Quotable Quotes from the Gilberts

Here are the latest additions to the quoteboard.


Lucy: Why did the ice cross the road?  Because it thawed it was too cold!


Katherine: Rainbow magic is surprisingly lethal.


Lucy: You’re a forgetful-head.


Lucy: I have the remote control FISH.   OF.   DOOM!!


Mark: Yes.  That’s EXACTLY what this Saturday needs – more maiming.


Katherine: Pinkie Pie is so hard to get.  You need these ponies, these shops…

CJ: And that pony’s leg!  (nod)


Lucy: Princesses wouldn’t act like that!

Mark: Why not?

Lucy: Because they’re usually royal.


Lucy: I want warm cuddles, not cold cuddles.  I hate cold cuddles.


(on defending their Minecraft base)

Katherine: Mom!  Put blocks underneath!

CJ: I don’t want blocks underneath.  I like it when people get sucked under and die.


CJ: I reserve the right to shriek and smack.


(while playing with the Little People)

Lucy: Dad, can you be my girl’s boyfriend?  And no, you can’t be the hedgehog.


A friend of mine, Ruth, brought back a gift for Katherine and Lucy from her recent trip to Japan – chopsticks!


Trying to get the hang of it.

The girls have never used them before, but I was impressed by how quickly they picked them up.  See what I did there?



Lucy also discovered that you can just stab the food.  That proved to be even more fun:


Chopsticks: 3  Food: 0

A Swinging Code

CJ and I got the girls a singularly large gift this year.  It was so large, in fact, that when it arrived we put the non-descript boxes in the garage.  For Christmas morning, CJ put together a little code for the girls to solve.



Since the gift was for both of them, CJ decided to make the code decipherable when you combined the two clues.  She wrote the clues onto two transparencies, and added four alignment symbols – the colored dots in the corners – to give the girls a hint as to how they might need to be arranged.  Once you lay one on top of the other, and line the dots up correctly, you see the solved puzzle:



We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Swinging* New Year!

*Some assembly required in the Spring!

*Seriously, it’s in the garage.


At which point the girls hurriedly put on their slippers, and snuck out to the garage briefly to see the still-in-the-box swing set.  This is a serious swing set – sturdy enough even for adults, which means it should last the girls until they move out.

They were are very excited.

I love Lucy

The Gilbert family quote board is full again, and when I took it down to publish them, I realized they all involved Lucy this time!


Lucy: “I finally woke up happy today.  I am only missing a couple of inches of sleep.”


September 29, Mom: “We got to update your Christmas and birthday wish lists.  The grandparents will be asking for them soon.”

Lucy: “Gosh, can’t they wait until it starts snowing?!”


CJ and Lucy noticed a cat trying to get under our grill.  CJ shooed it away.  Lucy’s response?  “Hellooo Kitty!”


Lucy: “I can’t use my memory.  I think the hyper-drive is broken.”


Lucy: “I want to be just like my daddy when I grow up.  Well, maybe not the beard.”


I love Lucy.  She’s mine.  You can’t have her.

It was a dark and rainy night…

It was a dark and rainy night… when a witch appeared. 
At first I was afraid, but then I saw the Gryffindor crest on her robe, and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Then I looked closer at what she was carrying – a stack of books? 
Ah, now I recognized this young witch – she must be Hermoine!
And apparently her Muggle father had agreed to take her trick-or-treating tonight despite the horrible weather:
Meanwhile, though, the night was far from over.  I discovered a hooded figure in our dining room. It bore a striking resemblance to the character Johnny Ghost, from the VenturianTale YouTube series called “PIE” (Paranormal Investigators Extraordinaire).
She said that she was not there to hunt down ghosts but to do something far more terrifying:
Write an essay for English class!

LEGO Chess

A couple of weeks ago, Lucy and I were building with LEGOs, and I happened to grab one of our large plates.


We’ve had several large, square plates like this for a while, but it didn’t occur to me until that particular day to see just how big they were.  As it turns out, they are 32 studs on a side.  If I were to break the board up into 4×4 blocks, I’d have exactly enough to make a chess board.

A LEGO chess board.


I realize this board doesn’t have the usual checkered pattern, so it would be very difficult to actually play a game with this set, but I think it’s a great starting point.

With this board, I wanted to make sure that the pieces were very distinctive when viewed from above – the normal perspective when you are playing a game.  I’ve played on several different boards in the past, and probably the most frustrating thing is trying to tell – at a glance – which piece is which.  In particular, it seems to be a running problem that Bishops and Pawns look very similar, differing in height, but not much else.  That works fine at the start of the game, but not in the middle game, when nothing is next to each other any more.  The "at a glance" issue is worse with the commemorative boards, such as for Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.  These are gorgeous boards, but it would take a lot of play before I could just glance at the pieces before making a move.

