Sunday, 30 March 2014

A Week in Review (March 23-29)

A Week in Review (March 23-29)

Watched: Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Jack and I both enjoyed it, but I am sure for totally different reason. As a historical fiction fan, it was hilarious look at various people and places. I was also excited for Jack to be introduced, be it quite rudimentary, to some concepts like King Tut, the Trojan War, etc.  Jack liked it because there was plenty of adventure and I think he identified with Sherman.

Read:  I finished up The Cuckoo's Calling Sunday morning while my boys were still sleeping.  I really wonder what I would have thought of the book if I didn't know that JK Rowling was the author.  I kept trying to remind myself of that, but it was hard.  The beginning was very slow for me and I couldn't get into it.  The character development was almost over the top.  I just wanted her to dig more into the meat of the story.  Once she did that, I felt that it really picked up.  The who-done-it part wasn't all that shocking to me as I had guessed it fairly early on.  I did like the way she tied all the pieces together.  If there is a second book featuring the lead detective, Cormoran Strike, I will be likely to find time to read it.  Next I started the I really enjoyed it. It was story told from two time frames that easily wove together.  I was drawn in almost immediately. However, I did find most of the plot twists rather predictable. While that sometimes will diminish a novel for me, it didn't seem to this time. I would recommend it all historical fiction fans. Next, I began Sarah's Key , which I haven't done much actually reading on, but have done bit of listening too. 

Listened: Because I will be traveling to work 3 days next week, I wanted to make sure that I had an audiobook to make my drive more entertaining. I settled on Sarah's Key. It has a lot of 4 and 5 star ratings from my Goodreads friends and so I am excited to get more into it. My only issue is that the book is told from two viewpoints 60 years apart, but the orator does not really break long enough so that it is clear that the viewpoint has switched. It can throw you for a minute.

Made: Easter Egg paper cutouts for Jack's door. In Feb 2013, I found on idea on Pinterest to cover the door with 14 hearts that had what we loved about him. He wouldn't let me take them down for the longest time. Last week, he requested that we write new ones. Can't say no to that and so I came up with "25 reasons we think you are "egg"-cellent".

Felt: Thankful for Jack's Kindergarten teacher. It is amazing how I can try to introduce him to things, but he really doesn't become excited about them until he hears it from her. For example, Green Eggs and Ham.  I had read the book and suggested making them, but I was met with big resistance. In fact, when I told them they would be trying them at school, he informed me he wouldn't be eating them. Once he did, he found out he liked them pretty well. Fast forward to Sunday night, when we decided to do Omelette in a bag for dinner.  Jack just had to have a Green Eggs and Ham one! He liked it so much that he actually ate two!  And then requested it for dinner on Tuesday night and ate two more!

Planned: A date day with Jack on Wednesday. First we went to Open Gym, then to see Mr. Peabody & Sherman, followed by Mongolian BBQ, and it was supposed to conclude with a Mrs Field's cookie at the mall. But Mr Man was clever and got me into the Lego store where he scored new Legos. To my defense, Nick and I had been talking about buying him a good chunk of just bricks for a little while. We did get to play with their awesome new "toy", Digital Box, where you walk up to the screen with a larger set in your hand and it puts a 3D rendering of it on the screen for you. It was pretty awesome. I put a picture below for you to see. 

Loved: That it was a beautiful day when we picked Nick up from the airport on Friday.  We were running a bit behind and as I were driving I saw a Southwest plane on decent.  I had just read an article that said you could ask Siri what flights were overhead. I tried it and sure enough she indicated that it was Nick's flight!  It was pretty neat. When we were almost home, Jack asked to go the park.  So we stopped and spent almost 1.5 hrs there. We played pine cone and stickball. Luckily, I only had to be the backup batter if one of them become stuck on base!

Here are the pics for the week:

Jack's Green Eggs & Ham Omelette. 

Sitting on top of the tramp at Cosmic jump. 

The Cool Lego store toy. 

His Egg-cellent door. 

Siri's neat airplane trick. 

Pine cone and Stickball. The best thing about this picture is Jack's face if you zoom in. 

Our neighbor asked for words of encouragement to get her baby girl to pop out sooner rather than later. I asked Jack why he thought V should make it here and this is what he said. 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Week in Review (March 16-22)

A Week in Review (March 16-22)

Watched: A lot of basketball.  It is March Madness after all.  Everyone's bracket in our house is doing pretty poorly.  Jack has lost his national champion and 3 of his 4 Final Four teams.  We might have to have re-pick after all the Sweet 16 is set to keep him somewhat interested in the outcomes of the games.  My bracket isn't favoring much better though!

Read: I finally made good progress on the Cuckoo's Calling.  I wasn't able to finish it before Sunday morning, so you will have to wait until next week for a review.

Listened: To the end of 
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend. It did end up being a good book.  The idea of telling a story through an imaginary friend was just ingenious to me. The story has a good plot too. I would recommend it to a wide variety of readers. 

