Sunday, 8 October 2017

A Week in Review (October 1-7)

A Week in Review (October 1-7)

Watched: Butterflies flit all around. I couldn’t believe how many painted ladies made their way to town. So many came into the area that they actually showed up on the weather radar.  I’m hoping that they all successfully finish their migrations before our day of projected snowy weather. 

Read:  I finished up The Lying Game.  Definitely the best Ruth Ware book that I have read. It hooks you from the beginning. I didn’t think that there were really any big surprises, but it was a good story nonetheless. If you like suspense novels, I’d recommend picking this one up for a quick read.  Next, I checked out a book on a Rapid Read system called Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.  This book is absolutely delightful. Great characters and character development. A bit of a mystery to pull you along as well. If you were a fan of either The Rosie Project or A Man Called Ove, I’d highly recommend that you pick this book up!  I am starting on a buddy read with my friend, Sarah, called The Bone Clocks.  I didn't get very far into it as it is very long and Nick got home so I enjoyed my time with him.

Listened: To some Dr Seuss books. Jack was looking for some books to read to practice his oral fluency and found his collection of Dr Seuss books.  While they are way to easy in terms of vocabulary, they do an excellent job encouraging expression while reading the text.  It’s also good to see that he’s finally making huge strides in nonsense words. They used to really fluster him. 

Made: My first couple of deposits for the wrestling team.  It's been interesting being a team mom and being in charge of funds that are so critical to so many people.  I think I am more detail oriented than the couple of people have been before me.  We are talking about wanting to create a detailed report to parents of where their funds go and I know it will be easier to account for things now than go back in late February and try to remember what each item was for.

Felt: Grateful to my village. With Nick not at home, I’m really reaching out to my friends for help with getting Jack and I to and from all the places we needed to be. Wrestling and football practice really overlap and I feel I need to be there at the beginning of the season to get started on the right foot.  It’s been amazing to have people who are so willing to help out our family. 

Planned: Outfits for both of Jack’s October events-his musical performance and Halloween. He has decided to use the colors in the Italian Flag as inspiration for his musical outfit. They are singing songs in other languages and I’m guessing the Italian one is favorite.  For Halloween, he has decided to go as Greg Heffley, the main character from The Diary of a Wimpy Kid novels. I think we have come up with a pretty good costume. I’ll make you wait until Halloween to see. 

Loved: Flowers delivered from Nick to brighten my day. We really miss each other over these long days. We are starting our fourth month of him traveling frequently, where we don’t communicate often when he’s working, so I really love these little reminders that he is thinking of me and misses me like I miss him. 

Here are the pics for the week:









Sunday, 1 October 2017

A Week in Review (September 24-30)

A Week in Review (September 24-30)

Watched: All the series premieres.  I did enjoy the the opening of This is Us, although not as quite as much as I would have liked. Modern Family didn’t wow me either. They lost the truly awesome power of being in the eclipse.  I did really enjoy the new Law and Order that focuses on the Menedez Brothers and their story. True crime is usually pretty interesting and especially when it’s stories that have captured the interest of a nation.

Read:  I finished up Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  The title really sums it up. This book is both bitter and sweet. There isn’t a lot of action or climax in the story but I enjoyed hearing the story of Henry and Keiko. I’d recommend any historical fiction fans pick it up.  Next, I started The Lying Game.  While I am enjoying it, I just can't seem to commit myself to spending the time to make a good dent in it.

Listened: To Jack practice rolling his r’s. In the beginning, it really sounded like there was no hope that he would get it. However, he just kept on trying and trying and he finally figured it out.  The whole week he did it at least once an hour. I guess he was just so proud of himself that he had to keep making sure he could do it.

Made: A long checklist to help prepare for the Fall Festival.  A new person has stepped up to shadow me and I think she will really lighten my load. I am so thankful that we have parents who are eager to take on new tasks. I don’t really want to leave the school scrambling when I’m not there to do projects anymore. 

Felt: Thankful that I have a village to rely on with Nick working out of town so much.  I said that I would be around to help with registration for wrestling. Well it totally conflicts with football practice. And my normal backup is having her conferences and was hoping I could help her out.  Luckily Katie said she would help me out and also help my friend out too. 

