The Night We Turned into Lego.

On Friday night, I found myself putting on makeup while squinting at a tiny Lego Minifigure for reference. The night before, I was designing a hoodie and yoga pants – while studying that same minifigure to guide my fingers.

There are far too few times in life that this occurs, but our family made the most of our big opportunity.

Because here’s the deal: We are a Lego Family. My husband has loved these bricks since he was a child, and even claims to have somewhat decided his career based on them (“My job is just like building Lego – except with 3-D computer models instead of by hand.”)

In addition, we design a trunk for our church’s Trunk and Treat every year, always themed around something quirky.

So the fact that The Lego Movie came out this year meant that this was his chance. His chance to enter into every childhood fantasy, and to show off his mad brick skills to the world.

First, our costumes, as compared to the movie characters:

Family Photo with Lego Movie Characters

Ali is the ever-positive Princess Unikitty, Noah is “The Special”, also known as Emmet. I am WyldStyle, later identified as Lucy, and Chris is the villain, Lord Business.

If you’ve seen the movie you understand why Chris had to be Lord Business.

Because he is Lord Business.

My Lord Business stayed up until 1am two nights in a row designing this for the back of his truck – out of his own Lego (and a few from the kid’s collection.)

Lego Movie Trunk Treat

I watched him meticulously design a diorama so complicated that no passing kid at Trunk and Treat would ever fully absorb it, but such trivialities don’t matter to Lord Business.

Lego Building

Luckily for you, though, I am here to explain it.

The concept is that there’s a stadium with screaming fans. The game being played is Chess.

Lego Stadium

Like football, Chess can be brutal, requiring medics and stretchers.

Lego Chess Set

In the stands can be found all pertinent, themed, and slightly sketchy minifigures.

Lego Stadium Minifig

(Chris put me in charge of assembling the minifigs, and I might have enjoyed my job a bit too much.)

Quirky Lego Minifig

Some were important enough to get skyboxes, such as the stars of The Lego Movie and important Hobbits.

Lego Skyboxes with Emmet and Lucy

And others perhaps took their skyboxes with dark magic or by practicing the spells they were learning in school.

Lego Skyboxes

In front of the stadium are the tailgaters, and perhaps those that didn’t pay for an actual ticket into the stadium.

Lego Tailgating

And of course at every good tailgate, you have a satellite dish and a Grillmaster.

Lego Grillmaster

(There are so many layers of Chris in this project. So. Many. Layers.)

He set it all up in his truck, along with exact replicas of the signage around the Lego sets in The Lego Movie.

Lego Themed Trunk and Treat

“But babe, some people will see those signs and not get The Lego Movie reference and just think you’re being a turd.”

“That’s okay. Because I’m half serious about the signs, too. I don’t want all those kids trying to touch my Lego!”

“You’re SO Lord Business.”

“Yes. Yes I am.”

Lord Business Costume

His bravery gave me strength: If he could risk the exposure of his Lego to thousands of juvenile passerby, then I could do my part, too.

Lucy Costume Wyldstyle

(I had to add my pink and blue hair once I arrived to meet him, as the ones I ordered from Amazon didn’t come in, and I spent all day Friday at the doctor and had to send Chris to Sally Beauty Supply to buy my hair extensions. I knew he’d do it because he will do anything thing for [Lego] Love.)

WyldStyle and Princess Unikitty Costumes

Noah was Emmet all the way down to The Piece of Resistance, which Chris rubber-banded and binder-clipped to his back.

Emmet Costume

And Ali was a fantastic Princess Unikitty thanks to an amazing blog reader and master crochet artist, Stephanie, whom I texted less than two weeks in advance, and she miraculously created this masterpiece for me:

Princess Unikitty Hat

(I added the braided tail. Because that’s the extent of my construction capabilities.)

Lego Movie Kids Costumes

And then we got to work. Handing out candy to hundreds (thousands?) of kids,

Lego Trunk Treat

and torturing our children with the sudden cold snap that came just in time for Halloween.

Princess Unikitty Cold

That night, as I tucked Noah into bed, I was asking him about all of his favorite parts of the event.

“What were your favorite costumes?”

Sleepily, he answered me, “I only liked yours, Mom.”

Endlessly loyal to Lucy: He’s the perfect Emmet.

The next morning, Noah woke up and squealed, “Daddy said we could play with all the Lego tomorrow and now it’s tomorrow. All of them!! ISN’T HE NICE?!?!?”

Playing with Legos

So maybe he’s not a total Lord Business after all.


Appendix:

– Clearly, we have a lot of minifigures, which are really the most fun part of Lego in my opinion. To create this giant collection, I bought Chris these minifigure sets three Christmases in a row. They have fantastic characters in them, and, in Lego standards, are inexpensive (well, two out of three are, anyway.)

