Monday, 30 May 2016

A Week in Review (May 22-28)

A Week in Review (May 22-28)

Watched: Jack catch a pop fly for an out.  They were in a close game with their opponent on Thursday, which doesn't happen very often for our team.  This was against the team that had beaten us once when were having an awful batting day too.  Luckily, our boys played very well.  One of our boys, who actually used to close his eyes when he got up to bat, hit a home run!  It was the first one for our team and if we were a betting crew, this kid would have the long odds.  The whole team was so excited for him.  Then, Jack and two other kids caught a pop flies.  The ended up winning.  Even though there are no official league standings, we know that we are on top of the division.  We do have a rematch scheduled with our toughest opponent for next Tuesday.  I am hoping the forecast is wrong and we are able to play!

Read:  I finished up My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry.  It was another winner by Fredrik Backman. He complete sucks you in and has you rooting for all the characters in the novel. I kept thinking on an old crotchety neighbor I had growing up. I never got to know her back story the way you get to know his characters, but I wonder if it would have made me understand her any better. I would recommend this book to lovers of fairy tales, Harry Potter, people who are "different", and those who just love a good human interest story.  I haven't found a good book to start next.  Guess I will be waiting for something to come off my holds list.

Listened: To the story of a friend.  They are going through a tough time and I was glad I could be there to listen. I even made a meal for their family.  They said a family favorite was Mexican, so I took my favorite comfort food to them which is Mexican Lasagna.  I also took over some refried beans, chips and salsa, strawberries, and brownies.  It was so great being able to do something simple for them which I know meant a lot to all of them.    

Made: A new bulletin board for the PTA for Jack's school.  The one board had set blank all school year long with old and outdated information on it.  I just couldn't handle it, so I went and got the stuff to freshen it up.  I even asked another mom to stay and help me put it up.  I am not big on asking for help, but I know that it connects more people to the school and so I decided to let go.  I am pleased with the way it turned out.  While we were there, we also decided to dig through the PTA closet.  I don't think anyone had done that in years.  It was a big tasks but over a couple of days, I totally organized it.  It took spending 50 dollar on totes to get it done. I should have taken a before and after.

Felt:  Excited that Nick was able to come home on Friday instead of having to travel from Utah, where he was attending his Higher Relationship conference, to Vegas.  We weren't sure if he would have business to conduct out there, but it didn't seem to make sense for him to come home and then go back out only a day or two later.  Luckily, things were able to wrap up without him being present out there.

Planned: On picking out a great color for the sun room with Nick.  For Christmas, he gave me the gift of repainting it, but the weather hasn't ever coincided with our free time to get it done.  Luckily, we were pretty open this Memorial Day weekend and so we decided to do it this weekend.  I knew I wanted a pale yellow.  The ones that I was picking Nick thought would be too light.  He usually nails all the paint colors I want, so I trusted his judgement.  We got home and painted a sample of it on the wall.  I am kind of freaking out because it looks like a giant banana in there.  A quick google search has told me that if I take it back to Home Depot, they can add some violet to it to help tone down the yellow.  I hope they aren't wrong.  I really don't want to lose the $40 I paid for the can, but I can't have the original color stand.

Loved: Celebrating the boy's last day of second grade.  We spent it with his close friend and his family.  First, we went to Dart Warz and even the moms played.  The boys whooped up on us and they thought that was quite fun.  Then we went down and had some yogurt from ItopIt, Jack's favorite ice cream place in the Springs.  The boys still hadn't had enough together time, so we went to Hu Hot.  It was so crazy busy there.  It just meant more time for chit chatting though.  We didn't get home until after Nick did!  My little man is a third grade teacher now.

Here are the pics for the week:

Doesn't it look so nice and clean?

Jack and his teacher on the last day

I hope this can be fixed!

Friday, 20 May 2016

A Week in Review (May 15-21)

A Week in Review (May 15-21)

Watched: A cute video that Jack made for his school's Adventure in Literacy day. Most of his class made one the day before, but since we were gone, he had to do his the day of.  He did it on the Popcorn Friday team.  It turned out pretty cute. His teacher said she would email us a link to download the videos they've made and I hope that's true.

