Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kitchen memories

I do not consider myself a great cook.

I do not consider myself a bad cook.

I just consider myself... a cook. I have failures and successes. My family still wants me to feed them at least 3x's a day, so I must be doing something right.

But I do have a wee bit of a cookbook obsession. I don't know what it is about them, but I really do love them.

I love recipes. I love the stories behind them. So because of that, these are 4 of my favorites.

My Kennedy family cookbook where I share a recipe (I was a teenager) that I copied out of one of my Moms cookbooks, lol. But there are others that I have made time and time again. Recipes from aunts, cousins, friends, my Mom and my Grandma. I love seeing the "submitted by" names next to the recipes.

The next is a recent one. A gift from my Mom at Christmas time. While I love the recipes recorded...I think I love the history more! Reading about my parents & grandparents. Reading about their lives leaves me smiling. Knowing them just a little better. My Mom was careful to, as much as possible, include the original copy of the recipe. With the smudges and tears. That is my favorite part. They are real.

For my wedding, I was given a crockpot. I took it from home to home. But I never knew what or how to use it. During one of my weekly chats with my sister Susan, I mentioned this to her. She gave me my "Fix it and Forget it" cookbook and I still use it constantly!

Last but not least, is my Seabee cookbook. I actually have more than one. Once again, it is not about the recipes, but the names that I see. Memories of times spent with friends.

I started a binder for recipes that I have printed or torn out of magazines. I love this recipe for banana cookies, but I also love the fact that, Ethan found it, printed it and that his messy handwriting wrote the title. It too is covered in smudges.

So I guess maybe it isn't the cookbooks that I love. Maybe it is the stories...and the people behind them. A legacy of love handed down from generation to generation.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pool perks

We love Camarillo, where we have now lived for 4 years!

Perfect weather, amazing friends, close to family...

Yep we love it here.

We also love our housing. Nice big backyard, really nice parks, awesome neighbors...and the biggest thing? The pool!

We live directly across from the pool. A nice big pool, a baby pool, steam room...

We hold playgroup there, BBQ's, birthday parties, scouts and family night!

Today we had a large turn out for playgroup, and these two loved soaking up the sun! Here is to hoping that they will sleep well tonight!

Monday, June 23, 2014

the Lego movie

After a long busy week, our family loves to relax and have a family movie night. We usually have a rotation, so that everyone gets a turn.

However, since Tuesday, Ivan & Mason have chosen. Although they haven't just chosen at is more like morning, noon and night.

The movie of choice? The Lego Movie. It has been playing non stop.

Last night, Ben & I sat down with Mason & Ivan to watch it. Again. For the 11th time.

I have gone through movie obsessions with all of my kids....

*Elmo in Grouchland
*Toy Story Movies (all of them)
*Harry Potter (ok that is me, lol)
*Star Wars
*Indiana Jones
*the Lorax

Who knows how long this newest obsession will last...but for now, everything is AWESOME!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Gone camping...

Last year, Ben went to scout camp with Ethan. It was his first year.

 I was having some issues with my "baby" leaving me. So having Ben with him made it that much easier.

Yesterday, Ethan & Connor set out for Scout Camp. Ben did not. Ethan has a year of experience under his belt. Connor has none. He hasn't been away from me for longer than a night.

I am putting my trust in his leaders...who are very good guys. I am not worried at all...just amazed at how fast my boys have grown up. Amazed at how quiet it is without them. Amazed at how well Ivan & Mason play together when the "big boys" aren't around.


Their backpacks were packed. Lots of snacks. Money for the trading post. Extra socks & underwear that I snuck in to a side pocket.

The 3 oldest kids getting instruction on being good leaders & examples

They are going to have a great time...and I am going to smother them with hugs and kisses when I see them again.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Safe & Sound

Being a parent is TOUGH.

There was a time when my biggest safety concern had to do with covering electrical outlets, making sure car seats were installed correctly and that bath water wasn't too hot.

But as they have grown up, other safety concerns have surfaced.

I find myself wishing to go back to that time. I want life to be easy.

I don't want to be scared for my children. Or my children's friends.

One of my children has been threatened in a way that I have no control over. I have anxiety for them and our family.

 All I can do is pray. Have faith and hope.

I know that this is not the most...specific...but for a variety of reasons, I just can't.

Know that we are being cautious. Know that we have a small handle on the situation. Life is so topsy-turvy.

We are praying, having faith and hoping for the best. We invite all of our family & friends to do the same.

Monday, June 16, 2014

ER visits & a broken clavicle

Picture this scene:

4 Moms sitting at the park enjoying sunshine and conversation.

1 Dad sitting in "his chair" ignoring the multitudes of children going by

10 children (at least) playing video games/watching others play

Then 3 children go out to jump on the trampoline. Nothing wrong with that right?

Until those Moms hear screaming. Blood curdling screams. Coming from our backyard.

Ethan brings me a screaming Mason, followed closely by an un-named older brother saying, "It was an accident! I kicked him off the trampoline on accident!"

Mason went straight to Ben and I figured while sore, he was probably ok.

Until someone grabbed Mason by the shoulders...and the screaming resumed.

I tried to take his shirt off, to check for swelling, and screaming and crying ensued.

Friday morning I took him to the ER and found that he had a broken clavicle. After a couple of hours and an arm sling, we were sent on our way. With a referral to see an orthopedist. A specialist because despite Mason's claim of being a "big boy" in the medical world he is still pretty small.

As I was dealing with all this drama, Harmony and I discovered something. She has not once, been to the ER. Not for an injury or sickness. Not once.

However, each of the boys have been one time...since December.

It started with Connor:
While visiting my parents, he fell on the stairs. And broke his toe.

