Wednesday, 30 December 2015

A Week in Review (December 20-26)

A Week in Review (December 20-26)

Watched: The cousins play a lot of games together. We gave Jack the game Pie Face.  It was hilarious but messy. We tried it later in the week with a wet sponge and that was much easier to deal with and just as funny. The cousins got Twister, Monopoly, and Clue from us. They had a blast playing together. I think Clue was their favorite. 

Read: Nothing in the way of books. It seems like when we travel, I pack so much into the day that I use my downtime to get caught up on my games and social media. Not as good for my brain for sure!

Listened: To everyone sing Happy Birthday to my brother. Granted it was a day early due to his work schedule and our tradition of opening family gifts on Christmas Eve. I can hardly believe it was 26 years ago that I first learned about true love at first sight. 

Made: The long trek home from my mom's. While the distance has decreased dramatically, it felt awfully long fighting the blowing snow and wind. Luckily, Nick is extremely patient and just kept it at speed he felt comfortable with. There also weren't a ton of other drivers on the road, which did help with the safety factor. 

Felt: Thankful that my sister in law, Valerie, stopped by Hurts Donut and picked a dozen donuts so I had a wide variety to try. I have seen several people like their Facebook posts and I was eager to try them.  They had a ton of unique flavors.  While I didn't love them as much as I thought I would, they were still yummy. 

Planned: To just have Santa Claus deliver a stuffed dog letting Jack know that we would start the hunt in earnest. However, my mom advertised on a Facebook group and we met Nora. She's a 1 year old black lab.  We decided she would be a good fit in the family, so Santa Claus delivered her to Jack. She's still a puppy, but seems easily trainable. 

Loved: Spending time with both of our families for the holidays. It is so much nicer to do a gift exchange in person rather than through the mail.  We made so many wonderful memories that will have to sustain us until we can all get together again. It's hard living long distances from our families, but we will continue to do all we can to make those memories. 

Here are the pics for the week:

Thursday, 24 December 2015

A Week in Review (November 15-21)

A Week in Review (November 15-21)

Watched: The Broncos lose horribly to the Chiefs. I couldn't believe that Peyton threw four picks in the game after setting the career high total. Ob the plus side, Nick was in a better mood than normal after the Chiefs game. 

Read: Go Set a Watchman. If Harper Lee only wanted to give one book to the world, I am glad it was To Kill a Mockingbird. Go Set a Watchman may shed light into the minds of southerners in the 60s.  There were several times that I really identified with Scout. It is so hard to know that your beliefs stand in direct opposition to those you love.  I hope that she comes to find peace with those differences.

Listened: To Jack's class act like a bunch of turkeys as they celebrated winning the pizza party for their pride cards. They also got to eat their way through a rainbow as the teacher had asked for parents to send in items with the different colors. It turned out really cute and I was sad I missed a pick. They had their feast so early because they get an entire week off for Thanksgiving. 

Made: And delivered cute little water bottles for our staff to thank them with their help with the Fall Festival. They were all very appreciative of the gesture.  It's always nice to bring a smile to someone's face. 

Felt: Out of sorts.  We had a huge snow!  It really ruined my plans for the day and it just put me in a funk. Plus, there was a lot of snow to shovel. We ended up with about a 2.5 foot drift in our driveway of very wet snow. Nick was able to get to work, so I had to shovel it myself. If snow blowers were compact, it would be on my Christmas list!

Planned: To go buy a Jackfruit to make some pulled pork type meal for Thanksgiving for them. When I got to the Asian market, I was blown away by their size and smell. I went ahead and bought a quarter of a ripe one, but it just didn't seem right. So I went back out to my car and googled a recipe. Turns out you need young jackfruit to make it. So I went back into the store and bought a couple cans. I'm interested to see how it turns out. 

Loved: Having a friend who isn't afraid of heights!  He brought over his extension ladder and got some of the dart tips that were stuck inside the skylights, installed bulbs in the light that can't be reached with even our 8 foot ladder, and hung Christmas lights over the roof of our house. I am just totally in love with the way it looks. It was such a nice treat. 

