Wednesday, March 12, 2014

February Wrap-Up

Well, since I just barely posted January's, this one is coming out soon afterward . . .

Books I've Read 

So this section is pathetic this month for a couple of reasons: one, I should've put The Giver this month instead of on January's; and two, I haven't finished many books this month (February). That being said, I'm in the middle of several books that I'm reading myself as well as with the kids and as a family. (You should see Thing 1's February wrap-up on her blog - yowza, that kid can read!).

I should also add that I read tons and tons and TONS of news articles. I'm a total news junkie and love to read up on world happenings, pop culture, mental health topics, general interest articles, food and nutrition articles, opinion pieces, blog posts, and more.

Movies/TV Shows I've Watched

In addition to marathon watching "Parenthood" (all caught up now and LOTS to say - that will be in another post), we've also been watching some of the Olympics; we've started up Amazing Race (LOVE that show);  and have kept up with "The Goldbergs" (love, love, LOVE that show), "New Girl," "Modern Family," and "The Big Bang Theory."

"Freaks and Geeks"


Okay, so I TOTALLY love this show. Like LOVE. Every time I watch it (this may be my 5th time, I think), I am amazed and impressed by the writing and characters and music and how well they capture the feel of high school (for the rest of us) in the 80s. I'm marathon watching this show with Thing 1 and we are loving it. I love sharing things like this together with others, especially my family!

So, movies. Apparently, I think I can watch movies by osmosis or by simply borrowing them from the library or putting them in our Netflix queue. Here are the movies we've actually watched in February (and like The Giver, "Saving Mr. Banks" should've been on this post since we technically saw it in February - that's what I get for taking forever to write a blog post (and for copying Thing 1's post! :P):

"The Lego Movie"


Saw this one at the movies as a family and with some friends of ours.What can I say? Everything is awesome. Don't be fooled. It only looks like a kids' movie. It has a ton of great references that kids raised in the 80s will enjoy.

"Silver Linings Playbook"


Mark and I love this movie and saw it at the theater when it came out. This time, we borrowed it from the library and watched it with Thing 1. It was just as good the second time. Great film. Incredible acting. It is important to us to watch quality films - great writing, great acting, great cinematography, etc. This movie does not one bit disappoint! Highly recommend. Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert DeNiro are all incredible in it, and they realistically portray what it's like for people who struggle with mental illness, whether it's them personally or whether it's those supporting loved ones who have it. And they manage to do this while being absolutely hilarious, too. Now, that is a feat.



We watched this documentary film with some friends of ours. It is a heartwarming and inspirational film about a group out of Massachusetts - the Young@Heart Chorus. The minimum age for joining this group is 73. It is entirely made up of older retirees. While they are a group of mostly elderly people, they sing mainly current pop and rock hits. They visit prisons and schools and sell out crowds for concerts, including places they go on their European Tours! This movie will make you laugh and cry and I cannot recommend it enough.

Note: Hilariously, I just looked at our "Recently Watched" list on Netflix and looked up everything we've been watching in February and I saw this message: "NOTE: Only the most recent 100 movies and TV shows are shown." And I couldn't see all of February, so that tells you how much we've all been watching! Thing 1 in particular has been marathon watching "Dr. Who" like crazy! And there is a lot of "Parenthood" on there (we're all caught up now) and a spattering of "Freaks and Geeks." And now that "Clone Wars" is on Netflix, Thing 2 is in on the marathon-watching action (he's seen them all before except for the lost episodes). Apparently Netflix is a great investment for us. We do use it A LOT. There are tons of great documentaries and TED Talks, too, that we use in our schooling and learning as well.

Games I've played

We reorganized our game closet in February and that was a lot of fun. It's one of our favorite places in our house, filled with games, DVDs, and music. :) I'll post pictures below. As we cleaned it out, it made us think of all these games we wanted to play, so we did! Everyone chose one game to play and we played them all to celebrate being done cleaning the closet. Our homeschool group also has a couple of game days every month where we meet at a book/game store and play games together for hours in their game bunker. Again, I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but here goes:

Yahtzee - I chose this one, because it's a simple and fun game and different from the kind of games we usually play these days.
Smallworld - This is Thing 2's pick. I play it with him a lot when Thing 1 volunteers at the library.  
Harry Potter Sorcerer's Stone Trivia Game - Thing 1's choice. It covers the first book and is a lot of fun to play in our family since we all love the books so much.
Boom-O - Mark's pick. A fun card game we hadn't played in a while. It was really fun to pull out some oldr games we hadn't enjoyed in a while.
Chronology - We like this game and use it quite a bit to help us in our history study together. It's simple and gives a good sense of, well, chronology.
Mario Kart - a great standby that we all enjoy playing together quite a bit 
Pit - a discovery of an old classic! So fun with friends!
Catch Phrase - we had a lot of fun playing this together at our game day. Fun for a group!
Chess - a classic, especially fun when you're trying to beat Ivan the computer!
Pizza Dice - an easy, quick, fun game where you try to roll the pizza toppings dice and make a pizza first. A fun game!
Dominion -  We played this with the Johnsons on our Folson Anniversary. Fun, fun game.
Candamir - Pretty addicted to this one. We got it for Christmas from Mark's parents and we really enjoy playing it a lot! Probably one of my new favorites for sure.
Folson Family Vacation Game -  THIS. GAME. IS. AWESOME. But you can't get it in stores. Know why? Because this is the awesome gift the Johnsons gave us to celebrate our 3rd friendship anniversary together (yes, we do that and love it). Happy February 23rd! I'll post pictures of it - it is so IMPRESSIVE to see all the time and effort they put into making it and it is filled with fun references to things about us all and things we all enjoy! A big hit!

