I was driving home with my son (Crash Kid #1) after a church event where we got to hear from a member of the 12 apostles (Elder Holland for those following along at home). It was almost 10 PM as we got home and I told my son that he’d turn into a pumpkin at 10 PM. He corrected me and said that you turned into a pumpkin at midnight, not 10. He then went on to share his feelings about Cinderella. Here’s more or less what he said:
What was Cinderella doing out so late? She had until midnight. She shouldn’t have stayed out so late and the party even went on for 3 more hours or something. (Side Note: My son usually goes to bed around 8 PM)
Glass slippers. Those weren’t very practical. Glass isn’t very strong and can’t hold much weight before it breaks. Plump Cinderella would likely break them. (Side Note: I’m not sure why he thinks Cinderella was plump. I always thought she was skinny.)
They didn’t do a good job on the prince either. He’s wearing overalls or something. Wait…you know those things that hold your pants up. Suspenders! They should have spent more time on him. Those weren’t the right style then. (Side Note: I didn’t realize he knew Cinderella period styling)
Kids can be so awesome. Tonight was awesome with my son. When he said his evening prayers he prayed “I hope we can do a night like this again.” Can you give me an “Amen!”?
I’m about 6 hours into an 8 hour bus ride with a bunch of fifth graders. I can definitively answer that I’m smarter than a fifth grader.
To be honest, they really haven’t been that bad. However, I don’t like travelling at all and so 8 hours in a bus of any kind would not fit on my category of fun.
Of course, it’s all worth it since it’s for my son. He’s having a good time and that’s what matters. It’s interesting to watch the interactions on 5th graders. There’s a wide maturity level gap between most of the kids.
Well, here goes. Someone emailed me to have fun on my “vacation”. I’m not sure I’d classify this as vacation. At least not how I’d plan a vacation on the California shore. However, we’ll make the most of it and have as much fun as possible.
As most of you who follow me on social media know, my wife left me (again) for Women’s Conference. I think this is the third year in a row that she’s made her annual trek to the mecca of women known as Women’s Conference. I say that only somewhat facetiously. I really love that she goes, but this year the timing was terrible since I’m planning a conference that is happening next week. Such is life. I want her to go to it and so I sucked it up and just dealt with 4 kids, my regular work, and a conference I’m organizing next week (I didn’t mention science camp the week after and then Dubai less than a week after that). Hopefully my complaining hasn’t been too distracting for my wife to enjoy Women’s Conference.
Today I finally broke down and decided we were going out. I told my kids I had a surprise Friday evening. That basically meant I had to do it. I’d been sent a gift card to go and check out the latest Chuck E. Cheese decoder glasses and so I thought what better way to celebrate with the kids while the wife is away? For about 2 hours my kids were dancing around the house talking about going to Chuck E. Cheese, playing the Chuck E. Cheese mobile game, Skate Universe, so they could rack up ticket before we even got there. I may have slipped in a game or two myself and it’s a lot of fun. Plus, we were able to get 480 tickets just from playing the game.
Of course, my favorite part was when Crash Kid #4 (2 years old) came up to me and said, “Dad, Chuck Cheez. Pizza!” I loved how excited he was and was surprised that he knew that we were going for pizza. Isn’t it amazing what kids pick up?
I’ll admit that I was a bit nervous to take 4 kids to Chuck E. Cheese on my own. I thought maybe it would be a disaster. However, after hearing Crash Kid #4 being so cute, how could I stop? Plus, I figured they had someone manning the door at Chuck E. Cheese, so what’s the worst that could happen?
We kept it simple and ordered one of their value meals with pizza, drinks and tokens. I did upgrade the pizza to the family size (might have been a mistake since I ate too much pizza) and the cinnamon bread sticks. Both might have been bad choices for my diet. The kids liked them.
As part of the value meal, each kid got a pair of decoder glasses, an instant win game, and a puzzle. Because of the decoder glasses, I didn’t give the kids any of the tokens until after we’d gotten the pizza and eaten it. Instead of eating up all of the tokens before even eating, the kids were running all over the place looking for the clues that could only be seen with the decoder glasses.
