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.


Surprise trip to LegoLand Discovery Center!

We didn’t even know this place existed until a few weeks ago, so I found discount tickets and off we went! It wasn’t quite as exciting as I’d hoped it would be (and one of the rides was shut down) but the kids had a really good time so that’s all that matters!


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! :)


Summer Slide Worksheet? CHECK!

He finished his Summer Slide stuff a few days early (280 second grade workbook pages, ~700 pages of reading, and 70 pages of handwriting practice!) so guess who’s starting his Lego reward right now?


Overall it was more of a fight than I thought it would be—he’s a typical kid who never wanted to spend the 20-30 measly minutes a day to do what he needed to do, so when it compounded and he’d have to work for 2-3 hours to catch up he became a hot whiny mess. And this was even after I put the Lego reward on display! The only time he got really excited about “doing homework” was this week when he saw how close he was to the end.

But, he now knows how to do 3-digit addition and subtraction (along with lots of other stuff) and his handwriting is MILES ahead of where it was. We still need to work on reading comprehension and composing sentences, but overall, he did a great job! YAY OWEN!

Owen’s half birthday pool party!

Once again this year, Owen decided to have his birthday party at the community pool with Costco pizzas and cake (which I forgot to get a picture of)! The trade off is that many of his friends are away on vacations…but even though we had a small turnout and it was about 110°, everyone had fun!









After his party, one of his friends came back to spend a few hours. They had fun playing Xbox and then building Legos.


After he left, Owen opened his gifts and was COMPLETELY GEEKED to get some Ninjago Legos, a bunch of Pokemon cards, a Nerf bow and arrow, a Star Wars board game, and $15 cash. This was my favorite card he got:



And it didn’t take long before Owen and Katie had their noses buried in Pokemon cards.


Brickfair 2016

There was no traffic so we made it to Dulles in record time…which was good because at 9:30 there was already a line for the early 10:30 entrance! So I was a good mom and held our spot while Tom and the kids hunted Pokémon. :)

Then the ring thing happened so that put a bit of a damper on things for us. But we tried to forget about it because there was exactly nothing we could do about it at the moment.

So we looked at Legos. And wow, was it cool.

Rapunzel’s tower with mermaids swimming beneath!

Harry Potter’s Quidditch Field (both kids recognized it)!

One of my favorites:

This train had a camera on it. Check out the video feed toward the back!

The flying car from Harry Potter. Something like this was just on a random street scene, with maybe a Starbucks storefront and other random characters or cars. So it was fun to spy the things we knew.

I took these pics for Gramma Jean who saw this in real life. :)

The kids didn’t know these but we did! Iconic scenes from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory!


Of course there were lots of moving sets—trains and carousels and whatnot. But this was my favorite!

Then we did some quick shopping and we got Owen a Lego with his name on it.

And Tom got a marine. :)

By the time we were leaving it was really crowded and was a lot harder to look at the  exhibits and it wasn’t nearly as fun…so I’m glad we were there early. The kids had a blast and spent almost the whole time saying “Come look at this! Look mom! Over here! OMIGOSH!” :)