Monday, 14 August 2017

A Week in Review (August 6-12)

A Week in Review (August 6-12)

Watched: The Glass Castle with my friend Mindy.  I broke my rule about reading the book before watching the movie so that I could hang out with a friend.  It was a very emotional movie and I think it sat heavy enough with me that I will just skip the book.  If you like drama, especially ones that are based on a true story, I would recommend watching this movie.  If you happen to have read the book, can you tell me why does he call her Mountain Goat?  They never explained it in the movie, but I am guessing they did in the novel.

Read: I finished up A Bridge Across the Ocean.  It earned only two stars from me.  It was really the ghost story part of this story line that I didn't like and didn't think needed to be there. The other two storylines were pretty good. They were fairly predictable though. Definitely my least favorite Susan Meissner book that I have read.  Next, I started on Loving Frank.  It is very slow moving and I haven't made it very far into it.  I did have book that my girlfriend recommended to me come off my holds list Saturday night so maybe that will push me to get through Loving Frank faster.

Listened: To bad news that Jack's friend Oliver would not be returning to PHE because his mom returned to work and they could't figure out a way to make the transportation work.  Jack had really made a close friendship with him, so he was particularly bummed.  Luckily, we were able to spend Friday afternoon together.  Jack introduced him to Payday and then they shot some hoops.  They made a game of Madden with Jack on All pro and Oliver on Rookie.  Oliver kind of whooped up on him.  It was good for his ego!

Made: Bags of popcorn for Back to School night.  Instead of popping it all, we got day-old donations from AMC.  It was so much easier and less messy!  It meant a lot of trips to get it, but that's much easier than hours spent around the machine and the mess of cleaning it up.  Back to school night was a huge success and we had like 70 people sign up.

Felt: Grateful for help.  With Nick out of town, we can't quite do everything like we are used to being able to.  For instance, I couldn't be at both Back to School night and get Jack to football.  Luckily, we have made good friends with one of his teammates.  She was kind enough to let Jack come over a little early so that the boys could play and I could take a few minutes of downtime in between bagging and engaging in the night.  I am glad that Jack has Miss Coomes again so that she is really willing to work with me because of how much I volunteer.

Planned: Drive to Blas.  Wednesday, I was brushing my toe along a baseboard and I thought I cut it.  I went about my day and didn't think much of it.  By Thursday it was hurting pretty good, so I looked down and saw that I hadn't cut it but I had gotten a huge splinter in it!  It was so deep and it was on it's way to being infected.  Since Nick isn't around, I immediately wish that Poppa was close by to pull it out because he is magical with splinters.  I tried to get it out on Thursday night, but it was just too deep.  The internet suggested making a baking soda paste and putting a bandaid over it.  I can't believe it, but it actually worked.  Once I took it off the next morning and opened a big enough hole at the end, it just pushed it's way out.  If it hadn't came out, I probably would have driven home to have Blas help me!  Think I might have lost my adult card over that one.

Loved: Our kickball party.  We have had seriously the wettest August that I have ever lived through. I think it has rained nearly every day.  I sent a text to all of our invitees reminding them that the field might be wet and muddy.  Right before we were scheduled to start, a rainstorm hit.  Luckily, it didn't last very long and we just played on a very wet and muddy field.  The kids did indeed get very messy.  They fell plenty of times on slippery grass.  But they all laughed and had a good time.  Our picture is missing a few people who had leave early and a few people who were in the neighborhood and decided to join in.  Jack had such a good time, he is looking forward to doing it again next year!

Here are the pics for the week:

He's the one hitting the bag out of the coaches hands

Our kickball group

So much popcorn and this isn't even a third of it!

Check out the size of the splinter!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

A Week in Review (July 30-August 5)

A Week in Review (July 30-August 5)

Watched: The kids have a blast at The Springs Trampoline park. They have quite awesome Ninja Warrior course that they have constructed in the middle. I like that each area has different ways to make  it more challenging for all different age levels. You can watch Jack complete it HERE.

