Sunday, March 30, 2014

Basketball Cal

 I wrote about the boys winter basketball seasons (Big Boys Basketball) but Callahan, being the basketball boy he is, had a few other things going on that I thought I should mention.

The church puts on a region contest each year. A "slam dunk" and "3-point" challenge. Each stake in the region gets to send a representative or two. Callahan as nominated for the 3-point contest from our stake. Happily, the contest was held right at our church, so it was convenient and close. And ... he won it! The three-point champ. He hit 10 baskets in 30 seconds.

The team also went to Idaho for a tournament there (March 28-29). Callahan LOVED hanging out with his basketball buddies all day and all night. That is just a dream come true for this social kid. Of course, I can't coax a smile out for a photo! That face! They won all their games and made it to the championships, but lost there. 2nd place seems to be the status quo for them this season. Still, they felt they held their own against an all-star Idaho team.

Beyond the basic Saturday/Thursday games in the regular season, Callahan and Co. did take part in a few tournaments. They did the Holiday Tournament last December (they didn't win a game there). Then the President's Day Tournament in February (pictured above ... NICE high school set-up!) They won the first game there (highlights here) but lost the other two.

At left ... a picture of one of his knee pads. It's not very protective if it has a hole in it! We stopped at the store before his next game to get a replacement.

Callahan suffered a blow to the thigh during the final day of the district games. He actually didn't remember any specific impact, but he was aware of the pain after the game (and then they still had the championship game an hour later).  Although we couldn't see any physical signs (bruising or swelling) it was really hurting him, and he was limping around for a week. Then the state tournament schedule came out. Back to back games every day the next week. I wanted to be sure he wouldn't hurt himself more, pushing through the pain and playing, so I ran him into the doctor. The doctor said he was ok to play if he felt up to it and prescribed some physical therapy. We went to a few sessions of that. Callahan played and it was all right, although he still didn't feel at 100%. 

So ... not entirely sure what is in store for Spring.  We think the high school is pulling the kids into a couple teams for Spring Fling. Callahan really wants to go to Dixie this year (he missed last year, having just recovered from his second broken foot and the dates conflicting with youth conference). I've told him to start saving up his money! This kid LOVES basketball!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Miscellaneous March

I'm really trying to stay up to date on the blog, but I've gotten a bit behind. So instead of individual posts, I'm just going to do a March wrap-up ...

Grandparents Lunch
March 13, 2014
We've switched schools, but there is still the annual "Invite your grandparents to lunch" day. I always feel a little guilty putting them on the spot, but we've had some fun memories the past few years as both Grandma and Grandpa and Maga have made it out (last year 2013, and the year before, 2012). I sent out the invite and both my folks and Gray's mom said they would come. My dad ended up at the Instacare that day with a medical issue, but the boys were happy to have Maga come and eat lunch with them. Maga got to see the boy's new school too!

"Pi" Day and Girl Scout Cookies
March 14, 2014
I'd ordered some girl scout cookies and as I wrote the check, I couldn't help but notice the number fourteen. Repeated three times right there in the corner (a check earlier and it would have been four times). But THREE times also happened to tie into "pi" day ... 3.14. Certainly serendipitous! I SHOULD have taken a picture of the girl scout cookies ... they were gone SO quickly I'm not sure they were ever really around! Thin Mints, Samoas, and TagAlongs. Yum!

It's Is Actually Easy Being Green
March 17, 2014
We're not a big "St.Patrick'sDay" family. I see a bunch of stuff on Pinterest, leprechaun tricks, etc. I don't really do that. I did buy some foil chocolate coins one year (St.Pats2010). I had picked up the shirt Landon is wearing ... I made sure I pulled it out for one of the kids to wear. Callahan was actually looking for it, but Landon had it on already. Keaton went on a search for the green glasses ... I was a little surprised we were able to find them. He and Colton both wore green basketball jerseys and the glittery green hats.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Blackham (BettyCrocker) Brownies

The Blackham family likes brownies. This really isn't a new treat trend, it's been going on for quite a while. I have actually tried a few other mixes and several from scratch recipes, but the basic Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies are the family favorites. 

It was several years ago that I invested in an All Edge Brownie Pan ... it was a huge hit and we ended up making brownies a lot. Then I bought a handy-dandy pre-sectioned pan, and was surprised when the kids told me they actually didn't like the edges, in fact the middle, no edge pieces were prime. 