Read:  I think I had a bit of a book hangover from Dark Places. I really just couldn't get started on any book I tried. Luckily, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry came off my hold list.  I've been pretty busy with everyday stuff and haven't made great progress on it, but I am enjoying it. I'm hoping to wrap it up before Jack gets done with school next week. 

Listened: To another little league coach be quite hard on his players.  He said to me before the game that they hadn't lost.  As the game went on, I could see why. They only used their best players at key positions. They didn't bat through their entire batting order, continually skipping over the kids who couldn't hit well.  It really makes me thankful for our coach who plays every player at every position, who encourages all of our kids to do their best and applauds their effort even when it doesn't net results. 

Made: A fun day out of Elitches. We decided to play hookie so we could take advantage of the free bring a friend tickets, without having to deal with a weekend crowd.  We went with our friends the Petersen's. Jack did his first 48" roller coasters. He thought the scariest one was the Tower of Doom, which pulls you up and then shoots you straight down. He isn't a huge fan of going upside down either.  It was one of the warmer days that we have experienced and that took some getting used too.  I found out that they no longer give out free water cups. Guess I will always need to remember to take in a water bottle for us to share.  Also, the food prices have gotten crazy. It's now $7 for a pretzel.  We will be making more trips to the car for lunch.  It was good to get a feel for what a day there might look like. 

Felt: Happy. My brother reminded me that we needed to have our monthly chat. It's what he gave me for my birthday. We spent almost two hours on the phone just talking it up. It's good to hear what's going on in his life and keep him updated on ours since he doesn't read this blog or participate in Facebook. 

Planned: On just researching what location the baseball pictures would be set up so I could tell the Kona Ice guy the best place to park.  But when I was on the main page, I stumbled across some pictures of Jack's game that another mom had taken and posted there. Jack was clearly her favorite subject.  I've contacted her so I can get full size images. It will be a while, but she says I can have them. :)

Loved:  My Wednesday. It was a 
great day. I found out our Chipotle fundraiser for the new fields went really well, making 1540.75.  Then I submitted a nomination for Jack's baseball coach to throw out a first pitch for the local minor league team and found out he was accepted!  I also got the contract signed for the year book for next school year. Plus, I finished up the sponsorship plaque and trophies for our team. And I cleaned the house. After school, I made my boy some semi-homemade chicken noodle soup before heading to practice, where he was given the game ball for their Monday game. 

Here are the pics for the week:

Here is the series of shots she captured of Jack. 

The finished plaque and trophy 

A selfie before a tilt a whirl ride

Monday, 16 May 2016

A Week in Review (May 8-14)

A Week in Review (May 8-14)

Watched: Jack and Nick each show off their upper body strength.  Nick wanted to get a pull up bar so that he could vary his workout at home.  We found a nice one on Craiglist and the boys got right to using it.  Even in my youthful, skinny days, I could not do a pull up.  It is so funny to see how much better Jack and Nick both are at them.  Jack has set a goal for himself of being able to do seven in a row.  I think he has maxed out at four right now.  He wanted me to take a picture of his muscles so that he could check himself out.  I laughed quite hard at that, but that I would share the picture so you could see his muscles too.

Read: On Mother's Day, I was able to finish up Stars Above, which is from the Lunar chronicles.   I really enjoyed reading some of the back stories to the original works. I am also glad that her final story wrapped it up the way it did. A great read for anyone who has read the Lunar chronicles.  Next, I quickly read Dark Places.  This book is disturbing and full of dark places you might not want to go. I read it at quite a quick pace always needing to know what happened next. It was easy for me to picture the places since it was set in Kansas. I am just about Libby's age too, so that resounded with me even more. If you want a "what the hell happened" kind of feeling, pick this book up.  I decided I would try to get another book off my shelf if in Dreams from my Father, but I must be having book hangover because I just can't get going on it.

Listened: To Nick's lament his day spent as a Watch Dog at Jack's school.  He really does not enjoy his time spent in the school, but every year, he makes sure to take a day.  While I know he dreads it, I know that Jack is on the exact opposite end of the spectrum and loves it.  I think as long as it continues to mean a lot of Jack, Nick will suck it up and spend the day in the school.  You can tell he really loves his kid when he even wears a shirt with purple on it for him.

