Sunday, 31 January 2016

A Week in Review (January 24-30)

A Week in Review (January 24-30)

Watched: The Broncos D whoop on Tom Brady.  I used to like Tom Brady, but then he started getting caught cheating and whining all the time that my feelings really went the other way.  I am so glad that in clutches of the game the D held out to win it for us.  They were done no favors by our offenses total inability to take time off the clock.  We are really going to fix that before Super Bowl 50.  The last time a number one offense (the Broncos) played the number one defense (the Seahawks), the results did not fair well for Broncos fans.  However, since we have the number one defense this time, I am hoping for good things.

Read: I finally finished Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter. The deadline of due date got me to dedicate plenty of time to it this week. Overall, I did not enjoy the book because of the disjointed manner in which it was told. I also didn't feel that she was very "hidden". Sure her disability was often lied about and masked, but I don't think it's that uncommon. They allowed a Time magazine article to be published which clearly mentioned there were issues with Rosemary. Her story of a lobotomy gone wrong makes me thankful to live in a more accepting society. It's hard to believe that was the best school of thought. It is great to know that out of their experience with their sister, the Kennedy children were able to do many positive things for the disabled community.  I started The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. I am doing this as a buddy read with my friend who has already finished, so I hoping to have it done within a week. I'm only about 10% of the way in, but I am excited to see where it will go.

Listened: To Jack whoop it up after his team won at basketball. I'm not sure how he decided he won, since the coach switched him on teams at halftime. It bums me out that there isn't a basketball league without Saturday games that conflict with wrestling tournaments.  He is enjoy himself and that's what I really want out of sports for him. 

Made: A delicious and filling salad for dinner one night.  It was called Southwestern Barley Salad.  You can find the recipe HERE.  It really had a Chipotle Lime Rice flavor with sliced tomatoes.  We had some leftover steak that we added a couple pieces too and that was a great compliment since it was our full dinner. However, this will definitely be a side dish that I will take to potlucks in the summer.  I say give it a try!

Felt: Nervous for Jack. There was a big tournament in Castle Rock this week and he decided he wanted to wrestle in the B class.  Luckily, he actually did quite good. He got silver, winning two and losing one. If you would like to watch his three matches, you can do it HERE and HERE and HERE.

Planned: Just to do my usual board for the Pride Assembly winners for Jack's school. However, the wellness committee (which Jack's teacher is in charge of) created a new award for the teacher that logged the most fitness activities.  She asked if I could take their class photo and hang it on the board. Since the board isn't mine, I ran it by the counselor who wasn't thrilled with the idea. It was then that I spotted the empty bulletin board behind her and asked if we could use that.  After running it by a few more people, we were good to go and everyone was happy. I was able to get the stuff made while Jack was at wrestling practice and so I was able to get it up the next day. 

Loved: The beautiful weather that we had. It makes the mountain of snow they are predicting for the next couple of days a little more bearable since we had a stretch where you didn't need a coat to be outside. Nora loved that when I came home, I would go out in the yard and toss the bone around with her.  We took advantage of the nice Saturday and grilled up some hamburger and artichokes. Yummy!

Here are the pics for the week:

Maybe not the best post shot form. Haha

Monday, 25 January 2016

A Week in Review (January 17-23)

A Week in Review (January 17-23)

Watched: The Broncos play horribly against the Steelers.  Jack's birthday party ran through most of the game so I had to DVR it.  I am so thankful that the parents didn't give away how bad the game was going.  I might have lost hope.  My mom had bought me a cool new shirt that I was wearing and I was beginning to think it was bad luck.  Luckily, the defense came through and we were able to get a win.  If they don't play better, we will have no hope of winning against the Patriots.

Read: Again this week, I limped through Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter.  I am hoping that the due date will inspire me to use some of the time Jack is at school next week to finish it up.  It is has pretty positive reviews on Goodreads, so I keep holding out hope.

Listened: To Jack burst into tears on the mat when they declared his opponent the winner.  He is started the match strong, but really never had his heart in it.  The scorers table messed up the score and so he thought that he was winning, when he really wasn't.  He has been told by several coaches, repeatedly, to not look at the score during the match.  He couldn't believe it when the score showed him as the winner, but the ref called the opponent the winner.  It stunk for him because I know he would have wrestled harder if he thought he was losing.  However, I think it made a great lesson in not looking at the score and just wrestling your hardest.  He was able to end up with 2nd at the tournament, but he should have gold.  I hope the lesson sticks!

