Saturday, April 30, 2011

30 for 30 - Things I Can Do...

in no particular order:
1. Walk and chew gum. Not sure why this is important, but I've heard it mentioned.

2. Blow a bubble gum bubble. Don't laugh. This skill is actually impressive to my children.

3. Bathe 3 girls in 30 minutes. It's that 4th one that throws a wrench in it.
4. Play the piano. In public. Without nervousness. Also: read music. This is also related to:

5. Teach piano lessons. I'm looking for some new students, FYI.

6. Carry a tune. This is actually, to judge by current pop culture, an uncommon skill. Also:

7. Sing harmony. Alto, usually. Sometimes tenor. Even when a part isn't written in. (ahem)
8. Sew on a button. My most utilized sewing skill.

9. Sew a straight line. Pillows (square or rectangle. let's not get carried away) I can manage. Cutting out patterns and sewing homemade clothes...um, not so much.

10. Squash and dispose of bugs without screaming or ever actually touching the bug. I cannot, I admit, deal with bugs without flinching a bit.

11. "Roll" my tongue. This, apparently, is an inherited skill.

12. Whistle. (And I can snap my fingers, too.)
The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Special Edition)
13. Sing along all the words to "The Sound of Music." Also: Singin' In the Rain, Mary Poppins, and Oklahoma!.

14. Boil water. I've heard it said of some cooks, "She couldn't even boil water." Well, I can.

15. Bake a cake. No guarantees on what it will look like, but I can bake one.

16. Roller skate. Another skill to impress the girls.
17. Fix hurts with a kiss. Or a band-aid. Essential mother skills.

18. Get ready to go in 10 minutes. This does not, perhaps obviously, allow for a shower. But still.

19. Use a card catalog. My children like (read: tolerate) to hear my tales about "the old days" at the library.
20. Ride a bike. At least, I assume I can still ride a bike. It's been awhile. In a not unrelated note, I really need a new bike.

21. Organize things alphabetically. This is a highly useful skill. Many things should be organized alphabetically, especially movies. Right, Lulu?
22. Use neat cursive. Thanks for insisting on good penmanship, Mom. I love cursive and I think it's a shame that many schools are not teaching it any more.

23. Give stuff away. Decluttering is like a hobby to me. Query: where does all this stuff come from?!

24. Read aloud with feeling (as in: using different voices). Definitely underused skill.

25. Work logic puzzles. For fun. Except Sudoku. Numbers are not really my thing.
26. Swim, although I can't dive. And notice I didn't say I could swim well.

27. Hold down a job. Sure, most of my jobs haven't been glamorous, but I've never been fired or "let go".

28. Be alone. I'm convinced some people do not have the ability to be alone for five seconds, or sit around on a Saturday with (gasp!) nothing to do and nowhere to go. (Which is my idea of a good day.)

29. Speak in public. I have done this, albeit rarely, but so far it hasn't been a complete disaster and I haven't actually, you know, dropped dead of heart attack while doing so.

30. Pinch Pennies. One of my most called-for skills and one of my favorites. Full price shopping? Not a chance.

So, did I miss something?
 all photos: stock.xchng

Look-worthy Links 4/30/11 Edition

After another unavoidable absence, I'm back sharing more of my favorite links and the list is lengthy this week!
1. I love this dress styled with vintage brooches. In other news, I now require a red dress and many vintage brooches. Let's call it coincidence even though it clearly is not.

2. Let's just say I know some folks who need this pillow.

3. These book character silhouettes are super cute. Now I'm thinking of which other characters might be silhouette worthy. Babar? Mirette on the Highwire? Curious George...the possibilities are almost endless.

4. Did you know you can rent an entire country? If anyone doesn't know what to get me for my birthday, this would do. If you, you know, have an extra $140K laying around.

5. Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake - yes, please. Sometimes rolling out that dough and letting it rise is just too much. This would be a suitable substitution.

6. These seem like a great step up from plain old "Crispy Rice Treats". And why haven't I thought of this before?

7. I know some little girls who would really enjoy these candy skewers.

8. S'mores Cake in A Jar. Oh. My. Goodness. Give. Me. Cannot. Use. Proper. Words. Or. Sentences.

9. I'm sure one of my girls (most likely Sweet Pea) will eventually ask for a Despicable Me party. If so, we will need to make these Minion Cupcakes.

10. If I ever have a garage, I'm doing this. Or, more likely, I'm having Philip and his mom figure out how to do this. Faux Painting is not really my forte.

11. If someone is compiling a list of what to make out of old windows (remember the jewelry organizer from a few weeks back?) this window pane coat rack is a great addition to the list. On a not un-related note: someone needs to compile that list.

12. If you don't happen to have a stack of windows for crafting, maybe this jewelry pedestal is more up your alley.

13. I still have dreams of making some stamped washer jewelry. Possibly unrealistic dreams, but dreams nonetheless.

14. These board game shadow boxes will go nicely in our future (read: fantasy) family room.

15. Coloring Pages from family photos. I've seen this idea before but this is the first tutorial I've ever seen for making them yourself.

16. This particular re-use for glass jars is lovely, although who just happens to have stainless steel straws laying around?

17. So, do you believe in these two new eating disorders? I lean toward "yes". I have thoughts on all the blogs dedicated to the second one. Thoughts that I am not exactly ready to formulate into a cohesive post. What do you think?

18. This is a great post on why parents think they can't homeschool. At the risk of sounding like a two-bit self help expert, I believe that whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right.

19. If you do homeschool, you ought to read Cindy's Annual Catalog post. Catalogs are not exactly my weak point, but the homeschool convention usually evokes a similar reaction inside me.

20. This is an extremely helpful post on Teaching Shakespeare. Polly and I haven't moved much beyond the Lamb, Nesbit, and Coville versions for children yet, but we have thoroughly enjoyed our studies so far. (Shakespeare is one of the "gaps" I'm attempting to fill for my own self.)

21. Finally, 29 Ways to Stay Creative. I'll add one: try to encourage your children's creativity. It will feed your own.

So, what did you stumble on this week?

I'm linking this to Saturday Stumbles at Simply Staci.

Friday, April 29, 2011

30 for 30 - Favorite Games Edition

Games are a big deal in this house. A huge deal. Prince Charming is a published game designer. Polly has designed her own game. We don't have special "family game nights" because it's a rare day some part of our family isn't playing a game together. These are my favorites:

Revolution1. Revolution! Yes, I'm partial. Philip is the inventor of this game. And you can buy it on Amazon, which I think is way cool.
2. Tiger Stripes. No, it's not available on Amazon. Yet. Polly invented this one. You can buy it here.
3. Family Vacation. Another game by Philip, due to be published this year. Stay tuned.

4. Kingdom of Solomon. Another game by Philip, coming soon.

Apples to Apples Party Box - The Game of Hilarious Comparisons5. Apples to Apples. Not, alas, by Philip. Lots of fun for a group.

The Settlers of Catan6. Settlers of Catan.My first introduction to "Euro games". We love this one. There are also several expansions available to add twists to the game. (Cities and Knights is my favorite of these.)

Ticket to Ride7. Ticket to Ride. Very easy to learn. Also: a game title based on a catchy song which will stick in your head long after your game is finished.

Agricola8. Agricola. Probably the hardest game on my list. We play a simplified version and make Philip play 2 boards at once, taking the lowest of his two scores and he's still hard to beat.

Pandemic9. Pandemic. A cooperative game, which means every player wins or loses together.

It's Alive! Card Game10. It's Alive. Invented by a friend of Philip's. Hideous images but great fun. (Some of us have suggested that Philip create a "Build a Bear" version so that kids can play but so far he hasn't.)

Hasbro Games Monopoly Deal Card Game

11. Monopoly Deal. Much more fun than the traditional board game and it doesn't take anywhere near so long to play.

DUTCH BLITZ CARD GAME12. Dutch Blitz. This is, as the box proclaims, "Vonderful Goot Fun!" Everyone plays at once, increasing the hilarity in this game.

Scrabble Slam Cards13. Scrabble Slam. Easier for kids to learn than the board game.

SKIP BO Card Game14. Skip-Bo. A nostalgic favorite from my childhood, though Philip disdains it. (Another game Philip sniffs at: Yahtzee. He prefers strategy games over chance games, while I prefer fun games over tedious ones. We must agree to disagree on this point.)

Sequence Game15. Sequence. Philip and I played a lot of this in the early days of our marriage.

Trivial Pursuit 25th Anniversary Edition16. Trivial Pursuit. Fun for a large group. Not to toot my own horn here, but I'm basically great at this game. If only that pesky sports category would go away...

Cardinal Double 12 Color Dot Mexican Train Dominoes in Tin17. Mexican Train Dominoes. You can play this for hours. And we have.

Cranium Whoonu Tin Edition18. Whoonu. Along the lines of Apples to Apples. Fun for a mixed age group, as long as the child is old enough to read.

Pit19. Pit. A favorite card game. Everyone loves the little bell.

13 Dead End Drive Board Game20. 1313 Dead End Drive. A favorite from my childhood. Watch for this at yard sales because the Amazon price is ridiculously high.

Mille Bornes Card Game21. Mille Bornes. Another favorite card game from my childhood. Philip didn't grow up playing this one, so it's fun to play with him now. There are few games where we can confound Philip, but this is one of them.

Trouble Board Game22. Trouble. Who wouldn't love that popamatic bubble? My girls like to play this at my Mamaw's house because she still has her vintage set.

Tobago23. Tobago. A treasure hunting game.

Kingsburg24. Kingsburg. Polly and I enjoy this one. Philip bought it but he's not crazy about it. We make him play it every once in awhile.

LEGO Creationary Game (3844)25. Creationary. Great for a family or mixed age group. Kind of boring when you're not the one building but that's not a problem if you set a time limit.

Uno Card Game26. Uno. Another childhood favorite. We had one notorious game that went on for hours without ending.

Jenga27. Jenga. Some folks have suggested that I have an unfair advantage in this game due to my dextrous "piano fingers". That's just jealousy talking.

Clue The Classic Edition28. Clue. Great for building critical thinking skills in kids.

7 Wonders29. 7 Wonders. This one is fairly new to us. I've only managed to win once, but I'm hopeful that I can triumph again in the near future.

Bicycle Playing Cards30. Various card games like Gin Rummy, Speed, Golf, or Solitaire. I am not, however, a fan of poker or Euchre. I've also played many games of "War" with the girls.

Links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links.