Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Drinking Problem?

I think we have a drinking problem here at the Blackham house. On New Years Eve, I noticed a bottle of Martinelli's Apple Cider in our food storage room. I grabbed it and brought it upstairs for our celebration. I don't drink it myself, but the boys (Landon especially) thought it hit the spot. So much so, that he wanted MORE. SO much so, that the next day he made a special trip to the store just to get some ... two stores in fact, and he could not find it in stock.

I'm not sure if there had been a run on it, or if Landon was looking in the wrong locations. I had some trouble finding any either. The first time I brought home a couple of bottles, the boys were very happy. I then found them in stock again at Sam's Club (a three pack) and bought a couple of those ... as I picked up the empty bottles and heard them clank in the trash can, it really felt like those scenes from the movies after a big drinking party.

Another popular product, directly related to the consumption of the apple cider is pebbled ice. Pebbled ice is great. I got sick back in December and just couldn't eat or drink, even though I knew I should (The Flu x2 Diet). On the final day, when the influenza bug changed to a stomach flu, and I was down 10 pounds in the week I'd been sick, Gray went and bought some pebbled ice in an attempt to keep me somewhat hydrated. It did hit the spot ... 

The bag of ice, sitting out in the cold on the back porch was still there for the first apple cider indulgence. The pebbled ice was then almost as important as the cider itself (it just wasn't the same with the old boring ice from the freezer). We've continued to re-stock, picking up a bag of pebbled ice from Maceys. As it's gotten warmer, we have had to make room in the freezer, instead of just leaving it on the back porch. We've even talked about the possibility of getting a pebbled ice maker (cost and space are a problem).

Are you a cider drinker?
Do you prefer pebbled ice?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Winter Weather

It's been a relatively mild winter this year ... no ice storms like last year (ice is NOT nice). I mean, it's been cold ... which has been more noticeable to me as the heat has decided not to work in the suburban. First the hot air stopped blowing ... Gray filled up the antifreeze and then it worked again for a while, but soon wasn't working again. We need to get it in to be looked at. The seat heaters also went out. I LOVE my seat heaters and miss them so much.  My backside misses them most of all!

We have had some snow. Enough that Cooper made a snowman using his "snowman set" he received for Christmas.  We haven't really had any snowball fights or sledding like I recall in years past though. 

I remember one day in January, I looked out the window to see HUGEMONGOUS snowflakes falling. I'd never seen any that big. You really couldn't even call them "flakes" ... they were clumps. Very cool ... I grabbed the camera, but a picture doesn't really do them justice.

We had some fog too. I don't like driving in the fog, but I must admit it is rather cool. I love how it coats the trees and everything ... it's beautiful!

So while I don't really mind the mild winter, and it certainly makes building homes easier for Grayson ... we are wondering about the water situation. Since Gray bought the wave runners last summer, he's really invested in the water levels at the lakes.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cub Cooper

If you know Cooper, you know he's not a fan of being out of his comfort zone. He's a homebody. He takes after his mommy that way. Cooper HAD been going to cub scouts ... then he stopped and it just wasn't worth the effort to force him.  He didn't even participate in the pinewood derby (and his dad is THE derby guy!) 

As there were some change ups in the leadership, we were approached about Cooper starting to attend again. He was very reticent, and it was so close to his 10th birthday (so he only would have been with that group for a couple of weeks) that again, I didn't push the issue. When he DID turn 10, his new leader stopped by and put on the spot, he decided to give it a try. He really liked it and has been going ever since.

I remember him bringing home a cricket to care for ... for a week or two anyway. I do think Cooper's cricket lasted the longest, but I don't know if he really noticed when the cricket wasn't there any more. They boys learned a lot of things, and got the badges, patches and pins at pack meetings. There are NOT a lot of boys Cooper's age in the neighborhood, and at times, Cooper was the ONLY one at the weekly meetings. His leaders would come pick him up and drop him back off ... which I really appreciated, as I was often busy running boys to basketball practices and such.

Now Colton has turned 8 ... so we have TWO cubs!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Baptism Talks

For Colton's baptism, I thought we'd just keep all the talks in house (like we did for Cooper's a few years ago). As Landon was performing the baptism, we had Callahan give the talk on baptism, Keaton give the talk on The Holy Ghost, and Cooper gave a short "rainbow" poem. I thought I'd include them here; to remember them personally, and to share if anyone else needed an easy talk idea. I know I found the "Three Bears of Baptism" story online somewhere. I can't remember where (if you feel it was from you, contact me and I'll happily link back to your original site). I did change it up somewhat for our family use. The "Signs" Holy Ghost talk was given originally by my oldest brother at one of the older boy's baptisms ... I'm not sure if he came up with it himself or if someone should be credited for it as well. The Rainbow poem is from The Friend Magazine.

The Three Bears of Baptism

I’m going to tell the story of the three bears ... the three bears of baptism.  These bears can help us remember the covenants, or promises,  we make with Heavenly Father when we are baptized. 

  • The first BEAR of baptism is to bear HIS name. You bear your father’s name. Your name shows others you belong to your father, to your family. By being  baptized, you take on the name of Christ and become an official member of his church. You will try to do things that Jesus would do.
  • The second BEAR of baptism is to bear testimony, or to bear witness and share with others that we know Jesus is the Son of God. That we know he is our Savior and we know His gospel is true. Always remember him in your thoughts, actions and the example you  set.
  • The third BEAR of baptism is that we bear one another's burdens, that they may be light. That means we help each other with the work that needs to be done and also we help others when they have trouble and sorrow so they won't suffer alone. This is one way we can  follow the Savior's commandment to love one another, the same way He loves us.

