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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

the little things . . .

“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20

“Let us daily praise God for common mercies – common as we frequently call them, and yet so priceless that when deprived of them we are ready to perish.”
                                                                                                                  Charles Spurgeon

Over the summer, I read Choosing Gratitude – Your Journey to Joy by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. As far as I’m concerned it’s a must-read . . . period. No matter what stage of life we find ourselves, there is always reason to give thanks. I, personally, needed reminded. One of the chapters addressed giving thanks for  . . . everything. It was a timely reminder of all the ways God blesses us – from the “knock your socks off” stuff to the little things we take for granted. It was also a reminder that little ears hear every word Mommy says so I should be pointing out God’s goodness to Alexa instead of complaining about insignificant matters. Since I started being more mindful of my daily “thanksgiving” attitude, Alexa thanks God for going to the blue park, for the splash pad, for Little Einstein, for brownies, for the iPad, etc. I think it’s a great exercise for Mommy too, so here goes . . .


Lord, thank you for . . .

- flower beds in full bloom with a beautiful lawn to accompany them
- my husband who takes care of our landscaping (oh the joy it brings me!)
- breathtaking sunsets
- blow dryers
- a full night's rest
- post-it notes
- heating & air conditioning
- the changing seasons
- my morning cup of Spark
- Kleenex
- abundant, clean water (hot, cold & on-demand)
- boxed macaroni & cheese
- music in all its forms
- a comfortable bed
- dishwashers
- exterminators
- dental floss
- wool socks
- contact lenses
- digital photos
- double doozie cookies with cold milk
- night lights
- “Attackles” from Alexa
- picnics
- a good pair of running shoes
- thunderstorms
- antibacterial wipes
- allergy shots
- books
- wifi & texting capabilities (almost anywhere)
- Exedrin Migraine
- convenient transportation
- moisturizer
- a storage shed
- band-aids
- sewer systems
- notecards
- electric blankets
- vacations
- disposable diapers
- insurance

We all know the list could go on and on and we haven’t even touched on the spiritual blessings. I don’t really think that’s the point. It’s just a reminder for us to be mindful of “every good and perfect gift” the Father lavishes on us (James 1:17).
Thank you, Lord, for the little things!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Check out our new look!

blog photo

Don’t be alarmed . . . it’s still the Kennedy crew (freckles, laugh lines & all). We just got a little facelift. This kind, of course, is much cheaper and doesn’t require ice packs. We truly hope you enjoy our new digs!

We discussed redesigning the blog last December but Chris (my IT expert) couldn’t tackle such an undertaking in the midst of a full-time job & grad school. And let’s be honest, I can only offer art direction. I’m clueless about html. I just share my vision and he makes it happen. He said, “After summer school, Kels.” I smiled. I could totally wait seven months for a new look. Well, eight months later and with just one week before Chris’ fall semester started, we got serious about making the new blog a reality. There are a few more features we (by that, I mean Chris) hope to add in the future. No deadlines though . . . we’ll just bask in the newness for now.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Potty Training – an addendum

As you know we have been in the midst of potty training Alexa for over a month now. There have definitely been highs and lows in this process. Many of you have asked how this process is going and I thought I’d give you an update.

Alexa is a rockstar when it comes to pee pee. She knows when she needs to go and even wakes us at night to go in the potty. We are so thankful for how quickly she “got it.” However, she still insists on peeing in the little potty. The girl, much like her mama, hates change. She likes her little potty and doesn’t want to try anything else . . . I get it and respect that as the “reluctance to change” gene came from me. I have simply resigned myself to the fact I may be toting around a miniature potty in the Outback until she’s four – we’ll see.

Now to #2. We finally decided around a month or so into this process that Alexa needed to wear a diaper when it came to poop. (It’s fairly evident when “it’s time” as she does the poopy pants dance and becomes very grumpy and clingy). We decided on the diaper because it definitely wasn’t worth the frustration of constantly cleaning poopy panties and the battle that ensued trying to convince her there was a better way. Plus, we had lots of size 4 diapers waiting to be used.

The “Great Wolf Lodge” sticker chart is still empty. We are still giving her Miralax on a daily basis to encourage BMs and she can tell you at any point and time, “I get to go to Great Wolf Lodge when I poop in the big girl potty!” She knows this and she refuses . . . and that’s okay.

In light of this, I wanted to share this apropos newspaper article about the angst of potty training (at least with a strong-willed child). I think many of you will be able to relate to the article. Thanks for sharing this with me Mom & Dad. It made me smile.


HOUSTON – When it comes to toilet training, your toddler is the boss. “You may be the parent but the child has complete control over this process.” said Dr. Teri Turner, Assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. “Toilet training fails when parents forget who’s in charge.”

Toddlers learn the responsibility of using the toilet when the time is right for them. A child doesn’t magically become ready at age 2, Turner said.

Incentives can be helpful in motivating a child to become responsible, but frequent reminders often have the opposite effect.

”The most common reason for resisting toilet training is that the child has been lectured or reminded too much,” she said. “To the child, the reminders are pressure.”

Parents can begin toilet training when the child is able to stay dry for several hours and can communicate the need to use the toilet. The child will be looking for independence and will want to please.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday pick-me-up


Even Alexa is jumping for joy! Keep your eyes peeled for our redesigned blog. It’s currently in the works, and we can’t wait to show you our new look. In the meantime, enjoy a refreshing dip (um, I mean) toss in the pool!

I suppose this is a literal pick-me-up – at least for Alexa. I posted this image on Facebook a few weeks ago and joked If pool tossing were an Olympic sport, we’d have two medal contenders.

Alexa’s unsure of using a public potty but she’s fearless when it comes to heights.

