January 2022 Adventure Date – The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit (Columbus)

This week, Keith and I got the chance to attend The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in Columbus, Ohio. It is a traveling exhibit which will be in a different venue each place it goes, so it will most likely vary a little bit as far as your experience. This post is our thoughts an opinions – your mileage may vary.

We both went into this expecting something that it was not. We thought we would be walking through different rooms and interacting with the different spaces. Instead, we were ushered into a very large room that was 2-3 stories high and had 2 mirrored pillars. There were benches and circles on the floor to note where people were supposed to be in order to be socially distanced. We arrived with about 7 minutes left in the continuously running program (it is about 35 minutes long and has a very brief set of credits that roll before it restarts). The last 7 minutes might have been my favorite – we stayed to watch it twice. The Starry Night, Road with Cypress and Star, and The Starry Night Over the Rhone are featured and it is a lot like watching the moon and stars rise and reflect. It was mesmerizing the way that they edited the elements of the paintings together.

I really enjoyed a lot of the paintings featured in the presentation. I did have some trouble with the way it was edited at times. There were times my vertigo kicked in and it felt like I was going to fall. There were times I could not watch because my eyes couldn’t adjust fast enough. However, most of the time it was a feast for the eyes. I loved it when paintings seemed to build in elements or when one part of the painting moved and interacted in some way. There was always something to look at, and the music seemed to work really well with the presentation. The other part of the show that we stayed to watch twice was the sunflowers part. I did not realize how many different types of sunflower paintings he had done, but I really enjoyed seeing all of the different interpretations. I did not love how jarring the editing seemed at that point, but it went with the music I guess.

I am also a sucker for trees, flowers, and all things nature. Van Gogh seemed to agree because there were so many scenes with gorgeous natural settings. The trees that look like they are ablaze with Autumn color are, of course, my favorite. I also love the one that seems to be the woods with hundreds of fireflies.

Overall, it was not quite what we expected, but we walked out satisfied with our experience. We decided that it was 3.5 out of 5 stars – we were not blown away by the editing, but the beauty was overwhelming at times. I would definitely recommend the exhibit to others and we would love to go back and see the next one – we are told that there will be exhibits like this over the next 3 years. The next one appears to be Gustav Klimt starting in March, and we would definitely consider attending if our schedules are open.

Have you been to The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

January 2022 Create Date – Pleasures of the Cup

I am so excited to be writing about our first Create Date for 2022! I have missed this so much – although I will admit that we have done some creating and adventuring that didn’t appear here in the blog. I am really just thrilled that I have adventure and create dates on the books through March! So many things to look forward to!

For this particular Create Date, we did a little mixology with the Ohio History Connection in their virtual event called Ohio On The Rocks – Pleasures of the Cup. The event featured 3 segments where we mixed new cocktails and 4 segments where we learned some facts about Ohio during the Ice Age. Was it a little bit cheesy at points? Yes. Was it still super fun? Absolutely! We have actual done one other virtual event like this called Once Upon a Cocktail (it was fairy tale themed), and I have enjoyed both. We got to buy and mix new drinks and we definitely enjoyed making some cocktails from our last class over the holidays. Also, both times, we have done this “with” a friend, so we spent the time sending messages and photos back and forth. That was definitely wonderful and I would recommend attending the event with friends for that added fun.

I am going to leave you with some fun photos of our set up and drinks – we made Sex on a Glacier, The Purple Mammoth, and Damn the Weather. I think Damn the Weather was our favorite, although we enjoyed The Purple Mammoth a lot as well.

Have you ever taken a mixology class? Do you have a favorite mixed drink that you would recommend we learn to make? Have you ever attended a Pleasures of the Cup event? Let me know in the comments.

Love Letters and Seven Dragons – January 2022 Family Game Night

It finally happened. We were meant to have family game night the weekend of New Years, but everyone had horrible headaches because of the weather. So we postponed it. And then got our COVID booster shots the following week, causing another weekend of not feeling so great. It was not looking good for our family game night this month, but we pivoted and had family game day instead because we were all off of school and work for MLK Day. I made fondue, we snacked and played, and a good time was had by all.

We started out by eating fondue and playing Love Letters. Keith and I had played this at a game cafe several years ago now. We remember liking the game, so we chose it as this year’s “pickle gift” (the gift received by the person that finds the pickle on the Christmas tree first). Charlotte was the quickest pickle-finder this year, so it is technically her game. We will see how that plays out in a few years.

