Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why my husband is cooler than yours

Today was my husband's birthday. He turned 45 today. Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Survivor 2010

More importantly (to him), today was the 6th (? maybe more) annual Survivor Jr. games, a day of Survivor-style (and, this year, Minute to Win It-esque) competitions for the kids in our family. He puts a lot of research and planning into this day, and it shows. The kids have a blast. They talk about it throughout the year. My 12-year old niece was so excited about it that she planned to go to bed early last night (didn't actually DO so, but planned to).

Survivor 2010
It's not easy keeping this nutty crew moving in the same direction, but somehow he manages.

Now, in Survivor the contestants get voted off, and we tried this in the beginning, but since the goal of the day is for the kids to have a fun, active day the whole voting off thing kind of works at crosspurposes. Plus there are all kinds of hurt feelings and complaining. Bleh. So instead, our Survivor works on a point system. All of the contestants are paired up with someone of approximate size/skill, and then those pairs are always separate. Teams are randomly chosen for each event, and each person on the winning team for an event gets a point. The kid with the most points "wins", but it's really just bragging rights.

Survivor 2010
Back row: nephew J, me, son N. Front row: Nephew A, niece T, son J.

Survivor 2010
Back row: niece MJ, son D, D's girlfriend A, nephew R, niece ML. Front: nephew N.

Since we're trying to get three families and about 10 kids together for the day, scheduling is always a nightmare. We'd like to have it earlier in the summer, but somehow it never works out that way. So of course, after all the planning and anticipation for the event, it was raining when we woke up. And had been raining all night. My father-in-law's volleyball court and yard were a soggy mess.

Survivor 2010
Who needs toys? Or playgrounds? Or sun?

Luckily (I guess), we've encountered this kind of thing before. And before. And what we've found is that, as long as the weather isn't dangerous, it's not going to kill anyone to get wet (at least, not immediately), and sometimes it's even more fun in the rain. Rather than get upset, we just thought about how we could set up to account for the rain...and then the fun was on!

We have some great video, which is going to have to wait, but here are the events of the day:

1. You've lost your marbles

Teams take turns throwing footballs onto a giant "marble" board to knock the marbles out of the circle.

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

2. Tic-tac-toe

Like the game, but you have to bounce a ping pong ball into a cup of water. Harder than you'd think. Maybe I should have played more beer pong in college. Or any.

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

3. Cup Stacking

Teams get 5 minutes to stack the cups as high as they can without them falling. Don't ask why we have so many QT cups, but at least we're practicing the "reuse" portion of the three R's.

Survivor 2010
Their cup stack kept falling over.

Survivor 2010
But so did ours.

Survivor 2010
But not as much as theirs, so we won. :)

4. In the Bag

Teams have to collect a series of paper bags, picking them up and carrying them back to the start without their hands. The bags ranged from 17" tall to 7" tall.

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

5. Balloon Pop

The team with the last person whose balloon remains unpopped wins.

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

6. Face the Cookie

Move a cookie from your forehead to your mouth using only your face. Hilarious.

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010


Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010
The thrill of victory...

Survivor 2010 Survivor 2010
Survivor 2010 Survivor 2010
...and the agony of defeat. Oh, well, that's the way the cookie crumbles. :)

7. Shake It

Team members take turns trying to shake 5 ping pong balls from a kleenex box tied to their waist. First team with all members finished wins.

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010


8. Lid toss

30 seconds to toss as many lids into a bucket in the middle of the circle as possible.

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

9. Blindfold bottle hunt

Callers direct their blindfolded teammates to find the right color of bottles and return them all to the start.

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

10. Elephant March

Knock over a series of cups using only your "trunk" (baseball inside of pantyhose)

Survivor 2010
Longest. Pantyhose. Ever.

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010
My "helpers" put the empty leg over my head, which made it nearly impossible to swing the trunk.

11. Dress-up Relay

My one contribution to the event ideas, the dress-up relay requires each successive runner to put on an additional item of clothing.

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010
Those red hat ladies are waaaay too tame for me.

Survivor 2010
He looks like a deranged superhero.

Survivor 2010
Oven mitts, wig, tie, glasses. Sweet.

Survivor 2010
I get by with a little help from my...teammates.
Lifting up T to pull the pants onto her.

12. Pedometer shuffle

A pedometer is worn on one arm and one leg. Pairs face off to see how many steps they can register on the pedometer in 20 seconds. Turns out, quite a few.

Survivor 2010

Survivor 2010
And that 20 seconds will WEAR YOU OUT.

By the end of the day, we were ALL worn out. Everyone had a great time, and I loved getting to "play" this year. (It's more or less pretty much for the kids, but we needed someone to even out the teams since D's girlfriend joined us. They didn't have to twist my arm much. Or at all. :D)

Survivor 2010

One more successful Survivor, family style, is in the bag...and he'll probably start planning for next year's tomorrow.

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