Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Brooks was trying to escape after bath time this evening.

Still wet hair

Natalie, helping him bang on the glass.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Working Out

Doing chin ups with Daddy in the garage.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Kenna is loving helping Daddy rake the leaves. "Why, why, why you no like leaves Daddy?" "Don't worry, I'll help you Daddy-da" as she picks up leaves one by one and puts it in the garbage bin. They are still out there working (and talking) away. She is absolutely filthy, but, she's having fun. And she loves baths too.

She found a flower!

The flower pinwheel we 'planted'. It's from Poppa Bolger, she loves it!

Odd Boy

I put on his new water shoes for the first time yesterday. He was determined to eat the little plastic knob on the pull string, while it was on his foot. It was hilarious to see him bent in half biting the thing. He is quite the contortionist!

Friday, April 25, 2008


Here is Kenna eating lunch, all ready to go 'swimming' at the botanical gardens with Auntie Noni. You can't really swim there, but run through a variety of sprinklers and so on. She loves it!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Staining Update

Still needs one coat of poly. Looks great though! I really like the colour, it looks awesome against the beige walls in the bedroom. With furniture and lighter wall colours (or anything other than orange!) it will really make a dramatic look.

Before first coat of poly. We discovered that it's not dust in the air...someone (little fingers?) touched the camera lens, so I cleaned it off.

After one coat.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The bedroom and walk in got a coat of stain yesterday and poly today. The door is shut and blocked to keep the dust off so you can't see it yet. The colour is dark, but hides every stain on the wood (caused from leaks through the carpet I think). I wasn't sure if I liked it at first, but seeing the bedroom 'done', it looks so awesome. The orange NEEDS to go now! This is what happens when you let renters paint! The kitchen is in the process of being done, and the main room will be last, but I can only take pics from the entryway to avoid tracking dust in, so tomorrow maybe I will post pics of everything done, or almost done.

It's brown, not black, despite what it looks like in the pics:-)

Annie Git 'Yer Gun

Last night we attended the course required for the Virginia Concealed Handgun permit. It ended with a test to make sure you could shoot, which was the part that made me nervous as I have little to no experience shooting any gun, let alone a handgun. You only have 25 rounds and have to get a certain percentage towards the inside of the "6" circle. Turns out I am a pretty good shot. Brian's target is first, mine is second (on the right). Notice who has more in the black:-) We were shooting a .38 revolver...I could go into more particulars about the double action, vs single action (which is likely why I did better than Brian), but I am sure no one cares aside from my brothers:-)

Apartment Floors

This week we are refinishing the floors upstairs. Brian tore out the icky old tile in the kitchen and got all the tar paper up etc, so now for the sanding! We will be doing a very dark ebony stain as there are quite a few stains and spots so it should conceal it well enough. If we like it upstairs we will do our main floor in the same, when we do that, so this is the test spot I guess.

It's dusty!

Still more to sand

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Lost My Hair

Last night we did haircuts, as Brooks was needing one, and Kenna too, hers was just too long, and too stringy looking. After we were leaving the bathroom Kenna looks at the floor covered in hair and says "oh, I lost my hair Mommy!"

Before doesn't look too much shorter here, but it is just barely below her shoulders.


He was not thrilled about staying still on his own.

Holding the shearing scissors helped:-/ (They are blunt folks, don't freak out:-) That's why they use lollipops I guess!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Of Mice and Kids

Needless to say we had a little conversation about helping yourself to a snack. And how gross it is to put it back.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I suppose this only happens when you have an older sister concerned for your beauty. I used to make my brothers wear things I should not mention on here, or else they might kill me! But...there are pictures too:-)

In other news he has another tooth through (#5), with #6, 7 & 8 almost there, so he's drooly...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Swing Time

This morning Brian was doing yard work, and cleaning out our gutters. We were playing outside and having fun picking flowers and watering them, and getting very dirty! This was Brooks' first time in the swing, and he wasn't very thrilled about it.

Laughing at Brooksie

My turn!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandpa! - Video ecard

After looking for ecards online and not finding a good one, I thought we would make our own "ecard" for my Dad.

This is one of Kenna's favourite songs, so she sang it for "Puppa"

"and I love you so, and I want you to know that I'll always be right here..."

And this says it all, WE LOVE YOU!! Have a wonderful day, you are a great Dad, we love you and miss you:-)

The little distraction at the end is her looking in the side viewfinder and seeing something on her face...'an ouchie'
*If videos will not play in blog you can watch them on login as darbyjane79, password is keefer123, and look in my videos.

Now and Then

I was uploading some videos today (coming soon!) when I mysteriously found a couple pics on the memory card in the video camera...I don't really remember taking them! I don't seem to have them anywhere else, so I don't think they've been posted yet.

Brooks in Ontario, at his Great-Grandparents house (Mar '08). He loved looking through the railings!

At first I didn't even recognize Brooks here, this must have been from around the 2 month mark. I honestly can't even remember when he looked like this! They grow up so fast!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Shortcut Chicken Manicotti - Recipe

Today I had zero inspiration for dinner, and because I had Natalie and Avery today I couldn't go out to buy extra ingredients, so I was stuck with what I had. I came across a recipe I clipped from a Kraft flier, and I had all the ingredients! It turned out really well.

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/2C water
1/4 lb (4oz) Velveeta cheese cut up*
2C frozen broccoli florets
12 manicotti shells, uncooked
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 in strips
1/4C grated parmesan cheese

* I used real cheddar and cut it up really small so it would melt easier

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix soup, water and cheese in bowl. Microwave on high 3 min, or until cheese is melted and mixture is well blended (stirring once or twice). Pour one third of the soup mixture onto bottom of 9x13 baking dish; set aside. Add broccoli to remaining soup mixture.

