Friday, December 30, 2011

Done Derbies in 2011

Gray did 32 derbies this past year! March/April are usually the busiest months (and that is when OUR derby is too, which makes it even more crazy as Grayson needs to help his own boys build cars). January often has a car theme, which also makes it a popular month. Not sure why October was in such demand!

Jan 6, 18, 25, 27
March 3, 8, 22, 26, 29
April 7, 13, 14, 19, 26
May 24, 26, 31
June 14, 21, 28
August 23
Sept 20, 22, 28
Oct 4, 6, 12, 19, 26, 28
Nov 17
Dec 8

... he already has seven derbies on deck for 2012 ...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

TV Trouble and the Cable Cave

Back in June, I posted about the TV in the front room dying (after 15years of service) ... we moved the big plasma from our bedroom to the front room, and got a nice new television. It hadn't even been six months and that nice new tv developed LINES all through one side. I guess they don't make things they way they used to. We had bought the television off Amazon, and luckily the customer service department said they would accept the return of the defective tv (normally they would send out a replacement but they didn't have any of that particular model in stock). Gray went out and bought a replacement, and we had to try and make the old tv fit in the box and ship it back (Amazon covered the shipping, and luckily our neighbors have an almost daily UPS pickup, so at least that part was easy).

We also caved into CABLE tv. We'd been on the limited basic for quite a while. Way back when, I remember it was only $8 or so a month. It had gone up over the years, and when the "digital revolution" took place a while back, we lost a lot of the channels we were getting (that would now require a cable box). After that change (and the addition of Netflix) we really weren't watching much (if any) tv, and I was going to cancel completely. But, as we were bundled with Internet, it would only save us about $5 a month, and I figured we'd keep it just in case we wanted to watch something.

But with the NBA lockout over, the boys REALLY wanted to watch basketball games. We looked into the "LeaguePass" offered by the NBA, but didn't feel like that would let us watch the Jazz (blackout rules affect the local teams). So we finally bit the bullet and signed up for starter cable. We're now trying out the "on demand" features we've never had before and remembering what "live tv" is ... (commercials! yuck).  Watching actual "tv" again made us want our Tivo (DVR) back (we had cancelled this service over a year ago, we just weren't using it).   We'd given one of the boxes to my mom for Christmas (I KNEW she would LOVE Tivo and had been able to get a deal on lifetime service for that box), but I did reactivate one of the other boxes for our use. Comcast and Tivo don't always get along, but I was able to figure out the connections, and it actually made the whole setup in the front room better (no more switching inputs on the TV itself, which had been a huge pain!).

So we're still fairly basic ... we don't have NBA TV, but we do get ESPN, TNT and ROOT, and pretty much all the Jazz games come to those stations, and there are quite a few other games the boys can catch too. The boys are watching a little Nick and Disney again ... Gray likes to catch the Top20 Countdown and just  surf through the multitude of new channels now available.  Awaiting that first cable bill ...

Monday, December 26, 2011

All Together Again

 On Christmas Eve, 
the entire Westra clan was present, so we took a family photo.
The holidays do bring families together!

We also had everyone in town on the Blackham side, as Kolby's family had flown in from Portland. We met at Bucca de Beppo for a big family dinner. There were too many of us to sit at the Pope table as we had done years earlier. We should  have gotten a big family photo, but I didn't push a pose, so this is what I got ...
Buca de Blackhams
After dinner, everyone came over to our house for a bit, then Callahan and I left to his basketball game ( a competition tournament over the holiday weekend, it started a 9:00).  Over half the Blackham Bunch came out to watch and cheer Callahan  on (usually he only has me in the crowd, he was a little nervous playing in front of so much family). It was a great game though! A real nail-biter (even went into overtime) and Callahan really showed off this skills. Of course I made a video, and you can see it here!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning ... the boys weren't up too early. I don't know that there were really any surprises. Most of the presents had been wrapped early and put under the tree and the kids had figured out what almost all of them were.  Landon got some shoes, a scooter and a shuffle. Callahan got a ripstick, socks, a new jacket (and I told him his extra basketball teams were part of his Christmas!), Keaton got SuperMario, socks and a new hat for his collection. Cooper and Colton got lots of Legos (and were wearing their new Lego jammies they got last night). There were edible gifts too, all the kids got a favorite ... Oreos, Skittles, Takis, KitKats ... as if there aren't already enough goodies around during the holiday season!

 This is what it looked like before (above)
This is what it looked like after (below)

There were also three electronic flying toys ... a helicopter, an AirHogs UFO thing, and DuckHunt.  Two didn't even survive Christmas day (guess which one still works .... that's right, the cheapest one ...)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Break?

So ... Christmas was coming and the kids were STILL in school, much to their dismay! While other school districts had the entire week before Christmas off, and others got off at least by mid-week, this was not true for our kids. Now as a parent, I didn't really mind. It gave me a few extra days for shopping and wrapping presents without the kids underfoot. But the kids ... they were NOT happy about it. I don't have Twitter, but apparently there was such a fuss made there that it made the local news! The kids were posting that NO OTHER SCHOOLS in the United States were in school Dec 22 and 23. It will be remembered as the year the Jordan School District stole Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Programs

Christmas Season ... full of parties, programs and performances.  Of course there is the annual Columbia Christmas program at the elementary school.  Still three Blackham Boys performing (Keaton/5th Grade, Cooper/2nd Grade, Colton/Kindergarten). It's always a trial trying to find parking, and it was even worse this year with all the construction around the school. I didn't even try for a spot, but went down to the Arctic Circle a quarter mile away. I brought the video camera and caught some clips and compiled them here for family who didn't make the live performance (although the video version is quite condensed!) 

The end of the video showcased Cooper and Colton in a nativity at our ward Christmas party (Grayson was narrating too) ... there was another nativity during the Junior Primary (didn't get pictures, I think Colton was a shepherd that time) and then again at Maga's for the BlackhamBunch Christmas celebration.  The older boys had been very adamant that they would NOT be participating, but then when other older cousins were willing (and I had some new additions to the costumes) they all jumped right in. Landon is the star ... he was facing backwards in this picture, wish I caught his face better!

 We've done the nativity on the Westra side for many years, although not in recent years (too many other things to do, the slideshow, the candybar game). Too bad we didn't get around to it though, as we had a brand new baby to play Jesus (S&A's new addition born on Grayson's birthday). I offered to get out a few costumes JUST for a picture but at Grayson's panicked look, we passed (the kids were pretty busy). Cooper had also stated that after doing it twice already, he did NOT want to do "the activity" again! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Cooking

 Ah the holidays ... time for cooking up lots of holiday treats! Keaton's favorite cookies are "cookie press" cookies and I do like to make them during the Christmas season because of the cute tree shape. I also use the flower with pink/red dough, and I think it looks like a pretty poinsettia. 

I also made gingersnaps, cinnamon rolls, marshmallow brownies (with peppermint marshmallows), chex mix ... so many goodies! For the Christmas Eve party on the Westra side, I made a big batch of chicken noodle soup, rolls and breadsticks.

I was craving toffee, so I tried making a batch (it turned out ok). Landon came in and got SO excited thinking they were peanut butter bars ... they do look VERY similar. He didn't really want toffee, so he got out all the ingredients and made a batch of the bars ... they DO look a lot a like, don't  you think?

Treat Twins

Of course we got a ton of treats from friends and neighbors too ...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Birthday Boy!

Happy birthday to Colton! My baby is SIX years old! He was so very excited, counting down the days until his birthday. Daddy kept teasing him, saying he was just going to skip his birthday this year, and stay five. Colton knows better than to believe Daddy! I picked up the kindergarten carpool and we stopped at Arctic Circle with three of Colton's little friends. In the evening we went out to a family birthday dinner. Maga joined us and took Colton to ToysRUs for him to pick out a present (more Legos!). Colton also received a MOTOR scooter, which he has been wanting for quite a while. Happy birthday little buddy! We love you!  Here's a link pictures from birth until present day ...

Monday, December 19, 2011

... the most wonderful time of the year ...

... the song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" came on the radio, and Callahan commented "Christmas isn't the most wonderful time of the year ... basketball season is!" Of course, basketball season and Christmas do coincide, and in truth, basketball season is pretty much year round for the Blackham Bunch. BUT, December - February is REALLY basketball season, and this year, all five boys are involved!

Landon is reffing again, the first couple weeks he was over the 6th grade team league, which is very competitive and can get heated! Last week he pulled the shift at Columbia, and "reffed" both Colton and Cooper's games. This is Colton's first year, and he's having fun. Cooper wasn't sure about signing up, but after his first game, he is very glad Mom went ahead and did it despite his reservations. Keaton has had an undefeated season so far (three games in) but a lingering cough has made lasting through his games tough. Callahan is playing on THREE teams. Junior Jazz in both the 7th and 8th grade divisions, and then a high school prep competition league. There is often overlap in all the games, but we're working it out! If you want to see the Blackham Boys in action, here are a few video highlights, and the complete game schedule and summaries/videos are on the HoopDreams blog.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sick Season

We've had a pretty good run of good health, so I'm not really complaining. Then in November the COUGHS came to visit. It started with Landon, then Keaton, then the other boys (then me). Keaton had it the worst, he would sometimes cough so much he would throw up. He had to come home from school a couple times. It has impacted his basketball ... after several weeks he's still not really over it. 

Then there was the stomach bug. Colton was at his early morning basketball game when he said his tummy hurt. We ended up leaving the game early and heading home, but not quite early enough, as the poor little guy threw up all over in the car. Again on Sunday ... Cooper joined him on Monday (and I kept Keaton home too). The three boys were all situated in the "sick" spots on the couch, with their cups of "tickle juice" (Sprite) and buckets nearby. It was just a one day thing for Cooper, he and Keaton went back to school the next day, but Colton was still down Tuesday (I even ran him to the doctor as he was in a lot of pain and this was going on for so many days, but it was just a stomach bug). Still home Wednesday, then he finally made it back to school.

Let's all be well for Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

... It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas ...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! What makes it feel like Christmas at the Blackham house 2011?  We always decorate the front porch with alpine trees and greenery and poinsettia plants, with wreaths under the lights on the garage and on the front door ... this year Grayson put up the outdoor lights! Yea, it's been years since we've had them as part of our holiday decor :)

 The stockings hung by the fireplace ...
A variety of holiday nesting dolls
our little elf slide toy

The Winter Wonderland Skating Pond ... this was given to us LONG ago and we've really enjoyed getting it out each year! It's on it's last legs, having been beaten up through the years. A fond memory with this was little Landon taking his dinosaurs and placing them in the scene, with one poor skater in the mouth of a T-rex, with the other skaters looking up in terror ... *Ü*

The kinetic pyramid ...
 the heat from the candles causes the inner scenes to rotate. 
A funny memory not with THIS pyramid, but Maga's.
 ... it caught fire and went up in flame!
A Christmas memory those there will never forget!

... and then there is the Santa head filled with M&M candies. Christmas just is not complete until he is out and filled up (and then of course emptied out) ... the "clank" of the candy jar being opened and closed is a common sound throughout the holidays. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cooper's Counseling

I posted a while back about Cooper's weather worries. They started in the summer and really started causing problems when school started. One day after I had been called to the school, the principal suggested we check out the services offered by the district at the Jordan Family Education Center. 

We went in for an "intake" and were approved for some short term counseling. Every week, we'd go meet with Dr. D to try and get Cooper to come to terms with his feelings and learn coping techniques.

The weather continued to plague Cooper. Cloudy skies, rain ... there were times Cooper wouldn't even come out of his bedroom (too many windows in the kitchen). After reading and recommendations from the therapist, I ended up taking Cooper to the pediatrician and got him on some medication to help counter the flight or flight effects. It took some time, but between the counseling sessions and pills, Cooper does seem to be doing better. He no longer checks the weather forecast several times a day. He goes to school without as many issues (and really excels there!) Weather still comes up in conversation very often, but it's not the issue it was. It's a little hard to tell, because snow doesn't seem to bother Cooper the way rain and wind do. I dread Spring and the storms ahead, but I'm hoping for rainbows ...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wild Winds!

 The topic of the day yesterday was the WIND ... it didn't really hit us bad here in West Jordan (it was garbage day, but the bins didn't tip over) ... Davis County is where it got hit hard. Maga's fenced in backyard is no longer fenced in (the picture above). It looks like a tornado hit. The news reports said it was hurricane force winds.  The freeways weren't safe for semis or other high-profile trucks (there was a huge line of trucks at the stops and along the edge of the road). Some that didn't stop blew over. Trees were uprooted all over. Power was out and schools were cancelled in the area.

Once when some big winds hit before, one of Grayson's homes going up had some property damage, but no Havenhill Homes were in the fragile framing stages this time so they escaped without incident . This apartment complex near Grandma's house wasn't so lucky. Gray drove by this and his heart just bled for them...

I didn't mention the wind to my little weather worrier Cooper ...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Daily Doings (Dec2011)

1231 (Saturday) It was a busy day. I got up and got cinnamon rolls rising. Gray was doing some cleaning, so we all were. It was a long morning, I was on my feet all day. I'd invited my parents over for New Years. Last year it was a big party, but we kept it small this year. The older boys had plans with friends, but were home for a bit with Grandma and Grandpa for dinner, games and some ping pong. Landon went to Sam's house, and Keaton and Callahan went to Travis' with Bailey and Jacob. Cooper had a bit of a meltdown anticipating the change in church time tomorrow and he had to seek solace in his bed quite early. Colton stayed and played games until he got too tired. We ended up playing progressive rummy, which I have many fond memories of (Mom won). Keaton came home around 10:30 as the grandparents were leaving. The older boys stayed out to celebrate the new year.

1230 (Friday) I'd called Comcast to upgrade our cable service and they came this morning. It will mean a new phone number too, which is a bummer. They should just be able to port the number over but ... the kids have enjoyed having a multitude of channels they haven't been able to watch before, but we do miss the Tivo. It's not just the additional cost, but Tivo doesn't seem super compatible with Comcast's equipment. We'll see ... Callahan had a birthday party in the morning, Landon had one in the afternoon. Colton had a playdate and Callahan ended up going to Stockton's house later too, so lots of driving around. Stockton came back to our house after. French Dip for dinner and then the boys watched the Jazz game ... because we can now. And they even won.

1229 (Thursday) I've had some FunNMotion coupons for a while that expire soon. I picked up some additional ones with a more recent deal, so I gave one to Bailey, Jacob and Travis for Christmas and told them we'd to during the break. With Callahan's basketball games Mon-Wed, we had planned for today. We went right when they opened at 11:00, but there was a huge Kindercare group there monopolizing the laser tag and maze until 12:00, so we went back home and waited. Landon also talked his buddy Patrick and his three brothers into going. I chatted with their mom while we waited. Travis needed to be back by three, and the two little boys only had a 2-hour pass (and they were about done) so we left the other kids there and went back for them later.

1228 (Wednesday) Callahan had a game at 12:00 at Bingham. We weren't really expecting too much from this team as they had lost both their games, but they caught us off guard. Callahan had a "down" game (hit the ground a lot), rolled his ankle and hit his elbow hard, so he was out for a little bit. Tough game (loss) but it actually didn't matter to the finals, as we were already out (due to the loss yesterday). Callahan ended up going home with Brendan and hanging out there all day. I took Landon in for a haircut, then Gray and Landon went out with Clay and Kolby in the evening for boy's night out.

1227 (Tuesday) Holiday mode ... sleeping in, not getting a lot done. Callahan ended up going with Cole to watch their game at 10:00, then hanging out at Gene Fullmer after. He had a game at 5:00 at Jordan High School. We picked up Stockton and headed out, getting stuck in traffic around 90th, but made it there on time. This game was against the Flash, which had six of Callahan's former Superleague players on it. It was a good game. Callahan was out for a bit with a bloody nose. Down by three in the final moments of the game, but this time we couldn't pull it out. Gray and I went to a movie in the evening, MissionImpossible; Ghost Protocol, which was pretty good. We had to go to the theaters at Jordan Landon, as the District was sold out.

1226 (Monday) Christmas is over. We were actually pretty quick to take things down this year (the tree, the decor, Landon turned off the outdoor lights last night, as they have been shining brightly into his room). Gray went into work (halfday), I went out to check the after Christmas specials. I picked up rolls of wrapping paper for next year's neighbor gifts. In the evening, we went out to BucaDiPepo with the Blackham clan (Kolby's family had come in from out of town) and everyone came over to our house after, then to Callahan's 9:00 game (holiday tournament). It turned out to be a great game for everyone to see, Callahan did great and it was a real nail-biter! Tied it up there in the final seconds to go into overtime, and then won by one!

1225 (Sunday) The boys were up around 7ish ... although I think they already knew almost everything they were getting. Landon got a scooter, some shoes, a shuffle. Cal got a ripsitck, GeorgeLopezDVDs, socks and Skittles. Keaton got SuperMario for Wii, socks, a hat, and a bunch of hot chips. Cooper got a new mini basketball, lots of legos. Colton also lots of legos, UnoRoboto, a mini-transformer. I got a brownie pan and a mobile charger. I didn't do great for Gray ... got him some DietCoke which he opened last night, some DVDs and a burner for paracord making. After we opened presents and headed up to Maga's house. Clay&Courtney didn't make it until later (they actually went to church!). It was a good Christmas.

1224 (Saturday) Sleep in :)  Gray was up fairly early for some more shopping. I got up and got the dough started and made the annual Westra slideshow. Made some chex mix and chicken noodle soup and got all packed up. We went to my folks around 4:00 and the whole clan was there. We ate, had the slide show, played the candy bar game and exchanged gifts (no nativity again). We watched some YouTube videos (KidHistory, which my kids are now addicted to) on Mom's new tv. Home, set out stuff for santa and to bed! Gray wasn't feeling well ... he'd stayed healthy through it all until now ...

1223 (Friday) Colton seemed fine, so I sent him off to school. Dropped Callahan off early for late start then went to Kohls. Callahan had said he needed a new jacket and I had my eye on one there, also some nike socks. Grabbed those and wrapped the last of the gifts. I only had middle school carpool pickup today, which was a nice break. Callahan wanted to go to friends after school, so I dropped him off. I gave him the new jacket, and a cell phone fell out of the pocket! I was able to get some contact info from it and let the person know I had their phone and they arranged to come pick it up. Landon didn't end up coming home from school, but also went to a friend's house. In the evening, we delivered the neighbor gifts, then Gray and the older boys went out for some last minute Christmas shopping.

1222 (Thursday) Christmas program day over at the school ... oh how I love it ... NOT.  Crowds and parking stress! I didn't even try to park at or near the school, but went down to Arctic Circle and parked there and walked up.  Kindof funny to see all the illegal parking! They started with the 6th graders and wentdown  in chronological order. If they just let parents know the order, those with kids in just the younger grades could wait to come (after those with kids in just the older grades left) and it would help alleviate a lot of the crowding issues. Colton came home crying saying he didn't feel well :(  I had him rest until it was time to pick up Landon. We had a full car ride home, with a couple extra kids, which not only makes me late to pick up Callahan ... but today, Colton threw up in the car again! We were SO close, just coming down Mapleleaf (again!). I had to stop and clean the car out (oh the smell) which made me even later to pick up Callahan. Luckily Colton seemed to feel better after the barf and wanted to play later in the day. Gray came home and crashed again. I prepped the neighbor gifts (we should have delivered them today!) Made gingersnap dough and the older boys prepared little packages for the school friends.

1221 (Wednesday) Felt like I got some stuff done today. Some cleaning, except the vacuum wasn't working. While I don't like vacuuming per say, I don't like NOT being able to do it. Moving around some stuff in middle earth, I came across an old video camera, one I don't ever remember even having! I was thinking of pulling out the older one (that I do remember) for Cooper to use whenever he wanted. I got in my cardio and weights. I headed out to the store in the evening, as we were low on bread, stopping at Blockbuster too. It started to snow. Gray came home and crashed and I made up cookie press cookies for Keaton.

1220 (Tuesday) Happy Birthday Colton! BUSY day ... got the kids off to school and got in 40 min on the elliptical. Then off to the school to volunteer in Cooper's class, then bring home the kindergarten carpool. We stopped at Arctic Circle, as we're not really having a birthday party for Colton, this was kindof it.  Randon even gave Colton a card with cash in it. My car has been giving me some warnings, so I stopped in and had the oil changed and air put in the tires, but the engine light is still on ... got home to a message that Keaton was sick, so back to the school to get him. It's just this lingering cough! I had written a note requesting he be allowed to stay inside, as the cold weather, bad air, and overexertion at recess make him cough so hard he throws up. But his teacher didn't let him stay, and sure enough ... I really think if he'd stayed inside there wouldn't have been a problem. Carpools for high school, middle school then BACK to the elementary again to pick up Cooper and carpool. Ortho for Callahan, then we went out for a birthday dinner at Chuck-a-Rama (I had some kid coupons). Maga met us there and took the little boys to ToysRUs after for a present for Colton. I finished the day with one more workout.

1219 (Sunday) Many school districts are out this week, but not ours, we go through Friday, much to the kids dismay. A ran to the store, then had a playdate after kindergarten.  Carpools in the afternoon, then basketball practice in the evening.

1218 (Sunday) Felt much better after sleep. We had a family party at Maga's after church, so after making waffles, I continued cooking (brownies, lemon jello cake). I walked to church. The primary had borrowed the nativity costumes for the smaller kids, and I helped dress up the kids.  There were a ton (lots more than when Gray and I did it a few years ago) and it was pretty chaotic. We used the costumes again at Maga's right after church. We ate (soup and rolls) played the candy bar game (Blackham version, with monetary prizes in addition to the candy), bingo and the nativity. My boys (all except Colton) had said they would not be participating, but when Rex's grandkids did (and they saw some of the new costumes ... Landon was the star) they jumped in and it was cute.

1217 (Saturday) Landon started his ref shift at 8:00, at Columbia today, so he'd be reffing both little boys. After I dropped him off I ran by Smiths Marketplace for a deal on some Christmas gifts (which then had me return the same item back to Target, which I'd bought a couple days earlier at a higher price). Stopped for donuts on the way home. Callahan had a game at 10:00, and again at 12:00 (won the first, lost the second). Colton also had a game at 12:00, Gray took him, and Cooper, whose game was at 1:00. Cal and I stopped in there after his game. I stayed with Cooper while Gray went and got Keaton and took him to his game at 2:00. It was also picture day, I sent Colton and Cooper with neighbors, and went onto Keaton's game (they won). I picked up Landon at 4:00, then took C&K in for pictures at 4:30. I was pretty wiped out. Landon went to a party and Callahan went back to Gene Fullmer for some basketball with Ben. I took a shower and went to bed early. Gray had to stay up to pick up Landon from his party at 11:00.

1216 (Friday) Late start for Callahan, then I was on kindergarten carpool duty. Randon came to play for a bit afterward. I didn't have to pick up Columbia carpool, but still had the High school and Middle school ones. I was frustrated getting back from grabbing Callahan, as Landon and Keaton had gotten into it (and I had only dropped Landon off 15 minutes before ... seriously, they can't get along for 15 minutes????). Basketball practice in the evening. I dropped Keaton off at 6:00, taking an alternate route, because traffic was horribly backed up (saw emergency vehicle lights on 7800). Back at 8:00 to drop Cal off and pick up Keaton, then back at 9:00 to pick up Callahan.

1215 (Thursday) Colton went to school today. Sans kids, I finally made it into the store for some groceries, and then pulled out presents to get them wrapped and under the tree. Carpools, and then it was Cooper's last counseling session. While we're not back to "normal" yet, he's doing a lot better. It will be nice to get Thursday afternoons back, as the counseling took up a good 2-hour block. Callahan had basketball practice in the evening. I dropped him then ran a couple errands, back home for just a bit, then back to pick him up.

1214 (Wednesday) Kept Colton home again, but he seemed much better today. I was able to get down to the gym for cardio and weights. Carpools in the afternoon, Colton wasn't thrilled about going to get Landon but he wasn't napping or throwing up or anything. It was pretty crazy after school, with lots of friends over (and after I had gotten accustomed to the quiet), makes it hard for me to handle.  Gray and the older boys had scouts in the evening.

1213 (Tuesday) Colton threw up again first thing in the morning ... so he stayed home again. Cooper and Keaton went back to school (Cooper quite unwilling and unhappy I wasn't going to make it in for my usual volunteer time). Colton ended up having an awful day, perhaps the worst so far. Rolling around and moaning in pain. He didn't throw up again, but had bad diarrhea. He finally fell asleep, and I didn't know what to do about carpool. I ended up calling Emma, one of the ward babysitters (out of school though) and she came over and watched him while I went out. I figured Colton's condition was just a bug, but in the back of my mind I was a little worried it could be something else (appendicitis?) and figured I should run him to the doctor just to be sure. So $120 later I was reassured it was just a bug. Landon had talked about really wanting to go to the basketball game at Bingham (school rival) and I had been up for it before the draining day. I'm not sure why he changed his mind about going, but I was grateful I didn't have to run him out there. Callahan had practice but caught a ride with Cole's family.

1212 (Monday) Colton was still off, so I figured I'd keep him home. Then Cooper threw up a couple of times, so I would be keeping him home too. I was worried about the 2:30 time, when I need to pick up Landon. If the little ones were sick and throwing up, what would I do? Take them in the car? Leave them home alone? Keaton had thrown up last night too (and once Fri and once Thurs) but his were more a result of his coughing than of a tummy bug. But, I decided it might just be easier to have him stay home (I felt he could watch brothers during the carpool) and a full day of rest would maybe help him recover from this cough that has been plaguing him. Cooper wasn't sick again and seemed ok. Colton didn't throw up again, but his tummy hurt him, although he seemed to be doing better by the evening. Keaton of course seemed pretty much fine. I cooked up some chicken and turned it into chicken pillows and chicken soup for dinner. Callahan had basketball practice in the evening. Klint's CH team had a game, and borrowed Cal's jersey for Rowland to use (he hadn't signed up originally) - they don't match exactly but are quite close. But Klint's team still lost, by just two points. :(

1211 (Sunday) Colton still wasn't feeling well, so I made arrangements to stay home from church with him. Cooper was NOT happy about that, but Gray said he did fine. Colton did throw up a couple more times, not that he had anything in his little tummy to come up. Poor baby! After church I made toasted cheese sandwiches and homemade oreos for dessert. Gray made his popcorn and we watched a movie on the new TV. Got the old one packaged up and ready to go back. Our neighbors have a UPS pickup, so that comes in handy.

1210 (Saturday) 8:00 morning again. Landon's work shift started then, and so did Colton's game. I dropped Landon off and Colton and I went onto his game. He did his little practice but came over saying he wasn't feeling well. He tried playing, but we ended up leaving early ... but not early enough. We didn't quite make it home when he threw up all over himself and the car :(  I cleaned up the kid while Grayson cleaned up the car (he did a good job, I couldn't smell anything! Callahan's game was at 10:00, then Keaton's game was at 12:00. Gray went to Patrice Thorup's funeral, so Cal stayed home to tend the sick baby, even though he wanted to go to Keaton's game to hang with his friends. I arranged for Cooper to attend his TaeKwonDo "graduation" ceremony (there had been some classes at the school). After Keaton's game we picked up Landon. Callahan's next game was at 2:00 ... actually two games. Mason was filling in on Klint's team. The CH team won today. We went straight to Cooper's game after (Gray had taken him there). Cooper did great! Fun to watch.  Klint's CH team was playing at 5:00 and Callahan wanted to go watch, so we went. Brenden had hurt his knee at the earlier game, so he gave Cal his jersey and Callahan played. It was a basketball day! Gray went out and bought a new TV, so the evening was spent getting that installed.

1209 (Friday) With the carpool situation in the morning a little off-kilter, I said I could drive today, as Callahan's school has the late start. I picked up the two kids that Olsen's take too. Got the elementary kids off to school, then took Callahan in. I stopped at Kohls and Payless Shoes. Once Colton got home, we went out to the bread store and Reams. Early out and other carpools. It was Gray's work party in the evening. I had time to drop the boys off at basketball practice (made arrangements for them to get a ride home). Dinner was downtown at RuthsChris.

1208 (Thursday) Got the kids off to school then I went to Sam'sClub and got the battery in the car replaced. I had purchased the current one there a little over five years ago, and it has an 8-year warranty. I still had to pay some but it was discounted. Picked up some items I had wished I had picked up yesterday. Carpool afternoon. Callahan had basketball practice in the evening. I stayed and watched as it was just an hour.

1207 (Wednesday) Got the kids off to school then I hit a few stores, Target, Sams and Walmart. My car wouldn't start in the Walmart parking lot, luckily I was able to get a jump and get home.  Cooper continues to have poop problems ... a big mess today. I guess we're lucky nothing has happened at school. The boys had scouts in the evening (triple D).

1206 (Tuesday) BAD night ... Cooper must have been exhausted from basketball, as he went to bed around 6:00. But then he was up in the night (with diarrhea, and then just awake) ... that kept me awake too. Landon's ride didn't pick him up this morning ... there has been some confusion with the carpool. My day to volunteer at the school, then I brought the kids home. Colton went to play at Randon's, and they ended up going to Chick-fila as they had gotten some coupons in school. They were still there when it was time to pick up Landon. Landon noticed Colton wasn't in the car and when I told him where he was he said "why wasn't I invited to this party?" Funny ... but those little kids LOVE Landon and I'm sure he would have been welcome. Cooper had scouts in the afternoon. Callahan ended up going home with friends, so I picked him up later that evening and stopped for Dominos on the way home. Cooper and Colton both crashed early again. Cooper is now coming down with the cough too.

1205 (Monday) The kid's bed was a mess ... Cooper had diarrhea in the night. Had to change the sheets and wash everything.  Got in cardio and weights while the kids were at school. Afternoon carpools. Cooper's team was having a little basketball practice at the church by JoelP. Callahan and Colton came too, but I ended up taking Colton back, he was a bit in the way and then he got bonked in the head. Cooper was happy to go, it seems basketball is a good thing. Callahan had his first high school prep league game in the evening at Bingham. They got their jerseys there. It was against LonePeak, a good team, and our boys got beat. Much tougher and faster at this level.

1204 (Sunday) Sunday sleep in ... at least get to stay in bed. Got a couple elliptical sessions in, but too cold to walk to church. Cooper was unhappy after class as they didn't have treats today (Fast Sunday). Toasted cheese after church, then I made lasagna to freeze and for dinner tomorrow. Homemade oreos for the Sunday treat.

1203 (Saturday) Basketball business begins! No Saturday sleep in, as Landon had to be at JoelP for an 8:00-1:00 shift. I dropped him off then picked up some donuts from Dunford. Callahan had a 7th grade game at 10:00, against some of the kids/coaches from his AAU HS Prep team, but Brian's team won. There were two games at 12:00. I took Callahan to his, Gray took Colton to his. Callahan's team was behind, but managed to come back for the win. Colton seemed to enjoy his game. I stopped and picked up Landon on the way home. Double games at 2:00 again. I took Keaton, Gray took Cooper. Cooper was a mess before, crying and upset, but then came out and did great at the game. He seemed to enjoy it and admits he's glad I signed him up. RELIEF! It could have gone either way. Keaton's game was fine, they won, but Keaton was on the bench a bit because he was coughing up a storm and did look tired. Callahan came to watch ... really to hang out with friends (Brendan, Jared, Steven). We brought treats and I made a treat sign up. In the evening, Callahan went to a surprise party for Brian (basketball team) while the rest of us went to the church Christmas party. Landon entertained the little ones (playing tag around the church), there were some service projects, a nativity (Gray narrated while the little ones took part), dinner (breakfast). I left early with Landon to drop him at a party. Stopped at Smiths on the way home, then grabbed Gray and the boys as the party ended. Had to go out at 10:00 to pick Landon up.

1202 (Friday) Late start for Callahan, he and I got in a little ping pong before school.  Keaton and Callahan both had practice in the evening (Keaton 6-8, Callahan 8-9 ... but today they both went and stayed the entire time). Landon had stayed after school for the basketball games there. I had told him I'd pick him up, thinking it would work out well between dropping Callahan off and picking him up, but it actually pushed pickup a little too close, as they close down the school. C&K were waiting outside in the cold.  Games tomorrow.

1201 (Thursday) Wind and rain noisy on the windows in the morning. Cooper was concerned about the weather, had his moment then moved on. The wind was the topic of conversation today, as Davis County got hit hard. Hurricane force winds, roads closed, semi trucks tipped over, trees torn up. Pam's fence was casualty. It wasn't that bad here, in fact the garbage cans didn't even blow over. Gray ended up coming home as they didn't have any power at the office. I had the kids carpools, then Cooper's counseling, then Callahan's basketball practice.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Off-Track Activities

Off-track time ... in the past, we've always done bowling, but enough schools have gone back to the traditional schedule that there just wasn't enough demand this year. Bowling was not even offered. I worried that the kids might go stir-crazy, but then I realized this off-track time was different ... no Callahan! Callahan was the one who needed scheduled activities. With him still in school, the other three boys were pretty content to stay home and relax.

A month or so ago, Groupon offered a deal for Chuck-E-Cheese, so we did go there one day. We had the place almost to ourselves (one of the few benefits of being out of school during the school year) and the boys had a blast.

They played lots of games,
got lots of tickets,
redeemed them for prizes ...

Got pizza and drinks and had a great time!

We also redeemed a Groupon for a month pass at Jump N' Bounce, and although we went a few times, we didn't make use of it as much as we did during the summer months (we were regulars then!). We also had some doctor and dentist appointments ...

and then it's Back to School again ...

Friday, November 25, 2011

School Success!

Good job Blackham Boys! Landon is pretty good about coming home and getting on assignments and homework. I do get the email updates from the school and check in on his progress on Skyward, and I do have to nag him occasionally. Very happy he made the honor roll, and the school mailed out this nice certificate.

I was always a very studious worker when I was in school, but the elusive 4.0 seemed always just out of my grasp (until my senior year in high school anyway). Callahan achieved it his first quarter in middle school! He was also honored at the school with the TripleCrown award (4.0, Perfect attendance:no absences, no tardies, and all Honors in citizenship) ... just 32 kids in the whole school could claim that (yet several of the others earning the award are his good friends, glad he has good, smart friends!).

Great first quarter in your new schools Blackham Boys!
Keep up the good work!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Birthday Bashes

During November, we had TWO birthday bashes ... one on the Westra side, one on the Blackham side. There are a LOT of birthdays. On the Westra side, it was for Adria, Grandma, me, Gray and Rick. Alicia had her new little baby boy just a couple weeks after the party (on Grayson's birthday), so there's one more!

On the Blackham side, it was for a little more than just November birthdays ... Rex, Will and Olivia actually fell in the end of October. November birthdays were me, Gray, Addie and Ana ... and Maga even put Colton's name on the cake, figuring that his birthday would probably get overlooked in the Christmas celebrations come December ...

Another year older and wiser too, right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scout Stuff

We missed Pack Meeting in September (Gray had a derby and Keaton was helping him) and the one for October got cancelled ... so Keaton finally got his Arrow of Light award at the November pack meeting. Good job Keaton! Cooper was also officially welcomed into the pack ... as one Blackham Boy moves on, another moves in ...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ping Pong Players

A few months ago, we took down the small basketball hoop in the basement (it had gotten pretty trashed). This opened the room up quite a bit ... enough for a ping pong table? During our dating days, Gray and I played quite a bit of ping pong. When moved into our first house, we bought a table and played almost daily. Lots of fond ping pong memories ... and I got to thinking it was time to make some more.

While I was still pondering the possibility, one of my boys challenged me to a ping pong game while at my parents house. I was surprised that all three of the older boys were worthy opponents! This increased my desire for a ping pong table, as I would have plenty of partners and I figured it would get used.

It took a bit of cleaning and rearranging to make room, but I did it ... and my birthday was coming up. Usually, I never have much to say when I'm asked what I want for my birthday. I'm spoiled, I have pretty much everything I want, much less need. But this year ... I wanted a ping pong table. I got a ping pong table. Happy birthday to me!

It has gotten a lot of use. With enough practice, maybe the boys can even beat Grandpa one day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Ball 2011

So the Fall season of basketball has come to an end. There were a few changes to Callahan's team ... playing in the 7th/8th grade division, Mason and Tyler (two now 9th graders) who had played with us during the summer were now too old. We also lost Mason (and Rowland) to a different team (we really missed them ... especially when we had to play AGAINST them, that game being our only loss of the season). We gained Brighton, Haydon and Luis. Tanner started the season but then decided to leave the team, so we played with nine for the remaining games.

Keaton enjoyed playing on Steve's team again, his third season with Max, Jonathon and Tanner. There were other familiar faces and a couple new friends he hadn't played with before. They had a good season, 5 wins and 3 losses.

I made videos of all the games, you can see them on the Basketball Blog. I also took all of just Keaton's Clips and compiled them into one video recap ... here are his highlights.

Junior Jazz starts in December .... it will be busy! Landon will be reffing, and all four younger boys are signed up to play. I hope we don't have too many scheduling conflicts. Not sure what we'll do if we happen to have FOUR games scheduled at one time! For the past two years, Callahan has played on a Superleague team (another game and a couple practices a week) but that fell through this year ... but then the local high school (CopperHills, where Callahan is planning on attending) held tryouts, creating three 7th grade teams to play in a high school prep league ... Callahan was thrilled to make the top team. We'll keep you updated as basketball begins *Ü*

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chicken Pillows

I'd never heard of Chicken Pillows prior to becoming a Blackham .... but they are a staple in the Blackham home (Pam's,  and now ours). They are one of Grayson's favorites, and the boys eat them too (I don't, but I do MAKE them). 

2 Cups Chicken (cooked and cubed)
4 T Soft Butter
6oz Cream Cheese
4oz Mushrooms (Drained)
2 Cans Crescent Rolls

Mix butter and cream cheese.  Add mushrooms and meat.  Open rolls.  Place 1/4 cup mixture on each roll. Roll each pillow in melted butter, then roll in bread crumbs.  Bake on cookie sheet at 375 for 20 minutes.  Lightly dilute cream of chicken soup in saucepan, heat serve over pillows.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Daily Doings (Nov2011)

1130 (Wednesday) Colton's turn for a rough start. He has now started coughing too, and the slimy stuff was choking him causing him to freak out completely. Got him calmed down, hot bath, a little medication and he was ok once it was time for school. I was on kindergarten carpool duty, Randon and Colton stayed at Nathan's house to play. Carpools ... Callahan stayed at Stockton's again, I picked him up around 6:30 to get him home in time for scouts. French Dip for dinner.

1129 (Tuesday) Happy there was a bit of a weight drop after my being good yesterday (cardio, weights, ping pong and eating, despite the destructive morning ...). Rough start for Keaton. The three older boys have been coughing up a storm for a while and K was just tired of it. Didn't want to get out of bed, was uber emotional.  I went into the school for my weekly volunteering in Cooper's class. After, Colton and I went to GeneFullmer and signed Callahan up for a 7th grade team (checked and it did NOT have scheduling conflicts, at least for Callahan, and as Cole is on the team, they said they can give him rides to any games/practices as needed). We stopped at Maceys for some groceries then home. Carpool afternoon ... actually Cal called and went home with Stockton, so instead of picking him up at three, I went out to grab him there around 5:30. We stopped for some Wendys, using the frosty coupons from Halloween. I made ChickenParmBake for dinner. Callahan had basketball practice, catching a ride with Cole.

1128 (Monday) Ok ... back to the routine, and trying to get back to reasonable eating. Trying to get back to pre-Thanksgiving weight, and then continue to work down. The day didn't start out well though, what can I say, it was cyber-Monday and I felt a little obligated to participate. Did a bit of shopping and we might be good for Christmas now, although I'm sure I'll add a bit more. I snacked quite a bit while shopping, but then didn't eat much for the rest of the day. Still just did leftovers for dinner (but we're almost through them). Dropped Callahan off at practice at CH, then went to a few stores (Target, BestBuy, Kohls) then back to pick him up. We did get the schedules for the high school prep tournament, and it is NOT later like they had indicated, but right smack in the middle of the day with all the other games. Callahan had THREE that are at the exact same time. It's very disappointing and it will be hard for him to have to choose and have to miss games. There was no one kicking us out of the gym, so Callahan kept shooting while I talked with one of the other coaches, picking his brain about the various leagues and such. Gray was asleep when I got home, but I was still pretty awake. Did the dishes, made his lunch and even did some more elliptical before turning in.

1127 (Sunday) Beat Gray down to the gym today, and walked to/from church. Skimped a little there and got some extra cardio in. Also did some ping pong. Eating was high though, with Sunday Circles and gingersnaps for the Sunday treat.

1126 (Saturday) Up early for an 8:00 game. Unfortunately this was just a pseudo-game. The team we were supposed to play yesterday at 11:00 refused to come play us, saying our no-show was a win for them. One of the other teams (the one that ended up in the championship game) came to play us just to give us a third game, but the results didn't matter and they cut the second half short. We lost by two. Cole and Mason (on the team) came over to hang out between games, and we went back for the 4:00 game, which we won. Callahan rolled his ankle and it hurt him quite a bit. They have an opening on the team for JuniorJazz, and as Callahan's team is playing 8th grade, he could do this too, so I think we will. We stopped at the bread store and dropped some books off at the library. Cinnamon rolls again, and another DVD and popcorn.

1125 (Friday) No Black Friday shopping for me, I didn't even look at the ads. Don't want to feel bad about the deals I'm not getting. Callahan was scheduled for two games today, at 5:00 and 7:00, until we got a call saying there was a scheduling error and it was actually 11:00 and 2:00. We were too late for the first, but went to the 2:00 game and the boys won. Callahan had a good game. Two games tomorrow. I'd set some of the leftover dough out to rise for cinnamon rolls - had to borrow some powdered sugar for the icing as we were out. With the evening now free, Gray and I headed out to the movies, but we hadn't purchased the tickets ahead of time and there weren't any good seats left. We went to Red Robin instead. Stopped at Blockbuster on the way home and grabbed a DVD.

1124 (Thursday) Good morning ... got the rolls rising and made a second batch of dough. Dinner rolls (crescent and butterflake) and orange rolls. Made my CoolWhip dessert too. Off to Maga's around 2:00 for the Thanksgiving Feast.  Gray and I played ping pong for about an hour in the evening.

1123 (Wednesday) Not a good night for sleep, for me or Gray :( I had basketball brain. Did some Thanksgiving prep, made roll dough, set some rising for dinner tonight, the rest I'll make up tomorrow. Made cookie press cookies, paid some bills, carpools, a trip to the grocery store for forgotten items. Late dinner steak/chicken and the rolls.

1122 (Tuesday) Not a super productive day. Mom called before heading down to St. George (visiting Wendy's family for the Thanksgiving holiday) needing help updating the Ipod. We were able to get it done. It was my day to volunteer at the school. Cooper had actually gone out to recess! I brought home the kindergarten carpool. Colton and I ran to Smiths for some groceries, then he went to play at Randon's house. I wasn't picking up Landon from school as there were basketball games after. In fact, I had arranged for Bailey to watch Cooper and Shay to pick up the kids from school, and after I picked up Callahan, we went out and watched the sophomore game. Herriman got beat in all three games (by West Jordan). We got an invite to join friends at Jump N Bounce, so we did head over there for a while. Cooper was even happy and wants to go again! Landon had said he had a ride home, so I was very frustrated when he texted "you can come get me now" ... that was NOT the plan, and what if we (Gray went out) weren't home and able to drop everything to go pick him up?

1121 (Monday) Back to the weekday routine :) Had a good day for exercise (cardio and weights) and kept calories in check.  I put candy corn in the glass pumpkin, should NOT have done that. Carpools in the afternoon, and Callahan had basketball practice at CopperHills in the evening.

1120 (Sunday) Gray got up and went down to MY gym ... I missed out on my morning workout, on an already Slow Sunday. Made waffles and bacon. It was too cold to walk to church, although I almost had to as Gray just about left without me. After church we went up to Maga's ... after Gray jumped the car as the battery had died (Cooper had left the door open). There was bread and soups, and a Sam's Club chocolate cake. I also made homemade oreos.

1119 (Saturday) Happy Birthday Grayson! We actually didn't have anything on deck (no sports, work, etc.). He went to breakfast with Joe, then dropped his truck off at Topstop, as the brakes are grinding again. I picked him up and we hit Dunford Donuts on the way home (not that Gray was hungry right then, but it was on the way). I ran to Walmart to stock up on milk and such for the weekend, then took Gray back to TopStop to pick up his truck (they said they couldn't find anything). Grayson and I went to Tepanyaki for an early dinner, the older boys weren't happy that we weren't all going (which I would have been ok with had Maga and Rex come out too, but they were busy). I dropped Landon off at a friend's house to go to a Region church dance ... which they didn't end up going to (the girls weren't admitted as their skirts were too short). He got a ride home. Callahan and Keaton went to Bailey's for a DVD, which they've done the last few Saturday nights. Gray and I watched "Horrible Bosses" and ate popcorn and ...

1118 (Friday) Cold and gloomy day. Late start for Callahan, early out for Columbia kids. Colton said they had a fire drill today ... I wondered how Cooper coped with that! He didn't say anything when I picked him up so I guess it wasn't as big a deal as I would have thought. Keaton had a birthday party after school, I couldn't get him there on time (as I would be off with afternoon carpool) but I had made arrangements, so he was off to that. Gray was home early, but I had to pick Keaton up from the party at 6:15, so that made going out hard. Callahan had dropped his Ipod Touch a couple days ago, shattering the screen. He decided he wanted to pay the $99 to replace it, and Gray was able to get an appointment (he'd been wanting to go to the Apple store anyway). He and the two older boys headed out, stopping at D&D's, then the Mall, then 5Guys. I picked up Keaton and then it was an early evening in, as neither Gray nor I slept good last night.

1117 (Thursday) Dragging again today. Colton seemed bored after school too. Carpools in the afternoon. I picked up Cooper from school and went straight to his counseling session. Colton came too. I think that helps Cooper out and I'm never sure how good the boys are watching my baby at home, so it works. Gray had a derby, so he and Callahan had left before we made it back home. I made snickerdoodles again, successfully this time (tried a new box of baking soda).

1116 (Wednesday) The weather was actually ok (out the window and in the forecast) so Cooper didn't complain. It made for a much nicer morning. After the boys got off to school, I went out running errands. I returned a purchase to BB&B and then stopped into Ross. Talking to one of the other basketball moms about shoes, we had been told they had some good deals there. I wasn't too impressed with their prices or selection, but did find a pair for both Callahan and Landon (caught Landon grabbing one of Gray's this morning as his shoelace broke, making his unwearable of course ... I figured I keep an extra pair of shoes on hand for him as they were $22). Coke Rewards had a special in the morning, and I used my points to get a $25 giftcard to the Nike store. I was thinking I'd pick up some more socks for C&K, but they didn't have the long black ones in boys sizes, so I looked at shoes instead and picked up a pair for Keaton, paying only $3 out of pocket. Sweet! Stopped by the bank for a deposit, then went to Target (Callahan needs a jumprope for his Copperhills team training). Picked up kindergarten carpool, and Colton was busy playing with friends. The phone rang with an automated call from the high school saying they were on lockdown (but all students were safe). I turned on the news but nothing ... Spencer texted his mom that there was a guy with a gun at the apartments nearby and the police had advised locking the school down just in case. The lockdown was for about 20 minutes or so. Landon said he was in the lunchroom, and that was a fun place to be. Carpools in the afternoon. Gray was home early to prep for his scouts tonight. Landon, Callahan and Keaton had their scouts as well. I had Cooper and Colton take their baths, and I got a little evening weight workout in.

