Friday, February 28, 2014

I Love Les Miserables

For Christmas, Pammy gave Gray and I season tickets to Hale Theater. One of the productions this year was Les Miserables. I LOVE Les Miserables! I'm not sure when, why or how I discovered it. It was during my high school years. I picked up the tapes (yes, that was in the olden days, when cassette tapes were the way to listen to music) and immediately fell in love with the songs and the story. I picked up the complete set, not just the highlights, and envisioned it unfolding in my imagination.

It was my senior year or the year after ... Les Mis was traveling and was coming to Utah. I dreamed about going but didn't think it would actually happen. It was Christmas. Hanging on the tree was a gift for me from my brother Scott. An envelope. I opened it ... it was tickets to Les Miserables. I think I burst into tears. When the show came, we went, and it was wonderful.

When I started dating Grayson, we were taking a trip with his family. We drove separately to Idaho, and had several hours on the road. Gray had actually grown up on a video production of Les Miserables. He knew the story, but not the music. I introduced him to the music. I probably drove him crazy stopping the tape player and excitedly explaining how the stage had been set. Later, when we got married, Grayson got us tickets to go together.

When Les Mis played at Tuacahn, we went down to see it (my brother-in-law and niece were actually in it). We saw the movie when the big screen version was made. When I heard Hale Theater had it on their schedule, I was excited to see it on a center stage. It was really good. It's selling out fast, so if you want to catch it, you'd better not wait.

My boys don't really know anything about Les Miserables ... other than hearing me sing some of the songs (much to their dismay). But Gray, Landon and Callahan have a trip to New York coming up, and seeing Les Miserables there is on the docket (also going with Maga, Kolby and Jami. Will Swenson, a friend from high school is playing the part of Javart). I was included in the invitation of course ... but New York is more intimidating than inviting for me. 

Landon showed me this skit comedy spoof ...
 I thought it was pretty funny!

Do YOU love Les Miserables?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Junior Jazz

December through February is Junior Jazz season. I signed up both Colton and Cooper this year. Cooper was with a few of his teammates from Fall, a neighbor (Jaxon) and then some new kids. They were playing in the 4th grade "team" (competitive) division, even though half the team was just in 3rd grade (and one 2nd grader). Colton had his buddies Randon and Garren on his team, and Randon's dad was coach. 

 Colton's Crew

Cooper's Crew

Colton's games were all at the Gene Fullmer Recreation Center.  There is a track above the court, and I really like to get some jogging or walking in during the games when such an opportunity presents itself. But if I'm doing that, then I can't man the video camera to get highlights. I compromised a bit. I'd walk while the boys had their "practice" portion, and then I'd come down and video while Colton was in. If he was sitting out, I'd go back up and get some steps in. I did get enough footage to make a couple of muvees. I shared the first a bit ago (Basketball Update) and here's the one from the rest of the season ...

Cooper had been a little reticent about playing again. After a rocky start in Fall, he had really enjoyed that season, but he was nervous about the "new" team, even though there were some of the same players. It just wasn't gelling the same, he wasn't getting the passes, the playing time, the scoring. He didn't care for the "kid" refs that he felt didn't call everything (he worries about getting hurt). He played the first few games, then as the season hit it's holiday hiatus ... he didn't want to go back. We only hit a couple of the remaining games. Here's Cooper's videos (all from the first part of the season, December 2013) ...

The boys have tickets for Jazz games in March. We missed the "player appearance" this year, as Colton was sick and I was taking Keaton to one of his games. I felt bad Cooper missed it, as it was Gordon Hayward, one of Cooper's favorites. Colton ended up being sick and missing his last game. Cooper did go to his last game ... he didn't really want to but I "encouraged" him to. I like closure, and he needed to pick up his pictures and trophy.

Thus ends this season of Junior Jazz. Cooper says he does NOT want to play on a team anymore, and I don't think I'll be pushing him. I know Colton will want to keep playing. He'd like to play basketball more than just winter, but there aren't as many options for him at this age, but as soon as he's a year or so older, then he can play year round if he wants. We'll see ...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Three Things

For mutual one week, the boys had an interesting activity. They were to put three things that represented "who" they were into a brown paper sack. Then during the activity, everyone got to know each other a bit better, based on these three things.
  • Grayson put a pinewood derby wheel, a gadget tool, and an oreo cookie in his sack. He does love his tools and gadgets (especially anything electronic), he IS the derby dude ... and oreos? Gray is my cookie monster!
  • Landon selected a mini bottle of Martinellis Cider (A Drinking Problem?), a Nerf bullet (representing all things guns, see Airsoft Arsenal and Nerf Mania) and a silver dollar from his coin collection (Coin Collecting). He also put his items in his Toy Story Lunch Sack, instead of a generic paper bag. 
  • Callahan selected a basketball (a small bouncy ball version), a Reeses, and inspired by Landon, a coin from his collection. I think he should have put his iphone in, because that kid is ALWAYS on it playing games and texting friends.
  • Keaton put in something Star Wars (Star Wars Stuff), a Pokemon Gameboy game and one of his coins. 
I remember the elementary school doing a similar thing. A "get to know you" game at the start of the school year. I can't remember what Colton and Cooper put in their sacks. I really wanted to write this post, so I'd at least remember this activity at this point in time.

It got me thinking ... what would MY three items be? My Fitbit. I'm somewhat obsessed with my "steps" and my Fitbit feedback about my daily activity. My iphone ... it is a variety of things. My other fitness apps (MFP, etc.), my music, my books, my camera and photos, my ability to stay in contact with my family (texting, calls, email and of course the Mommy Stalker). I guess I'd throw a basketball in my bag too, as the boy's basketball is such a big part of my life too.

What three items would you put in your sack?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Callahan 15

Happy birthday to Callahan! This picture was actually taken the morning AFTER his birthday.  He said his hair looked funny ... between the pulled up hoodie and his expression, he looks like the unibomber! It had been a late night on Friday (at least 9:30) so we waited on the cake ... and had it for breakfast.

On this actual birthday, the high school basketball teams were playing and Callahan and his basketball buddies always go to cheer and support the teams. I picked up pizza, crazy bread and some cupcakes and took them to the school for a little impromptu party. I don't know why Callahan doesn't look happy ... everyone else seems pretty darn pleased!

Cute little Callahan!
Check out all the pictures from birth-15 here.

Monday, February 17, 2014


We had my folks over for New Years, and we played games all night long. They brought Rummikub and taught us the "Speed Rummikub" version, which was an instant hit. The next day, my boys wanted to play it some more, but the grandparents had taken their set home with them. I was pretty sure we did have the game. I could picture it in my mind's eye ... a battered little brown box. I went down to our game closet and rooted around and sure enough, I found it.

It is a smaller "miniature" version but after a few rounds the boys adapted to the mini tiles and the smaller stands (my parents have some stands that my grandpa made which are much more user friendly). The boys have been playing every day, and have taught the game to their friends as well. We've also had my parents over again several times for "Grandparents and Games" and it's always a lot of fun. My parents had a full size version that they ended up giving to our family ... although we don't have the custom stands. While the custom ones are easier to work with, the kids do have a tradition of slapping down the plastic stands with a bang when they win.

Progressive Rummy was another favorite game when I was a teen. My friends would come over and play it with my parents. Gray and I have played it many times with my folks over the years as well. We introduced it to the kids (the older ones anyway, as it's a bit more complex) and Landon loves it. It's always so funny playing it with my mom ... she gets SO silly, often laughing until there are tears. We tease her about buying so many cards, that "they all have possibilities" and that she had "three legs" *Ü*  Grayson can be quite entertaining too!

Families that play together stay together!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine Time

February 14 was fast approaching ... it was Landon who actually asked if I'd snap a picture to make our traditional personalized, 3-D Valentine cards. Colton and Cooper were home at the time, and as they would need Valentines for their upcoming class parties at school, I took some pictures of them as well. Then it was time to print, pickup, cut the slits and insert the suckers. My wrist was sore!  Landon did his own~

He wrote the poem, and decided to dress up this year. 
He also bought special "rose" suckers. 

What you don't see, is that he didn't actually have any pants on when I took this picture. He just put on the suit coat and then had on shorts for the bottom half.

I had volunteered to be room mother for Cooper's class at school again this year. One of the responsibilities of the room mom is planning the parties (Halloween and Valentine's Day). I pulled out my supplies, and pretty much did a repeat of last year (see my Valentine's Games post for details on that).  There actually wasn't much time, as it was a short day, and the kids needed to pass out their valentine's as well. Cooper's class had a "best box" contest ... we just did my "Lazy Mom's Valentine Box" again this year.  I'm relieved and glad that it's all over! I don't LOVE Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ummm ... An Accident

Gray was out of town, and had left his truck (the Tundra) home ... much to Landon's delight. Landon enjoys driving it SO much in fact, that he actually volunteered to pick up Keaton from school. If only I had picked up Keaton as planned. If only Landon hadn't been in the Tundra (higher and more difficult to climb into).  If Landon hadn't been running late, and Keaton hadn't been waiting on the side of the road rather than in the church parking lot as usual. If there hadn't been a break in traffic, causing Landon to quickly make a u-turn before cars were coming again, before Keaton was actually safely in the truck. If only ...

I got a phone call from Landon ...

#1 son: Mom, ummm, there's been an accident (wailing in the background).
#1 son: It's ok, the truck is fine and Keaton is ok ... but he kind of fell out of the truck.
#1: I guess I took off before he was in, and he fell out. He is scraped up pretty bad. Maybe a sprain.
Me: But he's ok? Let me talk to him (some sobbing from #3 son and "I don't want to talk about it"). 
#1: You don't need to come. I'll bring him home.
Call#2: Ma'm, this is the paramedic on scene. We'd like to transport your son to the hospital.

