Noodles and Company…one of my favorite restaurants…
Anyone notice Mickey Mouse in this?
Speaking & Entertainment
In the interest of doing new and fun things that I’ve never done before I planned a paintball excursion for me and some of my friends. We went to SplatBall. They have an indoor court that allows for play during winter. It’s in the basement of an older building…and has a distressed look.
The night was a lot of fun…though I’m a bit sore today after being hit. I had no idea what to expect. Here are some observations and tips for those of you who might think about going:
They had some great safety rules that I really appreciated: (1) ALWAYS wear your goggles. Never take them off on the court. This protects your eyes and face. You are not ever supposed to aim for the face. (2) Use your BBD (Barrel Blocking Device) whenever your gun is not on the court. This prevents misfires when people are not protected with goggles or if the trigger lock wasn’t set. (3) If you’re within 20 feet of another player you’re both out. This prevents point-blank shooting.
We had a great time. It was new and different. I felt like I was in a movie. Our goggles looked like we were storm troopers. The experience made me have an appreciation for real combat challenges. Your heart really gets pumping when you’re in the middle of the action.
So Here’s our 2010 Collection of Kid Quotes and Funny Stories…
A = Arianna age 6 and B = Brielle age 4
Arianna was playing the educational game TuxMath where addition problems roll down the screen and you need to get the answer right before it’s too late. The little smarty PAUSED the game at each question and figured out the answer on her fingers!
Arianna counting: “97, 98, 99…daddy what comes after 99?” Answer: “100. Then it starts all over again. 101, 102, 103…” “Wow. That’s cool.”
WHEN I GROW UP
Arianna’s pajamas were getting too short. I told her “You need to stop growing.” She replied “No dad, I like growing so I can get bigger and be a mom some day.” – A
“I don’t want to go to college because I don’t want to leave home.” We’ll see about that. – A
When Arianna grows up she wants “to be a doctor in the morning, a dentist in the afternoon, and a dance teacher in the evening.” Another day she said she’d “like to be a doctor on Mondays and Thursdays, a dentist on Tuesday and Friday and a mommy on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.” Pretty ambitious and specific.
Arianna is saving a 20% off coupon for Babies-R-Us “in case I grow into a mom and have a baby…”. Wonder if it’ll be valid in 20 years?
When she grows up Brielle wants to be “a marshaller” for aircraft with illuminated beacons and “a surfer girl”.
“When I get to be a grown up I’ll go to the zoo ALL BY MYSELF. I’ll see all the animals and go on some scary rides.” – B
“We have enough pianos in our house!” Arianna. Yes…1 is probably enough.
MONEY AND PURCHASING POWER
Arianna made her first purchase at Target. She bought a Lego car for $5.35. It took her forever to pay in change as she counted it all for the cashier.
Arianna had $2 to spend so I took her to Toys R Us. It broke my heart multiple times as she saw something she liked and asked how much it was. When she heard the cost she sighed “Ohh…It’s more than $2?” She soon realized you couldn’t get much for $2. I told her she may need to save more money so she could get something she really wanted. Then on the way out there was a claw game where you could have a chance to win a stuffed animal. I explained that it might not be a great financial choice and that it was really difficult and you might get nothing. But for $1 she could afford the game and wanted to try. She didn’t get anything and was heartbroken. We went to Target where she found some Disney princess gloves for $1.99. (I chipped in the extra $1.) She really appreciated those gloves because of all the experience behind getting them.
“Dad, if you give me $100, I’ll give you a quarter.” Why? “Don’t you see? I don’t have any! Daddy…please trade me.” – A
“When I gave the penny to my teacher it made my heart happy.” – A
“I’m three…and when I have my birthday I’m going to be five!” Evidently, she’ll just skip over 4. – Brielle
“You know what I liked about the party? I lov-ed the jumpoline.” – Brielle
How do you become a grandpa? “Every number you get bigger for your birthday. If you are a boy daddy and you get to be a big number then you turn into a grandpa. When a mommy’s number gets bigger then they’re a grandma.” – A
“I’m going to marry Zach and Brielle will marry Andy. We better write that down. When I grow up and be a mom my name will be Sally.” – Arianna
“I want to marry Brock because he taught me how to climb a tree.” – A
“Daddy, on my wedding day I’ll be so sad cause I’ll miss you…but I’ll give you a kiss.” Me: We’ll find you a good prince to marry. “You mean a husband? I need someone who can build stuff.” – A
Our girls want to marry husbands that are NOT allergic to cats. I’m now officially off the list of marriage material.
“I want to get married when I’m 41.” – A
“Daddy…on my wedding day can I get a prince, and go to a ball, and get some candy?” – B
Arianna gave me a portrait drawing she made of me. “I know you have 5 fingers dad…but I gave you 10 on each hand!” Could be useful.
If you could do anything today, what would you do? Arianna replied “Play Wii, color, and watch a movie.” Content and simple. In fact, sounds a lot like yesterday!
Arianna walked down the stairs in a Snow White costume and high heels. “We need someone to be a prince. You need to give a good smile and dance.”
“Give me a C! Give me an A! Give me a T! What’s it spell? CAT!” (The only word she could spell at the time.) – A
“Give me a 5! Give me a Z! Give me a G! Give me a 9! What does it spell? Candy!” That was totally random. – B
After her first roller coaster Big Thunder Mountain…”That was super fun! And there were no dinosaurs!” – B
Do you know any other states besides Minnesota? “DisneyWorld” – B
A shadowy figure arrived at my bedside at 5:30 am. “Dad…Is it OK for me to wake up?” Not really…you see you’re not asleep. In fact, we’re all awake now. – B
PLEASED TO MEET YOU
We met a new person for the first time as I introduced Brielle and her sister Arianna. Brielle immediately said “Arianna can do a cartwheel!” Well that’s the first thing I would want to know about someone!
The irony of a 3 year old talking to her friend when says “When I was a little girl I used to…” You’re still a little girl! It’s all relative.
“Hungry Hungry Hippos game is what I wanted all my life!” …and she got it for Christmas. – B
I ran up the stairs shortly after Brielle went to bed and made a bit too much noise doing so. Brielle yelled “Daddy. You woke me up!” Sorry. Then she yelled again as I was heading downstairs “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” What? “I forgive you.” Great. I was so relieved.
“Help! Dad will you get this bug!” Dad does. “Thank you for the killing dad.” – A
“Daddy I killed two grasshoppers at the park.” Why? “Because they were going to hop on me.” – B
“One time I got a mosquito bite on my cheek and it was fluffy.” – B
WORKING FROM HOME OFFICE
I was up early and working on the computer in my pajamas without a shirt. Brielle came downstairs and said matter of factly “Dad. You’re forgetting about something…your shirt. That’s OK. I won’t laugh at you.” Brielle
Given the choice between Hall’s menthol and watermelon cough drops. “These watermelon are really good because they’re not spicy.” – B
DEATH AND SHOTS
We saw a hearse driving by and I explained that it was a car for carrying people that had died. She said “We’re not going to die because we got lots of shots and I didn’t cry.” – B
DOING IT YOURSELF
“I poured the juice. Look dad, I was very careful. I guess I’m getting bigger!” – B
“I can’t believe that Bill and Jill rhyme.” (Yes…it is pretty incredible.) – A
“We watched the movie yester-night.” Compared to yester day and yester morning I guess it makes sense. – A
“My favorite words are sparkles, glitter, and diamonds. I love rainbows and unicorns, too.” – B
As we were checking out a DVD at Hollywood Video, my daughter Arianna proudly announced to the cashier “This is the last time we’re getting a movie here! Now they come in the mail!” He responded with a smile “Netflix?” “Yeah.” I said somewhat sheepishly, “Thanks for spilling the beans Arianna.”
Walking into Target: “Why are those old people not wearing coats?” They’re greeters. – A
“Dear God. Help us to be cute all the time. I’m very lucky. I can sleep with Mr. Duck, Mr. Bear, and Mr. Rabbit…and purple blanket.” – Arianna
We were having Chinese food one night and Arianna’s prayer at the table went like this “I know this food looks silly God, but I think it will be good.”
Just before bed I was in a tender moment saying a prayer and blessing for Brielle with my face close to hers and my hand on here forehead. She says “Daddy, when you pray you smell stinky.” OK. Next time I think I’ll get a breath mint.
Here’s a demonstration of sisterly competition. Would you to say a prayer Brielle? “No. Did Arianna say a prayer?” Yes. “OK I will. Dear God. Help our food. Thank you for helping me do the monkey bars all by myself. Amen.”
“I’m going to catch the tooth fairy. I’ll stay up all night and watch.” – B
Brielle, you’re amazing. “I know.”
BIBLE AND THEOLOGY
Arianna reciting Scripture “The Lord is my shepherd…He makes me lie down in green passwords…Thy rod and thy snack they comfort me.” – A
“Jesus and God are everywhere. They don’t just stay home. Grandma is a lot farther away than Jesus.” – A
Upon hearing that heaven is a wonderful place. Brielle: “Does it have rides?” Arianna: “It’s even better than Minnesota!” I hope so.
“At gymnastics, Brielle is always cutting in line and going to the front. I don’t think that’s pleasing to God.” – A
We thought Brielle was saying “I love Jesus the best”. Turned out she was saying “I love Cheezits the best.”
Brielle said “God, make Arianna die.” Brenda scolded her “What? That’s not nice at all. We don’t say things like that. God would never want someone to die.” Not helping the situation I asked “What about the Noah’s flood?”
Brielle said we should play a game. OK. She starts: “Simon says open a present under the Christmas tree.” Good try girl.
The girls are always fighting about who gets to go first. One night it was about who got tucked into bed first. Arianna asked me directly “Did you do Brielle first?” I said “I did you both first. You’re the first girl in this bedroom and Brielle is the first girl in her bedroom.” It confused her enough she didn’t know what to say.
We got a parking spot close by at the health club… “This is the best day ever!” – Arianna
“I like this pillow a lot because it’s so squeezy.” – A
Who’s your best friend? “Everyone. I need to meet everyone in the world first so I can know them all.” – A
I was playing a food guessing game with the girls. I’d provide clues. They didn’t really connect that all the characteristics went together. It’s yellow. “Banana!” You put butter on it. “Bread!” You pop it. “Pop!” It’s green on the outside. “Apple!” Sorry, the correct answer is “Corn on the cob”. New game.
Arianna saw her shadow today…she said “That means summer is coming!”
Arianna: “When there’s a TOMATO warning we go in the basement.” … or look out for the pasta and meatballs.
First frost on the grass this morning in MN. I wake up to Arianna yelling “Daddy, It’s Christmas!”
It was super cold out. I told the girls today might not be the best day to play outside. The wind is blowing, it’s -40, and you can get frost bite. “But we can wear out boots!”
At orchestra hall concert hall. “Every chair has the ABCs.” – A
The girls got new swim goggles. They were so excited they wore them everywhere looking like they were in flight training.
We told the girls it was time to leave the swimming pool. Arianna said “but our lips are not purple yet!” You can’t argue with logic.
DOCTOR AND HEALTH
I explained a secret before Brielle went to the doctor for a shot. If you keep your arm relaxed like a noodle, it doesn’t hurt at all. There’s nothing to be afraid of. She was brave and successful because of the prep. “I wasn’t afraid daddy!” – B
Brielle comes downstairs coughing. “Daddy, I don’t feel good. Maybe strawberry milk would help.” I’m sure it would.
Not knowing the correct format of a knock knock joke Brielle says “Come in.” pretty much ends the funny.
I like Mikala (the babysitter) ’cause she has gum. – B
Who was George Washington? “He was a guy who made a building to make all the money.” – A
Mom came home from the hair stylist. “Mom’s hair looks as good as new!” – A
I was parallel parking the car so I asked Arianna to look out and see if my margin is OK with the car next to me. “I don’t hear any scratching.” That’s good.
Arianna asked “Can you read me a book?” while I was driving the car! I said it wouldn’t be safe since I was already texting, checking traffic, and combing my hair.
“Mommy, that’s the first thing we ever shared.”…deoderant.” – A
Brielle said “Daddy…I need to put an ornament under my arms.” I thought it was a strange place for Christmas cheer…finally I realized she was trying to say deoderant not ornament.
Arianna was messing with something in the car and I told her to just put it on her lap. She replied: “I can’t.” Why not? “Where’s my lap?” – A
My daughter is calling me “little buddy” and I kind of like it. Is that bad? I guess that makes her “the skipper”.
Here are a few of the movies we thought were worth mentioning that we saw in 2010 (not all released in 2010):
Despicable Me — Great message in a funny package. Shows how the heart of a hardened criminal can be changed by the lives of three young children. Favorite movie of the year.