1115 (Tuesday) Cooper had another rough morning. The skies were dark and overcast. I usually go in on Tuesdays to volunteer in the classroom, but I had gotten an email from the teacher saying she was out sick and hadn't prepped anything for me. I asked Cooper if it would be ok if I didn't come in after all today, and that was NOT ok with him, so I still went. I brought a book and just sat in the back of the class and read a book. I was on kindergarten carpool duty anyway. Sometimes on the day after doing weights, I find myself dragging ... today was one of those days. Couldn't get motivated, and ate too much. Stuck in a ziti for dinner. Carpools in the afternoon. Pack Meeting in the evening. At first Gray thought he had a derby tonight, but looks like there was a miscommunication, it's actually next month. So I didn't actually HAVE to go to pack meeting, but as both Cooper and Keaton were getting recognized, I figured I should. Cooper got welcomed into the pack with a cute little ceremony I don't remember happening with any of the other boys (but then again, my attendance at pack meetings was few and far between). Keaton got his arrow of light. Unlike Landon and Callahan, and the other boys I saw, it wasn't a big ceremony ... which was actually ok with me. He got a nice wooden arrow plaque. They played some games and time to head home. I was exhausted!

1114 (Monday) Back to school for the Columbia kids. Keaton wanted me to wake him early (7:00ish) so he could get some playing in before school. Cooper was up early, but I wasn't sure Colton was going to make it up! This off-track stuff sure throws off the routine. Cooper had a rough morning as well. Got the kids off then had the house to myself, something that hasn't happened in a while. Colton ended up going to play at Randon's after kindergarten too, so I had almost the whole day alone. Got in cardio and weights and some cleaning. Carpools in the afternoon. Cooper wanted to play at Ridley's after school, Colton went too. I had Callahan walk over to get them around 5:30, it gets dark so early now! I made a chicken casserole for dinner and then took Callahan to CopperHills for basketball practice. I just dropped him, ran to the library, home for another quick workout, then back to pick him up.

1113 (Sunday) We needed to be at church just a bit early so the kids could get into their seats for the primary program. I went ahead and sat on the stand too. I could see Cooper clearly and he kept dissolving into tears, but then would snap out of it. The boys all did good with their parts. My folks came out to watch. Cooper's class had a little party during class time, and Cooper was very happy to be at church for it. I keep trying to remind him of how it always turns out ok, that he's glad he goes somewhere, what he would have missed if he'd let his fear keep him home. At home I made chicken soup, and lemon jello cake for dessert (as we just had homemade oreos on Thursday). Back to school for the Columbia Kids tomorrow ...

1112 (Saturday) Keaton had his final basketball game today at Taylorsville. Landon had a ref meeting at Gene Fullmer, I dropped him off on the way. Keaton's team won easily. I ran some errands (DI, Blockbuster, bread store) and was going to pick up Landon but then he called and said he'd catch a ride with Hayden ... I should have just gone ahead and picked him up (I was out already) as they took a while. We were meeting my folks at Red Robin for a birthday dinner (with the kids). It was snowing some and Cooper was quite concerned, but ok once we were out. Yummy dinner and home. I mentioned a movie if Gray wanted (as we hadn't gotten out yesterday) but he didn't seem too in the mood (and that was just fine with me too). Thus far the weight has been holding, but I've been so bad that I'm sure I'll see a bump.

1111 (Friday) 11-11-11 today ... and Veteran's Day. Callahan wasn't happy about having to get up early to help with flags (as he can usually sleep in on Fridays with late start). Made french toast for breakfast and got Callahan off to school. Last day off track for the little ones ... Cooper is already stressing (me too!). Got in some cardio and ping pong with Keaton. Carpools in the afternoon. When Gray got home, he mentioned a movie, but I hadn't gotten that into my mindset. I'm just not very spur-of-the-moment. We ended up staying home and watching a DVD. I pulled out the popcorn pan I bought yesterday - I meant it as a birthday present for Gray, but I was anxious to try it out. He was impressed by it. Yummy popcorn.

1110 (Thursday) Happy Birthday to me ... birthday blah. I really don't care about birthdays (either way, love them hate them). I did feel a little down though. The DVD player in the family room died yesterday. We've had such bad luck with DVD players that I had bought a warranty through SquareTrade. I have to admit I was even anxious for it to break so I could put the warranty to the test :)  I moved the DVD player from our bedroom to the family room, as the little boys have been watching DVDs nonstop (family videos are the latest craze again, it's SO cute to see the little boys watch their big brothers as babies). So needing a new DVD player for our room, I went to BestBuy (had a couple coupons to use up) and bought a new one. Trying a BluRay player this time. It has Netflix and stuff ... not that we need it (Netflix is already on the tv, and then Gray bought AppleTV, plus we still have the Tivo). I also had a Groupon for some chocolates, so I picked those up too. Then I went to BB&;B and bought a popcorn pan ... a birthday gift for Gray, although I guess it's more for me, as I like him to make me popcorn :)   Got in some cardio, then carpools. Thursday is Cooper's counseling, but Callahan had an ortho appointment, so I had actually cancelled counseling for today. Figure we'll have more to talk about next week, once Cooper goes back to school. I took Callahan and headed over to CopperHills at 6:00 ... it was just a goof that we didn't get called. Callahan was in the top group (with Stockton and Parker ... and Ben and all West Hills kids). Mason wasn't in the group, which was actually surprising and disappointing. He ended up on Klint's team, which being short a few members, will probably be filled in with Jared and Luis. It will be good for Callahan and crew to get some input from a different coach, and play with some other kids. Practice next Monday, so Callahan actually didn't have to go weeks without basketball. Keaton actually had practice tonight, but it was at Taylorsville, and I didn't want to ask Gray to take him that far. Gray and the boys ended up going out and buying a ping pong table for my birthday. They spent the remainder of the evening setting it up. I made homemade oreos as a thank you.

1109 (Wednesday) I decided to bite the bullet and go renew my license today. My new birth certificate that I'd ordered had also been delivered yesterday, so I was set. I vacillated between the West Valley office (I know where it is, it's a little closer ... but said to be busier) and the Draper office (no wait, but I wasn't sure how to get there). I ended up going to WV, and it was PACKED. Long lines and waiting, but it's done. Such a relief, as I've been dreading doing since I realized I would have to this year. Got in cardio and weights. Carpool in the afternoon. The big boys had scouts in the evening. Landon came home early, volleyball with a strobe light had made him feel sick.  Klint called, saying he had been contacted about the CopperHills league (actually asking the boys to come back tomorrow to finalize the teams). I was a bit frustrated when we didn't get a call. I checked with Mason's family, and they had gotten the call too. Call me presumptuous, but I'm just assuming a mistake was made. I know Callahan is one of the best kids. I'm just planning on taking him tomorrow.

1108 (Tuesday) After I dropped Callahan off to school, I stopped by Walmart for groceries. It was an expensive trip ... $175 ... didn't feel like I picked up any big ticket items, just lots of little things. Home for some cardio - should have done weights but just didn't feel up to it. I slept horrible last night. I made banana bread then did carpools. The big boys were excited to get home from school because Modern Warefare had come out and been delivered today. Cooper had scouts and he went willingly, which was nice (he knew the weather wasn't an excuse). He said he had fun. Leftovers for dinner, although I did make some of Colton's favorite noodles for him. We were hoping to hear about the CopperHills league, but didn't get a call.

1107 (Monday) Mom's birthday. So I was brainstorming about the tables ... I had an idea to have the foosball portion sit on the desk in the lego room, trashing the rest. It would take a lot of rearranging, but that was my challenge today. It did take all day, but now there is a big open space in the family room, the lego room looks a ton better, and I have an idea of where and what other items we have on hand. Carpools in the afternoon, then I dropped Callahan and Landon off at Patrick's church building for a little basketball. I picked up Callahan while the 10th graders went on to basketball tryouts. Picked up some breadsticks on the way home, and did chicken Parmesan and spaghetti for dinner. The chicken was a new recipe, Gray said it was good. Landon got home after 9:00, didn't make the first cut :(  I don't think he was really expecting to get far, but still disappointing.

1106 (Sunday) I've just been too busy to get much exercise in these last couple days, but the weight is holding. Sunday Circles ... I didn't have a waffle though (usually I can't resist, it helped that I ran out of batter). Gray went running (his first exercising in a while) and then wasn't feeling well. Apparently, other's weren't either, as he got a text asking him to fill in teaching a lesson. With that to prep, he didn't make it to Sacrament, thus none of us did. We did go for the last hours and had primary practice in the chapel. The program is next week. After church, we headed out to my folks. Alicia was having a birthday celebration for Adria, and we were going ahead and celebrating all the November birthdays. There actually wasn't any cake, but brownies and cookies. Cooper had a meltdown when I told him we were going, but he was fine once we were there. The boys were having fun playing ping pong downstairs, and I went and played a little with them ... they are actually playable! I had been thinking about a ping pong table for downstairs. Now that the double shot basketball is gone, we'd just need to move/get rid of the foosball table. Cooper has been playing it a lot lately though.

1105 (Saturday) Had trouble getting to sleep last night. It was quite light out ... because it was the first big snow of the season.  Keaton had a basketball game at 11:00. Grayson and Callahan came to watch too. It was an easy win. Callahan had a white board practice at Klint's at 1:00. I dropped him off then ran a couple errands (Smiths, Blockbuster, LittleCeasers). Colton had been invited to Addie's birthday party. Maga was going too, so she came and grabbed him, saving us a trip out. I picked up Callahan from his practice and it was time to head out to his game. This was the rivalry, Brian's team, against Hunter, Cole, Rowland and Mason. Our boys took the lead and kept it until the fourth quarter, when Mason came alive and hit MANY three pointers. Our boys just couldn't keep up. I did finally get a team picture. I made scones for dinner (with the roll dough from Monday). Maga and Rex brought Colton home and had some dinner with us.

1104 (Friday) The bigger boys were out of school today too. I planned on making Friday French Toast but then that didn't happen. We had dentist appointments at 9:00, which seemed a little early, we were rushing. It was for the three youngest. I had been on the phone earlier in the week making sure our payment was in so that we had insurance, such insurance as it is :(  We'll need it too, as both Cooper and Colton apparently have cavities and need work. We'll wait until Jan so the deductible can cover the year (and get the kids while they are off track again.)  Back at home, Landon asked me to take him and Patrick to Herriman for open gym basketball. I would rather have him out exercising than just home playing video games, so I said ok. I figured I could head out to the DMV after (as it's halfway there) and renew my license ... but I couldn't find my passport. I just had everything when I took Landon in a few months ago. I didn't realize it then, but I could have just renewed at that time (six months before expiration). I was SO frustrated looking all over but it was no where to be found. After I dropped the boys off, I looked some more, such a wasted day. Callahan and company (Bailey, Jacob and Travis) were bored and asked if I could take them to Jump N' Bounce. They were driving me a little crazy at home, so I said ok. We packed up, and right when we got there, I got a text from Landon that it was time to come pick him up. I had texted Kiana that we were going jumping, and they had headed out. I ended up leaving the kids there with her supervising (sans Cooper, who hadn't wanted to go in the first place) and grabbed Landon. I dropped him and Cooper at home and then returned to pick up the kids. Then Landon had made me promise I'd take him for a haircut. I got a trim while I was there too. Colton went back to Randon's today, Cooper was invited but was too worried about the weather ... a storm is blowing in. He fell asleep really early today. Gray had talked about a date in the evening, but then he was home late again. We started watching a tv series on Netflix and had popcorn in bed.

1103 (Thursday) I had purchased a Groupon to Chuck-e-Cheese a while back, thinking that would be a fun off-track activity with the boys ... but then the boys have been so content staying home ... but I didn't want to waste it. I debated with myself when to try to use it and decided today would be a good day. We went early and it was practically empty. The boys seemed to really enjoy it. On the way home I did a quick stop at Market Street and picked up a raspberry almond torte, one of Grayson's favorite treats. Just as a surprise. We got a call from Randon inviting Colton over to play, and Cooper seemed sad that Colton was leaving. I asked Cooper if he would want to go to Randon's too ... and Cooper said yes. He'd been invited over before but had never gone. I walked them over and they played for about an hour. Cooper did get a little stressed and had them call me to come back for him. He had his counseling appointment, which he did NOT want to go to. Colton ended up coming with us. Colton enjoys playing with the toys in the waiting room, and it keeps Cooper company, so it's good. Dropped the boys off home and then went to join Callahan at basketball tryouts. He's been at school playing basketball and had gotten a ride to the high school at six. He looked a little tired and off to me. Hopefully the coaches will remember his play from the past couple days as well. I'm still not exactly sure WHAT this league is, I guess we'll see. They said they would compare notes and make calls on Tuesday. Then it was to Gene Fullmer for basketball practice. I had asked Grayson to take Keaton at 7:00, as we were running late. I had Junior Jazz signups for Colton and Cooper (as well as the friends signing up with them, Randon and Bradley with Colton, Lukas and Jackson with Cooper). Keaton got elbowed in the face, left some pretty good marks. Wonder if he'll have a black eye. We stopped a Maceys for some chocolate milk on the way home ... long day (especially for Callahan!).

1102 (Wednesday) Lighter today for the drive to school, it was those clouds yesterday! Unfortunately, we heard later in the day that a 7th grader walking to West Hills was struck by a car and killed. He was in four of Callahan's classes. Cooper had a followup appointment at the pediatrician at 10:00. Cooper wanted Colton to come and Colton seemed willing, so I brought him too, leaving Keaton home alone. We stopped at KFC on the way home for a little early lunch. It was a rather unproductive day, just couldn't get motivated. Got in a little exercise, but not the usual. Didn't eat good today. Had a lower weigh in this morning but after today it will probably go back up. Carpool afternoon, I went a little early to stop at Smiths, picking up my prescription, some milk and rolls, as I had put a roast in the crock pot for french dip. Callahan had Superleague tryouts again tonight. Many more kids this time. I do think Callahan is able to stand out :)  I dropped them off at West Hills for open gym after, and Ben's mom picked up, dropping Cal off at the church, where Gray and the boys were playing dodgeball. As scouts started before I was able to get back, I got Sadie to come keep Colton and Cooper company (babysit) until I got back.

1101 (Tuesday) Stormy this morning. Driving Callahan to school in the rain it was SO dark. After dropping him off, I went on to Walmart, and picked up clearance candy, got some steal deals. Cooper was a bit stressed by the weather, but we didn't have anywhere to go, so he was able to stay safe at home. It even snowed for a bit (but didn't stick). Carpool afternoon. Callahan brought out a paper from school about a Copper Hills Superleague, tryouts Tues/Wed/Thurs. If this works out, it might be better than being on Reggie's team, just for closer practices and more people to carpool with. We did let Mason know, although he probably is Callahan's closest competition (they are very similar, small/fast/point guard). Parker and Brenden (and Klint) came, as well as Callahan's buddy Ben and some of the other "sevies" that have been attending open gym. The CopperHills coach talked after, and I guess more than actually running a team, this is more to get interested kids and parents together. They'll run the try-outs, form multiple teams, organize uniform ordering but turn over coaching to interested parties ... my concern is what if there is no parent willing to take over? Klint and Casey's dad are two that would, but what if Brenden and Casey don't make the top team? And as we already have Klint coaching Callahan, I'd rather he get input from a different point of view. Oh well, I guess we'll wait and see what happens. I dropped the kids off at WestHills for the remainder of open gym and Ben's mom brought the boys home. I was craving popcorn and Grayson popped me up a batch... that was my dinner.
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