Monday, January 31, 2011

Goodbye Jan

What a CRAZY month this has been! My goodness. Glad it's over, however, it has also been full of God's blessing and goodness. What can I say? I love My Crazy Life. Looking forward to a slower February. I hope. I can foresee 2011 flying by in record time. Our "forever baby" is really not a baby anymore, even though we all call him that. He's just over 10 months, and taking LOTS of steps (record being about 20 or so!), he pretty much walks to where ever he is going, might drop to a crawl for a few of the steps when he loses his balance, and then back to walking he goes!

His newest discovery...
He walks over to Kenna...

He throws himself down on her blanket, and hangs on...

She drags him around the house, usually very fast, which he seems to love!

Whipping around to turn a corner. Grey loves the thrill! It faster than walking OR crawling!

All tuckered out!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Album Done!

I finished making the album to hold our "Christmas" pics from this year. Check it out here. I'm really happy with it, it's classy and cute "all mixed to-gevver" as Brooksie would say:-)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Busy Times!

These last two week have been busy for us! Some of it with "other" stuff we can't help (work, taxes, people in town), and some of it this...
Anybody else make this much mess when creating? Or is that just me?
A sneak peak at what I've been working on this week, creatively...

Smoothie break! The kids are smoothie snobs now, wanting it "like the store does" with whipped cream and drizzle. Grey likes them too (without the toppings!)...
He can suck a straw now! So cute...
Such a (messy) big boy! He has been taking lots of steps...he has gone across our livingroom (the short side, not the long side), but usually will go no more than about 10 steps before doing the ape crawl. It's just the fastest way for him to get around right now:-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pray for Kate

Last night I found out some heartbreaking news. Every parents worst nightmare. An old friend of ours from IBLP in Chicago, Amanda, has this pretty little girl, Kate. She is just 4 years old. And she has cancer.
Here is the post Amanda put on facebook, sharing the news with all and asking for prayer...
"Kate has been diagnosed with Wilm's Tumor, a cancer of the kidney. Right now they believe she is at stage 3. It has spread to her lymph nodes, abdomen, and main artery that reaches her legs. Her prognosis is good... they said with chemo and surgery she has a 90% chance." Amanda said that Kate is in good spirits and is telling everyone that her name is "Brave Kate." She is asking her friends and family to pray for her, and for lots of hugs!

It especially hits home when it's someone you actually know, know what I mean? It's not a random person on a telethon, it's someone I know. If you have healthy kids, show them Kate's picture and ask them to pray for her! I told my kids, and I they are so faithful and dedicated with their prayers, I know we won't forget to pray for her everyday. I think I will print out her picture and put it on the fridge. It's a scary ordeal for this family to go through, and perhaps I will post updates every now and again, as I hear more news about her condition. Kate is only a little bit younger than Kenna. The family is, Rob, Amanda, Kate & Luke.

Yesterday early morning Brian's truck was broken into, and some of his tools stolen. I spend some of the day bumming about that, the pain-in-the-butt that insurance claims are and all that... And then to get this news puts everything in perspective. I have a healthy family. We are eating food from our full fridge in our warm home. We have more than we'll ever *need* in life, and God has been so good to us. Whatever problems I think I have that are "so great", pale in comparison to the heartache that others are going through around me.

Pray for Kate.

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Favourite Things

Have you ever had Black Popcorn? It's really good! It pops up to white, like normal. I've only ever had it from this brand, but when popped, each kernel is a bit smaller than "normal", and it has a bit of a different consistency. I don't really know how to put it into words, you just have to try some and see for yourself. Is it BETTER than normal (yellow) popcorn? I dunno. It's definitely not worse. It's unique, and it's worth a try!

Jack is anticipating the results!

Enjoying some black popcorn (with butter and salt!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Then & Now - Video

This video was taken when Grey was 10 days old. Waking him up to eat. Although he's just an infant here, I can't help but think how HUGE he is for only ten days! Yikes.

We don't really have to wake him up to eat anymore. He knows how to pack it away! Watch him suck in a strand of spaghetti. It's hilarious to watch him eat, he still only has 2 tiny teeth on the bottom, but that doesn't stop him!