Tangled — Just a fantastic adventure movie with lots of laughs. Favorite movie of the year.
Open Season 2 — Cute story about a dog that escapes the wild and then recaptured by his humans.
Planet 51 — Funny movie with a good message.
Case for a Creator — Documentary
The Case for Christ — Documentary
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale — Based on a true story from Japan of a dog that was extremely loyal to his master. Get ready to cry.
Julie & Julia — The story of Julia Childs and a woman that blogged through her cookbook in a year. Inspiring and entertaining with some views of France as well.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs — Fantastically funny and creative movie. Great message about pursuing your gifts and talents.
I Can Do Bad All By Myself — Serious message in a movie that makes you laugh, too. Lots of great music.
Jeff Allen: My Heart, My Comedy — Comedian Jeff Allen shares funny stuff about family and ends with a message that could save a few marriages.
The Blind Side — Inspiring story of a teen from a broken home that is adopted by an affluent couple and rises to play in the NFL.
Thou Shalt Laugh 1 — Very funny. A night of comedy for the family.
Thou Shalt Laugh 2 — Very funny. A night of comedy for the family.
Thou Shalt Laugh 3 — Very funny. A night of comedy for the family.
Thou Shalt Laugh 4 — Very funny. A night of comedy for the family.
How to Train Your Dragon — Incredible graphics and adventure in a gripping story that’s funny with meaning. How to train your dragon is the story of Hiccup, a young Viking boy who is the son of the king and doesn’t fit in with the others. After he invents a device that helps capture a dragon, he befriends it and learns new things about dragons that no one else knew.
Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue — A great fantasy film without the incredibly evil villains sometimes common in Disney movies. Cute, fun, and funny. When Tinkerbell gets captured by humans her friends set out on a quest to save her.
The Tooth Fairy — Funny movie with a message that we must believe and have imagination like kids do in order to achieve our dreams.
This weekend Jason Anderson from Eagle Brook Church provided a very practical message on parenting based on the words of Moses in the Bible. Even if you’re not a believer in the Bible or a follower of Jesus, anyone can learn from the wisdom presented in this book. Jason also shared ideas from the excellent book Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: Connect Your Family to a Wider Community by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof.
The basic premise presented was that people are creatures of habit with regular routines in our lives. We should leverage these routines by being intentional and consistent in building them to be positive times. We need to make sure the routines we establish are moving us in a good direction and communicate what we value and believe.
Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 6:5-7 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up.”
This suggests four routines we can take advantage of as parents with our families to help us reach our goals of a healthy family:
1. Eat meals together. (“When you sit at home.”)
Meal time is a great opportunity to talk and learn. The key is you need to be together and free from distractions. Turn off the TV and computer. Do not answer the phone. Concentrate on the moment. During this time parents can act as a FACILITATOR and move the conversation forward by asking questions that get at critical issues like “Any new friends? What are they like? What do you appreciate about our family? What can we do better? Where would you like to go on our next vacation?”
2. Travel together. (“When you walk along the road.”)
Often parents are the drivers carting their kids from one activity to the next. The time together in the car is valuable and should be used wisely. During this time parents can act as a COMPANION and friend. Take the opportunity to be one-on-one with your kids. In addition, taking an actual vacation together can be a very valuable bonding time for families.
3. Put them to bed. (“When you lie down.”)
Just before bed your kids are in a place of comfort and security. Take a moment to ask them how things are. During this time parents can act as a COUNSELOR. Talk through the feats. Then tuck them in, tell them that you love them, pray for them, and say good night with your blessing. It can be a very powerful time 365 days a year.
4. Get up in the morning.
Every day is a new day, a clean slate, and a chance to reset. Do your best to provide positive encouragment and inspiration to start each day off right. During this time parents can act as a COACH. You can do it!
Here are some products I’ve found to assist you with valuable conversations. They provide a little guidance to help make it fun and interesting to spend time together as a family.
TravelTalk Conversation Cards
TableTalk Conversation Cards
Kid Talk: Conversation Cards for the Entire Family
During these times with your kids be sure to listen and be open to hearing what they say. You can learn from them…even in their lack of wisdom and experience in comparison to you. It can give you a new perspective on things. Overall, if you increase the quantity of your quality time together as a family you can have a better life.