Friday, December 10, 2010

A Penny Saved

A penny saved is a penny earned.  Fifty-two dollars saved is fifty-two dollars earned.  Today is payday!

My boys love Thomas.  I must admit that I thought this would be a passing phase, but they have played with Thomas for two years now and they show no signs of stopping.  We have probably 100 feet of track and about 10 engines.  We have close to a dozen DVD's.  They have Thomas backpacks.  The boys even have Thomas sweatshirts.  They have made their own stations.  I bought a turn-table online for Jack's birthday last year.  Big hit!  Legos and Lincoln logs now have created towns around the track.

About six months ago, Jack informed me that he wanted the new Thomas Train Zip, Zoom, Logging Adventure Track.  But this Logging Adventure Track thing is expensive!  Fifty-two dollars, expensive.  How does a sensible mother respond?  "You'll have to save for it."  *whisper: I never thought they would do it.

Everytime the boys got money in the mail, they rushed to put their dollars in the piggy bank.  While walking through Wal-mart, they would scan the floor for pennies.  They would run through the parking lot if they spotted a nickel.  And I do admit, there were a few occasions where I paid them a quarter to put their laundry away.  They soon outgrew their piggy bank and had to resort to using a bug collector.

They never lost sight of their goal.  Everytime we were in Wal-mart (which is at least a weekly occurance), they would show me what they wanted.  Thomas Train Zip, Zoom, Logging Adventure Track.  I always had the same response.  "You'll have to save for it."  (anyone else having A Christmas Story flashback "Red Rider....." "You'll shoot your eye out")

I am so proud of my boys, because save they did!  Two days ago, Jack asked if we could count their money.  I thought they had about $10.  The teacher in me had a heydey.  We counted the quarters.  Then, the dimes.  Nickels.  Pennies.  You never knew a four-year-old could count to 100 on his own.  Talk about motivation.  Imagine my surprise when we counted $52.10! 

I am also so proud of my boys because they actually had more money than that.  Most Saturday nights, on the way to church, they would take a handful of pennies to give to God.  We always prayed over the pennies before putting them in the box at church, and thanked God for giving us all that we had.  Last Saturday night, Jack grabbed a five dollar bill to take to church.  Both Joe and I told him to put the five dollars back and to grab some change instead.  Jack insisted.  He said that he wanted to give the five dollars because God had given him all the money in the piggy bank (bug collector).  How do you argue with that? 

So, today was the big day.  Six months in the making.  We used the Coinstar at Safeway to convert the change.  Totally worth the $3 they charged me!  I then gave half the bills to Jack and half to Joshua.  I was a little afraid that they would lose the money on the way from the van to the cashier.  Not a chance!  They walked right to the Thomas aisle.  Jack swiftly took the tracksystem off the shelf and shoved it under the cart.  hmmm, it's interesting that the most expensive tracksystem was on the bottom shelf, at kid-level.  At checkout, they handed over the money happily.  I watched proudly. 



The boys are upstairs right now, playing with their track.  Their track.  They paid for it.  And I couldn't be prouder.

***UPDATE***
Joe got involved.  He added a few pieces of track.  Notice it goes under the zipline bridge.  Jack added his turntable.  Josh added the Jay Jay hangar as a tunnel.  The hot wheels city is now a station.

where Glory meets my suffering