Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Fun Weekend

We had some errands to run this weekend in town and it's quite a process to get 3 kids loaded up in the van and on the road. Not to mention we are trying to be very conservative with our gas in the van, so we don't make a trip for just one thing anymore.

So we set out on Saturday with a few things to get taken care of. Stop at Lowe's to exchange a light fixture, a stop at Barnes and Noble to use a gift card Nathan had gotten for his birthday, Matt wanted to run into Dunham's to check on backpacks, and I had a pack of socks I bought for Lauren that were too small.

After we went to Lowe's we went across the street to the mall (Centerpointe, the dead mall) and Matt went into Dunham's to look around. This was a great opportunity for me to take Nick and Lauren and let them run loose in the play area. Most mall play areas are just gross, but since this mall is essentially vacant, it's not really crowded and it's not full of kids too big to be playing. I think that they played for a good hour!! It worked out great because Matt and I were able to trade off the supervision and I got to walk around Old Navy (looking for markdowns on winter jackets for Nathan for next year) . I think we spent less than $2 on the trip and that was change in the bottom of my purse when I let the kids ride one of those silly car rides.

So after that we went across the road to Barnes and Noble. Nathan has had a gift card for a few weeks now and we just haven't had a chance to use it. Since we were out this way, why not. Well nobody told me that the B&N had a MASSIVE Thomas the Train table there for kids to play with. Why was I left out of this? Nick is our biggest challenge when we go out, so this was perfect. Nathan got to look around for books (Pokemon and Star Wars), and I had Lauren and Nick at the train table. The only slight problem we had was physically removing Nick from the store when it was time to go. He had that much fun at the train table. The only money spent was Nathan's, quite an accomplishment for me and Matt since we are both very avid readers of pretty much anything we can get our hands on.

Somewhere along the way we had decided we were going to eat Chinese that night. Not really a big deal because we don't eat out much at all and have actually been spending considerably less since we've been living Dave's way. But Lauren fell asleep in the car as did Nick at Barnes and Noble so we took the scenic route down to Wal-Mart for me to exchange those socks.

Dinner worked out pretty well. I am not typically a die hard Chinese buffet person, but this place really does have something for everyone, which is a HUGE struggle in our family. Nick has got to be the pickiest eater in the world. But when you have a buffet option, you can pretty much find something for everyone. He ate a huge plate of pineapple, bananas, a few french fries, and apples. It could be worse and it's probably the most I've seen him eat at one setting in weeks. No complaints here.

We finally made it home after being gone alllll day and when we tallied up the damage I was quite proud of us. Nathan spent the most money (a game for his DS, a little extra at the bookstore) and we had a pretty enjoyable day together. I think that the key was that we let the kids run loose a bit and burn off some energy.

We visited a church in town today that we have never gone to before because it was "Scout Sunday". They had the scouts and leaders wear their uniforms and talked about serving.

Oh and here's something to throw in there! I was checking my credit card balance online, which I do almost obsessively because I love watching it go down, down, down...and noticed that a $400 payment I had made wasn't on the account! So I clicked on it and looked further and I had a LATE FEE! WHAT!?! Turns out that Chase and their new online bill payment tripped me up and I made a mistake when I made my last payment to them. I got them on the phone, and the nice woman in India transferred me back to the US to someone named Jason who looked at my account and saw that I wasn't trying to play a scam on them or anything and reversed the fee off and let me make the payment right away.

I can't wait to be debt free so that I don't have to worry about this kind of crap EVER AGAIN!