Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Board Games 26: Modern Art (card game)

I received this game for Christmas. In choosing this game and Andrew's game I focused on finding card games for 2 people.

This one we've only played once and it turns out to be a very different game with some complicated thinking involved to get the most points. Of course you can be oblivious and just hope for the best.

I don't think I can even explain the game properly here which probably means I need to read the rules again and think about the best strategies (I duly lost to Andrew in the first game by 2 points)

However that being said it is an intriguing game. Maybe I'll get it out tonight for another round.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Board Game 25: Zooloretto

I'm back to reviewing board games. It seems I missed a few from 2011 but that's okay because I'll get around to them soon enough!

Lucy received Zooloretto for Christmas (along with a couple of small expansion packs).

As the director of your zoo you are responsible to fill up your enclosures with animals of the same type, set up vendor stands and minimise animals in your barn.

Predictably, every game Lucy tries to collect flamingos!

We have had a lot of fun with this game and enjoyed playing the full 5 person game when Lynda & Keegan were visiting.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Board Games 24: Jaipur

I seem to be fairly behind on my board game reviews! I'll start with the Christmas games and work backwards.

Jaipur is a card game for 2 people!

There are six types of treasure cards to collect along with camels. Whilst only keeping 7 cards in your hand at any one time, you must exchange the cards for tokens (with various points alloted). The person with most points wins.

But that is a very simplified description of the game. There are a number of specific rules and a specific way of playing.

It has been a very fun game to play. Andrew has already establisehd a pattern of collecting all the camels and then flooding the market.

A keeper!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Happy Australia Day 2012 (gluten free!)

On Monday two parcels from Australia arrived at our house - one from each set of grandparents containing lots of fun Australiana gear! BIG thanks to Grandma, Nanna, Grandad and Grandpa!

We had a very fun time opening the parcels and going through all the stuff. The kids were especially excited about the chocolates. You would think that Henry had never had chocolate before the way he stuffed it all in his mouth at once. He was faster than Charlie Bucket!

On Tuesday we held our annual playdate for our moms group. We made gluten free lamingtons, ANZAC biscuits, vegemite sandwiches and pavlova. Jodi stood guard over the vegemite and warned everyone to have water on hand before attempting a taste.

The moms were given a quiz about Australian geography and BBQ lingo. Andrew had compiled a playlist of Australian songs and we even briefly put the Australian Open tennis on.

Henry thoroughly enjoyed dressing up for the occasion. Lucy decorated the house with animal posters, postcards, stuffed animals and books.

Andrew is looking forward to eating lamb roast with lamb jam!!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Lynda & Keegan's Visit

It's been a busy four days as Lynda & Keegan visited us from Canada. They are on their way back to Buffalo now and I'm sure their eardrums are quite happy to be away from the noise of the chidlers.

We visited the Aquarium, made crafts at the Hardware store and went to church together. L & K did plenty of shopping as well as playing games with the kids (Lynda was forced to play some unintelligible bracelet game with Lucy which always resulted in Lucy winning)

We ate well and Andrew cooked us some gourmet gf pizzas for lunch today. We talked weddings and did some craft stuff for their engagement party.

And a special treat - Lucy got to try on flowergirl dresses while Lynda wore her wedding dress. We are sworn to secrecy on the dresses. However I will say that they both looked beautiful and neither dress was orange (as predicted by Lucy).

We are looking forward to seeing them at the wedding in Sydney in July!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

The week has gotten away...

It's Thursday night and I haven't had a chance to sit down and write any posts.

Not that is hasn't been exciting here!

Felicity is crawling and getting her first tooth. Henry is potty training. Lucy is learning her core words for first grade.


Lynda & Keegan are visiting us tomorrow for four days.

See you back here next week!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Sweetgum fruit wreath

Taking down the Christmas wreath from the front door left a rather white space. So I searched around for an idea for a winter wreath.

I found Martha Stewart showed how to make a sweetgum fruit wreath. Perfect! Our tree had just dropped a whole lot of the annoying, sharp fruits. So Lucy and I gathered them up and got all the equipment ready.

So I spent an hour glue-gunning (is that a word?) the fruits to a wooden wreath frame. [I had pre-tied a ribbon to the top]. Initially I couldn't find my glue gun but Andrew picked a new one up from Michaels - it was $2.49! Then we sprayed the wreath with chrome paint.

We put some furniture pads on the back of the wreath to stop it banging every time we close the door and now we have the perfect winter wreath.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Baby cross stitch

I finally finished Felicity's cross stitch birth announcement!

The reality is that it was 95% complete before she was born.

Soon after birth I sewed her name and details on.

However I had two things left to do: sew the hair and sew on the beads.

I originally sewed the hair brown, figuring correctly that her hair would be brown. However the cross stitch looked terrible because the hair was not designed to be such a dark colour (the forehead and hair are kind of blended together) So I unpicked it and sewed it in blond. Accuracy is not that relevant - she doesn't sleep in a basket tied to a tree either so what does it matter if the hair colour doesn't match up?

The beads were the bigger problem. I started sewing them in and like the hair they looked terrible. However I didn't know what to do. So I spent the last 8 months pondering it and not making a decision. I finally decided to get rid of the beads and sew in a slightly darker grey. One hour later the cross stitch was finished.

One small decision and the project was done (funny that given that the whole cross stitch took me a really long time because the gold thread was so difficult to work with).

Now for the framing.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Quick recap of the last few weeks

Lucy and Henry are back at school and life settles back into a regular routine (except I'm keeping Lucy home from school on Thursday and then we are heading to Raleigh on Friday)

Last week we cleaned up the pizza oven area and put away all the furniture for the winter. Winter... What winter? The weather has been beautiful (70 degrees) so we have even eaten lunch outside a few times and Henry has been wearing shorts and tshirts.

Apart from a couple of bitterly cold weeks at the end of October, it has been warm all the way to the new year. Today however it is winter and it was below freezing last night. However by Saturday it is supposed to be back up to 70 again!?!? Not at all like last year when it was a very cold winter and we had 3 snow days when the Martins were visiting.

We've done lots of odd jobs and projects and I'll post some of them for you to see. The kids have been giving the bouncy house a workout in the garage. Andrew took down the Christmas lights and started dreaming about what he could do next year (I started calling him Clark at that point) This was the first year we put some on the house and now he has grand plans.

Felicity is crawling. Henry is cooking every day. Life is good.