Friday, September 27, 2013

Airsoft Arsenal

Our backyard has become a warzone. Tables and chairs have been set up as barricades and cover. There is a lot of shooting going on. Landon is the main one behind the resurgence of airsoft battles. He's spent his own money on guns and ammunition and talks his brothers and their friends into several shootouts.

He keeps his airsoft arsenal under his bed.
He's named his guns ... Michelle, Ellie, Maggie, Casey.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

2nd Grade Spotlight

Colton got to be in the spotlight in his 2nd grade class. They were instructed to complete a poster detailing their favorite things and bring it to class. Colton also got to be the "leader" that week ... always the first in line whenever the class was going anywhere.

We received a poster "template" to fill out ... and even though we've switched schools, it was the same poster the other kids had used when THEY were in 2nd grade ...

I guess back in Landon's day they didn't do this poster ... so I don't have his.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Belated Back to School Shopping

My poor kids. I'm not one of those big "Back to School" shoppers. I don't buy things just because school is starting, I wait until things are actually needed.  Callahan has been using his red "Utes" backpack for ... probably five years now. It was actually still usable, but when I found a new Nike one on sale, I thought I'd surprise him with it.

Callahan has been complaining that he doesn't have enough shirts either. As I went to look through his closet, sure enough, almost everything hanging in there was too small. Many things had already been transferred to the closet right next to his (Keaton's closet) ... but some shirts were SO small, that I moved them directly to Cooper's closet! Both Callahan and Keaton had also been complaining of not having enough socks, so I stocked up on socks for both boys, and got several new shirts for Callahan.

I bought new basketball lunchboxes for both the little boys, as similar to Callahan's backpack, they had been using the same ones for several years and they were pretty beat up.

I think we are pretty well stocked now. Although with the change in seasons, I'm sure I'll need to spend more time going through closets and moving things from one to the next. The benefit of having all boys ... just handing stuff down!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Apple Updates

Yes Apple ... I am aware there is an update for my phone. It's been all over the Internet. Landon had late start the morning it was released and was anxiously refreshing to computer to see if the update was live yet. So anxious! Now me ... I don't really like change. So as Grayson and the boys installed the update, I did not.  But then, my apps got stuck in this limbo stage, they started updating, and couldn't finish (I assume as they were updated for the new ios, and I didn't have the new ios) but I couldn't use them as they were updating. So I felt like I HAD to make the switch. 

Personally, I don't have strong feelings either way.
At least all my apps updated okay.

Along with the ios update, Apple also introduced updated product. A new iphone. If you know anything about Grayson, you won't be surprised to hear he brought home the new one almost immediately. He surprised me a little by asking if I wanted to upgrade. I THOUGHT he was offering the newest model to me ... silly me to think that. He was just asking if I wanted to switch from my iphone 4s to his old iphone 5 as HE upgraded to the newest model. Even when I thought he was offering me the newest model, I told him I was perfectly happy with my phone as is. So Callahan got the "old" iphone (no service plan, although he sure wants it activated) and Colton got Callahan's old ipod touch (which was the latest model).

How do you feel about updates? 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Jump and Dunk

During the summer, Callahan hung out at a friend's home where the basketball hoop was positioned next to the trampoline. This enabled the boys to do some great dunks. Now, several years ago, we replaced our old basketball hoop (Hoop Dreams) with a new one. But the old hoop never really went away. It was moved to the driveway and was still in use. With Landon driving now, and having an extra car in front of the house, it was in the way.

I had Landon help me (that's the nice way of saying I supervised while he did the manual labor) move the old hoop into the backyard, next to our trampoline. I thought I was doing this for Callahan ... but it was Cooper who fell in love with the jump/dunk.  It's been great, getting him outside (as his weather phobia has resurfaced) and active. The first few times I caught him HANGING on the rim, I chastised him a bit. Then I gave up and just made sure the hoop base had enough weight to keep it upright even with such abuse.

All that hanging did eventually cause problems. 
A blister on the kid's hand. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hump Day

I don't watch live TV anymore (I wait until shows hit Netflix/DVD) ... which means I don't see commercials anymore. Generally this is a good thing, as I don't like commercials. But there are a few great ones out there. One commercial that has been getting some buzz is the "hump day" camel commercial from Geico. I did actually hear about this one myself, I even shared it with Gray one Wednesday (he wrote me back that he was in an ornery mood and he was having trouble staying in a bad mood after watching the commercial). I was able to recognize the commercial when the kids started quoting it around the house.  Does that happen in your family? Something funny from tv/movie/internet just clicks and gets repeated and repeated (and repeated) ...

Here's the video clip if YOU haven't seen it ...
It's just 30 seconds.

Happy Hump Day

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Just the Boys

Gray and Clay and Cooper, Colton and Will headed out one weekend to a cousin's cabin. The bigger boys were invited, but they didn't want to go. They missed out on the fun. First it was food fun, a stop at Wendy's. Then it was glow-in-the-dark fun ... and don't miss the mustache!  The cabin was impressive as well ...

The next morning the boys went fishing.
My boys had never been before. 

Even Gray got in on the action ...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Rain Rain Go Away

It's been a rainy Fall so far ... as school was starting up back in August, both Cooper and I looked at the weather forecast with trepidation.  Cooper, because his weather phobia has been kicking up again, and me, because it breaks my heart to see him so stressed and there is nothing I can do to help. He was struggling enough with the school switch (I pulled the kids from Columbia to Terra Linda, which is on a traditional schedule) and the challenges that come with that. Was it too much to ask that the weather would cooperate? 

I talked to Cooper's teacher about his weather worries, and it seems that the schools are fairly conservative ... if it's raining, it's an inside day.  Cooper's classroom is in the center of the school, with no windows ... I think that is a good thing. There haven't been any really bad storms while he's been in school, but it doesn't take much to concern Cooper. He doesn't like wind ... ANY wind at all.  Thunder and lightening are definite problems. He can handle rain if none of the aforementioned conditions exist, but he's still extremely on edge. 

It's nowhere near as bad as it was a couple years ago, when he started 2nd grade. Back then, I got calls from the school almost every day. Cooper would be so terrified he'd have to leave the classroom. At home, I'd have to keep all the blinds and windows closed, and even then he'd spend most of his time in his bedroom (as the kitchen just had too many transom windows, and the leaves could be seen moving in the wind or the change in light as a cloud covered the sun would be too obvious).  After counseling and medication, we seemed to normalize by the end of that school year, and I don't remember ANY issues for the entire 3rd grade. I'm sure there were some storms that year.

Cooper's Cave.
His bedroom is his "safe" spot.

It's been a bit frustrating to see the regression. To see him again checking the weather forecasts multiple times a day.  I've had to rehang a blanket over the window in his bedroom to try and block and sign of the weather outside. As I'm sitting here writing this, and the wind is whipping the trees and the sun slips behind the clouds ... I'm wondering if I'm going to get a call from the school. 

A couple weeks ago when we were at The Cheesecake Factory for Landon's birthday, Cooper was very upset. We were seated by a window, and a storm was blowing in. We had to hurry and finish our meal and head home. Luckily we were home when the storm hit hard. There was a flash of lightening and a roll of thunder unlike any I've ever experienced. It shook the house completely.  That storm made the news with flooding in Utah County, and the storms haven't really stopped.

Cooper said sadly the other day "I wish there was just ONE day that the whole day was a nice day at school".  I almost look forward to Winter, as the wind is so much less obvious without the leaves on the trees. As thunder and lightening so seldom accompany snow. Cooper doesn't have any issues with snow ...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

18 Years Old

I can't believe Landon is 18 years old!  He got a few presents and we went out to lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. His request for a birthday cake was actually a CHEESEcake, so we brought home a whole one with us.  I updated Landon's album ... a small glimpse below, and see them all HERE

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Kneaders French Toast ... Can you really call it "french toast"? I mean it's HUGE. It's almost more of a cinnamon roll.  We went out to Kneaders on Labor Day morning with the extended Blackham Clan. Good times.

On Saturday (Landon's birthday) we went out to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  There was a University of Utah football game that day ... we look like big fans with four boys all in red (two were even U shirts). 

 Ipods are good for keeping the kids entertained while waiting.

 Ipods are also great for reflecting the sun into poor Callahan's eyes.

The boys all got lemonade with their meals ... the tops of the glasses had been dipped in sugar.
Keaton licked his all off.

Of course there was cheesecake for dessert. 
We got a whole cheesecake to go as well.
(Pictures will be in the next post ... Landon's birthday).

