Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Miscellaneous Memories - The End of 2013

I was looking through the folders of photos on my computer and came across several events I never got around to blogging back in 2013. I usually throw together a "catch all" post for these types of miscellaneous memories, and just hadn't gotten around to it. Better late than never! Right?

Maga bought Cooper and Colton a new set of scriptures.
They were quite into them!

Daddy and the boys went to a Jazz game!

The boys attended Uncle Clay's "Leg Lamp Lighting" party.
Have you seen "A Christmas Story"?

This was Colton's shoe after he came in from playing outside.
That has to hurt!
I'm always finding a bunch of rocks in his room.

Dough Boys
It says right on the package ... do NOT eat raw dough.
They eat it like ice cream. 
I'm not sure we ever actually baked any.

... and speaking of ice cream.
Kong Kones!

Maga had tickets to the Children's Museum.
Daddy took the boys up to meet cousins and Maga.
Fun photo memories!

I'll be backdating this post in a bit. 
Sticking it in 2013 where it belongs!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Not Just ME Making Movies

If you know me at all, you are aware that I like to take our home movies (of late, it's usually been sports stuff) and make them into "muvees" (that name referring to the software I use).

But I'm not the ONLY movie maker in the Blackham household anymore! Grayson recently decided to put his new "Go Pro" camera to use, with the RC car he got last Christmas, and then he made his own little movie (using i-movie).    Here it is ...

He had so much fun, 
he went and grabbed the video and photo files
 from his recent  Lake Powell trip 
and made another movie ...

My sister-in-law Alicia also got into the movie making ... 
check out her cute GINGERSNAP video here.

Do YOU make movies with your video files?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Blackham Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Blackhams! We gave our usual neighbor gift of wrapping paper and I thought the boys looked very festive as they went out to deliver the goods.

We actually had a countdown to Christmas this year ... I bought a couple of inexpensive advent calendars for the two little boys, and a Star Wars Lego one for Keaton. The boys enjoyed opening up on little door each day. 

The Sunday before Christmas, we had a gathering up at Maga's house with some old friends, the Rowe's. The Blackham clan used to meet with them every year, but it had been about 20 years since everyone had gotten together. It was a fun reunion. 

There was a re-creation of a whipped cream fight, which had happened some 20 years ago. Having the kids dress up and perform the nativity was another tradition brought back to the forefront. We ate soups,  played bingo and  "Candy Bar Game" (Gray was the $50 winner).

Christmas Eve was spent at Grandma's house (the Westra side). We had soups here too, and I made both my chicken noodle and the chicken and wild rice that is so popular on the Blackham side. I made my bread sticks too. We played the Westra version of the "Candy Bar Game", watched the annual slideshow, exchanged gifts and received our annual family calendar.

We actually slept in Christmas morning. I thought it was a rather slim Christmas (my being sick for an entire week just before didn't help with the shopping) but the boys seemed content with their gifts. Landon got some giftcards (Old Navy, Jiffylube and Itunes) and "Sand". Callahan ... he's a kid who is more than happy to get socks for Christmas! He also received NBA2K14 for the Xbox. Keaton also got some socks, some shirts and some Star Wars stuff. Cooper got a new basketball, a jersey and lots of Legos. Colton got a variety of toys and treats (his own pack of Golden Oreos).  I was pretty spoiled with quite a few gifts from Gray and the boys ... I failed miserably, not getting much of anything for Gray. He said the waverunners were his gift from me *Ü*

We had decorated the house (more text/pictures on that at It's That Time of Year) and picked up a new tree. The one we had for previous years had died. I love seeing the kids grab the ornaments that they made themselves over the years ... often graced with pictures of them when they were little. They are the favorites.

We headed up to Maga's house, where we were able to chat with Sister Blackham (Olivia) over skype and on the phone.  Grayson had picked up new nutcracker for Maga's collection ... Keaton was a little loathe to part with it. 

We'd had plenty of treats, 
but I had to try out my new snowflake disk I had received! 
Such cute cookies! Yummy too.

