Wreck it Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet

Finally got out to see the new Wreck It Ralph last night and it was amazing! I laughed through most of it and gasped at a lot of scenes, but I’ve been told I’m too easily entertained at movies. On the other hand, my husband and brother, along with my kids, all loved the movie too!

It’s been six years since the events of the first movie, Ralph and Vanellope are still friends, playing their games all day and hanging out all night. Ralph thinks this is the greatest life possible, but Vanellope is getting bored. All the races are predictable, all the tracks have been unlocked, nothing new ever happens. Ralph tries to help, but the Sugar Rush game console ends up broken.

The two go to the internet to find the piece they need on Ebay. The bidding war is hilarious, ending with the two shocked to find they need actual money. Luckily some of the spammers gave them the idea to play games to win money. This leads them to Slaughter Race, with the amazing Shank, voiced by Gal Gadot.

Vanellope falls in love with Slaughter Race, the excitement, the newness of every race. Ralph becomes a BuzzTube darling, earning money by making an idiot of himself in videos. You know, true American fashion!

The bit with the Disney Princesses was entertaining. I liked seeing the Princesses fall in love with casual clothes. Every woman can relate to that scene!

Ralph earns the money for the part, but freaks out when he realizes Vanellope doesn’t want to return to the arcade.

The weird thing about this movie, something happening more and more in kid films, is that there is no definable bad guy. There are shady characters, bad elements, but the line of “good” and “bad” is getting blurred. That sends an important message to kids because “bad” people, aren’t always bad. We all are capable of making bad calls and doing the wrong thing.

The side story about what’s going on with Felix and Calhoun is hilarious, especially to parents. Tony and I were cracking up all through that bit!

There are post credit scenes that are worth staying for. Tony had just mentioned that the scene with the kitty and bunny wasn’t in the movie, and not two seconds later, it showed up in the credits. Watching it in the theater I’ve decided that it was baby Moana playing that game, and I loved it all the more for that fact.

Family recommendation: go see it, laugh your butt off, be scared and relieved, take the amazing advice from a character named Shank. The advice given was that you can still be friends without being in each others pockets all the time. As an army brat, constantly moving, I thought it was great to have that in a kids movie!

Brunswick 4th Annual 5K Pumpkin Run

My first marathon medal

I may have sucked, but I competed in my first ever marathon! This marathon, where you can run either a 5K or walk 1M, raises money to support the Brunswick, OH area food bank. I was planning to do the mile walk with my husband and kids, but my kids talked me in to attempting the 5K. Poor choice….

Justice League of America

Costumes aren’t required, but any excuse to dress up is a good time in my mind. Our family theme this year was Justice League. We pulled my brother in to be our Superman too!

My brother, the former Marine, ran the 5K in 23 minutes. Not bad for someone that hasn’t done any running since last November when he separated!

Third fastest in his age range

My husband walked the mile, joined by our son when he gave up on the 5K. Our daughter finished around 35 minutes. There is a reason she wanted to be the Flash! My sad excuse for a Wonder Woman self completed it in 55 minutes. I feel I would have done better if I had started out walking to warm up. Shin splints are real and they suck!

Best Female Costume

I did win for having the best female costume. I will never be the fastest, but I can certainly own the best costume category!

Really looking forward to next year. I will actually prepare for the 5K, you know, practice running, stretch. Smart stuff!

Have you ever run a marathon? Are you one of those people that live for the runner high?

Solar Eclipse August 8th, 2017

So how many of you were able to view any part of the eclipse a few days ago? I learned about it a few weeks ago, and decided this was something I wanted the kids to experience. Luckily, totality was visible a few short hours from where my parents live in North Carolina. It was a little funny because my kids started school on Wednesday, went Thursday, then I pulled them out Friday through Tuesday for this trip. Their teachers were all for it, it is kind of like a science field trip after all! 

This was the best picture I was able to get with my phone

It’s been 26 years since I was able to experience an eclipse, and it has been weird for me this time around listening to everyone freaking out. Schools in our area of Ohio were basically having a lock down, keeping all the kids inside during the entire event. When I was in school, we made eclipse viewers to watch the event with. Glasses were readily available, but people were against using them for fear of eye damage, a valid argument, yes, but a little research could’ve allowed anyone to watch this event.

We watched the eclipse from Lee State Park near Bishopville, SC. The rangers there had information about the eclipse available, crafts to entertain kids leading up to totality, and it was at a park, so it was a nice place to relax and enjoy during the event.

