Sunday, March 21, 2021

Grey's 11th BDay

This year Grey's birthday also felt like a never ending celebration - we planned to have family over but G&G were leaving town on Friday - his bday being Sunday - so we had the party (cake) on Thursday with everyone. And then his bday "Cereal" etc on Sunday. He actually requested the sausage egg bake I normally only make on Christmas morning...but his bday was a Sunday, and church starts at 9am! I didn't want to be up at 6am cooking, so we compromised - a quick Toaster Strudel (a first! we've had Pop Tarts before, but never these!) before church, and then the egg casserole for a little brunch, after church. He spent most of the afternoon working with Brooks & Brian siding the house. Welcome to the real world, Bud. Work waits for no birthdayπŸ˜‚ But he did have time to play a little of his Switch, so all was not lost.

He's loving the Switch they got at Christmas, and requested a Switch cake. He had a marble cake with coffee buttercream. His screen name in Fortnite is The_GREY_Storm, so I put that on the cake. I haven't used fondant in awhile, so it was fun to make this one.
Pretty accurate if I do say so myself. He loved it. He thought it was a dead ringer😊

Height comparison for next year...a pic with Dad.
He got a Lego Architecture set from Auntie Meg - all about NYC! He assembled it in no time, and loves to look up and spout off random facts about each building πŸ˜‚ 


Saturday, March 20, 2021

Lehman & Cara's Wedding

 Well - we had to miss the wedding. Super sad faces. Covid rules currently don't allow for any travel for personal reasons, there may be a few exceptions but our purposes didn't seem to fit the bill. Not to mention the need for a quarantine upon arrival, not being able to see many people at any given time, and the wedding guest list could only be 40 people - so that was basically essential "personnel" only - no kids or extra people - even of the local family, not all the spouses etc attended. There were just too many people and not enough spaceπŸ˜“. We've actually never met Cara! Boo. In May 2019 Lehman came down to vacation with us (and other Kennedy family members - the last time we've seen any family thanks to lockdowns) in the OuterBanks. In May 2020, while we were back down in the OBX we "met" Cara for the first time over facetime. And in March 2021, they were married! *Fun fact, Lehman got married the day after his birthday...and so did Brent!*

We lived streamed the event. Because of the Covid rules, they had to wear masks, which isn't how they really wanted it to go - but outside masks aren't required - but Canada, so it's freezing! They did a very private ceremony outside, mask free, with basically just parents, and her Dad gave her away at that point. Then they did it again inside, with the masks and distancing and all that stuff. So stupid though, because official rules state they are allow to kiss! And that the Pastor doesn't have to be masked πŸ˜‚ Don't even get me started on what little sense any of that makes.

Anyway, a small video clip of us, watching the ceremony over the web-cast. It looked so lovely, and we were bummed beyond words that we couldn't be there to celebrate with everyone. The last Kennedy wedding, and the final (and 7th) Mrs. Kennedy is added to the clan!

Click here for YouTube video of my wedding clips!

Monday, March 15, 2021

Kennedy's Golden Birthday

I think somewhere between 1979 and now, Golden Birthdays became a thing. I'd certainly never heard of them growing up, but now they seem to be "all the rage"...I guess. Some one told my kids about it anyway, and so it's certainly quite the anticipated event here πŸ˜‚ Kenna has been planning her Golden Birthday (when you turn the age that your birthday is on) - 15 on the 15th...for YEARS. Basically the plan just encompassed "make everything gold". So it fell to me to build an actual birthday plan - and this is what I came up with!
A tee shirt with a golden fifteen on it from an Etsy shop. And Golden cereal was chosen (it actually IS a fave of hers, tied with Capn Crunch, but I will say the "retro recipe" using's not as good as the regular ones we're used to 😬)

I ordered balloons on Amazon. A pack of "gold' ones - white, solid gold, and 2 varieties of clear with gold glitter inside. We made a balloon banner to hang - never done this before, but it was easy, and looked cool. Attractive and fun without being too "little kiddish".

