I hate shopping (unless we're talking art supplies), ergo I avoid malls at all costs, but I can explain this little detour from our modus operandi, and I am going to do it with bullet points:
- the forecast was for high winds and rain,
- the kids had already learned there is a huge Lego store at the MOA,
- it's really close to where we are staying,
- the Spam Museum, my original choice, turned out to be about 90 miles away
- I found out there is a Peeps Store.
I've been in Lego Stores, but this one feels like Lego Heaven. It's clean. It's bright. It's full of helpful employees who seem to really like kids. It's full of parents who clearly have not outgrown Legos (no one should ever outgrow Legos. EVER). The shelves are lined with every set Lego makes. There was even a wall with all the "hard to find" sets. I almost passed out in the Star Wars section.
The kids busied themselves with the table in the center of the store where you can sit down and create away. Emily made an entire house and Kristin crafted a mining cart full of gems. I watched another kid collect all the little leaf pieces and make a three foot tall beanstalk. I think we were there for about an hour.
If I can be a bit philosophical for a moment, one of our main aims in selling our house and traveling has been to further remove ourselves from those pieces of American culture that we have found severely lacking in real value. We wanted to simplify our lives and a consumer-mentality has no place in the life we aim for. I thought we were doing really well, but nothing will yank you back to reality and draw you up short like being faced with a giant store full of every sort of beautiful paper and ribbon and glitter and embellishment one could ever need to craft lovely birthday and greeting cards. I love paper crafting. As we walked into the store, I sort of flinched, expecting God to give me a bit of a spiritual drubbing for indulging the lust of my flesh, even if I wasn't going to purchase anything. Instead He gave me the gentle reminder that He knows I love to create because duh, He created that desire in me, and when He gives us a talent or ability He fully expects us to use it to glorify Him. So I snapped a few photos and gathered a few new ideas and walked out of the store totally content knowing the supplies I already own are more than enough. I even had the joy of hearing the girls express an interest in creating memory books of this year when we get home. Now there is one reason we will truly enjoy being settled in a house with space to create.
In the interest of full disclosure I must admit we did make a small, silly purchase. Remember the aforementioned Peeps Store? A whole store! Full of Peeps! And Peeps go great in S'mores! And we were all out! So we bought some. I am ashamed.