Allowing you to see the progress without staring at the sun

My kids especially enjoyed this eclipse viewer the rangers had, as it made seeing the progress very easy. No constant on and off with your glasses.

Almost at totality

Given our location, we had a short window of the sun being completely dark, and the experience was amazing. Night bugs started calling, nature seemed to hold it’s breath in confusion for a few moments, then the sun came back out and normality resumed.

Everything went dark

Arthur was amazed! Chiara was less than thrilled, but enjoyed being outside for the whole time, and the crafts. 

I know we’re all looking forward to the next one in seven years. Luckily no travel will be involved as we already live in the path of totality!

Ridiculously simple, but my favorite craft, made with chalk

Take Down the Monster

This game ended up being more fun than I expected. When I first had this idea, my Pinterest brain immediately jumped to cutting shapes out of a tarp for targets. Then Tony informed me that our soccer goal has this attachment with cut outs already in it. Awesome!

Start by having the kids make monster faces. If you know anything about Sailor Moon, you’ll know that the monsters range from scary, to pretty, to just plain weird. I just had ovals, kid-face sized, ready for the kids to draw on. Then attach a string to the face to hang on your monsters on your target.
I hit the Dollar General for some flying rings, the frisbee rings, whatever you want to call them. Another Sailor Moon tidbit, for those who don’t know, when fighting monsters, Sailor Moon takes her tiara off, it begins to spin, then she throws it like a frisbee. Once your monsters are attached to your targets, the kids can now line up and throw frisbees at the monsters, just like Sailor Moon!

Take down the Imperial Tie Fighters

I think of all the games we played at Arthur’s party, this was the biggest hit. Nothing more fun than shooting Nerf guns after all! 

First things first, you need to make your Tie Fighters. I just used cardboard and super glue. It may not seem sturdy, but these held up to a deluge after the party was over! You cut out your hexagon ends, then a connecting piece with a circular shape in the middle. Super glue the pieces together as shown, then spray paint them black and you’re set!

To mount these Tie Fighters, I skewered them with simple wooden grilling skewers and stuck the skewers into garden stakes. They spun around in the wind, and the effect was really cool!
To finish up this game prep, just gather your Nerf guns and let the kids open fire. When we had a little time leftover, this is what most of the kids went back to. No higher praise among 10 year olds!
Have fun, and stay strong in your fight against the Empire!

Blast the Landing Pad

This is another game that I pulled together last minute and meant to play up a little more. *sigh* Remember the scene from Rogue One where the rebels have landed on Skariff and they are setting off bombs on the different landing pads to create a distraction? That’s what I was going for here. 
All you need for this game is:

• landing pads  (I used wire baskets from dollar general)

• water balloons (these are fun bombs for kids when it’s nice outside)

• a marker for the kids to stand behind (I used the signs my kids got from school for being awesome)
Then you line the kids up and have the kids try to bomb the landing pads. My baskets kept flipping over when they were hit, so if we do this again we’ll have to weigh them down. You also have to watch the kids like hawks to ensure they don’t try to throw balloons at each other. My husband also thought it was funny to throw them over the house when we were all playing in the back yard. He almost got one of the moms! 
Have some fun, maybe decorate the baskets like landing pads, but enjoy some Rogue One fun!

Activate the Com Switch

I will be the first to say that I pulled the Rogue One games together last minute! That being said, Pinterest had no useable ideas for party games with this theme. I know, I was surprised too. Everything Pinterest gave me had a Jedi theme to them, which Rogue One does not have. My son’s choice, but as my sweet baby Arthur turned 10 this year, I had to wing it! I was playing around with assorted ideas for what would work and here is the first one I came up with.
Remember the scene where Chirrut crosses the open space, while Storm Troopers are firing, chanting “I am one with the Force, the Force is with me”, and manages to activate the Com switch? I decided to have the kids walk a plank of wood, blindfolded, and they had to slap the “com switch”, in this case a Foldgers coffee can. As much fun as it would be to be shooting at the kids while they were walking, I thought that would’ve been a bit much.

I was working with what I had on hand, so the board probably should’ve been a bit longer, but it was funny to watch them wave their arms around trying to find the coffee can.
All you need for this game to work is:

•a plank of wood, wide enough for the kids to walk on safely (probably best to leave it on the ground to avoid potential injury)

•a stick (more to simulate Chirrut in the movie, but it can be used to find the Com switch)

•a blindfold (we are simulating a blind guy after all)

•a small table or stool with a switch or something the kids can smack (try to aim for waist height on the kids)
Then you’re good to go. Have fun with it. These kids sure did!