Our Favorite Family Games

Over this last winter we really started spending time playing more games together as a family.  It seems Lucas (age 4) finally was at an age that he would play along, even if with a little help was needed.

Santa brought us a few new games and we invested in a few as well.  So this post is going to be dedicated to games that our family loves and also a few that we want to try out.

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Ok, seems like this post is gonna be a list.  So here it goes.

Catan Junior -Santa brought this game for Ezra this past Christmas. Everyone loves this game, even mom and dad.  It is a fun strategy game where you barter with wood, molasses, gold and goats to purchase boats and fortresses.  You must build your empire to aquire 7 fortresses before anyone else.  It is very fun and even Lucas can grasp the basic idea.  Buy it HERE.

Blockus- We were given this game by some friends and it is really fun.  Again it is strategy, simply try to take up the most space on the board with your colored pieces.  It sounds easy, but it is a challenge when everyone else is trying to do the same.  Buy it HERE.

Forbidden Island-  This one is ALL of our favorites.  It was another Santa gift and it gets played A LOT!  It can get quite stressful as the island is slowly sinking out from under you as you play, but it is a great practice in teamwork as there is not just one winner but all players are working together to save the island.  So very fun!  Buy it HERE.

forbidden island

Sleeping Queens-  This is a great one for a quick game.  We all love this one too.  The artwork on the cards is really adorable and it is a fun race to get the right amount of queens before your neighbor.  This one gets played often.  Fun fact, this game was created by two little girls who had a dream about it one night and their father helped them make it come to fruition.  How cool is that?  Buy it HERE.

Frog Juice-  I really thought this game would be more fun.  We do like it but it isn’t requested very often.  It is one of those games that once you play it a couple times there are not many new ways to play or strategies to learn.  I like the artowrk though and the general premise of the game is fun.  Not gonna lie, this one isn’t asked for much anymore, but it is a far cry from a creativity and interesting level than anything sold at Target.

Cardline Animal Addition-  This one really helps you use logic and you also learn a lot while playing.  You have to put the animals in order in a line by either size, life expectancy or weight.  Both boys can play this easily and it helps learn nurmeric sequences.  Not only are they learning about numbers but they also seem to learn a lot about animals at the same time.  In my opinion this is an any age game.  Preschool to Adult.   Buy it HERE.

Snap-  This game is for younger kids, but Ezra enjoys playing it with his little brother also.  You flip over cards until they match and be the first to yell SNAP when they do match to collect both cards.  Gather all of the cards in the deck to win.  Easy, fast and fun.  {This one can drag on for quite awhile.}  Buy it HERE.

Ogres and Elves- We gave this board game to the boys for Valentines day.  We bought it because there are three ways to play it. As the children get older you can play it differently to make it more complex.  It is fun on the easiest level, we are yet to play the middle hardest version, but I think we are ready to give it a try.  This game is part of the Family  Pastimes brand which posts cooperative games where there is not only one winner but all working together for the same goal.  Buy it HERE.

ogres and elves

Don’t Rock the Boat-  This is a really fun game.  Not much strategy to it, but very challenging.  You have to balance all of the little weighted penguins on the ship which is balanced on top of an iceberg.  Even as an adult I have had a hard time getting those penguins on.  Buy it HERE.

dont rock the boat

Math Dice- This is a game that we have actually used for school.  The idea is to roll the dice and beat your opponent to finding a math equation closest to the total of another two dice.  Example- the two dice that determine your answer are 5 and 6- so 5*6=30.  You need to make an equation with the others that comes closest to 30 without going over.  The three other dice rolled are 4, 2, and 3.  You can make a plethora of equations with these three numbers, but the closest to 30 would be 4*3=12*2=24.  If you holler it out faster than your opponent you get a point.  Fast and fun!  Buy it HERE.

Spot it- Another fast and fun one is Spot it.  Each player gets a stack of cards.  One card it put down in the center.  You look at the cards against your top card and find the object in common between the two.  Each card WILL have one object matching all of the other cards in the deck which is kind of crazy.  So see the match faster than your opponent and be the first to run out of cards in your deck.  This is a great game for young and old children.  My four year old can beat me at it easily.  FYI- they have an alphabet version also for preschoolers working on letter recognition! Buy it HERE.

xoxo

Pin Collection Storage

Ezra has taken to collecting pins lately from every place we visit.  The trend started with our trip to Disneyland last May where we participated in the pin trading program they have {learn about that HERE}.

Here are some he has collected so far.  He keeps in Disney trading pins seperately, in case anyone was wondering where all the Disney characters were…haha.

pin collection

We are simply storing them on his lampshade.  I contemplated making him a wall hanging but real estate on his walls is a bit limited so this seemed to be an easy resolution.

lampshade pin collection

I love that each one remembers a place we have been over the last year, and I am looking forward to seeing it grow.

 

 

Karate Tournament

We are enjoying a lovely Spring Break, but I couldn’t let a major event go by without sharing.

