Lego Land (by Braden)

Note:  For this post, we have a guest writer.  This was a school assignment for our son Braden, who was in third grade this past school year.  He wrote about one of the things that we did during Spring Break, our trip to Lego Land Discovery Zone in Atlanta.

Legoland Atlanta promo

LEGO LAND

by

Braden L. Boyd

April 15th, 2013

My brothers Logan, Austin, and Camden were waiting while my Dad bought our tickets to Lego Land.

My little brothers Logan, Austin, and Camden were waiting while my Dad bought our tickets to Lego Land.

On Spring Break, I went to Lego Land with my family.  There was tons of cool stuff there like building with Legos and a couple of rides.

First, we went to a ride.  You had to pedal really fast to make it go up.  I had to pedal with my brother, Jared.  It was a lot of fun.

Then, I went to a 4-D theater.  It was kind of an outdated movie, but I still liked it a lot.  It was about a racer who was racing a bad guy to the finish!  It was cool!

Dad and me and my 5 brothers are getting ready to go in the 4D theater.  Mom came, too, but she was taking the picture.

Dad and me and my 5 brothers are getting ready to go in the 4D theater. Mom came, too, but she was taking the picture.

Lego Miniland (Atlanta at night)

Lego Miniland (Atlanta at night)

Next, I went to Mini Land.  It was like Atlanta but made out of legos!  There was a band, a school with busses that moved, and a lot of cool stuff.

Here is the Lego Fox Theater.  My Dad and Mom went there to see "The King and I".

Here is the Lego Fox Theater. My Dad and Mom went there to see “The King and I”.

Lego Miniland (daytime at the Georgia State Capitol building

Lego Miniland (daytime at the Georgia State Capitol building)

After that, I went on another ride with two of my brothers and my Mom.  I had to shoot bad guys to get a lot of points.  At the end of the game, my brother won.

Lego Discovery Center Store

Lego Discovery Center Store

Then, we went to the Lego store.  It was like a Lego Wonderland.  I was looking around and found Avenger Legos.  I had 15 dollars, and the thing I wanted was 15 dollars, so I got it.

Last, we went to Popeye’s Restaurant.  It was really good.  I got a chicken leg and some Dr. Pepper for my lunch.  And that’s what I did on my awesome Spring Break.

Lego Discovery Center Atlanta

Lego Discovery Center Atlanta

Here are some more cool photos of my family at Lego Land Discovery Center in Atlanta.

My twin brothers, Austin and Camden, are ready to go have some fun.

My twin brothers, Austin and Camden, are ready to go have some fun.

My older brother, Zach, is hanging out at the ticket booth.

My older brother, Zach, is hanging out at the ticket booth.

My brother Logan needs a ticket, too.

My brother Logan needs a ticket, too.

Here's my brother Austin in Miniland.

Here’s my brother Austin in Miniland.  The yellow crane behind him had some working parts and the Marta railway worked, too.

This is my Dad and my twin brothers on the second ride where you could shoot.

This is my Dad and my twin brothers on the second ride where you could shoot.

We had a lot of fun!  Going there really makes you want to build some awesome stuff with Legos!

We also did another fun thing on Spring Break. We went to see the movie “The Croods”. It was about a family and they were really funny.  Here are some pictures of me and my brothers when we were at the movie theater.  We had fun posing with some of the big displays for movies.  I am in the first picture under the big arch, but I am not in the picture with the Monsters, Incorporated characters.

Thanks so much to our Aunts and Uncle, R & T and L & N for the family fun.  We hope you like the pictures!

Here's me and 4 of my brothers under the arch at the movie theater.

Here’s me and 4 of my brothers under the arch at the movie theater.

Here are my 5 brothers.  See if you can find my biggest brother, Jared.

Here are my five brothers. See if you can find my biggest brother, Jared.

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Fun for a New Year (or Any Time of Year)!

Celebrating special times with your family is a blessing!  You can celebrate a new year (or any other special time) in lots of fun ways.  Here are some of the fun things we have done with our family to celebrate a new year.  Many of these ideas would work for any time of year.  If your time is short, simplify and enjoy one or two ideas.  We certainly did not do all of this in any one year.  Some ideas work better for certain ages, so choose what works best for the interests and ages of your own children.  Celebrate the week-end, a snow day, the 4th of July, or any day!  Have fun, and make some memories!