Our lil' Lleyton Grey is almost walking! He can now stand up in the middle of the room with nothing to hold onto, and he walks behind his little car too. It really seemed like he would not walk as early as Kenna (10 months) or Brooks (10.5 months), because even just a month ago he was barely crawling/wasn't crawling well. He's making up for lost time, and it seems like he will be right around the 10.5 month mark too! (He will be 10 months on Jan 21st).

I'm not very generous with my definition of "walking", I don't count steps. I say they can walk when they can go across the room. Real walking. Kenna was taking steps at 7.5 months old, Brooks at 9.5/10 months, and Grey has not yet taken an unassisted step, but he's all over with that car-walker! It won't be long until those first steps come, and then...running!
With all his moving around now, he's starting to loose some of those chunky thighs. :-( He's still huge though. Most of his clothing is now the 18 month size.
Here is Kenna, walking! - She was such an athletic baby, which is something you don't hear about often. I certainly wasn't expecting it, considering who her parents are:-) She had an amazing sense of spacial awareness and balance from birth. She was also bold and fearless

Here is Brooks! - He actually began walking on March 23rd, 2008, which was Easter Sunday, but the pics I took that day weren't great, this one is just TOO cute to not repost:-) Brooks was a very timid walker, it took him forever to be comfortable with taking steps and letting go. We were sure he would be older when he walked, but he was only 2 weeks behind Kenna's mark actually.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Canadian Pop Cans

...have made it to the USA. Wow. Took them long enough:-) I remember the first "American" pop I the Kosmachuk's house. I was probably 11 or 12 (but I could have been a bit younger). We mocked its chubby shape. Then we realized it was larger, so it became cool. If it was served in an American can, we'd gladly accept it, because we knew we'd be getting more! Eventually, the "Canadian size" was no where to be found with the incoming of all things American, like Dr Pepper, Walmart, and Little Debbie cakes. Soon all we had were the "chubby ones". Since everyone is trying to slim down these days, guess what I saw? Lower calorie soda/pop. It's the same stuff, it's just in the smaller can, so it's less calories. Packaging and marketing is brilliant:-)

Here's a pic of the old "Canadian size". There is no lip on the can, coming off of the top rim. It just goes straight down, so it's skinnier (and thereby smaller).

Here is the traditional size, which comes out wider than the rim on the top. Looks so normal to me now, but I remember thinking this was the weirdest can I had ever seen. Pop is like fashion, it comes around every 20 years or so, apparently :-)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Checking off that list!

January is a good month for organization, it seems.
Went through the kids clothes...this is the pile of things to pack away and save.
I kinda hate sorting clothes. A necessary evil.
These are all the boy 0-6 months clothes Grey has outgrown. On their way to a new home, our good friends Tom & Chani just had a baby boy yesterday!

While I sort clothes, Sonny and Grey play

Just like his brother!
This drink taunts me. But I'm on a diet:-('s not real anyway. Very realistic play food that my parents gave the kids. People will come over and see a little picnic in the livingroom...keep in mind these are accurately life-sized (=huge).
Them: "Oh! ahhh, I think that is about to spill!"
Me: "You really think I'd give these drinks to toddlers?"
This one is the kicker. In their defense, this is an astonishingly realistic piece of raw meat. - aside from those little green crayon flecks anyway. - But let me ask you, do I seem crazy enough to let my 9 month old eat raw meat in the livingroom? And not to mention, HOW would he have gotten it anyway?
 Them: "Um. I think he's...." Me: "Oh he's fine. He likes to chew on that"...and it's FAKE:-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

School is going!

The kids are doing quite well with their little studies! Reading, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Bible are the things we focus on most often (everyday). They know both the Canadian and American national anthems, and a new trick is learning the Canadian one in french. They know the beginning to the pledge of allegiance, and the 1st of the 10 commandments, and 15 Bible verses. We do these each day, so they are very well memorized at this point! I am amazed at their progress since September when we started everything off with a reading program. Brooks' penmanship is coming along so well, he loves to draw and try to write things now, just like sister.

