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Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Favorites

One of my favorite things about the holidays (and long breaks from work!) is spending time with family and friends playing board games. We have our "staples" that we've been playing for quite some time, but this Christmas I've learned a total of 6 new games. SIX! Plus one "expansion pack" with new rules for a board game we already knew. Learning new board games is my favorite kind of educational activity!

So if you're also a board-game-loving kind of person, here's some of our new favorites we highly suggest checking out:


Las Vegas Showdown
Each player has their own board that you have to "build" your casino on. You're working to beat other players by "constructing" your casino first and gain the most victory points to win. Still working out the best strategy to win this game...I think I've come in last every time so far, ha!

Forbidden Island
In this cooperative game, you work as a team to save the four treasures of a sinking island. I thought this game provided a nice change of pace from games where you work against each other. It's such a different way of strategy thinking.

You're working against each other again, but there's literally no way to know who's winning until it's over, so that definitely keeps things interesting. Also, you only play with 10 out of the 25(!) sets of cards, so every time you play will be different. I don't even know how many times we'll have to play before we've tried every option!

For as many times as we played these games in the last 3 weeks, I don't think I ever won. So, ya know...these must be fun games if I keep playing and LOSING every time ;) But seriously, call me if you're gonna host a game night soon!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Can you believe it's already the end of 2014?! This year has left me so thankful for my family & friends, job, and good health!

We had wonderful Christmas celebrations with both of our families. I love just being able to relax and eat (too much) good food and play board games and watch movies with family over the holidays. Family will always be my favorite gift.
I forced convinced my immediate family to take a family selfie when we got home from the Christmas Eve service at church. It only took 7 tries to get a good picture, haha!
This time of year also brings such hope for great things to come in the New Year, and I'm praying for many blessings for all in 2015! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and wish you a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 5, 2014

This Was The Coolest Thing (!!)

So, if you know me personally, you probably know that the Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie. Of all time. Forever and Always.

So when my sister, Shannon, discovered this interactive Wizard of Oz exhibit at the Holland Armory, we grabbed the closest kids under the age of 10 and took them with us! Just kidding...but really, we needed kids so I wouldn't look totally out of place :)
Put on by the Holland Museum, this exhibit led visitors through the original Frank L. Baum version of the Wizard of Oz story. From Kansas to Munchkin Land, then down the Yellow Brick Road to meet the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and Glinda, and ending at the Wicked Witch's Castle.
Each stage had something "learner related" to each place or character. For example, at the start of the Yellow Brick Road, the kids were able to piece together foam puzzle pieces to build a road or different shapes. Then at the Tin Man, you could press a button and feel the difference of your heart rate at rest vs. walking vs. running. And at the very end of course, you had to click your heels together three times and say, "there's no place like home!"
I seriously loved this as much as the kids did. If you're local to West Michigan, head to Holland before January 3rd to check it out!

P.S. Thanks to Shannon and Luke's friends, Amanda and Marc, for letting us borrow their adorable girls for the day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fall Women's Event

Well, my mom did it again. Her fabulous decorating and hosting and making-other-people-feel-loved skills were all evident at the fall women's event she held for dear friends and women at her church.

We're talking seriously gorgeous decorations!
Side note: my brother-in-law Luke MADE that cross. So cool, right?!

With special details, like the vintage hankies and broaches that each of the 50 women got to take home as a favor.
Each woman made a Fall banner of their own. All supplies were pre-cut and ready to go in adorable gift bags. 
We listened to the wise words of Joyce Landorf and Sandy Patti. We dined on delicious soups and homemade breads and sweets. We laughed and cried as we spent the morning together in fellowship with each other and God.

My mom never gives herself enough credit for her wonderful talents. She'll never brag, so I'll do it for her :) I've got a prettttty sweet family if you ask me!