Landon always claims those  middle ones...
Personally ... I love the edges!

I'll generally make a double batch (using both pans) and then the kids can have some hot out of the oven, and I package the remaining ones up for lunch treats for the week.  But Landon, naughty Landon always sneaks into my stash. Big trouble if I don't have enough for lunches for the day!

The "Baker's Joy" is also almost essential to good brownies ... 
At least if you want to get them out of the pans. 

I just stocked up on boxes of brownies. They were on sale for $.79 at Maceys this past week. I feel a little bad checking out with so many, but we go through them quickly. Hopefully I get around to cutting off the boxtop and donating the 10¢ to the school too... another benefit of the Betty Crocker brand. Grayson LOVES the boxtops. That is sarcastic, in case you didn't catch it, he HATES the little cardboard scraps around!

Brownie batter is also in demand. I always have kids clamoring to be the one to get to lick the bowl and spoon. Callahan calls it "brownie soup" and would love to dig in before I even pour it in the pans! I know the whole "don't eat raw eggs" danger, but we have survived ... and have certainly put it to the test! 

Are you a brownie fan?
Do you have any specialty brownie pans?
Do you like the edges?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Prom Pictures

Time for Prom Pictures.  Herriman had their prom March 8, 2014. At the state capital, as it was back in the olden days when Gray and I went to high school. Landon asked, Sam answered. Landon got the tux and corsage (he took care of it all on his own, I remember needing to drive him to the fitting a couple years ago when he went as a sophomore). Daddy even let him borrow the Tundra for his dates. I say date(s) because now, they do a big "day" date prior to the dance. It's often earlier in the day, but Landon and his buddy did theirs the night before. They went go-karting and had mini-murphy pizzas. They played some games, Landon introduced The Great Dalmuti and Progressive Rummy.

The day of the date, they went out to dinner at Buca di Bepo. 

Then it was off to the capital for dancing and pictures.

After the dancing was done 
they stopped off at Maga's house for some skookie.  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Rearranging Rooms and a New Computer

We've had our family computer for a few years now ... we often got a "low space" warning, and the kids complained about how sssllloooww it was. Since Santa didn't bring us a new computer, Grayson went ahead and took care of it. He actually bought a Macbook Air instead of the traditional PC we'd always had before. The kids love it ... I'm not totally sold on it (but then again I still have MY computer in my room, which is the one I use). I really need to spend some time figuring out the Apple vs PC kinks, and getting a new playlist on Itunes so that I can sync (all our playlists mysteriously disappeared a while back with an update).

There was quite a bit of rearranging that had to happen prior to the new computer's placement in the front room though ...

This big rolltop desk was the one that used to be in the front room. The monitor for the mac didn't fit on this desk (Gray likes them big!). So we moved this desk to the "homework room" and moved the desk from that room into the front room.  This space wasn't always the homework room however ... before it looked like what it does now (the picture above), it looked like this (picture below).

That HAD been Gray's spot, but it was also where the kids hung their back packs and coats and it collected all sorts of clutter.  Grayson requested a new, less cluttered space.

I don't have a "before" picture ... 
I should have taken a before picture.
This is/was my scrapbook room ... all my supplies, empty table space. But alas, I haven't scrapbooked in years. This room became the Lego room. What? You don't have a Lego room? There were three big rubbermaid boxes full of Legos, and Lego creations spread out across all the table space. Legos and other toys all over the floor. Although my stuff is still along the wall on one side ...

There was a less-cluttered spot for Gray.

... and after he "moved in"

And the Legos? Well, they are still around. The boys don't want to build and then put away their creations and cars, so the Legos end up sitting on the ping pong table in the downstairs family room. This does pose a problem if one wants to play ping pong ... and it's not as easy to  keep the Lego stuff under wraps (away from small cousins who may destroy, or to preserve the appearance of a clean home to older eyes) but I guess it's worth it to keep the kids happy and engaged in imaginative play.

I'm writing this blog from my PC. 
I still need to figure out the Mac.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Big Boys Basketball

 I've posted about the little boy's Junior Jazz season ... 
Here's a quick recap of the bigger boy's basketball!
Callahan played on the West Hills Middle School team. They were busy! They would practice three times a week, and have two games. On Thursday nights, the coach had divided the boys into two teams (so everyone would get more playing time). On Saturdays, the entire team played in the Jordan School District League. The boys won almost every game. They made it to the championships in both tournaments, losing to Bingham in both. You can see the season scores and links to the video highlights at Callahan's Hoop Dreams. I still have some video that we haven't gone through ... I wonder if I'll ever get around to it now! I think there are plans for a Spring league, I'm still waiting to hear. I can't imagine Callahan taking a break!

Keaton played in the Copper Hills High School prep league. His team only had seven players, so he got plenty of playing time (maybe more than he wanted). They won some games, lost some games ... won more than they lost at least. The team is going their separate ways for Spring, so Keaton is going to play rec ball at Gene Fullmer again for now.  You can see Keaton's scores and highlight links HERE

Landon said he wasn't going to ref this year, and I was okay with that, as I thought I might need him for some carpooling with overlapping schedules (we actually didn't have too many conflicts). He was also adamant that he wasn't even reffing the churchball games as he had last year. Then one afternoon I saw him get his ref shirt and whistle and head out the door. I asked him and he said "I just couldn't say no to Sister Maxfield".  He ended up doing quite a bit of reffing for the young women's games and I received many compliments on his skill and professional behavior. Always nice to hear. And Landon played ball with the ward too. We no longer have enough boys to field a separate priests and teachers team, so all the young men simply played together. That meant all three big Blackham boys were on one team. It's a lot of fun to see them all working together!  Here's a quick video of one of their early season games ...

The boys are actually still playing churchball.
Advancing in region tournament.
They keep winning, so they are still going!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Coming to Cooper's Class

For the past few years, I've been volunteering in Cooper's class at school. I guess it really started a couple years ago when he was in second grade, and suffering from his weather phobia. He liked to see me there at school, and his issues were causing some problems, so I did feel the need to give back a bit. As we switched schools this past year, I promised Cooper I'd come to his class. I'd sign up to be room mother and plan the parties, and come once a week to volunteer, doing whatever the teacher needed done.

It's been a lot of correcting papers, making copies, entering scores. It's fun to see what the kids are learning and be a little more familiar with the kids.  I go in for about an hour every Tuesday. The other week, Cooper's teacher had me redo the bulletin board (I did this a couple times during second grade as well). My inner scrapbooker was not terribly impressed with my matting or spacing skills. The open spot was left for a title block. 
Generally I'm a bit of a mess ... coming from Zumba, in my sweats and ponytail. THIS day, I actually changed into normal clothes. Of course it was the first day I wasn't simply sitting at a table doing paperwork, but running back and forth, cutting, pasting, stretching, stapling ... I actually wished I still had my active wear on! I got quite a few steps on my Fitbit. 

It is fun to see Cooper's face light up when I walk in. The other kids often call out "Hi Cooper's Mom" and wave. It's interesting to see how the kids act, and how the teacher interacts with them. I don't know how she does it! Teaching is a tough job. I always did really well in school, but as I correct math problems, PLEASE provide me with an answer sheet, even if it's simple multiplication and division. I have a hard time helping with homework. I'm not sure how some mom's home school!  I'll stick with my once a week helping out. *Ü*

Monday, March 3, 2014

Family Flu

This is not a current scrapbook page 
(there are no current scrapbook pages!) 

Unfortunately, the Blackham household did not escape flu season this year. I was just thinking back on our family flu, and remembered this scrapbook page and looked it up. I thought I would share it here. Cute little Keaton ... looks a lot like Colton!

This season ... I was the first to get hit. It was a couple weeks before Christmas. Day 1, I just felt like it was a cold. I still tried to get my exercise in, but I was dragging. The next couple days I just lay in bed all day. I never really got too bad as far as fever or chills. I lost my voice. That seems to always affect me when I get the flu. I had a cough, but not the killer sore throat that was the main symptom of the flu that had hit four of us last February (Flu x4). I completely lost my appetite. That has NEVER happened to me before. I just couldn't eat or drink. I was down for a solid seven days. On the final day, the influenza flu turned into the stomach flu. Not that I had anything in my stomach. I don't know that I've ever been so miserable as that day. I lost 10 pounds during this sickness ... I almost would have said it had been worth the sickness if I could have hung onto the weight loss, but it came back on as soon as I recovered.

