Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Day 3 and done

Good thing there were only three days of school this week, I was struggling with things to come up with for "fun" Christmas lunches.  Today.....probably pretty lame.  But, at least I attempted.  My most brilliant idea was to put in in the stocking.  I also included more jokes.  My favorite, "What goes oh, oh, oh?  Santa walking backwards." HA! One more, "what goes Ho, Ho Whoosh! Ho, Ho Whoosh?  Santa stuck in a revolving door."  Merry Christmas!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

School Christmas lunch day 2

Easy enough with the Christmas bags.  We are calling it the "Funny Lunch" because I snuck some fun jokes to read while they eat.  Smiles always make lunch more fun.

Monday, December 19, 2016

School Christmas Lunch 1

This week for school is only 3 days, so I only have so many times to give them fun things for their lunches.  Today was snowman themed.  Melted water bottle snowman, pop corn snow flakes, carrot noses, snowman shaped sandwich, and a snowman wrapped candy.  I love having fun with my kids and I hope it gives them a small smile today.

So many fun things to remember

 More advent fun!!!  Watching Prep and Landing, the movie.  
 Red and Green dinner.  
 This next activity was a new one for us, but so much fun!!!  Definitely adding it to the routine next year.  A Christmas Dinner Treasure Hunt.  Peter and I came up with a secret code.  Then I wrote the messages to each family member of what they were in charge of.  I was in charge of the main dish.  Each of them had to take a silly picture at the store, plus find a part of our meal.  One funny thing that should be remembered: when Caleb was "breaking" one of the coded messages it was not making any sense.  I was really worried that I had screwed up somehow.  After about a minute Caleb looked at it again and exclaimed, "I have it upside down!"  HA!  William's picture was with something soft.  Rob and William were in charge of choosing a side dish, they chose buttered popcorn.
 Peter and Haley were given the job of selecting a desert.  They chose M&M cookies, and they were a big hit at the dinner.  Their photo was in front of some pretty flowers.  Something they both love.  Haley loves to look at them, Peter loves to dissect them.
 Caleb's photo was to be something silly.  Here, he is showing how he really feels about seafood.  Caleb was in charge of finding a drink for dinner plus another side.  He chose chocolate milk (it was gone in a flash!) and Pringles chips.
 They were also supposed to take a silly group photo.  I love this one!  Such cool kids!
 While I was getting everything together, they had one more code to discover and a treasure to find.
Such a fun time as a family!!!  

Christmas Cheer and Smart Kids

Continuing with the advent activities....
 We had a service day.  Some of the kids were really not excited about this one.  So, I got some cookies and frosting ready to make it more fun.  We decorated the cookies, ate some for ourselves, and delivered the rest to friends.  Peter had a lot of fun with the sprinkles.
 Caleb's creations were great.
 Smart kids are terrific!!!  Caleb's school and teachers recognized him with a very special award this last quarter.  It is called Lion of the Quarter.  As we listened to the teacher describe what it is, Caleb is doing great!  It is an award that can only be earned once in your time at West Jordan Middle.  A teacher may only nominate one girl and boy from the class.  Then that nomination goes to all the other teachers and faculty in the school to see if they all agree that said student should be given the award.  It is not only based off of academics.  They also look at your work efforts, your interactions with other students and teachers, how well you do overall.  I think there were 6 students from each grade given an award.  Such a great honor for Caleb to be recognized!  They said some great things about him and it was so fun to see him be surprised.
One other cool surprise was that his teammate, Justin, was given the award also.  We are so proud of Caleb, for all the hard work he puts in to every aspect of life.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Let the festivities begin!!

It is so hard to see the detail, but one of my favorite Christmas decorations that we have, and I made it.  Too bad it is only for the 12 days before Christmas.

We started last night.  So much fun.
Gingerbread houses have been made.  Lots of candy was consumed but no one got a tummy ache,  that is a win.
 Last night we had our Christmas party.  Really, it is just dinner made fun with games and silly shenanigans.  Haley had such a hard time waiting all day for the party to start.

See, silliness.  They loved the little headband things.  Some pink lemonade may have been spilled with craziness.  But it was fun. 
 They all loved this game.  Put a paper plate on your head and someone tells you what to draw.  You are not supposed to peek (although a few kids did), but just try your best to draw.  It was silly and fun.  We also did puzzles.  Haley was not even into helping, she just kept playing the paper plate drawing game on her own.  But the rest of us, even though some struggled (aka, Diedre's/Haley's puzzle was really confusing), did great on our puzzles. 
 And slightly hidden behind Peter, the vacuum tree lives on.  We decorated it last night.  So, for the next week....until I decide to undecorate, we will go without vacuuming the house.  But the sacrifice is worth it, such a fun tradition.