Hope you had a great Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Birthday for my Baby Boy

Colton is EIGHT years old (Dec20)! I can't believe it, he's my baby and he'll always be my baby.  It was the last day of school before the holiday break. They were having a small Christmas party, and Colton brought his favorite candy bar (Kit Kat) to share for his birthday treat. I picked up an Oreo Ice Cream Cake and we had that in the evening. Poor Colton, his birthday does tend to get a bit lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but he's such a good sport and never complains at all.

A look back at this baby boy ...
You can see these pictures full size, 
and the rest of the album (to present day) HERE
I love looking back as he's grown through the years.
Such a cute little boy.

Happy Birthday Colton!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Blackham Basketball Update

I'm a bit behind ... Blackham Basketball has been busy! The boys finished up their Fall seasons and are now moving onto Winter. I've been trying to keep up with games/videos on the Hoop Dreams blog, you can check it out for links to all the games info and highlight videos. Here's Callahan's final Fall game ...

So, what are the Blackham Boys doing in Basketball now?
  • Landon is NOT reffing this year (he said no way he was done!). Selfishly I'm ok with it, as this makes him available if I need him to run one of the boys to a game. With multiple games on Saturdays, we do have some scheduling conflicts!
  • Callahan, currently in 9th grade, tried out for the sophomore team at the high school and made it all the way to the final cut. I was ok with that ... high school ball will come soon enough. He's playing on the West Hills 9th grade team on both Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • Keaton is on the second 7th team. Fall season was a bit hard, with many close, clutch games the boys couldn't quite pull out. They've managed some wins here in Winter, but it's been a challenge. They are a tiny team (only six players, and small in stature too). One game I couldn't attend, Grayson texted me "the other team definitely has the height advantage" to which I texted back "pretty much ANY other team has the height advantage!".  
  • Cooper's team got beat in their final Fall game, disrupting their undefeated season. It was a tough game but they handled it well. He's now playing Junior Jazz with four of the kids from his Fall team and some new additions. They are playing in the more competitive "team" division, and it can be a challenge as only half the team is actually 4th graders. 
  • Colton is playing Junior Jazz too, with his buddies Randon and Garren. Their games are at Gene Fullmer, so Mommy has to decide whether to video the games, or jog the track ... I did get footage of one game so far. So this video is short and sweet. Hopefully I'll get some additional footage ... and get a little better focus too!

Friday, December 6, 2013

School Updates

School has been in session for a while now ... I think the switch to Terra Linda has been a really good move. I know it is for me! The dreaded "off-track" time came and went and our schedule stayed the same. I'm looking forward to the Christmas break (when the year-round schools don't have have as much down time). It's just been so nice to be able to keep our routine. The boys have adjusted and like their teachers and have many new friends. We had their Parent/Teacher conferences a bit ago and they both received rave reviews.

Cooper was recently nominated for a "Principal's Pride" award. 

I've been driving the kids to/from school every day. We do actually have a friend in the neighborhood who also transferred to Terra Linda and who was perfectly willing to help with carpool, but to help Cooper with the transition and to ease his anxieties (he hates to be late, or to wait) I told him I would take and pick up each day.  I bought the boys some "Terra Linda" t-shirts and a jacket for Cooper ... they are Terra Linda Tigers now!

We had conferences at the middle school too ... both boys are doing great in their classes and both received a 4.0 this first quarter, plus additional awards (Honor Roll, 7-Up club for perfect citizenship, perfect attendance). I drive them to school, and most days Landon picks them up on his way home.

Now I didn't get a school picture of Landon! We never seemed to get the picture information, and so he didn't have a form or money on the day they were taken. We need to get some "senior" portraits done too. Landon is taking early morning seminary, and filled his schedule with pretty tough classes. I can NOT believe he is going to graduate this year!

So that's a little update on the scholastic side :) 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bye Bye Blockbuster

Well ... it's over. The traditional "video" store where you walk in, browse the aisles and rent a title to take home. I can remember during my teen years, when we had to rent a VCR too, as we didn't own one yet. Even though we do love our streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, PlayOn) we DID still have a Blockbuster Online account. We paid a set monthly fee and could have three rentals out at a time. We could keep them as long as we wanted, no due dates, which came in handy for us. We also got two free rentals in store each month (DVD or video games). We could exchange through the mail or in store, and yes, there was still a store fairly close (although we had been sad when two closer stores had closed a couple years ago).   I kept debating cancelling, but it was so convenient and gave us a way to watch new releases not yet available on our streaming services, and the kids enjoyed playing video games they wanted to try, but not buy.

I guess we will now need to convert to Redbox ... and hope we can get used to due dates and returning things on time. I think we had "Lincoln" sitting on our nightstand for months ... I had to return it unwatched.

Bye Bye Blockbuster ...

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sand Dune Days

In our ward, there is an annual Fathers&Sons outing to the sand dunes. It is always a favorite activity. Steal the flag, sand "surfing" and football keep the boys busy. As well as a little fun around the fire. Poor Colton got soot on his hands ... and all over his face!  

We were happy we had our doctor's appointment to get his cast off the day before the camp out. Sand down a cast would not have been fun.  Grayson, Callahan, Keaton and Colton attended. Landon wanted to go to a football game at his high school and Cooper ... well, Cooper is my homebody. He did have a basketball game Saturday morning that he didn't want to miss.  It was a little cool, and they didn't have as steep a hill as in past years, but they still had fun. Here's a little "muvee" to catch them in action. Grayson was trying out his new "Go Pro" camera!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Goodbye Grandma

I have a lot of fond memories of Grandma and Grandpa Norman. It was hard to see them aging through the years. Grandpa passed away a few years ago (Goodbye Grandpa) and I think everyone was surprised that he preceded Grandma, as her health had seemed a little more tenuous. She hung on for a few more years and passed away peacefully October 24. She was 95.  The funeral today, and it was nice to hear all the stories and history and see all the family that gathered to say their goodbyes.

I remember Grandma's cooking ... her homemade rolls, handmade candies and of course the pies. She tried to pass on her pie making to my sister and me. She had us over for a lesson, but I don't think I mastered it at all.

I remember playing "fast-ies and strong-ies" with my siblings and cousins at family gatherings at their home. Gathering raspberries from the bushes and fruits from the trees in the backyard. Running around the sideyard, down the steep slope.  The BBQ, permanently placed at the back porch where they would roast hot dogs ... Grandma would call them "weiners" and we kids would giggle behind our hands.

I remember Grandma's glass coffee table and miniature crystal statues. The old sewing machine with the foot pedal. Trying to slip through the laundry shoot and grabbing the pole to swing as we raced down the stairs. The little metal boat and fishing trips to Strawberry Reservoir.  Playing Rummycube and other games. Blowing bubbles with spools.

One more recent memory ... we had stopped by the house to say hello. Grandma asked if we were hungry, but we said no. She then mentioned she had some donuts. We again declined. A couple minutes later she got out the donuts and presented them to Grayson to eat. He said "Thank you Grandma, that's just what I wanted".   Now if I ever press Gray on something that he's already said no to, he will call me "Zada" ...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Happenings

Ready for some costumed kids? I haven't purchased anything new for several years. I just have a few big boxes of old costumes and I told the kids to find something they wanted to wear. As in past years, the different celebrations got different costumes. First up with the church "Trunk or Treat" which WAS actually a trunk or treat (out of car trunks) this year. The Mario costume was quite snug on Colton, but he wanted to match Jacob's Luigi outfit. For the school celebration and parade, Cooper was a convict and Colton an NBA star (with a broken wrist). We actually got the cast off after school, so he didn't have to be a ninja with a cast that evening. Cooper was a dragon.  Keaton was Darth Vadar again, but he was off trick-or-treating with friends, so I didn't get a picture that night. 

Halloween day, I spent several hours over at the school. First observing the Halloween Parade. Being on D track, we'd never really been able to participate in this activity. Then I ran the party for Cooper's Class. We split up into groups and rotated through the game stations. Bone Bender, Cup Crash, Monster Toss, Memory, Pictureeka, Pass the Pumpkin and Make a Mummy. Donuts and Witch's brew were the refreshments (the kids were quite in awe of the smoke and bubbles coming from the cauldron ... just fruit punch and dry ice).  My t-shirt was as dressed up as I got. I put Grayson on supervising duty as the kids went out around the neighborhood. The ran from house to house until Colton was in need of a drink. While at one of the houses we knew well, the kids were able to get a drink of water. Colton told Daddy "That was the best house and the best treat!"  Back at home, I had Landon man the door and I took the night off. The kids got a lot of candy. Yum.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Aunt Livi's Leaving & a Final Haircut


Gray's sister Olivia is going on a mission. I'm not sure what we're going to do without our hairstylist for 18 months! I had some shaggy boys. Olivia said she would give them a final haircut before she left. Here's the "before" and "after" ...  Thanks Aunt Livi.

The farewell talk was October 13
The Family Farewell Party (and birthday celebration) was October 27
Olivia entered the MTC on October 30

Good Luck Sister Blackham!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I've Been Baking ...

I don't know what it is about Fall. The cooler temperatures just make me want to turn on the oven and whip up something sweet. And that's exactly what I've done. I been baking this past week .. Cookie Press Cookies are Keaton's favorite. I had to buy a complete new set a couple years ago JUST to get the cute pumpkin shape.

These are a staple ...
I pretty much make them every Sunday.

Banana Bread ... I like to keep bananas on hand for eating, but they so often start to go bad. Then I make banana bread and muffins.

Mmmmm ... these were yummy!
I set aside a little dough for scones too.

 Chocolate Chip Muffins
We'd been a fan of the boxed Betty Crocker mix.
I'd stocked up on blueberry muffin mix during a recent sale,
but my store didn't have any chocolate chip.
I made these babies from scratch.
The boys said they liked Betty's better.
Go figure!

A family favorite from my side.
#1 son actually made the dough by request from a friend.
He left a little for our family to enjoy too.

Carb overload I know ... it was all so yummy. NOT a good thing for me, on my weight loss journey (Jen's Journey). With all the baking this week, I needed to restock our sugar supply. I went downstairs and grabbed a 25 pound of sugar from the storage room and lugged it up the stairs. It was heavy!

But as I carried the bag of sugar up the stairs,
I was hit with a realization.
25 pounds is what I've lost so far.
I'm so glad I'd not lugging around an extra 25 pounds every single day.
I'd like to lose another big bag of sugar.
I probably should cut back on the baking.

I thought I'd link up with What I Ate Wednesday today.
Does the cooler weather inspire you to bake more?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Miscellaneous Memories

Like Father Like Son

As I've tried to update the blog, I found a few photos that hadn't ever made it onto their own individual blog post. So here's a little catch-up collection to get them in ... In the picture above, Colton came out and proudly announced "I look just like Daddy" and he did!

Gray and I went out on a date and tried to capture the moment with a photo. It took a few tries. That man makes me laugh.

Sorting Socks. As the odd ones come out of the dryer, I just put them in a drawer, and then every couple of months we'll go through and try to match things up. It isn't so much that the dryer eats the socks ... it's the Cooper takes them off all over the house and leaves them laying around.

Tag Trouble
Cooper does NOT like tags.
We moved some of the older boy's shirts into his closet, 
and I had to cut off all the tags.

 A Collection of Cousins
General Conference Sunday ... Addie was the only girl!

Red Ribbon Week ... Nerd Day. Landon fully took part. It was crazy hair day for the munchkins. We added a little color, which made baths that night a little interesting! The middle school is having theirs this week, although I'm not sure Callahan and Keaton will participate (where is their school spirit?!)

There's just a few of the random photos that have been happening at the Blackham home lately!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Lake Powell

 ... I am a little slow getting this post up. It actually happened over the UEA weekend. Gray really wanted to get the wave runners out for a final ride, but most of the reservoirs around here were too low. A work buddy was going to Lake Powell, and the government had just opened up the national parks again, so Gray and the the older boys decided to give it a try. Keaton was originally going to go too, but when Daddy said they were going to get fitted for wetsuits, that intimidated him right out of the trip.  Colton might have been interested, but it wouldn't have been very fun for him with his cast on. 

