Thursday, 14 December 2017

A Week in Review (December 3-9)

A Week in Review (December 3-9)

Watched: Jack have a good time at Nick's company Christmas party at SkyZone.  We were lucky enough to have Landon sleep over and work said that we could bring him along for fun.  It was the best gift that he could receive.  They played a lot of dodgeball and basketball when they were there.  Even though they had spent the day together, they needed more time to hang out and so we brought Landon back home for another couple hours.  I am so glad he has a friend that enjoys spending so much time with.

Read:  I finally finished up Love and Other Consolation Prizes.  I’ve finally finished this book! It was quite slow, but the story was still good. It reminds you that everyone may have a backstory that we know absolutely nothing about. If you were a fan of A Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I’d say you should pick this one up.

Listened: To Nick and Jack work together to install a humidifier on our furnace.  The Springs has absolutely ridiculous dry air and everything has static all winter long.  It's annoying as all get out.  Since we own the house now, Nick and I decided it would be nice to not have to get shocked all the time or have our hair stand up when we take off our shirt.  I am excited to see how it works.  The first night, it raised the humidity 3%.

Made: A successful night out of our picture night for Wrestling club.  We treated all the kids to donuts, brownies, fruit snacks, and juice pouches.  Luckily the night was so cold that we were able to just stick the juice pouches out the back door during practice and they were a cool treat.  We ended up with about half the club buying pictures and I was pretty pleased with that.  I can't wait to see how everyone's turned out.  I was talking to the photographer and got a sneak peek at Jack's.  Read below to find out more about that photo.

Felt: Amused. Jack is really into his “Wolverine” hair.  I don’t think he’s ever had hair this long and so when he was sweating at practice and running his hands through one of his coaches told him he looked like Wolverine. Now he loves doing it. He even took his wrestling picture with his hair like that. It made me laugh so hard. I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of it as an adult.

Planned:  My holiday baking list so that I can share some joy with our local friends.  I will be making fudge, butterfinger cookies, sprinkle sugar cookies, chocolate and caramel pretzels, eggnog snickerdoodles, and peanut butter reindeer cookies.

Loved: Spending a couple hours on the phone with my mom for her birthday.  Poppa Blas had a bus trip so she was free to chit chat.  First Jack called her and they talked for way longer than I thought they would.  I thought it would be a quick "Happy Birthday Grandma" and then he'd hand the phone over to me.  But nope, they must have talked for a good 45 minutes.  Then I talked to her for like an hour and half.  We are looking forward to seeing her in person soon.  Jack was telling her we were leaving after wrestling.  Not quite when he wanted, but it will have to do for him.

Here are the pics for the week:





Friday, 8 December 2017

A Week in Review (November 26 - December 2)

A Week in Review (November 26 - December 2)

Watched: Jack do pretty well getting a crown. One of his fillings had failed and then had another cavity on it so they decided that he needed a crown. We were able to just use Benadryl and laughing gas to get through the appointment. He really doesn’t like the feeling of novicane. We took a couple pictures during the process so that he could see what he looked like.  He got a kick out of the dental dam. They call it a trampoline. Pretty accurate description for most kids.  In the picture below he is trying to make sure that one side of his face wasn’t twice the size of the other. 

Read: I kept working on Love and Other Consolation Prizes.  It's obviously kind of slow.  I also started Cold Mountain with my reading buddy.  Since I flaked on her with the last one, I absolutely must finish it close to her.  I have requested the audiobook so that it can help me along.

Listened: To Jack do so much better at reading aloud. It had been a while since we have read a book together and his fluency has really improved. I am so thankful that his teacher provides great consistency to help him continue to grow. We are reading A Christmas Carol. I thought I had gotten a children’s adaption but it doesn’t appear that way. The old English is a bit hard to follow but we do a pretty good job. 

Made: A quick trip to Michael’s so Jack could put Christmas lights on his cardboard house project that he was working on at school. I couldn’t believe how many options they have for battery powered lights now days. With the popularity of LED, it is much easier to have long strands of lights run by battery. When we were there Jack found a giant gummy bear that he thought was just too awesome.  He had to take a picture with it. 

