Hello, long neglected blog. Horrible, I know. I'm trying to get my act together.
We just got home from a fantabulous nearly 3 week vacation. We spent some time near Port St. Lucie Florida, West Palm Beach, the Bahamas, and the Virgin Islands. It was a great trip, not without it's share of wrinkles, but we had a lot of fun.
Our vacation began by road trippin it to Florida. A 2 day drive with 3 kids, what were we thinking?!
This was my view for about a gazillion miles, my brother's van.
The road was rough on this little guy, but he was a trooper.
We stopped at a rest area not too far into Florida to let the kids run wild, they really needed it.
Silly girl, thought she could run from her daddy.
The kids were really impressed by the giant pine cones and dead palm branches.
Cousin Luke got caught by Aunt Angela.
And Cousin Zack being cute as usual.
My daughter wanted to make something for her brothers for Christmas, and after much searching and thinking she settled on the idea of making shaped crayons out of the broken ends and pieces that were otherwise destined for the garbage.
We just happened to have some car shaped jello molds. Both of my boys love cars so they seemed perfect. Besides, it's not like anyone's making jello in our house anyway. Poor molds, they were overdue for some use.
So, we started with broken crayon bits of the same color.
Then we had to take the paper off. After wasting way too much of my time peeling these off with fingernails, I wised up and began slicing the paper down the side with a box knife so that the paper would easily slip off. So much easier. Why do I always wait until I'm almost done with something to find a better way?
Then we put the crayons in a mug in the microwave to melt them down. We put them in as they were, but if we ever do this again I think I will chop them into smaller bits before going in to be melted.
I dumped the leftover melted crayon into a paper cup. Oooo, pretty.
Once they cooled completely they easily popped out of the molds ready for the wild imaginations of my boys.
Matt and I just celebrated our 13th Christmas together. And in that 13 years, I've spent $5 on something that I hoped would provide a little family fun countless times.
So many of those times I would have been just as well to throw that $5 down the drain...it seems my idea of fun and everybody else's can differ quite a bit.
But every once in a while, by sheer accident I'm sure, I stumble across something that actually provides $5 worth of family fun, laughing, and togetherness. Score!
And even more rare, sometimes we even find something that gives way more enjoyment than it actually costs. You know, I really need to celebrate those moments to help make up for my never ending list of failures.
Let the celebrating begin.
A few years back came up with this crazy idea that we should play board and card games as a family. Never mind that no one actually wanted to play those games. Shut up and smile, we're having fun.
So I took a $5 chance on a little card game in a bright box. You know what really caught my eye? The box advertised it as being a game that could be played in 5 minutes. 5 minutes. Sweet! OK, kids give me 5 minutes so that I can feel like we've done the right thing, then you can go back to cartoons.
The game is called Wigout, and as you can see we have almost completely worn it out. $5 well spent. The box is tattered, the cards are sticky and have worn edges just like good card games should. Surprisingly, we haven't lost any cards.
This game is great for families with a lot of different ages, we have a toddler, a couple tweens, and a couple adults and we all enjoy playing.
I highly recommend that you check it out.
We took time out of our busy schedule to take the kids to Silver Dollar City one last time this year. We probably won't get season passes for a few more years, and they were dying to see the super awesome, 4+ million light Christmas lights display. It was now or never.
We've always wanted to put up a really nice Christmas lights display, but since we're losers we never seem to get it done. But next year we will, right? Sure we will... I'm not really a fan of all the ready-made, store-bought displays, or yard ornaments, or whatever you want to call them. You know the light up inflatable santas, wire reindeer, and pre-made light up trains. No, I like the old school, make your own, everything's unique displays. One of these days...
So, back to the trip. This was not too long after we got there -
And this was not too long before we left -
Long day. But fun.
The kids just had a very rare opportunity in TaeKwonDo last week. It was time for belt testing and they were tested by Grandmaster Jack Hwang who is the founder of their martial arts affiliation and a very key player in bringing TaeKwonDo to the US. He's the real deal.
They tested (and were awarded!) their purple belts, and let me tell you, they worked hard for that belt. Their main instructor decided to change affiliations due to a lack of integrity with the previous affiliation so they were given about 3 months to learn not only all their new material, but also to go back and relearn the IMF's slightly different way of performing all the previous material. Whew. It's been exausting, but a little pressure is good every now and then right?
So, the grandmaster calls my kids up to test and in a very thick Korean accent says to my son (a little over a year older than my daughter) "Sheldon, why your sister taller than you...is it because she eat all your food"?
The whole room busts up laughing.
I don't know about you, but that would have really thrown me off my game.
But he seemed to just let it roll right off his back. He did really well. But it did seem like he had a little aggression in his eyes when it was board breaking time...