Monday, August 31, 2015

The Amazing Race Group Date

A few months ago, my very talented and creative cousin Gina, hosted an Amazing Race Group Date in her area.  I knew immediately that I wanted to host one here.  I opened it up to everyone I knew in our new area (which admittedly isn't very many people yet), and we had 10 couples from our church and neighborhood who were able to come! (A couple of friends got sick and couldn't come.  We missed them)!

I used ideas from my cousin's event and from the website The Dating Divas.  They even offer free printable clues and blank ones which you can edit, which is what I did to make the clues work for our area.  It made my work a lot easier.   I sent out an invitation through email and facebook, opening it up to anyone who would like to compete.

Each couple was asked to bring $7 and a snack to share.  The $7 was kept by them to utilize in the challenges.  Each couple chose another couple to team up with and chose a team color.

Once everyone arrived, we went over the rules and went outside for a group picture.  I handed everyone their envelopes, and they were off.  Chad and I stayed at our home and received texted pictures that we chrome casted onto a tv for everyone to see at the end of the race.

The first Road Block sent  them to a local grocery store where they had to find the price of 10 specific items on a list.  These were items that could be used for a romantic evening at home.  They had to add up the total cost and write it on the back of the grocery list.  One team member had to sit in a grocery cart holding up the total and text it to us.

The second Road Block sent them to a gas station where each couple had to drink a 64 ounce frozen drink together before moving on to the next location.  Some were pretty creative here and heated them up in the microwave to make it easier to drink.

The third Road Block asked couples to head to the Dollar Tree and purchase a 24 piece puzzle and put it together on the sidewalk outside.

Their fourth task was a Detour.  The teams could choose between climbing a rock wall at the Sports Connection arcade or earning 20 tickets and purchasing a Twizzler with the tickets.

Their next Road Block was a "service" task.  Each couple had to locate a box of Ding Dongs and attach the included tag.  They then had to choose a team member to Ding Dong Ditch the box of Ding Dongs.

The sixth task led them to Krispy Kreme.  The teams had to have their picture taken holding hands wearing Krispy Kreme hats and then buy a doughnut for their photographer.

The seventh task was another Detour.  Teams could choose to take pics of License plates from 18 different states OR to go to a store that sells clothing and have two teammates dress identically and take their picture with a mannequin.  Some people's interpretation of mannequins was a little creative, while one team's was right down nightmarish.

The last task before heading home was to use sidewalk chalk to write the name of each couple inside of  a large heart.

The first team back was the blue team.  Not a single member of the winning team had ever watched the Amazing Race television show before!!!! Each couple was awarded with a very valuable Travelocity Gnome of their very own.

We had a great time hosting.  It felt like our early years of marriage when we used to host things all of the time in our little apartment.  I am hoping I can convince these friends and more to join us on some more date night adventures soon!!!

First Day of School 2015-2016

This is the final year all three of my children will be attending the same school.  The last year of drop off and pick up all at the same time .  I know it is so cliche to say, but I can't believe how quickly time passes.  I want to press pause.  I am not ready for this to be over.  I love being a mom of young children.  And they are quickly becoming not so young anymore.  So if I randomly show up at your house begging to play with your 4 year old, you will understand why.

Andrew still wants to be the CEO of Lego when he grows up!

Ryan wants to be a person who helps penguins at the zoo or a video game designer and tester.

Molly wants to be a dolphin saver.

Chad and I packed special lunches for the first day of school.

The boys had Harry Potter themed lunches.

Molly had a Pinkie Pie lunch.

I thought Andrew might think he was too old, but he loved it and so did his classmates.

So far the year is going great!  We are grateful for caring and dedicated teachers.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer Bucket List Week 11: The Last Week of Summer

This was our last week of summer vacation.  We didn't get to nearly half of all the things the kids and I wanted to see and do this year, but we have sure had a wonderful time trying to cram in as much as possible this week. Luckily we can just move the leftover items to create a great list ready to tackle next summer.  It is only 10 months away! 

Riding horses was one of the first things Molly added to our Summer Bucket List.  This Tuesday she got to ride at my cousin Wendy's house.  She loved it!  And so did her brothers.  I loved seeing Wendy and her cute kids!

They all also loved cuddling with this sweet bunny.

After we left Wendy's, we headed to see Nanie Too-Too at her new place where she is hanging out at for a few weeks while she continues to improve.  We wanted to make sure we got to see her once more on a weekday before school started.

On Wednesday we visited Reed's Gold Mine with two friends from our new neighborhood and 10 kids and two moms from Winston-Salem.  I had taken my fourth grade classes there and I was excited to bring my own children.

Much to her brother's dismay, Molly was the only one in our family who found gold.  She has asked to spend it on gifts for her family everywhere we go.  She wanted to use her gold at the ice cream truck, at Walmart, at the arcade.  She is a very generous girl.

On Thursday we spent the morning at the pool and then headed to back to school night to meet our teachers.   All of the kids' teachers seem very sweet and we are looking forward to a very positive year.

 Ever since we went to  Sports Connection with Grandpa Bud, the kids have been dying to return. Lucky for them, a friend had a birthday party there on Friday!  Our last weekday of Summer Break! Molly played on the inflatables and drove the bumper car.  The boys played laser tag and did the ropes course.  All three of them got to play arcade games, and all three of them had a wonderful time and did not want to leave.  It was a great way to celebrate the end of summer with friends.

Saturday was our neighborhood back to school breakfast that I helped host.We had over 80 people attend.  We collected school supplies for kids at our school whose families may need a little extra help.  The kids also decorated wrapping paper for Bright Blessings.    It was fun to meet new neighbors who have moved in recently and connect with neighbors who are going to be in class with our kids.

Sunday we played board games all afternoon after church and then quieted down for the last event of summer...Back to School Father's Blessings for each of the children.  For those of you not of our faith, a Father's Blessing is a special prayer that dads pray for their children while laying their hands on each child's head.  Chad asks Heavenly Father for protection for our children and to help them feel peace.  He tries to listen to the Holy Ghost tell him what to say to the children and tries to speak to them the words he feels prompted to say.  It is a beautiful and sacred experience to hear my husband ask God to help our children find friends who will be positive influences in their lives and that they will be positive influences in the lives of others.  To hear him pray that they will always remember how much God loves them and how much we love them.  To point out their special gifts and talents and encourage them to study and practice and to magnify their strengths and to turn their weaknesses into strengths.  It creates such a sweet feeling in our home.  I am grateful to be married to a man who is willing to do this for his children.  Oh how I love this man.

Good-bye summer.  I will miss you.  I will miss our field trips, our lazy pool days, spending time with friends and family, vacations, and visits to QT for 49 cent frozen drinks.  I will miss daily hour long quiet times where we all stop everything to read.  I will miss the kids' laughter in the house 24 hours a day.  This was a perfect summer.  My kids are at that magical age where they all still want to be with me all the time.  I wish I could freeze time.  Or bottle this sweetness up.  That is why I blog.  I don't want to lose these moments.  I wish I could put into words how grateful I am to have the opportunity to be a mother of these three amazing people.  I am humbled by God's Grace and His gifts to me.