Toy Story Moment

Remember the ending of Toy Story 3? Andy is leaving for college and decides to give away all his favorite toys to the little girl so they will be played with again. He stops by her house to introduce all the toys to her and then Andy plays with her with his toys one last time.

We experienced our own toy story moment yesterday…

We were out driving around to garage sales, which by the way A loves doing with us! He and I have been earning extra money dog walking together so he understood that he had some of his own money to spend if he found something that he wanted. We were at one of our last stops and A hit the jackpot! We found a huge bag full of cars!

My first thought was that more cars was the last thing we needed around our house. But then I spotted a police car among the bunch, I knew A would love to have that one! Then as we started looking through them we saw an ambulance and A found a GARBAGE TRUCK! He is so excited about garbage trucks these days.

Since the whole bag of cars was priced as a set we asked if we could just pick a few to buy. The seller was a twelve-ish year old boy and wasn’t sure what he should do about our request. What came next turned out to be very cool teaching moment. The boy’s mom came over and talked him through the fact that his goals were to get rid of old toys, make some money in the process, and she could tell that A would really make good use of these cars. They went back and forth and came to a price of $0.25 each or five cars for $1.00. Which was perfect because Jesse had just told me that he had $2.00 left in his pocket… so we told A he could pick out ten cars.

A went about carefully choosing his favorites. After the first couple of choices the older boy caught on to what A would be interested in and started searching for ones he knew that A would want. He showed him that the ambulance doors opened and how the dump truck could dump his load. So sweet!

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A paid the boy the $2.00 and the boy handed us a bag with the ten cars. A could not be more happy with his purchases! All of his new rescue vehicles have been working non-stop and he is driving his garbage truck around his pretend city making all the truck noises the real garbage truck makes.

What a great lesson for him too! Even at his age it’s clear that there is something very satisfying to have bought the cars with his own money. We really want him to understand the value of working hard and earning the reward. It’s something we’ve been trying to teach him about since he often has a hard time when Jesse has to leave us to go to work. This turned out be the best way so far to illustrate that to A and a great teaching moment for both boys!

This post was linked to Homestead Barn Hop and Teach Me Tuesdays. Check out these great blogs for recipes and other homemaking ideas!

Ohio Vacation

In the fall we had the opportunity to take a road trip to Grandma’s farm in Ohio. We have always loved visiting there, but it’s even so much more fun when we can bring A along. Actually, this trip was his idea! He remembered when we took him the year before and asked if we could go back again soon. How could we resist that request? We always love a reason to go see Grandma again!

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A did great on the long driving days, so much better than I expected. He was such a trooper! He had himself situated in the back seat with his pillow, stuffed animals, and his toys piled all around him. I would have felt claustrophobic, but he wanted everything within his reach.

When I was little my mom used to wrap up little entertainment items to surprise us with throughout the trip. I decided to give it a try… and it was a huge hit! He was beyond excited to unwrap his dollar store items each day. And they provided at least a few moments of quiet time.

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A loved the freedom he felt at the farm. He was able to run far enough to tire himself out over and over without us needing to be right near him like we do on our busy streets at home. It was the best!

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Another of A’s favorite activities was picking and eating apples. I lost count of how many he ate while we were there. The first one he picked I don’t think he really believed that I was going to let him eat food that he found… outside… on the ground. Once he realized it was okay there was no stopping him after that. Even on the night we made s’mores over the fire I had to get him to stop eating apples and come to eat marshmallows. He ate his “required” marshmallows and then asked to return to the apples. Crazy kid!

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Another highlight of our trip was going to the zoo with Jesse’s cousin and her girls. The Halloween – Boo at the Zoo event was extra fun when we got to pick candy at each exhibit. A loved that day! The girls were so sweet helping A to find the animals to look at every time we stepped up to a new window.

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But for A probably the very best part of the trip was the combine ride. We were just driving home one afternoon and came across two combines clearing a field and we stopped to watch for a few minutes. Then the owner of the farm saw us, and came over and offered to give A a ride! He thought it was the coolest thing ever!

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We also really enjoyed our hotel nights on our way driving up and back home. It was fun to have that special time with nothing to do except for hanging out with A. He thought the hotel’s free breakfast with so many choices was the best thing ever… he ate so much on those mornings!

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I can’t wait for our next vacation!

This post was linked to Homestead Barn Hop and Teach Me Tuesdays. Check out these great blogs for recipes and other homemaking ideas!

Three More Months

We are getting so excited for our two family weddings this summer! The travel arrangements are all falling into place for my sister‘s wedding in California at the end of June. But before then, we have my brother’s wedding at the beginning of June!

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They have asked A to be their ring bearer! I’m so excited for him to be a part of their big day. I’ve ordered the cutest outfit for him to wear and I can’t wait to see him in it.

Andrew is already a year older than I was when we got married, but it’s still hard to believe that “baby” Andrew (he hates when we call him that) can be getting married. We already love Nicole as part of our family, but so soon it will be official!

Three more months to go!!