Planned: The schedule for carpet cleaning and movers for the big stuff. I’m so comfortable in our home that it’s hard for me to imagine moving, but I don’t think that stops it from coming. I don’t really plan on boxing anything up for long term. I plan to load up the car with stuff, drive it to the new place and find a home for it. I envision having totes of stuff that I’m not really sure where it belongs that we will slowly sort through. I am thankful for our slow moving schedule so that way I can do it in a less hurried style. 

Loved: That someone is taking over for the Fall Festival.  We put out a call for committee members to help with events and we have had some people step up. It’s exciting to see parents getting energized and involved in the program again.  It’s sure the saying that more hands make light work and we get people who have new ideas and can leave their mark on things.

Here are the pics for the week:

Grabbed this good picture of my mom and Jack before she got on the road on Sunday after her visit


Monday, 25 September 2017

A Week in Review (September 17-23)

A Week in Review (September 17-23)

Watched:  Have some great practices this week.  I am glad that my schedule allows me to sit out and chat with my friends most days while Jack practices and grows at a sport he enjoys so much.  He is really doing a better job of going for the hips and dropping his body weight.  It will be so interesting to see what part he plays for teams in the future.

Read:  The Saboteur was due back at the library on Thursday and so I really had to commit myself to reading it so that I didn't incur a library fine.  This book took me a lot longer to get into than the previous book I had read by this author. This WWII continues to illustrate the atrocities of war while highlighting the courageous acts of ordinary people to make a difference. Even when they know that they were risking the lives of themselves and their loved ones. Good book for historical fiction fans. I'd probably recommend that fans that struggle with this genre pass on it.  Next, I started The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  This is the book that was chosen for next book club.  I am really enjoying although there isn't a lot of excitement, it has still drawn me in. 

Listened: To a bunch of customer service representatives on Thursday as when we got home to watch the Thursday night game and it was all pixelated.  I spent over an hour on the phone with them and it looked like we had finally made progress. However, 5 minutes after I hung up, the problem was back.  We didn't really watch much TV on Friday and so I didn't think about it.  Sadly, Nick's game was pixelated and the cable was dropping and he was one unhappy customer that we spend so much for service and it didn't work remotely like it should.  I will be calling tomorrow to see what's up with it.

Made: The house ready for showing to prospective renters.  I wanted it to look it's best so that when people step in they can envision themselves enjoying themselves here as we have.  We have 8 showings and it looks like three of those people will be applying to rent it.  I am crossing my fingers that it works out so that we can get out from underneath the lease and I can stop fretting over the house looking just show.

Felt: Glad that the yearbook cover has been chosen.  On Monday, after students took their Fall pictures, they got to go up and vote for their favorite yearbook cover.  There was a really clear winner.  When I was talking with one of the teachers,  she thought it was because it had the Diary of the Wimpy Kid books with the doodles.  It should be fun to put together.

Planned: Menu for Mom’s visit.  With Nick's new keto diet, it's a bit harder to come up with family friendly meals.  I am slowly learning.  We enjoyed grilled hamburgers with salad, cheese and spinach stuffed fish with Brussel sprouts, and even though she didn't get to eat because she left for home, we enjoyed pork tenderloin, steamed broccoli, and cheese rice.  It was rare that we actually ate everything I planned.

Loved: Cheering on my boy with my mom and Nick.  It was a cold morning for a rematch against Coach Chris and some of the Cougars.  The Cougars ended up being victorious by a score of 13-6.  Jack played pretty well.  He almost intercepted a pass and did recover a fumble.  The one thing we have to work on his making sure that he continues to hit even though it looks like his teammate has gotten the job done.

Here are the pics for the week:

I participated in the #hideabook day that Goodreads was doing to celebrate their anniversary.  Hopefully someone saw it and it made their trip to grocery store a little bit brighter.


The cover that selected


My friend Gretchen caught this great photo.  I'm always telling Jack to make sure that the other team knows he's on the field.  I guess since they put three (and maybe four) guys on him, I think he must have been driving that point home.  He is the kid right under the caption.  