Felt: Disappointed. Apparently PHE just doesn’t do repeat events very well. Even though the weather was markedly nicer, we had far fewer people show up for the Holiday Shop. I have to say that I am really glad that I have decided to step down at the end of this year and just focus on work and sports clubs instead of being so heavily involved with the PTA. I will be happy to volunteer my time and attend events but it will be great not to feel the presssure. 

Planned: On finding out on Tuesday if Nick won his KC project, but the announcement was delayed until Friday. We are pleased to announce that his firm did win. It’s a double edged sword because Jack and I will be on our own for the majority of the next seven months, but at least he gets to work a project that he is excited about rather than being shipped out to Utah to work on a project that he really didn’t want too. 

Loved: Finishing up my Christmas decorations. It’s still pretty decent for winter and the decorations are good at getting me in the festive mood.  The wall of all of Jack’s old Christmas things are one of my favorites.  The outside lights look really good too. Jack asked for our friend Ryan to come over and to help him hang lights on the highest part because Nick didn’t want to get up on that part of the roof.   

Here are the pics for the week:















Wednesday, 29 November 2017

A Week in Review (November 19-25)

A Week in Review (November 19-25)

Watched: Jack go from being totally timid and not wanting to hold his new baby cousin to wanting to hold him whenever he got the chance.  He really seemed to enjoy the role of snuggler and letting us know what Angelo needed to be comfortable.  I think he really thought we were going to make him change diapers and he was not down with that idea.  Once he realized someone else would be handling that, he was much more willing to jump in.

Read:  Not a whole lot.  My goal of finishing the book didn't even come close to happening.  My friend and I are talking about doing a buddy read again so hopefully that will kick start me into making more progress faster.  It's just about dedication and I am not showing it like I should.

Listened: To lots of ruckus as Jack was able to get together Roy and Rachel's boys.  He has so much fun with his cousins.  He was able to spend the night at their house on Tuesday and go to the movies with them on Wednesday.  We got a hotel on Wednesday so that they could all go swimming together.  They spent several hours in that pool making up silly games and just having fun being together.  2 out of the 3 even stayed the night with us and continued their fun well into the evening.  Cousin relationships are awesome.

Made: The trip to the Kansas DMV to start the process of getting a duplicate title so that Roy can sign the title over to Nick again and he can start riding.  It will be so nice if it is done by the next riding season.  It's got its new tires and it just sitting there waiting for someone to ride it.

Felt: Surprised that it was already time to decorate for Christmas.  It just seems like Halloween was yesterday and now Christmas decorations are up.  Even though we drove home from Wichita on Saturday, we still made time to get the tree up, with no decorations on it and to pull a lot of the stuff out of the basement.  Nick even hung up a mantle so that I could have a better place for the stockings.  It is supposed to be in the 70s on Sunday, so hopefully we will get the outside light done.

Planned: My Christmas letter.  I always like making it something different and fun for people to read.  I found a cool app to help me do this years.  I can't wait to hear what people think of it.

Loved: Snuggling my new nephew.  He is such a good baby and really only fusses if he is hungry.  He gives smiles and holds your finger with his tiny hand.  I took him every moment that I could get.  It was pretty exciting to not have to share him with anyone besides his parents and Jack.  It is sad to realize that the next time I see him, he will most likely be rolling all around!  They grow up so fast.

Here are the pics for the week:

Lot of Angelo pictures.  Not too surprising!









Forgot to mention we won Hooters Thanksgiving Trivia and got a $50 credit to our bill. 










Nora got a Christmas collar


Monday, 20 November 2017

A Week in Review (November 12-18)

A Week in Review (November 12-18)

Watched: Two good games of basketball on Saturday. Jack took the day off of wrestling and instead he decided to just play his double header instead.  They called a much tighter game and it made it more fun for everyone. In the second game, Jack made a long fade away shot against one of his classmates.  Just ask him about it and I’m certain he will tell you.

Read: I made more work on Love and Other Consolation Prizes. It is bit slow, but I’m working on it.  I’m hoping to have it finished before we leave on Tuesday for Wichita.

Listened: A lot of Born a Crime with Jack. I can’t imagine that he finds the story all that relatable but Trevor Noah is such a good story teller that Jack has been requesting it when we get into the car together.  I think it’s given him a few things to laugh at and a few things to ponder.  I did end up finishing it.  It was hilarious! I was literally laughing aloud so many times. He is such a good storyteller that even Jack was intrigued by the storyline. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 Stars was because it was a bit disjointed in flow. Overall, I’d say it was a must read for anyone who enjoys human interest pieces. 

Made: Creamed Spinach for Nick’s company Thanksgiving Feast. It was really yummy and the crockpot came home empty so hopefully that is a sign that everyone liked it. Nick enjoyed it which is who I made it for. I felt bad because I sat my alarm for 5:45PM instead of AM and he had to wait on me to fix it.  If you are on a keto diet and are interested in trying it, you can find the recipe HERE.

Felt: Totally frustrated with the Broncos. There is no reason for them to be playing so poorly. I saw the meme below on Facebook and I just couldn’t agree with it more. I had to save it to here for future reference.

Planned: Photos for our wrestling club. We have a situation where the father may pass before the end of the season and we wanted to make sure that we got photos with him included in them. I have to give up my works Christmas party to be there to organize them, but I think for the family it will be well worth it. 

Loved: My annual Thanksgiving Plate. I think it shows the true nature that Jack feels in the house, especially this season where the Broncos are playing so horribly. We truly are a house divided. I am always excited to see what he will give to me. Little does he know I’m going to make him keep doing them for quite some time.

Here are the pics for the week:

Nora loves car rides. Her face at this stop light just cracked me up and I had to grab a pic. 


Yummy burritos and homemade guacamole from my hubby. 







Isn’t this just the best magnet ever?  They wrapped up Harry Potter club by having these fun magnets put together. 



Monday, 13 November 2017

A Week in Review (November 5-11)

A Week in Review (November 5-11)

Watched: Jack really struggle with wrestling. He just wasn’t seeming to be very into his matches and if you aren’t feeling it, it’s hard to perform in a sport that requires your all. You can watch his matches HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.  We actually had to stop a match where it took a hard slam to the head and then stopped defending himself and we worried that the guy was going to do some serious damage to him. Luckily it just left him a little beaten, but otherwise fine.

Read: I finally dedicated myself to making progress on my books. I simply have too many borrowed from the library not to. With my goal, I was able to finish up They Both Die at the End on Friday.   This book was so disappointing for me. I was really wanting it to be concluded for me and instead it just a lot of things hanging. Sure I could guess how it goes, but I don’t want to write the rest of the book. Ugh!   Saturday I didn’t read anything with our go-go-go day, but I am planning to start Love and Other Consolation Prizes again. I’m hoping to finish that within a week. 

Listened: My book club picked Born a Crime as our December read and I just happened to have been given the audiobook from Audible as a free listen.  While I didn’t get very far into, I really do enjoy listening to it. It’s author read and he does a phenomenal job of story telling. I’m hoping to have more time to listen next week. It doesn’t look to be quite as busy. 

Made: Considerably less than I thought we would at our annual Fall Festival.  The first year was definitely the biggest money maker. I don’t know if this is because it was just so new and different or what.  The kids that were there continued to have a good time, which is a good chunk of the reason why I do it. Jack knows that I am stepping away from many of my PTA duties next year and I think he’s just looking forward to spending more with me at the Fair. I’m excited to see someone excited to take it over and make it their own.

Felt: Exhausted.  I’m in the middle of a large argument that I feel really passionate and I’m up against two other strong headed people as well. I feel like we are all just talking in circles. I just feel like we will be doing a large group of people wrong if I am unable to sway them and that weighs heavy on me. At least, I can hold my head high knowing that I tried my best to do what I thought was right. 