I thought it would be pretty easy and obvious to find the clues. I was wrong. It was pretty hard since there’s lights and movement going on everywhere at Chuck E. Cheese. I wish they’d shown a sample of what you were looking for at the front, because once we’d found one then we could more easily find the others. It still wasn’t easy, but it made it doable. I wonder how often they’ll switch up the clues and puzzle since now we already know the answer and locations.
The kids liked sporting the glasses. This was them right after they found the last clue (I was proud they figured out what the last clue would say before they even found it, but I made them find it anyway):
Once we’d found all the clues, each kid got 50 more tickets for doing the decoder game. I think we ended up with 900 tickets. Not bad! Each kid walked away with a couple little prizes (see pictures below):
Turns out Chuck E. Cheese was great for me do go with all the kids alone. I had a good time. They had a good time. I didn’t have to cook dinner. The perfect way to celebrate Crash Mom being gone. Although, I’m ready for her to be home. We can have fun without her, but it’s not the same.
Last night Chuck E. Cheese’s invited a number of Las Vegas bloggers to come and try out their new menu. When I saw the invite I jumped at the chance. One of my favorite childhood memories is going to Chuck E. Cheese’s. It was the place I always wanted to go for my birthday and so I often did. So, I have some really nostalgic, fond memories of the place as a child.
Of course, with 4 Crash Kids now, we’ve spent a lot of time there as well. Turns out that I love going there as an adult nearly as much as I love it as a kid. The Crash Mom might argue that I am still a kid, but that’s a topic for another blog post. As a parent one of the best features is the person standing at the door so you can just let your kids run around and have fun without worrying if they’re going to “escape.”
The other 3 Crash Kids were busy with other activities tonight, so it was cool to just have some one on one time with myself and Crash Kid #3. Plus, one on one he is absolutely hilarious. He wouldn’t stop talking. In fact, he was telling our host all about his strategy for using his tokens to get as many tickets as possible. I think he gets all this talking from Crash Mom.
I did my best to get a good sample of the new menu, but there were a lot of changes including: a thin and crispy crust option, a Cali Alfredo and BBQ Chicken pizza, a Caesar and Club wrap, chicken wings and breadsticks, and Crash Kid #3’s favorite Dessert churros and cinnamon sticks. I was a little surprised by the wraps since I’d always seen Chuck E. Cheese’s as a pizza place. Although, I’m sure many will enjoy this added variety.
Personally I loved the soft parmesan breadsticks. They were a great pair for the pizza. What’s interesting is that I would have never had the dessert options if I didn’t attend this event. When we go, we always grab one of the coupons or buy one of their packages and the dessert is never included in the package. Now I wish that the dessert came in the package so we’d just get it as part of the overall purchase.
After we stuffed ourselves with the new menu, Crash Kid #3 had 20 more tokens (Yes, he counted). You’d think he’d want to make his way around and play a bunch of games. Maybe throw some balls or use them in the game that eats your tokens and churns out tickets. Nope. He fell in love with this fish game where you shoot a crossbow and get tickets for collecting 80 pounds of fish. So, he learned that he could put all 20 tokens in the game and just shoot away. He was nice enough to trade off with me and I did catch at least 4 sharks (which is the hard one to get), but Crash Kid #3 got the 40 ticket jelly fish. Check out his focus when playing the game:
However, this series of pictures of Micah playing skee ball (before he found the fish game) is awesome too. Is there anything better than seeing your child happy?
Actually, there might be something better. As part of the blogger event, they gave me a guest pass to give away to a lucky reader of the blog. It will give you 1 large pizza, 4 soft drinks, and 30 game tokens at Chuck E. Cheese’s. All you have to do is say something funny, interesting, insightful, crazy, or fun in the comments or on Twitter (@techguy) and I’ll choose someone in a totally non-random and bias way.