from it's accident, but its a beautiful tree

Bamboo fencing

Finding things in the yard that don't belong:-)

Those grubby little fingernails make me happy!

Art time, out in the sun

Our trampoline is quite the draw with the neighbourhood kids too. We are the only ones who have one, and they all love it!

Drawing and colouring

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer's Over?

A pic from during our power outage this weekend, outside splashing in the puds! I am totally on the hunt for a cool pair of rainboots for myself. I'm tired of getting soaked to the knee in's only been 9 years, and I've finally had enough to cave a buy the stinking boots! Looking for something cute & classy:-)
Guess who's starting pre-school this year?...
Sonny & Grey!! I took their pictures this morning so I could finish up their school binders. Don't these pics say it all?...
Sonny is sweet and Grey is a cheesy ham. LOL.

We aren't quite ready to have Sonny & May back yet - but soon! Summer flies by! I am watching them for today only (a teacher work day). It's been a great day. It's interesting to see what we'll have to work on the first few weeks - Kenna micro manages May to the point of complete annoyance (mine & May's:-) - May is a screamer when excited (the forever rule in my house is absolutely no screaming. Ever. I don't care if you're playing or dying). Grey seems to have gotten better with his sharing (at least on the 1 day trial, haha!!), and Sonny has gotten better with keeping his attitude "up"!

So, all in all, I am really encouraged for this school year! It will be a veeeeery different system than we've ever done before - Very scheduled and actually somewhat "rigid" - you know me, I'm never THAT rigid - and there will be room to change it around some, but with 1 teacher (me), and 2nd, 1st, & pre-K to teach, and a toddler to entertain - not to mention the days when we will have Ardyn AND Alice her brand new baby sister (born end of July - I will have them about 6 days a month) - It will be much more scheduled than I've been in the past, or nothing will get done, I am sure of it.

We'll see how it goes, and I will be updating as I go...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Meet Lobby

Here is the story of how we came to meet Lobby, da Lobs-tuh.

Yesterday, around 3:30 in the afternoon - it started raining. Promptly, the power went out. We almost never lose power for more than a few minutes, even in a hurricane. Come 5:30, the power was still out, the storm was long over (it was a quick one!), and the kids were "starving". Well I was wracking my brain trying to think of what I could make for dinner, other than a tossed salad, that didn't require any cooking. I wasn't coming up with anything.

So I called Brian (working on a jobsite) - Wanna meet us at a restaurant?

We decided to do a Hibachi Grill/Chinese Buffet place. The kids were sooo excited for this surprise treat. The side bar of Kids Kwotes will give you a few a funnies from our night in the dark:-)

While going through the buffet line, I noticed they had crayfish (turned out they were actually baby lobsters). I whispered to Brian that he should get one for our bug-pet loving boy, so he did. It was love at first sight.
A new dinner time companion
When Brooks and I got up to make another pass through the buffet line, the Pranksters in the family (Brian and Grey) decided to leave a little surprise on Brooks' chair for his return.  Little Lobby was happily perched in his seat:-) A horrified Brooks burst into tears upon seeing the chair that he can now no longer sit in. Brooks is sooo my son. The rest of the evening contained many jokes at Brooks' expense and his "guuuuuuuyys!" retort, while holding back fresh tears. It takes awhile to get over a fright like that:-D Poor Brooks. He'll be bwave wike Gwey soon (we hope, haha:-)
Awwww, wook at him!

"Take a picture of his cute eyes, Mom"

He literally shared his ice cream popsicle with Lobby, digging his little claws right in there!
Sadly for some, and gleefully for others, we had to leave Lobby behind.

When we got home (close to 8pm), the power was still out, so it was straight to was really dark! It was also really hot! With no a/c or fans available...sweating! The kids were complaining, and my suggestion - that they sleep in their underwear was rejected by all but Grey, who seemed thrilled at the idea. "Wook at my naked tummy!" Lol!

It was lighter outside, but very dark inside and it was too buggy to stay at 8:30, a bored Brian and I went to bed. There really is not much to do in the dark, that is for sure. Especially when you are not prepared for it. It was a really muggy night, unfortunately, and I slept fitfully - I don't sleep well when I am hot...until 4am, when all the lights came on, and the wonderful hum of the fridge, the a/c, the fans etc resumed. Ohhhh how I LOVE electricity!! I have noooo idea why on earth the power was out for over 12 hours, but it really made me glad to have it back, for sure!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Ontario Video Footage

I am finally getting around to editing the video footage I took from our trip to Ontario. My kids have not stopped raving about Uncle Mark, Auntie Lauryn, (their house!) and TeaTea, Kayla & Caney since we left! A new fave saying around here (when told to hang on or wait) is "I can't! My bum is freaking out!" Lil Miss Kayla is hilarious, adorable and charming - and she gave us that great line:-)

00 - Kayla singing
1:41 - Canaan taking steps
2:23 - Impromptu dance party
3:11 - Some baseball technique from Uncle Mark
4:30 - Waving to the house I grew up in as we drive past
5:01 - Grey's turn at baseball
6:22 - Some catch
7:03 - Rolling down the hill in Kitchener
7:58 - Some shots of the Kennedy Family get together

My Loves

It is a fairly undisputed fact, among people that do not have children of their own anyway (and even some that do;-P), that MY kids are the best ones. Love them!

