Thursday, December 27, 2012

Building memories

After making Jackson go back to bed at 2:30 a.m. (you know it's too early for your kids to be up on Christmas morning when you haven't even gone to bed yet), we started opening presents at a much more reasonable hour.
He can tell which ones are Legos with one shake.
Weird & Gross Bible Stuff. It's pretty disturbing.
Landon's excited to get some "big kid" toys of his own.
You, too, can have your very own potato clock for just $9.99 (potatoes not included).
This is a really cool Bible, that's designed just like comic books!
Kids, when I was your age, our forts came from our brain, not from a box.
When we were at a second-hand shop on Main Street in Monroe City, Mo., on Black Friday, Jack saw an antique wooden croquet set that he really liked. So I went back and got it for him.
Nanoblocks from Grandma. As the employee at Fat Brain Toys told her, "If he loves Legos, he's gotta have these."
The presents are opened. Now it's time to play!
A little zinc here, a little copper there ... and, whaddya know? It works!
A special treat was when my friend Paul stopped by and stayed for nearly an hour. Even though we've known each other for 10 years, this was the first time he and Leslie had ever met. Sure enough, Landon cracked up when he thought the Twister shadow figures were naked.
This "fort" system has been such a huge hit that Leslie went back to Kohl's yesterday and got another set. And, last night, Jack slept in it overnight!
The Hot Wheels "Gorilla Takedown" set we got for Landon actually sticks to the wall.
Here are some action shots of a car zig-zagging down the track....
Doin' a 180...
Across the bridge...
And zooming past the gorilla. How can you not like that?
When I put Jack to bed on Dec. 22nd, he told me, "All I want for Christmas are Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and silly string." And when Leslie put him to bed on Dec. 23, he said, "All I want for Christmas is a paper shredder and silly string." Well, son, you got your silly string.
Finally, after spending the whole day working on other building/construction projects, he was ready to tackle the Nanoblocks.
They're teeny!
And for anyone considering the K'NEX Ferris wheel, I'd say the package's recommended age of 7 years old and up is way too young. He's a 9-year-old Lego afficionado and had a really hard time figuring it out. Heck, it was complicated enough for me! But once we finally put together all 475 parts, Jack loved it so much that he had to bring it to the dinner table.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our merry little Christmas

At church on Christmas Eve, between the 4 o'clock and 5:30 services at which Leslie sang.
Dinner was ready and waiting for us when we got home. Despite the bling from our dining room tablescape being a little over-the-top gaudy, our evening was about as low-key as could be — just the way we like it.
All is calm, all is bright.
The boys in their new Christmas Eve jammies.
And playing with their new Hero Factory Legos our teenage babysitter gave them at church. Thanks Jonathan!
After everyone was tucked into bed, I ventured out to the 11 p.m. youth-led service at church ... and snapped a pic of our backyard on my way home.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

39,600 seconds in the Second City

I was in Chicago for about 10 hours yesterday, for work (and would have been less if my departing flight wouldn't have been delayed). After getting off the L and walking the couple of blocks to our office, the Chicago Board of Trade beckoned me ... maybe because it's on Jackson Street.
Even closer to our building, this is just inside the Willis Tower. When you're the country's tallest building, I guess you have a tall Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More words I like the sound of:

  1. Ruckus
  2. Dinky
  3. Vuvuzela
  4. Slather
  5. Kerfuffle
  6. Stymie
  7. Garbanzo
  8. Wobble
  9. Behoove
  10. Frolic
  11. Gal
  12. Hootenanny
  13. Swig

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kids, cookies and Christmas

They just seem to go together.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Our king-size bed

Just like we're kind of "front-porch people," the four of us also tend to hang out on our bed quite a bit: the boys come into our room in the morning, we cuddle with 'em at night and often lounge around together on lazy weekend afternoons.
So, when our friend Aubrey from church came over to take some casual family photos, we figured, "Why not?"
I love Jack's honest, natural expressions in these. He's truly tickled.
Then things started to get a little crazy.
Uh-oh, here we go...
Um, we'll let you know when we find the last feather.
It was memorable, to say the least.