Interestingly, when Kenna writes his name (or when he tries to), they write "Boo". The B and the O's being the most important letters, apparently. But it's also interesting to me because when Brooks was born, that is how Kenna said his name. He was Boo-Boo or Boo-ey for a LONG time, if you've been reading my blog for a few years, you'll remember his baby nickname. I wonder if it's a "kid thing" somehow. If Grey calls him Boo, once learning to talk, that will seal the theory in my mind:-)

With all the "serious business" going on around here, there is still plenty of room for the ridiculous. They continually amaze me with the details they pick up and apply to life.

*This conversation happened this morning*
Mommy: Count each bug and color the spaces on the graph to tell how many
Kenna: ants, worms, hey! are those termites?
Mommy: I have no idea, just count them
Kenna: Well I am pretty sure they are termites
Mommy: You're probably right
Kenna: Why don't you know?
Mommy: Because I don't like bugs
Look at Kenna's reading chart! She can read 16 stories perfectly now. Brooks, although very familiar with all the letters and their sounds, isn't quite ready for the blending and reading part yet. We try (I'm sure you remember the video!), but he can only do Fat Cat, Fat Rat well, and sometimes with lots of help do Dan Ran or Cat. I'm sure next school year he will blaze through it all in no time though. (I am using Hooked on Phonics Kindergarten program). Brooks keeps up completely with the K math program. Maybe numbers are his thing.

Fort time! I remember vividly doing this with my brothers and sister when we were young too. Making forts with fort blankets...blankets with a specific designation. I have two of these already, but I'm sure we'll need some more someday:-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Super Diaper Deal, Moms!!

EDIT: This deal is not limited to Pampers. You can get a steal on any diaper Amazon sells (Huggies, Luvs  etc)

If you live in the US, and have kids, DO THIS! (Unsure if it would work etc in Canada).

Sign up for a Amazon Moms account on This will give you free 2 day shipping on everything you order! Plus additional discounts. For example, I have been buying Parents Choice (Walmart brand diapers) for Grey, they are 13.67 for 82 size 4 diapers (coming out to 17cents per, but that is not including tax). But they will leak overnight if they get really wet, so sometimes a middle of the night change is needed.

With my Amazon Moms account, and signing up for a Diaper Subscription (you can have it set automatically for 1, 2, 3, or 4 months and cancel at any time - I chose every 2 months). I am now getting 140 count of Pampers Dry Max size 4 Diapers for 28.56 (no shipping, and no tax online!), which comes out to 20 cents per diaper. This is a little more than I was paying, but for a WAAAAY better diaper (I personally consider Pamper Dry Max to be the best ones out there). So the price vs the value, can't be beat. Plus, I will never have to buy them any more, they will be delivered via UPS to my door! Super bonus. I will see how quick I go through them, I may need to up my subscription to once per month, but I doubt it...

They have all kinds of great deals. I ordered quite a few Christmas gifts from here, and with no shipping? Can't beat this deal!

It will only take a few minutes of your time, but for brand name diapers, you cannot beat this price, I would pretty much guarantee it!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kenna's Hair

She was born with tons of it, and it's just kept growing! With minor cuts and trims along the way, it's been growing like a weed for her whole life. And she loves it. She likens herself to "Tangled", which is really Rapunzel, but she just calls her Tangled. However, she hates having her hair brushed, and with so much of it, it gets tangled, a lot. No pun intended:-) We were finally able to convince her to cut some of her hair off, reassuring her that no one would think she is a boy.
Before the cut. Long, beautiful hair!
Drum roll.....
And AFTER!!! It's still pretty long, actually, but we cut quite a bit off, as you can see!

Cookie Monster

Eating the little cookie that Kenna made for him from their colorful sugar cookie dough. Its a little caterpillar! This boy is full of expressions!

Play Time

Play time x3! I love it!

Heart Songs

Every month, you can check out a favourite song or video here.

This has got to be the cutest ever!