Read: I had to speed read The Hate U Give in order to be able to finish it for my book club on Friday afternoon.  I was able to work it at pretty good pace, but I did use the audiobook to help me along.  This more a 3.5 star book for me. Having grown up in rural Nebraska with only a handful of black people and then having spent the majority of my adulthood in suburban areas, I often felt like the white people referenced in the book. Especially the part about treating your dogs like children. ;) I really enjoyed hearing the narrative of someone with such a different experience from me. I have always been offended by the #alllivesmatter movement and I now see how offensive it must be to someone who has lived a different life than mine. It made for a good discussion at our book club.  There were a lot of different perspectives on it.  Next, I started A Bridge Across the Ocean.  I was quite surprised to see it has a ghost storyline.  We will have to see how it wraps up.

Listened: To Jack's new coach give a talk a team meeting on Saturday. He seems quite a bit different than his old coach, but I think it will be good to learn from a new style. They are going to be the Broncos. Nick is not thrilled about that.  Next week starts practice at 8 hours a week!

Made: Plans for the upcoming wrestling season. It feels like we are in a good spot to get everyone started out on the right foot and not being left scrambling towards the end of the season. I know that returning wrestlers have more information now than they have in years past.  Hard to believe it's only a couple months until wrestling season begins.

Felt:  Glad that we were able at celebrate Braydon's birthday celebrations with him. On Wednesday we went to Elitch's with their family. We were able to get them a good deal on our season passes, so it just made the most sense to go along with them. Jack also went to Braydon's party on his birthday proper. 

Planned: On the water being drinkable during the Manitou Springs mineral springs tour. It was mostly pretty gross tasting. It was funny to see the different reactions as we tasted it. We walked around to all of them. The walk up to the last one was pretty uphill. I asked the kids to show me how the felt about walking all that way for it. I just love Declan's face. It really did sum up how he felt.  They had spent the morning climbing up around in Pike National Forest and exploring Jack's favorite climbing rock, so they might have been a bit more worn out than I was.

Loved: Nick being home, even if it's only for a short while. He and Jack went and saw the new Spider-Man movie and enjoyed it. On Friday, we played some HeroQuest and the boys hung out while I went to book club. Saturday, Jack convinced Nick to do the Incline. This is listed as an extreme hike and isn't for the faint of heart. Nick stopped at about 2/3 of the way up, which is known as the bail out while Jack continued to the top which is another family that was going up. To learn more about this crazy adventure, I suggest checking out THIS link. While Jack was at Braydon's birthday party, Nick and I went out to eat and just enjoyed chatting.  We hate having him gone so much, but try to make the best out of our time together when he is home.

Here are the pics for the week:

Friday, 4 August 2017

A Week in Review (July 23-29)

A Week in Review (July 23-29)

Watched: My boy watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  With all of our playing of HeroQuest, I was pretty sure he would love it.  We watched the first movie Sunday night and he watched the second and third one back to back on Tuesday night.  He was rapt through them all.  I was reminded, again, that they just aren't my thing.  I don't see how they are so popular.

Read: I finished up The Garden of Small Beginnings.  I really enjoyed this book. It was funny and thoughtful all at the same time. If you enjoy gardening, I'm pretty sure you would really like this book. If you are trying to process what it would be like to love again, you would also enjoy this book.  Next, I began All The Missing Girls.  I have been waiting for it to come off hold since mid April!  It was an extremely fast read, so I have no idea why it took so long to get to me.  This book was more like 3.5 stars for me. The book is told in reverse chronological order so you have to be paying attention to catch all the details. It was a really fast paced book and I couldn't put the second half down. I stayed up considerably later than I was planning on because there was just never a good place to stop it at. All mystery lovers would be a fan of this book.  I was supposed to start The Hate U Give next but with family arriving in town, by the time that I finally went to bed, I was more in the mood for mindless things rather than a book.  

Listened: To the cousins stay up to the wee hours of the morning just chatting with each other.  They were all so thrilled to be together.  I am very thankful that my in-laws could provide the opportunity for this.  This is my sister-in-law's last trip out of town before we add a new nephew to our family.  I hope that as they grow they continue to keep the bonds of friendship that they have now.

Made: My first agenda for a PTA meeting.  Because it was just a planning meeting, I think it was a lot longer than it will take otherwise.  I jotted down several questions to try and help keep us on point while we were there.  Overall, it went pretty smoothly.  It still took a long time to get through all the information, but I felt we didn't stray off topic too much.  I am hoping that we are able to achieve a lot of awesome things this year.

Felt: Adventurous on Sunday.  We went out to the Rampart Reservoir area.  There are a lot of neat rock formations and areas to explore.  We have to thank Google Maps for taking us down a road we might not have otherwise went down.  Jack found a really cool rock that someone had lassoed a rope around so you could climb up if you were brave.  There are pictures below.  We also learned that Nora makes a pretty good rock climber, but she doesn't like to do it very often.  We finally made it down to the water and were pretty disappointed.  Apparently the boat dock was closed.  I am not sure if this is because of the fire that happened there or not.  You couldn't really get down to do any fishing without having waders on.  Overall it was still an awesome day.

Planned: Food for the family when they were in town.  We have several picky eaters and so I wanted to make sure that I didn't waste my money on food.  I have a friend who routinely feeds 8 people in her family.  With the cooking and planning, it just reaffirmed my notion of how awesome she is!

Loved: White water rafting with Denise, Lee, most of my nephews, and my niece.  When we looked at the forecast on Friday, we quickly determined that Saturday might be the best day to make of a go of it.  We booked our trip with Raftmasters, which the company my family and I used over a decade ago, and had a great experience again. The guide was so friendly and helpful.  We had the kids take turn sitting in the middle during the rapids so that they could experience the big splashes of the river.  They all had a very good time.  They were all craving even more adventure and can't wait until the turn 13 to come back and try the more difficult rapids.  Papa purchased the photo package that they took, which is where we got so many awesome pictures from.

Here are the pics for the week:

iTopIt after white water rafting

Thursday, 20 July 2017

A Week in Review (July 16-22)

A Week in Review (July 16-22)

Watched: Landon play baseball. It was a hard decision because the kickball game that had been rained out last week was scheduled for the same time. He was really torn because he wanted to do both.  He thought he has picked kickball, but when he went to sent a message of support to Landon, he got pretty emotional. So we decided that we would try to host our own kickball game before back to school. I'm not sure when we will squeeze it in, but I really hope we do.  I'm glad we went to watch Landon play though. We got to see him pitch for three innings. It was fun seeing Jack so enthusiastic about his friends good plays. 

Read:  Dirty finished up pretty quickly.  This book read pretty fast. It was just your standard romance novel with heavy sex scenes. The writing was a little better than 50 Shades. If you like romances heavy on sex and foul language, you could pick this up. If neither of those appeal to you, I'd pick something else.  I was also able to finish up The Hike.  This book is pretty far out there in fantasy land.  It reminded me if authors Christopher Moore and Chuck Palahniuk teamed up.  It makes you wonder what you would survive to get home to your family.  You can't really say too much without revealing parts of the book.  If you are a fan of fantasy books or need one to fulfill a reading challenge, I would recommend picking this book up.  It's a pretty easy read and one that leaves you thinking in the end.  I started on The Garden of Small Beginnings.  It came off a list by a blogger that I follow on Facebook.  I didn't get very far because once Nick got home, we stayed up too late and I generally used my normal reading time for catching up with my online games and social media. 

Listened: To Jack and Nick complain about the number of monsters they were being attacked by during a level of our HeroQuest game.  It was pretty funny, so I had to snap a picture. The good guy are the one in dark red. Everyone else is a monster. They managed to fight their way out only losing two heros. 

Made: Trek to Elitch's on Thursday after Rylan got his long cast off and changed for a splint. It was warm so we headed right to the water park. The line for one of our rides was nice and short, so we headed up to it. When we got to the top, we were informed that Rylan couldn't ride with his arm in the splint. After a trip to Guest Services, we found out he couldn't ride any of the water rides, but was pretty much cleared for all the regular rides. We spent some time in the lazy river and wave pool before drying off and heading to the park. We decided to take a break for ice cream. That ended up proving rather flawed because lightening rolled into the area closing down the vast majority of the rides. We did manage to get a few more in before calling it quits for the day. 

Felt: Lazy on Tuesday. I had planned on Jack and I spending the day at Elitch's, but he decided that he would rather wait and go with his friend. He wasn't really in the mood to do much of anything so we just lazed around all day. At about 8pm, I couldn't take it anymore. I decided to clean the house and do laundry. It was up and at it until midnight.  I thought maybe he would have been bored with his day, but he said he was glad to have just done nothing all day. 

Planned: On a game of volleyball with Coach Sean and his kids. I wasn't sure why I thought it would be just a regular rickety backyard volleyball set. I should know Sean better than that by now!  He had an extremely fancy set up, complete with court outlines. I didn't play, but had fun watching Jack improve. I also got to help pay attention to the little one. She was in a pretty easy going mood. Maybe it helps being the third child. 

Loved: Celebrating our 16th anniversary. We didn't plan anything fancy, but we just thrilled to be together since he has been out of town so much. Jack has been dying to play more HeroQuest, so we went looking for the extra pieces that we thought we might need. We stumbled upon this very cool store that has a library full on unique games to play. We played a football game called 1st and 10. Once we figured it out, it was a pretty fun game. We also went to Salsa Brava. Afterwards, we came home and played games as a family. It was a great chill day. 

Here are the pics for the week:

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

A Week in Review (July 9-14)

A Week in Review (July 9-14)

Watched: The LEGO Batman movie.  I didn't really like it like I did the regular Lego movie.  It just wasn't as funny to me.  Jack liked it well enough.  I made the funky photo to send to Nick while messing around with the filters on the Facebook app.

Read: I was able to finish up The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.  This book totally pulled me in. It's lengthy at almost 400 pages, but it just flew by. I felt like I was reading a People magazine that spanned the decades. However, it takes you deeper to look at the complex reasons that motivate peoples actions. I would highly recommend it!  Next, I began Columbine which was the book selected for my online book club.  I found this book a little disjointed and repetitive. However, I did enjoy getting to know all the accurate facts about the tragedy that occurred at Columbine. It's scary to think that boys with a typical high school experience could carry out such horrific acts with such calculation and excitement. While it's a non-fiction piece, the author still carries some pretty strong biases that come across in the narrative. It did make me interested in reading Sue Klebold's book.  Next, I started Dirty.  I found it as a recommendation from Audible.  I didn't get very far into, but it's pretty raunchy.  I am hoping a good story line develops out of it.  I decided I didn't like Dirty for bedtime and so I picked The Hike. I only read a couple chapters before I fell asleep and it is weird!  I found this book from the same list as Dirty. I'm really questioning those choices now. 

Listened: To a good chunk of the book, Columbine, on audiobook.  With Jack being gone large chunks of Sunday and Monday and trips to and from football camp, I had more time than normal to listen to a story.  The narrator did a great job of keeping you intrigued in the story.  I am glad that I had all the time because I think I have like four books to read in the next three weeks.  Not sure I will get it all done, but I will do my best!

Made: Menu list for Jack and I.  With the heat of summer and Nick not coming home, it's easy to just snack all day and not make real meals for Jack and I.  So I put together a long list of things that I thought would make decent two people dinners and went grocery shopping for them.  We will check off the list and once they are done, I think I will cook the same things again.  I got like 10 things on there, so I think that's pretty good.  I am sure we will also take a few fast food breaks while Nick is gone in Utah.

Felt: Thankful for my breaks from Motherhood.  Nick left Sunday morning for 11 days in Utah.  Shortly after Jack woke up, we headed to Canon City to have him stay the day with my in-laws.  They brought him back Monday around three, which gave me time to finally finish the picture project that I have been working on since we moved to Utah.  Tuesday and Wednesday there were short breaks for football camp.    Tuesday he spent the afternoon hanging out with his friend Landon.  Friday he was invited to spend the evening with a friend at his house.  It felt good to recharge with some alone time.  We both miss Nick like crazy.

Planned: Short PTA Meeting to get things in order so that we could request committee chairs of the positions that we needed.  However, we had a lot of discuss and before we knew it, 3 hours had passed and I had to cut the meeting short so that I could get Jack home to bed.  It didn't work out very well because he was still pretty amped and didn't fall asleep until almost 11.  However, we got a good bit of information discussed and I feel like this year is going to be amazing!

Loved: Pro Football Camp.  Jack really enjoyed getting to meet the players and hear their stories.  I loved that he got to hear about how people who actually made it to the NFL had been undrafted and overlooked.  There was a lot of stories about resilience and determination.  While I try to talk about those with Jack, I think him hearing it from people who he really idolizes was awesome.  One of the players, Anthony Trucks, also competed on this season of American Ninja Warrior.  He is the first NFL player to successfully complete the course.  We are looking forward to seeing how he does in the city finals.  Crossing our fingers that he makes it.

Here are the pics for the week:

A page from my album.  All the pictures had to be cut down, glued onto 4x6 cards, and then organized chronologically.  It's no wonder that I have put it off.  I am glad to say that they have all been scanned in and placed away for future looking at!

The night before camp all the players were available for autographs at local Bar and Grill.  A good friend took the pictures and texted them to me so I got to sit out on the patio chatting and avoid the crowds!

They also did day of camp signings.  These are two giant Giants lineman.

Jack and Anthony Trucks, the American Ninja Warrior

My hubby surprised me with these beautiful flowers.  Good to know that he misses me.  I sure do miss him too.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

A Week in Review (July 2-8)

A Week in Review (July 2-8)

Watched: Fireworks from the Sky Sox baseball game on July 4th night.  I didn't really think it would be very crowded and so we headed over at the top of the 7th inning.  It was a good thing we got there when we did because we had to drive around several parking lots before finding one that was open.  Then it seemed like it took forever for them to finish up the two innings.  The show was awesome and we did have a really good view of it.  Everyone did a pretty good job with traffic too and we were able to make it back home in pretty decent time.  Next year, the 4th will be quite a bit harder with it being on Wednesday.

Read: I finished up Everything, Everything.  I thought that this was a decent story. It was pretty formulaic and didn't really have any big shocks or reveals innit. However, I was interested to see what would happen to Maddy. It's a very quick read and could make for some lively discussion with the right group of people.  Next, I started The Bell Jar.  This had been on my To-Read shelf for quite some time.  It is set in late 40's/early 50's.  I was able to accurately date the song because the Frank Sinatra song Sunflower was mentioned as being a top hit.  A quick google search revealed that it was released in 1949.  If my Kansas friends haven't heard it before, they should totally give it a listen.  You can hear on YouTube, HERE.  What an intense book. I felt that first half kind of dragged on, but the second half really picked up. This book would have resonated with me in my mid 20's rather than my late 30's. The visual image of depression being like a bell jar that you are trapped really hit home for me. If you want a graphic novel from someone who truly understands the pain of depression, I'd recommend picking this book up. If you are wanting a book that shows you that can overcome depression, pick a different book.  The next book due back at the library is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, so I started that.  I started it on Friday, so I don't have a lot to say about it.  To squeeze all my books in, I really need to get it read in a week.  I hope it's a quick read and I have a review for you next week.

Listened: To Jack, my brother and his friend laugh and squeal with joy and fear as they shot Roman candles at each other.  Jack loves this tradition.  He definitely has more fun with it than he does with any firework you can buy from a stand.  Nora got her fur singed by excitedly trying to catch the "balls".  She also got a little aggressive with my brother trying to get the stick.  We decided she had to stay inside for the rest of the night and she was pretty bummed about that.

Made: Time for a friend.  Even though we trying to cram in a lot of things into our Saturday before Nick left, we had a friend ask if we could help her out by watching her kids for a couple hours.  They had to go running errands with us, but they really enjoy anytime that they can be around Jack.  It was funny running errands as a family of 5 with me envisioning this is what I thought I wanted when we first got married.  I think I could learn to love the chaos!

Felt: Bad about miscommunications with Mom and Lee.  We had invited them to come down for the 4th and watch the fireworks with us.  I knew we would be leaving Alliance just in time to make it home in time to see the shows with them.  Sadly, they thought we were going to be home earlier in the day and drove up to visit us before we home.  I hated that they made the drive only to find an empty house.  Next time, we will be more clear.  Luckily, we were still able to find a time that Jack could go and visit before they left the area again.

Planned: Nick's honey-do list before he left town for the month.  It wasn't anything too intense, but I wanted to make sure we had a lot of that done before he left.  During our almost 16 years of marriage we have fallen into a pretty good routine about who takes care of certain household chores.  It's not that I can't do some of them, it's just that I would rather not.  And some of them it would take me a lot more time to figure out than it does Nick.  It's awesome to have a partner who compliments me so well, but I really do miss him when he leaves.

Loved: Lazy days with my boy.  We didn't have any real plans for the remainder of the week and so we just did it doing nothing.  I mean, really, nothing.  We played games, stayed in our PJs, and just enjoyed each others company.  We hadn't really done anything like that so far this summer and it worked out nicely.  I was looking through the countdown app on my phone and realized that towards the end of the week we hit the point where we had been on summer break longer than we have left of summer break.  Who knows how much will cram into the second half, but I am sure it will be awesome!

Here are the pics for the week:

Tio, in his humorous out for the the 4th.  Happy Birthday 'Merica.

Family photos from the 4th

Jack wanted a picture with Nora on the drive home.

I think Nora was pretty determined not to move from this spot.  He threw the pillow on her and still she laid there, unmoving.  

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

A Week in Review (June 25-July 1)

A Week in Review (June 25-July 1)

Watched: Them draw three vials of blood for a physical.  It's been years since I have gotten a physical, but I decided to go a friend rather than a Walgreens for my well check for work.  I had to get a tetanus/whooping cough shot.  It wasn't painful that day, but I woke up feeling like my arm was dead.  Wowzers!  Glad you only have to go through that every 10 years.

Read: I finished up Beartown.  Not my favorite book by Backman, but one that will leave me thinking for quite some time. Some people will tell you this is a book about hockey. It's so much deeper than that. It's about small town life, parenting, friendship, societal issues, and competitive sports. I would recommend to anyone as it is an above average book. Some may notice that it took me longer to read than my normal four star book. This is due in large part to being summer and not because of the quality of writing.  Next I started Everything, Everything. It seems to be a fairly easy read and I think I will be able to finish it up next week. 

Listened: Giggles from Katie all day during our trip to Elitch's. We had to use our Bring-a-Friend passes and so she came along. Instead of screaming on rides, she giggles and it's hilarious.  We spent a few hours in the amusement park, waited out a rain shower during our lunch in the parking lot, spent a couple hours in the water park, and then closed the park down back out in the amusement park.  We are so lucky that she came into our lives.  She brings a ton of joy to it!

Made: A quick drive to Canon City to see the campsite that Lee and Denise have found and to see their new camper.  They had a basketball hoop so Jack was happy to shoot hoops on it.  He found another kiddo to play with and even got a game going with Lee and Nick.  They cooked us up a nice dinner that included Denise's yummy potato salad.  At the end of the night, we drove into the Canon City's downtown and visited a cute little park that was right along the Arkansas river.  Jack was still in the mood for games and so we played adults vs Jack at Tic-Tac-Toe.  Jack won three of the games, but Papa Lee got him to a stale mate.  It was the best we could do!  

Felt: Thankful for the bonus week that kept Nick home even though he should have been in Utah.  Luckily, one of this clients needed him here for a public meeting and so he had to reschedule his trip. It let us spend more time together before he leaves for the month in Utah.  Neither Nick nor I are looking forward to his absence.  It will be interesting to see how we fill our time.  I am sure it will be busy, as always.

Planned: All the things I would take for the trip to my mom's and just kind of laughed at myself.  I definitely pack more for a four day trip to her place than I do going for a week most other places.  Somethings are things I am taking to her because I can get them so much cheaper here, other things are things we enjoy playing together, and yet others are because I want to make sure I am prepared for most scenarios.  I am so glad that we live close enough to have under a six hour drive between door steps!

Loved:  All the time that we spent with my family.  I didn't get nearly enough sleep, but I spent a lot of time chatting with my brother and mother.  I got to spend time watching Jack kick butt at chess.  He loved having lots of different people to play.  We played some neighbor, did some swimming, played some corn hole, grilled out a lot, and played through a whole Mario Sports Mix basketball tournament.  I am excited that we still have two fun filled days to go!

Here are the pics for the week:

This is what he picked out to wear for the trip up.  Comfy and cozy on cool June day.