Sunday, December 08, 2013

Making Memories: Christmas Elves

We've been invaded. Maybe infested.

It started on the first of December. We woke up to see this on our table.

The little green ribbons each had a line of a silly elf song. When Sweetling had put the ribbons in the correct order, they sang...
We are Christmas elves,
And our jolly selves...
The days we'll count down
Till Christmas comes round,
O, We are Christmas elves.

Behind the elves was a folder with the following transcript....

The Great Assembly convened at half-past Cookie o'clock on Counting Eve. Four hoondred and twizzenty elves are in attendance. Insufficient sprinkles and party hats led to procedural delays, but emergency pixie stick rations have been distributed and the Czar has taken the podium.

The Czar of Twinkling Toes (CoTT): All rise and dance. The Assembly recognizes the Right and Mischievous Count Von Marshmallow (CVM) in today's proceedings.

Sales, commercials and waaaaay too dry fruitcake,
Do not a holiday make.
Where's all the MAGIC? The LOVE, the FUN?!
We're talking CHRISTMAS, for heaven's sake!

We need JOLLY, and SPARKLES and...
All elves lean in
ANTICIPATION! To grace just one family's dwelling.
Once we do our part, the cheer will do its...
Joy will spread far beyond quelling!

CoTT: Let the record show that the Right and Mischievous Count Von Marshmallow has not made a motion. Count, Assembly Law requires that you either put forth a motion at this time or cede your rhyme.

CVM does the electric slide.

CoTT: Thank you, Count. Please continue.

CVM: My jabber is just, and my solution is simple,
I've even found the right family's home!
I've searched the Earth over--you can trust this dimple--
Their imaginations are like fertile loam.

We'll send a contingent, we have 25 days,
to inspire and scheme and make messes!
We'll travel tonight; there will be no more delays,
We'll return with tales and successes!

CoTT: Do we have a second for the Count's proposition?
Dr. Peppermint jingles her bell.
CoTT: Thank you, Dr. Peppermint. The Assembly will now vote. All in favor, jingle.
The room erupts in jingle bells.
All opposed, cough out snide remarks.
The hall is silent.

CoTT: Let the record show the proposition has been approved unanimously! Operation Countdown will be implemented immediately. Wee elves are on the cake!
Dr. Peppermint: Please let the record show that the Czar meant 'case.'
CoTT: What? Why would we want a case? Is there a cake _inside_ the case?
Dr. Peppermint: ...No?
CoTT: What? There's no cake? You mean the case is filled with solid...frosting?! My fellow fae, this is--
Inaudible. Inaudible. The crowd is too raucous. The Assembly is dismissed and a search ensues for the case of frosting.

We weren't quite sure what to make of the elves at first. And perhaps, the elves weren't quite sure what to make of us, or perhaps they were a little shy. At any rate, they just sat on the table all day on Sunday. Other than having to brush off a few sparkly sequins that they had spread all over the table, no one in our family took much note of the elves.

The next morning, we woke up to find that the elves had left this on our bathroom mirror.

Sweetling brought me the report. She also told me that the elves had, fortunately, used the vis-a-vis markers. Otherwise, said she, the elves might be in big trouble.
The next morning, Toa of Boy woke up and immediately asked where the elves were. I told him that he should eat his breakfast before he looked for them. He would have, except that there were no plates in the cupboard. Instead there were these three signs.
I began to worry that perhaps our elves had a bit of Nac Mac Feegle in their ancestry.

Fortunately, the elves were found not too far away in the pantry, where they had assembled a sweet surprise.
We had powdered sugar donuts for our morning snack at 10.

The next night, the elves pulled the penguins into their fun.

Toa of Boy had a few comments to make about the elves' spelling skills.

The next morning, we learned their understanding of printed game rules didn't seem to be much better. Said Sweetling, "I don't think the elves know what game they are playing."
You can just glimpse the Uno cards marking 20 more days in the background. The 2 is upside down.

They can nail a candy cane trapeze though.

Chess and flux might be beyond the elves, but they proved proficient with the Wii. They left an 18 in the case with the Wii disc. Sweetling discovered it when she and Toa very kindly put the Wii-motes away and cleaned up after the elves.

It isn't all overnight tricks either. If you don't watch these little guys like a hawk, they sneak off during the day for more play.

And sometimes, we think they might sneak off for black-ops missions.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Making Memories: Homemade Whoknew?

Cranium has a great game (one of their manys) called Whoonu. But, truth to be told, we prefer our homebrewed version of the game. Here's how it works.

Materials needed:
  • creativity
  • index cards
  • pencils
  • scrap paper for score keeping

First, you need to cut a bunch of 3x5 index cards into halves or fourths or something. Basically you need several small cards for each person to write on. (Say 8-15 cards per person depending on how many players you have and how many rounds you want to play).

Second, you distribute an equal number of cards to each person. Each person also needs a pencil.

Third, each person writes one specific thing that people might like on each card. (If your index cards are lined on one side, write on the lined side). The more specific the better, so as to avoid duplicates. So, "Graeter's double chocolate chip ice cream" is a better bet than "ice cream". These can be nouns, activities, whatever. Players need to complete this step without discussing or comparing what they write on their cards. Print neatly so that others can read your card easily.

Fourth, all the cards are placed face down on the table and shuffled. (Given the nature of the card quality, just put them in a pile and mix them up a bit. Think back to your "Go Fish" days when your five year old hands were too clumsy to shuffle cards correctly.) After they are shuffled, the cards can be neatly stacked.

Fifth, each player is dealt four cards. It's perfectly all right to get some of the cards you wrote. That won't matter during game play.

Now....actual game play progresses as follows.

One player is chosen to go first. You can go with the youngest or the oldest or the player whose birthday is next or roll a dice or whatever. That player is the first "judge".

All other players pick ONE card from their hands that they think the judge will really like. They lay their cards face down in front of the judge. The judge mixes up the cards and then turns them face up and reads them all aloud.

The judge then puts them in order from the card they like best to the card they like least. This can be a difficult process and the judge is encouraged to think it through out loud. Other players can contribute suggestions and try to sway the judge's opinions as long as they do not reveal which card they laid down.

Once the judge has ranked the cards, the cards are scored. For a game with 6 players you score 10 points for the favorite, 7 for the second favorite, 5 for the next one, 3 points, and then 1 point for the least favorite. (You can adjust the scale for more or fewer players as needed. Make the favorite worth 12 points or take off the 1 point score or whatever. But each player should be able to get a score each round.)

Once the cards have been scored, the players claim the cards they laid down, and their scores are recorded on the score sheet. REMEMBER, the players get the scores of the cards they played, regardless of who the author of the card was!

All players draw another card to have four cards in their hands. The player to the judge's left becomes the new judge.

Play continues until all the cards are gone or until the majority of the players vote the game over. We've never run into that as a problem. In fact, we sometimes play till all the cards are gone....then go cut up another bunch of index cards.

Sweetling and Toa of Boy played the homebrewed Whoknew? with their cousins the day after Thanksgiving. I found the stack of cards they made and have to share them.

  • Being the all powerful super sugary epic insanity merican of taco incorperations EVERYWHERE
  • DoctorWho
  • Slippery Ducks
  • Nyan Cat
  • The M.r fluffy friend.
  • Minecraft PVP
  • Pecawn PIEE
  • orange
  • Jumpropes
  • Hobbits
  • Hungers Deens
  • Girfar Jiggle Stand
  • DerpDerp Day
  • being a ninja
  • Phineas and Ferb
  • one direction
  • freddy
  • Charades
  • dry ice & soap
  • Gravity Falls
  • bubble gum
  • Cookie Clicker
  • hump day
  • Smokey the Bear
  • singing
  • children
  • otters
  • Pokemon
  • creepers
  • Beagles
  • PoP music