January - Click here to see Dancing in the Mine Fields, by Andrew Peterson

December - Click here to see a little music video, featuring us! The lyrics (Blink, by Revive) really speak to what I am trying to accomplish with this happens in just a blink, and you don't want to miss a single moment! Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

My Blogs

Check out some of my other blogs!
Did you know I sell cookies, cupcakes and other items that I bake and decorate? Click HERE to browse through some tasty treats and place an order.

Did you know I am the oldest of 11 children? My family's blog is HERE, if you know us and want to keep up with periodic news. My mom and some of my siblings are also blog contributors.

Did you know I am a former Stampin' Up! demonstrator? Although my time doesn't allow me to do SU! anymore, I still have my craft blog for inspiration HERE. I post lots of crafty ideas and projects, as they happen.

Did you know I actually like to cook and bake? When I am not completely exhausted (translation = spaghetti:-), I like to make some of the things HERE on my recipe blog. My mom and other family members are also contributors.

Did you know I started this blog in 2007, but had lots of photos and videos to share from before that time? Also contains more current videos in "long form". My Archives Blog is HERE.

About Us

Thought you knew us? Here's some fun and little known facts about us! (not necessarily in order of importance)

We are so glad to be a family! Here are some things we enjoy, and part of what makes us...US!

Bagels & cream cheese
loving to fight over "Daddy's music" and "Mommy's music"
hockey/sports fans
"lumpy" (rippled) potato chips
sitting all together in church (no Jr. church)
banana bread with chocolate chips
the almost-ever-present collection of tools by the front door
trips to the beach
Friday homemade pizza night
movies at home...from redbox!
never-ending home improvement projects
gummy bear vitamins
dark brown hair & blue eyes
aspartame-free living
fruit bars for "1st breakfast"

And of course, we each have our own favourite things too...

Brian (aka Daddy)
Loves: the Lord, his wife, his kids, his extended family, the Drudge Report, fantasy sports, his Droid (phone), Ovaltine, playing hockey, a good haircut, watching the Rangers (hockey), the beach, good friends, deep conversations, everything bagels, New York City, working out, and Thai Food
Does not Love: distractions when on the phone, moody wife or kids (his own, or other peoples:-), pepperoni on pizza, working late, coffee

Darla (aka Mommy)
Loves: the Lord, her husband, her kids, her extended family, Big Mac's, paper crafting, blogging, frappucino's, manicures, facebook, cooking & baking, dusting, the newborn baby smell, sleeping in, brunch, cheese, Mexican food, makeup, and names & baby name books.
Does not Love: clothes on the floor, birds/insects/reptiles, being sunburned, drinking water, yard work, cleaning up after cooking & baking, off-brand Mac & Cheese

Kennedy (aka Kenna)
Loves: her class & teacher (at church), washing dishes, soft things, "puffy" dresses, fresh veggies, reading, the beach, babies, bath time, dress up
Does not Love: mustard, having her hair brushed, napping, mangos

Brooklyn (aka Brooks)
Loves: Football, pickles, jello, hockey, flip flops, nature shows, superheros, volleyball, bath time, playing outside, baseball, spiky hair & gel and grapefruit juice
Does not Love: potatoes, having his hair cut, bananas, heights, bugs
Lleyton (aka Grey)
Loves: milk, butter cookies, puffs, bath time, applesauce
Does not Love: having clothes changed, blowing nose, waking up early

Saturday, January 8, 2011

You Can Do It Too!

Wanna know why people read my blog? Or at least the thing that gets commented on most frequently when people talk to me...

Kid Kwotes & Kwips

People will send me a facebook message just to say they were laughing to tears over the funny stuff my kids said.

Here is some inspiration for can do it too! If you have kids that is. If not, chances are, your husband will not appreciate you quoting all the ridiculous things he says. If you have a blog, blog it. If not, get a notebook, and get writing. Your kids, (even the "who cares Boys") will love this when they are teens/adults, and get quite a chuckle.

I was inspired to do this by my Mom, who has kept such a notebook for each of us. A few moments of hilarity that I remember from those books (siblings name kept secret to spare potential embarrassment:-)

One of us, (telling someone why we missed church, I think), "We gots Aids" - in actuality, we had head lice.

One of us, after falling off their chair at dinner, "Don't worry, I am not picking my backside, I'm just getting the underwear out"

If you wonder if your kids ever say anything funny, they do. And they did. You just don't remember it. So from the moment they start talking, write it down! You will love the memories and never regret the little time it takes to get it 'down' somewhere. I will literally be scribbling down a convo in progress on an old coupon while driving, or call myself and leave a message with the funny story/quote. Even I have missed quite a few funnies, because it wasn't 'recorded' in some way instantly, and I'll remember it vaguely 3 weeks later. It doesn't always have to be funny. It just has to be notable. Sweet, cute, hilarious,'s all notable!

Just start doing it! You'll love the memories! You can thank my Mom for the inspiration!

Sarah's Names

I've been watching Sarah Palin's Alaska show on TLC (I dvr it, it's on Sunday nights = football game time, so I watch it during the week whenever I can). I remember when she was first introduced to "the world" as John McCain's running mate (McCain vs Obama election, big deal in the USA = nobody cares in Canada:-). I immediately thought I might like her, political views aside, when I heard the names of her kids. I love them, because I feel like they are "mine". They fit into my style. In fact, these exact names are on my list (the girls names). Bristol stands out as my fave here.

Sarah has a niece, McKinley, also on my list.

Her boys are Track and Trig, which, believe it or not, are a little too creative for me. Did you think that was possible? That my choices, when compared with those names, might be called more traditional? HAH! I do like them, in theory, but I would never use them. The difference between Like and Love. I love her girls names, meaning, I would actually name one of my own daughters one or all of those names. If only my husband weren't standing in my creative path! Or maybe you are all glad he is!!

Girls names are a huge hurdle for me, personally. I know others have the same issue with boys names. More about that topic later...!

Friday, January 7, 2011


A few random pics from my phone over the last week or so.
Taking care of Hatch (and Hazel, not pictured). The kids (even Grey) *adore* these dogs!
Standing on the floor, sleeping. I think he must have conked out in the middle of an attempted escape.

Short Story

This Short Story is a little bit of a Flashback...Life before the internet. Or blogs. Or facebook. Can you remember it? I couldn't even tell you the last time I read an actual newspaper. I get all my news online, or from the tv. But in the "olden days", there were no pictures to upload and share. And a picture really is worth a thousand words. But when you can't see one, you do your best to describe it...

In ages gone by, local newspapers would write up the stories and descriptions of engagements, weddings, and showers. Ages not too long ago, as I believe my parents had an article written detailing their wedding in their local paper, and that was 1977. I'm glad I live NOW, so I can see the pics. I have a horrible imagination, and I have no idea what jubilee crepe is, :-)

This article is copied from the newspaper clipping in the Pine Hill paper, in 1935. I copied it exactly, including spelling mistakes and typing errors. This is describing the wedding and showers of my Great-Grandparents.

Haas - Hamacher Wedding.
A pretty autumn wedding was solemnized at the Evangelical parsonage at New Hamberg at two o'clock on Wednesday, when Miss Ruby Alberta Hamacher, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gideon J. Hamacher, became the bride of Mr. Willard Allan Haas, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Elam Haas of near Baden. Rev. J. B. Dengis officiated.

The bride looked charming in a dress with jacket of navy blue triple sheer crepe with matching hat and suede shoes, and wore a corsage of Premier roses and maiden hair fern. The bridesmaid was Mrs. George O. Paff, of Lisbon, sister of the groom, and was dressed in a navy blue ensemble of jubilee crepe with matching hat and accessories and wore a corsage of Johanna Hill roses and maiden hair fern. 8he groom was attended by Mr. George O. Paff of Lisbon.

After the ceremony a reception was held at the home of the bride's parents with about fifty guests in attendance. The table was prettily decorated in yellow and white color scheme, centered with a three story wedding cake and two tall yellow candles. Four girl friends of the bride assisted with the waiting of the table. The groom's present to the bridesmaid was a silver bon bon dish and to the groom an Eversharp pencil.

