Monday, January 26, 2009

Same and Same!

Kenna loves to set up her laptop and 'work' with us! It's a Barbie one, but she insists it's Darby, the little girl from Tigger and Pooh. 'Darby' chats and says "Do you want to go to the zoo?" "YES!" she says (reminder: you have to press the yes button) "Ok, cool. Do you want to ask Ken to go with us?" "YES!" (reminder again, you have to PRESS the yes button) and on and on it goes. This was a hand-me-down toy, and it's been a huge hit!

School Time

Today we all did 'school' together. Mommy practiced something new called Iris Paper Folding, and Kenna and Brooks made shape puzzles.

Brooksie loves shapes!! Fry-aggles (triangles) are his favourites!

Making a rabbit. She does a good job with it, she knows all the shapes and colours and tries very hard to line them up correctly.

It's a "queer"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

DIY - Baby Wipes

When Brooks was born I stopped working (haha, out of the home I mean!), and consquently had a little more time on my hands to devote to money saving efforts like clipping coupons and making some of my own household products. I wrote in Sept about making laundry soap, and I recently made my second batch of it, and I still love the way it cleans clothes. It's been a HUGE savings too, for very little time and effort.

One of the things I started to do when he was born was make my own baby wipes. The recipe is really easy, and more importantly, they work well! I have received many compliments on how they smell nice and feel nice etc.

So, this is how I do it:

1 roll of Bounty paper towel (I have not used another brand, it would need to be a thick, sturdy paper towel, off-brand would likely not work unless they are truly comparable to Bounty. Apparently Viva is good too)
1 C warm water
1 T baby wash
1 t baby oil
NOTE: If using the double roll you will need to double the recipe...but I tend not to use it needs about 1 and a half the water mixture for a double roll.

For pull out wipes: Use an electric knife or very sturdy pair of scissors and cut the roll in half. Remove the cardboard center. Place in a circular container with lid. Prepare the water & soap mixture and pour over top of towels and let sit for awhile with the lid on. Pull wipes from center.

For reach in wipes: (I prefer this kind of wipe, even though it's more time consuming to make. I put on a movie or get caught up on a favourite tv show while the kids are napping. It takes about 20 mins to do 1 roll.) Tear each sheet off of the roll. If using a regular Bounty, cut the square sheets in half (into 2 rectangles). If using select a size, omit that step, they are already the right size! Fold each rectangle into thirds, like you would a letter, so there is a seam on the top to "grab". Once folded fill wipe container and pour water & soap over bottom half, and then over the top half. Give it a little time to soak through to all the wipes.

Cost: I have gone through 1 package (10 rolls) of regular Bounty (double roll), and 1 package (8 rolls, regular size) of select a size. I am currently on my second package of select a size and have 2 rolls left. I wait until they are on sale or I have a coupon, I know for sure I didn't pay more than $10, I think it was more like $8 per pkg.

I had been spending about $8 per month/month and a half on baby wipes, for just Kenna, so I am sure it would have been almost double adding another baby to that. For the both of them I would put the cost at $12 per month, guestimating...I don't use wipes for her much anymore, so the cost is dwindling back down, but you get the idea.

Total = $252.00 ($12x21mths)

For 21 months worth of baby wipes:

Paper Towels: $30 approx
Water: no cost
Baby Oil & Baby Wash: no cost, I am still using up the stash I was given at Kenna's baby shower (incredible, eh?!)
Wipe Boxes: $9 (I have had to buy 3 containers of wipes to use for the containers. They were about $3 each...I lost one, and one lid broke etc)
Total = $39.00

SAVINGS = $213.00 !!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Day

I know this looks like an ordinary picture of my yard. But can't you see why they called a snow day for all the schools? Don't bother to look closer, there is not a single flake. Granted, it is cold (around 29 today, likely the coldest day so far this winter), but there will be no snow on this snow day. Trust me, if there is, I'll be the first to let you know...Kenna would like to see some snow, so here's hoping!

Triumphant Entry

Here is some real time footage of Brian's injury, just in case you really wish you were there. This is courtesy of Luke and Jeremy, who thought it would be a good idea to have it documented. Josh is a nurse, and Tom has medic training from the military, so Brian was well taken care of in the field, and at the cottage. The IV bag mentioned is not to start an IV, but they used the sterile saline to wash the cut and 'unstick' the gauze. I let them all have their space and didn't get an up close and personal view until they were cleaning it with the saline. There were a lot of people around and I didn't need to add to the crowd...the teens were definitely more curious than I was...since I already had an update from the field, I knew he wasn't gravely injured, (they told me he would need a few stitches) so I really wasn't worried until I saw the big hole in his head. Then I was thinking, are we sure a few stitches will fix that?

Note: It is not gross, you cannot see the open wound, just some blood on his face.


A few random pics from the event.

There was a paperfootball tournament. Kaye & Josh made it to the superbowl, and Josh won.

Ooga Booga made a special appearance.

I'm sure you all remember the "explosion" videos from last year...We'll have another from this year, I think. Here we are telling stories around the campfire on Sunday night. Sam has some great stories.

Here are very tired Youth Leaders on Monday morning. We are missing Josh, he had to leave for work already.

Sarah, Sam & Heather, Brian & Darla, Tom & Chae, Steve, the guest speaker and former youth pastor.


This past weekend, (Friday to Monday), we had our annual church Winter Retreat. It started off a little late, with lots of prep to get the church bus ready for the trip, the radiator blew literally when they turned it on to pull out of the parking lot. So Brian and the other leaders (the wives were already at the retreat center getting dinner on!) scrambled to find enough vehicles to transport 26 teens and all their luggage. They were about an hour late, which was not bad, considering! This year the speaker was the former youth pastor, so that was a lot of fun. We had a very challenging weekend, spiritually, and also a lot of fun.

Adding to the “fun”…there’s this game, it’s called Sharks and Minnows, Sharks have flashlights and Minnows don’t, and when you get tagged by a Shark you turn your light on. Or something similar. I wasn’t actually playing as it was after midnight and pretty cold for my newly acquired Southern sensibilities. Another leader and friend Josh was chasing Brian, and Tom (leader and friend) was running in another direction and Tom & Brian collided, forehead to eyebrow. Tom is a little taller than Brian and built bigger (haha, stronger:-), so with a combination of all those factors, Tom came out with a big bump and a little scratch, and Brian came out with STITCHES! At first we couldn’t tell how bad it would be, but while at the hospital and really looking at it after the deep tissue irrigation, I thought it was not looking good. I thought maybe he might need plastic surgery, I couldn’t see it going back… there was a huge hole in his head. But the doctor did a great job! There are about 20 stitches that you can see and there were many under the surface…the doctor lost count! He actually ran out of stitching thread and had to ask for another. This is on my top 2 list of grossest things I’ve ever seen. We thought he might have a concussion, he was having a hard time staying awake and was nauseous, but after he threw up he started to feel better, and he passed all their acuity tests so he didn’t need a CAT scan and apparently did not have a concussion.

We got home from the hospital just as the kids were told lights out, so we barely missed out on any fun. All things considered it turned out as well as it could have. It was a blessing that it was only leaders involved in the incident. A kid would have likely been far more injured, based on size and weight, plus then we’d have some parents to answer to. So even though he's fairly ugly now (haha:-), it worked out pretty good. And to answer the question on everyones mind, Does Brian ever do anything without getting hurt?...that would be an obvious "nope". :-)

I think there are grosser pictures that were taken. With so many teens and cameras, it was like the paparazzi following him documenting everything. So far only one of the girls has her pictures on facebook, so I stole a couple.

This is him in off the field and getting cleaned up.

When we arrived at the hospital looking like this, they asked if he'd had surgery. Uh, no, we are just trying to hold his eye in! At the hospital Brian says, "Well, I know what all the skits will be about tomorrow night!" There were some pretty funny renditions!

Sam (another friend & leader) drove us to the hospital and told the Dr, "He was pretty ugly before, so just try and do what you can". The Dr thought that was funny. It will be a cross/star shaped scar splitting his eyebrow, and going perpendicular to his smile lines, so the Dr said that it would likely always be obvious (esp when smiling), but there is really nothing that can be done about it. I told him we can go shopping for a nice eyebrow pencil. On Brian's bunk when we returned was a note from Josh, Welcome Back Quasimodo. A new nickname was born.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Guitar Hero

Brooks was in love with this guitar that belongs to our little friend Libby. He screamed when I took it away for dinner...he has never done that over a toy before. When you strum/pull on the strings it makes more intense "rock & roll" sounds, it is really cute. He wouldn't let anyone else touch it without a little freak-out.

"My muse-kik!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Apple Cream Schnitz Pie - Recipe

This is a recipe from my mom, and it's one of my favourites. On Christmas, since it was just us, I made a tiny version of a Christmas dinner. I made a 4 lb whole chicken, instead of a turkey, and we only had potatoes, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce as sides. Brian had asked for an apple pie for dessert, so this is the one I made. It's awesome when served right out of the oven!

1 pastry shell
7 apples
3 T flour
1 pinch salt
1 C sour cream
3/4 t cinnamon
1 C sugar

Peel and core apples. Slice and arrange in pastry shell. Combine 3/4C sugar, salt, flour and cream. Pour over the apples. Mix remaining 1/4C sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle on top.

Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until the filling starts to bubble. Preheat conventional oven to 450. Transfer pie to oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm!

Here's a picture of our Christmas dessert!


