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About Sk8ermaiden

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee

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  1. What's crazy is this one took me totally by surprise. I did get a severe weather warning from the county, but I get those weekly. I didn't hear any warning that this was going to be worse than a week of summer thunderstorms until around the same time friends in Sugarland were reporting being stranded. It's crazy. We didn't get much worse than a normal storm in Copperfield. I'm hoping it calms down for the rest of the week and the storms move away.
  2. I use utilize in specific instances - both I think have been mentioned. Using a tool for a purpose different than it was intended, and to remind someone to use a tool they might not normally think of. Like I would never say, "Utilize your pencil to take your test." But I would say, "Remember to utilize the 3-D printer and the soldering iron while we have access to the makerspace."
  3. Oh I also used to always use a double high air mattress, but I have had the WORST luck having to continually replace them. So I sprang for the Thermarest MondoKing, and it is very good!
  4. We love to tent camp, but are definitely car campers! We camp approx. 6 times a year - nowadays 2-3 of those are with the girl scouts. We tend to camp in Texas state parks. This August/September we are taking a giant road trip through the national parks, and camping for two weeks through Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Tetons. We camp because those are the times I feel like I am doing parenting right. As we drive home and the kids are exhausted, filthy, and covered in bug bites, begging to stay at the state park and live there, I feel like this is one aspect of parenting that I am winning. I'm on a hunt for a new tent. Mine is enormous. I tried an instant tent which was absolutely brilliant, but with cheap and shoddy execution. I'd love to see a camping name brand make one. There are quick set tents from the major brands, but they're all larger than I want this go-round. I need to pick quick - next trip is in 2 weeks! We also got a couple kayaks and that is awesome.
  5. We were fans of the buffet on Royal Caribbean. It is so much easier for me as a mom of younger kids than policing their behavior every second in a "proper" sit down dinner. Our first RC, B was only 2 and we did buffet every night except formal night. The second RC cruise he was 4 and we did main dining a lot more, and tried to make it for lunch if we weren't going to do dinner. The buffet had a whole island of Indian dishes EVERY night. I was in heaven. Indian costs a fortune at restaurants here and we don't get to have it very often. At least twice a cruise they would have a chef making fresh sushi and sashimi on demand and my husband was in heaven. He said it was excellent. A few nights they would have the chef making made-to-order crepes at that station. We are pretty big fans of the buffet, especially with kids.
  6. Balcony vs. not is really about your vacation preferences. If you book a cruise that is mostly port days, OR you know you are a gogogo-type person who will be in the limbo line and at the piano bar all day, book the inside. If you plan to do a whole lot of nothing or want to drink coffee and watch the waves go by, get a balcony. I have done both. For us, cruise entertainment offerings are not that appealing, so the balcony kind of makes the whole thing worthwhile. I'll stick to cheaper cruises where we can afford the balcony rather than an more expensive cruise where we can not. The one exception would be if we did Disney again, which we probably won't ever because they've more than quadrupled their prices for insides since the one time we sailed them in 2012. For that price I'd go to the Galapagos or Alaska instead and I'd do an inside if it got me to an extraordinary destination like that!
  7. So 4 of my 5 purchases from Amazon's game sale have come in and we have played them all. Outfoxed! Is the clear winner. I was on a serious hunt for games my 5 year old could play, that didn't suck. Not only can he do every aspect of this game by himself, it's fairly quick, and miraculously my 9 year old really enjoys it too. I can't explain exactly why we love it so much (though the fact that it's a pleasant experience with my 5 year old, AND a is cooperative game play a large part.) We are VERY silly though. We feign distress when it appears the fox will beat us. My 5 year old plays bad cop with whoever our lead suspect is. When the previous round's villain is cleared this time, we commend him for turning his life around. Whatever it is, the kids beg to play over and over.
  8. My husband hated easter grass, He would curse it for months after. I switched to grabbing whatever pretty fabric was handy and putting it in the bottom.
  9. I agree with the poster who said, this isn't "still going on." To your brothers this is long dead and buried. I also know, both from experience, and from many years on forums on the internet, that it is really, really really common for spouses to think that their husband/wife should reconcile with their estranged parent or else they'll regret it. Like near 100%. They're not right, and usually do a lot of damage trying to push the spouse to reconcile before they either give up or realize how wrong they are. My husband knew me better than anyone on earth and he thought I should let my dad back in our lives. He was wrong. 🤷‍♂️
  10. We love Trekking the National Parks. Normally I'm too cheap to pay retail for pricey games, but we're road tripping the national parks this summer and I'm trying to hype it. The adults really like it, the kids really like it. The 5 and 6 year olds play with adult partners and it's a little slow for them, but they hang in there. In my opinion this is not a learn as you go game. Read the whole instruction book ahead. I did, and my 9-year-old did, and we were able to guide everyone seamlessly though the first few games. If you ever get a chance to buy or play Destruct 3, it's quite unique and a lot of fun. You build the little tower in the middle any way you want and then you roll to determine which mode of destruction you will use. You want the pieces to land in a certain area, not to close and not too far, so you always have to worry about speed and angle of launch.
  11. Johanna England Chavez. We love her novel studies!
  12. Singapore Earlybird B Explode the Code 1 - 4 I think I'll start him off with an ancient history unit on Egypt like I did for E. We do some subjects combined with friends: Bravewriter Mystery Science
  13. Those look awesome! They have 4 of our parks. My friend's 6 year old will really like looking at these because he's a huge wild animal lover. Those look so cool; we can play them with our friends that are coming with us. The first one will help with geography too.
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