Monday, December 30, 2013

A random thought...

I've heard there was a secret chord that David played, and it pleased The Lord.
And I'm pretty sure, if I were He, it would be my little ones giggling in the morning.
So blessed.
So loved.
So thankful.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

let's get real.

I *just* disposed of the Thanksgiving leftovers that were lurking in the back of the fridge.
I'm just putting it out there.
Now you know, this blog is not all rainbows and glitter.
Scary thing all looked perfectly fine.


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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A tad o' SUNSHINE!

It's amazing how fast we take the warmth for granted in summers here. It's easy to do, when your humidity is about 10 degrees higher than hell, but nonetheless...
Yesterday we were graced with a day of 60s. My Cali girls are totally frowing their brows right now because that is downright FUH REE zing in Cali, but here, after the past weeks, 60s = angels singing and church bells ringing and the whole nine yards.
I had a whole morning out with a friend, and we toted around town gathering items for our ugly sweaters-in-the-making and munching down on my fav cadillac queso, and driving with the windows down.
Oh yeah.

Shameless selfie!
After school on Mondays, Em has guitar so the little bit and I spend some one on one together for awhile. This day was so nice that we went for our usual happy hour drinks at sonic (Green apple splush for him, water for me, since I'm STILL coughing!), and when we pulled into the neighborhood I did a 180 in the road ans parked. We were going to go look at the floods of geese and ducks that got stranded here in the winter-storm-in-fall last week. 
He complained.
I pulled the momma card.
He whined.
I gave him the face.
He climbed out.
And then he found a stick, and a smile appeared. And then he decided that he was going to see just how very far he could throw that rock down there, and that one, too, and that one. 

We sunk a battleship of log, we bombed a feather, we even threw a robber into the cool water.
He. Was. LOVING it.
(You see, baby? Mommy is ALWAYS right!)
and then it was time to get sister.
and he complained.
and I pulled the momma card.
and he whined.
and I gave him the face.
and he trudged down the path to school with me.

and then he had an idea!
and then he skipped.
and then he raced his boot-laden momma, and won.
and then he found sister.

and back up the path we went.
and back to the pond we went.

and he showed her how to sink ships, and throw robbers away like super heroes do, and how to bomb feathers. 
And she showed him how to "skip rocks like Papa", and throw rocks beyond something to make them float back to shore, and make a rock store for each other.
and their coughing momma thanked the heavens for the warm sun on her face,
and the giggles of  the little ones who light up my life,
and the hour of the day that her prince charming would drive over that bridge headed home and the kids would jump in his car because momma was TIRED and ready to head home, because MAN, coughing takes it OUT of you!, But, you know. The robbers needed throwing, and the store was selling out of rocks like hotcakes, and momma just couldn't end it all just yet. 

But prince charming came to the screams of "Daddy's coming! Daddy's coming!"
And they climbed into his car
And up the hill towards home they went.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

A trip to the North Pole

This past weekend, we traveled to the North Pole. It was freezing outside and windy, so our imaginations didn't have to work all that hard. 
The first thing we saw was Dasher and Dancer, who has flown Santa here on this ice cold day. Evan was really enjoying watching them, asking how they flew, and I could see his eyes were full of thought, probably bouncing between logic and magic. He stood there for what seemed like a long time (but then again, in that wind, a long time could very well have been 2 minutes. I'm a wuss. I know). I watching him compared to his big sister, whose magic is so fragile and barely hanging on, and wondered how long reindeer would fly the jolly man to our rooftop. How long the big man himself would come to magically squeeze down our brick chimney, and how long his magic toy sack could hold anything (even a shelf!, Evan told us the other day!). 

Inside the Devin tower, huge ornaments hung from the ceilings, they filled planters and decorated trees and overhangs. It was beautiful. There were live carolers singing and stories being read by Mrs. Claus.
 The line to see Santa had made it past the 5 hour mark by the time we arrived. We put our names on the list, but we knew that he would be coming closer to our house this week, so we didn't expect too much. 
 In the craft area, the kiddos wrote Santa letters and colored pictures. Evan says his is a poster for his room. Love him. He was so busy coloring, he had me write his letter as he colored. 

 and now we know what the fur kids want, as well, I suppose. :)
Emma surprised us all with her Santa letter. It was different than the one she had written a couple weeks ago. I asked her if she thought maybe Santa might be confused, but she said "It's SANTA! He knows what I like!", and that was that, because, well, that was that. 
 Emmie's friend wrote hers as well.
 ...and they all mailed them carefully, one by one, into Santa's Mail Box for the trip to his workshop.

 We headed out of the over-crowded building and out into the cold once again to ride the teeny tiny little polar express train and appease their mom by taking pictures in front of the giant ornaments scattered about.

We had planned on a surprise snow-tubing trip close by, but it was really really cold, and we *think* they were sold out of the time we wanted to go anyhow, so we settled for a warm lunch and a Lego minifig instead. 

