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Jason and the boys are currently out for Round II of The Great Candy Grab.  Round I ended with shivers, followed by a halftime with a giant pizza and the first half of The Sorcerer’s Stone, our usual Halloween night movie.  The boys donned hoodies under their costumes and hit the streets to see what else they could haul in.


How about those blasters?  I saw this tutorial linked on Geek Dad this week and immediately sent it to Jason.  (Not that I couldn’t – or wouldn’t! – make them myself, but he did ask what he could do to help.  He had fun with it, and he rarely gets to be involved in the Halloween costuming.)

In an effort not to pass Hamthrax H1N1 onto the entire neighborhood, we decided to leave our candy out on the porch for the neighbors.  In an additional effort not to let the first three kids get all the candy, I did this:


The boys are back, not-so-patiently waiting to restart the movie, so off I go.  Once they’re in bed, Jason and I will cross our fingers and hope AMC is showing some wonderful old Vincent Price movie.

Have a safe and spooky Halloween!


Oh, to have the energy of a six-year-old when I don’t feel my best!

Kalen has a stinker of a head cold.  Sleep last night was intermittent, and given the paranoia reasonable concern about germs these days, we decided a day home was probably best for everyone involved.  The kids at school would have less exposure to the nastiness Kalen’s carrying, and he would have less exposure to potentially worse viruses while his immune system is run down.  Win-win.

Today has reminded me a lot of when he was in preschool.  Cuddle time on the couch, PB&J’s in front of a movie (old-school Pooh Bear, complete with blustery days and little black rain clouds!), and coloring.

There is one notable difference between four-year-old Kalen and six-year-old Kalen when it comes to coloring, however.  The stories…the really, really destructive nature of them, to be exact.  I was just treated to an hour-long (at least it felt that way – perhaps it was only about five minutes) explanation of certain “Vulture droids”* in various stages of exploding.  Pre-explosion, impact of missiles and other droids/ships/somethings, actual explosion and/or crashing into what I observed to be a flame-engulfed planetoid of some sort.


He didn’t start the explanation in a seated position…this was only after a lengthy dancing/jumping/arm-waving speech that had me nodding and “uh-huh-ing” in a confused, sort-of-listening manner.  (I’m sorry, after a while, I just have to tune it out.)  Once I pulled him in for a hug and explained that perhaps Daddy would find this much more comprehensible, after all, he’s the Mythbusters-style explosions addict, the Vulture Droid Annihilator gave me the same sort of “uh-huh” before settling into the chair to expound a bit more.  Touché, kiddo.

Incidentally, it was the bottom center photo that clued me into what he really needed, besides a semi-listening ear and a hug or two.  Another difference between four-year-old and six-year-old Kalen: he now understands it when I explain the need for nap time when he’s sick.

*And with this, we have proof that the boys’ Star Wars knowledge has officially surpassed my own.  Sigh.

Making R2: Day Four



Head outside for a photo shoot.


Split your handsome face with a grin, because you have the coolest. Valentine’s box.  Ever.



(P.S. Want to see how Nicolas’s R2-D2 Valentines Day Box came together?  Check out the posts here, here, and here!)

Making R2: Day Two

After painting the body (interior trim white), prying the soccer ball out of the [mostly] dry paper mache, and trimming the dome to size, raid the recycling bins for appropriate droid leg materials.


Cut, configure, and tape legs.


Prime legs and feet.  Realize as you’re doing so that you should have built and attached legs and feet before the first primer/painting round.  Oh well.


Prime again after first coat dries, because even Kilz doesn’t stick so well to plastic packing tape on the first go.

Compare work to model for accuracy.  Declare progress to this point a roaring success!


Use cardboard from recycling bin to create ledge inside dome.


Take this opportunity to teach about utilizing slits in a straight piece of cardboard to bend it to the necessary curve.  Attach with masking tape.

Cover dome with aluminum foil, and use cardboard ledge to hot glue it to the body.


Hopefully you remembered to cut an opening in the dome before this point, so the unit can actually be used as a Valentine mailbox.  We did.  (Yay!)

Call it quits for Day Two.  Admire the distinctly droid-like figure now residing on the kitchen table.


(P.S. Want to see how Nicolas’s R2-D2 Valentines Day Box came together?  Check out the posts here, here, and here!)

My boys

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