Thursday, June 14, 2012


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So in the spirit of teaching my kids stuff (#111 - 116)  (and also in the spirit of Our Cupboards They are Barren), yesterday we went to Smiths to learn about grocery shopping and using an ATM card.

(I love Smiths Marketplace.  The warm fuzzies some of you have for Target, I reserve for Smiths.)

(If there isn't a Smiths by our new house I am totally cancelling the lease.)

I let the kids (including the two year old) (DANGER DANGER) each take a cart and then we proceeded to v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y make our way through the store.


Leading four kids with four carts (including one kid who continually shouts "I SMASH YOU") through a crowded grocery store = total insanity.

(I am not even kidding when I say that my heels were bloody by the time we got out of there.)

(DO NOT GIVE A TWO YEAR OLD A CART.  It is TOO. MUCH. POWER. for them to handle.)

(Also, WHY IN THE NAME OF HEAVEN don't the mini-grocery carts have bumpers?  WHY? WHY?)

(Other things my children learned yesterday: two new swears.  I'm so proud.)

I gave the three oldest lists.  For Megan (10) and Emma (9), the lists were general (bread, eggs, 2% milk, toilet paper, bananas, generic light canned pears) (which meant that we had to talk about what "generics" were) and I asked them to look at the different prices to see what the best deals were.

We talked about how sometimes an item might look like it's cheaper, but if you look at the size/number of ounces you are actually paying more. I also gave them each a budget and had them try to figure out if they had enough money for the things in their cart.

For Jake (7), we kept things a little simpler.  His list was pretty specific (Powerade Zero, Comet, etc.) in most cases.  When it wasn't specific, say for "cereal", I had him pick out the three cereals he liked best and then we compared what the prices were and picked the least expensive option.

Josh, meanwhile, was randomly throwing every kind of crap on the face of the earth into his cart (Goldfish! Oreos! Fudge Sticks! French Vanilla Cappuccino!) and as soon as he put something in, I went behind him and put it back on the shelf (although he was pretty insistent about the fudge sticks).

For my own sanity I didn't just let them take off, I made them stay on the same general aisle and pick out their stuff as we went along.  The other shoppers were not all that thrilled that we were continually blocking the aisles (other than the grandmas who by and large thought we were all ADORABLE JUST ADORABLE), but we tried to smooth things over with lots of "excuse mes" and by quickly moving out of the way as much as possible.  (Teaching politeness and grocery store etiquette, CHECK.)

When we were (finally) (FINALLY) done (seriously, this took FOREVER, but it was fun - other than, er, the part where MY HEELS WERE BLEEDING) (HAVE I MENTIONED MY HEELS WERE BLEEDING?  NO?), we took over two of the self-check stations so that two kids could check out while I helped them, while the remaining kid could attempt to keep Josh from absconding to Mexico.

They entered our fresh value card id number, checked and bagged their own groceries (including the produce), swiped their coupons, and then I let them use the debit card to pay (their favorite part, bar none).  (SECRET CODE.)  (DRUNK WITH POWER.)  The girls were very impressed by the How Much You Saved Today part of the receipt and kept reminding me How Much We Saved You Today Which Probably Means You Should Buy Us Slurpees.

I am nothing if not totally addicted to slurpees right now (SUGAR FREE mango - 20 calories for 8 ounces ARE YOU KIDDING ME), so that was our next stop.  At the Sev (as we like to call it in the hood) I gave them each some change and had them each take their own drinks to the counter and figure out how much change they needed to give the clerk.

I can't say that the clerk was all that thrilled to be part of our object lesson, but there was nobody else in the store so - SHUT IT grumpy store clerk.

They really loved this.  Megan took her receipt home and put it in her scrapbook, that's how much of an impression the whole thing made on her.  (The children's museum trip they took earlier in the day with their awesome babysitter - apparently not worthy of recording, but GROCERY SHOPPING WITH MOM = A DAY TO REMEMBER.)

We will definitely do this again, and next time I want to talk more about what KINDS of foods to buy - looking at ingredient labels, how to pick out fruit, etc.

And next time I will LEAVE JOSH AT HOME.

(I love you Josh, you little turd.)

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Nice Wadies

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On our way down to Vegas we stopped at Cove Fort, a historic pioneer fort about half-way between Fillmore and Beaver (for parents, it's located somewhere between "SHE'S TOUCHING ME MAKE HER STOP" and "MOM - HE'S MAKING THAT NOISE WITH HIS NOSE AGAIN").  We've probably driven past the fort hundreds of times, but we never stopped, partly because from the highway that particular spot looks pretty desolate.  You can't actually see the fort itself until you take the exit.

We kept telling Josh that we were going to Grandma and Grandpa's house, but he didn't really understand, and when we got out at Cove Fort he assumed WELL HEY THIS MUST BE GRANDMA'S HOUSE.  (It's been a while since we visited, obviously.)

Cove Fort is staffed by older couples serving LDS missions, and when we parked he saw an older woman approaching the car.

He said, "Dat gwamma?"

I told him, "No, it's just a nice lady."

I guess he was thinking that maybe he had ANOTHER grandma, one named "nice lady", because as soon as he got out of the car he raced over to her, shouted "Hi WADY!", wrapped his arms around her legs, and gave her a huge hug.

You should've seen the look on that missionary's face.  She was just tickled.  In a cracking voice she kept telling us how nice it was and how much she missed her own grandchildren.  I think he made her month.

She took us on a leisurely tour of the fort, telling the kids about the family who lived there, showing them how they did laundry and cooking, showing them the buffalo hides, the mattresses filled with straw, and the wooden bed with a detachable roller (so you could flatten your own mattress when the straw clumped up).  They investigated the garden and the gun portholes, and went up to the top of the fort to check out the view.

At the end of the tour she gave them an old fashioned pioneer toy to keep (after explaining how it represented that families are forever) (I would share that story with you except that I can't remember it), and then we headed back down the freeway.

It was a fun, free stop.  You can find out more about Cove Fort here.

(Practically speaking, they have a nice grassy area with picnic tables, large trees, a drinking fountain and nice restrooms, so if you need a clean, shady place to stop along the way to or from SLC, I'd definitely recommend it.  It's a great way to stretch your legs for a bit.)