December 19, 2016
Monday, October 17, 2016
What's going on here with the Blackham Bunch ... basketball, derbies, school, the usual.
Only a couple more days of early morning driver's ed for Keaton. It was just this first quarter, he doesn't have any next week (and Fall Break this week). Will I continue to get up at 6:00? It's habit, I should ... we'll see. While I was out driving with Keaton, getting those practice hours in, the song "Car Crash" came across the playlist. Keaton muttered "I don't think that is very appropriate!"
Colton had a busy day Saturday. FOUR basketball games. 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00. The first two were in the same location, and the last two were in the same location, but he'd have to miss something between the 5:00 and 6:00 game. He ended up playing the 5:00 game, and then making it to the next one for at least half. All four games were losses though. When we were home, Gray was asking me how Colton was handling it. The last two games were unwinnable, against a good 7th grade team, and against a National Top10 6th grade team ... but with the pressure off, the kids just played and were happy with whatever they got. I did mention to Gray that there were some tears after the 5:00 game. Right after I said that we heard Colton call out from the kitchen "I can HEAR you!"
We hardly ever see Callahan. Seriously, some days I don't! With school, work, basketball and friends. He has cut back his hours at work (not this coming week, with Fall Break) but we're always to bed before he gets home from KFC. He's gone on a few more dates with the gal he took to Homecoming. Not sure if they are officially an item yet. I've tried to encourage him to date more than just one girl. He says he really doesn't talk to girls ( which I guess he's overcome with Kate). Three couples came and carved pumpkins at the house on Friday night after the high school football game. They always go cheer, even though Cooper Hills hasn't won a football game in ... a long time!
Cooper has been my ping pong partner ... or rather, I am his. Every day he asks "do you want to play ping pong?" and so we do. He expressed some interest in trying tennis, so on Saturday we went to the local park and hit the courts there. He was not bad for his first time. We'll have to try again before the weather turns, before they strip the nets (of the two courts at the park, just one net was up). Maybe we'll have to try racquetball too - it's harder to find a place to play, but weather isn't an issue.
Gray got back from his Seattle trip on Monday. Back to work, and a derby on Thursday. Sunday he tried smoking prime rib for the first time. It was wonderful! He's always a little nervous on these first tries, so he made brisket too. We have so much food! I don't know that I'll be making dinner at all this week.
That being said, there is still a sink full of dishes waiting for me (the one load from breakfast and such was just done and still hot last night, so I put it off the unloading and loading until this morning).
Sunday, October 9, 2016
I didn't write last week ... there hadn't been a lot going on. Saturday it was Homecoming at the high school, and Callahan was busy all day with paintball (predance) and then dinner (Tepanyaki) and the dance. His date was named Homecoming Queen.
Last Sunday there was some sad news, a boy in our neighborhood died. He was Landon's age, one of the boys he'd gone to church and scouts and such with. This boy (Kody) had struggles the past few years with drugs and other mental issues. I haven't heard it said outright, but I think it was suicide. I'd run into him a while back, he was working at Little Caesars. We'd had a nice chat. Landon had heard on Monday (my letter, and from other sources) and had me pass on a note to Kody's mom. The funeral was yesterday.
We finally turned on the heat this week. The house got down to 63° and the boys complained :) But a couple days later I was flipping it back to A/C ... we're not quite done with it yet. There was frost on Callahan's Charger one morning and we were caught unprepared, no scraper. It hasn't been a problem since, but I've told him to pick one up for the future. It will cool down again.
I've been taking the "Family Phone" (Landon's old iphone that Cooper is using for PokemonGo) to my Zumba classes. Almost every church (LDS or otherwise) is either a gym, or a Pokestop. My Zumba locations are poke-stops, so I figured I could at least spin and collect some items and the start and end of class. But ... it resets after about 5 min or so, so every time I go grab a drink, I give it a spin :) Cooper has been happy with my help. I had tried catching a critter here and there, but without success. There is some trick to the "throw" but I was finally successful this week, catching a Pikachu! Since then I've caught a few more (as I'm out and about with the phone while Cooper is in school). I'm not as cool as Uncle Clay (Gray's brother), who caught a Charizard for his son though.
Grayson is in Seattle with Ana, touring food establishments with Kolby's crew. He's posting pictures, but I must admit nothing looks tempting to me. I can't even recognize much of it as food! It's good he has others for his adventures, as I'm such a homebody. Gray is wanting to go to Mexico to pick up Landon when his mission is done. I think Landon will happily be a traveling companion to anything Gray wants to do.
