Our “Reverse” Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt- 2015

Our family tradition of doing a scavenger Easter Egg hunt with the boys continued this year- with a bit of a twist.  You see it has been getting harder and harder to come up with clues that will really make these two smarty pants think, so the hunts were beginning to wrap up in a blink of an eye- well with my being a sentimental basket case as of late- I want nothing to be “over in a blink of an eye” these days.

So instead of our normal clues- we decided to do a new type of scavenger hunt and have the boys bring the clues to us.

We started our morning off by attending the “sunrise” church service for the first time ever (we simply do not do “early” so typically would go to the Saturday evening service or the noon- but change is nice. )

When we got in the truck to head over the boys discovered 2 empty plastic eggs on their seats- to signify the Empty Tomb along with two small humbly wrapped packages.  When they opened them up inside were new thin line red letter Bibles each engraved with their names.  They both have quite a few Bibles already but these are their first “grown up” Bibles.  These are the one we pray will have prayers scribbled in them, verses highlighted, words circled and pages worn with use in the coming years.

We had seats out in the lawn with friends and family and got to have an acoustic praise time with a really great message that simply blew both Jason and my mind with regard to how the story of Jesus mimics the story of Issac.  You can attend church for a significant portion of your life and still have certain messages open the flood gates of emotion.  Today was one of those times.

When we got home the boys found a letter addressed to them:

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2015

Geroux brothers, come in close- the game is about to begin!

We had a great time celebrating that Jesus died and rose again!

You are no longer little boys but now we see young men.

Young men who make us proud each day and also make us smile

We hope we have created memories for you to cherish for a long, long while.

For years now every Easter we have had fun by going on a hunt.

You have gotten quicker, wiser and older so our clues no longer stump

This year we thought would be a good time to give our “tradition” a big PUNT.

Please do not worry, and do not fret and whatever you do- do not frown.

We will still do a scavenger hunt- but we will do it “upside down”

What? You exclaim- how can this be?   But of course you do not cuss J

This year you will bring the scavenger hunt, all the way back to us.

These two Easter Eggs are tired of sitting in one place waiting for the party to come to them. They want to get out and see the world and you guys are just the ones to show them around. Grab a camera and get moving. The object is to take a selfie with your eggs in each of the locations or with the listed objects and return to the house.  Remember- Safety first and stay out of other people’s yards!  You MUST stay together and each picture must clearly show both of you, both of your eggs and the location or object to count.  Once you have checked off the list- come home to mom and dad-  you may just have some goodies waiting that will make you really glad.

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The List:

  • At the Settlers Point subdivision sign (either one)
  • A Stop Sign
  • A Slide/Playgound
  • A mailbox
  • Any Cactus
  • Next to a blue vehicle
  • Near a cow or goat
  • With a fire hydrant
  • With flowers
  • On a bridge

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The boys really had a fun time and it was a fresh way to breath some new life into our fun tradition.  From our Family to yours:

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Our Experience at Marvel Experience

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Yelp limits you to 5001 CHARACTERS in your reviews—which simply is not enough for things like “experiences.”  That said I have posted a full review here on our blog for all to see complete with pictures if you would like more details about my comments below

Disclaimer:
It should be noted that I refrained from reading any reviews or watching any news stories about this event prior to our visit so I kept my own expectations as high as they should have been for the cost of the tickets.  Also, while some may say it is not fair to compare something like this to “Disneyland”, I disagree.  Disney as the parent company who has “theme park” entertainment down to a science would never settle for the poorly executed design and management of this experience to exist.  No reason to re-invent the wheel- pool resources from the Disney parks gurus and fix the kinks.  Several of the activities inside the experience are actual activities AT Disneyland (in the Innoventions attraction in Tomorrowland) so there should be zero “kinks” with those, yet there are.

Cost: For our family of 4 (2 adults 2 teens) we paid $145 for the Marvel Experience plus an additional $10 for parking and shelled out another $20 for a souvenir photo.  So at $175 we are not talking about chump change.

Time: We had tickets for Sunday December 28th at 3pm- the web said the experience would last 90-120 minutes. We were there for 3.5 hours ( i.e. 210 minutes) from 2:45pm until 6:15pm.  Approximately 60 minutes of that was actual “experience” everything else was standing in line.

Would we do it again?:
not likely- at least not at the cost that it was.  Again it was nearly $30 per person (correction it was nearly $40 per person after ticket master fees and nearly $50 per person after parking and 1 shared family souvenir)

Pros:  It’s Marvel so if you like Marvel you will be able to find something to like about it.

Cons: 1-interestingly enough kids 6 and under were FREE- which blows my mind because there sure were a TON of them and they take up a TON of time on the activities that those of us that PAID to be there are now having to wait for.  Due to the structure of the activities I believe every person who enters should be a paying ticket holder that would make it fair. 2- parking was an additional $10 (if you ever go to anything at Talking Stick you KNOW you have to pay for parking, this just always sucks- but at $10 per event they need to PAVE that lot- the dirt is getting old) 3- poor crowd management (read full review for details) 4- low value high cost (see full review for details of what $30 per person gets you)

I really wish I was sitting down to write a different review than the one I am about to post, but alas- the experience was what it was so I shall share. Mostly because so many of my Facebook friends have asked us about it.

I was originally excited that you bought tickets for “timed entry” because I felt that showed that they were going to have crowd control well managed- Sadly that was not the case.  Half the number of people with the same 3pm tickets as us should have been in our group to make the experience more manageable.  They definitely oversold the time slots.  The event is “sold” as a 90-120 minute” walk thru, so we knew going into it that it would be what we made of it.  We did not anticipate that the reason it would be a 90-120 minute experience was because 90% of your time would be standing in line waiting for an activity that would last 45 seconds to no more than 5 minutes each.

How the event went for us:

At 3pm about 75% of the people in our group forgot the basic concept of the “line” we had all been forming for the past 15 minutes and herded towards the entry where 2 people were scanning tickets and 2 people past them were handing out wrist bands. People grabbed wristbands and then shoved their way to the opening of the first dome where security finally stepped in and told people to form a line (which conveniently was forced to swing right past the overpriced concession stand). We stood in this line for 20 minutes in the courtyard in front of the concession stand after being handed non-working “power bands.”

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Apparently that feature was a big fail and they gave up on it- you could see where there was booths to register and get photos but they were shuttered closed and- there was no mention of registration of any kind of our bands they were just handed to us.  I could not even locate the TMX App on my android phone which was the only advertisement for any type of registration of any kind that was posted anywhere.

At about 3:20ish our line began to slowly funnel into the first dome- which contained—a corral line to feed us all up to a photo with a green screen for one photo op for which we were then handed a photo pass to buy the picture later.  While we stood in line there were TV monitors giving Marvel character bios on a loop.   We saw each character bio at least 10 times while in this que.

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Finally at about 3:30pm the line began to move into the first actual dome- which was the S.H.I.E.L.D. Mobile Command center. A lot of filler time was taken to get “as many people into this dome” as they could and we were told over and over, squeeze in, make friends, spread out, and move over here etc. Eventually a big screen provided an intro movie.  This got us really excited- we learned about the “adaptoids” and what our “mission” as recruits was going to be.

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Everyone in the whole crowd by this point was already irritable and complaining about the waits and calling everything “lame” so it was difficult to stay positive and we were only just starting the tour!  If only the staff would have been more interactive and pumped the crowd up. My kiddos however were still glowing with excitement so we really tried to tune out the negativity around us. There was a lot of filler time because you could tell they were stalling on letting us into the next area.

At about 3:40pm we were let into the main dome area which contained a majority of the activities.  You are repeatedly reminded that once you leave a dome you can NOT return to it, so you have to be sure that you do everything you want to do in each area before moving on.  When you first enter you see tons of artifacts and cool stories to read.

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There is an enemy “adaptoid” that has been captured and is on display in the center of the east end of the dome.

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Encircling this are several touch screen “games” which are all the exact same matching game- the theme is “excavation” where you are supposedly finding pieces of an exploded adaptoid and you drag pieces around the screen to match them up- it keeps your attention for a max of 30 seconds.

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Every now and then projections will appear near the top of the dome to the east and west and if you are lucky you can hear what they are saying.  If you travel counter clock wise you will enter another area that has six activities in it- A simulated shooting game called “Holoblaster training” that takes 3-D glasses and lasts 4-5 minutes and takes a max of 24 people per session- so your wait time in this line will be LONG. We stood for over 45 minutes in this line.

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Next is a Spidey “rock wall” which looked interesting because it moved like a conveyor belt- but one side was not operating so that line was also very long- the rock wall itself was also very short no more than 6 feet tall so we skipped it.  Next was the Avengers Encounter which was pretty neat- you stood on pads and posed in certain manners to “summon” different Avengers to arrive on the screen with you.

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We happened to hit this activity when no one else was in line for it so we got to play around with it for a few minutes before a line began to form and I made my kids move on to let someone else have a turn.  That type of polite parenting seemed to be missing among others in attendance at this event. The next activity was Black Widows Agility Maze- which was a narrow room with laser beams that you had to navigate by moving over under the beams.  We watched people on the screen and enjoyed the entertainment of it but the line for that looked horribly long as well so we also skipped that one.

 

The last activities in this area were Ironman flight training

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and a Hulk Smash punching game both went relatively quickly as they were timed and monitored by staff so people were shuffled in and out quickly. There was also some “confidential files” to look through which contained more bio info and some great artwork of Marvel characters.  Lastly was a snack bar area, we purposely ate prior to coming to this as we knew it would be over priced for example a slushy was $8.
When you go to leave this dome you are once again reminded that you can NOT come back to it, you walk into a trailer with Villain monitors to look at and read up on and a touch screen interactive activity that most people I think walked right past.

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We perused this area for about 3-4 minutes, then we walked down the end of the trailer where our “power bands” were taken from us and we were given souvenir bands with three snap on logos to attach, then herded into another waiting area called the ‘transfer doom” where we were handed 3-d glasses and again played the “stand around and stall” –move over there- squeeze in here game until they determined that enough people had arrived to shuttle us into the Simularium dome. There was nothing to do in here but stand around, nothing to look at nothing to watch etc.   Once everyone was inside the Simularium we were told we must stand- absolutely no sitting.  Then they proceeded to play a dizzying movie above our heads.  It really was spectacular and exciting- I really wish we could have sat down on the ground though- because it really was hard to watch staring straight at the ceiling for 5 minutes watching a 360 degrees spinning movie all around your head. We were actually told before it began that if we felt like we were getting sick to take off our glasses and look at the ground- how is THAT a solution?
Next you file into another waiting area called the “transport corridor” where they spend even more time scooting people around and waiting around making sure there are “enough” people to make the next activity worthwhile and stalling.  Finally a safety video plays which is funny and we get to enter into the Transport Hangar for “the ride” which is a large theater with a massive screen.  Anyone with motion sickness can sit in the front row everyone else gets seats that will move and rock and have bursts of air blown on them etc. The “ride” lasts for a little more than 5 minutes and if I had to compare it to anything I would say it is about 50% less jerky than Star Tours but with a lot more comfortable seats and a much cooler video.  Then it is over.  You all file out into the gift shop that has no less than 40 staff members simply standing around to ensure no one steals anything.  We liked our photo so we bought it.

 

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I think Tyler especially was able to still see it through the eyes of wonder, Connor however picked up on the irritability of everyone around us and started to get jaded about stuff.  Overall there were many moments that I loved looking at the boys enjoy themselves.

If you look at our photos I captured what looks like a great time and I want to remember it that way as much as I can.

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STEM Science club trip

I got to chaperon Connor to the STEM Science club trip to California —30 5th and 6th graders on a bus for 7 hours…WOOT

BUS

We went to Disneyland to learn about physics

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and to the California Science center to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor.

Endeavor

It was a pretty fantastic trip with lots of amazing memories for me and my boy.

Author Meet and Greet

Grandma and Grampa Geroux are so totally awesome and pre-ordered Connor the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book

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through Changing hands book store- with this order they got put in a drawing for a pass for 2 to go to a special author meet and Greet after the book was released to have it signed by none other than Mr Jeff Kinney himself.

"dude! is there REALLY an angry sharks game??"
“dude! is there REALLY an angry sharks game??”

Connor was over the moon!

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They really know how to put on a kid friendly book signing event!

When we arrived there were tons of kids with their faces buried in their brand new book- that says a lot about the author if you can get a bunch of preteen/teens so eager to read that they plop down in the dirt and dig in the second the book hits their hands!

2013-11-08 17.08.43They let people in by letter groups to meet Jeff Kinney- probably about 20 people per letter- we had letter H

In the mean time there were cool activities to enjoy

Money grab
Money grab
Fortune teller
Fortune teller
draw Greg
draw Greg
Wheel of MISfortune
Wheel of MISfortune
Drop in the bucket
Drop in the bucket
Sign Rodrick's Door
Sign Rodrick’s Door
Pet finder
Pet finder

once you did all the stations you got your “future” based off of how you did at each activity

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By the time we did all of that it was almost letter H’s turn to meet Jeff Kinney so we didn’t get to do the photo booth- but we did get to dance- and we still don;t know what the fox says

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Great Grampa Geroux’s train

Jason’s Grampa Geroux passed away when Jason was only 2 years old- so there are not a lot of memories of him.

There is one big memory we do have- and it has been in storage our entire marriage

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We kept it in and easy to reach place when we moved to the new house because we had every intention of putting it together and showing it to the boys.

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She worked like and champ!!

The Big Dunk

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Lots of family and friend’s celebrated with us on April 16th 2011 when both Tyler and Connor made the choice to get baptized

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Connor’s BIG moment!!
a new creation!!!
a new creation!!!

Thing is- with autism- you can never really totally prepare for everything— Both boys were SO very excited for their big outward proclamation that they have Jesus in their hearts- and we did everything we could to prepare Ty for “going under” complete with letting him wear goggles for the event

WAIT- I can NOT get my SHIRT wet!!!
WAIT- I can NOT get my SHIRT wet!!!

We had not prepared for the water to be so freezing cold for the services (a problem that the following year was corrected by the addition of heater to the pool after the campus pastors own daughter chickened out from the chill)- So that day- Ty never “went under”

The very first dip in Grandma and grampa’s pool later that summer we tipped him back- but he never did do anything “publicly”  That changed this summer when the youth group pastors put together a pool party baptism event- complete with letting Ty go shirtless and wear goggles.

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Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Matthew 28:19

 

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So proud of both of my amazing Christ filled young men.

 

13 and 11

Not much that can be said about these two that hasn’t been said already

June 13, 2002
June 13, 2002
June 13th, 2013
June 13th, 2013

Hilarious recreation of the day you met

Happy 13th and 11th boys!!!

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You boys amaze me every day and I am so blessed to be your momma