Monster Jam!!

It has been a while since Ace and I have done anything fun, so Momma gave us the idea of going to Monster Jam!

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It was fun to get out of the house for a change and enjoy something different.

We found the guy outside selling race flags for $2 instead of $10 inside. :). Ace got his flag and went running away with his flag in the air before I had a chance to even pay for the flag. I had to chase him down and then come back to pay the guy. I bet he thought I was pulling a fast one on him. 🙂

Once inside he HAD to have popcorn. This guy can eat some popcorn! One giant tub in his little belly. (I only ate maybe two handfuls)

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As you can see from the picture he was memorized by the monster trucks and enjoyed every minute of it.

At intermission he was ready to go. I tried to convince him we should stay for the freestyle event, but he was done.

So we headed home… We may not have stayed the whole time, but we had fun while we were there!

Columbus Commons Family Fun Day

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We are always on the look out for inexpensive things to do with the kids around town…and sometimes it is not easy! Hell, just going to McDonalds will run a family of four $20+ these days.

So when I heard about the Columbus Commons Family Fun Day, I was excited. It is free to walk around and look, but what fun is that? It only costs $5 per kid for an all day pass to all of the activities.

Instead of rambling on about what a good deal it was, how about I share some pictures to show how much the kids enjoyed it!!!

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Can 20 Minutes Make That Much Difference?

I’m not one to usually volunteer.  My life is so busy with work, family, and then the photography business, that I barely have time to do anything.  But a friend of mine posted on FaceBook that they needed men to help with the camp.  I’m not sure what came over me, but I said I would help.   So I am volunteering in the evenings this week at a kids camp for abused and neglected foster children.

I had to go through a few training sessions to prepare me for what I was getting myself into.  These kids, age 7-11,  have been neglected and abused…physically, mentally, and sexually.  I will be honest…I was a bit nervous to go there tonight.

My kids are fairly well behaved.  I do not have experience with kids who do not listen, who act out just because they want to, and who are on medication to keep them stable.

I arrived in the evening just after dinner and then we all headed outside to play some basketball…

I noticed this one little boy who was trying to play with the other kids and they wouldn’t let him.  He has something wrong with his back/shoulder.  A bulge of some kind.  Not sure what it is, I didn’t ask.  Eventually he worked his way over to another hoop and was playing by himself.  So I went over and played with him.  He was an awesome little guy and we had a blast.  For having something wrong with his shooting arm he was nailing baskets left and right.  He made way more than I did. 🙂

I few minutes later another little boy came along.  His name was James.  He asked if he could play, and I said yes.  The other groups wouldn’t let him play either.  He was so excited that he was being accepted into our little game of Make It-Take It!

At the end of the night after all of the kids had their showers James came running up to me, jumped up,  put his arms around my legs, and gave me a big hug.  He looked up at me, still squeezing my legs and said, “Thank you so very much for playing basketball with me!  Can we do it again tomorrow?”

And then I realized that that simple game of Make It-Take It was more than just a simple game of basketball for James. It was the feeling of acceptance.  The feeling of self worth…because someone cared enough to catch his air-balls, praise him for the ones he made, run after the missed shots, and actually give him the ball back.  I’d almost bet that has never happened before…

Makes me happy to think that a regular ole’ guy like me, spending 20 minutes with James on a basketball court, made his day!  But sad to think that is all it took…

A Day In The Sun!

Well, things have been nuts around here to say the least!  Work keeps me busy during the day.  The family keeps me busy at night.  On the weekends I have been working on my new photography business.  And DadThing.com has taken a backseat.  🙁

However, I hope to change that…

Today we broke free from the norm and decided to take a ride in the wagon down to the local school to play on the playground!  Good time had by all.  I took a few pics to share.  For those of you that have not seen Ace and Valerie for a while…they have grown up a bit.  🙂

Ace On The Move! The kid only holds still when he is sleeping...

Valerie having fun!

Ace Scoping Out The Playground!

Valerie scaring me to death on the 10 ft high playground equipment! 🙂

Ace still on the move!

Valerie enjoying the green grass in the back yard!

RedBox Wii Games Review

I was approached by smiley360.com to do a review on RedBox.  For those of you who do not know what RedBox is…it is a small kiosk located outside of many retail stores where you can rent movies…and now Wii and XBox 360 games.  smiley360 gave me 5 free promo codes to rent some Wii games.

It’s actually pretty simple.  You browse the selection on the screen, pick your movies/games, and proceed to checkout where you swipe your credit card.  Movies are $1 per day and games are $2 per day.  Not a bad deal at all!

We went to a local RedBox to rent a Wii game.  The first RedBox kiosk we stopped at only had three Wii games available…and they were all checked out.  XBox 360 had more of a selection, but we do not have an XBox.

So, we went to a second location.  This RedBox had 5 or 6 Wii games available.  The first one on the list was Wipeout 2.  Ace is addicted to that show.  We DVR it and he will watch it at least 50 times before the new one comes out the next week.

We rented Wipeout 1 a while back and it was too complicated.  Even I had a hard time playing it.  But we took Wipeout 2 over to Grandma’s house where Ace and his cousin Olivia could give it a go.  They both picked up on the controls rather quickly and played it for a few hours before the Wii remote batteries died.  🙂  Otherwise I think they would still be playing.

We all played the Wipeout 2 game and everyone got a kick out of it!  It was so much like the TV show with it’s replays of your wipe outs and even has John Anderson, John Henson, and Jill Wagner as hosts with their funny commentary!

We were going to use all five free promo codes, but since it was my first rental I could only rent one game at a time.  Also the selection was limited (I’m hoping because it is such a new thing to rent Wii games).  So I will have to continue to check back and rent the four other games and post reviews here as well.

smiley360.com also sent me a free game called Go Vacation.  This game is amazing!  We have played it for hours and only touched the surface of the things you can do.

The whole point of the game is that you are on vacation and can roam around the resorts on your own and do the different activities that you find.  The box for the game says there are over 100 different mini games you can play.

Ace just liked hopping on the four wheelers and jet skis and cruising around the island.  We left the game at Grandma’s house one night and the next day Olivia played it for like four hours!!  We took it back home and she was quite upset that she could not continue to play…so, I think her Dad will end up buying it for her.  🙂

All in all we had a great time.  We got the family together, made homemade pizzas, and played the Wii into the weeee hours of the night.  Much longer than the kids lasted.  I’m pretty sure the adults enjoyed it as much (if not more) than the kids.  🙂

Note: smiley360.com provided me with a free sample game to play as well as five free promo codes to rent games from any RedBox location.  I was not paid to do this review and the opinions expressed are my own.