children parade1.  Have your own New Year’s Parade!.  This can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it to be.  No matter what the weather is like, you can parade down your sidewalk, around your cul-de-sac, or through your house with your children.  They can dress up if they like (pick a theme, let them wear their super hero costumes (a favorite with our bunch), let them wear their favorite cool t-shirt or dress, or even color coordinate the whole bunch (for our family, we could all wear blue and be the Blue Boyds – pun intended).  Let them carry small American flags, hand made signs, batons with streamers, toy light sabers or whatever.  Play some music for them to march to.  If you have radio stations on your TV or computer, find some jazzy or majestic music for your march.  We actually march like this on the 4th of July to a recording of “The Stars and Stripes Forever”.  One great choice for any time of year is some of the jazzy piano music from the Peanuts (Charlie Brown) specials.  We have a CD of the Peanuts music played by the Marsalis brothers (jazzy!), and our boys love it!  If you have girls, they might want to march as a princess, with a crown or a beauty queen style ribbon proclaiming them “Little Miss 2013” or “Miss Teen 2013”.   The parade will only last for as long as it takes them to get tired of marching, but they will remember it forever.  Take some still photos of each participant and some video, too.  The preparation, ideas, and excitement leading up to your parade is half the fun!  If some of your marchers tire faster than others, encourage them to be the wildly applauding spectators.  One other idea is to make your own floats if you have nice weather and can do your parade outside.  Decorate bike wheels with crepe paper twined through the spokes, and decorate your wagon with posterboard taped to it, making it look like a conestoga wagon, a pirage ship, Lightning McQueen, a princess bed, or whatever.

Buzz Lightyear balloon Macys2.  Watch the Rose Parade together.   Our boys won’t sit and watch the whole thing, so Mom watches and calls them in to watch special things.  The highlight of this year’s parade for our boys was definitely the Disney “Cars Town” float.  They loved that!  We actually watched it twice (skipping back with the DVR and pausing to let them see it better).  During this year’s Thanksgiving Day parade, the highlight for our little Logan was the Buzz Lightyear balloon.  He’s crazy about Buzz; so after that part played, I skipped back and recorded just that part of the parade with the DVR.  He can now watch that over and over, skipping back to see it again and again (and he does).  If you can make parade watching fun by lining up your spectators on either side of the room, allowing them to wear a hat or scarf to pretend that they are there in person, munching some popcorn, or letting one person pretend to be part of a passing band or riding along on horseback with an equestrian group, go for it!  Don’t be disappointed if they don’t stick it out for the whole parade.  Some children will and some won’t.  Just have fun and go with the flow (or the floats).

kids goal chart3.  After a meal, stay around the table for a while and talk about everyone’s hopes and dreams for the new year.  Everyone will enjoy having their own time to share.  Sometimes those hopes can turn into goals to make dreams happen!   You can write some of these down if desired, and Mom and Dad might get some ideas for making some hopes and dreams come true.  Talk about how your family can serve also.  It’s great to share ideas for fun and achievement, but helping to serve others should be part of the discussion as well.  If you wish, you can write each hope and dream on a yellow construction paper star and hang them from your child’s ceiling with a bit of curling ribbon and a push pin.   Have a monthly meeting to talk about how everyone is doing on meeting their goals.  Help them set up a savings account, make a progress poster, or whatever it takes to track and inspire their journey through the year.

popcorn4.  Popcorn picnic!  On New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, spread out an old sheet and use an air popper with no lid to let the popcorn fly.  The kiddos will love watching it pop.  They need to wait a little bit to pick up and eat the popcorn so that it can cool off, but then let them dig in and eat it right off the sheet.  If you don’t have an air popper, you might be able to borrow one.  If you don’t have a popcorn popper, make popcorn balls or rice kripy treats together instead.  Or, eat microwave popcorn while you watch a favorite movie together.  We watched “Monsters Incorporated” together on New Year’s Eve, with some special snacks.  Everybody enjoyed the whole movie and laughed together over the “out-takes” at the end.

5.  Start a new tradition with a special meal or treat.  Make individual pizzas on english muffins and let everyone get into the act of making their own.
english muffin pizzas
Makea special soup or stew and talk about how all of the ingredients are different but go together to make something wonderful.  Compare that to your family.  Make burger or ham or turkey sliders with all of the fixings.  The small hamburger buns are now fairly easy to find, but biscuits will work in a pinch.  Whatever will be a special treat for your bunch and be fun to make or top off together will be a great year after year tradition.

strawberry pancake6.  Have a special breakfast on New Year’s day.  This could be as simple as buying that sugary cereal that your kids love (but you don’t really want them to eat) just once a year.  You could also have pancakes with various syrups, some whipped cream, and several kinds of fruit for topping.  Or, you could throw some chocolate chips into the batter.   Use a drop of food coloring here and there to make green eggs and ham.  Have lots of fresh fruit with yogurt and granola.  Whatever your family would like, make it special.