Planned: An ingenious idea for storage for all of Jack’s balls. We got new-to-us shelves for the garage and the openings looked perfect for bungee cords that could just keep the balls from rolling off the shelves. It works well and we all enjoy it. Love it when a simple idea works like you thought it would!

Loved: Playing poker with some families from our wrestling club. We use it as a fundraiser to help pay for our parties and our Champions of Character gear. I made it to the halfway point, but not much past that. I did spend a lot of time chatting with people while Nick and Ryan played on. Ryan made it to 6th, which just stings as he was only one spot away from the money.  All in all it was great ending to a busy day. 

Here are the pics for the week:



I think this pretty well sums up how he felt about the tournament.  He asked me to take a picture for him because he was sure he blood and cuts everywhere.


Tuesday, 7 November 2017

A Week in Review (October 29-November 4)

A Week in Review (October 29-November 4)

Watched: The Shining. Jack came home telling scary stories that Miss Coomes had read in class. I thought it would be fun to end our Halloween night with a spooky show that wouldn’t be too scary.  He liked it as well as you can like any scary movie. He was totally freaked out that he and the main character share the same first name.

Read: I got a bit more into my book They Both Die at the End; but I still didn’t make it very far. I’m kind of behind on everything else and I’m just not prioritizing books. I really need that to change!

Listened: To parents complain about the length of matches. Jack’s second wrestling match seemed awfully long. Apparently they had them on 90 second periods which is what you work up too as you age. However, for kids that aren’t ready it’s quite the body shock.  Luckily I said something to a Dad whose club was hosting the tournament and they resolved the issue. Jack ended up getting third losing to one opponent by one point and the other by two points in OT.  You can watch his matches HEREHEREHEREHERE, and HERE

Made: A big goofy pumpkin for our annual pumpkin carving. Nick went the odd route and went very traditional with his face. Jack went with NFL heartbreaks. I’m glad that Nick was home and had helped me get the kitchen in good enough order so that we could carve pumpkins as a family.

Felt: Chilly on Halloween night. We’ve been fortunate to only have warm Halloween’s for Jack’s first 8 years, but this one was chilly. I was glad his outfit had warm fleece tights and we could easily put on two shirts. Nick also made me realize that beanies wouldnt hurt our costumes since we had masks on. We walked around the new neighborhood for a bit. There was one really fun culdesac that had lots of people participating and lots of fun decorations up. After that we headed back to the old neighborhood to the known full size candy bars and then off to the spooky Fairfax cemetery, which is actually the house of a classmate. We ended our trick or treating by swinging by Landon’s house.

Planned: Details of poker night for the wrestling club. It will be a fun night that will bring in a good chunk of change to be able to finance our parties and Champions of  Character gear.  It’s nice working with other people who are good at getting things done.

Loved: Having Nick home for the whole week. It made me feel so much less stress and it’s nice having a partner to share in the responsiblities of child raising. He also got a ton of stuff done around the house. I’ve put several pictures below.  I tried to get before and after when I remembered.

Here are the pics for the week:





















Thursday, 2 November 2017

A Week in Review (October 22-28)

A Week in Review (October 22-28)

Watched: Jack have a great opening tournament for the 2017-2018 wrestling season.  He was in a bracket with 2 other intermediate wrestlers (B) and 2 novice wrestlers (C). He started off with his two C wrestlers. Then he had to do his B opponents back to back with only a five minute break in between. They are all a lot of fun to watch and I'd highly recommend it as a way to spend 15 minutes of your day. You can watch them in order HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Read: I had a book come of my hold list and it's called They Both Die at the End.  It had a great start, but I just can't seem to dedicate myself to reading.  I am getting quite a backlog and I had better hurry it up.  I am hoping to dedicate more time next week.

Listened: To Jack's performance twice.  When we realized that Nick wasn't going to be able to make it home, I knew I was going to have to record it for him.  I think that you miss somethings being behind the camera lens, so I went to their run through in the afternoon.  It was great show with an international flair.  If you would like to watch the video you can watch it HERE.  Jack is on the far left of the stage.

