Thursday, 18 January 2018

A Week in Review (January 7-13)

A Week in Review (January 7-13)

Watched: The boys rock the day on Sunday completing so many things from my honey-do list. With such a busy Saturday, we had a lot of things we wanted to do. The major one was getting the vanity that the boys bought me for Christmas. I really love the idea of storage in the bathroom. I won’t get to know until next week because Jack asked me to wait so that it would be a good spot for Nerf Hide-n-Seek during his party.  Nick worked pretty non-stop to help me out. I’m thankful

Read:  I continued to work more on the Glass Sword.   I didn't quite get it finished, but should definitely wrap it up early next weeks.  It's not the greatest of books.  I think it may be one of those trilogies where they are read spread out.  I am several down in the holds list for the third book, so I am thinking that's a really good thing

Listened: To a lot of people cheer for Jack during his tournament this weekend.  Our team section was very close to Jack's mat and a lot of people cheered him during his matches.  You will see he was very close during Match 1, but their weight difference was just too much for Jack to be able to roll him.  In Match 2, he kind of threw the poor kid around like a rag doll.  It was fun to watch, but it wasn't much of a challenge. Match 3 was a rematch against a kid who he has had some other matches against and whose coach is always complementary of Jack.  It was hard fought and you can see the poor kid give up right at the end.  In Match 4, Jack was the rag doll.  It was hard to watch, but it's good for him to know that there are still a lot of moves that he can learn.  If you click on the Match number, you can see the videos.

Made: A reading challenge of Banned Books with my online reading group.  I selected the following 10 books and while they are number 1-10, they are in no particular order.

1). Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread 
2). The Perks of Being a Wallflower
3). And Tango Makes Three 4 stars 
4). Beloved
5). The Giver
6). The Handmaid's Tale 
7). Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
8). A Wrinkle in Time
9). The Things They Carried 
10). Bridge to Terabithia

I also finished my first book for the challenge, And Tango Makes Three.  I didn’t realize it was a children’s book. I just saw that it was consistently in the ALA’s top 10 list so I added it to my challenge list.

I’m trying to picture my reaction if Jack brought home this book from his school library when he was younger. I’m quite certain that I would be shocked, but then I think it would be an awesome opportunity to discuss that all families are different. I am really amazed that it is based on a true story and I think that should call into question a lot of people beliefs. I assume that’s why it is frequently challenged is that adults can’t handle their beliefs being challenged. It’s very clear where the book was going. If you weren’t prepared to handle the subject matter with our children, change the words. The kids will never know. If your child has read it without you and has questions, simply tell them you’ll talk about it later. I can’t imagine asking a library to remove this from their shelves as it could be impactful to a child living in a same sex home. 

Jack's reaction to this book being banned: Why was this book banned? How can people hate this book? It’s based on a true story.


Felt:  Bummed about mom's work schedule.  Due to an increase in their workload, the BNSF has fallen behind on repair of the motors.  This forced them to announce a mandatory 6 day work week with no vacation.  Mom was planning on coming here for Jack's birthday, but she is no longer able too.  She will just have to try to make it down another weekend to play with us!  It's hard to schedule random weekends in the winter though.  On the plus side, the kids were able to drive during the day and made it here in time to take Jack to weigh-ins after basketball.  After I got the three boys to practice, I headed out so that I could help with weigh-ins for our Southern Regional Tournament.  We enjoyed a nice night of tacos and games before turning in early-ish for the tournament.

Planned: On Nick wiping our old Windows computer, but instead he moved it downstairs and hooked it up to the basement TV and taught Jack how to run the emulator on it.  Jack has really enjoyed getting to play the old school games.  Tecmo Super Bowl, Donkey Kong, and Super Mario Brothers are his favorite.  I introduced him to one of my favorites in Bubble Buster Bros and he didn't like it nearly as much as I did.  I was thinking about how amazing it would have been to be able to play the games on such a big clear screen.  You would have been the hit of the neighborhood.