Watching football with Daddy yesterday. She loves to snuggle with that blanket!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cookies & Hair

I babysit a little boy (Jack - or Jack Jack to Brooks and Jacky Jacky Baby Boy to Kenna, she loves nicknames!) every day from about 9 - 3 or so. They just live a few blocks down the road from us, so it's very convenient. Today I took over some "take and bake" cookies to make for the weekend. It was a very big novelty to see the food cooking! "Look Ma! Dere's cookies in dere!" Our oven doesn't have a window (I don't know why? It came in the house when we bought it, it was brand new, but the cheap version I think, no self clean etc. Who cares, it works great!), so they got to oooh and aaah over that really cool discovery.

A very sleepy Kenna ready for naptime! Notice her new haircut, it's very layered now, it looks fuller, tangles less in the back, and is out of her face now. Mom's a fan!

Coming up to the camera to take a peek. I don't know how I ever coped growing up without being able to see myself on camera, instantly:-)

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Here is "Moses" and the 10 commandments. Kenna insists that it's not Moses. "No, Mom, Moses is a baby, and he can't talk!" I try to tell her how Moses grew up, and didn't your teacher tell you it was a story about Moses? Nope. Well who's the story about then? Jesus!

I'm having a very hard time breaking through her foggy brain. Like when I was a child and would insist on the words of songs being something other than what they were. I used to insist the song was "Strawberry Shortcake, very hobby horse"...strangely I do not know the real words, even now, but I still remember that song, in my version. Hopefully this is not the case with Kenna and her Bible stories!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

DIY - Earache cure

We had a crazy night last week. We were about to go to bed, around 10 on the 29th, and Kenna woke up screaming "My ear, my ear hurts" etc. I gave her some tylenol and she was exhausted but unable to get comfortable despite trying lots of positions, and sitting up, and a movie...I was preparing myself for a long and miserable night, holding her upright on the reclining couch. Then the thought came to mind from something I read earlier in December from the Pearls in their No Greater Joy magazine. Something about garlic curing ear infections. One of their daughters is a herbalist and knows a lot about natural things that will I got the mag from the shelf and read it again. Then I googled my discovery just to be sure it was a "heard of" cure, I don't want to ruin my kids ear or something. Sure enough, it seems to be a well-known homemade cure, so I decided to give it a try.

1 T olive oil, warmed
1 clove crushed garlic

Heat the oil (I did mine on the stove until pretty hot), and crush one clove of garlic into the oil. Let sit for 10 minutes and remove the garlic pieces. (wait until it's warm, not hot, before putting in ear). Put a few drops in ear with a medicine dropper, and keep in ear for 30 seconds to 2 minute, then you can let drain out.

She was in extreme discomfort up until I put the drops in, and then within minutes she said she felt better. I did another round of the drops after about 20 minutes, and she fell asleep and slept the whole night through! In the morning she was in pain again, so more drops, and she was fine until about noon. I took her to the Dr's, and she had an ear infection. I don't know if or how long it would take to cure an ear infection by this method (don't think I would take it that far:-), but I was sure impressed with it's ability to calm the symptoms and pain. I'm sure I'll be using this again over the years!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Monthly Quote, examined

The First Letter to the Christians at Corinth 9 (1 Cor 9:24-27 approx) - Phillips Translation

Do you remember how, on a racing track, every competitor runs, but only one wins the prize? Well, you ought to run with your minds fixed on winning the prize! Every competitor in athletic events goes into serious training. Athletes will take tremendous pains - for a fading crown of leaves. But our contest is for a crown that will never fade.

I run the race then with determination. I am no shadow-boxer, I really fight! I am my body's sternest master, for fear that when I have preached to others I should myself be disqualified.

My Robot

We had a small New Years party at our house on New Years Eve, it was fun to have fun with friends and watch a lame-o motorcycle jump after midnight by Robbie Knievel. Our friend Sarah brought Catch-Phrase over. It's newer than our version, it's 'puffy' and white, with blue oval buttons. Brooks immediately claimed the thing as "my robot!", and puts on his Robot voice (flat and monotone) saying "Waw-wee, E-wah, Waw-wee, E-wah" (Wall-E, Eva). I could really see how he thought it looked like an "Eve" type of robot, it was so cute that he made that association. (My kids are huge Wall-E fans!, I am going to have to buy it for a birthday this year so they stop harrassing me to rent it. We love redbox!) Speaking of Redbox, Kenna has figured out what it is, and it's proving to be an effective motivational reward for her with regards to potty training. She is 100% trained with the peepee part, but has some struggles with other things:-) The incentive of getting a redbox movie works better than candy or toys!

Much to our delight on Christmas morning she went potty and did "other things" all by herself with no promptings for the first time! She's turned a corner and is pretty much officially a big girl now. The funniest thing that happens almost daily is she turns into a "Worm-aid" (mermaid) when she puts her pants back on with two legs in one pant leg. It's to cute to see her hopping out of the bathroom "MommmmmM! I need help!" I can't believe she'll be three in a few months. Yikes.