Monday, April 30, 2012

April Odds and Ends

Looking through pictures taken in April, I found several that while not deserving of their own individual blog post, still should be shared to show the day to day goings on in the Blackham household ... I think I'll try to make this a monthly post (I did it last month, so I've already started the tradition).  In the picture above, Keaton and Colton pose with their creation made with Magformers. These were a gift from Maga some years ago and the boys still love them. I actually looked them up, thinking I might add to their collection ... YIKES, they are pricey! I guess we'll just stick with what we have!

 I noticed Colton had a slight red mark on his cheek, and he kept rubbing it. I asked him what had happened and he wasn't sure. As we backtracked, we figured out that one of his brothers had pulled him across the floor and it was a carpet burn! The next day (the picture above) it had scabbed over, which made it look much worse. It only lasted a couple of days though, then it fell off and Colton's cute cheek was back. 

My boys DO have beds ... I'm not sure why they keep falling asleep on the couch. While I suppose it is a fairly comfortable couch, this looks a little crowded. Callahan is in the "favorite" spot, and the boys have taken to calling "spotsies" as they get up for a moment, thus saving their spot. Grayson likes to suddenly call out "erase all spotsies" and the boys made a mad dash to get to a favorite spot ...

Several months ago, our backyard neighbor trimmed his tree. As he did, several large branches fell into our yard. He just left them there. As the weather improved and the green waste truck started coming again, I sent the boys out to chop up the branches. It filled the entire can.

There was a lot of nice weather in April ... but one day we got hit with a hail storm. The little boys (and Bradley) went out to catch some of the little "snow balls" ...

During our off-track outings, I'd take a bag filled with treats. At one point I emptied everything out and Cooper decided to spell out his name with mini fruit rolls ...

... there's the odds and ends from April ...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Off-Track Time

Spring Break ... and that transitioned into off-track time for the Columbia Kids. The last day of Spring Break, before the older kids had to go back to school, we went to Jump N Bounce and redeemed our family pass that I'd bought on Groupon a while back. $25 for unlimited jumping for a family of four for a whole month (regular price is $50, which is still decent if you use it a lot). Can't beat that deal! We always take friends with us because bouncing with buddies is just SO much more fun than bouncing alone. The first trip, we took Bailey, Jacob and Jaxon, and were happy to have Callahan along too. The boys brought a big ball and played tag with it.

We hit JUMP eight more times while the kids were off track. Almost all of those times, we went with the DiFran Fam. Tony, Marc and Mara ... the same age as Keaton, Cooper and Colton.  We brought other friends too (Reagan and Hailey in the picture above) ... I forgot to snap a picture on the visits that Sadie, Randon and Chad came along. Jacob and Jaxon bounced with us multiple times too.

One day we got there right as it was opening up, before everything inflated ... it sure looks different with all the bouncy houses down! It was fun watching them fill with air and slowly rise to full height.

We also spent a fun day at the park (photo above), and a day just hanging at the house (both with the DiFran Family) ... the kids pulled out the small swimming pool and sprinklers as it was a warm, sunny day (I can't believe I didn't go out and get some pictures!).  One of the days the DiFran family was busy, we went to Jungle Jims with the cousins.

I remember once upon a time when the kids were simply content to be off-track. They would play and hang out at home without complaining (well, Callahan would complain of being bored, but Keaton and Cooper are homebodies, and they never did, the two hours of bowling twice a week was enough to keep them busy) ... but they do now. They've gotten spoiled and used to being entertained! "Where are we going today??" is the new off-track question. We didn't hit Fun N Motion or Nicklemania like last off-track time ... Fun N Motion closed down ... SO sad about that! And I think Nicklemania changed their hours, and didn't open until 1:00, which doesn't give the boys much time to play as I have to leave to pick up Landon at 2:30.  I had a bowling Groupon, but we didn't get around to using that either ... 

I wonder if we'll make it back to JUMP before our month pass expires ...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


So a new game has hit the Ipods ... DrawSomething. The older boys were the first to try it. They still play some, but it is COOPER who has become quite addicted. After watching his brothers play, he really wanted to play it himself. I went ahead and got him set up, and he's been happily drawing something multiple times a day. He doesn't want to play anyone he doesn't know, and there aren't too many people who want to play with an 8-year old, but he does have a few friends (and a few of mommy and Landon's friends) who are being good sports about his attempts. Grandma Westra went in for knee replacement surgery mid-April and to help keep her busy during her recovery, my brother Derek loaned Mom his Ipad. So now Mom is playing DrawSomething too (and Scramble ... I haven't succumbed to DrawSomething yet, but I do still enjoy Scramble).  Playing games with Grandma takes on new meaning in this digital age! Both Cooper and my mom were calling the game "DrawSome" ... as I guess there isn't room for the full title to show. As I corrected Cooper, telling him it was "DrawSomeTHING" not just "DrawSome" ... he replied "No, it's DrawSome ...rhymes with Awesome!"

Here are some of Cooper's drawings ...

While online, I found this link to some AWESOME drawsome sketches ... (here) ...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Grandpa Gordy

It's been 20 years since Gray's dad passed away ...
Looking through some old photos, 
I found this scrapbook page I made for a family album.

We made our annual trek to the cemetery to visit and snap a family photo ... Grandpa Gordy's silly streak is certainly inherited (see the second photo!)  Ana posted some pictures on her blog that illustrate this too! *Ü*

... we're missing some family for the photos

Maga and Ana had quite a morning of memories
(laughter and tears)
and Gray spent a good hour on the phone 
reminiscing with Kolby.

Five Blackham Boys, 
head to tummy

... I remembered I got some great shots of Landon in the long grass last year (post here), and remembered taking some cute pictures from several years ago (post here). Boy, the kids grow up fast!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Another Derby Down

The Jordan Oaks 1st Ward Pinewood Derby was last night. This was Cooper's first official derby. Cooper did get into the car making, anxious for Daddy to get home from work so they could cut and sand and paint. Grayson actually hosted a couple derby workshops for all the boys who would be competing, but he was usually so busy helping everyone else during those times, that Cooper waited until he had his dad all to himself.

Here's Cooper with his completed car.
He's a Jazz fan!

The night before the derby, Cooper had a little meltdown. He said he didn't want to go to the derby, that it just takes too long. He didn't put up too much resistance the next night when it was time to go, and after his first race ... he was COMPLETELY into it. I'm sure the fact that he was winning every race didn't hurt.

Of course I put together a little Muvee 
with the pictures and video from the race ...

Congrats Cooper!

Just so you know ... Grayson really does NOT like having his son be an uncontested winner at our own derby *Ü* He said they really didn't put much work into the wheels ... sometimes a fast car is a fluke!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's Raining, It's Pouring

... April Showers ... while I actually don't mind the rain (Cooper is doing MUCH better with his weather worries by the way *Ü*), we have a clogged raingutter, and that has been causing us some problems. It's right outside the master bedroom window, right above a window well. As the water collects from all over the roof, rather than going into the downspout and being funneled away from the house ... it overflows right outside the window. It creates a VERY noisy pitter patter as it hits the window sill, but that isn't the worst problem. The water falls into/or right to the side of the window well. Last fall during a particularly bad rainstorm, Landon checked and sure enough, it was filling up and flooding the basement. I had to jump into the window well and start bailing! I really didn't want to do that again, so as the rain started up, I had Landon place a few buckets in strategic positions (one in the window well, a couple to the side) and I kept an eye on them, and had to empty them several times before the rain finally subsided. The next Saturday, Gray got the ladder, pulled the raingutter apart and cleared the debris. So now ... let it rain. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

So Sorry

It was a few weeks ago, when Callahan and friends were bored ... I suggested they go pull out a board game, and they did. They played a rousing game of "Sorry" and introduced it to Colton, who hadn't really played it before. Colton LOVED Sorry! Since then ...

... he played it with Jacob and Bradley ...

and Jaxon

... and when Landon's friend Maddie came over
he even got her to play with him.

Sometimes I catch him playing it all alone ...
Just taking turns as each color.

 of course, 
there have been multiple games
with the Blackham Bunch

Colton doesn't look SORRY ...
He looks HAPPY!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Off to the Jungle

A few years ago, the two little boys had been invited to a birthday party at Jungle Jim's in Midvale. It was a fun little place and I thought we'd go back, but we never did. Then, one of the "deal" sites offered a coupon, so I bought one (five passes) and invited the cousins to join us ... Addie was off for Spring Break, and the Blackham Boys were off-track. Keaton was a bit big (he could barely squish into a couple of the rides) but he was a really good sport and helped out with the little ones.

There were several rides ... swings, merry-go-round, jeeps, rockets that would go up and down. But the favorite was the bumper cars. The boys went on them several times. After we left (I had to drop the boys home and head out to the high school to pick up Landon) Will tried his hand at the bumper cars and simply went round and round and round (and round!). Courtney got a video, it was so funny. She said he could barely walk afterward. I made my own muvee, with the pictures and video I took ...

... and just in case you missed it (in the video) ... 
Courtney and I were laughing SO hard at Will's face during this ride!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


 Spring has sprung, and with it ... bugs! 
Cooper and Colton were very excited 
to show me their potato bug collection. 

Keaton thought this firebug was cool looking ...
Looked a little like a ladybug with the spots.
We get LOTS of these bugs on the wall in the backyard.

We took a trip up to Maga's house ... Legacy Highway is known for it's bugs. The trip there was pretty uneventful, but on the way home, a LOT of bugs hit our windshield. Luckily, a few days later we had a heavy rain that washed the car clean.  But Grayson drives Legacy every day to work ... so the bugs better watch out!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mmmmmm .... Chocolate Chip Cookies! I have to admit, we don't make chocolate chip cookies from scratch much any more, because Otis Spunkmeyer provides such yummy, easy dough (Costco carries the boxes). But sometimes, when we need a LOT of cookies and want to save a little dough (both literally and figuratively) then we do pull out the cookbook and bake up a big batch.  Here's our family favorite that I picked up from my friend Misty back when I was in Jr. High ... we almost always double this recipe too ...

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Butter
2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Beaten Eggs
1 TBSP Vanilla
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
5 Cup Flour
Chocolate Chips

Cream Butter, Shortening, and sugars. Beat eggs, add to mixture with vanilla.  Sift dry ingredients together, add to mixture. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Landon has actually been the main chocolate chip cookie maker lately. He wants to take a bunch to his friends, and I tell him he is welcome to, as long as he does the work himself ... and shares a few with the family.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An EGGcellent Easter

It's Easter ... eggs, eggs and more eggs. We didn't actually dye eggs at our house this year. The Sunday before Easter (Conference Weekend) we went up to Maga's and she had hard boiled a ton of eggs for the kids to color. I was more than happy not have the mess myself. Colton really liked his eggs and was sad when I actually USED some of them to make a sandwich for Daddy's lunch.

Another BIG egg job is trying to match up all the plastic egg ends ... after the big family hunt, all the eggs are emptied and given back to the Blackham Bunch to fill for next year. Landon actually raided the egg stash and used about 100 of them to ask his date to prom... but we still had plenty (although I did buy more just in case). Some of the eggs are connected, but most are not and it's quite the challenge to find a bottom and a top that go together and "click" ... luckily the boys were big helpers both with matching, and filling the eggs. 

I did quite a bit of Easter Eats this year ... I'd seen SO many cute ideas on Pinterest and this was the perfect opportunity to try a lot of them and then share the sweets (as there is enough candy and goodies around anyway).  I made homemade oreos with white cake mix and food coloring ... they turned out cute! I made cake-batter rice krispie treats with pastel sprinkles, pretzel snaps with easter M&Ms, and some candied popcorn. I should have taken a picture of everything, but I wrapped things up for transport to the party and then I forgot once I was there. I made some deviled eggs with the rest of the hard boiled stash and they were gone IMMEDIATELY ... I'll have to remember to make more next year.  I also made my meringue nests earlier in the week, mmmmmm, those are a family favorite!

The big kids hid the eggs all over Grandma and Grandpa's yard, and the little kids had a blast trying to find them all. My dad said he had just found one from LAST year a few days earlier. With the kids getting older and some families not able to make it (Wendy's and Chris' kids weren't there, Scott's oldest were missing, and Callahan and Keaton were still gone with the scouts) there weren't a lot of kids (big OR little) ...

Easter morning was pretty mellow. Some years, it looks more like Christmas than Easter ... this was NOT one of those years. The two little boys were pretty happy but I caught Keaton sulking a bit and had to add a few things (some gum and candy) to his basket to make him smile. With 9:00 church, the kids went ahead and got dressed first thing (Callahan was the last one up and hadn't gotten dressed yet) ...

In the afternoon, we went up to Maga's house. 
We started a new tradition last year... 
An Easter pinata! 
Like last year
I had the kids wear the broken pieces like hats after.

Hope you all had a Happy Hoppy Easter!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Campers

Spring Break weekend, there was no basketball practice or games, but there was a scout campout. Early Friday morning, Callahan and Keaton headed out with a couple leaders and several other boys to go to Topaz Mountain. Friday was cold ... it even snowed, but Saturday was much nicer.  They didn't get home until after 6:00 on Saturday, so unfortunately they missed the Westra Easter party.  Initially, Grayson had planned on going too,  but then remembered he had a pinewood derby workshop Saturday morning. 

Both boys said that they did have fun.  One activity at Topaz Mountain is looking for topaz (go figure)  ... Keaton found a pretty good sized piece. They also shot guns, found lizards and played games (Keaton came home and said we needed to get a bunch of dice to play a game called "Pirate" that they learned.)

One of the scout leaders usually takes and posts pictures, so hopefully I'll be able to update this with more photos.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Keaton at the Capitol

It was the field trip for the fifth graders ... 
going to the Utah State Capitol
Can you see Keaton?
He's pretty much right smack in the middle!

Maga works up at the Capitol, so we had given her the heads up and she was able to connect with Keaton and give him a little special treatment. Now all three boys have visited the Capitol recently.   Callahan went with his scout group and Maga was able to catch him, but alas, as mentioned in a previous post, she wasn't able to find Landon when he was there at prom... she tried!  She was able to see my niece Janika when her singing group came to perform there.

Keaton and Maga by the stairs

 Sitting at the desk in the formal Governor's office

In Maga's office ...
Yes ... that's a picture of Cooper's back on her computer ...

I'm glad they were able to connect at the Capitol!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fun with Randon

Colton has a little friend named Randon ... I've posted about him before (here and here). Whereas Colton is the youngest in the Blackham Bunch, Randon is the oldest in his family. I like to think maybe that is why Randon's family has so much more energy to do fun things, and luckily, they SO often invite Colton to come along. Pictures above and below are of Randon's pirate birthday party (Colton has yet to have a friend birthday party). 

ahhh ... scary pirates!

Colton loves to go to Randon's house. He has a trampoline ... a BIG TV room, a dog AND a puppy, and a really cute little brother too! Randon's grandma lives on a farm, and Colton has visited there frequently. Even simple things, like going to a carwash, are fun things he's done with Randon's family. 

In just the last couple months, Randon's family invited him to go with them to the Safe Kid's Fair at Southtowne. There was a ton of stuff to do. Colton was so happy to get a little bag and handouts at each of the booths. They got their hair painted and got to play on a Wii (we have a Wii, but I guess it's more fun away from home). When he came home, he said "this was the funnest day in my ENTIRE life" ... all six years. Of course a few days later, he went sledding with Randon and said THAT was the funnest day of his life.

Randon's family also invited Colton to go to Hollywood Connection with them. It was a lot of fun, with a small rollercoaster and bumper cars. Then, Colton was invited to go to the zoo! Randon's mom even took these cute Colton pictures!

A big thanks to Randon's family for including Colton in so much fun!
So much better than being stuck home with Mom!

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