The young couple left on a trip to Windsor and Detroit and also Indiana. The bride wore for travelling a brown fur-trimmed coat and rough crepe dress with shoes and hat to match.

Bridal Couple Honored.
On Saturday evening about forty members of the Wilmot Centre E.L.C.E. pleasantly surprised Miss Ruby Hamacher and Mr. Willard Haas, whose marriage took place yesterday. They were showered with good wishes and many useful gifts for the kitchen. The evening was spent playing games, after which a dainty lunch was served.

Also a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings friends and relatimes tendered kitchen and miscellaneous showers in honour of Miss Ruby Hamacher at the home of her parents Mr. and Mrs. Gideon J. Hamacher, whose marriage took this week. Each respective evening was spent in games, after which lunch was served. The guest of honor received many useful and pretty gifts.

The clipping does not include the name of the writer of this article, however, their super-sleuthing investigative reporting appears to be a little off...they got married on a Wednesday, and the very next evening, which was reportedly a Saturday, they had a shower. And there are other oddities in the writing too, as you may notice. My own super-sleuthing (a copy of the hand-written wedding invitation) reveals that they were in fact married on Wednesday. And for some strange reason had to entertain guests the very next day. Glad I'm living in 2010:-)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gift Certificate - Video

I recently heard that young children cannot say "gift certificate" for some reason. It's a tongue twister to them. Of course I had to try it out! Sure enough, it seems quite impossible, however, Brooks actually doesn't do too badly (he gets it pretty close to perfect the first time around!). Kenna's been saying it all morning, she can't seem to get it right, :-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pirourette - Video

Nothing like an early morning dancing session:-)

Special Day

Yesterday the kids got to go on a "special day" with a friend from church (she is a paramedic). She took them to the best place ever (according to them!)...the firehouse, and Barnes & Noble! These are some pics she texted me from the excursion. They had a total blast, and were telling Brian and I *all* about the fire station. Kenna said it was LIKE a fire station, but it wasn't REALLY a fire station, because it was different than she had known about from tv and books. Mostly because it had a kitchen and room to sleep in, and I guess she thought those didn't belong:-) I told her that was definitely REALLY real, sometimes tv just shows the parts only about the trucks, not what happens at the whole station! They loved their day, and will be talking about this for a long time, I think!
The trucks were definitely a highlight!
"Driving" the truck
Getting hot chocolate at Barnes & Noble!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Quick Update!

I have some posts I am working on, but just a little update!

We are back to the daily routine -in part- anyway. Sonny is back, and will be 1 year old this month. I am trying to get him and Grey back on the same nap schedule. Jack's mom had her baby...little Ardyn Isabel on Dec 31st. So we are on a break from Jack & Ardyn until maternity leave is over, and then it'll be those two little ones also! I am reworking Brooks & Kenna's naps/quiet times too during this break, so we are ready for the new little baby. My house isn't big enough to accommodate 6 sleeping children at once, so we'll make some adjustments so the babies have napping priority! (K & B rarely actually sleep anymore anyway).

Schoolwork is going along well. Kenna is halfway through the Hooked on Phonics Kindergarten material, and loving it. She's a reader! This summer we have to register Kenna for school and request permission to home school. I'm already nervous about this a little, just because of some of the requirements that our state has (one of which is to provide the high school diploma's of the parents). Since Brian and I were both home schooled, and "back in the day"...we don't have any written proof that we've obtained any sort of education whatsoever! There are other ways around this rule, but they just are much more involved than simply showing your diploma. I'm sure I'm fretting over nothing here, but it will be a huge sigh of relief to have DONE this once, and know what the process will be for the future. In our state you must "apply" to home school every year, for every child.

I am about to start some bookkeeping again, part time, and only for a short time. I just got the call yesterday, from the contracting company I used to work for. It's just entering the accounts payable (remotely), so it's pretty mindless data entry (of thousands of Home Depot receipts, basically), but I love it!

I have a few goals for this new year, and I hope to get 'em done! We'll see. Anyway, I'll get taking pics and posting in no time at all!!