Made: A large purchase for prizes for the Fall Festival.  It's only three weeks away.  I think that we have a good mix of prizes that everyone will enjoy and parents won't feel is all just junk.  I am so thankful to have a helper this year as I can't imagine how overwhelmed I would be feeling if I was trying to do the majority of it on my own again.

Felt: Glad to have planned the wrestling Christmas party.  It is almost unbelievable to me to think that Christmas is just two months away.  Seriously, how did that happen? Weren't we just enjoy nice long summer days.  Buying the house really has made fall fly by for me.  We are going to be back at The Summit for laser tag and arcade games.  The kids will get a couple slices of pizza and soda.  I can't believe what it cost to host a party for so many wrestlers.  I really hope that all the kids have fun and enjoy themselves.

Planned: A long list of honey-do's for Nick.  We will find out about the project just after Thanksgiving and so I don't want our time wasted.  It's going to be hard to strike a balance between pleasure and work.  I know that not everything has to be done right away, but sometimes I just get so antsy.  I know that he is a hard worker and so I am sure he will be able to get things done pretty quickly.

Loved: Watching Jack get to play basketball with so many friends and former teammates. His Y ball team this year has 6 players that he already knows.  Three of them are from his football team and three of them are from last seasons Y ball team.  Landon gets to come home with us and then we pick up Luke from his after school care and all go to practice.  The head coach was Jack's defensive coach on football.  It's nice being so familiar with everyone.  The boys decided they needed more time to goof off together and so we will be picking up Luke directly after school next Friday.  I also love that I am lucky enough to be able to stay home and make these things happen for my boy.

Here are the pics for the week:

Apparently, I took way more video this week than pictures.




Friday, 20 October 2017

A Week in Review (October 15-21)

A Week in Review (October 15-21)

Watched: Just my regular shows, but it was so nice to take a break from the drudgery of moving and have a show to watch. 

Read: Not much.  I was so exhausted that picking up a book and engaging my brain just wasn’t going to happen. I tried a couple of times but it just didn’t work. Hopefully next week will be better. 

Listened: To good stories about Jack.  We had his conferences and both his classroom teacher and his TAG math teacher had good things to say about him. What was amazing to me was that he was in the top third in his class for writing.  Writing has been a struggle for him since 1st grade. His second grade teacher really let him slide in this area and Ms. Coomes worked hard to help him regain where he needed to be in third. In fourth grade, we are finding that his tenacity is helping him out as his peers struggle to adapt to writing 5 paragraph essays, he is doing better.  He still has plenty of room for improvement, but I’m so glad to see him bring up his skills!

Made: A trip to go see the Liberty wrestling room. Due to weirdness with our last rental, they will not let us continue to rent out that space.  So we have been trying really hard to come up with a plan that will allow us to not have to use our current place 5 days a week.  Plus, I’m super invested because I don’t want a M/W/F practice schedule. We were told if we rented Liberty, we would have to roll up the mats.  Our head coach wasn’t sure we could do it because of their weight. Luckily, they are the ventricular mats that are easy to roll up. Due to the size of the space, we will have to move our big kids over there as generally their parents don’t stay at drop off.  However we now have space for our kids and can continue to just offer T-Th practice!  Go me. :)

Felt: Overwhelmed and thankful. On Tuesday night, it just kind of hit me about how much stuff I needed to move by Thursday morning to have everything ready to go for the movers. There was still so much to move. Jack doesn’t understand why life can’t be like it usually is and I kind of freaked out on him when he didn’t get it. On Wednesday we had dine out night at Freddy’s and then wrestling practice. After practice got over at 8pm, I knew we still had at least three more loads to go. Jack mentioned something to Rylan at practice and Rylan said he’d come help. I was so desperate for help, I’d take the kind even an 11 year old could give me.  Even though Ryan should have continued to work, he came and brought his truck and helped me.  It was nice having another strong, hard working adult to help me. When he saw the new place, he saw that we needed stuff done and he came the next night and helped too.  It was great that the boys didn’t have school on Thursday or Friday so we didn’t have to worry about bedtimes. 

Planned: On this move being easy. I mean I knew we had lots of little stuff, but I didn’t realize how much we had until I pulled it all out. As you can tell by the theme of this blog, this move has been really hard on me.  I also thought I could just bring the little things over and put them away. I didn’t account for the fact that this house has an entirely different layout and things wouldn’t just fall into place.  Hopefully we don’t move for at least 8 years and I can forget this lesson. 

Loved: Having movers to move the big stuff from our home. As mentioned above, I’m really struggling with all the work the move brings and these guys just made it look easy.  If you ever have to do any sort of a move, a highly recommended looking into the cost of movers. These guys were even nice enough to stay and hook back up the electronics so that Jack could play Xbox and it could feel instantly more like home to him. 

Here are the pics for the week:









A Week in Review (October 8-14)

A Week in Review (October 8-14)

Watched: Snow fall!  Snow!!!  It hasn’t even been 5 months since it last snowed. The weather tanked and was just really cold and wet. Luckily none of it stuck around, but it didn’t make a great day for wanting to be productive.  I know the upcoming time will be busy so taking a day off to recharge my batteries seems okay.

Read:  I tried to read The Bone Clocks, but it's just not calling to me.  It's a pretty deep science fiction book and it just doesn't call to me right now.  Hopefully I will be able to get more into next week as I am falling behind Sarah. 

Listened: Kids work on their Math Facts.  Jack's teacher has made me a math fact checker and I just love how excited the kids get when they get to pass from one set of facts to the other.  It's super exciting for them.  She doesn't seem to need me in her room as much this year (and I know this happens more and more as they grow), but I am glad that she makes a little niche for me.

Made: The house officially ours. We closed on Friday afternoon. With Jack’s last game being on Saturday followed by a banquet, watching the KU game, and car diagnostics, we didn’t get the house really moved into. We did get the carpets cleaned and that had a nice fresh scent. I know next week will be almost solely about getting our stuff over there. Good times!

Felt: Lucky to be able to join Jack and his classmates as they rode the cog railway to the top of Pike’s Peak. To think that we were riding on some of the original track laid over 120 years ago was incredible. Enjoying the scenery that inspired America the Beautiful was amazing too. I was worried about it being really freezing at the top, but must have bundled up because I could have spent the entire time outside. 

Planned: To use my village to get Jack to and from football practices. On Tuesday, I had wrestling while he had football. Thursday, I had PTA while he had football and Friday, we were closing on the house.  Coach ended up canceling practice on Tuesday, so that made my life a bit easier.  The other two days, my village came through.  All my days of paying it forward have come full circle.  It’s so nice to have people who care enough to help my boy and I out. 

Loved: That Kyle and Jess were able to drive down for Jack’s last game.  It was a good thing they were able to get out a bit earlier than they thought because their car ended up breaking down just about 5 miles away from the house. So around 11pm, I headed out to pick them up. Jess went up to bed and Kyle and I stayed up and chatted. We hoped it wa something that maybe was caused by the car getting too warm so we headed out there to try again. No luck!  We woke up a few hours later and watched Jack have a great game for his last game of the season. He got to play every single play. His only break was halftime!  They did end up losing by two points, but the team had good energy. After the game was over, he needed to conduct a science project that he created for school which was based on who could throw the baseball the furthest. His hypothesis was that Tio could and he was correct. We had just a few minutes before the banquet so they played a bit of two hand touch, Dad and Jack vs Tio and Aunt Jess. Then we headed to Fargo’s for the banquet. It’s definitely not a place I’ll be returning too. However, Jack’s coach had some nice things to say about him. You can see it HERE.  After the banquet, we headed to the car. It took a Fair amount of trial and error to figure out that it was the transaxle that had went out which was causing all the problems. Thank goodness that Firestone had the parts in stock and that it was a reasonable fix. We got the car over there.  We had some dinner and debate followed by a hilarious game of HeroQuest. At the end of the night (2:30am), Jack was going to play Tio in chess while everyone else was going to bed. Apparently Tio took too long because, not even 5 minutes after the game started, he fell asleep at the chess board! 

Here are the pics for the week: