Friday, December 28, 2012

3 Dozen Derbies

If you have a boy in Cub Scouts, chances are pretty good you'll be participating in a Pinewood Derby at some point. Grayson has FIVE boys, with the perfect age spread, so that he doesn't NOT have a boy in cub scouts for 16-17 years!  But apparently, that didn't seem like enough. Grayson has his own derby track set-up, and this past year, he ran THREE DOZEN DERBIES! That's right, 36 ... four more than last year.  The boys enjoy going and helping ... at least they enjoy getting PAID for helping. With Landon driving, maybe he can start taking over some of these derbies, while it's a fun hobby and service for Grayson, it could actually be a money maker for a 17-year old!

Blackham Run Derbies in 2012

Jan 24, 26, 31
Feb 23, 28
March 1, 14, 20, 22, 27
April 5, 17, 19, 21, 24, 25, 26
May 1, 3, 17, 23, 24, 29
June 5
August 14, 21
Sept 15, 18, 25, 27
Oct 4, 18, 23
Nov 9, 13, 15

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's Christmas!

Christmas is here! I'll admit to not really being in a Christmas mood this year... We came home from our Disney vacation after Thanksgiving, and I did manage to pull down the fall decor and put up some Christmas decorations outside.  I didn't really get to anything inside, and Keaton finally took over and put up the stockings, ice skating rink, santa head filled with M&M's (the traditional Blackham decor). We didn't get up as much as we usually do, inside or out, but enough (if the Santa head is out and filled, the kids will be pretty happy). Gray did put up the tree, Colton hung decorations where he could reach ... (so the bottom half of the tree). Landon and Callahan did move some further up ... but again, the tree was pretty pitifully decorated compared to previous years. 

Colton came down with the flu in the weeks before Christmas (Grayson wasn't feeling well either, and a couple others had a touch of the sniffles but nothing too bad). Colton was home for an entire week, and that kept me home as well. Luckily I had Amazon, and I did most of our Christmas shopping online. I didn't get around to wrapping any presents until just a couple days before Christmas ... I think the kids were getting worried. 

Gray took the boys out the Saturday before Christmas ... and unbeknownst to me, had them fitted for suits.  So that was a surprise Christmas morning! Instead of the usual jammies, all the boys were looking SO sharp! Maybe we should make dressing up a Christmas tradition. They wore the suits to Maga's house to surprise her too, then the younger ones changed (Landon and Callahan actually stayed in them most of the day). 

We did the traditional unwrapping Christmas at home in the morning ... I had put out Landon's Buzz jacket we bought for him at Disneyland  (as he had said then "This is ALL I want") with his gifts ... he had a few other things (he and Callahan got the complete series of "Friends" on DVD). Callahan got some Nike shirts and socks. Keaton also got some socks and a some shirts, and a remote control car. Cooper and Colton got a new basketball and some legos (or legoish things ... Mario Knex and PowerRangers) and a Nerf gun blaster. They all got a laser pointer, Itunes credit, and a cotton candy maker (which we have yet to try out). And of course the suits! Gray also got a nice remote control car which the boys loved, until Grayson broke it (reminiscent of last year and an expensive remote control helicopter that didn't make it past Christmas day). 

Preceding Christmas, we had gatherings at both Grandma's houses ... well, on the Westra side, it was actually at Scott and Amy's this year, as my mom had back surgery recently and hosting would have been a little too much for her. I had left a little too much to the last minute, so I spent Christmas Eve scrambling to finish the family video (see it HERE) and making chicken noodle soup and breadsticks ... between that, and the weather (someone must have been singing "Let it Snow" on Christmas Eve!) we were running quite late to the Westra bash. They did wait for us (and our soup and breadsticks) and we ate dinner, played the candy bar game, watched the slideshow and exchanged gifts.

The night before (the kids were calling it Christmas Adam, the day before Christmas EVE) was when we went to Maga's for dinner and a nativity. There was a knock on the door, and it was Santa and his wife! They had presents for all the grandkids, and even KNEW some of their naughty and nice habits. They all got gifts and it was a very fun night.

Rather than overload the blog with all the pictures, I created an album and posted it HERE. We didn't get as many pictures as we should have this holiday season, but I did get quite a few. I finally got into the Christmas spirit a bit too ...

In addition to Santa coming, the TOOTH FAIRY also needed to pay a visit, as Cooper had lost a tooth on Christmas Eve. I wonder if Santa and the Tooth Fairy ran into each other while they were out and about!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Columbia Christmas Program

Every year in December, the school puts on it's annual holiday program. Usually the boys wear a cute Santa or Elf hat, or at least wear red or green, but not this year. Colton had been sick for several days before hand, so he's lucky he knew the songs as well as he did. All the first graders had pictures to hold up during one of their songs, but Colton didn't, as they had been made during one of the days he missed.

Cooper was so funny with his little perma-smile pasted on his face. They teachers in the third grade classes must have really been stressing SMILING to the kids ... Cooper cooperated!

The 6th grade started the program off ... I was there, pretty near the front with my video camera in hand. Keaton said afterward "We must have been really bad, because you didn't even video us very long" ... I told him I just caught a few snippets of all the kids ... I just like a bit to capture on camera and remember which songs the kids sang and how they change from year to year.  Here's the little muvee ... the hour program, condensed into about two minutes (only featuring the 6th, 3rd and 1st grades, and only focusing on the Blackham boys and anyone standing right next to them).

Kindergarten finished the program. I should have kept the camera running for one little boy who was singing his heart out. Then he looked into the audience and shouted the proverbial "Hi Mom!" followed by a "Dad, take my picture!" It had everyone laughing.

Until next year ... at least for two of the Blackham Boys ...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Still Seven

Poor Colton, birthdays so near to Christmas often get lost in the shuffle. He has yet to have an official "party" (maybe I'll hold a "half" birthday party next summer) and this year, he was sick the entire week before his birthday. He missed another five days of school (on top of those missed from our Disney vacation). As he was struggling with fever, I told him I sure hoped he was feeling better by his birthday. He adamantly replied "even if I am still sick, I will STILL turn seven!"  Luckily, Colton was feeling better, enough to go to school and share a treat and participate in the Christmas sing-a-long. He even went to his friend Randon's house after school to play (and came home with some legos and a cute hat).

Maga came over and we sang to Colton and had some cake. While we were chatting, Colton put his jacket on over his jammies, put on his hat, got a blanket, and fell asleep on the couch. While he is feeling better, I think he's not 100% yet. Poor kid, completely worn out on his birthday!

Happy birthday little buddy. We sure do love you and all you bring to our family. As usual, I updated the Colton Photo Album on Facebook, so you can take a picture-walk down memory lane ...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oil Light

So Landon called as I was dropping Callahan off to school ... his car wouldn't go.  I found out the oil light had been on for a couple of weeks. He says he mentioned to to Grayson, but Gray doesn't remember such a conversation. Anyway, CC (Cute Corolla from Clay and Courtney) is no more.  What kills me is that Landon is a big fan of the tv series Home Improvement, and he has seen this episode (here) ... go to 2:30, that is the interesting part!  It had been SO nice for Landon to have his own car to get to/from school, pick up his brother, get to work ...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Brushes with Fame

Several weeks ago, our ward had a special fireside. The speaker was Branden Campbell and his wife. He is the bass player for Neon Trees ("Everybody Talks" "Animal" ...).  Here's Landon and his buddy Jake with Branden.

Callahan needed to read a book for school in one of the following genres: sci-fi, survivalist, teen issues. I had just read a book called "Night of the Purple Moon" which was all three of those topics rolled into one, so I recommended  that to him (I only had it in digital format, so I had to get permission from his teacher for Callahan to read it on an electronic device). I posted a review on our family GoodReads account (here) and was contacted by the author to see if Callahan would be willing to do a little interview which the author then put on his blog (here). Scott Cramer (the author) then sent Callahan an autographed copy. 

Keaton had finished playing in his basketball game when we noticed a VERY TALL man standing in the corner (it was at CopperHills, with multiple games going on that day).  After some whispers, one of the moms went and got an autograph. It was Thurl Bailey. He graciously gave some autographs and took a picture with one of the kids on the team and wished one of our players a happy birthday after he heard the team sing to him. I didn't have my camera on hand, or I would have grabbed a picture with he and Keaton too.

I wonder who Cooper and Colton are going to come into contact with next?

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Cheesy Project

Callahan had to do a science fair project for school.  Yea ... as I pulled out the cheese and had to cut off some moldy sections, I suggested maybe he could research what we should do to try and prevent the mold, as it's a pretty consistent problem at our house (we like cheese, but we usually don't go through the big 5 pound block that quickly.)

He (we) researched the topic and found that it's mostly air, and contamination (germs from hands, the knife,  cutting surface) that add to more mold growing on cheese. We cut up four cubes and packaged them in various ways and then left them in the fridge for several weeks. Wrapping the cheese chunk tighly in saran wrap did seem to provide the best results. We hadn't done this with our own cheese (we'd just been keeping it in a basic bag, the similar sample was the most moldy) ... but now we do.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cute Cousin

During our trip to California, my boys got to spend a lot of time with their little cousins (Ana's boys). Amare is not quite 18 months, but at that darling age that just draws people in. It was so fun to watch my big boys with him, Keaton playing peek-a-boo, Callahan carrying him on his shoulders, Landon singing "Popcorn Popping" ...

Callahan video taped just one of the many giggle sessions with this little guy ... I bet you can't watch it and NOT smile!

... and here he is again using Uncle Gray's head as a drum during the Disney parade ...

Cute little cousin! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ramada Recommendations and Candy Cane Comparisons

Cooper and Colton and Crushed Ice is Nice
We don't travel a lot, but it seems whenever we need to stay in St. George, we always go to the Ramada right there by the factory stores. So as we embarked on our trip to California, we stopped in St. George to help break up the drive. I'm not sure why the kids LOVE the Ramada so much, but they rave about it. Cooper and Colton loved the ice (it was the small, crunchy ice), and we enjoy the breakfast they offer.  It's nice to have the little fridge and microwave, and of course wifi. I wasn't super impressed with Ramada's wifi, it logged you out every five minutes and you had to sign back in, which was a pain. And of course the kids LOVE the pool and hot tub.

Enjoying the pool at the Ramada - We hit it to and from California

On our trip to Disneyland a few years ago, we stayed at the Portofino. Callahan was pretty adamant that he wanted to stay there again. It had been nice, but our rooms were several stories up (Cooper HAD to overcome his fear of elevators during our stay, it was just too many flights to try the stairs every time) and there was no complementary breakfast (which is an extreme disadvantage close to Disneyland, as all the eating establishments nearby seem very overpriced! ) This trip, Grayson  wanted to try the Candy Cane Inn, which he'd heard good things about.

We were on the ground floor, with parking right in front of the room (which is convenient) and were also able to have adjoining rooms (which is nice, as we needed two rooms just for our immediate family). The beds were quite a bit softer than the Ramada (which Gray liked), and again, we had the complimentary breakfast (no Belgian waffles and bacon/eggs like the Ramada, but they had some yummy muffins). Although it wasn't super warm outside, the boys again hit the pool and hot tub. The wifi was easier to stay signed in on ... the ice wasn't as nice (bigger chunks) though.

But there's no place like home *Ü*

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Doing Disney

Buzz and the Blackham Boys

Maga loves Micky ... she wanted to spring for tickets to Disneyland for the boys this Christmas. So right after Thanksgiving, our family, Ana's family, and Pam and Olivia headed to California for a few days. While we were there, we even met up with my brother Shane and his family, who happened to be hitting the park that same week!

We hit the shops (the Lego store is always fun, and Landon drooled over a Buzz Lightyear jacket that we did buy eventually.)

Space Mountain

Tower of Terror

Space Mountain was probably the ride we went on the most, although Grayson sat it out.  Other favorites were Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror (Cooper sat that one out), Splash Mountain (even though it was too cold to be wet) and we did manage to make it onto the new Cars ride - although I don't think I can say it is worth the wait. Grayson stood in the FastPass line one morning to get us all tickets, otherwise that line was well over an hour long!

As I have five BOYS, the Disney Princesses weren't really on the list of characters the boys wanted to see, but they were pretty happy to catch the little show by Phinneas and Ferb. Here's Phinneas giving Colton and Cooper five ...

 We found Wreck it Ralph
and Cooper connected with a couple other characters
(Flick and Stitch, photos below)

It was good for Grayson to get away from work for a week, and the boys really enjoyed hanging out with their little cousins! Thanks Maga for the memories. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fall Basketball

A while back I posted that both Callahan and Keaton had made the prep teams for Copper Hills High School basketball. Callahan was also already signed up for a league with his Nitrous team (which his been playing on for a couple of years), so as schedules came out, Wednesday nights became pretty crazy. Callahan would have two games, and Keaton one, all over the Salt Lake Valley, all within the evening hours. Multiple practices each week and games on Saturday as well. Busy basketball season ahead!

Of course ... then Callahan broke his foot. That DID simplify my life a bit. He still went to practices and games to continue to learn the plays and support his team, but as he wasn't actually playing, I just had him hitch a ride to games with teammates. I concentrated on Keaton, in his first competitive experience. He (and the team) have done really well. They played in the Wednesday night superleague, and the Saturday Dimple Dell league. They lost one game in each league, and won the rest. I did my thing (making videos of the game highlights) and updated our basketball blog with Keaton's Fall Season, if you wanted to check out the team in action. Keaton has really enjoyed the team and made a bunch of new basketball buddies.

Winter season coming up ... we really hope Callahan will get the ok to play at least part of the season (it' is healing, but SO slowly). His team is playing in the SL Superleague and the Utah County Bantam League  Keaton's team will do the SL Superleague and the AAU High School Prep League.  

As for the other boys ... Landon will be reffing Junior Jazz again, and Colton will be playing (1st grade). Cooper was adamant that he did NOT want to play this year, so I didn't sign him up (he did SO good last year, I'm really going to be sad not seeing him in action other than the hoop in the family room ... but it is plenty busy with what we already have going, so ... I guess it's all good).

Blackham basketball ... it's what we do ...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Making the Grade

With the end of November, comes the end of the first term in school. I had SEOPs (Student Educational Occupation Plan) for both Landon and Callahan. This consists of going to the school and meeting with the counselor and going over classes needed for graduation, the kids interests and aptitudes, etc. I got rave reviews for both boys, and both boys brought home a report card with a 4.0 (Callahan has a cumulative 4.0 as well, but this was Landon's first, and he was pretty excited to achieve it. I didn't even manage to pull a 4.0 until my senior year ... always had one pesky A- to ruin it!) VERY proud of my boys.

The little ones finished up their term as well. Colton, Cooper and Keaton all did wonderful as usual, although I didn't get to hear it directly from the teachers, as we went out of town for our Disneyland vacation during the scheduled Parent/Teacher Conferences. We also missed the Honor Roll Assembly, where the boys were not present (ironically) to also receive their outstanding attendance award.

This next quarter may be a little difficult, as the boys missed FIVE days of school for our vacation and will have some catching up to do.

So question ... do you pay your kids for good grades? 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...