Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Way I See It - Episode 4

Episode 4
Welcome to my world.  Here is a glimpse into the way I see things. I laugh at inappropriate times.  I am prone to deep sarcasm.  I get irritated with things and that will often ignite a ranting speech that leaves me breathless.  My mouth filter is sometimes jammed in the off position.  I have strong opinions.   I am full of flaws.  I am a work in progress.  This is me.  Transparent.

I have found that the people who complain most about drama, make the most drama.  It's as if their favorite drama is complaining about drama, so when the drama meter in their life starts to get low they just make more.  I love my drama free life.

I am grateful for my ever loving God.  When something happens in my life that I think will bring me deep sadness and then it doesn't, but instead it brings me great relief I have to turn to my Father and say "Amen, that you know what's best for me more than I do!"

I love when my son will stand by something he believes to be true with such conviction (respectfully though) even when I am certain he is wrong.  If you have seen my previous post you know that our latest game craze is Bananagrams.  We were playing and I noticed that he placed the "word" vip.  I said, "Vip is not a word."  He was so insistent that it was!  His eyes were wide, his voice was firm and precise.  So, I asked him to tell me where he heard it or find it in the dictionary.  He said, "I see it all the time on the computer or TV.  Signs that say Vip Access."   LOL!  I had to laugh out loud!  I popped his little balloon when I had to tell him that it was VIP - short for Very Important Person.  Fortunately his sense of humor made him laugh along with me.  We then decided to turn our game into only the use of silly words, which he proudly began to spell "wuss", "turd", and "fart".  I love my silly little man!  We should all take his example and laugh at ourselves a little more. 

To Be Continued....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bananas for Bananagrams Giveaway!

My family is addicted to games!  Board games, card games, computer games....pretty much any game or puzzle.  If you have been to my house you have likely seen our game closet.  Four large jam packed shelves of games.  I am particularly partial to educational games and games that require strategical thinking.  I am fortunate that Matthew shares the same passion.  Rarely a day goes by that he and I don't play a game together....and it usually is more than one.  Lately, our favorites are

Skip-Bo (cards)
Pyramath (math card game)
Totally Tut (math board game)
Othello (strategy game)
500+ piece Jigsaw Puzzles

I have seen this brightly colored bag at the store numerous times and I have seen it on Amazon also as I've done searches for new games to play.  I have passed it by without a second thought.  Regrets!  Recently my nephew, Ethan, came to visit and brought his Bananagrams with him.  He and Matthew played it over and over again and I was so very please to see Matthew enjoying it!  After all, as a homeschool family we are always looking for ways to make learning fun.  Then.....I played.  I was instantly hooked.  Matthew and I decided to put it on his Amazon wishlist for Christmas.  I knew how much they were at the store ($14.99) so I set out for my favorite place to shop, E-bay, to see if I could get a better deal.  No way :(  They were just as much, if not more!  After talking with Matthew over and over about how much we LOVE Bananagrams I broke down and bought it at Target as a surprise for him last week when he was sick.  Yeah, that's right, I bought it for him.  It's not like I was wanting it or anything!  Ha ha!  Who am I kidding?  We tore into that game faster than lightening and off we went for a Bananagram marathon!
In case you have never heard of Bananagrams, let me introduce you and give you the short and sweet version of how to play.  It is a game similar to Scrabble.  It is for ages 7 and up.  This cute little banana shaped bag holds 144 letter tiles.  Each player receives 21 tiles to start (when playing with 2 players).  Your mission is to create as many connecting words as possible.  Once you have used all of your letters yell "Peel!" and both players pick another tile.  If you have a tile you don't want to use you can return it to the pile, but then you have to pick 3 more.  The winner is the person who finishes first and there are no tiles remaining.

The included instruction booklet gives other game ideas too.  Matthew and I thought of a few "adjustments" to even the playing field a bit when we play together.  If I call out "Peel!", he only has to pick up if he has less than 5 tiles he is trying to use.  This way he doesn't get overwhelmed with tiles.  Also, we determine the winner by who has used the most tiles.  We also thought of different ways to use this game along with our language arts and spelling lessons and/or to make it more challenging.  Here are some of those ideas.
  • Only certain parts of speech can be used.  For example, play a game where you can only have words that are adjectives and verbs.
  • Only certain subjects can be used.  For example, play a game where you can only have words that are related to food.
  • Lay out your child's spelling list and challenge them to spell as many of their words as possible with their tiles.  Whenever they spell one they can yell "Peel!" (even if they have tiles left over) and their opponent has to pick up....but not them!
  • Set a timer for a pre-determined time (say....5 minutes) and each time the timer goes off you have to switch places with your opponent and play on their tiles.

So, here is a picture of Matthew after our most recent game.  He impressed me so much with using some of the most challenging letters!  

Q, Z, X.....!  Wow, he used Q to spell quiz and quill.  He used Z to spell doze.  Spelling has never been so much fun!  Notice down at the bottom that one of his words is "tic" appropriate for a boy with Tourette Syndrome :)

So, as I'm writing this post I'm realizing that I would LOVE for one of my readers to have Bananagrams.  I'm inspired to do a giveaway.  It's your lucky day!
 This Giveaway has ended.
Congratulations Sarah from Growing For Christ!!!

The winner of this giveaway will receive one Bananagrams game!  Be sure to leave ONE comment for EACH entry and include a way for me to contact you.  The winner will be drawn using on Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 9:00 AM EST.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond.  If I don't hear back from you then I'll pick another winner, so mark your calendar and keep an eye out!  Here is how to enter....
  • Be a public follower using GFC or Networked Blogs (if you already are then leave a comment telling me)

Optional Additional Entries
  • Share this blog post on Facebook
  • Post on your own blog about this giveaway with a link for your readers to come visit it (leave a comment with a link to your own post on your blog)
  • Find another post on my blog that interests you and leave a comment telling me which one and why (be sure to leave that comment here and not at that other post....or do it in both places if it suits your fancy)