Wednesday, 21 December 2016

A Week in Review (December 18-24)

A Week in Review (December 18-24)

Watched: Rogue One on Sunday.  I don't like reading spoilers, but I will just say that it was a very intense movie.  If you are a Star Wars fan than I am sure you will enjoy it.  Even if you aren't a Star Wars fan, you might find some things in there to enjoy.  You probably wouldn't get some of the nuances, but I am not sure that would stop you from enjoying the overall film.

Read: I finished up In a Dark, Dark Wood.  This book way to long to grab my attention and then I felt it was rather predictable. I am hoping for better things from the authors second book.  I purchased them both because one was a book club read and the other was a buddy read I wanted to do with my friend.  I am definitely not diving right into the second one.  Instead, I decided it was time to finish up the Sookie Stackhouse series, so I am reading Dead Ever After.  They are generally pretty fast reads and I figured that is exactly what I need this time of year.

: To a loud pop as I engaged my parking brake, while stopping at the library.  Luckily, it didn't stay stuck on so the car was safe to drive. Sadly the bad didn't know that and was beeping loudly and constantly if I was driving over 5mph. It was strongly encouraging me to disengage the parking brake. Even though we had way too much else that needed done so we could prepare to leave, Nick and Jack tore the car apart to figure out the issue. It, of course, broke in the obscure place so getting a part was not easy. We luckily found one online for cheaper than the dealer would have wanted. I was blown away by the fact that it was delivered so quickly, as to have to ask our friends to pull it in the house for us.  I'm hoping that the actual repair isn't a nightmare for them to complete.  It's awesome that Jack is getting to learn about all the different ways to approach a problem like car repair. 

Made: A race ribbon hanger for my sister-in-law.  I really hope she likes it.  I did hire out the making and placing of the vinyl and the attaching of the hooks and the hanger on the back, but the rest was mine.  I don't do handmade gifts very often, but when I can't find what I am looking for, I am always willing to make it myself.

Felt: So proud of Jack.  On Monday, he finished up a letter he had been kicking around.  He is very frustrated that the Broncos v Chiefs game is on Christmas Day.  He thinks that is real nut kicker!  They learned about persuasive writing this last quarter and so he decided he would try and write one to the NFL commissioner, Rodger Goodell.  We posted it out through Facebook, Twitter, and email.  We even got a response through email. It was very exciting to see the process in action. 

Planned: A day at Chuck E Cheese to celebrate winter break with my boy.  His Aunt Debbie always sends us coupons, so we were able to get 100 tokens for $20.  We were very excited when we went to the machines and saw that it was half price day!  So were able to play 200 games instead.  Plus, the workers were randomly walking around adding credits to machines.  We played for almost 3hrs straight often battling each other.  I am one of the odd moms who actually enjoys Chuck E Cheese with her kiddo, so we both had a great time.

Loved: All the awesomeness that comes with celebrating Christmas. Almost as soon as we arrived at my mom's, we were making Christmas cookies.  A family friend invited us out to a party where he proposed to his girlfriend. We dropped Nora off at my brother and sister-in-law's house. I kind of flipped out when we drove to get her and she is sitting to paws up on the couch as she was supposed to be restricted to the back area of the house. I peeked in the window and there was a ripped stuffed animal on the floor, a torn open Amazon package, and presents in different parts of the floor. I freaked out assuming she'd become destructive inside their home.  Luckily the only thing she had gotten to was a stuffed monkey that had been bought for their boys. I was very relieved!  To end the evening, we decorated the cookies.  Jess's little brother came out and helped us too. The result was some really awesome cookies!  Christmas Eve afternoon we celebrated my brother's 27th! birthday. Our family gave him a fitness watch and then we sent him on a scavenger hunt so he got to spend longer opening the present from my mom.  After lunch, they headed in for Christmas Eve dinner with her family and we played some cards while waiting for them to return.  We then spent the evening opening up gifts from each other. We all go around and guess and see what others have gotten. It takes a while, but it's so nice to just focus on the enjoyment of giving and seeing people's reactions.  We are all blessed beyond measure. 

Here are the pics for the week:

My dates for the movie

Jess's Christmas Present

Jack's letter to the commissioner 
And his response

One of the many fun games at Chuck E

Bought Nora a Christmas outfit. She dint seem to mind it too bad. Couldn't quite get the hood to stay on and show the antler though. 


Selfie with mom 

 Doesn't she just look like trouble?


Playing fetch while we wait for everyone to get up and get going. She thought the pile of snow was hilarious. 


Monday, 19 December 2016

A Week in Review (December 11-17)

A Week in Review (December 11-17)

Watched: A lot of faces brighten up this week.  Without any hardship on my part, I was really able to make someone else's day.  One day it was because I had an old computer part.  Proof that sometimes not purging things you don't need can be useful. I was able to deliver a third week of Christmas goodies to people.  On Wednesday, Nick called me needing to bring him a present for a secret gift exchange at his work.  He had apparently missed the gift being on his desk because he spent most of the week in the Denver office and he didn't want to wait another night, so I put together a cute bowl of beer, jerky, and oranges and dropped it off in his car for him to deliver.  Another day, a friend was listing out what she was going to buy her son.  She listed a magic set.  We just happened to have one in the closet that Jack had never opened because it was geared for a younger audience.  It was a perfect fit and she was able to use the funds to buy him something different now.  I saw teachers smile with relief when I sent their kiddos out exhausted to them too.  It was a great week for spreading Christmas cheer.

Read: I am still working on In a Dark, Dark Wood.  For a mystery novel, it really isn't grabbing me or my reading buddy very quickly.  It has a the case of an unreliable narrator, which I feel is kind of becoming over played.

Listened: To a worker at my eye doctors tell me she broke my frame while trying to cut new lenses for them.  She had such a look of terror in her eyes.  Old Kara would have blown up and tried to make a scene.  New Kara was just glad that they offered a replacement and could make my new glasses work in the same day.  She was so thankful that I didn't yell at her.  I really figured it wasn't in her plan to have to deal with trying to comp out a pair of frames and figuring out how to get the lenses to still work.  She did it and no one really commented on my new frames so they must not look all that different.  I am so glad that I have learned to step back before reacting to a situation.  I am also glad that I  have realized that not everything is worth blowing up over.

Made: A super cute door decoration for Jack's teacher.  When I picked up on Monday, I saw that one of the third grade teachers had her door decorated.  I commented to the mom who had done it and she said that she was working on doors for two of the other teachers, as well.  I couldn't have Jack's teacher be left out just because she isn't in the same hallway.  I came home and tried to think of something fun.  I decided to go with a peppermint theme.  So off I went to the dollar store.  While there, I saw that they had really cute treat bags with good sized peppermints on them and my idea was born.  I bought the bags and cut out the peppermint from each side.  I then glued them onto a paper plate that was cut down to size.  After writing each students name on one, I took each peppermint and wrapped in Saran Wrap to give it the wrapper look.  I am so pleased with how it turned out and it looks very cute on the door too!

Felt: So bummed for Jack.  We had a big Saturday planned, we were going to head up to Highlands Ranch and wrestle.  After a great finish, we were going to get to come home and have his friend come visit while his parents attended a company Christmas party.  Instead, he woke up at 3:30 complaining of stomach pain.  I really thought it was just gas pain again.  When I tried to get him to drink something, everything in his stomach came right back out.  I thought maybe it was a sour stomach from something he ate, but on the second go round, I knew we had met with something more sinister.  We had to cancel both wrestling and his friend.  We all just kind of chilled finishing up the latest season of Fool Us, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation, and some KU basketball.

