Kickstarter-I Really Am Hip Now!

I try to stay up to date on tech things as much as I can. Not in a nerdy, tech-y, super up to date way. The things that I try to keep up on are the things that I hear my kids and grandkids being interested in.

I love the newest iPhones when they come out but I will never wait in line for one! No, I will wait until I can get one a month or two or six after the release.

We just bought the new Nintendo Switch and I enjoy playing with the grandkids on that. Tetris is a fun game for the Switch. That was a game that we spent a lot of time playing together when my boys were younger. I was glad that it came out on this platform as it is my all time favorite video game.

As I mentioned in this post, we love to play games. So I was intrigued when I came across a new interactive board game by Mighty Boards on my Instagram feed. It is called Petrichor and it looks like something that my older grandkids would like. And what better way to bond with them than spending time playing a game with them.

Now here is the catch – it is a Kickstarter campaign game. Which basically means that they raise money on Kickstarter before they make the game and the people that back them get the game first. Kickstarter is not new. It has been around for awhile but this is the first time I have actually backed something on it. I am kind of excited! I feel like I have helped someone with their dream. And….. I get a new game.

I will get it in December which is so opposite of how I usually purchase things. I am all about Amazon Prime and the two day shipping. Patience is not my strong suit. But it will be fun to get updates on the campaign from the Kickstarter app until December.

This Kickstarter app will be fun to explore and find new products that we all might be interested in. What about you? Have you tried Kickstarter?

Blending and Bonuses

Tuxedos are hanging in my closets upstairs!

This weekend my oldest son is getting married. He has two kids. He is marrying a wonderful, gorgeous, loving, sweet, caring mother of four kids. The Hubs and I are beyond excited for them.

My family is blended. My oldest son is from my first marriage. My middle and youngest son are from my current (and final!) marriage. When my kids were younger it took a bit of doing to work my oldest son’s visitations with his dad into our schedule, but it was manageable.

Can you imagine the scheduling that my son and my new daughter-in-love have to deal with having six kids and four separate sets of parents! Oh my. I have observed them over the past year as they were getting ready to blend their family, and I have to hand it to them……. they do an excellent job!

They have about six hours on Thursday night that they have to themselves as a couple. They always make it a priority to have a date night. Of course, we would watch the kids whenever they wanted us to but with their kids being with them only fifty percent of the time, they just don’t want to be apart from them when they do have them. Not as many sleepovers with gramma and grandpa but totally understandable.

So, on Saturday, we will officially have four new grandchildren. Bringing our total to eight. How will we treat these new grandchildren? The same as we treat our other four.

These four are our bonus grandchildren. No, we weren’t there for their births. We didn’t get to rock them to sleep when they were babies. And we didn’t get to see their first steps or hear their first words. But now we get to welcome them into our family and share ing their milestones and accomplishments. They will now be our grandchildren for reals!

We are a family of 16 now and I can remember when I was a single mom, with just my oldest, and I so longed for a big, intact, loving family. I had some pretty tough days. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine the family that I now have. I am truly blessed.

We are not the traditional two parent, never divorced family that was typical in the past. We sit at kids baseball games with our son’s ex and her spouse. And sometimes my ex and his spouse as well! We are flexible when scheduling events and we don’t expect everyone to be at everything. We try not to put expectations on anyone. Is it hard sometimes? Most definitely. Do we bite our tongues sometimes often. Of course! But we are committed to loving each other and helping each other get through this big, glorious, wonderful thing called life.

Our children have so many people that love them and call them family and our grandchildren have even more! Aren’t we the lucky ones!

 

Supporting Your Community Events – Murrieta Firefighter’s BBQ

We are a fire department family. The Hubs is a retired fire captain. My middle son is a fire captain. We know the drill. Days at a time away from the family. Missing kids sports games and school events. And the holidays……. Let’s just say that we are very flexible regarding what day we actually celebrate Christmas, Easter, birthdays, etc.

We gave up a long time ago trying to plan everything on days when everyone could make it. With a fire family, teachers, and a blended family in the mix we rarely get all 16 of us together at the same time.

So when the Murrieta Fire Department has their annual BBQ for the community we like to get as many of us together to attend as possible. It gives us a chance to see our son when he is working, even if he has to leave a few times on emergency calls!

A portion of our gang.

This year was the 70th annual Murrieta Firefighter’s BBQ. The event is a great way for the department to interact with the community and show off their mad grilling skills at the same time! You could purchase a plate with a very generous portion of tri tip, a super soft and fresh sandwich roll, potato salad, beans, and a drink for $10. Oh my gosh! The meat was so so good. We were even able to purchase a whole, fully cooked tri tip for $20 to take home. Someone is going to have a fabulous dinner tonight. They also offered a child’s hot dog plate for $5. Perfect for the littles.