Made: Jack's birthday cakes.  He wanted a Force Awakens them and I wasn't sure how I could accomplish that.  Luckily Party City had this centerpiece pack that had decorations that I think work so well.  Luckily my mom was still in town when I iced them so she was able to help and had the great idea of sticking the confetti that came with them on the sides for further detail.  They were a big hit with the kids and many kids had a second piece.

Felt: Amazed at the generosity of Jack's friends at his party.  He got a lot of really nice and thoughtful presents.  The party was a big success with all the kids and the adults alike.  There was a bit of confusion on the part of the staff and that made things a bit more hectic for me, but I think they took care of the issues as best they could.  The parents were all very understanding.  Now to just get him to write all the thank you notes.  That's where the truly hard work comes in!

Planned:  On doing all sorts of crazy things for Jack's yes day, but he really didn't go overboard.  He actually slept in a good chunk of it, which didn't surprise me too much after the busy weekend we had.  We started the morning with some family Minecraft.  Then we watched some Pat and Jen videos.  He picked a simple lunch and we played some more games in the afternoon.  For dinner, we went to the Melting Pot.  It was delicious as always.  The gave Jack a chocolate covered strawberry with a candle melted to the plate to celebrate his birthday.  He wouldn't try it, so I got to and I loved it.

Loved: Watching Jack and Nora grow close.  She loves to sleep with him.  I took a quick picture of them snuggled up for the night.  She gets in his bed with him, but wont do it when I am around because she knows that I don't allow her on furniture.  It was a beautiful afternoon Saturday.  We have some trails in our neighborhood and we took Nora for a partially off leash walk. She loved it.  There was one spot with small tall grass that she was able to go spook birds out of it.  She was in heaven.  We did stop at the park and play for a bit on the way home.  We probably walked about 3 miles and enjoyed every minute of it.  He also set to work on teaching her to dance and she is enjoying all the treats that come with learning a new trick.

Here are the pics for the week:

A Week in Review (January 10-16)

A Week in Review (January 10-16)

Watched: A lot of Modern Family, and felt a little guilty.  I probably should have waited until they came off my hold list at the library, but instead I just paid for the individual episodes that were not on my DVR.  I know I am going to be caught up soon and then I will be in the show hole.  Haha.  Guess I will just have to watch the Downton Abbey's that are piling up on my DVR.

Read: A few more pages in Rosemary:  The Hidden Kennedy Daughter.  The writing isn't very exciting and often puts me to sleep.  More than once this week, I fell asleep holding the book.  I am giving it the college try, but it isn't getting me very far, very fast.

Listened: To the sounds of fuller house, we were blessed that not only my mom visited for the weekend, but so did my brother and sister-in-law.  My brother had to work until 6pm and then they made the drive down on his birthday.  Luckily the weather held up and they were able to make it around midnight.

Made: Straw lightsabers for Jack's give away for his birthday.  Because his school does not allow food to be brought in to celebrate, people often give pencils.  I was a little tired of pencils and so I did some googling and found a neat idea to put a straw over a finger light.  They turned out pretty neat and the kids loved them.  
Felt: Proud at wrestling.  We were able to take everyone to watch him and we all wore green for him.  He really appreciated having a large crowd come out.  His first match was against a girl, he had to wrestle his very first tournament.  He beat her.  His next match was against a kid from a club that clearly teaches their kids to wrestle dirty.  He lost the match by 1 point.  I could tell he wanted he to stop the match after one particularly hard slam down, but he never did.  He endured getting choked and a couple more slams.  The second the match was over, he broke down.  We managed to calm him by letting him know that his last match was against a girl who had not done well against the other opponents.  He went out there and got a pin on her.  The next match the girl from the first match beat the boy he had to wrestle because the boy took it way easy on her.  I assume he must have thought he couldn't lose to a girl. This made for quite the dramatic finale as we had three wrestlers that were 2-1.  The other two coaches were all up in arms about their wrestler deserving first.  They ended up getting the head of the league over to our table to determine the proper win.  Because Jack had the quicker pin over the weak girl, he came out with the gold.  I can't believe I didn't take a picture.  Luckily, my mom took a picture of the start of the first match.

Planned: On watching Chiefs win against the Patriots.  I really thought that they would have no problem with the Patriots because they had been playing so well at the end of the season.  I couldn't believe how horribly they played.  Overall, I was quite thankful because this means that our teams don't have to play each other for a Super Bowl berth which could get quite nasty!

Loved: Celebrating Jack's 8th birthday.  Nick had to be out of town for an interview, so my mom came down to help make the whole day special.  We started the morning off with a Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll.  For lunch, we took Chic-fil-A into his school.  His table was packed.  I think we added like four extra chairs so that we could make room for everyone who wanted to sit at the table.  We took in the straw lightsabers and watched all the kids enjoy them in the dark.  After school, we opened a few presents from my mom and then went to Chuck E Cheese.  He got lucky and hit the Jackpot on one of his ticket games.  We ended up with 925 tickets at the end of the night.  He had a surprise waiting for him when we got home as Nick was able to make it home before bed, which we were not expecting.  We had a small cake since I am making two for his party.  We loved the cool candles that lit up the same color as the candle.  Before we bed, we played a game of neighbor and he finally one.  The Colorado Springs curse was broken.  

Here are the pics for the week:

Just for comparative measures. 7th birthday versus 8th

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A Week in Review (January 3-9)

A Week in Review (January 3-9)

Watched: Days of Our Lives quite a bit.  I had fallen almost an entire month behind on shows and my DVR was really getting crowded.  It was a bit helpful that the show is on at noon and so I missed a couple episodes due to late breaking news.  I am not all the way caught up, but I made a good chunk.  It is really getting quite sad.  Don't they know that enough people have the blues in the winter and don't need their regular programming to bring them down.   

Read:  To try and break my slump, I decided to try out a Juvenile Literature book The One and Only Ivan.  I was totally drawn in by the cover. The story is told by Ivan, the gorilla. It's a very enduring story about the power of love, loss, and promises. I think this book would be a good read aloud for young children and a fine read for those in grades 3+.   A non-fiction book came off my wait list at the library.  It is called Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter.  While it seems like a bad excuse, I am not sure how far I will be able to make it because the book reeks of cigarette smoke.  Ugh!

Listened: To Jack and I try to come up with creative ways to make our gingerbread house stick together.  We tried to be patient, but the roof just kept sliding off.  We each got a lot of giggles out of us.  I was thinking maybe it was the kit, but then my friend posted a picture of her family's completed one!  Guess it was user error.  We probably should have waited until Nick got home, but we had a good time trying.    Plus, we got these really cute gingerbread men out of it anyway.
Made: Mom's yearly calendar.  I have a really good time putting them together for her.  I am always interested to see what pictures she choose from the previous years.  It is a challenge to try to come up with themes for the pictures, but I think I do a pretty good job.  She always has it proudly displayed so I know she loves it too!  I'll be exciting waiting her response to this years.

Felt: Glad for the Wilson and Company annual Christmas party.  It was held at Maggiano's in Englewood (a suburb of Denver)  It had been snowing on and off for the last couple of days, but we made it there without any real trouble.  Denver traffic wasn't even that heavy.  There wasn't any entertainment, which made the night a bit long.  I mentioned that we were used to entertainment to the head of the Colorado Springs office and he mentioned that they might be changing the venue up a little next year.  I am all being able to dress up a little nicer, but engineers aren't the best social talkers and so it's good to have something to do while you chat.  Can't wait to see what they come up with.

Planned: On a snow day on Friday.  The forecast made it look like were going to get quite a bit, and with ASD 20s history this year, I was sure there would be no school Friday, even though the kids had just went back on Wednesday.  I even got all my stuff done so that I wouldn't have anything to worry about doing while Jack was a home with me.  He was less than thrilled when I made him go to bed on time, since he too, was certain there would be no school.  Turns out we were wrong.  While we did end up with as much snow as they have been calling it for, the kids went.  It was a pretty warm snow.

Loved: The return to routine.  I know that I will be bored with it in a couple weeks, but it felt so nice just have things fall into place.  I like that I can get all the little things done without feeling like I am missing out on time with Jack.  A half week back was really just perfect.  Next week will be a bit crazy because we found out Nick has to go out of town, Jack starts basketball and he turns 8!  Lots to do--just the way we love it!

Here are the pics for the week:

We even had a nice wreath on the front door.

Nora didn't like waiting for me to get back from running errands.  I sure hope she had a good time shredding the empty box.

I took her to school with me the next day to pick up Jack.  I was a little nervous she was going to shred my seats while I waited for him, but luckily she did not. 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

A Week in Review (December 6-12)

A Week in Review (December 6-12)

Watched: Jack have a great time at his first big wrestling tournament.  We thought it was going to be an all day double elimination tournament, but it didn't end up in that style.  It was just the standard four man bracket only done by weight class and not by experience level  He ended up getting second.  The kid that beat him (and everyone else) had several years experience.  It is so hard to believe that this is our last tournament for over a month.  I am not sure what will do, but we will be plenty busy, so maybe it won't be so bad.

Read: Nothing really.  I spent most of my free time just messing around on my phone.  I really need to find a good book and commit to it.

Listened: To Jack get a lot of compliments on his pool and dart playing.  Because the wrestling tournament got over early than expected, we were able to make it to Cleats to watch the Chiefs game.  Jack has a good time playing pool and darts there.  He challenged Nick to a game after the Chiefs game was finished.  I don't remember who won, but they both had a good time playing.

Made: My annual plate of holiday goodies for our friends and neighbors.  I also made some extra for the cookie delivery that we give to the staff at Jack's school.  I included Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Balls.  We also made some Peppermint Rice Krispy Balls.  For the chocolate lover, there was Rocky Road clusters and Fudge.  It wouldn't be Christmas without mint, so I made some Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I also included some saltine toffee and cinnamon and toffee oatmeal chewy cookies.  It was all quite yummy!  

Felt: Thankful to my sister-in-law, Valerie.  Jack really wanted a shirt from the North Pole, but they didn't make it in kids sizes.  We sent a picture of it to her and she made one on her embroidery machine for him.  She is always super busy taking good care of the kids in her classroom and we were very thankful that she took time after her days to make him feel so special.

Planned: To participate in the Children's Christmas Party which was hosted at SkyZone, an indoor trampoline park.  I jumped for about 10 minutes and was exhausted.  It was pretty disconcerting too to not have full control of your body.  I was a bit afraid that I was going to do something crazy to my body.  Jack ended up finding a good dodge ball court to be a part of and he really enjoyed that.  There was a girl who was awesome and he had fun trying to get her out.  He also got to see Santa and get a present. He got a pretty cool Melissa and Doug magic set.  He didn't open it right away, so we will see if it just gets lost in the shuffle with the holidays.  Its in our game closet for now.

Loved: Hanging out at the Electric Safari at the zoo.  It was a bit chilly, but nothing unbearable.  We took a fun sky ride up to a small playground and indoor rock wall.  The rock wall was way to hard with cold hands and darkness.  I liked coming down much better because you got to see a lot more lights.  We had a nice viewing of the lion.  I couldn't believe how horrible porcupines smelled.  Jack's and I's favorite part was feeding the giraffes.  Jack was totally creeped out, yet totally fascinated with their super long tongues.  We found it at the end and kind of wish we had found it a lot earlier.  Not only was inside where it was nice and warm, but it was a just a lot of fun!  We are so thankful to our friends for inviting us to go along and driving all the way down there too!

Here are the pics for the week:

A Week in Review (Nov 29 - Dec 5)

A Week in Review (Nov 29 - Dec 5)

Watched: The first season of Modern Family. I had heard lots of good things about the series and they are all true.  I loved it so much.  It was like Parenthood, but chalk full of comedy.  There is quite a wait for the series at the library, so I am not sure when I will be getting the second season.  Hopefully soon because a girl could always use more laughter in her life!

Read:  I finished up After You.  I wish I had reread the first novel in the series. While I don't think you need it for background information, it would have helped me to connect with the characters much more quickly. I didn't get attached to anyone in the story until about half way through. But once I did, I was just turning the pages quickly trying to see what was going on. If when you finish Me Before You and just need more, pick this up and you will be delighted.  Next, I started All the Light We Cannot See.  

Listened: To XM radio in rental car.  The first car that they gave me had a damaged bumper.  The second one had clearly been smoked in and not taken great care of, but it did have XM radio included so that was a nice treat.  I even thought that I might want to look into getting that for my next car, but when I saw the price, I decided I would rather just use data and play Pandora when the regular radio didn't trip my trigger.  It was fun, but I wouldn't pay for it for how I would use it.

Made: A snowglobe for Conner, our elf.  While it was kind of fun, I totally would not recommend it!  I used shredded paper for snow and stuck some blue stickers on the outside of bowl.  I only had a 2.5 Qt bowl and I wished it would have been bigger.  It was fun, but not sure I would recreate next year.

Felt: In love with my Christmas decorations.  This s the first year that Jack has really helped with the tree.  He wasn't game in the beginning, but by the end he was having a blast.  It is so fun to look at all the old ornaments that he has made or we have been given from family and friends.  I can't imagine having a tree with just bulbs.  I am getting so many that I think I may need to have a second tree just so I can display them all.

Planned: On Jack staying in his room so that he could get good sleep before his big wrestling tournament.  So I switched out the elf location and ruined it all.  He told me that he didn't believe elf was real and clearly I had done it.  So I left him a note saying that we were going to the North Pole and he could write me a letter if he wanted to come back  I really hope he writes one soon.  I have a lot of fun things planned.

Loved:  Seeing lots of my KC friends.  Some people may consider it kind of silly flying all that way for just a short amount of time, but seeing my dear friends in person (instead of just on FB) energizes me.  It is so nice to have a group of people who know me so well and who make me laugh so hard.  There is a good group picture of us (and the coconut headed terrorist).  I spent a lot of extra time with my friend Sarah seeing her triplets (and her bigs for a short time).  We were even able to enjoy Granite City.  

Here are the pics for the week:

Boy tried on my glasses and wanted me to take a picture for him.

This is the delicious cake that I brought for Bunco.  It was made by my dear friend Sally at Sweet Perfection Bakery.  I even got to spend some time chatting and catching up with her.

A Week in Review (November 22-28)

A Week in Review (November 22-28)

Watched: A lot of football and basketball.  This is such a good week for games.  There always seems to be a great basketball tournament or two and tons of football spaced out so that you can see a lot of great games.  I can't imagine if we didn't watch sports together!

Read: I finished up the One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd.  This was an interesting historical fiction. I chose since November is Native American month. Leaving not far from a reservation, I have plenty of biases before picking up this novel. This did change the way I looked at things. I can't imagine what it would be like to have someone constantly infringing upon my way of life after promising that they were done doing it. My heart broke for May and her fellow brides. I would recommend this to all historical fiction fans.  Now I will turn my attention to finishing up After You.

Listened: To Jack have a grand time "hosting" a huge game of Neighbor.  We had Jess's parents and brother out, along with my mom's best friend and her husband.  Everyone was willing to play a game of neighbor with Jack.  He had a such a good time, but he still hasn't won a game since we moved the Springs.  He is really looking forward to changing that over Christmas vacation.

Made: My elf of the shelf plan.  I am excited for a lot of the fun ideas that I have done.  I don't have all the things prepped like I did last year, but at least I have the list so that I can work on it while Jack is at school.  I was able to run in before we left for our Thanksgiving trip and put him out with our basket of books.

Felt: A stitch in my side from laughing so hard.  Kyle told us this really unfunny story about how the accidentally bumped into a girl while he was driving in Ireland.   Where it got weird was when he said that she was complaining of pain her back, upper hip area.  Obviously this didn't make a lot of sense and so we giving him grief about the detail and her being a giant.  Just a little later, a Tamiflu commercial came on with this large person walking right by a review mirror.  Nick was joking on how she was still limping all these months later.  Oh we laughed and laughed.  Poor kid!

Planned: A delicious Thanksgiving Dinner with my mom.  We made a great prime rib and smoked turkey.  There were deviled eggs, rolls, cilantro parm corn, baked beans, a homemade cranberry sauce, and so much more.  We had way too much food, but the leftovers were quite yummy.  My mom made some killer French Dips before we went home.

Loved: That Nick was able to take off the  entire week and be with Jack and I. We kept it a surprise for Jack and he was blown away when we arrived at the North Pole with Nick in tow. He wasn't paying a lot of attention to the ride and we had told him we were taking Nick to work.  It was a pretty decent day for late November with the highs in the upper 40s.  Plenty of pictures below.

Here are the pics for the week: