Monday, January 27, 2014

January Highlights

Every month I think that I am going to try to write something everyday or at least a couple times a week on my blog. There are so many cute moments and remember worthy things that happen within our family on a daily basis. That's what happens when you have four boys - no pictures and no time!!

So here are a few highlights from the month:

We took a completely unplanned, spontaneous trip to Miami Beach! I have never packed and cleaned my house do fast! The time there was amazing. 

We spent a night in Jacksonville on the way home and I got to meet up with one if my best friends. We hadn't seen in each other in 6 years! All of us had a great time - the kids played like they had known each other forever.


We attended an awards ceremony for Triston and Jackson - AB and A honor roll, respectively.

      Jackson with one if his best buds. 

Jackson became a Marathon Reader at school.

Nash FINALLY became fully potty-trained.

Bryce celebrated 100 days of school by counting out 100 skittles and taking them to school for a project. This caused lots of chaos in our home - apparently, little hands just can't resist grabbing a few, which resulted in us re-counting several times and ultimately buying another package.

Triston and Bryce signed on for another season of wrestling. 


Travis filed for re-election in November. So far, no one has filed to run against him in the primary and wouldn't be great if he is unopposed for the general election, too? We've heard that may be the case, but either way we will be campaigning all year. 

We had ONE nice day to play outside this month - it's been in the teens and below almost all month, so we took advantage of the 50 degree weather! 

And I spent the month organizing cabinets, closets, our basements, kids' rooms, ect. Unfortunately, that is an neverending job. But it was great to get a really good head start on spring cleaning. 

AND: I let my blog address expire. It went from to 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Super Fun DIY Kid's Game - Head's Up! Party Game

Ellen Degenerous came out with a game called "Head's Up! Party Game" and friends: it is hilarious. My sis introduced us to the game over Christmas, when we played it at her house and laughed until we were all crying.

The premise is that you have to guess what is on your card via your teammates. They aren't allowed to say what it is - only giving you hints by talking around it, acting it out, or humming a tune. the more cards you guess correctly, the more points your team collects. Highest points at the end wins. 

So. Fun. 

At the end of our game, Triston started watching us and jumping in when he could and thought it was a ton of fun, too. Fast forward to New Year's Eve, when I was planning some fun games for us, and a  DIY *kid's* version was born. 

In the original game, plastic headbands hold the card in place on your head so that your teammates can easily see what's on it, while the "it" person cannot. We own the kid's game Hedbandz, so I just used the headbands from that, but you could easily play without any headbands at all: the person who is guessing sits in front of their team, while they show each other what is on the card before trying to get the "it" person to guess what it is. 

We also used the sand timer from Hedbandz, but any game timer or stop watch can be used. 

Using a pack of .98 cent index cards, I wrote one of four categories based on the original game on the side of one card: Action, Tunes, Perfect Pairs, and Name Game. On the other side, I wrote something that correlates to the category.

Action: simple actions kids will understand: playing baseball, swimming, brushing teeth, clearing the table, ect. 
Definitely choose actions specific to your family that your kids will know. And no talking!! This category is miming the actions, only!

Tunes: Just like in the original game, this category only allows teammates to hum a tune. I chose songs my kids would know - Scooby Doo theme song, Happy Birthday, some church songs, and a few pop songs like Ice Ice Baby. This is the hardest category, but so funny! 

Perfect Pairs: things that go together: chips and salsa, macaroni and cheese, salt and pepper, Mickey and Minnie, Scooby and Shaggy, ect. You can talk throughout this category, you just can't say the name or rhyme the name of whatever is on the card! 

Name Game: This is the name of a person your kiddos will know. Choose from celebrities they might know, the president, church leaders, friends, family, teachers, acquaintances, ect. - just don't say their name! You could even use the names of things like a shark, or French fries, or whatever - they just have to say the name of whatever is on the card. Again, no rhyming!

I made 12 cards for each category for my 3 older boys to play. The more cards, the better. If you have a lot of players, make a lot.

Rules: we let each kid take turns choosing what category they wanted and played until the timer ran out. If they guessed a card right, we went on to the next card in the pile or they could pass if they didn't know it and go to the next card. Whoever wasn't "it" helped give clues. Whatever cards they guessed right, belonged to them as points. Whatever cards were left over went back into that pile. The kids took turns (with us parents helping give clues for everyone) until all the cards were gone. Whoever had the most cards at the end was the winner.
If you have an even bunch you can divide into teams and play the same way for an even more fun version! 

The kids loved it and us adults were cracking up watching them. We're planning on trying it out again this weekend with some friends and their kids. Hoping it will be just as funny. 

Definitely add this game to your collection. It's only $14 on Amazon right now and so so fun! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

NYE, 2013.

 New Year's Eve is one of those holidays that anticipation runs high, but is usually a disappointment. I prepared for that this year. We had tentative plans with friends until Nash started running a fever the night before, so we planned to stay in - with few expectations. I made a quick list that included ingredients for egg rolls, fried rice, chocolate fondue, (my expectations) and some items for a few minute to win it games. I hadn't taken all the boys to the store in quite a while and holy freaking geez, my head just about exploded. Here's the thing: I love this time of year for about 2 weeks. It's too cold to play outside and these boys get a serious case of cabin fever. Nevermind that I supply them with books, outings, art supplies, toys, movies, blankets for forts, nerf guns, and a free reign to have as much fun as possible in our basement play room - they want to run, and jump, and wrestle, and play football, basketball, and soccer right in our family room. So, there's a lot of movement this time of year and when we are at the store, it pisses me off. Hands touching this, arms sticking out over here, legs in the air over there, someone trying to ride under the cart, someone jumping on the cart, someone stopping mid-stride that causes me to almost run them over and if I'm lucky, it will be Jackson who might start howling right there in the store. You just never know. Then of course, there is always ninja moves that cut people off in the aisle and Nash always trying to get out of the buckle in the front of the car seat. He loudly lets everyone in the entire store know about it. And then there's the wants. Jackson and Bryce asked me about 500 times if they could have something, anything. Defense mechanism kicked in and I guzzled a DP. 

So, that was fun. Day 2 of low carbs: fail.

And I ended up caving at the last minute and bought them twizzlers. Nash said he had a "muns-stache".

We went home and I made everyone clean the house and then they told their dad that it was a horrible day. Little turkeys.

Once we got our "party" underway, everyone started to have some fun. The food turned out good - and I say that carefully. It was good, not fantastic, which is what my expectations for a New Year's Dinner was going for. Everyone said it was great though, even Travis, who just happened to grab the only egg roll that had oil literally dripping out of it. The only one! How'd that even happen? He never said a word about it, though, and that my friends is a good husband.  

My mom and dad stopped by just in time for games.

party monster

"Elephant" - put a ball down the leg in a pair of pantyhose, put them on your head, and try knocking over cups with no hands. And YES! They were brand new, NEVER WORN. I had to convince my kids of that.
"Ping Pong" - 6 ping pong balls in empty Kleenex box, tied around waist with a robe tie - get them out with no hands. hilarious.

We put the boys in bed by 9 and Travis and I watched funny youtube videos. Around 10:40, Nash woke up and Triston brought him downstairs. I told them they could watch the ball drop (we're an hour behind NYC) and I even got a kiss at midnight from my oldest and my youngest.

It was a good night. No disappointments, after all. And I hope we'll have many more together.

Happy New Year, to you!

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