The cake - I bought some edible gold leaf to apply. I purchased a wedding cake topper in gold from an Etsy shop, and just had it personalized with her name instead of the suggested "Mr & Mrs". It wasn't very expensive (I think $8 as I recall, and it's delicate, but can definitely be reused on a cake again, or as another decor thing in her room or something). I purchased edible gold spray paint (Wilton brand) and gold sprinkles/sugar
She wanted a chocolate cake with milk chocolate icing, so the white buttercream was deceiving!
It is hard to tell from the pics, but it was a shimmery cake. The gold spray paint gave a really light shimmer to the whole thing, and I did more coats down at the bottom to make it darker gold. All the food we chose We had Rold Gold pretzels, cheddar chips, golden oreos, white chocolate mini oreos - spray painted gold, and then any other candy we could find individually wrapped in gold. I think it was Hershey's with toffee bits inside, Reese's peanut butter cups, Rolos, Ferrero Rocher, Werthers, Ghirardelli's Caramel. The main course we couldn't really think of much "gold" but went with Subs, because that is one of her top fave foods.

She invited her best friends, Savannah, Clara, Ellen, Grace, Krista and Kayla. I had a gold themed craft for them to do (Paint, Glitter, and butterfly, initials & flowers to apply if desired). They all turned out very differently, but very pretty. They also played Drawful which is a fun game from Jackbox on Amazon. It's a version of pictionary, but always fun with a crowd.
One of the girls finished golden frame

Vale was SO excited to sing happy birthday. SO EXCITED. Thankfully big sister didn't mind sharing the spotlight


She had a fun party - not actually on her birthday because the 15th wasn't a weekend:-/ So it felt like the never ending birthday celebration! 

Love this kid, can't believe how grown up she is now! 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Milk Painting Brick

Kind of for my own benefit - I have done this one other time, and found some directions online - I couldn't seem to find anything similar this time - so I scrolled through 5 years of IG posts to find the pic of the fireplace, and thankfully, someone commented how did I do it - and I posted my ratio - that was the main part I couldn't remember! I didn't want to use special kinds of paint or anything - I didn't last time, and it's perfect.

I use regular paint - nothing special. I brushed my brick clean, but didn't actually clean it - it wasn't dirty, so I figured why bother!

I really like brick! But ours is especially "orangey" in its undertone, and it just doesn't go with the look I like. So painting is the way to go. I do want some of the brick look, so I didn't want to paint it solid.

I watered down the paint - 1 part paint, 2 parts water. I used an old brush that was kind of stiff and didn't squish when pressed against. I used a sponge made for tile/grout work. It's dense and holds up well - brick is ROUGH.

I paint the grout lines with the paint/water mixture, then use the sponge to spread evenly all the "drips". It's VERY drippy.

Work in small sections, and make sure you use a consistent hand/pressure/method, so that the entire wall has the same look.

It took me about an hour to do this space for the 1st coat - the brand new sponge looked like this at the end! Rubbing it across the brick wears it out fast!

Face done, corner coming right up!

1st coat - wet
The first coat soaks in quite a bit. The next day it will look hazy instead of painted (it will look painted when it's wet). The haze creates a base so that the 2nd coat won't soak in as much. For the second coat, use the same paint dilution, and use a sponge. Dip it into the paint, and wring it out well - and then brush on to the areas where you want to see more colour.
These last 2 pics are the 2nd coat done - it is hard to see in pics - but it looks how I want it to...I think. I may touch up a few areas with a 3rd coat once I stare at it awhile.
I think a lot of people are scared to paint brick - because you can't take it back, go back to how it was, or fix it. You can only go heavier (not the milk paint look, but the solid painted look, which is also nice). I was "ok" with a solid look when I first tried this, so started here...but I love it. The fireplace in the house has been painted since Sept 2015, and I've never once wished I didn't or wished it was different. It's exactly what I wanted for that space - so I think I'll have a similar feeling about this room.
Most of this wall will be covered with a massive TV anyway, haha!

Tips - start in the least visible area first - to get the hang of your method (area behind a tv etc)
Go light - you can always add more coats later if you want
Thoroughly cover EVERYTHING nearby - it's drippy and splashy
Wear gloves if you want - I hate wearing gloves, but will be scrubbing paint off my hands for weeks.
Don't be too nervous, or too sold on any particular look - some of the art of it all depends on the brick type and colour you are dealing with. See what will work for you, and then just GO for it with confidence. Note, you could use coloured paint - I didn't.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Benny's Pizza

Friday night Cassy & the girls came over and brought pizza - the biggest pizza we've ever seen!! Even though they actually gave her the wrong order - Joe (name on the box) will be disappointed in Cassy's Mac & cheese and alfredo pizza, given the fact that he ordered plain cheese & sausage πŸ˜‚
But it was impressive nonetheless, and we had a great night.
Pizza as big as my island, with Payton & Brinley

A couch fort was made from the boxes:-) 