Made: A large to-do list and didn't check much off it!  Do you ever find it so much easier to plan all the things you would like to do rather than actually do them?  One of the things that I need to do is thin down my closet.  I found a good swap site so that I can pick up used clothing on the cheap.  The problem is that I have probably added 10 new tops to my clothes without taking anyway.  When I did a quick glance, I didn't see any that I wanted to get rid of.  I am sure that can't be accurate, but that's what my quick glance says.  I also can't stand these weather changes for getting things done.  I think that is why I love the Spring and Fall because the nice mild weather helps me energized into action.

Felt: Overwhelmed on St Patrick's day.  Because our credit card was part of a third party possible breach, we have been having trouble getting our purchases declined because they are worried about fraud. This is a real pain with Nick attempting to purchase tickets for all his travel.  He tried again Sunday night and when I called in to get that fixed there system was under maintenance. I had to end up calling in just after midnight to get them to resolve the issue.  In the morning, I started looking to book a hotel with a pool so Jack could go swimming. I had told him if we drove without stopping to Alliance, we could get a room there.  Turns out that 2 out of the 3 indoor pools in town are currently under renovations.  That meant I had to end up spending twice what I had planned. (We did have a nice time swimming though).  While making plans, it was noted that the area was under a blizzard warning that could dump between 2-8" depending on whose weather report you looked at. C'mon this is Spring Break!  To top it all off Nick texted at 12:30 to say that the catalytic converter had been cut off his truck while in the work parking lot. My first call to a mechanic netted me the amount between $800-1000. The dealership quoted me the price of $1500!  Luckily, he told me to try a muffler shop, where we were quoted $400. Bad thing is that we had to pay for it all out of pocket.  Apparently no insurance (except ours after a $500 deductible) would cover it.  Needless to say my day felt closer to a Friday the 13th than Monday the 17th!

Planned: To come home to complete done floors, but between smaller pieces which needed a lot of hammering and my husbands crazy work schedule, I came home to completed floors, but all the trim still needing done.  I could see how hard he worked on it and I know that he really burned the candle at both ends getting it done for our family!  I am so lucky to have a handy husband who loves me enough to work hard for me without complaint.

Loved:  That Jack is so blessed with awesome grandparents (and aunts and uncles). I love that they take the time to get to know him. This week, he got super lucky that they chose to show their love of him in gifts. Grandma Denise and Aunt Valerie took him, the cousins, the new cousins, and another kiddo down into Legoland. He chose to finish spending his birthday money from Grandma Denise and Papa Lee and picked out a huge Ninjago set that got him all the Ninjago golden weapons. The next day his last birthday present from Grandma Teri and Poppa Blas arrived-a new Kindle Fire Tablet.  He has, of course, already loaded Minecraft on it. :). He's one happy guy. I am glad that his birthday gifts could be extended until now!

Here are the pics for the week:

The view from the hotel room on Tuesday morning. Luckily the snow was on the lesser range. 

My pretty new floors. 

The Ninja and their golden weapons. 

Jack and his Kindle

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A Week in Review (March 9-15)

A Week in Review (March 9-15)

Watched: Jack get to have a play date with his favorite friend from school. Her birthday is coming up and since she is doing a small family party, we had her over lunch and an afternoon at Chuck E Cheese. She is so sweet. I can see why he enjoys her so much.  I hope he always chooses such great friends.

Read: I didn't finish anything this week. I just couldn't bring myself to focus on my books.  This is not good because The Cuckoo's Calling  is on limited loan and can not be renewed. Luckily, Nick has downloaded the audiobook from audible, so I'll be able to finish it, even if it is at a snail's pace.

Listened: A got a few more discs done in Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend . I'm still enjoying it. The reader does a great job of conveying the emotion of narrator.

Made: The long trek back to see my mom and step dad in Alliance.  I decided to do a straight shot even though we didn't get out of Olathe until 2:30 in the afternoon. I was pretty tired but was glad for the extra half day with them.

Felt: Excited that we were able to attend a charity event for East Point Horspice in Alliance.  It is a group of people who use horses in therapy. They had a poker tournament and I placed in the top three. I can't say my exact place because we called it early and split of the prizes. One of the winners traded a golf bag for the fishing pole that his autistic nephew really wanted to win, but didn't.  The other guy took a little 28" TV that probably would have ended up in Jack's room, which I don't think I want yet. And so I ended up with a new shop vac for Nick. Hopefully he enjoys it!  Jack also won a stick horse race and got a fun glass boot full of prizes. He was pretty excited about that.

Planned: A pretty awesome in-service for my fellow co-workers.  It was on product v process art. They seem to have "got" it and I hope to see a difference in what they do with their students soon.

Loved: Going on the Boulevard Brewery Unfiltered Tour with my hubby.  We had a great time sampling new beers, hearing some of the history of the brewery, and just getting to enjoy time together.  Several pics below.

Here are the pics for the week:

Before the tour with the signature smokestack. 

The rooftop view

It's always 5 o'clock at the brewery. 

Best bathroom sign!

Jack and Kate enjoying their grilled cheese picnic lunch. 

A funny picture Kate captured of Jack on our drive to Chuck E Cheese.  Kind of wonder what he was doing when she captured this picture. 

A view from my long drive home.  Pure blackness except for my headlights and the reflectors on the road. 

Jack and Grandma Teri after he won his stick horse race. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

A Week in Review (March 2-8)

A Week in Review (March 2-8)

Watched: Jack play his last basketball minutes as  Kindergartner.  We even were able to FaceTime in Grandma Teri.  He had a really good time this season and enjoyed both his coaches and his teammates.  We are hoping to get together with the same group over the summer.  I know that they would love seeing each other.

Read:   I finished up The Last Letter from Your Lover.  What can I say? I am turning into a huge JoJo Moyes fan. This is such a fantastically told tale and you just have to know what happens to the characters in the story. Another must read for love story fans!

Listened:  I started listening to a new story Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.  It is a really original concept and I am enjoying it.  I am only about 2 out of 9 discs.  It is hard not to pick it up and read it instead of my books that I don't have the audio book for.
MadeWhat do you do when your son request a plaid shirt with patches (in honor of the book ) for Wacky Wednesday attire? You, of course, make a trip to Children's Orchards to find the plaid shirt and a shirt that has the material like he liked for patches. You then come home and sew the requested 10 patches in the desired places. A seamstress I'm not so this took quite some time for me. Luckily they didn't need to be perfect stitches! I also had to move the buttons so that the arms wouldn't slip off. All the finger pokes were worth it to see this smile on his face!  We also made some Lego socks for Fox in the Socks crazy socks day.
Felt: So glad to have Nick home again.  He just helps keep our routine so normal.  I wasn't sure what Jack would do when on Tuesday night he said something like "Well we will do this when Dad gets home." and I had to inform him Dad wasn't coming home for 24 more hours.  We stayed busy and it didn't seem too long.  We will see how we do at round two this upcoming week!

Planned: To just have Callum on Monday, but thanks to the frigid weather (and I am guessing what have been our last free snow day!) we had no school on Monday so we had Jarett with us too.  He got Jack started on Minecraft.  I don't know much about the game and have a mental block against it for some reason.  I totally need a cheat sheet for commands and such.  If anyone knows where I can find one, please let me know!  I'd be forever in your debt!

Loved: To see how much Jack is coming along in his gymnastics.  He is having a good time with his coach Eric.  Coach Eric jumped up his cool factor when he showed his Spider-man trampoline trick at Open Gym on Wednesday.  I don't think he will do anything with these skills but he is gaining a lot of strength and body control which I think benefits him greatly!

Here are the pics for the week:

Ketchup with a fork. That's how be rolls

Jack's Wacky Wednesday Shirt

Luggage Ninja

Took this floor burn before the game and he just kept on ticking.  I am so proud of how much he has learned to toughen up for supports. 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

A Week in Review (Feb 23-Mar 1)

A Week in Review (Feb 23-Mar 1)

Watched: The Jayhawks clinch their 10th Big 12 title. An entire decade of dominance.  I think about how much my life has changed in that decade. It's amazing that Bill Self can continue to recruit and coach players that keep us on top of a (usually) challenging conference. 

Read: I finished up 12 Years a Slave. I think that it will make an excellent movie as they will be able to take the story telling and keep it flowing better than it does in the writing. The writing is so raw and powerful that I hope the actors are able to capture the emotions that he writes with.  Once I finished I was able to focus on The Last Letter from Your Lover

Listened: Made a quite of bit of progress on 
Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #6). I chose to finish it up in the traditional paperback fashion, as I needed to know what happened and I didn't have any long trips planned.  It's your typical Sookie book. I think after this one, I have to take another couple months hiatus to keep them fresh.

Made: Plans for Nick to head to Salt Lake City for a business trip. We all knew the call was coming, but were somehow hoping we could avoid it. Nick hates flying, so I feel dread for him.  I also feel dread for doing the single mom gig.  Luckily as Jack gets older, it gets easier to deal with. Jack is looking forward to being able to use Dad's spot in our bed a night or two.  He leaves Monday night and will get back on Thursday afternoon.

Felt: Glad that I could help a friend out. She is able to get away for a weekend trip with her husband and needed some help with her youngest son. I watched him Thursday and will again on Monday. He is just about 2.5 so he keeps me on my toes! Jack enjoys having him visit even though they can't quite communicate yet.  Depending on the weather, we might get some time with his big brother too.

Planned: To allow Nick to rip up our living room carpet and kitchen laminate in favor of new nicer flooring. We went with a slightly darker color. I think it will look great against my paint choices. Nick is going to  do the bulk of it while I am visiting my mom for Spring Break. I am so lucky to have married such a handy man!

Loved: The wonderful support our friends and family showed Jack during his campaign for Jump Rope for Heart. He was very excited about everyone who helped him reach goal.  He will be sending out thank you notes as soon as he can get all their ducks in a row.  

Here are the pics for the week:

Doesn't he look so sad?  This was his reaction to learning that his teacher was going to be gone while his strident teacher was around. He was less than thrilled. We love his teacher!


Ms. Beth went through her clothes and we were the recipient of some great shirts. We sent her this picture of him wearing one of her oldest son's sweaters. Guess that means she got a real classic 10 years ago.