The lads' fun, heartfelt correspondence with our Elf on the Shelf, Scout (see previous), continued all through December. The little gent really enjoyed his new house:
In fact, on Christmas morning he announced his plans to sleep there all through the year—which he's commenced doing, though it appears he darts out periodically to nibble down a big marshmallow the boys left outside the door. 🙂
Feeling a touch stir-crazy by the end of vacation, we decided to take the lads down to Monterey on Friday for a quick overnight adventure. Highlights included:
- A little time at the beach;
- Our best trip yet to the aquarium, which featured Leo meeting lionfish, Finn doing a barnacle impression, and some whale-/otter-watchnig from the observation deck;
- A trip to the nearby (and previously totally unheard-of!) Monterey Zoo, where we fed carrots to the 11,000-pound elephant Butch. Henry helpfully noted, “If we get to feed peanuts to Butch, we won’t feed him you guys, even though you call each other Peanut." Oh, and Leo got to meet an actual lion (Jacob), too. 🙂
Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh… You know what’s greater than great? Not only does Cousin Tony help hook us up with a Lego set that includes a miniature Lego Store selling even tinier Lego sets (!), he sends us genuine Lego Store aprons with “Finn” and “Henry” name tags!!
Unspeakably delighted, the boys are now filling their days creating & managing a store in the basement ("The Subterranean Brick Barn"), selling Mom-O & me every manner of daily special, limited-edition figure, and more. They're dutifully keeping inventory, recording deliveries ("John's perchess"), and more.
Check out a little gallery of the action, plus a pair of videos below!
“Rudolph is real!!” declared Henry on Christmas morning upon discovering that the carrots & Cheerios they’d left out for Santa’s team had been nibbled & strewn around the back yard. Though unlike in past years we didn’t find hoofprints out back (I blame the rain :-)), the guys were pretty excited about their findings. Check it out:
A wrench, helmet, elf hat, and chocolatey fingers? That's a perfect excuse for rocking out in the back seat of the Ocho, two years ago today:
This year, the magic of Christmas is shining brightly at the Nack house. Both boys have been so curious and excited about our Elf on the Shelf, Scout, and have been carrying on a lively and wonderful written correspondence with him.
Finn wrote the first letter, wondering about Scout's name, and things took off from there. We've learned that Scout speaks Spanish, that his favorite food is marshmallows (which we often find nibbled in the morning), and in his off-time, he enjoys resting in the custom-built Elf home the boys built for him from cereal boxes, wrapping paper, and ribbon. He even has his own little sleeping bag & pillow made from jewelry bags stuffed with Kleenex.
Here's a cute gallery of the letters and Scout's new home. Finn told me that he really wanted Scout to feel welcome, and I think both boys are doing a terrific job!
Three years ago the lads spun themselves silly on the teacups at San Jose’s winter carnival:
And the year earlier, we railroaded through Santa Cruz with Santa and Sir Topham Hat! (gallery)
Having developed a taste for Lego-based filmmaking at camp this summer, the boys have been enjoying setting up my little GoPro camera & filming all kinds of adventures (what Finn calls "clips") beneath the Christmas tree. Here's a random little set of moments that Google Photos stitched together for me:
Well, December has arrived, and with it, the reappearance of our Elf on the Shelf! Finn was Johnny-on-the-spot the evening of November 30th, remembering to find the Elf's box and set it out with the lid open so he could get out (of course, being super-careful not to actually touch the Elf, lest his magic disappear!).
Yesterday morning, the 1st of December, our Elf appeared, swinging on a ribbon from the curtain rod in the dining room. The boys were ecstatic to find him! When they arrived home from school yesterday, Finn set to writing a very polite little letter of inquiry to the Elf, because he couldn't remember our Elf's name. Here's a shot of his original letter, having subsequently been answered by the Elf, whose name is Scout:
A few months back, just before I left for seven days in Amsterdam, I decided to leave all the Nack dudes little drawings to remember me by. I left them on the kitchen table so they'd discover them when they got home from work/school at the end of the day. They were well-received, and in fact, Finn responded with his own drawing for me/of me and left it out upon my return! Here's a little gallery of our messages.
Though we're bummed about the outcome, we got to see one heck of an ND-Stanford game yesterday. In the video below you can see Finn & Henry rocking out to the sounds of the ND alumni band at the pep rally preceding the game. Also, here's a little gallery of the boys giving a thumbs-down to the Stanford band, kicking a tree (the Stanford mascot), and fashioning a couple of sticks & fingers into an "ND" (see if you can spot it). Goooooo Irish!
Oh, kids these days: They just get harder & harder to force into dinner! 🙂
With some camerawork help from Mom-O, the boys & I re-created some silliness from five Thanksgivings ago; see below and click for larger. Stay tuned for the 2020 installment, in which 12- and 11-year-old boys team up to stuff the The Old Man In The Bird!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Our little jive turkeys join us in wishing you a joyous & restful holiday. Here’s a peek (gallery) at the lads as they looked five years ago today.
One man's trash is a smaller man's fancy headdress. Witness our style icons two years ago today. 🙂
After weeks of anticipation, Saturday night finally arrived & brought with it Finn's first sleepover at a friend's house. Henry & I biked with him to his buddy Gavin's & dropped him off for an afternoon of pizza, movies, and horseplay.
To make Hen feel a bit less left out, Margot suggested the great idea of staging a little sleepover/campout in our room. We rigged up a little blanket pup tent & transported in some favorite Richard Scarry books, Legos, and even some candy corn popcorn (!!) found & sent by our pal Maria. I love seeing the photos of Hen & me reading together, as I'm reminded of reading the funny papers with my dad. (I'll have to dig up & juxtapose the photos!)
Here's a little gallery of our sleepover.
The guys have been patiently waiting over the last month to finally carve the giant pumpkins they picked out. (Unlike in the chilly Midwest, pumpkins out here tend to rot about 5 minutes after they're carved, so we had to bide our time.) Henry designed a pretty solid owl, though as you can see in the gallery, he spent much of his time eating himself under the table—literally—with all kinds of corn (pop & candy). Finn meanwhile enjoyed breaking out the little carving kit we bought and fashioning some kind of diabolical weirdo. Mom-O reports that both were a hit with visiting trick-or-treaters. 🙂
On Saturday our intrepid scouts & I headed off to build & launch model rockets at "Rocket Into Scouting." Together with their buddy Emiliano & his dad, we (well, largely I) knocked together a few rocket kits while alternately wolfing down tacos & gluing our fingers together. Finn also tried his hand at a slingshot, firing dried beans into the great beyond, while Henry constructed a duct-tape wallet. Here are some shots of the day out.
Hen's traffic cone prayers have been answered: through Mom-O's help he's been transformed into a giant orange cone for Halloween! Finn is equally happy to have gone over to the Dark Side & become Lord Vader; Mom-O is resplendent in Dia de los Muertos make-up; and I'm discovering just how unforgiving a tight Star Trek tunic can be. ;-p Here's a little gallery from today's costume party at our friend Ella's house.