Sunday, July 10, 2016

Oh, the Games We Play

We are a game playing family. Always have been. We turn everything in to some sort of contest, challenge or game. 

Last Christmas, I proposed a challenge to the family. Each one received a 50 states coin book. The challenge was to have it filled by vacation. Of course, all challenges include some sort of prize. I told them that the prize could only be won by one person and could not be shared. Off they went. 

I reminded everyone about a week before our vacation. That caused a frantic search for the missing quarters. I even lugged---and I do mean "lug"---everyone's poker money to the beach (it was really heavy and we never even played poker!). When those who had not completed the challenge went through their quarters, there was quite a bit of trading and bargaining going on. In fact, Greg paid Mitchell $2.00 for the final quarter he needed to fill his book!!

There were only 3 of us---Greg, Butch and I---who had our book full. 
We took a picture of our books so we didn't have to take them with us---two less things to cram in the car. 

The original plan was to put all the names in a hat of those who filled their book. Since it was only 3 of us, we decided to add another level of excitement to the game. We 3 got our names in the hat 4 times and let all the "losers" have their name in the hat once. Then, we even took that to another level. The first name drawn would not be the winner---but the very last name to remain! Turns out Jordan won. Her prize was---for our entire vacation, she would not have to do any work and could get everyone else to wait on her. So, if we were at the beach and she wanted a snack, she could tell someone to get it for her. She was good natured about the whole thing and didn't even take advantage of her win. She even did her fair share of the work! She didn't feel like she had really won anyway!

The games continued from there. One day, Elizabeth asked me if I wanted to play FanTan with her. It's a fun card game, but usually better with more players. She wanted to "up the ante" by playing for nickels rather than pennies. We only had time for one game. I won 40 cents from her!

Our first family game was a new one for us. I found a game called "Play that Tune." It came with 4 kazoos and is to be played in teams. Well, the idea of us all using the same kazoos sort of grossed me out. So, I bought another dozen from Oriental Trading Company. Each person kept theirs for the week. I'll be washing them before putting the game away! 

Anyway, we divided in to teams. You draw a card with 3 songs on it. You get to choose which song you want to play with points allotted based upon the difficulty.  You get one minute. OMGosh! It was hilarious! Butch and I were terrible at it. He didn't quite understand the cards thinking that the bottom line was the artist. As a result, he got "The Wheels on the Bus" and thought it was "The Wheels" by The Bus. He kept saying, "I've never heard of this group!" We all rolled! As for me, I can usually carry a tune. But in this game, it's really hard because most of the time when you are on your own, you can only think of the chorus. I got "Beat It" and could only think of the chorus. Now if it was a children's song, I could do the whole thing---like "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean"! Plus, it didn't help that I came after Butch and couldn't get what he did out of my mind. Every song I tried sounded very much like the one he just did. 
Nicky was the best. Here he is trying to block out the crowd noise and concentrate on what he was going to do.
Then, after each song, he would play it for us. He really got attached to his kazoo! I see lessons in his future!
Mitchell refused to be photographed!

It's amazing how fast we went through all of the cards. So, we made up our own songs and did it just like charades. Each team thought up songs for the other team. We always keep it fun and simple.
We played many of our family favorites too. Sandy brought "Catch Phrase" and "Taboo." Both are great games for a crowd.
They don't take a lot of equipment and you can just sit in a big circle.

Notice all the phones? There's no getting away from that these days. Elizabeth takes a lot of "selfies!" The phones were put aside while we were playing.

And then there was the geo-caching. If you've never heard of it, think of it as global treasure hunting.  There are caches all over the world. We adults went early one morning due to the heat. That left out the young adults as they wanted their sleep. We found several caches---none terribly interesting, but still fun with the gang.

One night, we waited until after dark to do a couple of nighttime caches with the whole family. We piled in to 2 cars and traveled down some dark, deserted roads. Even Butch who is "the king" of geo-caching, had never done a night cache. This one was down a bumpy dirt road. Butch wasn't sure we were going in the right direction. We finally found the place. 
Jordan posted this picture on Instagram---"My family took me to a pet cemetery!" 

Butch read the story about an evil dog named Demon who killed people by ripping their throats out in order to protect his "old lady" master who people thought was a witch. There were a few other gory details. Elizabeth didn't want to do it. Jordan was a little freaked out and said we were being disrespectful by walking on the graves. That's when Butch told everyone that it wasn't a real pet cemetery. It was all fake, but it was pretty cute---if you can call a cemetery cute. There were dog collars hanging off graves, hats and even a favorite mouse toy on the grave of a cat. Someone went to a lot of trouble to set this up.

We followed the clues, but couldn't find it. We were supposed to look for some white dots that glowed. We couldn't find those either. It was a shame because it was supposed to be something interactive. Most likely, something might have jumped out at us! Plus, we didn't really think it through. We needed tennis shoes and bug spray! Oh well, we'll try it again the next time we go down.

And then, our final game of the trip---trying to guess the exact minute we'll get home. It was exactly 3:05 p.m. when we all submitted our guesses. Stephanie said 3:50. Nicky said 3:51 and Jordan said 3:49. You gotta hate that when someone blocks you out! Just like on the "Price is Right!" I guessed 3:44 with Butch blocking me out at 3:45!
 Next step---you have to cover the clock.
This way, no one can see what the actual time is until we get there. Towards the end, the napkin blew off. I said that Butch would either speed up or slow down to win. Since there was no prize involved he wasn't about to sacrifice getting home to win!

Oh the games we play. Sure does keep it interesting and fun! I'm not quite sure what we'd do if we didn't play games. 

Let me know of your favorite family games. I'm always in the market for a new one!


  1. Sounds like so much FUN! We play games - mostly card games on trips, Phase 10 & Skipbo & Uno. Robbie & I together play Canasta, but typically not with others.

  2. You are a game playing family - sounded like great fun. I remember once at our office kazoos were brought out for some occasion and it was amazing to see how a few of my coworkers were natural musicians on even that instrument. Our family is currently consumed by Pokemon go, and I know one thing for certain is that I'll be the first one opting out! My children inherited their Dad's competitive streak though.

  3. That is pretty cool thing to do as a family. The coin folders was such a great idea.


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