Sunday, October 26, 2008

As If You Needed Another Reason to Visit...

Yesterday, dad's good friend Dave Jarvis came up from Ohio to visit with his family (mom, Micheline; James, who's exactly my age; and Andrew, who's about Lilly's age) for the day. We went and toured a cider mill, drank cider and ate donuts, played with his kids in our basement, and went out for dinner together in the evening -- fun! But, as if all those activities weren't good enough, Dave also brought the Best Present Ever as a belated birthday gift for dad. I'll give you one guess as to what it was and three hints to help out:

1) It's the same present Dave got for dad about 20 years ago for his birthday!

2) It sets up like this:

3) The box cover looks like this:


Okay, fine, the last image gives it away (didn't want to make it too hard, you know). I'd never even heard of this game before, but now I'm a full convert! I can assure you that if quality death and destruction is what you seek, look no further -- this game is IT. I fully admire and appreciate both dad and Dave's good taste -- I mean, it's no wonder this game has been in production 20 years!

So, gameplay is simple enough -- you first set up the Knights (the good guys),

then you set up the Orcs (the bad guys),

and then -- smash, crash, bash -- you shoot away at each other's fortresses until they're completely destroyed!

And, lest you think this is a game only for boys -- Lilly even got in on the action with us (just look at the intensity in her eyes -- this princess means business)!

We're not picky -- whether you be young or old, male or female, all challengers are welcome. Come visit us -- we'd love to blow you away!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

In high school, while rummaging through my parents' closet one day, I found an old camera my mom had gotten from her dad -- on old half-format that was so primitive you had to have a separate light meter to set your aperture/exposure time, a manual focus ring you had to set by measuring (estimating, rather) the distance between  you and your subject, and although it had a jack for a flash, you had to hold it in your free hand because there was no flashmount. I thought it was the coolest little camera and ran around for two weeks taking pictures of everything... until I had to get the film special developed for over 20 bucks, as I remember. Boo! Anyhow, in that two-week burst of photocreativity, I snapped this choice one of mom and dad in their room one evening. I love it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hurrah for the Bike Tutor!

So, in an effort to get both Lilly and I actually riding on a bike and not just being towed in a trailer, mom and dad went ahead and bought a crossbar-mounted gizmo for us to sit in (no, not at the same time, you silly!) -- what a brilliant invention! This thing is imported from England (= $$$) but, given that dad's searches yielded nothing comparable Stateside, they took the plunge, and I, for one, definitely have no regrets. Even Lilly, who's normally a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to bikes, loves it! It's so fun sitting up front with the wind in my face, high enough to watch the world pass me by, able to turn and look at my dad if I want -- it sure beats sitting 6 inches from the ground staring at his butt and breathing fong-pei! (j/k) 

Here in Michigan, winter is definitely coming on, but with the chillier air has come some gorgeous fall colors. Last Sunday morning, dad took us on a walk around the block, and we got to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage. The street we live on isn't much to speak of, being kind of a main road and all, but turn the corner and take a few steps into the neighborhood and this is what greets you:

Luckily, we weren't in a rush, so we got to spend plenty of time finding and picking the most colorful leaves and berries to bring home to mom.

But it wasn't until we got to last corner before heading home that we found what we'd been looking for the whole time -- a friendly neighbor who had raked all the leaves into neat piles on the side of the street, perfect for jumping in! Too bad dad didn't think I was old enough to go on the street -- but Ethan and Isaac sure looked like they had fun in all those leaves!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

More Visitors!

Val and Kyle Yamagishi drove down from Toronto to visit us on the same day that grandma and grandpa left to fly back to Texas. It was a short visit, but a fun one -- this is a video of us taking Val and Kyle on a walk through our neighborhood.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

In Which Grandpa and Grandma Come to Town

This past week, Grandma and Grandpa flew on a plane to our house to visit for a pretty much a whole week! Well, seeing as it wasn't a holiday week for us, life kept trucking along even during their visit -- Ethan went to school during the days, Isaac went to school during the mornings, Mommy went to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Daddy kept going to school, too. James still stayed at home all the time, but I skipped one day of preschool to hang out with Grandpa and make him do manly My Little Pony puzzles with me.

James, of course, was at home every day, and both Grandma and Grandpa accompanied him and daddy on their usual Tues/Thurs morning walk -- Grandpa's finger sure is a lot bigger than daddy's, though,

and his shoulders are definitely more comfortable to sit on!

On our last day together, we carved pumpkins -- Grandpa is a really good pumpkin carver, but he was so slow, we finished before him and started playing Silly String around him. From the front, he looks every bit the distinguished artist,

but from the back...

Bwah ha ha ha -- now I know why they call it "Silly" string!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Our Moonscape

Well, it's Day 8 since the grass was laid, and, like I said, I don't know about this whole "mowable at day 10" thing. I don't want to complain much, because, well... there's definitely there's a smattering of grass there, but, the fact of the matter is, it seems a bit patchy, don't you think? Especially in the middle where all the runoff is -- anyhow, I called the landscapers and asked them to come and have a look -- I'm hoping they'll say, "Whoa, we need to reseed this thing!"

It Takes Two (and then some)

Normally I'm all consideration and fair play, but sometimes you've got to take whatever advantage you can get -- especially when you're arm wrestling with a big strong Naval Officer like my dad. So you use both hands, recruit your brother, lean with all your combined weights... and, geez, my dad is strong! We were practically jumping up and down on his arm before we got it down to the table!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I'm in Gr. 1 Again

You know, it's very exciting for Ethan to be growing up and going to Gr. 1 and all, but I don't like his teacher much. And how would I be expected to like a teacher who assigns me homework every night? Oh sure, she SAYS it's for Ethan, but puh-leese, I know it's just a conspiracy (don't ask me what for -- I just know it is)! So every night I find myself counting up by 1s, counting down by 10s, counting up by 5s, doing number grids and tally marks, counting jellybeans, drawing pictures of elephants (and counting them, of course)... I mean, hello, is all this really necessary?

My Hairstylist Chose My Major

So, mom brought me to a real hairdresser in the mall today and I got... a BOY cut. Boo! What kind of crap is this anyways? What cruddy hairdresser would dare give a princess this haircut? Does he think I'm going to be an English major or something?

And my hair takes so long to grow, too... poop, poop, poop. My leg hurts just thinking about it... "Mommy, mommy, I need some medicine so I can sleep tonight... please, please, I NEED some!!"