Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Lunar New Year (Tet)!

It's the year of the horse.  Happy New Year.

A Chi-Poke-Bey Adventure

My son is "Star of the Week" in his classroom.  As part of that, parents are asked to write a letter or story about their child.  Instead of writing some letter about how my son is the best/smartest/most wonderful kid ever, I decided to write a fictional story that puts my son in the middle of a land that he would love.  Enjoy.  If you know nothing of Lego Chima, Beyblades, or Pokemon, then this may not make any sense!

A Chi-Poke-Bey Adventure

Ryan wakes up, ready for his next adventure.  He looks at his best pal, Shaky Doggy, and says, “Are you ready to face that Pokemon Gym leader today, and earn our next gym badge?”

Shaky Doggy replies back, “I sure am!”

Ryan gets dressed, and runs out the door.  Shaky Doggy follows behind.  On his way to the Pokemon Gym, Ryan runs into his friend Brady.  Brady says, “There’s a Chima speedor race going on two streets over!  Want to watch the race?"

Ryan really wants to get to the Pokemon Gym, but a Chima speedor race sounds too fun to miss! “Let’s go, Brady!” Ryan yells as he starts to run.

When Ryan, Brady and Shaky Doggy arrive at the Chima race starting line, they see Laval and Wilhurt  ready to win some Chi.  But Eris is having problems with her Chima racing bike.  Ryan walks over and asks, “Hey…. Do you need some help?”  Eris replies “I can’t get this thing started!  If you can figure it out, then you can race the thing!”

With that, Ryan pulled out his Lego fix-it box, and repairs the bike in no time.  Plus, he adds a few extra touches of his own – super wings and jet wheels!

Soon, the Lions are announcing the start of the race.  Ryan, Laval and Wilhurt are off.  It is a close race as the three speedors swerve around obstacles.  At the last second, Ryan passes Laval, then Wilhurt and wins the race!

The Lions award Ryan a Chi.  Everyone congratulates Ryan, except Wilhurt who is always unhappy when he losses.
Then Ryan remembers – the gym leader battle!  He still needs to fight for his gym badge.  He leaves the Chima race, and runs back towards the Pokemon gym.  Shaky Doggy and Brady join him.

Just before he arrives at the gym entrance, he finds two more friends – Ben and Morgan.  Ben and Morgan yelled out together, “3, 2, 1. Let it RIP!”  They are playing Beyblades! Once they hear Ryan is going to battle the gym leader today, they put down their Beys, and join Ryan to watch him battle the gym leader.

 All five friends enter the gym, and the gym leader approaches them.  Boy, are they surprised!  The gym leader is their friend Phinley!   Phinley says, “Hi Ryan!  I heard you want to earn your gym badge.  Well, you are going to have to beat me, first!”

The two Pokemon trainers take their places in the arena.  It is a fierce battle.  Phinley brings out his favorite Pokemon – Charmander, Sandile and JigglyPuff.  But, Ryan fights back with White Kyurem, Zekrom and Pikachu. The battle comes down to the final move, and Ryan wins!  Phinley, and the rest of his friends, congratulate him.  Ryan gets his gym badge!

“Today was quite an adventure.” announces Ryan.  Ryan won Chi in a Chima speedor race and got his next gym badge -- all in one day!

“What do we have planned for tomorrow?” asks Shaky Doggy.

“I don’t know.” Replies Ryan.  “Maybe we’ll just go to school.”

Thursday, January 30, 2014

My little bucket fillers

My kid's school has been using an initiative called "bucket filling" to encourage good deeds and positive behavior.  It is based on a book called Have you Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud (I recommend it!)

As part of this initiative, the first graders are asked to put together a couple of pages on how their family "fills their buckets." My daughter and son worked on this together, and I think it turned out really nice!  Sorry for the glare. I took the pictures with the camera on my phone.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A really loud happy birthday!

My son had his birthday party at Zap Zone -- an arcade and laser tag game place.  His friends and cousins had a blast.  The neighboring party was quite loud, so they decided to be as loud as possible for his birthday song.  Enjoy.

Friday, January 17, 2014

My big boy turns 7!

