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I’ve always thought a train under the tree would be cool.

It only took 44 years, a kid who loves Legos, grandparents who were willing to buy the set and the electronics 💗 and a last-minute extra set of tracks to fit around the tree stand… It ended up needing some parental intervention [to get the power hooked up correctly and the tracks in an approximate circle] but Owen did the bulk of it.

  

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I kicked ass at this game back in the day. 

I was out shopping today and ran across this game.

Holy cow the memories came flooding back!

I kicked ass at it back in the day when my cousins and I each got it for Christmas. (Google tells me it came out in 1982, which is about exactly when I thought it was—I guessed I was around 8 or so.) This is what the box looked like then.

I asked on Facebook if anyone remembered it, and my cousins did—and amazingly, said her kids played the very game a short time ago!! I wish I still had mine, but I wasn’t about to pay $17 for it. :)

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Len Summer Christmas 2017

Nick and Gracie making Christmas M&Ms (the rest went into Lisa’s monster cookies).

Just a few brats to cook…

All the kids like to fish but they say Aubrey is the one who loves it the most and is the best at it. She apparently gives lessons to other kids at their house!

Katie caught a fish!

Someone took an unplanned jump into the river (learning you can’t walk on lily pads):

Drying off…

I think this picture is a tradition.

And the mandatory annual family Christmas photo! Every year they give us grief about taking it… And this year with the craziness of the move I didn’t post it immediately and they were all asking about it!! So there. :p

And the annual kid comparison—Katie is getting closer to Aubrey but Aubrey is still ahead (which should be the case, as she’s almost 9). And as usual, Owen is definitely taller than Gracie…

But I think he beats Nick this year!!


Last year:

More fishing!

After a campfire and s’mores it was time for bed. The kids decided to all sleep in the living room… Poor Timmy. :)

 

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Don’t Buy My Kids More Toys. Try This Instead.

Don’t Buy My Kids More Toys. Try This Instead. From ScaryMommy.

Hallelujah and Amen.

Let me give you some advice of what you can do instead: Just spend time with them. Take them out for ice cream, or a date to the zoo, or even to the park down the street. They will love that more than any toy, I promise. They will remember it longer too.

Our kids just had a birthday party and got lots of gift cards. The plan is to let them but one thing and then trade them experiences for their cards. Would you rather go to Target and get a Barbie or would you rather go to the zoo? A new Lego set or a baseball game? Fingers crossed my plan works.

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Sorting Christmas Legos for next year.

We got the kids the LEGO City Advent Calendar Building Kit so after they had opened all the doors and built everything we asked if they wanted to do it again next year…because if they did, we had to sort all the pieces and take everything apart. They said yes. So I tasked Katie with that job to keep her out of my hair while I started putting away Christmas decorations. She did amazingly well! :)

 

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Christmas Morning 2016

We set the kids’ phones outside their rooms so they will stay up there until we get up at 7. :) Then they come in and cuddle for a few minutes while mommy wakes up (daddy has already been up for at least an hour). Then it’s downstairs to check out what Santa left… I didn’t take many pictures this year.

A tiara from Grannie and Papa.

A Lego train for under the Christmas tree from Grannie and Papa (complete with all the electronics to make it run!).

Princess shoes from Santa!

Charlie right in the middle of things!

Owen in his MSU hat from Grannie and Papa—we all got one! (It was a very MSU Christmas, which we all loved!)

Katie’s Elsa cape (from Santa!) and wearing her princess shoes!

Trying to get them to sit still with their new hats from Grannie and Papa:

Owen’s favorite gift this morning—a whole box of Pokémon cards! :)