Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oh Man, I Am A Total Geek

Tell me folks, what has been one of your more exciting purchases lately?  Was it that iPad you longed for?  Maybe the new hybrid vehicle you've had your eye on?  Or tickets for that Alaskan cruise you have wanted to take for years?

Wanna know what a total geek I am?

I anxiously awaited an Amazon box this week, and ripped it open within moments of UPS dropping it off.  What was inside that I held in my trembling hands?

Dictionaries.

Thousands and thousands of words, perfectly described in just the right size font, not too much etymology to muddy the waters.  I had been seeking THE perfect dictionary for the kids to use, as the children's dictionaries we had around were too limited and the old red Websters we had forever had print that was far too small to easily read (yes, even for the kids) and too much information included.  So, I spent 2 days mulling over our dictionary purchase after looking at several on Amazon.  This is, after all, a very important tool for any student, and we will have them around for years to come.  So I finally settled on the Webster's New World Student's Dictionary and ordered two of them, in hardcover of course.

Is there anything more beautiful than a new dictionary?  No, the kids were not impressed, but are glad to have something more useful.  I was enthralled.  And there you have it, my Geek status is assured forever, especially after you learn that I will likely find myself pulling this off the shelf over and over again to read it.  yes, you got it right...read the dictionary, and with great pleasure.  Been doing it since I was a kid, along with the phone book and the World Book Encyclopedia my parents scrimped and saved to get for us.

As far as I can tell, I am not raising any geeks though...no one has yet to take the dictionary into the bathroom to read.  It saddens me...hahaha!

Turning the page (get it...hahahaha!) I want to share with any of you who might be interested that we played the single best game EVER tonight!  Santa got the kids a game called "Settlers of Catan".  I had never heard of it before ordering it, and somehow Amazon recommended it to me.  Seeing that it had 347 reviews with only 8 being lower than 3 stars, I was intrigued and read some of the reviews, which caused me to go ahead and spring for it as one group gift.  It is a game originating in Germany, and it has a variety of spin offs available.

It is not really a complicated game to play at all, Josh easily grasped the concepts without hesitation.  It does take about 15 minutes to learn how to play it, and most helpful was a sample game set up to view online.  Dominick and I decided to watch it first before explaining the game to the kids and it was certainly quite helpful.  It took us less than 15 minutes to get up and running tonight with all the kids.  The original version is 4 player, so we played as teams but plan on ordering the expansion pack that allows you to play up to 6 players. 

This board game is the best one our family has ever played, hands down.  It took us about an hour to play from start to finish, and there wasn't a single moment of boredom from anyone.  You create settlements, roads and cities and gain points.  10 points and you are declared the winner.  There is a spirit of cooperation throughout despite playing against the others, and there is something happening no matter whose roll of the dice it is, which keeps everyone interested.  It is challenging enough that adults will not be bored at all, and younger kids can catch on easily and not get lost.  The game board is set up differently each time you play, so it is never the same game twice.

If you have kids our kids' ages, you HAVE TO GET THIS GAME.  Angela and Olesya both jumped up and down in their seats saying "I love this game, I so exciting!".  Josh said he wanted to keep playing forever.  Matthew asked if we had to go anywhere tomorrow or if we could just stay home and play the game...and Kenny added "Can we play it when we wake up?  Please?".  This will be one of those rare games that gets played by the hours and when suggested no one will say "Awww...do we have to?  Can't we play something else?".

Anyway, if you are a game family and want something that I can almost guarantee will be a surefire winner, check it out!  You can also check out their web site (this game is so popular they have web groups, etc.) at http://www.catan.com/ .

5 comments:

Kristy said...

Cindy - If you like Settlers, you all might also enjoy Carcassone. It is a tile laying game where you build a city and get points. We like that it can involve no strategy, or once you catch on you can play with immense intensity. And its never the same game twice. And depending on the number of players changes how you think about playing the game. This game too came out of Germany..


http://www.amazon.com/Rio-Grande-Games-4098395-Carcassonne/dp/B00005UNAX

Anonymous said...

Now all I need is some kids, and I can get the game and play. Meantime, I will have to settle for reading one of my dictionaries or one of my thesaurus (is it thesauruses or thesaurusi?) or one of my books of quotations.

Must run and read,
Lael

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy,

We got this game for Gabe, too! This was the one thing he wanted the most for Christmas. He has been playing all the time with one of his good buddies. Our only problem is that we allowed Gabe to teach us how to play and we were not able to quite figure it out ;) Could you post the link to the online video?

How funny! :)

melissa in WH

Anonymous said...

Our older girls had played this with cousins. They bought it for our younger four. I have yet to play it, but will do so. One of our older daughters wanted the game "Ticket to Ride", which I got for her. She loves it and taught the younger kids to play.

I plan t purchase some add on for "Settlers", as I see there are many versions.


Nancy in the Midwest

Trisha and Jim said...

Settlers is a great game. We also enjoy Ticket to Ride, I even think it could help with US geography. I'm a bit of a word nerd, so I may drool over dictionaries also. Don't get me started on the thesaurus...