Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Weekend of Entertainment for $1.50

My nine year old granddaughter and I spent the entire weekend together and I managed to come up with some pretty creative ways to spend our time.

On Friday I took her to Michigan First Credit Union to open a savings account. She was SO excited! They gave her a pencil case full of fun things, and showed her how to record her deposit transaction. They really treated her wonderfully, she decided to come home and make the woman who helped her a thank you card. Later, we decided that Friday would be cooking day, and Saturday art day.

Friday we made sushi, both of our favorite meals. Sushi is the NUMBER 1 expense for our family in dining out. When we first began reading the cookbook, she did say she wished we could just go to the restaurant, we had an absolute riot making cucumber rolls, tamago, miso soup, and salad. When we finished, she declared it to be her favorite sushi and thought it tasted better than the restaurants,and, honestly, it did!

Saturday started out with us raking leaves. I'd decided to not use the landscaping company we usually use for fall cleanup. Living on a 1/2 acre of land this is quite an undertaking and I haven't found a leaf blower that I want to purchase on craigslist yet. I drew an imaginary line through the backyard, cutting the lot into 4 parts. Only two of the four areas really needed to be raked, where the trees are located, the other areas only have minimum amounts of leaves. Because of all the work we were putting into this project, when she decided she should jump into the leaves it was in a fairly controlled manner. She didn't want to spread the leaves all over the lawn again. If she hadn't participated in the work, I'm sure she wouldn't have considered this.

When we got to the last pile of leaves, we decided to make a girl scarecrow out of them. Alexis, my granddaughter, ran upstairs to find some clothes for her, returned with her jeans, a sweater and a belt. We stuffed the leaves into the arms of the sweater, put a long branch through the armholes, secured another branch from the head too the legs, and dressed her - stuffing everything with leaves. All we needed now was a head. Using a small, round, pillow and an old sheet, we secured the sheet over the pillow with a hair tie. Alexis painted a face on our scarecrow. We put a hat on her and set her on the porch! She looks wonderful. . . . . . and she was 100% free!

What I noticed was that each time we started a project, Alexis was excited, half way through the project, Alexis was bored, near the end of the project, Alexis was tired, at the completion of the project, Alexis was proud of herself. The result for both projects, the cooking and the leaves, was followed by a reward - the sushi and the scarecrow.

Until recently, I believe that I was the one who was be giving up before I get my "reward". In the past few months I've been forcing myself to complete projects and it really does feel great.

Later, Alexis wanted to do more art projects, she also wanted me to locate her an empty binder for her new pencil case from the bank. I recycled one of my old office binders, turned the divider tabs upside down so she had a clean set, and gave her a bowl of rubber cement, a pair of scissors, and some junk mail magazines.

Alexis began putting together a binder of pictures, fashions, and anything else she wanted to cut out. She spent a couple of hours working on this while I took some time to relax. Cost of project. . . .free.

Alexis spent 1/2 hour reading to me from Junie B. Jones. . . . We finished the day off by watching a movie together - "My Little Princess". This child was entertained the entire day, helped around the house, and made some beautiful art projects. I never felt I had to spend a penny. Remarkable!

Sunday we drove by the bank, delivered her card, and spent the afternoon at the library. I did break down on Sunday and bought a bag of grocery store bagels and picked up other items I was needing from the store for the week. Total cost incurred with granddaughter $1.50.

While we were out, my granddaughter took me by game stop. She had been telling me that she has a play station 2 at her dad's, but no games. She said they only cost $5 at game stop. I looked and listened as she showed me the games she thought were fun, I wrote down the titles in my palm (Christmas ideas), and we left the store - no complaining, no whining. Going in to the store I let her know I was only going to look. She respected the boundaries and was excited to share her knowledge of thrift with me. The games ranged in price from $2.99 to $14.99.

At one point during the weekend, I asked her a questions about money . . . . .

What do you know about money? I know how to count.
What is money? Its stuff that you can like buy groceries to help you survive.
Where does money come from? Pennies come out of copper. Money I think you make out of paper and paper makes out of trees.
Who makes the money? Don't know
How do you become rich? You have to have a really good job or business, and whenever you have a really good job it pays really good, and whenever you do something good to help your boss.

It's amazing that the last statement is something that we carry from childhood into adulthood. When I told Alexis that she didn't have to have a really good job that paid really good to be rich, she was surprised. It doesn't matter how much you make - it's how much you save.

No comments: