One of the things Olivia is learning this year is how to play chess. She took to it rather quickly. She understands the moves and is able to puzzle out some reasonable strategies.
She and I have played several times and, while 98% of chess players would beat me in their sleep, it's sometimes hard not to just run the board. To give her a little more confidence, I let her teach Gabe how to play. She usually beats him rather handily, though that's often because her "advice" to him is a move which will benefit her. So what I'll do is let Gabe play until she gets him in Check and then take over for him, which puts me at a pretty steep disadvantage. Most of the time, when I come in, he's down to a knight, a bishop and 2 or 3 pawns. About half the time, I can beat her with that. :) You may notice a Connect 4 game set up next to them. That would be Ezra's favorite thing right now. He and Gabe don't know how to really play it, but they like filling the board up and letting them all our in a big rush of chips.
For the times when everyone wants to play a game, Rebecca picked up Hungry Hungry Hippo at a consignment sale. I vividly remember this game as a kid and am so glad to see that it's still around. It's a game that all 4 of the "mobile" kids can play and have great time at it. It's a much noisier game than I remember, but it's hilarious to see them all pounding away on it. Gabe, in particular, sets himself a "goal" number of marbles to eat and gets very excited when he reaches it. I think next on my nostalgic games is Trouble...
Speaking of games, we don't have cable TV anymore, so when the Winter Olympics started, I was at a bit of a loss about how we could watch them I considered buying an antenna and hooking it to the TV, but in the end discovered that NBC's live and recorded streaming was easier, cheaper and (I've heard) better than their actual TV coverage. I hooked our main computer up to the living room TV and it was really nice to be able to watch an event from beginning to end without them cutting away to another event or a dull interview that we care nothing about. As far as events go, the boys would say their favorites were the bobsleds and luge. Unsurprisingly, Olivia's was figure skating, just like her mom. I would have to say that my favorite was the ski- and snowboard-cross events. They were fast-paced and unpredictable making it very interesting to watch. Even Irene got into watching the Games. She doesn't often snuggle, but one evening, she settled down to watch figure skating with her mama.
Irene's hands make it look like she's seriously contemplating a skater's performance.
So thoughtful at such a young age.