Please don't think me callous, but I did want to check out the scene before committing to an ambulance ride and visit to the ER (recalling the expense and time involved with Cooper's broken arm several years ago). I quickly made arrangements for another mom to pick up the elementary kids (as I had been about to walk out the door for that carpool) and rushed to the school. There were several emergency vehicles, lights flashing and Keaton was trundled on a stretcher, in the ambulance, neck brace on ... playing bejeweled on his ipod. He was scraped up, but otherwise ok. He hadn't hit his head. He had not been run over by the truck or hit by any other cars (although witnesses seeing a 13-year boy flying from a moving vehicle into the middle of the street had been the ones to call 911). After another review of Keaton's vitals and such, the paramedics were ok simply releasing him to me with a list of signs to watch for (nausea, hip pain, etc.). 

We got him home and cleaned up and resting. He actually played in his basketball game the next night. We've had to keep him pretty bandaged up (especially during activity) but then the wounds get all goopy. I told Keaton whenever he was home, we should try to leave it unbandaged, so that it could air out and start to scab up. Although that would present "picking" issues (Keaton can't leave scabs alone) and it would easily crack and bleed as it dried out. We'd cover it up, then air it out ... and repeat. 

Here's the leg over a few weeks ...
Almost all better!

So just a caution to the driving kids out there! Make sure your passengers are IN,  and seatbelted up before you take off! We're very relieved it didn't turn out worse (another "if" we don't really like to think about!)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Schools, Sack Lunch and the End of the Semester

I had to snag a picture of this little lunch sack for posterity. I had picked up a package of these paper sacks, and Landon had used them for taking his lunch to school. Landon loves all things Buzz and Toy Story, if you didn't know.  Finally, Landon was down to his last sack ... so he decided to reuse it. Every. Single. Day. It's getting a little ragged, but I have to laugh as I see this same sack day after day. 

Until the end of the semester anyway. The second quarter ended on January 23, and there have been a few changes with the semester switch. 
  • Landon is taking a criminal justice class at the Canyons Tech Center. This is a concurrent enrollment at SLCC. He attends Herriman High School for two classes in the morning, then heads out to Draper for his "college" class. There are lunches sold on the campus, so while he had packed and taken his lunch everyday the first semester, he's now saying "Mom, I need lunch money" ... The campus change also affects carpool. He had been giving a buddy a ride home from school, and stopping to pick up the middle school kids. Now ... I'm back on middle school carpool duty. 
  • Callahan IS taking a sack lunch to school now that the semester has changed. The first semester, he had class right next to the lunchroom, so he could get there quickly and not wait in line. Now that classes have changed, Callahan is reverting to bringing a lunch from home. The first day he looked perplexed and said "I don't remember how to prep my lunch" ... he HAD prepped his own lunch at times, but it has fallen back to me at this point. Often I'll pack him two lunches! One for during school, and one for after (as he stays for basketball practice or to hang out with friends). 
  • Keaton (and Callahan) are bummed that they no longer have gym. That is their favorite class. Keaton is very happy to be done with Utah Studies though. He had a big assignment to finish up the semester, where he had to interview someone (we ended up talking to a neighbor who had worked in the local government). I thought it ended up being an interesting assignment (from my Mommy perspective and my help on the project). 
  • Cooper is doing great at Terra Linda and is at the top of his class. After the bond failed in the recent election (the district had been trying to gain funds for new schools and such) there was talk of boundary changes and a switch to year round school. It literally made me sick to my stomach. After I had pulled the kids from their former school JUST to get on a traditional schedule, to have to go back to tracks. It sounded inevitable, and Cooper made me PROMISE I would not make him switch schools again. Very happy to report Terra Linda is staying traditional, maybe just committing to one year at a time, but I'll take it. I did a "happy dance" in the school office when this was verified (seriously, ask the ladies who work there, I danced!) 
  • Colton is also doing great in school. He has his cute little ... lisp, or something, I'm not sure, but if you've heard him speak, you know what I'm talking about. I actually love it, and Colton doesn't seem embarrassed or anything - but I figured at some point it might not be considered so cute. So he is starting speech in addition to his regular classwork. 

Back to lunches ... morning is always busy as I make breakfast and prep lunches for the boys. One great find has been the pre-sliced apples. I'd seen them around, but figured why buy them? Just eat an apple. But Gray grabbed a packed of the pre-sliced ones for a scout campout, and the boys loved them. They are so quick and convenient, and they don't brown, so they are perfect for school lunch. They have become a staple in our house. I've also started baking a double batch of brownies, and bagging them up for lunch treats ... I just need to keep Landon out of my stash!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Superbowl Sugar Cookies

We're not big football fans ... but as we have family in Seattle, the guys were a little interested this year, knowing that the Seattle Blackham's were rooting for their team. We had our usual Superbowl Smorgasbord. Steak and chicken, barbecued to perfection by Gray. He also makes the best mashed potatoes! 

Years ago I had seen "Superbowl Sugar Cookies" and thought they were SO cute ... and relatively easy to make. Finding a football shaped cookie cutter was the hardest part, actually. Having that on hand (picked one up a couple years ago), I figured I really should put it to use at least once a year. So I made cookies, and we all ate cookies.

Until next year ...  
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