Thursday, September 5, 2013

More Gadgets for Gray

If you know Grayson, you know he LOVES gadgets. This was his most recent purchase ... switches that can be controlled via an app on his (and my) iphone. You know, for those times when you are laying in the perfect comfy bed and just want to roll over and go to sleep ... but the light is still on. That's no problem now. Same with the fan ... too hot, turn it on, too cold? Turn it off ... all from right where you are, no need to move. 

The front porch lights can be an issue at times ... I seem to be the ONLY person in the house who knows how to turn them on. When I'm not home, I'll always come home to a dark house. The other night ... as the sun went down, I turned the porch lights on, even though I wasn't home. I have been frustrated in the mornings when I forget to turn them off and I don't realize it until I'm already in the car backing out. Now I can turn them off quick and easy without having to run back into the house.

Gray loves gadgets ... I actually like this one too!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cooper's Collection

I asked Cooper what his favorite part about the trip to Seattle was ... and he said it was his license plate collection! Huh ... While they were out, and especially during the long wait for the ferry to the island, Grayson told Cooper to snap pictures of different license plates - to try and get as many different states as possible.  Cooper loved it. The kids were so excited when they found an Alaska and even a Hawaii. We've added a few more since they've been home, and Cooper is still always on the lookout for ones he doesn't have.   Here's just a small snapshot of some of his collection ...

You can check out his complete collection HERE ...

Who knew, in a couple years, Cooper would use his collection for a school assignment and make a cute poem! I included it on that post (School Assignments and Such) but thought I'd post it here as well.

License plates, license plates
All across the United States.
As I travel in my car
Whether I’m going near or far
I look at the license plates.

In Utah, our cars show what is in our state
Everyone knows the skiing is great!
Or if you like it dry and hot
Give our National Parks a shot.

There are some license plates are just plain yellow.
Like New Mexico. A good place to go and be mellow.
New York and Alaska have yellow plates too.
But Texas, Indiana and Idaho’s are red, white and blue.

Florida features oranges on its plate.
It is also known as the “Sunshine State.”
Both Ohio and Iowa take time to show
The beautiful land where they plant and grow.

Hawaii shows a rainbow so high
Up against a blue, blue sky.
California and Illinois plates are pretty plain.
Except for the fancy cursive of their name.

South Carolina has a plane. They were “first in flight”.
Wyoming shows a cowboy, putting up a fight.
Oregon features a tall tree of green.
But in Arizona, only a cactus can be seen.

Wisconsin says it’s America’s dairy land.
Washington and Colorado feature mountains grand.
Minnesota features it’s 10,000 lakes.
While Nevada proclaims it’s the “Silver State”

Of course there’s a lot more that we could name.
Like Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Maine.
I keep a look out in my car.
But those states are so very far.

Maybe now you’ll start looking too.
To see different states, many or few.
Make it a contest, make it a game.
None of the license plates are exactly the same.
I found a lot … how about you?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Scraped Up Faces

So Keaton had a little trouble dismounting from the trampoline.  Faceplant! Just in time for school pictures too.  As I examined his injuries, I couldn't help but recall a time when both Landon and Colton had scraped up their faces in the exact same spots (above the left eyebrow, below the left eye) at the same time.  It took a little bit of searching, but I was able to find the picture.

I can't remember how Landon hurt himself, but I do remember Colton's was from the treadmill. I was glad it wasn't worse!  As I was searching for the picture of Landon and Colton, I found another of Landon ... another similar injury (but worse!) and also from the tramp. Funny, I had forgotten about it. Landon would NOT cooperate and let me get a picture, but I had surreptitiously snagged this one... (originally posted on Tramp Trouble).  

Come on Blackham Boys ... 
let's keep those handsome faces scrape free!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Catching Up With Cousins

 It hadn't been very long since the Blackham Bunch went to Washington to visit the cousins there. Now the Washington cousins came to Utah for more family fun. We met a Cowabunga Bay for some fun in the sun ... we couldn't get a complete shot as some of the kids were still in the water (Keaton and Ana's boys).  Afterward we headed to Clay and Courtney's house for more visiting and eating.

Saturday, the extended Blackham Bunch hit the lake with the waver runners. Colton did NOT want to go, so I stayed home with him. Unfortunately it was a windy day and they had to cut the trip short. Looks like there was enough activity to wear out some of the Blackham boys!

Monday (Labor Day) we me the extended Blackham's at Kneaders for breakfast, then went back to the house for more visiting (and haircuts!) Little Amare sure has everyone wrapped around his finger, he's almost always the center of attention.

Lots of fun with cousins!
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