Friday, November 15, 2013

Lego-Centric Christmas

As you know I love Christmas shopping and I try to do it year-round, but with older kids who really want specific things I don't just buy whatever's on sale and stockpile it all year. (Although I do as much of that as I can.)

This year Ben dressed as Tony Stark for Halloween. He made (from scratch and LOT of stuff from Radio Shack) an arc reactor to wear under a black t-shirt for his costume. Our grade school, Westridge, has recently become a STEM-focused school. You know how some schools get a Mandarin Chinese or French program, ours opted for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

B-O-R-I-N-G, says this English major with no job.

Actually, I think it's fantastic. I can enhance their education with books, art, and humanities on my own (not that the school has just thrown that by the wayside) but it's hard for me to do sciency math stuff so I'm glad the school has taken it on.

It has been amazing for Ben. They are studying magnets now and will focus on circuits next week. When we got the soldering kit for the arc reactor, Sam got interested too and fixed some speakers last night.  Ben goes to a Lego Robotics club twice a week. I wish I could give you more details about what he does there but he never tells me anything.

At any rate, I want to encourage all of this engineering stuff because the ability to do it is, as far as I'm concerned, like being a super hero. We also rearranged the furniture in Ben's room, passing a small desk on to Ellen, and putting the white vanity or "beauty seat" Maggie asked for when she was 4 into storage for my grandbabies, which, weirdly, I think a lot about. Then I moved a bigger table into Ben's room so he can spread out more when he does homework. Now we call it his shop or lab. He has a couch and a fridge, just like Tony Stark. When it was done I told Ben that now he has everything Tony Stark has.

And he said, "Except for Pepper Potts."

Benjamin Faulconer! That was quite spicy for Ben, in case you don't know.

I love to give everyone books for Christmas, even though they never ask for them and probably don't want them as much as they want iTunes gift cards, I love the part of Christmas where you lay around in pajamas and the new clothes you tried on, eating candy from your stocking and just perusing a new book.

I can't really get away with blogging about what I'm getting the kids for Christmas as much anymore since my kids read my blog, but Ben doesn't. So I can show you the 3 books he's getting for Christmas. They are gorgeous full-color coffee table books that he might not read cover to cover, but I think they'll be inspiring and fun to look through and refer to later.
These books are full of pop culture, history, Lego fans, and incredible images of cool things you can build with Legos. I know the plural of Lego is Lego, but I hate saying that. And so I won't.

The question is whether I'll get him his own Lego Robotics kit to go with this theme. We got one for Sam years ago. They are pricey. $350-$400. And he hasn't actually asked for them. He has asked for other (less expensive) things for his big present. I'm always torn between getting my kids something I want them to have that fits with my "theme" and just getting them what they ask for.

My oldest son, Sam, always puts "Anything you think I'd like" on his list. I think he knows that sometimes I think of better things to give him than he would think of for himself. My mom was like that too.

Have you done any Christmas shopping? It's different with older kids—But just as fun!

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