It’s fun to visit Daddy at work!

The Hubs and our youngest son spent some most of the time in the beer garden. They competed in the corn hole tournament and came out somewhere in the top eight. The beer garden offered local beers for $5 each or 5 for $20. The money raised in from the beer garden goes to the Murrieta Firefighters Association and is used by them to support multiple local causes. A good reason to have a beer!

There was also an area with local vendors. Everything from Hawaiian shave ice to essential oils to bouncy houses! My granddaughter’s favorite vendor was Funny Faces Face Painting. Lorraine Amaya did an awesome job on my granddaughter’s face and their were so many options to choose from. You can find her on Facebook here.

Look at that sweet face!

I love supporting our community and this is definitely a fun way to accomplish that. Great family time and great memories!

 

We Play Games

We are game players. All of our kids are game players. We are teaching our grandkids to be game players.

There are two types of families. Avid game players and not-so-much game players. Our family is definitely in the former category. Give us a table and we will play a game.

One of the best memories that I have of my childhood was playing canasta on summer evenings on my next door neighbor’s screened-in patio. She was a little Italian gramma who we loved just like our own gramma. I loved playing games with my own children as they were growing up. We spent many a summer afternoon playing cards. Often we would have tournaments that would last all summer long.

Now that most of my grandkids are old enough to play games we spend frequent Sunday afternoons playing. I play Farkle two mornings a week with my nine year old grandson who stops by for breakfast on those days. We have lots of fun and we are both pretty competitive. The Hubs and I play Hand and Foot sometimes almost every night after dinner. Games, games, games!

Right now there are so many new games that the kids are into. I love to learn a new game that they enjoy. Quite a few of them are games that all the players are playing as one team to beat the game. Those are my favorite.

I bought the Harry Potter Hogwart’s Battle game for two of my grandsons for Christmas and we are having so much fun playing it. It is a cooperative deck building game. Aren’t you proud of me that I know what that even is?! We really enjoy it because those two grandsons and I are are fans of the Harry Potter book series.

I encourage you to get involved in some of the newer games that are out. I find that it gives me common ground with the grandkids (and even my sons who like these games). Even if I don’t totally “get” all the games I still enjoy the time spent together. And that’s what its all about for me!

Another favorite game we recently bought and enjoy playing is Codenames. This is a very fun, quick playing game that sparks lively discussions.

For a lot of laughs we play Blurble. Oh my gosh! This one is super lively and super funny. It is a fast game that can be played by all of my grandkids. We just change the rules a bit for the younger ones who don’t read yet.

Our tried and true games are Mexican Train Dominoes, Gin Rummy, Hand and Foot, Hearts, Spades, Phase 10, and 5 Crowns.

Play games! Make some memories! You will be glad you did.

 

 

Bonus Love!

Here’s the thing. I have four bonus grandkids. Our oldest son is getting  married in May. He has two children, she has four. Brady Bunch anyone?!

They got engaged on Thanksgiving of 2015 and that day her kids started calling us Gramma and Grandpa. Love it! The number of grandkids we had doubled. Just like that. In the blink of an eye. Lucky us! Eight grandkids to love.

I have never cared for the term “step”, as in stepmom or stepchild. A while back I was reading a blog and came across the term “bonus child”. Doesn’t that sound so much nicer? I think so. So now I have four bonus grandkids!

Last weekend I volunteered to drive up to Disneyland in the late afternoon and pick up one of the older grandsons and his friends who were there for a band concert. Long story. My oldest granddaughter volunteered to ride along with me for company.

We drove up and hung out at Downtown Disney until it was time  to pick up the boys.

My granddaughter and I had so much fun just hanging out together. It was fun walking around and checking out what ever store we wanted and just being silly. And being girls!

We also had some pretty good eats as well. We started out at LaBrea Express Bakery. We had the clam chowder bread bowl and the turkey mozzarella panini and both were really good and not super expensive. The clam chowder was very rich and smooth. So yummy!

Of course we hit up the Jazz Cafe………..because beignets! This was my granddaughter’s first introduction to these treats and they were a hit. Four of them come in the small order and it was a perfect amount for the two of us. My lo carb day flew right out the door when we bought these!

Our last stop was to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie. There is an AMC movie theater at Downtown Disney. It was fun to see it there on opening weekend. We both agreed that it was a good movie and the Emma Watson looks just like one of my DILs.

It was so nice to have a companion with me for the trip up to Disneyland. I am trying to do one on one time with each grandchild and to find out what is going on in their lives. The hubs and I try to make all the baseball games, school performances, piano recitals, etc that we can, but I believe that there is nothing like that one on one time.

We are so thankful for these four “bonus” grandchildren and the many memories we will make with them.

What about you? Do you have bonus grandchildren? How have you embraced them into your family? What are some ideas you have to get to know them? Let’s talk!