LEGO Advent Calendar

I have been wanting to get my son an advent calendar for a few years, he had one when he was 3 and it really helped him with counting and counting down the days until Christmas. Last year the Lego Advent Calendar sold out of stores sooo fast; it was there one week, and then when I went back around thanksgiving without my son… it was gone! ;(
And it was too expensive on Amazon. So this year I bought it in early November. I have to say it has been awesome. There is a new minibuild every single day! My 7 year old is crazy about Legos. He can barely wait until the next day to get the open the door and see what the mystery build is. He has found that he can peek into the unopened compartments by using a flashlight pointed in an open door. He will try to build the next day lego with his existing Lego’s and cant wait until day to see if he did it “right”, or close to the Lego guys. The second picture below shows some of the mini-builds he has made from the calendar.
This year I have seen a lot of these still in stores, and about half off; They are originally $34.99- $49.99; I’ve seen them for $29.99. I bet you can get them even cheaper after Christmas, because they are Holiday and dated for this year. If you know a Lego lover and can get a good deal on it I suggest buying it for next year; it does say 2011 on it, but the doors are random, so it really doesn’t matter. Even at full price I think this was a great toy! My son plays with every build every day for at least 25 days, and he seems to know what day it is every day; and how many more days until Christmas! And it comes with a Santa Yoda! Santa Yoda, need I say more!
A great companion to this toy is the Milenium Falcon Mini Lego case. I think Santa is going to bring that, so he has a place to put all his mini’s; there are little holders for the minifigs on the sides. Very cute!

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Picture of the Week: Leafbug

I was sweeping the leaves out of my garage this week when I noticed one of them ‘moved’. When I looked closely I notice it was actually a bug that looked like a leaf; a “Leaf Bug”! And a pretty good sized one at that! This Leaf Bug has an appreciation for art as he made his way toward a picture frame that was drying in the garage.

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Picture of the Week: At the End of the Rainbow…

This picture shows there IS a pot of ‘gold’ at the end of the Rainbow! At first I thought having the toll booths in this picture ruined it’s elegance, but I think it adds a bit of humor. I originally took this picture because as a girl I have drawn a million rainbows, and all of my pictures have the rainbows coming out a of a cloud. But, I don’t think I ever saw a rainbow actually come out of a cloud, until now. I also like this picture because one side of the rainbow it is sunny and on the right side you can still see the dark storm.
The second picture below shows the same rainbow down the road a little bit. Although I didn’t capture the whole thing in my field of view, the rainbow actually spanned from one horizon on the east to the other horizon on the west. Again this is something I have drawn a million times, but have not ‘seen’ in real, at least not often.

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Picture of the Week: ‘Squatting’ Frog

My husband was spraying for bugs in our enclosed patio when he saw what looked like loose paint on the the electrical box in the corner (see circle in picture). He tried to knock the paint off with the spray nozzle, only to have it jump away! The ‘Paint chip’ was actually a tree frog who made his home in a plant on our patio. We have named this little guy CHIP. He has been living here for at least a month. He normally is inside the plant pot, but occasionally he will hop out and hang out on the electrical box, which is like his patio.
I chose him as this weeks picture because I love his color pattern (see close up in the round photo) and how he blends in with the paint and the stucco pattern. I am pretty sure he changes his color when he is inside the plant pot to a uniform green-grey color. I didn’t know frogs changed color. I love all the wildlife we see here in Florida!!

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Picture of the Week: Cloud design

When I first moved to Florida I was so amazed by the sunny skies and the big fluffy clouds, that you see every day. They made me feel so happy I began taking pictures of some clouds. This one is the sun shining through a group of clouds. I loved how you could see dark cloud shadows and then parts of the clouds lit up as the sun rays shine through them. This cloud pic inspired me to make an icon for my website.