Home again we go!
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Dear Santa,

Well, first off, the December growth chart! A little late, I know. 
And now, to the letters for the year!
The einsteins wrote their letters to Santa early this year. They weren't allowed to ask for any electronics because #1, they're always begging to be on the ones we already have, and #2, electronics are expensive! Even for elves to make! SO, the letters, starting with the expensive child...
(drum roll, please!)

(Spankywinks is our house elf - who, unlike every other house in the country does NOT resemble a creepy doll that moves at night)

And our liitle one...
Dear Evan = Dear Santa, from Evan

Darling, right?
Last year, he only asked for a hot wheel car.

I think with the resources Santa saves on his gifts opposed to his sister's, he may be getting that muscle car he'll ask for on his 17th Christmas! ;)

They have gotten all their shopping done already, those two. They got daddy's gifts and each others, and a handful of toys and necessities to send to the less fortunate kiddos of the world. They are working on final handmades for momma? grandparents? who knows - this week.
Good little elves, those two.

Their wish lists for 2013:
Salon/Spa Chair from American Girl
LEGO gift cards
A laptop that turns on (her last hand-me-down has been in a coma for about 4 months now)
St. Louis cardinals ball cap & shirt

LEGO gift cards for the new series minifigs coming in January
Hot wheels
Hot wheels track
Wooden baseball bat (I'm assuming the Louisville slugger from the factory tour)
More legos

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

On my list...

Anyone else out there putting THIS on their Santa list?!? 
Just pre-missing my Feathersby family from the old house...
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{The Lego Castros} December

It looks like the little family has made it safely into the village of Bricksmeade, where they turn the main street into a holiday fair for the travellers that come for the holidays.
The children love to ice skate on the small frozen pond that began as a water line break over a decade ago. The villagers rerouted the water lines and left the spill as a main street ice rink! Aren't they clever!

The little figs are nervous at first, holding onto trees and lamp posts, but daddy says "Look, kids! It's not hard! Watch how fast I can go!"
"Daddy!!", the little figs yell, as momma snaps photos.
"Oh dear", says Daddy, in a muffled snow-covered voice.
An hour later, the children were skating like little professionals, and Daddy had learned to slow down.
Soon, they were cold and hungry, so Momma took Emma and Daddy took Evan, and they wandered the food stands until they settled on what would make their tummies warm and happy.
Emma decided on a cupcake from Jean-Luc's bakery stand.
Evan decided that some warm butterbeer from William's pub stand would be perfect.
The little family enjoyed their snacks in the presence of  carolers singing and the live band playing Silent night together. Daddy held Momma's hand tightly. He knew that she was worried about getting home, and he was, too. But Daddy had a plan... 

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

{The Lego Castros} December 10th

It looks like the little figs have worked hard finishing their snow creation!
They have called daddy & Momma out to see!

"Who's there?!", ask Daddy & Momma
"Peek-a-boo!!" they say, crawling out of the igloo they have built.
They can barely fit inside, but Emma & Evan LOVE their new playhouse, and only come out when they hear the familiar rumble of Mister Snow's snow plow!
They watch from the safety of the igloo as Mister snow pushes all the snow off the roads of Bricksmeade onto the lawns where the children are more than happy to build them into snowfigs and igloos.
Mister Snow stops as daddy waves him down. "I hear the snow fell quite hard, Mister Snow! Do you think we'll have any problems getting back down the mountain pass to Bricktown tomorrow evening?", daddy asks. "Well, Mister Castro, I'm sorry to say that the snow DID fall heavily. So heavy, in fact, that I cannot even get my plow to the pass! If it doesn't hold up, you may be hunkering down a few more days in Bricksmeade!", replies Mr. Snow.
"Well, at least we have firewood and family!", says Momma, trying to stay upbeat.
Just then the clip clop of horse shoes became apparent, and Mister Snow waved and wished them luck.
The horse belonged to Freddy, the Christmas tree lot owner.
"Well, hello, Freddy! How are you this fine day?", Momma asks.
"Not so good, Mrs. C. The snow has avalanched over the mountain pass! I was on my way to meet old man Wes for another load of trees, but neither of us could get through! I suppose it's good we got as many tree as we did before the avalanche hit!"
Momma gasped and covered her mouth. "Avalanche! That's terrible!", she said.
Daddy was worried. The town Christmas party was coming soon - they couldn't be snowed out of Bricktown! 
"Can we ride in your wagon into town?" pleaded the kids, who were happy to be in Bricksmeade, no matter what.
"Well, I suppose so! I have no trees, so it's empty! Climb aboard!", Freddy said. 
"A day at the ice rink should bring our spirits up!" says Daddy.
Momma smiles and climbs in. "You're always right.", she says and snuggles up for the short ride into Bricksmeade.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