You are only baptized one time. Today is your special day. But Heavenly Father has given us all a chance to renew our Baptismal Covenant every week when we take the sacrament. Listen to the priests as they bless the sacrament and remember your bears ....

You bear his name.
You bear your testimony.
You bear one another's burdens.

And remember what Heavenly Father promises YOU ... that He will pour out His spirit upon us.  I can think of nothing better than to always have his spirit with us.  

The Holy Ghost

As you walk to school or ride in the car, 
you probably notice lots of street signs.
Why are all these signs around?

Here is a sign (DO NOT ENTER).
What is this sign trying to tell you?
Do you think it was just put there for fun?
Or do you think there was a good reason for this sign?

How about this sign? (KEEP RIGHT)
What about this sign? (STOP) 
What could happen if you decided to ignore these signs?

The Holy Ghost helps guide us, just like signs guide us.
The Holy Ghost can tell us where it is safe to walk.
Remind us to KEEP RIGHT
Tell us that there are places we DO NOT ENTER
and warn us to STOP when there is danger.

The Holy Ghost can comfort you.
He can help you in school.
He can help you to choose good friends and make good choices.
He can keep you out of danger.

I hope we can all pay attention to the Holy Ghost 
as he guides us through life.

The rainbow shows a promise
That God has made to me.
If I choose to obey 
Then I can always see
That rainbows are not made 
Just for God alone
Rainbows help me remember 
Promises of my own

The next day ... Cooper had a talk in primary. It was great to just be able to grab one of these (he gave the "Three Bears" talk) without having to prepare anything new :)

Do you have any primary talks to share on your blog?
Feel free to leave any links in the comments! I'd love to check them out *Ü*

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Baby Boy's Baptism

Biggest Blackham Boy Baptizes Baby Blackham Boy

How's that for alliteration? Any before you get after me for calling Colton my "baby" ... HE doesn't seem to mind, and he'll always be my baby boy! Even if he is now eight years old. We decided to let Landon have the experience of baptizing Colton, and he did a good job. The rest of the Blackham boys helped in the program, giving a poem and the two talks (I'll share those in my next post). We had a lot of friends and family come out for this event. And it was the ONE week we didn't have ANY basketball games!

At the house after, we had a chocolate fountain.

Congrats to Colton!

Just last month, it was Addie's baptism.
I thought this picture of my five boys
around the pretty girl was a fun photo.
These kids are growing up!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Mommy Stalker

Just thought I'd share a favorite app ... the Find My Friends app. The boys call it the "Mommy Stalker" and I fully admit that name isn't far from the truth. Using the GPS on their phone, I can look and see where they are (or at least where their phone is). The boys don't LOVE the app ... but I mean, they ARE telling me the truth about where they are anyway, right? So no big deal. 

As I'm prepping dinner, sometimes I can see where Gray is to try and time the meal so it is hot and ready when he arrives (on the freeway, so about 30 minutes away, or still at the office, hold off for a bit). Callahan is Mr. Social and is NEVER home, just wandering from one friend's home to the next.  In reality, this app (and the ability to text and call him whenever) is the only reason Callahan HAS an iphone (and he knows it). Too many times before, I'd have no idea where he was or how to contact him. How did mommy's survive before cell phones? Landon too ... he actually got his iphone before I discovered this app, but ... that phone died after an experiment in a "waterproof" case. I couldn't stand not being able to contact the kid or knowing where he was and if he was ok  ... so he has a new phone. Spoiled rotten kids, right? They just have to put up with the Mommy Stalker ...

... and it's reciprocal of course, they can track ME as well!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pastry Wreath

A New Year's tradition that has been going on ... for years and years now, is Pam's famous pastry wreath. It takes a ton of time to make, and NOT very long to devour.  Everyone had been a little concerned when as of New Year's Eve, Pam didn't have all the ingredients on hand and was talking about the possibility of NOT making the wreath this year. WHAT? Luckily (for everyone but Pammy), she got up uber early, hit the store, then hit the kitchen.

With a little later start (often she preps some the night before) she passed on some of the steps to little kitchen helpers. Addie and Aiden were very involved in the process this year. 

Pastry Wreath Pictures

Maga, her pastry wreath ... and a Landon photo bomb.

Thanks Pammy!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Eve

 For the past several years, we've hosted a "game night" on New Year's Eve. Generally, it's just been the grandparents, although a couple years there we included the entire Westra side. This year we had my mom and dad, and Gray's mom over.

At first, the three older boys were at the church playing basketball (from about 7:00-9:00), then of course, Callahan (Mr. Social) had plans with friends. But Landon and Keaton returned home to join the game playing. Until they got there, Grandma played some games with the munchkins, while I challenged Grandpa to a game of ping pong. I won! 

We played some Rack-O, and then Grandma introduced us to "speed rummykub" which was an instant hit! 

Grandpa brought out a box of "New Year" wear.
Who wears it best? The Grandmas (pictured above)?
Or Landon and I (pictured below) *Ü*
Cooper didn't make it to midnight, but Colton was still going strong! We got a lot of game play in, then turned on the TV to watch the traditional ball drop. I sent Landon out to pick up Callahan, and we bid my parents goodnight. Pam was actually so tired she opted to spend the night! Maga sleep over. She snuck out uber early ... and you'll see why in the next post.

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