The Pawns are simple, and distinguished from the other pieces by being significantly shorter.


With the Rooks, I tried to create a very simplified rampart.


The Knights are designed to look like horses.  These went through a few iterations before I landed on this version, though.


The antenna look like strange stand-ins for ears, but they certainly allow the Knights to stand out on the board.


I originally thought about using pure-black antenna on the black Knights, but I didn’t have four of them, and the grey versions stand out better, anyway.

Many of the boards I’ve played on have the Bishops’ hats narrow to a point, very much like what a Catholic bishop would wear.  With the LEGO Bishops, I tried to evoke that look with a slanted top. 


Up to this point, the pieces had been purely black and white.  With the Queens and Kings, I decided to add a splash of color – blue with the white pieces, and red with the black ones.  Here are the Queens:


And the Kings:


Overall, I think it’s a fine-looking first attempt.

And as a bonus pic, I present you with the "Knights of the Rounded Table".


You’re welcome.

I asked for it

A few days ago, Lucy was working on her first-grade homework at the table. I happened to look over from my work, and I saw that she had skipped a word in her answer.

“Lucy, did you mean to write ‘Max lost in the park’?”

Lucy sighed and flipped her pencil around to begin erasing the entire sentence.

“Wait, Lucy, you don’t have to erase it all. You can just insert the missing word with a caret.”

I expected her to ask me what a “caret” was, but she didn’t. Instead, she just wrote the missing word right above where it should have gone… and then she wrote something else below it.

With a mischievous grin, she slid the paper over to me, and then I saw what she had written.


Lucy had inserted the word along with the drawing of a carrot.  Just like her mama had suggested!

Natural Rhetoriticians

Natural Rhetoriticians: that’s what you get when you mate a philosopher & English major…

Our children know how to argue. Let’s face it… when their mom was an English major and their dad was a philosophy major, they are surrounded by words.  We are constantly explaining and persuading them why their parents’ way is best.  It’s not surprising that they’d turn the tables on us and try to persuade us why their way is best!  Of course, with kids, their arguments are only limited by their imaginations…

Some examples…

Lucy & CJ were kicking a ball back and forth in the front yard. Lucy wanted CJ to look away so that Lucy could kick a ball in the goal without her mom blocking it.

Lucy: Mom, there’s a pretty flower growing behind you!

CJ shakes her head.

Lucy: Mom, there’s a bee flying behind you!

CJ [shakes her head again]: Nah… it’s not so easy to get me to turn around…”

Lucy [throws her arms up in the air]: Look, there’s a grass monster, OK?!?


Lucy: But I don’t want to go potty…

CJ: [Trying to get her to go before we left the house] But sitting there for a minute won’t hurt you.

Lucy: Yes, it will – it will eat my butt!

Comical moments from the Gilberts

While driving past something really smelly

Lucy: What is that smell?

CJ: I don’t know, honey.

Lucy: Well, I didn’t toot!


While playing Story Wars…

CJ: I feel like I’m not winning…

Katherine: That’s because you aren’t!

Grandma Gilbert was explaining to Lucy that she doesn’t roller skate because the first time she roller skated she broke her tailbone.

Lucy: But if you don’t roller skate, you can’t see if you get better with practice.

CJ [after some further discussion] Well, Grandma just decided to practice other things, to get better at other things.

Lucy: Oh…. Like skateboarding? [Cue the riotous laughter from the adults]


[Lego Minifigs come in opaque packages where you don’t know which one you are getting until you open it. However, CJ really wanted to get some of the scientist minifigs for the girls for Christmas last year…]

CJ: I spent like 20 minutes in Toys R Us feeling up the minifig packages to find these!

Grandma Gilbert: And they didn’t call the cops on you?


Overheard while playing with Legos…

Katherine: We have Maximus Pig Wheelbarrow

Lucy: Yeah, it’s a nice day… and then my hair pops off!


Katherine: I suck my thumb at you, sir!

CJ: Nooooo… It’s I bite my thumb at you, sir!


On winters…

Lucy to her parent: Have a good time shoveling. Don’t let your boogers freeze!


Dad [sarcastically]: Hey, what’s that bright thing in the sky?

Lucy [excitedly]: What is it?!?

Dad: The sun, Lucy.

Lucy: I wanna see it!


CJ to Mark: Drive safely – watch out for black ice… or potholes…

Lucy: Or hamsters!


On Easter morning we heard giggling from Lucy’s room…

Lucy: Mom! There’s chocolate all over my room! How’d that get there?


And a few one-lines from Katherine to close us out:

Katherine: My Little Wookieeeee… My Little Wookieeee…. [to the tune of My Little Pony]

Katherine: I have the ninja Chihuahuas of doom!

Katherine: The parents need to step up their game in the craziness area.