{The Lego Castros} December 9th

The little lego castros were right! They knew that when they saw the snow covered streets of Bricksmeade, they were at their Uncle's mountain cabin! Uncle Kurt, the mayor of Lego City, had purchased this cabin when he was still just a short legged fig who saved his allowance, like all good boys and girls. Now, he had distributed keys to all the family to enjoy the cabin when they want, because he is always so busy being mayor that he rarely gets to visit the old place.
Right away, the little figs begin jumping on the big plush bed upstairs. It creaks and rattles, just like it had ever since they were tiny. They like the sound, and it makes them feel like they are officially on vacation.
Daddy builds a warm, roaring fire, and hangs stockings by the fireplace, because the first family to visit in December must do the decorating inside, and the last one must clean it up.
Momma begins to wipe down all the counters and open the curtains and get the little home alive and well.
"The fire will need some more logs!" says Daddy. "Get your gloves and winter coats on, and meet me outside, you two! You can help me stack the logs in the shed once I cut them!"
and Daddy sawed the logs in perfect little sections, because in Bricksmeade, logs cut perfectly.
Evan and Emma pile them into their small sled and they stack them perfectly away in the shed. What good little children! Their Daddy is so proud.
It had started to snow a little bit outside, but it was still nice enough to go for a short stroll down into town a bit and see the friends that own the little shops in Bricksmeade. 
Daddy & Momma pull the little ones in the sled. The roads are covered in ice and snow, so the sled glides easily across the ground.
Although it is getting late, the Castros see Mister Gary tap tap tapping away on some wood with his little hammer upstairs form the little toy shop he owns. "He's making more toys for the toy shop!" say Emma & Evan together. "May we come back tomorrow and see what he's made?!", Emma asks. "We'll see!", says Daddy.
"ello, mes amis!" says a familiar voice. It's Jean-Luc! The best baker in all of Bricksmeade, Brick Town, and everywhere in between! He was just locking up his bakery. The little figs love Jean-Luc, for he always lets them sample every last one of his delicious creations. Once, he even gave them a whole wedding cake when he accidently used white icing instead of antique white!
"Hello, Jean-Luc!" Momma & Daddy say. "We are visiting for the weekend! I hear they have opened the skating rink already!"
Monsieur Jean -Luc got a troubled look on his face. He replied "oy! But did you not hear the news? Zhere is a gande storm coming into Brickmeade soon! I do not zink you will be able to leave before Monday!"
"Oh! We had not heard!", says Daddy, "But I'm sure it will be fine. The buses are strong, and Mister Snow runs his snow plow so well! I can't imagine us being stuck!" but Momma was worried.
Right about then, the wind picked up and the snow began to fall faster.
They bid Monsieur goodbye, and headed back to the snow covered cabin.
"Can we play outside in the snow, Momma?" the children asked, batting their snow covered lashes and red cheeks.
"Well, go put on your snow parkas, then!", she said.
"It's a good thing you over-packed, momma!", says daddy, smiling, as the kids ran into the house faster than you can say "snow", and began piling the snow clothes on.

By the time they had been all layered, a BIG snowdrift had blow up on the side of the cabin. The little figs had a grand idea, and began building something, snowball by snowball.
I wonder what they're going to build?
Do you have an idea?
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...and when I say "done", I don't mean that I'm done shopping and wrapping and decorating, and am sitting here with a warm cuppa joe revelling in my own awesomeness.
I mean, I am done.
The living room is void of all furniture right now. It is a room filled with a Christmas tree aglow and a massive metropolis of train tracks, tressels, car roads, tunnels, and a zillion little train wash stations, gas stations, quarry loading docks, and tidmouth sheds. The trim on the floors is missing, the walls untextured, and the occasional dust bunny scurrying by. 
The family room has an abundance of seating now, thanks to the couches moved in from the living room, so much so that you can barely maneuver into the kitchen, and that's only if you can turn sideways and still be thinner than 2 feet. There are boxes of Christmas decorations stacked up in the corner, the floors are not done, and is that an old bag of cracker jacks behind the lamp? Hmm.
I have a lot to do.
But I'm done.
The train infested living room is full of sweet little chugga chuggas, and horns honking. It's the swishing of an engine being washed, its the wailing of a tiny man falling of the big mountain bridge, only to be caught by the helicopter passing by. It's softly singing O Holy Night in the background and full of little ones in footie pajamas caring not about the dust bunny they swept up with their fleecy little bums.
The crowded family room is warm and bright and always has a Christmas movie playing, even though he would rather watch football, but it's Christmastime, and he knows momma loves her some holiday movies as she runs about trying to fight the chaos that is always abounding in a home. And he secretly pets the dog he hates and stealthily allows the cat to snuggle up to his legs without shooing her off, and I just smile and load the dishwasher.
I have no shopping done. I have nothing wrapped.
My house is torn apart and unfinished.
But, I am done.
Because this is home.
And it's Christmastime.
And everyone else is relaxing and loving our home just like it is.
And what good is it to stress about having it all done and perfect, when, really, only I am bothered by it?
Sometimes I'm so stupid!
After all, the king of kings himself, was born in a manger. With dust bunnies, and animal smells, and hay, and dirt.
And HE turned out just perfect.

I'm just going to enjoy the holiday.
If you come to see us, we'd be glad to have you among the mess, anytime.
If you come to see our house, make an appointment.
Because I'm done until the season ends!

And because you really only come for the eye candy, some random instapics.
A day of sledding

evan's idea of sushi: crab meat & rice

bento box for baby girl. 

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