A couple of days later (literally days), we were at a friends home. Ivan was messing around with a  friend. She pushed him, he held out his wrists to catch his fall, and broke his wrist.
A couple of months later, while at the pool with a friend, Ethan's face got in the way of a flying toy tea cup. And broke his tooth. I was not allowed to share this on Facebook, but now have permission, as the tooth was fixed the very next day.

And now Mason.

Boys are a barrel of laughs...and ER visits.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

a Fathers Day shout out...

I checked my Facebook account today, and it was flooded with pictures of Dads!

Fathers, Grandpas, husbands, brothers, uncles... I loved seeing them. A lot of special tributes.

Sometimes I think that the men in my (all?) life get the shaft. They work so hard and don't always get the respect & acknowledgement they deserve.

My Dad. What can I say about someone who is a hard worker, kind, caring, intelligent, sweet, funny man? Who absolutely adores my Mom, takes amazing care of his Mother? Who took Harmony's dog so that we could live in our housing? Hmmm, I don't know how to do him justice. Some of my favorite memories of him are, going to his office to get a root beer from the pop machine, listening to Johnny Cash (which I still do) watching Cary Grant movies, scripture study in the mornings, and of course our girls trip to Reno & California.

My husband. The father of my children. The head of our home. My rock. My best friend. He works hard. He financially supports us so that I can be home with the kids. He helps with homework (especially math), goes to Scouts, takes the kids to movies, grills a mean steak, makes huge Saturday/Sunday breakfasts. He builds Legos, cheers on his team and is the chief "builder" of all furniture in our home. Favorite memories with my hubby? They are still happening! Seeing him delicately wash Harmony when she was born, seeing him pass the sacrament with Ethan & Connor, snuggling with Mason and then falling asleep, doing his best to help Ivan & support me in all my meetings and appointments for Ivan. Trips as a family, family movie nights...

My father in law. Jim is a quiet man, maybe because he can't get a word in with me around? Quite possibly. I feel sad that I don't know him very well. He has always treated me with love and kindness. Giving me genuine compliments. Teaching my husband. Loving my kids. Encouraging us.
(He also apparently doesn't like having his picture taken because I can't find any on my computer!)

Thank you to the men in my life. For being who you are...and blessing my life. Happy Fathers Day!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

End of the year wrap up

This year has been CAH-RAZY!! We have been super busy...and now it is over.

Summer break has begun. Here is a look back at what the 2013-14 school year brought.
One of the last days of school

1st day of school


band, new friends, old friends,  14 years old, band comps, seminary, Rio Mesa zero period classes, AP, freshman, band concerts, band practices, "lettering" in band...everything band!

1st day of school

Ethan: 7th grade, Monte Vista, band, writing, baritone, Deacons Quorum president, turned 13, band concerts, bike rides, Scouts, bike crash, broken tooth, swimming, taller than Mom!

One of the last days of school

1st day

Connor: 6th grade, middle school, Monte Vista, band, getting glasses, new friends, new schedules, turned 12, swimming, scouts, in mutual, broken toe, good grades
one of the last days

Ivan: 3rd grade, Las Posas, hates writing, loves math, turned 9, broken wrist, red cast, learned to ride his bike, instructional aid, IEP's, highs & lows, new best friend, chess, computer time.

Mason: preschool, United Methodist preschool (UMCDC), 5 days a week, singing songs, playing games, best friends, 4 years old, counting, saying the alphabet, lots of dental work, new bike, big boy!

For me, the school year meant...driving, driving and more driving. Waking up early, making lunches, car pools, helping with homework, meetings, and driving, driving, driving.

Thank heaven for summer...or for the first couple of weeks until all the "I'm boreds" start!

Friday, June 13, 2014

End of the year cuteness

**If  you notice two changes of clothing, it is because Mason is in the M,W,F class and the T, Th class. Which are "technically" two different classes. So he got two parties.**

Of all my children, not one of them has gone to a preschool (or kindergarten for that matter) that has a full blown graduation.

And while I have to admit that little kids in caps and gowns are pretty cute...I am so glad that we haven't had to deal with that!

Mason with his best friend Lyna

I am happy with our preschool's end of the year sing a long and ice cream party.

They wear whatever they want, sing some of their favorite songs from the year, eat a sugar filled snack and go home.

Easy. Simple. And yet...still full of absolute cuteness!

Giggling instead of singing. Forgetting the words. Sweet smiles. Cute songs. Friends spending a few more precious moments together.

United Methodist Child Development Center is an amazing preschool and we have felt blessed to be there. Great teachers. Great values. Great place.

Today is the day we say goodbye to preschool...and get ready to say hello to  kindergarten!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Third graders

Due to a huge lack of funding, (I will not go into details on the CA school system), there were no field trips, at Las Posas this year. It is sad.

I have fond memories of going to the Bonneville Dam and the Fish Hatchery. As well as the Portland Zoo and Omsi. Rides on the bus, having a packed lunch and just getting out of the class room for the day.

A walking field trip to a nearby park doesn't seem very exotic but I don't think these kids cared!

Nancy Bush park is 2 blocks away from the school, and so the 3rd grade classes hoofed it in a long procession that I am sure drivers were thrilled about.

This cute non-third grader got to tag a long :)

The kids ran around and played on the equipment, colored with sidewalk chalk, had a water balloon toss, ate their packed lunches, played some more and ended their day with popsicles.

While all of this was fun, it could get a little overwhelming for Ivan. So he chose to throw a Frisbee with his friend, play many, many games of chess, hang out on a blanket with Mom and blow bubbles.

He did participate in water balloons but once it popped and he was soaked...he was done with that.

Third graders have a lot of energy. Energy that an overweight thirty something Mom just doesn't have.

My field trip day ended with a nap. That is much more my speed. Is school out yet?