Here are the pics for the week:

A Week in Review (December 13-19)

A Week in Review (December 13-19)

Watched: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens with all Nick, Jack, the cousins, and Roy Jr. I loved it!  There was such good story build up and it was a very exciting movie.  We already have a $10 bet to see if I am right about the parentage of Rae.  There is even a countdown on my phone to the next movie. It's well over a year away, but the excitement is still there. 

Read: Not much. I just seem to keep choosing other things over my books. I am in the very beginning of The Shock of the Fall, but I can't tell you too much about it. 

Listened: To Jack say that we should have a snow day on Monday night. At that point there was a 35% chance of snow, so I told him to dream on. But what do you know?  He got his wish!  There wasn't a ton of snow, but the cold temperatures and wind made them call it. We even decided to scoop the back deck so that we could play basketball in the snow. We had to settle for horse, but it was still something I had never done before!

Made: An ugly sweater with Jack. His school was having a day to celebrate on Wednesday and we thought it would be fun to get in the action. I came up with the design, but the actual realization was all Jack. 

Felt: Determined to make it to Wichita so I didn't have to unload my stuff for just a quick sleep overnight. We had some great customer service from the Holiday Inn Express South to make it so that we were able to stay in one room our whole trip. It was quite excellent. 

Planned: To get this blog caught up. That didn't happen, but I am trying not to fall behind anymore!

Loved: Getting to see a lot of family in one place. It takes a lot of work for everyone to get together in one location when you are spread out over the United States, but it is worth it to hear the giggles of being together. 

Here are the pics for the week:

My new Christmas decorations from the boys. I didn't have them out them up since we were leaving, but I'll be excited next year. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

A Week in Review (November 7-14)

A Week in Review (November 7-14)

Watched: Everyone go crazy for our ball maze.  I am not sure what it was, but they all had a blast trying to get it done.  Our friend Ryan aced it on his second or third attempt.  I thought that was pretty impressive.  The kids realized there was a short cut that you could take that would help you more easily get your ball into the finish section without going through all the levels.  All the kids were very interested in how it was made.  I suggested to Jack that they should write in to the show and put that as a suggestion.

Read: Go Set a Watchman, which is Harper Lee's rough draft that her family released without her consent. If she only wanted to give one book to the world, I am glad it was To Kill a Mockingbird. Go Set a Watchman may shed light into the minds of southerners in the 60's. There were several times that I really identified with Scout. It is so hard to know that your beliefs stand in direct opposition to those you love. I hope that she comes to find peace with those differences.  Next I began, After You.  I have barely begun it, but I am still hoping to have a review by next week. 

Listened: One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd.  My book reading list is all coming off holds at the same time, but I had wanted to read this book during Native American Month.  I wasn't sure how I was going to fit them all in, so I decided to see if I could find the audio book to listen too.  Luckily, our library had it and I was able to begin.  Because I had so many things to do for Fall Festival, I was able to put on the book and listen to it instead of having the TV on for background noise.  It is quite the story and I am enjoying it.  It is centered around the Brides for Indians program that actually occurred.    I am hoping to have it finished by next week.

Made: My life this week pretty much revolved around the Fall Festival.  Jack's school hosted it's first school carnival and I headed a lot of it.  I was really nervous that everything would turn out well.  I didn't want to throw an event that left people feeling disappointed.  I tried to think of so many various scenarios and plan for them.  I am very thankful for all the big bashes that I have thrown for Jack and doing the parties for Trinity when I worked there.  It did help me plan things better.

Felt: Amazed at Fall Festival.  When had done a decent amount of money in pre-sales, but it was no where near what we did at the door. There was just a huge line of people coming in that night.  We even ran out of change and had to issue people IOU's while I ran to the bank inside Wal-mart and pleaded with them to do their civic duty and give me change even though I was not an account holder.  I am happy to report that they did help!  People also had a great time playing the games that were out.  The teachers mostly ran the games their grade created and were a lot of fun for the students.  We had an overwhelming demand for pizza.  When I started, I was hoping that we could clear a little money.  Luckily, we cleared a lot more which will really help the PTA's operating budget.