Chocolate fondue remains and Love Letters game

Although both Keith and I remember Love Letters as a quick game, it definitely took a while to get a winner. We all enjoyed it a lot, though, and some new inside jokes were definitely created. I was the biggest loser and Charlotte came out as our glorious winner in the end, although it was a tight race amongst everyone but me…

To finish off the afternoon, we played one quick round of Seven Dragons. This is a perennial favorite of ours and is definitely a go-to if we want something quick with not much set up. I was very, very close to prevailing with my black dragon goal, but Keith managed to swoop in and win at the last second. It was a tough loss, but a very fun afternoon.

Seven Dragons with background folded laundry to add to your viewing enjoyment…

We know that family game night is going to be changing as we continue this year. It might be only 2 or 3 of us at times, but we will definitely shoot for all 4 as much as possible. We are definitely on the look out for more 2 player games – do you have any favorites we should try? Please let me know in the comments!

Dude! We’re Getting the Band Back Together!

During this slow down and wait time, we have had some major shifts in our family. We halted our monthly adventure and create dates, we stayed home but definitely also stayed a bit separate. We all have our own areas of the house and we tend to gravitate to them. We have stopped doing many family things unless we are out of town or it is a special occasion. We need to get back to Adventuring, Creating, and Relating to each other more.

At the same time as we have stopped our dates and family nights, I have started 2 new creative endeavors. I am a teacher on Outschool with classes in phonics, crafts, phonemic awareness, confident speaking, and vocabulary. I have thoroughly enjoyed creating games and activities for all of my classes the past 20 months – it has been an amazing creative outlet and adventure in learning new things. This past month, I have taken my creating to another level and opened a Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) shop to sell the materials I have made for my classes. It is a very slow start, but I am really hopeful that this will be another great creative outlet.

What does all of this mean for my blog? Our family (and also our marriage) is definitely ready for some adventure and create dates again – we have done a few new things during this pandemic, but I have not been ready to write about them. It has taken me a long time to be ready to share this part of me again. Looking back at the past 2 years, however, I realized that writing is my way of coping with things, and I have felt a real desire to get back to it. So, my dear friends, I will be back to posting. And, since I have 2 new creative jobs of my own, I will be posting more. The goal will be 3 monthly posts (adventure, create, and relate) and then 1-2 weekly posts (Outschool and TpT shop). It feels good just to be writing this post, so I am certain this is the right decision for me at this time. I hope that it will be a fun and interesting thing for you, as well!

I would love to request that you take a moment to look me up at my two jobs and follow me. If you use my personal link on Outschool as a new family, you can get a $20 credit towards your first class: https://outschool.com/?signup=true&usid=7SKDulCR&utm_campaign=share_invite_link (I am also happy to help anyone interested in teaching on Outschool to apply – my referral code is: 7SKDulCR)

You can find me on TpT at the following link: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Sellers-Im-Following/Add/Ae-Speech-And-Language-Services I have a few products added and will be adding a lot more over the next few months. (Right now I am very excited about my Time-Themed Treasure Hunt games for the Vocalic R and R Blend, L, S, and TH sounds – you can find out more about them in my shop.)

I can’t leave you without a little taste of the create, adventure, and relate posts that I wanted to make the past 20 months. I hope you enjoy – let me know below if you want to learn more about any of them. ๐Ÿ™‚

As I close this post, I want to make 2 promises. First of all, I promise to keep this blog about adventures, creating, and relating. Secondly, I promise to have a fun post about my yearly goals for our family and for my businesses in the next couple of weeks.

If you want to be sure you don’t miss future updates, please join my email list. I have lots of fun things planned for this year and I would love to share them with you!

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February Adventure Date

I’m not going to lie, February has been pretty crazy at our house. I can count on one hand the number of evenings I have spent in the same place as my husband. The number of evenings where all 4 of us have been together is even less. So, when we finally found an evening to both go with Charlotte to her play rehearsal, I knew we had to make it our adventure date, too. Luckily, Newark has Buckeye Winery with wine tastings until 9 pm on Friday nights. Score!

We got a table and each chose 4 regular wines and a dessert wine to try. We also got the cheese plate with sausage because we wanted something to cleanse our palates in between wines.

