Saturday, March 31, 2012

Misc March Memories ...

Just a few random photos from the past few months ... miscellaneous memories with not quite enough content to require individual blog posts. Although I still came up with cute titles for each one ... *Ü*

Basketball Boys
Basketball has started up again ... Keaton and Callahan are both playing at Gene Fullmer, and I've decided to try to get back to jogging the track above the court during their games. As I was going around, all the boys on Callahan's team turned and waved at me!   (They did it more than once, so I did grab my camera to capture it on film :) Made me laugh!

Got Milk? 
Mmmmmmm ... chocolate milk!  
The boys really love the "TruMoo" (MeadowGold) brand, 
and it's supposed to be a BIT lower in sugar  ...

Diary Days
I make the boys write in "journals" once a week (you can check out Landon, Callahan and Keaton's ... and mine, I don't ask them to do anything I'm not willing to do myself ... links are in the right sidebar). Journals have always been a big part of my life, so I'm trying to get the boys interesting in recording their own thoughts, and just practicing writing. I love to see what memory from the week is most important to them. I help with the younger boys, and they do like looking back through their old journals.

Skin Stuff
I seriously wish I could just take the entire family to the dermatologist (without having to make/pay for individual appointments), we have SO many little skin issues. Like these marks on Landon, they kind of come and go. Callahan is having some dry patches on his foot again, Colton's legs get a rash that he's had forever, Keaton had a nasty wart on the bottom of his foot (I ended up taking him to a podiatrist for it) and Cooper has had several sores that just wouldn't seem to heal (they finally went away after we bribed him to stop picking at them). 

 Trio Trouble
Colton and his two little buddies ... 
one lives next door, the other across the circle.
I like to call them the "Trouble Trio" ...
more because it sounds cute than they actually are trouble.
Colton ... I think those pants are too little.

 Uno Anyone?
Uno is still a favorite family game. It's quick to get out (no setup), easy to play (even for the littlest ones), and there are so many variations. Uno Spin is pictured above ... we also have Uno Attack, Uno Roboto and Toy Story Uno.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Tux Rental ... $45
Corsage ... $23
Dance Ticket ... $34
Dinner ... $45
Pictures ... $17
Ice Cream ...$11

Prom ... Priceless
(Landon said it was a blast and it was worth it!)

This was the first dance that Landon has attended.   We went to "A Tip Top Tux" the week before to pick out his duds ... if you live in West Jordan and anywhere near it, I would definitely recommend it. Close, easy and inexpensive. Landon went online to look for a corsage and found the one he liked at FlowerPatch. The silver wristband ended up matching Maddie's dress perfectly. I drove Landon out to pick up his date (and after both she and her mom tried to pin on the boutonniere they brought it to me ... I got it on in one try *Ü*) They had already taken a number of pictures inside, but I asked them for just one, and it turned out nice. I dropped the cute couple off at another house (his best friend Sam, her date's parents were the chauffeurs for the evening). They went to dinner at the Gateway, then onto The Capital for the dance. Maga was working late and did try to see Landon, but they didn't connect (dang it, that would have been fun!). Landon said the dance was great. They went out for ice cream after and got home just after midnight ... I had fallen asleep, but had awakened and was waiting up :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012


So, I'd heard of Pinterest ... it would come up in conversation here and there and as I was on Facebook I could see that many people were "pinning" things, but I didn't really investigate further. I remember awhile back on Facebook, there was a trend, little "pin" quotes, like the "flair" from the movie "Office Space" and I thought it was something silly like that. 

A friend sent me an invite and suggested a try it out ... I was immediately hooked! It was SO much simpler than trying to bookmark webpages or save images/instructions to my hard-drive. It was like an electronic filing cabinet where I could organize EVERYTHING online that interested me ... and I could peek in to friend's filing cabinets (or pinboards) to see what was interesting to them.   Recipes, books, holiday crafts, quotes, humor ... it is addicting! A good  majority of the items you could probably find if you Googled them, but you wouldn't even THINK to search out some of the ideas you stumble upon.

There are a LOT of jokes about Pinterest (in fact, I created a board just for them!) and I know I have been wasting a lot of time there, but it's also jumpstarted me into trying new recipes. I created a "Pinned it, Tried it" board for those pins I've actually put to use.  I'm sure hubby would LOVE it if a tried out a few more of the cleaning and organizing ideas *Ü*.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Columbia Construction

Columbia Elementary ... all our boys have gone here. It was actually a different building back when Landon started Kindergarten. They tore it down and bused the kids to a brand new school (now Copper Canyon Elementary) while they rebuilt Columbia ... but the construction didn't end there.

Fast forward a few years, and growth in West Jordan required changes to 7800 South & Bangerter. Columbia is RIGHT on both of these busy streets. Back in 2009 they tore up 7800. Getting to the school became a huge pain! What should have been a five minute drive, was often 20+. Cooper was in kindergarten then, and when the weather permitted, it was just easier (and sometimes faster) just to walk (I did a post about it, you can see it HERE) for that mid-day pick-up. I started taking an alternate route home after picking up the older boys in the afternoon. Ironically, we would usually get stuck behind a bus ... we'd have to wait while all the kids got off, then continue on to OUR neighborhood, because we don't get the bus.

After just a couple of years, they tore up 7800 AGAIN ... and now there is major (and I mean MAJOR) construction on Bangerter Highway, which is right in the school's backyard. Check that, Bangerter is now IN the school's backyard. With the construction of the overpass and off-ramps, a good 10-20 feet of the school's property was taken over. Not only did the kids lose space on the playground, but this wiped out the playgrounds, swings, basketball hoops and tetherball ...

 Here's a picture I snapped Fall2011 ...

This was the time we were going through a lot of anxiety issues with Cooper. He was SO stressed about the weather and recess was a very hard time for him. He spent most recess times in the classroom or the office. I'd try to encourage him to go out to recess and play ... but there wasn't much of anything to temp him :(  As of today, this playground is STILL not reassembled. The one on the back edge of the school has been up for a month or two, so the entire school has to take turns on that playground. 

The skywalk to the school (you can see it in the picture above) is no longer there, it's been moved South about a quarter mile (see a newspaper article HERE). Now the kids (and anyone who wants to cross Bangerter) has to wander through the neighborhoods on either side. There are signs up about the detour ... I wonder how long they will leave them up. To me, "detour" indicates something temporary, but that's the way this is going to stay. I was really hoping that the little bit of extra walking would make us eligible for busing but so far we haven't heard anything. 

In the picture below, you can see the new overpass ... Bangerter going over 7800. The off-ramp is coming down pretty much where the playground used to be. There was a lot of construction on 7800 again too, tearing up the roads they just laid down a couple years earlier. Left turns weren't allowed out of the main parking lot ... at times, the main parking lot was completely closed off by construction.

 Then recently, they started on the front of the school property. The plan here was to fill in a retaining basin and then reassemble the playground there. They had to completely dig up the entire area, huge piles of dirt, big trucks, the entire area where the kids played soccer (the one recess activity left) was fenced off. Honey Bucket bathrooms positioned not 50 feet from the school entrance.

Taken from the main parking lot.

Taken from 7800 South

I got a text from a friend recently ... she asked "WHAT are they doing to your kid's school?" It really has been a hard year. Just keeping my fingers crossed that it will be able to finished soon, that our kids will have a safe place to play ... and I'd SO love a bus!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

HOLEy Cow!

Cute little Colton got up and dressed ... I had to say STOP.  "Hole"y cow, a hole in his pants, and his toes poking through his shoes! I made him go take the pants and shoes off and change into other ones. Generally, I will patch the pants, but he was outgrowing these ones anyway. The shoes ... I just threw them out. He's only had them for a couple of months too! They were brand new!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Green Machine

Our neighbor has this cool riding toy called the "Green Machine" ... Keaton tried it out and he was green with envy. He wanted one for himself.  Luckily, he had been helping Dad at several derbies these past couple months and did have over $100 saved. He came inside and checked a few websites. It was $113 at Amazon and still over $100 other places, but then he found the deal ... $79.97 at Walmart, with $.97 shipping (with tax it was about $86 total). Keaton anxiously awaited it's delivery, and then it was here ... in a box, anyway. Some assembly required.

 Daddy didn't have the time to put it together, but luckily,
 Landon stepped in and soon had everything ready to roll.

Keaton and Colton on the green machines
 (Colton was on the neighbor's).
All the kids have been pretty excited about it ...
We have had a couple injuries already though!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Grandparents Day

Every year the school hosts a "Grandparents" day, where grandparents are encouraged to come and eat lunch with their students. I went a little early and helped out, then snagged Colton as he got out of Kindergarten. My parents (Grandma and Grandpa Westra) were the first to arrive. They took a picture (it was an "aloha" theme) and then had some lunch. 

Navajo Taco and Hamburger were on the hot lunch menu ...
We opted to bring in our own lunch.
 Colton was pretty excited (he doesn't usually eat lunch at school).

Maga has come the last couple of years. She wasn't sure she could make it this year as she had a presentation at work, but she hurried over as quick as she could to catch the end of the activity.

Cooper and Keaton had actually finished their lunch and gone out to recess before Maga made it. I had to go out and collect them to come back and say hi. Cooper was quite anxious to get back out and playing ... what a different kid he is than he was last fall. The little weather worrier who didn't even dare look outside and spent all of recess in the office. We're so happy he has gotten over his anxiety (although I'm still waiting to see how he deals with thunder and lightning which I'm sure will come with Spring storms) ...

 Colton was happy to take a posed picture with Maga ...

Reagan asked him to take a picture with her too ...
Aren't they cute?

Thanks SO much to Mom, Dad and Maga for coming out!

Monday, March 19, 2012

In a Musical Mood

A while back, I did a post called Musical Memories, after attending a show at Hale Theater. I reminisced a bit on some of the productions I've been in, and others that have impacted me. The topic came up again recently, when Callahan had to watch a musical or concert and write a report on it for his Music Connections class in school. I thought of the few concerts I've attended that might appeal to his age group  (Blue Man, Trans Siberian Orchestra) but didn't have an actual concert DVD for him to view. We then discussed a couple musicals ... he ended up going to a friend's house and watching "High School Musical" which he had already seen a few years ago.  I'm sad I didn't jump in just a little sooner and made encouraged him to watch something new. I did quickly go through some of the songs/stories from my favorites with him (he was captive in the car on the way to school) ... It got me in a musical mood ...

There are the shows dear to my heart, because I've performed IN them ... such as Annie, Wizard of Oz, Gypsy, Oklahoma, 42nd Street, 1776, Sound of Music. Callahan had been forced to watch Sound of Music and wasn't impressed (who doesn't like Sound of Music???). Colton has actually watched Wizard of Oz at his cousin's birthday party, but I don't think the other boys have seen it. It's such an iconic show though, one kids should be familiar with. And Annie ... You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile, Tomorrow, It's a Hard Knock Life ... classic songs!

There are other classics ... Fiddler on the Roof, Man of Lamancha, Camelot, West Side Story, South Pacific, Music Man ... I really don't know that MY boys would be able to sit through them, although Grayson grew up on these and more ... one of my all time favorites is "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" I remember seeing this in an outdoor production up at Sundance years ago, (Lonesome Polecat, a song left out of some productions because it's HARD, was performed to the side of the stage in the actual woods) LOVED it ... alas, it is a show I never would have even tried out for, because ALL the girls need to know how to dance ... and I don't dance ...

 that I wouldn't even TRY to get my boys to watch, are ...

Oh how I LOVED this show! I think I was introduced to it while babysitting the Monson kids. I was a bad babysitter, every time I'd come over, that's what I would suggest we watch. I'm sure they were sick of it but they usually humored me. Years later, I love that old movies are being remade for DVD, because now I finally have my own copy. I even have some of the music on my Ipod, although the sound quality isn't great. This show is relatively unknown ... has anyone else seen it?

Pirates of Penzance (this version) was a classic during my teen years too. I had a group of friends that loved it as much as I did (in fact, they probably introduced it to me). I'm THRILLED that it is now available on DVD, with subtitles no less ... believe me, for a few of the some you NEED subtitles to catch every hilarious word which is sung/spoken so fast it would be impossible to catch otherwise ... although my friends DID learn them all and perform it (John Stringham as the Pirate King, Chris Bennet as Fredrick and Kristen Barrow as the Nurse). Kevin Kline as the Pirate King is perfect, and Linda Ronstadt is wonderful! They put this on at Snow College my second year there, and I've seen it performed at Hale Theater ... but it's THIS version that has it all for me. Love the music!

If I had been thinking ahead, this is the show I would have made encouraged Callahan to watch ... "Joseph".  I actually would like to take the boys to this show at some point. I saw it first when I was in high school. I think it was Granite High school's production (1988 or 1989). The brothers were all wearing tuxedos. Next up, was Taylorsville High School ... the brothers there there wore white shorts and pastel T-shirts. I learned there was quite a bit of flexibility in the interpretation of this production. I've since seen it SO many times (various community theaters, Hale, David Osmond at Kingsbury Hall, Donny Osmond with the Broadway Tour, Tuachan in St. George) ... every time there is something a little different, new, creative... and I LOVE the music. I know the boys would moan ... but I bet they'd actually like some of it!

Les Miserables ... I'm trying to remember how I was introduced to this one. It was the end of my high school years or the first couple years of college.  I had the music on tape (that dates it right there ... pre Ipod, even CD), both the highlights, and the complete score. I'd pretty much had it all memorized. Then for Christmas ... we got tickets to the Broadway tour. I remember bursting into tears, I was so excited. And it did not disappoint. When Gray and I were first dating, he had grown up on a movie (non-musical) version, and I remember introducing the music to him on the drive down to Idaho for a mini-vacation with his family (I must have been SO annoying stopping the music and explaining little details).  Soon after we were married we went to it as it toured through Utah again. Just a few years ago, we saw it in St. George at the Tuachan Theater. Love It!

We saw Phantom of the Opera when it toured through Utah too. I liked it a lot. I also liked the movie version that came out a few years ago. I remember seeing Bye Bye Birdie at the outdoor amphitheater in Sandy. I was SO impressed with the "Telephone Hour" (I'd later perform this number at Snow College with LD Singers) and I liked the recent movie version of it too.  

There have been a few mainstream musicals made into movies ...  Rent (I have to say I LOVED the music in this, in fact "Seasons of Love" from the recent movie, may be my favorite song of all time)... so this is one I would NOT have recommended to Callahan (too many adult themes), in fact I don't know that I really thought it would have appealed to me, but the music was extremely powerful. Mamma Mia (my mom and I went to this one together) and I thought it was very cute. Callahan DID see Hairspray when it came out (and liked the song "Just Can't Stop the Beat") ... Grease ... with Olivia Newton John, that's another "movie" classic which has always been a favorite. And while on the subject of Olivia Newton John ... remember Xanadu? I've seen this actually making a theater comeback recently!

I'm not sure if Disney's movies are really considered "musicals" although several have been adapted into them on Broadway and beyond. Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin ... and MY favorite, The Little Mermaid. I can't even remember if I originally saw this in theaters or on a video tape at home, but I fell in love with it immediately. I remember riding to Snow College with my friend Jen and singing these songs over and over (and over) again ...incidentally, I DID like High School Musical and it's followups, as well as other recent Disney "musicals" (Lemonade Mouth had some music I really like) ... I do just wish I had used this opportunity to force encourage Callahan to try watching something new!

Well, this musical musing has turned into quite a long post ... other's I've seen ... Little Shop of Horrors, Moulin Rouge, Across the Universe, Enchanted, Newsies, Dreamgirls, Evita, Newsies, Sweeny Todd, The Producers, Chicago, Nine, My Fair Lady, A Chorus Line, Hello Dolly, Guys and Dolls, The King and I, Pippin, Peter Pan, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Once Upon a Mattress, Into the Woods, Singing in the Rain, Mary Poppins, Anastasia, It's My Life, My Turn on Earth, Saturday's Warrior, Footloose, Twelve Dancing Princess, The Drowsy Chaperone, Yental, The Forgotten Carols ~ I'm sure I've forgotten some ... and there are still a lot I haven't seen.

Just a couple more to mention ...
Gray and I originally saw Big River at Hale Theater, then again at Tuachan. While it's not a favorite play to watch again, some of it's songs are definitely on my favorites list ... another little known, more recent "musical" ...

and this one, it's IS the show, NOT so much the songs
I'm now in the mood to watch this one again 
(but I don't have a copy and it's hard to find ...)

Callahan's simple school assignment 
turned into quite a walk down a musical memory lane ...
at least for me :)

Noticeably missing ... Wicked ...
I haven't seen it :(

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Green Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Cooper went all out ... green shirt, green shorts, green socks. Even his basketball matched. I'm not sure about the collar shirt and the basketball shorts combo, but it's one Cooper does fairly often unfortunately (in red, yellow, blue ... he likes color coordination). Colton was quite sad (he was actually crying) because he didn't have any green pants (how many people DO have green pants?).

I saw SO many St. Patrick's day ideas floating around Pinterest, but St. Patrick's just isn't really a "holiday" I spend too much time on.

We had a family party in the evening, I made some marshmallow brownies (with green frosting) and some green cookie press cookies ... that's about as green as I got!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Baby Teeth

Colton has been VERY anxious to lose his first tooth! Well, he was anxious for the tooth fairy to come and leave him money anyway. It seems like all his friends in kindergarten had lost a tooth or two, and he was feeling left out. Then ... one wiggled, it wiggled for a while, until he happily came home from school and stated it had fallen out ... finally! In fact ... now tooth #2 is wiggling. It's already wiggled enough there is a gap to the side, so it looks funny all alone there on the bottom with empty space on either side.

I'm glad Colton's first experience with the tooth fairy was a good one ... I always stress a little about our "flaky fairy".  AND (UPDATE) ... sure enough, that other tooth didn't last long at all! It was out by the evening. Colton LOVES the little gummy gap there on the bottom of his mouth! Although he's already excited for whichever tooth is going to come out next. I've told him there is no hurry, he's growing up quickly enough as it is!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pie Day

While National Pie Day actually falls in January, Pi Day is March 14, get it? 3.14 ... it's much more fun and easy to remember. Occasionally, Gray and I would celebrate Pi Day. One of our favorite mini-dates would be to go to Marie Calendars for a piece of pie.  I'm a little boring, I just get chocolate creme. Grayson would get either razzleberry or lemon cream cheese ... he would always have a hard time choosing between those two favorites.  A loooooong time ago Grayson worked at Marie Calendars. As a cook (pre-mission), then a waiter, then a manager (post-mission).  When we were dating, I'd go in, sometimes alone or with my little brother as my date ... I'd leave a tip of Hershey's kisses, or a $10,000 bar if he was the waiter. I once gave his truck a "heart attack" in the parking lot. Many "Marie" memories ...

It was several months ago that Grayson drove by the restaurant in West Valley (which was the one we would go to) and said it looked closed ... sure enough, it was. They also closed the one in Midvale, leaving the only the one on 3900 South (which incidentally, was the one Grayson worked at).  We haven't made it there yet.

We miss Maries ... especially on Pi Day.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cooper's Jazz Jersey

So ... Cooper missed out on going to the Jazz game with his Junior Jazz team. He was home sick throwing up that night.  Daddy still took Colton, Keaton and Landon which ended up a disaster (TummyTrouble). Keaton was able to go on HIS Junior Jazz night and Landon went with the young men, but Cooper (and Callahan) were still awaiting their turn.  Now Callahan had played on TWO Junior Jazz teams (one 7th grade team, and one 7th grade team playing up in the 8th grade division) so he actually had four tickets ... so there was an extra one for Cooper! Yea! Cooper was SO excited. He has a few "old" Jazz jerseys ... as Darrin Williams is no longer on the team, Cooper altered his jersey to make it more current ... isn't that cute?  And the Jazz won, so it was a great night for the boys.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Junior Jazz Fun Shot & Tournament

Junior Jazz is more than just Jazz games on Saturday. There is a Jazz player appearance (this year it was Devin Harris, I took the three little boys to that), tickets to a Jazz game, and the FUNSHOT competition.  This is an individual skills competition, where each participant has one minute to score as many points as possible. There are five set positions on the floor, each worth a different amount of points. You get bonus points for making attempts from each different spot. (If you want to read a little more in depth about it, I included a copy of the score sheet and all the rules on the HoopDreams blog). There are three rounds (two if they run out of time). Both Keaton and Callahan participated in it this year and last, and this year Callahan qualified to move onto Region (against the top kids from all the local rec centers).

Callahan (and his buddy Mason, who has taken first place at Gene Fullmer the past few years) went onto region, and only ONE kid beat them ... and it wasn't by much! 1st place was 79 points (two rounds), Mason scored 78, Callahan scored 75. Only first place gets to move onto the finals though, so that's it for Funshot ... until next year ... (and yes ... I made a video, see it HERE).

Callahan's team also entered the end of season tournament, where the top teams from each rec center can play against each other. The boys sailed through the tournament undefeated and took home a championship t-shirt.

I posted links to all five games on the Hoop Dreams blog
 at the bottom of the regular Junior Jazz season (here).

Friday, March 9, 2012

Honors Again

It was Honor Roll Assembly time again at Columbia, and again, all three boys made the honor roll.  They were having the assembly for C track at 9:15, and the assembly for D track at 10:00 ... but they were doing the entire kindergarten at the earlier assembly, so I got to attend both (again). Actually, being a Friday, it was late-start at the middle school for Callahan. I told Colton I probably wouldn't be able to make it for the early assembly and he seemed ok with that. I did rush over as soon as I'd dropped Callahan off and made it there JUST as they read Colton's name ... I'm not sure why he looks so surly in this picture. I could NOT get a smile.

Cooper is shining in school! 
He is always at the top of his class in both behavior and academics. 
I'm very proud of him!

If you look in the pictures, you can see that a LOT of kids in the kindergarten class made the honor roll ... by 2nd grade, that number has gone down. It seems to dwindle as the ages go up. Keaton was the only boy in his class to make honor roll. Congrats Keaton! 

Friday, March 2, 2012

More Snow, More Sledding

A couple posts ago, I wrote that we hadn't had a lot of snow... that post was premature. March came in like a lion with a pretty good blizzard. The boys went and stood in the snow and got completely covered in just moments. 
 Callahan was so cold
The hairs on his arms were standing straight up.

With even more snow on the ground, Randon's Razor was again put to good use, pulling the boys all around the park. They went Thursday AND Friday. The bigger boys were invited along too, and they had a blast. I stopped by the park and got some pictures and video. Randon's mom also took a lot of great shots. I made a little muvee  ... it was SNOW much fun!

Of course there was some throwing of snow too ...
Don't throw a snowball at ME!
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