Last weekend Ezra and I competed in our first karate tournament.  Let me tell you, it was one of the most nerve racking experiences I have ever had.  I don’t know if I was more nervous for Ezra or for myself, but my heart was pounding out of my chest for much of the day.

Ezra won third place in Kata Forms.  We are pretty proud of this as he competed against all 8-12 year olds and many of them were much higher belt ranks than he.  Third place is a GREAT accomplishment!

karate tournament 2

 

Here are Ezra and I with our trophies.  I won second place in Kata Forms against the 18 and over class.  I too competed against higher belt ranks and people who were doing some pretty fancy black belt forms, so I was shocked that I even won anything!

karate tournament 1

 

We are enjoying taking the karate class together so much.  I cannot see us stopping until we reach our black belts.  It is such a nice stress release and it seems to be something we both excel at.

Thanks for sharing our victory!

xoxo

Remote Control Globe Nightlight

Our little Lucas is afraid of the dark.

I had a brilliant idea of taking an old globe that we had and turning it into a light fixture for night time.

globe nightlight

There are small pin point holes drilled sporadically through out the bottom half of the globe so that light from my light kit poked through.  You can find a light kit HERE.  I reattached the two globe pieces with some dark blue washi tape…worked like a charm!

globe nightlight

In order to make it easy for Lucas to control while laying in bed I installed a remote control outlet (found at Target HERE).

The light is plugged into this outlet that lives under his bed.

remote control outlet

Then Lucas can control it with this handheld button.  This way he can shut it on and off while laying in bed going to sleep.

remote control light kit

Lucas loves his nightlight.  He says it makes a mountain and cloud design on his wall which he loves.

Since it is Tuesday and I like to share tunes on Tuesday how about a light themed tune?  This song by Wilco called What Light has always done it for me.  Just makes me smile.  I love that my boys know the words and sing along.

xoxo

 

Moab Camping Trip

For years we have been wishing to take a trip to Moab, UT (about three hours from our home), but we never seemed to find the time to make it happen.  After reading my girlfriend Krista’s post about Moab a few weeks ago (check it out HERE), we decided to just make it happen already!

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We set out with the best intentions, we readied the camper and got on the road.  However, we had a little delay right on the Colorado border…bummer!

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We did make it (thank goodness for spares), and had a wonderful weekend hiking.

We took the kids to  Arches National Park because it bosted the most kid friendly hikes.  It did not let us down.  We spend the entire day hiking, picture taking, sight seeing and just having a great time.

Here the boys and I are sitting in Double Arch.

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This picture from back at the trail head will give you an idea of how majestic it is and how far we climbed.

double arch

Here are my three hikers headed up the trail.

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Here are some pictures of Windows Arch.  We decided it looked like a face standing back.

windows arch

moab

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I am so proud of my little Lucas on this trip.  He was such a trooper and hung in there when his feet hurt and he was tired of walking.  Here he is when he made it to the top of Windows Arches (which is a pretty easy little hike).

moab lucas

Ezra was such a great helper on this trip.  He helped Paul set up and level the camper (at 9:30 at night since we were late getting in), he helped his brother hike and was just a pleasant boy to be around.  (Those of you with nine year old boys might understand why that is something to be thankful for.)

moab

We didn’t do the entire hike to Delicate Arch because we were not positive that Lucas could handle it and it was toward the end of the day.  We did, however, do the trail to the Upper Viewing Area which was  still a pretty good little jaunt and had a great view over a canyon to the arch.

moab delicate arch

We stopped by the Balanced Rock and walked around for awhile also.  We had a bit of photo fun here!

moab balanced rock

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We had a great trip and already have a bucket list for when we go back.  We would like to hit Canyonlands National Park next time, and we think this zipline adventure would be a great time, also we have heard that The Hole in the Rock is fun.

moab

 For more info on Arches National Park go HERE.

xoxo

Things on Thursday: SPRING STYLE MY WAY

Every year around this time I get the urge to freshen up my wardrobe.  All the sun, the activities, the fun and the entertaining gets me thinking about what I have to wear.  Here are my Spring fashion ideas for this year.

First off, this Spring will entail a lot of me running around.  Having two kids in activities really makes you feel like a taxi {I know many of you know this already} and Spring definately seems to be a time when things pick up a bit for outdoor sports.  Ezra is signed up to begin Lacrosse this year and will be having three practices a week.  This will be Lucas’ first year of Soccer as well.  Not to mention the karate classes that Ezra continues to take, and the Spring karate tournaments coming up.  There will be a lot of sports spectating in my Spring future.  Just because I am watching doesn’t mean I can’t look cute.  Here is my outfit choice for a day hanging with the boys and toting them around to their events.  Cute, stylish and comfy too.  Plus comfort will be important so I tossed in a nice chair for watching practices and a cute sun hat to keep those harsh Colorado rays off of my face, don’t forget a magazine to read while waiting. {Get info about each item HERE}

 F Boys Day

As it warms up I am getting so excited for days on the lake.  We have a lovely lake beach that we frequent, my father loves to take us out on the boat when he can, and we often like to go participate in lake sports.  A day on the lake gives you an opportunity to be casual and fun.  I can’t wait!

