Circle with Disney – A Dad’s Review

Have you ever wondered just how much time you’ve accidentally sunk into Instagram or Facebook in one day? Or how much time your kids have actually been playing Minecraft or watching Youtube videos?

Our family found a little white box that can reveal that information and let you take control of it for better balance in your household.

Circle with Disney


Hidden Fracture

Yesterday we learned that my daughter has had a fractured bone in her foot for the last two months.

Back in early March, my daughter fell off the climbing dome in our backyard and hurt her foot. «Merry Christmas, kids.» Of course, in the days that followed, we watched her limp a bit and complain of soreness, but there was nothing alarming about any of it. Within a couple days, she seemed to be back at full speed.

Sometime last week, I noticed her limping and asked her about it a couple times. Each time I asked her about it, she’d dismiss any concern and denied that anything hurt. Over the weekend, the kids spent some time with Grammie and Papa; they thought her left foot looked a little swollen and pointed it out to me when I picked up the kids. Again, when asked, she fended off any concern. I watched her a little closer on Sunday and despite her ability to run and jump in the backyard w/ her brother, I still saw a noticeable limp. Martha and I thought maybe her shoes were the problem, so we switched them out for slightly larger ones and thought that would be the end of it.

Dropping her off at school on Monday revealed that disturbing limp was still there.

An afternoon of waiting rooms, doctors, and an X-ray machine revealed all.



Lego Heroica

My son had a birthday last week. Instead of a party, he opted for a trip to the Lego store in Chandler, AZ. We’d never been… and I’ll admit that I was as excited as he was.

Before I get ahead of myself, I want to call out one of the employees at the store. Tiffany was amazing. She made our birthday/first-time visit a truly memorable one. I don’t know if it was simply because we were the first customers in the store that day, but she went out of her way for us – making sure we were enjoying ourselves, found what we needed, offered smart product suggestions, and even guided us to the nearest bathroom when an urgent need was made known. 🙂 High-five, Tiffany!

Here are some photos from our trip.

My find-of-the-day was a Lego Heroica set: Castle Fortaan.

Heroica is a new game from Lego that basically serves as an introduction to fantasy boardgames. The set we picked up is the larger set out of the 4 currently available. After cracking open the box, you build ‘rooms’ and connecting paths that can then be combined in a myriad of arrangements to form the board for your game. The game features different classes of heroes (wizard, knight, druid, etc.), weapons, potions, treasure, my daughter’s favorite: keys for locked doors, and several other fun elements. The complexity is simple enough for our 5-year-old to play along, incredibly engaging for our 7-year-old, and nerdy enough for this thirty-something dad.

We’ve played only 2 games so far and our family loves it.  It’s been fun to watch Joey and Abby celebrate together when they take down enemies and console each other when wounded. With three other sets available and plenty of room for ‘house rules’, I’m sure we’ll be playing this game over and over again.

Buy Lego Heroica on


Movie age limits

Well, I have the good fortune of fighting a cold today. Thankfully, the kids have been in good moods and Martha’s been sweet enough to let me sleep in and has assumed most of the load of entertaining/directing the kids.

I started watching the extended edition of Fellowship of the Ring while they were napping. I made it an hour in before Joey came out and asked permission to ‘wake up’. I, of course, paused the movie and began mulling over when the right time would be to introduce him to the Lord of the Rings series and even Star Wars. He knows of Star Wars… I have too much licensed product in my house for it to be avoided. almost enough Star Wars stuff and he’s asked me who a few characters are, what ships are called, etc. But he hasn’t seen any of the movies.

I’ll confess that I long for the day he digests the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings movies with me. They’ll be important days in the geekling’s life. They’ll be planned out, scheduled for, and celebrated.

But before all that, I have several questions to ask myself. I figured I’d share mine and perhaps collect a few from you.

  • How much stock to I put in the rating system that’s already in place? (G, PG, PG-13, etc.)
  • How much violence is too much? Is there such a thing?
  • When do I want to talk to my son/daughter about killing in movies/stories?
  • When do I want to talk to my son/daughter about the need to kill?
  • How many years of love will my kids need under their belts before they face the likes of the Lidless Eye or Darth Vader killing Kenobi? Or Luke’s whining, for that matter?

I’m sure I’ll come up w/ more. How will you decide when to expose your kids to these stories? How have you decided? Thoughts?