Thursday, March 16, 2017

Grayson ... Biker Boy

I'm behind on my blog ... some posts are quite current but others are long overdue. So Throwback Thursday today (and at some point I'll adjust the date and put the post in its proper place chronologically ... back in 2015).

Gray is out biking today ... first time in a while.


These are NOT pictures from his trip today ... he's still out. But, it has inspired me to get back to the blog to FINALLY post some of his past escapades. Up top here, I believe he was in Park City. He does both road biking and mountain biking.


Today, he's exploring Antelope Island again ...
He and Rob have done this ride a few times. Pictures are from back in 2015, but they made a trip early last year too. Maybe it's an annual thing? Those don't look like antelope though ...


Gray went riding with my brother Scott a few times too ...

Up to the suspension bridge in Sandy. 
We've hiked here as a family that same year (still 2015)

In May 2015, Gray and Rob went on a Moab biking trip that lasted for several days. Camping out under the stars between the daily rides. He was completely out of contact with me during this time. He'd done this trip (or similar) a couple times before. He and I hadn't communicated enough about what the trip entailed the first time, and I was expecting a daily check in. When a day and then another went by, I was a bit concerned but was able to look up the excursion information on the computer and figure out that they were actually out of touch electronically. I was better prepared for the next trips. Happily, he came home unscathed, and with quite a few photos!

Some shots from 2011 (as I don't think I ever blogged them).

... and from his 2015 trip ...



... and a quick video clip concluding the trip!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Exploring Mexico!

Where in the World is Grayson Blackham?
As Elder Blackham's mission to Mexico came to its conclusion, Grayson thought it would be great to go and pick Landon up. They could travel around for a bit, see the sites, explore the country, before heading home. Maga decided to go too, and the two of them took off.

... and, together again!
My men and Maga visited a bunch of different places, experimented with the cuisine,  and met quite a few friends and families Elder Blackham had worked with in his two years there. Grayson took a TON of pictures, and kept family back home updated on our doings via group text and Facebook. I uploaded the photos into an album (Blackham Mexico 2017). 

I've also included a few favorites below. 
















... and then, it was time to head home.

by bus, from Puebla to Mexico City 

Then the flight home ...


We were waiting ...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Room Rearrange 2017

I've written a few "Room Rearrange" blog posts over the years. The front bedroom (the red one in the lower right corner in the picture above) has been through the most changes. It was the nursery when we moved in over 20 years ago (The Noah Nursery). In 2011, we let Landon move in (New, U of U). It was his room for several years, until he left on his mission in February of 2015. We did a HUGE room re-arrange then. Callahan moved into Landon's old room, the two little boys, who had been sharing the back upstairs bedroom moved downstairs (to the room Callahan and Keaton had been sharing) and Keaton moved up to their old bedroom (Callahan and Keaton getting their own rooms for the first time). 

But two years has sped by, and Landon is coming home from Mexico. What to do? Where would we put him? Downstairs, there was an extra bedroom. Unfinished when we originally built, it had been a storage room. When we completed the basement, the extra bedroom was my scrapbook room, the "Lego" room, an office for Gray ... but it had evolved into "Middle Earth" ... a dumping spot for everything and anything. But now it was time for it to be a bedroom.

I'll admit, the thought of clearing everything out was daunting! I knew it would take me a while, so I started a few months before Landon's return date. The picture below shows some of the situation ...

The top picture is the room in question ... and that is after I'd cleared out a bunch of stuff. The bottom picture is the family room ping pong table, covered and surrounded with said stuff. Many trips to donate to DI. Postings on the neighborhood site for anyone who wanted to pick up some of our discards. 

We ended up stealing the headboard and switching desks (and the chairs that went with them) from the front bedroom into Keaton's back bedroom. I found a new headboard for the upstairs room on KSL classifieds, and it came with a bed frame which came in handy as we bought a new twin bed for the basement. I picked up a new comforter, and gave it to Keaton, moving his old one into Callahan's new room. I grabbed a new comforter set for Landon's room (as the one there was several years old). Then we moved all of Callahan's stuff downstairs, leaving the upstairs bedroom, Landon's bedroom, ready and waiting.

Cleaning out the basement room , attempting to find spots to save the things I wanted to hang onto (I'm not ready to give up all my scrapbook stuff yet) caused me to clean out the food storage room, space in the shed outside, the game closet, the storage closet ... even upstairs, I made changes, re-arranges, to the two closets (coat closet and den closet). One thing just lead to another, but finally ...

DONE.

whew ...

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

Becoming a Blackham ... New Year's Day has become completely connected to the idea of Pammy's pastry wreath. It's a tradition going back 27 years! This flaky creation is a TON of work, but oh so yummy. At times, Maga has mentioned that maybe, just maybe, this will be the last year. They are just so time and labor intensive.

This year ... Uncle Clay made sure the tradition would continue!
Clayton is known for his homemade donuts, so I guess it shouldn't be such a stretch that he'd accept such an undertaking. I think he'd done a trial run earlier in the year, and they turned out perfectly to welcome in 2017.

Grayson is more than happy to keep up HIS tradition of eating said pastry wreath!  Callahan had to work (as always) and missed out on the gathering ... but I made sure I cut off a big piece and took it home to him. He said it was heaven.  So Maga could have had the year off (other than some overseeing) but I guess she couldn't quite give it up, and made some for her work ...

Lucky co-workers!

Now earlier, on New Year's Eve, we had our usual Grandparents and Games night (our own little tradition going on several years now). We had a late start this year, as Grayson had snagged great seats to the Jazz game downtown. He, the two little boys, and a friend of Colton (as Keaton nor Cal really wanted to go, friends win out over family for them ... but for Colton, a friend was better than a brother anyway! Game started at 6:00, so they were home by about 9:00.

Second row seats!
... and the Jazz won too!

As mentioned ... Callahan and Keaton were off with friends, but the two little boys, my folks and Gray and I played some Speed Rummikub (several games ... because Grandma said we couldn't quit until she won a game, and that took a while). Then a few rounds of Scattergories and then it was time for the countdown.

We played a couple games of Progressive Rummy after midnight, but called it quits before finishing (as the game, with seven hands can take a while) ... we'll  have to get together again and play more. Colton and Cooper didn't seem to have any trouble staying awake this year (they both fell asleep last year. Cooper woke up for the photo but Colton was out cold!)  Way past bedtime for Gray and I though!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Grayson Started Smoking!

Ribs Anyone?
It was back in May (2016). Gray had his trailer hooked to his truck and inside I saw ... a BBQ? I looked at him questioningly and he sheepishly replied "Happy Father's Day to Me?" It was a Yoder Smoker, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased that my husband has started smoking!

I did buy him that HUGE wooden cutting board for Father's Day (after he sent me the link for it) and both it and the smoker have gotten used a lot this past year.

Ribs are a family favorite! 
They are so tender, they literally fall off the bones!

... and Sunday morning smoked bacon. Yummy!

I guess I haven't grabbed a picture of the pulled pork. It's delicious! 
Grayson smoked a turkey (well, multiple turkeys) for Thanksgiving.
He's smoked a prime rib and tri-tip.

... and then there's brisket
 Inject that baby!

... and the finished product!

It's ALL Grayson ... but as brisket takes hours and hours, one Monday he put it on before he left in the morning, and then had me help wrap it mid-day (as I am home and he's hard at work). There was a bit of a learning curve at the beginning, figuring out how long things take. There were a couple of times we were planning on dinner, only to have a stall, and the meat coming in hours late. There was a time or two it wasn't done until after 11:00 at night! But practice makes perfect, and Grayson's perfected things at this point ... and we've enjoyed his practice! He still likes to experiment with different spices and sauces and recipes. He'll browse youtube channels for smoking tips and tricks and sometimes he just goes out to the garage and sticks his head inside and sniffs. 

Mmmmm .... smells delicious!
Tastes that way too!


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from the Blackham Bunch
Maybe we should have tried a few of these family photos without the kitties ... they are less cooperative than the kiddies! Colton actually seemed to have Joy handled, it was Oreo in MY arms that was causing the most commotion!

The Blackham Christmas festivities begin right after Thanksgiving.
The annual Leg Lamp Lighting at Uncle Clay's house ...
... a lot of people, a LOT of donuts!

... about a week before Christmas, the extended Blackham bunch gets together, and for several years, Santa and Mrs. Claus have put in an appearance. We were sad that Callahan had to work and missed out on the family and fun.

Callahan also had to work Christmas Eve, and missed out on the Westra family party too. Soup and breadsticks for dinner. The annual slideshow (Westra2016) viewing, the candy bar game, and we even did the nativity this year, after skipping it for several ...

Uncle Derek was definitely the STAR of the show! A big thank you to some of the older cousins who were willing to dress up and play a part. The Blackham Boys are noticeably absent ... absolutely uncooperative. 

It was a rather lean Christmas (not a bad thing! I mean what do you do when you already have everything?). Grayson HAD put in a hot tub ... so I guess that was the "big gift" for the family. He even hit it first thing in the morning, before the boys were awake. We did have a white Christmas, so he had to shovel a bit to get there, and we had to put the boys to work clearing the driveway after our Christmas morning was completed. 



Landon had sent us a cute picture ...

...and then we got in a family one via Facetime a little later.


Hope you all had a Merry Christmas ...

A video posted by JenB (@jenblackham) on

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