Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Built to Amaze -- Another Fun Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Show!

Last night's Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's show, Built to Amaze, was downright amazing.  I loved the construction costumes the dancers wore and thought the traffic cone stilt walkers were fantastic.

All of the Ringling shows start with a pre-access show that runs an hour before showtime. Everyone can go down onto the arena floor and interact with performers.  At least 2 performers are doing a mini-act at any time and there are opportunities to have your picture taken with clowns and even try on some costumes!  It's always very popular, and last night was no exception.

Once the show started (right on time!  I love it when things happen on time!) it was exciting and fun.  One thing that always amazes me is how they are experts at distraction.  You are always so engrossed in the performing act, that you don't notice them setting up for the next act in the darkness.

All 3 of my kids had a good time, as well as me and hubby.  We always choose our favorite acts in the car ride home.  This year, Lydia loved the act with the trained poodles and the lead clowns.  Nate enjoyed the Steel Vortex the most during this show. (2 large steel wheels that peformers spin around and climb in and out of!)  Colin said that he liked the trampoline act the most.  Bo loved the high wire act. My favorite act were the gymnasts that swung from long ribbons hanging from the ceiling.  And, I couldn't help thinking of a friend when one performer was shot from a cannon across the arena! Even though we all can choose our "favorite" act, it just reminds us of the other amazing acts we saw and it's hard to choose just one!

The show is in Phoenix through the weekend at US Airways Center.  Tickets can be found at Ticketmaster.  Even if you've been to a show in the past, you'll be amazed with the new acts and performers.  I highly recommend going!!

*Disclosure: I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events. Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine.*

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Sweet Shine Dolls

A couple weeks ago, Cepia (a small toy company that we've worked with before) sent us 2 dolls that are limited in their release to the Phoenix area right now.  They have created an adorable line of dolls that are colorful and fun to play with called Sweet Shine dolls.  We received Lola Twinklepink (see her there in Lydia's backpack ready for one of our camping trips!) and Pipsy May Peachburst (which we are donating to the NSA Silent Auction to help raise funds.)

One of the fun features of these dolls is taht they light up and project secret shapes!  Twinklepink has a button on the back of her head, that when pressed, displays shapes on the wall or ceiling.  Lydia likes the fact that she's like a doll AND a flashlight!  She also likes the tiny accessories that came with her, which included hair flair, a tiny purse that looks like a cupcake and a pet bunny.

After the jump, Lydia made a video review for all my readers!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

RV Camping

 A few months ago, some things fell into place and Bo found an amazing deal on this RV.  We have talked about buying an RV for years, but I admit I never really thought it would happen.  I'm so lucky that my husband tends to find ways for things to happen, even when they seem unlikely.

We have been out in the RV twice now.  The first time was over Memorial Day weekend when Nate was competing in a soccer tournament in Flagstaff.  We stayed at a campground with some other families, and everyone had a great time. We got an idea of things we would need to add to the RV, and got comfortable with the idea of camping. (We have never been camping with the kids -- and Bo & I only went camping a couple times before kids.)

This past weekend, we headed to Happy Jack, AZ. It was about 20 degrees cooler during the day, and dipped into the 40's at night.  After the Valley's highs of 108, the cooler temperatures were welcome!

We wanted to start camping because we wanted to give the kids a chance to explore outdoors and get away from screens.  The joke was on me last weekend, since AT&T has absolutely NO service in Happy Jack, and I was cut off from e-mail, Facebook and searching the web.  I survived, though, and it was well worth it!

Colin did spend a bit of time in the RV with  his 3DS, BUT he asked if we could get a new kickball before we left town, and also asked if we could bring a deck of cards and a travel chess set.  Nate & Lydia were the real explorers and spent plenty of time exploring the woods around the campground.

They found neat things -- like this swing hanging from a random tree in the woods, and a large jawbone.  They wandered the forest and searched for tracks and enjoyed the tall trees.  Nate loved taking pictures.

The RV made cooking meals fairly easy (and who am I kidding?  You guys know that Bo did all the cooking -- but I did do the shopping!)

We had a wonderful time and I couldn't wait to get back this weekend.  Unfortunately, a stop at a service station for an oil change turned up some repairs that need to be made before we should hit the road again.  We're glad we found out about them when we were home and not stranded somewhere and we trust these mechanics, as we've visited them for years.   But, as soon as the repairs are done and we're able -- we will be back out in nature.  I can't wait!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Camps

Nate played on the Hungarian team at camp,
and made chocolate chip bars decorated like the Hungarian flag.
Every summer, we choose camps for the kids to attend based on their interests.  Nate has been attending Challenger Soccer Camp for the last 4 or 5 years and absolutely loves it!  They bring in coaches from the UK to teach the kids for a week, and Nate always leaves feeling great.  It's usually the first camp of the year, because of the heat.  He finished up the first week of June.

Then, a random stop found him in another camp this year.  A local AirSoft facility runs a 3 week camp teaching gun safety, etc. and Nate is all over the weapons and tactical maneuvers.  They run it like a military boot camp (well, as much as you can for a bunch of 11 - 17 year olds) and it is right up his alley.  He finished up the first week today and can't wait for next week.

This week found Colin in chess camp.  He enjoys playing, and used to play regularly, but got away from it in the last year.  He has had a great time learning new strategies and playing hours of chess this week.  He is considering whether he wants to go another week, or not.

In just a couple weeks, we'll be attending the National Stuttering Association's Annual Conference.  It's not exactly a camp -- but it's full of workshops so it's sort of like a camp.  It's being held in Scottsdale this year, so the entire family will enjoy the fun that is a NSA Conference.

The week after that conference, Colin and Lydia will head to the Challenger Space Center for Space Camp.  They won't be together in camp, but they offer camps for 1st graders and 7th graders that week.  Colin will be building a telescope (I think) while Lydia will learn about being an astronaut!

And, then I think we only have 2 weeks left before school starts!  Fit in some camping trips and our summer is jam packed with fun! 

What are you doing this summer?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus Coming to Phoenix ($5 off tickets)

We are excited that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is headed to the Phoenix area again from June 26 - July 1, 2013 with their show "Built to Amaze!"  Every performance we have attended has been better than the last, and I'm sure that this year's show won't disappoint.  All 3 of my kids were so excited when I let them know we were going again (and it's not easy to excite Colin these days)

One of our favorite things about the circus is the all access who that starts one hour before the performance.  The kids love going down to the performance area and getting close and personal with the performers and some of the animals

As a special discount code to my readers, use MOMSAVE at to save $5 off each ticket in the $20 range and above.  The discount is valid on all performances, EXCEPT opening night.

My kids love the clowns, and this video gives you a behind the scenes look at the clowns preparing for the Built To Amaze show!

*Disclosure: I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events. Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine.*

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Wordless Wednesday -- soccer camp

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