The weather was nice ... a little cool (the did want the wetsuits). They even had a boat and a houseboat. All three boys came home with some nice color, although Callahan peeled pretty quickly after.  Maybe next year we can make it a family affair.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Soccer Star

For the past several seasons, Colton has played soccer with his two buddies Randon and Bradley. But Bradley has now moved, and Randon was trying his hand at flag football. So we were on our own. We did end up having a little neighbor gal on the same team, and there were a few kids from Terra Linda as well (although Colton didn't know them before soccer season started). 

Ambree (our neighbor) was in California on picture day.
Silly Colton ... has to make a face!

As you might be aware ... Colton broke his wrist mid-season, so he missed a few games. The doctor did give the ok for him to play with the cast on, so he did take part in the final game.  I got three of the games on video and made a little muvee that definitely shows Colton in action! He's my little soccer star. I love to watch him play. If you have a couple of minutes, check out his highlights!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Herriman Homecoming

Landon's Senior Homecoming dance was a few weeks ago ... There had been several school's homecoming dances in September, and I saw many mom's posting about them on Facebook or on their blogs.  Landon recently got his pictures back, so now I have something to post.

I wasn't too involved in Landon's date ... I guess it's a little different with a son, than with a daughter (although some mom's got much more involved than I did, they had pictures the day of the dance!). There's no dress shopping, or pictures at the pickup. Landon left ... and then was home later that night.  I'm glad he at least shared the dance picture with me.

Even the asking he did all on his own. He bought a white shirt and wrote a bunch of boy's names on it with washable marker. HIS name he wrote with permanent ink (he did test this process before going through with it). Landon wrote a little poem about how his would be date would need to wash the shirt to find out who was asking her to the dance. 

He said it was a fun night ... it's hard to believe he's a SENIOR!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

No More Brace Face

Yea ... Callahan FINALLY got his braces off! He was sure counting down to the day (Oct 8). He did have them on longer than most kids. He got them on Feb 2010 (Hello Brace Face). It was a little early, we were trying to use up some flexible spending money that we would have otherwise lost. But for poor Callahan, it meant that he had braces on for over three years. If I had to do it again, I'd definitely wait until he was ready for sure (as it was, we had to wait until certain teeth came in to be able to get the work done).  He's got retainers now ... so if he talks with a little lisp, don't tease him!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Colton's Cast

I got the dreaded call from school. Colton had fallen at recess and had hurt his arm. I went to the school and he did seem to be in pain, cradling his left wrist. He's a pretty tough kid and usually shakes off any minor injury, so I was a bit concerned. I took him home, did the whole R.I.C.E. thing, and gave him some medication.  It was a bit of a crazy afternoon/evening. I had to turn back around, back to the school to grab Cooper. Then I had to rush to the middle school for conferences for Callahan and Keaton (not "Parent/Teacher conferences ... Student Lead Conferences. Although we did check in with a couple of Keaton's teachers). Then Callahan had basketball practice. I dropped him off ... then, as Colton was still hurting, took him in for an x-ray.

The first instacare we tried didn't have it's lab tech there, so we had to go to another, further one in Riverton. They examined him and took an x-ray, but the doctor didn't think it was broken. So we went home. Colton missed his soccer game that night.

Colton's wrist was still tender, so I pulled out an old wrist brace we had from when Cooper had broken his arm. He went off to school. I got a call from the instacare saying the radiologist had looked at the x-ray, and the ortho guy on staff and it WAS broken and we needed to get Colton back in for a cast.

It's a "buckle" fracture, not a full break. Imagine an old, dry branch ... you bend it and it breaks. But a young, green branch, if you bend it,while you can see where you bent it, it doesn't break all the way through. 

The munchkin was going to go for blue for his cast, but I suggested orange, as he'd have it all during the month of October. He agreed that was a good idea. It matched his shirt for a good photo op too.

So luckily it IS his left hand. And it sounds like it should be a quick healing fracture. We're scheduled to go back in November 1 to get it off. No multiple visits like most of the other breaks the Blackham boys have gone through. I am sad though, Colton was my only unbroken boy.
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