Thursday, January 31, 2013

Two Trucks

A few months ago, when Landon got his license, and school was starting, we wanted to get him a car. Not necessarily to make HIS life any easier, but to make MY life easier. If Landon had a car, he could drive himself to school, he could pick up Callahan, he could get to his work shifts and other activities. And it's always nice to have an extra car around, just in case. At that time, we toyed with the idea of Grayson getting a new truck, and letting Landon use the Avalanche. But then we Clay and Courtney's little Corolla fell into out lap, and that was a good fit. Until ... the oil light and the little car was no more.

So ... being in the same situation again, with no little used car falling into our lap, Grayson went looking for a new truck for him. It's a Toyota Tundra, it's not "new", but new to him. And Landon is LOVING the Av...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Junior Jazz Player Appearance

Every year, as part of the Junior Jazz program, one of the Jazz players comes to meet with the various recreation centers and their little basketball players. In past years, it's been downtown at the Energy Solutions Arena, or at the SLCC Campus. The past two years, it's been nice and close, at West Jordan High School. This year, it was Paul Millsap appearing.

They did the traditional "see which section can make the most noise" thing. Paul answered some questions. There was a little game (clap only when he dribbles the ball). Then there were some activities ... calling down sections for a relay (passing the ball over your head, then through your legs), and some drills (stance, shoot and shuffle). Unfortunately, our sections weren't called down to participate. The boys were a bit disappointed in that. 

At the end, they did have everyone (and so it was crazy crowded) come down for the "make it, miss it" challenge. They would choose spots on the floor for Millsap to shoot from, and the kids would decide it they thought he would make it, or miss it (choosing sides of the court) and whoever was wrong ... pushups!

I made a little muvee to capture the night (the hour condensed to under a minute *Ü*)

They handed out autographed pictures at the end.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Oops He Did It Again

No one can believe it ... it's been just four months since Callahan broke his foot. After a slow, VERY slow recovery, he had finally been given the go ahead to resume physical activity (basketball) ... and he broke his foot!

I wasn't even there. Wednesday games are a bit of a challenge, as both Callahan and Keaton have games, and they almost always conflict. Gray and Landon are gone to young men's over at the church, so I'm usually arranging a ride for one of the boys. When Callahan first went back, I did feel like I needed to be at his games, just in case. That and it had been so long since I had seen him play, I really wanted to be there. 

This past Wednesday, Keaton's game was at 8:00, Callahan's at 9:00. Almost doable, if you don't count travel time, and we needed to count travel time as Callahan's game was close to home (at Elkridge Middle School, where Landon went), but Keaton's was at Bonneville (where I went!). Keaton's been having some struggles, so I thought maybe I needed to be there for him. I arranged for Grayson to drop Callahan at his game and told them we'd come straight from Keaton's, and hopefully catch some of it. We got there with just three minutes left (they must have started early!), and when it was over, I noticed that Callahan was limping across the floor. It was the left foot. He said "It feels just like last time" ... 

I kept him home from school (as he really couldn't walk on it at all) and was able to squeeze us into the doctor's office (the same one who had treated his broken right foot, our last appointment hadn't even been a month ago). They took an x-ray, and it did look almost identical. The exact same spot, the exact same break.

So ... back to the boot. He can't even put any pressure on the foot yet, so it's crutches for a week or two.  Callahan is really taking it like a man, but it's really heartbreaking. My poor broken boy :(

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ice is NOT Nice

Grayson had left to work when I got a text from him saying the roads were terrible. There was rain falling and freezing, making the streets and sidewalks ice rinks. I contacted Landon to make sure he had made it to school ok (he said the roads weren't too bad for his commute). I only had a small outing I needed to do that day, but just walking from the front door, across the driveway to put the garbage cans out was a tricky trek!

Derek posted on Facebook that he had fallen ... Alicia too. Gray also took a tumble.  This video was circulating Facebook and apparently went viral by evening ...

... this one starts a little slow but is SO funny at the end!

My mom had suggested earlier that I come out with the boys and we could go out to lunch. I told her that today was probably NOT the best day to try going out (she's just recovering from back surgery and is nervous walking out on the regular slippery surfaces usually around). Plus ... I was taking Callahan to the doctor (more on that later ... luckily he was able to enter the car from the garage and I was able to drop him off right in front of the covered building). I didn't have problems on the road itself, but as the rain would fall on the windshield and the wipers tried to clear it off, the rain was freezing, leaving a thin layer of ice that was difficult to see through. I'm glad that freezing rain isn't something that happens regularly around here!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Columbia Kid Catch All

 Well ... as of Friday, January 18, the Columbia Kids (Keaton, Cooper and Colton) are now off-track. It seems like just yesterday they were off-track, surely it can't be time again already! Here's a quick recap of some of the school activities these past few weeks.

It's Red Ribbon week at school ... Red Ribbon week is celebrated to show unity in the fight against drugs. They have special themed days. This year it was ...

