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The Sunday Somethings, 21sep14

September 21st, 2014

Something that makes me happy: That Board Gaming Thing. I think this was the best year yet…plus it didn’t hurt that we had an extra day of games and friends. I love seeing so many wonderful people that I only get to see at TBGT (and now the winter gaming event).

Something I’m thinking: I’m quite bad at writing these lately. It’s been 4 weeks since the last update!

Something happening around the house: Our dishwasher has been broken the past couple of weeks. Gabe tried a few things to repair it, but we’re going to have to either get someone to fix it or buy a new one. Hand washing dishes makes you really appreciate modern appliances!

Something I’m reading: I finally finished Words of Radiance. I felt like I was reading that one FOREVER. I loved it. Now I’m reading Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe also finished Words of Radiance. He’s now reading Ghost Brigades.

Something I’m watching: We haven’t been watching much, but we did enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy.

Something I’m playing: At TBGT, I played Giant Takenoko, Splendor (several times), Speculation, Castles of Mad King Ludwig (several times), Among the Stars, Whacky Wit (several times), One Night Ultimate Werewolf (a new playtest expansion), Trains, Steampark (twice), Istanbul (several times), another playtest that I am not supposed to reveal, Fury of Dracula, The Hanging Gardens, Diamonds (twice), La Boca, trivia contest, Imperial Settlers, Times Up, Camel (C)up, Dead of Winter, Concordia, Concept, Cards Against Humanity, Subdivision, and Tragedy Looper. Lots of great stuff this year! I can’t wait until the winter gaming event. My favorite game of TBGT this year was Castles of Mad King Ludwig. I also quite enjoyed Tragedy Looper but I am not sure how often I’d be able to get people to play with me. Gabe played Splendor, the playtest I mentioned, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Istanbul, The Hanging Gardens, Imperial Settlers, Times Up, Camel (C)up, Dead of Winter, Concordia, Concept, Cards Against Humanity, Subdivision, Templar Intrigue, Terra Mystica, Tobogo, Galaxy Trucker, and Space Hulk Death Angel. We also played Splendor with Earl and Michelle, and Maddie has played Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers twice now. She’s so excited to be playing grown up games!

Something I’m creating: I have been working on Maddie’s letter (only a month late). I spent the day with Michelle and Paula doing crafty things. They were quilting most of the day. After I finished most of Maddie’s letter, they taught me how to use the sewing machine! I made a very cute, purple wallet! I’m excited and hope to make a pouch for the new iPhone the next time I get together with them.

Something about the grownups: Let’s see. Gabe’s been working the new consulting gig, and they haven’t given him too much work to do yet. Fortunately, he has a guaranteed number of hours that he can bill them, so that works for him! I had my trip to the NIH “for science” as part of the GEMS study for first line relatives of MS patients. That was interesting and boring at the same time. It was mostly like visiting a hospital, but it was fun to see the enthusiasm of those doing the study. Everyone also seemed grateful for my participation since this is a study that has no direct benefits to the participants. It was a long, full day of poking and prodding, questions, and tests. Some of the tests were interesting to me, and I got to see some advanced photos of my eyes. I still haven’t gotten the test results back, and I’m interested to see the MRI results. The MRI was 2 hours long with no music or TV. That machine is loud, even with the provided ear plugs! We both attended That Board Gaming Thing. We juggled the kids for the few few days, and then Kristin came to stay with the kids on Friday and Saturday nights. It was nice to be able to play games together while she was with the kids. We had a great time. I love that TBGT falls on or around my birthday every year. I call it my 5-day birthday party (well, this year, it used to be my 4-day birthday party). Gabe is happy for the start of football season, and he hopes to watch games with friends on some of the Sundays. I am excited that fall is starting up – my favorite season of the year! I ordered a new iPhone 6+. I hope that I won’t regret getting the giant phone!

Something about both kiddos: I really shouldn’t go so long before posting these. It’s so much harder to look back over the past month and figure out what has been going on. We went to the beach over labor day weekend. We had some bad experiences with the hotel itself, but we had a great time on our vacation. We met Gabe’s parents there, and we all had fun playing at the beach, eating tasty foods, and swimming in the pools. Both kids loved all of it. Gabe’s parents brought the ingredients for bubble tea, so that was a great treat as well. We are going to have to look for a new location to visit next time. We decided that we are NOT going back to the hotel after some rude experiences with hotel staff and the unfortunate experience of leaving expensive electronics at the hotel (and the trouble of getting those back). The kids had a great weekend with Kristin while we were at TBGT. Kristin had them doing all kinds of playing in the mud and rain, and they went hunting for handfuls of worms. The kids have been playing together pretty well lately! They have been playing happily for most of the morning today. Both Maddie and Cullen love tacos now, so we have taco night about once a week. It’s everyone’s favorite family meal! They both attended a friend’s birthday party at a park this weekend.

Something Maddie is doing (6.5 years old): She is now taking swimming lessons twice a week, and we’re already seeing a lot of improvements with her lessons. She loves it. She’s getting more confidence, and she has said that she wishes that she could take swimming lessons every day. I’m glad that she has found something that she wants to stick with (for now, anyway). When we were at the beach, she swam halfway across the pool by herself quite a bit. She gets a bit nervous at about that point and starts to flail a bit. I’m guessing that she’ll be doing really well the next time we go to a pool! Gabe said that she made it look easy swimming across the lesson area at her last lesson. She played in the waves some at the beach and always loves playing in the sand. Maddie is so happy at the beach. Maddie had a week of track out at her favorite art camp where they explored Egyptian art. We got Maddie’s Elsa dress, and Maddie is excited to be Elsa for Halloween. Maddie started taking private piano lessons, and that seems to be a much better fit for her than group lessons. We set up my old keyboard from my childhood with full sized keys (though it doesn’t have the full 8 octaves). She is very excited to be able to do her practice on it and play with it. We were glad that our first week back at school was homework free, but we’re now back into the regular routine of homework and nightly reading. I volunteered at her class this week, and I read them a book called Ish about loyalty. The class was a bit crazy, but it was fun to read to them. Maddie surprised me when I got back from TBGT with a very special birthday present – a board game that she had made herself! That seems to be her thing lately. She’s made several board games with different designs and mechanisms.

Something Cullen is doing (4.5 years old): Cullen had so much fun playing in the waves at the beach! We had wished that we had brought the little belt float for him so he could swim a bit more in the pool. We had to carry him most of the time, at least when we were in the deeper sections. He’s probably at the point where the belt float would give him a little more confidence. He just started swimming lessons once a week at the same place that Maddie is taking them. We didn’t want them in the same class, but they are currently in the same level of classes. Cullen started taking general music lessons aimed at young children. I think that the kids in his class are ages 4-6. He’s learning about various instruments, rhythms, music terminology, and singing. He loves it. He was a little nervous the first time. I’m excited that both kids seem to be enjoying their music classes. Cullen hasn’t been playing devices as much lately, so we’re glad to get him to do other things. We got Cullen’s Halloween costume as well. He tried it on this morning. He’s going to be Superman. As soon as he put on his costume, he wanted to show us how strong and fast he was. He’s excited about it.

Something I am struggling with: Writing up these (and Maddie’s letter!).

Something I’m looking forward to: Let’s see…this afternoon we’re having a playdate and dinner with Austin and Elizabeth. We have the usual swimming and music lessons. I have my book club this week and we’re discussing The Husband’s Secret. The kids have a birthday party to attend next weekend, and we’re having the first games night in a long time. October brings Gabe’s birthday, dinner and games with friends, our anniversary, a visit to the pumpkin patch (hopefully!), Halloween, and more fall fun.

Something captured: So much to choose from when there’s a whole month of updates! Here’s Maddie and Cullen with Maddie’s first game, The Ice Cream Hunt.

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