About a month later (in January), Grayson wasn't feeling well as he came home from work. By evening, he was chilling and miserable! The next morning, he tried to go to work. Tried. You know there is this stereotype that men are big babies when they get sick. Not Gray. He did end up coming home pretty early, crawling into bed and falling asleep. He'd been chilling, so he piled the blankets on. He had taken some medication earlier in the day, but it had worn off. When he finally woke up, he felt hot. I took his temperature and it was over 105°. Yikes! I stripped off the blankets, put some cool cloths on him and had him down some more medication and we got it back down. He did take the next couple of days off, and I never let his medicine run out again (even setting an alarm in the night for the next dose). He recovered, but had a lingering cough for a long time.

Colton missed a few days of school not feeling well last month (in February). I had been worried that he might have one of the flu variations that Gray or I had, but his was pretty mild. No one else got sick, which is amazing (especially as while I was sick I was still on carpool duty, lunch duty, etc.  I tried to wash my hands all the time, I guess I was fairly successful).

I found this chart, and thought it was a handy reference. I think I had the seasonal flu, Gray had H1N1 and Colton just had a cold. We never got around to going to a doctor. At the times both Gray and I were really bad, the last place we would have wanted to be was in a waiting room! It just seems there isn't much you can do for the flu except wait it out. 

I remember 2005 was a bad flu year. I'd just had baby Colton, when several members of the family came down with the flu. Including Colton, who was just seven days old. He ended up at Primary Children's for a few days. The scrapbook page is dated 2006, so apparently we got hit that year too. I don't have distinct memories of any other year except Feb2013 (I linked to it above). I'm usually quite healthy ... and yet I think I succumbed each of these aforementioned times. No fair! But hopefully, that's it for "flu" this season!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Comcast "Customer Service"

You always hear the horror stories. We'd had Comcast for a few years now, and while there were the occasional outages, they would usually resolve pretty quickly. We do stream a TON of stuff at our house, I've appreciated that they've put up with us.

Then came the day when nothing worked. I checked Comcast's site and did NOT see any outage reported. It was just us. I tried re-setting the modem and router as I have had to do many times in the past, but it still didn't help.  After calling in, it was determined that our modem had died and needed to be replaced.

I had a couple options. I could take the box in to a local Comcast center, exchange it and install it myself, or a technician could do it. This would incur a $35 service fee, and the earliest appointment was the next day. I was intimidated enough at the thought of driving across town and installing it myself, that I opted for the latter.

The kids took the outage better than expected. They pulled out some DVDs to watch instead of streaming. They played some board games rather than video games requiring an online connection. We had several cell phones, so we were still reachable, and I could still check email and such. It was inconvenient ... but it was just for a day.

Or so I thought.

The next day, I sat around from 3:00-5:00 ... the hours I had been told a technician would be by. No one showed up. I called, and they said the appointment was for the NEXT day between 3:00-5:00. I was absolutely positive I had been told Thursday. Friday did not work, as Gray and I were going to a matinee performance of Les Miserables

I called in, but it was too late for them to send anyone out that day (Thursday). They said they would get someone there first thing in the morning. Now when I had called back to inquire, I discovered there was an automated system to check on your appointment. I called back  Friday morning to verify someone was coming ... only to hear "your appointment is scheduled for March 7, from 3:00-5:00". WHAT??? That was a week out! What was going on with their appointment scheduling? There was some malfunction in what I was being told and what was being entered! I called back and again and after a frustrating conversation was told someone would come out that morning. I called back to verify ... only to have the time scheduled be in the afternoon (when we would be gone). 

I gave up. I overcame my apprehension, ripped the defective modem from the computer, and drove to the Comcast center. There ... it was like the DMV. I took a number and waited. I finally exchanged the equipment. I did successfully install it all and got us back up and running. It only took three days and me doing everything myself to get things done.

Old Setup ... New Setup

So just a heads up ... IF you make an appointment with Comcast. DOUBLE CHECK your appointment time. There was something screwy going on! Hopefully you'll have better luck than I did.

*** and an update ... I received my bill from Comcast. When I went into the service center, I returned to cable boxes. Two cable boxes that had originally been installed at no charge. Cable boxes that then Comcast started charging us for, $1.98 every month (so $3.98 for both). Cable boxes that provided the most basic channels, but not all that we paid for (we'd have to pay more, get boxes like the main box to get all the channels). These boxes had not been in use for over a year, so I returned them when I made the exchange.  I got my March bill ... and they are STILL on there. Of course I kept the receipt, and I have proof of their return, but after calling and writing I'm still waiting on a response from Comcast!
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