I've been teaching the older kids to do laundry and they love it! And Kenna likes to fold too! How cute, and helpful. Love that girl!
And my cutest. This kid is simply irresistible, especially when singing:-)

90's Nostalgia

Two years ago we got lawn seats to see the Zac Brown Band with a bunch of friends and family. At the concert, Brian mentioned this was the first concert he'd ever been to. Then I felt bad...he has nothing against the ZBB, but it's obviously not his groove:-) Then this past spring he got to go see Rush - front row seats - not too shabby! His coworker won the tickets on the radio - really great, but again, not Brian's style of music. So when we heard that Matchbox Twenty and the Goo Goo Dolls were coming to town together, I knew he had to go! It would be kind of a shame to never attend a concert that is "for you", wouldn't it?

Yesterday I posted "tonight, a little 90's love for my wonderful husband with the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox 20. Can't wait!" on facebook. Here is a priceless comment from one of our mutual friends, Ryan "Two humorous anecdotes regarding Brian and music from that era: 1. He introduced me to Five for Fighting via Napster... at HQ and 2. One of Brian's friends while at HQ got "convicted" and threw away all of his "bad" CD's. Brian tried desperately to get him to tell where he threw them away so Brian could retrieve them for himself because, as Brian told me, "He threw away some REALLY good stuff."

And finally Better Days. They were wonderful, when the main guy sang anyway. They let the spooky guitarist sing a few songs, and they were pretty awful, haha!!

I think maybe personally I like the Goo Goo Dolls slightly better than Matchbox Twenty, but they're both pretty great! Hard to believe that they both had their first hits 17 years ago!

I will say that I thought MB20 played a little "tighter" music wise - less distortion, didn't seem as pounding or loud, which to me is the sign of a good group, when playing live. However, both groups played well and have obvious talent, given their lengthy careers and the number of hits they have on the radio.

For MB20, I really liked 3am

One of my fave's of theirs is Bright Lights (or as I like to call it, Baby Baby Baby)

My all time fave song of theirs is Unwell. I feel like the lyric "I'm not crazy I'm just a little unwell, I know, right now you can't tell, But stay awhile and maybe then you'll see, a different side of me" might very well be a good theme song for me;-)

The song that Brian was hoping to hear, they closed the encore with. Push. It was their very first song - from 1996 I believe.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

All About Kenna

Favourite Activity: Riding my bike

Best Friend: In the whole entire world? Lets see...I would say, Gracie & Libby

What do you want to do when you grow up: a babysitter

Favourite Colour: Pink

Favourite Animal: Cat

Favourite thing about school: Math

Favourite thing about your family: That we take care of each other

One of your best memories: Is the time we went to Canada when I was 2 or 3 or something. 'Cause I got to see our family

What makes you happy: watching Horseland

What makes you sad: getting in trouble

What is something you wish for: different kinds of makeup

Favourite Food: BLT's

{To read her old "about me's" click here}

All About Brooks

Favourite Activity: playing Angry Birds

Best Friend: I have 3 of them. Logan, Eli & Collin

What do you want to do when you grow up: I want my job to be, um, fixing computers

Favourite Colour: Green

Favourite Animal: I like bulldogs

Favourite thing about school: learning Fahrenheit

Favourite thing about your family: Is going to the beach all together

One of your best memories: going to Eli's Star Wars birthday party

What makes you happy: eating hot chocolate

What makes you sad: getting put on time out

What is something you wish for: a skateboard

Favourite Food: b'sgetti

{To read Brooks' old "about me's" click here}

All About Grey

Favourite Activity: to eat sandwiches!

Best Friend: Collin (one of Brooks' friends:-)

What do you want to do when you grow up: I want my toof-is out (tooth/teeth:-)

Favourite Colour: Brown

Favourite Animal: A panda

Favourite thing about your family: everyone!

What makes you happy: animals

What makes you sad: no animals
What is something you wish for: a balloon

Favourite Food: mooky mook wiff stlawberry (milky milk with strawberry = strawberry milk)

{To read Grey's old "about me's" click here}

Monday, August 5, 2013

Parenting Goal

A recent sermon was inspiring to me, so I thought I would share a few notes, before I forget entirely. Because you know I'll forget justlikethat, as usual:-D

The premise of the message was actually about Paul, and Pastors, (taken from Gal 4:8-20), but as soon as I heard the message title it really struck me how much this would really apply to parenting - a great philosophy in raising children. So I take my notes slightly out of context of the message to apply them to parenting, instead of the pastor/shepherd role - which is, really, kind of what we are as parents, especially to young children.