Stuff pasta with chicken strips; place in baking dish. Cover completely with remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake 45 to 50 min or until pasta is tender and chicken is cooked through.

This was a really quick recipe to put together, and I liked it's versatility...I used real cheese, and you could use fresh broccoli, lightly steamed first, or previously cooked leftover chicken or turkey. Quick and yummy make it a done deal for me!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Table for Four

Kenna has started setting the table. She is very excited to do it. As you can see she does a great job:-) You can spot her behind the table starting to distribute the stools. "I set 'da table Mom?" is her excited request before each meal.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Friday night Brian came home with flowers for me. There was a little one in the bunch that was too short, so I gave it to Kenna for her room. She loves it!

Wrestling with Daddy, his new favourite thing. He growls!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

19 Things

I was reading a blog the other day, and there was a list...56 Things You Can Throw Away Now! Some of them weren't worth mentioning, but these were my favourite inspirations (re-numbered).

1. Your wedding dress
You can say you’ve been saving it for your daughter, but here are two signs that your daughter doesn’t want to wear it: a] she’s already married and wore her own dress, or b] you don’t have a daughter
I disagee with this one, although it is a valid point...I am personally just too sentimental to give it to a thrift store or whatever. I know my daughter will likely not wear it (they get so discoloured and style doesn't really come back the same way), but I suppose if I knew someone now who would wear it, I would give it to them...But, would be fun to pull out in 25 years just to gawk/laugh at.

2. The jacket you spent way too much money on and never wore.
C’mon. Keeping it around just to punish yourself for your bad choices is like going to parochial school all over again.

3. Every little zippy bag that came with a Clinique purchase.
I did it! I kept two, which I actually do use when travelling.

4. Every unopened perfume that came with a Clinique purchase
Done! I have had some stinky perfumes for more than 7 years! Who knows why I was keeping it, I guess it's something you don't think about often.

5. Your last four cell phones and all their chargers and blue teeth.
See the note on stereo wires...

6. Single socks.
Face it. Their partners have moved on.
I did it! It was a little scary though, I kept having that sinking feeling that I might actually find the other half...:-)

7. Old stereo wires.
Husbands refuse to let go of any of these mysterious wires. Try this: Put them in a bin and label it “Random Cables and Wires.” After two years, bring it out of storage and kindly note that no one has thought about it in two years. Ask if it would be okay to let go of half of them. Repeat process until all mysterious cables and wires are gone.
I have a box of wires, cables, old phones and palm pilots etc. None of them work. When we need a wire, we do look in the box, but never have just the right type or length and buy new ones anyway. I am "not allowed" to throw them out though, but I told Brian about this 2 year plan, and he laughed saying it would take 10 years to get rid of them all. Lol. Well at least we'd be making headway!

8. The nails, screws, anchors, and cup hooks rusting in the bottom of your tool chest.
Again, not allowed to throw any of these away. My association with them though is usually because they were in pockets about to go through the wash. Some small bits etc are expensive, so I know I shouldn't throw them out, but I was also tired of having them everywhere. So this was my solution. Now when a spare part, screw or drill bit is required, we know right where the stash is (on the shelf in the kitchen), but now it's at least a little pretty!

9. Remote controls that don’t remotely control anything you still own.
We had 3!

10. Old blankets and linens you keep in case you suddenly have 27 sleepover guests.
I had already started getting rid of old pillows and very old or uncomfortable blankets. I am down to the perfect amount I think.

11. College text books
This one I still need to tackle. We have lots of old textbooks etc from school and I am sure they will be getting zero use in the future. A lot of them are computer books, which are so outdated it's not even funny.

12. Any boring decorative item that does little more than fill space.

13. Vases you don’t love or use.

14. Candle holders you don’t love or use.

15. Old keys that open some door somewhere in the past.
I have a collection of "??" keys on the back of of the key rack. I need to go through them, just to make sure, but I think they are all from 5+ years ago. My old house key, various apartment keys, Brian's old Lexus key (the one I wrecked), we don't need to keep them!

16. Old computers.
We have (yes, still have) 2 towers and 1 monitor...which still works but the computers are fried...Will have to apply the 2 year plan to this as well I think:-)

17. Old stereos.
We had 3 stereos and an old (huge) fax machine.

18. Half-full cans of paint
We have a few, but I disagree on this one...I like to keep them for touch-ups etc.

19. Extra baby items/Old baby items
Old and extra I can see, but baby items and clothes, although space consuming, are expensive! Until I am sure there are no babies on the way ever again I will hold onto those. I suppose the exception would be large gaps between kids, as the saved stuff might be too if 5 years go by with no kids, I will get rid of the clothing bins.

Shades of Spring

We have 4 different shades of pink in bloom right now. It's very pretty!

A Little Help, Please

Brooks drinks from a sippy cup or a straw cup now, but he has a problem holding it up at the right angles. Problem solved. These pictures don't really capture it, but he was just leaning over the juice and drinking with no hands, and then he was trying out other things by the time I got the camera. Too cute!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Playmobil 123

I set up the card table and made a little village with the kids playmobil. I should have taken a 'before' pic, it was really cute. Of course as soon as they begin to play it's destroyed and the house is a barn and the toilet is in the yard. Oh well! They are having a blast!


An adorable thrift store find!