  • Jan 16: Team up against drugs ... wear your favorite team shirt (you can see the boys in their basketball jerseys in the picture above, Jazz jerseys for the little boys, Keaton proudly wore his Copper Hills uniform).
  • Jan 17: Sock it to drugs ... wear crazy socks to school.
  • Jan 18: You would have to be CRAZY to do drugs ... wear your hair in a crazy style (photo below)
  • Jan 22: Turn your back on drugs ... wear your clothes backwards.
  • Jan 23: Hat's off to being drug free ... wear your favorite hat.
So with the boys going off track, they will miss a couple days of Red Ribbon week (but then those who were off track will get to participate a little too as they come back). Sometimes the "themes" have been a little hard to come up with something that worked, but I really liked all the ideas this year.

Here's Colton and Cooper and their crazy hair ... the boys DO need haircuts, but I guess it's good we waited, otherwise there wouldn't have been much hair to work with. Every morning as I comb the boys hair, I spray and gel Cooper and before I comb it down, I usually say "ok, you're done" as a joke, because it looks so funny standing up all over. Well today, we did just leave it that way ...

I'm also the room mother for Cooper's classroom, and it was his teacher's birthday. So I bought a cake and took it in for a little birthday celebration (this coincided with crazy hair day, just in case you were wondering about some of the hair styles). My boys had been pretty excited when I brought the cake home, and were sad when they found out it wasn't for us! Cooper still got a piece.

While I was at the school, I heard Keaton fulfilling some of his student council duties, speaking over the intercom to announce the winners of the weekly drawings (ICUs, star sightings ... Cooper was a winner that day too). While I waited to bring the boys home, I also caught him on safety patrol duty, lowering the flag.  

The week before last, both Cooper and Colton were awarded GOLDEN TICKETS at school. These are fairly rare, maybe one or two kids in a class get a golden ticket in a month. The school usually calls home to tell the parents how great their kids are (... although I must admit, when I see "Columbia Elementary" coming across the caller id I always stress out wondering what is wrong. It's nice to have it be good news, but I still have to slow my racing heart). The kids also have the opportunity to eat lunch with the principal and get a personal note from her. Cooper and Colton had their lunches a day apart.

So ... there's the catch up on the Columbia Kids. Now three weeks off track, relaxing from the routine, getting to sleep in. I hope they aren't too bored (especially as our best buddies the DiFran Family moved away. I'm not sure what we are going to do without them).  Landon and Callahan still have school, so no sleeping in for them ... or me.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Back to Basketball

Callahan has been playing basketball non-stop since the third grade. Not just Junior Jazz in the winter, but he would play in leagues Spring/Summer/Fall too. This kid doesn't just LOVE basketball, he LIVES basketball. Often there would only be one or two weeks between seasons, which was just fine with Callahan. So after summer season ended, the five week break before fall season began was a loooong wait for Callahan, the longest he'd gone without a game in over five years ... little did we know the break would be much longer than that.

Shortly before the first game of Fall season, Callahan broke his foot. Now any break that puts you out is bad enough, but the foot, especially this area of the foot (a Jones Fracture) is just an unpredictable and slow healer. Every doctor visit we'd have high hopes, just to see no noticeable healing week after week. Callahan was in a walking boot for 12 weeks, and then still limited in his activity for another 4 weeks (no running, jumping). The break in September had left him unable to play basketball for the rest of the year.

Finally, we got the go ahead, and Callahan played his first game January 2 and had a few games with his competitive CopperHills team (first time in his new uniform we had purchased last Fall) and played some church ball ... It was a slow comeback. He was a bit out of shape from his enforced rest. I could see he didn't quite have the speed and agility we were used to. His foot was tender and prone to injury, and he struggled with some pain, first on top of his foot, then in his heel.

The picture above was his first (only?) points of the Winter season with CopperHills. For THREE! Churchball, being not quite as competitive, he had a little more action and looked like his old self (video below) ...

Again .... little did we know 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Suits & Schedule Shifts

What a handsome group of guys! All decked out in their Sunday best, wearing their new suits they got for Christmas. LOVE Keaton's expression!

With the New Year, comes the shift in Sunday schedules. We had been starting at 9:00, which is one of the preferred schedules. Getting meetings done early, so you have the afternoon off ... can you say Sunday Nap? Ahhh. Gray and I actually did get some of those in this past year. We'd  have a quick and easy breakfast before church (usually croissants, purchased frozen and set out to rise the night before. Baked up fresh in the morning, YUM!) and had our big Sunday Circle breakfast after we got back home. 

With the shift in schedules, we are now at the 11:00 hour. It's nice to have a little extra time in the morning, to actually sleep in sometimes. We haven't quite figured out the mornings yet ... big breakfast before or after? We might try a little of both.

Probably the biggest change this year is Colton moving up to SENIOR primary! My BABY, in Senior Primary???? I can't believe it!  Cooper is now in the "oldest" class ... they had actually combined the boys and girls as we just didn't have many 10-11 year olds (losing kids as they turn 12 and "graduate" from primary), but now it is a pretty big class. That first Sunday, everyone was finding new classrooms and teachers ... but now we're set. Except finding a parking place is a bit more difficult now *Ü*

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Birds

A couple months ago, I noticed an article in Time Magazine. It was just a small piece, but it had an amazing photo of a huge flock of starlings. I was caught not only by the picture, but by the caption ... calling it a "murmuration" of starlings. It was such an interesting word, I had to look it up, and sure enough, there were many other documented, and SPECTACULAR photos (see some here and here and just Google it for more). 

Although we don't have quite as impressive mumurations here in West Jordan, we DO have a lot of starlings and at some times it is overpowering to see them all take off, or gather on the trees or rooftops. I snapped the picture above when we came home to find 200+ birds sitting on the roof of our house one day.

They do come to nest at our house - I've blogged about it a couple of times (one here) and I do still see the starlings going in and out of the brick wall behind our house during every season (not just spring). 

So ... if YOU hadn't heard the word "murmuration" (and apparently my spell check hasn't), I thought I'd just point it out. It's amazing ... and it's fun to say *Ü*.  I guess simple "flock" just wasn't good enough. Do other birds have their own words too? I know it's a "murder" of crows ... which does bring me to this little funny to close my post.

It made me laugh!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

We are an APPLE family

I didn't buy this shirt for Grayson for Christmas, but I should have! We have almost every Apple product there is I think! Multiples of many. Grayson needed to support Apple when they introduced their latest line, adding new touches, iPhones and of course the iPad mini (x2 ... he preordered one, then couldn't wait and bought another the day they came out. He actually didn't like it and has returned to his regular size iPad). I do love that most apps are SO much less expensive than other video games, and one purchase can be used by everyone in the family. We still have our old "Classic" ipods in use (storing purchased TV programs for the kids), and like the old nanos/shuffles for music. Yes, we have AppleTV and an iMac too. We are an Apple family.

... this isn't even everything ...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's a New Year

New Year's Day ... 2013! We went up to Maga's house for the traditional pastry wreath. Pam has been making this for over 20 years. It's pretty complex (layering, folding, freezing the dough, rolling it out, adding the almond paste center to each strip, rolling each strip, braiding them, just to name a few of the steps.) She's said at some point she'd like to have someone else take over to keep the traditional alive ... but no one is volunteering (well, Clayton actually did, until she started walking him through the process).

Clay and Courtney also introduced "dirty diet cokes" and other fancy flavorings. They take some Torani Syrup, a little half and half, your favorite soda (or some club soda) and everyone was raving! Clay says they don't drink regular soda anymore, and of course Landon wants the same set up at our house.

New Year's Eve was also fun. We had my folks and Pam and Rex over to our house. We had Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner, then played some games. Callahan and Keaton deserted us to go hang out with friends, but Landon actually stuck around this year, and we were glad to have him. Colton and Cooper enjoyed playing games too, we did a few hands of The Great Dalmuti (and WHO was the greatest Dalmuti ever? That's right, that would be me!) Then we played Rack-o Hi-Low, a card game I'd given my mom for Christmas. It was a lot of fun and I'll be ordering a set for us to keep. Then Cooper and Colton (and Grayson) drifted off to their beds, Pam and Rex headed home, so Landon joined my folks and me for a game of Progressive Rummy, a card game I've been playing with my parents since I was Landon's age.  

So ... a look back on 2012

  • We became even MORE digital, if you can believe it! Apple released the new Touch, iPad Mini, iPhone, and of course we had to try everything out. Even I have an iPhone now! Apps, music and games are a big part of Blackham life. Almost everyone loves Scramble (we got Grandma and Maga addicted too, they are now Scramble buddies). Even Colton and Cooper have games going.  I also discovered Kindle (and Kindle apps), and digital reading.
  • Tons of construction ... the grounds at Columbia Elementary were completely torn apart, the overpass at Bangerter/7800 was finally completed. There was work on 4000W, right in front of our neighborhood, it made for a very difficult summer. I'm sure there will always be more construction, but SO glad these particular projects are completed!
  • Medical mishaps included the family flu, Landon's ingrown toenails, Callahan athletes foot and broken foot, Keaton's wart removal and consistent cough (it went on for weeks! He had to stay in from recess as any activity would get him coughing so much he would throw up). No broken bones for Cooper this year! Colton had a couple long sick sessions (he missed the last week of kindergarten in the spring, and the week before Christmas) and had a few flu bugs (threw up in the car a couple times too). 
  • Lots of homemade ice cream this summer! I never used to keep heavy cream on hand, but it was a staple this year. I found it was nice to have on hand as I also discovered uses for it in Macaroni Rosa and Mint Brownies.
  • Coin collecting was a big craze for a while!
  • For family fun, we went to Snowbird, the movie "Wreck it Ralph", and of course DISNEYLAND.
  • Landon got his license and got his first 4.0 in school.
  • Callahan broke his foot ... BIG unhappy break from basketball.
  • Keaton started playing basketball competitively.
  • Cooper overcame his anxiety.
  • Colton started 1st grade ... in school ALL day this year.
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