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Picture of the Week: Snakebird on Goose

I often find myself looking through my pictures and see I have a lot of interesting ones I want to share. Since I moved to Florida, I have spent lots of time and have taken numerous pictures of neat critters, and sometimes neat clouds, that catch my fancy. So, to share these, I have started a picture of the week post.
This weeks’ photo is of a snakebird, also known as an Anhinga, who is on the back of a goose decoy drying his wings. I was riding my bike with my son to school one morning and saw this strange sight. The decoys are supposed to attract other birds, but I never saw a bird on the decoy before. This guy seems to say “I am King of the world”… or at least “I am King of this pond!”
The snakebird dives under water to catch fish, and gets it name from its long snake-like neck that will stick out of the water when the rest of it’s body is submerged. Since they do not have oil glands they are often seen with their wings spread out to dry them.

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isad… Steve Jobs memorial

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

“Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”- Steve Jobs
‎My friends posted this on their facebook and I just wanted to share. (Thanks Jen & her friends)

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Apple Memorial Wallpaper

I have a whole house full of Apple gear, we started with an iMac back around 2003, then an iPod shuffle, to now having 5 Macs in the house, two iPhones, Apple TV and I don’t know how many iPods. Oh, and an iPad & iPad2. Apple built some amazing equipment over the years with Steve at the helm; it’s odd to miss a guy I never met, but I am sure glad he stuck to his ideas, and gathered some of the best, and brightest, around him to make some of the most elegant, and refined, computing machines in the world.

I quick made a apple spinning wheel memorial desktop wall paper.

RIP Steve Jobs and thank you.

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Magnetic Wall

I recently bought a stainless steel fridge, but now my magnets won’t stick to it. I need some place to hang all my magnets & my son’s art work. I was thinking of hanging up a metal panel on my wall, when I happened to “stumble/google” across Magnetic Paint!! This was so cool I had to try it!!!
I went to Home Depot and bought Rustoleum Magnetic Primer. It is a little pricey; it runs ~$20 for a quart, which should cover 3 coats on a 4×4 ft area. I was able to cover my 5×9 ft wall with 2 cans of magnetic primer. I had read online that some people had to put 6 or even 9 coats on their wall. Three coats worked fine for me. In fact magnets stuck fine after one coat. We even found our fingers became magnetic during the process! You will need strong magnets to hold stuff up after the final coat. Those magnetic letters work, but they will not hold any paper to the wall, but they are so weak they don’t even hold paper to a fridge. Unless you use at least 10 of them.

Just some hints I found useful.
1. Tape off the area you want to paint. I did a whole wall, But you could also do a neat shape or stripes. You really don’t need the entire wall magnetic.
2. Ask the paint department to shake the paint. And stir it well before you use it and while you are painting. There are small metal filings that will form a sediment. The paint guy told me the directions said to stir it, so I said fine, I’ll stir it. I took the cans home and shook each can by hand for about 5 minutes, then stirred it for another 5-10 minutes until no more sledge was at the bottom.
3. Don’t be shocked: It goes on BLACK! It is metal based and will go on Black. I was worried the top coat would need multiple coats and dampen the magnetic attraction. It is a primer so it is really easy to cover up with a light colored top coat. You should wait about 30 minutes to reapply additional coats. 3 coats worked great for me.
4. Paint it. If you want a different color than black you should paint it. There is an option to paint it with a blackboard paint or Dry erase board paint. The blackboard paint comes in a variety of colors, I almost did a light blue, but chickened out and did normal paint. The Home Depot guy told me that the blackboard & Dry erase paint go on fine, but if you have a textured wall you will have a “dust” accumulate in the hills & valleys of the wall, and will have to wash it not just wipe it down.
5. Ventilate. It is stinky so do it on a day you can open your windows. The can says to wait 4 hours to fully dry before repainting. I waited overnight, and found the fumes lingered through the night. The smell was much better away after I put the top coat on.
Oh FYI, I just read on Rustoleum Magnetic Primer box that it is “Now 3 times Stronger”… That would explain why I could use 3 coats and others used 6-9 coats!
Here are some pictures of my Magnetic wall project.

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Parenting Advice from a McDonald’s DriveThrough!

In this case it’s what not to do! Apparently the child was still hanging out of the window as they drove down the road. A friend of mine posted this on FB, and I just had to post it here. I don’t even let the dogs stick their head out of the car window.
Next time you get in the car, please make sure everyone is seated and has their seatbelt on!!

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