Archive for November, 2012

Top E rated video games for kids – 2012

Today is Cyber Monday, and there’s only 28 days left until Christmas! Time to get cracking on holiday shopping. While the older crowd is playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Halo 4 and Assassin’s Creed III, you need some ideas for games for kids 10 and under.

The hottest video game item right now is the new Nintendo Wii U, just released on 11/18. The Wii U Basic/White has a retail price of $299.99, while the Wii U Deluxe/Black’s retail price is $349.99. I’m looking to buy one for our family for Christmas, but they are sold out everywhere – online and in stores. Checked eBay this morning, and the average selling price of a new Wii U deluxe is $900! One actually sold on 11/22 for $12,700!  Insanity. Again. The same thing as when the original Wii was released – everyone snapped them up to sell on eBay, and none were available to buy and wrap up for Christmas. I’ve got the phone numbers of 5 local stores on hand, and am hoping to get lucky and find one at retail price before 12/24. *crosses fingers* (For week of 11/8, Nintendo sold 400,000+ Wii U’s, 300,00 Wii’s, 275,000 DS’s, and 275,000 3DS’s.)

Here are my latest lists on the top selling and top rated video games that are appropriate for kids – all with an ESRB rating of E or E 10+. Everything is sorted by console, to make it easier for you.

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Cooking with kids: Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s that time of year again – holiday time, autumn harvest, Thanksgiving, pumpkins. Time for baking! This is our favorite Pumpkin Cake – moist, delicious, easy to bake, and ALL the kids will eat it. Frost the whole thing with the yummy Cream Cheese Frosting, or only half, for the folks who like it plain. I also love this recipe, as it only makes a few dirty dishes: 1 bowl, 1 spatula, beaters. Easy peasy.

Have your little ones help with the measuring and pouring. But don’t them lick the cake beaters, due to raw eggs – the cream cheese frosting beaters, they can lick, and lick, and lick.

CAKE:

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups (or 1 small can) of pumpkin

  1. Pull out your mixer, beaters, a large bowl, and a rubber spatula.
  2. Beat together eggs, sugar, and oil.
  3. Mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Then add gradually to egg mixture.
  4. Add pumpkin last, and beat well.
  5. Pour into 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (no less).

FROSTING:

1 stick butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese (I microwave it for 15 seconds or so)
2 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar (a.k.a. 10x sugar / confectioners sugar)

  1. Cream butter and cream cheese together.
  2. Gradually add in vanilla and powdered sugar.
  3. Beat well.
  4. Frost cake when it is cool (warm is okay, but if the cake is too hot it melts the frosting and makes it look weird).

Photo: by Pumpkin Passion.

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No Karma Koin for Christmas for us (a.k.a. NEXON, you could have done better)

Last year my kids requested NX Cash / Karma Koin for Christmas. In case you don’t know, NX Cash / Karma Koin are cards you can purchase at stores that have scratch-off codes on the back that you redeem for in-game cash for NEXON games. Like Maplestory, or Mabinogi. Or Vindictus, Combat Arms, Dragon Next, Dungeon Fighter, or Atlantica.

I bought $25 for each kid – $100 worth. We scratched off, then entered the codes the morning after Christmas Day, bought a couple of items, then went to sleep, plotting which of the magnificent Cash Shop items we would buy tomorrow.

The next morning, we woke up, logged in, and the kids started buying.  Except for my daugher, my girl. She logged in and ALL her NX was gone. Gone!? 23,910 NX just disappeared!?

I logged into the NEXON site to check the account history, and SOMEONE had bought octopus legs, through the MTS, with all the missing NX.

Somehow, someone had managed to hack into my girl’s Maplestory account within 24 hours of redeeming her Karma Koin, even though her computer has Norton 360 and Malwarebytes on it. Read the rest of this entry »

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