Keith chose the Harvest Moon (Luna Rosa), Moonrise (Luna Bianca), Buckeye White (Reisling), and Nature’s Wonder (Kiwi-Pear) and then he chose the Buckeye Ice (Reisling Ice Wine). I chose the Trio (Cabernet Sauv Merlot), Bourgeron Rouge (Sweet Red), Farmer’s Daughter, and Afternoon Delight (Peach Apricot) along with the Red Ice (Cabernet Franc Ice Wine). We were really excited to do a tasting and pick out a couple new wines.

We took our time and enjoyed trying our own selections and sharing with each other. In the end, we thought the fruity wines tasted a bit watered down, the Reisling and Cabernet Sauv Merlot were more dry than we wanted, and the Reisling Ice Wine was too thick and sweet – not like other ice wines we have had. The Sweet Red, Luna Bianca, and Farmer’s Daughter were all good, but we really enjoyed the Luna Rosa and the Cabernet Franc Ice Wine. In fact, we brought them both home with us.

Our picks – Red Ice and Harvest Moon

We enjoyed this experience and will probably do more tastings in the future. It was not a super big adventure, but it fit our schedule and was in a convenient location. Can’t wait to see who we share these with – let us know if you want in on that. ๐Ÿ™‚

February Create Date

You guys – today is my birthday! I am 43 years old, but I prefer to think of it as starting my 44th year of life because I love the number 4 and I just think even numbers are nicer. You can think that’s weird, I understand. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Last night, Keith and I went on the most fun date!! We did the Valentine’s Maker Date Night at Idea Foundry Columbus. Idea Foundry is one of the largest maker spaces in the world, so we got to try so many new and exciting things. Lots of fire and heat and hammering and danger – the perfect date night for parents of teens. LOL.

The first random thing that happened when we arrived is that Keith recognized a woman that he went to high school with, so we got to catch up with people Keith knew. I also had a friend that was there with her husband, so we kept running into friendly faces. We had a wonderful dinner catered by Lindey’s (yum!!) and then it was on for 2.5 hours of creating! We knew going in that there were some projects we really wanted to participate in and some that weren’t the top of our list, so we had priorities!

Our first stop was the Plasma Cutting and Welding station – jumping right in to the sparks and fire. We made a metal candle holder which turned out pretty good. Keith did the plasma cutting to make the heart, and then we took turns welding. Keith was a much better welder than me, but I think with practice I could get the hang of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our next stop was a station to make a rustic photo holder. We got to beat the heck out of a piece of wood and then blow torch it to bring out all the texture and give it a weathered look. I think Keith *might* have enjoyed the hammering a little too much. It was definitely fun to figure out different ways to distress the wood and make texture. The blowtorch was especially cool – who knew hitting things with fire was so fun?!?

Since we were already outside, we made our way to the forging area to try our hand at blacksmithing. Once again, Keith was excited to hammer, so I was in charge of holding the red hot hook we were making and making sure it stayed red hot by inserting and removing it from the forge. We had a little trouble staying in sync at this station, but we ended up with a pretty cool finished project. I would definitely do this again!

After we were done being blacksmiths, we headed back inside and made “Create 2019” metal plates to put on our finished photo holder and candle holder. It was nice to do a relatively quick and easy project in the midst of the larger ones. We then headed upstairs to drop off our coats and have our professional photos taken. We had a fun time posing and really like how he captured our personalities. Plus, who doesn’t love origami birds?

We were excited to get to make a wooden sushi tray at our next station. We had to do some sanding and a little cutting, gluing, and oiling. We also had the option to make our own chopsticks, but we already have some pretty special chopsticks at our house, so we did pass on that project. A sushi night has already been requested, so I see this getting some use in the near future. ๐Ÿ™‚

The last station we did was a tile art station. We got to use alcohol soluble ink, alcohol, and fire to create some new coasters for our home. We decided to use our wedding colors (ink colors sunshine yellow and cranberry) along with rose gold and gunmetal. It was definitely a station where there was little instruction, so it was not Keith’s favorite. I thought it was pretty cool how long the ink burned, and I could have done a couple more coats on mine if there had been time. I think they turned out pretty cool.

Overall, this was an awesome experience that I would for sure do again. We are looking forward to using all of our creations and remembering the fun times we had making them. Thanks Idea Foundry for hosting such a creative and adventurous date night!

All of our projects from Idea Foundry’s Valentine’s Maker Date Night