Saturday, March 6, 2021

The Maiden Voyage

Last year we bought a jetski - it's been amazing fun. Brian had wanted to buy one, probably forever...but at least for a few years. In fact, in 2017, (though we weren't quite ready to financially pull it off), Brian let the family vote - Dog, or Boat? ...I was the only one who voted Boat (he didn't vote). I mean Solomon is fine. But I stand by my vote. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Well, last year was the year! And...Covid hit. I guess you'd think that would have nothing to do with boating, but you'd be wrong. Apparently in a crisis - EVERYONE BUYS A BOAT. 😲 Who knew?! We thought that, naturally, boating is a niche thing, and there'd be a ton of them to choose from. Wrong. Covid at first shut down the manufacturing plants for about 4wks in Mar/Apr. Even if it hadn't, but especially because it did, there was just no recovering...guess what everyone figured out real quick - You're outside, relatively alone/small group/family and it's so fun. Also, can't spend money on travel or the yearly family vacay, soooo "Let's all buy a jetksi!". We were extremely fortunate to find this one used (a 2017), and thoroughly enjoyed it every weekend! The kids learned tubing, kneeboarding, and a bit of waterskiing too!

Baby Blue, our Yahama jetski
Brian had his eye on the boats still though - and also, completely sold out, country wide - not just in our area. Insanity. We found one unpurchased. Literally one, in early January. He decided to go for it! It's been too cold to take it out, and it's been taunting us! Last weekend we were able to go, as it was pretty nice - the water itself is still too cold to go in (so no jetski because you get wet), but the boat!! Here are some pics from our maiden voyage. There's a public boat ramp a couple miles from our house by the Great Bridge, so we let in there.

Brian named the boat πŸ˜…

Vale LOVED it

She got a little tired

The big kids have been DYING to go out on the boat. They were on cloud nine

It's 21 ft, and seats 10 or so people. Wasn't really B's preferred colour scheme, but you don't get any choices in this market. If you don't take it as is, someone else will!

It's a jetboat - really like a big floating computer πŸ˜‚ It has 2 of the jetski engines in it. 

We are so looking forward to warmer weather and getting the kids up on the wakeboard/skis etc! 

Friday, March 5, 2021

A Hidden Life

...for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs. George Eliot

Let's live a hidden life in 2021, of faithfulness to the will of God. Last weeks sermon on Colossians 1 detailed this succinctly - be busy with good works. Strive to know him more than you did. Rely on his strength to face whatever comes your way. And give glad thanks to the Father for all he has done. 

Our seemingly little impact in the world, is in fact, pretty spectacular - future generations will look back on our unvisited tombs and the "unremarkable" way we lived, and not realize the debt they owe to our faithfulness. Because we rarely live like we know that the way we live matters now - and will matter later - to those we'll never meet. I think it was maybe Mother Teresa (or was it Martin Luther King Jr?) who challenged people to do small things with great love. It doesn't have to be amazing in the worlds eyes, it just has to be the right thing in that moment - that's how needs both great and small are met.

I'm thinking this coming year is going to be one that will call us to greatness, through unhistoric acts, done with great love. Here's to living a hidden life in 2021 πŸ₯‚

(Posted to fb Jan 1, 2021)

Thursday, March 4, 2021

A Countdown to Easter

Forty days. There were forty days of rain. Forty years of wandering, from slavery to freedom. Forty days on a mountain with God. Spying out the land for forty days resulted in a mixed report and the redemption of a gentile woman. Goliath taunted the people of God for forty days, before God said "enough". Elijah fasted and walked for forty days. Jesus fasted for forty days and endured the temptations of Satan himself.
...There are forty days from the Resurrection to the Ascension of the Messiah. And there are lots and lots more forties. I notice some themes...chastisement, and judgement, but maybe arching over them all...Preparation. Hope and Becoming, all intermingled in a divine preparation. Before the goodbyes to the old, and the arrival of the new, there is forty.
And so,

Forty days we prepare for Easter - a triumphant farewell to sin and separation and death. And the beginning of forgiveness, reunion, life, and eternity. "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

 (As a way to prepare our hearts, we are lighting a candle each day, and every few days reading through the Scriptures in this booklet, called The Trail to the Tree. There are only about 20 days of readings, so it's not an everyday thing, and this is the first year we've really done anything for Easter, so perhaps I will find some resources to do more next year. I purchased this from The Keeping Company for advent, but it had an extension for Easter, and we're making good use of it!)