– Thanks to the overcrowding of Frozen costumes this year, Lego Movie costumes were impossible to find (which made us the only Lego Movie characters that we saw all night, so at least we were unique.) Noah’s jacket, however, I found here, and I’m sure he’ll wear it every other day for the rest of the winter. Ali’s hat was custom crocheted for her by Stephanie at Spring Valley Special and quite reasonably priced, and I am positive it will be Ali’s go-to winter hat. Chris made his headpiece out of a couple of UPS boxes, a Lego Store container top, a couple of styrofoam cylinders, tea lights, and spray paint. If he wears it all winter, I’ll let you know. I created my outfit with a black hoodie and multicolored duct tape, and some pretty fabulous hot pink lipstick.

How to Make Lego Candy.

How to Make Lego Candy

The only toy Noah likes that doesn’t have wheels are Legos.

And, if we’re being honest, he really only likes those because they can have wheels. And even better, he can remove and replace those wheels over. And over. And over.

All day long.

Every day.

For the rest of his life, if his Father’s hobbies are any indication.

So for his birthday (Noah’s, not his Father’s), he wanted a Lego party. I knew with it being a week before Christmas I wasn’t going to be able to pull off anything spectacular, but I already had Lego molds from our Jell-O Legos, so I knew I had to make something with them.

(Yes, it was Ali’s birthday last week. And yes, Noah’s was last year. What can I say – the Birthday-Christmas-Birthday season tramples me with the force of a thousand Llamas.)

And it was so simple that it really doesn’t deserve its own blog post – other than the fact that they were so dang pretty.

How to Make Lego Candy

In a Lego kind of way.

How to Make Lego Candy

Here’s all you need to make these for yourself:

1. Lego molds. The Lego Brand molds are the easiest to work with, as their dots aren’t as high (and therefore let go of the candy easier) than the off-brand ones -I have both and much prefer the Lego Brand.

2. Melting Candy in Lego-ish colors. I used Wilton, but any melting candies would work.

3. Eager Children to cause confusion and delay with their drooling ecstasy.

How to Make Lego Candy

How to Make Lego Candy

How to Make Lego Candy

Here’s what you do:

1. Melt the candies carefully according to the package directions – I’ve burnt many a bag of Wilton Melting Candies, and they’re completely unsalvageable.

2. Pour them into the molds and slap the mold repeatedly and firmly on the countertop. It will make your counters look like Murphy Brown’s Painter-boyfriend’s overalls, but it’s worth it.

How to Make Lego Candy

If you don’t slap, the candy won’t get into the Lego holes. And if the candy doesn’t get into the Lego holes, you won’t have perfect Legos. Notice the dark green Legos above – those are your consequences for not slapping thoroughly, people.

So pretend you’re drowning something and slap until the bubbles quit coming.

3. Refrigerate for about ten minutes, then carefully remove from the molds, pulling apart the sides before pushing on the bottom of the molds to encourage the Legos to stay whole.

4. Give them to your husband to build and serve creatively.

How to Make Lego Candy

They pair especially nicely with Lego Head Cake Pops, but I always recommend sub-contracting that kind of labor out to the professionals.

Lego Head Cake PopsCake Pops by the lovely and talented Jamie’s Rabbits. Lego Cake Pop Stand by my husband. Duh.

Noah was thrilled with all of the above.

Lego Birthday Party

…although he found the Cake Pops pretty, but not worth trying, thereby helping him continue to earn his membership into the Picky Eater’s Club. Which is totally okay because they were really for his Father.

Lego Cake Pops

He did, however, take great joy in being sung to by everyone in the room.

Lego Cake Pops

Then tried (and failed) to dimple his candles out.

IMG_5017
Oh – and he also insists that a stack of presents taller than the recipient is also a required accessory for all Lego Birthday Parties…

IMG_5043

 So there you have it. All the ingredients for success. At least for one day of the year.

Nativity McQueen.

There are two hobbies that my husband is possibly more passionate about than football (a subject we won’t be mentioning this week): Legos and Christmas Decorations.

In fact, I often wonder if the reason we had children was so that he felt justified in playing with Legos again.

Anyway, for the last three years, he’s been combining these two hobbies to create unique nativity scenes for our mantel.

And this year’s show just rolled out. He is fairly proud of himself, and of course has banned the children from playing with their featured toys for a month.

So without further delay, a commemoration of the birth of the Son of God:

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  And everyone went to their own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David. 

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

But there was no room at the inn.

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

And so Mary gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger.

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them,

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi arrived in Jerusalem.

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

They came from the East and asked,

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of tires gold,

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

traffic cones frankincense, and organic fuel myrrh.

Lego Cars Nativity Scene

Now there, don’t you feel all Christmasy inside?