kids bowling7.  Go somewhere.  If you’ve been cooped up due to bad weather or multiple holiday celebrations, get out of the house a bit (if the roads are clear).  Take them bowling, to a movie, to get a slushie, to the local arcade, or to Toys R Us to spend a little of their Christmas money.   Stores dedicated to toys are NOT busy right after Christmas, as we found out a few days ago.  One of our boys has a December birthday between Christmas and New Years, so he always has some birthday money.  Our twins have a late November birthday, so they sometimes have not spent their birthday money yet, either.  Our older boys sometimes get a gift card or money at Christmas; so they often are ready to shop, too.  We encourage giving, savings and spending some on items like needed clothing to fill out their winter wardrobe, but we allow them to spend a little on something fun.

family playing game8.  Play board games (or video games) together.   Since our boys are basically in 2 groups (3 older, 3 younger), Mom can play a game with one group while Dad plays a game with the others.  Then, switch places and play another game.  Try to find a game you can all do together or play charades to end your game time.

kids puppet show9.  Let younger children plan and present a show or puppet show.  A card table turned on its side can work for a puppet theater.  Throw an afghan or sheet across the upper table legs and hold it in place with clothes pins to make the side walls of your theatre.  If you don’t have puppets, dolls or stuffed animals or super hero figures will do.  If anyone plays an instrument and wants to make that part of the show, that’s fine.  They need  to play only one song per child, though.  Our boys’ idea of a show might be to stage some action scenes in their super hero costumes.  Some kids really get into putting on a show.  If yours don’t, this is not a good option for your family.

sparkler10.  For New Year’s Eve, let them count down the New Year early (say, at 9:00 or 10:00), and do some of the family fun activities already mentioned.  We had sparkling cranberry juice at our celebration last night.  Get a helium balloon for each child.  Some children will keep their balloons and have them in their room for days.  Our boys will play with them, and most of the balloons would wind up on the ceiling of our two-story family room.  That’s okay…they’re a good reminder of family fun!  Save a few sparkers to do on your driveway after your countdown, or get some party poppers, horns, and whatever.  Have fun!  They can help you clean up the mess after breakfast on New Year’s Day.

11.  If New Year’s Day is sunny, let your children write and draw “Happy New Year” messages with sidewalk chalk.  Your neighbors might get a smile from their cheery artwork.

snowman cookies12.  If you didn’t have time to bake and decorate cookies before Christmas, do that on New Years Day.  Invite some friends who have children, and let all of the children have fun with decorating.  Use star cookie cutters and whatever else you want, or just keep them all round.  Keep it simple with white icing and colored sprinkles.  Have fun, get messy, and spend some time with God’s most precious gifts, your children.  🙂

Note:  Be sure to have a special prayer time before bed, thanking God for the departing year and for the new one, praying for God’s blessings in the new year and for each family member to learn and grow in their faith.

Happy New Year! 

Happy New year 2 u

A Little Boydie told me…

Just a reg’lar Mom in a house full of boys

praise4ever

praise4ever

I'm a busy wife and mother of 7, with 6 incredible boys still at home and a beautiful married daughter. Our boys range in age from our 10 year old twins to our 22 year old. We have 2 in Elementary School, 2 in Middle School, one in High School, and one High School grad. They are all incredible and special. One of our boys has special needs. I'm a musician, singer, writer, composer, blogger, and teacher. I'm thankful for our home and family, for Travis, my amazing husband of 39 years, and for family and friends near and far. Most of all, I'm thankful for God's grace and mercy and that He has given the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

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Giving a Song to say “Thank You”

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

As a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and a father of 7, and a Minister of Music and Worship, I am very blessed. For a total of 32 years, I have served as a Minister of Worship for some wonderful congregations in the states of Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia. It is a joy to lead God's people in worshipping Him through music, and I am very blessed to serve at First Baptist Church of Duluth, Georgia. I'm also a composer, lyricist, arranger, and orchestrator, with choral anthems, songs, and orchestrations published by Shawnee Press (now with Hal Leonard), Lorenz, Choristers Guild, and Lifeway. My web-based music publishing site, WorshipSounds Music (formerly Boydbrain Music), offers Choral Anthems, Orchestrations, Congregational Praise, and Vocal Solo music. Our worship blog has become an extension of worship ministry, and it is a privelege to share information and inspiration with other worshippers. My desire is to glorify God through my life, ministry, and composition work. I believe that music is a wonderful way to communicate the truths of God's love and mercy and to glorify Him. My wife, Cindy, and I have been married for 36 years. We have 7 children. Daughter Meredith lives in Texas. Sons Jared, Zachary, Braden, Logan, Austin, and Camden range in age from 7 to 19 and are still living at home.

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