Sunday, 17 September 2017

A Week in Review (September 10-16)

A Week in Review (September 10-16)

Watched: Hart of Dixie.  I have been looking for a good show to relax with now that Jack is back in school.  I have tried a few different shows but none of them had tripped my trigger.  This one seems to have done it though.  With fall TV starting back up, I am not sure that I will get through it very quickly.  However, I can see myself blowing off some of the shows as they start back up so that I can watch a little more of this one.

Read: I finished up Outliers:  The Story of Success. I switched in between reading and listening to this story often.  While I enjoyed listening to the various stories in the book, I felt he could sometimes get a bit to dry. I also felt that he sometimes hammered home the same point too often. If you are wanting to challenge your view that successful people make their own path, I'd encourage picking this book up.  I need to go back and wrap up The Saboteur this next week because it is due back at the library.  It's a little slow, so I have also picked up the audiobook to try and speed me along.  

Listened: Math facts from fourth graders.  Jack's teacher knows that I hold to her high standards of mastery on math fact multiplication and so she asked me to come in again and test the kids a couple times a week on the mastery.  It's fun to see the kids progress and observe all the different levels that they are at.  I am glad that I can continue to work in her room.  I don't think after elementary school you have many opportunities to be in the classroom.

Made: Banana Bread.  I don't remember what Jack and I were doing, but got talking about how we both enjoyed banana bread.  I had some old bananas that had been sitting in the freezer for quite sometime, so I pulled them out and made us banana bread to snack on.  I was good and skipped the crisco recipe that is a family recipe and went for something not quite so unhealthy.  Between the two of us, we ate almost the whole loaf!

Felt: Happy to celebrate Katie on her birthday.  I made her a "No Excuses" sign to go above the words she is sick of seeing kids misspell.  I also plan to take her lunch on Monday (although I might have to alter that because I realized I double booked myself since that is picture day as well).  Jack orchestrated everyone signing a card for her and I helped her out with that.  It also marks the year anniversary of when I pushed Jonathan to send her a damn email so that they could meet up and see if they were a match.  They celebrate their year anniversary of dating on the 21st.

Planned: On negotiating on our terms for buying the house after the appraisal.  We went over on Sunday to check out a few things that had come up in the inspection report that Nick wanted to confirm and a couple of things he wanted to check out for himself.  We put together a list of 5 things. One was a must-do, one was I'd really, really like, and the other three were more meant for negation.  However, they must have thought were were being reasonable and agreed to do all five.  I was surprised.  Since it looks like we have nothing else standing in our way, I let our property manager know we were letting go of this house.  Next week, we will meet up to discuss things and get a sign in the yard so that we can get it rented out to a new family.

Loved: Landon, Mindy, and Braydon coming out to support Jack at his football game on Saturday.  He had a great game and it was a lot of fun to have extra people to cheer him on.  I think he is finally starting to feel natural in his role as middle linebacker.  In one of the pictures below, you will see him pointing out to his defense what he sees as he reads the offense.  All of the pictures for the week were taken by friend, and our team photographer, Gretchen.  All the pictures from my phone were just boring ones and nothing that I'd want to keep around for memories sake.

Here are the pics for the week:













Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Week in Review (September 3-9)

A Week in Review (September 3-9)

Watched: Jack's football game on Saturday morning and I was disappointed that he doesn't seem to bring the same intensity to game's as he does to practice.  However, I was asking his coaches after the game what I could do help those align more and his coaches kind of looked at me like I was crazy.  They said that he was doing exactly what he need to do and that certain things would come with more time and playing.  His head coach said if he could have 11 Jack's on defense, they would be unstoppable.  He really sees his football knowledge coming through in his plays and practice.  He also recognized his work ethic in practice and how it is building his team up.  It was good to hear that I was just being to hard on him.

Read: I finished up The One-in-a-Million Boy.  If you enjoyed A Man Called Ove, I think you would enjoy this story. It's a quirky story with adorable characters that endear you to them quickly. I loved hearing the stories of all the varying characters.  Next, I started reading The Saboteur.  It has a lot of European names and it was just kind of dragging a bit more than I was in the mood for, so I paused it so that I could read my book for our upcoming bookclub.  It is a non-fiction book called Outliers: The Story of Success.  I am not very far into it, but I find it super interesting.

Listened: To several rounds of Marco Polo on Monday when we invited the Beane family over to play in the hotel pool with us.  The dad's grilled up hot dogs while the kids and I messed around in the pool.  We all had a great time and it's always nice to connect with friends in such a chill way.  After lunch, Patrick joined us for some games too.  We ended our day with getting Syla's & Maddy's ice cream together.

Made: Quick trip for tires on Sunday.  Last weekend when Nick was home, I asked him to look at my tires because I noticed that they hadn't had quite the same traction during our rains.  He said he looked at them and they were fine.  Well, when my car got pulled out of valet on Sunday morning, he saw that the steel belt was coming out of one tire!  Thank goodness I didn't blow a tire on my way to Lawrence.  Nick drove the rest of the way back to drop Joe off at Olathe after a yummy breakfast of First Watch. Sadly, because the tire shop closed so soon, we didn't get a chance to visit with my friend Beth.  Luckily, we made it to the tire shop without incident and they were open on Labor Day so that we could get new tires on for a safe journey home!

Felt: Runover by a semi-truck.  On the drive home on Tuesday, I started sneezing and my nose starting running.  I thought maybe it was just a response to all the smoke in the air from the wildfires. But by about 4:30, I was feeling absolutely ready for bed.  I barely made it through the night time routine with Jack.  By this point, I realized it was something more than a reaction to the smoke, so I started chewing Cold-Eze gummies like they were going out of style.  Wednesday, I took three naps and still was ready for bed by nine.  I woke up in a bit of haze still on Thursday morning, but was feeling better.  I took some pain medicine and muscled through the day which included my first day with students and a PTA meeting.  I was feeling much better on Friday, thank goodness.

Planned: On watching the KU vs Central Michigan at home.  However, it appears that Comcast has dropped the Fox College Sports series of channels.  :(. They allow you to have them on a TVGo, which is a replay service.  Nick wouldn't abide by that and so we attempted to go to Buffalo Wild Wings, since Direct TV seems to be the only provider to carry the channels still.  However, they said they weren't showing that game.  Nick thought all hope was lost for watching it live, but luckily, I remembered another neighborhood bar that had Sunday Ticket, and therefore Direct TV.  Luckily, they were able to put the game on for us.  The results kind of stunk, but there were lots of nice people in there and Jack and I were able to still have a good time.

Loved: The response at PTA Meeting.  We had a huge group of people show up!  And we put a call out for people to step up to many positions that we needed to make our PTA function on the backs of more than a couple people.  Two of the big events that I do, Fall Festival and Holiday Shop, each had someone sign up to do help lead them so that really makes my life a lot of easier.  I love knowing that I can play the support role to someone else.  And even if I end up taking the lead, I will have someone behind me giving me an extra pair of hands.

Here are the pics for the week:

Only football pictures this week. 






Thursday, 7 September 2017

A Week in Review (August 27-Sept 2)

A Week in Review (August 27-Sept 2)

Watched: KU get a win!  Due to Jack's football and wrestling schedule, this appears the only time that we will be able to make it back for a KU game this fall.  We had a blast seeing Joe and Roy too.  It also happened to be in the induction of the Orange Bowl team into the KU Hall of Fame.  Jack got to see his old football coach and KU fullback, Brandon McAnderson.  We also bumped into Todd Reising and got to help him how much we admired him.  And right before we went into the game, we got to see Isiah Barfield again.  Jack talked him into a round of "Meet me in the alley" and I got to love up on his sweet three month old.  It was, of course, a great day to be a Jayhawk.

Read:  I finished up The Dry.  I enjoyed this story. I like the double mystery aspect. I wasn't quite right on my guess for either of them. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.  Next, I started the One-in-a-Million Boy.  I didn't get very far into it, but maybe I will be able to get a better chunk of listening done on the car ride home.

Listened: Jack have a blast feeding the different animals at the zoo.  Nick's work did their annual summer picnic at the zoo this year.  While Nick wasn't able to attend since he had to get on the road to KC, Jack and I met up with a couple of his work friends and walked around the zoo with them.  Jack loved the goats, especially one that was smart enough to work a pulley for his request for food.  As always, the giraffes are a blast to feed too.  We also made it back to hear a presentation on the crocodiles that were at the zoo.  Lastly, we snuck in a visit to the Shrine of the Sun since it was included with our admission.  Jack didn't particularly like the heights, but it was a cool view of the city.  It's amazing to think of the engineering that had to happen to build such a place at such elevation almost 100 years ago.

Made: Some changes to the singlet design that came out to us.  I had several suggested changes, while other people thought that it looked good as it was.  I thought that the compromise looks neat and will be a good way for us to show off our logo.  I am excited to see how all the pre-planning for the wrestling season affects the start of the season.

Felt:  Shell-shocked.  A house came into my feed because it had just dropped $15k. It's in the neighborhood and has a three car garage and unfinished basement.  We put in an offer below asking and didn't think that they were going accept it.  They countered, we held firm, and they ended up accepting it.  This week has been a blur of trying to get all the documents in order for the home loan, inspection, etc.  We have the inspection planned for Wednesday of next week, so we will know more then.

Planned: Agenda for the PTA Meeting.  This will be the first time that I sit as the secretary in front of the whole group and I am bit nervous.  I want things to run smoothly and for people to find my notes concise, but helpful.  Hopefully starting with a clear agenda will keep us on track and we will be able to get through everything in a timely manner.

Loved: Seeing old students come through my room.  We had our sneak-a-peek days at work this week and I loved getting a bunch of hugs and seeing the smiling faces.  It sure is a good reminder how much its worth it to get through these beginning weeks with the three year olds.  The transition from home to teacher and then from teacher to another teacher is quite difficult on some of them.  I have a couple pretty laid back weeks to introduce the rules and to establish relationships with each other.

Here are the pics for the week:







This dude wouldn't quit licking the pool.  He was quite entertaining to everyone there.




















Sunday, 27 August 2017

A Week in Review (August 20-26)

A Week in Review (August 20-26)

Watched: The Dark Tower movie. It was awful. I'm not even sure why they would say it was based on the books. They have used the same names and a very limited amounts of all 7 books. It's so sad to see what could have been greatness ruined by Hollywood. Nick says I'm too harsh on it but I think he's rather forgiving.

Read:  I finished up The Couple Next DoorThis book was a fairly easy read that kept me guessing in parts. While I knew certain things right away, there were things revealed at the end that still surprised me. I'd recommend it to all suspense fans. I'm looking forward to the author's next novel.  Next I started on The Dry.  It is pretty good. Next week is fairly busy, but I am still hoping to be able to make time to finish it. 

Listened: To a lot of Madden 18. Jack was so excited to play it that he woke up at 6:45 on a school day.  He also tried to get a game in before his football game. He really enjoys it!

Made: Popcorn for the whole school in just one afternoon. It kind of crept up on us and we didn't realize that this was the last Friday of the month since August goes clear until next Thursday.  Luckily we had two other mom's who were able to get on it and get it knocked out of the park.  It felt nice to work with people who wanted to work towards a common goal.

Felt: Excited for football. Jack had his first game on Saturday. He played middle linebacker. It's not as sexy as a position as he was hoping for, but he played it pretty well. It seemed to take him a half to knock out the cobwebs, but then he was really into it. My friend Gretchen took pictures again. When I was uploading them to the a shutterfly share site, I picked out some of my favorites for Jack. I put just a few of them on here for you too see too. 

Planned: On getting things done around the house when we got back from our trip. I had the DAC meeting in the morning. Then I ran to the grocery store. I thought I'd just take an hour to go do the sign out front of the school. That turned into a whole afternoon at the school. Then after school Jack incit d his friends over to play before football practice. Football practice went a bit long and we didn't get him until almost 7:45. I didn't get much done for the house, but I did get lots of things done.

Loved: The total solar eclipse.  When Nick was talking about seeing it, I didn't really think it would be that big of deal.  I was so wrong.  I had such a visceral response to it. It was truly one of the most awe inspiring things that I have ever been a part of.  I can only imagine the pandemonium that would ensue without having the science behind one.  It almost makes you a junkie for them.  We are talking about seeing if we want to be part of one in the year 2024.  We took some good selfies.  My mom's friend also took an awesome picture of the sun during totality.  I am so thankful that I got to share in this experience with so many people that I love!

Here are the pics for the week: