Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This is Halloween

With the Halloween party at school done, it felt a little like Halloween was over ... I had to remind myself that the actual night was still coming up. Landon dressed up in his "chick magnet" costume for school, and then went out with friends in the evening (dressed as a whoopie cushion ... I asked for pictures but he didn't comply). Rather than trying to stomp around in his walking boot, Callahan took the night off and stayed home, helping hand out candy there.  I usually send Grayson on Trick-or-Treat duty with the little boys, but I went ahead and went out with them this year. Keaton went with his friends, and I walked around with Cooper, Colton and their buddy Ridley. Cooper SHOULD have been dressed as The Flash or an Olympic Runner, because he would take off after each house, leaving the other two boys in the dust and struggling to catch up.
Colton's Ninja Stash

Cooper Hulk's Haul

 Super Keaton's Candy

The little boys don't like peanut butter, 
so Callahan and I gladly relieved them of any and all Reeses.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween Party Time

Time for the annual HALLOWEEN PARTY at school ... several weeks early, as our kids go off-track. I've been in charge of (or helped with) the school parties for the past several years. This year I'm room mom for Cooper's class. We packed in the fun, having several different activity stations that the kids rotated through. I admit, my games are perhaps a little more commercial (purchased) than some of the other games/crafts out there, but after the initial investment, I haven't had to spend any money on the school parties as they've lasted me for years now. We split the kids into five groups (4-5 kids per group) and rotated them through...
  • Monster Toss: I picked up these darling plush monsters (from Oriental Trading) and the kids stood several feet behind a cauldron that they took turns tossing them into. (Back at home, these little monsters are a favorite for family fights, the boys just pelt each other with them.)
  • Cup Crash: Stack plastic cups into a pyramid, and toss plush pumpkins to knock it down. This has been a favorite activity for many years now. I also helped out in Keaton's class (before Cooper's party) and was asked to bring an activity. I gave Keaton the choice, and one was the one he chose.
  • Bone Bender: Halloween "Twister" ... I picked this up for pretty cheap and wasn't sure it would last more than one party, but it's still going strong (ok, one tear this year, probably because I didn't make the kids take their shoes off, which I should have).
  • PictureEEKa: Our family actually does own the real Pictureka game, but this Halloween version is actually quite a bit more fun, and super easy for a group activity like this. This game was a little expensive upfront (ordered from Amazon) but its been worth it. 
  • Halloween Memory: I thought of making my own set of memory cards ... then decided that was going to be too much work. I picked up this little set of Memory cards from Oriental Trading ... actually it was a dozen sets! I gave away a few. The kids always like memory! 
  • Make a Mummy: After rotating through the activities, we had each group stop and we gave them two rolls of toilet paper. Each group made one person into a mummy. They just had two minutes. This was a favorite activity *Ü*
So one more annual Halloween party down ... it feels like Halloween is over, because the party is. I have to keep reminding myself that the actual holiday is still coming!

Bone Bender



Cooper and his MUMMY crew (above)
The other groups and their made mummies (below)

You know, I had a ton of other fun game ideas and other cute Halloween ideas collected on Pinterest ... so many ideas, so little time!

  • Musical Pumpkins: Gather in a circle, pass around a stuffed pumpkin while music plays. When music stops, individual holding it moves to the "dead spot". If an individual gets caught in the "dead spot" then they are out  (but they could help stop/start the music so no one was just sitting). You'd be surprised at how many funny halloween songs there are out there!
  • Candy Corn Toss: Just like the Monster Toss above ... cheaper alternative. Any type of bucket to toss them into is fine too.
  • Halloween Bingo: I've seen several sets at stores, or you can print this free version from Artsy Fartsy Mamma, or many schools have their own set too.
  • Pop Goes the Pumpkin (Martha Stewart): Blow up a bunch of small orange balloons and fasten them to cardboard in a pumpkin shape. Let the kids throw darts to try and pop the balloons.
  • Balloon Art: Let the kids draw a jack-o-lantern face on orange balloons with a black magic marker. Add paper shapes to turn black balloons into spiders, bats or black cats.
  • Balloon Bop: Arrange the kids in a circle and have them try to keep a balloon constantly in motion, never touching the ground. Add additional balloons to make it harder.
  • Don't Eat Pete: This is a simple but classic game that can easily be changed up for any holiday. I found a darling free printout from The Game Gal
  • More party ideas at One Charming Party and Tip Junkie. There are SO many cute craft ideas too (check out my Halloween Pinterest Board for the ones I was keeping an eye on) ... although I didn't end up doing crafts, just games.   

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fall Soccer

Last Spring, Colton played on TWO teams, one with Gene Fullmer (with his buddies Randon and Bradley), and then on a West Jordan Youth Soccer team (filling out Cooper's season when he refused to play). For Fall, we went with West Jordan again (smaller fields, fields closer to home, set game times), with Colton's same team, but Bradley and Randon joined it as well.

 I loved the colors of their uniforms! 
They were the SILVER SNAKES.

For a little extra, you could get iron on names for the back of the shirts ... this picture was on of the first games before I got Colton's name on his ... It was a pretty good season. I'm not sure of the win/loss ratio. Not quite as many goals and runaway wins as Spring. Colton seemed to hang back a bit more, playing more defensively. But he always had fun and really looked forward to his games. The last couple games, the weather had turned a bit chilly, so I was ready for soccer season to suspend until Spring.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


So the other day Grayson asked the boys if they wanted to go to Scheels. What is Scheels? It's a new sporting goods store ... a HUGE sporting goods store, new to the area. Keaton didn't think it sounded interesting enough to go, and I stayed home in the quiet house ... but Daddy and the four other Blackham boys took off to check it out.

There was a very cool aquarium running through the store, 
and Cooper liked this gun display ... I wonder why?

And speaking of guns, there was a fun shooting arcade. Pay $1 and get a certain number of shots, aiming for little targets. If you hit them, then the objects come to life.

Lagoon used to have something just like this, and I remember it being a favorite activity when I was young. As it used light as the trigger, I remember my brothers trying to use a mirror (and sunlight) to set off targets too.

There were more photo ops to get, Grayson said they didn't get through them all. A friend of mine posted on Facebook about their trip to Sheels (the same day my boys were there too!) so I was able to see stuff Gray didn't take a picture of ... but I'm pretty impressed he took as many pictures as he did!

Maybe next time Keaton and I will have to go too ...

Friday, October 5, 2012

What's Old is New Again

In general, kids watch a lot of TV ... my boys are no exception. What is rather ironic, is that my boys are watching the SAME shows I did when I was their age! Several of the networks bring back older programs, and my kids have actually gotten hooked on several of them. I figure, being 20-30 years old at this point, these shows probably have less objectionable material than what is currently out there. 

I think "Home Improvement" was one of the first ones the boys started watching. Gray and I loved this show when we were first married. We now have the complete series on DVD. The boys then started watching "George Lopez" (which is one I had NOT watched when I was younger), and then after enjoying some Bill Cosby comedy, I suggested the try "The Cosby Show", which was available on Netflix (although I don't see it there now). 

Then Callahan started to say "Whatcho talk'n 'bout Willis?" ... even though he had NO idea where it came from. The first season DVD was fairly inexpensive, so I ordered it. It sat around for several weeks, before I put it in and just started watching it myself. The boys loved it, and laughed and laughed. 

Full House started appearing as re-runs on one of the networks ... I wasn't sure if the boys would like it as much, as it had GIRLS in the children's roles, but they did (especially Callahan, he just thought Michelle was so cute, especially in the third season). I found the DVD sets for just $9 each at Sam's Club, so ... we now have the complete series on DVD. Gray and I came home from a Saturday night date to find both Callahan and Keaton shedding tears in an emotional episode ... Callahan still refuses to watch the final, season 8 finale. Funny!

... while WHAT they are watching is actually the same, HOW kids watch today is so very different! Back in MY day, we could only catch the shows when they aired. No Tivo, DVDs, Netflix ... we didn't even have a VHS recorder  back then! Times are a changing, but I love that some of the old programming still hits home.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tramp Trouble

The boys have been bugging me for a trampoline for ... forever I think! "Everyone else has them" ... which was actually one of my arguments against getting one (yes, everyone else does, go play with your friends on theirs *Ü*).  During this past summer, we got rid of our swing set/jungle gym, and it left a big open spot in the backyard. It was actually a pretty perfect position for a trampoline.

Grayson was still against the idea. He would tell me "you KNOW it's just an ER visit waiting to happen, right?"  He had grown up with a trampoline ... no serious injuries. All the neighbors/friends/family who have them ... no real injuries to speak of. Ok ... my OB (who delivered Landon) broke his neck, a FB friend posted their son broke his leg ... I know, I know ... but after months of begging, we got a tramp.

Here was Keaton's journal entry ... We got a TRAMPOLINE!!! When I was little, I kept asking my mom, “can we get a trampoline, can we get a trampoline, can we get a trampoline, can we, can we, can we!” But sadly the answer was always, “NO, NO and NO!” I never actually thought we’d get one. I guess because we sold our playground, we had a higher chance of getting one, but still, BOUNCE, BOUNCE, BOUNCE, FLIP, FLIP, FLIP, JUMP, JUMP, JUMP, TRAMPOLINE!!!!!!!!!!

The boys went with Dad to pick it up (we just got the Walmart special) and then assembled it in the backyard. The "spot" (where the swingset used to be) still needs some prep (it's a nice weed jungle at the moment) and we'd like to get the tramp in-ground ... but until then, it's just on the grass.

After a little bit of work ... the kids were up and jumping ... and the accidents began ...
  • Day 1: It wasn't the tramp, it was the TRAILER used to bring the trampoline home in. While the big kids were in back jumping, the little kids (Colton and Co) had started playing and jumping in the trailer. Somehow, they had lifted the heavy metal gate up. I saw what was going on and went out to tell them NOT to play in the trailer, that someone would get hurt ... when the gate came crashing down on our six-year old neighbor boy. I was only seconds away, I lifted the gate off his leg where it had trapped him, then I saw his head. I huge gash (about 3" long, 1/2" deep) and bleeding bad. I sent Colton running to the neighbors, and luckily both Mom and Dad were home. 12 staples in his head. Luckily no concussion, and as bad as it was, if it had hit the front of his face, rather than the back of his head, it would have been disasterous. 
  • Day 4: After an afternoon of jumping, the three boys went out for a final bounce late in the evening ... Callahan came in limping saying he'd hurt his foot. We did the whole "rice" thing, but the next morning, he was still unable to walk well. Thursday, still limping ... I made an appointment at the orthopedic office. I was sure I was just being overly cautious ... but it was broken.

  • Day 5: I came home from soccer practice to find Landon asleep in my bed ... then I noticed his face. I asked the boys what happened, and apparently he had done a failed flip, ending up skidding his face across the rough tramp surface. He did an AMAZING job. The skin was rubbed off on his forehead, along his nose, under his nose (above his lip ... he ended up calling it his Hiter "stach) and down his chin. It looked so sore the first night, and then it looked worse when it scabbed over. He would NOT let me get a picture (I snuck the one below, you can sort of see). He's already almost back to normal though.

Well, I HOPE we've had our share ... no more tramp trouble please! And Grayson was even quite nice and didn't say "I told you so" ...
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