The swim party (above) was part of Abram Malone’s 1st birthday celebration. His mommy & daddy, Jon & Laura, are dear friends of ours who recently moved to Washington D.C. We were honored to share in his big day. I really enjoyed photographing his precious blue eyes. I call him the Gerber baby.

Much to our chagrin, Alexa loves animals. Not that we hate animals, I just don’t want to own one & I’m afraid she will. On the way back from swimming, she befriended this unusually calm cat. The cat seemed indifferent to her new admirer.

She proceeded to kick back and tell the kitty a big story. The kitty hung around until Alexa started playing with her tail. A major “no no” in the feline world.
Here’s to pool tosses, 1st birthdays & (almost completed) redesigned blogs!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cup’a tea, anyone?


Alexa & I celebrated our first little tea party today. It was “on the fly,” so nothing especially creative. Let’s face it, I’m no Barefoot Contessa and I don’t even like being barefoot. Simple fare - heart-shaped pb&j’s, strawberries and apple juice. But that’s what’s so wonderful. Alexa was delighted nonetheless. She thoroughly enjoyed sipping her “tea” with her British accent. We look forward to “having tea” again. Perhaps, Mommy will go all out next time with scones, crumpets and a lil’ Earl Grey. By the way, the tea set was a hand-me-down from Rylen & the handles on the cups say “celebrate life.” I agree wholeheartedly. Happy weekend to you and yours!





Thursday, August 16, 2012

One last hurrah . . .

My niece & nephew start school this Friday (sniff, sniff). The dogs days of summer are quickly coming to a close, so we had to schedule one more outing with the cousins before the school bell rings. Daddy took off work, and thanks to a Groupon, we enjoyed a wonderful day of water fun at Andy Alligator’s, a new water park close to Norman. Alexa had a blast and I think the cousins did too.

Five minutes into our drive home, I looked back to discover this (gotta love those lips that had just relinquished the pacifier – now neatly tucked in her elbow crease) . . . I think six hours at a water park was an exhausting & exhilarating last hurrah for Lil’A.

Have a great first day of school Rylen & Layton – we love you!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Great Outdoors

I debated on publishing this post. I think even Ansel Adams would agree it is difficult to capture the grandeur & majesty of the mountains. It is, without a doubt, most inspiring in person. And that’s what we love to do at Gram K’s – discover God’s beauty firsthand (out of breath & a bit lightheaded). However, the unbelievable vistas are always worth the trek. We hope you enjoy the views . . . we sure did!! Just looking at these pics makes me want to strap on hiking boots and go back. 

IMG_3332San Juan Mountains blanketed by clouds & sunshine.

Kelsey's bringing her A-game, too
IMG_3060 Even Alexa wanted to go for a little hike with Daddy. The reward was a playground at the end of the road with horses to pet along the way. 

IMG_3194Not too far from the meadow where Chris proposed almost seven years ago.

IMG_3252 The “mighty warrior” pose by John.

IMG_1840 Fish Creek Reservoir last year . . .

IMG_3298 The same view of Fish Creek Reservoir this year. We are unsure why it was so dry.

IMG_3264The bottom of Fish Creek Reservoir. Reminds me of the way my skin feels in CO.

IMG_3350 Gram K’s house – She really lives over the river & through the woods (at 9,000 ft).

IMG_3438 An unbelievable rainbow Chris captured on a solo hike – so sad I missed it!


High Park Lake – Chris is in the bottom right. It was gorgeous & the fish were large!


IMG_3792 Chris took a four wheeler up to a summit we didn’t have time to get to on foot. He did, however, have to climb up the shale in the pic above. The view was definitely worth it. Luckily, he missed the rain below.

IMG_3461It isn’t a trip to CO without a few wildlife sightings. This deer enjoyed breakfast on Gram K’s lawn several mornings.

IMG_3385This lil’ brown bear visited the log home at least three times (at night) – even scratching at window sills. He was tearing bark apart from this tree just outside her home one afternoon.

Family! (promise there are mountains in the background)Not everyone enjoyed extended hikes during the day but we did walk to the canal every morning. It was a special time for us all. Here’s the crew (minus Gram K) bright-eyed with morning breath.

Here’s to cooler days to come and a very blessed time in Colorado!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Meeting Ruthie

Introducing our just turned six-month-old niece, Ruthie Ann. I have to admit, I didn’t expect she would steal such a big piece of my heart but it was love at first sight. She’s a doll. She’s quite serious most of the time, but you can tell she’s always thinking and taking in everything. When she giggles, squeals or grunts – it’s priceless. I’m so thankful Alexa had some special time with her newest cuz. I can’t wait to watch them play when Ruthie gets bigger. This blog is dedicated to family.

The Kennedy/Chase crew: John, Kelly & Ruthie, Grandma Rachel, Ama (Karen) & Opa (Charlie) and our crew – paci included.

I couldn’t resist including this priceless pic of the grandparents with their girls.

IMG_7635 Gram K with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Notice the switch-a-roo.


Mama time!
I called Ruthie a little Cabbage Patch doll. Gotta love those cheeks.

We in the hood!
Ruthie and Aunt Kelsey

IMG_6929Ruthie didn’t know what to think of Uncle Chris this go around. She’ll find out how cool he really is next time we visit.



IMG_3469The girls gabbing on our daily morning walk to the bridge. 

IMG_7356 My hope is that someday Alexa really will be picking out a tune for Ruthie to enjoy.

Early morning with Grandpa and GrandmaAn early morning with Ama & Opa.

IMG_6446Ruthie watches Alexa stack’em up.


This is what we do in rugged Colorado :-)Like father, like daughter. Alexa & Daddy playing on their iPads.

Next . . . our adventures outside! Happy Monday to you!!