Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

Many schools seemed to have Spring Break already, but for our kids, it falls over Easter weekend. On Friday, the boys went up to Maga's house to dye some eggs. Maga had 15 dozen eggs ready! The boys had a blast and brought home a few dozen.

I made several batches of "nests" ... these are basically meringue cookies, but bigger and in nest shape, to be topped with a little "Peeps" bird sitting on some jelly beans. We never made it to the bird/jellybean stage, as they were eagerly consumed by me and the middle kids (Landon and Colton don't care for them).

Saturday was the Westra Easter party. I'm in charge of bringing the eggs for the hunt. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the  laundry basketball full of eggs (although if you look at previous years, it probably didn't look very different). Often filling the eggs is a huge chore (mainly MATCHING up the halves) but I just had them out for the kids to fill over a few days and it gone done pretty quick and easy. I had some toys I'd picked up on clearance last year, which was a good thing, because on a last minute trip to Walmart ... they had NOTHING left (no Easter candy, toys, NOTHING). I had picked up some candy earlier, and had some stickers and balloons and we got all the eggs filled.

I brought deviled eggs, chex mix, and suggested to Landon that he set up a specialty drink bar. At New Years, Uncle Clay (on the Blackham side) had introduced the boys to "dirty diet coke" and other fun concoctions. Add some Torani syrups (which come in a wide variety of flavors) to soda and half&half. They were quite popular with the Westra side too.

Then it was time for the hunt. We loaded up the big kids to go hide the eggs, while Grandma gathered the little kids in for storytime while they waited. I thought this picture turned out really cute!

 The kids had fun finding eggs ... here's Colton with his catch.

Camden and Cooper put the stickers all over their faces.
This is becoming and Easter tradition too!

We had been worried about the weather ... just the week before there had been inches of snow and freezing temperatures. But today turned out lovely, perfect for an outdoor gathering!

Sunday (Easter morning) didn't turn out QUITE as expected ... all the Easter buckets were laid out on the couch the night before as usual. The Easter Bunny came and filled them up ... so why is everything on the kitchen counter instead of the usual spot on the couch?  Because SICK kids were on the couch, and other buckets were being put to use ... that will be another post.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

MiscMemories (Mostly March)

It's been a while since I had a Miscellaneous Memories post ... some months have a lot of extra pictures, some don't. These are mostly from March, maybe one or two from Feb/Jan. So just catching up on 2013 thus far.

In the picture above ... can you see Callahan? He's there, under the chairs.  Why you ask? I don't know. Landon loves to do things like this to his brothers. I'm just not sure why Callahan let him!

Four-Square has been popular at the elementary school, and Cooper decided he wanted to play a little at home too. He took some sidewalk chalk and drew the four squares on the driveway and for a while there, it was quite the popular sport, even with the bigger kids.

Colton got to go to the Energy Solutions Arena to watch a Jazz game (they receive tickets as part of the Junior Jazz program). It was on a night that the rest of the family was busy, so Colton hitched a ride with Randon. I was glad they grabbed this picture of the boys with the Jazz bear. The Jazz even won that night!

Messy mirror! The bathroom has JUST been cleaned and then I walked past and saw splotches all over the mirror. Seriously? How do the boys do this? I really shouldn't complain, compared to some of the boy bathroom horror stories I hear, I am pretty lucky!

Fractured Finger? No, just jammed. Keaton hurt his finger playing basketball. It was swollen and ended up bruising a bit.  I was taking him in for a physical (those immunizations for 7th grade) so we had the doctor check it and got an x-ray just to be sure. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tooth Trouble

During our last off-track time, we had our semi-annual visits to the dentist. Cooper didn't have any cavities, but he did have a couple of his permanent teeth attempting to come down, with some baby teeth which were staying stubbornly in the way. So he needed to have two teeth extracted, and then a space maintainer put in to help things stay as straight as possible.

Cooper was nervous, but brave (and visibly relaxed when the laughing gas kicked in). He came home with his two troublesome teeth in a little box, and was rewarded with $10 ($5 for each tooth) from the tooth fairy! I guess she pays extra for brave little boys.

As the holes healed, the dentist told Cooper he couldn't have anything sharp or pointy, which might poke into  the extracted area and make them bleed again. Sharp and pointy foods being things like Doritos and Ruffles ... you should have seen the look of dismay on Cooper's face when he heard this news. Cooper LOVES his chips!  He did manage to make it a couple of days without eating any, and then I think there has been enough healing that he could indulge for Easter.