Made: An appointment to get my haircut and colored.  I haven't had my hair colored since Valerie's wedding, almost two years ago.  I decided to splurge and go with a more expensive stylist so that I could really get a good cut and color.  I think she did fantastic.  I posted a picture to Facebook and received a ton of compliments.  That sure did make a girl feel good!

Felt: Excited about my great finds from Lane Bryant.  They sent me a coupon for $15 off $15.  I realized that I almost missed the day, so the final day the coupon was valid, I stopped by.  It just so happened to be BOGO on clearance that day.  I was able to score $70 of tops for $10!  I was pretty thrilled.  You can even see one of them in the picture with my new haircut.

Planned: On not doing anything for Jack's school outside of my normal volunteering, but I got an email from the counselor saying she was having a hard time getting business to give her donations for the final Pride Assembly, so I got right on making some calls and drafting a letter.  Overall, I think that we did pretty good for a last minute push.  We received passes to mini-golf, It'z, House of Bounce, Sky Zone, and tons for the Fish Bowl at Bass Pro.

Loved: Celebrating Mother's Day with my boys. We started the morning off with French toast. Next the boys assembled the picnic table for our backyard. Then they ran to the store to get food to grill on it. While they were gone, I was able to get a lot of my book read.  After we finished up dinner, we headed off for a Landsharks race. Jack ran the mile at 8:22. I was really proud of his pace and of how much he put into the last lap of the race.  When we got home, Jack made me a cake in a cup with sprinkles stuck inside a peach.  It was quite the fun day.  

Here are the pics for the week:

My Mother's Day Collage

Jack and Nick on his Watch Dog day

My new haircut

The boy showing off his muscles

Monday, 9 May 2016

A Week in Review (May 1-7)

A Week in Review (May 1-7)

Watched: Jack play catcher on Wednesday in some beautiful baseball weather. He was really quite good at it going for all the short balls and anything that might go foul. In the picture I snapped, he has his glove upside down, but normally he had it the right way. One of the mom's even commented to me that she really noticed how he was going after it. He was really proud that he got on base after every hit too. The whole team played really well and ended up winning by a score of 22-3.

Read:  I finished up The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend. This was a pretty typical YA book plot. I picked it up because if I realize there is a book, I must read it before watching the movie. I was quite surprised at the language in the book. Not that it is in anyway atypical for teenagers. It is just not generally written that way. While I wouldn't shy away from another book by the same author, I wouldn't rush right away and have to get it. The next book I started was Stars Above, it is a short story collection to go along with the Lunar Chronicles. It is due back to the library next week so I really had to put some time into it.  It looks like I will actually be able to get it done.  I am enjoying reading the backstories from the Lunar Chronicles.

Listened: To Nick tell the story of how Jack completing the rings in the gym when no other kid in his class could. Even though Nick had spent the rest of the week out of town, he made it back in time to attend Jack's field day. There ended up being a lot of parent helpers so Nick was able to follow Jack around. I stayed and worked a game.  I'm really glad they each got to experience field day together. I know it meant a lot to each of them.

Made: Our first trip to the gym.  We decided to enroll at Lifetime Fitness so that we could have access to the pool for the summer.  We took a tour Monday and Jack just loved it. He climbed to the top of several rock walls, played some horse, and swam around in the pool. I think we will enjoy having that option.

Felt: A bit nervous about our team's Hit-a-thon participation.  The day I had to turn in the list of names I didn't have anyone signed up to play.  It took the old fashioned asking people face to face to get a good response. By the end of the night, we ended up with 8 out of the 12 players, so I don't think that's too shabby at all.  It will be fun to see how it goes down.

Planned: A pretty awesome, and exhaustive for me, week for Teacher appreciation. In addition to the billboard from last week, we did several fun activities. On Monday, we delivered pre-ordered Sonic drinks to them. I was a bit disappointed that Sonic ran a half hour late having the drinks ready. It made delivery kind of hectic. Definitely something I will be aware of next time.  Tuesday, the PTA catered a soup, salad, and bread stick lunch from Olive Garden.  The teachers really enjoyed that. On Wednesday, we delivered over 300 carnations to staff with "Thank You" messages attached to them.  Thursday, there was a candy buffet set out for their enjoyment. Friday, we encouraged kids to wear their teacher's favorite color for Field Day.  That was a hard one for Jack since we really don't have any purple in our wardrobe.  

Loved:  Seeing my boys head off to the movies together.  It serves so many wonderful purposes.  Most importantly, they get to bond together doing something that the two of them both really enjoy.  Secondly, and not far behind, is that I don't have to watch action movies in the theater in anymore.  Lastly, it gives me some alone time to catch up on things just for me.  This time, I actually headed to bed quite early since I had only gotten five hours of sleep the night before.  It was wonderful.  The boys both really loved Captain America: Civil War too.

Here are the pics for the week:

Jack at the top of a rather challenging climb.

My candy buffet line up

Jack's baseball picture for the season

Here he is at catcher

My yummy treats

My only field day picture while I was leading cat tails

Monday, 2 May 2016

A Week in Review (April 24-30)

A Week in Review (April 24-30)

Watched: The snow fall and fall some more.  It's like Mother Nature didn't get the memo that it was the end of April and we have outdoor Spring sports to enjoy.  The snow was very heavy and wet.  The good thing about that is that it didn't really stick to the road and make driving dangerous.  It did, however, cancel all the sporting events that my mom drove down to see.  We will just have the memory that she tried and that we enjoyed doing other things besides watching sports. 

Read: I finished up Reached.  This was the best book in the series since it is the climax that the other two have been leading up too. However, I think the author would have done herself a great justice to cut it down to one novel. I'd only recommend this series if you are a hardcore YA dystopian trilogy fan. Next, I started the The Duff:  Designated Ugly Fat Friend.  I didn't get very far into it, but I am enjoying it.  Once I am done with it, I will most likely watch the movie to see how they compare.

Listened: To the oddest woman at JC Penney when we went to look at watches for my birthday. She was new in the jewelry department and it really showed. I was surprised that they didn't give her some time of support. It cracked me up at the end of the transaction when she told me to take the survey to receive 10% off my next purchase, but I only should do it if I was totally satisfied because otherwise it would bring her scores down. Too be nice to her, I didn't take it.  Luckily I knew what I wanted and walked away with a beautiful watch.
Made: A bulletin board for Teacher Appreciation Week. The theme for the week is #thankateacher.  I decided that I would go into each classroom and have the students write a small thank you note to their teacher and they could do one optional one for a specials teacher.  It turned into a MUCH bigger project that I would have thought it would, but it turned out wonderful.  I had each of them laminated and I think that they will be real keepsakes for each of the teachers.  It's always nice to read something sweet from your students.

Felt: Proud of Jack at Landsharks.  It is a way different feeling than the fall season when he was the "new kid".  Now he gathers people around him and has a good time hanging with his friends.  He even convinced all the 2nd graders in his club to run the 800m with him.  He did well, finishing in 3:48.4, in 14th out of 30th.  He also ran the 50m dash in about 9.5 seconds.  Those results were not official and so I am not sure how he placed compared to the other kiddos.  

Planned: To meet my mom at the house, but she got in town earlier than I would have expected.  She drove down to Chuck E Cheese, where we were hanging out for the afternoon, and surprised Jack.  It was a lot of fun to see the surprise on his face.

Loved: Having the weekend with my mom.  As I told you earlier, she was here to watch Jack play sports and celebrate my birthday.  Since the weather didn't cooperate, we did lots of other things instead.  We enjoyed HuHot and some frozen yogurt.  We played a ton of games boys vs girls.  The girls really rocked those.  We made a great memory with Jack going nil with 6 spades in his hand.  We took her to Dart Warz with one of Jack's friends and had a boys vs girls game there too.  We all even settled in and watched Beetlejuice together (and all the adults managed to stay awake for the entire time! haha)

Here are the pics for the week:

Thought it was funny when a do not walk sign gave us the shocker hand. 

The finished bulletin board

He's got no clue

What a fun surprise 

My pretty new watch

I was able to snap this fun picture of mom getting out because I was already out of the round

Some snuggle time before we played some Wii