Jen and da Boys
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Wow - all the kids wrote last week. Even Scott! And here I am getting off the Blackham update on a Sunday.
It was a pretty normal week here. Basketball practices and games. Gray had a derby - Cooper was the helper because it was the same time as Keaton's game. With Pokemon Go, all LDS churches (other denominations too) are either Poke-stops or gyms, and that makes Cooper more willing to go out. He also likes the drives, hoping to pass stops and catch some pokemon.
I was impressed that Cooper went out with Dad. It was Thursday night, and black storm clouds had rolled in. It was rather scary looking, even though the weather here in West Jordan wasn't as bad as elsewhere (as other friends posted pictures on Facebook). Yikes! Tornadoes! That is a trigger for Cooper's weather phobia, but again, he seems fine.
Keaton is reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" for school and asked me to read it too, so we could discuss it. It is an easier book to read than "The Scarlet Letter" (which I read and attempted to discuss with Callahan last year). Just finished chapter 11 and went over some words K wasn't sure about ... wrathful, apoplectic, philippic, umbrage, interdict, tirade, cantankerous. After going over the definitions, Keaton said "well that was an ANGRY chapter, wasn't it?!"
I had an extra copy of the book in physical format, but was able to get a digital download from the library. I much prefer digital now, and it makes looking up and highlighting words or phrases so much easier. I have been listening to a lot of audio too, but I sometimes get distracted, especially when I have my headphones on during the boys basketball games and such. Not that I ever get overly emotional or yelling at games, but it also keeps me a bit distracted from the game, which isn't a bad thing. More parents maybe need to do it ... there have been some confrontations and arguments at the last couple of Colton's games. Me no likey ...
Well, that's it for the Blackhams. Keeping it short and sweet this week.
Jen and da boys
Monday, September 19, 2016
I got a letter off to Landon yesterday (Sunday) but didn't alter it for the weekly family epistle. Sometimes I can just copy, but other times my letter is too "to Landon" and I have to rewrite for family ;)
We had a busy basketball week. Cal and Keaton had games on Thursday night. In Lehi, at the new Skyridge high school. It is the same floorplan as Corner Canyon (where Scott's kids went). Really nice main gym (doesn't even seem like a high school) and to auxiliary gyms. Cal played at 7:00, and his game went into double OT, so that made us a little late in to watch Keaton's game, which started at 8:00 in the smaller gym. Boy boys won. Gray drove us down, as I'm too wimpy to do it myself (although we did try a backroads route that avoided the freeways ... so MAYBE I could try it, as there are more games coming).
Colton had THREE games on Saturday. One in Lehi again (we hitched a ride with teammates). Some adult altercations after, which is always disappointing and discouraging. We lost by one, due to a questionable call at the end. Our coach is a bit of a "yeller" and can be loud. Afterward though, one of the ladies from the other team came up to our coach's wife and stuck her finger in her face and said "You should be ashamed of your husband" ... and our coach's wife didn't take that well. I actually didn't see any of this going on with the women, but I saw some of the men get involved. I hate it when that happens.
We had two games a little later in the day, in West Jordan again. Colton is playing on two teams in the Gene Fullmer league. One 5th grade, and then his 6th grade Wolves (the team that played earlier and he's been with for about a year now. The 5th grade team is one he played with last Winter but that didn't do Spring or Summer and is just now back together). They won both of those games easily.
Gray has been quite the cook lately! He made us yummy pulled pork on Saturday, and a steak dinner on Sunday. He had been really excited to try a new "salt plate" (big slab of salt you heat and cook the steak on) but it didn't work out that well (it exploded a little bit). Still experimenting.
Cooper has still been excited about hit Pokemon Go. He likes it when I am on carpool duty Friday night's to Colton's practice at SLCC. Lots of Poke-stops and Pokemon there and back. I admit we did a couple small detours when some rare Pokemon appeared (driving aimless around a neighborhood or two until they showed up). He's also really been into Ping Pong, and it's been played a LOT, all of us taking turns partnering him up. He's pretty good if anyone is up for a challenge!
Well, I need to head out to Zumba now!
Jen and da Boys
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Hello from the Blackham Bunch ...
It's back to basketball and derbies for the Blackham boys! Gray has a bunch of derbies on deck and hopefully Keaton will continue to be his right hand man (with Cooper and Colton as backups). Cal and Keaton have been spending several evenings at the high school, open gym clinic in prep for tryouts in November. Colton has two practices a week now, as he's on two different teams. His Wolves (6th grade) and Grizzlies (5th grade, his grade, although some on the team are in 4th). He has his first game on Saturday in Lehi, at the Karl Malone Training Center. Of course I don't drive there, so we hitched a ride with buddies on the team. I saw Kim's son Seth (and Aspen) there leaving as our game was going to start. Not sure who they were cheering on ...
I think my duckies have flown. I saw them Sunday, but no sign of them Monday or Tuesday. Other ducks were still around, but not MY duckies. I always glance down the waterway as I cross the canal in and out of the neighborhood but haven't seen them again. I hope they are happy and healthy wherever they are!
Cooper accompanied me taking Colton to his basketball practices, getting some Pokemon-Go in. On Tuesday nights, it's just close, at Gene Fullmer. I'll drive through the West Jordan Park for him, as it has several Poke-stops in its loop. The trip to SLCC on Friday was fairly successful too, and there are a ton of stops all around campus. Our drive to drop off Colton took us past the volleyball courts, tennis courts, gym and a few others.
Cooper has also really been into ping pong lately. It's something that comes and goes in our house. In the past couple weeks, he's been playing and asking for partners a lot. He's quite good. He and I have been getting a lot of ping ponging in.
Gray smoked up ribs on Monday. So yummy! He did brisket on Saturday. Yummy too. I'm pretty spoiled ... not only does he bring home the bacon, he also fries, well, smokes it up. He's made dinner more often than I have lately!
He and the boys went up to the lake for a final waverunner run. We'll probably be winterizing them and putting them in storage soon. It will free up space in the driveway. Of course we also did that by selling the suburban last Saturday. Since Callahan got the Charger, the Burn was just a backup vehicle, although Keaton had looked forward to having a car at his disposal once he gets his licence. I guess we'll be on the lookout for something smaller for him ... and then Landon will be home in a few months and be needing a vehicle too. Multiple drivers makes for a crowded driveway! Especially with waverunners and a derby trailer.
Cal is busy with work (although he has cut his hours back), basketball and such, but still is very social, spending a lot of time with friends. Much of that time was spent making "music videos" for their creative homecoming questions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCFda-8HorU
That's all for this week - Jen and da boys
Monday, September 5, 2016
I haven't been good at sending out the weekly update for a few weeks. Oops. I know, that leaves you all dangling like a participle (seriously, that was an actual simile I read in one of my recent books) wondering what we are up to. So sorry ... ;)
School has started for all the boys. I have to admit, I like the return to routine and school structure, even if it does mean getting up early again, helping with homework (haven't had to yet, other than the signing of all the disclosures) and carpools. I'm still driving TO school three times (Keaton at 6:30 to early morning drivers ed, CooperCarpool at 7:20, Colton at 8:20). I get up and make lunches, and can usually squeeze in a couple sessions on the elliptical while I'm getting the boys off. They have all been really good at getting up, dressed, breakfasted. I have good boys! Even Callahan has been getting up (and going to the gym early many mornings).
Cooper has struggled with the carpool situation some. We haven't had a carpool for the last few years, while the boys were at TerraLinda (different school than the rest of the neighborhood). He's used to ME. But there are other kids in the neighborhood going to Elkridge, so we have set up a carpool with a couple families. Originally I was to drive to/from Tuesdays/Wednesdays, but Cooper gets SO stressed out in the mornings, likes to be in complete control of when we leave, that I just said I'd drive every morning (it's easier than waiting and watching Cooper stress out). I still pick up Tuesdays, as the other too moms have things that day, but then they pick up the other days. The first day, the mom was quite late and Cooper held it together until he walked in the door before bursting into tears. Since then it's been okay, although he still doesn't like it.
Cal and Keaton have 4th period basketball together (if you don't make the team, you do have to transfer out of the class). Right now, due to district rules, they can't "play basketball" in class, so it's all conditioning. Lots of running. The first day, six boys threw up and one passed out. Yikes! Glad I'm not in that class!
Colton's basketball will be starting up this week. He's played/practiced all summer, but Fall will be more involved. His 6th grade Wolves team (who he's played with for about a year now, he's just 5th grade) will be doing two leagues, and when his old team (his level, 5th grade) asked him to play with them, it was hard to say no ... meaning we didn't say no. Unfortunately they ALL play on Saturday, so he'll have three games each Saturday. They leagues said they'd try to work around other game schedules, so we'll see if that works out. One of his games will be in Lehi, I'll probably just send him with a teammate. I don't drive that (at times I might hitch a ride too, we'll see).
It's been birthday week here at the Blackhams. Cooper, Keaton and Landon. Gray decided on a last minute camping trip to Bear Lake last week. It was on some property friends owned (true camping, no outhouses even) ... Cal had to work, so I had to stay home to supervise (at least that's what I say, I'm just not a camping/beach gal, I didn't make it up once this summer). They had fun. Made it home last Sunday for a cake for Cooper. I didn't have much in the way of gifts for him. He did take $20 in birthday money to use toward his PokemonGo, had to upgrade his sack so he could hold more items (it was Pokestop heaven in Garden City Idaho apparently, and he caught some cool Pokemon as they passed through Wyoming). He went out on errands with me the other day and it was a VERY successful trip (as we drove the West Jordan park a couple times, it has about eight poke-stops in it), hatched a Charmander, and caught a Raichu (seriously, I thought he was going to hyperventilate!)
I sent a package to Landon - he'd requested some new white shirts. I always send him oreos and other "american" treats he can't get there. I dropped it off last Monday, watched the tracking as it arrived at the mission home on Wednesday, and he did get in to pick it up already! Already opened it too (it's not his birthday until Wednesday!) We use "My Missionary Shipping" and have been quite pleased with it.
We've had some funny food and fun phases. The kids liked the orange cream and banana cream yogurt Walmart makes ... but Walmart stopped making it. They don't even like the Yoplait (name brand!) go figure. I tried the Danimals drinkable yogurt and it's been a huge hit (Cooper doesn't drink milk, so I like getting him some calcium). Nutella has also made a comeback (the boys liked it a few years ago, but then stopped eating it, but it's back). Nerf guns have also resurfaced after maybe a couple years of being in a box! I pulled out some of our old Pokemon cards to give to cousin Will, who is now into Pokemon too (although Cooper loves the PokemonGo, he isn't into the cards anymore).
Well - I'll try to do better at writing weekly so it doesn't get so long!
Jen and da boys
Monday, August 15, 2016
School is coming up quick ... this is our last week of "summer"
Grayson took Callahan and his friends (and Keaton) to the lake on Thursday. With a bunch of big boys, the waverunners were never beached, but in constant use. While they were gone, I took the two little boys bowling. AllstarLanes doesn't have the "free" bowling like in years past, but still a decent deal ($2 per game, free shoe rental before noon). In our two games, I got five strikes! I'm pretty happy if I can break 100, and I did both games, and I even went without bumpers. Sometimes Colton and Cooper don't look very happy when bowling (if they aren't doing particularly well) and I have to ask "Are you glad we came? Are you having fun?" So anyway, we got ONE bowling trip in this summer. Keaton went to JumpNBounce with his friends once. We haven't hit a swimming pool once! Oops!
In prep for Cooper's move to middle school, we had to get his immunizations updated. I had an appointment scheduled at the regular pediatrician's office, although they said Dr. Azaid was out of town, another Dr. was filling in. We went, and they didn't have a receptionist or a nurse that day, and hadn't updated to my cell for the phone number (still had the regular phone which we dropped a few years ago). So they hadn't been able to call to say they couldn't do the immunizations (which is what we needed). We stopped at Walgreens and got it done there. Easy Peasy. We'll have to go into the school and map out the classes, find his locker etc. We did get his schedule, and I printed a map of the school from online. It will be interesting to go there, because it's been remodeled from when Landon attended.
Both Callahan and Keaton have seminary in their regular day this year. The one year of early morning was quite enough, having to drag Callahan out of bed. He is nothing like Landon, getting himself up and off. We will have the one quarter of early morning driver's ed for Keaton. I don't know what time it starts. I've asked several times without getting a real response. Callahan went into the school last week for a little last minute scheduling. He switched English classes to get the one that will qualify him for the Regent's scholarship ... pending he can get his ACT score up. He'll be retaking it in September.
I've been walking to the canal a couple of times every day to see (and feed) my duckies. Uno is gone though :( we don't know what happened to him. The other three are still there (two never showed up at the canal, we don't know where they ended up either). Sometimes it's just me, but Cooper will often accompany me (then walk to the church and park, getting those Poke-Stops while I am feeding the ducks, then we walk back home together) and sometimes Daddy comes on an evening walk.
We made Brazillian Cheese Bread on Saturday, so go with some yummy ribs Grayson smoked. Keaton invited a couple friends over to partake, and even Callahan was around that evening (he'd opened KFC so was done with his shift by 4:00). We've watched a bit of the Olympics.
Jen and da Boys
Monday, August 1, 2016
I always write Landon on Sunday, but do the family one until Monday ... after I see all the other family updates come across email! While not a ton happened this past week, it felt pretty full...
Tuesday morning we were up early to get Callahan off to trek. Everyone was to meet at the church at 6:00 am to join their families and board the busses. Whoever the trip historian was, kept posting progress pictures to Facebook as the internet allowed, so we were able to follow them as they left, hit Wyoming, etc. We even got some shots here and there the next few days. Callahan got back on Friday about 4:30. Took a shower, ran to Costco for some dried mangoes he'd become addicted to on trek, then he and Keaton played basketball in the evening. I guess his feet weren't too tired, even after 44,387 steps on Thursday (and he still didn't quite overtake me on the Fitbit friends list).
I've still been hitting my Zumba every day, subbing during the summer for the Tuesday class. I have a couple other girls who know some numbers, so while I'm in charge, and plan the playlist, I usually don't DO the whole class. Except for this past Tuesday, when I pretty much did. But I can do it no problem now (I know enough songs). I still do my hour of elliptical most days (three 20min sessions) which is when I watch my current pick on TV. A couple sessions on the exercise bike, reading while riding. I've been doing a lot of reading lately! Hopefully weights a time or two. And I've been walking to the canal every day, often more than once, to see and feed my duckies. I've always been able to find them at the canal, although sometimes I have to walk further, depending on where they are. I often call out "duck, duck, duckies ..." as I hit the canal, a call I would do in the backyard when I'd bring breakfast. One morning, about 30 seconds after my call, four duckies came flying down the canal and landed right in front of me. Just that once though.
I took Keaton in to the Endodontist on Wednesday. He's had a problem tooth, and the pediatric dentist thought he needed a specialist. Then we went back to the dentist on Thursday, and hopefully that wraps up our dental visits for a while. Both Gray and I could use a visit but ... we haven't been good at making that happen. I need to get Cooper in for his 7th grade immunizations. I can't believe school starts up again in just a couple weeks (year round already started up! Crazy!).
Gray wants to get a few more trips in on the waverunners. He said he'd do a "friends" day for both Callahan and Keaton.
Colton's been on a summer basketball league. They've been having practices, but only one game so far. They have one tonight and Saturday, and then a double header the next Saturday (and that will be the season). We'll see what Fall holds ... I'm not sure if the older boys will do a pre-season league, or if they won't play until the official season starts at the end of the year.
Thats all for now ♥ The Blackham Bunch
Monday, July 25, 2016
Pioneer Day ... is this when we used to go to the church for the chuck-wagon breakfast?
Tomorrow (Tuesday), Callahan leaves on the Pioneer Trek! I think we have everything pretty much ready, but will have to finalize his "bucket" and such today (I wanted to BEFORE he went to work all day today, but we didn't get it done, so I am doing it). He did a little DI shopping this past week to pick up some shirts and pants. He's going to wear the same hat Gray and Landon wore on their treks (we call it the "Stinky Pete" hat).
We had a couple visits to the dentist this past week. I took in Cooper and Colton on Tuesday. Their visit was quick and easy, just the basic exam and cleaning and NO CAVITIES. Yea! The next day, it was an appointment for Keaton. A cleaning, orthodontic change, and a look at a tooth that has been bugging him for quite a while. It's not a cavity, but rather it just came in with a bad, soft spot. So HIS appointment was over two hours long, and it's going to need a root canal (going to a specialist for that) then back for restoration after. Uggggg. At least it looks like the dental insurance is going to pay pretty good.
Gray went up to Pineview twice this week. Thursday was with his work gang, and then over the weekend just with our three littles (Callahan had to work, he's always working!) Keaton prefers a boat, for tubing ... but they have been pulling a tube behind Roxy and Keaton and Cooper think that is a blast (Colton apparently wasn't as fond of it).
I've been taking a walk to the canal every day to see my duckies. So far I've always been able to find them. One day they were all the way down the South side, that was a longer walk. Lately, they've been right at the mouth of the canal, so that makes for a much shorter walk (and sometimes then I'll do multiple walks). We still have their feed, so I bring it to them so I know they are getting enough to eat out there in the wild. This morning I walked one way ... didn't see them, so started on the other way. I called out "duck, duck, duckies..." which I would do in the mornings at home as I'd bring out their feed. Four ducks came flying (literally flying) down the canal and landed right in front of me. They heard and answered my call!
Aunt Olivia is working at SuperCuts over in Jordan Landing. She stopped by the other day after work and gave the three littles haircuts. Cooper needed one badly, he was so fuzzy! Colton has been liking his longer, but agreed to go short this time. He looks like he used to now, I'd missed that look. Livi did Keaton REALLY short on the sides, it's a little too short, she said he really looked like you. I'm going out on Tuesday for her to do my hair ... blondify me.
That's basically what's been going on with the Blackhams ... ♥ Jen and da boys
Monday, July 18, 2016
I don't know that I got an email out last week, but we had just seen several of you at the Westra/Waffles/Welatives at our house. And it is a good thing we didn't put the party off one more week because ... all my duckies are gone now!
Monday morning, the day after the party, I went out first thing, and was greeted by only four duckies. Antonia and Phillipa and flown (two of the black ones). I took a walk to the canal every day, but didn't see them. Wednesday, coming home from Zumba, I thought I saw a black head, so I pulled over and sure enough ... it was one of our duckies! Antonia!
Thursday morning ... two more were gone. Uno and Miguel. On a walk to the canal later that day, I did see that Uno and Antonia had found each other. Cooper and I also came upon a big group, at least 12, that looked just about a couple weeks younger than ours. We wonder if they were the ones that had stayed with us for a couple weeks. I've never seen that big a group (there were still 12 babies when they made it to the canal at 2-weeks old, they would be about 7 weeks old now). Rather than risking one more bird flying off solo, leaving one home alone, or the birds not making it to the canal, we took Ally and Jorge to the canal and let them out with Uno and Antonia.
I've been making many walks to the canal now! Each trip is about 30min (longer if I stay and chat with the duckies) and about a mile. A quarter mile from our house to the canal, then the ducks have settled about a quarter mile down the canal. So many goathead thorns though! I have to pick them out of my shoes every time after. This alge-bloom at Utah Lake is making it's way to the canals and Jordan River now. I hope the ducks are okay.
Gray and the boys finally made it up to Pineview with the waverunners. Last Saturday, and then again on Tuesday (with just the older boys and a friend). Landon was berating us from Mexico for not having gotten the girls out yet!
Keaton had researched and found a good deal on a Wii U ... we've been talking about getting one for quite a while. So he and the littles are putting up half the $$ and we ordered it (off ebay). We're lucky we got it though, as USPS delivered it to the wrong house! Happily those individuals were honest and brought it by. The boys have been enjoying it.
Callahan has also been into the Pokemon Go craze! Cooper jumped on board too, but has to use Landon's old phone (which is the "family phone" as we gave up our land line) because it needs service for the GPS. Cooper likes to go walk between the neighborhood park and the church, as both are Pokestops. Have you all heard of this game (it's all over Facebook and the news).
Gray tried smoking pork chops and chicken drumsticks last night ... and even a peach cobbler. Unfortunately he's really the only one that likes peach cobbler.
Jen and da boys (and no ducks)
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
I didn't get a letter out, Sunday, or Monday. Better late than never? We've been a bit boring this past week. Not a ton going on to write about. Landon hasn't sent out a general email in a few weeks, but I got one (a picture of a written letter, as his wifi camera can send it) so the blog is updated.
Gray is TRYING to compete with the parents on doctor appointments. He also had an appointment with a dermatologist last week and they took a sample to check. He goes back Thurs to get stitches removed. His pinched nerve pain comes and goes some, but he's had some bad days. Makes it hard to sleep especially. He's tried the recliner a few times, trying to find a pain-free position. Surgery might be in his near future too.
The kids have dentist appointments in July. Keaton has been having some tooth pain and might need a root canal himself. It's not even a cavity really, but more of a deformation on his tooth. The dentist couldn't really even get to it (pressed against another tooth, would have to go through and destroy a lot of good tooth to get there) and he been trying orthodontics to shift the tooth position some. Keaton's tooth pain comes and goes too.
Keaton's bedroom has a window on the East wall, and the morning sunshine just blasts in and his room gets SO hot. We had a portable window a/c, and so Keaton rearranged his room and we put it in there (picture attached of him jumping for joy).
Our six duckies are almost full grown and testing their flight feathers. Yesterday when I went out to turn off a sprinkler ... there were only four ducks! I peeked over the fence into the neighbor's backyard, and there the other two were. The neighbor's weren't home, but before (when Momma and baby ducks were wandering) they'd told me I could go back there if needed. By the time I walked around, one duck had flown back, but I couldn't get Uno to figure it out. I ended up catching him (quite a trick) and then tossing him back into our backyard. We'll see what the future brings. I'm wanting them to stick around until next Sunday at least, so they will be here for the Westra Waffle party.
After Zumba this morning, I invited on of my friends and her kids over to see the ducks. They thought it was pretty fun to feed them. We need to order more live mealworms (we only have dried ones right now).
Oh ... the other news is that Callahan has a new car. We didn't really need a new car yet, but Keaton driving and Landon returning home are right around the corner. I think it was Gray more than Cal who pushed it ... it's a Charger (picture attached).
♥ JenB and da boys (and da ducks and da new Charger)
Monday, June 13, 2016
Well, the first week of summer went pretty well. Not having to get up at 5:30 to get Callahan off to EMS has been nice, I have been sleeping in. Still hitting my Zumba classes though. The instructor for our stake is going to be gone most of the summer, so I'll be taking over. With that, I have a key to the church (to get in Tuesday mornings) and I've been taking the littles and going over for an hour here and there during the day. I let them play basketball, while I practice Zumba and supervise them.
Keaton and Callahan had a basketball camp up at the U of U last weekend. They will have the Copper Hills clinic at the high school this week (Mon-Thurs 9:00-12:00) and then Dixie camp the week after that. Originally I hadn't signed up Keaton for the camp, as it was the same week Gray had scheduled the Seattle trip (Callahan was going to miss the family vacation for it though). But, as Grayson has been struggling with pinched nerve pain and Meniere's attacks ... he made the tough decision to cancel the family going on the vacation (Kolby and Jami and Maga will still make the rounds). He just didn't feel like he could risk going down for four hours (which is what happens with the Meniere's) or battle pain the entire time. Luckily I was able to get Keaton onto the Dixie agenda late ... otherwise he would have been a sad boy that week with no basketball, no vacation, and no friends around.
In the backyard ... Momma and the babies took a walk Monday morning and didn't come back (they had been wandering almost every day at dawn and dusk but kept coming back). Colton and Cooper and I took a walk to the canal in the evening and we found them there. They made it. All 12 babies. I hope they stay safe. We still have our six (Ally is improving!) and I think they are happier with Momma and the babies gone. Now they have free reign over the yard and can swim whenever they want. They sure are growing fast.
While on the way to the canal, we came across a Killdeer - another bird, looks a little like a roadrunner with long legs. It is nesting right on the corner after you pass the canal on the way in. It laid it’s eggs in the rocks (decorative, instead of grass next to the sidewalk) for camouflage, because it’s eggs look just like rocks. Momma bird will run to the other side of the road and pretend to have a broken wing to distract you from the eggs, but will also fly AT you! She scared the boys! It’s a crazy busy corner for her to lay eggs at! Tons of cars and people! She nested there last year, and I remember seeing the little babies running around and hoping they wouldn't get hit by a car or eaten by a dog or cat.
Had a bad experience with our Oreo (kitty) and the elliptical on Thursday ... we are always really careful to make sure the kitties aren't in the gym if the treadmill is on, but the elliptical and bike are pretty safe, IF the kitties aren't IN the elliptical, hiding in the hole in the back. I have often caught Oreo going in right when I want to hit the machine, and I make him come out. This night, he was in there already and I didn't know it. I start up slow, but still I'm not sure how the gears move back there and where he was exactly. A thunk, a "meowwww" and a mad dash from the machine. Scared me to death and although he wasn't limping or had any physical sign of injury, I wasn't sure if he'd gotten squashed or how badly. He does seem to be fine though ... whew!
Gray made wonderful pulled pork this past weekend. The smoker was an early Father's Day present, and he's already put it to great use. He is often the one making Sunday dinners at our house now. Ribs, brisket, have yet to try even more yummy things. #graystartedsmoking
Last night we got hit with hail ... HUGE hail! We had to run out and coax the ducks to shelter under the trampoline (just grab a bucket of mealworms and the ducks will follow you anywhere). Seriously, the size of a nickle! As we have a couple pools of water for the ducks, as the hail would hit it, the water would explode. It was pretty cool to see. A little tough on the plants, but we don't have many (I have planted some stuff ... mainly for the ducks though).
That's it for this week ...
Jen and da boys (and da ducks)
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Poor Blackham boys ... we have no such college funds set up. Callahan had been hoping for the Regent's scholarship, but didn't score high enough on the ACT. Not that he can't take it again, but I just don't know that he'll improve it enough.
I didn't get an update out Sunday ...
- Memorial Day Grayson took the munchkins to Maga's, where they got haircuts ala Olivia and visited some family graves.
- The last week of school ... the kids got some school awards, the littles had field day.
- Gray got into the orthopedist for his pinched nerve (sorry Mom, we didn't know it would be contagious!) and got another round of steroids. He seems to be a bit better. Probably surgery next if it flares up again. More Meniere's though, a bad attack last Tuesday while at work. Between the two issues, Gray decided to call off the family trip to Seattle, which is a huge disappointment to him and extended family.
- Colton had his final Spring basketball game (they came in second) and will play summer. Keaton and Callahan will be packed here in June with basketball camps (playing up at the U tomorrow, Fri, Sat - at Dixie June 20-24).
- Our wild Momma ducky and babies made their way to the canal. We still have our six.
When I saw Derek post his car for sale, I wondered if we should buy it (not sure where our finances are at the moment) ... keep this whole car swap in the family! We've been practicing driving with Keaton this week, and Landon will be coming home next Feb, we're going to need more wheels!
I almost missed your update Mom, it got a bit buried in the blog email and I had to go look for it. Glad you can move around a bit more, but still so miserable (as Gray can attest to). Gray's MRI showed nothing (no brain tumor) so we're still sticking with the Meniere's diagnosis there (unfortunately it cost almost $900 out of pocket to show that) and unfortunately that scan won't work for the pinched nerve problem ... not sure if he'll need another MRI for that
Jen and da boys (and da ducks)
Sunday, May 29, 2016
It's continued to be ducky days around here. We are down one duckling though :( While we had a few close calls (them wandering off and a couple falling into the neighbor's window well, a cat attack at 4:30 in the morning, and they were gone Saturday night when we got home from the Westra BBQ, but found them across the circle and walked them home) we still had 13 ... up until Sunday morning. They wandered again (Momma and the babies), I've really tried to block all the exits from the yard (boards and stuff against any small holes in/under the fence) but they still got out. Again, a couple babies down a window well. I had to hold Momma off while Keaton got them out, and when we counted, just 12, not 13. We looked all around but could find no sign (or sound ... it's often the peeping that leads you to a lost duckling). I'm not sure if Momma actually wants to leave, or is just a little stir crazy in the small backyard and wants to forage and then would return on her own (if nothing happened in the mean time). She does fly off a couple times a day, circling the skies with the Mr, and we keep an extra close eye on the babies when she's left them alone.
Monday we went out to Maga's house to see Princess and the new kittens. They looked a little like rats, but I'm sure they'll be darling once they open their eyes and get a little bigger. Sadly, out of the five, they lost one ... this animal life is hard! The boys will probably mention that Joy is in heat again. It does cause a little inappropriate talk (about how Joy wants to get "knocked up" or how she needs a man). She's SO funny when in heat.
Gray had three derbies this past week (Tues/Wed/Thurs) which was a little harder than usual, as his neck pain has been bad this week. He's going to the doctor on Wednesday, and hopefully they might have some options to help.
Last week of school here. Early Morning Seminary ended, so I don't have to set my alarm for 5:30 to drag Callahan out of bed. It was actually nice to get a jump start on the day though ... I wonder how I'll do with exercise and such on a summer schedule. Colton had his 4th grade program last Wednesday, and Cooper and Keaton are getting awards this coming week.
We had to make some stressful decisions on basketball this week too. There is a camp up at the U ... and of course I don't drive there. In the Spring League, Keaton was bumped to the B team, and it was pretty miserable. Getting smashed almost every game, and just frustrating for him to feel like none of his teammates know the plays or will catch a passed ball. And with this U tournament, I'd have to be sending him with other families (it's an all day thing) and we're just not close enough with these kids to impose that way. So he'll miss it, and the Dixie camp (which is the same week Dad scheduled the Seattle trip this year ... Callahan is choosing Dixie over the family vacation). But we just get the feeling from the coaches that if you don't come to these camps, it will affect the chances of making the team in the fall. So ... we'll have to see. I guess if Keaton doesn't make the team (or even if he does and isn't getting playing time) maybe he could accompany Dad and come pick up Landon in Mexico next February! Keaton IS always spouting off in Spanish, and hasn't had a trip with Dad yet.
Monday, May 23, 2016