Friday, November 30, 2012

Pie - Recipe

I come from a pie family. Yes, I do. But...I'd rather eat cake. For shame. My mom can whip out a perfect pie crust from scratch, in seconds, and pie is a general Kennedy family fave in every way. Don't get me wrong, I do like pie...I just like cake better, if given the choice! My mom is from a pie family too. Her mother so generously cuts an entire 9" pie into 8 slices. My dad's mom...perhaps not the pie lover, and definitely not the best baker in the world cut her pie slices into 16th's.

So today, as I made I pie, I reflected on some of these Pie Memories, and shared them with my kids. A Kennedy Slice means you want a tiny (16th) piece of pie, and are perhaps 1. not hungry or 2. not a fan of pie. A Shantz Slice means you want a huge piece of pie:-) It is an easy way to describe, and I like that.

Did you know that on my Mom's side, I am...a Mennonite?! Well, 'tis true. Mennonite by heritage that is, and not by "religion" (there was a shunning incident involving my Great Grandparents). Another story for another time. In any case, my heritage on that side of the family is Amish/Woolich (a type of Amish specific to the region they lived in). Which means I am able to trace my family roots and cousins, all the way back to Noah, because Mennonites are good at record keeping:-). I don't know why I bring that up, except to say that perhaps mentally I associate pie with Mennonites. Lol.
I have a recipe passed down from my Great Grandma, Ruby Haas. It's called Shoo Fly Pie, and it seems to be made entirely out of...molasses. Yuck. Although I do not remember it, I am sure I have been made to gag down a taste of that one in my childhood, and thus, perhaps the reason I prefer cake. I do not believe Germans have ever been renowned for their cooking. Because pigs tails and cow tongues are not good. No matter how they are prepared.

My Grandparents, although no longer conversational (I assume?), still could understand and speak Pennsylvanian Dutch. So we heard a few words here and there growing up, that they would interject into conversation.

Anyway, here is the pie I made today, which brought on so many memories. I am so grateful for such a rich family history!

1 pie shell (9" - make your own or use a refrigerated one from store)
6 C apples - thinly sliced/chopped
1 T lemon juice (optional)

3/4 C white sugar
2 T white flour
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
1/2 C raisins (optional)
1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)

1/2 C flour
1/2 C brown sugar
3 T butter

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Place sliced apples in a large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice if desired. In a small bowl, mix together white sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle mixture over apples. Toss until apples are evenly coated. Stir in raisins and walnuts if desired. Spoon mixture into pastry shell.
  3. In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over apple filling. Cover top loosely with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until top is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nice Smiles

The ragamuffin face that steals every show. Just squint and age by 30 years...who do we see here?!...right down to choice of fave dessert I might add;-)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Set Up - Video

We set up the Christmas tree this morning, because I was too tired to do it yesterday and napped instead;-)
I let them place all the jingle bells, and kid friendly unbreakables. Soooo, it's super clumpy and awkward at the moment. I will re-distribute and place everything else during naps to avoid temptations;-)
My helpers were careful and obedient, as {almost} always!

The daily crew! Love these faces!

A completely lyrically incorrect version of Jingle Bell Rock to rally the troops during snack:-) A snack of Chips Ahoy Christmas Cookies too!...thanks to a friend who purchased them and didn't like them. Kids didn't complain at all, go figure:-)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend

We had a very nice Thanksgiving together with Brian's family. I guess it's always too short. We took the kids out Black Friday shopping at 9am, and snagged a few good deals/Christmas presents. It was tricky to try and find things without them seeing, and Grey's little face, clutching his favourite hot wheels saying "you buy this for me, please?. Wiff yer monies?" was almost enough to crack me and buy it for him on the spot!

We also spent quite a bit of time in introspection. It is not always (er, ever) fun to see the intimate parts of your heart exposed. To see how your actions are perceived. To realize and have reinforced how attitudes and perceptions have impact. We are, in this house, incredibly grateful for God's forgiveness. It is healthy to realize how human we are, how flawed, how reliant on self, how much we need our wonderful Saviour. Lessons deeply learned. Children who will learn better than their parents, in the future. Parents, who will strive after the things God loves, and hopefully maintain vision and focus without distraction as life moves along.

Introspection inevitably leads us around to gratefulness, and thanksgiving. We have been supremely blessed. At every twist and turn life brings, we see provision, grace, blessings, love...things that God is graciously bestowing on us, and not things we merit of our own doings. Things that do not go unnoticed by us for a moment. But it's something about this time of year I guess, that makes you especially notice all the wonderful things you have, and all of the myriads of ways those things could be stripped from you in an instant. Somber. Blessed.

So family. Brian can always get a rise out of the girls and a snicker out of the boys. The "new family members/husbands", Jake & Dale are so great! We had such an enjoyable time of bonding and laughter.