Planned: A whole list of things to do for next week.  I am going to try and insert some wire to make our Elf a bit more poseable.  I am planning to get our car tags switched over to Colorado.  I am going to try and get all our Christmas books wrapped.  I am going to everything back in place after the disorder that Fall Festival called.  I need to work on the school improvement plans for my DAC meeting on Tuesday.  I also have to help with the Pride Assemblies and Volunteer in Jack's room a couple times.  It should be a full week.

Loved: Watching Jack take his first gold.  He was finally in a class with all other C wrestlers and was able to take first.  It really boosted his confidence and made him willing to work even harder.  All of his coaches note that he doesn't quit when he is out on the mat and they are quite proud of his tenacity.  I think this is one of the best lessons that wrestling teaches.  Even if you are down, you can still come back and win it if you just keep trying.

Here are the pics for the week:

Ryan showing off his accomplishment!

Jack with his gold metal 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Week in Review (November 1-6)

A Week in Review (November 1-6)

Watched: Royals win Game 5 of the World Series on our TV and Denver play the Packers on my iPad. I couldn't believe that the two events collided.  It was a great night since the Royals won the World Series and the Broncos whopped up on the Packers.  The joy that was present on the players faces totally made the win.  I know that I went to bed with a smile on my face.

Read: Dead in the Family.  Overall, I gave it three stars.  This book didn't have quite as much climax as I was expecting it to have.  It was good to catch up with Sookie and all of her side characters.  I have to say that I am rooting for her and Sam to get together.  They just seem like the best match, but knowing Sookie, she would mess it up.  I am sure I will come back to the series in the new year.

Listened: To so many friends debate on whether or not to attend the parade in the Royals honor.  I also listened to some people complain that school was let out for a "blue" snow day so that staff and students could attend.  Then on Tuesday, I saw post after post from the parade.  It was amazing to see the city turn out in such huge numbers.  It is estimated that almost 800,000 people came out to watch the parade.  That is almost twice the population of Kansas City, MO proper.  Best of all, it was a relatively drama free for those who were brave enough to go down there.

Made: The change in decorations from Halloween to Thanksgiving.  I have a pretty good collection of art from Jack over the years.  It really makes me happy every time I walk by it.  That wall was empty for about a day during the transition and I didn't like it all.  It felt way to empty.  Who knows what I will do after Christmas?

Felt: Surreal about boy coming down dressed up when he realized that his babysitter for Saturday night was an older girl.  What???  How can it be that my boy is growing up enough to care about what the ladies might think and to think that he might have a chance in that department.  He actually wore jeans!  He usually thinks of jeans as the worst possible clothing solution out there.  In the end, he wasn't impressed with her, but I am just not sure that I am ready for this next stage of life.

Planned: On a normal bracket for Jack's tournament for his tournament in Castle Rock.  Instead, he ended up in a six man bracket.  That is two more wrestlers than normal.  One kid was added to his bracket that was a B wrestler because he didn't fit well into any of other brackets.  Jack ended up beating him.  :)  He only lost one match and took second.  He and the B wrestler each lost only one match, but the other kid had two pins where Jack only had one from his matches.  It was fun to see him get better with each match with the coaching that he received in the middle.  He really has a won't quit attitude that helps him tremendously in wrestling.

Loved: Going to All Colorado brewers beer fest with our friends.  We opted for early entry tickets which allowed us to get in an hour earlier.  That was nice because we had access to all the best swag and their really weren't any lines for the beer.  Nick found a couple beers that he really liked Ironbird's Deadstick, which is a double IPA and a Green Chile Beer from Rock Bottom Brewery.  You can see by my attempt at self (with an awesome  photobomb by some random passerby) that he got his moneys worth of samples.  I was a DD so didn't partake in the samples, but had a good time all the same way.

Here are the pics for the week:

Jack's just goofing around while Nick gave him posing guidance.

The silver medalists.

Big Jenga.  Nick may have helped Sherry win by given Ryan a little nudge.

Didn't she get a great photo bomb in?

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

A Week in Review (October 25-31)

A Week in Review (October 25-31)

Watched: The final episode of Scrubs.  I am so glad that I read the review that suggested looking at season 9 as a spin off.  They did such an awesome job wrapping up the show at the end of Season 8 that I couldn't imagine them beginning again.  They really didn't.  The show creator wanted to call the show Med School and I think it might have done better if people had seen it as its own show.  It didnt get the series finale that made you feel good since it only last a season.  I think I am going to start watching Modern Family for my next series.

Read:  Last week I started One More Day.  I chose this book randomly off my book case and ended up with a "ghost story" in October.   This book really makes you examine how we should spend our time and what we should give our energy too. It also causes you to reflect on the life beyond what we see on the surface of other people's lives.   Good if you are looking for a quick read.  When I was finished I started reading Dead in the Family which I am also listening too.

Listened: Dead in the Family.  It had been almost six months since I read about Sookie and her crew and the Halloween season seemed like a good time to pick it back up.  I am enjoying the series.  I checked it out on from the library in MP3 format, so it makes it easy to listen to when I am doing things in the house as well as driving. I am sure that I will have it finished up by next week.
Made: Frames for Jack's school Star Student wall.  As you know I agreed to take the pictures, and I just had to take it a step further.  I wanted something that would like nice and still be able to change out every month.  I think I found a great solution choosing photo corners.  There was quite a bit of trial and error, but I am very pleased with the end result.  It really pops when you walk into the school.  I know the kids loving having their picture up there too.  Jack was even selected as a Star Student this month by his teacher for the character trait of Responsibility.  I was very proud of him.

Felt: Overwhelmed when I walked into Jack's school Friday morning.  I had realized Thursday night that I had doubled book myself and was supposed to both deliver popcorn to students for Popcorn Friday and meet with the principals to discuss the budget review for the District Accountability Meeting.  It was also the Halloween parade.  When I walked in, I was immediately met with a problem.  They had forgotten to hand out the order forms and the teachers were freaking out to the poor office front staff.  It was also then that I realized I was the only person there to do anything about it.  I saw another person who I know does some volunteer work and asked her to please help me.  We really don't jibe, but at that point, I knew I needed to take what I could get.  I walked around the order forms and let the teachers know popcorn would be later than normal, but would get to their class before lunch.  Then I hurried and watched Jack in the parade, which I didn't get a great picture of.  Next, I went back and tried to figure out the popcorn mess.  We finally finished about 2 hours later.  Then I realized the machine needed cleaned.  I was in my costume so I had to go home, change, and come back and clean it.  Phew!  Less than two hours later, I got a call from the front office saying Jack had threw up in the classroom.  Apparently, he coughed so hard that he gagged.  It wasn't the best way to end my day.  Luckily it was just a cold and not the stomach bug that is going around the room too.

Planned:  For Jack to wrestle on Saturday morning.  While I knew he had a pretty bad cold, I felt that he needed to wrestle through it.  After all, wrestling season is all cold season long.  Better just to buck it up.  He woke up coughing more than I would have liked, so I ran and bought him some Dimetapp thinking that it had the best flavor so hopefully he could get it down.  We did, his friends met us out our house so we could travel together, and we made it.  It was already pretty busy, but we are able to find a spot that wasn't too far away.  Luckily we came from the north of the gym, so we found that spot to the north as well.  Now you may be asking yourself why that matters.  Well, it wasn't but 5 minutes after the wrestling started that the host came over the loud speaker and told us that we were on Lock Down.  You could not re-enter the gym if you left.  And too be honest, I don't think they would have let you leave.  They didn't say anything else.  Well, of course, I googled and it said there was a shooting near the intersection of where we were.  About an hour later they lifted the ban, but said if you were parked to the south, you would not be able to get to you car.  When we walked out of the gym, there was immediately crime scene tape blocking off the whole area to the south.  Apparently, a gunman who had set fire to his place and killed three innocent victims had his shootout RIGHT outside the gym.  It was so loud that we didn't even know.  I am so thankful that we were able to stay in the dark about it.  I have, of course, been following the story.  I thought THIS was a good post what happened.  One interesting thing I read was that his neighbor called 911 saying he was walking around with his gun looking distraught, but was told open carry was legal and there was nothing they could do about it.  Not exactly sure how I feel about that.  

Loved: All the fun things Halloween brings.  We carved pumpkins Sunday before Jack headed to a neighbors party. He made a bat hanging from a tree.  Nick carved a Minecraft pumpkin and I went for a Dracula silhouette.  Jack wasn't thrilled that we made him work on scooping his out while we were finishing carving ours.  Halloween night was absolutely beautiful weather wise.  We started out handing out candy to some of the earlier trick-or-treaters.  Then we went up and down the block in our matching costumes.  I was Gwen from Spider-Man and he was Spider-Man.  Normally, I would have spent the whole time out with him, but the Royals game 4 started at 6:07.  Luckily, he met up with some his neighborhood friends and Nick took them around.  After they got back, our friends who live quite a ways away made it to our house.  We invited them in for a break and beer for the dad.  We watched the Royals game and the kids played together.  We had several more trick-or-treaters that Jack was able to enjoy passing the candy out too.  Now its time to bring on Thanksgiving!  

Here are the pics for the week:

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

A Week in Review (October 18-24)

A Week in Review (October 18-24)

Watched: A lot more episodes in The Scrubs series.  I have almost finished it.  I have heard conflicting things about the last season when it changed networks.  I am sure I will have to watch it, or it would just feel like I was missing something.  I have heard thinking of it like a spin-off helps.  I have been discussing lots of shows to watch next with one of my girlfriends.  I haven't narrowed it down to just one yet.   

Read: I finished up Carrie.  It really got in my head causing me to have several nights of messed up dreams. However, there is just something that I felt was missing when the book ended. I have been trying to put my finger on what it was lacking, but I just haven't been able too.  I picked a random book from my book shelf and decided to start For One More Day.  I haven't made a lot of headway in, so I cant tell you what I think of it.      

Listened: The speech therapsits agree that Jack was successfully meeting his goal enough to be able move to check-in services only. We still need to make sure that we are practicing s-blends at homes, but I am glad for the interruption in his week is over.  It was a good experience where I felt everyone really worked together as a team. 

Made: The decision to buy new curtains for the living room.  The other ones just felt too spring-like.  I am very excited with the ones that I chose.  They compliment the other ones that I already had on the other window.  I did have to buy one more pair of panels because they just needed more material to make them look decent.  It was a pretty expensive way to change the look out of living room without too much work.

Felt: Conflicted about to buy an 8 year old girl with a quirky personality. Jack was invited to her party, but wasn't sure of what to get her.  Both Baby Mario and Moshi Monsters were suggested as ideas. Sadly, they don't sell either of those things in stores. Based on them,  went with Littlest Per Shop. Then, I made the mistake of asking her if she liked them. You guessed it, she told me no. So I went back to the drawing board and came up with a Magic 8 ball wrapped in a Fleece Throw. Luckily it was a hit. Phew!  Jack also had a good time at the party, so that was nice. 

Planned: A trip to the neighborhood fire station for the 2nd graders at Jack's school.  It sounds a lot easier than it actually was. The only person who schedules the field trips is rarely able to answer the phone.  When she does get back to you, her head is so full of request that she can't keep her facts straight.  But luckily, with a lot of preservance, I got them scheduled. Now I just hope that the kids have a good time and the weather is decent for the walk. 

Loved: Watching Jack wrestle. We had to wake up quite early on our normal sleep in day, but it was worth it. We not only got the experience of what a tournament feels like, but Jack earned second place.  His very first match he pinned his opponent. The second one, he won. The last one, he got pinned in no time flat. It was a great learning experience, but he was pretty frustrated with himself.  It gave him some great things to work on in practice. They have a tournament here in the Springs next weekend and so we are planning on going to that as well. 

Here are the pics for the week:

Old vs New Curtains

Snow capped mountains have made their debut

A Week in Review (October 11-17)

A Week in Review (October 11-17)

Watched:  The start of the new series Heroes Reborn. We watched the original Heroes series and are enjoying this one. We are a little late coming to the party, but we are enjoying it. The part where the girl enters the video game is a bit far fetched in a far fetched show. Its something our whole family enjoys. 

Read: I finished up Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch.  This book was absolutely dreadful for me. I clearly do not appreciate British humor. I had moments where I thought it was going to be okay, but then it just turned bad again. I can't believe that I actually finished it. I just had to because I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss some grand finale. I will not be picking up another Neil Gaiman book, no matter what.  Next, I started Carrie hoping for a good Halloween read. It seems to be able to deliver that.

Listened: To Jack have a great time with his friend who was able to stay the night on Friday. They played pretty well together.  They woke up early and had a lightsaber battle, played football, and a ton of Mario Kart.

Made: Plans with our friends to attend a Colorado Springs Beer Festival the weekend after Halloween. It's all Colorado Brewers and the money from the ticket sales goes to charity. It should be a great time.  Since I am not a big beer drinker, I got the much cheaper Designated Driver ticket. I think it's so cool that they offer that option. 

Felt: So bad for Jack. He did not do as well as he wanted to at his state cross country meet and it crushed him. I think that there were lots of factors that contributed to his performance. Our trip to Kansas, the heat, and the fact that his running partner who helped him set the pace in Races 2 & 3 really wanted to go all out and Jack couldn't keep that pace. 

Planned: Several dinners and desserts for the teachers at Jack's school. It was amazing how few people signed up to bring things, so I was left making several things. I had a total Pinterest fail too. I attempted to make caramel apple bites and they did not work at all. Not sure what went wrong, but it was awful. I was so glad someone texted me to bail me out. 

Loved: Hearing that Jack is doing well in school.  His teachers and classmates enjoy him, which I think is great. He is making lots of friends. I am glad that he is adjusting to our move so well. 

Here are the pics for the week:

Half way done


Monday, 19 October 2015

A Week in Review (October 4-10)

A Week in Review (October 4-10)

Watched: KU get blown out by Baylor so badly that Nick didn't even want to come back in the stadium to watch the 2nd half. We had a much better time hanging outside watching the kiddos play and hang out with each other. We are hoping that KU turns it around soon. It is making for a very long season.  Jack ended up feeling car sick about an hour from home, but luckily we made it home without any trouble. 

Read: I am trying to make my way through Good Omens:  The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. I am having a hard time following the story as it seems very disjointed too me. There are a few parts where I smile at the humor, but I am hoping the storyline starts to come together soon. 

Listened: To the cousins and Jack have a great time seeing each other. Watching 4 boys ages 9-6 talk to each other is a hoot. They come with all sorts of things to make you laugh.  It was exciting to just let them go enjoy themselves in the Hyvee Hawkzone than having to worry because they were all so little. :)  

Made: The trip back from Lawrence in one night. We were planning on staying somewhere in the middle, but I decided sleeping in my own bed and not having to rush around as much to make it to Jack's state cross country meet would be worth the long drive.  

Felt: Excited that we were able to see as many people as were in our short visit to Kansas. It's so hard to cram in years of friends in two days, but we do what can.  We are so thankful that most people's schedules aligned or could be wiggled so that we could say hi.  We even got in some of our favorite places like Braum's (ice cream for breakfast!) and BD's (where Jack likes that they call him the Tofu Kid).  

Planned: On Jack missing his first practice of wrestling because of his last soccer game. However, the game was called off due to a big storm hitting the area. They still got together for cupcake and medals at a park. We didn't stay long so we could make it to wrestling close to on-time. It was an interesting experience for me. Lots of sweaty boys in one room, with no place to sit. Not sure I will go to a lot of practices. Hopefully Nick will be able to take him. 

Loved: Watching Jack get to see Kate. They say that with true friendship, months can go without talking and then you just pick back up. That's the way it is for these two. They have such a good time together. We started out rocky because Chuck E Cheese didn't open until 11, but I had thought it was 10. After playing in the park, we tried again, only to find them closed for some sort of electrical issue. We ended up driving over to the other location and had a great time. 

Here are the pics for the week:
Medal from Coach Mike

Wrestling with his friend

Braum's for Breakfast

BD's for lunch

Exhausted, but still posing 

I don't think he made it to Topeka before falling asleep.