Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 2015

(Belated blog post, this will be backdated to Oct31)
 Colton's Candy Collection

What I really love about the picture above, it that I didn't take it! Cooper did. I usually do take such a picture, but didn't get around to it this year, and Cooper kept the tradition alive. *Ü*  I actually wasn't sure we'd even have any Halloween pictures this year. The boys didn't seem to care about trick-or-treating. Cooper has been on a health kick ... exercising a lot and improving his eating.He has pretty much given up treats and sweets. In the end, both boys did go, although Cooper gave his haul to Colton as he wasn't planning on eating any himself. 

There was the truck-or-treat over at the church ... I can't remember what we had that night, I think one of the boys had a game. Of course there was the parade and class parties at the school. Cooper wore his "Lego Man" costume he wore last year, and Colton went as a basketball star on a box of Wheaties.

After the parade, the 6th graders have a tradition. They perform the dance "Thriller".  As Cooper is in 6th, he was part of this production. I enjoyed it a lot more than I anticipated (there is a little clip down below). After the dance was finished, it was off to Cooper's class for their party.

The entire 6th grade was celebrating, split into groups and moving from classroom to classroom for different activities. In our room, we broke the kids into smaller groups and rotated them through a few games. An "eyeball and spoon" relay race, monster toss, cup crash and Picture-eek-a.  In the other classrooms they were doing a picture scavenger hunt (using ipad cameras to capture the items on the list), decorating pumpkins, and ... I don't know what all else! It took a couple hours to get through everyone! And I wasn't done yet! Colton's class party was in the afternoon, so I was helping out with it too. There, I manned the "bingo" station. After it ended, there really wasn't time to go home before I'd have to come back and grab the kids, so I just waited until school got out. Just spending one entire day at school really makes me appreciate teachers and all they do (and put up with!)

... as promised, here's the clip of and "thrilled" Cooper
A video posted by JenB (@jenblackham) on

I even dressed up as I went to help at the school ... one of the items on the scavenger hunt was "a parent in costume" so even though it was just ears, I got my picture taken lots of times for that game.

... as I mentioned above, the boys weren't super excited about trick-or-treating. They went with simple, but coordinating costumes. We actually let them go out alone, just around our little block. As it went over an hour, I began to regret that decision (worry wart mommy here) but of course they got home just fine. We didn't have very many trick-or-treaters come to our door, it was pretty slow.

As Colton wasn't wearing the Wheaties box ... 
the kitties decided to get in on the action!

I DID go through all the costumes this year and pared them down by over half ... keeping just what would still fit the boys, and only things I thought they'd actually wear. I'll pass some on to cousins for dress up, and to a neighbor who collects and loans costumes out. We still probably have way more than we need, but at least I eliminated a couple of bins and got the mess cleaned up!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Tale of Two Kitties

It wasn't that long ago, that we Introduced Oreo. We love our cute kitty and can't really remember life without him! Uncle Kolby had said from day one though "get a second cat" as they can keep each other company, learn from each other what play is too painful ... and, two is better than one!  Daddy wasn't too into the idea (even if it was his brother suggesting it), but then Daddy extended his stay in Europe a few more days ... which gave me a little extra time to find a kitten to add to our family (Oreo had been added while Daddy was on a trip to Las Vegas. While Daddy is away, the family will play!)

Oreo had been adopted from the local shelter at four months old. We missed out on his cute kitten stage. This time around, we definitely wanted to enjoy a baby. I found an ad in the local classifieds and Cooper and I went out ... and came home with a kitten. 

She was such a little ball of fluff! I did feel bad taking her from her mommy and siblings, but she was going to get a lot of love here at our home too.

A video posted by JenB (@jenblackham) on

Cooper named her "Joy"
She got a LOT of love 

Even Grayson accepted some snuggles!

... except from Oreo!

I'd read up on how to add a kitten to a household. We tried all the tricks. Keeping them in separate rooms first, so they could hear and smell (and get used to) each other. Putting them together with toys or food to keep them busy. But if they were ever actually in the same room, the fighting would start! As Joy got a bit bigger, she actually seemed to be instigating things and holding her own against Oreo. Some people said to just let them fight it out, but it totally stressed us out! For weeks, we'd keep them separated. Calls of "I'm letting the kitten out, where's Oreo, I'll put him downstairs" or vice versa.

Then, Uncle Kolby and his family came to visit. They gave both kitties a lot of loving, and then we put the kitties together so they could witness the attacks. And the kitties put on a good show. Uncle Kolby just laughed and said that they were playing. He gave us a convincing inner monologue of what Oreo was thinking, and it did make us relax and let the kitties "play" more often until finally we did dare leave them alone together. Life was SO much easier then.

The two kitties still "fight" sometimes, enough that we break it up ... but they also love each other and are always snuggling and licking and playing! We love both our kitties!

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