First off, look at those sunglasses (swoon).  Toss in a good book, some philosophy spf with tanner (obsessed with Philosophy), a nice big beach bag and some adorable flip flops, along with a nice nautical top and a lovely Jcrew hoodie sweater for when it cools down and you are set for the entire day!  {Get details on each item HERE.}

F Day at the lake

We intend on doing more camping this summer since we now have a lovely camper.  The key here is to dress in layers in Colorado.  It can go from rainy and cold to hot and dry in the matter of an hour around here.  Tanks, with sweaters or sweatshirts for the evenings, solid shoes, hats for the cool Colorado nights.  I love the camping bag also.  The book “Wild” is one I have been wanting to read for awhile and I intend to put it on my summer reading list!  {Get details on where to find each piece HERE)

F Camping Style

BBQs pick up as summer approaches.  I love hanging out in the backyard and grilling while sipping a glass of wine with friends.  Here is a cute outfit to wear to a bbq with friends.  This dress is so cute (it may have to be mine).  A little cardigan is necessary for any spring outfit.  Strappy sandals make me feel happy, like warm weather and sunshine are here.  Do you see that adorable wine carrier?  So cute to bring your wine to the party in.  Of course, the most important accessory to bring to any event is food.  That cake looks tasty!  {Get details on where to get each piece HERE)

F BBQ FashionDoes Spring bring out your desire to dress?  Do you feel the need to shed your winter layers and pull out your warm weather clothes?  Do you feel the need to revamp?  Please let me know I am not alone!

xoxo

Garden Walkways

Last year the garden area was overtaken with weeds.  It was ok, since we hadn’t planned on planting anything last year because we moved in so late in the season.  We had a vision for this area and knew we needed to do a bit of work to this area.

In the fall, we built our raised beds (HERE), but when Paul broke his ankle we had to put work on hold for a bit.    Here they were as spring approached this year.  You can see the weeds starting to already move in.

raised beds

Now that he is healed and it is spring, we are ready to get this area ready.  I don’t want those weeds coming up all over the place again.  We read that laying plastic and rock can help keep out weeds in areas that were overtaken previously.  The rock also helps keep plants warm and help them grow as well.

Here is what we did.

We bought a large roll of heavy weight plastic (it was found in the painting section of Home Depot).  We read that this type of plastic is best for weed control over many years.  Weed block doesn’t last very long.

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plastic in garden

We then got a truck load of Trail Mix {remember our patio at the old house made with it} and covered it with the rock.

Here it is all spread.  We may get one more batch of this, but for now it gives a nice walkway with out a forest of weeds coming up.  I will let you all know how it holds up and works out as garden season gets in full swing!

raised bed and trails in garden

xoxo

Garlic is Coming Up!

It worked!  It worked!

I knew it would.  My father has been growing his own garlic for years and this year he helped me plant our own little crop.  We planted it in the small raised bed in the foreground there.  {See how we did it HERE}

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Look how nicely our garlic is sprouting up!

garlic sprouting

I can’t wait to eat it!  Mmmm roast it {like this} and eat it on a warm baguette!

 

Toddler Gift

One of our dear friends Gwenyth turned 2 last week.  As her birthday was approaching I started looking through pinterest for handmade Waldorf style gifts to give her.

Here is what I decided to make.

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Little colored pots with little colored acorns to match together.

waldorf color game

I also gave her a little blue gnome.  You know we love gnomes around here!

waldorf color pots

I found the little acorns HERE.

I also put gave her a copy of this lovely book that had great reviews for toddlers and young preschoolers.  It is really adorable.  {You can find it HERE}

tap the magic

I ordered her a small playsilk as well as I know her mama was interested in seeing if she would enjoy playing with them.

playsilk

{This one found on Indigo Forest on Etsy}

I hope she loved her little gift!

Garden Dreaming

I am soooo excited to celebrate the first day of Spring.  I have so many dreams for our garden area.

It may take years for our garden to be the way I want it to be (heck it may never look exactly like I want it too).  I love to day dream about it.

The dreaming is what gets you there afterall…

For come along, take a little day dream with me.

This raised bed garden is stunning!  I love the rock walkways and the touches of decor scattered about.

gardendream1

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Another beautiful raised bed garden.  Again, love the pathways.   This dry southwest look is probably a bit more attainable than the lush green gardens that just don’t grow in Colorado.

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I cannot wait to bite into a beautifully juicy tomato that is warm from the sun.  Or chop a crisp sweet cucumber for my salad.

I want to get my hands covered it dark rich dirt.  I want to bask in the sun while I pull weeds with the boys.  I want to relish in the timing of watering.

 Here are some things we are hoping to grow this year.

Cucumbers

Tomatoes

Squash- a couple different varieties

Peppers

Pumpkin

Tomatillos

I also would like to plant some Catmint as I understand it is very hardy and attracts bees and butterflies.  How pretty is this Catmint below?

catmint

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I will keep you guys filled in on our progress as we go!

xoxo