Wednesday, August 27, 2014

You know..

You know you are the first girl after four boys...

when your dollhouse is the Green Lantern lair

and, you don't know any different.

And, you can have a follow-able conversation about Batman and his enemies

while tucking in the super heroes for the night.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We went to Gen Con!

Our game-loving family went to Gen Con this year.  It is a yearly, 4 day gaming convention currently held in Indianapolis.  Way back in the spring, I read somewhere (the newspaper? a magazine?) that Gen Con had a Family Fun Day where tickets for a family of four were $30.  Well, that sounded pretty cool and we love to play games here, so I bought a pass for Andy and the big three.  Then, I decided that Liam might want in on the action, too (and me), so I bought another family pass.  

The boys had been getting more excited all summer.  We pulled up pictures of some of the sites from Gen Con and they loved seeing all of it, especially the cosplayers (the folks who dress like different characters from whereever).  I think originally, some of the boys had plans to dress up, too, but in the end, all the guys wore a superhero shirt.  Kella wore a princess looking dress and Kinley wore her Doctor Who onesie.  What about me?  I just wore a black t and shorts.  

When we got there, we had to walk almost the length of the convention center to get to the help desk.  We were missing some name tags.  Lucky for us we had Kinley in the stroller and that qualified us for the short line at the help desk.  We got ourselves all straightened out in about 10 mins.  Perfect.  Then, we readied ourselves to wander around the convention center.

Let the fun begin!

A family of 8 usually attracts attention.  The Gen Con photographer took our picture for the Gen Con FB page!  We got him to take this one with our camera (in his picture, everyone was looking at the camera).

Different rooms were dedicated to different games and/or vendors.  The first (and last) room we were in was the room for Yu-Gi-Oh.

There were games to play.  Some were free.

And, some we were supposed to pay for. Oops.  We didn't know.  We left this area after finding out.

Kinley blessed us with a nap.

The exhibition hall had TONS of vendors and games.  I was able to get a pic of Liam with this Star Wars dude.  

We found some cool weapons to hit each other with.

We saw some super-tall super heroes.

The boys were too excited to ride up and down the escalator.  (really, it's like we never get out of the house or something)

The boys let me take their picture with a neat statue.

Just a shot of the exhibition hall.

Ewan and Liam with their badge and buttons.  That day, you could go through the convention and collect buttons for your lanyard.  A cool way to see lots of what was going on.

We saw a juggling act who was very excited to have a row full of ginger children watching his performance.

Last stop, back to the Yu-Gi-Oh room where the boys got to play a giant-sized version of the game.  

We stayed for the whole day and had a blast.  The kids were tired but happy at the end.  I already know the start date for next year-July 30th.  I know we will go for the family day, and maybe one more.  Andy would like to take the older boys and actually sit down and play some games.  And, Saturday is the parade for cosplayers.  That would be fun to see, too.

You can't go to Gen Con and not get some games (well, at least we can't).  We got a cup full of dice (random dice of different shapes and colors-Liam was in heaven!) and two games: Roll Through the Ages-the Bronze Age and Pathfinder.  Both games are fun.  Liam was even able to play the Roll Through the Ages game.  The Pathfinder game is more of a roll-playing game for the older kids.  They like that one, too.  I think next year, we will go in armed with a list of recommended games to look for.  Although, we did pretty well this year.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

You know...

You know you have a family that likes to play games when your 5 year old asks to play a game.

And, he doesn't pick Jr Yatzee,

or Sight Word Bingo,

or Connect Fou,r

or Candy Land.

He picks chess.

And, he's not too shabby at the game.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

soccer, last week

We have four soccer games today, at two different sites.  I need to wake Kinley up, encourage a random assortment of kids to get dressed and have breakfast.  In honor of that, here are a few pics from Marcus's first soccer game last Saturday.  Prior to this game, Marcus had been at a campout for Boy Scouts in which the worked on a scout's Eagle Scout project that morning: landscaping around the church preschool in the rain.  Marcus looked pretty scraggly when I picked him up from that.  We fast drove home so he could take a quick, 5 minute shower and change into his soccer clothes and then went to the game.  It was a dreary kind of rainy day and luckily, the rain held off during the game.

Marcus's adoring fans.

Playing goalie.  Marcus played goalie for the entire first half.  They did two halves in this game.  He did a good job,  There were probably 6-8 shots on goal and he let in one of those.  Not bad for a kid who only started playing goalie last season.  

A parent for the other team commented on how good a job Marcus was doing and how fast his reflexes were.  Ok, I was a little proud.

In the second half, the coach switch another few kids to the goalie position.  Marcus got to try out some field play in a defensive position.  The team tied the game 2-2 in a good game.  Much more fun to watch than last year.  Marcus is having a lot of fun playing for this team.

I think he slept well that night.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Well, let's finish these vacation blog posts....

Thursday morning, we took our time getting ourselves together.  Breakfast was courtesy of McD's because we had run out of cereal and eggs to feed the troupes.  After breakfast, Andy took most of the kids on a walk around the campgrounds while I packed up the camper.  We loaded up the van and we were off!

A quick stop across from the campground to get at least one picture taken of the kids with a Santa Claus.  You know, since we were in Santa Claus.  (It was a really nice, sunny morning...maybe you can tell.)

Then, we went back to the campground because I realized I had forgotten our vacation magnets on the fridge of the camper.  Oops.

After that, we stopped by the park in Santa Claus.  It's a nice park with some fun things to climb on.  Our purpose of stopping 1 mile into our trek home was to do a little geocaching.  According to our app, there was a cache a little ways up a walking path across from the park.  We looked, and looked, but could not find the cache.  There was also a lengthy discussion of what a cedar looks like.


But, the littles had fun playing at the park.

We drove another 5 miles and then stopped to fill up the van's tank and pick up some water for our dying of thirst children.  And, Andy and Cale struck gold on a geocache.

Then, we actually drove.  We drove for the length of a movie the kids watched.  Time for lunch after that.  I don't remember the name of the town we were in, but Ewan and Liam both got to find a geocache here.  We were getting pretty good at finding the caches by now.

Another movie, more driving and a bathroom break allowed us to geocache in the town of Martinsville.  We were really trying to kill time so we wouldn't hit the interstate around Indy at rush hour.

Andy let me have a turn with the kids.  Ewan and I found this one in a strip mall parking lot.

Marcus and I found one in a cemetery. 

We drove some more, picked up dinner and finally made it home.  Everyone was glad to get out of the car, especially Kinley.  She did her best, but, by the end of the trip, she was over riding in the car.

We loved our vacation.  The kids (and parents) had a blast,  Pretty sure we will be going back next year for a little longer stay.  

And, there will be a new roller coaster to greet us.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Va-cay Day 3: Marengo Cave and some more time at Holiday World

It was raining when we woke up the Wednesday of our vacation.  Now, I have been told that that is the best time to go to Holiday World because the rides are all open and there are hardly any lines.  And, if you're going on the water rides anyway, you're going to be wet.  I wasn't sure how Liam would handle being in the rain, so we did something different.

A friend at church had recommended Marengo Cave as a place to go see.  Why not? We would be inside and the kids had never been in a cave before.  

It took us about 45-50 minutes to get there.  By then the kids needed a snack and Kinley was starting to get grumpy (surprise, surprise).  We got our tickets, snacks and souvenirs.  We were hoping to carry Kinners in the hiking backpack, but there's some rule against that.  So, Andy got the privilege to carry Kinley through the tour.  

This cave was discovered by siblings who thought it would be a great idea to crawl into a sinkhole entrance with two candles and go exploring.  I can't imagine.

Our walking tour was about 45 mins long.  There was another tour you could do that was an hour long, but I didn't think we (Kinley) would tolerate that. 
Ready to go.  Like the stair-step look?

There was some pretty cool stuff to see.  There was a little bat right when we walked down the steps.  It was just sleeping on the ceiling.  Then there was a little "lake" at the beginning of the tour.  The reflection was so clear, that the water looks incredibly deep, when, in fact, it was only 2-3 inches deep.  I'll admit, I freaked out and started grabbing kids hands and telling them to get back until I found out how deep the water actually was.

I think the kids thought it was cool.  Andy wants to bring the scouts back down for a trip and possible camping.  The cave has some program where you can go crawling around in some other areas through little tunnels.  I think I would have a panic attack, but I want the kids not to be scared of stuff like that.  The scouts might come.  It would be a good cold weather activity.

We came back to the camper after lunch.  Kinley took a nap, Kella took a rest and Andy and the boys took the shuttle to Holiday World and rode every single water slide in the park.  Even Liam rode all the slides and he had a blast.  They all did.  The ladies and I met up with them in the evening.  We rode the Merry-Go-Round before we met the boys. We spend a little time in Hollidog's Funtown with the kiddie coaster that our kids rode at least 5-6 times.  We rode the bird ride again.  The boys rode the Revolution-the ride that spins you around so fast that you stick to the wall.  Liam rode it and love it.  Then we went to Halloween, where Andy, Marcus and Cale rode the Legend (and loved it and Liam had a fit that he couldn't ride-due to height), all the boys rode Frightful Falls (log ride), Andy and the big 3 rode the Raven and then back to the log ride to wind up the evening.  

I would definitely recommend getting a 2 day pass for Holiday World.  We didn't feel pressured to see all the rides the first day because we knew we would be back the second.  If we had more stamina to spend the entire both days at the park, we would could have ridden more of our favorite rides several more times.  Especially the second day, the lines were almost non-existent due to the weather.

Back to the camper for a super-late dinner and bed.