Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014

 Happy Halloween! I'm really an angel!

Halloween is NOT my favorite holiday. I went ahead and stocked up on some candy. I went to the school for the Halloween parade and then volunteered in Cooper's classroom for their party (I've been in charge before with my stock of Halloween games) but this year I was just helping out at one of the stations (Memory). After pulling out THREE HUGE boxes of Halloween costumes, the kids said there was "nothing" to wear ... so I took them to the store to buy new ones.

Grayson took the boys to the church "Trunk or Treat" (as I was busy with Keaton's basketball game that night) ... so he said I was on duty to take them around the neighborhood this year. I guess that's fair, as he did the walk-about last year. We actually could not beat the weather this year! I can't recall a nicer evening for trick-or-treating ever! It was 70° ... perfect!

Gray had come home from work and rolled his eyes a bit at the Halloween excitement. Like me, it's not his favorite holiday. I pretty much expected him to go hide in the bedroom and put Landon and Keaton on door duty. Instead, he totally surprised me by saying "I wonder if we should get out the projector and show a movie on the garage?"  They proceeded to set that up ... we downloaded "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" and he and the boys simply sat outside and handed out candy. there were extra chairs set up if anyone wanted to stop and sit and watch for a bit too.

I walked around with Cooper and Colton (and Jacob from next door). We went around out little loop, then up out of the neighborhood to 40th West. Colton was "done" but Cooper wanted more. We stopped home to unload, and while I was willing to go out again and hit the rest of the neighborhood, Cooper decided he was done too. That was fine by me as well. I had worn my Fitbit of course ... we'd gone just over 6000 steps (approximately three miles). 

Then it's time for the annual "candy haul" picture and candy sort. Neither little boy likes peanuts/peanut butter, so any candy containing that is set aside for me or their brothers. Kit Kats are their favorite. I didn't get any full costume shots! Keaton didn't go out this year, but helping passing out candy with Landon and Dad. Callahan was off with friends as usual.

I never got around to really decorating this year ... for Halloween of for Fall. I put out the wreath for the front door, but that was about all outside. Indoors, I pulled out the glass pumpkin and filled it up with candy corn. I'm not sure WHY I temp myself like that, but I do. I LOVE candy corn!

How was YOUR Halloween?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall Fun

 We do not have a single tree in our yard (after Landon cut down the peach tree which had died. Chop Chop). But that doesn't mean we don't have leaves. The backyard neighbors have BIG trees which do drop quite a few leaves in our yard.   While the kids were out of school for Fall Recess, they went out to rake up the leaves.

Unfortunately, we couldn't find a rake. I came out and found one. Keaton wanted a "leaf" rake, which I could not find (although I know we had one once). The boys ended up using snow shovels to gather the leaves into a pile. Then they buried Keaton in the pile.

That wasn't enough to keep them entertained for too long though. Funny how we can get through an entire summer, but a couple days off once school has started up and the kids are "bored" without a specific activity. I pulled out some "Bloonies" and that entertained them for a while too.

I'm glad Fall Break is short!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Theater x3

This past year, Gray and I had been given season tickets to both Desert Star Theater, and Hale Theater (the former from my folks, the latter from Grayson's mom). So he and I made it out to the theater several times this year.

Gray and I at Desert Star Theater ...
It's casual dining while you watch.

Near the end of the year, there were three different productions and three different theaters, and we even got the kids to attend a couple of them. That was a Theater x3 month!

First, Cousin Addie was in a Riverton Production of "Alice in Wonderland" ... Gray purchased five tickets (we assumed a couple of the boys wouldn't be able to go). We ended up all being available, but Landon and I sat it out while the others joined the rest of the Blackham Clan to watch.

Then we decided to introduce the little boys to Desert Star.
We'd taken the older three boys in the past. Keaton enjoyed it and wanted to go again, but it was the first time for Cooper and Colton. We got the table in the top corner, which has a little more space than some of the others. The little boys weren't that impressed.

Colton ended up playing on his ipod instead of watching the show.

Then it was time for the last production on our "Hale" season ticket ... "Catch Me If You Can" the musical. We'd seen the movie years ago (also with the Blackham clan I recall) and I had read the book and really liked it. I wasn't sure exactly how it would be presented in musical format, but it was good. Pam and Ana went with us. 

I'm not sure if we'll do season tickets next year. It was good, forcing us to get out and see the shows (use them or lose them) but sometimes we wouldn't plan ahead and it would end up being somewhat stressful. Some shows are definitely more appealing than others as well. Maybe we'll just pick and choose and go to a couple next year instead of every one. 

Trading Trailers

In pictures past, you may have noticed a couple trailers the Blackham's have owned. A folding camping trailer, that we used a LOT for a few years ... then not at all for more years. There was also a trailer for hauling things; Gray's derby track and other items as needed.

During derby days with bad weather, Grayson would comment on how much nicer it would be to have an enclosed trailer. One that would ward off the rain and snow. One that wouldn't have to be parked in the garage. 

Then, Grayson made a trade. He traded our two trailers, for the one pictured above. It reminded me a little of "The Great Brain" series, as Tom would trade items, no actually money passing hands. I think it was a good trade for both parties. We had thought about selling the camping trailer, but our neighbor had a similar one and had posted it for sale and had nary a nibble. This was so much easier than trying to sell both of them, although monetarily, the other party probably got a bit of a better deal. We are happy with the new trailer ... happy to have the camping trailer gone (and open up that space on the side of the house). 

And Gray is especially happy as he heads out to derbies on a rainy or snowy day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mr. Missionary

Back when the announcement was first made changing the mission age for both young men and women, it changed the plans for many of the youth out there. But not for Landon. He has a September birthday, and turned 18 early in his senior year. He'd planned on finishing high school and working for the summer before heading out on a mission.

He completed all the paperwork as he worked and saved money. Of course we were aware that he'd finished it all up and sent it in, but when the envelope appeared in the mailbox, it was still a bit of a shock! It was a really quick turnaround. We hadn't really even talked about "the opening" and how it would be handled.  I sent Landon and Grayson a text letting them know IT was here.  Landon did come home from work a bit early and I wondered if maybe he wanted to open it on his own. In the end, we did throw together a quick "opening party" for that night (rather than waiting for the weekend, as had been discussed as a possibility). I made a quick store run and grabbed ingredients for an ice cream sundae bar and we were pretty set. 

Landon went out and bought a big map and took people's guesses. I took Keaton to his basketball game while Landon went to his friend Tyler's "opening" as he had received his call today too (he is going to Germany, leaving in March). 

Landon had hoped for foreign and he got his wish. Mexico, Puebla North.  He'll put those two years of high school Spanish to good use! *Ü*  Leaving February 18... I'm so glad he'll still be here for Christmas this year!

So know for the final prep ... the passport, visa, immunizations. Buying the mission wardrobe and other essentials he'll need. The brothers are already placing dibs on who gets his room, and Callahan is eyeing many of the clothes in the closet.

Congrats to Landon ... Mr. Missionary!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Keaton Compilation

  Random Keaton pictures that didn't make it into their own blog post!

Keaton ... the Blackham Boy right smack dab in the middle of the family. Two brothers older, two brothers younger. It's time for my post with random pictures ... like the photo above. Um, that's just Keaton! Thumbs up!

When Keaton wanted to take gingersnaps to all his friends, 
I said sure, as long as he made them himself. 
He did ...Ah, Keaton cooking!

Keaton is our Star Wars fan ... note the Darth Vader jacket (although apparently that fad is fading with him). He's also my "video game" boy, and his cousin Will is happy to have him to hang out with! If you notice the case on Keaton's iphone ... Lego. See below ...

Last summer, Keaton got creative and made this little "movie theater" for lego guys (most of them Star Wars dudes) ... the "movie" being shown? The LEGO movie of course!

I can't remember why we took this picture ... I'd originally bought this book for Landon some years ago. I think Keaton needed to do a report on muscle cars or something, and I pulled this out as a reference! The things we have in our home library!

So those are some of the random photos to feature on my "catching up with Keaton" post ... other pictures (bowling, water fun, jumping, scouts, school) all appeared on their own posts a while back. While I didn't mention basketball here, after finishing up his 7th grade season, he played some Spring Ball, took the summer off, and plans on playing his 8th grade year.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Friends and Frazils

Callahan is ALL about his friends! Seriously, he is rarely home, spending all his time with his buddies. He does have a great group of friends. I have to follow him on Instagram (and kids these days don't do Facebook) and see all the picture shares (and snag them!)

The guys discovered FRAZILS this past summer. Many times when they were together, they would hit the Chevron and Frazil up. It became tradition to take selfies ... I thought these were hilarious! Quite the capture of their summer experience!

The boys also went golfing a couple of times (when they weren't playing basketball). One time, I was the official chauffeur. I shall not say how many boys we squeezed into our suburban ...

 This was before school got out at West Hills ... 
we had a milk and cereal day when I was in middle school too!

 Taco Tuesday was a regular event during the summer ...
Bryson's mom would go out and buy TONS of tacos.

 Boys will be boys.

But among all these boys ...
There is also a GIRLfriend

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Kicking it with Colton

Another soccer season for Colton. In the Spring, we played with Uncle Clay and Cousin Addie in Herriman. It was an undefeated season (Spring Soccer).  As Fall soccer signups started up, we just went ahead and signed Colton up at the local rec center and hoped he might know some kids he was placed with (they do try to put kids from the same school together).

The change from Spring to Fall was a big one. It had been the 1st/2nd grade league in the Spring, with smaller fields. Now, it was a 3rd/4th division and the fields were much bigger, much more running. Some teams had a lot of 4th graders (we had one, but the rest were 3rd, with a couple 2nd graders too).

The first game, Colton had several close shots, but none of them went into the goal. The other team did manage to score, so Colton had his first loss. He wasn't super happy (as you can see in the picture above). Luckily, he learned to manage his emotions a bit better, because that wasn't the last loss ... they lost every game, until the last one, which ended in a tie at least. Only two goals the entire season. One that final game (for the 1-1 tie), and one a bit earlier, which Colton managed to kick in. It was the first goal of the season and the boys were ecstatic. Here's a quick clip ...

We missed the team pictures this year (Colton went to the Father's and Sons at the sand dunes), so I snapped one on the final game.

Here's Colton and his crew. The Flame Throwers!

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