Jacob had a medical conference in Hawaii and he told Cara to ask us if we could come and stay with the kids so she could go with him. Since all the emotions and busyness of Marissa moving to California was completed, we were more than happy to go. This was the first time we could be there without any other cousins and without their parents. As Cara said, it would give us a time to see them and know them...and I felt it was also time for them to get to know us, without the shadow of anyone else.
Monday April 6...It was a nice trip down to Evansville, about 8 hours since we stopped to stretch and to get lunch on the way. The kids' schedules after school are mind blowing. I don't know how Cara gets them all to where they need to be let alone see what all they are doing but she does. It helps that Cody can drive himself. Sometimes the kids got rides from friends but we were overjoyed to be able to attend their events.
The first event we saw was on Tuesday...and it was Peter in the Academic Challenge sponsored by Purdue.
Peter is one crazy smart dude. He seemed to know so many answers and the best part was that the older students on his team looked to him for those same answers.
We were able to attend this event of Peter's on Tuesday because Jacob and Cara had not been notified of a change in the air schedule so they missed their first flight. It was even more delightful to attend this with them (and this after Jacob convinced me I needed a MAC). Fortunately they were able to leave the next morning for a wonderful stay in Hawaii. They took a Wilderness Survival class together which was part of Jacob's studies..among other things. All typical Hawaiian adventures.
So the next afternoon, Wednesday, Robert and I were on our own enjoying Ella's tennis, Peter's soccer, and Samuel's basketball. Somehow we never did get to see Kipp and his la cross, mainly because we had quite a bit of rain that cancelled his practices. That's a bummer.
Peter is good at soccer; hence some big kid went after him, kicking him in the legs.
Peter has the ball here and the big kid to the right with glasses is the one who kicked Peter.
Later that night we watched Sam's basketball game. He's tall and very athletic. His team won 52-25.
Here Sam is going up for a basket.
and Sam made the last 2 points of the game at the foul line.
Peter had fun with our camera during the basketball game as did Sam during Ella's tennis.
Cody decided he needed chickens and a rooster and with the help of a man from church, he built them a chicken coop. I thought I was in S. Lorain everytime that stupid rooster cockadoodledooooed! But it was Kipp who gathered the eggs every day. Not sure what they will do with those animals (not to mention the hamster that I never saw Cody feed once, nor play with) when Cody leaves for his mission. Kipp however was a true champion when it came to fetching those eggs.
Saturday midmorning, Ella and I had another Granny's Cooking School as we did when she was this very young munchkin....again Cinnamon Roll. While outside playing on Sibs Day, we were talking with their wonderful, elderly neighbor Dotty and Ella said she had tried to make cinnamon rolls and they were so hard and nasty that she just threw them away. I think she's now got the idea of a soft dough, not a stiff dough...her cinnamon rolls turned out wonderful.
There was one of those moments when the long girl in the crowded household of males had had enough. Kipp wandered in and asked, 'What are you cooking?' to which Ella replied, "I'm BAKING! not cooking." Luckily the camera caught the moment. You can see it on her face, can't you?
But look how they turned out
and if some icing is good, more is even better.
And the boys were so very complimentary. Cody even said she could bake these every single day. Now I wonder when she will bake these next time?
Sunday was a hoot and a half. Cara had left me this notebook with blow by blow details or who goes when and where and how. Quite the time schedule. She had written that everyone needed to be in the car at 8:10 for church. Robert started the countdown about 30 minutes earlier...telling all that in 25 minutes or 15, or 10 or 8 or 3 minutes the car would be leaving for church and if they weren't in the car they'd be left. At 8:08 Peter asked me to make him 2 poached eggs...sorry sweet boy....not enough time. At 8:10 we walked out the door with just Sam in tow. Cody, we knew, was driving himself because he needed to return his tuxedo from last night after church so the kids would get to church.
On we drive when suddenly we get a phone call from Cody asking us if we had his car keys by any chance...well, no..we didn't. I can only imagine the ensuing commotion as he searched for the keys which he had just had (since he had to reposition cars so we could get out). Turns out the keys were just where he put them but in the panic of being left, the siblings were not cooperative, and he was 'blinded' and couldn't see them. But he made it to church JUST as Sacrament Meeting began.
I had promised to make donuts when everyone was around and Sunday is the day everyone stays at home. The rules in the Kennedy house is No wheels, No balls, and it's everyone or it's no one. So this was the perfect day for donut making and eating.
paid me the greatest compliment in telling me that she probably had gained 12 pounds since I got there. Not true but all the kids were very receptive to my cooking. Always complimented me. Ella even asked how to make my meatloaf! And she ate it!
The kids got several lessons from me on Polite Society...how to pass food around the table, how to not short stop a dish, how to use a napkin, how to act, how not to throw away the bacon and eggs you asked for in exchange for Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal that turned out to be an empty box (oh the horrors! getting the eggs out of the garbage and having to eat them!
After we left, Kipp told his mom that he NEVER wanted to hear the phrase Polite Society ever again.
Cara and Jacob made it home safely Monday evening very late. The kids stayed up to greet their parents, get some gifts, chat and express their love. It was a sight to behold. We also saw some pictures they took during their surfing lessons. How cool is this?
ALOHA! Cara's up and surfing.
Jacob rides the wave to the shore.
Back at home with this lovely table runner, made by the locals and depicting scenes from their heritage.