Monday, May 20, 2013

Come on down!

I serve on my ward's RS meeting committee, and our most recent activity was all about becoming more self-reliant and spending our money wisely. We had people make presentations about couponing, smart shopping, and organization, and then I got to host the last segment. I say host because my part of the presentation consisted of playing games from The Price Is Right!

To make things fun I had the theme music play as I called contestants up, and I even made a skinny black microphone, just like Bob Barker always used:

The first game was Pick A Pair, which doesn't entail much. You have 6 items, made up of three pairs that cost the same amount. All the contestant has to do to win is correctly pick a pair, but I went a step further and had them try and pair up all three. Contestant # 1 knocked it out of the park.

For all the items I used little boxes as display stands, which looked something like this:

I taped up the box flaps with the prices behind them, so all I had to do was cut the tape for a dramatic reveal.

The second game was Punch-A-Bunch. I picked this one because I already have a small reusable punch board I made for a Primary lesson. All I had to do was switch out the tissue paper and add some dollar signs:

For this game Contestant #2 had to look at 4 items and tell me whether they were priced too high or too low. For every correct answer she got to punch a hole in the punch board, behind which cash prizes awaited. This was a very low-budget affair and the cash prizes were coming out of my spare change collection, so I priced them between 5 cents and 5 dollars. Luckily for me Contestant #2 got greedy, passed on getting $2, and ended up with 5 cents.

The best game I saved for last. Perhaps you remember a certain TPIR game called Cliffhangers, which debuted in 1976? Well, here's my miniature version, complete with a tiny yodeler who moves up and down the mountain:

Contestant #3 had to price three items, and for every ten cents she was off  the yodeler climbed higher and higher up the mountain to the yodeling song from the show. Luckily she didn't go over, because my yodeler is on a string loop, meaning I couldn't make him fall off the mountain if I tried. Even so, I'm very proud I was able to build a miniature version of the game.

Here's the yodeler up close:

And here you can see the backside of the game, and how I had to weigh the yodeler down with pennies to keep him from flipping over to the front:

He moves on a string that runs through three metal loops, so all I have to do is pull and up he goes. 

Perhaps the best part of the night was after the activity when I was putting everything away, and a few sisters came up and said how much fun they'd had. One of the sisters in particular is newer in the ward, so we don't know much about each other, and our conversation went like this:

her: That's so neat that you made the game from the show.

me: Well, I had a lot of fun building it. It isn't good for much outside of playing Cliffhangers, but I promised Optimistic. he could play with it when I got home, so he's excited about that.

her: And how old is he?

me: Ummm...thirty.

her: Oh, I thought he was your little boy!

me: No, he's just a fan of game shows. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

How I Spend My Wednesday Afternoons

As you may or may not know, Optimistic. and I are Cub Scout den leaders, which means we spend an hour every Wednesday trying to teach things to squirrely eight-year-olds. We've done a lot of fun things recently (learning how to hammer nails, building a birdhouse, making our own Chia heads), and the boys are most of the way done earning their Wolf, but they still have a handful of incredibly boring things to pass off. To help the medicine go down a little easier, we try to turn everything into a game.

Yesterday our meeting centered around how to interact with strangers and what to do in different emergency situations. What do you do when a stranger comes to the door, what do you do when a stranger calls on the phone, who do you call in case of an emergency? Stuff like that. To make a game out of it, we played "Stump the Boy Left Home Alone." Basically we had the boys take turns pretending the door to the primary room was their front door, and the rest of us would knock on the door and try to convince the boy to let us in for some reason or another. I was worried that the boys might not be able to come up with compelling reasons to be let in, so I gave them a few ideas of people to pretend to be, like a policeman, or a new neighbor, or a meter reader. I needn't have worried. On the first go-around Boy #1 answered the door, and Boy #2, without so much as a preliminary hello, hit him in the face and then said "Oh, let me come in and give you an ice pack." I have to admit, I thought that was pretty creative. Another boy simply refused to answer the door, which I thought was a wise tactic, until he made the mistake of coming up to the window in the door where we could see him and yelling "I'm not home!"

After that we practiced answering the phone, making sure to impress upon the boys the importance of  etiquette and personal safety. The phrases "They can't come to the phone right now, can I take a message?" and "May I ask who's calling?" were the two biggies, as we wanted to stress that a) it isn't safe to reveal that you're home alone, and b) you should always find out who's on the other end of the line. Optimistic. managed to trip up the first boy, who never asked who was calling and managed to reveal that his parents weren't home. The second boy failed on etiquette and paused when asked if his parents were home, but managed to demand "who's this?" and take down a pretend message.

Things only got better when we practiced emergency phone calls (the idea being that the boys should be able to calmly answer a 911 operator's questions during an emergency). As a fake 911 operator I received a call from one of the boys calling about a fire. He said he was a man inside a burning house. When I told him to get outside and wait for the fire department, he told me he had no legs. I asked if there was anyone else in the house with him, and was told that there was no one but his pet horse. When asked why he didn't ride his pet horse to safety, he responded that without his legs he wasn't tall enough to mount the horse. At that point I gave in and asked why he kept a pet horse if he couldn't ride it. In the end I needlessly advised him to stay low to the ground (no legs, remember?) and assured him that the fire department would be there soon.

It's a frustrating calling to have at times, but mostly it's just really really amusing.

Monday, March 04, 2013

"Must be the hormones."

Yesterday I went to open a banana and the top tore right off. Either this was a particularly brittle banana or I don't know my own strength. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In the family way

For those who haven't heard, we're expecting a baby at the end of August. Today, Valentine's Day, is the end of my first trimester. Yes, we are excited. No, I will not be posting any baby bump pictures or ultrasounds. I will, however, suggest you watch these two gems to fully celebrate this momentous announcement:


Lastly, all future baby-related posts will appear on our new blog, Check it out.