Colton lost ANOTHER tooth (his other front one) ...playing soccer out front. He took a ball to the face and the tooth was gone (it had been very loose anyway). It was literally lost ... somewhere in our front lawn. Colton wrote a big note for the tooth fairy and still did get his $2 ... although he wasn't very impressed with this compared to Cooper's $5 payday!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sweatshirt Season

I haven't posted much about basketball lately ... with Callahan out of commission, much of the basketball "joy" is gone. His team finished up the Winter season in both the Bantam and SL Superleague, then tried their hand at the AAU state tournament. Callahan cheered them on from the sidelines. They ended up taking the level 2 division.   Keaton's team wrapped up their seasons too,  coming in 2nd place  in both the SL Superleague and the AAU High School Prep league. They also tried their hand at the State AAU tournament, but lost all those games, making an early exit in the tournament. Spring season is coming up ... will Callahan be able to play? The last doctor appointment did show healing but also still showed gaps, so four more weeks in the walking boot. Hopefully he'll be able to play SOME of the season, as it continues through April and May. 

During the Winter months the sports program was selling CopperHills Basketball sweatshirts and other attire. Both boys really wanted one of the sweatshirts, and once we got them ... I rarely see the boys NOT in them. Seriously, they wear them ALL the time (I even find them sleeping in them!) I have to cajole them into letting me take them for a couple of hours so I can wash them, because sweaty sweatshirts are not good.  Go Grizzlies!

Friday, March 22, 2013

With Honors

It's that time again. The end of the quarter, when grades are calculated and parent teacher conferences are scheduled. The older boys PT Conferences fell during the week I had the flu, so I didn't make it to those. I went to the Columbia Kids conferences and got glowing reviews for all three kids there. All three also made the honor roll again (they always do). 

I'll update with the older boys, but it looks like Callahan will maintain his perfect 4.0 GPA. Landon struggles with that darn Language Arts class (reading and writing? Who needs it!).

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shaggy and Shorn

Hair ... it grows fast! And here in the Blackham house, we like it short (other than on Mom). But while the boys were ok with the Blackham Buzz, as they have gotten older they want a little bit left in the front (which requires a "professional"). So if Aunt Livi isn't available, it's off to the salon. Landon had decided that his hair was pretty shaggy, and I decided that Cooper's hair was unacceptable (pretty much back to the look in the post HERE). I decided to send Keaton and Colton too, as long as we were making the trip in. Unfortunately Callahan was off at a friend's house (that has happened before too, HERE), so while all the other Blackham Boys are studly and short, Callahan Man is still shaggy (you can't totally see it in the picture above, but it IS).

Love the "shortcut" as Colton calls it ... still need to get Callahan taken care of!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lego Derby

I mentioned in a previous post, that Grayson had purchased some Lego/Derby wheels. They are basically just a lego block base, with holes drilled into the sides to attach regular pinewood derby wheels with small axles. GREAT idea! Although we have a TON of Legos, I didn't want to totally raid the kids stash (Gray had no trouble raiding the kids stash) so I hopped online and picked up some used bricks on Ebay. Gray picked up some small adhesive weights (to make the cars heavier, thus faster, or at least able to finish) and set up our first (but I'm sure not last) Lego Derby with the youth of our ward. 

We didn't use a couple sections of the track, making it just a bit shorter than for a traditional derby. The kids were given the go ahead, and they made their cars using the Lego bricks. Then it was time to race. With Grayson's setup, the cars all have names. As family history is the subject of focus for the youth this year, the kids were encouraged to give the cars names of an ancestor. So instead of the usual derby car names (the rocketeer, silver speedster, flash, turbo master) we had names like Aunt Ruby, OldGranny, Helga and even ThomasJefferson. 

During Pinewood Derby races, Grayson is always telling the boys to be really careful with their cars. A drop can put a car completely out of commission. Lego cars are even MORE fragile. Many of them would break as they went down the track, or flip as they hit the finish. At least they are more easily put back together than traditional wood derby cars.

Cooper wasn't interested in the derby (what?) but Colton and I headed over to the church to check it out, and of course Colton participated with the rest of the youth. I grabbed some video and made a muvee~

The Lego Derby is a great alternative to a regular derby. There is less cost (well, OUR initial cost wasn't less, but now each derby can be run for no additional output, no purchasing of car kits) and no real prep time or tools needed. It's fast and easy and fun. It would be great for a birthday party or school class activity. We'd been to a similar function (Lego Racers) at the local library and a small, simple track may be something we'll look into too.

Lego Derby ... a success.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Grandparents Day

Every year, the school has a "Grandparents Day" where the grandparents are invited to come out and have lunch with the kids, and have their pictures taken.  This year it was a circus theme, and there was a darling backdrop, with fun props (hats, wigs, big glasses ... the glasses were actually from me, the heart ones from Valentine's day, and some big ones I picked up at the dollar store). We should have jumped into the picture line right when we all got there, as it just got longer and longer. Cooper and Keaton didn't want to miss out on their recess, so I just snapped a quick picture by one of the other decorations and we called it good. My folks had a nice time visiting with the boys, and the boys were glad that they could make it out. 

Monday, March 11, 2013


Colton had been wiggling his front tooth for a while. It had wiggled enough there was a gap between it and the next tooth over, so even before it was out, there was a space there. I was glad when it actually came out! He was at school when it happened, but brought it home in a little bag. The next morning he said "When I first looked, the tooth fairy hadn't come, but I looked again and there was my money." Now ... I admit that with our flakey fairy that does happen a lot, but I happen to know that she was actually on the ball, and that money was there all night long! (She gets it right for ONCE and then still didn't get proper credit!)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Scouts, Snowmobiles & Sciatica

The Varsity Scouts went on an overnighter for a little skiing and snowmobiling. You can't see Grayson in the picture ... because he is taking the picture. Callahan and Keaton should have been in the group, but with a broken foot (the former) and just recovering from the flu (the latter) they were sitting this one out. Perhaps Grayson should have too! A bump while on the back of a snowmobile aggravated his lower back, he came home and laid down for a bit. When he got up again, the pain moved from his back to down his right leg. It was pretty intense. He was down and out the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday. He went to the doctor on Monday and got some prescriptions and was home for the entire week (still working, calls and computer).  

Gray doesn't have a great history with snowmobiles ... a few years ago he was going snowmobiling with a work outing. I was a little nervous, as I was aware of some bad accidents and close calls in friend and family history. And I did get a call from Grayson in the ER. He hadn't  made it onto the snowmobile actually, but had slipped in the parking lot, slicing his head above the eyebrow (it was before my blog, but I did include it in an inclusive Interesting Injuries post). 

I'm thinking Grayson shouldn't go snowmobiling anymore!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

February Flu x4

The flu struck the Blackham house!  Keaton started it, with a fever and a cough. He stayed home starting on a Tuesday and missed school for the rest of the week. Colton came home mid-day Thursday, and Cooper joined them on Friday. I did too. This flu laid us low for a solid week, and still took some recovery time after that. Some of the "highlights" this time around were ...
  • High Fevers: Keaton  hit 103.8° and Colton 104.8°. Thank heavens for the easy "roll across the forehead" thermometer as we were needing to take so many on so many different people. The kids almost treated it as a competition (who's the highest??) Medication did bring the fevers down.
  • Major Medication: We went through two big bottles of the children's ibuprofen. I had to send Gray to the store for more. We used Delysm for the cough, but it didn't seem very effective. We tried cough drops, cough "suckers" and Vicks rub. Even broke out the humidifier. 
  • SORE throats: It was SO bad, I've never been in so much pain (childbirth? no problem!) I think the coughing actually tore up our throats leaving open sores. I tried every pain medication in our cabinet, even had Gray pick up some of that throat spray. Nothing really helped, except constant sipping of cool drinks and downing popsicles and Icee cups.
  • Buckets and Blood: Coughing and congestion lead to times when the kids felt like they were going to throw up, although they never really did. I kept a bucket close, and as Colton heaved over it, I noticed there was actually stuff in the bucket. It was blood. It was quite alarming, but I determined it was from his nose, not from his stomach. Still disconcerting ... and it happened more than once.
  • Poop Problems: Not sure if it was the sickness or the medication throwing the body off, but the kids had to constantly rush to the bathroom and there were many little squirt accidents. Lots of laundry and changing of sheets.
  • Dry Lips: Although we tried to stay hydrated, I don't know if we were successful. All of our lips suffered. They would crack and bleed.
  • No Energy but No Sleep: None of us had any energy to anything but lay around all day. But at night, the sleep wouldn't come (the coughing wouldn't help). I got up once at 4:00 in the morning and wandered into the kitchen for a popsicle, and all three boys were also awake. Sick party!
  • Eating Issues: Everyone pretty much lost their appetite as well. When we tried to eat, things didn't taste good. And of course I wasn't really up for making dinner, so the non-sickies were pretty much on their own (I had made dinner shortly before and so there were some leftovers, and my VT teachers brought in dinner). 
  • Cup Overload: Millions of little medicine cups, and tons of drinking cups. Usually we're a fairly familiar family, not really stressing about germs, sharing cups. But now we were trying to keep everyone separate and the dishwasher was always full!
  • Vanishing Voices:  Colton and Cooper got quite squeaky. I lost my voice completely for an entire week. I would whisper, or clap to get the kids attention ... the boys made fun of me!

Sickies always camp out on the couch. We move a couple stools over to hold drinks and such (so we had three stools, one for each kid). The boys each missed five full days of school. Keaton missed a couple basketball games. I usually exercise for at least an hour a day, but I've had to take a couple weeks off working out.

We thought Callahan was coming down with it too, he got a fever, cough and sore throat, but it only lasted a day ... not quite sure what he did right! Landon and Gray were also spared.

Farewell flu ... hope to NOT see you around soon!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Star Student

During the school year in first grade, each child is in the spotlight for a week, as Star Student. While Colton was down with the flu, I finally went through his backpack and found a note saying HE was the upcoming star student and to fill out the attached sheet and bring a poster with pictures to school. Ooops ... it was basically for this week he'd missed out sick!  I did put together a poster, and Colton finally returned to school. So maybe he didn't get the whole week, but still got a day at least.  The kids like their posters, and the older kids actually still have theirs from previous years hung somewhere in their rooms.

My cute Colton!  
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