Other Things I've done, Places I've visited, etc.

* Complained about the stupid polar vortex cold (keeping this one in the rotation this month, because well, cold)
* Had lots of kids over, particularly Thing 1's BFF and Dave's boys during Dave's hospital stay (another hold over from month to month, it seems!)
* Peeked in on my daughter as she participated in a virtual book launch with some of her co-authors
* Played games with friends
* Stupid groundhog
* Caught a matinée at our favorite, indie theater in our cute little town - "Saving Mr. Banks" as a family
* Snow stopped Mark and me from seeing two movies (in theaters) we tried to get to ("American Hustle" and "August: Osage County"). Redbox or Library it is.
* Did our awesome dinner co-op with friends (love that!)
* Looked at houses for sale
* Game day with homeschool group
* Cleaned out our game closet
* Celebrated our Folson Anniversary with a full day of food and fun by recreating the first day we all met as well as some other favorite memories - Dave has saved me the trouble of recounting our adventure that day - read his post here to understand why we did what we did that day
* Had a lot of people over to dinner
* Went to the dentist (make-up date from when I couldn't go due to my hurt neck in January)
* Hosted various homeschool events at our house (no stolen food this time!)
* Dealt with snow, snow, and more snow (this winter has been ROUGH).
* Sent a barbershop quartet to the hospital when Dave went in (read about that here). Seriously. Read it. It's hilarious.
* More people to dinner
* Attended birthday parties
* Yet more people to dinner
* Went out to dinner with a long-time friend of mine (Denise. Denise!)
* Mark took the kids and the Johnson boys sledding!
* Got $5 burritos for dinner during a great deal
* Watched some (but not much) of the Olympics
* Read a lot of news (that's ongoing)
* Went to a surprise party for our dear friend Sherri - she ADORES Scout (and I love that she does!) and Scout is who surprised her first!
* Attended a surprise party for a friend of ours who just turned 70. He was genuinely surprised and it was a really fun afternoon
* His party switched locations on the fly, so we were near our friend's house in a neighboring county and let them know - we went over and visited, always for longer than we intend, because we all enjoy one another so much! We had just seen them the night before, too!
* Hosted our book club (monthly)
* Saw the Lego Movie with friends (Max had already seen it at a friend's birthday party and was VERY excited for us all to see it - everything is awesome!)
* Made serious progress on some business changes we've been talking about for quite some time
* Had some friends to dinner and had a lovely time. Their adult son (I believe he's 26), whose wife and baby were out of town, then hung out and played games with Max for hours! They both had a great time.
* Got a haircut and color - happy birthday to me.
* Our daughter planned a surprise date for me and Mark and our son helped her pull it off. She told us she had a Twitter chat about writing and publishing and that we needed to be home for that (to make sure we didn't make any other plans) and then she surprised us by having arranged for them to go to a friend's house (the Johnson's) while Mark and I enjoyed a dinner out! She had wanted to do it on Valentine's Day but then figured out that we'd have the Johnson boys here since Dave went in the hospital that day, so she arranged it for a different day. She said it was the ONE free night all month -that's just nuts. We had a great time out. Thank you, kids! Thanks especially for the idea, Kate!
* It took me months to get around to it, but I charged our new home phones! The other one had been dying for a LONG time.
* Did a double mother-daughter date with Kate and her BFF and her mom (and her little sister)
* Dealt with a broken washing machine and Mark did half a dozen loads of laundry at the laundromat on a VERY cold night while I watched kids (and friends' kids) here at home
* Accepted a job to be the mental health workshop teacher at some local summer camps - I'm very excited!
* Attended a murder-mystery dinner with our good friends Ron and Sherri - it was SO MUCH FUN and we're totally doing it again and taking the kids (it truly deserves its own blog post)!

Pictures from the Month

But I have to admit it is beautiful!

The view out our kitchen window

Our clothesline and grapevine

Our side yard and barn

Love the way the snow sits on the branches

Our Wisteria

Our red wagon

Our bird feeders

Big red barn

Our backyard

The view behind our local library

Warming up with coca and a cute puppy

Playing in the snow


It is beautiful how it coats everything

Icicles on our Wisteria

Icicles on our power lines

Closer up

Beautiful gate

Our Cherry Blossom trees in winter

Bird Feeders in ice

The Johnsons brought us flowers and candy for our Folson Anniversary

And they made us this awesome game I talked about above

Individual playing pieces in our favorite colors and with our pictures on them!

Sushi lunch out (again, see Dave's post for more info on why we did what we did - it's a cool story)

Roller skating at the rink where we met

This is the booth where the bonding began . . .
 It was kind of funny to watch us try to recreate the day and find the right booth at the roller rink. A guy saw what we were doing and tried to help and we laughed and said we were recreating a memory. He proceeded to tell us where he had been sitting 10 minutes beforehand in order to help us and we clarified, "Oh, we're recreating a memory from three years ago!" This intrigued several people around us who all liked our story. :)

Friendly's for ice cream - a go-to place for us

Playing the Folson Game!

More food - Red Robin this time

Thing 1 is at that age where she goes back and forth between the kids and the adults

This is a picture of what our kitchen looks like as it awaits Kate's cookies coming out of the oven

Our organized DVD/game closet!

Cold and dry = static electricity
Mark got everyone Valentines - Kate's BFF was here that morning, so she got one, too!

Thing 1 made a Valentine surprise for Scout

Seriously, she is the CUTEST!!

Mark also did Valentines surprises with the kids while Dave and Christie were at the hospital

Kate and I took her to Petsmart (we're all cooped up this winter) and got her a toy

I charged them! I did it!

Sledding with friends

We've had a FULL February aside from books, movies, and games. We've had a TON of social engagements. We've had a lot of people over to dinner. We've owed many of them dinners for quite some time and have been trying to reciprocate the generosity of those around us. We've had game nights. We've had outings. We've had the Johnson boys during Dave's hospitalization. We've had art classes and dentist appointments and birthday parties. A very full month! 

I often struggle with depression around this time of year, but this year has been pretty good! I credit that to family and good friends (could be from the Johnsons moving here?). I will say my anxiety has been kind of high (could be from the Johnsons moving here? Just kidding - this has been a running joke this winter . . . ) and sometimes it seems I've traded one for the other, but overall really, it hasn't been a bad winter that way. And that's saying something seeing that this has been an awful winter weather wise. The weather has messed with our business and personal and family plans multiple times. Stupid polar vortex and non-stop snowstorms! 

January and February tend to be rough leading up to and beyond my birthday. I turned 40 a couple of days ago (ahem, I got sidetracked AGAIN while writing this, so now it's been over a week since I wrote that) and I haven't been stressing about it at all (several people asked if it was bothering me - it really wasn't and isn't). I like my life and feel pretty good about it. :)
How was your February?


Dr. Mark said...

Phew! No wonder I still feel exhausted! I especially love seeing all the great pictures. All those shots of ice and snow are enough to explain a lot of what happened in February. So glad THAT'S coming to a close!

Great recap!

The Magic Violinist said...

Brr, just looking at those pictures made me cold again. So glad it's all melting (finally)! Still, we managed to do a lot this month, even with all the snow.

Anonymous said...

The dinner theater was so much fun, especially the butler---eh, the M'aitre d! Loved seeing your family so much in February! and the washing machines--weird.

Pictures: Love Scout and Mark! The picture of your barn in the falling snow--just beautiful. Static-y Scout is just awesome!

Boquinha said...

Me, too, Mark! And thanks. :)

That is a really great point, Kate. Thanks for that perspective!

72fishes, YES! I really, REALLY enjoyed the evening/experience! I'm so glad that we got to share it with you and Ron! Thanks for the feedback on the pictures - it made me go back and look at them again!

LMW said...

I still need to catch up on this current season of Parenthood, but I look forward to your analysis of it when you have a chance to post one. I agree with you're earlier take on Adam. He's responsible, but he's patronizing and uptight. I know people like that, so it's at least realistic. Funny that the person who plays Adam is dating Lauren Graham in real case I haven't already divulged that Fun Fact. The person who drives my husband nuts, the few times that he's watched an episode, is Julia. He thinks she's pretty self absorbed.

Sounds like you all had a busy and good February despite the few setbacks.

Boquinha said...

I need to remember to put spoiler alerts when I talk about Parenthood (I hope I haven't spoiled anything for you!). I know people like Adam, too. I don't like them very much. :P

I know, right?!? Whenever I see them in a scene together, I can totally believe that they're brother and sister, so I try to look for any hint of unspoken, off-screen chemistry that surely must exist and I have great difficulty seeing it. I hope that means they're great actors and not that he's at all like that in real life, because I can't picture her with someone like that!

Julia - I can see why he thinks that. In the early seasons, especially, she's ridiculous. Remember that show-off scene at the pool. Uncomfortable!

Boquinha said...

I should say - I know people *who are* like Adam . . . I don't necessarily dislike those who like Adam.

Dave Johnson said...

You guys had a busy month! Other than the anniversary, I feel like I missed most of this so it's cool to see the pictures. How was my February? The less said, the better. WHERE DID THE SUN GO?