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birthday games of chance....

#1 son had another birthday.  he'd asked for the whole class party thing.  he has two classmates already hosting big parties the same weekend, we managed to get by with a small outing with a few of his best friends. 

there was talk about blazer-tag, but then we also heard about this game called "stacker" over at gatti-town, and the fantastic prizes to be won.  the chance to win a nintendo 3d or sony ps3 made his eyes bright with gamer enthusiasm.  then one morning he announced, "I think blazer-tag will be too scary, we should go to gatti-town".  he's been going to blazer-tag for years, this is the first we'd heard of any fear....

gatti town cartoon theater

we arrived at gatti-town before 11.  it was funny how all four became immobilized as we walked by the theater-dining room.  they just stood there silently till I reminded them about all the games yet to be played.

gatti town bumper cars

gatti town south austin bumper cars

I had given them each a card loaded with money to play games.  but they didn't want to use their credits to do the bumper cars, so I got a 5th card so I could pay separate.  they had other plans for their credits, BIG PLANS.

stacker game at gatti town

there it is!  STACKER!  just look at those prizes on display!  a ps3, a wii, apple tv!  WOW.  and only $2 per try....  HA!  I watched as boys lined up to quickly loose.  I'd remind them, "that was $2, you really want to play again?"  the stacker enthusiasm evaporated pretty quickly.  #1 son actually did pretty good, most kids didn't make it past three stacks.  but the end result was the same, a loss of $ for kids/parents.  the stacker machine retained its tight grip on the electronic bounty behind its plexiglass barrier.   

the claw machine at gatti town south austin

he had a few attempts at the claw game... at $1 per.  there was even a big giant wheel of chance, called the "BIG BASS WHEEL", another quick way to get rid of excess dollars-credits.  there was not much "game playing".  the arcade has become the kid version of a casino. 

I finally convinced them to play skee-ball.  at least that took up a bit more time and some hand-eye coordination. 

skee-ball gatti town south austin

cheating the skee-ball game gatti town

#1 son found the shortcut to high scores and token wealth. 

10,000 point skee-ball gatti town

yeah, he plugged the 10,000 point hole with balls till they had enough to redeem for a real prize.  take that games of chance!

pickle bandages!

haha, yes, we got him pickle bandages and pickle mints.  he showed us he had an ouchie just waiting for a pickle application. 

funny, one of the other boys has nearly the same birth date.  as #1 opened a gift, this other boy said to me...

boy: that present was to me, but I didn't open it yet so I gave it to him

me: awesome.  re-gift!  hey?  aren't we coming to your house tomorrow?  for your birthday party?

boy: nods with enthusiasm

me: so.... maybe we can also re-gift?  you just might see that again... right?

boy: (uncomfortable grin)

home made appricot crumb cake 

kat made him an apricot crumb cake, topped with fresh strawberries.  she used the leftover fresh apricots to make preserves.  she's been busy with winter weather weekend kitchen projects. 

 bent fork tines

kat had taken  note that several of our forks have bent tines.  I had also noticed that we seldom have matching silverware.  we host dinner, and serve mismatched silver on plastic plates...  we dug out the real adult plates and bought new matching silverware service for 8!  it's almost like we are real grown-ups now?

matching silverware!

overnight tomatos

I toss tomato, onion, garlic and rosemary with olive oil and a bit of salt and then into a warm oven for 3-4 hours.  the toms reduce, the garlic roasts and the onions turn brown and sugary.  I then put it into the blender and it's DELICIOUS.  I often use this mixture for a pasta or pizza sauce.  for the ravioli stuffing I mix it with ricotta and parmesan.

western party at cotillion:

cowboy cotillion austin country club

western swing dance austin cotillion

the kids love the western dance themed cotillion party.  it gets a bit rowdy when they line dance around the room.

western dance austin cotillion

austin country club 360 bridge

learning to pretzel at austin cotillion

the older kids learned to "pretzel".  they spin and arms fly so fast... 

junior assembly country western party austin cotillion

vegetarian pub grub:

vegetarian food at billy's on burnett

billy's on burnett has a great beer selection and all the usual pub-grub food.  except almost everything they have has a vegetarian version; avocado reuben, vegetarian frito-pie and vegetarian philly cheese steak.  it was all pretty good, as was the live oak hefeweizen.  all pitchers of beer are $12 on wednesday. 

jukebox at billy's on burnett

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