gag-gle noun \ˈga-gəl\ : a group, aggregation, or cluster lacking organization, which is exactly how I feel about my family every day.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Liam's Birthday Party

On Liam's birthday, he chose McDonald's for dinner.  He got to invite a friend to come.  When we got home he opened his birthday presents.

Liam got some Legos and wanted to take a picture of his creation


Liam wanted a Minecraft birthday party this year.  A few months ago he worked hard to earn the computer game Minecraft, which is a game where everything is made of cubes, and the object is to explore and build your own world- complete with buildings, farms, contraptions, and defense from monsters.

When you start the game, you have nothing.  You have to chop trees, mine for materials, build shelter, farm for food make weapons to protect yourself from the monsters that come out at night, and go exploring (there are a number of climates, landscapes and habitats, which are called "biomes")

As we waited for all the guests to arrive, we colored Minecraft pictures, so kids that haven't played the game could visualize what we would be talking about.  I was surprised that only one or two kids didn't know the game.

After that, we mined for our materials.  We played a "hot cold" game where one person went out of the room, and another hid some blocks.  When the blocks were hidden, the person who left came back, and we made our "pick ax" sound by clapping- loud if they got close to the blocks, soft if they were far away.

After everyone had a chance to find some blocks, we had to build our shelter.  We played a game where everyone got a chance to place one of their blocks, one at a time, onto a tower.  We used teamwork to see how tall we could get it without falling.

After we had a safe shelter, it was time to make weapons to fight the monsters.  The kids got bows and arrows and we went outside for target practice.  

The targets had pictures of various Minecraft baddies.

The bows and arrows were home-made PVC and dowel toys, which each kid got to take home (you're welcome, kids' parents!)

Once they got the hang of the bows, that earned them a sword!  The swords were home-made out of Perler beads (colored beads you put on a peg board in your desired design, and then iron them to melt them together and make the design permanent). 

 Liam had wanted to make Perler bead creations as part of the party, but those beads are pretty small and ten 6ish-year-olds?  I could only imagine a mess and all the disappointment when kids had a hard time not bumping each other's designs.  Plus I would have to have a hot iron out during the party.  No, thanks!

Next we went exploring.  In Minecraft, there's an alternate world called the Nether that you get to through a portal.  So we went through a portal, and everyone made the portal sounds as we went through.

We went searching for a Ghast, which is a monster you only find in the Nether

And we found one!

I felt really bad that not all ten kids got a chance to hit the pinata.  But whenever I make a pinata I never know how strong to make it so that everyone gets a chance to hit, but it's not impossible to break!

After our Ghast hunt, we were tired, so we went back to our farm to cook up some pig!

By far the most beautiful cake I have ever made.

Cake, ice cream bars, and presents!

After about an hour and a half of party activities, the kids got about a half hour just to run around and play.  I think it was a success!

Happy birthday to you, Liam!

* In case you noticed the pixelation in any of the pictures, it's because were aren't allowed to share electronic photos our our bonus kids from foster care without express permission

Thursday, July 14, 2016

July 4

Little M was with us, too.

July 4

We did our traditional picnic with the Heath's this past independence day.  Food and fireworks and water fights and fun!

Liam Turns 6!

Liam turns 6 years old today!  Here are some things about him:

Favorite food is hamburgers . wants to be an artist when he grows up . recently learned how to swim . loves to cuddle . favorite color is blue . chose McDonald's for his birthday dinner again this year . likes to play soccer and t-ball . likes to read and can read small words . can ride a two-wheel bike . bikes, scooters, or walks to school . loves to play Minecraft (computer game) . loves to play with friends . being so good with our recent cutback on sugar treats due to tummy aches . hasn't lost any teeth yet and gets jealous when the tooth fairy visits big sister . good imagination, likes dressing up and role-play games . good at playing by himself and sometimes just needs 'alone time' . gets upset when someone tries to take "his spot" at the kitchen table . likes his hair short .

We love you, Liam.  Happy Birthday!