Today's activity was deemed as less exciting.  It is a day of service.  But hopefully we can pull some fun out and make it great!  

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sleep in? Nope, awake before the sun....

And dive into 44 minutes full of adrenaline, excitement, pride and determination. 

Caleb had a game this morning, 6:30am, be there at 6:15am!  It was against a very tough team, Razzia.  What a ride!  Caleb was keeper first half.  He did incredible!  Even the parents on the other team were commenting on his great performance.  At half the score was 1-2.  We were down by one but because of Caleb they had only scored 2.  As I heard the other team's parent put it, "we should be ahead 10-1!"  They had taken 38 shots on Caleb in that first half.  Caleb's defense was terrific!  I mean, those boys know how to back each other up!!!  So, first half is done.  I was shaking so bad!  All that adrenaline.  All that cheering, stat keeping, and motherly/team pride. Caleb was supposed to be on field second half.........

But beginning of second half, he still had the keeper jersey on.........

He was walking out on the field with his gloves still on.......

He Was Still Keeper!

Oh the anxiety in my heart.  Oh the pride in my heart.  Oh the pressure on those shoulders.  He walked out there confident, determined and they all played like champions!  Caleb made terrific saves.  I have now coined several phrases for Caleb.  Sticky hands. Keeper stance. And today, Glory Jump!  He did it all.  He got the high balls, he charged when he needed to, he played with zero fear.  I could hear the other team's parents saying what a great keeper he was, how he knew when to time things.  He made me so proud today.  In the end though, they lost by 1.  1 freaking goal!  Glory ended  with 3 goals and Razzia had 4.  Caleb ended up taking 60 shots on goal, with 39 saves and 4 misses.  Did you read those stats?  Caleb was holding back the tears because his team did not bring home the win.  But those boys, not one of them played with anything less than their whole heart.  They did not stop until that final buzzer, they did not even stop then.  They scored a goal, after the time had run out!  Caleb's defense was awesome!  Caleb played with everything he had.  And at the team huddle, Coach commented that "Caleb is the reason we kept it so close and why we almost won."  I actually heard the team cheer when Coach said that.  Thank you, Coach.  Thank you team for supporting each other.  Thank you, Caleb.  For pushing yourself to be better than you thought and for making it so Razzia walks away, remembering who Utah Glory is, and that you are a great goal keeper.  

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Eagle Project; R. Caleb Gray

Well, thankfully that is done! For those of you who do not know yet, in October Caleb decided what he wanted to do for his Eagle.  He would choose a local assisted living center (Beehive Homes), have some Christmas decorations made by our ward and family, then go with some of our ward and decorate the living center and sing some Christmas carols to them.  How did it go?
The prep work.  We cut up some wood from a branch in our back yard and made some cute ribbon Christmas trees for the residents.  Caleb also had some Relief Society sisters sew up a few Christmas scarves for the residents as well.
Caleb set up a room at our ward Christmas party for the ward members to come back and help make the decorations for Beehive Homes.  Some of the them turned out really cute and the primary kids all had a lot of fun helping Caleb.  As Caleb put it, "it went extremely well.  Better than I expected."
Some of the door decorations that were made for the project.
Last night, 7 December 2016, was the night of completion.  We gathered at the church before driving to Beehive Homes.  There was a great turnout (32) and so we had plenty of help with decorating and singing.
Caleb was not feeling too well that day, head cold and pinched nerve that gave his right leg pain, but the show still happened.  Caleb did great!  As Rob put it, "For a service project run by a 13 year old, it was great!"  Caleb feels that it went really well.  I think that the residents enjoyed the singing.  I, Diedre, hope that there are enough decorations to make their home look cheery for the holidays and that we did enough.  You know, basic mom worries of, "Did we do enough?"  Peter said this, "Mom, I think that the people there just liked having us come and spend time with them."  Peter speaks the truth.
So, an Eagle project.  The scout is supposed to learn leadership skills and serve his community, "help others at all times."  I hope Caleb learned some of that while doing all the work for this project.  He did not enjoy me reminding him of things here and there.  He did not enjoy the footwork of approaching strangers and asking for their help or donations.  The paperwork is still to come, so I am sure there will be more nagging to get that done.  However, my hope is that Caleb had JOY in his service to others.  Also, that this small piece of service helps the people at Beehive Homes feel special and cared for.