My son, my big boy, my ninja padawan, my wolf cub.... is growing up!  He's the big SEVEN today.  We will celebrate with a friends-and-family party tomorrow.   Here's a little photo timeline of my boy growing up!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Princess Bride on the BIG SCREEN

What a treat!  My bestie and I watched my favorite movie ever -- The Princess Bride -- on the big screen!  AMC theaters (free plug here) is doing a "Classics Series" and wisely chose to offer this '80s fairy tale.
Despite this being my favorite movie of all time, I did not see it in the theater when it came out in 1987. Like most of its die-hard cult fans, I first watched the film after it was released on video tape.

And now for a lesser known fact about this movie from Mandy Patinkin, AKA "Hello, My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die!"

As with the entire movie, I have always loved the fight scene between Inigo and Count Rugen.  However, after learning this new information about Mandy Patinkin, the fight scene is amazing.  Watch it again.  If you have ever lost someone to cancer, or had someone close to you had a battle with cancer, I dare you to watch this scene again and not be moved!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Geeking out, old skool: Merlin!

My brother, an antiques and collectibles dealer, stopped by for some tech support today (no joke).  That's what happens around here in geekville.  He brought a vintage electronic toy as payment -- Merlin!  Once we turned it on, I recognized that beeping sound right away!

My daughter was at first slightly miffed at the large, blinking, beeping device.  But she decided to give it a try.

Can you believe that over 5 million of these sold, and it was the best selling game/toy item of 1980?

According to the official instructions, Merlin plays six games, as long as you count making beeping noises as a game (AKA Music Machine):
  1. Tic Tac Toe
  2. Music Machine
  3. Echo, a game similar to Simon
  4. Blackjack 13
  5. Magic Square, a pattern game similar to Lights Out
  6. Mindbender, a game similar to Mastermind
Check out my daughter trying out the Merlin:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Winter time fun

Before the polar vortex hit us this week, the kids and the dog had a chance to enjoy the Michigan snow over the holiday break.  Here's a few pictures of them having fun in the back yard.

This is the picture I usually can catch of my daughter.  She is no longer a fan of me taking her picture.

Garrett the greyhound in 2 coats.

Now that the sub-zero temperatures are over, Mother Nature has decided to bring RAIN and turn all the beautiful snow into ice and slush.  So unfair!

Monday, January 6, 2014

6 things to do on a freaking cold snow day

Well, it's cold. Very cold. Freaking cold. And snowy. Yes, we live in Michigan, but that also gives us the right to complain about the weather. Frequently!

 Here's a few things to do on this freaking cold snow day:

1. Complain about how cold it is.

2. Send the kids to play outside anyway.

3. Send the hubby out to snowplow the driveway. Then sent him to my bestie's house, and have him shovel her drive, too. Then have him snowplow the driveway again.  Good hubby, huh?

4. Science!  Like throwing boiling water into the freaking freezing air!

How It Works (Source)

Boiling water is water that is at the point of changing from liquid water into water vapor. It has the same vapor pressure as the air around it, so it has all kinds of surface area, which you can expose to a freezing temperature. The high surface area means it's much easier to freeze the water than if it was a liquid ball. It's why it is easier to freeze a thin layer of water than a glass of water. It's also the reason you'd freeze to death more slowly curled up into a ball than spread eagle in the snow.

5.  Obsessively check how cold it is.  Bonus for us, we are but a short drive from...

6.  Dress and undress the dog multiple times to go potty.  Yes, he's wearing 3 coats and a hat.  He's a greyhound -- he has no body fat, and very little fur. Despite doing the potty dance before this picture, he was not so sure about going out into the frozen tundra.

What did you do today? Was it freaking cold by you?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Warm. Warmer. Disco.

My son has made up his own dance move called "Double Disco." I hope you enjoy as much as I have.

P.S. Points for whoever can identify the character and movie for my post title! (Hubby... give everyone time before you chime in!)

And... she's back!

It's been over a year since I've posted.  I have my reasons and excuses, but now I'm ready to start posting again!  Here's a quick start... our house out in the snow with my cute hubby taking down the Christmas lights.


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