Title: Pastoral Goal (in this case Parenting Goal) - To see Christ fully formed in you.

If there was one thing that could encapsulate the life that we wish for our children to lead, wouldn't that be it? "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth" 3 John 1:4 ESV

A couple notes I jotted down about the "how" - How we can influence those under our care (whether you are a pastor, or a parent) to follow hard after Jesus. We are not imitating His life, we are participating in it, and there is quite a bit more joy to be found in the latter than in the former.

1. Preaching/teaching of Jesus is clear
- theology matters. What I believe is crucial.
It is important that people have a right view of the God they serve, and big people start out as little people. It's a tall order to stand in that place for kids - but as parents, it IS where we stand, like it or not.

2. Patterns of the Spirit are developed and patterns of flesh are crumbling
-theology is meaningless unless applied
Giving our kids, once saved, ultimately room to fail and grow, as the old things fall away. Learning things just gives knowledge, it doesn't give Jesus. Teach them the difference between what's in your head and what's in your heart.

3. Pursuing each other in humility
-members honestly evaluate others and self
Well, this is good for everyone in life, but is probably fairly vital and essential to a healthy family unit, with regards to the relationship from child to parent. How healthy and real for kids to see that their parents are also still on the journey of being fully formed, in Christ. There is such room and necessity for humility and forgiveness. We all will fail, and we all will gain victory, and we can each be accountable to the other, for support in good times or bad. Putting on the front of perfection, or of 'being above' this or that is so counter productive. We want our kids to see struggle, failure, mess, and on the flip side, victory in Him. We want to be the example of a devoted, yet flawed, person that meets Jesus, every day.

4. Persevering in the faith
-you are happy to bear the marks of Jesus
This is a hard one - faith not being marked by what you got, but how long you waited. It's a rich faith, like the faith of Abraham to wait for things you will never see in your lifetime. Waiting on the Lord is hard, and you will bear marks as you go - the marks along the way that show you Jesus. But oftentimes these marks are not at all pleasant to us on the earthly, fleshly side.

"Before God has ever used a man significantly, He hurts him deeply" (Pastor Daniel actually opened the entire sermon with this quote but did not give the source, just saying "someone once said". A google search attributes something similar -not exact- to AW Tozer). As a side note, I would sort of dispute the wording of this quote, while I can appreciate the sentiment, it doesn't sit well with me, as it was quoted.

Alternately, my own version would be: God allows what He could prevent, so that you can meet Jesus there. So that you can see that grace abounds, and that He is sufficient.

So back to the point - whether the original quote or my own, the idea behind it is suffering. And suffering is pretty awful. Especially when you can't see the end goal. When you put suffering in the light of "to see Christ fully formed in you" - well then, it's sits with us a little differently, doesn't it? Wouldn't it then make you proud to bear that mark?

As it pertains to parenting - when I look around the world, everywhere I see brokenness. Infertility, broken marriages, death, struggling to make ends meet, the list goes on and on, and none of it would you wish on your worst enemy. And yet it happens, and daily, to wonderful people. And what I would not do to spare my own children some of that suffering, if I could. But would I be interfering with something the Lord is doing? If I want to see my kids come to be fully formed in Christ...would I really take away their pain?

I'm sure I'd want to. But that is only because I can't see the greatness of what will come next. The wonderful things that would come from a heart completely sold out for the Lord. The beauty that rises from the ashes. It's not beauty that can be created by anything but Him. I don't pray for them to be undone or destroyed. But only that they would be given enough suffering to have them be fully formed, in Him.

It's something in parenting I can only try to equip them to handle, and really - not much else. That is a scary aspect of parenting, isn't it? I mean, it's scary because it's not about me, and it's not in my control. Only God know the plans He has for my kids, and while parenting, equipping and watching...I have to make sure I get out of the way too:-)

Anyway, a few rambling thoughts I wanted to get out while they are still formed in my brain. Have a blessed day, all.

Hair cut!

This is a first for me...I cut Kenna's hair!! In this house, hair grows fast!! Last June we cut Kenna's hair to touching the top of her shoulders. Brian did it, as he is really good at cutting hair. Well, she hasn't had even a trim since then, so it's been 13 months.
That is a lot of growth for 1 year, isn't it?! Well, it's been needing a cut, and Brian been really busy so I decided to try it myself.
Not too bad, right? I didn't want it too short, as I didn't know how good I would be at keeping it even. I even gave her her a little bit of bang. Whew. Glad it worked and I didn't need Brian to fix anything for me:-)