Monday, 12 June 2017

A Week in Review (June 4-10)

A Week in Review (June 4-10)

Watched: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul with Jack on Tuesday before we headed home from KC.  We just had an awkward amount of time to kill and the movie filled it perfectly.  I am surprised to see it rated so poorly on IMDB.  I thought it was pretty funny and was a family friendly version of National Lampoon's Vacation.  It was hard to see Alicia Silverstone looking so old as the mom!  I'm sure I look just like I did when she was starring in Clueless.  Not sure why she is looking older.  Must have been good make-up artists.  ;)

Read: I finished up The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir.  This book was probably more like a 3.5 for me. The beginning was phenomenal and drew me. Towards the end, I felt she started getting pretty cyclical and didn't really know how to conclude the story. You can definitely feel her passion and pain on the pages of the book.  Next I tried to start Still Life, which is the beginning of my online book club series, but I just couldn't get into it.  I started The Best of Adam Sharp, but it isn't really drawing me in either.  

Listened: Giggles as Kate and Jack spent the afternoon hanging out.  They have so much fun together.  They spend about 10 minutes being awkward and then it's right back to normal.  We took her to Chuck E Cheese and then out for ice cream at Syla's and Maddy's.  I handed them my phone for some reason and they took some hilarious photos and videos.  I posted one of Jack that I thought summed them up pretty well.  So thankful for their friendship.

Made: A friend cook for me.  I really enjoy his food and thought it would be fun for the kids to just all be able to hang out without having to worry about the constraints of a restaurant. He was going to attempt to pay for it and I just couldn't let that fly!  We headed to the store while Nick stayed and hung out with the boys.  It was a delicious dinner and a great afternoon.  I wish we didn't live so far away so we could see them more often than once or twice a year.

Felt: After our fun day of seeing my friend Sarah for lunch and hanging out with Kate, we went over to the Zinn household for dinner.  Beth and I set out on the back deck and chatted while the kids hung out inside.  They played lots of Wii and talked.  At the end of the night, we had mom's and kid's Mario Kart race.  It was pretty funny to see all the different level of racers.

Planned: On dividing our Thursday at Elitch's between both the water park and rides, but we decided to just spend the whole day at the water park.  The water was a bit chilly, but it was warm enough that you could still get in.  Jack and I went right to the thrill water rides and did those all without waiting for a tube.  That was a pretty rare treat.  I decided to take my phone with me on the lazy river and got some pretty fun pictures.

Loved:  Our impromptu night with our friends at an escape room.  We failed to escape because we missed a step in the literal directions that we are all skipping over because it just didn't seem an essential step.  We also refused to ask for hints because we are stubborn like that.  They took a fun picture of us at the end.  Then we went out to Iron Bird for beer, pizza, and pretzels.  It was an excellent night and just what we needed!

Here are the pics for the week:

Love this face!
 


The goofs outside of the ice cream shop


Just what was he doing?  I think he was showing off his muscular thighs.


Lazy River Selfie


Still Headless!
 

Oh somehow the story of the giant water balloons didn't make my week recap.  But Jack and I had a competition to see who could get more water in a regular balloon and then release it on the other.  Nick wasn't game expect for helping with the filling and carrying.
 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

A Week in Review (May 28-June 3)

A Week in Review (May 28-June 3)

Watched: Jack show compassion for his friend who decided he wasn't a fan of thrill ride. We had a bring a friend ticket that expired in May and so we asked his friend Oliver if he would like to come with us. He just decided that those rides didn't look like fun so they had to find other rides that were a good combination for the both of them. I think they both enjoyed the ball pit area the most. Luckily it was a cooler day so it wasn't too stifling in there. 

Read:  I made more progress on The Fact of a Body.  I didn't quite finish it up, but I'm sure I will have by next week. It's a very intriguing story. 

Listened: To great discussion on so many topics with my book club. They are a lot of fun and there are so many different topics discussed.  I'm always thankful for them. Sadly July is too busy for everyone so we will take almost two months off.  

Made: A girl feel successful during her rescue because she found a baby bird on her lawn. She couldn't find any nearby nest and did research that you could put them in any nest. Jack had discovered it during a tree climbing expedition. We left for our out of town so I don't know how it is doing, but I hope well. 

Felt: Grateful that we were able to see so many of our neighbors on such short notice on Saturday night. We weren't sure when we would be coming in so we didn't really schedule any plans ahead of time. We still ended up being able to see four sets of our neighbors. Guy and Laurie built a beautiful oasis that sat us all very comfortably. We stayed out there until midnight just swapping stories and reliving memories.

Planned: A much more exciting Thursday than the park and weather allowed for. When we first arrived, many of the rides were shut down due to staffing issues and or maintenance.  After lunch, we headed back into the water park. The water felt like it couldn't melt an ice cube and after everyone but me took one lap, lightening was apparently in the vicinity causing everyone to have to leave the water.  We waited like a half hour for it to pass, it never did. We had to debate if we wanted to play at the park for three additional hours or try to get on the road to beat traffic. We settled on heading home and stopping for frozen yogurt. 

Loved: That we are lucky enough to be able to travel back to KC to visit friends while Nick is working.  The drive is long, but its primarily covered by the company so it's hard to pass up.  I'm hoping we get a least one more company covered trip in this summer.

Here are the pics for the week:

 
    

A Week in Review (May 21-27)

A Week in Review (May 21-27)

Watched: Jack walk into school on his last day of 3rd grade. I spent a lot of time at school that day helping his teacher pack up here classroom so she can head to 4th grade!  We are crossing our fingers that we get her.  After I was done, I lined up his first day photo with his last day photo and the difference is just so shocking to me. You can see the nervousness written all over his face in the first picture, but in the last day, he looks so confident (and so much older!). I decided to take all his Kindergarten, First, Second, and Third and make them all a collage. It's kind of amazing to watch him grow up in pictures taken all about the same time.

Read:  I finished up A Fall of Marigolds on Sunday morning.  This is an excellent story that really drew me in from the beginning. I liked the dual story lines set 100 years apart. I liked the mix of historical fiction, love story, and mystery. If you are looking for an easy read to cleanse your palate from something too deep, this is a great choice.  I decided to start Plainsong next because I had an audiobook for it.  I'm just not a fan of Kent Haruf's novels. They just seem like a gossip column for a small town in Colorado. I was excited to have the book The Fact of a Body come off my holds list. I just barely had time to start it, but it seems like it's going to be very thought provoking.  With our summer schedule, I just don't read as often, so I doubt I will have a review next week.

Listened:  To Jack moan and groan when Nick picked out another new game for us to play.  This one is called Hero Quest.  It was one of Nick's favorites as a kid and my brother really enjoyed playing it with us over his summers that he visited.  Needless to say, Jack loved it!  We have played four quests and the first took them three times of playing to really figure out a good order and how to work together.  I am sure by the end of the summer, we will have completed the quest book!

Made: Some sprucing up to a ladybug that my mom had bought me years ago. I had stumbled upon my bag of acrylic pain and realized that I had every color to give her a new paint job. It was a pretty quick fix and a drastic change. I'll smile even more now when I walk by her on my steps. 

Felt: Like I took the cheater way out for my end-of-year gift for my secret teacher. I have been trying to decide what to get her and was just coming up short. I know she loves Hobby Lobby. I just couldn't give her a gift card, so I found a cute little clip frame that held it up. It turned out decent and she liked it, which is good. 

Planned: On having dinner with my mom on Sunday, but with the way it all worked out, we decided to skip it to reduce the airport stress. So we took our travel time and fixed the holes Nora had dug in the backyard. Last week I had tried just filling them in with dirt, but she was super attracted to the dirt. So, we decided to lay sod down over the holes.  It's working for now at keeping her away from them.  I had also planted a new set for the container that had been sitting empty since we moved in. 

Loved: That Jack got to play with his best "Colorado Springs" friends.  It cracks me up on how he has to differentiate them.  They have such a good time being together.  With the end of all of Jack's sports and us not having a lot of appointments outside of them, they were able to hang out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  I am so thankful for the close relationships that he has formed.

Here are the pics for the week:

It makes me so happy each time I walk by it!
 


Isn't it quite the difference?

 


Hero Quest begins
 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A Week in Review (May 14-20)

A Week in Review (May 14-20)

Watched: Jack fail at skating. It's probably good for him to have something that he isn't good at and it's definitely things with wheels. He doesn't seem to really enjoy roller skating or bike riding. His teacher came and helped him out in spots, which was very kind of her. He took some big biffs, but always got back up and kept trying.

Read:  I was able to finish up The Underground Railroad.  This book was told in a non-sequential order, which I found to be a bit distracting from the message of the book. It's always sad to read about the horrors of slavery and this book is no different. I would say if you like 12 Years a Slave, you would also enjoy this novel.  Next, I started A Fall of Marigolds.  It is the book for my face-to-face book club.  I am enjoying it.  It's a pretty easy read. I have to finish it up by early next week so that I can pass it on the next person, so they have time to read it before our meeting.

Listened: To Jack's coach give a funny little speech about him when he was giving him his trophy at the end of the season. You can view it HERE. The coaches all had very kind things to say about him. They really love the heart he shows when he is playing football.

Made: Really cute gifts for the assistant coaches on Jack's team. I can't believe that I forgot to take a picture. I bought a couple thing of candy for each one of them and gave them a Redbox code to go along with it. There was a cute tag thanking them for all their hard work.

Felt: Sick cold weather.  It snowed!  Quite a lot that stuck to the ground on the 17th of May!  It really makes it hard to feel like the end of the school year when it feels just like winter.  It forced Jack's Field Day to be postponed and his football party to be moved inside rather than having Laser Tag at the park.  I am just hoping for the weather to turn around soon.  The spring has been far more winter like than the winter was!

Planned: An awesome last day with my students!  I have had such a fun year with them.  Each class got to vote on what activity they wanted to do on their last day with me.  We had choices between balloons (most popular), parachute (second most popular), soccer and action songs.  It was a great way to just spend our time hanging out together!

Loved: Celebrating Mother's Day with my boys.  To start my morning, Jack presented with a magnet that he made at school.  Next, they were up and cooking me breakfast in bed which was French Toast.  For the next gift, they sent me on a scavenger hunt to a new microwave.  The one in the house was really on it's last legs and so the boys decided to upgrade it.  Then they gave me a painting that I had commented on loving while were out at the Fine Arts Center.  The details in it are so amazing and I just love looking at it.  We moved onto a nice steak dinner before heading out to watch do his final Landsharks race.  There we got a Kona Ice to celebrate even more.  After it was all done, we headed to Michaels to purchase a frame for my painting.  We wrapped up the day by playing a lot of Settlers and just enjoying being together!  It was a great day and I felt very special!

Here are the pics for the week:

My rose from last week's football ceremony
 


My Mother's Day Presents
 


Not what you want to wake up to in the middle of May!


Jack trying hard not to fall while skating

Monday, 15 May 2017

A Week in Review (May 7-13)

A Week in Review (May 7-13)

Watched: Jack come alive as he gave his presentation on The Pathfinders of Colorado Springs. I think you can really see how well he knew the material and how long he'd spent working on it. The principal even stopped by his exhibit and he spoke to her for several minutes on his topic. I followed them back to their classroom and watched his presentation to his classmates.  I recorded and you can watch it HERE if you desire.

Read:  I finished up Secrets of a Charmed Life.  I enjoyed this story about choices. How much we can grieve for the choices we wish we had made or for the ones we did. The book draws you in almost immediately and the story unfolds in a timely manner. If you are a fan of World War II fiction, I'd say it was worth adding to your list.  Next, I started The Underground Railroad.  It's a little heavy to read of all the atrocities that were inflicted upon the slaves.

Listened: To Jack deliver a stunning performance of his cups and balls magic trick during his school-wide talent show. He was very relaxed and had great stage presence.  Nick recorded and you can see it HERE. He was only the second act so they were still working out the lighting which you can see during his act, but he just rolled with it. 

Made: Jack try a new board game. During lunch on Saturday, we started talking about different games and we brought up Settlers of Catan which we used to play with our good friends, the Normans. Jack didn't think that it sounded like all that entertaining of a game, but he LOVES it. We played three times just the first night. That's really saying a lot since the game takes between an hour and a hour and half. If you happen to make a solo trip to our house, don't be surprised if he asks you to play. 

Felt: Surprised by Jack. We sat out and hour lightening delay and then braved the cold drizzle dressed in clothes for the weather it was when we left the house (which was 70 and sunny) to await his Landsharks race. When it came time for his event, he just kind of jogged around the track. He was about 10 seconds slower than his first race. He said he "just got stuck". I guess we are all entitled to off days. Hopefully he brings it for his last race of the season which is on Mother's Day. 

Planned:  Travel to Kansas City with Nick when he goes back for a meeting in the beginning of June. I figure since the gas and hotel are already covered it keeps the costs done. We won't be there super long, but it will be nice to see a few friends. I wish there were more days so that we could see everyone we miss!

Loved: That Jack's coach took the time to honor the mom's of the team for Mother's Day. They gave each mom a rose and had us hold hands with the team during the coin toss. It was really sweet. It's hard to believe that our season is already over. The last practice was beautiful weather and the coach ended some practice letting them play a little 4 on 4 football with the coaches being the QB's. Jack had a blast. Nora will miss practices as we often let her play chase after the park had cleared out. 

Here are the pics for the week:



 

 



 

Monday, 8 May 2017

A Week in Review (April 30-May 6)

A Week in Review (April 30-May 6)

Watched: Jack audition for his talent show. He was very nervous and his teacher was kind enough to let him go in front of the class. He did a good job there and I think that helped the nerves. Of course, when he started his trick, he missed putting the cup on the table and was flummoxed by it. They allowed him to take an act to get it together. He was sure that flubber had cost him a spot in the talent show. Luckily, his act had enough merit that he will get to perform it for the whole school on Friday, May 12th.

Read: I finished up Edgar and Lucy early in the week. All I could say was "Oh thank goodness I have finished!" Two long weeks I spent with this beast. To say that this book wasn't for me is about the kindest thing I can say for it. It's full of poetic language, ghosts, and sad sex. You think with the other elements in the book it might have a chance to be appealing, but it never once got there for me.Since I saw how short it was, I decided to start My Name is Lucy Barton next.  I must say that this is a very different book. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I got the story of a small town girl with a sad childhood who moved to New York and had a sad adulthood too. But hey, at least she became a successful writer. Can't think of anyone I would recommend this too, but I wouldn't advise against reading it either. Since that book only took two days to complete, I was able to start Secrets of a Charmed Life. I was bummed to see that my library copy wasn't readable on my Kindle as most of the evoke from the library are.  That meant I have had to read it on my iPad.  It is a pretty fast paced book and pulled me in. I am a little over half way finished so I am sure I will have a review for you next week. 

Listened: To the sounds of laughter and good conversation as we hung out with our friends.  We tried Costa Vida, which isn't nearly as good as Chipotle.  Nick wasn't really able to find anything he would eat, so that made the next stop of a brewery all that much funnier.  We all had a good time playing neighbor and chatting about the future of wrestling.  The kids are all dying to play more together so we will have to have them over for a BBQ this summer sometime.

Made: The rounds for delivery of the carnations for Teacher Appreciation Week. I am so glad that I started this tradition at the school. I really think the flowers along with a kind note attached to them go a long way to boosting the teachers' moods. 

Felt:  Perplexed about what to get Jack's football coaches. Due to the awful weather this Spring Season has given us, our parents aren't really bonded. I didn't feel like I could easily ask parents to contribute to a coach gift like I did in the Fall. There is mom at Prairie Hills who makes shirts with vinyl screen prints. I decided to have a shirt custom made for the head coach. I settled on just a small gift card for each of the other three coaches.

Planned: On attending a real simple volunteer appreciation event at the school. However, a couple of the teachers took the time to make it really nice. They brought out fancy tea cups and had sugar cubes to put in the tea. There were more lovely desserts than you could ever eat. They even got us each a lotion too with a cute saying about lending a helping hand. It was so nice to just sit back and let someone else take care of the event.

Loved: Watching Jack kick some butt this weekend.  He has been practicing really well and it came through in game.  He played for all but four plays, which were extra points.  He had some amazing blocks, stopping an extra point one time.  He said that one kind of rung his bell though.  He was also able to score his first points with a touchdown reception!  It was very exciting because they were able to beat the team that whooped up on them in the Fall season.  While I am glad I won't be spending so much time at the park, I am going to kind of miss it too!  Hard to believe that we only have one week left and that is only because of the snow cancellation.

Here are the pics for the week:

 

 

 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

A Week in Review (April 23-29)

A Week in Review (April 23-29)

Watched: Jack practice his "Cups and Balls" magic trick for his audition for the talent show.  They are only able to take the top 12 acts and so about 2/3 of the kids who tried out won't make the final cut.  He's made big progress in his performance with the practicing. I'll keep my fingers crossed that he doesn't get nervous when performing for other people.

Read: I wasn't really in the reading mood to start the week, so I didn't make a ton of progress on Edgar and Lucy.  I keep seeing great reviews on it so I will keep on keeping on and hope that it draws me in sooner rather than later.  I'm a little over half way, so hopefully next week I'll have a review for you. 

Listened: To several interesting workshops when I attended a conference on Saturday for the PTA.  It was a conference meant to uplift and inspire PTA leaders to go back and leader their local units better. I definitely feel I'll be able to do a couple things for better and will be able to provide minutes more in line with the state level of our PTA would like to see. 

Made: Darling little gifts for the secretaries in my life.  They all are truly blessings to me and they make my life so much easier.  They all seemed to enjoy them and I'm glad that I could make their day a little brighter.

Felt: Glad that I was able to attend Jack's field trip with him to Cave of the Winds.  There was a lot of fun things for the kids to do.  They got to play a Speed Freak game, learn about bats, try their hand at spelunking through a wooden cave, learn about lightening, go gem panning all in addition to their trip through the cave.  The cave was a bit of let down because it just didn't feel as authentic as our experience in Mexico.  I put a few of the photos I took below.

Planned: A dinner and drinks night with some our wrestling friends. Since I was at the convention all day on Saturday, we planned it for next week. It should be a good time and I'm looking forward to it.

Loved: My personal to-do lists are really shrinking and it felt good (but odd) to do a little bit of nothing while Jack was at school. Jack has only a couple of weeks of sports left. I'm not sure what we will do when everything is over.  I'm sure we will fill it up quickly. 

Here are the pics for the week:

Cave of the Winds
 
 

Secretary's Day Gift



My birthday gift from brother and sister-in-law.  I have three books in front of it, but I am very excited to be able to read it without waiting in a long hold list!