Planned: On pulling out Jack's chilled water bottle and throwing it in his wrestling bag.  However, water ended up splashing all over my hand.  When I got it all the way out of the fridge, it didn't take me any time to realize why it happened.  The light from the fridge had melted the lid and the bottle!  I couldn't believe it!  When we ordered new ones, we went with the shorter 20oz bottle so that we wouldn't run into the same issue again!

Loved:  All the sweet gifts that I got from my fellow teachers and even a couple students for Christmas.  I was debating on whether to get everyone something small or not, but decided against because if they didn't do it, I thought I might make people uncomfortable.  When it became very obvious that they did do it, I sent everyone an email thanking them for their awesomeness.  I love working at a place where the teachers are kind and the kids all seem to have some much fun.  Even during my busy times outside of work, I am always glad for the joy that work provides.  I think that means I have a pretty great gig!  I also decided to do a small roller ball of lavender essential oil with a fun tag to give them upon return of the New Year.

Here are the pics for the week:

The finished door

Last year she was a present under the tree, now she likes to nap by it instead.

Present for Nick's co-worker exchange


My new frames

Sunday, 11 December 2016

A Week in Review (December 4-10)

A Week in Review (December 4-10)

Watched: The Chiefs vs The Raider on a big delay on Thursday night.  Our wrestling coaches were falling like flies and I convinced Nick that the club need him to help coach.  This meant that we didn't get to start the game until almost two hours late.  It was very hard on Jack to have to go bed when the game was on.  I sent Nora up to bed with him and didn't hear from him again.  When I checked on him a bit later, I found them snuggled up together.  It was just so cute that I had to snap a picture of it.  She is really getting to be a good dog as she becomes slightly less destructive!

Read: Not very much of In a Dark, Dark Wood.  It just isn't catching me and when I go to read it at night, I am falling asleep quite quickly.  My girlfriend is at least twice my place in the book and I need to rectify this situation!  I'd like to finish it this week so that I can give it away at my book club next week.

Listened: To Jack and his classmates laugh uproariously when the saw "boobs" on the sarcophagus of a Mummy in the exhibit at Denver Natural History Museum on their field trip.  We were really nervous that that they were going to have to cancel it due to weather, but luckily it held out!  My group really did a nice job staying together and enjoying the exhibits.  I felt like we could have spent so much more time there.  We didn't even get to see half the exhibits and had to leave others before we ready.  I asked Jack if he thought just the two of us should go back and he said he didn't feel that would be as fun without a group of kids.  We discussed on the bus that they might want to do a spring field trip and I would be so excited for that.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I would get to go again.

Made: Some more delicious goodies for Week 2 of my Christmas treats.  I made homemade peanut brittle using the recipe found HERE and White Chocolate and Peppermint Dipped Sugar Cookies.  I used THIS for inspiration, but really just used my common sense when making them.  People were really split this week and there wasn't a clear favorite among the recipients.

Felt: So proud of Jack!  He wrestled on Sunday as a second year True Beginner in a National Tournament and played so well!  He didn't get one point scored on him the entire tournament.  You can see his first two matches, which were relatively easy for him HERE and HERE.  His last match was definitely a challenging opponent, but he rose to the challenge.  You can see it HERE.  We purchased a shirt for him and we are getting it customized to say First Place on the back.  They wanted $20 to take his picture on a podium and we just weren't paying that, so we just came home and used his Jayhawk stairs to make our own podium!

Planned:  On last week being a bit quieter, but it was just as busy as the other weeks leading up to it, except I was able to get many things done for the house.  During a Tuesday lunch date with my hubby, I think we settled on what Santa will bring our family.  I think he is going to bring us money to use on cruise tickets!  Jack has been talking about it and I think we would all really enjoy ourselves.  He is getting a bit older and will get that half the point of a cruise is just to chill.  I haven't been on one in almost 13 years so I am looking forward to one myself! What a treat it will be!

Loved: Seeing Jack have a blast at the Wilson and Company kid's party.  It was up in Denver in a place called JungleQuest.  They had a rope jump where you jumped off a platform onto a rope and then had to climb up, a zipline (Jack's favorite), four different degrees of difficulty rock walls, a wobbly bridge, a rope bridge, and an extreme swing.  It kind of stunk to leave the house at 7:45am on a Saturday for something besides wrestling, but we had a great time.  Jack even got to sent on Santa's lap and was given a gift.  He didn't love the gift but that provided an awesome opportunity to talk about how we should still be thankful that they gave a gift.

Here are the pics for the week:


Jack and his buddy waiting for the bus to take off

This super creepy monkey that we saw.

Waiting for the Zipline

Don't they look yummy?

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A Week in Review (November 27-December 3)

A Week in Review (November 27-December 3)

Watched: My Broncos lose in overtime to the dreaded Chiefs.  We had a couple of friends over, so our poking at each other was much less than it has been in previous years.  It was a harder match for me to watch because I was so used to ribbing my friend Laurie too.  The game just didn't have the same feeling for me.  I really hope this isn't the year that Chiefs sweep the Broncos, but given the fact that we lost on our home turf, our chances aren't looking great.

Read:  I finished up The Traitor's Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America.  I enjoyed this story about a piece of American history that I wasn't all that familiar with. My American History teacher in high school left a lot to be desired and I haven't taken the time to probably fill in the gaps in my knowledge. In my mind, the American Revolution had happened mostly before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In reading this book, I learned that I was so wrong about that. I also learned more about Benedict Arnold. While I knew his name was synonymous with traitor, I really didn't know why. Reading the section, A Note on History and Sources was an excellent way to conclude the journey. If you are an Historical Fiction fan, I think you will enjoy this novel.  Next, I started In a Dark, Dark Wood.  I am doing it as a buddy read with my friend and I am looking forward to sharing a book with her.

Listened: The Killer's new Christmas release.  It made me so emotional.  It really shows the power that a moment can have on you.  It's number 11 on their new Christmas album, which I snapped up right away.  If you want to check it out, you can go HERE.

Made: Round 1 of my Christmas goodies. Rather than making an entire basket of goodies, I decided to do a little bit each week.  I thought maybe people would like a sweet treat rather than getting hammered with all their goodies at once.  I made caramel and rice krispie coated marshmallows.  They were the winner of the week for being the favorite.  You can find the recipe HERE.  I also made chocolate orange cookies and I thought they were great.  I don't know if they were extremely popular with everyone else though. HERE is that recipe if you are interested.

Felt: Relieved when the Holiday Shop and Craft Fair was all done.  It won't be until the beginning of the March that I have another major event and even those are no where close to the last two. I have been event planning since the middle of October and I am glad for a break!

Planned: For most scenarios for the Holiday Shop and Craft Fair.  It went off really well with the kids having a great time shopping and the parents and vendors enjoy the Craft Fair.  It seemed like everything took a lot longer than I thought it was going to, but in the end, it was all worth it.  We even signed a contract so that we can get $150 free in Holiday Shop bucks for the kids who may not be able to shop otherwise.  I love seeing that happen for our families.  Only 364 days until I am doing it again.  :)

Loved: Decorating the tree with my boys.  With the game and all of our company, we did not get a chance to decorate it until Monday night.  I love going through the box and reflecting on each memory the ornament (or the person who gave it to us) brings me.  Jack putting a whole a group of ornaments right together on the tree and rather than space them out, I left right as he put them.  He may one day like his ornaments spaced apart, but I want to remember when he was little and liked them all grouped together.  He attempted to put the star on all by himself this year, but he's just not tall enough yet.  He will great there all too soon!  I also love the way my mantle turned out.  It makes me so happy to look at it.  My mother-in-law bought me a new piece that lights up.  If you look really close at the Believe sign you can see the lights glowing in it.

Here are the pics for the week:

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Don't they look so yummy? 

A few of the vendors getting set up Friday night