Friday, March 27, 2009

RB Game of the Week: Alhambra

On Twitter there's a convention called "re-tweeting" where you literally re-post what somebody already said. I figured I could take that concept and use it to re-blog what was said over at That's what's up with the weird title.


Another fun game to add to our list is Alhambra. This game is good for 2-6 players (though David and I have never played just the two of us, not sure it would be as fun) and takes about an hour to play. It's another excellent German board game and won the Spiel des Jahres in 2003.

The rules are pretty simple but like most games it takes playing a full game to understand some of the strategies. Everyone starts the game with a city fountain and $20 or more in currency. During your turn you can either take money, buy a city tile, or move a tile on/off your board. There are seven building types and you score points by having the most of a color at each of the three scoring times in the game. You also get points for having the longest continuous wall. The walls are what gives most new players the most trouble as they can really make it hard to play additional city tiles. You can only place a city tile in your Alhambra if you can walk to it.

There are four city tiles up for sale at the beginning of each turn, one in each of the four colored currencies. If you pay the exact price for the city tile you get another turn. If you overpay you don't get any change and your turn is done. Kind of a bummer, but if you really want a tile you better jump on the chance before someone else buys it! We played Alhambra earlier this month with our friends James and Jessi so I had a chance to take some pictures of the game and not borrow some from which I'm sure you're all appreciative of!

This photo shows David's Alhambra. He won this particular game so study up on his "stairstep" city tile placement strategy. It's a good one!

James is buying one of the four city tiles on his turn. There are four currency cards to choose from if he didn't want to buy a city tile, and if there are several small amounts you can take multiple currency cards as long as the value equals 5 or under. Helpful for paying in exact amounts and getting a second turn!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

First 5K Since College

I love to run! I ran cross country all through high school and for two years in college. Unfortunately I had to stop running in college because of some chronic shin problems. The advice I got from several doctors and trainers was to get really expensive surgery or braces or just not run. As a poor college student I chose to not run even though I was heartbroken. I tried a few other sports...crew and raquetball...but nothing was ever quite the same as running.

I continued to have chronic shin problems (bruising, swelling, soreness...) even though I cut back on running big time. I totally stopped running around my senior year of college and did not train for about three years. On our honeymoon we did a lot of walking and around the third day I mentioned that my shins felt great! I decided that when we got back I would try running again and see what happened.

The only thing that changed in those three years besides getting older and not running was that I started taking some amazing natural products that are designed for joint and muscle fatigue and any kind of discomfort going on in the body. I ran when we got home and felt amazing! I had never recovered so quickly from long runs and while I was running I was close to matching my fastest training times from high school!

I was so excited this morning because I ran my first race since college!...and got just over my best time in high school!!! I also feel great right now and am almost fully recovered...I will be by tomorrow! I am totally excited that I am back on the race course and that one of our good friends, Dan Barram, shared these supplements with us that have allowed me to be myself again!

My goal, and one of my life dreams, is to run a marathon. I have my eye on the Portland Marathon next fall at this point and I will keep you posted on my training and progress...for now enjoy the pictures (courtesy of my wonderful husband) of my first race since college!


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Jessi is heading for Mexico

Jessi is going to be joining the Mexico Mission Trip Team from Northwest Hills Church at the end of March to go to Mexico and do some ministry work. She's going with a bunch of high school students and is going to be the official translator for the trip. She's super excited to go back to Mexico! This is one of the reasons why we started Univera - it gives us time freedom to give back to the community.

As excited as she is, we also know how hard this type of trip can be (imagine taking a two day trip with a bunch of high schoolers in a bus... and then doing it again within a week...). So Northwest Hills put together some prayer request cards for everyone involved and we wanted to share Jessi's. We'd like to request prayer for Jessi before and during the trip. The bottom picture outlines exactly what she's requesting, but don't feel restricted by it. :)

You can click on the pictures to get bigger versions.