Redskins vs Cowboys. So many rivals squished all on one couch:-) Dale's parents joined us on Thursday and we were so glad they did!
3 generations, playing football. Great times.

Great catches!

Great Throws!
Squeezing in a pic around midnight - tired, but happy!

Great food! Here is an egg nog pie I made, and it was really yummy - and I don't even like egg nog!
Kenna fell asleep at 6pm on the couch on Saturday night. This NEVER happens with the social girl! A tiring weekend for all:-)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

After a crazy week last week, I had about 3 days to get everything in order and ready for Thanksgiving...have you ever seen this? It's sooo true.

Try cleaning, tidying and catching up with a house full of 6 kids, 6 years old to 13 months old! While I was cleaning the bathroom, Sonny, Grey & Ardyn emptied out the ENTIRE contents of the toy box. I should've known they were getting along too well by themselves. Thankfully, I got it under control:-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Love Song"

I think I've mentioned that my kids use up reams of paper per day, haven't I? I don't keep it all (or any of it)'s waaaaay to much! But I thought I should document this one...I found the note, and couldn't really make heads or tails of it (still can't), so I asked Kenna.

"Oh, I was just writing a song", and she told me how it went. So just in case we have a future lyricist on our hands, I thought we should have proof of the very first original song she ever wrote. It was mostly just words, she said, she's not sure about the tune yet. It is titled "Love Song".

This one was for Brooks...My Hearts A Stareo, er stereo:-) Mostly all the words were left out of this one. And the OHohOHoh part is written as HA HA HA. When I pointed out this error in "sounding out", they both looked at ME like I was the crazy one.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dr's Stats

From the doctors last week

Kennedy: 6yrs8mths H:44 1/2" W: 45 1/2lbs
Brooklyn: 5yrs6mths H: 44 1/2" W: 45 1/2lbs
Lleyton: 2yrs8mths H: 36 3/4" W:33 lbs 10 oz Head: 50 3/4cm

So Kenna and Brooks are officially twins! Lets see if I can remember the percentages she told me to go along with the measurements, which I have written down:-)

Kenna: H: 6% W: 34%
Brooks: H: 52% W: 69%
Grey: H: 75% W: 86% Head: 86%

Basketball Tryouts - Video

Brooks made us aware of a new "love" in the summer. His "favourite sport" This is funny to us, as neither Brian nor I are into it...we never watch it on tv, or talk about it. We do not own a basketball of any type, not even a baby plushie one...and naturally then, we have no nets. Yet, for some reason, the kid just adores it...again, a little weird, since even knowing of his interest, we still have yet to watch a game...or purchase a basketball. So who knows why he likes it?! Strange. Anyway, I heard of a church league up the road from us, offering basketball this winter (Upward Sports) - so I signed the boy up.

The season does not start until January, however, there are mandatory "tryouts" (skills evaluations) for every player. Brooks was thrilled about this news. I was a little skeptical - lack of a basketball in the house topped my list of worries. How good can you be when you've never tried to shoot a basket? Or whatever it's called - I don't even know! Tonight he did his evaluation, and I thought was surprisingly adept, considering factors of age (5) and lack of instruction and equipment (Christmas gifts, coming up!).

They asked me upon check in, if I would be willing to coach, or referee. I probably looked shocked at the question as I said "That would probably be a huge mistake. I don't even know the rules!"

Driving home he said, "I was pretty impressed with myself. I'm really good!" HAHA!! The child has an unprecedented sense of self-worth:-) Then he said, "I hope when I'm challenged with the other 6 players I can still be as good". Back down to earth:-) And I think he meant other 5 players? That shows how much we've prepared the boy:-/

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Disaster Zones

Well, while I was making these...
My house unraveled
Laundry piles
Here's to cleaning up!

Hairy Us

New haircuts...I come home and Brian says "It's look...maternal"
No one ever listens to him...for good reason;-)
I have to include this pic, because I remind myself so much of my Auntie Collette, it's scary!

Haircut time

happy about it?

He looks like he did when he was 3 or so. So big and so little all at the same time.
I did it myself. I like it!

A Memorial for Evie

Well, it's been an emotional week...lack of posts due mostly to just being busy:-/
An ornament Sarah for everyone to hang on their tree this Christmas

Today was Evie Caris Rieke's burial and memorial. The memorial was...oddly, really good. For as awful as something like this is, it was pretty perfect. I was pretty much crying the whole time - Sarah spoke, there was lots of music from Josh & others, and Pastor Dave gave a message that was so fitting and wonderful. Although heart wrenching and full of terrible sadness in the here and now, there was such beauty, hope, gratefulness and grace present. On display for all to see. My favourite moments of the day just had to be when Sarah was talking about her little girl. I am literally crying again right now just thinking of it.

I could only pray that if God should ever trust me with such a situation and such grief, that I would handle it half as well.

I got to be involved in a small way - towards making this a beautiful day for Evie. Sarah asked me to make her a ladybug cake for the memorial. The theme was butterflies and ladybugs:-), and then I was also tasked with aiding in the baking, setup and decor of the dessert table. I wish I had a picture of it all set up...perfectly gorgeous!

With a butterfly kiss
and a ladybug hug
sleep tight little one
like a bug in a rug
Some tags for the sugar cookie ladybugs, we had a few different ones. Even Brian did his part to help me make these!
 I don't have any finished pics of the cake. I finished the cake on site, putting it on the proper display plate and then did chocolate icing "beading" around the bottom to complete it! I know they got professional pics of it, but here are some I took on my phone to text people involved a sneak peak.
Miss Ladybug. Her face is done, but she's missing some spots still:-)

The colours for the day were pink and brown:-)
Sad days that also give hope. It's a really weird thing to have heart ache and have your heart soar, all at the same time. Praying so much for all the dear people grieving right now

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blast from the Past

The Kennedy Family in 2002: on my parents 25th wedding anniversary!

25th wedding anniversary photo shoot

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

For Fun

People Brian has been compared to, looks wise: He just has one of those faces that everyone feels the need to comment on. "Did you know you look like ______", or "Hey, I think I know you! We went to school together!" uuuuh, nope. That is not even a possibility, since he was homeschooled and not in this state! Too funny. He just reminds everyone of everyone else.

Maybe it's all the Irish people look similar or something. I think it's pretty fun, and funny too! Here are the "look alikes"...
Mark Wills

Gerard Butler

Lead guy from Mumford & Sons

Rob Lowe

Flynn Rider

Monday, November 12, 2012

All in good fun

It's great to have rowdy boys. It really is. When one picks up a tennis racket, holds it to his face and says...

"Hey! Frow somesing at me"...

You know it might be time to intervene. I could just imagine a bowling ball flying through the air courtesy of older brother.

All in the name of good fun.

After a few objects were tossed directly at the face, "protected"-by-racket, and batted away, I called the end of the game, before life, limb, or lamp were compromised.
They are just too cute. And too loud, usually ;-)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Posting Enough?

I feel like I haven't been posting as much, or taking many pictures recently :-/ We've been busy beavers trying to work on our house! Painting painting and more painting!! I'm telling you what! I am glad our house is not 1 square foot larger than it is - it's too big to paint! There are so many nooks, crannies, and windows! (The house is about 2000 square feet not including the garage, we live on the main floor only which is about 1200sq ft).
Painting windows and trim, and vinyl wrapping

Vinyl wrap looks soooo great! (the big white sections above Brian's head) Now for all the windows....errggg. I hate wooden windows!

The dormers are next on the list - this week/next weekend should see them finished too!

It looks like a war zone back here! The back porch is obviously down now, siding repair is done. Still a little wood needs to be added (where the porch roof was). First coat is now done, and almost all the cutting in has happened. Can you see Brian up on the roof? Our roof is barely walkable, the pitch is very steep. As he's going up there, he says "This is how people die". :-/ Well thankfully, he do it all again another day:-D

Very tediously washing, and cutting in

Shed side, looking pretty good...
We love the colour so so much! We decided on a door colour, and perhaps it was not unanimous...but it's done!...I think I'm going to wait on a "big reveal" post before I show the pics of that. Oh the suspense;-) We just need to finish up all the little stuff and do another coat on the back, and put up some white shudders and stuff. I CAN'T WAIT until this is all done. :-)

Soccer Awards - Video

Soccer Trophies!
It was the last day of soccer yesterday. A huge thank you to Coach Tom (he is also one of Brian's good friends:-) - the kids learned a ton and had so much fun too. The red Road Runners had an undefeated season!! Thanks to some great coaching and natural talent, we had great goal keepers and great scorers! Kenna even got a goal, which is I think was a first for her:-) Next year, Kenna will move up to the 7-9 year old league and Grey will be old enough to play. 3 kids, 3 teams. Bye bye Saturdays, haha.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Grey's Rules - Video

Here we have checkers, animal sounds, counting, shapes, and lots of cute conversation:-)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Picture Update

It's been a busy, random kind of are a few pics...

I found one of Brian's old testimony tapes. We gave it a listen and had a few laughs...I left IBLP Headquarters in '99 (but worked remotely until June '01) so this was my first time hearing it. It was pretty great, for old times sake.
Everybody loves this goofy face...
I opened my fridge on Friday morning and came to a startling revelation. I am a cow.
Kenna's art always makes me smile...
Ever since Sandy rolled through town, we've been having chilly weather! No more flip flops and shorts:-( Winter clothes are officially out and in use.
He wanted an up close shot of the bee on his shirt:-)...oh look...a normal face!
Grey and Ardyn, watching the big kids soccer game. There is only one game left in the season. This week, I signed Brooksie up to play basketball on a Kindergarten team, which starts in January...should be CUTE.