Sunday, 21 February 2016

A Week in Review (February 14-20)

A Week in Review (February 14-20)

Watched: Jack correctly identify where all 50 states went on a blank map without missing one. I was absolutely blown away. He really enjoys playing the app called Stack the States and learned it all from there. I am not sure if he will retain it, but it will be handy to have in his subconscious for when he hits US geography hard in 5th grade.

Read:  I finished up the book Winter.  While I thought this book was a great wrap up to the series, it was a bit drawn out for me. If you have read the others, you must read this one to know what happens to everyone. There isn't a story line that is left incomplete. I could easily see her picking up another book following them into adulthood.  Next, I started the book Promise Not to Tell, which I am doing in my book club of two with my friend Sarah.  It was a very quick read that was hard to put down. It was fun because we were able to read at close to the same pace and were able to discuss our theories along the way.  Overall, I would give the book three stars as I have a hard time when supernatural elements play a critical role in the story. It would be a good "ghost" story for Halloween.  Next, we started on The Dinner.  I was up too late on Saturday to really get anywhere in it though.

Listened: To the audiobook for Dead Reckoning.  While I enjoyed the story, it all felt rather anti climatic to me. Things seemed to go down the exact path you thought they would by 100 pages in. There were no twists and turns like you hope for. I am hoping that she is done with Eric for good. I am not really a fan of their relationship. Hard to believe there are only two books left in the series.  Not having a show that I am catching up on leaves plenty of time for me to listen to books while I do other things around the house. When I finished it, it felt too silent. I decided to go ahead and start the next Sookie book, Deadlocked. These books are perfect audiobooks because if you miss something because you aren't giving it your full attention, it will usually be explained again later. And if it isnt, it's easy to skip back and re-listen. 

Made: A ton of shredded paper getting rid of tax documents we no longer needed to keep. I couldn't believe that we still had things with my maiden name on them!  That's stuff from 15 years ago. Since we don't claim any losses, we only had to keep three years worth. With those being electronic filing years, the documentation is so much less!  I'll need to make that a yearly chore rather than one that I do every decade and a half!

Felt: Grateful that I have sweet boy who likes to make others happy. On Tuesday, he made a fish from fried bologna and pancake batter (it was breakfast for dinner night). He asked that I take his picture with it and post it to Facebook so that he could make people smile.

Planned: To see a smile in Jack's wrestling photos. I don't know why. I guess wrestling is a tough guy sport. When I saw the picture, it just made me laugh.  It took a picture of the picture and you can see it below.

Loved: Celebrating Valentine's Day with my boys. We let Nick sleep in and then we opened gifts. The boys went to Jared and bought me a gorgeous tennis bracelet. I think I will call it my 15 year anniversary present too since it was a little over the top. I simply got Nick the Chiefs hat that he saw Alex Smith wearing when it was announced they would be in the playoffs. Jack got some candy. We made kabobs on the beautiful day.

Here are the pics for the week:

Look at all that shredded paper!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

A Week in Review (February 7-13)

A Week in Review (February 7-13)

Watched: Super Bowl 50.  We invited over our friends and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  That had far more to do with the game than with the commercials or food.  We were so glad to see our (well 2/3 of family) team come out on top.  It was really done on the backs of the defense.  Vaughn Miller played like a man possessed and totally deserved the MVP.  We also got very lucky and one of our squares won the final quarter of super bowl pool we were in.

Read: I finished up The Tao of Pooh.  This is a nice short book on how you can apply the simpleness of Pooh to enjoy your life further.  It would probably be a great introduction for anyone interested in Taoism as well.  Having not read any of A.A. Milne book and having only watch Winnie the Pooh with my younger brother in the early 90s, it was a nice little reintroduction to those characters.  I would say this is a must read for any A.A Milne fan.  I am happier for having read it.  I also made pretty good progress on Winter.

Listened:  I did a lot of listening to the book Winter. It is such a long book (823 pages) that I decided to use one of Nick's audible credits so that I could listen while I was home alone.  It really allowed me to get a lot farther in the book than I would.  It also makes the longer drives on errands a little more bearable.  I need to get Nick to hook my new phone up the to the Bluetooth in my stereo for even easier listening.  

Made: The trip to downtown Denver on Tuesday to attend the Super Bowl parade.  It was so insane.  We left our house at 6:30 and didn't make it to Nick's office until a little after 9:00am.  That was still plenty of time for us to get a vendor hot dog that Jack wanted and get back to a good spot in front of Nick's office.  Because we had won the pool, I said yes to everything that Jack asked for.  We ended up with a new tshirt (adult small was the smallest they had), a pennant and a super annoying (to everyone but Jack) blow horn.  We had to wait until 12:25 before the parade actually made it to us.  We made friends with the guy we were standing beside.  Jack had fun high-giving everyone who happened to go down the parade route.  Jack was very excited because he was hollering at Norwood, and Norwood pointed right at him.  Getting home was worse than getting there.  They closed all the downtown light rail and forced everyone to go into one large station.  I really thought Jack was going to be trampled in the stampede to get to a train to Lincoln station.  It was like people were rushing to the lifeboats in the Titanic.  We did manage to make it on a train about an hour after arriving at the station.  The car ride home from the station was pretty uneventful.  We will definitely attend the next Super Bowl parade if we are still around.  Next time, we will take a  football to pass around and some blue and orange crepe to throw in the crowd. I didn't put in near the pictures that I took so if you are looking for some more, just let me know.

Felt: Proud of Jack.  This week he had an all B bracket for his wrestling tournament.  He had a great match against his opening opponent who had beaten one of his teammates twice.  You can watch it HERE.  His next match was by a kid who saw was throwing a lot of headlocks.  It was very hard to watch, but you can do it HERE.  Jack continued to fight threw them and got the win.  Even the ref congratulated him at the end for fighting threw the numerous headlocks and body throws he took.  His last match wasn't all the exciting, but you can still watch it HERE.  It resulted in a W and he got the gold.  I was so amazed at how hard he fought and came away with the gold.

Planned: Jack making a valentine box at school as I had asked his teacher repeatedly if we needed to do something at home and she always avoided the question or said that they would make something in school.  However a note came home on Wednesday that if had a special box or bag that they could bring it for tomorrow's valentine exchange.  Monday's and Wednesday's aren't great days for us to get late notice on things since he is gone from the house for almost three hours at wrestling practice and traveling to and from there.  I had just been to the store, so I had a cereal box that I could wrap.  I threw a picture of BB-8 on it and called it good.  He seemed to like which is what really mattered.

Loved: The program that the second grade put on under the direction of their music teacher.  I went to the rehearsal so I knew the better side of the stage to sit on and what made the good parts of the song.  That was nice because I knew the parts that I wanted to record rather than being behind my phone for the whole performance.  I think the video turned out okay.  I tried a new video editing app and I think it did a great job.  I would like to figure out how to make the transitions longer.  You can watch it HERE.  I think all the kids costumes turned out great and I am now really looking forward to next year as well.

Here are the pics for the week:

We went to the store to get cake to celebrate the performance and just had to take a picture with the real cabbages.  It makes me laugh every time I see it.

Can you see how exhausted he was in this pic?

Sunday, 7 February 2016

A Week in Review (January 31-Feb 6)

A Week in Review (January 31-Feb 6)

Watched: Jack have a good time sledding down the hill with his friends. We had a snow day on Monday and so he was able to just go have a ball with his friends. They stayed out there for almost an hour, steadily going up and down the hill.  I went over for about 2/3 of the time and got some fun shots.  They also tried to go out the next day, but it was a lot windier and they didn't last quite as long.

Read: I did a buddy read with my friend back in Kansas of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.  It was a lot of fun sharing thoughts about the book with a fellow reader.  We each enjoyed some of the same things about the book, but we took different things away from it.  I think it's a book Nick would like to read so I have encouraged him to read it too.  The idea behind the book is fairly original and hooked me right away. For some reason I was left dissatisfied with the ending. I guess maybe I wanted to see the antagonist reaction to climax.  The next book I started was The Tao of Pooh.  The same day I started it, Winter came off my holds shelf.  Guess I will be busy for a while!

Listened: To Jack have a good time with his friend at Dart Warz. The friend was unable to attend Jack's birthday and so we made plans for them to go back another day.  It took a while for the friend to warm up to the venue, but once he did, there was lots of big laughs and smiles. Love all the great friends that he is making.

Made: Jack's cabbage costume for his school play on 11th.  I wasn't sure how it was all going to come together, but I think it came together quite nicely. Because he chose to be a cabbage, he will get a speaking line in addition to his dancing role. I had to get pretty creative to put the puffy paint on the sleeves. I just kept thinking how lucky I was to spend so many years as a preschool teacher so I could learn some tricks and expand my creative side.

Felt: A little stir crazy because of all the snow.  The storm ended up dropping about 20" on us and they called three justifiable snow days. They even gave parents the ability to call your kid in for the fourth day if you didn't feel that you could safely get your kid to school. We ended up taking Nora out to a self wash station. I threw the kids shovel in the car, just in case. Luckily, we didn't need it. We really enjoyed Wag and Wash. Nora got a new rope toy that she goes nuts for and a warm oatmeal bath with a hot aloe conditioner.  They also sent us away with a bag of goodies from their bakery. 

Planned: My Super Bowl 50 menu with my friend Sherry. She is going bring Stromboli, little smokies, and a 7 layer dip. I will be making buffalo chicken dip, a creamy avocado dip, a veggie tray, and some mint chocolate chip cookies.  We will also have homemade refried beans and salsa. I am excited to eat some yummy food as we cheer on the Broncos.

Loved: Watching Jack wrestle. He came out with his best three matches of the season. He was pretty frustrated with his dance card matches of last week and resolved to not let that happen again. You can see the improvement, even though the videos were not as good. You can see them HERE and HERE and HERE.  He was excited because his wrestling buddy also got first.

Here are the pics for the week: