Sunday, 30 November 2014

A Week in Review (November 23-29)

A Week in Review (November 23-29)

Watched: Jack have a blast sledding.  On Sunday morning, we woke up to a little more than a dusting.  I knew it was coming so I had bought him a sled the day before.  That morning it took a lot to convince him to go try it. We have an nice little hill at the end of our block that slopes down to a green space so we don't have to drive anywhere.  Finally, I convinced him and we went out. We had so much fun that we decided we need another sled so that we could race. I haven't been sledding in years and I forgot how much fun it was myself.  I forgot my phone so there are no pictures, but I am sure I will have made up for it by the end of the snow season. 

Read:  I finished up The Unbecoming of Mara DyerWell this book was a pretty quick read for me. It got a bit weird at the end and I was left feeling like maybe I had missed something. It definitely ends with a cliffhanger, so if you decide to read it, have the 2nd one close by.  I am also about halfway through Dark Triumph, which is the second book in the His Fair Assassins trilogy. I am enjoying it much more than the first.

Listened: To Christmas carols!  Yeah, it's now officially okay for me to have them on all the time. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree is my absolutely favorite Pandora station this time of year.  On a sadder note, I also listened to the sound of breaking ornaments. It seems to be a rough year for it.  I am hoping we are done with it, but since the tree is in the room that we usually play in, I kind of doubt it. 

Made: Turkey plastic cups to go with Jack's class friendship mix for Thanksgiving. I think the kids had a ton of fun with it. The parents all responded and so we had way too much leftover (as all good feast should!).  We decided to share our bounty with two other classes too, but they just got their's on plates. The students had almost as much fun sharing as they did eating it themselves.

Felt: Sick. I caught a head cold from somewhere. Tuesday I could tell something might be coming on so I got some OJ and Cold-Eze. Wednesday, I was full of a runny nose and felt pretty worn out. You could never tell it by the number of games I played with the boy. I was extra thankful I had done my Thanksgiving shopping early!  Thursday was the worst and I did lots of lying around and hand washing while I cooked. Luckily it didn't take my sense of taste or that would have been a real bummer. Friday, I was starting to feel decent and Saturday, I was back at 95%. 

Planned: To get all my Christmas decorations up. It didn't happen, but we did have a good start. We were blessed with great weather for putting up the outside decorations. It makes me so happy when I drive home. I also love the auto sensor that they are on so I don't have to remember to turn them on or off! I will finish them up this week. They are only up for 3 weeks!  I want to enjoy them as long as possible. 

Loved: That Nick has actually been able to take off all of Thanksgiving break and just be with us.  I am afraid that he will have to pay for it next week and Jack and I will go through withdrawals. The boys have had a ton of playing Minecraft together.  Nick shows him how to build things and play in ways that I just can't.  I just love being around him. His presence is so calming for me. I'm glad that he has lengthened the fuse of my temper and coated the wick with something harder to ignite.

Here are the pics for the week:

Not much snow!

Cute, isn't it?

Well at least he understands that it doesn't come from a store. 

Thanksgiving day 

A good start on the decorations 

Elf on the Shelf. I am doing a separate most about him. You can read it HERE. I am going to update it daily. 

Elf on the Shelf

I'm not the blogger who does cute graphics or fancy pictures. I'm just an average mom who enjoys doing Elf on a Shelf with her son.  Below is a picture chronicle of our time with Elf.  Please note that while our elf likes to have fun and is sometimes a little ornery, I don't do naughty elf. I don't place him anywhere that will have to be moved in the course of our day.  I should also state that I have a pre-plan his adventures and have the vast majority of the supplies together in a box so that I can change him into his next place within 10 minutes or less.

Our elf, Conner, arrives 

Toilet Paper Snowman
      Jack loves this and hopes that Conner leaves the snowman to keep the bathroom decorated.  

Just chilling in the window sill

Apparently Jack's school picture needed a bit of improvement. 

Chilling in his hammock

He "elf"ed us

I think Spider-Man wins this round

Hiding in the tree 
  This was funny because Jack just knew he should be hiding in the tree, but just kept missing him. 

Stocking time

Maybe he was feeling homesick for that cold winter weather 

This looks like its was an uncomfortable way to spend the night

He sees you when you're sleeping

He reminds us that it's the season for giving

Better not hold it too long

Tonight he is brushing up on his reading

I am Spider-man

A special note for our boy

This idea absolutely thrilled Jack. He loved that he could pick up his elf without touching him. He just couldn't get over how funny this one was. 

I thought for sure that he was going to go nuts over this, but he didn't. Their is apparently no Lime Green on a creeper and he should have been a zombie. I guess it just goes to show you never know. 

I had to put him somewhere obvious so I wouldn't forget to grab him when we left on our trip. 

My quick placement so he could watch over him the remaining 14 hours of the drive.

Jack commented that it would be good for him to hide above the door, so that is where he hid. I didn't take a close up, but you can see him at the very right if you look super closely. 

Jack's aunt gave him a jersey for Conner to wear. Jack loved it. I just went for a quick stuck behind a painting look. 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

A Week in Review (November 16-22)

A Week in Review (November 16-22)

Watched: Jack get to play 3 quarters as a goalie of his game.  Whenever his coach asked, Jack always shot his hand up in the air and no one else did.  I am sure that it helps that his coach likes the way he plays goalie too. I think we may have to look for some indoor soccer shoes for his longer league.  Maybe I will use my good camera to get some action shots next time too. For now, you will just have to deal with the blur. 

Read: I finished up Grave Mercy. It was an okay book. I don't think that I would rush to read the second book if not for it being the reading for my face to face book club. The idea is intriguing, but the story telling fell flat for me.  In addition to the love story that develops, the main point questions what if the God-given orders are actually altered by the desires of man.  I finally finished 11/22/63 and so close to the actual date marking the anniversary of the JFK assassination. I for sure thought this was going to be a 4 or 5 star book, but the ending just didn't do it for me, so I would probably give it 3.5 stars. If you are looking for an excellent audiobook, I highly recommend this one. It was one of the best narrations that I have heard in a long time.  As for the plot, it's about a "rabbit hole" that drops you out in the summer of 1958. What would you do if you could right the wrongs of the world and what effect would it have?  Next, I started on the book The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. It is the first book in the other YA trilogy that was in the running for the book club. It is a pretty cheesy and fast read. I am sure I will finish it up next week.

Listened: To the sound of baby giggles. We were able to help a friend out and spend some time with her son. He thought I was okay to be with, but when Jack got home, that's when the giggles got in high gear. A baby giggle is just pure joy!

Made: Some turkeys from Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies. I think they turned out very cute. I hope that the kids on Jack's friends enjoy them.

Felt: Relief that Jack's dentist appointment went okay. He has a lot of apprehension so I wasn't sure how it would go. We did some oral sedation drugs and then combined it with laughing gas at the office. He stayed pretty calm.  I think we might be able to try the next apppointment with just the gas. :)

Planned: To have a big trip to Wal-mart. I bought the vast majority of our Thanksgiving Menu, my holiday baking supplies, and my standard weekly trip.  My cart was so full so I decided to play my own version of Price is Right version of Facebook.  In total, I had about 30 people guess. My mom was the closest, missing only by 1.58. Second was close behind only missing by 1.67.  You can see the crazy cart below. The total was 220.33.

Loved: That Jack is learning to play cribbage. It is one of my favorite games and I love that he is picking it up. He has watched me play several people play so he understood the general format of the game.  He actually likes practicing against the computer on an app I have on my iPad.  He still needs a bit of help counting his points, but I think he does well. He beat Nick and I pretty badly in his first game of 3 player. 

Here are the pics for the week:

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A Week in Review (November 9-15)

A Week in Review (November 9-15)

Watched: Jack's team get another win at soccer. He loves playing goalie. He didn't let the other team score any goals on him, but he was quite surprised when one of his own teammates kicked it in his goal. :)  The look on his face when I told him that counted for the other team was pretty funny. 

Read: I am still making good progress on my two books, Grave Mercy and 11/22/63. No reviews this week, but I have a feeling next week will bring double reviews. :)

Listened: To Jack's classmates come up with some good responses as to what they would eat if they were the little old lady at Thanksgiving.  I volunteered to put together a lesson on There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie.  The kids seemed to have a good time with it.  It's really nice to be back in the classroom, even if it is just on a volunteer basis.
Made:  Our annual turkey handprint plate. This year's plate has a Bronco turkey on it. What is even funnier is that he dreams of scoring a touchdown by running through the Chief's players leg. I know I am going to treasure these glimpses at his personality as he grows.

Felt: So cold. We, like most of the rest of the country, got hit with a blast of arctic air. I think it was harder to handle because the forecast had claimed we were going to have 60s. We have lit our gas fireplace. We were disappointed to learn that while it looks like they wired for a blower, they didn't install one. Seems to defeat the purpose. 

Planned: Out our Thanksgiving Menu. With all thr travel we will be doing at Christmastime, we decided it was best to stay at home this year. We will be having turkey, stuffing, prime rib, mashed potatoes, potato salad, sesame green beans, rolls, and pumpkin pie. 

Loved: Getting the flag from the KU game. It was so hard to see the flags waving in the stadium knowing that this is the first one we would miss in years. Imagine our delight when showed up in the mail. We are so thankful to Uncle Kevin for picking one up for us and to Aunt Debbie for getting in the mail.  Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Here are the pics for the week:

Sunday, 9 November 2014

A Week in Review (November 2-8)

A Week in Review (November 2-8)

Watched: I finished up How I Met Your Mother. Definitely just a later version of Friends. So if you love Friends, you would like this one. I thought the ending was lackluster for the awesomeness of the show. However, I thought the writers did a decent job at leaving you satisfied. 

Read: Because I so thoroughly enjoy the audiobook of 11/22/63, I decided to just mostly listen to it and start on the His Fair Assassins trilogy, which the book club read for December and January. The first book is called Grave Mercy.  I am only about a 1/5 of the way in, but it's a decent premise so far. I will have to see where it takes me before I say too much. 

Listened:To several different bloggers at the Pinner's conference that I attended on Friday. I took two classes on cooking, one on distressing and antiquing wood, one on iPhone photos, and one on Christmas traditions. My favorite was actually the first one. I have started following her on Pinterest and am looking forward to making several of her recipes. It is called Real Mom Kitchen. She made three recipes and they all looked yummy! I also made a fun wood sign and got lots of great freebies. :). Pics are posted below. 

Made: My master list for our Elf on the Shelf. I am hoping that I can use some of my spare time to craft all the extra things for the days, like a Spider-Man mask. Should be a fun time.

Felt: Relief. Our house is sold. We are done.  Now I will just be able to drive back to KC and see the place where we made some awesome memories and met some great friends.

Planned: On attending the Reflections Assembly and seeing Jack get his participation award. But it turns out that he is actually moving onto the district level. He was so proud of himself and I was so happy for him. They gave out awesome trophies to the kiddos that moved on. I was super impressed that they had the names put on each trophy.  He pretty much toted it around the rest of the day telling the story to everyone. 

Loved: The weekend. Nick was able to take off early to pick up Jack while I was at the Pinner's conference. The boys got to have fun together. At 6:45 that night, Jack headed to our neighbors and Nick and I head to a place called Brewvies for dinner and a movie. It was okay. It was really busy and would probably be better for food and drinks if you got there early. We watched Gone Girl. It was an awesome adaption of the book. It is one that just leaves you going WTF??? Saturday was a great family day. The boys got haircuts, Jack got some new boots and shoes when we were searching for Nick, the Jayhawks one, Jack's soccer team pitched a shut out, and we had some great time just talking while we read books. We even watched a YouTube video that showed one of the moments in Jack's baseball book that he checked out from his school library--The Carlton Fisk ball wave.

Here are the pics for the week:

An old pic edited during the iPhone class. 

Jack loved this picture of Coach Bowen. He does wonder what the players who were thirsty drank though. 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Week in Review (Oct 26-Nov 1)

A Week in Review (Oct 26-Nov 1)

Watched: Jack be totally grossed out by cleaning out a pumpkin. He was also quite messy at it. We had seeds everywhere. He came up with the design on his own and Nick only helped him carve the word Boo in it.  I used simple cookie cutters to make my pumpkin. The skin was super thick so I am glad I didn't do anything to complex. 

Read:  I finished up Rooms and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  For Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Rooms is told from several different points of view, so it took me a while to get the hang of it. If you have enjoyed her other books, you will like this one as well. Or if you are looking for a good ghost story for Halloween, I would recommend this to you.I wasn't as intrigued by the story line as I thought I would be.  I really enjoyed the freaky pictures more than anything.  I thought that the author did a good job integrating the pictures as bits of the story.  I hated how the end just left you hanging.  I think that books, even with known sequels, should be able to stand alone and this one just didn't do that well.

Listened:  I am continuing to 11/22/63. The narrator does such a great job with the story and I really am intrigued by it.  I am currently in between paper books to read, so I have read that a bit as well. I am not quite half way done and have been listening to it for 3 weeks. 

Made:  These yummy cookies for my book club.  The parchment paper is a must as the toffee sticks pretty badly.  My spatula was covered in toffee bits by the end of the baking session.  Another gal brought the cowboy salsa listed below and it was great as well. Perfect side dish for so many occasions.

Felt: Excited for Jack. He really enjoyed indoor soccer. His favorite was being a goalie. I found out that was because he was angling for 50 cents a blocked goal.  I am interested to see if he will choose soccer or baseball in the Spring. 

Planned: On having to be more hands-on for the bowling game that I made for Jack's Halloween party. But the awesome thing about 1st graders was the fact that they could do it on their own and the only need me to supervise and give occasional pointers. I think all the kids really enjoyed it.  I forgot to get pictures during the party, but I did put one of Jack testing it out at home. 

Loved: Trick or treating with our friends, the Sanner's. We had supper before hand and then went up and down the two streets of our neighborhood. Jack had so much fun sharing in the experience with other kids his own age.  Jane even brought me some beautiful sunflowers which reminded all of us of Kansas.

Here are the pics for the week: