Monday, January 30, 2012

More Word Games

While I never was a fan of "Scrabble", I really have been enjoying playing "Words with Friends" for the past few months. The same company introduced another game called "Hanging with Friends" and while the boys really liked it, it just didn't quite stick with me (it was like Hangman).  Zynga company has introduced yet another word game, this one is called "Scramble with Friends" and it is like "Boggle", which is a game I have always enjoyed ... and it is my new favorite. I actually fought it a bit when it first came out. As usual, the boys were the first ones to give it a try. They installed it on my Ipod and started a game for me ... I ended up using this same technique to get Grayson to give it a go. He's now hooked as well.

Unlike traditional Boggle, Scramble gives the letters a numeric value, the same as those in Words/Scrabble. There are also three rounds, in in the second and third rounds, there are double/triple letter and word tiles to boost points as well. 

I've admitted that I "cheat" in Words with Friends. There are a lot of "helps" where you can input your letters and be given several word possibilities in return. Even when cheating, I'm usually right on par with those I play with (I really wouldn't be much of a challenge otherwise).

Now in Scramble, there isn't time to cheat, and I actually like that. There are "powerups" that are provided ... three little "helps" that you can choose from. Freeze gives you extra time, Inspiration will show you up to three words you haven't found, and Scramble rotates the game board, providing you with a new perspective.

The Blackham Bunch is Scrambling right now ... we all seem quite addicted to this game. What Gray and I  can't figure out is how Callahan keeps beating us both!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Weekend "Work" & Blackham Basketball




Grayson has been working with Havenhill Homes for a couple of years now. The guys (Dave, Tony and Gray) left for a company retreat to St. George over the MLK weekend(Jan12-15). Gray said it was for planning, but it sounded like they got in a lot of playing too. They golfed, biked and even hit the casinos in Mesquite. They left Thursday after work and got back Sunday afternoon. Gray said it was a good trip. The photo above is some of their hard "work" ...

Back at home ... there was basketball. Now with five boys all involved, I've been leaning pretty heavily on Gray to help out each Saturday with the inevitable scheduling conflicts. Without him around I had to figure it out on my own (and with a little help from teammates, Grandpa and Maga). Just to complicate matters a bit, one of Callahan's teams was participating in an AAU tournament too (which added four additional games, two of them on Saturday) AND church ball started this week as well! So ... guess how many games we had on deck for Saturday ... TEN. 

It started  early. At 8:00, Callahan (and the teachers/deacons from the ward) had a game, which turned out just to be a scrimmage because the other team didn't have enough players. I was there with video camera in hand (see the game here). Too bad it wasn't a real game, because Callahan did really well :)  10:00 had three games. Callahan had his 7th grade Junior Jazz game,  Landon had his church ball game (priests), and Colton had his kindergarten game. I sent Callahan with a teammate, Landon was already at the church, and I went with Colton. At 12:00, I went with Callahan to his High School Prep game. His 8th grade Junior Jazz game was at the same time, unfortunately he can only be in one place at a time, but the team managed to win even without him *Ü* ... Callahan's Copper Hills team won too (video here). 2:00 was busy again -- Callahan had a tournament game (I sent him with teammates and Maga went there to watch), Keaton had his Junior Jazz game (Grandpa took him, and dropped Landon off at his ref shift which also started at 2:00) and I went with Cooper to his Junior Jazz game (he is SO cute, check out his game here). Then at 4:00 Callahan had his last game of the day (same location as the 2:00 game, so he had just stayed and I joined him there to watch).  Callahan had gotten a knee in the thigh during the 12:00 game, and it did affect his play in the 2:00 and 4:00 games, and made him admit that there could possibly be such a thing as too much basketball. He had actually had enough for the day.

I did still have to go pick up Landon at 7:00.

A big thanks to Grandpa and Maga for coming  and helping out (Grandpa has come out a few times other weeks,when Gray and I needed to be in three different places at once).   I was still sad that I missed some of the games myself (I made it to five, just half). I really enjoy watching the boys play! If the schedule had worked out that I could have attended all 10 games, I happily would have!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ping Pong PUNISHMENT

 
The ping pong table continues to be popular at the Blackham home. A regular game scores to 21. The boys also play "consecutive" which one person wins if they can score five points in a row (it's actually hard to do). Then of course, there is "around the world" where multiple players rotate quickly around the table. It's a favorite game ... and to it the boys add "PUNISHMENT" ... which means if you miss, one of the other players gets to try and pelt you with a ball. Now you would think a ping pong ball wouldn't inflict much damage, but these boys hit it HARD. They are ecstatic when it leaves a mark ...

Callahan's back after a game of "punishment" ping pong.
Fun?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Socks and Underwear

I think it's a familiar scenario ... a child is excitedly opening up a Christmas or birthday present only to find it contains SOCKS and/or UNDERWEAR. The child is NOT happy.  Actually, in the Blackham home, this is completely untrue. My boys LOVE getting new socks and underwear! The little boys love the cute socks with various cartoon characters on them. Christmas, Easter, Birthday ... a few new socks are almost always in the mix. I really try to discourage the boys from wearing the bright socks on Sundays ... they don't exactly go with church dress! Now the older boys are a bit more picky. They want Nike socks ... gotta have that "swoosh". Much to Grayson's dismay, the older boys like the long black ones for basketball (Gray doesn't care for that look). Of course we suffer from the well known "disappearing dryer" sock syndrome just like most families, but we also have Cooper. Cooper tends to take off his socks and shoes, leaving them to get lost and separated. We're always finding socks ALL over the house. Also Grayson will often find complete sets of socks disappearing ... only to have them resurface in Landon's laundry ... he's a sock stealer!

A while back I picked up some compression underwear that I found on clearance. It happened to be in Keaton's size, and Landon and Callahan immediately demanded some for themselves ("we're the REAL athletes in the family, come on!").  Since then I have picked up several pairs for all the boys (yes, even the little ones wanted them for their "sports") ... they are the only underwear that will do now.  This leads me to another laundry quandary ... as I sort the boys clothes (about a week's worth) ... sometimes there is only ONE underwear in the entire load. Hmmmmmm, that doesn't seem right. Although a while back (during the potty training phase) the opposite was true, 20+ pairs on underwear? I remember when Colton was going camping overnight and I told him to pack some extra socks and underwear. I checked the bag and he'd put in about a dozen of each, it made me laugh. 

... now shoe stories ... that's a completely separate post ...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tummy Trouble

Back in April2010, I posted about a "sick day" in the Blackham home ... when the stomach bug took down all five boys. We'd never been hit quite that hard before ... but it happened again, and I have to say, this time was actually even worse! It's bad enough dealing with it during the day, but when you're up ALL night ... this bug hit fast and furious with almost NO warning, and this time, I wasn't able to escape. Boo!

Just like before, Cooper started it. It was the first day back to school after the holiday break. He'd been just fine in the morning. I'd been at the school volunteering in his classroom from 11:00-12:00 and there was no sign anything was amiss.  It was shortly after 3:00, he threw up all over himself, his desk, his backpack. I came as quickly as I could, but not before he threw up again in the office (a couple of times). I got him home, a quick bath, then I had to go back for the carpool kids, and poor Cooper had thrown up again by the time I got home. It just kept coming and coming.

The timing was especially unfortunate, as that Tuesday evening we had tickets to the Jazz game from both Cooper and Colton's Junior Jazz teams.  Grayson was planning on taking the boys and Cooper had been so excited. With Cooper out of commission, Keaton went ahead and took his ticket and he, Gray, Landon, Colton headed to the game. 

It wasn't long after 7:00 when Grayson texted me ... Keaton had thrown up there at Energy Solutions Arena. They had gotten Landon and Colton settled, but hadn't even made it to their seats yet. Gray arranged for neighbors to bring Landon and Colton home and he headed back with Keaton. He'd just made it home when he got a text from Landon ...  another Blackham boy down. Grayson headed back up to grab him (and Colton). 

It was a miserable night. It was such a violent bug! Landon actually got a bloody nose. Right after a "session" the boys would be hot and sweating. I had a fan and a cool cloth for them, but soon they would chill again. I got up to answer Keaton's call in the middle of the night when I had to grab a bucket myself. I was pretty much useless after that. 

Unfortunately, Gray had some things at work he had to do. Landon was feeling a bit better by morning. Callahan and Colton seemed ok, but they still stayed home from school. I was in no condition to drive Callahan to school, and I was afraid with the recent Blackham propensity for puking in public places, that they would get sick and I wasn't sure I'd be able to go get them if that happened.  The boys were pretty much done throwing up, and now it was the recovery phase ... long naps to make up for the lack of sleep during the night. I pretty much stayed in my room all day, so everyone had to fend for themselves, with Callahan and Landon helping out. My VT teachers brought over some dinner, and another neighbor brought in a care package (Sprite, crackers, soup, etc.).

Thursday Landon went back to school, as did Callahan and Colton. Cooper and Keaton probably could have, but I let them recoup for one more day. In the evening I dropped Callahan off at basketball practice just to get a call 15 minutes later that he was feeling sick. At least he did make it to a garbage can! Just like Keaton and Landon, starting in the evening, it was a long, miserable night. I think he must have ruptured some blood vessels when he vomited, because he had red blotches all over his face and neck.

Friday Callahan stayed home, but the rest of the boys went to school. Colton came home from kindergarten and immediately started crying ... and then it was his turn (although he didn't seem to have it quite as bad as the other boys). 

I'm not sure how Grayson survived without coming down with it! As our family first came down with this bug, we heard that it had also hit at Clay and Courtney's house (both Will and Addie). Then Pam too. Kolby and Jami's girls had been hit a few days beforehand, and other cousins on both sides had been down over Christmas. Everywhere, we seemed to hear stories of people coming down with this nasty bug. A few days after my two boys barfed all over Energy Solutions Arena, one of the Jazz players was listed on the "injured" list with ... FLU ... Keaton and Landon looked at each other like "did we do that??" I don't think I've even been aware of a stomach flu being SO prevalent.

I hope it's a looooooooooooooooooooong time before it hits again! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Laughter ...

It is said that laughter is the best medicine ... there are many things make me smile. Often times I'd like to look back on something that made me laugh but it's lost in the shuffle. I thought I'd take a moment to save them all here in one central location so I could come back and laugh at my leisure. A collection for those inevitable days when one might need a pick me up ...  hopefully some of the items here will tickle your funny bone too *Ü*


  • Kid History:  Christmas2011 at the Westra party, we discussed putting on our annual nativity when my brother Shane said "Dave's AlwaYs the donKEY" ...and thus we were introduced to KidHistory. It was an immediate hit with our family. Just short, FUNNY "episodes" of one family's memories -- told by the kids, reenacted by the adults. Extremely Quotable!  Here's an newspaper article about it as well. 
  • Comedians: These Stand-Up guys make me giggle ...
  • Commercials: I don't know if making me laugh will make me buy the product ... but it will make me watch the commercial *Ü*
  • Star Wars Humor: I've seen SO much stuff floating around I had to make a page all it's own. Hopefully some of the stuff I've seen will come back around around (as I know there was more than what's here).
  • WordPlay: If you're in for a little lite reading.



**Update ... I discovered Pinterest, and it's a great way to complete a collection of funnies! There is so much out there to make you smile ... if you want to see what made ME smile, here's my LAUGHTER pinboard. I will update here some on my links, but for simple pictures and quotes, check out the link above.



Laugh and the world laughs with you ... *Ü*

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another New Year

2011 has come to an end. Last year we hosted a big get together for the Westra side of the family, but this year we kept it small. The older three boys went to their own activities, and Grandma and Grandpa Westra came over and played some games with Colton and Cooper (I should have snapped some pictures!). After the munchkins went to bed, we played a game of  Progressive Rummy. The grandparents headed home around 10:30 and Gray and I would have happily gone to bed too, except we did have to wait for Callahan to get home, and had to go pick up Landon. Keaton had come home right around 10:30 too, just as the grandparents were leaving.

With New Year's falling on a Sunday, we saved our celebration for Monday. We went up to Maga's house for the annual pastry wreath and for more games. Ticket to Ride anyone? I think Clay won.

January Journal 2012



Jen's January Journal 2012


0101 (Sunday) New church time, 9:00 ... Grayson is happy about the switch, getting church over with early, but I rather liked the relaxing mornings. The usual "Sunday Circles" will now happen after church. For all of Cooper's apprehension last night, he was fine today. Grayson left early and went to Adrian's church. A relaxing day after ... NBA games, chicken soup and homemade oreos.

0102 (Monday) I really slept in this morning. When I did get up I got cinnamon rolls rising. We always head up to Maga's on New Years Day ... this is the "celebrated" day and the day we went up. She makes her pastry wreath, but it has nuts, so some of the boys can't eat it. Landon did try it and was fine though. I brought the waffle iron and made that for Keaton and Cooper. There was a game of Ticket To Ride. We stayed until around 4:00. Cooper had a 4:30 basketball practice but he didn't want to go, and I didn't really feel like turning around and leaving again. I did end up going out again though, as we were almost out of milk. Gray had been watching a "Lord of the Rings" marathon and finished it up, although he did take a break to watch "I am Legend" with Landon. Back to the routine tomorrow ...

0103 (Tuesday) Kids back to school ... me too, as it was my day to volunteer in Cooper's class, and to bring home the kindergarten carpool. Got in some exercise and cleaned up a bit. Carpools in the afternoon. After Callahan and I got back, there was a call from the school that Cooper had thrown up. I just had time to go grab him, get him back home (quick bath) and settled and I had to run back for the Columbia carpool. Poor Cooper, he threw up several more times. And tonight was the night he had tickets to the Jazz game (Colton too) and he'd been looking forward to it so much! I went ahead and sent Keaton instead (with Gray, Landon and Colton) ... then Grayson texted me that Keaton had thrown up (there at Energy Solutions). Gray brought him home, after having made arrangements for Landon and Colton to catch a ride home with our neighbors. As soon as Gray pulled in with Keaton though, he got a text from Landon that HE had thrown up, so Gray went back for them. Poor Landon was a mess, had a bloody nose his session had been so violent. All three threw up time after time, it was rough! I didn't even know whether to try to go to bed, as I had to keep tending to the kids (although Landon was pretty much taking care of himself, and Cooper wasn't even requesting much ... Keaton was fairly demanding though ... "turn the fan on, turn the fan off, put a wet cloth on my head, get me some sprite, empty my bucket" ...). I was up with him around 2:30 when I had to grab a bucket myself ... bleech!

0104 (Wednesday) I was SO sick ... Keaton called out to me around 4:00 but I didn't feel like I could get up. He wandered in, he was semi-delirious, not making any sense, talking about bullets chasing him and such. I had him lay on the bed by my feet and I stroked his head and back and that seemed to comfort him enough he fell asleep. Grayson left around 6:00, I wasn't feeling well and got up (out from under where Keaton was squishing me) and I had another session. Colton and Callahan seemed to be ok (as far as I knew, I wasn't really up for checking on them but felt I would have heard otherwise). I was not up to taking Callahan to school, so he just stayed home, Colton too. I just didn't know what I would do if they went to school, then got sick and I wasn't able to go get them. Landon was feeling better, and Keaton and Cooper, while still down and moaning, seemed to be done throwing up. I just stayed in bad almost the entire day, except for a couple more sessions. I'd made arrangements so none of our usual carpool kids would be stranded at school. Gray came home early around 3:30. My VT teachers brought over dinner (chicken soup) and another neighbor brought over a nice care package. The vomiting seemed to be done, but Cooper, Keaton and I were suffering from headaches and body aches.

0105 (Thursday) Landon went to school today and I was fine to take Callahan. I sent Colton but let Keaton and Cooper stay home another day (if they had wanted to go I would have let them, but they didn't). I tried a little cardio but it wore me out. Did some laundry and clean up. Gray came home in a rush for UncleTed's funeral. With everything going on he hadn't planned ahead and was late. I picked up high school and middle school but Shay had the Columbia kids, so I got a little break in the afternoon. Callahan had basketball practice in the evening, I dropped him off then stopped at the library and then headed to volleyball when my cell phone rang. Callahan ... saying he didn't feel well. I turned around and went back (belatedly thought I really should stop and get a bucket) ... he had thrown up by the time I got there (in a garbage can at least). One more boy down. He had a rough night like the others. I set him up on the couch with a fan and cool cloth for the sweats, blanket and heating pad for the chills, Sprite and water and crackers ... all night long. Gray had been shopping for a work BBQ tomorrow and came and prepped the food in the kitchen ... hope he doesn't pass the bug to all his workers!

0106 (Friday) So tired in the morning, not much sleep. Callahan was over the worst of it by about 4:00 am and then the aches set in. I had him move from the couch to my bed, and he took a long nap. All three elementary kids went to school today, Colton came home from kindergarten and started complaining ... then threw up. I settled him in the sick spot and although he complained for most of the day, he didn't throw up again until almost 9:00 in the evening. I didn't have to pick up high school, as Landon had stayed after for basketball games, I was off duty for Columbia carpool too, which was good as I was tending to the sick baby. Keaton had basketball practice in the evening, Callahan skipped his. I had to go pick up Landon from the high school around 9:00. I was SO tired.

0107 (Saturday) We didn't have anything in the morning (Landon's ref shift was later) but my body didn't let me sleep in. Bummer. Colton seemed to be feeling fine so I was planning on all the boys going to their games today. Cooper was quite concerned though. Just out of the habit I guess, plus a storm had hit (although snow usually doesn't bother him) and with all the sickness, I'd skipped his pill for a few days ... anyway, the schedules were crazy, me one place, Gray another, and I still had to enlist my dad to get a couple kids places. I went with Callahan to his 10:00 game, he said he was tired but fine. He had a 1:00 game, which I arranged for him to catch a ride to, as I would be at Keaton's game, and Gray would be at Colton's game. Grandpa came to watch Keaton and give him a ride home, so I left directly from Keaton's game to Callahan's game, still missing almost all the first half. Our boys were getting beat pretty badly. They were missing Cody, and he is a strong presence. Cal and I left that game directly and went to Klint's game (starting at 2:00) and made it there before it began. It was against Parker Littlewood, Heather and Cody coming from Jaxon (thus Cooper's) game and told me it had been HORRIBLE. Kids getting hurt, 30-2, none of the kids even wanting to play it was so bad. Sad :( Hope it doesn't impact Cooper for future games. Grandpa came to watch Callahan, I had been concerned that Cal wouldn't have a good game, being tired from playing two games already on top of being sick, but he did great. Even with half the team leaving for their AAU game at the half, leaving us with just five boys (and a whistle happy ref ... don't foul out!), it was an easy win though. Grandpa had taken Landon to his ref shift at 2:00, I picked him up at 7:00. Sounds like there were scheduling conflicts at the high school, and the junior jazz games had to move to the small gym (which is ok for ONE game, but not two!). I was just ready for this day to be over though. Normally I love my busy basketball days, but after the sick week, worrying if the kids would overexert themselves, stressful schedules ... add to that it was one of Gray's "cleaning" days which always affect me negatively ... and just PMS ... just done.

0108 (Sunday) Had to get up early, as it was blessing day for Calder, and Shane's family has a 9:00 meeting in Lehi. That was the longest car ride I'd been on in a while, on Bangerter and the freeway and construction ... always stressful even just as the passenger. We got there in time, but the kids were a bit of a handful in church (reinforcing the need to be sitting on the back row like we do at home). Went to the house after, then home. I marinated some chicken and Gray bbqed it up for dinner (with mashed taters and some rolls). Homemade oreos for dessert. Callahan was having stomach pains before bed, probably ate too much after not eating much the previous days.

0109 (Monday) Back to school, at least for a week, then the kids go off track. Not even worth the effort of trying to regain the routine :( I really dislike year-round school. Still just BLAH ... a combination of things I guess. Haven't gotten back to normal after being sick, then sad Saturday stuff. Just no energy to fight it all. Got in a little cardio but it was hard. Tried getting to the high kitchen shelf, dusting stuff off, discarding some stuff. Had a bunch of boxes for DI that I dropped off (Cooper had basketball practice after school, I took him there then went to the bread store and DI). Toasted cheese for dinner. Callahan had basketball practice in the evening, except there was a scheduling snafu again! Baseball tryouts in the gym. Callahan didn't want to come home, but wanted to hang with Klint's team, who had a game in the evening. Callahan ended up going with them, I was tired but went to watch too. They won.

0110 (Tuesday) Got the kids off to school, then went in myself for my weekly volunteering in Cooper's class. Brought home the kindergarten carpool and had Randon stay for a playdate. Didn't get a lot done, but as I'm not terribly motivated anyway ... carpools in the afternoon. We ended up dropping of of Callahan's friends home, then as Smiths was there on the way home (and we were almost out of milk and bread) I stopped for a quick shopping trip. I let Callahan go over to Wendy's and redeem a free Frosty coupon while I got groceries. Columbia carpool, then Cooper had scouts. Still not back into dinner mode ... so I made Sunday Circles (as we hadn't made them on Sunday). Brownies for dessert. The boys watched the Jazz game and Callahan had basketball practice. Even with a nap in the afternoon (which I never do!) I was more than ready for bed.

0111 (Wednesday) Weight workout Wednesday, it had been a couple weeks, but I finally got up enough umph to do it ... also did cardio. Carpools in the afternoon. Gray and the boys had scouts, they went ice skating. Keaton was bummed because he wanted to go too, although he ended up having fun playing basketball at the church with his group. A couple years ago we had a family membership to the Oval and went skating fairly often. Callahan said he and Landon were the fastest from our ward. Cooper and I watched a Jazz game on TV.

0112 (Thursday) I debated going out to my mom's to pick up some pictures to send down to St.George with Gray (to Wendy) but Wendy is actually going to come up this weekend to look for prom dresses for Janika. So that did save me a trip, not that I got much else done. Still not feeling motivated, dragging, just want to nap. Colton and I did go grocery shopping. I picked up a BIG box of bacon (15pounds) then had to separate it into smaller bags to freeze. Had the usual carpools. Gray came home and headed out to St. George with Dave and Tony. I took Callahan to his basketball practice then went to volleyball, but there were only three of us, so we weren't really able to play.

0113 (Friday) Friday the 13th. Ridley's family was leaving on vacation, so I had the boys hitch a ride to school with Jacob. Dropped Cal off for late start, and Colton was home soon after. Then early out elementary, and the boys are now off track. Carpools for high school and middle school, then I dropped Keaton off at a friends to get to his basketball practice, and I headed to an AAU game with Callahan. We won, but it wasn't a great game, just lots of missed shots. Luckily the other team seemed as off as we were. We brought Mason home with us and he went to basketball practice with Callahan later.

0114 (Saturday) Busy basketball day! Started at 8:00 with a church ball game for Callahan, Landon came too. Unfortunately the other team didn't have enough players, so it was just a scrimmage. I then sent Callahan off with Cole's family to his 10:00 JJ7 game, and I took Colton to his game. I videoed, but there wasn't that much action, although Colton did get three baskets. Then it was off to Callahan's 12:00 CopperHills game (Klint's JJ8 was at the same time). The game was pretty close, but our boys got the win. Callahan also got a knee in the thigh which caused him quite a bit of pain and took him out of play for a while. 2:00 was the next busy time. Callahan went with Cole's family again to the AAU Tournament game, and Maga was meeting him there to watch. My dad came and took Landon to Copper Hills for his reffing, and then took Keaton to West Hills and watched his game (they won, still undefeated). I took Cooper to his game. Mason's mom was there and we played Logan (Mason's little brother) although that wasn't actually the team on our schedule. Cooper said it was 12-12. Anika was getting texts from Mason's dad, so we did have some updates on the AAU game too (our boys did get the win). The next game was at 4:00, so most of the team just stuck around. I met up with them. Callahan's thigh had tightened up and was hurting him, you could see it visibly affecting his play (but he still got some three pointers off) ... until he fell and hit the same spot. Then he was out for the rest of the game. He officially had enough basketball for the day (5 games). Unfortunately, our boys couldn't pull it out, although we should have been able to beat this team. We stopped for some LittleCeasers on the way home, and I went out for some groceries, and then had to go pick up Landon.

0115 (Sunday) Cooper is still struggling with the change in church schedule (from 1:00 to 9:00). He cried a lot this morning. We got off a little early, as it was Marcus Adams farewell and I knew it would be crowded (which it was). I played piano for both Junior and Senior primary today. We did our Sunday Circles after church, and Gray got home fairly early (around 1:30). He wasn't feeling well though and had to lay down for the rest of the day. I took a nap too, I'd been looking forward to it all weekend! Gray and I watched "The Guard" in the evening, it was quite slow.

0116 (Monday) Kids out of school for MLK day. Wendy was in town (she and Janika had come up looking for a prom dress) so I met her and Mom for breakfast at OutpostCafe. It was snowing quite a bit. I stopped at Savers on the way home, as they were having a 50% off sale. Did get a coat for Colton and a few long sleeve exercise shirts for me. Callahan got a call from Mason inviting him to join them for some basketball, so I drove him out there. Cooper had basketball practice at 4:00, I just sent him with Stephanie as I had to head out to Callahan's game. This was the best game of the tournament, with the kids working together well and making more of their shots. An easy win.

0117 (Tuesday) Back to the semi-routine, with the younger kids off-track. Cooper had a dentist appointment in the morning. I brought my book, but ended up browsing the magazines there. Callahan stayed after school for intramural basketball, I picked him up a 4:00 and grabbed Dominos for dinner on the way home. Keaton had his tickets to the Jazz game, so he and Gray headed out. I really wish I could have gotten more so at least Cooper could have gone. He and the other boys watched it on tv, Jazz won.

0118 (Wednesday) We didn't really have anything on deck today, and I do think the kids were a little bored. I did get my weights workout in. Carpools for high school ... I'm not picking up Callahan until 4:00 as he's staying after for intramural basketball. The older boys had scouts in the evening.

0119 (Thursday) I made plans to met up with DiFrancesco's at JumpN Bounce today. The kids had fun playing. Callahan had basketball practice in the evening and I went to volleyball. Again, there weren't many people showing, so we just played 1x2, 2x2 ... my arms were sore.

0120 (Friday) Landon and Callahan had the day off of school as well (end of quarter). I had a pretty productive morning. I made a big batch of ziti, set one aside for dinner tonight and froze three other pans. I got some dough going, rising for rolls and breadsticks. Did some laundry and even had the boys help defrost the little fridge (it was actually quite warm outside). We had a few friends over, then Littlewoods were going over to the church for some basketball and everyone but Keaton headed out ... and the house was quiet :) Keaton had practice at 6:00, Callahan at 8:00.

0121 (Saturday) Originally there had been some church ball games scheduled for the morning, but they had to be postponed due to a funeral... so I got up and got cinnamon rolls rising. Callahan and Colton both had games at 10:00. I took Callahan and Gray took Colton. Callahan had a game at 12:00 with Klint, then a game right after at 1:00 with CopperHills. We stayed until the end of the game and rushed right over. We thought we were only a minute or so late, but they must have started early, as there was just 10 minutes left in the half. We were bummed to have missed so much. Callahan didn't get a whole lot of playing time and only had two "lonely" points ... he was pretty funny as he moaned about his two points :) We went straight to Keaton's game (just missed a few minutes). Grandpa had brought him and dropped Landon off at CopperHills, as Gray was with Cooper at his game. Maga came and watched Cooper, then came out to see Keaton's game. I think all the boys won today. I've been enjoying the words game "Scramble with Friends" and had the boys help me install it on Gray's Ipad while he was gone playing racquetball this morning, thus forcing him to play it with me. He and I went out to an early dinner at Johnny Carinos. Gray was a love and went to pick up Landon from his shift, it was a cold and snowy day out! We watched "Contagion" in the evening.

0122 (Sunday) Even with 9:00 church, there is a little sleep in, although I didn't get a workout in before church. I did right after church, then made Sunday Circles. I got the sleepies after that. Early church leaves the afternoon open for a nap. Gray wanted to watch "Margin Call" but I missed some of it as I fell asleep. Around 5:00 we headed out to Clay's house for a belated birthday bash.

0123 (Monday) Second week off-track. Today Colton had a dentist appointment. He had a little work done once before and did ok, so I was hoping he would behave. Rella didn't cooperate for her appointment a few weeks ago which had Alicia quite frustrated. I remember we had to have Keaton sedated. Anyway, he did just fine and commented "the dentist wasn't that bad" ... I got some reading in. I always take my book but then end up looking through the People and Time magazines. We were out pretty quick, just over 30 minutes. The appointment was right smack in the middle of the day, so I hadn't planned anything else, and the boys did seem a little bored. Better once Jacob came over (around 1:30). I picked Callahan up at 3:00 (no basketball today) but didn't pick up Landon until after, as he stayed after to try and switch his schedule a bit. Unfortunately they were having computer problems and he'll have to stay after tomorrow again. Cooper had basketball practice, which he was complaining about, but then he decided to go. I had him catch a ride with Stephanie. They stopped at Arctic Circle on the way home. We did leftovers for dinner, then played UNO, then I made homemade oreos for FHE treat.

0124 (Tuesday) L and C got off to school. I made a run to Walmart then met up the the DF family at Jump for a couple of hours. Landon was staying after school again to try (unsuccessfully) to change a class. Then he managed to get a ride home, which saved me a trip out. Yea! I picked up Callahan at 4:00. Cooper had scouts, he had been quite concerned about it earlier, but was fine when the time came ... seems to be a pattern with him. Gray had a derby, Keaton went with him to help. There was a basketball game at the school that Landon wanted to go watch, so I did drop him and Spencer off, and Spencer's family covered the ride back home. I stopped at LittleCaesers for some breads on the way home. SO sad our Blockbuster right there is closing, it's been so convenient! Not sure if we'll continue on with the month pass if the store isn't there. Might have to try Redbox. Callahan had basketball practice in the evening and got a ride with Cole.

0125 (Wednesday) I always have a little trouble getting UP and at it in the mornings. If I want to get a quick jumpstart workout in, I really need to be in the gym by 7:00, 7:10 puts me right at 7:30 when it is time to take Callahan to school. Today I stopped and played a couple games of "Scramble" and then I was too late for 20 minutes, I did 10 and Callahan was still after me for being late. We'd made plans to meet up with the DF Fam at NickelMania today, but it didn't open until 1:00. It was hard for the boys to wait. I had hoped to get a weight workout in, but I got distracted with the blog. I did a couple posts, and then took all the journal entries (in one big blurb) and divided them into months and inserted them chronologically. I also scanned all the team pictures from Junior Jazz we just got, and all my calendar pages from 2011. Still lots of updating on the blog to do, but also got a chunk done. Went to NickelMania and the kids had fun playing the games and trying to win tickets. I had to duck out early to go pick up Landon from school. Kiana dropped off my kids just just as we returned home. Callahan had Intramural basketball again, so I didn't head out to get him until 4:00. At home, a little friend (Jeffery) had come over ... Landon had said it was ok (even though I wasn't home ... and Colton wasn't even home) ... so we had to call Colton home, and additional friends came. I wasn't dealing with the chaos well today, just run down I guess. Happy when 6:00 hit and friends went home. Made toasted cheese for dinner and then Gray and the older boys went to scouts. Cooper watched some of the Jazz game but then went to bed early. The game ended up going into double overtime, but ended a loss. Landon wasn't home yet (the priests had been playing ping pong at Maxfields) but I was too tired to wait up and fell asleep. I woke up after 11:00 and went to double check on Landon and he wasn't home! Heart pounding! I know he was only five minutes away, with his church group ... nothing could have really happened, could it? And yet, I couldn't believe he was still out. I checked email and texts and there were no messages. I woke up Gray, who wasn't really worried, said he was sure the boys were still playing (at 11:30 on a school night???) and that Cody (our neighbor) would bring him home ... I checked and Cody's truck was home (indicating HE was home). Gray finally got up and dressed and went out looking and came home with Landon. He had been at the church playing basketball with the men. I thought the church shut down around 10:00 ... but glad everything was ok, although it took a while to calm down and get back to sleep. There ARE these things called cell phones ... I need to make sure Landon keeps his with him if there is ANY chance of him being somewhere I'm not aware of.

0126 (Thursday) My hair has grown out some so I had the notorious roots showing. I'd been wanting to get in for a touch-up for a while but it's hard with kindergarten coming home midday. I figured I could leave Keaton tending when the kids were off track, and Thursday is "women's day" at Fantastic Sam's (20% off) so today was the day. I went out early, but they were a little backed up. I said I'd come back in 45 minutes and made a quick trip to Smiths for groceries. Back for my hair ... I hate sitting so long, but am glad it's done. Got a little trim too. Picked up high school carpool, then it was the last day for intramural basketball for Callahan. Gave three friends a ride home today and brought Brandon home to hang out until basketball practice in the evening. Landon had come home and fallen asleep (that late night DID affect him) and Gray was home early to leave for a derby. Keaton went to help again. I dropped Callahan and Brandon off at practice, stopped at the library, and then stopped at Smiths, as I had forgotten a couple things in the trip this morning. I should have headed over to volleyball, but I was tired and there just haven't been enough people showing up to play. Finished up some basketball videos, got in another workout, picked up Callahan and time for bed (although the older boys were up late watching an NBA game).

0127 (Friday) Slept in a little (at least stayed in bed) ... Dropped Callahan at school and then stopped at the bank and Target. Then we met up with the DF Family at JumpN Bounce. The kids played for a few hours, we got home just in time for me to go get Landon, then Callahan. Keaton had practice at 6:00, back at 8:00 to pick him up/drop of Callahan, then back at 9:00 to pick Callahan up. I was tired and ready for bed.

0128 (Saturday) I'd set my alarm and good thing, because I was still out cold when it went off. Dropped Landon off at West Hills for his shift starting at 8:00. Colton had a game at 9:00. I made arrangements for Callahan to get a ride to his 10:00 game, and then the two little boys and I went straight after Colton's game to watch it. Callahan had another game at noon. It was pretty tight the time, tied going into the final seconds. The other team got off a buzzer beater for the win. Callahan took it really hard as he'd had a bad pass in the final moments, he blamed himself. :( Both Cooper and Keaton had games at 2:00. Gray went to watch Keaton (and Landon ref) and Colton, Callahan and I went to Cooper's game. Callahan was hoping Mason would show (which he did) and he ended up going home with their family. Mason had a church ball game and they were short players, so Callahan ended up playing. He stayed and watched the men play too (Mason's dad, Nate's dad, and Coach Brian). At home, Gray went to the Jazz game (with a work group) and the rest of us watched it on tv. Jazz won.

0129 (Sunday) Got up early enough to get in a workout before church. I'd put croissants out rising last night for a quick breakfast. There was a combined meeting the last hour, but I stayed and played the piano in primary. Both Colton and Cooper gave talks. Made Sunday Circles after church, then Sunday nap ... the early schedule is conducive to an afternoon nap. Then Gray and I watched a movie (Ides of March) and overdosed on popcorn. I had eaten so bad today, I wasn't up for making homemade oreos, much to the kids dismay.

0130 (Monday) Last off-track week for the Columbia kids. Got in my morning workout, Callahan to school and a quick trip to Maceys. They had cake mix on sale, which I needed to restock on as we'd been making homemade oreos so much. Ran into Kiana and Mara there, and we met up with them just a little later at Jump. We have been getting our money's worth with this month pass! It's nice that Cooper has been more cooperative (he likes that word btw, because it starts with "cooper"). Home just in time to turn around and head out for carpools. Then it was Cooper's basketball party/practice. Callahan and Keaton came too and got some shooting in, having fun with Oa's older brother who was also there. Callahan didn't have practice in the evening. I made homemade oreos with the new cake mix (I can tell a slight difference between the name brand and the store brand).

0131 (Tuesday) Last day of January! We had invited the DF Family over for breakfast, and it was a lot of fun. French toast and chocolate milk, and then the kids played while the mom's chatted. An order from Amazon came, which had a new game "Spot It" which we played and liked a lot. I made a batch of gingersnaps (I've been meaning to make them forever!) and gave a few plates away. Grayson had a derby, and Callahan went with him as he didn't have practice tonight.


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