Loved:  Creating all Jack's party games.  The one game he was sure everyone had to play was Giant Cup Pong as that was the first Team Edge video he had ever watched.  While they use large trash cans, we went with 5 gallon buckets.  It worked really well and we tested it out several times.  Its much like beer pong, but instead of having to drink, you have to do the punishment that is at the bottom of the bucket that your opponent makes.  He also has several other games planned like Nerf Hide-n-Seek, Nerf Hangman Roulette, a gross soda Challenge, a Top Ramen tasting challenge, What's in the Box challenge, a basketball challenge.  He has so many that I'm sure we won't get to them all, but it will be fun trying!  I'll let you know how it all went down next week.

Here are the pics for the week:





A puzzle we did over Christmas break.  Jack wouldn't let us take it apart until we got a selfie with it.  That was a bit more work than you might think, but we got it done and I was able to finally break apart the puzzle,











Tuesday, 9 January 2018

A Week in Review (December 31-January 6)

A Week in Review (December 31-January 6)

Watched: Jack wrestle.  It was a big improvement over his last tournament, but he is definitely having hard time adjusting to the higher weight and older age group that 10U brings.  He ended up getting third in a 5-man bracket.  You can see his matches HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Read:  I finished up Running Barefoot.  This was a very fast reading book, but it was a little heavy on the faith aspect for me to enjoy it as a romance. Nice and easy book to end the year with.  I also read Red Queen this week.  I'm not really sure how this book garnered the 2015 Goodreads award or continues to have such overwhelming popularity. It is very much written in the same lines as Hunger Games or Divergent. I will read at least the next book in the series, Glass Sword, because I have already borrowed it from my local library in anticipation of loving this one. Maybe I'm just in a different place than I was when I read Hunger Games and Divergent, but I just didn't love it as much. I think how easily Mare was manipulated was really a sticking point for me.   

Listened: To Nick hammer away in his garage after the Chiefs blew a 21-3 lead in the playoffs.  It was pretty heartbreaking for him.  I can't believe that they managed to let such a large lead slip away. He did have to recover pretty quickly because we had the KU game to watch that night as well.  They, too, got out to a pretty large lead that they let slip away.  Luckily, the managed to pull off an on-the-road victory at a top 25 school to save Nick from double heartbreak.  I am not sure how he would have taken it.

Made: A large honey-do list for Nick when he gets home. He hasn't been home since the 21st of December and several of my Christmas presents were projects that he will have to work on.  For the first time in his work history, we had to miss the company party.  We had plans to go, but with the Chiefs game, KU game, wrestling, and so many projects we just decided to skip it.  Ryan came over after wrestling on Saturday and helped knock out a couple of the things on the list by helping us pull down the lights off the roof and working with Nick to install my fireplace blower.  I am so excited that fireplace blower works so.  It makes it more than just a little decorative piece.  It can actually boost the entire living rooms temps now!  Ryan also helped us bring home a treadmill.  Someone in our neighborhood group was selling it for $40!  Jack loves the one at my mom's so we bought it as an early present for him.

Felt: Happy that was Nora was so excited to see me when we picked her from Mindy's on Monday.  She was pretty jubilant to know that we had returned.  I think she was ready to go back to being in a one-dog household.  Its fun to play with friends and all, but they get exhausting.  She is finally getting the hang of her bed that we got her for Christmas.  She wasn't really sure what to do with it, but seems to have figured it out.

Planned: Jack's party.  He has a lot of big ideas but I think its going to be a lot of fun.  He is doing a party based off two You Tube channels, Battle Universe and Team Edge.  We have several fun games on the line up and a good group of boys coming over to be his team.  Ideally, I will be able to record it and post it to YouTube so he can relive the memories whenever he wants.

Loved: Breaking in the New Year with my boys and Roy and his boys.  We spent a lot of the evening with the boys messing around more in the workout room.  At about 11:30, we went out to play some Monopoly Gamer.  There was a group of people playing spoons, a large number of people going out for a Midnight Run (and it was so, so, so cold!) and one family with a sweet little 2 year old.  When people came back in from their run, we cheered them in and we let the two year old play with us and see her sweet face as we cheered.  Keegan complimented one of the spoons players on her fancy red slippers and she gave them to him (and everyone wanted them) when she left.  After we done with our game, we went back up the room and played some more Wii.  Roy and his boys left about 2:30 and Jack and I stayed up until around 4:00 playing together.  It made for a long drive home the next day.

Here are the pics for the week:

How four boys ages 11-8 sleep on one queen size bed




Jack in the fancy red slippers








Friday, 29 December 2017

A Week in Review (December 24-30)

A Week in Review (December 24-30)

Watched: A Colorado College basketball game with Jack. Since we were not able to go 2 weeks ago because of his illness, we headed down there this week. It was a good time. Almost no one was there. We got great seats and they let the kids shoot on the hoops at half time. Jack was frustrated because the coach only played six players and two of his favorites from his basketball camp sat on the bench.

Read:  I was able to finish up, in large part due to audiobook, The Things We Keep.  I was not a big fan of this book.  I just found it a little predictable and slow paced. There wasn't a lot of substance to the characters either. If you are looking for some chick lit to just take you away for a couple of days, I suppose this isn't the worst thing you could stumble upon, but I wouldn't recommend picking it up otherwise.  Since I didn't have anything coming off my holds shelf or any buddy reads going on, I went through my long list of books that our on my shelves and selected Running Barefoot as my next book.  It's been on TBR list since March of 2013!  I’m already over three quarters of the way done and am enjoying it. I’m sure to have a review to start off the New Year. 

Listened: To a lot of Pandora in 2017. According to the graphic they sent me, I’ve listened for 11,015 minutes which equates to 183 hours of music. That’s almost three hours a week just jamming out.  I usually don’t listen to Pandora when I drive because of the data factor either. Music just speaks to me and I have so many different songs for different moods and times in my life.  This is the first year that I have caught Jack singing along with me to a lot of the carols. I hope that music will be that safe place for him too. 

Made: The drive to Wichita on Friday so that we could spend New Years Eve with Nick and see Roy and our nephews.  Nick had to head to KC on the 26th and needed to spend more time there so we decided we would come to him.  It was a nice uneventful drive.  We beat Nick by almost an hour and so Jack had time to hook up his Wii and we played some Frogger. Luckily Nick made it in time to play a game of cutthroat pitch before the Jayhawk game tipped off because Jack had been jonesing to play all day long.  After the game was over, everyone headed down to the exercise room to mess around where they didn’t have to be reminded not be noisy. They all had so much fun in there. Some sort of dodgeball with a basketball broke out and I tried to capture a picture. They actually requested the workout room again, twice, on Saturday too. Clearly they didn’t exercise enough as they were up well into New Years Eve. Such fun memories they are making. 

Felt: Excited about my excellent score of wrapping paper. Walgreens carries Hallmark paper and it’s just so nice and thick that I wanted to make sure to get some on clearance this year. I went in the day we got home and scored 11 rolls of wrapping paper. I was pretty thrilled. I’ll probably try to go in next week to see if there is any of the styles I didn’t get for a steeper discount!

Planned: On Landon spending the night on Thursday after he came to the basketball game with us, but his mom texted on Wednesday that he wasn’t feeling great and that she had the flu. With our impending trip, I didn’t want to take the risk and so I canceled. Jack was less than thrilled with me, but that’s parenting. We are hoping that we can get one night in next week before break ends. 

Loved: Getting to spend my brother’s 28th and Christmas with my family.  We started Christmas Eve off celebrating Kyle.  It’s hard for me to wrap my head around him being the same age I was when I was pregnant with Jack.  I was worried that both my gifts were going to be busts but they ended up being fine. After spending the afternoon with us, they went in for crab legs with the Hare’s.  While they were gone we played some cutthroat pitch and ate our traditional pizza. When they got back, we started on presents around 9pm. First we had our White Elephant gift exchange. Jack’s gift went to Aunt Jess who shared her new ball with Olive, her niece. Jack ended up with a trivial pursuit game. I ended up with new knives. Jack opened his dry erase spin wheel and we used that as a determiner of who opened the next gift. I love that we all don’t just rip in but we celebrate each individual item. Jack was pretty pooped by the time we ended around 2am. We all slept in and opened Santa gifts later. Jack was bummed that no one understood how important that 2lb Gummy Bear was. We were all excited that Santa brought us another cruise. It looks like we will be going out of Galveston around Spring Break!  He also brought us two family games in Suspend and a new HeroQuest like game. We dove right into Suspend because it’s an easy to learn, hard to master type game. We didn’t try the other one yet. 

Here are the pics for the week:



























A Week in Review (December 17-23)

A Week in Review (December 17-23)

Watched: The Last Jedi with my boys.  We were able to go Sunday after the Christmas wrestling party since we had watched all of our sports on Saturday.  It was an excellent movie.  I find the I am generally a big fan of the 2nd movie in any trilogy and this was proved to be no exception. The boys enjoyed it so much that they went back on Tuesday night and watched it again.  It's hard to beat the big screen for Star Wars movies.

Read: I finished up Every Time I Think of You.  I didn't love this as much as I did her original work, On The Island.  However, it was a fast paced easy read.  It's rather predictable, but I still enjoyed getting to know Daisy and Brooks.  I was annoyed by Elliot as I didn't feel he was written as a typical child.  He had the speech pattern of a toddler and the thought process of a tween.  Next I started The Things We Keep which was selected as the January book for my face-to-face book club.  It's okay, but it's not really drawing me in.

Listened: To a bunch of thank you's for planning the wrestling Christmas party.  We have such a great club full of great kids and nice parents.  I was even gifted a couple of Christmas presents including a bottle of wine.  Jack made bank from the claw machine winning a giant ball and giant stuffed snake on the same pull!  I even played one game of laser got and got whooped up on since I had a gaggle of small wrestlers who were following me around making me one giant beacon.  

Made: Christmas Cookies with my family.  I love this fun tradition that we all have.  This year the stores were all out of traditional coloring and my mom put way too much Wilton's food coloring into the batches and so we had some teeth staining cookies!  Nonetheless, they were amazing to eat to breakfast (another fun tradition!).

Felt: Glad that I packed our winter gear for our trip to Alliance.  The forecast had called for a little snow each day, but we ended up with a lot.  I had Jack try on his snow boots and while he said that they fit fine, Nick decided that they looked to small.  So before we left we had brunch at Wade's Cafe and headed over to Big 5 to buy some new snow boots for him.  He went up three sizes, so I'm not sure how his foot even fit in the other boot!  On Saturday, Jack convinced his two to go out and play football in the snow with him.  We bundled them up and sent them outside.  They spent about a good half hour out there.  My sister-in-law went outside and took some fun pictures.  She got a lot of amazing ones of Nora, but I only put one on here for you.  When they came inside to warm up, Kyle realized that while he had taken everything else out of his pocket, he hadn't taken out his keys with his work key on it.  He looked on his own for a while before I bundled myself up and headed out to help.  I was the lucky winner and found his keys for him after only about 10 minutes of searching.  It seemed like a fair exchange for the snow bowl he played with Jack.

Planned: Santa's gift.  We had a hard time coming up with something to get Jack from Santa so we settled on another cruise. He had asked for one and Nick thinks he can get time off around Spring Break so we went for it.  While the boys were at Star Wars, I went to Michael's and found four nesting boxes that will each be wrapped and put in each other.  In each box there will be a photo placed until we get the middle when we reveal that we got another cruise.  I hope he is excited.  I know I am!

Loved: Getting to spoil Jack this week.  I know how lucky I am just to get to be able to be a stay-at-home mom.  But when you add in that I get to take him and do fun things over all his break, it's just the most amazing thing ever.  On Monday, we finished up shopping for his gifts for people and then headed back to the Summit (where they had their wrestling party) for unlimited laser tag.  It was a good thing we got there right when it started because by the time we left three hours later it was jam packed.  The manager had given me some free playing cards for booking the party there and so they had money to spend on some arcade games in between rounds.  Jack earned enough tickets to buy a dodgeball to put into the white elephant exchange.  On Wednesday, we went to the North Pole with friends and had a great time riding all the rides, watching the magic show, checking out the shops, and eating some good food.  I'm thrilled that his break got to be such a fun time for him and it was all about enjoying himself and having a good time with friends and family.

Here are the pics for the week:





















Thursday, 28 December 2017

A Week in Review (December 10-16)

A Week in Review (December 10-16)

Watched:  A lot of sports on Saturday.  We started out with a wrestling tournament.  Having not wrestled and not felt well all week, Jack didn't do great.  He didn't get last, but he did get his first fourth place finish.  Hopefully things will be better after break.  When the tournament was over, we rushed down to his final basketball game and made it for the second half of that.  Then we came home to watch the KU basketball game.  Nick had to put a blanket over the ticker so that he wouldn't see the Chiefs score which was also playing at the same time.  After the KU wrapped up, we set about watching the Chiefs game.  It made for a late night, but it was a good time.

Read:  I was able to finish up Cold Mountain and not all that long behind my book buddy.  We both realized that we are very glad to be a woman living in this day and age and definitely not a woman in Civil War era.  It was a very descriptive about the horrors of the Civil War and about what people will endure to survive. It wasn't particularly climatic or fast paced, but I enjoyed the journey. You definitely need to be a historical fiction fan to enjoy this novel. I am surprised it was made into movie, but will now try to watch it to see just how different it was from the novel.  I am going to start reading Every Time I Think of You.  I have had it on my TBR list for quite sometime and library just got an audiobook of it, so I am going to bump it to the top.

Listened:  To the doctor twice.  Once Wednesday for what I was sure was strep with Jack.  He had spiked a fever for a couple hours the night before and hadn't had much of an appetite and had been lethargic for most of the day.  The rapid culture came back negative, but we started a round of antibiotics because if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, its usually a duck.  When I picked him up from school on Thursday, he showed me these weird spots that had popped up on his hand.  sure enough, the poor kid had Hand Foot and Mouth disease.  I started thinking doomsday thoughts about everything he was going to have to miss because we didn't want to share it with anyone else.  However, since he had been fever free and the sores weren't open, he was free to return to school and normal activities.  They thought that he still had strep on top of it, but it turns out that it must have just been from the HFM. I really hope this small bout raises his immunity to be able to fight it for the rest of his life.

Made: A really cute soup basket for my Secret Teacher.  It's hard to know what to get her and so I thought it would be fun to get her something different.  I walked around Walmart until I found my inspiration in two giant soup cups.  I am hoping that she liked it.  I won't know until the end of the year when we reveal ourselves.

Felt: Glad that I chose to skip the DAC meeting on principle and instead stay home and do my holiday baking because just as I was finishing up my last batch, I got a call from the school that Jack wasn't feeling well!  I am very glad to have gotten the cookies done before the cooties were in the house.  I think the reindeer ones turned out cute, but they weren't the yummiest, by a long shot.

Planned: On missing practice on Tuesday for a PTA board meeting and Wednesday for attending the Colorado College game, but things ended up all crazy due to Jack's illness.  I am glad we already had plans to miss because it made things easier since people weren't already expecting me to be there.

Loved: My daily life Black and White Challenge on Facebook.  It was fun to look around each day and see what I could take a picture of that would encapsulate my day.  It said that you couldn't have an explanation of why, so you'll just have to enjoy.  It was great to see the people who I challenged to join me do so too.  It made me eager to see what was on Facebook each day.

Here are the pics for the week:






















Nick's clever solution for not seeing the ticker.  It just looks festive!


Thursday, 14 December 2017

A Week in Review (December 3-9)

A Week in Review (December 3-9)

Watched: Jack have a good time at Nick's company Christmas party at SkyZone.  We were lucky enough to have Landon sleep over and work said that we could bring him along for fun.  It was the best gift that he could receive.  They played a lot of dodgeball and basketball when they were there.  Even though they had spent the day together, they needed more time to hang out and so we brought Landon back home for another couple hours.  I am so glad he has a friend that enjoys spending so much time with.

Read:  I finally finished up Love and Other Consolation Prizes.  I’ve finally finished this book! It was quite slow, but the story was still good. It reminds you that everyone may have a backstory that we know absolutely nothing about. If you were a fan of A Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I’d say you should pick this one up.

Listened: To Nick and Jack work together to install a humidifier on our furnace.  The Springs has absolutely ridiculous dry air and everything has static all winter long.  It's annoying as all get out.  Since we own the house now, Nick and I decided it would be nice to not have to get shocked all the time or have our hair stand up when we take off our shirt.  I am excited to see how it works.  The first night, it raised the humidity 3%.

Made: A successful night out of our picture night for Wrestling club.  We treated all the kids to donuts, brownies, fruit snacks, and juice pouches.  Luckily the night was so cold that we were able to just stick the juice pouches out the back door during practice and they were a cool treat.  We ended up with about half the club buying pictures and I was pretty pleased with that.  I can't wait to see how everyone's turned out.  I was talking to the photographer and got a sneak peek at Jack's.  Read below to find out more about that photo.

Felt: Amused. Jack is really into his “Wolverine” hair.  I don’t think he’s ever had hair this long and so when he was sweating at practice and running his hands through one of his coaches told him he looked like Wolverine. Now he loves doing it. He even took his wrestling picture with his hair like that. It made me laugh so hard. I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of it as an adult.

Planned:  My holiday baking list so that I can share some joy with our local friends.  I will be making fudge, butterfinger cookies, sprinkle sugar cookies, chocolate and caramel pretzels, eggnog snickerdoodles, and peanut butter reindeer cookies.

Loved: Spending a couple hours on the phone with my mom for her birthday.  Poppa Blas had a bus trip so she was free to chit chat.  First Jack called her and they talked for way longer than I thought they would.  I thought it would be a quick "Happy Birthday Grandma" and then he'd hand the phone over to me.  But nope, they must have talked for a good 45 minutes.  Then I talked to her for like an hour and half.  We are looking forward to seeing her in person soon.  Jack was telling her we were leaving after wrestling.  Not quite when he wanted, but it will have to do for him.

Here are the pics for the week:





Friday, 8 December 2017

A Week in Review (November 26 - December 2)

A Week in Review (November 26 - December 2)

Watched: Jack do pretty well getting a crown. One of his fillings had failed and then had another cavity on it so they decided that he needed a crown. We were able to just use Benadryl and laughing gas to get through the appointment. He really doesn’t like the feeling of novicane. We took a couple pictures during the process so that he could see what he looked like.  He got a kick out of the dental dam. They call it a trampoline. Pretty accurate description for most kids.  In the picture below he is trying to make sure that one side of his face wasn’t twice the size of the other. 

Read: I kept working on Love and Other Consolation Prizes.  It's obviously kind of slow.  I also started Cold Mountain with my reading buddy.  Since I flaked on her with the last one, I absolutely must finish it close to her.  I have requested the audiobook so that it can help me along.

Listened: To Jack do so much better at reading aloud. It had been a while since we have read a book together and his fluency has really improved. I am so thankful that his teacher provides great consistency to help him continue to grow. We are reading A Christmas Carol. I thought I had gotten a children’s adaption but it doesn’t appear that way. The old English is a bit hard to follow but we do a pretty good job. 

Made: A quick trip to Michael’s so Jack could put Christmas lights on his cardboard house project that he was working on at school. I couldn’t believe how many options they have for battery powered lights now days. With the popularity of LED, it is much easier to have long strands of lights run by battery. When we were there Jack found a giant gummy bear that he thought was just too awesome.  He had to take a picture with it. 

Felt: Disappointed. Apparently PHE just doesn’t do repeat events very well. Even though the weather was markedly nicer, we had far fewer people show up for the Holiday Shop. I have to say that I am really glad that I have decided to step down at the end of this year and just focus on work and sports clubs instead of being so heavily involved with the PTA. I will be happy to volunteer my time and attend events but it will be great not to feel the presssure. 

Planned: On finding out on Tuesday if Nick won his KC project, but the announcement was delayed until Friday. We are pleased to announce that his firm did win. It’s a double edged sword because Jack and I will be on our own for the majority of the next seven months, but at least he gets to work a project that he is excited about rather than being shipped out to Utah to work on a project that he really didn’t want too. 

Loved: Finishing up my Christmas decorations. It’s still pretty decent for winter and the decorations are good at getting me in the festive mood.  The wall of all of Jack’s old Christmas things are one of my favorites.  The outside lights look really good too. Jack asked for our friend Ryan to come over and to help him hang lights on the highest part because Nick didn’t want to get up on that part of the roof.   

Here are the pics for the week: